~ The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook review and giveaway ~

Eat fat fearlessly.

These are game changing word, folks. They have the power to change the way we think about how we fuel our bodies.  Three little words. Such possibility.

How many of you still believe that fat makes you fat? Go ahead, raise your hand, because I know you are out there. You see a piece of bacon (real bacon, not fake ‘turkey’ bacon) and think, “that’s not good for me”, or you look at butter, think “no way” and reach for the fake butter spray? At what point in our lives did we start believing (and worse, accepting) that a product marketed to make you believe it is what it isn’t, is ok? Are we all really that gullible? We are smart, independent thinkers. Why is it so easy to believe the hype? Honestly, truth be told, I still have a little bit of that old dogma left in me. It’s like it never really goes completely away. It’s hard to turn years of doing what we are told is healthy on its heels and go the opposite direction, but there is a community of people that are helping people to do just that.  One person at a time.

The young man I want to introduce you to (or maybe you are lucky enough to have heard of him or know his story already) is one of those game changers. His name is Joshua and he runs the very popular Paleo blog, Slim Palate. His journey began, like all of ours, when he was a child. He loved food. He loved to cook and then over the years, he became overweight. He endured all the crap that comes with being overweight until one day he got sick of it, and just like that (well, not ‘just like that’ as anyone who has been overweight knows) he took control of his life. He changed the way he ate, and it changed his life.

Food is power. For our minds and our bodies.

Joshua has been on an incredible journey and I must say, I’m a bit jealous. I wish that I had figured all this out when I was his age and still had my whole life ahead of me. I think it takes immense willpower, at any age, to do the 180 he has done, but to do it at such a young age, speaks volumes of his character and will, in my opinion.  See his incredible before and after photos here.

As awesome as his photos are, there is a lot more going on here than just weight loss. This young man is on the path that will keep him healthy and fit for his entire life. This isn’t about a “diet”, but about a way of eating that is sustainable and effective. You want to know the icing on the cake? He is an extremely talented chef and photographer! So talented, in fact, that he was approached to publish a cookbook. A cookbook wasn’t even something he was thinking about at the time but he accepted and, man oh man, did he rise to the challenge!

Image

As luck (or the cosmos) would have it, I was given a copy of it to look through and review. I was immediately captured by the beautiful photography. He did it all himself. What got me the most, though, was the rustic charm of his choice of props (plates, bowls, serving ware, utensils, etc.). I am a simple, country girl at heart, and his style is right up my alley! The first picture I flipped to is one of broiled lobster tails dressed in butter and herbs on a metal sheet pan. I was hungry instantly. More than that, I knew I had something special in my hands.

Over the course of the next day, I devoured it cover to cover. However, I still couldn’t decide what I wanted to try first. Sunday morning I sat, coffee in hand, and chose…breakfast. Since I couldn’t decide on just one recipe, I chose two. Makes sense, right?

The recipes aren’t the only thing this book has going for it, though. Joshua devotes the first part of the book to discussing the reasons why this way of eating is so important. My favorite section? A whole section devoted to why we should be eating fat.

He says…      Eat. Fat. Fearlessly.

Really let that sink in. Do you think you could do that? He’s not talking about chugging vegetable oil! Quite the opposite. He is talking about eating a healthy amount of good fats each day such as…avocados, olive and coconut oil, nuts and animal fats. Joshua spends a good deal of time explaining why our bodies need animal fats (bacon, lard, butter) with all their fat soluble vitamins and how eating fat helps to keep us satiated. He has a section on the calories in-calories out myth and an entire section devoted to stocking your pantry. Perhaps the most important section of all is one on developing a relationship with your local farmer. In other words, get to know your food and where it comes from. He discusses why it is so important to meet your farmer and the animals and talks about how his local farmer, Yonder Way Farm, has essentially become family. I mentioned earlier that Paleo is a sustainable and effective way of eating and it starts at the roots, with the local farmer.

Ok, back to the food!

First, I chose the rosemary fried eggs with garlic-lemon spinach…

Image

See what I mean about the photography?

Then, I chose the mini cinnamon scones…

Image

Let’s start with the rosemary fried eggs with garlic-lemon spinach. I happen to have two Meyer lemon trees and enough fresh rosemary to last me the rest of my life in my yard waiting for me whenever I need it, so gathering ingredients for my this recipe was not a problem.

Image

One of my favorite sources of animal fats is bacon grease. In fact, Joshua calls throwing out rendered bacon fat a sin. Ah, a guy after my own heart! I save my bacon grease religiously and it is pretty much my FOC (fat of choice) when cooking.

Here is the recipe for the eggs:

Image

Somehow, while I was cooking, I totally missed getting any pics of the spinach part of this recipe. I didn’t miss the eggs, though.

Image

How beautiful is that?

This is quite a bit more fat than the recipe calls for but I had just finished cooking some bacon, so I just added eggs to the pan. What I ended up with was a nice little surprise…rosemary flavored bacon grease. How I haven’t thought of this before is beyond me. I will be doing this again.

The finished plate looked like this:

Image

Honestly, I would not have thought to put lemon and eggs together like this, but it is really fantastic. The lemon brightens everything up and creates a yummy little sauce with the yolks and the lemon from the spinach. Delicious! The hubs does not like lemon, but he said this dish was “really good” and that really good was accompanied by an eyebrow raise, which means it was REALLY good.  He said it reminded him of eggs benedict.

Next up…scones!

I love to bake. There is just something about mixing ingredients, forming a dough and popping it in the oven. What comes out is so warm and delicious. Plus, it makes your house smell amazing! So, I also made the mini cinnamon scones. Here is the recipe:

Image

Start by mixing wet & dry.

Image

Mix to form a dough. It will look like this:

Image

Then you shape it on a cookie sheet and cut it like this being careful to not pull the sections apart.

Image

Bake as directed at 350 degrees, make your sauce and you end up with this:

Image

These are little nuggets of soft, chewy goodness. The sauce is key here. In fact, my son, after devouring his second scone, asked if we had a giant tub of the sauce. Umm, no…I don’t think it would be wise to have a giant tub of this on hand. It’s so good! The thing to remember about Paleo baked goods is that they don’t last long. These should last a few days in the fridge or you could freeze them if you don’t think you will eat them all. Somehow I doubt that will be a problem, though!

All in all in was a fantastic Sunday breakfast!

Image

I wish I had this book for longer. Sadly, I had to give it back, but I have already pre-ordered my very own copy! I encourage you to do the same. Help this young man spread the real food word!

If this really hits home with you and you want to do even more to help Joshua out, he currently has an Indiegogo going to raise money for a book tour once the book is released. You can visit (and donate) here –> http://www.indiegogo.com

Want to win a copy for yourself?

Click Here–> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be randomly chosen on March 18, 2014. Good luck!!

Paleo f(x)!

Here we go, folks! I am here in Austin and getting ready to spend a few days with the Paleo elite! You know I am not very good at blogging, but I hope to at least post lots of pics. :) Stay tuned.

A day of Reflection/Registration

So, I have realized that I am not too good at this blogging thing. It is not because I don’t think about it, I do. It’s just that I don’t seem to be able to find the time in my daily life for another thing to manage. I recently came to the conclusion that I don’t have to be crazy about it like I thought in the beginning. Initially, I thought I need to post everyday to keep people interested. Now, I am thinking that I need to just post when something I feel is blog worthy comes about. It’s not like this is my livelihood, it’s simply about getting information out there to people who are curious about the Paleo/Crossfit lifestyle. So today, I thought, get back at it, girl. and why not…today has already been a pretty great day and it’s not even noon.

For those of you wondering…yes, I still eat Paleo (I always will!), and I am doing crossfit 5x per week now. I am addicted/obsessed. I’ve got it pretty bad, actually. Crossfit seems to occupy most of my brain, most of the time. In fact, I am currently studying for my Level 1 certification! It amazes me on a daily basis how I went from a couch-potato ball of fluff to a strong (mentally and physically), capable, active woman. I’m telling you, if I can do it…ANYONE can!

So, thinking about the 2 things I love most, I went a little registration crazy today. I registered for my very first Crossfit competition AND for the PaleoFX 2013 conference, March 28-30, in Austin! I wanted to go to Paleo FX last year, but it just didn’t work out for me, so I knew that this year was a must. I am SO excited to be going and potentially getting to rub elbows (and pick brains) with some of the greats in the Paleo community! Not to mention, all the information that will be available in the form of seminars, demonstrations, vendors, etc. I plan to update daily while I am there, so if you can’t go and are curious about what’s going on, stay tuned!

As for the crossfit competition, it is a local one that my coach participated in last year. It seems like a great place to start.  I am doing the scaled division with my 16 yo daughter who has just started crossfitting with me. I think it will be a great time for both of us! I am really looking forward to feeling the intensity of a true competition setting and to working with my daughter towards a common goal…kicking ass! She isn’t as crazy about crossfit as I am, so I am hoping to show her when you put your mind to something, you might be surprised at what you can do! I know I have been.

Anyway, thanks for hanging around even when there is nothing coming out of this blog! I will try to be better, I promise.

We have a winner!

So, being that my blog is tiny, and I literally have no idea what I am doing when it comes to giveaways, you will be glad to know that I used a super, scientific method for picking the winner of the Practical Paleo giveaway. You’re excited, right? What…only if you are the winner? Well, keep reading to see if it’s you!

I knew I didn’t just want to randomly pick a winner, but I wasn’t sure how to go about picking one. So many of the responses really got me. My daughter was hanging with me (yep, she does that on occasion) one night, and she suggested that I let her read all the comments and pick the one she liked best. Obviously, having nothing better up my sleeve, I said sure. So, today she went back through them all and one totally stood out to her. She said, “Mom, this one reminds me so much of you! It has to be her.” and you know what, she was right. I am used to putting all of my energy into my kids, never really stopping to do much of anything for myself but when I found Paleo (and then CrossFit), I started to really believe that I was worth it. So, now I take time for myself. I am actually a little selfish with my CrossFit time. I refuse to schedule much else that interferes. School is getting ready to start, and that will mean after school practices and such, so we will see how selfish I remain but I have good intentions. Is that good?

Ok, enough rambling. The winner is…..Elizabeth! Here is her reason for wanting this book:

I am a new mom to a baby girl, overweight, and on verge of type 2 diabetes if I don’t change my ways. My sister just introduced me to Paleo/primal eating this week and I really want to try it and finally feel good about myself after putting so much energy into my daughter.  I would love a copy of this book bc it would help me find my way to a new lifestyle!

Well, Elizabeth, I hope that this book helps you on your journey! Truly, it is the BEST thing I have ever done for myself. And you ARE terribly important. Making you better, will in turn, make your new daughter better! It’s a win, win!

Thank you for all that took the time to comment. It was tough, and I can say with all certainty that I would not have been able to make a decision. Thank goodness for daughters!

Elizabeth: send me your address to primalbellyblog@gmail.com and I will get this out to you pronto! Congratulations!

You want answers? I’ve got questions!

One of my cousins, Britt, messaged me with some questions late last night (she was up reading her copy of Practical Paleo!) and recently, I have had several other friends message me on Facebook with similar questions. I wrote Britt a lengthy response, but then I got to thinking…I bet this is something everyone could benefit from hearing. So, I decided to post my response to Britt here for all of you to read. I think she has very common beginner questions.

A little background…Britt is a busy, working mom with two littles and a husband. Her and her husband are getting ready to try to incorporate more of the Paleo lifestyle into their lives. They are also starting CrossFit, and I couldn’t be more excited for them both and their children!  Way to go, girl!

Here is Britt’s message to me:

Omg! I got my book today! I need a whole day uninterrupted to my self to go through all this! So much awesome information… And I am NOT a reader…. About 40 pages and I am asleep, no matter what it is… So I have just finished going through as much as I can without falling asleep with a book on my face… Looking forward to more tomorrow! Also need to research around my area where to get more “local, natural whole foods” we have a local farm about 5 miles from us that produces a lot of stuff but adjusting to eating better stuff (not from the Walmart shelves all the time) is going to take some planning, research and time for us to do it right in a way I can keep up with and not feel overwhelmed by… I cannot wait to get through more of the book! And I have already marked quite a few recipes and cannot wait to try them! I know that I am going to have some questions when it comes to ideas for lunches that are simple and not always leftovers, and quick snacks for the kids etc… So I am curious to know how you handle that kind of stuff…. Do y’all still eat bread at all? What about your cheese and milk? What do you drink/eat and where do you find it? Or do you just use normal milk we are used to getting at the grocery store….?

 

Here is my response to her. Enjoy.

Hey Britt,

Don’t freak out. (That goes for you fellow blog reader!) This is long. I hope I don’t overwhelm you, but I don’t know how else to respond. :)

I am glad you are enjoying the book so far! It is a lot of information, and it will change your life if you let it. Every time someone asks, how do you do it? Isn’t it more expensive? Where do you find grass-fed, all organic produce and meats locally???…I am always reminded of this article.  http://balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perfectionism.html.  It just happens to be by the same lady that wrote the book you are reading. It’s all about balance and making the changes you and your family are able to make mentally, physically and financially. I also read a quote the other day that basically said the same kind of thing… if you do nothing except cut out grains and still eat conventional raised meats, you are already doing yourself a world of good. Grains are the enemy. Focus on that and all the rest will follow. I am the first to admit, though, that the kids are a different story. :( Mina is pretty set in her ways. I think you have it a little better with littles that can still be molded, but it is still hard.

To try to answer your questions:

 
Do I still eat bread? Hardly ever. We are talking 3 times in the last 6 months. When I did eat bread, I ate a gluten-free one, Udi’s, and it is was when I was out hiking/biking or at the beach and I had to pack a lunch. I have found a few things that I like to substitute for bread, such as Pure Wraps (order online here: http://improveat.com/whatoffer.php) I LOVE these if I need a wrap. They are expensive, but I don’t eat them but maybe once every couple of weeks or so, for me, they are worth it. I also still get my pizza fix once or twice a month! :) I found a company that makes a delicious, frozen pizza that is as close to Paleo as I will get in a processed form. The only ingredients are tapioca starch, mozzarella cheese, milk, whole eggs, tomato paste (vine-ripened fresh tomatos and naturally derived citric acid), parmesan cheese, expeller pressed non-GMO canola oil, cheddar cheese and water. I can only find them at Whole Foods and they are expensive (11.99 each), but 2 pizzas will feed all 4 of us with leftovers. I usually can only eat 2 slices, and I am full. Here is a link: http://www.againstthegraingourmet.com/ I have not tried their other products, but I am sure they are great. You can’t order online though. :( I usually buy several pizzas and keep them stocked in my freezer. My trips to Whole Foods are for certain things, and the closest one is about 30 minutes from me, so I don’t go every week. Maybe I will put a list together of the “must haves” when I go. :) ALL of the meat at Whole Foods is nitrate/nitrite free, so I usually buy pepperoni to add to the pizza.

What about milk/cheese? I no longer drink a glass of milk. I tried it once after my Whole 30 challenge (which I totally encourage you to do!! link here: http://whole9life.com/2012/01/whole-30-v2012/) and my body was not happy with me. I do, however, still enjoy heavy cream in my coffee and cheese with little or no upset that I have noticed. I don’t eat a lot of cheese, but I will add it to scrambled eggs (maybe a tablespoon or two) and, of course, on my pizza. :) I also really enjoy blue cheese or gorgonzola on my salads. The kids still drink milk and eat cheese & yogurt (greek style). Mina would KILL me if I didn’t buy milk anymore! I make sure to buy organic, whole milk. The fat soluble vitamins in milk (A, D, E & K) cannot be utilized/absorbed without fat. I read where someone wrote that skim milk is just white colored, sugar-water. Truth. Ultimately, if you can find a farm locally that produces raw milk for sale, this is your best option. Pasteurization kills the good stuff in milk. I have yet to do this. Buy organic if you can but know, a lot of it still comes from giant operations. You can find out where your milk comes from here: http://whereismymilkfrom.com/ This is so cool, and I have done it several times.

What do I drink/eat? The standard answer is I eat meats, vegetables, a little fruit and few nuts and seeds, but I am pretty sure you have heard that before and still don’t really understand what that looks like. :) Let me give you a look at a pretty typical day. I wake up around 8 am (it is summertime still!), and I have a cup of coffee with heavy cream and no sweetener. I am usually not hungry until around 10 or 11. Like right now, I am still just sipping my coffee. Not hungry in the slightest, yet. It’s 9:35 am. When I do get hungry, I will make breakfast. Summer breakfast looks a little different from school day breakfast because I have time to make bacon, cook my eggs a certain way, etc. Typically (ie: during school), I make a scramble. This consists of: 2 eggs (local and from pastured chickens when I can get them), a protein of some sort, usually breakfast sausage that I have browned up on Sunday, but it could be ham or leftover steak, pork chop, etc. and whatever veggies I can find. Kale, spinach, chopped sweet potato and broccoli stems are some of my favorites. I cook this in pastured butter, which you can find at Kroger. I buy Organic Valley. http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/butter/pasture/  It is in the “natural” food section usually in a green wrapper. Last spring, I found it on clearance for $2.00 and bought all that they had so I still have lots in my freezer. It keeps really well. :) Use coconut oil if you can’t find the butter. This will satisfy me until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. My lunch is the one meal I have trouble with. I don’t plan well and usually just end up finding something in the fridge in the way of leftovers. However, some of the things I always have on hand are canned tuna (http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Planet-Albacore-Minimal-Mercury/dp/B001E5E3J4), smoked oysters in olive oil (http://www.amazon.com/Crown-Prince-Natural-Oysters-3-Ounce/dp/B004CD4PM0/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1344696668&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=smoked+oysters+olive+oil), or stuff for a quick salad. A typical salad would be spinach, chicken, strawberries (maybe 2, sliced), a few blueberries, some blue cheese (1-2 tablespoons), a few chopped pecans and a strawberry vinaigrette. Another fave salad is spinach or greens of choice, baked chicken (my mom makes the BEST!), red onions, tomato, avocado and a homemade raw honey & mustard vinaigrette. Dressing is another tricky situation. It is hard to find one without added sugar. My thought has always been…if I am eating 2 cups of spinach…then the benefits of that spinach outweigh the little bit of added sugar in the dressing. Making a dressing is not near as hard as it sounds. Google “Paleo salad dressing” and you will find several options. Put all of your ingredients in a jar and shake. No whisking required! You can just use what you need and pop the jar in the fridge for keeping until your next salad. Dinner is a protein and a couple of veggies. Tonight, we are having 50/50 burgers (to which I am going to add some liver but shhh, don’t tell the kids or Jason!) with all the toppings and baked sweet potato fries. I also utilize my crock pot like crazy, especially during the school year! Nom Nom Paleo has quite a few great slow cooker recipes in her recipe index. www.nomnompaleo.com You have a great collection of recipes already in Practical Paleo. Enjoy running through them.

As for what I drink: Coffee (sometimes tea) in the AM and then water only the rest of the day. I am still known to have a beer or two (Michelob Ultra) every now and then. :) Mostly, I drink water. I drink lots of water. I am literally never without my water bottle.

This quote from Michelle Tam, aka Nom Nom Paleo, sums it up pretty good!

“Robb Wolf recently tweeted that his main eating “rule” is to avoid gluten and not sweat the inconsequential amounts of sugar in stuff like ham and sausage. I love that he’s so sane and practical when it comes to nutrition advice. Plus, stressing about minute amounts of non-Paleo ingredients can be counterproductive if it elevates your cortisol, right? As Dallas and Melissa say: Context matters.” -Nom Nom Paleo

Dallas and Melissa are the power couple that run Whole 9 and authors of the Whole 30 challenge. They also just came out with a great new book called It Starts With Food. I highly suggest reading this, too!

But, but…what about the kids??? I know, I know. The kids. Those little monsters. Love them as we do!

I buy bread specifically for the kids. Udi’s gluten-free bread and buns (http://udisglutenfree.com/) is my favorite. Their website says you can find them in Kroger, but I never have. I buy mine at Whole Foods. I stock up and pop most of it in the freezer. It makes a fantastic grilled cheese! The bread is expensive, so I try to use it sparingly. Can you say ham and cheese roll ups? It’s all about getting them used to eating things in a different way. Like tuna salad with Paleo crackers (recipe here: http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2011/09/paleo-herb-crackers/) instead of on bread as a sandwich. Buy some almond meal (http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/blanchedalmondflour5lb.aspx ) and make these crackers once. They are super easy, and you will be hooked. I keep these mainly for the kids and the hubs. I don’t eat them very often. Garrett still runs screaming when I have vegetables on his plate. When he can see a chunk of veg in his food, he will tell me, “Mom, you know I don’t like tomatoes!”. Nevermind that he is eating spaghetti (hello, TOMATO sauce) and what he thinks is a chunk of tomato is actually red bell pepper. :) I have to hide a lot of things. Speaking of spaghetti, I buy rice pasta (Whole Foods) for the kids. It’s gluten-free. My main focus with them is trying to stay away from gluten. It is hard! Especially when you are out and about. I am not perfect, but I try. Mina will pretty much eat what I put in front of her now. It took a while. She is beginning to see (and accept) that this is how we are going to eat now and if she is hungry, she better eat what is there. This is how it will go for the littles, too. They are not going to starve themselves. Put only good choices in front of them consistently, and they will (eventually) eat only good food. They’re kinda cool like that. :)

Try making lunch look fun. I buy compartmentalized plastic containers and make it like a bento box. Google “kids bento box lunch” and look under images for ideas. I don’t go all crazy with the detail (who has time?), but you will get the idea pretty quick. I know a little boy who would LOVE this lunch! Stuff it with a protein source (turkey or ham and cheese roll ups, tuna salad, chicken), a fruit, some yogurt, and water or milk to drink. I do give them treats in their lunch, but they are just that…treats. They come only once or twice a week. For some great ideas for treats for the kids, I love the blog where the crackers came from, Multiply Delicious! She is one of my favorites! Look under her Paleo tab and you will see lots of yummy sweet treats that you can make the kids.

Also, be sure to refer to the tear out guide in Practical Paleo labeled ‘guide to: Food Quality’. She really breaks it down very well with Best, Better, Good and Baseline options.

Just remember, context matters! 2 cups of spinach + 2 T sugar added dressing does not = failure. Remove the grains. I suggest you do it quick, like ripping off a band-aid. It might hurt a little (or maybe a lot), but it won’t hurt as long as it will if you drag it out. Two weeks into a Whole 30 challenge, you will be a new person!

 
Love you cuz and keep me posted!

Holly

***************

 

Looking back over this post I noticed a couple of things. First, I use a lot of smile faces when I email. Must try to correct this. Second, Paleo is a very individual lifestyle. What works for one, may not work for another. We are all different. Thank goodness because the world would be pretty boring if we weren’t. So, experiment. Play around and find out what works for you and your family. For mine, bringing back Friday night pizza night was worth it. We bond over it. Silly, but true. The pizza’s not 100% perfectly paleo, but am I going to let that stop me from sitting down with my family and enjoying? Nope. I’m not. Keep your focus on cutting out the grains, buy organic when you can, and stop worrying. Stress increases cortisol and that’s not good. We are only here on earth for a little while, and we need to enjoy life while we have it. Do the best you can in any given moment and if you make a bad choice, make a better one next time. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s just not worth it!

 

Do you have your copy of Practical Paleo, yet? If not, and you would like to enter to win one, go here: http://primalbelly.com/2012/07/26/practical-paleo-a-book-review/ and leave a comment! I will choose a winner on August 15th. Good luck!
~Holly~

UPDATE: Practical Paleo: a book review & GIVEAWAY!

I came home about a week ago to find a package on my doorstep. I did not remember ordering anything, so I was curious to get it open. It was super-duper heavy and, when I opened it up, I was stoked to realize that I had just received an advanced copy of the soon-to-be-released book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo!

Release date is August 7th!

Diane runs the immensely popular and well-respected blog and podcast, Balanced Bites, and if you have never checked her out, you should. I had responded to her call for bloggers who wanted to review an advance copy but, honestly, I really didn’t think that I would get one since my blog is still just a baby. Baby blog or not though, there it was in all it’s glory. Just for me. I felt so honored. I am so honored! I was so excited that I sat down (I may or may not have neglected my kids for a little while) and read as much of it as I could before I was forced to get up and make dinner. After dinner, I got everyone in bed, did the same with myself and read it until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.

In the last week, I have been able to read it cover to cover and it is nothing short of a Paleo “bible”. It truly is a one stop shop for all your Paleo needs, from what Paleo is all about, to how your body responds to different types of food, to how to get started and what to cook. There is even a FAQ section that answers questions about things like protein powders (are they ok? I think you already know this answer) and fish oil supplements (this answer might surprise you). It’s like Robb Wolf meets Bill and Hayley of The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate (and it sorta really is because Bill did most of the photography!). It is a wealth of information AND recipes, and it’s just almost equally divided among the two. In order to contain all of this information, the book weighs in at 432 pages. That’s HUGE, folks, and it’s a lot of bang for your buck (especially if you pre-order now). Diane really did think of everything.

There are also these really cool, easy to read and understand, one page (tear-out) guides to things like gluten, sweeteners and good sources of dense carbs. If you are like I am, you might be tempted NOT to pull these out of the book for fear of losing them, but Diane thought of this, too. Fear not, Paleo people! Go ahead…tear them out! Each one just happens to be duplicated throughout the book, so you can never lose them. Genius.

See?

Did you know that your makeup could have gluten in it? I didn’t.

This book also contains lots of in-depth 30 day meal plans for all sorts of ailments, including Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes type 1&2, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does she tell you exactly what to eat every day for 30 days, she goes into diet and lifestyle recommendations and what sort of nutritional supplements might help for each particular ailment. I definitely got some new ideas on how I can further help my digestive health. Fermented cod liver oil, anyone?

Now, onto the food.

It was really difficult to decide what to make first. It all looks so mouth-watering.  However, I just happened to have a pork loin thawed (which helped with the decision-making process), so I chose the cumin spiced pork tenderloin.

The photography is gorgeous!

Here is what you need:

1 T cumin

1 T coriander

1 T granulated garlic or garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

black pepper to taste

2 pork tenderloins (I had one big one)

2 T bacon fat (or other cooking fat)

2 onions, chopped into large slices

4 parsnips, peeled and chopped ~I am not particularly fond of parsnips, so I subbed in carrots and turnips~

2 fresh garlic cloves, smashed ~ I might have used 6 or 7…I love garlic!~

1 large orange, peeled and segmented

seeds of one pomegranate (approx 1/4 cup, optional)  ~ I omitted these because I didn’t have them~

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, granulated garlic (or powder), salt and black pepper.

Using paper towels, pat the pork tenderloins dry, and apply the spice blend to the meat generously to create a crust. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and melt the bacon fat. Place the pork tenderloins in the skillet, and sear on all sides for approximately 2 minutes per side.

Place the onions, parsnips, garlic, orange segments and pomegranate seeds in a large roasting dish, topped by the pork tenderloins. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork tenderloins reaches 145 degrees F. If you need to continue roasting the vegetables until they are soft, simply remove the pork and set it aside on a cutting board to rest until the vegetables finish roasting for another 10-15 minutes.

Slice the tenderloins on the bias(diagonally) and serve over the vegetables.

So, I mentioned that I subbed in carrots and turnips for the parsnips. When it all came out of the oven, I got the idea to puree the vegetables. There are a couple of reasons I did this. First, the vegetables came out a little dry. It could have been because my meat was so lean, or that I didn’t cook them long enough. Even so, next time I would probably add a little bit of broth or toss them in coconut oil or bacon fat.  Secondly, and most importantly, I happen to love veggie purees. I always end up having leftovers when I make them, and I like to use them in my breakfast scrambles. So, it’s a two for one deal. I ended up squeezing the orange segments (once cooled a little) into a bowl, and then I dumped in all the veggies and what juice there was in the pan and used my handy immersion blender to puree it up. Seasoned with a little sea salt, it was perfect. I served all of this alongside some sautéed spinach. It was so delicious! The meat, though lean, was still very tender and juicy, and the whole house smelled amazing. The flavors were so good! If you love cumin (like I do), you are in business.

I thought about doing one other recipe that stood out to me, but changed my mind. Let me tell you why. Better yet, I will show you.

This, my friends, is what is called Nutty Bacon Bark. Yep, you heard me right. Bacon candy! This recipe stood out immediately, but I knew if I made it, I would eat it. All of it. That would be no bueno. So, here is what I am going to do. I am saving this one for Christmas. I will add it to my treats that I make for friends and then I can give it all away. Ok, well, maybe I will give away MOST of it. Doesn’t it look and sound divine?

So, get over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and pre-order your copy of Practical Paleo today. It is destined to become one of the must-haves among Paleo books and, when it comes out, the price will go up and you will be kicking yourself for not taking my advice.  Really, I am just looking out for your best interest.

Oh right, you want a giveaway, huh? Well, I have pre-ordered another copy of this book to giveaway, and it should be here by August 9th or so. How do you win it, you ask? Well, it’s simple really. Leave a comment here telling me why you would love to own this valuable piece of Paleo wisdom. That’s it. Told ya, simple. I will select a winner on August 15th just to give a little leeway.

and forget about that whole 200 likes thing…it’s not really my style.