We held another Farm Tour Meetup at Eumundi Beef a couple of weeks ago, and as always, Farmer Susan gave an incredibly detailed description of how she runs her small and sustainable grass-fed Angus/Murray cattle property using Biodynamics principles, even including her background (she wasn’t born into farming, she was actually a Biochemist before she transitioned into farm life!) and also what her goals for the future are.
She won’t be focusing solely on producing quality beef, she’s branching into heritage chicken meat, chicken and goose eggs, tallow soap and more! She sure is a busy lady, she’s also very knowledgeable, passionate, interesting and generous with her time.
We appreciate her allowing our Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group members explore her property and bug her with lots of questions about her methods.
When we’d had a thorough tour of the farm which included patting a bull, spying a cute calf wandering off and staying close to mum, holding chickens, seeing geese and ducks, getting lots of fresh air and sunshine.. we sat down to enjoy a picnic and chatted about what we’d just experienced.
So many people, including us, were really interested in the whole Biodynamics philosophy and how it really seems to be the ultimate in achieving health for the planet, the animals and us humans as consumers of meat and produce. It sounds a lot more in-depth and rewarding than even Permaculture, which we know is really popular here on the Sunshine Coast, with courses being held regularly. Biodynamics though is less talked about but more farmers are finding out about it and starting to implement the methods.
Basically, the main benefit of Biodynamically-raised plants is that the nutrients from the soil end up in the cells of the plants, rather than just in the water part of the plants, which is sadly the result of many common ‘clean’ practices such as Aquaponics and even Organic farming. When the nutrients are held in the cells of the plants the plants are far more nutrient-dense, last longer, and are utilised more efficiently and effectively by the animals and humans consuming them.
Interesting or what?!
Farmer Susan talked a lot about the processes in which she went through to vastly improve her soil quality over the 5 years since she began farming the land, the different layers of soil, all the important and pesky types of grasses, paddock rotation, how to raise happy and healthy cattle, why she chose the cross-breed of Angus / Murray, how to identify a healthy patch of ground, beneficial bugs and bacteria and so much more.
It really was a chance to learn new things and be inspired to take positive steps in our own lives with our own gardening practices and with what produce we purchase. Looking for Biodynamically-produced food is really the healthiest.
The day wasn’t all about learning though, we did eventually sit down for a picnic, scoffed down some amazingly delicious paleo delights, had great conversations and lots of laughs.
We enjoyed some Turkish Delight, raw vegan cakes, char grilled flavoursome chicken, nuts, and more. It sure was a feast!
Thank you so much to all our members who came along for a day out on the farm! We hope you enjoyed yourselves and learnt a lot, we certainly did!
And of course a huge thank you to Farmer Susan for hosting us and sharing so much information and time with us all, we love you!
To keep up with all our farm tour and other paleo lifestyle meetups and events, be sure to register for our newsletters here.
To find out more about Eumundi Beef head to the website.
Clint & Aimee
5 Things We’re Grateful For:
- Really fun and interesting farm tour meetups
- Spending time with lovely people at our meetups
- There being so many quality food producers on the Sunshine Coast
- Paleo Turkish Delight (lol)
- Sunny days spent outdoors
Hard to believe isn’t it? Healthy food available at the local Show! Well we’re witnesses that it really happened… at the 2016 Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show held in Nambour we provided healthy food!
I was invited to be a presenter in the Heritage Stage area over the 3 days the Show was held for in June. I decided to cook up my new creation… No Nasties Golden Chicken Nuggets with Tomato Sauce! I knew the event would attract a lot of families with kids, and I know how much kids enjoy chicken nuggets, so to provide a healthy alternative to the nasty regular varieties was a privilege.
I hosted 3 x 30min cooking demonstrations and had a great time showing show-goers how to make and cook up this really easy and healthy recipe. I received terrific feedback from so many people and gave out free recipe cards so everyone could make the recipe at home.
In keeping with the theme of the event I wanted to really focus on using local quality agriculture. I used Walker Farm Foods pastured chicken breast and thigh fillets, plus produce supplied by Sunshine Organics.
Because it’s such a popular and tasty recipe I’d love to share it with you guys too! So here it is, my new chicken nuggets recipe, enjoy!
GOLDEN CHICKEN NUGGETS WITH TOMATO SAUCE
NUGGETS – makes 6 large
250g free-range chicken mince (I used breast and thigh fillets food processed to become ‘mince’)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
Himalayan salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil, organic olive oil or rendered animal fat to cook in
- In a container add mince and garlic and with either plastic gloves on or using a large spoon mix it all together so they’re combined thoroughly
- In a large, flat container add the flours. Stir to combine then pick up about a tablespoon of the chicken mince mixture, shape with your hands then place in the flour mix and turn to evenly coat. Shake off excess flour. Repeat with remaining mince mixture
- Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick fry pan on the stove at medium-high temp
- Place nuggets in the pan, turning each over once one side is coated with oil, so the other side is coated. If the pan isn’t completely flat with a raise in the centre, that’s ok. As long as each side of each nugget is coated with some oil they’ll cook fine in the centre without the majority of oil touching them. Too much oil under the nuggets can prevent the surface crisping up and cause them to become soggy, so a dry-ish area on the pan is ideal!
- The nuggets won’t take long to cook through. Once cooked place them on a plate to serve, or paper towel for a minute or so if they’re too oily
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 organic tomato, finely diced
1/2 cup organic tomato paste
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
2 tbsp bone broth (free e-book avail. here)
2 tbsp raw honey
Himalayan salt, pepper to taste
Oil/fat to cook onion in
- Place the oil and onion into a medium saucepan on the stove at low-medium temp and cook until onion is translucent
- Add in the remaining ingredients and let simmer until it reduces to desired consistency
- Allow the sauce to cool then use a stick blender (or pour into regular blender) to blitz and remove some or all of the onion and tomato chunks
- Serve alongside nuggets in a dipping bowl or pour into a container to store in the fridge. This recipe makes a lot more sauce than needed for the 6 nuggets, so you can freeze batches of it so you always have some to thaw and use.
I’ve had parents of conventional-foods-eating kids tell me their kids LOVE these nuggets and would definitely eat them often. That makes me happy!
I hope you and your kids enjoy and benefit from them too 🙂
Thanks for reading, and I might see you at next year’s Show for more cooking and food fun!
5 Things I’m Grateful For:
- Finally being almost over the bad ass cold I had all week
- Being able to cook for people and teach them healthy recipes
- Getting 1hour sunshine today, it felt so good
- Sitting by the fire outside in the courtyard during Winter
- Aloe vera tissues lol
We had another amazingly fun Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group event a couple of weeks ago when we held a Farm Tour & Picnic meetup with lovely local grass-feed cattle farmers Sue and Mark Menkens on their beautiful Bellthorpe property!
Maleny Black Angus Beef was the perfect spot for an enjoyable day out for both kids and adults alike. When we arrived we piled into the utes, some of us in the trays, some in the cabs, and off we went in convoy around the 600 acre farm.
Seeing cattle, being raced by a couple, dams, rolling green hills, trees, birds..
.. what a start to the day!
We crossed a creek or too, stalled up a steep hill (the kids sure enjoyed that bit!) and ended up at a feeding area in one of the main paddocks where Farmer Mark treated the cattle to bucket loads of sweet molasses!
The kids enjoyed getting up close with the cattle with some experiencing this close proximity with farm animals for the very first time.
Clint received a few odd looks and giggles when people noticed his farm footwear were his two bare feet! He was careful not to stand in any cow pats lying around. And I just missed a fresh one, only wearing my minimalist Earth Runner sandals, that was pretty lucky!
After that long stop off we piled back in the utes and headed back toward the farm house, doing a full loop of the property and making another quick stop in a different paddock to give some other cattle a feed of molasses so they didn’t miss out on the day’s special treat.
I made a little friend who enjoyed sitting in my lap in the tray and holding my hand while chatting about the farm and cattle!
The shaded grassy area between the house and the large fig tree was a terrific spot for our picnic lunch.
Rugs were placed down, food was shared around and everyone chatted and relaxed as the afternoon went by.
Even the Farmers enjoyed the rare chance to have a break from work and enjoy the time-out! They were back to moving cattle as soon as we left, but that’s a farmer’s life I guess.
Clint, of course, went exploring and attempted to climb the fig tree. Then he kept himself and the kids entertained playing games such as Tiggy and Wrestling on the lawn. The parents were happy about that!
I served my Mexican Pulled Beef Tacos, using blade supplied by Sue and Mark, which were a massive hit! Mark cooked up some of their delicious steak for us on the BBQ which was just amazingly good.
Because the tacos were so well received I thought I’d share the recipe with you!
Here it is, enjoy 🙂
MEXICAN PULLED BEEF TACOS
1.5kg grass-fed beef blade
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large brown onion, fine diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup bone broth*
– Place the beef in a slow cooker along with all other ingredients
– Turn dial to Low and leave on all day or overnight
– It’s helpful to occasionally turn the meat around and spoon the liquid over the top to ensure the whole cut of meat is flavoured well and cooked evenly
– The meat is cooked properly when you can easily pull some away using a fork. When it’s reached this point remove the meat using tongs, place on a plate and use two forks to pull meat away into small, short strips
– The liquid in the slow cooker can be reduced to become a sauce by simmering it for about 10-15 mins in a saucepan on the stove on low heat. Pour the sauce over the pulled meat to store in a container in the fridge or before serving.
SOFT SHELL TACOS:
1 pastured egg
4 tbsp pure coconut milk (Ayam is our preference)
3 tbsp filtered/spring water
3 tbsp arrowroot flour
3 tbsp green banana flour (available from the Products page on our website)
Himalayan salt to taste
Oil/cooking fat to fry in (you won’t need a lot)
– In a small bowl or container mix the arrowroot and water together until no lumps remain
– In a stick blender cup or a tall, thin container/jug add the arrowroot and water mixture along with all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Alternatively, use a regular blender
– Heat a non-stick pan on the stove to a medium temperature, add a smidge of oil/fat if needed then pour batter on the pan to form circles about 12-15cm in diameter (or more if you want larger tacos). Don’t move the pan around or you’ll end up with crepes.
– When the surface bubbles a little use a spatula to flip over and cook through (about 30 sec each side is all that’s needed). Place them on a plate when cooked then add a small amount of the beef and other fillings to each, hold underneath in one hand and eat like you would a regular taco!
– Filling suggestions: shredded lettuce, diced avocado, thinly sliced carrot
I hope you enjoy it!
And we hope all of our meetup group members who came to the farm tour had a really nice day out.
We know some did, with this wonderful feedback we received on Facebook afterwards…
“Thank you Mark, Sue and Jesse for hosting us and thanks Aimee and Clint for organising it! Loved the scenery, the cattle and the conversations.” -Gypsy
“Thanks for a great day guys, the kids had a ball and were raving about it all the way home!” -Leanne
“It was great to have you all come and visit us on the weekend and to see you all having such a good time while you were here. We will have to do it again some time soon!!” -Farmers Mark, Sue and Jesse
If you’d like to contact Mark and Sue about purchasing their fantastic grass-fed beef products visit their website here
We really enjoy being able to connect consumers to quality local food producers, we’re really passionate about helping people find new sources of food to benefit themselves and their families, and helping support local farmers and producers doing good things.
If you know of a paleo-friendly food producer (or are one) in the Sunshine Coast region we should consider visiting for a meetup please contact us to let us know!
See you at the next meetup!
- Sitting on the floor more often and sitting on the lounge less often. Sitting on the floor forces our bodies to change positions frequently as floor sitting can become uncomfortable quicky. Removing the ‘prop’ allows our body to give us accurate feedback and signals of when adjustments need to be made. We’re not relying on the comfort of a lounge to do all the work for us, our muscles, joints and mind are getting a workout while we sit on the floor, and the muscles, joints and mind benefit greatly from that!
- Sleeping on a thin mattress on the floor. This makes us get up from a lying down position instead of just putting our feet down onto the floor. It means our joints are getting more full-range movements and we’re more capable humans because we can easily get from lying down to standing whenever we need or want to.
- Walking to the shops instead of driving. We often leave the car at home and walk to the grocery store, markets and butcher. This allows us to get the benefits of walking, fresh air, good conversation time and we see and experience more because there’s always something interesting to see when out and about!
- Adding to that one.. we carry a basket at the shops instead of using a shopping trolley, then carry our groceries home in eco-bags.
- Putting the washing basket on the ground outside while hanging wet washing instead of on a trolley at waist height. This makes us have to bend down to pick clothes up so we get a full range of movement in from such a low position to then high when reaching to peg washing to the line.
- Placing pieces of string between door frames, forcing us to step over each time we want to enter and exit the rooms. This stepping over motion is great for the hip joint, lower back, ankles, knees, basically the entire lower body, as well as the brain because we have to stop and think about it each time. The brain like this!
- And just for fun and as an experiment… placing pieces of string between walkways to then be able to crawl under to get to where we want to go. We did this recently for a week in the lounge room so every time we wanted to get to the lounge area we had no choice but to crawl. It wasn’t the most convenient method of getting more movement but it was challenging, enjoyable and beneficial. We’re going to use this tool as a sometimes option, taking it down when we want to but making a conscious effort to place it back up and crawl regularly.
As hosts of the Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group one of our goals is to connect consumers to quality local producers and to help generate education and awareness around healthy farming practices and consumption of healthy foods. One of the ways we do this is by holding Farm Tour meetups.
From beef to fruit, whatever great local produce we can find in the region that’s paleo-friendly and where the producers are happy to let us on their property for a look around.. we make it happen!
Last Sunday we held a really unique farm tour meetup.. at the Hinterland Feijoas farm! Situated in Belli Park, among the rolling green hills of the Kenilworth area in the Mary Valley, Sally and Peter Hookey grow organic feijoa fruit on their beautiful property and sell their produce, along with jams, chutneys etc at their farm fate.
“Feeej.. what now?!” we hear you say!
Pronounced “fee-joah” this neat little fruit is in the guava family, is really high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, is super versatile to use and tastes delicious!
We were lucky enough to have a private tour of the farm to learn more about this seemingly-strange and hard-to-find fruit, starting with Sally telling us all about the feijoa fruit, where they originated from, why they decided to grow them and what they do with their produce. Then Peter walked us around the orchard explaining how the fruit is grown and all the farming practices involved.
It was terrific to spend time in the fresh air, getting lots of sunshine, surrounded by like-minded people and learning new things.
Not only did we get to tour the farm, we were allowed to have a picnic there as well, and what better spot and views could we possibly ask for?!
Twinkle Toes entertained the kids (and big kids!)
What a great meetup it was 🙂
We really appreciate the support of the farmers who let us roam their properties and bug them with questions!
And of course we love seeing meetup group members coming along and benefiting from these experiences. Also a big thanks to everyone for bringing such delicious foods along… what a feast we had!
We only had a small group come along on Sunday but they were all enthusiastic and keen to learn. From the feedback afterwards they all enjoyed the event and here’s what a couple of members shared with us…
“I hd a very enjoyable Farm Tour at Sally and Peter’s Hinterland Feijoas farm last Sunday. I learnt all about Feijoas, how the grow, what they need and what they can be used for. I got to taste the fresh fruit (tree ripened) which was delicious, as well as jams and chutneys. Peter also explained to us what it means to him to be a certified organic farmer, the requirements, certification process and his dreams for the future and the future for organic farmers. Our group concluded the tour with a shared Paleo picnic and great conversation. A lovely day out in the hinterland in Belli Park. Thanks for organising Aimee and Clint 🙂” ~Andrea
“I think it was great to get out and visit a fantastic little business like this. Passion, authenticity, respect for the Earth, and dedication to a quality product – that’s an inspiring thing to see. Not only that, but it was a beautiful location, fantastic weather and lovely people to share a picnic with too!” ~Andrew of At One Foods
We’re glad the meetup was enjoyed by our members! We had a great time too!
It was a low fruit yield this year for Sally and Peter, due to the past 2 dry years. So there was no fresh fruit for sale but we were fortunate enough to grab a container of feijoa pulp which we then turned into a delicious paleo crumble using some native bush foods and a green banana flour topping!
Check out the recipe…
PLUM PINE & FEIJOA CRUMBLE
Add 1 cup feijoa pulp to a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup plum pines halved (or swap for regular plums), 2-3 tbsp raw honey and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla (powder, paste, as long as it’s 100% pure and organic). Bring to a simmer and, stirring often, allow to cook down for about 5 mins or until plums have softened completely. Taste the mixture and add more honey if needed. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and spoon into serving cups or bowls.
In a small non-stick fry pan on low heat add 1 tbsp ghee, 3 tbsp desiccated coconut, 3 tbsp green banana flour (grab Natural Evolution products here) and 2 tbsp raw honey. Stir with a spoon to combine the mixture and continue to stir, keeping it moving so it doesn’t burn. You’re looking for a golden brown colour all through the mixture, with some lumps and chunks still there for texture and crunch. Once you’re happy with it, spoon the crumble over the stewed fruit in the bowls or cups and serve!
The world’s first Green Banana Flour recipe e-books are now available! Click HERE
You could even add Paleo ice cream to the top before serving (recipe in Paleo Kitchen Creations e-book here).. YUM!!
Talk to the guys at Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Nursery about native foods like Plum Pine!
And we hope to see you at a meetup soon! Check here for our upcoming Paleo Lifestyle events and register for our newsletter so you never miss a thing 🙂
Clint & Aimee
That’s not a typo, it is actually meant to read “Our bug adventures”, not “Our big adventures”.. did you get a bit confused there for a second?!
If you read the blog post we did about our 2015 Paleo Camping Retreat you’ll know we’re open to eating bugs, because one of our awesome sponsors Primal Collective gave us tubs of roasted crickets! They actually just taste like savoury popcorn, serious! And as we’ve discovered recently catching and cooking up some bugs ourselves.. there’s not a great deal of flavour. Generally speaking anyway. It’s more the mindset and the look of them that’s hard to get your head around. But once you get past that and free yourself of the ick-factor so many people naturally have at first, it’s really quite a positive experience!
Humans have been eating bugs since humans first walked the earth. Insects are just another rung on the food chain ladder. But these days, with the modern conveniences we’re used to such as shops selling pre-cut pieces of attractive-looking muscle meats.. we are really out of touch with what our food originally looked like, where it comes from and how it lived before it served the purpose of feeding another form of life. I.e. Us!
The fact humans do naturally eat bugs for survival and fuel seems to have been forgotten.
So because this is such a unique thing in the eyes of most, Clint and I thought we’d write about our bug hunting and eating adventures in the hopes of inspiring others to get on the insect train!
Our friend Dan the Aussie Paleo Chef has been eating bugs for a while. He often sends us photos of scorpions and other insects he finds in the bush near him in Canberra and then cooks up at home in coconut oil and other typical paleo flavourings. He’s really inspired us, we’d wanted to do this ourselves for a long time but were always a bit nervous about the safety of it. There’s so little information on the internet about which bugs are safe to eat, we just didn’t want to eat something that ended up being poisonous. Of course!
But a few weeks ago a new friend of ours saw an article we shared on Facebook by Stirring Change on eating dehydrated ants and indicated she was keen to try this herself. So we asked if she’d like to come on a bug hunt with us and she jumped at the chance!
We picked a day and a location and off we went into the bush to catch us some bugs! Our friend Sarah and her son had a list of edible insects they’d found online and Clint and I were pretty well read on the bugs in the area that would be safe to consume. We took some gloves, plastic containers and headed down the main track of a local parkland, turning over logs, sifting through leaf litter and basically looking in all the places we figured bugs would be.
We must admit, it was a pretty slow process! There weren’t as many rocks and logs as we’d hoped, but over the course of an hour or two we ended up a few keepers…
That big sucker is actually a giant centipede! Plus there’s a witchitty grub-type thing, a bush cockroach and a beetle.
This little guy is a regular centipede. Not to be confused with millipedes which we read are not safe to eat. To tell the difference, centipedes only have one leg per body segment, whereas millipedes have more.
“But don’t centipedes contain poison?” I hear you say? They do indeed but we’d read that cooking the bugs cooks out this poison, making them totally safe to eat!
Only 4 bugs (the beetle didn’t seem worth it so we didn’t include him) and 4 people to share around to.. hmmm. Sarah ended up letting us take them home to eat. I think she was still too nervous to cook them up herself! We didn’t mind!
She had wanted to score a haul of ants to take home to dehydrate, but when we started trying to catch some ants at the beginning of our trek we soon realised they are pretty hard to get! They’re really quick, so when you manage to get one or more in a container, you have others trying to get out at the same time. We figured we’d need to design our own ant-catcher contraption, or go home and Google for some ideas. So that’ll be for another bug hunting expedition!
Clint and I took these few bugs home and fried them in just coconut oil and salt. The centipedes and roach turned out perfectly; nice and crispy. The grub, however, wasn’t so nice, but we found out later from our friend The Free-ranging Chef that we needed to cook it slightly differently so we’ll definitely keep that in mind for next time.
Yes, there’ll be a next time! We’re already planning the next Bug Hunt! Cos, well, you could say … we’ve caught the bug for it..! haha sorry, couldn’t resist!
Next week we’re planning to try catching ants with a homemade trap (cos they are fast little buggers and tricky to catch!) to dehydrate. Plus more general insects so we can keep experimenting and hopefully enjoy a bigger feed!
So as well as the actual bug hunting, we also eat farmed bugs. The roasted crickets are great, but recently we also found out about cricket FLOUR! Or “powder” to be exact, because of the texture roasted crickets become when broken down.
Our new friends from Bugsy Bros in Brisbane sell packets of cricket powder and kindly gave us some to play around with. I’ve been cooking with it and really like it!
I even used it in a recipe I gave at my last Sunny Coast cooking demo… Mini Banana Muffins… and the tasters when down a treat! They’re a great addition for kids and adults lunchboxes because they’re small but filling and nourishing. That extra protein helps you stay fuller longer, and the exclusion of nuts, and even coconut flour, means there’s less chance of bloating and feeling ‘heavy’ after eating, unlike many paleo muffin recipes.
Would you like the recipe for the muffins so you can easily test out the cricket powder without it being a really strong and overpowering taste experience? And also to hide it from the kids? Here it is!
MINI BANANA MUFFINS
You’ll need these:
1 cup Natural Evolution banana flour (found here)
3 tbsp Bugsy Bros cricket powder (grab some here)
3 large organic bananas (brown spots are best!)
1-2 tsp each of pure vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg
Honey to sweeten (1 tbsp. – 1 cup.. It’s up to you!)
1/2 tsp each of bicarb (aluminium-free), baking powder (gluten and rice-free) and Himalayan salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 pastured eggs
3 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
- Place all ingredients in a food processor (or leave out bananas if you want chunky muffins. Add them in at the very end and blitz for a second or two) and mix well
- Grease some mini muffin trays/moulds with coconut oil or ghee, then spoon mixture into trays/moulds and place on a baking tray in the oven
- Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown on top
Tip: place slices of banana on top before baking to make them prettier!
Ideas: swap banana for pumpkin or sweet potato (to help bind and moisten but with less sugar), add dates for extra sweetness, add whole blueberries, turn into savoury muffins with grated veggies and savoury spices/herbs… there are so many ways to change this recipe to suit your health needs and tastes!
These muffins are nutrient-dense so a few are very filling and great for school and work lunchboxes. They are nut-free which is great for schools or when having kids’ friends over who have allergies. They can be made coconut-free by using ghee or olive oil instead of coconut oil (the cricket powder is high in protein so it’s a perfect swap).
Storage Tip: Double the quantity, make large batches and store in bags or containers in the freezer to thaw and use when needed! For use within a few days store in an air-tight container out of the fridge.
So there you have it.. you’re up to date with our recent bug adventures and even scored a healthy and yummy recipe you can use insects in!
We hope this inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and try bugs if you haven’t before. Life’s so much more interesting and fun when we walk outside of those boring comfort zones and try new experiences 🙂
Please let us know how you go with bug hunting and/or eating, we’d love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for Part 2 🙂
Aimee (and Clint!)
PLEASE NOTE THAT MANY INSECTS ARE CLASSED AS CRUSTACEANS DUE TO THEIR SHELLS SO ALWAYS BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU CONSUME IN REGARDS TO ALLERGIES
5 Things We’re Grateful for Today:
- Trying cool new foods like bugs and cricket powder
- The rain on the garden today
- Clint having a good birthday yesterday and loving his gifts
- Special friends who bring joy to our lives
- Natural movement and play
I ‘ve followed The Fitness Explorer Darryl Edwards for quite a while now. I remember browsing through fitness websites on the internet a few years ago and coming across the The Fitness Explorer website. Straight away the movements and games Darryl played and taught resonated deeply with me and I wanted to implement some of the ideas into my own training and in my clients sessions.
It was mine and Aimee’s pleasure to finally meet Darryl last year when he was in Australia promoting his book Paleo Fitness and after spending some time with the big man we were definitely not disappointed; he has a wide knowledge base when it comes to the Paleo lifestyle and he’s an all-round nice guy.
We’re excited Darryl has a new book out! It’s called Paleo from A to Z which we’ve been lucky enough to read and also have a copy to giveaway! Competition details at the end of this post.
My thoughts on Paleo from A to Z
It’s been described as “the go-to reference for all things Paleo” and that’s exactly what it is. In fact just recently we had a friend over for dinner and we were talking about what tapioca is, so we grabbed the book to find some info about it and sure enough on page 258 “Tapioca- A starchy food made from cassava roots. Tapioca is gluten free but has very little nutritional value. Some Paleo recipes use tapioca flour as a substitute for wheat flour”. We found exactly what we needed when we needed it!
This book is a brilliant resource for anyone who is new to the Paleo lifestyle and confused with all of the jargon, through to the seasoned Paleo veteran who wants to touch-up on their knowledge, learn something new, and help others learn too.
I believe it’s a must-have in your selection of Paleo books. This book is a permanent feature on our coffee table and, as strange as it sounds, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed randomly selecting pages sometimes and reading up on each topic on the page. Something you might find fun to do too!
Darryl was kind enough to give us some time for a Q & A while getting ready for his next trip to Brisbane for the screening of the We Love Paleo movie.
Hanging out with Darryl…
US: You’re known as The Fitness Explorer www.thefitnessexplorer.com all over the world and creator of ‘Primal Play’. How would you describe ‘Primal Play’ to the uninitiated?
DE: The Primal Play Method is a unique combination of primal movement with solo, partner and group-based activities that are engaging and transformative. Designed for those who have forgotten the joy of movement.
US: As a paleo lifestyle advocate what are your top 3 tips for people wanting to transition?
DE: Research as much about the lifestyle as possible, but keep it simple.
Set goals which are realistic, meaningful and life-enhancing.
Focus on long-term success rather than competing a series of inordinately difficult short challenges.
US: You have a new book out – “Paleo from A to Z” – What inspired you to want to create this?
DE: It was written to help people navigate the wealth of information out there about the Paleo lifestyle but placed in one handy reference. A Paleo lifestyle encyclopaedia if you will. This book was designed to be a glossary of terms for those new to the Paleo lifestyle, but also with over 500 topics it has enough detail and research citations to ensure even Paleo veterans learn something new. It was intended to be non-intimidating and written in plain English. It has also been recently translated into Spanish. Sign up to my mailing list and you can download a free excerpt of the book: www.PaleofromAtoZ.com
US: You travel a lot for Paleo lifestyle events, book tours etc. How do you stay healthy and balanced with nutrition and play with all the travel you do?
DE: I travel hack to get the best travel experience I can especially when travelling long haul, I sleep hack to optimise my sleep when travelling across multiple time zones and to mitigate against jet lag. I also plan ahead to ensure there are no issues with nutrition. It’s not about achieving perfection but about making the best decisions I can and weighing up the costs and benefits at the time. In terms of Play? I aim to always be in a playful state and fortunately there are many people I have met on my travels who resonate with this.
US: What’s next for Darryl Edwards – The Fitness Explorer?
DE: Launching PrimalPlay.com in the near future and working on other exciting projects to bring Primal Play and the Paleo lifestyle to a larger audience.
Thanks for the chat Darryl and for the opportunity to read your book! We know you’ll have a tonne of success with your new projects and adventures and hope to catch up with you in person again soon for some PLAY!!
Aussies.. you can WIN a copy of Darryl’s amazing new book!!
Head here for all the info and good luck!
What happens when 3 modern cave-people who like good food, natural movement and spending time in nature get together and plan a weekend of fun for a group of people?
10 people, 2 nights out in the country, camping in tents, surrounded by bush and wildlife, eating delicious healthy food and playing…
Otherwise known as the Paleo Camping Retreat 2015!
The 3 all-things-primal-loving hosts:
Me – Aimee Clark
Dan Barrett the Aussie Paleo Chef
Where was this unique event held?
Well what better location than the beautiful Sunshine Coast, just past the hinterland, in the country town of Kenilworth.
And we bet you’re wondering how an event like this came about in the first place?
Well late last year we caught up with Dan the Aussie Paleo Chef from Canberra while he was in Brissie for a cooking event. We all got along like a house on fire and became instant good friends. A couple weeks later he invited us to host a camping retreat with him, incorporating all the things we love and are passionate about. We took all of about 10 seconds to ponder the offer and give our response of… Hell yes!
How could we turn down as opportunity like that, when it was something we’d already wished we could do ourselves but knew we needed another awesome primal team member to actually make it happen?!
So it was official, we were going to host a Paleo Camping Retreat! Woo!
We set the date for 1-3 May and worked hard to plan the event and get lots of great sponsors on board. The week leading up was exciting, Dan was flying up on the Thursday, it started raining in the region over the middle of the week and then when Dan was on the plane flying up Thursday morning, we spoke to the owner of the property the retreat was being held at who told us there was going to be some serious flooding come Friday. So we made the sad decision to cancel the retreat. Boo! Poor Dan found out as soon as he landed!
We told our campers the bad news, sat down and worked out a new date… July!! A couple more months to wait, we could do that…
It was hard waiting, again! But eventually mid-July rolled around, Dan was back up here and it was actually going to happen. It did rain a little during the week, of course, but nowhere near as much as last time thank goodness! Mother Nature just had to tease us didn’t she!
We spent Friday setting up the camp at the private Kenilworth property, with the day not going quite to plan and Clint ended up having to drive all around the Coast trying to collect food and other items, and didn’t get back to the campsite till late in the afternoon when our 7 campers were arriving. So Day 1 was a bit of a shemozzle but we got there. We helped our campers who were bringing their own gear set up their tents and beds, and had tents and beds set up for the others. We had already started a fire to get coals happening for the Roo Tail Stew Dan was cooking up for dinner. Our campers arrived to a nice smoky sunny welcome.. the best way to start a camping weekend!
Because our day had gone way off track, we didn’t get to sit down and properly welcome everyone until late, and no one felt like doing much that evening, so we sat around the fire, waited for dinner and started to get to know each other.
What a great bunch of people we had… 5 adults, some Clint and I already knew, some we didn’t, and 2 teens created a diverse and interesting group of campers. Dan was looking forward to meeting everyone for the first time.
The stew for dinner was delicious, and really healthy, full of fresh organic produce supplied by Garry at Sunshine Organics, with local kangaroo tail supplied by a local chef and farmer. Then everyone was treated to paleo marshmallows to toast over the fire! One camper in particular, Shannon, told me she was so excited about these, even having a dream about them that night! She said she’d loved marshies growing up and was so happy to find a really healthy version of them. I was stoked to hear that of course!
The sky was a little cloudy so star gazing wasn’t an option but this cloud cover meant we’d be enjoying a warm night in our tents.
Us hosts were up at 6am to get a big cooked brekkie happening and slowly our campers started rising. Actually some took a little longer to get themselves up and out of their snugly warm sleeping bags, so I decided to walk around yelling loudly, threatening to eat all the fried eggs, bacon and sausages if they didn’t hurry up haha, that got ‘em up!
We boiled some water on the fire so folks could make a hot cuppa for themselves. We had Montville Coffee, Planet Organics teas and chocolate to choose from. As well as delicious raw and cinnamon creamed honey from Hello Honey Australia, and creamy coconut caramel and chocolate spreads from Niulife to create some magic in a mug. YUM! Along with the cooked goodies, and paleo granola from Analuca, brekkie sure was a feast!
We needed by be ready and raring to go by 8:30am for our guided Bush Tucker Tour with the property owner Graeme of Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Consulting. He walked us around his land and educated us about native bush foods. At that time of the year there’s not a lot of fruit available so he bought out some frozen foods for us to try on top of the few things we found on the walk. Some were sweet while some were sour. Ok I lie, most were sour! Bush foods are very rarely sweet, most have a tart flavour. Although strangely enough the Finger Limes that were fruiting all over about 3 bushes near our tents were actually quite sweet. A few of us were squeezing the ‘caviar’ out and sucking it down.. not what we’d expected. We expected to be pulling fish faces! So that was a nice, and tasty, surprise. I was stoked so many Finger Limes were available because I was using them in my Gelatin Demo that day.
After the educational start to the day, we served up morning tea with some Cave Foods and At One bars, Analuca trail mix, gelatin lollies made by me, nice cold Coconut Groove coconut water, and tea/coffee.
Next I gave my Gelatin Demo to a few eager beavers wanting to learn about gelatin, it’s benefits and how to use it. I made Finger Lime Panna Cotta (find the paleo panna cotta recipe here) which was for dessert that night. Those not watching had some free-range time to chill out. Some played, some read, some walked. Graeme stayed for the demo and was interested to see how bush foods can be used for healthy paleo dishes, yay, spreading the paleo love!
Clint was keen to get everyone up and moving after lunch so he took a Primal Play Workshop, teaching games and movements to help get the body and the mind working while improving fitness and having fun. Stick throwing/catching, medicine ball throwing/catching, Up Down No Hands, crawling, wrestling, tiggy, combo’s, it was a great mix of movements. Most campers hadn’t ever done that sort of thing before and one in particular, Nicole, got up and gave wrestling a go with Clint. She really stepped out of her comfort zone which was great to see!
One of Clint’s favourite challenges to set is Facing the Flinch. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation to build tolerance and comfort level. His challenge this time was for us to jump into the freezing cold creek!!
Yes, it really happened, most of us did actually take a dip! It was so invigorating and another confidence-building exercise which is always a positive thing. I remember trying to walk out of the creek onto the bank and found it really hard.. my legs were going numb haha that was sure an interesting experience!
After that chilly activity we got changed, warmed up by the fire and watched Dan get dinner ready. We were looking forward to Eumundi Beef topside and veggies roasted in the camp oven, followed by Finger Lime Panna Cotta I’d made earlier.
The pumpkin may have ended up a little mushy in the camp oven, but it didn’t bother anyone, overall the meal was delicious and followed by the panna cotta and more marshmallows, after which we walked to another part of the property away from the firelight to star gaze and chat, and it was a pretty good night really!
Camper Ross, a talented photographer, set his camera up overnight and captured these beautiful shots of the stars…
Check out Ross’s other amazing photos here
The final day of the retreat <sniff>. The campers woke seeming happier and more relaxed which was great to see.
We wrangled up brekkie for them, of eggs, bacon, sausages, Dan’s amazing tomato sauce, granola and whatever goodies were left in the camp kitchen!
After brekkie we took some time to wander around the property, enjoying the sunshine and warmer temp. Some spent time sitting by the creek, some picked more bush foods and some played.
We really wanted to pack as much fun into the last day as we could, so Clint set the Slackline up between a couple of trees and let everyone have a go.
Playtime ended and we decided to have a bite to eat before we had to pack up camp. A few of us foraged in the bushes for leaves to use for tea and came up with Nettle, Lemon Myrtle and Aniseed Myrtle. Boiled up and strained, the flavour was amazing! Even our bush tucker guide Graeme gave it double thumbs up!
Fresh tea plus some snacks for the road, we ensured our campers had full bellies before they left to travel home.
Shannon, who writes the blog Eat Well Travel Often, actually made a video of herself doing something outside of her comfort zone… trying the bush foods tea and eating roasted crickets! Check out her video here
One of the downsides of camping would have to be the packing up part! Even though us hosts wanted to take care of most of that for our guests everyone chipped in and helped, so it didn’t take long at all. The trickiest part was folding the pop-up ensuites! But Clint working in a camping store is well practiced so he showed Dan and Shannon the technique!
Once the campers were all packed and ready to go we organised one last activity… a Forest Therapy meditation session.
We all sat by the creek while I took a guided visualisation meditation using nature around us, to really relax and rejuvenate the group. It’s the perfect way to use the healing properties of nature to the fullest and something we enjoy teaching to people whenever we can.
That, sadly, concluded the first ever Paleo Camping Retreat on the Sunshine Coast! Our campers then said their goodbyes, to us and each other, and off they went back home to their regular lives.. but hopefully feeling happier and healthier from a great few days in the hinterland.
We think they enjoyed the retreat if the feedback they shared afterwards is anything to go by…
We want to thank all of our open-minded and lovely campers and all of our amazingly generous and helpful sponsors, you all helped make the first Paleo Camping Retreat a success and yes, there will be another!
We’re currently planning another retreat for Autumn 2016. If you’re interested in coming along, register your details here.
The sponsor list:
Walker Farm Foods, Sunshine Coast Spring Water, Hello Honey, RumblesPaleo, Wippells Organic, Cave Foods, Sherwood Rd Organic Meats, At One, Planet Organic, Natural Evolution Foods, Analuca, Evolution Screenprinting, Ecology Skincare, Tassie Tallow, Niulife, Broth of Life, Primal Collective, Coconut Groove, Noosa Basics, Griffin Jerky, Emmely Rackemann Health Coaching, Eumundi Beef, Montville Coffee, Sunshine Organics
To purchase your own bush foods starter kit for your garden, or to organise a tour for a school/community group, contact Graeme at Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Consulting here.
We hope to see YOU at the Paleo Camping Retreat 2016 here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast!!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
.. 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…
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.
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)
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?!
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!
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.
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! 😉
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>