If you’ve been reading my blog for anytime now, then you’ll know that I’ve endorsed very few products on here. In fact, other than Dragon Door Product and workshops that I live by, there have only been three endorsements here.
The first one was for Vibram Five Fingers. The second was the Kettleback product from M Strength. The third was for the Rotater.All of these are products that I use regularly and swear by. In fact, if I don’t use it and like then you won’t hear about it here from me. I won’t write negatively about something in most cases, so if I’ve bought or received something for review than you won’t hear about it if it’s not up to snuff.
On the other hand, if I like or love something than I’m going to let you know about it. I’ve been eating pretty fairly cleanly for probably two years now. At least in that time, I’ve been paying attention to how I fuel myself. In the last year, I’ve used the Warrior Diet as well as the Paleo Diet for Athletes and also sort of a hybrid of the two. Pretty much that is what I stuck with.
Recently though, Fred Cook, one of my clients, mentioned the Primal Blueprint to me. Fred’s had some nice results of late so I paid attention and bought the book. After I ordered it, I started checking out some of the stuff the author, Mark Sisson, was sharing and I was seeing a lot that made so much sense. I can assure you that much of it will blow you out of the water.
Here’s why. Much of what Sisson shares is counter to all you may hold dear nutritionally. Additionally, much of his exercise philosophy may be at odds with your current training regimen.
In my opinion, much of what we think we know about nutrition is based on propaganda from the food industry itself, Big Ag and the USDA. Lot’s of that information is frankly BS and not worth listening to. The way that I’ve eaten in the past is diametric to a lot of information out there.
Now I’ve gone a whole week eating as outlined in the Primal Blueprint. I won’t go into the absolute specifics as to my fuel plan each of these days but I will tell you that it’s been tons of grass-fed meat, a few pieces of wild caught salmon, some bison, unsalted roast walnuts and almonds, a bushel of fruits and vegetables, lots of healthy fat, farm fresh eggs, raw milk cheese, some red wine and raw milk. Much of what you may have read about all or some of the above is not good I’m quite sure, but remember that much of Big Ag doesn’t have the same interests as small local producers. In fact, in my opinion, Big Ag makes the health insurers look like choir boys in comparison. The above is not only better for you but “greener” too. What I’ve avoided is all processed grain except 100% wild rice, all refined sugar, soda, baked goods etc. You’ll pretty much offset the added expense of quality food but ditching the junk. Also, you’ll add years to your life by improving the way you eat.
One thing you should know is that I’ve only been so strict over the last week or so. The last time I weighed myself was at the Tactical Strength Challenge and I came in at 192 on September 29th, 2009. I weighed myself again this past Monday and I was 185.6. And stronger still. For example, I did more 32 kg kettlebell snatches today in 5 minutes than ever before. Hit a personal record.
The Primal Blueprint lays out a lifestyle that includes play, plenty of sleep, sprints, Mid average heart rate cardio and lifting heavy things. I really didn’t have to make much adjustment in any of these areas since I really work out maximally just once a week, balls to the wall. The rest is spent practicing my strength training. That gives me an opportunity to keep getting stronger and be well recovered . If you’re in the NFL, everyday can’t be Sunday, as they say.
My energy level is noticeably more stable. I don’t seem to have any “ups and downs” in energy and that’s because most of my fuel is coming from fatty acid and not carbs. Ingestion of carbs create real fluctuations in insulin and when insulin levels are high and then low, we tend have the proverbial “high” associated with a spike and then the crash. Additionally, high levels of insulin create the chemistry that enhances fat storage, rather than usage. As far as diet is concerned, this is the key part of The Primal Blueprint.
Exercise is a large component of the book and Sisson’s philosophy makes sense. Just like Grok, you do some tracking each week. The way primal people would have followed after prey. Mostly it was a slow process with some quick bursts added in for when the trail got hot. So you throw in some sprints. (He explains how anyone is able to sprint). You lift some heavy stuff and you do some easy workouts too. Not really any different for me. Pretty much what I’ve always done. I didn’t have to make any adjustments to my fitness regimen to be Primal.
Some have said my workouts aren’t all that formidable but they work for me. I keep getting stronger, keep improving my cardio health and rarely take a step backwards so I must be recovering well too. Haven’t hit a plateau in ages. I dead lift, do Tactical Pull Ups, military clean and press, squat, swing, snatch, do Turkish Get Ups, sprints, walk. Each one of those movements is a compound, full body exercise.
You’ll find that the Primal Blueprint is mostly about sensibility. Eating right and controlling insulin spikes(that’s the key really), getting lots of rest, eating quality foods, being quite physically active, and making sure you stay away from the “avoidance” list. We strive for 80% compliance. And you can eat all you want of the right things so that works for me.
Feel free to ask any questions and/or post a comment. I look forward to your thoughts.