Wild Idea Buffalo is on the top of my list as high-quality meat purveyors to recommend to clients. As many of you know their practices go far beyond the gold standard of the paleo/primal world’s “grass-fed” and create a category of their own.
I came to know Jill and Dan O’Brien serendipitously when I grabbed Buffalo for the Broken Heart to pass the time while traveling overseas for my honeymoon last summer. My wife and I had recently moved to South Dakota from San Diego and Dan’s writing struck a major chord with me.
It made me realize each bite we take is so important to our health but can directly affect the regeneration of our amazing prairie. Choosing to eat animals raised in such a beautiful manner does really make a difference in every aspect. If you haven’t read the book I won’t spoil anything but it really spoke to me as an outsider in this new strange land and struggling to find my niche.
In 2016, my wife and I left our busy California life and my cubicle job to roll the dice on entrepreneurship on the prairie. I saw an opportunity to build a career in doing what I love; sharing the knowledge of health, wellness, and a respect for the land that we live on. Although I had dabbled in this a bit in my past, from the moment I decided to take it on as a business, I have pursued the cutting edge information on how to best go about changing peoples lifestyle to better their health.
This led me to receive a Primal Health Coach certification from Mark Sisson. Mark is one of the godfathers of the paleo/primal movement and is the author of the world-renowned book, The Primal Blueprint. The philosophy in his book is the foundation of the curriculum I studied during my course. The Primal Health Coach Program is based on a scientifically validated wellness plan that focuses on bringing back our primitive behaviors by reintroducing low-carb, whole foods, inspiring daily activity, and reducing overall stress levels.
In teaching this lifestyle I often come across moments where I can deeply relate to my client. I was not always knowledgeable about the right foods to eat or even how I should go about exercise to reach my peak performance. As a kid, I ate tons of processed foods, was mostly sedentary, and didn’t get outside as much as I should have. Luckily for me, I found an outlet for two of the three issues and started to play football my freshman year of high school. I got plenty of sun and exercise but still ate what I now call the Standard American Diet (SAD). I managed to earn a full ride scholarship to Northern Arizona University and at the time tipped the scales at over 300 pounds.
When I stopped playing football I continued the unhealthy eating patterns, which really wreaked havoc on my health. I lost most of the muscle mass and just felt awful. This was enough to get me motivated to do something about my health. Unfortunately for me, I had a lot more to learn about how to reach optimal wellness.
I got into endurance sports like marathons and triathlons, while eating the same Standard American Diet (SAD). I lost minimal weight while flogging myself with hours and hours of running, biking, and swimming. I managed to place in the top 25% of the field in two of my triathlons while still weighing in at 285 lbs. I was happy with my accomplishments but upset that I wasn’t at my ideal body weight or composition. I was still consuming poor quality meat, far too many carbohydrates, and thinking I was “earning my calories”. I tried trendy diets like going vegan, doing juice cleanses, and tracking calories to make sure I was always deficient. Nothing worked and I was starting to get desperate.
This is when I was first introduced to The Primal Blueprint and Mark Sisson’s way of doing things. His philosophy made so much sense and I finally felt like this was something that I could adhere to. Mark first explains how our ancestors thrived on a diet full of nutritious plants and animals, and tons of healthy fats. Aside from diet, he talks a lot about the movement patterns of our ancestors and how they moved frequently throughout their daily lives, including occasionally engaging in a sprint while running from a predator or lifting heavy things while setting up camp. None of this equated to logging hundreds of miles of running and cycling, or eating a pizza because “I earned it.”
From that time on I got to work on getting back to my roots. I sold the carbon fiber road bike and started to eat a paleo style diet. In the first few months I saw my weight drop drastically but more importantly, I felt so damn good. I wasn’t suffering like I did while having Tofurky during my short vegan stint, instead I was loving the food that I ate. Bison bacon, eggs, and avocados for breakfast became my go-to meal for healthy fats that would fill my body with essential nutrients. I went on hikes and did yoga. I was shocked at the end of my first year when the scale read 207 pounds, a weight I hadn’t seen since I was 12 years old! It felt too easy. I was hardly killing myself in the gym and ate amazing meals but still lost tons of weight. It has been 4 years now and the results have stuck and I am constantly bettering how I go about my lifestyle.
As the movement of health and quality of life becomes more mainstream, thousands of people around the world are seeing the benefits of following the Primal Blueprint, which includes nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle. Primal Health Coaching consists of a fully integrative strategy that analyzes all pieces of the puzzle in order to achieve optimal potential and lasting improvements. The goal of our shared coaching lessons is to teach each client how to become their own coach and maintain a Primal Lifestyle.
There are so many people that are going through similar bouts of trying to find a diet that makes them feel and look amazing. I find that the key to success is to drop the whole notion of “being on a diet” but rather actually making lifelong commitments to health and wellness.