Saturday, October 31, 2015


So, is everyone about ready for MONDAY?! I am thrilled for all of my November participants to try this lifestyle and can't wait to hear about the results!

I have thought a lot about how to make this challenge easier for my folks and had decided to send out weekly shopping lists for the meals/recipes I post for the week. Of course, you don't have to go by my meal guide and can eat whatever as long as it is primal approved, but if you do use my guide then please just buy in quantities according to household or according to how many people will be eating primally with you. Again, it would be best to do it together as you will save money! I really do find that I save money when my husband and I eat/buy primally. We don't usually go to fancy grocery stores, but just our regular grocery stores or wholesale clubs and look for the best of the best products AND deals:)

Those of you participating, I am sending you an email now with this week's Monday-Friday grocery list.

Remember, you CAN do this and I am available to you whenever you need me. Please email me for any questions, concerns, or support! I want to make this an easy transition for all of you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

BE primal

This is BEing primal...

   Have you done this step, yet? If not, go to my last post for a detailed list of what to throw out and avoid before the challenge starts on 11/2/15.  We are tossing everything that has sugar, wheat, soy, corn syrup, grains, or any ingredient with words that you cannot pronounce or understand! We are ensuring we intake simple and fresh ingredients.


       As you can see, the bulk of your food comes from the protein and vegetables. The other spectrums of this food pyramid are with moderation. You can find the best produce and sources of meat from farmers markets, co-ops, Community Supported Agriculture, Whole Foods, or simply look carefully in your local grocery store. I am able to go to our wholesale stores and find certified organic and grass-fed products, as well as our local grocery stores. It's all about reading the label! Do your best with what you can find and with the financial situation you are in. If you cannot afford all grass-fed meat, then by all means, just eat the best meat you can find! Without spending so much money on bread, bagels, cereals, snacks, etc. you will come to find that eating primally is pretty cheap, especially when you plan ahead!

    • Nuts (macadamia nuts, almonds)
    • Nut butters (almond, hazelnut)
    • Eggs (I sometimes hard boil half the carton of eggs to keep separately for snacks or to put on salads.)
    • Spinach/Romaine Hearts/Kale/Cabbage
    • Bell peppers/Broccoli/Cucumbers/Tomatoes/Squash/Zucchini/Carrots/Mushrooms/Celery
    • Avocados 
    • Fruits (I love keeping berries around when in season. I usually keep apples around and love to dip them in almond butter. I keep oranges around, too. I also buy other fruits that are in season.)
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking)
    • Coconut oil (for cooking)
    • Coconut milk (I like to use this in smoothies.)
    • Greek Yogurt (In moderation-stay away from dairy if you are trying to slim down.)
    • Butter (Kerry Gold)
    • Ghee
    • Aged cheeses (for salads, omelets or other dishes)
    • Kefir
    • Milk (Occasionally...remember that you want raw, fermented, unpasteurized, unsweetened, and high fat options, but if you are trying to lean out then stay away from dairy.)
    • Bacon fat (From the bacon I have cooked-I keep it in a jar in the freezer. But, I only keep it from the GOOD bacon I have cooked i.e. Applegate brand. Read the labels!)
    • Chicken (I buy in bulk and keep some frozen in the freezer.)
    • Beef
    • Sausage
    • Fish (salmon, trout, tilapia)
    • Sardines and Tuna
    • Onions (red, white, yellow)
    • Sweet Potatoes 
    • Herbs/Spices
    • Garlic
    • Dark Chocolate
    Here is the Primal Blueprint Shopping List to use as well. It has a FABULOUS list of foods! Just print it out when you go shopping :)

    When it comes to fast food and eating out (or as we call in the primal/paleo world: foraging), find places that serve fresh ingredients and the best quality food. If needed, ask for your food to be cooked in olive oil or ask for lemon and olive oil as a side dressing to ensure you're sticking with the primal challenge. Just tell them you have an allergy and they won't mind too much. Look for meats, poultry, eggs, fish, vegetables and some fruit wherever you go. You're bound to find something primal! My favorite restaurant with the freshest ingredients and best quality meat is Chipotle! 


        To be primal is to move A LOT. Move frequently at a low-level pace whether you're engaging in exercise or just walking to the bank down the street instead of driving. Find ways to increase movement. If you're going to work, park farthest away in the parking lot in order to walk a longer distance into work. Instead of taking the elevator, go up those stairs! Find times to take walks with your family after dinner or go on a Saturday hike. If you have a desk job, take breaks throughout the day to get up and move around. 

    To be primal is also to take a couple days a week to perform high-intensity strength training sessions that last 30 minutes or less. This includes: pushups, pullups, squats, planks, situps, etc. So, NO, you don't need to go out and run 10 miles to look good! What you eat makes up most of what we look like physically and exercise is just the extra bonus. 

    To be primal is to sprint every now and then! Go out with your kids and do 20 meter sprints for about 5 times or if you're on a bike do some sprints every 20 seconds for a couple minutes. There are many benefits to performing sprint workouts about every week or week and a half, such as, muscle fiber growth. 

    To be primal is to PLAY! Another great way to move around, to get in sprints, and to spend time with your family and/or friends. Go to the park and play on the playground, play tennis, participate in a basketball game, throw a baseball with your son, chase your kids around the yard, throw a frisbee, go slack lining, or go kayaking. 
    (My sister and I paddle boarding and kayaking.)

        Lastly, take time away from the craziness of daily life. Take time away from your computer, phone, TV and spend time with family and friends to build relationships. Too much digital stimulation is not good for our health, so put down media at least an hour or two before bed, so you ensure a better nights sleep. While we are talking about sleep now, make sure you get in plenty of sleep each night to let your body repair itself and to get your REM cycles in (8 hours). It is also important to prepare for sleep. Dim lights as it gets dark, turn off the TV, and do something relaxing. This will help you have a more restful night and feel refreshed in the morning. 
    (Relaxing at my in-law's cabin.)
    5) GET TAN
       You heard me, go out and get some sun. It is healthy to get sunlight (vitamin D) and it actually prevents cancers. However, burning your skin will cause cancer, so just get enough sun to get some color and then get out!

    Also, my name is Briana Elise, so the "BE Primal" has another meaning in there, too ;) 

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    The To Do List...

    Let's talk about the TO DO LIST that should be completed before the challenge:

    1) Email me! If you are planning on participating in this challenge, please email me at before Sunday, Nov 1st, so that I can enter you into the challenge and in for the prize! Just a short email letting me know that you're in! Also, take this time to ask any questions you may still have. Everyone will be kept confidential.

    2) Purge your kitchen! (see below) Get rid of all processed foods, sugars, wheat/grains and anything with preservatives. If you read a label and don't know what the ingredient is and/or are unable to pronounce it, then it's probably a preservative and you don't want that in your system. I would recommend the entire family engage in this lifestyle for your support, but for those of you with children and/or spouses who will not participate, I suggest keeping their food separate and away from your reach or temptation.

    "Even if some - or most - of your diet has been in the form of "complex" carbs, this excessive and unnecessary intake of carbs has reprogrammed your genes from an early age to make you more dependent on a regular supply of dietary carbohydrate. You are a "sugar burner" if you are trapped in this carbohydrate dependency. If you're like most people, this high intake of carbs over time has elevated your insulin levels throughout the day, and resulted in excess calories (from all foods, not just carbs) to be stored as body fat. Over the years, chronically high levels of glucose and insulin in your blood have altered your fat cells so that you can't easily burn this plentiful source of stored energy. If your body is accustomed to burning carbs as fuel instead of stored fat, your brain will crave your usual fuel source - carbs - more often. This leads to a vicious cycle of insidious weight gain over a lifetime, even if you exercise frequently."  -Mark Sisson
     The above quote was an eye opener for me. Things started to make sense. Before I got rid of all the grains, sugar and processed food in my diet (which was all I ate, really) I had to exercise ALL THE TIME to maintain my ideal body weight. I used to run 5-15 miles a day, lift weights, complete body work out programs like Insanity or P90X. But, once I stopped, I put on extra inches, became bloated, and felt gross immediately. When I completed the primal 21 day challenge by Mark Sisson, I lost all those inches and TONED up without working out hard. In fact, I think I might have done an extremely short work out once or twice a week. Even when I'm NOT working out I still maintain a slim, toned look. But, that's not even the half of all the benefits I felt and saw. You can read my story from the previous post on the link... 

    Now are you ready to throw out all that crap and see YOUR benefits? Here is a detailed list of what to throw out, give away or binge eat BEFORE Monday, November 2nd:
    • Beveragesbottled juices; almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, flavored milks; powdered drinks; powdered juices; sodas/diet sodas; sports drinks; designer coffees; energy drinks; sweetened cocktails; sweetened teas. Stick with water, herbal tea, black coffee for you coffee lovers, etc.!
    • Baking Ingredients- starches; syrups; corn meal; flours; powders (i.e. milk, gluten); yeast; sweeteners; sugars. {Personally, I kept my flours and sugars in case I needed to bake for a church function or birthday. I just kept it high up in the back of my pantry and away from my view or reach!}
    • Condimentshoney mustard; jams and jellies; ketchup; mayonnaise/low-fat mayo (I have a mayo recipe!); salad dressings/low-fat dressings; other cooking items containing high-fructose corn syrup, sugary sweeteners or PUFA oils. Soy/tabasco/worcestershire/barbeque sauce is okay in moderation, but get the highest quality with minimal sugars and PUFAs.(You can also make delicious primal sauces/dressings etc.!)
    • Dairy((zero dairy in your diet is best because it causes a spike in insulin and it's also a good idea if you are trying to lean out)) processed cheese and spreads; ice cream; nonfat and low-fat milk; frozen yogurt; sweetened non-fat or low-fat yogurts. Stick with unpasteurized or raw dairy, fermented dairy (i.e. yogurt), organic/GMO/hormone-free dairy and with the highest fat content (whole milk). 
    • Fats and Oilstrans and partially-hydrogenated oils; butter spreads and sprays; canola, cottonseed, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and other high polyunsaturated oils; margarine; vegetable shortening. Stick with ghee, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, real butter (we like kerry gold butter) and other saturated animal fats.
    • Fast Foodall genetically changed industrialized food, such as, burgers, chicken nuggets, french fries, hot dogs, tacos, etc.
    • Fishfish caught from polluted waters; large fish (i.e. sword fish); some farmed fish. 
    • GrainsALL grains: bread, pasta, flour based products, crackers, cookies, corn, cereal, rice, tortillas, breakfast foods (i.e. oatmeal and cream of wheat), chips, cooking grains (i.e. barley and rye), pretzels, donuts, pizza, and puffed snacks.  
    • Legumespeanuts and peanut products; soybeans; lentils; peas; alfalfa; beans; and tofu. ((Legumes, especially along with grains, contain anti-nutrients. They also stimulate high amounts of insulin.))
    • Meatall pre-packaged meats processed with harmful chemicals and sweeteners (i.e. sliced lunch meat); smoked meats; cured meats; meats containing nitrites and nitrates. We don't want to eat meats from animals that ate a lot of grains, so TRY to stick with grass-fed or organic meats. But, that can become hard to find or pricey. Just be sure to check the ingredients.
    • Processed Foodsgranola bars; protein bars; snack products; frozen packaged breakfast/lunch/dinner products; energy bars; fruit bars/rolls.
    • Sweetssugars; cakes; cookies; brownies; donuts; pie; evaporated cane juice; honey; chocolate syrup; trail mixes; powdered sugar; raw sugar; molasses; HFCS; popsicles; frozen desserts; chocolate. This challenge will help get rid of your cravings and sugar crashes! 
    This list is from 'The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation'.

    3) Take a before picture! You will also want to take a picture at the end of each week to compare, but especially on the last day of the challenge. When I first did the 21 day challenge I was struggling with hormonal acne. I thought, "what the heck, I'll take a before and after picture of my face to see if this primal lifestyle makes a difference!" And it TOTALLY did :)

    This last picture was from a few months after the challenge...

    4) Go shopping for primal approved foods. On the right hand side of this blog I have my own personal shopping list and snack list, but stay tuned for a more detailed list:)

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015


    Welcome to the Primal 21-Day Challenge starting Monday, November 2nd... 

    Hello! My name is Briana and I am a Registered Nurse. My passion for nutrition began over three years ago when my husband told me about an interesting podcast he had heard about the primal/paleo lifestyle (this was the podcast I posted yesterday, so if you missed it, I encourage you to go back one post and listen to it). I then did my own research, tried the lifestyle, and have not looked back since! It has completely changed my life for the better and what amazes me about this lifestyle is that it is so easy! The primal lifestyle is not another rebound diet where you lose weight at first and then gain it back later or where it's so restricting that you are starving and crave more than usual. No, THIS is a diet with NO pain, NO suffering and minimal effort. I'm here to get you through the first 21 days so that this becomes a habit. I promise that if you adhere to my challenge 100%, you will look and feel better than ever before! You will be on your way to a long, healthy life :) 

    Q: Briana, why are you doing this challenge for others?
    A: When I completed Mark Sisson's 21 day challenge, I saw incredible results and my life was completely altered (read my personal journey HERE)! Since then, I have become passionate about helping others change their lives because I know what works! I know this through my own experience, the experiences of others and through research. Everyone is uniquely beautiful and I want everyone to FEEL this from the inside-out :) 

    Q: What makes your 21 day challenge different from Mark Sisson's?
    A: What makes my challenge different is that I post daily recipes and meal plans. When I did the 21 day challenge a few years ago, I wanted some hand holding. Okay, I really just wanted to be told what to do! This blog will give you day-by-day hand holding by including meal plans, workouts, and other daily 'to do's'. Lastly, you will have the opportunity to be put in a drawing at the end of the challenge to win a goodie box of some of my favorite essentials that help me stay healthy from the inside-out! Our last challenge winner was JULIA and here is what she received in the mail...

    Q: So, what am I going to eat?
    A: You are going to eat a lot of vegetables and protein, some fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butters, healthy fats and oils, herbs, spices, extracts, supplements and a few sensible indulgences (dark chocolate, red wine). I thought probably the same thing you are thinking now, "okay, but what am I going to eat then?" I assure you that everyone that has completed my challenge has been satisfied and happy with their primal meals! Oh, and so am I ;) Just trust this process and remember I am going to hold your hand and help you with meals!
    (From Mark Sisson's 'Primal Blueprint')

    A closer look at the primal food pyramid...

    Our challenge starts on November 2nd and we will focus on EATING PRIMALLY for the full 21 days, MOVING a lot, SLEEPING well, getting SUNshine, and doing a few WORKOUTS each week (these are short workouts that can be modified if needed). More info will be provided on each of these aspects, but the biggest aspect is eating primally. It does matter what we put in our bodies! Our body composition comes from about 80% of what we eat, so let's train our bodies to be FAT burners instead of CARB burners by eating primally :)

    Tomorrow I will put up a 'TO DO LIST' post, but if you are still interested, please email me at! 

    Sunday, October 25, 2015

    2 years and counting...

    The next Primal 21-Day Challenge starts
    Monday, November 2nd!

    In a nutshell for my newbies, this challenge is to help you change from a carb burning body into a FAT burning body with ease and minimal sacrifice. Yes, minimal sacrifice! 
    The basis of all this is by eliminating those foods harmful to you: grains, sugars and processed foods. 

    This 21 day guide I designed back in 2013 based off of Mark Sisson's (author of 'The Primal Blueprint') 21 day challenge, is a jump start into making a lifestyle change to help you become and maintain the leanest, healthiest, happiest, and strongest you. 
    It has changed my life, my family's, and my friends lives, so I started this challenge EXACTLY two years ago in November to help change others' lives, too! And so far I have seen so many wonderful people transform their bodies and I have seen them become SO happy :) After my challenges I hear so many of my participants say, "Briana, I can never go back to the way I lived before!"

    If you are ready to easily transform your life and become the fittest, healthiest, happiest person you can be, then please listen to this podcast that explains this lifestyle further and get ready to start your own Primal 21-Day Challenge :)

    If you are READY to start, email me at and tell me you're in!

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    We have a WINNER!

    Congratulations, Julia! I will post a picture of your PRIZE and then send it to you this week! And a congratulations to EVERYONE who participated.

    Remember, another 21 day challenge starts Monday, November 2nd! Tell your friends :)

    Also, stay tuned for some more success stories from the last challenge participants!

    Saturday, October 3, 2015

    DAY 21: Sunday, October 4th

    Congratulations for completing my 21-day challenge!!!

    DAY 21 AGENDA: 
    1. Intermittent fast. When you wake up do not eat for as long as possible until you are very hungry. If you have been faithful to this challenge, you will be able to fast longer than your first time or, at the least, longer than before the challenge.
    2. Take your after picture to compare with your before picture!                                                     This was my before and after in May of 2013
    3. Compare your notes from DAY 1 to DAY 21.
    4. Complete your entry for the grand PRIZE! This prize is full of all of my favorite things: primal snacks, primal treats, ceciliawong skincare products, etc. 
    To complete your entry for the prize you must: 
    • have completed the 21-day challenge
    • send in a primal recipe and picture to share
    • take a before and after picture
    • send me an email telling me about your results! (
    • I will then randomly select a winner next week, so complete your entry and cross your fingers :) 

    Meal Ideas/Snacks:

    Breakfast- twice baked breakfast sweet potatoes
    (pic and recipe form
    Find this recipe HERE!

    Lunch- roasted cauliflower soup
    (pic and recipe from
    Find this recipe HERE :)

    Dinner- sweet potato sliders with homemade ketchup
    (pic and recipe from
    Try out this recipe HERE.

    Snacks- fried zucchini squash with dill dip
    (pic and recipe from
    Find this snack recipe HERE!

    Jot down some notes!
    -total hours fasted
    -how you increased your daily movement
    -relaxation techniques tried
    -energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
    -satisfaction level with meals
    -hunger level between meals

    Here are MY results from this current challenge:
    • flat stomach/no bloating
    • lost inches around my waist, knees and thighs
    • clear skin

    • alert mind/awake/focused/no sluggishness between meals
    • ZERO stomach pains/constipation
    • no cravings
    • can go without food for a long time/no hunger pains between meals

    Friday, October 2, 2015

    DAY 20: Saturday, October 3rd

    DAY 20 AGENDA:
    1. For Day 20, you will be preparing for your last intermittent fast of this challenge. So, tomorrow night will be your last meal before Day 21 and that does not mean to pig out! Eat normally and then on Day 21 fast for as long as you can until hunger gets the best of you;)
    2. Perform a 30-60 minute moderate aerobic exercise of your choice.
    Meal/Snack Ideas:

    - paleo oatmeal

    (pic and recipe empowered
    Check out the recipe HERE!

    Lunch- avocado egg salad

    (pic and recipe from
    Try THIS easy recipe for lunch:)

    Dinner- paleo chicken pot pie

    (pic and recipe from everyday
    I'm a sucker for casserole's. They are easy and tasty! Check out this recipe HERE, but honestly, I think you could do without the crust and it would still be delicious. 

    -how you increased your daily movement
    -moderate aerobic exercise
    -relaxation techniques tried
    -energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
    -satisfaction level with meals
    -hunger level between meals

    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    DAY 19: Friday, October 2nd

    DAY 19 AGENDA:
    1. Max repetition workout to see how you have improved from the beginning:)
    Find your maximum repetitions of...

    • Pushups
    • Sit-Ups
    • Pull-Ups or Chair Dips
    • Plank Holds
    • Squats
    Meal/Snack Ideas:

    Breakfast- sweet potato breakfast skillet with bacon
    (pic and recipe from
    Try this delicious recipe from HERE!

    Lunch- chicken salad
    I made this into a paleo spin off from my Aunt's recipe for my friend's baby shower this evening:)
    • 4 cups baked chicken (cubed)
    • 3 cups purple grapes (cut in half)
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
    • 1/2 cup paleo mayo (see DAY 5...I believe...for recipe)
    • 1 tsp coconut aminos
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 3/4 tsp curry powder
    • 1 Tbs salt
    Mix it altogether!

    Dinner- chicken fajita stuffed peppers
    (pic and recipe from
    Find the recipe HERE!

    Jot down some notes!
    -how you increased your daily movement
    -max reps of the above five movements
    -relaxation techniques tried
    -energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
    -satisfaction level with meals
    -hunger level between meals