97 “Bonus” Changes After Six Months of Living a Primal Lifestyle

Taking control of your health can have profound, far-reaching effects on your life. With newfound energy and well-being it can change your outlook entirely. This was Matt’s experience. I received this email from Matt a few months ago and it floored me. Peruse and enjoy his opus, and feel free to chime in on the comment board with #98, 99, and 100. Did going Primal spark a sea change in your life? What other aspects of life, maybe totally unrelated to diet and exercise, fell into place once you starting living according the Primal Blueprint lifestyle principles? Grok on!

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!


The Primal lifestyle has completely changed my life and I wanted to share this with you and everybody involved. I also wanted to say thank you.

97 “Bonus” Changes after Six Months of Living a Primal Lifestyle

I set out to get healthier with one goal in mind: change my appearance. I was tired of being disappointed every morning when I got ready for work. I missed people’s comments about how good I look. That was it.

Well, I noticed my appearance and weight changing once I began to eat healthier. Those were changes that I set out to make. Little did I know, changes were taking place of which I was unaware. These are all changes I was completely unaware of that have taken place with me:

1. I am happy

I am really happy. I just always have that warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling after a good first date, when your kid tells you they love you, when you just swooshed a 3-pointer. I have that feeling all of the time for some reason. And I like it.

2. I have the energy to exercise everyday

I exercise every day now. I used to dread it. I used to talk myself out of it all the time. It was because I didn’t have the energy for it.

Now, I get my exercising in as if it were just part of my day. I always feel better after I’m done with the heavy bag than I did before it.

3. I play with my daughter at least at least 30 minutes more every day

I used to not have the energy for it. Either that or I was distracted by the television.

Now, I see the beauty in playing with my daughter. I get to see more of the beautiful, quirky, fun, and hilarious things she does. I look forward to it every day.

4. I rarely watch TV

I used to watch at least two hours of TV per night. Three to four on the weekends.

Now, I only watch it when there is a stand-up comedian I like or UFC. My wife and I will watch one movie per week, on Friday usually. It is wonderful to have the time to do what I want and need to do, rather than just sitting around and waiting to go to bed.

5. I no longer get acid reflux

I have had acid reflux since middle school. I would actually throw up on accident it was so bad. The 30 minutes following a meal was spent recovering and trying to keep bile down.

Now, for the first time in a decade, I eat and don’t really think about it again until the next meal.

6. I am no longer shaky when I don’t eat

I used to get really shaky if I hadn’t eaten in awhile. I was hardly able to write, let alone use knives, carry drinks, the list goes on. I realized that after I started eating healthy, my shakiness got worse and worse. I ran to the store one time and got a big bag of Doritos and ate them all and the shakes were gone. I had just eaten a huge, dense, green salad and several pieces of fruit an hour before, but the Doritos got rid of my shakes in an instant. That’s when I truly realized my addiction. It wasn’t me being hungry that caused the shakes, it was my body’s addiction to the drugs in the food. That was the last junk food I ate.

Over the course of a month, my shakes started to decrease, until finally, they were gone completely. Now, I can go on a two day fast and not shake a bit.

7. My mood is not affected when I miss a meal

Man, would I get grumpy if I missed a meal. If I had gotten home after a long day of no breakfast or lunch, all I could think about is eating. I was very short with my wife and daughter and did not like conversation.

Now, I act the exact same when I miss lunch as when I don’t. And my wife is glad = )

8. I am much more patient with my children, myself, my wife, and my co-workers

I used to have very little patience. I was the worst teacher ever. My wife eventually stopped asking me to explain things because of how frustrated I got. I used to either get angry with my daughter quickly or just ignore it. I used to avoid co-workers because some of them were not as, um, “cultured”, as the rest of us.

Now, I take the time and actually enjoy explaining things and am genuinely happy when I can get through to them.

9. I am able to run for an extended period of time without getting winded

This was a big step up. I used to want to be able to run and run and run. One day, I was reading a runners blog and it inspired me. When I got off of work, I went for a run; made it about a block. I was completely winded.

Now, I can just run when I feel like it and not kill myself in the process. I am still not at the point I want to be at, but I’m getting there…

10. I am more optimistic

I cannot help but look at the brighter side of things. It used to always be “Well, it could always be worse…” to “Hey, it could always be worse!” I go into everything now with a positive outlook. It should be the only outlook we have!

11. I drift more towards positive entertainment than negative (opposite than before)

I was very into conspiracy theories before. I listened to Alex Jones a lot. I used to listen and watch people complaining about what was wrong with the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to bring that to people’s attention, but it was engulfing me.

Now, I listen to music or stand-up comedy. That’s about it. It has a major impact on the way I think throughout the rest of the day.

12. I no longer get migraines

I used to get migraines often. Twice per week. Excedrin became my best friend. I had no idea what was causing them. It didn’t matter which season it was, where we were living, what I was wearing, I would constantly get migraines.

Now, I haven’t had one in over a month. I threw my 124 capsule Excedrin bottle away today.

13. I discovered the wonders of fasting

I started off by fasting and it was incredibly hard. You never really understand how our culture revolves around food until you fast. It completely changes your perspective on just about everything. You learn how much you can endure, you learn the importance of the right foods, and you are able to see how much time is really in a day.

14. I am able to wake up before my alarm clock

…on most days ; )

It feels good not to wake up in your instinctive fight-or-flight mode. It really helps you be more relaxed throughout the day.

15. I laugh more

I laugh a lot more. I am almost always giggly. I almost just sit around looking for something to laugh at. It is one of the healthiest things I do. Look up the benefits of laughter, it’s amazing. I try to find new comedians that will make me laugh until I cry. I laugh at dumb jokes, unintentional humor, and just about everything I can. It really makes a difference.

16. I have become increasingly educated on the human anatomy

I learned about what we were built for, why we are the way we are, and ways to harness that. I learned how our body reacts to outside influences. I have also learned to listen to my body, which is one of the most important things anybody can do. If you really try to listen, your body will tell you what it wants or what it’s doing. You don’t have to just guess what you’re craving or why you’re sick. I promise you, your body will let you know.

17. I read more

This has to do with me cutting out the TV. Reading is so much better. You learn new words, you get better at spelling, and it just boosts your IQ. Plus, you don’t have to worry about some actor you don’t like messing everything up; you can create anything in your head. Finally, I can get Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, Edward Norton, and all my favorites in the same movie!

18. I walk

I can’t believe I never used to walk. It is so helpful. It gives you time to reflect, prioritize, set goals, or just space out. I believe, besides diet, it is the healthiest thing a human being can do.

19. I am able to do numerous push-ups in succession

This is a thing that always used to bug me. I haven’t been able to just bang out 30 pushups whenever I wanted to. Not since wrestling in high school.

I did an assessment of myself the other day and I almost got to forty. I did two hundred (not in succession) the other day. I am really making progress and I am now working towards being able to do fifty continuous push-ups in full form within a month.

20. I have more sex

Do I really have to explain why this is a good thing?

21. I can take naps

I always envied people who took naps. I was never able to. I was always thinking about what a waste of time it is to be just laying there.

Now, when I am tired, that is one of the most important things I can do. It is incredibly healthy for you and makes you exponentially happier and productive for the rest of the day. Nobody should grow out of nap time.

22. I don’t have body odor

…kind of. Well, I don’t stink anymore. I haven’t worn deodorant for a month and have never had a complaint. I don’t smell bad after working out, walking, or working. I just smell like me, which saves me a ton of money.

23. I have a lot less dandruff

I used to have to buy a special shampoo for my dandruff. I got rid of it for two hours and then it was back in full force by lunch time.

So, I switched to cool showers and chucked the shampoo. And you know what? I don’t have noticeable dandruff anymore. So, ditch the expensive shampoos and conditioners and just turn down the heat on the shower and I bet you will make more progress than you were before.

24. I cook more

I used to hate cooking. We would waste money on pizzas, burgers, tacos just out of sheer laziness.

Now, I don’t mind cooking. It gives me something to do and I am starting to like creating different meals.

25. I set goals

I’ve never been one to set goals. I thought they were useless. I just thought if you did your best, results would come.

Silly me, goals are very important if you want to achieve something. I would never have had all of these changes if I did not set goals in the beginning. I would be eating a pizza and watching “King of Queens” right now.

26. I drink less alcohol

I used to have a real problem with alcohol. Before I was twenty years old, I was going through a gallon of vodka per week. It made my bowels runny, gave me stomach aches, horrible acid reflux, just to name a few. It finally became too much and I stopped. Still, every time we had alcohol in the house it was gone that night. I am getting better at rationing myself and finding other things to do.

Once I started living healthy, I have needed it less and less. I have set a goal for myself to not have alcohol for a month with no exceptions and I am pretty excited about it!

27. I don’t want a cigarette

I’ve smoked cigarettes since I was 14 years old. I finally quit seven months ago. I relapsed twice, but never went completely back. I always wanted one though.

Now, I see cigarettes for the disgusting things they truly are and haven’t wanted one.

28. I don’t talk on the phone as much

I would always need to be talking on the phone when I was driving. I’m not sure why I felt the need to, but I would always call somebody on my way to and from work. If they didn’t pick up, I would call somebody else.

Now, I rarely feel the need to call somebody unless I have something specific to talk about. I am content driving in silence. I like it.

29. I am more productive

For some reason, I want to produce again. For awhile, I would try everything in my power to keep from working. If I could BS around something, believe me, I would. I used to get an accomplished feeling when I would take on extra tasks and complete them. But, for some time, I was just doing the bare minimum.

Now, I want to be productive at work again. I drive to work with a purpose again; knowing what needs to be done and how I am going to do it. I notice a difference and I’m sure my boss does as well.

30. I created a budget and I stick to it

I procrastinated making a budget for two years. Everybody kept saying how important it was and I didn’t want to put in the work. Over that time, we accumulated a good amount of debt. We are still getting out of the hole.

Now, my wife and I have created a budget that we can stick to. We are paying off our debt little by little and it feels great.

31. I don’t care about my clothes as much

It used to take me around 15 minutes in the mornings to figure out what I was going to wear. It took me forever to find something that looks good on me.

Now, it takes less than a minute. I just grab a shirt and some pants and just glance at the mirror, knowing that I’ll look just fine.

32. I reflect

This is something I started doing on my walks. I’ve found it to be very useful. It has helped me become a better father, husband, writer, and employee. If you take the time to really focus on your mistakes and hold yourself accountable, you will be more conscious of them when you are about to do them again. Over time, I had fewer and fewer mistakes I had to beat myself up about.

33. I write more

I’ve always found joy in writing, but my brain would get fatigued too quickly for me to get into it. I would only be able to write a paragraph or two and then leave it. By the time I would get back around to it, I would lose interest.

Now, I can write a full essay, blog post, article, or technical document without leaving my desk. I am starting to rediscover the fun in writing again.

34. I get more sun

I used to hate going outside. I just wanted to sit in my chair and surf the web. I would make up excuses not to go to the park or zoo. I was robbing my daughter of being a child. I thought just sitting around the house with the TV and computer going was sufficient for family time.

Now, I take my family outside for walks or swimming every day. I am almost addicted to sunlight now and I go crazy without it.

35. I smile more

I am much quicker to smile now. I just find a reason to do so in just about everything. I can’t help it, I just have a natural urge to smile all of the time now.

36. I don’t turn to Tylenol when my daughter is crying

God, Tylenol was my answer to everything. “She must be teething” or “She must have a fever.”  I never took the time to actually figure out what was going on in her body. I would have excuses like “Well, what if she’s in pain? I would rather be safe than sorry.”

Now, we just have Tylenol for emergencies. Other than that, she is normally just hungry, thirsty, sleepy, or wants somebody to play with her.

37. I help with my daughter more

I used to hide in the bathroom or stay late in my office doing nothing in order to not help out. I knew I really needed to, but I was just afraid of the extra work. I would make up excuses for her mother just to take her to the store when she could have stayed with me and it would’ve been much easier.

I have yet to apologize to my wife, but I plan to. I was afraid it was going to be extra work… and I was right. But, you know what? It is the most rewarding work I have ever done. Now, I help out as much as I possibly can.

38. I am competitive

I used to play sports in high school. I was never the best on the team or won many awards. I was never confident enough in my abilities to go all out. I would not give things my all and act like it didn’t bother me when I lost. I tried to act like I was above it all. It bugged me.

Now, I am confident enough in my physical abilities that I am starting to get competitive. I challenge people in games of basketball or other activities and I give it my all, unafraid of looking dumb. I have started winning more and I love the feeling.

39. I like music again

I used to be really into music. I spent a couple thousand dollars on equipment and was producing and writing for a few artists. As time went on, I lost interest and sold most of my equipment.

Now, I have found the joy in making music again. I am trying to learn the acoustic guitar (failing miserably) and I am writing again. I am starting to remember how fun and liberating it is. Making music is something I am hoping to continue to do for the rest of my life.

40. I wear short sleeves more

I used to never want to wear short sleeves. I was always embarrassed of my skinny arms. I would wear long sleeves in hundred degree weather. I used to say that it was for covering up my tattoos, but it was because my arms were a lot skinnier than the rest of my body.

Now, I get dressed according to the weather and don’t think twice about it. It’s a huge time saver!

41. I am fine in silence

I always used to need noise in the background. I needed the TV on, I needed to be talking on the phone, I needed music playing.

Now, I enjoy silence. I actually wake up extra early just to drive to work on a silent road. It is an excellent way to commute.

42. My brain is more lubricated

This is a phrase I stole from a Jason Mraz interview. But, it describes the way my brain works now perfectly. Everything just seems to run smoother. I don’t have to pause when answering simple questions, my thoughts just flow without any snags.

43. I love my wife more

I have always been in love with my wife, but I never knew how much I really loved her. I used to take her for granted. I didn’t think it was much of a big deal that she was my wife. Awhile ago, something in me opened up to show me how much I truly love her. I’ve started to see the support she gives me and how she makes me a better person. She got pregnant when I was 17 and she was 20, so we haven’t had it easy by any means. But, over the past month or so, we have become one. I now make it a habit to give her a kiss when I come home from work and to tell her I love her at random moments. I feel that I am finally starting to live up to my wedding vows.

44. I don’t take medications

If I had a slight fever, I would reach for Tylenol. If I had a slight headache, I would reach for Aspirin. If I had an upset stomach, I would reach for Tums. If I had gas, I would reach for Gas X. You get the point. I was trying to block symptoms. I saw them as nuisances and not for the signals they really were.

Now, I take the time to find out why I am having diarrhea. I actually get a little excited when I have a small fever, because I know my body is working on itself. I am happy when I get diarrhea, because I know my body doesn’t like something and this is its way of getting it out. I welcome all of the things with open arms that I used to dread.

45. My knees don’t hurt

I was born with crappy knees. Not wearing knee pads in high school didn’t help much either. I always thought it was just something I had to work around for the rest of my life. My knees would hurt if I started to run or if I walked too much, if I sat for too long or did squats.

Now, I am very active and have no knee pain. It’s amazing! I do at least 200 squats per week, 3-5 hours of walking, and 30 minutes of running. My knees have never felt better. They still make weird noises sometimes, but no pain!

46. I sing more

Okay, I suck at singing. I always have. Anybody who says otherwise is lying to be nice. That has always prevented me from singing to myself. I would always catch myself and stop before I got embarrassed. I would rarely even sing in the car.

Now, I sing all of the time because it makes me happy. I am not being obnoxious with it, but I do it a lot more and its feels nice.

47. I don’t crave sweets

Sweets were never a big problem with me, but I still used to crave them sometimes.

Now, I don’t. Pretty simple.

48. I don’t lie anymore

I used to lie a lot and I’m not sure why. I used to get caught in them and lie my way out of them. They were stupid things too. It was almost like recreation. I rarely told any big lies, but it was just little things. I lied about stuff that I wouldn’t remember a week later.

I still catch myself about to do it, but I stop. It is much easier and I don’t have to remember so many things. It is very liberating to be honest. I never have to worry about somebody catching me in a lie or bringing something up that I lied about. I just say what I mean now and I am much happier.

49. I don’t surf the web as much

I used to spend hours surfing the web. I mean HOURS. I used to visit ridiculous sites that had no effect on my life. Clicking on links and related videos all of the time. Telling myself how stupid these people were when I was the one wasting my days watching them.

Now, I check a couple of fitness sites and a blog or two that I like. I always do it on downtime at work and never at home. It is weird, because I will do it sometimes without realizing it. Once I catch myself, I put down the laptop or iPhone and go walk around. I get a lot more stuff done.

50. I stand more

I can barely stand to sit (like the play on words? Booyah!) anymore. I have to get up from my desk at least twice per hour. I get up and throw a couple darts or pace around the office. I used to spend 8 hours not getting up from my desk, just zoning out when I was bored.

Now, I get up, regroup, and get back to work.

51. I don’t care about current events as much

After all of the conspiracies that I have seen proven, I stopped believing anything on the news or from anybody else. I don’t see much of a point in it anymore. It feels great not to have to check five news sites every day so I can be the first person to get the updated news. Besides, all news ever did was get me mad. It was either something happening that I could do nothing about or something that I couldn’t believe anybody cared about. I don’t even miss it.

52. I don’t notice restaurants

I just drive right by them. It’s the weirdest thing. I used to look at them all of the time. I used to wonder what their food was like, where I was going for lunch that day. Now, I just breeze by them without giving them any thought. It’s not just restaurants, its billboards and stores too. I don’t really pay attention to anything but speed limit signs and cops. ; )

53. I never know what is on TV

I used to know all of the shows on TV. I would have my evening planned around what would be on that night.

Now, I feel like an old man when I turn on the TV now. It seems like there are new shows every day and I just don’t see how people watch them.

54. I look at food for nutritional value over taste

I used to shop for price first, then taste, then nutritional value. Little Debbies – in the cart, Tyson Chicken Nuggets – check, five packages of hot dogs – you know it!

Now, I shop for nutritional value first. Yes, they are more expensive, but that means I buy less food. Everybody says that they HAVE to buy unhealthy things because they are cheaper. What people don’t realize is that we are eating too much! You don’t need the bulk Ramen Noodles because there are 50 for 5 dollars. You can spend that five dollars on real food and you wouldn’t have to eat so much. When you get REAL food with REAL nutrition, your body isn’t hungry as much. I can have a small salad and an apple for lunch and not be hungry again until dinner. I used to eat a sandwich and chips and be hungry in two hours, eat two packages of Ramen Noodles and still be starving when I got home. Trust me, once your body gets used to it, it really is easy.

55. I do more chores

I used to avoid chores like they were the plague. I would let dishes stack up if my wife wasn’t feeling well enough to do them. Our house would smell because I would postpone taking out the trash.

Now, I love the feeling of a clean house and do chores every day. Whether it is doing the dishes, helping with the laundry, throwing out old stuff, I just like doing it now. I love the feeling I get when I see my kitchen clean or my bathroom scrubbed. My wife is ecstatic about that too.

56. I know more about history

When you are trying to understand your body, you have to look at what it is designed for. The only way to do that is to look back in time. You have to learn that we are persistence hunters; you have to learn what we have been eating for thousands of years. Once you do that, it is much easier to stick to a healthier lifestyle. If you can observe the natural human species, you can see that what we are doing to ourselves now is not natural.

57. I’m cleaner

The inside of my body feels cleaner, so it makes me want to make sure that the outside is just as clean. You feel cleaner when you step out of a cold shower as opposed to a hot one. You get cleaner and healthier skin if you don’t put chemicals on it every day. You get healthier hair if every morning you don’t soak it in something that was created in a lab. My mouth feels cleaner now that I know I am not sticking fluoride in it every day.

58. I’m nicer

Before, if you weren’t my wife, my daughter, or I, I didn’t really care about you. I felt that I didn’t have time to be nice to people and I didn’t owe them anything. I wasn’t that fun to be around to say the least. I tried to stay in my house as much as possible to avoid contact with other people.

Now, I am just all around warmer to be around. I get genuinely concerned about how other people are doing and I make an honest effort to help them out. It gives me satisfaction to know that a person will leave happier than before they talked to me. I like making people’s days better.

59. I live more frugally

I used to buy on impulse all of the time. Clothes that I would never wear, gadgets that had no real use, food that was overpriced, and so on. Rent be damned, if I wanted it, I got it. I used to try not to think about bills and upcoming expenses because it would just wear me out.

Now, with the help of my wife, I finally took the time to create a budget and stick to it. I still have urges, but I am able to stop and think if it is a want or a need. I am able to wait a week or two and think about it again. That is self control that I have never had.

60. I’m more understanding

I see things from other people’s perspectives now. I am able to see where they are coming from and empathize. I do it almost effortlessly and it really helps out with all of my relationships… and my sanity.

61. I teach my daughter things

I found out how cool it is to teach my daughter something. I show her something and she remembers. She is now smarter because of me. I never really paid much attention to it. I help her study every day now. She isn’t even two and she can go through the alphabet with help, count to twenty with help, identify eight different colors, identify ten different shapes including pentagons and crescents, and identify at least ten different animals, along with hundreds of words. It’s truly amazing and I almost missed it.

62. I jump

I’m not sure why. I just like to jump now out of nowhere. I jump around the house with my daughter all of the time. It’s just a fun thing to do.

63. I minimalized my house

I started getting frustrated by clutter. It was driving me crazy. I slowly started giving more and more things away and throwing more and more things out. It is a huge stress reliever. I cut my wardrobe down to one fourth its size, cleaned out my drawers, and got rid of stuff that I haven’t used in years. I now know the peace and serenity that comes with a clean, minimal house.

64. I don’t forget things as much

I still forget things, just not as much. I used to struggle just thinking about what happened the day before. Now, my gaps in memory are few and far between.

65. My allergies aren’t bad anymore

I used to have really bad allergies. I used to blame it on the house we were in or the season, but it was bad anywhere I went. I got migraines on a constant basis, my nose was always runny, and I would get a sinus infection or swollen throat at least once per month. I used to take Zyrtec, Claritin, Sudafed, none of them would work.

Now, I might have to use a tissue once per month. My sinuses are almost always clear and I am not hawking up loogeys  all of the time. I rarely get migraines or even sinus headaches. Plus, we save a fortune not buying tissues!

66. I have more time

I used to feel like there was barely any time in the day to breathe. I would always have the same excuse “I just don’t have any time right now.” I felt that I had no time to do anything that I wanted to do.

Now, the TV is turned off, meals are simple and easy, and work is well managed. It all kind of happened by itself. Now, I have full days doing things that I like to do. I do more things in a day now than I did in a week six months ago.

67. I don’t have to be doing something

I used to always need to be doing something. If I was sitting there doing nothing, I would pull out my iPhone and play a game, I would turn on the TV, I would surf the web. I would do anything just to escape from my own thoughts.

Now, I am perfectly fine sitting in silence and thinking. If I feel like I need to do something, I do house work or take my family for a walk. I don’t turn to the traditional stimulation we have gotten accustomed to. I deleted all of the games off my iPhone, I normally leave my computer at the office, and I don’t even think about turning on the television.

68. I know more about foods and how they interact with my body

Trying to find the right way to be healthy is very tricky because we are all different. Sure, there are generic rules that should be followed by everybody, like no processed foods, low sugar, no sugary drinks, etc. But, should we have meat or no meat? Have our food cooked or uncooked? Eat dairy or don’t eat dairy? I believe that people are very different in these areas. I have tried just about everything that makes sense and only found my own, custom way that works.

I did that by finding out how foods react with my body. How long they take to break down. What effects they have. Once I started learning that just for the sake of my diet, I realized that I read over ten books about health and knew quite a bit about it.

69. I no longer have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Man, was I relieved (and shocked) when this went away. I used to have to rush to the bathroom after EVERY meal. Every single one. I would have to pull over at gas stations if the house was too far. My dad and sister both have this problem, so we just figured it was hereditary. So, I just kept on eating the same foods and being miserable on the toilet for the next 20 minutes.

Now, I have a bowel movement once per day, at no particular time. It is a huge relief.

70. I don’t multi-task

I used to think that multi-tasking was the key to success. If I could multi-task, I can get two things done at once, right? I used to stress myself out to no ends while trying to juggle three tasks at all times.

Now, I stick to one task at a time and guess what – I get more stuff done. It lowers my stress level exponentially. On the days that I multi-tasked, I would be working like crazy but not get anything done on some days. I would make progress, but not complete anything. Now, I leave work with a lot more satisfaction knowing that I completed at least one thing that day.

71. I notice the irony and hypocrisy in our culture

It is almost laughable. We have destroyed almost everything; the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our children’s education.

I think noticing these things is important because it allows you to take baby steps to overcoming these obstacles. It helps to motivate you to find the right foods, filter your water, and be more involved in your child’s education.

72. I enjoy nature much more

I never really cared too much about nature. I thought it was either too hot or too cold or had too many bugs. Why would you need to go out there when you have Google Maps and the Discovery Channel?

When I started walking, I noticed how beautiful nature is. I stopped caring so much about the temperature or bugs. I try to connect with it as much as possible now.

73. I enjoy people more

I enjoy the diversity in people now more than ever. I appreciate their different personalities and humor. I enjoy being around them and gaining some new perspective by talking to them. That is something I have never really done, but I slowly started becoming more interested in people.

74. I walk around barefoot

I started walking around barefoot more when I got rid of a lot of my clothes and shoes. It was something I did without realizing it at first, but after I read “Born to Run,” I made an effort to start doing it more. I think it has a lot to do with my pain in my knees going away. It toughens up your feet and ankles and gives you better running form. It makes you more aware of where you’re stepping, thus cutting back on trips and falls. It also makes you much lighter on your feet and gives you a great “primal” feeling.

75. I dress for comfort

Once I stopped taking so long picking out my clothes, it started to adjust the way I picked out my wardrobe. I started going more for comfort than for looks. I got rid of my flashy shirts in exchange for solid colors. I got rid of the loud shorts for a pair of jeans and cargo shorts. It helps keep me relaxed throughout the day. I am never fidgeting with my shirt or checking my collar in the mirror. I still look professional enough for work, just very understated.

76. My days are less hectic

Before, I was running around non-stop. I woke up late and flew out of the door, showed up to work just in time or a little late, multi-tasked throughout the day (not accomplishing much), got out of work late (because I showed up late and had to wrap up all of the tasks I was involved in), got home just in time for dinner, ate while watching TV, sent out some emails, drank a few beers to try and relax, wait for my daughter to go to sleep, watch an hour of TV finally relaxing, then go to bed. Day in and day out. Needless to say, it got pretty tiring.

Now, my days seem calmer. I wake up early (around 5:00am), get everything ready for the day, leave around 6:00am (I recently changed my hours from 8:00am–5:00pm to 7:00am–4:00pm), I get in the office around 6:15am and do some writing, at 7:00am I prioritize my tasks, at 8:00am I begin on one task, I eat lunch at my desk, I am out of the office by 4:00pm, get home and talk to my wife and play with my daughter, get my exercise in, help cook dinner, eat while talking, clean up, go for a walk with everybody, come back and study with my daughter, give her a bath, get ready for bed, read, and sleep.

You can see the difference. Of course, all days are not like this now, but it is generally the case. I go to bed every night knowing I had a fun and full day.

77. I’m rarely tired during the day

I used to be exhausted all of the time at work. I would be useless in the mornings, just sitting around waiting for lunch. Then I would be miserable after lunch for an hour. Then I would end up staying late because my mind was so fatigued that it took me forever to accomplish anything.

Now, I am at work before anybody else and I already have my game plan for the day by the time everybody stumbles into the office. I accomplish something every day and walk out of the office earlier than everybody else, not feeling guilty about it.

78. I work on being a better person

I started doing this one without realizing it as well. I started drifting away from the things that added nothing to my life or my knowledge and drifted more towards things that would better me. I started going to fitness blogs instead of news sites. I go to sites that help you better your life instead of Youtube. I normally go to bed every day knowing something I didn’t know when I woke up.

79. I look forward to doing things with my family

I used to not want to do things with my family. I would be so mentally exhausted that I just wanted to be by myself and space out in front of the TV.

Now, I look forward to getting home as soon as possible so I can go do stuff. I like to plan out hiking trips, long walks, museum dates. It is one of the highlights of my life right now.

80. I see yoga for all its worth

I’ve always looked at yoga as beneficial, but doing it with a healthy body is a completely different experience. You don’t have internal issues that you are struggling not to think about, you are more capable of doing the poses, and you get centered much easier. Without having those distractions, you get focused on what’s important with yoga – listening to your body.

81. I am not afraid to be looked at differently

I used to try to change my lifestyle, but would switch back to conform to the people around me. I got insecure when people would question me about it. I didn’t have the confidence needed to stand out.

Now, I am very proud of the lifestyle I live, even though it is much different than almost everybody I know. I welcome questions and always have literature available if they want to learn more. I don’t mind it when my co-workers give me crap about pacing around my office eating a salad for lunch. None of it bugs me. I have the knowledge and confidence to defend my lifestyle against anybody.

82. I show my emotions more

I am not more emotional, but I do show and express my emotions more. I make it known how I am feeling so I never catch anybody off guard. If I am grumpy because of something that happened at work, I let my wife know instead of trying to hide it. Then, we do things to cheer me up. If I am confused, I tell people. If I feel depressed about something, I talk to my wife. If they are negative feelings, putting them out in the open with somebody special to you will make them leave a lot quicker.

83. I no longer have anger issues

I used to get really mad at things for no reason. I would just be in an angry mood and something would set me off and I would hit things. I would feel better for an instant and then go right back to being angry again. I would snap at people and be very short. It was not very pleasant.

Now, I rarely ever get angry. I do still have my occasional bouts of frustration (most recently trying to assemble my daughter’s stupid crib), but I never feel angry. If I feel myself getting to that point, I breathe deep and do something relaxing. I also think about the thing I am getting frustrated with and realize how stupid it is. Then I finish whatever I was doing calmly and don’t think about it again.

84. I am more passionate

I have become a more passionate worker, friend, husband, lover, and father.

85. I get excited more

I get excited from just about everything. I get excited about getting excited! I just get those little butterflies all of the time for simple things. I get excited for a salad, a walk, a workout, playing, reading, etc…

86. I have a stronger stomach

I used to have a very weak stomach. I would throw up or get nauseous often. I hid it from everybody. I couldn’t stomach things.

Now, for whatever reason, I rarely ever get nauseated with anything. It’s kind of weird, I know.

87. I have a more active imagination

…especially with my workouts. If I am on the heavy bag, I am fighting Anderson Silva for the title. If I am doing bodyweight exercises, I’m pushing off the ground because there are spikes, I’m squatting to dodge punches, if I’m doing pull-ups, it’s to stay out of the shark infested waters. I daydream about this and that, my dreams are more vivid.

88. I do what makes me happy

For instance, salads make me happy, nuts don’t. So, I don’t eat nuts. It’s that simple! I like writing more than engineering, so I lean more towards the documentation side of things in my work space. I have started doing little things to make me happy. If I don’t feel like working out one day, I don’t. I do these things guilt free knowing that it is for my happiness, which, contrary to what culture tries to tell you, is important.

89. I breath deeper

I just take deeper breaths. It keeps me relaxed and calm. It also keeps me full of energy.

90. I learned how to live

I somehow figured out how to live life. How to be happy all the time, even when you are doing things you don’t want to do. I have figured out how to keep my family balanced and happy. I have figured out how to keep myself happy. I learned to enjoy all the little things and especially the big ones. I learned how to turn off the TV and interact with people. I have learned how to communicate to people, especially the ones I care about.

91. I learned the truth about money

I learned how money isn’t real. It’s a cliché, but also very true. I learned to not take the promotion if you and your family are comfortable. I learned not to take on side work unless it is something you truly want to do. I learned to not need material items. I learned that money is just a concept and that you can make it whatever you want it to be.

92. I don’t judge anymore

I never judge anybody. Because, when you think about it, you don’t know anybody but yourself. You don’t know what anybody else has gone through. You have never been in anybody’s head but your own.

93. I feel like a kid again

I play and have fun. I laugh more than anybody I know. I still play with toys with my daughter. I still play pranks on my wife. I still have fun. Do you remember what it is like to have fun? To truly have pure, carefree fun? I didn’t remember until around a month ago.

94. I play

I play a lot. It is the best form of exercise you can possibly get, because it’s not exercise!

95. I became a father

This is something that I have such a profound gratitude for figuring out. My daughter was in desperate need of a father, but she didn’t have one. Sure, she had a guy that provided a home, food, and clothes. That’s all I thought I needed to do. I rarely played with her. I rarely played with my own daughter. How sad is that? Yeah, I chased her around the house once or twice and tickled her. But, I always answered calls and emails instead of doing it. I always did it with one eye on the TV. She was too young to notice, right? If you are distracted by other things, your kids will notice. You have never played with your kid if you’ve never gone into their room, shut the door, and stayed in there. I was only ever there to be mommy’s enforcer of the rules. I didn’t have input on how to raise her. I let my wife handle everything. I thought it was fair, I work all day, she takes care of the kid.

Now, I silence my phone, go to her room and sit down. I let her tell me what she did that day, we read books and color, and we have fun. She is a much happier kid now and I am a much happier man. I also have my own say in how we raise her. I have become a real father and I encourage all of you men out there to do the same.

96. I don’t even miss the old foods

I don’t miss pizza, chips, or sandwiches. I don’t miss any of it and it feels phenomenal.

97. The people around me are happier

This is the most important one to me. If people around you are happier, then you will be.

Now, some might misinterpret this as bragging, it’s not. It is very motivational for me to read success stories. I want this to be a motivation for anybody who wants to become healthier. These are all real changes that have happened after six months of being health-conscious and three months of having a strict diet. Some of these things, I forget about or still do on accident. But these are all changes that have happened unintentionally. I started this out so I can look better. Now, after six months, I AM better; a better person, husband, father, worker, citizen, and man.


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156 thoughts on “97 “Bonus” Changes After Six Months of Living a Primal Lifestyle”

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  1. Wonderful list. It appears that the primal lifestyle has edified your mind, body, and spirit. I hope to achieve half of these 🙂

  2. #98. i spend less on groceries – no cereals or any of that junk from the aisles i don’t need to visit.

  3. Wow! That is awesome Matt… the best list I have ever seen on how turning to a healthy lifestyle can alter every aspect of life!

  4. I have been primal for about 2 months now. wow this primal lifestyle helps with body odor too?!

    1. Indeed! I haven’t touched shampoo, bodywash, facewash, or deoderant in 4 months! It’s great.

      Although i do still wash my hands before handling my food 😉

      1. Awesome, I was wondering about this. I stopped shampoo, gels, soaps, and anything you can imagine, but the odor isn’t gone yet. I can’t wait to be able to ditch the deodorant!

  5. Simply inspiring. I’m happy that going primal has worked so well for you!

  6. Wonderful post, how motivating! I’ve been working on a list like this myself. The parts about your daughter were very touching, too. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for this. I got pregnant with my second child at the end of august. My husband and I were eating mostly primal up to that point for about 2/3 months. We felt great and were starting to feel really great. Then I got sick from pregnancy and couldn’t eat too much but foods I hadn’t ate forever- pasta, bread, etc. I didn’t care to much about it because I knew it would pass in the next 6 weeks. But we haven’t gone back, we just are eating what we used to again. I don’t feel as good as I used to and I know my husband doesn’t. I know that, even being pregnant, I would just feel so much better to stop sugar and most flour again. This post is giving me the motivation to start eating primal again. I really miss it.

    1. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I was primal 2-3 weeks before I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t able to get back to it until 3rd trimester. You will start feeling better when you are able to eat better again but I know how hard it is. I was just there.

  8. Ive been primal going on 5 months now & I have also experienced every one of these things……except being a father

  9. Yes, to the body odor thing. I have found that too. I use the crystal deodorant and had to reapply it midday. Since going Primal I no longer have to do that.

    Also, yes to the spend less on groceries. I can now shop at Wholefoods and spend the same as I did at Safeway. Tighter, cleaner, healthier shopping is the way to go.

    1. wow really! – spend the same at wholefoods ?? Please share a typical menu plan and shopping list 🙂

      1. Barb, it’s more about awareness and organization. Being lean and mean with the shopping.

        I have a two week menu plan and corresponding shopping list. Not on the list? Not purchased. No packaged food. Good quality meat. Everything is accounted for and eaten. Nothing wasted. All meals are cooked from scratch. Plus we eat less because we are eating dense. Pantry shelves are virtually empty. Like I said above – tighter.

        1. I agree Alison. I only encountered one problem with that; when I came near to the end of my two weeks of groceries disaster hit in SE QLD (Australia) and my pantry shelves were bare! I then found myself cut off from civilisation and no way to buy more fresh whole foods. I am not going to be caught out again, especially seeing its cyclone season. I have just bought myself some preserving jars and I am now taking Sally Fallon’s advice and I am lacto-fermenting some of my fresh produce so that I have some reserves on the pantry shelves.

  10. it’s cool to see how all the positive changes help to reinforce each other.

  11. Ok, be honest. Who took a huge, deep breath after he said he breathes deeply more often?

  12. #99 – Since my husband and I switched to the paleo/primal lifestyle 2 years ago, I no longer “plan” the steps I will take when I get the phone call that my husband has had a heart attack at work – getting to the hospital, family that needs to be called, who’s going to take the dog while I’m camped in the waiting room, etc. Hubby was the proverbial “heart attack waiting to happen” – 50, 260+ lbs, no exercise, terrible labs/diet/family history. Today – 52, 200-ish, 85-90% paleo, great labs, and Crossfit 3x/week where the younguns tell him they want to grow up to be like him. I’ve had my own great things happen with the lifestyle change, but this is the one that makes me happiest.

    1. Reading this brought tears to my eyes – I lost my dad to a heart attack at 53 after Multiple Sclerosis robbed him of his once fine physique. My boyfriend is 60 and won’t even share what he weighs, but it’s too much by at least 75 lbs. We’re both a work-in-progress – I just hope we didn’t start too late. Best to you and your husband (and dog!)

    2. My husband and I have only done Primal/Paleo for 2 months and love the way it makes us feel. Neither of us want to have that heart attack! We are 59 and 62 and overweight by about 30+ lbs. We now do crossfit 3x a week…love it that the gym is full of 20-40 year olds that encourage us and don’t intimidate us!! Haven’t lost a lot of weight yet (5-8 lbs) but know this is how we will eat for the rest of our lives. First time I have felt peace/harmony with food. I make my food choices now – no one packages them for me!

  13. #99
    I don’t spend so much time at the grocery store browsing around. I just get the main primal essentials and move on with my life.

  14. Holy $#[email protected], what a great damn story. Mirrors a lot of awakening I did. I am working on many of the points here. But, damn good for you sir. Tie a few of those together and get some more kids to play with. I have three girls that keep me motivated to at least 50 or more of your points!
    Well done.

  15. Hey guys!

    I am glad you all liked the post!

    I didn’t send any before/after pictures with the post because I wanted to focus on everything else that changed besides my appearance; I felt it would take away from the list. I wrote this to show that how we look before or after really doesn’t matter, it is all about how you feel. I think switching your diet should be more about improving your quality of life, not your quality of looks.

    1. That is so awesome! The post was great and I completely agree with you on wanting to focus on what really matters, all of these amazing changes. These 97 changes in the end are what are more important any way, not just what you look like. That is the added bonus. We are to focused on the outside and forget about the inside and how making a change, like going primal, impacts every aspect of our life and can make is so much better. I know I need to spend more time reflecting on these types of things.
      My favorite is number 43, about loving your wife more. How marriages and the world would change if we could all do this more… As a woman and a wife, this brought tears to my eyes. If this is one of the changes my husband had in his recent going primal, none of the others would matter as much, even though they are important. I do hope you told your wife this and not just the rest of the world?

      1. Of course! My wife was the first person who read the list and help me come up with some of them!

  16. I have been primarily Primal since August 2010. I have dropped 15 pounds, have more energy, and am off my blood pressure medication. My osteoarthritis rarely “hurts” anymore either! Which is Awesome! Matt has inspired me for 20 years and I am so thankful for him and his help along this primal path.

  17. #’s whatever:
    i have no more guilt whatsoever about eating butter sliced right off the slab…. mmmmm!
    i save big (well some)bucks on mfg. cookies,
    i no long have guilt about NOT eating “enough” veg,
    i can ignore salad with impunity (or indulge with vengeance)
    i can finally feel like the diet i am eating is not only intelligently chosen, but intuitively correct
    i’ve got something really fun and full of life to blog about!

    1. I agree 100% I figure it this way – when Adam and Eve lived on the earth God didn’t put them here to starve…he gave them everything they needed. What they didn’t need was someone to process their food and turn it into worthless crap! Hence – they were well fed while we are a nation of overfed and undernourished people that better figure it our sooner then later. I prefer to eat like Eve!!

  18. #95 is the best one. The time we spend with the important people in our lives is some of the most rewarding.

    As I explain the food aspect of being Primal (the “Paleo” diet stuff), my friends all say “We should do dinner sometime, that sounds delicious.” Cooking healthy food is a great way to spend an evening with friends.

  19. I understand your rationale, but would still love to see b4-and-afters — and after all, one’s looks can very effectively reflect and signal health, relaxation, happiness, energy… “a picture is worth, ” etc.

    1. I appreciate your comment and I thank you for reading! I still am sticking with my original position though; I really do think that the photos will take away from what I am trying to say.
      Thanks so much for sharing though!

  20. #100
    I am not the least bit afraid of growing older. I am 57 now, and living primally, I expect to be feeling fit and healthy for at least another 57!

    1. +999999999999999

      I deal with a variety of different people every single day at my job. I always see new people. So many are in there 50s, 60s and 70s and are overweight and/or have trouble walking, etc. It makes me feel super sad inside as I know why people are this way. It is unfortunate but motivates me to make a difference in as many lives as possible.

      At work my co workers complain constantly about being too old. They are all much older then me – 50s, 60s, 70s and it amazes me what they say. I am only 22 and can’t wait to see how energetic I am at 60 and even 70 and 80 because I live primally.

  21. What a beautiful letter, congratulations Matt on all of your successes and thank you for sharing so we all know what we can look forward to 🙂

  22. Matt, what an awesome road you have traveled! I am so inspired by your tale, thanks for sharing.

    1. I did know that! He is a huge inspiration of mine. I believe everybody’s body works a little differently and raw vegan is a good choice for some people. As long as people are staying away from the grains and sugars and processed food, it’s fair game in my opinion!

      But, to anybody wanting motivation on how a diet can change your life, look up some Jason Mraz interviews, specifically a fan interview he does in Canada!

  23. Wow! Incredible list of transformation.

    May we all share in this!


  24. Alright. I love this site and credit Mark with showing me the light. But having said that, this post made me alternately laugh and cringe. What is a newcomer who finds this post going to think when he reads “#98- I rarely fart anymore, but when I do it smells like flowers mixed with cinnamon-flavored rainbows”? Let’s not make a joke out of ourselves.

    1. Love your input. I actually think a newcomer will see that and laugh and be glad he found a site with real people with senses of humor!

      I think everything should be made a joke at one point because what is life if your not laughing!

  25. It is an impressive list. I’ve started making mine. The first two things on it are consistently lower blood sugar numbers and a drastically lower A1c. This really works no matter what my doctor says. Oh, well, I haven’t seen him since I started this and in April I want him totally shocked by lower numbers, lower weight, and a better me!

  26. That’s a fantastic article. I did notice with cleaner eating I exhibit many of what you experience. I would say exercise too but I’ve been exercising for years and only really started eating better over the last few months and I have noticed the differences recently.

  27. Congratulations Matt! You did what few people ever truly do in their lifetimes – you got in the driver’s seat of your own life, in every aspect. Now you’re really LIVING!

    Thank you for writing this.

  28. Wow! I enjoy your honesty and enthusiasm. You are so young to have learned these huge lessons! Good for you and your family. I am so proud of you.

    Also, I think you might like the Website: http://www.artofmanliness.com and the funny yoga memoir, “Stretch,” by Neal Pollack.

  29. I’m with you on all those points, except number 31. I look damn good now. Buying clothes is a joy. I love dressing up and showing myself off. 🙂

    1. Oh I am with you on this one, Tara. I love the fact that after having three kids I can wear tighter, more fashionable clothes (or even less of it) than I ever could before, and I rock them! I have to laugh when my highschool friends remark at how “thin” I now am. I don’t weigh any less than I did 15 years ago, my body is just healthier and therefore appears to be thinner. So I guess in a way it’s that we don’t worry about what we’re wearing because no matter what it is, we know we’ll be knockouts in it!

      1. Whatever puts a smile on your face!

        I’m happy that I don’t care about clothes and you’re happy that you can finally care about them again. That’s awesome!

  30. Good for you! The only one I still do is have a smoke. I love a cigarette now and again.

    1. To bad you can’t get organic cigarettes at your local farmers market

      1. Have you given any thought to trying an electronic cigarette? I bought one two months ago and haven’t had a real cigarette since- or the sore/scratchy throat or sinus issues I often experienced when I smoked. You might want to look into it if they’re available where you live. Much less harmful than “analog” cigarettes.

        1. No, I love the real smoke. Even before I smoked, I always loved the smell of that first light of a cig.

      2. Agreed. If the cig companies would stop putting all the junk in the tabacco and use pure, nobody could complain. The rayon from forced air furnaces cause more damage than a hundred cigs burning in a room.

        1. I think you mean radon.
          All the “junk” they put in cigarettes is to enhance the flavor and smoothness, if they didn’t put those things in them hardly anyone would start smoking because the taste of pure tobacco smoke is pretty gross. My e-cig tastes just like smoking a cigarette, but without all the nasty stuff in smoke. Pretty much just water vapor with nicotine and flavor.

        2. if you’re going to vaporize, might as well vaporize the good stuff 🙂

          great article, great site.

  31. Lovely post! Congratulations on all the positive changes you’ve made in your life.

  32. I concur. I have been enjoying my life so much that I have not been able to stop and write my own testimonial or personal story.

    The paleo lifestyle isn’t just some orthodoxy it is the way humans naturally came to live. And this bliss is just the base line human experience. And isn’t great?

  33. Turn sixty on Monday, and finishing certification as a nutritional therapist. Was wheelchair and bed bound after an accident, and after two years, could walk again, but was 80+ pounds heavier. Primal for 7 months, down fifty, fifty more to go, and feeling wonderful. Yes to all 97, plus, grocery shopping takes less and less time with a garden and Farmer’s MArket visits. And those feel more like recreation than work!

  34. Nice! I do hesitate to share, though. This was really like a list of 50 things, since a lot of the items were similar to each other. I thought there would be more ‘seperate’ areas of improvement.

    1. Thanks for reading and for the input!

      I would really like to know which areas I left out; I could be missing another 97 changes! Please do share what you mean by ‘separate’.

      Thanks so much!

  35. 37 and 95 are particularly profound. thanks for sharing. i notice a lot of those same things in myself, too.

  36. I’ve been doing this primal thing for about a year, but I must be doing something wrong. I still get mad sometimes. Sometimes I get depressed. I’m not always 100% nice to everybody. Like today, I said somebody was full of shit. Do I need to eat fewer carbs? Would Gandhi have been a nicer person if he had not been a vegetarian? Well, we know Hitler would have been…

    1. Shannon I still an very emotional about things and have hard days and good days. I know that this is how I am and how my life is. I’ve accepted it and moved on.

      I have noticed that I don’t have strong mood swings anymore and don’t have that I NEED TO EAT RIGHT NOW OR I WILL RIP EVERYONES’ HEADS OFF RIGHT NOW!

      It sounds like Matt has a much more balanced life now which makes him more happy and nice. I think it’s okay if you’re not 100% nice to everyone everyday. Just like Primal Blueprint has a 80/20 rule…apply that your emotional state. I’ll strive for 100%, but I’ll probably hit 80%.

      1. Good idea. I was kind of kidding really. I think sometimes we expect sainthood out of ourselves, when really maybe we should just be more REAL. Anger is sometimes very appropriate.

        I never had that low blood sugar irritability so maybe it’s hard for me to understand how different it is NOT to have it.

    2. Lol at the Hitler comment!

      I love the point you bring up though and Amber had a lovely response. Like I said at the end, I still do a lot of these things on accident. Nobody’s perfect, especially with controlling anger. We do, after all, share 99% of the same DNA as chimps, who get pissed and…… eat other chimps.

      Just keep working different ways on calming your anger and try to recognize triggers; If you know what is going to make you angry, you can start preparing for it before it happens.

      Thanks so much for reading!

  37. Problem with the Paleo crowd is that they ignore consciousness and attribute everything to food, much like the economist who attributes everything to economics and the political scientist who attributes everything to politics.

    1. I attribute everything to socialization. That’s because I’ve been reading about poorly socialized people, such as psychopaths. But, what if your society socializes you to be one of their underlings, and then you rebel? Then you’re not a nice person any more. But it’s not because of too many carbs…

    2. I’m sure the mentality of taking control of your health and your life has benefits. But when I tried to take control of my health by following a CW diet(high grain, low fat, cardio) I experienced very few benefits and many problems.

      So I think food does contribute the most to well-being, and consciousness a little.

    3. I do think you have a much clearer mind when you are not intoxicated with processed food, which does attribute to fixing ones life.

      Like I said, these are all changes that happened after I took control of my diet. I don’t attribute everything to my diet, but I do know all of these things happened in those six months. I made them happen myself, but I don’t know if I could have without fixing my body first.

      Thanks for bringing up a good point!

  38. #25, #30, #63, #92: all of these have become a part of my life in the first 30 days of primal living. beautifully articulated. thank you for your honesty.

    best to you on your journey and your family!

  39. Wow, what a phenomenal post. There is such a wealth of thoughts to contemplate here! I especially enjoyed / needed the mention of playing with and paying true attention to one’s child. My son (who is two) deserves my undivided attention and oftentimes I’m “too busy” with work, paperwork, computer work, cooking, laundry, whatever. This post was a great reminder of this fact in life — kids need to feel important too. So, I am going to post this and shut off my computer and go play with my son! =)

  40. For your children’s sake consider checking to see if you have Celiac Disease. Your story sounds just like mine.

  41. This is so great! I’ve actually been thinking a lot lately of the ‘unintended consequences’ (the good kind) of the primal lifestyle. My husband and I have only been doing this a few weeks, but one of the best perks so far (other than just feeling so much better than we have in a long time) is that we now eat two meals together each day – breakfast and dinner. We sit at the table, enjoying each other’s company. We don’t sit on the couch anymore, the TV is not on, and there’s isn’t a computer in reach to surf the net while eating. It’s definitely a great way to start and end the day!

  42. This is great! Congrats!
    To the nay sayers…isn’t it obvious? No one is trying to say that all of Matt’s changes are solely due to his food type consumption but simply that cleaning up and taking charge of one thing in his life led to another and another and another!
    This is a very common occurrence to one degree or another. His was profound and oh, that we could all experience this!
    We Paleo/Primal folk DO take our food very seriously. We are learning or have learned a new relationship with food so far removed from everything we were taught our whole lives and it IS exciting! We want to share and compare because we are relearning real truths basically denied us. We are researching the science and using our own bodies as the guinea pigs. We are listening to our bodies, embracing the messages we receive, conferring with each other and we are getting results far beyond simple weight loss!
    When people have hard won success, they get confidence. Confidence leads to joy and further successes on a variety of levels.
    To say we just think it’s all food is ridiculous but for many of us, a new relationship with food was a starting place for much, much more.

  43. Awesome! I am reaping a lot of those benefits as well. I cannot wait until I can say #96-I don’t miss the old foods. I still do and I struggle with staying away from it!

  44. Inspirational story! I’ve been a loyal reader of MDA but this is the first time your story has made me write a response. I applaud you on your initiative and commitment to pursue the primal living. Even happier for you that you’ve embraced and empowered your new life with what truly matters in life and eliminated junk from not just your food portfolio but also your lifestyle. No TV! Hoorah! More reading! Way to go!
    All the power to you for overcoming these lifestyle and food addictions! Kudos!

  45. What a great post! Although I don’t have kids I could relate to almost every point of this story. My mood, energy and attitude towards life has changed. I’ve also cut out being a news junkie and am less self obsessed.

    Matt, you’re doing a great job and thanks for articulating some of the intangibles of this lifestyle.
    Keep on keeping on… raise that daughter right and the world will be a better place with the both of you in it.

  46. Thank you Matt 🙂 What an inspirational read 😀

    Its interesting to see you are into conspiracy theories(truths). I am to. When you “wake up” it can easily overwhelm you and turn into something negative. Alex Jones is bit to much doom and gloom in my opinion to. David Wilcock has some great presentations on youtube, I highly reccomend them.

    1. Alex Jones says many true things, but he violently denies the shared ancestry/ethnicity of those in power.

    2. Yeah he definitely can get to be too much. He still has an excellent news site with almost nothing but facts!

      I will definitely check out David Wilcock though.

      Thanks so much!

  47. Matt this has to be the best success story I’ve read. I love how you’ve done a list and honestly its made me take a step back and take a look around and at myself so a really big thank you. Keep up the good work!

  48. I love this list. some of the things are so true. I identify with alot of it and its been 9 months since I’ve gone primal and you really don’t sometimes add the little things but most of us will have a list that looks like this if we put it down! lovely!

  49. Wow, this post made me smile so much. I got a warm feeling from how well your life has come together. I’m on day 13 of being primal myself, and I’ve already begun to feel a ton of changes. I can’t imagine how much better it will be after I’ve done it for a month, two, six, a year. Thank you for giving me a view of the longer range effects!

  50. I’ve noticed that the more primal I eat, the less I need to listen to Captain Paranoia Alex Jones.

    Perhaps this is because the NWO is nothing against grok. 🙂

    For the record Alex is still a decent guy. Someone should ring his show up and give a nod to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and the whole Paleo idea.

    One of the modes of control favored by the elite in power is to have their populations eating junk food, processed food… pure garbage to say the least in the hopes that it makes us more docile and easily manageable. That’s why their food pyramid is completely wrong for humans.

    I’m pretty sure it was Rumsfeld who got aspartame added to almost everything as well:


    Anyway, congrats to Matt. I also noticed a lot of these changes as well. When you take control of your food intake and have better control over your body, it’s an unbelievable feeling after slugging along at a fraction of your potential for years.

  51. i rarely feel the need to comment on a post…but i just had to say that this was one of the most amazing testimonials i’ve read. i love how aware you’ve become…you realized what’s important, truly.

    i’ve been primal for over a year, and have seen amazing changes through them. the new outlook on life has transformed every aspect of my life and i’m generally more gentle and at peace — with myself and others.

    thank you for sharing.

  52. After reading that list, I don’t know how anyone can not be curious to learn more about this philosophy of Primal Living. Is there a specific post someone can point me to to learn more about what this stuff is all about? Thanks!

  53. I’m able to let stuff that upsets me at work go easier.

    Great post!

  54. I just have to say, this is the first time I’ve commented on a post here, though I’ve been reading for quite some time. I just had to come forward and let you know how much this post rings true with me.

    Since eating this way, I no longer have the mood swings I used to have. Though I was never one to bring down the party, I could cut myself out of social scenes pretty easily. I don’t do that anymore because my moods are much more even.

    If I don’t eat something by 8:00pm, I no longer get the shakes. I no longer get cranky and demand my friends or family go with me *at once* to a restaurant. I’m cooking for us now a lot, but even if I get to 8:00pm without dinner, I’m able to keep a level head. This is profoundly different from just last year!

    I have much less stress with work, and I am truly happy in my career and home life.

    Finally, I also gave up “current events” and the constant refreshing of Drudge Report, Huffington Post, and all the spin and regurgitation of talking points. I scan headlines on real news sites (not the talking-head sites) and keep up to date, but I could care less about the politics now. That’s probably improved my outlook dramatically.

    I can only attribute this to a healthful diet (Primal!) and my intake of vitamin D and Omega 3s.

      1. For me, that’s anything that is not on TV and doesn’t have to worry about putting a spin on things and worrying about who’s reputation it will hurt; they just report news.

        Just start looking through different news sites and see who reports news a day or two before CNN or Fox or MSNBC or anybody like them.

        One good example is on the Drudge Report reporting on Egypt right now. They are coming with facts days before you hear it on the TV.

    1. That’s great! I’m glad your life is going the way you want it to!

  55. Wonderful blog, I’ve noticed a lot of those things myself, when your living in line with your body it just seems right to normalize your habits too. You can sense what activities cause you to stagnate and so on, great stuff.

  56. Loved reading this Blog! Thank you for being so honest about your journey! I’m going to print it and keep it in my journal so when I get discouraged, it will remind me where I can go!

  57. At 71, I began doing a lot of these since I met a 78 year old lady who looks 38. Unbelievable, especially as she spent a few childhood years in a concentration camp. (She is an ex James Bond girl, and Benny Hill girl, Bettine Le Beau – google for her, pages and pages and pages.) I haven’t yet read all of the above points here, but a lot of being young is in the mind. She says she thinks she is young and ergo, she is young!

    In Britain, Gym membership is around $800 a year each so we purchased a Wii Keep Fit plus, and this, together with long walks and a little running keeps our body supple and keeps us fit. We get up an hour earlier and train every morning. Not for an hour, but the extra time allows us more leisure.

    Watching television all the time is a no-no for us as it prevents us giving back to our community and this is what makes us truly happy, helping others. My wife helps two partially sighted ladies in their nineties and is a secretary on three local community committees. I am chairman of one and on two others, and edit the local community web based newspaper (Finchley Arrow for those who like to google).

    OK we are retired, but when working, we always believed in giving back to the community, although not quite so much 🙂

    So my advice is, take this seriously, do it, and then get out of the house in the evenings and do something worthwhile. You will feel even better than that which the above points give.

  58. Some good observations, but…

    71. I notice the irony and hypocrisy in our culture
    92. I don’t judge anymore


    1. I am still ploughing through it Jay, but I agree, judging should be left to the judges, and irony is the preserve of us Brits 😉

      All in all some really good tips.

    2. Nice! Thanks so much for pointing that out! Like I said at the end, I forget about these and slip up. Looks like I slipped up on my own list!

  59. I sooo agree with #80: yoga – a few months on primal lifestyle have brought more flexibility to my body and focus to my mind than everyday yoga before

    actually I rarely do yoga these days, but indend to start again, though not that frequently

  60. I agree, great post!
    It is amazing how your whole life changes, when you change the fuel your body is running on. The fog is lifted and life is great!

  61. This is my first time commenting here on MDA, even though I’ve been reading for a month or so and switching to Primal for the last few weeks. Matt, this was such an inspiring post! Your comments about being a better father really hit home – my dad used to play with me all the time, and I would hate to think of your daughter growing up without that. Kudos to you for changing your life around and focusing on what really matters!

    My “Bonus” Change? My nails are growing out! For 24 years any attempt to grow my nails out left them splitting and breaking. After 3 weeks of Primal eating my nails are strong and longer than ever. Maybe not a profound change, but it’s showed me how food affects the entire body.

  62. Not to dash cold water on the enthusiasm, because whatever blows your skirt up is fine by me … but having lived all my life doing hard physical work and eating like a caveman because of circumstances and locale … ranching … really, I don’t see myself in more than a couple of these 97 Bonus Changes. I still ache all over most days; doing pushups rarely happens unless I get bucked off a horse; I’ve never had time to surf the web; I don’t have sex regularly because of the workload making meat for you guys and because I’m married; “cleaner” is a mystery to the guys who produce the meat you eat; “Nicer”? what’s nicer?; multi-tasking is damn sure the life of a rancher unless you call birthing, roping and branding a single action; “dress for comfort”? I don;t want to be rude in another man’s house, but seriously …;

    Are ya’ll aware of what it takes to produce the meat you’re (rightly) commending for the changes in your life?

    You ought to try ranching in this business climate of insane federal policies, insane federal taxation schemes; insane federally sanctioned trade agreements that make it easier to bring foreign beef into your grocer than domestic beef; insane FDA regulatory laws, especially the new “Food Safety and Modernization Act” … your protein is about to skyrocket in price. Not because of improved safety but because of mind bending additions to records keeping, paperwork and assorted bureaucratic requirements that only affect the rancher’s bottom line not the quality of the meat you want to eat. And you ought to try jumping through the hoops the big distributors have erected in cahoots with the big corporate combines to bring natural beef to the market. If a rancher isn’t injecting his beeves with a stunning schedule of vaccines anti-biotics and growth hormones he’ll have a 200% harder time getting his product to the buyer. Food distributor liability insurance carriers are to blame for that.

    Really, a cave man diet is good for many people, but it’s also hell on wheels for others. Heavily dependent on proteins is really bad for some folks. Which proves Will Rogers was right; it takes all kinds.

    Get back to me after you ranch ten years and tell me how giddy meat eating makes you. Beef is a fantastic food the Good Lord gave us, but it’s damn difficult work getting it to you.

    That is all.

    1. Wow! I guess all I can say is thank you.

      Thank you for all your hard work and your sacrifices for others. You make it possible for us to eat the way we want with ease and I have nothing but gratitude towards you. You are a magnificent human being.

      Much love,


    2. I guess you are thankful there are all us meat eaters out here, or you wouldn’t be a rancher of beef anymore. Though you do sound bitter towards the industry that you work so hard in, busting your hump to provide “us” with all the beef we consume. I understand about the FDA laws and can’t imagine what you have to go through…but I have to wonder, that if this was an article promoting being a vegetarian and it’s benefits, would you be upset because your livelyhood (being a rancher of beef) would be suffering because of all those veggie eating people. We beef eaters appreciate all that ranchers like you do.

    3. Sadly, the livelihoods of farmers/ranches have never parralled all the hard, essential work that they do. The history of the farmer is all too often a story of misery. Mentioning the FDA and such reflects several roots of the problem. If we continue to vote, utilize our democracy, and attempt to call attention to our government, then perhaps things can improve in such areas. Therefore, you should only disagree with the comment about “current events.” It is vital that we pay attention to what goes on around us, so we can help the rancher that gives us the meat, or the farmer that grows our vegetables!

    4. Many of us choose to buy our meat from local small-scale farmers who pasture their animals. I live on such a farm, and the farmers love their work and their animals. I think of my table food as *happy meat* and even if it wasn’t objectively tastier, it is to me because I know my roast chicken enjoyed its chicken-ness and likewise my turkey and pork. The beeves are going to be added next year- yay!

      There are so many solutions to the problems you raised, that it hardly seems reasonable to shame people for their enjoyment of the products of your labour. Examine the root of the problems and try to solve them yourself. You come across as having a victim mentality when at the very least, if you are victimized by your chosen job, then quit and find something else to do- preferably something you feel proud about.

      Presumably nobody has a gun to your head demanding that you show up every day to this specific job. If that is your situation, I am truly horrified and encourage you to seek your freedom at the first opportunity!

      I won’t buy grocery store, factory-farmed meat, and this means solving the problem of obtaining it other ways. If I couldn’t buy it, I’d hunt, or trap, or buy a cow and pay to pasture it on someone else’s land if I couldn’t have it where I live. If a cow were too much for my family, I would set up a sharing situation with other families and share the responsibilities and the meat.

      When individuals take this route, they don’t waste so much of the animal, so fewer animals need to be raised to sustain them. Factory farms waste atrocious amounts of edible animal parts.

      I wouldn’t do what you do because it is so inefficient and as you’ve admitted, not good for the people doing it. So stop. It’s *your* life!

      And I mean this all constructively. Human beings have immense creative potential that we allow to be destroyed and/or oppressed by foolishly asking governments to regulate our actions and choices. Leave the farm. The human one, too.

      1. @imogen. Well said. Life is a series of choices. We are who we choose to be.

  63. Excellent! This makes me think of an old saying that my husband and I have certainly found out in the past year, “Discipline in one area leads to discipline in many areas”. It started with budgeting and paying off debt, then revolutionizing the way we ate, exercise, and sleep; and now we are learning how to simplify and minimalize, and simply enjoy our lives more. Thank you for the post!

  64. I love that I’m less tired now, that was the biggest change for me. I used to literally fall asleep on my desk or in class after lunch – never realizing it was the carbs.

    Now I eat when I’m hungry and never crash after, just have a steady energy level. I really love this diet, and was so happy to read about all of the things that it has helped you for as well!

  65. I think quitting smoking probably made a bigger difference on a lot of these things than changing your diet. From what I can figure out from this post, you quit smoking one month before you changed your diet, so the medium-term effects of quitting smoking and changing your diet would both start showing up at around the same time.

    Also, I second the person who suggested that you get tested for Celiac disease (wheat gluten allergy). It causes a lot of the digestive tract symptoms that you describe as having gone away since you changed your diet. Your father and sister should probably get tested, too.

  66. Matt, first I wanted to commend (or congratulate) you on becoming so wise beyond your years and in such a short time. Really, this was fabulous.

    After reading the comments, I have to address a few other things…

    A. Discovering how one’s physical well-being affects one’s overall happiness should not be surprising to anyone (“paleo crowd” or not).

    B. There is no conflict in saying that you recognize hypocrisy in society and and you choose not to “judge people”. I think Matt put it very well when he described what it means to keep from judging another–you have never been in anyone’s head but your own. This means we can’t know by what standard any individual can be judged–that’s just not our concern.

    But we certainly do and must be able to recognize danger, hypocrisy, and deceit. Just because we can’t know what went into making someone the way they are (and thus, we are withholding judgment of him), we must still be able to differentiate between good and bad things. If we do not, we’ll get wiped off the face of the planet in fairly short order. How many pathetic (I mean that sincerely, not pejoratively) criminals have gotten themselves into a mess (often by associating with toxic people) and had to listen to the judge chastise them for exercising such “poor judgment”?

    C. Does anyone actually believe for a second that those eating a more primal diet consume more beef than all the fast-food chain customers of the world? Why the unpleasantness? It’s not the small contingent of paleo-dieters that’s keeping ranchers so busy! Come on! If only it were that popular!

  67. What a great list! Thank you! It shames me greatly to say that I’m a smoker and I would really appreciate your feedback on how you quit. If there is anyone else out there that is willing to share their story or what they did to end this horrid habit, I would love to know. Has Mark done any posts on this? Thank you.

    1. Jennie….re:smoking
      It has been mentioned but I will mention it again…try e-cigarettes…..I quit – but missed smoking sometimes…and was worried I would not STAY quit!!….so I got a Nicotine FREE E-Cigarette package and have never looked back……it is fabulous!!

      no ashs……no smell…..and my fav…….no $$….I have not even used 1/2 the original package I rec’d and haven’t had a smoke in forever and not even an e-cig in many months…….and best of all….I don’t miss it – EVER!!

      Thanks to you all……..your very inspirational!!

  68. I lol’ed at #50, that you so nonchalantly mentioned throwing a dart in the office like everyone knows what you’re talking about. I work in a tech-based office too and I know exactly what you’re talking about ;D

    I also found myself shedding poignant tears at all of your discussion about being a better father for your daughter, how important it is to both you and her to be a real father and connect with her. I have done a lot of reflecting lately on how my father was not those things for me. I mean, he had a good job and provided for us, and I know that things could have been far, far worse. But he would come home from work, pour a drink, and disappear in front of the TV, for almost every night that I can remember as a kid. I have never had a real conversation with him; you know, something involving emotion and meaning in our lives, and not just details of how my computer is running, or work I need to get on my car. I turned out alright, though. I mean, I am in my late 20’s with a great job and a graduate degree, but I have had self esteem issues my whole life, and in recent years have come up with a lot of emotional turmoil with dating men. I’ve felt that a lot of this could have been avoided with a more positive male influence in my life.

    So you might consider me a voice from the future that might have been, and in that I have to say, thank you for making the change to make your daughter’s and family life better and more rewarding 🙂

  69. #101 My tan
    During high school I played water polo and my nickname was oompa lumpa cause I was constantly fried or orange. Now people comment frequently about my great tan and how healthy I look. I was vacationed recently at catalina island. Two full days at the beach, no lotion, no burn.

    I actually found this diet because I wanted to be a healthier father for my newborn daughter. Can’t imagine what life would be like if I still smoked, drank, slept (or didn’t), and ate like I used to. Yes to all points, especially how much energy I have to wake up and play with my daughter. Thank you Mark!

  70. @ Matt, I keep folders in my favorites separating foods/recipes, fitness, health, and motivation as it relates to the PB. The motivation folder is kinda there for me, it makes me feel good to read some of Mark’s motivational posts along with transformation stories. I don’t need it, but I like it and mainly keep it for the odd time that someone I love will want to know where to start, and the pages I have saved will be helpful. This post went in there. Thanks for giving me more ammo to help someone else fight the battle!

  71. Wow! I copied this to a word document and printed it out so that I can see it in front of me any time. So inspiring! There is a time for a life transformation, but few take advantage of it. Thanks for your great story!

  72. This has to be one of the most motivational things i have read in my entire life! Matt, you are a true inspiration, your transparency regarding your personal life/findings is just amazing!! Anyone mulling over taking the primal leap NEEDS to read this. ..Inspirational! thank you.

  73. This is wonderful — well done, Matt. Your 97 list are all the things I hope to achieve

  74. What a wonderful list and I know it is real. I have only been on this plan a few days and already see how unbelievably healthy the results are–and how easy it is to follow this new lifestyle. If I had not already experienced this for myself, it would be difficult to believe that changing one’s eating and living style could give results this tremendous. “MarksDailyApple” site has absolutely saved my life and increased the quality of that life–as it has for you. I hope to write my own story here in a few months. Already have been able to go off my BP meds–do NOT require them any more! What a wonderful husband and father and by living so much more positively you will no doubt have many years with your family. Thank you for relating so many personal experiences and thoughts.