Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Jun

Contest: An Experiment of One

In keeping with the recent “How to Conduct a Personal Experiment” theme, I’ve put together a fun contest. I’ve been sharing my ideas for personal Primal experiments. Now it’s your turn. Tell me your personal experiment ideas for a chance to win a Primal prize package. All the details are below. But first, the prize…

The Prize

You think Grok took a seat on a porcelain throne when nature called? Of course not! Grok squatted, and so should you. But what are we to do? Is it time for all-out bathroom renovations? No, there’s a simpler solution, and that’s where Squatty Potty comes to the rescue. The winner of this drawing gets their pick of the Squatty Plastic, Squatty Classic or the Squatty Tao Bamboo. Learn more about the benefits of squatting here and order your own Squatty Potty today.

As the Square36 website says, “Do you ever wish you had a bit more space to fully extend and maximize your workout without feeling confined? Now you can with Square36, the world’s 1st oversized workout mat.” That about sums it up. This exercise mat is 6′ x 6′ and is 6 mm thick – thicker than most yoga/workout mats. With the Square36 mat you can easily convert your living room into a workout studio. Just unroll it and you’re set. It’s also great for couples yoga or as a play mat for children. It retails for $99.99, but you can get one for free if you are the lucky winner of this contest.

A $100 gift certificate to Tropical Traditions. If you missed out on the contest I held a couple weeks ago, this is a second chance to stock up on Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, or some Grass-Fed Lamb, Beef or Bison. Or, if that doesn’t float your boat, you could pick up some massage oils, or something for your dog. The list goes on and on, and you’ll have your pick if you win this contest.

As if that wasn’t enough, the winner will also receive one canister of either Dark Chocolate or Vanilla Creme Primal Fuel.

That’s over $300 worth of Primal goodies, and all you have to do for a chance to win is…

The Contest

I want you to come up with your own personal experiments. Do it like so:

Goal: Lose body fat.

Hypothesis: Taking a walk in a fasted state every morning will lower my body fat.

Experiment: I will walk for 30 minutes upon waking and prior to eating breakfast.

Measurements to Take: Each week I will both measure my waist and rank my subjective “clothes fit better” assessment on a scale of 1-10.

Duration of Experiment: Four weeks.

Variables to Test: After four weeks I will conduct additional experiments testing the effect of walking for different periods of time, of walking at different speeds, and of fasting for shorter or longer periods of time before my first meal of the day.


Goal: To feel less stressed out in life.

Hypothesis: Daily deep breathing exercises can reduce stress and provide a sense of calm and relaxation.

Experiment: In a quiet place I will perform 5 deep breathing cycles (4 seconds to inhale, 7 to hold, and 8 to exhale) 3 times every day.

Measurements to Take: I will rank and record my stress levels on a scale of 1-10 both immediately before and after each session, and 1 hour following each session.

Duration of Experiment: Two weeks.

Variables to Test: After two weeks I will conduct additional experiments to see if more or fewer deep breathing cycles each session, and more of fewer sessions each day provide better or worse results.

Keep it brief, don’t take my examples, give maybe a line or two for each of the six sections, and email me your experiment ideas. Your ideas can be in any area that interests you and you think might be of interest to us. Each experiment up to ten counts as one entry in today’s contest. Ten experiments means ten opportunities to win. Use the email subject heading “Experiment of One” when submitting your answers, so I can easily find and organize all submissions.

The Deadline:

June 14, midnight, PDT. Only two days!

Who is Eligible:

Anyone with an idea for a personal experiment.

How a Winner is Chosen:

A random drawing will be held among all entrants.

Fine Print:

  • I will likely be compiling select submissions into a digital book that will be made available later this month. Stay tuned for details.
  • By emailing me your advice you are agreeing to let me use it in this digital book.
  • To ensure anonymity, your name will not be published.

Thanks to everyone in advance for participating. Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Oh god the squatty potty, I want it!

    Burn wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • I’m going to customize mine with racing stripes on top and flames running along the sides.

      rob wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • So *that’s* why I always go up on my toes and lean forward…

      Bill C wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Yeeeeees! Ive seen other squat solution type thing (Natures Toilet is one, I think) but this is the most unobtrusively designed one that Ive seen that still allows for real squatting

      cTo wrote on June 12th, 2012
      • It’s phenomenal. I own one myself. I’ve been using it daily for the past few weeks and, well, my bathroom experiences have never been better.

        Comes out easier. Less wiping. More comfortable – I hate sitting but squatting is lovely.

        You could always use something else but this thing fits right underneath your toilet!

        Primal Toad wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Or you could just stick a spare roll of toilet paper under each foot and save yourself the $80.

      Seriously, am I the only one who has no problems with the conventional Western throne?

      Shary wrote on June 15th, 2012
      • The price on it is ridiculous. $10 or $15 maybe.

        Crystal wrote on December 5th, 2012
  2. Controls! We must have controls! For example, 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off, so you’re measuring both with and without the intervention. Otherwise how do you know if it’s the intervention that’s making the difference?

    Orielwen wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Very good comment.

      BillP wrote on June 12th, 2012
  3. Leaning right or left helps to avoid harmful straining.

    Master of Disaster wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Oh this has definitely helped me in the past!

      Primal Toad wrote on June 12th, 2012
  4. I use a flipped over laundry basket.

    rabbit_trail wrote on June 12th, 2012
  5. My neighbors already seem curious about what I’m up to! Since mentioning to them that I’m looking to place screening around the back porch for new cats, I’ve had a few standing out front of the place, looking things over. Even had one older fellow knock on my door, ask a few questions, and yet seemed more interested in looking behind me into the house.

    Now getting a squat pot would really give them something to talk about!

    Soul wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • They think you really want to do nude sunbathing out there.

      BillP wrote on June 12th, 2012
  6. I’m sorry to say that squatty potty doesn’t fit the bill as far as a squat toilet goes. If you have good hip mobility, your ass will touch the toilet seat with a squatty potty, and that defeats the purpose of squatting to poop.

    I rigged up a DIY solution with bricks, and then switched to Nature’s Platform. Both options are discussed here:

    Key points:
    – You must be in a full squat
    – Your ass must not touch the seat, all the weight must be through your heels

    If you look at the squatty potty website, you’ll see a model sitting on the toilet seat with her legs bent up on the chair. That is not remotely similar to an actual squat. It may be an excellent alternative for older people or people with injuries who cannot get into a full squat, but not for the vast majority of folks.

    ZenBowman wrote on June 12th, 2012
  7. Blowing through your lips to make a “raspberry” or “horse lips” helps open the sphincters to ease release as well. It is also fun. :)

    yoolieboolie wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Our paediatrician recommended our son (5, which chronic constipation) use a potty for as long as necessary as it is close to a natural squat, and also that giving him a pot of bubble mixture to blow bubbles could help (for the same reasons as ZenBowman mentions, I assume).

      Joe Wrigley wrote on June 18th, 2012
      • I hope it works out for your son! I’m missing any reference to blowing through the mouth from zenbowman, I can’t find one. My suggestion comes from Ina May Gaskin’s book on natural childbirth, where she points out that we are a long tube of spincters. Relaxing one end voluntarily through blowing/vibrating will coax the other end to relax and open as well.

        yoolieboolie wrote on June 18th, 2012
  8. I got the squatty potty a few weeks ago. My metabolism had been wickedly slow since having my thyroid removed in March. Almost everything resolved itself as the thyroid hormone drug got regulated, except the constipation. All I can say is IT WORKS!

    Kim wrote on June 12th, 2012
  9. OMG I must get a squatty potty.

    Thank’s for highlighting this for me.

    Onge wrote on June 12th, 2012
  10. Finally! I can now get rid of the cinder blocks next to my toilet.

    BillP wrote on June 12th, 2012
  11. This is hilarious to me–I lived in China for awhile and all we had were squatty potties. :) The toilet doubled as your shower drain in some places.

    Kimberly wrote on June 12th, 2012
  12. Heh. I have a 5 year old and a 4 month old. My life is an unending string of n=1 experiments.

    em wrote on June 12th, 2012
  13. Just bought 4 sqautty potties last week! Simply genius. I’ve been saying for years (since I lived in Asia)that I would one day build a house with urinals and squatter toilets. Well, until that day comes, this is a perfect solution. They will also double as perfect helpers for my boys as they potty train!

    Rob wrote on June 12th, 2012
  14. LOL. Forgive me but I am having trouble getting a visual on how the (dear god what a name!) squatty potty works.

    Tania wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • On the squatty potty website there is a video that will give you the visual.

      Sharon wrote on June 12th, 2012
  15. HA, this is good. We live in the middle east and are quite used to squatting but we hear a lot of complaints from our western guests… we are going to start telling them about YOU guys! who actually turn your western toilets INTO a squatties!

    Cayla wrote on June 12th, 2012
  16. I should get this for my former colleagues (Chinese) whose shoe marks I would see on the seat of the toiler. It used to amaze me how no one ever fell in but I suppose their muscles and ability to balance were superb.

    Sophia wrote on June 12th, 2012
  17. I never thought I would say this, but I want a squatty potty. I just suffered through a bout of sciatica, and although it may not sound intuitive, squatting was way less painful than sitting. Sitting put pressure on the most sensitive area of the back and was excruciating. Need to look into this…or win one!

    Siobhan wrote on June 12th, 2012
  18. Glad I’m not the only one who considered building a house with squat toilets – also glad to know that I don’t necessarily have to!

    Any idea if there’s some kind of portable option, for those of us who work in an office for a third of their day and use the bathrooms there a lot more than at home?

    Clare wrote on June 12th, 2012
  19. I’d love to join in & win something, but I JUST found this site a few days ago. My Boyfriend & I are just starting a 30 day try of paleo/primal eating. Not too bad so far, today was day 3. ^_^

    ArtsyLaurie wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Good for you! Keep going!

      SharonV wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Don’t worry. I’ve only been here a few weeks, and in that time there have been three competitions. I’m sure there’ll be another one along soon!

      Orielwen wrote on June 13th, 2012
  20. If grok (or groka) suffered a leg(s) injuries that prevented them from squatting, how did they manage?

    johnny wrote on June 13th, 2012
  21. Should I put my postal address and choice of squatty in the submission email, or will you contact me if I win?

    Orielwen wrote on June 13th, 2012
  22. Squatting definitely looks like it’s worth a try. If my knees can take it. May check with my brother-in-law though. Bet he could run one of those out of his workshop real quick.

    or a couple of stacks of books. I’ve got plenty of those.

    William Calhoun wrote on June 13th, 2012
    • Looks like this company will become #1 in the #2 business….or how bout this: Our crap is their bread and butter!

      Nocona wrote on June 13th, 2012
      • We just started potty training our son and I realized he really wants to squat to poop… hmm.. I think there is something to this.

        Laurie wrote on June 14th, 2012
  23. Okay, I’m confused… I LIKE the idea, but I keep envisioning the potential for a rather dismaying splash… How does one prevent such a thing?

    Elenor wrote on June 17th, 2012
  24. Goal: To get my four year old to stop standing up in a squat when he poops– makes the toilet seat filthy and sometimes he’s a scooch too far back if you know what I mean. Poor guy has some seriously pellet like poop so you can hardly blame him.

    hannah wrote on September 19th, 2012

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