A Healthy Body and Mind in 2011: First-Quarter Progress Check

Spring’s in the air, folks. As we round out this year’s first quarter, I’m checking in with you about those New Year’s resolutions. (Did you honestly think I’d forget?) A whole host of you out there took the chance to make your first forays into the Primal Blueprint – whether it be selective toe dipping or canon balling right into the pool. Other long-time Primal types (myself included in the bunch) set out to conquer lingering challenges: committing to more sleep, enjoying more play, stressing less (my personal Achille’s tendon). Where do you find yourself these days on the path you selected?

For you visual folks out there, I’m including a PDF follow-up to January’s original list. Print it out, fill it out, put it where you can’t help but see it fourteen times a day. Make it part of the mesh of every day’s thought process and practice. Use it as a launching pad for an ongoing record of your journey. Keep a Primal Blueprint log – complete with weekly goals and reports – or (better yet) hop on the forum and share your experience along with other PB readers.

What are your plans for the coming quarter? Will spring usher in a new set of adventures like trying your first CSA, taking up a new outdoor workout, or just spending more time relaxing under the sun and stars? Where do you want to be at our next update in June? What will you have tried? What will you have mastered? What will you have added to the enjoyment and health of your everyday life? What is the one thing you could do that would most benefit your overall well-being these next three months?

Finally, think about how MDA can help. Revisit past posts on whatever is most relevant to this stage of your journey. Introduce yourself to the forum. Shoot me your questions and stories. Changing your life isn’t about some magical secret, singular formula, or quick fix. It’s how the small efforts add up. I ran across this old bit of wisdom again the other day. It seems an apt choice for this quarter’s quote:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Pull up a chair, PBers! Share your stories, and enjoy those of others in the community today. Grand accomplishments, stumbling blocks, inspiring (or comical) anecdotes welcome! Have a great weekend, everyone.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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89 thoughts on “A Healthy Body and Mind in 2011: First-Quarter Progress Check”

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  1. I am pumped! Jan – March was not perfection, but each step makes me feel closer to vibrant health. On the agenda for the next quarter: finding more dinner recipes so my whole family can be primal with me, consistent sleep, and harder workouts.

    Let’s go! 🙂

  2. I set a goal to get STRONGER by lifting heavIER things..Squats, Deadlifts, DB presses, and chinups, almost exclusively for 4 months. It worked as I got better at all these big 4, now it’s time to start the leaning out for summer with sprints and more play.

  3. Fat, unhappy, and failing to live up to the primal standards because I am a weak and lazy sub-human.

    1. I haven’t met my goals either, but try not to beat yourself up, in my experience that leads to a vicious downward spiral of self-defeating thoughts and emotional eating. Chin up, it’s a new quarter, let’s both look ahead, not back. 🙂

    2. Aw, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s hard to make lifestyle changes, especially when everyone around you is practically force feeding you grains.

    3. Right there with you. But I spent all of this month’s grocery money on meat and don’t have any left for gas. That should force me to be more primal than last month, I should think.

    4. As a fellow weak and lazy sub-human, I say keep trying. It took me 15 years to quit my serious cigarette habit.

      And the great thing about the Primal Blueprint is that it really is the lazy person’s to lose weight and get healthy. Try just walking a half hour a day, and eating primal 80% of the time, and doing a few pushups (knee pushups are fine) and a few wall squats a couple of times a week, and you will see improvement fast. Take the stairs for a few flights whenever you can, instead of an elevator or escalator.

      And if you don’t feel like doing any of that for a week or so, take a week off and don’t feel bad.

    5. take it in small steps. Over a year ago, I was the same, and I KNEW I could not go cold turkey on this cause it ‘just would not work’.

      Knowing myself, I decided to start small. I would just look at every meal I was eating and started asking myself..’what can I switch out from grains and insert something primal’?

      some meals I couldn’t, others it was easy..drop the pasta for a steak, drop the break for veggies, or more meat, etc.

      It was not long before I realized I had gone fully primal..and the benefits have been worth it!

      Your not done with your path till you die, so don’t give up..just one step at a time 🙂

  4. I started Paleo but I don’t think I was committed. I was faithful to 70 / 30 ratio but it wasn’t working for me. I felt a little better but I still had plenty of issues.

    I’ve been going about 90 / 10 since Lent started and I feel amazing. It took a few weeks for the noticeable changes but they are here. My blood pressure has dropped to a point where I had to cut my HBP medicine in half and I’ve lost about 12 pounds. I have a better mood, better sleep and more energy. I can’t wait to see where this will take me.

    MDA is where I started and I can’t thank you enough.

    Tom in Douglasville, GA

    1. Tom,
      When you say 90/10 ratio do you mean 90 % protein 10% carbs???

      1. I think he means primal 90% of the time, not-primal 10% of the time (i.e. better than the 80/20 Mark recommends as a minimum)

  5. “Spring’s in the air, folks.”

    Lol, if that’s the case then “April Fool’s” to all of us east coasters! We’re getting hammered with snow today!

    I’ve been focusing on getting more sleep and not over doing my workouts. It’s amazing, my body has never been more fit because I’m doing LESS and giving my muscles the time they need to recover. Muscles which I will need later to shovel out my driveway…

    1. I lived in Boston some years back when we got a major April 1st Nor’easter — 22 inches of foolery to be exact. Good news was, the next day it hit 60 degrees.

      1. I live in Colorado. About 5 or 6 years ago, it was 70+ before noon on June 3. By 3:00 it was a blizzard and I had almost 4 inches of snow in my jeep when I was driving it with the top down. I had to pull off the side of the highway and put the top up – in my shorts and a t-shirt. Growing up here, I should have been more ready. 🙂

        1. I think we’re gonna get a bit of that this week…77 tomorrow and snow and 27 low on Monday!!!

        2. You must live near me!
          March ’03 we got seven feet in 2-3 days
          Shovellng snow is a great workout!

  6. “Yet habit – strange thing! what cannot habit accomplish?”

    – from Moby Dick

  7. Well, today is Day 1 of doing the Paleo Solution diet (we just happen to have that book at our library – no Primal Blueprint yet), and this will be my biggest concerted effort at being all-out primal/paleo, and this time with my partner. Unfortunately, my LHT routine just got derailed from an arm wrestling injury, but I’m rallying and finding other kinds of activities to do, and spending lots of time walking to work and getting out in the sun. Yay!

    We’re close to moving to CO and will be surrounded by trails, mountains, and all of the outdoor junky friends a Grok could want, so I think that will really pump up my commitment to play and activity.

    As far as suggestions, this may be silly, but one of my biggest obstacles in going primal is really cutting back on the alcohol. Would you be interested in posting some fun, summery, non-alcoholic drink concoctions? I’m sure I could come up with some virgin bloody marys and such, but if there’s an alcohol-free mixologist living inside one of your worker bees, this grokette could certainly use some inspiration.

    1. 🙂 i may not be one of the WBs, but i’ve found it fun to both convert standard cocktails to low-carb, and also brainstorm some more Primal ones. lemon and lime juices plus small quantities of things like OJ, pineapple juice, SF raspberry syrup, apricot nectar, raw eggs/whites, rum extract, tonic and seltzer, etc, make nonalcoholic cocktails an adventure.

    2. Kombucha is awesome. It is surprisingly refreshing when I am hot or parched, it gives you all of the antioxidants of green tea and a healthy dose of probiotics,and you can flavor it with fruits to create all sorts of taste combinations. You can buy it premade, although it gets pretty expensive, so I would suggest getting a scoby (kombucha mother -easy enough to find online) and make your own.

    3. Iced tea? Black, Green, or whatever your flavor may be. I drink mine unsweetened, but if you need it sweet try sugaring the rim of your glass with xylitol. That way your tongue gets a bit of sweet with each drink without gassing you up.

  8. I’m going to start a Blog today as its been quite exciting!

    With the help of the Primal Blueprint, I managed to meet my goal of an 18 lb weight loss since January 1, and today I was declared the winner of our Biggest Loser Contest at work. I’m going to buy a STEAK to celebrate!

    My goal for the next quarter is to lose 10 lbs and fit properly into the size M sweater I bought today!

    1. Not only is that an awesome achievement, but you beat the pants off of the people who probably had to work far harder than you to lose. Good job!

  9. Going primal has had it’s benefits and drawbacks for me.


    Cleaned up my diet
    Learned to cook
    Enjoying food a lot more
    Exercising and moving more


    More stress
    Worse sleep

    I think the drawbacks are short term though. I’ve only been primal 4 months and couldn’t cook back then. Now I’m beginning to adapt, things are becoming more natural, and so I’m less stressed with each day. Always room to improve though.

    1. Great list of benefits! I wonder where those two drawbacks came from, though? Do you mean you’re stressing because you’re trying to adapt to change, the stress of working out new ways of eating and moving?

  10. I am about to open my second location of the gym I co-own. Lease is supposed to get signed next week. 🙂 that would knockout a big chunk of my resolutions for the year.

  11. Recent quarter accomplishment: Nuts of all kinds are now a very rare (monthly?) treat rather than a daily staple.

    Next quarter goals: Cut dairy consumption by 1/2 or more and double average daily walking.

  12. Am right on track with the diet and exercise but not with fat loss. Am not experiencing the ‘amazing’ results that I read on some of the blogs here which is disappointing but am plugging away nonetheless.

    1. Maggie check out Paleobird’s Reality Check: Counting Calories within the Odds and Ends forum.

  13. Very happy with my track: I have been primal for one year, with progressive tuning on primaldom: my latest additions have been the 20 – 22 hour IF at least once a week , much better timings in my sprints which now are Tabatas (but a little diluted, I confess). I have never felt better in my 59 years of life and do several of the WOWs better than people half my age. Fairly ripped at 181 pounds and 5′ 11″ .I am looking better now than ever before.
    Grok On And Rock On!

  14. New Goals: Improve waist/hip ratio,
    Lower Bodyfat % to around 20%,
    100 Push-Up Challenge,
    1 Pull-up Challenge,
    Improve Sleep Cycle

    Maintain: Work-out routine, Supplements, Primal Eating

  15. Just checked out my resolutions – really boiled down to being happier in the moment and not setting myself unattainable goals!

    How am I doing … I’d say pretty good generally especially since I’ve cracked the reason for gaining 10 lbs of fat over the winter! Thanks Paleobird that thread of yours really got me sorted!

    I think the next quarter will see me much better on the ‘happiness’ front and that’s thanks to finding Yoga since January and with resolutions on the MiniGrok situation. And I should complete a Pyrenean Traverse across the Tour De France Cols with my bestest bike buddy Dave!

    Happy grokking!

  16. My resolutions for this year are right on track – I am doing better than I thought possible. Becoming pregnant (woohoo!) is the most awesome motivation ever. My January goal was to go from something like 70/30 to an honest 80/20, but since getting the wonderful news in February I have been more like 98/2. And I have never felt better! I am experiencing none of the negative pregnancy symptoms so many women complain about, just a sense of health, balance, happiness, and well-being. I even started my own paleo-esque pregnancy blog over at amomonamission.wordpress.com – MDA has been a great resource and a wealth of information for me as I work to raise the healthiest baby possible.

  17. My journey has been slow but steady. Hubby and I have been adjusting our menus to Grok status since the first of the year and we’re about 90/10; not bad for two old farts (over 55)! Our weather has been awful so he joined the gym and I try to do what I can at home. This hasn’t worked out well, but the good news is that with spring and sunshine, we both feel more energetic and now diet isn’t an issue. We need to add a lot more playtime to the effort and that’s what we’ll focus on this next quarter.

  18. I quit eating nuts in January and lost five pounds promptly, within a few weeks. I am not overweight, and I am small, so these five pounds were a lot to me!

    I learned to cure bacon in January.

    I started eating a LOT of coconut oil and have had a pretty bad Herxheimer reaction, including skin rashes and flu-like symptoms, so I cut way back on that.

    I have decreased the amount of fructose in my diet, and I stopped eating white potatoes altogether.

    I started lifting small weights twice a week.

    I think this is progress. We’ll see.

  19. Another new habit: daily nude sunbathing when I’m not in the city. (The city has too much smog for nude sun-bathing to be effective.)
    I did this even in winter, in January and early February, in a place with some shelter from the wind.

  20. I am soooo happy!

    At the start of the year, I’d broken my arm, gained 7lbs over the holiday, my fitness could have been better.

    Three months on, I have lost the 7lbs (plus I am much smaller – the shorts I tried on today for the first time are HUGE,) I am sprinting but working out less. My PT, on my first visit, told me my arm was already rehabbed 90%.

    But most importantly of all, my son (11) who was overweight and struggling has lost 6lbs and got much calmer – just small changes, no starch with dinner, fewer sugary desserts, less cheese. Cool!

  21. I have been low carbing for over 16 months. I am 90 pounds down.

    I found this place from a link on a post about skin folds.

    I have about 30 more pound to lose, and I do walk, but not up to the level that you recommend in Primal Fitness.

    I downloaded primal fitness and I am ordering the book from the library. I am pretty close to what you do here, but I still have dairy (not much about 4 oz in my coffee each day)

    After seeing the success story for dave, I am going to give this a try, I like the fitness part of the program and will be reading the book.

    While my weighloss is good, I want to kick this up a notch so that I am fitter, and this looks like it might do the trick.

  22. Mark,

    nice post.
    I like your emphasis on goal setting and sleep. And holding folks accountable !;-)
    As far as health and weight loss/leanness, I just finished a big post on the Japan Crisis,Radioactivity, Iodine and Weight Loss.

    It’s just totally GREAT and incredible how important this trace element is for your health, your energy-levels, immune system as well as leanness!

    Like I said, if there ever was a miracle “drug”, this is it !;-)

    Iodine “Paleo or Grog-Style”: Integrate tons of Kelp and other seaweeds into your diet on a regular basis.

    Have Fun !;-)


  23. Oh, this could not have come at a better time. I went Primal in January. A worsening course of ulcerative colitis gave me the final kick in the ass (literally) I needed to give up grains entirely after 5 years of being gluten free and still going downhill.

    The bleeding stopped almost immediately, the pain and, um, urgency took a little longer. But I felt well enough after a month to start on the basics of PF, and I must say I’ve been impressed. For someone who has never, ever been able to do a pushup, my first set of 20 was huge.

    And today I went through my pantry and ditched bad things. Three garbage bags later (I have a big pantry) I’m feeling pretty smug.

    I’m not all better yet. There are still setbacks in the GI department, but they are fewer and farther between. And I feel great. Only problem is, I’m a hard gainer and the doc is going to have a fit when he sees my weight.

    Biking season is about to begin. And this year, I’m readier than ever. I have my snacks all planned out. But my carb loving biker friends are going to have a hard time with this. 🙂

  24. I started with PB on Feb. 4th and haven’t had what amounts to a slice of bread(as far as grains go) no crackers, croutons, pasta, potatoes, rice and boy did I like the chips that I used to eat with salsa,etc.

    I’m down 12lbs. and counting, I’m on my last belt hole, too! All of my clothes are fitting looser and I’m about to have to throw away a couple of my jeans that are just TO DARN BIG!!!I’ve got a bunch more fat to lose, but what PB has given me is hope that I didn’t have before. As I had tried so many times before to “Lose Weight”…Needless to say, I’m very excited about my progress. My wife has also started about 2weeks after I did and she’s down 8lbs. she’s off the charts excited, too!

    BTW, My starting weight was 256lbs:)

  25. I found the PB at the beginning of March this year and fully credit it for allowing me to meet my 18 lb weightloss goal (for this quarter) and to win my office Biggest Loser Contest. It’s not just about the weight – I feel so much better!

    I can’t stop telling people about the PB.

    My goal for the next quarter is to lose 10 lbs and get into the 150s for the first time in more than a decade.

  26. Tiptoeing into the water so far. The mind would like to cannonball, but the body does not. 😀 Improvement has been very slow – itty bitty baby steps to go along with my tiptoeing (boo!).

    Here’s hoping spring weather will bring a few more baby steps forwards!

    1. You didn’t make any fuss about Mark’s typo: “or canon balling right into the pool.”

  27. I’m in my goal weight range, even after a gluten-loaded vacation. My shoulder is healed. I’ve been sleeping really well, and taking vitD and omega3 regularly.
    Next up is to recover strength in my shoulder and start working on pushups and pullups again! My big goal this year is to get really strong.

  28. Thanks for keeping us accountable! I’ve been able to stick to primal eating for the last three months, and this has been my first completely primal pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness, haven’t been nearly as tired, haven’t gained much weight (though the baby is on track), and I haven’t been getting the usual leg cramps and skin issues (this is my fourth pregnancy and it is a notable change!)

    I’ve also been able to completely convert my family’s diet and my husband and three kids are thriving! Bonus: the kids are sleeping better, which means I might actually get some solid nights of sleep before the baby arrives in a couple months!

    Thanks Mark!

  29. I’ve been interested in the idea behind CSAs for awhile, but I didn’t think we had that kind of stuff in ND. But I found one (actually it’s in MN). I’m super excited!!

    I also just found out my GRAMPS is going Primal… should provide for some good bonding moments.

  30. Thrilled to have lost 17 lbs. since Jan 1st (with 12 lbs of that since going primal on Feb 12th)! Only 13 more lbs to go to my goal! I love feeling so much lighter (yet stronger). No more sugar dependency or the need to eat something every 2-3 hrs; No more miserable effects of blood sugar dropping and spiking, reflux, sleepless nights, sinus problems, or mood swings. Although, I may need to really cut back on the nuts….. I think the amount I’m eating is sabotaging my goals.
    I finally ordered a few 2-piece bathing suits this morning and anticipate fitting into them before Memorial Day weekend!
    It was a great winter with lots of snowshoeing, hiking, and shoveling heavy snow for outdoor Vit D and fitness sessions. Now I’m excited that I’ve been walking (at a slow pace) up to 25 miles outside every week while cutting back on the chronic cardio at the gym. I manage 2 HIIT sessions while IFing, and 2 or 3 sessions of lifting heavy things for 30 mins each week. Hoping to try stand-up paddleboarding this summer and get back into cycling and kayaking as well……. just waiting for the weather to cooperate!
    Everybody’s success stories help with the motivation!!…. Grok on, all!

  31. Although I hadn’t even heard of Paleo at New Year’s, I was turned on to it by a friend who just started his own Paleo website and heard about it through my local CrossFit. I’m now about 60 days in to both Paleo and Crossfit, and just had my body comp checked: in those two months I’ve lost 22lbs and body fat dropped from 25% to 17%, the lowest that I’m aware it has ever been. Consider me converted. Grok on!

  32. my goals were related to fine-tuning our PB by meal planning to diversify both foods and flavors.

    we’d gotten into a rut that DH is so good at — meat with no seasoning, veggies steamed or raw with pepper and olive oil (sea salt added on days without bacon), and then piece of fruit. *snore*

    so, i got some simple marinade recipes and so on from the boards and some web searching, and we started in on using those for our dinners, the rest of the meals being “plain” — and it make a huge difference.

    in addition, i tried and failed a whole30 without chocolate/sugar, BUT it turns out that in looking at my journal, i haven’t had sugar in 15 days now, so. . . i’m apparently doing it unconsciously — just following my body’s lead.

    we also were looking a fair bit at leangains/leansaloon at the new year — because Dh wants to get back into lifting heavy (“hard gainer” style), but does not want to put on fat in the process (he loves being 8%!), and while he isn’t doing it, i observed that i rather naturally do it — 2-4 days not eating until 12 or 1, then having only two meals and one light meal or snack, and then fasting from about 10 pm onwards. just seems to fit my natural rhythm.

    sleep has gone biphasic, which is interesting to observe, too.

    what else? hmm. business goals humming right along. 🙂

  33. Stress, unhappiness, endless emotional eating at night… and here I am and remain, at 20 pounds above my ideal weight.

    1. I totally understand the stress, that is my bugaboo. This is going to sound like a commercial but I ordered a bottle of primal calm and it really works. I’ve been doing much better at leaving the non productive stress behind. Still working on the weight issue, I know I need to up the activity which will be easier if the snow in my backyard ever melts. I live in the northeast and we got hammered again today.

      1. Oh, thank you for the suggestion, but I really can’t afford it right now.

        I’m willing to try 3 weeks of pure Primal “diet” plan (which will be eventually broken by a trip to Madrid).
        Pure means, in my case, to moderate fruit and nuts and cheese. Moderation is always the key, right?

  34. Well, I still need to stress less. And I do need to exercise more – I am very sporadic and would like to be more active more often. No problem with the food ‘laws’ – love ’em and they are here for keeps! Definitely could get more sleep but I have a two year old. Sunlight is good, and I use my brain every day. My two year old ensures I “play” every day also. All things considered I am a much happier and healthier person today than I was a year ago, or ever for that matter.

    LOVE MDA, by the way – sometimes I just like to get lost in the archives. I have followed MDA for about two years and I still learn something new every time I browse through old posts. Great stuff and very motivating!!!

  35. Been going primal for the last two months, it’s been great so far (except for some weekends which haven’t been favourable food-wise), other than that I’m quite satisfied with my results, lost 6 kg going for another 5 kg down to 75 kg. Other than loosing 6 kg, I’m also much stronger than before since I’ve been working out at the gym for 3-5 a week.

    I think my results could have been better, with some more discipline. I’ve been drinking alcohol and other beverages during some weekends and consumed carbs in a way that I preferably don’t want to.

    Next up is getting my hands on a pair of Vibram Fivefingers and start some running during the spring/summer, and hopefully start building some more muscle whenn fall comes.

  36. The rest of my goals is to loose more body fat (hate the belly) and getting more shaped up.

  37. This is a very timely post for me. This morning I went out barefoot (which I’ve rarely done before) and went for a long walk through some fields and forests, climbed some trees, and walked across fallen trees. Since I got back inside I’ve been working out. I had a couple cups of green tea first thing in the morning followed by a tomato before heading out and only had a banana a couple minutes ago to keep my energy up (with water here and there), so I consider that a semi-fasted workout, which I’ve been trying to do more of lately. I’ve also been trying to push myself to work out harder. I’m sick of doing a few sets and then stopping. I won’t succumb to laziness anymore. Muscle pain and exhaustion is not pleasant but it precedes great physical benefits.

  38. Got the new cookbook in the mail today. It sure looks awesome. Can’t wait to try the recipes!

  39. 1 year ago I went primal.
    6 months into eating primal I’ve decided to have a slow palatal expansion done on both of my jaws. Since bone needs to remodel and new bone needs to fill in I will not fasten or force the rest of my body to remodel itself to the point where I’d lack nutrients to do it all at once. The facial bone remodeling takes about 2-3 years.

    Therefor I’m still about 10 lbs above my ideal weight. I refuse to do any fasting atm.

    This years goal is to move more, maybe join a gym…and consume slightly less food in 1 day(I’ve been stuffing my face with primal foods, literally).

    Overall, the last year I’ve lost 20 lbs (from 164 down to 144) at 5’10.5″ tall, female…by doing nothing =P

  40. Decided this was the year to get healthy. Started watching food intake increasing exercise right after New Years, but slow loss. Then my son started primal. I joined in. Gave up grains, white potatoes, all Dairy, even coffee (at first). The #1 benefit was that the eczema I have had (forever) is gone. No more acid reflux, no more stomach issues, and I am down over 22 pounds. I have about 15 more to go, but trying not to focus on the scale. My son has developed a gym – weight program form me – and at my age(+50) doing bench presses and dead lifts, etc. I feel fantastic. Hope to continue this way and can’t wait for a new bathing suit! Need to find more time to play, for sure. Work too hard but the primal diet fits well in my life. New cookbook is awesome! We also get a lot of recipes on line. Thanks for all the great info on your website!

  41. I found this site while researching Paleo on my son’s advise. I’d been ill from celiac and several compounded digestive maladies and needed help. I’d given up gluten in May 2010 but was still so critically ill that I subsisted primarily on cabbage juice (a recipe I found on a stomach cancer blog) and gluten-free rice cereal.

    I read everything I could find on every Paleo site and narrowed it down to MDA for the exceptional information and common sense presentation. As I followed the eating plan I slowly started to heal. In just four short months I feel good, energetic, happy and content.

    But here’s the exciting part for me:
    My husband had his second knee replacement in February. His recovery from this surgery has been amazing. We believe that it’s the diet that kept the swelling down this time. The first time his leg with the replaced knee was swollen to twice the size of the other leg from ankle to hip. The swelling alone caused great pain. It required an additional surgery. This time, no swelling, less pain, quick recovery. It’s amazing.

    Also, thanks to everyone for posting your comments. I’ve learned so much by reading your remarks.

    FYI, every recipe we’ve tried from the latest cookbook is delicious!

    Thank you.

  42. I am incredibly happy with my progress so far. I am no longer a carb zombie and am in control of my eating for the past 2 months. This has never happened. My weight loss is slow but thats okay. Today, I noticed I need a belt to hold up my jeans. Yay! I just moved into a home with a good number of stairs so this will help with my slow and easy movements.

  43. Thanks for providing the PDF for the Progress of 1st Quarter. I think I must have missed a post on the resolutions, but this is a GREAT tool to have for the refrigerator or bulletin board as a means to keep pushing it and keep the focus alive. In this day and age of so many things begging for our attention, we need all the tools we can get (like this one) to reinforce putting effort where it gets the most benefit – our health.

  44. I went semi primal in february and am happy with the results even though I keep backsliding. So far I have lost one dress size, gotten rid of my heartburn and just feel better about myself in general. I no longer beat myself up if I do eat junk food. I just do better the next day. I no longer beat myself up if I don’t exercise. In fact I just went nearly 2 weeks with nearly no exercise and I have found that the aches and pains in my left leg due to a 2 year old injury are nearly gone. This has made me realise that there are times when we have minor inflammation in our bodies that we’re not conscious of. Taking two weeks off was enough to give my body time to heal (fish oil helps too!). Now it’s time to start lifting heavy things and going for long walks again, but I will definitely listen to my body in the future. My goals for the next quarter are to fill my freezer with biodynamic meat and lots of slow braised meals, to tell my friends that I will not eat grains or dairy and not to accept pasta when they forget that I have told them a dozen times in the past that I am gluten intolerant. I’m also taking up boxing twice a week.

  45. I started the first of the year cutting out grains, now with PB i have been able to cut out dairy and my biggest weakness Seeds and Nuts, I could easily make a meal out of them. Now at 99% complience I have lost 6 lbs in 3 wks, and my workouts are much more productive. An old dog can learn….

  46. I started PB on 6 February. I went cold turkey 90/10. I don’t feel guilty eating the bosses brownies when she brings them in for staff meetings once a month, which is good, because she’s an excellent cook! I dropped from 285 lb to 255 lb in that period. At 6′ 4″ my ideal body weight is around 185. I don’t buy that and am shooting for something around 200. I’ll just get close and watch for what looks and feels best. I’m guessing that may take another year as the muscles begin to build and the fat slowly disappears. As it is, I’m looking and feeling much better, and now I need to start acquiring some new clothing. The bright side of that is, there are more choices available in my new size!

  47. Aristotle’s quote is incongruent. It goes both ways, good and bad. Life is fractal and should be kurtotic. Habitually “doing” isn’t a fair appraisal. Less is more is appropriate here.

  48. I began my journey on the primal blueprint lifestyle in July of 2010. It made such perfect sense for the vision of the lifestyle I wanted to lead. I began eating real food and found a passion for cooking. I look forward to my weekly sprints and primal workouts. My favorite part has been finding new places and ways to play and workout in our local community. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you take advantage of your cities resources. I am now down more than 50 pounds and at 43 years old, I am the healthiest I’ve ever been.

    For this coming quarter, I am paying it forward in a big way. Since I began using our cities resources, I’ve found ways to play and workout outside on trails and in parks. I’ve noticed that not many people utilize these awesome places. Yesterday I started a blog for our local community showing how you can be active every day without spending any money. I’ll be participating in community events, taking advantage of local parks and trails for moving slowly and workouts, will visit local museums and art studios and will volunteer at local charities. I want to show our community that you can live a healthy active lifestyle and have fun doing it!

    Will also be hosting a 30 day Primal Health Challenge for the community in May. Details still being worked out but will keep you posted…

    Thanks Mark for being such an inspiration!!

  49. Hey Mark, just wanted to give a quick shout out as another guy who’s having some good success from your ideas. I bought your books during the Christmas break after feeling for a while that I needed to clean up my diet; was already in good shape from lifting for years and completing P90x last year but still needed something else. I did by-the-book primal for six weeks after new years – in sum I was feeling great but saw I was losing too much weight including some muscle mass (harder to eat all the calories with 60% fat). So I added “good” carbs back in, carb cycling, and feel l now have my diet under control for either gaining muscle or falling back to strict primal if the love handles reappear. Anyway, it’s more the little habits changed that matter most – ditch the energy drinks protein bars and bread for real food, eating more salads and macadamia nuts, making time for play and going on hikes, watching my sleep and cortisol – I could go on but you get the picture. It’s a great start to the year for me. I check the blog here when I have time and look forward to learning more. I appreciate all your writing and research and share these ideas with others who are interested. Take it easy!


  50. I’m pretty happy with my progress so far this year Mark. I had a simple goal, to break 400 pounds on the deadlift. I started out at 305 lbs and hit a PR 365lb a month ago. Should be hitting 400 very soon!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration.



  51. I discoverd MDA 2 yrs ago & never looked back at my old ovo-lacto vegetarian SAD! I’ve had my ups & downs through it all, stops & starts, etc. This yr I vowed to be more “compliant” & to incorporate more fitness in my daily life. In Feb I completed my 1st ever 1/2 marathon. In March I strove to clean up my diet more & ramp up the fitness. This month I started a whole30 in order to do “final battle” with my sweettooth. My goal also is to get past week 4 level 1 of 100pushups. (finally!) & move onward in fitness. I’m 51 & better than I was at 31.

  52. hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

    i go in and out of paleo. i went full scale in late february, but then i moved (and everyone got stressful) and i wound up eating chips and dip for dinner.

    now i’m back (about 85% Paleo), but i’m having a few struggles. i was a vegetarian for five years (and lived almost entirely on pasta- being a poor college student and a vegetarian is not fun), so i only know how to cook skinless boneless chicken and some cuts of beef. does anyone know of good ways to learn to cook new kinds of protein? that someone who is 23 and doesn’t have much access to non-standard cooking supplies (i.e. i have a stove and some pans and that’s about it) could do?

    ive also started taking yoga, and now i take four fairly intense hour long yoga classes a week. partly because of that, i’ve also taken up napping again :).

    Mark, thanks for everything you’ve done. i still have some doubts sometimes, but a diet made of protein and veggies and fruits just makes sense.

  53. Hey Folks

    I work as a waiter and am on my feet anywhere from 5 to 10 hrs straight.Should I consume more carbs ?

  54. This past quarter I ate better, started working out a little more regularly but continued to feel like garbage over the days because that’s how I sleep (10pm-2:30am most nights, then difficulty falling back asleep).

  55. ^^Jane: I was a veg too! look here there are fantastic recipes! get the e-cookbook! get the new cookbook – I just made the lamb meatballs (I also added ground bison) & they are divine! Get your chickens whole & roast in the oven.
    ^^CJ: I’m in F/B too – but I only work the line now (too crabby for the front). Eat what you need! Just no over-grazing 😉

  56. Hi everyone,

    started the primal life 10 weeks ago and I am thrilled by the results ! With combined eating and fitness managed to lose about 7 kgs, mostly body fat (went down from 88.6 kg to 81.6 kg, from 101 cm waistline to 93 cm) and I am continuing….now I have started the 100 pushup challenge and I am half way. Never felt better…

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