This year’s 21-Day Challenge contests are winding down, but there are still numerous opportunities to participate and win. Check them all out here  and get your entries in before the deadlines!
Some of you have undertaken a pledge to get less (or none at all) light at night. That’s a worthy goal, but I’d argue that even those of you doing something different for the Challenge  – trying to lose weight, reduce stress, improve blood lipids, or anything, really – may want to pay attention to your nocturnal light consumption. A sampling of recent research suggests too much artificial light at night can impact many avenues of health relevant to the Challenge:
Among elderly , those who keep a light on at night have higher triglycerides, higher LDL, more abdominal obesity, and more overall obesity. Trying to improve blood work? Try limiting light at night.
Even dim light at night exaggerates  the normal inflammatory response to a stressor, injury, or pathogen. Trying to mitigate the effect of stress on your life? Limit light at night.
Blue light at night triggers  the retinal cells that communicate with the limbic system of our brain that controls cognition and mood. Trying to get out of a funk? Limit light at night.
Helpful Blog Posts
Fitness gadgets can be helpful in your Challenge, but using an excessive number of them didn’t really help this woman .
Fuel For the Fire
Need a reason to stick with your “fewer carbs” goal? If you’ve got the right gut flora, eating too many just might cause your blood alcohol level to reach physiologically-relevant heights  due to excessive fermentation. On second thought, that might be a reason to eat more carbs for some people.
Just because nature ain’t quite the same as it was  (even just from fifty years ago) and even though human attempts to engineer it fail miserably doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be immersing yourself in it.
Avoiding soda for the Challenge? Good idea, because it’s rotting the collective teeth of the Appalachian mountain communities . Better than meth, at least.
Contest Sponsor Discounts
Use the code EPICHEARTSMARK at EpicBar.com  and get free shipping on your order. Good through tomorrow.
Use coupon code MDA10 at PaleoTreats  to get 10% off your order through the end of the month.
Use discount code COCONUTGHEE to get $6.50 off any purchase over $15 at Pure Indian Foods , as long as your order includes at least one jar (any size) of PRIMALFAT™ Coconut Ghee.
Use ALASKA when ordering from wildpacificsalmon.com  to receive a $10 discount on an order of 10 lbs or more.
Want inexpensive (but not cheap) grass-fed meat? Tendergrass Farms  has kindly provided a discount coupon for all Mark’s Daily Apple readers. During checkout, use NICE2MEATU to receive 15% off your entire order. This offer is good until 10/17/13.
Ever worked out with a dedicated training sandbag? Now’s your chance: at Ultimate Sandbag  use promo code primalusb to receive 15% off any purchase through 10/31/13.
Tight muscles? Knotted-up gristly fascia that’s inhibiting your movement and sucking your will to live? Try a Radroller , and be sure to use the code MDAROLLER for 20% off your order. This one lasts for the duration of the challenge.
The Sling Trainer from Aerobis  is one of the best, most versatile training tools available that you can take with you anywhere – and until 10/15/13, MDA2013 will get you 15% off your whole order.
- Got chip cravings? Understandable. Instead of caving, make these easy smoky BBQ kale chips .
- Pasta, schmasta. Beat the pants off of that semolina-based swill with sweet potato gnocchi with tomato sauce .
One year ago (Sept 29 – Oct 5)
- Contest Poll: The 2012 Grokfeast Challenge  – Check out what happens when a bunch of Primal folks get together to eat. Looks fun, doesn’t it?
- How to Cultivate Resilience, or What It Takes to Keep on Keeping on  – In the face of adversity (say, from a Challenge), how can you continue on and succeed?
Comment of the Week
The biggest advice that someone gave me about going primal is don’t be an A** hole. If you go out to a party, event, or friends house and they have non primal food, just eat small portions. Don’t be one of those guys that say “I cant eat that” or “I don’t eat that”. I have a couple vegan friends and it is very difficult to cook for them. One meal is not going to kill you or set you back that much.
– Great tips, not just for the Primal Blueprint Challenge but for life itself, from Josh .