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

“The Healthiest Sick Guy” You Knew

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!

Like most, I grew up playing sports in high school. I ate a “healthy,” low-fat SAD diet. Junk food was never allowed in the house. My only exposure to junk food was at friend’s houses. The closest I ate to cookies were graham crackers. Chips? No, we had dry saltine crackers.

I think my mom’s theory was, if it doesn’t taste too good, it can’t be that bad for you. She really tried. The first time my sister ate a cupcake she ate the wrapper not knowing it was there! You can’t make that kind of stuff up.

As a kid, I ALWAYS had stuffy sinuses and sore throats. I would develop bronchitis three to four times a year. To get to the bottom of it, an allergy test was performed. The results showed I was sensitive to dust mites (they live on everything, including us), cats, and dogs. We had all three.

The doctor’s orders were no pets in my room, and my pillows and mattress had to be wrapped in a plastic liner beneath the sheets. Nothing ruins a good night’s sleep like a noisy tarp under your head. It was fun convincing my friends I wasn’t a bed wetter. I swear I wasn’t. Really.

Entering my teens, bronchitis continued occurring even though I was following the bubble boy protocol. Strep throat became a yearly occurrence too. Maybe now it was my poor diet? Food at home remained “healthy,” but friends had cars and fast food was common.

Turning 18 I became what “non MDAer’s” would call a health nut. No longer participating in sports, I began working out, and eating “healthy.” I ate lots of veggies, heart healthy whole grains, and avoided saturated fat like the plague, no junk food whatsoever.

In college, alcohol consumption on the weekends became common. Everyone else drank but also ate terrible. Fast food, fried food in the dorm, late night pizza, alcohol, and yet they rarely got sick. One day my roommate said to me, “You’re the healthiest sick kid I know, you work out all the time, eat better than anyone I know, yet you’re always sick.”

I was lean and “in shape,” but he was right. Bronchitis and strep throat were still VERY common into my adult years. Z-Packs were like Tic-Tacs! Again determined to find out why, back to the allergist I went. There were no more cats or dogs, so what was it?

Between feeling like a swarm of fire ants were attacking me, and the red reaction patch on my back the size of a volleyball, I thought this time we had gotten to the bottom of it! I don’t remember the name, but was told I was allergic to pollen that “at certain times of the year gives people problems.” I found this odd because I had a year round problem.

Onward I went, “the healthiest sick guy” you knew. This label was discouraging; I was going to school for Exercise Science and wanted to help people become not only fit, but also healthy.

After graduating college I moved to Colorado to intern at a sport performance clinic. Nothing like elevation changes to let you know when your sinuses are acting up. One weekend, a visit from a friend led to a few nights with beers. By the time he left I woke with a familiar itch in my throat and stuffy sinuses. At this point in my life I rarely drank and wondered why alcohol affected me this way and not others?

It’s sad to think this was the “aha” moment (maybe getting drunk can solve your problems. Kidding). I wondered why I felt so bad and my friend didn’t. Maybe it was something in the beer? Our beer of choice that evening was a micro-brew wheat beer.

A few days of Googling wheat allergy symptoms led me to the Paleo diet, and eventually onto MDA. What I read seemed so simple and logical. Why was I only hearing about this now? I gave Primal a go, and a few weeks later my sinus congestion was gone! My daily morning phlegm, no more! That constantly itchy throat? Gone. I haven’t experienced bronchitis since. In fact, I hardly ever get sick.

Breathing better is huge. I’m a big hiker and love being outdoors. Today, if I consume wheat, the stuffy sinuses and itchy throat return. I haven’t tested it, but I’m confident if I continually ate wheat, bronchitis would return.

Luke Hiking

This journey has brought me more than the ability to breath. I sleep MUCH better now. I’ve never slept well in my life, EVER. I can’t state how much of an improvement this has been. My entire life I’ve dreaded going to bed, no matter how tired I am.

On average, I would lay in bed for one to two hours each night, regardless of what time I went to bed or how tired I was. That’s ridiculous, right? Now I easily fall asleep. No hitting the snooze button, I wake up refreshed.

Being an active person, I noticed another awesome change. The idea of “hitting the wall” disappeared. In high school I worried about getting what I called, “the rubber band body” during football practice. Essentially I was describing a blood sugar crash. Things change when your breakfast isn’t Honey Bunches of Oats, orange juice, and wheat toast with peanut butter and honey.

After moving to San Diego, I found a new and demanding hobby, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I get tired while training, but feel like I can train all day without ever hitting the wall and experiencing that “rubber band” crash feeling.

To this day my journey with food continues. I’ve joined local CSAs, began growing my own greens, and sourcing quality meat products (to the best of my finances). At times intermittent fasting has become an incredibly valuable tool.

Future Food A Typical Meal

I used to require eight meals a day to function. Skipping a meal meant I’d become a dizzy, miserable, “hangry” monster. I would freak out! Imagine a seven-month old baby crying for food. Now imagine that baby being a 6 foot, 190 pound grown adult, capable of communicating with words about how hungry and miserable he feels. That should give you an idea of what I was like to be around.

Now, going ten hours without food while working an active day training clients, isn’t a problem. Hunger comes on slowly and steadily. It is a gentle reminder that it’s time to eat, not a complete code red, meltdown-system failure!

Obviously my personal health gains have been tremendously important to me. However, I want to say thanks for what this journey has helped me do professionally. As a personal trainer, the nutrition I promote now is far different than what it was after graduation. I’ve always understood that you can’t out train nutrition, and that is the first piece of advice I share with clients. The second is to check out a website called Marks Daily Apple.

Countless numbers of my clients, friends, and family members have regained control of their weight, energy, and relationship with food by using a Primal/paleo approach to eating. I’ve been so enthused about what eating this way has done for me, that it inspired me to share it in person. Last winter while visiting my family in Illinois, I hosted a fitness seminar that lasted three hours. Two of those hours were spent presenting the basics of eating a Primal/paleo diet; including recipes and the resources and tools to make it happen!

It was a great success! A handful of the group took the plunge and are experiencing amazing results first hand. Having resources like MDA, The Primal Blueprint, MDA success stories, and other leaders in the ancestral health community to point people towards, validated the nutritional suggestions made during the seminar. So Mark, thank you for that! You have created a ripple effect that you may not be aware is taking place!

Luke After Primal

I also want to say thanks to the MDA community. It’s refreshing to read encouraging, positive, and inquisitive comments and discussion. Most places online, whether a YouTube channel, blog, or Facebook post, you can’t look past the first page without finding a rude, racist, degrading, or otherwise nasty comment. On MDA I see none of that! What a great place to send people who are looking for direction!


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. Good job! Very similar to my story, brainwashed into thinking I was healthy but really being skinny fat/inflammatory/sick all of the time. Keep it up! :)

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on May 30th, 2014
  2. I am so happy for you! What a long journey to find your allergen.

    Now you can get a dog!

    Sheri wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Haha yes, just to much responsibility for me!

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • I was thinking the same thing! Did you get a dog? :-) Great story and I enjoyed your humor. You mentioned that these message board comments are always positive and I agree. I believe it’s because most of the comments are from happy people because they follow the primal diet and feel great!

      Mati wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • No dog, but I have a cat and that causes no problems! Dog someday.

        Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Hey Luke,

      Congratulations! You look great. I want some of that food, man! What time is dinner?

      superdave wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • Thanks superdave! Sadly, leftovers are far and few between, lol.

        Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Yet another instance of grains being detrimental to someone’s health.

    Your account of beer is interesting because it’s something I’ve noticed in myself. I can drink beer, but I feel a sense of heaviness. I used to be able to drink several pints in one sitting. Now that I am largely grain free I have to force myself to finish even one pint.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

    C L Deards wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Yeah beer is a tough one, I get that it’s a hard thing for many to give up. I won’t lie and say I never indulge (no wheat based beers) but it better be a pretty good reason.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  4. Great story! Thanks for sharing!

    Siobhan wrote on May 30th, 2014
  5. Very well written and thoughtful story. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

    Ara wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Thank you Ara

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Luke. I had the same result when I gave up grains, regarding allergies. I gave them up because of horrible digestion problems, but the cessation of my chronic allergies was a lovely, unexpected bonus. It always amazes me how many people who complain about chronic allergies respond with, “oh I could never give up bread” when I tell them my story. So I’m glad you’re having an impact on people! Keep up the good work.

    Lauryn wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • I would point those people to Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis. He does a good job explaining the chemical interactions that cause wheat to be so addicting. It is amazing that we can convince ourselves to think “I can’t live without” a certain food.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • When I told someone their solution would be giving up wheat and sugar, they said “You mean all the good stuff? I couldn’t do that,”

      I don’t get it x.x

      Kio wrote on January 29th, 2016
  7. Let me say that your story about allergies, and reactions to wheat etc., is right on.

    When I am serious MDA (90%) I don’t even have to use my inhaler (which is for EIA- exercise induced asthma)

    But you have inspired me as have many on this site–along with Mark– to get serious about more natural/organic food sources.

    While they may cost more, if you IF and eat only to satisfy your hunger, you probably save money (and your health) in the long run.

    Congrats on figuring it out– and keeping on.

    Dave wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Dave I’m not perfect on organic local either. I do the best I can. I have an unfair advantage in San Diego, there’s a farmers market every day somewhere. And most stores carry quality food. I’m from Illinois and know it can be hard. I used to just focus on the dirty dozen list.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • Great story! What’s the dirty dozen list?

        Barbara Rebel wrote on June 2nd, 2014
        • The Dirty Dozen list is compiled by the Environmental Working Group and refers to the produce with the highest pesticide residues. EWG’s recommendation is to try to buy these foods organic. (There is also a Clean Fifteen list of foods with the lowest residues; good to know if you can’t afford all-organic.) The 2014 Dirty Dozen are: apples,
          strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, nectarines (imported), cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas (imported), potatoes, hot peppers, and kale/collard greens. Geat story Luke–thanks!

          KrisS wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  8. Another fab, uplifting story! I completely agree Luke- The MDA Community is encouraging, positive and full of intelligent discussion!

    Susie wrote on May 30th, 2014
  9. Thanks for sharing Luke and it’s wonderful that sleep has become restful for you, what an awful way to live. My older son, now 15, has giant meltdowns when he gets hungry. We always start looking for military schools to send him off to (in our imaginations) when it happens because it is unbearable. I skew towards paleo and my husband pulls the other way so I can say that some of the food we serve is solid and most of our dinners are just a meat and a vegetable. At this age I think the boys should be eating some grains, because it’s all around us.

    Vanessa wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Yeah I really can’t express how life changing good sleep is (not surprising). Personally I require more fat than before to have sustained energy. At 15 it’s hard to keep the junk food out, when kids are on there own at at friends houses. Maybe that’s where the energy swings come from?

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • I am also a frequent eater because I begin to feel weak and light headed or shakey if I go more than a few hours without eating. And I am definitely moody when I get hungry, so I’ve learned to always be prepared and take safe snacks, or at least keep a banana or some almonds in my car/bag just in case. Did you work up to intermittent fasting or did you just notice that you could go for longer periods of not eating without the side effects? I’ve assumed I have an insanely fast metabolism these days (I take martial arts and am about 90% Paleo, 100%gluten free) but I hate feeling like my activities and life revolve around whether I have access to food or not. I did a whole30 last fall, and I remember feeling like I was hungry 24/7, even though I was eating a lot of food and increasing the amount of fat I consume.

        Danielle wrote on June 2nd, 2014
        • Danielle, I began intermittent fasting due to an early morning work schedule. I wouldn’t always be hungry on days it started at 6AM. Knowing there might be a gap in the schedule at 10 to eat, I started skipping breakfast without any negative effects. I found that on days I ate breakfast hunger came on sooner so fasting made since.

          Martin Berkham from Lean Gains has a lot written on this. If I remember correctly, he speculates a heightened insulin response to meals in the morning is due to Cortisol levels peaking during those hours. If you’re insulin sensitive this can cause the excessive crash post breakfast that many people complain of.

          Obviously eating more fat than before helps pull it off! I too have an intense appetite and metabolism, and when I do eat I EAT! Hope you can figure it out, being a slave to food sucks.

          Luke wrote on June 3rd, 2014
      • I usually eat 3-4 eggs and a small amount of starch in the form of sweet potatoes or fried plantains, all cooked in bacon fat which I save from my regular consumption of bacon. It’s a sizable portion for my 5’1″, 115lb frame, but I still find myself feeling hungry and wanting a snack within 2-3 hours. Do you start those 6am mornings on an empty stomach and have your first meal at 10? Perhaps I should ditch the starch and add some bacon or sausage or other form of fatty goodness instead.

        I will definitely have to check out Lean Gains to see what the author has to say on the matter. My coworkers have begun referring to me as ‘the hummingbird’ because of how much and how often I eat! It is my only complaint since switching to a Primal/Paleo lifestyle. Thank you for the tip!

        Danielle wrote on June 4th, 2014
  10. That meal is making me hungry….

    Great going, Luke!

    Jacob wrote on May 30th, 2014
  11. I love stories like this! I can somewhat relate, although my problems were mainly digestive, I always looked super healthy but inside it was another story until eating paleo. The sleep is an amazing part of it too. So glad you feel great and are spreading the message to clients as well!

    Michele wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Thanks Michele! Glad you too are feeling the impact of Primal eating. I’m lucky and never (to my knowledge) had digestive issues. That can be quite the process to heal, so congrats on figuring it out. I’m sure it helps with the running!

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  12. Hey Luke, thanks for sharing your story. Most folks have no idea that there are a lot of slender folks that feel like crap. Great job.

    Nocona wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Thanks Nocona, I agree. I think there’s also a lot of people who don’t realize how crappy they feel!

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  13. Isn’t it amazing how many things get fixed simply by getting rid of the grains? It’s probably mostly wheat that’s problematic, but I feel better when I avoid most grain products. I can eat rice once in a while. It doesn’t mess with me the same way wheat does, possibly because it’s grown differently and lacks gluten.

    Shary wrote on May 30th, 2014
  14. So many of these success stories are about discovering wheat allergies and intolerance.

    Diane wrote on May 30th, 2014
  15. What a great journey, thank you for sharing Luke. MDA and this community is amazing, positive and knowledgeable. It is a great resource. Wishing you many years of health, happiness and success!! Grok on…. :)

    Rebeccajean wrote on May 30th, 2014
  16. Great story with an important lesson. Never assume. Recently I gave up oatmeal. I’d been eating it my whole life without issues but I noticed over the last year or so I would be nauseous and groggy for hours after eating it. Not every time, but the times I would get nauseous were becoming more frequent. So one day I had a sweet potato instead. Everything else stayed the same (cinnamon, two teaspoons of fish oil, and coconut oil for some creaminess) plus four eggs and some pistachios Guess what? I felt amazing. Been doing it for two weeks now and I no longer feel drowsy after breakfast, no nausea, and I feel so light and peppy that I could easily work out right after eating if I wanted to. Plus, sweet potatoes taste SOOOOO much better than oatmeal. It’s like having pumpkin pie for breakfast every day! So my lesson was, things change. What may be fine in your twenties may not work in your forties. Bodies change. Something that was fine can now become an irritant. It never ends.

    Clay wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Clay, great point. Never assume. I agree things change over time, being dialed in enough to notice is the hard part. Not that you need to, but it would be interesting to see how you feel after a big bowl of oatmeal now?? Nothing like a little self experimentation.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • If I really missed oatmeal I would for sure. But it was never high on the satisfaction meter, so I don’t feel the urge to roll the dice and see if I can eat it and not be nauseous for three hours.Now if I had a problem with eggs, well that would be devastating 😉

        Clay wrote on May 30th, 2014
  17. Yes, life-long nasal congestion and drip left me soon after going Primal. I woke up one day and realized my sinuses were clear and had been for awhile. When I give folks the rundown of all the ailments I had that going Primal cured, they get glassy-eyed on me – they just can’t believe it. I guess they think it’s all a coincidence.

    Grok on, Luke!

    Pure Hapa wrote on May 30th, 2014
  18. Thanks for sharing your story, Luke! Very inspiring. San Diego is amazing. My wife and I moved here last August and were blown away by all the farmer’s markets and access to organic produce. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get going with a beef/meat CSA. They all seem maxed out.

    Curtis wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Curtis, Here’s a link!order-beef/c1m8d
      to a beef CO-OP from Alpine that isn’t sold out. They have 20 and 40lb boxes. That’s a good size to test the water on. You have to purchase by tomorrow though. The 40lb box comes out to $7.50 a pound which is a really good deal. You can get Roasts at Wholefoods and Sprouts for $6.99 but only Chuck and Top Round. Looks like this one you would give you other expensive cuts at that price too!

      Sage Mountain Farm is good too, they’re at the Hillcrest farmers markets on Sunday. There’s two others I can’t think of at the moment. If you don’t get that one from the link, let me know and I’ll track down the names of the other two.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  19. Luke,

    Great post! Your story is a testimony for the health conscious that still buy into the whole grain dogma. You are a class act for pointing out that Mark has crated a positive and encouraging blog community. This is an open minded group that just wants natural and practical health solutions. Regardless of the well researched clinical studies and resources Mark provides to support his observations, there is no greater truth than looking and feeling one’s best. Thousands of positive n-1s can’t be wrong.

    Thanks for sharing

    jack lea mason wrote on May 30th, 2014
  20. Luke- here’s to you… success, happiness and the whole world at your fingertips. Cheers!

    Brooke wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • I love it! Thanks!

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • Great job, awesome story! It’s nice seeing a Friday post from someone I see posting on here regularly. :)

        Sharon T wrote on May 30th, 2014
  21. I’m jealous; my abysmal allergies have not improved one iota since going grain free. I’m going to have to try the autoimmune protocol, which after looking at the one on Paleo Mom’s site, is going to be tough. I’ll have to, at least temporarily, give up some of my staples – coffee, chocolate, eggs, dairy, bell peppers and hot peppers. *sigh*

    b2curious wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • If you have allergies due to pollen it won’t make a difference. As long as your body mistakenly assumes that certain pollens are harmful invaders instead of benign, your diet will make little difference. As a life long allergy sufferer that had my chronically infected tonsils removed when I was 22 years old, about the only thing that will get you temporary relief is surfing/saline washes, exercise, and spicy foods.I have several friends who are in the same boat and the only thing that has really worked so far has been allergy treatments with months and months of shots to train your body to ignore the pollen.

      Clay wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • I’m sure you are going to take Mark’s advice and write down a positive statement that you can refer to when you start to waver on the autoimmune protocol.

      I did one of those a few months back for 30 days which taught me that I feel much better if I cut out my last dairy hope, goat cheese. It is tough but get your mind set to do your best and hopefully you will discover what is triggering your allergies. 30 days, not so much really if you get a good lifetime reward.

      A new adventure…….right?

      Sharon wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Bummer. Hopefully you will have some success with the autoimmune protocol. I’ve worked with people who experienced relief from sinus and congestion issues by removing dairy. Sounds like it’s worth giving it a shot. Hopefully it’s just one of those and not all…good luck.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
  22. Good on you bud, Beer is a tough one ill admit. Certain beers can make one feel awful. I find that Guinness, or good stouts, dont affect me and it is really refreshing and good with a meal. Really considering giving up alcohol for a bit, but it a real challenge in the summertime. Last summer i had been primal for about a month when i attended a bar b q one night and a buddys wedding the next. I didn’t eat any different, but had about 12 beer over the two days, went from a lean 206 lbs up to a puffy 211 lbs. within 3 or 4 days i was back down to 206 lbs, but wow i felt crappy.

    keep up the good work

    dchess693 wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Ooooh beer is super tough for me because i heart it seriously. Learned a valuable intro into summer lesson last weekend (Memorial Day). Went to a bday bbq and drank maybe four beers (Corona, Bud light Lime) bad, bad, bad stomach for about four days after, YUCK! Lesson embraced, will take a nice gluten free ale where ever I go so that I don’t feel like I’m missing out but don’t have the horrible after effects.
      Great story Luke, emailed it to my older brother. Fingers crossed!

      shelly wrote on May 31st, 2014
  23. I think many of these success stories are about finding wheat allergies and intolerance.

    Marry Johnson wrote on May 30th, 2014
  24. Great story and thanks for sharing. Grok on!

    James wrote on May 30th, 2014
  25. Awesome story Luke. Well done.

    BW wrote on May 30th, 2014
  26. Wow. Great story. I can completely relate to this from the beginning, even how you ate as a kid to the training in martial arts (1st degree in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu here), sounds a lot like me! When I stray, I pay!

    Kendra wrote on May 30th, 2014
  27. Congrats Luke! Isn’t sleep extraordinary? I need some advice on ways to bulk up. I’m 5’9, and I just recently passed the 130 threshold at age 23. Thanks

    Michael Chekanski wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Yes sleep is amazing!. Personally, I’m not a fan of “bulking” and cutting like the traditional body builder. I would rather remain lean and have muscle gains come slower. Primal it’s a lifestyle right, gaining muscle can be too. As someone who also doesn’t easily put on muscle I appreciate your journey. It’s gonna take some time, but if you gained 15-20 pounds of muscle in 1-2 years, that would be huge!

      In a nutshell you have to lift heavy, while eating big. I would still focus on eating Primal while I eat big.

      Many people lose weight eating Primal, lets face it, there’s not a lot of calories in stuff like broccoli. Using veggies as a way to source quality calorie dense fats like coconut oil, grass fed butter, olive oil, will be helpful. You need ample protein. You can source that from your typical Primal sources Steak, Fish, Eggs, Chicken. Fatty cuts will help add calories. I would also suggest sneaking in other calorie dense foods like coconut butter, nut butters (minding your O6 O3) and other foods that pack a caloric punch. I still think you should mind your hunger hormones, and hopefully heavy lifting the hunger will be there.

      You gotta lift heavy! Focus on the big movements Deadlifts, Backsquat, Split Squats, Push Press, Bench Press, Pullups, Bent Over Rows. Not saying you can’t do some ancillary stuff like biceps but I wouldn’t spend much time on it. Bicep day won’t get you there. The big lifts will stimulant your central nervous system to promote growth!

      Now that I’m thinking about it, Mark has done a really good post on this. Give it a read!

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • Thanks so much Luke for the in-depth post. I have been following most of the guidelines listed above with the exception of a few workouts. I do not even bother with isolating muscle groups at the gym. I’m going to read the article and continue to eat calorie rich meals. I’ve put on about 8 pounds of muscle in under 4 months thus far following those guidelines. I guess I’m a culprit of the get big fast economy. I’m going to read Mark’s post and check out the book “Body by Science.” Thanks so much for the information. Also, congratulations on your journey. Very few people deserve to live in pain.

        Michael B wrote on June 2nd, 2014
        • Michael, If you’ve put on 8 pounds of muscle in under 4 months as a “hard gainer” you’re doing good! Now it’s just a time game. Keep at it. And yeah don’t fall for the get big fast economy.

          Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  28. Do you still eat dairy? I’m just wondering because I have the same lung issues and don’t eat wheat anymore either but still have problems. What does your diet consist of now?

    Mackenzie wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • As far as dairy goes I eat “Grass Fed” cheese, occasionally some Full Fat Greek Yogurt (Fage). That’s it for Dairy.

      I keep it pretty Primal. Breakfast is typically Eggs cooked in coconut oil, sometimes a side of Bacon and Asparagus, if I’m not fasting. I grill a lot. (you can BBQ 365 days here in San Diego). Average meal is some protein paired with a heap of veggies (Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Mashed Cauliflower, Asparagus etc) and some piece of fruit. I eat lots of sweet potatoes post hard-workout. I’m okay with potatoes too.

      My “cheats” would be 90 percent dark chocolate and the occasional indulgence of Corn Tortillas or corn chips and salsa. Being intolerant to wheat can be a blessing in disguise. Wheat is in most nutritionally void junk food that I would crave, so it’s easy to say no. Oh and I will still occasionally have alcohol.

      Luke wrote on May 30th, 2014
      • Awesome, thanks! I’m in SD too :)

        Mackenzie wrote on June 1st, 2014
  29. What this story points up is, that you can be theoretically as fit as a Mallee bull as we Aussies say, but your health can still be far from optimal.

    Paul in Australia wrote on May 30th, 2014
  30. A great success story told with great humour and positivity but I can’t believe no one has commented about your gorgeous smile Luke! Not flirting, I’m married with kids, just needed to give you an honest compliment! God bless 😃

    PrimalRo wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Best comment ever!! JK thanks PrimalRo

      Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  31. I wonder how much gluten is needed before exercise induced asthma or PN drip starts?
    My daughter (13) has developed these symptoms after a cold. She takes relieiver pump everywhere with her, complains of breathing issues early evening and mornings, takes cough fluids at night to “ease” her, has had multiple clinic visits with no real diagnosis of what is wrong. However she has had blood tests in the past and has anti gluten antibodies, so I sensitive to gluten.. Maybe I should encourage to drop wheat?

    John wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • John, if esp if the puffer is not helping her, have her evaluated for vocal cord dysfunction by an ENT. Google it. A viral infection can be a trigger for this disorder. It looks a lot like exertion asthma, does often present also mornings and evenings, and can be treated easily with breathing exercises.

      I would still drop wheat :). I have one food allergy that brings on asthma (chocolate) and eliminating it was a miracle. Otherwise, I am allergic to every pollen on Earth so allergy shots really helped me a lot. If this IS asthma, she should also be on preventative meds. If she doesn’t have a diagnosis, consider finding a pediatric allergist if you haven’t.

      Good luck, I’ve had asthma my entire life and this crazy vocal cord disorder for the past year and it is really, really scary to not be able to breathe.

      Juli wrote on May 31st, 2014
    • John, I agree with Juli in getting rid of wheat (actually all grains for me). It was so different to wake up and go to sleep without that feeling that an elephant was standing on my face/chest. I would in years past get rid of milk and OJ thinking it was the culprit. No change, get rid of wheat and it was a huge difference, get rid of the rest of grains and now it’s hard to remember those mornings/evenings. :-)

      2Rae wrote on May 31st, 2014
  32. Great story! Your before sounds so much like my daughter. I am making my way increasingly toward all-in paleo but family doesn’t seem to want to come along. Question…did you ever test positive for a food allergy? My daughter tests negative for every single thing…yet classic allergy symptoms almost all year round (phlegm, cough, skin rashes). Just curious.

    KR wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • No not to my knowledge. Cats Dogs, Dustmites, and Tree Allergies were all.

      Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  33. Well I have to chime in on this This is Lukes Dad. And I can tell you every word of this is true. My son has been an inspiration to many many people. I am very proud of him. He is very dedicated to helping people find there Healthy Self that is inside all of us just waiting to bust out. MDA has been a great site to get indepth info on so many health related subjects. Get a chance read some of my son’s other posts. Many are very motivating. He lives his values and will not sell “the Lie” on Health. Damn wish it were true that I could really get those six pack abbs in 3 weeks!! Anyway Good job son!!!!

    Steve DePron wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Ha Stevo, thanks. Your crazy! Miss ya

      Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  34. Fantastic Friday as always. Thanks for spelling it out so well Luke. Improved sleep is one of my favorite bonuses from this lifestyle too. Just interested, how does your family react to your improved health? Your folks wanted you to eat healthy, but just went about it the “wrong” way. Are they with the program now, or skeptical?

    It’s great to hear someone who works in the fitness industry spreading the word. Keep up the good work.

    HillyM wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Great question. They are not a 100 percent Primal, but they do pretty good! They cook most of their meals, eating mostly a whole food based diet. Some snack stuff like popcorn and a few crackers might still be eaten by my mom, but far and few between. My dad used to be a sugar monster and removing that has caused multiple health concerns to clear up. Every time I travel home I find them doing better and better, which is cool!

      Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  35. I love the positive comments. Hadn’t thought about it til you reminded me!
    I look forward to the success stories sure, but also to reading the reactions. No other blog or site has such lovely regulars. Mark, you bring out the best in us physically and otherwise. THANKS !!
    And Luke you are so lucky to have worked this out early.

    Jane wrote on May 30th, 2014
  36. Great success story Luke! See you on the trails in Torrey Pines!

    Joe wrote on May 30th, 2014
  37. Great story Luke, and so similar to mine. Sick all the time as a child with sinus, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia. Hospitalised many times, had allergy tests galore, and a sinus operation at 16. Winter was always terrible, being sick all the way through. This lasted through to my late 30’s. I started a new diet to lose weight and within 4 weeks I could breathe through my nose. I didn’t ever know this was possible! As time went on the asthma improved, and I got through last winter with no bronchitis. Researching how this new diet had made such a difference led to this site. Sites like this have been invaluable in allowing me to explain the science to my friends and family( including convincing my husband to give it a go). I have had to cut out milk and limit my dairy intake as well. But the difference to my life is absolutely worth it.

    Belinda wrote on May 30th, 2014
  38. Luke it is great to read your story. I have had sinus headaches all my life. I tested positive for grass and oak tree pollen but still had sinus headaches throughout the year. I was just resigned to always being susceptible to them. When I gave up dairy and wheat my sinus headaches improved remarkably.

    JJ wrote on May 30th, 2014
  39. Hi Luke
    Great story and great results :)
    Question – how do you stay paleo on long hikes ?

    Jo wrote on May 30th, 2014
    • Jo, Most of the hiking I do are day trips so being without food isn’t much of a big deal. When I do take stuff, I’m packing Jerky, Apples, Nuts, Uber Bars, or some homemade Coconut based bars. Laughing Giraffe company makes some good coconut based bars that are pretty handy. They also make some grain free granola type stuff. Whole food sells it, it’s pricey but for those times you want some caloric density, it’s pretty good.

      Luke wrote on June 2nd, 2014
  40. The sentence that brings it home:

    “Hunger comes on slowly and steadily. It is a gentle reminder that it’s time to eat, not a complete code red, meltdown-system failure!”

    Petra wrote on May 30th, 2014

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