Q: What’s “Paleo”?
A: If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “Paleo,” please read this, this, and this. You can also click through all the fantastic sites over on my Resources page. Or, if you’re pressed for time, check out this handy-dandy infographic. If you really want to dig into the details, get yourself a copy of Robb Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution” or some of the other tomes over here.
Q: What do I need for my pantry if I want to give this Paleo thing a try?
A: You can get a good sense by reading through my Shopping Guide, which contains lots of info about pantry basics. But for my super-comprehensive answer to that question, you’ll have to read the “Stocking Your Kitchen” section in my iPad app.
Q: Do you have a good beef/chicken/pork/seafood/etc. recipe?
A: Probably! Check out my free recipe index or get yourself a copy of my iPad app. You can also check out my favorite Paleo recipe sites by clicking through the links on my Resources page.
Q: What’s this about an iPad® app?
A: Believe it or not, I have a best-selling five-star-rated iPad cookbook app! Read all about my app here — and check out this video to see what it can do:
Q: I see that you sometimes use dairy in your recipes, and you drink coffee, too — how do you reconcile that with eating Paleo?
A: I don’t think of Paleo eating as being an exercise in historical reenactment. Check out Kurt Harris’s take on this stuff, or what Chris Kresser has to say on this topic; they perfectly articulate how I try to eat.
Long story short: It ain’t about eating according to Paleo orthodoxy for the sake of strict adherence. Rather, I’m trying to use a Paleo template as a guide to eating for optimal health. (And enjoyment — ‘cause every once in a while, it’s worth going off the rails.)
Q: But I’m doing a 30-day Paleo challenge and can’t have dairy, chocolate, and other non-Paleo goodies. What can I do?
A: I’ve done the Whole30 month-long strict Paleo gig — twice —and did just fine — and enjoyed tons of variety in my meals, too. Here’s a link to a summary of my first Whole30 experience, and here’s a link to all my meals from my second go-round.
Q: Why do you call yourself a “zombie drug dealer”? What do you do for a living?
A: I am a clinical night pharmacist at a large hospital — which means I work graveyard shifts, doling out drugs to really, really sick people.
Q: Did your background as a health professional lead you to the Paleo diet?
A: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition & Food Science, and a Doctorate in Pharmacy — but while my science background has helped me understand a lot of the why’s and how’s behind the Paleo diet, I really arrived at this approach to eating by happenstance.
You can read my story over here, but in a nutshell, my husband started eating Paleo about six months before I did, and after seeing the health benefits he got from it, I hopped on the bandwagon, too. Frankly, I know just enough about the science to be dangerous, but I’m much more interested in the flavors and varieties of food that are available to us Paleo guys and gals.
Q: Is that why you don’t post more about nutritional science?
A: Yes. This is a food blog first, and a Paleo blog second. I’m all about the food porn and recipes. If you want a dose of evolutionary biology and organic chemistry, there are lots of other bloggers who are doing a much better job of explaining that stuff than I ever could.
(I do, however, include some science-y stuff in my email Newsletters for those of you who are interested.)
Q: But can you tell me why coconut oil’s better for you than olive oil? Or why I shouldn’t eat nothing but raw fruit? Or why Kitavans can eat so much carbohydrate content and still be lean? Or whether there’s such thing as a “safe starch”? And the nutrient density of mushrooms? And whether I should drink raw milk?
A: Here’s a tip: There is a handy search engine on the Internet called Google. Don’t know what that is? Google it. And then learn to use it.
In other words, don’t make me Google That For You.
Q: BUT GREEN BEANS AREN’T PALEO!
A: Um, did you happen to read the answer above about using Google?
Okay — one more time. Green beans are more pod than bean, and are generally viewed as benign by most Paleo eaters and educators (including Robb Wolf, Sarah Fragoso, Mark Sisson, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig). If you don’t want to eat them, don’t. But as Whole9 says, “if green beans are the worst food you’re eating, you have nothing to worry about.”
Q: Help! You have a lot of sous vide recipes, but I don’t have a sous vide cooker! What are my options?
A: If you don’t want to splurge on a Sous Vide Supreme (or the cheaper and only-slightly-smaller Sous Vide Demi), you can always make your own sous vide cooker with just a thermometer and a beer cooler. I kid you not!
Q: Wait a second! Sous vide means you’re cooking your food in PLASTIC! Is that safe?
A: My sources say yes. Here’s a lengthy post I wrote about cooking sous vide and plastic safety. But if it’s going to keep you up at night, just stick with the slow cooker recipes. You’ll find lots of those in my Recipe Index, too.
Q: I see that you occasionally use your microwave oven to reheat leftovers and/or cook food. Don’t you know you’re exposing yourself to radiation?
A. I know this is controversial to some. But I tend to agree with Robb Wolf and Greg Everett on this issue (listen to the first 8 minutes of this podcast, in which they explain why microwaves are A-OK).
If you’re nonetheless skeeved out by microwaves, feel free to heat stuff up some other way. I promise I won’t ever put a gun to your head and make you nuke your food.
Q: Do your kids eat Paleo?
A: Pretty much, though we continue to have some challenges when they eat outside of our home. I discussed our children’s diet at length in my interview with Diane Sanfilippo on the Balanced Bites podcast, which you can listen to here.
Q: What does “NOM NOM” mean?
A: It’s the sound you make when you’re enjoying the heck out of your food: “NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM…”
Q: Wait — did you just say “heck”? What happened to all the four-letter words that used to spice up this blog?
A: As longtime readers know, I used to liberally sprinkle my blog posts and recipes with F-bombs, and even published a lengthy post explaining why I didn’t see the problem with it. When I first started blogging, my assumption was that only a few readers would ever see my posts, and that all of ‘em would be adults.
But for a while now, I’ve kept my salty language in check because I’ve learned that there are now quite a few children(!) who read my blog — including my own. I have no idea why they’re not watching cartoons and sticking chewing gum in their hair instead, but as someone who attempts to be a halfway decent mom, I decided to pull the four-letter words off my blog for the sake of little ears. I know some of you sorely miss the spicy talk, but I’m sure you’ll live.
Q: Do you make money off this site?
A: I’m trying to defray some of the costs of this blog by hawking my iPad cooking app and T-shirts. I have a few paid advertisers. And I’m an Amazon affiliate, which means that when I link to stuff on Amazon and you buy it, I get a teeny-tiny percentage of the sales.
But trust me: This little hobby of ours takes a ton of effort (and money), and we’re not exactly turning a profit. I don’t see us quitting our day jobs.
Q: How much do you spend on groceries each month?
A: Honestly, I don’t know, nor do I want to find out.
Q: Ooooh! I like your glass food containers! And your kids’ stainless steel lunchbox! Who makes ‘em?
The glass food containers are made by Snapware — you can buy a set on Amazon or at Costco. We use stainless steel LunchBots to pack our meals, snacks, and leftovers, though we also have a couple of PlanetBox lunch containers, too.
Q: What kind of camera/lens do you use for the photos on your site?
A: We have two DSLRs: A Nikon D7000 (which also does double-duty as our go-to camera for our videos) and an older Nikon D80 that we occasionally use as a back-up. For food pics, we pretty much stick with a 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor macro lens, but for all-purpose shots, we go with a more versatile 18-200mm VR lens.
When I’m on the go, I take with me a smaller camera: a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 that I pair with a Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH lens. This little guy is super portable and produces fantastic shots.
Q: How can I contact you? And do you have a press kit?
A: Pick your poison: Use this contact form, send me a tweet, or post a comment on my Facebook fan page. You can download my press kit by clicking here.