Follow me and help spread the love!
Also I have added a new design to my T-shirt collection along with a women's version of the Primal man design. Check them out in my shop.
Just a quick post to let you know I am now on Twitter. Why not follow me @primal_ish where I will tweet updates to my blog and anything and everything primal/paleo, also anything else of interest relating to fitness, diet and the environment.
Follow me and help spread the love!
Also I have added a new design to my T-shirt collection along with a women's version of the Primal man design. Check them out in my shop.
Asparagus is just coming into season, so here’s a simple and tasty little breakfast idea. I say simple because there really isn’t much to it, just three ingredients, although preparing it on a weekday morning when you’re late for work, tripping over the wife/kids/dog/cat could add to the stress levels somewhat.
I would suggest it is ideal for an easy weekend or just when you have a little time on your hands.
Ingredients (serves 2)
4 x large eggs
8 x asparagus spears
4 x slices of prosciutto
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanche your trimmed asparagus for about 2 minutes.
when just becoming tender remove the spears and allow to cool briefly.
Now place a second pan of water on for your eggs. Boil to your preference, ideally soft for dunking!
While they are boiling take your prosciutto and slice right down the middle lengthways, take one half slice and wrap around the asparagus spears.
Add a splash of your favourite oil to a griddle pan, heat and throw in your spears, cook for a minute or two rolling them around as you go.
When your eggs are ready, plate up, knock the top off that egg, season with pepper and dunk!
It’s that simple and really very tasty!
I am very pleased and excited to announce the launch of my T-shirts. We are a minority at the present time, so what better way to let the world know what you believe in!
Both my designs are based on primitive cave art and artifacts from around the world.
Firstly, the Paleo ring design is based on an interpretation of my blog banner. The ring or circle is synonymous with prehistory and can be seen carved into cave walls and decorative items. It can also be seen in ritualistic and burial sites and barrows the world over, and is thought to represent the life cycle and seasons or the circle of life, it is also thought to represent early forms of religion or gods, as possibly a portal to the next world.
The second, Primal Man is representative of many early portrayals of the human form and stands holding his staff aloft as a symbol of defiance (of conventional wisdom perhaps). He is silhouetted by a spiral sun motif again influenced by many symbols seen around the world. The spiral is thought to represent the goddess, the womb, fertility and life force energy. In the natural world, the Spiral is found in human physiology, plants, minerals, animals, energy patterns, weather and growth. The Spiral is a sacred symbol that reminds us of our evolving journey in life.
What better way to let the world know you are following the primal lifestyle!
Go to my shop page for more details and information on ordering.
Well I haven’t posted for a while. That’s not to say that I’ve slipped up on the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. Just busy with life in general, you know!
I guess I may have let my guard down over the Christmas period somewhat, but hey why not and I did try to keep it to a minimum, within the 80/20 ratio anyway.
And I’ve definitely kept up with my bodyweight training and exercising. As I write this I am nursing a nasty case of Tendonitis in my right ankle. An injury sustained whilst implementing the barefoot running technique. I guess I’ll just have to take it easy for a while.
I have been reading quite a bit too, mostly other people’s blogs, along with Mark Sisson’s new book, ‘The Primal Connection’. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who seeks to take their lifestyle one step closer to approximating our ancestral connection to the environment.
Now one thing that has kept me going over the ups and downs is this image below which I found browsing through an old copy of a Dutch magazine/journal called Snoecks ’94, found quite literally by chance.
I have become so intrigued that I had to try and translate part of it in order to find out what it is all about. The photo was taken by Professor Edmond Desbonnet around the end of the 19th Century. Desbonnet’s mantra was “Healthy bodies, healthy minds” and he used his ‘Stereo photography’ skills to record images of patrons of his new exercise clubs around France. So popular was he that soon his journals on the importance of physical education, known as the 'Methode Desbonnet', encouraged the opening of exercise clubs all over Europe.
Now tell me if I’m wrong but no matter where you look on the internet or in fitness magazines these days, all you see are physical transformations of overweight people. As good as that is, what a skinny person like me needs to see is the transformation of skinny to ripped like above. Look at him! That is an amazing transformation and there is no airbrushing or Photoshop trickery going on here. This is the real deal. I would love to know how long this took and what his workout and diet consisted of? I bet it didn’t include whey protein!
Sometimes we all need a bit of inspiration. It’s so easy to miss a work out because we are too tired or busy. So I have this picture on my wall along with some other inspirational photos and quotes. Man, I would love to be as ripped as he is...or should I say was!. And how about that moustache too?
What's your inspiration? Do any of you have similar skinny to ripped stories/photographs to share?
We have a new addition to the family. After much contemplation we decided to get a dog. I say we, what I really mean is ‘I’ decided to get a dog. The rest of my family decided long ago that they wanted one, especially my youngest daughter, who over the past 2 years has been carefully manipulating, scheming and working her master plan on me. I resisted for as long as possible, but I think what finally convinced me was reading that recent research suggests that owning a dog significantly improves your health and wellbeing, due to all the exercise they (and you) get. Considering I have been on a drive over the past few years to do just that, it seemed like a no brainer.
As a family we already make the most of living near the New Forest. Now we have even more reason to get out there. My daughter had already decided on the breed, a Border Collie, and after a little hunting, I chanced upon a litter that were now ready for re-homing. You see I too have a plan. I plan to use Meg, as we have now named her, as my training partner. A Border Collie is perfect as they need lots of exercise and stimulation, and my intention is to start barefoot running. At present, my running skills are pretty feeble. I know I have the fitness and stamina as I already work out and cycle, but when it comes to running I am pretty inexperienced. Meg is just a pup at 11 weeks. She can’t run far before getting tired, so together we will be able build on our fitness and distance together, and I can use her young age as an excuse to hide my feeble attempts at running. I have no intention of running marathons, but to be able to eventually run 5K would be nice, and I have no doubt that before long she will outstrip me completely. But I am hoping we can build on a relationship where we both look forward to a run together.
Owning a dog can’t be that difficult surely, I kidded myself initially. After all, Man has used dogs for thousands of years. A relationship that has stood the test of time and earned the humble pooch the title of “Man’s best friend”
How wrong I was! Taking on a new puppy is HARD work and I don’t think I can stress that enough. I can only liken it to when we had our first child.
But this is our first dog. There will be lots of ups and downs. Already I am coming to terms with toilet training. The mop and bucket are continually on stand by, but we are getting there and Meg is already doing really well with her basic training. We have also just started attending a puppy training class to reinforce her good behaviour and learn how to deal with the bad. Something I heartily recommend to anyone considering a puppy.
For those interested, I will keep you posted on Meg’s (and my) developments, especially later, when we start running.
And if anyone out there has any advice on puppy training or using dogs as running partners, I’m all ears! (pun intended)
September 22nd, the official start of autumn according to the Gregorian calendar. Time to go gathering, or to be more specific, Blackberry picking. Now is the time of year to always make sure you have a bag with you every time you venture out into the forest, along footpaths and quiet lanes, or anywhere you might find a hedgerow.
It’s very satisfying to return home with a bagful of juicy blackberries, clean them up, eat a few and freeze the rest to give you a ready supply of berries throughout the winter. Tradition has it that we turn them into jams, jellies, cordials, wines, muffins and pies. All of which require large amounts of sugar and/or flour. Primal types however, have to find another use for them. I like to add a handful to smoothies or some nice full fat yoghurt. Warm them slightly so that they start to break down and add them as a topping to some primal pancakes. No doubt, if you search the net, there are hundreds of recipes out there that you can adapt to take the humble Blackberry.
Of course, gathering is not limited to Blackberries. There are also Bilberries, Bullace, Elderberries and Crab Apples to name but a few. The challenge is knowing what to do with them that doesn’t require sugar.
Sloe Berries can be found on the Blackthorn bush, and are more commonly known for making Sloe Gin. They can’t be eaten raw because they are incredibly tart and have a high tannin content. This can be reduced by cooking or you can deseed them, dry them out, then add them to your primal recipes. Archaeological evidence has shown that the Sloe was a common food in the pre-historical period. So what’s good enough for them…..!!
You can read more about the history and healing properties of Sloes here.
Rosehips can be harvested too. The common treatment is boiling with sugar, which results in a syrup high in vitamin C and um…..sugar!. But we can use them too, so if you decide to gather a few, the first thing you need to do is cut them open and strip out their seeds, as the furry substance that surrounds the seed and lines the inner pod casing is an irritant. A simple way to enjoy them once the seeds are gone is as a kind of tea. By pouring boiling water on them you neutralize the effect of the little hairs inside. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes, then drink the liquid and eat the pods.
If you do your homework, there are a host of other fruits, nuts, plants and roots to be harvested too, depending on how keen you are. My selection here is just a start. Blackberries after all, are probably the easiest wild berry to identify without fear of getting it wrong. So why not pick up on a time honored tradition and enjoy a simple pleasure. I’ll finish off with a quote from ‘Brave Old World’ by Tom Hodgkinson;
“In gathering wild food, we get a glimpse of our own pre-agricultural past, and of the collective joy of gathering, because collecting berries is so often done in chatty, convivial groups. The little wounds one receives while gathering are somehow enlivening: the New World has tried to banish pain, but in the Old World we get little stings and scratches, and we deal with them cheerfully. We later admire our scratched and ‘purple-stained’ hands: these are real hands, hands that have done more than tap at a keyboard, hands that have done some real work. These hands have lived.”
This recipe is inspired by my love of Mediterranean food and our recent holiday to Greece. It’s a kind of Minestra or Minestrone, a Corsican soup, but without the pasta.
Its base is a chicken carcass left over from a Sunday roast. A great way to use up every last bit of goodness from your chicken.
I’ve also added some Spanish Chorizo for a real smokey flavour.
I love a soup or stew which has everything thrown in, and this really does. The flavours remind me of eating out in the local restaurants we explored, relaxing and watching the sun set while enjoying great food and wine. Memories flood back of swimming in the warm Mediterranean or adventuring along the icy clear river Acheron, fabled river Styx from Greek mythology. Happy days!
1 left over chicken carcass
2 pints of water
1 tin of plum tomatoes
1 red onion
2 sticks of celery
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
½ cabbage - curly kale, spring greens or similar
¾ chorizo sausage
fresh mixed herbs – sage, oregano, rosemary, basil
salt & black pepper
Place your chicken carcass along with any stock saved from the roasting tin in a deep sided pan with about 2 pints of water. Bring to a boil, then, reduce to simmer with lid on for about 30-45 mins. The carcass will start to break down and all the small pieces of meat will begin to fall off. You can help this stage along by lifting the bones out and scraping the meat back into the pan. Eventually you can pick out all the remaining bones and skin until you are left with a meaty stock.
While this is happening you can cut all your vegetables into small pieces, chop your herbs and garlic. When your stock is ready, add tinned tomatoes and then all your herbs and veg to the pan.
Replace lid and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now you can slice up your chorizo and cut each piece in half, add to the pan with a squeeze of tomato puree and season well. Give the whole thing a good stir and simmer for a further 10-15 mins until everything is well cooked.
Check seasoning, then serve in bowls with a sprinkling of good quality parmesan, if your ok with dairy.…..and a shot of Ouzo.
Oh, and don't forget when using tinned tomatoes and puree, always try to find quality items without additives.
“MOUNTAIN BIKING!.....Hardly primal” I hear you say. And you’d be quite right. I’m fortunate enough however, to live right on the edge of the New Forest. Within 5 minutes I can be riding down tracks and fire roads taking in the scenes and scents of the forest. Not only is it a great workout, but also just being in the forest, away from it all for a brief moment does wonders for one’s mental wellbeing.
I find the most enjoyable time is early morning. There is something quite serene about the awakening forest. Low lying mist, the dawn chorus, or the occasional glimpse of a deer. I often make time to stop for a moment and just look around, listen and soak up the good vibe that the forest gives you.
I know not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the countryside, but Mountain Biking is quite an accessible sport these days and you can find purpose built trails all over the country, Even the local park will do for starters or maybe there is a tow path nearby. Once you get into it you will find many places to go for a ride.
I have friends who haven’t ridden a bike since being a child. Well, if that’s the case, then rediscover your childhood and get out there. Have fun, discover new places, clear your mind and get fit in the process. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
To me, being primal isn’t just about diet and exercise, it’s also about trying to re-connect with our past, which to me is about being with nature, enjoying it, learning from it. The rewards are immeasurable. Using my bike to get there is a modern, environmentally friendly way of achieving it.
Go ride a bike!
The Pear- a “gift from the Gods” as Homer describes them in the Odyssey. I’d agree with that, especially when you combine them with Blueberries in this simple little recipe. It can be baked in the oven, on a barbecue or camp fire. A perfect sweet treat.
Each pear is prepared individually so you can make as many or as few as you like. I am listing the ingredients for one, so just multiply to your requirements.
1 Ripe Pear
1 tsp of Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp of melted butter
1 Handful of Blueberries
1 tsp of Honey
Twist of Black Pepper
First, peel your pear, cut in half and remove the core. Brush the pear with Lemon juice to prevent it from discolouring.
Take two squares of tin foil, brush one with the melted butter and place the two pear halves on it. Fold up the sides of the foil around the halves to make a cup and then place your Blueberries on top along with the honey and a really good twist of black pepper. "Black pepper on pears?" I here you say, well just trust me on this one!
Now fold the foil over the top to seal all the ingredients inside, then, place the second piece of foil around it to form a double bag. We want to keep everything sealed tightly inside.
Simply place in a hot oven (180C) or on the BBQ for about 25 mins. And that’s it. Just be careful when opening the foil bag as it gets pretty hot in there.
Enjoy with a big spoonful of full fat yoghurt, Yum!
Alternatively why not add, cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe even a splash of red wine to the mix.
“Summer is icumen in” and with the advent of the May Day celebrations it was time to troop off to this years Beltane festival at Butser Ancient Farm. Every year they construct a huge Wicker Man, which is ceremoniously torched as a culmination to the day’s events. Unlike the movie, no humans or animals are sacrificed to the Gods in hope of a good harvest.
If you have ever been to Butser you will know that it is a living reconstruction of an Iron Age farm consisting of several roundhouses with livestock and fields growing various crops, so if you like living history you really should pay a visit.
I know it’s about 6 -7,000 years later than the Palaeolithic ‘Hunter gatherer’ Age. And you could say that this was when all our problems started with growing grain crops, but sitting on fur skins in the roundhouse, staring at the flickering flames of the wood fire, you can’t help but imagine yourself transported back in time. We always make it a priority to go inside away from the festivities outside and sit in its dark peaceful interior for half an hour or more.
It may not be Paleo(lithic) but it’s a step in the right direction. And you’ll definitely leave with a positive vibe. So with sacrifice made and Gods appeased, all we need now is a good summer so that we can get outdoors and enjoy it.