Working Out While Pregnant

Exercising While PregnantDue to our recent primal pregnancy we had to make some adjustments to our workout routine. We suspended our self defense class indefinitely. There’s just too much of a risk there to get kicked or punched in the stomach. Open to other ideas for low/less-impact fitness classes for pregnant women.

Once the baby is born I’m still not sure how long after that we’d be able to resume our self defense classes. With nobody to watch the baby if we’re both at the class — and taking it with us out of the question — it might be years before we could go back. We’ll see.

The day before Amanda went to the doctor she had lost another 2lbs and was kind of concerned. She asked the doctor if she was supposed to lose weight while pregnant, and he said it was completely normal for the first trimester. I should mention that Amanda isn’t trying to lose weight anymore — she’s been eating a lot more of higher calorie food — but even with the extra food she’s been eating she still dropped weight. We’ll see over the next few weeks if she loses more or if we need to further increase her calories.

I think from here on we’re going to be doing more walking and less high-impact, heavy-weight exercises. The doctor recommended that Amanda keep doing kettlebells because he said it was a great exercise, so we’ll probably still mix those in at lower weights.

What did all you ladies out there do to exercise while you were pregnant?

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Paleo Baby on the Way

Primal PregnancyGood news! Amanda is pregnant!

The past two weeks have been pretty crazy. I’ve been holding off on posting about this because of our previous miscarriage that happened shortly after we told everyone we were expecting.

Our miscarriage happened before we were able to see our doctor for the initial checkup, so we wanted to wait until at least we had seen the doctor and been given a clean bill of health before announcing this pregnancy.

Well, today we went to see our doctor and he said we should expect an ideal pregnancy. Amanda had two office visits with nurses last week to make sure her hCG levels are doubling — which they were — and the visit today was an ultrasound to make sure the baby implanted properly. I don’t know all the technical details, but the doctor mentioned that the baby was in a perfect position.

Today the baby is only 4 weeks and 2 days old, which the doctor said was amazing considering that the dollar store pregnancy test we used was able to correctly pick  up on Amanda’s hCG levels on the 17th of January.

Obviously I have no concrete proof that our change in diet affected whether or not we conceived or was a contributing factor that we had a miscarriage before… But I do know that we’ve been trying to have a baby on and off for the last five years —  and to conceive a few months after starting Paleo without even trying seems to indicate to me it’s more than a coincidence and there may be something to this after all.

Since it’s so early, the doctor couldn’t nail down a due date. He estimated our due date as sometime in October, but our next appointment is scheduled for February 28th when he will confirm it.

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Jack LaLanne (September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011)

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Jack LaLanne today as I was reading the news.

While Jack wasn’t strictly a paleolithic guy, he spent much of his life arguing against the dismal direction the American diet was headed and fiercely opposed eating processed foods.

When we were starting out following a Paleo diet, Jack LaLanne was one of the people that I looked up to as proof that there was something to this lifestyle after all. Here he was at age 96 and still in great shape while some of our family members are barely into their 60s but look as if they’re 96.

It wasn’t more than two or three days ago that we were talking about some of the amazing swimming feats he accomplished — all the way up until he was 80 years old.

We’ve lost a great man and a pillar of good dieting advice. He will be sorely missed by many.

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Recipe: Venison Steak, Mashed Turnips, and Some Greens

What can I say? We love venison.

We had a pretty small steak left over from a small buck from early in the season. It wasn’t really enough for a meal by itself, but it was enough to add some flavor to part of a bigger meal for both of us.


Deer Steak Strips in a Pan

Deer Strips

< 1lbs of Deer Meat
2 Turnips
2 Tbsp. of Salt-Free, Organic Butter
Assorted Salad Greens
Choice of Salad Dressing

1/4 C. White Vinegar
1/4 C. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


I generally always start my deer marinade with three ingredients. Olive oil, some form of vinegar, and salt. The vinegar really does a great job at removing any unpleasant gamey taste that people seem to associate with venison. Myself, I don’t mind it. Others do. C’est la vie.

If you have picky eaters you may want to start this marinade a good 4-5 hours in advance of the meal.

Mashed Turnips, Deer, and a Salad

Good 'n Easy

The turnips were cubed and boiled in a pot of water for approximately 10 minutes. They soften up faster than potatoes and seem to mashed a lot better than cauliflower.

Once they the turnips are soft, drain them, and mash them up with butter and pepper.

You’ll want to brown the meat in a skillet. There’s an old saying that goes something like “There’s no such thing as well-done Venison.” And it’s true. In fact, these pictures are overdone. The meat being so thin, combined with me not paying much attention, browned the meat a little too much too fast. It should always be slightly pink in the middle.

Serve the meat with the turnips and a small salad and you have yourself a delicious meal.

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For Breakfast: Primal Turnip Casserole

Paleo Hash Browns for Breakfast

Diet Food.

We made this recipe for breakfast, courtesy of Mark’s Daily Apple. It turned out really good.

I would like to say the worst part was waiting so long (about an hour and a half) to eat it once the enticing aroma filled the house while it was cooking, but it wasn’t.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, that part was still really terrible.

But the worst part was cutting up the turnips into thin slices without the help of a food processor. Thankfully, I still have all my digits. We followed the recipe on Mark’s site and I would say that it made an easy six servings. You could probably cut the recipe in half and the cooking time for one or two people. We’ll be having left overs…

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Recipe: Citrus Baked Tilapia

I didn’t really have any sort of plan for dinner tonight.

I had some tilapia frozen in the freezer, some over-ripe lemons on the counter that were getting kind of squishy, some oranges we got from a Farmer’s Market about two weeks ago, and more spices than you can shake a stick at.

I grabbed the aforementioned ingredients and went about trying to create a new recipe.

1lb Tilapia Fillets
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
1/4 C. Lemon Juice (Preferably Fresh)
1/4 C. Orange Juice (Preferably Fresh)
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper


1) Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

2) In a baking dish, mix together the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, chili powder, sea salt, and black pepper.

3) Place tilapia fillets in the baking dish and turn them over, coating both sides with the liquid.

4) Place in the oven for 15 minutes until the fillets flake easily with a fork.

5) Serve.

These turned out very good. Amanda said they taste like Orange Chicken from a Chinese restaurant.

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The Perfect Paleo Pizza

Perfect Primal Pizza

Perfect Primal Pizza

One of our favorite paleo recipes is one that we found on MDA. Perfect Primal Pizza, was submitted by Ben, one of Mark’s readers and since then we’ve made it probably a dozen times for a dozen different people.

It’s always a hit.

The only change we make from the original recipe is that we don’t flip the pizza over. It doesn’t seem to need it and felt like an unnecessarily complicated process when dealing with a really hot pizza pan, parchment paper, and a rather large pizza crust.

In lieu of parchment paper, we also sometimes grease the pan with coconut oil which seems to work just as well if you don’t have to flip it.

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Getting Started with Bow Hunting

Have you ever wanted to learn how to bow hunt? Now is a perfect time to start.

Let me start off by saying that I didn’t grow up bow hunting. I’m by no means a pro at bow hunting or archery. I didn’t even handle a bow until I was in my early twenties. And I suspect that is how it happens with a lot of current bow-hunters. Traditionally, bowhunting has been passed down from father to child as sort of rite of passage when they are old enough to draw a bow of sufficient draw-weight to bring down game animals with. My father doesn’t hunt. As far as I know, his father didn’t hunt either.

Bowhunting, they say, is a dying sport.

It’s a lot easier to buy a rifle and shoot a deer from 300 yards from a pick-up truck than to get out in the woods and get up-close and personal with your game. Had I not gotten married I may have been relegated to “hunting” like that, too. Fortunately, I did get married.

And, luckily, my wife’s grandfather owned a bow which he hunted deer with. He was generous enough to let me shoot his bow to try it out. I was hooked from the first THWACK of the bowstring sending the arrow 25 yards down-range and slamming into a straw archery target he had set up near the barn.

I already owned rifles and shotguns. I’d already been hunting with them. But this was something different. I’m not sure how to describe it other than that it felt primal.

The bow was a fancy compound bow, and it had some pretty neat features like sights, and I even had a trigger release —  but the mechanics and the hunting methods are still the same that hunters thousands of years ago had been using to feed their families.  And that’s pretty cool if you ask me.

So how do you get started bow hunting?

The first thing you need, and the most expensive part of the whole sport, is the bow itself. The good thing about bowhunting, compared to other methods of hunting, is that even the cheap bows are pretty darned good. Sure, you can go out and spend $2,000 to get a top-of-the-line bows with all the fancy stabilizers and sights and even a scope. But you honestly don’t need any of that.

PSE Stinger Compound Bow

PSE Stinger Bow

The bow that I use is called the PSE Stinger. This is a cheap bow. So cheap, that I probably get laughed at by people who shoot Martin Archery bows — but it sure does bring down a lot of deer. In fact, I’d put this little bow against any super-expensive bow they’re shooting any day

The truth of the matter is that in bow-hunting, no matter which bow you choose, the skill of the hunter matters far more than any piece of equipment. And I think that’s probably how bow-hunting has always been.

The main thing to keep in mind when buying a bow for hunting is that some states regulate draw-weight for bowhunting. What this means is that you must purchase a bow greater than (usually) 40lbs (40#) of draw weight to hunt deers with. This is ethical hunting. It means that the arrow will penetrate the deer sufficiently at an appropriate distance to cause enough damage and quick death.

Should you hunt with a 20-30# draw weight, the deer might just be severely injured and run 2 miles away to die in a few days. You will never find it and this should never be done.

Okay. We’re good on the bow. What about arrows?

Arrows are my favorite part of the sport. No joke.

Native Americans used a variety of woods for arrows, ranging from cedar, to rosewood to, strangely enough, arrowweed.

Native American arrows were typically fletched with feathers. The arrow shaft was nocked on both ends — one for the bowstring and the other where the arrowhead would be tied on.

Today, that’s all changed. Arrows are made out of super-lightweight carbon. Plastic veins are glued on in lieu of feathers. Removable nocks are inserted into the carbon shaft and the arrowheads screw into inserts so that they can be replaced on the fly.

There are a lot of brands of arrows to choose from. Arrows, unless otherwise specified, come pre-veined and pre-nocked, but may need to be trimmed to fit your draw length (the distance between your arms in a full draw position).

Carbon Express Arrows for Compound Bows

Carbon Express Arrows

The arrows that I use are called Carbon Express Maxima. These are a little more expensive than your standard arrows, but that’s fine with me. Carbon Express verifies every single arrow for trueness with a laser before it leaves their shop. With some manufacturers you may sometimes get arrows that end up striking a foot or two from where you aimed because they aren’t true. Carbon Express arrows takes the arrows out of the equation when trying to figure out why your shot is off. The arrows are that good. They also come pre-veined and pre-nocked for your convenience.

The really nice thing about arrows, as opposed to bullets, is that unless you miss and shatter one you can reuse them indefinitely.

I’m still using arrows that I bought over 3 years ago.

So we have the bow and arrows, what about the arrowheads?

I’m glad you asked. There are two types of arrowheads that you can use for archery. The first that I’ll talk about is what is called a field point. It is illegal to hunt deer with field points in every state that I know of. Field points are used to practice with and are used in archery competitions.

The reason I bring up field points at all is that when you are practicing, you want to use these instead of broadheads. Broadheads are much more expensive than field points.

If you miss the target with a field point, you may be out a couple cents for a field point instead of a few dollars for a broadhead. You want to use broadheads for hunting only.

But won’t my arrows shoot differently if I practice with field points and then switch to broadheads for hunting?

Not usually. The neat thing about arrowheads is they are measured by weight. They will say on the box something like “100gr.” or “100g.” This means that each arrowhead weighs 100 grains.

What does “grain” mean exactly?

G5 Montec Broadheads

G5 Montec

Nobody is entirely sure. I’ve read, and it makes sense, that when they originally started weighing arrowheads they used a balance scale. They put the arrowhead on one side of the scale, and started stacking grains of rice on the other. A 100 grain arrowhead weighs the same as 100 grains of rice.

Going from a 100 grain field point to a 100 grain broadhead means that for the most part, your arrow’s trajectory will be the same. There will be no massive velocity or distance change going from a field point for practice to a broadhead for hunting.

The broadheads that I use are G5 Montecs. These arrowheads are my workhorses. Hunting Big Game? Big deal. These will penetrate big game. What if you hit bone? No problem. They’ll take a beating.

Trophy Ridge Field Point Arrowheads

Field Point

For field points I go with Trophy Ridge field points. I think I’m on the same pack of 12 that I bought with my bow. I’ve dug them out of the ground (I used to miss sometimes). I’ve dug them out of trees (Okay. A little more than “sometimes”). They still shoot great.

Bows, Arrows, and Arrowheads. Is there anything else I need?

As with anything else, there are other accessories you can buy, for sure. But with what you have here you can go out and have a successful bowhunt — I have. I do hope to be able to cover some more advanced aspects of bowhunting in future posts, so hopefully you all enjoyed reading this.

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Recipe: Coconut Curry Shrimp

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Makes me hungry.

Last night for dinner I made coconut curry shrimp.

Approximately 12 raw shrimp
1/2 C. Green Curry Sauce
1/2 C. Coconut Milk

Add coconut and curry sauce to skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add shrimp and allow to simmer for approximately four minutes until pink.

Serve. Simple. Delicious.

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Weight Loss Update

It’s time for another edition of Weight Loss Update!

We’re still heading home to Arkansas, but I thought now would be a great time to update our weight loss, since we haven’t done so in a while.

Name: Richard
Height: 5’7″
Starting Weight: 216lbs
Current Weight: 169lbs
Loss: 47lbs (21.75%)
Goal Weight: 150lbs

Name: Amanda
Height: 5’3″
Starting Weight: 260lbs
Current Weight: 197lbs
Loss: 63lbs (24.23%)
Goal Weight: 140lbs

As I’m getting closer to my goal, my weight loss has slowed down a bit. I haven’t been cheating at all, but we’ve spent literally dozens and dozens of hours on the road this holiday season — all over Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — and I think that has been taking it’s toll. We’ve been trying to get in walks, and I’ve been sticking to my bodyweight exercises, but I think my body is missing the fat-bursting cardio routines we used to regularly do at our gym.

Amanda has been consistently dropping weight which is awesome. Maybe I’ll get her to tell me her secret.

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