Welcome to our Natural Bathroom: the theme is clean!

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Part 1: The theme is clean!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Grab one here.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Clint & Aimee

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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

 

Paleo Meetup Fun: Farm Tour at Hinterland Feijoas

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Time for some fun on the farm!

As hosts of the Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group one of our goals is to connect consumers to quality local producers and to help generate education and awareness around healthy farming practices and consumption of healthy foods. One of the ways we do this is by holding Farm Tour meetups.

From beef to fruit, whatever great local produce we can find in the region that’s paleo-friendly and where the producers are happy to let us on their property for a look around.. we make it happen!

Last Sunday we held a really unique farm tour meetup.. at the Hinterland Feijoas farm! Situated in Belli Park, among the rolling green hills of the Kenilworth area in the Mary Valley, Sally and Peter Hookey grow organic feijoa fruit on their beautiful property and sell their produce, along with jams, chutneys etc at their farm fate.

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“Feeej.. what now?!” we hear you say!

Pronounced “fee-joah” this neat little fruit is in the guava family, is really high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, is super versatile to use and tastes delicious!

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Rows of feijoas

We were lucky enough to have a private tour of the farm to learn more about this seemingly-strange and hard-to-find fruit, starting with Sally telling us all about the feijoa fruit, where they originated from, why they decided to grow them and what they do with their produce. Then Peter walked us around the orchard explaining how the fruit is grown and all the farming practices involved.

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

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

 

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It’s an interesting fruit to touch and smell

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Off we go to see the actual fruiting trees

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Fruit a plenty on this tree

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

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Even the kids got into it

 

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

It was terrific to spend time in the fresh air, getting lots of sunshine, surrounded by like-minded people and learning new things.

Not only did we get to tour the farm, we were allowed to have a picnic there as well, and what better spot and views could we possibly ask for?!

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Perfect picnic spot

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

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Plenty of yummy food for everyone

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Ladies lunching!

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Paleo Choc Mint Slice thanks to Alyce… yummo!

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

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

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Paleo picnic food galore! What a feast!

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Sampling the feijoa goodies and stocking up to take plenty home

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Peter and Monika having a chin wag

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Twinkle Toes entertained the kids (and big kids!)

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As did the horse!

What a great meetup it was 🙂

We really appreciate the support of the farmers who let us roam their properties and bug them with questions!

And of course we love seeing meetup group members coming along and benefiting from these experiences. Also a big thanks to everyone for bringing such delicious foods along… what a feast we had!

We only had a small group come along on Sunday but they were all enthusiastic and keen to learn. From the feedback afterwards they all enjoyed the event and here’s what a couple of members shared with us…

“I hd a very enjoyable Farm Tour at Sally and Peter’s Hinterland Feijoas farm last Sunday. I learnt all about Feijoas, how the grow, what they need and what they can be used for. I got to taste the fresh fruit (tree ripened) which was delicious, as well as jams and chutneys. Peter also explained to us what it means to him to be a certified organic farmer, the requirements, certification process and his dreams for the future and the future for organic farmers. Our group concluded the tour with a shared Paleo picnic and great conversation. A lovely day out in the hinterland in Belli Park. Thanks for organising Aimee and Clint 🙂” ~Andrea

“I think it was great to get out and visit a fantastic little business like this. Passion, authenticity, respect for the Earth, and dedication to a quality product – that’s an inspiring thing to see. Not only that, but it was a beautiful location, fantastic weather and lovely people to share a picnic with too!” ~Andrew of At One Foods

We’re glad the meetup was enjoyed by our members! We had a great time too!

It was a low fruit yield this year for Sally and Peter, due to the past 2 dry years. So there was no fresh fruit for sale but we were fortunate enough to grab a container of feijoa pulp which we then turned into a delicious paleo crumble using some native bush foods and a green banana flour topping!

Check out the recipe…

Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble

PLUM PINE & FEIJOA CRUMBLE

Stewed fruit:

Add 1 cup feijoa pulp to a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup plum pines halved (or swap for regular plums), 2-3 tbsp raw honey and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla (powder, paste, as long as it’s 100% pure and organic). Bring to a simmer and, stirring often, allow to cook down for about 5 mins or until plums have softened completely. Taste the mixture and add more honey if needed. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and spoon into serving cups or bowls.

Crumble topping:

In a small non-stick fry pan on low heat add 1 tbsp ghee, 3 tbsp desiccated coconut, 3 tbsp green banana flour (grab Natural Evolution products here) and 2 tbsp raw honey. Stir with a spoon to combine the mixture and continue to stir, keeping it moving so it doesn’t burn. You’re looking for a golden brown colour all through the mixture, with some lumps and chunks still there for texture and crunch. Once you’re happy with it, spoon the crumble over the stewed fruit in the bowls or cups and serve!

 

The world’s first Green Banana Flour recipe e-books are now available! Click HERE

 

You could even add Paleo ice cream to the top before serving (recipe in Paleo Kitchen Creations e-book here).. YUM!!

Talk to the guys at Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Nursery about native foods like Plum Pine!

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Enjoy!

And we hope to see you at a meetup soon! Check here for our upcoming Paleo Lifestyle events and register for our newsletter so you never miss a thing 🙂

Clint & Aimee

We chew the fat with Wattle Grove Organics!

We must admit, we receive some pretty neat packages being promoters of primal and natural living. We prefer to test products too before we promote them, so companies often offer to send us their goodies to try before we recommend others to buy. One of the coolest foods we’ve received would have to be the jars of organic chicken cracklings and fat from Wattle Grove Organics. I mean, really, what normal modern cave-person wouldn’t jump for joy at receiving a whole jar of CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN!!??!

 

And.. we may have eaten the whole jar in just one day… !! <guilty look> lol

 

Wouldn’t you have?! Sheesh! 😉

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So anyway, when we tried the chicken fat products we absolutely loved them and knew we had to include them in our Primal Pantry catalogue. And because these are such new and unique products we wanted to give you guys some info about them and about the people who make them, so you have a better idea about what they actually are, what you can do with them and what their health benefits are as well.

We decided it’d be a good idea to “chew the fat” (lol, don’t you love that?!) with Jillaine Williams, a clinical Nutritionist and partner to Di East with Wattle Grove Organics…

 

AC :: We recently tried the chicken crackling you make… it was absolutely amazing (we may have eaten the whole jar within a few hours…!).. what was the inspiration behind creating it?

JW :: As a Nutritionist I was looking for a low carb, gluten free, high protein, high fat snack to help move people (esp kids on and off the spectrum) away from fast food refined snacks to a better option.
AC :: You provide chicken fat, crackling and beef tallow, where is the fat you used sourced from?

JW :: We source our beef from certified organic, free range, hormone/ growth promotent-free cattle. Mainly from NSW area. Our Chicken comes from Inglewood farms- again certified organic so that this product meets the stringent requirements of Australian Certified Organics ACO. We are looking to provide lard from similarly certified free ranging organically fed pigs.

 

AC ::  Your goodies are all organic, did you always want to provide organic and was it hard to do?

JW :: As a nutritionist and long-term member of Weston A Price foundation my passion has always been for clean small-scale sustainable and ethical foods. Yes it is quite a challenge to meet the requirements of ACO- I wouldn’t have it any other way.
AC :: We love on your Facebook page the name includes “bringing quality fat back”! What would you say to those still with the mindset of “fat is bad” ?

JW :: Why thank you 🙂
The vegetable oil industry together with big AGriculture has done a splendid job of demonising animal fats and saturated fats- however the research literature challenges this dogma and the harm done by our uptake of vegetable oils and grain-based carbohydrates is now evident.

 
Our Fat FAQs page has more information as does my recently published article ‘Bringing Traditional Food Back: Healthy Fats & Oils & the Consequences of a Low Fat Diet’ Published in Great Health Guide on-line mag.

AC :: Finally, please share some of your tips on using your delicious fats and maybe even a favourite healthy recipe our readers can have a go at making.

JW :: Sure!
Beef fat is great for deep frying or bar-b-q. It is the most stable at higher temperatures (unlike vegetable oils or olive oil which are less saturated). Flavours which go beautifully with tallow are rosemary or thyme or sage. I love to fry seaweed- either wakame or nori- sprinkle with a little salt for crunchy nourishing snack or sprinkle for you veg/ salad.

 
Chicken fat or schmaltz is less saturated- to fry add a little ground turmeric to the pan as the fat is heating. Lovely with ginger, garlic added to cook marinated pork or chicken or fish. Chicken fat is also great for curries- heat your turmeric and organic curry spices before adding lots of veg and a little meat and coconut milk or cashew paste.
The cracklings are great straight from the jar as a snack or you might like to warm them and sprinkle over your main meal or add a crunch to your salad.
Beef and rosemary cracklings (coming soon) are great with a cold organic beer.

Jillaine Williams is a clinical nutritionist and partner in Wattle Grove Organics. Jillaine earned her degree in Health Science from the Endeavour College of Natural Medicine and has since been in clinical practice for the past 8 years. Having completed her degree she then travelled to Europe to expand her knowledge of culinary traditions and to further investigate the “French Paradox” wherein rich, luscious foods have long been associated with resilient health and beauty. Post-graduate courses include GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome), ACNEM (Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine), MINDD (MAPS Medical Academy of Pediatrics Special Needs) and BioBalance training. She is well versed in the Cutler chelation protocol, Healing Codes method and Kelley/ Gonzales Cancer protocols. She is a long-term member of the Weston Price foundation and has completed her NutriGENOMICS course with Dr B Lynch.

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Yay, thanks Jillaine! We love how passionate you guys are about quality! We’re so excited to have these goodies in our catalogue now for others to enjoy!

Aimee & Clint

 

Recipe: Easy Paleo Honey No-Soy Chicken

At our last meetup on the weekend Clint and I took along a few paleo goodies for t he picnic, and the honey soy chicken I made was a huge success.

 

Especially with my little friend Lachy who has a lot of food allergies and often can’t eat much at meetup picnics. I always try to include something he can have and this time he scoffed down the chicken, with a big smile on his cute little face. So I thought I’d better get this super easy, tasty recipe up on the blog for more people to enjoy!

 

Remember… my recipes are pretty much always really simple and easy, I’m not into overly fancy meals because often a lot of ingredients with a lot of processes involved in putting them together can  be confusing on the gut. So if you like my kinda view of cooking then you’ll like my recipes.. I hope 😉

 

HONEY NO-SOY CHICKEN

Pollo a la soja, miel y limn

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius

You’ll need:

2 x free-range chicken breasts

3 tbsp coconut amino (for nightshade-free I use Matakana range available here, but otherwise use Niulife or a similar brand)

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2 tbsp local raw honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: crushed garlic, ginger

 
Do this:

For the time-poor folk…

1. Cut chicken into strips or cubes and place in a deep oven dish

2. Add the coconut amino, honey and salt/pepper

3. Get your hands in there and mix thoroughly so the sauce is coated evenly over the chicken

4. Place in the oven, uncovered, and set the timer for 20 minutes. Then at 20 minutes get the tongs or a large spoon and mix the chicken around so the inside raw pieces move to the outside and all chicken cooks properly

5. Place back in the oven for another 20 or so minutes or until all chicken is cooked through

6. There’ll be a lot of liquid at the end but I like using this as sauce for pouring over veggies as it can be placed in a container in the fridge and used later, or it can be simmered down on the stove right away to thicken up. Add some arrowroot to create a honey soy gravy

7. Store chicken in an airtight glass container in the fridge. It’s great served cold! If you include the liquid, you’ll find it’ll become jelly once refrigerated, yay!

Now for those with more time up their sleeves…

1. Follow steps 1-3 as above but then place in a container in the fridge for a few hours to marinate. This will infuse the flavours into the chicken more

2. Then cook and store as mentioned above

How easy is that!?!

It will go great sided with cauli rice, veggie mash or mixed into a salad
Enjoy 🙂

Aimee

 

5 Things I’n Grateful For Today:

1. A fun meetup at the Glasshouse Mountains and people enjoying my food

2. The 30 mins of magical #NakedSunTime I just got on the balcony

3. Wrestling Clint yesterday and finally getting him to the ground, woo!

4. My ‘Cowgirl’ mug cos it’s cool!

5. Country music

Our paleo Moree adventure!

When our good friends Tony and Carrie from Three Apples Organics in Moree, NSW invited us to visit and do some paleo workshops, the first thing we said was.. “Yes!” then we said… “Road trip!!”!

 

In 2014 Steve, Sarah and Brett, hosts of That Paleo Show (only the coolest radio show ever!), brought to QLD a magical event called Cave Camp that, among other things, helped form new connections and friendships within the paleo community. We were lucky enough to be there and made some amazing friendships. One person we met there and stayed in touch with was Tony Casey, owner of a little organic store in a little country town in NSW.

 

Skip ahead 7 months and we’re driving down to that little country town to do a series of Paleo Lifestyle workshops with that little organic store and it’s fantastic owners!

 

Our adventure began on Wednesday 13 May when we left the Sunny Coast and stayed with family overnight in Brissie (to save some time on the overall drive down) then headed off for the main leg of the trip early on the Thursday morning. And boy were we excited!

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See? Excited!

Clint and I both love the country so we knew we were going to enjoy a few hours driving through countryside we hadn’t seen before. Once we’d passed Toowoomba and headed south-west were all of a sudden in cotton and grain country. Kind of ironic that we promote minimal grain consumption for humans and animals and we’re driving past a heap of grain farms lol

 

Once we crossed the QLD/NSW border we noticed a distinct change in scenery and wildlife. We even spotted some emu and wild boar on the way! And as we edged closer to Moree we were treated to beautiful bright yellow wattle trees lining the roadside, giving a burst of colour to some often plain views.

 

We arrived in Moree at the very end of the day and pulled up out the front of the Three Apples Organic store on the corner of an intersection in an old Hotel building – which was a bit of a contrast actually!

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We quickly settled into our motel, which was just across the road of Tony and Carrie’s home, we had a nice dinner at their place and got an early night to be ready for the first day of workshop fun set for Friday!

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Inside the famous Three Apples Organics store!

First up… Clint took a group of 16 energetic pre-schoolers for a 1 hour Primal Play session. He was just as knackered at the end as the kids were! They spent the time running around, playing Chasey, balancing, crawling, mimicking animals, stalking, sneaking, rolling, jumping, and laughing.. lots of laughing!

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It was great to see some of the mum’s join in as well. Especially because the movement and activities Clint did aren’t just for kids, they’re for all ages. The only difference being as we move out of childhood, through our teens and into adulthood, most of us lose the ability to move properly. It’s not that we’re meant to stop playing and moving naturally because we reach a certain age. It’s just that the way we tend to live in this day and age, that’s what ends up happening. So when adults attempt to jump, crawl, balance etc they usually find it difficult. One of Clint’s goals is to educate kids AND adults about the benefits and necessity of moving this way and having fun doing so, throughout our entire lives, not just through the early years. So to see some adults joining in, getting a great workout and having heaps of fun was terrific!

 

After the fun that was the pre-school workshop, we had some lunch at the motel and ducked off to a park (and boy there are a lot of parks to choose from in Moree, it’s great!) to do some natural movement ourselves and Clint set up the slackline.

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That afternoon Clint had another workshop to do, this time with a group of primary school kids. It was only a small group but all the kids seemed to have a lot of fun and the parents sounded impressed with the activities and games.

 

The age of that group meant Clint could incorporate more ‘mindful’ movements into the mix such as ‘Stalking your Pray’ which involves one person (usually Clint) standing with eyes closed, facing one direction, with the kids crawling up towards him from behind, trying to be as quiet as possible. The person standing needs to listen carefully and turn to point to where they hear a noise and try and end up pointing at someone crawling. The kids crawling need to think about their movement, the noises they’re making, which direction they’re coming from and the speed they move at. It’s got the usual benefits of crawling but with more mindfulness and thinking.

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‘Stalking your Pray’

 

 

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‘Chasey’ always a hit!

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‘Lifeguard Sprint’ where the kids lie face down in one direction then at “GO” they jump up , turn and sprint to an object in the opposite direction. Definitely a thinking game and great for getting the heart rate up

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Hands on shoulders and pushing is great for all over strength

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‘Hip Tiggy’ is always a favourite, it gets the heart rate up and the giggles on!

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‘Over and Under’ teaches coordination, team work and is good for general strengthening

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Inverted Crawling mostly strengthens the arms, shoulders, wrists and quads

They’re images of just a few of the games and movements the kids did in that session. We’re pretty sure they would have all slept very well that night! And well done to the two mum’s who joined in some of the time, we hope you slept well too!

 

Day 1 of workshops isn’t over yet! I had my ‘Sweet & Tasty Treats’ Paleo Cooking Demo to host yet! BIG day!

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Does that photo look a little dark to you? That’s because it was taken during a blackout!! Yes, we actually had a power outage in the store during my evening workshop!! Apparently a powerline at the local tennis centre fell onto a parked car, causing some of the CBD to be without electricity for some time. Luckily for us not all the shops were power-less, so quick-thinking Tony took a food processor full of Banana Bread ingredients to a friends’ nearby shop with power, gave it a blitz, brought it back over and put it in the still-hot oven. It wasn’t ready that night but it was in the morning so all the guests could come back and grab their piece!

The Chocolate Brownies that were already in the oven cooked almost enough during the workshop. They were still a little gooey on the inside, but for brownies.. that’s totally fine and often preferred by fudgy brownie lovers anyway!

The other tasters – Jelly Cups and Apricot Bites – were already set in the fridge and ready to go so they were devoured on the night. And before long the power was back on and we could finish the workshop off. A big thanks to everyone who lent their phone torches so we could get through the darkness without injury! lol

 

After a big day of workshops we were looking forward to a relaxing dinner again over at Tony and Carrie’s place. Their hospitality throughout the entire weekend was absolutely amazing and we had some great conversations with them and their gorgeous kids. They definitely took their ‘friend’ status to the new level of ‘family’ pretty quickly while we were there!

 

We’d had perfect blue sky weather since we arrived and Saturday was no exception! First thing Saturday morning we headed to the local soccer fields to watch Xan play soccer before our final 2 workshops on that day; Clint took a group of adults through a Natural Movement and Play session which included a bit of a chat about the Paleo Lifestyle. Some attendees were already quite familiar with paleo in terms of food but not so much the movement aspect, which we find common when we meet people.

 

‘Crawling’ is an essential foundation movement for any age

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Once hands and knees feels easy, switch to hands and feet. MUCH more challenging and works even more muscles including the abs

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Women especially like ‘Inverted Crawling’ for those ‘tuckshop lady arms’! It’s also great for getting down steep hills with ease and speed

 

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‘Hip Tiggy’ get the kids laughing and adults alike. Never has one person not at least smiled when doing this activity in a workshop!

 

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Clint and Tony demonstrating the pushing movement and giving tips on how to find your strengths against your partner

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Slowing things down with some ‘Timing and Tension’

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‘Broad Jumps’ not only strengthens the legs and abs but is a great cardio boost

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Little Annabel joined the adults for a game of ‘Chasey’

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The ladies really got into the game!

 

As you can see from the images, the ‘big kids’ sure got into the games and movements Clint introduced them to! And hopefully they’ve since been doing a few of them in their regular workouts and are finding joy in moving.
Ok so that’s all the play for the trip.. but not all the fun! One more workshop left!

 

My ‘Everyday Savoury Dishes’ workshop at the store was still to come…

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Bacon, egg and melting cheese crepes.. mmmm!

 

I demo’d some of my favourite meals including Brekkie Crepes with Melting Cheese, Spaghetti Bolognese and Cauli Oregano Mash with Lemon Thyme Patties. They were a hit with the crowd… phew!!

 

It was a great 2 hour workshop, and a fabulous way to end the 2 days of Paleo Lifestyle events. Made even better by this gorgeous sunset we saw as we left the shop that evening…

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So the workshops were over, we had one more night left in town, what were we going to get up to before we headed home? A dip in the ARTESIAN POOL of course!! The main attraction to Moree is the artesian baths, and lucky for us they were right across from our motel, so we headed home, got changed and met The Casey crew over there for what was definitely one of our highlights of the trip. We could have stayed in the soothing warm water all night but we definitely would’ve come out shrivled prunes!

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The air feels just a tad cooler when you step out of the hot water… ok lie… it’s freezing!!

 

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What was in that water anyway?!

There are 3 different outdoor pools, all different temp, and we tried out all of them! Playing games in the colder one and scaring everyone else out of the water (mwahahaha!) and sitting with our backs to the massaging jets in the hottest pool. It was heaven!

My legs and feet were really sore and achy after all the standing I’d done, but when I got out of the pool I felt so much better. It was amazing. If you ever get the chance to travel to Moree be sure to visit the Aquatic Centre.

 

Our last night didn’t end there.. we ended up staying at Tony and Carrie’s for a while, having dinner, eating raw cake, and watching funny cat videos that had is in hysterics. As you do, right?! We had such a blast and of course then a late night, so we didn’t head off as early as we’d planned to the next day… oops! But it was worth it 🙂

Before we drove off I had to get a photo of something that kept making us laugh …

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Every time we stepped outside we saw men and women, of seemingly Russian, or Ukranian, or something, descent all walking to and from the pool wearing robes and slippers. So many of them! It was so cute and so funny at the same time! It’s like ‘the thing’ people in Moree do, hilarious!

 

So after that we drove to Brisbane, tired but really happy. It was such a wonderful weekend; the new experiences we had, the lovely people we met, the positive feedback we received… we loved every minute of it and are so grateful for the opportunity. We love taking our knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the Paleo Lifestyle to more people and we hope we can do so with many more road trips in the future. If you’d like us to come to you and do our thang, just let us know and we might just be able to make it happen!

 

A HUGE thank you to The Casey’s for their amazing hospitality while we were in Moree. And also a big thanks to Sarah, Steve and Brett of That Paleo Show for having organised Cave Camp QLD, inviting us along, and allowing us to meet such awesome people like Tony. Without that event none of this would have been possible!

 

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Our trip to Moree and all the fun we had

2. Wonderful friends

3. Getting sun on the balcony today

4. Finally being over the virus I had all week

5. A really fun private cooking workshop yesterday

Paleo meetups aren’t just about the food.. but it is a bonus!

Today we held a very laid back meetup at Earthly Wonders Emporium in Maroochydore, who just a few months ago started introducing paleo options to the menu. We thought it was about time we held a meetup there, so we did! It was lovely too. Just a small group of ladies came along and joined us for a couple of hours of eating, drinking and lots of chatting!

 

Thanks to the ladies who came along, it was lovely to see you all. And thanks also to Kelly and her wonderful team for hosting us! Clint’s special iced choc with mesquite, that he always asks for, was delicious as usual. My nettle tea was perfect. And everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals and drinks too. And it was a great setting for a lot of good conversation!

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Sweet potato, eggs, meat, salad, all sorts of amazingness right there!

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Dig in Lesya!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nettle tea was just what I needed today

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Clint’s fave drink.. iced chocolate with mesquite powder. YUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chats, as well as the food and drinks, were great today; we talked paleo of course including eating and other aspects such as movement and getting outside in nature. We also talked about what work we do, the stresses in our lives, some of our big goals for the future, and all sorts of things.

 

Clint and I really cherish these get-togethers – connecting with people like this, who are also on a journey to achieving good health and happiness, is a very special thing and we hope this meetup group continues to grow and supported by locals, so we can keep paleo going on the Sunny Coast, to help and inspire as many people as possible!

If you’d like to come along to future meetups at this cafe, or just any of our awesome gatherings, stay up to date with events here

 

Good night x

Aimee

 

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. Today’s meetup and the lovely people we spoke to

2. Organic and paleo-friendly cafes in our region

3. The amazing warm sunny days this week and being able to sit outside and soak up the Vitamin D

4. My raspberry plant about to berry this season

5. Good friends