Meet Mark

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
Stay Connected
March 14, 2014

I Rediscovered Life Through the Primal Lifestyle

By Guest
65 Comments

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!

When I was very little my sister and I were allergic to literally everything – meat, egg white, honey, nuts, etc. We were also constantly ill and I was really overweight for a child. My mother put us on a diet that we were eating, mainly fruits and vegetables because we were allergic to most other things. We started exercising and practicing the Buteyko breathing method which was the only thing that would calm our coughs. We got better and our allergies disappeared. We grew up and we slowly forgot about this healthier lifestyle that actually saved us.

I come from Bulgaria, a beautiful picturesque country that has one big fault – a complete obsession with being unhealthily skinny. Since the beginning of my teenage-hood I have been badly experimenting with my body through the constant change of my diet. I tried The Balanced Diet, which was not too bad but I had to measure my food to the gram for every meal and this made me paranoid about the sizes of portions. I have also tried The Protein Diet which allows only white meat the first week. After that vegetables such as cucumbers are included but fruits, nuts, fats are strongly forbidden. I even tried The Cabbage Soup Diet which literally made me sick because it was so awful. I also tried not eating anything while I was at school from 7am till the evening. After all that bouncing from diet to diet at the age of 18 I was suddenly less than 50 kg (110 lbs). I am 172cm tall (5′ 7.5″), had zero amount of energy and was constantly ill.

The summer after that I wanted to go back to normal eating but my body was so used to not eating properly that it refused to be fed anything. I spent the whole summer vomiting because my stomach did not accept anything I gave it. Slowly I got better and started eating again. However, one thing stayed with me forever due to all of these diets – constant stomach pain. At the age of 21 the pain got so bad that I had to do some tests and discovered that my gall-bladder was getting irritated by something and was jumping up into my stomach causing the pain. The doctors told me that it is caused by some kind of food that I can’t tolerate. They suggested to stop eating raw tomatoes and cut out the black pepper. This helped a bit but still the pain would come from time to time. I knew I had to change my life and find out what was causing all that stress to my gall-bladder.

I was 22 when I first discovered the real food lifestyle that eliminated all the artificial ingredients and tolerates only wholegrain products when it comes to grain products. I felt a bit better and had more energy than before. However, the pain was still there from time to time and I gained some weight because of all the wholegrain products that I thought were very good for me. I started noticing that my stomach hurt just after I had eaten something with grains in it, but I did not really do anything about it.

During a lunch break at university my sister told me about The Primal Blueprint. She stumbled upon the Mark’s Daily Apple website while she was researching if eating one apple a day was truly healthy or just a myth. She told me what the idea behind all of it is and how this is not a diet but a lifestyle. It was very important that everything on the website is scientifically based and not just the opinion of yet another diet guru. After all the diets I had tried, what did I have to lose? So I gave it a try.

I remember the day when I emptied all my kitchen cupboards and threw away every bit of grain I had. I felt alive! I had energy for everything, I was not falling asleep constantly anymore and the pain was completely gone. I reached 63 kg (138 lbs) and I have stayed like that ever since. This was the first time in my life that my weight was completely stable and not fluctuating all the time. I used to have problems with spots on my back before, but not anymore. I used to be ill and have colds every several weeks, but no more! It is incredible to feel great and who would have guessed that the path to healthy life was bacon! I know the Primal lifestyle works because when I occasionally decide to have something with wheat in it if I am on a holiday, all the problems come back even after one bad meal. I am happy I listened to my sister and now we both experience the advantages of gluten and grain-free eating. I do not miss anything and in fact I don’t even crave or like these products anymore – bread, pastry, cakes, they all taste bad now, unless I have made them myself at home using real, good products.

Rositsa

I have lived in UK for 5 years now and I have realized that many people have similar problems, but they either don’t know what to do about them or are just scared to change their whole life. I have a close friend who had problems with hair loss and constant hunger. After months and months of me telling her to try the Primal way she agreed, and now her hair is perfect. She doesn’t feel hunger and she feels happier and better than ever before. This is why I created a Primal website for the UK – Primal Yum (Facebook). I want to show people that food can be great and even much better when artificial ingredients and grains are omitted. Life can be good and we can be healthy. Why would you willingly choose to be ill?

Rositsa

TAGS:  guest post

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

65 Comments on "I Rediscovered Life Through the Primal Lifestyle"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
N.Lockard
N.Lockard
2 years 6 months ago

glad you feel better – i too feel better when i eat right – but unlike you pizza, ice cream and beer still call strongly

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the comment.

It is very difficult to get rid of the sugar crave. At one point I thought it was impossible. There is no other addiction as sugar and wheat addiction. But there are ways of making pizza and ice-cream primal, and still very delicious. I do not have a solution about the beer except for…drink wine and cider hahaha.

Cheers,

Rositsa

Jenny
Jenny
2 years 6 months ago

those are such addictive substances! i belong to a 12-step program for people with food addictions, and many people choose to abstain from wheat and sugar in order to be freer of the food “calling.”

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 6 months ago

Is there coffee at the meetings? (if there are meetings)

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 6 months ago

I’m drinking a cup of crude oil right now. It’s fantastic.
Also, good success story Rositsa

Jenny
Jenny
2 years 6 months ago

yes, there are meetings, and coffee is not served, although sometimes people bring their own.

Anne
2 years 6 months ago

Congrats on the journey, Rositsa!

My favorite part of this is the little nugget about how your sister found MDA. 🙂

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the comment. Hahaha, yeah I thought this part of the story was great. How weird that this is exactly how we found Mark.

Julie
Julie
2 years 6 months ago

I also smiled when I saw the part about how your sister discovered Mark’s Daily Apple! Your story is surely inspirational!

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 6 months ago

Congrats Rositsa. Great story.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you 🙂

John
John
2 years 6 months ago

Hi Rositsa,

Impressive. I do have one question. Some folks say that they CAN tolerate wheat and other grains if properly fermented. I wonder if REAL sourdough properly prepared gives the same reaction? I should say that some commercial ‘sourdough’ products merely mix vinegar with their yeast wheat bread mix. So knowing the baker is important.

I am most curious if there are good ways to prepare otherwise organic and Roundup free grains and beans and milk ?

Impressive results indeed :). Thanks for sharing your story with us.

John

Shawn
Shawn
2 years 6 months ago

That would be sooooooo awesome!! I loved sourdough bread before I stopped eating it.
Please say it’s okay, and I’ll toast that bad boy up and slather it with butter.

I’m drooling now. But if it isn’t good to eat, I’ll stay away 🙁

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

By the way you can make very nice bread that tastes quite similar to the real thing but has more of a cake texture. Experiment with almond flour, cassava flour, arrowroot powder and yeast. Yum yum yum

oxide
oxide
2 years 6 months ago

Shawn, it may also be worth it to try eating sourdough bread made from emmer and einkorn, which are ancient wheat flours. The gluten in those wheats are genetically different from modern flour, and it may not irritate you like the modern stuff does. (look up Jovial flour)

Al
Al
2 years 6 months ago

Sorry to burst your bubble but ANY bread made within the United States is BAD because they put TRICLOSAN in the flour product.

Triclosan is now believed to be the cause of the rise of super bugs (hospitals use it to clean surfaces, it’s in some American toothpastes and in most detergents including hand sanitizers).

Don’t eat grain products period just for that reason alone. Even organic has it because there is a loophole in the labeling law, preventing it to be on a label if the ‘contamination’ was PRIOR to the Chef, who bakes the bread, receiving the dough/ground up grains.

True.

Jessica
Jessica
2 years 6 months ago

That would be amazing! I have wondered the same when looking at different items on the Cultures for Health site.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago
Hey John, Thank you for the comment. I definitely suffer less when I eat home-made bread with proper yeast and good-quality wheat, then if I buy bread from the store. I think it is very important where the wheat comes from and how it was grown. There are many hidden ingredients in these products. No one needs to write on the packaging how the grains were grown and what they were treated with. So basically, if you can find someone who grows wheat for themselves without treating it with pesticides and any chemicals, then this would be the best supply… Read more »
Shawn
Shawn
2 years 6 months ago

I’m glad to read that you are doing so well.
I know what you mean about how you feel when you get into some food with grains in it. I feel the same way with processed food…terrible.
Keep going, and keep sharing. It looks like you’ve helped others see the benefits of eating whole foods, less the whole grains.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thanks for your comment. Processed food is awful and people need to learn to listen to their bodies. It is hard to do that though and this is why we need to give support to anyone who realizes the truth behind processed food and ingredients on the back of the products.

Antje
Antje
2 years 6 months ago

Wheat or other grains are NEVER good.
I would say: read the book “wheat belly” by Dr. Davis and “grain brain” by Dr. Pearlmutter

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey,

I will definitely look into them, thank you 🙂

Dr. Anthony Gustin
2 years 6 months ago

Love the focus on breathing!

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey,

Thanks for your comment.
These breathing exercises really helped me and they still do when I get ill. 🙂

Harry Mossman
Harry Mossman
2 years 6 months ago

Your website is delightful. (Speaking as a professional web designer.)

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Awww thank you so much! I am actually an illustrator and animator as well. http://rositsaneame.wix.com/neame3d

Christine
Christine
2 years 6 months ago

Yes I was going to say the same thing. I love the illustrations! You are very talented.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you very much 🙂 It is a very difficult industry.

Primal and Proud
Primal and Proud
2 years 6 months ago

Congratulations! It feels so good to solve the riddle doesn’t it????

Long life and vitality to you!

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you, to you, too 🙂

Luke
2 years 6 months ago

Congrats on your success and story. Thanks for sharing, always love being inspired on Fridays!

John
John
2 years 6 months ago
Hi Rositsa, Thanks for your answer. I have been grinding organic wheat from the dist. system for a local Austrian baker who knows about real sourdough. I find it pretty good, but wonder if I should encourage others who are into the gluten free thing to try it? There is beginning to be a little locally grown wheat by farmers that I know also. A day or two ago I gave my baker friend some fresh ginger and turmeric so we will see what does with these :). I am in NH USA. warm regards, John
Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey, thanks for your comment. This is great! I’d love to try freshly ground wheat. I am curious if it will irritate my stomach or not.

Judy
Judy
2 years 6 months ago

Hi John,

I am just over the border in Mass and willing to try sourdough from a local baker. Where is their shop?

My gmail account is loveshikingthewhites. You can send the information there if you do not want to post it here.

Thank you,
Judy

Jenny
Jenny
2 years 6 months ago

what a great story, rositsa!

my 5-year-old son is mildly allergic to wheat, but LOVES eating it, will lie to hide the fact that he’s trying to get it and get more. now i’m getting perspective that i may have to let him eat it sometimes as a child, but that maybe someday he will discover the benefits of healthy eating for himself.

Kelly
2 years 6 months ago
If you don’t want your 5-year-old to eat something, don’t give it to him. At all. End of story. People whose kids have a more severe allergy don’t let their kids eat the offending item, no matter how much they want it. You have total control while your kid is in your home. And if you don’ feel you have control of your kid and what he eats in your home, you need to start putting your foot down. YOU are the parent. I have 3 kids, 7, 5, and 2. One has gluten intolerance. We don’t allow gluten in… Read more »
Jenny
Jenny
2 years 6 months ago
hi, thanks for your comment! my kids are 7, 5, and 2, also. same has you, at home, no problem–we have a primal home. outside of home, it’s hard, because my 5 year old feels like i’m depriving/punishing him. he’s barely allergic to gluten, so he’s eaten it outside of home, and only had mild effects. so, how do you handle gluten for your kids outside of home, when they are at school or with other classes/adults? i’m wondering how all this will work when my son’s in elementary school, eating with other kids and their random snacks, and at… Read more »
Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey,

I don’t have kids yet but I absolutely agree with 0% tolerance towards processed treats. However, this can be incredible difficult if they go to a birthday party for example. They may think you are punishing them, but they will appreciate it one day. When I was little my mum did not tell me that I can have sugar in my tea and coffee and thus now I really dislike sugar in my hot beverages.

Meghann
Meghann
2 years 6 months ago
Hey Jenny, I have never responded on MDA before, but just wanted to say that the easiest way I’ve found to deal with being out/at a party is to just bring a treat for them yourself. That way they don’t feel deprived or punished and can still celebrate with something small and sweet that won’t cause side effects. I have 3 small kids (almost 5, 3 and 1) so I don’t always have time to bake at home, but I’ve learned which treats are not just gluten free but made with clean ingredients (butter instead of hydrogenated oils) or sometimes… Read more »
Kelly
2 years 5 months ago
Sorry it took me so long to reply- been crazy busy! Anyway, most people answered already about how they handle various situations, and I will just say that, for us, 1 treat is 1 treat, and I try not to obsess too much over the size unless it is huge. I’ve found that the trick so many people use for themselves works for kids, too. Have them eat before you get to wherever you are going and try to get them to eat a healthy snack at the party, if it is offered, before the treat. Then they aren’t hungry… Read more »
Em
Em
2 years 6 months ago

Seeing this comment upsets me. At 7 years old my sister would steal wine from the fridge, once she was caught it was removed from the house until she was old enough to comprehend the effects. Why in the world would we keep dangerous items in reach if we can help it? My nephew had developmental issues at 2 and once my sister figured out that wheat was the culprit she has it locked up. He hasn’t had any wheat in 7 months and is shocking the doctors.

Protecting our children starts in the home.

Jenny
Jenny
2 years 6 months ago

wow, that’s great that they discovered the culprit in both those cases, figuring out how to protect the kids! your nephew’s recovery and improved health sounds awesome! my family situation is different from those.

Debbie
2 years 6 months ago

Thanks so much for your story, Rosita. Yours is the every-girl’s story – someone who is not (yet) profoundly ill but had never been well, whose health was beholden to a skinny weight, who had no clue what to eat. I see this every day all around me, and it’s so frustrating because people don’t want to hear about another way. It’s wonderful that you found Paleo and good health and are spreading the word in the UK (love it there).

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you so much for the support 🙂 There is a lot of pressure put on both men and women about appearance and somehow we always think that the skinny option is the best, but in fact it’s really not.

Peter Whiting
2 years 6 months ago
Thanks for sharing your story. It’s amazing how many people have similar stories, I met a guy just last week who lost about 50 pounds and reversed a whole load of health issues (that were putting him in hospital) just by cutting out wheat. I’m interested in your story because you went the other way and put on weight to be healthy. In my case, I went to a raw food (mostly) diet to lose a lot of weight and get healthier. I learnt a lot from Mark’s Daily Apple. It seems to me that there are a range of… Read more »
Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you for the comment. The raw diet is very interesting and I admire people that decide to do it. I bet it completely changed your life. .

Joe
Joe
2 years 6 months ago

Nice story Rositsa. It was so wonderful to read your story!

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you 🙂

Bharat
2 years 6 months ago

Hey Rositsa,

Really interesting story and inspire to live healthy lifestyle.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Thank you 🙂

Georgia
Georgia
2 years 6 months ago

???????????? 🙂
? ?? ??????, ?? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ?????

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

????, ??? ????? 🙂 ????????? ???

Jane
Jane
2 years 6 months ago

???, ??? ? ????? ??????? 🙂 ? ?????? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???????? ?????, ? ???????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? 🙂 ?????, ????, ?? ????? ??????????? ?? ??? ??.

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

????????? ????? ?? ?????????? 🙂

skeedaddy
skeedaddy
2 years 6 months ago

Great story … So happy for you and your sister!
Also, thanks Mark, for keeping the ‘Friday Success Story’ part of the blog

Al
Al
2 years 6 months ago

Awesome!
I love Fridays 🙂

meg
2 years 6 months ago

How wonderful to be able to get rid of your allergies (once again! :p) and to help a friend in the process! Thanks for being part of yet another inspiring Friday! These stories really prove to me that the way we choose to eat is great for us! 😀

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey,

Thanks for the positive reply. The way we chose to it is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and others, I think. We should never give up what we believe in.

Rositsa

Margit
Margit
2 years 6 months ago

Hey Rositsa, congratulations to your lifestyle change! I just visited your website, I like it a lot, looks different from all the other websites out there! I wish you success and happiness!

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

Hey,

Thank you very much for visiting the website and I am very happy you like it 🙂 You can subscribe for free for weekly newsletter with recipes. 🙂

Naomi
Naomi
2 years 6 months ago

For me, this was the most amazing sentence in Rositsa’s piece: “The doctors told me that it is caused by some kind of food that I can’t tolerate.” That is so unlikely to happen in the United States! And yet, after a year-plus of being Primal — including reading everything about this I can get my hands on — I now know how likely it is that any disease process involves some food sensitivity(ies). When will our medical system free itself from its current pharmaceutical paradigm?

Rositsa
2 years 6 months ago

The UK one is pretty useless as well. However, the Bulgarian one, I find, is quite good. So if I ever need something I always go back there. In UK the doctors are very much against natural medicines, not to mention homeopathy. All they give is antibiotics…

Anna
Anna
2 years 6 months ago

hi Rositsa, love your hahaha’s and your yum yum yums!!! thanks for making my day 😛

Anna
Anna
2 years 6 months ago

hahaha lol… and well done with the lifestyle changes.. and I too love your site!!! 🙂 much love from Australia..

Todd
2 years 4 months ago

Good work Rositsa & congratulations to your lifestyle change!

wpDiscuz