Something pretty awesome happened last week. This rad friend of mine who is a super awesome radio DJ in New York City (check it) runs summer camps in the city. I ran into her a couple weeks ago in the subway (fate) and she asked me to speak and do a Paleo-centric cooking demo for a high school cooking summer program she was running.
I did, it went well. The end.
Just kidding. That’s not the whole story. So she asked me to do this demo and seminar for 40 high school kids. I couldn’t incorporate nuts, they didn’t have a fully functioning kitchen, and hardly any cooking tools. I really wanted so badly to have the kids make their own flavors of Healthy Chewy Bars, but alas both nuts and lugging my large food processor were out. I thought about making my Swoon Worthy Bacon Caramel Chocolates, but they didn’t have a freezer.. sooo that was also out. After loads and loads of thinking, I decided to have the kids make my Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Spears with Sage recipe. It is a simple and the preperation and time allows for plenty of discussion and questions (and apparently small grease fires, nbd). I also wanted to show how simple making mayonnaise is and how versatile it can be with different flavors. It’s da simple switches in your diet doe. ;) But really, little swaps go a long way! Oh! And I pre-made a version of my Bacon Caramel Chocolates to pass around, because bacon+caramel+chocolate. Nuff said.
Anyway, I talked to the kiddies about Paleo, what Paleo is, Paleo misconceptions, and basic points of Paleo (good fats/bad fats, bad sugars/OK sugars, gluten and grain, and dairy). A handful of kids had actually heard of Paleo and two had even tried it. I was so very impressed! One even said it made him have more energy and feel better *high five*!
We chatted a bunch, I asked questions, they asked questions, and we cooked. The points that I hope were taken from the demo actually aren’t necessarily Paleo specific.
-What foods make YOU feel good? Eat those!
-What foods don’t make you feel good? Avoid those! Eliminate grains and dairy for a few weeks and then slowly incorporate them. You might have felt good before, but maybe you’ll feel even better after!
-If you’re cooking anyway, you may as well cook food that makes your mind and body happy!
-Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t let eating a certain ‘diet’ define you or your social life. If you do decide to eat Paleo, you don’t need to feel guilty for occasionally splurging and eating something ‘non-Paleo’ as a treat. But treat it as a treat and exception ;)
As this awesome Paleo superstar says, paleYOU!