Biltong 2.0…

Many lessons were learned during the processing of the first batch of biltong.

The box needed some upgrades. First was to close off all open holes, the mesh at the back of the unit was too wide and one gnat did manage to make its grubby way in to v1.0, so some cheap fly mesh was acquired and secured.

The small holes too on the side of the box (which house the dowels) were plugged by a handy box of washers I purchased decades ago that I’d never used (who would have thought a small box of plastic tap circles would have ended up on a caveman’s kiln years later).

Next up was the velcro for the door and top hatch, this was upgraded to magnetic strips (different polarisations) which both lock down everything, nothing is getting in, hermetically sealed (like a presidential Covid cavalcade…)

In terms of the fan, that worked perfectly in v1.0 so no changes were required there.

For heating however, I couldn’t find an old fashioned filament bulb so I needed to replace the LED one as it gave off no heat, and in a moment of clarity, my aged brain came up with the idea of a vivarium bulb. So after looking at various heat lamps (avoiding those bulbs in “Roxanne Red” – not the look you want in the spare bedroom!), I found a 50w ceramic bulb, which had the bonus of no light emission. Tried it out, burned my finger, so that worked!

Finally, I dug out an old dehumidifier my son used to use and plugged that in to take the moisture out of the room which would likely condensate and mold up the office.

In terms of the meat, I went to the local butchers this time. What a difference! As I cut the slabs, there was neither a vein nor a sinew in sight, marvelous!

I also changed the preparation mode too. I left the meat to chill for 12 hours in the fridge after applying the vinegar and dry rub, could not believe the amount of moisture that came out overnight.

So after wringing the last of the moisture out over the sink and via hand toweling, I applied one more layer of course salt and hooked them up (placing a metal tray in the bottom this time to prevent seepage on to the unit).

I think I will leave the meat longer this time, at least 7 days (SEVEN – one day for every Aston Villa goal last weekend against our arch nemesis), so that it becomes as dry as it can be to extend its lifespan. I’ll also use my new vacuum sealer straight away.

As for the smell, well there’s not too much I can do about that except to keep the office door shut and open the windows when I’m not in there, it is getting chilly outside now.

The whole of next batch will come with us to our off-grid cottage in Cornwall week after next, lock-down permitting. I’m not confident any will be returning with us!

The Good Life…

The list below contains the food I regularly eat as part of my paleo lifestyle, applying the 80/20 rule (80% of the food and drink is strict paleo, 20% is the wiggle room needed so the brain or stomach doesn’t crave so much, e.g. root crops, cordials and vegan chocolate etc).

I have also indicated whether I can grow, forage or hunt my own food and each item has, in project management parlance, a RAG status (Red = Cannot; Amber = Difficult; Green = Can) and next to it, if it is amber or green, what action I need to take to acquire it (VG = Vertical Garden; SG = Smart Garden; F = Foraging; H = Hunting).

Although I have only just started to grow basil, lettuce and tomatoes in my smart garden, the list below is my typical weekly shopping list, over time I hope to replace all of the amber items with green (red items being either luxury or things which will fall off the list over time), and self-produce all such green items rather than purchasing them from the local greengrocers, butchers shops and Bargain Booze store…

It’s also fair to say that with my limited space, I won’t be able to produce anywhere near enough food to disconnect myself from the food-grid just yet, but the skills and lessons learned over the coming years will set a true foundation for off-grid living which takes place in a mere 2462 days from now…

Breakfast Smoothies

1. Bananas 🔴

2. Blueberries (F) 🟠

3. Strawberries (VG/SG/F) 🟢

4. Raspberries (VG/F) 🟢

5. Apples (F) 🟠

6. Kiwi Fruits 🔴

7. Ginger (VG) 🟢

Lunchtime Soups

1. Sweet potatoes (VG) 🟢

2. Carrots (VG) 🟢

3. Potatoes (VG) 🟢

4. Onions (VG) 🟢

5. Broccoli (VG) 🟢

6. Cauliflower (VG) 🟢

7. Mushrooms (F) 🟠

8. Tomatoes (VG/SG) 🟢

9. Sweet Peppers (VG/SG) 🟢

10. Leeks (VG) 🟢

11. Parsnips (VG) 🟢

12. Pak Choi (VG/SG) 🟢

13. Cabbage (VG) 🟢

14. Celery (VG) 🟢

15. Chilli Peppers (VG/SG) 🟢

16. Peas (VG/SG) 🟢

17. Garlic (VG/SG) 🟢

18. Ginger (VG/SG) 🟢

19. Lemongrass (VG) 🟢

20. Basil (VG/SG) 🟢

21. Apple Mint (VG/SG/F) 🟢

22. Rosemary (VG/SG) 🟢

23. Coriander (VG/SG) 🟢

24. Chives (VG/SG) 🟢

25. Parsley (VG/SG) 🟢

26. Black Pepper (VG/SG) 🟢

27. Vegetable Stock (VG/SG) 🟢

28. Coconut Milk 🔴

Lunchtime Meals

1. Eggs (H) 🟠

2. Salmon (H) 🟠

3. Asparagus (VG) 🟢

4. Spinach (VG/SG) 🟢

5. Lettuce (VG/SG) 🟢

6. Tomatoes (VG/SG) 🟢

7. Spring Onions (VG/SG) 🟢

8. Cucumbers (VG) 🟢

9. Tuna 🔴

Snacks

1. Biltong (H) 🟠

2. Nuts and seeds 🔴

3. Vegetable crisps (VG/SG) 🟢

4. Vegan Chocolate 🔴

5. Blackcurrant Cordial (F) 🟠

6. Elderberry Cordial (F) 🟠

7. Herbal Tea (VG/SG/F) 🟢

8. Red Wine 🔴

9. Coffee 🔴

Evening Meals

1. Venison (H) 🟠

2. Salmon (H) 🟠

3. Mackerel (H) 🟠

4. Tuna 🔴

5. Vegetables (VG/SG/F) 🟢

6. Salad (VG/SG/F) 🟢

Maybe I need to start watching the 70’s sitcom The Good Life to get some hints and tips from Richard Bryers and Felicity Kendall (mmmm Felicity Kendall…)

Biltong Update…

So after 4 days of drying, the inaugural batch of biltong was ready.

Armed with a brand spanking new meat cleaver from our flat pack Swedish comrades at Ikea, I took to slicing up each of the slabs of meat, careful to slice as thin as possible. Initial taste test was positive.

One thing I noticed was the quality of the meat, or lack of. When one peruses the shopping aisles for the best looking cut, it’s easy to pick the one that looks the best on the outside, but peel back the layers (like an onion) and sometimes it will reveal not so good news on the inside, as was the case here.

My loss was my old faithfuls gain, on-hand to snuffle the off cuts that otherwise would have been eaten by the waste bin (its disappointed open mouth, pictured right…).

I’m not sure who is at fault here, the farmer for the feed he/she/they give the cow (does corn-fed or grass-fed make a difference?), the supermarket for buying inferior and mass-produced cuts, or me for not acquiring meat from the local butchers, opting instead for convenience as most of us do. Probably a mix of all three.

That said, the overall process worked well, and the taste was great. My eldest son is a big fan of biltong and he gave me a five star review (out of five not ten) for the first batch so I’m happy with that, and I wouldn’t disagree with him.

By far the best cuts were the ones which had dried out more and had more of the dry rub on them, less so the ones which were still relatively pink in the middle.

After a long day, the wood-burning stove went on and the wife and I settled down to watch a new drama about Dennis Nilsen, one of the UK’s most notorious serial killers, armed with our own selection of dismembered cuts of flesh and a glass of South African Pinotage (my favourite wine) to wash it down with.

Needless to say the supermarket limitation of 35g portions don’t apply when making ones own and we managed to snuffle quite a bit, very moreish.

I vacuum-sealed the rest in small bags, but I suspect they won’t last long either.

Outside sourcing better meat from the local butchers and not supermarkets, some tweaks to the drying box are required. Magnetic strips to replace the Velcro ones on the door and hatch will provide a tighter seal on the unit and improve airflow, a tighter mesh on the vent will prevent flies getting in, a metal tray inserted at the bottom of the unit instead of just tin foil will catch any juices and prevent a spoiling of the wooden base, a non-LED bulb will give off more heat (I can’t find old-school bulbs anywhere which is good for the environment of course so not complaining too much) and a place to dry the meat (garden shed as opposed to kitchen as the box is quite big) will prevent grumbles from the her-indoors.

All in all, a good experiment and one that yielded very positive results, not only in taste and cost savings, but in the knowledge that once we go off-grid, no off-cuts or left over meat will ever go to waste.

Biltong Build…

One of the more significant emotions following on from my paleo trials two weeks ago was a rekindling with my love affair for biltong. As mentioned in my last post, the price of biltong per gram is ridiculously high, the printer fluid of the meat world, mostly down to the time consuming process it takes to cure and dry the meats.

Naturally, if someone is making a significant profit in making such, it makes sense to consider making ones own to save money. I have the added incentive to move off-grid when I retire “soon” and as such I would not want to waste any resources.

So, armed with a cordless drill, bits of wood, screws, a perspex sheet, an old computer fan and a light-bulb, I spent a few hours yesterday creating my own “drying station”. The weather was nice and within minutes the form took shape, the quality of the end result surpassed my expectations and surprised the family too (me being an office worker).

With the box built, I took to the beef this morning, preparing the dry rub and the meat. Even the smell of the dry rub took my thoughts back to Cape Town, the mix of pepper, salt and coriander seeds instantly recognizable.

With the meat prepared, the only thing left to do was to hang it out to dry for 3-4 days in the box. After a rather heated discussion with the significant other on where I could store/dry it (on the basis that it may be a bit smelly), so for iteration one and the weather being good today and tomorrow, I’ll keep it outdoors and bring it in when the rains come in on Wednesday.

The proof is in the pudding of course, but it’s a good start and I have already picked up some probable improvements in terms of the preparations for next time (drying the meat out more).

The meat cost £16 for 2kgs, the equivalent biltong at the supermarket would cost £120, so with pepper, vinegar, salt and coriander seeds costing around £4, a cost saving of £100. Huge!

This time I used beef, but I’m off to the local butchers later to see if he can procure grass-fed beef and more importantly venison, which will be my meat of choice going forward.

My friend was totally shocked this weekend when I told him that I was thinking of taking up hunting, he thought it would be accompanied with a subscription to the Conservative Party. Allaying his fear, I advised him that a true hunter-gatherer needs to kill for food, never for sport. We have a gun club locally and hopefully next weekend will see the wife and I acquire some basic targeting skills.

We will of course need to find out where one can shoot deer and of course think about storage solutions, biltong box and freezer. Ethically its better (when comparing against mass produced meats), environmentally it’s better (when compared to the resources cows use and the waste products they produce in the process – not even close), cost wise its better (when compared to the equivalent meat at the butchers shop). The only real down side, of course, Walt Disney’s Bambi…

Paleo Trials…

I’m a gemini, a true gemini, and as such there are multiple me’s living inside my head. Angels and daemons, Jekyll and Hyde, Dumb and Dumber. Friends and family have always said of me that I am always so passionate about everything I do, for about nine days…

The last few months, the first me thought it was a great idea to revert back to pescatarianism, the second me agreed. So both me’s felt better, less bloated more eco-friendly and generally happier with the diet element. After a while though, the second me (who had been doing a lot of research into off-grid living and pre-historic Britain) told the first me that it wasn’t enough, that the root of all evil was the agricultural revolution and that we should go back to basics, hunter-gatherer. The first me thought this was a most excellent idea (yes he just watched the new Bill & Teds film, sadly), tied up his woven shoelaces and stomped right in.

What they found was quite something. Clearly as a pair of idiots, they needed some guidelines to follow to see what food types and lifestyle changes they must follow in order to earn their Caveman badge, so it was only natural to purchase Living Paleo for Dummies.

The book itself is great, really easy to read and understand, gives the background to what paleo is and its origins from over 2.5 million years ago (when monkeys ate some funky mushrooms, saw Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and spawned the first truly cosmically conscious being), the do’s and don’ts of what one can and can’t eat and a remedial understanding of the science behind paleo and allegedly why it works so well as a lifestyle – not a diet.

Armed with some rudimentary knowledge, we set off on our week-long paleo trial to see what all the fuss was about. We kept a diary (as instructed in the book) to see what went well, not so well and how we felt before, during and after the process.

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Day 1

Weight = 87.5kg
Breakfast = Banana, Apple
Lunch = Eggs, Salmon Slices, Asparagus
Dinner = Venison Steak, Mushrooms
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water
Snacks = Pistachios, Peanuts
Exercise = None
Mood = Indifferent all day
Fatigue = High

Notes = First day was a struggle, it didn’t help that we were on hangover day 2 after our trip away with the older kids camping trip Wales. Need to prioritise exercise and prepare / eat breakfast every day, no fail. Really enjoyed the venison again (same steaks that we cooked over the fire-pit on Saturday after the sun had descended behind the Clwydian hills), and the garlic mushrooms, although we need a better accompaniment than the crappy box salad from the supermarket, possibly cauliflower rice or greens. Coffee without sugar/stevia wasn’t too bad.

Day 2

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
Lunch = Eggs, Salmon Slices, Spinach
Dinner = Venison Steak, Mushrooms, Cauliflower Rice
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water
Snacks = Pumpkin seeds
Exercise = Cross Trainer x 30 mins
Mood = Good to Bad
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Loved the cross training session. Felt a bit full and sickly after eggs and salmon for lunch for the second day running, need to vary dinners as we’ll become bored of the same every day. Looked at soup recipes tonight. Felt like we wanted something sweet to drink most of the day, even cordials, but more like pop. Got tired in the evening but that was due to number crunching all day at work. Would have been nice to eat with the family but the missus threw a hissy fit when we wanted to also use the kitchen to cook cauliflower rice. That’s always the real struggle, not missing the food types, just the resistance of others. We get that we change our diet/lifestyle often (searching for methods and techniques that will provide better health, well-being and longevity), but constant criticism in what we choose to put in our own body is a real drag. Rounded the evening off nicely with a nostalgic trip down memory lane by playing Age of Empires, starting off as a stone age hunter-gatherer. A true paleo day!

Day 3

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
Lunch = Sweet Potato, Fennel and Coriander Soup
Dinner = Huevos Gambas Rancheros
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water, Red Wine (small mouthful)
Snacks = Nuts
Exercise = None
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Woke up early and contemplated cross trainer again but legs still a little stiff so walked the dog instead. Worked out how to use the new soup maker and prepared breakfast and lunch. Very happy the way in which soup turned out, will be a paleo pal for sure! Gave us a mood boost, especially after a conflict in work. Soup was amazing, perhaps a little too spicy for the wife (chipotle chilli flakes) but we adored it. Felt like our insides are cleaner, two months of being a pescatarian has helped for sure. Have not felt bloated in a long time now (other than when on/after the beers). Probably need to eat more protein/meat, as we want to start pumping iron soon to put weight on our arms and shoulders. Dinner wasn’t that nice, added cocoa to it as per the recipe, too rich. Lot of post-meal gurgling. Gah. Got real tired in the evening, another “difference of opinion” with the wife over us eating something different even though after a full day in the office and us also cooking lunch and evening meal for everyone. Did pour ourselves a glass of red wine but only had a mouthful before pouring the rest down the sink.

Day 4

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Eggs, Spinach, Tomatoes, Halloumi, Mushrooms, Guacamole
Lunch = Sweet Potato, Fennel and Coriander Soup
Dinner = Vegetable Stir Fry with Ginger, Cashews and Venison Strips
Drinks = Honeydew/Rooibos Tea, Coffee
Snacks = None
Exercise = Cross Trainer x 30 mins
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Pee no longer smells of Sugar Puffs in the morning, but did have some minor cramping. Tinnitus is raging at the moment, no real root cause uncovered, not related to diet or kundalini yoga we think. Took the wife for breakfast (first paid trip out as a hunter-gatherer), we had a plate of vegetables but did have a slice of grilled halloumi (hangs heads in shame), we wondered if there was any paleo cheese, no. Cashew dip and paleo Doritos look nice though. Soup from yesterday still a resounding success. Same can’t be said for the blueberry muffins. Not a big fan of coconut and the coconut flour flavour we bought really came through, not to mention the lack of height and density of the “cakie”. Bin enjoyed it though. Had a wobble at dinner time, with the wife out with friends and our usual Thursday fatigue resorted in getting pizzas for the kids, sorely tempted to tuck in but didn’t, as we couldn’t cope with the laughter and sly remarks from the missus. We will be strong, we have willpower! Did read that some paleo folks do the 80/20 rule and allow non-paleo days which is something we may gravitate to (but still avoid anything processed).

Day 5

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Broccoli and Fennel Soup
Dinner = Broccoli and Fennel Soup, Almond Bread
Drinks = Raspberry Tea, Coffee, Water
Snacks = Veggie Sticks (Tomato & Kale)
Exercise = Outdoor Run x20 mins
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Up early making Broccoli soup (rock n roll!). Another masterpiece, adore our “stolen” soup maker, makes it so easy, we say stolen (not as a nod to our Scouse lineage – but to explain before anyone calls the rozzers – during the lockdown, a kind Hermes delivery man (or woman) left a package on our doorstep with an address we’d never heard of. So we kept it in the hallway for 28 days to see if anyone would rightfully claim it, they didn’t so we acquired it for free, so not stolen, more “rehomed”). Another argument with the wife over evening meal, bored now, we may end up sticking to the paleo life just to spite her! Feel so cleansed inside and out, this is working. Tinnitus is still raging, keeping background sounds higher than normal to mask it, only just working. Went to Holland & Barrett for some provisions (almond flour mainly as the coconut flour isn’t good). Picked up some better soaps at a quarter of the price of Lush which should last four times as long by looking at the density. Came to the conclusion that there are so many amazing recipes out there one would never get bored of paleo, the only downside is the preparation and cooking time. As busy home office workers, we’ll need to get up earlier to prepare breakfast and lunch (but a vegetable soup should last us 2-3 days). Snacks are fine with fruit, biltong, nuts and seeds. May be that we use some weekend time to prepare food for the week ahead. Of course if we didn’t work we would have more time to invest, but we have six years to get this stuff off to a fine art. Picked up some cup measures so we don’t get caught out with US recipes as yesterday’s “muffins” were a disaster. Afternoon headache, so logged off early and caught some zeds. The Paleo for Dummies book did say that may happen with cutting out all sugar so it could be that. Made our first almond loaf with poppy seeds and it turned out great. A little dense and moist in the middle but we suspect we over-whisked and should have folded it instead. Will toast it lightly and that should do the trick. Could not be bothered cooking an evening meal so took the “bread” and soup. The bread was awful, just too sweet. Bread is meant to savory not sweet, but the coconut and almond flour cannot replace wheat flour for taste and consistency. On the basis that these are really the only big ingredients in paleo, baking really is off the menu for us. We guess if one was to live off the land in the UK, these items would not be available anyways so it’s no real loss. We do need to eat more though, one reflection on paleo is that it’s an easy lifestyle when working in the corporate domain, having a wife, three kids, energetic dog and having to cook everything from raw materials. Physical and mental fatigue is kicking in and we are in bed at 7:30pm on Friday night exhausted. One other thing is for sure, it ain’t cheap to live like a caveman either. We’ve also decided to hang up our running boots for good now. Few weeks back a brisk 5km left us with leg and joint pains for days, same already this afternoon, we’ll have to swap to the cross trainer and bike permanently now to avoid the impact damage. This week has been a challenge on many fronts both physically and mentally but will stick it out for the full week. We may have a blended diet/lifestyle going forward, taking the best bits from what we have learned over the seven days (which at the moment are fruit shakes for breakfast, vegetable soups for lunch, biltong, nuts and veggies sticks for snacks, plenty of water throughout the day, sugar free coffee, an evening meal that consists of meat/fish and two veg (all vegetables being on the menu not just some), the odd glass of red wine and avoiding all processed foods and sugars. On the physical front, walking, cycling, cross training, kayaking, weights and kundalini yoga will keep us on the straight and narrow, and meditation, meeting friends and blogging will keep our mind right. We’d say that would equate to around an 80% paleo lifestyle which is good enough to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul which ultimately promotes longevity which is why we really started this thing in the first place. Our aim is to set up a small holding in five years time, living as much off-grid as we can, so acquiring the right lifestyle diet and associated skills now is essential.

Day 6

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Tuna & Egg Salad “Sandwiches”
Dinner = Venison Burgers (Mushroom Buns)
Drinks = Coffee, Red Wine (small)
Snacks = Biltong
Exercise = 10km Walk
Mood = Great
Fatigue = Low

Notes = Woke up at 5:30, no surprises going to bed so early. Took the pooch out early as he’s in a bad shape himself (flea infestation) and he enjoyed his early morning bimble on the beach. Long soak on the bath to unstiff the dead leg which worked. Morning trip to the grocery store for today’s paleo purchases. Tuna, egg sandwiches (Romain lettuce instead of bread) went down a treat, good change to the soup. Took the daughter around town for her birthday present run and found an amazing alternative food store in Liverpool, vegan and paleo heaven. Got some alternative pasta (vegetable-based penne and spaghetti) and crisps. The mushroom double decker venison burgers for evening meal were great, very full after eating two of them. Most food we’ve eaten in one day so far. Earned my small glass of red wine, and as Saturdays go this was a lean one. My eyesight was poor in the evening, probably to do with too much number crunching this week at work and the fact I haven’t had an eye test for a while. Checkup needed next week, don’t think it’s diet related. Excited for tomorrow – foraging course!

Day 7

Weight = 84.5kg
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Tomato Soup, Veggie Straws, Biltong
Dinner = Fried Chicken
Drinks = Diet Coke, Fanta
Snacks = Biltong
Exercise = 10km Walking / Foraging
Mood = Great
Fatigue = Low

Notes = After our “morning manoeuvres”, we weighed in at 84.5kg, dropping exactly 3kg since the start of the week, putting us at our ideal weight. We didn’t start paleo to lose weight but it’s nice that it’s nudged us to our target quickly, which was probably down to the lack of processed crap we normally put into to our body and the increased and varied exercise regimes, which must now be maintained going forward. As our calorie intake has gone down, we need to boost it up to maintain our current weight. We love biltong and found an ethical producer in Sussex who purvey venison biltong so ordered a trial pack to see what they are like. Best biltong we’ve ever had was at a vineyard in Constantia, South Africa’s wine region just out side of Cape Town. A friend an us took the open-topped “red bus” and meandered our way through the many splendid vistas; Table Mountain, Cape Town’s marina/bay area, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Groot Constantia vineyard. Each vineyard had its own food stalls and market area, and the biltong was amazing. We bought a huge bag full and planned to eat a little for the remainder of our trip. Needless to say after a few wines and an awesome bus trip home through the scenic Hout Bay and Camps Bay, the bag was empty by the time we got back. Those memories fired up our long lost love of biltong, so naturally as it’s so expensive, our thoughts turned to making our own. A 45g packet in Morrisons cost £3. That’s roughly £120 for 2kgs if our maths are right. As one can buy a 2kg joint of topside or silverside beef (grass-fed of course) for around £10-£15, it makes total sense to make ones own in bulk. After reviewing some of the expensive purpose-built drying machines on Amazon and the free make-your-own drying box on Wikihow (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Biltong), we’ll get building next week (probably a wooden version) and store it in the “office” once our son buggers off back to University and we’ve had Rentokil in to defumigate his room. After watching the artsy animation movie Away with our daughter, we headed off to the beautiful Welsh countryside, just outside Ruthin, for our foraging course (full blog to follow) and munched our way through flora, fauna and fungi for four hours, collecting some fayre along the way for next weeks meals (Hen of the Woods and Pocini mushrooms look a delight!), the most enjoyable day out we’ve had for quite a while, very educational and inspiring. As we were late getting back and had to time to cook we had to go to the drive through and get fried chicken, not entirely paleo but we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it.

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All in all we found the trial week very positive and educational. It gave us an insight into what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would consume which was of course easier for us due to technological advancement.

We’ve tried a great many diet over the years and have tried to select the best bits to keep the mind, body and soul maintained, falling foul as one does from time to time. One thing is for sure, we will continue to juice every morning and soup most afternoons and our evening meals will consist of mostly meat or fish and two veg. Most importantly, we will stay away from processed food as much as we can (including breads, pastries, sugar, rice and wheat products) and eat ethically. We will reintroduce all vegetables (potatoes, legumes etc) as if we do manage to set up an off-grid small holding in the future, we will be able to cultivate our own produce (we just wont set up our own fiscal-based community so that Humanity 2.0 doesn’t go the same way 1.0 went!). We will also make sure that we exercise every day, even if some days are lighter than others. We will maintain our course too for spiritual enlightenment, continuing our quest for knowledge and peace via yoga, meditation and cosmic discussions with like-minded individuals.

Pros

Reduced body weight
Reduced bloating
Reduced alcohol intake
Reduced sugar intake
Reduced toxicity
Reduced fatigue
Reduced cravings
Reduced profits of “Big Corpa”
Improved sustainability
Improved culinary skills
Improved exercise regimes
Improved mental stability
Improved willpower
Improved vigour to live life differently
Improved likelihood to live off-grid

Cons

Increased expenses
Increased food preparation time
Reduced food choices
Negative attitude of others

Conclusion

The pros of paleo far outweigh the cons in our opinion and on that basis we would highly recommend paleo or paleo-lite (80/20 rule). Even if one did it for one or two weeks per month, the benefits are there in abundance. In the immortal words of Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys “Suck it and see, you never know”…