My paleo story so far …

My name is Michael Murphy. I’m married to the world’s best wife and father to four awesome boys (my poor wife will never get to ride the Little Mermaid ride at Disney). My “day” job is working as a software engineer for a large school district.

I’m a total and complete technology geek. I love gadgets, computers, computer games (addicted to Minecraft right now) and pretty much anything that even might resemble a gadget. I love reading just about anything I can get my hands on. I also dabble in photography, recently started my own self-watering container garden and love learning new things.

Lately what I’ve been learning and reading about is the “paleo diet” or “caveman diet” as some people call it. This actually isn’t my first ride on this train. About two years ago I came across Mark’s Daily Apple, a great blog by Mark Sisson. He calls his system the “Primal Blueprint”. I never bought his book but his site alone had more than enough info to convince me to try it out and got me started. I started eating “primal” and over a six month period I lost 40 pounds and felt better than ever. I did this without any extra exercise (which pretty much means none since I sit in a chair in front of a computer all day!). I’m 5′ 10″ and went from 230 lbs down to 190 lbs. I hadn’t been that skinny since I was in my late twenties (I’m 42 now).

Our Three Adopted Boys (early 2010)

Then a new, incredible chapter began in my life which was awesome but derailed my paleo train. My wife and I adopted three wonderful boys! They are biological brothers that had been in foster care for a little over two years. When they moved in with us in March of 2010 they were 2, 4 and 8 years of age. Our lives were instantly blessed and turned completely upside down at the same time! I had been eating my “primal” diet pretty much alone up to that point. It was one thing to plan something slightly different for me when my wife and one son were already eating fairly healthy food (by USDA standards) but when the size of our family doubled overnight and the new members were picky, picky, picky it just became impossible for me to keep up with my “diet”. So back I went on the “standard American diet” and 90% of the weight I lost came rolling back in over the next year.

Fast forward to May 2011. Our boys have made a ton of progress in their poor eating habits since we have had them. I was no longer content to continue staring at my 225 pound, out of shape self in the mirror. I knew that if I wanted to get back to my paleo/primal eating ways that I would need my wife to be on board as well. So I tried looking for something similar to what I did previously that I felt would be an easier entry to this lifestyle for her. I came across a book titled “The Four Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss. His “Slow-Carb Diet” seemed to be simpler, had a few less restrictions but looked like it would do the job. I convinced her to try it out with me. On June 1st we dove in. I even started a blog to track what I did and my progress. (My Four Hour Body Journal) She lasted all of two weeks. I kept at it for a couple of months. The “simplicity” of the diet (one of the rules is to “eat the same few meals over and over”) is actually what made her quit. She was bored to tears with the food. I quit because it just wasn’t giving me the same results as I got from “The Primal Blueprint” plus, without her doing it with me, it just wasn’t practical to stay on it.

I knew that there had to be a way to get her on board the paleo train (and eventually the kids) so I started hunting again. Keep in mind that for me this is not just about weight loss. This is about being healthy. Weight loss is just one part of health (although a pretty big part). Since food is a big part of our life I started hunting down web sites and blogs on paleo recipes. I wanted to find healthy food that we could all enjoy and still feel like we were eating normal food. That’s when I came across Everyday Paleo, a great blog (and book) by Sarah Fragoso. Her tagline is “recipes for life”. The content on her blog was so great (she is a mother of three boys) that I bought the book for my wife. Knowing that my wife wouldn’t read through the science and biology of some of the other sites and books I looked at, I knew that this one would be perfect. Sarah’s book has a simple intro to what paleo is without all the technical jargon. The real meat of the book however is her recipes! They are by no means gourmet food but rather they are EASY to make and usually quick as well. She (like us) has an active family and people just don’t have the time it takes during the week to prepare “gourmet” food. (Our motto is, “it shouldn’t take longer to make it than it does to eat it”)

Sarah’s book also led me to another book by Robb Wolf titled “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet”. I bought the eBook for my rooted Nook Color (told you I was a geek!) and read it in about five days. Honestly it only took me that long because we were right in the middle of Little League baseball fall season that two of my boys play in. Robb’s book was great. For somebody like me that wants all the juicy, scientific details it was the perfect book. Where Sarah’s book is more on implementing the paleo diet in a busy family with lots of kids, “The Paleo Solution” is more of a “why” book.

So currently my wife is back on the paleo train with me and our goal is to slowly get all four of our kids (including the stubborn 15 year old that thinks he already knows everything) eating paleo with us. Then there are the grandparents! The bane of paleo families everywhere! It seems that grandmothers think their purpose in life is to provide their grand kids as much sugar as is humanly possible! I think it’s them trying to get revenge for how we behaved as kids.

🙂

So I’ve probably typed three times as many words on this page as I should have but that’s me. As a kid I was nicknamed “Motor Mouth”. Now technology has enabled me to become an even bigger motor mouth, or maybe now I’m “motor fingers”?

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