What to Expect When You’re Expecting is on your bookshelf. You’ve leafed through Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. You’ve even devoured The Happiest Baby on the Block. But what other books should you check out as a parent-to-be or new parent? Well, there are lots of awesome new pregnancy (and beyond!) books out there now that are fresh, fun, ground-breaking, helpful — and some are downright hilarious. Consider these required reading, whether you’re newly knocked up (congrats!), about to pop a baby out (go you!), or have an itty bitty at home already (it’s fun, right?!). Part helpful, part essential,…

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I always feel better when I start my day with a good serving of protein. I remain satisfied for a longer period of time, my energy levels are higher … it’s just a really simple way to show myself a little love before the demands of my day take over. Except, well. It’s not like most of my typical breakfasts are exactly complicated, but even a basic smoothie requires a few ingredients, plus the cleaning of the blender, so although I can whip one up in very little time, it’s still a far cry from grab-and-go. And sometimes, I really just…

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Everyone loves a good upgrade, right? via GIPHY But, hey, upgrades aren’t just for airplanes or rental cars or hotels. They can also be for your fit life. via GIPHY And we’ve got five fun upgrades that we recently tried and think are pretty rad. via GIPHY Upgrade Your Sports Bra There tend to be two types of people when it comes to sports bras: those who like inserts and those who don’t. I tend to be of the first camp — I like the nipple coverage, I like the fullness, and did I mention I like the nipple coverage?…

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It’s about that time of year. Whatever your inclination or creed, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or nothing at all, gift giving is a solid, time-honored way to establish and maintain bonds and friendship, show people you care, and make another person happy (and, as you’ll see after today’s post, healthy). Today I’m going to lay out some of my favorite products. These are purchases I’ve made and loved, gifts I’ve received and given. (And I’m throwing in one of the best deals I’ve ever offered that combines new and old favorites on the Primal scene—but you’ll have to scroll to the end.)

Without further ado, here’s the 2018 Primal Gift Guide.


Full disclosure from the outset—I’m an investor in this, and I only invest in products, services, and companies that I strongly believe in and use myself. This one I’ve used for about two years now, and it’s made a substantial difference in my sleep. ChiliPads are climate-controlled mattress pads with microtubes of water running through them. Heat the water, and the bed gets warm. Cool the water, and the bed cools off. The Single Zone pad can do one temperature at a time. If you or anyone you know has ever fought with their significant other about the temperature, they need the Dual Zone pad. It has two temperature zones, so the bed can be warm on one side, cool on the other.

Primal Kitchen® Gift Kits

We’ve got a few to offer. Got someone who you know wants to take the dive into keto but doesn’t quite know where to start (or who can’t cook a lick)? Grab them one of the Primal Kitchen Keto Starter kits. They’ll get mayo, dressings, avocado oils, and other delicious products to make eating keto easier, tastier, and healthier. If you’ve got a general foodie on your hands, get the Primal Kitchen Gift Kit, which includes a great chef’s knife and an engraved cutting board with some Primal Kitchen staples.

Instant Pot

For the two or three remaining people who don’t yet have one, an Instant Pot countertop electronic pressure cooker is a must-have. Goes great with the Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook.


This is the best light therapy device I’ve used. It provides both near infrared light and red light that enhance healing, improve collagen production, and boost ATP production. I lay my JOOVV lengthwise on the ground against a wall and lie down next to it for 5-10 minutes a day. That’s plenty.

Xterra Inflatable Standup Paddleboard

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how much I love standup paddling. Anyone with access to a large body of water—the ocean, lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs—should consider getting a paddleboard. Inflatables are the easiest entry point, and the Xterra is probably the best one around.

Meat Boxes

Buy Ranch Direct is offering free shipping on any order with this link. In addition to the great beef, poultry and pork offerings, they have a killer All-Natural Salami Variety Pack.

Vibram KSO Trek

Vibram just re-released their classic KSO Trek, my favorite model of theirs ever. It’s leather, and I actually wear it as a “dress shoe” with suit and tie (not that I recommend showing up to your big interview in a pair—unless it’s with me), jeans, and pretty much anything else. I keep several in rotation, shifting them to “turf shoe” once they lose their newness. I haven’t used better footwear for playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Alitura Santal Black Oil and/or the Instant Radiance Package

If you know a man looking for a good moisturizer, beard oil, or cologne alternative free of artificial fragrances, look no further than Alitura’s Santal Black Oil. It’s great for women, too, but I’ve found that men respond pretty well to it. Another option for anyone who digs a bit of pampering without leaving the house is the Instant Radiance Package, which offers spa-grade facial treatment.

Redmond Real Salt Kosher Salt

Harvested from ancient Utah sea beds, Redmond Real Salt is loaded with trace micronutrients and great flavor (it’s not just “salty”). If you’re shopping for a serious cook, Redmond Real Kosher Salt should be on your list.

Big Rhino Cleaver

This thing can handle a lot. It won’t quite do a beef femur, but I’ve successfully chopped through pork feet, ribs of all kinds, and lamb bones. Poultry parts part like butter. What’s great is that in addition to the bone-splitting power of the main blade, the upper curve is surprisingly sharp and agile for making smaller, more detailed cuts.

Sous Vide

I’m going to recommend two sous vide products. If you’re shopping for a serious cook who wants permanent sous vide residency on the counter, Dr. Eades’ Sous Vide Supreme is a good purchase. If you’re shopping for someone who just wants to try the sous vide method in several different settings, get the JOULE—an immersion sous vide device that turns any container of water into a sous vide.

AmazonBasics 15″ Cast Iron Skillet

Stumbled across these recently and didn’t even realize Amazon was making cast iron skillets, so I took the plunge. The quality is pretty good. Takes seasoning, gives a good sear. I’ve got mine up to the point where I can scramble eggs without them sticking. I credit lots of bacon and roasted chickens. If 15 inches is too big, they have smaller ones.

Chest Freezer

You can go one of two ways with the chest freezer, both relevant to Primal eaters. Your giftee can use the freezer as a freezer, as a way to stock up on meat or even buy a quarter cow. Your giftee could go the way of Brad Kearns, who keeps a chest freezer full of cold water and hops in it for a few minutes every single morning (***after unplugging the unit). What would I do? Buy the freezer and pass along the article where Brad lays out his use of the chest freezer as a cold plunge tank so whomever receives it can decide.

Eat What You Love: Everyday Comfort Food

This book isn’t out til December 4th, but it’ll definitely arrive in time for the holidays. It’s a great cookbook for people who want to eat the comfort food we all (let’s face it) miss and stay gluten-free, Primal, and dairy-free.

The Whole30 Slow Cooker

No, it’s not a crockpot that instantly turns off whenever a Whole30® non-compliant food is added. It’s a cookbook for Whole30 people who don’t have the time or inclination to slave over a hot stove or pot. For people who want the convenience of tossing a bunch of healthy ingredients into a pot in the morning and coming home to a delicious home-cooked meal.

The Keto Reset Set of Books

What can I say? It’s the ultimate set of resources for understanding the logic of keto and for implementing keto as the healthy, nourishing and delicious diet it can be. Get step by step instructions for making the full transition in The Keto Reset, and enjoy hundreds of amazing recipes you can easily make in your own home kitchen in The Keto Reset Diet Instant Pot Cookbook and the The Keto Reset Diet Cookbook. They will literally change your life.

And Now For the Deal…

The award-winning Primal Connection was my favorite book to write, and it remains the top resource for extending the Primal Blueprint beyond the realm of physical health to encompass everyday peace, prosperity and fulfillment.

It also happens to make a pretty awesome gift…for anyone looking to deepen their Primal commitment or for someone who’s totally new to Primal. (I’ve had a lot of folks tell me over the years that The Primal Connection was their entry point to Primal living.)

To celebrate the gift-giving season—and to highlight the New Primal Kitchen® sauce line, I’m offering one of the best deals I’ve ever put together here.

Buy Classic and Golden BBQ Sauce + Steak Sauce, and I’ll throw in a Classic Primal Kitchen Mayo…plus a copy of The Primal Connection. But hurry—this deal expires 12/7/18 at midnight PST. 

Click through HERE or use code GETSAUCY at checkout on PrimalBlueprint.com.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Primal Connection, here’s a bit about it. Head on over to PrimalBlueprint.com to read an excerpt, too.

Honking horns, loud office chatter and whirring machines batter our ears with incessant noise. Artificial light and digital stimulation overstress our nervous systems day and night. Traffic jams, long lines, interruptions, distractions and big egos pervade daily life in such a manner that we don’t even realize the piece—or rather the peace—that’s gone missing. Mark Sisson, the leading voice in the Evolutionary Health Movement and author of the bestseller The Primal Blueprint, extends the primal theme beyond diet and exercise basics in this much-anticipated sequel. The Primal Connection: Follow Your Genetic Blueprint to Health and Happiness presents a comprehensive plan to reprogram your genes and overcome the flawed mentality and hectic pace of high-tech, modern life so that you can become more joyful, carefree and at peace with the present. You’ll learn to make scientifically validated, highly intuitive connections in all aspects of your life, and emerge with a renewed appreciation for the simple pleasures of life and our most precious gifts of time, health and love. The Primal Connection allows you to have it all; you’ll honor your ancient genetic recipe for health while still enjoying the comfort and convenience of modern life.*

Now let’s hear from you. Write in down below with the health and fitness-related gifts you’ll be giving and receiving. I’m always interested in something new.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.


The post The 2018 Primal Gift Guide (and One Awesome Book Deal) appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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If the cooler temps have your little runner heart going like this: via GIPHY But the fact that it’s getting dark so dang early has you more like this: via GIPHY Well, we’ve got some gear — and tips! — from Brooks Running that you’re gonna dig so hard. Because running when it’s dark out means you’ve gotta take a few extra safety precautions, and you can take steps toward a safer run before you even set foot outside by wearing bright, reflective clothing, shoes, and accessories. (As always with Brooks, we want to remind you that we’re proud ambassadors…

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One of my favorite lame jokes is: Why did the mushroom get invited to every party? Because he’s a fungi! via GIPHY I know, I know. It’s terrible and awesome at the same time, right? But, it’s also a really great way to introduce today’s subject: MUSHROOMS. Because mushrooms are having a moment in the healthy food world. And here are a few ways we’re getting in on this trend. Drinking Our Mushrooms, Hot Coffee: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix.  This stuff tastes like our regular coffee (and actually includes 50 mg of caffeine from Arabica coffee in it), but it’s…

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I’m not a big app guy, instead preferring to keep a loose running tally of how I’m eating, training, and living, but my understanding is that kids these days love smartphone apps. Besides, I often forget that not everyone lives and breathes this stuff. Not everyone geeks out over all the minutiae and maintains an extensive database of keto and Primal-related errata in their heads.

So today, I’m giving you a list of the top 9 keto (and keto-relevant) apps.


I actually do keep this one on my phone. CRON-O-Meter (iOSAndroid) draws on the latest USDA databases for nutritional info to help you track calories, micronutrients (including vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (including specific amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates) to plot them against the RDAs and see how much each food contributes. It keeps a running tally of everything you eat and gives you the lowdown on how close you are to fulfilling the RDAs for each nutrient. If you use the same email to login, you can access your account on your desktop, too.

While its intended audience is the CRON (calorie restriction with optimal nutrition) crowd, most of whom tend to be vaguely plant-based, the app is just a solid nutrition tracker that provides a lot of detailed information relevant to any type of eater, including keto dieters. It’s fun to enter a half a pound of beef liver and see your vitamin A, folate, and B-vitamin requirements instantly satisfied. The barcode scanner also works really well.

Keto dieters tend to focus only on macros—on carbs, protein, and fat—and ignore the micronutrients. This is the wrong course to take, and CRON-O-Meter will help you get your micros in order. Wondering about your potassium or magnesium or folate? It’s also good for carb counting, even if that’s not the express purpose of the app.

Only drawback is that it doesn’t track iodine or vitamin K2. USDA databases, start analyzing those nutrients!


Wholesome (iOS) is like CRON-O-Meter except it has better photos, it tracks phytonutrients like resveratrol and curcumin, and it’s clunkier. The photo-based interface, while nice, actually throws me off a bit. I just prefer text. If you’re more of a visual person, you’ll probably love Wholesome.

I will admit that it’s very cool to see how much L-dopa my food contains.

Carb Manager

Folks in the Primal Blueprint Keto Reset Facebook Group love Carb Manager (iOS, Android). It’s self-explanatory. Manage your carbs. The paid version gives you full access to micronutrient data.

I prefer CRON-O-Meter myself, but then again I like to geek out on micronutrients. If you like a slick interface and good functionality, Carb Manager might be the ticket.

Paleo (io)

How many times have you uttered the words, “Is it paleo?” How often does someone who knows you as the resident Primal expert ask it of you?

This is probably old hat to most of you. You can probably scan an aisle of food and immediately analyze the paleo-ness of the ingredients, complete with Terminator-style HUD readouts. Many of you have the answers.

It’s easy to forget how confusing this stuff can be to beginners. Paleo (io) (iOSAndroid) answers “Is it paleo?” with a simple “yes” or “no.” Enter the food in question, get the answer. You can also search the app’s paleo food database of over 3000 foods to get more information.

I highly recommend beginners who want to stay keto and honor their biology while hewing to a Primal eating lens combine one of the food database apps like CRON-O-Meter or Carb Manager with Paleo (io). Use the various food trackers to check the carb count of your food, then run that through a Paleo (io) filter.


Senza (iOS, Android) is a decent introductory guide to keto with a good macro tracker. That’s its main claim to fame. It’s not why I’m recommending it, though (my Keto Reset is a bit better, if you ask me). I’m recommending it because of the 2000-strong recipe database.

I haven’t read through every last one. I’m sure there are some duds, maybe a few Splenda-bombs. The ones I did see looked great, and you can’t beat being able to whip out your phone at the grocery store at 5 P.M. with dinner fast approaching, select an app, and draw on hundreds of recipes to come up with a game plan.


This isn’t actually available yet. According to the iOS app store, the expected release date is October 14, 2018. But the premise is really cool: Search for keto-friendly menu items at restaurants near you. Sort of a “keto Yelp.’

If it works out, and it can actually pull enough data from restaurants, it should be a very useful app to have around.

Elite HRV

Why heart rate variability? What does this Elite HRV (iOS, Android) have to do with going keto?

HRV tracks stress resilience and recovery. If HRV is low, you’re probably worn out, overtrained, and overextended. If HRV is high, you’re probably full of energy, well-recovered, and well-balanced. A low HRV can mean that you’re training too much (or even too little, as regular physical activity increases stress resilience), and it almost certainly indicates that your diet and activity levels are mismatched.

Keto can be tricky for people used to training heavy, hard, and high-volume, at least when they’re first starting out. Tracking your HRV can help you figure out just how hard to go without derailing your diet—or how keto to go without derailing your training.

You do need an external heart rate monitor for this one.


The beauty of HRV4Training (iOS) is that it uses the phone’s camera to track your HRV. Not quite as accurate as the HRV apps that use external monitors, but close enough to give you good data, especially if you track it consistently and observe the trends. You can’t beat the convenience.


Keto and fasting go hand in hand. When you go keto (or even just low-carb Primal), fasting just kinda… happens. Your ghrelin drops, you eat more fat and protein, you eat more nutrient-dense foods, you get incredibly adept at burning your own body fat, and all of a sudden you’re going longer between meals, and sometimes skipping them because you simply aren’t hungry. That’s fasting.

Zero (iOS) is a fasting tracker. You choose the fasting regimen you prefer—16-hour long fast, a “circadian rhythm fast,”or create your own schedule, then hit “start” and hit “stop” when you eat something. Over time, you accumulate reams of exportable data, which you can plot against bodyweight changes and relevant health markers to spot trends and identify connections.

Android users can try Vora.

What about MyFitnessPal?

Although I know it’s popular, I’d avoid MyFitnessPal. Its popularity is actually the root of the issue: because so many people use it, the nutritional database has become corrupted by inaccurate or incomplete user submissions. Stick with something like CRON-O-Meter that uses primarily the USDA and other official nutrient databases, unless maybe you’re only using it for macros.

That’s it for today, folks. Those are my 9 top Keto or Keto-related smartphone apps. What are yours?


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You wanna hear a secret that I wish someone had told me 10 years ago? Being comfortable working out in a sports bra (without a shirt on) is less about abs than it is about attitude. via GIPHY This is something I’ve been learning over the course of the summer — as I ditch the shirt when I start shvitzing in yoga class, or when I step outside to run and realize I’m sweating before I’ve even warmed up — and the idea is backed up by this great NY Times opinion piece about what it’s like to be a “Bra…

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These days we’ve got trackers that monitor, well, just about everything: steps, workouts, heart rate, sleep, your dog’s activity … (We are truly living in the future.) via GIPHY And now we can add another thing to that trackable list (and it’s pretty darn cool): mindfulness. Yep, by monitoring breathing patterns that indicate periods of tension, relaxation and mental focus, the Spire Stone ($129.95) claims to reduce stress and anxiety while increasing mindfulness as you go through your everyday life. Does it work though? We tried it for a month and here are our thoughts! via GIPHY Spire Review: Pros The…

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