Family WildTime Camp adventures

The very first Family WildTime Camp event was held 31 June – 2 July 2017 on the Sunshine Coast, and it was absolutely fantastic!

We’d worked with our co-host Carly from Natureweavers previously and we all knew we just had to  organise a sleep-over version of what we all do and love with our regular services and programs. So we made it happen!

The goal was to provide families with a true nature camping experience, including some ‘wild’ elements with the environment around and the activities, plus some ‘luxury’ by doing all the cooking, washing and organising for them so it was an ‘easy’ camping trip for them and they could get the most out of the workshops and time there.

On the Friday afternoon we welcomed 16 campers to our semi-wild space camp facility in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland, helping them set up their tents and bedding, sat their camp chairs around the fire pit, showed them around the property and kicked off the activities with Clint’s Primal Play Class for the kids to join in on.

Because it’s Winter the sun set fairly early so dinner time crept up quickly. We were a little late getting the roast chickens from Cotton Tree Meats and veggies into the camp ovens but when dinner did finally come campers had a selection of plain roast chicken meat or freshly picked lemon myrtle flavoured, alongside a variety of hearty Winter veggies.

 

Dessert, of course, was marshmallows! And because the food element of this event was themed around ‘healthy and simple’ eating, the ingredients used were Paleo-friendly meaning this usually ‘naughty’ fun camping treat was actually healthy! Bonus!

The kids had earlier searched for the perfect marshmallow stick so were well equipped for optimal toasting and eating!

 

Some campers were tired after a big day of driving and playing so they hopped into their cosy beds in their tents while a few stayed up to chat around the fire. The fire area is where some really fantastic conversations are had and connections are made – a hugely important element to any camping trip.

Saturday morning campers bellies were filled with beautiful campfire-cooked foods including bacon and eggs from Piggy in the Middle , cooked veggies and yummy Eclipse Organics Paleo muesli with coconut milk, raw Hum Honey drizzled on and some fresh fruit. Oh and of course plenty of hot coffee, tea and hot chocolates were made!

 

Everyone all fueled up, the sun shining, Carly and Tanya took the kids for a nature adventure where they learned how to make fire and build cubby houses!

While the kids were off having fun the adults were invited to join in on Clint’s Natural Fitness Class where he introduced them to a variety of natural human movement activities and fun games. Our littlest camper Tilly also joined in, being held by mum Madeleine during some of the activities, as well as Clint, and giggled throughout the Pool Noodle Jumping games! It was so cute, and everyone had a lot of fun moving and playing.

 

Trying new games like those played in the class can be daunting for some adults, whose perception of adult play and also their own capabilities being quite limited, but every parent got in there and had a go. With the laughter I could hear from the kitchen and the smiles on faces as they walked down the hill after class, Clint’s goal of ensuring everyone had a great time was achieved!

Before the kids were due back we utilised that time for the parents and gave them the opportunity to learn some healthy camp meal ideas, getting stuck into Paleo Burger Making which would be everyone’s lunch.

Each person helped with preparing the different elements of the burgers, including making melting ‘cheese’, Paleo mayo, slicing up the salad ingredients, stacking the huge cos lettuce leaves (used as buns), slicing the Paleo Rolls buns and cooking the Highbrit Beef patties over coals so everything was laid out and ready to assemble as desired come lunchtime.

It wasn’t a sneaky ploy of mine to have the campers make lunch as one less meal for me to do, but it was nice having others chip in to get it done and enjoying the process as well.

The small tribe still weren’t back and the parents realised it was the perfect chance to feast before having to worry about their kids’ meals. Smart thinking! They made their burgers, dug in, and finished eating just in time for the kids’ return.

Then the littlies tucked into goodies and everyone was fed and happy!

For an hour or so it was then ‘free-range’ time; campers could do whatever they felt like.

Some of the kids played in the creek, some explored the bushes around the camp area, some made up games to play with each other, and adults chatted, napped and relaxed.

 

 

 

The day wasn’t over though, there was still plenty more fun to be had!

Tanya held a fantastic Lantern Making Workshop where the kids and their parents could sit together in a shady part of the property and learn how to make beautiful lanterns using simple household items. A great way to recycle, work together, and use creativity and imagination.

Later the fiinished creations were hung from trees with tea light candles placed inside so they could be seen come nightfall.

 

That morning’s Fire Making adventures had been really successful so now it was time for the kids to show their parents what they’d learned about making fire and keeping it going.

Carly chatted to the parents about what this activity was all about, the benefits, the challenges, and the parents were able to see it firsthand.

Some frustration and impatience were noticeable but one of the main points was to allow the kids to work through and overcome these emotions.

All of them achieved fire, eventually! Yay!

And they were excited to be able to toast a marshmallow or two on the fire they created! What an exciting moment!

 

Of course, while all this was happening, dinner was being made and we knew it was going to be a cold night so we wanted to ensure campers had a big plate of hot food and mugs of hot drinks to warm them up.

Oh and a toasty fire to sit by too!

On the menu on Saturday night was Cotton Tree Meats grass-fed diced lamb with veggies cooked in the camp ovens for a few hours to become nice and soft and mushy.

Marshmallows were enjoyed again (not too many, they are made of honey and too much sugar right before bed is not fun!)

 

 

A very cold start to Sunday saw early risers heading straight for the jugs of boiled water at the drink station to make hot drinks to warm up with, as well as congregating around the fire egging Clint on to make it bigger!

Hands were warmed, brekkie was had, hot chocolates with marshmallows were downed, bellies were filled with food, and a morning full of activities was about to begin…

Carly and Tanya took the kids for another nature adventure where they explored the area just outside of the property, identifying useful plants, and becoming more aware of their natural surroundings.

The parents stuck around to learn about all the bushfoods in season at the time, being able to forage for and taste them, ask questions, and get ideas for native edible plants they could perhaps grow at home.

We’re very lucky to have access to this beautiful property that just happens to be covered in bush tucker plants thanks to the owner who’s a local bush tucker guru.

The group found and tried Lilly Pilly, Finger Limes, Wild Currants, Lemon Myrtle, Aniseed Myrtle and a few greens as well. Unique and interesting flavours and a unique and interesting experience!

To round off the activities, the parents then were able to benefit from some Forest Therapy and a Rock Stacking Mindfulness Workshop at the creek. Forest Therapy is basically about using all of our senses, preferably in a forest setting, to absorb a huge dose of earthing and healing from nature to greatly benefit our health. It’s also a form of meditation without actually ‘meditating’ as it’s typically performed, and it’s time-out to unwind and de-stress from our busy lives.

Once everyone felt calm and relaxed the rock stacking activity was for them to stack rocks however they desired and then to look back over the whole experience noticing their thoughts and behaviours. Not to judge or try to change those thoughts and actions, but to simply recognise them and get to know themselves better – how they handle challenging situations, how they go about achieving tasks set out for them, what their attitude is, and how they find joy. Awareness is key.

Each person approached the activity differently and it was really insightful to hear their thoughts about that afterwards.

It was a lovely way to end the weekend and as if on cue, the kids ran back just as we finished!

 

Then it was time to pack up <sniff>  so we could hold a Closing Circle around the fire, where we drank some freshly brewed billy bushfoods tea, Carly gave out small gifts to the kids, and we thanked everyone for coming along to the first ever Family WildTime Camp.

Wow, what a weekend! Even though we experienced a few ticks and ant bites, dirt, dropped gooey marshmallows, and cold nights… everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Phew! And hey, that’s bush camping right?!

We hope our campers have implemented some of what they learned throughout those days into their regular lives and noticing changes and benefits. We sure learned a lot and are grateful for the experience, especially meeting so many wonderful people and being able to bring them to this beautiful space and enjoy a stack of nature for a few days.

If you liked the sound of this event and would like to attend one in the future simply register to Primal E-news to stay up to date with all of our nature-based events and activities. And feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to connect with you!

A HUGE thank you to all of our amazing sponsors (mentioned above) who kindly supplied us with top quality food and products, plus Sunshine Coast Spring Water for our delicious drinking water!

Also, thank you to our helper Sarah who gave a lot of valuable time with the cooking and washing.

And thank you to Carly (and Tanya) from Natureweavers for all of your magic! Clint and I love you!

Aimee (and Clint!) x
Nature-based Health, Fitness + Food Coaching

Primal Influence

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Fun on the farm and learning about Biodynamics

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.

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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.

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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?!

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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.

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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:

  1. Really fun and interesting farm tour  meetups
  2. Spending time with lovely people at our meetups
  3. There being so many quality food producers on the Sunshine Coast
  4. Paleo Turkish Delight (lol)
  5. Sunny days spent outdoors

 

Paleo Meetup Fun: Farm Tour at Hinterland Feijoas

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Time for some fun on the farm!

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.

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“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!

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Rows of feijoas

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.

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Sally educating us on this unique fruit. Photo by Montage Moments http://www.facebook.com/mons.montage.moments/?fref=ts

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Clint just wants to chomp on this giant feijoa but it’s too old to be good eating

 

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It’s an interesting fruit to touch and smell

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Off we go to see the actual fruiting trees

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Fruit a plenty on this tree

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Peter explaining how they prune back the trees, when and why in order to get the most out of them

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Even the kids got into it

 

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It sure is an interesting fruit to grow and our members listened carefully to Peter explaining the processes 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?!

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Perfect picnic spot

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Tara and Andrew get comfy on the lounge while Aimee catches up with Sally

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Plenty of yummy food for everyone

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Ladies lunching!

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Paleo Choc Mint Slice thanks to Alyce… yummo!

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Spoilt with a heap of At One bars thanks to Tara and Andrew! http://www.facebook.com/AtOneFoods

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Sweet potato pancakes and iced Hibiscus Thyme tea thanks to Monika and fluffy moist muffins make by Janelle

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Paleo picnic food galore! What a feast!

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Sampling the feijoa goodies and stocking up to take plenty home

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Peter and Monika having a chin wag

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Twinkle Toes entertained the kids (and big kids!)

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As did the horse!

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…

Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble

PLUM PINE & FEIJOA CRUMBLE

Stewed fruit:

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.

Crumble topping:

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!

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Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble 2

 

Enjoy!

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

Just how did the first ever Paleo Camping Retreat go?

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?

This!

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!

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2015 Paleo Camping Retreat campers and hosts – Primal A Team!

The 3 all-things-primal-loving hosts:

Me – Aimee Clark

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Clint Bauer

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Dan Barrett the Aussie Paleo Chef

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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.

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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!

Day 1:

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!

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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!

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Browning the roo tail pieces on the fire

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Only lanterns and fire for light – such relaxing ambiance

Hot stew, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and a fire to warm us up

Hot stew, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and a fire to warm us up

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.

Day 2:

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!

Shannon enjoying a hot cuppa first thing

Shannon enjoying a hot cuppa first thing

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.

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The bush tucker tour and chat begins

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Picking bush foods right off the plant

Native berries are often have very striking colours

Native berries often have very striking colours

Can't remember what this fruit was called but it was actually really sweet and tasty

Can’t remember what this fruit was called but it was actually really sweet and tasty

Bush foods for us to try

Bush foods for us to try

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Native Aussie foods are typically sour and tart as opposed to sweet, and these two aren’t quite sure what they think of this fruit!

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.

Healthy snacks for morning tea

Healthy snacks for morning tea

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!

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A game of Hip Tiggy gets the heart rate up and the laughter started

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Tog O War is fantastic for all-over strengthening

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Getting some coordination training in with throwing and catching a stick

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Weighted throwing and catching using a medicine ball (or a rock) is great too

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Tiggy through the camp ground!

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We moved to where the ants weren’t around and tried our hand at crawling

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Crab walking (or inverted crawling) plus a game of Crab Grab is hard but fun!

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Wrestling and rough-housing is natural for humans yet so many of us stop doing it past childhood, or never even did it during that time

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Nicole stepped outside her comfort zone and had a wrestle with Clint. We saw her confidence soar after that activity!

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!!

Putting on brave faces while Facing the Flinch in the cold 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.

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The sun is setting and a fire brings a bit of light while Chef Dan chats about what’s on the menu for dinner

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YUM! Roast beef, veggies and paleo sausages!

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The campers dig into the night’s mighty feast

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!

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Toasting marshmallows over the fire

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Then scoffing them down!

Camper Ross, a talented photographer, set his camera up overnight and captured these beautiful shots of the stars…

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Star trail

Can’t see stars like this in the city!

Check out Ross’s other amazing photos here

Day 3:

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!

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Happy and refreshed campers

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The last of the Walker Farm Foods pastured eggs cooked up over the fire.. deeelish!

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.

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Spotted! We wandered off for some free-range time while the sun was shining and came across a kangaroo hopping through the property

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View through the trees and smoke haze

Dan and Clint doing some primal movement after brekkie

Dan and Clint doing some primal movement after brekkie

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.

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Looking ahead toward the end of the slackline is a good tip for keeping balanced and moving forward

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Nicole again doing something completely new and receiving lots of encouragement from others

Shannon's turn

Shannon’s turn

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!

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Freshly picked and brewed bush tucker tea

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Tea maker extraordinaire..!

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

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Anne enjoying the ‘Classic’ jerky thanks to our friends at Griffin Jerky

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!

Hold your tongue in just the right spot and it's easy to fold up these things..!

Hold your tongue in just the right spot and it’s easy to fold up these things..!

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.

The ideal spot for some Forest Therapy

The ideal spot for some Forest Therapy

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…

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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:

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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

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To stay up to date with what Dan the Aussie Paleo Chef is creating in the kitchen, follow him on Facebook here and next time you’re in Canberra be sure to visit his cafe Elemental for a bite to eat!

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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.

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We hope to see YOU at the Paleo Camping Retreat 2016 here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast!!

Aimee x

Drive out to the country, come home with local bush tucker to try!

Last week I saw a couple of Facebook posts showing photos of Bunya Nuts being opened and eaten. I knew they were native to this region, and I really wanted to get one! Part of the paleo lifestyle to us is eating local foods when possible; living more sustainably. A step past that is eating foods that are native to our area and foraged for in the wild.

So my mission was to find and try a bunya nut!

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dirt roads often lead to paradise

On Saturday afternoon we headed to the country to meet with a bush tucker man. As we made our way further into the hills towards his house, driving along dirt roads, we spotted 3 bunya nuts on the road ahead of us. Of course I told Clint to stop the car so I could grab one. I wasn’t greedy, I just picked one up. It was huge! And spiky, and heavy.. these things only form at the very top of bunya trees, so if one so happened to fall on your head while standing below you’d certainly know about it. Or, maybe not, cos there’s a good chance it’d knock you out pretty quickly, or worse…!

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Bunya nuts on the ground. Notice they’re larger than a man’s boot!

So we drove off with a giant, green, spiky, round thing rolling around in the tray of the ute and arrived at our destination.

While we chatted to the local bush tucker fella we were lucky enough to be given a few native foods including a type of bush lime which look similar to regular limes but are sticky on the outside, and not juicy when opened, plus some finger limes, and aniseed leaves straight from the tree. More goodies to experiment with in the kitchen!

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finger lime tree

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fresh finger limes

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Aniseed tree

 

 

Next we drove to a nearby creek so he could show us more of the area and on the way we spotted a few more bunya nuts on the ground. Our guide suggested we grab them so they get used, as the feral deer and pigs would get stuck into them anyway, so we placed an opened nut and a whole nut in the tray along with another whole one and off we went.

It was a great afternoon chatting to an incredibly knowledgeable bloke and spending time out in the country. I could easily do that every weekend actually!

When we got home that evening I got straight to playing with the haul of bunya nuts. I grabbed the open one and saw how easy it was to extract the individual seeds. I had some idea what to do with them, thanks to advice from our new friend, but to have a better understanding I Google’d “how to cook bunya nuts” and came across a few pages with images and clear instructions.

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Ok so now what?!

 

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Getting stuck into them now, de-seeding, and trying not to make a huge mess!

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Seeds removed from 2 nuts and 4 containers are filled with foliage!

 

 

The seeds are rock hard so a common way to prepare them is to boil for 45 mins to an hour. This allows the pointy end of the casing to split open and also the flesh inside to soften. I’ve since found boiling for an hour or more is best, after my first attempt of only around 45 mins meant I was using a pair of pliers from Clint’s new toolbox to cut the skin off, peeling it back with my fingers, and leaving me with very sore fingers indeed! That was a mission! Luckily boiling for over an hour makes the peeling process a lot easier.

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Boiling the seeds for an hour or more

Once the seeds have cooled a little I use a sharp knife to cut down where the split is toward the larger end of the seed then I can scrape out the yellow bit running along the middle of the flesh (which is apparently toxic) and also the flesh itself. Throw the shell away and you’re left with a soft yellowy-brown flesh that tastes like nutty potato! It’s actually really mourish, and totally not what you’d expect the flavour and texture to be when you first see the nut in it’s whole state.

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Seeds are cool enough to handle and a sharp knife is needed

 

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Seeds opened and flesh removed

The flesh can then be eaten as is, warm or cold, or it can be mashed or even made into pesto. I made mash blended with ghee and Himalayan salt. DEEELISH!

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The good bit!

 

It’s a very starchy food so the mash is a little ‘gluey’ but after two lots of it I haven’t felt any heaviness in my stomach like I would with sweet potato or potato, and it’s very filling for a long time without causing the carb crash.

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Bunya Mash! A little lumpy, definitely not the same as potato, but really tasty anyway

 

Apparently the seeds sweeten more when they’ve been left in the fridge for a couple of months and they also freeze well. So I have a bag of them in the freezer to use for a Paleo Weekend Camping Retreat event in April this year, because they’ll be out of season then and I want to show people this interesting and unique food during the event!

What did we do with the other bush tucker foods we gathered that day?

Well the round limes were used in paleo Panna Cotta but the first experiment wasn’t successful, maybe due to the type of coconut milk used, so I’ll try another brand I actually prefer using and see how that turns out.

The finger limes are still yet to be used but I’d like to do a slow cooked lime and honey chicken.

The aniseed leaves are currently drying out to be crushed and stored for tea.

How would I sum up our new bush tucker gathering and cooking experience?

Well.. there’s definitely a kind of satisfaction and gratification that comes with finding food, doing what needs to be done to make it edible, then cooking and eating it. Finding native food, out where it naturally grows, in the wild, with absolutely no alteration from a human hand or machine is really special. I think though you’d need to experience it personally to really understand.

It’s not only nourishing in a physical sense – eating wild, unprocessed and non-toxic foods – but also in an emotional and spiritual sense; a feeling of being more connected to nature and the earth by taking something directly from it, eating it, being nourished by it and appreciating where it came from.

Especially when a bunya nut falls from only a very tall and old tree, that’s a special thing!

If we had to go through this process with everything we ate, in this day and age, we’d all certainly have a much greater appreciation for our food. Farmers are amazing. And so were our ancestors who hunted and gathered for survival.

Going into a shop and buying food already harvested, shipped, processed and packaged just isn’t the same. There’s no connection between us and where that food came from. And I think that’s a huge problem in the world these days. Meeting a farmer and seeing where our food comes from is one thing (and a very positive thing at that!) but actually finding your own food in the wild is a totally unique and special experience.

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Into the wilderness

 

Unfortunately it’s not something we can easily do in this day and age, even if more of us wanted to. The land around us is mostly owned by the government. Well, they say it’s ‘public land’, the national parks and state forests, but the public are so limited as to how they can actually use it. So it’s really not our land anymore, sadly.

Any time Clint and I can forage in the wild is a time we are truly grateful to have. I hope we get to experience this more in the future. And I hope people all over the world get to experience this often. We can dream anyway!

Thanks for reading about our recent bush tucker adventure! We’d love to hear about the wild and native plants and foods you gather and use, so feel free to tell us!

Aimee

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. trying and enjoying bush tucker like bunya nuts

2. days spent in the country

3. the rain today giving life to my garden

4. all the amazing events we have planned this year

5. good people in our life

 

 

Our almost-totally-paleo meetup group camping trip!

One of our fave things is camping. We love it. We’d pack up and be permanent campers if we could! We have our dream 4×4/roof-top tent set up in our minds and it’s a very nice sight! And we’d love nothing more than to spend our days traveling all around Australia and exploring this amazing country.

But until that’s an option, we’ll settle for exploring the region we live in. And it certainly ain’t bad! The Sunny Coast is surrounded by varieties of scenery and camping options. Because we host the Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meetup Group we thought why not organise a meetup camping trip?! So we did!

Unfortunately out of all the members who initially said they were keen, very few could actually come the weekend we had to plan it for. But that’s ok, a few did come and it was a super fun weekend!

We headed to Kenilworth Homestead about an hour’s drive from the middle of the Sunny Coast. Clint and I took my mum along who hadn’t camped since she was a youngster. She was a bit apprehensive about it but she had a great time! We knew she’d enjoy a few days out in the country!

 

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the view as we arrived at the camp ground

The other campers were .. a friend and her 2 boys, and a friend and workmate of Clint’s with her daughter. It was a great bunch of people; friendly, fun, open, not-afraid-of-nature which always helps when camping! The friend and her two kids hadn’t been camping before so it was great to share that new experience with them and they all seemed to have a really good time. So yay!

We’d decided to make it an almost-totally-paleo weekend, with the exception of beverages. Ie. alcohol! Clint and I enjoy drinking alcohol when we occasionally get to go camping and we knew mum would want to take some wine, while Clint’s colleague would have some alcoholic drinks with her too. So that was fine and we totally succeeded with the food side of things! Brekkie, lunch, dinner, snacks.. everything was paleo-friendly.

Here’s some pics of where we camped…

 

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campsite set up and ready to go

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mist over the hills

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sun and mist rise together in the morning

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the old homestead

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dew on the web

 

It wasn’t only cool to have a weekend away, eating good food but not having to worry about how ‘crappy’ (literally!) you’re going to feel the days following. It was also great to be spending time out in the country, with gorgeous sunrises, misty mountain views, the smell of fresh air, green grass to play on, creeks to explore in, no computer and TV to create distraction, gorgeous sunsets and the smell of a camp fire going.

<sigh> bliss!

We definitely enjoyed eating well and here’s some pics of what we took along and created that weekend…

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Clint gets the fire ready

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brekkie day 2: free-range bacon, pastured eggs, goat cheese and avocado

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local sweet and juicy pineapple, yum!

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brekkie day 1: paleo-friendly wraps with bacon, egg and avocado

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Egg-free wrap for Aimee’s mum, with tomato, bacon, avocado and goat cheese

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getting coals ready for tonight’s camp oven dinner

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love a crackling fire at night

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and camp oven meals! roast chicken in one and veggies in the other, yay!

 

So the food so far looks alright hey! For lunch on the second day we actually ate paleo sausages and jaffa panna cotta!! Why not?! You can do that when you’re camping!

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paleo sausages. so simple and so good

Apart from eating, which is obviously a great part of camping, there’s also plenty of time for fun, games, exploring, relaxing and we all did all of that!

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Clint pretending to throw Georgia in the creek

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Larissa taking time out to catch up on some reading

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Clint slacklining. There wasn’t two suitable trees nearby so the bullbar came in handy!

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Georgia practiced a lot and kept getting better and better

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Now Larissa’s turn!

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Exploring the creek nearby; skimming rocks, wading, walking… re-naturing!

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Beautiful flower on a fierce-looking thistle plant along the riverbed

 

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Just sitting, chilling, smiling.. how camping should be!

 

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Magical sunset ending a fun second day

We did try and not have our phones on us 24/7 so there’s not a photo of every meal we had but they were all definitely paleo-friendly and delicious. Nothing beats a camp oven roast, tea and coffee using a billy over the fire, bacon and eggs cooked on a gas stove, good company, beautiful scenery and being surrounded by nature.

When was the last time you went camping?

Have you ever attempted to do it paleo? If you haven’t yet but want to, now you know it’s definitely do-able.

Tell us about your paleo camping trips, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint & Aimee

 

5 things we’re grateful for today:

1. the rain on the garden

2. going camping

3. good friends

4. healing gelatin

5. each other