30 October 2013

Give up on exercise

For many people the word “exercise” conjures up images of spending hours at the gym sweating, endless amounts of crunches, sharing exercise equipment with the sweaty people before you, and just general discomfort.  

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It might be hard for you to fathom but crunches are NOT an essential exercise!

Well guess what?  It doesn't have to be like that. 

All we need is our body and the natural world outside of gyms in order to be fit and healthy. What’s even better is that nature is completely free – there’s no joining fee or fortnightly direct debits!  

Since you're probably new to this way of thinking and moving, here are some suggestions of fun and functional movements you can perform outdoors…

1. The Lava Game
This is an oldie but a goodie!  For those who don't remember how to play this, the rules are simple…

The ground is lava!  By using equipment and items nearby you have to navigate from point A to point B without touching the ground or you'll simply burn up.

This game is great to play in a place where you have obstacles such as a playground or rocks to play on.  The main benefit of this exercise besides needing to think is ‘mindful movement’ for the whole body. 

What do I mean by mindful movement? Mindful movement is movement that requires you to think about it. Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for example is not mindful movement.  

You also get the benefit of explosive movement as you jump from obstacle to obstacle, as well as flexibility as you duck, weave and move.

2. Tiggy 
This game requires more than one person to participate, although I must admit it would look pretty funny trying to play this alone!  

Once you have more than one person ready to play, start with 1 person being “it”. This person has to tag someone else in order to no longer become “it”. Then just keep going!

It’s a very simple concept but great cardiovascular interval training is a great workout.  The reason for this is because you are constantly on the move. Sprints thrown in when someone tries to tag you adds to the overall benefit and fun!  

3. Quadrapedal Movements
Do you want abs of steel but hate the thought of doing crunches?  Then try some quadrupedal movements in your play time!  

Crawling on all fours, monkey walks and ape walks will get every muscle in your body working hard as you transform back to our early evolutionary roots.

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crawling on hands and knees

natural primal movement healthy functional personal trainer sunshine coast fun affordable outdoor nature
crawling on hands and feet

4. Remove One Limb
Choose one of your limbs - a leg or an arm - and play around with moving through a variety of obstacles without the actual use of that limb. For example, place one arm behind your back and attempt to climb a ladder at the playground.

This is another mindful activity because it requires you to think about how to move without using a vital body part.  

5. Partner Object Carry 
Pick an object that both you and your partner are capable of carrying, such as a rock, a sandbag, a small child etc and set start and end points. 

Work together to move your heavy object from point A to point B. Pass the object to each other while each person takes turns to move forward or ahead. This game works really well at a children’s playground or in and around a rocky creek.  

This exercise utilizes strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and mindfulness to achieve an objective.

6. Chase the Waves
Next time you're walking along the beach make a game of chasing the waves. It’s fun and incredibly effective!

As a wave heads back towards the ocean, sprint towards it as far as you dare.  Then when it turns to come in again, sprint back so you don’t get wet. Repeat and after a few rounds you'll see why it’s great for fitness!

If you're keen and quick try do some push ups in between each wave! This adds a whole new element to the game.

"you can't catch me waves!"

So as you can see… playing is only limited by your imagination.  There are so many fun movements you can create. The options are endless.

Here’s another gem… try adding some jumping and climbing!

Now that I’ve given you these 6 awesome ideas to stop exercising and start playing I’d love to hear some of your suggestions and experiences. Leave a comment below with ideas you have or games you’ve played and enjoyed.

If you're feeling self-conscious, unsure, unconfident or would like other people to play with then feel free to join in on the Primal Group Training sessions each week

One more thing… stop reading and go play!!


5 Things I am grateful for are:
1. The wonderful people I am meeting on my health journey
2. Truly loving what I do
3. Days off
4. Being the world’s best Uncle!
5. Constant opportunities to learn new things

28 October 2013

Meet-up fun in Mapleton

What better way to spend a Sunday morning on the Sunshine Coast than with a trip to the beautiful hinterland?

Our Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meet-up Group meet-up this month was a 30 minute or so drive from Maroochydore to the pretty little hinterland town of Mapleton.
We'd had very little interest for people to attend this time around and a few cancels on the day, but we didn't mind, we knew we'd enjoy the morning anyway!

Clint and I drove to Mapleton Falls National Park and met up with Jenny, the owner of Mapleton Falls Luxury Accommodation guest house, and her partner Lucky, visiting from Sydney, for an easy 30 minute bushwalk. We then headed just a couple hundred metres down the road to the guest house where our mate and meet-up group member Ross joined us for a picnic on the back deck.

The view from a lookout along the track in the national park

Big deck, nice views, peaceful, perfect!

It was nice to catch-up with Jenny, who's a new friend of ours, and meet her partner Lucky. Ross had recently returned from a few weeks holiday overseas with his wife so it was great to hear about his adventures and also how he ate over in Asia. He said he enjoyed the non-Paleo cuisine but was glad to be back eating how he usually does - back to bacon, eggs, grass-fed meat and all that good stuff!

Lucky and Clint chatting - about fishing probably!

Jenny giving Ross the grand tour of the guest house

So besides the bushwalk and chatting, what else does a meet-up involve? 

Food of course!

Paleo chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing... <drool>

Ross, the legend, brought along 6 amazing-looking delicious-tasting Paleo chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. OMG, they were so yum! Credit must go partly to his wife Danielle who helped make them - thanks guys, these were just so very yummy in our tummies!

Do you wanna make these yourself? You totally can! Here are the recipes...

The cupcake recipe: http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-chocolate-cupcakes

Link to icing recipe: http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-chocolate-frosting


I always try to make a picnic food treat that's a little bit different. Not the usual paleo brownies or bacon-wrapped something-or-other. So the day before, I scrolled through my recipes which I save in my Gmail account for easy access pretty much anywhere I feel the urge to find something interesting to create, and found one for apricot cashew butter stuffed dates. The ingredients and method looked simple so I grabbed what I needed and off I went to prepare for the next day's picnic.

I kinda changed the recipe around a bit, and made a slightly different date-stuffing mixture. Not only that but I accidentally made WAY more apricot mixture than I had dates to stuff them in. So, this is what I came up with...

Apricot coconut cashew cups - some with raw chocolate on top 

Apricot coconut cashew stuffed dates
How yum do they look?! I knew the end result would be a winner. Cos I kinda, er, kept eating the mixture as I was going!! I couldn't help it, it was so good!

Recipe? Here tis! Keep in mind I'm known for not taking note of measurements as I'm busy creating magic in the kitchen, so this is a rough idea of numbers and you can feel free to play around with quantities. 

Apricot Coconut Cashew Deliciousness

You'll need:
1 cup organic dried apricots 
1 cups shredded or dessicated organic coconut (sulphite-free)
1/4 cup organic coconut oil 
1 tsp organic cinnamon powder
1 cup soaked organic raw cashews

To do:
1. Roughly chop apricots then place in a food processor
2. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor
3. Pulse a few times to start to gently combine
4. Leave on lowest setting until all ingredients are well combined and apricot is no longer chunky. If you need to add more coconut oil to get the mixture breaking down better you can
5. Once the mixture is well combined - sticky, thick, gooey - you can do a couple of different things with it...

Stuffed Dates:
Grab a pitted date, open the slit a bit and use a teaspoon to place the apricot mixture inside.
Gently close the slit so the date it as closed as possible.
Place in the fridge so the coconut oil sets and the stuffed dates firm up.

Grab some silicone cupcake moulds (or something similar) and spoon the mixture in so it's firmly packed into each mould.
These will set in the fridge and can easily be removed from the moulds.

Make some raw choc using cacao, coconut oil, stevia or raw honey and drizzle around the dates (place them in freezer for 30min first, so choc sets quickly when drizzled on) or drizzle onto cups for added flavour and deliciousness.
Keep refrigerated until serving time or you'll have a runny coconut oil and choc mess on your hands!

These little goodies are great as healthy snacks for the kids, taking to picnics and gatherings, or even as a healthy and yum snack for taking to work. 

By the way, I realise the inclusion of cashews means this mixture isn't technically 'paleo', so before you get annoyed at me, please remember that the name of the meet-up group also includes the words 'primal' and 'real food' so it covers all bases, not just strictly paleo-friendly foods. Just had to clear that up :)


So that was the food we enjoyed on the day but the best part of the meet-up was by far spending time and talking with Jenny, Lucky and Ross and just relaxing on the deck at the guest house.

Mapleton Falls Luxury Accommodation truly is a magnificent property so why not consider it when you're next after a relaxing Sunshine Coast getaway! We highly recommend it!

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Spring time in Mapleton is beautiful

  Stay tuned for info on our November meet-ups!

Thanks for reading,

My 5 grateful's today:
1. Super fun shopping sprees with mum the last 2 weekends and all my op shop bargains
2. Enjoying a lovely lemongrass tea at Hot Pipis restaurant in Mooloolaba this morning - one of our awesome Business Alliance members 
3. Working from home and having flexible hours and a great work/life balance
4. Our meet-ups and the wonderful people we meet
5. Yummy primal food!

21 October 2013

Book review: 'Primal Cuisine - Cooking for the Paleo Diet' by Pauli Halstead

Before I started reading Primal Cuisine I was expecting to delve into a showcase of a variety of delicious primal recipes with perhaps a small amount of information about the foods and ingredients. But before I even reached the first recipe I was excited just reading the Preface. Pauli’s passion and enthusiasm for understanding the relationship between food and our emotions, global sustainability, and food for optimum health and wellbeing comes through strongly. I could tell just from reading the Preface that her own journey has been about a lot more than just creating tasty primal dishes, but has been a deep spiritual expedition to truly understanding how food nourishes us on all levels. She talks about Divine Love and God but not in a way that suggests we all need to believe in a particular religion. She talks about it in reference to the universal energy and love that exists in all living things and the role our food plays.

Pauli then goes on to talk about ‘Primal Body, Primal Mind’, a book written by Nora Gedgaudas, a nuerofeedback specialist and certified nutritional therapist. This book changed Pauli’s life and was the starting point for her education on the benefits of following a Palaeolithic diet. It’s interesting to read about the evolution of Pauli’s career as a chef and caterer both preparing and eating conventional ‘healthy’ foods, how her health suffered as a result and how incorporating paleo foods improved her health and completely changed her perception of what foods are actually ‘healthy’.

I particularly like how Primal Cuisine summarises knowledge sourced by famous evolutionary health experts such as Weston A. Price and Francis M. Pottenger and makes the information easy to understand, even for those not yet familiar perhaps with primal health. I also appreciated the general information provided for such areas as the ideal quantities of various nutrients for the general population, such as protein requirements, and believe this information will be very beneficial to many readers, as well as practical methods in which to source and use these nutrients. 

It’s worth noting that many of the recipes list ingredients and brands found in America and not easily sourced in Australia, if at all, so there will be a need for Australian readers to use the information supplied in the rest of the book in order to find suitable substitutions. 

My only criticism is that there isn’t a photograph provided for each recipe and that many recipes require your imagination as to what they will look like upon completion. On the other hand, the recipes are detailed and easy to follow. I’m looking forward to attempting to replicate many of them myself!

If you want to learn how to make a variety of delicious primal masterpieces in your own kitchen then you’ll find Primal Cuisine a handy edition to your recipe book collection. However if you want to go a step further and expand your knowledge to include our evolutionary heritage with regards to nutrition and health and the link between how our ancestors ate to becoming a guide for “the proper nutrition for modern humans” then you will thoroughly enjoy this read!

Author Pauli Halstead
(Photo sourced from the Primal Cuisine Facebook page)

Purchase 'Primal Cuisine - Cooking for the Paleo Diet' here 
Visit the Facebook page here


My 5 grateful's today are:
1. Having the opportunity to read Primal Cuisine and learn a lot from it
2. Sunny blue sky days like today
3. Bone broth 
4. Grass-fed meat from Yandina Butchery
5. BBQ's outdoors with good company

20 October 2013

Our meetup group and why we created it

We created the Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meet-up Group back in November 2012 after Clint had said a couple of months earlier "I reckon we should get a paleo meet-up group happening on the Sunshine Coast". So we did! 

At that point he was very much into 'paleo' and I was still very new to it all. I think I was still like "You want me to leave the fat ON my meat? Are you kidding? That's crazy!" because I was so used to cooking lean meats and using very little fat in the kitchen, as so many people are. But as he was getting more into the lifestyle, I enjoyed learning about it and soon started to implement many aspects myself, so I was totally on board with the idea of creating the group.

When we decided to launch the meet-up group we chose to include the words "primal" and "real food" in the title because we didn't want to label it as strictly "paleo" and possibly exclude people who don't follow a 100% paleo lifestyle. We're really glad we made that decision because as our own health journeys have evolved we now call ourselves 'real foodies' and use paleo as more of a guide than as a specific guideline, and we know others do also. We understand that we're all at a different place with our health and how we live and that no one 'diet' is right for all of us, including paleo. Paleo isn't usually classed as a "diet" but it does have basic rules and outlines. However out of all of the diets out there, we feel it's definitely one of the most beneficial and useful. So basically we made sure it was obvious that the group is there for anyone interested in paleo, primal and real food.

sunshine coast, paleo primal real good jerf health wellness personal training fun affordable nature outdoor natural organic grassfed

If you're familiar with what paleo is then you'll be understanding and nodding your head as you read this. If not, feel free to read this post from legend Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple about the differences between paleo and primal.

By the way, when we talk about 'primal' it extends into movement and general lifestyle and isn't solely about food. We personally implement primal methods into all aspects of our lives, so we're happy to share with others not just the food side of things but also movement and mindset. It really allows for a huge variety of people to be involved in the group which is great! 

So who can be a part of this group?! Basically it's for anyone wanting to learn about and share information on...

* organic, spray-free, chemical-free, clean produce
* organic, grass-fed, chemical-free meat
* natural foods, fermented foods, fats etc
* where to buy good quality food from
* connecting people to local suppliers and farmers
* sharing recipes and kitchen successes (and failures!)
* where to eat out
* how and where to exercise and move more
* natural and alternative therapies; educating on the benefits and connecting to good practitioners
* health concerns, remedies, ideas etc
* different illnesses, eating plans etc
and basically anything else that's relevant! 

We enjoy hosting this meet-up group but it's been a bit quiet lately. We originally chose to base the group on Facebook as a Page and more recently a Group and not use meetup.com because it has a monthly fee that we can't justify paying. We're happy with the success and reach of the Page but it seems there's been a lot less interaction lately, in general from Likers and also notably from our local members. We've started to wonder if maybe Facebook isn't working in our favour and that followers just aren't seeing our posts. Or maybe people are simply losing interest in the meet-up group.We hope that's not the case! We've held a few successful meet-ups this year, have met some really lovely people from both the Sunny Coast and also Brisbane and hope to continue hosting events and catching up with the people we've already met and newbies as well.

We've been wondering if the slump in group interaction is perhaps partly due to members and followers finding their own journey is heading away from paleo and in other directions. If that's the case and that's you, then we want to let you know that we are still here for you. If you're still interested in anything relating to real, wholesome, healthy, nourishing foods that are positively imnfluencing your health, then you're absolutely welcome to interact and be a part of the group!

We have a sneaking suspicion it's also partly due to the Facebook Page posts not showing up in everyone's news feed because there's just so much on Facebook now, making it harder and harder to keep up with posts from the Pages we like.

So the Group page is the best place for interaction. Members of that page receive notifications of new posts, events etc, it's not busy in there and the posts can't get lost because it's a separate section in your Facebook account.

If you're not already a member and you live locally or nearby and want to interact with others about all things paleo/primal/real food then please feel free to join HERE. Please read the page rules! If you're already a member of the main page or the group page please feel free to chat to us in either; about foods you're making, troubles you're having, movements you're doing, questions you have, ideas you have... anything, just go for it!

Moving forward, what are our goals for the future?

Clint and I are very passionate about helping people become more educated on how they can improve theirs and their family's health and well-being. We'd like to keep organising meet-ups for fun, education and interaction between like-minded people. 

If we can connect folk to information, people and places that somehow positively influence their lives then that's brilliant!

We're planning a Farm Tour in November at CGL Beef, another picnic because they're easy and popular (probably Peregian like we tried to do once but cancelled due to bad weather), and we'd like to include fun things like park days where we play games, bush walk and things like that. But we need interest from people in order for us to keep organising events. If you have any suggestions for meet-ups please let us know. Also if you know anyone who's even remotely interested in learning about this stuff you're welcome to bring them along to doos :)

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Thank you to everyone who's interacted on our pages, attended meet-ups, told people about the group, and who has supported is. We really appreciate it! We hope to catch-up up with you at a future meet-up or at least in the Facebook pages.

Click here to visit the Facebook Group
Click here to visit the Facebook Page
Click here to visit the Primal Influence page including the newsletters we made for the meet-up group and photos from past events

One of the next blog posts will be about the meet-up we had today, so stay tuned!


My 5 gratefuls today are:
1. spending time in the hinterland today with lovely people
2. shopping spree with mum yesterday
3. picking kale and herbs from my garden
4. country music (do I always add that one?!)
5. receiving help from Gavin Heward for my health goals

16 October 2013

Do something that scares you!

During the process of creating the MindBodyReboot program we decided it’d be really cool to include videos and audio files. The only problem was, I was making the videos and audios by myself, just me, no help, and as I’d never done anything like this before, it was definitely going to push me outside my comfort zone…. way outside! 

At first I was quite daunted by the task of creating professional videos and audio files from scratch. But once I started I realised how easy it actually is. With the constant evolution of technology, making audios and videos these days is not such a big deal.  Any caveman can do it!

Since taking the first step and getting stuck into the project, I’ve overcome what I was initially afraid of and I’ve had some time to wonder, ‘what else is my comfort zone holding me back from achieving?’.  When I figure that out and I tackle some more fears, I’ll let you know!

Now my question to you is; when was the last time you went outside your comfort zone and did something you were a bit scared of doing?

If it’s been a while then I can help you make a start in breaking down the barriers. 

THE CHALLENGE:  For those of you who live near a lake, a beach or a river I want you to go and jump into the freezing water! For those of you who don’t have any of these options then turn your shower on to freezing cold and hop under!  This seemingly simple exercise is still very challenging. And cold! 

Break free of the restraints of your comfort zone and soar high like an eagle

Let us know how you go!

Now’s the time to break through the restricting walls of your comfort zone and create the best life possible.


5 things I am grateful for:
  1. People reading and taking in our information
  2. Sunny days
  3. Surface fishing for bass
  4. Getting out in nature
  5. The positive and happy people in our lives

9 October 2013

Recipe: plantain and date muffins

Ever since Clint and I started eating paleo/primal we were always seeing plantain as an ingredient in many recipes. Not being familiar with what a plantain was, we eventually figured it out but realised because the recipes were mostly American we probably wouldn't be able to make them ourselves as we hadn't heard about them being available here in Australia.

So when I  saw plantain for sale at a fresh produce market literally a few hundred meters down the road from where we live (Jeffers Market in Maroochydore), I just had to grab some and try cooking with them!

Plantain are similar to banana. There are a few differences, such as...

* Not as sweet as banana, even when really ripe
* They are larger in size
* They can eaten green
* The flesh is a light orange colour
* Sugar content is lower and overall nutritional makeup is better (see nutritional breakdown here)

I made a few different things with the first lot I bought but my favourite creation so far has been the plantain and date muffins I made to take camping last weekend.

Typically plantain are meant to be used green, peeled, sliced and fried to make 'chips'. This time I decided to buy 2 ripened plantain and make muffins as you would with bananas.

They turned out terrific and made a great snack (even cold!) while camping.

Here's the recipe I made up...

Plantain & Date Muffins (makes about 16 small muffins)

2 tbsp baking powder (rice and gluten-free)
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 ripe plantains
6 fresh medjool dates
4 tbsp coconut flour
3 large pastured eggs
1 tsp bicarb soda
pinch Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg powder together
Dash pure vanilla
3 tbsp melted coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
2. Place all ingredients into a food processor

Chuck all ingredients into a food processor

3. Mix for a few minutes until well combined. Use a spoon to scrape edges occasionally

Food processor making the job of mixing so much easier!

All ingredients are combined

4. Grease muffin trays with coconut oil
5. Spoon mixture into muffin trays

Ready for the oven

6. Bake in the oven for about 35-45min depending on your oven
7. Check muffins at about 30 min using a skewer pushed through the centre of one muffin. If it comes out clean the muffins are done. If not, continue to bake
8. When ready allow them to cool then serve

Moist, soft, fluffy, slightly sweet... YUM!

So very easy!

Note: if the muffins turn brown, that's fine, it's just the sugars colouring. However try not to let them burn!

Alternatives: replace dates with sultanas. Or use cacao nibs for a plantain choc chip effect!

Gluten/grain/dairy/nut/seed/refined sugar-free

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please feel free to comment if you tried it, liked it, hated it or just have any questions or suggestions. 


My 5 grateful's today:
1. Successful kitchen creations
2. Camping with family on the long weekend
3. Being able to exercise
4. Kayaking and fishing at dawn with mist all over the water and seeing platypus swim by
5. My partner Clint