~ 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!


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…


See what I mean about the photography?

Then, I chose the mini cinnamon scones…


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.


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:


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.


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:


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:


Start by mixing wet & dry.


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


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


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


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!


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!