5 Challenges To Help You Go Paleo

Everyone loves a challenge, right? Whether it’s dumping buckets of ice water on our heads, or trying to catch an elusive Pokemon, participating in challenges gives us a sense of purpose and community. We can’t help but feel a rush of excitement when we first sign up for something new, and of course, the rush of pride when we complete it. So, why not use this innate desire to spur some positive changes in our health and wellbeing?

There are many health-based programs and invitations out there, aimed at helping you lose weight, sleep better, and boost your productivity. In the Paleo realm, there are several great short-term programs to kick-start your new diet, which are awesome if you need a little extra motivation, or are comfortable jumping headfirst into something new. I think it’s time to add in a little spice, and create a few smaller-scale challenges, to help people transition to the Paleo lifestyle, or to regain their focus.

If you are looking for something to shake things up, without doing the traditional “21-day” or “30-day reset” programs, here are five awesome challenges for you. Recruit a friend or two, set your reminders, and get ready to pump up to a new Paleo lifestyle!

Half-plate challenge

No, this isn’t about cutting your portion sizes by half. In fact, you may find yourself eating even more during this challenge. This invitation is all about making half of your meals veggie-powered. It’s that simple! For each meal, make sure that half of your plate consists of healthy, fresh, colorful vegetables. This can be in the form of a salad, sautéed greens, cauliflower rice, stir-fried vegetables, or any of the other wonderful ways that you like your veggies. Fill the other half of your plate with organic meat, healthy fats, and fruit. I recommend doing this for at least 2 weeks, and I know that after week 1, you’ll already be feeling lighter!

Screen free challenge

Remember that living the Paleo way is about a lot more than just diet. Getting offline and engaging in the world around us is also super important, for both our physical and mental health. This challenge invites you to take one day per week and turn off all your electronic devices- perhaps make it a “screen-free Sunday”- and get out and explore. This gives your brain a chance to relax and focus on other things, and allows you to opt out of the low-grade stress that comes from constant emails and notifications. Use your screen free time to go hiking, visit a local farmer’s market, work on projects around the house, or spend quality time with loved ones.

Blackout challenge

Sleep is a big issue these days, and we’re all on the hunt for better, deeper, and more restorative zzz’s. Developing primal sleeping habits can help you find that nourishing sleep you’ve been searching for, as well as reduce your risk for certain diseases, boost your mood, and improve your mental clarity. The blackout challenge is all about creating a super-dark sleeping environment, free from distracting lights and electronic frequencies, so your brain can fully unwind and produce the optimal amount of melatonin you need. For one month, use light-blocking shades and unplug electronics in your bedroom at night, and get ready to feel the difference!

Earthing challenge

Many people may not be aware of it, but the Earth itself provides a very important electromagnetic frequency that we can tap into for our own health and vitality. But thanks to today’s footwear and lack of outside time, we’ve lost touch with it. The earthing challenge invites you to make contact with the ground again, and feel that primal energy course through your feet and legs. Every day for the next two weeks, go outside barefoot for at least 10 minutes. You can wade in a river, go for a run sans shoes, play with your kids in the backyard, or squish your toes in the mud- whatever strikes your fancy!

Sweet swap challenge

Even with all the books and blogs out there about kicking the sugar habit, it’s still extremely difficult to do, especially when you don’t replace it with something, or if you start thinking too long-term. The sweet swap challenge can help you get in the habit of having non-sugary things for snacks and treats, as you make the transition away from artificially sweetened and packaged goods to more wholesome, Paleo meals. For two weeks, whenever you would normally reach for a sweet treat, have a primal snack instead. I’ve found that almond butter and apple slices really works for me, but experiment with the foods and textures that you love.

Going Paleo doesn’t have to be daunting, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect all the time either! If you are a primal newbie, or a veteran looking for fresh motivation, these five challenges are just for you. These small and manageable changes can help you feel more energized, look refreshed, and reconnect with your innate, healthy self!

The post 5 Challenges To Help You Go Paleo appeared first on Paleo Magazine.

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