I Amazed My Doctor with My Primal Diet!

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!

Back in February of 2015, I went to a health spa in Arizona that I visit once a year. Since I was 40, I decided to get some blood tests done. The results weren’t great. In fact, there were some red flags and I needed to start getting serious about my health and weight loss.

In December of the same year, my husband and I went on a vacation to the Florida Keys and brought our mountain bikes. We were going to start 2016 with exercise and eating right! On the drive home to Michigan, I started looking up different ways to eat right. I had stumbled upon some information that said potatoes are terrible for you and, since I had 23 hours to kill, I decided to dive in and research this new information. That is how I found your website.

before_for_textI had progressively looked into what foods were good/bad and found that Paleo seemed the best route to get healthy. (I actually looked up “are potatoes paleo” and saw that it was an emphatic NO!) Potatoes were very high on the glycemic index…and all this time I thought they were healthy. I ate them as hash browns or cubed in the morning and had them mashed often with dinner as a side dish. I felt like everything I had ever known was wrong! When we got home, we completely cleaned out the pantry and fridge and restocked them with only paleo foods. The results were instant. I dropped 30 pounds in about 8 weeks and kept it off. After the initial two months, the weight loss was slower but still steady. I had a lot more energy and I actually felt healthier.

Just as an example, I will share with you what I changed for breakfast and lunch:

Breakfast: Wild berry smoothie with an egg and cheese sandwich from Panera (54g carbs)
Lunch: veggie salad with croutons and cranberries from Big Salad with tomato basil soup ( 78g carbs)

Just those two meals alone and I was over 200 carbs for the day. I can’t even imagine what my dinners were when we had pizza, spaghetti and meat and potatoes regularly. I still can’t understand why the U.S. RDA says 300 carbs is recommended.

I went back to the spa in Arizona in May of 2016 and got my blood retested. My doctor asked what I had changed and I told her that I went from being a vegetarian to paleo. I told her for breakfast I was eating eggs and bacon with a cup of cashew milk. For lunch I was having salads (hold the cranberries and croutons!) and having chili instead of soup. For dinner I was having steak and steamed veggies and dessert was fruit or some coconut milk “ice cream.” She seemed very concerned. She wanted to recheck my cholesterol immediately. Here are some of the red flag items and the changes that happened in just 5 months. My doctor was shocked and I hoped my results spoke for themselves.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 10.04.22 AM

after_for_text(Mark’s note: *Recommended normal ranges vary based on several factors. It’s best to talk with your doctor about your particular measures.)

I’m not completely out of the woods yet. I still have a long way to go and I plan on getting another blood test this year. I’m grateful for your website and your knowledge! Although I have strayed a bit a couple of times this last year, I always come back and getting back on track gets easier and easier. My husband (who didn’t need to lose weight being 6’6 and 180 lbs) also commented on how good he feels as a result of these changes.

Our biggest challenges are convenience foods, or rather lack of good grab and go foods. I know that I need to prepare for those moments and I try to but being busy at work and having 3 teenagers, a massive garden and chickens this year, it is proving to be difficult. I need to peruse your website for some more good ideas! Here are a couple of pictures for you. They are pretty close to “before and after” but as I said, I still have a ways to go. Thanks again for letting me share this story.

Primal Kitchen Frozen Bowls
Primal Kitchen Mayo
Primal Kitchen Pizza Sauce
Keto Meal Plan
Primal Kitchen Ranch
Primal Kitchen Ketchup
Primal Kitchen Hollandaise
Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
Primal Kitchen 7 Days, 7 Salads Challenge
Primal Kitchen Buffalo
Primal Kitchen Dijon Mustard

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69 thoughts on “I Amazed My Doctor with My Primal Diet!”

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  1. Oh, wow, those changes in your numbers are dramatic! I love that you described how your doctor was concerned when she heard what you were eating– and then your results came in! You’ve done an excellent job taking control of your health and it shows. Your skin, your eyes and your smile are glowing. Congratulations.

    As for quick grab-and-go food, what about sardines, boiled eggs, broccoli dipped in those cute little guacamole tubs?

    Good luck with your busy summer!

    1. I’m not sure about the sardines (!!) but I could definitely manage those other suggestions. Thanks!

  2. Nice story and results.

    Regarding grab and go, how about chicharrones/pork rinds, hard cheese, fruits and vegetables (carrots, at least, can be eaten raw)?

    1. Never tried pork rinds! Hard cheese and fruits are always good. Thanks!

  3. Wow– already the results are impressive! I can’t wait to see and hear more as you progress. You are an inspiration.

  4. Congratulations, you look and sound great! You can always try some Primal Kitchen bars.

    1. Thanks Grant! Yes, and there seems to be a lot of “experts” out there. 😉

  5. Outstanding! As they say, “the numbers don’t lie.”
    For “grab-and-go” options, my standards include things like beef jerky, nuts, fruit (aka, nature’s pre-wrapped candy), cut-up veggies, and full-fat cheese. Remember, any town with a fast food joint also has a grocery store.

    1. Thanks Anthony! Maybe when my kids are out of the house, I’ll be able to keep some of that pre-wrapped candy for myself!

  6. Great job! My blood tests were dramatically improved into full on excellent ranges after 7 months primal and now after 5 years at age 62 they’re still showing the same excellent numbers.

    I like Oberto beef and pork jerky products for snacks, they are all natural, no preservatives, very good stuff at a reasonable price, especially the 5.85 ounce ‘Jumbo Packs’ at Walmart. Wild Planet (lightly smoked) sardines are a new favorite for me, they are much better than other sardines I have tried. Salami and cheese are old standbys.

      1. But they have to be packed in olive oil, not water. 😉

    1. Congratulations on your own success bayrider!

      I can’t wrap my head around sardines yet! I try to stay away from deli meats but do eat the occasional turkey / salami / cheese roll ups. 🙂

  7. Whenever our tribe travels, we take the opportunity to fast. When one is really fat adapted, it’s effortless… you will easily go 24 hours without incident. If anyone gets feeling weird, we keep canned sardines on hand for emergencies.. I’m telling you right now, after fasting, canned sardines never tasted so good!

    You look and sound amazing… keep up the amazing journey!

    1. I agree- fasting is now so easy and convenient. And I love that I’m cleaning up damaged cells while I do it!

      1. I had no idea fasting cleaned up damaged cells. Win/win it seems! Thanks for posting that information!

    2. So true…fasting has amazing health benefits, is cost-effective (ha!) and cuts way down on the time I spend in the kitchen food prepping. I do my best work and am best able to focus when I’m in a fasted state.

    3. I hadn’t thought of actual fasting…just the occasional skipped “timed meal” because I’m at work. Thanks for the suggestion and the kind words.

  8. The girl in that picture can’t possibly have three teenage children!

  9. “When we got home, we completely cleaned out the pantry and fridge and restocked them with only paleo foods.”

    Going all in is what successful people do, awesome results and thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Still aiming for success! So far, so good. Thanks for your kind comments. 🙂

  10. Nice job! Way to be proactive about your health and preventing chronic disease! Those lab results speak for themselves!

  11. Love the comment on why the USDA still recommends 300g of carbs… it’s crazy I feel miserable when I have a few too many carbs like 100g-150g much less 300g! Congrats on your journey and keep it up!!

    1. I do too. I even feel a bit congested the next day. 300 is a LOT, I know!

  12. Congratulations, short and to the point, very inspiring
    I am green with envy
    “a massive garden and chickens this year”

    1. yes! that caught my eye too! That massive garden may very well be your path to a much healthier way of living and looking at what’s around you. I grew up with a large veggie garden thanks to my folks, and always tried to emulate that concept by growing anything and everything I could either in the ground or in pots. Today at age 72+ I’m still growing stuff as best I can, and feel that a garden is one of the best things that can happen to anybody!

      And those chickens are frosting on the cake!!!

      1. Thanks PrimalGrandma! I love to garden too! We have 18 acres that we are putting to good use! The chickens have lots of room to play and we have dozens of fruit trees (apples, peaches, pears, cherries) along with berry patches (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry) too. I will have to look up some paleo pie recipes….those are a weakness for me! 😉

        1. I’m moving in! ?????? congratulations on your health so far. Beautiful life you are creating!

    2. Thanks wildgrok! I’m excited for some fresh eggs. We go through a lot at our house.

  13. Congrats on your transformation! And wish I had chickens! I know tons of people have already chimed in with grab and go snacks…here are some of my faves: Primal Kitchen bars (macadamia my fave but all great), clean jerky like Epic bars, raw nuts, especially macadamia, also things like cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas can be washed and thrown in a zip loc. And honestly when you are really fat adapted it gets easier and easier to just skip eating when there are no good options.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I haven’t heard of Epic bars. I will look into those! Thank you for the suggestions!

  14. Fantastic story! Your beautiful face says it all. Us busy Moms with teens have to plan, no doubt about that. I batch cook & freeze when I can and sometimes, just super simple. One thing I do with mine is at night, we have small amount of meat, large portion of cooked veggies in grassfed butter, and to help with time, I have the kids & hubby all make their own choice raw salad, keeps them involved in prep, and makes dinner a family time. I came from health crisis, I just always keep in mind that I never want to go back to my before AND also teaching my children how to create a life of health; you are changing their dynamic for the rest of their lives! You are setting a wonderful example for your family! Rock On Sister! You got this! Keep sharing!

    1. Thank you Denise! I appreciate your words! When I started gardening, the kids would ask for a snack. I would tell them that we had veggies or salad. They went to the fridge and asked where the stuff was….I would tell them they could pick their own from the garden! This is around the time my son found that he liked bell peppers. It was easier when they were younger. Teenagers are busy with school and sports….but it’s a good reminder that they need healthy habits too!

  15. Fabulous work. Convenience foods in the real world are tough. I find it helpful to understand in my mind that almonds, fruit, cheese, olives can be your meal. I use those for my breakfast and sometimes lunch. BUT, that works for me but not my teenage son-not a meal in his mind. In the moments when we are out and need a meal, I basically look to low sugar and low carb although not perfectly primal. Ye olde salad with chicken or burger or sandwich without the buns. I wish we had better options, too!

    1. J Jill, I’m with you there! Burger without a bun and salad are a staple for me at lunch time! I’m occasionally bad and order Thai food (give 1/2 the rice to the puppies) but yes, I agree that nuts, fruit and cheese are good go-to’s!

  16. Awesome success story. I’m impressed to see the levels of your A1C. I work with a lot of diabetics that struggle so hard with their A1C levels because they’re stuck on a high fiber (carb), low fat, low protein diet as recommended by their providers.

    1. Matt, I’ve seen the same thing. It’s hard to “reprogram” someone…I should know! There are so many hidden carbs in things that we assume are healthy. My dad is in his late 60’s and needs to lose weight. He will “diet” by eating and apple and an orange for breakfast. I still can’t convince him that he needs more fat and protein!

  17. Wow, your results are incredible! Congrats on your progress!

    You said that after switching to an all-Paleo diet the results were instant. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies respond to the right foods? I’ve found this to be true too.

    1. Thanks Lori! Yes, I agree! Our bodies are amazing and I’m sure mine was thanking me for finally getting it right! 😉

  18. That’s just fantastic. If you drop 30 pounds and keep it off for a year, as you have, you can sign up with the national weight control registry. I don’t know if it really has any practical purpose, but knowing that you met that standard feels great. I really enjoyed registering.

    1. PS . I use Primal Kitchen Bars and grass fed beef sticks and jerky for my “emergency keep in my purse food” Also baggies of various nuts .

  19. Welcome to the Primal community! Like you, I too had been a vegetarian –for 30 years!– until switching to whole foods just over 11 months ago, and soon thereafter to a Primal-informed ketogenic diet. I lost over 35 pounds in a few months, then stabilized. I must have lost over 40 pounds of fat since last weigh I have lost 37 pounds yet I have definitely built muscle. I have read probably 20 books on nutrition and wellness in these past 11 months, and found Mark Sisson’s New Primal Blueprint to be the single best source of guidance on food, movement, lifestyle and attitude.

    1. Congratulations to you Will! Nice work! I was also looking into a ketosis kind of lifestyle recently because a friend of mine just lost 70 lbs and looks amazing. I don’t know much about it yet except that it is more strict (I believe 20-30 carbs per day). Perhaps I should master paleo before advancing! 😉 Mark’s site is the most comprehensive information I have found as well. I plan on getting the book very soon.

  20. Amazing! This is such an encouraging story! Thanks for sharing and best wishes for continued success!

  21. Great results! When I went paleo, my naturopathic doctor was concerned until I explained to her how very similar paleo is to the “anti-inflammatory diet” that she often recommends. And my blood work showed similar improvements to yours.

    1. Thanks Dena! Congratulations on your own success too! Inflammation in the body is so bad and really doesn’t get the attention it needs. More people need to be aware of the damaging effects. I feel like the problem is, is that there is too much MIS information out there. Many doctors don’t have any good information or experience with nutrition. I have respect for doctors but I wish they would push better nutrition rather than scripts. Maybe some day!

  22. I agree with you on the “good grab and go foods”. Of course it’s easier to just grab a choco bar than a piece of fish or steak…. suggestions??