Living to Eat While Eating to Live

Adventures in Paleo Cooking

My Paleo Journey

Believe it or not, I’ve been a vegetarian at two different times in my adult life!  Once in college for like a year when I was grossed out by some cafeteria chicken.  Then a year or two after college I read a book (I could honestly be persuaded into ANYTHING – hopefully that fun fact about me doesn’t take away the legitimacy of everything I’m about to say!), and became a vegan for 3 months, then proceeded to be a pescetarian for 4.5 years.  It’s pretty amazing to look back and think that that way of living made so much sense to me at the time, because the principles of a paleo/primal diet couldn’t be more opposite from the principles of a vegan one.

Which brings me to a point that I REALLY want to stress — everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  This is true in general but I’m referring specifically to opinions on food and nutrition.  Even though there’s plenty of studies to prove this or that, food is emotional, and some people will believe only what they want to and that is FINE!  I always say that talking about nutrition/food is comparable to talking about politics or religion… people get really emotional and into it and for the most part it usually becomes an argument — hopefully a healthy one, but an argument nonetheless.  Everyone’s views and values on food are different and that is okay… even my own values differ from day-to-day at times.  Sometimes all I want to do is have crusty bread, good cheese, salami and wine for both lunch and dinner… I sometimes give in to those desires, and it doesn’t ruin my life…. well it ruins it for about 8-12 hours after, but it’s not the end of the world.

With all that said, here’s some background…  My ex-husband, Pat, had always tried to eat fairly healthy.  He was really serious about working out, and would eat lots of eggs, lean meat, lots of veggies and huge portions of brown rice.  We had heard about paleo eating, but weren’t really sold, didn’t do much research and weren’t really interested.  At this time in my life I was a pescetarian and also didn’t eat eggs (!!!!! I KNOW – I honestly do not know how I survived this).  I was also eating oatmeal for breakfast just about everyday, eating what I thought was pretty healthy, and working out hard on my own at the gym Pat worked at.  Rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, cheese, legumes, cereal, soy milk, etc were all part of my regular diet.  I was and still am lactose intolerant, so other than certain cheeses and yogurt I didn’t really eat milk products.  I had a lot of stomach issues that I honest-to-God thought were just a normal part of life.  Bloated ALL the damn time, when I felt full I felt like I was going to explode, lots of chronic pain, etc.  As Pat started to get into CrossFit, we got the paleo way of eating thrown at us more and more.  I was convinced that as a pescetarian I could NEVER be paleo.  In early 2010 Pat and I went on vacation to Mexico with our CrossFit/paleo pioneer-friends and talked more about it.  I learned about the principles, why legumes are bad, and lots more.  That year I started trying some meat for the first time in years… believe it or not it was beef jerky that got me first.  We were at the CrossFit regionals in Albany where Pat and our pioneer-friends were competing and the jerky just smelled soooooo good (Mmmmm!!!).  Then, as weird as it sounds, Italian meats got me next – salami, pepperoni, prosciutto… YUM!   By the fall I was starting to take bites of Pat’s steaks.  I started CrossFit in May of the next year still as a pescetarian publically, but would secretly and occasionally indulge in beef and pork products (bacon!).  A vacation to South Africa is what took my part-time meat-eating into full-time and I’ve never looked back.

Ok enough about my transition into the RAGING carnivore that I am today and more about how paleo-eating came into our lives….  One of the things that really intrigued me the most about paleo-eating was paleo-cooking — trying to swap out ingredients and adapt recipes to make them align with the paleo way of eating turned into my favorite thing to do in the kitchen.  It made it more fun to cook as hobby, because I was more limited to what I could use for ingredients — it was challenging and I loved it!  So for the past couple of years I have been experimenting in the kitchen non-stop – posting most of my creations on Facebook and/or Instagram and getting lots of great feedback and requests for recipes.  This blog is long-overdue, and I hope to share with you all my creations, both paleo and non-paleo!

I recently started cooking for a local couple who are trying to make the switch to the paleo way of eating, but don’t have the time to plan and cook.  I’m hoping that this is the start of a new path for me doing what I really love — challenging myself in the kitchen and feeding others!  So I will also be blogging about my experiences in this new venture.  Thanks for stopping by!

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