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

Contest: Share Your Struggle

The Prize:

Hunks of grass-fed meat, raw nuts and dried berries all conveniently packaged together: If your struggle during the first week of the 30-Day Challenge was finding healthy snacks or Primal meals while on-the-go, Steve’s got you covered. The lucky winner of today’s contest will receive two Steve’s Club Samplers ($32 each) and five Grass-Fed PaleoStix ($30).

Bonus #1: Use promo code paleokitmda for a 10% discount through the month of September.

Bonus #2: 15% of the proceeds go to support Steve’s Club National Program to bring CrossFit and nutrition education to at-risk teens in cities across the country.

The Contest:

It’s been one week since the 2011 30-Day Challenge began. How are things going? Well, I hope. While I know many of you are already seeing and feeling the benefits of going Primal, I imagine there are those of you out there that are finding the transition to be less than a walk in the park. And why not? Decades of bad habits and poor eating don’t get reversed overnight. So today I’m asking you to share any struggle you’ve had in the last seven days of this challenge. Did you have a tough time kicking your usual bowl of morning cereal? Was the sandwich platter at your company meeting speaking to you? Were you unable to muster up the energy or willpower needed to attempt a Primal Blueprint Fitness workout? Big or small leave a comment below expressing your struggle AND how you plan to go about overcoming said struggle, and you’ll be entered to win the prize above.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll be attempting to address many of the common stumbling blocks you list in today’s comment board.

The Deadline:

September 19, 6:00 p.m. PST. Only 9 hours to participate in this one. (I need a little time to put tomorrow’s promised article together!)

Who is Eligible:

Any U.S. resident that faced some sort of hurdle or stumbling block in the first week of this challenge. Sorry worldwide readers. Most countries prohibit import of meat products.

How a Winner is Chosen:

A random drawing will be held among all entrants.

To track all the contests visit the 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

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. My struggle this week was my sister’s birthday. Avoiding the cake was a no-brainer, but I would usually allow myself ice cream on a special day. This time, I just got an extra cup of coffee with cream. I guess that would be failure to some of you, but I felt like I made a positive change, and it was a real struggle, because we were near the ice cream all day.

    Sarah wrote on September 19th, 2011
  2. While I’ve been Primal for quite a while, I’m learning how to do some things over now that I’m both working full time and attending school full time. That means learning what foods I can get FAST and how to really pre-plan and make foods that are easily reheated in an oven (as I have no microwave.)

    I’m tempted to snack more and it can be difficult having on-the-go food for those few minutes between work and school and I can’t go home, where it’s not enough time to eat a meal, and going another 3 hours without food is almost unbearable.

    So far I’ve been leaning on pickled eggs and whey protein shakes. I’m thinking some pemmican would come in handy right about now.

    Deanna Eberlin wrote on September 19th, 2011
  3. My struggle this past week (and with more to come) has been the days when I have to tote the boys around from soccer practices, games and school events during the dinner hour without a moment to spare (plus I have some evening meetings as well).
    I have to prepare things to eat on the fly and although I personally am eating okay, I am trying to get the boys more primal (esp. snacks) and it is tough, they are a little picky! Nuts are not their fave, but we are working on it, oh and locally I have yet to find dried berries w/o sugar!

    mary b wrote on September 19th, 2011
  4. my struggle has been losing weight. ive been stuck at the same weight and the same measurements for over 2 months now. the thing is my body fat percentages have gone down 15-20% in that time. is that even possible??? if i were getting thinner i would be very ok with this but im staying the same size. i know that my muscles are getting larger and thicker, and i can tell that i am getting stronger. its just frustrating my waist size is the same size with such a difference in body fat percentage. where is it coming from?

    Mike Gager wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • I’m a physical therapist, if a client brought this problem to me I would check for 2 things;
      1) What is the quality of the soft tissue at the stomach? soft and flabby, or firm and muscular?

      The answer to that would prompt the second. In your case, I’m guessing firm and muscular. That would mean the muscles are holding that form. Since your form isn’t changing, I’ll assume it’s an “improper” form (posture). (I am meaning improper in the sense that it falls outside expected form for a fit person). Improper posture is caused by muscle imbalance; in this case, the rectus abdominus (six pack) and obliques are dominating the transverse abdominals.

      The cure, pull in your belly, over and over and over (don’t hold your breath). The transverse abdominals are postural muscles and should always be active. If you want to be “skinny”, practice skinny. This will also add considerable support to your low back.

      Let me know how it goes.

      Chris Johnson wrote on September 20th, 2011
  5. My biggest struggle has been and is always primal eating while at work. I don’t have a desk job and I’m never 100% sure of my assignment until roll call. Even if I bring food with me to work there is a chance I could be detailed out and have no way to carry and reheat the food I’ve brought with me to work. As an extreme example, last weekend I was sent out and I was on post from 1500 (3pm) Saturday till 1845 (6:45pm) Sunday. That’s 27hrs and 45mins at work, on my feet, with zero true primal choices to eat. It’s these situations where I have to employ intermittent fasting (which is no joy when you need to remain vigilant and possibly go from inactive to active in moments) or try to find a primal alternative in the food service industry. This (since I work in NYC) can be expensive if I want to go organic. Usually I keep one or two of Steve’s Original kits in my cargo pockets for just such an occasion. I currently have a good amount of the grass fed, and the coconut kits in the large size. Sometimes, I get creative and just get some Fage yogurt, some nuts and fruit. Sometimes I just tell myself a grilled chicken breast from the deli with some fresh veggies is better than nothing. I can bet it’s probably better than fast food, but I can’t tell for sure what’s in it or where it’s come from. The more I research this dilemma the more I find shelf stable, portable recipes to keep in my pockets for when I need something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and suits my lifestyle.

    Tom G wrote on September 19th, 2011
  6. My struggle is special meals or treats from coworkers and family members. It’s one thing to avoid the candy box in the office kitchen; it’s another thing to have to turn down mom’s baked-with-love apple pie.

    Carl wrote on September 19th, 2011
  7. With four young kids struggling with colds right now my biggest struggle has been getting quality sleep. It seems as if every night there is another reason to either be up late with a kid or up multiple times with crying kids.

    The lack of sleep then makes it hard to get in the workouts that I have planned

    Scott wrote on September 19th, 2011
  8. CRAP! I ate a bagel in a moment of weakness this morning! I was late for work, didn’t have time to cook, and needed to eat something/anything before I turned into a Crank-O-Saurus Rex!!! Otherwise been totally committed to the 30 day challenge!!!

    JO3_H wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • I also struggle with the crank-o-saurus rex problem. I’m wondering if that problem will fade as my body gets more used to converting to fat burning between meals.

      Any thoughts on this?

      Chris Johnson wrote on September 20th, 2011
  9. My biggest struggle this week is that my family keeps buying non-Primal foods, especially ice cream! This reflects a more long term problem I have with food, namely ‘waste’. Whenever I avoid unhealthy food, especially if it’s something that no one else in my family eats, I feel like I’m being incredibly wasteful. Even now, I’m thinking about how that ice cream is going to sit there in the freezer uneaten and I can hear my mom’s voice scolding me about starving children who would be grateful to have it. This is the same feeling that makes me always eat everything on my plate or finish a bag of whatever.
    I guess no matter what I do (eat or avoid) I’m going to feel guilty at first.

    Zed wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • To overcome this, I guess I need to be more involved in the decision-making regarding what to buy from the grocery store. Luckily, I’m going back to school soon, where I’m definitely going to stick to smaller portions and just go up for more if I’m hungry instead of piling stuff on my plate and feeling bad about not eating it all.

      Zed wrote on September 19th, 2011
  10. I’ve got the food thing down but just eat too much. I have cut my meals to two for the day. So far have been doing well with that and have knocked off a pound or so. (my scale lies so I am not sure)

    My other goal is to get stronger. I like to do weight training at the local playground after walking there.

    Usually it is occupied by children, oddly, so I walk back home and jump rope on the porch, do pushups against the stairs, desk, or kitchen counter. Squats where ever.

    Ten pound weights get lifted when I think about it plus I do lifts with the liquid detergent bottle when I do the wash.

    I have to rig up a bar to do pullups so don’t always get to it. Mostly I have been trying to get creative with incorporating weight lifting into my daily life with readily available objects in my home.

    My own body weight is the most readily available. Turns out my not so strong muscles think I am very heavy.

    Sharon wrote on September 19th, 2011
  11. My struggle has been trying to move through some serious muscle stiffness in the days after my last weight-lifting session. It felt great at the time though! I think I’ll do some walking for a few days until I heal.

    Paul wrote on September 19th, 2011
  12. I have dialed in my food choices and workouts, and am having trouble kicking artificial sweetners. My plan is to throw away the sweetners that I have, and keep it simple. I also will add a pinch of real sugar if needed instead of artificial sweetners (like in coffee)

    Brandon wrote on September 19th, 2011
  13. I had great success this week with the mentality that I was “taking it one day at a time”. My struggle was the weekend when my schedule isn’t as rigid and I am tempted by (alcohol) at social gatherings. I recently moved to a new city and really need to partake it any social event I can! I am going to work on sticking to a glass of red wine on weekend outings. Although this isn’t “perfectly” primal, it is a definite improvement from a few beers.

    Alison Hemphill wrote on September 19th, 2011
  14. I’m going 100% gluten free during this challenge. I’ve been out with friends and starving, two times I had to pass on a calamari (breadcrumbs) and the bread basket. Oh, did I mention everyone else is drinking beer, one of my favorite things in the world?
    I overcome this by primalizing something from the menu, so I had a rare burger minus bun with a salad.. and a glass of wine. I’m used to being a bit different or the “odd one” amongst my friends. The good natured teasing from them has turned into “You’re looking fit these days”. Knowing that makes the struggle easier to overcome.

    Lars T. wrote on September 19th, 2011
  15. Still struggling to get my sleep pegged down. Would much rather get 8 to 8.5 as opposed to the 7 or 7.5 I’m getting…

    Chris Spurlock wrote on September 19th, 2011
  16. My goal was keeping the refined sugar out of my diet. Went to the orchard and picked apples, very primal right? Had fun, did it with the wife and kids. It was a great afternoon. Problem is my wife keeps making this apple crisp to keep around the house and to give to everyone we know. Flour, sugar, oats, more sugar. She’s the devil!

    Bryan wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • Sneaky antidote:

      Slice an apple, place on a microwavable plate, sprinkle liberally with pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon.

      30 sec in microwave

      Aroma, taste and texture will be better than apple crisp/ pie filling! 😉

      aek wrote on September 21st, 2011
  17. I think my main struggle has been alcohol consumption. I’m 22 and a student, my friends have parties and like going out a lot and there’s always alcohol. I always end up having a few beers – even this past week when I’ve known I shouldn’t. I also know how bad it is for me and really need to kick the habit if I want to take this seriously.

    My plan is to drink other things, maybe red wine, maybe spirits without mixers, and to drink less. After all, if you have to drink a load of beer to have fun then perhaps your friends aren’t as fun as you think they are! I have nothing planned for the next couple of days so will put my plan into action at home and then try it out and about.

    (I’m in the UK so can’t win stuff but thought this was a good thing to comment on.)

    Francesca wrote on September 19th, 2011
  18. My struggle was the grocery store! I love fall and all the terrible stuff that’s there–candy corn, chocolate, peanut butter cups, pumpkin pie, apple muffins, cookies. This time of year the smell is overwhelming. The seasonal aisle smells like a fresh bag of candy.

    I do a pretty good job with temptation at home. Even though my kids and husband aren’t totally primal, the stuff they like aren’t the things that tempt me. (Goldfish crackers, pasta and bread–yuck.)But the store is always a struggle.

    I just got back from a massive grocery trip with my 2-year-old, and as much as I like to shop without the distractions he brings, little guy was my savior this morning! I NEVER go down the candy/cookie/cereal aisles with him because it just leads to a case of the gimmies and related tantrum. So we hit the organic section, veggies, meat and a bit of dairy and were out the door with a station wagon full of lovely primal food. Thanks little guy for keeping mommy on track!

    Shannon wrote on September 19th, 2011
  19. My occasional desire for chocolate sometimes slips into eating sweets that aren’t very good for me.

    I never eat anything with wheat, but I occasionally eat chocolate that has too much sugar.

    Usually, I stick to occasional dark chocolate. Since the challenge has begun, I hadn’t had any chocolate whatsoever.

    Going to the movies last night, I decided to allow myself a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup (2 pb cups, shared with gf). Unless I’m mistaken, these were not around during the paleolithic age.

    The result of eating the sweet late at night was tooth grinding all night. I don’t know why, but eating high sugar foods does this to me.

    Mike wrote on September 19th, 2011
  20. My struggle this week has been the “goodies” available at work. It is insane how much junk food they bring in. I was actually able to make it thru this time. (This happens once a month here) I’m trying to shift how I think about the “goodies”. Planning ahead and bringing plenty of good stuff, so I’m full, helped.

    bbuddha wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • Oops forgot the second part! My plan is to be used to this way of eating this time next month so maybe the cravings (mmmmm chocolate0 won’t be as bad.

      Crystal wrote on September 19th, 2011
  21. I haven’t made it to the 80/20 level yet, I am trying. It is hard when you feel like you are being sabotaged by a well-meaning companion.

    My struggle is…”I found this spendid dessert wine you are going to love!” as those gorgeous blue/green eyes are sparkling as he hands me the glass…

    Solution: Imagine he looks like one of the creatures from Alien? Only take a sip? Maybe I’ll ask if it can be saved for a treat on the weekend…who am I kidding…he so doesn’t look like an alien.


    Pamala wrote on September 19th, 2011
  22. My motivation is to get back on the Paleo track after getting derailed for the last few weeks.

    Haley Joel Osteen wrote on September 19th, 2011
  23. I’m in school and have $50 a week to spend on food. My struggle has been finding balance between which carbs/proteins/fats to eat on a budget. Bananas are only 47cents a pound and broccoli is $2 a pound. I make the fruits and dark chocolate in my kitchen last a really long time so I always have money for vegetables and quality protein/fat.
    Also… I sit on my butt in classes for several hours a day so I’m trying to stand/ move as much as possible. Right now my laptop is propped up on a picnic basket in my kitchen 😉

    Emily Mekeel wrote on September 19th, 2011
  24. My challenge is to reduce the number of cheat meals that I eat. This is particularly problematic this month because there are a lot of September birthdays among my family, friends and co-workers.

    I have been tempted with a lot of cake, ice cream, pizza, chips, etc. this month. I have tried my best to resist, but I have indulged a few times.

    I am going to try to overcome this struggle by planning ahead. I am going to eat healthy food before I attend any more birthday celebrations so that I will not have to face the junk food on an empty stomach.

    Cody wrote on September 19th, 2011
  25. Hmmmmm, I’ve had several struggles but lots of success too. I think my biggest struggle is trying to find the time to get more sleep. I find myself ironically reading about primal recipes and plans and whatnot on the computer all night instead of just getting the sleep I know I need!!! My plan of action………close the computer by 10 p.m. and just simply get in bed. Sounds easy enough!

    Stephanie McDonald wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • Sounds awfully familiar. Same problem (reading PB stuff way too late), same solution, turn it off at 10. I even have an alarm go off at 10, says,”GO TO BED”.

      Do I listen to myself? ya, right! (not)

      I’ll keep at it, 6+ hours of sleep is sooo nice.

      Chris Johnson wrote on September 20th, 2011
  26. Biggest struggle for me has been fitting in the workouts. Avoiding grains, especially wheat has been easy since I’m reading Wheat Belly.

    Cutter wrote on September 19th, 2011
  27. This past week I was disciplined about eating the primal way, but my struggle has been with my lack of energy. By the weekend I was feeling a little more energized and was able to get my low aerobic time in, but did not find the energy for sprints. I’m continuing to feel more energized today, so I’m hoping that maybe the low energy levels were due to the low-carb flu. I plan to continue to listen to my body and rest when I need it or exercise when I have the energy.

    Jennifer wrote on September 19th, 2011
  28. For me my biggest struggle during my first week was I hated veggie’s, so I felt like I had to grab a protein bar as a snack and to get enough carb’s to make it through a day.
    Luckly, all the wonderful primal/paleo recipes and cookbooks have been an awesome help with that.

    Trevor wrote on September 19th, 2011
  29. Sleep! I have a hard time winding down and getting tired enough to climb into bed. Once I’m there, it’s Snooze City and the black out curtains help.

    I picked up a good book at the library this weekend and plan to crawl into bed and read for 1/2 to 1 hour before I’d really like to be asleep. Hoping that will help.

    Sonya wrote on September 19th, 2011
  30. I’ve been at this a little more than a month now, but am stepping it up for the 30 day challenge. The biggest hurdle for me is beer. Delicious, cold craft beer that I get for free because I work for an amazing craft brewery. I’m not planning on forever cold turkey against the stuff, but for these 30 days… man!

    madamvonsassypants wrote on September 19th, 2011
  31. It was quite a struggle when I was working a birthday party this weekend and the host put a big piece of cake right in front of me, followed by chicken fingers! Oh how tempting. In the future to avoid this I plan to always have primal snacks on hand and go to events full!

    Arden wrote on September 19th, 2011
  32. I had quite a few challenges already…

    #1: I had an all day work meeting scheduled, where I was planning on at least having breakfast beforehand & was undecided about lunch. I overslept that morning & ended up having carb heavy breakfast & lunch at the meeting. Solution: Pack lunch the night before & if there isn’t enough time to cook eggs for breakfast, grab a baggie of nuts or a larabar instead.

    #2: My hubby went away for the weekend. I decided to have a chick-flick movie marathon with myself. What goes better with movies than popcorn? …I’m still learning. He inspires me to eat better cuz he grew up eating healthy. I struggle more when I’m not with him. Thankfully he only goes away once a year, so I should be alright with this one. Partial solution: move the popcorn to be less accessible.

    #3: I baked cookies for my hubby’s weekend away to share with the guys, but they ate too frequently to be hungry! He came back with all of them. Yesterday wasn’t a good day for planning meals due to an involuntary (needed) nap. Dinner was a handful of almonds (good!) & 2 cookies (bad!). Solution: I asked my hubby to move the cookies (& Lucky Charms) to somewhere that I don’t see them.

    crazykate wrote on September 19th, 2011
  33. I’m struggling to get enough sleep. I’m going to force myself to go to bed earlier by planning things I have to do for the morning. This will mean I have to wake up earlier, so in order to get the optimum amount of sleep, I’ll have to go to bed earlier. Easy right? I hope…

    Andrew G wrote on September 19th, 2011
  34. My biggest struggle is finally ditching sugar and sugar substitutes. I love love love sweet things and always have. Since I started Primal, I could go all day without touching the candy in the office but I could never give up the splenda in my coffee. Over the past week or so, I have been slowly weaning myself off until today. Today, I went cold turkey and I drank all of my coffee! I am so pleased with the taste that I can’t imagine going back. If I do feel the urge in the future, I’ll add cinnamon or nutmeg instead for a different (and non chemical) taste!

    Katie wrote on September 19th, 2011
  35. My biggest challenge is getting some exercise. I used to get up early in the morning to work out, but have been finding it more and more difficult to do that. (I sleep like a rock, and get plenty of it…not sure where this lazziness is coming from.) I work from 8 AM to 5 PM, and then the evening hours are spent preparing food and getting other things done. I have always enjoyed exercise, so this lack of energy is quite frustrating. But, yesterday I did a “Yoga Burn” DVD (proud of myself)–this morning, however, I can feel every single muscle fiber in my being! I can’t let that stop me, though…I will get some exercise!

    Kim wrote on September 19th, 2011
  36. I do fine when I’m at home. My struggle is eating out with friends when there is a limited selection of foods, usually not primal.

    Clay wrote on September 19th, 2011
  37. The struggles I faced this past week, were lack of sleep and alcohol (beer to be exact)… These problems mostly occured this past weekend. As a college student, I am sure I am not the only one faced with these problems. I plan on attacking my sleep by having lights out by 11 every night during the week, but the weekend I am not sure how to handle that one quite yet.. As for drinking, I am limiting myself to saturday night only, and hopefully dwindle down from there. Its the micro-goals that build into the major goals!

    Dane Moore wrote on September 19th, 2011
  38. Challenges….let me count the number of them! We went camping last week and though I made all the food ahead of time, or at the campsite, I gained four pounds. I did find out that marshmallows, even just two, give me terrible gas pains now. We’ve been home 4 days and I lost all four pounds that I gained, so that’s good.

    Mommaofmany wrote on September 19th, 2011
  39. I have been primal since April and loving it. My biggest struggle has been getting my 10 year old daughter to accept this new way of eating. How do you deal with your kids?

    Captain Caveman wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • My kids are older, 18 and 20, but still live at home. I’m not sure how much of my experience would apply to you. But here’s some ideas in case it helps:
      I did start with a basic information of why we were changing our diet as a family. My 18 year old is autistic so we had to keep it very basic but he seemed to understand.
      Next, our first meals were ones we new they would love. Of course bacon was included in every breakfast (the gateway meat) and we made “spaghetti” with spaghetti squash for my son since pasta was his favorite food.
      Also, we went for convenience. I make the egg cupcakes in Everyday Paleo, enough for all week. All the kids have to do is heat and eat. I will also make a huge batch of meatballs (with GF beef and almond flour as the binder) to take for lunches. I’ve made it both easy and tasty.
      Finally, I’m not quite as strict with them as I am with myself. I don’t expect them to have perfect choices every time they eat with Grandma (now there’s a battle!) or when they are with friends. Though I am quick to point out those indulgences are likely the cause of their feeling icky the next day.

      Lisa wrote on September 19th, 2011
  40. My struggle this week was that the frozen yogurt store I work at was running my all time FAVORITE flavor, Peanut Butter. Besides the fact that since I am now not eating any refined sugar and that entire place has all the most yummy and delicious candy right at my finger tips (I was able to contain myself), last week just had to be the week of my favorite flavor. I caved on that one – but I took it as an opportunity to get it out of my system and really enjoy it cause I knew I wouldn’t be doing that again anytime soon. Other than craving that yogurt, I really didn’t have a hard time saying no to any other sweets, and that’s my weakness.

    Loretta wrote on September 19th, 2011

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