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

Contest: What’s Your 20?

UPDATE: This contest is closed. Visit the 30 Day Challenge Contest Page to find out which contests are still open, and to view winners.

The Prize:

It’s Sensible Vice time…

Chocolate. The Malibu farmers’ market sets up shop about a half block from my office every Sunday, and one of the regular, irresistible booths is Choco Vivo. Organic, fair trade, fermented less than 3 days – this is chocolate for people who like cacao, not chocolate for people who like candy bars. Winner receives an assortment of 100%, 85%, 75%, raw nibs, and the cherry, almond, peppercorn blend. For those outside the LaLa Land farmers’ market circuit, you can find ChocoVivo here.

Coconut Juice. Today’s second sensible vice comes with or without pulp (or with a hint of lime). In the pursuit of all things coconut, the winner will receive two mixed cases of coconut juice, courtesy of Amy & Brian Naturals. That’s over a gallon and a half of liquid. For all the athletes out there trying to bridge the gap between ideal Primal living and endurance training, this is good stuff for the days when you clock the extra mileage. And to clarify, coconut juice and coconut water are the same thing.

Miracle Fruit. Say what, now? No, it won’t cause rapid weight loss. No, it won’t cure cancer. No, it won’t make the Giants fumble on the last down of the game. But it will make a lemon taste like candy, a Guinness taste like a chocolate milk shake, and a blueberry taste like God pouring heaven’s manna down your throat. It’s a fruit that plays a delightful game of chaos with your taste buds. And ThinkGeek, the folks who donated the Homo Sapiens kitchen tool last year, are offering up a packet of miracle fruit this year.

The Contest:

For those unfamiliar with the 80/20 rule, I’ll discuss it in depth later today, but in brief: if you align your life with the Primal Blueprint principles 80% of the time, consider yourself on course. While you should strive to be Primal 100% of the time, 20% happens. And today it’s time to share 20% stories…

So, what’s your 20? Mine is beer. And I’m not talking about Bud Light Lime. I like a beer dark enough to make motor oil jealous. An no, beer is not made from meat and veggies. Despite Michelob Ultra’s ad campaign, beer will not improve your performance time. It’s made from wheat and barley. My 20 is an Old Viscosity Ale from Port Brewing Company. While I very rarely imbibe, I never have regrets when I do.

Now it’s time to tell me yours. Today’s contest isn’t designed to celebrate the bad or knock all the beginners off the Primal wagon. It should serve as a reminder that even the most Primal of us have unPrimal moments, and that when we do, we shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about those moments. We should simply recognize them for what they are – that 20% – and keep on striving to live Primal the next day. So share your moment. Your best (or worst) 20% moment. Do so in 150 words or less in the comments section of this post.

We’re not just picking a winner at random this time. The Worker Bees and I will pick our favorite moments and then hold a poll next Sunday where you’ll pick the winner. A good moment is one that either shows excellent use of sensible vices, or a moment that exemplifies how you can pick yourself up and keep going Primal after a moment (or crazy night) of vices that are anything but sensible.

The Deadline:

September 16, 9:00 am. Only one day!

Who is Eligible:

As with most of the other perishable prizes, this stuff ain’t crossing borders. A substitute prize of equal value will be offered to an international winner. Sorry, Swedish readers. Next year I’ll have a Swedish prize just for Swedes.

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. Ice cream, definitely. Luckily ice cream is something that I don’t like to have too often. I like to savour it, so every once and a while it’s a great treat.

    Livinginboxes wrote on September 15th, 2010
  2. I love choco-vivo! They have a seasonal one with ginger and sea salt that is amazing. Certainly a big part of my 20% and I pick it up from her booth at the Torrance Farmers Market!

    I like beer, too. Guinness is my favorite dark beer, and a nice way to finish off the 20%.

    and cheesecake.

    Roland wrote on September 15th, 2010
  3. I went to the grand opening of a friend’s bakery. They make fresh bread to go with kabobs and I tried her homemade baklava. So delicious but I felt a horrible bloatedness and fullness I haven’t experienced in a while. Usually wheat is a trigger for me to go crazy but I got back on track the next day.

    Michelle wrote on September 15th, 2010
  4. My favorite vice is dark chocolate and red wine, preferably a sweet red. The two together are a little bit of heaven right here on earth!

    Krys wrote on September 15th, 2010
  5. A big bag or two of vegetable chips. When I miss eating crunchy salty things, or when I’m feeling depleted from being low-carb, or when it’s the time of the month, vegetable chips do wonders. Cripsy, the taste of sweet against salty… lovely to munch on while lazing around look at scenary, reading a book, watching television. Greatly satisfying.

    Alicia wrote on September 15th, 2010
  6. My 20% is a crown float (guiness layered on hard cider) and a burger at the local pub every 6 weeks or so. It’s a pretty un-primal 20% but I am usually 100% for the in between 6 weeks

    mattpenney89 wrote on September 15th, 2010
  7. September 16th is my Birthday, Tomorrow my 20% will be a slice of gluten free carrot cake iced with homemade cream cheese Icing. I love eating Primal, but celebrating a family birthday, especially your own is a fantastic use of your 20%

    Kev wrote on September 15th, 2010
  8. We are fast approaching the season of my ultimate weakness, the most UNSENSIBLE of all vices – Halloween candy! Last year, I thought I’d just eat one or two candies. Maybe three of four. Okay, lets take a week (errr month) off. Then Christmas & cookies. I thought I had fallen off that wagon for good. Got right back on January first, no regrets, no looking back!

    Robin wrote on September 15th, 2010
  9. My vice is a well deserved occasional pizza slice or two- okay, maybe more like three or four. But in any event, I enjoy the salty flavors from the cheese and meat, but I still try to select the toppings with the most colorful (and flavorful) vegetables. And I only enjoy this treat after a long hard workout of running, biking, or swimming.

    Mike V wrote on September 15th, 2010
  10. I seriously cannot go a day without chocolate! I eat a piece of dove dark chocolate either after lunch or dinner and it sends me to my happy place. I know I never need to feel bad about it because I eat a ton veggies throughout the day and I make it to an exercise class 5 days a week at the local ymca. Life is too wonderful to not enjoy simple pleasures…

    Megan wrote on September 15th, 2010
  11. My 20% today, though not usually, was two thick, dark, lick-smacking pints of Guinness. There’s no way you can beat the one’s you get in Ireland but still damn good.

    Matt wrote on September 15th, 2010
  12. I’ve been gluten free for quite some time, so being without grains has not been an issue. I doubt my 20 will ever include “real” pizza, beer, and the like. I’ve only been on the Primal Challenge since this one started on the 7th so I’m still in the honeymoon stage with it.

    I think my one transgression so far would be my greek yogurt snack that is so tangy and sour it sort of requires a little bit of honey along with my dash of seeds and nuts I toss on top.

    And my solid justification for this indulgence is that Grok could very well of had a bunch of bees nearby making him and the Mrs. some honey. Therefore in my mind it is just fine! :-) That’s my story and I’m “sticking” to it, haha.

    Speaking of beer, I am curious about this Redbridge that is gluten-free…might have to give it a try.

    Mia wrote on September 15th, 2010
    • Redbridge is decent for those who like lighter, American style beers. ..which I do.

      A squeeze of lime and it’s a little Corona-ish, too.

      Roland wrote on September 16th, 2010
  13. Last night after my Aikido class (exercise, fun, *and* mental stimulation) I had a few extra minutes before zooming off to pick up my daughter. I was a bit hungry so I stopped at the grocery store to pick up something tasty. Right above the empty bin of feta-and-greek-olive stuff that I had a hankering for I saw a one-pound chub of summer sausage. I bought it and ate the whole thing on the drive downtown.

    Oh, wait! I’m supposed to tell you about my 20% slip. I ate one square of Godiva 80% chocolate before Aikido.

    I’ve found that 80% is bitter enough to allow one square to satisfy me. The 70% chocolate it’s too much like candy and I can eat the whole bar.

    ScottMGS wrote on September 15th, 2010
    • D’oh! “it’s” = “is”.

      ScottMGS wrote on September 15th, 2010
  14. In January, right after I made my poetic little resolution video, I was really strict primal/paleo for four weeks; but my birthday is at the end of January. I told myself, “Be really good for the whole month and at the end you can treat yourself!” So I was strict and it paid off! I lost about 6 pounds in January. It was awesome! Then my birthday rolled around…

    In one weekend, I ate potato chips, pancakes, cupcakes, toast and lots of cheesecake. I blew right back up (water weight) and gained those 6 pounds right back in *days*! And I was sad.

    I almost gave up. But I didn’t. I remembered how successful the first few weeks of January had been and I knew that my application of the 80/20 principle hadn’t quite been the best for *my* body. So I resolved to be more moderate and take it slower. And as I’d learned before, slow success lasts longer!

    gilliebean wrote on September 15th, 2010
  15. When I first started primal, it was sushi, but as time has progressed it’s most definitely CUPCAKES! I live right across the bridge from Georgetown where they make those cupcakes on that TV show DC Cupcakes. The line is around the block but it smells so good and the very thought of eating those soft, warm and delicious cupcakes gets me going.

    Of course whenever I do have a cupcake, I have a headache within a few minutes and regret my decision the rest of the day, but oh those few minutes are pure bliss. I will sometimes eat several really fast before the bad feelings settle in, then do a serious workout the next day to make up for it.

    Loooove my cupcakes!

    Mike S wrote on September 16th, 2010
  16. Mark –

    With a whole new caseload this year of young immature autistic 6th graders I have been leaning on my intense dark chocolate as my 20% vice. I love the Green and Dark or Lindt’s. It is sealed in a bag at school and if need be in an emergency I break off just a square. A great rush!

    Michele Stouffer wrote on September 16th, 2010
  17. A fun sized pack of raisinettes, oh my they were heavenly!

    Kathleen Neylon wrote on September 16th, 2010
  18. When i choose to use the 20% i love a good burger and a few chips. Usually washed down with a nice pint of stout or a decent cider, i live in Bath in England which is near to somerset so this is real cider country!

    Darren wrote on September 16th, 2010
  19. My 20% vice is local or specialty foods; I travel sometimes and like to try local food, which is never 100% primal. For example, in Peru I had a delicious sweet potato muffin, in India I had fantastic chili paneer in a somewhat sweet sauce, and in Portugal I had their famous ‘pastel de blaise’ pastries, quite a lot! My reasoning is that it may be my only chance to ever experience these cultural, interesting and tasty foods, and worrying about whether I should try them or not is probably more stressful for my body than just eating them and enjoying them!

    Alex wrote on September 16th, 2010
  20. I have always been a huge emotional eater and most of the time would reach for chips. I love all kinds of potato chips – all flavors – I used to not be able to walk down the isle for fear of seeing a new flavor… I HAD to try them. Not so much anymore. I am not 100% primal yet, but moving in that direction and just being more aware of what I am putting in my body. Now, when I do indulge it is the smallest bag of the more pricey chips like Kettle Brand – I enjoy a few handfuls and give the rest away. Freedom!

    LauraPh wrote on September 16th, 2010
  21. My 20% is the urge to snack – especially when stressed. To avoid complete derailing of my eating and especially the temptation of junk snacks (candy bar machines or plates full of biscuits in committee meetings, anyone?), I have slowly built a personal repertoire of sensible snacks and try to keep at least some of them handy. They are not all exactly primal but a far cry from the jaffa cakes and crisps I used to munch in the old days. So without further ado, here are my 10 faves (sweetened with a little erythritol or stevia where needed): primal trail mix, kale crisps, creamed coconut with lemon curd or apple sauce, cheese with sesame & sunflower crackers, dark chocolate, ice cream cubes (made with berries & cream or choc icing), whipped cream and cocoa “mousse”, primal energy bars, cured meats, almond & flax brownies. Recipes in my journal!

    Kazazi wrote on September 16th, 2010
  22. French toast with maple syrup,m fried banana, fried eggs and bacon – every Sunday brunch after a ‘perfect week’. I follow it with afternoon Bikram Yoga which makes me feel clean again :)

    Kat Eden wrote on September 16th, 2010
  23. When I partake in my 20% it is always for social reasons, whether it is going out every now and than for a beer with my friends at school, or eating some wings at during a football game. But my favorite 20% is as follows: About every other week my dad will come down to school to visit (usually because I forgot something) and we will go out to the local dinner. I will get my favorite meal: Chicken tenders (homemade) and we will split the worlds best cheese fries! These fries are perfectly crispy, and they use real cheddar cheese upon. But they finish it off by throwing it into the broiler so the cheese has two layers, nice and melty on the bottom, and baked and stiff on the top! Not the best thing for me, but hey it most likely a lot less than 20% of my diet

    Andy B wrote on September 16th, 2010
  24. So far, I’ve stuck to dark chocolate and red wine as my 20. I’ve been wary about trying anything else because I wonder if it will wreak havoc with my system.

    Erika wrote on September 16th, 2010
  25. My vice is anything that’s likely to stain my teeth. Red wine, dark beer, chocolate, cigarettes (that’s really about 0.05% these days, thankfully, but always accompanied by the the beer). It’s unfortunate how most of these go so well together, tempting me into a huge bender.

    I also have a bad weakness for brownies. Is there a great primal brownie recipe out there/on here?

    Pepper wrote on September 16th, 2010
  26. My 20% is usually used for social reasons. In fact, it’s kind of ironic, but the day this contest debuted, I chose to exercise my 20% for the first time during the challenge. I went to the rescue of my neighbor who was murdering a cat, I mean playing the trumpet. She was attempting to make her daughter feel better after getting discouraged trying to learn to play. Having played the trumpet throughout my middle and high school career, I offered my services before the other neighbors came running with baseball bats held high. I was subsequently invited to dinner which consisted of homemade pesto pasta, fresh tomatoes, and bread with oil and vinegar. I felt not a pang of regret as I dug into the pasta. The company and conversation were impeccable, and it was totally worth a non-primal meal.

    Travis wrote on September 16th, 2010
  27. So many vices to choose from :) I think my biggest weakness is definintely cheese. I love all kinds of strong, mature cheese. Blue cheese, goats cheese, Brie and even the humble chedder. Give it all to me now!

    WalkLikeFox wrote on September 16th, 2010
  28. My 20% is my dessert:
    half a banana
    1 tbsp organic peanut butter
    a drizzle of honey

    Mix all together in a bowl and enjoy.
    (can substitute raisins when bananas are gone)

    Jim Meyer wrote on September 16th, 2010
  29. I ate an entire jar of almond butter (about 4,000 calories). Almond butter is my Kryptonite.

    busymom wrote on September 16th, 2010
  30. My yummy sweeet love is homemade coconut oil fudge made with coco oil and dark chocolate with lots of walnuts and cranberries and shredded coconut!

    Marie S. wrote on September 16th, 2010
  31. My 20% changes, mostly depending on the season. Since fall is coming, it’s very quickly changing into mulled cider with spiced rum. A cup of mulled cider, the fire pit, maybe a s’more every now and then.. now that is autumn!

    Paul wrote on September 16th, 2010
  32. Big, warm, chewy cookies. Usually peanut butter, molasses, or chocolate chip. When I come across this beautiful confection I have to try it. I enjoy it’s perfectness when it melts in my mouth, then I remember what a disgusting taste the sugar leaves in my mouth and I move on!

    Andrea wrote on September 16th, 2010
  33. I have no problem whatsoever giving up bread, pasta, rice, cereal, juice, corn, and potatoes. What really gets me is the sweets…and there’s a laundry list of them. At the top of that list is ice cream. Fortunately, I have the ability to have one oreo cookie and call it quits, or a couple of spoonfulls of ice cream on my way out the door in the morning. I think the sweet treats will always be part of my life, I just need to keep the portions in check :)

    maureen wrote on September 16th, 2010
  34. Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family: Last year I gave myself free reign for these two days. I stuffed myself with all the homemade pierogies, halushki, battered and fried fish, pies, cookies, and Mom’s mashed potatoes as I could hold. What I didn’t expect: the two-week cold/flu that ensued after I totally wrecked my immune system. This year I’m still giving in, but I’ll probably keep it to 2 pierogies instead of 16.

    Kristin J wrote on September 16th, 2010
  35. Beer! DARK chocolate! Nachos!

    Kelle wrote on September 16th, 2010
  36. My 20% usually consist of two things, pizza and beer.

    Living in the NY metro area offers a multitude of choices! My favorite is Rose’s pizza in Garield NJ or Lodi Pizza. They both have very thin crusts and usually get a meat topping so I can rationalize with myself that it is less dough than othe pizzas and plenty of real mozzarella.

    As for beer, stronger and the darker the better! I usually drink dark German brews.

    Christian wrote on September 16th, 2010
  37. Well my 80 is good ole tuna I love fish, even from the can if I can’t get fresh. My 20 is cheese queso from a local mexican restaurant called Ted’s Es Condio, it is amazing!
    Thank you Mark for all the help going Primal and for these awesome months of contests, challenges, and give aways!

    Chris Lowrey wrote on September 16th, 2010
  38. Well my 80 is good ole tuna I love fish, even from the can if I can’t get fresh. My 20 is cheese queso from a local mexican restaurant called Ted’s Es Condio, it is amazing!
    Thank you Mark for all the help going Primal and for these awesome months of contests, challenges, and give aways!

    Chris Lowrey wrote on September 16th, 2010
  39. Chipotle. I always get the fajita bowl with (fajita) veggies, a double helping of steak, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and tomato salsa. I love this meal with a good beer, which usually means an imported beer because most American brands taste like what really strong piss smells like.

    Chase wrote on September 16th, 2010
  40. My “usual” 20% is dark chocolate with Riesling. My usual 20% probably happens 80% of the time.

    But then… once a month or so… there’s sushi. With an order of edamame. And with Plum wine so sweet it would make a kindergartner mistake it for Koolaid. I’m going into a blissful diabetic coma just thinking about it.

    De wrote on September 16th, 2010

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