3 Tips to Have a Happy New Year

3 Tips to Have a Happy New Year

As the year kicks off it’s inevitable to see new years resolutions posts all over the web by bloggers and news corps. This year Whole30 and Paleo has been ranked as the worst diet you could follow. Don’t believe them – I lost over 30 lbs a few years ago and have maintained my weight on the Primal/Paleo/Perfect Health Diet.

Without bogging you down with yet another post about how to start a New Year’s resolution or how to follow Whole30 or how to start the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge – I just wanted to keep this short and sweet with 3 tips you can generally apply at the beginning of the year to help you start off on a better foot than you may have been on in the past. If you’re really serious about a structured plan I suggest you check out Whole30 or The Primal Blueprint 21 Day challenge. I however just want to lay out 3 simple tips you can apply for the new year.

1. Just Eat Real Food

We can get into specifics if we wanted to about what to eat by reading this or this but just keep this as a general rule as you’ve probably seen the hashtag #JERFJust Eat Real Food. If you apply this principal to the food you eat this year, I guarantee you’ll be better off than you were the year before. What’s real food you ask? Well, it’s not Doritos taco shells from Taco bell, it’s not McDonalds, it’s not 99% of the stuff on the inside rows of the grocery store. Real food is all those veggies and fruits in the produce section and it’s all that meat at the meat counter. Just stick to real food this year and you’ll have a happy new year.

2. Move Frequently

The fitness tracker market has blown up like crazy with Fitbit, Apple Watch and Android Watches tracking our every move. But all these really are telling us is that we aren’t moving enough. When we live in a society that generally consists of people sitting in cars, to go sit at a desk to sit back in a car to sit on a couch then to lay on a bed – when is it that people are moving?! Check out this post about how to move more and just keep telling yourself this year to do those things like park further away, take the stairs, take a walk after dinner, go on hikes on the weekend, etc… We were made to move so don’t fall into the trap where we just sit in boxes all day.

3. Sleep More

I was really having to think to myself what are the top 3 priorities of my health and sleep just has to land here (with getting in the sun as a close tie). Sleep plays such a huge part in our lives (obviously) and I’ve written about it here and so have these people. But nevertheless we need to take sleep as a priority this year. The recommended amount is 7–9 hours. If you really look at how much sleep you get every night does it fall into that range? For myself it’s really tough to get that amount of sleep every night but I want to really work on it this year because of how huge of a role it plays in our health and I hope you place it as a priority as well.


There it is guys, I hope you read through this in less than 5 minutes, but that it sticks with you all year. It’s simple: JERF, Move, Sleep. Happy New Year everyone.

That’s So Primal 2016 Christmas Gift Guide

That's So Primal 2016 Christmas Gift Guide

I honestly feel like I just wrote a post about Christmas gifts, but that actually was a whole year ago. Time really does fly, I know everyone says that but I really believe it even more so this year. I think having kids somehow multiplies how fast time flies. Nevertheless I still wanted to put together a list of some gifts you can buy that Primal person in your life or soon to be converted Primal person in your life. I won’t make the list long I promise, but hopefully these may spark some ideas for how you can think of some gifts as a little more useful than just wool socks or prepackaged Axe dopp kits from Target.

Kitchen Gadgets

Instant Pot
Instant PotAmazon
I had this on my list last year but I think it’s worth having on this list as well. Everyone on Instagram is always posting about this pot and raves about how great it is. There’s even great recipes out there that people post specifically for cooking in this pot. It’s great for if you don’t have the time to cook something that normally takes a crock pot – i.e. a batch of bone broth or pulled pork. If you don’t get this this year, make sure to keep your eye on it for next year’s Black Friday sale as the price on Amazon always drops dramatically around that time.

Boning Knife
Boning KnifeAmazon
Now normally I’m the kinda home cook that only needs a chef’s knife and pairing knife, but there is that occasional time that I need a boning knife to cut meat away from the bone on those large inexpensive cuts of meat. I normally cut a pork shoulder that’s relatively cheap to make carnitas, but I always have to cut the meat away from the bone – doing this with a chef’s knife always makes me feel like I’m gonna cut off my finger or arm. Not a good idea, it’s best to use a flexible boning knife like this to tackle those large roast cuts of meat.

Dehydrator
DehydratorAmazon
This is the same one I have and I love it. To be honest I really wish I could use it more in the kitchen. It’s great for making jerky or dried fruits. There’s a bunch of great recipes out there for homemade jerky, and the best part is that you really get to control your ingredients in your jerky. Say goodbye to added sugar, msg and gluten.

Exciting Books

Well Fed Weeknights
Well Fed WeeknightsAmazon
I did a giveaway for this book after I interviewed Melissa, and I have the book myself, and man I love it! I have always loved Melissa’s books and her approach to meals. They are friendly, easy and practical – and most of all always taste delicious. Be sure to pick up this book!

The New Primal Blueprint
The New Primal BlueprintAmazon
You can read more about this updated book here. In short, if you haven’t read this book yet it would be a great time to because Mark updated it to include his newest research and to update his charts like the Primal Blueprint Food pyramid and the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid. I love the added insight and updated thoughts in this book. Be sure to pick it up.

Practical Paleo Second Edition
Practical Paleo Second EditionAmazon
I loved her first edition of this book and I actually want to pick up this second addition myself. Her charts, illustrations and pure knowledge in these books are amazing for veterans and anyone starting out on Paleo. With this being the second addition I’m sure she just expanded on the things that already make this book a great staple for anyone who cares about their health and food they put in their bodies.

Workout Gear

Weighted Vest
Weighted VestAmazon
Adding weight to your workout and strength training is a great way to switch up what you’re already doing with typical bodyweight exercises. It helps build strength outside of what you can do with just your bodyweight. Even if you don’t pick up a weighted vest you can still just add weight somehow to your workout regimen. This follows the Primal principle of lifting heavy things every once in awhile, and in this case your “lifting” your body plus some. Heck you can even wear it around the house while your cooking.

Pull Up Bar
Pull Up BarAmazon
How many people do you know that can do 5 pull-ups? 10 pull-ups? When I first went Primal I literally couldn’t even do one pull up. Now pull-ups are apart of my typical strength training of pushups, pull-ups, squats and planks. Pull-ups are essential! Pick up one for Christmas if you haven’t already.

Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2Amazon
In the war to end all wearable wars, I bet Fitbit will be the brand to survive potentially. Many have already come along, even the big boys like Microsoft and Motorola have decided to step out of making wearables. If you can’t afford an Apple Watch Series 2, maybe pick up this Fitbit Flex 2 because you can wear it all the time, it’s waterproof and has a long battery life. Maybe not as long as the Misfit Ray, but I think it looks slightly better. It’s good for tracking all activity since you rarely have to take it off and it will give you a good picture of how active (or inactive) you were for the day. All of us need reminders of how great we’re doing or how NOT great we’re doing 😉

Play!

Frisbee
FrisbeeAmazon
This one is simple. Just get a frisbee. They’re great. They’re fun for everyone and they can really get your body moving if you take it out to a large field. Sure they may take a little getting used to if you’ve never thrown a frisbee before or if you’re just terrible at it but once you get the hang of it you’ll have so much fun. They’re also great to just leave in the back of your car for that random time you’re at a friends house or at the beach and you want something fun to do. Trust me, frisbees also come in handy when you’re looking for something fun to do on your lunch break.

Slack Line
Slack LineAmazon
I’ve made progress from last year – I had this on my Christmas Guide last year and I didn’t get one until my birthday last month so I haven’t yet had the time to set it up and make the anchors in my backyard yet. BUT I just can’t wait to use this thing. Our daughter even seems interested in it, though I’m not sure how well she will be able to use it – either way it will still be fun to have set up in the backyard. It’s great to have for yourself or when people are over to test their balance, build your core and improve the functionality of your bare feet. Slack lines are awesome and you should definitely get one already if you haven’t yet.

Primal Snacks

Exo
ExoBuy
This should come as no surprise to you. I love these bars and I think you should buy some, like now. Don’t worry about the fact that they’re made from crickets, you won’t even know they’re there. These bars are just a great value, they taste good and they fill you up. Read more about them here and pick some up today!

RXBAR
RXBARGet $5 off your first RXBAR order!
My second go to bar. If crickets freak you out just go ahead and pick up some of these bars. They’re made from egg whites and a bunch of other goodies. These too are a great value, they taste great and they have all the right ingredients in them. Read more about them here.

Handmade

Etsy
Anything on Etsy. Just a plug for Etsy real quick. If you don’t want to buy traditional things like I have listed above, check out Etsy for amazing handmade things. I just bought my wife a cool copper ring on there for our 7 year anniversary last month. It’s nice to just buy directly from the person making it. I’ve purchased watch bands on there and shoes even. Just check it out for anything that interests you and I guarantee you’ll find something that you’ll want to pick up. Just move fast because since these things are hand made and they may take a little time to get to you.


That’s it guys. Another year another dollar – spent. But hopefully you can feel good about spending your money on the things listed above for that special person or persons in your life. Take hope in the fact that these things listed aren’t just junk that fills up your house, they’re things that can help you take hold of your health and things that can improve the quality of food you’re putting in your body. Merry Christmas everybody!

Happy First Birthday

Happy First Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! Well it’s not my actual birthday, but it’s the birthday of this blog. I started this blog about a year ago now (August 10, 2015 to be exact). This last year for myself has been a little crazy. With the birth of our second daughter and work – life has been a little hectic to say the least. Well, I’m still here, granted I’m not publishing as many posts as I’d like but nevertheless I’m still here! So, I wanted to write this quick post to point out 5 things that I have goals for over the next year – so you can hold me accountable if I fall short on these goals.

1. New Recipes

Food is really the foundation of everything Primal. Sure there’s fitness and sleep and stuff – but food is the foundation for health. So this next year I will still be dedicated to getting new recipes out there – with the focus on easy recipes that really work for the whole family. I know I’ve done a few fun recipes with crickets and such, which there might still be a few of those ;), but there will also be more practical everyday recipes for families out there.

2. New Interviews

I hope to get a few more interviews out there as I’ve done a couple last year with Russ and Joshua. I think these were great because we are able to peer into others real lives on how they do Primal. It’s especially cool because we learn that Primal looks different for everybody. Be on the lookout for a new interview very soon – I promise!

3. New Reviews

Reviews are a huge part of this blog. I’ve actually learned that they are one of the most read things on this blog. My RXBAR review is the most read review actually. So naturally these will still continue and I hope to get a lot more brands on board. If you have any suggestions on products for me to review, please submit ideas here. I would love to hear from you on what Primal products interest you. Let me know!

4. New Lifestyle Posts

Figuring out how to do Primal is a challenge in and of itself. So hopefully the lifestyle posts about how to afford Primal or about how to fit in exercise have been helpful. That’s why I plan to continue to do posts on the Primal lifestyle in general. Again if you have any requests on what kind of lifestyle posts you would like to see please drop them here.

5. More Newsletters

I’ve been really bad at sending out newsletters. Maybe for some of you that’s a good thing because you hate newsletters – but I think they can be beneficial if they include interesting stuff – which is what I hope to do. I’ve only sent out a handful since last year but I hope to be more consistent with this. They will include cool recipes and lifestyle posts I see throughout the web and they’ll include some links to older posts on this blog that maybe you’ve forgotten about. I promise they’ll be worth your time! Sign up here:

Bonus: New Ebook

Now this is really a stretch goal I have for the year. I really would like to put all the recipes I’ve accumulated here on this blog in an ebook format for you guys so that you can have with you when you’re out and about grocery shopping or when you have no internet connection – or really I just want to design a book because that’s what I love to do as a graphic designer. So hopefully this one won’t be too hard to accomplish because I would just use the recipes I’ve already put together on this site plus a few extras – but I think it would be fun for my existing readers and new readers to download and have with them. So be on the lookout for that!

Thanks for taking the time to read through me droning on about my goals for the next year of this blog and I hope you enjoy the content that is yet to come!

10 Primal Things to do This Summer

10 Primal Things to do This Summer

Summer is upon us. Hopefully you’re enjoying it and taking the time to enjoy your family and getting out in the sun. But for those of you having some trouble trying to break away from the routine and really get into the spirit of summer – I’ve compiled a list of 10 primal things to do this summer. Some of them may seem pretty simple and obvious but if you take the time to do them I guarantee you’ll build some fun memories and you’ll get out in the sun and hopefully unwind a bit.

1. Go Swimming

Pretty obvious one right here but you should make some time to dip in a pool or go to the beach. Whether you have a pool or your family has a pool or you go to the public pool. Try to just get wet and cool off and have fun with the kids or turn it into a workout. Mark Sisson wrote a timely post last week about the importance of swimming. Swimming is my preferred “moving” workout as I go about three times a week to a public pool near my work. I love it. You should try it too.

2. Camp in Your Backyard

If you have kids they’ll love doing this one, but even if you don’t have kids this can still be something fun to do. Plan it for a night that isn’t too hot and just pitch a tent in your backyard or try to find a state park. You can use this as an excuse to just chill outside and cook some good food over a fire and maybe play some card games near the campfire at night. Even if you missed the Great American Campout – you can still camp in your backyard anytime!

3. Take Your Kids to a Splash Pad

Not sure if splash pads exist everywhere, but they do where we live. My wife has been taking our toddler to the splash pad during the day and she loves it. It’s a good way to break up your day and let the kids run around and tire out! Just google areas around you that have splash pads as they are normally free and a great way to cool off during the summer.

4. Smoke Some Meat

I’ve never gotten into smoking food as I’m normally too impatient – and because I like to rely on my Dad’s method for doing ribs. But recently I’ve bene experimenting with a combination of his recipe and smoking in my Weber. It’s something fun to do on the weekends as you get to spend a little extra time outside around the grill. You don’t need to have a fancy smoker either. Just look on youtube for tutorials on how to do it. I’ve been experimenting with some wood chips my parents got me using my Weber. It’s simple and adds great flavor to meat.

5. Grow Something

Our garden has been going crazy since about April but even if you don’t have a garden you can pick up something from Home Depot and start taking care of it. Whether its flowers or a box of herbs. Growing something is a great way to get outside the house after work and enjoy some sun. Plus you’ll have super fresh herbs for spaghetti or honey roasted veggies.

6. Draw with Chalk Outside

Here’s another one that the kids will love or even if you don’t have kids – adults can still have fun with this too. Buy some chalk and just go to town outside. You don’t have to be a great artist or anything just have fun drawing pictures like you used to do when you were a kid. Our toddler likes drawing with chalk outside — or likes it when I draw Disney characters for her. Some of our friends threw some chalk paint on their wall in their backyard and their kid loves it.

7. Go on a Hike

I’m always pushing hiking. It’s a great way to get moving and to get outdoors. It doesn’t have to be a gnarly hike either, just try to find some trail local to you and head out with a buddy, kids, spouse – and just enjoy the time outside. Maybe try to plan this one for a day that’s not blazing outside, or plan it into the evening so you can see the sunset.

8. Take a Nap

Nothing wrong with naps. Take a nap inside. Take a nap outside. It’s summer. Relax. There are numerous health benefits of napping. A short nap from 20–30 minutes will leave you feeling rested and alert. Read more about the health benefits of napping here and start napping.

9. Go to a Drive In

Not sure if drive ins still exist everywhere anymore but there is a nice one close to where we live. Plan an evening to go out to a drive in if you have one near you. They’re the perfect summertime thing to do because the weather is nice and kids are out of school. Be sure to bring your own primal snacks or even homemade popcorn (#notpaleo).

10. Read a Book

I have a hard time finishing books. The funny thing is I read a million things online but I read very little books. I want to challenge myself to read at least one book for summer and I want to challenge you too. Could be a physical book or something on a Kindle. Whatever works for you. You could start with this book or this book.

Hopefully you found some of these ideas inspiring. They’re pretty simple things to do and I think they’ll be fun for you and your whole family. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you’ve been doing over summer to break away from the routine and get outside!

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

When we first moved into our house we were so excited to have such a big backyard that one of the first things we did was run to Home Depot to get stuff for a backyard garden. A backyard garden is a great way to get in the sun and dirt and switch up your daily routine. We have been doing a garden for the past few years and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I wanted to share. Granted I could still learn way more, but these are just some things that seemed to stick out over the years of trying to operate a little backyard garden. Most of my help comes from this book which is specific for my area of Southern California. If you’re not in Southern California try to find a guide specific to your area. So whether you already have a garden or would like to start one, here are 7 tips I have for running a mini farm in your backyard.

Kale

1. Plant only the things you will actually eat

When we first got our square foot garden going we made 3 boxes. 2 shallow boxes and 1 deep box for root veggies. It was a great learning experience but I soon realized as our crops started to grow that I didn’t really like most of the stuff I was growing. Sure it was nice to experiment growing and eating things that are new, but it’s hard to be devoted to a whole garden if you don’t even like the stuff growing in it. So this year when we got our garden back up and running, I decided to only plant the things that we were going to eat. So we have a whole box for herbs, another box for veggies, and our deep box for roots that was taken over by our daughter so she could plant flowers. The veggie box only has the stuff we eat and is easy enough to grow in the backyard: kale, romaine, summer squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, watermelon and pumpkins. Sure there are other veggies we love to eat like cauliflower, but it takes so much time to harvest and it only yields one head of cauliflower – whereas we go through too much cauliflower to try to grow it in the backyard. The crops we did plant are perfect to pick off when you need them and they still keep coming back.

2. Install a drip line

This was a lifesaver for us and our crops. When we first started our garden 3 years ago we were going out there everyday with a watering can or hose and it became very stressful if we missed a few days and our crops would start to suffer. Especially when we went on vacations for a week or more at a time – our crops were destroyed by the time we came back. So I hit up my dad for help to install a drip line and it was super easy to run soaker hoses and a timer. Now our garden is hands free and flourishes even when I fail to give it attention.

3. Check on your garden every day

Now just because you have a drip line doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out your garden everyday. It’s always good just to get outside and get in the sun, especially if you’re stuck in an office all day looking at a computer, but more than that you need to check to see how your crops are doing. There may be snails tearing up your romaine or there can be those scary green worms attacking your tomatoes. You need to be out there everyday killing all those things that aren’t good for your garden. You don’t want to resort to spraying your precious beyond organic crops with something to ward off bugs – so you and your fingers need to be the “pesticide”. Just pinch them and kill them or if you’re a hippie you can collect them and release them in a field or something. I prefer to pull the snails off my romaine and throw them as hard as I can at the wall. I get angry when snails ruin my burger buns or taco shells.

4. Don’t go crazy washing your crops

This one is a little controversial because even if you don’t use pesticides in your backyard garden, your soil or municipal water may contain contaminants. What we’re looking for here is some of the good soil based probiotics to still remain on the crops. So go ahead and wash off the snail juice that’s all over your romaine or bird poop on your squash, but don’t freak out if you can’t get off all the dirt from your crops. You’ll be getting more soil based probiotics which is what we need most. Most probiotics you can get in a pill or from fermented stuff isn’t soil based. The best way to get soil based probiotics is to eat a little soil still left on your crops before you eat them. Just be sure to use the highest quality soil in your square foot gardens and do your own composting.

5. Actually eat it

The whole point of a garden is to grow food that you actually eat. It’s easy to get in a routine of tending to your garden and have it be self sustaining with the drip line and all but the whole point is that you’re growing food to eat for you and your family. So try not to let backyard gardening turn into a drag or a chore – let it be a fun thing and actually eat what you’re spending all your precious time and water growing.

6. Experiment with different recipes

Anyone whose grown zucchini before knows how to experiment with different recipes because once your zucchini starts to take off, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with cooking it all. You’ll also go crazy if all you do is make zucchini noodles for your spaghetti alternatives. Try to use your zucchini (or other veggies) in recipes you’ve never tried before. Feel free to have fun and experiment and if something turns out terrible – well now you know to never try it again.

7. Get your kids involved

Like I said at the beginning of this post, we converted our deep box that was intended for root veggies into a flower garden for our 2yr old. At the beginning of March we went out there and my wife helped our daughter plant a bunch of flower seeds we picked up from the store. So far it’s been really cool to see the flowers grow and for her to get excited about her garden. Our daughter is also really into the raspberries and strawberries we have growing. We pick them right off the plant or vine and we eat them right there on the spot. Getting your kids involved with a backyard garden is a really fun thing to do that gets you outside the house and into the dirt and sun.

Garden

Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful and will inspire you to get started on a backyard garden! If you have any tips for growing a backyard garden feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!