It seems like you get a million of these, but here’s a million and one.
In late 2008, I completed my goal to lose weight and get back into shape after several years of being lazy about taking care of myself. I used portion control, food choices and exercise (as per the media messages I have gotten since being a teenager), the same way I have done to stay in shape most of my life. In late 2009, I splurged on a personal trainer to take me up a level in my physical conditioning. Eventually, we had two body composition tests to compare, which revealed that despite my good habits I was losing muscle mass. Based on my reported diet, she recommended eating more protein. On careful scrutiny using an online nutrition calculator, I found that I was eating virtually no protein and certainly not enough to support my active lifestyle. As I looked for ways to add protein while minimizing the mainstream dietary evils, I grew increasingly unsatisfied with my meals. More research led me to your website and book, where I was shocked to read the recommendations, but enlightened by the information and willing to try.
I dove in 100% and have been so since January 2010. The results amaze me every day. Cosmetically, I leaned up considerably, my mild acne cleared up and my wrinkles plumped out, my hair thickened, and I have this light, healthy-looking tan. I consistently receive compliments on how happy (!) and healthy I look. More importantly, I feel incredible. I have remarkable amounts of energy and drive, I am more mentally focused, and the aches and pains that I associated with aging have vanished. It is difficult to describe, but there are layers to my strength now that I know I did not have before; I really feel it rather than just knowing I have developed healthy musculature, and it feels unlimited rather than something I exhaust each day. I enjoy cooking and meals to a degree I would not have believed possible. In all the ways you predicted, and more, my life has changed.
Always in the back of my mind, however, was the bothersome knowledge that I would have to contend with my blood tests. I will admit that I worried quite a bit about what I would do if they showed significant deterioration. Yesterday (July 2010), I got the results and I’m happy to report that they are as good as, if not better, than last year’s numbers. My doctor was eager to talk about the changes I have made and quite receptive to the information, even adding some suggestions based on his knowledge of nutrition and my current preferences.
I didn’t come to your site because I was desperate or seeking a major change. I was simply looking for a dietary adjustment. Convinced by your research and logic, however, I made some major changes and the results have me eternally grateful to you for providing The Blueprint.
Just wanted to say thank you for your wisdom! I’ve lost 60 pounds eating via your Primal Blueprint. Also – I look completely different now…in all good ways. My hubby just got the cookbook as well. It’s shockingly easy – and we both feel GREAT.
I had one weekend where I ate grains – whoops (lol…I’m a woman…had a tea party…) and I gained EIGHT pounds in inflammation and was miserable for DAYS. That taught me what I needed to know! Now – no grains!
The 8 pounds came off in 5 days – (I did that little weekend frippery on Mother’s Day nearly 2 months ago, so it was a very solid lesson learned). It taught me JUST how toxic the grains are to my system. I hadn’t realized that they caused inflammation – but it made sense, because I had been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis and had been taking a serious pain med called “Meloxicam” for many months. No need for that any more – no pain at all in my joints – I’m just fine. When I engaged in my Mother’s day weekend debauchery (lol!), all that pain was RIGHT back for about 2 weeks. Even though the physical inflammation/water weight came off – it took a while for my joints to settle back down.
What a glorious scientific experiment! I only wish that I’d known about this years ago – it would have saved me a great deal of pain! Whew! It sure feels good to feel good!!!
Thank you SO much!
Dr. Alisa Griffis
Still on the Primal Blueprint (lifetime) eating plan!! I’m losing much more slowly than my husband, Fred . . . (I’m down 24 lbs. – he’s down 33), but we both feel terrific. Giving up the bread, pasta, etc. has been difficult . . . but we’re doing it. We are both seniors – I’m 65, Fred turns 70 tomorrow, so food habits have been seriously entrenched over time. More importantly, though, Fred’s blood sugar levels and blood pressure are so improved that his doctor is amazed at his results. Fred is diabetic and has had heart surgery, so he is now completely convinced Primal Blueprint is the way to go!
Take care, and thanks for everything!!
I have only been doing this since May 2010, but I honestly cannot believe the difference it’s made on my life. I am 33, a single mom of 2, and currently living in Norway. I am a fulltime student, and have no car which results in walking to absolutely everything, whether it be groceries or dr. appts, rain, sun or snow. For the last 5 yrs, my health has been absolute garbage. I had a heavy depression which I could not get out of regardless of how hard I tried. Then it subsided a bit, only to return, but I was too stubborn to take meds for it. Life went on, and the depression seemed to release itself, but everything else seemed to come along. I began having incredible chest pains, which I have had for 3+ yrs. Every day has consisted of me beginning and ending the day hoping I would not have a heart attack or something…I honestly prayed every single night that I would be able to wake up the next morning with my kids. Then I found out I had an ulcer, and a hernia. Maybe this isn’t all so dramatic, but it was for me because as I mentioned I have two kids. And since we’re on our own, I was the only one who could get things done, so I had to force it every day. I have had insane headaches, and also been hypoglycemic since I was quite young, resulting in me always being dizzy and lightheaded. 2 yrs ago, my chest pains began getting worse, and I began being a guinea pig… nobody would believe me when I said anything about the chest pains, until I fell while pushing the baby carriage uphill from grocery shopping one day. Apparently, all the chest pains had given me an anxiety attack, over the fear of having a heart attack. My fear actually saved me from my heart so to speak. SO…last year I was put into the hospital for treatment, and as Norwegians are quite healthy, I was the only female on the heart ward, let alone the only person under the age of 65 it seemed…(I heard hundreds of jokes from the Norwegians about the American lifestyle since I’m American) I had an angioplasty done, and my arteries were blown clear. I was told to basically sit still for a while because they couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t getting better- when I walked with the baby carriage, I would have crazy chest pains and had so much acid build up that if I opened my mouth I sounded like a bullfrog croaking. I was honestly at the point of wondering how on earth I would manage continuing being a mom because I was ALWAYS really sick. A walk to do errands would leave me for the rest of the day nauseous and dizzy, forced to do what I had to do but carrying a plastic baggy for vomit and “foam” vomit (sorry, gross). And then someone told me about MDA… and I started in May, which is not long ago. Day 2 was the first time I have not woken up in the morning feeling super hungover (from ulcer,etc…not alcohol:)) And I have not had a single day where I have had any pain whatsoever since I started. I can’t believe it. I was a vegetarian of many many yrs, always sick and having angioplastys…and I am now eating meats, full of energy and actually feeling healthy. And I am so kicking butt at being a mom with the new health! I don’t own a scale, but I have been measuring myself, and I have lost 3 1/2cm on my hips, 3cm on the thighs, and ALL upper body chunk is gone- my arms don’t wave with me any longer:). Since May. I no longer am grouchy and tired. I jump on the trampoline with my kids, do sprints in the woods when we take walks and on the beach if it’s empty. We play ball in the yard. I am happy and awake and alert and I have never felt this way before. So I wanted to say thank you. I am totally going to continue this Primal living, and I am trying to make it the only way I live from now on-my wallet is a little uncertian but it’ll gat there! I am trying now to figure out how to lose more weight- it seems like others lose way more and way faster… I try to do more excercise but I also have a scoliosis which hurts a lot so I have to start slowly. But Primal brought me from depression and thoughts of not coping… to this. I feel fantastic, and I had to say thank you. Like I said, I couldn’t figure out how to post this or whatever so I had to send it to the email. Again, thank you from me, and from my kids who are LOVING that I now play and run and have fun.
My journey started just this last january and it has been amazing. For starters, in regards to my previous health I use to be exceptionaly fit. Although I ate an abundance of grains, and other terrible foods, I was able to burn it off because I was an avid soccer player and wieght lifter. Unfortunately ever since middle school I developed pain in both of my knees, and slowy my condition became increasingly worse, and I was forced to quit soccer in the middle of my junior year in varsity. To be concice about my knee problems, they were caused by a number of things; tight trigger points, hip flexability, and etc. Anyways, as one would expect my health plumited, my body fat increased noticably, and I also ceased weight lifting as well.
My road to redemption started last november, during my first semester at college. I did lose some weight because I started to eat healthier. Also I slowly got back in the groove of weight lifting, except this time when I went to the gym I utilized full body workouts (before I did split routines). At this point in time I still not heard of the primal life style, the change in routines was an idea I conjured on my own. Interestingly enough while contemplating my new journey towards health I asked myself what body type, and goal I would like to acheive. I figured the best answer would be lean body mass; much like grok, though I am still unaware of his existence. I figured that optimum health would equip one with physical abilities to efficiently survive out in the wild, and that the best body type is one that can run and lift heavy objects in an explosive manner. In a sense I found grok during my own meditations. Sure enough, my new life style enabled me to loose some weight, but nothing radical. What I failed to realize is how imperative my diet was to my physique; though I was eating more fruits and veggies, I was still gourging on grains.
About three weeks into the commencement of gaining controll of my health I discovered your website; which beautifully articulated and constructed my philosophy of fitness into concrete guidelines, as well as enlightening my knowledge about food. It happened in between classes when I was watching The Colbert Report, and John Durant (I think thats his name) from Hunter-Gatherer.com was on the show, and everything he said ringed out truth to my ears. I then went to his website, but of course it was still under construction, but I then followed a link to Marks Daily Apple. A week later a went primal for good.
So far I have dropped over twenty pounds in pure body fat. I went from 172 to 152, and I probably have burned even more fat then that, because I have also been regaining some muscle. When I went to the doctor my heart rate was 45 bpm, and I can’t remember what my blood pressure was, but I know it was in good standing. Also my acne has cleared up, and perhaps most importantly of all my knees have been recoveing due to some of your posts in regards to weight lifting. After reading one of your posts I went to stronglifts.com and learned how to properly squat which has helped my knees a ton. The problem was that I always assumed that I should avoid squats in fear that they would further damage any tendons in my knees. Ironically the very thing I presumed to be a poison was infact a medicine.
Well I figured that I should send you a quick e-mail, I assumed that you enjoy hearing of your fellow grokians’ results. I apologize if there are any spelling errors in this letter, I have a tendency to type faster then I can think of what I am going to say. Anyways you have my thanks, and I hope all goes well in spreading the word of the primal blue print; I’ll be sure to help out.
Steven A. Martz – Los Alamos NM
Started the year a few pounds over 300. I’m also diabetic. A friend recommended Dr. Berstein’s book and started talking about all this “primal, paleo” stuff. I knew I was in trouble so I read everything I could about this. Bought your book and cook book and have had amazing results.
Start of the year
weight just over 300lbs
Cholesterol – 150
a1c – 7.1
as of 5/22/10
weight – 236
Cholesterol – 119
a1c – 5.3
I’m only walking, (I used to frame houses for a living so I have a serious aversion to lifting weight…LOL) My only complaint so far as been an on going back or hip injury that flares up when I walk.
Thanks for the site, I check it daily.
Jeff Hopkins – Pauls Valley, OK.
Just wanted to send a quick (but big) THANK YOU for your book, which I bought some weeks ago. I just finished reading it, implemented the nutrition guide lines, especially eliminated grains, pasta etc., and for the first time in years I have managed to stay away from sweets for longer than 3 or 4 days. My constant sugar craving is gone. Amazing! I was already eating relatively healthy and I am the skinny type, but I just could not get away from those unhealthy sugary snacks. I was totally unaware of the effects of bread, pasta and the likes, which I ate in abundance. Your book opened my eyes and produced immediate results that I had tried to reach for so long.
My name is Chanell Pieterse. I am 21 years old and I live in Pretoria, South Africa.
I have been living Primal now for about two and a half months, and – forgive me if I sound dramatic – it’s been the best decision of my life so far.
I finished my three-year degree in Computer Science last year, and a few months prior to that I went in search of a way to resume the active, sporty lifestyle my studies had forced me to set aside. Lucky for me I found a Crossfit gym, and this, I feel, was another of the great decisions I have made so far. I know you are acquainted with this wonderful training style, so I won’t waste time explaining its awesomeness.
However, in February of this year, while still just as motivated and just as enthusiastic, the initial turbo-boost that accompanies finding something new and exciting, was wearing off. It got to the point that when my alarm blared in the mornings, I felt that the only physical activity I would be capable of was a single, vicious swipe at my alarm clock. And when I did succeed in bullying myself out of bed, I found myself taking longer to complete workouts and lifting less weight. I became angry and discouraged. What had gone wrong?
At this stage I fell into the category of people always trying to do “the right thing”. I consumed plenty of dairy, avoided anything ‘fat’ like the plague and treasured whole-wheat. I was doing plenty of exercise so I fuelled up with pasta and bread, limiting my meat intake and did my best to ration any sugar intake. But as my hunger pangs began persistently resurfacing every few hours no matter what or how much I ate, I was beginning to grow suspicious of the TV–marketed brand of health advice I had thus far been following. Furthermore, while never being exactly over-weight, I had been trying for many years to shed some excess. It just felt, to me, that my body didn’t match my personality.
I began doing some research and stumbled across an article about the Paleolithic diet and the reasoning behind it. The simple logic of it had me hooked instantly, and further Google-ing led me to MDA.
I went Primal on Aril 29th 2010, with a rip-the-stitches approach, and have not looked back once. I have also had an absolutely excellent time doing it.
In the first two weeks, feeling hungry for knowledge (but finally not for food), I read almost every post in the Archives section of MDA, and was astounded by the virtues of healthy fats, the truth about our need for dairy (or lack thereof), and was actually offended by the true evils of grains.
I felt empowered and in control, and I still enjoy the light-hearted, but no-nonsense, this-is-the-truth posts on MDA.
And while saying that I saw results in a matter of days sounds like something normally touted on a diet-fuel infomercial, it was literally in a few days that I found myself doing a double-take in the mirror. I was suddenly bursting with energy, finding fresh vigour while exercising and replacing soft flab with firm muscle. In two months I lost as much weight as I had in the previous three, four years, and finally, the six-pack that has been hiding in my abdominal cooler-box for years, is beginning to surface. And not just that, I just feel great – all the time.
While the improvement in my energy-levels and performance is more than I could have hoped for, I was delighted to find that the Primal Blueprint comes with bonuses. I’ve noticed great improvements in the chronic eczema that I have been struggling with since I was a toddler, and since shunning the ‘pooh’ and taking the soap-less, shampoo-less route, my hair and skin are looking more natural everyday. And all of this in a couple of months.
I was very intrigued by the posts regarding the detrimental effect of shoes on our feet, and quickly bought myself a pair of Vibrams (which were actually very difficult to find here). Unfortunately I do have a tendency of taking such things too quickly, with a kind of die-hard attitude, and I jumped into a soccer game with friends barefoot, only to come out of it with a broken toe.
I am now about five weeks into my recovery, with a week left before my pins will be removed. Yes, I unfortunately broke the bone badly enough to need pins, but I have used this time of forced-inactivity to consider a few things, including my discontent with sitting in an office day in and day out.
So in the next few weeks I will be slowly reawakening my muscles and easing myself back into the playful, sporty, Primal lifestyle I only really got a taste of before my injury.
So while this has been a long introductory email, I do hope to email you again in a few months time with an update, which will hopefully include some pics, and find me fully recovered and choosing to strengthen my feet before I spring into any soccer games shoe-less.
Thanks, Mark, for all the effort you put into your website and promoting your Primal lifestyle. I send my appreciation to you all the way from South Africa, and wish you all the best.
I’ve been following the Primal Blueprint for about 6 months. I spent the previous few years slowly getting lazier and fatter, and promised myself that this time my New Year’s Resolution would last more than 2 weeks. At 5’10″ and 201 pounds, I started the year doing what I do most years, cutting out beer and nachos, and working out everyday. I was making progress, but it was starting to slow, and I wondered how much longer I’d be able to keep up the pace. I was getting pretty tired of all the weighing and measuring food, planning 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, and always trying to plan the perfect workout program.
I found your site at the end of January, and spent a few days reading and digging around. I guess I’m a natural skeptic, because I thought most of it was BS. I didn’t see how you could lose weight that easy while eating eggs, meat, cream, etc. Eating coconut oil on purpose seemed kind of ridiculous! I saw a lot of people on the forums who had made great progress, and I decided to jump right in.
Anyway, after 3 months I’d lost 28 pounds and felt better than I had in years. I had some jeans and shorts that were so tight I couldn’t even do the button up last year, and I was now wearing them again; with a belt to hold them up.
After 7 months now, I’m down to 168 pounds. I’ve only lost 5 pounds according to the scale in the last 3 months, but I’m sure I’ve added some muscle to go with the fat loss. I haven’t tracked bodyfat or taken measurements through this process, I’m just happy to look and feel good for once. It’s pretty nice bending over to tie my shoes without having to suck my gut in, and going outside without a shirt on isn’t something I dread anymore.
The best part about this is how easy it is to stick to. I was famous for planning great eating plans and workouts, then not having the willpower to actually stick to them. It’s so easy to keep up this new lifestyle because it doesn’t feel as structured.
I go for a short run once a week or so, do a quick pushup/chinup/pistol workout 2-3 times a week, and go for long walks 2-3 times a week. Once in a while I’ll throw in some overhead presses, do some farmer’s walks with a couple of 20L water bottles, or throw on a weighted vest and hike up some hills. I actually feel kind of lazy most of the time because I think I’m doing so little. It’s still kind of crazy to me that I’ve lost this weight by doing something that is so easy. I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal, but the journey so far has been pretty fun and easy.
I just wanted to say thanks for all of the great info you’re putting out there. Keep up the great work.