Diet is a very personal thing, and not all Paleo blogs (or any food blog, for that matter) are quite the same. This is not to say that any of them are “right” or “wrong,” but there are a whole lot of differences in dietary needs and philosophies. Thankfully, adherence to your run-of-the-mill Paleo diet takes care of a lot of these needs, but I want to do my best to keep the blog accessible to everyone. Here is an outline of what goes into my recipes, how you can ensure that a recipe meets your own standards and needs, and some of my own philosophies on some “contentious” ingredients.
Each of my recipes is clearly tagged and categorized to reflect the ingredients used and any special dietary categories:
Nut Free – Indicates that the recipe contains no nuts, nut butters, or nut flours
Egg Free – Indicates that the recipe contains no eggs or egg whites
Vegetarian – Indicates that the recipe contains no meat or fish, but may contain eggs, dairy, or other animal by-products
Vegan – Indicates that the recipe contains no meat, fish, or animal by-products, including honey
Dairy – Indicates that the recipe includes dairy as an optional ingredient. See below for my stance on dairy products.
Sugar Free – Indicates that the recipe contains no added sugars except those naturally occurring in FRUIT only. I do not use fruit juices or juice concentrates as “natural” sweeteners.
Whole30 – Indicates that the recipe is in accordance with the guidelines of the Whole30 program
21DSD – Indicates that the recipe is in accordance with the guidelines of the 21 Day Sugar Detox program
Like I mentioned in my bio, I’m addicted to the Paleo Kool-Aid. I really do believe Paleo changed my life and that it can be a useful tool for anyone in their search for better physical and mental health. That being said, no one likes to be bullied and that’s not my style. At the end of the day, what we do or don’t put into our bodies is a personal decision.
Over the last couple of years, the finer details in own diet have continued to evolve thanks to self-experimentation and keeping up to date with the latest trends and research in the Paleo world. I encourage everyone to do the same and find out what does or does not work for you and make you feel your absolute best. I hate it when people whine to me that they aren’t losing weight or their skin isn’t clearing up, or…whatever…”And I’m eating just like YOU!” Um, news flash…you aren’t me. You aren’t anyone else. You’re YOU and you have your OWN needs. It might take a little work, but you will find them. Paleo is a framework, not a religion.
I am also a strong believer in creating balance in my life. For me, this means a glass of wine and some dark chocolate every now and then. If I want a brownie, I’ll bake me some brownies. But I know my limits and I’m in tune enough with my body to keep that stuff to a minimum…because since giving up all the Standard American Diet Crap, I found out that feeling crappy and tired and having a beer gut and shitty skin is NOT normal.
YOU have to find and maintain YOUR normal.
ALL of my recipes are grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and legume-free. While they are acceptable in some Paleo circles, I do not use white potatoes or white rice. I NEVER use white or brown cane sugar, agave nectar, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners like stevia or Splenda. I do not use guar gum, xanthan gum, or soy lecithin. It goes without saying (but I will anyway) that I don’t use any products or pantry items containing any of the aforementioned items or their derivatives.
While I understand that not everyone chooses to include dairy in their diet, I do post a number of recipes that contain dairy. When I do, it is noted and is almost always an optional ingredient. Dairy is only an occasional visitor to my kitchen and I only use good quality dairy products—meaning grass-fed, pastured, and organic.
Confession…I like dessert. No, wait…I LOVE dessert. But dessert is dessert, you guys, whether it’s Paleo or not. There are no “healthy desserts”…except fruit, I guess…but I’m sorry, FRUIT IS NOT A DESSERT. “Paleo desserts” are not supposed to be “healthy.” They keep the damage to a minimum and certainly aren’t part of my regular rotation.
On the occasion that I do make dessert items that require sweeteners, I opt for maple syrup, honey, palm sugar, and evaporated cane juice. Keep in mind that these items are still **SUGAR** and **SUGAR** in any form does some gnarly things to the body when consumed in excess. I do not consume any of these on a regular basis and I do not recommend them as staples in one’s diet.
Hopefully this gives you all a good idea where I’m coming from. My goal behind the blog is to have an outlet for my own culinary creativity and to share the fruits of my labor. Whether you’re a die-hard Paleo Geek or you think it’s all baloney, I hope you’ll find something delicious!