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

Rebel Musician Goes Primal After Years of Hard Living

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,

Here follows a detailed timeline of how I came across MDA and your book The Primal Blueprint along with more details about my health history:

I was born in Houston, Texas and adopted by a family of Czech origin. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia as a kid. I don’t so much buy into that diagnosis. I think I was just bored and constrained within the typical public school system. However, unbeknownst to me at the time, the breads, kolaches, pastries and potatoes that were so prevalent in my mother’s native food were spiking my blood pressure to the moon.

I was always involved in gymnastics, competitive swimming, baseball and basketball as a child, so I was never really overweight. Since I was adopted, my mother, who is very wise, took the time to cook differently for me and I ate a lot of seafood and vegetables growing up.

When I got to college I started eating out a lot and since I was physically active and involved in Jeet Kun Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu I was always in relatively good shape. However, a few pounds a year adds up after twenty years, and at the age of forty I found myself creeping up on the scale to 240 pounds. I am 6’2” so I was able to hide it fairly well with a big frame, but I felt sluggish. I was living a musician lifestyle and waking up every day at 11 AM.

I have a good friend who is authentic and real. I went to see him in Vegas, and the minute I walked in his door he told me I didn’t look good with three chins and I would never attract a decent woman fat. He has a way with words and I decided to take control of my life and my fitness. My friend and his wife had lost forty pounds a piece utilizing the Atkins diet. I understand enough about psychology to realize that I could simply model their behavior and achieve similar results.

I did and I lost a lot of weight and I felt a lot better. However, I found the shakes and the bars that had the fake sugar in them to taste very repulsive. I believe how you do anything is how you do everything. I have dedicated my life to music and consider it a fine art. I try to make all my relationships a masterpiece and consider friendship a fine art. I was happy with the results of the Atkins approach, but found many of the meals and supplementation boring, and far from fine art when it comes to cuisine.

I have a lot of friends who are foodies and gourmet chefs and I knew there had to be a better way. One night I Googled “no carb recipes” and MDA popped up in my search. I was hooked from the front page and once I started taking a look at the recipes my mouth began to water. Real food in its natural state, no strange ingredients, nothing in a box or can – I was hooked.

I was using Evernote at the time and I copied recipe after recipe from your site. I fell in love with eggs all over again. I had such misinformation about eggs. You mentioned on your site how every grandmother who lived to a ripe old age had that can of bacon fat on top of her stove that she cooked everything in. Mark, that was my grandmother Sophie Slansky. I loved all her food as a kid and she grew up on farm.

Your site elegantly and with fortitude debunked every foolish myth there was about food. Fat, including animal fat, is essential to our well-being, and you have the moxie and the courage to step out on the edge and challenge all of these myths.

The number one thing I learned from MDA and that I encourage everyone who wants to get lean and mean with a great low body-fat percentage is to understand this: 90% of all body composition begins with what you put in your mouth. You could join all the gyms in the world, buy every ab machine, personal trainer and run thirty miles a day and never have the body composition of someone who adheres to the aforementioned principle.

Since I started the Primal approach I have woken up every day for the last two years at 5:30 in the morning. I crave my fennel and dill omelet I learned from you. I crave poached eggs, I look forward to breakfast. I honestly in the deepest depths of my soul can not imagine how anyone could convince me that they honestly crave a bowl of oatmeal or Captain Crunch.

The differences I have seen are incredible. All my friends tell me I look fifteen years younger. It’s completely revived my music career as a performer. There aren’t that many fat rock stars. I can see my abs for the first time since I was fourteen years young. I can’t believe how much I enjoy what I eat. A typical day for me might be a vegetable omelet for breakfast, grilled chicken wings with scrumptious crispy skin for lunch along with a side of celery and real blue cheese, then at dinner a prime dry aged rib-eye with cauliflower mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, a glass or three of Cabernet, and a piece of 85% cocoa chocolate.

I feel completely satiated and content after every meal.

Here is a video I made featuring me preparing my Primal Sushi Rolls, which are really not sushi at all. They are made with beef and asparagus. They are always a huge hit at parties!

Your post about drinking ten to twelve big glasses of water a day being ridiculous was spot on as well. I was drinking way too much water before I found your site.

This is the greatest thing that drew a rebel musician like myself to your site. Just about everything on MDA is counterintuitive. I found that to be where the truth lies these days you have to seek it out. That food pyramid they stuffed down our throats all those years is a complete joke.

I also want to note that Adelulf – my beloved, non neutered, all black male German Shepherd – eats Primal as well. Every morning I walk out into the yard and give him two fresh eggs in the shell. I set them down in the yard and it’s like Easter. Even as a puppy he knew what to do. He carefully picks up the egg, puts it in his mouth, takes it where he wants, pokes a hole in the shell with his canines and slurps up every last drop of both eggs. He eats raw chicken with the bones, turkey necks, liver, kidneys, and raw beef. His teeth are completely white, and his coat incredibly shiny. If I had a dollar for every so called animal lover, dog expert and veterinarian who told me my dog is going to die from salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs and choke on the raw bones I would be retired on a beach in Hawaii right now drinking margaritas. Here’s a picture of me and my dog where I landed at about twelve to thirteen percent body fat.

Thanks Mark. Pardon the long email, but I have a lot of deep appreciation for what you are doing.

All the best and Grok on, Mark.


Check out Erik’s website and his music video of an original song titled “Words of a Song“.

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. Eric,
    Your story inspired me! I had the chicken wings for lunch and I’m ready to roll. 60 pounds more to go. It’s success stories like this one that make me believe I will get there.

    Mike wrote on May 20th, 2012
  2. Hi Eric,

    I was just wondering whether you exercised much or at all after going primal since your post makes no mention of it. The lazy person in me is hoping that primal eating works even without exercise.

    Dean wrote on May 20th, 2012
    • Here is what I did:

      On Mondays I fasted and took the day off.

      Tuesday- 30 pullups, 30 Dips, 30 hindu pushups. That’s it man Mark wrote about it in one of his post. Keep it simple, doesn’t even take 15 minutes, full body workout

      Wed- Walk 1 hr.

      Thurs- Tabata and 3 sets of hindu squats

      Fri-Walk 1 hr.

      Sat- Yoga or sometimes just overhead press.

      Sun- Nothing

      I love it, everyone thinks I joined a gym. I haven’t, in fact I find most trainer’s at them are not even in shape and can’t do a handstand.

      Hope that helps Dean, I like the MDA way of enjoying life and not tearing our bodies up with medieval work out torture. I had some friends doing that P90X. That doesn’t seem sustainable or healthy to me.

      Eric Keyes wrote on May 21st, 2012

    teena christopherson wrote on May 20th, 2012
    • Thanks Teena, you will love them :-)

      Eric Keyes wrote on May 21st, 2012
  4. Knowing the Czech cuisine pretty well, I can appreciate the challenges of your childhood :-). At least your mum could not buy knedliky in every supermarket, she probably had to make her own.

    Anyway, kudos to you. I really love your appreciation of real food for man and his best friend.

    Jan Rendek wrote on May 20th, 2012
    • Jaksemate’ Jan,

      My favorites growing up were jitrnice and Smažené kuře (fried chicken)

      and that cucumber dish with pepper and vinegar and real cream :-) Man that one was good. I will have to ask my Mom what they called it. Send me your e-mail and I will send you a recording of me singing these haunting Czech Hymn
      “Boze Cos Racil”
      All the best,

      Grok On,


      Eric Keyes wrote on May 21st, 2012
  5. LOVED your story Eric. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Jessica wrote on May 22nd, 2012
  6. I want to tell you to go to Dr. Gary North’s website and read his semi-debunking of primal eating. He says ( and it’s true) if you eat in the same way as a hunter-gatherer, you will never develope as a society.


    you can not plan for your next meal, so your society is retarded. Just look at the Amazonian tribesmen–and women–who are still huntying with bow and arrows!!

    The things we have going for us are: the cultivation of grains (and potatoes…which fueled the Industrial Revolution) and fire for cooking and smoking of meats: along with salt prservation.

    Dr. North makes several good points: Meat eating is a capitzlist venture, not primal. We get fat due to overstuffing ourselves.

    For the first time in history the masses have been able to pig out. Look at the Reubenesque women. They were considered healthy and very desirable since they6 were richenough to get fat.

    Then again, in your favor, there is way too much sugar in soda, varous prepped foods, etc.; you know the score.

    I have a garden (very extensive) and generally buy produce and meats in the store. All that sstuff is reduced or on saly. However, I will buy spices or condiments as I figure the HFCs is so miniscule that it does not matter.

    Michael Ponzani wrote on May 22nd, 2012
    • I have tried everything and quite diligently I might add, because how I do anything is how I do everything.

      1. I was a vegan for 3 years- I was skinny but I look like I needed to eat a big steak.
      2. I was a vegetarian and I was never satiated and food was bland and boring and I had to eat all the time like a cow :-(
      3. I did Atkins and felt better and lost weight. But found the recipes and approach a little lacking taste wise.

      Once I came across MDA it was like I found my way home. Now I look forward to every meal. No kidding I salivate thinking about everything from salmon skin to Macadamia’s to Ribeyes and Eggs.
      I am no longer on any kind of diet ( “die” with a “t” added at all.
      I eat primal and will never go back.

      We spend the first have of our lives trying to be somebody. Then we spend the second half of our lives just being ourselves. The industrial Revolution did no good for our bodies regardless of mechanical advancements. Diabetes went through the rood after they started refining sugar.

      I am so glad MDA is apart of my true self.


      Eric Keyes wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  7. Awesome success. You look fantastic — even your skin tone is better!

    Cin wrote on May 22nd, 2012
    • Thank you Cin,

      The skin is our largest elimination organ. Mine cleared up quite nicely one I adopted the Primal Blueprint.


      Eric Keyes wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  8. Looking great and the video is cool. Even Adeulf looks ripped!

    Found a 2009 video of the triple chinned version of you playing guitar. Its amazing that that is the before and the guy in the video is after. You look 10 years younger in the video made 3 years later. Amazing.

    Great story, thanks for sharing. Grok on!

    Deuce wrote on May 22nd, 2012
    • Thanks Deuce,

      You gave me and idea, I am going to do a blog to my fan list about that and compare the 2 videos. That will get a bunch of new folks turned on to MDA.

      Adelulf is ripped :-)


      Eric Keyes wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  9. Eric I’m off in grad school, but at home with my parents there’s an adorable Cocker Spaniel who has trouble with her digestion. She eats this dry, processed dog food every day, and when I’m home and I try to sneak her bacon or vegetables (she loves green peppers and carrots), I sternly get told that the vet says her dog food is the healthiest and will make her bowels regular. I feel bad for her. =(
    I love your story about your dog! I’m going to share this story with my parents and maybe it will change their perspective a little bit on what’s healthy for a dog!
    Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your story! I think I’m going to make primal sushi rolls tomorrow…

    Michelle wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • Thanks Michelle,

      Google the “Leerburg Diet” that will get your hound right where he needs to be. Shoot me an e-mail and let me know how the primal sushi came out :-)

      Eric Keyes wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  10. I have 2 miniature schnauzers, I feed them Barf raw meat patties but they are expensive and takes up huge storage in my freezer.
    I feed them shank bones from lamb by pouring boiling on them before giving the bones to them. Because I read it’s the only safe bones for dogs, others could splinter and choke them.
    I am very interested in your feeding method, do you mind tell me a bit more about it please? It sounds like it’s safe to give them any kind of meat and bones with the meat? Do you take away the bones before they get too small or sharp please?

    Jude wrote on June 6th, 2012
  11. Love this story so much, Eric! And I first saw your picture, I thought “Texas”. Sure enough, you’re a Texan. Good for you and your dog. Y’all are adorable together!

    Erin wrote on June 13th, 2012
  12. Enjoyed your story, wish you lived in LA 😉

    shanon wrote on August 12th, 2012
  13. Hi Mark, this post hasn’t been tagged correctly, so it doesn’t currently appear in the list of Success Stories. cheers.

    Joanne wrote on August 28th, 2015

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