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. I struggle in social situations with both food and exercise — at home I’m in control of it. This weekend was a workshop with box lunches. They had a green salad, and I’d planned to take the meat from the sandwich and put it on the salad…except the 1st day it was Tofurkey! Um, not for me, thanks. And so…I was hungry and ate chips for the 1st time in 3 months. The next day…I had the sandwich. And a cookie. And got heartburn. Lesson learned. I hope! Next time, I’ll forgo the boxed lunch and bring my own.

    My friends love to do high cardio classes, and I love to be with them. I’m trying to frame it as my ‘play’ time, but sometimes I’m really not having fun getting lost in choreography. I’m trying to get them to come to the weight lifting class with me, but the instructor… she sings. And not well!

    Jenna wrote on September 19th, 2011
  2. Biggest Hurdle, my wife’s birthday and its seven layer tort.

    Kevin wrote on September 19th, 2011
  3. My biggest obstacle right now is my husband, a vegetarian, who is really not supportive of my diet. He still eats fish, but plans on even giving that up at some point. He’s a new vegetarian too, having only been meat-free for a couple of months, so he’s all fired up about it and scolds me for eating meat. He doesn’t even notice that since going veg, his health has not only not improved, but seems to be worse! I plan to gently educate him on why we’re meant to eat this way, and suggest this is something we can both do responsibly and sustainably. I’ll try!

    Melissa wrote on September 19th, 2011
  4. I am a carnivore at heart so the eating plan has been good. Avoiding the treats at work can be tough and we have subsidized snacks in our lunch room which can be tempting at times. I put a jar of almonds on my desk. When I really feel the need for a snack, I grab 4-6 almonds and that knocks out the snack gremlin.

    Struggling a little with the energy level. I am a crossfitter and thai boxer. The days with more cardio work are still killing me. Trying to hold back on upping my carbs until I have another week or so to adapt.

    Rock out with your grok out people!

    David Stevens wrote on September 19th, 2011
  5. My biggest challenge seems to be snacks and temptation on the weekends.
    I need to read online and figure out some healthy, quick snacks that are good for both home and work.
    I find that on the weekends, I am trying eat primal and everyone around me is eating pizza, burgers with rolls, soda, beer, etc.
    I had a few minor slip-ups this weekend and am trying to figure out the best ways to keep them from happening again.
    I think this will also go back to having the healthy quick snacks at hand. If I am able to curb off a temptation with a quick snack then I will be able to prepare a nice healthy meal for myself.

    Sarah wrote on September 19th, 2011
  6. The hardest part is satisfying, yummy snacks. I tried to put my Celiac son on this diet as well to cure him of his eczema, seasonal allergies and asthma. He said he was willing, but he just doesn’t have the will power to say no, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him he couldn’t have popcorn when everyone else was. It is hard enough when you are 7 to be told No all the time being a Celiac, I am having a hard time trying to tell him he has to be even MORE different than everyone else his age. I need SUPER DELICIOUS snack ideas that can be in my purse, not refrigerated.

    Lori wrote on September 19th, 2011
  7. I’ve still been struggling with getting enough sleep. I was sick for the first couple of days of the challenge (as were several of my friends, so I guess it was going around), and it made it very hard to get restful sleep. I have covered up my windows and have gone to bed on time every night (!), so I hope that it improves in the coming weeks.

    Virginia G wrote on September 19th, 2011
  8. Felt great all week. There was a couple of nights through that I was really hungry for some bad stuff. I tried veggies, some almonds, and fruit but it was just not working. Then I started having dinner a little later than normal and those hunger pains went away. Love all the veggies that I am getting now and they make a huge difference during dinner.

    Steve wrote on September 19th, 2011
  9. My struggle this week was maintaining primal eating while visiting my boyfriend’s family in Texas. They already know that I am gluten free, so when they went out of the way to make sure I had snacks like GF crackers and cereal for my stay, I felt guilty not eating them. I followed Mark’s 80/20 rule, I ended up eating about 15 meals while I was on the road, and 2 of them had sugar and one had grains.

    Pip wrote on September 19th, 2011
  10. I struggled this week with eating primal while traveling and visiting relatives. Carb-heavy airline meals and in-laws who serve a mound of white potatoes on the plate at every meal proved a bit of a health challenge.

    Jessica wrote on September 19th, 2011
  11. My husband and i have done well so far. We have been pimal/paleo for 8 months. Together, we have lost 44 pounds. My husband has also raised his HDL by more than 30 points. We decided to give up our weekly cheat meal with this 30 day challenge. Our biggest temptations include dark chocolate covered ginger bites and protein bars (they both contain a lot of sugar). We don’t crave much anymore. We also have discovered that we don’t feel well when we do indulge.

    Melanie wrote on September 19th, 2011
  12. My struggle has been all-or-nothing thinking. I ate well for 6.5 days, with no dairy or alcohol, but then I went out for Thai with friends. Ate the rice and who-knows-what in the sauce.

    I was so mad at myself for not even making it a full week, and I felt like just throwing in the towel and having donuts for breakfast.

    I am reminding myself of 80/20 and the real failure would be giving up entirely in the face of setbacks.

    Ruth wrote on September 19th, 2011
  13. My struggle is turning down a second, third or sometimes 4th beer. Went to the Patriots game yesterday and handeled the food like a champ. Hubs and I brought primal chicken stuffed pepperoncinis wrapped in bacon and bacon cole slaw. I also had a late day hamburger that I just ate off the fork to avoid the bun (didnt have any lettuce). I kept myself away from my favorite salty snacks, but couldnt turn down the beer.

    How will I handle it? Next time I will only bring as many beers as I want to drink and no more so I dont get tempted. I am also going to plan out and pick just ONE more day that I will allow myself some beers for the month.

    LittleSEZ wrote on September 19th, 2011
  14. My struggle this week is that I find it hard to pack food when I’m on the go. In the past, if I was going to be gone all day, I would pack a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and chips/pretzels, or a granola bar. Now, I have to make the time to prepare some kind of meat to take with me… it’s not just grab and go, especially if going for more than 1 day, which makes it easy to slip back into non-primal diet.
    My plan is to always have almonds, dried berries, and cut-up veggies ready to go. If anyone has a protein-on-the-go ideas, let me know.

    Zuzana wrote on September 19th, 2011
  15. My challenge came this past Saturday when I took my son to a friend’s birthday party. I ate before the party so that I wouldn’t get hungry while there and get tempted to eat. The only food available at the party was pizza, chips, and cake. When it came time to cut the cake, I declined a piece and that was when the comments started that I hadn’t had anything to eat the whole time I was there. I explained that I ate before the party, but that didn’t stop the comments. I then tried to explain primal eating and the benefits but the comments that I get is “that’s easy for you, you’re already so small”. I really detest it when people make this comment. I’m 5’2” and 115lbs. Yes, I’ve always been small but I haven’t always been healthy. Until recently, I never had muscle tone and I could never do a push up. Anyways, after some comments (some kind of hurtful) I decided to just eat some cake and hoped that would take the attention off of me. Thankfully, the other moms finally left me alone but I was disappointed at myself for giving into their “peer pressure”.

    Angelica wrote on September 19th, 2011
  16. I didn’t truly feel my struggle until this past weekend. My daughter (12 yrs) and I attended a Outdoor Survival Camp. Unfortunately, they would not allow us to bring our own food and I was at the mercy of carb loaded “kid food”. I struggled, failed, and struggled again. My saving grace was an introduction to fasting and the chance to truly integrate PLAY into my life. The result? I bonded with my daughter like you wouldn’t believe and got plenty of sun shine. I also walked away with an enlightened of sense of “what the crap is my kid eating?” I am always looking for a “workout buddy”, basically someone to keep me motivated….apparently I birthed one and didn’t even know it.

    Shantelle wrote on September 19th, 2011
  17. My struggle is not being scale obsessed. Also a birthday dinner for my father in law last night at all you can eat sushi. I lost that struggle, but I’m ok with that because it was damn good sushi and it happens so rarely there’s no chance of it becoming a pattern.

    Michael C wrote on September 19th, 2011
  18. My biggest hurdle is work! I’m a 911 dispatcher, so the hardest thing for me is packing enough nutrition for a 12 hour shift, two days in a row. Making sure I actually eat it is another problem. Sometimes we get so busy, we don’t have time to do much but answer the phone or the radio! I’ve been standing more at work but we only get a few 15 minute breaks to walk around the parking lot. Another hurdle has been stress and sleep. I go to bed at 9 pm, but I wake up a lot in the middle of the night and then can’t fall asleep again. We’ve been trying to go on more walks in the evening and bike ride in the mornings that I’m off. I need to incorporate more exercise but my busy schedule makes it difficult.

    Regardless of my difficulties, we are making progress. My digestive system is working so much better now. And I have a lot more energy than before I started Paleo! We intend for this to be our permanent lifestyle. Thanks for all the help Mark!

    Tracy Caraker wrote on September 19th, 2011
  19. My challenge last week was dealing with being sidelined by Plantar Fasciitis. I am continuing my morning walks, but have shortened them tremendously.

    My plan is to up my “recovery” plan by including more activities that focus on this area: rolling a frozen water bottle with my foot, doing more wall stretches, and rolling a golf ball under my foot while at work and on the couch at home. Step 1: Find a golf ball!

    Ali wrote on September 19th, 2011
  20. Every Friday work provides breakfast. It’s easy to skip the breakfast, but leftovers are put in our break room/copy room which I can’t avoid. It’s very hard to pass up the doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches, etc. every time I go in there.

    Nicki wrote on September 19th, 2011
  21. I’ve struggled with time more than anything. Of course work has been super duper extra busy since starting this challenge, and I’ve got a new puppy at home that is taking a LOT of my time and energy. It’s been tough to allot enough time in the mornings for food prep, so I’m going to do a better job of getting as much food prep done at night as possible. I know I can get through this with just a bit more planning!

    Samantha wrote on September 19th, 2011
  22. I didn’t plan an early morning this weekend well enough to leave time for my go-to primal breakfast and instead was sucked in by the power of convenience at the D&D drive-thru on my corner. An hour later, the gut-wrenching (and emptying) reminder of why I don’t eat crap was enough to kick me back into gear the rest of the weekend.
    I find that actually listening to your body can be the best feedback and motivation.

    Scott wrote on September 19th, 2011
  23. My stumbling block has been emotions…
    My father passed away and I’m not handling his death very well.
    Although I’ve followed PB for the past several years, the past few weeks have been hard emotionally and I’ve resorted to the old “comfort foods” (a lot of loving, caring friends have brought a ton of non-primal food to the house), therefore, this years challenge couldn’t have come at a better time…
    As I sort through the grieving process, this challenge reminds me to take care of myself. I am trying to focus more on doing what is good for me instead of doing what is easy.

    Marti wrote on September 19th, 2011
  24. I was doing great until I had to travel to a college football game this weekend. I wasnt going to beat myself up over it but I did feel guilty when it was all said and done. The workouts have been the best part. The primal workout approach is different than anything I have really tried before so it has kept me interested.

    Phillip wrote on September 19th, 2011
  25. Biggest struggle this last week was giving up the fruit. I was up to 4 apples a day (Hey, if you can’t have an apple a day, what’s with mark’s daily apple? I feel like bacon or chicken would make more sense in place of apple) and it was a challenge giving them up. Solution? Start a leptin reset which avoids me from snacking all together. I realized most of the time I was just eating them to keep my mouth occupied, not out of hunger.

    Predicted weekly challenge – friends are having a carb fest (Aka pasta dinner) saturday night pre-race sunday morning. Planning on just filling up on something meaty beforehand and bringing some steamed veggies or sweet potato mash to share.

    Abigaillyn wrote on September 19th, 2011
  26. 8 days into the Primal Challenge and I am feeling great. I have been following a somewhat “Quasi-Paleo” diet the last few months on and off. I wasn’t consistent and not watching my carb intake and I just didn’t seem to be feeling any different. But I started the Primal Challenge last week, fully committed and have been tracking my carb intake (50-100g/day). I also started reading the Primal Blueprint. Since then, my energy has increased, I am more regular. Trust me, it is not easy. I grew up Italian so pasta, garlic breads and pastries were a BIG part of my diet. And since the birth of my daughter four years ago I have been hooked on sweets. I have 40 pounds to lose, so I am hoping that I can not only lose that “baby weight” but also lower my cholesterol in the process! I havent weighed myself yet, but I am sure that they weight will be coming off soon enough!

    Dina Haggerty wrote on September 19th, 2011
  27. My challenge is been getting enough sleep and dinnertime eating. I manage to eat very well and structured throughout the day but when I get home and finally wind down and eat I seem to never get satisfied and feel like I am deprived if I go to be hungry. To combat this I may eat a bit more through the day to keep my energy level up compared to my activities and hopefully getting to bed at a more reasonable time.

    Patrick Fairchild wrote on September 19th, 2011
  28. My struggle this week has been dealing with my craving for ice cream… even the relatively clean stuff… My plan of action is a mix between perseverance and social obligation in that my vocalization of my challenge and that I will not succumb to my weakness will give me strength to push through it…that and I bought some fancy grass fed beef as a treat…yummm

    Fatkid wrote on September 19th, 2011
  29. My goals are to bring my primal lunch with me to work each day and to stand at my desk the majority of the day. Bringing lunch is fine and I’ve enjoyed making my own meals (and eating them). However standing has been really tough for me. I can walk ALL DAY. But standing makes my joints ache. I always end of switching my weight from right to left. Should I get some kind of floor pad to stand on? Any advice is more than welcome! Thanks!!

    Anna wrote on September 19th, 2011
  30. I’ve been primal/Paleo for about a year and half now but this month has presented me with one of my toughest challenges: I convinced my husband to go primal, and we just started feeding our two year old primal. These boys can EAT and now we run out of bacon and eggs ALL THE TIME!! Don’t get me wrong…I love that my family has made the switch…It’s just that….*sigh* I miss not having to share the bacon.

    Ashley North wrote on September 19th, 2011
  31. It seems my struggle is with me 24hrs a day in one form or another. My wife is not a MDA-er, while she eats what I would describe as better then most. And at work (fire dept.) I am currently stationed with some serious CW carboholics. My plan to overcome these struggles is to do more of the cooking at home (our deal is whoever cooks decides what is for dinner) and to smile and wave at work. The results will speak volumes. Grok on

    Brian wrote on September 19th, 2011
  32. My struggle was visiting family. My sister brought a dessert and we all went out to eat. I skipped the meal and just drank water and bbq’d some chicken and veggies when I got home but I did try a bite of the dessert. I think they understand the diet a little better so the next family get together shouldn’t be too bad!

    Joseph wrote on September 19th, 2011
  33. My biggest struggle has been sticking to primal food while living outside. I have a camper stove to help out, but what I can make is quite limited. I don’t have a full sized refridgerator either, just a small one with a teeny “freezer” that doesn’t keep things frozen. I’ve been resorting to eating out a lot, forcing me to raise my food budget and lower my primal-diet standards. This week I’ve made it a priority to research recipes and storage techniques to improve my diet and increase the thickness of my wallet, I’m fairly confident that with enough time spent looking up recipes I can make this work.

    Habitat wrote on September 19th, 2011
  34. I’ve got the nutrition honed in pretty well. Batch cooking is a tremendous help! I struggle more with the other primal commandments. I just started law school and a. I can’t read and walk at the same time and b. libraries aren’t very sunny. So today I am taking advantage of my car being out of commission and making the two-mile, uphill walk home from the train station. Moving frequently at a slow pace AND getting some sun! If I can figure out how to read casebooks at the same time I will be golden!

    Amanda wrote on September 19th, 2011
  35. My struggle has been alcohol, I have cut down on my microbrews, but I need to get rid of them altogether!!

    Mike wrote on September 19th, 2011
  36. its difficulte I just went to a work lunch and had to smell french fries and onion rings at a nearby table but it is mind over matter and I had all those things for 29 years and I matter so I will succeed. Jacob

    Jacob kassel wrote on September 19th, 2011
  37. It’s always social outings and alcohol! I had been doing great — no problems with my food choices and exercise, but we met friends at a brew pub and I couldn’t resist! I felt like garbage the next day, which is a good thing. I’m hoping I can keep that experience in mind next time we’re out. Beer doesn’t help me achieve anything! Wine, on the other hand …

    Melinda wrote on September 19th, 2011
  38. I have struggled in all areas this past week. The worst was my son’s 8th birthday. Cake is my biggest weakness and I “had” to have a piece because how do you not have a piece of cake with your kid? But I figured in for a penny, in for a pound and ate two big pieces. I told myself I was doing myself a favor, getting it gone and out of the house, but I immediately felt like crap. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve long since gotten over cereal, bread, chips, etc. I’ve even managed to convince myself that I can do my coffee with just Half & Half. But sweets are a killer for me. I will not allow myself to give in again. Dark chocolate (a single piece or two) has been my saving grace. Exercising is my other big hurdle. It’s cold and rainy here and I just want to cuddle up under a blanket. I will be working on that this week.

    Lorii wrote on September 19th, 2011
  39. My biggest struggle, like many others, is getting enough sleep. I am setting a “get into bed” time of 10:15pm this week. I have a book I’m currently reading and will read it until I fall asleep – that usually works for me. I’m also struggling with completing all the fitness goals, but consider the sleep a higher priority (also believe it will indirectly help me to have the energy to do the fitness activities).

    OH_Mark wrote on September 19th, 2011
  40. My biggest hurdle: My daughter’s birthday party. We had planned in advance of the challenge to have our daughter’s party at a trampoline place (literally a huge indoor arena with tons of trampolines). We thought that this would be great for the kids we invited, as well as for the parents– at least the ones not too embarrassed to jump on them. Biggest issues were the food and cake. The place did not allow us to bring in any food, so we were forced to serve pizza. We also did do the traditional birthday cake. Hopefully we depleted our glycogen stores enough that the sugar wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Also, I made sure that my wife and I ate a huge breakfast of eggs and bacon, so that we wouldn’t be hungry at the party (worked like a charm). We both did have a slice of cake to celebrate our daughter’s birthday, and both paid dearly for it afterwords. Trying to recoup on a Monday is not fun !!

    Jeff wrote on September 19th, 2011

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