Expedition Impossible Team Goes Primal

Many of you may know that one of my favorite television shows is Survivor. It turns out that Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor, has a new show called Expedition Impossible; an adventure series where contestants race through the deserts, rivers and mountains of Morocco. (Interest piqued.) It also turns out that one of the teams, the Gypsies, could just as well have been called team Grok. That’s right. John Post, Taylor Filasky and Eric Bach, contestants on the show, have all gone Primal.

Mark Burnett? Africa? Adventure race? Primal contestants? Ok, I’m hooked. Between attending to the media blitz that comes with starring on a new TV show and operating a recently purchased 27-acre farm (Sweet Peeps) with his sister and their two best friends, John Post found time to answer a few questions about his experience going Primal and being on Expedition Impossible (airs Thursday, 9/8c on ABC). Find out more about John’s team at The Modern Gypsies, and ask John any questions you have in the comment board.

John, tell us about Expedition Impossible.

When I first heard about Expedition Impossible, I was volunteering in Cambodia. I saw the title and knew this was something I wanted to be a part of! Expedition Impossible was a true test of the Primal lifestyle and definitely the most epic experience of my life. It’s incredible to have the opportunity to see how my teams’ lifestyle choices stack up against a truly diverse selection of Americans. Grok vs. all! There’s no schedule, no hotel rooms, and we never knew what would be around the next corner! We trekked through the Sahara dessert, climbed snow capped mountains,  and paddled some gnarly rivers. We were riding crazy camels and Arabian stallions and pulling stubborn donkeys through miles of river bed. They really did a good job of trying to throw teams out of their comfort zones! I remember the first day while I was leading these camels through the Sahara dessert with my two teammates thinking “wow,  this is real!” There wasn’t one moment that wasn’t absolutely incredible.

You’ve said that the Primal lifestyle was a big part of your training. What did you mean by that?

Being Primal keeps you ready for anything. It was perfect training for a competition that is constantly varied and unknown. When Mark Burnett, producer of Expedition Impossible and Survivor, designed this show, he must have had the Primal Blueprint in mind. Combine long distances, bursts of intense activity and constant problem solving with a survival of the fittest style competition and you have Grok in his daily life!

How did you first come to find out about the Primal Blueprint?

My sister Stephanie has been a long time Primal eater and I have to give her credit for my first experience with the Primal Blueprint. We were training for the Warrior Dash SoCal a little over a year ago. I’ve always been athletic but never paid much attention to my eating habits. I quickly started to notice that on days I ate Primally, my mind was clear and focused on my intent and my body felt more powerful during my training. On days when I didn’t eat Primally, all I could think about while training were the bad things I put in my body. I didn’t know much about the Primal Blueprint at the time but as I learned more I realized the things I envisioned weighing me down actually were. My body knew and could recognize the difference.

What was your diet and exercise routine like before going Primal and why did you make the change?

Before going Primal my diet and exercise routines varied widely. To be honest I wasn’t educated about what was really good for me. I thought I was healthy and fit enough until I got my first taste of Primal. After that there was no going back.

How has the Primal lifestyle affected your health and fitness?

I often tell people I wish I could experience the change to the Primal Blueprint again. I just felt so much better. The increase in my energy level was amazing. My favorite part is being able to make conscious decisions about what I put in my body and understanding how it affects me.

What was it like trying to eat Primal foods and live like Grok while on the Expedition? I imagine getting adequate sun and low level aerobic activity wasn’t a problem, but how about getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding stupid mistakes?

Living like Grok while on the expedition was  pretty easy. We definitely got adequate sunlight and enough low level aerobic activity for Grok to migrate to Brazil! Eating while on the actual expedition was a little bit trickier. At first, we were the crazy guys with mustaches who wouldn’t eat bread or candy. After our performance the first few days people stopped thinking we were crazy! That being said, food was really limited and for a lot of the competition there was a tough balance of eating what our bodies needed and what was available. I definitely hunted and gathered a few loafs of bread and possibly some beans while in Morocco.

Are your teammates Primal, too? If so, how long have they been Primal and what have their experiences been?

My whole team followed the Primal Blueprint leading up to the show. Eric and I have been Primal for about the same amount of time. Taylor made the change just 3 months before we were scheduled to leave for the expedition. He took training for the show really seriously and lost over 15 lbs after switching to the Primal Blueprint.

What would you say to anyone that was considering trying the Primal lifestyle?

This is how people are supposed to feel!

What was the craziest thing you did while on the Expedition?

Camels are pretty crazy! Throughout the show we dealt with all kinds of animals including a few different kinds of camels. Lets just say the ones you see in the first episode are nothing compared to what’s to come! It gets pretty crazy.

Who won the competition? Actually, don’t answer that. Your team had Grok power, so I think we all know who won.

Well, I can’t reveal too much but I can say that coming in first place on the first stage felt pretty good. We’ve proved that we are capable of winning. We’ll do our best to make you and the rest of our friends and family proud!

TAGS:  interviews

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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96 thoughts on “Expedition Impossible Team Goes Primal”

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  1. I don’t generally watch TV (no cable), but this may just be a show I’ll have to download.

  2. Parts of this show have been very entertaining. These guys also ran cardio and met-con based Crossfit style workouts leading up to the start of the game.

    Some other notable players in the show: Eric – the first blind person to ever scale Mt. Everest.

  3. Im in Sweden, but I totally want to see this show!
    Does anyone know about a website where it can be seen for free?

  4. hooray for The Modern Gypsies, Grok on!!!…on ABC, can’t wait. are the other teams SAD eaters?

      1. My first exposure to primal was actually several years ago when I saw a special on two teams who tried to replicate the first crossing to the South Pole. One had a diet of butter, cream, fatty fish and fatty meat with some vegetables, and the other had eaten a largely carb-based diet. At the end of the trek, the ones whose diets resembled Primal eating had preserved the most muscle and had simply turned to their fat stores, whereas those who’d followed the carb diet had lost quite a bit of muscle mass.

        It seemed counter-intuitive to me in those days where I would swallow any form of CW with regards to diets and “healthy grains” but it certainly makes perfect sense now!

  5. Spoiler alert: Team Gypsies is leading 9 minutes into episode 1. This show is pretty sweet so far. Two episodes have been aired this season. Episode 3 is on tonight at 9 PM EST on ABC!

  6. looking forward to this show even more so now they are primal… plus, i am really loving those mustaches!

  7. I don’t watch much TV either but I am very excited to see the show. My son’s introduced me to The Primal Blueprint recently when we went to see Mark Sisson speak and met him in person. It has really piqued my interest and I am working on becoming 100% which equals about 80%. I too feel amazing when I eat Primal !

    1. Welcome to the tribe, RedGrok! As amazing as you feel now, I guarantee it only gets better. In due time, I hope we’ll hear more from you when you add to the Success Stories!

  8. Good thing I haven’t taken my hammer to my television yet, because this sounds terrific! I can’t wait to watch.

    It’s about time there was a semi-primal TV show. The only other one I know of is Dual Survival, with its always-entertaining odd-couple duo of Cody, the “primitive skills” expert, and Dave, the ex-SEAL.

    1. Dave is not an “ex seal”, he is an ex Army Sniper, you should watch the show sometime.

    2. I’ve been meaning to watch this show too. My soon to be brother in law always brings it up.

      It looks like I can’t watch full episodes for free anywhere… does anyone know of where I might be able to?

  9. Huge fan of Amazing Race and I planned to watch this as well, now I’m going to for sure.

    1. We’ve been watching it and to me it’s a hybrid of Amazing Race & Survivor but not as stressful to watch as the Race!

  10. Mark, you should get a cut of the revenues. Like so many of the posters, I don’t watch TV (except a few hockey and a few football games every year) I’ll watch this at least a couple of times.

  11. Why do some many posters feel the need to qualify their comments with “I don’t watch tv, but…”

    We get it. You re all too smart and too busy to watch television…

    BTW, the show does looks great. Gonna have to see if I can fit it into my busy tv watch schedule 🙂

    1. Relax, man.
      When people develop a lifestyle of carefully considering the value of what they put into their bodies and minds, TV falls off the radar pretty quick. Nothing snotty going on, just the logical progression of the Primal mindset.
      Disclaimer:: I don’t watch TV 🙂
      and I probably wont watch this either. It does sound really interesting, just rather do something else with my time…

      1. I’d have to agree with Shaun. Although I agree that most Westerners should spend less time in front of the tube..err..pixels, throwing out that disclaimer every time TV is mentioned is a bit annoying. Especially people who obviously spend periods of their so-called precious time surfing the net and leaving responses on blogs :0)

        1. I agree… this is the trend with rich countries. People scream they drive a prius to save the earth, give to charity, dont watch TV etc..etc… When in reality, its way better to buy a used car than buying a brand new car and its more fulfilling if you give to charity and not advertise it.

    2. depends on where you are, if television is worth watching or not — where i am, PBS sucks and we don’t get BBC, so *surprise*, i rarely watch TV. you’re lucky if you find something that interests you, but spare your disdain of those of us who prefer movies, huh?

      thanks to Hulu, i just watched the episodes that have already aired, and anticipate the third one, with pleasure, tonight….

      Gypsies, all i can say is BRAVI!!!

    3. I was thinking the same thing. I honestly don’t care how anyone but spends their free time, but it’s hip now to disdain TV. To draw attention to the fact that one doesn’t watch TV is to draw attention to one’s specialness.

  12. I just watched the first episode. Glad to see Team Gypsy win the first stage! It was a thrill. I will be watching episode 2 in a couple hours and episode 3 tonight on TV.

    Does anyone want to form a team with me to compete in a future season?

    1. My roommate was watching this last week and I took a moment to watch, but had to leave after 10 minutes when I literally got too jealous of the contestants to watch anymore. I imagine you’re serious about forming a team? I sure as hell am. I know of the perfect way to sell it to the network execs too-

      Team of people who met on a blog but have never met face to face, who run regular training events on their own and then get together and share their progress across video networking. Not only is it an interesting social experiment, but the possibility for team arguments and other drama while the camera rolls would be quite enticing for the the network execs. Of course in order to win we’d have to disappoint them on that front 🙂

        1. I am 100% serious too. Let’s get started. It’s us 3 as noone else has yet to reply. My email is [email protected]!

          Let’s do this NOW!

          Thanks Mark for the inspiration. Time to watch episode 2 to see if Team Gypsy will be 2-0!

  13. Ha! I randomly started watching this show when it began a couple weeks ago and I thought to myself these guys know what they are doing and to see the foundation being the Primal Blueprint is amazing. I wanted them to win based off of their mustaches, now I want them to win so much more. Great interview.

  14. I’m completely relaxed. My statement was meant as gentle teasing.

    And it may in fact be part of a natural progression. What I find interesting is the constant need to bring it up in conversation. Kinda like how every time mention eating in front a vegatarian they have to remind you that they don’t eat meat.

  15. WOW! Thank you all for the support! We are so proud to represent the Primal family! Please stay in touch and follow our adventure by following us on Facebook [The Gypsies] and Twitter [@modern_gypsies]! (We tweet live during the episodes)

    1. You guys are awesome. You kick ass. 3-0. I can not wait to see what happens.

      Do you guys have any tips for getting on season 2? Myself and 2 others are going for it. We have a phenomenal “appeal” as we have never met. I live in Michigan, one lives in California and I am not sure where the third one lives.

      I’ll be watching your tweets while the episodes air.

      1. You gotta have a “schtick”. Ours was “the modern gypsies”. You cant approach them with just 3 people. Every team has a theme. So think of a good theme that you think America would want to cheer on!

        Good Luck!

  16. I do watch a lot of TV although I try to be selective. One of the programs I selected was Expedition Impossible.

    I was already enamored with Team Gypsy but knowing they are primal is an extra plus to root for them.

    At first I was attracted by the color of their clothes but then something else about them also made me root for them. Now I know what….they’re primal.

    Go Gypsies.

    And Mark, I too am a huge Survivor fan.

  17. I’ve been watching this show. I should’ve recognized this team as being PRIMAL. They’ve got the look, the energy, and the smarts of a fellow Grok (notice how I managed to include us in on their moment? genius)
    Now I know which team for sure to cheer for this season.
    Great interview!

  18. I just started watching, this is sick. It’s fun to watch, but I know I’m in now way shape or form ready for this competition.

    Anyways, go Gypsies! 🙂

  19. Shucks! I tuned in to abc.com to watch and got this message:

    “You appear to be outside the United States or its territories. Due to international rights agreements, we only offer this video to viewers located within the United States and its territories.”

    I’m in the UK, so it looks like I’m persona non grata.

    (From a distance) GO TEAM GYPSIES! I’m with you. 🙂

  20. Hi, This is a great forum to say I’m primal and have been ever since my son introduced me to it in January. Feeling and looking great. Dropped 45 lbs and now opperating with 6 pack abs. Why is this a great forum to metion this…My Son is John Post of the Gypsies…GO GYPSIES!!!!

  21. As with some movies on Netflix (Fat Head) and Hulu, we in Canada can’t watch the series from the abc.com website. I hate these copyrights agreements things…

    1. You silly goose – “Selling New York” is on HGTV at 9:00PM! Geeezzz—

  22. 3 funny hipsters gone primal, my favorite team thats for shure ! 😉

  23. I’m a long time survivor fan too! And when I heard of this series, I knew I would be tuning in. Great post! I loved it.

  24. I wonder when it’ll be shown over here in Oz? We normally get shows 6 months after you have seen them.

  25. Amazing Race and any of those “Survivor” type shows have always been favorites of mine – so I obviously watch lots of TV. I also love, love love Sci Fi so Stargate SG1, Firefly, Star Trek, etc. etc. etc. are right on my list of stuff to watch. I also enjoy the Weather Channel! So, yes, I DO watch TV. Use TV to your advantage – pick out the prime pieces and discard the rest. Pick your poison, people.

    So, like Grok, I’ve wondered about the heavens above me, and know that the weather can be my friend or foe. Unlike, Grok, because of modern technology, I’m way ahead of the herd/curve as to what to expect – perhaps a definite advantage! Although I have learned to survive by watching nature, learning to read the heavens for direction (NESW), reading weather-wise what’s going on around me to determine what is actually happening or going to happen. I can look out my window and figure out what is happening rather than depend on someone 2000 miles away to tell me that such-n-such is going on.

    The only disappointment I have so far is that the Gypsies don’t seem to be getting the air time that the other groups are getting — is that just my imagination or what?

    1. It’s not your imagination, I’ve noticed that too.

      But it’s okay. I’m sure we will have plenty of time to get to know the Gypsies. 😉

  26. You guys are amazing! So proud to be a part of this community! Honorary Gypsies for sure. Please check out our website to see what we are up to! More Compassionate Adventures! Right up your alley 🙂 You can also get yourself a MODERN GYPSY T-Shirt! All proceeds go to “Free the Children”… they’re pretty stylish too!

    Gypsy LOVE

  27. Hey, many thanks John Post Sr!

    I just tuned in on YouTube (vs. abc.com). Great stuff.


  28. What they are doing is cool, but instead of watching others realize their dreams on the “Stupid Box”, our tribe are putting a series of treks/expeditions to tackle on our own.

  29. I don’t watch TV, but i’ve got to make an exception for this show.

  30. Thanks for the heads up. Watched most of it last night. Enjoyable to see and I can’t wait to inform my friends who really do not understand the PB nutritional lifestyle. Just got back from Fish Camp and got grilled every time we ate.

    Really bothered me to have to inform them that no, the vegetarian dish with flour was not ok. It just went on an on. If someone would have wanted a one-on-one, I would have enjoyed talking about it but when it only came up in the presence of the 21 Fish Camp participants, it got old real quick having to explain why I would not eat this or that because of grains or sugar. . .”

  31. OK, so my husband and I watched this last night, and it totally opened up the “why don’t you go primal with me” converstaion (again)…and now he’s actually considering it! I did have to promise him I wouldn’t say anything if he decided he needed an awesome mustache like John…but I think it’s worth it. GO GYPSIES!

  32. This show looked cool but I didn’t pay any attention to it until last night, because of this post.
    Great, now I’m stuck watching… 🙂

  33. Just finished episode 3, man it is so exciting watching Gypsies blow everyone away. Everyone is like “Those gypsies don’t look like athletes but they are so fast”. I wonder why? Grok on Gypsies!

    1. I just finished watching the third episode. They are kicking ass! It’s awesome to see and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

  34. I started the first episode after reading this post…AWESOME!! Not only are the Gypsies primal, but they have the coolest mustaches and scarves hehe!! <3 <3 I can't wait to finish watching it when I get home from work!

  35. I’m so excited for this show! I just watched all three of the first episodes online and am so proud of the Gypsies! Can’t wait for more episodes!

  36. If one has a diet that resembles more of Primal eating, then they are more likely to have their muscle mass intact over a period of strenuous activity, as their body would resort to the fat stores for energy.
    PS: Even I don’t watch TV, in the sense I don’t really have to watch it but if somebody recommends an interesting show I really make it a point to watch it.