Author Archives: Steph

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

The big game is fast approaching, and if you’re looking for some food inspiration, check out these 20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes!

Game day means two things: lots of cheering and the opportunity for tasty eats. Instead of combing the Internets, I’ve compiled a list of twenty of the best recipes to make for your Super Bowl celebration. From appetizers to dips to main course favorites, there’s something for everyone!

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

These amazing little chicken fingers are “breaded” with crushed up pork rinds. I really love these because they’re made from clean ingredients. Serve with your favorite Paleo-friendly dipping sauce.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Wings

Nothing says game day like wings, and these flavorful little dudes are perfect for nibbles. Make a double batch because these will go fast! This recipe comes with a dairy-free Ranch Dressing that’ll blow your mind.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Devils on Horseback from Nom Nom Paleo

If you’re looking for an appetizer that isn’t the same old boring bacon-wrapped dates, try Nom Nom Paleo’s Devils on Horseback. Prunes stuffed with macadamia nut “ricotta”, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with balsamic…talk about flavor.

Roasted Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is a great alternative to traditional red salsas, and this one’s special because the veggies are charred slightly before they’re pureed. The result is a smoky flavor that pairs really well with plantain chips.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are great, but sweet potatoes that are roasted until the skin crisps, then drizzled with an herb-infused ghee are even better. Serve these with some Pork Chile Verde or Pomegranate Habanero Beef piled high on top.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Buffalo Chopped Chicken Salad from The Clothes Make the Girl

Mel Joulwan of Well Fed and Well Fed 2 is one of my go-to’s for simple but flavor-packed recipes. This chicken salad is so easy to assemble and will feed a crowd. A little bit spicy and super tasty.

Paleo Garlic Artichoke “Hummus” from Meatified

Dips are synonymous with Super Bowl parties, and this one has all the look and taste of hummus without the legumes. Serve this one with some plantain chips for maximum dipping satisfaction.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries

These sound strange but trust me, they are so good. Take ripe but firm avocado wedges and “bread” them in seasoned crushed pork rinds. Bake until the outside is crunchy for a unique appetizer!

BLT Bites with Chipotle Mayo

Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato. A classic combination. Instead of relying on bread as the base, these little cups use bacon to hold the lettuce and tomato. Finish with a drizzle of Chipotle Mayo!

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Pork Chile Verde

Succulent, tender pork with a bit of tang from tomatillos and a little green chile spice is yours when you make this dish. Pile high on top of baked sweet potatoes and finish with some sliced avocado. Yum.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Chili Topped Parsnip Wedges from Meatified

Instead of chili fries, try this version with parsnip wedges from Rach at Meatified. The chili is beanless so it’s Paleo-friendly.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Shredded Chicken BLA Tacos from Paleo Cupboard

Bacon as the taco shell? Why not! Shredded chicken, lettuce and avocado make for a tantalizing game day snack.

Bacon-Wrapped Crab-Stuffed Prawns from Popular Paleo

Shrimp and crab gets all friendly with bacon in this appetizer from Ciarra at Popular Paleo. Make a batch of these for your Super Bowl party, and I bet there won’t be any leftover!

Paleo Guacamole from Paleo Cupboard

Guacamole is a classic party dip, and Amy from Paleo Cupboard delivers with this simple recipe. Try it on top of the Paleo Pork Chile Verde.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef

Literally one of the simplest recipes that delivers enormous flavor and feeds a bit crowd, this shredded beef will be a hit with your football fans. It goes really well on top of baked potatoes, and it cooks itself. All you have to do is shred the meat at the end.

Paleo Slow Cooker Taco Soup from Popular Paleo

This satisfying soup is made in a slow cooker so you can set it and forget it until it’s time to eat. Serve with all the tasty accompaniments for a warming dish that’s sure to be a favorite.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Asian Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo

Meatballs are a classic party food: All you need are some toothpicks and you’ve got perfect bite-sized nibbles perfect for everyone from little kids to adults. Serve these with your favorite dipping sauce.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Plantain Nachos from The Clothes Make the Girl

These are genius! I’ve made Mel Joulwan’s Plantain Nachos and they were super-satisfying: perfectly spiced ground beef, crunchy plantain chips and all the right toppings. Put these on your list!

Pineapple Bacon Poppers

Pineapple, bacon and mini peppers are so delicious together. These are really easy to assemble for a crowd ahead of time so you don’t have to spend the whole time in the kitchen.

20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Glazed Chicken Wings from Meatified

Looking for more wing recipes? This one’s got a simple fruit-based glaze. Finger lickin’!

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20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

The first leg of the Performance Paleo Cookbook book tour wrapped up on Sunday, and it was an amazing experience! (Another cool thing: The cookbook was ranked in the Top 100 Adult Non-Fiction books during its first week!

Ciarra from Popular Paleo—she wrote The Frugal Paleo Cookbook—and I hit the road on January 8 for the first half of our tour. In all eight cities, we chatted about our books and how to use them, and met the most wonderful people. It was really a whirlwind: We had only a day (or less!) in each city, so there wasn’t much time to sightsee, though we did hit up a couple key spots along the way.

We also left signed copies of Performance Paleo and Frugal Paleo in each store we visited, so if you weren’t able to make it out to the events, you still may be able to snag an autographed one if you act fast. (Check below for specific store links / locations.)

The best part of the book tour was meeting you. So much of this job requires sitting behind a computer screen and chatting to you over social media. And while that keeps us connected, it’s nothing like seeing your faces and hearing your stories. Stories about how Paleo has fueled your sport; helped you reverse your diabetes; restored your weight to healthy levels; and given you a new lease on life.

I walked away from each event newly inspired by you. Thank you.

We started with an enthusiastic crowd in Seattle at the Barnes & Noble—Northgate.

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

We stopped next in Portland. Here, we got the star treatment with a fantastic Paleo dinner at Departure, and had a sold out, standing-room-only signing at the Cultured Caveman restaurant!

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

Next it was on to San Francisco for a signing at Book Passage in the Ferry Building, along with friends like Fat Face Skincare, ZenbellyLiving Loving Paleo and Yes Design Shop stopping by.

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

We rounded out our first weekend with a stop in Salt Lake City where we visited our friends Whole30 and signed books at the Barnes & Noble—Sugarhouse.

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

Whew!

On a side note, we had amazing support from some of our favorite companies to keep us fueled up and happy during our journey. We had snacks from Barefoot Provisions, Epic Bar and RxBar; handy fish oil and vitamin D packets from PurePharma; skincare solutions from Fat Face Skincare and essential oils from doTERRA. These are all brands we love, trust and personally use, so check them out!

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

I flew back to SoCal for a few days and Ciarra went back to the PacNW, then we regrouped in Texas for our second weekend.

We started in Dallas where we signed books at Barnes & Noble—Lincoln Park, then made our way to Austin.

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

No trip to ATX would be complete without a visit to our absolute favorite coffee spot, Picnik! A huge crowd greeted us at Barnes & Noble—Arboretum, and we had a quick dinner at 24 Diner with Fed+Fit. Super good!

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

The next day we flew to sunny Phoenix, where we got to meet everyone—including my girl Weed ‘Em & Reap—at the Barnes & Noble—Desert Ridge.

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

From there we traveled to my home city, San Diego. We had another sold out crowd at Barnes & Noble—Mira Mesa, and I finally got to see Paleo CupboardClean Eating With a Dirty Mind and meet friends like Da-Le Ranch and Just Love Your Guts in person for the first time. We rounded it out with a really special dinner at Sausage & Meat, complete with their Bacon Fat Deviled Eggs!

Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

If we didn’t come to your city yet, don’t fret. I’ll be hitting up Orange County, CA on my own soon. Ciarra and I will be back out on the road this spring in the Midwest and on the East Coast. We’re letting the weather get a bit better so we don’t miss any flights or potential connections. Stay tuned for dates! I’ll be posting them here on the blog and updating my Facebook page and Instagram as soon as I know more.

I can’t say it enough: Thank you for supporting this cookbook! It really means so much to me.

With love,

Steph

Which cities are you hoping we visit next? Leave them in the comments below!

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Performance Paleo Book Tour: Part 1 Recap | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Mango Jalapeño Dressing Recipe

Paleo Mango Jalapeño Dressing Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

I’m still rolling out teaser recipes from my new cookbook, The Performance Paleo Cookbook, and today it’s Paleo Mango Jalapeño Dressing.

I got quite the awesome surprise when I was told that my little cookbook was in the Top 100 of ALL non-fiction books last week. That’s so crazy! It wouldn’t be possible without your support. So to say thanks, here’s another recipe from the cookbook for you to enjoy. If you’ve enjoyed it, would you do me a huge favor and pop over to Amazon to leave a quick review? Even a sentence or two will be a big help!

If you’d like to see the others I’ve shared, click for Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak, Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Herb Ghee, and Smoked Salmon Egg Bake.

From The Performance Paleo Cookbook

Sweet, tangy and a little bit spicy

This dressing was a happy coincidence. When I was developing my Crunchy Slaw With Chicken (page 158), I wanted to add some sweet and spice. Instead of adding chopped mango and jalapeño, I threw it all into the blender and came up with this dressing. It’s surprisingly creamy, and you can customize the heat level by keeping more or less of the jalapeño seeds. It’s perfect for dipping chicken into or as a topping for fish tacos.

Creamy Mango Jalapeño Dressing: Performance Paleo Cookbook
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Serves 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (92 g) mango, fresh or frozen
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) light-tasting olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp fish sauce

Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Notes
If you add the entire jalapeño pepper—seeds and inner white membrane— the dressing will be medium to spicy.

TOTAL RECIPE MACRONUTRIENTS (IN GRAMS PER SERVING)

PROTEIN TRACE

FAT 7G

TOTAL CARB 10G

NET CARB 9G

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Paleo Mango Jalapeño Dressing Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite recipe from The Performance Paleo Cookbook so far?

Sore Muscles? Help is Here!

Sore muscles are pretty much a given if you’re athletic or training hard. I used to rely a lot on products like Tiger Balm (hello, people could smell me from a mile away!), but now I use essential oils for relieving minor aches and pains. As a weightlifter, it’s not unusual to be a bit sore after a workout, and the same was true when I was doing CrossFit or racing bikes.

Sore Muscles? Help is Here! | stupideasypaleo.com

Interested in learning more about how you can use essential oils for sore muscles? Keep reading!

Using Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

Knowing which essential oils work best and why is really important when it comes to caring for muscles. Peppermint, for example, not only gives a icy hot effect, it can increase circulation and oxygenation to the muscles. Peppermint has over twelve different active compounds, but it’s largest compound is menthol, which has been known to work as an analgesic as well as to increase circulation. (source) This is why peppermint works so well for muscle dysfunction including cramps, spasms, tension, or stiffness. Getting circulation in there fast can help relieve issues in the muscle tissue.

Synthetic menthol and other “peppermint” look-alikes will never be able to compete with real peppermint oil extracted directly from the plant with no other additives or synthetic materials. The twelve chemical constituents found in real peppermint oil work together in the body to fully metabolize. It’s the same as eating whole food. The nutrients, vitamins and minerals all work together to give your body what it needs. When in doubt, stick with what’s real.

Besides peppermint, there are quite a few other essential oils that can have a dramatic effect on muscles and joints. Thyme oil can “suppress the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, in a manner similar to resveratrol, the chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine.” (source) Thyme is a fantastic anti-inflammatory.

Marjoram stems from the mint family, but happens to have a special combination of chemical constituents that helps with pain, especially in muscles. Historically, marjoram was used to combat spasms, sprains, stiff joints, bruises, and rheumatism. It was also used before bedtime for peaceful sleep.

This is just a small window into the essential oils that can have positive effects on the body.

Other Essential Oils for Soreness

Muscle Overuse, Tension, or General Aches and Pains: 

  • Marjoram
  • Deep Blue blend (contains wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, German chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus)
  • AromaTouch blend (contains basil, grapefruit, cypress, marjoram, peppermint, and lavender)

Cartilage or Ligament Injury: 

  • Wintergreen
  • Marjoram
  • Lemongrass

Cramps / Spasms: 

  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Cypress
  • Basil

Muscle Fatigue: 

  • Marjoram
  • White Fir

Stiffness or Lactic Acid Build-Up: 

  • Deep Blue blend

How To Apply Them

Many essential oils can be rubbed directly on the skin without dilution, but it’s recommended to first mix with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil to avoid irritating the skin. Because essential oils are lipophilic in nature, they can mix well with a carrier oil and absorb fully into the skin. It’s always best to use only 1 to 3 drops per use of essential oil. The standard carrier oil to essential oil ratio is about 1 to 3 drops of an essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.

For a short time, I’m giving away free samples of Deep Blue blend. Click here to find out more!

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Sore Muscles? Help is Here! | stupideasypaleo.com

Food Photography Tips: Part 3

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Welcome to Part 3 of my series on Food Photography Tips! (Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.) I’m on a mission to help beginners make their food photos look better, so we’re going to jump right in with some frequently asked questions. Part 4 will deal with basic editing techniques so stay tuned for that!

Food Photography Tips: FAQ 

Okay, I’m pretty new to all this, and I’m still kind of confused about how to use ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Help!

There’s nothing worse than having to guess at camera settings. Sure, even basic cameras have automatic settings, but when you can learn to adjust them yourself, you open up a whole new world of possibilities. The thing about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is that they must all be pretty balanced to get the shot.

Yes, editing software such as Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom can all help manipulate the final image. However, getting the best shot you can with the camera—then using editing software to make any final tweaks—is not only the best way to really practice, it’s the most efficient way to work.

Let’s look more closely at the hat-trick of settings commonly called “shooting in manual”: ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

ISO

ISO is a measure of your camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the easier it is to get a properly exposed shot as light gets dimmer. Now, before you go max out the ISO on your camera, consider this: Higher ISO is generally associated with grainer shots, sometimes called noise.

Full-frame cameras (like my Nikon D610) with larger sensors are the most forgiving at higher ISO setting. Simply put, more sensor area means your camera can make the most of limited light. Higher ISO is also great for lower light situations and vice versa. The catch is that higher ISO settings often mean slower shutter speeds which can make hand-holding tricky.

On the other hand, crop-frame cameras (like my Nikon D3200) have smaller sensors and are therefore less sensitive to light. What does that mean? Generally, you’ll have to shoot with a lower ISO, say 100 or 200. If that’s the case, you may have to work a little harder to make sure your images are properly exposed, such as choosing a slower shutter and using a tripod. Lower ISO settings are also good for bright outdoor shots or action.

Let’s see what adjusting the ISO does since a visual may make the point for you.

Here I shot the same basket of onions from the same location at the same time of day. Note what happens as I adjust the ISO. These are all shot with the same aperture (f / 2.2) and shutter speed (1/400). Also, you can tell I didn’t use a tripod because the camera angle changes slightly, but I wasn’t trying to be super precise.

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Note that as the ISO doubles, the resulting in the photo getting twice as light. Higher ISO = more sensitive to light which works well in this indoor shoot. Now, could I have adjusted the shutter speed to get away with the photo on the far left (ISO 125) being properly exposed? Yes. I’d have to slow the shutter speed down from 1/400 to say, 1/40 or 1/50. I’d likely need a tripod since the long shutter speed is more likely to result in blur.

Here’s something interesting to note:

Using my photo editing software, I was able to auto- and manually correct the exposure to something that look acceptable. Again, I’d rather rely on the program to make minor tweaks or account for unfortunate lighting when I have no choice, not shoot using trial and error, then hope the software can fix it. But, you have to do what you have to do.

Aperture

In a nutshell, aperture (or f-stop) is how narrow or wide your lens opening is. Apertures come in a wide range and greatly affect the depth of field (or bokeh) a shot has. The best way to describe bokeh is that an object is in focus while the background of the shot is blurred…either a little or a lot.

Your options for aperture depend on the lens you’re using. For example, my old zoom lens had a range from f / 3.4 to f / 11. The Nifty Fifty lens I use most often starts at f / 1.8 and goes up from there. My 105mm macro lens starts at f / 3.

It can be confusing since the lower the aperture number the wider the lens, which means more light gets into the camera. Shooting on a low aperture is one way to make the most of lower light situations. It also results in more bokeh, which can be great for side-on shots but tricky for overhead shots where the objects are all different heights.

The higher the aperture number, the narrower the lens, resulting in less light entering the camera and less depth of field. There will be less depth of field and more of the frame will appear in focus. This works well for overhead shots, but in order to get proper exposure, the shutter speed generally has to slow down to make up for the smaller aperture letting less light into the camera. The solution is often to use a tripod for overhead shots with medium to high aperture numbers, especially if your conditions are a bit on the darker side.

These are all shot with the same ISO (1000) and shutter speed (1/400).

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Be careful when using aperture. Using a very low aperture value can make it hard to focus on certain objects, especially round or cylindrical things like glasses. And too much bokeh can make it hard to tell what the food actually is!

Shutter Speed

The shutter is the handy dandy part of the camera that closes when you actually push the button to take the photo. Just like you can adjust ISO and aperture, you can also adjust shutter speed.

Shutter speed is generally displayed as a fraction like 1/10 or 1/400 or in whole numbers like 1″ or 2″. A fast shutter, such as 1/250, means the shutter takes 250th of a second to close. A slow shutter, like 1″, takes one second to close. Try playing around with just the shutter adjustment and actually listen. You can hear how fast or slow it closes.

These are are shot with the same ISO (1000) and aperture (f / 3.2). Notice how as the shutter speed slows, the images get brighter because more light hits the sensor. It also means the image is more subject as your hand moves. Using a tripod alleviates this problem quite a bit.

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Generally, the darker the conditions, the slower the shutter needs to be to allow enough light into the camera to get the shot, and vice versa.

Lately, I’ve been shooting on aperature-priority mode, displayed as an A on your camera’s main adjustment wheel. This means I choose the aperture and the camera decides on the shutter speed.

Usually, I set the ISO ahead of time on that given day depending on the conditions or the job I’m doing. Then I pick the aperture I’d like to use and the camera figures out the shutter. In the image below, I had my ISO set to 1000, then picked f / 2.2 as the aperture. The camera chose a moderately fast shutter to accommodate for more light entering due to a wider aperture.

The image below is unretouched, and I think it’s a pretty good one in terms of overall balance: ISO 1000, f / 2.2, shutter 1/200.

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

 Do you use a tripod?

I have a tripod and use it about 20% of the time. I have a relatively small space to shoot in—on my dining room table or my couch—so a tripod usually gets in the way. I LOVE the freedom that hand-holding the camera gives me. Now, there are some benefits to tripods: It’s easier to create consistent shots in a series when you want to work at the same angle / position, and you’re less likely to end up with blurry shots or things that are out of focus.

If I’m working with low light—say, my aperture is on a more moderate setting and my shutter speed is slower…typically below 1/60 or so—I prefer the tripod because I don’t run as much risk of any hand movement blurring the image. Put another way, if low light forces me to run a slower shutter speed, I usually break out the tripod.

With all this taken under consideration, I tend to use a tripod if I absolutely have to, but I prefer to go without. A great tip is to hand-hold your camera to find the angle you want for a particular shot, then set up the tripod to duplicate it. (Bill Staley told me he’s been using that method lately, and it’s really smart.) Investing in a moderately priced tripod that will last is probably wise if you’re serious about improving your photography.

Here’s the tripod I have. It does pretty much everything I need it to, has many adjustments, and is lightweight.

What’s the difference between RAW and JPEG?

RAW and JPEG are two types of image formats that DSLRs can shoot in.

Think of RAW like a digital negative that’s not processed. It gives you, the “developer,” more options when you’re editing that image. RAW images are intended to capture the subject most closely to how it looks in real life. This all sounds great but just know that RAW files are very large and usually require some external storage device or they’ll fill up your hard drive. (You should be backing up to external- or cloud-based storage anyway, but it’s just something to note about RAW.)

JPEG is a common file format for images, but its downfall is that the image is compressed and doesn’t contain as much original data as a RAW file. Each time a JPEG is edited, the image quality degrades which is why it’s not really suitable for print projects. When you upload photos to a blog or social media site, there is usually some compression that occurs anyway. So, if you aren’t keen on printing, you can simplify the process a bit and work with smaller files if you shoot in JPEG.

Think of JPEG like making a photocopy. Each time you press the “copy” button, the resulting

When it comes to setting your camera to RAW or JPEG, it’s helpful to know what your goals are. If you have any inkling that your photographs will be used for print, you should probably be shooting in RAW.

Stay tuned for Part 4 where I’ll be teaching you some editing basics to take your photos from “meh” to “‘mazin”!

Questions about anything in this lesson? Leave them in the comments below!

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Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Food Photography Tips: Part 3 | stupideasypaleo.com

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Herb Ghee Recipe

 

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Compound Herb Ghee Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Compound Herb Ghee is another tasty recipe preview I’m sharing from newly released cookbook, The Performance Paleo Cookbook

The cookbook came out last week and already I’m seeing so many of your pictures on Instagram and around social media. It’s an absolute thrill to have so much fantastic support, and I’m really glad you’re loving the recipes!

Right now, I’m on book tour with Ciarra Hannah of Popular Paleo. We’re speaking in Salt Lake City today and next weekend we’ll be in Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and San Diego. Come out and see us!

This recipe may sound fancy of complicated, but it’s totally not. There are six ingredients (not counting the sea salt), and it can be roasting in the oven on your weekly cook up day or while you’re getting the rest of dinner prepared.

From The Performance Paleo Cookbook

Deliciously roasted sweet potatoes with a dollop of healthy fat

Hasselback potatoes originated in Sweden, and they make basic roasted spuds special. When roasted in the oven, the fan-shaped cuts get crispy and delicious. Top these sweet potatoes with a compound butter of ghee and fresh herbs for a sophisticated finish.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Compound Herb Ghee: Performance Paleo Cookbook
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Serves 2 to 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb (454 g) white sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) melted ghee
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) ghee
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, about 1 sprig
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, about 5 sprigs

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Scrub the skin of the sweet potatoes thoroughly. Use a very sharp knife to make several vertical cuts from the top of the sweet potatoes most of the way through, stopping about ¼ inch/6 millimeters from the bottom. Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Brush with the melted ghee and sprinkle the sea salt on top. Roast for 60 to 75 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, make the compound ghee. In a small bowl, combine the ghee, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Stir well with a spoon until it forms a soft mixture. Top the hot roasted sweet potatoes with the compound ghee.

Notes
Try white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes if you desire. In this recipe, I make an exception about not eating the skin because it’s so crispy.

TOTAL RECIPE MACRONUTRIENTS (IN GRAMS PER SERVING)

PROTEIN 2G

FAT 10G

TOTAL CARB 21G

NET CARB 19G

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Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Compound Herb Ghee Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Do you love sweet potatoes? Have you tried Hasselback potatoes yet?

The Performance Paleo Cookbook is Here! Plus Two New Resources!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook is here!

After so many months of writing, cooking, photographing, editing and waiting, I can proudly say the day has finally arrived. The book I’ve poured my heart into is now in stores and making its way out into the world. Countless folks have posted up pictures of the cookbook in their hands today, and it’s been absolutely surreal.

It’s so hard to sum up what this day has meant to me. You’ve encouraged me and waited patiently as I blogged less to write more in the middle part of 2014. You’ve given me feedback and answered the questions that helped me craft a book that would be a better resource for you. It’s because of you that there even is a Performance Paleo Cookbook. My heart is so full.

In short, thank you.

To show my gratitude, I’ve developed two free printable PDF lists to go along with The Performance Paleo Cookbook. One lists Whole30-friendly recipes and the other AIP-friendly recipes. I know how important it is to have flexibility with food options if you’re on a modified nutrition plan.

Click the images below—or their respective links—to view, download and save these guides for free. Print them out for handy reference!

Whole30 Recipes in The Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Click here to download the Whole30 list.

AIP Recipes in The Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Click here to download the AIP list.

And if you haven’t ordered your copy of The Performance Paleo Cookbook yet, I’d love to show you more of the features, so head on over here for that.

If you have purchased a copy, I’d be so grateful if you would take a couple minutes and leave a review on Amazon. It helps folks decide whether the book is right for them!

My Top 5 Paleo Lessons Learned After 5 Years: Part 2

The Top 5 Paleo Lessons I've Learned In 5 Years—Part 2 | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s less than a week until my 5 year Paleo anniversary, and I’m counting the top Paleo lessons I’ve learned along the way. Check out Part 1 for some real talk about perfectionism, self-discovery and desserts.

Because I couldn’t resist the urge to make it five lessons for five years, here’s the conclusion.

Lesson #4: Eat to support your training.

I’ve already touched on this one briefly in Part 1, but it’s important enough to get its own space. Sports and competition have been a part of my life since I was a kid, and my adult years have seen me split my time between three main pursuits: mountain bike racing, CrossFit, and Olympic weightlifting.

Throughout my early twenties, I followed Weight Watchers because I thought I was too heavy, and then, closer to thirty, I was a (bad) vegetarian. Not only was I not doing these diet plans well—such as eating as much processed, sugary food as I could get away with—they weren’t supporting my athletic goals. I was constantly withholding calories and protein and not eating anywhere near enough fat.

Even once I started Paleo in 2010, I still had a lot to learn about proper carbohydrate intake. I was constantly too low and really underfed. After a long season of Xterra triathlon, I was at my lowest weight in a long time, but I was also depleted and weak. It wasn’t until a lot of self-education and some tinkering that I realized I needed to do Paleo better.

The outgrowth of that realization and the work I’ve done here on the site is the desire to help others like me who value being active, may want to compete, and want to use a Paleo platform to help them achieve their goals. It inspired me to write both of my books, The Paleo Athlete and The Performance Paleo Cookbook

When you decide to hang your performance on a Paleo framework, it’s important to intake enough protein, carbohydrate and fat to support the above-normal output and repair the wear-and-tear your body is going through. What’s more, biasing your choices toward the most nutrient dense food possible a majority of the time will build the foundation of good health to help support that performance.

If your training frequency is high (think several days a week or multiple sessions a day) or your training volume is quite challenging, eating protein and glucose-based carbohydrate (like a starch or starchy vegetable) for post-workout will help you get a jump on recovery.

Take-away action: Poke around the website (here and here are good places to start), and do some reading about eating for performance. If you feel inclined to check out either one of my books, cool. If not, that’s okay too. Start with three meals a day (protein, carbs, and fat on each plate) and then start by adding a post-workout of protein and carb. Keep track of how you feel and how  you’re performing / recovering. Give new changes at least two weeks to set in before you make another major change.

Lesson #5: It’s not just about food.

While food is an incredibly important component of lifelong health, it’s not the only one. Focusing on better eating at the expense of sleep, movement / exercise, and managing stress is doing yourself a disservice.

And while trying to get a handle on those things can be overwhelming, making small changes over time adds up. Remember, there’s a difference between discipline and perfection. Will you have times where sleep goes down the drain, you can’t get to the gym, and your life is super stressful? Yes, but hopefully that doesn’t represent your every single day for months and years.

One of my favorite websites for all-around health topics like sleep and managing stress is Whole9. Check them out.

Take-away action: Evaluate how well you’re sleeping, staying active, and dealing with stress. If you need to make change, make your goals small and manageable. Just saying, “I’ll sleep better this year,” isn’t actionable enough. “I’ll be asleep by 9:30 pm each night this week,” is much more specific. Find ways to keep yourself accountable, such as writing in a journal or having a buddy. You can do this. you CAN make change.

The Top 5 Paleo Lessons I've Learned In 5 Years—Part 2 | stupideasypaleo.com

What are the most important Paleo lessons you’ve learned so far? Would you add anything to the list? Share it in the comments below!

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins Recipe

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins are a great pre-workout snack or quick breakfast! They’re loaded with veggies, and they’re gluten- and dairy-free. If you’re doing a Whole30, they’re 100% Whole30-friendly.

Breakfast can be the toughest meal of the day to get organized with, and my go-to tip for quick morning eats is to steam a dozen eggs on your weekly cook-up day. But sometimes, I get tired of just plain eggs, and these little Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins are the perfect solution.

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins | stupideasypaleo.com

I started making egg muffins a couple years ago, and they can be done in a multitude of ways: Add meat and switch up the veggies and spices! You’ll be amazed how many interesting combinations you can come up with. These particular Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins would be great with some browned sausage mixed in, too.

If you don’t have Flavor God Pizza Seasoning—which I realize is quite possible—just substitute it for the spices listed in the Notes section of the recipe. Have fun with it! Even the cat thought they smelled good.

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins | stupideasypaleo.com

4.8 from 5 reviews

Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Makes 12
 

Ingredients
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped cooked broccoli
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Flavor God Pizza Seasoning*
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with liners and grease them. I use silicone liners like these and grease them lightly with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the mushrooms, cooking and stirring until the moisture is drawn out and the mushrooms begin to brown slightly, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the broccoli and black olives. Stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut milk, pizza seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the veggie mixture evenly into the muffin liners. They should be about ⅔ full. Now, pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin liners until it’s about ¾ full.
  5. Bake the egg muffins for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.

Notes
*If you don’t have Flavor God Pizza Seasoning, use 1 tsp garlic powder + ¼ tsp dried basil + ¼ tsp dried oregano.

 

Are you doing a Whole30 this January? Let me know in the comments below!

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Paleo Pizza Egg Muffins | stupideasypaleo.com

Looking for more pre-workout recipe ideas?

Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

 

The Top 5 Paleo Lessons I’ve Learned In 5 Years: Part 1

The Top 5 Paleo Lessons I've Learned In 5 Years | stupideasypaleo.com

That’s me on the left in September of 2010, deadlifting 145 pounds (about 65kg). And there’s me on the right just a few days ago, pulling 320 pounds (145kg). A lot can change in five years.

That’s how long it’s been since I started this Paleo way of eating. In that time, my career and sport of choice have changed, I launched this website, I wrote two books about Paleo nutrition (one comes out next week), and I’ve learned a ton about life. I’ve made a boatload of mistakes, but I’ve had a lot of successes, too.

Probably the most profound thing I’ve experienced is how Paleo’s morphed from a very strict yes / no list to something that’s 100% sustainable as a way of life. It’s how I live my every day, and it’s something I plan to keep doing…no end date in sight. No quick fix. No “lose seven pounds in seven days” mentality. No.

Instead, my goals are to be healthy, happy and harder to kill. (Not necessarily in that order.)

I “went Paleo” on January 10, 2010, a full year and a half before this blog existed. (Fun fact: I was writing and sharing recipes on my old blog far before that. Friends told me I should just make a food blog. True story.) I used to race mountain bikes, and two good friends of mine were talking about Paleo. It sounded crazy to me, but I read about it and decided to give it a try. So, I had my holiday fun and on 01-10-10, I started.

How I eat today has definitely evolved. The lessons I’ve learned from five years of experimentation and tweaking are innumerable, so I’ve picked just the top five things to share with you. They’re nuggets I wish to pass along to you and to anyone getting started with—or veteran to—Paleo.

You could also call this post, “Don’t Make the Same Silly Mistakes I Did,” but even with the most sage advice, there’s nothing like experiential learning. To paraphrase 37 Signals in their book Rework, “Mistakes are feedback.” They’re like data that we can use to adjust course. How freaking cool is that?

Anyhow, here are a few of the top 5 paleo lessons I’ve learned in the past five years.

Lesson #1: Perfection is NOT the name of the game.

I get it. When you first get started, there’s a delicate balance to be struck between staying true to the plan versus backstroking across an endless sea of donuts. And for some of us, the line between those seems about a millimeter wide.

Maybe you’re worried that you’ll slip up forever and end up in some Twilight Zone version of a Betty Crocker nightmare, unable to escape a vortex of treats sucking you in. Maybe you’re trying really hard to exercise willpower instead of changing the mental framework you have around nutrition and adjusting your habits correspondingly. Eventually it peters out and leaves you exhausted, reaching for the phone to order takeout again. 

So in order to “stay on track” you pour every ounce of energy into being perfect. You try to stick stringently to a yes / no list of food for a very long period of time. You berate yourself or feel guilty when you deviate from the list. You judge your self-worth on how perfectly you’re eating. [Note: I am not referring to folks like Celiacs who need to avoid gluten at all costs, people doing short-term plans like Whole30, or those trying to manage autoimmune conditions through dietary intervention.]

How do I know what this is like? It used to be me.

I was really concerned with sticking to the yes / no list of foods I found in a book. What resulted was me not eating the foods I needed to support my goals. Specifically, I was too low carb as an athlete who was training upwards of 20 hours a week. I wasn’t eating enough protein. I could ride for hours, but I was weak as a baby. The only thing that saved me from messed up menstrual cycles was being on birth control pills. While my health was a lot better compared to when I wasn’t eating Paleo, I was missing out on my body’s own signals and what I needed to be healthier because I was so hell-bent on sticking to a list.

Don’t be like me.

Use a yes / no list as a basic framework to get started, but realize it’s a guideline. You will have to tweak that framework as your health and goals change. You will go off-plan at some point. You are not a bad, stupid, weak person because of it. You are a human living life in the real world, not in a bubble. Being stressed about your diet is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

If you root the vast majority of what you’re eating in meat, seafood, eggs; veggies and fruits; and healthy fats and do that long-term, that’s where the magic happens. Discipline and perfection are not the same thing. Make sense?

Take-away action: Change your mindset from, “I’m on a diet where I’m restricted and have to give up all the foods I liked,” to, “I’m choosing delicious foods that are nourishing me from the inside out.” Create new habits to support your mindset change, such as devoting time on Sunday to prep food for the week ahead. Learn how foods actually affect you personally and adjust your framework from there. (For more on that, see Lesson #2.)

Lesson #2: Learn how foods actually affect YOU.

Taking the first lesson a bit further, sticking strictly to a list of yes / no foods you read in a book or on a website without peeking under your own “hood” first is like driving a car with your eyes closed. For that reason, I highly recommend doing a Whole30 or other elimination protocol, like the one listed in The Paleo Solution, before you really dive in.

You’ll get a pretty accurate picture of how different foods affect you—for the better or worse—and decide which, if any foods, to avoid for the long-term.

My mistake was not doing an elimination protocol until a full 18 months after I went Paleo. Turns out, I don’t do so well with things like gluten-free oats and most dairy, things I had suspected but didn’t really confirm until after my Whole30 was over. I also had a raging sweet tooth. It was only after Whole30 that I began to break the vicious cycle of sugar addiction that still had a hold on me. (I could eat a whole bag of Trader Joe’s dried mango in about 3 minutes flat. Some of you know what I’m talking about.)

More importantly, you’ll find out how your body is supposed to feel—stable energy, good moods, healthy digestion, better sleep, etc.—when you take out all the processed, overly sugary, nutrient poor, inflammatory foods that are abundant in the Standard American Diet. You’ll give yourself time for annoyances to begin healing as you remove the foods that kept them around.

Often, feeling better is the best motivation to keep going.

The thing is, you have to follow these protocols as written. When you modify them to suit your whims, you can’t expect to get the full benefit. When you don’t really change behaviors in order to form new habits, you set yourself up for regression and “falling off the wagon.”

Nobody wants to be stuck in an endless cycle of unrestricted indulgence followed by the ever-present challenge or detox. It’s a binge-and-restrict dressed up in a different package, and it’s really common in this community.

On the contrary, when you truly make mindful change, learn about how foods affect you and  nourish yourself with nutrient-dense food, you set yourself up long-term success. It’s easier to navigate a world full of cakes and sweets when you know that 1) though they may taste good, they make you feel terrible or 2) you’ll have it every once in a great while as a real “treat” then be back to your regularly scheduled program of nutritious food.

Also, you may be stuffing your face with tomatoes and peppers only to find that they make your autoimmune condition worse. Or, perhaps a snack of jerky and kombucha puts your histamine levels over the top and you break out in a skin rash. For some people, foods widely encouraged in a Paleo way of eating just don’t work.

It’s an even greater argument for paying attention to the biofeedback our own bodies give us.

Take-away action: Schedule a 30-day elimination program toward the beginning of when you “go Paleo.” Write brief notes about what you eliminated and how it made you feel. At first you may feel terrible. But if you stick with it for a week or two, you should start to feel so. much. better. Then, reintroduce any foods you want (following the program rules) and note your reactions, both physical and mental. Use this information to make adjustments to your basic Paleo framework.

Lesson #3: Paleo crap food is still crap food, just less crappy.

I’m gonna come out and say the unpopular thing: Paleo junk food is still junk food.

Remember when I said I was addicted to sugar even after going Paleo? I was baking a lot, making cookies and other sweets on a pretty regular basis (usually a few times a week). Like a positive feedback loop from hell, my cravings for it only got worse. “But it’s made from Paleo ingredients,” I told myself. “I’m not even eating it every day!”

It may not be made with the same gluten-containing flour or the devil of all sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, but even if it’s made if your kitchen, it’s still dessert. These treats are usually very high in fat and even with “natural” sweeteners, still spike blood sugar.

Should you be expected to never have another piece of birthday cake for the rest of your life? No. Is a gluten-free, homemade, HFCS-free treat a better choice? Probably. Are these foods good choices for regular consumption? No.

And sometimes, I think you should just eat the damn donut / cookie / cake / bread instead of the (let’s be honest) often unsatisfying recreation. I wrote an article all about that last year that ruffled some feathers. It’s worth a read.

We eat, on average, 21 meals a week. That’s almost two dozen opportunities to fill our bellies with nutrient-dense foods that energize us at the cellular level and influence virtually every aspect of our health status. What we choose a majority of the time over a long period of time is what matters most.

One last thing: The ingredients for Paleo-fied junk foods are often quite expensive and really don’t provide the same nutrient density as the staples. If you’re on a budget for time and / or money, skip the baking and treats.

Take-away action: Save treats for special occasions. (Just because it’s a day that ends in “y” doesn’t qualify.) That way, they don’t become a regular feature of your diet. If you crave junk food because of stress, create new habits and responses to the situations that set you off. Jerkface boss giving you a hard time? Bills got you constantly worried? Instead of going to the kitchen, meditate for 10 minutes, take a walk or go take a warm shower. Be honest with yourself about your junk food intake (Paleo or otherwise).

Look for Part 2—and some thoughts about where I’m going from here—soon!

The Top 5 Paleo Lessons I've Learned In 5 Years | stupideasypaleo.com

What are the most important Paleo lessons you’ve learned so far? Share it in the comments below!

Smoked Salmon Egg Bake Recipe

Smoked Salmon Egg Bake from Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

I’m so excited to share this recipe for Smoked Salmon Egg Bake with you. It’s another sneak peek from The Performance Paleo Cookbook which releases to the world in just a bit over a week!

I know how important previews can be, especially when there are so many new books are coming out. You want to pick the one that’s right for you. That’s why I’ll be sharing five recipes from Performance Paleo Cookbook so you can try before you buy! With the New Year coming soon, I’m confident this is the best cookbook out there to support your commitment to exercise / training…because we all know you can’t out-train a poor diet.

Without further adieu,…

From The Performance Paleo Cookbook

Smoked Salmon Egg Bake

Portable pre-workout protein with a smoked salmon twist

With their protein and healthy fat profile, eggs make a fantastic pre-workout food. They’re rich in essential nutrients like vitamin D, choline and folate and are a relatively inexpensive way to incorporate more protein into your diet. In this recipe, I bumped up the veggie content with the zucchini and green onions. Cut into squares, and take them with you on the go!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Smoked Salmon Egg Bake: Performance Paleo Cookbook
Serves: Serves 6
 

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp + 1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
  • 1 lb (454 g) zucchini, shredded
  • 3 green onions (2 oz [57 g]), white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 4 oz (113 g) smoked salmon, chopped

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C and grease an 8-inch x 8-inch/20-centimeter x 20-centimeter baking dish with 1 teaspoon coconut oil.
  2. Now sweat the zucchini and green onions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters coconut oil. Add the zucchini, green onions, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the veggies are wilted and lightly browned. You want most of the moisture to cook off , about 6 to 8 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the dill, then mix in the smoked salmon. When the zucchini and green onions are cool, add them to the eggs and stir until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is set and not liquid.

Notes
TOTAL RECIPE MACRONUTRIENTS (IN GRAMS PER SERVING)

PROTEIN 13G

FAT 11G

TOTAL CARB 3G

NET CARB 2G

Pre-order now through through AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesGoogle Play or IndieBound!

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Smoked Salmon Egg Bake from Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Blueberry & Bacon Salad Recipe

Paleo Brussels, Blueberry & Bacon Salad | stupideasypaleo.com This Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Blueberry and Bacon Salad was inspired by a dish at our local grub establishment, and it’s full of awesome flavors: crisp Brussels, sweet blueberries, savory bacon and a tangy lemon tarragon dressing. Got your attention?

Paleo Brussels, Blueberry & Bacon Salad | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s even better is that this Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Blueberry and Bacon Salad is easy to scale up and bring to a party or potluck, and it’s pretty simple to make. If you can’t find dried blueberries without a bunch of added sugar, fresh will work just fine.

Paleo Brussels, Blueberry & Bacon Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Serves 4
 

Ingredients
For the Salad
  • 3 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1 lb (454 g)Brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ cup (60 g) dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup (25 g) chopped walnuts
For the Dressing
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp dried tarragon
  • ¼ tsp dried mustard
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) and line a baking sheet with foil. Lay the bacon strips on the foil. You may want to season the bacon by sprinkling it with a little garlic powder. Bake the bacon until it’s crispy but not burned, around 15 to 20 minutes. Set it aside to cool, and chop it.
  2. To prep the Brussels sprouts, peel off any damaged outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the sprouts thinly. I like to think about making 4 to 6 slices per sprout. The thinner the better. Place those in a large bowl.
  3. Add in the blueberries and walnuts.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine, then drizzle in the oil while whisking until it’s evenly mixed. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything well to combine. Top with the bacon.

Notes
Use fresh blueberries instead of dried if you prefer. This recipe is Whole30-friendly if you use sugar free bacon and blueberries without added sugar.

 

What’s your favorite recipe for Brussels sprouts?

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Paleo Brussels, Blueberry & Bacon Salad | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Holiday Recipes

Need some Paleo holiday recipes? I’ve got you covered!

I’ve pulled my best Paleo holiday recipes from the past 3+ years into one post (I realize it can be hard to find…there’s a ton of stuff in the Recipe Index) so you can find inspiration in just one click. Whether it’s a Hanukkah feast, Christmas dinner or a New Year’s Party, you’re sure to find some great nibbles on this list.

Drinks

Gingerbread Spiced Butter Coffee 

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Holiday Kombucha

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Easy Paleo Mocktails

Appetizers & Finger Food

Orange Ginger Chicken Wings

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Pineapple Bacon Poppers

Side Dishes

Beet and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Garlic Pistachio Broccoli Rabe

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Meats

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Glazed Pork Belly

How To Brine a Turkey or Chicken

How To Brine a Turkey or Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Treats

Dairy Free Eggnog Pudding

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Coconut Macaroons Two Ways

Edible Gift Ideas

Preserved Meyer Lemons

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

Homemade Extracts—Vanilla, Mint & Lemon

Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

What are your favorite Paleo holiday recipes? Share them in the comments below!

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Paleo Holiday Recipe Ideas | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast Recipe

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com This recipe for Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast is easy enough to do on a weeknight, but special enough for a special holiday table.

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com

Traditionally, pork loin is stuffed with bread stuffing, but I’ve kept this Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast super flavorful with a mixture of dried tart cherries, sweet dried apricots, tender walnuts, and earthy sage. With a basic technique, you’ll butterfly the pork loin to flatten the meat and make it perfect for stuffing and rolling. Pounding the meat so it’s uniformly flat after you’ve cut it will make rolling the meat easier.

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com

Since pork loin is a very lean cut of meat, I recommend cooking it with the fat side up to help keep it moist. You could even serve it with a simple Paleo herb gravy (like this one from Nom Nom Paleo) for extra credit points. Remember to ask your butcher for some twine when you buy your roast—most will be happy to give you a small amount on the house.

When I got my four pound roast home, I discovered it was actually two smaller pieces tied together by the butcher (oops!). I just rolled with it and did two roasts that were smaller.

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com

Here’s how to make your Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast…

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Serves 8
 

Ingredients
  • 4 lb (1814 g) pork loin roast
  • 1 c (100 g) chopped walnuts
  • ½ c (100 g) dried apricots*, chopped
  • ½ c (75 g) tart dried cherries*
  • 15 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp (14 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp (5 g) ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (191C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the pork loin roast by butterflying or cutting it in a roll fashion. Here’s how to cut it in a roll so the meat looks beautiful and spiraled when you cut into it. You may want to pound the meat so it’s uniformly flat. Set it aside and prepare the filling.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the walnuts, dried apricots, dried cherries and sage.
  4. With the meat lying open, sprinkle about half the salt and pepper on the inside. Now, place the filling on the meat in one layer. You’ll want to stay away from the edges so the filling won’t fall out when you roll it.
  5. Starting with the thinnest end toward you, roll the meat up carefully. Place the rolled edge down and the fat up. Wrap butcher’s twine around the roast every few inches so it doesn’t open up during roasting.
  6. Roast the pork for approximately 40-50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 145F (63C). Allow the roast to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice it into rounds with a sharp knife.

Notes
*Look for dried fruit that in unsweetened when possible.

 

Paleo Stuffed Pork Loin Roast | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite meat for your holiday table? Tell me in the comments below!

Performance Paleo & Frugal Paleo Cookbook Tour

Performance Paleo & Frugal Paleo Cookbook Tour | stupideasypaleo.com

The Performance Paleo & Frugal Paleo Cookbook Tour is coming to a city near you starting this January, 2015!

Ciarra from Popular Paleo (author of The Frugal Paleo Cookbook) and myself (author of the soon-to-be-released The Performance Paleo Cookbook) are hitting the road together, and we’d love to see you!

Click each date for venue / time and to RSVP for free!

About Our Performance Paleo & Frugal Paleo Cookbook Tour

We’re making it all about you: we’re planning a mini-seminar with our best tips for using our books in real life; answering your questions; and leaving plenty of time to chat, sign your books and take some selfies. Because everyone loves selfies.

Details for first eight stops are set up, and we’re currently making plans for the Midwest and East Coast. (We’re holding out for slightly better weather, because last January when I traveled east for The Whole Athlete seminars with Dallas we ran into some gnar gnar conditions.)

If you don’t see your city on our TBD list, please let me know and if you can convince us there’s a strong Paleo community that we mustn’t miss out on, we’ll see if it works into our plans!

It’ll help us tremendously if you RSVP for each event…they’re totally free, but we’d like to give the venues a heads up for seat count. Both The Performance Paleo Cookbook and The Frugal Paleo Cookbook will be available for purchase at the event. Though you may bring books you’ve bought online or in other stores, it’s highly encouraged to purchase one at the store because it helps support our fantastic hosts.

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Performance Paleo & Frugal Paleo Cookbook Tour | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo or Whole30: Which Is Better?

Paleo or Whole30: Which is better?

It’s a question I get a lot. I’m answering it for you today so that you can go forward with confidence and select the best nutrition approach for yourself—especially if you’re planning to kick off the New Year with a renewed focus to eat better.

A Bit About Paleo First

Paleo is a way of eating focusing on real, whole, minimally processed foods. Foods that support gut health, hormonal balance, stable energy, and lean body mass. The stars of the show are meat, seafood, and eggs; veggies and fruit; and healthy fats. Most people start with a yes and no list of foods to eat and avoid, respectively.

Yes: Meat, seafood, and eggs; veggies and fruit; and healthy fats.

No: Grains, legumes, dairy, added sugars, processed foods, and salt. (There are others.)

Five years ago when I first started eating this way (on January 10, 2010 to be exact), the list of what was and wasn’t Paleo was pretty fixed across the board. It was easy to find a lot of consistency from book to book or website to website.

My, my…how things have changed.

Now it’s anyone’s guess, especially when every nutrient-poor baked good under the sun and processed / packaged food is now labeled with the “P” word because it’s “technically” Paleo. It’s kind of a mess, especially for newbies.

One site says white potatoes are okay. Another says to avoid them like the plague. One book says never, ever salt your food. The world replies back with, “But some salt makes food taste good.” Confusing, right?

While a yes / no list is a decent way to start your Paleo lifestyle and wrap your brain around it, it’s no way to live the rest of your life.

And, it’s not the smartest idea either. Why? Here’s an example.

Athletes need more carbohydrate than sedentary folks. By adhering to extremely low carbohydrate Paleo approaches and training extremely hard, many athletes have gotten into hot water with their cortisol levels, thyroid health, and poor performance (to name a few). Applying one Paleo protocol across the board where everyone eats the same exact thing—with disregard for life context, goals, health history, etc.—can have negative implications over time.

Another example. My husband’s been Paleo since 2007, but in the last couple years, he’s battled skin irritation like eczema around his eyes and elbows. Trial and error seemed to link it to certain foods like beef and eggs, but after much research, he narrowed it to a histamine intolerance. Eating a lot of fermented veggies, kombucha, leftover meat, bone broth and even certain vegetables—all foods widely lauded and encouraged in a Paleo diet—actually made his symptoms worse.

Long story short, you are an individual and context matters, which is why you need to learn about yourself and your relationship with food. That’s where Whole30 comes in.

Get Your Learn On With Whole30

[Note: I am an Envoy Extraordinaire for Whole30, which means I help educate the community and answer questions about the program.]

Whole30 is a month long elimination plan that’s been described more than once as “squeaky clean Paleo.” Dallas and Melissa Hartwig created this strategy to help people learn about their relationships with potentially problematic foods, then develop a plan for which foods to avoid long-term and which to reintroduce.

You see, we don’t all react to foods in the same ways. Me? I had a really tough time with sugar. Even after 18 months of Paleo eating, I couldn’t shake it. It consumed me. I wanted to stop eating sweets and craving junk food, but I was stuck. Even notoriously “healthy” foods like dried fruit were irresistible to me. I could slam back a whole bag of Trader Joe’s dried mango in about 10 minutes, then go back for more.

In 2011, I did my first Whole30 which required me to cut out all added sugar. (And, I avoided dried fruit because I knew it was a trigger food.) By the end, I had broken the cycle. Something I struggled with my WHOLE LIFE no longer had a grip on me.

Was I allergic to sugar? No. Do I have a sugar sensitivity? Maybe, but it depends on how you define that. Did I have a bad psychological relationship with it? Eff yeah, I did. What you learn about yourself during and after a Whole30 might surprise you.

So, completing a Whole30 will give you valuable, personalized feedback about which foods affect you positively / negatively, then allow you to make informed modifications to a Paleo approach for life. Sounds cool, right? You get to drive your boat based on how foods make you feel, not because of what some yes / no list you read five years ago told you to eat.

To Summarize…

Paleo or Whole30: Which is better? The answer is neither. They’re just different. They both serve their own purposes and have distinct goals.

The simple solution: Do a Whole30 at the start of your Paleo journey so you know how to better eat Paleo for life.

Paleo is a long-term nutrition and lifestyle strategy where nutrient-dense foods are encouraged, but inflammatory, nutrient-poor foods are avoided.

Whole30 is a short-term, very strict program designed to help you learn about which foods may be problematic for you. You can then apply what you learn to a slightly looser, less strict (but very much informed) Paleo approach to eating for life.

Whole30 Resources To Help You Plan for January 1

1: Get a copy of It Starts with Food. It’s really easy to read, and it’ll set clear guidelines for you. (Plus it has a ton of tasty recipes from Mel Joulwan of Well Fed and Well Fed 2.) No time or dinero to get one? You can read about the program on the Whole30 website here. Not sure if you should get the book? Check out my review here: 5 Reasons to Read It Starts with Food.

2: I’ve tagged every recipe from the blog that’s Whole30-friendly (over 100 to date) for easy searching in the Recipe Index. If it says W30, it’s made from Whole30-friendly ingredients. There are hundreds!

3: My Whole30 Pinterest board. Love to pin? You can find all my Whole30 recipe pins (plus other photos and videos) by clicking here: Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30 Pinterest Board.

4: My Whole30 video tips! You can find them on the Stupid Easy Paleo YouTube channel or by clicking the blog posts here: 5 Tips for a Successful Whole30 and 5 More Tips for a Successful Whole30.

5: Other awesome bloggers who’ve written about Whole30: Nom Nom Paleo and The Clothes Make the Girl just to name a couple rockstars! Click on their blog names for kickass Whole30 posts, including recipes. Mel’s got another newly updated post here: 30 Reasons to Whole30 with lots of good stuff AND her Week 1 Meal Plan with yummies like her famous Chocolate Chili and Sunshine Sauce!

6: My Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges (It’s free!)

7: The Whole30 forum. A free forum dedicated to all topics Whole30-related. Click here to join.

Still got questions about Paleo or Whole30? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you!

Paleo or Whole30: Which is Better? | stupideasypaleo.com