I see a lot of “Paleo” recipes on your website. Do you believe in evolution and cavemen as the Paleo movement subscribes to?
I do not believe in evolution or cavemen and do not subscribe to the “Paleo” lifestyle. In fact, the more I learn I am in awe about our bodies and how amazing God is with His creativity, knowledge and wisdom in creating humans. I do believe that eating nutrient dense foods like clean meats, high quality fats along with a rainbow of vegetables and managing my sleep and stress along with getting moderate exercise do help to maintain my health. I have seen a drastic improvement in my life since changing my lifestyle in this manner. Paleo is merely a definition I use for people who want to find clean, unrefined food to cook in their own homes. If someone searches the word Paleo they will come up with a plethora of resources. My goal is to be a resource for people to use and I want to direct people to other websites that use this term as well. Eating nutritious, whole foods free from contaminants, processing (for the most part) and without the common inflammatory components can promote healing in our lives which is why I use this term.
I can’t eat coconut because I have sensitivity to it. Can you post recipes that don’t have coconut ingredients in them?
I once had a sensitivity to coconut too when I was really sick. Now that I have healed I don’t. I do have sensitivity to nuts though and so that is why I choose to use coconut in my baked goods. For recipes that call for coconut oil, in most cases it can be substituted with another fat – depending on the flavor profile and what recipe it is. Also coconut flakes or shreds can almost always be eliminated – though it is dependant on the recipe. If this is ever the case I will always note the substitutions in the recipe. I do hope that someday I can tolerate nuts but for now since I can’t I wouldn’t be able to even taste a recipe I created with nuts in it. In the meantime, if you cannot have coconut and need to use nut flours particularly for baking you can find several websites with recipes using nut flours for the base. If you ask, I can direct you to some of my favorites. Do stop by here again though because I may be able to incorporate nuts again someday soon!
Is it hard to cook this way?
Actually, looking back to when I was gluten free for 2 years prior to starting GAPS and then moving to Paleo I think eating gluten free was SO much harder. Eating clean, unrefined food gets back to the basics and it so much simpler. Baking gluten free requires so many different kinds of flour and takes so much finagling. Baking with grain free flours (primarily coconut and nut flours) is a piece of cake once the simple science is understood. Sourcing clean food can be the most challenging but with online companies it has allowed so many more fresh foods to be at our fingertips. This way of cooking does take some pre planning and requires a grocery store and/or famers market trip for fresh fruits and veggies more often but it is well worth it.
Why have you eliminated an entire food group – specifically grains?
Personally, I have eliminated grains due to the desire to heal intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut), lessen inflammation in my body and continue to improve my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to the point of remission. Too many lectins and saponins along with some other things in grains cause major gut irritability and break down the intestine wall poking microscopic holes and virtually killing the enterocytes that line our intestines.. This leads to major inflammation because of pathogens and particles getting through the intestinal barrier into our blood stream. That triggers an immune response and in turn inflammation. We need our enterocytes in order to get the nutrients to vital parts of our body. Grains have the most dense amount of lectins and saponins in them as opposed to some vegetable that have them in much smaller amounts. Grains are not the same today as they were in Bible times or even 100 years ago for that matter. There is 80% more gluten in grains today and some of them are GMO and/or sprayed with glyphosate which is linked to cancers, autoimmunity and more. Organic grains found to have levels of Glyphosate. Instead of grains I eat vitamin rich, dense starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squashes. This gives me the energy I need as well as the nutrition my body craves without breaking down my gut wall.
What do you feel are the best sweeteners to use in cooking?
My first choices are whole foods: bananas, dates and ripe plantains. My next choices are raw local honey and Grade B (or A is acceptable) maple syrup. The more whole and less processed the better. Whole foods come with all the components needed to properly metabolize the sugars we ingest. Thank you to our Creator!
Where do you get your meats?
Sourcing clean meats took me some time and was somewhat of a challenge. Obviously, as you probably are, we are on a budget that I need to stick too so I couldn’t just go buy anything. I had to find a good source WITH the right price. My husband is getting into hunting so we hope to have some wild meats in our freezer soon. Currently, we buy our beef in bulk. We purchase a half cow every year that is pastured and is given GMO FREE food if needed supplement, no hormones and no antibiotics. We get our wild caught fish at Costco or actually going fishing. To be honest my Dad is a great fisherman and he often brings us great fish! I have found some wild caught fish at Trader Joes’ as well. From the same ranch we buy our beef we also buy pastured pig and when we run out of pork I order it on US Wellness Meats. We also get nitrate/nitrite free bologna, beef jerky and some other cuts of meat from US Wellness Meats. Organic Chicken we get at Costco since I have yet to find a source that is truly organic with a competitive price. If I can find local though I am all about supporting local farmers if the price is right. Whole foods also has a good selection of good meats too but they can be a bit more pricey. Once in a while we go there. I do love their brand of bacon though! Good price and free of the yuckies.
Where do you get your vegetables and fruits?
I like to get my vegetables and fruits at two local stores near me and well as farmers markets when they are in season. Aside from that we do enjoy growing our own foods during the spring and summer months when time allows.
How do you find time to cook fresh foods being a SAHM who homeschools and wears various other hats?
I have to prioritize eating healthy and feeding my family rich foods. It took me a while to “get into my groove” as I call it. Eating this way does require more prep than I as used to and a bit more time in the kitchen. Basically my solution has been to menu plan, think ahead during the day and prep anything in advance that I can. I also like to keep my meals more simple if I know the week is going to be extra hectic. I plan to do a post to cover this more extensively but for now this is the short answer.