Guest Post: Bacon Basil Fig Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

photo 4

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m pleased to have my lovely friend, Ashley of Craving4more guest posting for me today, so I can enjoy my time back home with friends and family. Ashley creates amazing recipes and flavor combinations, and knows food well. I’m fortunate to have spent time with Ashley on numerous occasions while she still lived in Portland and am grateful for our friendship. Thank you, Ashley for sharing your beautiful words and creations.

********

I am so delighted to have been asked as a guest, to share a bit about myself and about the things that I create in the kitchen.

I am a food lover for sure. Growing up in a family of gourmet food brokers, I learned to appreciate the very best in terms of the flavor and quality of things which pass my lips. I was exposed to the most amazing tastes on earth. Experiences that I will never forget have much to do with the foodie environment of my youth. I will also be forever grateful to my mother for the blessing and the curse of my kitchen creativity. Unable to ever follow a recipe, she has passed along the gift to me of the ability to create some of the most astounding things on earth to ever touch the palette. Yet, this blessing is accompanied by the impossibility of precision in replication, as recording, measurements, and even recollection of items, ingredients, and methods are few and far between. As a result, I believe my madness in the kitchen creates flavorful and delectable inspirations.

I have an overwhelmingly complex relationship with food. My culinary creations, though, have become my artist’s portfolio. I daydream about the possibilities of flavor combinations and the perfect melange of taste, texture, and color in what I create. When I sense, smell, or see a perfectly ripe tomato or discover the existence of vanilla truffle salt, I am filled with excitement and awe until I can possibly get to work in my kitchen canvas.

I mulled for some time over the perfect recipe to share on Alisa’s blog today. She creates such wonderful recipes herself, I was determined to compose something fabulously fantastic for her readership. I wanted to use the finest and freshest seasonal produce, my favorite herbs and spices, but also challenge myself a bit as well. Neither of us are particularly fond of pork, so I decided to take it upon myself to compose an utterly fantastic dish using the “other white meat” that would have us salivating simply at the sound and sight, but also in the end, when all is said and done, craving4more.

Bacon Basil Fig and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 lb. pastured pork tenderloin
  • Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat grill to medium heat. Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the tenderloin. Reducing grill heat to medium-low, grill tenderloin until it has reached juicy, moist perfection. Depending on your grill, this is usually 7 minutes to sear the first side, 6 minutes for the second side, and 5 minutes for the final side. Allow to “rest” approximately 5 minutes before slicing.

photo 9
Bacon Basil Fig Balsamic and Tomato Salsa (it’s a mouthful to say, and an amazing mouthful to savor)
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 large fresh figs, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 2 thick slices pastured bacon, coarsely chopped and fried until crispy
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine all salsa ingredients and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes. Serve atop the grilled tenderloin.

This truly is better than good. It’s pretty darn spectacular.

I hope you enjoy it!

AshleyI know food.  My relationship with food is both vast and intimate.  I know the chemistry of food, I know the art of food, and I oh so know the emotion of food.  I adore food and yet I grieve it.  My goal, though, is to respect food for what it is – nourishment. My hope is to entertain, educate, bless and fill your cravings.  May you be truly nourished and full.  Most importantly, though, smile. Meanwhile, you can visit me over at Craving4more, and find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

A to Z

So, I wasn’t exactly tagged to do this A to Z thing, but thought it was a fun idea when I read it over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake a few weeks ago. I’ve had it in the works ever since, but then forgot about it and was reminded again when I saw it over at Beautifully Nutty. Anyway, it’s a little change of pace, but hopefully at least a little entertaining! Cheers!

A. Attached or single?

Attached, married for a little over 2 months and together for about 5 years.

Just married. (Photo credit: Matt Gonzalez Photography).
Just married. (Photo credit: Matt Gonzalez Photography).
Summer in Michigan 2008, the year I moved to Portland. Late night pontoon ride.
Summer in Michigan 2008, the year I moved to PDX.

B. Best friend?

Jesse.

Who wouldn't want to be best friends with this guy? Circa summer 2008.
Who wouldn’t want to be best friends with this guy? Circa summer 2008.
(WS)Fairbanks-114
(Photo credit: Matt Gonzalez Photography).

C. Cake or pie?

Make It Paleo’s, grain-free coconut cake. I make it with raw honey instead of maple syrup and use a dairy-free lemon coconut frosting instead of the option they suggest in the book. It is straight up divine. You can check out my variation here.

Coconut cake with lemon coconut frosting.
Coconut cake with lemon coconut frosting.

D. Day of choice?

Saturday — it’s the only full day that Jesse has off. I just recently started working Saturday mornings out at CPC (by choice), but it’s only a couple hours out of my day, and then I have the whole rest of the day to do whatever. Saturdays have a special vibe to them that I dig.

E. Essential item?

Taken two days ago at my Recreate Fitness, where I train and now work. 11 months in on the SCD.
Lululemon cool racerback tank and wunder under crops, as pictured on me here.

F. Favorite color?

Blue, and it has been since I was a little kid.

G. Gummy bears or worms?

Well, neither because I don’t eat that stuff! I honestly don’t even remember the last time gummy candy touched my lips. As a kid I liked both a lot — probably the worms a little more because they could be savored longer — eaten in two bites instead of one. I really liked the bears though too and wasn’t partial to one over the other.

H. Home town?

Alpena, Michigan.

(Photo credit: advancedwildlifedesigns.com)
(Photo credit: advancedwildlifedesigns.com)

I. Favorite indulgence?

Homemade coconut milk ice cream or the grain-free coconut cake I mentioned above. A nice dry white wine or hard cider too. If I’m in Hawaii though, it’s definitely a Mai Thai cocktail.

Mai Thai!
Mai Thai!
IMG_2973
Yum, remember my vanilla hazelnut coconut milk ice cream?

J. January or July?

Definitely July because I love the summer! Coming off of all the holidays in January is hard and makes me feel a little blue. Plus, it’s wintery, wet and cold. Rainy season at its peak.

K. Kids?

Someday, Jesse and I plan to have one, but not for a little while. Maybe in about 5 years.

L. Life isn’t complete without?

Our kitties, Mila and Dutch.

This picture of Mila makes me just want to squeeze her! So cute!
This photo of Mila makes me just want to squeeze her!
Dutch inside his favorite box, only now, it's a bit more shredded up in the bottom.
Dutch in his favorite box.

M. Marriage date?

June 8, 2013. Our reception is coming up in a few weeks — September 7, back in Michigan.

N. Number of siblings?

2 sisters, both older (Ashley 5 years older, Amanda 3 years older).

My sisters and me showing off some handmade outfits a family member made for us. I wasn't too thrilled, but Ashely (in the middle) sure was!
My sisters and me showing off some handmade outfits a relative made for us. I remember not liking this outfit at all! I think I was 3 or 4 years old here.
Here's another goodie -- Christmas Day 1988 or 89, the year Ashley got a hair crimper.
Here’s another goodie — Christmas Day 1988 or 89, the year Ashley got a hair crimper.
My sisters and me, circa May 2008. This is the day I graduated with my BA from Michigan State.
My sisters and me, circa May 2008. This is the day I graduated with my BA from Michigan State.

O. Oranges or apples?

Apples, hands down, especially pink ladies and honey crisp. I can’t wait for apple season!

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Рус...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

P. Phobias?

Spiders and deep, dark open waters.

Q. Quotes?

Oh, there’s many that I like, but here are a couple favorites:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -M. Gandhi

“Happiness is a byproduct of a greater frequency.” Unknown, but heard my yoga teacher say it before

R. Reasons to smile?

I could list a lot, but here a few: My upcoming trip to Michigan in a few weeks (for our wedding reception), a trip to Hawaii in less than three months, having cool jobs and being called Mrs. Fairbanks.

A picture of Waikiki Beach on our trip this past December.
A shot of Waikiki Beach on our trip this past December.

S. Season of choice?

Summer and fall.

T. Tag 5 people?

I’m only tagging a couple that I think may do this (and you’re not obligated, by any means!): Naz at Cinnamon Eats and Ashley at Craving4more.

U. Unknown fact about me?

I used to have my tongue pierced. I did it on my 18th birthday and mom wasn’t very happy because I didn’t tell her I was doing it (sorry, mom!). I took it out when I was 21 because I was over it and didn’t want it anymore.

V. Vegetable?

I love ’em, especially the green leafy ones!

W. Worst habit?

Picking the calluses on my hands and wasting time on the computer.

X. X-ray or ultrasound?

Well, I’ve only ever had an x-ray, so I don’t know what an ultrasound is like. I think looking at bone x-rays is pretty darn cool though.

Y. Your favorite food?

Hard to choose just one, but probably eggs. They always satisfy.

Eggs covered with hot water and ready for the lid.
Remember my egg fiasco in Hawaii? I still figured out how to get my fix though.

Z. Zodiac sign?

Pisces!

Weekend Berry Picking Fun

IMG_3617
Our favorite blueberry farm.

This past weekend was a goodie. It was filled with sunshine, Oregon bounty, contemplation, reading and time with Jesse. It felt great all around and productive too.

It started with sleeping in on Saturday morning and taking a little leisure time at home before going out to breakfast at Besaw’s. We had to wait for a bit once we got there, but that’s not unusual. Luckily, it was bright and sunny outside, which made for a pleasant wait. Once we got settled, I surprised myself with my order. I always order the two-egg meal with sauteed veggies and bacon…ALWAYS! Well, this time, I got the salmon scramble (no cream cheese) with veggies and bacon. Call me crazy for switching things up, right? Nah, not really, but the change is good for me. The scramble was pretty tasty (it was just house-made smoked salmon and fresh herbs), but I think I’m still partial to my usual. It’s a classic.

My Saturday breakfast at Besaw's. I accompanied it with hot lemon water. My pal, Ashley at Craving4more got me hooked on it. She ordered it once when we went out to Dick's Kitchen. So clever, yet simple.
My Saturday breakfast at Besaw’s. I accompanied it with hot lemon water. My pal, Ashley at Craving4more got me hooked on it. She ordered it once when we went out to Dick’s Kitchen. So clever, yet simple. (Taken on iPhone).

After breakfast, Jesse and I drove up to Sauvie Island to pick blueberries. We go every summer and to the same place: Sauvie Island Blueberry Farm. They specialize in blueberries, and have the BEST and BIGGEST ones around! Remember when we went last summer? We went to Besaw’s before picking last year too. I’ve decided that Besaw’s is now part of the yearly tradition. It is my favorite breakfast place, after all.

Jesse in the berry bushes.
Jesse in the berry bushes.

My picking style is pick a bunch, eat a bunch, repeat. At least, that was my picking style this time. Normally, I only focus on filling my bucket, but this time I couldn’t resist snacking on them too. In the end, we each filled a tub and accumulated about 15 lb of fresh, plump blueberries. After we got home, we washed and spun the berries, and put them into freezer bags. Of course, we left a huge bowl in the fridge for eating too. It’s so wonderful to open the refrigerator door and see a bowl full of gorgeous, fresh blueberries.

Then, on Sunday, I was convinced by a friend that I needed to make some sort of cobbler, so I took it upon myself to do some experimenting and baking in the afternoon. I had good results with the cobbler I made and will be sharing the recipe soon, so stay tuned!

Hot and sweaty, but got my tub full of berries!
Hot and sweaty, but got my tub full of berries!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

How many of you go berry picking?

On another note, my blueberries n’ cream scramble was featured on Mark’s Daily Apple for Weekend Link Love! I’m so flattered and actually, this is my second recipe to be featured! Mark Sisson is seriously one of my heroes, so it’s a real pleasure and I’m honored.

Creamy Chicken Dijon

creamy chicken dijon updated

I am relieved to say that my exercise science midterm is over! It is such a relief to have that thing off my mind or at least not to have to study for it anymore. I admit that it is still on my mind a little bit. I can’t help but wonder how I did and have gone over some of the questions in my head (and even checked an answer in my book…don’t let me do that anymore. It made me upset!). I realized I made a couple dumb mistakes, but in the moment, I took a chance because I was unsure. Whatever. I know I passed and I studied my buns off, so hopefully it paid off and at least scored me a B. I’m pretty confident that I got at least that, but who knows, maybe I did even better!

Studying for that blasted exam is what the majority of my weekend consisted of. The weather was so nice and sunny, which made it challenging, but I took advantage of studying outside on the patio. Really, I just wanted to hang out outdoors, bum around on my bike and drink wine. I got the outdoors, did ride some on my bike (commuting), but didn’t drink wine. I needed clarity, so I stuck with kombucha and memory boost tea. As you probably know by now, I very rarely drink, but there’s something about warm weather that makes me want to, particularly when the weather first starts turning summery.

Jason’s event at Whole Foods on Saturday was a lot of fun and a nice break from studying. There ended up being a smaller group than expected because a couple people cancelled last minute and some didn’t show up, which I attribute to the warm weather, but it was a success among those there and nice to have a small group. Naturally, it ran over because there was a lot of questions and much to talk about in only one hour’s time. Everyone was very engaged and Jason was entertaining and brilliant, as always. Honestly, that guy cracks me up, but man he knows his stuff! It’s always a pleasure to listen to him speak. To all my readers and followers who have not bought his book, The Paleo Coach, I strongly encourage you to do so. His message and information is too valuable not to share.

Here are a couple pictures from the event. Ashley, Whole Foods Pearl District’s Healthy Eating Specialist and blogger at Craving4more, also put together a neat picture from the talk on her Instagram, which you can check out here.

The spread of paleo dishes that Ashley, the Healthy Foods Specialist made for the event. She also blogs over at Craving4more.
The spread of paleo food that Ashley, the Healthy Foods Specialist made for the event (with the exception of the date and honey-sweetened Stirs the Soul raw chocolate — my favorite!). She also blogs over at Craving4more.
Jason, doing what he does.
Jason, doing what he does.

**********

Meanwhile, I’m still really loving mustard, particularly Dijon. It makes a difference in so many recipes and is often the missing flavor I’m looking for. It tantalized my taste buds once again, in this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

IMG_3271

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow or fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 3 Tbsp chicken bone broth
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for a minute. Then, add the chicken and season with a bit of sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes, and then add the spices, carrots, broccoli and a bit more sea salt and pepper. Stir well and continue to saute.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, broth and Dijon. Add mixture to the chicken and vegetables; stir.
  4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. The sauce will thicken up a bit as well.
  5. Serve as is or with steamed leafy greens, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.

Yields: 3 servings

Turkey Sausage Veggie Hash

IMG_3272

Before I rant about this recipe, I want to announce an exciting event coming up in Portland this Saturday. Some of you may have seen it on my Facebook page, but I want to share it again! Anyway, Jason Seib, author of The Paleo Coach, is giving a FREE talk at the Pearl District Whole Foods from 12-1 p.m, this Saturday, May 4th. There will be copies of Jason’s book available for purchase and he will also be available for signing. In addition, there will be some delicious paleo recipes to try made by the lovely, Ashley Kipp, the pearl store’s Healthy Foods Specialist and blogger behind Craving4more. Space is limited and an RSVP is required, so if you want to sign up, please email Ashley at ashley.kipp@wholefoods.com. It’s only two days away, so make sure you reserve your spot now! The presentation will be held upstairs in Salud, the demo kitchen next to The Mezz.

**********

Meanwhile, this simple and tasty dish is versatile and pretty much foolproof — at least in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t have too much to say about it, other than the fact that it’s just plain good. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’d also be great mixed with some scrambled eggs, but a runny egg on top is lovely too. Can you believe that I used to detest runny yolks? Up until a couple years ago, I only ate my yolks cooked through. That’s just blasphemy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, torn into pieces
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp bone broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Sunny side-up pastured eggs for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break up with a spatula. Then, add the chopped garlic. Season with a little sea salt and pepper, and continue to cook.
  2. Next, add the radishes, carrots, spices, bone broth, and a bit more sea salt and pepper; stir. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Then, add the torn spinach leaves and butter. Cook another couple minutes, until spinach softens a bit. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Optional to serve with a sunny-side up egg on top.

Yields: 3 servings

IMG_3273

BBQ Buffalo Muffins

IMG_3228

Welcome back, all! I hope you had a nice weekend, whether it was eventful, busy or relaxing. I always manage to have a good weekend, no matter what ends up happening. I’m always happy to have time away from school and a little extra time with Jesse!

My weekend consisted of the usual errands, yoga and work on Sunday morning, along with trying desperately to understand my exercise science readings and homework. Jesse did his best to break it down for me, but it’s extra tricky since I don’t have a chemistry background. I only had to take one chemistry class ever and it was my junior year of high school, 11 years ago. I was fortunate to never have to take chemistry when getting my BA, because I had passed it in high school with better than a C. So, it takes some extra studying on my part and even then, it’s still complicated.

Saturday evening was especially lovely because I had a girl’s dinner out with my friends, Laura and Ashley (aka Craving4more). I introduced the two of them to each other and we had a nice meal and conversation at Dick’s Kitchen. We all ordered lettuce-wrapped burgers and veggies, and it was Laura’s very first experience at Dick’s. Naturally, she liked it (it’d be hard not to like it). We were there a couple hours and then afterward, Ashley walked home and Laura and I went for a cup of hot tea before driving back to my place. It was a good evening for us all, and nice for me to get out with the girls…something I never really do.

Anyway, these meat muffins make for an easy, tasty lunch and are suitable for breakfast or dinner as well. The Tessemae’s All Natural BBQ sauce is delicious, but I realized that I need to be careful with it. It has balsamic vinegar in it and I discovered that it’s still a bit too much for me at this point (balsamic is a SCD-illegal food because of the natural sugar content). I thought it’d maybe be okay since I’m far in my healing, but I guess not. My bloat was tolerable each time, but still annoying. I’ll try it out again down the road or understand the potential consequences if I choose to eat it. For most people, this won’t be an issue, but if you adhere to the SCD, don’t try balsamic until you’re far enough into your healing, but realize that it may still cause a problem. On another note, the muffins are really, really delicious and so is the BBQ sauce!

IMG_3226

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/4 cup Tessemae’s All Natural BBQ sauce (homemade or other legit brand like this one works too)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, and add the bacon grease. Once melted, add the red onion and saute a few minutes, until translucent and softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the ground buffalo, egg, spinach, BBQ sauce, sea salt, pepper and cayenne. Then, add the sauteed onion.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin, filling to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Time and quantity will vary based on the size of your muffin tin.

Weekend Highlights

Wow, what a great weekend! Saturday, in particular, was outstanding. Before I get rolling about that, I just want to say that a Monday – Wednesday school schedule is SO much better than going through Thursday. One less day of school during the week really makes a big difference. If you’re curious, my classes this term include exercise science, fitness assessment II, and professional activities: special populations (fitness programming for older adults).

My post-workout Saturday morning breakfast: pastured eggs scrambled with leftover US Wellness Meats Easter ham, kale, avocado, and raw sauerkraut.
My post-workout Saturday morning breakfast: pastured eggs scrambled in grass-fed butter with leftover US Wellness Meats Easter ham, kale, avocado and raw sauerkraut. There’s a splash of full-fat coconut milk in the scramble too. Yum! (Taken on iPhone).

Anyway, Saturday started with another great workout at Recreate. Then, it was breakfast at home and a little downtime before heading to Whole Foods for a healthy fats presentation by my friend, Ashley, also the blogger behind Craving4more, in case you didn’t remember. The event was actually titled, “Fat is NOT the F-word!” Ashley had a great spread laid out, as usual and we had the opportunity to sample the delicious food. I tried the macadamia-crusted halibut, a fig olive walnut tapenade, roasted watermelon radishes (roasted in coconut oil), and lemon pound cake bites (grain-free and similar to a larabar). She also had an avocado chocolate mousse with port berries and spiced pecans, but I needed to opt out. I brought some home for Jesse though, and he said it was delicious. Ashley also had some freshly made grass-fed tallow and grass-fed ghee on display for participants to see.

Ashley's spread (Taken on iPhone).
Ashley’s spread (Taken on iPhone).
Freshly rendered grass-fed beef tallow (Taken on iPhone).
Freshly rendered grass-fed beef tallow (Taken on iPhone).

Ashley gave a great overview of the types of fat, which to cook with, which not to cook with (finishing oils), which to avoid, omega-3 vs. omega-6, myths and overall benefits. I knew most everything already, but it was neat to see others learn about it that did not know all these details. It was fun and I was happy to be there to support Ashley, and taste the delicious food too! Be sure to keep an eye on Ashely’s blog this week because I know she’ll be posting some of the recipes.

The macadamia-crusted halibut and roasted watermelon radishes were my favorite! I plan to make the halibut for dinner tonight, actually!
The macadamia-crusted halibut and roasted watermelon radishes were my favorite! I plan to make the halibut for dinner tonight, actually and probably the radishes too (Taken on iPhone).

Then, when leaving Whole Foods, I randomly ran into two different friends, one of which I hadn’t seen in a long time (also a former lululemon co-worker). The other was one of my special yoga buddies. I love them both and was happy to see and chat with them, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Fast forward a little later in the day and I remembered that Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, was giving a talk at a local bookstore about 5-10 minutes away from my house. I called to make sure there was still spots available, and lucky for me, there was, but I wasn’t sure if I’d make it in time or not. I had dinner going and realized I’d have to eat quickly and bolt, and I really detest rushing! I knew I’d regret missing it though, so I made it work.

Here’s the description of Nora’s presentation, as stated by New Renaissance Bookshop:

“Dietary fat has been treated like a villain for the better part of the last century by medical authorities, the USDA and other mainstream nutritional authorities. Instead, dietary carbohydrates have been lauded as foundational to human dietary needs largely without question and now makes up the majority of mainstream dietary intake. Dietary fat is demonstrably central to our most basic energy, metabolic, neurological and physiologic needs and by restricting its intake we foster a much less healthy and unnatural dependence upon dietary sources of sugar and starch. Nora Gedgaudas is the author of the critically acclaimed international best-selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a Board-Certified nutritional consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist.”

At the event, I had the opportunity to meet a couple other Portland paleo bloggers and it was awesome to finally put a face with the name in person! I’m referring, specifically, to Holly over at The Paleo Blog of Yay and Jennifer over at Paleo Dieting. Jason Seib, my mentor and author of the book, The Paleo Coach, was also there. I grabbed a seat and Jason told me to save the seat next to him. I still feel so fortunate to have him as a friend and mentor.

Nora’s talk was 90 minutes long and I was engaged every second of it. I took notes and could have taken a lot more, but was so enthralled by her at times, that all I could do is sit and listen. She is a wealth of knowledge, as well as a fantastic speaker and presenter. I am SO glad I went.

After the talk, I chit-chatted with some others and was able to meet Nora and have her sign my book, which was such a pleasure. I didn’t get a picture with Nora, but did take one of Jason and Nora together on my phone.

Nora and Jason. I actually borrowed Jason's picture because the lighting was better than in mine.
Nora and Jason. I actually borrowed Jason’s picture because the lighting was better in his than in mine. Still a phone picture none the less.

Here are a few highlights from Nora’s presentation that I wrote down (note, this is not everything I wrote down):

  • Taking statins for high cholesterol levels is the equivalent to shooting the fireman at the fire.
  • Cholesterol is an indicator, not a disease marker. To know what’s really going on, you have to look under the hood.
  • The more we depend on fat, the longer we live.
  • Cell membranes require 50% saturated fat for functioning and other parts of the body, including the heart, need it to function properly as well (she listed how other parts of the body use saturated fat, but this is the one I was able to jot down in time).
  • Cholesterol functions as an antioxidant and acts as duct tape in our arteries.
  • Cholesterol — not diamonds — is a girl’s best friend.
  • Using ketones for fuel creates more ATP.
  • The brain uses >20% of the body’s total energy demands.
  • For human longevity, it’s best to keep protein around 25 grams per meal. (Note: this varies for some people with specific goals or needs, such as athletes or those trying to gain muscle).
  • Special note: go watch Allan Savory’s TED talk titled, “How to green the desert and reverse climate change.” Jason made sure I wrote this down.

On a completely different note and just because I want to share, Jesse and I get married exactly two months from today!