To Say We Both Felt Better Is an Understatement

ANNOUNCEMENT: Beginning next week we’ll be taking a short break from Success Stories to make room for another popular reader request: a video cooking series. Yup, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and I will meet you in the kitchen each Monday morning through June to cook up some Primal and Primal-keto favorites (all part of a bigger announcement I’ll be making this week). In the meantime, you can check out the amazing archive of Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories from Mark’s Daily Apple readers. And 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’d love to hear from you. And now for today’s inspirational story…. Enjoy, everyone, and thanks for reading.

My story goes back to being a Jazz Piano Studies major in college. I was getting ready to graduate, and was planning a wedding with my high school sweetheart. At the start of my last semester in college my now wife was hit with a life changing diagnosis: non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This was at the age of 22. Our life was put on hold as we entered the strange world of cancer treatment. As the chemotherapy started, we would ask questions like “should we be eating a certain way?” Often we were laughed at by doctors and my wife was told to simply eat.

The food in the hospital was mostly processed carbohydrate and dessert based. Knowing what we know now about cancer being a mostly metabolic disease, it is horrifying that cancer patients are basically fed pure sugar. We did the best we could with healthy eating as we saw it. Mostly organic processed food and whole grains. Luckily my wife was strong enough to receive some of the toughest chemotherapy regimens in modern medicine and make it out the other end. After 6 months of treatment we were given the ok to go back to our normal lives. The question remained, “how did this happen and what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

In my research I stumbled across Mark’s Daily Apple, and fell into the rabbit hole that is ancestral living. We immediately started to get sugars and processed foods out of our diet. Before this I had tried to be a vegetarian off and on for a couple years, with my wife struggling as well. I had chronic digestive issues, joint pain, and low energy and assumed that was just my baseline. We started to simply eat more meat and vegetables in place of the grain heavy diet we were on. We worked on mindfulness strategies to reduce our stress, and functional training to strengthen our bodies. To say we both felt better would be an understatement.

After 3 years of dialing everything in, my wife and I follow a mostly ketogenic diet with periodic primal carbohydrates thrown in. She is in the best health of her life, even compared to before the chemo. I was so blown away by both of our transformations that I entered the Primal Health Coach Institute and got my certificate a year ago. Since then I have been passionately spreading the word and educating people about how to maintain effortless health, before a crisis happens.

I have been able to gain muscle and not have digestive, dental, and emotional issues for the first time in my life at 25. My wife has had similar benefits. We are now the owners of Steele Back Your Health, a coaching business based in the Cascade Mountains in Chelan, WA. I educate the importance of stress reduction, ancestral nutrition, and sustainable movement to maintain health long term effortlessly. Everyone should know that the human body is capable of supporting you long term, given the simple inputs it has evolved to need over our evolution.

Thanks for everything Mark. Live Awesome!

-Elliot Steele

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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14 thoughts on “To Say We Both Felt Better Is an Understatement”

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  1. Thanks for sharing your stories Elliot and congrats on your business! Nice to have enjoyed the benefits of Primal and Keto so early in your lives. You will be a motivated coach and able to help transform many others through your business. Seeing is believing… Continued success to you both!

    1. Thanks Spider. I’m thankfully for discovering this stuff early! Thanks you for the well wishes

  2. Very inspirational how your wife recovered and became even stronger. Nice web site and services, all the best to you, thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I am a completely rookie at website design, good to hear is communicable! Thanks for reading.

  3. Way to go Elliot and Elizabeth. I am so glad I was able to witness the beginning of your journey. What a great surprise to log onto MDA and see your smiling faces.

    1. Yo Pete! You’re the one that hipped me to this site in the first place, so hats off to you! I miss our morning talks going down the rabbit hole on this stuff.

  4. What a inspirational story. I have also gone through this type of phase. This story filled my heart with love to both of you! Wishing all the best things for you!

  5. I miss them too. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. Your new adventure is off to a great start.

  6. When my mom was dying of cancer 20 years ago, I had no real knowledge about nutrition, but I was enraged at what people were fed in hospitals as far as desserts, fruits in sugar water, artificial jello and puddings. I might not have had the insight that I have now, but it seemed wrong to pump sick bodies full of obviously unhealthy foods. My grandmother was dying from complications from diabetes around the same time and her hospital food was just as bad. I feel like the excuse I got was along the lines of, “Well, they’re dying, they may as well eat whatever they want.” Okay…. I am grateful that we have access to more information now. It is great when people change their lives with better food choices! Way to go!

    1. @Jennifer,
      I had a similar experience with my parents. I truly believe that all the sugar they consumed was the reason they got sick and eventually passed.
      Have a couple of people in my life with D2 and after countless conversations they just continue on the same path… so sad.. but I try to lead by example in the hopes that they will see and realize changing your diet is the key..

  7. Did your wife grow up in an agricultural area? Did she have exposure to glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup)? There is a mounting body of evidence that links this to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But of course we are all exposed through our food and through ground water contamination.

    1. Good comment. The Institute for Responsible Technology is tracking the lawsuits about exactly this. Anyone can check out how that’s progressing. NHL can also come after years of autoimmune problems, and it’s on the rise. But since she got it so quickly, it could be traceable. Nice catch!

  8. I’m so happy you guys are ok! Thanks for sharing your story.

    At the ripe old age of 24 I made a momentous decision, that if I ever got cancer, I’d rather die than be treated. My mom had just died and I had spent four years caring for her and making the decision. I didn’t hear of keto until more than a decade after her death and didn’t try it for another several years. I have this fantasy where she tells me about it right away and we both walk away from the medical center, and plan a keto diet. I never stopped looking for a way that would’ve worked to have her survive. Nobody should lose their mom that young.

    Elliott, sometimes people with the muscle and gut symptoms you have, also have the HLA-DQ8 and 2 genes, the official Celiac genes (there are unofficial ones like SH2B3 too). Has any doctor mentioned Celiac disease to you or tested? Don’t answer, I’m just bringing up the question because 83% of people with active Celiac are undiagnosed and your story sounds a bit like mine.

    I love the website, and thanks to Mark for putting his community in touch with other smart healthy people who can coach and role model.