Monday, August 26, 2019

Retired, Reborn and Pursuing My Passion

It’s Monday, 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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here. Enjoy, everybody!

This week’s return to success stories features a contemporary of mine. (Yup, those of us in our 60s want to show what’s possible.) I hope you enjoy this follow-up story from reader Bob Connor. You’ll find his original success story reprinted below along with an inspiring update on where he is (and what he’s up to) now. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Dear Mark,

I am an Athletic Director at an international school in Santiago, Chile; having arrived here this past July, from another school in Bangkok, Thailand. I am 57 years old (like you!), and I have been endeavoring to follow a Primal lifestyle for just over two years now. I had previously tried being a vegetarian, and then added some fish, but I did not feel much different or better. So, I started eating Primally and after the first few weeks (a tough adjustment with deleting all the grains and starchy carbs I had been eating), I began to notice some changes. I no longer would get any bloated/gassy discomfort, and I always felt “lean.” Additionally, my energy level increased and I honestly now feel like I have more energy these days than I did 5-10 years ago!

I have recently started the Primal Fitness routines and exercise suggestions, and the overall flexibility of the program has helped greatly—it is easy to adapt and modify depending on your schedule, and your overall motivation levels. Plus, I feel that I have gained a great deal of “functional fitness,” which is crucial. I also continue to use my TRX suspension trainer, and usually try to work out in my Vibram FiveFingers, along with doing various other bodyweight/core training workouts. Overall, I am feeling great as I enter my 7th decade on this planet!

My real story though, is more about helping others, which you have made your “mission,” Mark. When I started living Primally and feeling/looking better, people started noticing, and would ask me questions. I then began to spread the many benefits of this awesome lifestyle. In the past two years, I have purchased around 15 copies of THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT, and given the book as a gift to friends whom I felt were truly interested, and would “give it a try.” I have also bought some Grok On t-shirts for some good friends who have “gone primal,” and I continue to regularly purchase some of your supplements, and recently some new Primal Fuel and the Primal Leap Kit. Reading your website daily and feeling the great effects of being Primal has really made me want to share as much info as possible with friends and colleagues. When I receive positive feedback from people, it is a great feeling—one which you experience every day, Mark!

For me—this is one of my favorites from a good friend still teaching in Thailand, as he had just returned from a summer trip to the U.S.—

Just wanted to say thanks again for changing my life. Had a great summer. Bought the FiveFinger KSOs, and working out is even more fun than before! Big difference.

Being in the states was challenging for me in terms of eating Primal. Stayed with my mom and dad, and they eat like typical Americans. Been back in Bangkok for a month now and have regained all the strength, explosiveness, and stamina that I lost in the US. Amazing how one month of eating junk can change the body’s performance.

I now feel and look great again. I have lots of energy and feel totally rejuvenated in life. I owe you so much.

Take care,
Andrew

I have several other affirmations from friends and even some high school students also, but I have gone on long enough already. I often get funny looks and comments when people see my FiveFingers shoes on my feet, and many others wonder why I refuse to eat the typical “conventional-Western” diet. I try to explain the many reasons, all based on research and evidence (thank you again!), but most just shrug me off and think I am nuts—including some of my own family members. Yet, this only encourages me, as I am definitely committed to staying on this Primal journey, and I will continue to spread your message to whomever I think will listen. I am convinced that this is the ONLY way to go, and I now think that my next job will be in the health-fitness profession. I agree with my friend Andrew—I owe you so much, Mark!

Thanks for listening, and as always – GROK ON!

UPDATE:

I started my personal primal journey back in 2009 with my first success story featured on Mark’s Daily Apple in 2010.

Five years later, I became one of the original “Legacy” Primal Blueprint Certified Experts completing the first iteration of the Primal Health Coach Institute course—recently passing the recertification exam and studying all of the extensive information in the amazing Business Resource Center. It feels great to stay up-to-date on the latest Primal Health Coach education!

After a long career as an educator in numerous international schools, I retired from my last full-time position at the International School Bangkok in Thailand in June 2018. Following my retirement from education, I started my new small business venture as a Primal Health Coach here in Bangkok with a good number of clients ready to sign up for my services. I have been a coach for most of my 35+ years in education, almost entirely with student-athletes on various sports teams, so moving into Primal Health Coaching has been a smooth transition.

For the previous few years, I had been teaching free large group fitness classes for the teachers and staff at the school. Attendance was always quite good, with anywhere from 15-30+ people showing up each week for my Fitness Fun sessions. I am now paid by the school to lead two classes a week (people still attend free of charge), now known Primal Power Fitness Fun sessions.

Additionally, a number of teachers, parents, staff and downtown Bangkok residents have become Primal Power clients. I work with 25-30 people on a weekly basis as their health coach and/or fitness trainer.

This new venture has been incredibly gratifying with wonderful client results. It feels so great to be pursuing my true passion in life—passing on my knowledge and expertise of all things PRIMAL!!

Besides coaching and teaching, I have been partnering with a paleo-friendly grocery company in Bangkok, offering seminars, workshops and presentations on various health and wellness topics to a variety of audiences in the city. My presentations always include a number of concepts from the Primal Blueprint lifestyle, which inevitably bring up both typical questions and surprising comments from conventional wisdom viewpoints.

For all of this, I am incredibly grateful to Mark Sisson himself (I believe we are both the same age), and to the entire Primal Health Coach Institute community: program administrators, graduates and current students. I continue to learn so much on a daily basis from the facebook posts, webinars and PHCI blog posts. And of course, from the Mark’s Daily Apple posts where it all started!

At 66 years young, I can honestly say that I have more consistent energy on a daily basis, and I believe that I am physically stronger than I was 20 years ago! Following a primal lifestyle has been incredibly effective, and I genuinely believe that others will benefit similarly if they adopt the basic primal rules of living awesomely!

Read more about Bob’s journey and his passion for Primal living. Have YOU had success with Primal living and/or keto eating? Share your success story by emailing me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting, Digestive Issues + Alcohol & Balancing Running with Strength Training

Hi friends! Welcome to the latest edition of CNC Instagram Live with text!

Here’s the most recent episode of Carrots ‘N’ Cake Instagram Live. If you missed the 24 hour replay, it’s shared below for your viewing pleasure. If you have any questions that you’d like for me to answer in the next video, please let me know – either comment below or send me an email or DM on Instagram!

Are you still dealing with your most recent UC flare?

Thank you guys for asking! I’v been in minor flare since the end of May when I had a routine colonoscopy, and ever since then I haven’t been great. Whatever happened during the colonoscopy must have messed up the balance of my gut. Tip for the IBD folks: if things are going great for you GI-wise, you don’t need to have a colonoscopy – other tests can test for inflammation. I am still dealing with the flare, but I’m doing better-ish; I’m trying some new supplements, doing mind/body stuff, mediation, and Qigong on occasion. Food-wise, I recently tried tofu and it definitely didn’t agree with me, so I’m back to keeping it simple with my diet. Overall, I’m trying not to stress about it and think of it as just a blip in my overall health journey. I’m trying to stay zen!

What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting?

I think it’s great… if it works for you. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a fancy way of saying you’re limiting your eating window in any given day. Essentially, we all do it when we naturally fast between the time we eat dinner and breakfast. I have some clients who do intermittent fasting and it really works for them. I’ll do it from time-to-time, but it’s usually by accident (i.e. I’ll have a busy morning and won’t eat breakfast until late morning). In general, I think IF is an effective tool for the right person and their specific goals. My personal experience with intermittent fasting.

UPDATE: After I recorded this Instagram Live, I listened to Dr. Stephen Cabral on the Mind Pump Podcast and changed my thinking a bit about intermittent fasting. Dr. Cabral actually said IF can be “detrimental” for women, especially with regard to their hormones and thyroid. If you have thyroid issues or have symptoms of a thyroid issue, IF might not be the best for you. It’s also not a great tool if you’re someone who is typically stressed in the morning (i.e. getting kids ready for the day, working out, running out the door). Check out the episode for additional details + tons of interesting information about artificial sweeteners, high-protein diets (i.e. Keto), EMF’s (electromagnetic fields), and more!

Dr. Stephen Cabral_Mind Pump Podcast

Is Quinn going to Kindergarten?

Yes! Our baby is starting school soon… riding the school bus and everything. He keeps talking about it, so I’m glad he’s excited. He’ll be in school from 8:00am-3:00pm everyday, except Tuesdays, which is a half-day.

How long did it take for you to consume alcohol while dealing with chronic digestive issues?

When I was really sick, I didn’t drink at all. On time, at a family party while on vacation, I was offered the tiniest glass of wine and turned it down. I was so obsessed with everything I ate and drank, and it was miserable!

I had an amazing GI doctor, and I have this memory from one of my appointments: He put his arm around me and told me to drink a bottle of wine. He clearly knew I could use a bit of alcohol to help me relax since I was so stressed from trying to control my disease. I think a glass or two of wine can definitely help you pause and smell the roses, but I do know it’s important to moderate the amount while you’re in the thick of a GI flare. I don’t consider myself a true “wino,” but I do enjoying a couple glasses of wine on the weekends or for special occasions.

Training for a race while keeping up with strength training?

I trained for the Boston Marathon while still doing CrossFit. So I know, first hand, that you can’t excel at both simultaneously.  You can certainly strength train while training for a race, but you need to focus on your ultimate goal — race day. I recommend you incorporate some strength training into your training plan (cross-training is helpful to avoid injury), but make training runs your priority. Strength training will be secondary. As I was training for Boston and my mileage increased, I did less and less CrossFit. Check out this post for additional tips: How to Balance Running + CrossFit/Strength Training.

So, there you have it! I hope you guys love watching these Instagram Lives as much as I enjoy doing them, so keep the questions coming!

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On The Half Shell

Fall hit Charlottesville hard this weekend. Our temps only reached the high 70s and the air was free of all sticky humidity. It felt a bit like California! I actually wore jeans on Saturday and realized I have only one pair that fits well (due to multiple reasons – old ones wearing out, changing body shape post-Birch, change in style.) Guess I need to do some fall shopping!

Mom’s Night Out

On Friday night I joined some of the other October/November baby moms for a little night out. We went to Mas and enjoyed a delicious spread of food. The smoked tomatoes are my all-time favorite!

Saturday Morning Dance Burn

I really think Chris needs to re-brand my favorite class to an accurate description: DanceBurn, AthDance, Club AthCon. We hopped around for 45 minutes and fogged up all the mirrors! Afterwards I had my favorite Daily Harvest smoothie – carrot + chia!

Showertime

This Melting Body Balm from Beautycounter smells like coconut and pineapple had a baby with a Monoi flower scent. I am obsessed with this on my arms and legs!

Home Work

We have this weird below-ground window in the basement that was growing like terrarium. Thomas climbed in to clean it out. I cannot believe he just stuck his head in there. Who knows what kind of creatures might be making house in there!

I did a bunch of house work during B’s nap. Any time the seasons change I get the itch to redecorate (aka move things around from room to room) and declutter. On Sunday I worked on Mazen’s room for a while – it was a mess!

Chicken Taco Lunch Break!

Got Them All Cut

Saturday afternoon I got my hair highlighted and trimmed. It needed a good refresh!

Before + After

(Plus Kohv sunglasses!! Subscribe to my KERF Newsletter for a sweet discount code coming on Tuesday!)

Date Night

Thomas and I took Birch to Public for an early, outdoor date night. We know these days are numbered and once he learns to walk we won’t be able to take him out. He did SO well at dinner. We kept him busy with puffs, his dinner, toys and books.

Lemon + Mushroom Risotto!

Late Night with the Crew

After putting B to bed and getting Thomas settled with a movie (he LOVES a good movie night!) I met up with the crew downtown. I stayed out till 11 but only had one drink (below) and sipped seltzers the rest of the time so I felt good when I woke up Sunday morning.

Sunday AM: Egg Sammie + Berries

Sunday Funday

  • More home organizing
  • Some Beautycounter sample sending (!)
  • Some food prepping
  • Windows opened
  • Golfing for Big T
  • Some laundry
  • Lego playing
  • Pick up soccer!!

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