Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

Howdy, gang!

It’s been a while since my last Forky Friday, and in that time, our first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, was published! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see our labor of love out there in the real world, and to see the reviews that have been posted around the web. We love the comments and photos that so many of you have posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep ’em coming — we can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up!

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

(In the meantime, if you have our book and like it, will you consider posting a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble? It would be a huge help, and I’d be incredibly grateful!)

In the meantime, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled links from around the web…

Back on Track

As much as I’d like to report that I’m still eating my way through northern Thailand, I’m not. We got home from Asia earlier this week—just in time for me to don my gay apparel (a.k.a. hospital scrubs) and start another week of graveyard shifts on Christmas night. I missed the usual holiday feasting…but it was probably for the best. I’d already enjoyed my fair share of incredible meals (and dietary off-roading) in Chiang Mai, and was glad for the chance to avoid further gastronomic temptations.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

If, like me, you took a nutritional detour over the holiday season, don’t freak out. An occasional indulgence won’t derail you from your journey down the Paleo superhighway.

First, get back on track by reading this post on Mark’s Daily Apple about how to recover from holiday overindulgence.

Next, consider whether a short-term nutritional reset might be a good way to kick off the New Year. I’ve done a couple of Whole30s in Januaries past, and can vouch for the program’s efficacy in getting me back to a clean dietary slate. If you’re interested in the Whole30, get your hands on a copy of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s It Starts With Food — my go-to guide for a month of super-clean eats. I can’t recommend it enough.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

Need more support? Melissa Joulwan recently updated her “30 Reasons to Whole30” post, and it’s a fantastic, super-comprehensive resource for getting started. And, of course, I wrote a month-long series of Whole30 recipe posts last year. That’s right: 30 days of Whole30 dishes. Go get ’em, tiger. 

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

Prefer a shorter program that focuses instead on ridding your diet of sugar and all the health issues that stem from it? Then take a look at “The 21 Day Sugar Detox,” a program by Diane Sanfilippo that’s designed to put an end to your sugar addiction. Diane’s latest books — The 21 Day Sugar Detox and The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook — are packed with information, detailed meal plans, and delicious recipes that’ll help you kick sugar to the curb. 

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

(By the way, Diane and I — along with Bill Staley and Hayley Mason Staley of Primal Palate! — will be doing a joint book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Tigard, Oregon on January 14! Go RSVP and come meet us!)

Winter Reading

Speaking of books, I had the rare luxury of flipping through a few new Paleo releases over my vacation, and wanted to share them with you.

  • First up: John Durant’s The Paleo Manifesto. You probably already know this (given that the book’s been out for a few months now), but Durant’s Manifesto is a smart, compelling read, examining the Paleo approach not only from the perspective of evolutionary nutrition, but also through the lens of history and psychology. The pages are loaded with fascinating stuff, like what obese gorillas can teach us about weight loss, and how fasting can help us beat jet lag. As a night shift worker, I especially appreciate the book’s discussion of sleep.
  • Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger is another book I’ve been reading. In it, the author systematically debunks and exposes the shoddy science and bad public policy that led to the creation and decades-long maintenance of the deeply flawed, “one-size-fits-all” food pyramid model of nutrition. I’ve raptly listened to Denise’s live presentations more than once, and have always loved her clear voice, disarming humor, and razor-sharp smarts. Like her lectures, Denise’s book delivers the goods.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

  • Last but certainly not least is Chris Kresser’s new book, Your Personal Paleo Code. No matter how tired I am at the end of my work shifts, I can’t seem to put this book down when I get home. Starting with a baseline Paleo template, Chris’s book guides readers along a three-step process to further customize a personal blueprint for better health. Best of all, like Chris himself, Your Personal Paleo Code is non-dogmatic and open to new ideas; the text explores everything from resistant starch to raw fermented dairy — foods that our family has incorporated back into our diets after doing a nutritional re-set and undertaking a good amount of subsequent self-experimentation.

(As you may know, Chris and I plan to attend each other’s sold out book release parties on Saturday, January 4 — mine is an afternoon shindig in San Francisco, and his is an evening affair in Berkeley. If you have tickets to one or both parties, I’ll see you next week! But if you’re in the Bay Area and didn’t manage to snag tickets, don’t worry; Chris and I just announced that we’ll be doing a joint book signing on Friday, February 28 at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California. Details and RSVP information can be found here.)

The Business of Food

I spotted a bunch of fascinating articles this week that weave together food, business, and culture. Check ’em out:

  • The Cult of Vitamix: Behind the scenes at the company that makes the noisiest kitchen gadget I own.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

  • Nutrition in the NBA (Part I, Part II, and Part III): A three-part CBS Sports article exploring the role of real-food nutrition — and Paleo in particular — in improving the health of pro basketball players.

The Bionic Chef

I think that we can all agree that if Chef Eduardo Garcia can whip up meals with a prosthetic hand, we have no right to complain about how hard it is to re-heat some chicken for dinner.

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By the Numbers

I love lists. Here’s a sample of some of my favorite year-end listicles:

  • Stupid Easy Paleo’s top 10 Paleo posts of the year!
  • Foodbeast’s 13 of the most extraordinarily useless food inventions of the year!

And finally, as an unrepentant cookbook hoarder, I present to you my favorite list of the year:

Eat Your Books’ annual “Best of the Best Cookbooks of 2013”! This list combines over 200 year-end “best cookbooks” lists to produce a meta-compilation of critics’ favorites. This alone is reason enough to bookmark the list, but there’s one more reason I’m posting this:

Along with terrific books by friends like Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl and Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut, our cookbook(!) made the list of 2013’s “Top Gluten-Free & Paleo Books,” despite having been published just a week ago!


You can’t see me, but I’m dancing (a really awkward-looking) jig over here.

Pok Pok – The Movie!

Did you see that the top dog on the “Best of the Best Cookbooks” list was none other than Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok? Having eaten Chef Ricker’s food in Portland, obsessively studied his cookbook, and spent a good chunk of this month enjoying the melting-pot cuisine of northern Thailand, I am more than ready to consume Farang, a feature-length documentary about Andy Ricker. Unfortunately, it won’t be released until early next year. For now, here’s the movie trailer. (Note: NSFW language in the trailer.)

Recipe Roundup

Ready to finish the year with some tasty grub? Try these recipes on for size:

  • And this startlingly easy way to peel mandarin oranges isn’t a recipe, but it’s amazing nonetheless!

Catch Me If You Can

You know that I’m about to embark on a whirlwind book tour next week, right? If not, go take a look at the dates and events, and RSVP if you can come to any of ’em. I’d love to meet you!

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam

Oh, and tomorrow (Saturday) morning, after I finish my ten-hour night shift at the hospital, Henry and I are heading to San Francisco for a radio interview on Joel Riddell’s Dining Around on Talk 910 (KKSF AM) about our new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. If you’re in the area, try to catch us live when we come on at 11 a.m.! I’m sure I’ll be falling-over-exhausted by the time we’re on-air, so stay tuned to hear the sound of my forehead hitting the table as I pass out.

[UPDATED: The recording of our radio interview has been posted here. Enjoy!]

Over and out!

Looking for recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

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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