This is my first comment but I’ve been a fan for months now. There’s isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not checking MDA for a new post. Having lost 80 pounds since the birth of my son you can imagine the comments I get and how many people I refer to your site so I was thrilled to see you’re bringing out a book!
Is there any chance you’ll be able to do a pre-buy deal on autographed copies? I’d sure love one!
Thank you for all your hard work preparing the material you post – you’re a true inspiration to me!
PS My husband went primal in Iraq on this deployment and has dropped 30 pounds. My children have also all become healthier kids too! I get a kick out of saying ‘our family’s gone primal!’
Getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s wasn’t the ideal way to celebrate my 31st birthday, but then again I didn’t really have any choice in the matter. Over the next 9 years I was a good boy and took the pills and potions the doctors prescribed for me, they don’t cure, they just mask the slow deterioration of a once active body. You name a sport and I played it – in retrospect I had probably worn my body out in the first 31 years on our planet!! Whether it be catching, throwing, running, chasing or skiing I was always on the move.
With the onset of the disease came the depression, the sapping of ones self esteem, nibbling away at my abilities to function as a ‘normal’ human being, whether it be buttoning a shirt, tying my laces, walking, in fact all the everyday automatic functions became a constant frustration. I could still eat though and made the most of it and piled on 60lb’s over my ‘fighting’ weight. Last August a few days before my 40th birthday I looked at some photos of myself in my younger fitter days and that was the catalyst, the excess had to go. At first I used CW to shift the weight, it was slow and tedious, but this was the way that we lost weight in the 21st century wasn’t it? If the majority of the population are doing it, it must be right!! Wrong !
I started going to the gym, in fact 2 gyms, I was really keen, totally immersed in macro nutrient ratios, should I be on the 40,30,30 or the 50,30,20 or maybe the best way was 60,20,20 my mind was awash with ZMA, EAA, BCAA more acronyms, I think most were BS though!! Then one day after trawling the net for the next big diet fad I came across MDA, another acronym to get the money out of my pocket I thought. After reading the Mark’s blog, the members forum etc. I felt like I had found a home. Strange way to put it I guess but the internet is a 1000 lane highway with the traffic doing 80 and it just felt like I had exited to a suburban single track country road where you could stop a while and take in the view. I posted on the forum when I first joined, saying what a refreshing change it was for a forum to have such well informed and friendly members.
On receiving my copy of the PB, I read it cover to cover and repeat………….twice!! I took it all on board and am living a primal lifestyle with the odd 21st century indulgence, remember the 80/20 rule! My Parkinsons is still there, but somehow less obvious, this past month or so I have become a true fat burner, my brain fog has disappeared and I am physically and mentally in the best shape I have been since PD. I have lost that stubborn last 10lbs and my body composition has changed and I am in better shape now than in my formative years, all thanks to Mark and his Primal Blueprint. I love my new lifestyle, Cheers Mark.
I used to be a long distance runner and a vegetarian. I was the epitome of health, or so I thought. I even hired a nutritionist to help me with eating during marathon training. She had me eating mostly “good carbs” which was whole wheat everything with some vegetables and protein thrown in for good measure. My protein intake at the time was less than 50 grams a day. Fat, you ask? No way. My fat intake was negligible. That coupled with Gu, Gatorade, Cytomax, and carbo loading for energy and recovery was a sure way to go into sugar overload- which is exactly what I did. I had no clue about the dangers of low protein and fat for endurance events. I was following the advice given to me by my educated running peers, my nutritionist, and my doctor.
I made it through training by the skin of my teeth and toed the starting line with a wicked upper respiratory infection. This was the single worst idea I’ve ever had in my life. This would be the pivotal decision that would change my life forever. I finished that marathon in 6 hours and 37 minutes with bathroom breaks every few miles because I had diarrhea from the powerful antibiotics I was taking. It was only force of will, stubbornness, and sheer stupidity that kept me going. Well, it wrecked me.
My health spiraled out of control over the next two years. I continued to eat the way I had been taught, not understanding why this was happening to me – an extremely healthy and fit person. I ended up contracting some sort of ear virus that caused severe migraines and vertigo. My hearing declined and I thought I was going to go deaf. It was a labor to get through each day. Then when I thought things were going to even out a little, I got mono. Mono is not good to get when you are 38 years old. It kicked my ass and I had to take medical leave from work for 3 months. I could not get out of bed, I had to crawl to the bathroom, and my heart rate was consistently over 110 beats per minute at rest. The worst part about the whole thing was that people did not understand. Friends, family, and work colleagues thought I was exaggerating or faking it because mono is not that bad. I’m here to tell you, it’s bad. Mono is way more insidious than anyone gives it credit for. It wreaks havoc like you wouldn’t believe especially if you are a worn out vegetarian who runs alot.
I started having more complications. My tonsils were abscessed and I was in severe pain. My stupid doctor could not figure out what my problem was and I suffered for 3 months before they finally decided it would be good to take the tonsils out. Duh! I ended up having a tonsillectomy, adenoid removal, sinus surgery, and had tubes put in my ears for chronic inflammation. Maybe you are thinking this is the end of the story because surely things started getting better after this, right? Wrong!
In the midst of having mono, my blood sugar started running high. It’s a fluke, I thought. I can’t have diabetes because I’m not overweight – I was 135 at 5’6″. As the months ticked by and my blood sugar steadily increased, my doctor kept telling me I needed to go on medication. I kept refusing. I repeatedly asked my doctor how I could change it without medication – should I eat differently? The response was to just eat whole grains, lean protein, and vegetables. Exercise, of course I knew that. I couldn’t do much but take short walks because of the energy level mono and multiple surgeries had left me.
After 6 months of refusing medication, my blood sugar topped out at 250 and I accepted the fact that I had diabetes. I reluctantly started taking Metformin, 500 mg, twice a day. I started researching on my own how a diabetic is supposed to eat since my doctor was not helpful. Everything I read smacked of low carb, higher protein, and higher fat. It was blowing my mind. I figured what do I have to lose? I’ll just start experimenting with different eating styles and see what happens. I started to eat with the South Beach diet principles, restricting starches and fruits to 2 each per day. My blood sugar improved drastically. I mean I was the shining example at my doctor’s office of someone who had taken control and was turning this thing around. But it wasn’t good enough. My fasting sugars were always still in the 120’s and 130’s and the goal was to be truly in the normal range which is below 100. What else could I do? I had been slowly increasing the exercise and I was running again, although very short distances. My blood sugar stayed in this range for quite some time and I really felt like crap.
After a year back to running, I didn’t feel it was giving me the benefits I was looking for so I purchased P90X and started the program 9 weeks ago. But I still couldn’t get away from this nagging feeling in the back of my mind about grains and bread. I wondered what would happen if I cut out grains and starches altogether? Would bad things happen? I started researching higher protein again and came across Protein Power by Dr. Eades through a recommendation of a colleague at work. This took me a step further and completely changed how I thought about carbs.
Additional research and a plug by someone over on www.runnersworld.com, brought me to Mark’s Daily Apple and finally it clicked. I spent hours on Mark’s blog, pouring over all the information regarding the Primal Blueprint and finally decided I needed to give it a go. The people I have met on the forum have provided invaluable advice as I attempt to increase my protein and fat while cutting out grains and starches. The responses have been so thoughtful and respectful – I have never come across such a helpful group of people online. I’m just a couple of weeks into eating Primal and can tell you that my fasting blood sugar has been below 100 every single day. How’s that for proof that this works?! Not only has the blood sugar improved (before carb restriction I started at a 7 A1C (diabetic) and now am at 5.7 (normal person range)), but I am rid of the insulin roller coaster. No more massive hunger attacks, no more sugar or carb cravings, no more mid-afternoon crashing, no over-eating at night, no more feeling like I’m a slave to meal times. I feel like I have been freed at last! I still have “fat fear” and am still a little scared of red meat but it’s a process that I’m dedicated to because it is working when nothing else has. I am beyond excited at the possibility of getting off diabetes medication and owe a debt of gratitude to Mark and the MDA.
I am sure you get many of these messages and posts quite often, but I have to take the time to thank you. I am not exagerating when I tell you that stumbling onto your website, (and then untimately purchasing and reading Primal Blueprint) has really changed my life. LITERALLY.
This happened to me once before in 1992, after reading what I thought at the time, was an enlightening book called “Food Cop” by Yolanda Bergman. In reading that, I learned all about “processed foods” and sugars etc. While I have always loved my veggies, seafood and meat, I also learned, (and was a HUGE ADVOCATE) for whole grains. I dropped all white flour, and made the switch right then and there to stone ground whole wheat, steel cut whole oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc etc….you know the rest! And boy did I eat them! I couldn’t quite shake the sugar habit, and my God, now I know why! (hello insulin)
I have enjoyed a drug free life of fitness and outdoors and haven’t had a real weight issue (aside from the normal 5-7lbs of holiday/winter weight) But I never quite felt right and was experiencing pain in my right hip. Of course the last thing the numerous doctors I saw would address or discuss was my diet (and if they saw my diet, they’d dismiss it, thinking I was a total health nut), not to mention they all tried to put me on meds….
OK, so here we are today, 10.9.09 and I know I am only 9 days into Primal eating, but I just want to say THANK YOU~ THANK YOU~ THANK YOU. Your book and your Marks~daily~apple have changed my life in such a dramatic way, in such a short amount of time. (Much like in 1992, with Yolanda’s book.)
I can’t even begin tell you how your book has been music to my ears and eyes with every chapter I read. it makes so much sense to me and I can see my skin clear up before my very eyes. My brain is sharper, my workouts are more meaningful and focused and I have been sleeping better.
I have cut out sugar, ALL GRAINS (going against every grain of belief I have held dearly and professed profusely for the last 17 years!!) eating a ton of salmon, eggs, almond butter, avocados, veggies like there’s no tomorrow and cooking with cocnut oil….made switched from chardonnay to cabernet, added fish oil and vitamin E supplements…..I will probably end up purchasing your supplements, but I need to finish what I already have in my fridge first
If I feel THIS great in 9 days—wow—I can’t wait to see what 9 weeks, months etc will be like! Not that I wanted or needed to, but I have lost 3 lbs and am looking like a lean, mean warrior machine.
I just don’t want to lose my girlish curves. Hope I don’t.
Anyway, you can use this as a testimonial, if you so wish. I look forward to your collumn and again, thank you so very much for your life changing outlook and book. You probably saved my lfe, or at least added years to it!
Have a fabulous weekend!!!
I experienced an unexpected side effect from following your plan.
I suffer from a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome, the 2 worst effects of which are difficulty with eye contact and not understanding facial expressions.
Within a week of starting the Primal Diet, I noticed I was looking my boss in the eye, which is something I have had a lot of trouble with in the past.
I’ve always found eye contact to be very difficult, even with loved ones.
I just thought you might be interested in hearing about this, I’ve heard gluten-free diets could help children with autism but I’m 53 years old and have lived with this my whole life.
If I never lost weight or felt better (I’ve also lost a lot of weight and feel better than I have in years!) I would do this plan just for the connection I have found with my family and co-workers.
Thank you for your work on the Primal Blueprint, it’s made a real difference in my life!!!
Here is the sum total of what your plan has done for me. I almost hesitate to write it since it sounds like I’m extolling the virtues of a miracle drug; my wife says I’ve gone completely nutty about it.
I started eating primal Oct. 10th of this year. So far, I’ve experienced the following:
1. As I mentioned in my earlier note, my Asperger’s Syndrome symptoms have lessened. As long as I can remember, I’ve been unable to make consistent eye contact with anyone, including my family. If I tried to maintain eye contact, it wore me out and made me extremely anxious. It is such a little thing to a normal person that they might not understand what a liability it is when you can’t do it.
About 1 week of changed eating habits have enabled me to maintain good eye contact with my family and co-workers; just this one thing made the program worth while. I’ve been getting along with everyone so much better, my grandson in particular. Our relationship has improved so much that it is just wonderful.
2. I’ve had a problem with seizures for the last 10 or 12 years. These were mostly mild, I’d have 2-3 every evening when I was tired. They used to wear me out and my eyes would go bloodshot when I’d have them. I’ve had MRI’s and extensive checkups with the doctor, they could never find anything wrong with me. After the first week on the diet, the seizures subsided. Since that time, I’ve had 1 extremely mild seizure. (I write this on Nov. 16th)
3. My blood pressure went down considerably. I have run about 135 over 85 for years, that’s on blood pressure meds. I had to start cutting my pills in half since my pressure has been about 105 over 60 the last couple of weeks. I’m hitting the doc up to let me off of it altogether since I know the medication is not good for my body if I don’t need it.
4. I lost about 12 lbs over the last month, more importantly, I lost 4 notches in my belt. My face, legs and arms are noticeably thinner, no change in exercise patterns. ( I walk a mile or two a day and do some light body weight exercises.)
5. Last, but certainly not least, my arthritis pain has completely subsided. Both of my knees, my right hand and my back used to hurt so bad I seldom wanted to go out after work. I’ve gotten so perky my wife wonders if I’ve been substituted for her real husband.
Once again, thank you for the work you are doing!!!
You have made an incredible difference in my and my family’s lives!!!
I eased into the PB lifestyle (via your web site) about 4-5 weeks ago. I quickly got your book and have greatly enjoyed reading it. You’ve really make a lot of complex info (about cholesterol, etc.) very understandable. Mostly, I’ve just eliminated the consumption of grains (99%) and have cut back on …my sugar intake (about 80%). Other than that I haven’t done much. Exercise has just been the occasional 40-minute walk. But WOW! Two days ago I had to buy a couple of new belts. Why?, you ask? ‘Cuz I’ve gone from 185 to 170 pounds — all, or mostly, belly fat. Thanks for showing me (us) the way.
Along with many other people who visit this site and the forum, I felt that I needed to drop you a line to say thank you.
Four weeks ago I was carrying extra weight, I was suffering with IBS, terribly painful periods, was constantly hungry and despite a rigorous workout routine (of the right type, as it happens) that I had been following for a year, I did not look like an athletic, fit person at all.
The catalyst for doing something about this was a photo that was taken of me after completing a 60 mile charity bike ride in the summer. I had trained hard but that photo made me look like a fat woman on a bike – which is what I was. I cried ‘help’ to my personal trainer after my holiday and he did some investigation, bringing me lots of things to read about anti-inflammatory eating – essentially cutting out all of the grains, the dairy, the cereals – all those culprits that you mention on MDA.
Within a day, I decided to give it a shot, especially as I found at the same time that I had a gluten and dairy intolerance anyway. Time to get real. One of the information sheets I was give stated that most people lost at least 5 pounds in weight in the first two weeks. I do remember raising an eyebrow at that, thinking that it wouldn’t happen to me – things like that never did.
Well, here I am. I found MDA two weeks in to my new eating plan and haven’t looked back. Nineteen pounds lighter, 6 inches lost from my hips, 3 inches from my waist – and that was on Monday, so I’m sure that’s increased since then! I can feel my ribs, I can see the muscles that were hiding under the fat on my back and elsewhere, I have a body shape I never even knew was possible – and I feel fantastic. My first period on the Primal eating method passed almost unnoticed – no PMT, no cramps. I’ve had no IBS in a month (unheard of) and I am bursting with energy, both physical and mental.
The interesting thing for me is that I never realised until now how messed up my body image was before. How I wouldn’t look in mirrors, hated seeing my reflection in windows, bought clothes because I had to… Now I feel so confident, I enjoy buying new clothes (my wardrobe needs a complete revamp now!) and I love wearing close-fitting tops and blouses.
I still don’t know where my ‘set-point’ for my body is, but I don’t really mind. I love the fact that I am in control of my eating now, that I can eat fantastically and reap the rewards of looking after myself. And I can go to the gym, not feel inferior and I have no problem seeing myself in the mirror as I indulge in some heavy lifting! It’s effortless – who needs diets when you can eat the Primal way! Grok on!
I wanted to write a quick note to thank you for you book and how it has already changed my life. I am a physician, and a triathlete (short distance), and I considered myself fairly healthy already, but your book changed everything. I was always hungry with a headache by 10am, run down by 8pm, and had trouble keeping my weight in my “lean zone” unless I was working out hard. After only 6 weeks using Primal principles, I have lost the 10 pounds of extra padding over my abs, my cholesterol dropped from 170 to 121, my Triglycerides from 100 to <22 (too low to measure!), and I am eating more, feeling more energy, and just all around totally amazed how correct your book is. Everything you say would happen has. Processed carbs, and the insulin it causes to surge through our bodies, I now believe, is truly the root of all evil in modern society. I feel like shouting this from the rooftops to all my patients and friends. Thanks a million!
I consider today to be the first anniversary of my going Primal, there really are not enough words for me to express my gratitude to you. Your hard work and health philosophy have given me the opportunity to fulfill whatever potential I have as a descendant of Grok, I actually feel alive and have no fear of the future…. I feel alive, or should I say ALIVE! Thank you, Mark, you are a hero of mine.
I actually owe it all to the ‘Prison Workout’ post, after a year of complete non-activity after injuring my back mountain bike riding (I didn’t have an accident, my back just went pop!). I was looking for something involving bodyweight, looked at the old Charles Atlas course, then typed the magic words ‘prison workout’, halfway down the page was the link to MDA. Naturally, I overdid it, did something to unpleasant to my shoulder, but faced with even more inactivity I decided to have a look around on MDA (those definitive guides seemed to lift the fog, it all made sense). I was 190lbs at 6′ tall, so not too bad, but I was horrified to realise that 50lbs of that was BF…it just seemed too much. I had no major health issues (certainly none that I knew about), but usual aches and pains, creaking joints, although a few teeth felt a bit loose, I was generally on the downhill run! My diet has been fairly meat/fish/egg heavy, but generally this has been a year of experimentation, although at one point after 8 weeks when I realised that I was 24 lbs lighter I did actually worry that it was too good to be true! My shoulder and back have slowly recovered over the months, so my ‘successes’ have generally been dietary based (the old 80% rule!), although hill sprints were phenomenal, I say “were” – guess who overdid it again and tweaked a hamstring?! Now what’s the PB rule about avoiding stupid mistakes?!
I really enjoy IF, find it quite easy in fact, I got into that mainly via Richard Nikoley’s guest post, and Mike O’Donnell’s blog. Anyway, walking in Vibrams or barefoot, is about as cardio as I go at the moment, I’m going to give my hamstring as much time as it needs to get well, I now realise that this is a journey and not a race, and once I feel up to the sprints again I’ll certainly get back into them in a big way, but this time gradually The rest is pretty much down to versions of push-ups and chin-ups for now, but more variety will follow when I feel able to use my legs again! So, a year in I’m 156lbs, half the BF gone, so I’m something approaching my natural ectomorph-ic self. Phase one complete. Despite the physical changes, I have to say the enormous feeling of well being has been my greatest gain from the PB, I feel like a human being should both feel and think. Now as long as I can stop making all those stupid mistakes!
Once again, many thanks. I am trying to spread the word, I have one convert to my credit and another work in progress…if you can convince someone to let go of bread your halfway there!
Best wishes to you and your family for the Holidays, and of course, GROK ON!