I'm Darryl Edwards (aka The Fitness Explorer), founder of Primal Play, this website is no longer being updated - please check out www.primalplay.com for current details on my work, passion and lifestyle approach.

What is Primal Play? 

Eat for Health, Move for Life!

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Reading List
  • Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    by Darryl Edwards

    Animal Moves

    • improve strength, speed and stamina
    • increase mobility, flexibility and stability
    • look, feel and perform better

    Find out more and details on how to purchase at www.animalmovesbook.com

  • Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    by Darryl Edwards

    "If you are looking for a simple way to better understand Paleo concepts, Darryl's Paleo from A to Z guide is the go-to resource.
    -Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple

  • 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

    "This book is a useful reference to enable individuals just starting out on the Paleo path as well as those who want to explore more challenging, playful and interesting ways to move."

    -Robb Wolf, New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Solution

     

  • 7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    by Darryl Edwards
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    by Mark Sisson
  • 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
  • Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    by Terry Wahls, Eve Adamson
  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans
  • 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
  • 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
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain
  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith
  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon
  • 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
  • Eat Drink Paleo
    Eat Drink Paleo
    by Irena Macri
  • Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    by Jimmy Moore, Eric C. Westman

Entries in Recovery (3)

Wednesday
May252011

Nutrition: Sweet Potato (A Paleo Exception)

Nutrition: Sweet Potato (A Paleo Exception)


Those who adhere strictly to a Paleo style diet can find their recovery or energy levels for activity can be hampered (especially) if they opt for ultra-low carbohydrate intake.  

It is important to fuel our bodies for activity, and to support recovery.  But it is often confusing as to what options are available to us as paleo or primal dieters who don't want to rely on high glycaemic foods (pasta, potatoes, rice, etc) to perform this task?

Well one alternative includes root vegetables (tubers) - such as yams and sweet potatoes.  These are neolithic foods but can be important as a means of achieving healthier calorific density in moderation.  Below I consider some benefits of the sweet potato.

The sweet potato is a moderate GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrate and is very high in Vitamin A (a fat-soluble antioxidant).  Vitamin A (beta-carotene) is what gives sweet potatoes the rich orange colour (some sweet potatoes are purple in colour).  

To maximise absorption of vitamin A ensure you have adequate fat with your meal to ensure the body is better able to utilise this antioxidant.

Interestingly a study several years ago of 10,000 Finnish smokers found that those with higher levels of Vitamin A (beta-carotene) in the blood had a lower incidence of lung cancer.  This was only the case with Vitamin A from natural sources though, not that coming from synthetic vitamin supplementation where lung cancer rates where actually found to be higher! [1]  Another reason to stick to natural sources for antioxidants!

In Loren Cordain's book "Paleo Diet For Athletes" the sweet potato is also considered as one of the better options for recovery from extended endurance work.  This book goes into great detail of nutrition for pre-, during and post-activity.

The sweet potato also includes Vitamin C, E, B6 - the micronutrients manganese, copper and traces of potassium and iron.  Anthocyanin is a colour related pigment which studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties another property supporting one's recovery from activity.[2] 

Here's a recipe for Sweet Potato Chips (using coconut oil for adequate fat intake).

Sources: 

[1] http://www.jrussellshealth.org/caveats_vit_min.html

[2] Effects of anthocyanin-rich purple potato flakes on antioxidant status in F344 rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Br J Nutr. 2007 Nov;98(5):914-21. Han KH, Matsumoto A, Shimada K et al.

Sunday
Sep122010

Workout: Active Recovery

Today a surprise!

Yesterday I was on a MovNat Seminar where I was physically challenged for most of the day (in conjunction with what I did last week) so feeling a little sore with DOMS.  

After a really hard workout it is tempting to want to stay in bed, sit around and watch TV, especially on a Sunday.  But sometimes it really is best to keep moving, otherwise you are likely to feel even worse.

Today I'm taking it easy.  But that does not mean I am doing nothing.  

Do something as simple as taking a stroll through the park (not jogging), an easy-going bike ride, doing some dynamic stretches or some light gardening.  No rush or heavy exertion, just take it easy.

By staying active on a 'rest' day: 

  • you keep the joints lubricated; 
  • relieve soreness and stiffness by increasing blood flow to the muscles;
  • aid in recovery from intense exercise/activity;
  • and also relieve stress.

Some days we do need complete downtime, other days we should train very hard.  But balance should be maintained to avoid training plateaus and to maintain well-being.  

Remember, active rest and recovery as part of your training: stay healthy and injury free.

Tuesday
Aug102010

Six Benefits of Rest

When embarking on a new workout regime and you start seeing great results.  There is often the tendency to overdo it.  I have fallen foul of this myself, and often fail to get adequate rest.  This is often cited:
"If I work out more frequently, or for longer than the results will surely be better?" - anon.

One thing is for sure.  High intensity workouts performed for 6-7 days a week, will definitely result in burnout, a lack of motivation, illness and injury.

Six benefits of rest:
  1. Aids Recovery:  a day or two off per week is required to allow bone, muscle, tendons and ligaments the time to recover and repair themselves.  Muscle growth occurs during rest periods, not during exercise;
  2. Keeps you healthy:  avoids the risk of the immune response being compromised due to over-training;
  3. Helps you sleep:  adequate sleep allows the mind to repair itself and develop new connections (useful when learning new skills, adaptations);
  4. Lowers stress: decreases abnormal levels of cortisol (stress hormone): This will allow alertness, productivity and general health to be maintained;
  5. More energy throughout the day:   adequate rest helps you avoid energy slumps during the day, ensuring workouts are more effective and efficient;
  6. Boosts brain function:  allows for better concentration and focus.

I often repeat the mantra: 

"There is no such thing as over-training, but under-resting."  

This is certainly true, and needs to be factored into your training regime - whatever it may be.

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