What Will 2018 Mean For Your Life? (And a Giveaway)

Inline_2018_KickoffEvery New Year, the cynics are quick to tell you how arbitrary all the motivational messages, resolutions, and new beginnings are. It’s just another day, they grumble. And, sure, they have a point.

You could start that new diet, join that new CrossFit box that just opened down the street, and finally pursue the dream job you’ve always wanted on March 7th, February 15th, or August 3rd. It doesn’t have to be January 1st. Any day will do. The New Year is somewhat arbitrary.

But we’re social animals who thrive in the presence of others. We feed off the energy around us to fuel our own initiative. On some level we’re always looking to what the group is doing for motivation, if not direction. The New Year presents a unique opportunity that way for all of us. Why would we not take advantage of the tailwind?

Taking that first step toward substantive change isn’t always easy. Taking the next steps each day can get lonely. The mood changes, however, when those around you are buzzing with the same intention. This time of year, whatever space you’re in, it’s often full of humans doing, planning, and discussing big changes. Some of it is false bravado of course. Many will fail. Many will never even begin. But the energy is there, it feels real, and it’s infectious. Wasting the global and local momentum would be a big mistake.

New Year’s cynic or no, there’s no better day than today. There isn’t even any other day than today. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow hasn’t materialized. This moment is all that exists. It’s your only option. And—zip—there it went. Moments go fast. Better grab the next.

Yesterday’s post was a fantastic start. Erin’s WHY x5 is an essential tool for digging into your root desires and motivations for change. If you haven’t already, read it and go download the WHY x5 PDF. Fill it out and then come on back. I’ll wait.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, change, or become—and you have something (or somethings) very specific written down—it’s time to gather or shore up any knowledge and know-how you might be lacking. It’s important to know the nuts and bolts of Primal living, eating, and training, as you’ll presumably be utilizing them to enact the changes you desire.

Primal Resources Ready and Waiting

Many of you know these topics inside and out. Others do not. The former group can take the opportunity to discover what they’re missing, what they’ve forgotten, what they never knew. The latter group will be in uncharted territory. Here’s how to navigate:

1. Primal Blueprint Challenge page – On this page you’ll be introduced to the basics of the Primal Blueprint and can follow numerous links to learn more (including a link to join the 21-Day Challenge community on Vimify).

2. The Books – I’d especially recommend The New Primal Blueprint book if you haven’t picked it up already. With loads of updated information, graphics and details, it’s a comprehensive, go-to source for Primal living.

3. What to cook? – Check out the Primal Blueprint Recipes on MDA and our cookbooks as well as the suggestions in the 21-Day Total Body Transformation book.

4. The Newsletter – Sign up on this page to get several free ebooks, a 7-day course on the fundamentals of lifelong health, and more.

While we won’t be doing a formal 21-Day Challenge on MDA until late spring, we’ve got plenty of good in store.

As for the MDA blog, this month we’ll be focusing on practical, actionable information you can use to fuel your healthy 2018 intentions, and we’ll have giveaways throughout all of January to celebrate. Check back each day so you don’t miss your chance to take part! 

Steep Yourself In Community

We’re social beings, remember? Books and blog posts and research can only get you so far. We also need the community, a living breathing thing that reacts and responds to you.

Sometimes you want to hear health and fitness experts have conversations about the types of topics that could change lives—like yours. Check out the Primal Blueprint Podcast hosted by Elle Russ (and sometimes Brad Kearns and myself), and the Primal Endurance Podcast hosted by Brad Kearns. Both are excellent.

There’s a great MDA Facebook group, extremely active and full of motivated posters, Primal Health coaches, and other enthusiasts. Go join so you can take part in the conversation (and have questions answered).

There’s also a Keto Reset Facebook group that you should join if you’re thinking about going keto. It gives you access to thousands of enthusiasts and experts who love talking about everything related to keto.

For either FB group, lurking is fine. You don’t have to participate, though you’ll probably derive more pleasure and success if you do.

The MDA forums are archived and read-only as of last month, but those archives contain valuable information and fascinating conversations between members on thousands of topics. It’s hard to summarize. Just go look.

You’ve got the tools, the knowledge, the goal in mind. Next comes the hard-easy part: action.

You stand at the base of a tall mountain, gazing up at your New Year’s goal glittering at the peak. There’s a path up, and it looks perilous but possible. Daunting but doable. You can do it. Will you? Take that first step and find out.

And Now A Giveaway For Your Thoughts…

Ranch_600xNow I’m going to ask you to fill in the next part. What do you need to make your intention happen—and what can we do on Mark’s Daily Apple to help you? What resources, topics, or ideas will give you a leg up? I’m looking for a whole swarm of possibilities, folks, so don’t be shy.

Let me know what your 2018 intentions are and how the bees and I can help you find success this year. No matter what your goal or your situation, the New Year can be the start of something big for your life.

I’ll choose 15 random commenters from the comment board below to receive a bottle of Primal Kitchen® Ranch Dressing—well, because the more, the merrier. Comment before midnight tonight (1/3/18 PST) to be eligible.

Thanks, everybody. Let’s make 2018 the best yet!


About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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138 thoughts on “What Will 2018 Mean For Your Life? (And a Giveaway)”

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  1. With all of the keto discussions lately and some people dabbling in it from time to time (that describes myself) and others staying in keto for longer periods of time, I am interested in feedback from those who are staying in ketosis over, say, 2-3 months or more and what are various biomarkers looking like? Things such as fasting insulin, fasting glucose, hsCRP, lipid numbers, blood pressure, body comp, etc. I’m a clinician so I like the numbers side of things. I prefer to see “before keto” lab testing and then lab testing during various time intervals. I know not everyone gets their labs and other biomarkers tested while doing this so it would be cool for those MDA followers who are doing extended periods of keto who also get their biomarkers tested to submit these for my (and hopefully other’s) amusement. Thanks!

    1. I can only speak for myself on this one, but I have been keto since August 2016. I know many are concerned about cholesterol/LDL, although, after all the research I have done on PubMed, I think there are FAR better markers.

      Anyway, my cholesterol went from right about 200-210 when I started with HDL about 40 and trigs very high and LDL in the 110-120 range. My HDL and LDL both went up significantly out of the gate and my trigs dropped dramatically giving me a total cholesterol as high as 298. From the research I had done, this was not surprising. Also, from my research, I was not surprised as my HDL (79 now) and trigs (66 now) leveled off almost immediately and the LDL began to drop. As of last month, my LDL was back down to 119 and total down to 207. Given the ratios, the current research shows these to be near ideal. LDL going too low is actually associated with dementia and other cognitive disorders. Most with a total of 207 have a lower HDL and higher trigs and LDL due to the high sugar/refined carb intake.

      More importantly, ALL of my inflammation markers are ideal now – hsCRP is 0.2, MPO is 162, Fibrinogen is 301 and LpPLA is 165.

      Fasting insulin is consistently 3 or 4.

      One improvement I was not expecting, but found out is not uncommon is that my testosterone – both total and free have nearly tripled. So instead of being out of range of normal on the low side, I am now well into the normal range for both. This is huge for a middle aged guy like me. I am thinking cutting all soy products (due to the extremely high level of phytoestrogens) probably helped in this area as well.

      The only lab result not where I want it is blood glucose. I have dropped it from being diabetic to pre-diabetic without meds, but I would really like to get that last little bit of improvement down to healthy.

      I am a nerd and get a ton of lab work and analyze it to death, if you can’t tell.

      1. Cliff, 1) Regarding cholesterol lipids, check out the n=1 experiments that Dave Feldman is doing at CholesterolCodeDotCom. By manipulating his dietary intake, he dropped LDL from 200ish to 100ish in SEVEN days. 2) Regarding blood glucose, it’s sometimes high on keto regardless. A better measure may be HOMA-IR

        1. thanks. Feldman is one of the people I have read. Although cholesterol manipulation is not really my interest. I am more focused on disease.
          As such, I got my heart scanned for calcium and my CAC was mild, but higher than average which shows that decades of “good” cholesterol levels but bad ratios did me no good. I will be going back this summer to see what, if any change there has been to see the effect of correcting my ratios – particularly HDL to trigs which seems to have the highest correlation to disease.

          HOMA-IR for me shows I am not insulin resistant as it is consistently below 1.0. Also, I was checked for glucose and fructose metabolism and actually measured as better than average for both. My doctor thinks my higher BG is likely attributed to high cortisol which we measured this last time, and sure enough it was at the upper end or above it for all for measures of the day. The only good part was that it did follow the curve down through the day as it should. I am doing my best to be patient as I work through improving my health. Again, the BG (and cortisol) are the only things that are not where I want them.

    2. I suspect I’m somewhat anomalous, having always had high HDL, but I’m happy to share biomarkers. I’ve got tons of data, but here are a few before and after data points. The 2010 and 2012 data were during a low-fat, largely vegetarian diet. The 2013 and 2016 data were after I went Primal in February 2013 and very low carb in August 2013. I’ve been in nutritional ketosis most of the time since then.

      Below are: total cholesterol; direct LDL; HDL; Triglycerides; hsCRP; glucose; HBA1C

      2010: 139; 24; 112; 22; 0.7; 99; 5.3

      2012: 125; 36; 86; 14; 0.6; 90; 5.5


      2013: 183; 35; 118; 30; 0.5; 95; 5.4

      2016: 152; 28; 133; 19; 0.3; 99; 5.4

      I haven’t done a Kraft style five hour insulin assay, but I hope to do so soon. I’ve done a few four and seven day fasts, during which I reached glucose levels of 64, 66, etc., and serum ketones of 5.6 and 5.9. Normally, I run BHB levels from 1.5 to 1.9.

      I’m always interested to see people say that keto doesn’t work well for post-menopausal women. I’m about to be 64, and it has always worked beautifully for me.

  2. I’m really hoping to get a Primal Health Coaching business up and running. I just need to think about how I can support my family as I transition away from the steady income I have now.

  3. I would like to have a MDA or Primal Blueprint App on my smartphone to quickly access information while out living life. Information could include primal recommendations for dining out, a library of common foods with their macros, analysis of common supplements, or a random body-weight exercise challenge. I love the search feature on the MDA website but it’s not necessarily mobile-friendly.

  4. About a year ago, I made the commitment to go primal after reading Primal Blueprint and lost roughly 40 lbs. effortlessly. Unfortunately, not abiding by my P’s and Q’s I’ve gained 15 lbs. back mostly through meaningless calories (beer!). This is a great time of year to dive back in and do a reset, so I bought Keto Reset. Now I’m even more committed to the lifestyle. Thanks, Mark, you communicate complex ideas very simply and easy to follow!

  5. I agree with the buzz/mood having an impact – 4 of my colleagues and I are taking on the Whole30 in January, and agreed to make lunch for each other – it’s been so fun to exchange recipes and get to know one another! The community aspect of it is making us all stronger and more solidified in our participation.

    One of my big goals is to reflect on each day at the end of the day – either journaling, talking with my husband, meditation, yoga, etc.

    The biggest thing MDA could help with – how to stay on top of it once the new-ness wears off. Until something becomes a daily habit, it’s work to make it happen. So maybe some posts in March and beyond to remind us to keep working on whatever we had set our minds to as an extra motivational push!

    I set very tangible, attainable goals and I struggled to fill out the WHY X 5. I understand the concept but found myself putting the same answer in every box. Maybe a few more examples of how to utilize it?

  6. I’ve been following a strict Paleo diet by the advice of my Naturopath to assist with fertility. I’m now pregnant and am completely turned off any of the foods that I’ve been eating for the past 10 weeks. Do you have any resources for pregnant woman that may have food aversions while following the diet? I am obviously not a restricted now that I’ve become pregnant but want to continue with the amazing results I’ve seen so far (better sleep, less congestion, more energy, etc…).

  7. For anyone who has read the previous Primal Blueprint, would you be able to give me a quick comparison of if the new one is worth the purchase.

  8. My intention for 2018/2019 is to do an iron-distance triathlon the primal/paleo way. since i shifted my diet to paleo in 2013, i have successfully done half-iron distance triathlons, but i haven’t tested myself with a full. i think Primal Blueprint has given me all the info i need (between posts here and in the Primal Endurance book and podcast), so i think i am not asking you for anything more, just using this as my public statement of my plans/goals. cheers, and thanks.

  9. I am 10 weeks postpartum and have significant diastasis recti separation. I’m going to be doing a very gentle 12 week physical therapy program before I get into the swing of full activity. That starts this Friday. I’d be interested in connecting with a likeminded group of postpartum moms. I’m sure I could find them on the FB group(s), but direction would be helpful. I’d also like to see your take on healing foods and exercise for DR separation.

    The app idea is a great one, too!

  10. I am confident (probably overly so) that this movement towards primal, carb restricted, high fat eating is making me healthier, but am wary of recommending it to others, specifically my father. He is 65 years old, 6’2″ and a bad 230, with a history of heart disease. I want him healthy but still hold a fear that switching his eating to high-fat at this point in his life could literally kill him… is there any information available about the switch later in life from a high carb to a high-fat diet and danger to high heart attack risk people?

    1. Brendan I am 59 and have been eating hf/lc for ten years with intermittent fasting introduced around five years ago. I am fitter now than I was ten years ago and am leaner. Heart disease is a product of the high carb/sugar diet with toxic fats. Maybe Mark could take this up but the search engine on Mercola.com has loads of information on this.

    2. Hi Brendan…I am 67 and began Primal eating a little over one year ago. I was so impressed with my results (lost 30 lbs with little effort) that I became a student/graduate of the PB Health Coaching program for my own personal reasons, not to necessarily coach people. The only thing I can tell you is that your Dad (or anyone else you want to recommend to Primal lifestyle) needs to be committed to making this change for themselves. As much as you want it for your Dad, there is a big difference between that and HIM really wanting to make a change and feel better. I usually tell friends/family that ask ‘how I lost the weight’ to give themselves 3 weeks to try it out. The first week or two can involve the carb flu which needs true personal motivation to get through, then you kind of see the light… So figure out if he can truly endure a 3-week trial to change his life for the better and more importantly, are these his true wishes for himself. Good luck!

    3. Brendan, It depends how open he is to changing his eating style. My father is insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, and is very resistant to changing his diet. His Dr. tells him he needs 100 carbs at every meal. He feels like he can eat what he wants as long as he takes his insulin. I’ve found that people are as funny about diet as they are about religion and politics. Some people are not open to new ways of eating.

  11. Primal isn’t new to me, but it is to my wife. She’s got the low-carb flu! I think if she can make it through that, the worst is over.

  12. I found MDA back in 2011 about 6 months after having my daughter. It was just by chance that I ran across someone on FB talking about The Primal Blueprint and MDA. After reading Mark’s explanation of living a Primal style life I thought “THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!”. I had tried for years to lose weight and keep it off. I went on to lose 70 pounds of pre & post baby weight and eat healthier than I ever have in my entire life. I found a lifestyle that just made total sense to me, it was effortless. I learned to cook healthy and still almost 7 years later cook almost all of the meals my family and I eat. I started walking a lot and fell in love with it. I’ve worn the soles off of shoes I’ve walked so much. I lift sometimes, too. What a blessing MDA was to me. Free information that came from somewhere I totally trusted and felt connected to instantly. As we go into 2018 I plan to continue as always the Primal way but also get back into The Keto Reset which I dabbled in before the holidays but can now focus on more. Thanks Mark for continuing to do what you do. I believe we all have a calling and this is yours! Happy 2018 to you and yours!

  13. Primal beginnings with baby. Title and all ready to go ; ) . Information on being primal while pregnant, post-delivery then introductions when a baby starts eating real foods.

  14. To improve my resolutions I need a new electric bike with spare batteries, the lightest available and not to have to pay for it.

  15. I have a few goals, in no particular order 🙂

    1. Try do do something about my loose skin
    2. Build Muscle
    3. Finish the PHC course
    4. Launch by business

  16. I’m on Day 31 of a Whole 60 and come here often for support and inspiration. I’m recovering from an injury and am focusing on strength and mobility. Lots of resources for that here! Thanks.

  17. My goal for 2018 is to somehow obtain a bottle of Primal Kitchen® Ranch Dressing. A simple, but powerful goal that could unleash my true primal self and bring me fame, fortune, wine, women and song. Or at lease be a healthy addition to salads and for dipping carrots and other veggies into.

  18. I’m involved in a Whole30 group that started Jan. 1. Today I’m enjoying the first two Primal Kitchen products I’ve bought – the green goddess dressing and the mayo.

  19. My clients are experiencing great success in their medical conditions, yet, not all have not seen the desired change on the scale. These folks are constantly under tremendous stress. We have set goals around reducing this, but “real life” gets in the way. These folks are also data driven, so it would be really helpful to have as much information as possible (in one place) that easily describes the scientific impact of stress on the scale. Something that could be forwarded electronically would be even better! And something motivating so that I can help them set the goals that are stronger than what they currently call “real life.”

  20. I’d like to begin my primal journey. I’m fearful that it’ll be tougher than I expect given that my entire family won’t embark at the same time. I’m in good shape and continue to put forth the effort but am looking forward to taking the leap forward with my overall health and wellness. I’m looking for practical ways to go it alone, yet not alone at the same time within my family. How to cook for one but also for six. How to shop for one but also for six. I also don’t want to simply do it cheaply but cost effectively.

    1. Cook primally and then have rice or bread for everyone else to add to their meal. We do it all the time for our boys.

  21. I’m planning on continuing this way of life through 2018 and on forever since I feel so much better at 63 than I did at 62.

  22. I agree with a few of the comments already posted, and wanted to add. My husband and I will be trying to start a family and I’m very interested in how to utilize the primal/paleo lifestyle to improve fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and infant/toddler health. I feel like there is so much information out there about how primal principles can be used to lose weight and become healthy, but not as much for how to utilize it in different phases of life, particularly for women. And another intention of mine is finding a way to use what I’ve learned through my primal journey (completely changing the way I eat/move/live) in order to make other habitual changes in my life, specifically in the realms of self-talk and the stories I tell myself. Thanks for all you do! Looking forward to learning more from you in 2018!

  23. I have done the keto reset, following the book and am now doing a 6 week strict keto stint. so far, so good 😉 my weight ( at age 54, post menopause) is lower than it has been in probably the last 10 years and for the first time ever I am not hungry or craving. my main aim is to be rid of hunger and craving and food obsession for good. I am also a physical therapist who works with a lot of clients who are seriously overweight and I also work in the field of oncology so the more I learn the more confident I feel about passing on some of this knowledge to my clients as well

  24. One of the most important aspects of Paleo for me is how to look at individual needs – not a one size fits all approach. I’m hoping to pay more attention to my specific reactions to foods in the coming year!

  25. I´d like more tips for staying healthy while crossfitting. I decided to join a box this month, alredy went to a first class. I worry about undereating and crossfit as it is so intense.

  26. I’m setting some major life goals and hoping to make progress toward them this year. Three of them are a swimming goal (6 miles), a bench press goal, and a deadlift goal. Being primal will help me each these!! 🙂

  27. In 2018, continue to be the voice of math, science, and reason in diet and lifestyle. I am new follower of MDA, and a new owner of the Primal Blueprint. One thing that has resonated with me thus far in which I hope you continue in the new year, is your focus on community and helping each other get better.

  28. 2018 means I am taking back my health from the establishment and make my 50th year the best yet. Heal my skin, heal my gut, and finally feel great again instead of just, “Meh”. Who knows, maybe I’ll want to become a coach!

  29. I’m 61 yrs old and first started the paleo primal blueprint in early 2012. Back then, I weighed 215 lbs (5’ 10”) and I was pre-diabetic. Over the course of 2012 I lost 40 lbs, down to 175lbs and my blood markers were in the normal range again. All good, except over the years, particularly when I retired in May 2015, I started to go off the primal blueprint and have gained about 10 lbs or so. Well, my 2018 plan is to get back on the blueprint and lose those 10 or so lbs. I have continued to walk/hike daily, and lift heavy things, but my diet has gone sideways……..

  30. I am so interested in the effects of this WOE for long term success.

  31. I love the idea of a Ketor Reset Diet or primal Blueprint app (someone posted about that below)!

  32. The chance to live the whole year awesome and wear 5 fingers everyday.

  33. Recently purchased Quick and Easy Meals and 21-day total body, to add to my primal collection. Have been eating (mostly) primal and figured now is a good time to step it up a notch. Good luck to all and a Happy New Year!

  34. 2018 will be a continuation of the good things that I started doing for myself since May 20th, 2017. I lost 15 pounds, gave up sugar, and eat a lot healthier now. Now it’s time to tackle the exercise. I work in a kitchen, so I lift heavy things and move a lot, but I’m a couch potato when I get home. I am focusing on bodyweight exercises to balance out my muscles. Also stretching to relieve some of the pain I feel when I get home from work. 2018 is going to be the year I start aging backwards!

  35. My intentions are to make progress in several areas of my life–health, finances and personal growth .Please encourage baby steps/

  36. Refining primal/keto for me this year, and trying to pinpoint those foods that seem to throw my body into a tizzy…and figure out why. Would love to see more simple recipes…I love recipes that are 5-6 ingredients or less, but aren’t the same old same old…. With a full household (8 children) I need easy and varied! Thanks so much!

  37. I resolve to be more committed to my Primal lifestyle! I’ve gotten lazy over the past 6 months and those Christmas cookies did quite a number on my IBS & Hashimoto’s! UGH…………..

  38. My wife and I are going to complete what we refer to as a “12-12-in 12” challenge, where we will run 12 running events (5K or 10K) in 12 different cities in the PNW in 12 months. We are also planning on completing the Primal health Coach program by year-end. We have been Paleo/primal for about 5 years now, and appreciate the simplicity of the Primal Blueprint philosophy and the research that backs up the philosophy. We make our own dressings and condiments which in itself is a fantastic way to become more aware of what you actually put in your body and understand why it is so important to read the nutrition labels! We are fortunate in that we get to tout the benefits of a Primal lifestyle in our careers as Healthcare providers in the corporate setting and now we also live the example with more energy, better fitness and making better lifestyle choices, even after 28 years of marriage! Live long…Drop Dead!

  39. I want to incorporate a more primal lifestyle with my whole family, however I have really young kids. I want to do this to be overall healthier as well see if it helps my 3 year old’s immune system. Is it best to change the kid’s eating style cold turkey or gradually over some time?

  40. I think in 2018 I am ready to completely change all aspects of my life not just weight but my health and happiness. I have been following this for awhile and have a best friend who is in great health and shape because of primal keto eating. I would love to have an app like my fitness pal but solely for primal and keto eating 🙂

  41. My goals for the year- relax, chill out, day f it every once in a while, and start enjoying life!

  42. My diet and health game are strong, but I need to settle into a career and start making more money and doing something sustainable for the long run, retirement, and longevity accrual. Looking forward to focusing on my career, and not losing any momentum on my already healthy, primal, paleo regimen.

  43. Ultra Runner here I am very confused with how to make this all work when using MAF, but losing all my speed and not sure if I am eating enough. My weight loss stalled, my running progress stalled. So, have to go back to the basics it is for me.

  44. I am going to tame the Beast (48kg kettlebell) using the Simple and Sinister program by Pavel Tsatsouline! Also going to work on finding happiness through gratitude for what my life offers me now versus drowning in anxieties for things I cannot control.

  45. My intentions for this year are to run 3 5ks (JUST got back into running after about a year off), lose the other half of the weight I gained about 5 years ago (another 30 lbs, give or take a few), and start my new proofreading business!

  46. I’m working towards completing a certification, swearing less, and continued improvement to not just sitting there in 2018.

  47. I believe being able to find and obtain a copy of Primal Woman by Carrie Sisson would help me achieve my 2018 goal of becoming healthier.

  48. With four grown kids, four kids-in-law, and eight grandchildren (more on the way), we love getting together and trading Keto recipes and new health information. Our recent Thanksgiving was totally keto with all the traditional dishes and we loved it! As the “matriarch” of the family, I consider it my privilege to encourage and teach healthy lifestyle habits. So for 2018 I intend to step it up and have lots of fun finding ways to keep it exciting and fresh for our whole extended family.

  49. 2018 means finding the final health balance in my life.
    I found life-changing success with Primal. I discovered the missing link with Keto. I surpassed my original objectives and I’m now delighted to be so close to achieving all my dream health goals.
    Next up is perfecting my exercise to match (learn more about and implement the heart rate method), and figuring out how to balance Keto & Primal to happily retain my gains for the rest of my life. Thanks for your guidance, Mark, it’s been invaluable.

  50. I am going to make everyday count. Thank you Mark for the ongoing inspiration. Happy New Year!

  51. I have been trying out the Keto and Primal diets for years now. I have definitely lost weight but have issues keeping it off, which is on me. I would like to see articles on gall bladder disease and something else close to my heart, Tourette’s, which I have had since I was 1 year old.

    1. I haven’t had a gallbladder since 2011. I wish I had healed myself many years earlier and maybe I would still have one. Since starting paleo I have been using digestive enzymes (ox bile, but I also rotate a prescription enzyme with some over the counter enzymes) to help with the added fat.

  52. Just starting out and testing the keto waters. This is kind of my first day and strangely enough, I am not craving sugar and that has been my biggest weakness. I’m hoping to continue to do this and lose weight and feel much better. I just turned 60, so I want to have more energy for traveling and just life in general, and would also like to help other people who are feeling the way I have been.

  53. I want to do keto. I need menus and instructions. The bare basics are simple but I have no clue how to actually go about my day. If I could get a week diary from a successful ketonian that I could follow I’d be able to do it.

    1. Deana, there are many websites that spell out the ketogenic diet, along with recipes and sample meal plans. Just be aware that a true keto diet is very strict and may not even be necessary for you to achieve your goals. From what I’ve read, a lot of people who think they are in ketosis probably aren’t–which of course doesn’t matter if what they’re doing is working for them. The only way to be reasonably certain is to buy some keto sticks (from the drugstore) and check your urine every day.

  54. 2018 – like another comment – make each day count! My goal is to shake up my ‘routine’ and make the days count!

  55. I would like my kids to join my wife and I in primal eating/living. What are the best resources out there to help?

  56. Just a simple mix up of each weekend doing ketosis or a full 20-24 hour fast.

  57. Happy New Year! Looking forward to another primal year. 2018 will be big year for me. I’m going to build upon my success from the past couple of years to push to new heights.

  58. I LOVE all of the Primal Kitchen products but the Ranch Dressing is by far my favorite. Seriously, better than anything else on the market!!

  59. I’m planning on continuing to improve my quality of life through many of the principles you discuss. I know what to do and how good it feels to make changes like less screen time, eating primal foods, and moving. I keep hitting setbacks with stress from work and finding myself fighting to not sink back into old comforts. I need ideas and strategies to not let the stress take me down and destroy all my hard work without stressing about the stress.

  60. I’ve been gf for three years, now I’m looking at needing a knee replacement in the next year (right knee is bone-on-bone). I want to be as ready as I can physically, and that means lose some weight and get some muscle. So I need exercises that I can do without stressing my knee too much.
    I also have bad ragweed/food allergies- all melons, dates, cucumbers, most nuts. I can eat avacados and bananas occasionally, but not all the time. So I especially need some good guidelines for substitutions for dates and almonds/ almond flour in recipes.

  61. I am hoping to get back to a healthier Paleo lifestyle this year. Budget and time constraints have kept me down the last few years but I was healthiest and happiest when I was able to eat properly all the time. Any advice for someone re-entering Paleo on a limited budget?

  62. 2018 will mean living a healthier lifestyle for myself and my husband, through Primal eating and Keto.

  63. My goal for 2018 is to get healthier (I’m down 7 lbs!) and get back into running. After my mom died of lung cancer, I gained quite a lot of weight from the stress. I’ve done several 5k/10k’s, and 4 half-marathons. I miss running and am looking forward to making it my “me” time.

  64. Besides obtaining something yummy to dip my veggies in and to pour over my big ass salad, my goal for 2018 is to find ways to move and work out that don’t involve a gym or expensive equipment that I will actually enjoy and stick with. I’ve started a very beginner yoga class online but that will not be enough. I’m quite heat intolerant so summers in Florida provide a big challenge.

  65. I plan to make 2018 the year I stick to healthy eating (Paleo with a little Keto thrown in)!

  66. I’ve started on the Auto-Immune Paleo diet on the advice of my doctor to aid in putting my auto-immune condition (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) into remission. I would appreciate MDA articles on this type of paleo eating and lifestyle, as I’m sure there are others out there that could use this info as well. The fatigue associated with this condition sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with daily stuff like cooking, so any shortcuts and helpful hints would be awesome!

  67. All i all, I want to hone in on what I really need to be doing in this lifetime – how can you help? Keep doing what you are doing! And an app would be great! Trying out paleo, keto, slow carb, no carb, and carnivore diets – all of which are cool in their own way! Primal does seem to be a closer fit to what I want to be doing – long term!

  68. I am a 62 year old female winemaker. I was letting “getting older” be an excuse for my lack of energy and strength. I need to shape up and drop pounds so I can tackle the 2018 harvest like I used to. I also need to be able to incorporate my wine with my new diet. I am finding some changes in my tasting abilities and alcohol tolerance. It WILL all come together for me in 2018 by dogged, fun follow through!!!

  69. I am more thankful than ever for Mark’s blog and all the great reader comments, as Facebook just does not grok for me! Here’s to a healthy and productive New Year!

  70. I’m just so happy that I found this community and way of living. I’m looking forward to my first primal pregnancy (already have two daughters – which are now grok toddlers) and I love Primal Kitchen Ranch (and mayo). Thanks for all you do!

  71. I’m thankful that Brendan asked that question because my father is about to be 82 and does have heart disease. He had a quadruple bypass at 60 and just this past week had 2 stents put in because of blockage. He has never been in poor health despite this and is moderately active with walking, golfing and biking (just bought a NEW bike for himself this past summer!!). His doctor still pushes the no fat thing! So frustrating!! Despite the proven benefits, could I hurt him advising Primal? I realize that there is not a definitive answer for this question and also that Primal is far superior health wise but…. could there be repercussions or would it more likely extend his life? Has anyone known of elders with heart disease “clearing their arteries” safely with Primal?

  72. Finding balance with my activity level and nutrition is vital for 2018. I love to stay active and made the mistake of thinking that because I was eating healthy fats, thinking Keto here, that should eat quite a bit less…turns out my intake was far too little. It took a Primal Health Coach to put me in the right direction. My goal now is to do better listening to my body to find my balance. When am I eating too little, when am I eating too much?! Should be easy, definitely not worth stressing over. I just happened to be one of those who screwed it up so royally in the past that it’s still a topic I would never turn down education on. With managing stress comes mindfulness. Meditation practices, anyone? Adding the practice into my routine is something I look forward too and learning the correct way to meditation will probably make the biggest difference in sticking with it for the long haul.

  73. My wife and I have been having this sort of conversation since September/October. We both work and have good “careers” but neither of us feels satisfied with what we’re doing. I often joke that I should have studied something from the health and wellness field in college because that’s what interests me now (in my early 30s). The Primal Health Coach program and others out there (not to be named here haha), might just be the ticket to a more fulfilling career. I’ve been following your work and others for more than 5 years but only recently realized their is way forward. For me, some bravery and good mentor will be the keys to 2018, looking forward to it!

  74. I am always looking for a way to balance going keto with finding a good way to take my wife along for the ride, despite the fact she has no gallbladder! Keto may not be the way, but I know the low-carb lifestyle will benefit her. Need some more info!

  75. I started the primal life a couple years ago and lost 70 lbs, then had a few moderately large bumps and wandered off my path. I didn’t gain any weight but I haven’t lost the rest (had a considerable amount to loose) and I’ve lost my clarity and energy. Now I’m rebooting and really looking forward to it.

  76. My first goal for 2018 is honestly to get a goal for 2018. Sure, I want to eat well, sleep well, and play well, but it gets really tough at that point to be specific. I’m going to try Erin’s Whyx5 (which I knew from my engineer husband as a great trouble-shooting tool). I might even start with troubleshooting my inability to set a goal! I think the systems approach works better for me and loved Mark’s post on that.

  77. You were my intro to paleo/primal over 10 years ago through MRS, thank you! Keep up the great content. I especially have always loved your articles about play and walking.

  78. My 2018 commitment has been that i have begun the AIP diet, will continue my teacher training in Zhineng Qigong and increase my outdoor activity lifestyle

  79. How about a nutrient/fitness tracker? Even better if it’s a group thing (meaning everyone in the group can see the results).

  80. Some items I would like to see investigated by Sisson et al. (which I will be investigating myself):

    1) the “anti-fatigue” effect of liver which has apparently not been investigated since 1951 and its possible relation to the cholinergic system
    2) Carrying loads for distance, how this relates to the origins of bipedalism, how it fits into the Primal Blueprint, and optimal training modalities
    3) analysis of the “female cosmetic coalitions” hypothesis and its implications for symbolic expression, language and pair-bonding
    4) Bruce Ames’ “triage theory of aging” and how we might recognize and prevent sub-clinical nutrient deficiencies
    5) the “gravistat” theory of osteocyte regulation of appetite and how this interacts with leptin and other appetite hormones
    6) best practices in food fermentation and anything else related to the microbiome.

    Thanks for the science!

  81. 2018 is a new start! I need to get back into Primal living….I need to lose about 15 lbs and re-evaluate the priorities in my busy life! Primal has worked in the past- I just need to stay focused.

  82. I’d love more meal plans and shopping lists to make it easy for me to grocery shop–that would help me keep my intentions for 2018!

  83. I’m going to seriously try going keto this year. I’d love to read anything about women and keto… Studies, success stories, issues, etc. Actually, anything specific to women is appreciated; so many studies are done only on men that I wonder how valid the conclusions are for us.

  84. Rededicating myself to eating paleo. It’s one of the best things I can do to support my mental health. I’m an incest survivor which meant a lifetime of panic attacks, depression, anxiety and more – am writing a memoir to help others break the cycle and being healthy is key to finishing that.

  85. I would like create and/or reinforce healthy habits (eating/sleeping/moving). (I had some good habits that I’ve drifted away from the last couple years.) I would also like to see my cholesterol get into a healthy ratio range.
    I’d love to see encouragement for establishing and keeping healthy habits regarding lifestyle as well as up to date information on what scientific research is finding.

  86. Hi Mark and readers, I came across your book the New Primal Blueprint last year while browsing at Barnes and Noble. Following the first “pursue” I soon became a steadfast reader and indulged myself in learning as much as I could from your very well written book. My fiancé and I soon decided to jump on into a Primal lifestyle. Well, a few weeks went by and our loyalty to the Primal life fizzled. So, here with the “albeit New Year” we find ourselves primed and ready to go! Primal Blueprint is now back beside me and the indicators are now leaning very positive for a full reprogram of our genes!

  87. First, I did get your amazing Keto reset book, and love it. My intentions are to get as fit as I possibly can 2018 and especially before I am 42 in Feb of this year. I am a housewife, and don’t get out that much, I don’t drive, and round where I live its all freeways. I would like to know more about how I can workout out home, and tips for staying motivated to get off my butt – I know I sit for too long already at the computer, so would like to have more ideas for those of us who spend more time at home. I can’t afford lots of gym equipment. I am doing well on Keto, I just want to really up my fitness levels.

  88. I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions because I feel like they are kind of misguided at times. That said I am hoping make 2018 the year that I get the cash saved up to begin a health coaching course. I feel like I’ve got a solid background in nutrition and health science just from reading and listening to podcasts, mostly to try to put some of my own health issues into remission. But I really need some help with the business side of things. That’s where I’m hoping the Primal Health Coaching thing could really help me. But I’m also interested in Chris Kresser’s upcoming health coach program release. Just want to compare the two and see which one makes the most sense for me.

    Whether you call it a resolution or not, good luck to everyone who is trying to improve themselves in ’18!

  89. I’m 20% through Couch to 10K, so I intend to complete that. I also need to get back into paleo cooking; I had a good streak going for about a year, but moving into a new apartment near a bunch of fast food places has gotten me lax. I’d use that Primal Kitchen ranch dressing for my go-to snack: carrots!

  90. I’m just starting my journey, again, to a better way of life and eating. Really happy to see avocado making it big these days. I have a long way to go, but I’m ready.

  91. I’m trying to go completely primal this year, my husband and kids are doing primal-ish, as I cook all their meals. I would love a series geared toward primal kids, particularly food (snacks & packed lunch) ideas (New to the group, I apologies if there already is one).

  92. I’ve been keto for about 4 months (currently reading, and loving the Keto Reset!). I am thinking of running a marathon this year and would like to do it while keto.

    Also, I have a lot I want to accomplish for my business this year – like transitioning away from my full time job, in order to focus more on my business!

  93. 2018 holds a few goals for me and my family. It’s that time again to move duty locations, so we’ll be heading out to Beale AFB, California (up near Sacramento). I used MDA and all its wisdom to start getting >90% on my Air Force physical fitness test again after a 2 year low following an injury.

    My goals are to obtain a 100% on the PFT (58 situps in 1 minute, 67 pushups in 1 minute, 1.5 miles in 9:12 minutes), explore as much of the Pacific Northwest as possible and maybe even visit the Primal Kitchen once or twice, and help my wife get healthy by following the Primal lifestyle.

    One thing I would like to see from MDA is a few military specific posts (I haven’t noticed any, but I haven’t really looked). Trying to maintain a Primal lifestyle in the military can be difficult considering everyone is still stuck in chronic cardio, blended workouts (cardio + strength training), pervasive “no pain, no gain” mentality, poor eating environment/options, constantly changing schedules, frequent significant time zone changes, and chronic high stress just to name a few struggles.

    I would be ecstatic if Primal Kitchen started offering its products, to include protein/collagen powders, in the Commissary. This would serve 2 purposes: provide healthy alternative options to the junk (canola oil-based sauces, dressings, and condiments) that’s sold to our junior members and deployed folks who don’t have access to off-base grocery stores, and to prompt people to look into “that weird primal product” and slowly change some of the mindsets that plague to military community.

  94. My intention for this year is to continue with being keto and losing another 50 lbs. I’d like to bring my husband on board with it even though he’s not a big vegetable eater. I’d like to see maybe some recipes to help him eat more veggies and less carb laden foods.

  95. Particularly in reply to Ryan – I am a 55 year-old physician with a coronary artery stent since 2010 (long story, but I found myself getting exercise-induced “indigestion” while competing in the Trans-Alps road (bike) race), so I have a definite personal interest in my biomarkers.
    I have been eating Primally for the last year, and Keto for the last 6 weeks (as of tomorrow. Maybe a slip or 2 over christmas). I’m OCD enough to stick with it & record my intake with FitnessPal app (waaay easy). Consistently averaging 80% fat cal, 15% pro, & 5% carbs.
    Spending less overall time exercising, & staying out of the garbage zone.
    Big-time improved sleep habits, despite shift work in Emerg.
    Never felt better, and no longer a slave to my stomach.
    My latest bloodwork shows a CRP of 1, lower total cholesterol, LDL, and TG, higher HDL & improved ratio, and normal renal and liver function – in short, everything had improved compared with the numbers from a year ago.
    I like the Primal acknowledgement that it may not work for everyone, but I gotta say – it’s working for me (both subjectively and biochemically).
    Happy 2018!

  96. Will there be Primal Kitchen restaurants in Illinois, Minnesota or Wisconsin soon?

  97. Aahhh, 2018! My husband and I look forward to selling our home of 25 years early this year and (fingers crossed) starting a B&B in our little town’s historic district. Lots of good things are happening in our area and we want to spend the next phase of our lives in the middle of it! We began our Primal journey back in early October. While neither of us was technically overweight, I was shock to see how easily close to 10 pounds fell off of me that I thought I was doomed to carry since I am in my early 50’s. We both feel great, and my husband is no longer dealing with joint pain that has plagued him for years. For some reason, it has seemed almost effortless! I am a believer in the sustainability of this lifestyle, for sure. 🙂 AND, should we be so blessed to be able to go after our B&B dream, we are hopeful to offer a Primal breakfast option to introduce our guests to the opportunity to start their days off right instead of crashing after a high carb breakfast. It would be great to do some planning and goal setting with a big ass salad covered in Primal Kitchen Ranch! 🙂 🙂

  98. Fresh starts are always invigorating. This year I’m taking a different approach, making body positivity (not modification) my goal. I have excellent lifestyle habits, eat healthfully and mindfully, exercise regularly, I want/need to not be perpetually dissatisfied with myself. Everything I do should be to maintain and refine that awesome daily routine and lifestyle instead of beating myself up for perceived imperfections.

  99. I intend to start my savings fund for the PHC certification so I can get on board. I am a personal trainer but looking to expand my business into health coaching and I think the PHC is one of the best programs around.

  100. 2 big goals for 2018 — 1) to completely heal my gut so I can get my hormones back on track! And 2) create an online course and actually start making money in my business (:

  101. I would like information on how to keep carb intake at a weight loss or maintenance level while training for cyclocross competitions or other high intensity sports. I find that carbs add up so quickly even when monitoring them. I want to perform at my maximum level but don’t want to feel empty or starving. I really want this to work. I want to be not he podium at nationals in December,

  102. I listen to the Podcasts every Sunday. Keep ’em coming. So many fascinating guests.

  103. My goals:
    1) continue slow but steady progress with bodyweight strength training
    2) improve my balance, flexibility and mobility (I like some of the programs at GMB fitness and also coach Sommer’s gymnastics program)
    3) experiment with elimination diets and/or a zero carb all meat diet like that Hungarian guy Toth? Prescribes
    4) experiment with extended multi-day therapeutic fasts
    5) find a purpose in life
    6) hike the Grand Canyon

  104. I have read the Primal Blueprint and it is inspiring. The one limitation for me is that I am a vegetarian and if one can stay a vegetarian, I have given quite a bit of thought to eating meat but I just don’t know if I can actually do that. Do you suggest alternatives.

    1. Hi Stella! Yes, it is possible (not THE easiest, but definitely possible to be a Primal vegetarian, including legumes/ wild rice/ plenty healthy fats/ nuts avocados etc etc & Mark has written about it before on the blog (sorry not sure where exactly-should be easy to find!). Also- & I only mention this with respect because you said you had considered eating meat… I’m reading a book by Lierre Keith called “The Vegetarian Myth”- which Mark mentioned recently. She was a devoted vegetarian for many many years for highly ethical & humane reasons- this goes deeply into her questioning & search for intellectual truth on the issues involved around eating animals.

  105. To make my intentions happen I need a reason for that intention and a visual plan to accomplish it. I’m one of those people who have trouble starting an activity but once I’m started I gain momentum and become motivated. Mark’s Daily Apple has always been a great resource that I read and reference time and time again. I would like to see a more in depth article about strength training. For example, how to use your bodyweight while giving 110%. Using weights is more intense, but I’m interested in bodyweight strength training. I would like to see a progressive plan for beginners who haven’t yet developed much strength yet.

  106. I’m focusing this next year on sleep. I’ve been reading the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker and he brings up a ton of interesting facts and compelling reasons to be fully rested each night. His findings on sleep and the Alzheimer’s patient reminded me of parts of the Keto Reset diet, and I’m curious to know if any sleep studies have been done on people in keto and how they might compare to the other studies. I’d love to see more about sleep from the Primal perspective and learn more about how going keto might affect sleep.

  107. My intention is to make it easier for my husband and son to join me in this paleo lifestyle. It seems very easy to me, and I’m strict with myself. But they both have physically active jobs. DH doesn’t like meat and they both love sugar, carbs and dairy too much. I have to find a way to make them a cooked breakfast at 6am when I’d rather be sleeping. And a lunch that can be eaten with one hand since they don’t stop working to eat. Crazy I know.

    My other intention is to not appear so enthusiastic about this lifestyle when around extended family and friends. They think I’m a quack. Leave them with their canned soup, cookies and health problems. Me, I’m so grateful for the healing and this community.

  108. I would like Mark to fly to the UK where I can shake his hand, buy him a pint of low carb beer and thank him profusely for changing my life. Oh and he could sign some of my books for me…

  109. I may have missed the band wagon on comments, but what I would really love to see is more in the way of vegetarian options, be that how to supplement nutrition, meals, approaches etc. I understand that being vegetarian is completely compatible with primal, but there are a lot of us who pick this lifestyle either because we disagree with modern animal husbandry methods, ethical reasons, or the impact livestock has on the environment. We exist, and we are keen to do adhere to the lifestyle as is reasonable given the constraints 🙂

  110. If there’s something you can create for non-fb users, that would be cool! Like the Keto Reset group would be a great resource except I don’t have fb!

  111. I think I will need the Luck of the Irish to get my Ranch dressing with 126 comments 🙂

  112. I’m returning to the primal/paleo way of eating after a couple of years of being in a stressful job ( that I have now quit) and taking too many shortcuts with my health. This time around I really want to focus on how I feel rather than if my jeans fit, even though I REALLY want my smaller jeans to fit! I want to feel good in my body again, that’s my goal for 2018 and beyond. I also want to only take on work or projects that are good for me and that align with my principles, fully realizing we all have to pay the bills of course. Now that I am in my mid 40’s I feel a sense of urgency to create what I really want and not to settle for less.

  113. I’m in the process of getting a health coach certification, and am very seriously considering enrolling in the Primal Health Coach program. So the more I can hear about coaching, the better!

  114. I was thinking about getting a new tattoo, something for my two kids. Was wondering a primal take on tattoos.

  115. I am so thankful for the Primal Blueprint and keto! I’ve been at it for two years now (even through a pregnancy) and this year I’m going to lose the last 24lbs of my 100lb goal! I’ve never felt better. At 37 I’m in the best shape of my life and my joints are feeling awesome. And I love Primal Kitchen products! I’m a regular Thrive Market shopper.

  116. I’d love to add more exercise into my every day but I really don’t like it. I need help to somehow make excerise more palatable given my joint pain, weight issue and time constraints. I’m working on a keto diet, so I am starting to have more energy, but….guilting or lecturing doesn’t work. I’ve done it lots; makes it worse in fact. Any kind, loving suggestions out there?