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 biggest struggle is not letting the “occasional” indulgence become several indulgences a day. Been going way over the 20 in 80/20, while finding too many excuses to not exercise. Rotator cuff issues aside, I still need to get my kiester in gear more.

    deb wrote on September 19th, 2011
  2. My struggle has been a bit of an opposite one. I have had no trouble adapting to the diet, in fact, it has been quite rewarding. Being a long-time distance runner, I have struggled to reduce my cardio exercise time. The very reason I chose to adopt the primal lifestyle is because I always had a high-carb diet, thinking that was important to supplement miles of running. But in that I still suffered from major spikes in energy and mood. I would run for stress relief and mood changing, but then slump and recover with carbs. Now eating a primal diet and running less, I have had unbelievable stable energy and mood balance. Awesome advice Mark!

    Brandon wrote on September 19th, 2011
  3. My main motivation for going primal again was to cure the idiopathic postprandial syndrome. This has succeeded, but I find myself plagued by 1)intense hunger a meager 1.5 hours after breakfast; 2)desperate need for an afternoon nap; and 3)the typical(?) scientist temptation to overanalyze whether I am doing the food correctly.

    I plan to deal with this by 1)eating more at breakfast; 2)go ahead and take one! I work in academia, so no one will care even if they do notice; and 3)review the basics regularly and stick with it for the full 30 days.

    I have already dropped 3 or 4 pounds out of the 15 I’d like to, and am no longer getting anxious, cranky, and/or hostile if I go more than 2.5 hours between feedings. I’m pleased so far.

    Susanne wrote on September 19th, 2011
  4. My struggle this week has been with excluding grains completely. I’ve long been able to keep to a pretty low number compared to my overall calorie intake, but I can’t ever seem to keep it to none like I want. I’m planning on working on that by increasing my vegetable intake, hooray spinach, and making myself some jerky today.

    Robert wrote on September 19th, 2011
  5. Challenge #1: Reluctant, heart disease riddled husband
    Result: Coming along nicely now
    Challenge #2: Cash flow
    Result: Creative thinking
    Challenge #3: Snacks?
    Result: I stuffed him with lunch prior to kickoff and then provided a few grapes when he started to prowl.

    Sort of like River, I’d recently gravitated toward the Primal life and then the contest comes along! Yay!

    Thanks to Mark’s posting of Hypertension, Prediabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and 75 Pounds, All Gone in 6 Months which linked to the Unconquerable (unforgettable!)Dave I was able to use the stories provided by these two gents and a couple of others to motivate my reluctant husband. We did Atkins a couple of years ago with stellar results, but we got bored and slipped back into the SAD thing.

    After last nights ribs (fantastic recipe found during Saturday’s fun contest, which provided proof-positive that primal is many things, but boring ain’t one of ‘em!!)were a hit, he told me that he’s really starting to question the wisdom of his morning oatmeal now, which he’s been relying on for “heart health.” Did I mention his two heart attacks, v-tach, high BP, defibrillator, and stents? All I’ve told him is that I want him OFF the simvistatin. We’ll deal with the other umpteen drugs later. He’s coming around to my way of thinking. =o)

    As for myself, the hardest thing is finding the most healthful foods at an affordable price. Due to economic circumstances, going all organic and grass-fed is out of the question for the moment, but I’m seeking out new options and even looking for beef so I can jump when I have ready cash. Also, I visited the local farmer’s market and found a terrific organic farmer who has a wide variety of produce, most which is reasonably priced.

    Other than that, snacks for Saturday movie night and Sunday game day have been a bit tough.

    Deannacat wrote on September 19th, 2011
  6. My struggle is overcoming my fear of fat and fear of cutting back on my workout . . . i plan to keep reading your site for reassurance, support, and education!!
    Thanks!!

    kell wrote on September 19th, 2011
  7. My biggest struggle is being a foodie and wanting to finish my plate because I LOVE the taste rather than still being hungry. I need to really focus on listening to the signals that my body gives that it is satiated. I am going to focus on listening more and utilizing some Fasting to really get me in tune with my hunger.

    Celest Horton wrote on September 19th, 2011
  8. My biggest challenges are eating enough (and BEFORE I’m famished) and drinking enough water. I am a new (breastfeeding) momma, so getting enough fuel is CRITICAL for me to not feel like I got hit by a train everyday. I have a routine in the morning to pack a lunch and grab bottles of water to take with me to work. However, at the end of the day the food is gone and I usually have a full bottle of water left over.

    During the week, I am pretty good about my food intake. I’ve managed to pre-cook meals and save leftovers for easy assembly in the morning. On the weekends, my routine shifts and sometimes I end up IFing until after noon — which does not work well for me as far as feeding my son and fueling my body goes. I am going to concentrate on continuing my morning routine through the weekend so I can stay on track (Primal Fuel first thing followed by a couple of hard boiled eggs or a bowl of berries with a dollop of greek yogurt on top).

    As far as my water consumption goes — I’m the complete opposite. On the weekends, I’m great at consuming water. During the week, I suck. I’m going to make the most of my Outlook calendar and schedule “water breaks” daily to remind me to drink water. I’ll probably make those reminders an opportunity to get out from behind my computer screen and take a quick walk too.

    My next stumbling block to tackle is sleep. My son is 4.5 months old. Enough said, right? We have a great bedtime routine and sleep conditions, but he still wakes up once between 0100 and 0300 to eat. Suggestions?

    Ashley G. wrote on September 19th, 2011
  9. My struggle has been temptation. Since the Challenge has started, there have been FOUR occasions that coworkers have brought donuts in to celebrate something. The temptation isn’t because I crave donuts…I have been primal long enough that I don’t go ravenous when I see them. The tempation is to partake because of the community and the fact that we are celebrating something positive for someone. Sometimes I do eat a donut, but then I usually go for a quick 15-20 minute walk around our campus [we have 4 buildings] to keep my insulin under control.

    Sometimes it is tough balancing expectations with good intentions, whether its a donut at the office or saying no to Grandma’s immaculate pumpkin pie.

    Mike wrote on September 19th, 2011
  10. I had 2 struggles this week. One is perpetual; getting enough sleep. The other was the running club 2nd anniversary party right after a 10 mile run. Every kind of bread, sugar, sticky sweet roll, etc, etc. I ate watermelon and pineapple (the only available fruit), but broke down for a slice of 2 inch thick french toast with maple syrup and a mimosa.

    Dennis wrote on September 19th, 2011
  11. The goal was to move around whilst the TV was on, but hasn’t happened much. What will change: Putting the computer/iPhone down.

    Russell wrote on September 19th, 2011
  12. My biggest problem so far is being able to relax/play. My family tells me I am always getting worked up over something so while I am eating 99% clean and getting some good workouts in I am not taking the time to enjoy them. It’s always “okay done now I have to do this and this and this….” and so I am stressed out which makes me feel as lousy as if I were eating SAD. So my POA is to take time out to just relax. I’ll start off on the weekend when I don’t have school and such to worry about and hopefully be able to incorporate it into everyday.

    Ben wrote on September 19th, 2011
  13. Two struggles for me. Prior to this challenge my diet was pretty close to primal and I lost 70lbs (Whoo!). Kicking the “pretty close” part has me craving refined sugar in a major way. I was eating lots of fruit everyday and now almost none. My fix is to find ways to use more veggies and less fruit in my breakfast smoothies. Today I used pumpkin. It was awesome!

    Second struggle is sleep. I managed to develop a pretty unhealthy routine of about 4 hours a night during the week. My plan to beat this is to stop taking so much work home! :)

    Coree wrote on September 19th, 2011
  14. I’ve been posting mini food logs on facebook so my friends can (and will) get on my case if I stray off course. So that actually helps prevent a lot of struggles, knowing I’m accountable outside of my own head. (I know that they probably don’t give a damn really, but it still works for me.)

    My biggest struggle has been kicking Mountain Dew (again). It’s wierd how a food can become part of your identity. From marathong gaming sessions, all night writing jags, to 24 hour comic drawing challenges; mountain dew was both a fuel and a celebration for a job well done. I’m at the point now where I don’t even miss the taste of the soda as much as that psychological “ping” of “yup, this is a well deserved treat.” I’m trying to find something else to replace that ping with, but nothing quite matches up to the diabolical combination of sugar and caffiene.

    LXV wrote on September 19th, 2011
  15. I’ve been doing much better with my nutrition, and have kept away from the grains, but I seem to be substituting one addiction for another, as I am now noshing on way too much dark chocolate. My energy is better, but not enough to REALLY make me want to move and get working out. My plan: Don’t buy any more chocolate, try upping my carb intake at mealtime with sweet potato so that I don’t get carb cravings by midafternoon (still keeping carbs under 75 g), and JUST DO IT when it comes to working out. I WILL ride my bike tonight!

    Kathy wrote on September 19th, 2011
  16. My husband and I have been primal for one month now, and I’m doing this challenge by myself. My struggle is that our 2 sons (aged 10 and 6) are decidedly not onboard and are terrible and finicky eaters of mostly carbs. Finding what to cook for myself and my husband and then having to try to concoct a healthy meal for my boys without being as carb-heavy as they’re used to is really difficult. Particularly because neither of them eats meat, really, other than bacon.

    My solution is to just keep cooking and giving them new foods, not to buy more pasta once theirs runs out (any day now) and hope that nuts and bacon and berries and cheese will sustain them till they come around ;)

    Lynne wrote on September 19th, 2011
  17. My struggle this week has been portion size! While I am Grokessing some awesome primal fall soups and roasts, my perimenopausal hormones are kicked up and driving me, well nuts! Too many, in fact! I haven’t craved grains like this since May and have turned too many times to a hand full (or two) of nuts to rein them in. This week, when the crazy urges kick in, I will first turn to a 10 minute weight session. if that doesn’t work. I’ll move on to a cup of my awesome cumin squash soup. Be well everyone!

    Tristan wrote on September 19th, 2011
  18. I’ve been on the program for about a month and a half. My biggest struggle is “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full”. I’ve always eaten every 3-4 hours and habitually overate. It seems like my body has gotten used to that time frame, and level of gluttony, and now it’s my biggest hurdle! My plan is to listen to myself more. I’m at the point where I can tell when I’m hungry or not, and I’ve actually been able to skip meals (usually dinner) because I’m not hungry. This is huge in my progress. It’s a matter of looking at the big picture and continuing the progress!

    Corey wrote on September 19th, 2011
  19. My struggle has been an unsupportive spouse! We have come to an agreement to keep all his *junk* food in one (very hard to reach) cabinet. Despite having a killer vertical jump, I have managed to stay out of it! ;)

    Heidi wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • This made me smile. :D

      LXV wrote on September 19th, 2011
  20. Potato chips!!! It is crazy how it is so hard to ditch these buggers… Trash day was today so everything went in the bin. And a commitment to not buy any more!

    Michael wrote on September 19th, 2011
  21. I was actually surprised at my resolve this week. But I still have some struggles.
    First struggle: I am a huge wine head, but I have decided to forgo it for as long as I can during the challenge. And I tend to have a pretty packed social life. So avoiding alcohol can be a bit tough. I had two glasses of Merlot on Saturday (in the afternoon no less) and I didn’t feel good for the entire afternoon. Later on that night when I went out I ordered some Perrier instead of alcohol and was actually pretty satisfied. So that will be my standard alcohol fare during the challenge.

    Second challenge is a non-primal household. My family eats pretty “healthy” by CW standards. But we come from a very starch-centric culture… Lots of rice, Yucca root, Sweet potato, plantain etc… And those are classic “comfort food” for me. There was a sweet potato and gizzard casserole made this week-end. I ate a little bit of it but became sick! I think the conventionally grown sweet Bonito potatoes were way too sweet for my current palate. I am planning on tinkering with traditional recipes to make them primal. That’s the strategy.

    Third and most difficult challenge: getting enough sleep. I have suffered from Insomnia for half of my life so it’s really tough trying to quiet everything down and just get 8 hours of sleep. I am trying to get earplugs and an eye cover to help with that.

    I am excited to continue the journey!

    Roxanne wrote on September 19th, 2011
  22. my struggle is trying to get my sleep pattern on track. it seems as if i wake up on my own after 7 hours. I do feel refreshed and ready to start the day, however waking up at 430am is not always a good option for me!! I guess i will have to stay up a little later to try to offset this!

    mark wrote on September 19th, 2011
  23. Well for me it’s got to be lack of motivation this week, over availability of macadamia nuts, and fasting too long.

    Just was not motivated to work out at all last week so I think I may switch up from the attempted heavy barbell stuff I’ve been doing to a more PBF bodyweight routine. Even though I really want to pack on some muscle I think I need a change to make it fun again.

    NO MORE BUYING NUTS!!!!! I’m fraking addicted to the damn things as they’re the only primal snack I allow myself, so back to boiled eggs as a standby and maybe an attempt to make jerky.

    IF only goes for 24 hours for me. I attempted, and followed through with, a 48 hour fast in accordance with scientific info I had read here on the forum by pklopp. While I think the science is sound and I really wanted to maximize the benefits, my body just does not like going that long running on bodyfat only. Bad headaches and a general malaise during the last 8 hours. From now on skipping breakfast and lunch will do, and maybe after a good period of very clean and low carb eating a 36 hour IF where I skip a whole day and have a big breakfast, but we’ll see about that.

    All in all I’m thrilled with the results of the PB lifestyle so far. 14lbs less fat in 6 weeks, after stalling on SAD with a 38lb loss, and feeling absolutely awesome!

    Brandon Foss wrote on September 19th, 2011
  24. MONEY! My biggest issue has been money. I spent almost my whole months budget for food in the first week. I have tried this several times in the past and it’s always the same for me, I run out of money. I find the transition to be fairly easy when I have plenty of good primal food in the house. After the first week or two I am not getting as much food so I’m hungry and resort back to the cheap carb calories. I am a really big guy and have a family of 6 so our food budget gets pretty large.

    Todd wrote on September 19th, 2011
    • There’s actually several good articles on here giving alternate cuts of meat and recipes to feed families cheap. I find that eggs and ground chuck go a long way especially when mixed with some frozen veggies and new spices.

      Eating this way will never be as cheap as rice, ramen, beans and canned veggies but you’ll feel a heck of a lot better. I’ve literally lived out of my car when I was young so I understand eating cheap, but this diet can work on a budget and getting rid grains and finding good veggie alternatives will make an enormous difference.

      Good luck and Grok on!

      Brandon Foss wrote on September 19th, 2011
  25. Oh man…One thing thats got me struggling is the constant discussions between myself and family who are so neck deep in cw that they are convinced that I’m killing and depriving myself by becoming primal. Its so draining having the same conversations over and over again and still getting as far as a rat on a wheel. But…No matter how much convincing I try to do, I know that my physical transformation (which is surprisingly already coming to fruition) will speak much louder than words.

    Kerry wrote on September 19th, 2011
  26. My challenge was to get adequate sleep. An unexpected redeye flight derailed my plans just a few days in; in general, some days, knowing I have to get up at 5:15 isn’t enough to get me in bed by 9. The girlfriend wants me to watch TV, and I’m wired still and thinking about the day past and the day to come. To overcome this challenge, I’m trying really hard to shut off all electronics by 8, and read after that point, so that I can ease down a little more gently.

    Abe wrote on September 19th, 2011
  27. My struggle has been resisting sweets. I have a total sweet tooth and have found that hard. However…the tip about dark chocolate in a home made trail mix has been a lifesaver!!

    Stacy wrote on September 19th, 2011
  28. My struggle has been lunch. Working in manhattan it seems every decently quick option is surrounded by bread(tacos, rolls, heros, hot dogs, pitas, etc.). Just recently I have found a quality market which offers fresh made healthy choices that aren’t bread dependent. So this is my way to beat my struggle. I plan on developing a relationship with the cooks at this market in order to assure that the ingredients are strickly primal.

    Michael Carlson wrote on September 19th, 2011
  29. I’ve always loved to cook. When I can find the time, I really love to be active. I’ve been following Primal/Paleo blogs and people for the last half of this year, and had transitioned some of my meals to Primal/Paleo, but with no commitment.

    The Primal Challenge this month gave me a fun reason to commit! Not a day after I noticed I had gained — gained back! — a belt notch, the story-blog today was about just that: I had to laugh out loud.

    Things are actually going great. Instead of having fun cooking some great meals a few times a week, I’m having fun cooking great meals all week! My GF is trying, too, and she’s at about 60/40 Primal/Non.

    My struggle is looming … I don’t want to slip back, so I’m trying to use the excitement I have in this attempt and the community resources here, to keep me inspired.

    I hope the energy I have never leaves!

    Armando Di Cianno wrote on September 19th, 2011
  30. my struggle was staying primal while visiting and staying with friends for the Florida State and Oklahoma football game last weekend, its amazing what a couple days of drinking and junk food can do to your body :(

    Eric wrote on September 19th, 2011
  31. My struggle so far is the 80/20 rule. Once I decide to have a little piece of the 20 I go overboard and it ends up more like 30. I plan to overcome this by putting things in perspective and looking at the big picture.

    What is the real reward for my Primal efforts? Is it pizza and a few beers on the weekend, or is it a lifetime of improved health, increased energy and looking good naked?

    In other words, is my goal for going primal “cheats” or something bigger? Once I get my head wrapped around that concept I’ll be in a good place.

    Jefferson wrote on September 19th, 2011
  32. I have had a lot of mini-struggles this week, but the biggest one by far is navigating social situations with grace about my primal food preferences. It stinks to have to turn down a dinner party invitation because I won’t be able to eat anything offered. It also can be uncomfortable being tagged as the “picky eater” of the group. Oh well. My health (and waistline) is worth it. :)

    Jeska wrote on September 19th, 2011
  33. My struggle this week has been snacking, especially at night after all is done and the kid is in bed. Not really hungry, just boredom. My plan s to be mindful of it and go to bed earlier. This well help stop the mindless eating and help me get more rest. :)

    Leslie wrote on September 19th, 2011
  34. I’m also having some trouble with the half supportive household keeping non-primal foods around.
    But mostly, I am struggling with motivating myself to do the sprints.

    Alan wrote on September 19th, 2011
  35. My struggle is sugar. Cutting grains is easy, but sugar is everywhere! I’m trying to be proactive by peeling some organic carrots and having fresh fruit readily available to grab whenever i’m tempted by a pre-processed lump of disaster.

    Eric wrote on September 19th, 2011
  36. When I first started going primal it was because my doctor pointed me at this site. My initial challenge was confronting CW, but once I got over that and began to transition I had a whole new struggle. My family. They are still all very much in line with the low fat high carb. So its tough eating primal while they live off of sugar and bread. I plan to get over this hump by making the dinners more primal with more fruit and veggies and less grains and sugar. Now if I could only figure out how to keep my 3 year old daughter from jumping on my back while I’m doing my LHT workouts…

    Chris wrote on September 19th, 2011
  37. My problem is complacency. I lost 80lbs fast being primal, but once i started feeling good about myself, i started cheating . . I’ve been semi-primal and on a plateau for months now.

    My plan is to set physical goals, that way i have something to shoot for, i know i cant do it with just exercise.

    Russ wrote on September 19th, 2011
  38. My struggle has been getting more sleep. Last month I started a new job where I’m commuting 1.5 hours each way taking 3 different trains, which was pretty bad for my sleep schedule. It’s a temporary measure until I move closer to work in a few weeks, but I figured its as good a reason as any to get out of my bad college habits of sleeping 1 am – 11 am. I’ve made sure my room is absolutely dark at night and I’ve found that taking a nice walk through the suburbs around my house at night helps a lot – winds things down nicely and gets me out of the artificial lighting in the house. Takes some getting used to, but I’m making progress.

    V wrote on September 19th, 2011
  39. Everybody at work orders pizza for lunch…its tough to say no to nyc pizza.

    Daniel wrote on September 19th, 2011
  40. My struggles for this month are trying to reduce nut snacking, reduce wine consumption, and trying to improve sleep. I am making some progress in the sleep department – long term issue. some progress in the wine department, and fail in the nuts so far. At least they are soaked!

    Oddly, my biggest primal challenge over the past year has been getting enough good red meat in my diet. After years of healthy CW low fat, avoid red meat, it is hard to get into the habit. I have found overall that it is easier to eliminate things than add new things in diet.

    Rand hagenstein wrote on September 19th, 2011

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