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The Business of Primal Health Coaching

Primal Health Coaching

There’s that old saying, words to the effect that “you are what you think about all day long.”  It might be better said, you become what you think about all day long.

As most of the long-time readers will know, Geri and I have been very serious about our health since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease of the thyroid in mid-2014.  I’ve been moving along the ancestral health path for almost 5 years now, and it has been an amazing journey.  Some bread crumbs have been left along the way, here and here.  Even before 2014 I was in search of the trail-head for about five years, and in that search one of the first books I came across was The Primal Blueprint.  More recently you might have noticed that I’m a student at the Primal Health Coach Institute; both the book and the course are the creations of Mark Sisson and his team.

It’s no coincidence that “Health” is one of the three elements of “The Purpose.”  Like most “vision” or “mission” statements, ours was aspirational, which is to say we weren’t necessarily being all, or indeed any of those things when “The Purpose” was drafted in June of 2015. You become what you think about. All. Day. Long. Read more

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Blood Glucose Experiment n=1

Blood Glucose Experiment Design

This experiment is an “n=1,” which is to say that it was an experiment on me, and in this case by me.  For the design I went with the recommendations of Chris Kresser, made in a 3-part series of posts:

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Thoughts On Diet and Health

Diet and Health – A Journey

diet and health

The diet and health bookshelf, part 1

What Am I Going to Tell You?

I’m going to tell you that what you put in your mouth is of paramount importance.  You can make remarkable, and swift, improvements to your health and fitness.  Even at what you might now consider to be “later stages of life.” You are in control.  You can do it.  In fact, you alone can do it.  No one can do it for you, and you cannot “do it” for anyone else.  With that having been said, strap on, we’re going for a ride. Read more

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Sustainable Heat – Year 2 of Our Journey

Sustainable Heat; Resilient Home Heating Systems

Central Boiler Classic Edge 750

Central Boiler Classic Edge 750

Our home was built in the early 70’s, and I have to say, it’s infrastructure, particularly the foundation, crawl space, attic, septic system, electrical system, plumbing, and HVAC systems, were not well thought-out, executed, or maintained.  So far, the only item on that lengthy list that we have not at least substantially addressed, is the foundation.  The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) was particularly inefficient, unreliable, and costly.  Sustainable heat: Not.  We inherited from previous owners, an old propane-fired forced air heating system, using two package units (you usually see these used industrially, the entire heating and air conditioning apparatus is outside the house, only ducting and wiring connecting it to the house), with installed electric baseboards as “back-up,” I suppose you could say.  The first time the propane-fired forced air system failed, due to operator error I might add, we learned that the electric baseboards were not capable of bringing the house up to even 45°F; they’ve not been energized since.  So what have we done, and what are we doing, to improve the sustainability and resilience of a system for providing sustainble heat?  Read on for the details. Read more

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Making a Living, and a Life

What Making a Living Looks Like from Here

Massive lifestyle change; that’s what it looks like.  Living closer to the land means that the days of a single-point source of income is only history, and has little, and hopefully no place, in the future.  There are at least a couple of reasons for that, the first that come to mind are:

  • Time.  In the end, that’s one of the few things you have, and precious little of it.  A “job” simply takes too much time away from everything else that matters; family, friends, community, health, the land, and so on.  A job is what I call a “mutually exclusive circle,” which is to say that usually, your family, friends, the community, your health, and that of the land, are not a part of it, they’re not inside the job circle.  Where does that leave those people and things?
  • Earning money at a job is taxed heavily, relatively speaking.  That means that what you earn is significantly devalued simply by virtue of how you earn it, especially if that something results in a W-2.  The Feds take a big fraction, the States follow suit.
  • Then, most of what you buy with what you earn is also taxed, the earnings on your savings, if any, are taxed, etc.  And let’s not forget the systematic devaluation of the dollar.  All-in-all, it’s a Win-Lose proposition, and the earner/saver is not on the Winning side of the equation.
  • Resiliancy?  Not.  With a single-point source of income you are generally employed at the whim of your employer; it’s called “at-will” employment; your will, and more importantly in this context, your employer’s will.  You can be let go for more or less any reason, or no reason at all, eliminating your single-point source of income.
  • Passive income.  Nope.  With a job, typically, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.  Especially as we age, it is important to have streams of income that do not require our active participation.  You know, like book royalties, or rent from that spare space in your barn; gifts that keep on giving.

At least that is the belief system I operate under.  So what does that mean?

Primal Woods
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White-Tailed Deer Tree Stand Safety

Fall Prevention and Tree Stand Safety

Tree Stand Safety – Background

Hunting is obviously not one of our three lines of business, Sawyers, Sugarers, or Soapers, but it is part of what I refer to as Primal Woods Life, and it is About Us!  Indigenous peoples have not been particular about food, other than to ensurethat it was safe and nutritious, so they ate what the land had to offer; plants and animals.  In the midwest, White-Tailed Deer are a part of the fat of the land, and so they are a part of how we now sustain ourselves.  If you want to know more about White-tailed Deer and their conservation, check out the post I wrote, Top 7 Messages from The Land Ethic Reclaimed.  Hunting safely is about your Health, and it is about your Community, including your family and friends.  I argue that you cannot afford to get hurt, and your friends, family and community cannot afford for you to get hurt.

Tree Stand Safety at Primal Woods

Part and parcel of hunting white-tailed deer in this part of the country, are tree stands.  Now I religiously wear my safety harness in all ladder stands that I hunt from, regardless of height, which ranges from 12-15 feet.  I don’t care who you are, a fall from that height can hurt you, badly.  However, the safety harness only protects you once you are in the stand, not when climbing to, or descending from the stand.  We inherited a high “hang-on” stand from a tresspasser a few years ago, and this stand requires some additional safety considerations.  The seat of the stand is about 25 feet above the ground, and access is not via a typical ladder, but rather by use of a “climbing stick,” which is strapped to the tree.

tree stand safety fall prevention

Yup, that qualifies as a long drop

This tree stand requires 16 feet of climbing stick, and another 8 feet or so of “tree steps,” which are screwed into the tree.

tree stand safety tree step

An example of a “tree step”

Tree Stand Safety – Fall Prevention

Now, let in be said, I’m not a big fan of heights.  And I am certainly not interested in falling from 20 or 25 feet while trying to access this tree stand, or worse yet, while climbing down from this tree stand in complete darkness and the dead of winter.  So, today I installed the Gorilla Gear Fall Defense G-Tac Fall Defense Line Tree Rope.  That’s a mouthful.  It is the larger rope on the right side of the climbing stick in the photo.  This piece of safety equipment uses a curious knot, called a “Prusik Knot,” which you can slip up or down as you climb or descend, but which pulls tight and arrests your fall if the knot is put under tension by the force of your fall.

tree stand safety Prusik knot

Prusik Knot in the Gorilla Gear Fall Defense Line

A carabiner attaches your safety harness to the Prusik knot when climbing or descending.  The green and white in the larger black rope is reflective.

The other rope in the picture, on the left, is what I call a haul rope.  Again, this is tied off up at the stand, but is equipped with carabiners at the ground-end to allow the hunter to leave his gear on the ground, attached to the haul rope; freeing his hands for climbing.  Then, once the hunter is safely situated in the stand, with safety harness attached, the gear is hauled up.  So both ropes, for fall prevention and for hauling gear up to the stand, are important from a safety perspective.

Ok, all for now.  I just wanted to get out a quick note, asking you to care for yourselves, and by association, your family and friends.  Take safety seriously.

All the best, and kind regards,

John

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What’s Coming from Primal Woods – Subscription Box

Primal Woods Life Subscription Box

Concept: Primal Woods Life Subscription Box

So, what’s with the subcription box?  Just another marketing gimmick?  If selling what we are up to, what we make, the services we provide, and how we are choosing to live, is a marketing gimmick, then I stand guilty as charged.  I’ll be as authentic as I can. The listing of the reasons, albeit incomplete, will be in no particular order.  “The Box” as I have come to call it, will be sold from our Shop, and at least in my own mind, will provide:

For Our Customers, and Our Community:

  • A “curated” (like we run a museum or an art gallery or something, ha!) box of goodies, hand-picked by us, or of our own making,  but regardless, consumed by us.
  • Access to subscriber-only Blog posts (more on this later).
  • The opportunity to support Our Purpose, which is why we are here after all.
  • Direct access to the suppliers of products or services included in “the Box.”
  • An opportunity to join us, on this mother-of-all-journeys that we are on.
 Our Purpose | Primal Woods

Value – Health – Generosity, In Person – In Community – In Life’s Work

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Paleo f(x) 2017 #pfx17 Recap – 4 Recommendations for Radically Improving Health

Clockwise from Upper Left: Michelle and Keith Norris, Geri & John in the #pfx17 afterglow, Robb Wolf, Dr. Josh Axe, Abel James and family, Abel James

Geri and I made the trip to one of our favorite towns, Austin, TX, for Paleo f(x) 2017. It was worth every penny.  And as I began to put this post together, a now-familiar problem came to the fore, that being an inability to separate “Paleo,” as it relates to our diet, and more, from our lives in general, and from Primal Woods in particular. By the way, I am using the word “diet” as defined, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” That is to say, not as some temporary aberration, defined as, “a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.” In other words, our diet is not a weight loss plan, it is part of our lifestyle. So, I will be sharing our experience at #pfx17 in the larger context of what we are up to at Primal Woods, and in our lives.
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A Calling

This post is along the same lines as my first, from back in February of 2014, titled “Spring 2013: In the Beginning…”  Focused on introspection, what’s going on inside, as opposed to the “how” of this or that.  Like all of us, consciously or not, I have been on something of a personal development journey, and the past 6 years or so, with Geri’s huge impact on my life, the speed of development has increased dramatically, and we have been on the journey together.  <Now some might say, “what personal development?”  Ha!  Well, if that is you, I will just remind you that there is this blind spot we all have, called “what I don’t know that I don’t know.”  And in this case you should thank God for that!>  As we have eliminated a lot of the noise from our lives, attracted the positive and eliminated the negative, systematically, and with intention, we have been able to feel and hear ourselves with increased sensitivity, it seems to me.  The most recent example of this for me, was Facebook.  It just had to stop, so for those of you wondering about my silence, there you have it.  The homestead Facebook page is still being maintained, but I have not been on my personal page in several weeks.  It has made a huge difference; I have a lot more stillness in my life.  That is not saying anything bad about Facebook, and there are certainly great aspects of the experience, which I miss, but for me it became just another addiction, and I invested more time and energy in it than I should have.  The point is, after eliminating a lot of modern day distractions, TV being the first several years ago, the resulting quiet is gorgeous.  In the space left behind is the work, and a state of more heightened awareness of ourselves is a key benefit of “doing the work,” as Geri likes to say, on ourselves and our relationships. Read more