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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 2018

We Can Now Look Forward To Healthy Retirement Years

By Guest
41 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!

 My wife and I went Paleo 1/1/2016, initially guided by The Whole 30.

My wife lost weight, and we both passed through carb flu hell. We became virtually illness-free and enjoyed extra daily hours of energy…but I gained weight.

I was committed to grain- and sugar-free living, but confused about my extra pounds. A colleague suggested The Primal Blueprint, which I confess I stayed up all night to read.

The Blueprint’s much more flexible approach to Paleo, or more properly “Primal” eating, snapped things into focus. I learned quickly that I was simply eating too much, and that potatoes (including most sweet varieties) didn’t make sense.

I also learned to dump my grimly desperate gym-rat’s approach to cardio and lifting. Coming up on age 60 in 2018, I now spend 75% of my workout time outside in the sun. Hiking dominates. I added a 20 lb. vest last year to boost intensity.

I now spend more time on my feet than seated, including a stand-up desk at work. I have to be reminded to sit down to eat.

My wife also appreciates the latitude to eat-when-hungry, and the mature, hype-free approach to wine, dairy, chocolate and other “gray area” foods.

We have both lost 30 lbs. I have been sick exactly ONCE since going Primal (first time in 26 months) and have not seen a physician at all. Kathy, a teacher exposed to constant sneezing and coughing students, is ill far less often than her pre-Primal days.

At one point, my weight loss stalled. I went back the Blueprint and realized we were eating a lot of organic chicken. “Organic” doesn’t guarantee correct omega fatty acid ratios, so we reduced our chicken consumption 50%—replacing it with grass-fed beef. Within a few weeks, not only did I lose more pounds but suddenly dropped 3 inches in my waist. It was almost weird.

Even better, we can now look forward to healthy retirement years. My personal success with Primal living got me started researching its long-term health benefits. I now believe we have a real chance to enjoy a disease-free “live long, drop dead” old age.

Timely updates from MDA are a big help, of course. Mark’s patience and commitment to understanding, and examining—not just rebutting—every new fad and study, is a great example to us all. I never hesitate to refer people to MDA, and visit daily.

While I have read many other books and articles about Paleo and Primal living, I am thrilled to say everything just reinforces the foundation I got from The Primal Blueprint.

I am also committed to getting the word out, and have started my own blog, which will be called Paleo55plus.com, devoted to healthy aging through ancestral life choices.

In the face of unprincipled corporate interests and their stranglehold on “popular” information, all we can do is keep sharing our stories and results.

If we have to convert the grainiacs one a time, it’s still worth it.

Grok henceforth!

David Whiteside
St. George, UT

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41 thoughts on “We Can Now Look Forward To Healthy Retirement Years”

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  1. Great story – Love this part: In the face of unprincipled corporate interests and their stranglehold on “popular” information, all we can do is keep sharing our stories and results. Thanks for sharing yours!

    1. I tried a few. my other favorite was “Grok in the morning, Grok at night”…but it seemed a little long 🙂 please stay in touch!

  2. First congratulations to you and your wife. Living without chronic disease is by far the most important part about our Primal journey. Interesting that you switched from chicken to beef and lost weight. I must look that up again. I loved your statement about converting the grainiaces one person at a time. One of my pet peeves is that people will not accept what I have to say or even take the time to research it. So happy you found your way.

    1. Kathy and I appreciate your well wishes. What a wild journey. That chicken thing came up again recently–after writing the post on grass fed beef I basically fired chicken and don’t eat it regularly…and just had to give away more slacks! Better omega fatty acid palace = less inflammation/fluid retention, at least that is what it feels like. I feel your pain keenly re: explaining Paleo to others. the blog helped me get some of this out of my system.

  3. Excellent post!! Can I ask what drove the change from Whole30 to PB? We have a couple of friends that swear by that approach.

    1. First: I believe in and recommend Whole 30 to this day, BUT, second…I ran afoul of the inclusion of potatoes in the “starchy vegetable” category, and the lack of emphasis on portion control. PB lays this out differently, including the emphasis on LOW CARB, which clicked with me. Mark also says genuinely attention grabbing stuff about fitness, which is in the background for Whole 30. The entire package resonated with me very personally, it was a better fit…but I’d never have found Mark without trying Whole 30 first!

      1. Side note: It is interesting that the book, The Potato Hack, has so many low carb/Paleo endorsements. However, potatoes are a starchy vegetable and provide Vitamin C, fiber and other worthwhile nutrients. I have no problem including a potato in my diet — pan browned hash browns which are folded into an omlet– are a fave once in a while.

        A lot of Mark’s perspective, I appreciate, having engaged in chronic cardio until I came across writings by various strength trainers in the 90s to include Ken Hutchins along with “Movement Naturale” by George Herbert (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_H%C3%A9bert) and others and even Art Devany’s criticism of distance training in 1999 (?). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKGF-ErsJiI

  4. “I am mad as hell…” I love that this is what drives you!

    Nice website and niche demographic. Too many people get too greedy when going after a market. Paleo 55+ is perfect! Love that you list MDA as the first resource to learn about Paleo… I have Mark’s contributions as number 3 on my list though they could easily be number 1 as well!

    If you haven’t delved into Nora Gedgaudas’ work, go there! Her book Primal Fat Burner is beyond amazing. It’s become required reading for the entire tribe here at Ancestral Supplements… a godsend gift to us Sapiens.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there David… nice story. Best of luck into the future!

  5. Great story, and great start on your own blog. I’m in the same demographic group as you are (turning 60 this year), but got lucky and was turned onto Mark’s Daily Apple way back in 2010 (and the youthful age of 52!). I’ve lived by Primal principles since, and couldn’t be healthier or happier. My wife has never jumped in with both feet, but over the years has slowly drifted towards a Primal diet, and it has been great for her too.

    Best of luck with your blog and getting the word out to the 55+ crowd – having spent much of our adult lives being pounded by the experts with the low-fat/high-carb mantra, we can be a hard bunch to reach with the primal/paleo message.

    1. Yes, it IS tough to convince someone after they’ve lived/eaten the “other way” for 50+ years. The blog was my solution, people often are polite enough to read a post or two even if they’ve stopped asking me questions and have glazed eyes. At least they’ve seen the info a couple of times. Sometimes I notice small changes creeping in over time too! All we can do is keep chipping away. Share resources, share MDA, our blog, any blog. Let’s stay in touch.

  6. Well done David. I enjoyed your story immensely, and have checked out your blog. I will keep an eye out for it in the future. Like you, I came late to paleo, and at one level, like you, I’m as mad as hell at the lies and deliberate misinformation we were officially given over our life times. However, on another level I refuse to waste my golden years in anger. My story was published here under “I now have plans out to ninety”. It may amuse you. It seems to me that an extended life without accomplishment, sharing, love and joy would be rather odd. As an exhibiting artist I’m painting better than ever, with increasing sales. People don’t really care how old an artist is. They only see the quality of the work. All the best for you and your wife’s approaching golden years. Kind regards to you both. Ross

    1. Thanks Ross. Is your art viewable online? Please direct me. And, well, yes I get mad and stay mad….but actually it has morphed into keen determination to spread the word. Those I care about most are often the most resistant to these concepts…must imply love as well as anger 🙂 ? Best wishes!

      1. Hi David, If you google “Ross Whitlock” there are quite a lot of entries these days. I’m the New Zealand one. Otherwise I only post on facebook, usually every day when I’m painting. I used to have a website but seriously it took up too much time that I would rather spend in the studio or workshop. Let me know what you think. Cheers, Ross

  7. Love reading primal success stories from the greying set. We, in the 50+ age bracket have spent our entire adult lives in the low fat paradigm and have the most to gain from the Primal approach to living. Congrats to you and your wife on a successful second half century! From Martha T, almost 58, the Primal RD (Dietitian) 🙂

  8. Really enjoy your website David. Great idea. Happy you and the wife are at the beginning of a seemingly long 3rd act.

    1. Yes, act III and act IV hopefully. Weirdly, we met as Opera singers. Long story of course. Please stay in touch, and best wishes to you.

  9. Being a personal trainer working with 55+ clients (and fast approaching 60 y/o myself); I really enjoyed your article and website …. I wholeheartedly agree and will continue to follow your blog. Congrat’s David 🙂

    1. Thanks, Christine. Don’t hesitate to share a link or email on your personal training business, I am determined to get the word out on all fronts.

  10. Great story, that’s very interesting about replacing the chicken with grass-fed beef and losing weight. I wonder the mechanism behind that?

    1. I should probably do an “Ask Mark” on that one. My feeble/incomplete understanding is that the resulting improvement in omega 3/omega 6 ratio actually reduced inflammation or otherwise allowed me to rebalance better. I just did a post on grass-fed beef, and found that I avoid chicken even more…with similar results. Watch the Ask Mark, maybe we’ll manage to get it in there.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more of an issue with chicken being higher in protein, lower in fat. From the ketogenic theory, too much protein can stall weight loss.

  11. Wow, great story! Love how you fine tuned things. Some people just would have given up when they didn’t lose weight on a Whole30. The chicken thing is kind of crazy but I’d rather eat beef anyway!

  12. Wonderful story! The chicken thing was really interesting. I eat a lot of lamb because it’s grass fed mostly in the U.K. and easy to buy, but grass fed beef is less clearly labelled and more expensive. I buy a whole chicken every week, but might rethink that. Great idea with the blog and I wish you all the best with it. Something I’d be interested in the future too.

    1. Create your blog. We need to get the word out, you’ll feel better, and your loved ones who resist casual conversation may actually read it. That’s been my experience anyway. Please stay in touch, and, yes, consider firing chicken. I maybe eat it once a week now 🙂

  13. Great story and nice and original website.

    Interesting bit about the chicken. I no longer eat it and I exclusively eat red meat, some organs and wild fish, which helps in keeping my tummy flat. I leave the greens for the cows as their stomach handles them better than mine (-:

      1. Not much to tell. A cow can exert far more than we can when it comes to greens. So I eat the cow that eats the greens and my belly is happy and at ease. I use herbs for flavoring and mostly consume red meat, fats, wild fish and water.

  14. Beautiful story, David! Love how you and Kathy went on this journey together…and kept exploring and fine-tuning along the way. Also love the focus of your blog! Healthy aging through ancestral life choices – how fantastic!

    1. Thanks Dr. Lyons, please spread the word. I thought long and hard before taking this on…but found that “word of mouth” doesn’t go very far. So many glazed eyes at dinner parties–but I’ve found that people will read a post or two, so at least they’ve been exposed to the info. Best wishes!

  15. Nice very nice post
    Congratulations from another who follows your rule
    “I now spend 75% of my workout time outside in the sun”

  16. Very interesting… I’m closing in on 50. The chicken bit has me realizing it’s become more than 50% of our protein source. Well it’s off to our butcher this weekend for some grass fed and wag beef. Maybe a brisket! I’m 5 years in the journey, lost may way a bit and added back in WAY WAY WAY too much sugar. Gained back 70+ of the 100 I lost.. but after a new line in the sand and Paleo f(x) I’m back. Down 12 pounds, back in primal low carb/keto, hitting the weights, HIIT and walking. Just feeling so much more centered. Again thanks for the chicken hint… looking forward to shopping in my “to small” section of the closet.