My name is Breanna
I live in Toronto, Canada with my dog Murdoch and my roomie Meredith. I am a student, an entrepreneur, a health nut, and a foodie. I was raised a vegetarian, spent most Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market and I was lucky enough to have parents that are fantastic cooks. I learned whatever I could from them and now- in my tiny kitchen-I create my own recipes.
We were raised with home cooked meals, meaning nothing out of a box and that is the way I continue to cook today. I have been vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and now I have fully embraced a Paleolithic style of eating (sorry to my vegetarian Mum). I believe in whole foods, locally sourced, and creating healthy meals.
In October 2011, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I was forced to give up gluten. I was the girl who loved bread-a baguette and cheese-yes please! It was quite an adjustment. Being a vegetarian with Celiac Disease made my life extremely limited. So I started to introduce meat in to my diet. All of my recipes are gluten free.
The Paleolithic way of eating can be simply described as eating the way our cavemen (and cavewomen) ate thousands of years ago. While the paleo way of eating may seem like another passing diet, consider this; humans have been around for over 200,000 years and the majority of that time they hunted and gathered their food. There were no microwaves, no pre-packaged meals or heavily processed foods. Heck, even the grains that our grandparents ate in 1950s were more whole then they are now. Instead, they consumed the food that they caught and foraged for themselves; fish, shellfish, meats, vegetables and fruits.
There are many versions of Paleo; some who follow it choose to eat dairy every once in awhile, others will have a bowl of quinoa, or there are those who strictly follow the diet and do not touch dark chocolate or even ghee. The basic Paleo pyramid:
Alternately, if you look at the current Canadian Food Guide (which I am pretty sure has looked the same since I was in the third grade) you will see it advocates for not only a low-fat diet but it also recommends at least 5-12 servings of whole grains daily. One slice of bread equates one serving-that is a loaf of bread a day! Furthermore it suggests 12 servings of dairy daily, how are these foods good for our health and quality of life if we are supposed to eat the combined amount of both? It also has a section that states “Taste and enjoyment can also come from other foods and beverages that are not part of the 4 food groups. Some of these foods are higher in fat or Calories so use these foods in moderation.” I find that that very unsettling- Health Canada including a section for “uncategorized food” i.e processed foods, refined sugars and anything else that can not be in the four food groups.
Think of Paleo as a giant umbrella, there are many different variations that can fit under it but the core values-like the handle that holds up the umbrella-are the same:
- Eat whole, unprocessed, and organic foods.
- Refrain from eating refined sugars, prepackaged foods, dairy, grains and legumes that can cause inflammation and disease.
- Eat quality foods-search out a farmer’s market and buy organic whenever possible. Look for meats that are free-range and befriend your local butcher. Shop local whenever possible and look for products that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
- Do not fear fats-embrace healthy fats from animals, avocado, coconut, palm, olive, and cold-pressed nut oils and avoid those from vegetable, sunflower, soybean, peanut, safflower, and flaxseed.
My Eating Philosophy
I combine Paleo with some of my own personal eating philosophies:
- Be mindful of what you eat and know where it came from.
- Your body will perform based on the foods that you eat-if you put good stuff in, you’ll get good stuff back!
- Eat like it is your job! Be adventurous! Experiment! Your tastebuds will thank you!
- Eat clean. Train Dirty.
Paleo is not an instant weight-loss trendy diet but a way of eating. There is no need to count calories or weigh your foods. While you may lean out a bit, don’t expect to look like a runway model-skinny is not sexy…strong is sexy!
Disclaimer: Most of my recipes are Paleo but there are also non-Paleo recipes (left over from non-Paleo eating days) on my blog.