Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
1 Apr

A Healthy Body and Mind in 2011: First-Quarter Progress Check

Spring’s in the air, folks. As we round out this year’s first quarter, I’m checking in with you about those New Year’s resolutions. (Did you honestly think I’d forget?) A whole host of you out there took the chance to make your first forays into the Primal Blueprint – whether it be selective toe dipping or canon balling right into the pool. Other long-time Primal types (myself included in the bunch) set out to conquer lingering challenges: committing to more sleep, enjoying more play, stressing less (my personal Achille’s tendon). Where do you find yourself these days on the path you selected?

For you visual folks out there, I’m including a PDF follow-up to January’s original list. Print it out, fill it out, put it where you can’t help but see it fourteen times a day. Make it part of the mesh of every day’s thought process and practice. Use it as a launching pad for an ongoing record of your journey. Keep a Primal Blueprint log – complete with weekly goals and reports – or (better yet) hop on the forum and share your experience along with other PB readers.

What are your plans for the coming quarter? Will spring usher in a new set of adventures like trying your first CSA, taking up a new outdoor workout, or just spending more time relaxing under the sun and stars? Where do you want to be at our next update in June? What will you have tried? What will you have mastered? What will you have added to the enjoyment and health of your everyday life? What is the one thing you could do that would most benefit your overall well-being these next three months?

Finally, think about how MDA can help. Revisit past posts on whatever is most relevant to this stage of your journey. Introduce yourself to the forum. Shoot me your questions and stories. Changing your life isn’t about some magical secret, singular formula, or quick fix. It’s how the small efforts add up. I ran across this old bit of wisdom again the other day. It seems an apt choice for this quarter’s quote:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Pull up a chair, PBers! Share your stories, and enjoy those of others in the community today. Grand accomplishments, stumbling blocks, inspiring (or comical) anecdotes welcome! Have a great weekend, everyone.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Got the new cookbook in the mail today. It sure looks awesome. Can’t wait to try the recipes!

    Ron McCallum wrote on April 1st, 2011
  2. 1 year ago I went primal.
    6 months into eating primal I’ve decided to have a slow palatal expansion done on both of my jaws. Since bone needs to remodel and new bone needs to fill in I will not fasten or force the rest of my body to remodel itself to the point where I’d lack nutrients to do it all at once. The facial bone remodeling takes about 2-3 years.

    Therefor I’m still about 10 lbs above my ideal weight. I refuse to do any fasting atm.

    This years goal is to move more, maybe join a gym…and consume slightly less food in 1 day(I’ve been stuffing my face with primal foods, literally).

    Overall, the last year I’ve lost 20 lbs (from 164 down to 144) at 5’10.5″ tall, female…by doing nothing =P

    Suvetar wrote on April 1st, 2011
  3. Decided this was the year to get healthy. Started watching food intake increasing exercise right after New Years, but slow loss. Then my son started primal. I joined in. Gave up grains, white potatoes, all Dairy, even coffee (at first). The #1 benefit was that the eczema I have had (forever) is gone. No more acid reflux, no more stomach issues, and I am down over 22 pounds. I have about 15 more to go, but trying not to focus on the scale. My son has developed a gym – weight program form me – and at my age(+50) doing bench presses and dead lifts, etc. I feel fantastic. Hope to continue this way and can’t wait for a new bathing suit! Need to find more time to play, for sure. Work too hard but the primal diet fits well in my life. New cookbook is awesome! We also get a lot of recipes on line. Thanks for all the great info on your website!

    Judy in PA wrote on April 1st, 2011
  4. I found this site while researching Paleo on my son’s advise. I’d been ill from celiac and several compounded digestive maladies and needed help. I’d given up gluten in May 2010 but was still so critically ill that I subsisted primarily on cabbage juice (a recipe I found on a stomach cancer blog) and gluten-free rice cereal.

    I read everything I could find on every Paleo site and narrowed it down to MDA for the exceptional information and common sense presentation. As I followed the eating plan I slowly started to heal. In just four short months I feel good, energetic, happy and content.

    But here’s the exciting part for me:
    My husband had his second knee replacement in February. His recovery from this surgery has been amazing. We believe that it’s the diet that kept the swelling down this time. The first time his leg with the replaced knee was swollen to twice the size of the other leg from ankle to hip. The swelling alone caused great pain. It required an additional surgery. This time, no swelling, less pain, quick recovery. It’s amazing.

    Also, thanks to everyone for posting your comments. I’ve learned so much by reading your remarks.

    FYI, every recipe we’ve tried from the latest cookbook is delicious!

    Thank you.

    Cindy wrote on April 1st, 2011
  5. I am incredibly happy with my progress so far. I am no longer a carb zombie and am in control of my eating for the past 2 months. This has never happened. My weight loss is slow but thats okay. Today, I noticed I need a belt to hold up my jeans. Yay! I just moved into a home with a good number of stairs so this will help with my slow and easy movements.

    Marcela wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  6. Thanks for providing the PDF for the Progress of 1st Quarter. I think I must have missed a post on the resolutions, but this is a GREAT tool to have for the refrigerator or bulletin board as a means to keep pushing it and keep the focus alive. In this day and age of so many things begging for our attention, we need all the tools we can get (like this one) to reinforce putting effort where it gets the most benefit – our health.

    Jeff wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  7. I went semi primal in february and am happy with the results even though I keep backsliding. So far I have lost one dress size, gotten rid of my heartburn and just feel better about myself in general. I no longer beat myself up if I do eat junk food. I just do better the next day. I no longer beat myself up if I don’t exercise. In fact I just went nearly 2 weeks with nearly no exercise and I have found that the aches and pains in my left leg due to a 2 year old injury are nearly gone. This has made me realise that there are times when we have minor inflammation in our bodies that we’re not conscious of. Taking two weeks off was enough to give my body time to heal (fish oil helps too!). Now it’s time to start lifting heavy things and going for long walks again, but I will definitely listen to my body in the future. My goals for the next quarter are to fill my freezer with biodynamic meat and lots of slow braised meals, to tell my friends that I will not eat grains or dairy and not to accept pasta when they forget that I have told them a dozen times in the past that I am gluten intolerant. I’m also taking up boxing twice a week.

    Louise wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  8. I started the first of the year cutting out grains, now with PB i have been able to cut out dairy and my biggest weakness Seeds and Nuts, I could easily make a meal out of them. Now at 99% complience I have lost 6 lbs in 3 wks, and my workouts are much more productive. An old dog can learn….

    rking wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  9. I started PB on 6 February. I went cold turkey 90/10. I don’t feel guilty eating the bosses brownies when she brings them in for staff meetings once a month, which is good, because she’s an excellent cook! I dropped from 285 lb to 255 lb in that period. At 6′ 4″ my ideal body weight is around 185. I don’t buy that and am shooting for something around 200. I’ll just get close and watch for what looks and feels best. I’m guessing that may take another year as the muscles begin to build and the fat slowly disappears. As it is, I’m looking and feeling much better, and now I need to start acquiring some new clothing. The bright side of that is, there are more choices available in my new size!

    Richard wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  10. Aristotle’s quote is incongruent. It goes both ways, good and bad. Life is fractal and should be kurtotic. Habitually “doing” isn’t a fair appraisal. Less is more is appropriate here.

    Gabriel Alcocer wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  11. I began my journey on the primal blueprint lifestyle in July of 2010. It made such perfect sense for the vision of the lifestyle I wanted to lead. I began eating real food and found a passion for cooking. I look forward to my weekly sprints and primal workouts. My favorite part has been finding new places and ways to play and workout in our local community. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you take advantage of your cities resources. I am now down more than 50 pounds and at 43 years old, I am the healthiest I’ve ever been.

    For this coming quarter, I am paying it forward in a big way. Since I began using our cities resources, I’ve found ways to play and workout outside on trails and in parks. I’ve noticed that not many people utilize these awesome places. Yesterday I started a blog for our local community showing how you can be active every day without spending any money. I’ll be participating in community events, taking advantage of local parks and trails for moving slowly and workouts, will visit local museums and art studios and will volunteer at local charities. I want to show our community that you can live a healthy active lifestyle and have fun doing it!

    Will also be hosting a 30 day Primal Health Challenge for the community in May. Details still being worked out but will keep you posted…

    Thanks Mark for being such an inspiration!!

    Holly wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  12. Hey Mark, just wanted to give a quick shout out as another guy who’s having some good success from your ideas. I bought your books during the Christmas break after feeling for a while that I needed to clean up my diet; was already in good shape from lifting for years and completing P90x last year but still needed something else. I did by-the-book primal for six weeks after new years – in sum I was feeling great but saw I was losing too much weight including some muscle mass (harder to eat all the calories with 60% fat). So I added “good” carbs back in, carb cycling, and feel l now have my diet under control for either gaining muscle or falling back to strict primal if the love handles reappear. Anyway, it’s more the little habits changed that matter most – ditch the energy drinks protein bars and bread for real food, eating more salads and macadamia nuts, making time for play and going on hikes, watching my sleep and cortisol – I could go on but you get the picture. It’s a great start to the year for me. I check the blog here when I have time and look forward to learning more. I appreciate all your writing and research and share these ideas with others who are interested. Take it easy!


    Paul wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  13. I’m pretty happy with my progress so far this year Mark. I had a simple goal, to break 400 pounds on the deadlift. I started out at 305 lbs and hit a PR 365lb a month ago. Should be hitting 400 very soon!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration.



    Jeremy Priestner wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  14. I discoverd MDA 2 yrs ago & never looked back at my old ovo-lacto vegetarian SAD! I’ve had my ups & downs through it all, stops & starts, etc. This yr I vowed to be more “compliant” & to incorporate more fitness in my daily life. In Feb I completed my 1st ever 1/2 marathon. In March I strove to clean up my diet more & ramp up the fitness. This month I started a whole30 in order to do “final battle” with my sweettooth. My goal also is to get past week 4 level 1 of 100pushups. (finally!) & move onward in fitness. I’m 51 & better than I was at 31.

    peggy wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  15. hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

    i go in and out of paleo. i went full scale in late february, but then i moved (and everyone got stressful) and i wound up eating chips and dip for dinner.

    now i’m back (about 85% Paleo), but i’m having a few struggles. i was a vegetarian for five years (and lived almost entirely on pasta- being a poor college student and a vegetarian is not fun), so i only know how to cook skinless boneless chicken and some cuts of beef. does anyone know of good ways to learn to cook new kinds of protein? that someone who is 23 and doesn’t have much access to non-standard cooking supplies (i.e. i have a stove and some pans and that’s about it) could do?

    ive also started taking yoga, and now i take four fairly intense hour long yoga classes a week. partly because of that, i’ve also taken up napping again :).

    Mark, thanks for everything you’ve done. i still have some doubts sometimes, but a diet made of protein and veggies and fruits just makes sense.

    Jane C. wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  16. Hey Folks

    I work as a waiter and am on my feet anywhere from 5 to 10 hrs straight.Should I consume more carbs ?

    CJ wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  17. This past quarter I ate better, started working out a little more regularly but continued to feel like garbage over the days because that’s how I sleep (10pm-2:30am most nights, then difficulty falling back asleep).

    Kevin wrote on April 4th, 2011
  18. ^^Jane: I was a veg too! look here there are fantastic recipes! get the e-cookbook! get the new cookbook – I just made the lamb meatballs (I also added ground bison) & they are divine! Get your chickens whole & roast in the oven.
    ^^CJ: I’m in F/B too – but I only work the line now (too crabby for the front). Eat what you need! Just no over-grazing 😉

    peggy wrote on April 4th, 2011
  19. Hi everyone,

    started the primal life 10 weeks ago and I am thrilled by the results ! With combined eating and fitness managed to lose about 7 kgs, mostly body fat (went down from 88.6 kg to 81.6 kg, from 101 cm waistline to 93 cm) and I am continuing….now I have started the 100 pushup challenge and I am half way. Never felt better…

    andras wrote on April 5th, 2011
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    Adriene Roskop wrote on October 14th, 2011

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