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Success Story: Carolyn – I currently weigh less than I did my Senior year in high school!

Published on November 13, 2013,

Over the past 18 months or so, Carolyn decided to change what she eats and start an exercise regime as part of a “Biggest Loser” competition with her dance troupe. Since then, and by dropping the grains, refined sugars and processed foods along with some serious exercising, she has dropped 60lbs and says she feels GREAT! This is from the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry…

Old Carolyn

The Old Carolyn

…In November of 2011, the hula halau that I dance with decided to have a “Biggest Loser” type competition. I started my “diet” by dropping all starches, grains and all processed foods and refined sugars from my diet. I also increased my water consumption and fruit and vegetable intake. I began going to the gym most days of the week, cycling between circuit strength training and cardio intervals. Through my hula sisters, I heard about a local personal trainer who hosted weekly “Boot Camp” classes on a drop-in basis. I dropped-in. It kicked my butt! I could only barely do about half of the exercises and it took me a full week to get over the muscle soreness. But you know what? Even though it was hard and I was sore, it felt good to be moving and pushing myself! I started going to boot camp every Saturday morning and it started getting easier (not easy, but easier). I started to notice changes in my weight and energy level.

New Carolyn

The New Carolyn

On January 1st, 2012 I started a 30 day Paleo Challenge. I started out by following the meal plans and recipes outlined in the challenge but quickly caught on to the “rules” and began planning my own menus. After the first 30 days of strict Paleo (no dairy, no grains, no beans, no processed or refined foods or sugars, etc) I felt GREAT!! The changes in my mood, energy, physical well-being and athletic performance were huge. No more blood sugar ups and downs! No more stomachaches after meals! My family was even starting to come around to this way of eating! (Well, my husband anyway…)

After the 30 day challenge ended, I was sold! A friend suggested that I take a look at I loved the 80/20 principle! It all made sense to me and I had already experienced, first-hand the results of a low-carb diet high in fresh vegetables and clean protein. I liked that the Primal Blueprint lifestyle allowed for the inclusion of some quality dairy (if it agreed with your system). It seemed friendlier and less restrictive while still touching on all of the healthy benefits of the Paleo diet.

I have been living primally ever since. Since the end of October 2011, I have lost over 60 pounds. I currently weigh less than I did my Senior year in high school. For the first time in my adult life I don’t care about losing weight. I feel good in my skin! My new goals are to get stronger and leaner but I could care less what the scale says!

I incorporated a Whole30 in there right before my 39th birthday and I had a “cheat” week while on vacation but by and large, I will continue to eat and live this way long-term. It is not a diet. It is a lifestyle and as a result I am in better physical condition than I have been in my entire adult life, oh yeah, and no more back fat!

By the way, I won the “Biggest Loser”… 

More at: I currently weigh less than I did my Senior year in high school!

Success Story: I Came To The Realization That My “Healthy” Lifestyle Was Going To Kill Me, Literally!

Published on August 5, 2013,

This is a really interesting testimonial from someone who swapped a regime of conventional heathy eating (including calorie counting, ‘healthy’ whole grains, less fat)  for low carb eating and Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint approach (including embracing fats, cutting the grains). The overall result was no extra weight loss – look at the photos, there’s nothing to come off! – but a transformed body shape, far more energy and the disappearance of a whole load of nuisance health issues. This is from Ancestral Weight Loss Registry…

The Old Myra

The Old Myra

…I’ve never believed in “diets” since I have seen what happens in the overwhelming majority of cases – follow the “diet,” lose weight, back to the same-old-same-old, pack on more pounds than before. So I decided to be sensible and follow conventional wisdom. By instituting sustainable changes to my diet (counting calories, adding more healthy whole grains, less fat, less junk food) and a manageable exercise routine (worked up to chronic cardio!), I met my goal. By mid-April 2011 I was down 23 lbs. and 2 sizes. Woo hoo! I should have been ecstatic, but I knew I had a problem.

I’d lost the weight, but I was feeling weaker and had experienced a couple of really scary incidents of severe diarrhea which lead to incapacitating dehydration compounded with hypothermia. I had to be rushed to the emergency room twice over a two-month period. After numerous tests and consultations between my GP and the ER doctors, the diagnosis both times was stomach virus. Great. They were clueless.

…Somehow I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple. As I started reading, a lot started making sense. The exercise portion was a lot like what I did as a kid. Having grown up in NYC with no car in the family, my feet were a basic mode of transportation. Sprints were how my friends and I got to elementary school (had to wait for mom to catch up to cross the street), lifting heavy things was how we got groceries home and up the stairs, and let’s not forget going up and down stairs (2 or 3 steps at a time weighted down with books in jr. and sr. high school) in the train stations, as well as regularly climbing 2 – 5 flights of stairs to reach family members’ and friends’ apartments (elevators were not an option).

Myra today

Myra today

After reading The Primal Blueprint (the only “diet” book I had EVER purchased), I came to the realization that my “healthy” lifestyle was going to kill me, literally! I must admit that even in spite of that, I had a lot of trepidation about going without the grains and legumes and increasing my fat intake. I had no problem dropping processed foods because my dad didn’t consider anything out of a can or pre-frozen to be “food,” and my mom made the distinction between real food and party (i.e. junk) food. For over 50 years I had eaten oatmeal or cream of wheat as part of my healthy breakfast almost every day. Breakfast without grains just did not seem like it would fill me up. Being of Caribbean ancestry, rice and beans had also been lifelong staples. However, on July 23, 2011, I decided to give this primal thing a try for a week. One week later I was down another 3 lbs., but, in spite of my husband’s concerns about my “anorexia” – no worries – I was also down one full size! Using one of the online body fat calculators, I estimated that my body fat had gone down about 3%, which correlates well with the 3 lb. weight loss. Over the next few months I took a few forays back into the world of “regular” foods, because I wasn’t going to let some “diet” deprive me of my old comfort foods. My body didn’t like that and let me know loudly and clearly.

After 5 months of having said goodbye to the “healthy” whole grains and legumes, embracing the fats, dropping the chronic cardio, exercising less (but more effectively) and playing more, I lost a total of 6 lbs. Almost a year into my primal journey, I’ve regained all of the weight that I lost since I went primal. What has left me and all that have seen my transformation dumbfounded, is that from July 2011 to now I dropped from a size 4 to a size 0 with a net weight loss of ZERO pounds! Let me summarize that — I dropped 36 lbs. and went from a size 8 to a size 4 following conventional wisdom. I’ve dropped a whopping 0 lbs. and have gone from a size 4 to a size 0 following the primal blueprint.

More importantly, I’ve noticed that a lot of nuisance health issues that I had attributed to aging and/or had for so long that I accepted them as “normal,” are gone. To name just a few, the achy shins and joints, compliments of power walking (I read that it was easier on the joints than jogging, lol!), are no longer achy. I no longer feel like I am going to pass out if I don’t have breakfast within the first 30 minutes after I wake up. I no longer need to constantly pack snacks for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger pangs/shakes. I no longer get in a foul mood when I’m hungry. I don’t drink anywhere near the amounts of water I drank regularly when I was constantly fighting dehydration, nor have I had a need to drink Gatorade. I have more energy than ever (I was anemic from childhood until a couple of years ago). Spicy foods no longer mess up my stomach. That stuffed feeling 10-15 minutes after a meal is gone. My pipes no longer leak.

My primal journey continues as I try out different things and continue to learn how my body wants me to live. At age 53 I am stronger, leaner, more energetic and feel healthier than ever.

More at:  I came to the realization that my “healthy” lifestyle was going to kill me, literally!

See more from Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple

Healthy Low Carb Sauces, Dressings & Toppings

Published on December 10, 2012,

If you ever feel your tried and trusted repertoire of low carb stand by meals could do with a bit of a makeover than Mark Sisson may have just the thing with his new ‘Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings’ book. In it, Mark promises a guide to transforming even the simplest meal into something sensational with the help of over 120 recipes that make it easy to add extra flavor and nutrients with a sauce, dressing, seasoning, or topping. Here’s a video trailer for the book:

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Mark claims every recipe will enhance the nutritional value of your meal, using only Primal-approved ingredients.

What’s more, if you order before 12th December there are a whole load of digital freebies available including a audiobook version of Mark’s ‘Primal Blueprint’.

If you’d like a sample of what the book offers you can find recipes for Spicy Red Pepper Coconut Sauce, Pesto Vinaigrette and Oregano Mint Marinade here.

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