There are so many bloggers, writers, and smart “paleo-people” out there! I thought it might be fun to ask some of them a few questions to see what is going on in their “neck of the woods.” I am hoping to make this a weekly element on my website… If you are a blogger, and would like to be featured on EasyPaleo.com, be sure to comment on this post so I can contact you.
This week we’re talking with
I can say with complete sincerity that Liz Wolfe is my absolute favorite “Paleo celebrity.” I love her real, no-nonsense point-of-view, and I especially love that it is always peppered with humor and goof! Liz gets it. She has some serious smarts, and I’m grateful that she shares that with us! I have applied a ton of her fantastic skin care ideas/approaches in my own life (see here and here), and I particularly appreciate her stance on body image.
Bio: Liz writes the CaveGirlEats.com blog and is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (LizWolfeNTP.com) working on her Master’s Degree in Public Health. She co-hosts the Balanced Bites Podcast and Workshop series, serves as Ambassador to Steve’s Club National Program, and is on the board of directors for The First Twenty, a firefighter’s organization. Her professional goal is to bring nutritional guidance to at-risk populations; her personal goal is to remember the oven mitts when moving a hot cast iron skillet!
Liz: I’m grateful for so many things – family, food ,and friends are daily blessings!
EP: How did you discover Paleo, and what is the BIGGEST difference it made in your life?
Liz: Coach Rut (Michael Rutherford) introduced me to the concept, and it didn’t just change my perspective on food. It opened the door to a better relationship with my body, and a new appreciation for where true nourishment comes from. For a gal who struggled with food, body image and self-worth for many years, being able to let go of food-centric emotional baggage was profound.
EP: Do you have an all-time favorite recipe?
Liz: I absolutely LOVE “Grandy Kyp’s Chicken Soup” from The Food Lovers, made with homemade chicken broth! It’s so simple, warm and delicious – and there’s nothing better than homemade broth. Something about the dill just makes it so perfect. Recipe here.
I’m not the best or most creative chef – I almost described myself in question #1 as “a food blogger who can’t cook” – so I was quite proud of myself when I made a Paleo-style “Paella” for my blog. It’s been a long time since similar inspiration hit!
EP: What has been your biggest Paleo challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Liz: There was a time when I had this nagging feeling that I needed to be “lean,” with a very low body fat percentage, to truly epitomize Paleo “success.” I finally realized that health is the REAL truth-teller, and the body must be loved and appreciated for wherever real health brings it. There was nothing to be gained from giving old food neuroses a new disguise; or from allowing old insecurities to manifest themselves over and over again through different types of food. I had to forgive myself all those mistakes! I’m grateful to have come through that internal battle, because it has shifted my perspective entirely and allowed me to appreciate my body and my food in ways I never thought possible. But it wasn’t an easy mind-set to relinquish.
EP: What do you wish EVERYONE knew about Paleo?
Liz: I want everyone to know that there are RECENT cultures who serve as messengers of the food wisdom we’re passionate about! This isn’t just about “cavemen” – Dr. Weston A. Price studied cultures in the last century who possessed what he called “accumulated wisdom” about food, nutrients and responsible stewardship of this planet. We don’t have to look far to observe ancestral principles in action.
EP: Paleo-eating does not have to be difficult… how do you make this lifestyle an easy element of your life?
Liz: What’s easier or faster than ground beef and tomato sauce; scrambled eggs and sweet potato; or grabbing a Paleo Kit or some coconut flakes for “just in case?!” When you eat the most nutrient-dense foods, you don’t need volume; and you don’t need to eat six times each day. We (Diane Sanfilippo and myself) talk about this in our Balanced Bites Workshops – REAL FOOD keeps you full, well-nourished, and satisfied all day long for less investment and less work – once you make it through that paradigm shift, and find your own rhythm and routine, you’re good to go. Although I don’t have a family to feed, I observe this same attitude from those who do – like Sarah Fragoso and Michele of Nom Nom Paleo, and all the other bloggers I love and respect. It’s do-able!
EP: Tell us a little about your interest in body care, and why it’s important to you.
Liz: A few years ago, I looked at my bottle of conditioner and was horrified to see not just ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, but ingredients like “hydrolyzed wheat protein!” It made me angry to realize that I’d never so much as questioned whether gluten could be so ubiquitous as to appear in my personal care products, and I’d never even bothered to google what “sodium laureth sulfate” was. I wanted something easy and something natural; something that would take me out of Paul Mitchell’s pocket and allow me to be more self-sufficient! I learned quickly that all you really need is baking soda, vinegar and coconut oil for almost any task – and from there, you can build as needed from the volume of fun oils and techniques the world of natural body & home care has to offer!
EP: Tell us about your upcoming “No BS Nutrition Guide.” When can we expect it? What else is in the works?
Liz: Oh, goodness…the No BS Guide has been in the works for a VERY long time! I’ve also got a skin care guide in the works, in conjunction with Trina of Primal Life Organics. And I’ll tell you a secret – just a few weeks after I began work on my No BS Guide, I inked a book contract and started working on a manuscript that will be published in Spring 2013. It’s called “Modern Cave Girl” and is about my own story, the truth about health, fat, carbs, and animal protein and the history of industry hoodwinkery that underlies “conventional wisdom.” It’s about everything I wish I knew when I began this way of life! And, of course, it also contains a good dose of my usual goofiness. Think of it as Nora Gedgaudas meets Carrot Top…or Gary Taubes meets Lucille Ball. (Okay, maybe not Gary Taubes meets Lucille Ball. Maybe Encyclopedia Brown meets a Kathy Griffin impersonator!)
Liz: I would go to Greece; to the island of Milos! My husband and I were so fortunate to honeymoon there, and we want to return and tour the beaches again, enjoy the local fare and just do nothing together! (I attached a photo from our honeymoon – I want to return and eat eggs from that “Happy [Greek] Chicken.”)
EP: Is there a food item (Paleo or not) that you absolutely can’t stand? Or are you pretty “equal-opportunity” when it comes to grub?
Liz: Bananas. I can’t STAND bananas! I don’t know why – I love plantains, so it can’t be a texture thing; and I even like banana bread (or, I used to!) Yet there’s something about bananas that I simply can’t abide. And I must say – although I’ve developed a fondness for organ meats and the “odd bits,” it was a hard-fought fondness. I had to REALLY work hard to love that stuff!
EP: Tell us about Steve’s Club, and why this organization is so important to you.
Liz: Steve’s Club is utterly important to me. Steve’s Club is a national non-profit that provides athletic training, mentorship, personal development and nutritional guidance to at-risk youth. I see the kids of Steve’s Club at my CrossFit affiliate all the time, and they are PHENOMENAL kids who deserve every opportunity to succeed – yet their life circumstances just can’t afford them all the good things they deserve. I attached a video of our Steve’s Club kids that might help everyone understand why I’m so passionate about my work with Steve’s Club.
EP: Tell us about your family (husband, dog… anything you wish to share).
Liz: My husband is the most wonderful man in the world! He’s an Air Force pilot, an amazing friend, and a man of extraordinary integrity. I’ve never known a man like him, and I’m more grateful for him and his support every day. My pup is a close second – he’s goofy, gigantic, floppy and as good-natured as they come. And he’s Paleo too!
EP: What is your FAVORITE kitchen tool or appliance, and why?
Liz: I’m a simple gal – I only just learned to chop “properly” through Diane’s book Practical Paleo; and my first cookbook was Make it Paleo by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley. This Paleo lifestyle has been a slow education, filled with mistakes and kitchen mishaps – but things could have been far worse without my Cuisinart stick blender/combination food processor.
EP: You recently completed The 21-Day Sugar Detox… how did that go?
Liz: It went well, and it was VERY necessary! I’ve worked harder in the last few years than ever before, and I let late-night study and work devolve into moments of sugar-craving craziness. I needed a reality check. I gravitate toward Diane’s honest, gracious, yet no-nonsense approach. We work well together, and I’m grateful to know her and to have a great resource close at hand!
EP: What is your trademark expression?
Liz: Unfortunately, “where’s the beef” was already taken, so I’m still at the drawing board – although I did realize that, after 53-some episodes of the Balanced Bites podcast, I may have a somewhat recognizable opening line: “Heyy everyoooone…” I’d like to be known for something a bit better, though, so I’m going to work on coining a phrase.
EP: Anything you wish to add?
Liz: Jennie, thanks for everything you do! Your blog is an inspiration. I’m grateful to know you!
Thank you SO much, Liz! You are fantastic!