Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: it’s all about makeup and skincare!

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In the last Our Natural Bath blog: The Theme is Clean we showed you all the ways we naturally clean in the bathroom; ourselves and the room itself. This time ’round we’re talking all things natural skincare and cosmetics!

Women often ask me what natural makeup I use so I’m excited to finally be talking about it! Included too is what modern caveman Clint uses, so there’s something here for both the ladies and the gents!

Let me just point out.. how fricken hard it is to find natural cosmetics on the market that are not sell-a-kidney kind of expensive and natural body products that contain ingredients we can actually understand when reading the list on the label! Shopping for these items is a nightmare! Am I right or am I right?!

It certainly has been challenging for me on this journey to natural health and wellness to transition over to natural skincare. It’s been the last of my paleo lifestyle standard-to-healthier changes because 1. the cost involved and 2. the difficulty in sourcing products that actually work well

I will admit right here right now that my makeup items are still not 100% natural. I have a selection of eyeshadows that aren’t even close to being natural, but I use them very rarely. And a couple other products I think are semi-natural; not quite what I want but better than the standard chemical alternatives I used to use. The main thing for me is.. MOST of the makeup I use is natural and good quality. The rest of what I use on my skin definitely is, so I’m in the right direction I think!

Skincare, I think, is easier to get a hang of than makeup. Looking for “natural” is so overwhelming because there’s just so many products in stores and online claiming to be natural when in fact they’re not. Or the ingredients are ‘derived’ from natural sources but after all the processing and manipulating, are barely a resemblance to their original state. Plus, so many products have so many ingredients! Have you noticed? You’re reading the label of a moisturiser product on the shelf in your local health food store and can’t fathom why there needs to be 30+ ingredients just to moisten skin?! I find that a little crazy and unnecessary to be honest.

But.. when I decided I wanted to go more ‘Paleo‘ when it came to what I put on my skin, I found the process of choosing products and concoctions so much easier. I thought to myself.. “if I don’t want to put  grains into my body, why would I want to put grain oils on my body?” and this concept has really worked for me. Instead of simply looking for ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ options (which can be so full of so many ingredients they still cause nasty reactions and symptoms or just don’t work at all) I started looking for paleo-friendly ingredients.

Basically, I’m looking for oils, fats, and other ingredients that could be classed as “Paleo”. This leaves out a whole stack of natural products on the market but it suits me better because I’ve found paleo-friendly products have very few ingredients, which I really like.

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My makeup tray

With most of my skincare, I stopped buying actual products almost all-together. Instead I use plain oils. Oils I had in the kitchen! Seriously! Olive oil, coconut oil.. so many edible oils are great used topically.  I mentioned in the last blog how I use olive oil to remove makeup from my face every night, well I also use the same jar of it as my arms and legs moisturiser! I did start out using coconut oil, because alllll the natural wellness blogs and social media allllways rave about how coconut oil is the answer for eeeeevery health condition under the sun and has a zillion uses… ok that’s a slight exaggeration but you get my point here. We’re basically being told to put coconut oil on everything.

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So I used it as a makeup remover, moisturiser, hair gel, everything. But with my skin, I found it to be too greasy. It didn’t absorb in well enough, it would immediately rub off onto things I touched and my skin would feel dry again before the end of the day.

I tried olive oil instead, because if you do a bit of searching on the internet you’ll find out it’s pretty much just as useful as coconut oil! I use a Coles brand organic olive oil in the kitchen and in the bathroom, just in a jar. I don’t need to use it on my arms and legs during Summer, but I do all Winter because of the dry weather.

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The ONLY moisturiser I do buy is the Ecology Skincare range. Why do I bother when I already use oils that are so inexpensive? Because it’s one of the only paleo-friendly products on the market and it’s absolutely AMAZING!

Based on grass-fed beef tallow, which is really similar to our skin, these tubs of fluffy, creamy, soft, delicious-smelling moisturiser are just heavenly. Clint and I both use them! Clint suffers from dryness under his beard because of gut issues (which he is sorting out, don’t worry) and finds Ecology really helps reduce redness, dryness and itchiness. Especially when he’s trimmed his beard, the skin seems to get really irritated by that and becomes really red and sore very quickly. So he  puts some Ecology cream on and it helps a lot.

We’ve been trying the new Pete Evans range lately too and are happy to report they are just as good as the original range Crystal makes! We prefer the scents of the originals, but as moisturisers, they are on par.

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My non-makeup skincare collection

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Ecology Skincare creams are really fluffy and soft

Oh and I also use Ecology Skincare on my lips at night! I used to use Paw Paw cream until, as with many products I used to use, I found out it’s incredibly toxic and stopped using it.

In the mornings after my shower I like to apply a few drops of Kosmea rosehip oil to my face. I have bad skin, I always have, due to my chronic health issues. So the blotchiness and scarring is quite bad and I’m trying to minimise it as much as possible. I used to use Bio Oil every day, for a few years, until I read how toxic it is. Oops. But then I stopped using it and switched to rosehip oil. I’ve tried a few brands, cheaper options, but this brand is by far my favourite because it definitely works well. It’s also great for stretch marks.

That sponge-ish looking thing in the image above is a new foot scrubber I’ve been trying out. It’s a SAFIX brand and made from coconut fibre. I find it way too scratchy on my arms and legs but it works well on knees and feet for exfoliating. Being barefoot 95% of the time my feet are pretty nice but sometimes it’s handy to exfoliate, especially my knees due to Winter dryness.

I don’t use anything to exfoliate my face apart from a wet face washer while in the shower.

As for deodorant.. that’s another tricky one for many people. Natural options have been on the market for a long time, but really, has anyone ever found those crystals to actually work?! I don’t know anyone who has and they never have for me! I use the same principle with deodorant as I do with moisturisers.. I look for paleo-friendly products that have few ingredients and actually work.

 

The reason for going natural in the pit region is mainly to avoid using aluminium there which is in all standard deodorants on the market. But again, many of the natural varieties are full of confusingly-named ingredients or contain a whole bunch of things I just don’t think I need on my skin.

The only product I’ve tried that contains minimal ingredients, is Paleo and works extremely well is Simple Chemistry. Erika from Brisbane makes terrific deodorants, we both love using them. But recently I decided to try making my own as an experiment. I’ve just melted together aluminium-free bicarb soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil and lemon essential oil. It works really well, but it’s grainer than Erika’s products, so I prefer hers!

There’s loads of websites with DIY options but my advice is to remember to buy the bicarb that doesn’t contain any aluminium, as if it’s a brand that does, it may cause a reaction to your skin.

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Mineral makeup combo. Terrible lighting in the bathroom made for a terrible photo.. sorry!!

Makeup I don’t use the paleo-friendly concept with, it’s too hard to even worry about that, I just want as natural as possible.

Foundation and concealer are what I use the most of so I want them to be natural and safe. I’ve tried a few brands, including Nude by Nature which I don’t think is totally natural but it was affordable for me for a long time. And it worked well!

Now I use a combination of 2 shades of Claytime foundation powders mixed with, wait for it… olive oil! Yes, yet another use for olive oil! haha

I get a lot of sun now, with no sunscreen on, so in Summer my skin colour darkens and in Winter, even though I still do get lots of sun the UV is lower so my skin lightens up a bit. So to ensure I can get my makeup to match my skin tone (and there’s nothing worse than a lady wearing totally the wrong makeup tone for her skin) I mix my own colour! I use a light shade powder and a darker one, mostly the darker one now that my skin is tanned, shaken into a spare tub I had, then I add a few drops of olive oil and stir to get the right consistency. I always check it on my face and adjust as I need. Claytime and olive oil together give me excellent coverage (I often get complimented on how nice my skin is!), the tubs are not expensive to buy, and even though I’m doing some work to get the foundation created, it doesn’t take long at all.

To make concealer I just use a bit of the lighter powder in the lid of the foundation mixture tub and some of the foundation, to give me a slightly lighter – but too much – mixture to then dab onto the spots I have on my face and for under my eyes.

I’ve tried other brands as well, and am a big fan of Eco Minerals. Nourished Life is a great website with a few brands to choose from. When buying natural foundation and concealer, look for mineral makeup but do some research as to how natural they really are. I’ve heard stories of ladies stopping to use those pop-up consmetic brand stores in shopping centres, advertising ‘mineral’ and ‘natural’ makeup then asking to look at the ingredients to find out they are not at all totally natural. So be careful and do some research!

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With my eye colours, I’m a natural-look kinda gal, opting mostly for brown and black shades so I don’t buy a lot of different eyeshadows. Plus when you’re buying mineral options you’ll notice there aren’t anywhere near as many colours available as with regular options.

I use Claytime (brown, black and light purple) as well as Nude by Nature (browns and a cream colour) eyeshadows, Claytime black mascara (which I LOVE!), Claytime brushes plus a packet of regular plastic (not at all natural) eyeshadow pads, and very-not-natural eyeliner pencils. I’m yet to be able to afford quality pencils, they are just so expensive and unfortunately Claytime don’t make any 😦 I figure though because I only use them on the edge of my lids, it’s not much and can’t be doing too much damage to my health.

My eyebrows are brown but lighten really easily from the sun, so I like to define them using the Nude by Nature dark brown eyeshadow I have. You can see below the difference it makes!

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Right side eyebrow is without colouring. Right side eyelid has the Claytime black eyeshadow

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Claytime brown eyeshadow gives a nice soft colouring which I usually define more with the brown pencil

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The Claytime mascara applies really well and gives me the amount of definition I like

Most of the time I use an Eco Minerals bronzer powder as my blush, because it’s a nice colour on me and a quality product.  I also own a pink Claytime tub and darker pink Nude by Nature which I rarely use. The brush came in the set of Claytime natural brushes.

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Eco Minerals bronzer. I shake a little into the lid then lightly dab my brush into it

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The Eco Minerals bronzer gives a nice colour and contour to my cheeks

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The Claytime pink blush is nice and subtle. It’s what I use when I’m wearing a ‘pretty’ outfit

I think that’s about all we use as far as skincare and makeup goes! As you can see, I’m not totally there with 100% natural but I’m very close and that suits me at the moment 🙂

What natural products and DIY do you use? I’d love to know!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of Our Natural Bathroom! It might be about our oral health and we think you’ll find it pretty interesting actually.. 😉

Bye for now!

Aimee x

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Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: the theme is clean!

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Part 1: The theme is clean!

We like to say we live a Paleo Lifestyle. We live this way for the benefit of our health and happiness. This obviously means we eat mostly Paleo-friendly foods. But food isn’t the be-all and end-all to good health and wellbeing; there’s more to it than that! You can’t be well just from eating clean. You can’t be well just from moving naturally. You can’t be well just from having a happy mindset. Nor can you be well from just eliminating chemicals in the home. There needs to be a nice balance of all aspects of living. Kind of obvious when you think about it like that right?

So one of the ways we live more Paleo in a modern world (ie simpler, less stuff, cleaner, happier, more sustainably, environmentally friendly, etc) is by trying to avoid using chemicals around the house and on our skin, as opposed to just being mindful of eating low/no chemical foods.

We’ve mastered the switch to the general natural household stuff but the trickiest switch has definitely been in the bathroom; mostly with makeup and beauty products. We hear that a lot from our Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group members too who often ask us and each other what natural cosmetics and skin care products are recommended.

When you walk into a health food store or supermarket and look at the beauty and cleaning sections it’s easy to be overwhelmed with options. It’s good to see there are so many natural products on the market now but it’s confusing to know which are actually safe for humans or are just eco-friendly and how to work out what’s going to be right for you and your family.

Over the last few years living more Paleo we’ve realised one thing… simple is always best. Whether you’re talking movement, cooking or natural cleaning and beauty… simple is always best!

So in terms of natural products… how about you pick up a few different brands of say… shampoo and conditioner next time you’re at the shops or health food store and look at the back to have a read of the ingredients. Take note… is there a list of about 20 things and at least half of which you can’t even pronounce? Yeah that’s pretty common and it’s not necessary! There are SO many natural and organic products on the market now and unfortunately, most of them still contain a myriad of ingredients. Derived from plant sources, yes, that’s great but a lot of ingredients in the one product can still be too many ingredients for a person’s skin or health, natural or not!

We’ve experienced it for ourselves. We’ve bought top quality, expensive skincare products, with a list of ingredients a mile long, only to have found they’ve irritated our skin or simply just not worked. Who wants to spend a fortune on a fancy product that doesn’t even do what it’s advertised to? No one!

Through those experiences and trying different products on the market, as well as then also trying lots of DIY options (which can be really time-sucking), we’ve finally settled on the few natural and simple items we’re happy with. And we’d love to share them with you!

Our next post in this series will be about makeup and beauty products, so stay tuned for that one, but this first blog is all about how we get ourselves and our bathroom CLEAN without chemicals! Yay!

So let’s take you on a virtual tour of our bathroom and how we clean ourselves and the surfaces naturally…

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Let’s start with the shower. We live in South East QLD so we have a few nasties in our water, plus it’s an older townhouse so the pipes aren’t great. Our ENVIRO PRODUCTS Designer Shower Filter removes chlorine for up to 12 months. We know it works because a few weeks ago I ran a bath using the lower taps in this bath/shower combo. As I was letting it fill up slowly I went back to work on the computer in the office nearby. I noticed a strange smell. It was disgusting… it was a very strong, distinct smell of chlorine! So because I wasn’t using this filtered shower head, but the unfiltered bath taps, the tub was filling up with chlorine water!! I immediately emptied the bath and then started again using the shower head!

Some people notice improvements with skin conditions when they switch to chlorine-free water in the bathroom. We haven’t noticed any obvious changes but we like knowing we’re having chlorine-free showers every day!

 

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We’ve gone through so many different types of natural shampoo and conditioner options. Boy oh boy have we just! From bicarb soda, rosemary and acv rinses, various ‘natural’ and organic products, to DIY aloe/rosemary/acv/gelatin cleansing tablets… and we’ve settled on this product! Alaffia is 100% coconut, fair trade and works.

The other natural brands we’ve tried, with a million ingredients, always left our hair and scalp feeling dry and stripped of the natural oils and softness. The DIY tablets I used to make worked but they were a pain to make and messy to use. Bicarb left our hair feeling like straw, completely stripping it of it’s  natural oils and nutrients. Yuck! Never again! ACV and rosemary rinses are good, and we’ll get back into using them sometimes as hair conditioning treatments, but now for the two times a week (or less for Clint!) we do a basic wash, we like using these.

Another positive is the bottles are huge and they last for ages! Some friends and family have reported back that they always run out of the conditioner a lot faster than the shampoo, which we think is because it’s so natural and simple, not quite like the chemical-laden products like Pantein etc that leave a thick chemical coating on the hair making it feel super soft and luxurious. It takes more of it to get the same feeling through the hair. But it’s very affordable, the shampoo actually FOAMS UP unlike most natural brands out there, and they work well for us.

Keep in mind, if switching to natural hair cleaners for the first time, allow a couple of months for the first product/concoction to see if it’s working for you because transitioning to natural haircare does take time. The hair needs to detox before you can find out whether it’s doing the job or not.

 

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Soap. There are stacks of natural soaps on the market now and as much as we’d love to always use a 100% Paleo brand, they are sadly far more expensive and we go through bars of soap too quickly to justify spending that much money on it! If you haven’t met Clint yet, just know that he’s kinda a hairy fellow! So all that friction when he washes himself results in the soap bars shrinking pretty darn quickly!! lol

We just buy the $2 vegetable oil based soaps from our local Flannery’s store.

We were buying pure coconut soap but at $6 ea, you can see why we opt for the cheaper alternative! It’s not a bad soap, we’re fine with it for now. It’s a lot better than what we used to use, that’s for sure!

One of our goals though is to make our own coconut oil and tallow soaps! It’s a project we’re starting soon. We just need to get to my mum’s house with all the gear because she has plenty of garage space for soap making. The process takes six weeks all up but it’ll be so worth it to have a stack of totally natural and handmade soaps! Family Christmas presents sorted! 🙂

 

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Our good friend Crystal Fieldhouse from Ecology Skincare sells these terrific konjac vegetable sponges which hang in the shower and work well for gently cleaning the face. They stiffen up when dry so just holding them under water for a few seconds in the shower softens them up quickly then they’re really easy to use.

They not only feel nice on skin but they’re eco-friendly and contain no chemicals!

Grab one here.

 

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I still have some gut healing to do on my health journey and until then my skin is not the nicest and I feel more comfortable covering up the blemishes and dots with makeup (more on my natural makeup in the next blog post!) therefore I need to wash that off at night!

I’ve tried a few methods over the years but have settled on using organic olive oil. That’s it, that’s my cleanser! You may have heard people say they use coconut oil? I tried it for a long time and it definitely works but I found it was leaving my skin greasy. Whereas olive oil doesn’t, it feels lighter to me.

It’s weird to think oils work as cleaners. But they really do!

I buy the Coles organic olive oil (because it’s the best for making Paleo mayo!), pour some in a jar to keep in the bathroom, use my fingers to wipe a layer across my face at night then grab some organic cotton pads to wipe it all off. It gets every single skerrick off! It’s great!

Cheap, easy, 100% natural and minimal, works well… win!

 

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Not every day, but maybe once a week or fortnight I use bentonite clay to give my face a nice deep cleanse and detox. We also use it when we brush our teeth (more on that in another blog post!) so, like many of our bathroom items, it has more than one use!

I simply put a little amount in my hand or a container and mix with some water so it’s wet enough to then spread across my face and leave it on for 5-10 mins. I wash it off with warm water and a face cloth.

It’s so soft and gentle, I really like using it on my face. Although when the clay has dried on my face I can’t actually move a single muscle! Hense the rather stiff expression above! lol

It’s fun when I put it on then go talk to Clint… always gives him a shock to turn around and see this scary mud-face ‘thing’ appear! haha

We buy it from Flannery’s in their bulk teas, herbs and spices section. It’s available online and in health food stores. Bentonite has SO many health benefits, it’s worth checking out the list of what it’s good for.

 

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Last in the cleaning theme is what we use to clean our hands and our actual bathroom with!

We buy boring old Earth Choice Bathroom and Shower spray because it has pretty minimal and basic ingredients and it works well enough sprayed onto the tiles and left for a few minutes then scrubbed off. We’ve heard Thieves oil works really well and is a better natural option, so it’s on our List of Things to Buy but for now we’re happy with this product. There are oodles of natural cleaning products to choose from.  Try a few different options and work out which is best for your needs.

EcoStore have a great range of natural and eco-friendly products and we quite like the liquid hand soaps. They feel like they’re cleaning well enough, you don’t need a lot of it, and the fragrance is minimal. There’s nothing worse than buying a ‘natural’ product only to be overwhelmed by the fragrances and perfumes added. You’ll find the most natural products don’t have a strong scent.

 

So that’s part 1 of our natural bathroom! Next time we’ll delve into makeup, or teeth/skin products… not too sure yet; you’ll have to wait and see!!

We hope this has given you some inspiration for your own natural bathroom transition. Please let us know in a comment below what natural options you use, or if you have any questions!

Clint & Aimee

Hanging with some happy cattle, and a recipe for paleo slow cooked brisket

Healthy happy cattle make for happy healthy eaters of cattle!

Why? Think about it.. if animals are eating what they’re meant to be eating and are living a happy natural existence, people who eat them are receiving that health and happiness in some way because we’re eating what WE’RE meant to be eating!

Make sense?!

Clint and I are really passionate about connecting people to quality, ethical, sustainable, professional and genuine producers. This includes farmers who raise animals the way they’re meant to be raised.

In the time we’ve been hosting the Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meetup Group we’ve met some awesome paleo-friendly food and product producers. We’re probably not meant to have a favourite but we can’t help it, we do! lol

One of the nicest, most generous, educational and respectable producers we’ve come across is Farmer Susan of Eumundi Beef. She’s actually become a good friend of ours and we enjoy hanging out with her on the farm when we go there to collect our meat orders, often being treated to saying hello to new members of the clan such as brand new calves, new chickens and even a goose with a crooked neck who’s now part of their family! It’s a menagerie and we love it!

Farmer Susan raises a small herd of 100% grass-fed Murray / Angus cross cattle on her small sustainable property in Belli Park near Kenilworth. With a background in Biochemistry and having gone through major health challenges, she’s really passionate about raising healthy happy cattle to benefit her, her customers and the environment. She does it well too, her meat is delicious and her farm is a beautiful country oasis!

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Like us, Susan wants to help provide education to consumers. So she’s only too happy to host farm tours on her property, showing people around and teaching them all things healthy grass, soil and cattle.

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As with other grass-fed beef farmers we’ve met, Susan likes to think of herself more as a grass farmer than a cattle farmer! Isn’t that cool?!

In the hopes of connecting as many people as possible to as many good quality local food sources as possible we enjoy organising farm tour meetups. So a few weeks ago we held our second at the Eumundi Beef farm; a tour with Susan then a picnic afterwards. It was sensational!

We started by viewing the washing-machine-like biodynamic fertiliser producing machine, learning about what it does and seeing the healthy soil-textured final result.

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Next we walked to one particular paddock that contains incredibly healthy soil and learning about the different layers and how long it took Susan to dig through the top soil when she first started her grass-fed farming adventure 5 years earlier. She said it took all day to dig through just that top layer! With her continual hard work and persistence it’s now the right depth and is working well for the sake of the pasture and the animals.

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Then we were treated to feeding and patting the famous Eumundi Beef cattle themselves! The kids and adults alike always enjoy this part because it’s terrific to witness cattle looking so healthy and nourishing, munching away on the healthiest pasture possible, and to get up close with them, there’s really no better way to ‘meet your meat’.

And this time… there were a few cute fluffy little calves to see! Bonus!

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Susan showed us around the different paddocks all at different stages of growth. She told us about the various plant species growing, which of those are pests and even explained to us the different lengths of grass which matters because cattle need to be put on pasture growing at a specific height. It was so fascinating!

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On the way back to the homestead we met the local chickens and guinea fowl, including a breed of heritage chooks being raised for meat.

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.. which, while we were all away, may have gotten into some of the biscuits left on the picnic table…! Sneaky little things! We suspect these few were the culprits…

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Susan also had a group from Slow Food Noosa visiting for the tour, which was great to see. They had their own gathering after on the homestead deck, while our group picnicked under the gazebo enjoying lots of paleo tucker brought by our members, and stunning views of the property.

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All of our meetup members brought delicious paleo-friendly foods to share around and we provided honeycomb and gelatin lollies, plus a slow cooked cut of Eumundi Beef brisket which was loved by all! I’d only ever slow cooked brisket once before and not with the flavouring I wanted to use for the meetup, so it was a total experiment and I’m stoked it was hugely successful! (see recipe below)

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After the food was all gobbled up, Clint helped the kids burn off any excess energy left after the walk around the farm by playing some games on the open grassed area near the house. What prettier playground could they have asked for?!

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There’s not a whole lot to be unhappy about when you’re out in the country, on a beautiful farm, surrounded by lovely people, eating great food, and watching the sun setting behind the gum trees. Bliss!

What a way to end a fantastic day!

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Oh and we can’t forget the produce! Before we headed home a few of us grabbed some meat and bones. There’s not always a lot of stock available because it’s a small sustainable farm, but we grabbed what we could!

On certain packs, too, Susan includes a tag containing the heritage details on the beast you’re buying which is exceptionally cool. We love this and it’s just another aspect of such a respectable and ethical small local business.. the kind of business that should be promoted and supported.

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So another successful farm tour meetup is done and dusted. We’re looking forward to organising another Bone Broth cooking workshop at the farm in the coming months, and to the next farm tour meetup next year sometime. Until then, be sure to get on Facebook and show your support to Susan and what she does by Liking her page, inviting your friends to Like it and maybe even check out her products sometime, either at the Farm Gate on Friday afternoons or at the Peregian Beach Markets. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks to all our members who came along, we appreciate the support you show for our group and what we’re trying to do for the community. We love catching up with familiar faces and making new friends and we love hearing how much everyone enjoyed the event!

A big thanks also to friend and member Ross McNeil of Ross McNeil Photography who captured some of the above images on the day. And for bringing the yummiest cupcakes ever!!

And last but not least.. thanks to Farmer Susan for having us, for all of your amazing knowledge and passion, and for donating that sensational piece of grass-fed brisket!

 

Now for the recipe…

 

Aimee’s Paleo Slow Cooked Brisket

1.5-2 kg grass-fed brisket

1/2 cup coconut amino sauce or coconut or ‘not soy’ sauce (I use Matakana because they don’t contain nightshades. Available here)

3 tbsp organic All Spice powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Ghee, coconut oil, or fat to fry in

 

1. Cut the brisket into chunks small enough to place in the slow cooker but not too small. They should just fit width and length ways

2. Heat a large fry pan and add cooking fat

3. Place a chunk of brisket at a time on the pan and brown the edges. This seals in the juices and helps add flavour later

4. Once all brisket is browned, place in the slow cooker and pour over the All Spice and sauce. Ensure all surfaces of the meat are coated with the sauce mixture then place the lid on

5. Cook on low for around 12-15 hours so the meat becomes as tender as possible before eventually turning to mush

6. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to rest on a plate or board for 15-20 mins. Slice as desired and serve

7. Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge. But really, there’s not likely to be leftovers! 😉

 

ENJOY!!

Aimee

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Farm tours and picnics at Eumundi Beef!

2. Delicious grass-fed beef from Susan’s farm

3. Pretty sunsets

4. All the lovely people I meet at these gatherings

5. Paleo chocolate cupcakes… <drool>

 

 

A pretty face but at what cost to health?

So us paleo peeps are pretty good at putting clean food INTO our body, right? But how ’bout what we feed our skin..?!

To us, paleo living isn’t just about food. How can one be healthy with food alone? They can’t. It’s about how we LIVE. So removing toxins from food and drink is one aspect to work on, but there are other aspects of living to consider.

Including what products we use around the house for cleaning with, and what products we use on our skin and in our hair.

Many people get good at paleo eating but are still using chemical-laden makeup and beauty products. Products that apparently contribute to cancer and lots of other nasty health problems.

Are you thinking “oh crap, that’s me”? It’s ok, don’t freak out! It’s easy to switch over from chemicals to natural. Take baby steps and you’ll get there 🙂

I’ve been transitioning over a few years and I think I’m pretty ok with the makeup side of things now, but I have to admit, I found it the hardest aspect of my life to switch around. Household products were easy and there’s been a good range on the market now for a while. But only recently have makeup options really starting taking off.

Some of what I use is literally ‘food for my face’ because some come from the kitchen pantry! If it’s safe enough to put INTO your bod, it’s safe enough to use externally.

I use olive oil as a face cleanser and as a leave-in curly hair de-frizz serum, we buy pure coconut and olive oil or tallow soaps for the shower, natural eco-friendly liquid soap for the basins, paleo tallow moisturiser for our skin (thank you Ecology Skincare, we love you!) or olive/coconut oil, my special homemade hair cleansing tablets for our hair, commercial natural sunscreens or coconut oil as sun protection, a homemade heat/muscle rub when we feel a bit stiff or sore, epsom salts/bicarb/lavender baths when we want a good soak, natural coconut oil and beeswax lip balms, a paleo-friendly natural deodorant that actually works all day (no way?! Yes way, really!) .. and I think that’s about it for what natural alternatives we use on our skin.

As I said before.. makeup has been my biggest challenge and definitely my weak point until recently! I’d love to not need to wear any at all of course, that’d be the ideal situation. But even though I’m in my 30’s I have skin issues and am just not comfortable going makeup free every day. My skin will get better as my chronic health problems get better and as I heal. But until then I want to cover up. And I want to do it naturally but I’ve found it really hard.

Why do I care so much about what’s in my makeup?

Because I’m already sick enough and I don’t want to get any worse! I want to live as naturally as possible and that means I care about what I put into my body and what I put onto it as well.

There are some seriously nasty and dangerous ingredients in skincare products, not just makeup. Check out some of the worst offenders here

Dr Mercola says “You Can Absorb MORE Toxins from Skin Care Products Than Food” – eek!

Some of you will remember I blogged about a natural foundation powder I was making at home using just cocoa, arrowroot and cinnamon. I really like that mixture for the cooler months, but in Summer, because it’s not super fine like store-bought powder I find it clumps a little when I sweat. I live in QLD, so I do sweat! So in the warmer months when I stopped using that on my face I was lazy and naughty and turned to using a commercial liquid foundation from the chemist. Not even Nude by Nature when is semi-okay.. a fully chemical-laden cheap brand. YUCK! What was I thinking?! When wearing it and my eyes watered for some reason (cutting onions, crying, sneezing etc) my eyes would sting straight away. For no other reason than the makeup was full of chemicals! I kid you not. My eyes never sting except for when I was wearing this foundation! That’s bad!

A couple of weeks ago I realised just how bad this was and finally switched back to a natural variety. I’ve started using the Claytime liquid foundation we stock in the Primal Pantry. And I LOVE it! I can honestly say it’s a joy to wear. It feels nice on my skin, it does not make my eyes sting, it blends with my skin tone really well and it even smells natural!

IMG_20150102_152336

So I can tick foundation off my list. Now onto concealer…

We can’t get a Claytime concealer or I’d be using that. So I’ve turned to Eco Minerals, a brand I’ve used before and really liked. I grabbed a tube of medium concealer from The Maple Street Co-Op in Maleny this week and was instantly impressed with it. It matches my skin perfectly and feels really nice to use.

Tick concealer off my list. What else?

Eye shaddow I use some Nude by Nature and some Claytime. I prefer Claytime but I’ve bought Nude when I needed to save a few dollars. From now on it’ll be Claytime and other 100% safe brands though because I know Nude aren’t the best.

Blush is Claytime ‘strawberry’ which I adore, it’s such a nice shade.

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Mascara, which is one of the worst makeups when you go conventional, so I now use Eco Minerals and when I run out I’ll go Claytime because I’ve read good reviews and I’m already very impressed with Claytime in general.

IMG_20150102_161718

Eye liner… I do need to switch the brown pencil I use now which is conventional over to a natural alternative, so I’m on the hunt for something suitable.

And that’s about it! I’m definitely getting my makeup under control and feeling better about what I put on my skin in the morning.

I know you’re thinking “but what about the cost, isn’t natural makeup way more expensive?”.

And the answer is.. yes it is more expensive.. than the cheapest of cheap and nasty makeups. For sure. But compare to the ‘top brands’, the popular varieties that are apparently ‘better’ and you’ll find natural makeups are the same, if not cheaper. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend a bit more money now on good quality, safe products, than later on for cancer treatment! If I can help it anyway. That’s the goal!

I’d love it if more people in the world became aware of what toxins and nasties were in the products they use on their skin and what negative effects they could be having on their health. I’d love it even more if some of those people switched over to natural and safe alternatives! Wouldn’t the world be a healthier place?!

Let’s make it happen!

Share this blog post with your friends and family and help spread the word!! It’s an important message that needs to reach as many people as possible.

I’d love to know… do you use natural makeup, if so, what brands do you find work for you?

Thanks for reading! And please remember to use new skin products with caution! Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean your skin will love it, you can still have allergic reactions so please seek medical advice if you have any adverse reactions to new products you use.

 

Aimee 🙂

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Natural safe makeup!

2. An exciting new year ahead

3. Spending time with a friend and taking her to the forest and a nice cafe today for a play and catchup

4. You guys reading this!

5. Going fishing

 

Disclaimer:

The content provided on this Under the Primal Influence (https://undertheprimalinfluenceblog.wordpress.com) blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.
The owner of Under the Primal Influence (https://undertheprimalinfluenceblog.wordpress.com) will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Wash your mouth out with soap… literally!

Some of you will have heard us talk about how we use soap as toothpaste. For those of you who haven’t heard this before you’ll be saying “Soap, wtf?!” and yes, it’s true!

It sounds really weird, I know. But we absolutely love it!

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We use coconut oil soap to brush our teeth with twice a day. We started about 1.5 years ago when Clint had been to the dentist to check what was going on with his teeth after what he thought was a huge chunk of tooth chipped off one night. Turned out it was actually plaque build-up! Yuck!
Being more into natural health and everything, he wasn’t too keen to follow the dentists suggestions of how to fix it conventionally and remove the remaining plaque. So he did some research on natural alternatives and came across using olive oil or coconut oil soap.

The next day we went to the health food store and grabbed a bar of Banaban pure coconut oil soap and started using it that day. We haven’t looked back since!

The reason for this? Well without going into tonnes of detail (feel free to do your own Google’ing on the subject, there’s plenty of info out there!)… pretty much all toothpastes, even the natural varieties, contain glycerin which coats our teeth. This supposedly stops food from causing decay. But, humans are meant to eat food and if we’re eating GOOD FOOD then we shouldn’t need a barrier up all day. Also food is nourishing for our teeth as it is the rest of our body, it actually helps strengthen them, not harm them. So by placing a glycerin barrier up all day we’re causing more harm than good to our pearly whites.

Because we’re so used to brushing our teeth to remove any bad breath smells, and to remove the furry feeling from food, we wanted to keep brushing but not let anything coat our teeth. And at this stage we were mostly paleo so we knew we were eating good food that humans are meant to be eating, therefore we were not at all worried about switching from a fluoride-free glycerin-filled conventional toothpaste tube over to a bar of soap.

And when you think of coconut oil, what comes to mind? Cleaning! It’s a natural cleaner and healer, so brushing with it has similar effects to oil pulling. Which by the way, neither of us can be bothered doing.

When we started using coconut oil soap we were shocked at how little we needed on our toothbrushes, because it froths up so much. Also, how quick it was to brush before our teeth felt all shiny and smooth. We were noticing these positives within the first few days, so we were sticking to this new thang!

Over the next two weeks Clint noticed plaque was actually coming off his teeth! With no effort at all, nothing unnatural, from just using this soap! He also realised he was no longer getting gingivitis. Which by the way I had no idea he was even getting! He’d thought it was totally normal all those years.

So the soap was removing his plaque build-up, stopping his bleeding gums, and… I myself noticed improvements too. My tooth aches all went away! Over the year and a half we’ve been using this soap, neither of us have had a single tooth ache again, bleeding gums, no new cavities, nothing bad at all! We feel our teeth have actually strengthened and improved!

AND to add to the already long list of amazing benefits of this… our teeth feel cleaner longer throughout the day, AND… it’s insanely cheap!!! Can it get any better!?! The bar we bought was about $5.50 at the time and it lasted us over a YEAR! So instead of paying $9+ on a tube of natural toothpaste every few months, we’re now paying next to nothing for something even better. Yay!

After a few months of our experiment we had mum onto it. She experienced the same results as us and also loves using her coconut soap on her teeth every day.

The only thing is, once you start, you can’t then go and use a glycerin toothpaste because it coats your teeth again for a long time. So we’ve actually not once used toothpaste, we take a little piece of our soap with us when we stay at other people’s houses or go camping. Just in a travel soap container. Easy!

We’re really excited because now we actually stock a pure coconut oil soap in the Primal Pantry! The Nuigini Organics for $3.25 per bar, usually retails for $3.95. Woo!

 

Niugini Organics Coconut Soap The Organic Store.1

 

So if you’ve been wanting to switch from using a nasty chemical-ridden toxic conventional toothpaste over to something natural and also beneficial, then this might be a good option for you! Remember though to check ingredients before using, you’re looking for a pure coconut oil soap, and if you have any kind of adverse reaction when using, stop immediately.

If you have tried this, or you do try this, please let us know how you go!

There are stacks of articles on the net talking about natural dental health for humans, how healthy our ancestors teeth were, what foods can help strengthen teeth, etc etc but if you can’t find anything just ask Clint, he’ll be happy to share the articles and info he’s come across.

 

Happy brushing!

Aimee

 

5 things I’m grateful for today are:

1. Warm days and beach trips

2. Gelatin and all it’s done for my health

3. All our possessions and belongings

4. Being a heck of a lot healthier than I was 2 years ago

5. Offal meat, yum!

I’ve been at the DIY again! I’ve perfected my natural shampoo and conditioner recipe

A while ago I attempted a new ‘no poo’ recipe in the hopes of finding the right combination of ingredients to make my hair feel healthy, minus any nasty chemicals. Also I wanted something easy to make, easy to use and easy to keep. Who wouldn’t want that with DIY right?!

So I concocted an aloe/gelatin mixture (check out the blog post here) which I was semi happy with… that was until it went off and stunk out the fridge in just a few short days. Fail!

Turns out aloe vera doesn’t last too long in the fridge! So I had to re-think things…

I decided to have another go and, after having been using it to clean and condition my hair with over the last couple of months, I can honestly say I’ve found the recipe I’m totally happy with!

Introducing… my Hair Cleansing Tablets!

jelly 1

Actually I’ve just realised.. this is my 3rd attempt at a natural hair cleaner! I first tried a recipe I found online using coconut milk and aloe vera gel blended and frozen into ice cubes. It claimed to ‘balance pH’ and even though I gave it a good whack of time to see if it’d work, my hair just felt oily all the time. Not cool.

This is what that mixture looked like…

shampoo

 

Too dry. Too oily.      I want just rightAnd I think I’ve stumbled upon just that!!

<fist bump> !

 

What’s in them you ask? Not much really! Just a few simple and natural ingredients, with a just-as-simple method of creating them. Here’s the recipe, and yes there appears to be a lot of steps but really it’s a very simple method, I just wanted to explain it properly to you, so it looks like a lot of steps but it’s not really.

 

Bits and pieces to have handy:

Slow cooker or large cooking pot/saucepan

Whisk

Tablespoon

Knife

Small saucepan

Large measuring jug

Blender

Ice cube trays

 

Grab these:

A few large sprigs of fresh rosemary

Enough filtered/spring water to fill the slow cooker or cooking pot

Apple cider vinegar (qty will depend on how much water you end up with)

4 tbsp pure grass-fed gelatin powder

1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel scraped out of leaves, discard the green skin. If you can find pure bottled aloe gel, great, otherwise grow some or steal some out of someone’s garden..! 😉

 

 Do this:

1. Place rosemary and water in the slow cooker, or into a cooking pot

2. If it’s a slow cooker keep on Low temp all day or overnight. If using a pot simmer on Low temp on the stove for a few hours. This ultimately makes rosemary tea!

3. Once made, allow to cool then strain the liquid or just remove and discard of the rosemary leaves. Pour liquid into a large jug with measurements on the side

4. Pour 1 cup of the liquid into a small saucepan

5. Gently and slowly sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the whole surface of the water. DO NOT place on heat on stove yet!

6. Let the gelatin mix sit for 10 minutes. You’ll notice it contorts and looks really strange.. this is a gelatin softening method called ‘blooming’. It’s bloomin’ weird I think…!  That’s my version of a ‘dad joke’, I do apologise 🙂

blooming gelatin

7. Once the gelatin has all softened place the saucepan on medium heat on stove top and allow to heat up

8. Whisk until all the gelatin is dissolved. This won’t take long at all

9. Remove from the heat and allow to cool then add to the measuring jug with the rosemary liquid and whisk to combine it all together

10. In the blender add the aloe vera gel and about a cup or so of the rosemary/gelatin liquid. Blend well so there are no chunks of aloe gel remaining. Pour back into the measuring jug

11. Grab the apple cider vinegar and pour in ONE part of that to TEN parts of the rosemary gelatin liquid. That’s the general ratio when adding ACV to water to use for hair, 1 : 10

12. Pour the liquid into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Once frozen you can pop them out and store in a container in the freezer… and you’re done!

 

Now you have rosemary, apple cider vinegar, aloe, gelatin cleansing hair tablets! A shampoo and conditioner in one! Woo!

jelly 2

 

Why this combination of ingredients?

Rosemary and ACV are great for conditioning, while the aloe is a fantastic and gentle cleaner, and the gelatin adds collagen for hair growth and strength. What a combo!!!

 

To use ’em:

Simply take 1-3 cubes out of the freezer in the morning if you’re washing your hair at night, or at night if you’re washing your hair the next morning, place in a small container of some kind. How many you use will depend on how much hair you have. Short hair and not much of it, use one. Medium hair and lots of it might need two. Long hair 2-3 should be fine

Let them thaw out, they’ll become jelly instead of ice so will hold their shape

In the shower, wet your hair, then carefully rub one jelly at a time through your hair, ensuring you massage into the scalp

Leave it in for a few minutes (if you prefer you can put it in your hair before you get into the shower, particularly if you have water restrictions where you live)

Rinse it all out with warm-hot water so all of the jelly comes out. You don’t want to find dried hard gelatin clumps in your hair later on in the day!!

Use these once or twice a week or as  needed. Easy!

 

** If you have allergies to any of the ingredients please do not use them. If you notice any adverse reactions at any time of using this recipe please stop using it and seek medical advice. You could always try a test of a small amount of the ingredients on your skin before making this mixture, especially if you’ve never used some of them topically before. Some people have allergic reactions to aloe and herbs in particular so always be cautious trying new natural mixtures on your skin **

 

I find this mixture cleans my hair really well (and I use oil as my ‘curly hair de-frizzer’ and it completely removes all traces of oil when I wash!) and leaves it feeling soft and shiny.  I use 2 tablets each time because I have medium-length hair and LOTS of it! I’d clean my hair about twice a week and that works for me. You might find you can clean your hair less often, or may need to more often in a week, everyone’s different.

So if you give this recipe a go, let me know what you think! Hope it works for you as well as it works for me 🙂

And YAY for no chemicals!

Enjoy guys!

Aimee

 

Today I’m grateful for:

1. Spring!

2. Fruit jelly for brekkie

3. Natural skincare and beauty recipes

4. Clint being in this month’s edition of Holistic Bliss magazine (check it out here on page 12)! So exciting!

5. Camping next weekend

Welcome to our new blog!

Well, it’s essentially the same blog, just a different platform. We were using Google blogger but due to it’s PMS-like behaviour we decided recently to make the switch to the ever popular WordPress. Let’s hope it’s nicer to us than Google!

As our first post we’ve decided to use one of our very first blog posts: ‘So what’s this ‘primal’ caper all about?!’

It really explains what ‘primal living’ means to us and why it’s our lifestyle. Here it is! Enjoy!

Hunter

pri·mal
Adjective
Essential; fundamental.
Relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; primeval.

‘Primal’ to us might be totally different to what ‘primal’ means to you, so let’s explain what living a primal lifestyle means to us…

When we think of primal we think ‘living naturally’. In the early stages of evolutionary development the world was a cleaner and less-toxic place and people lived cleaner and less-toxic lives.

The food they ate and the water they drank wasn’t ridden with man-made chemicals, the exercise they did wasn’t performed in a gym, they weren’t exposed to radiation from electronic devices, they weren’t cooped up indoors or sitting at desks for long periods of time, the air they breathed wasn’t polluted, and they had a lot less emotional stresses to deal with.

These days it’s a little different. We eat food that’s often grown using chemicals, our water supply comes from water treatment plants that add fluoride and other poisons, many of us exercise in gyms on machines and with made-man equipment, we are constantly surrounded by electronic devices and radiation, we spend much of our time sitting down and being indoors, the air we breathe is polluted and we have a heck of a lot of emotional stress in our lives.

chemical

What does all that lead to? Sickness. So many of us are riddled with sickness and illness. Viruses are reinventing themselves so they can resist the medicines we make. That’s kinda scary! How many people do you know are sick with something? Whether it be regular headaches or migraines, colds and flus, injuries, gut problems, cancer; most of the population is sick!

 

Today we aren’t thriving, we are just barely surviving. Wouldn’t you agree?

 

We’d like to get back to living how nature intended and giving our bodies the best chance at being healthy! And it’s possible to do! Okay, so we can’t completely avoid all the chemicals, toxins, EMF’s etc but we can certainly minimise our exposure to them and try to lead as natural an existence as possible.

So what do we do to live a more primal lifestyle? Here are just some of the ways we actively live more primal…

 

Eat mostly grass-fed chemical-free meat

cattle

 

 

 

Eat mostly organic or spray-free fruit and vegetables

 

Minimise consumption of foods we haven’t yet evolved to eat safely and that cause health problems such as grains, legumes, sugar etc

 

Photo from theglutenfreeprofessor.com

 

Exercising safely and functionally for the body to minimise injury and inflammation by performing natural, primal movements

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Spending a lot of time outdoors and going barefoot on the earth to get the health benefits from being among nature

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Using mindfulness techniques and natural therapies to help us tap into our inner wisdom, to quiet our minds, to rejuvenate, relax and stress less

 

mediation lady  -busy world

 

Using chemical-free and environmentally-friendly products around the home and on our bodies

 

Incorporating sustainable practices such as growing our own food, recycling, buying recycled products, composting, picking up rubbish in public, buying locally and buying less plastic

 

You might be thinking.. “So, you’re Paleo then?” well yes and no. We do use some Paleo principles but we don’t label ourselves as ‘Paleo’ or any other definition because we don’t follow any one particular set of guidelines.

We’re very proud of the positive steps we’ve made to live a more primal lifestyle, for our own personal benefit but also for the benefit of the environment and other people. We want to become healthier, happier people but we also want others to become healthier and happier. We feel it’s everyone’s right to have the best chance possible at achieving good health and wellness.

 

We want us and everyone out there to THRIVE, not just survive!

But, we’re far from perfect. We sometimes eat things that aren’t the healthiest for us, we sometimes drink tap water, we sometimes don’t do a few of those things listed above. But for the most part we do live by them and that’s another aspect we believe is part of primal living… balance. We aren’t caveman and we have temptations and other obstacles all around us, so the key is to find a balance that makes us happy. We believe we live a 90% primal lifestyle and that’s pretty good as far as we’re concerned!

We haven’t yet reached a point where we feel we lead a ‘perfect’ lifestyle; we aren’t as healthy and happy as we’d like to be. But we’re striving for it and we’ll continue to learn and grow every day and make the most of our lives.

If you like the idea of living a more primal lifestyle.. you can totally do it! Start small, use baby steps, make little changes every day and you’ll start to notice positive changes in your health and your happiness.

Our website and this blog are aimed at providing information and inspiration for you to add more primal aspects into your life, so please feel free to use any of the information at any time. And go ahead and share it around to benefit others!

Do you live a primal lifestyle? Feel free to tell us about it in a comment below!

Or shoot us any questions you might have!

Thanks
Clint & Aimee

 

We’ve decided it’d be a cool thing to do to end each blog post with 5 things we’re grateful for, so here are today’s 5…

1. Having this blog so we can express ourselves and help inspire others
2. All the sunny days we’ve had lately
3. Having a nice home and nice belongings
4. Camping trips
5. Knowledge about health and wellness that we’re constantly gaining
http://www.primalinfluence.com

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Drop us a line!