Friday, February 9, 2018

I Will Not Stray From Low Carb And Real Food Eating [Success Story]

Testimonial written by: Karen S.

If I started at the beginning of my quest for health, I would need to say it started with a walking routine when I retired. I decided to quit yo-yo dieting and just take long walks and whatever happened would be good enough.

In 2003, I started walking a distance of 5 miles with a 55 floor incline. I’m adjacent to the Shenandoah National Park so it was a beautiful walk. But it was stressful—physically when I was carrying all the extra weight, and mentally as I would push myself to reach that 5 mile mark no matter what my mind and body were telling me.

Luckily, (yes, really), my husband had very high Triglycerides (no weight issue), and after much Dr. Google research I came upon the The Paleo Solution Podcast.

I began listening to Robb’s podcast and reading his book. I realized that insulin control was going to be the key to success. I formed a good habit by doing daily walks but I realized that getting stressful over distance or duration was not going to solve my problem by itself.

We got on the low-carb bandwagon and knocked his Triglycerides into the normal range (from 482). I just went along for the ride and we started counting carbs and went gluten-free. My weight started to magically come off in a gradual manner and I never looked back.

Later, I was interested in whether I was ever in ketosis so I got the Keto Mojo meter and started checking while going through your Keto Masterclass (perfect stuff).

I continue to do a daily walk but a new focus on good nutrition has been the game changer. The lifestyle change has finally happened and I feel comfortable with saying it is permanent because I now feel good.

My main interest is in being in ketosis enough to protect my brain from Alzheimer’s. I found that about 3/4 of the month of November I was in the .5 to 1.0 mmol range. I’m happy with the result and not obsessed with being there 100%.

I know you (Robb) talk about your mom not being around for your children and that is sad to hear. My mom died at age 55 and I have the hope that I can be around for my grandchildren for a long time. So if it’s any consolation, I thank you and the paleo community for every year that I have lived past 55.

So far I am 71 and feeling absolutely great. I keep up with my grandkids on just about everything they do, including some mountain climbing.

In 2016, I took my daughter to Paleo/fx in Austin. She arrived early so she went over to check-in before I arrived. My daughter’s first comment to me was that everyone standing in line appeared to be pretty ‘normal’. That was when I finally won her over that I was not following in the path of a bunch of lunatics.

She bought your book The Paleo Solution and we shared reading it. Her kids (my grandkids) know what it means to eat real food and I think that is what we want for all of America.

I am one of those people that never allowed anyone to take my picture when I was overweight so the original picture will go back to many years ago when I was a programmer for Lockheed Martin and was always under a lot of project related stress. So here goes with my before/after pictures (I’m sorry that no muscles are showing!!).

Before:

After:

I have felt fully in control since 2013 and have no fear of the word diet. My hope is that people will track my health to see if I’m still a survivor as the years go by.

I believe, for the first time ever, that I will not sway from low carb and real food eating.

I fully support Robb Wolf in any of his health endeavors, including sustainable farming.



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What to Read Next?

Hey, hey! Happy Friday!

Just popping in real quick to talk BOOKS! I’ve already plowed through two in 2018, so I want to try to read (at least) one a month for the rest of the year. The contenders are below, but, first, let me give you a quick recap of my morning!

My day started well before 6:00 AM, but I had a leftover “Tree Chugger” (iced coffee, Maple Water, cinnamon, and almond milk) from a meeting yesterday afternoon waiting for me in the fridge, so it wasn’t such a bad way to start my day! Woohoo, fun iced coffee! 🙂

It was “Show and Tell” day at Quinn’s school today. He originally wanted to bring his favorite book (which has been his favorite book for MONTHS now), but, then at the last minute, he picked his battleship to bring with him.

After dropping Qman off at school, I headed to the gym for a workout + some glute work after class. I’m all about the Crusty Squats lately! Burn, baby burn!

Question of the Day

What should I read next? What’s the last book you read?

Options:

Thin from Within: The Go with Your Gut Way to Lose Weight

OR

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health

The post What to Read Next? appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.



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A Heartfelt Thank You For Giving Me a Decade of Life

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!

Three months of Primal has already given me an extra decade of life.

Yes, that is an attention grabbing headline but after living Primal for three months, my blood cholesterol has changed so much for the better that I sincerely believe my odds of longevity have greatly increased.

I lived my first three decades as an enthusiastic carbs eater, enjoying my pasta, bread, and (when I turned 18 in Australia) beer, with high activity levels ensuring my clothes always fit. Then in my 30’s I found out I had high cholesterol. A family history of heart disease suddenly became relevant to my long-term health. It came as a shock to realise I was mortal, but after following the standard medical practice of cutting out saturated fat, etc, my lipids seemed to be under control.

Along came marriage and a child, and suddenly my evenings and weekends of activity were curtailed. Yet without a change to my eating habits my jeans got tighter and I decided something needed to be done.

With the conventional assumption that a calorie was a calorie, a low fat restricted diet seemed the best way to get rid of excess flab and with a trusty food app installed on my iphone I began. I was successful over a six month period at getting rid of 25 pounds (from 185 to 160), but boy did it hurt. And after hitting my target I watched my scale gradually drift back to 170…175..180… back to where I started with nothing to show for it but an extra hole in my belt and a forgiving wife who didn’t want to suffer through my hunger crankiness again.

And I still had high cholesterol. At this stage I had pretty much resigned myself to following in my father’s footsteps with an eventual prescription for statins followed by a heart bypass and eventually something worse.

As an avid reader of blogs I had discovered Mr. Money Mustache and in August 2012 he wrote an article on The Primal Blueprint. I read it but it didn’t really sink in because most of my spare mental energy was directed towards a planned move from Australia to the USA.

We landed in Oregon in 2014 where I re-discovered a more active lifestyle but also the delights of a rapidly growing microbrewery industry. Having the flexibility of working from home allowed me to keep my waistline sort-of in check. One factor that did end up nudging me towards a Primal diet was the unpleasant discovery that nearly all bread in the USA tasted sweet given added sugars/HFCS. So instead of having sandwiches for lunch, I got into the habit of cooking usually a variety of meat / legumes / vegetable stir-fry. Despite this, I was still enjoying my Grape Nuts in the morning, occasional pastries for snacks, and regular dinners with pasta or rice.

After a year or so it was time for a medical checkup and to my dismay my cholesterol levels were looking grim with a Triglycerides/HDL ratio of >8x. After a heart scan, it appeared my cardiovascular system was still OK, but now being in my early 40’s it appeared it was time to join millions of others and start taking medication; something I was not looking forward to.

I begged off a prescription for a year, deciding to focus on a stricter ‘low cholesterol’ diet to see if that would improve my blood levels. Remember, I had been aware of Mark’s work for several years, but never had the catalyst prompting me to embrace Primal. Then I found the blog of Zach Bitter, an ultramarathon runner (and holder of several endurance world records) who shifted from a high carb to high fat diet in 2012. He had posted before-and-after biometrics data that clearly showed a dramatic improvement in his lipids profile. Reading that post was my ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment when I properly appreciated the real life benefits that Primal could give me.

This occurred at the start of summer last year and as luck would have it our family set out on a road trip to Colorado, catching up with extended family and seeing the sights. This vacation did include a lot of hiking, as well as a lot more dining out with beer and desserts. As you might expect my bathroom scales were not pleased, with my weight hitting 186 lb on our return.

This was the final catalyst to spur me to action. I began to strictly follow The Primal Blueprint using a food app (MyFitnessPal) to make sure my diet included less than 100 grams of carbs a day. My digestive system was a little upset during the first four weeks as I shifted my daily routine from (for example) having a big bowl of cereal for breakfast to coffee with a dab of coconut oil and cream. What did come as a pleasant surprise was how quickly my sensation of hunger changed from an acute, sharp pain to a rather muted background feeling. Whilst eating Primal did increase our family’s spending on food, I ate out and drank a lot less which helped the budget. I was careful to keep my calorie intake well under control using the food app and over three months lost 15 pounds without having to suffer a feeling of constant hunger. Another factor I also consider important is that with a Primal strength training plan I did get stronger which indicated to me that I was not sacrificing muscle tissue

The real proof of the pudding came in December last year when I had my cholesterol tested again. After three months of strict Primal my Triglycerides/HDL ratio had fallen to 3.4x. Although still too high, I was delighted to see such a rapid change and progress towards a healthy cardiovascular system in a relatively short time and I truly felt that I had been given a clear shot at a longer and healthier life.

So where does that leave me now? I’ll be maintaining my Primal lifestyle and will get another cholesterol test done this summer which should hopefully show further progress in my lipid profiles. Meanwhile, I am enjoying having steady energy throughout the day as well as the gustatory pleasures of doing nearly all my own cooking and eating high fat meals. Cutting back on beer from a regular glass a day was hard, but now I usually have one a week as a treat after some hard work and find that I am enjoying the taste with considerably greater intensity.

In conclusion there are a couple of things I would like to pass onto any new Primal followers:

1. Overeating: Now that my body is adjusting and I’m on the way to being a Fat Burning Beast, the biggest challenge I have with food is a tendency to overeat because everything tastes so good, especially snacks. A few pieces of dark chocolate? Yes, please. How about another handful of almonds and macadamia nuts? Sounds great! Hmmm, that full fat yoghurt with some flaked coconut was nice, there’s still a few spoonfuls in the bowl? Can’t wait! I easily dropped to 170 pounds with the assistance of calorie tracking, but when I shifted to relying on internal cues at the start of this year I did slowly regain a pound or two.

2. Hunger and Habit: My efforts at a high carb calorie restricted diet were painful, so I was wary of a change to Primal since the physical bulk of Primal meals are much smaller than carbohydrate-laden meals (such as a big plate of pasta) for the same energy intake. This also goes back to my Overeating comment (1.), so be aware of portion sizes when starting out. My breakfast habit took me a while to break as I was eating in the morning when not hungry. Also, four decades of habit made me always clean my plate and then look for seconds. So I’ve been devoting a lot of mental effort to portion control and stopping when sated. I recommend Jan Chozen Bays’ book Mindful Eating as an excellent place to start if any readers have had similar problems.

3. Cardio Exercise: Mark brought the issue of chronic cardio to our attention, highlighted by his own experience as a professional athlete. I followed Mark’s plan with short duration, high intensity sprinting but my heart wasn’t in it. I loved to sprint when playing sport, but my days of contact rugby are over. Going back to Zach Bitter’s blog I discovered Dr. Phil Maffetone who suggests constant heart rate exercise at low levels to ensure fat burning. Having purchased a heart rate strap and watch I have started running again and I am relishing a few 1hr sessions slowly trotting around Bend each week. I can return home refreshingly tired but not exhausted—and importantly not starving for a carb-laden snack. I consider this approach makes me more of a long-distant cousin of Grok, living in Africa and gradually running down an impala for his daily serving of saturated fat, instead of fleeing from a bear (that wants Grok’s fresh-caught salmon).

4. Strength Exercise: When younger I was a bit of a gym junkie, taking a break from my office routine during the week to do a daily weights session. Now I do my training at home, having installed a homemade chin-up bar in our garage and purchased a 100lb barbell from Dick’s Sporting Goods. A session takes me less than 10 minutes: push-ups to failure, overhand wide grip chin-ups to failure, clean and jerks to almost failure (heavy weight overhead), another round of push-ups to failure, underhand narrow grip chin-ups to failure, then I finish with some deadlifts. I don’t even bother changing into exercise clothing as the short duration/high intensity gets me nice and warm but not sweaty, and I can do a couple of sessions a week when I feel like it. It also keeps my strength close to Mark’s Primal Essential Movement ‘mastery’ levels

5. Cooking: You will likely need to spend a lot more time preparing food, so get creative with any time saving ideas. Mark has his ‘Big Ass Salad’; my equivalent in winter months has been a soup base that I prepare on weekends. I purchase organic cauliflower, carrots, celery, and kale as the basics, finely chop them in a food processor, and freeze in single serves. When I have lunch, I pull a serve from my freezer, add some stock / broth in a pot, and either coconut oil and curry powder or olive oil and herbs / spices (or for a special treat, duck fat and some chopped organic chicken breast). It is ready in 10-15 minutes.

Compared to some of the transformations I’ve seen on Mark’s “Success Stories,” I feel my story is quite modest. You don’t need to be at a personal low to gain from adopting a more Primal lifestyle, and the underlying health benefits that have already emerged make it worthy for anyone reading this to give it a try.

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The post A Heartfelt Thank You For Giving Me a Decade of Life appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Don’t Miss the Success Story Submission Giveaway!

inline_giveaway_ketostarterkit_600xLast week I announced that the bees and are looking to share your stories of success in changing your habits, losing weight, reclaiming your health, and enjoying more vitality with the help of Primal and/or keto living—and that I’m offering a giveaway to sweeten the pot: a year’s supply of PRIMAL KITCHEN® Starter Keto Kits.

There’s one more week until the submission deadline. (While you can always submit a success story, we’re closing the giveaway a week from today, February 16, 2018 at midnight PST. Remember, anyone in the world can enter. Additionally, everyone who has submitted a Success Story to Mark’s Daily Apple in the past is free to submit an updated story and new photos.

Just email me your story along with pictures. Please use the subject heading “My Primal Story.” Otherwise, there’s a good chance we might miss it.

For more info on success story guidelines and giveaway rules, check out last week’s post, and for inspiration to write your own story, you can read past Success Stories here.

I’ve got another amazing success story coming up this morning, so stay tuned.

The post Don’t Miss the Success Story Submission Giveaway! appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Shots Of Our Week + Real Food Meals

Usually these two boys are battling it out with Nerf darts or climbing trees, but I captured a quiet moment when they were both enjoying some hot cocoa and doing Imagine Ink books (<– we LOVE these!) So sweet.

This guy was also having a quiet moment. I think the blah winter weather had us all feeling extra mellow and cozy. We snuggle on the floor in front of the fireplace all.evening.long.

The colder weather had me craving big bowls of whipped banana oatmeal as well! I stirred in a raspberry cottage cheese and put peanut butter drizzle on top. Sort of a quasi PB&J combo!

Another morning I had a quick bowl of cereal while Mazen and I cut out valentines! I cannot WAIT for berry season – this would have been so good with blueberries! I know you can buy them year round, but I just don’t want to pay for the out of season berries. Frozen is always a good option though.

Lunches this week have been warm and leftover focused. A rice bowl with zucchini, basmati rice (my new jam), cheese and Greek yogurt.

This lunch salad was rockin’ with flavor: arugula, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, olives, almonds, quinoa and a lemony dressing.

Another day I had leftover Cook Smarts slow cooker white chicken chili! Mug-sized with cheese and yogurt.

And here’s the dinner serving plus avocado! This chili was so easy and delish! (Go Hoos!)

Because of our Florida trip we didn’t do a date night out this week, so we made a special dinner and then watched the latest episode of This Is Us. What a heart wrencher!! Steaks, sautĂ©ed zucchini and tomatoes in a cream cheese and garlic “sauce” (Thomas’s invention and so good!) and rice in the rice cooker (still one of my all-time favorite appliances!)

And rewinding back to Monday, while we were still riding the Eagles high, we had leftover Superbowl ribs with sweet potato fries and a side salad!

Mazen wanted me to share his meal of the week – a burger, french fries, green beans, and a mini pizza!

Hope you guys had a great week yourselves!

The post Shots Of Our Week + Real Food Meals appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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