Going Primal - My 90 Day Journey to Health

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by melbo, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Why do we degenerate? Why don't we just drop dead of old age anymore? Why do we get cancer and heart disease and accept it as 'what happens'? Why are we all getting fatter even while making all the 'right' food choices (oatmeal, whole grains, low fat meats)?

    3 months ago - May 21, 2013

    Height = 5'9"
    Weight = 180 but fluctuates between 180 and 190+ quite easily.
    Pants = 34 (tight - open the top button at the end of the day)
    Shirts = XL

    Typical energy ebb and flow throughout the day.

    Need to eat regularly or feel weak, shaky and irritable. Tired at the end of my busy day (99.5% office work).

    Beginning to experience intermittent issues that could point to low(er) testosterone.

    Generally feel unhealthy but not sure what to do about it. I eat 'healthy' and ride bikes, hike, and live a more active lifestyle than the guy next door. Just seem to be degenerating - Oh wait - I'm past 40... I'm supposed to degenerate right? Now I'm on the slow slide towards the inevitable death by cancer or heart disease. Oh boy. Getting old sucks.

    Nice chubby cheeks...
    chunk 1.PNG

    Why do we degenerate? Why don't we just drop dead of old age anymore? Why do we get cancer and heart disease and accept it as 'what happens'? Why are we all getting fatter even while making all the 'right' food choices (oatmeal, whole grains, low fat meats)?

    Why don't bears or Elk get cancer? Why don't birds have heart attacks? Wait a minute - some animals do have similar issues...

    Dogs and cats get the same types of degenerative diseases that humans get. So do livestock that we feed. What's the common denominator? Could it be that only humans and animals that we feed are susceptible to this cycle? Maybe it's the food we eat and the feed we provide our animals that's killing us.

    Not obese, just carrying ~25 extra lbs

    90 days later - August 20, 2013

    Height = 5'9"
    Weight = 160 and fluctuates between 158 and 162 throughout the day.
    Pants = 30 - loose in waist but need room for thigh muscles.
    Shirt = M - lost overall girth but added biceps, triceps and pecs.

    Oh my, is that the beginnings of a six-pack??

    Amazing, steady energy throughout the day.

    Eat when I'm hungry, eat as much as I want with no 'body hunger', just a small telltale ache in my belly signalling a request for some food. Only the foods I eat have changed...

    T levels are back to teenage levels :)

    I feel better, stronger and healthier than I did when I played football in high school. Have also dropped 5 pant sizes and significantly increased muscle mass and strength. My strength training consists of two 12 minute sessions a week - at home, with no equipment.

    Body composition is 80% diet (with a small d) - 20% exercise.

    Americans (on average) gain 1 - 1.5 lbs of fat while losing 1 - 1.5 lbs of muscle a year starting at around age 25.

    es_wedding.PNG sprints.

    How did I do this? By mitigating the insulin 'flash flood' that rushes the bloodstream after the typical American meal. I've basically ditched the farmer diet for the hunter / gatherer food plan: Eat lots of meats and vegetables, lots of fat and avoid things our bodies don't tolerate.
    • Cut all grains from my diet: Wheat, oats, corn, rice, pasta, flour, etc -
    • Added/increased meat and saturated fat in copious amounts: bacon, butter, coconut oil, eggs, nuts etc.
    • Removed 'heart healthy' oils - corn, canola and all PUFAs (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids)
    • Reduced sugars / carbs (75 to 100 grams carbs per day)
    • Cut legumes - peanuts are not a nut - they're a legume... legumes aren't digestible.
    My new Food Pyramid (which is pretty much the one from the 70s)

    My body has become fat adapted meaning that it uses fat for energy now instead of sugar. When you are a sugar burner (carbs), you must continue to provide a steady stream of fuel. This fuel (carbs/sugar) triggers insulin which processes the sugar and sends fat to storage. Now that I'm fat adapted, my body is simultaneously storing and burning body fat which provides a buffer to the fuel need. Thus no hunger shakes or other 'I gotta eat now!' reactions. I have no idea how many calories I eat a day but it's probably double what I used to. Calories in / Calories out fitness is a myth.

    pbpbooks_300x250. My wife and parents have also joined me on this quest - all with similar results except that 2 of them have also discontinued blood pressure medications with regular daily readings of 118 over 60 :) Actually, all 11 in my office are on some degree of following this program. So is my daughters elementary school teacher and about 6 of her friends. @Clyde and @phishi are also on board and might chime in.

    Most of this goes against Conventional Wisdom on health but I've always stated that 'most people are wrong about most things, most of the time'. All told, I think we've triggered 30+ people to switch to our new healthy lifestyle, all who were able to break the bonds of CW and take the leap back to health.


    The program we're doing is not some short term fad Diet (with a capital d) like Atkins. It's a new lifestyle. It's called Primal. If you can kill it, pick it or dig it out of the ground and eat it raw (not that you have to eat it raw), it's probably OK. That's where things like wheat, corn, beans are out - they cannot be eaten raw and some may argue that they can't really be eaten when cooked. Its not hard to convince someone that corn isn't very digestible...

    Take a look at the attached introduction to the Primal Blueprint. In the past 90 days, I've purchased and distributed over 25 PB books and cookbooks to friends and family. My life will never be the same.

    Oh yeah, the fitness aspect... that 20% contributor to body comp which includes zero 'chronic cardio'.

    Here's my routine:
    • Move slowly, frequently - hike, walk, bike at 55 - 75% of max heart rate 3 times a week for 35-45 minutes.
    • Lift Heavy Things - all body weight only utilizing the 4 primal movements Pull ups, push ups, squats and planks. (12 minutes)
    • Sprint once in awhile - full out effort once a week. 6 x 50 yards (5 minutes which includes pacing off the distance)

    At first, I couldn't do a complete unassisted pull up. Now I'm up to 5 unassisted and then drop a leg to a stool to finish the rest.


    I've become somewhat of an unpaid consultant to friends and family who are converting to this program - answering questions by phone, email or text about this food or that food so feel free to ask away. I strongly suggest that you order the Primal Blueprint, Updated and Expanded edition (paperback) -The hardcover is good, just not as up to date- which will give you a good foundation to begin. There is also a 21 day challenge book which I've sent out to those who aren't interested in reading the full thing. Full disclosure: after seeing the results of the Primal Lifestyle, SM has become an affiliate which means the site will make a few bucks on any purchase from PB links (like we do with Amazon).

    added for motivation ;)
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Amazing results Melbo, I will deffinately have to do some of the reading you have linked.... I am in the same boat and would like to have some of those great results you have shown are achievable for guys/gals of any age . [winkthumb]
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Something I definitely need to study more closely. It's time
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Does that mean the sugar in an Irish Death is out @melbo? ;)
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I quit beer for the first 30 days to bring my carbs under 75 grams. I've added some back in lately and have also supplemented with red wine. Once I get exactly where I want to be, I'll experiment with sliding up the carb curve to 100-150 grams a day 'effortless weight
    Yard Dart likes this.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    @melbo ..... Hey you forgot the Pizza Food Group in your Food Group Pyramid.....
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    You both look amazing. What an inspiration. I have recently stopped walking and started trotting. It looks stupid but I certainly felt it after the first few days.
  8. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I've been looking at the primal thing for a little while now. Both of us have seen the unexplained (and def unwanted) pounds creep on over the years and neither of us can pinpoint why (ok hours at the computer on my ass might have something to do with it). We don't eat like pigs, almost never eat sweets or junk food... but bread, rice and pasta are def on the menu. After seeing your drool worthy abs I think we're going to go ahead and start making the change over.

    Moto.... are you prancercising?? :D
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I bought my wife the Primal cookbooks and they really helped. She's actually baking bread, scones, muffins, cupcakes etc using Almond flour, coconut flour and ground golden flaxseed instead of wheat flour.

    The Primal Blueprint Cookbook
    Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals
    Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings and Toppings

    I think he has a 25% off special if you buy 3 books.

    Here's a sample of actual pictures I've taken at the dinner table:

    Grass fed T-Bone w/Chipotle Butter

    Avocado BLT

    Mixed grilled Steak and veg

    Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

    Meatballs on Angel Hair Cabbage

    Garlic Artichoke Chicken w/anchovies

    Awesome Avocado and egg breakfast
    Hanzo likes this.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Sounds like you are going gluten free. Thanks for the links on the cookbooks.

    Ditchwitch- biglaff love it and have to try it & scare the neighbors some night.
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Ditching wheat pretty much ensures Gluten Free. The problem with Gluten Free is that the GF substitutes are generally processed, high carb starches.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    WOW, awesome results!

    I have just started getting back to a more paleo diet. Need to start the exercising now.

    Thanks for the links, I'll be checking them out tonight.
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I am glad the diet change is working well for you. i would however, caution people to be careful how they diet. My parents went on to the Adkin's diet, and it nearly killed my Father. His kidney (he was born with only one) shut down, and they did a biopsy and they almost failed to be able to wake him. They will never sedate him like that again, unless his life depends upon it.
    Turns out, he needed a LOW protein diet, and the high meat diet nearly did him in. He is now allowed 4 oz. per day. a piece about the size of a deck of cards, and he eats a lot of rabbit food.
    monkeyananda likes this.
  14. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    ooo, looks like pork chops are ok on this food system!
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I wonder if Moose, is on that menu....... There seems to be one wondering around here sometimes....
  16. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    There are many flaws (my opinion) with Atkins and even Paleo. Both of them cut the fuel (carbs/sugar) without giving the body a replacement (fat).

    Primal is as close to the diet of a tribal hunter gather as it gets.
    Silversnake likes this.
  17. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I guess it's in which "version" of paleo you follow. The paleo diet that I am on looks exactly like the primal diet. In your view point how do the paleo and primal differ?
    Paleo - if it had a face (animal) it's ok, if you can pick it off of a plant or from the ground and eat it in it's raw form it's ok.

    Found a nice comparison of the diets, how accurate is it?
  18. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  19. Vetter

    Vetter Monkey+

    Sounds interesting.
    There was a time when I ran a 5-10k, or road my bike 15-30 miles every day(alternated). Plus a 1 mile swim 4 days a wk at lunch. Plus 600 situps, 200 pushups, and did 100 pull ups every day. And I have NEVER had a six pack! I've also NEVER been able to get coke out of my life. I drink 4-8, 12 ounce cans/day!!!
    So,............. I'm in.
    melbo likes this.
  20. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Looking good melbo

    Wheat and corn is in about everything on the shelves

    I've always wondered if it was the food I'm eating and/or low T levels that robs my energy at times.
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