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December 31 2018

Primal Health Chef: Using Food For Health

By Mark Sisson
23 Comments

It’s Monday, 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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I’m a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation. I have about 20 years of experience in the field.

During my training as a Chef and years working in kitchens for all kinds of outlets (Restaurants, Hotels, Employee Cafeterias, Dining Services of Universities), I learned and then implemented the knowledge that a balanced nutritional plate is supposed to have 3 components: a protein, a vegetable and a starch, and how to control the amount of fat used to produce this plate.

I moved from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Columbus, Ohio, USA, to finish my Chef training. The possibilities of success here were much better, so my wife and I decided to make it our place to grow our family.

After several years working in a great restaurant, I started to have episodes of headaches that would end with me throwing up and having to leave work. This would happen at least once a week. I ended up going to the doctor and found out that I had very high blood pressure (180/150 mm Hg), so the doctor started me on BP medicine. My BP was under control for several years until one of my yearly visits to the doctor. After my vital signs were taken and the blood work came back, the doctor told me that he needed to increase my BP medication and that I had become pre-diabetic. He said that in the next visit he would probably have to prescribe some diabetes medicine to me. I refused to believe that I was becoming a diabetic person and have never been very friendly to take drugs, so I asked the doctor if I had any other ways to turn this around. His answer was that all of this was hereditary and there was nothing else I could do about it.

I decided to look for a second opinion. I was lucky to find a functional doctor. Before the visit, there was a questionnaire. I remember that one of the questions was something like “write down what your goal is for when you retire.” That made me realize that I really wanted to be able to see my kids graduate from college, get married, have kids, and be around when my grandkids graduate from college. Considering that my kids were still in elementary school at this time, I had to stay healthy for a long time.

This new doctor presented me with an elimination diet that I started the same day I was inspired by the question from the questionnaire. At the end of my visits I was presented with the Paleo Lifestyle, which (without knowing) I always had a sense was the right thing to do. After about a year, I was almost out of the BP medicine and had lost 30 lbs. I also never had to talk about diabetes as my blood work was pretty good—until I left a job of 7 years and let myself go back on eating grains and sugars while looking for a new job. When I went back to the doctor for my yearly check up, my blood work results came back as the worst I ever had. It only took 6 months to reverse all the good this lifestyle has done on myself. I realized that I had done wrong, and started back with even a stronger belief that the right thing was to avoid all grains, legumes and sugars. After 3 months my blood work was back to almost perfect.

About this time I started listening to the Primal Blueprint Podcast (it was sometime before the launch of The Keto Reset Diet. I had read The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat from Robb Wolf, but had never read anything from Mark Sisson. I really liked Mark’s approach and also liked the podcast. Something about it started making me think about wanting to help others to improve their health, so after doing some research on the different coaching programs that existed at that time, not too many, I decided that the Primal Health Coach Institute was the best option. Now I’m a certified PHC. (You can check out my PHC profile here.) So far I had only one client that requested a menu with easy recipes to be able to follow the program.

As I’m a Chef who has been training young students in University environments as new kitchen employees—and being aware that most people in the States don’t know how to cook and are afraid to be in their kitchens—I decided that my best option is to help people to be re-introduced to their kitchens, creating simple recipes and teaching them how to cook.

As we believe that 80% of our health is what we eat I strongly believe that everyone needs to learn the kitchen basics to be able to cook and better understand how to make special requests in restaurants when eating out, eventually making an educated decision when picking a restaurant.

My motto is:
Food for Health
Because you are worth it

I still love cooking and I have a project that is on the final stages of a loan application to build a Primal Food Truck in Columbus Ohio. I’m hoping to have it ready for Spring 2019 to start the Food Truck season here in Columbus. The name will be PH Chef, PH has to do with Primal Health and also to ph balance as I relate that to the balance food gives you when you eat right.

I’m sharing with you the menu that I’m planning to start with, probably with some changes as I have time to keep playing with food.

Appetizer

Baked Egg on Avocado
Pork Belly and Avocado Dressing

Salad

Romaine Heart
Big Ass Salad
Jicama Slaw

Proteins (all grass-fed, pasture-raised or wild-caught)

Kombucha Smoked Pulled Pork
Pulled Braised Beef
Pulled Roasted Chicken
Baked Sockeye Salmon

Sides

Braised Red Cabbage
Sweet Potato Hash
Smashed Cauliflower
Pico
Buttered Green Asparagus

Liquids

Mate and Hibiscus Kombucha
Mate Cocido
Bone Broth
Fresh Water

My website is https://www.theprimalhealthchef.com/.

Joel Linik

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23 thoughts on “Primal Health Chef: Using Food For Health”

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  1. Hi Joel, Great story and it is important work that you are making it your mission to enable people be able to cook simple and nourishing foods for themselves. Good luck with the food truck…when you expand, keep Boston on the list. Happy New Year.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your story and I love the food truck plan! Happy New year!

  3. Great menu options and think you could do hammer curls with that hunk of meat!

    Continued success in your journey. The 80% sounds about right.

    Happy New Year to my fellow Primates! Minus 40 here with windchill, crawling back in my cave!

    1. Thanks
      Follow me on Instagram to see how I curl Matambre
      Stay warm

    2. Hey Spider,

      +40 C and sweltering here in sunny Sydney 🙂

      Happy New Year everyone!

      Great success story Joel – love the food truck idea!

  4. hi Joel

    I am sold, tell me when your truck will come here to Miami or nearby 🙂

    Very inspiring story, grok on !

    1. Ok
      I go down there every summer
      I’ll try to make it with the FT next winter

      1. Deal!
        You are invited to a sledgehammer session in Miami Beach. This is the plan:
        – sledgehammer session (choose from 12,16, 20lbs sledgehammers)
        – high quality beers (IPA preferred) in the beach
        – FT session 🙂
        (feel free to change the plan)

  5. Nice story Joel. ~8 years ago, I have transformed my eating habits at the blink of an eye and never looked back (I went full carnivore a year ago). Now I need to get moving and follow your steps by applying my passion to be a nutritional coac and/or provide customized meals to those challenged in the kitchen or suffering from food allergies. Happy new year everyone.

  6. It’s a bummer you can’t drive your food truck to Hawaii. That menu looks divine. Kombucha smoked pulled pork sounds amazing! I wish I learned more practical things in high school like how to cook…and not in a home economics kind of way (boil water, add noodles!). Forget dissecting poor frogs in formaldehyde–let’s learn how to prepare healthy food instead. Now 20 years after high school I’m still sort of making it up as I go along!

  7. Come to mansfield. Just an hour drive. The Phoenix Brewery has food trucks on days they have live bands. Im sure you would be a hit wuth the Mamsfield meateaters!

  8. I live in Columbus and will be swinging by when you open up. Good luck, and looking forward to eating your food!

  9. What a transformation! You look 10 years younger and you looked jacked! Congratulations and best wishes with your food truck.

  10. Rock on, Joel! You look great! Those young Buckeyes in your area are lucky to have you!
    You do know where the tailgate parties start, right?

  11. This sounds great, Joel! Were I in CO, I’d buy from your truck! I agree with you completely that if people could do some basic cooking, they would be eating better. I am hoping to do a cooking club at the local high school once I retire.
    And is that a set of pork ribs?? Yum!

  12. Primal Food Truck sounds like an awesome idea!!! Good luck. My paleo journey is forging a new career as well. From Occupational Therapist to Health Coach. Read about it at mylittlebluekayak.com.