๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ + ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜†

A grain-based diet contributed largely to my severe poor health and chronic pain for many years. Eventually, I transitioned off of them and made it sustainable, so I’m here to help you and your family firstly understand how the staple grain foods in your kitchen are affecting your health and secondly, how to move away from them and feel better.

Wheat, corn, rice, pasta, cereals, cooking grains (barley, millet, rye, oats, etc. + pseudo grains like quinoa), and all products made with them such as bread, pasta, crackers, snack foods, cookies, cakes, lollies and many other types of processed, packaged, frozen, and fresh-baked goods.

All forms of consumed carbs are converted into glucose in the bloodstream. While whole grains and other complex carbs may burn slower than sugars, they still contribute the same, gram for gram, to total insulin production over time.

Just as a quick sugar spike is pro-inflammatory and compromises immune function, a steady insulin trip from regular meals high in complex carbohydrates is also stressful and impacts our health.

Lectins, phytates and gluten are some of the natural defences in grains that the human body does not like at all.

“๐™„ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™—๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™™!” do you know who said that? Clint, back before we were Paleo, in about 2010, when he ate 6-8 slices of white bread daily. But guess what? He did get off bread! It sucked at first but it got easy quickly.

Same for me with oats for brekkie. And lunch. And snacks. I was addicted to muesli and porridge. But I transitioned out of them and over a decade later am doing MUCH better without ’em!

Check out my short video on my experience with grains and how they contributed to me living for a long time in agonising pain and always being exhausted and sick.

Click here to watch

You wanna know something cool? ๐™’๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™œ๐™ง๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™ง๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™œ๐™ง๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™—๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™  ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™ฎ๐™˜๐™ก๐™š, ๐™ž๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™š๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ!

๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ‘๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ’ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฎ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜†’๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ต๐˜†?!

Grains are a cheap and easy to grow ‘food’ source. They have almost no nutritional value (none that are bioavailable anyway), create excess insulin production, contain anti-nutrients that muck around with our digestive and immune function, create systemic inflammation and prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.

Grains have been a part of the human diet for as far back as proof exists of what humans ever ate, but grains back then were not the same as today.

Modern ‘altered’ corn
How corn used to look

Most of what we consume today is GMO (new unnatural versions), produced using chemicals and are highly processed. Ancient cultures foraged for and grew original grains native to their region and had intensive processing methods to remove most toxins. Even so, grains were never a staple, plants in general were short-term food sources in between animal kills. They complimented the main foods, not were the main foods.

The companies who make the products promoted as ‘healthy’ are the same companies who finance the nutritional advice we’re fed (pun intended!). There is plenty of scientific evidence and sound nutritional advice proving modern grains are no good for us.

Today we basically live on grains and it’s having a hugely negative impact on our health. The protein in modern grains is addictive, the other ingredients added to make ‘food’ products are also addictive and harmful, and it can be hard at first to even think about going without, let alone actually weaning off and existing without them.

๐—š๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป’๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜€

But what they do have is built-in natural defences. Toxins unsafe for humans and many other animals to consume.

๐—”๐—ก๐—ง๐—œ-๐—ก๐—จ๐—ง๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—˜๐—ก๐—ง๐—ฆ >> Agents present in grains that compromises nutritional health instead of supporting it. The 4 main anti-nutrients in regards to grains are:

Lectins
Gluten
Phytates

๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ are natural plant toxins that damage the delicate lining of the small intestine, letting undigested foreign protein particles enter the bloodstream and cause an autoimmune response – commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome”.

๐—š๐—น๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป, found mainly in wheat, is a highly allergenic type of lectin. Ingestion causes a mild to severe inflammatory response in the body, compromising digestive and immune function. Many functional medical practitioners believe we can all do better off gluten.

๐—ฃ๐—ต๐˜†๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ bind with nutrients in the digestive tract similar to how fibre does. Excess consumption can easily lead to nutrient deficiency. This is common when on a grain-based diet.

Image source: unknown

๐— ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ผ-๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ!

As per my video, grains contributed to my many years of experiencing terrible health and incredibly bad gut problems. Going GF absolutely did not fix my problems or make me any better because I then relied on gluten-free grain foods.

Going Paleo was what helped me overcome my health problems and chronic pain. Healing the body, feeding it bio-available nutrient-rich foods and living more naturally.

Paleo: Nutrition Experts Weigh In - Dance Informa Magazine

If you and your family is pretty addicted to and reliant upon grain foods and can’t imagine going cold turkey off of them then a good first step would be a gentle transition.

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ:

  • Swapping to GF breads and cereals to at least get away from gluten
  • Soaking, activating, fermenting some grains / buying soaked, activated, fermented products
  • Swapping some grain bars and snack food products to fresh fruit, GF ham, cold chicken wings, homemade gelatin lollies and hard-boiled eggs
  • Reducing the qty of grain foods each meal to smaller amounts and adding more eggs, meat and veggies to the plate (see previous posts about what grain foods actually are)
  • Using gluten-free flours and products
  • Adding in some healing and nutrient-dense foods to reduce inflammation

This could be done over the period of a couple of months with the aim of moving totally away from grains all-together. ๐™„๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™™๐™ค-๐™–๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™–๐™—๐™ก๐™š, ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ, ๐™„’๐™ซ๐™š ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฉ!

Try my recipe using Green Banana Flour
Soaking nuts can remove a lot of the toxins. Image source: Tampa Rejuvenation

The next step would be a 21-day total grain detox/primal reset and learning how to go Paleo with some initial easy transition options and then eventually consuming mostly just the optimal foods.

I wish you well on your less-grains or grain-free journey and am here if you need help or 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 donโ€™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.

Art Therapy: What exactly is it + how can it benefit ASD kids?

We’re very fortunate to be connected with a wide variety of talented and passionate practitioners and nature-based businesses on the Sunshine Coast to help build a community and team of caring professionals here to help local families. One such practitioner we’ve known for about a year who we first met when she brought her boys along to our classes and later saw them at a friend of theirs’ Primal Kids Party Clint provided entertainment for, is one we want to share with our tribe about because her particular modality is quite unknown in the ASD community and one that can be highly beneficial to pretty much every family with young ones on the spectrum.

Sally Cuthbert is a qualified and experienced Art Therapist based in Buderim here on the Sunshine Coast. When you hear the words ‘art therapy’ images of art classes at school and college might pop into your mind, of even the ‘paint & sip’ classes so popular with women these days for socialising. Neither are what Art Therapy is about!

So we invited Sally to be a guest on our blog to properly explain what this unique and beneficial therapy is…

Q :: What makes art therapy unique and different to other modalities?

A :: Art therapy is an enjoyable, inclusive form of therapy thatโ€™s suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its primary mode of communication. Ability in art isnโ€™t important, nor do I interpret what people make. Art therapy is not just a collection of techniques, but is rather a planned intervention which attempts to create a safe environment for the client to express him or herself using art.

The focus is on the shared process of making, image or object, which allows for the relationship to develop in a comfortable, gentle way. It can feel less threatening than sitting face to face. Sometimes words alone donโ€™t seem to be enough but words and images together can more accurately convey what you want to say and can be processed with the therapist. Sometimes, there can be too many words and they can get in the way of being able to be in touch with emotions. Art can bring insight or a new sense of ourselves which is especially helpful during times of difficulty. 

I like this description from Cathy Malchiodi:

โ€œArt therapy is based on the idea that the creative process of art making is healing and life enhancing and is a potent form of communication. It uses the creative process which exists within each of us, to promote growth, self-expression, emotional repair, conflict resolution and transformation. Through art making as therapy you may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises, or trauma: discover insights about yourself, achieve an increased sense of wellbeing; enrich your daily life; or experience personal change. It is a way to sense of that which is painful, to create personal meaning, to enhance wellness and to become whole.โ€

Q :: What are your favourite elements of this therapy and why did you get into it in the first place? 

A :: Creativity and artistic expression have always held such a sense of wonder to me. I like how art can be interpreted in a range of ways and each personโ€™s work is so unique. Art therapy offers a fresh perspective on a personโ€™s challenges and allows the voice of the individual to shine through. It can really help to highlight a personโ€™s strengths. 

My approach is playful, warm and gentle. I have always connected well with children and enjoy the energy of teenagers. As a shy kid, art was a bit of a sanctuary for me, then as a teen I found art, journaling and music spoke to me in an deep and honest way and I have carried this interest into my career. 

I experienced counselling for the first time when I was in my late teens and whilst it was helpful, it was also daunting. I found it challenging and overwhelming to use words alone to describe the difficult experiences Iโ€™d had. After I left secondary school I went to art college, specialising in print making and textiles. Whilst living in London I heard about art therapy through a play therapist at the school where I was working as a specialist teaching assistant. I was running lunchtime art groups and the children who were often less engaged in lessons, or alone in the playground really flourished in this space. When I started exploring the profession I knew it was the right job for me and 10 years on I still love it. 

Q :: What are 2-3 examples of how an art therapy session with you could run? 

A :: I start with sensitive curiosity to find out as much as I can about what is happening for the child or teen. This can start with an intake meeting with the parent or can be a conversation on the phone. Sometimes itโ€™s useful for me to talk to others involved with the child or teen to get a better idea of the child and how their challenges present in different settings. In session, I spend time discovering what brings your child joy and what makes your family unique. Then I introduce creative projects and games that can help to playfully challenge the things that arenโ€™t working. 

Q :: What ages do you work with? 

A :: I specialise in art therapy with children, teens and families. Art making and play are natural ways to express, process and regulate emotions especially for children and teens. I have training in both art therapy and play therapy techniques such as sandplay and Theraplay as well as parent child dyadic art therapy which just means, working with the parent and child together with their โ€˜relationshipโ€™ acting as the client. In the art therapy space, adolescents can be free to use symbols, imagery and a range of art supplies to explore their emotions and developing thoughts about their identity. Art making can provide a visual outlet for their ideas when words are not easily expressed. 

Q :: What are some common symptoms/challenges you see presented with ASD kids?

A :: Art therapy with me may be right for families who have tried it all but nothing seems to be working, or for families who feel unsure about trying talk-based therapies.

The most common challenges parents contact me about are emotional outbursts, difficult behaviours or withdrawing. These might be signs that your child is facing a challenge that feels too big. Sometimes you know whatโ€™s causing the problem, but other times it can be a complete mystery. Often these feelings lead to feeling overwhelmed and asking them whatโ€™s wrong can lead to frustration and even more negative feelings. Art therapy doesnโ€™t rely on verbal language and as such can feel less challenging for children and teens with ASD.

Q :: What benefits/results do you see with the different age groups and levels of ASD?

A :: Art therapy really is accessible to everyone. It can engage children of all abilities as the materials are enticing and the relationship is playful and supportive. Art therapy is a safe space for your child or teen to feel accepted, supported and encouraged. When things are really challenging, they need this more than ever. 

Q :: How do parents find a suitable Art Therapist in their area?

A :: A Registered Art Therapist is someone who has undertaken an approved training in Art Psychotherapy at post-graduate level, usually an MA. Art therapy is not yet a regulated profession here in Australia although there are strict requirements in the US, UK and Europe. ANZACATA is the professional association in Australia that sets the codes of practice and they have a Find A Therapist Directory on their website. Under the NDIS, Registered Art Therapists are allied health professionals and are available to support you or your child to achieve your personal goals. 

Q :: How can people find out about you if they live on the Sunny Coast and would like to chat to you about working with their family?

A :: I have a website with plenty of information about the services I offer.

Please check out www.sallycuthbert.com.au and I welcome enquiries from parents and service providers.

If youโ€™re unsure about whether or not you can access art therapy through your childโ€™s NDIS plan please contact me as I am probably able to help.

When we visited Sally’s studio Clint had a go at sandplay and really enjoyed it! And no surprises his ‘happy place’, the scene he created, including being on a boat in a river, fishing, and then hunting rabbits on land! haha

๐ŸŽจ If this information encourages you to look into Art Therapy for your family, we wish you all the very best and truly hope it helps.

Clint + Aimee

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

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 4

The final post in our special 4-part series!

What’s one of our favourite ways to utilise beef fat?

Rendering it to become tallow and using the tallow to make MOISTURISER!

As mentioned in the previous blog, tallow is incredibly good for human skin. But in it’s pure form it doesn’t make for a practical moisturiser because it’s so firm and hard to spread.

If you ever get tallow on your hands while making it from suet/other fat, or while cooking with it, and you rub it into your skin you’ll realise how nice it feels and you’ll probably notice it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards. Compared to how coconut oil feels on the skin, there’s a big – and welcome – difference!

To make it more use-able it’s recommended to add 1-2 other ingredients in, and whipping it up with some air in there also makes it easier to achieve good coverage with.

It’s actually really easy to make a soft, silky, whipped tallow cream for the body. It’s also incredibly economical because it goes a long way and lasts a surprisingly long time. Especially if it’s applied while skin is still slightly damp after having a shower or bath. Applying it to warm damp-ish skin helps it spread further, so you can really use the ‘less is more’ principle with it which is a bonus!

Keen to try making your own whipped tallow body cream?

Here’s a quick video tutorial!

But what about the smell? Won’t it be too ‘beefy’?

To change the aroma you can add a good quality pure essential oil in during the hand-mixing, toward the end. Quantity will depend on the scent in particular and your preference as to how strong you’d like it to smell.

We usually add a subtle variety such as sweet orange, lemon, or lime. The essential oil can help reduce the ‘tallow-y’ smell the cream gives off initially. But we find that smell goes away pretty quickly anyway, once the cream has been rubbed into the skin.

So it’s up to you if you want to include essential oils in your cream or not.

Are you going to give making tallow moisturiser a go? We’d love to hear how you go with it!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

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 donโ€™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.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 3

From making tallow to cook with to moisturiserslet’s look at the best ways to utilise this healthy wholefood.

How we utilise beef fat as food

There are 2 ways we like to use beef fat:

  1. Raw mince suet sprinkled on some of our meat meals – usually on our mince and eggs or mince/liver/kidney and eggs for brekkie, with some pink salt. Or topped on a piece of rump steak.
Suet sitting between a juicy rump and fried pastured eggs

The fat melts on the just-off-the-fry-pan food and has quite a nice taste and texture.

If eaten totally raw and still a bit firm it can be quite chewy and stick to your teeth. Some carnivore-diet followers enjoy this texture but we don’t. You might, so give it a go!

As mentioned in previous posts (Part 1, and Part 2), beef fat in it’s raw state is said to be more nutrient-dense and bio-available than cooked fat (tallow) so it’s a good idea to add it to meals when possible to boost good calories, create satiety and increase energy levels.

2. Tallow to consume as is and to cook with.

We always have a jar of homemade tallow beside the stove to use on our two permanently-placed cast iron pans and to use on food we’re roasting or to dollop on our cooked meals.

Photo source: http://www.Instructables.com

Cast iron is a super healthy cooking surface and requires almost no cleaning (less washing up, always a nice thing when you don’t own a dishwasher and cook all meals from scratch!) and tallow with it’s high smoke point and high nutrients / low anti-nutrients makes a great seasoning and cooking fat.

You only need to add a very thin layer of tallow to cast iron pans to keep them seasoned and for cooking, so tallow goes a really long way and lasts a really long time.

Essential healthy cooking tools

How we utilise beef fat on our skin

By making and using tallow moisturiser!

Why is grass-fed tallow good for our skin?

Tallow closely mimics the fats and oils we have naturally in our skin.

This includes the fatty acids and cholesterol in the cell membranes of all our skin cells as well as those that sit in between skin cells, forming the protective barrier function of our skin.

Strong, healthy cell membranes help keep skin cells plump and well hydrated. It helps protect skin from moisture loss and leaves skin looking soft and hydrated. It will also help replenish any missing components in our skinโ€™s barrier function.

Grass-fed tallow also contains fatty acids that closely copy the oils that we produce naturally as sebum.

As we get older, our skin slows down on the production of these oils that keep our skin soft, supple and youthful looking.

So, grass-fed tallow helps put back what time takes away.
Rejuvenating the appearance of skin, as well as smoothing out the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Good quality tallow also contain essential vitamins such as fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K which are all really important for healthy glowing skin.

The other bonus is it’s high in essential Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, with a ratio of 1:1, to help protect the skin and boost immune function.

Tallow moisturiser is super easy to make and an affordable natural skincare product, or you can simply lather on some pure tallow if you like, it feels so nice on the skin!

How else do we use tallow on our skin?

By making tallow soap (or a combination of coconut oil and tallow)!

Making natural soap is so good for our health and the environment, and is a great way to utilise healthy tallow. Especially with any tallow that went a little too far in the rendering process and ended up slightly over ‘done’. We like to label these containers “for soap” and keep in the fridge until it’s time to make a batch of about 24 bars.

Have you made natural soap before? It’s so rewarding and so so so cheap!

To get started with these you’ll need to buy yourself some grass-fed tallow or make it from scratch. Making tallow is definitely the less expensive option and the one we always choose.

Here’s a video on how to do just that!

Let us know how you go making your own tallow then stay tuned for the next post…

The next blog will include:

  • How to make tallow moisturiser

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

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 donโ€™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.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 2

A deeper look into this hugely underrated nourishing wholefood + comparing it to plant fat products

Which is better + why?

Why animal fats are better than plant fats

Plant oils are a staple in most pantries. Olive oil, canola, sunflower. Plus a lot of fridges these days have a tub of plant oil margarine on the shelf. Many of these products are touted as “good for lowering cholesterol”, being “heart-healthy” and healthy because they’re low in saturated fat.

If you asked everyone you know “Hey do you think olive oil is healthier than beef fat?” most likely at least 99% of them would say yes. That’s the sad reality of sneaky marketing and BS health advice… it teaches the majority of the population the wrong thing!

One of the main reasons these oils and products are classed as “heart-healthy” is because they contain Phytosterols.

Science shows they can lower cholesterol but there’s a couple main problems with this…

  1. We actually NEED cholesterol for basic cell function, to prevent depression and more.
  2. We’re consuming Phytosterols in larger then recommended quantities due to the inclusion of grains and legumes in the diet.

High ‘bad’ cholesterol is often misdiagnosed as most conventional practitioners don’t fully understand it or the levels we need to have to be ‘healthy’. Dr Chris Kresser has some great info on this and busts a few common myths around cholesterol. Read more here.

Another issue with Phytosterols is they may actually contribute to heart disease, not prevent it. Read more here.

Also, plants contain toxins. How they function in the human body is not how they function when tested in a lab. They contain more anti-nutrients than nutrients. Animal meat and fats don’t.

And how often have you picked an olive from a tree and squeezed out oil to use on your meal or in cooking? Never! Because to extract oil from olives the olives have to go through rigorous processing including high-temp heating. That’s never healthy!

Meat and fat from animals contain almost no anti-nutrients and lots of essential nutrients that are bio-available for the human body. Meaning we can process and use them efficiently without negative effects. This is ideal when eating food. Traditionally, plants were used more for survival situations, to get humans by between animal kills. Dr Paul Saladino talks a lot about this in his podcast interviews and on his website. We highly recommend his book The Carnivore Code too!

And… saturated fat is healthy, in particular, long-chain saturated fats from ruminant animals. Vegetable oils are higher in poly-unsaturated fats which cause insulin resistance. Dr Paul Saladino talks about this in this Facebook video.

The environment impacts

Mono-cropping is a major problem to the environment and it’s the method used for the production of most plant oils. Unless regenerative agriculture practices are used, farming large-scale crops extracts nutrients from the soil. Regenerative agriculture does exactly what the name suggests… it regenerates the land and improves the eco-system!

Rapeseed flour field

Sure, factory farming of cattle is bad. And this goes back to the point in the last blog post of why choosing grass-fed animal products from quality producers using healthy farming techniques is so important.

Diana Rogers – Sustainable Dish uses the message “it’s not the cow, it’s the how” and has some amazing information on the environmental impacts of unhealthy animal farming vs healthy methods, and also the problems with mono-crop production. Her book and doco Sacred Cow are out soon and we’re so excited!

Healthy pasture and environment = healthy cattle

We’ve experienced first hand the benefits of regen ag for both the health of the environment and ourselves. We work part-time on a biodynamic beef and egg farm run by a former bio-chemist (aka scientist!), have hosted educational farm tours there, and have learnt all about the farming practices used and eaten the food produced there. When you understand the full cycle from how an animal is raised to how it can nourish the planet and us, you appreciate the importance of consuming good quality animal products!

Another environmental factor to consider, particularly with consuming the fat, is how much waste is reduced. Apart from eating note-to-tail being a natural and traditional thing for humans to do, from a modern-day viewpoint with how much waste, landfill and pollution we’re tackling we need to incorporate ways to reduce these. If a butcher is including the suet and other fat from an animal in his product range that means less food he’s throwing out. It means we’re making the most of the animal that died for our benefit, and we’re putting less waste into landfill.

Beef is one of the most highly produced and consumed foods in Australia and the supermarkets stock mostly lean cuts or the cuts with minimal fat included, you never see tubs of the fat for sale, so imagine how much goes to waste that isn’t being used in products. Beef fat is actually quite hard to get a hold of, when it should be easy to access because it’s so easy to utilise and so healthy! This has to change!

So there are some good reasons there to do some more research on the benefits of animal fat vs plant fat and make the switch.

Do we consume any plant fats?

Yes, but very rarely now and only good quality. We buy organic olive oil and organic macadamia oil that we really only use for raw purposes and not even on a weekly basis. We used to make paleo ‘mayo’ regularly with olive oil but since going mostly carnivore created an animal-fat alternative… ghee-daise! Using grass-fed ghee to make a sort of hollandaise! Find the recipe here

Creamy homemade ghee-daise

The next post will include:

  • How we utilise beef fat (as food and on our skin)
  • How to make tallow

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

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 donโ€™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.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 1

An intro to beef fat + why itโ€™s important to consume

We’ve really upped our beef fat intake since we went mostly carnivore in 2019 and enjoying continually learning about why it’s such a smart move. It’s an incredibly health fat to consume (and use topically which we’ll get into in later posts) but so feared because of the stigma still attached to it in regards to ‘fat being bad’ and ‘saturated fat is harmful’.

Us humans need to be rid of that old outdated and just plain WRONG way of thinking once and for all, do our health a favour and get on the good fat train!

We’re creating a 4-part blog series covering the benefits of beef fat for our health inside and out, how to consume and use it including how to make natural skin products!

This first post is all about why beef fat is so healthy.

The health benefits of good quality beef fat

Beef fat from good quality sources (i.e. grass-fed, organic, bio-dynamic farms) contains essential nutrients the human body needs to functional optimally and it’s thought that raw beef fat in particular contains more ‘bioavailable’ forms of nutrients, then say cooked/rendered fat (e.g. tallow).

What does “bioavailable” mean?

The term โ€œbioavailabilityโ€ means biological availability and it describes the proportion of a mineral or vitamin in a food, which is available for absorption and utilization in the body. In nutritional science, the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals depends on your nutritional and physiological status. This means that a high nutritional status of a specific vitamin or mineral limits the absorption in the gut and vice versa. The bioavailability of vitamins and minerals is defined as the part of the substance that is absorbed and ready to use. (Sourced from NJORD Nutrition)

Beef fat, raw or rendered, has been proven to contain bioavailable nutrients but we’ve heard a few carnivore diet experts (including doctors) theorise that bioavailability is better in its raw state.

We’ll go into more detail in later posts but there are basically three types of beef fat:

  1. Raw suet – the fat from around the organs such as the kidneys
  2. Raw fat – the fat from other areas of the body
  3. Tallow – any fat that has been rendered

Tip: tallow should be yellow in colour. That’s a sign it’s from grass-fed cattle.

Raw organic minced beef suet
Rendered grass-fed beef tallow

Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of beef fat let’s talk about specific nutrients their benefits to our health.

  • Beta-carotene: a natural form of Vitamin A – an essential nutrient – which the body can convert to Vitamin A as needed. Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, important for protecting the body against free-radicals. Grass contains beta-carotene, grain does not. So grass-fed beef fat is where it’s at!
  • Vitamin A: the human body converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A as it requires and is the safest form of this Vitamin because supplements can actually cause more harm than good.
  • Vitamin D: helps the intestine absorb nutrients, prevents osteomalacia and rickets, regulates blood pressure, and assists in the absorption of calcium in the body, that prevents osteoporosis or arthritis. The best form of this is from direct sunlight daily, but foods can help boost our levels safely, as opposed to supplements.
  • Vitamin E: a group of eight compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols which reduces cholesterol and the risk of developing diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer
  • Vitamin K: good for the heart, immune-boosting, bone density, cognitive function, dental health, quicker healing, reducing PMS symptoms and more.
  • Selenium: a powerful antioxidant, may help prevent some cancers, can help prevent heart disease, important for mental health, thyroid health, immune-boosting, and can help reduce the severity of Asthma.
  • CLA: Tallow is rich in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid which, according to some studies, can help burn fat.
  • Omega-3: helps fight depression and anxiety, improves eye health, promotes brain health during pregnancy and in early life, can improve risk factors for heart disease, can reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, reduces inflammation, may help prevent cancer and many more diseases and symptoms. Beef fat does also contain Omega-6 which is often suggested as something to avoid. It’s all about getting a good ratio of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which is easier to do when the beef and fat is from grass-fed cattle, as grain-fed meat and fat is extremely high in Omega-6.

The nutrients in beef fat help improve the immune system.

Beef fat is also an excellent form of energy for the human body to use, as opposed to sugar, caffeine and empty carbohydrates

Lean vs fatty cuts of meat

With the importance of balancing out Omega-3’s and 6’s it’s ideal to consume fatty cuts of meat only from good quality sources (farmers using organic and grass-fed/finished methods) but when you can’t access grass-fed beef then that’s when you should opt for the leaner cuts and try to add good quality grass-fed FAT to your meal to make up the fat content.

Keep some grass-fed tallow or suet handy to cook in and top your cooked meats with. We always have minced raw organic suet in the freezer and a jar of rendered grass-fed tallow beside the stove.

The other element to consider when choosing which cuts of meat to buy is the gelatin-factor. This could easily be a post on it’s own as there’s quite a lot of detail with this but basically, we need gelatin with our meat when we consume it and we need to include offal because over a long time if we’re only consuming muscle meat (lean or fatty) such as chicken breasts, thighs off the bone, rump, backstrap etc we can easily get high homasistine levels in the blood which contributes to making us more susceptible to the big diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Disease etc.

This is due to the lack of glycine – a crucial amino acid needed when consuming protein.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chicken-meat.jpg

It’s found in the collagen and cartilage which is not available with muscle meat alone. The liver produces a small amount but not enough to sustain us, we need it mostly from our food.

An easy way to add it in is to use pure collagen and gelatin powders from grass-fed beef. Collagen powders dissolve without needing to be mixed with hot liquids, you can place a spoonful in cold water and it’ll dissolve perfectly. Gelatin that gels is for making other foods such as fruit gummies or even egg-noodles.

Watch our gelatin video series for all the info you need about gelatin and collagen.

We have a few gelatin recipes on our website you’re welcome to use.

Egg-oodles made with gelatin

Bone broth contains all the nutrients required to break down meat properly to it’s a good idea to drink some with a muscle meat meal. It contains collagen, gelatin and a stack of essential vitamins and minerals that all work together.

Make your own (ideal) or buy organic bone broth from health food stores, online, local markets etc.

Homemade nourishing bone broth

So the bottom line here is we can become pretty darn healthy from eating good quality meat, fat, and collagen daily. But not on their own – they work best in the body when consumed all together.

The next post will include:

  • Animal vs plant protein/fat
  • How to source good quality animal fats
  • Environmental benefits of using animal fats

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

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 donโ€™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.

Our Carn-Omnivore Diet Experiment: How It’s Going So Far

In our last post Taking our health to the next level: We’re going carnivore! we talked about our new mostly-carnivore diet experiment. That was a few months ago. So how are things going since then?

We’re often asked by our Primal Influence Tribe members, who are interested in Carnivore eating, how we’re going, what results we’ve noticed, what we eat, etc so we thought it was a good time to post an update to answer their questions and provide more insight all in the one place! Plus, we’re about to embark on a new level for three weeks during World Carnivore Month.ย  So it’s interesting times indeed!

This post includes what’s been happening over the past couple of months, what pros and cons we’ve noticed, what we’ve been eating, how it’s effecting our lives in general, what we’re doing next and why.

We’ll split this up in two parts; my (Aimee) update first, then Clint’s.

AIMEE:

My carnivore-ish experiment to date has provided mixed results. In some ways my health has greatly improved, and in others not so.

I’ve seen excellent improvements with my digestion and hormones. I used to experience soft and sometimes runny stools with my 2-3 day bowel movements. That was the ‘norm’ for me for many years even though I’d seen improvements for very short periods of time in the past when I’d made diet changes but my gut always reverted back to being unhealthy and overall while eating a lot of vegetables almost every one of my toilet experiences were bad. I knew that wasn’t ‘normal’ and that the longer I experienced this the more health problems I’d have in the future because of gut permeability and malabsorption of nutrients.

Also I’ve only had short bursts of experiencing no period pain – for the entirety of having periods since my early teens. I’m now 36. That’s a lot of pain and discomfort in my lifetime! The only time I was free from the pain was when I had help from an FDN / L3 CHEK practitioner who gave me a high-veg, low-meat, low-fat, paleo-based eating plan. I lost weight, had no period pain, had balanced hormones, more energy etc etc. I felt great for a few months after the first few months in. But it didn’t last ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Eating mostly paleo-based didn’t improve either my digestion or period pain issues. Carnivore was my next option. And it’s been working!! I find when I do mostly Carnivore for a month I have no period pain the next time ’round and my digestion is now really good pretty much all of the time!

It started out as constipation though. Not something I was at all familiar with and don’t really want to experience again but I’m pretty confident I won’t based on how I’m tracking now. The first few weeks into eating mostly Carnivore (basically 5 days a week full Carnivore + coffee, easing right up on weekends) I’d not need to go to the loo for quite a few days. Actually one week I think I hit 6 or 7 days! I remember telling our Chiro who’s been a friend of ours for many years and who we can talk to about the deepest depths of diets, digestion etc with no weirdness whatsoever, and even though I’d read it’s normal to be a bit constipated at first due to the changes in gut microbiome and the processing of the new and different foods, I was a little concerned with that particular prolonged stint of nothingness. He suggested I drink a heap of salt water quickly. Not Sole like I was having all day long, but just a heap of salt added straight to water and gulp it down. I tried it when I got home and all that happened was I felt like vomiting and nothing changed with my digestion until the following day when I went and it was ‘good’. Phew! My Chiro texted to ask how I’d gone and I replied “Crisis averted!”. Lol

After a bit of uncomfortable constipation for a few weeks my digestion has settled down to being ‘regular’ (I go #2 most days now) and ‘normal’ (good consistency) – the best it’s been since I first started being aware of it, so basically in about a decade!

I still feel a sense of surprise every time I go because I’m so not used to it!

The other benefits I’ve noticed with my health are that my immune system is much better now and my back pain is much less. I’m not getting sick like I was before my clean re-set month (talked about in the previous post) and I’m recovering quickly from any small bouts of sniffles, pain and strains. Before, it would take me a week to get over a virus or back/hip/groin/neck issues. Now, 1-2 days max.

This is a very positive thing for me considering all the pain and sickness I’ve experienced since… forever.

Good digestion

Improved digestion is going to lead to better nutrient adsorption and less inflammation (especially in the lower back) and less pain. Yay!

So those are the positives I’ve experienced, but what about the negatives?

My clean month gave me a nice reduction is weight and body fat which was nice but after that ended I slowly put ON weight over the last 3 months. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it could just be a normal part of the process and I keep reminding myself of these important aspects:

  • This is a long-term approach. Healing the body takes a long time, it’s not a quick thing.
  • Everybody is different and all the weight loss success stories I was seeing in a Facebook group I was a member of should not deter me because my body is my own, it’s going through it’s own unique journey and I just need to focus on that without comparing my experience to others.
  • Often weight on the scales is actually a build up of water retention and can drop ‘all of a sudden’ if the clean eating is continued.
  • Body fat can stick around for a while if the body has some major healing still to do. When the healing progresses the fat can finally go away.
  • I’m still finding my way with Carnivore and may still need to eliminate or reduce certain foods to allow my body to heal quicker.
  • Weight isn’t everything. I’m seeing improvements to my health and that’s absolutely the main thing!

With those in mind I’m going to keep on truckin’ and keep tweaking, changing, learning, evolving and most importantly, simplifying.

That’s the only ‘negative’ I’ve experienced and it’s really not that bad anyway! I do now need to simplify my semi-carnivore approach even more because I’m still experiencing symptoms I’ve had for a long time that have only budged a little during my recent clean eating month, and need to go for good!

What are those?

  • Pimples (OMG I’m 36, can I be done with acne already?!)
  • Up and down mood with small bouts of depression
  • Tiredness (I felt awesome in my clean month and now I’m back to feeling fairly tired most of the time. Not cool)
  • Lack of brain function and focus (again, during my clean month I felt so clear and focused. But that’s since passed)

And of course I want to reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, feel good all the time, the usual goals we all have!


CLINT:

To be honest, my time eating carnivore has been pretty straight forward. At the start it was a little rough on my digestion (possibly too much fat) but I overcame this with reducing fat consumption, especially roast chicken drippings which I tend to have a lot of from the pan after we’ve roasted a whole chook for dinner, and end up needing to go to the toilet pretty quickly shortly after.

When my diarrhoea was extreme I needed to take some digestive enzymes before eating which made a huge difference and I no longer need to take them which is great.

My mood and general outlook on life has improved and I can notice the difference with anxiety when I eat something sugary. I get easily anxious and worried when I eat high-sugar foods. Good to know!

When I stray too far off clean carnivore eating I get pretty tired and need to nap during the day but when I’m sticking closely to it I feel really good all day, even after getting up at 3am and working on a farm for 6-hours.

My weight has stayed the same, however since starting carnivore I have lost approximately 6 cm from my waist and gained muscle weight which tells me my muscles are getting denser and larger from the extra protein I’m having, plus with basic natural movement exercise I’ve increased which has neither been intense or drawn out over a long period of time, just fun and enjoyable. I never end a workout feeling so tired and sore I can’t get much out of the rest of the day, I always feel like I can go back later and do more. Which is how it should be.

I do, like Aimee, have a few symptoms I’d like to get rid of in 2020. They include dry scalp and sometimes under my beard, pimples mostly on my back, muscle tension and anxiety.

These have all gotten a lot better when I’ve eaten really clean but I’d like to see if I can get rid of them long-term.

So I’ll continue the way I’m going with my natural movement workouts.

Eating has been simple and I am not too worried about the lack of variety. I’ve always enjoyed eating really simple meals and often just feel like having meat and eggs. So I’m glad that’s been working well for me and is a good option in general.

I’m looking forward to the next phase!


What have we actually been eating over the last few months? We’re always asked about what we eat on a daily basis so let’s go into it!

Brekkie tends to be a 150g beef mince or been mince/liver/kidney patty (was 120g but we didn’t feel full for long enough and read that maybe more protein and less fat was ok for a while),ย  2 pastured egg yolks or whole eggs, a bit of suet, Ghee-daise or plain ghee, lots of salt and usually after drinking a glass of Sole first. Then a black, strong, organic coffee with collagen powder after for Aimee, and a collagen water or hot cocoa/water/stevia for Clint.

Lunch and dinner are just meat of some kind; often free-range chicken (not ideal), beef, seafood, kangaroo, pork (only occasionally, we don’t have access to good pork here sadly), venison. We usually add a bit of suet or ghee and sometimes have 1-2 eggs with meals.

Sometimes we make Eggoodles or an Egg Pancake which is basically just eggs, water and pure grass-fed beef gelatin powder combined and cooked.

We were also adding in bone broth and other offal cuts some days.

This is typically how we eat 4-5 days a week and definitely eased up for more days each week than we’d originally intended to. We really should only be having 1 ‘off’ day per week but with socialising, hosting events, travelling to visit family, both having low will power and big sweet tooth’s… we didn’t stick to that plan too well! BUT having said that, we still didn’t eat much in the way of veggies and fruit and we know that’s helped us.

We do not miss cooking and eating veggies. Not one bit! Life is so much better without veggies!

Say no to vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come winter time we’ll probably say on occasion “oh some roasted pumpkin and carrot would be nice right now” but that’s about it. Meal times hold absolutely no stress. We can cook a piece of meat, add a bit of fat, maybe cook an egg, and a dish is done. Veggie prep and cooking is just so damn time consuming and boring.

Especially because we know cooked veg are healthier and easier for the body to process. We couldn’t just whip up quick salads, we were having to cook most of our veggie meals. Now, there’s none of that! On ‘off’ days if I want to cook something else that I enjoy like my homemade tomato sauce, a bushfoods dish, paleo mayonnaise, green banana flour dishes etc I would and that’s ok, I’ll always do that. But I feel for the majority of my week my eating needs to be even more simple than it has been on this semi-carnivore journey so far.

Think about how humans would be able to eat in a totally, fully, completely natural environment; we wouldn’t have access to the HUGE variety of foods we do today, nor would we have the quantity of food available to us on a daily basis that we have now, weย  wouldn’t be eating foods made up of large quantities of different types of foods, we’d be eating in alignment to nature (with dirt, ash etc on our food. Not almost sterilised overly-hygienic environments), we’d have to work for our food with hunting, gathering, processing and cooking and we’d be eating outdoors and in tribes. Not indoors in solitude.

Our modern lifestyle is not conducive to how we naturally need to eat and live. And in a time when we’re over-exposed to and affected by harmful toxins, we experience chronic stress and sickness, we’re spending loads of time using and being surrounded by harmful tech devices and frequencies, and we’re more isolated even though we’re often living in more densely populated areas, it doesn’t make sense to be overwhelming our body’s with more food, more supplements, more synthetic materials, more toxins and more general confusion. The more we add the harder it is for us to deal with and utilise.

It DOES make sense for us to simplify things. Our food, our environment, our thoughts, our activities.

What’s our next step?

Well January happens to be World Carnivore Month and, if done properly, is an epic clean-up and good opportunity to use it as a type of ‘elimination diet’ and simplification period which would be good for us because we’d love to find out if some not-so-obvious foods we regularly eat are causing us some problems. Plus cut out definite we-know-about-but-easily-ignore problematic foods and ingredients.

The eating plan for the month consists of:

  • Red meat (muscle meat and offal)
  • Good salt
  • Beef bone broth and gelatin
  • Tallow/suet
  • Water

That’s it! So, no eggs, no coffee (which I know is a problematic one for me), no white meat like chicken, no seafood, no tea, no alcohol.

Steak

If you’d said to me 6 months ago we’d be doing a full-on carnivore diet month we’d have said you were insane! We thought it was such an unhealthy experiment and wouldn’t have considered trying it ourselves. But the more we learn, the more we realise the less we need to do.ย 

We’re going to do this high-level carnivore program for 3 weeks instead of 4 because we have Australia Day celebrations planned for the weekend of 25-26 January and want to enjoy a few of our favourite foods and drinks with friends (minimally of course), then continue a really basic carnivore approach after that but play around with adding foods back in for periods of time to see how they effect us. For example … eggs.

Many long-term carny’s report they feel better eating mostly just red meat, eggs never or rarely, clean animal fats, no or minimal animal milk/cheese, lots of salt and water. It’s really not natural for humans to have access to and be consuming chicken eggs regularly. And eggs can trigger an inflammatory response in many people. So it’ll be interesting to see how we go eliminating then bringing them back in.

White meat animals are fed so much crap, it’s no wonder people often feel better without consuming them. Whereas red meat animals such as grass-fed organic cattle and lamb (and in Australia kangaroo) are fed only grass varieties and produce cleaner, more bioavailable and natural nutrients for humans to consume and benefit from.

So for the next 3 weeks we’re going hardcore carnivore. Then we’ll go back to carn-omnivore (our made-up label to show that we’re mostly carnivore but still omnivores!) but simpler and more basic.

Tracking will be key for us throughout this next phase. We need to journal our experiences and gain better understanding of our health so we have better control over it.

We wouldn’t recommend just anyone embarks on a strict month of carnivore eating to begin with, it’s a huge stretch for most people. Basic carnivore though could be the way to go.

If you do want to join World Carnivore Month register HERE.

If you’d like to transition into basic carnivore we suggest you find out more via Dr Paul Saladino and Kevin Stock.

Coming up in the future blogs:

  • how the hardcore 3-week carnivore eating went
  • is eating meat ethical?
  • bio-availability and what it means
  • other lifestyle factors equally, if not more, important than just what we eat
  • grass-fed vs grain fed and other meat/ protein comparisons
  • + more!

 

Taking Our Health to the Next Level: We’re Going Carnivore!

Carnivore diet

Well… 90% anyway!

Welcome to Part 1 of our Carnivore Diet Experiment!

If you’ve followed us for any period of time on any of our social media platforms, you receive our newsletters or have come to an event we’ve held you’ll know we’re big fans of Paleo in terms of both eating and other lifestyle elements. Paleo, to us, has meant eating as close to how our ancestors did but in a modern way, as well as moving and living as naturally as possible.

We successfully pulled off sustainable Paleo eating and living for over 8 years and in that time it improved our health and overall well-being. But eventually we realised the food element wasn’t doing enough good for us and something needed to change.

How did we know Paleo alone wasn’t working well enough for us?

Earlier this year I noticed I was getting sick regularly again which used to happen a lot before I was Paleo and before I made a big effort to get lots of direct Vitamin D from the sun. Also, my weight wasn’t balancing out, my hormones were out of whack, my lower back pain was back with a vengeance… basically I had too many symptoms showing me clearly I wasn’t ‘healthy’ and couldn’t ignore them anymore. The final straw was when I came down with a the worst full-blown flu I’ve had in a long time, just a few months ago. It was hell! And I wanted no more of feeling so tired, moody and in pain.

So Clint and I decided to do one of our usual yearly 30-day resets which consists of cleaning up our eating for a month (Paleo eating but excluding a few other often-inflammatory foods – absolutely no sugar, no alcohol, no coffee and no sugary fruit) and focusing on getting more sleep, more gentle natural movement and allowing some healing to happen.

Just before we started Clint chose to take it a step further and try the Carnivore Diet at the same time. We’d heard a bit about it in recent months as our Chiropractor (who’s also our friend) had experimented with it earlier in the year, we’d been seeing more posts about it on social media then Clint was researching it heavily to figure out if it was something he wanted to try. So he did!

I was shocked at first and not convinced it was a safe way to live but realised pretty quickly that trying it for one month couldn’t be a bad thing. I was learning through Clint what a healthy Carnivore Diet (we hate the word “diet” but it’s kinda needed here as “carnivore” alone doesn’t give enough of a description) entailed and even started implementing it a little in my own 30-day reset!

So, what the heck is eating ‘carnivore’ anyway?ย 

A 100% carnivore diet = 100% animal products and nothing else.

Meat, seafood, fat, offal, eggs. Plus salt.

A plate of nutrient-dense goodness. Source: The Strong Sistas

It’s keto but not regular ‘keto’ because it leaves out ALL plant foods whereas regular keto is simply low carb foods of any kind (often really unhealthy – just look at any keto product in a chemist or supermarket… yuck. Not to mention there’s little talk of the quality of foods eaten such as organic, grass-fed etc).

Carnivore leaves out low carb cauliflower, berries, olive oil, nuts and even avocado. But a result of carnivore can easily put the body into ketosis. Especially if no sugary animal milk products (such as milk) or honey are consumed.

Fruit and veg aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Sounds really restrictive doesn’t it?

In this modern time with so many (way too many actually) food choices, yes it really does seem hugely restrictive because we’re so used to having an abundance of meal options every day of the week. Obviously this is not natural as humans originally would have had to hunt and gather all of their food, not having access to the corner store to pick up even simple eggs whenever they wanted, not to mention all the other types of foods we have access to these days.

When you get your head around what you’re ‘missing out’ on and understand the science behind it, it absolutely makes sense.

Having said that, one challenge can be doing without herbs and spices for flavour, especially because we’re all so used to having an abundance of them to choose from 24/7. But our choice to be 90% carnivore means we can have some basic flavourings if we like and we’re happy with limiting them to weekends as we find the taste of meat, eggs, fat and salt pretty good on their own anyway!

What does the ‘carnivore diet’ actually look like?

Eating nose to tail; animal muscle meats, organ meats, bone broth, gelatin, seafood, fat, eggs and sometimes animal milk products (but that last one is not essential). Plus clean salt for essential minerals and electrolytes.

No fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, coconut, nuts, seeds, legumes, plant oils, tea or coffee (although, a lot of carnivores still have coffee).

That’s what a hardcore carnivore diet looks like anyway.

When you start experimenting with different meat and offal cuts and ways to prepare and cook all the carnivore-friendly foods it’s surprising just how much variety there actually is.

We don’t believe in going 100% carnivore for ourselves personally though. For a few reasons…

  • We know our ancestors consumed plant foods and that it’s a natural part of living. The thing is though, and why we’re cutting them out 90% of the time is, plant foods were only ever eaten to tied people over to the next animal kill which then provided the bulk of nutrients required for thriving, therefore plant foods were more of a ‘survival’ element, not staple food sources.
  • We enjoy foraging, the role it has in the evolution of humans and the connection it gives us to nature, our food and ourselves. We like going to the beaches and bushland near where we live and gathering berries, flowers, fruits pollen and seeds that haven’t been altered and modified for commercialisation. We find the whole practice from gathering outside in nature, to processing, experimenting and consuming extremely mindful, ‘slow’, fulfilling and rewarding on a deep level. We’ve been foragers for a while and always will be!
  • Many plant foods contain medicinal properties and play a role in improving health and well-being.
  • Our version of ‘balance’ includes consuming modern day ‘junk’ as well as conventionally ‘healthy’ foods (fruit, veg, seeds, nuts etc) sometimes because we simply want to. We like to socialise, we like to indulge sometimes, we like to cook and bake, we like to try new foods. Is this optimal for good health? Definitely not, but we’re trying to get a lot healthier, not perfectly healthy. We choose this and we accept the difficulties and challenges that come with it. But we also accept and are excited about the benefits of eating mostly very clean!

Gathering pine pollen

Pine pollen has medicinal uses and is fun to collect

Foraging for native lilly pilly fruit

Most of what we eat now is animal-base and we’ve mostly cut out fruit and veg because…

  • ALL plant foods contain natural built-in defences against being eaten by animals (i.e. including humans. We are animals), whereas animals don’t. Animals can try to run/fly/swim away from predators. Plants cannot. So they come with natural defences that are toxic to whatever consumes them. To give you an example… you’ve heard how we’re meant to soak and ‘activate’ nuts before eating them right? To try to break down the natural toxins (phytates) located on the outside, yeah? Exactly! Humans before 1. didn’t have access to many nuts and seeds in the first place, therefor wouldn’t have eaten many and 2. they wouldn’t have soaked and dried them out every time they wanted to eat some. In some cases they processed the bajeezus out of them (such as wattleseed, beans and other nuts and legumes) to make them suitable for consumption. The work that went into this was intense and time-consuming, from the harvesting to the processing and the cooking, but today we can simply pop down to the shop and buy the plant food already processed to consume in larger than traditionally normal quantities.ย  Eating plant foods with these natural defences may not seem to affect a consumer much, if at all, but it definitely does. Poor health symptoms are usually blamed on lifestyle elements, added toxins to foods such as chemicals used in the production, indoor lifestyle, even eating meat (!) etc but the reality is the anti-nutrients in plant foods are causing us humans issues.ย It’s just that the information we’re fed (pardon the pun!) is lacking and misleading.
  • The fact that plants contain anti-nutrients and animal foods don’t and that animal food nutrients are bio-available makes it an easy choice to eat mostly animal foods.

Vegetables fight back

For a long timeย  we’ve followed and trusted the professional opinions of many functional nutrition practitioners – from coaches to GP’s – thinking we were being really picky with where we sourced information from and we found a lot of the advice and tips from these people and resources to be hugely beneficial. We thought their information was the bees knees in terms of truly accurate insights into the ‘ultimate human diet and lifestyle’ but now we’re doubting that information and delving into a new level and way of thinking. Well, it’s not actually ‘new’ in terms of how long the information has been around and available, but it’s certainly new to us!

It’s not to say some of the guidelines we used to follow can’t be helpful to people. When I felt like I was truly healing for the first time in my life the eating plan given to me by a functional nutritional practitioner with over 12 years of practical experience consisted of a large amount of plant foods. I’m talking 100g fruit with brekkie (as well as egg yolks, a bit of meat, beef gelatin), 400g cooked veggies with lunch (small quantity of meat and fat) with 100g fruit, 300g veggies with dinner (again, small quantity of meat and fat as well) then pure organic orange juice (with beef gelatin) after dinner.

Wow that was a lot of food and a lot of plant stuff! But it worked. Within a couple of months of sticking to it about 90% of the time my period pain was gone, my weight was dropping smoothly, I had more energy and I was sleeping better. Woo hoo, success, finally!

That program worked really well for me. I loved how it made me feel. I loved that it included offal and good calories. But looking back now, I realise I felt instinctively nourished when I was including offal and gelatin more than the fruit and veggies. Also the plan did remove/reduce a lot of typical Paleo-friendly foods that are actually inflammatory over a long period of time such as pure organic cocoa, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. So that element would have made a difference on it’s own.

Cooked veggies and herbs are easier to digest but still not as easy as meat and fat

It’s funny because that same practitioner suggested I not play around with going keto because of the documented negative impacts to thyroid health over time, especially for those already suffering from low thyroid issues like I was This was actually one of my main concerns for going ‘carnivore’ because it leaves out all those supposedly simple and nourishing plant foods and definitely brings the body into a state of ketosis when followed properly.

But from what I’ve been learning about carnivore, the thyroid won’t be impacted in the long-term, it may just show up as fluctuations in the short-term – basically this is a long game approach to health.

And I wonder, is the thyroid ‘damage’ a symptom of nutrient deficiencies – whether on a keto plan or not – due to a lack of the vitamins and minerals available in nose-to-tail eating and just how much we actually need for true nourishment?

So where are we getting our information from and why should anyone else pay attention when it goes against so much of the ‘health’ advice available to us all?

One of the main sources of information we rely on is the factual data and opinions/experiences of Dr Paul Saladino (the surname is hilarious… Salad? I? No!. lol) who is a hardcore carnivore and backs everything up with science as well as personal experience.ย  His Fundamental Health Podcast is brilliant; combining a heap of scientific evidence with practical advice and easy to understand information.

The Carnivore MD

Pretty healthy looking considering all he eats is meat and fat!

Another great source of information and inspiration are The Strong Sistas who share some terrific info on the benefits and how-to of going carnivore. Their diet is pretty high in fat and calories because their workout regime is intense, so it wouldn’t mimic a regular person’s diet needs like ours and yours, but their content is fantastic and they’re really fun to watch.

Clint’s been enjoying the story of and content by Charlene Anderson on Meat Heals, while I’m enjoying the posts on Health Coach Kait‘s Facebook page.

There are many more carnivore diet promoters and experts out there, some only eat and promote eating ‘beef and water’ which seems pretty lacking in terms of nutrients and variety, while othersย  (like those mentioned above) advocate the nose-to-tail way, which we personally prefer.

Clint and I are about 2 months into our experiment now and finding out from trial and error what works for us, what feels good and what doesn’t, while ensuring we allow plenty of time for determining change and progress.

The next blog post – Part 2 – will be all about what we started out eating, what changes we’ve made, the benefits of carnivore and what we’ve noticed for ourselves, the challenges we’ve faced and the ins and outs of nose-to-tail carnivore eating including what “bio-available nutrients” mean + lots more. Stay tuned!

Aimee

Primal Influence –ย Mentoring + Training for kids + adults, based on the Sunshine Coast, QLD

Find out more about what we do, our services + upcoming events, plus register for Primal E-News HERE

 

 

 

Be a hands on teacher

I was at the childrenโ€™s playground one day with my niece and nephew, and being the big kid I am, I decided to climb a tree. Youโ€™ll never guess what happened…19

Thereโ€™sย  no doubting the importance of free range time for children when it comes to learning and discovering the world around them,ย  but I believe thereโ€™s something much less spoken about, albeit equally important.ย  Their thoughts, behaviours and beliefs are largely influenced by their parents. Parental actions, words and behaviours play a huge role in kidsโ€™ development and are highly beneficial in all aspects of life.

Children are the worldโ€™s biggest sponge.

They observe you, the babysitter, the TV.. all the words, beliefs and actions and will mimic a lot of it.

Do you have doubts about this? ย Then, have you ever seen your child cling to your mobile phone like you do? Or drop the occasional swear wordโ€ฆ just like daddy (of course)? Or do something around the house the way you do it?

ย 

While we have to watch what we do around these little spies, we can use it to our advantage, to give them a good start in life, physically and mentally. ย The best part is we really donโ€™t have to teach the children anything! Just be mindful of our own actions and words, let them observe what weโ€™re doing and the lessons we want them to lean, and allow their curious nature to do its thing.

Some positive things that you can deliberately teach your children through allowing them to observe you are:

  • Less screen time
  • The importance of outdoor play for children and adults. Remember that the โ€œIโ€™m too big to playโ€ line is burning an impression into their brains
  • Itโ€™s ok to fall over. In fact, you can make it quite a celebrated achievement, and therefore confidence around it, with the right attitude!
  • Itโ€™s ok to get wet and dirty!
  • How to handle adversity. The โ€œsheโ€™ll be rightโ€ attitude to help them get over upsetting situations quicker and be less impacted in the future
  • Empathy for themselves and others
  • Balancing and agility, jumping, climbingโ€ฆ basically more confidence moving in everyday life
  • How to build and fix things
  • Conflict resolution
  • More appreciation for nature and the environment
  • How to form and grow positive relationships

Really the list of positive things you can let your child observe is endless.ย  ย Children are watching and absorbing information regardless of whether itโ€™s a good thing or a bad thing.ย  We might as well take it into our own hands as much as possible and not the mediaโ€™s

Oh and about that tree I was climbingโ€ฆ Once I had enough of climbing, I decided to sit down.ย  I must have left quite a big impression because not long after Iโ€™d sat down I noticed the number of kids who left the real playground equipment to climb trees.

_2014_PI_139It was amazing!

ย 

Clint

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

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Recipe: Immune Booster Lollies

I have experienced some crazy unusual sickness and injury over the last few months. I’m baffled as to why this is so I’m going to try to work it out, and definitely boost my immunity back up so it ends and so I feel well again.

Clint and I eat 90% Paleo, get lots of nature time and I get “nakey bakey” most days (a new name for naked sun time my friend recently came up with. Love it!), so maybe some stress is the underlying cause? Well, whatever it is I know my eating could be improved a little, especially while my immune system is obviously weak.

One of the most popular natural health tonics today is raw juice. We, though, are not fans of regular juicing. Ooh, controversial…! The reason? There are two main ones: 1. Humans need to chew their food most of the time; our stomach enzymes that digest our food need to wake up to be ready for the food to arrive and that happens in the mouth when we salivate and CHEW! 2. Juicing removes a large portion of the essential fiber in the foods blended up. That’s wasteful and not healthy.

But some of the foods that go into making up ‘health tonic’ or ‘superfood’ juices can be pretty darn healing, so why not utilise them in a way the body can better use?

That’s why I decided to make some Immune Booster Lollies! Or “Gummies” if you wanna get technical ๐Ÿ˜‰

These are really easy to make (as are most pure gelatin recipes), can easily be changed to suit tastes and allergies, and are easy to grab from the fridge during the day to get some goodness into the body.

Want to know how to make them yourself? Well alrighty, here you go!

IMMUNE BOOSTER LOLLIES

What you’ll need:

1 cup filtered/spring water

1 cup mixture of diced raw beetroot, carrot, green apple (peeled or not), fresh ginger (the beetroot taste can be overpowering so use less of this if you prefer)

6 tbsp pure beef gelatin powder (grab some from Gelatin Australia here).

Tips: Use half as much gelatin if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Tips: Add another tbsp gelatin for really firm lollies, especially if using molds. Use half as much if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Optional: Stevia powder or raw honey to your liking, to sweeten if needed.

Do this:

  1. Pour water into a small-medium saucepan, stove turned off, and gently sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the water.
  2. Once all the gelatin is on and appears translucent (this is called “blooming”) you can turn the stove to a medium heat to gently warm the liquid up. Use a whisk to stir as it heats up.
  3. Once all gelatin granules have dissolved pour half the liquid into a blender jug along with the diced fruit, veg and ginger. Blend on high until you have a fine mixture with as few chunks and lumps as possible. If using a sweetener, add it to the blender to combine.
  4. Pour the remaining gelatin liquid in and stir to combine. The more gelatin you blend with food the frothier the mixture becomes and ends up setting with a thick layer of froth. I prefer the texture of a bit of froth, not too much. For almost no froth blend the foods with just enough pure water needed then gently stir the gelatin liquid in. Possibly add a smidge more gelatin to the saucepan if you go with this method.
  5. Once the mixture is blended to your liking you can pour straight into silicon molds or into a square/rectangle container to create a gummy ‘block’ to slice up once set. ย  Tip: if you’d prefer less texture from the food ‘bits’ then simply strain some of the liquid through a fine sieve but keep in mind that’s where a lot of the nutrients and fiber are.
  6. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set firm. Remove from molds and store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge, or slice up the block into small squares.

Grab some to munch on during the day and enjoy the pure whole food healing goodness! Include some in the kids or your own lunchbox (as long as it stays cool), take on road trips, include them at parties.

Remember, these are versatile. Add or remove ingredients listed for others you’d prefer. Pretty much all of my recipes are versatile so you can adapt to your own tastes and needs!

If ALL of my gelatin recipes and all the techniques you’ll ever need to become a gelatin pro, grab my e-book here.

Let me know how you go with this recipe and happy healing ๐Ÿ™‚

Aimee x