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

The 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Begins Now

If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, reduce stress, increase energy or just generally look and feel healthier you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and you can win lots of cool Primal gear, too. That’s right, it’s the annual Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge!

The 30-Day Challenge Details

So what’s the challenge? To get Primal, of course! I hold this 30-Day Challenge every year to encourage Primal beginners to give this way of eating, moving and living a try because I know it works, I know how empowering it is, and I know it changes lives.

I also do it to motivate those that have been dabbling with the Primal lifestyle for a while, but haven’t fully committed or still have some room for improvement (myself included!), to go all in and resolve to finally tackle whatever it is they want to address in their lives.

The actual challenge itself is pretty straightforward. The details can be found in the image below. I recommend downloading the 30-Day Challenge flyer here, and clicking on the links to learn more about each of the topics. (And maybe print a few copies to hand out to friends!)

No sign-up required. Anyone can participate. Just commit to the challenge, and check back every day for motivation and guidance.

Above and beyond the challenge as outlined below, I encourage you to make your own personal challenges. Customize your goals to fit your needs and commit to 30 days starting now.

Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge

The Primal Leap – One-on-One Support

This 30-day challenge perfectly complements The Primal Leap. The Primal Leap is my effort to provide one-on-one support and step-by-step guidance to those looking to lose weight, take control of their health and get Primal for life. If you would like expert feedback and be told exactly what to do and when to do it The Primal Leap is for you. Learn more here.

Community Support

Just like last year, I highly encourage you to use the forum during the challenge. In it you can start a “Primal Challenge Journal” to publicly state your goals and track your progress.

Create a journal to receive positive feedback, advice and help along the way from myself and the Mark’s Daily Apple community.

The 30-Day Challenge Contests FAQs

The main challenge itself isn’t competitive but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some friendly contests along they way!

Over the course of the next month Mark’s Daily Apple and sponsors will be giving away thousands of dollars in prizes.

Here are some rules and answers to FAQ:

  • There will be a new contests nearly every day for the duration of the 30-day challenge (through Oct. 11), so check back daily!
  • All contest prizes relate in some way to the Primal lifestyle. You won’t find any miracle weight loss pills, tummy crunching sling-a-ma-doo-dads, or whole wheat health blast jazzer snackers.
  • Some contests will require a bit of leg work while others will require something as simple as commenting on a blog post.
  • There is no limit to how many contests you can participate in.
  • The duration of any one contest depends on the nature of the contest. Some will last a few weeks (to give you time to complete the contest task) while others will be as short as one day. All deadlines are Pacific Standard Time.
  • Contest prizes will be awarded either by a random drawing, by reader voting/polling or by an executive decision (who I think should win!).
  • Some prizes will only be available to United States residents. If you live outside the U.S. and win a prize that can’t be shipped internationally an alternate prize of equal value will be awarded.
  • I’m not being paid by any company that is sponsoring the contest with a prize.

To track all the contests visit the 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

New to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple?

If you are new to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple and don’t know where to begin here are some resources to get you started:

1. Not sure what it means to “Go Primal”? Check out these articles for the basics:

2. The Primal Blueprint 101 Page

3. The Forum – Ask any and all questions you have about the Primal lifestyle.

4. The Book

5. What to eat? – Primal Blueprint Recipes on MDA and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals

6. Have a question? – Contact Me

Tell your friends and family about the challenge so they can get Primal, too! Use the “ShareThis” link below to send this article via email.

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. Day 7. One week in and liking the results. More energy, discipline and slept well last night. Got some sunlight while reading today. Once Con Ed fixes the gas problem I’ll be cooking. Literally!

    Roark2112 wrote on September 18th, 2011
  2. I’m just getting around to commenting – wanted to say that I am IN for the challenge. My goal is moving a lot more, and more joyfully. I am looking forward to a bike ride later today, maybe a little goofy boogaloo while making dinner, long walk&play with dog on the beach. Aspiring to lifting heavy things. This has been a year of health recovery, now I’m ready for the FUN of health! Thanks.

    Sara in Brooklyn wrote on September 20th, 2011
  3. This is so timely. I’ve been following a “mostly” primal diet now for about 6 months and have seen great results.

    However, I still allow the occasional pizza, ice cream etc.

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about going Primal for 30 days and what do ya know…Mark launches this contest.

    I’m in. I’ll be sharing my experience doing this (while working a full-time job and being a Dad) on my blog.

    OK shameless mini-plug of my blog but hey, it’s for the benefit of the other Dad’s out there who are in the same boat!

    Tim wrote on September 21st, 2011
  4. Day 8 (Monday) through Day 10 (Wednesday) less than 60 (!) grams carb. Still NO weight loss – at all – since I started the challenge last Monday. Feeling good, sleeping well, not hungry, lots of good food, but no weight loss. Whatever.

    Jackie wrote on September 21st, 2011
    • Well, for whatever reason…keeping to this goal of under 70 grams carbs isn’t doing what I want for weight loss.
      I’m out of ideas here.
      Anybody…any tweaks I can make to this to start weight loss again?
      Listening to my body but it’s not listening to me (hehehe).

      Jackie wrote on September 23rd, 2011
      • Try reducing carbs further. Or not eating carbs for breakfast, only fat/protein.

        Dan wrote on September 23rd, 2011
        • Thanks for your insight.
          For the last week, only having one tbsp coconut oil plus my fish oil tablet for breakfast. No hunger until noon, then protein/veg (low, low carb!) lunch. That has worked fine for me, but again, no weight loss…puzzling.

          Jackie wrote on September 25th, 2011
      • have you tried the “paleo” version of this rather than the “primal” version?

        here it is:

        small amt of other fruits
        little starch – so have sweet potatoes in moderation
        no sugar

        THAT’s it.
        no corn
        no grains
        no wine
        no cheese

        that’s 100% paleo for 30 days. then go back to primal or 80/20 paleo

        in 30 days you will be 1-2 sizes smaller

        Kelly wrote on September 25th, 2011
        • Thanks for your comment. The plan you outlined is what I’ve been following, except I have been eating 1 cup yogurt (0 fat greek style) and some cheese (never more than 3 ounces in one day, usually only 1 ounce, and not more than 4 times per week). I can try cutting out the cheese altogether, but I need to get my calcium from other sources in addition to Citrical, because I get leg cramps at night from low calcium/magnesium/potassium. Still trying to get minimum mag/potassium from foods, but not able to balance all the little requirements within the framework of the lifestyle. I haven’t had grains for months; in fact up until I started keeping carbs under 70 for this challenge, I was losing weight steadily at 0.5-1 pound per week. Go figure!

          Jackie wrote on September 25th, 2011
    • I’m pretty sure the guidance said to not weigh yourself during the 30 day challenge. Plus, over the course of two days there are two many variables to account for when dealing with weight loss. Weekly weigh ins are best. Maybe you’re not losing weight, but staying the same weight and having fat turned into muscle.

      Nate wrote on September 23rd, 2011
      • Thanks for your reply. I’ve been doing the scale thing for months now, and it has just been so kind to me until lately. I agree, many variables. I’d love to say I’m getting more muscle, but I’m only walking and sometimes sprinting and since I’ve been doing that for months, also, I don’t think that’s it.
        But thanks for your kind thoughts.

        Jackie wrote on September 25th, 2011
      • magnesium and calcium: get Peter Gillham’s Natural Calm – it is powdered Mg and Ca – take at night – about 2 teaspoons at bedtime -will help your cramps, help you sleep, and help regulate many other functions.

        oh- only put it in with a shotglass size amount of water because it’s really sour

        Kelly wrote on September 25th, 2011
        • thanks for your information. I’ve located this product, and will be ordering it ASAP. Potassium is also in there, and every bit helps!

          Jackie wrote on September 25th, 2011
  5. I quit smoking and am craving sugar like mad.
    I have all the energy in the world though! Getting things done, having energy after, and powering thorough my workouts. Thank you for starting me on this path to success.

    Mickey Moore wrote on September 21st, 2011
  6. Day 11, super primal. Barefoot almost all day. Ate paleo. Saw the Bodies exhibit, to learn more about the body. Then had a very good ballet class. Feel great.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 23rd, 2011
  7. What you have done with MDA is truly remarkable. I practice and preach the Primal laws with most of my friends & family and have enjoyed the freedom and liberation that I’ve got. Wanted to seek permission to post the above link and the transformation template on my blog. Please let me know if it is OK.

    Thank you.


    Karthik wrote on September 23rd, 2011
  8. Day 12. Fried some nice fish, which was delish. Almonds and tea for late night snack. Yoga class was smooth and even pumped some iron for the first time in two weeks. Barefoot, sleep but no sunlight as it rained all day. Still going strong!

    Roark2112 wrote on September 24th, 2011
  9. Day 13. Started very strong but a moment of weakness at the museum reception left me eating some bad snacks. However, before that was delicious leftover fish and the a sweet potato after a blistering Krav working, which included sprints and kettle bell swings. Will shoot for 7 day sugar free during this challenge. Haven’t weighed myself but the ‘beltbuckle’ is looser.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 25th, 2011
  10. Day 14. Great day. Nutrition call which yielded new knowledge about sleep patterns. Now plan to go earlier (duh) but also to ‘go analog’ one hour before. Heavy training day, sprints, jumps and contact in Krav Maga class. Followed up with sweet potato, fish and veggies. Feel very strong and positive. Oh yes, checked the scale first time in days and am happy.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 26th, 2011
  11. Day 15. Another very good day. Barefoot, sunlight, rest, no physical activities. Ate salad with avocado/eggs and finished off the fish from earlier in week. Happy.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 27th, 2011
  12. Day 16. Still going strong. Full contact Krav class, with heavy emphasis on kicking. Sausage and peppers for dinner. Lots of energy and satiety. Halfway there as far as the challenge goes, but this is a way of life I’m proud of.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 28th, 2011
  13. Day 17. Mellow day as far as activities. Recovered from heavy workout. 30 minutes in sauna followed by 10 minutes in pool. Finished the sausage and pepper and mixed salad from yesterday and still liked the taste. Got soaked in the rain but didn’t bother me. Still happy with the challenge.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 29th, 2011
  14. Day 18. Yoga. Barefoot. Analog. Chicken and veggies. Another good day.

    Roark2112 wrote on September 30th, 2011
  15. Day 19. Bacon, eggs. Pork loin, cucumbers. Golf swings, rest. Lots of sleep. Still on track.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 1st, 2011
  16. Day 20. Brisk walk, barefoot. No sunshine due to rain and clouds. Deep sleep. More pork loin, bacon and eggs. Keeping it up.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 2nd, 2011
  17. Day 21. First step backwards. Caved in for some cookies, but stuck with eggs and fruit for nutrition. First cold shower of the challenge and will do that again. Vow to finish off with a flurry.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 3rd, 2011
  18. Day 22. Back on track. Sausage and peppers, salad, ballet class, cold shower, barefoot. Feeling primal and I like it.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 4th, 2011
  19. Day 23. Feel real good. Excellent Krav Maga class which included sprints. Cold shower, sunlight, burgers. Happy. (Though I’m sad the passing of Steve Jobs.)

    Roark2112 wrote on October 5th, 2011
  20. Day 24. Meat, veggies, nuts. Cold shower. Reading in sunlight. Yoga, rest. Great day.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 6th, 2011
  21. Day 25. Eggs and bacon. A classic. Cold shower (getting used to this) read in sunlight. Run and ballet class. Full day. Tired and happy.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 7th, 2011
  22. Day 26. Rest. Read, write in the sun. Cold shower. Sauna. Intermittent fast, with apple, orange and banana. Energetic and mentally strong.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 8th, 2011
  23. Day 27. Hours of sunlight. Veal parm, broccoli. Hike with fall foliage. Nature is awesome!

    Roark2112 wrote on October 9th, 2011
  24. Day 28. Nearing the finish line. Sun, and the NYC parade for Columbus. Bacon, eggs, spinach, carrots, mushrooms…yummy.
    Cold showers are becoming easier to deal with. Sleeping well. Rested after long hike yesterday.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 10th, 2011
  25. Day 29. Ballet class, sauna, swim, sun. Sweet potato, spinach and peppers with chopped beef. Cold showers still more comfortable. Happy again.

    Roark2112 wrote on October 12th, 2011
  26. Day 30. Another ballet class, sauna, salmon, brussel sprouts, bacon and eggs. Finished this project proudly. Will start another one in a few weeks!!

    Roark2112 wrote on October 12th, 2011
  27. Hi Mark,

    Will you be doing the challenge this year? In September? Can’t wait!!

    Loll wrote on February 14th, 2012
  28. My goal is to be at the 80% in my eating and then grok it out with the exercise. I really hope my willpower holds out!!!

    Cate wrote on September 10th, 2012

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