I used to go through life without thinking much about things. I wasn’t much of a planner at all; in fact, I was both irked by, and in awe of, people who were. How could they so confidently know what they were going to want in a few days, a week or even months? I had the hardest time picking a major in college because I couldn’t imagine that I knew at 19 years old what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

My reality today?  Having food allergies means I have now become the biggest planner.

I can’t count on the ease of quick grab-n-go type foods since they typically contain ingredients I can’t eat, so I end up bringing snacks with me everywhere. I’ve become one of those people who eats dinner for breakfast (avoiding grains, dairy and eggs make breakfast foods near impossible), and I find myself reheating leftovers while my husband and son indulge in my old favorites, including breakfast tacos. Sadly,  I live in Austin and can’t eat breakfast tacos! Speaking of my son, I’m raising a gluten, & dairy free kid which means I have to be prepared much more so than if I could simply rely on a quick drive thru or convenience store for a cure of the hunger pangs.


So, when a friend sent along a link to a book written by a set of Paleo parents trying to help others learn how to live a Paleo life with their children, I quickly bought a copy.  To be honest, raising a child is complicated enough, but when you throw in food allergies or sensitivities  it takes it to a different level.  I want to make sure he doesn’t feel left out, or like the oddball of his friends. So while I now carry the ‘mom bag’ packed with healthy snacks, and Yelp restaurants for allergy-free reviews often, it was nice to read from another set of parents who are living the allergy-free life and making it work!

I agree with the parents behind the book, Eat Like a Dinosaur.  They’ve found a way to make special diets fun for their kids, and they help parents understand how to keep our children safe and healthy. By following a modified Paleo diet, they have helped heal their children from various auto-immune conditions, which is so important in preventing a series of much scarier health concerns down the line.

What I love about the book?

It focus not just on a Paleo diet, but rather on food allergies in general, and includes old favorites such as cereal, chicken nuggets and waffles, which are all grain-free. Their intent is not on excluding foods, but rather, on eating healthy and delicious ones which mimic the same foods we are accustomed to, but in a healthier version. 

All recipes are free of dairy, wheat, peanuts and soy.

All recipes are labeled so you know if they contain shellfish, tree nuts, fish or eggs.

Many of the recipes are set up to show your kiddos what parts they can help with, so they can help in the process of making these foods that are designed to help them live healthy lives. Plus they get to play a part in making some delish dishes!

It’s so important to help kids feel normal when they’re dealing with something that society has a bit of a stigma about, and I love that these foodie parents went all out to write a cookbook that helps their kids feel completely normal about their special diets.

Here’s a description of the book below and a video clip you can watch as well. I hope this helps you navigate the complexities of a ‘different’ lifestyle choice for you and your family too!



There’s something about warm figs that I just love; whether they are wrapped in bacon, or simply served by themselves, I’m a happy girl when there are figs nearby. And today is one of those rare days here in Austin when it rains all day long, and I’m craving some comfort food. So while I bake a delicious Paleo Meatloaf (recipe to come later!) I’m prepping a warm fig and pistachio salad to complement it. And since I’m short on time now – meatloaf is in the oven and I’m just getting ready to prepare the salad – I thought I’d share this goodie with you too. 

This delicious salad contains fresh figs (although dried figs work too), extra-virgin olive oil, minced shallots, and dry-roasted pistachios. It’s simple, healthy and delish. 

Happy Sunday! 

Roasted figs and pistachio salad

Roasted figs and pistachio salad


  • fresh figs (although dried figs work too)
  • extra-virgin olive oil - enough to drizzle on figs and toss in salad
  • balsamic vinegar
  • minced shallots (optional)
  • dry-roasted pistachios
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Roast figs in oven for 10 minutes on 250.
  2. Toss the figs with olive oil and place on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cool, and cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Then just toss the ingredients and enjoy!

Why a detox juice?

Image credit: Levi Brown

We’re eating foods that contain pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. Our air is full of heavy metals, chemicals and toxins. Our meats contain steroids, antibiotic residue and herbicides from food ingested by the animal. Our water has prescription drug residues, harmful chemicals, herbicides and pesticides in it.

Because we live in a polluted world, our bodies are having to maintain balance in a situation they we’re not designed to handle. If you follow a typical American diet, your body is most likely in a state of inflammation and your over-worked immune system is constantly battling the invaders from the fried foods, fast foods, white flour, refined sugar, chemical sweeteners, etc. that you’re eating.

So if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to help soothe and calm your poor digestive system, this detox juice is an easy and tasty option.  And continuing the series of juices that don’t require a juicer, this one is packed with ingredients that your blender can happily handle.

High-fiber root veggies and fruit keep things moving through the digestive tract, while ginger calms your stomach.


Detox Juice Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Calories per serving: 155


  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 2 beet
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • Water for consistency


  1. Place all ingredients in blender, adding water as needed until desired thickness is reached.
  2. Blend and enjoy immediately!


Note: to increase thickness to a smoothie consistency, add 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt or about 1 cup of ice and Dairy-free Milk of choice. Other great options are to add 1 banana or 1 whole avocado.


Following a Raw Foods, vegan, vegetarian, gluten/dairy free or Paleo/Primal Blueprint diet?

Luckily there are plenty of options for you these days! 

A friend passed this recipe along which she found on WholeFoodsMarket’s site; I haven’t yet tried it but am excited to give it a shot, so I’m getting it up on the site to have it ready when we test it out this weekend. 


Mock Tuna Salad (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3.5 cups

Mock Tuna Salad (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Per serving (about 1/2 cup): 400 calories (290 from fat), 32g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 14g protein Ingredients


  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pickles
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Put sunflower seeds and almonds into a large bowl, cover by 2 inches with water, cover and set aside at room temperature to let soak for 10 to 12 hours; drain well.
  2. Pulse sunflower seeds and almonds in a food processor until very finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in celery, pickles, onions, dill, maple syrup, lemon juice, kelp, pepper and salt. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.


Serve this tasty nut- and seed-based salad on its own, or spread onto wraps or nori with assorted veggies.



Note: photo and recipe originally submitted on Whole Foods’s site. Click here for recipe.

Here’s a preview of some of the videos I’ve uploaded to the site so you can better understand the Paleo lifestyle and how it can help you. Head on over to the full page of content here and watch how others like you have transformed their health, bodies and life with the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. 


Paleo Fx 2012 Version 2

Here’s another great video (more of a promotional piece) from the Paleo FX show here in Austin, March 2012.




It’s a hot one in Austin today, and I just wrapped up a pilates class and am getting ready to take my little pup for a walk. I couldn’t help but think about how yummy a bowl of fresh, sweet dairy-free ice cream would taste later 🙂

So, since it looks like it’s a sweet kinda day, I’m posting a few recipes today that help me get past the sweet tooth urges and keep us happy when those cravings hit.  I’m dairy free for a food allergy, though if you’re following a Paleo/Primal diet than you too are avoiding dairy, and if you’re like me, you may be missing that occasional bowl of sweet, creamy ice cream or sherbet. So read on for a quick and easy recipe for a delish dairy free version. And if you’re lucky enough to live in Austin and have discovered Lick Ice Cream Parlour, than you know they have some amazingly tasty vegan ice creams, and since this one below isn’t vegan, I’ll be sure to find one that is Vegan to post soon! 

It’s amazing to have local options that are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly, but if you’re not lucky enough to enjoy them locally, be sure to follow us for easy recipes you can make at home to stay on track!

Below is a new favorite of mine, and it’s easier than you would think. Expand your comfort zone, explore new taste pleasures and enjoy life everyday!


Dairy-free Chunky Ice Cream

Dairy-free Chunky Ice Cream


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup Honey (optional for Strict Paleo diet)
  • 1 can light Coconut milk (about 13.5 ounce)
  • 1 can regular Coconut milk (about 13.5 ounce)
  • 2 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh Peaches, chopped (or any fruit of your choice)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk yolks and honey together until pale yellow for 1 to 2 minutes
  2. Add light and regular coconut milk and whisk again until well combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture boil before removing the pot from the heat.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Transfer contents of pot to a bowl and chill until cold.
  7. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions then transfer to a container with a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 hours more.
  8. Note - if you don't have an ice cream maker you can use a blender on low speed, though the consistency may not be as creamy once frozen.


I hate to say “forbidden” as it makes it seem so dramatic; but the reality is, the current state of our health is a dramatic crisis for many people. We are suffering rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, imbalanced hormones, adrenal fatigue, food sensitivities, ADD, ADHD and various immune compromises and more, at alarming rates.

And the research is everywhere pointing to our food supply. From Harvard University to private research firms, there are plenty of studies showing how our food supplies have been modified/manipulated, and what that’s doing to research animals, and therefore assumed to be doing to us as well.

So remember, this is about a whole lifestyle change. About turning from refined and processed foods to a life full of WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOODS.  Our goal here is to help you reconfigure your plates so the majority of each meal is created from an abundance of raw and cooked vegetables, protein, fruits, nuts and seeds.

The following categories of food are forbidden on the MyPaleo diet,  but remember, you’re encouraged to save up your “good karma points” from the days you follow the MyPaleo diet, and use them on a splurge day. Just knowing you have 1 splurge day a week helps many people overcome the weaker moments when our minds trick us into thinking we want something sweet or generally anything on the forbidden list.  And to be honest, the better you start to feel, the less likely you will be to cash in on those good karma points, but be sure to keep them in a reserve as you never know when you’ll get an invitation to a Mexican themed party full of corn chips and margaritas! 🙂

Refined Sugars

There is a long list of ingredients which are essentially “sugar” which we include below. You may choose to allow small amounts of honey or pure maple syrup – but this would have been a rare treat.

Here is a list of some of the possible code words for “sugar” which may appear on a label. Hint: the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. If the label says “no added sugars”, it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).

  • Agave Nectar
  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
  • Dehydrated Cane Juice
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum or sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Xylose


Yes, there were wild grains, and a few roasted kernels have been found in ancient fires. But really – how much wild grain could have been collected at a time? Answer: not much.

Sorry folks – Corn is a grain.

Starchy Tubers

This is an area where many experts disagree, but in general, we suggest avoiding:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Cassava
  • Manioc
  •  Beets – limited quantities

Legumes (Beans, Peas, Peanuts)

These are usually omitted on the premise that most of them can’t be eaten without cooking, and that legumes have a high content of lectins and other antinutrients. Research into lectins is in its infancy and not a lot is known about this with any certainty, but if you are interested, Loren Cordain’s 2012 book, >The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young has a great section about what is known at the present time.

Quick note – we don’t have as much of an issue with legumes as many other Paleo diets do, so feel free to enjoy your green beans, but keep them in moderation. As for peas, they don’t offer much nutritional value, and quickly convert to sugar once eaten, so they are generally recommended as something to avoid, and rather, store up those good karma points for a pea salad splurge 🙂

Dairy Products

Here’s what we know: early people did not eat dairy products before animals were domesticated. It has been pointed out that there has been adaptation to dairy products in some genetic lines, but most experts exclude eating dairy including milk, butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc. Others say that butter (and to a lesser extent cream) don’t have much lactose or casein and are probably OK on occasion. All would agree that if you are going to eat dairy, make sure the animals are grass-fed, or better yet, seek out raw forms whenever possible.

Some Meats

Most processed meats (made with nitrites and additives) are not allowed, including hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meats, although sometimes more healthy forms of these can be found. If you’re of the lucky group who can find naturally prepared lunch meats by your local grocer, which are free of nitrites, additives and preservatives, then by all means – enjoy. Note there is a difference between processed (e.g. hot dogs) and simply “cured” (e.g. bacon), and it’s important to know the source, and their preparation methods.


Definitely avoid the following:

  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil (same as soy oil)
  • Rice bran oil
  • Wheat germ oil

This includes products, such as mayonnaise, which include these oils.

  • Trans fats in packaged foods
  • Canola oil – genetically modified and turns rancid quickly
  • Cottonseed oil – genetically modified, pesticide-laden, hydrogenated


There are too many reasons to mention why soy is terrible for us, so please click here for the full review of soy and its harmful effects. And if you’re a parent feeding soy to your babies and/or children, please PLEASE, read this!

Now that you have a cheat sheet of foods to avoid, we will be following up with foods to cherish next! The key here is to focus NOT on what you CAN’T have, but rather, on what you CAN have. That list is lengthy, and full of delicious options. The key is managing your time; this is not a “convenience” food diet. This is a way of life that requires you to plan ahead as much as possible to have items on hand to take with you while out of the home, and to have plenty of delicious meals ready for you.

It takes 3 weeks to change a habit.    

At least, that’s what I’m told. But to be honest, I’m doing a candida cleanse right now, and I had to give up even more foods which I tested positive to for food allergies. More on that to come, but essentially with food intolerances comes leaky gut, which causes some foods to pass through the intestinal walls and make their way to the blood stream, at which point our handly little immune system perks up and starts fighting off the ‘foreign invaders’. And thus my list of food intolerances grows. Ahhh……  

So here I am, day 21 on the candida cleanse, and I’m facing an evening of a small gathering of friends at our house, where my hubby will make his fabulous margaritas and I will be sipping my soda water with lime, pretending it’s a tasty little marg. No folks, it’s not easy, and for those who swear that 21 days breaks a habit, I will admit it’s probably true. But it doesn’t mean it’s an easy feat, so bear that in mind when you head down this path to change your life. 

So as I’m launching the “MyPaleo” section of Inspiredeats, I thought I would give a tickler of what we’ll be focused on.  To start, I’m suggesting a 21 day challenge to reboot your system, cleanse your liver and help get your mindset back on track from the nutrient-void processed and packaged foods we’ve all grown accustomed to. We will help set you on the path to the nutrient-dense whole foods which we are advocates of around here and be there to help you along the way.  

What’s coming?

Candid tell all’s.  How real people, just like you, decided to make a life changing look at food, and set down a path of improved health & energy levels, clearer mind, reversal of health issues and weight loss.

Recipes.  MyPaleo style. Paleo, Primal blueprint, caveman diet – whatever you want to call it, we’ll help make sure you adapt a healthy version of the popular Paleo diet that works for you. MyPaleo is based on a Paleo plan that works for everyone, and ensures all the benefits of eating as our ancestors did (and as we were developed too) and will naturally eliminate allegens, toxins & genetically modified foods. 

Daily meal plans. All plans will be free of the top food allergens, and allow for a once weekly cheat day with suggestions on the cheat meals that will help curb the cravings, but not stray too far from the good you’ve done all week.

Nutritional supplements.  This diet is rich in whole foods, full of valuable nutrients the body needs, however, most people just starting off on the Mypaleo life will need some help from some fantastic nutritional supplements to help make sure your body is clean, strong and well balanced.  Not to mention that without balanced hormones, weight loss is near impossible!


So as we prep you for the Mypaleo 21 day challenge, I leave you with a thought as I get ready to entertain our guests. Nothing tastes better than good health and your genes do not dictate your future.  You have the power to reverse the damage from years of pr
ocessed and genetically modified foods; you just have to believe that you’re worth it. 
And if it helps, I believe you’re worth it. That’s why Inspiredeats exists.   
Love & laughter to all, 

Recently while chatting with some friends about the subject of food allergies and kids, I was surprised when one of them mentioned that his son’s school has started sectioning off the kids with food allergies into a separate classroom. Sadly, yes, you read that right – the food-allergic kids have their own classroom. He said the logic was that this prevented the other non-alergic (read “normal”) kids from having to limit which foods they take to school, so they can bring whatever they wanted. No one has to worry about peanut allergies, and can go back to PBJ sandwiches for example. Apparently the school felt this would help prevent kids from making fun of the allergic – kids (who made food an issue for the non-allergy kids).

REALLY? Do we really think that by separating our kids we’re preventing them from being made fun of?  Quite simply,  it goes to show how important it is to help understand how we can make our allergic kiddos feel ‘normal’, regardless of their differences.