Why “Mostly Paleo”

I have known deep down for a very long time now that treating people with pharmaceutical drugs is almost always the wrong choice.  You only have to watch about 5 minutes of TV to catch a commercial that rattles off the horrifying laundry list of side effects of any given medication.  If those side effects came with a cure, it would be almost acceptable.  But the reality is that Rx drugs treat the symptom, not the actual issue.  Those side effects often lead to the need for more medication, which comes with more side effects, and so on and so forth.

That being said, in my mind, our power is in prevention.  That means eating for optimal health, to the best of our ability.  There is, of course, no shortage of opinions in regards to what that means exactly.  Based on research I’ve done, including self experimentation, and testimonials from countless people, I say Paleo is the way to go.

Now.  All of that being said, I am a chef / caterer / foodie first.  I personally will never be 100% anything.  I’m mostly paleo.  And I feel great that way.  If I can find a way to make bread that fits within paleo guidelines, I am going to make it.  Until people start chasing and tackling their dinner in a loin cloth, I will be taking honest ingredients and making them into fun things.  I personally don’t see the paleo lifestyle as a literal history reenactment, I see it more as common sense- eating REAL food!  Not from a box, with added color, flavor, chemicals you can’t pronounce and preservatives.  Just. Food.  But I can only be so serious about anything, you should probably know that.   I’m going to cheat and treat myself once in a while.  That doesn’t mean I’m a closet diet soda drinker or anything wacky like that.   Just that I’ve found balance with my relationship with food, and it’s a beautiful thing.  I saw one publication that said that salt is unacceptable in paleo diets, because it wasn’t used back in paleolithic times.  Ask any chef how they feel about having their salt taken away, and they just might slap you.

I encourage people to challenge themselves.  If the mere thought of going grain-free makes you feel faint, start with baby steps.  Make cauliflower “rice” instead of rice.  I bet you’ll love it.  My step-kids sure do!  Have a salad with protein on it instead of a sandwich for lunch.  Stop for a minute before you get to the checkout line, and look in your cart.  How much actual food is in there?  Is there anything in there that will never go bad?  Is everything in a box or can, or is your cart filled with fresh meats and vegetables?  How many ingredients are on the labels?  Anything you can’t pronounce?  Being aware of what you’re consuming is a huge step.  In addition to being aware of the what you’re eating, also try and be aware of how you’re feeling.  If you feel energized and alert when you eat certain foods, foggy and headachy when you eat others, that’s your body telling you something!  Listen.

So this is my disclaimer: almost all of the recipes on this blog will be grain-free and paleo friendly.  There will be no gluten.  There will be some full fat dairy.  Around Thanksgiving time there will probably be a recipe with corn in it.  There could be a peanut or small amount of sugar even, but I promise you this: Only REAL FOOD will make an appearance on this blog, and all recipes will be labeled clearly.

Thanks for reading my spiel, and I hope you have fun in the kitchen!


9 Responses to Why “Mostly Paleo”

  1. Kc says:

    Thanks for the post! Time to check out your blog!

  2. I love your disclaimer…my sentiments exactly! So happy to have found your blog. Everything looks delicious!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I sure would love to see some vegan/vegetarian recipes! I love what you’re doing, stumbled upon it from a contest on another blog (I’m a bay area celiac! and I plan on keeping tabs on the Zenbelly kitchen project!), and it’s right up my alley, except with the meat. So many great veggies and fruits in the bay area here (I’ve lived all over the country and the pickin’s are slim compared to here!), I’d love to see them put into colorful and tasty gluten-free recipes 🙂

    • zenbellyblog says:

      Thanks for the comment Jennifer! Definitely stay tuned for news about the new gluten-free kitchen. As far as vegetarian recipes, there will definitely be more coming soon. I don’t do many vegetarian entrees, since I don’t rarely eat grains or legumes, but definitely love utilizing what is seasonal and fresh from the local farmers. And yes, we are SO lucky with our fruit and veggie selection in the Bay Area! Please check back for more recipes soon. Cheers!

  4. shanti says:

    100% anything is not the sign of good health. I like the “I just eat real food” approach. Thank you for this blog. I love the recipes!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Hi Simone, I recently went gluten free and low carb (meaning I don’t tend to eat “gluten free” breads/cakes/pasta etc any more than I would eat normal breads/cakes pasta, though I did have a gluten free brownie yesterday so thanks for the “not 100%” clause :)), so I’m delighted to have found your blog through the post you kindly left on mine yesterday, thanks for reaching out.

    I like the way you write and look forward to exploring your recipes. I’m a thyroid patient, so I have to take medicine every day, but that medicine is a synthetic version of the hormone my body would otherwise be producing itself, rather than anything that should be alien to my body. While drugs can do harm as well as good on the whole modern medical science means more of us are alive today than would have survived in paleo days – but for many of us our modern diet is not helping at all! I get that now and I wish I’d realised sooner.

    Since changing my diet my energy levels are improved, my brain fog massively reduced, I’ve lost weight and I feel optimistic that this is only the start.

    *waving and smiling*

    • zenbellyblog says:

      Thanks Lorriane! And I hope my sentiments about western medicine didn’t come across as smug: I know it definitely plays a crucial role in certain situations. I just feel that drugs are so overused to treat symptoms, instead of doctors actually attempting to treat the cause of the issue (often diet)… I’m so happy to hear that you are being proactive about your health and looking into food as a way to improve it!

  6. Becca says:

    So happy to have found your blog. I will be following closely 🙂

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