Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
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!
Growing up with two parents as doctors, I always felt like I had a basic understanding of health and wellness. I was always a lively, active and rambunctious child, but struggled with a myriad of digestive health issues from the early age of 14. My problems seemed to appear during my sophomore year in high school. During the middle of the school year, I transitioned from the Atkins Diet to a full-fledged bout of Mononucleosis (Mono). For four straight weeks, I ate nothing but Jack In The Box milkshakes (Vanilla or Chocolate, sometimes a swirl of both…). When I finally started eating solid food again, my stomach was completely wrecked, and things didn’t work themselves out the way I anticipated. All of the sudden, I had a sluggish digestive system and on the daily was plagued with chronic abdominal discomfort.
When it became apparent that my issues weren’t just a temporary affliction from my illness, my mother and I saw several different gastroenterologists hoping to bring some sort of relief to my seemingly chronic issues. Not one doctor ever mentioned that my abdominal issues could be diet related. NOT ONE. Every physician I saw decided that a supplement of some bark-tasting-sort would be the cure-all-end-all of my issues, and wrote me a prescription and sent me on my way.
After zero success and many dollars down the drain, I started to feel like I was blessed with a body that would cause me pain for the rest of my life. I retained weight, had little energy to get through my day and developed a deep love for a quadruple shot sugar-filled coffee beverage to start my morning.
When I was 21, I came home from college on vacation and visited my grandparents in Eugene, Oregon. My grandmother has Celiac Disease, and for the first time, I was inquisitive as to what that actually meant. I picked my grandfather’s brain, and after talking, I became convinced that gluten was the root of all of my problems. I went back to school after doing hours and hours of research and decided to do a controlled study with my diet. I eliminated all gluten-containing products, and almost instantly, it seemed that all of my digestive problems had gone away. After several years of struggling and many visits to the doctor, I was finally sure that I figured out the root of my problems.
Fast forward another two years. I was 23, graduated from college, traveling the world, teaching yoga and practicing a strict vegetarian diet. I developed adult acne, ovarian cysts, kidney stones and had extreme hormonal imbalance. I was exercising several times a week, and couldn’t sleep enough during the day because of chronic fatigue. I began to think, again, maybe my sickness and lack of well-being has to do with my diet. I started integrating animal protein back into my diet which made me feel 100% better, but all of the sudden, my digestive issues presented themselves again. I was still eating gluten-free, I was doing all of the right things, I thought, and I couldn’t seem to fix the chronic problem. It was infuriating.
To make a short story long, I had the blessed opportunity to stumble upon your website. I had been gluten-free, vegetarian, raw, vegan and anything in between. I finally knew I felt more energized and healthier eating meat, but never considered other grains to have any influence on my gut. I figured if it didn’t have gluten, it was healthy, so I ate my weight in grains, especially corn (psuedo grain), on the daily. I decided to adopt the Primal lifestyle, and it has completely flipped my life upside down.
I am now, for the last year and a half, blessed with radiant health, boundless energy and a stomach free of any digestive issues whatsoever. My weight, for the first time in my life, is stable. I am completely off of hormones from birth control, and my mood stays stable and my skin stays clear. I don’t experience brutal hunger pains, and intermittent fasting is easy. My mother, a physician, has also adopted this ancestral lifestyle, and is transitioning out of standard medicine into the field of anti-aging, utilizing ancestral, primal nutritional counseling with her patients. I, at the age of 24, am about two weeks away from opening my first restaurant in Austin, TX called Picnik, a reclaimed shipping container/mobile food truck which is 100% primal, gluten-free and grain-free.
Not only has this information changed my health and wellness forever, it has also catapulted me onto a brand new path in my life and work. I can’t thank you enough for the teachings you provide, and I look forward to seeing you at Picnik!