I don’t know about you, but I LOVE The Food Lovers Primal Palate.
Check out my glowing review of their cookbook, Make it Paleo, here. Not only do these folks know how to make AMAZING Paleo-friendly food, they also have amazing creative flair, and they shoot beautiful photos!
A while back, I started a fun blog project called “The Interview Series.” So far I’ve enjoyed some great interviews with The Civilized Caveman, Melissa Joulwan (author of Well Fed), The Paleo Parents, Clean Eats in the Zoo, Ginger Lemon Girl, The Domestic Man, and Paleo on a Budget. What fun!
It has been really interesting to learn some little-known facts about some of these Paleo Powerhouses!
Now it’s Bill and Hayley’s turn!
Easy Paleo (EP): If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
Hayley Mason (HM): Quiet, relatively shy, girly girl turned dirty hippie – but still girly sometimes, patient, artistic, happy.
EP: Tell us about you… anything you want to say!
HM: Well, I think everyone pretty much knows all my dirty secrets, so I don’t think there is much left to say… haha.
Let’s see…Bill is actually my very first REAL boyfriend. I dated a few guys off-and-on, but I always had this gut feeling that I would never be in a real relationship until the right guy came along, and that is exactly what happened. I used to be super independent, and now I really can’t go anywhere without Bill. Partially because I hate driving and he has a fun red convertible that I can’t drive because it is a stick, and also just because I miss him even when he is in the other room. Sounds mushy, but it’s the honest truth. We are ALWAYS together, and we have definitely found a way to keep it that way by building a business together.
Other things about me. I’m pretty artistic. I love painting and drawing, usually peoples faces, which would make sense because I am a high definition makeup artist. I love wearing crazy, bright-colored nail polish, I love working out, and I am pretty obsessed with CrossFit. I can back squat 205 lbs at 5 foot 1 and a half, but I can’t do an unassisted pull up.
I LOVE chocolate and anything sweet really, which is pretty much a curse since I try to avoid that stuff as much as possible. I have crazy curly hair that I try to keep as tame as possible, usually with a flat iron. I love animals, and little kids (especially babies). That’s about it for now I think
HM: I first heard about Paleo from a friend of mine who is a CrossFit coach here in Pittsburgh. I was trying to follow a vegetarian diet at the time, so I had absolutely zero interest in eating animal protein. I couldn’t maintain my weight very well, and was extremely frustrated. I changed my diet to more of a paleo diet (not realizing it), but I was eating low fat, lean protein, and watching calories. I lost a ton of weight very quickly, but was hungry and miserable. I learned more about Paleo from my cousin who has been following the Paleo diet for about 12 years or so, and it really clicked with me. I knew this was what was best for me. I eventually lost my fear of fat, started eating fatty meats, red meat, saturated fats, gained a bit of healthy weight, and felt way better.
The biggest difference Paleo has made in my life is that it has restored my relationship with food to a much more healthy one. I now love everything I eat, and I no longer resent the food I eat or feel deprived. I have so much love and passion for good food and cooking, and I have found a way to enjoy food, feel good, and feel proud about how I nourish my body.
EP: Do you have an all-time favorite recipe?
HM: That’s actually a really hard question for me to answer. We have made so many delicious things, and there are so many different types of meat that I love. Currently we are pretty obsessed with our par-boiled and then grilled pastured pork ribs recipe, which is a recipe that Bill created, so for now I will say that is my favorite recipe…ask me again next month and I will give you something different
EP: What has been your biggest Paleo challenge, and how did you overcome it?
HM: My biggest Paleo challenge has been trying to figure out the right Paleo diet for ME. Paleo is actually not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are general guidelines, but you really have to dig deep through trial and error, and be aware of which foods make you feel good, and which foods make you feel badly, which foods cause inflammation, which foods make you feel sad, and which foods make you gain weight. It has definitely been a long journey for me, and I’m still learning and growing as each day passes.
EP: What do you wish EVERYONE knew about Paleo?
HM: How good it feels to eat this way. So many people walk around feeling ill, and not even knowing it. I am so in tune with my body now that I know when I eat something that hasn’t agreed with me. Eliminating grains from my diet was one of the best things I ever did, and most days I feel great, unless of course if I have a grain-free treat or indulge in some alcohol
EP: Paleo-eating does not have to be difficult… how do you make this lifestyle an easy element of your life?
HM: I think the way we have made it easy is by not making any exceptions. We don’t even consider eating another way, so we make it work however we can. Our cheats are homemade treats, local grass-fed ice creams, wine, or dark chocolate. We never have grains, and we don’t feel deprived because we don’t allow those foods to even be an option for us. Of course, preparation, planning, and precooking foods always helps. You should see us going on a road trip. We pack our cooler bag with chicken thighs, hard boiled eggs, some fruit, and paleo kits. We are always prepared when we are going on a long trip. One benefit to this lifestyle, though, is that we aren’t often caught overly hungry without something to eat. When your body burns fat instead of sugar, you can go much longer without food, so even if we don’t have anything made, we can quickly cook up some food without being totally ravenous by the time it makes it to our plate.
EP: What is your favorite Paleo memory?
HM: The very first time Bill and I went to the beach together. It was his first weekend trying out Paleo full time. We were able to get fresh fish locally, and produce from the farmers market each day. We would cook out, and eat on the porch of the beach house each day. That is definitely my favorite memory.
EP: If you could drop everything right now and take a month-long vacation, where would you go, and which recipes would you want to be sure and make while there?
HM: I have always wanted to go to Greece. I think it is absolutely beautiful there, and I love lamb, so we would definitely have to cook up a lot of lamb in Greece!
EP: Tell us about a bad recipe experience you’ve had… if there have been any!
HM: I am actually pretty good at burning things. Often because I don’t usually set a timer for foods, and just cook by feel, but sometimes that does not work to my advantage. I can’t really think of any specific kitchen nightmares we have had, but there was one time when I tried to light the grill and it blew up in my face. Luckily I only singed some eyebrows and the ends of my hair a bit, but that was a close one for sure!
EP: Tell us what you thought of PaleoF(x). What was the best part?
HM: PaleoF(x) was great. It was my first time visiting Texas, and I really enjoyed listening to all of the speakers and the masterminds. The best part of our trip was definitely trying out fun restaurants in Austin with some of our blogger friends that we don’t get to see everyday. A bunch of us stayed in a house together, so there were lots of laughs, lots of good food, and lots of chocolate
HM: Haha, I think everyone is sick of this story by now so I will keep it brief… As I said I am a makeup artist, and Bill has been a drummer for about 11 years or so. He was playing in a band in Pittsburgh for fun, and the lead singer is a good friend of mine. They were filming their first music video, and the lead singer asked me to do his makeup for the video. Bill and I spent 15 hours together on set the day we met, and after some conversation we both knew we were interested in each other. He was the sweetest guy I had ever met, and the first to really treat me with a lot of respect, even in the short bit of time we spent together. We talked for a while after the video, but didn’t see each other or go on a date for about a month after we first met. The rest is history.
EP: What is your FAVORITE kitchen tool or appliance, and why?
HM: Hmm…that’s a tough question. I really love our Le Crueset cookware. You can do so much with it, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love my Le Creuset!
EP: What is something we might be surprised to find out about you? I am very short (5 ft 1 and a half) and I have huge feet. I wear a size 9 womens shoe. I actually have scoliosis, about a 25 degree S-curve in my spine, which takes two inches off my height. Even so, my feet would still be pretty big for 5’3” if my spine were straight…
EP: Anything else you’d like to add?
HM: I think thats about it. Thanks so much!
Thanks Hayley! And thank you SO much for contributing so much to the Paleo community. We appreciate you!
Okay folks, get ready to learn more about Hayley’s other half, Bill, tomorrow (check it out here!).