Well, it is the Daily Apple, but based on all the great comments and feedback in the comment boards over the last 24 hours I am going to leave this one up for another day. I really appreciate the support and will be taking all of your thoughts to heart as I make final decisions. Thanks again, Apples! And check back tomorrow for all-new content.
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 Chapter Summaries
Welcome From Mark
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Appendix A – Everything You Wanted To Ask…But Were Afraid To Know
Appendix B – Primal Blueprint Compare and Contrast With Popular Diets
Appendix C – Chapter Two References
Appendix D – Law #4: Lift Heavy Things – Workout Suggestions
Appendix E – Law #5: Run Really Fast Once In A While – Workout Suggestions
Appendix F – Primal Blueprint Resource List