As soon as I dropped Big-O off at school this morning, I was left with five solid hours of ME time. My hubby dropped Lil-O at my parent’s house on his way to work and I was free to do whatever the hell I wanted until I picked up Big-O from school at 2:00 p.m.

Did I luxuriate at a fancy spa? No.

Or did I stimulate our flagging economy with a little retail therapy? A little bit.

Some laundry, perhaps? Hell no – I ain’t that selfless.

The first appointment of the morning was my virgin CrossFit workout at CrossFit Palo Alto. I’ve been really nervous about starting but I finally stopped making excuses and committed to a class. Despite the butterflies, I wanted to fill my belly with a small protein and fat-packed mini-breakfast to get me through the WOD. So before the class, while I packed Big-O’s lunch box with primal goodies, I made myself a few extra turkey and butter lettuce roll-ups and gobbled a small handful of macadamia nuts.

Then, I drove to the box and had a fantastic workout with a supportive and inspiring group of kickass ladies. (You can read all about it here.)

After the workout, I was pretty famished, so I made myself a REAL breakfast plate at home with leftover rotisserie chicken, roasted butternut squash, and stir fried Napa cabbage and bacon.

And I polished off some more macadamia nuts and coconut flakes.

Once my belly was filled, I set out to do some damage to my wallet. I hate shopping for clothes or shoes, but shopping for food-related items is a whole ‘nother story. I’ve wanted to check out Penzeys Spices in Menlo Park ever since it opened two years ago. I haven’t been able to go because it’s a place where I need to shop solo, without having to herd two small children around; I gotta totally inspect and smell each and every spice blend, herb, and extract. (It’s hard work trying to ditch the kids – it’s not like you can abandon them at the supermarket like Punky Brewster anymore.)

My interest in Penzeys was piqued once again after I started reading the awesome Paleo blog, The Clothes Make The Girl. Melissa Joulwan makes all sorts of delicious “dinochow” with a spice cabinet filled almost exclusively with Penzeys products. Since I was alone today, I drove to the Menlo Park store and spent a blissful 45 minutes slowly perusing each and every shelf and came home with this bounty:

I can’t wait to start experimenting with these spices. As Robb Wolf and Amber Karnes say, you can’t ever have enough spices!

I promised my good friend, H, that I’d stop by with lunch and visit with her and her adorable baby. Luckily, I was near Café Borrone where I picked up a scramble with spinach, onions, and feta with a side of chicken apple sausage for me…

…and a tri–tip sandwich for her. (I’m such an enabler.)

Then, the clock struck 1:30 p.m. and my Accord turned into a pumpkin. I picked up Big-O at school and we drove up to my parent’s house for a Chinese New Year dinner. My parents are so awesome. Not only do they willingly and happily help with babysitting when I’m working (and when I’m not!) but they’re totally open-minded about the Paleo diet. For dinner tonight, my mom made us a fantastic Paleo-friendly dinner: grilled lamb “lollichops,” braised daikon, and steamed bok choy.

My parents don’t eat Paleo but they are slowly coming around. It’s nice that they’re receptive about learning about the diet and don’t think we’re crazy. They’ll morph into cave people soon enough. Mark my words!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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