It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

This is a follow-up post from a former MDA success story, Andy Hnilo. In response to his original story, a number of readers had questions about Andy’s routine he used for healing and the ingredients his research showed were effective for various skin repair and restoration purposes. He’s answered those questions in this follow-up post. Enjoy, everyone!

After a car accident left me with seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and “the worst compound fracture’ the maxillofacial specialist at the hospital had ever seen, my body was wrecked and my confidence not far behind. For any person, this would be a traumatic experience, but as a 30-year-old working actor and model, my future was suddenly completely unsure. As easy as it would have been to give up, my near-fatal accident turned out to be the ultimate blessing in disguise — that experience sparked the fire in my soul’s purpose. A walking ball of inflammation, I began researching ingredients for how I was going to accelerate my healing both internally and externally. Along the way, I shared everything I had learned about nutrition, natural healing, skincare and how to feel better about the reflection in the mirror with the rest of the world.

There came a point in my accident recovery where new passion, fun and hobby displaced my previous worry and intermittent pain. Researching and experimenting with various therapeutic ingredients became a creative outlet for me. While many of my friends found my new ‘hobby’ a bit crazy at times; I never let that stop me. In addition to the obvious results, I found a sense of encouragement for my recovery in researching and learning about certain studies and ingredients that helped others heal their scarring. It gave me hope and further validated the physiological capabilities of my ‘crazy’ concoctions.

For those of you like me, who share in the joy of science, biology and nature’s magic, I would love to share with you some of the most impressive research on the ingredients that accelerated the healing of my skin after my accident.

Skin Restorative Ingredients: What My Research Revealed

Medicinal Clays

It turns out, clays have been used therapeutically throughout various cultures. While one might be quick to discredit someone with mud on their face, the fact of the matter is there are many scientific discoveries associated with use of hydrated clays. There are 2500 scientific articles published in PubMed to sort the scientific works have been done on the effects of this clay on body function.

For example, Illite and Kaolin have ionic properties that affect antibacterial activity. In fact, studies have found that the natural and ion-exchanged illite clays significantly decrease bacterial load, skin inflammation and gross wound morphology. There’s even research that dives deeper into the chemistry of clay’s antibacterial effects, providing evidence that suggest some antibacterial clays can promote similar bactericidal (bacterial death inducing) reactions as effect as synthetic antibiotics. 1,2

Pearl Powder

Pearl Powder is perhaps the most sophisticated exfoliates created by Mother Nature. If you’re unfamiliar, Pearl is one of the well-known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tonics used for treating various skin disorders and beautifying the skin, mostly due to its abundant antioxidant, protein and mineral contents.

In one study, pearl powder supplemented people showed a substantial increase in total antioxidant capacity. Tests done found a significant increase in master antioxidants glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase) content and activity. It was also found that pearl considerably suppressed lipid peroxidation, which is the oxidative degradation of fats in the body. These outcomes sum up to one clear fact about pearl, it is a supremely potent antioxidant and thereby makes a novel, natural remedy for treating various age-related degenerative disorders. For me, this is the kind of data that helps me make sense of why pearl powder makes my skin soft and smooth. 3

Colostrum

Colostrum is yet another power-house ingredient backed by science. In short, it is a natural source of many important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. However, perhaps the most impressive part of colostrum is its unique content of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).

In regards to skin health and regeneration, colostrum and its IGF-1 content sparked great interest for me. IGF factor 1 (IGF-I) is widely distributed in various tissues, including the skin. It turns out, IGF-I is strongly expressed in injured areas, where it plays an important role in epidermal and dermal wound healing. Repeated studies have shown the beneficial effects of topically applied IGF-I on wound healing, due to its stimulating effects on collagen synthesis in skin fibroblasts, the proliferation of fibroblasts and keratinocytes, and angiogenesis. 4,5 As collagen production starts to decline with age, it is essential to make healthy skin care a priority by choosing products with ingredients that will keep your skin functioning at its peak, no matter what age you are. 6,7

In simpler terms, colostrum promotes the regeneration of fresh skin. I greatly attribute my regular use of colostrum and its effects to a surprisingly minimal appearance of scarring after my accident.

Pracaxi/Acai Oil

After my accident, I had the worst compound jaw fracture the resident maxillofacial surgeon of Cedars Sinai had ever seen. We actually had to hire a private surgeon and he assisted him. So you can only imagine the wounds that inflicted my face, negatively affecting the integrity of my skin. Normally, intense wounds means equally intense skin scarring. Luckily, scar formation itself varies based on many factors and can be mitigated by therapeutic agents, such as the beneficial fatty acids found in pracaxi oil.

According to clinical research, the topical application pracaxi oil to injured skin led to considerable improvements in wound healing and scar attributes. Additionally, it has been found that acai oil, applied topically to diabetic ulcerations can dramatically improve healing, up to 100%. With my initial fear of scarring after my accident, discovering natural ingredients with regenerative abilities were a true saving grace. 8 9

Plant-derived Stem Cells

When I said I was willing to try anything to improve my recovery, I meant it. Somewhere along my journey, I came across compelling research on the use of plant stem cells for skin regeneration. The science and use of plant-stem cells is an interest focus for leading edge cosmetic treatment. When you consider the unique self-pairing, tissue regenerative processes of plants; it’s amazing to think that we could utilize their cells to also assist our skin cells in regeneration. That’s what plant stem-cell science is all about and it’s quite intriguing.

According to the research and experimentation, plant-stem cells contain phytohormones that have an antioxidant effect on the skin. In fact, one study found that a product derived of plant-stem cells greatly reduced wrinkles in the crow’s feet area of the face 10. It was found that the depth of face wrinkles became shallower by 8% after 2 weeks and shallower by 15% after 4 weeks. 11

Plant-Derived Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays major regulatory roles in the functioning and health of the skin matrix. Vitamin A is typically found in two forms; carotene or retinol. However, with the help of modern technology, we are capable of extracting a retinol-like plant-based vitamin A, derived of the popular superfood, Alfalfa.

Plant-derived Vitamin A has some amazing science behind it. Sourced organically from France, it contains similar beneficial polysaccharides as retinol, called galactomannans. This gives plant-derived vitamin A retinol-like-activity because it’s working on similar biological markers. Best of all, it achieves these effects without inducing irritancy on the skin like Retinol so often does. It can greatly improve the appearance and health of aged skin by significantly reducing fine lines and Crow’s feet.

In fact, study has found that topical plant-derived Vitamin A improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging. The induction of glycosaminoglycan; beneficial mucopolysaccharides, increase collagen production and are most likely responsible for the minimization of fine lines. Additionally, plant-derived Vitamin A treated skin improves skin matrix synthesis, making it more resilient to skin injury and ulceration. 12

CoQ10

Also known as ubiquinone coenzyme q10, CoQ10 is an endogenously synthesized lipid-soluble antioxidant, which is essential for cellular energy production. However, like all aging, this precious molecule is diminished with skin aging too. Stress of all sorts all tend to decrease the antioxidant presence and activity of coQ10. Luckily, both dietary and topical Q10 treatment is incredibly beneficial with regard to effective Q10 replenishment.

In study, application of Q10-containing formulas significantly increased the levels of this particular quinone in the skin surface and even in the deeper layers of the epidermis. More importantly was the effect this had on the skin; the results founds that stressed-skin improved by reduction of free radicals and the increase in antioxidant capacity. In other words, the topical use of CoQ10 improves the skin’s resilience to oxidative stress. Considering that oxidative stress results in the well-known signs of skin aging, like the appearance of wrinkles and lines as well as loss of elasticity, CoQ10 application serves as a useful anti-aging novelty. These are just a few of the reasons I feature CoQ10 in both my Night Cream and Gold Serum. 13, 14, 15

How I Applied My Research To My Routine

Purely through self-experimentation and trial and error, what made most sense to me was combining THE best, most effective ingredients that I could source from nature along with the latest and greatest in cutting edge science. The process began by isolating carefully sourced ingredients based on texture alone, then combining them with different carrier oils then moving forward and adding essential oils and extracts that fit my creation and desired emulsion.

I knew I wanted a dense feel that would be there throughout the night, nourishing and healing the scar area through deep hydration. I tried a couple products in the beginning before making my own, and they would absorb quickly leaving me questioning its level of effectiveness if it is gone within minutes. What made the most sense to me is a rich concentrated emulsion that was thicker, therefore moisturizing the target areas for longer periods of time. Devoid of harsh, drying ingredients. In search for the perfect blend of botanicals, it was fascinating to me to learn of certain ingredients like Sea Buckthorn and find out about it’s very rare Omega-7 fatty acid capacity.

In my night cream specifically, in a cast iron pan, I would melt down thicker ingredients like Beeswax, Cacao Butter and Manuka honey then combine with cold-pressed oils to create an highly concentrated, nourishing emulsion for my skin that I would apply after rinsing off The Clay Mask. I still have that first concoction with little dimples of cacao butter strewn throughout, preserved solely by K-Factor 16 Manuka Honey. That concoction turned into what is now, our award-winning Alitura Night Cream.

As you can see, my skin-care craze isn’t as whacky as it seems—there is credible scientific evidence that backs my madness. In a culture that is quick to go under the knife or get an injection it’s imperative to remember that none of those options actually help keeping the appearance of the skin youthful and glowing. Using skincare products that are dense in topical nutrients are vital for healthy looking skin. 16,17 At this point, you’re likely wondering how to put it all to practice. So, without further ado, I’m happy to share with you my personal skincare routine…

Here’s What It Looks Like To Date:

Pearl Cleansing: I start off my skin-care routine with a traditional step; cleansing. However, I use a not-so-conventional cleanser, the Pearl Cleanser. As we discussed, this unique cleanser cleans the skin while protecting it from the stressful effects of free radicals.
*Wet your face with warm, clean water
*Apply the cleanser with your hands, gently working it into the skin
*Wash it off
*Let your face dry

Derma Rolling: Next up is Derma Rolling. Derma rolling is one of the most powerful weapons for getting the what I call the “Alitura Glow.” This is one of the many high-end medi spas best kept secrets. Microneedling, a.k.a. Collagen Induction Therapy, is exactly that: an effective way to stimulate collagen synthesis and simultaneously break down malformed tissue such as acne and surgical scars (keloid scars are the exception as Microneedling can cause more keloid scarring).18 It works by creating “micro-tears” or generating acute, inflammation, that initiates the healing or regeneration of the outer layer of the skin. It also helps open the poors up, allowing any of the medicinal ingredients in your serums or moisturizers to absorb more deeper.

Home-use vs. Medical Microneedling has everything to do with needle size. The Alitura Dermaroller comes in .25 mm, .5 mm, and 1 mm needle sizes making it ideal for safe home use. Within just a few treatments over the course of 6-8 weeks you will notice visible changes in the texture of your skin at the surface level and plumpness and contour since your dermis has more collagen giving the understructure a firmer foundation for a more youthful contour to the jawline and cheekbones.

In addition to these benefits, derma-rolling can improve collagen synthesis, heal scars, prevents premature skin aging, reduces stretch marks and helps balance skin tone. 19

Clay Mask: My third step is to follow up Derma Rolling with The Alitura Clay Mask. As we’ve discussed, the mask on its own is a wonder treatment that thoroughly purifies, exfoliates, detoxifies and revitalizes the skin by stimulating blood flow. Combined with the Derma Roller; however, the benefits are increased exponentially!

Check this article out for full instructions on how to use the Clay Mask.

Alitura Night Cream: I ‘stack’ my Night Cream and Gold Serum before bed. I apply a thin layer of The Gold Serum all over my face, neck and eye area and then follow with thin layer of The Night Cream as a protective, ultra-hydrating barrier that deeply conditions the dermal layer of my skin which is the most important time to do so, while you are in one position for hours. Wake up looking renewed, refreshed and with a plump, radiant complexion. Great way to start the day if you ask me! Enjoy 🙂

To me, there truly is nothing better than feeling good with your what you see in the mirror. One thing I don’t touch on enough is that my journey into skincare really started in college where I became insecure to take my shirt off because of bad back acne that I had. Growing into my body, hormones racing, using poor products and consuming inflammatory dormitory food at UC Berkeley led to it. It was a bit deflating to wake up and see some type of irritation on my face and body and it really bugged me. Made me self conscious. It was then and there that I started to pinpoint the problem. I was a scrawny freshman athlete at Cal, and needed to gain weight quickly as a Division 1 Pac-10 athlete, so I was always scouring the back of food labels for the big three: 1) Protein 2) Calories 3) Fat. That attention to detail on labels led me to look down into ingredients on skin and hair-care as well. Tossing the heavily marketed, big brand name skincare for a better, cleaner ingredient deck yielded results and my knowledge grew year after year.

After my accident that knowledge grew quickly as I voraciously read and researched ingredients and topical remedies to heal myself. It has been said that ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ and I couldn’t agree more. My accident not only led to me finding my passion through healing myself, but I found my purpose along the way. To be able to share what I have created with people all over the world in an effort to make people feel better about what THEY see in the mirror… it gives me goosebumps as I type this. I am grateful.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to the incredible people at Mark’s Daily Apple, Primal Blueprint, Primal Kitchen, and of course Mark Sisson for letting me share a piece of my journey. Thank you for reading. And if you’re interested in trying a product I mention here, I’d invite you to use the code MDA for 20% off anything in my store.

All the best,
Andy Hnilo
CEO & Founder
Alitura Naturals

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

cilantrolime_640x80

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26508716
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126108/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29389568
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184407/#b5-ijn-9-4551
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184407/#b6-ijn-9-4551
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4089350/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4257951/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4857298/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674215/#B11
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674215/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17515510
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737275/#biof1239-bib-0004
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737275/#biof1239-bib-0003
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737275/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428712/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976400/

The post Success Story Follow-Up: Finding My Passion Through Healing appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My Primal story starts in 2014. I had a one-year-old baby. I was healthy. I was taking vitamins and supplements and I did exercise. I jogged and lifted weights. I only gained 10 pounds during my pregnancy because of my exercise routine.

The problem was my diet. But I didn’t know that. It all started with my skin and my teeth. I had eczema, red inflamed skin on my face, neck, knees, etc. and I always had cavities every time I went to the dentist. And I had THE best, the Absolute BEST Dental hygiene. I flossed after every meal. I water picked at night. I brushed my teeth 3 times a day. And without fail, every time I went to the dentist there would be a new cavity.

So. I am at the dentist. It’s 2014. He tells me that I have a cavity and he was going to fill it. I was very upset. I said “NO.” I told him not to fill the cavity. I told him I was going to heal it. The dentist is taken aback. He laughed at me.

I went home and Googled “How to heal a Cavity”. And it took me to this oil pulling sight. And it was a domino effect from there. I bought a book called Heal Cavities and Cure Tooth Decay, and I read that book cover to cover. And that book mentioned another book called The Paleo Manifesto, and it also talked about diet and how cavities start from the INSIDE out. So I immediately went out and bought The Paleo Manifesto and read that cover to cover. And that book took me to (you guessed it) The Primal Blueprint. I read that book cover to cover.

I already had a good exercise routine. But those books helped me to clean up my diet which led me to clean up my makeup routine, soap, shampoo, dental routine. It was a complete 180. I went totally green. Also the Primal Blueprint helped me to raise my exercise game and take it from good to Great.

And from there, I gained lean muscle mass. I STOPPED having and getting cavities. My skin cleared up and my eczema completely went away.

After I read Cure Tooth Decay and Heal Cavities, The Paleo Manifesto, and The Primal Blueprint, I STOPPED brushing my teeth so often and so hard. Everything in moderation. I started oil pulling in the morning. I started brushing and flossing my teeth ONLY at night before bed. And I started using mineralized tooth powder. From Primal Life Organics or Raw Dakota Tallow. And just by doing these 2 things, my tooth sensitivity went away immediately. And I started to notice that I could eat hot and cold foods again without any pain. I did this same routine for 6 months and now this is my normal routine. Since I started taking care of my teeth like this, I have NO sensitivity. My enamel that I spent my entire life eroding has come back. I have NOT had a cavity since 2014 and my gums are beautiful and healthy. I no longer dread going to the dentist.

My skin care changed a lot. After reading those books and going Primal/Paleo. I stopped immediately using conventional skin care. I started ONLY using castile soap from head to toe. I started using an acidic toner on my face to bring back the acid mantle that I spent my entire life eroding. I mix up equal parts (1 to 1 ratio) of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother and water. And I spray that on my face at night after I wash my face with the castile soap. And I use tallow as my face cream. From Raw Dakota Tallow or Vintage Traditions. And I do use conventional makeup. I have tried healthy, green makeup, but that is expensive and doesn’t do the same job as the regular conventional makeup. But since I started taking care of my skin this way ALL of the redness and eczema went away completely.

So in these pictures you can see me without makeup and the top picture is my clear, healthy skin now and the bottom is the red, inflamed skin from before. And you can see the lean muscle mass in the gray dress as opposed to the portly me on the Ducati before I went Paleo/Primal.

I do lift weights every other day and I do cardio every other day. My cardio is walking with alternating sprints. And I never miss a workout. But I never train super hard. I stand at work all day and I do a lot of slow movement throughout the day.

I do eat organic when I can. But that is not always possible. So I do eat conventional produce and meats. But I eat nose to tail. And I eat a lot of colorful veggies. I stopped eating sugar entirely. Cold turkey. I STOPPED eating all carbs and sugar. I did that for 6 months and then started slowly bringing back carbs, but healthy carbs like sprouted and fermented sourdough breads with European butter. I follow and maintain a Paleo/Mediterranean diet. My family is from Spain so I do eat a lot of ancestral food and I do drink wine. I was always a steak girl but now I eat lots of healthy vegetables with the steak. I eat lots of dark chocolate. But my treat is white chocolate.

Since I went Paleo/Primal (and I ONLY did this to heal a cavity) I am the healthiest I have ever been. I am 41 and I look like I am 26, and I feel like I am 26. This lifestyle, this way of life is really a lifesaver. Looking back now, I can see how the Standard American Diet and health care and personal care (dental and skin) are slowly poisoning the American people and were slowly eroding my health. This journey is NOT easy for some people. It was easy for me. In order to do this you have to be comfortable doing your own research and you have to be comfortable questioning what you have been taught, conditioned to think and you have to be comfortable questioning what you have been told.

I always took a multivitamin. But after reading these books and doing my research I started talking Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and High Vitamin Butter Oil. I take collagen. I take Iodine (Triodine) I take a really good multimineral (Concentrace minerals) I take a good multivitamin, I take Fermented Skate Liver Oil. But NOT all at once and NOT everyday. Every other day. I take a combination of these.

Do what works for you. I am NOT orthodox paleo/primal/Mediterranean. Living a life like this is amazing.

I would NOT recommend this but, it in my experience it can be done. After having appendicitis, and routine (best case scenario) appendectomy you can snow blow your driveway. I had appendicitis and the appendectomy on Tuesday. I went home from the hospital on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. I slept till noon on Wednesday and then I got up and started walking around. I had a good high fat, high protein lunch. And then I snow blowed my driveway (I live in Layton, Utah and we get a ton of snow where I live and it had snowed for 2 days straight). I did that because I figured that Grok did NOT have the luxury of being injured and then laying on the couch all day long and watching T.V. I figured that Grok would be up and walking around. At least foraging for food, for his tribe.

I am healthier than I have ever been in my life, and I have the energy to play with my 5-year-old and keep up with him.

I will Never, Ever go back to what I did and thought and believed before going Primal/Paleo. And it really is a domino effect. Once you start down this journey it will simply but take over every aspect of your life.

I want to thank MDA, The Primal Blueprint, Raw Dakota Tallow, The Paleo Manifesto and Cure Cavities and Heal Tooth Decay, as well as myself for my Amazing transformation. I was always skinny, but I am in PERFECT health because of this journey.

Elsha

saladdressings_640x80

The post Living a Life Like This Is Amazing appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My primal journey started in 2010. I had just attended my last Weight Watchers meeting ever. I had been doing Weight Watchers since 2005, and was at my highest weight ever. I was massively obese, I was severely lethargic, and I lived with daily brain fog. I was having miscarriages, but was being told there was nothing wrong with me. I went to a new doctor who told me that when I got pregnant again, I should come in and immediately start running tests so that when I lost it, we might have some insight as to why.

That was at the end of April. I was depressed and desperate. My dad had stumbled onto Mark Sisson’s website and pushed me to try Primal eating. I was extremely skeptical. In 2001, when I had first started dealing with health issues, I had been diagnosed with peripheral insulin resistance and had tried the Atkins diet. I was living in a dorm room at the time and failed miserably. So I was skeptical about trying another low carb restrictive diet.

But what did I have to lose?

Within a month of going Primal, I had lost several pounds, my brain fog was slowly clearing, and my gut was healing (another problem I hadn’t realized existed!).

And in July, I got pregnant again. This time it stuck. My son was born 9 months later. After 3 miscarriages, I am firmly convinced that I stayed pregnant because of my diet changes, and I became a full Primal convert.

After my son was born, I immediately resumed my Primal lifestyle. His first real food was bacon, and he loved liver as soon as he was old enough for real food. I continued the Primal journey, and continued slowly losing the weight and regaining my health.

Then I got pregnant again. This pregnancy was a whole different situation. I had hyperemesis gravidarum for both pregnancies, but this time I couldn’t eat anything. I lived off of cinnamon rolls, as they were the only thing I seemed able to keep down, and I drank nothing but gatorade. I was miserable, I was unbelievably adverse to the smell of all meat so I couldn’t even try to be Primal. I developed eczema on my arm so badly that I had to wear sleeves to work so my clients wouldn’t think I’d contracted ringworm! Luckily, my daughter was born healthy. I ended that pregnancy 10 lbs above where I started. And then my health disappeared.

The rash on my arm never really went away. I soon had eczema on my legs as well. Furthermore, I was so constipated that I wouldn’t go to the bathroom for days at a time and had constant crippling, severe stomach cramps. I had horrible brain fog, and who knows how much of that was a daughter who wouldn’t sleep versus dietary issues.

But more importantly, when she was not quite a year old, I broke out with hives. At first we didn’t know what they were and thought they were bed bug bites! Finally we clued in and I went to the allergy doctor. I knew I was reactive to wheat. As soon as I had cut it out in 2010, I noticed I got sick every time I ate it. I was suspicious of eggs and dairy. But I tested positive to literally every single food, plant, and animal they tested me for with the exception of white fish!

He immediately confirmed that it was an allergy problem. But that night I ended up in the emergency room with full body, raised, angry red, large diameter hives (like inches in diameter). He put me on all sorts of steroids, antihistamines, and beta-blockers. I cut everything out of my diet, and literally ate nothing but unflavored ground beef and vegetables for months.

And the huge, angry, red, full-body hives never went away.

I went from the allergist through eight other doctors. I went to conventional doctors, homeopathic doctors, acupuncturists, herbalists, etc. The hives never went away. I finally took myself off of all meds because they were turning me into a zombie. Unfortunately, even off of meds, nothing improved. One doctor started me on progesterone, thinking it was a hormonal problem because my cycles were so irregular (they had been like clockwork up until my daughter), and that made me much sicker. Unfortunately, those side effects didn’t go away once I took myself back off the meds.

Finally, out of sheer desperation, I gave up. I stopped going to doctors. I cleaned my diet up to be 100% Primal. I started meditating daily. I changed my job to reduce the stress.

And between less stress and diet improvements, finally, the hives started to go away. It had been a year and a half. They weren’t gone completely until after the two year mark, and even as recently as a few months ago they’d still pop up if I became too stressed or ate the wrong things.

Since then, my health has been a slow improvement. The eczema slowly disappeared. My gut slowly healed. But my weight wouldn’t drop. All the signs that showed up when I was put on hormones (heavier periods, breasts that were so sore you couldn’t look at them for a full 2 weeks each cycle, twenty day cycles) were still present. And I was plateaued. I would drop to 188 lb (I’m 5’3), but could never get below that number.

I was stuck there for nearly 3 years. I was feeling better overall, but I was stuck. I would be extremely clean for about 2 months, then I would give up since my weight wasn’t shifting anyway. Then a week later I’d be back to Primal eating because the brain fog and low energy would have come back.

Finally, this last spring, I broke that plateau. I had been 100% Primal for a few months, finally, and everything suddenly balanced. My cycles regulated, I stopped being in pain, and my weight finally started to drop again.

It’s still a journey. I’m not quite to my ideal weight yet as I’ve hit several other plateaus since. But for someone who has been obese since they were 16, now that I finally know what works for me, I can be patient. And more importantly, being Primal allowed me to heal up such severe disease after nine doctors couldn’t help me that I became an even stronger advocate than I’d been before.

I was already a licensed veterinarian and was using Primal principles in my animal patients, but after finally healing my own body, I became a certified Primal Health Coach so I could help the humans as well!

So what have I done since I received my certification? Since I received my certification, my life has gone in all sort of directions!

I was already using Primal principles in my holistic veterinary practice. I have absolutely continued using those principles to help heal the pups who walk through my door, and I have created an educational website and Facebook group for owners interested in healing their pets through diet!

However, I still wanted to help people, too.

When I first graduated, I obtained two informal coaching clients. One was a friend of my mother’s who had suffered from IBD, allergies, inability to lose weight, and masses around her thyroid (although they said her thyroid values were normal).

When we first started talking, she was eating grains with most meals, avoiding fat, and filling her diet with things like vegetable oil!

The first thing we did was cut the grains and vegetable oil, reintroduce real foods, and increase the healthy fats.

Within a month, she had lost 20 pounds, her energy was returning, and her IBD was feeling more controlled than ever!

My other client was a friend of mine who had also suffered from IBD, but who also had her gallbladder removed a few years before. In addition, she couldn’t lose weight and had all sorts of fluctuations in her hormones.

Again, with nothing more than diet changes, she slowly started to recover. Her weight decreased more slowly, but it was the first time she had ever succeeded in getting it off! More importantly, the IBD that flared with every menstrual cycle started staying controlled, and her hormones started to balance.

However, that wasn’t the end of coaching for me.

Around this time, I started having other veterinarians approaching me, asking how I had changed my life around. I had gone from severely burned out and feeling trapped and desperate in my job to outsourcing myself from my own business, moving to another state, and learning to love life and travel again!

And they wanted to know how I had done it.

Well, the first answer to that question was that when I started to get my stress under control (which started with getting my diet and health under control), then changes just started to take place that allowed me to completely turn my lifestyle around.

So I also began coaching veterinarians and other health care professionals on how to change their lives around. That coaching isn’t just about health, but health is almost always a piece of what we have to cover since these are women under massive loads of stress, and we have to deal with the health effects of that stress.

Today, I do both health coaching and mindset coaching. I believe in helping people live their best lives, and I will use whatever means necessary to help them do that! So while much of my focus is on veterinarians and other health care professionals, I still do regular health coaching as well.

I teach people that it is definitely possible to live the life of your dreams, and in my case, it all started with learning about ancestral health!

– Jenny Elwell-Gerken

Jenny’s listing in the Primal Health Coach Institute Directory

Website: www.drjeg.com

phc_webinar_640x80

The post Nine Doctors Couldn’t Help Me appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My Primal Story begins with myself being an athlete most of my life. I am 37-years-old, have had 4 back surgeries, and currently consider myself an endurance runner. I only began running in 2012. As I have increased my mileage and ability, my body has changed. I never used to think about my diet and how it affects my health.

Recently, I mean this past November 2016, I knew I needed to make a change. I was always in GI distress during and after my longer races or harder efforts of training runs or shorter races. I was referred to the Primal Diet by a friend and it all began making sense.

After implementing these methods, the change was remarkable. After three weeks, my body responded very well. I was able to recover sooner (zero ibuprofen when I used to take it a few times a week) after my long runs or races. My GI distress disappeared…I mean gone! My skin cleared up where I used to have minor blemishes on my face and back. I dropped 8 lbs—173 to 165. That doesn’t seem like much, but I didn’t have a lot to lose and my goal was not to lose weight. It was mainly, in my opinion, bloating, water retention, and a general cleansing of my system that lost me the 8 lbs.

I am able to train harder, recover better, and my energy levels are through the roof. I am so pleased with my transformation that I find it very hard to even think about “cheating” with my diet and really do not have an urge to anyway. I don’t take a lot of photos or use social media that much, but attached are a couple of photos. Again, my transformation is not that much in the physical appearance category, but overall health in general. I am the guy in the green shirt in the picture on the bridge. The other picture is of my daughter and myself before our daddy daughter dance.

Thank you,

Jason G.

ketokickoff_640x80

The post I’m Able To Train Harder and Recover Better appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Hello Mark and the Primal Blueprint community! I usually don’t do stuff like this, but like many others who have discovered the Primal Blueprint path, it’s changed my life in such a positive way that it’s hard not to share. Growing up I was always athletic – trim, quick, and agile. I excelled in every physical activity I was into, without much effort. Karate, soccer, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, even golf came easy for me. Within my group of friends, I was the guy that was better at everything than everyone else (at least in my mind LOL). It seemed like I could maintain this level of health and physical ability forever.

Then of course life happens. In my late 20s I meet the love of my life. We get married and in short order, our first son is born.  As a parent, you know how life-changing that event is, and being still in our 20’s, my wife and I went into daily survival mode and did our best. I never thought much about eating right or exercising, being one of those people who could (and did) eat anything under the sun and come out (seemingly) unscathed. Fast food, chips, pizza, ice-cream, candy, processed food from boxes, you name it. And it wasn’t just what I ate, it was the time in which I ate it. I never gave much thought to pounding huge meals late at night, or right before bed-time. In fact, it was like I had a “second” dinner every night. And of course, this was all the usual SAD stuff; tons of bread and grains, corn, fried foods, processed sugars, the usual suspects. I ate like this through my 30s.

As I reached my 40s, however, I noticed that I was getting fatter and slower, and had developed a severe case of IBS. I was always fatigued, irritable, and always had a constant feeling of dis-ease and malaise. Though I was still physically active playing soccer and bike commuting religiously, it seemed like I was always pulling a muscle, or getting injured. My reflexes seemed slower. I didn’t sleep well and my head was always in a cloud. I experienced my first panic attack and developed severe anxiety. I was always getting sick, and never had any energy to really play with or interact with my son.

When our second son came along, these symptoms became compounded. I was miserable, and felt ground-down by the pressures of life as a husband, father and sole-breadwinner of our family. I thought what I was feeling was just life happening, and that it was just a part of getting older.

Being now in my early 40s, I was feeling like crap, looking like crap, and had no idea what to do about it. One day I looked at myself in the full-length bathroom mirror (with my IBS, the bathroom was my second home), and I realized I was at a crossroads. Like Tracy Chapman sang, “leave tonight or live and die this way,” I decided it was time to leave my current unhealthy state and go on a new journey; one towards teaching myself how to be a Fat Burning Beast. Through Mark and the ever expanding Primal/Paleo community, I’ve reclaimed my health and fitness. I’ve discovered and use Intermittent Fasting as another tool, and read Mark’s Daily Apple daily for knowledge and inspiration (and dark chocolate recipes).

I’m also being mindful of things like chronic cardio, stress management and finding time to “get wild.” I’m constantly trying to figure out how to implement the Primal philosophy into the choices I make, not only with nutrition, but with life in general. My six-year-old son is now one of my Primal coaches (even though he doesn’t know it). He loves his “Primal” wrestling sessions with daddy, and being used as daddy’s weight lifting equipment. He also likes joining daddy and mommy in our family burpee sessions before dinner.

So, in about a year’s time of living the Primal/Keto life, I’ve transformed my body (and my mind). I’ve cured myself of IBS, and feel great overall. My head is clearer, I sleep better, my energy level has increased. Somehow, I feel more optimistic. My anxiety has lessened enough that I can enjoy coffee again (yay!)

What’s also cool is that through my enthusiasm for this path, my wife is also now onboard the Primal/Keto train (it was hard doing it alone, especially since she does all the cooking for the family). After only a few months, she is looking and feeling great herself, and enjoying more energy than she’s ever had. It hasn’t always been easy of course, but overall, being on the Primal path has been an incredible epiphany in my life. I have co-workers, friends, and family wondering what the heck happened and how I did it.

Thanks Mark for all you’ve done and continue to do. How great it must feel to be helping so many people improve their health and well-being. Congrats on being a game-changer and positive force in the world.

 Sukho V

collagenfuel_640x80

The post I’ve Transformed My Body and Mind appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

We live in a stress-filled world. Poor quality nutrition, toxic chemicals, xenoestrogens, EMFs, blue-light, deadlines, and traffic have us competing for our health. But on March 20, 2011, life got much more stressful than I could have ever imagined.

That particular day, I found myself in an ICU bed after recently being hit by a series of large vehicles. I recalled crossing a busy street in Traffic Nation, a.k.a. Los Angeles, where I was unexpectedly hit by a Land Rover headed west. The force of the blow threw me into the eastbound lane, where I was then run over by a Toyota Tundra. Needless to say, my world was rocked.

Lying unconscious in the middle of Melrose, paramedics and first responders aided my broken body. Upon impact I had seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and “the worst compound fracture’ the maxillofacial specialist at the hospital had ever seen…BUT I was still alive. Perspective.

For any person, this would be a traumatic experience, but for a young, 30-year-old working actor and model, my future was suddenly completely unsure. At this time, my physical appearance was a huge part of my livelihood, and quite honestly, I wasn’t certain I would ever look the same.

My body wrecked and my confidence not far behind, I found a silver lining by focusing on what I DID have rather than what I didn’t. Some say true purpose is born from tragedy, and luckily for me, this was the case. As easy as it would have been to give up, my near-fatal accident turned out to be the ultimate blessing in disguise — that experience sparked the fire in my soul’s purpose. I set forward with passion to recover my health and to get back in better shape than I was before the accident. Along the way, I shared everything I had learned about nutrition, natural healing, skincare and how to feel better about the reflection in the mirror with the rest of the world.

All Natural Recovery

My recovery wasn’t easy, physically or mentally. I had pain from head to toe, my jaw wired shut and nubs for front teeth, I felt myself turning into a zombie from the antibiotics, CT scan and monthly x-rays. It was dark. I lost my zest as a human being. I definitely wasn’t my ‘happy-go-lucky’ self, and it is a scary thing to witness yourself changing for the worse as a person. But I didn’t give in to that feeling, I quickly decided I was going to do everything in my power to ‘beat’ this funk that I was in and recover as quick as I could, as best as I could. A walking ball of inflammation, I began researching ingredients for how I was going to accelerate my healing both internally and externally. I met with several Chinese herbalists and developed a morning tonic that would help build my blood, assist in ridding my body of toxins and provide the best nutrition possible while not being able to chew food. It was extremely tough. Deer Placenta, egg yolks, bison liver… You name it, I tried it. I just wanted to get back to the old me!

In addition to this, my face was extremely swollen, covered in abrasions, and I had an unsightly deep scar on the left side of my face from point of impact that really was an eyesore. Social situations were uncomfortable, so I spent most of my time in my little apartment researching. Unhappy with the toxic, paraben-laced products that my doctors were recommending that I use to heal my skin, I began obsessive research into creating my own remedy. My simple understanding of the negative side effects of the medical and conventional led me into an ever-evolving journey of education of ingredient decks. I learned a lot about the physiology of toxic fragrances, artificial colors and other synthetic chemicals.

It turns out, most conventional skin-care products were going to do more harm than good for my skin. Parabens, one of the more common ingredients, is estrogenic and antagonistic to androgen production, meaning they interfere with the endocrine system’s ability to produce and regulate hormones—this physiological mechanism makes them correlated with breast and other cancers. This sort of research only further validated my protest against the recommended creams and further fueled my desire to heal my body, naturally. I understood that the skin pores are vulnerable to everything they are exposed to, so I only use products that are free of any known toxic, carcinogenic, inflammatory substances. I also ensured that every ingredient that touched my skin came with beneficial, therapeutic effects for my skin cells. I deeply felt that my skin would respond best to a blend of nutrient dense organic ingredients, clays, superfood extracts, cold pressed essential oils and butters.

Researching and finding these hidden gem ingredients became my own little creative outlet! I would isolate certain ingredients and note their effect on my skin, I would pay close attention to the activity of the ingredients and the synergy that they created together. What started as a carefully formulated blend of clays sourced from all over the world, quickly turned into a mineral rich, superfood regenerative meal for the skin on my face. Not only did it help reduce the swelling, and completely heal the abrasions on my face, but my complexion was crystal clear and silky soft. I knew I had something special. The same people that saw me in an ICU bed were blown away by what they saw just a few weeks later. Wondering what I did to heal so quickly, I drove all around town with my backpack, wooden spoon and bowl and would mix up a mask for them to try.

Blown away by the feedback, I knew I had something special. The Alitura Clay Mask was born! Next thing you know I’m melting down cacao butter in a cast iron pan in my kitchen, combining it with Manuka Honey, adding Sea Buckthorn Oil and other skin healthy botanical extracts…. And the best part…seeing and feeling results! The concoction made out of that cast iron pan became my Alitura Night Cream. It was great because I really became my own biggest science experiment. The cell turnover process was sped up by staying extremely consistent with a routine of using the Clay Mask which exfoliated dead skin, then following with the cream that I was making to heal, hydrate and deeply nourish the freshly exfoliated skin’s surface. I started to look forward to doing it.

Just 2 1/2 months after a life threatening accident, I was back on the runway, modeling for Macy’s! My first victory in my recovery.

Shortly after that, Bulletproof CEO Dave Asprey heard about what I was doing and had me on his top ranked podcast ‘Bulletproof Radio.’ Our podcast got such a response from it that he invested in me and my brand and the rest is history. Four years after launching the business out of a dingy studio apartment in North Hollywood, California, Alitura Naturals now has 20 products and is in 76 countries. Alitura is Latin for ‘feeding and nourishing,’ and we maintain that in our core brand mission and ingredient integrity in every product that we make.

I specifically want to say thank you to Mark Sisson and the extremely kind staff at Primal Blueprint, Primal Kitchen® and Mark’s Daily Apple. The first book that I ever read in the health and wellness space was The Primal Blueprint. From cover to cover, I found myself devouring information in that book and implementing it into my and my family’s lives. That book flat out changed my life, and was the catalyst in leading me towards an enriched quality of life by keeping me on a path towards my ultimate purpose.

It truly is an honor to contribute on a blog that I have read and been a fan of for years. Thank you!

— Andy Hnilo, CEO & Founder, Alitura Naturals

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Folks, I hope you enjoyed Andy’s story as much as I have. I’m happy to share that Andy’s offering Mark’s Daily Apple folks a generous discount. Check out his product line and use the coupon code “primal” (of course) to receive 20% off anything in the entire store—and enjoy free U.S. shipping, too.

Be sure to catch Andy on this coming Monday’s Primal Blueprint Podcast (10/22/18). Our own Elle Russ chats with Andy about his near death experience, his commitment to full recovery, and the thriving business that came out of his resolve. 

Have an awesome weekend, everyone. 

mayo_640x80

The post From Bedridden to Radiance: How I Used a Holistic Lifestyle to Heal From a Near-Death Accident appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Hi Everyone, my name is Jason. I am 37-years-old. I have a beautiful, brilliant, and ambitious wife, two teenage sons and a 2  1/2-year-old daughter. I am a business executive, entrepreneur, and a life long learner with a master’s degree in management, and not to mention what I consider a pseudo “doctoral degree” in lessons learned the hard way. Driven by my desire to ensure my wife and kids had everything they could ever need or want, not too long ago I changed career fields from not-for-profit to for-profit, moving from social work to the IT world. In three years I went from a consultant position to an executive running the company’s operations. I specialize in engaging people and moving the management systems toward a place of consistency and efficiency while capturing what makes the company tick and not losing that. I am very excited about my work. I enjoy what I do and like that I am able to help the people around me succeed, and as a result they help me.

While an increase in income had its benefits, it also had adverse effects on my health, which ultimately threatened my ability to enjoy the things I worked the hardest to support. Taking on more and more at the rate I did caused me to constantly live in a state of fight or flight. I worked crazy hours to maintain and never felt at rest.

Having children relatively far apart (my sons in my 20s and my daughter not until my middle 30s) had a major impact on my perspective, and was the true driving force in my choice to search for a healthy lifestyle. I needed to be healthy for a long time to come to see my daughter’s future, walking her down the aisle for example, but having two active teenage boys who were heavily involved in sports meant I also needed to be fit right now as well. Working out historically for me involved long, drawn out hours at the gym, and frankly, took away precious time I could have been spending with my family. I eventually sacrificed my highly time consuming exercise routines and focused on being a business executive, an entrepreneur, and a family man. This inevitably lead to a relatively sedentary lifestyle. Once I had my daughter and my activity decreased, it was obvious that the boys took notice, and they openly expressed how much they missed tossing the football and essentially just playing together.

Being heavily involved in sports since an early age, I was never obese, nor did I ever really struggle in a serious way with my weight. Being in shape and exercising was normal for me.

During 2010 – 2012 I was in peak physical condition, with a lifting routine coupled with biking or running on alternating days. I rarely took a day off, abiding to the ‘no pain no gain’ mindset, and really pushed my body to the limit. My diet consisted of steamed rice, veggies, chicken or fish, and some nuts. I would drink only water, coffee and the occasional ‘light’ beer. As a lover of a good local micro brew from time to time, this was rough. While I saw muscles in the mirror and could run for quite a distance, the LGN factor as Mark calls it, I felt aches and pains all the time. I even ended up with a kidney stone, which was probably the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. I really wasn’t even enjoying this ‘healthy lifestyle’! What’s there to enjoy about a bland, boring diet, hours at the gym, and super expensive supplements, to just feel rather mediocre at the end of it all.

As you can probably guess, I became rather burned out, eventually giving up my rigorous exercise routine and transitioned back to the SAD. I put on a little weight, but nothing shocking, so I didn’t worry. Around 2015 I truthfully stopped working out all together. It didn’t help that when my wife became pregnant in 2016, pizza was all she could tolerate with her severe morning sickness, and I allowed myself to eat as many pepperoni slices as she did.

I began to notice my mental performance and overall energy levels were low. I was increasingly irritable and found it hard to be patient. I was feeling sick all the time with what seemed to be cold like symptoms. I felt just so heavy and not as physically capable as I once was. At one point I was in the shower and lost consciousness and my wife found me lying down. I was not sure what caused this, but it was very scary and definitely a symptom of declining health. I had a very serious infection that ultimately ended up causing vertigo. After a trip to an urgent care to be checked out, he promptly sent me to the ER for a full work-up due to my family history of stroke and heart disease in conjunction with the scary symptoms I was experiencing. To top it all off, Sophia was born in 2016 and it finally hit me—I had three kids who were all going to need me to be around for a long time. I had gone from 170 lbs to 207 lbs. It was time for a change. Enough was enough.

My wife started a journey of weight loss and self discovery after delivering, and began to research paleo and primal lifestyles. She purchased a copy of The Primal Blueprint, and though I was familiar with Mark’s Daily Apple, I had never really engaged. I picked it up and read it along with another favorite of mine, Dr. Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel. I took the next few years doing my own research and fully digesting what it all meant. Watching my wife begin this journey, sampling some of her food, and seeing her energy levels increase along with her overall health improvement, in July of 2018, I decided to dust off our copy of The Primal Blueprint and try the 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

As mentioned earlier, I do have a family history of heart conditions and stroke, so I knew genetics were at play. Knowing what I had read about ancestral health and what Mark refers to as gene expression, I was skeptical that I couldn’t control these systems and even reverse some of them through just eating and living primally.

I chose to dive in to commit. I really engaged in the primal way of eating and I was amazed at my general overall improved health and well being. I almost immediately experienced mental clarity. Tasks that used to overwhelm and frustrate me due to brain fog became trivial and easy to think through. Being fat adapted was key and in a week in I noticed a definite change in my demand for food, especially in the morning. I would start the day with coffee with heavy cream or occasionally a rendition of “Bullet Proof” coffee, and this could take me until 1 p.m. At that point, I would feel a dull signal to eat when possible, but not the crashing hunger or a brain meltdown like I used to have when I was a sugar burner. Being free from the all consuming demand to eat with out of control blood sugar levels and insulin spikes is amazing—I feel like the machine is humming the way it should and I do take comfort in that.

The biggest thing for me in all of this is just once again being able to enjoy life. When I was at my least fit and most unhealthy, my sons commented on missing the days dad was ‘a beast’ or ‘like a super hero’. This hit me hard. I remembered the times I would be climbing the trees in the park with them and how I was able to keep up and not get winded, often getting social media shout-outs from teenage boys on how ‘the old man can keep up!’ I took on more and more professional responsibility and left myself, health, and most importantly what it felt like to just live a thing of the past.

Mark speaks to the idea of incorporating natural movement into your routine every day. I bought a kid carrier for my mountain bike to pull Sophia. She loves it and my wife joins us as well! I converted my garage into a workout area and invested in some padded floor squares. My son, the wrestler, and my wife, the Martial Artist, especially love this addition. I use this space for my essential movements, lifting heavy and other fitness experiments I find at MDA. I hooked up a sound system for extra motivation during tough workouts, and my daughter particularly loves dancing to Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones, so everyone wins. I have always enjoyed photography, so I invested in a professional grade camera and now go on nature hikes, scavenging for local flowers and other beautiful wildlife I can catch in the moment. I usually carry a heavy weighted rucksack for added resistance. I now press the record button and chose to watch television shows later in the evening after I have completed a long, challenging but gentle walk, leaving my phone and other distracting devices behind. Being able to disconnect has ironically helped me stay clear minded and level headed during working hours when I need to be connected. I read books, prep meals, and engage in activities that relax and rest my mind, while also challenging it. Speaking of meal prep, I absolutely love the avocado based dressings and Primal Fuel with the Grass-fed Collagen is awesome post workout. Incorporating movement and my newfound healthy lifestyle into my daily rituals and allowing it to also touch my wife and children’s lives is a priceless investment for all of us for years to come.

In the end, once I was able to get over my own analysis paralysis, and simply follow the primal principles, things fell into place. Mark’s references all the time to living 80/20 and really engaging in the rich experience of the journey has made it easy. I feel unstoppable, like I can take on anything life throws my way.

After recently listening to a Primal Blueprint Podcast in which Mark introduces his mantra of ‘Living Awesome!’, it resonated with me, and I truly feel like I am able to live awesome for my family and for my personal and professional goals. This lifestyle has allowed me to be a better husband, father, colleague and have so much more to give in lifting them up in their own goals and life dreams.

Mark’s Primal Blueprint has given myself and many others a second chance at achieving the best versions of ourselves, and it is something that should be shared. I am truly excited to use my newfound health coupled with my business, operational, leadership, and executive skills, with inspiration from the Primal Mission, to inspire others to live their best lives as well. Thank you Mark!

paleobootcampcourse_640x80

The post I Feel Unstoppable appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My journey is a bit of a roller coaster, and starting back in 2011. I had reached my all time heaviest, 250 pounds. At that time I decided to make a change. I started training for a 5k (my last 5k) and read Robb Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution.” I started losing weight, pushed myself to run on a treadmill at my company’s on-site gym and got ready for my Disney 5k through Epcot.

Prior to this, I would experience abdominal pain, irregular stool, and if going out to dinner, I would have to go straight home before having to get to the bathroom. Let’s just say that if we weren’t going straight home I got very good at knowing where the bathrooms were at different commercial locations. Along with this, I had high blood pressure, coupled with the abdominal pain (which I thought was an ulcer) and went looking for a doctor to test me for celiac disease.

Went to my first appointment in the town I was living in (I was over an hour away from my old primary and figured I should find someone close) and went in and told the doctor my list of issues, that I was currently following paleo and asked to be tested for celiac. This doctor’s response was that I was just having spasms in my colon and that I needed to eat more grains to get fiber.
That didn’t sit well with me. So I started looking for another doctor. I found an Osteopath who accepts my insurance and agreed to give me the blood test for celiac. At this point in time I was already paleo for a month and starting working out at a local Crossfit gym. I got the results back a week later and was advised that I tested positive. After no gluten for a month.

My doctor advised me to get a colonoscopy, and advised me to eat gluten again before the colonoscopy so that it would be easier to see any negative effects. Reluctant I did and felt like crap right away. Two days in I couldn’t finish a workout, five days in I couldn’t walk my dog without getting a headache. Ten days in I still hadn’t heard from the gastrointestinologist, so I called them. At first they had no idea who I was, then told me they just found my file and someone would call me when they reviewed it. I never heard from them again.

I dropped all gluten and went back to paleo. Was I strict? At first yes, then over time I would start including dairy (ice cream) and would go back to some salty snacks. I was holding my own until I wasn’t. In 2014 after putting on some pounds, I started feeling lethargic in the afternoons. I had trouble driving home from work. Didn’t have the energy to work out. So I went to my doctor.
Having moved back to Clearwater, FL I was back to my old primary doctor. I was 36 at the time and his first conclusion was that I was low on testosterone. To which I argued against as I was still waking up with morning wood. With that he also agreed to test my thyroid along with my testosterone levels. Well, my testosterone levels were fine, but my TSH was low and I was advised that I had hypothyroidism.

He wrote me a prescription for synthroid and sent it to my pharmacy. I was not taking supplements and I was not taking any other medicines. I picked up the prescription, took it home, placed it on a table and never opened the bag. I went back to Robb Wolf’s book and looked up the Autoimmune Protocol. I cut out everything listed there. Switched out my coffee for tea and moved forward. One month later I got a call from my pharmacy about my refill. I told them not to refill it, since I never used the original and threw the old box away.

Five months later I was back at my doctor’s office for a follow up, had blood work done and my TSH was back to normal. No signs of hypothyroidism. With that I started to reintroduce foods, and kept pushing my luck, always mindful to not have gluten, but if I was at a Mexican restaurant I would have the beans and tortillas. Yes the ice cream came back too. See, roller coaster.

2016 rolled around and I was now back up to 230 and having very serious knee pains. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of the knee pain. A friend of mine who is a chiropractor got me set up to get an MRI done. Went through with the MRI and found out that I have a Baker’s cyst in my right knee. After doing some poking around, I found that it in itself was not an autoimmune disease, but that it was related to autoimmune diseases, and since I already had been diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases, I know that this is something to look out for. Between the cyst and the bit of weight gain, it caused me to pursue another round of AIP and my new wife was on board. We bought a cookbook and she went through and found all the recipes she liked and bulk cooked them so we would always have choices for dinner.

Did a 90 day bout of AIP—the week camping in the before picture above was the hardest, but we made it work. At the end of the 90 days my first choice to add back in was eggs so that I could go out to breakfast with my family. That Saturday morning, we ate eggs together, Sunday I went to breakfast with my family and ate eggs. That following Tuesday I hit a wall, harder than I have ever hit a wall in my life. My energy levels dropped to zero out of nowhere and by 2 in the afternoon I was in bed and out until seven that night. Right there I knew there was an issue with eggs. The following day I had some pain in my knee and quickly put eggs on the no fly list of foods.

Fast forward another week and I attempted to add back another removal from the AIP list. This time alcohol. I couldn’t have eggs anymore with friends, but at least I could have a drink with my friends. Went out, had a few drinks, two days later, in bed for another lost afternoon/evening of sleep, followed with knee pain. Alcohol was now on the no fly list and I was 0 for 2 in reintroductions. Another reason this is sad is that every year for Christmas I make eggnog from scratch.

Afraid of going 0 for 3, my next attempt was nuts and seeds, particularly coffee. Thankfully I was ok there. I had always joked to my friends that I would quit alcohol before I quit coffee and looks like I was right. Slowly but surely I added things back, up to and including dairy. I can say that my trigger foods are gluten, eggs and alcohol. I am sometimes cautious of dairy due to the relation of allergens to eggs. Now when I do have ice cream I either have nut milk ice cream or egg free. Got to keep some treats in for occasional indulgence.

Again, roller coaster. Entering 2018 I had goals. One was to become a Primal Health Coach, which I have done. The other is to compete at the Scottish Highland Games Masters World Championships. I have qualified and will be off to Stuttgart, Germany in September to compete in the lightweight division.

I am now following a keto approach, making sure that all gluten, eggs and alcohol are avoided as I still have a layer of fat to remove and get myself under 200 pounds. I am doing this now, well in advance of when I have to weigh in because I want to get there in a healthy fashion and be comfortable throwing at that weight. I don’t want to water cut. That is not primal in my book.

I haven’t always eaten the right things at the right time. I enjoy food. I’m sure most of you reading this enjoy food. There is a time and a place for indulgences, and primal and non primal ways to go about it. I’m not perfect, but that is not my goal. My goal is to get better each day. To get leaner and to throw heavy things farther. What’s not primal about throwing things? I’m eating meats and veggies, throwing rocks and trees, getting as close as I can to living primal. The more I help myself, the more I want to help others.

saladdressings_640x80

The post My Goal Is To Get Better Each Day appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

 After a “chubby childhood,” an eating-disorder ravaged adolescence, and then an up-and-down, yo-yo dieting young adulthood, I dedicated myself to finding a way to live healthfully and — most importantly—HAPPILY with who I am and to realize my inherent potential: physically and emotionally.

I have spent the last seventeen years working toward a state of health that is not only optimal but sustainable. I graduated with a degree in psychology, hoping to someday use it as a foundation to help other people who had struggled as I had.

Through it all, I have still battled the ups and downs of pounds lost and gained, the frustrations of injuries confining me to the couch, and the struggle to really “figure ‘it’ out”—what formula was I missing?  What pieces of the puzzle were eluding me, to finding that perfect balance of fitness and health and ultimate life satisfaction?

For me, a huge turning point came in late 2014, when I tried a Whole30 Challenge, completed it, and began a Paleo way of eating. When you hear that body composition is 80% diet, it is no joke (and I have the self-experimentation, documented in my blog, to back up that statement).

Fast forward a couple of years, and I find myself suffering yet ANOTHER running injury, feeling completely pitiful and depressed, when my now-husband hands me an issue of Outside Magazine containing an article about this guy called Mark Sisson. I glanced at it….left it on the counter for a few days….and then threw it into my bag to take to work and read when I had time.

I will admit, I was skeptical. I was a chronic cardio junkie, but what HAD been working really was NOT working for me anymore (and I was eating a whole food diet!). You mean I could train less? I needed to sleep more? More fat? (Aside: now, I knew that fat was not “bad”….but that Standard American Diet had been instilled into me from the youngest age, and while I now ate whole foods and really did eat a healthy diet, I still struggled with the “calories in, calories out” mentality.)

That was in the winter of 2016, and it still took me being laid up with a sprained ankle (ANOTHER running injury?!) to fully dig into The Primal Blueprint, order all of the books, and immerse myself in this incredible multitude of research and information. That was in July, and I became hooked. I was already a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, and I had visions of getting my Fitness Nutrition Specialization, even though I was currently working a government job and not training any clients.

While I loved my government job—the job itself—the interpersonal dynamic was incredibly toxic (stress?!). In January or 2017, I decided to go for broke: I enrolled in the Primal Health Coaching Program AND my Fitness Nutrition Course and completed both by February. Little by little, I decided I was going to make a change and make this my career.

But bills need to be paid, and my husband and I had a hefty mortgage. So I labored away at my job, spending my down time developing my future business.

I finally launched my LLC in May of 2017, but it still did not really go anywhere. I had transformed my life and way of thinking, adopting the Primal lifestyle to a “T”: honoring sleep, managing stress, moving and exercising sensibly. I had so much knowledge and nowhere to put it!

Finally, on a warm, Sunday afternoon in June, I was destressing by baking a (traditional) graduation cake for a friend; I have always loved to bake, even if I do not eat the traditional fare anymore (a taste of ice cream cake once in a while is about all I can tolerate). My husband turned to me and said, “You are so good at this! You are such a great baker, and you LOVE it! Why don’t you try Paleo or Primal desserts?”

I rolled my eyes and said, “That’s too hard!”

But a seed was planted. I asked myself, “Why am I doing all of these sugar-laden (yet delicious) desserts for the people whom I want to help? I am enabling, not helping them…..and I DO love to bake….and even I don’t eat this stuff….hmmmmm….”??

A few weeks later, my husband deployed for a seven-month stint in Africa, and I decided to take that time to learn how to create Paleo and Primal sweet eats. My goal was to make things that were not merely “less unhealthy,” but were actually nutritious in themselves: provide nutrition in every bite; craft items from the ground up. And you know what? It was fun.

And I WAS good at it. In fact, it was so much fun, and I was SO good at it, that I took a leap of faith and quit my comfy-yet-stressful five-figure government job and launched a dessert line to go alongside my fitness company.

Nalls Picture (2)Within three months from picking up my first sack of almond flour, I had a full line of good-for-you goodies, and I was selling them to the hungry hoards in coffee shops around town. I was completing personal orders, and I was loving every minute—my worst day doing this job was not even remotely comparable to the very best day at my old job. I have done tastings and been able to talk to people not just about my desserts and way of eating, but also about my lifestyle, my goal to help those with a sweet tooth have something at hand that was not merely an empty-calorie sugar-bomb. I had a woman stop me while I was dropping off an order at a coffee shop in town and personally thank me for what I do: “You have no idea what this means to me. I have dietary intolerances that lead me to a Paleo lifestyle, but I sometimes miss a good Pumpkin Muffin. Thank you so very much for bringing ‘Paleo’ to us!” I was—AM—truly helping people, and I am also able to provide fitness and nutrition advice AND promote the Primal way of living as a whole.

My baking business is currently bigger than my fitness business, but I have kept both fires burning: I blog as much as possible on my fitness site (also see me on Facebook: BFit BodyFit) and still offer coaching and nutritional planning to anyone who needs it.

My mission has always been to help others. I love food. I love nutrition. I love fitness. But I had clients and friends who were trying to eat and live well—and especially those trying to adhere to a Primal or Paleo way of life—tell me that they struggled with desserts, and that they were “tired of fruit.” I have never wanted to “enable” a person who needs to address a sugar addiction, but I DO want to help those who fight to stay in line with their goals and ensure that EVERYTHING they put into their bodies is truly good for them.

Mark’s Daily Apple—and of course, Mark himself—inspired ME, a Paleo Personal Trainer, to step back, REALLY evaluate my life, and make a change for the better. I started to sleep more; I dialed back the cardio. My job was the most stressful thing in my life, to the point where I was physically ill quite a bit (side note: I have not been ill AT ALL since I quit that job). I took all of the knowledge I had gained from the Primal Blueprint, my other studies, and I married it with my two passions—baking and fitness—to change my life.

I now bring Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, and Vegan good-for-you sweet eats to the people of Alexandria, VA (and beyond—I do ship! Check out Brianne’s Blissful Bites on Facebook or email me at bri@briannesblissfulbites.com). I did this because I was inspired by Mark Sisson, who helped me step back and inventory my lifestyle beyond diet and movement.

collagenfuel_640x80

The post I Married My Two Passions—Baking and Fitness—To Change My Life appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

To say our lives have been impacted by the Primal Blueprint and Mark Sisson would be a ridiculous understatement. The fact of the matter is, our lives are a direct creation from the influence that Primal Blueprint has had on our lives. We are Adam and Vanessa Lambert, creators of Bee The Wellness, an innovative personal coaching company based out of Los Angeles. This is our story.

We have all read the stories of success with weight loss and improvements to health and longevity here on Mark’s Daily Apple. What we don’t often get to hear is how the magic of this community and way of living can make a profound impact on the rest of your life. That is what the The Primal Blueprint has done for us, and we know it can do it for you too.

We were already paleo when we found Mark’s Daily Apple years ago. We had been living in the same small town and being coached by Robb Wolf and had already adopted the ancestral diet when we were first introduced to Mark Sisson. What we didn’t know was how connecting to the Primal Blueprint community would shift how we would fundamentally live our lives and who we would become in the world. This is the part about this lifestyle that is hard to describe and even more difficult to point to. Alas, we will give it a go.

Adopting the Primal eating principles creates space in your life. What we mean by that is now that you are not subject to dealing with how the standard American diet leaves you feeling (tired, bloated, and hungry five minutes later) you have space to create your life in the way you want to experience it, not in the way it happens to you by default.

Now we know it may seem like a stretch, but gaining the clarity of body and mind, helps you to gain the clarity of soul. Suddenly you start to take notice of the other things in your life that are not in alignment with your healthiest self. Perhaps it’s other lifestyle habits, relationships, or your work environment. Whatever it is, you start to notice a distinct disconnect between how you have been living your life and how you want to live your life. By gaining this foundation of health you suddenly find it propelling you towards other ways of thinking, acting, and creating your reality more mindfully and with greater intention. Connecting to other Primal subscribers within the community only deepens your commitment to this new way of being.

This is what happened for us. Eating an ancestral diet, following the Primal principles, connecting with like minded people in this community was a catapult for discovering what was important to us. From there we discovered who we wanted to be in the world and how we could make an impact in the community in our unique way. This led us to creating our own wellness company where we now get to coach people from all walks of life and in all areas of the world. We also lead Primal based adventures in places like Costa Rica, Peru, Africa and this summer, the Redwood Forest of Northern California. We host a paleo based podcast where we share and communicate with people who can help influence the world in a more positive way.

Recently we were nominated for four “Best Of Paleo” awards, which helped us to realize we were in fact making a difference in people’s lives. We are living our dream life and it all started by embracing the Primal way of living and being in the world. So for those of you who are just beginning your journey or for those of you who are well on your way, let this be a reminder of the limitless potential that comes from adopting this way of being in the world. Embrace the journey and be open to what it can create for you in your life, because when it comes to Primal living, the sky is the limit.

Adam and Vanessa Lambert (3).jpg

For more information on Adam and Vanessa Lambert, visit www.beethewellness.com and be sure to check out their paleo retreat with a festival vibe “Bee – Fest” happening in July of 2018. It’s an event you won’t want to miss! You can also check out their Bee The Wellness podcast, which I named one of my top picks for 2018.

The Giveaway

We’re teaming up with Adam and Vanessa to offer a Primal-worthy giveaway on Instagram, where you can win $100 Gift Card to PrimalKitchen.com + access to an ENTIRE YEAR of Adam & Vanessa’s UnveilYourWellness & Meditation programs—organized around the four seasons and split into twelve 21-day challenges. (Total Value: $2000+) For more info and to enter, head over to Primal Kitchen® Instagram. Happy Friday, everyone!

Adam and Vanessa Lambert).jpg

saladdressings_640x80

The post Gaining the Clarity of Body and Mind Helps Gain the Clarity of Soul — And a Giveaway appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico