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

The End of the 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge

Well, it’s been 30 days, and the Primal Blueprint Challenge is now over. I don’t know about you, but I’m completely exhausted.

This happens every single time we do a challenge. I figure, since we’ll be running contests and awarding prizes and using lots of reader-created content, that I’ll have a month “off” to relax. Maybe get some stand-up paddling in, maybe take two weekly hikes instead of my usual one, maybe finally work on banishing excess stress from my life… but no. The contest rolls around and I find myself immersed in it. My actual workload is lighter and what work I have is easier, but I can’t tear myself away from the contest. I’m up late reading comments, thinking up new contests, tracking people’s progress, working on brain teasers. You guys, I gotta say, are engrossing. From the regulars running through the contest for the third time to the beginners still flabbergasted that they can “really eat butter, eggs, and bacon,” it’s a joy to behold people discovering, rediscovering, and getting excited about this Primal way of life. In a way, it renews my excitement.

So yeah, I’m exhausted, but I’m not complaining, because it’s the exhaustion that comes after scaling a mountain or eating four pounds of Thanksgiving dinner – a happy, sated, victorious kind of exhaustion.

That’s me, though. I’m wondering about you guys. You did all the work, not me. How are you feeling about the contest? How have the past 30 days treated you? You going to stick with it, or is it a 30-and-done type of thing? Are you sick of those twenty minute workouts, all that delicious steak, the great sleep you’ve been getting, and the lower stress levels (unbearable, am I right?) yet?

Before you answer, let’s do a quick recap of all the challenges. You’ve been through a lot, and this might help jog your memory.

The Primal Blueprint 30-day Challenge isn’t simply one single challenge. It is many challenges. Some are big, some large, some implicit, others explicit, but they were all designed to force you out of your comfort zone. You were challenged on multiple levels, and these contests were the heart of the Challenge:

  • To put together a Grokfeast. Now, a Grokfeast is essentially a big picnic, a party that involves edible, dead animals, plants, and (usually) fermented beverages, along with laughter, good conversation, new friends, and lots of smiling. These are all good, enjoyable things. Parties in general are inherently fun. Mirth and merriment are the ultimate purposes of throwing a party. Easy challenge, right? Not exactly, because these are things that fall by the wayside, that get put off until next week. Facebook invites to events go un-RSVP’d, next week morphs into next month which becomes next year, and before you know it, you haven’t hung out with your tribe in over a year. The formal Grokfeast challenge forced you to discover (or rediscover) your tribe, meet up, and break marrow-rich femur (doesn’t have quite the same ring as “break bread”) together.
  • To share your success story. Your stories prove that going Primal works to people who may be on the fence about it. It puts a face, a body, and a story to the objective, impersonal figures in a PubMed article. The bigger our pool of success stories, the greater the chance that a hesitant reader will find one that resonates with them and their story. “They did it; why not me?” is an extremely powerful mindset. Also, submitting your success story forces you to appreciate your success. You have to take the photos and write the article. Even though all that stuff happened to you, seeing it on the screen makes it somehow more real. Stay tuned for upcoming Friday Success Stories. I received 125 success story emails and have just begun to dig through them.
  • To create a recipe video. Being on camera is a weird feeling, unlike anything else. The dispassionate lens and blinking red light silently judging you, the anonymous, potentially vast audience… it took me awhile to get used to it, so I know how you folks might have felt. But you did great, and I think a lot of people now want to visit Barcelona for some tuna tataki.
  • To share a Primal recipe link. An easy challenge, sure, but an important one. I mean, how many new recipe blogs and ideas did you discover from this single, simple challenge?
  • To share your struggle. It’s not all fun and games, raw-fed puppy dogs and bacon lollipops. Going Primal can present some challenges. Cravings, low-carb flus, cardio addictions, unsupportive family members, financial constraints, vegetarian leanings – this is reality, and you guys did not shy away from brutal honesty. I did my best to offer my suggestions, but the explosion of advice from the community at large in the comments section was even more incredible.
  • To share a Primal dish. Dropping links to cool-looking recipes is one thing, actually going ahead and making the recipe is another. I asked you guys to choose one from the Primal recipe link challenge, cook it, and photograph it, and the response was huge. Great pictures, too. Several MDA office keyboards short-circuited from excessive employee slavering (around here, I try to promote a reasonable level of slavering).
  • To share your wisdom. I’m consistently impressed with the caliber of reader we get around here, and I’m always learning from you guys, so I figured making a formal request for bits of wisdom would work out. It did. I got over 1500 emails in a matter of hours. I’ve compiled the best of your tips on how to live a Primal life into an eBook and will be giving it (and other goodies) away as part of a special promotion I’m holding next Tuesday. See below for more details.
  • To show me an image that encapsulates your Primal life. I initially thought this would just be a fun one, and we’d get some cool shots, but it turned out to be really powerful. I sometimes forget that there are actual living people behind these bits and bytes and words on a computer screen (and I bet others fall into the same trap, from time to time). Your photos changed that.
  • To make a Primal Blueprint Workout video. This was sort of a selfish one, to be quite honest, on the part of me and the Bees. We really wanted to mine the creativity of our readers and get some new workout ideas about as much as we wanted to give you the opportunity to motivate your fellow readers. And you guys really came through on both accounts; I almost wish my kids were young enough to double as kettlebells!

A challenge, by its very nature, teaches you something about yourself. It is ultimately a learning experience, and long after the challenge has come and gone, its lessons remain. Or at least that’s the idea.

Amidst all the reader-created content, I did manage to throw in some new material:

  • You’ve watched both fictional characters who live in an alternate reality where limited aspects of the Singularity have come to fruition (verbal hyperlinks) and real people who live in same reality as you discover Primal living, eating, and exercising while invigorating their relationships, sex lives, weight loss, ability to kick butt, and zest for life in the process. You’ve learned from them. Heck, you are them.
  • You learned about self-experimentation, and you were challenged to try it on yourself. Did you? What’d you learn? Did you notice anything? Did you learn what to do or what not to do?
  • You learned from the wisdom of others, but what about the wisdom of your body? Was it trying to tell you anything? Did you heed its warnings – or its encouragement?
  • Parents, you learned how to maintain your Primal lifestyle without going crazy or wreaking havoc in the household. Were you able to maintain in the face of bitter opposition from the tiny humans in your life? Or did you blend in seamlessly?
  • How’d you do on the mini-challenges? Do you think you’ll stick with some of ’em? All of ’em? Most? If my suspicions are right, you’ll have found that the small stuff is actually a lot more important than you originally thought.
  • After my treatise on an active versus passive life, how have you incorporated its concepts? Have you stepped outside a little more often? Are you shutting down the laptop a little earlier? Are you taking some of my advice? Saying “hello” to people instead of looking down? Being more of a producer than a consumer?
  • What about spontaneity – are you engaging in it? If you see a puddle, do you splash in it? I suppose saying “yes” to that is tantamount to planning your spontaneity, but hey, it’s still better than judiciously avoiding puddles altogether. Are you learning to wing it?

Overall, it’s time to take stock of your results. I know you have some. Maybe they’re objective results, like lowered lipid numbers, inches lost from the waist, better strength numbers, improved glucose tolerance, and normalized blood pressure readings, which are easy to analyze. If things got better, they got better. Done and done. The numbers are right there. But analysis of subjective results is a bit different. Do you feel better? Worse? Did you have more energy, or less? If you kept a journal, these changes will be easy to track, but if you didn’t, you’ll have to go on feeling, memory, and intuition. How “Primal” did you go? 100% 80/20? 60/40? The degree of adherence matters, so take that into account when making any conclusions.

I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of you guys who did the Challenge, followed the challenges, and went fully Primal for 30 days had an overall positive experience. I’d bet that you realized it wasn’t so hard after all, that it wasn’t as expensive or restrictive as you thought, and that the food actually tasted a lot better than you expected it to taste. If all that is true, why stop at 30 days?

Why not go all out, for life? Why not make the Primal lifestyle your lifestyle? You’ve come this far. Now is no time to quit. As this 30-Day Challenge comes to an end a new chapter begins, and I’m right there to help.

Next Tuesday, October 18, I’ll be officially releasing my new book, The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. It’s a step-by-step, no nonsense, practical guidebook/logbook that will tell you exactly what to do for three weeks to take control of your health for life. I’ve been working hard on this book for a couple years and it’s finally here. Check back on October 18th for all the juicy details. I’ll be giving away freebies (an exclusive eBook and podcast, and much more) to those that pick a copy (or two, or three) between October 18 and 24. I’m hoping to see this book top the charts so that the Primal Blueprint message gets the sort of exposure it needs to affect real change. With your help the PB can go mainstream. Tell your friends and family about this special offer (they’ll thank you). Rally the troops and be prepared to spread the word in any way you can the morning of October 18. Thanks, everyone. See you then and Grok on!

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. What are people general thought on sugar in coffee?? I have two to three coffee’s a day each with one teaspoon of sugar.. Is that detrimental to the primal living…

    mick wrote on October 11th, 2011
    • Just give it up. Try stevia…

      martha wrote on October 11th, 2011
    • I had that problem with coffee, too – sugar and half & half. I tried stevia, but it has a flavor of it’s own that I just don’t like in my coffee (I use it in tea, but not coffee). I tried coffee black and with half & half only, but I’d rather have no coffee. I went for several months without coffee in my life, but I missed it. I experimented on how much sugar I really need to make my coffee taste good to me, and I have cut down on the amount. Since I drink just 2 small mugs, and since it’s the only time I add sugar to anything, then I count it as my indulgence in the /20 category.

      W. J. Purifoy wrote on October 12th, 2011
      • Stevia has a licorice aftertaste. If there’s a Trader Joe’s in your area, they have a stevia extract where the taste is super-refined out. Look for the small plastic bottle that’s $7-10. Sounds expensive, but it lasts about 9 months.

        oxide wrote on October 12th, 2011
        • No Trader Joe in TX as far as I know. We have Whole Foods and Central Market.
          There are a couple of small ‘health food’ stores that are closer to me.

          Is the stevia at Trader Joe’s their brand or another label?

          I have a bottle of NOW brand Stevia Glycerite with a dropper. Just one drop is all it takes, but it still has an aftertaste that I don’t like in coffee. It’s fine in everything else. I can still taste it in tea, lemonade, etc. but I don’t mind it. It is just in coffee that I don’t like the added flavor.

          I even have a Stevia plant growing in a pot outside and sometimes pinch off a leaf and chew it – I noticed that it numbs my mouth a little, but it sure is sweet. When the weather gets cold enough to put away the shorts and tank tops, I’ll make hot tea with the leaves.

          W. J. Purifoy wrote on October 12th, 2011
      • P.S. I also got rid of the white stuff and use organic freeze-dried sugarcane juice crystals. At least I’m getting SOME nutrition instead of none.

        W. J. Purifoy wrote on October 12th, 2011
    • I am new to PB. Just a few days into it after reading the book and doing lots of research.

      I love my coffee and have to have it a little sweet. I bought coconut sugar. The calories, carbs and Glycemic Index are all about half what sugar is.

      sonny wrote on October 12th, 2011
  2. I have been eating primal/Paleo since the end of May. I switched my exercise up for the challenge and fell a bit out of shape and got a little weaker. I obviously did something wrong!

    Lisa wrote on October 11th, 2011
  3. I’ve been primal for 1.5 years and I don’t even think about it anymore. Avoiding grains and processed sugars was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, never felt better.
    Sure I cheat once in awhile when a good friend makes a special bread and asks me to try it. I know it won’t kill me and I am back on my own path when the meeting is over.
    I do consume too much fruit during the summer months when rare items like cherries and locally grown berries and apples are offered. But it’s all good, not like I gorge on them the entire year, it stops when the farmer’s market is done end of October.
    I also consume raw goats milk during spring and summer when the goats eat fresh grass, not dried peas and dried hay like over winter. The goats dry up late fall/winter anyways and there is no milk.

    I love this ‘diet’/lifestyle. I will never, ever be a SAD’er again and know that I will be one of those rare people that will suffer from nothing when I retire.

    Arty wrote on October 11th, 2011
  4. Heyy, im realitivley new to all of this PB stuff, but i like it and was wondering, if i keep carbs below 100gms a day but still have a bit of pasta with dinner, will i still have increaed energy, lose weight, etc? Its just that im 17 and while i cook my own breakfasts and lunches, i still need to eat dinner with my family. Any adive, help, etc, would be much appreciated :)

    Jacinta wrote on October 11th, 2011
  5. Hey Mark

    Congratulations on the new book coming out ! Just wondering if it’s different from the Primal Leap Kit info ? I have all your books so far and really find them outstanding honestly!.. Just wondering what the difference is other than the duration of 21 days ..
    thanks for all you do !


    Renee wrote on October 11th, 2011
  6. This was a powerful way to enter my final month of pregnancy. I originally lost 2 lbs (not on purpose) and slowly gained them back. My weight is rising *very* slowly, while my belly growth continues on track. I think this is great since I’ve had back problems in the past. (I’m on track to gain a little over 20 lbs with this pregnancy, which was entirely gluten free and primal for the last month and a half or so. My previous pregnancy I gained 40.) My husband thinks I look great, though I’m not sure how he can tell. And I feel great. Hopefully he’ll get on board as well.

    Kathy wrote on October 11th, 2011
  7. I got over my near daily ice cream addiction, although I didn’t abstain completely as planned, 3 times in 30 days is much better than 6 times in 7 days. I lost the weight I gained in August plus a little more (~5 lb). I was already mostly primal before the challenge and plan to continue eating this way forever. Now if only I could get that fitness thing going fully.

    Dan wrote on October 11th, 2011
  8. Awwww, is it over ALREADY?!

    I had fun on my first primal challenge! The challenges, the videos, it was all great. I was pretty close to a primal diet before, but dropping the few grains I did eat was harder than I thought. The one noticeable difference for me is recovery time after a work out. I wasn’t as sore for as long.

    I also bought my first Vibram fivefingers, and it was love at first walk! I got the Treksports so I could hike in them. I tried on three pairs of the same size before I found a left and right one that fit me perfectly. Now, if I can only find a store that carries KSOs that are not in a butt-ugly color…

    Phoebe wrote on October 11th, 2011
    • What are KSO’s?

      lunasma wrote on October 12th, 2011
  9. Challenged myself to read your book and ended up off grains and sugar. Realized that every time I’ve done that I have felt a million times better. Tha huband is totally on board and is excited about how he feels and the fact that he doesn’t have to exercise 2 hours a day to feel in shape. Plotting to take all th kids (1-8 years) off wheat for a variety of reasons now cemented by your info. Looking so forward to feeling and looking better anb better! I don’t have a scale but these last 30 days have definitely made my clothes fit different! And I made prime rib on a Tuesday just because I can. (I ALSO THINK WE NEED A MRS GROK WITH A BABY IN A CARRIER!)

    Heidi wrote on October 11th, 2011
  10. Dropped 15 pounds ! Started at 286 and today I hit 271! Absolutely bought in to the primal blueprint (food) diet-wise, no sugars, breads or grains. Just tasty skin- on chicken, steaks, sashimi, dark greens of all kinds. 15 lbs and I indulged alcohol liberally just about nightly the first three weeks ( just switched from vodka tonic to vodka soda). And hardly worked out! I haven’t felt this great in ten years and have stepped it up this month with a couple workouts and no alcohol for the month- definitely sleeping better, starting gracie jiu jitsu tomorrow and I’ve committed to doing 5 minutes worth of planks and 50 pushups for every time someone tells me I look like I’ve lost weight so I don’t lose sight of the big prize… The before and after posts! . The ability to share this with everyone here is a huge motivator and confidence builder.

    Jorgo wrote on October 11th, 2011
  11. The 30 days was great in all honesty!! I went out with some co-workers and drank lastnight as a celebration of the launch of our restaurant and felt like crap today, plus I had a pizza (Yeah, I know).

    All in all it just isn’t worth it, and I feel TREMENDOUSLY better in every sense. I’m going back to full Primal, and it really does get fairly efortless once you get about 2 weeks or so, at least for myself.

    It really has changed my outlook, and I look forward to posting some before and after photos and getting more involved around here. Thanks Mark and everybody here!! – Rhyno

    Rhyno wrote on October 11th, 2011
  12. Lost another 4lb despite having guests and days out for most of the 30 days which meant it was harder than usual to avoid grains and processed sugar; I am pleased with how I did, but I could have done better.

    What really made a difference to me though was keeping a journal of what I was doing – nothing too in-depth but just for me to be able to evaluate what I’ve got nailed and where I’m struggling, something I need to look at properly over the next few days, and then set myself some new goals to aim for. I’ve lost exactly a stone since I started PB properly about 3-4 months ago and I’m feeling the benefits, but I do have a long way to go still, and I think the journal will help me get it all in perspective and under control.

    Interestingly, I do believe PB could be slowly going mainstream – a magazine I subscribe to surprised the life out of me by doing a diet/fitness article this month all about the benefits of eating like a cavewoman! I was equally surprised by the differences between their ‘plan’ and PB though, for example they still didn’t encourage eating fat! :O So methinks a letter (and maybe review of Mark’s new book, whether they want it or not, hahaha…) will be making it’s way to them in the not too distant future… 😉

    Jo wrote on October 12th, 2011
  13. So far, in less than 30 days of going about 90/10% “PRIMAL”, I have lost 10 lbs. of body fat ( noticed I specifically did not say weight loss, lol!), my skin has almost completely cleared itself up for the first time in years without the use of dangerous steroid creams, And my energy levels are soaring, just to name a few benefits of following the advice in your main book, Mark! I thought the “Zone” was the definite plan for improved fitness and health! But you sir have taken it to a completely different higher level, that’s for sure!!! I wish to thank my sister in Barrie, Ontario, Canada for referring me to you book and one other but I never got to “the other” once I started reading “The Primal Blueprint”! Thank you Norma-Jean McCreedy-Spauls for your excellent referal and to you, Mark Sisson for unleashing the power on a sleep-walking world, lol! Keep up the great work, Mark! Don’t ever stop in your crusade! You are and will be making a tremendous difference in people’s lives. God is blessing your work and both God and I love you for it!

    Kevin R. McCreedy wrote on October 12th, 2011
  14. I completely mastered going without one cheat a week, I didn’t drink one diet soda, and now I just started Whole30! However, I still suck at getting eight hours of sleep. I really need more discipline in that area. Btw, I got that sleeping tracker app for Android and it is amazing! Even when I only get 4 hours of sleep, it wakes me up when I’m sleeping lightly and I feel right as rain – enough so that I can run before work! :) I’m sad that I didn’t partake in more than one of the contests, but I’ll be more than ready next year! Can’t wait to read your new book!!

    Chrissy wrote on October 12th, 2011
  15. I enjoyed the challenge.. along with my teenage daughter. I, personally, lost 12 pounds, 2.5 inches off my waist and 1.5 inches off my hips. And I need to hunt up some smaller pants, 2 different sizes in my closet right now and both are too big!

    I’m still looking for the increased energy, that never fully caught up with me. Think it may have somethign to do with the fact that the number of cloudy/rainy days out numbered the sunny ones and I’m one of those people that “shuts down” when there’s no sun.

    I’ve made a point of relaxing more. I’ve spent less time on the computer. Daughter and I have now developed a weekend habit of going to walk at the nearby state forest.

    I will defintely be sticking as much as possible to Primal.. though will be more 80/20 I am sure. Will be definitely some non-primal days coming up as my other daughter comes home for fall break and to celebrate her birthday.

    And one last thing I discovered. Even if a food is considered primal, it may still be too high in carbs or have other triggers that cause me to over eat or gain wait. The brownies in the PB cookbook come immediately to mind. Think I am just too sensitive to sugars in all forms (honey in that case) to safely indulge.

    Really enjoyed the contests, looking forward to next year.

    BeccainSC wrote on October 12th, 2011
  16. I lost 10 pounds! Doing 80/20. Used the challenge as a chance to get started slowly but surely on a Primal lifestyle, but now, despite tightening up significantly on the 20%, I’ve hit a plateau for last 2 weeks, (lost all weight in first 2), and I have another 35 pounds to go. Any suggestions? I have small portion of fruit 3-4 times per week, minimal dairy (butter, occasional cream or natural yoghurt 2 x per week), no grains, no sugar, no extras (chocolate/booze). Not overdoing it on nuts either – maybe 2 x per week. Where am I going wrong?! Feel this is right and sustainable way to live, but would like to see some more results and reclaim my wardrobe of lovely clothes!

    Dlutes wrote on October 12th, 2011
    • I have found for myself that in order to lose weight my carbs need to be no higher than 60g/day, and tracking makes a huge difference for me. I try to track one week every month to make sure I’m on track.

      Katie wrote on October 12th, 2011
    • I was about 100% primal the first three weeks and ran into the same problem. I plugged everything I was eating into and saw that although my carbs were a tad high (I love fruit salads for breakfast!), I wasn’t getting enough overall calories, so my body was hoarding them.

      So I added the 10% non-primal (homemade mashed potatoes and gravy a couple times, a couple organic granola cookies, all good stuff, just not primal). The extra calories caused me to start losing weight again!

      Hope this helps!
      Kim :)

      Kim wrote on October 13th, 2011
  17. I’ve learned a lot in the highs and lows of this Primal challenge.

    Going primal, including the consumption of grass-fed meat, can be a lifestyle change that I CAN stick to and afford.

    Some situations, like the school cafeteria, are harder to deal with and almost always a setup for failure. So always go out prepared!

    The greatest benefit has been the elimination of Brain Fog. Wow.

    I also realised how my appetite adjusted – eat when hungry, not because it’s “the time to eat”.

    I still always desire a bit of a dessert. Having something more “primal” on hand is still better than a processed alternative.

    It definitely was an imperfect run, but a good one! While I see some changes in my body, I haven’t lost any weight, especially.

    I know this is the right way for me to eat, in terms of how I behave and think. My next project is fitness!

    Amanda wrote on October 12th, 2011
  18. Aww, I fell off the wagon on the last day and ate some potatoes. But I did lose about 8 or 10 lbs and have felt better.

    Kay wrote on October 12th, 2011
  19. Lost 3 Kg (6.6 lbs). Considering I was only 75/25 Primal, I’m pleased. BUT I’m definitely not satisfied, and I intend to get more and more Primal from now on.
    I have been walking more, moving more, and sitting less in front of the TV. I’ve been feeling a little tired lately, but that may be from not being totally Primal.
    Thanks, Mark for giving me this opportunity to learn and get wiser!

    Michele Shimizu wrote on October 12th, 2011
  20. Although I didn’t exactly take on the Challenge, I started PB at about the same time. The biggest differences I’ve noticed so far:
    – I’ve only lost about 3 pounds, but my pants are getting too big for me, and I no longer feel myself jiggling when I walk =)
    – I have zero desire to eats grains or processed foods, and though I’ve yet to kick the craving for sweet stuff, I stick with fruit or stevia to get my sugary fix
    – What I DO crave: meat, veggies, and fat. Lots of fat. Especially bacon fat. =)
    – I get deeper sleep, and sleep longer. The only downside is that I start work at 7am, so no waking with the sunrise for me =(
    – I feel like my workouts are far more effective in a fraction of the time. Instead of slogging away on the treadmill or wasting an hour on weight-machine circuits, I spend no more than 30 minutes doing ANY workout, and feel like I’ve done the equivalent of a full-on 2 hour session. This is a big deal since I go to the gym before work and no longer have to get up at 4:30am to do it! =)

    All in all, I’m feeling much better. I no longer have the digestive issues I used to have, and I don’t crash out at night and drag myself around in the morning. My energy levels are up, my waist size is down (by a full 2 inches already!!!), and I couldn’t be happier with my results. Thank you Mark, and thank you PB community, for all the guidance and support!

    Siren wrote on October 12th, 2011
  21. It’s over? It seems like I just got started. Accomplishments:

    Mini-challenge – pulled all the grain stuff out of the freezer and fridge – bags of fancy rice and GF flours. Still need to pull the beans out of the cupboard. I even found brown rice lasagna noodles in there. A couple of months ago I bought a GF cookbook (breads and grain dishes) that goes into the box of poison to give away. About half the bags were unopened. I haven’t been using any of those things anyway because they are a hassle to cook. I have so much room in the fridge now – I can find things easily.

    Mini-challenge – learn something new: I went to the local craft store and learned to do mosaics. I’ve done 2 of them now and I’m planning several more. I also got out the classical guitar I inherited and took it to be restrung and I bought a beginners book and started reading it.

    Exercise – increased it some, but my goal is to increase it more. I’ve always walked a lot (I have a dog), but I added some sprints (had to take off a week to let the shin splints heal) and I added carrying heavy stuff (yesterday it was 1/2 watermelon in one hand and 3 sweet potatoes and other groceries plus purse, in the other hand – huffing by the time I got them to the car. But I was walking slowly) and I’ve added some crunches. Now I need to look for a place to do pull-ups.

    Diet – I cut back on chips and rice and beans at my local Mexican food restaurant. And I stopped getting tortillas. Last night I got out the hand held blender and made a dressing to put on my big assed bowl of slaw. Wow!!

    Overall: Feeling much better – happier, less grumpy, more energized. I noticed that I’ve been humming, whistling and singing this last week – things I haven’t done in years!!! And I’m petting my cats and dog more and they are responding to the attention.


    W. J. Purifoy wrote on October 12th, 2011
  22. My challenge goals were stress reduction and sleep improvments. I have been eating paleo since Jan 2011, though not 100%. I made progress with both of those challenge goals, and I have a long way to go. I had gotten myself off all but an antihistamine during the challenge but then had a major setback last week with an all out allergy attack (something I ate I think). Now I am recovering from that attack and a breakout of canker sores.
    I travelled during the last part of the challenge and did pretty well with that, until the return trip. I made a few bad choices but there’s a lesson to be learned.
    I will take my own 21 day challenge! I still have a long way to go regarding eating out, excercising, and general stress reduction.

    Missy wrote on October 12th, 2011
  23. Will the freebies also be available to people who order the Kindle version of your book?

    Petra wrote on October 12th, 2011
  24. I lost 4 pounds and have been more active since starting the challenge. I am still struggling with my activity level and wish it were more, But hey! I started out somewhere and will continue to move forward with harder challenges..( eeek) I had a few slip ups diet wise but I am pretty good about eating primal 80% of the time if not 100% I will continue to grok on!!! Even with just four pounds I feel 10 times better!!!

    I only did a few challenges some were not things I could do which is okay I still read everyday and stuck to my guns!

    Lexxy wrote on October 12th, 2011
  25. So I wanted to go for 100% for the challenge but I didn’t quite make it. As a matter of fact, I had to call it quits half way through.

    Between stress at work, a nasty cold and a vacation to visit an old friend, I was totally broken.

    Starting Novermber 1st I’m going to give it another go. 100% Primal for 30 days.

    Lisa wrote on October 12th, 2011
  26. Had gone mostly primal for 2 months before the challenge. In the past 30 days I’ve reduced my sweet treats even more and started making coconut flour/coconut sugar treats for those times when I really want a baked treat. The kid loves them, too. I’ve reduced dairy to more of a condiment and I have increased exercise but not enough. Have been continuing to lose weight and was finally able to shop in the regular sizes rather than the big girl section (after several years of not fitting in the regular sizes!) I had been low energy for quite some time before changing my eating habits and that’s one area that’s been slow to change. Starting to see some small improvement there. At this point working on increasing good sleep and exercise will probably be where I concentrate my efforts to hopefully also increase my energy.

    Jellerose wrote on October 12th, 2011
  27. Been very shy about jumping in since I went Primal, March 2011. Now I can no longer contain my enthusiasm! This WOL has transformed my family, my health, my life. It also rebooted my dreams and got me on track with my life’s purpose. Have shed over 100 lbs in the last 2 years but have never done it so effortlessly as since I committed to living Primal. While I have so far left to go both in pounds (65-85) and in life goals (med school and having a second child), I have an excellent life now and a growing healthier by the moment tribe who appreciates the value of playfulness to share it with! Thanks’s Mark and to everyone else who are making ancestral nutrition and fitness a community that supports my dreams.

    Illyeanna Wolfstorm wrote on October 12th, 2011
  28. I went to a Mexican restaurant and since the challenge was done I thought, why not have a tortilla or 2. My stomach hurt for HOURS afterwards. I’m so sticking with being primal!

    Talliscott wrote on October 13th, 2011
  29. I’ve actually been on this challenge a week before it started, and am loving it! I’ve lost 12 pounds, 2 1/2 sizes, and quite a few inches! I feel great, and even though everyone around me has been getting ill, I’ve stayed healthy and energized. I sleep great, and have the energy I’ve been needing to keep up with all my boys (ages 1-21!) All this and I get to eat the most awesome food I’ve ever had and exercise moderately (which means it’s fun for me and not work!) Who could ask for more? I’m hooked!!!
    Kim :)

    Kim wrote on October 13th, 2011
  30. Wow! I can’t believe that I missed most of the Primal Challenge this year! Part of the reason is that it coincided with Canadian Thanksgiving and I was off-grid for about a week or so (eating stuffing and gravy!!). Call me a primal hypocrit, but I think a little stuffing and gravy once or twice a year is worth it (even though Robb Wolf would throw himself under a bus to make me stop – or at least that’s what I think he said in his podcast…).

    Anyway, congrats to all who made it through this year’s primal challenge! It’s SO worth it!!

    gilliebean wrote on October 13th, 2011
  31. Hahaha, it was Madrid, Mark, I’ve just read it! Anyway, Barcelona is great too!
    Nacho Gazpacho

    El Gourmet Espartano wrote on October 17th, 2011
  32. Over the 30 day challenge, I lost 12 lbs, 1.5″ off my waist, 1.5″ off my hips, 1″ off my thighs, and 0.5″ my upper arms.

    Feel great and really enjoy the food I’ve been eating. Plus I didn’t let a few slip-ups pull me off the wagon completely.

    Ruth wrote on October 18th, 2011

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