This crap works (by Mike Alzen)

07 Oct

After 11 months of paleo I’m more convinced than ever that this crap works. It seems like everyone around me is either having a health issue or knows someone who is. Cancer and infertility seem to be rampant. The more I read about paleo, and the more I experience the benefits myself, the more it eats me up to see people I care about suffer with issues I believe can be helped with simple enjoyable dietary changes. Seriously people, this stuff isn’t even hard. Eating fresh veggies, good meat, some fruit, seeds, and nuts is not hard. Breaking the cravings you are addicted to can be hard, but don’t you think being addicted is a problem in the first place?

Oddly enough most people now have put me into the category of “one of those crazy health nuts”, and use that as an excuse as to why they could never do what we’ve done. That’s flat out not true. I’m not sure what my heaviest point was, but before starting paleo I was 175, most of that being fat. These pictures are of my 30th Birthday Party. (It was an AWESOME surprise party thanks to our friends the Delao’s). I was working hard in these pictures. I was running a lot (I hate running), lifting 3-5 times per week, and eating 6 small meals a day of whole grains, lowfat meats, oatmeal, etc. I was doing everything “right”, but my sugar cravings were INSANE, I fell asleep in the break room every day at lunch, and my progress was crap for all the work I was putting in. (I’m in the brown shirt)

30th Birthday Party

You want to talk about hard? THAT was hard, and it barely got me anywhere.

Just before my 30th birthday I decided I’m doing paleo, and my awesome wife being as amazing as she is, decides to support me and try it as well. That first month was pretty hard, but we didn’t know it at the time because it was easier than what we had been doing (it was just hard in retrospect because this lifestyle gets easier with every week we do it). Keep in mind we did that month over my birthday, Christmas, and new years. We did 30 days of strict paleo with zero cheats. We agreed if we were going to give this a shot it had to be a legit 100% effort, or what’s the point? If we deviated from 100% compliance, we had to start the 30 days over (that’s some motivation right there). Here are the results after 30 days of strict paleo. (not relaxed, flexing)

I fluctuate between 145 and 150 now. This is from about 1 month ago. (relaxed, not flexing)

What we found was that the only challenging parts of this (after the cravings passed about 10 days in) was social outings, and learning how to shop/cook efficiently. Now that we have the shopping and cooking down to a system, there’s nothing difficult about this lifestyle. We eat GOOD food. No, seriously. I know you think you can’t live without that pasta, but that’s your addiction talking. Break that addiction and you’ll find a whole different world of tastes and good food. Not to mention how good you’ll look, feel, and perform.

Now I’m not going to make it as an underwear model or anything, but that’s not my goal. I’m living this as a totally sustainable, and immensely enjoyable lifestyle. I only workout on average 3 times a week (some weeks 0 and some weeks 5), and most weeks I have a lot of “flex” in my eating plan. In a typical week I’ll have 4-5 bars of dark chocolate, a big frozen yogurt with candy toppings, coffee with heavy cream, some mexican food (nothing with gluten!), and some alcohol. Keep in mind this is after months of being fairly strict, and very gradually loosening up the reigns and watching how my body reacted to the changes I was making. It’s VITAL to be 100% compliant in the beginning, and then you can SLOWLY start to tailor your new lifestyle to suit YOU. What I’m trying to convey here is that this lifestyle is EASY. Sure, the transition is hard, because kicking any bad habbit is hard, but I promise that once you get over that hump you don’t feel deprived.

I wanted to get into all the “diseases of civilization” paleo can help resolve or prevent entirely, but I’ve already spent more time on this than I meant to. A short (very short) list off the top of my head of things I’ve personally experienced or had 2nd hand experience with are: increased tolerance to sun (I used to burn to the point of peeling within 15 minutes, now an hour in mid day sun with no sunblock is fine), allergies improving, rheumatoid arthritis resolved, acne gone, better skin/nails, hair loss stopped (I think), skin discoloration gone, and extremely strong immune system functionality. I haven’t been sick in 11 months, and I was getting sick about 3-4 times a year before.

Paleo is awesome. If you already are having health problems, why don’t you just TRY it for 30 days? I mean, what do you have to lose? If you aren’t having any health problems, why wait until you start? Sure, you might get lucky and be fine, but you’re betting against the odds with your health, and for what? A twinkie? There are people who smoke packs a day into their 80’s, but we don’t try betting against the odds there do we?

I’m currently reading “The paleo solution” by Robb Wolf and strongly recommend you check it out.

He also has a podcast and some good blog posts at


Posted by on October 7, 2010 in paleo, Random Rants, Team Alzen!


2 responses to “This crap works (by Mike Alzen)

  1. Miss Teacha

    October 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    i know it works! And your bod is CRAZY SCAREY!!! 4-5 bars of chocolate. DAWG!!!! I thought I had fallen to far off the wagon by eating 1-2 a week–eating off the same bar for 2-3 days! I’ve still got a long way to go before I can look half as good as you guys. but this was def a motivational post. Thanks for posting it and reminding me of the goal.


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