Friday, January 6, 2017

Getting the Six-Pack Back!

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. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

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I was a distance runner in high school, but as the years went by, my commitment to fitness went on the back burner for a busy family and career life. When my father had bypass surgery, it opened my eyes to the importance of taking care of my diet and exercise habits. I’ve always been able to go out and run a few, or more, miles; the biggest challenge for me was my horrible eating habits and late nights in front of screen entertainment. My addiction was sugar, and it was an easy drug to get to, since it’s pretty much in everything we eat. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, borderline diabetes and depression. I was slowly killing myself. I needed help, and I was ready and willing to do something about it.

I’ve tried everything from Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers to the ViSalus (90 day program). I was successful with the ViSalus program for a short time, but I felt like I starved myself to drop my weight. With ViSalus, I was able to go from 206 lbs down to 165 pounds…seemed like a successful attempt at losing weight.

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But wait, what do I do now that I have reached that goal set for me? I turned to my childhood friend, Brad Kearns. He was always supportive and never judgmental of me, even at my lowest point. He gave me The Primal Blueprint, and I devoured it, peppering him with near-constant email and phone questions for over two years.

From that high point of 206 pounds, I now easily maintain a goal weight of around 145 pounds (I’m 5’7″). The journey I took to this point was not easy. There is no quick fix for this. It took me many years to get fat and ugly, and it took a while to get my six-pack back! Once you accept that it’s not a quick fix, write your goals down, log your intake of food, weigh in, and remind yourself it can only get better. And yes, there will be good days and bad days. All part of the cycle of life.

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My daily eating habits: Breakfast is a shake with Primal Fuel, bananas, natural peanut butter, chia seeds and flax seeds. Sometimes my breakfast will be eggs from a local chicken farm and lean bacon. Lunch is sometimes a shake, grilled chicken or a salad. Dinner is fish, chicken, meat (depending on the mood I’m in) with lots of veggies. Dessert is fruit, nuts and seeds.

I do weights here and there (dumbbells 25 lbs each), but mainly sit ups, pull-ups, chin-ups and pushups….If I wear my hernia belt, I can also do planks…. Since getting healthy, my knees are not sore (had issues with them in the past…

I run between 120 to 174 miles a month at an aerobic pace. Yes, following the principles of Primal Endurance I was forced to slow way down. This actually helped me get the final success happening. I went from a stall at 170 pounds down to 145 when I slowed down my training pace because this helped me finally free myself completely from sugar addiction/sugar cravings. I decided to cut sugar out of my diet and focus on being a Primal eater….with more mileage on the road (running) – I was able to burn the fat, not muscle using the Maff formula and concentrated on HR training.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s true. The sugar addiction that keeps us unhealthy can be traded in for a healthy lifestyle with positive support and a desire to live long and drop dead.

Gil Maroko, Wellness Coach

Meridien, ID

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Forget the Diet! Make These 7 Small Changes Instead

Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and get healthier. In order to achieve these goals, many folks jump on the fad diet bandwagon. But many of these diets require complete elimination of certain food groups, have you eating close to nothing or recommend a boatload of supplements that empty your wallet. Instead of looking for quick results that will probably not last long, make these small changes instead. Make these small changes for at least 6 months, and they can become lifelong healthy habits.

Measure Ingredients

Large portions are one way folks overconsume calories. This is especially true with certain high calorie foods, including nuts, salad dressing, oil, peanut butter, granola, rice, pasta and juice. Although all these foods can be part of a healthy weight loss plan, eating controlled portions will help keep calories in check.

Eat At Least 2 Whole Grains per Day

The 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans recommend getting half your grain intake from whole grains. If you’re not used to eating any whole grains, start with two serving per day. For example, make your sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread, or swap your pasta from traditional white to whole wheat.

Plan Weeknight Meals

When it comes to the hustle and bustle of weeknight dinners, all bets for healthy can be off. Instead of getting stuck ordering in or heading to the nearest fast food joint, take a half hour on Saturday to plan out your weeknight meals. Create a shopping list of the ingredients needed and head to the market on Sunday.

Cook and Freeze for Later

Go a step further and cook double batches of weeknight favorites and freeze half for a super busy week. This way if you don’t have time to cook, you’ll always have something you can pull from the freezer. Dishes that are perfect to freeze include meatballs, lasagna, soups, chili, and stew.

Up Your Fruits and Veggies

Although this is a change you may think you’re making, the 2015 dietary guidelines found that up to 90% of Americans don’t eat their daily recommended amount of vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients (plant chemicals that help fight and prevent disease). Make it a point to eat at least one fruit or vegetable at every snack and at least one fruit and one vegetable at every meal. When you reach those goals, kick it up another notch.

Up Your Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

The dietary guidelines recommend 3 servings of dairy every day, but found that Americans are eating only 2. Milk contains 9 essential nutrients, including 3 that were flagged as nutrients that most Americans are lacking. These nutrients include potassium, vitamin D, and calcium. Taking in that last serving of dairy can help close the gap on nutrients you may be missing.

Get Your Zzs

Lack of sleep has been associated with overeating. When you’re tired, rational decisions to choose healthy food are compromised. Make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.



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Lately Fun

Good morning! And happy Friday. How’s your 2017 going so far? Whether or not you pick resolutions, I find it hard not to feel a little motivated this time of year from all the positive energy buzzing about.

I’ve really been into tuna and salmon salad for lunches again. I used to eat this curried salad all the time when I packed my lunch everyday. I’ve also been doing a lot of tasting plates because I just don’t crave big salads in the winter. Except for kale salad. New year plan: make a massaged kale salad every week and spread it across a few lunches.

I’ve also been enjoying half sandwiches every now and then. With a few chips, and a side of fruit or veggies. Citrus season is here!

His and Hers chili : ) I pulled out parts of my chili and grouped them by type, since my child doesn’t get the concept of soup yet. This wasn’t his favorite meal, but he didn’t protest all that much. I hope the day comes when he’s a hungry teenager who will eat anything!

My song of the month is “Virginia Calling” by Sons of Bill. I loved hearing this live before Christmas, and it was so beautiful with a woman’s voice mixed in when Schuyler Fisk joined them on the stage.

Happy Friday y’all!

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