top of page
  • Writer's picturehlhowells

Primal at the Beach!

Summer is upon us. Although I’m happy to now be a mountain-dwelling individual, I grew up at the beach. I didn’t realize quite HOW MUCH I have been missing it . . . until I was amazingly lucky to get to go with my family last month, in May, to spend a week on the beaches of South Carolina. My husband’s parents went to a charity auction and won a week at a beach house there, and they generously invited us along.

I have to say: no matter how much you love what you do, vacation is always cooler. So, though I love my primal life in my home state of Colorado, I thought I should give you all a chance to see what primal living looked like for us in South Carolina!

Food first: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals

Super, super YUMM seafood was had. DAILY. FRESH.

Here are my crab cakes – made with my great-grandmother Effie’s Blue-Crab Cake recipe (I’m originally from Maryland, and we take crab cakes seriously). I made this recipe primal by just subbing in an extra egg in place of the traditional bread-crumbs, and it came out great.

Then, on my sister-in-law’s delightful and insightful request, we had an amazing shrimp boil one night!

Yes, I know, there’s corn in there . . . but sometimes a girl’s gotta cheat a little!

Possibly one of my favorite parts of the trip was taking my two young boys to pick fresh berries at Barefoot Farms. Zeb, the littlest one, had a whole-body bliss reaction to eating strawberries warmed in the sun. Plus, it was completely adorable that he didn’t realize for quite awhile that you could take the strawberries OFF the plants to eat them. He kept curling up in the field to eat the strawberries still on the plants.

Move frequently at a comfortable pace

During our week in South Carolina, I had to complete my final long-run in anticipation of my upcoming Trail Half-Marathon back in Colorado. I love running while I’m traveling – it gives me a chance to see a new place up close and personal, and scratches my explorer’s itch. My husband and I set off on this run during the hottest part of the day, while our kids were napping in the house with my in-laws.

Here is the run-tracker map from my watch that day . . . the map makes it look like we ran out in the middle of the ocean, but really there were just a lot of sandbars at low tide.

Then, after we ran on the beach as much as possible, we turned out of the development and ran part-way into Hunting Island State Park. This place is beautiful, and all the plants really make it look like Jurassic Park.

It was hot and muggy, that’s for sure. But I felt pretty great –

. . . until about mile 10, when I ran out of water and got really hungry. Fortunately, there were steamed shrimp in the fridge, back at the fort.

Lift heavy things

This may have been the best part. Or one of them. I usually Lift Heavy Things at home in my garage, where my pull-up rings are . . . or in my dining room while my children are climbing on me and my cats are trying to knock me out of a plank.

Well, at the beach there were no pull-up rings. But I just did extra planks, push-ups, and squats to make up for that. And I got to do all of this in these settings . . .

. . . here is the view from our porch, where I had one session of Lift Heavy Things.

. . . and here is the view from North Beach in Hunting Island State Park. Only a couple short miles from the rental house, this beach fast became my favorite. I found if I could get out there with the boys by 9am, then we were THE ONLY FAMILY ON THE BEACH. Wow. Best push-up location EVER. So . . . this was my view from my push-up or plank position for the other three Life Heavy Things workouts I did on the trip:

Sprint once in awhile

Isn’t this beautiful?

For my final work-out of the beach week, I had my husband stay with the kids on North Beach while I went sprinting back and forth through this gorgeous field of giant driftwood, just up the beach a few hundred yards. Barefoot, and in my bathing suit, I dodged some of these, and leapt over others.

I love to move frequently at a slow pace, but it has taken me a long time to stop hating sprinting. It’s been a very gradual process, but I’ve finally embraced it as something necessary and neutral, that I just have to do. This sprint work-out on the beach might be the first time I sprinted that I actually liked it!

Sleep when the sun sleeps; rise when the sun rises

We did this. It was so wonderful to sleep with no alarm. Here are the boys, in a state of utter peace.

Avoid Dangerous Things / Stupid Mistakes / Scary Beasties

Well, we may have flunked this one. Here’s a picture of Theo, my older son. Yes – he is TOUCHING A SHARK! (Courtesy of the fun fisherman on the beach who indulged our shark curiosity.)

Play, Connect with Others, Enjoy the Sun

We sure did! I hope you enjoyed this installment of Primal At The Beach!

Have you traveled, and found that your primal life-style made the experience just that much richer? Share some stories here in the comments!

42 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page