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!

Epic Review

Epic Review

When I first went Primal, I was always on the lookout for Primal snacks. It was tough shifting from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for energy at first. I would get super hungry between lunch and dinner on the way home from work. So I searched online for what would be a good Primal snack. As it turns out, jerky and nuts are a great source of protein and fat to hold you over until dinner. During that time I came across something called Pemmican. I so badly wanted to try making some but I was just too lazy. Then I came across Epic. They were basically a modern take on Pemmican, they had meat, berries and fat in the form of nuts. I had to order some.

I ordered a box of the Turkey Almond Cranberry bars and they were the perfect snack for in between meals, or hikes or camping. Perfectly Primal. Then not too long after that I noticed that Epic started branching out to jerky and trail mix packs. First of all, I was super interested to check out these new jerky and nut packs because they just looked so cool. Once again, being that I’m a designer by trade, I got enticed with all this amazing branding and package design. So I reached out to Epic to see if I could review some of their newer products since I was already familiar with their Pemmican-esque bars that you can check out here. Epic was kind enough to send me some of their Bites and one of their Hunt & Harvest packs. So as with any review I wanted to check out the three main categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

Epic has a bunch of different products and they just keep expanding. So Like I said I started with their bars, then they created some bites and bits, trail mix packs – and now they’re branching out to selling pastured cooking fats and bone broth. What we’re looking at today is their Bites and their Hunt & Harvest packs.

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Total Fat: 7g
Total Carbohydrate: 0g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Uncured Bacon (Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder), Natural Pork

What? Zero Carbs? Whats not to love about the nutritional profile of these. The way they get away with that is because there is no sugar used for curing or added sugar after the jerky is made. If you’re looking for a perfectly Primal snack, you can’t go wrong with these. Packing some fat and protein and zero carbs. You’re on your way to becoming a fat burning beast.

Chicken Sesame BBQ
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Total Fat: 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 8g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 6g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Natural Chicken, Organic Currants, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion, Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Pepper

This chicken jerky comes in with a little more carbs and less fat, but it’s still a low sugar snack and perfectly Primal.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Total Fat: 8g
Total Carbohydrate: 4g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 3g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Jerky (grass fed organic beef, wildflower honey, water, salt, organic apple cider vinegar, yeast extract, organic black pepper, celery powder, organic garlic powder). Nut Mix (roasted almonds, roasted pecans, roasted Brazil nuts, pistachios).

This is such a great little package. Packing just the right amount of fat and protein for a snack or on the go meal. Low sugar and real whole ingredients with grass fed beef.

All of these products have an impressive nutritional profile. Epic really focuses on high quality ingredients, pastured raised meats leading to high omega–3 & CLA, gluten free, soy free and low glycemic, paleo friendly snacks. So it’s without a doubt that not just these but any of Epic’s products have an amazing nutritional profile. With their products you don’t have to worry about high fructose corn syrup or other weird ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce. It’s all real ingredients, not something some scientist invented in a lab.

Affordability

Now this is where things get a little dicey. I love Epics products, but they can be a little pricey. It’s all about comparison though. If you compare this chicken or pork jerky with other jerky you find in the grocery store or gas station it will be filled with sugar and soy – cheap ingredients no doubt. So what happens when you remove the cheap ingredients and use high quality pastured raised meats? The product becomes more expensive, thus we have Epic coming in as follows:

Bacon & Chicken Bites
Price per pack: $6.25
Price per box of 8: $50

Honest Harvest
Price per pack: $3.88
Price per box of 8: $31

Oberto Bacon Jerky
Price per pack: $4.68

Now I put the price of a sorta comparable Oberto Bacon Jerky up there to compare and see that yea Epic is slightly more expensive for a comparable product and size (2.5 oz bag) but the difference is in the ingredients. Oberto’s Bacon Jerky is cured pork with sugar, unlike Epic’s which is uncured. So if uncured pork is a big thing for you, I would say Epic is the way to go if you’re willing to pay the extra money, otherwise Oberto isn’t necessarily a bad option if you’re not concerned with the quality of your protein, as I assume Oberto’s pork is CAFO.

Finding a comparable product for the Hunt & Harvest pack is kinda difficult as there really isn’t any other product out there marketed like this. Sure you could go buy some grass fed jerky yourself and some nuts and come in less expensive, but you’re paying for convenience with this pack. It’s about having a nice little snack for when a craving hits or when you’re on the go – hiking, camping, running from meeting to meeting. For the price I think it’s a great deal to have for when that craving hits.

Taste

I’ve never really been a fan of sweet jerky or really tough jerky and that’s where Epics jerky really shines. They’re all low sugar and very moist so win win. Let’s take a closer look at all the flavors they sent me:

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Soft. Salty. Pork. Expect nothing else and expect nothing more. If you like salty you’ll love this. I really liked these bacon bites. Not tough at all and not sweet at all which is what I like. Pretty great.

Epic Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
I normally am not a fan of chicken jerky but I really liked this one. It was just the right amount of sweet from the currants and has a pleasant sesame taste to the jerky. Both of these jerkys aren’t just straight dehydrated muscle meat. They’re sorta ground up and turned into strips and cut up. Sounds gross but it actually works for both of these jerkys.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Now this is a cool little idea. There are two sides to this pack that have jerky on one side and mixed nuts on the other side. When you open the ziplock you open the divider as well and mix it all together.

Epic Hunt Harvest
Jerky and nuts separated for freshness

Mix Contents
Instructions on how to mix after you open up the bag

Mixed together
Voila, you have a nice little grass fed trail mix

The jerky is traditional grass fed muscle meat dehydrated and the nuts are simply mixed dry roasted nuts. Both of these together had a great trail mix salty taste. The jerky is much tougher than the other stuff but the flavor is nice and salty and peppery. Not sweet at all. I really like the idea of this pack and suggest having a few on hand just for emergency hikes or if you’re strapped for time and need some quick protein and fat.


Conclusion

Epic is onto some great things. They’re a promising company with some pretty amazing products and I look forward to trying out all their new stuff like their cooking fats and bone broth. I’m glad there are companies like Epic out there dedicated to making whole food snacks, with fat and high quality protein. Feel free to share in the comments what your favorite Epic products are. Thanks for reading.

Buy some for yourself:

10 On The Go Primal Breakfast Ideas

10 On The Go Primal Breakfast Ideas

Getting out the door quickly in the morning is already a challenge. Then if you try to add breakfast in the mix it becomes even more of a challenge. Then if you try to add a healthy breakfast in the morning it becomes even more more of a challenge. I think it’s important to understand what I mean by healthy breakfast. So often people think a muffin or pastry or some other glucose spiking carb fest is what we need for breakfast. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a whole grain muffin isn’t a healthy breakfast option. We need protein and fat to get us going in the morning, but we need something that we can whip up in a couple minutes, otherwise we will be grabbing for the doughnuts when we arrive at the office. Check out some quick on the go breakfast ideas below.

1. Bacon & Eggs

I know you may think that this takes longer than a few minutes but it can actually go pretty quickly. The key is to bake your bacon the night before or on Sunday and save it for using throughout the week. If you do this you can whip this up pretty quickly, especially if you follow Gordon Ramsey’s way of making scrambled eggs. Just throw some butter and eggs in a skillet, scramble for a couple minutes and toss the crumbled bacon in near the end. Once it’s done, throw it in a to go cup and eat it while you’re driving. Maybe not the safest option, but it’s better than getting type 2 diabetes from eating a muffin every morning.

2. Primal Fuel Shake

This is an even faster option. I like this whey protein because it contains fat in it as well as protein. Most whey proteins use some fake fat instead of a real fat like coconut. Toss a couple scoops in a shaker like this and you’re good to go.
Buy Primal Fuel.

3. Exo or RXBARs

I’ve already written about both of these here, here and here. These are both great options for breakfast on the go because they have a good amount of fat and protein. Pair this with some coffee and you’re ready to go all morning long.
Buy Exo Bars
Buy RXBARs

4. Primal Egg Coffee

I saw this on Mark’s Daily Apple awhile ago around the same time people were doing bullet proof coffee and I think the idea is genius. Basically you mix 3 egg yolks with your coffee and then add a little sweetener like stevia or honey. It’s like bulletproof coffee plus a little protein kick. Remember though if you do this to use pastured egg yolks for less of a risk of food born illness or salmonella.

5. Bulletproof Coffee

Speaking of bulletproof coffee… So you don’t always need protein to get going in the morning. Sometimes all you need is a good dose of fat and caffeine. You can read more about bullet proof coffee here.

6. Hard Boiled Egg

Prepare these Sunday and you’re good to go all week. You’d even be further ahead of the game if you pre peel them so you can eat them in the car.

7. Jerky

This is like the ultimate on the go meal. You can always make your own or pick up some good brands like Krave at your local gas station or Target.
Buy Food Dehydrator

8. Chia Flax Hot Pudding

My wife and I make this a lot for our daughter, but it’s perfect for you to whip up in less than 5 minutes and head out the door. I do have version of this recipe that I’m gonna post in the near future that has cricket flour as the protein source, but for now you can find the recipe I follow here.

9. Frozen Coconut Macadamia Bar

I’ve made this a few times and man are they good. They have a nice crunch and a good dose of fat. A little messy because they are frozen but I ended up eating these so quickly that it didn’t matter how messy they were. Find the full recipe here.

10. Your Own Body Fat

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 breakfast. 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 breakfast and that it’s the most important meal of the day. It’s not the most important meal of the day.


There it is folks. Hopefully these 10 ideas will help you out in the morning to steer clear of the muffins or doughnuts at the office. If you arrive to work full and energized you’ve already won the battle!