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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 18 2012

Rebel Musician Goes Primal After Years of Hard Living

By Mark Sisson
192 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!

Dear Mark,

Here follows a detailed timeline of how I came across MDA and your book The Primal Blueprint along with more details about my health history:

I was born in Houston, Texas and adopted by a family of Czech origin. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia as a kid. I don’t so much buy into that diagnosis. I think I was just bored and constrained within the typical public school system. However, unbeknownst to me at the time, the breads, kolaches, pastries and potatoes that were so prevalent in my mother’s native food were spiking my blood pressure to the moon.

I was always involved in gymnastics, competitive swimming, baseball and basketball as a child, so I was never really overweight. Since I was adopted, my mother, who is very wise, took the time to cook differently for me and I ate a lot of seafood and vegetables growing up.

When I got to college I started eating out a lot and since I was physically active and involved in Jeet Kun Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu I was always in relatively good shape. However, a few pounds a year adds up after twenty years, and at the age of forty I found myself creeping up on the scale to 240 pounds. I am 6’2” so I was able to hide it fairly well with a big frame, but I felt sluggish. I was living a musician lifestyle and waking up every day at 11 AM.

I have a good friend who is authentic and real. I went to see him in Vegas, and the minute I walked in his door he told me I didn’t look good with three chins and I would never attract a decent woman fat. He has a way with words and I decided to take control of my life and my fitness. My friend and his wife had lost forty pounds a piece utilizing the Atkins diet. I understand enough about psychology to realize that I could simply model their behavior and achieve similar results.

I did and I lost a lot of weight and I felt a lot better. However, I found the shakes and the bars that had the fake sugar in them to taste very repulsive. I believe how you do anything is how you do everything. I have dedicated my life to music and consider it a fine art. I try to make all my relationships a masterpiece and consider friendship a fine art. I was happy with the results of the Atkins approach, but found many of the meals and supplementation boring, and far from fine art when it comes to cuisine.

I have a lot of friends who are foodies and gourmet chefs and I knew there had to be a better way. One night I Googled “no carb recipes” and MDA popped up in my search. I was hooked from the front page and once I started taking a look at the recipes my mouth began to water. Real food in its natural state, no strange ingredients, nothing in a box or can – I was hooked.

I was using Evernote at the time and I copied recipe after recipe from your site. I fell in love with eggs all over again. I had such misinformation about eggs. You mentioned on your site how every grandmother who lived to a ripe old age had that can of bacon fat on top of her stove that she cooked everything in. Mark, that was my grandmother Sophie Slansky. I loved all her food as a kid and she grew up on farm.

Your site elegantly and with fortitude debunked every foolish myth there was about food. Fat, including animal fat, is essential to our well-being, and you have the moxie and the courage to step out on the edge and challenge all of these myths.

The number one thing I learned from MDA and that I encourage everyone who wants to get lean and mean with a great low body-fat percentage is to understand this: 90% of all body composition begins with what you put in your mouth. You could join all the gyms in the world, buy every ab machine, personal trainer and run thirty miles a day and never have the body composition of someone who adheres to the aforementioned principle.

Since I started the Primal approach I have woken up every day for the last two years at 5:30 in the morning. I crave my fennel and dill omelet I learned from you. I crave poached eggs, I look forward to breakfast. I honestly in the deepest depths of my soul can not imagine how anyone could convince me that they honestly crave a bowl of oatmeal or Captain Crunch.

The differences I have seen are incredible. All my friends tell me I look fifteen years younger. It’s completely revived my music career as a performer. There aren’t that many fat rock stars. I can see my abs for the first time since I was fourteen years young. I can’t believe how much I enjoy what I eat. A typical day for me might be a vegetable omelet for breakfast, grilled chicken wings with scrumptious crispy skin for lunch along with a side of celery and real blue cheese, then at dinner a prime dry aged rib-eye with cauliflower mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, a glass or three of Cabernet, and a piece of 85% cocoa chocolate.

I feel completely satiated and content after every meal.

Here is a video I made featuring me preparing my Primal Sushi Rolls, which are really not sushi at all. They are made with beef and asparagus. They are always a huge hit at parties!

Your post about drinking ten to twelve big glasses of water a day being ridiculous was spot on as well. I was drinking way too much water before I found your site.

This is the greatest thing that drew a rebel musician like myself to your site. Just about everything on MDA is counterintuitive. I found that to be where the truth lies these days you have to seek it out. That food pyramid they stuffed down our throats all those years is a complete joke.

I also want to note that Adelulf – my beloved, non neutered, all black male German Shepherd – eats Primal as well. Every morning I walk out into the yard and give him two fresh eggs in the shell. I set them down in the yard and it’s like Easter. Even as a puppy he knew what to do. He carefully picks up the egg, puts it in his mouth, takes it where he wants, pokes a hole in the shell with his canines and slurps up every last drop of both eggs. He eats raw chicken with the bones, turkey necks, liver, kidneys, and raw beef. His teeth are completely white, and his coat incredibly shiny. If I had a dollar for every so called animal lover, dog expert and veterinarian who told me my dog is going to die from salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs and choke on the raw bones I would be retired on a beach in Hawaii right now drinking margaritas. Here’s a picture of me and my dog where I landed at about twelve to thirteen percent body fat.

Thanks Mark. Pardon the long email, but I have a lot of deep appreciation for what you are doing.

All the best and Grok on, Mark.

Eric

Check out Erik’s website EricKeyes.com and his music video of an original song titled “Words of a Song“.

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192 thoughts on “Rebel Musician Goes Primal After Years of Hard Living”

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  1. Rock on Erik!

    Great story and I love that your dog is on board with your new lifestyle too. My pitbull is also a big MDA fan 🙂

    Oh and can I come round to yours for dinner – sushi rolls? cauliflower mash with steak? YES PLEASE 🙂

  2. I always look forward to Friday testimonials. Congrats, Eric! The beef sushi looks really tasty, too.

  3. Lol, I laughed at you commenting that we never see skinny rock stars, since I couldnt help but think that they’re keeping themselves skinny through starvation and drugs. 😉 You are way more legit than they are! Also your description of how your dog eats eggs was awesome and adorable ^_^

    1. Dammit, i meant we never see FAT rockstars. Sorry I was just overwhelmed by your progress all i could think was skinny!

      1. That’s true about those skinny rock stars doing it through drugs and starvation and cigarettes. They can have all that, I will stick to The Primal Blueprint 🙂

        Anyway those skinny rock stars legs look like parentheses and don’t get me started on skinny jeans

        1. Skinny jeans are a total turn off. I mean, I always wonder where the men who wear them store everything. Probably not the effect they had in mind.

  4. Wow, WHAT a story! There’s so much awesomeness here I’m not sure where to start…but what a great straight-shooting friend you’ve got! And “how you do anything is how you do everything.” And how primal has pumped life into your body AND your music career.

    Well done, Eric!

  5. Eric, wonderful story and it’s always good to hear about Paleo turning people from good to great! Animals too.

    I’m going to make your sushi rolls soon!

    Thanks for sharing

  6. DAYUM, Eric! Beautiful!

    And I totally relate to the need to make your mealtime an art. Love this: “I honestly in the deepest depths of my soul can not imagine how anyone could convince me that they honestly crave a bowl of oatmeal or Captain Crunch.”

  7. Great story! I love that your whole family (aka dog) is on board with you. I can’t image eating all this healthy food and then watching my dog suffer with puppy chow. The music industry needs great role models like you. I only wish your video had your performance in it 🙂

  8. really cool sushi rolls, I can’t wait to make them. great story. thanks for sharing.

    1. oh yeah. awesome dog! i’ve got two primal dogs myself. though I admit, I use primal dog food. I’ve given them the occassional raw egg here and there, but I’m not so bold to use raw meats.

      1. What do you give your dog as ‘primal dog food’? I have been thinking about the ‘good quality’ (read more expensive brand) but commercial dog food my dog gets -and feeling worried. Since going primal myself, I have given my dog less commercial chow and more other stuff (raw and cooked liver, bacon rinds, meat, raw and cooked eggs, fish skins – plus veggies, carrot peels, whole carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. I give her a fish oil capsule now and again)

        I read about raw feeding your dog, but it seemed a bit messy and complicated. Is there something in between giving a whole, raw, unplucked chicken and grain rich dog kibbles from the supermarket?

        I haven’t tried giving the raw egg in the shell. Sounds fun to watch!

        1. We fed our Doberman a raw meaty bones (RMB) diet for years and she had superior health. It isn’t as hard as people think. You just go buy whatever meat is a good deal at the moment. Give to dog. Repeat as needed. Our girl ate chicken quarters, fresh fish, rabbit, turkey legs, eggs, pretty much anything. Raw liver was a favorite, but she drew the line at kidney.

          Still, if that is too much work, it is very easy to get a grain-free kibble. In fact, I think all dogs should be on grain-free kibble at a minimum. You’ll be amazed at the health conditions that will fix themselves once you take rice and corn out of a dog’s diet (a human’s too for that matter.)

        2. Hello, Violet. I found MDA, and my husband and I started the Primal lifestyle because of our German Shepherd pup. Our first GSD lived to be 13, and was healthy until the last two months of his life, he was always on a raw diet. Go to rawfed.com and Leerburg Kennels for information.

        3. Its important that the dog gets some veggies. They have the same basic digestive tracks as Wolfs which eat the intestines of their kills and get their veggies/fiber that way.

          Check out Orijen dog food for the best grain free kibble.

  9. I didn’t no oyster sauce was gluten free? Or is that a special brand? I would love to have oyster sauce again. I miss it. I know its pretty high in sugar content tho.

    1. This one seems to be gluten free. Wok Mei All Natural Oyster Sauce. Google it. I’m not sure how to find out the sugar content, but I’m dying to try these “sushi” rolls.

      1. From HonestFoods.com, Wok Mei Oyster Sauce Ingredients: Evaporated cane juice, salt, natural corn starch, caramel color, natural oyster extract, distilled vinegar. All Natural. Gluten Free.

        I think the cane juice and corn starch make it non-primal … that’s why I’ve stopped using it.

    2. I know it probably has some gluten and sugar but I find that as long as it’s in the 20% of my 80-20 rule. I feel just fine. I treat it like I do beer. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

      1. “everything in moderation, including moderation” love it, totally my new catch phrase

  10. Is oyster sauce primal? I thought it was made with sugar and/or flour.

    1. Thats what I was thinking.

      Still, just a bit of 80/20.

      Great success story 🙂

  11. “I believe how you do anything is how you do everything.”

    that’s gonna be my new skype tag

  12. You are gorgeous my friend…great story! I loved your comments on those Atkins bars/shakes…they are truly repulsive. I’ll never understand those low-carbers who won’t eat a handful of berries but will eat Atkins peanut butter cups!

    1. I know, when I would eat those fake sugars, I found something very interesting. The chemicals in them send a signal to the brain that sugar is coming so that you experience it on a psychological level. However it never comes, so it kind of tricks you. Then you end up craving it even more on a biological level. That is why diet coke is words that the regular ones. Also notice how people who drink diet sodas just keep drinking and drinking them. They never get the sugar

  13. whoo hoo Eric! You and Adelulf look incredible and HAPPY! Thanks for the recipe too!

    Grok on man!

  14. Love this one! Primal doggy!! Kinda makes me sad though because the dog I grew up with was recently put down (at the age of 14) but if we had fed her more of a primal natural diet I’m sure she would of lived with better health. It was a cocker-spaniel and she had eye problems (cataracts most cockers do) but I wonder if proper nutrition could of prevented that…of course no vet would tell us if it would. Just like big pharma, getting people sick to get paid I guess.

  15. Couple of things. Big congrats on your transformation! You look mahvelous! Also, if somebody could figure out how to make low carb kolaches, they would win a Nobel Prize. Every time I drive through west, I gaze at my favorite kolache place (Not Czech Stop) and drool. Finally, I am glad Atkins worked for you, but I have to correct a myth. Atkins makes bars and shakes available to those who want them. You never have to consume one bar or shake. Collette, their nutritionist, will tell you the same. You can be just as creative on their approach as you can eating paleo/priimal. I lost the bulk of my weight on Atkins too (I’m down 97 pounds) but as I read more about the harmfulness of legumes, gluten, dairy and vegetable oils, I gradually shifted to paleo. Atkins eventually allows for that stuff to come back in, but again, you never HAVE to add it back in. Sorry to be a nit-picker, but I just get so frustrated when I see Atkins mis-characterized. If you think about it, people like Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf stand on Robert Atkins’ shoulders.
    Again, kudos on you loss, dude! Keep up the good fight.

    1. Thanks Brandon and I agree. Atkins was a great man. Haha that’s cool about West. What is your favorite Kolache place? On my next gig in Austin, I will stop there and get my Mom some 🙂

      1. Geriks. There is also another gas station just south of Czech Stop on the feeder road that has superior kolaches than Czech Stop. Their ham and cheese one has the ham ground up and mixed with the cheese. Oh so good.

        1. Mmmm, I miss the kolaches from West (am in SF Bay Area now). I used to go to Westfest all the time!!!

  16. Very interesting life story, thanks for sharing! You and your dog look like you are really enjoying life now! And everybody needs that one straight-shooting friend in their lives.

  17. Congrats!! You look great!! The primal sushi looks DELICIOUS!! I noticed your “vintage” crock pot in the back…I have the same one! Your dog is gorgeous!! I want to get my min pin on a raw food diet. He is allergic to everything and gets ear infections all of the time..even on a limited ingredient food that has rice…I gotta use the rest of it and then he is going RAW!! You are truly an inspiration!!

    GROK ON!!

    1. No, actually, you don’t “gotta use the rest of it” — donate it to the local pound (they can always use it) — and start your fur-child on a healthy diet right away! (Do you really mean: “I’m feeding him stuff that’s making him sick, but I’ll KEEP making him sick till I run out of the sickening stuff”?! {shudder} Would you do that to yourself?!)

  18. Always cool to read these success stories. Good job, Eric, and a big hi5 for giving your dog the food he loves!

    In other news, your post-weight-loss face makes me think you’re clearly related to Neil Peart. Maybe I’m crazy!

      1. RUSH is my all-time fave band in the world! Yes, you do resemble The Professor 🙂

        You rock Eric!

  19. I love that you treat your dog in the same Primal sense that you treat yourself. That’s amazing he can eat eggs like that. Would you post a video up of that?

    My fiancee’s cat is also primal. I let it chew on a T-bone after I’ve finished the meat of it, have him run sprints every now and then, he only eats grain free food, and occasionally he IF’s.

      1. Hey Eric,

        Thanks! I’m not sure what is was when that picture was taken which was about a year ago. I’m leaner now and I think I’m around 7 or 8 percent. I should update my picture but I keep waiting thinking that I’m going to send in my own success story.

      2. BTW – It’s super cool what you’re doing with your dog. Conventional dog food wisdom can suck it!

  20. I am a musician like you and I’m wondering how do you do to go to bed early. Moste concerts are at night and usually end very late!

    1. Thanks Bruno, it’s wird I only sleep 5-6 hours a night now. I think when you eat primal digestion is much easier and the food combining angle just makes it easier on the body. Rest is more effective as well. I also fast one day a week.

  21. “The number one thing I learned from MDA and that I encourage everyone who wants to get lean and mean with a great low body-fat percentage is to understand this: 90% of all body composition begins with what you put in your mouth. You could join all the gyms in the world, buy every ab machine, personal trainer and run thirty miles a day and never have the body composition of someone who adheres to the aforementioned principle.”

    Very wise words to live by, and as I’m finding out for myself, so very true. Another good example: look at last week’s success story of The Butterfly.

    Thank you Eric for your story and congratulations on your success both with your weight and your music.

  22. Congrats on your story!
    I found your comment about craving and Captain Crunch interesting — true, I never crave sugar cereal now, but before, if I would have a small bowl of cereal, I would instantly want a second bowl as soon as I finished the first. It got to the point of anxiety when I knew I was eating the last spoonful. That’s when I knew that type of food wasn’t good for me.

  23. HOTcha-cha & a “gawd dayam!”
    hee hee I made chicken wings last night with gorgonzola added to greek yoghurt for dippin. I gave 3 pieces raw to my dog for his dinner. i love hearing him crunch through the bones & watching him eat real food like a real dog. he’s in the habit of helping me with the dishes too & he sits & stares at the skillet on the stove waiting for it to cool down 😉

  24. Eric – a wonderful transformation (surely that’s your younger brother in the photo?!) – thankyou so much for sharing

    And good on you for raising a primal pupster! Man & dog in perfect primal harmony. Beautiful.

    I adopted an 11 year old chocolate labrador, who thanks to a diet of pasta, was a stomach on legs and in a bad state. I put him on a raw meaty bones diet and he transformed within months. You can read his story on my website.

    Funnily enough, it was researching his doggie RMB diet that knocked some sense into my own head and I started the journey that ultimately brought me here to primal.

    BTW – are you making ‘rock & sushi rolls’?!

  25. Thanks for sharing your story, very cool how a commitment to the fine art of living led you to become a masterpiece in the making 😉

  26. How could I not love this story? Hot musician who cooks AND has a gorgeous dog. I think it could be love! Great job!
    I completely agree with you on the processed adkins “food”. I would feel sick every time I tried them. I’m allergic to many preservatives, so never developed a taste for Captain Crunch or Pringles.

  27. I love this line: “Your site elegantly and with fortitude debunked every foolish myth there was about food. Fat, including animal fat, is essential to our well-being, and you have the moxie and the courage to step out on the edge and challenge all of these myths.”

    So true and yet so foreign to so many. Great job, you look like a new man.

    1. Thanks Joe,

      All of the info at MDA just inspires me. The debunking on the China-Vegetarian thing alone is got to be one of the greatest post ever. I was a vegan for a few years in college and eating that way sucks and there is no taste and fun at all

  28. Great story, thanks for sharing. My gram was primal too! She never met bacon fat she didn’t like and when we went to buffets she urged me to forgo the bread and potatoes and load up on the meats. Not sure the buffet managers liked us very well!

    Got to get my pets primal too –

    1. Grandma’s rule, their is a lot of wisdom in the old school way. In my grandmother’s time it was called “sugar diabetes” not diabetes.

      The sugar companies lobbied to quit having it called that.

      1. I had some bunion pain before I went Primal, and on the internet I found that the Chinese call it “Sugar Toe”. Hmmm. No more pain since I quit high heels and went Primal.

        1. Diabetes melitus is Latin for sweet (sugar) urine. So I guess we’re actually calling it urine.

  29. I first found MDA because of the recipes too. A Facebook friend posted a link to a Primal recipe she had made for dinner the night before, and it looked so good, I had to follow the link. Well, I’ve been hooked on the site since then (about a year ago now), and have been completely Primal for about four weeks. Congrats on finding what you were searching for!

  30. I did Atkins and shared your disgust for processed low carb food. Congrats on your success.

  31. Naturally, I had to go check out your website and your music and your videos. Talk about authentic people! Very nice to see you cooking ribs (yum!) for the band and then see the show the next day! Very cool.

    And you turned me on to that young Italian-Argentinian guitarist, Lucchy. Between the two of you, I blew quite a few minutes on YouTube! Avocado-Banana-Almond Milkshakes for everyone!

  32. Hey Eric,
    WAY TO GO! You look absolutely terrific (and so does your dog!). I myself have also been feeding my little guy a raw diet since he was 16 weeks old, now 6.5 years old. His favourite’s are cornish hen bodies, duck necks and beef tripe. All get smothered in Salmon Oil and a green veggie. People are always amazed at the softness and brightness of his coat. Pristine white. All thanks to the wonderful world of primal 🙂

    1. that is awesome, I never thought of adding salmon oil. Where can I find duck necks? He loves mackerel and eats it once a week as I do.

  33. You lost me at the “un-neutered German Shepherd” part.
    Good job on the weight loss though:)

    1. Thanks Lucie,

      I would never neuter him. He comes from a very good bloodline that is custom tailored for their protection ability and incredible nose skills. All his brothers and sisters went to FBI/Military.

      We are breeding him next month 🙂

      1. I compete in French Ring and Mondio Ring with my Belgian Malinois, as long as your dog is a working or sport dog and is titled I have no problem with responsible breeding:)

  34. Oh, forgot to mention that I grew up with a black German Shepherd. Love the breed and their noble presence (mixed with total goofball moments). What a great primal companion.

  35. Hi Eric! Your words almost made me tear up, they were very powerful. MDA changed my life as well; MDA really makes it all simple: eat real food, move around, rest, etc. I love it!I am very inspired by your experience and love your outlook on life.
    Hey, I’m a Texas – where do you ya’ll play??? I’d love to see a Primal musician play some tunes! 🙂

    1. Thanks Danielle, I play in Houston, Austin, Dallas and Lubbock quite a bit. Where are you based? If you go to my website and sign up on the e-mail list we will let you know when we are rocking Texas towns

      1. Thanks Eric! I’m in Houston but visit Austin quite a bit. I am signing up on your email list right now, so I’m looking forward to seeing your show schedule, and hopefully checking ya’ll out really soon!

      2. BTW, been reading your blog and holy smokes you are a talented writer! Also, Louise Hay saved my life when I was in a dark place as a teenager… so I dig that you pay respects to her 🙂
        You rock!

        1. Thank you again Danielle,

          I enjoy writing and that means a lot, thank you.

          Louise Hay is one heavy duty chick. I feel she is one of the greatest voices for healing on the planet.

          Eric

  36. Very Cool!
    (and I have your dog’s twin cousin sitting right beside me – excellent dogs!)

  37. Eric, Im Czech, so I know what you mean by all the kolache and potatoes. Currently surviving in my parent´s house, waiting to start my first job and these few months of enjoyable stay with my family after a long time turned into everyday fight of strong will -eat or not to eat. On the other hand – primal approach is the only one my mom actually approved for me!!! Woot, woot! I know I will have no problem to eat super clean after I move out in a month, so last few sinful enjoyments following the 20/80 rule shouldnt hurt.

    Keep the great attitude, your email was so inspirational!

    1. Jaksemate’ Petra,

      That’s a beautiful name. 80-20 rule is profound. I fast one day a week which adheres to that principal.

      Got Pivo 🙂

      EK

  38. fan-diddly-tastic….
    Love waking up on a sat morning, and reading a success story. (that’s when they arrive down under)
    you rock, mr rock star xo

    1. That is so cool, let me know a good venue in your neck of the woods and I will have Melissa my assistant book a tour through there!

      Much Love,

      Eric

      1. Now that will be fun, make sure you look at venues around the central west of NSW. Fantastic spot but starved of good music! Well done in your journey, it’s the simplicity and common sense of this lifestyle that reeled me in, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think your lovely shepherd may have my toy poodle for breakfast though!

  39. Yes it’s 90% food! My husband is 54 and I had to order size 32×36 jeans on the web because no one carries that small waist for such a tall guy! Heh.

    I hear you about the people and their scare tactics against feeding dogs a natural diet of raw meat. I gave up trying to find a vet on board with raw feeding. So frustrating. They don’t even really LOOK at my beautiful doxie – ten years old and gorgeous with a shiny coat, white teeth, muscular frame. Ten years on a raw natural diet.

    The last vet tried to get me to go buy some processed “raw food” that was formulated by a vet, and I told her it kind of defeats the purpose of natural, unprocessed food, right? DOH!

    Keep Groking – me at 52 will be taking beginner drum lessons in June. I’ll never be Bill Bruford but one can always strive!

    1. You go for it Gina, you have good taste in drummers. Bill has played with my good friend Allan Holdsworth for years. He is in a class all by himself.

      Much Love,

      EK

      1. I’ll have to look Alan up on Youtube. Looks like he’s played with Tony Levin – another one of my favorites and one of the coolest musicians ever. He’s a beast!

  40. Eric, Great story, but even more awesome dog! We had an adopted solid black female GSD, Lucy, for 12 years and she recently passed away due to cancer in her spine. We immediately looked for another solid black, but found a gorgeous European line full-blood GSD that was abandoned at our vets office. She had heartworms, but that was treated and I am happy to say that Sheba is a perfect addition to our family. I gave her a raw egg today (from our friend’s farm) and she LOVED it! I made a tiny hole so she could get a taste and she went crazy. We need to put some weight on her post-heartworms. Any recommendations for good raw weight-gainer recipes?

    1. Thanks Marisa and congratulations on adding Sheba to your family. I would google the “Leerburg Diet”

      It’s the best site I have found on feeding the dog raw and doing it right. They are very knowledgeable and will probably have some weight gain info there.

      Jack Lalanne used to feed his German Sheperd “Happy” 5-6 lbs of raw meat a day. That would probably do it 🙂

  41. Eric, great story. But why did you include that picture of your uncle eating pasta?

  42. VERY true that 90% is what you put in your body! Can´t bring that home enough.
    Congratulations on your transformation.
    Also, thanks for sharing on the primal dog! Mine is primal, but spoiled. . . I had always cracked the eggs open for him. Can´t believe it never occurred to me to just give him an egg and let him have fun with it. Tried it today, and–after an initial hesitation–he had a blast! Thanks for that indirect tip! From now on, WHOLE eggs only for my four-legged friend.

    1. I found a farm that has free range chickens in Krum, TX near me. It’s a bit of a drive but Adelulf prefers the farm eggs massively. He eats those with much more zeal

  43. Thanks for sharing. Love your story, your dog and your music. Can’t wait to give my dogs eggs!

  44. WOW great read so articulate and bang on the money. I get it and after being 30kg overweight at 38 yrs old now 44 I have kept the 25-30kg loss off but i still struggle. I exercise well but have food addictions, and seem to only ever manage periods of time on a clean diet. I do crossfit and they endorse a paleo lifestyle I see the results and energy a clean diet produces but don’t seem to be able to fully embrace it. Can you share with me any of your obvious wisdom with this. I recently gave up my adorable dog Nike to a serious body builder and he posted me a picture commenting on his now Paleo diet and new exercise regime I’m thrilled that my dog like yours has the chance to be his best but wonder why I don’t want that for myself?

    1. Hi Kristen,

      You are already in the right spot. Just go the recipes that are posted on MDA. They are great and the ones posted by Mark’s readers are great as well. I would copy them all in Evernote and rotate them in and out weekly so that you have a lot of variety. Go for quality over quantity and STAND GUARD AT THE DOOR OF YOUR MIND AND MORE IMPORTANTLY YOUR MOUTH. Your body is your temple and you deserve the best. Also if you can conjure up the willpower to fast one day a week or do the intermittent fasting that Mark speaks of that will give you a lot of leverage and confidence. I also agree with Mark on Tabata interval training and not working out all the time. Bodyweight exercises are all I do 3 times a week for 15-20 minutes. Every one thinks I joined a gym here. I haven’t 😉 I hope that helps

      EK

    2. Kristen
      I have the same Problem. I think it’s because I’m doing it on my own and have noone to be accountable to and support me when I start to go off track. It’s hard to eat and exercise right when the people closest to you aren’t.
      I think you just have to keep trying again though. I try to think of it like giving up smoking. Apparently the average smoker tries to quit about ten times before they’re successful- why shouldn’t it be the same for adopting a healthier lifestyle?

  45. Great story! love that Adelulf eats primal as well, I’m been considering changing my mini doxies food since I started eating primal too.

  46. Wonderful story and the recipe and video are great. Asparagus is still in season so I will be making the faux sushi rolls soon. Thanks for the tip about peeling the asparagus. All the best to you and your healthy German Shepherd!

    1. Thank you Julie, and the primal “negi maki” rolls work great with chicken as well. One time instead of putting asparagus, I put lobster tail in the middle of the roll. It was so good I cried when I ate them. Talk about Surf & Turf 🙂

      1. I loved your essay and the video. You’ve got a great voice! I’m so hungry right now that I would have fought your dog for those beef scraps. It sounds like he has a very lucky life.

  47. Well done Eric, great to hear your dog has gone primal too, “get poisoned from the raw eggs”…. Pfff! Ha! Because i’m sure if your dog lived in the wild he would be hunting out biscuits made from wheat, vegetable fats and salt 😀
    Thanks for sharing your story, i hope others find it as inspiring as i do.
    Grok on!

    1. Reedy,

      Hello my friend 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words

      My hünd loves his raw vittles.

      It’s funny how there are sheep and then
      rhinos. The sheep always travel in herds. It’s like trends, Rhino’s, Lion’s and Eagles aren’t herd animals.
      I always choose “tasty” over “trendy”

      I appreciate ya’

      EK

  48. I am so making your steak and asparagus. It looks delicious and you look great.

    Congratulations on your new life.

  49. Rock on Eric. Great story.

    Counterintuitive. That always struck me too. Look around. People are following the rules and it’s not working. Is it so hard to believe that Conventional Wisdom is crap?

    1. I agree,

      Rules are made to be broken.

      The key to success is to find out what everyone else is doing; and then don’t do that. Mediocrity is the norm. The kiss of death is to be conventional or normal. This is my good friend’s diatribe on living a safe life:

      Why Are You Here?

      In every area of life, the people on the edge are the ones that have made an impact,
      made a difference. No one who comes from that safe middle ground ever really has
      had much of an impact on anything.

      The people who change history are not the people who do the safe things, take the
      easy route, follow the status quo or say what everyone else says or try to make
      everyone happy.

      The multitudes live in the middle, living mediocre lives, thinking mediocre thoughts,
      doing mediocre things and achieving mediocre results. Their entire lives are median,
      mediocre and stuck in the middle. The only difference between their rut and
      their grave is depth. They’re just waiting for someone else to dig a little deeper and
      finally deliver the certificate.

      Virtually everyone you know lives in the middle, sadly stuck there because they’re too
      afraid to look in the mirror and and squarely face where they live. This is why there is plenty
      of room on the edge. Only the edge offers opportunity to make an impact because no
      one, other than you, will get in your way.

      Where do you live? Where do you want to live? Where will you live? What do you
      REALLY want?

      Why should you live on the edge? Because you can! The choice is yours… Leave no
      imprint on the world, no legacy for your family and others. Or take responsibility for
      yourself by influencing and leading others.

      This is why I love what you pointed out. MDA is counter intuitive and Mark is doing great work waking up the herd with all of this. It’s cute to be a vegan or vegetarian and I have been there. But the writing is on the wall, and it is simple. I still can’t say enough about the China Study Rebuttal.
      When we have our first concert we have to give her the mike as MC 🙂

  50. What an inspiration and what a change. You are so right about how much of it comes down to what you eat. I exercised for two years without changing in size (muscle to fat ratio, yes). Definitely trying the “sushi” rolls and I think the oyster sauce can fit nicely into my 20%. Thanks for sharing.

    1. isn’t in funny how every one focuses on the oyster sauce as to being “bad”

      It’s just an aside 🙂

      Like Mark says with his coffee with sugar.
      Just have it in moderation. It’s brilliant how he has it early and is done with it. I haven’t researched this but I heard have simple sugars early before 1 P.M.

      Your body will burn it that same day if you are at your target weight.

  51. Congrats on your success! Love your Primal sushi rolls–they look so good I am planning to make them this weekend. Also nice to know how well your dog is doing–I think primal is a natural diet for our canine friends too! I know what you mean about digestive problems with the Atkins bars and products. All those dreaded sugar alcohols are a nightmare!

  52. Congrats on a Houston boy doin good and joining the tribe. I am out in India for a bit but your music and videos brought Houston back home to my mind. When I mozy on down from Mumbai thru H-town I will look for your show. A new fan, Andre

    1. Thanks Andre,

      When I play Houston I usually rock Fitzgerald’s in the Heights or my friend Pete’s place The Continental Club. Let me know when you are in H-town and let’s have a beer before the show 🙂

  53. Btw in the second picture the man really reminds me of geoffrey rush.Doesn’t he look like him a bit ? :>

  54. Hey Eric,

    From one musician to another, thanks for the inspiration!! I’m all too familiar with those 11am wake ups after getting home from shows at 3am. No, it doesn’t leave much time to get things accomplished when one wakes up at the crack of noon…

    The video was pretty rad as well! I’ve never peeled asparagus before, but will have to give that recipe a try! FYI- I’m Asian and totally get your love for oyster sauce… grew up on that stuff!

    Happy music making and primal living to you!
    Cherry

    1. Thank you Cherry, I know 🙂 I have had love for the oyster sauce for 20 years. A lot of folks cuss me for using it cause it has wheat and sugar. But everything in moderation including moderation. Have you had an oyster omelet?

      EK

  55. Great post Eric, very inspiring!
    I lost over 120 lbs doing an all real foods version of Atkins and never touching any of the bars or shakes.
    Once I realized I was actually eating very close to primal/paleo, I went the rest of the way and cut out all the remainind grains and sugars easily. I am a 51 year old female and have never felt better and have no trouble staying at this weight without “dieting.”

    1. Thanks Alex, that is inspiring. It’s a shame that all those people destroy themselves with lap band surgery and lap band and etc. If they would just stop by this site they could save thousands of dollars and eat all the scrumptious food they desire.

      Eric

  56. Excellent post, Eric. How you do anything is how you do everything, indeed. As evidenced by the video, too. Great production values, even better songwriting and vocals. Congrats all around.

    1. Thank you Beth and go for it as a singer as well 🙂 The only thing that happens if you wait is you get older. I checked out your site. Very elegant and succinct. It takes one to know one. Great hair on your baby photo, there’s proof alone you were meant to be a rockstar

      1. “The only thing that happens if you wait is you get older.” I love that.

        See you at the Grammys! 🙂

  57. Great job brother i’m 55 years young and feel great on this eating lifestyle (not diet) lol. I have a six pack for the first time in my life and was shocked the first time I saw it. Stories like yours are what motivate me. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you my friend, an you are spot on. This is not a diet. I have always thought the word diet is just the word “die” with a “t” added on to it. I look forward to looking as good as you and Mark when I am 50 years young 🙂

  58. Another forty-something turning back the hands of father time! The results do the talking for us.

    90% diet so true. I don’t care if someone can run from here to Peoria, keep eating the grains, and a paunch will be their constant running companion.

  59. What a great post. Well done Eric!!

    These words jumped out at me:
    “I believe how you do anything is how you do everything.”

    If that’s true (and I think it is) – then it’s yet another reason to be Primal!!

    Thanks for the how-to vid. I’m definitely going to try out the primal sushi (and see how salmon works instead of beef).

    I checked out your site, Eric. Really great music, and great music vid! I completely agree that great music and food heal people.

    Thanks!
    Susan

    1. Thanks Susan,

      I concur 🙂 All the more reason to be primal.

      Thanks for the kind words about my music.

      All the best,

      Eric

  60. Great story and how fortunate to have a healthy German shepherd dog, those dogs are the best.

  61. love the sushi idea eric
    and as I prefer raw meat to cooked will skip the heating it up bit-now i wish I had a dog like yours to dine with;-)

  62. GREAT story and I love the part about your dog eating primal too. One of my GSD’s was diagnosed with a cancer in her nose about a year ago and I started researching dog food and scared the crap out of myself!

    We switched both to a raw diet which includes bones, liver, chicken hearts and the occasional carrot that falls on the floor. Our girl was only given two months over a year ago and I know it’s made a huge difference in the quality of her life. I know its not a cure, but I’m hoping this story urges others who love their dogs to get their loved ones off the cancer kibble.

    Grok on.

  63. I was making bacon this morning and offered my step-dad some but he rejected it because “animal fat is bad for you”… These myths need to be debunked for the world!! I’m trying to wean him off of bagels as well. He’s slightly diabetic…

  64. Eric,
    Your story inspired me! I had the chicken wings for lunch and I’m ready to roll. 60 pounds more to go. It’s success stories like this one that make me believe I will get there.

  65. Hi Eric,

    I was just wondering whether you exercised much or at all after going primal since your post makes no mention of it. The lazy person in me is hoping that primal eating works even without exercise.

    1. Here is what I did:

      On Mondays I fasted and took the day off.

      Tuesday- 30 pullups, 30 Dips, 30 hindu pushups. That’s it man Mark wrote about it in one of his post. Keep it simple, doesn’t even take 15 minutes, full body workout

      Wed- Walk 1 hr.

      Thurs- Tabata and 3 sets of hindu squats

      Fri-Walk 1 hr.

      Sat- Yoga or sometimes just overhead press.

      Sun- Nothing

      I love it, everyone thinks I joined a gym. I haven’t, in fact I find most trainer’s at them are not even in shape and can’t do a handstand.

      Hope that helps Dean, I like the MDA way of enjoying life and not tearing our bodies up with medieval work out torture. I had some friends doing that P90X. That doesn’t seem sustainable or healthy to me.

  66. Knowing the Czech cuisine pretty well, I can appreciate the challenges of your childhood :-). At least your mum could not buy knedliky in every supermarket, she probably had to make her own.

    Anyway, kudos to you. I really love your appreciation of real food for man and his best friend.

    1. Jaksemate’ Jan,

      My favorites growing up were jitrnice and Smažené ku?e (fried chicken)

      and that cucumber dish with pepper and vinegar and real cream 🙂 Man that one was good. I will have to ask my Mom what they called it. Send me your e-mail and I will send you a recording of me singing these haunting Czech Hymn
      “Boze Cos Racil”
      All the best,

      Grok On,

      EK

  67. I want to tell you to go to Dr. Gary North’s website and read his semi-debunking of primal eating. He says ( and it’s true) if you eat in the same way as a hunter-gatherer, you will never develope as a society.

    Why?

    you can not plan for your next meal, so your society is retarded. Just look at the Amazonian tribesmen–and women–who are still huntying with bow and arrows!!

    The things we have going for us are: the cultivation of grains (and potatoes…which fueled the Industrial Revolution) and fire for cooking and smoking of meats: along with salt prservation.

    Dr. North makes several good points: Meat eating is a capitzlist venture, not primal. We get fat due to overstuffing ourselves.

    For the first time in history the masses have been able to pig out. Look at the Reubenesque women. They were considered healthy and very desirable since they6 were richenough to get fat.

    Then again, in your favor, there is way too much sugar in soda, varous prepped foods, etc.; you know the score.

    I have a garden (very extensive) and generally buy produce and meats in the store. All that sstuff is reduced or on saly. However, I will buy spices or condiments as I figure the HFCs is so miniscule that it does not matter.

    1. I have tried everything and quite diligently I might add, because how I do anything is how I do everything.

      1. I was a vegan for 3 years- I was skinny but I look like I needed to eat a big steak.
      2. I was a vegetarian and I was never satiated and food was bland and boring and I had to eat all the time like a cow 🙁
      3. I did Atkins and felt better and lost weight. But found the recipes and approach a little lacking taste wise.

      Once I came across MDA it was like I found my way home. Now I look forward to every meal. No kidding I salivate thinking about everything from salmon skin to Macadamia’s to Ribeyes and Eggs.
      I am no longer on any kind of diet ( “die” with a “t” added at all.
      I eat primal and will never go back.

      We spend the first have of our lives trying to be somebody. Then we spend the second half of our lives just being ourselves. The industrial Revolution did no good for our bodies regardless of mechanical advancements. Diabetes went through the rood after they started refining sugar.

      I am so glad MDA is apart of my true self.

      Eric

  68. Awesome success. You look fantastic — even your skin tone is better!

    1. Thank you Cin,

      The skin is our largest elimination organ. Mine cleared up quite nicely one I adopted the Primal Blueprint.

      Eric

  69. Looking great and the video is cool. Even Adeulf looks ripped!

    Found a 2009 video of the triple chinned version of you playing guitar. Its amazing that that is the before and the guy in the video is after. You look 10 years younger in the video made 3 years later. Amazing.

    Great story, thanks for sharing. Grok on!

    1. Thanks Deuce,

      You gave me and idea, I am going to do a blog to my fan list about that and compare the 2 videos. That will get a bunch of new folks turned on to MDA.

      Adelulf is ripped 🙂

      Eric

  70. Eric I’m off in grad school, but at home with my parents there’s an adorable Cocker Spaniel who has trouble with her digestion. She eats this dry, processed dog food every day, and when I’m home and I try to sneak her bacon or vegetables (she loves green peppers and carrots), I sternly get told that the vet says her dog food is the healthiest and will make her bowels regular. I feel bad for her. =(
    I love your story about your dog! I’m going to share this story with my parents and maybe it will change their perspective a little bit on what’s healthy for a dog!
    Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your story! I think I’m going to make primal sushi rolls tomorrow…

  71. I have 2 miniature schnauzers, I feed them Barf raw meat patties but they are expensive and takes up huge storage in my freezer.
    I feed them shank bones from lamb by pouring boiling on them before giving the bones to them. Because I read it’s the only safe bones for dogs, others could splinter and choke them.
    I am very interested in your feeding method, do you mind tell me a bit more about it please? It sounds like it’s safe to give them any kind of meat and bones with the meat? Do you take away the bones before they get too small or sharp please?

  72. Love this story so much, Eric! And I first saw your picture, I thought “Texas”. Sure enough, you’re a Texan. Good for you and your dog. Y’all are adorable together!

  73. Hi Mark, this post hasn’t been tagged correctly, so it doesn’t currently appear in the list of Success Stories. cheers.