The J.J. Experiment: Primal Leap Results

Five weeks ago, the J.J. Experiment (week 2, 3, 4) began. J.J. Valdivia, a personal trainer in Miami, guided ten people as they took a 30-Day Leap into a healthy lifestyle. Let’s find out how they did…

Dear Mark’s Daily Apple readers,

I can’t believe the 30 Day Challenge has come to an end! We had an amazing month and it all went by so fast. I’d like to express how proud I am of my Leapers and just what an honor it was to lead them through this journey. When the challenge began, I asked each one of them for 1000% percent of their effort. With the results I saw yesterday from the body fat tests and measurements, I know that that’s exactly what I received. Out of 8 leapers measured (2 are out of town on business), they lost a combined total of 118 lbs of fat, 143 inches, and gained 48 lbs. of muscle! (click image below to enlarge)

As amazing as these results are, it is not how I measure the success of the last 30 days. Each one of the Leapers has told me that this is something that they can do for the rest of their lives and that they are looking forward to continuing their new lifestyles. This, to me, is the true indicator of success on this program. Not only do they look AND feel better, but they got there almost effortlessly and with the least amount of pain and suffering. The sustainability of this program is what truly sets it above the rest and although this 30 day challenge has ended, I am eager to take a step back and watch my Leapers continue on their Primal journeys. We celebrated the end of the challenge with a “Grokfeast” on Wednesday night. Gaucho Ranch, a local grass fed beef retailer, catered the event and prepared an “asado” (Uruguayan Bar B Q) for us with grass-fed sausage, beef, and veggies. We had over 25 guests and it was the perfect culmination to a truly awesome 30 days. I would like to thank my Leapers for their commitment and effort throughout this challenge and I would also like to thank Mark and MDA for documenting our journey. I told my Leapers last night that this wasn’t the end of a 30 day contest, but the beginning of the rest of their lives. I hope that our experience has inspired others into living Primally, and that all MDA readers out there achieve the vibrant health and wellness that they deserve.

Grok On,

J.J. Valdivia

Primal Leap Update from Leaper Arlene

6th October 2010

Today we culminated the 30-day challenge that has ultimately changed our lives for the better. Admittedly, I entered into the Primal Leap cautiously, and with a dash of skepticism. Yet, I was determined to make a positive change in my life –  I had become frustrated by unsuccessful dieting and could not understand how, despite taking four belly dancing classes per week, I was not any slimmer or, more importantly, did not feel any fitter. My endurance was not what it used to be. I was tired all the time. And, as I joked early on, I needed to free the slim belly dancer within me, because she had a performance in November for which she needed to get in shape. Little did I know then that in these short four weeks, I could learn to disregard previous, albeit misguided, nutritional beliefs and actually embrace fat as my friend.  = ) In so doing, I now have energy to do the things I enjoy and am never hungry. What is more, the results that my RCCL teammates and I achieved during this brief time are nothing short of extraordinary, In my case, I lost 9 ½ pounds of fat, gained 3 pounds of muscle, and am now a little over 14 inches smaller.

The first three weeks of the challenge were a time of adjustment, learning, camaraderie, and fun with my fellow Grokstars (and even a visit from Mark!). However, week four brought the unsettling news that I would be losing my job due to a department reorganization. While in what now seems like another life I would have reached for the Oreos, I have not felt the need to eat out of anxiety or skip a dance or exercise class out of depression. Rather, I have been remarkably calm, while contemplating the future. I have asked myself how Grok would handle this kind of situation. I believe he would simply go on to the next meadow, to find another deer, and just perhaps, he might find some more time to play and share with his family. So, while I may be saying farewell to a place (not to mention people!) that has been such an important part of my life for the past 12 years, I shall go on to the next meadow to look for my new challenge. I will work hard, I know. However, I shall be taking with me my new Primal lifestyle; I shall continue to enjoy the sun in the meadow and will never forget to…PLAY!

J.J. and Mark, thank you for your time, dedication and generosity, and for making such a positive difference in my life.

Grok on!

Kind regards,


Primal Leap Update from Leaper Elaine


Yea, I just got back from my final weigh in and measurement. I am so very excited and eager to keep this up. I have lost over 16 inches and 8 lbs of fat in just 30 days. The days have just flown by. I am so motivated to continue. With the other diets I have been on I could hardly wait for the end so that I  could go back to eating the food I like. This has been a completely different journey; all month I did nothing but eat all the foods I love and lost. What can be better than that? I love grocery shopping now. My energy level is high and my hunger level is very low. I now eat only when I am hungry and truly enjoy preparing and eating my food. Throughout this journey I haven’t thought of this as a diet but a lifestyle change.

Thank you so very much J.J. for taking us all on this journey.


Lourdes’ New Primal Menu

Cauliflower crust pizza, with lots of veggies. Great for dinner with salad and even better for breakfast with 2 fried eggs on top.

Here is a creative, low carb twist, of a Cuban favorite…Fritas (ground sirloin beef, chorizo, smoked paprika) in bibb lettuce cups. Full fat Greek yogurt and berries for dessert.

A quick lunch…tuna salad over baby greens and avocado salad. Yummy love avocados.

How about New England lobster, steamed and served over salad. Some melted butter and lemon makes this super salad delicious.

Lourdes Davila

Congratulations and many thanks go out to all of J.J.’s Leapers for letting me and Mark’s Daily Apple readers follow your progress, and to J.J. for organizing this experiment and being a source of encouragement and motivation to everyone that participated. The results really speak for themselves. I don’t imagine it’s a stretch to think that between the great food, the new found energy, and the weight and inches lost that staying Primal won’t be difficult for any of these Leapers. Just remember that 30-Days is just the beginning. Now you have the tools you need for a long, healthy and happy life. Grok on!

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