Lisa Wells had to address a health concern which prompted her to change her diet and go gluten, grain, and dairy free for every meal. But that didn’t stop her from experimenting and creating delicious recipes to satisfy her palate. This lifestyle became the catalyst for her blog, Cook Eat Paleo where she now shares tips and tricks about how to whip up simple and easy paleo recipes. Read how Lisa uses Pinterest to discover ingredients, substitutions, and even satisfy the sweet tooth!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How did you fall into an all paleo diet lifestyle?
I’ve always loved food. I’ve been a foodie and home cook for years. About five years ago I had to give up gluten, grains and dairy to address an autoimmune disease. I had to relearn how to cook and bake without those ingredients I had always used. That’s what got me started on paleo. The paleo diet removes ingredients that can cause inflammation, or other side effects, so it’s helpful for a lot of health issues.
What jump started your idea for the blog?
I learned so much about this style of cooking and eating that I wanted to share. Having gone through so many recipe experiments, I learned how to make it quick and easy to put meals together. I probably cook 90% of my meals at home, so I’ve definitely learned some shortcuts, and some simple go-to recipes that take the place of convenience foods. And hopefully it will inspire people to try paleo if they think it would be good for them.
Removing those yummy (and unhealthy) foods seems hard and intimidating. What are the biggest misconceptions about an all paleo diet? Was there something you craved or missed when you decided to venture into the gluten free path?
I think the biggest misconception is that it is too hard. There is definitely an adjustment period when you’re first learning to cook paleo, but once you learn a few recipes and some simple substitutions it becomes a lot easier. A great trick, for example, is making gluten-free pasta out of zucchini. My philosophy is I can eat anything I want as long as I make it myself. So if I want brownies or banana bread, I’ll figure out how to make it with ingredients I can have – and post the recipe on the blog.
A great place to start is my Paleo / Primal Resources board. That’s where I have a lot of information on the paleo diet. I pin books, articles and infographics I find helpful. But the best way to start is to just dive in. Look at a category that’s appealing to you and pick out a recipe that looks easy. I think it’s best to start with something that’s familiar, like a frittata. It’s quick and easy and works for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Where does your inspiration for new recipes come about?
I use Pinterest for both sharing and discovering recipes. My boards are like my personal recipe box. I pin recipes that I’ve created. And I pin recipes I find on different food sites and blogs that I want to try. I click through and read the ingredient list of every recipe I pin, and I only pin recipes that have paleo-friendly ingredients. So if I’m planning a menu for Thanksgiving, I can go to my board and see my recipes, plus all of the recipes I’ve collected that are perfect for Thanksgiving.
It seems like you’ve cooked, whipped up, and created it all. What’s next on your paleo food adventure?
Believe me, I have no shortage of recipe ideas. I’m working on a chocolate walnut pie recipe at the moment. With the Kentucky Derby coming up, I’m creating a paleo-friendly version of the traditional derby pie. A recipe like this one, where I’m recreating something that I used to eat before going paleo, takes some trial and error. But experimenting and tasting the different variations is always fun!