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

Life is Great

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.

Thanks again.

Just Wandrin…

Blog: Wandrin Lloyd

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. I’m sorry but you’re kidding when you say you’re 71, right? Gotta admit I have a bit of a crush now! You look fantastic and sound like you’re more active than I’ve been (at 27!)

    I’m thrilled to see that even in one’s later years, this lifestyle is totally possible and that the benefits never diminish.

    Meg wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • +1

      Joy Beer wrote on March 23rd, 2012
      • 50’s I’d say… :-)

        Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo wrote on March 23rd, 2012
        • That’s what I was thinking, he looks 50-something.

          buffdv wrote on March 23rd, 2012
        • I believe it is good genetics more than anything. That means he’s good breeding stock ladies.

          Scott wrote on March 29th, 2012
    • But that’s what every 71 year old guy should look like.

      Harry Mossman wrote on March 23rd, 2012
      • Word.

        buffdv wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Seriously!!

      Ariana wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • My reaction exactly.

      Cathy wrote on March 24th, 2012
    • I thought the same thing. He’s really attractive.

      Trish wrote on March 26th, 2012
    • I could not concur more with Lloyd, I’m 60 and healthy but having found Marks website I’ve found what I was looking for without realising it was what I was looking for all my life.

      This is THE way to live – I [we] feel so much better]

      Thank you Mark – you have made a permanent positive massive contribution to our lives and we follow you blogs with great interest and learn from them.

      Best Regards
      Two Thankfull Brits – Old and Happy!!

      peter wrote on April 25th, 2012
  2. One of my favorite aspects of the primal blueprint is the peace of mind it provides me that getting older does not have to mean deteriorating physique and health. The mindset of the primal blueprint makes it so much easier to live in the moment…even more so because you get to revel in the fact that there is still so much time to live life in this state. (for those of any age)

    Dan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • This is soo true and one of the reasons I was so inspired when I visited this site. I’m only 27 now but the thought of a long slow descent scared me. At least I now know that with good health I can keep enjoying life for many years.

      David wrote on March 23rd, 2012
      • Yes! I love that thought too!

        Crunchy Pickle wrote on March 23rd, 2012
        • Me too, and I’m 52.

          Jose wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • I am going to die with a healthier, fitter body than I have ever had!

      Mostly there already!

      Grock On!

      peter wrote on April 25th, 2012
  3. Hey Loyd,

    Originally being from the Midwest myself (and 6 1/2 years in Milwaukee), I completely get the food problems that go with it–used to love a fish-fry w/a big gluten-packed beer & 1/2 loaf of bread slathered in butter followed by some frozen custard for dessert :)
    It was tough for me making the change as well, and I’m glad you’re doing well with it, too. You look to be in amazing health, and I wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Dr. Mike Tremba wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  4. “I can mainline the butter.”

    I love that! Throughout my childhood, my parents caught me sneaking a spoonful of butter. Even during 25 years of being a vegetarian, nothing could compete with a spoonful of butter fresh from the fridge. I’m all for enjoying it without any bread in sight.

    Also, you look fabulous! I’d never guess your age and hope to be so healthy and fit when I reach my 70s.

    Decaf Debi wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • I wondered if I was the only person who pinched spoonfuls of butter out of the fridge… I still do it now, of course, but these days I think it’s fine… unless someone non primal sees me – then I feel I have some explaining to do!

      Jane wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Ditto on the mainlining butter… once at a seafood restaurant somebody ‘dared’ me to do a melted butter ‘shot’–my husband guffawed and said, “Are you kidding? You’d have to hold her back!”

      Holly M. wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • That was the phrase that tugged at my heartstrings. Raised on a dairy farm, I too had to give up the heavy cream but eat cultured butter by the spoon. I figure it’s healthier than DH’s 3 scoops of ‘ice cream’ nightly. And it helps keep me away from fresh cheese curds. They are my weakness and 15 minutes after ingestion, I’m running for the restroom tied up in knots. You are an inspiration Lloyd!

      Sandra wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  5. Great story, Lloyd! I’m glad to hear that you’ve been listening to your body and have made the changes necessary to become healthier!!

    Ed wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  6. I experience chest pains from drinking beer (although only certain ones, and not every time I consume them) as well. You’re the first person I’ve heard from that has experienced the same thing. I can still eat bread without a problem, so I’m not sure if it’s the gluten for me. Interesting. Glad to hear of your success!

    Ryan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Beer makes me sick now, also. After giving up gluten for 2 months, I had a few beers one night and got severe stomach cramps. Fortunately I can still drink tequila!!

      priller wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  7. What an inspiring story!!
    Are you single?!!

    Kathleen wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • My thoughts the minute I saw your picture Lloyd. And, you’re a hiker, like me? Any chance? Michigan here.

      perennialpam wrote on March 26th, 2012
  8. LLoyd, you’re expanding my primal vocabulary. I love the term “dirty feet free range.” Great story… and great blog (beautiful pics!)!

    Primal Texas wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • I loved that phrase too. What a great description! :-)

      Happycyclegirl wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  9. You look so healthy and youthful! My dad is 78 and nearly on his way out with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and countless other illnesses. If you have children, they are so lucky to have a healthy, open minded dad.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • I agree – He’s my Dad.

      Vanita wrote on March 29th, 2012
  10. I love stories from “old” folks. In my mind 71 is not old but it definitely is for the majority of the world because we are so sick.

    Glad to here your health has improved dramatically after having gone primal.

    Mark – the link to Lloyd’s blog is invalid.

    Primal Toad wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • the correct url is

      Elsa wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  11. Thanks for sharing Lloyd, give us an update at 101 as well! :-)

    PaleoJames wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • lovely story.
      i find success stories of evergreen folks most inspiring.

      pam wrote on April 13th, 2012
  12. I’ve noticed the same things–these issues I’d accepted as “part of life now” that just disappeared when I dropped wheat! I was dropping wheat to lower my daughter’s blood sugar levels, not so much mine. And then got all better from things I didn’t believe I could solve, so I just lived with them. And then, they slipped away within 2 weeks of quitting wheat. Years of these little torments (never free from acne my entire adult life, for one) just… gone.

    Joy Beer wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  13. Lloyd, you look fantastic and seem to have a great view on life.

    I get pain too, and agree it is a great incentive and I loved the line – “I can mainline the butter.” I’m gonna steal that, if I may. :-)

    Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  14. Lloyd, you’ve got 10 years on me and still look better than I do. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to.

    I had some gluten the other day (noodles in chicken noodle soup) and Bang! reflux. Had to pop a pill. From an ounce or so of noodles …

    ZeeGeezer wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  15. Thanks, Lloyd, for sharing your journey. My husband and I are gaining health success as we follow the primal blueprint. Who knew you could feel so good at our age?
    Thanks, Mark, for including older citizens success stories and comments in your blog. It’s so inspiring to know you can change the direction of your health at any age.

    Lynn wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  16. Very inspiring, and isn’t it great to solve problems that you just think are part of life!

    Out of curiosity, were your ear and balance issues diagnosed as or associated with Muniere’s disease/condition?


    Rand Hagenstein wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  17. Good news, gluten free beer is available, has anyone tried it?

    Digger wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Yes, I’ve had Bard’s before which is made from sorghum, I believe and pretty tasty!

      Sterling wrote on April 6th, 2012
  18. You look fantastic, no way would I believe you were 71 if I met you. I’m sending this to my sil whose daughter has had chronic stomach pains since she was a baby, she’s 14 now and taking daily stomach meds.

    spincycle wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • My 8 year old son complained constantly of stomach pain and his underwear feeling too tight in the waist in spite of being too big. Once I quit feeding him the wheat the pain disappeared. (it comes right back though if he eats it.)

      She should really give it a try.

      Chris wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  19. Thanks for the post Llyod. For a long time, my mother has had the same symptoms as you. I’ve only just started eating Primal but I’ve sent her your story and I hope that she will join me.
    Good luck and thanks for sharing your story.

    Gabby wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  20. It’s great to see a success story from another “old geezer” who isn’t one. (I’m 69.)

    Harry Mossman wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  21. The “mainline butter” line had me rolling!! Thank you for sharing your story!

    Kari wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  22. You are an inspiration sir. You look great! I hope to be like you in fifty years!

    Erick wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  23. WOW! I hope that I am as hot as you are at 71!!!

    DEBRAKADABRA wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  24. WOW!! You look amazing! Happy and healthy and living great.

    buffdv wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  25. You certainly don’t look 71! Congrats on adopting a healthier lifestyle.

    That looks a bit like Mt. Evans in Colorado in the background-are you from CO?

    Matt Meeks wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  26. Hey! it’s Richard Dean Anderson gone primal!!

    Dan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  27. Interesting point about your inner ear and vision issues getting better. Ive been spending a lot of time thinking about diet and vision lately. Ive noticed that my vision has gotten a lot sharper since going paleo. Even with my contacts, there were many days when things were just a little too blurry at certain distances. Now everything is sharp all the time. Im considering trying rehab measures to improve my vision, chasing a new dream of being corrective-lens free.

    cTo wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Re: vision. I noticed recently that my vision is sharper and my night vision is vastly improved. I used to have to drive with polarized lenses at night. Who would have thought?!

      Chris wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • After going paleo and ditching sugar my vision improved to the point I needed new prescription :) now I barely ever use my glasses

      Salina wrote on August 15th, 2014
  28. Awesome story! I shared it on my wall on Facebook.

    Wishing you many, many great years to come!

    Lori wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  29. I hope I look that good at 71! appears to be an issue with the link to his blog…check it out here

    Ham-Bone wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  30. I agree with so many of the previous commenters – you look fantastic for 71! You put my SAD eating Dad of 73 to shame. Three cheers for finding what foods caused you problems and ditching them for good. Many blessings to you and your wanderings.

    Jessica wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  31. While I’m not a full time follower of this blog, I eat pretty close to a paleo diet as of late (save for some minor exceptions). I’ve been mostly grain-free for 7 weeks now, and I’ve lost 20 pounds.

    My motivation to limit my consumption of grains was to see if it would help with my psoriatic arthritis. I’ve noticed slight improvement, and the pain in my right knee is mostly gone, but I still have a little bit of pain in my thumbs.

    But one dramatic improvement is my cardiovascular capacity. I used to dread exercising, but now I feel invigorated. I can do far more pushups and situps and I don’t feel exhausted after doing a few of them. I can jog at far brisker pace. The weights feel much lighter in my hands.

    I think that for the vast majority of the population, just going grain-free alone (without following some complicated lists of good and bad foods) would pay off huge dividends.

    hitfan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  32. Holy smoke….what a good lookin’ older guy you are!

    Pain is an amazing incentive and what a positive journey you’ve been on.

    Many more healthy, happy years to you.

    Laura Norie wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • +1 You look amazing and healthy! Keep it up!

      Shamia wrote on March 24th, 2012
    • Good looking guy period!

      Anna wrote on March 24th, 2012
  33. Thanks for a inspiring story!
    I needed an extra shot of motivation.

    Karsten wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  34. Hey, Lloyd – thanks for sharing your story. I agree with the others who have commented on how healthy and youthful you look and sound. Can also relate to the love of butter, as well as the problems with food sensitivities that you describe.

    Have had a similar set of health issues and have also found relief on the primal diet. Plus, my inhalant allergies are also improving in ways that were unimaginable. Here it is an early spring in Michigan – with a steadily climbing pollen count – and I have actually been able to discontinue all my (perennial and seasonal) allergy medicine recently. WOW.

    What I have also discovered is that once the new normal is established, freedom from GERD and so on, that I have been able to detect other food sensitivities that were masked before by the grain reactions. I may well be more inclined toward these issues than you are, so I hope that you don’t uncover more health issues as you process with primal.

    But, if you do encounter future digestion issues, please remember that there are a number of foods, drinks, and other substances like supplements that can produce a GERD flareup. Just about the time I thought that I was forever free of GERD, I had another flare up – and NO – I had not had any grains or other slip ups on the primal diet. Just discovered other triggers that had been increased in my diet recently.

    Btw, I tried to visit your blog and got an error page instead.

    rarebird wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  35. Hi, Lloyd,

    I’ve been following your RV blog for years….now a full-timing primal/grain free Rver, also. Great, isn’t it? I became aware of this WOE last fall, and feel so much better.

    Grok on!


    Susan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Great – post modern primal nomads! Now, I’m going to be a Wandrin’ Lloyd follower, too! Perfect.

      rarebird wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  36. Found it –

    HillsideGina wrote on March 23rd, 2012
    • Thanks!

      rarebird wrote on March 23rd, 2012
      • Uh-oh! Safari just gave me a security alert for this blog spot. Authentication issues. I’m going to wait until I can use the link here at MDA – hopefully whatever the issue is will be fixed.

        rarebird wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  37. Your an inspiration! Thats how I want to look when I am 70+…

    Ed wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  38. Lloyd great story, thank you very much. I have a 77 year old father that grew up eating whole milk, self churned butter, heavy cream, bacon and eggs, steak etc. he still eats that way and at 77 looks in his late 50-early 60’s. it has always made my mother and the rest of our family frustrated as we have always tried to follow the SAD diet and all have struggled with our weight….it is now becoming clear why at 77 he looks like he does, can still climb up trees to hand swings or get on the roof to replace shingles or chop wood for a an hour or so each day. Thanks for the story Lloyd and thanks mark for the primal blueprint.

    Dan wrote on March 23rd, 2012
  39. To state the obvious…you sure don’t look 71!

    Kamal Patel wrote on March 23rd, 2012

Leave a Reply

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

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!