I maintained in May

The month of May consisted of planning a garage sale, cleaning out the garage, and setting up the home gym. I got a few work outs in but not many and I wasn’t consistent. We also had a little potty training regression with our little one so that has been rough. I am really surprised at how well I maintained given the stress and lack of sleep throughout the month.


I picked a different sports bra and shorts this time. Trying to change it up! The weather has certainly warmed up here and I have been doing well with my workouts over the last week. I’ve gotten 3 in so far and plan to do at least 4 a week throughout the month.

This was me this morning:


What you can’t see is my little one working right along with me. When I took my shirt off she did the same and was doing push ups with me. I could hear her yelling “go mommy go” as I sprinted (let’s be honest there was no sprinting) up a hill with a 14# medball and she ran right along side me as I made my way back up the drive. This was the perfect motivation for me. Having my little girl see me doing this and trying to mirror it. Teaching and showing her how to live a healthy life is my job and dammit I had a proud mommy moment today!

What habits are your kids picking up from you? What are you showing them without even knowing you are teaching them? Is it good? If not how can you change it right now… Don’t wait, do it now!


Purge your pantry and stock up!

Grocery shopping brings me the most stress. It usually involves 4 stores (whole foods, trader joes, heinens, and giant eagle), no coupons, shopping the sales, priorities, and a very tight budget. We are a single income family. Income that is made on others disposable income. My husband is a tattoo artist. He works really hard but he is dependent on people keeping their appointments and then sitting for the set amount of time they scheduled. If they don’t show or they only sit for 2 of the 4 hours they scheduled our budget changes. This happens weekly. One of my jobs is to make sure our family is fed with clean healthy food. When I hear people say “it’s too expensive to eat like you do”, I cringe. It’s a shitty excuse and I’m not buying it. I make it work every week.

To be successful in following this way of eating, in changing your lifestyle, in transitioning your kids, you need to get rid of everything that will derail you. Throw away or donate the things that aren’t considered paleo, or has a commercial. For the next 30 days we are resetting the brain and body so let’s get rid of everything! My family and I have been eating pretty clean for over two years now, we cleaned out our pantry and fridge a long time ago. For some of you, if not most, this is the start, the very beginning and it has to be a clean break for you to see and feel the results. No cheats, no treats, no paleo baked goods… Commit, right now, to 30 days. If the junk is around, if it’s still there for you to easily reach for, YOU WILL. Get rid of it. If your kids know the pop tarts and cereal are in the pantry they will protest eggs and bacon. If they know the mac&cheese is still in the cupboard they won’t even try the sweet potato fries you worked so hard on preparing. Don’t buy gluten free bread and snacks. That stuff isn’t any more real than a pop tart. They are full of processed sugars and corn! Over the next 30 days I hope to show you some fun and creative ways to help transition you and your family off processed food. But first, let’s talk about what items you need in stock.

I wish I could afford grassfed beef, pastured chickens and eggs, clean pork and ocean caught fish but I can’t. I buy that when we can but for the day to day I have to shop at 4 stores. I would buy everything from Whole Foods but that isn’t realistic either. I made a list of my go to items and where I get them. (Note: I live in NE Ohio and the farmers market options are pretty limited come the winter. When the weather breaks I try to buy most everything at the farmers market)

Whole Foods:
* fresh ground almond butter (grind your own and it’s MUCH cheaper)
** snowville creamery non homaginized whole milk
* cage free eggs (about 3 dozen a week)
** local grassfed cheese
** slightly sweet chai tea mix
* grassfed or pastured meat that is on sale
* bulk bin raw almonds and cashews
* lara bars

Trader Joes:
* chicken sausages (a variety of flavors)
* dried fruits (no sugar or sulfates added)
* coconut milk/cream
* coconut oil cooking spray
* spices (these are important, having a good mix of spices is key to making many different dishes using the same ingredients)

* most of my meat (shop the sales and their quality is a little better than the big grocery chains)
* produce (lots of veggies, shop what’s in season and make sure you have a variety of items and color. keep in mind these items spoil so buy what you can eat in a week/few days. DO NOT load up on fruit – it’s still sugar. )
* canned goods (beans**, tomatoes and tomato sauce – check the labels for added bullshit and sugar. Put it back if it has any added ingredients. You are buying beans make sure it’s just beans)
* olive oil

Giant Eagle (local big chain grocer)
* frozen fish
* some meat (it is so very hard for me to buy meat here. It’s full of hormones, antibiotics, and the animals did not live a natural life. However, when we are pinching pennies…)
* produce (I shop the weekly ad between heinens and giant eagle, again shopping the sales)

Costco: (bulk items)
* coconut oil
* frozen veggies

Whew this is a long post! I hope you guys are still with me. The list above is vague I know. To focus your list a bit (what kinds of meat and veggies) purchase some paleo cookbooks or search the internet for some paleo recipes. You need to have an idea of what you will be cooking for the week so you don’t over spend or buy things that you don’t know how to prepare.

I can easily keep typing about how to set yourself up for success but you folks have busy lives. If you have specific questions or concerns please post them below and I will address them. Do yourselves a favor and set yourself up for success! Clean out the garbage and plan ahead.

** denotes a non paleo item please see my post here https://mypaleobaby.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/my-personal-paleo/ where I discuss this.


Switch Witch

I have been meaning to post this entry for about two weeks now. Lucy will be two in about a week and a half now so I’m sure you can all understand my absence from this blog. ; )

About a month ago I came across another paleo parents blog, and of course I can’t recall which one and I really wish I could because their Halloween idea is BRILLIANT, where I read about the switch witch. This Halloween will be Lucy’s first time going out to trick or treat. I enjoy family traditions and I can still remember Halloween’s from when I was a kid. I want Lucy to have strong positive memories as well. As I thought about what our Halloween would look like, since we are a paleo/primal family and avoid processed food, I realized how upsetting Halloween would be for her if we had her dress up, collect candy to then have her get rid of it (Her uncle is a high school teacher so we plan to donate her candy to his class room). Here comes the BRILLIANT idea. The switch witch!

What’s the switch witch you ask? Well she’s a little witch that will trade your Halloween candy (minus a piece or two, we aren’t that strict and plan to let her pick a few pieces to keep) for a small toy. Now I’m not talking big $$ here. The switch witch knows Lucy’s birthday is a week after Halloween so she’s not going crazy. A small toy or a few new art supplies for a bag of candy seems like a pretty good deal! All Lucy has to do is leave her candy out for the witch and the next morning she will find a surprise from the switch witch.

I am so thankful for this idea and really wish I could give credit where credit is due!! I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween this year and I will do my best to post how things went.

Here is a sneak peak of little Miss Lucy dressed in here Halloween costume.


I hated meatloaf… Until Now!


Growing up meatloaf was a staple in our house. It was cheap and easy to make for two parents who were chasing after 4 kids. I never liked it. No matter how much ketchup or tomato soup was poured on my piece, I had to choke it down. My Dad would argue that it tasted just like a burger. So not true!

About a year ago a friend posted about a meatloaf she made for her family with sweet potatoes and raisins. She said her kids gobbled it up (she also hipped me to the bacon wrapped cabbage). Missy has never steered me wrong so I thought, what the hell, and gave it a try.

HEAVEN! This meatloaf only had one thing in common with my Dad’s meatloaf. It was easy to make (aside from using the box grater on the sweet potato after a heavy shoulder work out)! This meatloaf is loaded with flavor, has a great texture, and filling. Lucy ate 2 big hunks of this last night for dinner. She fed the dogs her broccoli (I knew I should have sautéed her broccoli in coconut oil) and kept yelling for more meatloaf. She acted as if someone was going to take it from her, eating it as fast as I could put it on her tray.

You need to try this, and you need to try it now! This recipe is not mine and you can find it by using the link below. PaleoOMG is one of my favorite blogs and a great inspiration.

Savory Sweet Potato Meatloaf

Eat Real – Jen

It’s Just Funny

This comic was in the paper a few weeks ago. It reminded me of Lucy’s one year check up with Pediatrician, she wanted to know how Lucy got her carbs if she wasn’t eating grains…

It also made me laugh because since starting a 30 day paleo challenge I am asked “so what do you eat” all the time. It’s not that difficult folks – real food. Meat, veggies, sone fruit, nuts and seeds. It’s so worth the effort. Get past the first two weeks and I assure you that you will wonder why it took you so long to try it in the first place. 14 days – commit for 14 days and I bet you will want to finish out the 30 days and then continue for a life time.

Consider it – just consider it. I have been asthma medication and symptom free for over two years and I have been IBS medication free for at least two years. I would add IBS symptom free as well but that’s not true. When I don’t follow my plan of nutrition I will have flare ups, but not to the degree I had before however, strong enough to remind me that I made the wrong food choices.

Eat Real


When they protest…

It’s day four of our 30 day paleo challenge and I’m feeling the detox. For the last month or so I’ve had constant cookies and Hershey Kisses. I had a slight headache yesterday. It wasn’t to bad, just annoying, and the cravings are brutal. I want a Hershey Kiss more than I want a real kiss!
This is the hard part. Getting off the crap and teaching my body to run on the good stuff. A few more days and I should be over the hump.

Lets get this blog back on track too!!! Lucy is truly awesome. She eats EVERYTHING (paleo)! We did have our first food issue when she was getting over the flu. She didn’t want veggies or meat! She wanted fruit and sweet potatoes. Instead of making meal time a knock down drag out fight, I offered her the meat and veggies we were eating along with some fruit and sweet potatoes. She would eat some of the meat and veggies but focused in the sweeter stuff. Eventually she got back on track and is back to eating anything I offer her. She had a bite of my paleo spaghetti at lunch and I ended up having to split it with her.

I tweaked my meatball and spaghetti recipe and am working on some new ones so stay tuned. They will be posted soon!

Eat real


Holy Smokes

It has been 12 days since I last updated the blog. Thank you for being patient.

I spent the whole day in the kitchen today. I made food for Lucy and food for the adults along with a little treat, an apple crisp (not paleo). Every now and again I will make a little treat for the family. Lucy still has not had any grain – her treats are 100% paleo.

I posted recipes of two of the things I made today. You can find them under the recipe tab on the left hand side of this blog.

I hope you all are doing well and enjoying food. Today certainly re-energized my passion for cooking and yummy food.

Eat Real- Jen