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The Food Lovers’ Library: Bill and Hayley’s Two Most Recent Books – Gather & the 30-Day Guide to Paleo Cooking [3:11] Paleo Perfectionism and Dealing with Well-Meaning Non-Paleo Friends and Family [19:18] Bill and Hayley’s Take on Squeaky-Clean Paleo [27:34] Prioritizing Real Food While on a Budget and Low on Time [40:55] What to Do with Excess Seasonal Produce [53:25] Paleo Resources in Pittsburgh, PA [57:23]
Click here to download this episode as an MP3.
Liz Wolfe: Hey, everyone! Liz and Diane here. Welcome to Balanced Bites Podcast #94 with special guests, our dear friends, Hayley Mason and Bill Staley. My husband calls them the Staley-Masons. I don’t know if you guys knew that. We’re all going to have a super fun time at your wedding coming up. I’m excited about that.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m pretty sure that their wedding is, like, the paleo event of the year. I don’t really care about any of the actual organized, buy-tickets-to… This is pretty much it.
Liz Wolfe: And you know what? Finally, my husband is going to be at an event. I’m very excited about that.
Hayley Mason: Yes!
Diane Sanfilippo: Woohoo!
Bill Staley: Nice!
Liz Wolfe: We’re going to dance our asses off.
Hayley Mason: Yes.
Liz Wolfe: So Hayley and Bill, I have you guys on my Skype. We haven’t talked via Skype forever, but I have you all programmed into my Skype already because several years ago we recorded a little podcast called The Food Lovers Dish It!
Bill Staley: Ah, yes. It was a limited edition, four-episode run.
Diane Sanfilippo: Four episodes! That’s how I discovered Liz and her voice, and I was like: I need her to do this podcast with me, so I’m glad you guys did that podcast.
Liz Wolfe: It was fortuitous.
Hayley Mason: Well, the funniest thing is I think two out of the four were just Bill and me talking to each other for an hour.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what Liz and I do! What do you mean?!
Hayley Mason: Yeah, but we live together, so it’s like ultra-weird because we live together. And one of the episodes, it recorded in an alien voice for an hour.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, my gosh.
Hayley Mason: And then we had to re-record it, and also we spent an hour talking to ourselves that didn’t even record.
Bill Staley: I think that was the last episode. I think I was like: I’m over this. I’m not doing it anymore. This is stupid.
Liz Wolfe: If a tree falls in the forest while using an alien voice and no one’s around to hear it, was it a real podcast? I don’t know.
Hayley Mason: It was really funny, though.
Liz Wolfe: You guys are my favorite couple, by far.
Hayley Mason: Awww.
Bill Staley: Wow.
The Food Lovers’ Library: Bill and Hayley’s Two Most Recent Books [3:11]
Liz Wolfe: And you all have three books out right now, so we’re going to talk about those for sure. You know what? My favorite people, Diane, Bill, and Hayley, have created four of my absolute favorite paleo/healthy living/nutrient-seeker books of all time: The 30-Day Guide to Paleo Cooking, Gather, The Food Lovers Make it Paleo, and of course, Diane’s book, Practical Paleo. One day my book will be out, Modern Cave Girl, but let’s talk about the two books that you guys have out right now, the most current manuscripts that you guys have out there, The 30-Day Guide to Paleo Cooking and Gather. Do you guys want to give a little rundown of those real quick?
Hayley Mason: Sure…
Bill Staley: Take it away, Bill! The second of three books came out in April. That’s Gather. We knew we wanted to write that book for a really long time. In fact, when we were working on writing Make it Paleo about two years ago, that was sort of where we left off, so anyone who has Make it Paleo, you’ll see these little menus that we put together in the back of the book just like: Hey, if you want to entertain, here are the recipes we would pick out of this book to put it together. And from that point on, we were like: OK, our next book is going to be an entertaining cookbook, so… why are you laughing at me?
Diane Sanfilippo: Classic.
Bill Staley: She’s making faces over here.
Hayley Mason: No, I’m not. I’m not making faces.
Bill Staley: OK.
Liz Wolfe: It’ll all get edited out, so fight if you need to…
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s not true at all.
Liz Wolfe: No, it’s not true at all… not even a little bit.
Bill Staley: So Gather… I don’t know what else to say about Gather. It’s all these different menus that we put together. The thing that was sort of special about that book is that we got to involve a lot of our family and friends in making that book.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ahem… woohoo!
Hayley Mason: Yeah, Diane was there.
Bill Staley: Yeah, Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: I get really jealous if I see recipes that I didn’t get to eat. When you guys post pictures, I’m like: I didn’t get to eat that with you! After spending so much time together, yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Diane’s like: Lay off me. I’m starving.
Bill Staley: Lay off me. Nice Chris Farley reference!
Liz Wolfe: Very good.
Bill Staley: So yeah, there are 17 different menus in that book. We shot them almost exclusively in other people’s homes. Only one of them was in our own. That was the one in our backyard. But it was really fun. We had all these different themed menus. There’s one about Cuban food, and I think probably the most famous one is the Takeout Fake-out, which has eight or nine different Chinese dishes, including General Tso’s.
Liz Wolfe: Mmm, so good.
Bill Staley: Yeah, a very good dish. We have menus for holidays, like a winter holiday. We have New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and Easter. We have all different menus.
Hayley Mason: And we also throw in some fun ones, like a tea party.
Bill Staley: Halloween is in there.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, Halloween is in there, too.
Liz Wolfe: I’ve told you guys this a couple times, but back in the day, you guys had a menu that my mom used to do, I think, Thanksgiving.
Bill Staley: Oh, yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Do you remember that? A long time ago.
Bill Staley: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: I think that probably served as her jumping-off point to changing her diet a little bit and getting more into the paleo thing and the unprocessed, paleo-food wormhole that we all live in, and it was really, really amazing to be able to take that journey with her and watch her as she discovered all of your stuff, and that’s part of the reason I love Gather so much because for my mom and for a lot of people, I think the idea of holidays or events is really, really intimidating because either you’re going to go to somebody else’s house and be faced with a bunch of food that you have no desire to eat, but of course, you don’t want to be rude, so being able to host a gathering and actually have control over the food and also have that food be amazing. You know, you don’t want to make chicken, broccoli, and coconut oil for Thanksgiving, obviously. So you guys put that together, and it’s really phenomenal.
Bill Staley: Thank you.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, that was why we wanted to do the book because we’re the paleo lifers, so we don’t make any sacrifices and we don’t make any exceptions except for Jeni’s Ice Cream and Hail Merrys. So we always stay grain-free when possible, we never eat gluten, and we really wanted to show people that you can enjoy an event and host an event and have it follow the guidelines of the way that you eat and have your guests not feel like they’re eating some weird hippie food. And it was fun, and the neat thing about making that book was that we basically begged a bunch of people to use their homes.
Bill Staley: It didn’t take that much begging.
Hayley Mason: No, but we sort of begged. So in doing that, we said: If we can photograph in your home, we’ll serve you dinner and you can invite a couple friends, and it’ll be a really fun evening. So we got to have dinner with a bunch of different people that we probably wouldn’t have had dinner with otherwise and especially not cooked for them. And they got to taste our food and learn about the way we eat, and that was really exciting.
Diane Sanfilippo: Can you guys quickly tell the story of one of the menus and how people are a little confused about…
Hayley Mason: What we were doing?
Bill Staley: There were several menus where there was confusion.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t want to name any names or anything because I don’t want anyone to get called out or whatnot.
Hayley Mason: I think the one Diane’s referring to is the one that she really helped on, which was the Takeout Fake-out. That one was really the one and only menu in Gather that we had never met the people before going to their home.
Bill Staley: It was a friend of a friend who had just done a really beautiful kitchen, and they were like: You have to do this. And we’re like: OK, fine.
Hayley Mason: So Diane helped us cook, which was good because that was probably the most involved meal that we did in the whole book. Tons of different dishes, and it was exhausting. I think we were all sweating by the end of it.
Bill Staley: The thing about that menu is that it has nine dishes.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: And with Chinese food, you’re not doing a lot of baking, you’re not doing a lot of prep ahead. You’re really cooking things on the spot. It’s all about fresh.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, it was all served hot.
Diane Sanfilippo: It is a good one to do with a lot of hands on deck, sort of.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: It sure is, yeah.
Hayley Mason: Definitely. And it’s really helpful to have a big oven. The home where we photographed this menu, they had that awesome oven, and the stovetop was huge. It’s a little more difficult to do on a smaller stovetop. You have to kind of juggle skillets around. So we were sitting down to eat dinner with the couple who owned the home and their friends, and one of them said: So is this sort of like a Tupperware party where you go around and cook for people and get them on board? And we were like: What?
Liz Wolfe: Should I write you a check?
Diane Sanfilippo: They thought we were trying to sell them on the paleo diet.
Bill Staley: I was dying.
Diane Sanfilippo: Like we would just show up at people’s houses.
Liz Wolfe: It’s a pyramid scheme! The paleo diet pyramid scheme.
Bill Staley: Right. It’s a pyramid scheme.
Diane Sanfilippo: I was so confused. I was like: What are they talking about?
Liz Wolfe: Or, like, a timeshare scheme where you sit and listen to people talk about it and you get a free night at a casino or something.
Bill Staley: Oh, my God. The other thing I remember about the friends that that couple invited was that this guy had a humongous glass of Pepsi that he kept getting in the shots on the table, and I’m like: No, dude. This needs to go away!
Diane Sanfilippo: I remember that!
Bill Staley: This is not going in the book!
Hayley Mason: But they were really sweet, and they were just like: This is awesome! This is cool! This is so exciting!
Bill Staley: Yeah, they really liked it.
Hayley Mason: And then the other funny part was the one woman comes in and she’s like: Is it OK if we ask you questions? And Diane was like: No questions until after. And then they come back and they were like: So, can you tell us this? Can you tell us that? This is just like Food Network! We can watch you cook and ask you questions!
Liz Wolfe: Aww.
Diane Sanfilippo: I only told them that because I said: What do you want me to tell them? I’ll be the bad guy because I don’t know them at all.
Bill Staley: It was fine.
Diane Sanfilippo: It was totally fine. But you know what was funny, though? We were obviously not drinking. We were just cooking and being totally serious, but it took a couple hours of us getting things in the house and all this time of everything we were doing, and by the end of it, they were a little tipsy because they were enjoying themselves, as they should be. And so I was like: All right, you guys really need to step aside because we might burn you with some hot pans. I’m just kidding.
Hayley Mason: I know. Watch out for the duck fat splatter.
Liz Wolfe: Totally worth it, though.
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. We definitely have a bunch of questions related to that, but do you want to just give us quickly a rundown of The 30-Day Guide to Paleo Cooking? I know you guys have said a few times, and I think this is kind of the perfect reason why the book came out shortly after Gather, that you would be making these elaborate meals for Gather on the weekends, including grain-free treats and whatnot, and that The 30-Day Guide was kind of what you were cooking during the week, which for anyone that doesn’t believe that, it’s completely true.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, well, with Gather, every menu had a dessert, and it’s a really relaxed, lifestyle book. It’s not a strict 30-day book. It’s an entertaining book.
Bill Staley: It’s meant to be special.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, it’s meant to be special. It’s not meant to be used every week. You can use different recipes in the book every night of the week if you want, but we were making desserts and different dishes that we wouldn’t normally eat every week, so our other meals we try to keep really, really clean because we’re like: This is just treat city for months and months and months. So, Bill, you can talk more about 30-Day if you want.
Bill Staley: I guess the thing that we’ve always heard over and over again in all these years we’ve been doing paleo is everyone’s like: Try it for 30 days. Well, aside from your book, Diane, there’s really not that many guides that are practical for doing paleo for 30 days. Where do you begin? Where are the recipes? Where’s the background information? And I guess we sort of relate to it that we don’t want to be overwhelmed with a ton of science. We want to have the background, but more or less, the rubber meets the road with the recipes, so we wanted to provide a guide to cooking for paleo. So we did this guide with four weeks’ worth of meal plans with shopping lists and recipes that are even beyond what we’ve included in the meal plans just in case you wanted to change it up or try different things. I mean, it would really serve as a cookbook beyond the 30 days, too. We have ideas for quick and easy cooking. And the thing that we always joke about is people want to see how we cook all the time. It’s this book. This is how we cook every night!
Liz Wolfe: Well, I just got back from the store right before we started recording this podcast because I’m doing your 30-day straight out of that book because at this point… we’ve gone from a family of 3 to a family of 36, most of them with wings and/or four legs. And I just need something to, number one, kind of keep me engaged, help keep me on track, and it helps so much to know what you’re going to do tomorrow and the next day and the next day because honestly, at this point, I may have slightly overcommitted to all of these farm animals.
Diane Sanfilippo: Noooo. I feel like there’s no way to do it. You can’t be half in. It’s like having a baby. You have the baby or you don’t, right?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah!
Hayley Mason: You can’t have half a baby.
Diane Sanfilippo: You can’t really just have one chicken, right?
Liz Wolfe: You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You’re either pregnant or you’re not pregnant.
Hayley Mason: Right.
Bill Staley: Well, if you have one chicken, you might as well take care of a dozen.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what Liz thought!
Liz Wolfe: Or 30. You could have 30 birds. I don’t know.
Bill Staley: Or 300.
Diane Sanfilippo: What?!
Liz Wolfe: Or 10,000 birds.
Hayley Mason: I’m a little jealous. I want to come visit.
Liz Wolfe: They’re so cute. Please come visit. I’m taking care of the tick situation. We have 30 birds, 2 goats. That stray dog’s coming back to live with us.
Hayley Mason: Wow.
Liz Wolfe: It’s crazy.
Bill Staley: Do you have guineas? Guinea hens?
Liz Wolfe: Yes. We have 15 guineas and 15 Silver-Laced Wyandottes, which are chickens. They’re a heritage breed, which is what we wanted. They have a really sweet disposition, and it’s just funny because they’re so little and cute and you just can’t hate your life when you wake up to a bunch of baby chicks hanging out in their own crap, just waiting for you to come chase them around.
Bill Staley: You had me until “crap.”
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m not sure, Liz. I’m pretty sure I could hate my life!
Liz Wolfe: You know what’s funny about it? I was thinking about it today. To your baby analogy, you have to wipe off their little vents to make sure they don’t get plugged up, and I was thinking today: Wow. Instead of one bigger butt, I’m wiping 30 tiny butts.
Hayley Mason: That is so funny.
Liz Wolfe: They’re so cute. You have to come over.
Diane Sanfilippo: I wish you guys could see my face right now.
Liz Wolfe: I can imagine what it is. We’re not video Skyping, so that’s probably a good thing.
Hayley Mason: I’ve never even thought about wiping a chicken’s butt.
Bill Staley: You know what? Chicken butt!
Liz Wolfe: You do have to do it. It’s an important part of the process.
Diane Sanfilippo: Just while they’re little? Not forever, right?
Liz Wolfe: No, forever. You have to watch out for that to make sure they don’t get muddled back there.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m so grossed out. You have no idea.
Liz Wolfe: So anyway, a little bit of a tangent there, but the point is I’m really, really grateful that I got your book in the mail the other day because I honestly don’t know how I would push through all this and still have a varied, nutrient-dense diet that I actually enjoy eating because this is getting pretty overwhelming, and it’s damn hot outside, so thank you for putting that together.
Bill Staley: Sure.
Hayley Mason: You’re welcome. We did it just for you, Liz.
Liz Wolfe: I know.
Paleo Perfectionism and Dealing with Well-Meaning Non-Paleo Friends and Family [19:18]
Diane Sanfilippo: So we have some really good questions from Facebook, and one of them actually kind of dovetails on what you guys were saying about the Gather book and it being a lifestyle and not maybe being super perfectionist. I think everyone knows my paleo perfectionism post. That thing gets circulated kind of a lot these days, but Tricia said: “I’d like to hear a message about not paralyzing yourself with ideals of perfect paleo, like when your sweet father-in-law offers to make you eggs and bacon for breakfast and then sprays the pan with canola oil.” She says: “You can still breathe,” like basically I guess she’s saying we’re all going to be OK, but how do you guys kind of handle that. I don’t think any of our parents are 100% paleo, so how do you guys handle that?
Bill Staley: First of all, shout out to Tricia because we met her two years ago on the Make it Paleo book tour. She came out. She owns a CrossFit, I think it’s in Lancaster, PA, and she drove out to Steve’s Club in Camden just to CrossFit with us and get a book signed.
Liz Wolfe: I was there. Holla!
Bill Staley: Yeah, right?! So hey, Tricia, thanks for the question. I know Hayley wants to answer that.
Hayley Mason: Well, the other thing that was funny is we read this question, and Bill was like: If someone cooked my food in canola oil, I would freak out.
Bill Staley: I think I wouldn’t be happy about that. So it depends on where you draw the line.
Hayley Mason: We go to restaurants, and obviously they’re probably cooking in canola oil and other weird oils and we still enjoy ourselves at restaurants. I think for us… you know, we were saying we’re the lifers because we view this as just the way we live our lives, and we always try and eat foods that fuel our bodies, heal our bodies. There are things that we try and make sure we get in every day and things that we try and buy at the grocery store. We always buy grass-fed beef. We always buy the best poultry that we can, whether it’s air chilled or organic or pastured or whatever. Eggs are the same thing. We always buy organic produce. So there are things that we do at home every day that make a big difference whenever you go to a friend’s house for dinner or a relative’s house for dinner and maybe they’re using canola oil. Or you go to a restaurant and you know that things are getting cross contaminated and they’re using weird oils and different ingredients that you’re not exactly sure of, because it happens. It happens at restaurants, and we love going to restaurants. We know Liz and Diane love going to restaurants because whenever we’re at conferences together we enjoy getting good food and trying new food at different places with friends. So I think the biggest thing is just when you’re cooking for yourself 90% of the time, then you can make the best choices, and you just sort of have to let it go because if you’re anxious about what is in your food somewhere else, that can cause probably more problems than eating the food itself. So we just sort of try and relax about it, but it’s difficult. I mean, we’ve gone to brunch a couple times and I’ll ask for greens, and I know they’re drizzled with oil, and I’ve sat there a couple times and been like: What is this oil on my salad? So it can be hard because when this is your lifestyle and something you’re thinking about all the time, it’s always in your head.
Diane Sanfilippo: Do you guys think there are good or easier ways to deal with it kind of at home? She’s saying father-in-law in this case, and I’m thinking about my parents and maybe your parents and how we’ve sort of educated them over time that with something like oil, for example, the first time it happens, yeah, breathe. It’s OK. Don’t freak out. But I feel like with those kinds of things, 9 times out of 10 if you just offer them an alternative and let them know, like: Hey, this is a really healthy cooking oil, and not freak out about it the first time or at least don’t make them feel bad for doing that, but then just offering them an alternative. I find with that generation, I’m assuming someone maybe 50 and older, that they just need something else to use, and most of the time they have no idea that it was bad. It’s not like they’re trying to use something bad. They just don’t even know. Have you guys been able to do that with your parents? Have you gotten them to change the oils they cook with?
Bill Staley: Absolutely.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, we definitely have. At least from my mom’s side of the family, I grew up thinking canola oil was the devil because my grandfather was like: Don’t ever touch that oil! It’s awful! So mom would tell me I wasn’t allowed to eat it, and she didn’t use it at home.
Diane Sanfilippo: Grandpa Buz is like the godfather of paleo without knowing it.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, he really is. It’s insane. So before paleo I knew to avoid canola oil, but I didn’t know about other oils because there are other oils, like safflower oil and grapeseed oil that I didn’t know about and I didn’t know they are just as bad as canola oil. And my mom’s family definitely knows to cook with butter, and no one’s afraid to use animal fats or anything like that, so that’s really great, but there are still things like I know people in my family will still cook with and sauté with olive oil, and we’ll just say: We don’t use that. It gets damaged, so we just try and cook with more saturated fats because they don’t get damaged. I’ve said things like that to my family, and they get it and they’re like: Oh, OK. And we’ve done the same thing with Bill’s family, too.
Bill Staley: It’s always an opportunity to just educate someone about something.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think the important part there is probably not making anybody feel bad for what they’ve done because the last thing parents want to do most of the time is hurt their kids. I think when someone is just being really nice and cooking for you, just offering something up or maybe you bring bacon next time or maybe you cook breakfast and then leave the coconut oil behind and kind of do that.
Liz Wolfe: Can I throw something in on that real quick?
Diane Sanfilippo: No.
Liz Wolfe: Yes!
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just kidding!
Liz Wolfe: The thing to remember is that I think as human beings we’re meant to handle acute insults versus chronic. So if you’re having canola oil at your father-in-law’s every single day, that could probably become a problem, but if you end up eating canola oil one day, for most people you might feel it, but your body is equipped to handle that insult and move on. So if that’s any comfort to somebody who’s able to take a bite of canola-soaked…
Diane Sanfilippo: Like, when you tell me one time that my hair looks terrible, it’s not a big deal, but if you told me every day, it would be really, really damaging.
Liz Wolfe: Exactly.
Bill Staley: Now I understand it, Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: You like that? I’m glad. I’m really glad.
Bill and Hayley’s Take on Squeaky-Clean Paleo [27:34]
All right, this one’s kind of on the heels of that. Shannon asks: “What do you consider squeaky-clean paleo? You mention getting ready…” – this is probably directed for Hayley – “getting ready for your upcoming wedding, and I was wondering what all you were doing.” I’m pretty sure Bill isn’t preparing for the wedding with his food.
Bill Staley: I’m eating clean, but I’m not trying to…
Diane Sanfilippo: Only one jar of Justin’s Nut Butter a week? I’m just kidding.
Hayley Mason: Listen, Bill’s been making that coconut pudding/jello thing, and it has egg yolks and gelatin in it…
Bill Staley: Grass-fed gelatin and raw cacao. It’s a super-food.
Hayley Mason: He’s like: This is a super-food! I can make this every night!
Bill Staley: Give me a break.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a fake super-food. Well, I guess with the gelatin.
Bill Staley: Yeah, grass-fed gelatin. Hold on, hold on. All right…
Diane Sanfilippo: Aww, Bill.
Bill Staley: I’m going to defend that later. Let Hayley take this question, and we’re going to come back to that.
Diane Sanfilippo: All right, what do you guys consider squeaky-clean paleo?
Hayley Mason: OK, squeaky-clean paleo is, number one, no treats. So what I’ve been doing for the wedding is no treats. I’ve still been having fruit. I’m not, like, no sugar at all. I’ve been having a little fruit, not a ton, but I’ve done some berries and some stone fruit, and I had a pear today.
Bill Staley: It’s really just plants and animals.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: That is what we’re trying to do, plus a little bit of fermented foods, like kombucha.
Diane Sanfilippo: What about dairy for your squeaky-clean?
Bill Staley: Butter.
Hayley Mason: Butter.
Bill Staley: We’re doing butter.
Hayley Mason: I had some really awesome cottage cheese, like grass-fed, whole milk cottage cheese yesterday, but besides that, I’m not really eating it.
Bill Staley: I’m steering clear of it, too.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, not eating dairy. It just doesn’t really make me feel very good. That’s the biggest thing is we just sort of try and pay attention to what foods make us feel good. Like, I don’t eat nuts because they upset my stomach. I just kind of feel like this heavy feeling in my stomach, and my gut gets all funky, so I really avoid nuts because of that. So really just plants and animals, making sure we’re eating good quality fats and good quality produce and trying to get in organs when we can, just nutrient-dense paleo.
Bill Staley: It is really clean paleo, in my opinion. And it’s not like we’re trying to be crazy about it. I mean, every once in a while, if we’re over at someone’s house, I might have a drink.
Hayley Mason: I wasn’t doing that.
Bill Staley: Hayley wasn’t doing that.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think the hard thing is, too, like for you guys and for some of us who are developing recipes, who are bloggers and whatnot, you hit this point where you have an idea and you’re like: I want to make this. This sounds like something that would be really cool! And then what happens is you’re left with that food that you just made, and sometimes it’s not fitting the squeaky-clean bill, and so you’re like: Uh-oh, we better either hang out with some people we can pawn this yummy stuff off on or you’re kind of left eating it. I think that’s what happens a lot of times with people like us. We don’t generally sit around like: I want to eat cookies all the time. But it’s like: I want to test this recipe. And then you’re left to eat it, right?
Hayley Mason: Yeah. That does happen.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, darn.
Hayley Mason: I know. I think I’ve just sort of blocked it out of my mind. I’m really obsessed with our wedding cookie table. I’m constantly thinking about what cookies can be on our cookie table, but I haven’t been making any cookies.
Bill Staley: Not yet.
Hayley Mason: And we don’t watch our portions. We try and be smart about it, though. I’m not going to sit down and eat a pound of beef in one sitting.
Bill Staley: I will.
Hayley Mason: Actually, that’s not true, but it’s sort of true. But we’re cooking with saturated fat and eating bacon and… not every day eating bacon, but definitely not really watching amounts or calories or anything like that, just trying to be smart about it and just eat when we’re hungry and not eat when we’re not hungry.
Liz Wolfe: So basically you’re eating thoughtfully based on what you know is right for you and that might not necessarily be what’s going on with somebody else.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: This whole squeaky-clean paleo thing, I think it’s really important to point out the way you guys approach it. I really love it. You guys are looking for nutrition and not just chicken, broccoli, coconut oil every day for 30 days.
Bill Staley: God.
Liz Wolfe: I think that’s so important because people get really caught up. I was privy to a Twitter conversation the other day with someone who I think would be considered a leader in this community who was basically chastising someone for saying dairy was OK when it’s not paleo because it causes confusion. And to me, I think that is a very trademarked, restricted, 10-years-ago, Paleo Diet with a capital P, dietary dogma, non-thoughtful BS, and it really upset me.
Bill Staley: I mean, can’t we all just call it real food at this point?
Liz Wolfe: Exactly.
Bill Staley: I mean, seriously.
Liz Wolfe: Let’s live and let live and look for nutrition.
Diane Sanfilippo: The thing is, too, with real food… I did that with the graphic that I made a couple months ago about what is paleo. I think there’s a lot of people out there who do consider whole grains to be real food, and I’ll be the first to say I don’t think that brown rice is killing people. I absolutely don’t. I don’t think that in an overall context of a healthy diet that somebody eating brown rice is never going to be a healthy person. It’s not just that the grains are doing it, but yeah, I think when somebody doesn’t realize that the dairy that was researched for The Paleo Diet or when you’re really only looking at that period of time, you don’t take into consideration some of more recent research, like Weston Price information and fat-soluble vitamins, all that important stuff. If people can tolerate grass-fed dairy and they’re not eating it but they would feel great eating it, they’re going to miss so much nutrition from that. I’m with you, Liz. That’s where the whole diet thing and calling it paleo makes other people crazy. It’s not the diet that screws things up and makes people feel like it’s crazy. It’s people. You know what I mean?
Bill Staley: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s the same with religion, right? People screw everything up. So anyway, hopefully those of us talking today are maybe a little bit louder than some who hold that dogma. Maybe we can continue to spread the real information around.
Hayley Mason: I think what I said to Bill when we were going into this whole wedding thing was like I want to be realistic about the way I’m going to look for our wedding. I’m not willing to be hungry, and I’m not willing to go crazy. And I want to be sane, and I want to be relaxed, and I want to be happy. Before paleo and even in my beginning stage with paleo, I was still trying to cut calories and watching my fat intake and all this stuff, and I was miserable, totally miserable and obsessive about food and always thinking about it. And I just sort of stopped doing that, and I told myself that I was not willing to do that before our wedding. I did not want to be miserable this whole summer, and I think that’s really important. And that’s a really interesting thing that’s happened. I totally understand someone saying: What are you doing? How are you eating? What do you consider strict paleo? Because there’s so much information out there, and it probably took me a year of following a paleo diet to feel like I had figured things out. And I’m still learning new things, and I’m still learning about new foods that I should be eating. I mean, when we first met Liz, I wasn’t even eating beef. I remember, Liz, you were going to send us Paleo Kits, and I was like: I don’t eat beef. Do you have chicken ones?
Liz Wolfe: Yep.
Hayley Mason: It was just so crazy.
Diane Sanfilippo: Just think, you started eating beef before we became friends. I don’t know what would’ve happened.
Hayley Mason: I know.
Diane Sanfilippo: You guys cooked burgers for our first friend date. Do you remember that?
Hayley Mason: I know! It’s so funny.
Bill Staley: I do remember that.
Hayley Mason: So I guess that was my point, was just that it can take a while and it can be really overwhelming to try and learn about what is strict paleo, so that’s sort of where we’ve come with it all.
Bill Staley: Yeah. I hope that answers that question. It’s personalized.
Hayley Mason: It is really personalized, because the way I’m eating might not be good for someone else.
Bill Staley: It’s different for me. I’m eating probably more calories. I’m eating SunButter. I’m eating more sweet potatoes.
Hayley Mason: You’re eating your jello stuff.
Bill Staley: OK, so I will address this now. Everyone at home can think about all these ingredients in your head and judge whether or not this is a good food to eat or not good food to eat: Coconut milk in a BPA-free can; pasture-raised eggs… no, just the yolks, not even the egg whites, just the yolks; raw cacoa, not cocoa, cacoa, a super-food… What else is in those?
Hayley Mason: Gelatin?
Bill Staley: Yes, Great Lakes pasture-raised gelatin.
Hayley Mason: Grass-fed.
Bill Staley: No, it’s pork based.
Hayley Mason: It’s not.
Bill Staley: It’s not?
Hayley Mason: I don’t think so.
Bill Staley: You might want to read the can. I think it is. The red one.
Hayley Mason: Liz? Is it pork?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, the red one is the porcine.
Hayley Mason: Oh, man! I feel dumb.
Bill Staley: Does that change your opinion of this?
Hayley Mason: Yes.
Bill Staley: No. What else does it have?
Liz Wolfe: Hold on. I’m going to check just to make sure.
Bill Staley: No, it is. I’ve looked at the can.
Liz Wolfe: OK.
Diane Sanfilippo: It is.
Bill Staley: And then there are a couple other things like vanilla and maple syrup. Whatever.
Diane Sanfilippo: How much maple syrup are we talking about?
Bill Staley: I can do it with as little as an 1/8 of a cup in, like, a 4-cup… well, how much is in that thing?
Diane Sanfilippo: In case anyone doesn’t know, Bill has a little bit of a sweet tooth, just a little bit.
Bill Staley: Hold on. Per serving, it would be, like, a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s not much.
Hayley Mason: No.
Diane Sanfilippo: But how many servings are you eating at once?
Hayley Mason: He’s eating, like, half the batch in one day. Aww, he’s mad. I’m just kidding. He eats, like, two.
Bill Staley: It’s a super-food.
Diane Sanfilippo: Here’s the thing about that, though. There’s a lot of sort of militant people running around the Internet freaking out at other people for making “treats,” and with everything that you have in there, egg yolks and gelatin, I feel like any way people can get gelatin in their diet, and I think a teaspoon of sweetener per serving for somebody who doesn’t have blood sugar issues who’s active, it’s really not a big deal.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: People on the sugar detox, I don’t let them add sweeteners to anything, but if they want to bake some apples with some crumbled nuts on top and it keeps them sane for three weeks, I don’t think that there’s anything crazy about that. It’s still pretty clean real food. You’re not going crazy with it. I mean, that’s kind of my take.
Bill Staley: Yeah, I agree with that.
Hayley Mason: Well, I mean, Bill has said: I feel so great eating these things!
Bill Staley: It actually feels like it’s improved my digestion even more.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, all that gelatin, I bet.
Bill Staley: Right. The gelatin is really good.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: All right, well, I think the people at home will agree that that’s a super-food!
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And mostly, I think, the gelatin and the egg yolk, for sure. I mean, cacoa is great. Liz always likes to talk about how when there’s research done on antioxidants it’s not usually done on blueberries. It’s done on cacoa or dark chocolate.
Prioritizing Real Food While on a Budget and Low on Time [40:55]
All right, so we have a couple of questions that are pretty similar to each other. We have a couple of questions on saving money and budgeting. Actually the first one is addressing saving time and money, and I think this is pretty common and we’ve probably all run into this where Megan is saying how she currently visits three different stores plus the farmers’ market to get all of her food for the cheapest price, but that’s a lot of shopping around. And then Danielle is just asking: “What are your tips for paleo on a budget? I know it’s always going to cost more than eating processed. My husband and I have been trying it for a few days, and already it’s more than I would like to spend in a week.”
I think this part goes without saying: Maybe these two ladies haven’t tuned into the podcast before, but one of the things that Liz and I always kind of remind people is that this is when re-evaluating your budget and your priorities is pretty important because a lot of people have an expected food budget of… we’ll just call it $100 a week, whatever it’s going to be. It’s going to be different for everyone. And all of a sudden now you’re spending $150 or $200 or whatever your multiplied-out number is, and that can seem like a hit at first, but when you realize that you’re then not spending on tissues and aspirin and all of the other medications and all this other stuff, plus it’s a matter of priority. How much do you spend a month on a car or a home versus the food you put in your body? So that’s kind of the one side of it. I think all four of us are on the same page when it comes to that side of things. I think we all prioritize food probably almost above most other things, so that being said, what kind of things do you guys usually do to keep an eye on how much you are spending? And also I would say for your practical recipes, what do you think about when you make stuff when you’re like: OK, I want to make things that are not too expensive for other people? What kind of things do you do?
Hayley Mason: Well, the first thing is we have sort of a different perspective on it, I think, like you both do because, one, this is our job. We create cookbooks and we have a blog, and this is what we do, so food really is our job. The other thing is that it really is our first priority. The things that are really important to us are feeding our bodies really good food, so that’s what we spend our money on, just like, Diane, what you were saying about figuring out what you’re budgeting and what’s really important. I’m not going to go out and buy a new car if it means I can’t eat grass-fed beef, so that definitely is one thing for us. But the other thing is that, with all that being said, we don’t have filet every night. We have grass-fed ground beef and chicken thighs and really simple vegetables. And that’s one thing that we actually really tried to do in The 30-Day Guide. It’s a beginner’s cookbook basically with really great recipes, but we use things like ground meat and tougher cuts of grass-fed beef that maybe need to be slow cooked, but you’re going to be spending less money on better quality food. So those are things that we try and do. Obviously buying in season helps also.
Bill Staley: Yeah, I’ll tag along with that one. One of the first things we did when we really got into this was we scoured Craigslist for a huge, cheap chest freezer. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a brand-new one. We got a chest freezer that’s, like, the size of a coffin for, like, 50 bucks on Craigslist. Believe it or not, we have a budget, too. We don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on everything. So we got this cheap chest freezer that keeps things frozen. That’s its one job, and it does it well. And it’s going to be different for everyone based on where you live, but for us, I consider us to be very lucky. Living in Western Pennsylvania, we have four seasons here. We have a tremendous amount of farms in the area, lots of CSAs. There might be 30 CSAs in Pittsburgh that you can sign up for. There are farmers’ markets all over the place. In fact, when we’re done on this podcast, we’re going to jet down to the Phipps Conservatory Farmers’ Market and try and get some stuff. But you’re really going to find some of the best deals shaking hands with a farmer, whether that’s meat or vegetables.
Hayley Mason: Plus they’re really fun to talk to.
Bill Staley: I have our meat guy on my favorites list on my phone. I’m like: Eric, we need lamb. We’re coming up to the farm to get some. He’s like: OK, c’mon. So we’ll stockpile whatever we get. I try not to go out to the farm all the time, it’s 20 miles away, but we will go out, we’ll get 4 or 6 dozen duck eggs, and we’ll get tons of meat and bring it back and freeze it and use it as we go. And then for the things like the vegetables, we try and go to the farmers’ market on those days, the local ones so we’re not driving too far.
Hayley Mason: We don’t have farmers’ markets all year round.
Bill Staley: That’s right. We will typically get produce starting in late May and have it through the end of October, so we really only have half the year here. It’s not like Southern California that’s all year round.
Diane Sanfilippo: Even Northern California. I miss that so much. Buying figs at Whole Foods that come from California I’m heartbroken about, but I’m still doing it because they’re delicious.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: I mean, we do what we can, and I think that’s the take-home for everyone. Do what you can. Try and find the best deals. Try and make the best choices.
Hayley Mason: The other thing that people should be thoughtful about is that when you’re eating plants and animals you want to be smart about what you’re cooking because there have definitely been times where we’ve gone to the store and bought a ton of produce and then unfortunately some of it goes bad because we just can’t get to it soon enough, and then you feel like you’re just throwing away money… unless you have a compost, and then maybe you don’t feel so guilty. And if you’re on a budget, you’re going to be doing that anyway, not just buying a ton of food and not having a plan for it. But that can happen too, and then it’s even worse when you feel like you’ve spent a lot of money on food and then you didn’t get to eat it.
Bill Staley: Yeah, nothing makes me feel worse, actually, really very few things.
Liz Wolfe: You have to get some goats to eat the scraps… or pigs.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, if we had animals, I’d be like: It’s OK. We’ll just throw this out.
Liz Wolfe: Turn it into bacon!
Diane Sanfilippo: I think this is also where a couple of things come to mind. I know around here having on the top of my head that Trader Joe’s is always the best for organic romaine hearts and nuts and a handful of things that Trader Joe’s has a decent quality at really good prices, and so especially if it’s not fresh, it’s easy to stock up on that stuff when you’re there. And when it is fresh, maybe prioritizing getting those things there when you’re at those stores, but maybe planning your meals around: OK, what are we going to eat? How long is this going to last? When should I eat it? And then, I think, the creativity factor of figuring out what to do with stuff that’s in your fridge as it kind of dwindles down so that you just really make the most of all of it. I guess this one question from Megan that was saying she visits three different stores plus the farmers’ market, I’m like: Uh, that sounds pretty normal to me. I don’t know.
Hayley Mason: I know.
Diane Sanfilippo: We kind of all do that because that’s what we want to eat.
Hayley Mason: Right. Well, I think it’s harder when you have a 9-to-5, but like I was saying, this is our job as much as making a recipe is our job, so is going to the farmers’ market and buying the food we need to make the recipe and post about it.
Bill Staley: It comes down to planning.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: It really comes down to planning.
Hayley Mason: And the other thing is that we have our co-op and we have Trader Joe’s and we have Whole Foods, and I’ve been to all of them so many times that I know what’s there and I know what the prices are. I think that going to three different stores and the farmers’ market, by now you should kind of know where the best prices are and just figure out like: OK, today I’m just going to this place, and maybe this place is really close by, so I’ll get a couple things there, too. I kind of feel like we’re professional grocery shoppers by now.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so funny. I actually said to a friend today at the grocery store, I was helping her shop, and I was like: Listen, when I show you which one of these to buy, understand that there was probably an hour’s worth of research just to identify that one brand of tomatoes that I just saved you.
Hayley Mason: Totally.
Bill Staley: Yeah, it’s funny. We had Sean and Suzanne here last week. Sean writes a blog called The FreeRange Human, and Suzanne has The Pastured Kitchen. They’re our friends from LA. You guys have obviously met them. Great people. I was in the store with Sean and Suzanne. Hayley was in the car with our little dog Charlie… or you were at home or something, but you weren’t with us, and we needed to get the ingredients for the rhubarb chutney, and I got to the register, I put the stuff on the belt, and I said: Oh, my God, I forgot ginger and red onion and dates. And Suzanne was like: I got this. And she literally ran and got it within 30 seconds. So if you want to talk about a professional shopper, the guy was ringing, and she got it there in time.
Diane Sanfilippo: Once you know one Whole Foods, you know them all, or co-ops or whatever.
Bill Staley: That’s right.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Bill Staley: It was so funny. She was like: I made a mental note of where the Medjool dates were when we passed them. And I think we all do that! Some people identify the exits in a room when they get into it. The paleo people identify, like, OK, where’s the food? Where are the things I eat?
Diane Sanfilippo: I think next time somebody asks what I do, I’m going to tell them I’m a professional grocery shopper.
Bill Staley: I’m a professional dishwasher.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: I’m a professional dish dog. I wash dishes for a living.
Diane Sanfilippo: You do a really good job of washing dishes. I’m going to just say that right now.
Bill Staley: Thank you.
What to Do with Excess Seasonal Produce [53:25]
Diane Sanfilippo: All right. We have a couple more questions that I think will round out this hour here. Tricia is asking: “What do you do with a bunch of seasonal crops that come all at once?” I know you guys had a whole bunch of peppers last year.
Bill Staley: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: She said: “I have tomato and basil going on now. Should I freeze, can, dry them, etc.?”
Bill Staley: Everything’s going to depend.
Hayley Mason: Our big problem with our garden last year was that we overplanted. We were so excited. We were like: Let’s get this! And let’s get that! We don’t need 3 tomato plants. We need 10 tomato plants!
Bill Staley: We really need one.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oops.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, big oops. But for herbs, definitely dry them. We actually haven’t done canning, really. I mean, Bill went through a pickle phase where he made a bunch of pickles.
Bill Staley: I’m all about it. We have this recipe for fermented pickles on our site. They’re awesome.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: They’re good.
Hayley Mason: But besides that, we really haven’t done a lot of canning.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, a couple of people asked about that on my page that I posted, and I was like: I don’t know why people are asking them about canning. I don’t think they’ve ever canned anything.
Bill Staley: In sort of that family of food preservation, I would actually hit up Jill on that one just because she’s becoming an authority on fermenting foods. You can find her on Facebook. Her page is called First Comes Health. And she’d be a good one to ask. I mean, she’s a really good friend of all of ours, and she has a book coming out this summer called Fermented, so that might be something you’d look for on Amazon if you wanted to get that.
Hayley Mason: And she’s our officiant for our wedding.
Bill Staley: She is marrying us, so we’re a little biased.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Woohoo!
Hayley Mason: Yeah, let’s see, we did have a ton of peppers last year.
Bill Staley: We froze them, chopped and froze them.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, we froze them. Tomatoes, canning obviously. People can tomatoes a lot. And what did we do for our herbs last year? We just hung them.
Bill Staley: Most of them are perennials. Obviously not basil in a lot of growing zones, but a lot of herbs are perennials. Like, rosemary is a perennial.
Diane Sanfilippo: Bill, the landscape architect.
Bill Staley: Yeah. Sage is a perennial. Mint is a perennial. I mean, we’re in zone 5/6 here in Pittsburgh. We’re sort of between zones. Am I geeking out a little bit too much on plants? If it were me, if it were my garden or my CSA basket, you’re never going to have more nutrition, more freshness, or more flavor than the day it gets picked, so just make something up!
Liz Wolfe: Google it!
Bill Staley: Especially tomato and basil, Caprese right there. I’d go get some really great mozzarella.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Bill Staley: Some salt and some olive oil.
Hayley Mason: Or with her tomato and basil, she could make a big batch of sauce –
Bill Staley: Soup.
Hayley Mason: – or soup and freeze it.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think I would probably cook down the tomatoes maybe not even with any salt, maybe just super-plain crushed tomato sauce. Cook it up, let it cool, freeze it, and then you don’t have to worry about buying canned tomatoes when the time comes.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, definitely.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think with basil you could also put it in little ice cubes, like little mini ice cubes, like a lot of basil and a little bit of water, and just freeze it if you wanted to do that. But I think drying it – I have some drying in the kitchen now – you could do that.
Liz Wolfe: It’s all Greek to me.
Diane Sanfilippo: Liz is like: I don’t know what I would do with it. I would feed it to my goats.
Liz Wolfe: What do you mean by “cooking down tomatoes?” We can talk about that off the air.
Paleo Resources in Pittsburgh, PA [57:23]
Diane Sanfilippo: All right, last question – or least the last official question – is from Stephanie. She wants to know about paleo resources in Pittsburgh, and I’m going to just tack on one because I know people ask when you guys go to some of the awesome restaurants and little hotspots in Pittsburgh, what are your favorite places to eat? And then, I guess, how would people find some other resources, farms and all that?
Bill Staley: Sure. This question got answered on your Facebook page, Diane, and I put an answer up real quick. I mean, we’ll address it at length anyway. We have this great set of resources at our forum. We have over 50 cities, mostly in North America, where people are contributing different resources in their city. So if you’re ever traveling and visiting another city, such as Pittsburgh, you can see what people have said about restaurants, farmers’ markets, practitioners, CrossFit gyms, anything that would sort of be a part of the ancestral lifestyle. I link to the Pittsburgh one. I guess I’ll talk about some of the resources that we personally use here in Pittsburgh. Do you want to tackle practitioners first or food first?
Hayley Mason: I was just thinking food. I wasn’t even thinking practitioners.
Bill Staley: In terms of people here, obviously we’ve already mentioned Jill. She’s a nutrition coach for people.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, she’s a holistic health coach.
Bill Staley: Right, so she has a paleo slant to her practice. Again, that’s First Comes Health. We go see Dr. Scott Mills. He’s our chiropractor.
Hayley Mason: Woohoo!
Bill Staley: Yeah, we know Scott.
Hayley Mason: And he’s also Diane’s boyfriend.
Diane Sanfilippo: What?!
Liz Wolfe: Dang! Busted!
Hayley Mason: Wait. Was I not supposed to say that?
Bill Staley: Edit that out! I’m kidding. And then our holistic MD is Dr. Franne Berez of Squirrel Hill Family Wellness. She is the one that diagnosed my leaky gut, so she is super hip to the paleo lifestyle.
Hayley Mason: She sells our cookbooks in her office, and she’s my cousin.
Bill Staley: Yep. So these are all friends of ours. They would be friends of ours even if they didn’t start out that way just because they’re all smart people, and they’re really good at what they do.
Hayley Mason: There are some other great doctors also in Pittsburgh, but we haven’t seen them personally. But there are definitely some good resources.
Bill Staley: Yeah. OK, let’s talk about farms. We get our meat from Serenity Hill. Interesting side story with that: If you have Gather, the farm-to-table dinner was also shot in our farmer’s house.
Hayley Mason: It was the harvest one, Harvest Dinner.
Bill Staley: Oh, Harvest Dinner?
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: We originally called it farm-to-table, but anyway, that’s the guy who does our meat. Farming is his passion, and he has been hanging out with all the right people in the farming crowd here, like Erika Peterson and Eric Schwalm. They’ve been working with him, and he’s now into the non-GMO, pasture-raised stuff.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, he does lamb and goat and ducks and chickens and –
Bill Staley: Turkeys.
Hayley Mason: – turkeys and pork.
Bill Staley: Yeah, he does Berkshires and Yorkshires. He does a lot of pigs. He supplies pork to many of the high-end restaurants in the city.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, we’re getting our pig from him for our rehearsal dinner/welcome dinner pig roast.
Bill Staley: Yeah, you heard it here, folks! We’re doing a pig roast for our night-before-the-wedding welcome dinner.
Diane Sanfilippo: Woohoo!
Bill Staley: That’ll be fun.
Diane Sanfilippo: We get to eat that! Woohoo!
Bill Staley: That’s right. He’s our meat guy. He’s really friendly. He’s at some of the farmers’ markets in the area. I think he’s at the Fox Chapel Farmers’ Market.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. By the way, we’re also getting a ton of US Wellness Meats barbecue sauce for the pig roast because I was like: I can get this by the gallon, and the ingredients are pretty good, and we’re going to do that, so that should be fun.
Bill Staley: Yep, so the name of that farm is Serenity Hill. I think you can find it online. If you have problems finding it, just message us on our Facebook page.
Hayley Mason: There’s also… is her name The Farmer’s Wife?
Bill Staley: The Farmer’s Wife, yeah. Maggie Henry is her name.
Hayley Mason: She’s super sweet, and we got strawberries from her last week. They were literally the best strawberries I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Bill Staley: Hands down.
Hayley Mason: And she said nothing touched them. She makes food for her animals. She does all non-GMO, organic. She had some beef that’s strictly grass-fed, grass-finished. She knows her stuff. She even protests fracking.
Bill Staley: Yeah, that’s a whole other set of things, but the natural gas industry in our area has been ravaging the landscape, and she is fighting against some of their methods, which include fracking. Fracking can poison the water supply, so that’s a whole other set of issues. But yeah, she’s really involved in keeping things natural.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, and then there’s also North Woods Ranch, which is all grass-fed beef, and that’s Oliver…
Bill Staley: Griswold.
Hayley Mason: Oliver Griswold, yes.
Bill Staley: I keep thinking of Family Vacation.
Hayley Mason: And all of these farmers are the nicest people ever. We stand at the farm stands and talk to these people for, like, 10 minutes.
Bill Staley: It’s so funny because some of the people who come to their stands, they look at us like: You’re talking to the farmer a lot. I just get my food and go. But we want to hear about what they’re doing and how their animals are doing and what’s going on on their farms.
Hayley Mason: Yeah.
Bill Staley: Oliver’s great. We get grass-fed beef from him. And then Clarion River Organics is another place we get produce from. We would have said Green Circle Farm, but our friend Erika is moving back to Oregon, sadly. She’s a good friend of ours, and she does really great work, too. And she’s actually helped out other farmers in times of need and educated people. She was really one of the pioneers in the area, and we’re going to miss her.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. And then restaurants: Obviously Legume. We’ve talked about Legume a bunch of times.
Bill Staley: The most ironic name of all the restaurants in Pittsburgh.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. They have really awesome tallow fries, and their menu changes daily. And they just have really cool food. And sort of similar to Legume is Cure.
Bill Staley: I think Cure stands in a class all its own. I mean, I love Legume, I love all the restaurants that we’re about to talk about, but Cure is headed up by executive chef Justin Severino. His restaurant was named the 13th best new Restaurant in the country last year. I mean, not just the city, but the country.
Liz Wolfe: Wow.
Bill Staley: He’s just fantastic. He cures all his own meats. He does charcuterie. He sources everything from the highest quality places. It is a great place. We actually took Sean and Suzanne there a few days ago and got the chef’s table, which is a bar of four seats along the kitchen, and it was something to behold. I mean, you want to talk about high quality cooking, that place is insane.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. There are a couple other places that we really like. We like to get brunch at Square Café in Regent Square. They have a lot of gluten-free options. They even have gluten-free pancakes on the menu. Bar Marco is another restaurant that’s pretty hip to sourcing locally and all that fun stuff.
Bill Staley: The head chef there is a friend of my sister’s, and I’ve known him for a few years. If you go into that place and tell him you’re paleo, you will be taken care of very well.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. And then the other place that I want to mention is a new restaurant called Fukuda, and my sister works there. It’s a Japanese restaurant. My sister is the sushi chef there, and I don’t know if she’s technically a chef, but she’s awesome, and they do very traditional sushi. It’s not a lot of rolls. If anyone has watched…
Bill Staley: Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. That’s the type of stuff that they make.
Bill Staley: It’s on Netflix. Check it out.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, it’s really cool. And they have tons of really interesting things on the menu. We went there the other night, and we got a fish head, a salmon head, actually.
Bill Staley: The salmon head heard ’round the world.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, it was salt roasted with garlic confit, and it was insane.
Bill Staley: It was really good.
Hayley Mason: It was really, really good. The one thing with Fukuda is that they do mix soy sauce into a lot of things, and also their sticky rice, they mix some soy sauce into there, but my sister is very fluent with paleo, and if you call the day before and say you want to come in and you don’t soy, then she will make a wheat-free tamari mixture of their soy sauce blend because their soy sauce blend is sort of diluted with a stock that has kombu in it and… what else is in it?
Diane Sanfilippo: You mean if they don’t eat gluten, because that will still be soy.
Hayley Mason: Oh, right. That’s what I meant, if they don’t eat gluten. Yeah, it will still be soy, but she will do a wheat-free version of their blend which they put in a lot of stuff. We sat right at her little station while she was making sushi.
Bill Staley: It was awesome.
Hayley Mason: And she was telling us about all the stuff. And their menu changes daily also, and they get fish weekly from Japan.
Bill Staley: Yeah, it’s flown in from the most high quality fish market in Tokyo. It’s not like stuff that you’re getting from Whole Foods down the street. It’s the cream of the crop, best fish in the world.
Hayley Mason: Yeah. That’s a really fun experience, so if you’re not super terrified of soy sauce, my sister can do a wheat-free version. You just have to call ahead and let them know.
Bill Staley: Any other questions about stuff in Pittsburgh specifically, just reach out to us on our Facebook page and we’d be happy to let you know about anything else that we know about.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s all the questions we have time for. Before Liz closes out the show, do you guys have anything else you want to let people know about, anything in the works or any little notes or whatever you want to tell people?
Bill Staley: No, just those two books are the big deal right now. They’re pretty much in most bookstores around the country. They’re both in Costco widely. I know The 30-Day Guide is in all the Costco stores, and Gather is in most of them. And Make it Paleo is in some of them, too, so head out and pick up a copy of our book and that helps support all the free stuff that we give away on our website.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And leave them a review on Amazon. Even if you have Make it Paleo from two years ago and you never wrote a review for it but you use the book all the time, go over to Amazon and make sure you leave a review.
Bill Staley: Yes.
Hayley Mason: Yeah, they all help. All the reviews help.
Diane Sanfilippo: Cool.
Liz Wolfe: Very good, guys. Thanks for coming on with us today. We appreciate it greatly. That’s it, everybody. We’ll be back next week with more questions. Until then, you can find Hayley and Bill at PrimalPalate.com. Be sure to visit their Facebook page, The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate. Diane, as always, is at BalancedBites.com. I am at realfoodliz.com. Thanks for listening. We’ll be back next week!
Thanks for listening!
Liz & Diane