Success Stories

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Hey Mark,

I just love your book and website! I’ve been Primal since approx. March 5th and preparing for our city’s annual 12k race. Well, today was the race and I finished in 1hr:5mins, which is a record for me and a 8.71 minute mile, which I never was able to do before when I lived on bread, pasta and tons of sugary foods and drinks. I know that my time and my energy level during training and in the race is from adopting the Primal lifestyle. My energy levels have soared, and I no longer experience the energy dips that my coworkers and friends do. THANK YOU for all you do for everyone and a personal thanks for helping me do so well in my race and I have confidence in my performance in other races that I will do this summer.


I was born in 1966 and will turn 44 in December. I am 5’6″ and at my heaviest, I was 170 lbs. I realized this was unhealthy but did not know of a better way than what conventional wisdom taught. Every time I tried to eat whole grains and smaller portions, I would get hungry and as we know, hunger ALWAYS wins. My problem was sugar and carbs – too much of it. I wore size 34″ waist pants. Today I am 148 lbs which works out to a 13% loss of bodyweight. My latest pant size is 28″. My resting heart rate is 58 bpm. My blood pressure went from 130/80 to 105/70. You have already seen my blood work from January 2010.

My introduction to Primal Living was by way of Art Devany’s Evolutionary Fitness website (before it turned into a subscription site) when I was searching about a certain way to execute a golf shot. While Art’s information struck a chord within me, I did not find sufficient examples illustrating the implementation of Primal principles.

Researching more of this landed me on Thanks to the writers and editors of this website, is the perfect blend of information. Detailed enough to be rich, aptly illustrated with captivating color photos yet not so academic that it is beyond my scope of apprehension. A superlative balance that is hard to achieve.

On October 23, 2009, my wife and I decided to change the way we ate and embrace Primal Principles. We now order organic produce and meats which is delivered to our house once a week. We try to abstain from all wheat and sugar. We really watch our refined carbs while freely dining on veggies and meats with fruits in moderation. Even though I am not a diabetic, I monitor my blood glucose levels to see the effects of certain foods, post-prandial changes and exercise.

If you look on my Facebook account you will find some good pictures of primal\paleo food I cook using a pressure cooker, slow cooker and cast iron pan complete with recipes:

Victor’s Eating and Cooking Channel 1

Victor’s Eating And Cooking Channel 2

I have friends from the UK to Australia who try these recipes! LOL.

I’ll attach some food\recipe pics (click the thumbnails to enlarge) so you have an idea what in the Facebook albums:

Ahi tuna Brussel sprouts cooked in bacon lard Kale stir fry with Brazil nuts Browned roast with garlic in slow cooker Low carb deer pot pie (crushed almond crust) Masala steak Flour-free chocolate brownie Beef stew

Take care,



My name is J.J. Valdivia and I am a 24 year old personal trainer down in Miami, Florida. First and foremost, I cannot thank you enough for the impact that your book and website have made on my life. I have been Primal now for almost one year and I am in the best shape of my life! I am 5’11, 165 lbs and carry around 6% body fat. Before discovering the Primal Blueprint I hovered at around 10-12% body fat and weighed in at around 175-180 pounds. All this considering I now exercise less than I ever have my entire life! I used to train six days a week religiously. I would alternate between one day of 1 hour circuit weight training and another day of 1 hour chronic cardio. I would count each and every calorie and needless to say I was miserable. I have always been into “health and fitness” and I was convinced that I was doing everything right, or so I thought. Constant overtraining mixed with a high carb, low fat diet led to binge eating on the weekends and a continuous cycle that led nowhere. I was always starving even though I was eating 5-6 small meals a day! Not only that, but I looked exactly the same and saw no results. That was one year ago…

Today I lift heavy weights three days a week, usually no longer than 35 minutes. I sprint once a week, and I do low level aerobic activity anywhere from 2-5 hours a week. I also eat only 2-3 times a day and I feel fantastic!

I became Primal about a month after I became a personal trainer, last May. (So June of last year) The company that I work for is an amenity management company and we are contracted to manage several corporate and residential fitness facilities throughout the east coast. I was hired to work for Royal Caribbean Cruises. I work in their corporate gym and I train a lot of their employees. The first thing that I do before I start training a new client is tell them to buy The Primal Blueprint. (Well, actually, the first thing I do is explain to them that yes, what I wear on my feet are indeed shoes and that yes, I exercise in them!) I then explain to them that my style of training and my understanding of health is based upon everything that they will read in that book. If they follow what is inside, they will acheive the results they desire. I explain to them that body composition is 80% what you eat, and 20 percent training and genetics. My clients are exercising much less than the other trainer’s clients but are seeing greater results! Needless to say, there are over 20 Royal Caribbean employees that have bought the book and are living according to the Primal Blueprint Laws, each one of them with their own success story. Thank you for everything Mark. I am truly grateful for the the change you have made in my life and in those of my clients. No matter what, I will continue to live the Primal lifestyle and lead others in reprogramming their genes!


Primal Blueprint


First and foremost, let me say that I really have enjoyed reading your book so far. Your book shows that God made us inherently to be efficient and healthy human beings. It is our society that is making us sick. It also has shown me to accept responsibility for my own health rather than passing the blame onto someone else. You make great arguments against the conventional wisdom of current societal propagandas, and the claims by the pharmaceutical industry that a pill can cure it all. I only wish that I would have come across this information years earlier

Now, a little bit of information about me. I am 34 years old, 5’9 in stature, and consider myself to be a very active person. I have always been in good health, no issues with cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. Up until I finished college I was extremely active. Growing up I was constantly playing some sort of sport or walking to meet up with my best friend who lived 2 miles away from me. Back then, we were not much into video games like kids are today. So in order to combat boredom, we would just be out and about playing. Then after college, things started to change. I started working full time in a very demanding field and was struggling to keep my work life balance in check. To top it off, I was overtraining and over eating. I did not realize this until I became familiar with your principles. I would often become very frustrated at the fact that I was not seeing the results that I wanted. I think for anyone else, they would have just given up on exercise, but luckily, I am one of the few people out there that actually enjoy living an active lifestyle. At my heaviest, I was at 200lbs and sporting a 35 inch pant size. It never occurred to me that changing the way I thought about food and fitness would yield the results that I wanted.

It wasn’t till I met JJ, a trainer here at the gym we have at Royal Caribbean Cruises, that everything started to change. He basically started to teach me your principles and suggesting I try a new workout routine. He led me to your website and your book, which from there; I started to educate myself on your theories. Whenever I discovered something new, I would talk about it with JJ to get his thoughts. I have to admit, that at first, this was all very new to me. I decided that I needed to challenge myself and to give your system a try. So on October 2009, I started my journey. My motivation for doing this is simple, stay healthy so that I can live a full life and care for my aging parents, and attain the best possible physical shape that my genetics allow. I think so many people defeat themselves by believing that they will always look and feel a certain way no matter what they do. I was one of those people. I decided to try this out because it was obvious to me that what I had been doing, was not working. I set a goal for myself, which was to be at 10% body fat by summer of 2010. At that time, I was 175lbs, 19% body fat, and a size 34 waist. I knew that the eating part was going to be tough for me. What really helped me was the fact that living on my own allowed me to have full control of the food that I bought and made. I have to say that the first three weeks were the hardest for me. My body went through complete sugar withdrawal. After those weeks, I slowly started to feel better. I would eat lots of vegetables and meats. To crave my sweet tooth, I would have plain yogurt with fruits. I started experimenting with different types of meals. I have always enjoyed cooking, and your website inspired me to try new things.

The exercise part was not as bad because believe it or not, I was actually working out less than what I used to. In the past, I would spend 2 hours at the gym and doing high intensity cardio on my off days. In contrast, my new sessions would include the following.

  • 3 days of 30 – 40 min full body circuit training with weights.
  • 1 day of track work with my running club, which included 400 meter sprint intervals. These workouts lasted only 15 to 20 min at most.
  • 2 days for light jogging or hiking in the beach for 1 to 2 hours keeping my heart rate below 70% of my max.

I would also walk a lot more often than I did before. I barely use my car on the weekends, which helps cut back on gas. Little by little, my weight and body fat started to drop like a sack of potatoes. I am writing this after 7 months of following the primal lifestyle. My current weight is 162 lbs. I am at 9.6% body fat, and my pant size has dropped down to a size 30. The best part is that I feel better than ever. I am back in the shape I was when I was in my late teens, early twenties. I am able to run faster, lift heavier things, and have more energy throughout the day. What I find remarkable is that your system allowed me to do this even at 34 years old, where it is said that your metabolism starts to slow down. I am beginning to believe this is just another unfounded propaganda.

In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to you and to JJ, who has also helped many other people here at our workplace. I would also like to thank my friend Melissa, who unknowingly used to follow your principles on eating and exercising. At the time she would give me new ideas to try that were in line with you book. I think that you have contributed tremendously to the cause of health and fitness. I myself have been teaching my parents and family about your principles. They have seen a big change in the way I look, and have asked how I was doing this. I truly believe that in life, everyone at some point should practice teaching something that they have learned to others. It is the way societies have advanced since Grok’s era to now. I recommend your book whenever I can to folks that are trying to do something about their health. With that, I want to share a picture of myself.



Hi Mark,

I was introduced to the Primal Blueprint by one of the trainers at the gym at my work, J.J. Valdivia.  It’s been 9 1/2 weeks, and in that short time I have seen amazing results with my energy, my endurance and stamina, and of course my physique.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for putting the Primal Blueprint and its Laws out into the world, and creating your website, which over the last 9 weeks, I have gone to for everything from basic information, to great recipes(prior to receiving my cookbook), to awesome workout ideas.

I thank J.J. all the time for introducing me to the Primal Blueprint,  because it is a life changer for me, and I just wanted to share my success story with you &  your readers.

Thank you for the constant inspiration & motivation!!!

Best Regards,


2 years ago, I weighed 247 pounds, and my doctor told me that my cholesterol was way too high. Since, my wife just found out she was having a baby, I was motivated to change my life so that I could be there for my wife and child for a long time. During her pregnancy, I followed the CW diet, and managed to get down to 205. It involved jogging a TON (I hate jogging!), lifting weights, eating whole grains, and being hungry every second of every day. The last month or so of the pregnancy, I was scared about going anywhere and my gym visits stopped. Once the baby was born, I continued to not work out (it turns out babies are a LOT of work! But not in a way that gets you fit). Some time passed….

This past January, I found myself back up to about 220 pounds even though I continued to eat “healthy” by avoiding fast food, taking my skin off the chicken, and eating whole wheat bread instead of white. I decided it was time to get back into weight-loss mode. In January, I tried a diet from Men’s Health magazine (stop laughing – we live and learn), but I made very little progress no matter how much I ran, worked out, or how hungry I was (I was friggin miserable).

And just in case you ran out of things to discuss with your therapist, here is a mental image you could probably do without…my belly at around that time.

(sorry- believe me it hurt me to see it too)

In February, I discovered your website by accident, and started incorporating the principles I learned there into my diet. I’ve been eating fully primal since late February and the difference is absolutely astounding. I’ve lost weight, feel so much better, and eat food that I love. Now, I’m at 184 (my height is 6’2” to give you an idea), a weight I haven’t seen since high school, with a belly that is smaller than I’ve EVER had. So without further ado….

This was a couple weeks ago with no shirt on. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m a hell of a lot closer.

For exercise I do sprints once every week or so, and lift weights for a few minutes a week. I’ve just started a class at a crossfit gym to learn the proper form for lifting weights, so I do it without breaking my back. I searched long and hard to find a gym that supported Primal living. I have to travel a bit, but I love the fact that they are getting everyone in the class on the Primal Blueprint (the last 10 minutes of every class is spent discussing nutrition – easing people into PB). Ever since I told them about my own success with PB, they have been using me as an example of how well the plan works to motivate the class to get on board with it. Its a nice feeling.

I’m still hoping to trim down a little fat and put on some muscle, but I’m actually okay with my total weight. In other news, my cholesterol is good, and my wife (who started Primal about 2months ago) has lost 20 pounds (the last of the baby weight and then some). Thank you for all the information on your website and in your book!


My name’s Sri, and I’m a 29-year-old physician. During my high school and college years, I was on the “anti-primal diet”. Growing up in a South Indian vegetarian household, it was carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Rice, sugary cereals, pasta, ice cream and cake and cake. Probably 500 grams a day for years. No meat. Little-to-no protein. I was 5’7″, a bit over 200 lbs, with terrible asthma. It took me 12 minutes to ‘run’ a mile, and my confidence was at rock bottom. In 10+ years of college, medical school, and residency, I tried *everything* to chip away at my weight. Protein shakes, crash diets, cabbage soup, diet pills, 2 hour cardio sessions, 2 hour weight training sessions, zone bars, more diet pills. I put on some muscle, I lost a couple inches, but I was still out of shape and facing my physical (asthma) and emotional (mood swings, anxiety, depression) hardships every day.

I stumbled on to Crossfit last year after getting tired of a traditional weightlifting routine that was getting my nowhere with strength, size, endurance, or fat loss. The intensity and unpredictable nature of the workouts was a revelation. Around the time that the members of my gym were embarking on a “Paleo Diet Challenge”, I found your website and purchased “The Primal Blueprint”. It was your book that helped to convince me that there was a healthier, truer, more natural way to eat, something that would genuinely treat my body as a vessel of God and honor its creation. As a scientist myself, I was intrigued by the physiologic arguments for a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet, and the theories on the importance of epigenetics are very interesting. Add to this that your outlook on a healthy, fulfilling life is FUN! Low stress! Full of flavor and playfulness and experimentation!

I love cooking now, and I love sprinting in my Vibrams. I love being out in the sun with my shirt off and (after much soul searching) I love eggs and chicken thighs. I don’t beat myself up over the occasional high-fat dessert. Numbers: in three months of the Primal lifestyle, I’ve lost 15 pounds – mostly fat. I was 175 lbs with 22% body fat and a 32-inch waist. Now I’m 160 lbs with 15% body fat and a 29-inch waist. I can almost see my abs! I’m no longer self-conscious about my body, and I look great in small athletic-fit polos. Most of all, this lifestyle is sustainable long-term, good for the earth and for my sanity. I’ve recommended your book to plenty of friends and patients, who will hopefully have as much luck and enjoyment as I have! Grok on!


Primal Blueprint

I started living the Primal lifestyle “officially” on January 15, 2010. It was my first day of eating Paleo, and started training as well, working out a minimum of four days a week. Up to this point, I had been careless with how I ate (plus, I’m a pastry chef, and I took advantage of that). I wasn’t getting any exercise save for the occasional run; I had completed a couple of half-marathons but the last one had been in September.

My aunt had passed away earlier in January after a long battle with cancer, and I made the promise to myself that I would better my health and increase my longevity. Almost as if by chance, I read the New York Times article spotlighting the Paleo Diet, and started doing the research.

So on January 15th, I started out at 213 pounds, with a blood pressure reading of 140/78.

At first, it was very difficult. Like quitting any bad habit, the first few days are the biggest trial. Your body and mind want to hold on to those habits. But I worked, and really tried to quit the old habits “cold turkey.” In the first couple of weeks, I dropped around 7 or 8 pounds. That first drop was the motivation to keep going and not give up. By February 15th, one month later, I was down to 197 pounds — a loss of 16 pounds.

Well, here was a habit I could get behind! I wasn’t running more (given that the weather was awful up here in Western NY) but I was attending training classes regularly and continued eating Primal. My wife (who has not jumped on this bandwagon just yet) was still uncertain that I was going to stick to my guns, given that it was so different from what anybody we knew was doing. The guys at work thought I was a little loony — granted, while they were eating the provided “family meal” at work which I knew was unhealthy, I was eating delicious foods, and lots of them! And I wasn’t running to the bathroom shortly thereafter due to stomach problems from what they were eating!

March 15th, two months in: I’m down to 187 pounds, for a cumulative drop of 26 pounds.

Clothes are now getting baggier, and the XL tshirts I love to wear are beginning to hang on me. I started out wearing a size Large chef coat at work — at this point, I had to go down to a Medium. My energy levels are ridiculously high, and many days I’d have training from noon til 1pm, to then go into work at 3 and be there until midnight. Whereas my coworkers would start dragging around 9 or 10pm, I still had lots of energy from the exercise and good food I was eating!

At this point in the process, I’m also experimenting with more foods. Food that I didn’t find appetizing before was tasting much better to me now. I was still having a drink on occasion, but beer wasn’t tasting good to me anymore, so my alcohol consumption was basically a glass of wine a week. I was quickly becoming the designated driver if we all went out after work — which I was cool with. Sobriety, as I was starting to say, was quite refreshing.

April 15th, three months in: I’m down to 175 pounds, for a cumulative drop of 38 pounds.

It’s around this point that people are really noticing the physical change in me. I’m down to a Small chef’s jacket now; I had to reinvest in some new clothing after donating three large garbage bags of my old clothing to charity. My wife has gone from skeptical to highly impressed and even more supportive. My other family members are of the belief that I’m “too skinny” (mind you, I’m 5’9″). The compliments are coming in fast and furious, and it’s humbling. This is the sort of reaction that only motivates me further. My personal goal is that once I hit 40 pounds, I will cheat on my diet and reward myself with a “garbage plate” (a local delicacy up here in Rochester).

I hit 40 pounds and decided, “Well, if I can do 40, I can do 50. Let’s save the reward for 50.”

I no longer drink at this point. Whatever changes have occurred in my body, I just don’t feel the desire for it, nor do I really love the taste. I’ll have a sip of wine or whatever’s around, but just to sample it.

One of the high points of the year so far came in late April, when I had my checkup with my doctor. Not only was the physician’s attendant floored by my weight loss, my doctor didn’t recognize me when he came
in! He called up my records on his computer and had to reconfirm my birthdate. “The records here say you’re obese.” “Well, I was!”

As of May 15th, I am down to 162 pounds, a loss of 51 pounds cumulative. I have dropped from a 36 to a 32 waist; I work out daily (even if it’s just some light stretching, or a run, or pushups). My blood pressure is down to 124/60. I eat well with the occasional taste of something naughty (I am still a pastry chef, remember)! I even went so far as to contact my old high school and got my health records from when I was 16 — my weight was 169. I’m turning 36 this year, so to take 20 years to go from healthy to not to healthy again…I love it.

Your book was a huge, HUGE motivator in the process. I’ve found myself not only reading up on Primal and Paleo, but exploring and researching more into where our food comes from. I’m very fascinated now with how food is marketed towards the consumer who doesn’t have the knowledge of good nutrition.

I keep telling people that ANYONE can do this. ANYONE. Is it for the athlete alone? No. The rich person? No. The tree-hugging hippie or eco-maniac? No. You have to want to do it, and want to live it — and the results can be astounding. Results will come, but only with hard work and tenacity. And once the results show, you’ll just want more.

Thank you, Mark, for your work and your book. Mark’s Daily Apple is definitely a fantastic resource that I will continue to frequent.

RyanSomething Food Related

Just a quick note of thanks for reminding us of the real meaning of life, and the proper place food has in it.

Found your web-site in early March of this year, and started at a modified Primal diet.

Being retired, 76 years old (but still very active), but with heart problems, overweight, a former smoker, I decided to “give it a try”.

So far I’ve lost 27 lbs (from 186 to 159, and still going down – want to get to about 150) – I’m short, and until the onset of middle age, was always in the 145 to 155 weight range.

Cardiologist is amazed – can’t attribute this to the diet, but maybe it helped – my aortic valve which was quite leaking quite badly and he was sure was needed replacement, has partially repaired itself!. Blood work is in the perfect range. Energy level is up, and the wife and I (she’s on it too, but the ladies seem to have a harder time in the weight loss department) are acting like newly weds) (hint-hint).

Next on the agenda is back to jogging, running, and the California International Marathon (maybe in 2011 or 12).

Thanks again and keep those daily “Apples” coming. “It sure do keep the doctor away”.

Rod McDonald

Hi Mark,

I know you must get hundreds of these, but you’ve made such a huge difference in my life, that I couldn’t resist chipping in! I want you to know how much good you’re doing for just regular people like me, my husband and my daughter. This is going to catch on because it’s right and it works!

I have been eating primally for about six months now, and my life has improved dramatically. I’ve never really had a weight issue in the past because I’ve always been active, and ate the “healthy” conventional wisdom diet. I’m 5’8” and weighed 145 to 150 lbs, so I wasn’t winning any swimsuit contests, but wasn’t doing too badly. The last 5 years or so though, I started to steadily pack on weight. I developed an overuse injury in my legs from running, and after surgery was not able to run as much. Then I got a stressful job and couldn’t get to the gym several times per week for the hour or hour and a half that I was used to. I moved to the suburbs and stopped walking to work. Then I had a baby and my mother got sick at about the same time, and my weight peaked at 190 pounds! The scariest part was that I knew my weight was totally out of control, and I didn’t see how I would stop gaining. I was scared. The worse I felt, the more sweets and carbs I ate, and the more I ate, the more I craved. I was exhausted, stressed and depressed from taking care of my daughter and my mother and felt like I couldn’t afford to exercise myself weak to get rid of the extra weight. Pregnancy had messed with my immune system as well, so that after my daughter was born I developed inflammation in all of my joints and in my eyes of all things. My doctor put me on strong anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs) and sent me to a specialist who did some tests and told me that I had all the symptoms of a disease that would curve my spine within about 10 years. The only treatment was to keep taking the NSAIDs until I was a candidate for surgery. I was devastated. I had gone from being healthy and active to facing middle age with a crippling disability. Thankfully my husband had purchased the Primal Blueprint and read it without telling me. He started eating scrambled eggs for breakfast while I ate yogurt and granola. Then he started losing weight – he’s now down 30 lbs. I was worried that he was ruining his health, so I read the book and immediately went 100% primal. Within about 1 month of going primal the joint pain went away almost entirely and I stopped taking the NSAIDs. Now, not quite 6 months later, I’ve lost 24 pounds with no effort whatsoever. I’m nowhere near my goal yet, but I know that I’m going to get there. My weight and my health are back in my hands where they belong. I’m feeling so much more positive and in control, and the better I feel the more I do to take care of myself. I’m very excited to get your Primal Fitness book! My daughter who is now 20 months old is eating mostly primal food too and I don’t know how to thank you. You’ve made a tremendous difference for me and my family. I’m trying to spread the word, but not many people are ready to listen yet. This frustrates me because the kind of inflammation I experienced after my pregnancy is classic with grain sensitivities. I hope your message reaches everyone that wants to hear it, because everyone deserves the chance to cure themselves with food before having to resort to drugs or surgery. Thank you thank you thank you for the work you’re doing!



Primal Blueprint

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