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

The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge: Progress Report

The Prize:

The winner of today’s Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Progress Report Contest will receive their choice of any of Vibram’s four designs of Fivefingers.

The Contest:

Today’s contest is a piece of cake. Simply leave a comment in this blog post describing your experience on the Primal challenge thus far, and do it in 3 sentences or less.

How does the reality of achieving your challenge goals compare to how you thought it would be when you began the challenge? Has it been easier? More difficult? Are you happy with your early challenge results? What does Primal living mean to you?

Contest Deadline:

Midnight tonight, August 17th.

Choosing a Winner:

One comment, and thus one winner, will be chosen at random.


From the United States to the United Kingdom and from New Zealand to New Delhi everyone is eligible. No restrictions.

Other Important Info:

  • Remember to use your real email address in the comment board. If you don’t we won’t have a way to contact you.
  • Multiple comments won’t get you multiple entries. One comment is enough.

To track all the contests visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

Visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge for challenge details.

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’ve learned to be more present in my eating. Conscious of what I put in my body and how it affects my energy, performance and general well-being.

    Amber wrote on August 17th, 2009
  2. My expectations for the challenge have more than been met. I sleep better, have more energy, am in a better mood, am drinking less alcohol, am losing weight, and am feeling fitter and firmer. Unexpected benefits have been meeting new people.

    jalense wrote on August 17th, 2009
  3. I’ve been living Primal for over a year now, but this challenge has me re-assessing and re-focussing my efforts. Better attention to detail is making for better strength gains and flexibility down the road. I think my benefits will be seen for the next 40+ years (I’m 41) that I continue to live the Primal way.

    it’ll be nice to be 80 and agile, able to walk un-assisted, able to get off the toilet (!) on my own, able to walk outside, to move my body and enjoy the world around me!

    Acmebike wrote on August 17th, 2009
  4. Since starting hte challenge my Workouts have been faster, recovery faster and I have been stronger. I have also been feeling more energetic throughout the day. As for my girlfriend started the same time as I did, she has lost her allergies to raw fruits and vegetables and nuts.

    lobo21nyy wrote on August 17th, 2009
  5. What turned me on to the “primal” way of life is that is just that… a way of life. This isn’t a fad diet or a new fitness craze. Its simple, straightforward and if you have any common sense you know it works without all the gimmicks that seem to go along with health these days.

    Jeremy wrote on August 17th, 2009
  6. Primal living for me is eating real food, connecting with local farmers and knowing that saturated animal fat is the number one food group. Exercising like our ancestor played. It has done wonders for my health physically and mentally!

    Scott wrote on August 17th, 2009
  7. I am in medical school now and I have ballooned in size ever since school started a year ago. I have come to realize that the status quo that the medical community espouses has not been helping the patients that much, and to add, the doctors are in even worse shape too which is quite ironic. I bought the Primal Blueprint book, read it overnight about a month ago and with my medical background, I found myself nodding a lot with what Mark wrote, and by following the rules in the book to a T, I have improved my energy levels, lost fat and built muscle, and will one day give my future patients relevant information for a long, happy, and healthy future!

    Mehmood wrote on August 17th, 2009
  8. I had been doing primal before this challenge, so the 30-day thing itself wasn’t a change for me, but I have noticed that I need to push myself more. Things that would’ve been tough for me both exercise- and diet-wise a month or two ago aren’t really a big deal anymore, and this absolutely shows progress (as do the lowering numbers on the scale and being able to fit into pants I haven’t worn in 3-4 years). It also shows that I have to raise the bar and set new standards so my body and mind can continue on the road to health.

    Kryz wrote on August 17th, 2009
  9. Was one-eighty pounds,
    Now only one-seventy,
    Oops, late haiku post.


    yayaman wrote on August 17th, 2009
  10. My challenge (to eat as many coconut products as possible) has been quite delicious.

    About the only thing coconut doesn’t go well with are Italian and Mexican seasonings.

    Making my coconut-vinegar, water and pomegranate juice combo ahead of time has turned out to be a disaster, as something weird and stringy has been growing in the bottom of the container!

    dragonmamma wrote on August 17th, 2009
  11. Easier to avoid grains and sugars than I expected, bu it’s hard giving up the dairy, so I’m trying to limit myself to the categories from PB that are “better” than others.

    Long cardio workouts are less fun eating this way and I’m weaning myself to shorter cardio workouts and lifting more often.

    Measurements are all moving in the right direction, but at a slow, reasonable pace.

    dml wrote on August 17th, 2009
  12. No more 6 meals a day stress!
    Can go till evening without eating since I’ve started burning fat as fuel! (Even though I was very lean to begin with, doing this for the evolutionary argument and after watching an interesting document “King Corn”).
    Not wasting calories in empty starch, everything is vitamin rich wholesome food from nuts to meat and vegetables, probably getting more nutrition on 2500 calories than i was on 3000+ before! Thanks!

    James wrote on August 17th, 2009
  13. Achieving my primal challenge goals of de-stressing more, sleeping better and making time for at least one play session per week has been easier than I expected. Thus far in the challenge, now that I have less stress, more sleep and play more often, my life has improved dramatically. In my mind, primal living means making a critically important split from the “modern” world in certain central aspects for both the short and long-term benefit of my physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

    hfox wrote on August 17th, 2009
  14. Feeling great. Lost weight. More energy. Why can’t I get my family to join along?

    bklnyc wrote on August 17th, 2009
  15. I’ve learned a lot of new things by taking this challenge – things that I might not have convinced myself to try otherwise. For instance, that it’s a cinch to write down everything that I eat in a day, that IF is ridiculously easy (and, indeed, can sneak up on you), and that unless I spend the entire day in town there is time enough for a good walk. I’ve also learned that even if I don’t meet my overall goals one day, I can get up and fulfill them the next – where if that had happened before it would have derailed me entirely.

    GeriMorgan wrote on August 17th, 2009
  16. Primal works for me! I struggled my whole life for fitness when it was really so simple, go natural.

    Brian Weinhaus wrote on August 17th, 2009
  17. Going primal has almost eliminated my migraine headaches. I no longer have crazy low blood sugar hunger episodes. And I can bench press my Great Dane (if I had too).

    PrimalJewishAmericanPrincess wrote on August 17th, 2009
  18. The Primal Challenge has made me more aware of the “cheats” that I take too liberally. I have begun to make better selections and I feel better for it. Grok on!

    Steven wrote on August 17th, 2009
  19. I was eating primally before the challenge started, so have taken this challenge as an opportunity to work on the other laws.

    I’ve been going to bed at a more reasonable time, which has been great, and I’ve also improved in the areas of moving slowly, lifting heavy things, and sprinting.

    Things are going great and I’m so glad you created this challenge to really kick us in the asses.

    FlyNavyWife wrote on August 17th, 2009
  20. I’ve almost forgotten what it was like before.

    Henry Miller wrote on August 17th, 2009
  21. At first I thought it would be difficult, and I wasn’t convinced it would last. But now that I’m off my butt, eating well, and feeling nourished, it’s a no-brainer. This is for health and for life.

    Patrick wrote on August 17th, 2009
  22. Going Primal not only changed my body but made my life far easier. Eating good natural food has become habit and its something I crave rather than junk, Exercise is short and fun like its supposed to be. Primal life is good!

    Chris - ZTF wrote on August 17th, 2009
  23. So far I have been doing moderately well. I haven’t gained any weight so far, like I was shooting for, but I have also slacked a bit on the workouts, which will change this week!

    DenverDavid wrote on August 17th, 2009
  24. I feel better, skin is way much better(no acne anymore), NO!! aphtous ulcers in my mouth anymore!, no flatulences! Additionaly I lost bodyfat and gained muscle! Love it!

    Ernie O'Malley wrote on August 17th, 2009
  25. I feel better when I’m primal, but the world around me isn’t very cooperative. I find it hard not to cave in and have the rice with my stir-fry or tortillas with stuff. I’m sticking to my guns though, and going with the 80-20 rule. Thanks!!

    Ninja Mom wrote on August 17th, 2009
  26. I was fairly Primal already, but the challenge has kept me in check in those rare moments I decide to “cheat.” Basically, if I get drunk one night and eat terrible food, I make sure to go right back to eating good, healthy salads the next day. It’s FUN!

    huey wrote on August 17th, 2009
  27. I feel like a winner everyday! I have broken all bad dietry habits, exercise habits, but most importantly I work in a gym and all the trainers laughed at me when I told them about this new philosophy. Now three months later I have lost 15 pounds of fat, gained muscle, and looked shredded, while those trainers still eat their 6 meals a day, eat multiple supplements, and workout 2 hours at a time.

    P.S. These trainers still think I’m crazy, but they can’t deny my results.

    Jim Taheri wrote on August 17th, 2009
  28. I think I broke my toe!
    I have a pair of Fivefingers, and LOVE them. I’ve been gradually working up the miles, and loving the feeling — I can feel the feet and calf muscles getting stronger. Yesterday on one of my favorite hikes my mind wandered for a fraction of a second and WHAM! My pinkie toe clipped a rock with a cracking sound, today it’s sore and black-and-blue. Stupid mistake (Law #9), Grok say OW!!

    Mike Stone wrote on August 17th, 2009
  29. Hard to stick to, but even at ~75% primal there’s a big difference in energy, and I’m losing body fat. The wife was convinced when she read it would improve facial skin tone (it did), and is now on the same track. We’re getting better.

    Dave wrote on August 17th, 2009
  30. i have not had any bread, grains, pasta ect….and have more energy and am more cut than i have ever been. giving up my cronic cardio for track sprints and pool sprints has really made a big difference also! the primal lifestyle is awesome!

    joshua76 wrote on August 17th, 2009
  31. The hardest part starting for me was the carb cravings. Those definitely go away and you start feeling better instantly, then you start looking better!

    cl wrote on August 17th, 2009
  32. I’ve been following the Primal diet for just under a month now in earnest. I’ve lost 10lbs and have never felt better! I was even able to even out my bloodsugar enough to do a 25 hour fast for the first time in my life.



    Jesse wrote on August 17th, 2009
  33. I am not primal yet, and have been using the challenge period to learn about PB and its benefits while adhering to the PB “lifestyle” laws (play, sleep better, get more sun, use your brain, avoid stupid mistakes).

    Loved everything I’ve read and think Mark and all of you are really on to something very good.

    My only hesitation to adopting full-bore PB right now is that I have committed to a friend that I would run the Marine Corps Marathon with him this fall and pacing him to his PR. I can’t bail out on my friend or our training plan now. I’ve reviewed the materials here about it and think I could handle my dietary requirements but our training will defintely qualify as “chronic cardio.” Any advice? Again, bailing out on my friend, Marine Corps, or our training isn’t an option. Thanks.

    Geoff wrote on August 17th, 2009
  34. Less stress, more energy, mental clarity: three things that going primal has produced for me. Eating has become more pleasurable because the foods are richer and more varied. Life is simply more fun.

    J.Sloan wrote on August 17th, 2009
  35. Three months in, and 58 pounds shed. Clear head, better mood, more energy,life is good.

    CJGabel wrote on August 17th, 2009
  36. Primal living is about overall health for me. I had never really done salads before since I thought they were just something for dieters. I’m actually eating a salad with steak as I write this and it is quite delicious; one of my baby steps towards a healthier life.

    Andy wrote on August 17th, 2009
  37. I would love a pair of Vibrams!

    gdavis wrote on August 17th, 2009
  38. This 30 Day Challenge is finally what it took for my family to realize that I was serious about this, and now EVERYONE eats good in my household!

    evanator wrote on August 17th, 2009
  39. Prior to starting the Primal Challenge I noticed I was getting a bit of fat around my midsection, which alarmed me since I’ve always been a pretty thin guy. I’ve drastically reduced the amount of carbs I used to eat, and already notice my pants fitting looser and more definition in my abs.

    I also have Crohn’s disease, a chronic autoimmune/digestive condition, and notice a lot less pain in my gut as well as less fatigue and “brain fog.”

    Eric T wrote on August 17th, 2009
  40. Starting the Primal challenge prompted me to finally dive into IF for the first time. I’ve always felt better in the morning on an empty stomach, so that’s a bonus. I’m now trying to rearrange my schedule so that I can fit some workouts into my mornings when I feel most energetic.

    Elana wrote on August 17th, 2009

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