8

votes

Thoughts on Sisson's "Primal Blueprint"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2010 at 1:20 AM

I was wondering who here has read "The Primal Blueprint," what their takeaways were, and if they'd recommend the book.

Thanks.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 19, 2013
at 10:17 AM

It's mostly aimed at weight loss

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Congrats on you new journey, it's a good book. :)

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:04 AM

He's a great laidback dude and very knowledgable and has the ability to put it all on paper in laymens terms. I've read TPB and it's got all the information someone trying to improve their health needs.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 12, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Welcome to PaleoHacks!

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:12 PM

cookbook is great too

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 30, 2010
at 03:57 AM

Mark is pro dairy as well tho :), I'm pro dairy for those who are tolerant, I think organic raw A2 dairy has amazing health benefits

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

(3202)

on December 30, 2010
at 03:56 AM

Go Girl Gone Primal...great quote!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 07, 2010
at 01:14 PM

I wonder if some of the bias is geographical. Sisson lives in California - of course veggies are good for you! Dr. Harris hails from Wisconsin - pretty tough to diss dairy in the "cheesehead" state!

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:14 PM

I was going to answer this question until I saw this answer. My thoughts exactly. Also, Cordain is releasing a revised The Paleo Diet as well as a Paleo Cookbook in December. I'm looking forward to both, as well as Robb Wolf's book, which I expect to be more "Cordain-like."

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 06, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Patrik, I'm going to sleep on what you have asked, and chime in tomorrow.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:24 AM

Very true ;)...

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:21 AM

@Stephen-Aegis --- we are all "biased" in some way or the other.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:20 AM

Astute comment, Adam. BTW stay tuned wrt your question here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/6004/let-us-envision-what-a-paleo-magazine-would-contain -- I got something cooking.... :)

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 11:54 PM

I'm looking forward to that book myself, I do admire his research and teaching style.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 11:36 PM

Pieter, I would agree that he wrote it to be more accessible to a wider swath of people. I do think that it shows in his research style that he actually did get his BA degree in biology (Williams College) before he abandoned the pre-med track and went in another direction with his life.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 05, 2010
at 08:14 PM

LMAO!! "Robb smacks it with a Mackerel." Awesome! :)

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 05, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Adam, somehow, I missed that! Or I forgot about it. Thanks for mentioning it. Still, it is not the kind of reference list you would get in a academic publication. But I don't think Mark Sisson wrote his book for academics only

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 03:39 PM

He keeps the scientific research list online... That way you can actually click the hyperlink and jump right to the paper... I love this and think that it is even geekier than having it written... This way, he canalso add new papers after the books publication.. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/primal-blueprint-text-references/

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 05, 2010
at 02:25 PM

I second this...Robb does a little less of catering to the mainstream. Mark challenges mainstream gently. Robb smacks it with a Mackerel.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 05, 2010
at 08:43 AM

Absolutely. It's the book I would give to the kind of person considering joining Weight Watchers - wanting to lose weight, but perhaps not get so deep into the nitty-gritty of why what they choose to do works. I ten to say, "WW will help you lose weight, but you'll be hungry and you'll have to count points for the rest of your life. Follow the Primal Blueprint and you'll lose weight, and never have to count anything - but you can count on being healthier for the rest of your life."

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 05, 2010
at 02:33 AM

Agree with TPSW (below) -- MarksDailyApple.com is a great site and resource.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 05, 2010
at 02:15 AM

Read it. And it is a great book. Especially good for folks who are less obsessed about Paleo than most of us, but would still benefit from it. (Full disclosure: I know Mark socially and think very highly of him)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on September 05, 2010
at 01:39 AM

That said, I really, really enjoy his website, Marks Daily Apple. I am frequently inspired by the daily posts there, and I recommend it to anyone even slightly interested.

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23 Answers

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19
3f61ba25dff05b513c7769a22408169a

on September 05, 2010
at 02:31 AM

The Primal Blueprint is an accessible version of Paleo that is quite helpful to introduce this way of eating to people who are not interested in going "extreme" in anything. It is especially refreshing when people get too vigilante about Paleo. He has a good deal of humor and presents his ideas in a laid-back manner.

And no matter how hardcore you are about Paleo or Primal WOE, www.marksdailyapple.com is a great, great resource, IMHO.

TPSW

11
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on September 05, 2010
at 03:47 AM

It's the best tool I know of to get someone started in this direction. Fun, forgiving, and sound.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 05, 2010
at 08:43 AM

Absolutely. It's the book I would give to the kind of person considering joining Weight Watchers - wanting to lose weight, but perhaps not get so deep into the nitty-gritty of why what they choose to do works. I ten to say, "WW will help you lose weight, but you'll be hungry and you'll have to count points for the rest of your life. Follow the Primal Blueprint and you'll lose weight, and never have to count anything - but you can count on being healthier for the rest of your life."

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

(3202)

on December 30, 2010
at 03:56 AM

Go Girl Gone Primal...great quote!

8
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on September 05, 2010
at 02:14 AM

I really enjoyed it. Whereas it doesn't adhere as strongly to the Paleo Diet as Cordain's book itself, I consider (and tell other people) Primal Blueprint is a "companion piece of sorts" to the Paleo Diet (the book, and maybe the concept as well). The two books together aren't identical, but work well with each other and are probably a great way to truly embrace the Paleo/Primal lifestyle.

I think whereas The Paleo Diet is much more serious (yet I would not say clinical), The Primal Blueprint really lays out Paleo and Primal living in an easy-to-understand way without being condescending. I don't think it gets the publicity it deserves -- I've been in a few Barnes & Noble stores that have had displays on exercise books, yet no sign of TPB!

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:14 PM

I was going to answer this question until I saw this answer. My thoughts exactly. Also, Cordain is releasing a revised The Paleo Diet as well as a Paleo Cookbook in December. I'm looking forward to both, as well as Robb Wolf's book, which I expect to be more "Cordain-like."

7
83d549c2356b4c2d038915030d698887

on September 05, 2010
at 06:32 AM

The Primal Blueprint is the book I picked up to follow as a guideline towards my journey into a paleo/primal lifestyle. It's a very simple book to read through, as well as, a great reference book. I find myself picking it up, flipping to a certain chapter, and finding exactly what I need. It's the book I also have lent to friends and family to help them correct their diets, and they have found it useful, too.

Mark's Daily Apple is a great source of information, too. If you can't afford the book, go read the blog, especially all the information for Primal 101.

6
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on September 05, 2010
at 11:53 PM

Primal Blueprint is a great read and is on the more accessible end of the Paleo-Book spectrum.

It is simple and convincing, presenting a reasonably easy way to transition away from the Neolethal Diet of Western Culture fame. It would be somewhat inaccurate to describe it as Paleo with Training Wheels, it would be better to describe it as Paleo with a built in support network. That support network is the great website http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

DO NOT ignore the forum at that location, it contains many knowledgeable people who love to help as best they can.

Somewhere else on this post I indicated where Mark Sisson keeps his science references for the PB book, and decided to bring that to this answer and expand it to point at the other resources at his website.

He keeps the scientific research list as well as some other appendixes online... That way you can actually click the hyperlink and jump right to the paper... I love this and think that it is even geekier than having it written... This way, he can also add new papers after the books publication.. marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/ http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/

I also must generally agree with all of the resources he points out at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/primal-blueprint-resources/ and it makes a wonderful general guide to the world of Paleo eating.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 06, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Patrik, I'm going to sleep on what you have asked, and chime in tomorrow.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:20 AM

Astute comment, Adam. BTW stay tuned wrt your question here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/6004/let-us-envision-what-a-paleo-magazine-would-contain -- I got something cooking.... :)

6
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 05, 2010
at 08:17 AM

It is indeed a really good book, and written for everybody, so it is an easy, but good read. Also great for introducing people to the whole ancestral health thing.

If you are a geek, as apparently a lot of paleohackers are :),than you will probably miss an elaborate scientific reference list. As far as I know, the book is based on really good science, but if you want to convince a common wisdom scientific reader, you will probably need more nerdy stuff. And there are a lot of good, very scientific and sometimes very technical blogs around, so you refer to these.

What I really like, is that Mark Sisson not only talks about diet, but about physical activity, sunlight, barefooting, play and social context. And that he emphasises that, once you get it, it is a rather easy way of living.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 03:39 PM

He keeps the scientific research list online... That way you can actually click the hyperlink and jump right to the paper... I love this and think that it is even geekier than having it written... This way, he canalso add new papers after the books publication.. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/primal-blueprint-text-references/

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 05, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Adam, somehow, I missed that! Or I forgot about it. Thanks for mentioning it. Still, it is not the kind of reference list you would get in a academic publication. But I don't think Mark Sisson wrote his book for academics only

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 11:36 PM

Pieter, I would agree that he wrote it to be more accessible to a wider swath of people. I do think that it shows in his research style that he actually did get his BA degree in biology (Williams College) before he abandoned the pre-med track and went in another direction with his life.

6
9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on September 05, 2010
at 01:36 AM

IMO, it's overall a good book, though I had to work to get past the hokey-factor. While I don't agree with everything in the book 100% (and I'm not sure that it would even be a good thing if I did) it has been a great bridge for me when folks are interested in the Paleo path. I say, if you're starting out or need some re-inspiration, absolutely. Go for it :)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on September 05, 2010
at 01:39 AM

That said, I really, really enjoy his website, Marks Daily Apple. I am frequently inspired by the daily posts there, and I recommend it to anyone even slightly interested.

3
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 05, 2010
at 02:33 PM

I disagree with Mark on Vegetable Quantity, Dairy for everyone.

Raw, Pastured Dairy is a test each person needs to learn for their own genetic makeup.

I personally believe it should be eat Mostly Meat, some vegetables, little fruit. and be strict about your sources of these foods.

But then, im in it for optimum health. Not just "better"

That said, Marksdailyapple.com is an amazing resource. When I started learning, it was a Leaping point for everything I went and read studies on. Mark would provide minute information, and I would go research more and more on it.

I own his book, which is saying alot, as I like free distribution of information. I use it as a simple hardcopy loan to friends to explain some things to those friends I cant simply sit down and dump data on, when they need something simple that they can digest at their own pace.

I personally plan on purchasing Robb Wolff's book as well. Mark challenges mainstream, but does it gently, I think that Mark is also previously biased because of his previous lifestyle as a vegetarian. and to be fair, supplement sales. More power to him.

Robb is all about performance and results. My language. I look forward to reading his book.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:21 AM

@Stephen-Aegis --- we are all "biased" in some way or the other.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:24 AM

Very true ;)...

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on September 05, 2010
at 11:54 PM

I'm looking forward to that book myself, I do admire his research and teaching style.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 07, 2010
at 01:14 PM

I wonder if some of the bias is geographical. Sisson lives in California - of course veggies are good for you! Dr. Harris hails from Wisconsin - pretty tough to diss dairy in the "cheesehead" state!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 30, 2010
at 03:57 AM

Mark is pro dairy as well tho :), I'm pro dairy for those who are tolerant, I think organic raw A2 dairy has amazing health benefits

3
9f1c368e3e31781918961f5d137d7b2a

on September 05, 2010
at 01:07 PM

Robb Wolf's book The Paleolithic Solution comes out in about a week. I'd pick that one!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 05, 2010
at 02:25 PM

I second this...Robb does a little less of catering to the mainstream. Mark challenges mainstream gently. Robb smacks it with a Mackerel.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 05, 2010
at 08:14 PM

LMAO!! "Robb smacks it with a Mackerel." Awesome! :)

1
0a737630cd9c5bc1ea35ad606eec7dd2

on June 12, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I receive the book from Amazon tomorrow but I started the diet today. I printed out the grocery list and went to Publix. I cleaned out my refridgerator of no no foods and I have been researching the diet onloine. I am also receiving the 21 day challenge.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Congrats on you new journey, it's a good book. :)

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 12, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Welcome to PaleoHacks!

1
B2ff8c08f574615ae69e58ca4459eaac

(15)

on February 21, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I really love this book. It was my first intro into paleo and is very readable and accessible to all readers. That said, his plan is backed up by good science. His website is an amazing source of support and information. I usually visit it several times a week.

1
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on September 12, 2011
at 03:07 AM

Well, I have to be honest. All the "What would Grok do?" stuff all over the forums kind of annoys me. Would Grok have washed his face? Would Grok take a vitamin? Would Grok ride a bike? Would Grok go swimming? Would Grok wear underwear? Would Grok use toilet paper or soap? Would Grok clean his house? Would Grok cheat on his wife? Would Grok bathe in cold or warm water? And on and on and on.

The Primal Blueprint itself seems really accessible and awesome, even though as others have said it's a little hokey. Sisson seems like really cool, chill guy, and he's a good writer. I haven't read the entire book, though, just the first couple of chapters at the store.

1
26f1c6e9fbecc4ac6948f8f395979a81

(503)

on December 30, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Primal Blueprint has a nurturing, "you can do this" tone. Sisson lays out all of the information you need without being judgmental. He seems to truly care about the reader. I also found the information to be practical and readily implemented in real life. This book offers a well-rounded introduction to "paleo" as a lifestyle as opposed to just another diet fad.

The Grok v. Korg examples may seem lame, but through these characters he actually used great teaching methods of story telling and allegory to explain his points.

Through his website, he also offers some bonus material such as a Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook and a paleo cookbook. This is great information for someone starting out.

1
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on September 05, 2010
at 05:34 PM

I loved this book as it was my starting point in the shift of my conventional wisdom & the Standard American diet to a more healthful life. Feeling great! Love sharing that book. It is easy to read and understand.

1
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on September 05, 2010
at 08:30 AM

To read The Primal Blueprint was so much fun for me and my husband also liked it.

On sentence I regard as most important: "Make better choices"

My recommendation: read!

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on March 19, 2013
at 06:41 AM

I own a copy, and I think it's a very informative and worthwhile read-a must on any Paleo's shelf

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on September 12, 2011
at 02:19 PM

It's the paleo "gateway book." I read it last summer and it's what got me started. I've since read Paleo Solution, Everyday Paleo, Deep Nutrition, and Primal-Body Primal-Mind, but TPB is still the one I recommend to people curious about what I'm doing and why!

0
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on September 12, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Great for beginners to the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. I recommend it to everyone. Robb Wolf's is my next suggestion once you've been eased into it thanks to Mark.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 11, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Pure awesomeness. If everyone in the world followed Mark's book, there would be very little illness and obesity would be virtually nonexistant in my humble opinion.

My takeaways are that life is a fluid thing. Grok didn't do the same shit day in and day out. And he played!!!

And he enjoyed life.

0
Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on September 06, 2010
at 08:39 PM

I LOVE the book so much I bought five copies and gave them away to family members. I also visit MDA almost every day, especially the forums. Tomorrow is the first day of the September Primal Challenge, which was super fun last year, with lots of ways to get readers to interact with the site (contests, mostly).

0
5c8a675951eb32b8c19e9fe4e764294c

(168)

on September 06, 2010
at 01:58 PM

It's the book I buy for all friends and family who wonder what the heck I'm doing with my life, and why I have tons of grassfed beef and pastured butter stocked up in the freezer. Really, the perfect introductory resource, especially for those who don't have a lot of biochem under their belt. That said, I would love a book by Dr. Harris at PaNu that would be somewhat more medically oriented and hard-core, and I can't wait to get Robb's book!

0
A20d650ffd7f8db1c1af21a4ac0f4cc7

on September 05, 2010
at 07:25 PM

best book IMO on primal living. I've read both paleo diet and paleo diet for athletes. Robb wolf book should be awesome as well

0
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on September 05, 2010
at 11:40 AM

+1 to what all have said. Very accessible and user friendly entry into the primal / paleo universe! If you follow his blog (marksdailyapple.com), and receive his email newsletter, it's all very dovetailed - useful advice on healthy eating, healthy exercise, healthy living in general. RUN, do not walk, to your bookstore or library and snag a copy.

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