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!
Hello Mark and Primal community. My name is Hilmir Petersen . I’m 35-years-old and from Iceland.
I got to know the Primal lifestyle community 18 months ago when I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast and heard a interview with Mark Sisson, and you can easily say that I was really taken by that talk. All my life I´ve been a carbs spokesman and campaigner. But not any more!
I was born “in” a bakery—family business and grew up literally eating sugar out of the container in many kinds of forms, but I always loved being healthy and strong, so I starting eating more “healthy” = wholegrain (“healthy carb” and less sugar).
I was a basketball player, and I always knew there was something missing in my diet plan when it came to getting my full potential/power for mind and body in games. Every time I tried to follow the right (stupid) pre-game carb-load program (which I read was important to keep energetic through a game), I was slow, weak and tired—especially in the big games!
On the other hand, often when I came to practice after a long day, an early morning 4 a.m. and was active most of the day and had nothing to eat, I was like a rocket/beast but still stuck in the dark…! I kept counting on the wrong plan for me before games because I trusted that it would sustain the energy I needed to perform my best. Omg, how I wish I could go back. 🙂
Two years ago I started the primal diet….eating and following a more primal living in a way. I now do the Primal Endurance diet, time-restricted diet/fasting, getting a variety of environmental stressors like cold-exposures, extra hot saunas and plenty of sun….(with some caution), focusing more on sleep in the rhythm of my circadian clock—and last but not least I´ve been focusing on improving my “primal” mobility. I believe the theories on connection between some stiff muscles and a stress response in your nervous system or mind and vice versa…which is more obvious I think.
These pictures show great results for my first 21 days of doing the Primal Blueprint. It looks like this would need extreme measures to achieve but the truth is, it was the opposite. Actually, the first 4 days of that 21-day transition I was still on crutches after an ankle surgery and I didn’t move fast, but I did some dips and other manageable low-intensity workouts.
After that for most of the days I took some walks and running with low intensity or in the fat-burning state = heart-rate of (180-age = x). Plus, I did some light weight strength training. As you can see, the importance in the 21-day transition is low intensity, so you don’t have to refuel your glycogen storage and force your body straight back into carb-burning state.
Now I’m changing my life. To get out of the family company to pursue a healthier career, I started on the Primal Health Coach Program, but the bakery is still taking is toll (time). I haven’t gotten out until now when I just moved to another country, and I’m going to finish the program 🙂
Now I’m running more, lifting less and fasting regularly and counting on FAT as my main energy Fuel…. I’ve never been in such a good mental or physical state before.
And I just took a big challenge and signed up for the Ultimate Spartan Race in Iceland. I know I can be in the top. I’m athletic, 1.92m in height, strong and only 84 kg with a a tough mental state. Now I need to educate myself more with this Endurance Mastery Course so I know how to train in the smartest way so I can WIN this thing.
I’m trying out new, different things with my diet. One month ago I took a 96 hours fast, except I drank about 2-400 ml of homemade bone-broth every day with either coconut oil and sometimes little piece of 85% organic chocolate. At the end of the fast I went for a mountain run/climb in 8 C°, only in shorts that took 5 hours and 30 min to cover 23 kilometers or 14 miles, and I had so much energy and focus in the end that I was sprinting and jumped into a river for a swim.
This Spartan race is a 24-hour race and I’m planning to tackle it with a slow pace (fat burning state) on at least a 24-hour empty/bone-broth stomach. And the plan is that I won’t have to stop for a carb-refuel—only for a cup of hot bone broth with some fat/oil. I will be a very light, clean and strong Fat Burning Beast. 🙂 To increase my chances to win this race I’ve decided to take time out from work—when I “fled” the country (bakery). And for that not to increase my debt I´m hoping to find some sponsorship from sportswear company and supplements store.
Here is a list of things I´m doing to increase my changes.
I’m doing time restricted diet (only eating in a 9 hour window per 24 hours), starting no later then 9 a.m. This is what I have taken from Rhonda Patrick. Rhonda Patrick has a Ph.D. in biomedical science. You’ve probably heard of or from her. This has been shown with studies to help with endurance! I’m a big FAN!
Another tip from Rhonda: Taking a hot sauna for at least 20-30 minutes 3-5 times a week can help endurance and also spikes up some proteins called heat Protein. I´m not ready to get into the academics 🙂
Eating Primal and using fat in as much capacity possible for energy
Practicing the Wim Hoff method: the cold exposure in mornings and after cardio training to help with rest and recovery. Plus, I´m doing the Wim Hof breathing technique to increase oxidant capacity in cells. Up to 3:30 minutes holding my breath with empty lungs.
Running, swimming, sprinting, bicycling, conditional training in moderated volume and movement improvement workouts from “Primal Iceland,´´ which helps with the whole musculoskeletal wellness. They are inspired for example by Tomas Myers.
Created a Spartan winner Pyramid! Four stages of how to achieve the Spartan Goal. Starting with the fundamentals: balance, meditation, goals, good sleep, gratitude, focus, self-esteem, sober, diary, and more. Stage 2# recovery, wellness, prevention, maintenance, ice-baths, sauna, workout diary, functional movements and more, Stage 3# discipline, achievement, effort, challenge, conditioning, obstacle training, and more. Stage 4: WINNER super beast, elite Spartan proud, famous.
And plenty of other small things 🙂
You can find me on Instagram as the Primal_viking . Even though my audience isn’t big yet… (I´m working on it)
All that said …
People ask me, how can you do this? Eat no carbs-sugar-bread etc. My answer is: How could I not—when the results and benefits are more energy, better skin, shorter depression episodes, and less work for more physical fitness and improvement?
And, yes, of course there are times I’m not on top of my game and I fall in high carb trash food for a day maybe. Those days will have less value the longer you stay on your path and build a healthy foundation to fall back on.
To quote a huge role model, the beast Jocko Willink “DISCIPLINE EQUALS FREEDOM.” Discipline in your diet gives you freedom to live optimally and to eat freely every now and then. Enjoy!
Hilmir Petersen Hjálmarsson