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Angie Needels / Director / 510-325-4785



Berkeley, CA


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Nourishment and Support for Growing Families

Filtering by Tag: Primal Mama

Kid Friendly Nourishing Savory Snacks - Part 1

Angie Needels

Want to offer your kids more healthy snack options that are easy to grab and go and will support their development, learning, play, immune and sleep? 

All of these snacks are based on a traditional way of eating, so they are either pastured, raw, cultured/fermented, and/or have healthy fats and proteins in them to bring in lots of great nutrients that will aid in keeping your child(ren) healthy and ready for another day. Many of these snacks can easily be made at home, bought in stores or online.

Please always consider the highest quality organic or pastured (no herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones or GMOs) foods for your family as an investment in your health. Reference our Traditional Foods on a Budget post to find out plenty of ways to make eating high quality whole foods easier on your pocketbook.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts with more snack ideas and simple recipes.
Next post = Kid Friendly Nourishing Beverages & Sweet Snacks... yum!

Want more ideas? Got Questions? Let me know!


beef jerky / beef sticks
turkey jerky
salmon jerky, cured lox, or smoked salmon chunks
shrimp bites / niboshi (tiny dried sardines or anchovies)
hot dog bites

mini meatballs (beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken or mixed) with organ meats and veggies
chicken / turkey tenders with nut crust
sausage bites
liver pate on cucumber slices and other charcuterie
crispy chicken skins or pork rinds
bacon chips, salami chips, and prosciutto chips
roasted or cured sliced meats (roast beef, turkey, chicken, salami, etc.)
meat and cream cheese 'rolls'                                                                                                      
soft, hard or deviled pastured eggs
frittata bites or mini egg/cheese/meat muffins
parmesan chips "frico" (recipe below)
homemade savory crackers made with herbs, nuts, seeds, and cheeses
sprouted nuts and seeds / trail mix
veggie crudite (cut carrots, radish, snap peas, celery, etc.) with nut/seed butters, dips
sun-dried tomatoes
lacto-fermented dill pickle ‘sticks/chips’
olives (fresh or dried)
nori sheets /seaweed roll-ups
dried veggies chips (plantain, kale, brussel sprout, sweet potato, beet, mushroom)
teff injera bread 'chips'
popcorn with butter or coconut oil
pao de quejio (Brazilian cheese bread)
kabalagala (
plantain fritters)

Links for sourcing:
First check your local farmer's market. Many vendors make the markets diverse in ingredients and are conveniently in your neighborhood. For example...
HERE is the Berkeley Farmer's Market Vendor Directory. 
HERE you can find the closest Farmer's Market in your neck of the woods.

Vital Choice = seafood
US Wellness Meats = beef sticks, pork rinds
Grass-fed Beef Crisps / Jerky Chews / Caveman Fuel = jerky
Epic Bars = pemmican style snack bars
BackyardCSA = weekly traditional foods grocery with a variety to choose from
The Local Butcher Shop (Berkeley) = jerky, meat sticks and lots of charcuterie
Tara Firma Farms = (SF Bay Area) sliced deli meats
Thistle Meats = (Petaluma) sliced deli meats, pate
Sonoma County Meat Co.  = (Santa Rosa) meat

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Savory Parmesan Chips (Frico)

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons of fresh herbs (optional)
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

(optional) Toast sesame seeds in small skillet over medium heat, tossing continually until lightly browned.

Toss all ingredients in a small bowl. Make small clumps (approximately 1-2" in diameter) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. They will be crisp once cooled. 

Enjoy as crackers or chips. 

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From the Old Ways,
Primal Mama

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Thanks to Nom Nom Paleo for a super fabulous kid friendly snack foods image! We heart you!

Traditional Food on a Budget

Angie Needels


It can seem expensive initially when making the change to eating healthy, pure foods. However, there really are ways it can be done more economically and I'm happy to share a few things that have worked well for me and my family.

Consider eating whole foods as an investment in your health. By eating well and supporting your health, you'll have less out-of-pocket expenses on doctor's visits, missed days at work and expensive medications or supplements.

  1. Remember that you will be saving money on processed stuff you won’t be buying anymore! This is huge when you think about how much sugary boxed cereals cost, how quickly you can go through money on eating out/fast food and how expensive other packaged foods are.
  2. Meal planning. Try to sit down once a week and get a general plan for what you’ll be making for meals, then make a grocery list. If you have a thorough list, it really does cut down on the impulse buys and your time.
  3. Make foods at home. Homemade items like breads, crackers, creme fraiche/sour cream, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, salad dressings, condiments, soups, casseroles and snacks can be much cheaper made at home.
  4. Keep your kitchen well stocked and organized. Have extra staples on hand, so you don't have to do last minute trips to the store or pay high prices at the 'corner store'. You can keep a 'cabinet and/or freezer inventory list' on your fridge telling you what you have on hand. It may cost more in the beginning to do this; however, it will save you considerably over time.
  5. Shop at the farmer's markets. Decreasing the distance from the food source to your table, is not only more beneficial for our bodies and for our environment, it is easier on the budget by cutting out the middle man and the cost of fuel. Also, you can give yourself a budget to stick within much easier when shopping at the farmer's market. Simply allot an amount of cash you can spend and when your pocket is empty, pack up and go home. If you want even further discounts on produce, shop toward the end of the day at the farmer's market and many farmers will reduce their prices so they don't have to take their goods back to the farm. *** NOTE *** If you use food stamps or EBT for buying your foods, many farmers markets will accept those as payment now. In Berkeley they also have an amazing program called Market Match where you'll get extra free dollars to spend on produce if you use your EBT there.
  6. Buy in bulk and/or join a local co-op, buying club or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). When you buy yourself or split orders with friends, you can take advantage of deeper savings in buying in bulk and larger quantities. This can include butchered pasture raised meats, fats and oils, dried pantry goods and spices, fresh produce for drying, canning or freezing, supplements and so much more. Check out: Azure Standard and even CostCo is carrying organic products. We'll be adding a Sourcing Page to MamaKai's Wellness Resource Library in the near future, so please check back soon to find loads of great places to buy high quality ingredients.
  7. Plant a garden. Gardening is very affordable when done from starter plants and even more so when starting from seeds. Even those of you with limited space can have container gardens or fresh herb planters and subsidize your overall food costs. Take pleasure in watching your food grow right before your eyes and pick/eat it when its perfectly ripe for maximum nutrition.
  8. Buy whole foods when on sale, discounted or with coupons. Plan your meals around what whole foods are on sale. Certain stores have specific days/times when things might be on sale, ask your preferred grocers and they'll let you know their schedule. There are plenty of recipe apps, magazines and websites that you can search to find new recipes to make with the ingredients that you find on sale. Crop Mobster is a listserve which alerts you when farmer's have an abundance of produce that they need to sell quickly at discounted prices.
  9. Buy the inexpensive cuts. When buying meats, buy and use more of the cheaper cuts like ground, stew meat, shoulder cuts, roasts, shanks, organs, bone-in and sausages. Because these generally have more fats, cartilage, bones and marrow and take longer to cook they are actually going to be healthier. They'll have a wider make-up of nutrients and those nutrients will be more accessible through slow cooking techniques. Not to mention they'll be much more flavorful and comforting to eat. 
  10. Buy whole pieces of meat. A whole chicken or duck is much cheaper by the pound than the sum of it's parts. You can roast it whole to serve for a couple meals or take off the bone and add to soup or make a chicken salad. You can save all bones, skin and cartilage for making nutrient-dense broths.  
  11. Buy in Season. Out of season produce is more expensive because it is being shipped from other places. If there are things you might like to have on hand throughout the whole year, buy them in bulk when they are in season and either dry, freeze or can them for later use. Farmers have special pricing for full flats or if you buy a pound/s of a particular item.
  12. Make your own bone broths and include them in your cooking. Bone broths are very economical to make. Save bones, skin and cartilage from meat or ask for knuckle, neck, or shank/marrow bones from your butcher. Instead of buying broths that are laden with MSG and other substances to make it taste like broth, Nourishing broths are deeply healing and will make every dish (soup, stew, sauce, gravy or cooked grain) taste rich and comforting.
  13. Make meals in large batches and freeze leftovers. You can make a double batch of any dish you make. So if you're roasting a whole chicken for dinner, roast two instead. Eat one for dinner and save the other for another night. Or you can pick a day a month to make several dishes in large quantity. Package meals in single serving containers for lunches or quick dinners. Simply label the dish name, date, freeze it and thaw it later to balance with side dishes. 
  14. Eat out less. You can buy several meals at home for the price of one at a restaurant. When you make meals at home, you also know all of the ingredients that are used, that they are safe and healing for you and your family's health. Pay less and get so much more!  
  15. Pack your bag with snacks. Take a few minutes before you leave the house to pack a drink and a few nutrient-dense snacks to take wherever you go. This will help you avoid buying fast food or snacks from vending machines that not only add up in costs but are detrimental to your health.
  16. Pack or plan food for trips. By car, take a cooler and have lunch on a picnic table or in a park. By plane, bring non liquid foods like canned fish, beef jerky, cheese, cured meat, dried fruit, sprouted nuts/seeds, homemade crackers. Also save money by staying in a place with a kitchen & shop at local markets, AirBnB makes it easy to do this all over the world. Check out Local Harvest and the Eat Well Guide for more food resources at your destination spot.
  17. Eat a few balanced 'vegetarian' meals a week. Use plant or dairy 'proteins' and healthy fats by incorporating cheeses, yogurt, soaked/sprouted gluten-free grains, bone broth, lard, tallow, coconut oil and nuts/seeds in your meals. You can have very nutrient-dense options for considerably less. Our ancestors didn't eat meat everyday, so maybe we shouldn't either.
  18. Do the best you can and don't stress about it. Make the best food choices with the resources you have. If you can’t afford all organic or pastured meats all the time, make it a goal to add more in when your budget allows.

From the old ways,
Primal Mama

No More Sugar Blues - Starting the Year with a Sugar Detox

Angie Needels

It’s that time of year and many of you probably have some sort of exercise regimen, weight loss program or cleanse at the top of your New Year’s Resolution List. A sort of "hit the reset button" right? 

After the holidays and maybe indulging in sweet treats at work, holiday parties or family dinners, it's time for us to recalibrate our sweet tooth.

Let's do a little sugar detox. This can help increase all of our health goals for the new year.

It’s important to give our bodies a break from sugar and an over abundance of carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates in our diet are directly linked to fatigue, blood sugar issues, weight issues, brain fog, energy highs and crashes and much more.

In the old days, eating desserts or sugary snacks were a rare treat. Anything sweet that was eaten was from nature and coming with all the necessary components to digest and integrate the minimal carbohydrates in the most optimal way. However, in today's society we've come to expect sweet in our everyday life. By eliminating sugars even for a few weeks, your body can break this addictive cycle.

There are many ways to detox and reset your sweet cravings, here are couple:

2 Week Sugar Elimination - Remove all flours, sugars or sweeteners, including sugar substitutes and even natural sweeteners

Paleo Style Elimination Diet - Remove the above ingredients in the 2 Week Sugar Elimination as well as coffee, grains, beans/legumes, dairy, alcohol, and chocolate. So you're asking... "What the heck can I eat?" - Check out the Paleo dietary guidelines and meal plan generator in the link -

When eliminating sugars and carbohydrate rich foods from your diet, you force your body to use fats as a more sustainable source of fuel. Fats contain 9 calories versus the 4 in carbs. You'll find that your energy level is more sustained throughout the day, you have less crashes and a need for a sweet treat or cup of coffee in the afternoon. And not to mention you're body will start to burn the fats that you already have in your body, trimming you up and showing more of your natural muscle tone.

Below are links for more support. Feel free to email me if you've got questions along the way.

21 Day Sugar Detox -

Whole 30 Program -              

Whichever detox you choose, keep in mind that it may be rough the first few days. Sugar withdrawals are similar to the addictive nature of kicking a drug habit. Some of these symptoms include headaches, fatigue, cranky-ness, and digestive issues. Please be sure to take things slow and consider working with a health care provider if you have other health issues.

These detoxes are ideal as they are not depriving your body along the way like some cleanses do. These detoxes are very nourishing and re-building.

To support your body during this detox, consider: getting more sleep, supplementing with high quality liquid B Vitamins, cod liver oil/salmon oil, and minerals.

Happy detoxing and starting your new year off with no more sugar blues!

From the old ways,
Primal Mama

Welcome Primal Mama to MamaKai's Blog

Angie Needels

Happy New Year MamaKai Crew!

With the new year, comes new life galore.

Two months ago my hubby Scott and I welcomed our sweet baby girl Isabelle into the world via a safe and super healthy home birth. We are finding rhythm and balance with all of the great support our beloveds have shared with us. I'm finally feeling ready to emerge from the newborn cocoon and am OH SO EXCITED to get back to my mission here at MamaKai. 


With that, MamaKai's community continues to grow and great new things are stirring in the pot for 2015. I'm excited to expand our blog of great "mama" and "baby/child" related health and well-being topics by inviting our guest blogger, Primal Mama, to share in her expertise, passions and fun in being a health conscious mama with all of you. 

WELCOME Primal Mama... 

Look for more articles on:

  • Nutrition & Health
  • Homesteading
  • Children's Education
  • Sourcing
  • Product Reviews
  • Body & Home Care
  • Crafty Mamas
  • Sustainable Family
  • Recipes
  • Events & To Dos

Don't hesitate to let us know what you'd like to hear more about!

and here's a little from Primal Mama to get us started... 

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I’m Holly, also known as Primal Mama.

I've known Angie for several years now and am honored and excited to collaborate with her and to be a guest blogger here at MamaKai, being a resource for pregnant women and mamas. I hope to pass on some ideas and inspire optimal health and happiness in your family life.

In this modern world there are so many distractions and ‘new’ ways of doing things and often it can be a bit confusing, unhealthy, or even just downright complicated. With that I often try to understand the old ways or how our primal ancestors might have done things. Making decisions about what to eat and how to live based on these old world ways. I aspire to live simply, keeping my family healthy and as balanced as possible.

I am a nutritional therapist turned stay-at-home mama who is passionate and excited about health & wellness, food, crafts, family activities, DIY projects, nature-based education, and homesteading. 

In the new year, I plan on writing about these very same topics. All from a mama perspective... inclusive of kids and family dynamics... and sharing with you the many ways I've been able to keep my own family feeling energized and healthy.

I plan on sending out posts every other week or so. But as you probably know, we mamas need to be flexible and present... so that could wax and wane from time-to-time. Posts will be brief and to the point, giving you quick, digestible chunks of info and projects that you can in a manageable way. 

So stay tuned and don't forget to pass this on to all your mama friends too. 

From the old ways,

Primal Mama

Email me at with your thoughts, questions or feedback. I'm all ears!