One of the main reasons I started my blog is to educate people about the Paleo Diet and to answer questions you may have about it. I’m thrilled to answer my first question this week from Danielle, a Branford resident who trains at Shoreline Crossfit before heading out to her job as a tennis pro at a local club.

“I try to follow the diet, but it’s not always easy with my schedule. I bought a Paleo cookbook, but a lot of the recipes are for fish and I really don’t like it. I eat lots of chicken, but am worried that I’ll get bored with it. I’m excited to try CrossCuisines, but I’m wondering how you get your recipe ideas and where you find your inspiration.”

Trying to keep things interesting is a challenge for any seasoned cook and it is no different on the Paleo Diet. For me, variety is what keeps me on the Paleo Diet. If I had to eat broiled chicken and steamed broccoli every night for dinner, I’d get bored pretty quickly. Finding the right substitutes for things like flour, rice and pasta is one of the keys to sticking with the diet while also satisfying your taste buds. Having lots of spices on hand is also essential.

One of the foundations of CrossCuisines is converting traditional meals into Paleo-friendly ones with innovative substitutes.  For example, we offer chicken picatta and chicken Marsala, but instead of coating the chicken with flour we use arrowroot, a gluten-free starch made from the root of a large perennial plant grown in rainforests. Both recipes are also butter-free, but you’d never know it because we’ve replaced it with wine and extra virgin olive oil.

Substituting traditional diet items with Paleo-friendly items takes a bit of time and imagination, but the end results are well worth it. We’ve recently added a pork loin stuffed with yucca and plantains to the menu and expect it to be a big seller. And even if you’re not a big fish eater, you may be pleasantly surprised when you pair fish with unexpected foods, such as our salmon with mango or our codfish with tomatoes.

Keeping an open mind is also important on the Paleo Diet. A lot of people have never tasted plantains, yucca or turnips until they follow the Paleo Diet, and are thrilled to discover they like them. You’ll find more information about food substitutes and tips on following the diet at http://www.livingpaleo.com/cooking-paleo/. And please, keep your questions coming!

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