When my buddy Dani and I read about Grokfeast 2012 on Mark’s Daily Apple we thought: Primal food? Friends? Running around and playing like the 10 year olds we are? Sign us up!
So we rallied the troops. We are all at different points on the path towards health and wellness, but all are committed to eating clean, being fit and following the Primal Blueprint to the best of our abilities.
As our picnic spot, we chose the beautiful St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. I’m a volunteer there, so I’m a little partial. We decided to set up camp near the spillway where the manatees congregate in the winter, as it has a covered pavilion. Our typical summer weather pattern of rain, rain, and more rain has been well, typical and we wanted to be prepared. There is talk in some circles of Ark building.
You can’t beat the view. You may notice a bit of an odd geographic feature for South Florida in these pics. Hills! Yeah, we don’t normally have those down here. But thanks to the Army Corp of Engineers digging out this huge canal many years ago, we do. Which gives us one of the only places for miles around to do hill work and sled. Yes, sled. But we’ll get to that.
Before we feasted we decided to go on a hike.
A leisurely hike quickly devolved into hill races among the ladies.
Wonder Woman ain’t got nothing on us!
After some sprints up and down the hill we hiked further along to check out a new bridge connecting the two halves of the 32 square mile State Park.
Having worked up a bit of a hunger we were ready to head back and get to feasting!
We climbed the hill a couple of more times on the way back, being careful to sidestep the Gopher Tortoise holes. I decided to add a little more weight to my workout in the way of Dani’s pre-schooler. Improvisation can often times be key to a good workout.
Food! Cauliflower rice, Swiss Steak, Snow Peas, Chicken Legs, and so much more…but everyone’s favorite was of course… the Banana Bread. It was in a word… awesome. Two loaves disappeared in minutes.
As you can see in the pics we had a few Little Groks in our clan. Most in attendance are parents. It is vitally important to all of us that we not only make sure our kids eat right, but that they see us, as their parent’s setting a good example as well. Far too many parents have a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality when it comes to food and exercise. All three couples are dedicated to bucking that trend. My son Holden has seen me lose over 75 lbs in the past year and a half. Little Brianna will have been too young to remember when her mom lost over 90 lbs when she was a toddler, but the lessons we gleaned from the experiences and will pass on to them both will last a lifetime.
Holden enjoys getting his Grok on! He’s at least 80/20 Primal right now, since we were able to wean him off of the horrid school lunches. The forums on Mark’s Daily Apple and other Primal/Paleo blogs have been invaluable in helping to get and keep the whole family Primal without feeling like we are missing out on anything! You know, other than illness, lethargy and general malaise.
We shared recipe ideas, planned future outings and generally had a great time catching up. After the Little Groks finished eating they stole a Rubbermaid container lid and a cooler lid and went sledding. The locals keep a strip mowed for better sledding. What can we say? You do what you can when you don’t get any snow. Ever.
Once the big Groks had had their fill, we tossed a ball around for a while. There wasn’t any catching. Just throwing. This would be due to the fact that were using a 10 lb medicine ball. You can always tell when someone starts doing CrossFit-style workouts. Yeah, that would be us.
Before the weather got too questionable, we switched it up to a lighter ball and headed to the field behind the hill. We split into teams, boys vs girls (the husbands tried to convince us to go shirts vs skins, the wives being the skins). We played a few innings of really bad, but really fun kickball.
After all that, it was naptime.
No, not for the pre-schooler silly.
We had a blast. We ate, we played, and we enjoyed each others company. Recipes were swapped and workouts shared. It was an excellent opportunity to encourage each other on our journey to health and wellness. We thank Mark’s Daily Apple for inspiring us to put together the picnic as we are sure this is just the first of many more to come.
As promised, here is the recipe for the Banana Bread Dani made:
This is a complete list of the food we had:
- Chicken Drumsticks
- Prosciutto Wrapped Dates
- Turkey/Pepper/Spinach Roll-ups
- Red Cole Slaw
- Coconut Chicken
- Faux Tabouli (cauliflower rice)
- Lemon Bacon Snow Peas
- Primal Banana Bread
- Swiss Steak
- Fruit Salad
- 3 medium bananas (you want them brown and spotty)
- 1.5 cups roasted unsalted cashews
- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup of chopped walnuts (I love chopped nuts in banana bread.)
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place your cashews into food processor. Pulse until you get a fine cashew meal.
Add your walnut oil while your food processor is still on until you get a cashew butter.
Then peel your bananas, roughly break them up, and add to your food processor with your cashews. Turn your food processor on and let combine for a minute or so until you have a soupy paste.
In a large bowl, whisk your eggs, then; add your cashew/banana mixture along with almond meal/flour, baking soda and powder, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Mix to combine until you get a batter.
Grease a bread pan with some coconut oil.
Pour batter into your greased loaf pan. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes* or until bread is cooked through and the top of your loaf has a bit of a “crisp” to it.
*This time is for one bread pan, I used two disposable bread tins and only had to cook the loaves for 22mins and 30 seconds (strange I know, but it is what it is.) That way I had one loaf for the Primal gathering and one loaf for the Primal household.
Let bread cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
I got this recipe from PaleOMG.com, I added the walnuts and divided the loaves.
Patti Fuchs, Dave Fuchs, Holden Fuchs, Danielle Swindell, Christopher Swindell, Brianna Swindell, Dave Chestnut, Lindsay Chestnut , Thomas Lee, and Trisha Dolan.