29 January 2014

A paleo engagement party? Yep, it's do-able!

Clint and I had our engagement party on Saturday. It was a picnic and games afternoon at the beautiful Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. We had about 40 people join us for an afternoon of frisbee, slacklining, bocci and quoits. Plus, a whole lotta delicious healthy foods made mostly by my mum and I, as well as some food provided by the in-laws.

I had so many compliments on how good the food tasted and many requests for recipes so I thought I'd better blog about it so all the recipes are in one place for everyone to use and enjoy!

Most of the food was paleo/primal, it was all gluten-free and all yum!

Here's a rundown on what we created...

Smoky Tomato Dipping Sauce

Original recipe here

My variation: I tasted the mixture while following the recipe and noticed it still tasted like tomato paste even with the paprika and mustard powders added. So I added another 2 tsp paprika, plus 1 tsp turmeric powder. This made it not taste like tomato paste anymore and gave it more of a smokey BBQ taste.

Also, I decided to place the mixture in the blender and give it a whiz to make it really smooth instead of being full of onion and garlic bits. 

The photo is the sauce with my brekkie of mince, eggs and fetta! I'd forgotten to take photos of food on the day of the party so if I had leftovers I took photos then!!

Chicken Liver Pate

Original recipe here

My variation: I pretty much followed that recipe but I added olive oil instead of rendered chicken fat.

This pate is a winner with anyone who tries it who's always enjoyed store-bought varieties. But this one is so much healthier!

Beetroot Tapenade

This was my own creation. It was meant to be a smooth and creamy roast beetroot and fetta dip but mum and I almost completely burned and shrivelled the beetroot while in the oven, so when I tried to blend it to a smooth consistency it just didn't happen and ended up a little chunky. I thought people would hate it but this was the recipe I had the most requests for! Amazing!


1. Peel and chop 3-4 large beetroots
2. Bake in oven with a drizzle of coconut oil, on 180 for... well I don't know how long because mine was in a tad too long. Maybe go for 20min then check on it!
3. Once cooked, place in a food processor with about 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp sheep or goat fetta, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and blend until it's about this consistency.

Tip: If you cook your beetroot a little too long and it blackens on the edges, that's GREAT because that's what I did and it tasted great! Just be sure to add a bit of stevia to the food processor... that's my secret ingredient!!

Pumpkin Dip

I didn't get a photo of this creation by my mother-in-law Marian but I had asked her to do a simple dip of roast pumpkin (she used 1kg), olive oil, herbs of choice and salt and pepper. The end result had a pumpkin soup taste about it but it was nice and thick. And very tasty!

Raw Chia Sesame Crackers

Another of my own creations and something I alter every single time I make them!

Basic recipe:

1. In a large bowl add 1 cup chia seeds and 1/2 cup sesame seeds
2. Add 2-3 cups of water, mix well and let sit for an hour or so. The water will absorb into the seeds and the mix will thicken. You can add more water if it's too thick and you can't stir a spoon in it easily
3. Add whatever herbs and spices you like. This time round I added dulce flakes, fresh parsley and thyme leaves, all spice powder and lots of salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined
4. Spread mixture onto baking paper in your dehydrator (purchase one here). 
The thickness needs to be about 2-3mm, if it's too thin the crackers will break too easily when they're dry.
5. Depending on your dehydrator your drying setting and time-frame may differ, but generally it works to leave on medium setting overnight. 
6. When crackers are completely dry, take them out, break them apart and serve!

You can also add minced onion, garlic, veggies etc. The variations are endless!

Lemon Thyme Meatballs

Original recipe here

Clint's mum made these for the picnic and I think she stuck to the recipe. They're so easy to make, simple ingredients and a delicious flavour :)

We also had a couple varieties of grain-free sausages from Yandina Butchery  - chicken, pine nut and spinach, as well as beef, oregano and garlic. No flours are used!

Choc Brownies

Original recipe here

My variation: The recipe calls for quite a bit of honey or maple syrup - I use raw honey and I found using less is fine. 1/2 cup max in my opinion still ends up tasting terrific.

Also when I made this the first time for Clint's birthday in December 2013, the amount you end up with after baking doesn't look like it'd feed 16 people as suggested in the recipe, and as you can see from the photo above mine don't look quite as high as the ones in the link. Sometimes I wonder where people get their serving quantity from because the recipes don't often make as much as large a quantity as stated. Which is the case with thsi recipe. If you're feeding 5+ hungry people I'd make double! For the engagement party I made a double batch and cut into bite-size squares so most people would get a try.

As for the chocolate chips, we don't seem to have the same brands as the American recipes suggest but you can find dairy-free chocolate at health food stores, and depending on what other ingredients you want to avoid, even in the supermarket. Sweet William is dairy-free but contains other nasties many paleo-followers would definitely avoid. It just depends on your preferences and also your budget! Shop around. But if you don't find any you're happy with, just use a bit of extra cocoa powder instead :)

Juice Jellies

On the day I served up orange juice jelly lollies but you can use ANY juice or fruit pulp you like. It's just grass-fed gelatin dissolved in hot water/juice and some stevia or other sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup etc) added in. Then set in the fridge. Easy peasy!

The photo above is frozen organic raspberries simmered then strained to remove the seeds. The measurement I find works best is 1 cup liquid to 2 tbsp gelatin. Any more gelatin and the lollies will become rock hard and unedible. 

The orange 'jellies' (not 'lollies' because I didn't add enough gelatin so they were a bit softer than I'd have liked!) were a HUGE hit on the day! The kids were eating gluten-free lollies but they all liked my jellies as well, and the adults all commented on how good they were!

If you'd like to join our Great Lakes Gelatin Co-Op to get your hands on the best quality gelatin powder, click here

Honey Coconut Macaroons

Original recipe here 

My variation: I left out the lemon and just used shredded coconut, raw honey, egg whites, salt and vanilla. I would use dessicated coconut next time though, but the shredded still tasted really good. 

I didn't get a photo of my macaroons because they were snapped up pretty quickly on the day! But they looked almost exactly the same as the photo above.

I'm definitely making these again - they're super easy to make, not too sweet and actually quite filling!

Sweet Potato, Chicken and Honey Bites

No photo sorry and these were totally my own creation. All I did was...

  1. Peeled and chopped sweet potato, into about 20c piece size
  2. Baked with coconut oil and raw honey until cooked through
  3. Did the same with chicken breast 
  4. Then placed a piece of sweet potato and a piece of chicken on a toothpick


I hope you find some of these recipes useful and they give you some inspiration in the kitchen, especially for parties! It's a great feeling to be able to provide healthy foods - the kinda foods we eat 95% of the time and are passionate about - to friends and family and they actually enjoy them!

Please feel free to share this post with friends so they too can make delicious and healthy party foods. And please let me know of any paleo/primal party food recipes you love to use! I'd really appreciate it :)

Take care,

Today my 5 grateful's are:

1. Mum wasn't more seriously injured when hit by a car yesterday
2. Our engagement party was a huge success and lots of fun
3. The rain my garden received today
4. Free strawberry runners a lovely lady from Facebook gave me
5. Our meetup group and all the wonderful people we meet through it!

10 January 2014

Slacklining - my new fave thing!

Last Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a slackline as a gift from my wonderful folks. 

‘WTF is a slackline?!’ you may be asking?  A friend once described it to me as “slacklining is something that hippies and lay-abouts do”!  Well that’s a rather inaccurate description so here is the actual meaning…

slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line's tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping one's footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts. Slacklining has quickly become popular due to its simplicity and versatility and its ability to be practiced in a variety of environments. Those who participate in slacklining are often called "slackers". 
Sourced from Wikipedia

Much practice is needed!

Where does this fit into our primal lifestyle?  

This type of activity actually fits in perfectly!  Why? Because the slackline is set up between 2 trees at a park, or even at the beach, which means we get to get outside!

Also, it’s very hard to slackline in shoes so walking it needs to be done barefoot and for most beginners the majority of time is spent on the ground which provides earthing.

Plus, the basic construction of the slackline takes us away from technology and into the realm of simply playing and having fun.

The fitness benefits are amazing as well…

The proprioception of slacklining helps your body with spatial awareness which is vitally important now and as you age because it will help reduce slips, trips and falls. Keeping your muscles under tension will also help keep joints and ligaments strong and stable.

This fun activity is also a great workout that targets almost every muscle in your body as you try to balance and not fall off, allowing you to work muscles you can’t work in the gym. 

Slacklining is a great way to escape the daily grind as it’s almost impossible to focus on anything other than what you’re doing when you’re trying to balance. 

So as you can see, slacklining is a sensational piece of equipment to have on hand and a perfect excuse to get outside and have fun! 

If there’s enough interest I may organise a free Games Day at a local park sometime soon. Please leave a comment below if you’d be interested in coming along.

Lastly, here’s a sample of what you can do on a slackline: click here


5 things I'm grateful for today are:
1. Catching fish using poppers
2. Slacklining
3. New clients
4. Having a career that I love
5. Spending time outdoors

6 January 2014

What's happening in 2014?

Hi everyone! Clint here...

I hope this finds you well in the New Year. I want to give you a quick update on our goals for Primal Influence for 2014 so you can keep up with all the exciting plans we have in store…

1-on-1 Health & Fitness Coaching Sessions are still available and are of super high value with all the connections clients are given within our Business Alliance.  My clients also get a free photo shoot at the end of the program to celebrate their success and achievements!

Why train by yourself when you can play with a friend?! Partner Sessions are also available and help make it even more affordable to work with a trainer.  These sessions are suitable for friends or couples and make the sessions even more fun with someone extra to laugh and carry on with.

For those who want to train within a group in a fun and supportive environment, Primal Group Training is available. Classes are held at various parks and beaches and allow a maximum of only 8 participants to ensure personal attention is still provided.

Fun fitness is throwing sand bags around on the beach!

Primal Online:  You don’t live close enough, but still want my expert guidance?  Then this program will suit you.  I chat with my Primal Online clients via Skype or phone and I provide weekly challenges to help keep them on track and motivated.

The MindBodyReboot is the perfect program for those who need to reboot their lifestyle.  This full 30 day online program focuses on nutrition, movement and mindset, mixed in with a tonne of other extra goodies.  Endorsed by an integrated Naturopath and Nutritionist, it’s the perfect way to get your health and fitness on track.

So they’re all the training programs Primal Influence is offering, but 2014 will also be a big year as we’re launching Primal Influence TV! Please send in any health and fitness-related questions you have and have them answered on our YouTube channel by us and a variety of relevant experts spread across the country.

We are currently in the process of teaming up with a cooking expert to bring you a Paleo Movement and Cooking Workshop early in the year (don’t worry, I’ll be running the movement part of the seminar not the cooking part!) so we’re pretty excited about that.

We also hope 2014 is going to be a big year of donations for our local charity The Special Olympics. Anyone who uses the Primal Trial Pack which is 3x 30min 1-on-1 intro sessions with me is donating 100% of the $20 fee to this worthy charity, as are newbies to the Primal Group Training sessions ($5 first class). We hope at the end of this year we can announce a huge total was donated to them, they really need it.

On a personal note...

The end of 2013 saw me propose to my wonderful girlfriend of 6.5 years and she said yes! So this year will no doubt involve a lot of wedding planning! Aimee’s already in the process of planning our paleo-friendly engagement doo!

My personal goals for the year ahead include completing The Spartan Race in Ipswich in March, which is apparently tougher than Tough Mudder. I’ll be training for it using natural and primal movements, so I can show everyone really just how beneficial this style of training is for overall strength and fitness.

I also aim to get a few more particular qualifications under my belt so I can help my clients even more, and take the business to the next step.

So that’s it, that’s what 2014 has in store for Primal Influence!

Thanks for all the support you’ve already shown us. We hope you continue to support us into the future :)


P.S. Be sure to check out our website for lots of cool stuff (primal movement, sustainability, organic gardening, program info and loads more) as well as staying in touch via our Facebook page

Please feel free to share this information with everyone you know so we can help make 2014 a successful year for EVERYONE!

“Primal Influence is not just about another personal trainer making you do sets and reps; we pride ourselves on helping people simplify their lifestyle to make everything easier”