Dec 20

Local Chicago Company – Sustainable Jerky

While at a holiday party this month, I ran into the owner, Ricky Hirsch, of Think Jerky and was a bit blown away when tasting a sample of his turkey jerky, among other sustainable flavors. Our conversation flowed and I asked if Ricky could share a little of his story on my blog. Enjoy!

Per Ricky: “Jerky has always been my favorite food until I was old enough to realize that it just wasn’t healthy. Gas station jerky has always been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives. I gave up eating it because I thought that’s how jerky had to be.

Two years ago I came to the realization that jerky is just baked protein and has the potential, if made properly, to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Since I’m not a cook, I partnered with three of the best Chefs in the country to make the recipes. Our Chefs include:

  1. Laurent Gras | Three-Star Michelin Chef
  2. Gale Gand | Food Network Host
  3. Matt Troost | Farm-to-Table expert

We are the first company ever with a collection of Chefs like this and the first company ever with a three-star Michelin Chef. Think Jerky only uses sustainable-raised proteins, with restaurant quality ingredients in recipes by famous Chefs. All of our ingredients are gluten free, Non-GMO, all natural, no nitrites, and have no added hormones or antibiotics.

Our jerky is perfectly portioned in single-serve 100 calorie bags that have 16g protein and only 6g carbs, and is the perfect snack for traveling and the 2pm snack.

We are just launching this week and completed our Kickstarter where we ended up a top 5 most backed food ever. We have already been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, Crain’s, Paleo Magazine, WGN TV, Splash, Chicago Tribune, Michigan Avenue Magazine, and many more, pretty crazy for a product that’s not fully launched yet.

You can find our jerky online at and locally in Chicago

Thank you for letting me share a little of our story and hope your readers can easily find our product and enjoy the benefits, including flavor!”


Dec 01

Crush of The Month #Instacart

Have you heard of Instacart? It’s a new go-to in my health toolbox. With road-trips and holidays away, I simply draft up some meals for the week following my return home and place an Instacart grocery delivery upon my arrival. The best thing, I think, about this convenience tactic is I always place an order of organic rotisserie chicken with my grocery order and have a healthy dinner ready to eat while unpacking. Win, win.

What are some of you modern day “tools” for health these days?


(And while I understand Instacart is a local Chicago offering, I do believe many groceries are now offering such services to have delivery in other cities).

Nov 18

Find A Rhythm in Gaining Better Health

If only we could wake up daily to minimal stress, pure healthy food, in the perfect quantities, exercise, sunshine, we would all be well on our way. In reality, many of us struggle to get out the door on time, let alone have a balanced meal before we hit the day running. It’s too easy to be reactive with our health by choosing lunch by whatever cafe or fast-food joint is nearest, and prioritizing our job and or kids.

Yet, the road to health needs a proactive approach with a soft plan of fitting in weekly exercise, mind-body practices, bonding with peers and suggested meals/snacks. Looking at research of what habits help most people attain a healthy weight and overall sense of wellness, here are a few ideas to emulate.

  • Plan you Meals – no need to make this harder than it is. And surely do not map out a diet meant for a bird. Have a balance of produce and ingredients full of fat and protein at each meal. Make the meals attractive to your palate, as eating well includes a component of satisfaction. A few ways I do this – I take out a small dry erase board I have stashed on the side of the refrigerator and think of 4 meals to make for the week. I always double the recipe to have for a following lunch/dinner. Another strategy I use to plan out weekly meals  is I will briefly play on Pinterest and select a recipe that looks good (and easy!) and add it to my Notepad on my phone, where I also keep my grocery list. Having a list on my phone makes it a lot harder to leave a physical list behind. Rarely do I get anywhere without a phone.

balanced meal

  • Batch Cook – meals eaten at home do not require hours in the kitchen. Use tools like a slow cooker, roast a cookie-sheet’s worth of vegetables for the week, increase a recipe to cook once, eat twice, set aside an evening to chop vegetables and fruit for grab and go snacks. Make a massive salad to pair with planned meals for the week and more. I often use frozen vegetables for roasting. Frozen vegetables can be healthier than fresh, as fresh produce depletes of nutrients as it ages. At breakfast I often compile lunch. At dinners, I often put together ingredients in a blender, to then set in the refrigerator overnight for an AM smoothie. Meal prep needs to be easy and efficient, or else it can feel like a chore or project. Keep the task simple.


  • Nurture sleep – kids aren’t the only ones who get cranky when they stay up past their bedtime. It’s funny as adults, we push ourselves to stay up to watch a show and or ignore our tired ques just because the clock tells us it’s too early to tuck ourselves in. Cutting sleep less than 8 hours is not doing ourselves any favors – our hormones are thrown off, including leptin/ghrelin (hunger hormones), cortisol, insulin, we crave more carbs and sugar, and the list goes on. Beyond the quantity of sleep, work on the quality. Make sure your bedroom is cool, use blackout curtains, eye masks and ear plugs if need be. Have a bedtime ritual so you fall asleep quickly and even concoct a bedtime cocktail of bone broth, sleepy time tea or enjoy some Natural Calm with collagen.
  • Don’t skip meals, or starve yourself. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy one is not about eating less, it’s about eating smarter. Understand your true hunger verse cravings and strive to eat mostly real food.


  • Drink water. Did you know being hydrated can actually make us appear younger, prevent fatigue, better regulate blood sugar, digestion, mental clarity, lose weight and the list goes on. Have a water bottle on you. Always.
  • Don’t stress over the small things. Practice 80/20 with choosing the right food. Enjoy the 20% with no guilt.
  • Develop habits that can be maintained long-term. Avoid fads and shortcuts. Make changes small enough that they become part of a lifestyle, not a to-do list.

Happy holidays, safe travels and please share any actions that help keep you on tract.

Nov 02

Paleo & Cholesterol Concerns

A client just sent me an email last night w/ some lab work. While she is just one person, using a real food template for her diet, there is many other stories and research out there that can help calm any worries in eating healthy yet cholesterol containing foods and attaining ideal cardiovascular health. Email verbatim below; and with her permission. Thanks Eileen for sharing and being transparent for my readers as well.

“Hi Kelly! I know I usually e-mail you from my Gmail, but I had a health assessment at work and wanted to share my results below. I’ve always had pretty low cholesterol and despite eating 3-4 eggs a day since I first saw you ~18 months ago, I still have healthy cholesterol. I just wanted to share, not that you needed proof, but in case there are any doubters out there—the screenshot below is proof!” (Click image to enlarge).


Oct 28

Paleo Infused News to Use

Veggies. A food group that the vegans, Adkins followers, paleo folks, etc will all agree on, are crucial for optimal health. My tip today indeed relates to not only how to incorporate veggies at every meal, but how to keep them fresh throughout the week.

Tip #1

Salad spinner. Storing your leafy greens in a salad spinner helps extend the shelf-life. Give it a try and enjoy salads all week, start to finish. Take this one step further and chop up a large salad every Sunday so you have something quick, nutritious and high volume for evenings when you are quite hungry and need something quick. A salad can compliment any meal. My gym even serves a side salad with breakfast orders.

Tip #2

If you do not have a salad spinner, put a clean, dry paper towel in the container or bag that the leafy greens came in. I just did this minutes ago after I purchased, then used, Costco’s Power Mix leafy greens in my smoothie. Just putting a paper towel in the resealable bag, and changing the paper towel for a fresh one every 2-3 days, can really extend the freshness of these veggies.

Tip #3

Do not be afraid to have veggies at breakfast. More so, make it a habit. If you are on the go or whipping up something nice at home, there is no good excuse for not eating veggies to start the day. Some ideas 1) One to 3 cups of leafy greens in a smoothie, 2) ever had a paleo pancake? There are numerous recipes out there, but I most often take half a banana, 3 eggs and 1 cup of leafy greens, cinnamon and toss all the above in a blender until I get a smooth batter like consistency. With such, I warm some coconut oil in a skillet and make 2 real food pancakes. 3) An american breakfast with eggs and meat and some leftover veggies from the night before. Or roast up a cookie sheet-worth of veggies each Sunday. The examples of how to include more vegetables in the AM can easily go on, but find a way to eat 6-10 servings of veggies a day, and start with breakfast.

Cheers to you and good health,


Oct 13

Crush of the Month #StevesPaleoGoods

As I aim to set some themes for monthly posts, I have come up with a title which highlights something I have been crushing on lately.

If you are on the journey of seeking out more real food, including some convenience food, you have likely heard of Steve’s PaleoGoods. Not only are the products the highest quality, but they go to a great cause. Fifteen percent of the proceeds of each purchase goes to Steve’s Club National Program. That’s what I call a win-win; eating well and helping others.

So why am I writing about Steve’s Paleo Goods now? Full disclosure, they did contact me about trialing some of their products, but the truth be told. I always thought highly of the company but being a “paleo” RD I made many of these food products on my own. Yet, just 4 months ago, I had my second child and more than ever appreciate things that are high quality and convenient. More so, I don’t have to spend more time reviewing, checking product, etc to know it meets my expectations. Most recently, I have tried some of these, along with my toddler (he loves the dried strawberries and “granola” bars!).


In the last month I have traveled to NOLA, Cancun, Ohio, Traverse City, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, Ohio and back to Chicago. You can easily guess how handy these snacks were, especially the jerky. I paired the protein sources w/ some portable fruit and I was well on my way. The “granola” was awesome on Greek Yogurt, and the Honey Mustard, which is predominately olive oil, made some of my latest salads come alive.


I have confidently recommended Steve’s PaleoGoods products to my clients as they are delicious and nutritious. Beyond what is captured above, please know they offer a slew of products including bone broth.

Thank you Steve for setting the bar for high quality food, making it easy for consumers to choose sound ingredients by simply placing orders online.

On that note, next month I am going to highlight my latest way to make grocery shopping efficient, while being modern.

Sep 15

Healthy Office Snacks

Last month I had a request to answer what my top office snack would be. My reply included the below, among another 30+ suggestions from health experts. For more information, click here.

“My favorite snack to have in the office varies depending on what my or a client’s current health goal is. If my goal is weight loss, which is true as I am still shaking the baby weight from my second child born this summer, I’d pack large organic carrots.

Having a portable, healthy carb and crunchy snack like this will help me follow true hunger. Having something healthy like carrots prevents me from eating something out of boredom, stress or thirst.

Other ideas include portioned 1-2 ounce nuts (I love the raw almonds sold at Trader Joe’s). This snack is great if I know I have 5-7 hours between my lunch and dinner. And lastly, dark chocolate. This is a great thing to have on hand in an office where treats, baked goods and birthday cakes are debuted all too often.

A healthy treat like dark chocolate can be a good swap for something dessert-like without derailing health goals. Of course baked goods are fine to have when a client or myself really want it, but it’s also good to only indulge when those things are really worth it.”


Aug 17

The Life of a Supermom—Identifying and Meeting the Challenges

Please note this is a guest post. Author details of this content below. Enjoy!

How do you find the experience of being a mom? Most likely, you have discovered early in the role that your responsibilities toward your child and the family, as a whole, are not easy. The idea of juggling all your obligations at the workplace and the family while meeting everybody’s expectations of you is daunting even as you think about it. The pressures at work and in the family, as well as the challenge of handling your child as he or she goes through the different phases of growing up, can take their toll on you. Rest assured that if you are going through difficult times as a mom, you are far from alone.

A recent survey on what moms consider are the greatest challenges in playing their role reveals that the early phases of childhood have presented the most number of challenges. This article will discuss the top 5 factors that cause much stress to moms, as well as present ways for you to cope with the stress healthily.

  1. Going through sleepless nights

All moms have had their fair share of sleep deprivation. You might even think that you have had more than your fair share of sleepless nights. Such scenario is especially true when your child is sick. It is only natural that you, as a mom, cannot sleep well while your child is feeling ill. At the smallest wail from your toddler or the pained breathing of your child, you rouse yourself from sleep just to check on them. When you feel that your child needs professional medical attention, you immediately scoot to the nearest hospital even though it’s in the wee hours of the morning. Suffice it to say that when you became a mom, you have found yourself becoming even more selfless than you thought possible.

  1. Dealing with your child’s tantrums

Picture this scene. You are at the mall, and your toddler points to a toy, asking you to buy it for him or her. You say no because you are on a tight budget and besides, your child already has enough toys. When your child realizes that you are not giving in to his or her demands, your child begins to throw a fit and starts making a scene in public. Despite your best efforts to silence your child, other mall goers are now looking your way and shooting glances of annoyance at you while you cringe deep inside. How would you act then? Will you just buy the toy that your child wants to silence him or her? Or will you hold your ground, gently but firmly explaining why you are not going to make the purchase?

Is the scenario above a familiar one? As a mom, you probably had to deal with more tantrums than you can count. In an attempt to quiet their children, some moms give in to their children’s petty demands, which results to even more tantrums in the future.  Indeed, the stress that comes with having to figure out a way to end your child’s tantrums without giving up parental authority is not a small one.

  1. Showing extreme patience

Being a mom requires a very high level of patience. Of all the things you need to do, you need to be willing to keep repeating yourself to your child to make sure that he or she understands you. You also have to learn how to understand the way your child thinks and feels even when you feel utterly lost. You have to admit, however, that despite your commitment to keeping your cool even in the most stressful mother-child situations, you sometimes snap. Such momentary loss of patience can end up with you scolding your child too strongly or hitting your child too hard for a mistake he or she has committed.

Of course, you know you can always apologize to your child for going overboard once in a while. Even then, you know you could not undo the scars you may have inflicted on your child nor shrug off your guilt feelings so easily. After all, your child may not be old enough to understand that you are stressed at work or with a family problem, which led to you lashing out your frustrations on them. It is thus unsurprising that moms find motherhood an emotionally taxing responsibility!

  1. Completing all of your household chores

Being a mom does not end your role of being a wife to your husband. You know that you cannot just neglect your household chores because you now have a baby. Sure, having someone help you out with your chores would make your life easier than doing everything alone. However, not all moms can afford such help at the present and thus need to juggle their responsibilities at home all alone.

A typical domestic scene would, therefore, involve you, as the mom, getting up early in the morning to prepare for your family’s breakfast. Then you would need to help your child prepare for school and then drop him or her off there. When you get back home you find that you have an endless list of chores to do—washing the dishes, washing your clothes, cleaning the house, making yourself lunch, etc. Before you know it, it’s time for you to pick your child up from school and then help him or her with any homework that their teachers may have given them. Then your husband drives home, and you would have to cater for his needs as well. While they are resting, you get busy in the kitchen, preparing for dinner. Most often, your tasks do not end with dinner, which makes you the last person fall asleep at night.

It is no wonder, then, how people call you a supermom! It truly is not an easy role that you are playing in your family.

  1. Getting your children to eat healthily

Training your child to eat their fruit slices, veggie dishes, and drinks their milk, if they’re no longer drinking breast milk; preferably coconut milk is a good alternative. It is often not an easy one though. It most probably involves a lot of coaxings, bribery, and threatening to get your child to eat healthy foods. After all, your child chooses food according to how the food looks and tastes, and not so much for its nutritional value.

For you to keep your child as healthy as possible, you would need to resort to creativity in feeding them. Some have found that mixing in vitamins in their toddlers’ milk is the best way to make them drink vitamins. If your toddler does not like fruits, you could make a puree or a concentrate of the fruit instead so it would be appealing to them. You could resort to any means of feeding your child as long as you get to make them eat the right foods instead of junk ones.

To sum the list above, the top five challenges of motherhood are dealing with sleepless nights, handling tantrums, showing patience, completing household chores, and feeding your child right. However, there is one more challenge that you, as a mom, face as you deal with all your responsibilities. The greatest challenge of being a mom is probably that of staying healthy and fit despite all the stresses that you have to go through. How could you make sure that you do not neglect yourself while caring for the other members of your family? You may think: Where do I find the time to keep myself healthy and fit when I have to complete a dizzying list of To-Dos every day?

Many healthy moms have found the suggestions below very helpful in addressing their challenges in maintaining physical fitness despite a busy schedule. You may also want to consider the suggestions and see how you could apply them yourself.

  1. Follow a schedule

No matter how busy you may be, you will most likely be able to complete your chores satisfactorily if you arrange your affairs beforehand. So instead of waiting for the next day before you plan your tasks out, you might find it helpful to plan in advance. Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you spend your time wisely and also give you time to relax.

  1. Divide the tasks in your family

No matter how much of a supermom you are, you have to admit that you cannot do everything in the house alone. Why don’t you ask other members in your family to help you out on certain tasks? For instance, if your child is old enough to wash the dishes, could he or she probably handle that task? If your husband could help you prepare for dinner every night, you would not be too tired at the end of the day.

  1. Observe a fitness routine

You do not have to take a 30-minute jog every day to be physically fit. Instead, you can try to fit in 10-minute exercises in your schedule every morning, afternoon, and evening. Doing so will help you stay fit and your blood cholesterol and pressure levels normal.

About the author of this post:

Ashley Sotelo is a pro-active health enthusiast; she does research for various leading health companies focusing mainly on the different alternative treatments available for chronic illnesses. Writing health articles has grown to become her passion, becoming the author of roughly a hundred of such articles and currently writing at BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide natural and safe supplements. When she is not writing or engaging in her regular fitness routine, she could be found curled up in a nook and reading her favorite books.

Jul 23

5 Foods We Should Be Eating Now

We are in the thick of summer, thank goodness. With one too many polar vortexes in my memory, it seems like the sunshine took longer to get to us this year. No doubt, with great temperatures, also comes awesome produce. A few of my favorites that are in peak season and on my plate include:

1. Arugula

This peppery lettuce is a household favorite, which popped on our radar when my husband lived abroad in Australia. This green was termed as “rocket,” and could be found on every menu around town. A few of my favorite ways to enjoy this leafy vegetable includes in a salad with lemon, olive oil and cherry tomatoes; very basic. For my husband I will add some Parmesan cheese, as the salty dairy ingredients marry very well with the arugula flavor. Another idea includes topping some baked eggs with this green. Spinach is not the only lettuce that can be paired with breakfast. Arugula is known for many things including it’s detoxifying powers and antioxidant powerhouse.

Not a fan of arugula, pick up some butter lettuce this month instead. The soft lettuce goes so well with beets, in my opinion; which takes us to the next ingredient on the list.

2. Beets

I used to think of beets in a way that a two year old likes Brussels sprouts; aka no thank you. I have to admit, I gave them another try after attending a health conference and the PhD speaker couldn’t say enough good things about the crop including it releaves constipation and is one of the best foods for our liver. I’ll take anything to help nurture our fat burning organ. I will use beets in my smoothies, chopped on a salad with some grilled chicken and pumpkin seeds or cooked with carrots. I can draft the reasons why we should eat more beets as there is a lot of scientific support, but I can quickly state that days I have beets, I feel better, noticeably better.

3. Radishes

I may have a theme here of peppery foods. First I listed arugula and now I find I have radishes. Either way, all the above are great and obviously in-season making it win-win. Radishes are something I have come to appreciate and my first memory of them goes back to grade school when I was vacationing with my friends on the Jersey Shore and their mom had radishes soaking in water. We walking into the kitchen after a hot morning at the beach and the mom popped a radish from the bowl into her mouth explaining how refreshing they were. This made me want to try them, and I did. They were refreshing and very different than most vegetables. Since this fond memory, every summer I get some fresh radishes and soak them, and put some together for a snack as is, or slice and dice into a salad. This hydrating vegetable aids digestion, detoxing and weight management among many more perks.

4. Tomatoes

Who does not like a homegrown summer tomato? I am certain there is no one. Maybe is someone is following a no nightshade diet, but that is nor here or there. Gosh though, summer tomatoes are the king of the garden this time of year. If you are growing some, I may guess you are also sharing the wealth with those around due to the rate they grow. I love tomatoes with a little olive oil and sea salt, or on one of my paleo burgers. Another treat is when I make the household caprese salads. My mouth is watering thinking about the flavor of a fresh tomato and Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. I think I know what we are having for dinner now…

5. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe, the fruit I once called the cheap filler in a fruit salad. Indeed, it is cheap, but the taste is a new found love. Funny enough, my 22 month old son inspired me to enjoy this fruit as much as I am, with his deep desire of this lush fruit. Cantaloupe has a spectrum of nutrients and research has even shown it can reduce metabolic syndrome. Chop one up for a summer BBQ or wrap some of the melon in prosciutto for a real food choice for dessert. Either way, if you didn’t think you liked this fruit, perhaps give it another look like I did.


Jul 23

Better Blood Sugars with a Paleo/Primal Diet?

Last month I had the pleasure to talk to Ginger Vieira with Diabetes Daily. The conversation was posted on their site, but If you missed it, enjoy the below. Here is a link to the original post as well. Have a healthy one!


Kelly Schmidt was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she 8 years old. Today, she follows a low carb, real food diet, uses a continuous glucose monitor and predominately an insulin pump.

Kelly-0001-300x200“I take months off from my pump going on shots from time to time (mostly during the summer). Of all the kids in my family (I am the youngest of 4), siblings and their children, I am the only one with type 1 diabetes,” explains Kelly.

Kelly is a registered dietitian, a dietitian nutritionist, and certified group fitness instructor. Her book, “Primal Eating and the Paleo Diet” is a guide for anyone interested in eating a diet focused on whole foods and fewer carbs. Learn more about Kelly’s work at

Ginger: Okay, first, let’s start with your own definition of the Primal/Paleo diet…

Kelly: Conventional wisdom tells us all food and food groups are healthy in moderation; however, the paleo and primal diet challenges this theory. For example, as nutrition research continues to grow out of its infancy, data is showing that foods that contain gluten-containing grains (including wheat, barley, rye and non-certified gluten free oats) can damage nearly every part of the body, including the brain, digestive tract, skin and pancreas.

paleo dietThe paleo and primal way of eating and lifestyle presents a nutrient-rich diet that affects every cell in the body, which can present itself in long-term health, a strong immune system, energy, glowing skin, and more. To paint a picture of what foods are allowed in a paleo lifestyle consider – all fruits, vegetables, quality protein from poultry, beef, game meat, all animals, seafood, eggs, nuts/seeds and healthy fats including olive oil, palm oil, avocado and coconut. Things that are purposely missing include – grains, man-made/vegetable oils, dairy, legumes, sugar and soy. One distinctive difference between paleo and primal, is a primal lifestyle includes more carbohydrate food sources, such as white potatoes and rice, but also high quality forms of dairy (full fat, grass-fed, raw, organic; read the book for more information!).

Ginger: And how do you feel it would benefit people with diabetes?

Kelly: If I had to provide a one word answer, it’d be “endlessly.” And this would be for everyone, not just those of us with diabetes. But getting to your question, the first and foremost benefit I see with this population is better blood sugar control, and being able to predict blood sugars verses chasing blood sugars. Follow this up with more energy, better sleep, weight loss and more. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a road in the right direction. We have to understand eating food dense in nutrients is great for our health, but it’s never good to overdo healthy food. Eating too much of anything is unhealthy and can cause inflammation, high blood sugars etc. Point being, eat when hungry, stop when satisfied.

Ginger: Has diabetes and nutrition ever been a struggle for you?

Kelly: While my diabetes is in great control now, I was a teenager and didn’t prioritize my diabetes or diet at times. Nothing extreme, but I certainly had a need for improvement on my labs, especially while I was in transition of living on my own in college. From my personal experiences in the last two plus decades, I more than understand the struggles and dedication needed for good blood sugar and my choices have come a long way. In life, especially with managing my diabetes, I am a student eager to learn on what I can improve regarding mental health, supplements, exercise, meds and diet.

Ginger: How did you become passionate about this approach to nutrition?

Kelly: Can I copy and paste my book here? I kid. Honestly it all began with the silver lining of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a disease that is so influenced by what we eat. From there I planned a way to pursue a career as a dietitian and once I got into the field, I had many personal experiences, predominately controlling blood sugars, which lead me to question conventional wisdom. In 2009 a friend nudged me to participate in a conference her company was doing the event planning for, and speaker after speaker had a common theme among their message and it was to eat more real food. That’s common sense, but wait, what did that really mean?

Fortunately I had some one on one conversations with the speakers and asked how they thought I could tweak my diet to improve my blood sugar. Immediately the response was hands-down, cut the gluten out of my food choices. I was paralyzed. I thought, “How could I do that when I have so much to watch in my diet already?” But I had nothing to lose, and I have never turned back from that weekend. From there I returned home up north, and cut the obvious gluten culprits from my food, and over time, became squeaky clean gluten free. Moving on, I dug further into what using food as medicine meant for me, and truly assessed how certain ingredients made me thrive verse spike my blood sugar, alter my digestion, mood, sleep, etc. Going through this personally, I was and am more than excited to help people learn that “feeling good,” has various meanings, and today I eat foods that I love, and love me back.

Ginger: What are the most common misconceptions people have about the Primal/Paleo diet?

Kelly: One big misconception I discuss often with people is that this diet is not meat only nor meat heavy. Yes, there is a focus on protein, as I believe it’s vital for optimal health, but the lifestyle encourages produce, micronutrients coming from fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds, maybe even more so than animal protein. Generally the paleo diet is lower in carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet, but it still offers foods rich in nutritious carbs ie. Fruit, yams, taro, sweet potato, white potato, plantains, etc. It is also not a fad diet. I could jump on a soap box here, but it’s a lifestyle. If you really see what the “paleo” experts are eating, it’s not 100% compliant. It’s a template of paleo foods, and non-paleo foods that work for us individually. Did I just have some organic hummus? Yes, and it was delicious. At this point, I tolerate it very well, and above all I truly enjoyed it.

Ginger: Could a person who is drawn to certain aspects of the diet add some of it to their life without going full-blown, 100% paleo?

Kelly: Absolutely. A diet that is enhanced with more real food, replacing something processed, is always a win. And I indeed do not advocate a 100% paleo diet to many, if anyone. Food is pleasure and if we look at what we eat with a black and white frame of mind, we are missing the benefits of such nutrition. For example, I eat quite paleo, but I will enjoy cheese, rice, quinoa and few other items when I want. I just know what works well for my body and my health and progress a diet on this note.

Ginger: Are there certain common mistakes a person might make when they first start down this path?

Kelly: There are some common themes I see. One being, people will eliminate all non-paleo foods from their meals/snacks and next thing you know, they are significantly undereating. When taking on anything new, I advise to have a plan and eat beyond eggs for breakfast, salad with protein for lunch and chicken and broccoli for dinner.

Seek out whole real food, but also nutritious food with diverse nutrients i.e. organ meat, different forms of protein (go beyond poultry), sea vegetables, seafood galore, various fruits and veggies. There are so many veggies that people try when jumping to this lifestyle ie. Zucchini noodles, vegetable-based lasagna, eggplant pizza crust, plantains (my fav!!), and more. Another situation to note, is this diet will likely bring down someone’s total carbohydrate intake if they are coming from a standard American diet, yet, people also tend to, in addition, cut down on fat. No need to be fat phobic. This way of eating it about listening to what your body craves and finding a whole food source to fulfill that.

Ginger: Lastly, what are a few tips you might have for someone who is really interested in adopting this approach to nutrition?

Kelly: Do a little homework before jumping in. Know it’s something to move towards in making it a true lifestyle over time. No need to consider this as a diet you are going to go on, and then jump off once you hit a health goal. Not to plug my book, but I will, find a resource as such, and in the back I have also included a handful of other resources that can further help people including blogs, books and podcasts.

Ginger: Thank you, Kelly!


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