I am a wife, mother, and professional musician. My “day job” is teaching flute at a university. My “evening job” is hurrying out the door to rehearsals and concerts. My hobby is food. My passion is my children. My sounding board is my husband, who encourages me and keeps me humble!
What I am not:
I am not a doctor or scientist. If you want to learn more about the paleo diet, there are MUCH better places to find this information. I HIGHLY recommend reading Robb Wolf’s book “The Paleo Solution” if you’d like to learn more about why the paleo diet works, and why you should seriously consider making this lifestyle change for yourself and your family. I am personally enthusiastic about paleo because it has worked so well for me.
I am not a photographer. The photos you see are all taken with my simple point-and-click camera. Food doesn’t always photograph well without the right equipment and lighting, so I’ll do my best!
I am not a full-time blogger. Between my work and my family, I certainly have plenty to keep me busy! But this blog is partially in response to the urging of several friends who have seen my facebook food pictures and given me enthusiastic feedback. So I’ll update this as I have time.
So… Why “Kokopaleo”? What in the world does that mean?
My husband has a way with puns. Call it a gift. One day he came home from work, and I told him, “Honey, I have an assignment for you.” He groaned. “I’m thinking of starting a blog, and I need a clever name that somehow combines who I am as a musician with the word Paleo.” Twenty seconds later (no, this is not an exaggeration) he responded, “You’re a flutist, right? So how about ‘Kokopaleo’?” My husband is a genius. The legendary Native American figure Kokopelli is near and dear to the hearts of flutists because he, himself, was a flutist. In those twenty seconds, my huband combined the mythical musician’s name with the word paleo. And so, a blog was born.
If you’re new to the term “paleo” in reference to diet, I’ll give you the short version: eat like a caveman. If you can kill it or grow it, it’s fair game. It’s primarily vegetables, meat, and fruit. It also includes most nuts and seeds and all the yummy herbs and spices you can get your hands on! The paleo philosophy embraces the health of our ancestors, thousands of years ago (before the agricultural revolution) who did not experience the same modern-day health issues that we have now. So the diet does not include grains, sugar, dairy, anything artificial, or anything processed.
My journey to the paleo diet was a slow one, and I’ll spare you all the details. I started by reading The Maker’s Diet in 2004, after my mom bought it for me as an anniversary present. The book changed my life. I had been struggling with ulcerative colitis for years, and the diet dramatically changed my symptoms and my health. Fast forward a few years – now a mother of two – we decided to try a gluten free diet for our 2 year old to see if it made any difference for his very active personality. Unfortunately, gluten-free does not always equal healthy. After searching to find books and recipes that were both gluten free and sugar free, I happened upon several books and websites on the paleo diet. Everything I read “hit home” and after making the changes for myself and my family, there were noticeable differences in our health. I’m proud to say that I personally lost 32 pounds in about 5 months (only the last 2 were totally paleo, and that’s when the majority of the weight loss happened) and my ulcerative colitis symptoms continued to improve. I’m still a “work in progress” but it is a fantastic journey.
No diet works for me unless I can actually get excited about what I am about to eat. There was a time when I thought it would be pure torture to eliminate grains and dairy from my diet. However, I’ve eaten better food on the paleo diet than I’ve ever eaten in my life! And I don’t count anything – no measuring portions or keeping a tally of daily calories. These things depress me. I just eat good food.
Of course, this is only part of the equation. I’ve also been exercising regularly. It’s the first time I’ve ever stuck with a workout program, and I have so much more energy because of it.
A few words about my cooking style:
I believe strongly in the ideal of only eating the most natural food possible: organic produce, grass-fed beef, cage-free organic chicken, etc. However, in practicality, when dragging two kids through several grocery stores on a working mom’s schedule and a middle-class budget… sometimes the reality of life is that you take what you can get. Still, “I can’t find organic produce near me,” is not an excuse to sit on the couch and down a bag of chocolate chip cookies. It’s still better to eat “real” food – meat and produce – even if you can’t find organic.
I hate measuring. Many of my recipes will have approximations written. Do your best and experiment!
Frequently, when looking for cooking inspiration, I will see a recipe in one of my cookbooks and think, “That looks GREAT! But I would change this… and this… and add a little of that…” Feel free to do the same with the recipes I’ve posted here. To me, a recipe is a guideline. Use some creativity and try to make it your own! Or, if you’re not feeling so brave, stick with the text and I hope you enjoy what I’ve written.
That’s all for now. I may add more to this as time goes by. Thanks for reading!