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Authors: Mark Sisson

The Primal Blueprint

BOOK: The Primal Blueprint
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As you’ll discover with the day in the life comparisons between Grok (Sisson’s model primal human, a hunter-gatherer from 10,000 years ago) and Ken Korg (Grok’s antithesis—a sedentary suburban dad with a long commute to a stressful job, a diet of heavily processed foods, and assorted prescriptions that impede natural healing), we’ve drifted disastrously far away from optimal gene expression in modern life. We live in a society of rampant consumerism, technology-driven inactivity (most evident with the childhood obesity epidemic), overprocessed foods, and a “more is better” mentality that drives even the most devoted fitness enthusiasts to exhaustion and failed weight-loss goals.

Sisson’s voice of experience (his hopes of competing in the Olympic marathon trials were crushed by overuse injuries and an inflammatory high-carbohydrate diet—a life lesson that inspired his three-decade quest to balance fitness
health) strongly rejects many generally accepted, but deeply flawed, assumptions about healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle habits. Unlike gimmicky programs of questionable validity (that produce short-term “results” at the expense of health and long-term compliance),
The Primal Blueprint
is validated by the magnificent two-million-year scientific study that is human evolution. Our genes prefer natural, hunter-gatherer foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, fowl, and eggs; an energizing blend of comfortably paced aerobic movement (to support cardiovascular and immune function as well as overall vibrant health) blended with occasional brief but high-intensity efforts (to shed fat, build muscle, and delay aging); and a simple, stress-balanced lifestyle with plenty of sleep, sunlight, playtime, and stimulating creative endeavors to balance the daily grind of the rat race.

Sisson’s extensively researched masterwork is delivered in an inspirational, irreverent, and humorous tone. Far from dogmatic or elitist, Sisson understands the realities of daily life and asserts the “80% Rule” to allow for the inevitable deviation from ideal.
The Primal Blueprint
is an enjoyable journey into the simple, primal secrets of feeling and looking your very best…for the rest of your life!

Mark Sisson is the founder & publisher of
, one of the most acclaimed healthy lifestyle Web sites on the Internet. Mark owns Primal Nutrition, a health education and supplement company that he founded in 1997. He appears regularly as an expert guest on
Know the Cause
, a nationally syndicated cable talk show. This is his fifth book.

Mark is a former 2:18 marathoner and fourth-place finisher in the Hawaii Iron-man World Triathlon Championships. He lives with his wife, Carrie, and children, Devyn and Kyle, in Malibu, California.



The Primal Blueprint

© 2009, Mark Sisson. All rights reserved

Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, reproduction or utilization of this work in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system, is forbidden without written permission of Mark Sisson.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2008941735

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sisson, Mark, 1953–

The Primal Blueprint:
Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy/Mark Sisson

ISBN 978-0-9822077-0-3
1. Health 2. Weight Loss 3. Diet 4. Physical Fitness


Brad Kearns


Jason Saito, Weston

Graphics Project Manager:

Aaron Fox, Primal Nutrition

Text Consultant:

Catherine Fisse

Copy Editor:

Laura R. Gabler


Leoni McVey


Rudy Dressendorfer, PhD, R.P.T, Bradford Hodgson, Walter Kearns, M.D., Reagan Smith, Jennifer Zotalis

For more information about the Primal Blueprint, please visit
For information on quantity discounts, please call 888-774-6259

Publisher: Primal Nutrition, Inc.
23805 Stuart Ranch Rd. Suite 145
Malibu, CA 90265


The ideas, concepts and opinions expressed in this book are intended to be used for educational purposes only. This book is sold with the understanding that author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is this book intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any diet or exercise program, including any aspect of the
Primal Blueprint
program, you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Author and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material in this book. Sorry, but that’s what my lawyers forced me to say in order for me to be able to offer you my insights. If you do not agree with this disclaimer, you may return the book to the publisher for a full refund.


My editor Brad Kearns made a tremendous contribution in the preparation and editing of this manuscript. His extensive writing experience and insights on health and fitness were invaluable to the creation of the final product. Aaron Fox, my ace general manager and webmaster at
, was a brilliant strategist, researcher and project manager for the
Primal Blueprint
staffers Bradford Hodgson and Reagan Smith offered excellent insights to help improve the text and provided extensive research and fact-checking support. Catherine Fisse’s unique and often devil’s advocate viewpoint helped me present a clear and focused message. The outstanding copy editing skills of Laura R. Gabler helped get this book to the finish line triumphantly. Devyn Sisson made Dad look good with her cover photography. The design talents of Jason Saito of Weston Graphics, are on display with the interior text layout. Brett Geoghegan and the staff at The Brand Garage designed the cover. Don Derenthal designed the Grok and Korg figures.

The provocative insights and opinions of numerous authors and bloggers have inspired me, among them: Loren Cordain (author of
The Paleo Diet
), Jared Diamond (author of
Guns, Germs and Steel
), Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades (authors of
Protein Power)
, Gary Taubes (author of
Good Calories, Bad Calories)
, and bloggers Art DeVany at
, Peter at
, and Stephan at
Whole Health Source
. For an expanded list of my favorite books and web sites, and a comprehensive index of books, newspaper and magazine articles, research papers, and Internet links that were utilized in the research and preparation of this text, please visit

Olympic triathlon Gold and Silver Medalist Simon Whitfield has shown that the power of living primally can indeed apply to high level endurance athletics. Dr. Walter Kearns’ consultations helped me present the medical and scientific material in an organized, factually accurate, and easy to understand manner. My wife Carrie and children Devyn and Kyle keep me grounded and balanced when my primal obsessions threaten to take over my days and nights! I owe you guys a vacation…and this time I’m coming along too!


Welcome from Mark

Your Way or the Highway

Sidebar: Striving For Perfection With the 80% Rule

Introduction: What Is Going On Here?

Sidebar: Conventional Wisdom vs.
The Primal Blueprint

Is Dying of Old Age Getting Old?

Sidebar: Be like Mike—Your Genes Don’t Have To Be Your Destiny

Chapter 1: The Ten
Primal Blueprint
(“Commandments” Was Already Taken)

“Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!”

Sidebar: A SNiPpet About Evolution

You Have to Fit Your Genes to Fit into Your Jeans

Primal Blueprint
Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals

Primal Blueprint
Law #2: Avoid Poisonous Things

Primal Blueprint
Law #3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

Primal Blueprint
Law #4: Lift Heavy Things

Primal Blueprint
Law #5: Sprint Once in a While

Primal Blueprint
Law #6: Get Adequate Sleep

Primal Blueprint
Law #7: Play

Primal Blueprint
Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight

Primal Blueprint
Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes

Primal Blueprint
Law #10: Use Your Brain

Sidebar: Learn Them, Know Them, Live Them!

That’s It

Chapter 2: Grok and Korg—
From Indigenous to Digital: One Giant Step (Backward) for Mankind

Livin’ Large 10,000 Years Ago

Grok’s Walk

The American Dream—Unplugged (Or Should We Say, “Plugged In?”)

An Alarming Morning

“That Problem”…Among Others

Spreadsheets and Chow Mein

Love, Money, and Insulin

Kenny’s World

“We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us”

Sidebar: How Grok Probably Spent His Day

Sidebar: How Ken Korg Spends His Day

Chapter 3: The Primal Blueprint Eating Philosophy.
“Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?”

Sidebar: A Separate Shelf for the Blueprint

It’s All About Insulin (Well, at Least 80 Percent of “It”)

No, Really–It’s All About Insulin

But a Little Bit Won’t Hurt, Right?

It’s Not About Cholesterol…Really, It’s Not!

Cholester-ALL – More Than Just a Number

Murder Mystery Dinner: Oxidation and Small, Dense LDL Are Guilty!

Statin Stats Stink!

Sidebar: How to Sneeze at Heart Disease

Put Inflammation at Ease With Omega-3s

Context In, Calories Out – Understanding the Macronutrients



Sidebar: The Carbohydrate Curve–What’ll It Be? The “Sweet Spot” or the “Danger Zone”?


Ketones – The Fourth Fuel

Eating Well

The “Oh, Positive!” Diet

Eating on Grok’s Clock

Dealing With the (Maybe Radical) Change to
Primal Blueprint

One Small Scoop for Mankind

Chapter 4: Primal Blueprint Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals
(Insects Optional)

Sidebar: The
Primal Blueprint
Food Pyramid



Choosing the Best Fruits

Sidebar: Fruit Power Rankings

Animal Foods

Meat and Fowl

Sidebar: A Little Meet and Greet for Your Meat



Going Primal on a Dime

Nuts and Seeds and Their Derivative Butters

Sidebar: Mark’s Favorite Primal Snacks

Herbs and Spices

BOOK: The Primal Blueprint
13.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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