You Know You Are Primal When…


When are you Primal? It’s when you eat bacon and eggs for breakfast knowing that you are nourishing your body. It’s when you walk for miles and enjoy every moment. And it’s apparently when you catch a gator as shown below.

I started a thread in the MDA forum with this exact title. It has more than 90 pages worth of goodies. The following is what my sister views as her favorites amongst the first 50 pages.

View the forum thread here. Please leave a comment below with your own thoughts on how to finish the sentence. I’d love to get dozens of comments so feel free to keep coming back to this post and commenting daily if you wish!



  • When you decide that long walks are healthier than runs.


  • Nature programs make you hungry.

dr. bork bork

  • When you get angry at total strangers for buying non-Primal food at the grocery store.


  • When you spend a 3 day weekend completely barefoot, in shorts and occasionally wearing a shirt.
  • When you fly from Cairo Egypt to Houston Texas barefoot (and get nothing but positive comments on the way).
  • When you are out walking around and start playing with large rocks for exercise.
  • When the other people at work look at you funny because you are carrying around buckets of rocks (farmer’s carry).


  • When you eat more veggies each day then your vegetarian friend.

Primal Toad

  • When you walk into your favorite local restaurant where you live completely barefoot.
  • When your favorite meals contain at least three kinds of meat.
  • When you haven’t used shampoo in over 6 months!
  • You golf barefoot with 5 clubs and play the best 8 holes of your entire life.
  • When you tan extremely easily and never burn without putting on sunscreen of any kind.
  • When you walk 1.5 miles to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries of meat and veggies along with pistachios and macadamias and then walk back with the one bag and do bicep curls. It was a riot!


  • When your favorite meals contain at least three kinds of meat.
  • When, as you’re driving, you see fat people along the road and say to yourself (or your passenger), “that guy eats bread”.


  • When you eat the butter packets, instead of the bread they bring out at a restaurant.


  • The dating pool is decreased substantially.
  • You really miss peanut butter, pizza, donuts, sandwiches, chocolate cake, beer, pancakes but don’t really want to eat them.
  • You refer to Grok, Mark Sisson as actual friends of yours.

Diane the Purple

  • 72% chocolate is way too sweet and the 88% stuff is starting to taste kind of bland.


  • You post a picture of shredded pork, eggs over easy, fajita steak and pico de gallo for breakfast in Mexico, and have friends make heart attack comments.  Friends that have gained 60 pounds sine you first met, while you’ve dropped 50…


  • When your purest moments of elation are in converting loved ones: my brother and mother went primal and paleo within 30 days of each other. today is my mom’s first day, go mom!


  • When you have to constantly resist to urge in grocery stores to scream at parents “why are you harming your children!!?” as they pile Kraft dinner and Oreos into their shopping cart.


  • When your kids say “I can’t believe it! Mom made green beans taste good!” And your husband says “Yea, she put pork fat on them”.


  • When a gorgeous young lady cooks you dinner ( spaghetti ) and you tell her your not hungry , then when you get home you cook a primal meal and send her a photo of it ….. lol…I did this tonight …..and she should have known better.


  • You are packing to drive to Primalcon and pack a cooler of primal food for road munchies and so you don’t have to go out the first night.
  • Homemade venison jerky (road food) hard boiled eggs olives marinated mushrooms (marinade becomes salad dressing) a box of salad greens sliced turkey breast macadamia nuts covered in dark chocolate (for dessert)
  • This is going to be a blast.


  • Buying meat at a farmer’s market or farm is primal enough, but you get extra points if you ask them if they have any big sacks of fat that you could render into tallow. Mmm, greasy.


  • When your doctor’s appt goes through lunch with a 1.5 hr wait and you don’t have time to eat, yet you’re more pissed about the time you’ll have to make up after 5 than you are about not eating lunch.
  • When the scene in Game of Thrones (both book and tv) where Dany ritualistically eats the raw heart to help her unborn son makes you wonder where in the freezer you hid the beef heart.


  • When you get really annoyed at yourself because you accidentally bought “lite” coconut milk.


  • When it’s totally normal for you to skip a morning meal and then eat breakfast at 1pm that consists of 4 strips of bacon and 5 strawberries.


  • You start to actually enjoy being looked at suspiciously for your VFFs, or for being a grown person playing on a jungle gym.
  • You log way fewer hours working out than any of your friends, but are in way better shape than all of them.
  • When you hear about a sale on organic berries at a grocery store 3 miles away, with a forecast of rain all afternoon and you think to yourself “Grok would have gotten wet” and walk instead of drive.
  • I used to work at a coffee shop, and if people asked for Fat Free Half and Half (there were a few) I just explained that no, we didn’t because it didn’t exist. When challenged by a customer (“I buy it at the store!”), I stood firm and told them that the product they were describing was not real Half and Half. Also, don’t get me started on the horrors of “creamer” – those tiny bottles they leave out that say “no refrigeration required”. That categorically means it’s not dairy, or if it is, something really horrifying has been done to it.


  • When you’re mother asks you how your cholesterol is and you suddenly go on a 10 minute rant about how we’ve been lied to from CW, and you don’t even notice when you’re mother left the room 5 minutes ago….


  • When you are shopping for coconut water and get irate when you find some only to read the label and see “sugar” listed as an ingredient.


  • When you wipe your ass with flint knapped ass wiping stones.
  • That you bought on the internet.


  • When the barber doesn’t notice that you haven’t used shampoo for a month.


  • When your stylist notices that your hair is thicker and your bald spot is filling in and asks what you’ve been doing and tell her eating more protein and fat and she says that everyone should be doing that.

Primal Krista

  • After a feast of carbs you feel awful, you have started blogging your Primal Journey, you find yourself experimenting with recipes, you are barefoot at least 80% of the time, you visit Primal blogs daily, have taken a few cold showers, run barefoot through the hills, and people look at you oddly when you describe your lifestyle….yup. I’m diggin’ this Primal way of life.


  • The first time my boyfriend found me in the kitchen preparing heart, he called me his “moon and stars.” I was tickled.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Complete the sentence yourself by leaving a comment below. Feel free to come back often!

6 Factors That Might Be Preventing You From Building Muscle

Muscle Building

Hello everyone! The following is a guest post by Joshua Hardwick on building muscle. Enjoy!


We’d all like to be ripped, but very few of us actually take the steps necessary to achieving our goals. Building muscle requires a lot of dedication in terms of both your workout routine and your eating habits. Even those that really ‘go for it’ are often surprised when they see very little in the way of results and often, it can be down to just a couple of factors that they didn’t take into consideration or slightly misunderstood.

Gaining muscle is hard work, both physically and mentally and there is certainly a lot to think about. A lot of people find that initially, their results are great but after a few months, they seem to hit a brick wall and muscle mass gains come to a halt. To help you out, I’ve rounded up 6 of the most common reasons that you might experience this, and that could be preventing you form building muscle.

#1 – You Aren’t Eating Enough

To gain muscle, you need to eat a lot as you can’t gain weight from nothing. Every day, your body will burn a certain amount of calories just to maintain itself (by that, I mean to fuel its normal daily activities) and to build muscle, you need to be eating more calories than whatever this requirement might be. The problem here is that everyone’s daily calorific needs are slightly different, as daily activities vary, as does each individuals metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories).

Calculating the exact amount of calories you should be eating per day is no mean feat, but you can use one of the many online metabolic rate calculators to calculate how many calories your body needs each day just to function (your basal metabolic rate). Following this, you can use the Harris Benedict Equation (here is a calculator that uses this formula) to calculate how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight. Once you have this number, you need to make sure to consume slightly more calories (with a good percentage from protein) if you want to gain weight.

#2 – You Aren’t Eating Enough Protein

Protein is the building block of muscle tissue and without it, you don’t have a hope of building muscle. If you’re regularly working out and looking to gain muscle, you need to be consuming quite a hefty amount of protein. Again, it’s hard to calculate an exact protein requirement but the general rule of thumb is to consume around 1 gram per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need to consume around 180 grams of protein per day.

It is important to realize that this is substantially more protein than you would usually consume on a regular diet and doing so is going to take a fair amount of effort. Bearing in mind that a tin of tuna, 100 – 120 grams of chicken breast and one protein shake are all likely to contain around 25 – 30 grams of protein, you can quickly see how much you are going to need to consume.

Protein shakes are a great way to get the extra protein you need but it is important that you get the majority of your protein from high-quality, protein-rich food sources. Consuming them in excess can lead to a number of side effects but in moderation, they are perfectly fine (ideally no more than 2 per day). You should also note that some protein shakes are of a higher quality that others so choosing the right one is extremely important (see my top 10 protein powders).

#3 – You Aren’t Lifting Enough Weight

One of the things that is always subject to much debate is the ‘weight vs reps’ argument. Some argue that you should opt for a slightly lower weight and do more reps, whilst others argue that a heavier weight with less reps is best for muscle hypertrophy. The reality is, there is no right and wrong answer as different combinations will work differently depending on each individual.

Personally, I think aiming for around 8 – 10 reps is best as this is most likely to work for most people. Lifting heavier weights and doing less reps (under 8 reps) is likely to focus too much on strength rather than mass gains whereas anything over 10 reps is likely to be focussed more on endurance. Higher reps can lead to mass gains but the quality of muscle is likely to be low, although as I mentioned, the exact optimum number of reps to build muscle varies from person-to-person.

However, whatever number of reps you do opt for, you need to make sure that you are pushing yourself. If you can get to your desired number of reps on every set without at least a little bit of a struggle, you need to increase the weight; although you need to make sure that you don’t increase the weight so much that you can’t execute the correct form as this is crucial to a successful workout.

#4 – You Aren’t Achieving The Correct Form

Following on from our last point, we reach another common reason that a lot of people aren’t building muscle; correct form. Personally, this is one of my ‘pet hates’ and the number of times I see this on almost a daily basis at the gym is astonishing. Correct form is usually compromised when you try to lift too much and can be compromised during almost any exercise.

One of the most common examples of this tends to occur when people are exercising their biceps. You will see skinny men grabbing the 20kg dumbbells as they believe, the heavier the weight, the more muscle they’re going to build. The truth is that it doesn’t always work like this as without correct form, you aren’t going to be targeting the muscles correctly. Still, you see them doing dumbbell curls with these overly heavy weights and in order to lift them, they launch them into the air with every rep with the help of their back.

Not only does this mean that they’re now inadvertently targeting other muscle groups rather than their biceps, but it also puts them at risk of severe injury. You should always perform every exercise with a controlled, slow movement. If you can’t do this, then lower the weight

#5 – You Are Working Out Too Much (Or Too Little)

Another part of gaining muscle mass that is exceptionally important is how frequently you workout. Unfortunately, getting the balance right is a pretty hard thing to do and most people will either workout far too little, or far too often.

First of all, let me tackle the ‘far too often’ guys. Working out too often is going to hold back your muscle building efforts as one of the most important phases in muscle building is the rest phase. It is not actually the act of working out but rather the resting period that actually builds muscle mass. When you workout, you create microscopic tears in your muscle fibers and as these are repaired by your body, muscle mass increases. If you are putting your muscles under too much stress and not giving them sufficient resting time, it can actually lead to a decrease in muscle mass.

Now, for those that workout too little, it’s simple, get to the gym more often! Ideally, if you are serious about gaining muscle, you should be heading to the gym and performing weight lifting exercises at least 3 – 4 times per week. It is a good idea to focus on no more than 2 muscle groups per day (e.g. biceps and triceps, or back and chest). This way, you will allow each muscle group plenty of resting time if you stick to a regular workout schedule.

#6 – You Are Doing Too Much Cardio

You’ve probably heard a million times that you won’t be able to get good muscle definition (or reveal those six pack abs) if your bodyfat percentage is too high. To combat this, you’ve decided to hit the running machine for an hour or so every few days. Sure, this is going to keep you fit but if your primary goal is to get ripped and build muscle, chances are that you could be doing too much.

Every time you do cardio, you are burning calories quicker than you do normally. Of course, this is what leads to weight loss for a lot of people. If you’re burning too many calories, your body isn’t going to have enough energy to function, and then you are at risk of your body breaking down your muscle tissue in order to obtain enough energy.

As strange as it sounds, unless you are substantially overweight, cardio will more than likely need to be kept to a minimum during a muscle building phase. If you do want to do cardio, you need to realize that you will need to eat more to ensure that you aren’t burning more calories than you are consuming.


While there are a number of other things that can prevent you from building muscle, I find that these tend to be the most common. Nutrition and exercise are complex subjects and the truth is, nobody’s perfect. Most people are usually at risk of incorporating at least one of these problems into their routines, so hopefully, this post will have pointed out any flaws you might not have realized were flaws and promote a change.

Bio: Joshua Hardwick is a fitness enthusiast, with a particular interest in muscle building and getting ripped. He mainly writes for his own website;, giving muscle building advice and regularly dispelling common muscle building myths.

You can follow Joshua on various social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Google Plus.

photo credit

Introducing Healthy Treats: Paleo Ice Cream

strawberry ice cream photo

Hello! The following is a guest post by Ben Hirshberg who is an ice cream aficionado. Think Paleo ice cream made with coconut milk… nomnomnom…


Treat /trēt/
Noun: An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.

I believe that treats have a place in life. Whether it is splurging on a vacation or getting to spend uncommon time with a friend, family member or significant other, treats are nice to have every now and then.

Treats break up the monotony of life and give pleasure. When I get to go to a Seattle Sounders soccer match, it makes my day. I do not get to go to every Sounders match, but I enjoy myself every time I do (especially if they win!).

This applies to food as well. I am not the most strict primal eating adherent, so once in a while I will allow myself a treat. Sometimes the treats are primal friendly, such as date-cocoa powder cookies, or sometimes they are not, such as a traditional chocolate chip cookie. When I indulge myself in a treat, I make sure to fully savor and enjoy the flavor, texture, and scent.

People throughout history have likely indulged in treats, dietary and otherwise. I certainly can picture someone during the Paleolithic era smiling with their eyes closed, chomping on ripe berries. Humans like pleasure, and treats are excellent at providing pleasure.

However, a treat no longer becomes a treat when it becomes common or stops giving pleasure. When you eat a spoonful of peanut butter every hour, it is not a treat, it is a daily staple!

I think that everyone should treat themselves every so often (not every hour), even with food. That does not mean that the edible treat has to be unhealthy! But I think that periodically enjoying a simple pleasure such as a cookie can do wonders for mental health and decreasing stress.

When I was younger, I discovered through a near death experience that I was severely allergic to bee stings. So every month, I would get the equivalent of two bee stings injected into each of my arms in an effort to make me immune. My mother would treat me to an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins after every shot appointment, fostering a special appreciation for ice cream in me.

Ever since I started educating myself about nutrition however, my ice cream intake steadily declined. I did not want to put store-bought ice cream into my body. A visual scan of the ingredients generally looked something like this: modified milk ingredients, glucose solids, mono and diglycerides, natural flavor, color, sugar, soybean oil, soy lecithin, and a whole host of other ingredients which I did not recognize. I like to know exactly what I am eating; the more details the better!

So I started to make my own ice cream recipes. I used the ingredients that I wanted, not ingredients that were chosen for me by a corporation with little regard for my health. Compare a recipe list from one of my favorite flavors with the list above: coconut milk, blueberries (I use blueberries grown in my backyard!), raw honey, and pastured egg yolks. Looks much better no? It also tastes unbelievable! And there is no reason to feel guilty when enjoying my recipes because they are made with healthy ingredients that are conducive to good health.

My ice cream recipes are some of the best treats I have ever enjoyed. So I decided to organize them into an eBook for others to enjoy. Ice cream no longer has to be an unhealthy treat! You can learn more about my eBook Paleo Ice Cream: 31 Healthy Recipes for the Primal Sweet Tooth that are So Easy a Modern Caveman Can Do It at There is a free sample recipe to try too, and I would love your feedback so please check it out!

Author Bio

Ben Hirshberg is a 19 year old student of human well-being from Seattle, WA. He went to Dickinson College for his freshman year but is currently taking an absence of leave to travel the world, learn outside of the classroom, and take the path less traveled. Ben’s favorite hobbies include reading, hiking, cooking, and hanging out with friends. Read articles he has written about health and his gap year journey (currently in Madrid, Spain) at

From Toad: Have you ever made homemade ice cream? What ingredients do YOU use? Do you use an ice cream maker? Do you still eat traditional ice cream? Why or why not? Tell us by leaving a comment below!