There are a few questions I’m asked frequently:
“Can I eat bacon?”
“Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?”
“What (product, resource, Paleo/Primal/WAP-friendly goodie) do you use/recommend?”
I decided it was time to compile a list so as to answer at least two of the three burning inquiries listed above. (The other answer is, of course, “YES!”)
Full disclosure: I’m an “affiliate” at a few of these companies (look for the asterisk). I get credit for any purchase made IF you click over from this blog. This does NOT account for my decision to recommend these products/companies. I use and believe in everything below – in fact, I bought from these companies long before I was ever an affiliate. Again - I use every product listed in this series.
All that said, you don’t really need to buy (or raise, or grow) anything but meat & veggies to make this lifestyle work. All this is just the extra garnish on the Pot De Creme.
BACON: Let’s answer the question “Can I eat bacon?” first. YES. You can eat bacon. In fact, it may be the best choice when it comes to pork products. (Why? See this study.)
MORE important than that, however, is to always, always, ALWAYS seek pastured pork. Your pork should be from a local farmer who feeds and raises their pigs in a humane, environmentally-appropriate manner – this produces the most nutritionally sound meat.
For us, bacon is almost a luxury, as we’re bound by local availability and the cost-restrictive nature of ordering “the good stuff.” If you don’t have a local farmer, I highly recommend ordering your bacon from US Wellness Meats.* They have both nitrate-free and sugar-free varieties. Their beef bacon is phenomenal as well – but you must make it under the broiler! Heritage Food USA is also an excellent option.
If you worry about any of the (delicious) bacon fat being more prone to oxidation when pan-fried, you can bake it instead (on foil, atop cookie sheet, for 25-ish minutes at 350). Again – the beef bacon is best broiled!
OTHER MEATS and EGGS: Again, local farms (or CowShares) are ideal – but you can also mail-order quality meats from Heritage Food USA, US Wellness Meats, or Tropical Traditions.* TT eggs are terrific (the pastured chickens, in addition to the bugs n’ grubs they find on pasture, are also given “cocofeed,” never soy) and both HFUSA and TT are good sources for beef, lamb and bison (and TT has organ meats). I also love anything from US Wellness Meats, particularly their compassionate-certified pork and chicken feet. USWM is incredibly supportive of the Paleo/Primal/WAP community and their entire staff is wonderful.
WFN Mayo Tamrind Chutney
Fab Ferments Kraut Vital Choice Sardines
PIF Ghee KerryGold Butter
Coconut Aminos/Vinegar Pure Wraps
Red Palm Oil/Coconut Oil/Palm Shortening Celtic Sea Salt
Dave’s Gourmet Sauce Kasandrinos EV Olive Oil
GOOD ENOUGH TO BUY (NOT DIY): I have several obsessions that fall into the “yeah, I could make a decent version at home, but these are SO DAMN GOOD I feel like paying shipping and also throwing the geniuses who made them a parade” category.
First, the healthy mayonnaise from Wilderness Family Naturals. Oh. My. Gawd. It is amazing. Blended with chicken, crumbled bacon and sauteed onion – it’s a chicken salad-gasm. And it’s a blend of uber-healthful oils (including coconut) and organic spices. I have never tasted anything like it – I buy it by the case. (Fact: Every other mayo – especially the store-bought kind, and including Miracle Whip – is garbage. Garbage ingredients, garbage flavor.)
Finally, Ghee from Pure Indian Foods. I talk more about it here. I first met the people behind the product at the Weston A. Price conference way back when. Since then, a few notable “Paleo” peeps have put their “stamp” of approval on it – but, I promise, this was awesome long before the Paleo Elite discovered it. (Ahhh, pride. “Not a sweatpant that fits me well.”) They are great people and their ghee is made in the Ayurvedic tradition from the delicious, Vitamin K2-rich butterfat of grass-fed cows. Bonus for me: they’re a local company.
OTHER GOOD STUFF: I’m always stocked up on the following (clockwise, image below):
Coconut Secret‘s Coconut Aminos (better than soy sauce) and Coconut Vinegar;
Red Palm Oil from Tropical Traditions (add a dab to savory stews – I’m convinced of the health benefits);
Celtic Sea Salt;
Tamrind Chutney (a great addition to homemade BBQ sauce);
Wild-caught Sardines from Vital Choice* (I trust this seafood source more than any other, and they’re packed in water, so I can add my own EVOO or mayo);
Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions (those who like a less coco-nutty aroma should try this one); and
Pure Coconut Wraps (delicious weekend treat – wrap a bacon, egg n’ pepper scramble for a sweet-n-savory breakfast).
Palm shortening (a great, highly saturated cooking oil with a neutral flavor);
KerryGold butter (available in stores – for when I can’t make it to Birchwood for raw milk butter);
Dave’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce (amazing flavor, decent ingredients for when there’s no time to DIY, and available in stores);
Kasandrinos Imports Extra Virgin Olive Oil (MOST AMAZING OLIVE OIL ON THE PLANET)
Short List (besides the obvious homemade fare – the below are travel-friendly):
Coconut Flakes (WFN, Tropical Traditions or other)
WFN Macadamia Nuts (soaked/dried)
Artisana Coconut Butter
I love Paleo Kits, and not just because they’re delicious and portable. Sales of these products support Steve’s Club National Program. See this page for more. In short, every purchase helps fund athletic training, nutritional guidance and mentorship for at-risk youth. The video below features some of the hard-working athletes from Steve’s Club Camden, which shares space with my home gym.
Other great, portable snacks: Sea Snax; olives (any kind); hard-boiled eggs; coconut flakes (my favorites are from Tropical Traditions and Wilderness Family Naturals); Artisana coconut butter (individual packets – yay); soaked and dried macadamia nuts from WFN (these nuts have the most favorable Omega 3: Omega 6 profile); and, if you REALLY REALLY NO REALLY can’t find anything else and are literally starving (or being forced to choose between these and Tofu or Vital Wheat Gluten – ick), or Kind Bars (they’re gluten-free but do have some other junque – you can track these down in almost any Starbucks or airport shop). All that said, when I eat a good breakfast (often with a cup of coffee made in my new AeroPress), I usually don’t need to snack.
FOOD FOR PETS
We feed our
bulldozer dog raw, and we’ve been around the block with everything from homemade grind to pre-made specialty brands. His digestion has never been better since we started ordering these raw chicken“steaks.” They’re a mix of organs and muscle meat/meal, coconut, and a bit of foliage for good measure. Behold, an email from the woman who runs our Kennel…
I imagine our pooch will outlive us. (Not only does he love to play AND sleep to the max, he knows no “cheat days.”)