The J.J. Experiment: Week 2

Last week the J.J. Experiment began. J.J. Valdivia, a personal trainer in Miami, is guiding ten people as they take a 30-Day Leap into a healthy lifestyle. Let’s find out how they’re doing…

Hello MDA,

We are 11 days into the Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge and my Leapers and I are still as determined to succeed as we were on day 1. Last Friday, I was met by Thor Braathen and Sandra Mirabal for a one hour walk through downtown Miami.

We conversed the entire walk about Primal life and let me tell you, it sure does beat the chronic cardio I used to do 3-4 times a week. We returned from our walk feeling refreshed and energized, instead of “run down” and carb depleted. Gatorade? No, thanks!

On Monday, I met with the entire group and I passed out our “Grok On” t-shirts. We talked about our individual experiences with the first week of the challenge and it turns out that many of the Leapers were surprised at just how “easy” eating Primally could be. It would seem that four egg omelets for breakfast, Big Ass Salads for lunch, and grass fed steaks for dinner aren’t so bad after all! Many of my Leapers have already started to feel the effects of a healthy PB lifestyle, such as increased energy levels, weight loss (some as much as 9 lbs!), and decreased appetite throughout the day. With that being said, we have also had our setbacks. I had one Leaper succumb to two Whopper Jr’s from Burger King last Friday night. After reviewing his Fit Day log, it turns out that this lapse was caused by a lack of fat in his diet. This left my Leaper feeling hungry and unsatisfied after meals. Some of my Leapers are still having trouble denouncing the CW dogma that fat is bad. I think, however, that with the way they are feeling after just the first 11 days, that they are slowly but surely becoming PB converts. We wrapped up our Monday meeting by reading over week 2 of the Primal Leap Guidebook.

On Tuesday, Mike Jaworski met me at Body Waves, our gym here at Royal, for a short, but intense Primal workout. He performed a couple of sets of each of the essential movements and then we called it a day.

Our first group sprint session took place on Wednesday. I showed the group how to perform a sprint workout on the stationary bikes and elliptical machines. I feel that because they are all new to sprinting, they should begin on these two pieces of equipment before transitioning to running outside.

Once our sprint session was over, we gathered together for a group photo. The photo also includes Kim Tillman, my boss and manager at Body Waves Gym, and Ralph Padron, my fellow personal trainer.

Unfortunately, the picture was short one Leaper, Lourdes Davila. Lourdes is traveling on business but has shared a few photos of her meals, as well as blogged about her Primal experience on the road. Take a look!

Grok did not travel from point A to point B on airplanes, he walked everywhere, but Primal Blueprint Leapers do fly.

During week two, I took five flights for work. Most of them to and from Latin America.

I felt I had a successful week one, having lost almost four pounds and never having cravings for sweets or feeling famished between meals, like I experienced on other diets. I needed a plan to make sure this trip would not derail me.

A while back, I’d read an article that suggested requesting special meals on flights when dieting. So, I did just that, I requested Gluten free meals, which provided steamed chicken breast with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Washed that down with sparkling mineral water and was very satisfied.

Check out my PB friendly airplane meal…

I also packed snacks (almonds, veggie frittata and berries) to ensure I didn’t get caught on an 8-hour flight without something Primal to eat. I rought extra, so I could share with my travel buddy.

Other great meals were cooked at home, after a trip to the nearest Whole Foods, which provided enough healthy foods for a dinner party for four, brunch for six and snacks. Take a look at home made chicken salad with avocado with a large mix green salad.

Buenos Aires is a great place to eat beef, so I indulged in a special grilled rib cut, salad and water.

By the way, the restaurant was full and had a giant bread basket on the table when we sat down. I wasn’t planning on touching the stuff and when I looked around neither were the locals – baskets full everyone was happy eating there grilled meats.

Still need to kick-up the exercise, but certain week three will be even better.

Kind Regards,
Lourdes Davila

As we near the end of week 2 of the challenge, I must say just how proud I am of my Leapers. They have shown great determination and commitment thus far, and I applaud them for their effort and early success on the program. I am confident that they will continue along strongly, and I look forward to keeping the MDA community posted on our Primal journey.

Grok On,


J.J.’s Co-workers at Body Waves Gym Go Primal

Kim, J.J.’s boss at New Fitness Concepts, is making the transition out of vegetarian living. She has lost 9lbs since going Primal a month ago. And the resident massage therapist, Chalmer, has lost 25 pounds since going Primal nine months ago.

Elaine’s Food Log for Sep. 12, 13, 14

“When I was in the gym on Monday I weighted myself and I lost 8 lbs since last Thursday…. I  am really excited… I also am adding custom foods to my FitDay so I know exactly what I am eating…”

Elaine's Food Log

Thor’s Breakfast

A delicious omelet with sautéed spinach, onion and tomato, a side of Canadian bacon and a serving of fruits for dessert.

J.J.’s Example Meals for the Leapers

Chuck’s Before and After Pantry Raid

Keep up the great work, everyone, and Grok on!

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30 thoughts on “The J.J. Experiment: Week 2”

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    1. I completely agree!
      This is the kind of thing that “The Biggest Loser” SHOULD be about – ie. adopting a healthy lifestyle.

    1. Oh hell yes it is. When is the season premiere? I have never watched that show in the past but will be tuning in just a few times this season… it will give me A LOT to write about on my blog!!

  1. Sooooooo are you getting rid of all that whiskey on the counter? 🙂

  2. Congratulations everyone keep up the great work!! It definitely gets easier.

  3. It’s really exciting to see… and hoping everybody feels great after the 30 days!

    This is MUCH better than the biggest loser… and kinder too!!

  4. This is a great idea. I think that I may put one together for my clients as we get closer to the new year. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Very inspiring. Great to see that they are having the same experience I am. I started a week late so have only been on PB for 5 days. I’ve already lost 5 lbs and have had virtually no cravings for carbs or sweets which I was terrified of experiencing. I’ve walked tons, 3 miles today, though have not started to the other work outs. I’m a bit intimidated but hope to start next week. I am finding though that I get hungry 5 hours or so after eating a meal which leaves me full. I eat breakfast around 6 and am hungry around 10.30 or 11. I’m hoping this will change and I will be hungry at 12. Same with afternoon, hungery at 4ish, but don’t eat until 7 or so. I’ve just been having PB snacking. Should I expect this to go away or it is normal? I’ve seriously increased my protein and good fats so don’t think I need to eat more. Thoughts?

    1. Kristen…I would just feed your body when it asks. Everyone is different. Some only eat one or two meals a day, others 3 with snacks.

      Personally I don’t get hungry between meals if I am busy or away from home. Otherwise, food calls me.

      You will figure out what works for you over time.

    2. Kristen, great job with the walking, and I think you will find that your hunger will diminish as time goes on. I never thought I could survive on 2 meals a day, but that is where I am at now. (I have been low carbing since March, but just started the PB Challenge about the time you did.) I was also very nervous about the sprinting and 5 essential moves. But the way Mark has it laid out, it is fun and exciting. The videos that are embedded in the Primal Fitness eBook are very helpful. If you are anything like me, the first time you do them will be the hardest time. It will get easier after that! And it may even help subside the hunger. Best of luck!!

  6. It is amazing how many foods you can remove from pantry when switching to primal eating! You can then stock it full of home-made jerky and nuts!

  7. This is so cool! Agreed that it is wayy better than the biggest loser! Very inspiring! 🙂

  8. Oh man i should have probably eaten breakfast before looking at these pix. Now im famished for a giant ribeye steak smothered in butter, mushrooms and onions, and some veggies on the side.

  9. JJ-I had tears in my eyes when I read this recap. Your positive influence on the people around you is so inspiring! Keep up the fantastic job!

  10. Can someone help me understand how that’s all Elaine ate in an entire day? It’s all really good but I don’t understand how that was it. I get really hungry throughout a day and know that bacon, beef, an apple, and some veggies wouldn’t be enough for even half of my day. Confused….

    1. Second that question as a Miami resident… I know the obvious places (Whole Foods, where it is like $7 /lb just for ground beef), but is there somewhere else besides that private farm from Pennsylvania??

  11. Was there anything you can relay to us that you showed your people on the stationary bikes/ellipticals to learn sprinting?



  12. So am I the only one that noticed the silverware in the airplane meal photo!? Correct me if I’m wrong but an elderly lady got kept off of a flight for having NAIL CLIPPERS!! and this flight gave metal silverware, not plastic!? how crazy!

    Anyways, great work JJ and all the leapers! Congrats on finding your primal sides, I’m sure you will be lifetime members!

  13. I love everything about this concept: the support of group involvement, personal training help and guidance; it’s so motivating. I have been thinking about becoming a personal trainer and to be able to help people in this way would be amazing! Everybody keep up the fantastic work!