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. Those closest to me know that I am going Primal and they kind of have fun with it keeping me on track because I have informed them on what is and isn’t “Primal”. Facebook is definitely going to get its fair share of MDA updates from me all month long and my 700 friends will hear about it.

    Grok on!!!

    Thomas wrote on September 7th, 2010
  2. I am enlisting my co-worker to up his workout routine to include LHT and recently have been guiding him to the primal light.

    Lars1000 wrote on September 7th, 2010
  3. Told the mother n law over the weekend and sent out emails to a few friends.

    Julia wrote on September 7th, 2010
  4. I gave the book to my parents to get them on board, too.

    Told all of my coworkers about the lifestyle. I’m happy to see it’s had an impact on a couple of them lately with their lunch choices. :)

    Trevor wrote on September 7th, 2010
  5. I published this on my website, messenger and facebook.
    Our whole family is participating!

    Viidakkotohtori wrote on September 7th, 2010
  6. Shared the link on facebook. Great opportunity to fully adopt. I even have my carb loving wife onboard, for at least 30 days. I told her if she does it for 30 days 100% and does not feel better I will never try to sell primal to her again.

    Ryan wrote on September 7th, 2010
  7. Woohooooo!! First off, let me just say THANK YOU Mark for organizing this challenge!! How awesome of you to put so much thought and effort into this and share with us your wealth of knowledge … and all at no cost!! You truly ROCK! (or should I say GROK hehe)

    I’m a nutritionist and organized a group challenge in February :-) Now I’ve got about 30 people committed to doing the challenge this month! I’ve email’d them all, and they all know to come to your site DAILY! I also just facebooked and posted about it on my blog! I’ve been primal for years and I LOVE when I can convince someone to take on this challenge for themselves, because when they do … they almost ALWAYS adopt it as a lifestyle! Woohoo!!
    Thank you Mark!!

    Jenny wrote on September 7th, 2010
  8. I told my boss about the Primal Blueprint Challenge. We each got a copy of the Primal Blueprint as well as the cookbook. I’m getting married on October 2, and in addition to wanting to look GREAT for the wedding I’m ready to take control and start my marriage off the right way. GROK ON!!

    Dusty wrote on September 7th, 2010
  9. Told a friend and now she is joining me for the 30 day primal challenge!!

    Amy wrote on September 7th, 2010
  10. I told my friends about the challenge :-)

    Jenn wrote on September 7th, 2010
  11. I’ve told a vegan friend of mine about the challenge. He’s been interested in the Primal/Paleo lifestyle ever since I’ve started with it, and maybe this challenge might help him to get started as well.

    xz123 wrote on September 7th, 2010
  12. I actually went primal two weeks ago and this morning I took all my measurements and vitals to give a starting point for the challenge. Blood pressure went from 150/102 to 122/80. Felt great. Told my dad, who has high blood pressure, diabetes, and is obiese. Told my mom so she can help him out. I have discussed this with my wife and girls and they are going primal too, although the kids will be weaned off the poisonous things over the next few weeks. Over the weekend, I made some cookies using almond meal, walnuts, dried cranberries and dark chocolate pieces and the girls loved them. I have also talked about it at work. I even posted a flier to start a primal hiking group for after work or weekends. Great since I live in colorado in the shadows of the foothills of the Rockies. I even had a couple people sign up, and its only been two hours since I posted it.

    Chris I wrote on September 7th, 2010
  13. Blog and Twitter. I forgot this was starting today and I ate cereal for breakfast. If it’s any consolation, I felt bad about it. I’ve been reading about this for almost a year now, but I haven’t really commited to make it happen. This month is the kick off for me. Yay!

    PeeJay wrote on September 7th, 2010
  14. Goin primal! Just finished some steak and broccoli for lunch. Also just posted to my facebook page.

    Nick wrote on September 7th, 2010
  15. Since I’ll be trying to keep up a somewhat regular journal during the next 30 days, regularly updating on the ‘primalness’ of those weeks, it only made sense to have an introductory post on my blog, linking to MDA and this announcement, which is now spread via Facebook, Twitter email – and also verbally to whoever decided to listen.

    On top of that, during the upcoming two weeks, I’ll be on the road with a friend of mine I’d really love to convert to the “good”, the primal side!

    Thanks for hosting this challenge, Mark!

    Dominik M. wrote on September 7th, 2010
  16. Posted on FB. Working on dh and ds. Uphill battle with them.

    Sanas wrote on September 7th, 2010
  17. Have been speaking to a friend about primal for a while, told him about the challenge and he is going for it! Him and his girlfriend are going primal for the next 30 days!

    Russell wrote on September 7th, 2010
  18. Fb’ed and discussed!

    Michelle wrote on September 7th, 2010
  19. My parents started me off on this a month or two ago, and just yesterday I was telling my Grandma all about it–she’s promised to check out the website (and what good timing!). She’s noticed that my parents and I have all lost weight, and she’d definitely like to be a part of that.

    I’ve also been telling my friends about it every chance I get since I just feel great! I’ll be posting on my blog about it as well as soon as I get it started up all the way.

    saoirse wrote on September 7th, 2010
  20. I posted a link on Facebook, and encouraged my “Shape up the Nation” group at work to participate.

    RPM wrote on September 7th, 2010
  21. How PERFECT! Today was the day I had decided to go Primal anyway, and here the contest is starting. Talk about destiny :)

    Me and my two children are going primal. My husband not so much, but at least he’s taking fish oil pills.

    I posted this on faceobok, and I hope my friends and family there get interested too, for their health – not JUST for the contest!

    My in-laws also know I am on board, so they know that when I decline their home-made food it’s nothing personal :) I sort of convinced my sister-in-law to get into it, and I gave her the primal blueprint book of mine to read.

    Lyndsey wrote on September 7th, 2010
  22. Printed out the challenge info and posted it near the water cooler at work. Also emailed this link to family members/friends.

    Looking forward to this next 30 days (and beyond).

    Nick wrote on September 7th, 2010
  23. My wife and I are taking the challenge! I post this link on my Facebook page and will keep spreading the word!

    David wrote on September 7th, 2010
  24. Ah my Wife and Kids know, primarly because they have to eat what I cook these days :).
    Outside of them I’m keeping it all to myself, not because I dont think its a great lifestyle. But for this case I want the results to speak for themselves, I want people to come ask me what I’ve been doing. Like they say a picture paints 1,000 words.
    When they come flocking for advice, I’ll be ready to proclaim the Primal Blueprint as my way of life. :)

    Jason Elliott wrote on September 7th, 2010
  25. I posted this on Facebook. Also my husband will be doing the challenge with me.

    Ely wrote on September 7th, 2010
  26. I convinced a co-worker to do the challenge with me and posted it on Facebook!

    Ruth wrote on September 7th, 2010
  27. Shared with my loyal Google Reader followers and sent a link to my stair running buddy! My lady friend is doing the challenge with me!

    Nat S wrote on September 7th, 2010
  28. I posted the MDA content details on my own nutrition/fitness inspired blog and shared how I will tweak the current 30 day challenge to be more in line with what MDA challenged.

    Laura P wrote on September 7th, 2010
  29. I told my brother about it. He actually lost 50 pounds after following a primal lifestyle. We’re both in!

    Vanilla wrote on September 7th, 2010
  30. I told my husband about it and a couple of my close friends. and although my kids are pretty young, i have talked about going primal and i hope that they can adopt some good eating habits with me!!

    Jenny wrote on September 7th, 2010
  31. I talk about PB with pretty much everyone I know (especially since everyone keeps telling me that I look like I’ve lost weight). I’ve loaned the book to my mom (who is now starting her primal journey!!) and am buying her and my dad copies for part of their (early) Christmas presents. I’m also trying to re-educate people in my family (especially my grandmother) about how NOT ALL FAT IS BAD!! It’s an ongoing battle with her, but well worth it to keep my loved ones truly healthy.

    Lauren wrote on September 7th, 2010
  32. I have a friend who I told about the primal blueprint and we get together on Sundays for our sprinting workout. It is a great motivator to do with someone else.

    KCarlson wrote on September 7th, 2010
  33. I’ve been preaching primal at work for a long time, but today i’ve challenged all my twitter and facebook friends. Maybe I can even rope in my wife and 1year old!

    stephen brown wrote on September 7th, 2010
  34. I have sent a facebook invite to my entire crossfit group asking them to join in this challenge with me. If we all work hard and one of us wins the cow there will be a huge BBQ! Good luck everyone.

    Kelly Pruitt wrote on September 7th, 2010
  35. I’ve been posting about it with my friends on (we have a dedicated primal thread), I also facebooked the link this morning!

    kennelmom wrote on September 7th, 2010
  36. I purchased The Primal Blueprint for a friend so that they can get started today!

    Xfitter wrote on September 7th, 2010
  37. I’m so excited about this! I’ve got my whole family on board!

    Nellie wrote on September 7th, 2010
  38. Love it! I’ve already gotten my roomate, girlfriend, several friends, and a couple randoms on board (all of which gave me a hard time about it before). I haven’t been about to get them 100% yet (mainly the exercise) so I’m also using this opportunity to get them 100% for the month. Trying to get my Dad on board too, but my stubborn Mom is a roadblock!

    Austin wrote on September 7th, 2010
  39. wrote a blog, posted on facebook, have talked to my family, and I’m starting a journal (again) on the forum! I’m excited and ready!! Woo hoo!

    Annie wrote on September 7th, 2010
  40. I’m a physical therapist and have been plugging your blog a lot recently. Without knowing of this contest, today, I emailed this blog to 4 of my patients. They all were very interested (although one was very skeptical). Cheers.

    pieter d wrote on September 7th, 2010

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