Meet Darryl Edwards, a primal explorer, educator and entrepreneur who travels the world spreading his infectious love for moving like a kid. You may know Darryl as ‘The Fitness Explorer’ or you may be familiar with his training methodology ‘Primal Play’.
If you are lucky enough to participate in one of Darryl’s classes, prepare to have more fun than you’ve had in a long time. You’ll forget that you’re actually exercising and learning to move the body the way it was designed to move!
Darryl is the author of Paleo Fitness and runs a business called Fitness Explorer Training and Nutrition in London.
He will be visiting Australia in November and joining Paleo Foodies for a special dinner in Sydney on Thursday 6 November. Tickets are available here.
Briefly describe your path to ‘primal play’…
After trying to pursue a fitness regime through hard work and having significant success I realised there was one thing missing in my approach. That was intrinsic enjoyment. I loved the competition (as long as I was winning), I loved the goal setting and exceeding my objectives but I rarely enjoyed the process. Primal Play became a personal mission to find the equilibrium between fun and effective fitness through the vehicle of play.
How would you describe your personal philosophy towards food?
I follow a strict Paleo template as I find this works best for me. I commenced my Paleo journey because of health concerns rather than weight loss. This has enabled me to be more compliant and utilise Paleo as a lifestyle rather than a quick-fix every 30 days once in a while.
How do you balance good health while juggling a busy lifestyle?
A busy lifestyle and good health are not mutually exclusive. It just depends on what aspects of the busy lifestyle are potentially harmful to health. Long distance travelling and working for myself is a challenge as I may have to put in longer hours than a 9- or travel multiple time zones and deal with jetlag, etc. The best solution to tackle these so far has been to make sure I get the appropriate sleep and nap times when I can. Maintain good movement discipline and hack whatever I can do with my lifestyle to minimise any issues. This may mean taking melatonin; seeking no light periods and bright light at the right time; optimising my diet by sourcing and preparing foods in advance; tracking my sleep patterns and resting heart rate to make sure they are within acceptable tolerances; and recognising at the earliest opportunity when I need to slow things down. I also minimise sitting by using a DIY standing workstation to avoid sitting 8-10 hours a day on computer. I don’t claim to be a monk but I want my health to be a priority rather than just focusing on my business goals.
You travel a lot – what are your top five essential paleo ingredients when you’re on the road?
I usually purchase sardines, coconut oil, fresh fruit, ideally some Vitamin D from the sun and ensure that I get most of my hydration from water.
As a foodie, what are your favourite types of food?
Anything that is nutrient dense but is also tasty and satiating. I like well seasoned, spicy or marinated foods especially for meat and fish.
As a health leader, what would you say are the main challenges in people balancing nutrition, movement and a healthy lifestyle?
There are three main challenges in my opinion:
Firstly, the modern environment which offers a smorgasbord of unhealthy options at every turn. Whether that is the increase in convenience (whether food or labour-saving locomotive devices) that encourage us to do less but achieve more. For example less nutrient dense more calorifically dense but less fulfilling foods. Why go through the effort of walking when we can take the moving-walkway and stand still and get to out destination quicker? Of course technological advancement is good. But we have to look at all the costs.
Secondly, people are confused given that the science changes week-to-week and it is often conflicting or contradictory information.
Thirdly, modern medicine has an affinity for cure rather than prevention hence the proliferation of chronic lifestyle diseases that most of us only feel compelled to do something about when it is potential too late.
You have traveled the world sharing your passion with people. Can you tell us about your most memorable cooking and dining experience? Where was it, who was it with and what did you eat?
Recently I went to a restaurant in San Francisco called La Lucindas. A few friends who were attending the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS 14) went along. They served bone marrow, offal and the most incredible sea-bass with yukka (cassava) – very tasty. That was my favourite meal.
What’s your favourite ‘go-to’ healthy snack or meal at home?
Sardines, eggs and sautéed green veggies.
What are some of your favourite restaurants / cafes around the world and what do you like about them?
What’s your favourite motto / mantra that gets you out of bed in the morning?
I’ve still got plenty of ‘play’ to do…
If you could eat anything in the world, what would it be?
Baked red snapper fish, fried plantain, breadfruit, callaloo and ackee. Washed down with fresh coconut water.
Do you have a recipe that you can share with us?
Coconut Surprise, from my book Paleo Fitness (see below)
More about Darryl
Darryl Edwards is the founder of Fitness Explorer Training & Nutrition based in London, England is a blogger and best-selling author of “Paleo Fitness – Primal Training and Nutrition To Get Lean, Strong and Healthy.” Recognised as the leading exponent of the Paleo/primal lifestyle in the UK; including features in Men’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Top Santé, Elle, Men’s Fitness, The Daily Express, Health and Fitness magazine, New York Observer and BBC London. The Paleo lifestyle documentary “We Love Paleo” and a BBC Horizon documentary he is featured in are due for broadcast in 2015.
Coconut Surprise “Cereal” Recipe by Darryl Edwards
This breakfast dish serves a an option for those who might be missing cereal, yoghurt or muesli in the morning. It’s also far tastier than anything you can pour out of a cereal box!
1-1/2 cans organic coconut milk
2 bananas, sliced
2 handfuls chopped walnuts
1 handful whole cashews
1 handful unsweetened shredded coconut
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve. Serves two.