Natural Skincare: Avoiding harmful chemicals for healthier skin + a healthier you

What does ‘natural skincare’ mean to us + why is it even something to consider?

As you’re probably aware, we live in a highly toxic world. Chemical and toxin exposure has a massive impact on our health and well-being; from mucking up our hormones to causing skin problems, allergies, contributing to ASD symptoms, and lowing our immunity.

Some toxins we can’t do much about, while some we definitely can (and should!).

Those we have control over include what we put on our skin; understanding what’s in the products we currently buy and use and becoming more educated to make better buying decisions.

To us, natural skincare is about using natural ingredients, and as few as possible, on our skin (in our mouths, on our heads, every part of our external environment).

It’s not natural for humans to be bombarding our skin and system loads of different ingredients and compounds, when in our most natural existence would we have done that?! Other than clays, dirt, plants, ash, water etc… we weren’t exposing ourselves to anything that wasn’t simple and basic.

Today there are loads of ‘natural’ skincare and beauty products on the market but if you go into a store, have a browse, pick a few items, read the label we can bet you most contain a long list of ingredients, some you won’t even recognise or understand. We know, we’ve been there!

We believe what goes on the skin should be as simple and as minimal as possible and of course, as natural and the least likely to have a negative effect on our health.

๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ช๐™ฅ, ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ, ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™ฅ๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š, ๐™จ๐™ค๐™–๐™ฅ, ๐™จ๐™๐™–๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ค, ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ง, ๐™ข๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ง๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™š๐™จ… ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™  ๐™ก๐™š๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™™๐™š๐™ก๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™–๐™ก ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š, ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™๐™จ, ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™ข๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ž๐™™ + ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š!

Let’s try to turn around some of societies health issues by choosing healthier skincare products that not only help us and our families but also the environment!ย โ™ป๏ธย ๐ŸŒ


Natural products we use – DIY and store-bought

๐™ˆ๐™ค๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™š๐™ง:
– I make a really simple tallow moisturiser (recipe coming later this week) which I especially love using in winter on my legs and arms.
– We loooooveย Ecology Skincareย tallow creams because they smell amaaaazing, are so fluffy and luxurious! And so minimal of ingredients which is really important to us. Clint uses this on his face when his skin under his beard, in winter when it gets a bit dry.

๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ช๐™ฅ:
– Clint wears… just kidding! I’m budget-conscious when it comes to cosmetics so even though there are loads of natural options on the market now I don’t buy the high cost products and prefer to stick to affordable brands such asย ECO Mineralsย , MooGoo Makeupย , benecosย , Nude by Natureย + more in the video below.

๐˜พ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ/๐™˜๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ:
– I use coconut oil soap on my face to get makeup off
– We wash with pure homemade coconut oil soap and I use it to shave legs
– Liquid soaps from Ecostore

๐™๐™š๐™š๐™ฉ๐™/๐™ค๐™ง๐™–๐™ก ๐™๐™ฎ๐™œ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š:
– We brush with handmade pure coconut oil soap (yep, true!) and use a natural whitener from Nourished Life without glycerine (super important)
– Clint tongue scrapes sometimes
– We add bentonite clay to our toothpasty brush every so often and definitely when we feel any signs of decay or teeth problems (very rare but happens occasionally)

๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™จ๐™˜:
– Homemade coffee scrub to exfoliate skin
– Olive oil in my hair to help soften curls and reduce frizz
– Shampoo/conditioner combo bar in the shower or homemade ACV and rosemary tea
– Bites, scrapes, bruises, burns etc… homemade plantain or comfrey balm, aloe vera, manuka honey or tallow cream
–ย Rosehip PLUSย pure rose hip oil for scarring and uneven skin tone
– Perfume is a natural roll-on fromย One Seed organic perfumery
– Sunscreen: very rarely do we use any and we buy various brands but the one we have at the moment isย MooGoo Skin Care

Check out all the natural things Clint and I have in our bathroom.. from makeup, to shampoo, to cleaning and more….


๐Ÿงช What harmful ingredients should we be on the lookout for?

There are many nasty ingredients in common skincare products that can do harm to yours and your kids health and if you want to look into it thoroughly and for links to specific symptoms there are plenty of resources available, we wanted to list a few key players here for you as a go-to reference…

– 1,4-DIOXANE
– PABA
– ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS
– HYDROQUINONE
– PETROLATUM, PETROLEUM JELLY
– ETHANOLAMINE COMPOUNDS (MEA, DEA, TEA AND OTHERS)
– COAL TAR
– PHENOXYETHANOL
– CARCINOGENS IN COSMETICS
– NANOMATERIALS
– TALC
– CARBON BLACK
– PARABENS
– FRAGRANCE
– BUTYLATED COMPOUNDS
– FORMALDEHYDE AND FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES
– BENZOPHENONE & RELATED COMPOUNDS
– ACRYLATES
– MICA
– HOMOSALATE
– LEAD
– METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE AND METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE
– NITROSAMINES

There are A LOT more with a full list and details available via Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Many of these are known to cause cancer, allergies and an increase in symptoms, disrupt hormones, effect ASD symptoms, impair growth and development of infants, lower immunity, effect pregnant women and more. Some are found in common trusted household brands, they could very well be lurking in your bathroom cupboard right now.

From sunscreen to talc powders, to nail polishes, and makeup and creams… unless the ingredients are listed as 100% natural and safe, preferably organic, the ingredients list is small, and you can get full transparency from a manufacturer of the sources and possible effects then the chances are the products you’re using contain nasty chemicals.

๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ฉย www.safecosmetics.orgย ๐Ÿงก


๐Ÿงผย ๐Ÿงด Making the transition to using more natural safe skincare productsย 

There are many ‘natural’ products in many shops these days and as with most things, ‘natural skincare’ has been over-marketed and over-commercialised. Even regular toxic brands now have ‘natural’ items in their range! But how clean are they really?

It can be so confusing and stressful to pick the best options for you and your family!

๐™Š๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™–๐™ก ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™™๐™ช๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š:

– Use the info in our earlier post to find out what chemicals to look out for and avoid
– Look for certified organic ingredients/products when possible
– Simple is always best! Usually the whole-plant version is far more beneficial than a product made using it and a zillion other ingredients. Less processing, fresher, more of an impact. E.g. aloe vera gel direct from a leaf as opposed to highly processed aloe gel in a bottle on the shelf.
– Again re simple… look for products with short ingredients lists. If you can understand what the ingredients are and there aren’t many of them, that’s a good sign!
– Look into the manufacturers of products you think could be suitable for you and find out their processes, sources etc. If you can get access to all the info and you can then trust them, go for it.
– Choose one item at a time to swap so it’s not overwhelming and expensive. You might want to start with toothpaste for example, or your makeup, or your kids sunscreen. Pick one, find a suitable alternative, pick another, repeat.
– Ask for tips from friends and family who are already into natural alternatives, they may have already done the leg work for you and can give you great info
– Stay within your chosen budget. You don’t have to buy ‘top shelf’ brands, there are plenty of more affordable brands and products to choose from
– DIY. Make your own for as many items as you can, it’s so much cheaper!!


๐ŸงผWe we use soap as toothpaste!ย 

You read that right! We brush our teeth with actual SOAP! We started many years ago and have never stopped, it’s so good!

Check out this blog postย to read all about our experience using soap to clean our teeth.

If you’d like to learn how to make natural soap bars, to brush your teeth with or just use to wash your skin, and you live on or near the Sunshine Coast, feel free to come along to one of our workshops!


I hope this information and our perspectives and experiences help you on your journey to better health! Please comment if you have any questions.

Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I donโ€™t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Art Therapy: What exactly is it + how can it benefit ASD kids?

We’re very fortunate to be connected with a wide variety of talented and passionate practitioners and nature-based businesses on the Sunshine Coast to help build a community and team of caring professionals here to help local families. One such practitioner we’ve known for about a year who we first met when she brought her boys along to our classes and later saw them at a friend of theirs’ Primal Kids Party Clint provided entertainment for, is one we want to share with our tribe about because her particular modality is quite unknown in the ASD community and one that can be highly beneficial to pretty much every family with young ones on the spectrum.

Sally Cuthbert is a qualified and experienced Art Therapist based in Buderim here on the Sunshine Coast. When you hear the words ‘art therapy’ images of art classes at school and college might pop into your mind, of even the ‘paint & sip’ classes so popular with women these days for socialising. Neither are what Art Therapy is about!

So we invited Sally to be a guest on our blog to properly explain what this unique and beneficial therapy is…

Q :: What makes art therapy unique and different to other modalities?

A :: Art therapy is an enjoyable, inclusive form of therapy thatโ€™s suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its primary mode of communication. Ability in art isnโ€™t important, nor do I interpret what people make. Art therapy is not just a collection of techniques, but is rather a planned intervention which attempts to create a safe environment for the client to express him or herself using art.

The focus is on the shared process of making, image or object, which allows for the relationship to develop in a comfortable, gentle way. It can feel less threatening than sitting face to face. Sometimes words alone donโ€™t seem to be enough but words and images together can more accurately convey what you want to say and can be processed with the therapist. Sometimes, there can be too many words and they can get in the way of being able to be in touch with emotions. Art can bring insight or a new sense of ourselves which is especially helpful during times of difficulty. 

I like this description from Cathy Malchiodi:

โ€œArt therapy is based on the idea that the creative process of art making is healing and life enhancing and is a potent form of communication. It uses the creative process which exists within each of us, to promote growth, self-expression, emotional repair, conflict resolution and transformation. Through art making as therapy you may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises, or trauma: discover insights about yourself, achieve an increased sense of wellbeing; enrich your daily life; or experience personal change. It is a way to sense of that which is painful, to create personal meaning, to enhance wellness and to become whole.โ€

Q :: What are your favourite elements of this therapy and why did you get into it in the first place? 

A :: Creativity and artistic expression have always held such a sense of wonder to me. I like how art can be interpreted in a range of ways and each personโ€™s work is so unique. Art therapy offers a fresh perspective on a personโ€™s challenges and allows the voice of the individual to shine through. It can really help to highlight a personโ€™s strengths. 

My approach is playful, warm and gentle. I have always connected well with children and enjoy the energy of teenagers. As a shy kid, art was a bit of a sanctuary for me, then as a teen I found art, journaling and music spoke to me in an deep and honest way and I have carried this interest into my career. 

I experienced counselling for the first time when I was in my late teens and whilst it was helpful, it was also daunting. I found it challenging and overwhelming to use words alone to describe the difficult experiences Iโ€™d had. After I left secondary school I went to art college, specialising in print making and textiles. Whilst living in London I heard about art therapy through a play therapist at the school where I was working as a specialist teaching assistant. I was running lunchtime art groups and the children who were often less engaged in lessons, or alone in the playground really flourished in this space. When I started exploring the profession I knew it was the right job for me and 10 years on I still love it. 

Q :: What are 2-3 examples of how an art therapy session with you could run? 

A :: I start with sensitive curiosity to find out as much as I can about what is happening for the child or teen. This can start with an intake meeting with the parent or can be a conversation on the phone. Sometimes itโ€™s useful for me to talk to others involved with the child or teen to get a better idea of the child and how their challenges present in different settings. In session, I spend time discovering what brings your child joy and what makes your family unique. Then I introduce creative projects and games that can help to playfully challenge the things that arenโ€™t working. 

Q :: What ages do you work with? 

A :: I specialise in art therapy with children, teens and families. Art making and play are natural ways to express, process and regulate emotions especially for children and teens. I have training in both art therapy and play therapy techniques such as sandplay and Theraplay as well as parent child dyadic art therapy which just means, working with the parent and child together with their โ€˜relationshipโ€™ acting as the client. In the art therapy space, adolescents can be free to use symbols, imagery and a range of art supplies to explore their emotions and developing thoughts about their identity. Art making can provide a visual outlet for their ideas when words are not easily expressed. 

Q :: What are some common symptoms/challenges you see presented with ASD kids?

A :: Art therapy with me may be right for families who have tried it all but nothing seems to be working, or for families who feel unsure about trying talk-based therapies.

The most common challenges parents contact me about are emotional outbursts, difficult behaviours or withdrawing. These might be signs that your child is facing a challenge that feels too big. Sometimes you know whatโ€™s causing the problem, but other times it can be a complete mystery. Often these feelings lead to feeling overwhelmed and asking them whatโ€™s wrong can lead to frustration and even more negative feelings. Art therapy doesnโ€™t rely on verbal language and as such can feel less challenging for children and teens with ASD.

Q :: What benefits/results do you see with the different age groups and levels of ASD?

A :: Art therapy really is accessible to everyone. It can engage children of all abilities as the materials are enticing and the relationship is playful and supportive. Art therapy is a safe space for your child or teen to feel accepted, supported and encouraged. When things are really challenging, they need this more than ever. 

Q :: How do parents find a suitable Art Therapist in their area?

A :: A Registered Art Therapist is someone who has undertaken an approved training in Art Psychotherapy at post-graduate level, usually an MA. Art therapy is not yet a regulated profession here in Australia although there are strict requirements in the US, UK and Europe. ANZACATA is the professional association in Australia that sets the codes of practice and they have a Find A Therapist Directory on their website. Under the NDIS, Registered Art Therapists are allied health professionals and are available to support you or your child to achieve your personal goals. 

Q :: How can people find out about you if they live on the Sunny Coast and would like to chat to you about working with their family?

A :: I have a website with plenty of information about the services I offer.

Please check out www.sallycuthbert.com.au and I welcome enquiries from parents and service providers.

If youโ€™re unsure about whether or not you can access art therapy through your childโ€™s NDIS plan please contact me as I am probably able to help.

When we visited Sally’s studio Clint had a go at sandplay and really enjoyed it! And no surprises his ‘happy place’, the scene he created, including being on a boat in a river, fishing, and then hunting rabbits on land! haha

๐ŸŽจ If this information encourages you to look into Art Therapy for your family, we wish you all the very best and truly hope it helps.

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaching | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 4

The final post in our special 4-part series!

What’s one of our favourite ways to utilise beef fat?

Rendering it to become tallow and using the tallow to make MOISTURISER!

As mentioned in the previous blog, tallow is incredibly good for human skin. But in it’s pure form it doesn’t make for a practical moisturiser because it’s so firm and hard to spread.

If you ever get tallow on your hands while making it from suet/other fat, or while cooking with it, and you rub it into your skin you’ll realise how nice it feels and you’ll probably notice it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards. Compared to how coconut oil feels on the skin, there’s a big – and welcome – difference!

To make it more use-able it’s recommended to add 1-2 other ingredients in, and whipping it up with some air in there also makes it easier to achieve good coverage with.

It’s actually really easy to make a soft, silky, whipped tallow cream for the body. It’s also incredibly economical because it goes a long way and lasts a surprisingly long time. Especially if it’s applied while skin is still slightly damp after having a shower or bath. Applying it to warm damp-ish skin helps it spread further, so you can really use the ‘less is more’ principle with it which is a bonus!

Keen to try making your own whipped tallow body cream?

Here’s a quick video tutorial!

But what about the smell? Won’t it be too ‘beefy’?

To change the aroma you can add a good quality pure essential oil in during the hand-mixing, toward the end. Quantity will depend on the scent in particular and your preference as to how strong you’d like it to smell.

We usually add a subtle variety such as sweet orange, lemon, or lime. The essential oil can help reduce the ‘tallow-y’ smell the cream gives off initially. But we find that smell goes away pretty quickly anyway, once the cream has been rubbed into the skin.

So it’s up to you if you want to include essential oils in your cream or not.

Are you going to give making tallow moisturiser a go? We’d love to hear how you go with it!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I donโ€™t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 3

From making tallow to cook with to moisturiserslet’s look at the best ways to utilise this healthy wholefood.

How we utilise beef fat as food

There are 2 ways we like to use beef fat:

  1. Raw mince suet sprinkled on some of our meat meals – usually on our mince and eggs or mince/liver/kidney and eggs for brekkie, with some pink salt. Or topped on a piece of rump steak.
Suet sitting between a juicy rump and fried pastured eggs

The fat melts on the just-off-the-fry-pan food and has quite a nice taste and texture.

If eaten totally raw and still a bit firm it can be quite chewy and stick to your teeth. Some carnivore-diet followers enjoy this texture but we don’t. You might, so give it a go!

As mentioned in previous posts (Part 1, and Part 2), beef fat in it’s raw state is said to be more nutrient-dense and bio-available than cooked fat (tallow) so it’s a good idea to add it to meals when possible to boost good calories, create satiety and increase energy levels.

2. Tallow to consume as is and to cook with.

We always have a jar of homemade tallow beside the stove to use on our two permanently-placed cast iron pans and to use on food we’re roasting or to dollop on our cooked meals.

Photo source: http://www.Instructables.com

Cast iron is a super healthy cooking surface and requires almost no cleaning (less washing up, always a nice thing when you don’t own a dishwasher and cook all meals from scratch!) and tallow with it’s high smoke point and high nutrients / low anti-nutrients makes a great seasoning and cooking fat.

You only need to add a very thin layer of tallow to cast iron pans to keep them seasoned and for cooking, so tallow goes a really long way and lasts a really long time.

Essential healthy cooking tools

How we utilise beef fat on our skin

By making and using tallow moisturiser!

Why is grass-fed tallow good for our skin?

Tallow closely mimics the fats and oils we have naturally in our skin.

This includes the fatty acids and cholesterol in the cell membranes of all our skin cells as well as those that sit in between skin cells, forming the protective barrier function of our skin.

Strong, healthy cell membranes help keep skin cells plump and well hydrated. It helps protect skin from moisture loss and leaves skin looking soft and hydrated. It will also help replenish any missing components in our skinโ€™s barrier function.

Grass-fed tallow also contains fatty acids that closely copy the oils that we produce naturally as sebum.

As we get older, our skin slows down on the production of these oils that keep our skin soft, supple and youthful looking.

So, grass-fed tallow helps put back what time takes away.
Rejuvenating the appearance of skin, as well as smoothing out the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Good quality tallow also contain essential vitamins such as fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K which are all really important for healthy glowing skin.

The other bonus is it’s high in essential Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, with a ratio of 1:1, to help protect the skin and boost immune function.

Tallow moisturiser is super easy to make and an affordable natural skincare product, or you can simply lather on some pure tallow if you like, it feels so nice on the skin!

How else do we use tallow on our skin?

By making tallow soap (or a combination of coconut oil and tallow)!

Making natural soap is so good for our health and the environment, and is a great way to utilise healthy tallow. Especially with any tallow that went a little too far in the rendering process and ended up slightly over ‘done’. We like to label these containers “for soap” and keep in the fridge until it’s time to make a batch of about 24 bars.

Have you made natural soap before? It’s so rewarding and so so so cheap!

To get started with these you’ll need to buy yourself some grass-fed tallow or make it from scratch. Making tallow is definitely the less expensive option and the one we always choose.

Here’s a video on how to do just that!

Let us know how you go making your own tallow then stay tuned for the next post…

The next blog will include:

  • How to make tallow moisturiser

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I donโ€™t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 2

A deeper look into this hugely underrated nourishing wholefood + comparing it to plant fat products

Which is better + why?

Why animal fats are better than plant fats

Plant oils are a staple in most pantries. Olive oil, canola, sunflower. Plus a lot of fridges these days have a tub of plant oil margarine on the shelf. Many of these products are touted as “good for lowering cholesterol”, being “heart-healthy” and healthy because they’re low in saturated fat.

If you asked everyone you know “Hey do you think olive oil is healthier than beef fat?” most likely at least 99% of them would say yes. That’s the sad reality of sneaky marketing and BS health advice… it teaches the majority of the population the wrong thing!

One of the main reasons these oils and products are classed as “heart-healthy” is because they contain Phytosterols.

Science shows they can lower cholesterol but there’s a couple main problems with this…

  1. We actually NEED cholesterol for basic cell function, to prevent depression and more.
  2. We’re consuming Phytosterols in larger then recommended quantities due to the inclusion of grains and legumes in the diet.

High ‘bad’ cholesterol is often misdiagnosed as most conventional practitioners don’t fully understand it or the levels we need to have to be ‘healthy’. Dr Chris Kresser has some great info on this and busts a few common myths around cholesterol. Read more here.

Another issue with Phytosterols is they may actually contribute to heart disease, not prevent it. Read more here.

Also, plants contain toxins. How they function in the human body is not how they function when tested in a lab. They contain more anti-nutrients than nutrients. Animal meat and fats don’t.

And how often have you picked an olive from a tree and squeezed out oil to use on your meal or in cooking? Never! Because to extract oil from olives the olives have to go through rigorous processing including high-temp heating. That’s never healthy!

Meat and fat from animals contain almost no anti-nutrients and lots of essential nutrients that are bio-available for the human body. Meaning we can process and use them efficiently without negative effects. This is ideal when eating food. Traditionally, plants were used more for survival situations, to get humans by between animal kills. Dr Paul Saladino talks a lot about this in his podcast interviews and on his website. We highly recommend his book The Carnivore Code too!

And… saturated fat is healthy, in particular, long-chain saturated fats from ruminant animals. Vegetable oils are higher in poly-unsaturated fats which cause insulin resistance. Dr Paul Saladino talks about this in this Facebook video.

The environment impacts

Mono-cropping is a major problem to the environment and it’s the method used for the production of most plant oils. Unless regenerative agriculture practices are used, farming large-scale crops extracts nutrients from the soil. Regenerative agriculture does exactly what the name suggests… it regenerates the land and improves the eco-system!

Rapeseed flour field

Sure, factory farming of cattle is bad. And this goes back to the point in the last blog post of why choosing grass-fed animal products from quality producers using healthy farming techniques is so important.

Diana Rogers – Sustainable Dish uses the message “it’s not the cow, it’s the how” and has some amazing information on the environmental impacts of unhealthy animal farming vs healthy methods, and also the problems with mono-crop production. Her book and doco Sacred Cow are out soon and we’re so excited!

Healthy pasture and environment = healthy cattle

We’ve experienced first hand the benefits of regen ag for both the health of the environment and ourselves. We work part-time on a biodynamic beef and egg farm run by a former bio-chemist (aka scientist!), have hosted educational farm tours there, and have learnt all about the farming practices used and eaten the food produced there. When you understand the full cycle from how an animal is raised to how it can nourish the planet and us, you appreciate the importance of consuming good quality animal products!

Another environmental factor to consider, particularly with consuming the fat, is how much waste is reduced. Apart from eating note-to-tail being a natural and traditional thing for humans to do, from a modern-day viewpoint with how much waste, landfill and pollution we’re tackling we need to incorporate ways to reduce these. If a butcher is including the suet and other fat from an animal in his product range that means less food he’s throwing out. It means we’re making the most of the animal that died for our benefit, and we’re putting less waste into landfill.

Beef is one of the most highly produced and consumed foods in Australia and the supermarkets stock mostly lean cuts or the cuts with minimal fat included, you never see tubs of the fat for sale, so imagine how much goes to waste that isn’t being used in products. Beef fat is actually quite hard to get a hold of, when it should be easy to access because it’s so easy to utilise and so healthy! This has to change!

So there are some good reasons there to do some more research on the benefits of animal fat vs plant fat and make the switch.

Do we consume any plant fats?

Yes, but very rarely now and only good quality. We buy organic olive oil and organic macadamia oil that we really only use for raw purposes and not even on a weekly basis. We used to make paleo ‘mayo’ regularly with olive oil but since going mostly carnivore created an animal-fat alternative… ghee-daise! Using grass-fed ghee to make a sort of hollandaise! Find the recipe here

Creamy homemade ghee-daise

The next post will include:

  • How we utilise beef fat (as food and on our skin)
  • How to make tallow

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I donโ€™t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Beef Fat for Better Health: Part 1

An intro to beef fat + why itโ€™s important to consume

We’ve really upped our beef fat intake since we went mostly carnivore in 2019 and enjoying continually learning about why it’s such a smart move. It’s an incredibly health fat to consume (and use topically which we’ll get into in later posts) but so feared because of the stigma still attached to it in regards to ‘fat being bad’ and ‘saturated fat is harmful’.

Us humans need to be rid of that old outdated and just plain WRONG way of thinking once and for all, do our health a favour and get on the good fat train!

We’re creating a 4-part blog series covering the benefits of beef fat for our health inside and out, how to consume and use it including how to make natural skin products!

This first post is all about why beef fat is so healthy.

The health benefits of good quality beef fat

Beef fat from good quality sources (i.e. grass-fed, organic, bio-dynamic farms) contains essential nutrients the human body needs to functional optimally and it’s thought that raw beef fat in particular contains more ‘bioavailable’ forms of nutrients, then say cooked/rendered fat (e.g. tallow).

What does “bioavailable” mean?

The term โ€œbioavailabilityโ€ means biological availability and it describes the proportion of a mineral or vitamin in a food, which is available for absorption and utilization in the body. In nutritional science, the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals depends on your nutritional and physiological status. This means that a high nutritional status of a specific vitamin or mineral limits the absorption in the gut and vice versa. The bioavailability of vitamins and minerals is defined as the part of the substance that is absorbed and ready to use. (Sourced from NJORD Nutrition)

Beef fat, raw or rendered, has been proven to contain bioavailable nutrients but we’ve heard a few carnivore diet experts (including doctors) theorise that bioavailability is better in its raw state.

We’ll go into more detail in later posts but there are basically three types of beef fat:

  1. Raw suet – the fat from around the organs such as the kidneys
  2. Raw fat – the fat from other areas of the body
  3. Tallow – any fat that has been rendered

Tip: tallow should be yellow in colour. That’s a sign it’s from grass-fed cattle.

Raw organic minced beef suet
Rendered grass-fed beef tallow

Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of beef fat let’s talk about specific nutrients their benefits to our health.

  • Beta-carotene: a natural form of Vitamin A – an essential nutrient – which the body can convert to Vitamin A as needed. Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, important for protecting the body against free-radicals. Grass contains beta-carotene, grain does not. So grass-fed beef fat is where it’s at!
  • Vitamin A: the human body converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A as it requires and is the safest form of this Vitamin because supplements can actually cause more harm than good.
  • Vitamin D: helps the intestine absorb nutrients, prevents osteomalacia and rickets, regulates blood pressure, and assists in the absorption of calcium in the body, that prevents osteoporosis or arthritis. The best form of this is from direct sunlight daily, but foods can help boost our levels safely, as opposed to supplements.
  • Vitamin E: a group of eight compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols which reduces cholesterol and the risk of developing diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer
  • Vitamin K: good for the heart, immune-boosting, bone density, cognitive function, dental health, quicker healing, reducing PMS symptoms and more.
  • Selenium: a powerful antioxidant, may help prevent some cancers, can help prevent heart disease, important for mental health, thyroid health, immune-boosting, and can help reduce the severity of Asthma.
  • CLA: Tallow is rich in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid which, according to some studies, can help burn fat.
  • Omega-3: helps fight depression and anxiety, improves eye health, promotes brain health during pregnancy and in early life, can improve risk factors for heart disease, can reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, reduces inflammation, may help prevent cancer and many more diseases and symptoms. Beef fat does also contain Omega-6 which is often suggested as something to avoid. It’s all about getting a good ratio of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which is easier to do when the beef and fat is from grass-fed cattle, as grain-fed meat and fat is extremely high in Omega-6.

The nutrients in beef fat help improve the immune system.

Beef fat is also an excellent form of energy for the human body to use, as opposed to sugar, caffeine and empty carbohydrates

Lean vs fatty cuts of meat

With the importance of balancing out Omega-3’s and 6’s it’s ideal to consume fatty cuts of meat only from good quality sources (farmers using organic and grass-fed/finished methods) but when you can’t access grass-fed beef then that’s when you should opt for the leaner cuts and try to add good quality grass-fed FAT to your meal to make up the fat content.

Keep some grass-fed tallow or suet handy to cook in and top your cooked meats with. We always have minced raw organic suet in the freezer and a jar of rendered grass-fed tallow beside the stove.

The other element to consider when choosing which cuts of meat to buy is the gelatin-factor. This could easily be a post on it’s own as there’s quite a lot of detail with this but basically, we need gelatin with our meat when we consume it and we need to include offal because over a long time if we’re only consuming muscle meat (lean or fatty) such as chicken breasts, thighs off the bone, rump, backstrap etc we can easily get high homasistine levels in the blood which contributes to making us more susceptible to the big diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Disease etc.

This is due to the lack of glycine – a crucial amino acid needed when consuming protein.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chicken-meat.jpg

It’s found in the collagen and cartilage which is not available with muscle meat alone. The liver produces a small amount but not enough to sustain us, we need it mostly from our food.

An easy way to add it in is to use pure collagen and gelatin powders from grass-fed beef. Collagen powders dissolve without needing to be mixed with hot liquids, you can place a spoonful in cold water and it’ll dissolve perfectly. Gelatin that gels is for making other foods such as fruit gummies or even egg-noodles.

Watch our gelatin video series for all the info you need about gelatin and collagen.

We have a few gelatin recipes on our website you’re welcome to use.

Egg-oodles made with gelatin

Bone broth contains all the nutrients required to break down meat properly to it’s a good idea to drink some with a muscle meat meal. It contains collagen, gelatin and a stack of essential vitamins and minerals that all work together.

Make your own (ideal) or buy organic bone broth from health food stores, online, local markets etc.

Homemade nourishing bone broth

So the bottom line here is we can become pretty darn healthy from eating good quality meat, fat, and collagen daily. But not on their own – they work best in the body when consumed all together.

The next post will include:

  • Animal vs plant protein/fat
  • How to source good quality animal fats
  • Environmental benefits of using animal fats

Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint + Aimee

Natural Fitness + Lifestyle Coaches

Primal Influence

Disclaimer:

This disclaimer governs your use of Under the Primal Influence Blog. By using this website, you accept this disclaimer in full. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, do not use Under the Primal Influence Blog or any affiliated websites, properties, or companies. We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. You should therefore check back periodically for changes. By using this website after we post any changes, you agree to accept those changes, whether or not you have reviewed them.

All information and resources found on Under the Primal Influence Blog are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. I am not a doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, therapist, or your mother, and I donโ€™t play one on the internet.

The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

None of the posts and articles on Under the Primal Influence Blog may be re-printed without express written permission of the author. Primal Influence will respond to written requests to re-print parts of posts and excerpts/quotes (10% or less) may be reprinted with attribution as long as all links are left intact.

Our Carn-Omnivore Diet Experiment: How It’s Going So Far

In our last post Taking our health to the next level: We’re going carnivore! we talked about our new mostly-carnivore diet experiment. That was a few months ago. So how are things going since then?

We’re often asked by our Primal Influence Tribe members, who are interested in Carnivore eating, how we’re going, what results we’ve noticed, what we eat, etc so we thought it was a good time to post an update to answer their questions and provide more insight all in the one place! Plus, we’re about to embark on a new level for three weeks during World Carnivore Month.ย  So it’s interesting times indeed!

This post includes what’s been happening over the past couple of months, what pros and cons we’ve noticed, what we’ve been eating, how it’s effecting our lives in general, what we’re doing next and why.

We’ll split this up in two parts; my (Aimee) update first, then Clint’s.

AIMEE:

My carnivore-ish experiment to date has provided mixed results. In some ways my health has greatly improved, and in others not so.

I’ve seen excellent improvements with my digestion and hormones. I used to experience soft and sometimes runny stools with my 2-3 day bowel movements. That was the ‘norm’ for me for many years even though I’d seen improvements for very short periods of time in the past when I’d made diet changes but my gut always reverted back to being unhealthy and overall while eating a lot of vegetables almost every one of my toilet experiences were bad. I knew that wasn’t ‘normal’ and that the longer I experienced this the more health problems I’d have in the future because of gut permeability and malabsorption of nutrients.

Also I’ve only had short bursts of experiencing no period pain – for the entirety of having periods since my early teens. I’m now 36. That’s a lot of pain and discomfort in my lifetime! The only time I was free from the pain was when I had help from an FDN / L3 CHEK practitioner who gave me a high-veg, low-meat, low-fat, paleo-based eating plan. I lost weight, had no period pain, had balanced hormones, more energy etc etc. I felt great for a few months after the first few months in. But it didn’t last ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Eating mostly paleo-based didn’t improve either my digestion or period pain issues. Carnivore was my next option. And it’s been working!! I find when I do mostly Carnivore for a month I have no period pain the next time ’round and my digestion is now really good pretty much all of the time!

It started out as constipation though. Not something I was at all familiar with and don’t really want to experience again but I’m pretty confident I won’t based on how I’m tracking now. The first few weeks into eating mostly Carnivore (basically 5 days a week full Carnivore + coffee, easing right up on weekends) I’d not need to go to the loo for quite a few days. Actually one week I think I hit 6 or 7 days! I remember telling our Chiro who’s been a friend of ours for many years and who we can talk to about the deepest depths of diets, digestion etc with no weirdness whatsoever, and even though I’d read it’s normal to be a bit constipated at first due to the changes in gut microbiome and the processing of the new and different foods, I was a little concerned with that particular prolonged stint of nothingness. He suggested I drink a heap of salt water quickly. Not Sole like I was having all day long, but just a heap of salt added straight to water and gulp it down. I tried it when I got home and all that happened was I felt like vomiting and nothing changed with my digestion until the following day when I went and it was ‘good’. Phew! My Chiro texted to ask how I’d gone and I replied “Crisis averted!”. Lol

After a bit of uncomfortable constipation for a few weeks my digestion has settled down to being ‘regular’ (I go #2 most days now) and ‘normal’ (good consistency) – the best it’s been since I first started being aware of it, so basically in about a decade!

I still feel a sense of surprise every time I go because I’m so not used to it!

The other benefits I’ve noticed with my health are that my immune system is much better now and my back pain is much less. I’m not getting sick like I was before my clean re-set month (talked about in the previous post) and I’m recovering quickly from any small bouts of sniffles, pain and strains. Before, it would take me a week to get over a virus or back/hip/groin/neck issues. Now, 1-2 days max.

This is a very positive thing for me considering all the pain and sickness I’ve experienced since… forever.

Good digestion

Improved digestion is going to lead to better nutrient adsorption and less inflammation (especially in the lower back) and less pain. Yay!

So those are the positives I’ve experienced, but what about the negatives?

My clean month gave me a nice reduction is weight and body fat which was nice but after that ended I slowly put ON weight over the last 3 months. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it could just be a normal part of the process and I keep reminding myself of these important aspects:

  • This is a long-term approach. Healing the body takes a long time, it’s not a quick thing.
  • Everybody is different and all the weight loss success stories I was seeing in a Facebook group I was a member of should not deter me because my body is my own, it’s going through it’s own unique journey and I just need to focus on that without comparing my experience to others.
  • Often weight on the scales is actually a build up of water retention and can drop ‘all of a sudden’ if the clean eating is continued.
  • Body fat can stick around for a while if the body has some major healing still to do. When the healing progresses the fat can finally go away.
  • I’m still finding my way with Carnivore and may still need to eliminate or reduce certain foods to allow my body to heal quicker.
  • Weight isn’t everything. I’m seeing improvements to my health and that’s absolutely the main thing!

With those in mind I’m going to keep on truckin’ and keep tweaking, changing, learning, evolving and most importantly, simplifying.

That’s the only ‘negative’ I’ve experienced and it’s really not that bad anyway! I do now need to simplify my semi-carnivore approach even more because I’m still experiencing symptoms I’ve had for a long time that have only budged a little during my recent clean eating month, and need to go for good!

What are those?

  • Pimples (OMG I’m 36, can I be done with acne already?!)
  • Up and down mood with small bouts of depression
  • Tiredness (I felt awesome in my clean month and now I’m back to feeling fairly tired most of the time. Not cool)
  • Lack of brain function and focus (again, during my clean month I felt so clear and focused. But that’s since passed)

And of course I want to reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, feel good all the time, the usual goals we all have!


CLINT:

To be honest, my time eating carnivore has been pretty straight forward. At the start it was a little rough on my digestion (possibly too much fat) but I overcame this with reducing fat consumption, especially roast chicken drippings which I tend to have a lot of from the pan after we’ve roasted a whole chook for dinner, and end up needing to go to the toilet pretty quickly shortly after.

When my diarrhoea was extreme I needed to take some digestive enzymes before eating which made a huge difference and I no longer need to take them which is great.

My mood and general outlook on life has improved and I can notice the difference with anxiety when I eat something sugary. I get easily anxious and worried when I eat high-sugar foods. Good to know!

When I stray too far off clean carnivore eating I get pretty tired and need to nap during the day but when I’m sticking closely to it I feel really good all day, even after getting up at 3am and working on a farm for 6-hours.

My weight has stayed the same, however since starting carnivore I have lost approximately 6 cm from my waist and gained muscle weight which tells me my muscles are getting denser and larger from the extra protein I’m having, plus with basic natural movement exercise I’ve increased which has neither been intense or drawn out over a long period of time, just fun and enjoyable. I never end a workout feeling so tired and sore I can’t get much out of the rest of the day, I always feel like I can go back later and do more. Which is how it should be.

I do, like Aimee, have a few symptoms I’d like to get rid of in 2020. They include dry scalp and sometimes under my beard, pimples mostly on my back, muscle tension and anxiety.

These have all gotten a lot better when I’ve eaten really clean but I’d like to see if I can get rid of them long-term.

So I’ll continue the way I’m going with my natural movement workouts.

Eating has been simple and I am not too worried about the lack of variety. I’ve always enjoyed eating really simple meals and often just feel like having meat and eggs. So I’m glad that’s been working well for me and is a good option in general.

I’m looking forward to the next phase!


What have we actually been eating over the last few months? We’re always asked about what we eat on a daily basis so let’s go into it!

Brekkie tends to be a 150g beef mince or been mince/liver/kidney patty (was 120g but we didn’t feel full for long enough and read that maybe more protein and less fat was ok for a while),ย  2 pastured egg yolks or whole eggs, a bit of suet, Ghee-daise or plain ghee, lots of salt and usually after drinking a glass of Sole first. Then a black, strong, organic coffee with collagen powder after for Aimee, and a collagen water or hot cocoa/water/stevia for Clint.

Lunch and dinner are just meat of some kind; often free-range chicken (not ideal), beef, seafood, kangaroo, pork (only occasionally, we don’t have access to good pork here sadly), venison. We usually add a bit of suet or ghee and sometimes have 1-2 eggs with meals.

Sometimes we make Eggoodles or an Egg Pancake which is basically just eggs, water and pure grass-fed beef gelatin powder combined and cooked.

We were also adding in bone broth and other offal cuts some days.

This is typically how we eat 4-5 days a week and definitely eased up for more days each week than we’d originally intended to. We really should only be having 1 ‘off’ day per week but with socialising, hosting events, travelling to visit family, both having low will power and big sweet tooth’s… we didn’t stick to that plan too well! BUT having said that, we still didn’t eat much in the way of veggies and fruit and we know that’s helped us.

We do not miss cooking and eating veggies. Not one bit! Life is so much better without veggies!

Say no to vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come winter time we’ll probably say on occasion “oh some roasted pumpkin and carrot would be nice right now” but that’s about it. Meal times hold absolutely no stress. We can cook a piece of meat, add a bit of fat, maybe cook an egg, and a dish is done. Veggie prep and cooking is just so damn time consuming and boring.

Especially because we know cooked veg are healthier and easier for the body to process. We couldn’t just whip up quick salads, we were having to cook most of our veggie meals. Now, there’s none of that! On ‘off’ days if I want to cook something else that I enjoy like my homemade tomato sauce, a bushfoods dish, paleo mayonnaise, green banana flour dishes etc I would and that’s ok, I’ll always do that. But I feel for the majority of my week my eating needs to be even more simple than it has been on this semi-carnivore journey so far.

Think about how humans would be able to eat in a totally, fully, completely natural environment; we wouldn’t have access to the HUGE variety of foods we do today, nor would we have the quantity of food available to us on a daily basis that we have now, weย  wouldn’t be eating foods made up of large quantities of different types of foods, we’d be eating in alignment to nature (with dirt, ash etc on our food. Not almost sterilised overly-hygienic environments), we’d have to work for our food with hunting, gathering, processing and cooking and we’d be eating outdoors and in tribes. Not indoors in solitude.

Our modern lifestyle is not conducive to how we naturally need to eat and live. And in a time when we’re over-exposed to and affected by harmful toxins, we experience chronic stress and sickness, we’re spending loads of time using and being surrounded by harmful tech devices and frequencies, and we’re more isolated even though we’re often living in more densely populated areas, it doesn’t make sense to be overwhelming our body’s with more food, more supplements, more synthetic materials, more toxins and more general confusion. The more we add the harder it is for us to deal with and utilise.

It DOES make sense for us to simplify things. Our food, our environment, our thoughts, our activities.

What’s our next step?

Well January happens to be World Carnivore Month and, if done properly, is an epic clean-up and good opportunity to use it as a type of ‘elimination diet’ and simplification period which would be good for us because we’d love to find out if some not-so-obvious foods we regularly eat are causing us some problems. Plus cut out definite we-know-about-but-easily-ignore problematic foods and ingredients.

The eating plan for the month consists of:

  • Red meat (muscle meat and offal)
  • Good salt
  • Beef bone broth and gelatin
  • Tallow/suet
  • Water

That’s it! So, no eggs, no coffee (which I know is a problematic one for me), no white meat like chicken, no seafood, no tea, no alcohol.

Steak

If you’d said to me 6 months ago we’d be doing a full-on carnivore diet month we’d have said you were insane! We thought it was such an unhealthy experiment and wouldn’t have considered trying it ourselves. But the more we learn, the more we realise the less we need to do.ย 

We’re going to do this high-level carnivore program for 3 weeks instead of 4 because we have Australia Day celebrations planned for the weekend of 25-26 January and want to enjoy a few of our favourite foods and drinks with friends (minimally of course), then continue a really basic carnivore approach after that but play around with adding foods back in for periods of time to see how they effect us. For example … eggs.

Many long-term carny’s report they feel better eating mostly just red meat, eggs never or rarely, clean animal fats, no or minimal animal milk/cheese, lots of salt and water. It’s really not natural for humans to have access to and be consuming chicken eggs regularly. And eggs can trigger an inflammatory response in many people. So it’ll be interesting to see how we go eliminating then bringing them back in.

White meat animals are fed so much crap, it’s no wonder people often feel better without consuming them. Whereas red meat animals such as grass-fed organic cattle and lamb (and in Australia kangaroo) are fed only grass varieties and produce cleaner, more bioavailable and natural nutrients for humans to consume and benefit from.

So for the next 3 weeks we’re going hardcore carnivore. Then we’ll go back to carn-omnivore (our made-up label to show that we’re mostly carnivore but still omnivores!) but simpler and more basic.

Tracking will be key for us throughout this next phase. We need to journal our experiences and gain better understanding of our health so we have better control over it.

We wouldn’t recommend just anyone embarks on a strict month of carnivore eating to begin with, it’s a huge stretch for most people. Basic carnivore though could be the way to go.

If you do want to join World Carnivore Month register HERE.

If you’d like to transition into basic carnivore we suggest you find out more via Dr Paul Saladino and Kevin Stock.

Coming up in the future blogs:

  • how the hardcore 3-week carnivore eating went
  • is eating meat ethical?
  • bio-availability and what it means
  • other lifestyle factors equally, if not more, important than just what we eat
  • grass-fed vs grain fed and other meat/ protein comparisons
  • + more!

 

Recipe: Immune Booster Lollies

I have experienced some crazy unusual sickness and injury over the last few months. I’m baffled as to why this is so I’m going to try to work it out, and definitely boost my immunity back up so it ends and so I feel well again.

Clint and I eat 90% Paleo, get lots of nature time and I get “nakey bakey” most days (a new name for naked sun time my friend recently came up with. Love it!), so maybe some stress is the underlying cause? Well, whatever it is I know my eating could be improved a little, especially while my immune system is obviously weak.

One of the most popular natural health tonics today is raw juice. We, though, are not fans of regular juicing. Ooh, controversial…! The reason? There are two main ones: 1. Humans need to chew their food most of the time; our stomach enzymes that digest our food need to wake up to be ready for the food to arrive and that happens in the mouth when we salivate and CHEW! 2. Juicing removes a large portion of the essential fiber in the foods blended up. That’s wasteful and not healthy.

But some of the foods that go into making up ‘health tonic’ or ‘superfood’ juices can be pretty darn healing, so why not utilise them in a way the body can better use?

That’s why I decided to make some Immune Booster Lollies! Or “Gummies” if you wanna get technical ๐Ÿ˜‰

These are really easy to make (as are most pure gelatin recipes), can easily be changed to suit tastes and allergies, and are easy to grab from the fridge during the day to get some goodness into the body.

Want to know how to make them yourself? Well alrighty, here you go!

IMMUNE BOOSTER LOLLIES

What you’ll need:

1 cup filtered/spring water

1 cup mixture of diced raw beetroot, carrot, green apple (peeled or not), fresh ginger (the beetroot taste can be overpowering so use less of this if you prefer)

6 tbsp pure beef gelatin powder (grab some from Gelatin Australia here).

Tips: Use half as much gelatin if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Tips: Add another tbsp gelatin for really firm lollies, especially if using molds. Use half as much if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Optional: Stevia powder or raw honey to your liking, to sweeten if needed.

Do this:

  1. Pour water into a small-medium saucepan, stove turned off, and gently sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the water.
  2. Once all the gelatin is on and appears translucent (this is called “blooming”) you can turn the stove to a medium heat to gently warm the liquid up. Use a whisk to stir as it heats up.
  3. Once all gelatin granules have dissolved pour half the liquid into a blender jug along with the diced fruit, veg and ginger. Blend on high until you have a fine mixture with as few chunks and lumps as possible. If using a sweetener, add it to the blender to combine.
  4. Pour the remaining gelatin liquid in and stir to combine. The more gelatin you blend with food the frothier the mixture becomes and ends up setting with a thick layer of froth. I prefer the texture of a bit of froth, not too much. For almost no froth blend the foods with just enough pure water needed then gently stir the gelatin liquid in. Possibly add a smidge more gelatin to the saucepan if you go with this method.
  5. Once the mixture is blended to your liking you can pour straight into silicon molds or into a square/rectangle container to create a gummy ‘block’ to slice up once set. ย  Tip: if you’d prefer less texture from the food ‘bits’ then simply strain some of the liquid through a fine sieve but keep in mind that’s where a lot of the nutrients and fiber are.
  6. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set firm. Remove from molds and store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge, or slice up the block into small squares.

Grab some to munch on during the day and enjoy the pure whole food healing goodness! Include some in the kids or your own lunchbox (as long as it stays cool), take on road trips, include them at parties.

Remember, these are versatile. Add or remove ingredients listed for others you’d prefer. Pretty much all of my recipes are versatile so you can adapt to your own tastes and needs!

If ALL of my gelatin recipes and all the techniques you’ll ever need to become a gelatin pro, grab my e-book here.

Let me know how you go with this recipe and happy healing ๐Ÿ™‚

Aimee x

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…ย 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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My makeup tray

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

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

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

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.

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My non-makeup skincare collection

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Ecology Skincare creams are really fluffy and soft

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I figure though because I only use them on the edge of my lids, it’s not much and can’t be doing too much damage to my health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s about all we use as far as skincare and makeup goes! As you can see, I’m not totally there with 100% natural but I’m very close and that suits me at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

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.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bye for now!

Aimee x