Naturally Well With Jo | Blog
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On the primal living farm – and why it’s more than a farm

It’s Sunday night and I have just come in from outside on the farm and from the cool autumn air.  I really love this time of year, the early mornings are brisk, the days are still with the sun peaking through the clouds and by afternoon you start to feel the cool air once again.   This is when you know it’s time to fill the wheelbarrow up with wood and start the fire.  It is also the time of day to ensure the animals have been fed and are safely away and it’s the time to head inside to the blazing fire and warm house. There’s no need for a watch living on the farm, I can now tell the time by being mindful of how the day changes.

That’s my life now, a year ago I wasn’t like this.  City living was not conducive to how I wanted to live.  Slow pace, mindful, simple and stress free.

I started my Sunday off with catching up on some reading in bed.  Currently I am reading for the third time, Fat Chance, the bitter truth about sugar – Dr Robert Lustig.  It is one of those books that once you pick up, it’s very hard to put back down.  I laid in bed reading for two hours and felt totally relaxed.  There were times which I may have drifted in and out of sleep.  Isn’t it nice when we can do that and not have to think about anything else.  That’s until I received the hunger signal and my first primal meal was calling.

Coffee machine on, fresh eggs cracked into a heated frypan with butter, homegrown tomatoes added and I wait……back to my book I go.   I became distracted by the surroundings, it is so quiet here on the farm.  All I could hear was the crackling of my eggs and the baby wrens chirping away outside the glass door.  As I looked up I saw the most gorgeous baby wren with the brightest red belly.  That’s all I needed to put a smile on my face.
Living on Bruny Island I honesty feel I am on a continuous health retreat and I have it all to myself.  If I choose to, I can go days without seeing anyone, actually I could go weeks.  I have learnt to enjoy my own time, and slow down in life.  I have learnt that I don’t need a lot in life to be truly happy and I believe what makes me happy is a simplified primal life.

Three fresh free range eggs from the girls, cooked in butter and a morning long back is nutrient dense and enjoyable real food.  Food which is simple and the perfect way to start the day.  I knew that I had a fair bit of work to do on the primal farm and as usual the first thing I did was feed the chooks and the pigs with their warm porridge.  With happy animals I walked back up to the house planning in my mind what I needed to do first.

free range chooks

Good morning girls, have fun foraging

The plan is to let the soil rest over winter and feed it with plenty of good manure and compost to bring back the worms ready for spring planting.  I believe our health begins with the soil.  My goal is to create optimal soil for nutrient dense spring and summer vegetables.

Optimal soil = optimal food = optimal health

Soil health is high priority

Soil health is high priority

This will be the first time since moving here I will have limited vegetables in the garden.  Currently what’s growing for eating is silver beet, spinach, beetroot, mushrooms and herbs.  I also have pumpkins and chillies in storage and growing in the hot house is okra, kale, radishes, more silver beet and funnily enough cucumbers have reseeded.

I am excited about what I have growing, it is teaching me, to live simple and primal.  What I mean by this is, for the next two months my partner and I will only eat what’s what we have growing.  There will be times I may head to the markets and purchase other vegetables, or enjoy vegetables our neighbours give us.  I walk into the garden and make a conscious choices of what the meal will consist of.  I am hours away from any shops and can only make meals from what I have growing or stored in the pantry.  It sure makes cooking fun and seasonal.

The day started with cleaning up the pumpkin patch and adding mushroom compost, sheep manure, old hay and my own home made compost.   I also extended this bed, the plan is to grow vegetables for my local cafe on the island and also sell vegetables at my primal farm gate (now that I can’t wait for).  Before spring planting we will rotary hoe the bed up, add more manure and mushroom compost and it will (fingers crossed) supply us with months of delicious organic vegetables

Many wheelbarrow loads later, it is now time for the top vegetable garden.  The last of the tomatoes came out, and with a good dig, I added mushroom compost, manure and more home made compost.  Now it can rest.

Compost and manure added, it is now time to rest

Compost and manure added, it is now time to rest

Looking bare, but I am glad I have the greens and beetroot leaves to eat.

Looking bare, but I am glad I have the greens and beetroot leaves to eat.

The tomatoes have now come to an end.  I love home grown tomatoes, the flavour is intense and I love how versatile they are in cooking.   You can make amazing primal meals with tomatoes such as Bolognese, baked, grilled and stuffed.


Last harvest of the tomatoes.

beetroot leaves

Organic beetroot leaves will be delicious sautéed in butter with roasted pumpkin.

Beetroot leaves are so yummy eaten raw, steamed or sautéed in butter.


Growing beans to put nitrogen back into the soil

Baby broad beans coming up.  I don’t know about you, but I get quite excited when I see seedlings doing well.  Except these broad beans won’t be eaten.  I will dig them back into the ground to improve nitrogen.

Baby capsicum

Baby organic capsicums

Organic mushrooms

Growing organic mushrooms

Mushrooms growing in the compost I buy which is added to the garden.  I love mushrooms and I like to use them when I don’t want to eat meat, because of their ‘meatiness’ texture.  Mushrooms are delicious stuffed with goats cheese and fresh parsley or sautéed in butter, garlic and fresh herbs as a side dish.

With all the digging, shovelling dirt, carrying large bags of manure and mushroom compost I needed to rest and take some time out and enjoy what I had achieved.  Hello rest and meditation bench

Meditation bench made out of recycled timber from Bruny Island

Meditation bench made out of recycled timber from Bruny Island

I love my bench we made from recycled timber here on the island.  I come to this space daily.  Sometimes twice, three times a day and take the time to slow down and enjoy the surroundings.  I love the view I have from where I sit because when I quieten my mind I am able to watch kookaburras, parrots and baby wrens sit on the top of the garden.

The view

The view

My day ended with all the jobs I planned on doing completed.  Two garden beds have now been ‘dressed’ with plenty of manure and compost.  It will be perfect for planting come spring.  The decision of no winter gardening has also allowed me to  have a rest.  To all the farmers and gardeners out there, you have my respect.  I now appreciate how much work goes into growing and raising your own food.   It is a demanding job, but a very rewarding one.

Why is the primal farm more than just a farm?  Because it gives me this; less stress, mindfulness, slow life, appreciation and simplicity.  It makes me happy and it makes me realise that I do not need material possessions to be happy.  It also makes me realise how stressed I was when I was living in the city.  My mind never had the opportunity to be quiet.  I never gave myself the time to stop and listen to the sounds of birds chirping, appreciate the stillness of the day and appreciate how the weather slowly changes from morning to evening.

It also allows me to exercise in a different way.  Sitting here now, my back muscles have started to tighten and my hamstrings are very sore from all the loads of compost I wheelbarrowed up the hill.  My arms and shoulders are also sore from the digging.  Now that is a full body workout, without stepping inside a gym.  Back in the days, I would stress over not getting to the gym, now outside and nature is the gym.  Our ancestors didn’t have access to gyms, why do we need to have one when nature can provides us the space to exercise. We’re not designed to run on a treadmill, nor are we designed to actually use any cardio equipment.  You can do all this outside as well as lifting heavy logs, rocks, etc.  Let your imagination go wild here.

In terms of primal eating, I keep it simply.  I eat what I have growing and I plan ahead what I need to buy, next time I make a trip on the ferry.  Theres no corner shop to go and make a purchase.  I use what I have and I never feel as if I am going without.  Again this has shown me that we do not need all these “superfoods” to create real food meals.  What we need is what I have.  Fresh seasonal vegetables, meat, free range eggs, fresh herbs, dried spices and when in season here on the primal farm, fresh apples, apricots, raspberries and strawberries.

I understand that we all can’t have a garden or move onto 10 acres, but what we can do is make small simple changes to our lives to be truly happy.   I have experienced both sides of living, and I can honestly say that once we simplify the way we live, how we eat and how we view things, our health and wellbeing will improve immensely.  I teach my clients exactly this.  Making the choice to change is one thing, however making the choice to live simply and primal is one of the easiest and best decisions you can make for yourself and your family.

Implement my simple primal ‘rules’ and begin your own primal journey.  You can get started here It is the way for you to seek the results you’re after.

One of my primal 'rules' which I know live by

One of my primal ‘rules’ which I now live by


Gary Fettke on why we need to be aware of fructose in our diets

Getting Down and Dirty with Primal

There is something quite primal saying out loud ‘getting down and dirty’.  On Saturday May 10th we held our first of many Primal Living Wellness Solution Events.  The day was a huge success.  We had over 100 people attend to hear myself  and Dr Gary Fettke talk.

Getting Down and Dirty With Primal and Fructose

Getting Down and Dirty With Primal and Fructose

As guest arrived and went to their seats they were greeted with delicious goodies which were kindly donated by Eumarrah Wholefoods and The Vitamin Shop.  Guests were also treated with the chance to win three lucky door prizes.  Two of them were donated by Paleo Providore, which consisted of a gorgeous organic and local fruit and vegetable box and another box with amazing and delicious primal pantry items. The other door prize was donated by Pete Evans Paleo Chef which was his latest cookbook.   Guest were also given information which could be taken away, on how to stock your pantry, where to shop, how to detox your pantry and how to swap out foods which are making us sick for foods which are going to heal, nourish and delight us.

Goodies on seats

Goodies on seats

Guest were given goodies and information on implementing primal into their lives

Guests were given goodies and information on implementing primal into their lives

The workshop started off with Dr Gary Fettke speaking about my  favourite topic, ‘modern disease’.  He spoke to the audience on how fructose, refined carbohydrates and industrialised seed oils are the cause of metabolic disease.  Dr fettke is someone who I highly respect and regard in this industry.  He is not doing this for financial reason, no one is funding him, he is spreading the word on real food nutrition because he truly wants to help people.  He has one big battle, Gary is fighting the Launceston General Hospital where he works, to change what is fed to patients, what staff eat in their lunch rooms, what is being served at the cafeteria and asking the dieticians, doctors and nurses to stand up and take notice.  To take notice of  what the three most common ingredients sugar, refined carbohydrates and industrialised oils are doing to our society.  I know he will win this battle.

Gary Fettke on why we need to be aware of fructose in our diets

Gary Fettke on why we need to be aware of fructose in our diets

The science behind LDL

The science behind LDL

Knowing the right answer is the key to optimal health

Knowing the right answer is the key to optimal health

After Gary spoke it was my turn.  This was my first ever public talk and to do it in front of 100 people was kind of nerve racking.  The two weeks prior to this workshop I worked on my talk for many hours.  I wanted to cover all basis of Primal Living and help educate the guest who attended what Primal Living is all about.  When I got up to talk, everything I had practiced went out the window.  I had forgotten what I wanted to say.

However I pulled myself together and remembered why I was up there, standing amongst people who have come to hear myself and Gary talk. I am so passionate about what I do, and I know that when we change our diets and lifestyle to reflect simplicity we can begin to heal and nurture ourself.  I have had many clients change to this way of living and have seen great results.  It may be daunting to start because the food that you’re attached to, will no longer be a part of your diet.  However I would like to point out, once you let go off that attachment and include the foods I recommend you will enjoy it, and so will your family.  That is my promise to you.

Knowing what to do and how to do it can change your life

Knowing what to do and how to do it can change your life

Primal Living is a lifestyle, it is not a diet, it is not some crazy fad.  It is something that you and your whole family can do everyday.  You don’t need to implement everything at once.  Remember I have been living this way for eight years, so I know what my body needs and what I need to do in my lifestyle to help with stress and cope with the day to day running of my business and farm.  I hope  for the guests who attended the workshop on Saturday left feeling inspired and motivated to sit down and write a list of the things in their lives that needs improving.

It is a lifestyle, a very simple lifestyle which will change your health

It is a lifestyle, a very simple lifestyle that will change your health

Gluten free products are not the answer to optimal health

Gluten free products are not the answer to optimal health

Remember you do not need to do this alone, I can help you to get started and help make those initial changes.  I find it is always nice to have an ear to lean on when we make these amazing life changes.

I want to finish this post off by thanking everyone who attend on Saturday.  The feedback coming through is amazing.  I also want to thank our amazing sponsors; The Vitamin Shop, Paleo Providore and Eumarrah Wholefoods.  Please go and check them out.  Everyone who works there are as passionate as myself in this way of living.  I also want to thank  Dr Gary Fettke for your support during the day, please take  some time to have a look at his website.  Last but not least I want to thank Tony Stagg who donated his time to take amazing photos of the day.

One last thing – say no to diets, they’re causing more harm than good.  Switch to eating real foods (like the ones on my plate),  moving your body everyday and stepping outside in nature more.  Practicing those three things everyday, weight loss will become secondary because you will be feeling so damn good.

I have many more events and seminars coming up in 2014.  Our next one is on August 16th called “Changing The Way We Eat” Ancestral Health and Wellness Seminar.  You will be able to hear from David Gillespie, Christine Cronau, Dr Zee Arain, Guy Lawerance, Dr Rod Taylor, Crystal Fieldhouse, Alexx Stuart, Dr Gary Fettke and more speak on the day.  You do not want to miss this.  Subscribe here to ensure you don’t miss out on Pre-sale tickets.

Don’t forget about my Pete Evans Cook book giveaway – go here to win.

Services I offer

Services I offer

Did you know not only do I work with families and individuals I also consult businesses –  Here is a what I do.

Until next time – say it with me now….NO MORE DIETS.


The Surprised Omelette

Before I moved to Bruny Island I was living in the city and didn’t have daily access to free range eggs.  Now it is really nice to walk into our chook pen and find a surprise.  I love eggs and I find there are many ways to cook them, so boredom doesn’t sink in.  I love them scrambled with cream, boiled, poached, fried and my favourite as a omelette.  Today I am sharing my recipe for surprised omelette.  I call it the surprised omelette because what ever vegetable is in season, you can throw any of them in.

IMG_9655Serves one:


Three free range eggs
1/3 cup green capsicum
1 small tomato
1/4 avocado
sunflower greens
knob of unsalted butter


Whisk your eggs and add a dash of water to the mixture.  Helps to make the omelette fluffy
Heat your fry pan up slowly and add your butter
Add your chopped vegetables and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add your egg mixture and once you can see the bottom firm up, flip it into half.  This should take about five minutes
Cook for a further 2 minutes and serve with the avocado and sunflower greens

Free range chooks

Kimchi the burmese, stalked by the girls


Macadamia and Blueberry Smoothie

This smoothie is guaranteed to sustain your energy to help you get through business meetings, kids school projects, house work  or just when you want to enjoy a quick snack.

Why macadamia nuts

Nuts and seeds are a very popular snack, They’re an easy and handy snack to take to work, on hikes and consume a handful post workout.  However sometimes we can all tend to go overboard eating them.  Most nuts and seeds were available to our ancestors, but I don’t believe they were available in the amounts we have them today.  On that note I think it is important to look further into the composition of nuts and seeds, their levels of toxins and their nutritive value and we can assess which nuts are the best to consume.

If you suffer from digestive, autoimmune problems or gut flora imbalances; it is a good idea to keep nuts and seeds to a minimum.  It also may be beneficial to exclude these from your meal plans until your conditions are under control and resolved.  Lets look at why I recommend keeping most nuts to moderation in your diet and enjoy them as an occasional snack.

Have you heard of phytic acid and other anti-nutrients such as lectins?  Lectin can be found in some nuts and seeds which can irritate the gut lining and create inflammation and enzyme inhibitors.  What this means is, lectin can prevent the full digestion of the proteins found in nuts.

Phytic acid prevents the nut or seed from sprouting, and on our digestive system has the property of binding to important minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.  This binding prevents the important minerals from being absorbed and prevents you from obtaining the high amounts of minerals needed for optimal health.

SOAK YOUR NUTS:  To help reduce phytic acid and lectins?

Soaking your nuts and seeds overnight in water or for a number of hours with a pinch of sea salt is an easy way to get rid of most of the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.  Rinse thoroughly and dry them on a very low temperature in your oven, dehydrator or if your doing it in summer, in the sun.

NUTS AND POLYUNSATURATED FAT (PUFA), especially the omega-6 polyunsaturated fat.  

In today’s modern world we seem to be consuming an excess of fructose and the consumption of toxic grains and legumes.  These grains and legumes have high ratios of omega-6.  It is now recognised that total PUFA intake strongly contribute to today’s chronic and metabolic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

When we turn to living primal our focus is placed on balancing omega-6 and omega-3 intake to obtain a ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.  This is to help optimize health and longevity.  Processed foods, vegetable oils, grains and legumes can quickly raise the amount of omega-6 as well as most nuts and seeds to unhealthy levels within our bodies.  To obtain omega-3 fats within your diet, I recommend consuming fatty wild fish, grass-fed ruminants and omega-3 rich free range eggs.

PUFAs are easily oxidised when in contact with oxygen, heat and light.  Oxidised PUFAs creates all kinds of toxic reactions with sugars and proteins in our bodies.  For this very reason it is important you consume  nuts and seeds in their raw state and store them in an air tight container in your fridge.

Lets check out the omega 6 content V Omega 3 content in nuts and seeds.

  • 1/2 cup Coconut, dried and unsweetened  = OMEGA 6: 0.28 – OMEGA 3: 0 –  1:1 RATIO
  • 1/2 cup Coconut, fresh  = OMEGA 6: 0.15 – OMEGA 3: 0 – 1:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Cashews = OMEGA 6: 1.31 – OMEGA 3: 0.03 – 44:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Almonds = OMEGA 6: 1.86 – OMEGA 3: – 0.07 – 27:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Almond butter = OMEGA 6: 3.81 – OMEGA 3: 0.14 –  27:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Macadamia Nuts = OMEGA 6: 0.21 – OMEGA 3: 0 –  1:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Walnuts = OMEGA 6: 4.77-5.23 – OMEGA 3: 0.52-1.02 – 4.7:1 to 10.1:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Brazil nuts = OMEGA 6: 4.16 – OMEGA 3: 0.01 –  416:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Hazelnuts = OMEGA 6: 0.84 – OMEGA 3: 0.02 – 42:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Pistachios = OMEGA 6: 1.12 – OMEGA 3:0.04 –  28:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Pecans = OMEGA 6: 2.38 – OMEGA 3: 0.10 –  24:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Sunflower seed butter = OMEGA 6 10.05 – OMEGA 3: 0.02 – 503:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) = OMEGA 6: 3.57 – OMEGA 3: 0.03 – 119:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Tahini (sesame butter) =  OMEGA 6: 7.01 – OMEGA 3 0.12 – 58:1 RATIO
  • 2tbsp Flaxseeds = OMEGA 6: 0.84 – OMEGA 3: 3.51 – 1:4.3 RATIO

As you can see Macadamia nuts are one of the ‘best’ nuts to consume.  With a ratio of 1:1 omega 6/omega 3.  I am not advocating only eating macadamia nuts, however if you’re trying to lose weight, reducing systemic inflammation and or your coming off a ‘modern western diet’ than I do recommend you keep your nut and seed intake to a minimum.

paleo food, fructose free, sugar free, dairy free, primal food, primal living tasmania

Fresh delicious organic blueberries.

Macadamia and Blueberry Smoothie

Large handful of blueberries
Strawberries x 6
Macadamia nuts x 1/3 cup
Hazelnuts x 1/4 cup
Shredded Coconut x 1/3 cup
Organic Cacao x 1 tbsp
Sheep yoghurt x 2 tbsp
Tahini x 1 tsp
Coconut oil x 1 tsp

Blend it all together with some ice and enjoy

References: Are nuts and seeds healthy (Paleo Leap)
Omega 6/ Omega 3 breakdown of nuts and seeds (Paleo Dietician)


Getting Down and Dirty With Primal and Fructose Workshop

Health and wellness event Tasmania, Tasmania, Events, Workshop
Whether your new to a paleo/primal diet or you have been dabbling in it for awhile, this workshop is not be missed. “Getting down and Dirty with Primal and Fructose” will change your life. Run by Jo Smith – Founder of Primal Living Tasmania, Health and Wellness Educator and Dr Gary Fettke, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Senior lecturer at UTAS and the founder of Gary Fettke – No Fructose. Together Jo and Gary will hold a Q&A interactive workshop to discuss and answer questions relating to the modern diet and why it is causing our current modern diseases. They will discuss why changing to a primal lifestyle and eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet will transform your life. Come along and enjoy a fun, interactive workshop and discover:

  • What is ancestral living and is it right for your health and fat loss success
  • How to integrate the Primal Living Lifestyle sustainable framework – learn the 12 key steps which Jo sticks by.
  • Why we know longer diet living primal
  • Why you may not be losing weight with the paleo/primal lifestyle
  • How to stock your pantry with real food to nourish your whole mind and body
  • Where to shop
  • Equip you with a shopping list to start living primal today
  • What is in our foods
  • How to drop the diet dogma
  • How to live sustainably
  • How to create the healthiest mind body and soul
  • What types of exercise are best for your body
  • How to lose weight without having to count calories

You will walk away with a wealth of information which you can easily integrate into your current lifestyle and keep living this way for the rest of your life Join the 30 day challenge and be a part of a private group – Jo will be with you each day of the 30 days to encourage and inspire you to reach your goals PLUS: Receive a free copy of Gary Fettkes book: Inversion; One Man’s answer for world peace and global health PLUS: Go into the lucky door prize to win a copy of Pete Evans new cookbook “Everyday Health” PLUS: Win two free tickets to the upcoming conference “Changing the way we eat” Ancestral Health and Wellness Conference August 2014 PLUS: Receive a free primal eating shopping guide PLUS: A free “Make the swap” Nutritional primal plan PLUS: A free “detox your pantry” guide Challenge your beliefs, be inspired and become motivated with Getting Down and Dirty with Primal and Fructose! CLICK HERE to secure your ticket and come along for what is going to be an amazing day. paleo workshop. Tasmania, primal diet, primal living, primal living tasmania, paleo diet, ancestral, hunter and gatherer, sustainability You can book your tickets here.