It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. Today’s post is from my good friend Bob Montgomery. He is the Chef & Owner of the Not So Fast! Food Truck in San Diego, California and new Primal Blogger – NotSoFastFood.com. Bob has catered numerous PrimalCon events in Oxnard and Lake Tahoe and plans to return this year! Bob presented at the Real Food Con hosted by Underground Wellness in Fall of 2013 and attracted 70,000 visitors online over the course of three days. Bob also just got back from Austin, TX, where his cooking demonstration at Paleo FX extolled the ”Benefits of Cooking with Animal Organs,” particularly Beef Heart.
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!
In, 2006, I was a “normal” 22 year old kid working at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ. I hung out with friends and family, partied, and ate and drank whatever I wanted. I honestly thought I was happy. My 268 lb reflection in the mirror didn’t agree.
Depressed and lethargic, I realized I finally had enough. I reached out to my cousin for advice. He suggested the Low Carb/Atkins Diet approach to losing weight. I adopted the diet rather quickly and within three months of dieting and relatively no exercise I dropped 30 lbs. I looked better, breathed easier and I dropped clothes sizes dramatically. Despite my new appearance something remained absent. I looked better but wasn’t healthier. My underlying health issues still plagued my days. I suffered from extreme bloating, acid reflux, dermatitis, and hematochezia (a condition that causes lower gastrointestinal bleeding). I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, because, I thought I was eating “healthy” foods. Over the next few years, I bounced back and forth between low-carb dieting and traditional eating.
In 2010 I sought medical attention for a severe internal issue. Although I was following a moderate low carb diet and in the gym nearly every day, I felt horrible. After multiple doctors evaluated me multiple times, consensus suggested I undergo major surgery to relieve me of the indescribable pains I had almost every day. I became terrified by the thought of major surgery. Logic determined that since medication, seemed to help the problem, surgery may cure it. Right?
Shortly after moving to San Diego in 2011, my symptoms mounted and many days found me immobile on my couch. Enough was enough! I started online research and read articles on Leaky Gut, Krohn’s Disease, Autoimmune Diseases and more. After clicking link after link, I stumbled here…Mark’s Daily Apple! I started reading every article from the beginning of time. I learned how soaking and fermenting Soy & Legumes releases phytic acid, saponins, and lectins. I found out about Vibram Five Fingers and they’ve changed my hikes, heavy lifting, and the way I walk every day. I found my very FIRST Primal Recipe, “Better Than Take Out Beef & Broccoli.” I felt more informed and excited every day as I read more and more posts. I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to experience everything I was reading and feel the amazing changes everyone already described after making the big leap! Finally, I read The Primal Blueprint and it changed my life.
Health, Fitness, and Happiness were all in within my grasp and Mark made it seem so simple. Man, was he right! I started cooking at home with delicious, local and organic produce, sustainable and pastured meats & eggs, wild caught seafood and healthy fats and oils. More of my day happened outside as I tried lifting heavier things while soaking up some Vitamin D. Tossing and turning at night disappeared completely, and when I woke up, I felt rested and eager to start my day. All within just three weeks, all of these amazing changes were happening in my life, but that wasn’t it!! All of the issues that had been plaguing me off and on for years were going away! My dermatitis cleared up almost IMMEDIATELY. I wasn’t bloated after every meal. Heartburn and chronic burping were gone! Best of all, the hematochezia, source of my medical fears and looming need for surgery, subsided. My pain was gone, and the inflammation decreased significantly! Everything that The Primal Blueprint made me believe I could change was actually happening! I was convinced if the Primal lifestyle could have such a major impact on my life in such a short amount of time that it could do the same for anyone.
Three months after adopting the new lifestyle, I was absolutely miserable managing a corporate steakhouse chain. I was doing a job that I hated. I had to wear slacks, a button up, polished shoes every day, and maintain strict arbitrary grooming standards. I moved to San Diego to be near the beach, live the good life, and to grow my hair long and not care. It just wasn’t me. What was I supposed to do? I needed a job to pay my bills and the insurance benefits were a HUGE reason I was there. After talking with my former business partner, we both knew that we wanted to do something more. Neither of our jobs filled a need. The Primal Blueprint had changed our lives and we wanted to help do the same for others. We were ready to turn our Primal Passion into a Primal Business.
Our newfound passion for cooking real food had us thinking that we could open a Paleo restaurant. The Paleo & Primal community was growing and although a lot of us cook at home, we all know that cooking every meal, every day gets old. Wouldn’t it be nice to go out and grab some food without having to make a million modifications? We talked with friends, our families, bankers and we realized a brick and mortar restaurant required capital we didn’t have. I knew that a couple of my friends from the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas were running a successful food truck there. After a few conversations, we were certain this whole Paleo Food Truck thing was attainable. It had a far lower overhead and startup than a stand-alone restaurant. It was also MOBILE! We could bring REAL FOOD to people who normally wouldn’t have access to it. Food Trucks were all the rage in New York, Los Angeles & Austin, but the concept had yet to EXPLODE in San Diego!
Originally, we planned on opening the truck in March of 2013. It gave us a year to save money, research food truck startups, and to design a brand and menu. But, time became no obstacle. The drive and passion that I had for this idea far surpassed any idea I had ever believed in before. Nothing mattered to me other than Not So Fast! That was the first thing we came up with by the way, our Name, our Brand, our Everything. It was simple, clean, and made sense…along with a little play on words ☺ I woke up and my first thought was Not So Fast! I went to sleep and new menu ideas appeared in my closed eyes. I was completely infatuated with Not So Fast!. I was on the cusp of starting one of the first Paleo & Primal Food Trucks in the World. Soon enough, I would be able to travel all over this beautiful state, serving my food to people who cared about what they ate, and where it came from. I had one goal in mind when I started this whole Not So Fast! thing – to heal the world one meal at a time. That sounds crazy, but is it? What if I could influence one person to change their lifestyle, that is ONE life that is potentially saved. Real Food heals and everyone deserves to know that.
Every minute of every day became dedicated to working on Not So Fast! I woke up and jumped on the computer. I set up our social media outlets, a website, sent emails and made connections. I read articles on food truck regulations, social media branding, trademarking logos, filing an LLC and devoured business advice. I called the Department of Environmental Health every day for two months. After countless hours in the kitchen, hundreds of cold calls and emails, and the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life, we had our GRAND OPENING on July 24th, 2012! We hit the streets working seven days and 10-14 shifts a week. On the rides in between shifts, I’d be in my email on my iPhone finalizing private events and responding to food truck inquiries. My former business partner would be placing phone orders and picking up produce from local farms. While the work never really stops, it also never stops being incredible because it’s yours. It’s a truly special feeling.
Running your own business is a daily grind, even if you are lucky enough to have a day or two off, you are ALWAYS on the clock. Downtime is a word of the past. Everything ceases to exist but your business. You’re always on the phone, updating social media, sending emails, reading, writing, cooking, cleaning, thinking of new ideas and thinking of how to grow. It is inevitable. It is the single greatest, and worst phenomenon about being a business owner. You have to give your entire life to your dream if it’s really everything you’ve ever wanted. There were points at my last job that I would be complaining during my fifth or sixth hour of a 10 hour shift. I work 18 hour shifts and although I’m exhausted, I have a smile on my face and I still get giddy with the accomplishments that are made on every shift. When you love what you’re doing and spreading the Good Food Word, it doesn’t get much better.
The last two years have flown by and it seems like just yesterday I was questioning this crazy concept we came up with. I left my job with benefits to start a food truck. A job I had never done before. I didn’t know if we’d be able to book enough gigs to keep us afloat. I didn’t know how to light the grill or fill the water tank. I didn’t know it would be so expensive to get going. Food trucks aren’t as costly as restaurants, but still require a lot of startup funds. It was crazy, but every idea is! It takes even crazier, more passionate people to put those ideas into action!
If you’ve already dedicated yourself to a Paleo or Primal Blueprint lifestyle, then I’m almost positive that you have the will power, self-confidence, and drive to do anything you put your mind and body to. Following your Primal Passion is a lot easier than you would imagine. Start by dropping everything. I’m serious. The key to taking Primal to the next level is to drop everything and, in the clichéd words of a sneaker, JUST DO IT! Thoughts and words produce no movement. If you think you have time, you don’t. Sitting back and not getting the wheels rolling is just giving someone else the opportunity to replicate the idea and taking it public before you. Do you love to cook? Start a blog. Write a cookbook. Start a food truck (Not in California. ☺ ) Are you crazy about fitness? Become a personal trainer or yoga instructor. Start a CrossFit Box. Create nature outings/natural movement retreats in your area. If you think you’re stuck, you’re not. You may have a full time job that eats up 60 hours of your week, but that means you still have 108 hours to dedicate to your PASSION.
Start putting ideas down on paper. If you come up with a great thought, don’t doubt it immediately before giving yourself the chance to really think it through. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! Two years later and I’m still utilizing notes and recipe ideas that were in my very first notebook.
After you have brainstormed and written your ideas down, it’s time to research your concept, your competitors, and your target market. Do whatever it takes to get your product, service, website, etc. up and running as soon as possible. If you are planning on getting into a business where there are already established brands in different states, reach out to them for advice. I must have talked to 10-15 different food trucks before we started. The information and suggestions they gave me were priceless and invaluable. Some people may not want to help, but the majority will.
In the beginning of this story, I told everyone I was a whopping 268 lbs. I was unhappy, unhealthy, and unfit. I sit here today at a respectable 180 lbs. All of my previous issues have completely vanished. I am strong, fit, and determined to be in peak physical condition. I run the absolutely awesome Not So Fast! Food Truck in San Diego, CA, the first Paleo & Primal friendly food truck in California. Not to mention, we won “Best Food Truck 2013” from the San Diego A List! I just launched my new Blog, to share my Paleo & Primal Recipes, Kitchen Hacks, Book, & Product Reviews, and Life in general. I am in the process of writing and self publishing my own E-Book.
I wasn’t truly happy until I connected every aspect of my life to my passion. Although starting your own business requires a lot of work and there are many obstacles to overcome, a sincere goal to make a difference, and genuine passion will provide enough drive and commitment to overcome anything. I am truly living my Primal Passion.