Review of The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
When it comes to health and wellness there is always NEW information, NEW science and more to learn. With the changing population of the U.S. (and a few other modernized countries), last reported nearly 40% of adults were obese with another 32% being overweight, there is more disease-related health issues than ever. How did this happen and why? Where did we come from and to now?
I am fascinated by this topic, and myself having been diagnosed with SLE (lupus) at age 21 needed to make changes to live a better longer life, and began to examine what causes all of these things. This particular post is my recent completion and review of the book The Primal Blueprint. It was an amazing book built/written years ago, and updated through time. It is jam packed with research and science that was shocking and alarming to me (because it has not been more widely publicized).
Even though I already subscribed to the general message due to my personal experience with how diet can CHANGE YOUR LIFE and DISEASE, the shear science presented here proves some of the older science I had read recently in Michael Pollan’s food books as well. So let’s get into it.
The General Idea
We have long since left behind the ideals that kept our human race alive over millions of years and not only that but kept them alive for a long time if they avoided accidents and illness that back then was untreatable (germs). The idea and premise is that there is science backing the dietary habits of our ancient ancestors, the movement patterns and habits, their general well being and sleep patterns and more.
Primal Points Made in the Book
As you can see from the graphic above – this is what is presented in detail (the book is huge but a quick read). The things you will notice here are that we:
• Don’t realize, or need to realize that although we may be genetically programmed to develop a disorder or issue, we can shut it down or off. Yes you can – I have. It can be done. He tells you how and the evidence that support this!
• How to control your genes and bring out the best in yourself.
• What your body prefers for nutrients and how to get them. It talks IN DEPTH about processed food, and how it poisons us and it isn’t meant for our consumption. The dietary information and science is SOUND and OVERWHELMING. This thing right here is KEY to everything else that goes with this book. It is THE MOST important part. What you do with this and how you fuel it is what matters 80% more than everything else!
• The grains are unnecessary makes a lot of sense and is backed by science. He even discusses different athletes (as he was one himself) and their needs and the differences. But for most of you out there reading this – you are looking for better and improved disease health or weight loss – so for you this applies. I can also refer you to another nutrition expert who shares her story and her scientific information that proves that grains are harmful to many of our systems, including adrenal (check out Carrie Vitt – Deliciously Organic). I can also speak to this from personal experience. Struggling with inflammation, lupus and thyroid fluctuations I have gone grain free. Within a few days I started to feel better, and over a month now living like this I feel amazing.
Does this mean I am keto? Nope. I eat plenty of carbs, they just don’t come from grains. I eat plenty of fruit and vegetable carbs, and have an occasional potato as well. Potatoes are not part of my daily routine, but they are a good starchy carb source to refuel from being grain free. But what it means is I had to ditch whole wheat, wheat, flours, and rices. It has been an amazing change.
• Fats are a big discussion. When going grain free you MUST provide a fuel course for your body – and fat is it. When avoiding all processed foods fat can be your friend. NOT ALL FAT of course. We are talking healthy fats – which does include some saturated fats and cholesterol, and other types of fats, BUT doesn’t include vegetable oils, canola oils, processed oils, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats and more. Healthy things like olive oil, avocado oil, those actual plants in whole, coconut and plant based fats and oils. When eating processed foods the interaction of these fats with the chemicals and processing is what has led to heart disease and more, but when eliminating those grains and those chemicals from the diet, and only using clean, healthy fats, your body is fueled and WELL!
• Exercise and weight management. This is truly an amazing section of the book as well. If you can’t tell I LOVED this book. As I have learned myself over the years that overtraining is just one step away or I was in it A LOT! There were times when my body told me to stop – but then I often wondered if some of the issues I had were from pushing too hard. If you know me – or follow me – you know I push HARD! So I really enjoyed this science and information, and I have tried it and it has proven true. I really focused on the type of activity/movement, and intensity and started monitoring my heart rate and made adjustments, and turns out – I was overtraining. Adjusting has been a delight to be honest. I feel so much better, and my energy is level. Amazing. Of course, I do have a background to adjust with little more than the information provided, and I am currently working on a personal trainer certification which has helped. But if you need help with this, or just to add more movement – email me and let’s talk.
Cool Additions to the Book
Not only does he share all of this AMAZING science with tips and tools to help you – but he offers a wide variety of products, as well as other books that might fit your needs. I LOVE his quick and simple cookbook, and the ideas and meals are delicious. It is not the only one – check out his site to see more.
My Take Aways From the Book & My Experiences
This book proves what I learned on my own. Changing dietary habits is the majority of the battle and can shut off, or manage your disease and illness – especially if it is related to inflammation. The other pieces are as I believed as well – sleep matters – and I learned a lot more on sleep in this book. Following patterns of daylight and more – amazing and do work. We tried it for everyone in my house and we all sleep fantastic when we follow the natural patterns. Movement is key to the rest of the puzzle. You don’t need to overdo it, or even push very hard other than on occasion to raise that heart rate up to live a happy healthy life. Science proves this.
Be kind to yourself, don’t make stupid mistakes (be safe with things like driving, biking etc) and be treated for acute infections if you can’t clear them on your own – BUT the great news is that with your amazing dietary changes to this type of eating will give you better immunity and require seeing a doctor less. It works – and I am proof. I keep removing more and more follow ups for my lupus – it’s an amazing thing. My blood work looks fantastic and improves every time. This is how I can extend my time. Less is more!
If you literally feel like you have “tried it all” grab this book, and if you need help to start – check out my Eat Your Way Out program. It gives you a step by step approach to making the changes that you need – in a similar to primal style.