I'm Darryl Edwards, a movement therapist, paleo nutritionist, blogger and published author of "Paleo Fitness" based in London, England.  This blog documents my experiences with a primal lifestyle that has made me fitter and healthier in my forties than ever before.  I am a contributor to Paleo Magazine and presenter at various symposiums such as Paleo:f(x), PrimalCon, AHS (Ancestral Health Symposium) and other events globally.

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Reading List
  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner
  • The Paleo Solution
    The Paleo Solution
    by Robb Wolf

    Paleo for weight loss, performance and disease prevention. Read my full review here.

  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky

    The impact of too much stress in our lives - impotence, obesity, heart disease and much more...

  • The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    by Mark Sisson

    Usually we have to go back to basics to progress, this is a great place to start!

  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp

    "Think about the toxic chemicals you put onto your body, and are exposed to on a daily basis.  Frankly, quite worrying..."

  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans

    First published in the mid 1990s.  Amongst other things, disputes the 'fat intake causes obesity' argument and reasons why the high carb/low-fat diet doesn't work.

  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall

    An inspirational read, whether you are a 'runner' or not.  This book also investigates why expensive 'cushioned' running shoes increases the likelihood of injury.

  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan

    An insight into real, simple and nutritious food.  Insightful.

  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan

    An excellent, non-scientific common sense quick reference to the often confusing question : "What should I eat?"

  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain

    An alternative to Cordain's first book "The Paleo Diet" if who want to consider the impact of Paleo on athletic performance.  It is geared towards endurance athletes but an interesting read nonetheless.

  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith

    I'm an omnivore.  I believe it is healthy to eat naturally-reared meat, non-farmed fish as well as a wide variety of fresh vegetables.  This book is an interesting read and has a lot to say about why becoming a vegetarian isn't necessarily the best option for humans.  However read this, do your own research and make up your own mind.

  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon

    A discussion about the complex nervous system working in the gut, which produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin.  In fact much more serotonin is produced in the gut than the brain!

  • The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    by James Le Fanu
  • Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    by Bee Wilson
  • Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    by M.F. Greaves
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain

    This provides extraordinary insight into the reasons behind adopting a paleolithic diet.  Some aspects are controversial and many may feel it is too dogmatic.  I have often gone back to this book and re-read it for clarification as Dr Loren Cordain is often mis-quoted.  There is now a revised edition (2010 edition) to counter some of its earlier criticisms, this is an excellent resource and a must-read for any one serious about paleo nutrition.

  • Lore of Running
    Lore of Running
    by Tim Noakes

    This book offers a comprehensive insight into the science, coaching and discipline of running.  Energy systems, coaching and training.  Often quoted as the bible of running.

My name is Darryl Edwards, founder of Fitness Explorer Training.  I am a fully qualified REPS Level 4 Personal Trainer (specialising in Movement Therapy).  I also work as a Nutritionist focussing on Paleo/Primal Nutrition for disease prevention, health, body composition, performance and well-being.  I am based in London, England.  

I have certifications which include:

  • Gym Jones L3
  • MovNat Certifed Trainer (MCT)
  • Crossfit;
  • C2 Indoor Rowing;
  • Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning
  • Premier Sports Conditioning Instructor
  • POSE running L1 (coached by Dr Nikolai Romanov);
  • Olympic Lifting.  

My main focus is Natural Movement, Evolutionary Fitness and Paleo Nutrition.  But I have lots of influences.  I have also had the pleasure of being coached by Frank Forencich (Exuberant Animal), Erwan Le Corre (MovNat) and Robb Wolf (The Paleolithic Solution) leading lights in this fascinating future/past of well-being.  I also enjoy the work of Mark Sisson, Art De Vany and other inspirational figures in the world of primal fitness and lifestyle.

I combine all of the above influences - to teach groups and conduct one-to-one training sessions, focussing on bodyweight exercises, strength/conditioning and play.

 


Philosophy:

In terms of my philosophy - a few years ago I watched the movie 300 and was fascinated by the training programme these guys undertook and the Spartan 300 challenge.

At the time their trainer Mark Twight, from the legendary GymJones remarked that the actors work as if they were preparing for battle.  Not just training in the arts of handling a sword and shield, but general preparedness for anything.  

From that moment on I viewed my training requirements, as being prepared for anything - and looked to vary training as much as possible with suitable rest, nutrition, recovery and stress management.

I now believe that fitness is a journey, not a destination.  The process is equally if not more important than the result.  

Fitness is not a type of gym class, quick-fix supplement, elitist regime or a prescribed list of activities.  These may help us to get 'fitter' but not fit.  Fitness is not about form, i.e. how good one looks.  It's about function: meaning the ability to perform everyday and occasional extraordinary tasks efficiently and effectively.  It includes being fit in the mind and body, and is ultimately about health and well-being. 

I was like most children prior to the playstation generation.  I played outdoors a lot, enjoyed sports, for competition (or fun) and enjoyed being active.  Then onto adulthood, I sat behind a desk as a computer programmer and everything slowed down...    

Several years ago I decided that was going to change, my increase in activity would work around modern constraints.  I was just going to explore more movement, brief periods of peak output with low-level movement that wouldn't lead to chronic levels of stress production and a lack of motivation.

"Movement is Medicine" -- anon.

The Modern Age

With the use of current forms of transport, communication, labour/time-saving devices (and even conventional gym equipment) - these restrict or reduce our requirement to move.  We often feel we have no choice, many people have to work and live in the real-world of time constraints, motivational challenges and to explore or question the options available at their disposal.

We are bombarded with artificial foods, toxic substances and marketing budgets telling us what is healthy on a daily basis.  Food has become a derivative by-product of itself rather than the wholesome goodness that naturally exists.  Refined, modified and artificially enhanced to the detriment of replenishing and re-fuelling the body.

The Antidote

However there are things we can do to minimise the negative impacts of the modern age.  This is what I intend to investigate.  

This blog is about me sharing my journey, what I think works and what I think doesn't.  This doesn’t mean MY lifestyle will work for you.  But that it will hopefully trigger enough curiosity for you to explore the type of lifestyle that leads to better activity choices and healthier decisions.

Sometimes we want to make this more complicated then they need to be.  Where as in most cases the answer is simple.  Eat real food, lift heavy things and move with brief intermittent periods of very high intensity and lots of play...

The Scope

My terms of reference are vast.  I will experiment, play with different types of movement, from dance, to strength and conditioning, attempt different types of sports, try modern forms of urban movement such as parkour - you name it I want to try it.  Some things I enjoy, some I am good at - many areas I am not so good at, other things I may despise.  But does it really matter?  Variety is the spice of life and I am happy being a generalist when it comes to movement.  I want to share the happiness and health benefits that derive from this exploration.  Not using movement as a form of indirect punishment or as a specialism to the detriment of other areas of fitness or life.

I aim to teach as much as I am willing to learn.  I recognise the collaborative efforts of many to make this venture possible and I wish to find my own path.  It is unlikely my views won't change in future.  But I am having fun with this primal exploration.  As Einstein once said:

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
-- Albert Einstein