You Want to Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: Why
You Should Eat Brightly Colored Fruits and Vegetables
Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal
Blueprint Real Life Story from a Marks Daily Apple reader.
If you have your own success story and would like to share it with
me and the Marks Daily Apple community please contact me here.
Ill continue to publish these each Friday as long as they
keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
to eat like a hunter-gatherer. These eight words marked the
beginning of a new life for me. These eight words set into motion
a change that would ultimately not only result in me achieving optimum
health and fitness, they would greatly improve my relationships
and day-to-day family life. I feel compelled to detail this journey
in an effort to help others who, like me, were trapped by conventional
wisdom into thinking they were making the right decisions for their
health. This is for those of us who were convinced by advertising
and marketing that we needed more of that essential whole
grain goodness. Food has become an ongoing story in our house.
Here is mine.
When I was
in my early adult years and engaged to be married, I struggled with
a chronic sinusitis condition that resulted in frequent use of antibiotics.
So much so that I ultimately needed sinus surgery, and was concerned
about my ability to go on my honeymoon without needing or having
access to an antibiotic. I saw a specialist in addition to my family
physician, and was taking two different allergy medications, year
round, and ultimately advancing to the need for an inhaler and a
daily antacid. One of the allergy medicines caused a dry-eye condition
resulting in the addition of re-wetting drops to the menu of pharmaceuticals
I was not able to live without. I was also battling facial acne.
I was tied to my medications and weighed down by these chronic ailments.
At one point
I had my blood tested by my family physician for allergies. The
test results identified an allergy to white ash trees (where are
they?) and a slight allergy to wheat and peanuts. Wheat
and peanuts? Dont people with this allergy have serious anaphylactic
reactions to consuming them? I certainly had never experienced that.
My family physician advised me that consuming those foods was probably
contributing to my sinusitis and that it wasnt necessarily
something I would sense an immediate reaction to. Ok, so in other
words, no big deal to continue eating them if they are not causing
me any real trouble. Or were they?
to these conditions, I also believed I was suffering from hypoglycemia,
commonly referred to as low blood sugar. My mom and
sister both seemed to experience similar symptoms and the idea that
this was a hereditary condition made sense. For myself, I began
to notice I could not go more than a few hours without food, or
I would run the risk of feeling shaky and light headed, and not
be able to think clearly. This feeling would be remedied by gaining
access to any readily available food item often these consisted
of candy options in the checkout line at the grocery store. M&Ms
and the like became the saving grace.
to my family physician about the instability of my blood sugar,
his recommendation was to eat small, frequent meals, and to eat
more protein. Well, ok, but what does eating more protein
look like? I could never make practical sense of the recommendation.
What was interesting about the blood sugar problem for me was that
I never tested positive for the condition during glucose tolerance
testing. How could this be? Surely I was experiencing all the symptoms,
according to the internet. Both my mom and sister had the same symptoms
In the final
weeks of my second pregnancy, my blood sugar tested high and the
recommendation from my obstetrician was to avoid carbohydrates.
Hmmm. Ok, I am game and willing, motivated by my babys health
to make any changes necessary. I go to the grocery store with open
eyes, reading labels and trying to make the best decisions. Should
I still have Cheerios for breakfast? Plain rather than HoneyNut?
I only found this more confusing and frustrating. I didnt
find a single commercially available item that didnt have
carbohydrates on the label.
I gained a
total of 50 pounds with my second pregnancy. Admittedly, some of
that is attributable to the idea that I was pregnant and that was
my excuse to eat whatever I wanted. But some of it was also the
paranoia I developed around drops in blood sugar. I learned to eat
frequently to avoid those symptoms, but I was consumed by this problematic
routine as well. It became difficult to get through a day without
worrying about my blood sugar and I was fearful of becoming diabetic.
and I went about our business being good parents however, I was
not happy with myself both physically and emotionally, and had unsuccessfully
attempted a few traditional weight loss methods. I had a number
of friends who had seemed to do well on Weight Watchers and so I
decided to join online. The low-fat emphasis didnt seem to
work well with my blood sugar instability and I found myself consumed
by the counting of points and food journaling that was suggested
by the program. I became frustrated by dead ends with no results.
I remained confident, however, I could not be the only person with
this weight/blood sugar problem. I am a professional, a smart and
educated person. I am determined I can figure this out, but why
should this be so difficult?
I was about
to consider Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem when the Discovery Health
channel was airing their show the National Body Challenge
which I interpreted as their version of The Biggest Loser. The show
had a website that offered exercise and dieting information after
creating a free account. They also offered a free 7-day pass to
a local gym. Interesting. I belonged to the gym many years ago and
had let my membership expire. Could I start going to a gym again?
I wondered if I would know what to do once in the gym to effect
meaningful change. I could see others on their obligatory treadmills
not loosing an inch and even gaining at times. I wondered if I would
I be able to make the time for a gym between work and family and
certainly knew I didnt have time to waste on treadmills and
All it took
was one click on the weblink on the National Body Challenge website
and a representative from the gym was calling my house to schedule
an appointment to visit. Once in the gym, a representative met with
me to convince my why joining the gym that day, and forgoing the
7-day pass, was a better deal and reviewed the options available
to me through the National Body Challenge special. While I recognize
these attempts as the sales tactics they were, the representative
said something to me that really connected. She asked about my outside
commitments with caring for family, etc., and asked who would take
care of them if I were unable to myself? If my health failed, who
would care for my family? Her question made me realize that I needed
to take the time to do this. I needed to get into the gym in a meaningful
way and not feel guilty for taking time from my family to do it.
the rest of the article
February 27, 2012
© 2012 Mark's Daily Apple
Best of Mark Sisson