Sunday, May 1, 2011

My P.A.S.T seminar experience

P.A.S.T seminar in Prairie View, Kansas.

    I didn't have the vacation time or money to make it to PrimalCon this year, but I got lucky. Coach Micheal Rutherford of Bootcamp Fitness in Prairie View Kansas hosted a Primal Blueprint P.A.S.T Seminar at his gym. Prairie View is about a 4 hour drive from where I live in Oklahoma. Tanya and I drove up Friday evening and spent the night in Shawnee Mission. We ate at the Salty Iguana in Prairie View that night. They have several low carb items on their menu. They even have what they call a skinny margarita. Its a pretty cool restaurant they have four locations if you are ever in the Kansas City area. OK, enough about our vacation.

                                           BootCamp Fitness in Prairie View, Kansas

                                           Inside Bootcamp Fitness, seminar ready!

    So why go to a P.A.S.T seminar? Besides the facts that it is reasonably priced and might be closer to where you live. What is a P.A.S.T. seminar anyways? Isn't it for beginners? These are a few of the questions this blog post will try to answer from my point of view. Here's the product description from

Primal Accelerated Success Training (P.A.S.T.) is an entertaining and interactive 6-hour course that will immerse you into Mark Sisson’s wildly popular Primal lifestyle movement and best-selling book, The Primal Blueprint. By the end of your P.A.S.T experience, you’ll have a clear understanding of the key Primal Blueprint concepts, and develop a specific plan of action to “get Primal” over the ensuing 30 days and beyond. The course material stands alone for those who are relatively unacquainted with Primal living, but reading the book in advance will enhance your seminar experience.

                                           Mark Sission

                                           The Audience

    The seminar started on time and was well run. There was about 40 people there I think, give or take 5. I have put the details of the seminar from Mark's Daily Apple Web site at the end of this post. The seminar started at 9am. We had a break in the morning session and a lunch break. Lunch was meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

                                           Food with Coach Rut in the background

Mr. Sission spent his time on the breaks visiting with the participants and answering their questions. He was very friendly and approachable.

                                           The group eating a Primal lunch

                                           Mr. Sission talking to the group at lunch.

                                           A little closer shot of Mr. Sission

I liked his presentation and found it enjoyable. My only complaint is that it ended too soon. I could have spent another 8 hours listening to his ideas.
    I read the book in July of 2010. I read Dr. Cordain's books in April of 2008. I have been studying and following the primal lifestyle on and off since 2008. Since reading "The Primal Blueprint" I have been following the 80/20 rule. I have read the paleo books and I have been reading a lot of blogs and forums since July of 2010.

                                           My Primal book collection

I have been fairly active on Mark's Daily Apple Forum and I started this blog. So I don't really consider myself a beginner at the Primal Lifestyle. My wife Tanya started the Primal Blueprint about two months ago. She hasn't read any of the books, but she has watched me recompose my body and maintain my weigh over the last 9 months. I think she learned a lot from the seminar. I have read most of the other books after reading The Primal Blueprint, so its been a while since I read it. I also read it very quickly. I think attending the seminar helped me finally get the concept of the book. The subtitle of the book really says it all; "Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy." Its about reprogramming your genes! The first thing I did when I got home was to get the book back out and start rereading it. I had missed or forgotten so much of the book it was unreal. Or perhaps it was because I read so many other books and blogs I had forgotten the focus of the book.  I can say I learned a lot at this seminar, regardless of the fact that I have been studying it for a long period of time.
    We did two exercises in the seminar. The first one was to discuss with another participant what was something they would miss about their old diet and what would hold them up in following the Primal Blueprint. The other quest that I visited with had also been Primal for quite a while so we didn't have too many things to discuss about holding us back, but we did talk about some foods we missed. Our talk was mostly about how much we love this lifestyle and the benefits we have gotten from it. Some of the foods that were brought up were ice cream, chips, beer, pizza, and desserts. So we talk a little about substitutions like meatza.
    The second exercise was an individual exercise to list five ways you could do better on the Blueprint and list five Primal meals. The five Primal meals was easy and didn't take any time to think or write down. Here's my five items:

1. Get away from regular meal times and eat when I'm really hungry.
2. Include more vegetables
3. Drink less coffee, don't use it for a crutch
4. get rid of commercial condiments like barbarque sauce, mayo, and ketchup.
5. reduce process meats like jerky and bacon

   The hardest one is going to be how to work with irregular meal times. I work at a factory and Tanya works in an office. We have set break and lunch times. I like to have a fast of at least 12 hours each night. So Tanya and I discussed the issue on our way home. I'm not sure if we have come up with a good solution yet, but we are working on it. We currently eat breakfast at 5:30am before we head off to work and have supper at 5:30pm. I usually get hungry again between 8:30am and 9:30am depending on what and how much I've eaten for breakfast. My lunch break isn't until 11:30am. I really like to avoid snacking, especially after reading J. Stanton's article, "Why Snacking Makes You Weak, Not Just Fat". I used to eat 5 times a day back when I was following Conventional Wisdom (CW). It has been difficult to break this habit. I used to have breakfast, a snack at 9am, lunch at 11:30am, a snack at 2pm, and supper at 5:30pm. I think I'll work toward 3 meals, but again I want to eat them when I'm hungry.
   Two other items of interest Mr. Sission mentioned in his presentation were a change in his food pyramid and he is working on a new book. He has moved the meats to the bottom of the pyramid and put the vegetables and fruits where the meats were. He said that he also would make fruits a small portion of the vegetable and fruit block. He said that nuts have also became an issue and he would change the small of its block in the pyramid. Too many people are eating too many nuts. If you are trying to lose weight (express your lean genes) eating too many fruits and nuts can sabotage your efforts. His new book is about reconnecting with your community.
   I had a great time at the seminar. I got to meet Mark Sission and other people following the Primal Blueprint. I learned more about the Primal Blueprint and had my memory rattled. I put goals and ideas down on paper. I'm working on a plan to make my genes express themselves in the right way. If there is a P.A.S.T coming to your area I highly recommend you attend.

                                           Me, Mark Sission, and Tanya

   P.A.S.T Agenda from Primal

Morning Session: Primal Blueprint Key Concepts. Detailed scientific explanation and practical discussion of the how’s and why’s of Primal living, and how they contrast sharply with Conventional Wisdom about diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. Understanding the key concepts will help you build a solid foundation for your transition to a Primal lifestyle. Advanced Primal enthusiasts will appreciate how the discussion picks up where the book left off!

Break: A ten-minute morning break will be provided with beverages and snacks available.

Q&A: The delivery of the presentation material will be balanced with audience engagement at regular intervals. We want to make sure you “own” each of these concepts and have a complete understanding of how they apply to your health and fitness goals.

Lunch: Enjoy 45-minute of free time, and the opportunity to complete your first assignment of eating a Primal lunch!

Afternoon: Primal Accelerated Success Action Plan. Armed with the knowledge presented in the morning, you’ll develop a step-by-step action plan to transition to a Primal-lifestyle over the next 30 days. You’ll learn how to clean out your fridge and pantry and surround yourself with Primal foods. You’ll commit to a 14-day test period of Primal eating and evaluate the impact on your energy level, appetite, immune function, body composition, and overall sense of health and well being. You’ll learn how to restructure your workouts away from a chronic approach to model the Primal Blueprint Fitness principles. You’ll engage in a hands-on demonstration/fitness evaluation involving the Five Essential Movements - a simple, safe, total-body workout program for all fitness levels. You’ll develop a customized plan to optimize your sun exposure, sleep habits, and play time, and more!

Break: A ten-minute afternoon break will be provided with beverages and snacks available.

Small Group Discussion: Leverage the presentation material with additional brainstorming and insights from your new Primal buddies. Time to crystallize your goals and put pen to paper with specific commitments and To-Do List items.

                                           Materials from the P.A.S.T seminar

1 comment:

  1. I cannot believe I missed this! I just bought the Primal Blueprint book yesterday. I live probably 10 miles from where this event was. Drats. I am glad you posted about it though, sounds like a good time.