Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 18 2008

The Primal Blueprint Sneak Preview

By Mark Sisson
102 Comments

As you may know, I’ve been working on my comprehensive diet, exercise and lifestyle book, The Primal Blueprint, for nearly two years now. This exciting project is nearing completion, with a planned publication date of April, 2009. In the spirit of the holiday season, I want to give you a detailed sneak preview! The message is aligned with many of the concepts and topics I address on Mark’s Daily Apple, but finally organizes the entire “primal” philosophy into a single work – your “owner’s manual” for all things primal. At 300+ pages, The Primal Blueprint will be an extremely comprehensive work, but I also envision it as a mere starting point for a brand extension of more specialized publications (e.g. – companion workbooks for athletes, weight loss enthusiasts, healthy families), a DVD series that is already in the works, live seminars and much more.

This post summarizes the content of each chapter. I have also posted a detailed Table of Contents (PDF – working draft) to give you a big picture view of what you can expect from The Primal Blueprint. I’d love to hear your first impressions on the book and thanks for your continued support and encouragement for this project.

I will be emailing everyone who’s interested in buying the book the day it comes out. If you want to be notified when that time comes, click here to sign up for the MDA weekly newsletter. If you already receive emails from us, you don’t need to sign up again.

Click on this image for a closer look… (note: you may need to scroll down the page a bit to see the enlarged image)

The Primal Blueprint Book Cover

The Primal Blueprint Chapter Summaries

Welcome From Mark
I begin the book by acquainting the reader with my background in endurance athletics, personal coaching, and nutritional science, and how I came to formulate the Primal Blueprint philosophy that often conflicts with Conventional Wisdom. I explain the collaborative influence of thousands of members of the MarksDailyApple.com online community have had on this project. More than a book, The Primal Blueprint is a centerpiece of a vibrant community of passionate, forward thinking health enthusiasts connected by the internet. My program components and often controversial positions have been field tested in real life by real people, challenged and vetted by assorted experts and refined and polished in ways not possible in the traditional model of an expert communicating to readers individually and statically.

I explain how the Primal Blueprint differs from the typical regimented, restrictive, narrowly focused diet and fitness programs that abound to a shortcut-habituated public. Instead, the Primal Blueprint focuses on enjoying life – even while pursuing comprehensive behavior modification. Along these lines, my “80% rule” recognizes how unrealistic and stressful it is to pursue perfection. Instead, I advocate establishing a strong foundation of Primal Blueprint behaviors while allowing for some flexibility to account for the hectic pace and health challenges in modern life.

Introduction – What’s Going On Here?
In the Introduction, I detail how many elements of Conventional Wisdom about diet and exercise are making us unhealthy. Even those with high motivation levels and a sincere commitment to “doing the right thing” become confused and manipulated into lifestyle practices that are harmful. The obscene state of human health in the modern world is a testament to the dismal failure of the conventional approach to diet, exercise and stress management.

I discuss the concept – quite familiar to regular MDA readers – that we are genetically identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors and that their diet, exercise and lifestyle behaviors represent an ideal to aspire to in modern life. I explain that genes are not merely unalterable inherited traits, but actually play a critical role in the function of every single cell in our bodies at every moment. Following the Primal Blueprint behavior laws creates the ideal environment for your genes to express themselves in support of robust health and peak performance, instead of turn on you to create excess fat storage, accelerated aging, disease and assorted pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many of us consider bad gene expression and poor health to be our destiny, based on family histories of risk factors or simply refusing to look beyond the prevailing cultural beliefs and health norms for a better way. The Primal Blueprint can help anyone – regardless of current state of health or the genetic cards you hold – to immediately experience improvements in health with behaviors that are easily sustained for a lifetime.

Chapter 1 – The Ten Primal Blueprint Laws

In Chapter One I present the “re:evolutionary” premise that our primal ancestors were bigger, stronger, healthier and possibly smarter than us! I provide a quick summary of the remarkable process of human evolution leading to the creation of the perfect human being…some 10,000 years ago. Our primal human role model from that time – the starring character of the Primal Blueprint – is nicknamed “Grok”. Since 10,000 years ago, the advent of agriculture and the inexorable technological progress of civilization have led us ever further astray from the dietary habits and active, stress-balanced lifestyles that allowed Grok to thrive and prevail under the harsh competitive circumstances of evolution. As a result, we have literally gone soft since then. Furthermore, thanks to medical intervention allowing even those with genetic flaws to reproduce, we exist today in what is arguably a state of devolution.

The ten Primal Blueprint laws allow us to overcome the negative cultural influences in the modern world and achieve robust health, peak longevity and effortless weight loss. The ten laws are: Eat Lots of Plants, Animals and Insects; Avoid Poisonous Things; Move Frequently At A Slow Pace; Lift Heavy Things; Run Really Fast Once In A While; Get Adequate Sleep; Play; Get Plenty of Sunlight; Avoid Stupid Mistakes; and Use Your Brain.

Chapter 2 – Grok and Korg: A Tale of Two Families

In Chapter Two we examine the contrasting daily lives of Grok and his primal family with their modern day antithesis, the Korg family. The extremely unhealthy saga of the Korgs might seem unrealistic, but it’s actually a statistically accurate indicator of many lifestyle trends today, including: hectic schedules, cultural and economic factors compromising quality family time; widespread use of prescription drugs to address the symptoms of health problems easily corrected by lifestyle modification; excessive digital media use and lack of exercise by children, which leads to behavior problems and early onset of disease risk factors; and flawed, overly stressful approaches to exercise and diet by even the most devoted fitness and weight loss enthusiasts.

While the story is distressing, the good news is that with some simple, enjoyable lifestyle modifications, the momentum can turn immediately in the direction of better health (including freedom from dependence on prescription medication), more energy, successful long-term weight loss and a generally more enjoyable life for you and your family.

Chapter 3 – Primal Blueprint Eating Philosophy

In Chapter Three I present the philosophy, rationale and benefits of Primal Blueprint eating. I make a special effort to detail the importance of moderating insulin production by limiting intake of processed carbohydrates – not only sugars but also all cultivated grains (yep, even whole grains). This simple dietary modification – perhaps the single most critical take away action item from the Primal Blueprint – will allow you to succeed with long term weight loss goals and avoid the most common modern lifestyle related health problems and diseases. I explain the benefits of ingesting optimal amounts of Omega 3’s, including their important role in controlling inflammation and preventing disease. I explain why the Conventional Wisdom story about cholesterol as a heart disease risk factor is deeply flawed. I discuss the true culprit that triggers the development of atherosclerosis: Metabolic Syndrome (a conclusion now widely accepted by the medical community). This is a serious widespread medical condition (afflicts one in five Americans) attributed to the typical modern diet (mainly, too many processed carbs and fats causing insulin resistance) and sedentary culture. I describe the dietary steps you can take to virtually eliminate your risk of heart disease.

We analyze each macronutrient in detail (protein, carbohydrate, fat and the “fourth fuel” of ketones), and establish the proper context for discussing how these nutrients affect your eating strategy, energy levels and overall health. I detail why “eating well” means more than just making healthy food choices; it encompasses eating sensibly and intuitively, in a relaxed environment conducive to maximum appreciation of food, and avoiding regimented, restrictive diets that lead to negativity, guilt and rebellion. Finally, I offer tips on how to succeed in converting to Primal Blueprint eating without causing additional stress or disappointment so common with unrealistic diet programs.

Chapter 4 – Primal Blueprint Law #1: Eat Lots Of Plants, Animals and Insects
In Chapter Four I detail the health benefits of eating Primal Blueprint style, and how to choose the best products in the food categories of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, meat, fish, eggs, nutritional supplements and even sensible indulgences. We pay particular attention to the benefits of choosing natural, organic plants and animals and contrast the often offensive ingredients and processing methods found with conventional foods and mass produced animals.

We address the potential budget impact of eating Primal Blueprint style, offering some prioritization tips that can give you the most bang for your buck…and your health. I’ll offer lists of my favorite vegetables, fruits and primal snacks, with specific health benefits detailed – yep, even for the indulgences!

In Chapter 5 – Primal Blueprint Law #2 – Avoid Poisonous Things
In Chapter Five I detail the health risks of eating “poisonous things”. In Grok’s day, poisonous plants could drop or even kill him on the spot. Today we have evolved to factory-produced items in bright packages that kill more insidiously over decades. We explore the cultural factors that create tremendous momentum towards unhealthy choices and how to take a stand against these manipulative influences. We pay particular attention to dispelling the Conventional Wisdom tenet that cultivated grain products (wheat, rice, bread, pasta, cereal, corn, etc.) are healthy, countering with extensive research and details indicating the problems they cause with insulin production, nutrient deficiencies, immune function and allergies. We discuss the drawbacks and dangers of consuming trans and hydrogenated fats, sugars, legumes and foods commonly miscategorized as healthy.

I detail foods that you can enjoy in moderation, including how to make the best choices among dairy products, starchy vegetables, oils and butter, wild rice and certain fruits. I refute Conventional Wisdom’s notion that you should routinely drink extensive amounts of water and instead assert that, like Grok, we simply use our thirst to guide us to proper hydration.

Chapter 6 – The Primal Blueprint Exercise Laws
In Chapter Six I detail the rationale and benefits of the three Primal Blueprint exercise laws: Law #3: Move Frequently At A Slow Pace, Law #4: Lift Heavy Things, and Law #5: Run Really Fast Once In A While. Mirroring the active lifestyle of Grok will produce what I call Renaissance Fitness, a versatile and diverse set of abilities that allow you to tackle varied active lifestyle or athletic challenges safely and competently. In contrast, many pursue narrow, specialized forms of fitness (e.g. – endurance athletes and bodybuilders) that are minimally functional and often compromise general health. Following the Primal Blueprint exercise laws will delay the aging process by preserving lean muscle mass, which correlates with enhanced organ function.

We contrast the benefits of Primal Blueprint exercise with the many drawbacks and health risks associated with Conventional Wisdom’s fitness recommendations. Moving frequently at a slow pace is superior to an exhausting routine of frequent sustained medium to hard workouts. These workouts often lead to sugar cravings that compromise weight loss efforts, and hampered immune and hormone function. Lifting heavy things involves brief, intense sessions that promote optimal hormone flow and prevent the catabolic effects of prolonged sessions where muscles are worked until “failure” and you leave the gym exhausted and depleted. Few things are more primal than Law #5 – running for your life once in a while! Short intense sprints trigger optimal hormone flow, lean muscle development, accelerated fat metabolism and incredible fitness breakthroughs. I discuss an optimal strategic approach for conducting workouts for each of the three Primal Blueprint laws (including form pointers and the benefits of going “barefoot”), with specific workout suggestions provided in the Appendix.

Chapter 7 – The Primal Blueprint Lifestyle Laws
In Chapter Seven I detail the five lifestyle laws of the Primal Blueprint: Get Adequate Sleep, Play, Get Adequate Sunlight, Avoid Stupid Mistakes and Use Your Brain. While Grok’s diet and exercise patterns were clearly major influences in shaping how his (and our) genes evolved, there were other environmental and behavioral forces that were no less important in perfecting the DNA recipe for a healthy, vibrant human being. It would be a mistake for us to underemphasize these other lifestyle habits, since they still play a significant role in whether or not we lose fat, build muscle, and stay focused, energetic, productive and disease-free.

Law #6, Get Adequate Sleep, delivers obvious benefits, but is widely compromised today. Good sleep involves understanding the physiology, establishing consistent habits, taking advantage of the profound benefits of napping (when you need one) and applying effective time prioritization skills. Law #7, Play, requires minimal analysis or specific instruction. Again, it’s an obvious but widely neglected lifestyle law that can deliver widespread benefits and make you quantifiably more productive when balanced effectively with work. Law #8, Get Adequate Sunlight, is an area where Conventional Wisdom has let us down, scaring us into avoiding the outdoors due to the misinterpreted risks of skin cancer. Obtaining optimal levels of Vitamin D, synthesized from sun exposure on your skin, is critical to cellular health and cancer prevention. Law #9, Avoid Stupid Mistakes, details how our obsessive desire to control or eliminate all sources of potential danger has made us lazy and inattentive. Cultivating the skills of hyper-vigilance and risk management is essential to avoid the self-inflicted trauma and suffering epitomized by the satirical but astonishingly true stories of the Darwin Awards. Law #10, Use Your Brain, may seem incongruent to many of us who are hyper-stimulated all day long. Actually, the unrelenting pace of modern life and intense pressure to achieve and consume strongly conflicts with our genetic makeup and can lead to feelings of restlessness and discontent. Pursuing creative intellectual outlets unrelated to your core daily responsibilities and economic contribution will keep you refreshed and excited about life.

Chapter 8 – A Primal Approach To Weight Loss
Chapter Eight provides a detailed step-by-step process to lose an average of one to two pounds of body fat per week. We learn how to target protein, carb, and fat intake in order to ramp up fat metabolism, maintain high dietary satisfaction levels and avoid the risk of depleting muscle tissue and suffering from the usual rebound/rebellion effect of severe caloric restriction. We discuss how de-regulating food intake and fasting intermittently can be effective calorie restriction tools and how exercise can support and accelerate progress towards your body composition goals.

We review two weight loss case studies (Ken and Kelly Korg – naturally!), calculating their average daily caloric expenditure and optimal daily intake of each macronutrient – Primal Blueprint style – to produce effortless fat loss. We examine a daily food diary of delicious, nutritious meals that contains a detailed caloric analysis and macronutrient breakdown for each meal and a daily total. The case studies result in a loss of 4.5 pound of body fat for Kelly and 6.6 pounds of body fat for Ken in a single month. Finally, I provide “Troubleshooting” tips for possible setbacks and plateaus that arise when trying to lose weight in the real world.

Chapter 9 – Conclusion
In the Conclusion we reflect on the Korgs’ story (“Yeah, It Really Is That Bad”) and how far we have drifted from the natural dietary, exercise and lifestyle habits modeled by Grok that our genes thrive on. It’s clear that we cannot trust Conventional Wisdom, corporate America or our government to make us healthy – we are truly on our own. Taking action involves proceeding with an open mind and a clean slate to depart from the cultural momentum towards shortcuts and placation through consumption. I provide tips for “getting primal”, including easing into it, isolating on one lifestyle challenge at a time to avoid being overwhelmed, and tracking progress both objectively and subjectively. Goals should be process-oriented to avoid the risks of disappointment and declining motivation when failing to meet the often arbitrary and superficial success standards imposed by society.

Appendix A – Everything You Wanted To Ask…But Were Afraid To Know
Appendix A is a detailed Q&A section covering research about evolution and primal life, gene expression, diet, exercise and lifestyle issues from the book that deserve further detail. I offer suggestions on how to interpret the often conflicting conclusions of respected scientific studies; dispel Conventional Wisdom touting the importance of fiber; how to get kids on board with the Primal Blueprint; the effects of cortisol on health and fitness; concerns of hard training athletes trying to meet energy requirements through Primal Blueprint eating, and many other topics inspired by MarksDailyApple.com readers and expert reviewers of the manuscript.

Appendix B – Primal Blueprint Compare and Contrast With Popular Diets
In Appendix B, I critique seven popular diets or diet categories (Atkins, Low Fat, Metabolic and Blood Typing, Paleo, South Beach, Vegetarian, Zone). For each, I detail the strong points and also the flaws – some minor, some egregious – and the adverse affects they have on your health. I also take the opportunity to offer a pre-emptive defense against anticipated criticism for the Primal Blueprint (hey, it’s my book!).

Appendix C – Chapter Two References
In Appendix C, I elaborate on each of the 22 footnotes from Chapter Two – Grok and Korg, with research references, statistics and detailed explanations.

Appendix D – Law #4: Lift Heavy Things – Workout Suggestions
In Appendix D, suggestions are provided for a total body circuit workout using gym equipment, a quick routine of functional, compound movements using only your bodyweight for resistance and a fun, primal “Grok” workout that will knock your socks off in about seven minutes!

Appendix E – Law #5: Run Really Fast Once In A While – Workout Suggestions
In Appendix E, suggestions are provided for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced sprint workouts, including low impact options like uphill running and cycling. For advanced athletes, additional workout options include plyometric drills, stadium stairs and “Grokball”.

Appendix F – Primal Blueprint Resource List
Appendix F lists some book, magazine, newspaper and internet resources used in Primal Blueprint research and fact checking.

Further Reading:

What is the Primal Blueprint?

The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan

The Definitive Guide Series

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102 thoughts on “The Primal Blueprint Sneak Preview”

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  1. April? I want it now!!!

    Seriously though, good stuff. I could sure use the detailed chapter on Primal weight loss. And I like the cover, very appealing.

  2. I can not wait! You truly seem to have put a lot into this book and I am so excited to read the outcome. I can only imagine how much it might further my commitment to the Primal Blueprint (not to mention how many presents I am going to make out of it so that once and for all I can show any of my skeptical friends and family the truth!). As usual, thanks Mark!

  3. April? That is too long! But at least I’ll have something great to read instead of studying for my finals come spring semester.

  4. Lookin’ good. I’m a pretty primal gal myself, but I do differ slightly in that I feel grains are okay as long as we prepared them like our ancestors — soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them. Eaten without these careful precautions, grains wreak havoc on our systems.

  5. Wow congrats Mark! I rarely spend money on books but this could be one of those rare occasions! 🙂

  6. Looks good from the preview. Hope it’ll be available in the UK.

  7. Mark,

    My first impression? This looks fantastic! Your faithful MDA readers have been blessed to have your expertise in analyzing and breaking down conventional wisdom on diet, nutrition, exercise and healthy living and your book looks like it will take that knowledge to the next level!

    From the sound of it, I think you’ve got quite a few books in you and I’m glad we’re so close to getting the first one!

    Thanks for the sneak preview!

    All the Best

    Andrew R

  8. Excitement? Check.
    Newsletter Subscription? Check.
    Telling all my friends and family about the book? Check.

    This book is going to revolutionize everything. I can’t wait to get my hands on the copy. Thanks for the preview, Mark!

  9. Mark – looks great. Some thoughts:

    I love the idea of comparing the two families, but am curious about the name ‘Korg’. Since this also sounds rather primal, it’s slightly confusing. I guess I was expecting your modern family to be called ‘Smith’ or something…

    I think you have typos in the titles of Chapters 4 and 5 – because you refer to the eating and poison laws as #3 and #4 when I think they are #1 and #2…

    For chapter 6, do you consider the differences between men and women? I ask this because both my Mum and Mrs M are unlikely to ever do any of the truly intense stuff like heavy lifting and intense sprinting, yet have fully embraced primal in every other way. I just wondered whether you would be exploring the idea that because of the hunting angle, men actually have a slightly different route to correct gene expression than women on the exercise front.

    In Chapter 8, I wonder whether you’ll be covering the issue of stopping weight loss when you want to. I am assuming you’ll cover it in the FAQ section since since you posted and responded to my Mum’s question along those lines a while back, but just thought I’d raise it.

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product – congratulations on getting to the end of this project: writing a book is a tough assignment.

  10. Excellent! I am sure you are learning yourself – nothing like writing to teach you as well as your readers, but very hard work!

    It will be great to point people to your book. I have people ask me all the time how I have lost the weight and feel so great. I start on the basics and their eyes gloss over – “oh yeah – Atkins” – no no! so much more. People need this information desperately in a comprehensive form and you are the man to deliver it!

    I am not sure you cover this specifically in the book – I know this is just an outline, but it would be helpful to have a chapter devoted to getting started and what to expect. I believe I had a pretty easy time of it – even though I was 49 when I started, I was in good health (for a Korg) and “only” about 30 pounds overweight. I believe other people find it much harder to make the change and get over the hump. I know the books cannot contain all the info in your brain! but this could be a really helpful chapter for giving people the tools and heads up for the changeover form Korg to Grok!

    I look forward to the book and make sure it gets to audible.com – a great way to “read” and process a book. If I love a book, I sometimes purchase both versions so that I can review in the car and read at home. Your book will bear that scrutiny and repeating I am sure.

  11. You’re a fit, great looking guy and all, but I think the cover should be artistically driven toward a priaml looking person ina more primal scene. Or, a priaml person, evolving into a WalMart person. Just a thought.

    I also think you, and perhaps I missed it in the TOC, think you should include a chapter on WHY any of this matters; faith, philosophy, and ideals. Also, include your thoughts on those who can be counter-productive to the process.

    Back to the cover; it’s too clinical and won’t stand out. Go primal and go colorful.

  12. Mark,

    This looks fantastic. Lots of great detail. Having been trying to write an ebook and changing revisions, I know how painstaking it can be. Obviously I would love for this to get tons of mainstream attention, and usually that means you will have to appeal to what people want in a book. I would definitely sell the aspect of never needing a diet book (as Grok never did) and how to lose weight and stay lean with minimal effort (no hours of cardio). Also I didn’t see if you were doing anything about “feast and famine” but that would be interesting as well. I do agree about the cover, should be more appealing and eye catching on what your message is (aka why someone would want to eat and move “primal”). Great stuff otherwise and look forward to the release. The concept is so simple to eat and move naturally….but convincing people that is the best course of action is the hardest part.

  13. Looks quite interesting and I’m excited about reading it. I like the cover as it is now; trying to make it look “primal” seems overboard in a couple of ways. It will look like too kitschy and (I think) go against the concept that one should incorporate living and moving primally into a modern life.

  14. I agree with Emergefit. Why don’t you go for a paleolithic design all over the book, cover included, instead of the aseptic white look of this cover? The index looks great and I’ll buy and read it whatever the cover, of course!

  15. On the cover, I would toss that top-bar. It’s too much of a sales pitch. The sub-title need to better encapsulate the idea that the Primal Blueprint uses scientific logical reasoning wrt our genetics on what our diet should be composed of. Keep your picture on the cover.

    In the TOC, I noticed the title for Chapter 2 has a typo, “Grok and Krok” should be “Grok and Korg.” I would have to agree with the above poster that the letter flipping from Grok to Korg isn’t a good way of illustrating the difference between the paleo and modern human. Personally I would go with ‘Jones’ as in, “keeping up with the Jones’.”

    Also, is 10,000 BC really the paleolithic age? 25,000 BC may be a better number. That’s after the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

    One thing that I like to say about the paleo-style arguments is that they are a diet and not a Diet. You may want to work that argument into your introduction.

    I would warn on intermittent fasting: one needs to adapt their diet to fat adsorption first before fasting or they will crash and probably quit your (D/d)iet.

    Please keep in mind that not everyone lives in California. At a minimum you should provide a sidebar of suggestions for play/sprint activities for people who live in places where there is winter.

  16. Hey, everyone. I’m loving the feedback. Great comments/suggestions. Thanks and keep it coming!

  17. Going to be Awesome Mark. It will be straight on my Amazon wish list! As for suggestions I would like to see something about the myth that complex carbs from Oats and Bread, Rice Potatoes are needed to calm the Nervous system and stop stress which is an argument I often hear…..

  18. This is really exciting. I feel like a close friend of mine is about to become famous. And very deserving.

    Best of luck.

    BTW-I like the cover the way it is.

  19. Eat insects? What insects? You never explain what you mean by insects, Mark. I’m not opposed on principle or anything but some explanation would be appreciated. Same goes for the description of the PB where insects are mentioned without explanation. You’ll definitely scare off a few readers with a suggestion to start eating bugs!

  20. To be clearer: insects as food are mentioned here on your site as well, and without elaboration. I recommend that both the book and the site be on watch for buggyness.

  21. Great news! I believe that Art Devany is working on a book, too. Will buy both as soon as they’re available.

  22. Mark,

    That looks awesome. I hope you supplement your ideas with lots of research to back it up whenever possible. Good luck spreading the word, I hope to see you on Oprah in a few months.

  23. i think the content of the book sounds great! i think it will be interesting and very comprehensive. i look forward to reading the final product!

    however, i do think the cover looks gimmicky, and if i hadn’t read your blog i would never pick up this book. phrases like “effortless weight loss” and “perfect health” are red flags that say “to good to be true” and “fad diet.” and it may be a little cheesy to put yourself on the cover…just my opinion, which probably doesn’t represent most diet-book-purchasing americans. i’m sure the cover won’t affect your loyal blog readers purchasing decisions, and content is more important anyway. i would just hate to see all your advice, which i think is very valuable, trapped in what looks like a generic fad diet book.

    good luck and i wish you lots of success!

  24. Looks great! One thing I always like to see in books like this is how you, the author, applies all this stuff in his daily life. Seems like that is really the best way to understand how all of this works. Maybe an appendix with a day in the life of Mark detailing your exercise routine, and what you eat?

  25. I would erase the “insects” thing from the chapter title.
    For two reasons:

    1. technically insects are members of the animals kingdom so the list “plants and animals” is MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive 🙂 no need to iterate insects or vegetables, fruits and so on

    2. Eating bugs is a bit horrible for the majority of people in the western culture – perharps you should mention it inside the text as a peculiarity, maybe come up with some biblical quotes about locust – but not recommend eating this proactively, because when you let the “bug eater” label to stick, you will be an easy target for high carbers and vegetarians. Imagine a talk show and Dr D. Ornish being asked about his opinion on the new Mark Sisson’s book “Ooh, is this that dude who tells you to eat bugs to be lean and healthy? But there is a more pleasant way, people, follow me” and so on… boom, you’re hit.

    As for the cover – I think it’s OK, knowing how old you are it’s really impressing the only guy I know who beats you is Jack Lalanne but you have 40 years to show what PB can do 🙂

  26. I think zbiggy and others who have raised the issue of the front cover have a good point about how the book is positioned, expecially in the context of a mainstream media whose sole purpose tends to be finding an angle that sells copy.

    There is definately the danger that a piece of work that profoundly redefines what is healthy for all human beings could end up being pigeon-holed as a niche self-help book with quirky ideas. The insects angle might get headlines but it won’t sell copies.

    Likewise, too many books that are simply based on some faddy angle and have nothing really new to offer tend to be marketed on the basis of the personality and image of the author – this could mean your book is, by association placed into the same category and therefore avoided by people who would otherwise choose to read it.

    I am not a marketer so take all this with a pinch of salt – just my thoughts.

  27. Would love to see that info on the whole evolutionary side of your argument since the way you set it up definitely sounds about as misguided as possible on the whole topic of evolution. The idea that evolution is able to result in something “perfect” is a misconception and missing the point really. Also the idea that what was available to humans 25,000 or 10,000 years ago (arbitrary date most likely) was in any way optimal in terms of health is also misleading from a biological standpoint. I’m not debating the results you achieved for yourself but dressing this up in evolutionary theory is unfortunate, unscientific and misleading.

  28. The only thing that bothers me is on the cover–“reprogram your genes”. I don’t think it’s possible to reprogram your genes through diet/lifestyle. I think “reprogram your metabolism” is more accurate and probably easier for most people to understand.

  29. It’s about time! Great to see all the wonderful information from the website compiled and put in a book 🙂 I also hope it’s available from Canada.. and that there’s a way to pre-order it!

  30. Mark, congratulations! Sounds like you are near the finish line and the cover and excerpts look great. I can’t express how excited I am for this book to get out into the world. I really think it’s what we need at this point in time. So many people are trying so hard to solve their health problems, and you have the best answers and the best approach of anyone I have encountered. Your blog has already changed lives (including my own) and getting out a book will bring this information to so many more people. So, I wish you the greatest success – can’t wait to see you on Oprah and read about the book in the paper!

  31. Congrats on being in the final steps, Mark! I think you should dress up like a caveman on the cover, though. The outline looks great, and I’m excited to read it!

  32. Hey Mark,

    I’m happy to see that the book will be out soon congratulations. I run a CrossFit type gym here in South Florida and the Primal Blue Print is the official dietary recommendations of our gym. I personally have been on a low carb diet (Atkins) since 1991 but I found the Primal Blue Print about a year ago and have been following it with amazing results.

    Atkins was great but the PB has taken me to a different level not only in body comp but in performance in the gym as well as daily life. Everyone in my gym that has embraced the PB has greatly benefited and are consistently making the best progress in the gym and in their quality of life.

    Every new member when the sign up I give them blog address to MDA some of them have subscribed to the RSS feeds and the news letter other are too lazy to read through the blog so I believe that the book will be a valuable tool. Again, congrats on the book I’m looking forward to it’s release.

    very truly yours,

    Jorge Angulo
    The Garage Gym
    Miami, Fla.

  33. I’m exicted to see the book coming out! I don’t know the type of feedback you looking for and I’m sure you have or will have editors looking this over but,

    The title of Chapter 2 reads: “Grok & Kork – A Tale of Two Families” but the subheadings all read “Korg”.

  34. Hi Mark,

    This is my first comment but I’ve been a fan for months now. There’s isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not checking MDA for a new post. Having lost 80 pounds since the birth of my son you can imagine the comments I get and how many people I refer to your site so I was thrilled to see you’re bringing out a book!

    Is there any chance you’ll be able to do a pre-buy deal on autographed copies? I’d sure love one!

    Thank you for all your hard work preparing the material you post – you’re a true inspiration to me!

    Melanie

    PS My husband went primal in Iraq on this deployment and has dropped 30 pounds. My children have also all become healthier kids too! I get a kick out of saying ‘our family’s gone primal!’

  35. How many books do we need to buy to get this on the NYT bestsellers list?

  36. Congrat.’s Mark!!!
    And thanks for writing this book, it’s going to change everyone’s lives that buy your book and follow your Primal Blueprint. It’s going to be a sellout! I Love your front cover, you look great!
    I definitely will purchase a book with you, i can’t wait to get it, i’m EXCITED!!! Can i order it “NOW?”:)

  37. “Reprogram you genes”

    Another book title with dubious assertions. There are probably valuable opinions contained within the book. However, the appearance is no different than any other infomercial diet or exercise fad.

    There is merit to the practice of strict adherence to diet and exercise routines like paleo and crossfit. They develop will power and instill a sense of accomplishment. However, most of the claims of substance in this and other similar programs are based entirely on psuedo-science and dogma.

    I like eating carbs, and I would feel like a moron if I based my life around what “Grok” would have done.

  38. I agree with, and wanted to emphasize, a few points that have been made above. I live in Ohio. It’s cold. Suggestions on winter-time activities would be fabulous. (You’ll probably say to go out anyway, but when it’s 0 degrees, that just isn’t happening!). Also, I agree with reprogramming metabolism, not genes. The promises on the cover do sound a bit like a weight loss gimmick, so may be wise to tone those down. I think the graphics on the cover look like you did them yourself. It needs polishing. Totally excited for the information, though. Can’t wait for the workout recommendations. Would LOVE an example day, like someone else suggested. All in all, I will certainly be purchasing the book- excellent resource!

  39. “Reprogramming genes” is just another way of saying “gene regulation gene expression” It’s a real and lab measurable phenomena by which one can modify the cellular control of the amount and timing of appearance of the functional product of a gene. DNA-RNA transcription can be modulate the production of proteins. You can prove this to yourself by performing high intensity training for a month in combination to a high fan high/ protein low carb diet. I guarantee you will be amazed at how your body composition will have changed, drastically on some circumstances. I.e. your genes are expressing themselves differently.

  40. That’s fine and well re: reprogramming. I can see where his is coming from there but everything reprograms genes if you interpret it that way. When marathon runners train long and slow they are programming their genes for something that they feel their bodies are meant to do. Both are correct. It is still a hit to credibility when someone that so frequently mentions evolution, consistently demonstrates that he lacks a basic understanding of the concepts of evolutionary theory. When pop culture misconceptions are sold as science it just plain screams diet/money making baloney which is all this is. Sure the author is happy and fit. He could get that way in a myriad different ways. Soon he’ll be happier and richer and all the people looking for a quick fix will be poorer and have a weird idea how evolution works.

  41. I agree w/ Tyler above. The cover is kind of gimmicky and “diet” fad’ish. I’d change the white background and pristine theme to something more resembling earth tones and a rustic theme.

    Do keep yourself on the cover though, Mark. You’re a prime representative of the Primal Blueprint.

    Can’t wait for April!

    Do send a copy to Oprah.

  42. Late comment, for what it’s worth, I feel that the cover of the book is poor, and certainly doesn’t do justice to the the qaulity of the content. You will sell, and deserve to sell, many copies, because of word of mouth and the quality of content, but for anyone who is not already in on this Primal thing, then that cover makes it look like yet another diet book written by a grinning guru – may be a cultural issue, UK and US publishing dance to slightly different drumbeats, but to me that cover is generic and off-putting, and needs to say ‘PRIMAL’. Just my two cents (pennies, actually!). I really wish you every success with this, hence comment. As a footnote, I have had books published here in the UK, one of which was also published in the US, and which had a new cover and new title, so I know that what might work here and what works there can be different.

  43. I am anxiously awaiting your new book, Mark, and can’t wait for April to arrive. I’m expecting a lot from this book.
    But the cover…sigh. It looks no different than the myriad diet fad books out there complete with screaming phrases that would be best read by Ron Popeil or Billy Mays. I must admit that I am dreading a bit what the rear cover will look like and say.
    Hey, I’ll pay extra for a solid light brown cover that simply says, “Primal Blueprint” and lists your name. Hardcover preferred, of course.

  44. How will you manage to publish a book in April that’s still in the rough? Doesn’t seem possible to me, especially now with so many publishers cutting back on staff. Good luck.

  45. I actually love the front cover of Mark’s book! The blue and white looks great!

  46. To anyone who is interested, check out the design contests I held for the book cover design. A number of you have been a little critical about the cover design. I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the other potential designs. Thanks, everyone!

    With the first design contest we were looking for something that had a bit more imagery than what we finally ended up with: http://99designs.com/contests/9687

    With the second design contest we were looking for something a little cleaner with little to no graphics/icons:
    http://99designs.com/contests/13561

  47. I went to the cover design contest sites, looked around, and found these lines:

    “We want the book cover to emulate other popular health and fitness book cover designs. Here are our favorites:

    The Zone Diet-…

    The Abs Diet-…

    You the Owner’s Manual-…

    The Paleo Diet-…”

    Okay, I understand now what the cover design criteria was, had I known this earlier I wouldn’t have criticized the proposed cover.
    It really doesn’t matter what the cover looks like, I’ll be buying the book anyway.

  48. Love the cover you chose. Very clear. Also, be sure to send Oprah several copies. I’d really like to see her move in the right direction for 09.

  49. Mark, looks great! Sure wish we didn’t have to wait until April. Looking forward to reading it cover to cover!

  50. Good luck with the book Mark!
    I wanted to point out a wee grammatical error: “The extremely unhealthy saga of the Korg’s might seem unrealistic[…]”

    In this case, no apostrophe is required.

  51. You’re welcome.

    There’s another:
    “In the Conclusion we reflect on the Korg’s story[…]”

    should be “the Korgs’ story”

    (I would have put both these comments in one post if I had caught the second one sooner.)

  52. I’m a long time fan, congrats on the book, but please don’t go on Oprah…

  53. Hi Mark.Excellent ideas with world-wide application;the fatties aren’t only in America!
    Look forward to your publications.
    Peter Martin, New Zealand.