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How we do Paleo





CRUMM FALL 2019-0773

CRUMM FALL 2019-0773

When it comes to following the rules, we take an 85/15 approach. But what does that actually mean?


My husband is highly mathematical, so for him, this may mean 85% of any meal should be paleo. Or it could mean that 85% of the day's or week's food should be paleo. For me, I aim for 100% compliance but allow for the occasional interruption. I have a general sense of the 15% buffer in mind as an upper limit so that I stay on track. So in practical terms, I have a few drinks on the weekends or date nights, a chalupa from Taco Bell most Sundays after church, and Chick-Fil-A nuggets and fries about once a week. If I go to a friend's house for dinner, I eat what is served, making paleo choices when available. If I know that a holiday or wedding or big feast is coming up, maybe I skip the chalupa and fries that week.

You may prefer a stricter adherence to the rules to help manage health issues or if you simply find it easier to divorce yourself completely from non-paleo foods.  You may find that your body feels so much better avoiding those foods that your desire for them goes away completely.

However, if you like the sound of the more relaxed approach, my advice would be this: Don't force the 15. Give yourself the grace to be flexible when necessary or truly desired, but don't bother if it's not a value-add. I love my Sunday chalupa, but I don't love regular Taco Bell tortillas. If my kid doesn't finish his quesadilla, I don't need to finish it just because it's there. I also specifically avoid things I know will trigger a bad pattern. Chalupas are not a problem for me, while non-paleo baked goods are my kryptonite. If addictive behavior resonates with you, know your triggers.

Don't go looking for splurges. If your 15% looks more like 5%  one day or week, consider that a win!

We don't keep bread for sandwiches, but we'll grab a loaf of foccaccia  from the amazing Italian stand at the farmers' market with some burrata or fresh goat cheese sometimes for special occasions. We don't stock Cheerios, Goldfish, veggie straws, or yogurt tubes for snack time around the house, but if the kids get them at church or a friend's house, that's okay. Monster #3 is really sensitive to dairy, but the rest of us love Kerrygold butter on our paleo pancakes, waffles, and, well, everything.


When the paleo movement was originally coming on the scene in the 70's, most early adopters wouldn't have done potatoes. A lot of modern paleo-ers consider potatoes to be a perfectly acceptable part of their 85. We fall in that camp. We salt our food--generously. Hard-core paleo purists don't. We've toyed with our sodium intake here and there, and we've found that a) we tend to eat a lot more veggies when we salt them, and b) our biometrics are not suffering.

Don't be afraid to mess with your method.

Do some Whole30s, reintroduce things, see how you feel, find your balance.

It's much easier to replace a habit than to flat-out start a new one or end an old one. The Whole30 was our mechanism for replacing habits. We learned to replace beer with sparkling water, wine with hot tea, rice or quinoa with cauliflower, and beans with grass-fed meats (for protein) and extra veggies (for bulk). Most importantly we learned to challenge our culinary complacency. The Whole30, with its requirement of strict compliance, was such an eye-opener for us on how to navigate the day-to-day without our dietary crutches. When we couldn't lean on our go-tos like cereal, oatmeal, sandwiches, pizza, and our typical snacks for the kids, we discovered we could in fact live without these things--and feel so much better. 

So what does our 85 look like?

This is just a taste of some of our favorite paleo go-tos :


Some combination of . . . 


​Some combination of . . . 

  • veggies and homemade ranch or babaganoush

  • grapes or berries

  • salads with leftover protein, plus fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. 

  • some sort of  amazing leftovers

  • roasted veggies

  • smoked salmon




crumm fam.jpg

Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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