Weekend Link Love – 21-Day Challenge Edition

Weekend Link LoveWith the 2013 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge in full swing, Weekend Link Love will be focusing on links relevant and related to the Challenge for the next few weeks to help you guys succeed. Let’s get to it!

Relevant Research

If you’re like most people, part of your Primal Blueprint Challenge is to eat Primal and avoid unhealthy food. Well, a new study suggests that you should probably be getting plenty of sleep, as sleep deprivation heightened the neuronal reward associated with unhealthy food in normal-weight people.

Many hold the supposed power of financial motivation in high esteem. People are liable to do just about anything for money, or so the story goes. But a recent study finds that when it comes to motivating healthy lifestyle modifications like reduced sedentary screen time and more vegetable consumption, using money can actually have the opposite effect (PDF).

Helpful Blog Posts

How to keep yourself paleo (or Primal) motivated in just under a minute per day.

Dr. Emily Deans explains the five stages of change. Sound familiar to any of you?

Contest Sponsor Discounts

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.

Recipe Corner

  • I imagine a lot of you are eating Big Ass Salads (or salads with more modestly sized derrieres) on a regular basis throughout the Challenge, and you need a good go-to dressing that isn’t olive oil and vinegar. Try this paleo ranch dressing.
  • Looking for something to sip on during the Challenge? Look no further than Delicious Obsessions, who recently published a series of DIY Herbal Tea recipes using adaptogenic herbs that help you deal with stress and “adapt” to challenging situations.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sept 22 – Sept 28)

Comment of the Week

I forgot to write that by becoming a source, people will gravitate to you. Refer them to MDA and talk about posts. Co-workers are good people to start with. At least this has been my experience. A few will change their eating habits permanently. Some will dabble and fail. A few is better than none.

– Great tips from Paleo Bon Rurgundy. His previous comment on the post was even better, just too long for the comment of week. Go read it, too.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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29 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – 21-Day Challenge Edition”

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  1. Great post by Emily on the stages of change. I’m glad you highlighted this article as I think it is beneficial for everyone to understand and acknowledge. I remember first reading about the 5 steps way back in the day, and it has stuck in my mind ever since. It’s a powerful tool to have when helping, guiding, and supporting people towards change.

  2. A pet peeve of mine: I constantly see recipes for “easy” ranch dressings, but the key ingredient for them is paleo mayonnaise. I know some of you have mastered the technique, but for folks like me, anything requiring paleo mayonnaise is NOT an easy recipe!

    1. Not sure if it’s the paleo part or the homemade mayonnaise part that gives you problems, but the two are pretty much the same thing. Try making it in a blender. Mix the egg(s), lemon juice or vinegar, minced garlic (if desired), and seasonings thoroughly, then add the oil a few drops at a time while the motor is running. It should thicken nicely if you added the oil slowly enough.

    2. I so hear you on the homemade mayo thing. I just ordered the “KRUPS GVA20840 Mini Chopper including Emulsifying Disk for Sauces” I’m hoping that will work. I have a Vitamix which is much too powerful and would cook it into a soup before I finished. I’ve had marginal success with a hand blender. Stick blenders suck, so that means manually with the whisk is the only thing that works for me — but 15 minutes of non-stop whisking is too much for my already bad wrists / neck!

      1. A coffee frother thingie works well if you have a deep container to mix in. Otherwise you almost need a third hand to hold the bowl down while you whisk in the oil.

      2. My stick blender has a whisk attachment that turned out to be the perfect tool for making mayo. The key to success is good aeration which whisking provides, and with the stick blender, the motor does all the work. I think it’s a Kitchen Aid brand.

        1. Agreed. I have a Swiss Bamix stick blender that has an attachment that works easily for mayo.

    3. After about half my attempts failing to emulsify with a stick blender, I switched to my 4-cup food processor. It has worked every time, and is much less messy.

      I use the recipe in Mark’s Healthy Sauces Dressings & Toppings, and it has never failed me since switching to the food processor.

    4. Go buy a cheap immersion blender, and follow this mayo recipe in the video:


      It works perfectly every time for me when all my other conventional blender and mixer attempts failed. Using the immersion blender works for every type of mayo I have made so far. It is literally ready within about 1 minute.

  3. I LOVE Big Ass Salads! I eat a Big Ass Salad every day, sometimes twice a day. I finally learned how to keep lettuce fresh for more than 3 days, too: I buy 3 heads of greens (red leaf, green leaf, endive, romaine, whatever) and remove all the yucky outer leaves, any that have wilted spots or are broken. Then I separate each leaf and lay them on a big, clean bath towel, in single layers, and roll them up in the towel and shake them. Then, I store them in those big long cupcake containers with layers of paper towels. The drier they stay, the longer they keep. I can hang onto my greens for about 10 days this way, even spinach.

    If you want a laugh, take a dry measuring cup and actually measure out 3 cups of greens… according to most diet planning sites, that’s enough for a meal-sized salad.

    My go-to Big Ass Salad is a 5-oz can of salmon with thin slices of red onion on a mix of lettuces, endive, and baby spinach. Tomatoes, if they’re in season, make it epic. The dressing is just olive oil and lemon juice, 2:1, black pepper, and iodized sea salt (they make that, you know).

        1. TL;DR
          Iodized sea salt is excellent. That salad sounds delicious.

  4. Mark I will always be grateful for your challenge! It made me take the plunge instead of tiptoeing in, and 3 years later I am still 100%. Happier and healthier than ever and never looking back.

  5. Thanks for posting the link to that study on sleep. The facts on sleep MUST be spread for people to be successful because sleep controls so much and doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves.

  6. Trader Joe’s is selling a Harvest Blend Herbal Tea (yellow box with a red fox holding a tea cup). I noticed hibiscus as one of the “adaptogenic” herbs in the link above; it is one of the ingredients in this tea blend. I always drink tea and never soda.

    My mom gave me some to try, I went back to the store and bought four boxes because it made me feel a lot better before and after a stressful day. How about that! It also has chamomile, chicory and orange peel along with seasonal spices.

    Also, if you are looking for a healthy start, TJ’s can be your friend 😉 although I highly recommend your local farmers market as well. hehehe!

  7. Very interesting research on sleep and unhealthy food. It was a small study but that doesn’t mean it isn’t accurate.

  8. The article about keeping yourself motivated is not only great for sticking with an eating plan, but could also very easily be transferred to other areas of life that you don’t want to do when you need to do them.

  9. I am wondering how nuetral white rice is. If it is nuetral then I have an excellent healthy desert to recommend.

    1 cup organic wht rice cooked
    1 can of coconut milk (you can a touch of organic 1/2 n 1/2 if you want)
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    liquid stevia start at 10 drops and add more to taste
    cinnamon to taste
    vinilla extrract to taste, but go easy with the vinilla
    raisons again to taste

    I cooked the rice, added the coconut milk, cinnamon, raisons, maple syrup, vinilla, and stevia to the pot of cooked rice mixed together. Taste, add more of any of the above, then cook at a low heat for 5 to 10 plus minutes (depending if the rice is still hot or a day old and cold) let it sit, then serve. Very tasty, and I hope healthy at the same time.

    To bad none of the contests were for rice pudding reciepe, or I might be in the running for a paleo packet or 2.


    1. I am from the South and we do love our rice pudding. Although rice is a grain and not primal, I have chosen to compromise and combine my MDA 20% and Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet recommendation on safe starches to add white rice to my list of occasional treats. Your recipe looks really good – I might add just a wee sprinkle of nutmeg to it – Thanks!

  10. Sleep deprivation: there must be some evolution biology explanation behind this. Maybe our body is thinking: you’re not not sleeping because you’re escaping a threat (what else?). That may involve a lot of physical exercise. Allright, stop eating nutrient-dense food, recovery can wait, let’s eat some energy-dense food for now, we may need it.

  11. I was granted access to a community garden so I’ve been getting tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and beet tops for free. The beet tops taste like they’re full of potassium and/or other natural salts.

  12. The sleep study kept referring to ‘unhealthy’ food, but never identified what they considered unhealthy…..

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