Black balloons….colorful slogans like “over the hill and picking up speed”…membership applications from AARP arriving in the mail, noticing that you are suddenly checking the “50 and over” category on various applications and surveys…
Ah….to be 50.
On Friday, June 10th I will be celebrating that very landmark, while feeling better and healthier than I did when I was half this age…and certainly much happier. I may be “half a century old” but I’m ANYTHING BUT slowing down. Things are picking up speed alright—not on the downhill slope, but on the fast track. More than ever it’s “life in the fast lane”, it seems. I’m livin’ la vida loca…not to mention livin’ la vida low-carb (sorry, Jimmy….couldn’t resist using that one). It’s all good. I certainly can’t complain (though I still like to once in a while).
One rather wonderful early 50th birthday gift, of course, is the rather timely release of the substantially improved new edition of my book Primal Body, Primal Mind with the new subtitle: Beyond the Paleo Diet For Total Health and A Longer Life. The first copies just arrived at my office yesterday afternoon, at which time a person sitting in my waiting room—who already had my dog-eared first edition in-hand– said: “I’ll take two copies.”
–Actually, a pretty smart move.
It’s been a little over two years since I stubbornly self-published my first edition—at first not wanting any outside publisher take control and chop my “baby” up into little pieces, however they saw fit, while changing its name and giving it some lame cover I was going to hate– No way. I was determined to do it all my way, not having a clue as to what I was getting myself into. I’m here to tell you, publishing a book—any way you want to do it—isn’t for the faint of heart. Somehow my stubbornness seemed to pay off and my less than perfect original edition seemed to practically go viral. This was truly unexpected and a little overwhelming, honestly.
Since then I’ve had the time to explore new avenues, new angles and lots of new exciting research that I found myself DYING to add to the existing text, while also giving due consideration to comments from a few readers who challenged some basic assertions of mine or that needed more clarity from me or research evidence to make sense of certain things. Many points were well taken and I was able to take those into active consideration during me re-write of the material. I can certainly respect a viewpoint offered with thoughtful skepticism or curiosity. I have always been willing to think flexibly enough to consider other points of view…in fact that is the very manner in which I arrived at the conclusions I now present. (Otherwise I’d probably still be sitting somewhere eating tofu and granola–or worse, and minding my own business…)
Being approached by a very real and respected publisher with the promise of doing it up right was like getting a second chance at life for me in a way. It was so exciting to be able to revisit the original text and weave new texture into it, add to its depth, clarity, nuance and color and significantly add to its quality and substance, as well as express newly discovered material. It was fun to explore some of the same topics in a whole new way, with new illustrations and ideas to consider. I was able to employ the considerable talents of an old high school buddy—today an award winning, nationally syndicated political cartoonist having illustrated for Time, Newsweek and ABC’s Nightline—Jack Ohman, who created some wonderful new original drawings for the book (Jack is one of the funniest people I know). He now says gluten freaks him out (so I guess my work is done).
I also worked with very hard-nosed, nit-picky and meticulous science editors who helped me elevate everything to a whole new level. The editing is superb. The new cover and layout are to die for. I am deeply grateful for the hard work and dedication of the amazing, energetic and passionate staff at Inner Traditions/Bear and Company (Healing Arts Press). What an amazing, kind, talented group of people. I can’t wait to have dinner with each and every one of them someday (should I ever make it to Vermont).
My esteemed and highly respected colleague, Dr. Mark Steinberg re-wrote portions of his original foreword to my book based on some new experiences he had applying more of my book to his own health and well being, while an additional foreword was generously contributed by none other than Brent Pottenger (founder of the Ancestral Health Society and descendant of famed nutritional pioneer, Dr. Francis Pottenger). What a gift.
I’ve also been gifted some incredible endorsements from some incredible minds—from pioneering leaders in the field of health to respected physicians, a brilliant and deeply passionate former senior White House advisor to writers I myself deeply respect and have been influenced by. I am humbled and a bit awestruck by some of their generous remarks.
–All I have to say is “Happy Birthday To Me!”
I am so grateful to all of you who may be reading this who have supported my work from the beginning and others that have become enthusiastic supporters along the way. You all really keep me going and inspire me to be the best contributor I can be to this emerging field of evolutionary thought. I am beyond humbled also by the extraordinary company I am keeping in this present day genre. Have you SEEN the lineup at the Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA? Like, pinch me. We’re tickling the edges of the mainstream now and it feels as though we are all on the edge of a major revolution. We’re all sailing on this incredible voyage of discovery to the New World of nutritional enlightenment—though once we arrive on the beach we’re far more likely to join the natives than plunder them. We’ll grow in numbers to become an even a greater tribe. It’s a groundswell we’re at the forefront of…and the world seems ready.
Hold on to your socks (or mukluks).
—Just a word to my well meaning friends whom I will be celebrating my birthday with this coming weekend: keep your bottles of “Geritol”, packages of “Depends” and black balloons to yourselves.
This Spring chick is a lean, mean, ketone-burning machine!
–Try it again in another 50 years!