As I have mentioned previously, I started a Paleo Whole30 on 30 January and I finished!!!! Well, I finished a week ago, but I haven’t got around to gloating about it yet!

It went really well, I feel awesome, I didn’t cheat and from my list of “symptoms’ in that first post back here, I have got rid of all of them – except for being overweight – but that is going in the right direction too!!! The thing I’m most impressed with is the cat allergy – I was so worried I was going to have to get rid of the kittens, but after 3 weeks, I was fine! I had a few carb withdrawal headaches at the beginning, but otherwise, I have felt great.

And you know what? It was easy, the food we have been eating has been amazing, and I feel amazing. I haven’t found it restricting, though I did want to use butter for cooking as its my usual go too, but ghee or lard work just as well.

I also have a confession to make…….I was obviously a bit high on the power of it all as I thought it would be a great idea to have a sandwich on Saturday for lunch (Why???? WHY????) – not even an amazing sandwich, just a sandwich of store bought multigrain bread with cheese….. Was it worth it – well…….NO!!!!! I developed a migraine 6 hours later. Coincidence??? Im not willing to test that one again! I have previously had about 2 migraines a year, I get a classic migraine with an aura – I get a visual disturbance with a bright flashing light, then my arm and face go numb, my speech goes, then the pounding headache and vomitting for 6 + hours start, all nicely followed by a migraine hangover, or fugue like state that usually lasts 24 hours and leaves me in a state not fit to drive or operate small children. It may have been hormonal, it might have been weird timing? Im going to go with it being the grains and am never hopping back on that train again! That was enough to give me a good reminder of how great I have been feeling these last few weeks.

Now that I am comfortable with the food part of this thing, I think the two areas I need to focus on are exercise and sleep. Im not being consistent enough with my exercise, I have OT and am doing a few classes, but they are a bit hit and miss. I am telling you, dear internets, that I will start to be more consistent, then Im accountable right? – and that I will be making sure the dog gets walked every day, or most days, or at least 3 days a week. Surely not hard hey???? (Its the 40+ degrees and 98% humidity that keeps me inside in front of the aircon!!)

The latest research is also recommending 8 hours sleep – gah!!! I am a “go to bed at around 12 girl and then I have to read for another hour” and then my alarm is set for 5:06, then 5:31, then 6:06, then I get up at 6:31am. This is something I really need to work on. With study and other things, I find it hard to be in bed before midnight. BUT my plan is to start going to bed at 10, then I can read or watch something on the iPad until lights out at 11. I will then set my alarm for 6:31 only and thats 7.5 hours – not perfect, but a start.

Like everything I do – not perfect, but very well intentioned :)

How has your week been? Seen any bright flashing lights lately? Linking up with Jess for IBOT – Ive got 10 minutes before my self imposed curfew – maybe that will have to start tomorrow…..



Crossfit – My Kind of Primal Exercise


Crossfit is developing a huge following at the moment, all the cool kids are doing it.

So what is it?

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that aims to improve muscular strength, cardio-respiratory endurance and flexibility. It is based on a perpetually changing mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics (body weight exercises), and often Olympic weight lifting. It is a group fitness programme, done at a Crossfit ‘Box’ – unlike any gym you have previously been in. Gone are the rows and rows of treadmills directed at tv screens. They are usually warehouse-like spaces with cement walls, exposed rafters criss-crossing the ceiling and nothing but a black mat covering the length of the floors. There are iron bars you’ll hang from, weights you’ll thrust up above your head and perhaps tractor tyres in the corner ready for tyre flipping. Generally, a session will consist of a warm up, a skills session, and a ‘WOD’ or Workout of the Day. Group members are often timed and compete against their personal bests and each other. An example WOD might be:

5 Rounds for time
10 Pull Ups
20 Walking Lunges
30 Double Unders


20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats


These workouts change every day and can be moderate, or killers. They are aimed at getting efficient, targeted exercise – with your main workout most often not being any longer than 20 minutes. Google has an abundance of Crossfit references and I would recommend that if you were interested, you start there – there are now several Box’s opening up around Australia. Not every Crossfit gym is the same, and it pays to try one out before committing – thats another thing, it is pretty pricey!! Also, Crossfit is not for everyone – particularly if you are someone who likes to work out alone, this will not be for you.

There is no Crossfit gym where I live, but there is a gym, with function focused exercise, that have a WOD. I haven’t yet been brave enough to join in a WOD, I have just gone to their beginners classes, which are unfortunately on hiatus due to the summer months. The twice weekly classes I did do before summer, I really enjoyed and felt my body really improving each week. I am however, working currently with a personal trainer, who also specialises in functional training, in the hope that I can get the courage to join in with the “Big Boys” WOD in the future.

As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, the Primal Blueprint looks at exercise as: moving around a lot at a slow place, lift heavy things, run really fast once in a while and play. Crossfit style exercise fits these, which is why so many people engaging in a Paleo and Primal lifestyle choose this as part of their exercise regime. I love how the exercise is functional. It is not boring, it is very challenging and being done in a group environment, it suits my style.

Once I master a burpee without dislocating my shoulder – I will be there!!!


Have you joined the masses? Are you a cross fitter? Do you love it, and crave it, or does it terrify you?

Linking up today with Travelling Jess, who will be a third of the way in her road trip down the centre of Australia. Head on over and check out some awesome IBOT posts.



Friday Hi Five – Favourite Primal/Paleo Cookbooks



I thought I would share my favourite cookbooks this week. I love cooking, I drool over my cookbooks and now, I am loving converting my favourite recipes to suit my eating style. There are now so many Paleo/Primal cookbooks on the market and so many awesome ones waiting to be released this year. It is no longer an excuse to think that there is nothing exciting you can eat in this lifestyle, these cookbooks prove it. In this digital age, I am a huge fan of downloading things to my Kindle. If I fall in love with a book on the Kindle, I will then buy a hard copy – these are the ones that have made it to my ‘real’ shelf in my kitchen.

As always, in no particular order:


Practical Paleo – as I mentioned last week, this was the first book that got me into this lifestyle – half cookbook, half lifestyle guide, it’s such a great place to start. Diane now has a new cookbook out 21 Day sugar Detox and that looks awesome too!!!!


Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans – my newest edition, so I haven’t really got much into it, but it is getting great reviews. Michelle’s food is simple, fresh and tasty, what more could you want???


OMG. That’s Paleo? – Many people are against ‘Paleo treats’ – basically baking with coconut sugar, or other natural sugar substitutes (maple syrup, honey etc), but if you look at it as a ‘treat’ and not an every meal, then hey, I figure that they can be part of a healthy diet. Juli has some beautiful recipes and her desserts and baking are pretty tempting. Good one for special occasion food!


Eat Like a Dinosaur - Brought to you by The Paleo Parents, Stacy and Matt and their gorgeous boys, this book is very family oriented and shows ways to include your children in the kitchen and in this style of eating. There is also a lot about how they have educated their children and how they have transitioned them to a Paleo diet. This one has me trawling through it daily as I feed my son gluten, sugar and processed food free at home, but I am having such a struggle to get him to venture beyond his staple three or four meals. This is helping me do that! I also have their other cookbook staring at me in the kitchen Beyond Bacon - it embraces nose to tail eating – I am building myself up to it – I think I will start with the sausages in there – they sound awesome!

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Well Fed and Well Fed 2 – OK, cheating with 2 – but these books by Melissa Joulwan are THE BOMB! These are the books that I will use night after night for our standard midweek meals. Each meal has something that lifts it beyond just ‘meat and veg’ and makes every bite exciting. Love these books!!!

The next ones on my list to buy are Gather and Against All Grain…………..and a bazillion others :)

Have a great weekend!


What is My Primal?

If you ever read any of my previous blog, you would probably know that we have had several miscarriages over the last 18 months. Due to this and my ever ticking age clock, we are looking at starting IVF in a few weeks, something I was loathe to do due to all the hormones and drugs that are involved.

I figured if I am going to be doing this, I have to make sure my body is working at its optimum to be able to handle the unnatural crap that is going to be pumped into it. From all the reading I did, I kept coming back to the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and his website Mark’s Daily Apple. I read both his books and devoured every blog post I could get my hands on, then started looking into Paleo eating as well. I dabbled with a Primal diet for months, never really fully committing to it. My goal was some weight loss, but primarily it was to get my body working as good as it possibly could to support the IVF process. I would see the scales go down for a few weeks, then I would throw caution to the wind and share a pizza or have some beer. Afterwards, I always felt unwell and swore never to eat it again, only to repeat the process a few days later – rinse, repeat.

As I mentioned last week, I am on Day 13 of a Whole30 (which is strict Paleo eating) and I intend to eat following the Primal principles once this is completed.

So what is a the Primal Life I am choosing?

I found this really cool graphic from Crossfit Geelong to show what the principles of Paleo and Primal are:


Stripped down, both diets are really just advocating eat real, unprocessed food.

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”  Michael Pollan

 The main differences between Primal and Paleo food wise are:

  • Primal allows consumption of raw, fermented dairy once in a while – for me, that means I will have Full Fat Greek yoghurt occasionally, and hard cheese, as I know my body does not react.
  • Paleo avoids saturated fats, so people will limit fatty meats, eggs and butter – The Primal Blueprint advocates eating all these things. I’m all for the fat on a good, grass fed cut of meat, as many eggs as I can get my hands on and beautiful butter from grass fed cows.

The other differences are the things I am really interested in, and that is the Primal Blueprint promotes a whole way of living, not just food based. Thee concepts Mark Sisson promotes based on how our ancestors lived are:

  1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants – I am doing this by doing a Whole30, then maintaining a Primal diet following this.
  2. Move around a lot at a slow pace – something I need to work on, so I am making sure I take the dog for a walk at least once a day
  3. Lift heavy things – I have started with a Personal trainer, whose style is very similar to Crossfit and she uses lots of functional exercises. There will be kettle bells and I am also trying to find  BodyPump session that fits in with my schedule
  4. Run really fast once in a while – can’t see this happening unless I am getting chased by a dinosaur – I run like a fish, not a good look, but maybe once my fitness improves something I can look at incorporating into my exercise…..or maybe not……
  5. Get lots of sleep – again something I need to work on. I am a night owl and then need to be up around 6am to start my day. I will need to look at ways of being more efficient so I am not only asleep for 5 or 6 hours – luckily once I go to bed, I sleep immediately.
  6. Play – something I am probably not so good at, I try to get in as much play with my son each day, but we don’t venture outside too much due to the heat at the moment. Will need to look at ways we can do this.
  7. Get some sunlight everyday – something we have in abundance in the Pilbara. I see a lot of sun so at least thats one thing I can tick off!
  8. Avoid trauma – another thing I am very good at as I am very cautious with an ridiculous fear of heights and speed, so I am rarely in a dangerous situation.
  9. Avoid poisonous things – see above :)
  10. Use your mind – I just finished an MBA and am starting a Post Grad in two weeks – I also read a lot of journal articles and blogs – does that count? :)

From that list, I have a long way to go, but Im excited by the things I can incorporate into my life to achieve these things (stand up paddle boarding anyone? – oh thats right, Im supposed to avoid trauma, so I shouldn’t be on the crocodile infested river???)

I found this, which sums it up nicely:

The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge
Learn more at Mark’s Daily Apple.

The most important thing to remember when you are reading ANYTHING about any of these diets is to put it into context of how it will work for you. Every body is different and will react differently to different foods. There are many different versions of Paleo – for example there is the Auto Immune Protocol and there are recommendations for Elite Training. There is also a group of people who like to troll the internet and be the “Paleo Police” and call people out for doing something that might be skirting the boundaries of what they believe Paleo should be.  My Primal is what I have spoken about above.

So, from now on, I will use the term Primal – I invariably also mean Paleo, but my version of Paleo. It will be different from the next Paleoista, or Grok dude, but it is what works best for my body.

Back linking up with the lovely Jess for IBOT. Head on over, read some stuff and share the Tuesday love.



Friday Hi Five – Favourite Ancestral Health Gurus


Each Friday, I am going to post my favourite 5 things of a particular topic. I am thinking I will keep it to Primal Living and healthy lifestyle, but at times I may venture with random topics like my favourite 5 Rick Astley hits or my 5 favourite shades of blue :)

To start off with, I thought I would start at the beginning of my Primal journey and talk about the people that I got the most of my initial information from. I have called them “Ancestral Health” as that is a term used generally to encompass Primal and Paleo eating and every thing in between. In no particular order:

Primal Blueprint

Mark Sisson – or as I like to refer to him “Grok God”. This guy is the author of the Primal Blueprint and runs the Mark’s Daily Apple website. Mark is a 60 year old, ex professional athlete (marathon and triathlon) who has a degree in Biology and has written several health, wellness and anti-aging books. His philosophy behind the Primal Blueprint diet is to follow the evolutionary eating model of meats, fish, greens, nuts, vegetables and limited fruits. He also focuses on the other components of a healthy lifestyle; exercise – move around at a slow pace, lift heavy things, run really fast on occasions, limit stress, get plenty of sleep, avoid trauma, avoid poisonous things, play, get some sunlight everyday and use your mind.

His website has an amazing back catalogue of knowledge and each week he answers readers questions, provides recipes, discusses latest science as well as highlighting readers Primal transformations. There is some pretty inspiring stuff on his site – my favourite thing is waking up every Saturday to read the latest Real Life Story.

This is place I recommend everyone starts.


Chris Kesser – this guy is who I go to for evidenced based sciencey stuff. He is a practical passionate and cuts through the myths that have been perpetrated by big Pharma and Agriculture with scientific facts. He is an integrative medicine expert, with his own practice and has so much knowledge and understanding of diet and how our body processes what we eat, as well as an easy manner of explaining the complicated sciencey stuff in a simple form. He has just released a new book called Your Personal Paleo Code to try and encourage people to seek out the diet that works best for them, not the generic diet that is being spruced by the guy down the road, or the lady in your local CrossFit box. He recognises that people all tolerate foods differently and he can explain why this happens. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

He was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in Health and Fitness, his website was voted the top “science oriented blog” by Paleo Magazine and he is a regular contributor for Huffington Post.

Robb Wolf - Robb is another Guru who has an amazing knowledge of all things sciencey and uses it to dispel myths about the Standard American (or other 1st world country) Diet. He wrote the best selling The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet and was a research biochemist who was a student of the original Paleo guru – Prof Loren Cordain who wrote The Paleo Diet.

Among other things, he is now a strength and conditioning coach for Elite athletes and he has a really informative Podcast too!.

One of the big things I love about Robb is that he is not afraid to correct any of his theories if he is proved wrong. An example it he has changed his ethos on lean meat and dairy and he is willing to admit this to the masses.


Diane Sanfilippo – is a Holistic Nutritionist who runs Balanced Bites and wrote the brilliant New York Time’s best seller Practical Paleo. This was the first book I read, before I knew anything about Paleo, Primal, the differences, or anything about the amazing community around ancestral health. It is full of recipes that had me drooling and thinking there is no way I would be deprived eating this way. She also runs a really cool Podcast with Liz Wolfe from Cave Girl Eats (another of my favourites). Its great for in the car or when out for a walk. they explain things in very simple terms and just seem really lovely ;)


Whole9 – Melissa and Dallas Hartwig – these guys are quite scary and work on the principals of tough love, but man are they effective. They run the Whole9 empire and were the creators of the Whole30, which I am doing at the moment. They don’t tolerate excuses or cheats and will tell people in no uncertain terms to toughen up. They are authors of the brilliant It Starts With Food - a book I have only just finished, but I wish I had read it back in the beginning as I am sure I would have made the toady commitment earlier. They are strict Paleo and run workshops spreading the word.

Have you got any other ‘go to’s’ when it comes to how you eat, work and play? Let me know.


How Many New Beginnings Can One Have?

Thunda 03-26 Cave Girl

  • Bloated
  • Crampy
  • Headache – frontal
  • Headache – icepick x 2 each day
  • Nausea
  • Cat allergy
  • Itchy Head
  • Sluggish
  • Sore jaw
  • Pins and Needles in toes
  • Cravings
  • Overweight

This is what I was feeling coming back from Christmas holidays. I know that we all have those symptoms occasionally, but really, it is a sign that our body isn’t coping, isn’t working to its capacity. These symptoms should not be presenting in a well functioning body and I decided to take stock and work out what I can do to make things work right.

Over the last 12 months, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about Primal/Paleo eating and living. You would have heard about it in the media, often referred to as “the caveman diet” and its slowly growing in popularity. I will talk more about it in upcoming posts, but there are many resources available – have a look at my Cool Links for my favorites. I have dabbled twice into this way of eating, last January and then in November 2013. Both times I felt amazing at the end of the month, I lost a considerable amount of weight, had a lot of energy and felt strong (and both times I fell pregnant that month – unfortunately the pregnancies didn’t last, but a very good sign my body was performing at its optimum). But for some reason, I wasn’t ready to make the change permanent.

Now I am ready. Now I am in it for the long haul. Now I am willing to make the changes long lasting. We are staring down the barrel of very expensive IVF, so I really want to make sure I am doing everything within my power to make each attempt worthwhile.

But not only that.

I am wanting to make positive changes for my sons sake, to make sure that he is getting the best nourishment he can. For me to make the changes for him (will be a slow, evolving process), I need to be 100% committed.

Last Wednesday I started a Whole30 (TM) So 30 days strict Paleo. This in essence means:

  • No grains
  • No dairy
  • No sugar
  • No legumes
  • No alcohol
  • No white potatoes
  • No MSG or sulfites
  • No paleo baked goods

Doesn’t that sound CRAZY???!!! It does, but all the evidence I have been reading has pointed to these things as being major problems in our health. They are all things that cause inflammation in various parts of the body and all contributors to poor health, both acute and chronic. It kind of makes sense – just eat fresh, real, unprocessed food.

From all the reading that I have done, I don’t think that these guidelines are something that I can strictly sustain beyond the 30 days, nor would I want to. The science and evidence that sits best with me is a Primal Lifestyle, promoted by Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. This promotes eating real food, avoiding most of the above, but allows some types of dairy, occasional alcohol, and looks at promoting health in other areas of your life as well – decreasing stress, decreasing toxins, exercise, sleep, play, safety and mental and emotional health. This is where I will head for the long haul, but I want to use the Whole30 as a way to set things right.

Day 6 today and I’m feeling pretty good. I got over the carb and sugar cravings pretty easily and the fog has cleared around my head. All the above symptoms have vanished except the weight issue (if only!), the cat allergy and the itchy head.  I have a good feeling about these changes and I think I am now in the right headspace to make this work. I don’t want this to be a “diet”. It needs to be a ‘lifestyle’. (yep, that sounds wanky – all the more reason I need to stick to this so I don’t look like a goose!)

You can’t make changes unless you really want to and now is the time I really want to.

Have you heard of Paleo? Do you eat Paleo or Primal? I want to read more success stories. I will be updating this blog and my Pinterest over the next few weeks, so let me know if there are any Primal/Paleo resources you like.

Its Tuesday, so Im linking up with the gorgeous Jess at Essentially Jess for IBOT. Head on over and check out some fab posts – all written on Tuesday (well, at least they are supposed to be ;) )




Welcome Back!

So………… I’m back!

The name has changed, the feel has slightly changed and I think over the last 12 months my view of the world has changed.

We have relocated with Husband’s work and I quit my job to be a full time, stay at home mum and I am loving life. It is everything I was hoping it would be. Its not easy every day, but every day produces some of the most magical moments to enjoy and embrace. The community we have found ourselves in is supportive, friendly and we are slowly getting to know people. Zeb has fitted in really well and is loving life here.

I have deleted all my previous posts and archived them somewhere (hopefully) on my computer. I figure I can pull them out whenever I need, but a lot of what I wrote about, the recipes and ideas aren’t relevant right now. I decided to start off with a clean slate. I apologise for the crappy design of the page, I will slowly improve it as I go on :)

As a way to ease back into things, I thought I would take the lead from Pip at Meet Me at Mike’s and post a brief summary of where I am at.

I am……..

Making : A hand print Christmas tree as we won’t be here for Christmas. The first year since being back from the UK we don’t have a real tree :(

Cooking : Real food

Drinking : Matso’s Ginger Beer – had a no drinking November, so this was a nice way to celebrate December

Reading: Blogs, Blogs and more Blogs – And ‘The Night Before Christmas’ every night for bedtime story – my favourite!

Wanting: To have my hair cut and my nails done and to shop in a ‘big shop’

Looking: Forward to our trip to Melbourne, Dunsborough and Perth to catch up with our wonderful family and friends

Playing: Modern Rock channel on Foxtel – Metallica, Sonic Youth, Live and Soundgarden – all the goodness of 90s rock

Deciding: What Father Christmas is going to bring Zeb

Wishing: Upon all the shooting stars I see while out helping to tag turtles 3 nights a week

Enjoying: Sunny family days at the yacht club – good food, gorgeous views

Waiting: To hear if I got into the post grad course I applied for – fingers crossed

Loving: Sunny summer days

Pondering: What our next year is going to look like – logistically may be a nightmare!

Watching: Blacklist – addicted and love it!

Hoping: The kittens we recently adopted are finally over their ringworm infestation – urrgghh!!!

Marvelling: At Zeb’s progress and development every single day – little people are awesome!

Needing: A fix of a real shopping mall

Smelling: Freshly brewed coffee 

Wearing: Shorts and thongs – EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Following: Lots of awesome Primal/Paleo blogs – check out my cool sites list at the top to see who I ♥

Noticing: How fast the year has flown by

Knowing: No matter what next year brings, we will be better for the experience

Thinking: About all the cleaning I need to do before rental inspection on Wednesday

Feeling: Tired and ready for a holiday. Turtle tagging is such an amazing experience, that I am so fortunate to be involved with, but man, I’m exhausted!

Admiring: Husband and his hard working – long, long hours, often no weekends. 

Buying: Christmas pressies of course!

Getting: Excited about Christmas. My favourite time of the year – 23 more sleeps!

Opening: The Percy Pigs advent calendar each morning we got from Microwave Jenny from Leeds

Giggling: At some of the things that come out of Zeb’s mouth at the moment – 3 is awesome!!!!

Feeling: Optimistic – I think 2014 is going to be our year. And I hope all your dreams come true too!

 Have a great week!


Happiness is…..


….sneaking into Zeb’s room and watching him sleep,

….rubbing my nose through Keisha’s freshly washed mane of fur,

….the smell of freshly mown lawn,

….a coffee made by Husband on a Sunday afternoon,

….waking up early on a Saturday morning only to remember it is my turn to sleep in,

….starting to declutter our house, getting ready to pack for our big move North,

….making plans for a new blog, designs, titles and ongoing content (stay tuned!),

….learning the tools of the trade from some inspirational bloggers

….scouring websites and reviews to try to decide what computer is best to suit our needs

….knowing that my inspiring friend’s beautiful little boy could arrive any day now,

….spending balmy evenings in the company of old, best friends,

….celebrating 6 years of marriage with a fancypants meal and instead of having a dessert, going back for a second entree (and then I may have also had dessert…….),

….planning a day of shopping and a pedicure All. By. Myself,

….getting excited that there is only 63 sleeps til Christmas,

….filling up my diary with summer, Christmassy catch ups with good friends

….spending as much time with our families as we know when we make our move, visits will be few and far between,

….planning our next getaway – tropical, skiing or shopping?

….watching re-runs of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ scattered in between episodes of ‘Thomas the Tank’

….knowing that whatever we do, wherever we end up, we are on this journey together.

Happiness is right here. Right now.

Linking up today with the awesome Jess from Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays. Head on over and check out some awesome posts.