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

The Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge

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!

Watch the following video and read the article below for all the details.

Before we get to the specifics of the challenge, today’s contest:

Today’s Contest

The first contest of this 30-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge is a two-parter:

  • Tell your friends and family about this challenge. Call your mom, email your uncle, post this URL on your FaceBook wall, Tweet it, blog about it and otherwise spread the word.
  • In today’s comment board, tell me what you did to tell the world about this health challenge and contest giveaway.

A winner will be selected by way of a random drawing. The winner will receive a mystery prize valued at $200. I am excited to announce that later this month I will be releasing a brand new Primal Blueprint product. The winner of this contest will be the very first person to get their hands on this product. Stay tuned for the unveiling!

This contest ends at September 9, 10 am PST and everyone is eligible.

The Challenge

In past years I’ve been a bit vague about the challenge, asking you to define your own. This year I’ve created some specifics. Of course, feel free to customize the official challenge to meet your own needs and goals.

This year’s challenge is all about aligning your lifestyle behaviors with each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws. I’ve created some specific mini-challenges that relate to each law. Every article, recipe, contest and prize during the next 30 days will relate to these challenges – motivating you to “get Primal” at each step of the way.

Challenge #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals

Eating right is central to the Primal lifestyle, which is why Law #1 is a five-part challenge:

  • Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, meat, healthy fats: This one is pretty straightforward. I’m asking you to eat Primal for 30 days. Commit to it right at this moment. Just one month of nothing but the best food on the planet. In just a few short weeks your body will thank you. If you want more ideas on which foods to eat and which foods to avoid pick up The Primal Blueprint and stay tuned for coming articles.
  • Cook at home: If you don’t know how to cook the challenge above really will be a challenge. Over the next 30 days we’ll be covering some essential cooking skills and techniques that anyone looking to go Primal should master. If you’re the type that dines out more often than dining in, and doesn’t know a pot from a pan, make an effort this month to get into the habit of preparing your own food.
  • Eat clean: The quality of your food matters. While sourcing clean food (organic, grass-fed, pastured, etc.) can be difficult and pricey it’s also an important part of the Primal Blueprint. Let me be clear. If your eating plan strictly consists of Primal foods, but your beef isn’t grass-finished, your eggs aren’t pastured and your vegetables are conventionally raised, you are still light years ahead of most people. But there’s room for improvement. This month I want you find and eat clean food. Stay tuned for tips on sourcing the best and doing it on a budget.
  • Dial in your carb count: If you’ve read The Primal Blueprint you are familiar with The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve. This month I’m challenging you to take a closer look at your carb intake and make sure it aligns with the Curve. It’s the simplest, surefire way to drop excess body fat and stay lean for life. Stay tuned for tips on how to accomplish this.
  • Remember the 80/20: Not all neolithic food is poisonous. Additionally, the Primal Blueprint and this challenge isn’t about becoming an ascetic. Periodically indulge in sensible vices – high-fat dairy/cheese, dark chocolate, red wine – and take full advantage of state-of-the-science supplementsfish oils, high-antioxidant multi-vitamins, protein powders. It will make the challenge more pleasant, the transition easier and will support your health to boot.

Challenge #2: Avoid Poisonous Things

  • Don’t eat garbage: This is the other side of the first challenge above. If you are eating Primal you aren’t eating chips, cookies, crackers, grains, pasta, beans, bread, popcorn, energy drinks, soda, juices, candy, vegetable oils and fast food. The list goes on. If you want to go Primal the first thing to do is purge your pantry, your fridge and your life of all the junk that has no place in your body. Do it for 30 days. I promise it gets easier and you’ll want to keep doing it because you’ll look and feel better.

Challenge #3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

  • Just move: It’s that simple. Just get out there and move. I challenge you to align your low-level aerobic activity with Primal Blueprint Fitness. If you don’t already have the free fitness program grab it now. Get 3-5 hours of walking, hiking, light cycling, swimming, etc., each week. Do it all at once or in batches. Use the logbook at the back of PBF and your forum journal to track your progress.

Challenge #4: Lift Heavy Things

  • Lift your body: If you want to build lean muscle mass and stay strong into your golden years you have to lift heavy things. Align your weightlifting routine with Primal Blueprint Fitness and perform two bodyweight workouts each week. See chapter 3 of Primal Blueprint Fitness for all the details.

Challenge #5: Sprint Once in a While

  • Just move… very fast!: Too many people neglect to include sprinting in their workout routines. They’re the perfect Primal fitness hack that can be done in as little as 10 minutes. I challenge you to perform one sprint workout each week during this challenge.

Challenge #6: Get Adequate Sleep

  • Make sleep high priority: Late nights at the office. Late nights partying. Late nights… watching TV. Whether it’s business or pleasure, we’re busier than ever and sleep is often the first thing to suffer. I challenge you to get adequate sleep every night this month. What amounts to adequate is for you to decide. I think most people know how much sleep they need. Some people get by on six hours a night no problem. Others need eight or more. The important thing is you wake up feeling energized and ready to go.

Challenge #7: Play

  • Get playful: If you’ve forgotten how to play, this challenge will jog your memory. Grok did it and it’s why I train. For the stress-reducing effects, to get you moving without even realizing you’re moving and for the sheer fun of it, I challenge you to participate in each of the four Workouts of the Week this month. Each WOW during the challenge will be decidedly playful. Be prepared to print out the rules, gather your friends and have a blast.

Challenge #8: Get Adequate Sunlight

  • Soak in the rays: It’s difficult to emphasize enough the importance of vitamin D. In a world where we go from our houses to our cars, from our cars to the office place, from the office place to our cars and back home again many of us are woefully deficient. My challenge to you this month is to get 15 minutes of sun exposure each day of the 30-day challenge. If sun is hard to come by in your area take a supplement instead.

Challenge #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes

  • Listen to your body: This is such a broad Primal Blueprint law the challenge could take many directions. For the purpose of this 30-day challenge, though, I’d like you to be particularly aware of what your body is telling you during each of the other challenges. Feel a sharp pain during a sprint? Be smart and end your sprint session. Skin turning pink while out in the sun? That’s a sign to seek shade and avoid a nasty burn. I want this to be a pain and injury free event, so pay particular attention to what your body is saying.

Challenge #10: Use Your Brain

  • Challenge yourself intellectually: I won’t ask you to throw out your television or read War and Peace this month. But I will say that you are gifted with a huge brain, and you should flex it. We each have the power to solve difficult problems, be incredibly creative, and effect major change. And it all begins in our heads. This month I challenge you to identify one of the intellectually challenging things in your life you’ve been meaning to do and take the first steps to actually doing it. Apart from the pride and satisfaction you’ll derive from following through there are many health benefits conferred as a result. As the saying goes, use it or lose it.

The Primal Leap

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.

The Forum

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.

Daily Contests

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 over $10,000 in prizes.

Here are some rules and answers to FAQ:

  • Yes, I’m giving away a cow. Find out all about it tomorrow.
  • Contests will run every day for the duration of the 30-day challenge (through Oct. 6), 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 the full 30 days (to give you time to complete the contest task) while others will be as short as 1 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.
  • You can track the contests and contest results on the Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page. It will be updated every day.
  • I’m not being paid by any company that is sponsoring the contest with a prize.

All you have to do to enter today’s contest is tell your friends about this challenge and leave a comment on this blog post.

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

6. Have a question? – Contact Me

7. Check back tomorrow to learn how to tackle Challenge #2: Avoid Poisonous Things.

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. I posted this link on my facebook page and convinced my sister to adopt a primal lifestyle as well.

    Michael wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • I got my father-in-law to buy the book a couple months back and I’ve used this 30-day challenge to finally get him on board with the Primal lifestyle.

      He’ll be doing the challenge along with me.

      Justin wrote on September 7th, 2010
      • I am posting url to my facebook wall, and and my facebook page. I am mass emailing at work and every one I know!! I am so exicited about this next 30 days and am looking forward to a lifestyle change!!
        Thank you Mark!

        Chris Lowrey wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • I posted on my two blogs, and my fiancee is doing this with me!

      Tori Kean wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • I convinced my friend cross country to do the challenge with me. We are staying in touch via telephone and e-mail. I also told my husband, kids, parents and a few more friends.

      Jennifer wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • My wife and I are excited to take the challenge. I have also encouraged my Sister to participate.

      Pato1953 wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • Just told my carb-lovin’ coworker! The timing is perfect as he just decided to start making some positive changes in his diet.

      Evan wrote on September 8th, 2010
    • I told my coaches at crossfit, my friend, husband and kids. No one is doing this with me, but I need the challenge for motivation to get my eating under control.

      S wrote on September 8th, 2010
  2. I annouced the Primal Challenge on the Daily Board at the Gym. The first thing anyone sees when they walk in the door is the Primal Challenge announcement. This way I can let people I don’t even know get in on the fun!

    SoutherGrok wrote on September 7th, 2010
  3. I just told the four people I sit beside at work. In the last two months, one of these people has joined me with going Primal and is continuing to lose weight and looks great!

    Andy Martin(Jeep80915) wrote on September 7th, 2010
  4. I am going to work hard on getting my kids to make a change in this direction in their eating habits and I am going to get as many people as I can at work to try the challenge.

    Jim Strickland wrote on September 7th, 2010
  5. I posted that I am exited to start my 30 day primal challenge on my facebook status.

    Sarah wrote on September 7th, 2010
  6. At my annual family Labor Day party, I made primal poppers and meatballs. Everyone loved the dishes and started asking about eating paleo and how to start.

    I directed everyone to MDA but ended up giving my cousin my copy of the Primal Blueprint. He’s starting the challenge with me today!

    Grok On!

    Dan wrote on September 7th, 2010
  7. I gave my copy of the Primal Blueprint to the local pharmacy. I should be getting their opinions in a couple weeks time.

    Chris wrote on September 7th, 2010
  8. Put a link on facebook, and on my blog.

    Also sent email to those on my contact list who have expressed even mild interest. I figure I’d turn more people off than on by sending completely unsolicited email.

    I’m glad this challenge is not too physically demanding – it’s a big rest day for me.

    Kit Perkins wrote on September 7th, 2010
  9. i’ve been posting this to my facebook wall for a few weeks now, since it was announced. doing my best to get my sphere into this because i’ve never felt better!

    sara kate wrote on September 7th, 2010
  10. I’ve shared it with friends, family, and facebook

    Bryce wrote on September 7th, 2010
  11. My fiance is reading my copy of Primal Blueprint and my brother just bought his copy after I told him about how I went Primal.

    DPack wrote on September 7th, 2010
  12. I posted the link on facebook. My husband is joining in and our children 4 and 5 will be moving into this with us slowly.

    Michelle wrote on September 7th, 2010
  13. I posted a blog post on my new blog, shared it on twitter, and posted on my facebook profile that I am excited to start the PB 30-Day Challenge. I have also been talking it up to friends, and 2-3 have been reading up on the 101 section. So far, they like what they have read. “It makes a lot of sense,” said one yesterday.

    primanimal wrote on September 7th, 2010
  14. I have told the most important people in my life about this challenge: My mother, my girlfriend and my brother. My girlfriend has joined me on the primal side almost 100%, my mom too except for a few things here and there. My brother has accepted a few good pieces of advice but is unwilling to ditch the grains (yet).

    My mom isn’t into the digital thing but perhaps she and my girlfriend can join in on participating with me in some of the contests that are to come :)

    Lars wrote on September 7th, 2010
  15. Posted on my blog and on facebook. Grok on!

    Krys wrote on September 7th, 2010
  16. I spread the word on my FB and blog. It’s such a rewarding challenge!

    barbara wrote on September 7th, 2010
  17. I linked to MDA on my blog, and talked to a couple different family members about adopting this lifestyle. Hope I win!!

    Ben wrote on September 7th, 2010
  18. I am so IN!
    I have posted it on my blog, contacted all of my fellow Internal Auditors where I work (I am the departmental “Wellness Champ”), already started working on convincing my Mom, the Rico (husband), the Davon (BIL), and will be talking with the Davon’s GF. Several Auditors have already decided to get on board with this. I am so thankful to you, Mark for what you do to improve the lives of others.


    TexasPrimalSurfWahine wrote on September 7th, 2010
  19. Sent out a tweet and trying to get my mom and dad on board – they’re slowing catching on! Thinking about writing a blog post about it too. As someone mentioned above, it’s nice to have a significant other living the life too.

    Marisa wrote on September 7th, 2010
  20. All done ~ Facebook family is aware of my challenge.
    I’m back on track…for good.

    Toni wrote on September 7th, 2010
  21. I have been pumping up a few co-workers to take the challenge 2 have accepted. A buddy and I are all-in and ready to strive to achieve primal greatness!

    Sigmund wrote on September 7th, 2010
  22. I told my fiance and he is doing the challenge with me!

    Nicky wrote on September 7th, 2010
  23. I posted this to my Facebook and Twitter; told my co-workers and family about it; and will be blogging about my 30-day experience on my website.

    Grok on!


    Jamie Guined wrote on September 7th, 2010
  24. I shared the contest on my Facebook page!

    Laura wrote on September 7th, 2010
  25. I shared this on Facebook and have been telling friends/family about the challenge.

    Kat wrote on September 7th, 2010
  26. Facebook along with family and friends via word of mouth.

    Christian wrote on September 7th, 2010
  27. I have convinced my friends Heather and Eric to join the forum and do the challenge.

    Jennifer wrote on September 7th, 2010
  28. facebooked it. Excited for this challenge!

    Zach wrote on September 7th, 2010
  29. I’ve forwarded the info to friends who like me are in their fifties but would rather look and feel as though they were in their forties. Hope I’m going to be living proof of how well the Primal lifestyle works!

    French Margaret wrote on September 7th, 2010
  30. Spreading the word on Facebook, through my blog and word of mouth to my friends. Primal is a great way to go! I’ve lost 67 pounds so far!!!

    Patricia Weitzel wrote on September 7th, 2010
  31. I posted the challenge to Facebook.

    Turbo Kelly wrote on September 7th, 2010
  32. Looking forward to upping my Primal-ness.

    Lars1000 wrote on September 7th, 2010
  33. I told my brother about it… and we are ready for this challenge!!!

    Ritesh Dhupar wrote on September 7th, 2010
  34. So far, recruited my mom, dad, mother-in-law, father-in-law, 6 siblings, and working on completely switching my kids over during this month (we’ve been in transition for a while). My husband has been the toughest to convince (he didn’t really like the idea of no beer!) but he has agreed to give it a month and see how he feels. Looking forward to the challenge!

    Wellness Mama wrote on September 7th, 2010
  35. I have been sharing the primal lifestyle with several family members and friends. So far I have 3 friends and 4 family members on board!

    Katie wrote on September 7th, 2010
  36. I just sent a mass EMail to my cycling group. Many of whom are Chronic Cardio, High Carbers… this should be interesting!

    Johnny2X wrote on September 7th, 2010
  37. I posted this to my facebook as well as sent emails to my family and clients.

    As a personal trainer, I’m always trying to convince my clients that Paleo/Primal is the path to success!

    Justin wrote on September 7th, 2010
  38. I have been telling all my friends and family that I would be doing this challenge over the last couple weeks (since you announced it was coming)! This has given me time to explain more about the principles behind it, so far I have heard quite a few people say “well lets see how you do on it and then I will try….so here goes MY world is watching. Oh and it also gave me time to talk a good friend and my hubby into joining me :)

    Echo wrote on September 7th, 2010

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