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

I Wish I Could Shout It from the Rooftops!

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!

Dear Mark,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I seriously cannot thank you enough for putting the information about the Primal Blueprint on your website, Mark’s Daily Apple. You have changed my life! I am a different person than I was months ago.

My story started shortly after my sixth week post-partum appointment after the birth of my daughter in June 2011. I weighed 165 lbs. My doctor was pleased to see that I lost about 20 lbs of my pregnancy weight. I, on the other hand, was in shock. Now, this was my second baby in the past two years but I had never weighed that much when not pregnant. I discussed it with my husband and he thought that it was a good time for himself to lose some weight as well. However, since I was breastfeeding, I was terrified to start any kind of diet.

In July 2011, my husband started telling me about this “Primal Blueprint Diet.” I really wasn’t that interested and all I could think was “What, No Pasta?! I can’t do that!” Slowly, he worked me down and I decided that I could try anything for 3 weeks. Of course, I would monitor my daughter’s growth progress to ensure that she was getting enough milk. Shortly after deciding that we give it a try, hurricane Irene blew through (early August 2011) and we lost power for several days. We ended up eating everything that we had in the house. It was then that we decided that we would not replace what was not on the diet. We were going to give this a shot.

Now, originally, I was doing this to support my husband, I really didn’t expect that it would change me. Oh, was I wrong! You convinced one of the biggest critics on low carb diets, an Italian who loves her pasta. About a week into the diet, after the low carb flu had passed, I felt absolutely amazing. I had more energy, my thoughts were clear, my emotions were stable, and I was happy. I was even sleeping better! My milk supply never dwindled because of the diet. My digestion was simple, no heartburn, no stomach aches, no indigestion, everything was running like clockwork. I wasn’t craving sweets, fast food, junk food, and even pasta. I didn’t want pasta!

As for some background, as a child, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycemia. I was told that I had to eat every 2 hrs to maintain blood sugar levels. I would force myself to eat when not hungry (often packaged foods) and wake up sick, so sick, every morning. I would be incredibly nauseated and have severe cramps in my legs; every morning was a battle. Then, when my blood sugar would drop because I did not eat, I would get very sick with cold sweats, nausea,  confused thoughts, sharp temper, etc. This problem… is now gone. I haven’t had a single incident while on the diet. My life is completely different.

I think this is what surprised me the most; that it not only had a physical effect on me but also an emotional and cognitive one. When I started noticing these changes, I knew that this was the right lifestyle for me and it became a journey. I will never go back to the way I ate in the “old days.”

For those who need to see the numbers, I am 5’ 4” and in early August 2011 I was approximately 165 lbs and wearing a pant size 12. Today, I weighed myself for the first time in 30 days, I weighed 118 lbs and now wear a size 4. My weight leveled out about 2 months ago. I have been working on maintaining a healthy weight and eating fresh organic food. I cook every meal at home and on the few occasions when my husband and I do go out to eat, we are the biggest food critics! We can now tell when something has been pre-packaged or covered in salt! This year, I have a huge vegetable garden and I look forward to working it daily and eating the food that I grow; nothing more fresh. Chickens may be next on my list!

When I bump into people who I haven’t seen in awhile, they are shocked at the difference. They ask me what I am doing and I direct them to your website. I have convinced several people to try it and when they find out that they love it, they share the word; so it’s spreading.

Thank you for changing my life and changing the life of my husband, my children, my best friend, and other family members, friends… and everyone who they touch. It’s spreading because it works and it’s fabulous! I wish I could shout it from the rooftops!

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. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your very inspiring story. Eager to hear hubby’s story at the appropriate time.

    Lynn wrote on April 6th, 2012
  2. Congratulations on a new healthier, happy you! You look fabulous. :)

    sapphiric wrote on April 6th, 2012
  3. While I absolutely crave the “knowledge” portion of MDA I totally look forward to Fridays to see the folks whose ranks I hope to join at journey’s end. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiration it means a lot to us who have a long way to go and need the motivational help!

    Chance Bunger wrote on April 6th, 2012
  4. You look fabulous! And I love hearing how great you feel. Congrats!!


    Shirley @ gfe wrote on April 6th, 2012
  5. I say definitely add the chickens! We have had 6 chickens for a couple years now and they are a good compliment to gardening. The eggshells go great in the compost, and chicken poop is THE BEST fertilizer. Also, the chickens can eat all your food scraps (if they dont go into the compost), even meat scraps.

    Next we are adding fish to the things we grow ourselves, providing us with meat on a continual basis using a recirculating system for tilapia, yum!

    Good job on the progress your whole family has made!

    Chris wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you!! I REALLY want some chickens!! We eat so many eggs, I think it would be useful for us and exciting for me and the kids. A couple of friends have been talking me into it… my only concern at this point is where to put them. Our property backs a wildlife preserve and we have a family of foxes right by the house. The guy who we buy eggs from at the Farmer’s Market said that Hawks are the biggest predators in the area. He said that fencing the chickens completely in works the best for them. I’ve been doing my research, I might just take the leap!! I’ve heard that chicken poo is the best lol. I wouldn’t mind that at all!

      I can’t imagine growing fish too. I think that is really awesome. :)I’m a Maryland girl so we get our fish and seafood from the bay but it scares me to think how polluted it is these days.:(

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  6. You look GREAT. Thanks for your story and keep up the great work.

    Lauri wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you! :)

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  7. I have been back and forth on doing this, I will start and then I stop. My biggest problem is breakfast. What was your typical week of breakfast and lunch? Dinners are ok. Between my husband and I we make something. Thanks for your time and congratulations!!!

    EC wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • On the weekends, we like the typical eggs and bacon. On the weekdays, I like to pre-cook breakfast the night before since the mornings are so busy. I have created a few of my own recipes. One of our favorites is one that I tweaked form Mark. I took the recipe “Bacon Souffle Frittata” from Mark’s Quick and Easy Recipe book and really spiced it up. We took out the bacon (crazy I know) and added sausage, peppers, onions, and sometimes a potato. I make this with the dinner the night before and it lasts us a couple of days. I also found a great banana muffin recipe that I will make about once a month (no grains, no sweetner, but so yummy). One batch lasts us quite a bit.

      We find that cooking on a larger scale in the evening or once a week really helps us stick to it. On Sunday, I prep food and make some Primal snacks and breakfast for the next day. To be honest, I am still figuring out the ideal schedule for us. I also bought an ice cream maker. We like to try out different types of deserts like sorbets that are completely Primal friendly. I just know for me to be successful, it’s easiest to keep quick snacks and yummy foods on hand.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • I do have to add that I don’t really feel the need to eat breakfast all the time. I eat when I am hungry and not because it’s a certain time of day. Sometimes breakfast is an early lunch for me.

        Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  8. Ooooooo-la-laaaaa!!!! Oh, and how did hubby do?

    David wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • He’s lost a little over 20lbs and dropped a few pant sizes. I think he looks pretty awesome… but he still wants to lose a little more. I should have made him pose for a picture!! :) I didn’t even think about it. lol!! He was talking me into submitting something so I will do the same when he’s ready.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  9. Wow congrats! I just started a week ago and have to say your story has really inspired me. I’m actually 5’4″ and started at 168lbs so this hits close to home. Thank you for sharing and good luck in the future. :)

    Megan wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Good Luck!! You can totally do this!!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  10. I recommend The Primal Blueprint several times a day in my work – I work in the supplement dept at a Whole Foods. I know I’m going against the dogma subscribed to by the company I work for. It causes me problems.

    Amy wrote on April 6th, 2012
  11. You look amazing! I had my first child 25 years ago despite faithfully following cw and hitting the gym. You are a star in this universe!

    TruckerLady wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Lol, I meant I never lost weight. Typing on these phones is a challenge.

      TruckerLady wrote on April 6th, 2012
  12. Congratulations!!!
    And as an added bonus to using kids as weights: as time passes and they grow, you workout more :-)

    WildGrok wrote on April 6th, 2012
  13. I agree completely on the fact that the most surprising effect this diet has is on balancing the emotional and psychological aspects of your life. It’s almost miraculous!

    Pugni T wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Most definitely! It makes complete sense when I think about it now but I had no idea back then!! What we eat, would of course affect all areas of the body including the brain.

      Jessica wrote on April 7th, 2012
  14. Jessica, what a delightful and amazing transformation–I am especially happy that you made a very bad problem go away. The extra weight was NOTHING compared to the reactive hypoglycemia that you solved! What a fantastic story of healing.

    Joy Beer wrote on April 7th, 2012
  15. Thanks for sharing. You look so fabulous. I am so excited for you and also encouraged since I have an almost identical story. Started eating paleo about 2 months ago and have a ways to go. You are doing awesome!

    scarlet wrote on April 7th, 2012
    • Good Luck!! You can do this!

      Jessica wrote on April 7th, 2012
  16. I love Fridays…it helps to hear how others are doing.
    I am so pleased that you feel emotionally better. Having children is stressful…and to be in better control of your emotions and feel much less stress is a huge gift of this lifestyle!
    Like you I have several people who I have turned on to The Primal Blueprint, I also started a blog so that my friends and I can share our recipes with each other.
    You are so lucky to begin your children’s life with a healthy start.
    I feel terrible that I fed my children poptarts and junk for more than a decade before turning it around.
    Congratulations to you and your family, and to the many more people you will inspire :)

    Sarah Martini wrote on April 7th, 2012
    • When you know better, you do better.

      TruckerLady wrote on April 7th, 2012
  17. For chickens, have you condidered a chicken tractor? It’s a small mobile enclosure so they have fresh areas to peck at while still being protected. Inexpensive to build or have built too.

    SharonV wrote on April 7th, 2012
    • No, I have never heard of that… will google it. Any good links? We would prefer to build something rather than buy a plastic something or other. My concern is still the foxes. I’ve heard that digging the fence in the ground is the only way to stop them. I’ve also heard that putting the coop near the house will help. I have a HUGE white german shepherd who would gladly protect the chickens but we keep him inside at night.

      Jessica wrote on April 7th, 2012
      • If you need to stop the foxes from digging you need to dig the wire into the ground on the outside of the fence. Make a trench all the way around from the fence line to about 2 ft. out. Lay the pieces of fence wire in the trench and tie the edge to the bottom of our fence with tie-wire. Cover the trench. When they attempt to dig in they will hit the wire. Use real fencing, not chicken wire. They can dig through that.

        Kathy Cooper wrote on May 18th, 2012
  18. Jessica, great story and great results.

    I just wanted to make a general comment about comments. So many comment sections on the web are full of insults and personal attacks. I like MDA because that doesn’t happen here. I think this is because PB is so good for you that it is hard to argue against it and when people try it brings out the best in them and that shows in their comments. Like everyone else it has made me feel a lot better both physically and mentally. It is more than a diet, it is the way to live. Grok On.

    Craig wrote on April 7th, 2012
  19. Congratulations! This is very inspiring!

    Michele wrote on April 7th, 2012
  20. As a fellow fatty mummy with beach photos I found the best way to convert all my friends, family and coworkers was to keep it quiet for a while, and wait for them to ask you what’s going on. Then offer them snippets of info, such as – Oh I don’t eat any processed food now. Then silence. They sort of say nothing, and then maybe a week later they ask something like – so what IS processed food? I did this quiet preaching as I call it, for about 6 months, kind of keeping it to myself, unless someone really really wanted to know more I didn’t offer more. Finally after I got my story published on MDA, I opened up a facebook group/page of my own with my before and after picture. Within a few days I had about 40 likers and now, several months later I have about a dozen people (some I don’t even know) on “the diet” and a few have lost over 10kg. It’s very rewarding to have a little tribe of my own. My page/group is very basic, as many of my friends wouldn’t cope with MDA yet. But I do point them here. Baby steps! Sorry for hogging the comments, but I find it so exciting to do my part to change the world’s eating issues.

    Jane wrote on April 8th, 2012
  21. We kept ours quiet too… which I think made a larger impact when people saw us for the first time. They wanted all the details. lol. It’s hard because you want them give them the information but not overload them or scare them away. We’ve always had response “if you want to give it a go and need help, let us know.” I’ve been helping a few family members and friends along the way.

    When my story posted on Friday, I received so many emails, text messages, facebook messages… I ended up just starting a facebook group & blog to help answer questions, share recipes, etc. I am also finding that people need like a simplified version. I’ve been working on that. :)

    Thanks for the comments! :)

    Jessica wrote on April 8th, 2012
  22. I had reactive hypoglycemia before PB too! Also have two kids. Thanks for sharing. I’m still on my journey.

    Sarah wrote on April 8th, 2012
  23. Your story is an inspiration. I’m encouraged by your success. You look amazing!!

    Kimmy wrote on April 8th, 2012
  24. Never get tired of these stories. Thanks and congratulations Jessica. You look great.

    Thanks for the story Mark!

    Deuce wrote on April 9th, 2012
  25. Great story and you look wonderful!
    But Hurricane Irene came through South Florida in 2005.

    martha wrote on April 9th, 2012
  26. Oops… my mistake… it was Jeanne….
    ….and you DO look wonderful.

    martha wrote on April 9th, 2012
  27. you look super-foxy and so healthy!

    northerngirl wrote on April 10th, 2012
    • Lol thanks!!

      Jessica wrote on April 10th, 2012
      • Im so confused i have been doing paleo for 3 weeks i dont know what im doing wrong. I want to lose 40 pds in 2 months and i read the web site and love the food but ,do i need to cut out all of my treats made with almond flour and coconut flour. i love the cakes and bread and dark chocolate i mak,e and i eat one or 2 every day. is that what is holding my weight lost back. I need something sweet and i love fruit but thats not helping? Please help

        cathy wrote on June 14th, 2012
  28. Jessica I’m super proud of you. You look amazing and are obviously feeling amazing also.

    Jessica is my cousin and I have been learning about this off and on from her for a while and my husband and I are going Primal as a result of what we have learned and seen.

    Crystal wrote on April 10th, 2012
    • That is wonderful! Go for it! :)

      Jessica wrote on April 10th, 2012
  29. @Jeremy: If you don’t agree with this lifestyle, take your Twinkies and go somewhere else.

    Anonymous wrote on April 10th, 2012
  30. What a great story! Congrats.

    Kate wrote on April 10th, 2012
  31. Jessica: Good job!
    I’m just wondering, for anybody, how does the primal diet compare financially to your old way of eating? I’m unemployed at the moment, and last month had to go to the food bank … you get what they give in that case. I’ll probably just have to ease slowly into this.

    Shawna wrote on April 11th, 2012
  32. For me, it is actually cheaper than how we used to eat but we used to buy things like Lean Cuisines, packaged lunch foods, soda, etc. But, it did take some time to learn some tricks and I also garden.

    My biggest suggestion is to shop locally and to eat in season. Go find the closest Farmer’s Market and check it out. You can find great deals online for bulk almonds, walnuts, etc. I buy in large quantities when on sale and it lasts us a long time. Trust me, while it does take some learning, you can do this diet on a budget.

    Jessica wrote on April 11th, 2012
  33. Wow! Congrats on your transformation. Your story really resonates with me as I am in the middle of a very similar story! I am a few months behind you (my baby was born at the end of August) but hope to have a success story of my own soon enough. The primal lifestyle is the first plan that has allowed me to lose significant amounts of weight while still nursing without losing supply. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

    Courtney wrote on April 11th, 2012
  34. Congratulations, Jessica. You look fabulous!!

    @Jeremy: Are you frustrated and overweight? Because from reading your posts, you sound like a bitter angry fat guy (or girl) who’s clearly unhappy with your life. If you don’t like what you’re reading, why are you wasting your life writing a bunch of comments on a blog with principles you clearly don’t believe in?

    Talk is cheap wrote on April 20th, 2012
  35. Jessica,
    Congratulations! you look absolutely amazing! I was wondering what was your work out routine? Would you mind sharing it with us?

    Casandra wrote on April 22nd, 2012
  36. I think you look amazing girl!!! I can’t lose any weight till after my sister renewal wedding, but right after that I am sooo doing this diet. Way to go!!!

    Kelli DiFeo wrote on April 23rd, 2012
  37. Hi, I was wondering if you noticed any differences in your baby’s behavior as a result of breast feeding on a primal diet?

    Jen wrote on April 24th, 2012
  38. I think Jeremy is a troll….or a bum? No offense.

    Hope wrote on April 25th, 2012

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