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October 07 2011

Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Goes Primal

By Guest
125 Comments

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!

My name is Abe Wagner. I’m 31, 6’4” and 250 lbs. I pay my bills by fighting other large men in a cage in front of a crowd. My journey to the Primal Blueprint way of life was somewhat long and round about. I was originally introduced to the paleo diet concept through Crossfit. To say my understanding of the key concepts was flawed and incomplete would be an understatement. In retrospect, I was on what is commonly called the “fail-eo diet”. I was still trying to “stay low fat”…you know, for the health of my heart. Wow, I couldn’t have been more off! I was also getting the majority of the fat I was eating from nuts (read Omega-6). Needless to say it didn’t work out too well, and while my body composition had improved, I felt like crap all the time and had no energy, which eventually led me to declaring that the way of eating didn’t work.

A few months later, in December of 2010, I happened upon Mark’s Daily Apple and began reading. I decided to try that way of eating out again, but this time with a better understanding of how the Primal way of eating works and the roles and effects that different foods have. I have been eating this way since then, so I guess about 10 months. The results have been incredible!

From a health standpoint, for years I struggled with respiratory issues. I would literally spend the first half hour of every day producing mucus from my chest and have to stop between rounds of MMA training to spit crap out. I had tried everything: allergy medication, allergy shots, heart burn medication, acupuncture and homeopathic treatments. I had been to pulmonary specialists that could slightly improve the symptoms, but never give me 100% relief. I would be on antibiotics to clear up whatever infection there was in my chest and I would improve, but not get all the way better. And so I was literally on antibiotics every other month for 7-8 years. That’s no way to live. Now, knowing the role Omega-6 plays in inflammation on a cellular level, and given that I haven’t had any chest/mucus issues since switching to the Primal way of eating, it’s not surprising that my chest was chronically inflamed and always making mucus. I notice on days that I make exceptions to my diet (like maybe eating something fried in vegetable oil), the issues start to return and that’s all it takes to remind me that this is how I need to eat for the rest of my life. So Primal eating has literally kept me from having these chest issues for almost a year now. Mark’s analogy of “digging a hole so you can put a ladder in it to climb up to wash the basement window” really hits home for me when I think about all the medical treatment I received for the problem when all I had to do was stop eating processed vegetable oil.

Also, I had a case of eczema on my face that I had to use a prescription cream on twice a day to prevent it from getting all red and flaky. The active ingredient in said cream is an anti-inflammatory steroid. Again not surprisingly, this problem has cleared up now that I’m managing my inflammation on a cellular level by improving my O3/O6 ratio.

All that being said, where the rubber meets the road for me is athletic performance, after all its how I pay my bills. The better breathing from not being congested all the time went a long way to start with, but it’s my energy levels and recovery that have really benefited from a Primal Blueprint diet. My endurance and explosiveness are measurably improved. After a two hour training session, my first thought used to be “if I don’t eat in the next 10 minutes, I might die.” Now I feel pretty much like I did at the start of the work out except sweaty. My body has been converted to powering itself off of fat (and I always have access to the fat on my body) instead of having to carb-up every 3 hours. Unexpected bonus: when being powered on carbohydrate, your body only has energy while you’ve eaten carbohydrate. This means that while you sleep, your recovery is slowed due to lack of energy intake. Now while I sleep, my metabolic processes are still humming along on body fat and I’ve noticed my muscle recovery has shortened by about 50%. Not surprising when you consider I’ve now effectively went from recovering 16 hours a day to 24. Also, my body feels less sore and achy after a day of being banged around by other fighters. I attribute this also to management of inflammation.

My overall body composition has changed only slightly since I was in fairly good shape prior to making the change. I only lost 5 lbs of body weight, going from to 255 to 250, but I lost 4” off of my waist. Originally I didn’t know how that could even be possible, but now taking into account the inflammatory effects of grains on your stomach and intestines, it makes sense. My waist shrunk not because of fat loss, but because the chronic inflammation in my intestines was relieved and finally went down.

(After Abraham KO’d Tim Sylvia)

Something that didn’t work for me was trying to stay at a 30/30/40 ratio of macro nutrients. Getting 40% of your calories from carbohydrate is A LOT of broccoli and cauliflower when you are as big as I am and eat as much as I do. I was much more successful once I shifted more to about 65/30/15 and started consuming much more fat.

I know a lot of people try this diet out for weight loss purposes and that’s fine and good, but I eat this way because it makes me feel better. It lets me perform better. I hate that it’s a given in our society that to eat “healthy” your food has to taste bad and that to lose weight, you had to be hungry all the time. I eat nothing but delicious real food, lots of it, 6000 calories a day (give or take, since I don’t really count all that much anymore). I never really feel that super-hungry feeling that I used to. I don’t fade at the end of workouts the way I used to. And I can breathe normally for the first time in years. The Primal Blueprint has been a big part of all of that.

Thank you,

Abraham Wagner

(Full disclosure: Abraham’s story goes to show that anyone, including elite athletes, can benefit from going Primal. After Abraham sent in his success story I offered to sponsor him with the Primal Blueprint Platinum Package. In exchange he’s going to help me spread the word to the MMA community.)

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125 thoughts on “Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Goes Primal”

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  1. This story really hits home Abe. Thanks for sharing it. I have a new favorite fighter. 😉

    1. Likewise – great stuff Abe! Will most definitely be following your MMA journey from now on, best of luck.

      It’s especially impressive to hear how a primal approach can optimize performance even for an already-elite athlete.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Awesome to see such an accomplished athlete on Friday! I love the Fridays, it always gets me excited and focused to stick with paleo and not go to “faileo” diet on the weekend. Haha faileo! Questions for Abe:
    1. What are your carb sources?
    2. What is your pre training meal or pre fight meal like and how long before you fight?

    Thanks!

    1. My carb sources are typically veggies, I bought some purple sweet potatoes in bulk not long ago for really glycogen depleting workouts. Also, I suppliment pure maltodextrin (converts directly to glucose) with my whey protein in a 4:1 ratio for optimal recovery. I could use the potatoes here for glucose, but I’m usually thirsty at that point, so I prefer to drink the carbs.
      And I typically just eat normally before a fight, I eat my last “meal” about 4 hours out.

      1. You look like you just bit your enemy’s head off in the second to last picture. Freaking awesome.

        Living proof that there are still caveman warriors.

  3. I like reading the weight loss stories, I really do, but this is the stuff that I love to read. When I am recommending the Primal lifestyle to people they tend to say they are too active for low carb. I can’t get them to understand that fat is an excellent fuel source. Now I will use this for reference. This is very encouraging for me. Thanks.

    1. I agree with this poster! This has finally convinced my boyfriend that he can be strong and muscular AND get enough calories while trying out this primal stuff. Thanks for sharing, Abe!

  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing It’s amazing what inflammation can do. I hear you on feeling better! 🙂

  5. MDA needs more shirtless glamour pics of professional male athletes. Just saying.

    For me as well, while weight loss has been important, the improvements in my heath are what have really made it worthwhile. I too suffer from chest phlegmy-ness and Ive noticed its gotten WAY better since going primal. Still around a little bit, but now Im not clearing my throat literally all day long.

    Hearing that primal has brought a professional to better performance and form is inspiring even to us mortals! ;D Thank you for sharing!

  6. Awesome story! I’m glad to hear you found inflammation relief!
    (assuming my math is correct) I’m interested to hear how one eats 4000 calories a day in fat?? What foods exactly are on your menu?

    1. Abe,

      Would you share a typical day’s meals with us. Great to hear of a top tier athelete having such positive primal success!

        1. Abe,
          Can’t find the thread: can you post the link or search terms?

          Thanks!

    2. I was thinking about this, too. Though I suspect the actualy macronutrient breakdown is 65/35/5 since that equals 100. if he eats 6000kcal per day then that would be 433.33g from fat, 450g from protien and 75g from carbohydrate. Adding them all up together gave me 958.33 grams of food per day, 0.95833kg. 0.95833kg/2.2 gave me 2.1083lbs of food per day. I’m guessing coconut milk is big staple in the Abraham Wagner diet. Please correct me if I’m wrong since these are just back of the envolope calculations.

        1. Whoops. That was actually a typo. Thanks for clarifying. Still I reached 450g protien by taking 6000kcal*.30=1800kcal from protien. 1800kcal/4 = 450grams. Is this correct?

      1. Yeah, it was a type, sorry, its probably more like 65/25/15

        450 grams is way too many grams of protein. Sorry for the confusion.

    3. Lots of coconut and lots of butter. Its all very delicious.

  7. WOW- I noticed I no longer have to cough up phlegm in the morning; but hadn’t made the connection until now! Crazy

      1. I recently noticed the lack of phlegm in the morning too and figured it was allergies that had been causing it but inflammation makes sense, although I suppose allergies cause inflammation… maybe food allergies to grains? Anyways really glad it’s gone! and no more blowing my nose a million times before bed just so I can breathe!

  8. Abraham, you rock! I mean that in both senses.

    What an inspiration. The world needs more primal athletes. As an MMA fan, I look forward to watching you dominate your future opponents.

  9. “I know a lot of people try this diet out for weight loss purposes and that’s fine and good, but I eat this way because it makes me feel better.”

    I feel ya. Same here!

    Vegetable oils have been equally destructive and mucus forming for me. I have to stay away from them completely to keep inflammation down. Doesn’t matter how much fish oil I take to counteract it. That stuff is poison.

    Good job figuring that out. You look super hot, energetic, and fun!

    1. I’m totally with you here. I don’t have to lose weight, but I can’t believe how much better I feel energy wise. Nowhere near as tired as I was,

  10. What a great story Abraham, thanks for sharing!!

    I eat this diet to make me feel better, not for weight loss reasons as well. And a few months ago I increased my fat intake and now I have so much more energy!! I was happy to find the last thing I was missing. Other people may find it gross that I add spoonfuls of fat into every meal, but it’s what my body needs and it tastes delicious. It was fun hearing somebody else doing better with extra fats.

  11. Right on, Abe!

    I eat mostly primal and practice martial arts. I can totally attest to the combined efficacy of the two!

  12. When I say mostly primal. I guess I sometimes go back and forth between primal and paleo. And often people at my academy wonder how i can fight 18 to 20 hours into an intermittent fast. Ketosis, people. And I eat a huge fatty dinner of meat and veggies when I get home at night.

  13. Great story…and, although I am damn near old enough to be his Mother, let me say he is HOT! Tito WHO?????

  14. I was able to do a single unassisted chin-up AND a pull-up today for the first time in 8 years… do you guys think I am ready for THE OCTAGON???

    1. LOL…you certainly made me chuckle! Yeah, I am still working on the unassisted pull-up 😉

      1. I’m working on reverse chin ups and pull ups.

        I made it to 4.

        Yeah, I’m uber.

  15. As someone who watches MMA quite a lot, I’ve often wondered if any of the fighters follow a primal/paleo diet.

  16. OMG now it makes sense why I lost 7.5 pounds in 2 weeks and went down 2 pants sizes. The inflammation is gone! Thanks for such an insightful and well explained story. I’m very new to Primal way of life and loving it! I love MMA and I look forward to seeing you fight 🙂

  17. Abe – you rock…and are a rock!! LOL… So glad to hear about how much healthier you are now! Good luck in the cage!! 🙂

  18. OMG I am swooning. And I have a new favourite fighter. Way to go Abe

  19. If Abe spreads the Primal Blueprint into the MMA community, his competition may be healthier but they’ll also be more difficult for Abe to defeat.

    1. A true sportsman looks for ways to excel even his toughest opponents, not to keep them weak so he doesn’t have to compete!

      I may have to start following MMA just to root you on, Abe. Grok on!

  20. Fridays rock so hard. I love how primal diets affect everyone in a different, yet awesome way. It’s great to see someone who is “there” make huge strides in their health like you did, Abe. Just another reminder that just because you look good, it doesn’t mean you feel good. Thanks so much for sharing, now I have a good reason to look out for a new fighter 🙂

  21. Great story! I’m 6’5″ and fairly athletic (no MMA Fighter though). Since I took to full on primal eating, I can’t seem to stop losing weight. I’ve always been a hard-gainer, but I’m practically back to my high-school (read: bean-pole) weight. Feeling great and enjoying the benefits of primal eating and living, but I sure would like to put a few pounds of muscle back on. Here’s another hope that Abe can share some more specific info about the sort of foods he typically eats.

    1. I think the main thing is intaking enough energy thru fat. There’s a lot of societal programming that make us tenative about it, but you gotta get over that. Also, intaking a carb source that assimilates quickly into blood sugar immediately after a workout. In theory, your insulin response should be even more sensitive now that you’re primal and you shoul dget more bang for your buck from this process.

  22. “I know a lot of people try this diet out for weight loss purposes and that’s fine and good, but I eat this way because it makes me feel better. It lets me perform better.”

    Agree completely. My athletic performance is night and day with the PB. And I’m with everyone above…new favorite fighter. Congrats!

  23. Just like everyone else, I always love these Friday stories. I feel fired up for the weekend now! haha

    I’m especially pleased to see an MMA fighter eating primal to fuel off fat. Even in a lot of the paleo blogs/sites/forums around, you see people saying that you HAVE to fuel up on more paleo carbs to be that active… but this just goes to show that it isn’t always that way.

    1. I agree, once you’ve replenished your glycogen reserves, there’s really no need for the excess carbohydrates.

  24. Great story, beautiful pictures. Congratulations on getting healthier.

    I’m also happy to see a non-weightloss story – too many folks think this is a diet instead of a healthy lifestyle. While I don’t look different from when I started Primal 10 months ago, being thin, I have a longer and longer list of benefits I’ve reaped from this lifestyle change. Grok on!

  25. Glad to read a success story about a professional athlete! My best friend is big into cage fighting – I will send her the link!

    Thanks for helping us spread the primal word!

  26. Would love to know a sample daily diet..I too try to get that many calories a day.. thanks and great work!

  27. ya he’s hot & all, but I just love the happier, more confident look in his face in those 2 “after” pics. A look that says “HA! I figured it out! You want some of this?”

  28. Look at those legs! I like the short shorts more. 250 pounds of pure YUM.

  29. As someone that Abe beats up on a weekly basis, I’ve seen these results first hand. I can attest to the positive change in his respiratory function and that he doesn’t really inhibit his intake in terms of “gotta count this calorie and that.”

    A lot of what he’s preached, I’ve adopted myself (which good results). I’m sure I’ll eventually cross over entirely.

    1. Allen!!! Thats for corroborating my story with first hand observation!!!

  30. ” Unexpected bonus: when being powered on carbohydrate, your body only has energy while you’ve eaten carbohydrate. This means that while you sleep, your recovery is slowed due to lack of energy intake. Now while I sleep, my metabolic processes are still humming along on body fat and I’ve noticed my muscle recovery has shortened by about 50%. ”

    That’s not true. People who eat CHO can also burn fat, and while they are asleep, the body switches to fat burning.

    I’m all for success stories but just because somethigng worked for you doesn’t make you an expert on it, and plain ol’ physiology contradicts this one.

    1. Much of the literature around lifting and recovery insists that you eat first thing, right away because you body has been starving and you need to get it nutrients ASAP. I don’t feel this way anymore, and I have noticed a marked increase in my recovery. I’m not trying to spread bad info, I guess it made sense to me on an intuitive level. Sorry for any mistake I may have made.

      1. I agree with the literature saying eat CHO after a workout for recovery. If you feel like your muscles are recovering faster, they probably are. It’s the part about people who “eat cho” having slowed nighttime metabolisms with which I’m quibbling.

        You’ve had success with Primal and that is awesome; your pics look great. I’m an athlete too (Triathlon) with an exercise phys degree and that’s why I’m picky about the metabolic stuff 🙂

        Best of luck in your fights!

    2. People who eat mainly CHO may still have fat burning mitochondria, but they might not have as many as someone who forced his cells use fat as a primary fuel source…

  31. Love this! I’m no MMA fighter, but I am slowly trying to get a black belt in kung fu. I’m still adapting to primal and figuring out how to fuel my workouts, but I look forward to the day it amps up my performance on the mat. 🙂

  32. Congratulations, Abe! Isn’t it great when your body finally starts working the way it should? It’s amazing that we can define so much dysfunction as “normal” (or, worse, as a medication deficiency).

    Stop by gnolls.org anytime…I follow MMA, and have a meaningful contingent of MMA trainers, trainees, and fans among my readers.

    JS

  33. Hi Abe. I’ve been trying to follow a ratio similar to yours 60/30/10. My trouble is to eat enough calories, my target is around 4k.

    How to you menage to get 6k!? Specially 3k+ form fats! What are your fat sources? Wich amount?

    Could you please share a sample of a daily diet?

    Long live to you!

    Best regards,

    Daniel

  34. This is another one of those success stories where I think we lesser mortals would have been impressed by the “before” picture, but … wow! Abe, in your “after” shots you just about glow in the dark! Congratulations! (and I think this old lady has a new pin-up, too!)

  35. *ahem* I think we need more muscle-man stories like this. With photos. Lots.

    1. …photos with short shorts! As a public service announcement, I wish he would post how he gets his legs so big and juicy. I’m sick of seeing dudes at the gym with big upper bodies and ridiculous chicken legs. Please, guys! Big leg, FTW!

    2. I totally agree, it’d be hard to evaluate the results without plenty of photos like these…sorry, what were you saying?…..

      Seriously, great news about the inflammation/mucus issues improving with this way of eating, I’m completely sold on it. No more bloat!

  36. Great read Abe and I am completely amazed that you can take in that much food. Do you take in those 6000 calories in just three meals? Can you give us just one of your typical meals so we can get an idea of how you eat and more importantly balance your omega ratios?

  37. Great story. I’m sending this to my MMA-fighter wife for her to share with everyone at her studio.

    I’ve been eating Primally for about 3-4 months now, and I’m still dealing with a lot of congestion, especially in the mornings and at night. What’s the biggest cause of this typically? O3/O6 ratio? Too much dairy? Poor quality of otherwise okay Primal fare?

    I’d love to lick this head and chest congestion once and for all! Thanks for any feedback anyone has.

    1. Make sure you’re not getting trans fats in your 20%. I backslid a bit and was eating a lot of fries because I found a place that didn’t drop breaded things in the fry-o-lator. (I am gluten intolerant.) Big mistake. I started getting wicked congestion and migraines.

      A friend who used to work food service revealed to me that many places use “Lo-Melt” which is partially hydrogenated corn oil. I.e. inflammatory trans fats.

      If your 20% includes any kind of pastry, I also happen to know from bakery insiders that unless you made it yourself it most likely contains trans fats for greater shelf life. STAY AWAY.

      1. One more horror story–a friend of mine who is a vet had some peanut butter and it made her feel funny, so she put it aside and asked me what I thought when I came over to visit. Her first theory was maybe it was the sugar or omega 6? Well, we went over the ingredient list a couple of times and I finally caught in very small print that it contained hydrogenated vegetable oil. IN PEANUT BUTTER. The label said “0 Trans fat” because it was under the 1 gram per serving USDA limit. It was not trans-fat free.

        Be careful out there, guys.

        1. Keep in mind that the kind of natural trans fat in meat is not the enemy; it seems to have no negative health effects…
          (If I remember correctly the only natural trans fat is conjugated linoleic acid or its precursors… even beef brains have trans fat in them, in addition to having a whole bunch of brain-healthy cholesterol)

  38. Its been asked several times what a day might look like for me, so I made a thread in the Paleo for Athletes section of the forum.

  39. Last comment from me on the hottness factor: I just hit “like” on his Facebook fan page! Now I can see those photos whenever I want!
    Now, back to the thread and ‘normal’ folks commenting on the success story…. 😉

  40. GREAT STORY! Wonderful to see the different reasons this lifestyle attracts and pays off for different folk.

    Hey Mark… I offered my story too. If you sponsor ME with the Primal Blueprint Platinum Package, I’ll spread your word into every nook and cranny I can find! DEAL? ;-p

  41. I would have waited until retirement to post this. You don’t want your opponents to know what’s giving you the edge.

  42. this might get my hubby on board… he has a lot of the chest congestion in the AM too.

  43. Loved seeing the Primal Blueprint logo on your shorts last weekend in the Bellator Fighting Championships. Thought you had Prindle on the ropes! Good luck in your future fight Abe.

  44. Thanks Abe for sharing your story. I came to the primal via my hubby who was just insistent that we try something to improve the way we were living. I knew we both had weight to lose, but I never wanted the weight loss to be the main part of the story. I think that you show exactly how and why the Primal lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle and not a diet. Congrats on feeling better and we will definitely keep an eye out for you in the octagon.

  45. Wow that’s a great story and the pictures are totally hot! As an out of shape overweight beginner to this way of living I am blown away.

  46. I’ve only been eating Primal for 7 weeks & the results have been amazing. Less weight, more energy & lower blood pressure. I love reading these success stories!

  47. Great to read how this way of eating cleared up many of your health problems. And very nice pics! Good to see professional shots rather than shots people take of themselves in the bathroom! 🙂
    This way of eating and living helps in weight loss and/or maintenance and so much more. This is why I try to get my family and friends to follow this and give up grains, but of course they do not trying to hear that! 🙁

  48. Holy crap! I thought the “before” picture looked hot. Abe, you are an inspiration. This is absolutely awesome. 😀

  49. Great story. I was glad to see an example of 65% calories from fat…yet being so lean. Like Abe, I sometimes come close to wavering and getting the fat down to 30% to get lean quicker…but find that it’s impossible to get the calories that way.

    “Fail-eo” diet…great term.

  50. That’s great to hear he’ll be spreading the word to the mma community. I’ve seen on countdown shows countless times fighters carb loading for their fights.

  51. I didn’t think I was at all interested in MMA…but, Rowr! Great story and pics.

  52. Thanks for sharing your story Abe. It’s great that following the Primal thing has made such a big difference to your health.
    I just showed your photos to my husband, with a couple of complimentary comments naturally – he’s off to cook an omelette for breakfast & is digging out the weights from the garage!!! Inspired!

  53. Now the Primal Community has an official bodyguard!!!!!!!

  54. Awesome story! I have a sudden interest in MMA… lol =) when’s your next fight?

  55. I used to take Kempo and clearly remember afterwards coming home and eating dinner(Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, 2 servings of course) and then right before bed eating a salad bowl (not the servings bowls but the big giant bowl you make the salad in to server to other people) sized serving of Frosted Flakes and then would go to bed. Ahh being a teenager.

    I think why maybe eating Primal may be a hard sell to people that are relatively healthy and already in shape (I swear a lot of people on this site have some weird chronic problems and reactions to food) is because your saying people NEED to eat this way but they are like “why do I need to eat this way, I’m fine.” Plus what purpose does it serve their life at the moment? I mean I have any weird mucous or have panic attacks and pass out if I eat cupcake at a office baby shower or any pains that weren’t cause by some sort of blunt force trauma like crushing my skull on the roof of the entrance to the big slide at the playground because my adult body doesn’t need to be on it. I don’t run long distances and do crazy functional exercises only because I’m lazy and don’t want to but I’ve always been able to carry 10 bags of groceries filled with cans, jugs, bottled waters and heads of cabbage up a 3 floor walk-up up whilst carrying child, that was BEFORE I ever started BBing.

    I can still do my job without being Primal. I can still mother my children and run my household without being primal. I almost never go to the dentist and when I do and expect then to find 10,000 cavities they just say, you have nice teeth, and scold me about getting cleanings.

    And then of those people there are the ones that don’t necessarily want to be “ripped and lean” or even thin. In my circles people like booty and hips and boobies(childbirth took everything I had and deflated it so I personally said what the hell, I might as well get rid of it entirely) In a lot of the cultures that are lauded on this site by folks that still eat primal and live primal, you’ll notice a lot of the women(and some of the men) aren’t really super thin or lean. Some of them got lots and lots of junk in the trunk and jiggle going on in the front.

    It easier to attract already overweight or people riddled with health problems. I guess my biliary issues could have caused by my SA(black)D and the massive amounts of food I liked to consume but to be honest most of that seems to stem from the fact I wasn’t put together quite right in the womb (bicornuate uterus, dual urinary tract, and a gallbladder that was dead on arrival).

    And then to deny these people things like banana splits, waffles with syrup, cookies, cakes, oatmeal with sugar, cinnamon and raisins drowning in butter, rice, beans, corn??? Corn?? They are going to say, why the hell would I torture myself? I’m not fat, overweight and sick!

    But who knows, as I type this I could be developing breast cancer.

    1. “In my circles people like booty and hips and boobies”

      Real women have curves. Excess adipose tissue is quite a different matter.

  56. Great story – thanks for sharing (and posting Mark)! I’m still fighting off the phlegm too, but it’s getting better.
    My biggest problem is recovery – eating enough and well and still getting to sleep after. Thanks for sharing all the info & best of success in the ring!

  57. A bit of a stretch to attribute your waist shrinkage to o-6 inflammation. Maybe just too much roughage(gas/bulk) and irritation but inflammation from O-6?? Are you suggesting you had enteritis???

    Sounds too much like bro-science.

    Regardless, great story and congrats!

    1. I guess maybe I wasn’t clear in that I was attributing the waist line shrink to a combination of O6 issues (cellular level) and grain intake (direct irritation). Grains and other legumes that are forbidden when eating primally are known intestinal irritants. Swelling and inflamation is a common response to irritation. Removing the irritant should theoretically relieve the inflamation.
      Thanks bro.

  58. Congrats Abe! I may start watching MMA purely due to a fellow primal, just sayin’!

  59. It’s funny, I literally have EXACTLY the same issues, as far as Exzcema on the face and upper respiratory infections.
    I also see a marked improvement when my paleo is on point.
    He doesnt mention any sleep issues, but as Mark emphasizes, I also see that when my sleep is good, alot of the respiratory stuff goes away.

    Great success story. This kind of performance enhancement from a top level athlete (along with Novak Jokavic, check it out if you don’t know) is very powerful stuff to convince people to get on an evolutionarily sound lifestyle.

  60. Great story, Abe. Looks like I need to tweak my macros as well. I am pooped most of the day and not sleeping well. I’m not getting the recovery I need after my workouts all the time either. Thanks for re-igniting my hope in fats. I likely was relying too much on meat and nuts and not enough on other fat sources and vegetables. All the best.

  61. Like Abe I went primal about 10 months ago. One thing that really struck me like it did Abe was that my muscles didn’t feel sore for days anymore after a hard workout. I feel less sore now after a hard workout than I did in my early 20’s when I trained football (soccer for you americans ) 4-5 times a week loaded with carbs from pasta and whatnot.

    Think I’ll have to follow some MMA now and check out Abe’s progress.

    Grok on from Sweden!

    1. I am speechless…So good-looking man- before and after paleo! There is a tennis player- Jokovich who also felt great after moving to paleo!

      1. I know he went gluten free but I’m not sure if he went Paleo. Those are not exactly the same…

  62. I am 21 years old, an MMA fighter and an Oyama Karate us open Kumite champion. that is me in my avatar. I have been put on anti biotics mostly z pack and biaxin for respiratory infections every other month for as long as I can remember now, never fully getting rid of whatever I have had. i have been completely OCD about eating pro biotic and anti oxidant as to combat these terrible anti biotics i HAVE to take to function. It has been incredibly discouraging not to be able to fully commit to my martial arts the way I have wanted to because of getting sick all the time. it is also emberassing and debilitating, i am also a male model and just recently shot for a very big campaign.. once again starting to get sick in my lungs right before it, went to the doc at this point i just say gimme a z pack… so this time around though my body i think really had enough of it. my glands and lymph nodes had become swollen and it was scary, but i tried to ignore it and shot for the campaign.. i had also just found out about paleo and primal blueprint and commited to it in hopes it might help my lungs then when i got home, the swelling of the lymph nodes and glands got worse (i do not blame paleo in any way for this. in all honestly i naturally ate paleo pretty much just cut out any dairy and grains).. the doctors thought i may have lung cancer or hodgkins lymphoma it was very scary. thank god no cancers, it is a suspected allergy triggered asthma i have had my whole life (or something, i have to go to the allergy doctor now) i am eating 100% paleo now and after such a scare there is no question of self control etc that is easy for me, i am taking EPA-DHA=2:1 ratio 400 mg epa 200 mg DHA morning and night, a multi vitamin in the morning and 1000 mg flax seed oil 3x a day. ZMA before bed. Also for right now the doctor has me taking allegra and drinking as much water as possible till we figure out exactly what is wrong with me. the swelling has started going down in my glands and lymph nodes finally. My question if anyone can help is basically, WHAT ELSE CAN I BE DOING?? AM I TAKING THE CORRECT FISH OILS? SHOULD I STOP FLAX SEED OILS?. my dream my whole life has been to train in a mountain in solitude for months like masutatsu oyama had done and musashi miyamoto, i am a very spiritual person and accept mother nature as my god and do the best i can to not take these anti biotics but i get so sick it is unavoidable? up till now i have not been able to go train in the mountains in the winter because i always get too sick, i would definitely die of pneumonia. so if anyone has any tips, please. let me know.

    1. flaxseed has a low conversion rate to usable Omega-3, so I hope you’re not spending too much money on that.

      inflammation from food intolerances, if that is what you have, are a bit annoying; you could have an autoimmune reaction to just about anything so you need to get medically tested for allergies, even the unusual ones just in case…

      But it looks like you’re on the right track already…

      anti-oxidant supplements are a bit overrated and are either not able to function properly in your body or can cause slowed muscle growth and advanced aging by protecting damaged mitochondria that should have been autophaged… but that’s another story….

  63. my email is j.caveronin@gmail.com if anyone can personally help me, im really starting to go crazy now have been stuck in my house for weeks now and need to get healthy again.

  64. just something to keep in mind

    carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram

    fats = 9 calories per gram

    Not only is it a long lasting fuel source, but it provides you with over twice the amount of energy per gram.

  65. Great post Abe, apart from the obvious great physic I great to hear the going all out primal has improved your health so much.

    It’s so easy to think you are eating primal when the odd nasty foods start to creep in.

    Best wishes

    Kim

  66. I love this!! While seeing fat loss results is sensational, hearing about health improvements is seriously awesome! Thanks for sharing!! 😀

  67. Great story. I have also struggled with congestion, even after avoiding allergic foods.

    I will look closer at nuts and other O6 oils.

    Question regarding Omega 6 oils. I usually read about them being inflammatory, but if you look up olive oil, avocado oil in a nutrition data base that scores inflammation, both of these have very high anti-inflammatory scores. Yet coconut oil shows to be pro-inflammatory.

    I am looking to reduce joint and muscle pain along with loose weight, so I am trying to figure out which oils to avoid, and which to include. Thanks for any responses on this.

    Again, great inspiring story, it helps to see that pro-athletes also struggle with health sometimes like the rest of us, good job in being persistant to figure it out!

  68. You look awesome. As a competitive martial artist, this story was great to read. I’m told even by my instructors that I’m not eating the right things to be strong and energetic, as they espouse a traditional Chinese diet. People tell me that I don’t need to lose weight and ask why I’m on a diet – they don’t understand that it’s not a diet but a lifestyle and we eat this way to live well and fight hard. I’d rather have the steak and veggies than the white rice filler!

    Grok on brother!

  69. I immediately recognized you from The Ultimate Fighter tv show. Way to go and glad you got your health in order.

  70. What’s up every one, here every one is sharing these know-how, therefore it’s fastidious to read this web site, and I used to visit this blog all the time.

  71. The fact that your eczema got better is amazing. I actually went through the same thing on my hands. If I eat anything fried in vegetable oil, pasteurized milk (I haven’t tried raw milk actually), or grains, my hands disintegrate into a flakey blistered mess. This is the only website that I have come across that told the stories of people who have gotten rid of their eczema.