30-day paleo party, vol. 2

Hello long-lost readers,
After a summer full of vacations, weddings, and other exciting events, my family decided it was time to detox. We decided to do another 30-day paleo challenge as a way to cleanse our bodies of all the (delicious) junk we have been putting in them.

Today’s meals:
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with spinach and (paleo-friendly!) salsa
Lunch: huge salad with kale, spinach, carrots, Campari and cherry tomatoes, walnuts, pecans, avocado, balsamic vinegar and a little EVOO. Also: small side of California cherries and fresh strawberries.
Drinks: lots of water, coffee, tea, and La Croix lime-flavored sparkling water.

We’ve got some newbies on board this time, and we are excited to have them! The more the merrier: if you would like to hop on the paleo party bus, let me know!

It’s fun to [exercise] at the YMCA

Important announcement: I have joined a gym! Not just any gym, but a historic, well-rounded center of activity just 5 minutes from my house…the Fogelman YMCA in downtown Memphis. 20140106-150848.jpg

Here’s a little recap of its history. http://www.ymcamemphis.org/about-the-y/our-history/. Nothing makes you feel young and spry like working out in a 105-year old building.

Since my life-changing registration on Friday (aka 3 days ago), I have worked out in some form or fashion every day! High five for me. Today’s adventure: Yoga I (aka yoga for beginners). I’ve practiced yoga only a few times before, although never consistently, and I was a bit nervous. Luckily, today’s class was exactly the stretching, breathing workout I needed, thanks to a kind, supportive instructor, a wide variety of fellow yoginis, and relatively simple movements. I’m nowhere near ready for Yoga II yet (let’s not get too ahead of ourselves), but I can see myself incorporating weekly yoga class(es) as part of my overall “better me” mission for 2014.

After I got my namaste on, I headed upstairs to retrieve the results of the very-embarassing fitness assessment I completed yesterday. Yesterday, I provided entertainment for the YMCA staff member as he solidified what I already knew – this girl needs to get her butt in gear. The staff member who completed my assessment tried very hard not to chuckle at the single-digit number of push-ups I could do (then kindly suggested we try “lady pushups” instead). He pinched a few fatty areas with some fancy salad tongs, then praised (and was probably somewhat surprised by) my ability to do 3 minutes of tall steps without collapsing. I failed miserably at the sitdown-leanforward-touchyourtoes test… hey – I wasn’t told I was the most unflexible girl on my high school dance team for nothing! We did some weird half-sit-ups involving a mini basketball, and guess what – I think I have abs! They are hidden somewhere around my belly button, and now that I know they exist, I’m hoping they will start to surface sometime in the next 10 years.

Today, when I picked up my fitness assessment results, I read in black and white what I already knew – if physical fitness is a 10-story building, I’m hanging out in the tornado shelter below the basement. Where some people might be discouraged from words like “below average” on a fitness assessment, I consider it lots of room for improvement. I’m not expecting to turn into a bodybuilding supermodel overnight, but with a slow-but-steady dedication to sweat (and stretching! lots of stretching!), I will return to the fitness assessment office in a few months and master that ball-grabby-situp-thingy. I will laugh in the staff member’s face as I quadruple my max number of regular man-pushups. I’ll do 3 minutes of double-time giant steps while singing Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

You heard it here first, kids. The Y has so many different fitness classes and workout machines and motivating staff members that I have no excuse for not paying it a friendly, sweaty visit several times a week. 2014 wants my best me – and I’m going to get there, one awkward warrior pose at a time.

And we’re back…

Aloha loyal fans! Ms. Paleobetes in back in action…albeit this time she’s pretty far off the wagon. For the time being you probably won’t see very many recipes for homemade ketchup and Chickfila sauce, and possibly a few more recipes for “no-no” items like these scrumptious hot cocoa cupcakes (the trick: make your hot cocoa from scratch) and the Pioneer Woman’s out-of-this world chocolate French silk pie (beware: it calls for raw eggs, so I used Eggbeaters and kept it properly refrigerated before serving).

But hey, life is about moderation, and sometimes a banana split for dinner is the best way to end a vacation.


Hey there 2014 – I’m ready to give you the best me, and I’m taking this blog along for the ride.

Happy new year!

recipe roundup

Hey y’all! Long time no see. You’ve missed me, right?

For all you curious readers, yes, I’m still on the paleo wagon. Our 30 day trial run ended a few weeks ago, but I’ve decided to keep it up as best as possible. I’m allowing myself a few cheats (I’m looking at you, weekend dinners out), but my home is still dairy- and grain- and processed junk-free. Woo hoo!

As a consolation for my extended absence, I want to share a few delicious paleo recipes I have tried out recently.

Sweet Potato Soup


Melissa has done it again with this creamy deliciousness. I made this last night for dinner, and I ate it again for breakfast. I followed the recipe exactly, then added more spices at the end to make the flavor a little bolder.

Dairy-free Sour Cream & Ranch Dressing

http://paleotable.com/2012/11/paleo-sour-cream/ & paleotable.com/2012/11/paleo-ranch-dressing/

These two recipes are very similar, with salt, pepper, and dill turning the sour cream into make ranch dressing. I made the sour cream to go with the sweet potato soup, and it was perfect! You really don’t miss the dairy at all. If you know how much I love condiments, you know how important these two little gems are.

Honey-Dijon Dressing

While we’re on the subject of dressing, here’s another way to spruce up your salad. My mom shared this recipe with me. I’m not sure where it came from, so if you know the source, please share:

  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. Voila! You have no excuse for ever buying dressing again.

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Caramelized Onions


Paleo recipes are everywhere! They’re taking over. This made a lovely side dish to my salmon (below). It’s a pretty sweet dish, so serve it with another saltier side dish.

Baked Dijon Salmon


This recipe needed a little modification. I used ghee instead of butter and almond flour instead of bread crumbs. And OMG it was splendid.


There are so many easy ways to keep paleo eating fun and interesting. Seriously, I have no excuse for ever inviting grains, dairy, or processed crap into my kitchen again. What are your favorite recipes?


wow, has it really been 2 weeks since my last post? I feel like my adoring fans must have been waiting patiently for more paleobetes! Unfortunately, other exciting plans such as ski vacations and bachelorette parties have kept me away from the keyboard. But I’m back, kiddos!

Here are some tips and tricks I have utilized lately, and that I will continue to use after the 30-day trial (which ends today! what what!)

1. Salad miracle workers: nuts like pecans and almost add the same crunch as croutons, without the carby processed nastiness.

2. Salad dressing delights: did you know that there are flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars? I encountered this little gem of a shop, Mountain Town Olive Oil, while vacationing in Park City, Utah. I tasted all the lovely flavors then purchased the Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar, and it is just delightful.

3. Craving a trip to your favorite burger joint? My trick has been to order a burger with guacamole (paleo-friendly condiment. woo!), then take off the buns. I order a big ol’ side salad to try to compensate for the lost fries. It is most of the burgery deliciousness without the stomachache and roll-out-the-barrel-of-fullness.

4. Breakfast: adding a spoonful  of paleo-friendly salsa (read the label, y’all) at the end of the egg-scrambling for a little extra flavor. Ole!

5. I like water. But I get sick of it quickly. Every day I brew a pitcher of iced tea and keep it in the fridge, ready for flavor and caffeine cravings.

I will let you know as I think of more exciting paleo tips and tricks. Enjoy!


Today marks day fifteen, the halfway point in the paleo project. So, while most of this blog has been very positive, it’s about time we stop being polite and start getting real.

Continue reading

super whole super bowl

So last night was the Super Bowl. I cooked! I cooked regular party food, but with a paleo twist. Everything was made using whole ingredients, and everything tasted even better than standard party fare, if I do say so myself. (Cooking hot wing sauce in bacon grease may have added to this review.)

The recipes I used were rich, hearty, man-food that I probably wouldn’t cook every day but were perfect to accompany one of the biggest football games of the year (after every TN Vols game and the SEC championship, of course).

The menu:

  • Boneless buffalo wings
  • (Sweet) potato skins
  • Meatballs in sauce

The spread:




The recipes:

Continue reading