Paleo lifestyle? Why do we call it a lifestyle? Just who do we think we are? Because it is a commitment that requires it to be more than a ‘diet’. It is a life change to really understanding food and how you can use it as your medicine. Just like every other human being our Paleo healthy lifestyle revolves around the kitchen. One of the first questions I get when someone starts to venture into this Modern Paleolithic world I live in is always “what do I eat?”
I realize everyone is a little different in their ability to make changes. I am a self starter, self sufficient and naturally creative. Those are my talents. Others need things spelled out in a little more detail. It is an individual journey and everyone has their specific needs. I have been asked many times for recipes. While I have my talents, one of them is definitely NOT recipe writing.
Those kind of details get me incredibly anxious. I have a hard time being nailed down to TSP and tbsp. In fact it makes me feel like I am in a cave underwater and can’t breathe. While I love to climb and explore mountains, cave exploration is my worst nightmare. LET ME BE FREE!
I have a slew of family and friends who are recent converts to the Paleo way of living due in part to the changes they have seen in me. Some are doing it to feel better, some are doing it for the incredible results they get from building lean muscle and absorbing the nutrients sans inflammation, some are doing it because they have to. I have 2 friends who recently were in the hospital due to similar reasons that I was experiencing. Each of them have asked me for recipes.
While I have posted some photos of grocery lists and photos of what I purchase I have yet to crawl into that cave and smother myself with the details. I CAN’T BREATHE!
That is where a the universe has stepped in and rescued me from my claustrophobic nightmare! A little background on how a special woman was presented to the CCC:
The gym I belong to in Cave Creek is called Freedom Fitness. I obviously spend a pretty good grip of time there and you recognize familiar faces. I would see a ripped young woman with her treadmill on a 15 incline climbing away often. I also saw her on the “hall of fame” for the gym showing some great progress she made with one of the trainers at the gym. She also competed in bodybuilding competitions.
Fast forward to one of the funnest days of my life The Seven Summit Challenge in Phoenix Arizona. 7 summits, one day, 23 miles and 5,409 feet of climbing. I started 45 minutes after the shotgun start to miss the stampede. Each time I would begin a new summit I would cross paths with this familiar woman. By the end of the day we were high fiving and cheering each other on. We both completed the course as one of the first Women across the finish line. Exhausted we agreed to catch up with each other another time.
I ran into her at the gym again and was able to get her business card. I put it in my car and went on with my busy day. She found me on Facebook and I was so happy to see that she was also sharing her awesome story about living a healthy lifestyle after making some big changes too.
A couple weeks later I was sitting at the bar for lunch at one of my FAVORITE places Pita Jungle – the place is a madhouse but if you want a quick meal there are always open spaces at the bar. I was getting some work done and ordered my favorite lunch- a side of grilled veggies with a chicken breast and their famous lemon vinaigrette. I see the same exact dish sans the chicken (Jen is a vegetarian) being delivered to the woman next to me- I looked up and sure enough there she was again! We began to chat in further detail about our journeys and immediately realized the universe set up this lunch date for us.
Insert Celebrity Fitness Chef Jen Arricale!
We realized we had a great opportunity with each other in this journey to share our healthy revelations with others. We have several things we are working on together but first and most importantly she was very open to adding some great Paleo recipes to her genre. RESCUING ME FROM MY SUFFOCATING NIGHTMARE!
I have a full day’s worth of recipes she created to share with you! Jen created some some delicious recipes! Thank you UNIVERSE!
Before we get to Jen’s awesome recipes you will need some printable charts and such for shopping lists. Yes I know you too well.
Here are some great resources to put together some shopping lists. The first one by Robb Wolf is a PDF format, you can even print it out with it’s fancy charts and take it with you to the store! Tada!
There are also some really good recipe books out there. This one is great for my crockpot fetish:
Even with all the great books out there, I find people like to buy things and follow recipes from people they know. That is why Chef Jen is such a great addition. It’s a real person giving these recipes that she made and tested herself. Can’t get much better than the real thing- in people and food!
I like Jen’s recipes because they are easy to make, and you can get the ingredients anywhere. For the beginner Paleo cook this is such a great resource. In the future I will work on some advanced recipes using some crazy ingredients including bone marrows, hearts and other parts of the animals we eat and even possibly some butchering techniques but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
So here we go with Celebrity Fitness Chef Jen’s personal additions!
BREAKFAST: Paleo Garden Egg White Omelet
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- dash freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 egg whites
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan.
2. Add chopped onions and bell pepper, sautéing on high for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are well cooked and browning.
3. Add chopped spinach, parsley, garlic and pepper, sautéing another 2 minutes.
4. Spread sautéed vegetables and spices evenly over bottom surface of pan.
5. Vigorously combine egg whites and basil in a large mixing bowl, and then pour contents over vegetable-lined frying pan.
6. Cook on medium high heat for 8 – 10 minutes, or until liquid appears to be setting. Use a spatula to “cut” the cooking omelet into quarters. Flip each quarter to continue cooking process on other side.
7. Cook another 5 or so minutes until both sides are nicely browned.
I love egg yolks and will keep them in when I am make this recipe. I am a big fan of quiche since it sets and can be eaten cold or hot. This could be a great brunch recipe too. I think this would also travel well if you wanted to take it to work or on the road. A big piece of the puzzle to eating healthy is finding things you can make large portions of to have on hand for those busy mornings. This could take care of breakfast for the whole week!
LUNCH: Paleo Chicken and Sweet Potato with Salsa and Seeds
- 1 small sweet potato, bite sized pieces, with skin on (mega minerals!)
- 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup organic or homemade salsa (chunky and spicy)
- 1 cooked skinless chicken breast, pulled into shreds
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
1. Place sweet potato chunks and cauliflower in a bowl with a splash of water, cover and microwave for 3 – 4 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, toss for even coverage, and enjoy!
This is another dish that would travel well. Sweet potato is a very integral part of the Paleo athlete’s diet. The idea here is to find convenient things to make that can be used for several meals when you don’t have the time to do a ‘Sunday’ type of meal. You could substitute different proteins and seeds/nuts to find a month worth of lunch from this recipe. I would quadruple this recipe so I have it on hand for several meals. NO I will not tell you what to use as substitutions. This is the part where you are given the spelled out recipe and you can get a little creative by switching it up to keep it interesting! I believe in you!
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Italiano
This has two parts. First a recipe for a spicy marinara from the 100% Italian Chef Jen so you can make your own from scratch! Second is the actual spaghetti squash and accompaniments.
Paleo Spicy Marinara Sauce:
Makes 6-8 cups of sauce
- 3 lbs very ripe roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp crushed red pepper
- dash black pepper to taste
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1. Combine the tomatoes and salt in a microwavable pot with a lid; cook on high 5 – 7 minutes.
2. Heat oil in large sauce pot, adding garlic and peppers.
3. Sauté onion for 5 – 10 minutes, adding balsamic vinegar for the last minute.
4. Add water, apple cider vinegar and cooked tomatoes to pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cover.
5. Continue to slow cook the sauce for one hour. Add basil and oregano and mix well.
6. Simmer another 10 minutes, then turn off heat. Let covered pot sit for 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to marry and sauce to cool.
7. Special note: this sauce tastes bests the next day, so consider preparing it the day before your special meal and simply reheat to serve.
I LOVE marinara sauce, specifically spicy. I always buy a jar version that has a good list of fresh ingredients, this is the absolute best case scenario- making it yourself. I have a feeling this is a secret family recipe that Jen shared with a little Paleo tweeking. Thanks Jen!
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Italiano:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup chopped mushrooms
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 4 cups your favorite all-natural pasta sauce (try my Spicy Marinara recipe!)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- Cut spaghetti squash in half and place cut side down in a glass-baking dish, with ¼ inch of water in the bottom of dish. Microwave on high for 8 – 10 minutes.
- While squash is cooking, heat oil in medium pan, adding garlic and pepper.
- Add cut vegetables, except spinach, and sauté on high heat for 5 –10 minutes.
- Squash is ready when it is easily removed in “strands” by scraping a fork through it. Remove all the squash in this fashion and place in a large serving bowl.
- Evenly spread spinach over top of warm spaghetti squash, followed by cooked vegetables and then the sauce.
- Sprinkle nutritional yeast over entire dish and serve immediately.
This is another recipe I would triple or double in quantity so I have plenty of leftovers. I make this kind of dish often. I am really excited to have a marinara recipe from a healthy real Italian who is a fitness guru! The sauce can be used as Jen states on her site in many other ways.
Paleo Sweet Potato and Cranberry Pie:
I saved what is my FAVORITE … the best for last.. Dessert!
I won’t post the details of this scrumptious pie. I want you to go visit Jen’s site and poke around. She has quite a few really great things to explore.
The photos on this page are all really what Jen made herself. They aren’t stock photos- just pure goodness created by that little woman.
Thank you Celebrity Fitness Chef Jen Arricale! We all thank you for your efforts! Please be sure to visit Jen’s site, she has some really great resources and exciting things happening in her world:
Ok Ok I know… I am still not off the hook. I do have a couple quick, easy recipes to share that I love to make personally.
I am all about Tapas. I was married in San Sebastian, Spain on the island you see above in the photo and had my reception at a lovely Tapas restaurant along the bay in the heart of the culinary Tapas world. Since then Tapas have become my favorite food. Paleo Tapas? Even better.
These recipes are great for appetizers or small plates. You can bring them to parties and share or hoard them all to yourself. I like the second idea the best!
Jalapeno Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates:
I made these for Superbowl Sunday. I still think about them daily, along with the lost dream of the Broncos making it to the big game. There is always next year!
- 20 dates
- 4 jalapeno’s
- 10 strips of bacon cut in half
- 20 toothpicks
1. Cut a slit at the top of the dates and take out the pits
2. Cut jalapenos to fit inside the date and stuff them with the slices where you took out the pit
3. Wrap the entire date in bacon and spear it with the toothpick
4. Put them on a cast iron griddle
5. Place the cast iron griddle on your outdoor grill and cook until the bacon gets browned and crispy
These can be eaten warm or cold and are ridiculously delicious!
I tried these delicious little treats when in Nicaragua last summer for a surfing trip. We ate them at a little village just outside of the community we stayed in. They also served Lobster brochettes as show in the photo- they were only $3 for the two brochettes!!
- 2 unripe plaintains
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- pinch of salt
1. Peel the plaintains and slice into 1″ thick peices
2. In a pan heat the coconut oil and fry the sliced plaintains
3. Flatten the plaintains using a tostonera or a flat surfaced mallet to a third of an inch thick
4. Fry again in the coconut oil until both sides are brown
5. GO CRAZY because they are so good.
This is a great lunch, dinner, snack, graze, take to a party, you name it. It is also very easy to make.
- 1 cup marcona almonds
- 1 roasted red pepper peeled and sliced
- 1 cup assorted greek olives
- 1 cup grapes
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
- 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- thin sliced prosciutto
1. Roast a red pepper on the grill or in the oven until it the peel comes off, peel and slice once cooled
2. Toss arugula with balsamic vinegar and artichoke hearts
3. Arrange ingredients on a platter to your liking and decide if you want to share quickly. If not it’s too late the platter will be gone in an instant!
Now I don’t want to hear that same ole mumbo jumbo… what do I eat! The best part of all my Paleo converts is the dishes they have started creating and sharing with me. I love the learning curve, then the creativity that comes after you step outside your comfort zone and start experimenting.
Celebrity Fitness Chef Jen Arricale and I have given you a great start. Let’s see what you’ve got- get creative- share, enjoy and pay it forward. Don’t forget to SHARE with your friend the CCC!
I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, or certified trainer. I am a normal, smart, professional Woman who is also an athlete. I was diagnosed with a very serious case of diverticulitis and within moments almost lost 60% of my G.I. tract due to it. Once in recovery to avoid surgery going forward I did a tremendous amount of research and adopted a Paleo lifestyle. The results I have personally seen and felt are worth sharing. I am fortunate to have a network of professional athletes from many walks of life, nutritionists, trainers and other medical professionals to learn from. I am sharing my personal journey for those of you who experience similar types of health issues or are simply interested in the information I gather. I hope it encourages you and points you in the right direction to research further for your own personal well being. For those of you who are looking to share in my relentless hiking passion, or those who simply enjoy learning about the things I come across I am happy to have you all along on this incredible ride!