Become a Movement Hunter

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

Without movement we’re dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job search

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sitting on the floor more often and sitting on the lounge less often. Sitting on the floor forces our bodies to change positions frequently as floor sitting can become uncomfortable quicky. Removing the ‘prop’ allows our body to give us accurate feedback and signals of when adjustments need to be made. We’re not relying on the comfort of a lounge to do all the work for us, our muscles, joints and mind are getting a workout while we sit on the floor, and the muscles, joints and mind benefit greatly from that!

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  • Sleeping on a thin mattress on the floor. This makes us get up from a lying down position instead of just putting our feet down onto the floor. It means our joints are getting more full-range movements and we’re more capable humans because we can easily get from lying down to standing whenever we need or want to.

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  • Walking to the shops instead of driving. We often leave the car at home and walk to the grocery store, markets and butcher. This allows us to get the benefits of walking, fresh air, good conversation time and we see and experience more because there’s always something interesting to see when out and about!
  • Adding to that one.. we carry a basket at the shops instead of using a shopping trolley, then carry our groceries home in eco-bags.

Healthy-Shopping bags

  • Putting the washing basket on the ground outside while hanging wet washing instead of on a trolley at waist height. This makes us have to bend down to pick clothes up so we get a full range of movement in from such a low position to then high when reaching to peg washing to the line.
  • Placing pieces of string between door frames, forcing us to step over each time we want to enter and exit the rooms. This stepping over motion is great for the hip joint, lower back, ankles, knees, basically the entire lower body, as well as the brain because we have to stop and think about it each time. The brain like this!

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  • And just for fun and as an experiment… placing pieces of string between walkways to then be able to crawl under to get to where we want to go. We did this recently for a week in the lounge room so every time we wanted to get to the lounge area we had no choice but to crawl. It wasn’t the most convenient method of getting more movement but it was challenging, enjoyable and beneficial. We’re going to use this tool as a sometimes option, taking it down when we want to but making a conscious effort to place it back up and crawl regularly.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thanks for reading!

Clint

 

Goal setting: time to re-think how it’s done

be brave and create your future

Taking time and making plans for the future is something I recommend everyone does, but since undertaking my journey of self-exploration over the last few months I have started to question the way we set goals.

 

Goal setting is something I’ve done on and off for a while now with mixed results, but like a lot of things I am looking into and re-assessing, I want to find the best way to achieve things that works for me.  I’ve needed to find a way that really resonates with me, not a way to do it that is just the way everybody else does it or seems to be the most popular on social media.

 

And I think I’ve found the way for me; I feel now that how I’m approaching 2016 will allow me to achieve all I want and desire in life.

 

To me, a goal seems to be something I’m working towards, something I wish to have, or something I want to achieve in the future. Goal setting puts me in the frame of mind of “one day I will…”, or “I must work hard to achieve my goals” and this just doesn’t feel right for me.

 

So this year I’m trying something different.  Instead of writing down my future goals, I have written out what is going to happen this year.  These are my beliefs, my will, and indeed things I feel very strongly about.

 

The good thing about beliefs is that things will often happen around us to reinforce them as true, thus creating a reality around us.  As opposed to goals which always seem be future-bound, not current.

 

For example, if you believe there’s a lot of hate in the world you’ll see more and more hate happening around you, in the media etc.  If you believe there aren’t enough resources (money, fuel, food etc) in the world, you’ll see a world that is lacking.

 

Alternatively, if you believe there are a lot of genuine and friendly people in the world you’ll find you come across them more often.  Do you see my point?

We are what we believe - text on a vintage slate blackboard

Our reality is dictated by our beliefs.  So I’m going to use my belief system to make what I want a reality.  I’ve written a list of things that will happen for me in my personal life, for the business and together with Aimee in 2016. I’ll read over these beliefs often to reinforce each one.  I’ll look for evidence around me to show that my beliefs are true and I’ll also edit, change and delete my list of expectations if they no longer serve me.

 

Will this work?  I believe so.  In fact, the only thing that’ll interfere with making my reality happen is my beliefs.

 

Now I need to take the time to do some self-work and enjoy my journey of personal discovery and achievements.

 

If you’re ready make the reality you want actually happen you might like to start examining your current thoughts, beliefs and inner talk. Identify those that aren’t serving you well and that are holding you back and re-word or adjust them to be positive and that will reflect what will happen for you.

 

Whatever way you go about planning your future I believe that 2016 will be your biggest and brightest yet!

 

Clint

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. Fun over Christmas and New Year’s
  2. Meeting new people
  3. Being able to share my ideas with the world
  4. Fishing
  5. Good books

Just how did the first ever Paleo Camping Retreat go?

What happens when 3 modern cave-people who like good food, natural movement and spending time in nature get together and plan a weekend of fun for a group of people?

This!

10 people, 2 nights out in the country, camping in tents, surrounded by bush and wildlife, eating delicious healthy food and playing…

Otherwise known as the Paleo Camping Retreat 2015!

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

The 3 all-things-primal-loving hosts:

Me – Aimee Clark

Aimee smiling

Clint Bauer

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Dan Barrett the Aussie Paleo Chef

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Where was this unique event held?

Well what better location than the beautiful Sunshine Coast, just past the hinterland, in the country town of Kenilworth.

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And we bet you’re wondering how an event like this came about in the first place?

Well late last year we caught up with Dan the Aussie Paleo Chef from Canberra while he was in Brissie for a cooking event. We all got along like a house on fire and became instant good friends. A couple weeks later he invited us to host a camping retreat with him, incorporating all the things we love and are passionate about. We took all of about 10 seconds to ponder the offer and give our response of… Hell yes!

How could we turn down as opportunity like that, when it was something we’d already wished we could do ourselves but knew we needed another awesome primal team member to actually make it happen?!

So it was official, we were going to host a Paleo Camping Retreat! Woo!

We set the date for 1-3 May and worked hard to plan the event and get lots of great sponsors on board. The week leading up was exciting, Dan was flying up on the Thursday, it started raining in the region over the middle of the week and then when Dan was on the plane flying up Thursday morning, we spoke to the owner of the property the retreat was being held at who told us there was going to be some serious flooding come Friday. So we made the sad decision to cancel the retreat. Boo! Poor Dan found out as soon as he landed!

We told our campers the bad news, sat down and worked out a new date…  July!! A couple more months to wait, we could do that…

It was hard waiting, again! But eventually mid-July rolled around, Dan was back up here and it was actually going to happen. It did rain a little during the week, of course, but nowhere near as much as last time thank goodness! Mother Nature just had to tease us didn’t she!

Day 1:

We spent Friday setting up the camp at the private Kenilworth property, with the day not going quite to plan and Clint ended up having to drive all around the Coast trying to collect food and other items, and didn’t get back to the campsite till late in the afternoon when our 7 campers were arriving. So Day 1 was a bit of a shemozzle but we got there. We helped our campers who were bringing their own gear set up their tents and beds, and had tents and beds set up for the others. We had already started a fire to get coals happening for the Roo Tail Stew Dan was cooking up for dinner. Our campers arrived to a nice smoky sunny welcome.. the best way to start a camping weekend!

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Because our day had gone way off track, we didn’t get to sit down and properly welcome everyone until late, and no one felt like doing much that evening, so we sat around the fire, waited for dinner and started to get to know each other.

What a great bunch of people we had… 5 adults, some Clint and I already knew, some we didn’t, and 2 teens created a diverse and interesting group of campers. Dan was looking forward to meeting everyone for the first time.

The stew for dinner was delicious, and really healthy, full of fresh organic produce supplied by Garry at Sunshine Organics, with local kangaroo tail supplied by a local chef and farmer. Then everyone was treated to paleo marshmallows to toast over the fire! One camper in particular, Shannon, told me she was so excited about these, even having a dream about them that night! She said she’d loved marshies growing up and was so happy to find a really healthy version of them. I was stoked to hear that of course!

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Browning the roo tail pieces on the fire

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Only lanterns and fire for light – such relaxing ambiance

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

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

The sky was a little cloudy so star gazing wasn’t an option but this cloud cover meant we’d be enjoying a warm night in our tents.

Day 2:

Us hosts were up at 6am to get a big cooked brekkie happening and slowly our campers started rising. Actually some took a little longer to get themselves up and out of their snugly warm sleeping bags, so I decided to walk around yelling loudly, threatening to eat all the fried eggs, bacon and sausages if they didn’t hurry up haha, that got ‘em up!

We boiled some water on the fire so folks could make a hot cuppa for themselves. We had Montville Coffee, Planet Organics teas and chocolate to choose from. As well as delicious raw and cinnamon creamed honey from Hello Honey Australia, and creamy coconut caramel and chocolate spreads from Niulife to create some magic in a mug. YUM! Along with the cooked goodies, and paleo granola from Analuca, brekkie sure was a feast!

Shannon enjoying a hot cuppa first thing

Shannon enjoying a hot cuppa first thing

We needed by be ready and raring to go by 8:30am for our guided Bush Tucker Tour with the property owner Graeme of Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Consulting. He walked us around his land and educated us about native bush foods. At that time of the year there’s not a lot of fruit available so he bought out some frozen foods for us to try on top of the few things we found on the walk. Some were sweet while some were sour. Ok I lie, most were sour! Bush foods are very rarely sweet, most have a tart flavour. Although strangely enough the Finger Limes that were fruiting all over about 3 bushes near our tents were actually quite sweet. A few of us were squeezing the ‘caviar’ out and sucking it down.. not what we’d expected. We expected to be pulling fish faces! So that was a nice, and tasty, surprise. I was stoked so many Finger Limes were available because I was using them in my Gelatin Demo that day.

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The bush tucker tour and chat begins

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Picking bush foods right off the plant

Native berries are often have very striking colours

Native berries often have very striking colours

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

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

Bush foods for us to try

Bush foods for us to try

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

After the educational start to the day, we served up morning tea with some Cave Foods and At One bars, Analuca trail mix, gelatin lollies made by me, nice cold Coconut Groove coconut water, and tea/coffee.

Healthy snacks for morning tea

Healthy snacks for morning tea

Next I gave my Gelatin Demo to a few eager beavers wanting to learn about gelatin, it’s benefits and how to use it. I made Finger Lime Panna Cotta (find the paleo panna cotta recipe here) which was for dessert that night. Those not watching had some free-range time to chill out. Some played, some read, some walked. Graeme stayed for the demo and was interested to see how bush foods can be used for healthy paleo dishes, yay, spreading the paleo love!

Clint was keen to get everyone up and moving after lunch so he took a Primal Play Workshop, teaching games and movements to help get the body and the mind working while improving fitness and having fun. Stick throwing/catching, medicine ball throwing/catching, Up Down No Hands, crawling, wrestling, tiggy, combo’s, it was a great mix of movements. Most campers hadn’t ever done that sort of thing before and one in particular, Nicole, got up and gave wrestling a go with Clint. She really stepped out of her comfort zone which was great to see!

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

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Tog O War is fantastic for all-over strengthening

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Getting some coordination training in with throwing and catching a stick

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

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Tiggy through the camp ground!

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

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

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

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

One of Clint’s favourite challenges to set is Facing the Flinch. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation to build tolerance and comfort level. His challenge this time was for us to jump into the freezing cold creek!!

Putting on brave faces while Facing the Flinch in the cold COLD creek!!

Yes, it really happened, most of us did actually take a dip! It was so invigorating and another confidence-building exercise which is always a positive thing. I remember trying to walk out of the creek onto the bank and found it really hard.. my legs were going numb haha that was sure an interesting experience!

After that chilly activity we got changed, warmed up by the fire and watched Dan get dinner ready. We were looking forward to Eumundi Beef topside and veggies roasted in the camp oven, followed by Finger Lime Panna Cotta I’d made earlier.

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

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YUM! Roast beef, veggies and paleo sausages!

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The campers dig into the night’s mighty feast

The pumpkin may have ended up a little mushy in the camp oven, but it didn’t bother anyone, overall the meal was delicious and followed by the panna cotta and more marshmallows, after which we walked to another part of the property away from the firelight to star gaze and chat, and it was a pretty good night really!

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Toasting marshmallows over the fire

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Then scoffing them down!

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

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Star trail

Can’t see stars like this in the city!

Check out Ross’s other amazing photos here

Day 3:

The final day of the retreat <sniff>. The campers woke seeming happier and more relaxed which was great to see.

We wrangled up brekkie for them, of eggs, bacon, sausages, Dan’s amazing tomato sauce, granola and whatever goodies were left in the camp kitchen!

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Happy and refreshed campers

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

After brekkie we took some time to wander around the property, enjoying the sunshine and warmer temp. Some spent time sitting by the creek, some picked more bush foods and some played.

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

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View through the trees and smoke haze

Dan and Clint doing some primal movement after brekkie

Dan and Clint doing some primal movement after brekkie

We really wanted to pack as much fun into the last day as we could, so Clint set the Slackline up between a couple of trees and let everyone have a go.

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

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

Shannon's turn

Shannon’s turn

Playtime ended and we decided to have a bite to eat before we had to pack up camp. A few of us foraged in the bushes for leaves to use for tea and came up with Nettle, Lemon Myrtle and Aniseed Myrtle. Boiled up and strained, the flavour was amazing! Even our bush tucker guide Graeme gave it double thumbs up!

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Freshly picked and brewed bush tucker tea

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Tea maker extraordinaire..!

Fresh tea plus some snacks for the road, we ensured our campers had full bellies before they left to travel home.

Shannon, who writes the blog Eat Well Travel Often, actually made a video of herself doing something outside of her comfort zone… trying the bush foods tea and eating roasted crickets! Check out her video here

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

One of the downsides of camping would have to be the packing up part! Even though us hosts wanted to take care of most of that for our guests everyone chipped in and helped, so it didn’t take long at all. The trickiest part was folding the pop-up ensuites! But Clint working in a camping store is well practiced so he showed Dan and Shannon the technique!

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

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

Once the campers were all packed and ready to go we organised one last activity… a Forest Therapy meditation session.

We all sat by the creek while I took a guided visualisation meditation using nature around us, to really relax and rejuvenate the group. It’s the perfect way to use the healing properties of nature to the fullest and something we enjoy teaching to people whenever we can.

The ideal spot for some Forest Therapy

The ideal spot for some Forest Therapy

That, sadly,  concluded the first ever Paleo Camping Retreat on the Sunshine Coast! Our campers then said their goodbyes, to us and each other, and off they went back home to their regular lives.. but hopefully feeling happier and healthier from a great few days in the hinterland.

We think they enjoyed the retreat if the feedback they shared afterwards is anything to go by…

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We want to thank all of our open-minded and lovely campers and all of our amazingly generous and helpful sponsors, you all helped make the first Paleo Camping Retreat a success and yes, there will be another!

We’re currently planning another retreat for Autumn 2016. If you’re interested in coming along, register your details here.

The sponsor list:

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Walker Farm Foods, Sunshine Coast Spring Water, Hello Honey, RumblesPaleo, Wippells Organic, Cave Foods, Sherwood Rd Organic Meats, At One, Planet Organic, Natural Evolution Foods, Analuca, Evolution Screenprinting, Ecology Skincare, Tassie Tallow, Niulife, Broth of Life, Primal Collective, Coconut Groove, Noosa Basics, Griffin Jerky, Emmely Rackemann Health Coaching, Eumundi Beef, Montville Coffee, Sunshine Organics

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

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To purchase your own bush foods starter kit for your garden, or to organise a tour for a school/community group, contact Graeme at Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Consulting here.

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

Aimee x

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

 

Natural muscle soothing balm – yep, Aimee’s been at the DIY again!!

A few weeks ago I had sore hammies from gardening so, somehow, I managed to come up with a surprisingly good muscle soothing balm. I know right, I’m a genius..!

But seriously, sore hamstrings from gardening? What the..?! Yep, I know it sounds silly, but I over-stretched the back of my legs while gardening for hours one day because I have a container garden, and the way the pots are all set up makes it hard to get to some of them. I can’t kneel or sit to reach some, which is fine, I don’t mind leaning over while standing, but for long periods of time isn’t so good. I woke up the day after with very sore hamstrings. So sore that I heated up the rice pack and laid it under my thighs for a while.

As I was laying on the lounge though I had a thought. I decided to Google “DIY heat rub” and from a few recipes I found and what from ingredients I had handy, I concocted a mixture that didn’t end up acting as a heat rub but still totally soothed the pain in my muscles.

I was shocked! It really worked! And I’ve used it a few times since just to prove to myself that it really does work and wasn’t just a fluke on the day!

So it was intended to be a heat rub but I find the mixture doesn’t really feel warm when rubbed on. I do find though that it noticeably reduces pain and also the timeframe of the pain/injury all up. I’m pretty darn happy with this little accidental creation and am keen to share it with you, so here’s the recipe…

balm for muscles

Grab these:

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 cup oil (I had sunflower oil in the pantry, so that’s what I used. You could also use olive or coconut oil)

1 tbsp beeswax (I used a beeswax tea light candle that was down to the bottom of the wick – $1.50 from Kunara, or buy big chunks beeswax from health food stores and some craft stores)

1 tsp pure spearmint or peppermint essential oil (I only had spearmint available)

1 tsp pure eucalyptus oil

 

Do this:

1. Place the sunflower oil and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan on low heat (use a saucepan you can keep for this kinda thing as it’ll be really hard to clean afterwards and then use for food!)

2. Let it heat up but not reach boiling, then turn off the heat and leave it there for a few minutes

3. Repeat this a few times (about 5 or 6), stirring occasionally. This will allow the cayenne to infuse without overheating the mixture and causing it to breakdown

4. During the last heating round, stir in the beeswax and let it completely melt

5. Place some muslin cloth folded over 4 times over the top of a jar, secured with a rubber band, then pour the oil mixture into the jar so the muslin catches most of the cayenne. (muslin cloth is only a few dollars per meter at fabric stores)

6. Add in the essential oils and stir through

7. Place the jar in the fridge or just on the bench somewhere to cool down. It’ll eventually cool right through and will set and become firm. It should be a dark orange colour and it’s fine if some of the cayenne got in and settles at the bottom

8. Place a lid on the jar and keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight

 

Note: If mixture cools down and is runny, return to the saucepan on low heat and add more beeswax. If it’s the opposite and sets too solid then return to the saucepan on low heat and add more oil.

 

Also, I had added essential oils to the saucepan and realised later when the mixture set that the smells of those oils had reduced, so I figured out it’s best to add those in at the end so they don’t heat up and breakdown.

 

To use: Rub a 20c piece-size amount onto sore muscles and massage in. It will leave some oil residue but for me I haven’t noticed it leaving any stains on clothing even though it’s a dark orange colour itself. Within a few minutes you may notice muscle pain easing. Even though the mixture to me didn’t feel warm or hot when applied, the properties of the cayenne and essential oils must have a warming and relaxing effect on muscles. Be careful using this on children’s skin and sensitive skin because it may feel hot or may cause a reaction. I don’t have sensitive skin so I’m not sure how someone with it, or children’s skin, would go.

 

Safety: do not ingest this mixture, keep out of reach of children, label it clearly, if it starts to discolour of go mouldy stop using it and throw it out, test it on your skin first with just a very small amount, if you react badly in any way then stop use immediately. This is only a recipe I made for myself and is only a suggestion of something that can assist in soothing muscle pain, this is not medical advice. Always seek professional medical advice if pain and symptoms persist.

 

There you have it! Now you have the recipe to make your own muscle soothing balm that’ll hopefully give you some relief next time you strain a muscle in some way. Even if you’ve been sitting at the computer for hours (which is naughty by the way!! Um ma!) and your neck and shoulders are feeling tight, rub some of this on and it might help relax them a bit.

One of the main benefits of making your own concoctions is you know exactly what’s in them and how they’ve been made. You know they’re safe for you and your family. And they didn’t cost the earth. Yay!!

How cool is DIY?! You’re getting a little hooked now aren’t you? Go on, admit it!!

Enjoy guys, and let me know how you go with it 🙂

 

-Aimee

 

The five things I’m very grateful for today are:

1. Spending the day with family at the beach, it was perfect weather and so much fun

2. Living on the Sunshine Coast with so many beautiful places to visit

3. My Gelatin Workshop this Sunday!

4. Organic cocoa powder cos it’s pure and delicious

5. Star gazing with Clint the other night in the hinterland with the swag, it was so nice xx