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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 26, 2013

Midpoint Check-In: The Power of Community (Plus a Simple Comment Contest)

By Mark Sisson
387 Comments

CommunityWith all the action around here, it’s amazing to me we’re already at the midpoint of the 21-Day Challenge! The flood of feedback, comments and contest participation has been awesome, and it’s all a reminder of how great a community this is. It never ceases to amaze me actually just how positive a group we have. Seriously, in all the blogosphere, I’ve never stumbled upon anything like it, and I have people tell me as much all the time. Sure, the growth and engagement that all the web number crunchers measure are stellar, but I’m talking deeper than that. I mean the genuine support that is shared here.

From day one of this blog (hands for how many of you were with us way back in 2006!), it’s been the case. People want to help people. There’s great conversation and healthy challenge on the boards, but the spirit of exchange is impressively constructive. Readers themselves have told me how much that collective energy impacts them – how they’ve tapped into it to get them through rough patches or to help motivate them toward bigger visions of thriving and transformation.

The fact is, it’s all too easy to isolate and live with the misguided view that we have to do it all alone – that we should do it all independently. Sure, maybe some of us can conceivably get to our goal without the support, guidance, sharing, etc. But why would we? What are we trying to prove to ourselves? Some people find it noble, but I think it’s just unnecessary. There’s something small and surrendered about the self-contained approach. The fact is, when you open yourself and your process to others, your view of that process and your vision of what’s possible become more expansive.

Likewise, when you’re feeling discouraged because of a setback or crisis of confidence, others can hold that promise for you. They can be the mirror for you. You may not be able to envision great progress on certain days, but seeing it in others – and imagining it for others as you encourage fellow readers on their paths – makes your own possibility of success feel less remote. A community holds optimism – and wisdom – collectively.

On that note, how goes the journey? What is everyone up to – trying, cooking, lifting, feeling, enjoying etc.? I want to encourage each and every one of you out there to interact today (and every day would be cool, too) on the comment board. In fact, it’s the focus of today’s Contest….

Epic BarsThe Prize:

The EPIC bar is a 100% grass fed animal based protein bar. It’s paleo friendly, gluten free, and low in sugar. The names of their bars alone leave the mouth watering: How about a Bison Bacon Cranberry bar, a Beef Habanero Cherry bar, or a Turkey Almond Cranberry bar? Yes, please. To all three, thank you very much.

Catch EPIC bar on Facebook.

The lucky winner of this contest will win 3 boxes of EPIC bars plus an EPIC bar t-shirt. Retail value: $125.

BONUS: Use the code EPICHEARTSMARK at EpicBar.com and get free shipping on your order. Valid for five days.

The Contest:

Leave a comment on the board about what you’ve struggled with lately in the Challenge, and/or give your advice to others. Share your anecdotes, stumbles, questions and successes. Share the totally random and nagging craving you’re having, the annoying vestiges of low-carb flu, the odd sleep disturbances or dream patterns (not unheard of), the strangest comments you’ve gotten from various people, the hardest part in the process so far.

Likewise, offer your suggestions and encouragement to others. What strategies did you use to kick cravings? How did you motivate yourself to exercise on days you were tired and it was raining buckets outside? What did you tell naysayers that seemed to get them off your back? If another reader has a struggle or a question and you have an answer–go for it! A winner will be randomly selected from all the comments.

So, there you go! Throw in your questions and responses, and see the support of the MDA community at full throttle! I’m looking forward to reading how everyone is doing and what comes of all the great community feedback. Thanks for stopping in today, everybody. Here’s to an even more amazing and successful second half of the Challenge!

The Deadline:

September 26, midnight PDT.

Who is Eligible:

U.S. residents only for this one. Sorry international readers!

How the Winner Will Be Determined:

A winner will be randomly selected.

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387 Comments on "Midpoint Check-In: The Power of Community (Plus a Simple Comment Contest)"

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bjjcaveman
3 years 10 hours ago

One of the coolest benefits of all these contest is being introduced to these great new products!

Going to have to check out those epic bars.

MarieB
MarieB
3 years 5 hours ago

My family has been a challenge, too. When I started primal 2 months ago, my mother was on board, was understanding everything I was sharing with her, losing weight, feeling better and excited about it. My stepfather is not on board, and I catch him putting things like instant gravy mix into our food and trying to pass it off as “spice mix”. When I pointed out that corn starch was the first item on the ingredients list he got angry and mother told me to stop being “difficult”.

Sonya
Sonya
2 years 11 months ago

That stinks, Marie. Since your mom was on board and understanding can you get her to help rid the kitchen of anything that y’all shouldn’t be eating? That way your stepfather won’t have anything in the house he can use to sabotage your efforts?

Matt
2 years 11 months ago

I share your difficulty. I go in and out of Paleo phases and my wife thinks I’m crazy. She gets frustrated at the fact that I’m “giving up so much goodness” in the form of carbs.

Crystal
3 years 5 hours ago
I found MDA about 1.5 years ago, and it changed everything for me. After making changes to my diet, sleep habits, and attempting more play, my life has become more serene, healthy, and above all less stressful. Like so many others here I struggle watching my family essentially crash and burn. My parents are in their mid-50’s both struggling with extra weight. I can see all the side effects of system wide inflammation in both of them, and while they did make the attempt at primal eating they were unable to stick with it. I wish I could be there… Read more »
Jennifer
2 years 11 months ago

What is this Paleo certification course you speak of? Did I miss something??

Dr Jason Bussanich, DC
3 years 4 hours ago

I sell EPIC bars in my office. I eat them all the time. They are excellent. My only issue is I wish they had MORE than 12 g of fat. Lol. The Bison is the best IMO, but everyone seems to like different ones for different reasons.

Erin
Erin
2 years 11 months ago

Melt some butter and pour it over them

trackback

[…] With all the action around here, it’s amazing to me we’re already at the midpoint of the <a class="colorbox" title="The 2011 …read more […]

aub
aub
3 years 9 hours ago

The hardest part about eating primal-y for me is the fact that I can’t really share it with my family. The logic behind it is sound, but to try and proselytize it makes me feel and appear pretentious and overbearing to people who don’t really want to change their lifestyle much. What sucks is that my family are unhealthy, and this will have an impact on their lives in the long run. This is a conflict that I can’t really resolve, except to hope that it all works out for everyone.

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 9 hours ago

Except it doesn’t really work out, they get sicker and you don’t. Even sharing the info won’t matter unless they want to change (which you said they don’t). Sometimes I try to fight the situation and sometimes I try to come to peace with it but it is difficult to see people you love in a slow (or sometimes fast) decline.

ninjainshadows
ninjainshadows
3 years 8 hours ago

Yes, I’m in the same boat. It’s true: You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In the mean time, I will keep showing the water to the horse so to speak, (In a kind, humble way) and rest easy knowing I let them know. The decision is each individual’s responsibility. (Though with a blog like this, once said decision is made you are definitely not alone! 🙂

David
David
3 years 7 hours ago
That is a challenge, and in my experience (almost a year primal) it doesn’t go away. You want to help, but you don’t want to preach. The closer the people are to you the harder it is to watch them do nothing. My step father has already had a heart attack and is now a type II diabetic. I desperately want to help but all I can do is be there when he is willing to change- people hate being preached to, even if they need it. As for talking about it to folks I’m not close to, I usually… Read more »
Josh
Josh
3 years 5 hours ago

The biggest advice that someone gave me about going primal is don’t be an A** hole. If you go out to a party, event, or friends house and they have non primal food, just eat small portions. Don’t be one of those guys that say “I cant eat that” or “I don’t eat that”. I have a couple vegan friends and it is very difficult to cook for them. One meal is not going to kill you or set you back that much.

tatiana
tatiana
2 years 11 months ago

I hear you. “I can’t eat that” is annoying. But I think the better way to not be an A**hole is to be okay with not eating, or bring something to share that you can eat. Its a slippery slope to eat small portions of things that aren’t healthy. If you go out a lot, its not just one meal–its several meals. And then you’re back to SAD pretty quickly…

Scott UK
Scott UK
2 years 11 months ago

Hmmm… would you do the same if you were a vegetarian? Just eat a little bit of meat?

I think this goes both ways. When I have eaten “just a little bit”, it sends a message that you’re not that serious / bothered about it; and next time they just roll out the pasta. On the occasions when I have, politely, stuck to my guns, next time they make the effort to be a better host.

After all, it’s not you are who on the diet (we just eat real food); they are on the SAD.

Stella
Stella
2 years 11 months ago
Exactly – there is a slippery slope – especially in family and friends perceptions. I can imagine that mine would say things like – well you ate ____ (fill in the food – dairy, grains, sugar, etc) at that party, why not at home or why not at my house? or why not at Thanksgiving dinner? They (and I) do better with firm lines – even at parties. I bring food that I can eat to events and don’t expect others to feed me. People have been surprisingly understanding about it, and because I am consistent (even on vacation and… Read more »
James
James
3 years 4 hours ago
my grandfather is a type two diabetic and he has changed decently. I finally convinced him by showing him MDA articles relevant to diabetes and asking him to do the diet for just three weeks. At the the end, he checked his blood sugar and was impressed, and I had only really gotten him to half ass it. I think asking them to try it for a specific amount of time, and then you’ll never bother them about it again is the best deal, because they think of how happy they will be to stop hearing it. then they feel… Read more »
Michelle the Brit
Michelle the Brit
2 years 11 months ago
Here’s something I’ve found useful in engaging with others about the primal way – don’t start by telling them what they have to give up or deny themselves, instead focus on what they’ll be giving to themselves, like the gift of more energy . . . better sleep. . . more receptive tastebuds . . .time to play . . . less stress . . . overall feeling of well-being . . . increased libido (ahem, certainly one of the best outcomes of about 6 months on the primal path for this perimenopausal chick! I totally got my bloke on… Read more »
Nack
Nack
3 years 6 hours ago

Maybe they’ll end up sick enough to want to change their diets. If that ever happens you will be a wonderful resource for them, and there will be much opportunity for you to help. Until that day (if that day comes) let Love guide your desires rather than fear.
You know, instead of worrying about them eating big macs, offer to make dinner for them now and again, promising a tasty Primal dish. And if they want to eat frozen garlic bread with your spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs? Let ’em. Love ’em. Hell, eat a slice yourself.

Jeff
Jeff
3 years 6 hours ago
You couldn’t have said it better :D. You would want nothing more but to see your family become healthier and happier through Primal living, but there always seems to be an invisible ego barrier(sometimes rather large, yet still invisible). If I could say anything to you, I would have to tell you to just stay strong. People will notice, appreciate, and respect your consistency with Primal living and they may in fact be indirectly affected by it. My Dad was always skeptical about my eating and health habits. But I think he saw the change in my life and the… Read more »
Josh
Josh
3 years 4 hours ago
Great post and I would have to agree. I have already seen a notice difference and exited to see what the next few months bring. Along that note, I have worked really hard to lose weight and get healthier and am finally doing it by going primal. My sister on the other hand, has gone the other extreme and opted in for a gastric removal (not really sure what it is called). She has lost weight but now has a 1/3 of her original stomach. I hope my example will rub off on the remainder of my family so they… Read more »
Erin
Erin
2 years 11 months ago

I really wish people would stop agreeing to those types of elective surgeries and docs would stop performing them. They do more harm than good. Totally ineffective! You still won’t be able to keep the weight off if you are still eating crap. The only thing those surgeries do is keep you from eating large amounts of food in one sitting. But that doesn’t mean you will be hungry again an hour later.

Erin
Erin
2 years 11 months ago

*won’t be hungry again

2Rae
2Rae
2 years 11 months ago
I have seen some people who have the surgery return being overweight. If you don’t change what goes in, there isn’t much sense to make your stomach smaller, you will still get heavy, it’ll just take more work since you have to eat in little meals every hour. I tell people I eat mostly good fat and meat and veggies. If they like how that sounds they ask more questions. I stress that the only fats I eat are the healthy ones like GF butter, lard, coconut oil. I found that a lot of people who are overweight like the… Read more »
Maureen
Maureen
3 years 6 hours ago
I think many of us struggle with this same issue. For me, I’ll be coming up on 5 years primal in January. My family knows what I eat and don’t eat, but they’ll be damned if they go against conventional wisdom and follow suit. It’s tough watching them struggle with health issues and not see the correlation between that and their diet…or stress level, for that matter. I’ve tried to get them to change, but ultimately that change is not up to me. I’ve told myself many, many, many times that I just need to enjoy every bit of them… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
3 years 5 hours ago

Agreed – not being able to convince others in my family and friend circles has been the hardest part for me. I’m 3 years primal, and I’ve had to learn to zip my lip in many social situations. Still, I’m always watchful for that right moment!

Second hardest is not having someone close who is “all-in” and as enthusiastic as me. It would be nice to be able to speak freely and share information regularly on the subject.

Meg
Meg
2 years 11 months ago

AUB, it is difficult to share with family sometimes but you must let them find their own way. You can continue to share the info and they will notice the changes in you ~ you will be the visible example. Also, adopt a new “family” within the primal community so that you have someone to share your healthy lifestyle. Don’t let your family cause you to fall back on your own progress. Keep smiling! 🙂

Kara
Kara
3 years 9 hours ago

My biggest challenge during this challenge is eating liver….I tried making ramaki the other night and loved the bacon, water chestnuts and pineapple but the liver was just not easy for me to swallow, literally. Any other recipes, suggestions,please?

gardengal
gardengal
3 years 8 hours ago

Kara, my neighbor, who is also conveniently primal and has been for a while, give me an idea when I had the same complaint. She suggested mixing ground liver with grassfed hamburger and cooking it up as a patty. I thought this made sense. Haven’t tried it, but maybe wrapped in a piece of nitrate free bacon, it would be pretty darn palatable.

His Dudeness
His Dudeness
3 years 6 hours ago

If you can find lamb liver, give it a try. I had some last night with the onion gravy form the primal sauces and seasonings book. It was great – not really livery like beef liver can be. I also let the pieces of liver sit in a bowl with lemon juice for a half hour before cooking.

Also, be careful not to overcook the liver. This leads to the off tastes most people associate with liver.

Mark
Mark
3 years 6 hours ago

For chicken livers I like to finish them with a pat of butter, and season them with granulated or chopped fresh garlic, Thyme and Sage. This adds some great flavors.

Amanda
Amanda
3 years 6 hours ago

This is great, I’ve used it for both meatballs and patties http://www.primalpalate.com/recipe/beef-liver-and-onion-meatballs/

Sharon
Sharon
3 years 5 hours ago
The only way I can eat it is making it into liver pate. If you can get someone else to make it, all the better. Then spread the pate on whatever or eat it with eggs or whatever else you can imagine. I top the pate with hot sauce right before I eat it. Easy to find recipes on the web. Just enter Primal liver pate and some recipes will come up. Chicken liver is milder than beef but either works. Don’t over cook the liver and soaking the beef liver in milk (not sure how long) is supposed to… Read more »
Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 5 hours ago
I’m not a fan of the texture or flavor of beef liver myself. My friend cooked some liver and onions and I tried it because it quite literally had been decades since the last time I had tried. Same effect. So I added a fair amount of feta cheese. Now of course, the choice to do this all depends on your desire to eliminate/reduce dairy or to restrict dairy to certain types, etc. However, my lesson was that as strongly as liver is flavored, having something equally potent in flavor seemed to be a great counter. It turned out that… Read more »
Laura
Laura
3 years 3 hours ago

I grind up the liver and mix it with hamburger at a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio. Then, I fry it up and put it in spaghetti sauce. The spaghetti sauce camouflages the taste of the liver. For a truly primal spaghetti, use zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) or spaghetti squash noodles instead of pasta. Yum!

Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 1 hour ago

I like that idea!

Sam
Sam
2 years 11 months ago
My liver recipe that makes my eyes roll to the back of my head: Slowly sautee white onion, sage, butter until sweet and sticky. Add chopped dried cranberries, s&p, and a hearty squeeze of orange juice. Add a good sploosh of sweet balsamic and scrape up all the sticky bits. Set aside. Put the pan at med-high, shove another knob of butter in. Sautee liver slices ’til they look like a beautiful steak (golden brown with a few dark edges). Rest (the liver). Deglaze with water and pour over resting liver. More butter. Sautee chopped almonds for a few seconds… Read more »
Goldie
Goldie
3 years 9 hours ago

I’m doing a Whole 30 at the same time as this 21-Day Challenge. I find it easier to refuse the “20-percent” just by being committed to the Whole 30. When I have to explain my “no thanks” to non-paleo people, I just tell them I’m in a nutrition contest. If they’re interested, I’ll tell them more. I found that just saying “I’m in a contest” stops the oh-just-one or it-won’t-hurt-you comments. I actually had a coworker bring me a cucumber from her garden on the day she also brought a box of doughnuts to share!

Carrie
3 years 7 hours ago
I totally agree with you!! Having a “no cheat” mentality is easier for me than trying to do an 80/20 split. That’s really kind of your coworker! I went to a friend’s mom’s house for lunch the other day, and my friend just told her “Carrie only eats meats and veggies”… so she made grilled chicken, a big salad (and a bottle of olive oil on the side), and sides of cooked carrots and asparagus. It was perfect! I think people are generally respectful and helpful when you tell them you’re doing your best to eat well.
CaveWoman
CaveWoman
3 years 6 hours ago
I think I need to do this, too! I am struggling with sugar cravings. I have been mostly primal for a while and find it easy to avoid grains, but my 20% is usually pure sugar and it is far too easy for it to grow beyond 20%. Giving it up entirely for a while will help me re-set those sugar receptors and push me back towards fat-burning. I work at home so I don’t usually have to worry about my food choices, and while the CaveMan is anything but primal, he does most of the cooking and is totally… Read more »
Josh
Josh
3 years 4 hours ago

My favorite recipes for my sugar crazing or paleo date balls. There are a lot of varieties out there but they really do get you that sugar “high” naturally. Add protein powder to the mix and now they are packed with protein.

MarieB
MarieB
3 years 5 hours ago

What a fantastic idea!

Linda Sand
Linda Sand
3 years 3 hours ago

“I just tell them I’m in a nutrition contest.”

I am totally stealing this line. Thanks.

Deborah Goodman
Deborah Goodman
3 years 9 hours ago

One of the greatest and strangest things I’ve noticed since I started this contest is my ability to dream during sleep. A couple of nights ago, I had a dream about a large, gopher-like animal with a bright, colorful feather tail. It was awesome! I am so thankful for Mark and this Web site; they have caused me to feel more hope than I have felt in a very long time. Thank you!

peter
peter
3 years 9 hours ago

Just LOL’ed. That’s a pretty primal dream – I picture you creeping through the woods, following said creature with a giant spear!

ninjainshadows
ninjainshadows
3 years 8 hours ago

YES YES YES totally. Grok on!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 hours ago

That mythical creature sounds delicious.

Lucy
Lucy
3 years 9 hours ago

I have been waking up in the middle of the night for days straight craving a big bowl of vanilla ice cream. Yesterday I found a Paleo recipe for coconut milk ice cream, which I am making ASAP!!!! Ice cream has been my lifelong struggle!

Sara
Sara
3 years 8 hours ago

I totally agree! Ice cream is my main craving/struggle as well. I wish I could offer some advice as to how I get through this craving, but it is sticking with me and I’ve been Primal for over a year. Hope the coconut milk ice cream works!

Primalchef
Primalchef
3 years 8 hours ago

Ice cream was always my struggle. Coconut milk ice cream is good, but frozen banana ice cream is better!! All sugars are natural from the banana. You still can’t gorge on it but it is a great treat to take the edge off the craving.

MarieB
MarieB
3 years 5 hours ago
I’ve figured out a pretty good substitute: I use some unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 bananas (the green ones seem to give the finished product less banana flavor), instant coffee (masks the bananas and I also like coffee ice cream, but you could also add raspberries, cherries or anything else instead of coffee.), and whole milk. Blend these up and taste every once in a while. If its too banana-y, add more coffee. Too thick, add more milk, etc. Then pour it into a tupperware container. I also chop up some nuts and some 85% dark chocolate and stir into the… Read more »
Sharon
Sharon
3 years 5 hours ago

That sounds really good. Have you tried slicing and freezing the bananas, then blending the ingredients? Adding the nuts and chocolate bits at the end. If you try this, I don’t think you will need to add much milk.

MarieB
MarieB
3 years 3 hours ago

I did freeze the bananas the first time, but stopped because I always forget to put them in the freezer! Will give it another go and without the milk! Thanks!

Cheryl
Cheryl
3 years 3 hours ago

I recently found a recipe for carrot ice cream, made with coconut milk. Still gotta try it, but it looks really good!

Shelby
Shelby
3 years 9 hours ago
Well, so far so good. Sort of. I came down with an awful cold yesterday thanks to my son’s mutant preschool germs. My first thought was “Oh great, now I am going to blow it big time.” Usually when I am sick, I want to eat bread, cakes, and burritos. So far, I have been able to resist (it has been a HUGE challenge)! I have been trying to stick to the 21-Day Challenge and not cheat, and that has motivated me to stay away from the junk food. Also, I usually suffer from headaches on a daily basis, but… Read more »
Crystal
3 years 5 hours ago

When I head out on road trips- I stock the cooler with sliced deli meat and carrots, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. I roll raw veggies in deli meat for snacks. If I’m eating out I can usually find something on the menu that’s a better bad choice – unless there’s a Jason’s Deli around…

Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 4 hours ago
I agree with Crystal. I live in the Phoenix area and worked outdoors all summer. If you’re in your car, you can easily pack a cooler with some raw veggies, maybe a salad from any takeout place (which are among the better of the bad options at any fast food or takeout place – watch the dressings, maybe pack your own), and hard-boiled eggs, lunch meats. Nuts, seeds, and jerk work well, too. Mark Sisson posted on this once and it includes some links for making your own snacks! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/eating-healthy-food-travel/#axzz2g2B4ddEE Canned seafood is also great. Just have some forks handy… Read more »
Gina
Gina
3 years 21 seconds ago

Almond or other nut butter is good too, and you don’t have to refrigerate it. Date-cashew balls are good for sweet cravings. Mustard, homemade mayo, olives, and pickles.

Big C
Big C
3 years 9 hours ago

I really don’t have many cravings. Switching to a paleo diet has, actually, been quite easy for me. I am losing weight, and body fat, while gaining strength and muscle mass. My only problem is with sleep. No matter which “hack” (tea, reading, melatonin supplements,brief hot showers, pitch black room, etc.) I try, I just cannot fall asleep until past midnight. I’m going to keep looking for more tricks, and if anyone has any recommendations I gladly welcome them. Thanks!

Grok on!

Rob
3 years 9 hours ago

Do you have the problem of not being able to fall asleep because your mind won’t quiet down? That’s been one of my issues in the past. I found guided meditations worked very well for this, at least for a while. Might be something good to try if you haven’t yet.

Big C
Big C
3 years 6 hours ago

Yes! Can’t quiet down my mind. I have tried guided meditation and didn’t work. Maybe I can try harder to focus?

Paleo-curious
3 years 4 hours ago

I have had this problem for most of my life. The thing I’ve found most helpful is turning off all lights & listening to random educational podcasts or iTunesU. For me, that takes my mind off my obsessive thoughts much better than most guided meditations, which I sometimes find downright irritating! The trick is to find a subject that interests you just enough to keep your attention off your demanding thoughts, without being riveting to the point that it keeps you awake. Keep it just loud enough to hear.

Also, magnesium before bed really does help me as well.

Paleo-curious
3 years 4 hours ago

I realize that this solution doesn’t sound very primal on the surface, but in my mind it’s like being a child again, with a parent telling me a story before bedtime! I know story-telling has been around for a LONG time, & personally I find it amazingly soothing.

Rob
2 years 11 months ago

It seemed to work well for me but I was also trying to cultivate more mindfulness in other ways at the same time (attempting meditation during the day – just focusing on my breath, mindful eating, etc.). So that could maybe explain why the guided meditations worked well for me from the start.

My wife falls asleep listening to audio books. That could be another thing to try, it seems like a fiction book that you’ve already read before might work well.

2Rae
2Rae
2 years 11 months ago
I have the over active mind issue as well. What helps me is to make sure I have pro-biotic in my diet. I buy different ones to make sure they cover whatever I may need. Then stay away from anything that will add to the yeast growth – like carbs in the form of sugar, wine, vinegar – which may help you calm down at first but the body will over compensate for that calming effect and bing, your eyes open after a couple hours of blissful sleep to only start again with the unending movie being played in your… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 hours ago

Are you ingesting any stimulants like caffeine? Coffee is obvious. Chocolate has some. If so, eliminate them. If not, well, you could try taking a magnesium supplement and 1mg of melatonin after a hot bath before bedtime.

Big C
Big C
3 years 6 hours ago

I only drink coffee (mild) early in the AM. I don’t eat chocolate that often. I have tried melatonin, but not mg. I will look into it. Thanks!

Sharyn
Sharyn
3 years 4 hours ago

A multi-B vitamin supplement might also help, especially if you have a lot of stress or busyness in your life. Good luck!

lockard
lockard
3 years 8 hours ago

htp-5 helped me in college 2 of those guys got me sleeping (i used to sit in my lobby till 6am because i couldnt fall asleep and didnt want to bug my roommate – took 2 htp-5 pills and in a lil bit slept great for 6-7 hours

lockard
lockard
3 years 8 hours ago

5-Hydroxytryptophan, also known as oxitriptan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan.

Big C
Big C
3 years 6 hours ago

I had never heard of it. I will look into it as well.
thanks!

Paras
Paras
3 years 6 hours ago

I recommend moderate exercise if you’re not getting enough. That and a cold (cool) shower has really helped my body wind down at night. As for my mind, some basic math like 2×2 =; 4×4=16 and so on… helps divert my mind longs enough to doze off.

Josh
Josh
3 years 4 hours ago

Live in Arizona where the cold water is hotter than your hot water. I turn my water heater on low during the summer because it is useless. In the winter, cold showers really do help. At the end of my shower, I do a 30 second hot, then switch it to 30 seconds cold, and repeat a couple times. This improves your circulation and rumor has it that it is better for your body.

Erok
Erok
3 years 6 hours ago

+1 for exercise. I had all kinds of trouble getting enough sleep until I committed to a consistent lifting program.

Also, try not to read any George RR Martin right before bedtime. The ‘just one more chapter’ affliction rears its ugly, sleep-deprived head.

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 6 hours ago
For me, falling asleep earlier is tough because of a lifetime of building the habit of going to bed late. Or if I fall asleep before 11pm, I wake up a couple of hours later. One thing that usually helps is to be strict about waking up and getting out of bed early – like 6 or 6:30am. If I do that a few days in a row (especially over a weekend), generally I’m tired enough at night that I’ll fall asleep by 10:30 and sleep through the night. I always need an hour or so of downtime to myself… Read more »
Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 1 hour ago

Just be sure solitaire isn’t on your computer so the blue light isn’t suppressing your melatonin production!

MFG
MFG
3 years 5 hours ago
Could be cortisol dysregulation. I am working with a naturopath now to get it controlled. Allot of my 20% (of 80-20%) was given to cortisol-raising foods, like lots of black coffee, and no breakfast, wine every night. Also, night-owl habits, and intermittant fasting. My naturopath says he has never met a woman yet who did well with intermittant fasting (There are probably some who do well). You might lose some weight, but it raises cortisol and can dysregulate hormones. I didn’t even lose much weight, 2 lbs. over 6 months. But my abdominal fat stays put, religiously…..cortisol. Robb Wolf has… Read more »
BarefootBrad
BarefootBrad
2 years 11 months ago
I COMPLETELY understand the sleep issues, and it’s one of the most frustrating problems. As somebody who has tried about everything under the sun (or moon) to find ways to sleep, the one “trick” I’ve used the last 3 nights that has resulted in 7+ straight hours of sleep for me, which is unheard of, is about 2 hours before I go to bed, I’ve been having a glass of red wine, sitting in a room with dim lights and listening to jazz music. Yes, I know how all of that sounds, and there is some cheating on the 21… Read more »
Steve
Steve
3 years 9 hours ago

The code for free shipping is not working. I have 3 sample packs in my cart costing over $25.

The Beckster
The Beckster
3 years 9 hours ago

My dreams haven’t changed much since going primal. I still have the dream that I show up to school naked. Weird.

One of the things that helps me stay on track is planning my meals. That has been the BEST way to stay on track. I’m down 122 lbs with about 80 to go. It works!!!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 hours ago

The question is: In your dream do you look good naked? hahaha

The Beckster
The Beckster
3 years 8 hours ago

Unfortunately, no. A few more months of primal living and I’ll start enjoying those dreams.

Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 1 hour ago

Good for you!!

The Beckster
The Beckster
3 years 53 minutes ago
Something that helped me when I started my primal journey last year was having “to go” meals. Every day for breakfast I eat a turkey burger and green veggie with a couple tablespoons of butter. Lunch is a Big A$$ salad with either rotisserie chicken or steak and homemade balsamic vinegarette. I use little 1/2 cup containers for my dressing. On Sunday night I line them up and to each I add 2 T of EVOO, 1 T of Ariston Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tsp of minced garlic, an inch of basil from the tube, a tsp of dried oregano, and… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
2 years 11 months ago

Wow, nice habits. Can I move into your house and make you my honorary mom?

Sriram
Sriram
3 years 9 hours ago
I biggest challenge is picking food while cooking. I am disciplined for whole day at work, have a hearty breakfast, then nice big lunch, fruit or primal snack in the evening but whenever I am cooking in the evening, I go crazy, I usually cook all three meals, tonight’s dinner, next day’s breakfast, lunch, snacks. I keep picking up and eating like a continuous feed. If I am making a meat stew, I’ll taste it for seasonings but this tasting leads to eating atleast 2-3 oz of meat before even serving dinner, if I am chopping nuts or dates, I’ll… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
3 years 9 hours ago

One way for me is to NOT start tasting, however, if it’s been a life habit it might take more. If I don’t want to eat I brush my teeth and drink mint tea. That way it’s enjoyable to have that in my mouth and I don’t want to mess it up with other flavors. (kind of like chewing gum but without the “sugar free” junk in it)

Darcie
Darcie
3 years 5 hours ago

I find that drinking a big glass of water helps–it makes me feel fuller when I’m cooking.

Sharon
Sharon
3 years 5 hours ago

Sounds to me like you have had your meal by the time dinner is ready. Maybe you should just count that as dinner and drink water or tea while everyone else is eating. Who says you need to eat another dinner just because everyone else is eating? Count it as a social occasion.

Kevin Goldman
Kevin Goldman
3 years 1 hour ago

Well are you gaining additional, unwanted “fat” weight? If you’re early meals are pretty hearty but you’re still hungry enough to chow down this much while preparing the rest, could it be your norm? Interesting dilemma. I eat pretty hearty but it is beginning to show one of my goals is to eat less overall and make more of it healthy fats and protein.

Sriram
Sriram
2 years 11 months ago
Yes! I almost have a meal during my cooking spree. I am not gaining weight but definitely have trouble losing last 10 lbs for more than 2 years due to my this eating habit. I weight train 2 times a week and walk everyday for 20-30 mins. I can easily IF in the morning and not eat anything at work whole day. They have all sort of donuts, cakes cookies in office and I never care for them. I eat lot of fat and protein and veggies for my breakfast and lunch, also some starch. Its only in the evenings… Read more »
Paleo-curious
2 years 11 months ago

Do you get enough sleep? Is your workday very stressful? If you’re dead tired or blown out by stress by the end of the day it’s SO much harder to resist cravings.

Maura P.
Maura P.
3 years 9 hours ago
Biggest hurdle on the 21-day challenge: uncontrollable forces. Just bought brand new Vibrams for getting in your “move slowly”? Oh good, have some shin splints with those from running in clunky sandals the day before. Finally fixed those shin splints and finished up a great sprint workout? Let’s just break your toe on your non-Primal family members’ 12-count box of diet soda (I knew that stuff was bad for you!). But the challenge isn’t over, and no stopping yet! More pushups and planks until the feet heal, adjust the carbs a little lower to compensate, and just enjoy the extra… Read more »
Melissa
Melissa
3 years 9 hours ago
This has got to be one of the most, if not the most, positive groups of people on the internet. Do you ever read the comments on news sites??? Those people are just miserable. I really believe this kind of healthy lifestyle makes people more positive and optomistic. If you are feeling good and healthy, you just naturally spread the good feelings on comment boards and in all of your other daily interactions. I encourage everyone thinking about trying this lifestyle out to do it! Give it a honest hard as you can shot, stick with it and never look… Read more »
Amber
Amber
3 years 8 hours ago

Yes, indeed! 🙂

ninjainshadows
ninjainshadows
3 years 8 hours ago

word

Primal-Loe
Primal-Loe
3 years 8 hours ago

I agree Melissa 🙂 How can anyone be miserable when your lifestyle includes eating more bacon!

I have been a mentor to several people over the last year that have changed their lifestyle’s to being more primal and the first comments I get are usually “I feel so good!”. The hardest part about making the change is that first step, but once your there it’s a great place to be.

I feel good!!! and I knew that I would!

Josh
Josh
3 years 4 hours ago

I have to cook my breakfast the night prior because I used to cook bacon but the smell would wake up my 3 year old who would then wake up the wife. That normally wouldn’t be a problem but I am up around 430 5 ish. I do love bacon.

2Rae
2Rae
2 years 11 months ago

I try to fry up all the bacon in the big pack in one session, put it in a container so my husband can just take out what he needs/wants in the morning. My goal is to get my little guy grown up enough to do it instead of me, too much standing around waiting the bacon to fry. I’m not so good at watching grass grow either.

brian
brian
3 years 7 hours ago

second that

Sonya
Sonya
2 years 11 months ago

Use the oven for the bacon! You can crank through a package of bacon in 30 minutes using a pan and the oven on 400 degrees. No muss, no fuss and no dodging grease pops.

2Rae
2Rae
2 years 11 months ago

you use the broiler pan then? Hmmmmmmmm may have to get one of those. Thanks!

Sonya
Sonya
2 years 11 months ago

I just use a 9×11 dish lined with aluminum foil. 🙂 It takes about 15 minutes for each batch to crisp up. I leave one batch floppy for reheating in the microwave when I’m ready to eat over the next few days.

Shireen
Shireen
3 years 9 hours ago
I am loving the Primal Diet. For the past three years I have been struggling with hip joint pain for no reason. I’m only 26 and couldn’t figure out why I had “grandma hips” before I was old enough to have cheaper car insurance. The hardest part of the contest (besides having four days of a coherent thought carb-flu) is finding places to eat when I am too lazy or busy to cook. I’m lucky enough to live in San Diego near a True Food Kitchen. That has been a lifesaver. They ahve many gluten free options. I’ve also recently… Read more »
peter
peter
3 years 8 hours ago
Let’s face it – one of the biggest struggles when trying to eat primal is the convenience factor. I’m happy to prepare 90% of my own food, but there will always be times when you’re on the go and there simply isn’t time to cook a perfectly primal meal. The most effective tip I can offer that has saved my ass time & time again when trying to eat on the go is that most cities have some form of gourmet grocery store with a “Big Ass Salad” bar. If I’m driving around town and feeling hungry, I stop by… Read more »
Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 6 hours ago
I do the same thing. There’s a grocery chain called Sprouts in the southwest, so I’ll go there for lunch and get a 1/4 lb. of deli roast beef (since it’s the most minimally processed deli meat), an avocado and some nuts from the bulk bin. Sometimes I’ll get a single-serving container of whole-fat plain Greek yogurt or a banana, or maybe a couple of loose carrots. It’s almost impossible to go to a restaurant and get a quick, cheap lunch that’s not loaded with wheat or other carbs, but I can get a filling lunch for just a few… Read more »
Linda Sand
Linda Sand
3 years 2 hours ago

That sounded so good I Googled them. You can buy on-line at http://www.continentalsausage.com.

Wilma Flintstone
Wilma Flintstone
3 years 3 hours ago

Vital Choice makes excellent canned salmon (and other products, too) and their cans are BPA-free, though not certified as such because “We have decided not to claim that our can linings are “BPA-Free” until we find a lab that can reliably test the linings … a search that so far has been fruitless.”

Very delicious stuff!

http://www.vitalchoice.com/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=33&idcategory=222

And, no, I am not a shill for the company.

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
2 years 11 months ago

I had bi-lateral hip bursitis before going paleo two-and-a-half years ago. Along with painful bunions. They are both inflammatory conditions. Shortly after going paleo I stopped having any pain from either condition.

You should cut out the wheat entirely and see what happens.

Ware
3 years 9 hours ago

I, too, have noticed increased dream activity. I used to never remember my dreams at all, but every time I go 100% (previous challenges, correcting course, or my initial foray into the paleo-sphere), I all of a sudden start having and remembering dreams. Fun stuff!

I’ve found it easiest to answer questions about my diet/lifestyle by emphasizing what I DO eat. It doesn’t sound restrictive to people when they hear an average week’s worth of meals.

Rebeccah
Rebeccah
3 years 9 hours ago

The hardest part about going primal for me is my office. I have a reputation for having a sweet tooth (put me within 10 yards of chocolate and I would find it and devour it) so any time someone has a treat they try to give me some. It’s meant with the best of intentions but its difficult to keep saying “no, I don’t eat that anymore”. I tried just taking some to dispose of later but it isn’t ideal.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 8 hours ago

Make a funny sign or two: “Don’t feed the Rebeccah” or “Bacon treats only”

Cherie
2 years 11 months ago

Bacon treats only! Hahaha!
I agree, bad food at the office is the biggest problem for me. Plus, going out to lunch with coworkers is actually one of the best ways to network and I find that usually even “good” choices at a restaurant and not that good. Bad oils, sugars and who knows what chemicals in sauces… it is difficult.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 11 months ago

Neat blog Cherie.

Marilyn
Marilyn
3 years 7 hours ago

I have the same issue! Day 1 of being Primal and someone walked around the office with a box of donuts. I’m not overweight by any means, so it’s very hard for me to keep saying no and have coworkers understand why. I’ve found that the more you say no, the less they’ll offer you treats in the future. Just remember to say no with a SMILE. 🙂

Josh
Josh
3 years 4 hours ago

I am a cop so imagine working in a police station where donuts are everywhere. Yes cop’s eat donuts but some of us has moved up in life and eat bagels. Now, no donuts or bagels, but the temptation is always there. Stay strong.

Rob
Rob
3 years 9 hours ago

My biggest struggle with my diet continues to be my colitis. I found mark and the primal community searching for a better way to health. Primal eating has kept my colitis in check, but not completely taken care of it. I’ve been experimenting with primal foods and which my gut finds more temperamental than others. It’s an experiment, and I hope to find the best foods for my gut. I’ve recently come upon ginger supplements which has helped my gut as well. Thank you Mark for keeping me out of the hospital with a new way to eat!

Darcie
Darcie
3 years 5 hours ago

Have you looked at “how to fix your gut” on bengreenfieldfitness.com? It looks very thorough.

Ara
Ara
2 years 11 months ago

Checkout this book on digestive help. People swear by it and the author is a self-described paleo dietician.
http://www.amazon.com/Digestive-Health-REAL-Food-ebook/dp/B00EPK7RZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380261356&sr=8-1&keywords=aglaee+jacob

Susan
Susan
2 years 11 months ago

A woman I used to work with got her Crohn’s into remission by using Elaine Gottschall’s Breaking the Vicious Cycle – The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which was recommended by her naturopath.

Fteswim
Fteswim
3 years 9 hours ago

I’ve always had problems with adhering to Paleo when I do 80/20, so this time I went all in. I feel much better and it’s easier to adhere to in a way. Unfortunately I broke my elbow falling during a night run the day after starting this challenge so I’ve been concentrating on other aspects of the primal lifestyle and doing what I can to stay in shape. I think this may be the right focus for me at this time in my life.

Meg
Meg
2 years 11 months ago

Sorry about the elbow. 🙁 I went on a killer hike my fourth day of the challenge and drove a cold into my lungs. I was SO disappointed because my goal was to exercise every day. I have had to let go of the hard hiking, sprinting, even taking a long walk for now. I have stuck to my goal of no beer for the 21 days. 🙂

Jered
Jered
3 years 9 hours ago

I do well eating wise for breakfast & lunch and most of the time dinner, but about 8:00 hits, and I want to snack on ANYTHING. maybe cereal, maybe chips, something, anything.. Any thoughts? Maybe I’ll have to try an EPIC bar 🙂

barb
barb
3 years 9 hours ago

eat more fat!

2Rae
2Rae
3 years 9 hours ago

My thought would be THROW AWAY anything you don’t want to be tempted to eat (and don’t buy more of course). Then boil up some eggs and bacon to keep in the fridge to snack on.

Darcie
Darcie
3 years 5 hours ago

Boiled bacon! ????

Emily
Emily
3 years 8 hours ago

I tend to want to eat in the evenings as well. I’ve found that a piece of fruit and a few slices of really good cheese are usually enough. If not I might have a piece of dark chocolate too! 🙂 someday maybe I won’t feel the need to eat at night, but for now this is SO much better than the cereal binges that I used to have!!

Kerstin
Kerstin
3 years 6 hours ago
I agree with all three of you, and one of my solutions has been to mix coconut oil with a little bit of honey or maple syrup, some vanilla extract, and some cocoa powder – keep it cool in the fridge, and it’s like having fudge, but it provides straight fat…good on several accounts. An alternative is to equal amounts of almond butter and coconut oil. Also delicious…and again, provides the needed fat while satisfying my sweet tooth and snack cravings. It was funny last night, because I thought it was too sweet, while my friend thought it needed much… Read more »
Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 6 hours ago

Celery with almond butter, or a spoonful of coconut oil, or a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes. Also try adding a little more fat to the last meal of your day – might keep the late evening cravings at bay.

Dr. Anthony Gustin
3 years 9 hours ago

I have about 15 patients on this and happy to report 14/15 are seeing fantastic results! However a couple is upset with me due to their pants already not fitting…

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 9 hours ago
my biggest struggle is definitely dealing with an unpredictable schedule at work – several times this week so far I have had to work at times that I wasn’t expecting to, or to attend meetings that I thought would end before lunch, but instead be surprised when I find out (once already in the meeting) that it is going until 2PM and lunch is being brought in. In these cases, my work isn’t really amenable to bringing something else in, or to ask for a substitute (I’m a contractor working out of a client’s office). I realize that just holding… Read more »
Linda Sand
Linda Sand
3 years 2 hours ago

I always keep a snack bag of nuts with me for those times when I need to eat but nothing being offered is acceptable. It doesn’t take a lot of nuts to keep my brain working while satisfying my stomach.

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 years 1 hour ago

Canned fish are awesome for inconvenient times! I joke that canned sardines/ tuna are my fast food! Nuts as Linda said are really good too!

2Rae
2Rae
3 years 9 hours ago

Our 21 day challenge has encouraged me to try to primalize my son’s lunches more, making chicken (he can heat it up at school), fire ants on a log (with dry cranberries instead of raisens) and left over sweet potato fries was what he took today.
My husband has been doing fairly well, bought some ice cream the other day, uh, not on the plan dear.
Doing better in the sleep department for me tho, yay.

Don B
Don B
3 years 9 hours ago
The most effective way I found to get rid of annoying habits and routines was enjoying the curiosity and prospect of starting new habits. For instance: I never made breakfast for work, and while going primal made me get eggs and bacon from the cafeteria instead of pancakes and french toast, I never liked the feeling that I didn’t know what kind of eggs they were using, or that weird spray they used to grease their flat grill. I decided to ignore the easy routine of buying eggs and bacon every morning, and tried to make breakfast for the week… Read more »
Cheryl
Cheryl
3 years 2 hours ago

A friend once told me that in order to get rid of your old habits you must replace them with new ones. Nice going! 🙂

Mary Mac
Mary Mac
3 years 9 hours ago
My most difficult moments are when friends and family roll their eyes when I tell them that, yes, I’m still gluten-free, and that, no, I can’t eat cupcakes. (They look at me like I have an eating disorder.) Last night, I ate out with friends (for my birthday) at a restaurant that does not care a jot about dietary concerns of patrons. I mean, there are no notations on the main menu let alone separate menu, and the waiters look at you like you’re one of those people. When my dinner came with a gravy-type sauce, I just shut up… Read more »
peter
peter
2 years 11 months ago

Yeah, sometimes you just end up eating the Gluten sauce because you’re at a restaurant and you end up with a plate of food and, well, you’re just kind of hungry so you eat it. At least the intention was good – as long as you generally intend to eat primal, you’re most likely to end up in the 80/20 realm of dietary strict-ness, which is way better than whatever conventional way you were probably eating before. So I say, stick with it, and good luck!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 11 months ago

You are probably right. Some gravies start out with a roux- a flour butter mixture. You can ask to see if the gravy can be served in a side bowl.

Question: It was YOUR birthday, you are a concerned eater at a restaurant that does not reflect YOUR food choices. Why eat there? I can understand if it was someone else’s b-day and that person choose to go to a restaurant they liked. But your own B-day? “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

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JED
JED
3 years 9 hours ago
The biggest challenge? — The weather. I live in the UK, as you have probably guessed. 🙂 Today was the first that that rain has not sabotaged my lunchtime walk! — I work in the middle-of-almost-nowhere and regularly go out for a walk at lunchtime. Except when it rains. But on the positive side: during my walk today I discovered that, after a long hiatus, the hens are back at the local farm where I used to get my grass-fed eggs! I mean, the hens are grass-fed and I buy their eggs. And also for the first time, I had… Read more »
Rob
3 years 9 hours ago

My biggest challenge has been finding ways to improve my sleep. For a while I was using guided meditations while falling asleep and they worked really well. They stopped being as effective so I’ve been playing around with different things like reading for longer before bed, making sure the room is completely dark, using ear plugs, etc. Before I was having really vivid dreams each night and I lost that when my sleep took a dive. I’ve slowly been getting more of that back though. I’ve discovered I have extremely weird dreams.

Matthew
Matthew
3 years 9 hours ago

Dinner is my downfall… I am in control of planning and making my breakfast and lunch, because I eat those on my own. Dinner is shared with the family and they aren’t on board with the primal way. So spaghetti, pizza, and other items are requested and made. I try to do my best to minimize those things and fill up on the salad.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 4 hours ago

Make and eat a bigger lunch?

CP
CP
3 years 9 hours ago
I have been working towards eating primal for about a half a year and felt like I was doing really well keeping an 80/20 going this summer. Yet, the results I am seeing in just 10 days of 100% primal eating is awesome. This combined with adding 3 workouts per week have made me feel much fitter! My arch nemesis is popcorn; I love it! My go to when I feel like snacking is to have a glass of water and 10 almonds. I think in the past my snacks have always been larger than what I truly need which… Read more »
Jules
Jules
3 years 9 hours ago
I always crave sushi. With the rice. In soy sauce. Dry sashimi just doesn’t do it for me, although I do use the wheat free tamari instead of regular soy sauce. We also always have cake or snacks in the office. I find that the longer I am paleo the easier it is to resist. And most people know by now that I won’t touch that stuff. A co-worker recently made a passing comment to me when I walked out of the kitchen before the bday cake was served. My response is always that is makes my stomach hurt. When… Read more »
Froggy
Froggy
3 years 9 hours ago
I have actually at moments forgotten I was doing the 21-day challenge. I have finally learned how to use the primal lifestyle to help me live my life, rather than worrying about what I am going eat every second of the day. So, I went to a grocery store to get ingredients for a new primal recipe I wanted to try, and I needed ground turkey. Unfortunately, all they had was the “healthy;” 99% fat free kind. I asked the guy at the meat counter if they had anything more along the 60% line, and he said no. Of course… Read more »
MarieB
MarieB
3 years 4 hours ago

I know we’re supposed to go for lean, but what is the difference between lean and fat free? Just the amount of fat? If so, what is the percentage I should be looking for?

Griffin
Griffin
3 years 4 hours ago

You only really need to worry about lean if you are not eating local/free-range/grass-fed meats, i.e. conventional meats.

Typically “lean” refers to less fat.

“Fat-Free” or “Low-Fat” = Chemical Poo Storm.

Primal Jim101
3 years 4 hours ago

I avoid lean altogether. I like the taste and feeling of satiation I get from fat.

Feather
Feather
2 years 11 months ago

Coulnd’t find coconut flour in the organic supermarket, so I asked. I had looked in the flour section where the chesnut flour, almond flour etc. is. Was told it was in the fiber section (with the brans etc). I glanced to the fruit&veg section, thinking “I thought *that* was the fiber section”.

I regret not saying that out loud!

(on a side note, I think comments like that might have more effect than direct paleo pitches/lectures, because they make people wonder, instead of pull up defences. Curiousity is a great thing)

Victoria b.b.
Victoria b.b.
3 years 9 hours ago

Primal cans be sometimes hard,
When your husband eats oatmeal
And you just want lard.
He’s a fan of whole grain
Thinks you’re being a pain
Walking barefoot, getting sun, eating game.

Amber
Amber
3 years 9 hours ago

New discover: I loathe turnips. Craving: grilled cheese sandwiches and all the deep fried foods at the restaurant where I work. Weirdness: waking up every night at 3 AM. What I’ve been doing to cope: walk the dogs, run, crossfit, read, energy work, and checking here at MDA every day. 🙂

2Rae
2Rae
3 years 6 hours ago

Amber, with the 3AM wake up – try pressure with your thumbs at the top of your rib cage in the middle of your arm pit. Just a bit of that may help you return to sleep, works like magic on me. My Chiro told me that is a pressure point that helps to relase the hormones that should have been released to keep us asleep…. worth a try?

Toni
Toni
3 years 4 hours ago

That’s interesting, I am going to try that pressure point tip myself! I don’t wake up once I am asleep, but I have had trouble falling asleep lately.

Emily
Emily
3 years 9 hours ago

I want to share my small success here: I am 12 weeks postpartum now and feeling better and dropping weight without difficulty! I’m keeping my challenge super simple for now, working on getting enough sleep, moving at least a little each day, and eating properly. I’m betting grok mamas lived similarly. 🙂 thanks for the challenge, Mark, and thanks to this community for the supportive comments!

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 8 hours ago
Maybe it’s because it’s autumn and my body wants to go into hibernation mode, but I’ve been craving carbs more so now than in the previous 18 months or so that I’ve been following a Primal diet. Sandwiches seem to pop up everywere – with crusty bread, molten cheese, stacks of meat (the good stuff, at least!), and creamy sauces. I gave in the other day and had a banh mi sandwich for lunch at a local coffeehouse. It was stuffed with marinated flank steak – from a well-known local rancher at least – and lots of shredded carrot, daikon,… Read more »
Linda Sand
Linda Sand
3 years 2 hours ago

“I gave in the other day and had a banh mi sandwich for lunch at a local coffeehouse. It was stuffed with marinated flank steak – from a well-known local rancher at least – and lots of shredded carrot, daikon, jalepeno, and cilantro. But the bread made me feel bloated and lethargic for the rest of the day.”

If a sandwich shops offers silverware I dump the filling off the bread and eat with a knife and fork.

Jeff
Jeff
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest challenge is finding time for food preparation (and remember to add some extra fat to my meals).

Toni
Toni
3 years 4 hours ago

Ditto on the time thing. I think my plan next week will be to do big batches of cooking over the weekend so I am prepared for the busy week ahead. No excuses!!!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 11 months ago

Butter = extra fat. Butter makes everything taste better.

Don Donofrio
Don Donofrio
2 years 11 months ago

I would concur with that!

Don Donofrio
Don Donofrio
3 years 8 hours ago
The best advice I can give anyone taking the challenge, or continuing to be primal afterward is to not be afraid to ask for what you what. When I started going primal, marrow bones were easy to find but beef knuckles (joint bones) were not. When I started making bone broth I didn’t use beef knuckles because I didn’t have them and my broth was lacking in gelatin. I started ordering them online, but they were expensive and not always available. I started asking about them where I buy my grass-fed meats and they didn’t know what they were but… Read more »
Ted
Ted
3 years 8 hours ago
This year I got my daughter and son-in-law started on Primal. It’s been fun finding new foods like parsnips, rutabaga, acorn squash and brussels sprouts and then introducing them to the kids (the rutabaga got a ‘meh’, the others are regular parts of the menu now). My challenge has been that I’ve kind of hit a wall as far as vegetables go. I eat a lot of variety, prepared in a lot of ways, but suddenly it’s “not that again” when it comes to meal planning and prep. I had a serving of peas the other night just because they… Read more »
Feather
Feather
2 years 11 months ago

different preparation methods (boiling, steaming, grilling, roasting, marinating, pureeing, keeping it raw) can give the same veg a variety of flavours and textures. Different ways to spice, marinate or dress also help.
I love broccoli but can’t eat my way through a plate full of just that, making a mix of 2-3 veggies makes a big difference (flavour, texture and colour) and mix up your mixes as well.
If you’re already doing this, I’m sorry I’m not more helpfull.

Franki
Franki
3 years 8 hours ago
I have been paleo/primal for several years now and have successfully converted my husband and several friends. The hardest part of sustaining my primal lifestyle for me is that I always feel I am the encourager and not the encouraged in the process. This is why I love this blog so much!! I do love being a source of information to my friends and family (don’t get me wrong, I know what I know and I know what I don’t know and what I know is I don’t know everything), but sometimes I think it would be nice to have… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 11 months ago

Start a journal in the forum. Lots more support there.

Cole
Cole
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest challenge is from my wife’s increased dream activity. I finally got her to try Paleo this month. She’s on Day 20 now, and has always talked in her sleep. Now she’s doing it a lot more! Oh well . . . doubt I’d change it even if I could.

Jennie
Jennie
3 years 8 hours ago

I had a rough day at work last week, and as I was leaving, I told my supervisor I was going to skip working out and collapse on the couch after my long day. He responded, “are you sure today is the day for that? I’ve never regretted getting exercise.” Those wise words are a tape I keep playing in my mind, and it really motivates me to stay on track.

As for food, I have discovered a new passion for cooking! The only problem I’ve run into is that eating paleo gets expensive quickly. Any tips for tempering that?

Toni
Toni
3 years 4 hours ago

Love the quote from your supervisor!

Pat Browne
2 years 11 months ago

Jennie,

If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can get grass fed beef at pretty good prices. As well as wild salmon, coconut oil, organic vegetables and fruits, etc. I love their organic wild blueberries (frozen: I can just use what I need and keep the rest frozen. They’re really intensely flavored and not very sweet, so they’re good if you are limiting carbs.)

Stick with it! Maybe you’ll find you feel so good it’s worth forgoing something else?

maggie
maggie
3 years 8 hours ago
I beat carb cravings with avocado and crunchy chopped salads (cucumber, cauliflower, red onion, fresh herbs and spices, whatever veggies were in the garden and in season) that had an added bite from cayenne. My challenges have been roller coaster hormones of peri-menopause that make it hard to remain consistent with my paleo exercise. I simply yo-yo every two-three weeks for two-to-three week periods. When things are good, it’s very good (LOL), but when things are not in balance, my energy drops and I lose my commitment. It is quite a battle to try to control the scale during those… Read more »
Anais
Anais
3 years 8 hours ago
Aperitive time is the toughest part for me… 7.30 pm, that little glass of wine with the goat cheese and olives and… that little bit of grilled bread to put my roquefort and goat cheese on… I almost don’t even need the 21 day challenge for the rest (food, sleep, IF, exercise, all is on track most of the time all year long). So I use the 21 day challenge to try to shake the 2 things I am stuck on: 1/ real IT (I have my pilates and walks and full body workouts but I don’t sprint..), 2/ and… Read more »
Barefoot Bodhi
3 years 8 hours ago

Put your goat cheese in a pear. It’s amazing. I dig out the core and stuff the cheese in where the core used to be in each half.

Gina
Gina
2 years 11 months ago

+1

Goat cheese and pears are incredibly delicious!

Em
Em
3 years 8 hours ago

I suffered from chronic depression up until I started an 80/20 Primal eating style more than 6 months ago. Unfortunately once I started the 21 day challenge and went 100% it has returned. My struggle has been to figure out what is causing this without giving up the on the challenge. I upped my Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and now eliminating nightshades to see if I return to my happy self. Outside of nutrition I’m looking at external factors but taking it slow with one change a week.

Anais
Anais
3 years 6 hours ago

Maybe going 100% made you go too low on carbs? i know when I cut carbs a lot I feel energized and wired but if I have any anxious tendancy (too much work, pressure, bad news, no time to exercise etc…) it makes me feel like I had too much coffee.

From what I understand carbs help release serotonin, the “feel good hormone”. Can make you more sleepy, less energized, bloated etc… But it could also have a relaxing effect.

But it is a contentious issue.. http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/09/carbs-and-serotonin-connection-after.html and http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/08/do-carbs-keep-you-sane-midmorning-post.html VERSUS http://www.geneva-health.com/sciencehealth/lowcarb.html

Anais
Anais
3 years 6 hours ago

A caveat: i don’t in any ways compare my “too much coffee” with depression. Just want to point out that mentally it didn’t always have the most relaxing effect to go very low on carbs and maybe there is something there for you too. Especially if you compensate with protein instead of fat..

The Beckster
The Beckster
2 years 11 months ago
I’ve suffered from chronic depression as well. For me the idea that I had to be “all in” with primal made me anxious and depressed. Trying to be 100% perfect took away my coping mechanisms. I’m still working on ways to chill out without turning to food or other destructive vices. My advice is to find a place to relax and tune everything out for a few minutes a day. I go to the tanner a couple days a week at lunch time and take a nap. I don’t think that’s primally approved, but I feel so much calmer, awake,… Read more »
lockard
lockard
3 years 8 hours ago

I struggled last night and gave into eating oreo’s – but back at it strong today- failure one time does not mean failure always

Gina
Gina
2 years 11 months ago

You don’t fail until you quit trying.

Eric
Eric
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest struggle has been alcohol. It’s hard for me to limit myself to a glass or two rather than a bottle or two. I find its easiest to abstain entirely.

Ellen
Ellen
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest derailer is cycles of poor sleep. Can’t sleep, low energy the next day, bad food choices, don’t exercise. In that case, my best way to not cut corners is to keep track of everything I eat. It’s so easy when you are tired to snack too much. Anybody else find that melatonin makes them MORE awake at night?

Feather
Feather
2 years 11 months ago
My sleep was completely derailed the first 3 nights I used melatonin (2mg) after that it stabilized. However I found out after years of use that I didn’t need it, my own melatonin production was fine, and the melatonin I took every evening was an excess that my body most likely could not degrade fast enough, before the next dose hit. Lead to build-up and me being extra groggy for the better part of the morning. melatonin can work wonders for certain people, but don’t assume it is harmless just because it is a natural hormone. When in doubt, have… Read more »
Doug
Doug
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest challenge…..not eating the donuts and bars people bring to work. Seriously, I work for a health insurance company and we talk about how expensive diabetes is to treat…..uhg.

I am not perfect though. I did have a bag of trail mix with candies 🙁

Laura the Ringmistress
3 years 8 hours ago

My biggest challenger so far is sweets. I have a hard time not going for them when I’m stressed (and as a mother of toddlers, I’m often stressed.)

What I’ve found works is having some very dark chocolate chips so that I get “just a little sweet” without killing my carb count for the day. And I’m trying to figure out my stress triggers so that I can avoid more of them or mitigate them in a less detrimental manner.

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