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!
Thank you for The Primal Blueprint — a book that has changed the way I eat.
I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm a long time ago. 71 years old as I write this. Have been eating grains and grain products — anything made with flour — my whole life. I liked bread — especially when it was loaded with butter.
It was Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat that encouraged me to pursue other reading with the same subject material. That was when I found The Primal Blueprint. Both books spoke to me. Just made sense. That was early last summer. It was a poor time to start new eating habits when I would be dining with friends and relatives during my summer in Colorado.
Both books said to eliminate grain products from the diet. I believe my diet always was healthy. Never did buy into the low fat craze. The new variation (my paleo version) emphasized salads, vegetables, some legumes and meats (grass feed beef) or chicken (dirty feet free range) or fish (wild). However, the grain products still had a very small place in the diet along with the occasional sweets.
About two months ago, it was time to get serious and eliminate the grain products (breads, pasta, sweet rolls, pretzels) from my diet. After about two weeks, I realized that I was no longer gobbling antacid pills after many meals. Interesting. Costco was going to be in trouble economically. For many years, a large economy size container of antacids had a place in my larder. I ate them like candy after almost every meal.
No indigestion after every meal. Took a while to come to terms with that. Then I also noted that I hadn’t had an attack of GERD (acid reflux). Could these body reactions actually be attributable to grain products? I would have to give up bread. That is okay. I can mainline the butter.
I also recall the times when the indigestion lingered for two to three days regardless of my antacid ingestion. So I headed to the hospital emergency room with what appeared to be a heart problem. Appears I had a “gluten attack”. I am embarrassed to recall those experiences. Seems there might be some new questions the doctors might want to ask the patients after discovering there really is no heart problem. Perhaps it might be a gluten problem.
Time to search the internet. Yes. Gluten can cause acid indigestion and GERD flare ups. And I had been living this way for seventy years. As a child, my parents correctly recognized that I had a food sensitivity to whole wheat products. My gut ached within an hour of eating whole wheat products. So while everyone else ate whole wheat, I ate white bread and white flour products. That didn’t bother me. At least I didn’t think it did. That was the end of the issue and life goes on.
As I thought about gluten and grains in the diet, I recalled the chest pains I had 40 years ago as a result of drinking beer. Another aha moment. Beer is made from grains. Further research on the internet. Turns out there are traces of gluten in beer. Guess I had found the trace. Pain is an incentive. Quit drinking beer at that time and switched to hard liquors.
Essentially, I am a healthy 71 year old. I take no prescription drugs and weigh in at 145-150 pounds and 5-10 in height. My exercise is hiking and walking.
The gluten had another impact on my living which I noted about two months after no grains in the diet. About two years ago I was diagnosed with an inner ear issue that caused me balance and eye focus problems. As I lived with that issue, there were days that were much worse then others. Now that the grains are out of the diet, every day is the same — almost perfect. Focusing and balance are a whole lot better than those bad days when still eating grains. There were days where I would stagger as I walked.
Getting older seems to have made the body change. The recent development in gluten intolerance was one. Last summer, I found I was lactose intolerant. For decades, my dairy product consumption has been yogurt (always plain), butter and some cheese (mostly Feta). No milk for 35 years. However, there was nothing like heavy cream over fresh fruit. The gut ache was another of those signs that told me there was something wrong. Pain is a good incentive. Quit the heavy cream. Instead it is now fresh fruit with yogurt — especially Greek version. Actually prefer it over the heavy cream.
Actually, taking grains and grain products out of my diet was not that hard. Easier than I thought. The cravings are gone. Pain and indigestion appears to be a good incentive. There is good reason not to eat grain products again.
Thanks for your research and daily posts on your blog site. Your book and daily reading of your blog was the incentive to make this dietary change. For that I am extremely thankful. Life is great.
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