Paleo for the Newbies: How To Paleo Part I

Happy 2018 y’all, we made it! 2017 brought so many blessings to me but it was also a pretty rough ride. I already know 2018 will be a toughie for me since I’ll be having my Stem Cell Transplant in April, but I’m ready to tackle it head on!

In case you missed it, here’s a little recap of some of my favorite moments and events this past year…

I married my best friend

We honeymooned in Turks and Caicos…it was so beautiful, definitely a trip of a lifetime, and to anyone who ever has the chance to go there, do not pass it up!

We took up hiking as one of our “couples hobbies”…this was on our vacation to Arizona.I decided to go big and my first EVER hike was on a mountain in Sedona. Long story short I got up there, found out I’m scared of heights and we had to come down the way we went up, I didn’t make it. I was this (-) close to calling for a helicopter. It looks like I’m laughing and having a good time in the pictures below…but really I’m crying. It’s okay, it’s funny now that I’m not up there.

I visited The University of Northwestern Hospital in Chicago where I was approved for my Stem Cell Transplant.

I launched my blog and hired a full time professional photographer who travels with me and waits on my every beckon call…AKA Mr. Gavin Bowen, everybody.

Now that you know a little bit more about what took place in my life over the past, let’s get to why you’re all here in the first place…

What is Paleo?

Summed up a Paleo Diet encourages consuming:

  • Grass fed, free range organic meats (I understand that this is not always available to everyone, so do your best when you can)
  • local and organic fruits and vegetables (again, do your best to get the best quality 🙂 )
  • Healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, coconut, avocado oil, clarified butter (ghee), and animal fats such as duck fat, lard, and beef tallow

Also, it eliminates:

  • Grains
  • Dairy (with the exception of clarified butter/ghee)
  • Legumes
  • Refined Sugars
  • Processed foods

Okay, if you’re reading that and you don’t “Paleo” already it sounds very hard, I know. I thought so too at first, but actually it’s very doable. It’s not hard once you start to adjust your lifestyle. If you start, and stick with it, you probably will never want to go back to your old ways. Sometimes I fall off the wagon (usually it’s around Holidays). I end up feeling awful and I can’t wait to rid my body of all the junk I put in it and get back on track. Just know not to beat yourself up about it, don’t give up,and make better choices for your next meal!

A group admin on a paleo forum I am apart of posted about the paleo diet being referred to as a “caveman” diet, as many call it. I think a lot of people get really caught up in this concept and I couldn’t have explained it better myself:

“Keep in mind that when you hear people talk about Paleo being a “caveman” diet, we are not limiting ourselves to consume only the exact foods that a caveman would have had available to him or would have chosen to eat…

What we really mean is that we are choosing to reap the health benefits of eating a less processed, more natural diet, like those that existed before the advent of agriculture and industrialized farming.

Eating like our ancestors does not have to feel restrictive; we can use some modern conveniences as long as they fit into our nutritional goals (modern science helps us determine the best options).

Just think of the “caveman” as a mascot, not a literal representation of Paleo.” – Bree Loggins, Paleo Diet Lifestyle

If you’re interested in getting help and being able to ask questions about the paleo diet, I highly suggest joining a Paleo Facebook group, like the one linked above!

Also, here is another great resource I found when just reading around and refreshing my memory of types of things to go over while writing about the Paleo Diet. It’s a very simple, easy to understand, paleo diet 101 visual by Paleo Leap that I suggest checking out!


Why I Decided to Live Paleo and How I Got Started

     I originally started the Paleo Diet after I started going to Crossfit regularly, right after I graduated college. I was ready for a change and I wanted to become the fittest I could possibly be. As many of you know, nutrition plays a HUGE role in this, experts believe its as high as 80-90%. I bought The Paleo Kitchen By Juli Bauer and planned on following the diet for about 30 days to address food allergies and loose a couple LB’s. Boy was I wrong about that timeline ha. I ended up loving it so much. However, once the 30 days were up I switched back to my old ways, but guess what? I felt awful. I realized I definitely didn’t want to return to the way I used to eat, so I soon switched back to Paleo. I didn’t really know how long it would last, it was just what felt good, I didn’t really have a plan.

     A few months later I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune disease, and through tons of research, guess what I found out was the best diet to follow? Yep, The Paleo Diet. So that is what brought me here, and I’ve never looked back! FOOD IS MEDICINE so use it to your advantage. It can heal but it can also wreck havoc on your body, it’s you’re decision as to which route you want to take.

Eat This, Not That

I know from starting the diet that it can sometimes be confusing on what is and isn’t allowed. I put together this infographic to use as an easy visual to start to understand what can and can’t be ate. Hopefully it will save you hours of searching through Pinterest to try to figure it out, you’re welcome :).

My Top Picks for Paleo Cookbooks

I recommend starting out with at least one, good, Paleo Cookbook. The recipes in cookbooks are tried and tested, there’s a good change they’re going to turn out, whereas recipes from Pinterest and Google can be posted by anyone. I think it’s best to cook from these until you start to get a feel for using the new recipes and ingredients that you may not be used to. Also, most cookbooks have a lot of good information as well as tips and tricks you can be confident following. Again, information and tips and tricks can be a little confusing, as well as incorrect when just using the internet, it’s best to get your info from a trusted, reliable source. The following cookbooks are my favorites that I have in my own kitchen, I have many others, but I wanted to pick only the best for you all!

The Paleo Kitchen By Juli Bauer

My very first Paleo cookbook…three and a half years later and I still use it often! Some of my favorites in here include:

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream

Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook by Juli Bauer

I loved her first cookbook so much, I bought her second as soon as it came out! You’ve got to try her truffle mushroom burgers that are in here!

Celebrations By Danielle Walker

This is such a fun one! Danielle desired her meals in this book around all the different Holidays throughout the year. Her flank steak with chimichurri sauce is so bomb.

The Keto Diet By LeAnne Vogel

This book is so full of knowledge. Not only does it have a TON of awesome Keto recipes but it thoroughly explains the keto diet, as well as several variations and how to plan/use your carb ups! It also talks a lot about the health benefits of following a Keto approach to dieting, like hormone balance, for example. I’ve learned so much about Keto from purchasing this book and her sauces are spot on, like her Paleo ranch and homemade mayo, I was never a fan of any homemade sauces before I started making hers!

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind by Vanessa Barajas

Basically a giant book of every dessert you could ask for…all Paleofied! I don’t think I need to do anymore convincing on this one 😉


Paleo “Starter” Recipes That Can All Be Found Online

I’ve personally made all of these recipes, they’re very simple, with commonly used or easy to find ingredients and they’re also some of my favorites!

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes – PaleOMG

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs – PaleOMG

Italian Beef – HoBoWellness

AB ‘N’ J Smoothie – HoBoWellness

Lettuce Wrap Tacos – HoBoWellness

Strawberry N’Oatmeal – HoBoWellness

Cracklin’ Chicken – Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Chick-Fil-A Nuggets – Stupid Easy Paleo

Dry Rub Wings – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Easy Peasy Paleo Spaghetti – HoBoWellness

You can find all of these recipes, plus so much more Paleo inspo on my Pinterest page by clicking here!

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Be Well,





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