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

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

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 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.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My biggest 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.

    Cole wrote on September 26th, 2013
  2. 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?

    Jennie wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Love the quote from your supervisor!

      Toni wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • 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?

      Pat Browne wrote on September 26th, 2013
  3. 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 periods or to even make myself exercise. I’ll be feeling great, doing great, then WHAM: Suddenly I feel the opposite.

    maggie wrote on September 26th, 2013
  4. 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 that too regular glass of wine + cheese..

    Wish me luck!

    Anais wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • 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.

      Barefoot Bodhi wrote on September 26th, 2013
      • +1

        Goat cheese and pears are incredibly delicious!

        Gina wrote on September 26th, 2013
  5. 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.

    Em wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • 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.. and VERSUS

      Anais wrote on September 26th, 2013
      • 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..

        Anais wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • 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, and happier in the afternoon! You might also try taking a Sam-E supplement. Peace be with you on your journey!

      The Beckster wrote on September 26th, 2013
  6. I struggled last night and gave into eating oreo’s – but back at it strong today- failure one time does not mean failure always

    lockard wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • You don’t fail until you quit trying.

      Gina wrote on September 26th, 2013
  7. 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.

    Eric wrote on September 26th, 2013
  8. 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?

    Ellen wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • 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 your own melatonin curve checked, or stop for a week or 2 and see if there is a difference.

      Feather wrote on September 27th, 2013
  9. 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 :(

    Doug wrote on September 26th, 2013
  10. 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.

    Laura the Ringmistress wrote on September 26th, 2013
  11. This comment is more on yesterday’s topic of learning new things all the time (keeping your weapon sharp or whatever the heading was.) I have always lived my life this way, going from interest to interest. I have had several interesting careers. I’ve learned to play several musical instruments. I have engaged in numerous outdoor sports. Engaged in several crafts. All sorts of things. Anything I really truly like I stick with it (like Primal eating and fitness principles), but many of my interests come and go.

    I have never become a master at anything and always felt there was something wrong with living this way since our culture doesn’t value it, but I have also felt deep inside there was something completely natural about living this way. I have had a fabulous life so far and look forward to many more things to fail or succeed at. Thanks for recognizing this as part of being truly human.

    Diane wrote on September 26th, 2013
  12. Hi there everyone, I’ve been primal for about 2 1/2 or 3 years now, and have had great success keeping my weight at an optimal level and generally feeling healthier and happier :-) I have played by the 80/20 rule pretty well, but for the past 8 years, I have struggled with chronic adult acne that just won’t go away (I thought it would get better with diet, but it has actually worsened as I have aged :-(…). I recently got my bloodwork done to measure my hormone levels (I begged my doctor to do this for me for peace of mind to see if it was out-of-whack hormones possibly contributing to my skin problems), and discovered that my cortisol levels were pretty high. With this information, I have been using this challenge to focus on stress management…going to bed and waking up at consistent times, walking at lunch out in the sun, practicing deep breathing, and managing how I react to unavoidable “stressors”. I am also participating in a strict diet challenge with others to avoid sugar to try to address any candida problem I may have, and so far I am 5 days strong with NO added sugar or fruit (other then small handfuls of berries that are permitted) in my diet, and a lot more leafy greens. This is all a part of a self-experiment to get to the root-cause of my issues and better understand my body, which goes along with what I have learned from MDA. Clearing acne can be a long and difficult problem to solve, so I struggle with how much time it takes, and the seeming elusiveness of finding a solution. My skin is slightly better, but still has a LONG way to go!

    Good luck everyone on your own personal challenges!

    primalpal wrote on September 26th, 2013
  13. I’m struggling with sleep and tech detox. I’m newly-returned to the primal community and I want to stay up till all hours reading the Twitter. But that screws up my sleep.

    I am however reasonably confident that I’m not getting the cold/flu thing that has put my boyfriend out of commission for 4-5 days now. And I just feel great. Healthy. Vigorous. Full of vigor.

    Barefoot Bodhi wrote on September 26th, 2013
  14. I struggle with breakfast. I never leave myself any time in the morning (another struggle) to cook. Any good suggestions for quick on-the-go breakfasts??

    Brooke wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Check out Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe index, she has several variations of frittata muffins, you can customize to your liking. Make ahead of time and refrigerate, great grab and go breakfast, or for anytime of the day.

      I’ve made them numerous times, several variations, always great!

      Jim wrote on September 26th, 2013
      • Thanks!

        Brooke wrote on September 27th, 2013
    • try egg muffins – even good right out of the fridge.

      sarah m wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • More on the egg muffing comment: breakfast sausage stuffed in muffin pan, then crack and egg and even some veggies if you’d like into the little sausage cups. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350 (or until the eggs are set), and bam! breakfast to go. And they really are good.

      You could also try intermittent fasting in the mornings. I started doing that couple months ago for two reasons. 1) I had stalled in weight loss and 2) I just really wasn’t that hungry in the morning. I have 1-2 cups of coffee in the am and then have a big ass salad for lunch nearly everyday. This change helped me drop about 10 pounds and I felt like I had increased energy during the day. Every now and then, I’ll wake up very hungry. Then I’ll make breakfast (bacon and eggs if I have time) or have an avocado or full fat greek yogurt with coconut sugar. I just try to listen to what my body is telling me. :)

      Stacie wrote on September 26th, 2013
      • Thanks Stacie. I’m usually pretty hungry in the morning due to eating an earlier dinner most days. 5:30-6:00 dinner is pretty normal. So I usually get a good 12-13 hour fast most nights. I’m going to try those egg muffins for sure!

        Brooke wrote on September 27th, 2013
  15. Great comments, everyone! I have been primal since about January. I effortlessly dropped about 11 pounds to get to my goal weight and then some, to the point where my physician said, “Don’t lose any more.” These were pounds I thought I’d just have to live with, as a woman in my 40s. And happily, I never feel starving any more, as I did on the SAD. In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed too many paleo baked goods, and lo and behold, my weight crept up 3-4 lbs. Cutting out desserts and a few times using stevia instead of honey in my tea, and I’m immediately back down the 3-4 lbs. I will make weekends for the goodies only. For the first time ever, I feel in control of my appetite and weight! Grok on!

    Janet wrote on September 26th, 2013
  16. Loving my 21 day challenge. Been on the blog about 4months and I am hooked. For me my favorite part is experimenting with the cooking. The day the challenge started I had just came back from a vacation where I was a little bit lax and put on a few pounds. I am down 8 pounds already and feel great. Thank all of you for all the info and tips. It so helpful to hear other perspectives and encouragement. Later I will share a couple if my latest concoctions. Bacon Meatloaf anyone?

    Steve Biagini. wrote on September 26th, 2013
  17. My biggest issue so far has been that I’m EXHAUSTED! I paused to evaluate a bit and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t been eating enough food (isn’t that a funny thing to say??). In the transition of eating better, I’d weeded out plenty of junk, but I hadn’t necessarily upped my intake of good fuel enough. I’m trying to tweak things and see if it helps. Plus I’m also working on being dilligent to listen to my body and give it the extra zzzs it’s asking for.

    Emily wrote on September 26th, 2013
  18. I love eating Primally and could care less about carbs, but good grief I cannot kick this f’ing sugar addiction. And it’s not even that I want or crave sweets, it is some sort of mindless, emotional psychological problem. I’ve done hypnosis (successfully sugar free for 5 months until I slipped back into old habits), EFT, and now I’m going to add on supplements such as chromium picolinate and give it one more go before I just sew my mouth shut and only allow myself to drink Primal smoothies through a straw.

    Bev wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Do you use artificial sweeteners or eat a lot of fruit? That could be fueling your sugar addiction. Try eliminating all sweets/sweeteners for a few weeks, including natural ones.

      Shary wrote on September 26th, 2013
  19. I have unbelievable B.O. since I tried eating primally. My urine literally smells like excrement and all my clothes smell terrible AFTER going through the wash. I don’t if I’m eating too much bacon or the wrong kind of fish.

    If anybody has experienced this and has good ideas how to deal with that I’d appreciate it.

    Seanski wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • The only thing I can suggest is patience. Your body is probably going through a detox phase.

      Shary wrote on September 26th, 2013
  20. I actually started my 21 Day Transofrmation the week before this one so in a way I just started over a week later…it has been AMAZING!! Being a bread and past lover my entire life I can’t believe how much I have NOT missed bread and pasta…not one craving for it…or my terrible sweet tooth…gone! I had a couple headaches the first couple days and that’s IT! AND I have already lost 10 pounds!! Had a baby six months ago and still trying to lose the baby weight so this is awesome!

    My only struggle is work…I would love to create a standing desk and get the tred desk but the boss is not supportive of this type of stuff…he even made me take my ball home that I was sitting on and loved and get a conventional uncomfy chair…I do have an app on my phone that gets me up every 45 minutes to do stretches/mini-exercises but I would LOVE to walk at work….if I get a bonus this year I am buying a standing desk conversion and the TredDesk on my own…praying for a bonus…

    Loving going primal…can’t wait to see what the next week, month, year brings!

    Emily Angotti wrote on September 26th, 2013
  21. These EPIC bars look… epic?

    A protein bar is the perfect meal replacement when i travel

    kevin wrote on September 26th, 2013
  22. Does anyone know of a good substitute for bean in chili? I LOVE chili with kidney beans, well I used to.

    sarah m wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • I dice up a bunch of mushrooms and add them to my bean-less chili. Once they have been stewing for a bit they take on the flavor of the sauce.

      Sophia wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Frozen okra! It looks cool and adds texture to chili.

      iluvoptics wrote on October 6th, 2013
  23. I started paleo after trying the atkins diet before my wedding, after two years of being vegan. Everything changed and my acne of ten years went away! When the 21 day challenge started, I was prompted to really start living out what I was preaching about the lifestyle that has helped me so much 😀

    I’ve always trolled MDA for tips and encouragement (hats off to Paleo Ron Burgandy for that), and consulted the forums for all of my unanswered paleo queries. You guys are the best! Seriously, thank you so much :)

    Sara wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • That is very sweet of you Sara, thank you! That made my day.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 27th, 2013
  24. I kind of messed around at first, but just really committed to keeping my diet on track about a week and a half ago. A lot of things were much easier to let go of than I expected, but I have found that I have to think ahead much more! Probably the toughest thing for me has been getting enough sleep. I have to leave my house at 5:30am for work, which isn’t too bad on it’s own. However, it means that I have to be sleeping by 9pm at the absolute latest to get 8 hours of sleep. I usually end up hanging out with my girlfriend or other friends who work regular jobs, but I always end up about 2 hours of sleep short.

    It would almost be easier if they worked completely different hours than me — as it is, everyone seems to think: “well we all have work in the morning,” and I end up going to bed around 11. A lot of it is my fault as well — 8:30pm just seems so early to make myself start getting ready for bed! I know how good I feel when I routinely get 8 hours of sleep, but for some reason I always get this “second wind” around 7-8pm and don’t feel the need to go to bed.

    Bryson wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • How about taking a nap? Late afternoon, before dinner, whatever works.

      Feather wrote on September 27th, 2013
  25. Just wanted to comment on yesterday’s post of “10 habits”. What a great collection of good, healthy living information. This site never ceases to impress me with the continuous flow of motivation and inspiration. I am happy to report that I have inspired a co-worker to follow the primal path during this most recent challenge. So far she has made it through the “flu” and is feeling great. It’s a great feeling to have helped another person actually “get it”.

    Danny wrote on September 26th, 2013
  26. This epic code isn’t working for me. EPICHEARTSMARK – no discount

    Kade wrote on September 26th, 2013
  27. My challenge is finding the time & willingness to cook. I made it through low-carb flu, I made it through caffeine and sugar cravings that were off the wall. My IBS and GERD symptoms are improving, with the help of probiotics as well as eating primal. But I eat an awful lot of tinned fish and eggs because I’m so averse to cooking meat (before going Paleo I ate a mostly vegetarian diet). And I can feel myself getting bored . . .

    That said, I’ll keep at it! I’m convinced by the science and by my body’s responses so far that this is a healthier way to nourish oneself than the SAD.

    Sylvia wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • How about starting with some nice cold cuts? No cooking invovled. Plus you can wrap veggies in them. Or go full tilt and smear cold cuts over your body to help get over your fear of meat.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 27th, 2013
  28. I get together with a group of girlfriends every week for dinner where we take turns cooking for each other (been doing this for 10 years!). My biggest challenge has always been how to eat around the non-paleo food and not offend anyone! I know I could use this as my “cheat” day but it’s no fun to cheat when I feel awful the next day because of the large amounts of bread or sugar I ate. Anyway, last night was a pasta dish so I brought a bowl of zucchini that I peeled to look like spaghetti and raved about the awesome meat sauce that the host made. Yay! Just need to keep coming up with good substitution ideas like that..and showing them how delicious paleo food can be when it’s my turn to cook!

    Sophia wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • If one of your girl friends was allergic to peanuts, would a dish be prepared with any form of peanuts? Probably not. Why not talk to girlfriends about your diet and pitch a compromise. Like one primal dish per meal. To get the ball rolling, provide one of Mark’s cookbooks that can be passed around like the traveling pants of the yaya sisterhood or tell them to check out NomNom’s site.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 27th, 2013
  29. My biggest challenge so far has been keeping my carb intake low in order to lose a bit more fat (I’ve already been primal for some time). I feel good on my new carb intake, but I do still miss my almost daily sweet potato and the fairly generous amounts of fruit I was eating before. I also don’t sleep as deeply since lowering my carb intake to around 50 grams a day, so I really hope my body adjusts soon! As far as successes go though, I have already lost 3 pounds since beginning the challenge! Talk about great motivation to continue well beyond 21 days!

    Beth wrote on September 26th, 2013
  30. I had a bad case of the low-carb flu that seems to be slowly shaking off. At the advice of a friend I’ve been taking L-Glutamine to help with the carbohydrate cravings.

    Jenn wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • I read an article about addressing carb flu when we started a diet similar to primal. His advice was to load up on healthy fat when carb flu symptoms hit-i.e. turkey legs cooked with butter, non-crispy bacon, coconut oil, anything with healthy saturated fats. Really helped my wife and I.

      Scott wrote on September 26th, 2013
  31. Recently, I have been struggling with being too strict with myself. I feel guilty for eating a piece of fruit. So I have just been telling myself its okay and forgiving myself for the downs and celebrating the ups.

    AnaBanana wrote on September 26th, 2013
  32. The best part about primal living is its a blue print, when I started a year ago I was STRICTER THAN STRICT then after feeling great I started toself expirment on whats best with me its a great starting point for ANYONE! You can always modify ex. (Low carb, high carb) is enjoyable to see your full potential

    Maria wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • I concur on the blue print. I also like CHris Kresser’s “paleo template” approach.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 27th, 2013
  33. Death in the family has brought me closer to my sisters, and I have started 2 of them eating primal. I, however, have suffered from lack of motivation partly by getting my regular schedule completely rearranged. Bike was in the car for a week and it was raining so I didn’t have to ride. But I did. It didn’t kill me.

    tgw wrote on September 26th, 2013
  34. Two pitfalls, alcohol and dairy – both of which I know keep me from my goals.
    Dairy is tough, especially at the tail end of summer when I still crave ice cream.

    Alcohol is tougher. Alcohol is too tied to friends and fun to give it up easily, plus this is my favorite time of the year for beer. Mmmm Octoberfest.

    Normally I do really well. I feel and perform better when I’m dialed in, but these two have been a struggle.

    Darrin wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Darrin, I was in your shoes with alcohol. I discovered my difficulties were mental triggers like: having a beer in my hand while grilling, Having a beer during breaks in yard work. Having a beer with friends. I eliminated beer and switched to wine and clears. (A sideways move). Then I reduced my intake by alternating drinks with waters. I do not do more than two consecutive drinks because then my moment kicks in. Alcohol is not known for logical outcomes. Now I do not drink often. The money I save is awesome. I still go out with friends and I will have one clear drink, maybe a vodka and water or a gin and tonic, then I switch to seltzer with citrus. The transistion was both easy and difficult at the same time.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 27th, 2013
  35. The hardest part for me so far has been keeping my carb intake between 50 and 100 grams per day. I had been eating mostly primal before the Challenge, but for the past few weeks I h

    Sara Berthiaume wrote on September 26th, 2013
  36. I crave crunchy things! Raw Radishes seem to help keep the SAD food away.

    Eric wrote on September 26th, 2013
  37. The biggest thing for me is the lack of weight coming off. I know I just need to give it time, but it is hard sometimes to be patient. I hear all the wonderful stories about weight fall off of people but for me it is just not happening.

    Sharon in NC wrote on September 26th, 2013
    • Try upping your fat intake while decreasing protein a little and making sure carbs are always between 50-100 g. Also cut out nuts and any pre-packaged foods, and limit your dairy. This always seems to kick-start weight loss for me. You *will* lose weight, it *will* happen! Hang in there!

      Amy wrote on September 27th, 2013
      • Thanks, Amy. I’m with Sharon — a little frustrated about not losing weight. I’m in week 13 and, although eating has become a non-issue and I lost 20lbs and feel GREAT, I still have quite a bit of weight to lose and am at another plateau. I’m not really tempted by foods nor do I have unmanageable cravings, but I don’t like feeling stuck either. I’m doing IT and lifting heavy things… some days I just need a cheerleader, though.

        Renee wrote on September 30th, 2013
        • It is frustrating, sorry about that. Sometimes what will move me is a carb feed now and then (not often tho). Found some sweet potato noodles that worked well on one night of carbs.
          So you go girl! It’ll happen eventually. You’ll try different things and some will click and others not, just keep trying.

          2Rae wrote on September 30th, 2013
  38. my issue is staying on the wagon, so to speak. I feel great, breath better, etc when going primal for any length of time but something (usually stress and lack of time to make real food) leads me off. I rty to get some cooking done during the weekends but the kids naps are only for so long and there always seems to be a list of stuff to do. Guess I need to shorten the list.

    brian wrote on September 26th, 2013
  39. I am new to Paleo, I just happened to find this site about 1 week before the challenge began and decided to give it a try. So far so good, I am really liking the results after such a short amount of time.

    I have always been hungry and needed to eat every 2-3 hours. Last weekend I went 6 hours between meals and still had plenty of energy while remodeling my bathroom. My wife thought I had snuck off to Taco Bell when I went to the store. I never would have thought it was possible!

    I was always the guy who would eat anything and my co-workers are baffled how I came to this decision. They are constantly trying to get me to break, but are already commenting on the physical changes that I have undergone.

    Despite a trying battle with the low carb flu, I think that I am in for the long haul.

    Thank you everyone for all of the great advice here at Mark’s Daily Apple. This is a great place for inspiration and information.

    Nick wrote on September 26th, 2013
  40. The hardest part for me so far has been keeping my carb intake between 50 and 100 grams per day. I had been eating mostly primal before the Challenge, but for the past few weeks I had let a bunch of grains and sweets back in when we went to a couple of fairs. Finding time to prepare some of the meals I want to try has been challenging because I spend most of my day chasing two little Groklets around the yard, so we eat basic things. On the up side, I get plenty of play time and taking them in their stroller for long walks on the hilly back roads near my house gives me plenty of time in nature, sunshine, and extended slow paced exercise sessions.

    my words of encouragement for others would be to take the guidelines of the challenge and see how you can get them to work with your life. You may be surprised at how well doing things in a more primal way can work for you!

    Sara Berthiaume wrote on September 26th, 2013

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