Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place

We’re all in this together, or out of it (the public?) together depending on the way you look at it? With everything going on in the world with COVID–19 we’ve been asked to stay at home as much as we can to mitigate the spread of the virus. After sheltering in place for a week and working from home I’ve noted a few things I’ve found essential to do and keep in the home. I know the internets are pretty full right now with these ideas but these really are some key takeaways I’ve noted in the last week.

Use a pressure cooker

If you don’t have one of these already – you really need one. Sure you’re stuck at home all day so in theory you can use a slow cooker because supposedly time is on your side, but in my experience the evening still rolls around after dealing with kids and work – that the need to pressure cook a pork shoulder really quick is absolutely necessary.

Go on a walk

We’re all working from hope but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside (yet). I’ve tried to still move as much as possible while being stuck at home and that includes taking calls outside and going on walks. I typically would do this at work anyway so carrying it over to working from home is a no brainer. If you have a phone call you have to be on – go outside – synthesize vitamin d and move around at a slow pace.

Make bone broth

If you have an instant pot or not you can finally take a stab at making some bone broth. You can follow this recipe to make one in an instant pot or you can follow this recipe to make it the low and slow way in a Lodge dutch oven. It’ll help boost your immunity, the collagen will help you sleep better and it’s just a fun thing to do. Now’s the time to take stab at it.

Ferment something

Ferment something, anything. Make some kombucha. Ferment some pickles. Make some beet kvass. If you’re at home all day, you have the luxury of trying out some of these super old school ways of doing things. They’re really easy, they’re fun for the kids and they have really good health benefits because of the natural probiotics produced in the fermentation process.

Buy a whole animal

Who knows how long this thing is gonna go on, but I’m already being told I can’t buy the quantity of meat I want to buy. My grocery stores are limited to 2 packs of meat per person… that’s like 4 ribeyes. That’ll last me 2 days. I can’t keep going back to the store every other day so the best bet for me and you is to find a local farmer and purchase a whole animal. It’s the most cost effective way to purchase meat and you get to use every part of the animal this way. The best way to go about doing this is to check out the eat wild website and look for farmers and ranchers near you to develop relationships with to purchase a whole animal.

Rice, beans and corn tortillas won’t kill you

Look – I typically eat no carb or low carb but some days a taco or 5 really sound good. Eating a gluten free corn tortilla isn’t that many carbs and if you make your own, especially with this blue masa, it’s tasty and super healthy still. Eating white rice, basmati specifically, isn’t terrible either with its low GI. Beans can be a last resort but can also be fun to prepare if you prepare them the traditional way by soaking and then cooking up in some lard. You could be doing a lot worse. I wouldn’t make these a staple but on occasion throwing them into your sheltering in place routine can be a nice treat.

Sleep long

We don’t have to commute anymore. Sleep is so important. Take advantage of this time and put sleep as a priority. I can’t honestly say I’m succeeding in this area because I’ve been surfing in the morning instead of swimming like I typically do for “moving around at a slow pace” – but I kinda love surfing more than sleep. I know, I’m not taking my own advice, but if the surf looks terrible I’ll be taking myself up on my own advice.

Plan a garden

Again who knows how long we’ll be stuck inside. If you don’t have a garden yet now would be a good time to plan one and get it going for the spring. My advice is to be realistic and plant only the things you know you’ll want to eat or consume on a regular basis. What does that look like for my family? Kale, spinach, dill, cilantro, squash, strawberries, blueberries, citrus trees. Just take a look at what you typically buy and make a plan to try to be ever so self sustaining. If you live in Southern California – I’ve found this book to be a great resource.

Make some art

Where would we be without art?! Lol well I may be a little biased considering I have a BFA in Graphic Design. I’ve literally taken more art classes than math, history and literature combined. While you’re confined to your home try to make some art. Then one day you’ll be able to look back and remember this time that you were confined to your home, for what probably seems like an eternity, and have an art piece set in time to remember the quarantine. Van Gogh painted some of his best and most well known works, Starry Night and Irises, when he was stuck in a mental institution after cutting off his own ear – is that bad to relate our stay at home order to Van Gogh’s time in a mental institution? Either way, all good art has stories behind them, this could be your time to do the same thing. Paint a picture, build something, do some graphic design, draw with chalk on the sidewalk with your kids – just go make something from nothing.

Enjoy family

As cheesy as it sounds – we’ll never get this time back – a friend reminded me of this the other day and it really is true. Unfortunate as it is with the whole world getting sick with this virus, it’s placed the rest of us in a unique situation where we have no other option than being stuck at home. We can either make the most of it or let it drive us mad. We should try as best as we can to see this as a unique opportunity with our family and make memories with them because once it’s all over (hopefully someday) we’ll look back on this time and wish we had it back. As Andy once famously said on The Office – “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them”.

These are just a few things that I’ve noted this last week. If you have any ideas on what’s helping you get through the quarantine – feel free to share them in the comments below. Stay primal, healthy and safe everyone!

Freshly Review


Posts have been lacking on the blog for a while now. The reason being is that my family has been growing pretty rapidly over the last few years. I feel like I just wrote this post when we had our second daughter. Now my wife and I just had our third daughter! So it’s without saying that our hands have been pretty full lately! Now, we planned pretty well this time for when we had our daughter to have enough food in the house for easy meals but family wanted to help out in providing food for us, specifically my Mom. My Mom wanted to help us out someway by providing food and making our hands less full. So recently I’ve been considering subscription models for meat or vegetables – but all those still required cooking, which was what I was trying to avoid for the past month or so while we were trying to figure out how to feed 3 kids and ourselves!

So my wife brought up maybe having my Mom put money towards Freshly. I immediately went over to their site to check out their meals and how they worked. Turns out the price is pretty reasonable if you have a coupon code and the ingredients are pretty spot on for accommodating our primal meal tastes. Now I will get into later how these aren’t exactly Primal compliant but the alternative was us going out to eat or picking up something else with worse ingredients – and one can only eat so much Chipotle or In N Out protein style burgers before going insane. It’s all about balance.


So you may be wondering what the heck Freshly even is? So the basic idea is described on their website as follows:

  1. You choose your meals from Freshly’s constantly rotating weekly menu of over 30 different gluten-free options.
  2. Freshly cooks and delivers all of your meals that are prepared and cooked by Freshly chefs and delivered fresh – never frozen.
  3. Then you enjoy the fully prepared, healthy meals that are ready in under 3 minutes. The only thing you need to do is enjoy.

So I still want to treat this like a product review because that’s what Freshly is – a product. That means I want to look at the three typical categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

There’s a bunch of different meals you get to choose from and have delivered each week, but for the sake of this review I’ll just mention a few. Overall though, their meals are described as “gluten free, packed with protein, free from refined sugars and all natural”. Let’s look at the nutritional profile of one my favorites:

Braised Rosemary Pork with Sautéed Kale and Roasted Red Potatoes
Total Fat: 24g
Total Carbohydrate: 32g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 7g)
Protein: 33g
Ingredients: Pork (Pork, Pork Glace (Water, Pork Bones, Carrots, Celery, Onions, Tomato Paste, Spices) Sea Salt, Black Pepper), Carrots, Potatoes, Kale, Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Water, Onion, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Chablis, Chicken Stock (Chicken Broth, Natural Flavors, Mirepoix Stock (Carrot, Onion and Celery Juices), Gelatin, White Wine), Celery, Tomato Paste (Tomatoes, Citric Acid), Garlic, Bacon (Pork, Water, Salt, Sugar, Celery Powder, Natural Flavor), Chicken Fat, Cassava Flour, Sea Salt, Spices, Rice Flour, Nutritional Yeast.


Looking at the listing of this meal on their site they also have these cool little icons that indicate that the meal is: Low Carb, High Protein, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Soy Free (and occasionally they’ll have some meals listed as Paleo). This one probably isn’t indicated as “Paleo” because it has potatoes in it, even though Potatoes are pretty much Paleo and Whole30 now adays.

Now a quick breeze over all these ingredients in this meal look pretty spot on and honestly this meal is near perfect. I could virtually live off of these meals indefinitely if I could afford it consistently. However there is one main ingredient in pretty much every one of their meals, including the ones labeled as Paleo. What ingredient is that: Expeller Pressed Canola Oil. Apart from this one ingredient these meals are perfectly primal and paleo. What’s wrong with canola oil you ask? Well I could write a whole post on it but I’d rather just have you read this article and this article and this article. The gist of it is that it’s a highly processed oil derived from rapeseed that goes through a bunch of weird processes like being degummed, bleached and deodorized. You can watch the process of it in this youtube video.

Ok but that’s what’s wrong with regular canola oil, but these meals contain expeller pressed canola oil. What’s the difference? Well expeller pressed means it doesn’t go through all those weird chemical processes, it’s just pressed (put simply). But that doesn’t change the fact that this oil is high in “heart healthy (omega–6) fats” aka polyunsaturated fats, which means it’s more susceptible to oxidation than say saturated fat. That’s why saturated fat is good for you because it has less of an opportunity to oxidize – saturated fat is more stable.

Ok but what does that mean for these meals and why am I still eating them you ask? Because. Everything else about these meals is perfect and a little expeller pressed canola oil is better than the alternative. It’s a worthy trade off for the convenience. The alternative is that I go out to eat Chipotle or In N out or … Pizza Hut. Seriously, a little canola oil in these meals won’t kill me – I have more of a chance of dying in a car accident than a little canola oil in these amazing convenient tasty meals.

However, if someone at Freshly is reading this please take this to heart: please stop using canola oil and switch to something more healthy like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, tallow or red palm oil.

The rest of their meals vary in carb/fat/protein content slightly but you can just find the meal that fits your macro goals. You’re able to select what your restrictions are and they will tell you what meals fit within your restrictions. All their meals are gluten free, but say you don’t like turkey (which my wife and I don’t) you can tell them that and they will indicate which meals have turkey in them.


Figuring out how much these cost is kind of weird because there are always promotions and deals. Like this one if you sign up with our referral link you can get 6 dinners for $39. Their standard prices can be found here and for the sake of this review I’ll review their standard prices since there are always promotions and it would be too hard to rate them off their promo price.

Their standard prices are as follows:

  • 4 Meals per week: $49.99 ($12.50/meal)
  • 6 Meals per week: $59.99 ($9.99/meal)
  • 9 Meals per week: $89.99 ($9.99/meal)
  • 12 Meals per week: $107.99 ($8.99/meal)

All the meals include free shipping so you don’t have to worry about that. So how do these stack up? You’re obviously paying for convenience – and in this season of our lives with a newborn and 2 other kids we needed the convince. Let’s take the 6 meals a week plan and compare because that’s the plan my wife and I use. 6 meals a week worked out for us because we do a bible study throughout the week where each one of us is left home with the kids for one night by ourselves so having this on those nights is especially helpful. That’s where 2 meals are used (4 for both of us) then the other 2 are eaten on Thursday or we freeze them for another day (you can freeze them and they will reheat just as well, you just have to add an extra minute). Then typically we make food or go out to eat the other times. Fridays or the weekends we like to make ribs or some other thing on the BBQ. Just a note, we don’t feed our kids these meals, it’s just enough portion size for us to eat and we normally feed them leftover meat, berries and pouches.

Compare $9.99 a meal to going out to eat. You can get a pizza for $10 and feed the whole family sure. But a better comparison would be to the alternative that we would eat if we didn’t have these meals. If we didn’t get a chance to cook and we needed something primal and fast we would go to the standard Paleo option: Chipotle. So how does my typical Chipotle order stack up against a $9.99 meal from Freshly?

Chipotle Bowl
2x Carnitas ($2.70 extra), White Rice, No Beans, Guacamole, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Sour Cream, Fajita Veggies, Cheese and Romaine Lettuce.
Total: $13.25

You could even take away the double meat and it would still come out to $10.34. Therefore I really think Freshly at their standard price of $9.99 a meal is a great deal. It’s good food with a great amount of convenience. Sure you could bust out a super cheap dinner for your family with some roasted veggies and carnitas or something – or heck even make a homemade chipotle bowl yourself and I’m sure it would come out cheaper that $9.99 (only by a little) – but that’s not convenient. I think $9.99 a meal is a great price for their convince of just having to warm them up and then sitting down and eating a meal in less than 5 minutes.


Normally when you think of pre-made meals it conjures up ideas of gross frozen meals and lean cuisines – but know that Freshly is fresh not frozen and their not tasteless/saltless like the majority of precooked meals out there. My wife and I have tried several meals from Freshly now and to be honest all of them taste great! Let’s take a look at a few meals I’ve eaten and how they taste.

Photo courtesy of
Braised Rosemary Pork with Sautéed Kale and Roasted Red Potatoes
Like I said this one is my favorite and the one I continue to order each week. The kale is steamed with some sort or tomatoes and bacon and such and it really makes a steamed leafy green approachable if you don’t normally eat them. The pork is hearty and full of flavor and goes great with the little bit of potatoes and carrots.

Photo courtesy of
Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
This one was probably my least favorite. Normally I love spaghetti squash as a replacement for noodles. Even more than julienned zucchini as I’ve written about here. But this meal was my least favorite because I wish there was more sauce. There was only a little amount of sauce with this dish, almost like it was a mistake. The meatballs were great and gluten free – which normally doesn’t happen often. All together everything tasted great, I just with there was a little more sauce or maybe I just eat really large portion sizes normally.

Photo courtesy of
Buffalo Chicken Breast with Loaded Cauliflower
This one was really cool to try, the flavor was really good with the buffalo sauce. The mashed cauliflower was amazing (if you do dairy, as there was a little dairy in the mixture I think). The only negative on this one for me was the gluten free breaded chicken – because you’re microwaving these and essentially steaming them, you can’t ever get a crispy texture on breading. So while the chicken was good, the breading texture wasn’t great.


First off, thank you Mom for buying these for us! They most definitely came in handy when we needed them most and they fit our dietary restrictions (aside from the canola oil) and most importantly – they tasted great! We liked them so much that after my Mom gifted these to us, we’re still buying them ourselves to have on hand while my wife and I are in this busy season of our lives. It’s nice to have the convenience for a few days out of the week.

As I pointed out earlier as well, if someone at Freshly is reading this please take this to heart: please stop using canola oil and switch to something more healthy like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, tallow or red palm oil.

I suggest everyone try them out even if you’re slightly intrigued and needing the convenience. Like I said if you sign up with our referral link you can get 6 dinners for $39. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!

Our New Family Member

Little Sis

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks. I’ve been a little busy as we welcomed our second daughter into the world! For the past few weeks I have been able to stay at home to help out my wife with our toddler and newborn. I have more than loved these last couple weeks off but man is it hard work to be at home with two kids!

A photo posted by Kristi Creasey (@hikristi) on

We were in the hospital longer than expected because our newborn was in the NICU due to fluid in her lungs after the c-section. She recovered quickly and my wife was doing an amazing job at providing pumped breastmilk and we were discharged within a few days. The last few weeks have flown by though and we are at home now chasing around a toddler and enjoying the time with our newborn. Since I’ve been at home the last couple weeks I’ve noted some things that I wanted to share on how I was able to make the most of my time off and how you can too if you find yourself at home with a newborn.


Help your wife

Breastfeeding is tough work and some of the most important work. Our daughter being in the NICU for a few days kinda threw off our breastfeeding plans. The NICU demanded a lot of milk, and my wife was able to pump and we had frozen breastmilk at home that we were able to bring in. This led to a tough time at home for my wife to figure out breastfeeding all over again even though she nursed our toddler until 15 months. We’ve seen a lactation nurse a few times already and my wife is working as hard as she can. All that is to say – breastfeeding and caring for a newborn is tough work and helping your wife in whatever way possible should be your top priority.


I know it sounds a little stupid to say to get sleep when you come home with a newborn because everyone says it and it’s near impossible to get sleep with a newborn, but this should almost be your second top priority. Sleep is important for the nursing mom and important for the dad too. Hopefully you can work together with your loved one to fit in as much sleep as possible even if it’s in the form of naps throughout the day or biphasic sleep. Sleep is necessary for breastmilk production and a multitude of other things. Treat sleep as a top priority for yourself when you get home.

Resist the blue light

Sometimes all you may want to do when your newborn goes to sleep is to grab your phone and do something mindless. Now I’m not saying to not do that at all just try to resist it when you’re nearing the end of the day because the blue light from your phone or computer can effect how you sleep because it tricks your body to think that it’s daytime. Apple is tackling this with their new feature to add more yellow light to your screen, but as of this writing this update isn’t out yet. For your computer you can install f.lux to adjust the color temperature of your monitor. Still though, try to get sleep – don’t scroll endlessly on Instagram.

Make some bone broth

You’re at home with a newborn, what a better time to throw a bunch of bones and veggies in a crockpot to make bone broth. I like Nom Nom’s recipe for this or The Domestic Man has a nice recipe in his book. The prep time is super simple and all you have to do is throw this stuff in a crock pot and let it simmer as long as possible. Nom nom also has a great guide for storing bone broth in the freezer.

Make easy meals

I’m chasing around a toddler and my wife is slaving away nursing our newborn so meals need to be easy and simple and preferably provide left overs. So far my favorite go to meals the past couple weeks have been as follows:

  1. Taco bowls – These are super quick to make and provide lots of leftovers. Just buy a bunch of ground beef and cook it once so you can assemble these bowls for a couple of days.
  2. Slow cooker kalua pig – Grab and big pork shoulder and let it slow cook overnight and you’ll have meals for a few days. We eat this with salad, cal rose rice or baked potatoes. Don’t fear the carbs here, they’re necessary for the breastfeeding mom and if the rice and potatoes are eaten leftover as cold they provide resistant starch for your gut bacteria.
  3. Burgers and fries – No not McDonald’s, make your own. Buy a bunch of ground beef and sweet potatoes and you can make a pretty tasty meal super quick. Burgers cook quick on the BBQ and fries can be cut and tossed in the oven in no time. Make extra patties for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner and just eat these lettuce wrapped or on a pile of mixed greens.
  4. Eggs and bacon – Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy. Just eat some eggs and bacon. The eggs are great for the nursing mom because of the choline and cholesterol in the yolks. Luckily we have an amazing egg farm near us where we can buy eggs in bulk at a great price.

Enjoy your family

We have been blessed with the opportunity for my wife to stay at home with the kids, so being at home with the whole family is something I was able to enjoy the last couple of weeks. I told myself to get off the phone, skip trying to get good pictures of the kids and just soak it all in. The kids will grow up quick so just stop and really soak in the time that you get to spend uninterrupted with your family.

Go outside

I work inside a building all day normally. So being at home with my toddler and newborn was a perfect time to break the norm and actually let my skin get some sunlight during midday. We busted out our bouncer in the backyard and just hung out outside. We need vitamin D and nothing’s better than midday sun to get that vitamin D synthesizing for mom, dad and the kids.

Eat some pizza and ice cream

What?!?! Now unless your Celiac or truly have a dairy allergy disregard this one. But sometimes we just needed a pizza and some ice cream. During your time off with a newborn your diet isn’t gonna be perfect. Don’t worry about it. One pizza and some ice cream here and there in an otherwise healthy person isn’t going to make you unhealthy just as one or two healthy meals in an unhealthy person won’t make them healthy. Don’t let perfect be the enemy good. Is that how that phrase goes? Not sure, just know we abide by the 80/20 principle and a pizza here or there isn’t going to kill you.

Go on walks

Along with getting sunlight we need to move more. Getting outside on walks is good for your health and for your sanity too so that you don’t get cabin fever while you’re at home with a newborn. If you’re at home with your first kid or you have a whole tribe, try to make time to get out of the house to break up the day and go on a walk.

These are just a few ideas that stuck out for me as I’ve been home the last few weeks. Feel free to share any thoughts you had on how to stay healthy and sane while at home with a newborn in the comments below. Thanks for reading!