Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Sep

Grokfeast in Colorado

On September 11th I asked Mark’s Daily apple readers to host a Grokfeast (a picnic/party celebrating the Primal lifestyle) and to send me the results. The following is one of 14 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow courtesy of US Wellness.

We are two active Primal families, who are lucky enough to live in Green Mountain Falls, a great small town in the Colorado mountains. We love where we live. We can hike the trails from our backyards. It has been an interesting summer for us all. Both of our Dads are volunteer firefighters and they put the Primal lifestyle and CrossFit to the test, helping protect our town from the Waldo Canyon Fire. The fire line came within less than a mile from our homes, and a month later, flooding in the area from the burn scar destroyed our school playground. Happily, we are all safe and continue to enjoy our mountain playground!


Our inspiration for the day came from the action song, “We’re going on a bear hunt”, but we changed it to, “We’re going to our Grokfeast!” Before we feasted, we hiked a local trail, Cascade Falls. Weather was great, not too hot, but not too chilly. There were some amazing views of the orange, red, and gold leaves scattering across the landscape. We had a small creek right next to the trail the entire time, and it added to the experience and made it even more beautiful (if possible).

The Grokfeast was great. We had meatloaf stuffed zucchini, topped with homemade garlic mayonnaise (aka, aioli). That was the best! Then we had a Big App Salad (as in Mark’s Daily Apple): it had mushrooms, bacon, cheese, home grown greens, tomatoes, macadamia nuts, apples, sugar snap peas, carrots and avocado, served with homemade grapefruit vinaigrette. For dessert, we had dark-chocolate covered strawberries with shredded coconut and mini dark chocolate chips on top. It was all delicious!


It was almost all enjoyable, but one of the kids was playing on the monkey bars at the playground (at the trailhead) and she fell on her face and hurt her wrist. Since she couldn’t use one of her wrists (only temporarily) she was cutting some of her meatloaf with one hand and she accidentally splattered all her zucchini and meat drippings onto her face, lap, and shirt. Otherwise, it was great!

Hikingandclimbing ifGrokcoulddoit

Preparing for and celebrating Grokfeast was really fun. We all had a blast! We got to wear leopard print accessories and pick up heavy things and hike. It was definitely Primal fun!

Written By:
Sage Stevens, age 12
Madeline Butts, age 12



We’re going to our Grokfeast!
We’re going on to our Grokfeast!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
I’m excited – Are you?
Me too!

I see a mountain
I see a mountain
Sure is tall
Sure is tall
Can’t go around it
Can’t go around it
Can’t go through it
Can’t go through it
Better move slowly up it
Better move slowly up it!

We’re going to our Grokfeast!
We’re going on to our Grokfeast!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
I’m excited – Are you?
Me too!

We’re hiking by some heavy things
We’re hiking by some heavy things
Better lift them up
Better lift them up
That felt great!
That felt great!

We’re going to our Grokfeast!
We’re going on to our Grokfeast!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
We’re gonna have some Primal fun!
I’m excited – Are you?
Me too!

Hey! Wait! I think I smell something
Hey! Wait! I think I smell something
I smell protein – Sage
I smell fats – Maddie
I smell veggies – Elizabeth
I smell fruit – Coco

The Feast


The Menu:

  • Big App Salad – (the G-rated version of the Big Ass Salad) with baby kale, greens from our garden, nitrate-free bacon, bell peppers, Dubliner Kerrygold cheese, mushrooms, macadamia nuts, apples, carrots, avocados, snap peas and tomatoes; grapefruit/olive oil vinaigrette;
  • Meatloaf stuffed calabacitas:  locally grown calabacita squash, stuffed with grass-fed ground beef mixed with pastured ground pork, Italian spices, garlic and onions;
  • Paleo ketchup and homemade paleo garlic mayonnaise (recipe for mayo follows)
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries: organic strawberries, dipped in dark chocolate, topped with Good Life dark chocolate mini-chips and shredded coconut;
  • Mineral water, collected from Wheeler Spring in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Garlic Mayonnaise, aka Aioli:



  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 organic eggs, preferably from pasture-raised chickens*
  • 2 cups olive oil, non extra-virgin
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 grinds fresh pepper


One quart glass storage container, sterilized by washing, rinsing, and then filling with boiling water. Pour out the boiling water and do not touch the inside again.

*It is very important to have clean hands and clean containers and utensils when making mayonnaise since your eggs will be raw. Always use a clean spoon for serving and no double-dipping!

  1. Break the eggs into a clean glass container; add the lemon juice and vinegar and cover until they come up to room temperature.
  2. Pour the egg/acid mixture into a blender or large food processor; add ½ cup olive oil.  Blend on high until the mixture is a creamy yellow.
  3. Add the spices and garlic, and continue blending.
  4. Slowly* drizzle in the rest of the oil while the blender/processor is running. Allow several minutes to add all the olive oil.
  5. Place the mayonnaise into the clean container and close with the lid. Refrigerate.

Your mayonnaise should keep for approximately 2 weeks in the fridge, but you will eat it all up before then because it tastes great on everything.

*Primal living is about slowing down sometimes; pour that oil slowly – just a thin drizzle.  You will get a slight arm workout from holding the full measuring cup while slowly drizzling the oil – bonus!


The Tribe

Kelly Butts, Michael Butts, Madeline Butts, Elizabeth Butts
Molly Stevens, Tyler Stevens, Sage Stevens, Coco Stevens, Della Stevens (D-Dog)


You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Great job, girls! (and your parents too). Looks like you all had a wonderful time!

    NJ Paleo wrote on September 29th, 2012
  2. You guys rock! Hope you win the cow!

    Charlotte wrote on September 29th, 2012

    Mac & Jeannie wrote on September 30th, 2012
  4. Primal happenings right here in River City! I support you all and thank you so much for the educatiion and for learning a new work – Grokfest.

    Good luck. Chris

    Chris Frandina wrote on October 1st, 2012
  5. Congratulations Iowa!

    Thank you MDA and crew for this opportunity. The true prize is much more than a cow and everyone who participated is a winner!

    Big, BIG Thanks to Sage, Coco, Maddie, Lizzy, Molly, Tyler and Michael. I am honored to be your friend, Mom and wife.

    Kelly in Colorado wrote on October 2nd, 2012
  6. What an amazingly-beatufil area you guys live in. So glad you’re able to take advantage everything the Nature has to offer:)

    chocolatechip69 wrote on October 2nd, 2012

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