Tag: health challenges

Action Item #1: Eliminate SAD Foods

The fundamental key to success with any lifestyle modification is removal, elimination, and avoidance of the agents of opposition to your desired lifestyle. If you’re trying to read more books and stop watching reality television, you’re going to want to cancel your scheduled recordings of Jersey Shore. If you’re trying not to drink alcohol for a month, you’ll want to get rid of the beer, booze, and wine in your house. Heck, if you’re going vegan, you’ll want to toss all the animal products from your fridge, pantry, and freezer. And if you’re going Primal, whether if it’s for a 21-Day Challenge or just to get healthier in general, you need to eliminate the Standard American Diet foods that promise to thwart you at every twist and turn. It’s a pretty simple concept to understand, right?

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Contest: Make a Primal Blueprint Workout Video

The Prize:

A sandbag from Ultimate Sandbag – I’ve been using one of these bags for a few years now and the thing is still going strong. The one at my office has been lifted, tossed, and dropped by the Worker Bees, and in one case was the cause of a broken piece of IKEA furniture, but that’s a story for another day. Store this sandbag next to your standup workstation and you’ll begin seeing your workday in a whole new light. The winner will get a choice of one of the four sizes of ultimate sandbag (power, strength, challenge, or burly packages). Retail value: between $99 and $179.

Bonus: Use promo code “primal” to receive 15% off any purchase at Ultimate Sandbag for the duration of the challenge. And that’s not all…

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Have a Picnic. Win a Cow. The 2012 Grokfeast Challenge.

It’s cow time. US Wellness has long been a favorite meat spot for MDA readers. A few years ago they donated pemmican and the popular 5 gallon bucket of fat. Last year they went whole hog. And by hog, I mean cow. And they’re doing it again this year. US Wellness has generously offered up a cow to the winners of today’s contest, the Grokfeast Challenge. (More specifically, enough gift certificates to buy an entire cow.)

For those of you with raised eyebrow, they won’t actually be delivering a mooing, cud chewing, udder dangling live cow to your doorstep. But you will receive the delicious meat that once was that cow. And I’m not just talking about a bucket of chuck. The winners will receive sirloin, brisket, short ribs, back ribs, rib-eye steaks, T-bone steaks, NY strip steaks, Delmonico steaks, filets, bottom round roasts, center cut roasts, chuck, tongue, liver, heart, kidney, beef tallow, marrow bones, beef stock, and an oxtail. Heart and tongue not your thing? No worries. This year’s winners will get to choose exactly what they want as they’ll be receiving $1500 worth of US Wellness gift certificates they can use to order hundreds of pounds of their preferred bovine cuts – all grass fed, grass finished. Check out this Grass Fed Goodness video where you can watch your prize/meal grazing around in sweet Missouri pastures.

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Two Cool Things I Think You Should Do Today

Running a popular blog with a big readership has its downsides – the workload is heavy, the pressure to produce is high, the research is unending – but the advantages absolutely outweigh them. One of the best parts of all this is that I can give relatively massive amounts of exposure to causes/blogs/authors/thinkers/movements that I truly believe in. Selling books and gaining new readers isn’t everything, or even most of it; I got into this Primal health business because I wanted to change the world. We all care about something larger than ourselves, something that we wish others would care and think about, too. Well, I’m fortunate enough to be able to bring that wish to fruition on any given day, and today is one such day.

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Why We Don’t Sprint Anymore (plus a Primal Health Challenge)

Last week, I covered a glaring deficit in the lives of most modern people: the lack of walking. And it’s not just the “normal” people who aren’t walking enough; two thirds of those readers who took the poll get fewer than five hours of slow easy movement each week. Since everyone walks at least a few hundred steps a day, people are generally aware – among even the general population – that people just don’t walk anymore. They might not think that’s a true problem, but they’re definitely aware of it. Today, I want to discuss another glaring (in my eyes) deficit in our modern lives: the lack of sprinting.

At first glance, this might seem ludicrous. Sprinting? Sure, it’s a cool thing to do, and it’s good for us, but do you really expect everyone to line up at a track and sprint all out for 100 meters? Besides, is sprinting really essential, the way walking is essential? Because let’s face it: running at top speed for 10 to 15 seconds is an unrealistic expectation for most people, especially older folks. Many people just aren’t physically able to do it.

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Why We Don’t Walk Anymore (plus a Primal Health Challenge)

How many steps do you walk every day? Do you hit 10,000 steps, which experts recommend and is about 5 miles’ worth? Do you match the daily walking of a Hadza man or woman (8.3 or 5.5 km/day, respectively)? If you’re anything like the average American, you’re doing 5,117 steps a day, well shy of the 10,000 step mark and flirting dangerously with a formal sedentary classification. But we’re not alone (though we’re the worst). Of the four industrialized countries studied, not a single one found the mark. The Australians seem to come close, walking 9,695 steps a day. The Swiss follow with 9,650, and the Japanese are a bit further off with 7,168 steps per day. Contrast that with rural South African women, of whom just 11.9% can be classified as sedentary (under 5,000 steps a day) and for whom an average day means walking 10,594 steps (many of them done while carrying a load), or Amish aged 18-75 (PDF), who walk an average of 18,425 steps (men) or 14,196 steps (women) each day, and we’re all looking pretty darn sedentary.

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Success Stories in the Making: Updates and a Contest

Around 90 days ago, I unveiled a new feature for the site. Designed to motivate people into making public, formal declarations of intent to improve their health, Success Stories in the Making has by all accounts been a massive success. Something like 450 people are participating this inaugural year, which means that 450 people submitted candid photos and shared their goals and aspirations. Many of these people are admittedly self-conscious about their appearances – which is often one of the reasons they’re resolved to making the change in the first place – and yet there they are, online and uploaded for all to see. Go take a look, and prepare to be amazed at the dedication and determination displayed within.

Pretty cool, huh? Now, imagine how much cooler it’ll be once progress pics start trickling in. Imagine how much more powerful those pages will be when it’s a vast ocean of healthy happy Primal people brimming with vitality and accomplishment! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Community, Accountability, and a New Year Challenge

Happy New Year, everyone! Is everyone pumped for 2012? Resolutions made and in action yet?

I’m coming at the new year with big plans, the first of which is a brand spankin’ new Challenge. I’ll get to that in a minute, but let me first say a few words about the power of resolutions.

Experts tell us that those who make resolutions are literally ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those who are interested in change but don’t make a specific, concrete commitment. Now that’s reason to resolve. Sure, motivation can and does wane. A little less than half of those who make resolutions are still committed to the journey six months down the road, but there’s plenty we can do to make sure we’re not among those who detour themselves. Among the most effective strategies: making your resolution public (PDF). Announce it to the world. Shout it from the rooftops. Own it. Flaunt it. Do a dance around it on YouTube. Tell the world you’re going to make this happen. Chances are then, you will. And you’ll have a great time doing it.

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Primal Experiment: Intentional Power Outage

A few months back, I linked to an article about a guy who experienced an unexpected benefit after Hurricane Irene knocked out his power for several days: he started sleeping much, much better. Instead of staying up late on the computer or with the TV blaring and going to bed at the usual 11:30 or midnight, he found himself yawning around 9 PM and getting to bed at 10. It was the best sleep of his life, and even better – the effects persisted even after the power returned. He had effectively entrained his circadian rhythm to the natural cycle of light and dark. This is basic stuff to you guys, but bear with me.

Just last week, a reader named Melissa emailed me with a similar story. She lost power for three and a half days after a Connecticut snowstorm took out power all across the state. Instead of panicking, she rolled with it. Instead of freaking out over the fact that there were sub-freezing temperatures, no heat, and no water (it froze), she made a fun snowball fight out of a snowstorm. She took it as an opportunity to get “unexpectedly extra-Primal.” I like it. I remember those New England winters, and I can’t imagine a better way to deal with them than to accept the challenge and make the best of it.

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Contest Poll: The 2011 Grokfeast Challenge

I’d like to thank the 13 groups who participated in the Grokfeast Challenge this year. Your level of creativity, commitment, and enthusiasm serves as a hallmark for Primal living at its best. It’s been an immense pleasure reading and publishing your experiences on Mark’s Daily Apple.

As good as they all were, only one group can win the cow. One more shout out to US Wellness, who is donating all the grass-fed beef. If you ever want to take your beef eating to the next level, hit up their newsletter and join the grass-fed revolution.

UPDATE: This poll is now closed. Congrats to those that participated in and submitted the Grokfeast in San Antonio, Texas. Grok on!

OK, now on to business. Below are the three finalists. I’ve posted the finalists’ videos, but please click through to the individual posts before voting. Check out the recipes and read their stories. Then vote on the Grokfeasters who you believe best captured the spirit of going Primal. You have until Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. PST to vote.

[poll id=”29″]
Grokfeast in San Antonio, Texas

Grokfeast in St. Louis, Missouri

Grokfeast in North Carolina

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