Combining modern genetic science and evolutionary biology, The Primal Blueprint dispels a number of the myths that modern medicine and conventional wisdom have come to accept as fact. Author Mark Sisson takes the reader on a fascinating journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family - exposing potential health issues that arise from trying to do the right things living in the 21st century.
Sisson offers a solution in 10 empowering "Blueprint Lifestyle Laws" that can help us reprogram our genes away from disease and pain towards a direction of effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight; how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain; why doing too much cardio exercise might actually suppress the immune system and how some of today's most common medications might make a health condition even worse.
A very easy read with lots of great information on diet, sleep, play, and permission to quit exercising yourself to death. He promotes 10 easy rules:
1. Eat lots of animals, and plants. 2. Move around a lot at a slow pace (walk). 3. Lift heavy things. 4. Run really fast every once in a while (very short sprints). 5. Get lots of sleep. 6. Play. 7. Get some sunlight every day. 8. Avoid trauma (self-destructive behaviors). 9. Avoid poisonous things (sugar, processed foods, man-made fats). 10. Use your mind (exercise your brain daily).
His health philosophy is simple: "I follow a diet based on an understanding of evolutionary science. I think it’s more important to eat, move, and live according to how humans are designed and not according to society’s artificial developments of the last 100 years. Fortunately, this regimen is not only incredibly healthy, it’s quite simple. In a nutshell: - fresh, organic, unprocessed food – no junk! - daily activity – whether it’s the gym or a walk along the beach, it all counts - plenty of quality sleep - plenty of water, no soda or sweetened drinks - antioxidants galore – the key to limiting stress - a good fish-oil supplement - lots of essential fats, reckless amounts of vegetables, and clean protein - time for fun – don’t take anything too seriously – ethical behavior – because what goes around comes around - taking responsibility for yourself and your life – openness to new things and ideas"
The author is 57 and he and his wife look amazing. He has a website with LOTS of information, testimonials with photos, and an e-mail series that you can sign up for that will give you all the basic information you need to get started: www.marksdailyapple.com/
At this point, I am primarily detailing my reactions to the book itself, as I have not yet tried the diet and fitness plan. Excuse me, the “lifestyle.” None of these diet and fitness books want to call themselves diet and fitness books. The “Primal Blueprint” is a “way of life” – just like all those other ways of life out there. It’s not “restrictive” like a diet – unless, of course, you consider eliminating an entire food group from your diet to be restrictive, or only being able to purchase and consume organic and/or locally grown foods to be restrictive. He does give you an out, however, in maintaining this very restrictive diet: aim for 80% of the time. As long as you maintain it 80% of the time, you’ll be on the road to improvement.
The Primal Blueprint is similar to an Atkins plus fruits and vegetables plan or South Beach minus whole wheat plan. No grains or starches at all –no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no rice no sweets. And limit dairy (and only drink/eat raw dairy). And no beans, because they’re “toxic” (whatever that means), which is evidenced by the fact that you have to soak them before you eat them. It all has something to do with insulin. Our body doesn't respond well to all these grains. Eat primal, and you’ll feel more full and, once your body adjusts, more energetic. No more carb crashes. And you’ll be eating foods with more nutrients. Your “entire diet should consist of plants and animals.”
It’s “primal” because this is how our hunter/gather ancestors ate. They didn’t eat grain. Agriculture came along and ruined health. Of course, it also made possible modern civilization. Bread has its virtues. Just don't eat it. Ever. Which you can manage to do without going hungry, if you are lucky enough to live in the middle-class in a prosperous, technologically advanced nation - which everyone who would buy this book is.
He intermittently uses evolutionary theory to bolster the evidence of the benefits of this lifestyle. (Evolution, I guess, hasn't adapted our bodies to eating grains in 10,000 years. We're still designed to eat like Gork.) So if you’re trying to decide what’s best to eat, you can always ask yourself, “What would Gork do?” But you can eat some things Gork never would have eaten – a great many fruits and vegetables that are plentifully available to us now and would not have been to Gork – provide you get them locally or organically. Still, limit the sweeter, tastier fruits: grapes, bananas, mangoes, papayas, nectarines, pineapple, oranges, plums, and tangerines. And no potatoes or corn, of course. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit nuts and berries – a prime source of food for hunters and gatherers.
The fitness recommendations make sense and rely on low-impact aerobic exercise such as walking or hiking 2-5 hours a week, high-intensity all out “sprints” for less than ten minutes once a week, and heavy lifting for 7-60 minutes one to three times a week. This is actually a doable fitness plan for me (especially if I start with 7 minutes and once a week on the heavy lifting and do smaller weights with more reps, which he endorses as just as good as larger weights with fewer reps.) He provides quite a bit of evidence for why all out high cardio on a regular basis is not a good way to go.
He also throws in a few other suggestions: get enough direct sunlight to make sure you have enough Vitamin D (his time recommendations are very moderate here and so I’m pretty sure I’m already getting this; mainly because I’m a stay-at-home mom and outside quite a bit with the kids); get seven to eight hours of sleep a day, with a regular bed time and wake time (doing pretty well there); and don’t be stupid (can’t argue with that).
The book itself is extremely repetitive, and could have easily been boiled down to fifty pages without losing any essential information. There are a number of lame attempts at jokes throughout, to lighten an otherwise heavy volume of information. He makes liberal use of quotations from a wide range of famous people – politicians, writers, athletes. There are plenty of shaded boxes and charts to please the eye and tell you what you’ve already been told in pictorial form. There is a lot of exaggeration in the book, particular with the tossing around of the word "toxin."
ADDITION: I did a trial run. I kept the diet but did less than the suggested exercise, though more than usual. I lost six pounds in two weeks. And then I quit because I'm weak and lazy and because having most of my diet consist of meat and vegetables and no grains made me feel sluggish, tired, unhappy, and like I wanted to vomit once a day.
Let me make it clear up front that I'm giving 5 stars to the concept of primal eating and not to the quality of the book. I would rate the book more like 3 stars. The concepts in this book are seemingly life-changing for me. I've been eating according to these guidelines in this book for about 4-5 weeks now and have experienced convincing and even dramatic results.
But first let me give you a little background.
I've had gradually declining health for many years now. All my vitals are borderline dangerous: weight, waist size (over 40"), blood pressure, lipid profile (high cholesterol, triglycerides, low HDL, etc), signs of insulin resistance. My father has adult-onset diabetes and I know I'm on the same track if I don't make a change. While I've known for almost 10 years that the warning signs are there, it wasn't until a health check-up through my employer prompted me to take action. In the check-up I had all the signs of metabolic syndrome which is just a term used to describe the combination of all the above symptoms and also is used to describe someone with insulin resistance which is essentially a pre-diabetic state. I figured I'd have significant lifestyle changes sooner or later if I get diabetes. I might as well make the changes now so that I can choose what they will be.
I visited the doctor to get checked out and did extensive research and reading to find out how best to address metabolic syndrome. What I found was very confusing at best. Every book I read touted a different approach to handling metabolic syndrome. They mostly had similarities but sometimes were dramatically different and contradictory.
I settled on an approach outlined in the book "The Insulin-Resistance Diet." This was a great book that taught be the importance of insulin in your metabolic process and that controlling your insulin response is key in managing your weight and, in-turn, metabolic syndrome. To manage insulin it taught a way of "linking" carbs and protein so dampen the insulin response. The method was simple and seemed sustainable as a long-term eating plan. For about 4 months I used this method (with varying degrees of faithfulness) and lost about 5 pounds over that period of time.
In October a friend from high school came into town with his family. Over dinner we found out that he and his wife had made some dramatic lifestyle changes over the last many months, one of which was to eat a paleo diet which is very similar to that found in this book (yes I'll get back to the book). I remembered that my doctor had suggested I might try a paleo diet and asked more about it. It didn't take much convincing and I was ready to give it a try. I started applying some of the principles within a few days and gradually got more and more strict in living the principles as I learned more.
Here are my results so far:
--I've lost just over 10 pounds. --I've re-gained 3 notches on my belt. --My blood pressure is now normal (119/79) after being in the pre-hypertension range (140/90). --My energe level is extremely stable. No more highs and lows. No more food comas. No more trying to stay awake on my drive home. I can even wake up much more easily in the morning (I've never been a morning person). --No more food cravings, particularly for cookies and doughnuts which were my personal kryptonite.
We'll see in the next couple of months how this improves my poor lipid profile. The good news with this lifestyle is that it's one I think I'll be able to maintain.
A very rough overview of the book
The book outlines several steps for living a primal lifestyle - that is to say one that paleolithic man may have lived. Mostly the steps are diet related but also outline other aspects of general living. Here's an overview to the most important concepts.
1. DON'T EAT GRAINS, SUGAR, OR LEGUMES, AND REDUCE CARB INTAKE - The book recommends a daily carb intake of 50-100g for weight loss and 100-150 for weight maintenance.
This is by far the most shocking and seemingly unrealistic parts of the plan and one that I didn't immediately embrace. But after starting to dramatically reduce my grain intake I found a dramatic reduction in cravings, particularly for sweets (I could rarely resist a cookie or doughnut everyday after lunch). It was almost magical. I never thought I would be able to resist eating grains. It was tough at first but within the first week I didn't even have a desire for grains. Sure I get a craving on occasion if others are eating cookies or other sweets, and sometimes I indulge, but on a day-to-day basis those cravings are gone.
There are two reasons for not eating grains and reducing carb intake. The first and less-convincing is simply because paleolithic man didn't farm and therefore didn't eat grains. The more convincing reason is that excess carbs and grains in particular produce a very sharp insulin response. Insulin is the main culprit in inducing fat storage not to mention taking a toll on your pancreas which can lead to diabetes.
In my mind this is the single most important principle.
2. EAT MEAT, VEGGIES, NUTS AND FRUIT UNTIL SATISFIED
With this lifestyle you get most of your calories from protein and fat. You train your body to burn body fat and dietary fat for fuel rather than sugar or blood glucose. This seems so counter-intuitive because you end up eating a lot of fats but since you're not producing excessive insulin your body uses the fat for fuel instead of storing it. A great side-effect of this is you don't tend to get ravenously hungry and your energy level remains much more consistent.
3. DON'T DO CHRONIC CARDIO.
I can't speak so much to the exercise portion of the plan since I've just started implementing it. In short you do low-grade cardio (walking primarily) for roughly 2 hours a week (30 minutes a few days a week). Do strength training for 2 days a week focusing mostly on natural body exercises. Do sprinting or interval training for 20-30 minutes once every 7-10 days. Avoid doing cardio over 75% of your max heart rate for extended periods of time.
4. EAT AS ORGANIC AS POSSIBLE.
I haven't followed these guidlines but plan on integrating them in with our family diet over time. Basically you should eat organic produce, grass-fed meat (that sounds weird, I should probably say grass-fed protein sources), and stay was from anything too processed. It reminds me to a recommendation I once heard to shop on the outside walls of your grocery stores. This ends up being about how we're starting to shop now. We avoid boxes :).
So, back to the actual book rating.
The good: I'm obviously a fan of this lifestyle and right now plan on living these principles for the long haul. The results have been dramatic for me. It's not just the weight loss either but mostly the dramatic difference in how I feel.
The bad: The book seemed long and drawn out. Chapter 2 was particularly good which chronicles the lifestyle of a typical family and how broken it is. You can get all the basic principles from the authors website (marksdailyapple.com) without having to slog through the book. In fact, he seems to refer to his website countless times throughout the book. Nonetheless I'm was glad to have read the book in whole to get a grasp of the big picture.
As a vegan who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, I wondered what the hell I was going to eat now. Along my research path, I stumbled across this book and I am now thinking celiac disease may be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Mark Sisson pretty much sums up all the common sense stuff that somehow we have forgotten in our culture. This is not a diet but a way to really LIVE. I've been gluten free for a little over two weeks and primal for about one week and I have lost 14 lbs and feel my body changing every day for the better. Best of all, NOTHING HURTS anymore. I highly recommend this book to everyone, not just celiacs. It just might change your life.
This is the best book I've read about what is also known as the "paleo" diet (no grains, reduced dairy, no sugar but honey, lots of vegetables, fruits, good fats like coconut oil, high-quality meat and eggs, and nuts). He explains the science in a logical way and outlines the diet in a down-to-earth, doable fashion. (His website at Mark's Daily Apple is also a treasure trove.) After putting many of these principles into practice, I've dropped almost 35 pounds since late January. My blood sugar isn't screwy anymore, my energy levels and moods are better, and my allergies and asthma are better. When I go off the diet, I have problems again. So I think the best review of this book is to say: It works!
This book isn't written particularly well, but I would give 5 stars for the advice. If you want to get more into the details that Mark glosses over, pick up one of the Gary Taubes books. "Why We Get Fat" is a lot more readable than "Good Calories, Bad Calories".
However, the advice in the book is spot-on. I have been following the advice for about 3 months now, with very few variations. I was already in pretty decent shape, but following this advice, I was able to easily lose a little more fat and put on a little more muscle. And I actually lifted weights less than before. Additionally, I have felt much better since giving up some grains. My insulin levels seem to have normalized, and I no longer feel shaky when I'm late for a meal. Also, eating this way means that you never feel bloated. I had always assumed that feeling bloated after a large meal was normal. Now, I can eat a pound of steak and a 1/2 pound salad and still want to take the dog on a walk.
Highly recommended for the information that it contains.
I've been familiar with paleo-lifestyle for about a year now. I recently heard of Mark on an episode of the Lew Rockwell Show.
Wiki: "Mark Sisson is an American fitness author and blogger, and a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. Sisson finished 4th in the February 1982 Ironman World Championship."
I agree with most things in the book and have shifted my eating habits in his direction. I thought the book was informative, easy to read, but way too fluffy. I didn't like the fact that the book exceeded 200+ pages for the content presented. I feel like you could have understood everything in the book by just reading a few articles and in less time.
The book could have been easily trimmed to 100 pages.
Though, if you aren't familiar with the primal lifestyle then this is a good book to get started.
Mark presents an exercise routine and some dietary guidelines which I liked.
Mark Sisson’s enthusiasm for Primal eating and his robust and entertaining writing style make this book a pleasure to read! The premise of The Primal Blueprint is to encourage you to eat and move the way that mankind has evolved to over the past two million years. He discusses why “calories in, calories out” is not always successful, and what other factors you should consider if you want to not only lose weight, but improve your health and longevity.
The Primal Blueprint dispels many long-held myths about carbohydrates and insulin, ketones, and even cholesterol. It also examines specific foods and food groups and explains their effects on human metabolism so that you can fine tune your diet and achieve better results with your health and fitness goals.
One of the primary strengths of this book is that, in addition to giving both general and specific guidelines for you to follow, Sisson encourages you to continually listen to your body and fine tune all of his advice based on the feedback that your body gives you. That, coupled with the excellent information, makes The Primal Blueprint a definite must-read.
We all KNOW eating McDonnalds is bad for you, not exercising is bad for you and fat is bad for….. oh wait no it isn’t!
The book is over simplistic in some areas (ie the Grog (caveman) vs Krog (modern man) comparisons) and the gimmiky catchphrases (not to mention lame jokes) interspersed throughout the book but I guess it tries to balance out the more sciency parts to appeal to the mass market.
I sometimes think reading about the different arguments about essentially the same dietary principles (ie Atkins, Paleo, South Beach) is like listening to the arguments of religious factions – everyone thinks their way is the ultimate right way even though it boils down to the same thing.
If you can look past the writing style this book is a good starting point if you know nothing about primal or paleo diet. I agree with most things in the book and have shifted my eating habits in his direction however the content could have been condensed to 200 pages and still have had an impact.
I had to give this book a certain amount of credence since I am exhibiting so many of the problems Mark Sisson claims results from eating too many carbs. Although I walk 5 miles a day except on week-ends and have since I retired a little over 2 years ago, I have not lost weight, I am developing an immuno response problem with my skin, and my cholesterol count continues to climb. The most alarming news I gleaned from this book is that the consumption of potatoes, rice, bread, etc. causes insulin production. Until now I thought I only had to watch the sweets, a life-long love affair that I have found difficult to control. Diabetes runs in my family. "It's in the genes" and Mark Sisson would laugh and say, "Reprogram the genes". Wow! What a concept! So, I told myself, let's give this a try for a few weeks and see what happens. Easier said than done. After four days in which I have not yet managed to get through an entire day without bread, potatoes, sugar, or pasta (not all on the same day, but at least one slip each day), I was getting distressed at the difficulty. Then I remembered Mark says 80% success is good. You don't have to be 100%. I breathed a little easier and tried to at least eat primally during the day - until dinner. By day four I had managed at least this. Lo and behold, I found I had also lost two pounds! Which means I need to try harder. What I really, really like about this approach is that I don't have to think about food all the time, something I really hate about diets. All I have to ask myself is, "Would I eat this raw?" and if the answer is no, I try to skip it. This does not mean meat. Just the vegetables and fruits. I also don't tell myself I can't have a cookie or a brownie. Skipping those will come later -- probably much later, but eventually I hope to get there, too. Meanwhile, we'll see how it goes after a few weeks. I had a stomach ache for the first two days, much to my surprise, but it went away on day three and I have to admit my energy levels are picking up a bit and I am sleeping well. Not too bad for day four. Oh, and Mark makes an important point when he says the way you eat and the way you exercise should be pleasing to you or you'll never stick to it. A very good point. Stress comes in many forms, doesn't it? The only point he makes that I would argue with is the amount of water one should consume. Of course, I don't like dairy products, particularly milk, I don't like coffee, I don't drink much fruit juice, preferring to get my juice by eating fruit, I can't drink soda because I suffer from GERD (along with 80% of Americans), so I almost always choose to drink water with an occasional Arnie Palmer for variety. I think of water consumption as a way to wash the inside just like standing in a shower washes the outside. Water is good, but I agree with Mark, drink when you're thirsty and don't force it down, but then, I have no problem drinking four or more glasses of tap water daily and would be hard put to drink less. On the other hand, 8 glasses does seem a bit much.
I really enjoyed this book. It's well written and nicely laid out. The chapter summary/highlight sections are great for sharing with people who are interested in the topic, but maybe not committed enough to read the whole book yet. The information presented here makes a lot of sense. Don't think of it as a diet...this is a plan you want to implement permanently--at least aiming to do so 80% of the time.
After only a week of seriously following the plan I feel better than I have in years. Of course only time will tell how successful I will be, but I'm confident that I'm at least headed down a better path now. Check out the author's website if you want to get a better understanding of what this is all about before reading the book.
I found this book randomly and read it because for that stretch of time, I had nothing else to do. A lot of it was stuff I'd heard before, and the author referred to other authors I'd read and found compelling, including but not limited to Eric Schlosser and Jared Diamond. The rules are simple: eat mostly vegetables and fruits, then animal products, then nuts and dairy if you can digest it. Oh, and do low impact, low intensity exercise constantly - basically boiled down to, just move more, and mix in some sprints and a dedicated half hour medium intensity workout once or twice a week. And get some sleep. And the Islamic teaching, stop eating when you're no longer hungry, not when you're full, and only eat if you're hungry, not because it's that time of day again.
The writing is kind of cheesy, but well-meaning, which was basically why I kept reading.
Like all of these diet books, what should fit in a 5-10 page white paper has been stretched out to fill a book.
That said, this approach to eating has changed my life. I picked up the book because I was diagnosed with advanced arthritis in several joints and wanted to treat myself with diet rather than with drugs. My pain diminished markedly within 7-10 days, and has pretty much stayed away (except when I cheat).
Additionally, I've lost 10 lbs and digestive problems I've had my entire life have completely disappeared.
There is no big secret here: I'm eating fish, poultry, meat, eggs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables -- all healthy foods. I'm not eating: dairy, grains, most legumes, potatoes.
I have been following the advice in The Primal Blueprint for 6 weeks now and feel absolutely marvellous. It has totally changed the way I think about food especially carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and fats. This is sound advice, easy to read and makes so much sense.
UPDATE: Continued to eat like this for 6-8 months but could not sustain it. Found it really difficult to give up bread, rice, pasta and all sugar for the rest of my life. Am now eating mostly whole foods as close to their natural form as possible without cutting out any food groups and it is working a lot better for me. No preservatives, additives or chemicals, just real food.
A prendre avec du recul, comme toutes les diètes un peu extrêmes. Le principe de ce mode de vie est très cohérent. Je ne l'adopterai pas pour autant car il exclut toutes les céréales et légumineuses (accusées dans ce livre de nombreux maux) et est basé sur une consommation excessive de protéines mais il est certain que l'apport de sucre rapide dans notre alimentation n'est pas bon. L'approche sportive est également surprenante mais pas dénuée de sens.
This guy is really gung ho. He used to be a marathon runner and mr ridiculously over firness-ified and now he's sorta reformed and goes by the "less is more" model of fitness. There aren't any recipes in this book and I think he would like to sell you some stuff on his website marksdailyapple.com - I am curious if the fitness routines he advocates are effective. He makes it sound like if your routine is too complicated you are really an idiot and that his routine is so easy you shouldn't think at all about it. But then when you read the specifics they seem a little bit complicated. You need to buy a heart beat monitor to make sure you are in the 55-80% heart rate.
Oh yea... all grains are the devil's work. I just noticed that he does have a cook book out. I'm going to rent it from the library. I think I'll probably find it useful.
I skimmed this book mostly because I'd gotten a lot of the information from Mark Sisson's web site, marksdailyapple.com, its accompanying newsletter, and his free e-book, Primal Blueprint Fitness. I'm a skeptic but am open to this program because he approaches his methods in a very scientific way and backs it up with some research. He doesn't just say he thinks one thing is better than another--he says why and what research supports it.
In the end, I am trying this program to see if it works for ME. I am not a believer in universal truths for everyone, but I'm willing to give this a try and see if it helps me with my weight and health issues. That, in the end, will be the deciding factor for me.
This book changed my life. Finally a book that tied together all the research and came to the conclusions I had after several years of studying nutrition and the effects on our health. No longer was I the crazy one. This is a groundbreaking, brave book by Mark Sisson that lays out exactly how far away from our genetic heritage we have come and what we need to do to align ourselves more harmoniously with our DNA for greater health. Ridding ourselves of processed and packaged foods is the first step, followed by closer attention to eating high-quality foods and greater emphasis on sleep and stress reduction. As the title implies, it is a blueprint for a healthier, more successful life and the success stories that abound are testimony to the fact that Sisson is on the money.
Je tady všechno, ale přitom vlastně pořádně nic - je to takové letem světem, bez hlubšího vysvětlení (to i ta Melissa Hartwig to má mnohem víc vyzdrojované a vysvětlené), bez kontextu, plné americký reálií, značek potravin atd. - minimálně pokud jde o jídelní stránku, tak znám lepší knihy. Zajímavý je ten pohybový koncept - to pro mě byla novinka.
Není to špatná kniha, ale pro low-carb a keto nepolíbené to asi moc není.
Kontext: V knihovně jsem hledala jinou knihu, ale tahle byla ve stejném chlívečku signatur - ještě před koronou - tak jsem si ji půjčila.
There are many books on the Paleo "lifestyle" (the community doesn't want you to call it a diet even though all diets are simply what you choose to eat,) and they all say pretty much the same thing. I believe that this one is particularly popular because Mark Sisson recommends that you follow the "lifestyle" 80% of the time, and that should be good enough for you to experience all the health benefits. Plus he also has a popular blog (Mark's Daily Apple) in support of his blueprint, which can be inspiring for someone new to the program. That's because, anecdotally, this "lifestyle" is difficult for even the most devoted fan to maintain full time, so any one which blesses the occasional cheat is a welcome relief. That's probably true of all diets.
I read this book solely because my husband read it and decided to go Primal, and he wanted to be able to discuss it with me. And he did. Endlessly. What I have learned is that fans of the "lifestyle" are generally primarily made up of type A personalities who are affluent enough to live in a place with a nice grocery store which might contain the required foods, and they can afford to buy them at the more expensive cost. Of course, that profile usually means that they also have medical insurance, and usually aren't very "sick" in the first place. They also seem to be the type of people who can't stop talking about their "lifestyle" and how it will benefit everyone else. EVERYONE. And they really believe that.
But ANY "diet" or "lifestyle" that requires you to eat more natural foods and less processed foods would benefit anyone. This book doesn't really make a strong enough case for why any particular foods are allowed vs. banned in this particular diet. For example, beans are not allowed, but beans are known to lower glucose levels since they are high in fiber - something that is often lacking even with this "lifestyle". Additionally, this diet CANNOT solve everyone's medical problems as claimed. Many people claim that they were cured from migraines following this diet, but if your migraine trigger is weather changes, no diet will fix that. If you have certain diseases, such as one of the porphyrias, carbohydrates are actually an essential part of the solution to help you feel better. And nothing I eat will change my kidney deformity so I can stop forming so many kidney stones.
This blueprint has some good ideas, and it works well for many people, and that's a very good thing. But ultimately, it can be hard to follow correctly, it isn't easy enough for everyone to afford, and it can't solve all health issues. That said, this is probably the best introductory Paleo book to start with because it is short and provides leeway to ease you into the "lifestyle."
Mark Sisson is on to something. A lot of things, actually.
While I don't really fit into the unhealthy or need-to-lose-weight categories, Sisson's advice about grains, chronic cardio, listening to the body, and making time for play were particularly of interest and very helpful for me. And it was all couched in what I believe is a sound philosophy--getting back to a primal way of life. I don't really need a lot of science to tell me that our pre-historic ancestors way of life was likely healthier in many respects to our sedentary inorganic modern existence.
I've been going primal for about 2-3 weeks now, having experimented with paleo-vegetarian diet in the past. As a very active, high-metabolism guy who doesn't believe the PB diet is a globally sustainable diet, I'm finding myself headed toward something like a primal-paleo-pescatarian diet with some healthier, low-glycemic whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
My body is probably as fit as it's ever been. After going through some serious ketosis, I'm balanced and have smooth energy levels throughout the day. I'm not crashing in the afternoons like I would on a grain-based diet. I can go longer periods without hunger, and I feel a bit more explosive in the weight room and on the track.
Sisson's style is a little cheesy at times, but that's forgivable. His advice is sound and sane.
I'm currently juxtaposing Sisson's advice for more animal-based protein and no chronic cardio with Scott Jurek's plant-based diet and running all the time (Eat and Run). Both call for eating more organic vegetables, and both talk about listening to the body. Can't go wrong with either of those.
I love this book! It says things and has done research on things about well eating, structural fitness & wellness that it would take me the next 20 years of my life to research on my oWN! I love Mark Sisson for writing this book!I am not even 1/2 way into the book it is frigin amazing! I am recommending this for my book club for next month! I am at about p. 31 My friend has lost 120 lbs on this plan. Jacob loves it. I love it. It is amazing! It works from the moment you start.
p.56 I adore Grok's lifestyle. Korgs life sucks and is about 70% different from my own. I rarely take medications. I do not have a family physician telling me what to do. I take grapefruit juice for hypertension. I am already eating primal. My husband is not, I am concerned for him. I have asked him to read the book. Stress is definitely part of my life.
p.178 Sisson goes too lightly into what kinds of exercise are good. He goes too much into heart rate stuff, such information might be good if I did not listen to my body and needed to track my heart rate.
Done! I love this book. I recommend it to everyone who comments that they want to loose weight and say that I look great or that I look younger. YEAH look younger and EAT MEAT!!!! I love the food plan and the tiny((4-7 hours a week) amounts of work out time love it! Easy work outs emphasizing fun and tasty foods Did I mention LOVE iT? WOW!
Hey if you got a suck diet plan that is not working for you DO THIS!!!!GO PRIMAL Be a Grok ToDay!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It's an interesting plan although it does feel a bit like a repackaged version of Atkins. The science-based parts made my eyes cross so as much as I wanted to be mature and read and understand them I just skimmed them. He covers a lot of the same ground throughout the book so I got the gist of what the science was. Eat processed carbs get an insulin spike, feel tired, store fat. That doesn't sound unreasonable to me. And I don't have any trouble accepting the notion that fat is healthy and desirable for us to eat. What I can't seem to embrace is the idea of not eating any grains or beans. Both because I neither want to and I can't see the wisdom in not eating minimally processed grains. That said, it's hard to argue when I haven't tried the diet. Maybe the grains are making me feel bad and I can't know that until I stop eating them. I'm toying with the idea of experimenting with the Primal diet. But while some of my friends have tried the diet with successful weight loss and claims of increased energy and no insulin crashing midday, it seems almost impossible to sustain the diet long term.
The section on exercise is interesting. I am definitely in the chronic cardio camp. I can't see giving that up. I just really don't have time to trade in my 1 hour of intense cardio for 2 hours of hiking. Not at this point in my life.
The rest of the recommendations seem noncontroversial and solid. The writing is pleasant.
Abysmally written. His explanations of biochemistry (insulin, ketone, and other hormones crucial for his lifestyle) are spectacularly nebulous and just hard to understand.
Another shortcoming is the structure. The chapter summaries are good, but the forbidding blocks of text in all chapters make for a hard, annoying read (not to mention all the lame jokes and an abundance of exclamation marks to boot). He would've benefited from taking a class in writing and presentation, seriously. See the way Tim Ferriss presents his information, for example.
Also, the latter chapters are pretty much devoid of any practical information. Granted, he says all the detailed information is on his blog, he offers no specific actions to follow in the later chapters. Play. Um, okay. Use your brain. Sure. Avoid stupid mistakes. Gee, that's great.
Having said this, the basic lifestyle plan he provides SEEMS definitely worth a try, and since reading this I've cut all grains and rice (though it's not really clear if rice IS really bad for you since he sort of says "I don't know about rice" on his blog), and seeing how I feel.
Good info, terrible presentation - but a must read.
Not 100% sure what my feelings are here. While I have been experimenting with the primal lifestyle for the last few weeks, I'm not entirely sure I want to put away my oatmeal pot permanently. That being said, I do think I will try staying gluten free and keep my carbs in the "maintenance range" at least. I also have been finding that embracing a high fat diet is leaving me more full and making it difficult to overheat...always a plus.
I think where I really feel in tune with this lifestyle is just in the idea that America's food system is a complete disgrace and probably the cause of a lot of illness and disease in our people. Probably the best thing that any of us could do is take charge of our eating...know what you are eating (i.e.. you should be concerned about chicken nuggets....) and where it comes from. Don't eat things that come from a lab, but instead, eat REAL food that hasn't been altered in an unnatural way.
In addition to good food, make sure you remember to move...even if it's just a daily walk. Keeping active really does a lot for a person's health.
Be responsible for your own health....as neither your doctor nor your government are going to take care of it for you.
This is, hands down, the very best book on not only nutrition, but general healthy lifestyle choices, that I have ever read. I would recommend, no strongly urge, make that FORCE everyone to read this book and employ it's advice. I've been eating strictly primal for six weeks now and whole heartedly agree with every single word of this book. Not only is my weight at the lightest it's been in over a decade, but my energy levels are sky high all day long and I no longer have those uncontrollable hunger cravings that caused me to be 'hangry'. I even agreed with the bit on 'chronic cardio' - which as an endurance athlete, is a pretty tough pill to swallow. Sure, it's expensive to buy organic produce, grass fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon and local pasture raised chickens and eggs. I'm about as cheap as they come, but guess what - without your health, nothing else matters anyway! And don't even get me started on the lifestyle choices! iPads, iPhones, kindles, on demand, TiVo, DVRs - screen screen screen. It's downright depressing to read about the 'Korgs' (the average American family in this book). Too bad I wasn't born 10,000 years ago - I think I would have fit into 'society' a bit better! If you are reading this review, do yourself a favor and read this book. The sooner the better.
This is a very interesting take on low carb eating, although the author considers it a take on Paleo, but what ever you call it, it is highly recommended for anyone interested in a more healthy lifestyle.
First he explains why we should avoid the following: Sugar, grains, an "industrial oils." He provides a good overview of the science. Even if you are familiar with the fact that science doesn't support the high carb diets that have been promoted over the last few decades, you will enjoy the information about healthy and unhealthy oils.
Nothing he writes about diet is controversial if you have been paying attention, but his take on exercise is quite startling. He argues that "Chronic Cardio" may be doing more harm than good. What he says makes sense, but I since I am not an endurance athlete I am not sure how relevant these ideas are to me.
What I really like about Sisson compared to hard core proponents of Paleo diets is that he doesn't base his diet recommendations on the arbitrary guideline that forbids all foods invented in the last 10,000 years, but instead recommends the common sense approach of asking if a particular food is healthy.
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast and effortless to read. I was recommended it by a friend who has been on Mark Sisson's program for a long time. The results of his physique where proof enough for me to pick it up and read it. Mark has a very refreshing look at general health. It is a back to basic approach. If primal man did it, so should we. The diet and food portion actually contain food. Real food and good food. It really is so logical. Avoid the shit and eat the good. Lots of protein and healthy fats, berries and nuts etc. I can't see any meat eating person not enjoying the food plan. The exercise section of the book was eye opening too. Want a killer body, exercise less. Walk lots with a once a week heavy lifting and a sprint. That's it. You don't have to kill your self with aerobic exercise every day. Mark was a former Iron Man. He realized when he moderated his routine he performed better. So if you are looking to change your routine and get healthy I highly recommend reading this.