Real Life Paleo Meal Plan: Day 4

paleo meal plan day 4
Didn’t do too much cooking today – we spent most of Valentine’s day in the beautiful Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey (see photo slide show below). We saw rabbits, 3 whales (my first time!), several types of beautiful birds, some deer right next to our car, and some sea lions in the water.

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Real Life Paleo Meal Plan: Day 3

paleo meal plan day 3
Breakfast: I had 2 bowls of bone broth mixed with chicken broth (both had been simmering in different slow cookers) (recipes here and here) followed by a cup of black coffee. Jeremy had a bowl of chili (leftovers) (recipe here).

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Paleo Breakfast Porridge

paleo breakfast porridge recipe
This is a really versatile recipe – it can be a great breakfast option or a quick dessert/snack! And you can add as little (or none) or as much honey as you want.

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Real Life Paleo Meal Plan: Day 2

paleo meal plan day 2

We started the day off a bit late again. Trying to get back to a good sleeping schedule tonight! The slow cooker had been going, so more chicken broth (recipe here) seemed to be a good start. We also finished off more of the leftover chili (recipe here) and made some beef sautéed with zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and salt (it was a modified version of this recipe here).

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Real Life Paleo Meal Plan: Day 1

paleo meals day 1 chicken broth and chili
People often wonder what Jeremy and I eat on a daily basis, so here it is! We’re going to keep track of what we eat and drink daily here as a sort of photo food diary (I already forgot to photography the sides at dinner, but hopefully I’ll get better about remembering)!!

We slept in today (too tired from so much traveling over the past few weeks). Jeremy slept around 13 hours, and I slept 11 hours! So, it was pretty much lunchtime when we got up.

The slowcooker had been going all night, so we woke up to grass fed beef chili (recipe here), and homemade chicken broth (recipe here).

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eating out paleo restaurant food cart cultured caveman portland oregon pdx
No trip to Portland would be complete without a stop (or two, or three…) at Cultured Caveman!

This is an all-Paleo food cart opened by Heather and Joe (we only got to meet Heather, but she was amazing to talk to – in fact, she was so amazing that we stood in the sleet for 30 minutes chatting with her!!).

One of the best things about Cultured Caveman is that you don’t have to worry about any of the ingredients – you can eat everything off the menu (and we did just that!). Their ingredients are top notch – grass fed beef and paleo oils (like tallow, olive oil, coconut oil) – and the food is delicious (my favorite was the Ethiopian Cabbage). And they even have tasty bone broth!!

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everything you need to know about the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP)
This article is a little bit more important than usual.

So it’s also a little bit longer than usual. But you should read it all. Especially if you have an autoimmune disease, and probably even if you don’t.

I get a lot of emails from readers asking about the Autoimmune Protocol (often abbreviated “AIP”) within Paleo. Questions like: “What is it?” “Is it right for me?” “How do I do it?” and “Will it help me with ______ problem?”

Unfortunately, there just wasn’t a great article or series of articles that clearly answered all of these questions. And that was a shame.

So…I decided to write this article. It’s a very thorough but easy-to-read guide to AIP, including a comprehensive, printable list of foods that are allowed or not allowed on AIP that you can have emailed to you by clicking below or at the end of the article. There’s also a handy AIP FOOD TABLE below that you can Pin, so keep reading!

What is an Autoimmune Disease?

The first time someone told me they had an autoimmune disease, I thought they meant they had AIDS (yes, I was quite clueless, despite the fact that I actually have an autoimmune disease). For the difference between Autoimmune Disease (AID) and Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS), check out this article.

Let me begin by explaining the basics of an autoimmune disease, because the chances are that you might have one!

Autoimmune diseases occur when your body’s own immune system starts attacking your own body’s proteins. This happens because your body thinks that those proteins are a foreign substance (e.g., a bacteria) that need to be destroyed. Unfortunately, this can end up causing widespread destruction of your own organs and cells instead.

There are a ton of different autoimmune diseases (some may not have even been identified, and many of them are obscure like the one I have). Most autoimmune diseases differ based on which proteins/cells are being attacked by your immune system.

Here are some autoimmune diseases you might have come across:

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Graves’ disease
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Narcolepsy
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Angioedema (what I have)

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Chinese paleo pork spare ribs recipe

This is a remarkably easy recipe, and it’s absolutely delicious! The recipe is my guest post on Ditch The Wheat and also features my 3 Little-Known Secrets for Cooking Authentic Chinese Meals (that are Paleo/Gluten-Free)!!

Check it out here:

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Soup with Apples

paleo spaghetti squash soup recipe
Spaghetti squash is popular in Paleo as a grain-free alternative to pasta. The squash naturally forms strands that look like spaghetti.

However, I wanted to do something different with my spaghetti squash, and so I decided to make a nice warming soup with apples and fall spices.

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paleo stuffed peppers recipe with butternut squash and ground beef

This was so good – Jeremy couldn’t get enough of it! The gentle hint of cinnamon and cardamom goes really well with the butternut squash, and the sweetness of the butternut squash and the bell peppers is fantastic with the ground beef.

I know this dish looks really fancy, but it’s actually very easy to make! It’s perfect as a well-rounded meal or as an appetizer. (I would serve 1 stuffed pepper per person for an appetizer, or 2 stuffed peppers per person for an entree.)

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Paleo Mustard Celery Ground Beef Recipe

paleo mustard celery ground beef recipe

This dish was so good I had to make it twice in the same day! It’s so easy and uses very common ingredients. The mustard works really well with the celery and ground beef to create a really flavorful and nutritious meal.

This is especially fantastic for whenever you’re short on time – it takes just 20 minutes from start to finish (prep time is really short because there’s so little to chop).

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how to prevent paleo egg muffins from sticking to the pan

My Experiments

I was at one of Nom Nom Paleo’s book signings recently, and an audience member asked what was the best way of preventing egg muffins from sticking to the muffin pan. Diane Rodgers and Melissa Joulwan were also there, and some interesting answers came up.

nom nom paleo, melissa joulwan, diane rodgers

I had my own thoughts about what would work to prevent sticking, but I went ahead and did some experiments (i.e., I made some egg muffins under various conditions)! And since egg muffins are a fantastic pre-prepared Paleo breakfast/snack, I thought I’d share my findings here so no one has to scrub their muffin pan again.

Below are my 3 best methods for preventing egg muffins from sticking to the muffin pan:

Click to read the 3 methods

Wicked Spoon Buffet, Las Vegas, NV - Paleo Restaurant Review

So Many Vegas Buffets

I’ve always loved buffets in Las Vegas, and I’ve been to most of the major ones over the past 7 years (many of them multiple times).

I remember loving the crab legs initially, and I would scout out the seafood buffets (like the Rio buffet back in the days when it was famous for its seafood).

Then, when the Wynn’s high-end buffet opened, it was like getting a super-charge of relatively high-class food all in one sitting. And for about a year, I would make a trip to the Wynn buffet every trip!

However, for the past few years, my taste for buffets has died down a bit (I tried the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s palace last September, and it was good but not amazing). That is, until I tried Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan Hotel this past trip.

I loved it so much we went twice on consecutive nights! There was just a great selection of Paleo options – from bone marrow to prime rib to house-cured bacon to freshly grilled salmon to kale salads and sauteed Brussels sprouts. And most importantly, everything was amazingly delicious.

The Amazing Food at Wicked Spoon

Click to see the food photos!

paleo carrot bacon egg muffins recipe

I love this recipe – it’s really easy to make (and to scale up to make a double or triple batch), and it makes the perfect fast and easy breakfast or snack! I recently made 24 of these to take on a road trip to Las Vegas.

Also, if you’re interested in how to prevent your egg muffins from sticking to the tray, then click here for 3 tried and tested methods.

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paleo apple tartlets recipe
George from Civilized Caveman Cooking is one of THE NICEST people I know! So, I was really thrilled when he posted my guest post on Apple Tartlets. These things are delicious!

The recipe is here:

Review of Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans Book

nom nom paleo book

Book Title:

Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans


Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

Too Much Excitement!

I was really excited when Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo sent me her new cookbook. Who wouldn’t be excited to find a large red box on their doorstep :)

And my excitement continued when I opened the book, since – in addition to pages upon pages of recipes and yummy photos – there were also super-cool illustrations of Michelle and her family (including her kids, Big O and Little O, and her husband, Henry).

My Favorite Chapter

This book is filled with over 100 delicious recipes, but my favorite chapter is definitely the very first one, which is entitled “Building Blocks,” since most of the recipes in this chapter can be used to enhance other recipes or dishes. There are recipes for Dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend), Magic Mushroom Powder, her famous Paleo Sriracha sauce, Macadamia Nut “Ricotta”, Bacon Aioli, and a ton more!

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Paleo Apple Pecan Brussels Sprouts Recipe

paleo apple pecan brussels sprouts recipe

I love cooking my Brussels sprouts with bacon (recipe here), but I had cooked that same dish for several weeks already, and it was losing some of its appeal. So, I came up with a new fast and easy way of cooking Brussels sprouts.

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paleo gluten-free wedding planning

Weddings are Tough!

If you’ve ever planned any large party or event, then you’ll know just how tough it can be.

There are so many moving parts to organize, so many different people to please, and always some last minute glitches! So just imagine when you also have to add in Paleo/Gluten-Free/Dietary Restrictions into the mix!

From the start, Jeremy and I were worried about the food at our wedding, and we found a caterer months before we did anything else (I wrote about our wedding menu just before the wedding in this post)!

Our caterer (Joshua Charles) was fantastic, but all sorts of other food and drink issues come up nearer the time (should we serve a cake, what about desserts, what oils should the food be cooked in, was there enough variety for everyone, what party favors would our guests like, what alcohols should we serve, should we serve soda???). And this was outside of the technical issues we encountered with our RSVP website (we wanted to go high tech) or our uncertainty as to whether the taxi service would be able to drop people at the location or our last minute decision to install a dance floor into the courtyard (and yes, the police did stop by for a friendly chat with me about the noise!).

It would have been easy just to give up on my diet for one day, but this was the biggest opportunity I had for demonstrating to my closest family and friends just how fantastic Paleo food is and can make them feel! And it turned out to be not difficult at all because we paid attention to the five areas below.

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paleo bread recipe (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free)

You asked for a Paleo Bread Recipe

I’ve had a lot of requests for a full loaf paleo bread recipe, so here it is! It takes longer than my microwave bread recipe, but it’s worth the wait (most of the extra time is just waiting for it to cook in the oven), and you can make enough to share.

Do you want me to email this recipe to you?
If so, just Click Here.

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Spring soup with poached egg - paleo, gluten-free, dairy free
This is something I make all the time (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), so I thought I would share it with everyone even though it’s not spring.

It’s so simple (3 ingredients) and has a really great clean feel – I love it.

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Easy Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Easy Bacon Brussels Sprouts Recipe
I love this recipe because it’s just 2 ingredients and 2 pots. Literally nothing else! And it tastes absolutely amazing.

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30-Minute Paleo Dessert Recipes: Simple Gluten-Free and Paleo Desserts for Improved Weight-Loss

In case you missed this, I released a Paleo Desserts Cookbook last week. It’s in Kindle and Print format, and you can get a free Kindle copy Today and Tomorrow ONLY. Go grab your copy free now by clicking here.

It’s #1 in Amazon Bestsellers for Baking, Desserts, and Women’s Health!

Amazon bestseller paleo cookbook

And a HUGE thank you to everyone that reviewed the book :) There are 64 Five-Star reviews and counting! You are making all my dreams come true.

Merry Christmas!

Beef Wellington (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

paleo beef wellington (gluten-free, grain-free)
I’ve always been a big fan of Gordon Ramsay, and one of his signature dishes is Beef Wellington (a classic British dish – more about it below). I was therefore a bit sad that I couldn’t order it at his Las Vegas restaurant (it comes with a wheat-based puff pastry that is indispensable to the dish).

That of course doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy grain-free Paleo Beef Wellington at home!

What is a Beef Wellington?

Beef Wellington is a classic British dish comprising of a beef tenderloin smothered with pâté and duxelles, wrapped with puff pastry, and then baked.

The exact origins of the dish seem to be unknown (it’s appeared in cookbooks since around the 1940s and became popular during the 1960s), and while there are suggestions that it’s named after the Duke of Wellington or the Wellington Boot, there’s no concrete evidence supporting any of these claims.

There are lots of variations of the recipe, and I’ve created 2 Paleo variations: one with a Paleo (gluten-free) pastry and one without a pastry.

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Coconut Lemongrass Shrimp Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

paleo coconut lemongrass shrimp soup (tom kha gai thai soup)
I was really skeptical about this soup when I first had it at a Thai restaurant in Los Angeles 10 years ago. It was 3am in the morning, the restaurant was packed, and the menu was completely foreign to me.

Just the first taste told me that I had definitely picked a winner. It was amazing – so flavorful, so creamy, and omg so spicy!

I finished the entire bowl despite the fact that it was way too spicy for me. It was just that good!

That soup I ordered was Tom Kha Gai, which translates to “Chicken Galangal Soup.”
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Bison Pineapple Chili

Paleo Bison Pineapple Chili Recipe
I’m a fan of fruit in my chili (see my Raspberry Liver Chili Recipe), and so I decided to experiment a bit more with that theme for this recipe.

Have you tried Bison?

I can still recall the first time I tried bison. It was at Ted’s Montana Grill in New York City. This is one of Ted Turner’s companies, and its main focus is bison. I had no clue what bison was at the time, but I LOVED IT.
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Beef Bacon Acorn Squash Mash Bowl

paleo beef bacon tips acorn squash mash bowl recipe
Presenting food prettily has never been my forte. I think it stems from a belief that good food doesn’t need good presentation.

Of course, this belief is totally bogus! Some of the best restaurants in the world pay just as much attention to presentation as they do to the taste of the food. In fact my trip to Meadowood really showed me that amazing food deserves and is enhanced by amazing presentation.

Ways to Make Your Food Look Prettier

I’ve experimented with several methods of enhancing the prettiness of my food (I think it should be called food vanity):

  • buy pretty plates,
  • buy pretty place settings,
  • buy pretty cutlery,
  • decorate the plate with different garnishes.

I’m pretty bad at all of these methods, so I wanted to try a fifth method – making use of the natural beauty of the fruits and vegetables in the dish (to make the dish more colorful and to use them to hold the foods).

And so, for this amazingly delicious recipe, I used the acorn squash as both the food and the decoration. I really love the autumn colors in this dish (the dark green of the acorn squash skin, the dark yellow of the acorn squash flesh, the green of the collard greens, and the dark red of the beef bacon). In case you’re not familiar with beef bacon, there’s more on that next.
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Crispy Indian Chicken Drumsticks

Paleo Indian Chicken Drumstick Recipes
I’ve been making this non-stop because it’s so easy, so flavorful, and so delicious!

There’s a quick video of this recipe here, and a printable version is below:

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how to start paleo
Recently, I returned from Vegas to find piles of clothes strewn everywhere around my house.

For some people, this might mean that there had been a burglary.  Not for me.  This was simply how I’d left things.

Even my closet had piles of clothes on various shelves.  (And by “piles,” I don’t mean neat and folded stacks.)  So as I began unpacking my suitcase, I was initially tempted to simply dump more clothes on top of the piles already in my closet.

That’s when it dawned on me.  I was waiting for “someday” to throw away all the clothes I never wear (several still had the tags on!).

my someday failure

Are You a Someday Person?

I didn’t think I was.

While at dinner one night in Las Vegas, several of us girls discussed our husbands (always a fruitful topic!).  The conversation drifted to the topic of laundry, and one girl told us her way of ensuring that her husband never wears clothes that she hates:  “I tell him that if he ever wears it and it comes through the laundry, he will never see it again.”
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eating out paleo restaurants california napa meadowood review

How Great Food Can Inspire and Will Keep on Giving

I was already a bit apprehensive when we started the long drive to Napa. Making a reservation at Meadowood had been one of those spur-of-the-moment you-only-live-once sort of decisions when you hand over your credit card, close your eyes, and hope everything turns out ok.

I was hoping to be wow’d but deep down, I was already prepared for disappointment. I’d eaten at some of the top restaurants in the country already (including four 3-michelin star ones and some crazy-cheap but amazing hole-in-the-walls). So how could Meadowood deliver me an awesome experience to make it worth the hefty price-tag?

When we arrived grumpy at having sat for 2 hours in traffic, they completely brushed aside the fact that we were almost half an hour late and instead seated us immediately. The dinner had been in celebration of my birthday (which we had told them), and the director of the restaurant greeted us with this personalized card.

meadowood restaurant review

I was touched, but really, the true inspirations came with the food (you can see the full menu below).

The Aftermath

It’s hard to describe how ingenious combinations of fresh and local ingredients can change my life, but it did.

I was so moved, I stopped by Whole Foods on my drive home and bought some fresh carrots to marinade in champagne. LOL

Then I proceeded to sign up for the Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science course offered by Harvard on EDX. I know, I’m a geek, but the experience left me with a huge thirst for more. More flavors, More experiments, More creations, More knowledge about my food.

Most restaurant meals typically leave me with only a passion for napping. Meadowood left me with a passion for life!
See Menu

Blueberry Spicy Pepper Calf Liver Saute

paleo blueberry spicy pepper calf liver saute
Liver has never been top of my favorite foods list!

And it most definitely isn’t top of Jeremy’s list. But, it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods around, and we try to eat it when possible.

To help us eat it more frequently, I’ve been experimenting on making liver taste more delicious (i.e., less like liver!). I hope one day to appreciate the taste of liver by itself, but for now, masking the liver taste is crucial for us.

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should you get the flu shot?

“I’d NEVER get the flu shot – it’s got mercury in it.”

That was my coworker’s reaction after I told her that I had just gotten my flu shot (which I had told her as a passing “I should say something to make conversation” statement.)

This definitely was not the response I was expecting, and it suddenly invoked strong feelings within me:

  • Fear. Had I just willingly allowed someone to inject mercury into my veins?
  • Anger. Why is she trying to scare me with her sensationalist claims again?
  • Quite a lot of confusion. So what is this flu shot all about anyway – does it even work?

Let’s just say that those feeling did not lead to the most productive of conversations. However, what it did leave me was a feeling that I had to get to the bottom of this.

Are flu shots dangerous or am I just defending my sense of pride for having gone and gotten a flu shot without examining all the facts? What does the flu shot protect against – did I just waste all that time for something that won’t even protect me from the flu? And should I get the flu shot in the future?
Discover the truth!

Super Fast Paleo Avocado Salad

Super Fast Paleo Avocado Salad
I’ve been enjoying this delicious salad for months now! I kept wanting to share this recipe with you, but every time I start writing it, it just seems so silly – it’s so simple it barely deserves to be written down!

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Quick Stewed Napa Cabbage

paleo stewed napa cabbage
Like many Asian fruits and vegetables, napa cabbage is known by a lot of different names!

This can make it quite confusing to buy in the store. Some common names include: nappa cabbage, bai cai, celery cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Chinese leaf, Wong Bok, Won Bok, and wombok!

Take a good look at the photo below of napa cabbage before heading to the store to buy it (it’s quite common in many grocery stores, even non-Asian ones).

paleo napa cabbage chinese

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5-Minute Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

5-Minute Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
One of the best things about pumpkin puree is that it’s edible straight out of the can!

So, why slave for hours making dessert?

This pie is just 4 ingredients and can be made in just 5 minutes (less if you’re quick!).

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67 Proven Uses for Coconut Oil

67 proven ways to use coconut oil
You might have seen coconut oil sold many places or mentioned on websites and wondered what the heck you should be using it for.

Well, I used to think coconut oil was just for cooking until my friend pointed out that her grandmother had used it as a hair product forever. Of course, from then on, I started encountering different uses for coconut oil everywhere – I even read about it being used as a sun-burn cream in one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books (you know, the guy that wrote The Great Gatsby and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

So, to help you start using coconut oil, here are 67 of my favorite uses – and to prove I’m not making all this up, I’ve provided links to some excellent skin care recipes, food recipes, as well as scientific studies and testimonials.

Now, go get yourself a jar of coconut oil and start using it!

  1. To cook with instead of vegetable or seed oils. Coconut oil naturally has a high smoking point, is highly stable due to its high saturated fat content, and imparts very little “coconut” flavor to your foods. I use it to cook pretty much everything – check my recipes if you don’t believe me!
  2. In your coffee/tea instead of creamer. Yes – that’s right, use coconut oil, not coconut milk! In case you’re confused about this, here’s my video showing you exactly how to make it.
  3. To wash your face with instead of soap. It sounds strange, but oil washes impurities out better than soap and it doesn’t dry your skin! It takes a week to get used to it – the skin on your face is so used to being dried out by soap and facial cleansers that it’s producing extra oil to counteract it. So, it’ll take a little bit of time for your skin to stop producing all that extra oil. Be patient – it’s worth it!
  4. To brush your teeth with. Coconut oil has many antimicrobial properties which can make it good at killing off bacterial in your mouth. To make your own toothpaste, simply add 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (melt it in the microwave very briefly so that it’s softened) to 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda. Mix to form a paste and spread on your toothbrush. (The baking soda whitens your teeth.)
  5. Here’s my video of a coconut and olive oil blend toothpaste recipe.

  6. For oil pulling. This is similar to the previous use in that it helps with oral hygiene. Oil pulling has long been a popular practice in India and with Ayurvedic practitioners. It involves swishing oil around your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. The idea behind the practice is to remove bacteria from your teeth and mouth, which can then alleviate various other illnesses (including arthritis and fatigue). This practice has enjoyed renewed attention in recent years due to Bruce Fife’s popular book, Pulling Therapy.
  7. As a body moisturizer. Our skin absorbs whatever creams we put on it (think of all the topical pain relief medications that work because it gets absorbed through our skin). So, instead of pumping random chemicals from your moisturizers into your skin, many people (including myself) choose to use coconut oil instead. I like to use it at the end of my shower so that it’s more easily absorbed and before my skin has had a chance to dry out.
  8. As a sun-screen. This is not a high SPF sunscreen, but a 2013 study found that coconut oil absorbs 20% in the UVB region (this equates to something under SPF 10 – there’s disagreement as to the exact number). So definitely use other forms of natural sun-protection when you’re out.
  9. As a hair conditioner. I started using coconut oil as a hair conditioner a while ago, coupling it with diluted apple cider vinegar as the “shampoo.” Don’t use too much and just rub it on the ends of your hair so you don’t end up with oily hair!
  10. As a supplement. It’s suggested that taking coconut oil as a supplement can help with weight loss and increase your “good” cholesterol. I think it’s just good in general – it’s not a magic pill!
  11. As a massage oil. Coconut oil doesn’t get absorbed into your skin quickly, which ensures your skin stays slippery for longer thereby making it perfect for you to enjoin a long massage!
  12. To reduce scars. I’ve never tried this myself – but some people seem to have had great success with it.
  13. To treat lice. Apply it to your hair. There have been studies showing it is effective.
  14. Read more uses

how to cook fast and easy paleo meals

When Life Gets Hectic…

If you’re like me, then there are a lot of periods of your life when things get crazy hectic, and I mean really crazy hectic!

During those periods (e.g., finals at school, when all your kids are suddenly at home during the summer, or when work is overbearing), what you eat becomes less of a concern as Everything Else takes over!

I definitely recall that when my workload at the law firm increased, my diet would take a dramatic turn for the worse (let’s not even talk about my sleep and exercise!). Suddenly, the vending machine would unceasingly call my name and every dish on every take-out menu would make my mouth water.

I thought those stressful times were over when I quit the law firm life a month ago, but then the wedding planning kicked in. I’m sure anyone who has ever planned their own wedding will sympathize with me when I say that the week leading up to the wedding was definitely a bit stressful (and that’s a huge understatement)!

And to have to cook during that week for the entire family?? Hell, NO!

Thankfully, I had a system in place already which made eating healthy and Paleo for that week a breeze, and I’m going to share with you that amazing 3-step system in this post.

And don’t worry, I’m not just giving you some general fluff advice like “remember to plan your meals in advance” – these are concrete step-by-step details!
Discover the System!

The Ultimate Paleo Coffee

Watch the Bloopers at the End!

This coffee is what I’ve been loving recently! And I’m showing you how to make it in my very first video on YouTube – I even designed my channel art last night (*feeling smug*).

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel here or click the link the video – I have more videos in the pipeline, including one on my favorite salad.

A Few Quick Tips on How to Make the Ultimate Paleo Coffee

  1. Start slow – by this, I mean that if you’re not used to eating much fat, then I would put in just 1 teaspoon of ghee + 1 teaspoon of coconut oil initially until your body adjusts after a few weeks.
  2. Use good ghee – this is the ghee I use (it tastes absolutely AMAZING – in fact, I love licking my spoon after scooping the ghee out)! Pure Indian Foods Grassfed Organic Cultured Ghee
    paleo cultured ghee

    You might be wondering why cultured ghee, so this is what Pure Indian Foods say is special about “Cultured Ghee” as opposed to “normal ghee:”
    Find out more…

engagement photoI hate how some people think that Paleo is not delicious to eat.

Have you ever had people ask you: “What do you eat if you don’t eat bread?”

I get asked this a lot, and my reaction is usually a fake laugh while inside my head, I’m thinking “ARE YOU CRAZY??”

But they’re not crazy, because we’re so bombarded by the food industry with crappy food that we forget what truly good food really is. One of my first reactions to Paleo many moons ago was: “What can you eat if there’s no cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner?”

I was faced again with this issue when planning my wedding (which is this Saturday). I have 60 non-Paleo family and friends attending, and they’re probably all wondering “ARE THEY GOING TO SERVE ME JUST BACON AND SWEET POTATOES?” (That’s a pretty delicious image, but not really wedding style.)

So, I had to go in search of a caterer who would cook a scrumptiously delicious and visibly beautiful wedding meal. Many of you probably think that was seriously difficult. After all, it’s hard to even find a single Paleo restaurant to eat at!

But it was surprisingly not hard at all, and Joshua Charles is the man who is making my wedding so special. I can’t thank him and Marian enough for making our Paleo Wedding dream become reality. (His team is even going to cook EVERYTHING in olive oil, coconut oil, or butter/ghee!)

In case you don’t believe me, here is the menu and some photos from the tasting (courtesy of my good friends, Caroline and Wayne, who did the tasting in California for us while we were still in NYC).
See Wedding Menu

7 Reasons Why I’m Glad People Stare At Me

staring eyes - vibrams

In New York City, your goal during the day is to get from A to B without any incidents.

So one of the first things you learn is to never stare at anyone and never to make eye contact! Only tourists and seriously curious people ever deviate and make that rookie mistake.

So why am I getting stares left and right as I walk down the crowded streets of New York? Am I so ugly that I merit the attention of self-obsessed New Yorkers?
Discover why I get stared at…

are microwaves paleo
Yeah, I’m fully aware of the fact that microwaves were not around in prehistoric times. In fact, they were invented by Percy Spencer shortly afer WW2, and the first one was sold in 1947.

So, why is it ok (and in fact, really good) for us to use a microwave when our ancestors managed to live perfect fine without it?

Well, below are my 7 top reasons (I’ve tried to keep too much physics out of it, although the physics of how a microwave oven works is what will really open your eyes to just how OK using a microwave is).
Read the 7 Reasons

paleo chocolate coffee coconut dessert

No Cooking, Super Fast, Totally Delicious

This is one of my favorite desserts ever, and you can make it into any flavor you want – it doesn’t have to be coffee-flavored or chocolatey.

Get Recipe!

Paleo Fish Curry

Paleo Fish Curry

I am sooo into curry right now!

They’re delicious, full of flavor, packed with nutrients, and so easy to make!

This fish curry has quickly become one of my all time favorites.
Get Recipe!

Paleo Chinese Cauliflower Fried Rice

paleo chinese cauliflower fried riceI wanted to make a more traditional Chinese fried rice recipe, and so I decided to add in cubed carrots and peas. If you want a spicier and more fancy recipe for cauliflower rice, then try this one.

If you’re wondering whether peas are Paleo, then check out this article (same reason as green beans). If you’re wondering about soy sauce, then check out this article.

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Why Sear Meat Before Cooking?

Why Sear Meat Before Cooking?

Am I lazy? Or, am I just “efficient”?

I’ve always hated doing anything that I didn’t feel was essential. In school, I wanted to do only the coursework that would most easily allow me to pass the exam. And now, when I cook, I just want the fastest and easiest way to get the tastiest food!

If you’re feeling generous, you might say I’m “results-oriented” or “efficient,” but really it’s pure laziness!

So here is what my laziness has to do with today’s article. If you’ve done much cooking, you’ve probably heard that you should sear meat before putting it into a stew. My reaction:

What? Why? It’s just going to get cooked in the stew – why do I need to waste my time searing it first?!?

Which all brings us to this question: Do you really need to sear the meat first?
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Paleo Green Beans Stir Fry

Castor Beans will Kill Ya, But Green Beans will Bring You Health

I was wasting my breath explaining to a skeptic that beans aren’t considered Paleo because they’re not all that healthy for you (high concentrations of Galactans, lectins, phytates, etc.).

“It’s why all traditional cultures soaked beans prior to cooking them,” I struggled to explain.

A raised eye-brow and a questioning look was all I got in response.

“Like castor beans; they’ll kill you if you eat them raw!” I triumphantly exclaimed.
Continue Reading Paleo Green Beans and Apples – Curry Stir Fry

Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

Paleo Coconut Tuna Fish Cakes

“Only in New York City would you walk past a man on a unicycle without turning your head.”

New York has been my “home” for the past five and a half years. If you’ve never visited, then let me tell you that there are all sorts of things you will see in this city that just doesn’t happen elsewhere. From semi-naked guitarists in Times Square to Gossip Girls filming on Columbia campus to rats running through subway.

Those were things I used to find exciting slash seriously gross about NYC, but I’ve now realized that I don’t even turn my head to look. I’ve finally become a New Yorker!

I was actually on my way to pick up groceries to make these coconut tuna fish cakes when I walked by a unicyclist meandering down a residential street. Even though I was looking straight ahead at him, it never registered in my head that this was something odd. After all, what’s odd about a unicyclist when two men will fight in daylight over a parking spot (note all the pedestrians walking by in the background not seeing a thing).

I guess this was a long way to say that it’s time I left New York. There are many reasons why I’ve decided to leave in a few months, and this was just one of them. But regardless of where I am, the recipes shall continue!

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paleo traveling frankfurt germany airport
Traveling is always tough when you’re on any type of diet, and long flights with layovers are the worst! I recently flew from San Francisco to Mumbai with a layover in Frankfurt (so that was an 11 hour flight followed by an 8 hour flight with around 3 hours to kill in Frankfurt airport).

I had stocked up on snacks for the long plane ride before I left San Francisco, but I was also surprised by the Paleo options at Frankfurt International Airport.

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Paleo Book Review: Deep Nutrition

deep nutrition catherine shanahan

Book Title:

Deep Nutrition – Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food


Catherine Shanahan MD and Luke Shanahan

Producing Healthy and Beautiful Children through Traditional Foods

I, like many people, had resigned myself to the fact that I had not won the genetics lottery for beauty. And like many people, I had truly believed that external beauty was mostly due to random selection and wasn’t something I (or my parents) could do too much about.

Catherine’s book really opened my eyes to a completely new way of understanding beauty and what causes it. In short, Catherine advises that “there are nutritional choices you can make to help ensure that your baby be born healthy and beautiful if that is what you desire.”

There is a symmetry in all of nature that we typically associate with “beauty,” and a healthy embryo will develop according to those same rules of symmetry that allows the baby to be truly beautiful both inside and out!

Most Mothers-To-Be Are Deficient in Nutrients

A 2006 study that is cited in the book states that “[o]verall, 74% of women are falling short on nutrients from their diet.”

And so the body draws on the woman’s own nutrients in order to grow her baby. “If mom’s diet is deficient in calcium, it will be robbed from her bones. If deficient in brain-building fats – as horrible as this sounds – the fats that make up the mother’s own brain will be sought out and extracted….Studies show maternal brains can actually shrink, primarily in the hippocampal and temporal lobe areas, which control short-term memory and emotion.”

This was definitely the part of the book that worried me the most since I haven’t started to have children yet – how awful would it be to harm my own child and myself just by not eating well before and during and after pregnancy (before pregnancy is just as important as during), and as Catherine explains later in the book, eating well after pregnancy can significantly affect the health of your second child. Most mothers have lost so many nutrients after their first child that a second child following in quick session will result in a much more sickly child (and often, less beautiful as well!).

Eat Like Our Recent Ancestors

The nutritional guidelines Catherine suggests differ slightly from Paleo (her recommendations follow more of a Western A. Price approach). In particular, Catherine recommends sprouted grains and raw diary as both these foods are common to many of our near-ancestors across the globe. She also places great emphasis on offal (organ meats) and fermented foods, which many people new to Paleo fail to realize is a huge part of Paleo!

Eat Tons of Healthy Fats

No good nutrition book can be complete without a section on healthy and unhealthy fats, and I thought the chapter on fats was explained extraordinarily well (especially how unhealthy fats can cause heart attacks). The history of why polyunsaturated fats became associated with “heart-healthy” despite tons of evidence to the contrary is a fascinating read!

Who is Dr. Cate?

I’m lucky in that Catherine is actually my primary care provider (her office is up in Napa, California, and I’ll happily make the 2 hour drive just to see her!). She’s spoken at so many conferences across the world and provides excellent care for all her patients.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book, and the links to the book are Amazon affiliate links.

Eating Out Paleo: Bottega Louie, Los Angeles, CA

bottega louie los angeles restaurant
This is a very trendy bakery/restaurant in Downtown LA. Unfortunately, the best food here isn’t particularly Paleo-friendly (they’re known for their macaroons and pizza!), but there are still some good Paleo options available. What I loved the most about this restaurant was the beautiful modern space and open kitchen.

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lakeside restaurant portland radisson hotel
I woke up on Sunday morning in Portland to a weather advisory – there was a lot of ice on the roads, and they were advising everyone to stay indoors. After some debate, we decided to heed the advisory and had lunch at our hotel instead.

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sutro's san francisco paleo restaurant review
It’s worth eating at Sutro’s at the Cliff House just for the view alone! It’s absolutely stunning – the restaurant has flour to ceiling windows facing the ocean on the tip of San Francisco. So, pick a reservation time before it gets dark – lunch or just before sunset are fantastic.

We got there just before sunset and managed to snap some amazing photos before going in to eat (the food was good too, and there are plenty of photos of the food below!).
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olympic provisions paleo restaurant portland oregon
As we pulled up to the industrial looking building that houses Olympic Provisions (the Southeast location), it suddenly struck me that we had eaten here on our last trip to Portland a few years ago! Apparently, our unconscious navigated us here again to enjoy another delicious lunch. Last time, it was a beautiful day in the middle of summer, this time it was in the midst of a snow storm!

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eating out paleo restaurant ox portland oregon
I picked a bad weekend to visit Portland…it’s been snowing the whole time, and it’s forecast to continue until we leave! Luckily, that hasn’t deterred us from eating at some amazing Portland restaurants.

Here’s the view of Portland in the snow from the plane.
portland in snow

We started at Olympic Provisions (which we ate at on our last trip to Portland) for brunch, and that’s reviewed here, and then went to Ox for dinner. (We went to Cultured Caveman twice the next day – click here for review and photos.)

For those of you from Portland, you’re probably already familiar with Ox since it won the Oregonian’s 2013 Restaurant of the Year award. And for those unfamiliar with the place, it’s a cosy upscale dinning experience that wows with flavor, freshness, and creativity. Their website calls it “Argentinian inspired Portland Food.” I think it’s just plain yumminess!
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How to Lose Weight on a Paleo Diet

how to lose weight on a paleo diet

I went Paleo to Lose Weight

I have to admit that I first started a Paleo diet because I thought it would help me shed the stubborn pounds I had put on during law school (there were a lot of free pizza parties and way too much drinking).

It wasn’t easy for me to lose weight (even on Paleo) because I’ve never been overweight (and so there wasn’t many lbs of fat for me to lose!). In fact, every time I tell people I’m on a diet, I always get the shocked outburst of: “but you’re so skinny, you don’t need to be on a diet!!” But like most people, I get unhappy whenever my clothes started getting tight, and I could always tell (even without a scale) when I had put on weight. The fat always piled on around my stomach first :(

Luckily, I figured out how to shed even the stubborn fat using a Paleo diet!

Of course, as the years went on, I found that Paleo was great for way more than just weight loss, but since so many people want to know the secret of losing weight, I thought I’d share my 5 tips for losing weight on a Paleo diet in this article.

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Book Review:  Cooking For The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Book Title:

Cooking For The Specific Carbohydrate Diet


Erica Kerwien of Comfy Belly

What is The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)?

When I first started reading about Paleo, I kept hearing about SCD, and I was really confused about what it was. Erica’s book covers all the basics of SCD and provides the essential recipes and know-how to get you well on your way to healing your gut through SCD. (Steve and Jordan from first explained SCD to me, so a special shout-out to them)!

Basically, SCD is a diet publicized by Elaine Gottschall after it healed her young daughter of ulcerative colitis (back in 1955). Elaine Gottschall’s book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet, is still a seminal work for improving gut health. As Erica describes at the beginning of her book, “[t]he goal [of SCD] is to repair the injured intestinal lining, achieve a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria, improve absorption of nutrients from food, and quiet the immune system’s inflammatory response that occurs with many digestive issues and diseases.”

The diet eliminates the complex carbohydrates that requires digestion in your body (e.g. lactose in some dairy, polysaccharides in rice, sweet potatoes, grains, and some vegetables, processed sugars, and fiber in grains). However, unlike Paleo, some beans, pure fruit juices, and low-lactose dairy products are permitted on SCD (as described in Erica’s book). There’s a handy chart of allowed and not allowed foods on pages 4 and 5 of the book.

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Louise Yang Ancestral Chef

Hi! I'm Louise - I am "beyond gluten-free," grain-free, paleo/primal, a lawyer, an ex-physicist, a cook, a blogger, a Brit living in the US, an ex-violin player, an occasional crossfitter, a mystery book junkie, and of course, I am the Ancestral Chef :) Read my About Me Page for more!

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