That’s So Primal Prime Day 2019

That's So Primal Prime Day 2019 header

I typically like putting together a nice primal shopping list for Christmas. I didn’t end up doing that this last year, so instead I’d thought I’d put together a mid year That’s So Primal Prime Day 2019 shopping list. Hopefully everyone has some spare time right now since it’s summer so I thought I’d put together a list of a bunch of fun things that I would enjoy doing that have a primal twist on them and hope you may enjoy them too.

Echo Dot

I’ve written about how much we love our Echo Dot in the kitchen. Our whole family literally uses it everyday multiple times a day. We use it for a bunch of different stuff but I have to say hands down the best thing is adding things to a shopping list. When I’m out of something I shout, “Alexa, add butter to the shopping list”. Then when I’m in the store, I just check my alexa app for what I need. When I see people shopping with little pieces of paper with their shopping list I cry inside because they’re stuck in 1996.
Amazon Link

Hydro Flask

Everyone should have a stainless steel water bottle. Why? So you can drink stuff throughout the day, duh – but for real these are great because they keep coffee hot for a super long time and keep water cold for a really long time too. Not only that but if you like to drink essential oils with your water, like we do in our house, you’ll need to do it in a stainless steel bottle since the oils can leech chemicals from plastic bottles.
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Mushroom Kit

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Grow some mushrooms! Well I guess you can do that any time of year but if you haven’t done this yet, you should. You can set it up indoors on your counter and watch them grow and once they start going you can trim them off and cook them up to add with your eggs or steak or just throw them in your salad raw. It’s up to you!
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Slackline

If you don’t have a slackline yet you really should. I got one a couple years ago and I use it all the time. I take it on vacations and camping with us. It’s so easy to set up and it provides such a fun thing to do. I’m still working on getting my kids to do it, but in a few years they’ll be pros. My backyard has very small trees so if you don’t have trees you’ll need something like this with an anchor in the ground.
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SPF Shirt

I haven’t worn sunscreen for the last several years. Read this Chris Kresser article about the toxicity of sunscreen for my reasons why. Now that’s not to say sun protection isn’t important. It’s very important, but so is Vitamin D. So once you’ve been out in the sun long enough to get adequate levels of vitamin D synthesis, throw on something over your skin like this SPF shirt (or this one if you’re a girl) and enjoy the outdoors without the toxicity of sunscreen and without a sunburn.
Amazon Link

Kombucha Kit

Not interested in the mushroom kit? No worries, this is the next best thing to mess around with this summer (and beyond). Making your own Kombucha at home is not only easy and fun – but it’s way more cost effective to do this at home too. Buying store-bought kombucha will leave you broke when those bottles are like $5 a pop. Plus when you make your own at home you have total control over the flavoring. I love tossing in rosemary sprigs, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and doTERRA basil in the second ferment!
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Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a really good source of selenium. An essential trace mineral that helps with cognitive function and fertility. It has a host of health benefits, but not only that, they taste great! You really only need a handful of 5 or so to get your daily dose of selenium. So pick some up, check it out and enjoy.
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Sardines

If you haven’t eaten sardines yet – now’s the time. Seriously if you haven’t tried sardines what’s stopping you? They’re great for your health, cheap and fill you up! They don’t taste fishy or anything. My daughter wanted some of mine the other day when we were camping and she ate it and said it tastes like chicken. So if a 3 year old can do it, so can you!
Amazon Link

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Ok, I’m not a cold brew coffee fan at all. I literally have never had cold brew. I love black coffee hot BUT this post is for you guys and I know people love cold brew and I saw this and thought it was a great way to make it at home and not give Starbucks all your money. It’s the perfect thing to beat the heat of summer and it looks super easy to make at home.
Amazon Link

Kindle Paperwhite

Reading is good for you. And so is sitting around a pool. Well now you can do both of those things with this Kindle Paperwhite because it’s waterproof. If you already read kindle books on your phone like I do, this is really a no brainier to have a dedicated reading device you can toss in your bag so you can read anywhere – the beach, pool, river, backyard, etc… I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to read or look at your phone outdoors for an extended period of time, but it’s terrible. You can’t see the screen and my phone gets blazing hot. This is the perfect solution.
Amazon Link


Alright guys, there it is. I hope these few things sparked your interest to try something new this summer and to get outdoors. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other good primal Prime Day deals or summer ideas. Take care!

10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now

10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now header

Starting a diet, trying to lose weight or going primal doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be daunting to do this at first but really changing your lifestyle begins with little choices we make here and there. That’s why I put together this list of 10 primal choices you can make right now so that you can understand that going primal, or getting healthy, doesn’t need to consist of making your own broccoli sprouts or locating a local farmer that sells grass fed and finished beef or walking into a gym and using every piece of equipment. Primal is more than food choices, it effects choices we make all day long. So read below and check out how you can start and finish your day by making just a few primal choices.

1. Go to bed earlier

This is a must for anyone seeking to live a healthier life. Sleep is so important and many studies are coming out now showing just how important sleep is. You should be getting 7–9 hours of sleep each night. This will help set your circadian rhythm and get things back on track. Sleep should be our number one priority.

2. Drink black coffee

As your day goes on feel free to start with some coffee, but hold the sugar, cream, butter blah blah. Just drink black coffee. Coffee already has a ton of health benefits and we don’t need to start out our day with a huge blood sugar spike. If all you drink is black coffee in the morning this will help curb hunger and allow you to extend the fast from your sleep the night before.

3. Skip breakfast

For years we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or that we need to eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day. That’s just simply not true. Many studies are coming out now indicating that a compressed eating window is better for us. Eating a couple large meals in a span of 8–10 hours. So if you get in the routine of skipping breakfast, or just eating breakfast type foods, later in the day – that would be a great choice for you.

4. Eat simple meals

Going primal and getting healthy does not need to be complicated. Eat real whole food and avoid packaged stuff. It’s better for you and probably cheaper that way. Think eggs, butter and bacon – or salad, olive oil and tuna – or steak and roasted broccoli. All of those can be cooked up or put together so quick and requires very little thought. Keep things simple and buy whole foods and ditch recipes if you have to.

5. Get in the sun

This is another one that the world tells you to avoid. They say stay out of the sun or use sunscreen at all costs. This is ridiculous because we need sun, we need vitamin d. The Vitamin D Council suggests that we have a Vitamin D level of 40–80 ng/ml or higher. If you haven’t had your Vitamin D levels checked you should because Vitamin D is important for so many things and we can supplement it but the sun is free and you get a nice tan doing it. If you’re concerned about getting burned, just go inside or cover up with an SPF shirt like this.

6. Eat a handful of nuts

If you’re getting hungry but don’t feel like a full meal, just grab a handful of nuts. It’s the natural “fat bomb”. I typically prefer macadamia nuts or brazil nuts, but the choice is up to you. Just try not to eat the whole bag. Eat a handful or two – drink some water – wait a few minutes and see if you’re still hungry. Handful after handful of nuts are still a ton of calories so be careful not to go overboard.

7. Cook big chunks of meat

Lets face it – chicken breasts suck. They’re dry, lean and really boring. Stick with eating the best quality meat you can afford, but prioritize big chunks of meat that have fat and cartilage and bones. Big chunks of meat will fill you up and provide you with plenty of food for leftovers or for when you need a snack. I prefer pork shoulder and cooking it in my instant pot. I can get a good 3–4 days of meals out of that.

8. Trash seed oils and use butter and olive oil

A simple way to get healthier and primal is to throw out all you’re fake fats in your pantry. Canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc… and use butter or extra virgin olive oil instead. Industrial seed oils are terrible for your health and we would all be better off not consuming any of them. We have been told that saturated fat is bad but recent studies have shown that to be false once again. Seed oils are polyunsaturated fats which have more of a propensity for oxidation unlike saturated fats. Read more about it here, but tl;dr saturated fat good – polyunsaturated fat bad.

9. Turn on night shift

All that blue light from your phone and computer screen is messing up your circadian rhythm. You need to turn on night shift on your phone if you have it, or some equivalent feature that adds more yellow light back in your display as the night goes on. If you don’t do this and you let the blue light keep hitting your face and eyes from your phone and computer you’re telling your body it’s high noon and day time.

10. Use essential oils

Cutting out toxins is always a good thing. And better immunity is always a major plus! No one likes being sick. We use essential oils a lot in our home, not just any essential oils but specifically doTERRA! Because of their purity and potency they can actually be used for health benefits. We turn to OnGuard + soft gels at the first sign of germs. We turn to our oils for pain, energy, gut health and cleaning too. We diffuse lavender and serenity in the evening to calm down and help us reach those early bedtime goals also. If you take the natural lifestyle leap, a starter set is the best value – here are the doTERRA starter sets


That’s it folks. I hope these 10 ideas can help you progress throughout your day and make little choices to becoming more healthy and more primal. Let me know if you have any more ideas in the comments below. Take care!

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

Over the course of being primal for the past 7+ years, I’ve realized that along the way I’ve picked up some pretty weird habits that if you had no idea I was following this primal lifestyle – you would think I was a complete weirdo. All these things I do I’ve picked up from various blogs and research so I don’t claim them as my own, but I feel they really have become so apart of my life that I wanted to put together a list. So here are 10 Weird Primal Things I Do:

1. I put trace minerals in my water with some Himalayan salt

The only thing I really drink is water. Therefore I pay a lot of attention to the taste of my water and the mineral content. I pay particular attention to my mineral consumption when I am swinging on a more keto primal diet because when you’re on keto you need to make sure you’re getting sufficient levels of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium and sodium. So I’ve been using concentrace minerals in my Nalgene bottles with a pinch of Himalayan salt to make sure I’m getting all I need. It makes the water taste great and it ensures you’re getting all the minerals you may be missing from other areas of your diet.

2. I drink potato starch

Resistant starch plays a pretty big role in maintaining and building your gut health. Think of it like food for your gut bacteria. If you’re taking or eating probiotics (which you should) and not giving the bacteria sufficient food to eat then you’re really just wasting the probiotics. After doing a bunch of reading here I determined that it’s best to periodically work in potato starch in my diet as a good form of resistant starch. You should start out slow if you’re not used to it so that you don’t get stomach cramps or bloating. Working up to 4Tbsp is a good goal to reach for. I just mix it with tap water and drink it as fast as possible. You can mix it with a splash of vanilla extract and stevia to make it more palatable – and it sorta tastes like horchata that way too!

3. I eat spoonfulls of coconut butter

I rarely get hungry in between my two meals from lunch to dinner but if I do get hungry I like reaching for a jar of coconut butter. You can buy this one or make a homemade one like I’ve written about here. But these do a really good job at curbing hunger by giving you a nice dose of saturated fat. I also like this brand if the budget affords it.

4. I drink butter coffee

You probably see this all over the place now so maybe it’s not so weird if you see me do it. Now I don’t do this all the time but I do work it into my diet occasionally if I’m needing that extra boost of energy at work from working out too hard or not getting enough sleep. I use about 2Tbsp of Kerrygold salted butter (I like salt ok), collagen and a splash of mct oil then I blend it together with this. This really isn’t weird, it’s basically a latte where you get to control the quantity and quality of the fat and the quality of the coffee. I’d rather have a bulletproof coffee anytime rather than a latte from Starbucks – gross.

5. I eat crickets

I’ve written about my love for insects many times on this blog. I’ve even put together this recipe recently that uses grasshoppers. But this concept is genuinely weird to people I know but man do I love Exo cricket protein bars. Crickets are such a good source of protein that contain all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need – and – they taste great. Pick some up and try for yourself.

6. I use a squatty potty

We have these in every restroom in our house and every time we have guests over they think we are just so weird. Then I tell them to try pooping with it and then they look at me even weirder. But man these are great. The only way you’ll know is if you try one ourself yourself. Go ahead and do it. They help you go quicker and more efficiently and they are good for your health. Every home should be using these and I’ve been half tempted to start using them at work too.

7. I only wear barefoot shoes

This is something I adopted early on when I first went primal and I literally donated all my other shoes. I only wear Vivobarefoot. Allowing your feet to spread naturally and feel the ground has cured my plantar fasciitis. I literally have no pain in my feet at all. When I first started working and wearing dress shoes all day my feet and arches would hurt so bad. I tried everything and nothing helped until I got Vivobarefoot shoes. I wear these to work so they’re dressy but they’re flat and allow my feet to feel the ground. Then I wear more casual ones when I’m not at work. I get weird looks sometimes sure because they don’t look like any other shoes but my feet feel amazing and I wouldn’t trade that for something that looks cooler but kills my feet. No thank you.

8. I eat canned sardines and oysters

I really loved canned fish and shellfish. It’s so easy to eat, tastes great and fills you up. Two particular ones I like are sardines and oysters. People give me weird looks all the time when I tell them I eat these and if they see me eating these they look at me even weirder – primarily because they smell terrible. But then I tell them they just need to try them. They’re not as bad as they smell. Not only do they taste great but they are so good for you. Sardines have tons of calcium, which is sometimes hard to pick up on a Paleo diet and oysters have a ton of B vitamins and various other minerals.

9. I make broccoli sprouts

This is one of those things that people see in my house and they think I’ve gone off the deep end. But broccoli sprouts are so cheap and easy to make at your house it’s like a no brainer. I make these because they contain a bunch of anti cancer properties – much more than just whole broccoli. 1 pound of sprouts contains as much sulforaphane as 100 pounds of whole broccoli. Sulforaphane is the antioxidant that aids your body in fighting cancer. I use these seeds and these jars and you can follow this super easy guide to grow some yourself. I normally eat them straight out of the jar or on the side with my bacon and eggs.

10. I make my own kombucha

This is another one that people see me making in my house when we have guests and they are like what is that slime in that jar over there on the corner of your counter?! But making kombucha at home is much cheaper than buying the $6 bottles at the health food store. Not only is it cheaper but you have much more control on the second ferment with what you add. I love adding mixed berries, herbs and ginger. If you don’t have a scoby you can get this one and this jar and be on your way to making your own kombucha. There are a ton of guides out there to making your own kombucha but here is an easy one to follow. It’s super easy, fun and great for your health. Try it today for yourself!


That’s it folks! Thanks for reading and I hope by now that you too think I’m pretty weird with my primal ways, but now you at least know the reasoning behind all the weird primal things I do. I encourage you to try out some of the weird things listed above and let me know which weird things you do too!

10 Primal Foods I Can’t Live Without

10 Primal Foods I Can’t Live Without Header

I’ve been primal for about 7 years now and what I’ve realized is that there are certain foods that really have stuck with me over time. So I thought it might be beneficial to compile a list of the top 10 primal foods I can’t live without. Sure I get in funks where I want to make some miso mushroom sweet potato thing, but that’s not something I eat every week or even every day. This list is a list of foods that really have stuck around for the past few years, that don’t get old to me and satisfy those cravings that other junk food tries to offer.

1. Eggs

Eggs are like the staple protein in my house. We go to a drive through egg place and buy about 60 eggs a week. My whole family loves eggs and do you blame them? They’re a whole food and a quick and cheapish source of protein. They’re great for breakfast, or a snack or fry them up for dinner. No rules with eggs!

2. Avocados

Avocados are all the rage these days on toast and such, but I like my avocados straight up. I pull out my pocket knife and slice away. With a little salt and pepper these little nuggets of fat and fiber are delicious. This is something that’s definitely on our grocery list every week.

3. Canned fish

I personally do not like reheated chicken on salads. It’s pretty gross to me. So as I’ve been eating my lunch salads over the past few years, canned fish has been my preferred source of protein on the side. I really enjoy all varieties of canned fish – tuna, salmon, sardines and even oysters. I literally could not live without canned fish.

4. Broccoli

I know this sounds basic, but out of all the vegetables I have at my disposal I consume crazy amounts of broccoli. It’s easy to roast in the oven and eat as a side or as an alternative to spaghetti noodles. We buy it frozen or fresh all year long.

5. Potatoes

I know if you’re watching your carbs this is something that’s been off your plate for awhile. But over the past few years I realized that a potato here and there won’t hurt your goals. One russet potato has roughly 35 net carbs. So if you’ve had eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and potatoes as a side with you’re dinner – it’s not gonna kill you. Not to mention they’re delicious when roasted in your leftover bacon fat!

6. Pork shoulder

There is no greater cut of meat for a large family than the pork shoulder (or butt). You can smoke it, slow cooker it, pressure cooker it or slow roast it in a cast iron dutch oven for some authentic carnitas. All ways produce delicious pork that’s cheap enough to eat often and leaves you with plenty of leftovers for a few days at a time.

7. Olive oil

The amount of olive oil we go through in our family is pretty insane. I keep a liter bottle at work and at home. I use it for salads and for roasting veggies. It’s delicious, relatively inexpensive compared to avocado oil and they sell it at Costco!

8. Dark chocolate

I keep a handful of dark chocolate bars on hand at home when that late night dessert craving hits. Eat just a few squares and it satisfies any sweet cravings and not to mention dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits. Trader Joe’s has some really good dark chocolate with hazelnuts and Target carries plenty of options too. So it’s readily available, cheap and delicious!

9. Whey protein

Another primal food that’s slightly controversial in the paleo community, but it makes for a great source of protein in our house. We make quick meal replacement shakes, or add it to smoothies or we even add it to our babies rice cereal with coconut oil. When our budget permits I love the Primal Kitchen whey protein, but if the budget is tight we get this one too from Amazon.

10. Eat Smart Kale Salad

This is my go to bag of salad every day at work. I buy it in bulk at Costco, throw away the dressing and use olive oil (see above) and it’s the perfect salad. I like the crunch and texture of it and it’s incredibly filling. It’s also used at home as an easy side for some pulled pork or any other type of meal we may be eating for dinner at home. I just can’t get enough of this salad!

Bonus Food: Pork Rinds

Everybody loves chips. But I suspect we like chips because humans naturally just like salty and crunchy things. So sure you could buy some Siete chips and be totally Paleo compliant or even some corn chips cooked in lard (gluten free) but nothing beats a 99 cent bag of pork rinds. Crunchy, salty, low carb and tasty!


Thanks for reading everyone! These were just the top 10 (or eleven) things that really stuck out in my mind that I’ve been eating over the past few years on this Primal journey. Feel free to share in the comments below your favorite Paleo staple food items!

10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas

10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas

Awhile ago I wrote a post about 10 on the go primal breakfast ideas. It’s one of my more popular posts which hopefully means it was helpful to you all, so I thought I should do a similar post about 10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas.

The reality is meals can be hard and as you get busier, more tired and add kids in the mix – dinner can often feel like a chore. If you absolutely don’t feel like cooking you should check out my Freshly review which is as easy as it comes, with only a few downsides it’s a great option for the tired and overworked. But if you can muster up some energy to put dinner together but you’re pressed for time or ideas, check out some of my go to options for dinner that not only feeds me but also feeds my family of 5 – myself, my wife and 3 kids.

1. Rotisserie chicken and roasted veggies

This is a staple in our home. Normally I do this the days I go grocery shopping because I can grab a chicken that’s all ready to go. Leaving me with just having to roast some veggies when I get home from the store. Get your oven up to 425. Toss a tray or two full of frozen or fresh veggies (broccoli is my favorite) mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until brown – 25–45 minutes. Then while that’s roasting and gettin near the end, 10 min or so, cut up your chicken. Don’t be intimidated by the whole bird. Once you figure out how to cut it up, it’s no big deal. My dad showed me how to cut up a whole chicken but this video can help too.

2. Spaghetti squash and meat sauce

This sounds more complicated than it really is. All you need is a couple jars of spaghetti sauce, ground beef and a spaghetti squash. Look for a spaghetti sauce with olive oil and no industrial seed oils (ie canola oil, soybean oil, etc…) and no added sugar. This post runs through this idea a little more. Roast the spaghetti squash cut in half on a baking tray with a few tablespoons of water at 375 for 35 minutes. While it’s roasting cook the ground beef and break it up. In another pot warm up the sauce on low heat and mix the two together once the meat’s brown and done cooking. When the spaghetti squash is done just shred the inside with a fork and serve with the meat sauce.

3. Eggs and bacon

Dead simple. Bake your bacon. Cook up some eggs. Scrambled, fried, hardboiled – however you like. Just because it’s dinner doesn’t mean you can’t have a “breakfast” food. It’s all just food.

4. Kalua pork on a potato

I follow Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe for this kalua pork. All you do is slow cook the pork shoulder overnight and during the next day. When it’s ready and you’re ready to eat just microwave a couple potatoes (or steam cauliflower if you keto’ers so wish) and top the potatoes (or cauliflower) with the pork. If you do dairy, throw on some cheese and sour cream – but don’t leave out chopped chives!

5. Pork chop and a salad

Get a couple pork chops. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and then grill over high heat for 5 min on each side, or until the internal temp is 145. While these are grilling toss some mixed greens with blue cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In 10 minutes you’ll have a deliciously primal dinner.

6. Big bag salad

Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. Grad a bag of salad. This one is my favorite. Toss the salad with your own salad dressing since the included dressing has some bad seed oils. I just toss my salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add meat if you like or go without. Then enjoy!

7. Taco bowl

This one sounds intimidating too, but I promise it’s not. All you really need is ground beef, chopped romaine and precut cauliflower rice. The Domestic Man’s recipe is what I follow for the taco seasoning and everything else. Then you can follow my recipe for cilantro cauliflower rice. Once everything is cooked, assemble your bowl and add your toppings. My favorite are avocado, black olives, cheese and chipotle salad dressing.

8. Burger and fries

Buy premade burger patties or use frozen burger patties. Now I know I’m normally down on seed oils but this Alexia brand tastes great and comes in handy. One batch of fries cooked in this oil won’t kill you. Just toss the fries on a tray for 25 min in a 425 oven. While they’re cooking, grill your burgers. When they’re done assemble your burgers with some romaine, tomatoes, onions and avocados. As an added treat I like to eat my fries with this mayonnaise!

9. Pick up a pizza

Some days you just have to do it. One unhealthy meal won’t make you unhealthy just as one healthy meal won’t make you healthy. And if you must – most places have gluten free options too, making this unhealthy meal slightly more healthy.

10. Your own body fat

I’m echoing my breakfast post with this one: Now I’m not talking about cannibalism, I’m suggesting that you practice intermittent fasting from time to time. You don’t always have to eat dinner. If you’re body is a fat adapted, your body can switch to using stored body fat for energy instead of relying on sugar (carbs). It’s a common misconception that we need to eat 3 meals a day. Eat when you’re hungry, and if you’re not hungry at dinner – don’t eat!


That’s it guys. I hope some of these ideas will work for you and your family – or in the very least maybe sparked some no brainer primal dinner ideas of your own. If you have some no brainer primal dinners that you and your family love to eat, please leave a note in the comments. Take care!