The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

ISBN: 978-0-09-194783-5

Published by Vermillion

Mark Sisson is the author of The Primal Blueprint, and The Delightful Mr F and I are rather keen on Mark’s Daily Apple, the website which sits alongside the book.

I am not generally a fan of self help books, mostly they are full of the same old messages, rebranded to make a fast buck. Others are downright misleading in terms of improving health and wellbeing.  

The Primal Blueprint is rather different from the other “get healthy” books out there. Like many books it says it isn’t a diet, but a way of eating, and this is true. It has aspects of the Paleo diet to it, where grains and sugars are not eaten, but replaced with lots of plant and animal based foods, in the way that our evolutionary ancestors would have fed themselves.  The basis for the primal nutrition is backed up by good, solid science (I am highly critical of books with science in them, as I have a science background, so won’t take any nonsense). When you have read the book you will see supermarkets in a very different light, much of what they sell is aisle upon aisle of edible products, not actual food. Yes you can eat a nice chocolate chip cookie, but it is a very long way from anything nature provides us. He shows how much of traditional western diet is flawed, and that some of what we believe to be good for us, actually causes us to become unhealthy.

In addition, Sisson also concentrates on the wider aspects of wellbeing, and this is what drew me into his website in the first place. The Primal focus encompass the idea of nutrition, exercise and wellbeing, and in particular play. With the workplace becoming increasingly aggressive, play is something we tend to ignore, which is a shame as it is good for our mental and physical health, and is fun!

The book’s style is relaxed and easy, but he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to explaining what is good for you and what is not. Having said that, none of this is prescriptive and the methods can be adjusted to suit you as an individual, you just need to be willing to experiment to see what suits you. 

The Primal and Paleo ways of eating, they are subtly different but come form the same basic premise, suffer from the “lunatic diet” tag in the press, which is a real shame, as it isn’t extreme, you can eat as much as you like, as long as it isn’t bad for you. Let’s be honest here, that isn’t really a daft way to live is it?

I’m not trying to evangelise in this post, I like the Primal Blueprint as a book and as a way to live my life, although  don’t always manage to do it as well as I would like. I hate it when people tell me what I should do for my health, and believe me, when you have something like MS, people suddenly become consultant neurologists with the solutions ready and waiting… So this is not a “you really should try this lifestyle” post, but it is a book that anyone looking to make positive changes, large or small, would do well to read, and pick from it the parts that resonate with them.   The website is huge, with a “start here” area, so to get a flavour of what Primal is all about, then this is the place to go. Vegetarians may struggle though…