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 progress will forever be in the works. But it does have a beginning.
I wasn’t born fat. I never even thought about weight or body fat until I realized that I had become too chubby. Around the age of 14 or so. I guess the hormonal changes and probably the decreased activity did it. Not really sure. Because I had always eaten incorrectly for my body. Too much sugar, wheat, processed foods. My belly has been bloated for as long as I can remember. I remember eating Grape Nuts as a kid and feeling bloated minutes later. I never put two and two together, until much later. Even though I was nowhere near fat then, food was still having an extreme effect on my health.

After having my two children, things got worse. I focused on them and forgot about who I was. Being a mom, wife and working a full-time job literally left nothing in the tank for me. I was still bloated, stressed out and definitely sugar addicted.

And then the weight crept on. By the time I was 45, I was at least 70 pounds overweight. And, I felt horrible. And because my children were almost grown, I was also able to see it and feel it more. I was depressed. And I ate more chocolate.

I remember clearly one fall day, raking (or attempting to rake) the lawn. My whole body felt like it was on fire. My back had sharp pains and I was too out of shape to complete the task. That was my final straw. I started to research a solution. Even though I knew a lot about food and what I shouldn’t be eating, I had so much more to learn. The diet choices were endless, but I settled on a well-known one, The South Beach Diet. And my journey began. My body was happy with the lower carbs (I still didn’t understand the sugar/gluten issues), and I immediately began to feel better. I ordered a kettlebell exercise program and began my journey into fitness. By the time my son was getting married in 2012, I had lost 30 pounds, and I was feeling pretty good about the way that I looked. But I still had the nagging stomach issues and bloat, and I was still clearly addicted to sugar.

In June 2013, my youngest son was home from college, and I got it into my head that he and I would find something we could do together for the summer. I happened to open the paper and see an article for the grand opening of a Crossfit gym in our hometown. I mentioned it to him and he said, yes, he had heard of Crossfit and we should try it. Full disclosure, I had never heard of Crossfit and I wonder now, if I had, if I would ever have wandered into that gym.

That weekend, he and I checked out the gym and committed to three days a week, starting the following Monday. Ironically, that week is also the week my best friend died of breast cancer. There were so many things in play at that time, I find it hard to sort out in my head, but I credit Crossfit for getting me through it. One, because I was so sore and tired, it was hard to think of anything but my body and two, I felt instantly like I was doing what was right for my body. My emotional pain was lessened by my physical pain—and little did I know, I was training my mind to beat anything that came before me.

A lot of Crossfit gyms prescribe to the Paleo method of eating, and this gym was no different. Eight months after I began my journey, they posted a Paleo challenge, using the Zone method of eating. After I completed that challenge and within the next few months, I had dropped another 40 pounds, literally without trying. My body had finally found the way it needed to be fueled, to maintain its optimum weight.

Since then, I have continued to Crossfit (just started my seventh year) and I eat Paleo for the most part. I have dabbled with Keto and found that I always go back to not wanting the strictness of counting carbs. I just eat veggies, with a bit of fruit. I eat no grain still (found that was my poison) and try to make/eat any treat I have without sugar (I have found sugar substitutes that work).

I prescribe to the Big Ass Salad method and faithfully eat one every day at lunch. We raise chickens, so I eat plenty of fresh eggs and meat too. I believe in organic and whole food. Simple is better for me. No processed foods.

My weight may fluctuate 5 pounds or so now, but I remain lean and fit. I have gained quite a bit of muscle over the years, and I wouldn’t consider myself thin.

But here’s the thing. I am 55 and I feel like I am 20. I have no aches and pains (other than sore muscles). My resting heart rate is 50 and my blood pressure is awesome. I take NO prescription drugs. Could I drop dead tomorrow? Yes, and I truly hope that is the way that I will go. But I won’t finish out my life in the same shape I was in 10 years ago. It has been a long journey and not one that you can describe to younger people, but to the older ones who know, isn’t life great when you feel awesome?

I hope this inspires someone who may just be at that tipping point. When you find your groove, it will transform you and your relationships and how you see everything else in life.

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The post I’m 55 and Feel Like I’m 20 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

I have been doing Obstacle Course races since 2013 and tried to keep myself active in training, but my diet was never really in alignment. I was the poster child to demonstrate that physical fitness is not the driving component in body composition in health—diet is. My heaviest was 188 lbs (5’9”), and I was always disappointed to see my race photos showing a fat belly and zero muscle definition.

In the summer of 2018, I ordered 21-Day Total Body Transformation, The Primal Blueprint, and Primal Endurance. I read all of them on my summer vacation and decided to really focus on my diet. I started by dropping bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and other standard “carbs.” I increased my protein, changed up my vegetables and added significant Keto recipes to my diet. I also eliminated alcohol. In terms of meals, I moved to IF, only eating between 12 and 8:30 PM.

AMAZING! Hunger went away! No “blood-sugar” drop, dull mind, “starving”…. There are many days I have to actually remember to eat. It has been the easiest weight loss I have ever experienced. In terms of fitness, I used the Maffetone method all fall and winter in my training, then kicked in to a twice weekly training group for trail running with a mid-July Ultra Marathon (North Vancouver’s North Shore Knee Knackering Trail Run) as my goal. The only time I didn’t use IF was when I had early morning training runs of over 2 hours. I ran the race with the goal of coming in “around” 7.5 hours. I came around the corner to the finish with the clock just ticking over 7 hours and 1 minute—talk about a re-alignment of goals! I laughed at myself as I was suddenly frustrated that I didn’t break 7 hours. The mind is a funny thing.

I absolutely love the Primal lifestyle and diet. It is EASY and the results are beyond anything I could have imagined. I am currently at 155 lbs with single digit body fat. My wife was so impressed with the results that she started as well and not only discovered a wheat allergy was the source of much of her inflammation, she also started dropping dress sizes in the most effortless way possible. She had previously lost weight, hit a plateau and watched it raise back up again. This time, it has not stopped. Her skin cleared-up, and she dropped multiple medications. Absolutely amazing.

Our biggest complaint with the program is that we have both had to completely redo our wardrobes as none of our clothes fit!

Brian Erb

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The post The Easiest Weight Loss I Have Experienced appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

The Primal Blueprint revealed a potential I didn’t know I had. I was never an athlete. Fitness has always been a struggle. But underneath that was a potential I didn’t know I had. At 39-years-old I now look, move and feel better than I did at 19. And I’ve begun engaging in adventures that my younger self couldn’t dream of. Here’s how it happened.

The process started in 2012. I was taking acid reflux medication and needed to lose weight. Already at 32 I felt old. I started doing calisthenics at home and took a long hard look at my diet. I tried everything. I even dabbled with a mostly plant-based diet. The sheer volume of nutrition, fitness and training advice caused me to jump around. Eventually I started drawing towards aspects of Paleo. In particular I starting eliminating highly processed carbs and fats. It was a struggle, but I started getting results.

2016 was the pivotal year. In February, a friend at work approached. “I just heard a guy named Mark Sisson on Joe Rogan. It was really interesting. You’d like it.” After listening to the interview, I immediately read Primal Endurance, and then Mark’s other books. I dove into Mark’s Daily Apple.

The timing was perfect. My wife was due with our first child. That meant a family would be coming soon. And it had me freaking out. Playing like a kid with my kids in my forties would be a challenge, but it had to happen. I wouldn’t be the broken down old man with young kids. I was motivated to make big changes.

I focused on eating plants and animals, and the diet just clicked. I reorganized my training to make it more Primal. I focused on moving frequently at a slow pace. And I started sprinting. I also started noticing how lifestyle factors affected my health and recovery.

It’s hard to give an accurate picture of the process. It wasn’t uninterrupted success. There were many setbacks. There were lessons I had to learn and re-learn. But in the end, I earned a six-pack for the first time in my adult life. With my increased recovery and my focus on sensible, sustainable training, I made serious progress. I built muscle, leaned out and starting moving better than ever.

As I got more comfortable with the diet and lifestyle I began adding new skills. I started skipping breakfast and spent the winter in Keto. I even bought a pair of Vibrams.

Primal also got me to rethink my potential. Looking at our ancestral heritage, I thought, why couldn’t I have a body built for high adventure? Isn’t it our genetic birthright? The idea fascinated me. I had always loved travel and adventure, and when I was younger, I had engaged in both.

In 2017, I decided to go all in. I became a Primal Health Coach. The education gave the Primal Blueprint’s organizing principles new depth. Plus the education, including the business modules, inspired me to keep pushing my limits.
In 2015 I had read about MovNat, in the book Natural Born Heroes. At the time, I thought younger, fitter people might enjoy the training, but I never entertained the thought of trying it myself. Primal changed that. In 2018 I started training MovNat, and at 38-years-old I became a MovNat Master Trainer. I could not have dreamed of participating in such intense, difficult training before I discovered Primal.

Things that seemed physically impossible in my twenties will be very doable in my forties. I anticipate playing like a kid with my grandkids. And I’ve started a coaching business to help others achieve similar results. Because of Primal I’ve started a new chapter of life that I couldn’t have imagined when I first listened to Mark. Thanks.

—Chris Redig

You can connect with Chris at Adventure Driven Fitness or Instagram.

Also, check out his past guest post on MDA here.

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The post The Primal Blueprint Revealed a Potential I Didn’t Know I Had appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

I honestly didn’t see this coming…. I’ve been blessed with good genetic health and energy my whole life, avoiding significant health challenges. Sure, I’ve suffered from an occasional pulled muscle or turned ankle, and over the course of a couple of years I nursed a right shoulder rotator cuff back to full capacity.

When I turned 46 years old, I started noticing discomfort in my right IT band. I had gotten back into some longer distance cardio training, and I assumed it would work itself out. It never became uncomfortable, just persistent at mile 4 or 5 of a trail run. Like many, I ignorantly blamed my age for slow declines in my health. On New Year’s Eve 2016, I joined up with two of my cousins to for a somewhat steep 6-mile hike up Frary Peak on Antelope Island, Utah.

Our conversation turned to age, energy and body weight. My cousins, Kevan and Brent, were both hovering below 170 pounds whereas I had somehow climbed from 171 pounds up to 184 pounds over the course of a few years. Given that we were all roughly the same age with similar familial traits and genetic factors, I took particular interest in our diverging body compositions. A couple of months later I had a routine physical with my family physician who attributed my mid-section weight gain to “natural aging factors.” I pretty much accepted this diagnosis.

That said, when your doctor says, “That’s just because you’re getting old” don’t believe it.

My 180-degree lifestyle change began a month later in April 2017, when I decided to support my wife in her Whole30® nutrition program as suggested by her sister and a couple of others.

Those who know anything about the program will sympathize with my discomfort in abandoning my go-to foods such as dairy, grains, legumes and sugars. But over the course of 9 or 10 days I noticed unexpected improvements in my energy level throughout the day and lack of bloating and burping after meals.

Suddenly I realized I could take control of my health, and that the natural aging process was merely incidental to my current and future state of well-being. Then, I stumbled upon a Bulletproof Radio episode where Dave Asprey interviewed Mark Sisson of The Primal Blueprint. From there I was introduced to the Primal Endurance book, along with a logical and intuitive set of immutable primal lifestyle laws.

From the book’s training recommendations, I went into a recovery phase before starting back up with a smarter Primal Cardio schedule. During this time, I had been eating mostly Whole30, and I began adopting more regular movement into my daily lifestyle along with myofascial release. Within a month I no longer noticed any symptoms of IT band discomfort or hip tension, and I remain free of these symptoms and any related discomfort to this day.

But even more importantly, my whole philosophy around aggressive cardio had changed, giving me a powerful perspective on balancing my cardio goals with long-term longevity. This enlightenment into my own health potential got me thinking about my immediate family members, each of whom has their own unique health challenges.

My wife and my mom have both battled varying degrees of depression and anxiety. My children have confronted daily challenges with social anxiety, asthma, poor core muscle tone, coordination, dyslexia, brain fog, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and more. I’ve always been in general good health and I’m grateful for that. But as I pursued adapted new ancestral health and lifestyle habits as laid out by the Primal Blueprint and other sources, I discovered strength and wellness that I didn’t even know I was missing.

My improved energy and increased knowledge are helping me to help my wife, my children, my parents, relatives, and many others.

As a trail runner, family man, and now a Certified Primal Health Coach, I specialize in helping endurance enthusiasts discover habit-forming course corrections for reduced injury and illness through diet, lifestyle and healthy training practices.

I also work with adults who want to boost their overall energy, parents looking to transform their family’s health and companies interested in offering health-promoting programs within their business culture.

I founded Primal Utah to connect people and professionals through ancestral health community programs, events and coaching services.

A good coach helps you find your best path, discover the goals that are best for you and then, helps you stick to those goals. I love every opportunity to empower lasting course corrections in individuals, each with his or her own unique health story.

Ancestral health empowers people to live well in all aspects of their lives through sound nutrition, sleep, movement and stress reduction. I believe that healthy decisions aren’t made just once, but rather require constant evaluation and adjustment. I help people to tune into the signals that their bodies tell them, so that they can thrive from perpetual improvements.

Jason Steed (Primal Utah)

Jason’s listing in the Primal Health Coach Institute Directory

Connect with Jason on Facebook, Instagram and his website, PrimalUtah.com.

Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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The post I Realized I Could Take Control Of My Health appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everybody!

One of my greatest passions since early adulthood has been health and fitness. Yet, I can honestly say that my health has had its fair share of ups and downs over the last 35 years.

My generation played outside…we didn’t have computers back then. I participated in sports, I was very active, and I was lean and strong. My work was also very physical, so I stayed fit until my early 30s. A progressive shoulder injury ultimately led me to a sales career. I then discovered a hidden talent: the ability to pack on weight…60 pounds in less than 3 months. This also led to foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back issues.

In 2002, I became a personal trainer. In 2003, I also started coaching. In the beginning of my career, I took my clients through brutal workouts, but over time I switched to workouts designed to alleviate pain and correct muscular and skeletal imbalances.

In 2009, I discovered The Primal Blueprint. This was the greatest health and fitness concept I’d ever come across, and it took my health and fitness to an entirely new level.

At the time the Paleo/Primal diet flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Ten years later, it’s practically mainstream…because it made perfect sense and because it flat out works! Over the next 5 years, my strength and energy levels increased as the body fat decreased. Life was good.

And then suddenly, it wasn’t.

From June 2014 – May 2015, I was crushed by some major life challenges. As a result, I suffered from depression and emotional eating and drinking. I had officially hit rock bottom! By May 2015, I had lost most of my strength gains and a lot of muscle mass, but I had ballooned up to 220 pounds. At this point I had enough. I needed a change. I needed to start over.

In July 2015, I moved to Portland, Oregon, which proved to be one of the best things I had ever done. I started working out again, and I became extremely active. I was back on track!

I found myself adhering more and more to the Primal Blueprint Laws once again. After going Primal again, by November 2016, I had lost 90 pounds of body fat, and I added back some muscle. For the first time in my life I had 6-pack abs…at the age of 53! And I’ve kept it off!

In the fall of 2017, I discovered Primal Health Coach Certification program. I was officially certified in early 2018. Since I already had a fitness background, this was an absolute no-brainer for me! The Primal lifestyle changed my life, and I decided to make it my mission to help others as well. I’ve overcome many obstacles: physical issues, chronic pain, rapid weight gain, depression, emotional eating, food addiction and alcoholism.

Since receiving my certification…

What I have learned through the Primal Health Coaching program has allowed me to serve all types of clients, with different needs, at a higher level than I ever dreamed possible. Since graduating, I’ve been building my health coaching business, creating my website, posting on social media and reaching out to friends, family and past clients for referrals. But the best thing I’ve done is to network with a local chiropractor. One of my areas of expertise is pain reduction, so this was a great fit for both of us.

Rick Stype, PHC

The post Overcoming Life’s Obstacles With Primal Living appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here. Enjoy, everybody!

This week’s return to success stories features a contemporary of mine. (Yup, those of us in our 60s want to show what’s possible.) I hope you enjoy this follow-up story from reader Bob Connor. You’ll find his original success story reprinted below along with an inspiring update on where he is (and what he’s up to) now. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Dear Mark,

I am an Athletic Director at an international school in Santiago, Chile; having arrived here this past July, from another school in Bangkok, Thailand. I am 57 years old (like you!), and I have been endeavoring to follow a Primal lifestyle for just over two years now. I had previously tried being a vegetarian, and then added some fish, but I did not feel much different or better. So, I started eating Primally and after the first few weeks (a tough adjustment with deleting all the grains and starchy carbs I had been eating), I began to notice some changes. I no longer would get any bloated/gassy discomfort, and I always felt “lean.” Additionally, my energy level increased and I honestly now feel like I have more energy these days than I did 5-10 years ago!

I have recently started the Primal Fitness routines and exercise suggestions, and the overall flexibility of the program has helped greatly—it is easy to adapt and modify depending on your schedule, and your overall motivation levels. Plus, I feel that I have gained a great deal of “functional fitness,” which is crucial. I also continue to use my TRX suspension trainer, and usually try to work out in my Vibram FiveFingers, along with doing various other bodyweight/core training workouts. Overall, I am feeling great as I enter my 7th decade on this planet!

My real story though, is more about helping others, which you have made your “mission,” Mark. When I started living Primally and feeling/looking better, people started noticing, and would ask me questions. I then began to spread the many benefits of this awesome lifestyle. In the past two years, I have purchased around 15 copies of THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT, and given the book as a gift to friends whom I felt were truly interested, and would “give it a try.” I have also bought some Grok On t-shirts for some good friends who have “gone primal,” and I continue to regularly purchase some of your supplements, and recently some new Primal Fuel and the Primal Leap Kit. Reading your website daily and feeling the great effects of being Primal has really made me want to share as much info as possible with friends and colleagues. When I receive positive feedback from people, it is a great feeling—one which you experience every day, Mark!

For me—this is one of my favorites from a good friend still teaching in Thailand, as he had just returned from a summer trip to the U.S.—

Just wanted to say thanks again for changing my life. Had a great summer. Bought the FiveFinger KSOs, and working out is even more fun than before! Big difference.

Being in the states was challenging for me in terms of eating Primal. Stayed with my mom and dad, and they eat like typical Americans. Been back in Bangkok for a month now and have regained all the strength, explosiveness, and stamina that I lost in the US. Amazing how one month of eating junk can change the body’s performance.

I now feel and look great again. I have lots of energy and feel totally rejuvenated in life. I owe you so much.

Take care,
Andrew

I have several other affirmations from friends and even some high school students also, but I have gone on long enough already. I often get funny looks and comments when people see my FiveFingers shoes on my feet, and many others wonder why I refuse to eat the typical “conventional-Western” diet. I try to explain the many reasons, all based on research and evidence (thank you again!), but most just shrug me off and think I am nuts—including some of my own family members. Yet, this only encourages me, as I am definitely committed to staying on this Primal journey, and I will continue to spread your message to whomever I think will listen. I am convinced that this is the ONLY way to go, and I now think that my next job will be in the health-fitness profession. I agree with my friend Andrew—I owe you so much, Mark!

Thanks for listening, and as always – GROK ON!

UPDATE:

I started my personal primal journey back in 2009 with my first success story featured on Mark’s Daily Apple in 2010.

Five years later, I became one of the original “Legacy” Primal Blueprint Certified Experts completing the first iteration of the Primal Health Coach Institute course—recently passing the recertification exam and studying all of the extensive information in the amazing Business Resource Center. It feels great to stay up-to-date on the latest Primal Health Coach education!

After a long career as an educator in numerous international schools, I retired from my last full-time position at the International School Bangkok in Thailand in June 2018. Following my retirement from education, I started my new small business venture as a Primal Health Coach here in Bangkok with a good number of clients ready to sign up for my services. I have been a coach for most of my 35+ years in education, almost entirely with student-athletes on various sports teams, so moving into Primal Health Coaching has been a smooth transition.

For the previous few years, I had been teaching free large group fitness classes for the teachers and staff at the school. Attendance was always quite good, with anywhere from 15-30+ people showing up each week for my Fitness Fun sessions. I am now paid by the school to lead two classes a week (people still attend free of charge), now known Primal Power Fitness Fun sessions.

Additionally, a number of teachers, parents, staff and downtown Bangkok residents have become Primal Power clients. I work with 25-30 people on a weekly basis as their health coach and/or fitness trainer.

This new venture has been incredibly gratifying with wonderful client results. It feels so great to be pursuing my true passion in life—passing on my knowledge and expertise of all things PRIMAL!!

Besides coaching and teaching, I have been partnering with a paleo-friendly grocery company in Bangkok, offering seminars, workshops and presentations on various health and wellness topics to a variety of audiences in the city. My presentations always include a number of concepts from the Primal Blueprint lifestyle, which inevitably bring up both typical questions and surprising comments from conventional wisdom viewpoints.

For all of this, I am incredibly grateful to Mark Sisson himself (I believe we are both the same age), and to the entire Primal Health Coach Institute community: program administrators, graduates and current students. I continue to learn so much on a daily basis from the facebook posts, webinars and PHCI blog posts. And of course, from the Mark’s Daily Apple posts where it all started!

At 66 years young, I can honestly say that I have more consistent energy on a daily basis, and I believe that I am physically stronger than I was 20 years ago! Following a primal lifestyle has been incredibly effective, and I genuinely believe that others will benefit similarly if they adopt the basic primal rules of living awesomely!

Read more about Bob’s journey and his passion for Primal living. Have YOU had success with Primal living and/or keto eating? Share your success story by emailing me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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The post Retired, Reborn and Pursuing My Passion appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Beginning next week we’ll be taking a short break from Success Stories to make room for another popular reader request: a video cooking series. Yup, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and I will meet you in the kitchen each Monday morning through June to cook up some Primal and Primal-keto favorites (all part of a bigger announcement I’ll be making this week). In the meantime, you can check out the amazing archive of Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories from Mark’s Daily Apple readers. And 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’d love to hear from you. And now for today’s inspirational story…. Enjoy, everyone, and thanks for reading.

My story goes back to being a Jazz Piano Studies major in college. I was getting ready to graduate, and was planning a wedding with my high school sweetheart. At the start of my last semester in college my now wife was hit with a life changing diagnosis: non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This was at the age of 22. Our life was put on hold as we entered the strange world of cancer treatment. As the chemotherapy started, we would ask questions like “should we be eating a certain way?” Often we were laughed at by doctors and my wife was told to simply eat.

The food in the hospital was mostly processed carbohydrate and dessert based. Knowing what we know now about cancer being a mostly metabolic disease, it is horrifying that cancer patients are basically fed pure sugar. We did the best we could with healthy eating as we saw it. Mostly organic processed food and whole grains. Luckily my wife was strong enough to receive some of the toughest chemotherapy regimens in modern medicine and make it out the other end. After 6 months of treatment we were given the ok to go back to our normal lives. The question remained, “how did this happen and what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

In my research I stumbled across Mark’s Daily Apple, and fell into the rabbit hole that is ancestral living. We immediately started to get sugars and processed foods out of our diet. Before this I had tried to be a vegetarian off and on for a couple years, with my wife struggling as well. I had chronic digestive issues, joint pain, and low energy and assumed that was just my baseline. We started to simply eat more meat and vegetables in place of the grain heavy diet we were on. We worked on mindfulness strategies to reduce our stress, and functional training to strengthen our bodies. To say we both felt better would be an understatement.

After 3 years of dialing everything in, my wife and I follow a mostly ketogenic diet with periodic primal carbohydrates thrown in. She is in the best health of her life, even compared to before the chemo. I was so blown away by both of our transformations that I entered the Primal Health Coach Institute and got my certificate a year ago. Since then I have been passionately spreading the word and educating people about how to maintain effortless health, before a crisis happens.

I have been able to gain muscle and not have digestive, dental, and emotional issues for the first time in my life at 25. My wife has had similar benefits. We are now the owners of Steele Back Your Health, a coaching business based in the Cascade Mountains in Chelan, WA. I educate the importance of stress reduction, ancestral nutrition, and sustainable movement to maintain health long term effortlessly. Everyone should know that the human body is capable of supporting you long term, given the simple inputs it has evolved to need over our evolution.

Thanks for everything Mark. Live Awesome!

-Elliot Steele

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.

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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!

I was over being a factory worker. I spent my lunch breaks smoking cigarettes and eating 5 dollar footlongs. Who knew that footlong subs weren’t healthy? I wanted to reclaim my health and find a more exciting career. Being a firefighter seemed cool and different. When I decided to take the upcoming firefighter exam for the city of Columbus, I knew that the physical portion would be difficult. I hadn’t worked out since childhood sports and smoked a pack a day. That’s when I started researching the optimal diet and workout routines. Like everyone in the early stages of their health journey, I tried everything.

Jogging had become my salvation. No matter how long my workday was, or how physically drained I was after clocking out, I would run 3 or 4 miles on the trail. I was trying to out-train my diet. I felt prepared to take on the physical exam after months of cardio training and zero strength training. The test was pretty easy besides dragging a 200 lb dummy around. I did fine, but I didn’t stand out. Onward and upward. I was now “skinny-fat” with no idea how to eat. It didn’t take long to realize that the fad diets and chronic cardio weren’t going to cut it. I wasn’t seeing the results I had hoped for. This was motivation for me to get better—to get stronger and wiser.

Thank you, Google, for introducing me to Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal community. When I discovered the treasure that is the Primal Blueprint, everything got easier. It provided clarity on how to eat and move like I was meant to. Implementing the lifestyle laws that Mark created was easy: lift heavy shit a couple times a week and keep it moving. I ditched the 5Ks in favor of HIIT and hill sprints. My kettlebell and cobweb-covered pull up bar in the basement were the only gym equipment I needed. Once I could do twenty strict pull ups in a row, I began adding weight by hanging a bowling ball in the bag over my shoulders like a backpack. I quickly worked my way up to “mastery level” on the PEMs.

My diet was simplified. I found three or four go-to Primal meals and cycled through them weekly. Steak and cauliflower mash with greens is still a favorite of mine. No more Miller High Life, more Cab Francs. No more cigarettes, more kettlebell swings. Friends and family noticed my transformation and from there I became their ancestral health advocate (AHA). I became deeply passionate about ancestral health and teaching people how to eat. Once you go Primal there is a tendency to want to pay it forward.

Throughout this shift towards a Primal lifestyle, I was still grinding and testing my way into the fire service. I finally landed a job! I was officially a full-time firefighter and paramedic. Things did not get easier from there, however. I had job stability and my money problems went away, but my health suffered—mainly my sleep quality. Like most first responders, I developed shift work sleep disorder and chronic stress. My days off were now dedicated to recovery from sleep deprivation. Grumpy and tired was my new default. I realized early on that this would not be a sustainable career path if I valued my health and longevity.

Around the same time, Mark developed the Primal Health Coach Institute. After many discussions with admissions director Laura Rupsis, I decided to pull the trigger and enroll in the course. Four months later I was certified, smart AF, and ready to coach.

Now my off-duty days are spent researching and coaching first responders (my niche) to better health. I teach firefighters across the nation how to survive the fire service by incorporating ancestral health techniques. My philosophy on health has now been published in Firehouse Magazine and EMS World Magazine. If you can get through to firefighters, you can get through to anyone. Eventually, hangry firefighters will be a thing of the past and the fat-adapted will prevail. So here I am, having steak and eggs with broccoli and having a lasting impact on the fire service.

Ancient philosophy has provided me with a guide to the good life. The Primal Blueprint and ancestral health have provided me with a guide to the healthy life. By combining the two, I provide clients with peace of mind and peace of body. Mark Sisson wants to change the lives of 100 million people. I am hell-bent on creating a healthier fire service. Here’s to a life full of good food and gratitude. Your health, your hands.

Nick Holderbaum

Primal Health Coach profile

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.

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The post I’m Hell-Bent On Creating a Healthier Fire Service appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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!

Most of the people whose amazing and life-altering stories appear on MDA are submitted by people aged 50 or younger. Here is one to inspire not only you “young puppies” but hopefully “geezers” like Mark and me. I am the same age as our fearless leader Mark Sisson, and while my story and my life have gone totally differently than Mark’s [I was never a triathlete or even close], the end result is just as rewarding!

My name is Lloyd and I am 65, and in the best shape of my life – almost. In my late 20’s I smoked 2 packs a day and drank two or three mixed drinks every night – and I sported a 42 inch waist. A neighbor convinced me to start running [he ran marathons and weighed like 140 lbs.]. I started running 2 miles a day around a golf course in the neighborhood and ran a very slow 10 minute pace at first. I really liked the feel of the endorphins kicking in and I took to exercise for the first time in my life. Fast forward a few years and I was running 8 miles every day, rain or shine, in around 55 minutes. I had lost weight, but was still eating poorly, whatever my wife put on the table, and often second helpings.

Then we had a freak snow and ice storm, and running was out of the question – for weeks. I was used to doing something physical late in the afternoon so I bought a beginner set of weights and got hooked on bodybuilding. Even after the streets were passable, I kept lifting and soon joined a gym.

I didn’t realize this because I was a neophyte, but the gym I joined was very hardcore. Incandescent lights, bare floors, hard rock music, all guys, chalk flying, grunting and screaming everywhere, and lots of the members were on steroids. No, I never partook, but I did start lifting very heavy weights, and found I could. By two years later, I was very strong and about as big as a natural guy could be. I loved lifting heavy weights and having big muscles. I received a lot of encouragement from the other members and many gave me diet tips as they could see I was serious. The diet? Low fat, high protein and lots of carbs. Some days I ate almost 5-6,000 calories a day and had a 34 waist. At my peak I weighed about 250, with very low body fat. But I was in my 30s. As we age, a lot of things change.

Year after year, I trained the same way, and ate the same way, but by my mid 50s I could see changes happening – my weight was staying the same, but my waist was getting bigger. So I started doing a lot of cardio, all high-intensity, close to my max heart rate, big puddles of sweat under my exercise bike at the gym, and no weight loss!

I was really discouraged, began doing internet research, and I found MDA when it was pretty new. I bought Mark’s first edition of The Primal Blueprint, and it all made so much sense, I dove in 100%. No cheat days, no 80% 20%, I was all in. I started this new eating style at [you’ll love this] at a Thanksgiving Day buffet, lost 2 pounds the first day and about 25 pounds in a few months. Blood pressure went down, bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up, my doc was amazed, as he was ready to put me on a statin.

I maintained the weight for years until Mark started talking about Keto. Once again, I went all in immediately [I had been eating Primally for so long that I passed Mark’s “test” with flying colors]. I also started using the myfitnesspal app to keep track of my food and nutrient intake. My goal was to lose another 10 pounds and get to 215, but it was so easy, I ended up as low as 204 and I have stayed within a few pounds of that for about 18 months now.

Like Mark, I stay right on the edge of ketosis, some days I might have 60g of carbs, but most of the time, under 40g. I also have found fasting for 24 hours easy to do with my travel schedule and about half of the time, with the exception of coffee and maybe a piece of cheese, I eat nothing until dinner. And I am NOT hungry!

Just one thing more I want to add. From all the years of heavy lifting, I have had back surgery, two total shoulder replacements, and one hip replacement. Yes, I am a poster child for getting rid of old joints that don’t work well anymore.

During each recovery period, I had to stop lifting and curtail cardio, which by the way is now mostly elliptical limited to 75% of my max heart rate. Because of my primal eating style, even sitting around with little to no exercise other than PT] while recovering from surgery, I never gained weight!

So am I a huge fan of Mr. Sisson and this lifestyle? Absolutely! It works, it’s not hard, and it’s for LIFE!

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.

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The post The Primal Blueprint Is For Life! appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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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 visual transformation isn’t all that impressive. In fact, despite having a completely different body composition, I weigh more or less the same that I did six years ago.

My real transformation has occurred on the inside and in the way that I try to embody the Primal Blueprint principles in the way I live my life.

Before Primal Living:

  • Out of shape
  • Abysmal self-esteem
  • Without a clear life path

6 Years Since Discovering Mark’s Daily Apple:

  • Owns a Health & Fitness blog and coaching business
  • Inspires others to find their self-esteem through leading by example
  • Recreational athlete in Powerlifting, Strongman and Highland Games
  • Loving life every day

I first heard of Mark and his message about primal health back in 2013. At the time, my husband and I were living in a modest cabin in the woods of Northern Maine and the extent of my fitness routine was the obligatory jog now and then or some exercise videos that mostly involved bodyweight training. Our cabin had no electricity or running water which meant that we were gathering, cutting and stacking firewood by hand so that we could stay warm during the long winters. Turning manure, bending over in the garden, hauling hay for our goats and clearing woods for future pasture were serious back killing chores and we knew we needed to find a way to get stronger in order to support our active lifestyle. Coupled with this was my husband’s chronic GI distress and autoimmune condition, Reactive Arthritis, which led us down the road of research into how a grain-free, sugar free diet could improve those ailments.

As is often the case, primal nutrition and heavy lifting principles were deeply entwined from the very beginning of our journey towards optimal health. And as we cut out wheat and sugar, we also began learning the functional movements of the squat, deadlift and pull-up. With a manual treadmill we found in the barn, we regularly blasted ourselves with intervals after reading from you the importance of sprinting. Your fitness principles of walk far, run fast, lift heavy came so naturally to us and in the setting of the lush, Maine woods, it felt that much more primal to get in tune with our ancestral physiques.

You might imagine that the stronger and more fit we became, the more we wanted to eat better to support that. Before long, our backs felt bulletproof chopping and stacking piles of firewood. My husband’s arthritis improved. I was seeing the extra weight I had carried my whole life slip away. We had gone to the woods to seek a lifestyle where we could call the shots and pursue our healthiest existence. But in the process, we had the rude awakening that our bodies were the weakest link in the chain of health. Our minds were strong and our homestead was strong, but our bodies were not. And so when we saw the benefits of the Primal Blueprint massively improve our existence, it was like coming out of a bad dream and I woke up one morning thinking “hey, this is really something to live for.”

While I graduated college with a degree in writing, I never really had found my purpose or a career I was passionate about giving my 9 to 5 energy to. I always believed that I had a lot to share with the world, but couldn’t conceive of what avenue to take, but with this new primal lifestyle, I discovered a completely unexpected passion. Always the chubby book nerd my whole life, taking on sports in school out of social pressure and obligation but never out of true interest, here I was, suddenly wanting to pursue fitness and wellness as a career.

We ended up leaving our little homestead for my husband to travel down the long (and still not complete) road of becoming a Dentist. He studied for biochemistry and tests and I studied strength and conditioning in between my long hours at Starbucks. (Side note: I managed to make it 2 years working there without consuming sugar and my coworkers would always marvel at my dedication of turning down a free Frappuccino. I explained to them that eating primal, my energy was consistent throughout the day and better than ever and seeing the positive effects of my nutrition in my day to day life was all the motivation I needed to persist.) The years we spent studying for our individual pursuits, we also spend wrecking ourselves on the barbell and on the field doing sprints and without following any strict program, we simply tried to remember to walk far, run fast, lift heavy. Slowly and surely, our body composition improved and I took on my first personal training clients.

Now living in Salt Lake City, I think of myself more as a Strength Coach than a personal trainer and before walking that road I didn’t even realize there was a difference. I see my colleagues often get wrapped up in ideal programming principles and I try to remember the basics: pick up heavy stuff and put it overhead using good technique, train for explosive speed and go on long hikes outdoors.

I use my personal experience to help guide my athletes on the emotional journey of becoming strong and realizing their physical potential. I have so many people, primarily women, come to me saying they want to lose weight. But as we begin working together, they quickly see that in fact their goal is much more complex that a number on the scale. They learn that it feels good to get strong and learn how to move in ways they never thought possible. I see the look of fear in their eyes at approaching a back squat for the first time and I recognize that look of fear because it’s the same one I felt when I started my journey. I see timid women who hate their bodies do a pull-up for the first time after working hard for a year and then it’s like poof… now they love their bodies because they unlocked this talent for strength they never knew they had. When that happens, the number on the scale matters so much less to them because now they have a performance goal. Now they are pursuing health rather than weight loss.

Although I am not strictly a Primal Blueprint coach, I still hold onto those principles while I teach other people how to lift and what strategies they can use to build balanced nutrition. I encourage them to seek nutrient-dense foods rather than counting macros or calories and to eat when hunger ensues naturally rather than adhering to six small meals a day. I feel confident coaching strategies like Keto and Intermittent Fasting because I have done the research on the health benefits and have the anecdotal evidence to back it up from my own experience. I am always trying to do what your blog did for me, which is to teach them ways they can figure out what health uniquely means to them. I still try to embody the idea that you instilled in me: study how our ancestors thrived to learn how to seek our healthy existence in a world that can often be toxic.

My transformation doesn’t come through in a before and after photo, but I believe I have gained a million times more than if I had lost 100 lbs and cured 10 autoimmune conditions. I discovered my life’s path and spend every day trying to guide others to do the same.

Thank you,
Hill

primalpillarsstrength.com
Instagram @primalpillars

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.

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The post I Saw the Extra Weight I’d Carried My Whole Life Slip Away appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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