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!

Excited

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

Get grounded without going barefoot

Since my last barefoot-related blog post “Barefoot doesn’t = bogan” I’ve really become a big fan of barefoot. For myself personally, not just because of all the published benefits of it. I already knew how good it was for our health and since I’ve been going barefoot more and more often over the last few months I am totally in-love with walking and moving with no shoes on. Not just on comfy surfaces but almost everywhere. And the soles of my feet are toughening up the more I walk on rough surfaces, meaning I can walk on more rough surfaces and my feet are getting more used to it as I do.

Now.. I much prefer to be barefoot. I’m far more comfortable! Which is a really nice way to be!

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‘Comfort’ a word I don’t hear used very often. In life we use so many objects and put ourselves in so many situations that cause discomfort. Like high heels, chairs, heavy handbags, intense beauty regimes – none of which are natural for human beings and all of which cause some level of discomfort.

But I can honestly say I feel more comfortable being shoe-less these days.

At home (that was an easy one to master), at the beach (well it’s really just wrong to wear shoes on the sand!), walking on different pavement  surfaces (that one took some getting used to!), and even bush walking in our local national parks (sometimes encountering gravel patches.. that one REALLY took some getting used to!!).

And guess what? My heels are not cracked. I don’t have ugly feet. In fact.. my heels are much less cracked than when I used to wear flats to my part time office job before I started working solely from home, the thickness of the skin is increasing, and my feet actually ‘look’ nicer! (not that too many people are grabbing my feet for close inspections of how pleasing on the eye they might be. It’s more for my own opinion).

So you could say the barefoot experiment is going great guns. I love it!

BUT! Yes, there’s a but…

Sometimes barefoot just isn’t ok. Like when it’s bindi season here in South East QLD for example.. barefoot and bindis just don’t mesh. Unless of course you have actual caveman-thick feet and you can’t feel a bindi sticking into your skin. That would be really nice, but I’m not there yet.

And in the middle of Summer when it’s so hot the asphalt roads start to melt and even the lighter colour pavement can burn the sole of a foot to a crisp.. that’s another time barefoot doesn’t work too well.

And.. sometimes a gal just wants to wear shoes and not rock up at a meeting or event foot-starkers! It does happen from time to time!

So there are occasions when footwear is desirable. But when you’ve been going barefoot for a while, totally loving it and totally hating shoes.. what’s one to do?

Go minimal of course!

Most of you guys would have seen someone, at some stage, wearing a pair of Vibram Fiver Finger’s, right? Maybe you passed a jogger wearing them and you did a double-take glance at their feet? Or you met someone like Clint out about, noticed his shoes, and all of a sudden it was the main topic of conversation for the next hour?!

Clint’s worn them for a few years now. They’re his ‘fancy’ footwear. He wears them when he needs to ‘dress up’ for a special occasion (yes, he’s worn them to flash weddings! Luckily his current pair and mostly black and not super noticeable)  and he loves them for the times he can’t go barefoot for whatever reason.

Vibram FiveFingers

They’re probably the most common and well-known form of minimalist footwear.

Some may suggest thongs or sandals would be considered as ‘minimal’ but, in my onion, if they don’t mold to the foot and let the foot move as naturally as possible then they’re pretty much the same as wearing closed-in restrictive shoes. Plus I’ve come across plenty of articles talking about how harmful to our structure and health wearing thongs (or ‘flip flops’ to our American friends) can be. So not only are they not classed as ‘minimal’ but they’re also not great for us.

Then you’ve got the big brand versions such as the Nike ‘Free’ shoes. But they’re still closed in, therefore somewhat restrictive.

There are other types of true minimalist footwear such as Hauraches (tribal sandals, pronounced “hor-arch-eez”) which Clint has always wanted to make, and are essentially a rubber or other mold-able material laced with some type of cord.

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The positives of minimalist footwear? Well, heaps…

“The concept of returning to a more natural style of running was popularized by Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run. McDougall researched the Tarahumara Indians renowned for their ability to run barefoot for miles. McDougall found that the shorter, more repetitive stride you naturally take when running barefoot eliminated the heel pain he had been experiencing.

How? Running barefoot forces you to land on your forefoot and midfoot instead of your heel, as you do in the longer strides you take in constructed footwear. The result is more efficient transfer of energy; reduced impact on the joints in your feet, ankles, and knees; and strengthening of the muscles in your feet. Many people discover the same benefits McDougall has, which is one of the most compelling reasons so many of our customers are excited to try minimalist footwear.

Another big reason to try minimalist is, quite simply, it’s a lot fun. Having next to nothing on your feet is a liberating feeling that brings you closer to the earth in every way. You’re more aware of rocks, sticks, and subtle changes in terrain, and you can really feel the difference between running on grass, pavement, or dirt. Customers tell us that they feel like kids again and that they just plain enjoy their minimalist workouts more.”  ALL ABOUT MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR – Eastern Mountain Sports

Not only is minimalist and barefoot running and walking better for the body structurally, it’s also more fun, yay!

But one of the big downsides of wearing any kind of shoe – minimalist or not – is the fact you lose out on earthing.

Beautiful, healing, natural, necessary earthing. Being physically connected to the earth and being able to literally absorb it’s healing benefits.

Why would one want to miss out on that when they’re so used to being barefoot and automatically receiving earthing?!

Well, I definitely don’t enjoy wearing shoes knowing I’m not getting earthing. But then I found me Earth Runners and problem solved!

So what’s an Earth Runner?!

Well… a few months ago I stumbled upon a post somewhere on social media showing an image of a pair of sandal-type things that allow earthing through the sole. I don’t remember exactly where I saw it, it was maybe Instagram or Facebook. The company was Earth Runners and the info in the post really interested me so I looked up their website, had a good look, loved what I was reading and decided to get in touch. This mob makes a minimalist shoe that has little copper bits built in to the sole, that allow the earthing energies from the ground to go up into the foot!

Amazing!

The company was nice enough to give me a pair so I could try them out and review them. They seemed really excited to hear an Aussie talk about earthing and loving minimalist shoes, so they were happy to help me out, and I was certainly happy to give them a burl!

I was asked to visit the Earth Runners website (affiliate link) and choose which style and size I wanted. Ooh, shopping online, so fun! I went with the Circadian, conductive with laces and when they arrived I was super pumped! It was still bindi season so this was good timing!

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My toy, fresh outa the box!

The first surface I wore them on was the tiles inside when I put them on for the first time. I managed to get them on pretty easily the first time but I did need to watch the instruction video just to understand how the laces worked and how to adjust. It was good because it showed me how to trim the excess leather so I didn’t have any lose bits to trip on.

So I walked around the house in them for a few minutes and I have to say.. if you get a pair and you have tiled or polished timber floors, be sure to wear them OUTSIDE first to ‘break in’ the soles so they’re not slippery! As soon as I walked in them on tiles I was slipping! But once I’d been outside on concrete and slightly scuffed the soles, they were fine and never slipped again. Good tip!

Over the last couple of months I’ve worn them on a variety of different surfaces in different conditions so I could become fully aware of their capabilities. Here’s where I’ve worn them and what I thought of those experiences…

Concrete foothpaths – I’ve walked long distances on concrete and found them really comfortable. If a lace isn’t tightened properly though there can be slight rubbing under the foot from walking a long period of time (as with many shoes and sandals) so it’s important to ensure they’re tight enough before setting off. But the clip is so easy to adjust you can tighten or loosen easily at any time. It’s just a flick of a part of the clip, a gentle adjustment of the leather strap then push clip down to secure. Easy!

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You can just make out the Earth Runner strap tan from my 1hr walk from Mooloolaba Esp to Maroochydore shopping centre on a sunny day!

Dirt and gravel paths – I wore these babies for a big bush walk in Kondalilla National Park a couple of weeks ago which was a good test for them on a variety of surfaces; from dirt/mud to gravel, and rocks. They went great on every single surface, always comfortable, and meant I could walk at a normal pace without the “ouchy ouchy ouchy” reaction of the gravel sections! The only time I took them off was at the bottom of the waterfall where it was all rocks, most wet. I prefer to walk barefoot when I’m climbing and exploring around areas like that. It feels good under my feet and the feedback my senses give me help me with agility and confidence moving across surfaces I’m still getting comfortable with.

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Testing out walking on rocks during a bush walk in the forest

Grass and sand – during a couple of visits to the country, walking on thick and long farm grass, I found these great. It was hot out there those days, there were lots of sticks, twigs, spiky plants, all sorts of things so for my soles to be protected but my feet not heating up and causing excess sweating or discomfort was terrific. I didn’t need to have closed-in shoes, so just having something under my feet was perfect.

Even just walking near home during bindi season was a blessing; not getting a single prickle stuck in my foot just walking to bring the wheelie bin in, woo!

Walking on sand is probably the most challenging surface because, as with all sandals and thongs, sand gets in between the foot and shoe! That’s just gunna happen, there’s no way to stop that. So just take the shoes off and enjoy the sand under the feet!

Wet – I’ve walked in the rain with them and on muddy and slippery rocks and logs. The tread is terrific. No problems at all.

Summary – so what do I really think of Earth Runners?

Within a couple weeks of wearing the Earth Runners regularly (walking to the shops, bush walking, etc) I noticed they started to mold to the shape of my foot. That’s great, that’s the bomb diggidy when you’re after minimalist footwear! Previously I was wearing Dunlop Volley’s as a minimalist alternative to standard joggers and when Clint was allowed the Vibram Fiver Finger’s in the family! But they only mold very slightly and only inside the shoe. They certainly don’t let the foot move as it should, it’s still restrictive in many ways. It’s a step in the right direction (pardon the pun!) but it doesn’t compare to a true minimalist option.

So I love that the Earth Runners have molded to my feet. They felt comfortable from the very start, but to shape to my foot means when I’m walking in them my feet are really free and moving naturally.

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Molding nicely to the shape of my foot

I also love that they didn’t rub anywhere unless I hadn’t tightened the straps enough. They didn’t rub on any of the parts of my foot they were touching; between the toes, on two spots on the top of my feet, around the heel, or underneath. Initially I was concerned they would. But the leather is so soft, unlike rubber on thongs, that the straps just felt like part of my feet!

I love that I can walk long distances in them on any surface and not have a sore back afterwards. Which I would get from any other type of shoe. I think because my arches are allowed to be strong and the support for the rest of my body, as they should, there’s no stress on my back. And because the shoes are so thin I’m having to walk almost as softly and gently (i.e. not slapping my foot down hard) as I would if I was totally barefoot. Which prevents a lot of pressure going up into the joints.

I love that I’m getting earthing while I’m wearing them. I’m not missing out on that huge barefoot benefit when I do need something under my feet for protection or comfort.

I love that they look nice. When I want to wear a shoe for the purpose of how I look, these look like a nice pair of sandals. I’ve even had compliments when people have looked down at my feet and said “Oh nice new sandals there!”. They look nice even after I’ve worn them in places that should have made them look worn or dirty – they don’t look dirty and I’ve not once washed them!! Bonus!

I love that they’re made of natural materials. I love that the base is Vibram meaning it’s incredibly durable (some are made with other brand soles but all are top quality and well-known). I love that they’ll last me ages therefore less money being spent on shoes and better for the environment throwing out less things and less synthetic things too!

I don’t do much running, a bit of barefoot technique sometimes in among my play sessions, and these puppies feel great when I do. Just a tip: when ordering online be sure to measure your feet accurately. As opposed to me who accidentally asked for a size slightly too big for my feet. Therefore when I run I need to make an effort to lift my feet a bit higher. Oops. But other than that, they’re amazing for running in!

Basically.. I love everything about them!

I am a big fan of Earth Runners and am more than happy to promote them to anyone and everyone! We are lucky enough to have an affiliate link set up on the website and blog, so you can easily grab a pair through us. We ONLY affiliate with brands we 100% trust and respect. So stay tuned for that!

Want a pair? Grab some here! (affiliate link)

Thanks to Michael and the team at Earth Runners for making these amazing shoes! Love your work guys!

Aimee

 

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. My pair of Earth Runners!

2. Getting earthing and healing energy from the planet

3. Now being more comfortable barefoot than in cushioned shoes

4. Bush walking

5. Raw honey. It’s really yum!

 

 

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

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

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

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dirt roads often lead to paradise

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

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

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

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

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finger lime tree

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fresh finger limes

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Aniseed tree

 

 

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

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

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

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Ok so now what?!

 

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

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

 

 

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

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Boiling the seeds for an hour or more

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

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

 

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Seeds opened and flesh removed

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

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The good bit!

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Into the wilderness

 

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

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

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

Aimee

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. trying and enjoying bush tucker like bunya nuts

2. days spent in the country

3. the rain today giving life to my garden

4. all the amazing events we have planned this year

5. good people in our life