The Most Common Sense Diet Book I’ve Ever Read

Doesn’t it just make sense to eat, train, and rest the way our ancestors did?  And by ancestors I don’t mean your grand parents. Or even your great, great, grandparents.  I mean the barefoot, spear carrying, hunter-gatherer who thrived despite – or rather because of – the unpredictability of all of his basic needs.

Mark Sisson has a name for this hunter-gatherer archetype.  And his name is Grok.  Grok is the centerpiece of the most common sense oriented health and fitness book I have ever read, “The Primal Blueprint”.  A lot of you may be familiar with Mark’s blog (  His new book showcases the same theories as his blog in a simple, and easy to understand format.

Although the principles outlined in “The Primal Blueprint” make sense on that gut level that you just know is right, Mark takes the time to back things up with science and statistics.  I particularly appreciated the explanation of why eating carbohydrate rich foods (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.) leads to unwanted gains in body fat.  As Mark writes, it’s all about insulin, and his explanation is clear without being bogged down in scientific jargon.

My favorite part of the book is Chapter 2 where Mark compares how Grok likely spent his day to how the modern Mr. and Mrs. Korg (Grok spelled backwards) spend their day.  Backed by statistics with the sources documented in the chapter endnotes, Mark describes a life of long commutes, excessive digital entertainment, poor dietary and exercise habits, and extensive prescription drug use for the Korgs.  Having done my time in the white collar and cubicle world, I nodded in agreement the whole time I read Mark’s description of the average human existence in modern western society.

But there is a better way – and The Primal Blueprint is the better way.

The Primal Blueprint is a list of ten laws that if followed ensure optimum health and fitness.  As intuitive as the laws of The Primal Blueprint are, they can be boiled down to one simple question.  When faced with a choice about what do eat or how to train, all you need to do is ask yourself, “What would Grok do?”

I give Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint” my highest recommendation!  Mark is a hell of a guy, and his book will inspire you to make some serious changes in your life.

You can read some of his basic theories here…. or pick up a copy of the book at

If you’ve read the book already, what do you think?  Leave a comment below Im interested in hearing your thoughts…

Gym Junkies

I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my eBook, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is for helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.

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  • Shelley

    Great post! I love your site, Vic, and am also a devoted fan of Mark Sisson’s. It is great to see you talking about his book on your site. I have been following the eating and lifestyle guidelines from The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple since the beginning of the year. To date, I’ve lost about 13lbs of fat but even better than that, I feel healthier than I have in my entire life. Also, it’s just a really FUN way to approach eating, health, and fitness.
    Grok on!

  • Marilyn

    Oh, Vic, not this guy. He’s dreadful.

  • charlie

    Marilyn is right. If he gave you money give it back to him.
    Dont put him on your site!

  • Vic Magary

    Why do you say that?

  • K. Franklin

    I’m very fond of Mark’s website and i have his book (and i’ll finish reading the back 2/3 of it if i can stop spending so much time on the internet). Not sure that i’m ready to swear off grains completely but the things he says seem to be pretty reasonable. He’s mostly telling people to eat less processed crap and more vegetables and meats. And to get more exercise but not go nuts with the extreme endurance stuff. Except for the carb/grain thing i really don’t see how anyone is going to argue with most of what he says. I highly doubt he paid Vic to review his book favorably.

  • Vic Magary

    I wish he paid me, I could use some new Chuck Taylors :)

  • Alexander

    @ marilyn and Charlie. . or anyone. . do enlighten us why. .

  • Fitness

    Lol sounds like Mark has a few haters. John Chow said 2 days ago “Success is measured by how many people hate you” lol

  • Marc

    I think Mark’s got the diet right, but I can also see how people are turned off by him, particularly at first glance. “Dreadful” is a bit much, though.
    I’d imagine that his supplements business probably rubs some folks the wrong way. He is also much more active and business-like when it comes to building a “following” for his blog/work. His SoCal location probably leads him to tout the aesthetic benefits of his approach more than some would like. I think that taken together, these things make him seem out of the traditional “fitness guru” mold that a lot of people have developed an immediate negative reaction to.
    I don’t particularly care. If it works it works, and if it don’t it don’t.

  • Dean

    Vic, Awesome post… love the book, I went primal a few months back after finding Marks blog. The book is awesome and totally makes sense.

  • Krys

    I am a huge fan of Mark’s, and those above who think he is all about pushing his supplements, well, you obviously have not spent time reading his blog. Yes, he owns a supplement company, but he doesn’t push it on his MDA blog. His sole purpose of MDA is to pass along the primal Grok lifestyle. I personally believe he comes across as one of the most sincere people in the blog-o-sphere. I’ve emailed him several times, with silly questions, and he has always promptly responded with tons of information. He is truly an amazing man. Thanks, Vic, for highlighting his common sense approach plan!

  • Justin

    Honestly who cares if he is pushing supplements? If you dont like them, dont buy em!

    He puts out QUALITY information 4 times per week for FREE. Is it wrong that he wants to make a living from his blog?

    I dont think anyone on here would go into their job and work for free. Dont expect it from others…

  • Tuscanystone

    The only reason you need supplements is because you’re not eating a balanced diet! So he promotes cutting out grain and dairy and then sells the supplements to supplement that loss? Ermm!!

    Atkins/Primal? You are risking ill health from cutting out good, natural foods like oats and yogurt from your diet. That’s a fact!

    BALANCED diet people! Carbohydrates, a macroNUTRIENT that gives us energy along with Vit B’s, fibre etc, have only got such a bad press cos we eat too damn much of them! Cut out the processed crap and eat natural, whole carbs in balance and harmony.

    And one last thing, the average age of a neolithic man was 40! Now even if he got ate by dinasaurs, there is no proof that this lifestyle made anyone healthier, stronger or live longer………get with the 21st century and learn by the past, not revisit it!

    You decide….I’m off for a bowl of granola and berries….yum, yum!

    Love Tusc :)

  • Vic Magary

    Yes, Grok on!

  • Vic Magary

    Well. . . I gotta tell you I think Mark is really on the right path here. I don’t know why you describe him as dreadful, but please feel free to email me directly at if there is something I should know. Let’s not hash this out in the comment section. Please?

  • Vic Magary

    Wow. Ok, here is the real deal.

    I did not receive a dime from Mark. However, I did receive the book for free.

    Unlike other reviews I have posted – for Craig Ballantyne, Jason Ferrugia, and Zach Even Esh – none of the links in my review of The Primal Blue Print are affiliate links. That means I have ZERO financial interest in promoting this book. Admittedly, in the other reviews I do have some financial interest. Not that I don’t think they are quality products, but I admittedly have some potential gain in their favorable review.

    I did not read a single thing in Mark’s book that I disagreed with. And I read it cover to cover. Your opinion seems very strong and I’d appreciate further commentary coming to me directly at

  • Vic Magary

    Tusc. . . you know you’re one of my favorite readers. :)

    But I have to disagree with you on this one.

    But let’s not squabble over what is a topic that obviously has some polar opinions. I simply suggest trying it for 30 days – no grains or anything else that you could not cook with nothing more than an open flame and a sharpened stick.

    Now that is THIRTY DAYS. The first 3 – 7 days will completely suck and I’m the first to admit that. But after that, you might be surprised at the new found level of energy and over all health. Then again, maybe not. But there is only one way to find out. . .

    If anyone checks my previous posts regarding fat loss you will see that the diet I recommend is very closely aligned to what Mark recommends in The Primal Blueprint.

  • Michael McNeil

    I didnt swear anything off completely, but the foundation of this type of eating and working out helped me lose that final 13 or 14lbs I was looking for.


  • Danware

    Ohhh Tuscany,

    You’ve got it mostly wrong. I pray for your benefit that you clear your mind and give Mark’s book, and the Primal lifestyle a go. What pained me the most is when you grouped “Primal” and “Atkins” separated by a mere backslash! They couldn’t be MORE different!! Granola?? OOOh! I just felt my pancreas flinch.

    Atkins touts a no/low-carb approach. I believe the first two weeks want to see you eating less than 20 grams of carbs per day. Primal eating is BASED on carbohydrate consumption, albeit in the form of fruit and vegetables and nuts and seeds. How can you compare the two?

    Vic, I too came from a cubicle/office background and gave it all up and man, I echo your sentiments as I was reading about the Korgs. I just couldn’t stop reading that chapter because if it wasn’t things about MY past life I saw, then I could definitely see it in my friends, all of whom have been asking a lot of questions about going Primal lately.

    Tuscany, Conventional Wisdom is flawed. I won’t argue with you here because what’s the point, but what I will say is this: where did you gather your information about grains being good for you and if I asked you that question at a party, could you answer it?

    One last thing I want to point out: some of you here have heard of P90X, right? Well, if you REALLY watch your DVD’s, there’s an interview with the guy who designed the P90X supplement. Yup, it’s Mark Sisson. THE GUY KNOWS HIS SH!T!!

  • Danware

    Paleolithic, anatomically modern humans and their ancestors were mainly nomadic hunter-gatherers. Later, Neolithic people developed farming, allowing them to live in settlements such as villages and towns. Diet also changed as a result of people eating more cereals and other farmed crops.

    You don’t want to eat Neo, you want to eat Paleo!

  • Vic Magary

    Thanks for the comment, Mike. Your experience is exactly what I’m talking about: you started with the foundations of the eating method and tweaked it a bit for your own needs. And bam – Final 13 lbs gone!

  • Tuscanystone

    I’ve done my own research into this and we will defo agree to differ….lol

    I’ve tried it Vic. I’ve read lots on the subject and my own body is the only real thing I can listen to. I was ready to kill someone by day 2 and by day 3 I fainted! Sorry, but that just isn’t healthy! So I guess some of us just need our complex carbs? We are all very different in biological makeup……

    Oh, and Danware, my Granny is 92years and still does the gardening. She is svelte, fit and rockin! Oh, and eats lots of rice and oats. Complex carbs contain differnt nutrients to fruits and veg and nuts. And you got to eat TONS of fruit and veg to get 100g per day….needed for the energy of an active person, otherwise your energy is coming from your fat stores and muscle. That’s not actually how nature intended. That’s how I can compare…………..anyway………..beware you aren’t malnourished…..anyone will lose weight when they dont eat enough!

    Take care

    Tusc ;)