Recipe: Paleo Turkish Delight

Have you switched over to Paleo or generally cleaner eating and are missing certain ‘junk’ foods you used to eat regularly? Say, some particular chocolate bars? I sometimes do.

One of my old favourites was the Fry’s Turkish Delight! Or really good, authentic Turkish Delight pieces I’d find occasionally at cafe’s and foodie festivals/markets coated in sugar powder. <drool>

And would you agree a lot of Paleo/healthy swaps just don’t taste as good as the original version? I find it a lot; with breads and cakes, candy, all types of foods – often the taste or texture is off slightly, or even no where near. It’s not the end of the world of course, but it would be nice to get closer to the original version of some fave foods and memories.

Well.. I’m happy to announce my healthier version of Turkish Delight certainly comes very close to the Fry’s version I used to enjoy so much! Yay!

I’m giving you my recipe so you too can enjoy this yumminess, with both the way of coating it in chocolate (Paleo, or close to it, depending on what chocolate you use) like the Fry’s product, or in arrowroot (definitely Paleo) to replace the powdered sugar. Let me know what you think!

turkish delight choc

TURKISH DELIGHT

For the actual lolly you’ll need:

2 cups pomegranite juice (try to find one that’s organic or at least pure with nothing added)

2 tsbp rose water (check Asian stores and health food stores for this)

Raw honey to sweeten (quantity is up to you, with there being pomegranite juice in this recipe you may find you don’t wish to include honey at all)

4 tbsp pure grass-fed beef gelatin powder (grab some here)

The method:

  1. Pour pomegranite juice into a saucepan on the stove withOUT turning the heat on
  2. Gently sprinkle the gelatin powder over the surface of the juice, evenly
  3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so the gelatin granules absorb the liquid and soften, or “bloom”
  4. Once softened turn the stove on to medium-high heat and use a whisk to stir until granules of gelatin have completely dissolved
  5. Turn the heat off but while the liquid is still hot add honey if you’re using it, and rose water then stir to combine
  6. Pour into a square or rectangle container, oven tray etc, something that’s flat and doesn’t have grooves or funny edges, so you can later on cut the set slice into squares or cubes. Or transfer liquid to a jug then pour into moulds. I used a long oven bread tin for mine which is non-stick and has flat sides and bottom, making it perfect for this type of recipe
  7. Set in the fridge for a few hours until the mixture feels firm to touch
  8. Gently remove from the mould/tray/container by pressing around the entire edge with your finger to seperate from the side of the container then turn upside down, hold close to your kitchen bench or chopping board then you should see the ‘jelly slice’ start to come out of the container. Watch it closely and guide it out as needed so it doesn’t break
  9. Use a flat blade knife to cut to size (even-sized squares for example)

Now you have a basic Paleo Turkish Delight! Have a taste, do you get that nice, familar hit of rose water? It’s so good!

 

Here’s how you can create either a choc coated or powder coated version… 

Chocolate Coated

You’ll need:

1 block plain paleo/primal/healthy-as-possible chocolate (I used the new Coles brand 70% dark chocolate because it’s dairy and soy-free) melted

OR

Make your own chocolate using cacao butter, organic cocoa powder, raw honey to sweeten, pure vanilla and melted coconut oil

Method:

  1. Let the chocolate mixture cool in a large container (large enough to get your hand into easily with some room to move around) but not to the point it’s becoming lumpy or re-setting then gently place Turkish Delight piece into the container to coat thinly with chocolate
  2. Place each piece onto a sheet of baking paper that’s on a chilled board or flat plate of some kind that’s been in the fridge or freezer. This will help the underside of each piece set quicker and prevent you losing more chocolate coating than necessary on the baking paper!
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge (if it lasts that long!!)

This version may not be technically “Paleo” depending on the chocolate you use. Cane sugar isn’t classed as Paleo but I personally don’t mind consuming it occassionally. I’d rather use a chocolate that had coconut sugar though.

 

Powder Coated

turkish delight powder

You’ll need:

1/2 – 3/4 cup arrowroot powder

Optional: 1 tsp pure vanilla powder

Method:

  1. Sprinkle half the arrowoot on a board or late plate
  2. Gently place each piece of Turkish Delight on the board/plate then turn over. Use your fingers held out together and flat to pat each side to remove excess arrowroot leaving you with an even coating on each side. I find if you don’t try to pat the excess away and you coat each surface the taste overpowers the actual gummy; a thin layer on the top and bottom seems to be plenty
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge but keep in mind the moisture may absorb into the arrowroot, reducing it’s powdery-ness.

Now you have a version of Turkish Delight similar to that found in cafes and at markets with that classic and famililar powder coating!

You can probably store either in a container in the pantry, but keep in mind there is BEEF in there, it may not last long outside of the fridge before going ‘off’.

I hope you enjoy whichever version you make! Let me know how you go and what you think!

Oh and before I go, my message is never “you should eat strict Paleo all the time” because I certainly don’t! I believe we each need to find a happy balance with what we eat and how we live. So if you feel like having the ‘junk’ version of Turkish Delight.. then do it! Own it and enjoy it.

However, for those times you feel like a healthy option then now you have one 🙂

That’s all the wisdom I have for you for today..!

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. gelatin and how it helps me heal
  2. getting sun today for over 30mins
  3. a good catchup with Chris this morning
  4. Eric Church songs
  5. Spotting whales yesterday

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

ournatural bathroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

makeup1

My makeup tray

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

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

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

olive oil 1

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

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

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

makeup9

My non-makeup skincare collection

makeup10

Ecology Skincare creams are really fluffy and soft

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

makeup14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

makeup2

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

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

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

makeup12

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

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

makeup8

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

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

makeup3

makeup4

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

makeup6

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

makeup5

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

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

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

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

Bye for now!

Aimee x

Become a Movement Hunter

Movement.  It’s what we have a brain for and it’s fundamentally who we are.

Without movement we’re dead.

movement evolution

And with very little good movement and so much time spent being sedentary and in poor posture, we’re sick, injured, sore and tired.

laziness

So, if this is the case, why do so many people have such a hard time getting movement into their day and week?  Why is the world around us setting us up with opportunities and means to do less movement than ever before?  One thing I know for sure is it’s making us sicker and weaker.  Sure our overall life expectancy has risen, humans are living longer, but what kind of life is it if we struggle to move our body in the most basic of ways?  I’ve decided I am definitely not going to go down the path of limited movement and becoming decrepit when I’m in my older years.  I’ve made a conscious choice to  take control of my life and become a “movement hunter”.

A movement hunter is someone who actively seeks out opportunities to move, compared with  most humans who let modern comforts and laziness rule.

Every single person living right now has the opportunity to become a movement hunter!

Most people today have limited movement opportunities throughout their day and think that movement needs to be in the form of exercise to be effective and drive results in the improvement of health and fitness. For example, it’s a general belief that 30 mins gym time a day is required, or 20 mins a few times a week at home performing pushups, crunches and following a workout DVD is essential, or that going for a 40 minute run with the heart rate being in a particular range is the key to good fitness and weight. These people are stuck inside a box and these perceptions are flawed and limiting.

It’s sad humans nowadays need to make an effort to seek out general and truly beneficial movement, but it’s just how it is. And more people need to be aware of this.

Job search

So many of us as adults are lacking imagination and creativity because of our lazy lifestyles and how quick and easy we access what we want to have thanks to the internet and modern comforts. But it really doesn’t take much searching to find more ways to enjoy more mindful movement in our day!

The best thing about becoming a movement hunter is that you open your eyes up to the endless movement possibilities.  Really the only limit to movement is your imagination and the more movement you do now, the better off you’ll be in the long run.  So allowing yourself to generate curiosity, imagination and creativity when it comes to movement, which may feel kind of  challenging at first, will be worth the effort later on.

Becoming a movement hunter really isn’t a hard task, but it may cause some minor inconvenience and may slow you down a little. But is that really such a bad thing in such a fast-paced world? We think not!

For a year or so now, Aimee and I have been seeking ways to gain more movement within our day-to-day lives on top of the times we set aside specifically for play and natural movement sessions.

Some of the ways we’ve adopted the movement hunter lifestyle include:-

  • 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!

sitting 1

  • 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.

bed

  • 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.

Healthy-Shopping 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!

step over 3   step over 2   step over 1

  • 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.

crawling 1 crawling 2

As you can see adopting a movment hunter attitude is really easy to implement. There are many more ways in which you can do it other than the ideas we’ve mentioned above, you just need to switch that creativity on in your brain, get it working and come up with some ways you can add more functional movement into your own life.

One of movement ‘gurus’ we look up to and greatly respect, Rafe Kelley, coincidentally, posted a video to his Facebook page while I was writing this blog post, about this very same topic. Talk about timing! Watch here for more inspiration on how to add more movement to your day

The challenge though is to stick with it.  After time these adjustments will become second nature, if you let them.

Don’t become/stay a slave to laziness and the negative effects too much comfort can have. Hunt some more movement, enjoy the journey and reap the benefits!

If you decide to become a movement hunter I’d love to hear about it!  Please share any photos on our Facebook page or tag us in Instagram!

 

Thanks for reading!

Clint

 

Recipe: Paleo Meatballs & Veggies with Noodles 2-Ways

I don’t always consume nightshades because I have a bit of sensitivity to them, so I often enjoy creating variety with meals totally leaving out tomato, chilli, garlic, paprika.. basically all the good stuff lol and finding flavour without those common flavour options.

As most of you know, I also like to create meals that are quick, easy and super healthy. Sometimes my creative moments actually work out well and the other night was one of those occasions when I created a new meat and veg dish that got double thumbs up from Clint, woo! AND it made 4 meals worth in one go, bonus!

I decided to make meatballs, a non-tomato sauce and have some noodles… and I created Meatballs and Veggies with Noodles 2-Ways – delicious, super healthy, really easy to make, a total win!

Here’s the basic recipe I created but feel free to play around with it and make it work best for you and your family 🙂

Pumpkin Sauce Meatballs meal

MEATBALLS & VEGGIES WITH NOODLES 2-WAYS

Makes 4 serves

You’ll need:

500g mince (I used turkey, you could use chicken, lamb, beef etc)

1 cup pumpkin, peeled and diced

1/2 cup bone broth (grab our free e-book here if you don’t already know about bone broth)

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 large carrots (peel if not organic), finely chopped

Fat/oil for cooking in (I use rendered grass-fed animal fat, ghee or coconut oil)

2-4 tsp each of cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder

Himalayan salt, pepper to taste

1 large zucchini, ‘zoodled’ using a noodle machine of some kind, or just peeled into long narrow strips

Optional: 1 packet konjac ‘Spaghetti’ noodles (available from supermarkets and health food stores) (I used these because Clint’s not a fan of a lot of zoodles, and these have great texture, more like ‘real’ noodles)

 

Do this:

  1. Make small balls with the mince, by rolling around even amounts into balls in your hands
  2. Heat a large fry pan to medium temp and add the fat/oil, carrot and onion. Place the meatballs in then put the lid on and allow to cook through
  3. In a medium saucepan of boiling water add the pumpkin and allow to book completely through so when you pierce a piece with a knife it easily cuts through. Strain the water and place pumpkin in a food processor or blender
  4. Add the spices, salt, pepper and bone broth to the pumpkin mix and blitz until totally combined and there are no more chunks. It won’t take long to become a sauce
  5. Pour the sauce into the frypan with the veggies and meatballs, carefully stir, place the lid back on and allow to cook for a couple of minutes
  6. Place noodles on plate or in a bowl ready then when the frypan mixture is ready (the sauce should be a little thicker, the meatballs are cooked through, the carrot and onion are soft) spoon it on top of the noodles
  7. Done! Easy!

This made 4 serves so Clint had lunch ready for work the next day, it’s fine to have cold, and I had my dinner sorted for the next night. Yay!

Pumpkin Sauce Meatballs meal 2

Kids will love this  because pumpkin gives sweetness, noodles and meatballs are fun and it’s a bright coloured dish!

It’s so healthy because it’s jam-packed full of nourishing veggies, a little bit of meat, the bone broth contains gelatin and essential minerals, the turmeric is anti-inflammatory and the fat in there balances it all out nicely.

You could add some coconut amino (with or without chilli and garlic in it) to the sauce to give it a flavour boost. You could use different noodles. You can add different herbs and spices. This recipe is so versatile!

Enjoy! Please let me know how you go and how this idea helps you in the kitchen!

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For Today:

  1. a fun day cooking with a friend
  2. a really fun Primal Fitness Class yesterday
  3. the Daniel Vitalis sleep podcast I listened to while writing this
  4. going for nice walks at sunrise
  5. walking barefoot everywhere and how good it feels

 

Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: the theme is clean!

ournatural bathroom

Part 1: The theme is clean!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Grab one here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Clint & Aimee

Good health takes more than popping a supposed magic pill

I often say that the easier we can obtain things we want in life and all the ways we can receive instant gratification these days is making us sicker, weaker and less likely to set and achieve long-term goals.  It’s something I’ve experienced personally and know that quite often it can lead to people setting unrealistic expectations because we generally expect a certain level of results right away.

Our lives are filled with so many time-saving gadgets, plans and devices – apparently all aimed at helping improve our health, work situations, fitness levels, mindset and happiness and our relationships. But at the end of the day, by using these tools are we really saving ourselves time, or just setting ourselves up for a more miserable existence in the future?

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One thing I’ve become mindful of with my own health and fitness goals is the importance of resisting the urge to seek the quick fix or the easy answer.  Sure I could go out and exercise my guts out every day at a gym filled with unnatural equipment, count steps I walk using a pedometer, record calories I eat using a phone app and possibly then get the results to help me fit the look of the stereotypical Personal Trainer image, but at what cost to my physical and emotional well-being?  A broken down body, adrenal issues and appearance hang-ups?  No thanks.

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Instead, I now focus my sights on my long-term health, fitness and happiness. Achieving my goals in a slower but more sustainable and less stressful (mentally and physically) way.   The hard work I put in now, over a longer period of time (by hard work I mean taking things slower, honouring what my body wants and needs in the form of exercise, nutrition and mindset) will ensure my health and fitness levels will stay at a higher level well into my future and I’m less likely to have really high ups and crazy low low’s (or “yo-yo living” as I like to call it) across all aspects of my lifestyle.

Instead of seeking the quick fixes and overnight results for health and wellness problems that probably didn’t come about as quickly as overnight, let’s look at the big picture, take our time and set and achieve goals in a more long-term manner.

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Part of our vision at Primal Influence is to encourage people to look at their long-term health and fitness as a journey, not a destination.  You are in this very point in your life right now because of the actions, or lack of actions, you have taken in your past right up to now.

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To celebrate our Facebook page hitting 3000 likes recently, quite a milestone for all the hard work we’ve put into our social media platforms, we’ve decided to launch a big competition! This competition won’t be for everybody, because it will require a bit of effort to enter, but that’s exactly why we’ve set it up that way! We want the person who wins this comp show us that they are willing to put a little bit of work in for long term success!

Is this person you? Do you want to better health, wellness and fitness without taking a magic pill? Are you ready to take your health to the next level and on a more interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable journey?  Then our PRIMAL WELLNESS PACKAGE competition might just be for you!

Sunny Coasters have the chance to win a great prize aimed at achieving and maintaining long-term health and happiness…

WIN (2)

Enter via our website here and GOOD LUCK!

Clint

Health & Fitness Coach | MovNat Trainer

 

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

Healthy happy cattle make for happy healthy eaters of cattle!

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

Make sense?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a way to end a fantastic day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Now for the recipe…

 

Aimee’s Paleo Slow Cooked Brisket

1.5-2 kg grass-fed brisket

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

3 tbsp organic All Spice powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Ghee, coconut oil, or fat to fry in

 

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

2. Heat a large fry pan and add cooking fat

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

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

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

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

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

 

ENJOY!!

Aimee

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Farm tours and picnics at Eumundi Beef!

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

3. Pretty sunsets

4. All the lovely people I meet at these gatherings

5. Paleo chocolate cupcakes… <drool>