Life is Great

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!

Thank you for The Primal Blueprint — a book that has changed the way I eat.

I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm a long time ago. 71 years old as I write this. Have been eating grains and grain products — anything made with flour — my whole life. I liked bread — especially when it was loaded with butter.

It was Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat that encouraged me to pursue other reading with the same subject material. That was when I found The Primal Blueprint. Both books spoke to me. Just made sense. That was early last summer. It was a poor time to start new eating habits when I would be dining with friends and relatives during my summer in Colorado.

Both books said to eliminate grain products from the diet. I believe my diet always was healthy. Never did buy into the low fat craze. The new variation (my paleo version) emphasized salads, vegetables, some legumes and meats (grass feed beef) or chicken (dirty feet free range) or fish (wild). However, the grain products still had a very small place in the diet along with the occasional sweets.

About two months ago, it was time to get serious and eliminate the grain products (breads, pasta, sweet rolls, pretzels) from my diet. After about two weeks, I realized that I was no longer gobbling antacid pills after many meals. Interesting. Costco was going to be in trouble economically. For many years, a large economy size container of antacids had a place in my larder. I ate them like candy after almost every meal.

No indigestion after every meal. Took a while to come to terms with that. Then I also noted that I hadn’t had an attack of GERD (acid reflux). Could these body reactions actually be attributable to grain products? I would have to give up bread. That is okay. I can mainline the butter.

I also recall the times when the indigestion lingered for two to three days regardless of my antacid ingestion. So I headed to the hospital emergency room with what appeared to be a heart problem. Appears I had a “gluten attack”. I am embarrassed to recall those experiences. Seems there might be some new questions the doctors might want to ask the patients after discovering there really is no heart problem. Perhaps it might be a gluten problem.

Time to search the internet. Yes. Gluten can cause acid indigestion and GERD flare ups. And I had been living this way for seventy years. As a child, my parents correctly recognized that I had a food sensitivity to whole wheat products. My gut ached within an hour of eating whole wheat products. So while everyone else ate whole wheat, I ate white bread and white flour products. That didn’t bother me. At least I didn’t think it did. That was the end of the issue and life goes on.

As I thought about gluten and grains in the diet, I recalled the chest pains I had 40 years ago as a result of drinking beer. Another aha moment. Beer is made from grains. Further research on the internet. Turns out there are traces of gluten in beer. Guess I had found the trace. Pain is an incentive. Quit drinking beer at that time and switched to hard liquors.

Essentially, I am a healthy 71 year old. I take no prescription drugs and weigh in at 145-150 pounds and 5-10 in height. My exercise is hiking and walking.

The gluten had another impact on my living which I noted about two months after no grains in the diet. About two years ago I was diagnosed with an inner ear issue that caused me balance and eye focus problems. As I lived with that issue, there were days that were much worse then others. Now that the grains are out of the diet, every day is the same — almost perfect. Focusing and balance are a whole lot better than those bad days when still eating grains. There were days where I would stagger as I walked.

Getting older seems to have made the body change. The recent development in gluten intolerance was one. Last summer, I found I was lactose intolerant. For decades, my dairy product consumption has been yogurt (always plain), butter and some cheese (mostly Feta). No milk for 35 years. However, there was nothing like heavy cream over fresh fruit. The gut ache was another of those signs that told me there was something wrong. Pain is a good incentive. Quit the heavy cream. Instead it is now fresh fruit with yogurt — especially Greek version. Actually prefer it over the heavy cream.

Actually, taking grains and grain products out of my diet was not that hard. Easier than I thought. The cravings are gone. Pain and indigestion appears to be a good incentive. There is good reason not to eat grain products again.

Thanks for your research and daily posts on your blog site. Your book and daily reading of your blog was the incentive to make this dietary change. For that I am extremely thankful. Life is great.

Thanks again.

Just Wandrin…

Blog: Wandrin Lloyd

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  1. I’m sorry but you’re kidding when you say you’re 71, right? Gotta admit I have a bit of a crush now! You look fantastic and sound like you’re more active than I’ve been (at 27!)

    I’m thrilled to see that even in one’s later years, this lifestyle is totally possible and that the benefits never diminish.

        1. I believe it is good genetics more than anything. That means he’s good breeding stock ladies.

    1. I could not concur more with Lloyd, I’m 60 and healthy but having found Marks website I’ve found what I was looking for without realising it was what I was looking for all my life.

      This is THE way to live – I [we] feel so much better]

      Thank you Mark – you have made a permanent positive massive contribution to our lives and we follow you blogs with great interest and learn from them.

      Best Regards
      Two Thankfull Brits – Old and Happy!!

  2. One of my favorite aspects of the primal blueprint is the peace of mind it provides me that getting older does not have to mean deteriorating physique and health. The mindset of the primal blueprint makes it so much easier to live in the moment…even more so because you get to revel in the fact that there is still so much time to live life in this state. (for those of any age)

    1. This is soo true and one of the reasons I was so inspired when I visited this site. I’m only 27 now but the thought of a long slow descent scared me. At least I now know that with good health I can keep enjoying life for many years.

    2. I am going to die with a healthier, fitter body than I have ever had!

      Mostly there already!

      Grock On!

  3. Hey Loyd,

    Originally being from the Midwest myself (and 6 1/2 years in Milwaukee), I completely get the food problems that go with it–used to love a fish-fry w/a big gluten-packed beer & 1/2 loaf of bread slathered in butter followed by some frozen custard for dessert 🙂
    It was tough for me making the change as well, and I’m glad you’re doing well with it, too. You look to be in amazing health, and I wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. “I can mainline the butter.”

    I love that! Throughout my childhood, my parents caught me sneaking a spoonful of butter. Even during 25 years of being a vegetarian, nothing could compete with a spoonful of butter fresh from the fridge. I’m all for enjoying it without any bread in sight.

    Also, you look fabulous! I’d never guess your age and hope to be so healthy and fit when I reach my 70s.

    1. I wondered if I was the only person who pinched spoonfuls of butter out of the fridge… I still do it now, of course, but these days I think it’s fine… unless someone non primal sees me – then I feel I have some explaining to do!

    2. Ditto on the mainlining butter… once at a seafood restaurant somebody ‘dared’ me to do a melted butter ‘shot’–my husband guffawed and said, “Are you kidding? You’d have to hold her back!”

    3. That was the phrase that tugged at my heartstrings. Raised on a dairy farm, I too had to give up the heavy cream but eat cultured butter by the spoon. I figure it’s healthier than DH’s 3 scoops of ‘ice cream’ nightly. And it helps keep me away from fresh cheese curds. They are my weakness and 15 minutes after ingestion, I’m running for the restroom tied up in knots. You are an inspiration Lloyd!

  5. Great story, Lloyd! I’m glad to hear that you’ve been listening to your body and have made the changes necessary to become healthier!!

  6. I experience chest pains from drinking beer (although only certain ones, and not every time I consume them) as well. You’re the first person I’ve heard from that has experienced the same thing. I can still eat bread without a problem, so I’m not sure if it’s the gluten for me. Interesting. Glad to hear of your success!

    1. Beer makes me sick now, also. After giving up gluten for 2 months, I had a few beers one night and got severe stomach cramps. Fortunately I can still drink tequila!!

    1. My thoughts the minute I saw your picture Lloyd. And, you’re a hiker, like me? Any chance? Michigan here.

  7. LLoyd, you’re expanding my primal vocabulary. I love the term “dirty feet free range.” Great story… and great blog (beautiful pics!)!

    1. I loved that phrase too. What a great description! 🙂

  8. You look so healthy and youthful! My dad is 78 and nearly on his way out with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and countless other illnesses. If you have children, they are so lucky to have a healthy, open minded dad.

  9. I love stories from “old” folks. In my mind 71 is not old but it definitely is for the majority of the world because we are so sick.

    Glad to here your health has improved dramatically after having gone primal.

    Mark – the link to Lloyd’s blog is invalid.

  10. Thanks for sharing Lloyd, give us an update at 101 as well! 🙂

    1. lovely story.
      i find success stories of evergreen folks most inspiring.

  11. I’ve noticed the same things–these issues I’d accepted as “part of life now” that just disappeared when I dropped wheat! I was dropping wheat to lower my daughter’s blood sugar levels, not so much mine. And then got all better from things I didn’t believe I could solve, so I just lived with them. And then, they slipped away within 2 weeks of quitting wheat. Years of these little torments (never free from acne my entire adult life, for one) just… gone.

  12. Lloyd, you look fantastic and seem to have a great view on life.

    I get pain too, and agree it is a great incentive and I loved the line – “I can mainline the butter.” I’m gonna steal that, if I may. 🙂

  13. Lloyd, you’ve got 10 years on me and still look better than I do. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to.

    I had some gluten the other day (noodles in chicken noodle soup) and Bang! reflux. Had to pop a pill. From an ounce or so of noodles …

  14. Thanks, Lloyd, for sharing your journey. My husband and I are gaining health success as we follow the primal blueprint. Who knew you could feel so good at our age?
    Thanks, Mark, for including older citizens success stories and comments in your blog. It’s so inspiring to know you can change the direction of your health at any age.

  15. Very inspiring, and isn’t it great to solve problems that you just think are part of life!

    Out of curiosity, were your ear and balance issues diagnosed as or associated with Muniere’s disease/condition?


    1. Yes, I’ve had Bard’s before which is made from sorghum, I believe and pretty tasty!

  16. You look fantastic, no way would I believe you were 71 if I met you. I’m sending this to my sil whose daughter has had chronic stomach pains since she was a baby, she’s 14 now and taking daily stomach meds.

    1. My 8 year old son complained constantly of stomach pain and his underwear feeling too tight in the waist in spite of being too big. Once I quit feeding him the wheat the pain disappeared. (it comes right back though if he eats it.)

      She should really give it a try.

  17. Thanks for the post Llyod. For a long time, my mother has had the same symptoms as you. I’ve only just started eating Primal but I’ve sent her your story and I hope that she will join me.
    Good luck and thanks for sharing your story.

  18. The “mainline butter” line had me rolling!! Thank you for sharing your story!

  19. You are an inspiration sir. You look great! I hope to be like you in fifty years!

  20. You certainly don’t look 71! Congrats on adopting a healthier lifestyle.

    That looks a bit like Mt. Evans in Colorado in the background-are you from CO?

  21. Interesting point about your inner ear and vision issues getting better. Ive been spending a lot of time thinking about diet and vision lately. Ive noticed that my vision has gotten a lot sharper since going paleo. Even with my contacts, there were many days when things were just a little too blurry at certain distances. Now everything is sharp all the time. Im considering trying rehab measures to improve my vision, chasing a new dream of being corrective-lens free.

    1. Re: vision. I noticed recently that my vision is sharper and my night vision is vastly improved. I used to have to drive with polarized lenses at night. Who would have thought?!

    2. After going paleo and ditching sugar my vision improved to the point I needed new prescription 🙂 now I barely ever use my glasses

  22. Awesome story! I shared it on my wall on Facebook.

    Wishing you many, many great years to come!

  23. I agree with so many of the previous commenters – you look fantastic for 71! You put my SAD eating Dad of 73 to shame. Three cheers for finding what foods caused you problems and ditching them for good. Many blessings to you and your wanderings.

  24. While I’m not a full time follower of this blog, I eat pretty close to a paleo diet as of late (save for some minor exceptions). I’ve been mostly grain-free for 7 weeks now, and I’ve lost 20 pounds.

    My motivation to limit my consumption of grains was to see if it would help with my psoriatic arthritis. I’ve noticed slight improvement, and the pain in my right knee is mostly gone, but I still have a little bit of pain in my thumbs.

    But one dramatic improvement is my cardiovascular capacity. I used to dread exercising, but now I feel invigorated. I can do far more pushups and situps and I don’t feel exhausted after doing a few of them. I can jog at far brisker pace. The weights feel much lighter in my hands.

    I think that for the vast majority of the population, just going grain-free alone (without following some complicated lists of good and bad foods) would pay off huge dividends.

  25. Holy smoke….what a good lookin’ older guy you are!

    Pain is an amazing incentive and what a positive journey you’ve been on.

    Many more healthy, happy years to you.

  26. Thanks for a inspiring story!
    I needed an extra shot of motivation.

  27. Hey, Lloyd – thanks for sharing your story. I agree with the others who have commented on how healthy and youthful you look and sound. Can also relate to the love of butter, as well as the problems with food sensitivities that you describe.

    Have had a similar set of health issues and have also found relief on the primal diet. Plus, my inhalant allergies are also improving in ways that were unimaginable. Here it is an early spring in Michigan – with a steadily climbing pollen count – and I have actually been able to discontinue all my (perennial and seasonal) allergy medicine recently. WOW.

    What I have also discovered is that once the new normal is established, freedom from GERD and so on, that I have been able to detect other food sensitivities that were masked before by the grain reactions. I may well be more inclined toward these issues than you are, so I hope that you don’t uncover more health issues as you process with primal.

    But, if you do encounter future digestion issues, please remember that there are a number of foods, drinks, and other substances like supplements that can produce a GERD flareup. Just about the time I thought that I was forever free of GERD, I had another flare up – and NO – I had not had any grains or other slip ups on the primal diet. Just discovered other triggers that had been increased in my diet recently.

    Btw, I tried to visit your blog and got an error page instead.

  28. Hi, Lloyd,

    I’ve been following your RV blog for years….now a full-timing primal/grain free Rver, also. Great, isn’t it? I became aware of this WOE last fall, and feel so much better.

    Grok on!


    1. Great – post modern primal nomads! Now, I’m going to be a Wandrin’ Lloyd follower, too! Perfect.

      1. Uh-oh! Safari just gave me a security alert for this blog spot. Authentication issues. I’m going to wait until I can use the link here at MDA – hopefully whatever the issue is will be fixed.

  29. Lloyd great story, thank you very much. I have a 77 year old father that grew up eating whole milk, self churned butter, heavy cream, bacon and eggs, steak etc. he still eats that way and at 77 looks in his late 50-early 60’s. it has always made my mother and the rest of our family frustrated as we have always tried to follow the SAD diet and all have struggled with our weight….it is now becoming clear why at 77 he looks like he does, can still climb up trees to hand swings or get on the roof to replace shingles or chop wood for a an hour or so each day. Thanks for the story Lloyd and thanks mark for the primal blueprint.

  30. wow…I too, have had a similar experience, after only 3 weeks of Primal nutrition, GERD/acid reflux virtually gone – most noticeable at night. Age 59 and suffering for years.
    Thanks for your post Lloyd – it encourages me to stick with Primal/Paleo.

  31. Great story, Lloyd. Thanks for sharing. Originally caught this at Wandrin Lloyd (by the way, like the “unusual saguaro” picture today).

  32. From one 71 year old to another…I appreciate your open mind.

    I notice on this site, various young’ins complain that their ailing parents will not even consider changing their diet.

    It is my observation that close minded people are that way throughout their lives and it is not because of age.

    Maybe your story will jog some of those parents into considering a different path.

    Let’s just say, someday, you will get a thank you note from one of them.

  33. It is very good to hear from folks who are further along in the path of life (I consider myself in this category) and who are seeing great results from making lifestyle changes. It inspires me to to no end. See you on the trail!

  34. What an inspiration! Just turned 71 myself and have been playing around with primal/paleo for about a year. Also have had improvements with acid reflux and for the first time in my life I have strong finger nails… (And need pedicures more often.) Lloyd, you are a good example for any age group. Thanks for sharing your story.

  35. Lloyd….nice work! i’ve passed on your story to my 70 yr old wisconsin bread loving father in law. he needs inspiration to give up grains besides his zealot of a west coast daughter in law.

  36. Holy caramba!
    You look 20 years younger than my parents and they’re both 69.

  37. Thanks for sharing this Lloyd. Can you expand on the excercise you do, it is 100% hiking/walking? Do you lift at all?

    I tried to logging on to the blog listed above but couldn’t. Any idea why?

    Great to see 71 looking so healthy!!!

  38. Nice story Lloyd. Best of luck and continued health to you. I too have not had an episode of GERD or have to chug down dozens of antacids and/or Nexiums since I quit eating grains several years ago.

  39. Thanks for sharing, Lloyd!

    I have already told my dad about your story as he had a similar issue with beer. I am hoping your story helps to convince him to drop the grains!

    If you don’t mind, what was the issue with your inner ear?

  40. Simply amazing showing that it is never too late to keep improving! Great job!

  41. Wonderful story and yes, you do look fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. Lloyd what a wonderful example you set, so positive for some of us who still stumble back to eating habits that feel all to comfortable when indulging and then ask ourselves afterwords why . Your story is a great Incentive to me. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Sir, I commend you! You do NOT look 71 years of age. You look strong, fit and healthy and much younger. Kudos for taking charge of your health! 🙂

  44. Handsome defined….intelligent, posed gaze…I firmly believe you should be the Primal poster child for your gender..REGARDLESS of age simply radiate how enriching primal living can be…bravo!

  45. Yours may just be the success story that turns my 61-year old boyfriend on to this diet. He’s so afraid of his diminishing health, plus he’s a hiker, too.

  46. Hey that’s GREAT, I’m so glad you’ve found your way to a better diet and no pain! You look fit, happy, and peaceful. Congratulations!

  47. Wow! I wouldn’t have believed you were 71 without you saying so.

    Coincidentally, I was just wondering a few days ago about how many older people have adopted the Primal lifestyle, and it was as if Mark and the folks at MDA read my mind by posting your letter today.

    Good going, Lloyd! Here’s to many more happy, healthy years.

    1. I saw the light at 64, and never felt better. 5’3″; 118 lbs; line dance 6-8 hours/week; full-time RVer; LOVIN’ life and never felt better! You’re only as old as you think you are!

      Grok on!

  48. You certainly look 20 years younger. Props to your health and wellness.

  49. I’m glad you are feeling better! Beer is hard to limit, let alone give up! It is nice to hear a story where better health was the outcome, not necessarily weight loss. A lot of thin people don’t even know they are not as healthy as they could be.

  50. Coconut milk makes a good cream and yogurt alternative. I eat berries, nuts, and coconut milk drizzled with honey as my primal desert sometimes. I noticed that the yogurt makes me mucousy, and I won’t drink milk or cream that isn’t raw, which means I have been dairy free for months and months.

  51. I have to say, I think its wonderful that you were so proactive with your health scenario and as many other people have posted, you look phenomenal for your age. I wish my parents did the same! Good luck to you!

  52. Wonderful story. Inspiring. It brings a whole new meaning to “listen to your gut”. It’s high time I started listening more closely to mine.

    And, yes, you are one sexy 71 year old.

  53. How can I ever give up hushpuppies? Would like to be healthier, but do not know that I can make myself adhere to a no grain diet.

    1. Ah but you can.

      Write yourself a letter….something like

      Dear Becca,
      I love you and want you to be healthier but I love these hushpuppies more. I’m sorry your health may just get worse as you age but again, I love these hushpuppies more.

      If that doesn’t get your attention try another direction.

      Actually, most people find after a few weeks of no grains the desire for them goes away.

      This is a very supportive community and lots of help is available for you to reach your goals.

      It may or may not take awhile to find your path but you will.

      I thought bread would be hard to give up but as it turned out…easy. In fact very easy.

      Give it a shot, or two or three or how ever many it takes. You can do it.

  54. I’m ten years younger and look ten years older.

    Time to get serious about primal.

  55. Thanks Lloyd, I’ve been primal for a month and my dad (75) just got the book–you will be an inspiration!

  56. What a great story! You are an inspiration and you have an awesome blog/website too!

  57. When I started reading this I had an eerie sense of deja vu. It took a few paragraphs to realize I did not write it.

    Gary Taubes was my gateway book as well. From there I went to Robb Wolf, Cordain, and finally after looking for a paleo with dairy I found Mark. There are no doubt hundreds of us who followed the route. Thanks for sharing our story.

  58. Try goat yogurt instead of cow’s milk yogurt. Even better, easy to make your own kefir out of raw goats milk.

  59. Hey Lloyd:

    Way to go! Your words, “pain is a good incentive” remind me of something a lot of us do: forego pleasure to avoid pain.

    I feel like that’s what I do sometimes. Less and less, though, because there are very few non-Primal things that would give me pleasure.

    As for fruit, here’s something I LOVE that you might try: frozen berries (still frozen), with some coconut oil drizzled over them. The oil freezes into something of a glaze. Tastes divine.

    I also love making smoothies. Here’s my fave:

    1 cup frozen berries (still frozen)
    1/2 cup coconut milk (a bit more, if needed)
    1 tbs coconut oil
    1 to 5 tbs whey protein powder (isolate)

    Mix in food processor/blender until really creamy.

    I think this will make you forget all about heavy cream 🙂


  60. Lloyd looks fantastic!!! Really hot, as another commenter stated!

  61. Fantastic Lloyd! And immediately, I will forward your story to my parents. Thank you for sharing — I can go on my hike today with you in the corner of my eye, pushing to keep at it!

  62. Great story Lloyd. Inspirational to see you healthy and thriving on a Primal lifestyle at age 71.

  63. Didn’t know there were all these comments here. Pointed out by my cousin, I just read the comments. Now my ego will be a problem. I may not look my 71 years. I will thank a good gene pool and then taking care of the package.

    Regarding exercise… Hiking and walking is all there is. I do have a couple of 10 pound dumbbells that I use to give a little upper body flexibility.

    Regarding the balance issue… It’s not menieres. The inner ear problem was diagnosed when I was still ingesting gluten. Some of those were worse than others as I staggered. (Road side sobriety test would have been bad.) As the gluten was shed from the body these past months, the balance problems are almost non-esistent. Perhaps the body is still shedding those gluten proteins.

    Maybe I have other food intolerances. Soon I will start 30 days without dairy products — including butter.

  64. Hope you continue to enjoy “the road”. Re: exercise equipment, you may enjoy a set of Indian clubs. Got mine at They are only 1 1/2 lbs. each but you can get a great workout with them.

  65. I agree with all the comments on how amazing you look. Definitely hot!!

    Regarding the inner ear problem. I developed mild tinnitus last August. I’ev known for a while that I am gluten intolerant but kept eating it due to social pressures. Now I’ve finally gotten serious about giving up the gluten, the tinnitus has abated to the point where most days I don’t hear it at all (just a tiny bit when I first lie down in bed). The times I’ve slipped up and had some gluten, I’ve gone back to having indigestion and a flare up of the tinnitus. Another reason for other people to give gluten free a try for a while.

  66. Hi…my good friend from Georgia wrote me about you and I just had to check you out!
    Your blog is inspiring…thank you!
    Ruth in Waukesha, WI
    Would like to take a hike with you anytime 🙂