A Beer Drinker’s Primal Story

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!

When I was a kid, I was husky – that is what my mom told me. I was always a little chunkier than my siblings and most of my friends growing up in the 60’s. Because of that, I always had to watch my weight and what I ate. Gaining weight has always been easy for me.

Over the last 30 or so years, I have been a somewhat health conscious adult and lived largely by convention wisdom (CW) guidelines. I have always been physically active, fit, and pretty healthy. I rode a motocross bike up until I was 35 and played roller hockey to age 49. I rode mountain bikes, played racquetball, skied, learned to snowboard when I was 43, and would run 3-5 miles, 2-3 days a week. My dad ran the Boston marathon in his 50’s, so I guess he imparted a strong sense of fitness on to me. Keeping my weight down was always a challenge and something I worked at.

My weight stayed fairly constant, between 165 and 175 lbs, during that time. (I am 5’ 9”) My diet was pretty good I thought, eating bread without butter, potatoes without sour cream, oatmeal without sugar, cereal with low-fat milk; whole grain was king, fat was evil. I owned a bread machine and made my own whole wheat breads and pizza crusts. I was lucky not to have any medical issues, life was good.

I also have always been a beer lover and 20 years ago I started home brewing beer. Beer, after all, is low-fat, so no worries. I drink one or two beers a day during the week and twice that on weekends (if I am good.) I became a connoisseur and love to try all the different beers of the world. I get to travel worldwide with my job and I always seek out beers I have never tried before while out of the country.

After turning 45 or so, I started getting severe heart burn. My doctor put me on meds (of course) but I didn’t tolerate them, giving me the runs. I switched to OTC Pepcid type and that worked somewhat. I also at that point started to slow down a bit – less running, less hockey, less energy. And big surprise, my weight started to climb. When I turned 50, December 2009, my weight was the highest ever at 182 lbs. Not too terrible, but heading in the wrong direction and I didn’t feel like I was able to control it as I could in the past. I had to work really hard just to stay level, but I was running out of gas. Quitting hockey didn’t help. I was 50 and getting fatter. I had to make a change.

Here I am on the right at age 49, and with the rest of my family and playing bocce, Ocean City, NJ summer 2009.

In March 2010, I decided to try a low-carb diet, Atkins style, which I tried before in my 40’s with pretty good results, but never able to stick with it. Soon after starting, I was searching the internet for the carb content of certain foods and somehow came across marksdailyapple.com. The content was unbelievable, and I soaked it up. It all made so much sense to me. I knew Atkins was on the right track, but the Primal Blueprint was the course correction I needed. I became hooked on the information and to the community support, especially the success stories. I love MDA because everything you need is on the site. I eventually bought two PB books, more out of sheer gratitude towards Mark, than pure necessity. I also like the fact that Mark personally answered my emails, not once but twice. And he posts lists of other great websites that are, in reality, his competitors (18 Underrated Blogs…). Who else does that?

The idea that this is a lifestyle clicked with me. Atkins was a short term diet and the results don’t last once off it. (Duh!) People often ask me about the differences between Primal and Atkins. With Atkins, you don’t fundamentally change your eating habits; you substitute low-carb products for what you normally eat.  Low-carb bread, low-carb ice cream, low-carb snack bars etc, all loaded with fake factory ingredients and sugar alcohols. Over time, you drift back to the real crap and end up back at the beginning. With Primal, you learn to eat real food and you learn to like real food. You learn why the crap food is crap and you lose your taste for it. You make a real fundamental change and you understand why.

When I started Primal, I decided to see if it would work while maintaining my beer drinking/brewing hobby. After all, I really like beer and couldn’t see giving it up permanently, and besides, there was that 80/20 principle. I guess you could say I wanted my beer and drink it too. So I dove into the Primal Blueprint diet and was pretty strict, except for the beer, which I knew would add an average of 40 grams of carbs a day.

For exercise, I started hitting the weights 2 or 3 times per week and doing sprints or HIIT on most Sundays. Over the past two years, I learned a lot about fitness. My lifts have progressed and are now mainly from the large compound muscle groups, squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press, rows, pull/chin-ups, and dips. I use an upper/lower split routine giving my muscles 5-7 days rest between workouts per the book Beyond Brawn (which was linked from LeanGains which was linked from MDA). Last year I got a pair of Saucony Hattori running shoes which at 4.4 oz, are great. I got my 100 meter down to 15 seconds and I am now able to do 19 dips and 10 full pull-ups.

My diet is pretty simple. For breakfast it’s a shake with whey protein, a raw egg, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, flax meal, some berries or pumpkin and fish oil. Lunch is usually a Big Ass Salad with whatever leftovers I have from dinner, some cheese, peppers, carrots, oil, and vinegar. Dinner is meat or fish, some veggies and a salad, and of course, a beer. We usually try to cook extra meat for the next day’s salad. Dark chocolate is my dessert, and nuts, coconut, jerky, or cheese make a great snack. I also have a great recipe for pumpkin bars that are good for traveling or as another snack. Planning ahead is absolutely the key for diet adherence.

The first few months following the Primal Blueprint did not produce much in the way of weight loss. I was probably gaining muscle at the same rate as the fat loss. I had to tell myself to “stay with the program,” knowing it was the right thing to do. Finally after two months, the scale started to move. I lost 22 pounds on the scale in the first 16 months to what I consider my “ideal” body weight. This is the weight I easily maintain. This is not the fastest change, but it was relatively easy compared to other diets I have tried. The beer may have slowed down progress, but that’s OK, it’s my cheat. Besides, what’s the big rush? As long as I am on the right path, heading in the right direction, why make it harder than it is.

So here I am at age 52, two years Primal, and at my lowest weight since I can remember. My heartburn is gone, my eczema is much better, and just got a new 15 year term life policy with a super-preferred rating. My blood pressure is typically 110/70 with a resting heart rate under 60. Not a huge transformation, but I feel like I am in the best shape of my recent life with much more energy. I find that the longer I have been Primal, the easier it is to stay with it. Plus, while I have cut down on beer a little in exchange for red wine, I have not given it up.

I wonder how bad beer really is. It is slightly sprouted (malted) and fermented and does not contain the barley germ, husk, or bran… Maybe a blog post, Mark?

I am still currently active with hobbies and sports including biking, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, volleyball, golf, and I’m thinking about playing roller hockey again.

I am very passionate about this lifestyle and I tell anyone who will listen to me about it. Many of my friends and coworkers have gone Primal with great success. My wife started eating this way at dinner time initially and has eventually become more Primal over the last two years. She too has had success with weight loss.

Finding MDA was like finding a magic chalice on the beach. My wish for great health has come true. Thank you, Mark Sisson.

TAGS:  guest post

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

181 thoughts on “A Beer Drinker’s Primal Story”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Nice job, you look great! You definitely don’t look 52. My brother is the same age as you so I’ll need to pass along your story as he thinks it’s impossible at his age. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Def. looks great..With your diet, about how many calories a day do you think you’re getting…

  2. I love this story. You look great! You may not have lost a ton of pounds over 16 months but you can notice a huge ass difference. You obviously put on a ton of muscle.

    My brother has also had huge success. He has not lost a ton of weight like you but he continues to put on tons of muscle. And, he still drinks his beer. It’s a bit less but he will never give that up. He will be 30 this September so he is much younger.

    Continue to spread the Primal word!

  3. Well done!
    It’s heartening to know you can still have a beer or two while still getting such benefits.

  4. Great post. This is nearly identical to my story right down to age, height, weight,, Atkins initial success, beer brewing, and primal results. You are hitting it out of the park. Great work.

  5. Great to read this. You’re looking great, Sir! I too am curious about the beer. I currently brew my own beer as well and I’m trying to find a nice balance. I usually don’t drink as much as you said that you do so perhaps it won’t be a problem for me. I think over the last month I’ve had ~10 beers, mostly when at a sports bar with coworkers or something.

    I’m hoping that I can get down in weight and look as good as you do. I’m also looking forward to my heartburn going away!

  6. Well, I think you look like Simon Cowell in that ‘before’ photo and you definitely don’t in the ‘after.’ Congratulations! 😉

  7. You’re truly inspiring. I enjoyed your story. I’m at the 50+ stage too and started PB last August. This lifestyle really makes sense in so many ways. Kudos to you!

    1. I’d like to see Mark Sisson champion a new dietary regimen called PB+PBR.

    2. Jenn: I agree, he’s inspiring as I’ve been eating primal (90%) for almost two yrs. Grains have been pared way down to small pita half servings (multi grain) with butter w/veg. soup. very ltd. grain now. Digestion improved. I eat a pc of butter creme cake w/friends on Mon. or church dinners..can’t resist.

  8. Awesome story. I especially like the part where you said that the idea that this is a lifestyle clicked with you. And especially this: “With Primal, you learn to eat real food and you learn to like real food. You learn why the crap food is crap and you lose your taste for it. You make a real fundamental change and you understand why.” So true. Thanks for being an inspiration 🙂

    1. Well written……you articulated why the change to this lifestyle works and so much easier to maintain.

  9. I miss beer. I made a choice to not imbibe any alcohol (sans cooking wine in recipes) until I reach my goals. I miss all the different flavors and the buzz from a few beers. I do not miss hangovers and really like the extra cash I have.

  10. As a beer lover I love this story.

    I keep trying to rationalize to myself that beer can’t be that bad for us: it’s essentially only fermented barley grass juice.

    I recently gave it up a few weeks ago to see if I would notice a bigger change in my digestion/weight loss/physical capacity over the next month or so. Its only been 2 weeks (exactly today actually) and everyone has been asking me what my “secret” is.

    I don’t plan on cutting beer totally out of my diet but I have decided drinking 1/2 gl every night in not necessary 🙂

    1. The beers are soooo hard to limit! A nice dark ale with that burger..
      I have cut back to a once a week 2 beer night and it makes a big difference in my overall well being, I can tell. My small rural town has yet to carry the gluten free beers. Are they any good?

      1. No ….. the gluten free beers are horrid … sorghum was never meant to be brewed (in my humble opinion)

      2. The gluten free stuff is rather nasty. I’ve tried most I think. But, as with all beers by the 4th or 5th their all good. True even of Budweiser. Okay, maybe not Budweiser.

      3. I wouldn’t know about gluten free beer because I don’t think I will ever try them. I like regular barley malt beer which too my understanding has way less gluten than wheat. Also, it was my impression that the mashing and fermentation process further reduces glutens. Would love to see more information on it.

        I live in a great area for craft beers and it is my biggest weakness. Surly Furious out if Minneapolis is the best. So tasty. I want one…just one! 😉

        1. T’weason is more of a cider, IMHO, but it’s excellent. Pateros Creek in Fort Collins, CO makes a really nice gluten-free beer that they have fermented using Belgian techniques (including Candi sugar) that gives it more a fullness that most GF beers lack.

      4. Imagine ringing out a bar rag into a cup at the end of a busy night. Drinking that would still taste better than gluten-free beer.

      5. I don’t think they’re that bad – but you have to go in with the realization that they are *nothing* like what you’re used to. They’re rather “light”, and the flavor is obviously different from what you’re used to, but I think they can definitely be enjoyed. They’re…….”refreshing”.

  11. Congrats on your success! You’ve shown that someone with determination can make major improvements and enjoy the process rather than looking at a “diet” as a short-term means to get back to the old lifestyle.

  12. Man, I thought I was reading my story except only at the begining of the 2 year period – starting out. I really enjoyed reading your story – thanks!

  13. Good work! You look great 🙂 Your smile says so much! I also love your patience, it’s very inspiring. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Thanks for the success story, this one really resonates with me. Me…44, craft beer lover, homebrewer, trail runner, CrossFitter and a generally active dude. On my 4th week of primal eating and seeing results. Nice to have reaffirmation that I can still enjoy or beer or two now and again, but now I choose what I’m drinking ever more carefully.

    Hey Mark…would love to see a blog post about beer too!

  15. Fantastic! Atkins lost me too. Once I began adding back whole grain products and consuming the alternative recipies & foods loaded with sucralose, it was a reversal of progress. I was only marginally better off… With regards to beer on Primal, for me, the occasional evening of a few low-carb beers does not derail any of my progress – Yea!

    1. You weren’t supposed to add back grains if you exhibited any adverse reactions which it sounds like you did display. You were only supposed to be able to allow more starchy veg and more nuts. Can’t deny sucralose is a big favorite over there, but some people need a taste of the stuff they gave up to get by, and some people need to go cold turkey to get by. Know yourself and make your choice.

  16. Great story!

    Isn’t Mark great!? I want to work for him or something.

    Thanks for everything, Mark. You’re a very fair and helpful humanitarian.

  17. Let’s be straight about Atkins. For many of us, it was the introduction to the low-carb paradigm and has always advocated high fat and less high protein with loads of veg. Supplementation is important. The fake stuff is allowed and it certainly does produce a lot of the fake stuff so it can leave you with the taste for the bad stuff but only if you have the money to buy the bad stuff. Also, the book explicitly states on page 286 of the 2002 Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution that “if you’re not getting regular exercise, you aren’t following the Atkins nutrional approach”. Granted, it’s only one chapter out of 28, but then the book is only about a way of eating, not a way of living. Primal is the latter. Atkins is also, not a “short-term diet”. The most rapid weight loss is in the short term, but it is an healthy eating lifestyle, not a quick fat-loss program. Again, if you think it is short-term, you aren’t “doing Atkins”.
    So from everything I’ve read, Primal is basically Atkins + a thought experiment framework + the latest fitness research. So thank you Dr. Atkins (RIP) and thank you Mark for you immense contributions to my health and the health of millions of others.

    1. A friend went on Atkins years ago and looked to me for nutritional advice and support. At the time, I ate a super-“healthy” very low-fat, moderate-carb diet of whole grains, fruit, veg, lean meat, nuts, and dairy. So I told sure, sure, go for it “but don’t eat those things you ‘know’ are bad for you — like cream and bacon and other fat.” She lost lots of weight, and I lost some with her, but it was unsatisfying; we did it for about 6 months but neither of us stuck with it.

      The difference is that primal food tastes so good! I’ve been eating PB for two years, and don’t have any desire to change. (Though I’ve recently cut out dairy to see if it affects spring hay fever. I’m not sure how I want that one to pay out, because I don’t want hay fever, but I do want cheese.)

    2. In Dr Atkins 1st book he talked about low carb being the basis for our ansestors diet & our bodies have not evolutionized to handle the level of refined carbs in the SAD(standard american diet). That concept actually is what sold me on the low carb concept because it made sense. I had seen a modern version of this when a Dr friend from India jumped into the SAD with both feet & wound up having a heart attack as the age of 34 he went back to his family for generations diet & all his reports years later were good. His son who was born of an American mother had high cholesteral at the age of 13…he changed to a diet much like his fathers and improved. (it was not a strict vegeterian diet either) Atkins I think got lost with time & popularity pressure & the money making machine Adkins became (i’m ok with the money just not the comprimise)because he came out with products that were majorally artificial, alot of soy, added foods…beans ect & totally deluded the message. He just didn’t stay pure & on message a Primal diet is what humans were meant to eat.

      1. Thank you for helping to clarify for everyone.

        I tried Atkins first when it became really popular about 10 years ago. People I knew who tried it based their efforts on a long email that got circulated and lacked a lot of the nuance of the book. Most of these people either never got through induction phase or lost a lot of weight then fell off the wagon and put it all back on with interest. I was somewhere in between. In the last 5 months–after taking the time to read and understand the book–I have been far more successful and have essentially transformed my body: 50 pounds off, muscles visible and getting toned, all sort of health issues resolved, etc.

        What got missed by so many back then is spelled out in the book explicitly, sometimes repetitively. If only they had read it:

        *Low-carb diet, supplements, and exercise are equally important. He states the plan will fail if all 3 are not in place.
        *You don’t just “do Atkins” to lose a bunch of pounds and then go back to shoving cake in your mouth. It’s a lifetime commitment. When one “goes off Atkins” and resumes their old habits, multiple pounds can be added each day.
        *When you add carbs back in on the plan you are supposed to follow a ladder of specific carb types, starting first with more salad vegetables. The process is very gradual, ramping up by 5 grams of carb per week while monitoring weight. You don’t just start eating loaves of bread again. The gradual process is intended as a troubleshooting method: Something you were eating before was causing an allergic reaction.
        *He states in several places that organic meats are to be preferred. He also disses bacon and other processed meats. He never states one can’t eat vegetables. In fact, he insists that one eat veg even in induction.
        *He also is pretty adamant that people need to eat only until they are satiated. He says this while acknowledging that many people don’t know what satiety feels like. Most people only know “gorge” after a lifetime of eating and not really getting fed.
        *He also lays out in long relatively-boring chapters what hyperinsulinism is, what causes it, and how it is the main evil facing the 69 percent of Americans who are overweight. He says again and again that the main goal of his plan is to regulate insulin.

        But people didn’t read the book, so they missed these points and often got even fatter, developed gout, etc. while doing what they thought the Atkins plan was.

        Atkins let his followers down by trying to capitalize on his plan by making junkfood. The plan itself is so simple that it’s really hard to make any money off of it after the sale of the book. So concocting candy bars and other grain-based atrocities that were only moderately less carb-a-licious than standard selections was one way to get rich from the plan. His greed was his undoing.

    3. Atkins was certainly on the right track, but the problem with the Atkins diet today is all the fake food that’s allowed on the diet. In any low carb diet, you are going to be reducing or eliminating refined sugar and flour. These are two of the biggest problem foods, and up until the 80’s, you’d have to replace those calories with meat and vegetables. But with the popularity of Low Carb diets in the 90’s and on, there have been an explosion in artificial sweeteners, high omega 6 oils, gluten and soy based protein bars, and so on. I think these manufactured foods are why a lot of people struggle on the Atkins diet nowadays.

  18. Congratulations, you look great! Your muscles are well defined, and I can tell you are loving life! I really liked your explanation of the differences between Atkins and Primal, it helped my clarify my own understanding and I know I’ll be able to explain it to people better. Thanks for the inspiration! Oh, and I also found your progress relatable, I’m 49 and the weight is not flying off effortlessly like I see in some of these success stories, but I’m staying the course and feeling good!

  19. Nice work. You look fantastic, and much younger than your calendar age. Also, I’d love to see that pumpkin bar recipe posted at MDA. Thanks!

  20. Fantastic story! Your happiness and health is written all over your face. I love beer myself and have found it hard to pass up a cold one. Would you mind sharing your recipe for the pumpkin bars? 🙂

  21. Wow, you look amazing. I know guys in their 20s who can’t hold a candle to your physique. What a way to start into the second half of your life: happy, healthy and active.

    1. I agree, great physique, and you look about 15 years younger than you say you are.

      Reading Beyond Brawn really turned around my ideas about training. My physique was also transformed into a great physique.

      It is hard for most people to accept what this book says, but once they start implementing it they start seeing results.

      Train with very brief, high intensity. I’m talking like 3-4 sets of max intensity at the most. 3-4 sets more at moderate intensity, then 2 to 4 days rest. At the extreme version of brevity I train my deadlift, two sets of 5 reps, and my row, 2 sets of 6-8 reps. Then I go home and I rest for three days before I go back to the gym to completely unrelated exercises (Press, Weighted Push Ups, Australian Pull Ups).

      I am a personal trainer and an online consultant, so I see how most people are typically training before I advise them. Most people are training 3-5 HIT days AND 2-3 of cardio on top of that.

      Personally, I blame Crossfit and P-90X for leading people to believe they can train with HIT 4-5 days a week without over-training. A lot of people are extremely over-trained and and would have much better physiques, health, and would be much less irritable if they kept workouts brief and intense, then gave enough rest. Unfortunately, most people will read this and think I’m crazy, but I train 2 times a week tops, walk a little on my off days, and I have an amazing physique, if I can get away with saying that without sounding to full of myself.

      1. You can and I am intrigued! I would like to look great but I don’t want to work out on the typical schedule. If I could work out with brief, high intensity workouts 2 times a week and walk a little I could be all over that. THAT sounds like my kind of workout! I’ve dropped 25 pounds, now I would like to look more fit and less flabby.

        1. I agree with Matthew and you can get great results with only 2 days of lifting per week, that is all I do. I I found that I need 7 days of rest in order to add progressive poundage to the bar each week. For insteance, my incline press went from 90 lbs to 130 lbs in 16 weeks, adding 2.5 lbs per week. And, I am not done yet, I hope to hit 150 before starting another cycle. I do 4 upper body lifts per session once a week and 3 lower body lifts once a week. I also golf twice a week (walking) and play volley ball in a league. Sprints once per weel or two.

      2. Matthew, I don’t think you’re crazy at all! I only train 2-3 times per week HIIT for 20-30 minutes tops, never the same workout twice in a row with AT LEAST 3 days rest in-between, sprints once a week for 10 minutes and as much walking/hiking as I feel like. If I have planned a workout for a certain day but am feeling tired that day or I’m still sore from a previous workout, I get a little extra sleep that night and leave the workout for the next day–no worries. I also incorporate a 16/8 hour fast/feast schedule almost daily. At 40, I feel I am the strongest and leanest I have ever been and exercise does not feel cumbersome like it once was.

  22. I really enjoyed reading your success story.Congratulations on your fantastic results. Very inspirational! I love Fridays…

  23. 52?? No way!!

    Great job. You look so full of life.

    When is your wife writing her success story?!

  24. I love Fridays! Great job and great attitude! There really is no reason to make things harder. I bought 3 PB books as well just to support Mark. One of my selling points when I tell ppl (everyone) about the PB is that Mark gives all the info away first and you can purchase what you want- but it’s optional. No other site like this one.

    1. hey daniel, me too. i love his books and want to support him. love mark’s supplements too.

  25. Nice work! I play ball hockey with a bunch of guys from their 20’s to their 70’s. That’s dangerous enough, I can’t imagine roller hockey though, seems like a great way to break something quickly. 🙂

    (Also Bocce on the beach is one of the fine things in life)

  26. Isn’t it wonderful when the fog clears and you know you have a grasp on what works for you in getting your life back?? You are a great example of clarity. Keep up the good work. Yeah, those pumpkin bars sound interesting.

  27. Add me to the list of mirror image backgrounds. I’m a former homebrewer and homebrew shop owner who writes about beer (The Beer Guy!) for my local newspaper. I’ve been a whole grain guy for at least 10-15 years and also suffered regularly from GERD and also from a noisy gut that could be very embarrassing during meetings in quiet conference rooms.

    Anyway, I lost an initial 10lbs after my first month going Primal, and then got stuck at 193 for several weeks. I wasn’t drinking as much beer as usual, but did have several long “sessions” with a old college buddy who was visiting from out of town. Three days later, I’ve started making progress in the weight loss department again, and I believe the beer did have something to do with it.

    The good news is, I didn’t gain anything back during that time, so once I reach my weight goal, I’ll be able to drink a few beers each week without having to worry about it.

    Thanks for your story. It really hit home with me.

    1. Beer has a lot of maltose in it. Maltose is a disaccharide made up of two glucose molecules. It is like a fast-digesting starch in a can, so it is very insulinogenic. Thus the term beer belly.

  28. Wow man! What amazing results and attitude! Very inspirational. May the spirit stay with you for another 52 years!

  29. Great job bro!

    I’m curious as to how much beer you drink in a given week?

    I’ve always wondered how detrimental beer is to progress for the reasons you’ve already stated.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I average about 14 beers a week, one on Mon, Tues, Wed, 2 on Thurs, Sun, 3 on Fri and Sat. I find it reduces my appitite because I drink before dinner. If I drink after dinner, I get the munchies and that is bad.

  30. Great Story! I’m a professional brewer who maintains a Primal Lifestyle. It can be done!

  31. Congrats on the 16-month Total Body Transformation! How many times have we all read, thought or said, in reference to finding MDA, “It all made so much sense to me”? 🙂

    My husband and I are 2011 primal converts, and at 53, we can relate to your story. I bought all of Mark’s books as guides, to support the cause, and as propaganda tools. I leave them in a stack in the dining room and visitors have a tendency to pick them up idly, then sit down and start reading (and I live in 99.9% French-speaking region of Québec!). So far we’ve made five converts and I can’t wait to hear about their success. I hope it matches yours!

  32. As a big believer in the primal lifestyle and a homebrewer/beer lover, this was a great read and I think it will help me get back on the horse with the primal lifestyle.

    I recently had too much going on (buying a house, getting married, job change, etc) and I had to let something go, and it was nutrition (I still don’t eat a ton of grains but I felt much better when Primal). Now that things are getting settled I’m ready to recommit (with my 20% beer of course)

    1. In case anyone is in Devon’s situation and finds that there is too much else going on to focus on what you eat, I just read a very good post on the Michael Eades blog (from 2009):


      It’s not really about the ‘second time round’ at all (unlike what the title in the web link suggests), but instead, it points out some points from psychology literature on why we can lose track of nutrition and some tricks to avoid doing this, even when things are stressful/busy.

  33. Amazing!…

    Congrats on your health and success. It’s always fascinating to hear how people stumbled into a primal lifestyle. I usually cringe when someone asks, “It’s like Atkins, right?” Your story can be a good bridge in explaining how to crossover.

  34. Thanks for all of your comments, it has been a wonderful journey so far.

    Here is my recipe for pumpkin bars:

    1 egg + 1/3 cup egg whites (2 eggs)
    1 cup cottage cheese
    2 tbsp honey (optional)
    1 tbsp vanilla
    Blend above, eggs first

    Add 1 at a time in mixer:
    (2) 15 oz cans pumpkin (unsweetened)

    Add the rest and mix:
    1 cup whey protein
    ½ cup flax meal
    ½ cup shredded coconut
    1 cup almond meal

    2 tbsp cinnamon
    ¼ tsp nutmeg
    ¼ tsp ginger
    ¼ tsp all spice
    ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
    ½ tsp salt (optional)
    1/8 tsp Stevia (or Splenda to taste) (optional)
    ½ tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp baking powder

    Stir in by hand:
    1 cup (toasted) walnuts
    ½ cup (toasted) pecans

    Cook 1 hr and 45 min at 325 degrees in 9×12 pan
    Cool over night covered w/ foil

    Makes 16-20 bars

  35. Wow, great read! I feel the same way about having found a true treasure in a sea of less-than-amazing Google search results.

    I got to hand it to these folks; the honesty of every one of these success stories is unbridled and unrivaled. I feel like the vast majority of success stories from other diets or products have nothing on these. Fridays rock.

  36. Wow you look great. I am especially envious of your BP. I am 48 and have been primal pretty much 95/5 for about 1.5 years and have lost weight 178 to 161 lbs and cannot get my bp below 125-139/90 :(.

  37. You look fantastic! I agree that it’s good to balance the amount of effort with the resulting benefits so that it’s an enjoyable journey all around. It’s better to have the journey take longer and be enjoyable than to have it be difficult, frustrating, and hard to stick with. Well, that’s my opinion anyhow. 🙂

  38. Another beer lover and homebrewer here. Locally brewed beer in growlers are insanely affordable at $5 to 8 around here (Indy). The beer is a part of my 20%. It is working so far, since going primal on March 1, 2012 I have lost about 9 pounds, feel much better, and my allergy symptoms have drastically been reduced. Thanks everyone for your input that I might be able to have my beer and primal too.

    Yes, Mark, a post on beer would be great.

  39. I’m stoked you found a way to keep beer in your lifestyle. Life is too short to go without the things that you love.

  40. Agree with you about Atkins diet. Although I love Atkins because it helped me lose weight in 2004 AND it taught me i can go without bread(and fruit for short time). Also Atkins eventually got me here to Primal/Paleo. Where it is ok to give up grains/legumes permanently and eat ‘real’ instead of using low carb products” . Without Atkins/low carb i don’t think i would have gotten here.

  41. Awesome story! I’m genuinely happy for you that you’ve been able to continue with your passion for beer brewing. Before PB, I was an avid yeast-bread baker.. experimenting with long fermentation techniques, shaping and scoring methods, sourdough, etc. It was my primary source of stress relief.

    Then I discovered that all the joint pain I’d been feeling for the past 3-4 years (sometimes leaving me bedridden.. at age 26) was a gluten intolerance. So yeah, dealing with the loss of my identity as a bread baker has been the hardest part of this journey for me, and I’m still not fully there. But a pain free life is worth it.

    Anyway, that had nothing to do with you except to remind you to really enjoy that beer! Have one for me. 🙂

    Also, you know you’re doing something right if you’re 52 and a 26 year old thinks you’re smokin hot. Rock on!

  42. Mmm, beer… I have been working on swapping beer for red wine (no hard swap mosty of the time!) but there are plenty of social situations when everyone is drinking pints of beer and to ask for red wine instead makes you look odd. And we all know about the necessity of sharing mind-altering substances as an important part of social bonding with our fellows… so how bad is beer?

  43. Congrats on your success. I agree wholeheartedly that Mark and MDA are a class act!

  44. Add me to the list of people who just bought the book to support Mark. This website is fantastic. Thank you Mark!!

  45. Great story! Love your attitude about the beer and the speed of your weight loss – having good health is a means, not necessarily an end in itself. I live primally because I think about food less, “diet” less, exercise smarter (and less), and as a result have more energy and vitality to be active with my family, friends, church, etc. Also, since my diet is so routinely rock-solid-nutritious, a beer or desert with friends is no big deal at all. Thanks for sharing your story!

  46. Great article, thx for the share. I also love beer but have been trying to substitute beer intake with (home brewed) red wine and some scotch on occasion.

    I would also really like to hear Mark’s take on brewsky!

  47. I also love craft beer and drink it a lot. I know it’s probably not the best thing. However, if you are not eating any other grains, legumes or sugar, you are still probably way ahead of the standard American diet.

  48. Nice story, and really nice pictures 😉 I love the 80/20 spirit, and the questioning about beer. Congrats sir!

  49. Congrats man! I also am a primal eater who likes his craft beer and is planning on working in the craft beer industry once I graduate school this May. Mark I am wondering if you could write a post about beer within the primal diet and its effects? Thanks.

  50. Great story. If a blog post about beer comes up I’d like thoughts on hard cider, mead, and fruit wine. I’m a home brewer myself and count those as part of my “20” but have been curious of other people’s experiences and thoughts.

    1. I would have hoped mead was OK if you make it with just honey and ferment it to dryness?

  51. Awesome job, dude. I just started so we’ll see how it goes (I’m 43).

  52. Hey, I love pumpkin and bars–recipe post, please???

    You look awesome and am sure you are feeling even better!!!

  53. Wow – very inspirational !! I especially love seeing great results with people over 40 🙂

  54. Very inspirational! I also have a food hobby–I have become nearly obsessed with learning how the how to and the actual making and baking of sourdough bread. It has been therapy to me. I hate to give it up entirely, so have been baking and giving away the baked goods. We eat a little of it here and there.

  55. You look so ripped! The best part about your success is that you didn’t have to give up something you love to get good results.

    I often feel feel apologetic for my inclusion of sugar alcohols. I guess that can be my 80/20.

    1. I include some sugar alcohol as well(Xylitol)and dairy sometimes too. So I would say I am 90/10 Primal

  56. Great story! I, too, love beer. A beer post would be great!!

  57. Atkins led me to Gary Taubes which led me to Primal, but I always say that I can sum up where Atkins let me down in three simple words “Atkins Bake Mix”.

    Beer is a big part of our lifestyle. We’re growing hops for a local craft brewery, and hope to start home brewing too. So I would like to see a post on beer.

  58. Great story and congrats!!! When I was cycling I could eat and drink anything I wanted and not gain an ounce. But I quit cycling and kept eating and drinking -I gained 50 lbs in 6 months. I’ve since gotten back down to 180 (well, fluctuating between 175-185) and learned my lesson.

  59. Wow! What a great story. You look incredible and are such an inspiration to me! Well done and good on you!!

  60. “With Primal, you learn to eat real food and you learn to like real food. You learn why the crap food is crap and you lose your taste for it. You make a real fundamental change and you understand why.”

    That is this website in a nutshell and why I send so many people this way.

    Great job, you look great!

  61. I would love that pumpkin bar recipe if you want to share 🙂 I’m just starting my journey.

    1. OOOps, sorry. Just read through the comment and noticed you already shared. Thanks!

  62. You look hot!!! I find myself straying sometimes and I’m so happy these great success stories are here to keep me motivated!!! Great Work!!!

  63. Oh, you’re killin’ me! I also am a huge beer lover. We have so many great beers in the Pacific NW. I got pronounced diabetic about 3 months ago. I’ve taken my A1C down with PB, but I’m probably going to have to give up my beer! Stupid nurse today tells me, “Well, you can drink ‘lite’ beer once in a while…” I looked at her and said, “I’d rather drink Bactine than ‘lite’ beer!” Hoist a few for me!

    1. I was diagnosed Type 2 May 6 of 2010 and age 41. A1C was 16, BG was 518. Weight: 315 I’m now ~165, A1C 5, Avg BG 92. I’ve only been primal since Jan 1 2012, but I attribute almost all of my getting off the meds to primal eating and exercise. You CAN have beer, but you have to have it with something else. Moderation in all things! Hope to have my own Primal Success Story published soon. BTW, also in PNW and you’re right! Too many good beers to count!

      1. ACK! Sorry, weight right now is ~265. Not 165. I’m not that awesome yet.

  64. What an Awesome transformation story! Thank you so much for sharing, keep up the great work!

  65. Awesome! Not a ton of weight and you look WAY different!

  66. Thank you for sharing your story here. Beer has been the one thing that has been limiting my boyfriend from really embracing the PB lifestyle and now I can show him you story. You look amazingly fantastic by the way and your wife is one lucky lady. 🙂 Oh and I will be trying out those pumpkin bars this weekend. YUM YUM~

  67. Wow, this could just as easily been my story, although I’m not nearly as far along. I’ve been homebrewing for a few years now and I had the same concern when I started.

    I’m not entirely sure, but my guess would be that beer has a couple of things going against it. The first and probably worst characteristic is that it has gluten. You can mitigate that somewhat in a couple of ways. One way of course is to brew with gluten-free ingredients such as sorghum syrup although most sorghum beers are pretty mediocre (one exception is St. Peters which is a phenomenal english beer but I digress). Another method is to use a product called Clarity-Ferm from White Labs which you add with the yeast at the beginning of fermentation. The enzyme will bind to the gluten and drop it to the bottom with the rest of the trub and spent yeast. Charlie Papazian did this in an issue of Zymurgy and reported that using an EZ-Gluten test he was under 20ppm. Here’s a reference: https://www.examiner.com/beer-in-national/gluten-free-beer-reduced-gluten-beer-offers-real-beer-taste-for-celiac-impaired

    The second negative characteristic of beer is that it generally contains a lot of residual sugar. This is especially true for higher alcohol beers and styles such as sweet stouts which have sugars (such as lactose) that cannot be fermented by the yeast. I’m not entirely positive, but my guess is that the lowest carb beers are generally the sour styles from Belgium such as Old Brown (Oud Bruin), Flanders Red, or Lambics as they have bacterias present in the beer (such as lactobacillus) which can ferment the complex sugars that the yeast cannot.

    So ultimately you may want to pay attention to the types of beer you decide to drink. My tastes have changed over the years and I stick to the lighter beer styles such as pilsners, and the sour beers, but mainly because that’s what I like. One thing I noticed lately is that after eating primal for about 6 months now, I’ve noticed that I have trouble drinking more than a couple of beers without feeling a little off. I don’t plan on stopping my beer drinking, but I have reduced it quite a bit and have gotten more selective about which ones I choose to drink. Quality not quantity I guess. 🙂

    Great story, and good luck.

    1. In addition to the sugar, alcohol is 7 (useless)calories per gram.

    2. Well, down here in Australia we actually have a “zero carb” beer that is brewed (if they are to be believed) only using water, barley and hops … as real beer should be. How they achieve 0g carb with 0.1g of sugar is a secret……ok, it isn’t the greatest tasting beer in the world…but Its better than much of the commercial rubbish and better than any low carb beer I’ve had.

      Curious to know the non primal aspects of this type of beer. Obviously there is sugars from the alcohol…

      If curious check it out


    1. Agreed … look at my Avatar and the grace with which I handle the big stick, powered by beer!

  68. YEAH! First off, your physique for someone in his early 50’s is killer. Second, as a fellow craft beer lover and one-time homebrewer, THANK YOU. I have really limited my volume and frequency, but I believe there can still be a balance. (I just picked up some Deschutes Chainbreaker and SN Torpedo tallboy cans for a weekend away snowboarding with friends.)

    Thank you Mark for this great post, and congrats Joe on the amazing lifestyle change while still not completely foregoing what you love. :o)

  69. OMG I am sooooooo happy to read this. I live in Sonoma County, which, while it is definitely Wine Country, what a lot of people don’t realize is that it is BEER COUNTRY too!!!

    We have some of the most amazing beers brewed right here and I just adore it. I kept telling myself “but you’re just going to have to learn to go without it.” It makes me so sad because I adore the Russian River brews, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Lost Coast, Anderson Valley…sigh.

    But this MADE MY DAY! This shows me one CAN live a successful Primal life and have their beer, too. Granted, it needs to be in moderation, but I’m so happy to know I don’t have to give it up altogether.

    1. Thanks for your comments. Yes those breweries are some of the best in the country. I have tried to recreate RR Pliny the Elder with some success,though not as good of course. Pliny the Younger is epic on the east coast. If a bar gets a keg, they sell raffle tickets for 10 oz glasses, crazy.

  70. Thanks for sharing your story – very inspirational! You’re proof that we don’t have to give up everything we love (and who doesn’t love a nice cold beer??) when balanced with a healthy Primal diet and lifestyle. You look fantastic and I’m sure you feel it too! And I totally agree – finding MDA was like finding a magic chalice for me too. Congrats and keep up the good work!

  71. So, I’m one of the friends turned onto the Primal Blueprint by Joe. I’m down 14 lbs since July 2011, an absolutely amazing result. My wife is down about 7 and has gone from pre-diabetic to no worries (she had appropriate weight levels, but bad genetics, her brother died of diabetes at age 42.) We’ve found the new way of eating easy and delicious. I have loved the work out training videos – squats, pullups, etc too. Thank you Joe and thank you Mark.


  72. Great story. You look awesome.
    I’m curious to know how many others out there got over their acid reflux issues by eating primal.
    I used to buy the big three pack of prislosec at Costco. I couldn’t get off the stuff. But the last time I bought it was a month or so before I started eating primal two years ago. I don’t ever get heart burn anymore. It stopped completely and abruptly. I still have some Prilosec hanging around. Anyone want it?
    Is this common? Did anyone else lose their acid reflux disease by eating primal?

    1. I was almost at the point of going to something like Prilosec before primal. I was taking 4-8 tums a day. Now maybe one at most a week.

    2. Hi Nancy, It seemed like I just might have been single-handedly keeping tums in business a couple of years ago. Went primal – no more heartburn. Just gone. I kept the tums in the cabinet “just in case” but never had to use any then threw the rest out after several months. I believe my brother, who went primal just after I did, had the same experience.;)

  73. Great story! Your before and after photos are such a testimonial to the primal way. Beery good….NG

  74. Congratulations, very inspiring.
    In my case Atkins was the one who put me in the right track and I am grateful to the old man, who was a pioneer (and gave credit to his predecessors). My transition to Primal was painless. Many people who deride Atkins have not taken the trouble to read his book.

  75. Wow, amazing. Really well done. I admire your open-mindedness to try Primal in the first place, as well as your perseverance, especially when the weight wasn’t coming off.

    Note to guys with tummies on the beach:
    That white horizontal line of skin that didn’t get sunburned doesn’t look too good 🙂

  76. Wow you look great. And I also love your explanation of the primal lifestyle. I certainly realised “crap food tastes crap” and can’t believe what other people will put in their bodies. You also explain really well that primal is lifestyle NOT a diet with guelling exercise. Leaving more time & energy for the good things in life. Well done.

  77. WOW!!!! You look absolutely amazing!! Congrats on your success. I love the fact that you haven’t given up on beer!

  78. It is fantastic that one can eat poorly for the first 600 months of their life and get results like this in only 16.


  79. I’d also like a post on beer–as much as I love the taste, it has always been horrendous for my stomach (bloating and discomfort that lasts for days, much worse than other alcohol). Pretty sure all those fermented yeasts really mess with gut flora. Also, I’ve seen a big trend in beer-drinkers and eczema or “unexplainable” skin rashes. I have a feeling it’s pretty bad for you, but I’d love some more scientific evidence to back it up.

  80. This is an awesome story. I’m so happy you’ve been able to find balance between what you love and the Primal lifestyle. And that’s its obviously working so well 🙂

  81. “I wonder how bad beer really is. It is slightly sprouted (malted) and fermented and does not contain the barley germ, husk, or bran… ”

    Beer has always been my achilles heel. All I have ever had to do is quit drinking beer and 20 lbs will melt off of me almost instantly.

    If I really want to get fast results, I also quit bread.

    thegunny, 419

  82. I was a regular beer drinker that switched to red wine for the most part. However, I play in a band once a week and really wanted to drink beer during rehearsals and gigs. I tried a number of gluten free beers. The ONLY one I liked (and I like it alot) is Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist. Lucky for me it’s brewed in my hometown (Milwaukee) and available at most stores.

    1. I’ve tried several of the gluten-free beers. I thought New Grist was vile.

      Bard’s is pretty good. Red Bridge is tolerable in a pinch but gives me worse headaches than real beer.

      When I drink real beer, I favor stouts and porters. IPAs or wheat beers make me sore and achy the next day.

  83. Great job. Thanks for sharing your story. Could you post that pumpkin bar recipe? Thank you

  84. As an avid homebrewer of 10 years, I have also often pondered how “bad” it is. The barley has been sprouted, soaked, and rinsed several times, which should take care of a lot of the phytate/antinutrient stuff in it. And, as mentioned, there is no husk/bran in beer, and the gluten content, so I hear, is VERY low compared to something like, say, a slice of wheat bread. All in all, I think it’s more like ingesting a sugary treat. Maybe not the best thing, but definitely not terrible either.

  85. I can’t add anything more from what all these nice folks said…. too true, way to go. I am like a female you, but older!. except my “homebrew” is Kombucha which is all-around excellent. I’m going to have to quit it because the sugar content (which makes a very fine ferment and a super fizzy Kombucha) has too much carb in it. I will be going through major withdrawal, but my good health is worth it. I’ve just started, was on Adkins too way back, and hated it. My cycling and running suffered, but I didn’t respect Adkins (full of fake you-can-haves) like I do Mark. I’m going to give this lifestlye a try, it makes so much darn sense!If I get to keep my athletics and look half as great as you I’ll be extremely happy!

  86. Great story. I would love to have the pumpkin bar recipe you spoke of.

    1. Thanks Julie, I posted the recipe on the comments, see page 2 of the replies.

  87. “With Atkins, you don’t fundamentally change your eating habits; you substitute low-carb products for what you normally eat. Low-carb bread, low-carb ice cream, low-carb snack bars etc, all loaded with fake factory ingredients and sugar alcohols.”

    I love your story, and I appreciate your progress, but I cannot call this anything but a lie. You clearly did not read the Atkins book (any of them, frankly), or if you did, you only read bits of it.

    It is true that the Atkins *corporation* encourages the consumption of their products. But you could do Atkins with Mark-Sisson-approved foods without breaking any of the Atkins diet rules. In fact, Dr. Atkins used to encourage the consumption of whole foods when he was alive. The purpose of the substitute low-carb foods was to give LCers substitutes for when they were really missing SAD junk. At one point he was telling his dieters to not even touch his meal replacement bars til they were out of Induction.

    I’m tired of seeing Atkins’s work dissed by the Paleo/Primal community, especially by people who never read any of Dr. Atkins’s actual words. I don’t agree with everything he ever wrote or suggested (for instance, he said canola oil and soybean oil were acceptable fats, and this after reading Dr. Mary Enig’s work!), but to me the key thing about Atkins is the method of determining how many carbs you can tolerate in your daily diet and getting your blood sugar and insulin under control–and 9/10ths of us who are or have ever been overweight or obese need to learn how to do those things.

    By all means do it with primal food–that really is best. No one ever said you had to do otherwise.

    1. Thanks for your comments Dana. I did read Atkin’s New Diet Revolution about 10 years ago and I have great respect for Dr. Atkins. Certainly he was on the right track, but for me, Primal and MDA work much better. I didn’t learn to eat as well with Atkins as Primal and I did use too many low-carb food substitutes when I tried Atkins. For many reasons I never stayed on Atkins for as long as I have been able to with Primal.

  88. I MUST disagree sir…”not a huge transformation?”

    Everything is relative, and I think your transformation is amazing…the before pics and your second “after” pic tell the story…great job.

    I’m 51, went primal last June, and loving it, though it is “slower” than some other regimens that don’t last. I find myself getting tempted to switch into some old routines to speed things up. But seeing your results for staying the course for two years is great inspiration for me…great job!

  89. Good work

    I have been eating primal for about 3 months now and lost about 4 kg’s. Also I have managed to keep my strength gains from my once a week lift to total muscle failure gym routine. It takes me twenty minutes a week and I use http://www.bodybyscience.net method. The rest of my exercise comes from things I love to do like surfing, golf and bush walking/ hiking – have not got into the sprinting thing yet

    I solved (or moderated) my beer dilemma by drinking only super dry (low carb) beer. Would think you could brew your own of this by allowing the fermentation process more time than the kit recommends but this is just my own guess.

  90. I used to train for 18 minutes, twice a week and got to 265lbs at 10% fat (I’m 6″1′). People would ask me what I did and wouldn’t believe me when I told them. Check out Charles Poliquin (my hereo..), the original HIT master. Great Site

  91. How many diet and lifestyle regimes are there? Success is everywhere but very few feel the motivation to succeed in the first place. Got to get back to basics. The body follow the head. First stop Attitude adjustment. If you forget that important step you’ll just end up doing your head in when you fail time and time again.

  92. Thanks for sharing! I am a massive beer geek (it is my life’s calling, seriously) and have been struggling to reconcile my barley-lovin’ ways with the primal lifestyle. Since beer is my “thing”, I have studied the health benefits as well as the costs – and, for me at least – the benefits far outweigh the costs.

    And in just the very short amount of time since going primal, I already feel better – not just in general, but when I pick up a pint because I know that I am choosing the right path for me. Plus, what goes better with a nice, local bison steak and roasted veggies than a good, home-brewed beverage?

  93. Fantastic! Ahhh! I love this story! I have traveled nearly the EXACT same path as you. Seriously, the paragraph directly under your first beach photo is my story, verbatim! (including the two emails from Mark himself) Nine months on PB, and I am not only 50lbs lighter, but fundamentally, I am a completely revived person! You’ve inspired my first post on MDA. I love this site, and I’m so deeply, madly, in love with primal living! Grok on, everyone!

  94. Great job! You look fantastic and not at all like your old self. Thanks for the inspiration. The toughest part of the PB is giving up of our favorite things. It’s wine, for me, so I can relate to the beer issue. I found, though, that I did okay having less of it. I felt “cleaner” without it and now I’m cheap date. One or two glasses, once or twice a week, and I’m good.

  95. Looking good and the family all look fit and healthy too which is nice. Not too often you see entire families looking so well.

  96. Quite Unbelievable! IT WILL TAKE MORE TIME FOR ME TO DIGEST.

  97. I’m a homebrewer myself (26 years of it), and also a wine fanatic. There are just some things I won’t compromise on. I can give up the fresh baked bread and go for alternatives. I can dump the rice (wife is Asian, it’s a staple) and all of the other grains and anything with processed sugar. But, I’m not going to stop drinking beer or wine. These things bring me great enjoyment and I don’t drink to excess so I see no reason to stop it.

    I’ts probably best to stay away from any of the major labels and stick with the microbrews. There are gluten free beers on the market as well as some fine recipes for those who need that. For wine, some of the cheaper brands add sugar.

    1. Thanks, I post the recipe on page 2 of the comments. Cheers!

  98. I love this success story! I also love beer, so I’m hoping I can pick it back up in a few weeks (in moderation, of course).

  99. Us residents of the UK love a beer. I find some of my friends can get away with drinking a lot of it. I’m glad I can’t drink a lot – makes me concentrate on my health and fitness a lot more!

  100. Great job brother! I am 48 and just started PB this month. I know I’ll see results eventually and you story helps to inspire me to stick with it!

  101. Pardon the interruption folks. I spend quite a bit of time lurking here and I can’t help but fulfill a need to step on a soapbox for a minute. Even though I will NOT go paleo, there is still a lot of great information to be found here at MDA that can be used for folk like me. At the very least, it’s very useful information presented in an entertaining way with a great group of people contributing comments.

    I went on a paleo-type diet many years back and while I lost a lot of weight, I just wasn’t happy. I will never leave pasta, bread, or pizza. I won’t give up potato chips, fries, or cake. Giving up beer? MADNESS!

    Beer is one of man’s greatest success stories. We require hydration, but we cannot always get it solely from food. Drinking water has always been risky business and I’m sure a lot of Groks suffered serious GI disasters, possibly death, from drinking water tainted with wildebeest poo.

    Then comes beer to the rescue, as depicted on a Sumerian tablet, one of the oldest inscriptions known to man, which laid out the rations of beer allowed for workers. They’d BETTER let the workers have their beer or Ninkasi, the Sumerian beer goddess might not be pleased! While these early Iraqis produced a number of visual records related to beer and its use by the ‘little grok’, it would also find its way to be a daily staple in the diet of the pharaohs.

    Some might argue that beer came with man’s agricultural stage and as such, it is not primal. I view it more as a use of man’s intelligence to ensure his survival along the lines of cooking meat in fire. The critters that survive in our bodies to do us harm do not survive in beer. No, it wouldn’t have come without the cultivation of grain, but you’re just looking for rationalization here anyway, right?

    Beyond the flavor and the social lubrication it provides, let’s face it: man has sought ways to inebriate himself from the moment he found he could do so. Even animals have demonstrated this desire. Some years ago, a train of corn derailed, leaving a delivery of corn out in the elements to ferment. It wound up luring bears from miles around, who were all getting loaded from the primitive beer. Maybe they were just there for the easy pickins, but I say they were doing what comes naturally: showing up for the FREE BEER!

    Quite simply, many of us might not be here today if it weren’t for our ancestors drinking beer.

  102. I love that you drink beer, and still lost weight on the Paleo diet. I’m also a homebrewer. You my friend are my hero.

  103. Tried to subscribe but it wouldn’t let me…can you add me on the old fashioned way, Mark?

    Thank you!