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!

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!

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!

Slow Down

Slow Down

My daughter was about 8 months this time last year. Now she’s about 20 months (8+12 duh) with another baby due in February.

Our daughter was born April 16, 2014

18 months
This is our daughter at 18 months

Everyone said it – time flies so fast – and it really does. But no matter how many photos or videos I take to try to document our daughter’s life – life is still flying by. This time of year especially it really seems like time is flying by. Everyone’s moving at a million miles an hour during the Holidays of Thanksgiving to Christmas to New years. Year after year the cycle repeats itself and can, over time, create what was supposed to be a very enjoyable time to be a very unenjoyable time of year. So what are we to do? Slow down. I know you’ve probably heard this before, but sometimes people need to hear things repeatedly before they finally take action. Hopefully this is the last time you need to hear it before you actually take action: Slow Down. Below I’ve listed a few areas in our life that definitely need slowing down this time of year.

1. Slow down the phone

We all get too wrapped up in our phones. They’re almost like the worst thing and best thing that have happened to our generation (slight exaggeration here). Just look around the next time you’re at a restaurant or at some other public place – everyone is on their phone. Look around at the Christmas gatherings you’ll probably be attending – again, everyone on their phones. So the other day I decided to put down my phone and be very intentional of the time I had with my daughter. I didn’t try to get the perfect photo of my daughter, or try take a video of her kissing a piece of bacon. We actually went outside and all I did was sit there and watched her as she explored our backyard. Sure she ate not one but two handfuls of dirt from our garden, but it was fun to just hang out with her, let time slow down and not be on my phone obsessed with trying to capture that perfect moment of her to post on instafacetwitter. Now you may be saying well Randall I don’t have kids so I have nothing to do other than hang out on my phone and look at Instagram or play a super addicting game. But I challenge you to try to actually do nothing still. Just sit there. Go outside and do nothing. Get a bon fire going and just hang out, look at the stars, watch the birds, just sit. The only way to actually slow down, is to do just that – slow down.

2. Slow down the TV

Now sitting around watching Christmas movies is something I love to do with my wife, so I’m not suggesting to do away with the TV all together. I’m suggesting to just not let it be the only thing you do with your free time this Christmas season, because before you know it 4 hours flew by and all you did was watch Home Alone 1 & 2. Now what else could you do with that 4 hours? A lot of things actually:

  1. Go on a walk with your loved ones to look at Christmas lights.
  2. Sit around and play old school Words With Friends, aka Scrabble.
  3. Read Christmas stories.
  4. Take your kids to a park.
  5. Sing Christmas songs.

Just try to do something that’s outside of the norm, doesn’t include your tv, phone or computer, and creates new memories for you and your kids to remember.

3. Slow down the cooking

There’s a reason fast food is called fast food. Because it’s… fast. Food shouldn’t be fast. Food should always be slow and this time of year we really need to harness that. Instead of being wrapped up on buying a million gifts that no one needs or trying to run around to different parties, how about you just stay home, order from Amazon and cook something slow. Look around for recipes that take all day to roast or maybe finally take the time to try out cooking that recipe you’ve been wanting to try like this one or this one, that you otherwise don’t have “time” to cook. And do this activity with a loved one or your kids. Make these really good cookies with your kids instead of just buying a box of fast made wheat and soy filled cookies from the store. Just make it fun and slow. Enjoy the extra time we have this time of year and really dive into the kitchen.

4. Slow down and sleep

Sleep is important. Not sure if you know that. We need 7–9 hours of sleep. It’s not really a suggestion, there’s good evidence showing that we need this much sleep. So what better time to actually practice this good habit other than Christmas and New Years break where we have a few extra days off, or maybe you (lucky) have 2 straight weeks off. Just be sure that if you’re still sucked into your phone and tv to wear blue blocking glasses or install f.lux on your computer so that you don’t throw off your circadian rhythm. I know it sounds hippy, but it’s a real thing. The more we keep looking at blue light when we’re trying to go to bed, the more we’re telling our brain it’s daytime when it’s actually 10pm.

Slowing down may look completely different for you and your family but these are just some ways I see my life being effected by not slowing down. If you have any other ideas on how you can slow down feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!