Facing the Flinch

We have all done it in some form or another during our time on this earth and it’s completely natural and ingrained in us to keep us safe, but unfortunately, this once life saving adaptation has taken control of our subconscious and most of us now flinch at just the thought of doing anything uncomfortable. 

I was first exposed to the concept of “the flinch” a fair while ago after reading a book, funnily enough, called “The Flinch” and after reading and digesting the information I started to take action in catching the flinch, and overriding it by choice. 

This wasn’t always fun, but I did it to open myself up to new possibilities and opportunities that would otherwise never have happened.

“The concept is straightforward: your flinch mechanism has the potential to save your life. It bypasses the conscious mind, allowing you to back up and avoid danger faster than you can imagine it exists.

What if, on the other hand, danger is exactly what you require?

What if facing your fears is the only way to achieve your goals?” The Flinch book

Now that I work exclusively with children, one of my goals is to help them safely step out of their comfort zone and try new things they usually wouldn’t; things that make them flinch. Especially because with ASD kids in particular, they tend to be more ‘techy’ and indoors often, less physically capable than neuro-typical kids, experiencing sensory and textural sensisitives, with more anxiety and discomfort around getting in among natural environments outdoors.

Some of the activities in sessions and at camps have included walking barefoot through mud, climbing in a tree higher than before, jumping in cold water, playing in the rain, and even picking up hermit crabs.  

To many these activities may seem insignificant, but to a child who isn’t used to being outside playing in nature they’re a big deal!

Helping children overcome the flinch is not always straightforward and easy and can often be a process that takes time. An example of this would be climbing trees. If a child has an obvious fear around this I don’t take them to the tallest tree and expect them to climb right up, we start off at the lowest level and get them comfortable with that.  It might even be a really low branch, barely off the ground, if that’s where they need to start.

When they start I ask them questions about what they are feeling, how they are feeling and even where they are feeling it in their body. This is so they can express in as much detail as possible what emotions and sensations are going on at the time, to connect to those feelings and not try to push them down or ignore them. They also like being heard and interested in by their coach. 

I then ask them if they’d like to go a little higher. Sometimes the answer is a flat-out “no”, other times the answer is a hesitant “yes”.  If the answer is no, I invite them to take two or three more steps higher and again stop, then repeat the process over and over until it gets too much for them and we need to stop climbing.  

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed while working with ASD children is they tend to overthink things and, in fact, I can often see them obviously processing the information as they climb, their brain working overtime, which can lead to anxiety and getting ‘the wobbles’.  When this happens, I slow them down a little and remind them their brain is trying to keep them safe, that it’s currently over reacting, I then get them to verbally thank their brain for keeping them safe and “I’ve got this”. 

If that doesn’t help them I take it to the next level and suggest they tell their brain to “shut up”  or “be quiet” (if “shut up” is considered as swearing to them, which I’ve discovered is the case for some kids!).  This little break in their thinking is usually enough to allow them to keep going.

Just after having successfully defeated the flinch is an important time to reinforce the belief I have in them and in their abilities as well as the belief they should have in themselves, and also to remind them that getting better at something they find challenging is possible and a little bit of discomfort and noise from our brain are often the only things getting in our way.

This is a little insight into one of the elements of Private Kids Coaching sessions, and the main reason I’m able to take the children through this process is due to the trust and bond we create during our time together each week. My unique and fun style of coaching really helps children feel safe and comfortable with me and be open to trying new and highly beneficial experiences. Beneficial to both their emotional and physical health – a role I’m privileged and grateful to have.



I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health and happiness! Please comment if you have any questions.

Clint

Primal Fitness Coach | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Breaking Down Breakfast Time

Answering the big questions..

Is it really 𝘵𝘩𝘦 most important meal of the day?
What does a healthy brekkie look like?
What other factors are there at brekkie time other than just the foods we eat?
Breakfast ideas for fussy and restricted eaters?

and more in this blog!


𝗜𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘆 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗸𝗸𝗶𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴?

That’s a controversial question in the health realm for sure! Some say it is, some say it’s good to skip it and continue the fast from throughout the night into later in the day.

In all of my years learning about and living the Primal way I’ve definitely come to the understanding that breakfast is an important time to eat, for most of us, if not all of us.

Let’s look at why brekkie is an important meal, thanks to the wisdom of Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple

“Breakfast is When You Break Your Fast

Historically, breakfast was a term used to describe your first meal of the day, no matter when that meal took place. Sometime around the 15th century, it became synonymous with the meal you consume shortly after waking up. And now, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people thriving with intermittent fasting, breakfast is returning to its first-meal-of-your-day roots.

Simply put, breakfast is how you break your fast.

Whether you have a planned eating window or your fast is just the hours that you’re asleep, the meal that answers the day’s first call of hunger is arguably the most important.

Let me repeat that: your first hunger of the day is the most important.

It’s your body’s first polite request for you to deliver substantial, supportive, and sustainable fuel to your body.

Benefits may include:

  • Your cravings disappear
  • You’re not thinking about food 24/7
  • You have more sustained energy
  • You stop snacking all day
  • You sleep better at night
  • You’re not spiralling into guilt or shame because you binged once the sun went down”

I 100% feel my best when I’m eating a good meal in the morning. Not necessarily right away, or as my first ‘activity’ but definitely eating brekkie is my jam. Pun intended, cos, I love puns! Brekkie helps fuel my brain for funnier puns too.. haha


𝗢𝗸, 𝘀𝗼 𝘄𝗲 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗳𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘄𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻?

Basically, what most of the world eats most mornings. Grain-based cereals, toast, sausages full of flours and other fake stuff, crappy bacon, tinned baked beans, acai bowls, fruit and greens smoothies, green juices, just a coffee, pastries, muesli bars, protein bars, regular pancakes and waffles, syrups, jam, vegemite, margarine… the list continues but I think that covers most of the standard breakfast options.

If you’re still not convinced that cereal, toast etc do not play a role in a healthy lifestyle (for kids or adults, anyone at any age) refer to our blog all about GRAINS for all the info to get educated.

Why aren’t liquids like smoothies and green juices a good idea? A main reason is that our digestion starts in the mouth when we CHEW our food. Drinking a meal isn’t good for the gut. Another reason is that greens, fruits etc are highly inflammatory and end up causing more problems than positives to our health.

Why aren’t bars healthy? They’re full of junk! Simple!

High fruit brekkies aren’t good for us, if there’s way more sugar than protein and fat.

A high carb meal first up is going to make us hungry again and have an energy drop within a few hours.


𝗜𝗴𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗯𝗼𝘅 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 ‘𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝗯𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆’ 𝗮𝗱𝘀

𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗸𝗸𝗶𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲…

Animal based. Honest to goodness. Eating meat, animal fat, gelatin/collagen, bone broth and eggs makes the basis of a nourishing start to the day. Animal protein and fat provides long-lasting energy, a high level of essential nutrients that are bio-available (meaning the human body knows how to process them properly and efficiently), and extremely low in (if any) anti-nutrients.

Meat muffins, leftovers from dinner, slow cooked meat, cold roasted meats, eggs done a kazillion different ways, meat waffles, mince patties, good quality bacon, bone broth, collagen/gelatin, cheeses (dairy and not) cooking in and adding beef fat, lard, ghee, butter… there are so many ways to have a nourishing and enjoyable animal-based brekkie meal.

Adding in a few other healthy low-inflammatory options like avocado, mushrooms, some veggies, and low-sugar fruits (e.g. berries) are great too. Even whole fruit jelly can be a great addition to breakfast meals.

Then the sometimes ingredients like coconut yoghurt, coconut cream/milk, honey or pure maple syrup, fruits, paleo flours turned into breads, cereals, waffles, pancakes etc.

It’s really not hard to switch from standard crappy options over to nutritious alternatives. It takes some effort, planning and time initially, a transition period, then getting used to it so it becomes the ‘norm’. We did it over a decade ago. And if Clint, who said “𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥” can do it, anyone can!


𝗔 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗸𝗸𝗶𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱!

It’s so sad that most of the world thinks a healthy breakfast consists of standard cereals such as cornflakes, sugary kids cereals, mueslis etc, wheat and grain-filled gluten-free toast, spreads, icky green drinks, fruit bowls and smoothies, conventional coffee (non organic) with regular highly processed milks (skim being the worst)…

When the actual healthy options are based on animal foods, low inflammatory whole foods and essential minerals. And a good start to the day is about so much more than just the foods we eat! How much outdoor time we get matters too. Sunrise (or as close to) light directly on our skin and in our eyes, our feet touching the earth, breathing in fresh air, moving our bodies.. it’s all super important on a regular basis.

Let’s start thinking about breakfast time in a more holistic and all-rounder approach. Instead of sitting around a table or in front of the TV eating junk and not doing anything else.

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙊𝙉𝙀 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙥 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙠𝙠𝙞𝙚 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚?


What we do + eat at breakfast time

#1: Consume Sole on an empty stomach (mineral salt drenched water in a glass of water to remineralise the body)

#2: Outdoor time barefoot, moving, getting fresh air.

#3: Early sunshine directly in the eyes and on the skin.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sun-in-eyes.jpg

#4: Eating a nourishing animal-based brekkie meal.

That’s what we do most days of the week to turn our get-up-and-go hormones kicking in, to fuel us, and to keep us full and productive all morning.


Recipe + meal ideas

A simple mince meat pattie with eggs is an easy one, add avocado or mushroom, some low sugar friends or whole fruit jelly, or bone broth, and you have an insanely healthy fuel source to start the day. We sometimes make and ghee-daise which is so creamy and delicious, and for leaner meat we add raw beef suet packed full of bio-available nutrients.

For other ideas check out our website.

Adding offal is a very good idea and a great way to hide the flavour is in patties! Meat Muffins is a brilliant (and popular) time saving breakfast idea, Meat Waffles are different, there are healthy swap recipes for sometimes-meals like pancakes, there’s a couple of cereal options.. a few things to hopefully inspire you to create nourishing breakfast meals for you and the fam 😋


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health + more happiness!

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Healthy Flour Options

Swapping grain + pseudo grain flours for healthy alternatives.

This is further to a recent post we did all about grains and why they’re not healthy for us on a regular basis.

❓ Why are grain flours not great? What even are ‘pseudo’ grains? What healthy alternatives are there and how do they stack up against the regular flours? What are some healthy flour recipes?

I cover all this + more in this post PLUS some bonus info including a brand new recipe! AND a special e-book offer!


Pseudo Grains: What you knead to know

And the puns have begun!! 🤣

Less bad but not good: pseudo grains.

“Grains are not only nutritionally unnecessary, but even downright harmful, packed with toxic antinutrients and inflammatory proteins like gluten. Pseudo grains are foods that resemble grains from the perspective of the person eating them, but are not biologically members of the same group. Biologically speaking, cereal grains are the seeds of grasses, and belong to a group called monocots. In contrast, pseudo grains are the seeds of broadleaf plants, and belong to a different group called dicots.”

List of pseudo grains:

Amaranth
Buckwheat
Quinoa
Kañiwa

Amaranth and quinoa have been cultivated as staple crops in the Americas since well before the first European explorers arrived on the continent. Spanish conquistadors prohibited the cultivation of these pseudo grains due to their role in pagan religious ceremonies, but this ban didn’t last beyond the colonial era. First cultivated in central Asia, buckwheat faced no such challenge from religious enemies: it spread to Europe unopposed, but then decreased in agricultural importance as farmers concentrated on other cereal grains. Although none of them are as common as cereal grains like wheat and corn, they’ve have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people become aware of gluten intolerance and celiac disease as serious problems. Pseudo grains appear to be superior to cereal grains in several ways…” – Paleo Leap

But at the end of the day they’re plants and they have natural in-built defences (AKA Toxins) which do not agree with the human gut. They may be technically higher in some nutrients but that doesn’t mean those nutrients absorb well wen we consume them. Some of them can be OK transition flours for families but there are definitely grain-free options to consider.


Sifting through the grain flour alternatives

The transition to grain-free primal eating used to be damn hard. I did it in about 2010 and struggled to enjoy cooking, baking and healthy eating. Our meals were mostly pretty boring, and any time I did use a grain-free flour, one of very few to choose from at the time, the dishes often didn’t taste great or have nice texture.

The main flour at the time was coconut. That was the go-to flour and it was not easy to work with! Experimentation and practice helped, oh and a tonne of eggs usually, but eventually more options because available and life in the kitchen got a bit easier.

Let’s look at the main grain-free flour options:

Almond meal
Green banana
Sweet potato
Cauliflower
Tapioca and arrowroot
Cassava
Tigernut
Cricket

Macro Cricket Protein Powder 100g | Woolworths
What Is Tiger Nut Flour?
Tigernuts, flour and milk
Cassava Flour Is Best Gluten-Free Baking Substitute | Eat ...
Cassava root and flour

Have you even heard of all of those let alone tried to use them?! I haven’t even tried them all but from all my primal cooking experience I can imagine how some would work, and knowing their potential effect on the gut and health, they’re not necessarily worth trying.

Which of these have you heard of, used, like, hate?


The alternative flours raising the bar in baking

“Raise”, get it?! I just can’t help myself haha

Anyhoo.. which grain-free flours work the best in baking? Here are my thoughts and experience…

Some are made from plant roots or fruit so they’re very starchy and really high in carbs (sweet potato, tapioca, green banana flour, coconut, cassava, arrowroot), with some being quite difficult to work with in terms of straight swap for grain flours. Tapioca and arrowroot, for me, are great additions to cooking and baking with green banana and coconut flour because they act as binders. They actually replace corn starch in primal recipes as well.

I haven’t tried sweet potato or cauli flours yet but plan to this week to include my thoughts in the newsletter, seeing as they’re now available in supermarkets.

Almond meal is high in fat and works well in baking but unfortunately is probably the most unhealthy because nuts are best consumed only in very small quantities and activated (soaked) to try and reduce the high toxin content. I occasionally make a cake or similar using almond meal but my tummy never likes it.

Coconut and green banana flours are probably the least carby and starchy of the fruit and root options, but absorb a fair bit of liquid (especially coconut) and require adjustments in the qty of other ingredients in cooking such as liquids, oils and eggs. Coconut is much more fibrous and can dry out in baking. Green banana flour is dry also but in a less fibre-way, and makes great biscuits, crackers, cakes and more.

Tigernut is known to be really tough on digestion and I’ve actually seen people have allergic reactions to it so it’s not one I’d recommend using often but could be worth trying.

Cricket flour is a plant-free option made from roasted ground crickets. It’s a lot harder to use as a baking flour but makes a great meat and fish coating option or a protein-rich addition along with other flours. It’s available from supermarkets and health food stores and is a really rich, nutty kind of flour.

Which of these have you tried or want to try?


Which healthy flour dough I like the most?

My absolute fave Primal-friendly flour to cook with is green banana flour.

I became addicted to it years ago when our good friend and paleo chef extraordinaire Dan from Canberra was visiting for a few days and showed me how to use it. He taught me recipes he liked to make with it including crepes, and I spent the next 1.5 yrs experimenting with it, getting familiar with it, and ended up creating the world’s first paleo GBF recipe e-books!

It’s a staple ingredient in our pantry, I use it for cooking, baking, coating, it’s super versatile. It’s great on it’s own or combined with other flours/powders, depending on the dish. It works in savoury and sweet recipes. I’d never recommend eating it daily, unless it’s a transition flour, but a few times a week can be fine for most people.

In terms of pros and cons I think it has far less cons than most primal-friendly flours, especially with regards to nutrition. It can be tricky to use at first, that’s why my recipes can be really helpful to get started with it without wasting time and money.

As a subscriber you receive special access to purchasing the first ever Paleo Green Banana Flour Recipe E-books!

👉 Click here to see the recipe lists + to buy


Recipe ideas + bonus new recipe!

As I said above, green banana flour is incredibly versatile, but if you’re not used to how it works with other ingredients and when cooking with it then it’s handy to start with tried and tested recipes. Like mine! If you want to of course…!

If you have used it before and not had great success you might be surprised to know it makes a very fluffy bread! And that’s without using a whole carton of eggs!! 😮

Here’s a list of all my fave Primal ways to use GBF:

– New York-style pizza base
– Breads and loaves (sweet or savoury)
– Herb crackers
– Sweet tart bases
– Cereal (porridge and regular crunchy kind)
– Coating fish, chicken and pork pieces

👉 There are some recipes on our website you can use


✨✨✨ SPECIAL BRAND NEW RECIPE: Homemade Healthy Cereal!

This recipe is great for those occasional mornings you really feel like a bowl of cereal, or for family members to have daily for a while during the Primal transition period away from grains.

👉 Click here for the recipe


I had wanted to include my thoughts on using some ‘new’ flour options but due to current lockdown (at the time of creating this post) and not being able to access the products I wasn’t able to try a couple of different flours. As soon as I can though I will and I’ll report on them here with an edit!

If you have any questions for us regarding healthy flour options, email us at info@primalinfluence.com or comment below.


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health + more happiness!

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Returning to our Traditions

Quite a unique topic because it’s a little outside of the usual zone of health and wellness we focus on, but just as important as any of the usual modern paleo lifestyle content.

We’re as modern and ‘normal’ as the next couple in so many ways… we love to get our dance on at live music gigs, going to the movies, chilling out to Netflix, wearing regular clothing, getting dressed up to go to something fancy, we live in a built-up urban area, we drive a nice 4×4, we have ‘normal’ hobbies, we even own an Xbox!

But we also like to incorporate primitive living elements our ancestors used into our modern lives because it connects us to our roots are humans and provides a type of satisfation and inner confidence not comparible to anything else.

From as primal as possible, to more modern versions, we love dabbling in primitive and ancestral skills ourselves, and teaching them to others when we can.

In this post we’ll talk about some of our favourite skills and activities, their emotional and physical benefits, how to take them up no matter where you live, for kids AND adults alike. The benefits and positive changes we’ve seen in those we’ve shown this stuff to, and with others who practice these skills have been quite amazing. So we hope you feel inspired to try some of these yourself!


Basket Weaving 🗑️

Let’s kick this blog off with a great intro activity… making coil weave baskets with natural materials.

There are loads of types of traditional basket weaving and making techniques, from different parts of the world, but back in the day when the first humans had to come up with a way to make food and other items transportable and for storage they would have used whatever was available to them in whatever way was most practical and functional. Different cultures have different methods and rituals of course but at the end of the day there are no real rules when it comes to this type of activity. Creativity and ingenuity are encouraged!

The method of coil weave is very basic and one that took me a few goes to get right and I used different materials in different ways, I wasn’t taught but I found out the general basics online before starting. I knew a local beach spinifex grass was an option as the material, as well as lomandra which is a really common and useful native plant. The only only non-natural part of my baskets has been the yarn needle used but one of my to-do-eventually projects is to make a needle from bone so it’s all totally natural!

Basket weaving can be a mindful, calming, relaxing, frustrating, annoying, fun, painful and enjoyable activity. As with most traditional activities all kinds of things can go wrong, there’s almost always physical and mental challenges involved, and the intention you have before starting and while doing it can change how you feel about the experience and the outcome.

It’s sometimes nice to do alone, or with others, like any craft really. Kids, adults, anyone can give it a go and benefit. It can be quite tough on the fingers as well as time-consuming so it’s helpful for building resilience and patience – attributes sadly becoming less common these days.

If you’d me to make a video on how I create simple natural coil weave basket, let me know!

Alternatively there are heaps of tutorials online and in books.


Star Gazing 🌟

“We’ve been fixated on the starry sky since our inception. We have stared at the cosmos as humans, as Neanderthals, as base simians, and, no doubt, as the scrabblers who came before the primate. There are recordings in chalk, cuneiform, tablet, scroll, paint and stonework from every era of man, in every corner of the world, dedicated to the mapping of heavens we knew we would never touch. Mapping the stars was a method of early compassing, aiding travellers and sailors with their recognizable constellations. If you knew the stars, a clear night could always guide you home. But these reasons for stargazing have staled with the advent of modern solutions. We have GPS now, and the pagan beliefs which spawned the first gods and heroes who populated the cosmos have been consigned to history books, labelled as mythology rather than religion. So, why stargaze in our modern age?

Beyond the fact that the stars are beautiful to see, same as any fine art, the main reason may be that it helps and heals us on a mental level.

Piff (a psychologist) defines awe as a crucial social function; a requirement for shifting our focus from individual, self-focused concerns and expanding our perspective to include others’ well-being. What’s felt when experiencing the grandeur of nature–be it Earth’s or the stars’–is a catalyst for inspiring goodwill and broader social-thinking in us. Looking on the galaxy, we recognize that we are one small piece of an enormous whole, and we become more likely to act on our ability to help others within our own small world.” – Optics Max

We absolutely agree with that take on why star gazing is so important. Not only that but it’s calming, relaxing, interesting, and a sky full of twinkling stars is just so beautiful.

🔭 There are apps you can download to help you and your kids learn about what you can see above you at night time, some astronomy groups hold public get-together and education sessions, and of course, just going out to a dark area to see a sky full of stars at night is just a nice thing to do. There are plenty of ways to learn about the night skies above or just to enjoy them.

Are you already into star gazing or is it something you’d like to start getting into?


Using Sticks to Make Fire 🔥

+ why everyone should try it at least once!

Whenever we demo this primitive skill to others they get really impressed and say “I couldn’t do that” because it seems so hard to do. The reality it is.. it can be hard but doesn’t have to be. If you’re lost in the bush and are unfamiliar with the natural materials around, there’s nothing artificial or modern to use to make fire and you’re experimenting with what you find then yeah, that’d be hard. But if you have access to materials that you know can work and you’ve practiced the method then it’s really not hard to do.

Once the materials are ready it can take just 10 seconds to make fire!

It’s more complicated than just picking two random sticks and rubbing them together quickly, there are a few other key elements. And when you understand the process and actually manage to get am ember then a flame, it’s honestly one of the most satisfying human experiences.

There are quite a few different friction fire methods, we’ve tried two popular ones: Hand Drill and Bow Drill (modified version). Hand Drill is one of the hardest and the first type Clint attempted and achieved. It was a huge and exhilarating achievement! We actually partnered up and got fire together one night, he did most of the work but I helped, something we’ll never forget!

Since then we’ve taught our nephew and his best mate (AKA The Jacobs) the steps to take to learn fire making using a flint and steel with natural materials up to a modified bow drill method they achieved on the weekend with help from Clint. It’s physically challenging and tiring, so when it’s successful it’s such a huge reward and the boys were over the moon when they eventually got it.

Clint and I have achieved it with this method first go together which I’m super proud of and it’s re ignited (pardon the pun!!) my passion for this stuff, it’s now more of a priority to fit these projects and activities into my super busy modern life. Why? Because it makes me feel good. It brings me closer to my roots as a human being. It makes me a more capable human. It gives me confidence and inner strength. Learning and doing well with skills our ancient ancestors used for not only survival but, in many cases, to thrive, brings a connectedness and deep satisfaction I can’t compare to anything else.

Not only is learning fire making extremely practical and functional should you find yourself in a situation where it’s crucial and can save your life, it’s also just incredibly rewarding, interesting and enjoyable in general.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter when we include info on HOW to get started, even how to get the kids into it safely and other important benefits it can have for them.

Check out a previous blog 5 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙇𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙍𝙪𝙗𝙗𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙬𝙤 𝙎𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙨 𝙏𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 – 𝙗𝙮 𝘾𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙩


Foraging for Wild Foods 🌿

Many of you will already know this is one of my fave things to do! I love foraging! I got into it quite a few years ago, when, like with all the primitive/ancestral/traditional skills we dabble in, came from an interest in expanding our knowledge and experience within this sphere of health and well-being, further to just how our ancestors ate (i.e. ‘Paleo’). Eating paleo is just one element, our ancestors did a lot more than just eat! But eating is a big one, and since supermarkets and even farms and markets weren’t around for an extremely long time (until the Agricultural Revolution) humans had to hunt and gather their own food.

Now, I believe hunting for animals is far more beneficial than foraging for plant foods, as animals did give us, and still do give us, the most nutritional benefit and energy to sustain life, but plants were a supplement and also used medicinally.

It’s interesting because from what we’ve learned about humans in history, in primitive times generally men were the hunters and builders while women were the gatherers, cooks and creators. Not always of course but generally speaking, because often everyone had to be capable at every task, but in most cases men and women had different roles. Clint and I feel very connected to those roles and interests respectively today, just naturally. He’s naturally more connected to tracking, hunting etc while I can’t help but look for edible plants around me!

Once I learnt to forage for wild foods I couldn’t ‘un learn’. I’ve never lost interest. I go through periods where I’m not overly active in foraging but I’m always noticing what natural foods are available wherever I am. Native and introduced, I’m fascinated by it all and I love nibbling on a few berries or fruits while I’m out and about, or taking a few home with me to cook and use in interesting ways. Or to turn into healing balms and poultices. It’s a very handy and rewarding skill to have that definitely enriches my life. I’ve been lucky to teach this skill to many groups of people of all ages and have even inspired our niece and nephews to enjoy foraged food when they’re with us which I love.

Disclaimer: I never ever ever consume a wild food without being 100% certain of identity and edibility. And I’m always extremely conscious and protective of the eco systems.


Hunting 🏹

Or simply learning about + using the tools!

Another eventual transition for us within the Paleo Lifestyle sphere was hunting. The idea of being able to source food to eat, from absolute scratch, with an incredibly basic weapon… well it doesn’t get much more ‘human’ and natural than that! Clint, more so than me, grew a very keen interest for primitive hunting, in particular using traditional bows and spears. He was gifted a beautiful recurve bow and taught himself to shoot arrows still and moving targets (in our garage and driveway believe it or not!!). He managed to hunt a hare on a solo camping/hunting trip to the country after learning safe, ethical and smart hunting methods and a lot of practice. It was an emotional and meaningful experience for him and one I hope to experience myself some day as I want to become a trad hunter like him. We’d practice way more often if we could but we just don’t get the time needed, or the space, to become really good at it or to provide lots of food and useful materials.

He used almost every bit of that hare and it fed us so well for many meals. Meals we’ll cherish the memory of no doubt forever.

Besides using bows for hunting we enjoy simply using them for target practice. Clint even made a bow (for me!) and just that whole process was an amazingly fulfilling and interesting experience for him. Making and practicing using a ‘weapon’ is not the same as hunting, can have huge benefits physically and emotionally and hunting doesn’t have to be about actually killing an animal for food, it can be about every part of the process up until that point.

Ever watched a child build a hunting tool and pretend to go for prey?

It’s a natural and instinctual practice.

Other than traditional-style bows, Clint also dabbles in spear making and loves to teach kids how to make and use spears. Throwing is a natural human movement and skill (because we once had to throw as part of surviving) and shouldn’t be limited to balls and frisbees. Making and throwing a spear well for physical fitness can be more challenging, more rewarding and more enjoyable.

With spear making comes whittling and knife skills, understanding and appreciating natural materials used, learning safety, patience and gaining confidence. Honestly, the joy these kinds of practices and skills have brought us is indescribable. We hope this inspires you to start looking into traditional hunting practices and methods in a modern way, even if not for the end purpose of actually hunting.

Clint’s tips on how to get started making hunting tools:

Spear making:

  • Start with a basic whittling knife (there are rounded blade end versions for kids) and use green, light and soft timbers for practicing, either fallen, cut or bought. Bamboo makes a great fishing spear and Macaranga (native to Australia) makes great atlatls and throwing spears.
  • Remember (and teach to kids) the ‘blood bubble’ rule where you outstretch your arm with the knife held and if you can touch someone around you they’re in your blood bubble, therefore you can’t start until you move away from them so they’re no longer close enough to be inside it.
  • For bamboo spears, slice one end into 4 points and sharpen each point, wedge a stick across each direction about 3 inches deep and tie in place with string
  • You can make rock and glass spear heads if you want to get right into it too
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20201101_095541.jpg
  • Make green wood spears stronger and harder by hardening in fire (in the flames)
  • Look on YouTube for “traditional spear making” videos

Traditional Bows:

  • Start with a Board Bow and use a piece of straight-grained timber from the hardware store. Spotted Gum works really well and was used to make Aimee’s bow
  • Watch YouTube videos for tutorials and to find out what equipment you need for the process
  • I built a timber shave horse and used a draw knife to make bows but more modern tools can be used
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bow-making-2.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bow-making.jpg

Kids Bows:

  • These can be made with any slightly bendy sticks with string attached to each end. Saplings work well.

Arrows for Kids Bows:

  • Find small, straight, light sticks, whittle one end into a point, glue 3 feathers onto other end for the ‘look’ of a proper arrow

Proper Arrows:

  • Buy these from a local supplier or online or make some with dowel, proper feathers, points or blunts, nocks etc. Certain pieces of equipment are needed for this, much like the art of fly making for fishing, so if just starting out it’s definitely easier to buy ready-made arrows suited to the bow you’re using.

Building Basic Shelters 🏕️

Most survival shows talk about how to use the tarp you just so happen to have in your backpack to make a basic shelter if lost in the wild. What if you don’t have a tarp or similar?!

Knowing how to build a basic and functional shelter using natural materials makes sense. And it’s a great activity kids can do just in the backyard. Not only does it teach them about their environment and what they could use if they needed to construct a survival shelter, it also teaches them about structure (what works and what doesn’t), patience and resilience.

When we take the Jacobs’ out for Primal Kids Camps we get them to help with putting the tents up and the next level for ‘shelter building’ is to make one from natural materials that actually works. They did this a few months ago using the debris hut method, a finger saw and knives and they achieved the Silver ‘shelter building’ Primal Kids Badge, with the next being Gold for using ONLY natural materials they can find, and being able to sleep in the shelter for a night (or some of a night at least!) which will be done in Spring when it’s warmer.

It’s a tiring task. And for kids with ASD even more so, and when they get frustrated it’s not happening as fast as they’d like it’s a test of patience and resilience. Supporting them to complete the project, to stick it out (ah, accidental pun!) and feel the pride that comes with making a legit shelter with their own hands is so important and rewarding, for them and for us.

This is the basic debris hut style of shelter, a great beginner design:

Shelter building is a handy skill for all ages!


Putting Our Ideas into Action 🔪

I said I planned on making a spoon and I’ve started!

We went camping on the weekend to get lots of hunting and project time in. Hunting wasn’t successful but making stuff was!

I found a small piece of timber perfect for spoon making and went about cutting it down, well, starting to, it’ll be a slow process and I need to get my fingers used to it, they’re sore today! Such a nice activity to do while Clint was out hunting and one I can do at home in my downtime.

Stay tuned to see how it goes!

Also during a creek exploration Clint cut some weed trees down and turned them into a stand to hang the camp oven from for paleo chicken curry dinner. It worked brilliantly!


If you have any questions for us regarding traditional bushcraft and hunting methods, email us at info@primalinfluence.com or comment below.


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health + more happiness!

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Natural + Organic Skincare Review: Skin Muk

There are so many natural and organic skincare products on the market these days, ranging in price and sustainability, with some being marketed and advertised as “natural” which in fact aren’t! No one wants to waste their money when they’re trying to do good for their skin, their health and for the planet.

So how do we know what to buy and try?

I often choose the DIY route when it comes to skincare as I don’t use a lot of different products and I’m extremely budget and eco-conscious.

Making skincare concoctions from scratch is rewarding but can be time-consuming and hard to sustain. So when I met the maker of a local skincare range who guaranteed me all of her products are totally natural and sustainable I had to try them!

Not only am I looking for good products for myself, but also to recommend to my Primal Health Coaching clients and Clint’s Private Kids Coaching client parents.

Introducing… Skin Muk!

I met the lovely Serenity at the first 2-day business coaching workshop a couple of months ago, she was sitting next to me for one of the days so I found out about her business and could tell right away how passionate she is about creating quality, effective and clean skincare products.

Not long after, she gave me a box of samples to try and OMG, I was instantly impressed, the packaging and the products looked so beautiful! I felt like I was being spoiled, which is a rare experience for me, but one every girl should have regularly I think!

Local ✔️

Natural ✔️

Sustainable ✔️

Luxurious ✔️

Face oil, sugar scrub and 2 different clay samples arrived at my door step looking as pretty and well-presented as anyone could want. I was already impressed just opening the box!

CASSIOPEIA MINI – FACIAL OIL

I usually use a pure rose hip oil on my skin at night which absorbs in easily and never feels heavy or ‘oily’ after, so I was interested to see how this face oil would compare.

Really well actually! It definitely smells nicer; it has a beautiful aroma. And made my skin feel super soft after gently applying a few drops.

I really like this product. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily and it’s luxurious but so simple.

The dropper bottle is good quality and travels easily (no leaking!).

This can easily be for daily use, even before applying makeup, or used occasionally as a self-love pamper day treat.

MOON DUST – CLAY MASK + STAR DUST – CLAY MASK

My go-to clay mask option is just boring old bentonite clay but it always leaves my face feeling dry. Ugh.

Neither of these do which is a nice change! I tried the Moon Dust first and definitely noticed the incredible softness the powder has just dry in the hand before adding a bit of water. After rinsing off my skin felt soft and not dry at all.

Serenity says this one can be used as a quick cleanser or mask left on for a few minutes.

I tried the Star Dust powder last night, as a mask left on my face for about 10 minutes, and besides absolutely LOVING the colour (pink!!), I loved how my skin felt afterwards, and even today, it still feels really nice.

I noticed, too, that my skin isn’t breaking out today which it normally would after eating some not-so-great foods after camping on the weekend! Yay!

Very little clay powder is needed when, combined with water, to cover the face so this product goes a long way.

It’s a definite tick of approval from me for these two! ✔️✔️

Now for my favourite of al the Skin Muk goodies I’ve tried…

PINK NEBULA – SUGAR SCRUB

Absolutely dee-vine!

As a body scrub to exfoliate my skin I always use DIY coffee and coconut oils scrub. It’s great on my skin but boy it’s messy! It’s something I only use right before housework day otherwise it leaves my bath and shower (combo) oily and with tiny bits of coffee grounds everywhere!

When I first opened the tub of Pink Nebula I was pleasantly slapped in the face with the most gorgeous aroma. Strawberry + vanilla = yum. Even better than coffee and coconut oil, if you can believe it!

I used it on my legs, torso and arms and was so happy with how it worked. The sugar dissolves after a bit of scrubbing with the hand but not too quickly that it doesn’t do it’s job of exfoliating.

Also, it didn’t leave ANY mess. None whatsoever. Woo!

It leaves my skin feeling so soft, not oily at all after use, and a small quantity really does go along way which is a bonus. I am in love with this product and my jar of homemade coffee scrub isn’t getting used at the moment while I enjoy this much nicer scrub tub!

Thank you so much Serenity for gifting me these gorgeous creations. They’re perfect for eco-conscious ladies wanting to look after their skin naturally, and feel a little pampered without much cost or effort.

I’m more than happy to recommend these items, this company, and I hope you check out the full range here ❤️

Follow on Insta


If you have any questions for us regarding these products or what other skincare products we use, email us at info@primalinfluence.com or comment below.


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health!

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Healthy Kitchen Hacks

It can be so stressful trying to create a healthy space in the kitchen, for ourselves and for the planet. So from what we buy, use, eat and do in the kitchen we’re sharing our top tips for making healthier choices (and reducing stress!).

We hope it helps you and your fam!


DIY Flavour Mixes

If you’re used to buying and consuming pre-made flavour products like sauces, marinades, spice mixes etc it can be pretty daunting at first to think of making your own versions from scratch, but I promise, it’s really not hard and once you start you’ll find it gets even easier pretty quickly!

I like to buy organic dried and herbs from bulk stores such as The Source, especially when trying out new flavours and I don’t want to commit to owning heaps of something, and sometimes the mixes I create are from recipes, based on recipes but tweaked, or just totally random. Often those random creations are the tastiest!

Don’t be afraid to play around with herbs and spices. If you don’t absolutely love a mix you’ve created at first, you can usually change it and get it ‘right’. Start out with just a few simple flavours you know you like then get more adventurous when you feel like it.

Here are some flavour combo ideas to try:

– Rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano for pasta sauces
– Coriander and cumin powders with pink salt mixed well into mince for patties (great with turkey mince!)
– DIY Mexican sauce: coriander powder, lime juice, tomato paste, sweet paprika
– Oregano is subtle and goes nicely with veggies (mash, cauli rice, on roast veg, everything)
– Rosemary on roast veggies including pumpkin and cabbage is delish, especially with ghee drizzled on

Once you find the combos you and your family like, make larger amounts (dry stuff only) and store in jars in the cupboard.

Remember to try and avoid using sugars, white vinegar etc, as the point here is to make HEALTHY swaps!


Bulk-Buy When Possible

It’s not always doable but when you can buy meat and produce in bulk amounts it’s better for the environment and usually better for the bank account too.

Butchers will often sell (or make on request) larger quantities of meat for a lower price. E.g. 2kg mince for a few dollars less. Farmers offer 1/4, 1/2 and whole beast options which is almost always cheaper. Many health food stores these days have bulk food bins (but check the per kilo price compared to packaged products just in case they’re way more exy), local co-ops offer bulk buy options, produce sections at shops and markets all allow for bulk buying, plus you can often find larger sized canned and jar products depending where you shop.

For example, Clint and I like to get a huge 1.6kg tub of grass-fed ghee when we visit my mum in Brissie cos it’s cheaper and uses less packaging. Win!

We often buy 2-3kg of offal mince mix from a local butcher in just 2 bags instead of 500g packs. I recycle the plastic and separate the mix up into smaller containers at home. Easy!

Sometimes though, bulk buying food is cheaper but not eco-friendly and sometimes it’s the other way around. E.g. going in on 1/4 an animal from a local farmer may save you bucks but they might use packaging that isn’t recyclable. Same with buying a big bag of veggies already made instead of choosing your own loose pieces.

You need to be savvy, work out what your priorities are and why you’re looking into bulk buying, and find the best options that meet your needs and goals.

With more businesses adopting sustainable practices today, and some even contributing to a circular economy, there are more eco-friendly options than ever before. But some are more expensive.

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙡𝙠 𝙗𝙪𝙮𝙨?


Reading + Understanding Labels

So you can make healthier choices when buying food, cleaning products + more!

Labelling laws in Australia are ok, but they’re not great. For instance, the code for a mixture of ingredients needs to be listed but not what that actually contains. When I first went gluten-free and was doing a lot of research I found out that the code for the caramel colour in a lot of food products may actually contain hidden gluten but that didn’t have to be listed on the nutrition label! Scary!

As a general rule in terms of health for us and the planet, if you can’t understand what an ingredient is then it’s probably best avoided.

𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙥𝙨:
– avoid highly processed cane sugar (non-organic)
– white vinegar isn’t a healthy preservative. Apple cider vinegar is
– numbers and codes = toxins and hidden nasties
– “low fat” usually means high sugar
– added / fortified ingredients such as folate and fibre = bad news
– ignore the government star rating, it’s BS
– soy in any form isn’t good
– look for products with clean and organic ingredients when possible
– foods cooked/fried in vegetable oils are highly toxic

𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙘𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙥𝙨:
– avoid products containing phosphates, sodium carbonate, optical brighteners, surfactants, chlorine-based bleaching agents and ingredients derived from palm oil and petrochemicals as they can all harm our waterways and the environment
– Planet Ark says to look for… “Biodegradable certifications, such as Australia’s AS4351 standard. Plant-based (rather than petroleum-based) ingredients. A concentrated formulation. This also has the benefit of less packaging, fewer chemicals per wash and smaller carbon footprint for transportation. Specific ingredient information, such as solvent-free non petroleum-based ingredients, rather than unregulated greenwash claims like ‘natural’ and ‘eco-friendly’.”

Learn to read and understand labels, do some research, ask questions to the manufactures if you want clarity and transparency, and try to choose products with simple and natural ingredients.


Go Green But Don’t Get Green-washed

By “go green” we mean to choose more eco-friendly products and behaviours but to avoid being ‘green washed’ which is a whole new and annoying part of today’s semi-eco-conscious world!

‘𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮’ 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙤𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙡𝙪𝙙𝙚:
– Using paper and glass when possible, over plastic
– Recycle effectively
– Use biodegradable or recycled material cloths and scrubbers
– Use natural eco-friendly cleaning products
– Using good quality long-lasting cooking implements such as cast iron pans, high quality stainless steel pots and pans, glass baking dishes etc

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 ‘𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙖𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙙’ 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚: Basically, very clever marketing and branding!
– ‘Degradable’ plastic items. These do not help the environment, these plastics just break up into smaller pieces, that’s it!
– Products made with recycled plastics. These often cannot be recycled again as recycled plastics reach a limit of recyclability. Check with Planet Ark, on the packaging for what to do with the packaging after use, local council.
– The words ‘plant-based’, ‘natural’, ‘green’ and ‘eco’ on packaging. If, for example, a dishwashing liquid is cheap like around $2-$3 for a bottle and contains these words it’s more than likely not all that “green” and isn’t safe for the waterways.

The legit biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and eco-safe packaging (bin liners, foil, cling wrap etc) cost a bit more. Those starchy thin bin liners you see in the health food stores cost a lot more then the supermarket ‘degradable’ varieties that still feel like actual plastic (because they are!)

Find out more about greenwashing here


Cast Iron Isn’t Just Good for Camping

We have 2 small cast iron pans permanently on our stove top, we use them at least 3 times a day and y’know how often we wash them? Maybe once a year if that. It’s so good!

Not only is cast iron one of the healthiest cooking surfaces, it’s incredibly easy to maintain, energy-efficient, can be used in the oven or on the stove, and can make food cook and taste better!

𝘽𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙘𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙞𝙤𝙣:

– Fortifies food with iron- Can be bought second hand, easily brought back to life if rusty and therefore reduces the need to buy brand new cookware

– Extremely durable (possibly never having to throw out or replace if looked after)- Really low and easy maintenance

– Sears meat well because it gets hot quickly and easily

– Because it gets hot easily the cooking temp can be reduced quicker making it more energy-efficient

– Creates an even cooking temp BUT the good-health factor can depend on how you season it. If using a seed or vegetable oil then that ruins any chance of it being a healthy cooking surface. Use quality animal fat and it’s soooo healthy!

We do love taking our cast iron camp ovens and pans cooking but even more we love using cast iron every day and will never go back to buying Teflon or any other unhealthy cooking items!

How to look after cast iron used often

  • Keep a jar of grass-fed tallow or lard (rendered beef or pork fat) by the stove and after cooking with cast iron and while the pan is on the hot plate used (turned off but still warm after cooking) add a little bit of fat to the pan if it looks dry, and spread around evenly for a thin coating
  • Do not wash your cast iron unless absolutely necessary, and if you do wash it, follow the steps below to season in the oven 1-2 times
  • After cooking, if food remains, just scrape it off with a spatula and season slightly with a bit of fat if the pan looks dry. We cook eggs and meat on our pans every morning and just scrape off any excess food into the bin or sink
  • It’s important to only add a thin layer of fat to season after use, or none at all if fatty meat was cooked and left some fat behind. Scrape off excess fat if the meat was really fatty
  • If wiping down the stove with a wet cloth often, be sure to check the bottom of the pan every so often for signs of rust, then do a seasoning round in the oven as mentioned below if needed
  • Tomato and other acidic foods break down the seasoning layer so keep that in mind if regularly cooking tomato in the pan

How to bring rusty cast iron back to life

  • Use natural salt flakes and an old cloth/scourer to scrub any rust flakes or old food off
  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • Remove any non-oven proof bits (such as timber handles on camping pans which should easily screw off)
  • Use grass-fed tallow or lard (rendered beef or pork fat) and rub a thin layer all over the pan/pot
  • Place in the oven upside for 1-hour
  • Carefully remove from the oven to cool down (or turn the oven off and leave the door open for it to cool down before handling)
  • Repeat the fat layering (when cool enough to handle) and another round of 1-hour in the oven
  • 1-3 rounds should be plenty, depending on the state of the cast iron. An old rusty piece may take 3 rounds, whereas a simple re-seasoning of a well-looked after piece may only require one round

‘Cleaner’ Cleaning!

Swapping from chemical cleaning products to natural and eco-friendly doesn’t mean cleanability is reduced. Often, the chemical cleaners we’re told are so effective actually just hide the dirt and stains, they don’t actually clean it off!

A major downside of using chemicals to clean with is how they reduce our immune system, not just impact the environment. Let’s implement more “clean living” practices in how we actually clean!

There are generally 2 main options:
– buy ready-to-go eco-friendly natural cleaning products and solutions
– make your own

I’m as time-poor as the next person so I don’t go to great lengths to DIY everything but simple vinegar and tea tree oil is pretty much all I need for cleaning the kitchen during my weekly or fortnightly housework day. The rest of the time we use WATER to clean surfaces. Because there is such a thing as being “too clean”! Meaning… in an attempt to clean away nasty germs we clean away all the good stuff which also can reduce our immunity.

Using chemicals and over-cleaning are both sure-fire ways to reduce our heath.

Swapping chemicals for natural and safe alternatives and cleaning only when necessary are good for us and the environment. Yay!

There are stacks of natural eco-friendly cleaning products on the market these days. Be careful of green-washing when buying the lower cost items but you’ll find legit options at any health food store, some markets, some supermarkets, online, at local co-ops etc.

𝙎𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙠𝙞𝙩𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙘𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙖𝙨:
– Vinegar and bicarb or Bon Ami powder for the sink
– Micro fibre cloths that last aaaaages and don’t need products added
– Vinegar, bicarb and tea tree oil paste left on a stain for a few mins (great for laminate surfaces)
– Vinegar and lemon spray
– Castile soap, washing soda and borax can all be great

Find out more about how to choose more eco-friendly cleaning products


Recycle Right

If I go out to the communal recycling bins at the front of our complex right now and look inside any one of them I can bet you a decent sum of money there are items in there that shouldn’t be. It drives me insane!

Unfortunately our local Council does very little (almost nothing) to educate residents on how to recycle properly. I’ve been extremely proactive, cos I really care about this, and have taken it upon myself to find out what can and can’t be recycled, through contacting Council directly, using info provided by Planet Ark, RedCycle, TerraCycle + other organisations who deal with this stuff.

Even just the other day I was chatting alfoil recycling with someone (not sure how that came up in conversation lol) and they didn’t know it has to be saved up to be made into a large ball before it can go in the recycle bin. Most people don’t know this!

So you could be trying to recycle but not quite getting it right. It’s really common!

𝙈𝙮 𝙩𝙤𝙥 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙮𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙞𝙥𝙨:
– Rinse and dry plastics, cans etc that go in the recycle wheelie bins
– Put soft plastics into a soft plastic bag to eventually fill and take to the supermarket soft plastics bin to recycle – ensure they’re NOT WET though. Food/dirt is ok but moisture creates mold. ‘Degradable’ plastics can’t be recycled.
– Don’t recycle oily stuff like the section of the pizza box that’s oil-stained, oil on packaging etc
– Check with your Council if they accept empty gas canisters and aerosols
– Check with your Council for what they can and can’t take in general! A lot of kitchen and household items can be dumped free or charge if not able to go in the wheelie bin at home
– Check product packaging to see the new ARL (Australiasian Recycling Label) so you know what can be done with each packaging element
– Buy recycled/eco-friendly paper towel (we use Who Gives a Crap)
– Buy products with packaging made using recycled materials if they can be recycled or disposed of cleanly (as per ARL)
– Don’t put your recycling items in a plastic bag into the recycle wheelie bin!!
– Don’t recycle oily stuff like the section of the pizza box that’s oil-stained, oil on packaging etc

Handy links:

Happy recycling!


Bonus: Go With Glass

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jars-pantry.jpg

We didn’t include this bit on our SM posts, so it’s a bonus bit for you!

Making the switch from plastic to glass for food storage and heating is so important. It can be expensive to do it all in one go, so my best advice for you with this is to transition slowly if money is an issue.

Whether a plastic container is “BPA-free” or not, it’s bad for the environment and bad for our health. Plastic is plastic!

Glass is the healthiest and most eco-friendly option.

When we first swapping plastics for glass we waited until the shops near us had Pyrex on sale. We also went to a kitchen outlet store to grab some bargains.

Now, you could easily go online for some, even Kmart and other ‘cheaper’ stores sell glass containers. Grab some from wherever you can access and afford!

The downside of some brands though, including Pyrex, is the lids are made of plastic which cracks and breaks easily and can’t be recycled in the recycle wheelie bin collected by Councils. So look for more eco-friendly lids that will last a long time.

We still use plastic containers but really only for camping because we need the spill-free factor which many glass containers don’t have! But for al fridge and freezer storage and food re-heating we use glass.

The pantry is an easy place to go-more-glass because you can simply wash and re-use jars that had other food inside. Use washable labels or blackboard paint and a chalk pen to label, buy organic herbs and spices, cocoa, oils etc from plastic-free bulk food bins at health food stores and store in the re-used jars.


MORE BONUS STUFF!

Not included on our SM posts, here’s some bonus advice for you!

Spotted at IGA: a huge variety of eco-friendly cleaning goodies…

How to remove tough kitchen stains naturally…

Make a paste of vinegar, bicarb soda and tea tree oil then place on food stains on laminate surfaces. Leave for an hour or so then scrub off using a cloth. Gone!

Especially handy for turmeric and organic curry powder stains!

A better option for baking paper…

There are definitely a few greenwashing baking paper products on the market but Glad now have a “compostable” option which we’ve started using recently. It’s not waxy and it’s quite tin but it does the trick when cooking foods such as our primal pizza on baking paper on the pizza stone.

If you have any questions for us regarding what other eco-kitchen items we use, email us at info@primalinfluence.com or comment below.


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Common ‘Healthy’ Food Myths BUSTED!

Busting really common myths related to health that people are literally suffering from is so satisfying! This post is all about busting some really big myths around so-called ‘healthy foods’.

You may be emotionally invested in some ‘healthy’ food tips that we debunk here and may not like us very much after this! Or, you may be enlightened and inspired to learn more and make positive changes.

Either way we’re putting this stuff out there to help you, and because we’ve tried these ourselves and want to share what we’ve learned in all the years we’ve been working hard to continually improve our health.


Myth: Drinking lemon water is healthy

Most of us have tried it at one time or another on our journey to better health. And some people notice slight changes/improvements to digestion but the cons of this seemingly safe health hack far outweigh any possible pros, especially the long-term effects.

The main concerns are high acidity level + teeth enamel erosion.

A lot of SM posts and blogs spout claims like “Lemon water encourages the body to absorb nutrients from the food better. It stimulates the liver, so toxins are eliminated more efficiently. Its mild diuretic effect also speeds up the elimination of waste.

&

Lemons may be acidic in your fruit bowl but once consumed and digested they actually have an alkaline effect in the body. As we know alkalinity is essential for weight loss, reducing inflammation, increases energy levels and improving sleep patterns.

Finding legit info to back up these claims is damn hard!

But don’t we need help to detoxify the body?

Not with acidic foods. Nutrients found in animal foods such as meat and collagen can support detoxification though so adding a spoonful of pure grass-fed beef collagen powder to a glass of water is a far better option!

What about lemon helping boost immunity? Again, not founded and animal foods like meat, bone broth and gelatin, along with getting lots of earthing, fresh air and sun are far more helpful.

🦷 High-acid foods can break down tooth enamel so even if you’re using a straw, teeth can still be damaged.

What about lemon essential oil?

Just as bad, if not more, as it’s more concentrated.

The only time we add lemon to water is on the very rare occasion we have a sore throat with a cold coming on, along with raw honey and organic ginger tea to soothe the pain.


Myth: We need loads of fibre-rich foods for good digestion

Aside from the fact that grain foods and high-sugar fruits are not healthy to consume daily or regularly, the other problem with foods like breads, cereals, pastas, fruit etc is the high fibre content.

𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮? 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘵, 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘨𝘶𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩?

… nope!

From my own personal experience with years of experiencing digestion problems I can honestly say my #2 toilet trips are the best when I’m eating mostly carnivore (animal-based)!

We have also been mistakenly told by our trusted doctors that a high-fibre diet is a great defensive against the change of diverticulitis and IBS. On the contrary, it has been proven that a high-fibre diet decreases gut flora and irritates the lining of the gut; which increases risk of this disease.” – Keto Adapted

Gut microbiome can balance out nicely with a reduction in the paleo-friendly fibre foods such as fruit and veggies, and we can definitely do well without the grain-based high-fibre foods like breads, cereals etc. Even when the packaging says otherwise! And especially with avoiding the added fortified crap that goes into many products to “add essential fibre”. What a load of BS that stuff is!

Bonus extra info: Read Myths and Truths About Fibre by Dr. Chris Kresser


Myth: Vegetable oils are heart-healthy

Thanks to Dr. Stephen Hussey DC, MS for contributing to this week’s topic with this common healthy food myth… that vegetable oils are healthy for the heart… “When the body uses them for fuel they break our metabolism leading to insulin resistance, which is heavily causative in heart disease.

Insulin resistance is one of the biggest health issues on the planet at the moment. Cafes, restaurants and processed food manufacturers use veg oils because they’re so cheap. Cheap and nasty. And the media tells us some vegetable oils are healthy. So we’re consuming them often and in large quantities. YIKES!

A better term for “vegetable” oil would be “industrial processed seed oil sludge” because most are made from waste products!

The main varieties we have access to and use today are corn, soybean, sunflower and canola.

These oils are damaging to our health for 3 main reasons:
– Their fatty acid instability
– They’re toxic by-products and highly processed
– The high omega 6 to 3 ratio

𝘽𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙨?
– grass-fed rendered beef tallow and pork lard for cooking at high temps
– for consuming raw opt for cold-pressed (raw) organic coconut, olive, avocado and macadamia oils
– grass-fed ghee, butter or refined coconut oil for low temp cooking

I hope this inspires you to use healthier oils at home and to be proactive in asking restaurants what they use, and asking them to switch to better options also!


Myth: Kale is a superfood

Sorry about this but another ‘healthy food’ myth is that kale is a superfood. Don’t shoot the messenger!

I, personally, am SO glad I learnt this after a couple of years of eating kale cos I thought I had to. I felt it harming me and when I finally figured out why I was stoked! Especially because I struggled with low thyroid issues already, why would I want to make it worse?!

Kale, and the whole family of plants known as the Brassicas are full of chemicals that wreak havoc in your body through a variety of ways.​

The most common way is by interfering with iodine utilization at the level of the thyroid, preventing proper thyroid hormone formation, earning these plants the moniker “goitrogens,” or goitre-producers.

A goitre is the swelling of the neck that occurs due to expansion of thyroid gland when it can’t make enough thyroid hormone- not a good thing!” – Paul Saladino MD

Sure, lab tests show kale contains nutrients the body needs. But it also shows how many anti-nutrients it has which definitely outweigh the positives. When a food’s nutrients aren’t ‘bio-available’ – meaning how well they absorb into the body – they end up doing more harm to us than good.

We’ve all been there, thinking this leafy green was a ‘superfood’ and adding it to our morning smoothies, massaging olive oil, ACV and salt into it to add to salads (having to try and rub the anti-nutrients out of something is never a good sign btw!), or boiling and discarding the water… there’s no shame in that but knowledge is power so the more you understand it the better decisions you can make from now on 🙌

Swap kale for some meat, offal, eggs for a true nutrient-powerhouse meal.

And remember, don’t shoot the messenger! 😉


Myth: Low-fat diets are healthy + safe

We used to eat low fat. It contributed to me having extremely low cholesterol and, as a result, severe depression and chronic agonising debilitating pain.

❌ Low fat diets have many downfalls including toxic over-load from consuming ‘low fat’ foods made from highly processed unhealthy ingredients, low hormone function, increasing sugar cravings, increasing food sensitivities, lowers cholesterol, causes unhealthy skin + more.

✔️ “Fat has been the primary fuel source for humans for 2.5 million years, both from storage and as the predominant macronutrient in the human diet. In fact, it was the energy-rich, high-fat elements of animal products (particularly omega-3 fatty acids) that facilitated the development of a more complex brain that allowed humans to branch out from their predominantly vegetarian great ape cousins and eventually rise to the top of the food chain.

Fat is a nutrient-dense source of fuel at nine calories per gram. By comparison, carbohydrates and protein each deliver four calories per gram. The energy provided by ketones is five calories per gram, while alcohol comes in at seven calories per gram.” – Primal Health Coach.

✔️Good quality animal and some saturated plant fats do not cause heart disease, make us fat, nor reduce cognitive function. They actually does the opposite and are essential for good health and well-being.

✔️ So keep the skin and chunks of fat on your grass-fed/pastured/free-range/organic meats, include the yolks in omelettes + throw out the low fat spreads and other dodgy products! 🍗 🥩🥑 🧈 🍳


Myth: We shouldn’t eat liver because it stores toxins

Many people question, whether liver is safe to eat as it is a ‘filtering organ’ so therefore must contain toxins. Yes, liver’s function is to clear out toxins from the body, but this doesn’t’ mean that’s where they’re stored.

Dr Chris Kresser says:
A popular objection to eating liver is the belief that the liver is a storage organ for toxins in the body. While it is true that one of the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons), it does not store these toxins. Toxins the body cannot eliminate are likely to accumulate in the body’s fatty tissues and nervous systems.
On the other hand, the liver is a is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins
.”

Wow! Did you learn something new there?

𝙇𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧, 𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙛 (𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙨𝙨-𝙛𝙚𝙙/𝙤𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙘) 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙯𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝙬𝙝𝙤𝙡𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙤𝙤𝙙 not to be avoided due to incorrect information but instead to be consumed and benefited from.


They’re some of the main myths we see floating around the health advice circles and platforms, even being advised by qualified health practitioners such as some dietitians and doctors. Scary!

I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Blue Light Blocking at Night

Why it’s important for health, the different options to try + how we personally blue light block at night.

What is blue light + why avoid it at night?

That’s a good question, glad you asked! Here’s a great explanation by BlockBlueLight… “Light is made up of particles that travel as waves of energy. These particles range in both length and strength depending on where they fall in the spectrum. Wavelengths of light are measured in nanometres (nm). Some are visible to the human eye (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). Others are invisible (infrared and ultraviolet).

Blue light is a colour in the visible light spectrum and falls within the 400-500nm range. As shown in the diagram each wavelength range represents a different colour.

Blue light in the range of 400-450nm, a very short and strong wavelength.

➡️ Blue light exposure at night is impacting our circadian rhythm, sleep, and overall health.

The problem with modern devices, such as phones, LED light bulbs, TVs, and other forms of energy efficient light, is that they put out a large amount of light in the blue spectrum. You can see in the image how various light bulbs have different levels of blue light and how they affect melatonin (the sleep hormone).”


Blue light + melatonin

💊 Whether you (or your kids) take melatonin supplements or not, we all need to understand how melatonin works in the body and how we can ensure it’s cycling naturally and effectively for our sleep and health.

Melatonin, AKA the sleep hormone, is made by the pineal gland in the brain and is responsible for regulating sleep and wakefulness.

After the sun sets, a signal is sent to the brain to start secreting melatonin, which in turn causes sleepiness and eventually sends us into a deep and restful sleep. A natural cycle is a gradual increase into the night then a gradual decline as the sun nears rising. A melatonin supplement provides a quick hit, it can’t mimic the natural and healthy cycle.

Blue and green light ranging from 450-550nm has a direct effect on the the brain’s ability to produce melatonin, a hormone very important for sleep and overall health and wellbeing. Blocking blue light from entering the eyes at night (sunset to sunrise) can repair the natural melatonin cycle in the night and improve sleep quality.

Does that info help you understand melatonin and how blue light effects it?.


Blue light tricks the brain… how rude!

During a chat I had with good friend and smart-as-heck health coach Dave Liow, he explained how artificial blue light tricks the brain into thinking it’s day time when it’s actually night time. Not cool, right?!

💡 Blue light exposure at night suppresses melatonin due to the signals it sends the brain, tricking it into thinking it’s the middle of the day regardless of the actual time. This tricks us into feeling more awake and alert at a time we should be feeling sleepy and restful.

😴 You deserve to have a brain that functions optimally based on what time of day it actually is so you can sleep and feel well! We all do! 

Watch the video and at the 2:35-ish mark you’ll hear about how blue light at night tricks the brain into thinking it’s day time.


The obvious + not-so-obvious sources of artificial blue light

We often hear.. “I use a screen filter on my phone at night”, “I have salt lamps on at night”, “I wear blue light blocker glasses while I watch TV at night” and all of these are great if you’re doing these, awesome, but it’s 99.9% likely you’re still getting a whole of blue light in the eyes! Sorry but it’s true.

So what are the blue light sources in your house? Well they’re not just in your house, they’re in the car if you’re driving after sunset, they’re the street lights outside your house at night, they’re everywhere outside but let’s focus on in the home for now..

🏠 💡 Blue light in the home:


– the green, blue, white etc teeny tiny lights on power boards, DVD player and other electrical devices/appliances to show they’re on or on standby
– the strip of light that turns on when some electric glass kettles are boiling water (ours!)
– your TV screen
– smoke and home alarm lights
– your computer/mobile device screens (smartphones, tablets, laptops etc)
– probably every single ceiling light and lamp globe
– digital/LED watch faces
– fish tank lights
– all LEDs
– battery booklights
– torches and flashlights
– some battery operated ‘flameless’ candles
– battery operated kids toys with lights (remote control trucks etc)
– the clock on the microwave
– light coming in through the windows from neighbours, the outside patio light etc
– fairy and other decorative hanging lights in the kids rooms

Unless the light or screen is reddish/dark orange it’s emitting artificial blue light.


How to block blue light at night

There are a few ways to avoid blue light at night and some are just for the eyes while other methods keep it off the skin (both are important – eyes would be the priority).

𝙂𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙨
Wearing amber-lensed glasses that block about 97% blue light from sunset to sleep time then wake time to sunrise is one of the easiest ways to greatly reduce artificial blue light exposure at night. This means you can watch TV, use tech devices, drive, cook etc without blue light entering the eyes.

𝘼𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙜𝙡𝙤𝙗𝙚𝙨/𝙗𝙪𝙡𝙗𝙨
Replacing standard globes with flicker-free good quality red lighting is brilliant but only if there are no other artificial blue light producing devices present.

𝙎𝙖𝙡𝙩 𝙡𝙖𝙢𝙥𝙨
Salt lamps can be on 24/7 and if they’re dark orange enough can greatly reduce the amount of blue light emitted.

𝘾𝙡𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜
If the eyes are taken care of with glasses, it can help to wear long pants and tops to cover up the skin to block some blue light.

𝙁𝙞𝙧𝙚 + 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙡𝙚𝙨
Ideally we should all go to bed after sitting by a fire, without exposure to ANY blue light but that’s near impossible these days, even while camping due to the number of battery operated light sources! If you can work out a way to eliminate all other blue light after sunset to bed time then sitting by the fire or proper candles before bed is fantastic.


Pros + cons of different blue light blocking methods

Here’s an honest summary of the pros and cons we’ve found with the main blue light blocking methods so you can be armed with more info before making choices and buying products.

𝙂𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙨
Wearing good quality 97% blue light blocking glasses sunset to sunrise means you can watch TV, use tech devices, drive, cook etc without blue light entering the eyes. BUT it your skin is still being exposed if the lighting around you is emitting blue light.

Also you have to remember to put them on if you wake up in the night and/or before sunrise.

A good lightweight pair can be comfy but a bulky heavy pair can be really uncomfortable to wear.

They do change the colour of the devices you’re using at night. We get used to it but some kids struggle to get past a yellow game screen!

Cooking chicken at night is challenging as it’s hard to tell if there’s still pink remaining or not. But otherwise they’re fine.

𝘼𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙜𝙡𝙤𝙗𝙚𝙨/𝙗𝙪𝙡𝙗𝙨
Replacing standard globes with flicker-free good quality red lighting is brilliant but needs to be consistent throughout the house in the rooms and areas being used at night time.

Some red globes/bulbs won’t fit or work in older lamps so new lamps may be needed.

The cost to purchase a variety of red globes can be steep but it can be more sustainable if buying one at a time for the main areas in the house.

If not wearing glasses at all though, any unexpected exposure to blue light (getting in the car, walking outside, a neighbours light shining in etc) can ruin the effort.

𝙎𝙖𝙡𝙩 𝙡𝙖𝙢𝙥𝙨
Some salt lamps are too pale in colour to block enough artificial blue light. But these items also clean the air and create a calming ambience in the room so if they’re dark red enough they can be great.

𝘾𝙡𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜
Rugging up every night to avoid light on the skin isn’t really a realistic option for most of it but can complement other methods.

𝙁𝙞𝙧𝙚 + 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙡𝙚𝙨
Well candles have obvious cons and sitting by a fire outside isn’t do-able for everyone, especially without ANY exposure to blue light before bed and sunrise. This is the least likely method unfortunately but any night you can manage it safely is going to be great for your circadian rhythm and sleep


How WE blue light block at night

At about sunset or shortly after we put our HMC glasses on. Clint doesn’t every night because if the footy’s on or he’s working on projects in the garage he doesn’t like having them on, also he gets super sleepy super quickly (he’s the kinda person who can nap at the click of your fingers!) so he sometimes puts them on later, rather than right on sunset. I try to put mine on as early as possible most nights though.

We also turn on a proper flicker-free red globe lamp in the kitchen, from the guys at Block Blue Light, which helps reduce blue light in the room (fish tank LED and tech screens), along with the salt lamp on 24/7 in the lounge room helps greatly reduce blue light in the living area. I’ll often turn the tank light off so it’s almost a total blue-light-free zone at night.

We do need to get a sensor or touch light for the stairs but when we can see easily we just walk upstairs with glasses on to a salt lamp lit area. We shower at night with a salt lamp on in the bathroom (it’s SO relaxing and we can see fine), we go to bed with a salt lamp on each side of the bed to read to. Our phone screens only reduce blue light, they’re fully amber lit so we tend to put glasses on if we need to check phone screens at any time.

I put my glasses on if I wake before sunrise (which I usually do), using the stairs light to see getting downstairs, turn that off and quickly turn the red globe lamp on until the sun rises.

I use an adjustable cord for my glasses because I hate them slipping, Clint’s not too fussed about that but I’ll probably get him one.

If we’re going out or have friends over we don’t wear our glasses. We love that upstairs is all salt lamp lit, it creates such a calming ambiance before sleep and allows us to see easily when we need light to do things.

Any questions on what we do, let us know!

And yes I snuck in that photo of Clint sleeping, I’ll be in trouble when he sees this!


To hire or to purchase yourself some HMC glasses click here

To purchase flicker-free red globes and other blue light blocker products click here (affiliate link)

I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

MINCE: cheap, versatile + nutritious.

And also totally underrated!

Let’s make ‘boring old’ mince more appealing!

Make the most of seemingly boring ground meat by learning about how nutritious it is on it’s own, how to give it a mega nutrient-boost, how to utilise it for meals and make it more interesting, how to source the best types, healthy recipes and lots more in this post!


How to choose the best quality mince

If you have a mincer at home you can buy a huge variety of meat cuts and make amazing mince mixes and then it comes down to choosing the best cuts, taking into consideration health and the environment. While buying mince as-is can be a bit different and more challenging. A packet of mince patties, for example, could contain a whole heap of junk so it’s important to read labels but buying 100% meat is always the best option.

Here are the main types of mince in Australia + recommendations for what to look for:

𝘾𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙣: Free-range or organic. Organic is best but can be hard to find. You can make your own by using a food processor to blitz thigh and breast (then it’s not dry like chicken mince tends to be!)

𝙇𝙖𝙢𝙗: Grass-fed or organic. BUT lamb in OZ is usually from regions with lush pasture and grain feed isn’t needed so most lamb mince should be ok but you won’t know unless you ask the farmer/butcher. “Grass-fed” is the safest and because lamb is fatty it’s important it’s not fed on grain otherwise the omega 3 and 6 ratios are out of whack.

𝘽𝙚𝙚𝙛: Grass-fed or certified organic. Most beef in Aus is given grain unless the farmers choose to rain their cattle on pasture only. Organic doesn’t equal grass-fed but it means there were no chemicals used on the farm or the animal.

𝙆𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙖𝙧𝙤𝙤: Wild is best. If farmed then it’s likely to have been fed grains and soy.

Roo mince can be more gristly then other meat and is incredibly lean. I often use it as I would beef mince. Stronger flavour though.

𝙋𝙤𝙧𝙠: Definitely free-range at a minimum or organic if possible. Hard to come by good pork and can be expensive but worth it as conventionally-raised is reeeeeeally unhealthy.

The better quality mince the better it is for your health + for the planet.


Why mince is so healthy

Good quality mince (see previous post) is great for our health. Beef, for example, is a good source of protein, zinc, vitamins B3 and B12, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B1, B2, and B6 – essential for everyday functioning

Fatty mince (beef and lamb) raised on healthy pasture contain a high Omega-3 to 6 ratio which is ideal.

Kangaroo, an underdog, is low in fat but high in essential minerals like zinc, and vitamins like B12 which helps produce red blood cells and maintain the nervous and immune system, 80% of the RDI for Vitamin B6 which helps to release energy from the protein we eat, Niacin which helps to release energy from food and reduce fatigue, Riboflavin which plays a role in transporting iron around the body, and Thiamine, an important B-group vitamin necessary for normal energy production.

Good quality chicken contains a range B vitamins, high protein levels, folate, Vitamins A, E and K, and a full spectrum of minerals from selenium to manganese. Fatty chicken from healthy farms has a better Omega-3 to 6 ratio too.

Pork too contains a long list of important nutrients like zinc, niacin, phosphorous, riboflavin, B6 and B12, thiamine and zinc.

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙪𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝘽𝙄𝙊-𝘼𝙑𝘼𝙄𝙇𝘼𝘽𝙇𝙀, 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙪𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙨 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 (𝙖𝙨 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙨).

What’s your fave type of mince??


Protein: plant vs animal

“The human body is by mass about 65% water and 20% of what is left is protein, meaning most of the non-water weight of our bodies is made from proteins. This includes our muscles and internal organs, and all of our protein comes from food.

There is a near infinite number of possible proteins that can be assembled from amino acids. Amino acids are the body’s building blocks and we have identified just over 500 so far. The human body requires 20 amino acids but there are 9 that are are of special interest to us: these are the ones that are essential for life; without them, we will die. The other 11 we can manufacture in our bodies for use.

The 9 essential amino acids: Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

It’s not just recommended that we get these aminos; it’s vital. All of these essential amino acids are found together in meats and animals based foods. All can be found in plant foods, but rarely at the same time and never in the same proportions as meats.

Plant based proteins are not clean proteins

We consider a protein to be clean if it is complete without other substances which may or may not be healthy or desirable.

Plants fight back

Plants, and especially plant based sources of protein, contain many other compounds which might not be so good for us, because they don’t want to be eaten. While it’s true to say all organisms seek to preserve life, animals are able to run away or fight; their defences against being eaten are external things like claws, scales, teeth, fur and stingers. Plants can’t run away so they’ve evolved to deter being eaten chemically.” – The Ethical Butcher

Plants contain ANTI-NUTRIENTS: Phytates, Lectins, Oligosaccharides, Oxalates, Goitrogens, Tannins, Trypsin inhibitors, Alpha-amylase inhibitors, Gluten, Chaconine.

𝙈𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙚!


The many many ways to use mince

We eat it for brekkie every morning and no, it doesn’t get boring, because we sometimes use different types, in different ways, not the same thing day in day out.

There are just so many ways to use ground meat, here are some, best as paleo versions of course…

Patties
Pasta sauce
Meatballs
Cottage Pie
Lasagne
Nachos
San choi bao
Meatza pizza base
Pizza topping
Koftas
Nuggets
Raw with egg yolk (beef mince)
Chilli con carne
Inside jaffles
Terrine
Cabbage rolls

Phew that’s a lot!

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙩 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚?


My fave mince recipes

We eat mince every single day. Sometimes for multiple meals. We love it, obviously! And we never get sick of it because there are so many ways to use it.

Here are my fave cooking methods + recipes:

– Lamb mince fried on cast on, cooked down so most fat is gone and the meat is crunchy
– Beef mince jerky (or with beef heart added, so much nicer and healthier!)
– Paleo burgers either with cos lettuce leaf ‘buns’ or baked green banana flour buns
– Beef mince, kidney and liver patties with 2 fried eggs for brekkie
– Meat waffles (any mince and eggs)
– Turkey mince patties with Original Mingle Seasoning
– Spaghetti bolognese
– Chicken nuggets (using thigh and breast, not mince)
– Shepards Pie with a savoury mince base (fine diced veg, tomato paste, broth and coconut amino with beef mince) topped with mashed white flesh sweet potato
– Lamb lemon thyme mini meatballs, baked, as a yummy finger food
– Meat muffins – savoury mince of choice with egg, baked in muffin trays, makes a great easy healthy brekkie option to simply heat up in the oven and eat
– Pork mince as a primal meat lovers pizza with my green banana flour pizza base recipe, and paleo bbq sauce on top, along with bacon and GF salami

𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙥𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙥𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙣 𝙬𝙚𝙗𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙚


𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝘀 (𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝘂𝗯𝗯𝘆) 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗯 𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗸 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵!

Clint’s good, he’ll try any food and he’ll eat foods he doesn’t necessarily love but knows are good for him, if he can stand them. But kids and partner’s aren’t always that easy to please when it comes to food. Our niece used to be super fussy with meals, she loved the choc avo pudding I made for sleepovers but would not have had it if she knew avo was in it, because at the time she hated avocado! Eventually she started like it and was happy to know she’d been eating it all those years lol but I was quite ok with her not knowing until that point!

Mince is brilliant food for hiding other healthy foods inside. Such as…

– Adding small amounts of minced up offal to make meatballs, patties etc
– Finely dicing or mushing veggies to add into almost any mince dish, meatballs, patties
– Adding herbs and spices for flavour
– Using bone broth for a mega nutrient-boost instead of stock (tastes like stock but is way better)
– Mixing pure grass-fed beef collagen and gelatin powders in, easiest when there’s some liquid or fat that’s liquidy
– Egg is NOT essential when making rissoles, patties and meatballs but egg (pastured) is super nutritious so adding even just the yolk into mince meals for those who won’t eat eggs as is, is a great option

What other ways can healthy ingredients be added to / hidden in mince?

Have you had to be a bit tricky like this for your family members?


Special bonus: new recipe!

Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce!

A much easier and quicker version of my original paleo bolognese recipe, this pasta recipe only needs a few ingredients and minimal cooking.

I hope you like it!


Click here for the brand new recipe


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

☀️ Sunshine: the many health benefits + how to get more of it

We’re sun advocates

You may know by now we’re big advocates of regular direct sun exposure for kids and adults, and this week we’re delving into exactly why that is, how the sun has helped us, how we get it, how you can too, and the many many MANY benefits of doing so.


There’s a long list of benefits of getting sun time throughout the day but here’s a general overview of the main benefits:

– boosts immunity

– lowers risk of various cancers including skin cancer (yep true story!)

– improves gut health

– enhances eye sight- improves sleep- balances hormones

– helps reduce depression symptoms

– strengthens bones and teeth

+ more!


It’s a big post of hopefully very helpful info and inspiration! We hope you get a lot out of this one.


𝗪𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗗-𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲

Sunlight exposure, direct on our skin and in our eyes, at different times of the day is super important. We used to think it was enough to sit outside near the middle of the day for a while to get Vitamin D time but have since learnt that’s far from enough, we actually need sunrise and late afternoon sunlight too. Interesting ey?!


𝙀𝙖𝙧𝙡𝙮 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙪𝙣:

Sunrise light turns on our ‘get up and go’ hormones and the low UV-B doesn’t allow for skin to tan/burn but actually gets the skin ready for higher UV-B later on in the day when there’s Vitamin D available from the sun. The UV-A sun helps strengthen and enhance the skin! The light in the first few hours of the day helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which helps the body produce melatonin naturally at night time, improving sleep quality.


𝙈𝙞𝙙𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙑𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙣 𝘿 𝙨𝙪𝙣:

Later in the morning Vitamin D becomes available and increases in strength until solar noon arrives then decreases over the course of the afternoon as the light continues to change. This window is when we can access crucial Vitamin D, which some prefer to call a ‘hormone’ rather than a ‘vitamin’. D is available in some foods and in supplement form but best sourced direct from the sun through eyes and skin. D from any other source can be over-done whereas the human body can self-regulate D from the sun and utilise it appropriately. The human body is amazing! When we say the skin absorbs it, just getting it on arms and legs isn’t enough, the genital areas in particular need a regular dose of direct D.


𝙇𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙤𝙤𝙣 𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩:

“In the late afternoon, infra-red light acts to help repair damage to skin that has been overexposed to UV rays at solar noon.” – Dr Jack Kruse

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sun-regen-e1559687631184.jpg


So yeah, we kinda need to be outdoors A LOT! Our ancestors didn’t to make an effort to do so like most of us do today (I’m sitting outside using my laptop as I type this), it was their way of life. But today we lead such an indoor lifestyle it can be hard to get outside often to utilise the sun for health.


𝗚𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗯𝘆 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝗿𝗰𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗿𝗵𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗺

This biological rhythm inside the body is connected with the day and night cycles of the day.


According to this published study from MIT, here’s why the circadian rhythm is important:


“Studies in animals have found that when circadian rhythm is thrown off, health problems including obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes can arise. People who work night shifts have an increased susceptibility to obesity and diabetes. Researchers at MIT have also discovered a link between a disruption in circadian cycles and aging.
Just about everything that takes place physiologically is really staged along the circadian cycle,” Leonard Guarente senior author of the paper says. “What’s now emerging is the idea that maintaining the circadian cycle is quite important in health maintenance, and if it gets broken, there’s a penalty to be paid in health and perhaps in aging.”
The body naturally synchs itself with the rise and setting of the sun and light cycles of the earth.


Living in the modern indoor world certainly has it’s benefits, but one of the biggest downside is the negative effect it’s having on sleep patterns.


The circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock which runs in the background of the brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals.


In short, it’s our sleep/wake cycle.


A part of the hypothalamus (part of the brain) controls the circadian rhythm but outside factors like lightness and darkness also play a big role.


When it becomes light in the morning, the body receives a signal that it’s time to wake up, be alert and active.
When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired.


That’s why your circadian rhythm tends to coincide with the cycle of day and night time.


☀️ By exposing the body to sunlight at different times of the day we can balance the circadian rhythm and improve sleep. Blue light blocking at night helps too but that’s a topic for another day!


𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗻-𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗲𝘁

Being outdoors in the sunshine at various times of the day is great, it’s a start, but there are lots of unobvious ways we could be missing out on the benefits, even hindering them and making the sun-time unhealthy! Eek!


𝙁𝙊𝙊𝘿

By eating crappy processed plant-based oils (canola, veg oil, conventional olive oil and variations etc) and junk foods we cause inflammation in the body and can actually ‘burn’ the skin from the inside out when we’re in the sun. You could be the most dedicated sunbather but if you’re eating junk then you’re possibly doing more harm to your skin than if you stayed indoors more often.


A paleo-based nutrition approach and consuming quality animal fats is much better when you’re spending time in the sun.


𝙎𝙐𝙉𝙉𝙄𝙀𝙎

One of the best absorbers of nutrients from the sun is our eyes. When we cover them up with sunglasses (and even hats that shade our eyes) we miss out on the goodness the sun gives, and can even do harm to our eyesight.
Wearing sunglasses when spending prolonged periods outdoors is smart but generally we need at least 20 mins a day (each, at sunrise then midday and then late afternoon) letting the sun enter our eyes.


𝙎𝙐𝙉𝙎𝘾𝙍𝙀𝙀𝙉

Even natural sunscreen blocks a lot of the goodness, but chemical sunscreens are worse because they can contribute to skin cancers and have a lot of other health problems associated. Wearing chem-free sunscreen when being outside for long periods of time is a good idea and depending on your skin type, but most of us can build up sun tolerance and not burn or receive damage when we go sunscreen-free, we’ll talk more about this later.


𝘾𝙇𝙊𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙉𝙂

Naked sun time is by the far the best way to get the benefits from sunshine but that’s not possible for everyone to do! The less clothing the better though. And building up the skin’s tolerance over time.


𝙒𝘼𝙏𝙀𝙍

Vitamin D is actually water soluble and can wash off of our skin when we’re swimming and scrubbing after a beach session. Swim/shower before a sunbaking session for maximum results.


𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 + 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗗 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗸

“Could sunlight be the fastest way to tune your gut health? The way your body forms your immune response is fascinating.


It’s bacteria that live amongst the lungs, participate in oxygen respiration, and regulate the immune system with the gut.


Previously I’ve posted how vitamin D directly regulates the airway via the lung microbiome, but let’s look further into the light-microbe connection.


Sunlight exposure changes the human gut microbiome, specifically in people who are vitamin D-deficient. Research has revealed a protective effect of UVB against inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis or inflammatory bowel disease.


That is UV light, entering your skin, changing. If you get enough sunlight and have other digestive or hormonal imbalances, your vitamin D levels may not rise.


Inflammatory lung conditions like asthma relate to low vitamin D. Bleeding gums and gum disease relate to low vitamin D. IBS, Crohn’s and chronic digestive disorders? All underlie vitamin D.


There is a lot more to UV light, immune and gut microbe changes. Disease causing bacteria were found to decrease with higher exposure to sunlight.


A 2020 study concluded: “human lifestyle concerning sunlight exposure should be considered as one force modulating the gut microbiome, highlighting, as proposed by Bosman et al, a novel skin-gut axis which is associated with health and disease.” Here’s a summary: Your body absorbs UV light and creates an anti-bacterial or anti-viral infection in response to the environment.


TIP: Try exposing the belly button to sunlight to get direct exposure through where we absorb nutrients the umbilical cord.” – Dr Steven Lin


Amazing info! Does this inspire you to get a bit more D time in your day?


𝗧𝗶𝗽𝘀: 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗻 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘆

As you now know, direct sunlight on our skin and in our eyes, at various times of the day, as often as possible is super important for our health. But how the heck is that do-able when life is so busy and we’re indoors so much?


Hopefully these tips help you…


𝙀𝙖𝙧𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙪𝙣 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚

  • Have your brekkie or morning cuppa outside instead of at the dining table or in front of the TV
  • Go for walks, do exercise/play, bike rides etc outside in the mornings as close to sunrise as possible
  • If you go to work really early try to make some of the travel time outside in the sunlight (e.g. get off the bus early or get on it later, ride to work instead etc)
  • Move your indoor morning ritual (meditating, brekkie, computer time etc) to outside when the weather allows


𝙑𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙣 𝘿 𝙨𝙪𝙣 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚

  • Use the D Minder app to tell you when Vitamin D is present where you live (e.g. at the moment it’s from about 8:30am here on the Sunshine Coast, QLD) and plan your day around getting outside in that window. It could be that your morning break is outside in the sun or you have your lunch outside then.
  • If you work/study from home this is much easier to do, get outside with as little clothing on as possible for as long as possible in the D part of the day. Sunbake and listen to podcasts, music etc, meditate, work (if you can see the screen!), take calls outside etc.
  • Move business meetings and social catch-ups to outdoor locations in the sunshine and encourage other attendees to wear clothes that can be reduces for max sun exposure
  • If your workplace has a private outdoor area with sun exposure utilise it and encourage others to do the same!
  • Take breaks at a local park where you can get at least half your body in the sun for 20+ mins
Lunch outside in the sun is such a nice way to break up a busy working indoors day


𝗟𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗻 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲

  • Exercise/walk late afternoon outside- Sit outside to meditate
  • Try to be outside for some of your trip home from work/college
  • Sit outside for afternoon tea/early dinners when the weather is nice
  • Do gardening late afternoon


Good luck getting more sun time + remember… no sunnies on if possible!


𝗟𝗼𝘄 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗗 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘀

“Vitamin D deficiency was present in patients with recurrent tonsillitis and might be associated with an increase in the risk of recurrent tonsillitis. There is a need to explore these findings via clinical trials based on large populations.”


That was the conclusion given in a Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery study on The Association Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Recurrent Tonsillitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis and it poses the question… why don’t doctors look for and treat Vitamin D deficiency before opting for tonsil removal?


Low Vitamin D also contributes to low immune function, so gut and throat problems are likely as a result. I used to get tonsillitis often as toddler and I found out later in life I probably had a pretty crappy immune system at the time.


☀️ 𝙇𝙚𝙩’𝙨 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙒𝙃𝙊𝙇𝙀-𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮’𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝!


𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗵 + 𝗯𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀

It’s truly amazing how that big bright yellow thing up in the sky can do so much good for our health!


Again Dr Steven Lin has some brilliant info on the topic… “Sunlight absorbed through your skin is a remarkable energy transformation. Your body uses sunlight energy to convert it to frozen energy of the strength of your skeletal system. That’s light energy transferred to a metal structure.


Your bones are a mix of phosphorous, calcium and oxygen – that grows in hexagonal crystals. Pure hydroxyapatite is white in color. It makes up most of the human bone structure, builds tooth enamel, and collects in tiny amounts in part of the brain. The hexagonal structure is a pattern made in nature, that gives the bone incredible strength.


That energy holds and protects your organs. Vitamin D is mainly involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus metabolism and, consequently, in the processes of bone growth and mineralization. It is a known cause of the skeletal diseases osteoporosis (loss of bone density in old age) and rickets (improper bone formation in kids).


Vitamin D primarily from sun exposure and dietary intake, but the majority is synthesized to a pre-hormone in the skin which is converted into (pre-D3). It’s UVB light (midday sun) that ultimately forms cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Then the active hormone is activated by the liver and secondly the kidneys until it reaches its active form (1,25(OH)D). Active vitamin D then acts on vitamin D receptors (VDR) across the body that regulates between 2-3000 genes.


Vitamin D levels in the body stimulate calcium absorption from the digestive system.


If you are vitamin D deficient you only absorb 15% of any dietary calcium you ingest. Absorbed calcium is primarily used for mineralization of bone. However, a secondary effect include VDRs located on bone-making cells (osteoblasts) that drives bone formation.


You absorb sunlight and converts UV energy into a biological hormone. That hormone tells and directs your body to efficiently use the metal calcium to form your bones and teeth. Are you amazed by life as I am?”


WE ARE!!


Bonus extra info:
Why sunscreen is more harmful than helpful 🧴 – article by Weston A Price


𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗻-𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗱

It’s not a good idea to start sunbaking for long periods of time daily to get Vitamin D without understanding a few important factors first, and there’s a smart way of going about upping sun-time.


When we first started getting more D we didn’t do it properly. We only got middle of the day sun time most days, for a couple years, because we weren’t aware of the role of sunrise and late afternoon sunlight exposure. Oops! BUT we definitely got a tonne of benefit from all that Vitamin D time, without a doubt our health improved.


Had we been getting sunrise time it would have been better but to generally adapt to D sun time we basically started off slowly in the cooler time of the year. We started naked sunbaking in autumn in SEQ using an app called D Minder so we could track how much D we were getting, and if even tells you how much time you need to spend outdoors, when to turn over etc, it’s pretty good. We started out with short sunbaking sessions and built up to longer over time.


In winter we need like 1.5hours of D time (woah!) because the level of Vitamin D is lower during that time of the year, but we could rarely spend that long outside nor did we start trying to. We started with probably 20 mins and increased that slowly, to around max 1hr as that’s all we had time for. On a cruisy day I might have gotten a bit more but 1hr a day was pretty good. I think I averaged about 45 mins most days.


When we started we didn’t have privacy in the courtyard but a balcony on the other side of our townhouse had privacy and sun shining on it at the right time of day so we moved the sun lounge up there, covered over the spots people down below could look up and see us and made that our sunbaking spot. When we moved to another townhouse we made sure we found somewhere with a private courtyard so now we can sunbake in the nude without any worry.
Clint and I have different skin tones. I’m the yellow tone, while he’s pink. This means he burn easier than I do so it was important for him to sun adapt at his own rate, not the same as me.


Over time I noticed I could be outside in the sunshine for longer periods without my skin becoming red and even longer before any sunburn was happening. One day we went kayaking and fishing on the river for a few hours and I remember I did burn and peel because I didn’t wear any natural sunscreen, but it was about 3 hours or so, whereas previously it would have been around an hour.


It also took time to get used to sitting in direct sun which can feel hot and draining. We adapted to that over time, got more used to it. Clint was born in Rocky so he loves the heat but he hates just lying in direct sun feeling hot not actually doing anything, he tends to feel the heat quicker. But by spending more and more time doing so he got more used to it and adapted. He still can’t spend as much time sunbaking as I can but that’s because we have different skin types and levels of tolerance.


In summer time we tend to get outside much earlier when the D is strong enough but the sun isn’t as hot. Some days in summer we’re only sunbaking for 20 mins before it’s just too hot compared to winter when 1hr feels super easy!
For prolonged periods of no D time (rainy season, too busy to sunbake etc) I find my tolerance reduces a bit and I have to build it back up but it’s easier to do then initially because I’m more sun-adapted than I was to start with.


If you listen to this amazing podcast it’ll educate you a lot about the effects of sun on our skin, myths around sunburn and loads more but keep in mind sunrise and late afternoon sunlight time is really important as well, not just the midday D sun.


I definitely have a lot more freckles since sunbaking more often but I eat pretty clean, I spend a lot more time now getting sunrise and late afternoon sun on my skin and in my eyes, I’ll definitely monitor my skin health but I’m pretty confident I’ll be fine, and if I did get a skin cancer I think it’d mostly caused from all the years I ate crap, covered myself in chemical sunscreen any time I was outside for 10mins or more, and wore sunglasses.


It’s autumn in Australia, which might mean it’s a good time for you to start sun-adapting.


🌧️ 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗻𝗼 𝘀𝘂𝗻! 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗗?

(or you’re just too busy to get outside in the sunshine!)


We’ve just gone through a prolonged period of mostly rainy days, lots of cloudy periods and almost no sun. It was awful! When you’re a nature lover and sun addict it’s hard to go weeks and weeks without much sunshine! Motivation levels are low, immunity drops, it’s not a fun time. I definitely noticed my immune system suffered, I got a bit of a bug for about 3 days after this sun-free period, but luckily because I look after myself pretty well, it was a short-lived thing and I was over it quickly.


But what can we do to keep our immunity, energy and mood up when the sun’s not around for a while or life simply gets in the way and we can’t sit outside for D-time for long periods?


Dr Chris Kresser suggests a few ways to get a boost of D in sun-droughts…


“take 1 tsp./day of high-vitamin cod liver oil to ensure adequate vitamin A & D intake.
Eat vitamin D-rich foods such as herring, duck eggs, bluefin tuna, trout, eel, mackerel, sardines, chicken eggs, beef liver and pork.


Make sure to eat enough vitamin K. Primary sources in the diet are natto, hard and soft cheeses, egg yolks, sauerkraut, butter and other fermented foods. Make sure to choose dairy products from grass-fed animals if possible.”


We personally take Green Pastured fermented cod liver oil with ghee (see our video here for info on this), more so in the times of the year we’re not getting much sun, less so when we’re sunbaking often because there is such as thing as TOO MUCH VITAMIN D! The D we get from the sun self-regulates in the body, the D we get elsewhere doesn’t.


We also like to make super easy tinned wild-caught salmon and sardine patties, plus we eat pastured eggs daily.


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you and your family on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I don’t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.