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 ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

Let’s kick this blog off with a great intro activityโ€ฆ 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 wayย 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 ๐ŸŒŸ

“Weโ€™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 othersโ€™ well-being. Whatโ€™s felt when experiencing the grandeur of natureโ€“be it Earthโ€™s or the starsโ€™โ€“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.

๐Ÿ”ญ 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 ๐Ÿ”ฅ

+ 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 ๐™๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™„โ€™๐™ซ๐™š ๐™‡๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™š๐™™ ๐™›๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข ๐™๐™ช๐™—๐™—๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™๐™ฌ๐™ค ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜๐™ ๐™จ ๐™๐™ค๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง โ€“ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐˜พ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ


Foraging for Wild Foods ๐ŸŒฟ

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 ๐Ÿน

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 ๐Ÿ•๏ธ

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 ๐Ÿ”ช

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 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.

Advertisement

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.

๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™—๐™ช๐™ก๐™  ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฎ๐™จ?


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.

๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ค๐™™ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™™๐™ช๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™จ:
– 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

๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™™๐™ช๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™จ:
– 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 Australiaโ€™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 โ€˜naturalโ€™ and โ€˜eco-friendlyโ€™.”

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!

‘๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฎ’ ๐™œ๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ช๐™™๐™š:
– 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

๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ‘๐™œ๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ๐™๐™š๐™™’ ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ค๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š: 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!

๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™›๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™˜๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ:

– 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.

๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™˜๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™–๐™จ:
– 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!

๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™ฎ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™จ:
– 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 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.

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:

๐˜พ๐™๐™ž๐™˜๐™ ๐™š๐™ฃ: 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!)

๐™‡๐™–๐™ข๐™—: 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.

๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™š๐™›: 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.

๐™†๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™–๐™ง๐™ค๐™ค: 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.

๐™‹๐™ค๐™ง๐™ : 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.

๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐˜ฝ๐™„๐™Š-๐˜ผ๐™‘๐˜ผ๐™„๐™‡๐˜ผ๐˜ฝ๐™‡๐™€, ๐™ข๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™จ ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ข (๐™–๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™จ).

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.

๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ข๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง๐™˜๐™š!


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!

๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ข๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š?


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

๐™ƒ๐™š๐™–๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™จ๐™š ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™—๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š


๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐˜€ (๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ต๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ฏ๐˜†) ๐—ฎ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฏ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ต!

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

Primal Health Coach for Women

Visit our website: Primal Influence 

Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram + TikTok

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.

7 years + 3 different pairs: my overall EarthRunners review with style comparisons

If you’re already a barefooter or minimalist shoe wearer you’ll appreciate the importance of finding the right one, or various few, barefoot-style shoes that not only feel comfy but also last. If you’re totally new to the concept, here you’ll find an honest review of one of the longest running (pun intended!) barefoot shoes on the market and possibly some inspiration to venture into barefoot movement.

When I first transitioned from regular joggers to a more minimalist style of shoe there were hardly any brands to choose from. Now… there are loads! Brands, styles, colours, for a huge variety of uses. From sandals to snow boots and everything in between.

My first flat sole shoe was the good ol’ Dunlop Volleys! They had a reasonably wide toe box, a flat sole, were a bit bendy and definitely good quality. I wore them on long walks and while exercising, for a fair few months, which allowed my body to get used to far less padding and cushioning.

I then spent a lot more time walking and moving barefoot (at home, at parks, even at the shops sometimes) to get my feet and body stronger and more stable, and to toughen my feet up. I even started barefoot bushwalks with gravel and rock surfaces to really allow my feet to adapt to a large variety of natural surfaces and become more comfortable.

But, as I mention in my last two blog posts about going barefoot, there are situations and environments that going barefoot just isn’t do-able and I had to find a ‘barefoot’ shoe option. I chose to try EarthRunners sandals way back 7 years ago, and have been a fan ever since!

I’ve tried the three different soles they offer and different laces over those years so I want to share my honest experiences and recommendations.

In the last barefoot blog I posted with a review I had tried one thickness of sole with 100% leather laces and since then have tried two other soles, and nylon laces.

My first pair has the Circadian sole with full leather laces (which no longer exist), and multiple copper discs in the sole. The second pair had the Elemental sole style without the moisture-wicking cotton on top, with nylon laces. My current pair are the Alpha sole style and leather conductive laces. The company stopped adding multiple copper discs at one point, and realised one was enough, with conductive stitching on the laces. So the second and third pairs just had one copper disc underneath each sole, and conductive laces as opposed to 100% leather.


3 x Style Reviews

Circadian Review

Positives:

  • The sole thickness suited me well, I liked minimal material between my foot and the ground, especially for rock-hopping, balancing etc, I need my feet to grip to the surfaces as much as possible.
  • The original all-leather laces were so comfy, I loved them!
  • The moisture wicking layer underfoot was great and helped prevent my feet slipping and sliding around inside the sandal when wet

Negatives:

  • The moisture wicking wore off before the soles wore through, which made them a little slippery at that point, when wearing in wet conditions
Thickness of sole

Elemental Review

Positives:

  • The same sole thickness as the Circadian

Negatives:

  • All-nylon laces were definitely not as comfortable as the leather – they didn’t squish up and soften enough between my big and second toes and never felt quite as comfortable over the few years I wore them
  • Not having the moisture-wicking material was a downside, as I felt it provided more grip and comfort with my previous pair of sandals
Similar thickness to the first pair

Alpha Review

Positives:

  • The thicker sole may last longer than the other two pairs and not need replacing as soon (why I chose them this time around)
  • The moisture wicking fabric
  • I paid extra to get the new style of leather laces which has conductive stitching on top but leather touching the skin and I’m glad I did because, while not as mouldable and comfy as the original all-leather version, they’re much more comfortable than the completely nylon option

Negatives:

  • The sole is too thick for me. When I first started walking in them I actually felt higher up in them, I could really feel the height difference compared to the thinner soles! I’m used to that now, but when walking on rocks, balancing etc they don’t mould to my feet quite enough or allow for enough ‘feeling’ to what’s under my feet. I miss being able to feel more texture underfoot for sure
Much thicker sole

My overall verdict + style recommendation

I prefer the thinner soles, and even though the Alpha soles may last longer, it’s not worth it to me. Especially seeing as the thinner soles lasted me many years each, while wearing them MOST days and mostly on bitumen and rough natural surfaces! I believe Alpha is a good ‘beginner’ sole because it provides more cushioning. But for someone who needs to feel more and grip better with the surfaces they’re moving on and who’s feet are reasonably used to ‘barefoot’, the Circadian and Elemental are more suitable.

I suggest spending a few extra $ for the leather laces too, they are far more comfortable between the toes and even on the skin on the other parts of the foot. They do stretch a little when wet but the clip is so easy to adjust that that’s not a problem. The leather also look a little ‘nicer’ than the nylon laces, maybe not as a relaxed look about them, so fashion-wise leather could be a better option for those conscious of that!

Each pair moulds easily to the shape of the feet and lets them move quite freely but Alpha definitely don’t mould as much as fast. I can see that with their thickness and how I use them they’ll wear and thin out in certain spots underneath while the rest will stay pretty thick.

They take the shape of the foot which is how it should be

All styles are quick to get on and off. The clips, made of plastic, can break, especially if you’re adjusting the laces a lot (but the makers will send you a replacement pair pretty quickly). I generally keep mine done-up at the same spot all the time and just slip them on and off my feet, only opening the clips for when the laces get wet, a little loose, I have to tighten them slightly to be secure enough for what I’m doing, and then I need to loosen them off a bit when they dry. Other than that I don’t touch the clips.

These shoes can take a lot of beating up! I’ve put them through their paces on bushwalks (on and off tracks) with really rough surfaces, in cold conditions, in water (fresh and salt), while playing and being really active outdoors, for many days in a row while camping, walking on sharp seed pods and, of course, mostly wear them on rough bitumen roads!

I love that I’m getting the benefits of earthing while wearing shoes and protecting my feet against prickles, broken glass and any other hazards at the same time!

After 7 years and three pairs, I’m still a massive fan of EarthRunner sandals and am definitely a forever customer!

I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to become more of a barefooter or current barefooters who want a sandal that allows for grounding while being worn.

If you’re new to being barefoot, keep in mind your toe box will widen so when choosing a size ensure you account for that in terms of the width of the sandal.

View products here

If you decide to grab a pair please use our affiliate link, it provides us with a small referral fee and lets the manufacturers know where you came to them from ๐Ÿ™‚

Aimee

Primal Health Coach

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

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? (for Autism Wix only)

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

Primal Fitness + Health 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

Primal Fitness + Health 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

Primal Fitness + Health 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

Primal Fitness + Health 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.

Be a hands on teacher (for Autism page only)

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€™s  no doubting the importance of free range time for children when it comes to learning and discovering the world around them,  but I believe thereโ€™s something much less spoken about, albeit equally important.  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?  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?

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.  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.   Children are watching and absorbing information regardless of whether itโ€™s a good thing or a bad thing.  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.  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!

Clint

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.