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5 Questions with Cornelia van Breda

Cornelia-Van-Breda

I mentioned in my 5 questions interview with Louise Knoop that I was the fattest girl in the Pilates class. Well, Cornelia was one of the sexy primal ones! Another inspiring primal Pilates coach, Cornelia resides in the beautiful Mossel Bay and runs her own Pilates studio called Reform. If you’d like to join her classes you can contact her via email.

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

I’ve been primal for more or less 2 years now. My main motivations were that I suffered from IBS and always felt very moody and tired. Although I was never diagnosed with any specific condition, I suspect I was insulin resistant from years of following a “healthy” (bullshit) low fat, low sugar, wholegrain high-carb diet. I never managed to lose my pregnancy fat, I had skin allergies, breakouts and acne as a 30 year old, combined with horrible periods and mood swings.

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

I can’t pick one, everything improved! My sex life, energy, moodiness, overall health, mindset, skin conditions… there is just too much to mention. But the biggest benefit has been no more IBS. As long as I stay away from wheat, I feel ‘quality of life’.

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

Yes I do, maybe once every 2 weeks. If I really crave something out of line, a bite is almost always enough to satisfy the need. One of the most amazing changes the primal lifestyle gave me is that I lost my constant need for sugary food. But I really don’t see it as cheating. Living primal is not a religion. In this way I don’t feel deprived, but rather I see it as a choice. It’s A: Do I wanna feel like a sick person? or B: Do I wanna feel great? Then it’s easy.

So what do I cheat with? Mostly pizza and bread… BUT… there is a science behind cheating. If I really feel like a pizza, I’ll go for the best quality ingredients. As close to the primal way as possible. The same goes for bread, made with sourdough, no preservatives, no shop bread or wholewheat, and in very small quantities. Definitely NOT a large pizza or a whole loaf of bread. The great thing about the primal lifestyle is that you really need less food to feel satisfied and a little treat here and there goes a long way.

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

I’ve always loved meat, so a juicy rare fillet steak is still my favourite. Skaap tjops too, what can I say, I’m a South African girl! I also always keep stock of my homemade primal-granola nut mix with homemade date-paste and double cream probiotic yogurt. That is my go to food if I don’t have time or energy to cook. Oh and bacon… mmm… and slow cooked stew, I’m such a food nerd so the list can go on and on!

5. Random Cornelia fact?

I love food!

Haha, me too! Thanks Cornelia and if anyone is interested in Cornelia’s primal granola nut mix recipe, she has kindly shared it with us below.

Primal Granola Nut Mix Recipe:

1 cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans, macadamia’s)
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into tsp size cubes

Mix nuts, tapioca flour, salt, cinnamon & honey in the bowl of a food processor. Add in your butter, a chunk at a time, pulsing the food processor until you’ve created a rough, chunky texture. Even spread the mixture out on a lined baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 12 minutes.

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5 Questions with Louise Knoop

Louise-Knoop

I met Louise at the start of 2013 while I was having a mini-quarter life crisis about my career. I had decided that web design wasn’t my true passion and I wanted to become a Pilates teacher. At the time Louise was running a Pilates course in Cape Town that sounded perfect, so I signed up…

I rocked up on my first day to find out that I was the fattest girl in the class. Lovely. I then had to spend 2 weeks watching Louise prance around like a ray of a light with endless energy, while I sat there trying to concentrate through the hunger and brain fog that was my life. After 2 weeks of this I decided that enough was enough and I asked Louise to help me ‘be more like her’! And here we are today…

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

I primally embarked in April 2012 under the professional guidance of Donal O’Neill, the Cereal Killer! I was preparing for a Pilates presentation at an international conference. I needed energy, strength and lightness. In our profession we do not get too much time for meals and snacks and there is quite a bit of anxiety around calculating teaching hours and energy refueling. Eating during an 8 hour day of teaching and demonstrating on a course can “get in the way” logistically and physically. Eating fat took away this anxiety, producing REAL hunger, which only happens every 5-8 hours…freedom!!!!

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

I’ve been wheat free, dairy free and meat free at various points in my life but nothing has made me feel as strong and healthy as eating FAT. The lack of cravings, energy dips and insulin charged hunger cycles have made for a far freer, productive existence. I definitely still enjoy my food, but at a time that is convenient to me and my work schedule. My hunger does not rule me, I am fat fueled and free.

The hugest physiological benefit was beating a chronic inflammation condition… more about that very personal journey here… www.ispeaklouise.com

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

Yip, sushi once a week. Otherwise I feel no need to ‘cheat’. Fat makes me very happy. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by conscious friends who are on similar paths so I don’t feel any social pressure, rather a sense of broad-minded community and understanding. I also do not mind being ‘different’ by being true to ME. Food fueling is important to me and how I feel in my skin so I make sure I am able to get what I need or I eat before going out.

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

Breakfast for lunch! Omelette, eggs, bacon! I have coffee in the morning and happily only eat after 11.30am so lunch is brunch… a healthily stuffed omelette or egg dish – just this morning Clarke’s on Bree Street (Cape Town) turned their hash eggs into cauliflower hash eggs for me… DO NOT be afraid to ask for adaptations to the menu. As Prof Noakes said this week “Not one human alive should be eating wheat.” This kind of brunch keeps me going until I have tea at about 3-4pm with a small snack (I make a mean seed ‘bread’) and then dinner.

5. Random Louise fact?

I put butter on my eggs, I put butter on my cheese! Out with a bunch of (self proclaimed) Pilates Nerds in Santa Barbara last month, I surreptitiously ate the (real) butter on the table while everyone ate the whole grain bread!!

On a more serious note, I’d always considered myself open-minded but eating this way blew the doors of my mind wide open. Owning the impact Pharma and Marketing had on our every day choices and how my instinctual understandings were more spot on than I thought led me to question everything around me and find bare truths for myself. This ran concurrent with a major professional shift and personal growth for which I am beyond grateful. My new business, Prime Movement cultivates and restores natural ability on the premise that the body KNOWS. This lifestyle shuts out the ‘noise’, allowing the body to do what it does best – heal itself.

Thanks Louise – I definitely believe that our bodies have the power to heal themselves too. Thanks for your time, for sharing your wisdom with us and for being my personal Primal inspiration!


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5 Questions with Matt Cohen

Matt-Cohen

Meet Matt Cohen. Matt resides in Cape Town, South Africa and is the Chief Product Officer over at WooThemes.com – my favourite WordPress theme shop. He is a WordPress and web developer, musician and blogger. Lover of punk rock, innovation, business & 80s/90s television.

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

The funny story is, I didn’t realise I was “primal” until I read your website. A few months ago (around November 2013), I made a conscious decision to start eating much healthier, exercise far more regularly (I’d been exercising maybe once a week, at most) and to really immerse myself in a healthy lifestyle.

I did this by using the tools I know to work for me (lots of reading, finding tech gadgets to motivate me, etc) and kick started this all.

When I read your website, it dawned on me that this is what I’ve been doing (eat lots of proteins and plants, move slowly, lift heavy objects). Finally, I had a name to call it! 🙂

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

Definitely feeling fitter. Regular exercise has helped my breathing a *lot*, which has always been difficult for me when exercising. I’ve also found that my body has begun to rebel against “bad food”, which is great! I love eating healthy food (salad, lean steak, vegetables) so that was never an issue. Now that I know my body will feel terrible after eating a bunch of junk food, or a really starchy (bad starchy) meal, I stay away from it (not entirely, but you know…).

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

To me, there’s no such thing as a cheat. “Cheat” implies that it’s something bad. This makes the person inevitably feel bad. Also, “cheat” implies that there is a strict “diet” involved. “Diet” is another one of those words. Being “on a diet” implies that one will eventually be “off the diet”, which isn’t really the point. I prefer to think of primal as a lifestyle, with “free” meals or snacks from time to time (“free” being the substitute word for “cheat”).

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

While I’m not sure if it’s 100% a primal dish, I love a good steak. No fancy sauces or anything like that. Steak, with steamed/roasted vegetables and (occasionally) some mashed potato/sweet potato. It’s a combination of a primal meal with the option to make it partly a “free” meal as well.

(That’s definitely 100% primal!)

5. Random Matt fact?

Well, I can add to the above that finding a passion, and spending regular time with it, makes the world of difference. I love music, and have been a guitarist for as long as I can remember (around 15 years or so). Spending time playing music, helps to create more life balance, which in turn affects one’s exercising and eating habits in a positive way. Spending time doing the things one loves (for me that’s music, coding, reading and exercising) helps to craft a sustainable lifestyle, instead of focussing only on “weight loss” or “healthy living” which can wear one down, over time (focussing on one task can become cumbersome, over time).

Totally agree Matt, some really good insight. When you know what makes you feel most alive in life, it makes it that much easier to harness that energy and express it in all areas of your life. Thanks for your time!


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A delicious green smoothie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Being of Irish descent (My Dad was born there), I usually like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but considering my current pregnant state, a green smoothie will have to do this year!

So I thought I’d share my favourite green smoothie recipe with you today and wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Irish Blessing

st-patricks-day

Green smoothies are great for a midday energy boost!

Ingredients & Method:

Take a quarter of a cucumber, 1 apple, bunch of spinach leaves, a banana, some water and a couple ice blocks and blend.

Instant energy and hydration and it tastes really good!

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Do your Saturday morning shopping at Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day

Held every Saturday in Homestead Park adjacent to the Farm in Upper Orange Street, Oranjezicht, the OZCF Market Day is a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and artisanal food producers.

Catering for vegans and vegetarians, raw foodies, and customers who want wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy-free alternatives, it’s the perfect place to do your Saturday morning shopping. The farm is financed primarily through the funds made at the Market Day.

Coco-Tent-Overview-1200

At the OZCF Market customers can do weekly food shopping (veg, fruit, bread, organic dairy, free-range eggs, honey, muesli etc), try out some delicious cooked and raw foods and be inspired about helping to build an alternative food system.

Additionally, customers can buy edible plants and seedlings, compost and gardening supplies and equipment.

Traders make every effort to create links between the OZCF, history/tradition and a sense of place, through labelling, using seasonal produce, etc. Educational talks and events are linked to the market and there are plenty of activities for kids such as story telling, planting, craft, yoga and more.

For more info you can visit their website at www.ozcf.co.za

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How much fruit is too much fruit?

Is fruit really bad for you?

Is fruit really bad for you?

Is fruit really bad for you?

There are a lot of different opinions out there on fruit and how much you should / shouldn’t consume.

I’ve made a little discovery on my own primal eating journey and have experimented with it quite a bit lately and seem to have proved it true (for myself and in my own body at least!)

The quick lowdown is that when you’re eating a mainstream high-carb diet, filled with grains, wheat and sugar, (eg: cereals, breads, pastas, pizzas, sauces, condiments, fizzy drinks, etc) then eating fruit in excess is definitely not going to help you lose weight.

However, when you give up eating sugar, wheat and grains, your metabolism effectively increases (which I believe takes at least 90 days!) and you can then start to include more fruit without any worries. This is of course assuming you aren’t currently diabetic or suffering from any chronic illnesses.

I’ve always craved juicy fruit and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve always struggled with diets that limit fruit intake.

Fruit I eat on an average day…

I eat about 3-4 bananas (which everyone claims are fattening), 2 nectarines, half a sweet melon, bunch of grapes, berries… sometimes even more. And this is excluding my actual meals that I eat.

This is completely the opposite of what a lot of Primal folks recommend, however – I did a good 90 day stretch of being strict and only eating 2-3 fruits a day, and I think that when you have a bit of weight to lose, this is probably the best option to start out with until your bodies metabolism has sped up.

But aren’t fruit sugars bad for you?

I don’t see fruit sugars as ‘bad’. Organically grown in-season fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Plus, I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant which means I have monthly check ups, urine tests, blood tests, etc, and all have been 100% so I’m taking that as a good sign.

I’m not saying yes – you should eat as much fruit as you like starting today! What I’m saying is that it’s important to get to know your own body and how it responds to your different eating choices.

In the past, I was always left feeling bloated and crampy after every single meal and I suffered drastically with heartburn. These days, I feel lighter and healthier than ever before and heartburn is a thing of the past (despite being 19 weeks pregnant and having every other blog warning me that heartburn and acid reflux is a normal side effect of pregnancy.)

For me… that’s proof enough that my body responds well to eating a low-carb high-fat AND high-fruit diet – which I understand means that it’s not really that low-carb as fruit contains carbs, but at least I know they’re healthy carbs as that’s what my body is telling me.

If you’re new to the whole primal lifestyle and have just started to exclude sugar, wheat and grains, then I definitely suggest sticking to Mark Sisson’s food pyramid to start with. Give it at least 90 days and then if you’re a fruit addict like I am, you can start to experiment with eating more fruit on the whole.

Click image to enlarge:

Mark Sisson's Primal Food Pyramid

Mark Sisson’s Primal Food Pyramid

 

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments area below, or send me an email. I’m off to eat a banana 🙂

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