Review of Primal Blueprint – a Must Read!
Whether you are a first timer at attempting good nutrition or an old dog in the gym – or even just a person half interested in health – reading the Primal Blueprint should be one book added to your Amazon Wish List. The Primal Blueprint is a recently written book authored by Mark Sisson. I spoke of Mark and his site, MarksDailyApple.com earlier which you can see here. After putting my mouth up to the firehose that is his website, I ordered this book and proceeded to eat it faster than a hamburger with everything on it minus the bun. If you’re a Primal disciple, you’d understand. If not, read on and you’ll learn.
Mark’s book challenges what he terms Conventional Wisdom -the rules or guidelines we’ve all been led to believe are fact. Things like the Food Pyramid and what causes heart disease are legitimately dispelled. Mark’s history/experience as a former marathoner and Ironman competitor give him the perspective and authority to cover traditional topics – and then toss them upside down. The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws in his book are:
- Eat Lots of Plants and Animals
- Avoid Poisonous Things
- Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
- Lift Heavy Things
- Sprint Once in a While
- Get Adequate Sleep
- Get Adequate Sunlight
- Avoid Stupid Mistakes
- Use Your Brain
If these laws sound simple, they are – and that’s by design. Mark’s blueprint is about simplifying – so there are no calories to count, no magic workouts. His methods teach a more intuitive way of life, a primal way, where 80% of your health is based on eating plants and animals.The PB (Primal Blueprint) gives great insight into the insulin response our body takes when we ingest carbohydrates and how this can work against us when we consume too many carbs. (In the U.S., us eating too many carbs? I’m shocked!) Not only does Mark show how too many carbs can be dangerous, he also shows how fat is actually our friend – the right kinds of fat. And when you replace your carbs with these fats, your body not only adjusts, it learns to use your own bodyfat as a source of energy so that you can actually lose weight and acquire a more lean physique.
Not one to throw something out without my own experiments, I began eating the Primal Way this past week. Since last Monday I ate Omega 3 eggs (with the yolk), bacon, salads, burgers, steaks, nuts, nuts and more nuts, seeds, cream with blueberries and other items I would typically shy away from. I kept my carbs to under 150 grams, most days under 100 grams. The Carbohydrate Curve, shown here, demonstrates the recommended number of carbs you should ingest to go primal, whether you want to lose weight, maintain or increase. I ate til I felt full; I didn’t gorge, but I didn’t cut calories or micromanage them. I worked out a moderate amount (not a typical week for me as I’m vacationing between P90X rounds). Despite my lessened activity rate and the ingestion of what I would call “bad” food, I lost 2 lbs. There is much more experimenting I plan to do and many more questions to answer, but intuitively my body felt good and my energy levels didn’t decrease as much as I might have expected.
Is the Primal Blueprint the next big thing? It’s too early to tell, but for me, I will continue eating this way for a while to come. I am intrigued by the challenges Mark tosses at Conventional Wisdom and how they tie in to the dangers of mass food production and our need to eat more organic, hormone-free foods. With the increase of high fructose corn syrup dangers and other anomalies coming to the forefront, perhaps eating like our ancestors many thousands of years ago isn’t such a bad idea.