A Great Big (Paleo) World

I am a huge advocate and follower of Dr. Terry Wahls. Her story of beating progressive MS using paleo principles and functional medicine is nothing short of amazing. I follow the Wahls Protocol and credit that for my MS recovery and maintenance. Of course I follow (actually, stalk) her every move on social media. A couple weeks ago on Facebook, Dr. Wahls posted about Chad Vaccarino from the band A Great Big World.* Chad had just told his story about how great he is doing following the Wahls Protocol since having been diagnosed with MS in 2007. Everyones story is unique and yet there are parallels among those of us on this healing journey. I thought Chad told his story so well, and I immediately felt connected with him. I looked up his band’s website and couldn’t believe they were playing a show, right here in Chicago that Friday night!* I bought tickets and let Chuck know that we were going. Then, I spent the next two days listening to their album, Is There Anybody Out There, during my work commute. I had heard their hit song “Say Something” before and always liked it.* It turns out the rest of their album is totally amazeballs, too. The music is really happy and upbeat. And the lyrics have a great message that I really connect with. By the time Friday night came around, I was so excited to see these guys perform! I was in touch with their band manager* who said Chad would be happy to meet up with me! So, we watched their awesome performance at House of Blues and then got to meet them backstage after the show! I must first mention that they are incredibly talented musicians and it was one of the most fun and energetic concerts I’ve been to. Chad and Ian both have amazing voices. Chad also plays a pink trumpet, Ian completely wails on the keyboard and the whole band wears really cool pants :-).

Nobody Rocks a Pink Trumpet Like Chad
Nobody Rocks a Pink Trumpet Like Chad

When we got backstage, I introduced myself to Chad and we hugged like we had been friends forever. We traded stories, talked about how awesome Dr. Wahls is and how amazing it is that a lifestyle change is simply life-saving. We met Ian, who is an equally super-cool person. It’s easy to see why these guys are successful and are having so much fun. They are completely down to earth, sincere and inspiring people. I can’t thank Chad enough for inviting us backstage, taking the time to talk with me and sharing his story with the world. (shout out here to Gary their manager for coordinating all that!)

Chad and Rene
Chad and Rene

We can’t wait to see you guys again! Thanks for making us feel like rock stars and reminding us that we’re all connected in this Great Big World.

*You’ll notice I have asterisks throughout this blog. I have been reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and his theory is that when you are on your right path, living life simply but fully, without ego and with mindfulness, then coincidences happen. I couldn’t help but think about this through last week’s events. Oh yeah, be sure to check out Chad’s video below.  It is inspirational and well worth a watch.

Down with Paleo

There are always critics with an abundance of reasons not to live a Paleo lifestyle.  When you tell people that you are Paleo, they are either extremely curious about it or they question its legitimacy.  Personally, I have had great success living Paleo. This blog was actually created to document what works and what doesn’t and to help guide people through the ups and downs of Paleo.  If the lifestyle didn’t work, I wouldn’t waste my time writing anything other than a quick blurb about Paleo sucking and being a stupid sham.  Well, it’s not a sham and Paleo works. We personally know of at least 15 people who follow our FB page and blog that have made dramatic/ positive changes in their health and well being by adopting a Paleo lifestyle.  These are people that hadn’t heard of Paleo before or had heard of it, but quickly dismissed it because it appeared daunting or too extreme.  Hey, at least they took the initiative to try it for themselves before taking the negative road.  I typically hear criticisms like, “Paleo is a fad diet”, “you have to be rich to eat Paleo”, “eating the same as a caveman is impossible”, “Paleo is a cult”, “Paleo is too hard to do”.  The critics go on and on, but that’s ok, their GMO powered brains don’t know any better.  Critics may never understand Paleo or it may take something catastrophic to get their diet cleaned up.  But, diet/ lifestyle choices are as personal as religion and politics.  My mantra… do what works for you.

Some questions to ask yourself and figure out if you are on a healthy path… 1) do you have any current or recurring health issues, 2) is your stress level manageable, 3) are you comfortable with what you see in the mirror… naked, of course, 4) do you get enough sleep, 6) are you happy with yourself?  If you answer “Yes” to all, keep doing what you are doing.  If your lifestyle includes super sizing everything or thinking that Burger King’s new Satisfries, low-cal french fry recipe, is a gift from heaven, so be it.  If it is truly working for you, keep on truckin’.  If not, make some positive changes.  Give Paleo a week to work its magic and you will be hooked.  Over all, Paleo is very simple.  Cut out the processed food, dairy and grains and eat fresh everything.  If you love to spend money, get all organic produce, grass fed beef and free range, organic chicken.  Whole foods is happy to help lighten your wallet.  If you are on more of a budget, go with the conventional stuff.  Just concentrate on fresh food and have fun trying some new recipes.  The Paleo lifestyle is no walk in the park, but it is extremely doable and everyone will make some tweaks to their particular situation.   We are here to help, so let us know your questions!


Breaking News – Local Man’s Pizza Cutter Rescued From Uncertain Donation Box Fate

Pizza is the only pre-paleo craving that I have. I was really excited to see the pizza crust recipe in “Against All Grain“, so I couldn’t wait to try it out. The recipe shows a prep time of 10 min and cook time of 20 min. This is perfectly accurate timing if you happen to own a time machine. We invested two solid hours making just two Paleo pizzas. I’m sure things will speed up after some tweaks and getting more practice at the prep. Here are some hints from the first try: 1) The dough comes out pretty sticky, so be ready with extra almond flour. 2) I tried the double parchment paper rolling, but had to resort to using my hands to form the crust. 3) Our crust was about 3/8″ thick and I’d definitely go thinner next time. The recipe calls for 1/4”, so stick to that or thinner. 4) Cook time was at least 20 min per pizza after pre-cookng the crust for 12 min. Just keep an eye on it. After all that prep work you definitely don’t want to burn anything.

Overall, the crust was doughy, but firm enough to pick up and eat like a regular pizza slice. It browned up really nicely on the edges and bottom. It was pretty tasty, too. Our fixins for the first pizza were an olive oil base, pan seared heirloom tomatoes, sautéed banana peppers and sautéed crimini mushrooms. I added a little hot sauce to the final product for some kick. The second pizza, deservedly winning the “most delicious pizza of the night” award, had a homemade pesto base with grilled organic chicken, sautéed red onion, sautéed crimini mushrooms and toasted pine nuts. We had fresh basil for the pesto from our balcony planters, so the pesto sauce was extra fresh and amazing. I have a quick recipe for the pesto if anyone is interested.

Would I try it again? Absolutely. But, I would definitely allot more time and patience for the crust. It doesn’t totally satisfy my pizza craving, but it comes pretty close and it was fun to eat some pizza for a change. The best news is that the old pizza cutter still has a place of honor in depths my kitchen drawer.

Basil Pesto Chicken Paleo Pizza
Paleo Pizza Pie!

Hawks Playoff Beards Cause Citywide Plumbing Issues

10:43 a.m. CDT, June 25, 2013

CHICAGO – In the wake of the brilliant Stanley Cup victory for the Chicago Blackhawks, the Department of Water Management is reporting massive blockages and sewer backups across the City of Chicago.

Dept of Water Management Director, Erick Harms, says, “this can only be due to the simultaneous shaving of playoff beards.  The system was originally designed to support 50 year win cycles.  When you have two victories in the span of 5 years, it just wreaks havoc on such an old system, but go Hawks.”

PrivateDrain B
Sewer Line Issues

Veteran plumber, Bryan Moore, is recommending homeowners to trim the unruly playoff beard over the next week.  “We just can’t get out to everyone fast enough and it’s a real mess.  Maybe try a goatee or some mutton chops for a few days.  You know, spice it up a little.”

An unnamed Hawks superfan says, “It’s just time to shave this thing.  My wife won’t touch me and my dog has been hiding for weeks.  I heard about the plumbing issues, but it’s gotta go even if I have to drive down to Peoria to shave it.”

It is unclear whether it is homeowner responsibility or city responsibility to clear up the clogs.  FEMA has been alerted to assess the situation and the mayor was unavailable for comment.

Chuck Beard
Unnamed Superfan

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