Today my guest is Tammy Creditcott, author of Make Ahead Paleo. Even if you don’t eat Paleo, Tammy will help you with the logistics of preparing food every day as part of a busy life. The key to staying on an out-of-the-ordinary diet is having food on hand when you’re hungry and when you’re out, and that’s what this book is about. Tammy Credicott is a recipe developer, food photographer, public speaker, allergy-friendly cooking instructor, and the national bestselling author of Paleo Indulgences, Make Ahead Paleo and The Healthy Gluten Free Life. Tammy has a passion for understanding health and wellness as it relates to nutrition and has used this knowledge to help her family overcome health issues such as celiac disease, multiple food intolerances, eczema and ADD. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. www.thehealthygflife.com.
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Preparing Your Own Food? Learn How to Have Food Ready When and Where You Are
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Tammy Credicott
Date of Broadcast: November 26, 2015
DEBRA: Hi. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic free because there are toxic chemicals all over the place in all kinds of consumer products, in the food we eat, in the water we drink. They’re in our homes.
They’re in our bodies. They’re in our workplaces.
But they’re not everywhere. And so what we talk about here is how to identify those toxic chemicals and how to choose all kinds of things without them. And I’m talking to a lot of people every day. All my guests are doing something to make the world less toxic and more healthy place to live.
Today, we’re going to talk about food. It is Thursday, April 17th, two days after tax day. I got my taxes done. I hope you did too. We’re going to be talking about the Paleo diet. But more importantly if you’ve been reading my website and reading my food blog at ToxicFreeKitchen.com, you know that I’ve been on the Paleo diet and it’s made a huge amount of difference in my body even though I was eating pretty well, pretty healthy, pretty organic before I started this diet.
Just the exact specifications of both foods that I was eating and more importantly probably the foods I stopped eating made a difference in my weight, my blood sugar, my energy level, everything. So I’m very interesting in keeping going with those and making it really work for me and to have it available for other people.
My guest today is a recipe developer, food photographer, public speaker. She’s got three cookbooks about the Paleo diet and the reason I had her on today is not just about the Paleo diet, but she has written a book called Make Ahead Paleo, which is all about how you manage to get all this food preparation done in your busy life. I think that that’s one of the most important things that people need to understand how to do. I know I’ve had to figure out how to make things ahead, how to have food be ready when I want to eat and she’s got lots of tips, lots of recipes that you can make ahead, thoughts and ideas about how you can arrange your kitchen in your life so that you can take charge of preparing healthy food.
Her name is Tammy Credicott. She’s the author of Make Ahead Paleo, Paleo Indulgences: The Healthy Gluten Free Life. And her website is TheHealthyGFLife.com. Hi Tammy.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Hi Debra. How are you?
DEBRA: I’m really good. How are you?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on.
DEBRA: You’re welcome. Now first, I want you to tell us, me included, how did you become interested in the Paleo diet?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: It was by force from my husband. Let’s see. I never know how far back to start. We’ve been married for 15 years and 10 plus years ago, we were working out at the gym and eating our low fat chicken breast and oatmeal and all that good weightlifting type food that we thought was healthy.
And I continually gained weight over the years. Nothing really seemed to work. I was getting more and more exhausted, granted I had two kids in there two. So that always helps a little bit with the tiredness.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: So we thought we were doing really well. We kept going down this path of trying to make better choices and I take one thing at a time like trans-fats and then looking at organic. We just do it step by step. We felt like we were doing pretty good.
And then both the kids were really young and my husband was not feeling well. And over the course of about six months, he lost a lot of weight very quickly, 30 to 35 lbs, which he didn’t have to lose. He’s a very tall muscular lean guy and he didn’t really have much to lose. He lost of weight very quickly. He was very pale. And one of the big things for me was he got sick constantly. And the whole time we’ve been married, he never even had so much of a cold.
So I knew something was going on and he was complaining about his stomach hurting every time he ate oatmeal for breakfast. And I told him, “You’re crazy. Oatmeal is so benign. That’s what they give babies. It’s one of the most benign things you can eat.” We just didn’t know and he kept saying and kept saying it.
So he was doing research and he said, “I think there might be something going on.” So he was lucky from start to finish. It was probably six months.
He was diagnosed with celiac disease. Some people go decades before the doctors figure out what’s going on with them.
DEBRA: Let me just ask you. I want to hear the rest of your story, but I want to interrupt for a second because I think a lot of people don’t know what celiac disease is or how they might be recognizing it or what’s going on with them.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: The recognition part is very hard, which is why some people can go 20 years before anyone to go, “Oh hey, maybe we should test for that.” The symptoms vary so widely depending on the person. But in a nutshell, it’s an autoimmune disease and in this instance, your body is attacking your small intestines every time you eat gluten.
It’s abrasive to their stomachs, to their intestines and it rubs down the villi, the little hair-like follicles down there that absorb all the nutrients. And so you end up having nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to all kinds of symptoms and it can lead to leaky gut where the food that you’re eating, the larger particles are not being digested properly and it actually sticks to the lining and into the blood stream. And in that case, again you can have lots of symptoms, more importantly neurological issues. It can actually cross that blood brain barrier, which causes huge problems for a lot of people.
So it’s an autoimmune disease. Your body is attacking itself. It thinks that gluten is the enemy and so when you eat it, it’s causing inflammation in the lower intestines.
DEBRA: Good. Thank you.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: And it can be anything. Some people have more stereotypical symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps. If they ingest gluten, they end up in the bathroom. Those are the stereotypical symptoms, but over the years, I found that they’re actually not that typical. It’s just really widespread. For example, my two daughters also had celiac disease, 9 and 12 year old. And all three of them are completely different.
If my husband gets gluten accidentally, he starts having stomach problems within 24 hours. He ends up in the bathroom. Then his mood just tanks into this severe depression. He’s completely not himself for a couple of days. So it’s an interesting process.
My oldest, she gets more hyperactive. She doesn’t seem to have stomach issues, but she can get more hyperactive in her verbal communication declines. That’s been something that affects brain more. And then my youngest, it affects her sleep and her skin and her mood. She gets very whiny and crying and just not like herself.
So it’s interesting. They’re definitely all different. But for my husband, he’s having stomach issues and not feeling well that way with the stomach every day. And he went in for a blood test and he was so off the charts, testing positive for antibodies and all the stuff. We saw no need to go in and do a biopsy, which is right now the gold standard in determining a positive for celiac disease.
DEBRA: So you got the diagnosis and then what happened?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: We got the diagnosis and I cried for about a month because I was a baker. I loved to bake. My whole life, I had dreams of having a bakery and things like that. So I was really upset.
And part of it was because I saw him not feeling well. I saw that he was sick and I knew that we needed to heal his gut and get some meat back on his bones and all my tricks of comfort foods that I would have normally made wouldn’t work. So I felt a little helpless.
It took me about a month to get over that and trying separate meals for the kids and I and him. And I just realized it wasn’t working. He was getting cross contamination because of bread crumbs or pasta stuck to strainers and that sort of thing.
So we made the leap and all of us decided to go gluten-free. And about the same time, my oldest was going through some issues as well. My kids have gone through severe dark circles under the eyes, eczema, ADD diagnosis, night terrors and all these different symptoms that at the time we had no idea why they were happening. But once we started researching the food for my husband, all the light bulbs went off and it was very obvious that we had a lot of food related issues going on in the family.
Yes. So we decided it will help the kids. Well, I wasn’t having any symptoms of any sort. It certainly can help because gluten free is healthy. Well, it is if you choose healthier. But we did the norm and went into “Let’s replace everything.”
DEBRA: We’ll talk about that when we come back from the break. We need to take a break now. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Tammy Credicott. She’s the author of Make Ahead Paleo and other Paleo cookbooks. We’re going to be talking about the Paleo diet and how you can possibly prepare all this food yourself at home. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. My name is Debra Lynn Dadd. Today, my guest is Tammy Credicott. Am I saying that right, Tammy?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes, you got it perfect.
DEBRA: Good. And she’s the author of Make Ahead Paleo, which is a great cookbook. It’s so beautiful, the cookbook, just to look at. Did you take all these photos?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Oh, thank you. I did. Yes. I’m learning as I go.
DEBRA: Not only are the recipes luscious, but the photos were beautiful. And this particular cookbook, instead of just having a list of recipes at the beginning, it has in this table of contents little thumbnail pictures of all the dishes so that you can look and see.
One of the things that I like about the recipes in this book is that they really are Paleo versions of things that you would like to eat anyway. They’re not strange.
This actually has been a problem for me in the past when I go and I read this diet or that diet and then the recipes are just inedible to me. I just can’t envision myself eating them. But I envision myself eating every one of these recipes. I haven’t tried any yet only from lack of time and sometimes lack of ingredients.
I have gone through your entire book and put post-it notes on half the pages. It’s not about I can’t find a recipe I want to try. It’s that I want to try so many of them. I can’t decide which one to try first.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I love that. That’s great.
DEBRA: Yeah. And let me tell you listeners that she’s got things in here like waffles that I thought I was never going to eat again. And I love waffles. I used to have waffles, wheat waffles every morning for breakfast, smothered with butter and drenched in maple syrup, which is probably not the best thing for me.
But I love waffles and I would have made them the day I got this book except I don’t have a waffle iron. I need to get a waffle iron. And then I’m going to make these waffles. I mean she knows how to make everything. And I can’t wait to try this. Anyway, I’ll talk about more of those later.
First, I want you to describe. I’ve been doing so much research about Paleo in the last couple of months and I know that everybody has a slightly different version of Paleo. So, explain what your version of Paleo is and why.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: That’s a really good question actually. It’s hard to put into words. Our philosophy is real food and with my husband and daughters having celiac disease, we walked this very interesting line sometimes.
Our lives started in the gluten free community, which is actually my first book. It’s not Paleo. It’s The Healthy Gluten Free Life. It’s gluten free, dairy free, egg free. It was made for multiple allergies because that’s what we were going through at the time.
And then overtime, my husband still wasn’t feeling great. Gluten free wasn’t good enough. We were still eating 80% gluten free grains and sugar.
And that’s when he found Paleo diet and started feeling better and we all jumped onboard and started feeling better immediately. So gluten free made us feel better, but Paleo made the big difference. And for us, we think that that was…
DEBRA: For me too.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I’m sorry?
DEBRA: For me too.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. I think primarily it was because of getting rid of the grains and the sugar. But I think you had mentioned earlier that it’s not so much what you do eat. It’s what you get rid of that can show some of the most improvement.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: And so for us, we’ve been doing it for a few years now and it morphs and changes depending on where we’re at. My husband is still healing his gut. So he can’t eat all the Paleo foods. Coconut does not agree with him and nuts, some things that a lot of people really rely heavily on in the Paleo world. And he still can’t do eggs.
So we work around those parameters. And when we travel and stuff, we have to keep them safe from cross contamination in restaurants. So we might not be quite strict Paleo at those times because you can’t just get a bunless burger and we’re looking at safety first. It’s an interesting line that we walk between the Paleo world and the gluten free world because they’re not the same.
Gluten free community tends to want to replicate the sweets and treats that they’ve had before and focus on that. The Paleo community is more interested in health and eating whole real foods and not replacing everything although you can find many recipes that duplicate, but it’s not the priority.
DEBRA: I think that I’ve seen that too. I had Sally Fallon Morell on last week from the Weston Price Foundation. And I actually started more with that kind of orientation before I ever got to Paleo.
But the problem that I was having doing the Weston Price diet was number one, I did have some sensitivities. And so to try to do the Weston Price diet as written, I felt like you can eat wheat, you can eat eggs. Do you know what I mean? All foods are included on that diet.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Right, sprouted grains.
DEBRA: Yeah, all those kinds of things, sweeteners. And I thought, “I’ll just eat this diet, but in fact, my body can’t eat all those foods.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah.
DEBRA: And it wasn’t until I actually talked to her person-to-person last week that I really understood. And she even said this. She said that all these foods are allowed on the diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them all.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Exactly.
DEBRA: And I think that there’s some Paleo that is a cross. I think probably my diet is a cross between the real foods of the Weston Price diet and the Paleo eliminations. It’s a cross.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes, I think that’s very common. There’s a lot of crossover there. A lot of the Paleo community still does some sprouted grains if they can tolerate.
We have done some sprouted buckwheat occasionally and everyone seems to be just fine with that. I myself felt fine afterwards, but I’m still working on my overall health and I have still weight loss to work on and that sort of thing. So that tells me I’m not completely healed of whatever I have going on. It’s just one big experiment really. So we just felt…
DEBRA: I think it is for everybody. I think that if people just focus on the real food, what I’m getting down to is just start with the Weston A. Price Foundation diet, the real food of it. And then if you need to eliminate something, if you decide that your body needs to eliminate grains or if you need to eliminate eggs or whatever it is.
Then you just keep eliminating until your body goes off. That’s it. This is it. This is what makes me feel good. This is what makes my blood sugar down. This makes me lose weight when I could never lose it before.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Exactly.
DEBRA: And I think then you have this list of foods. And the question is “What are you going to do with it?” Let’s talk about it when we come back from the break.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Tammy Credicott, author of Make Ahead Paleo. And her website is TheHealthyGFLife.com. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Tammy Credicott. She’s the author of Make Ahead Paleo and we’re talking about how you can prepare all this food whether you’re on the Paleo diet or some other diet where you are preparing all your food instead of eating packaged processed foods or takeout or restaurant food, but really fixing real food at home.
Now, we’re going to talk about how you can actually get that done. But first, I want to say I keep browsing through her cookbook, Make Ahead Paleo, during the breaks. And I know the first thing I’m going to make is I’m trying to decide between the English muffins and the pizza crust.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Those are two popular ones. Yes.
DEBRA: When you’ve been gluten-free for a while – I’ve been totally gluten-free since last June and what happened for me was my doctor said, “Why don’t you go on gluten-free? Let’s just try gluten free diet.” And I had been on gluten free diets before and I said, “All right.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Fine.
DEBRA: I like to be simple and so I say, “Well, I’m not going to do all those replacement things. I’m not going to make everything out of tapioca starch. I want to eat real foods.”
And so I would just eat salad and I eat meat and I’d go, “But I want an English muffin. I want a pizza.” So it’s really good to be able to see that there are ways to do these things and that you’ve worked these things all out for us. I’m very grateful and I’m sure a lot of people are too. I can’t wait to try this.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Thank you. I’m very happy with what the English muffin has turned out. Let me tell you.
I had that one in my head for a while and I was just like, “I don’t know if I can do that one grain-free.” But I was really pleased with the results of that one because English muffin is just so versatile. You can use that for sandwiches, you can use it for little pizzas, you can use it for breakfast and you can have breakfast sandwiches on the go. They’re just so versatile.
DEBRA: And you can just eat them with butter because they’re so good.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah, just loads of grass-fed butter.
DEBRA: Yes. And put honey on them. There are all kinds of things. Okay.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: That sounds great.
DEBRA: I ran out of almond flour, but I just ordered some. I always wait until it goes on sale and then I order almond flour. And I ordered some this morning. So we’re going to have more baked goods.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Honeyville is one of the brands that I like. And they have 15% off right now.
DEBRA: Right now?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes.
DEBRA: I think it [inaudible 00:29:13]. I just got an e-mail from them. I was waiting for that 15% off. So tell us. Just start at the beginning with this information that you have in your book about how to organize so that you can always have some good food on the table.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I think the biggest complaint that I’ve heard from people living a Paleo lifestyle, especially those starting is it takes a long time to prepare food because you’re not grabbing any of the convenience boxed items. You’re making everything from scratch and it’s expensive.
I would debate on the expensive part. Good quality meats are more expensive, but when you’re not buying sodas and chips and donuts and all of those extra little things, that adds up too. I don’t find that I spend any more. The only place that I spend a little extra is on the organic local grass-fed meat.
But the big thing is the preparation. I live a life. I’ve got two kids in school and activities and I work fulltime. I have some works fulltime. And we both are self-employed. So we have crazy hours and not just 8:00 to 5:00 thing. So I totally get that it can be hard.
But you have to want it. You can’t just assume that I’m going to be lazy and come home from work and then somebody is just going to magically make my dinner for me although that would be really awesome.
DEBRA: Before you go on, I just want to say something about that because last night, I went out to dinner and since I started the Paleo diet, at the end of January I think it was, I think this is only the second time I’ve eaten out in a restaurant.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: And [inaudible 00:30:57]?
DEBRA: I noticed that I somewhat didn’t feel as well this morning. But here’s the thing that was interesting to me. My awareness level has shifted because before I would say, “Here, what’s on my plate is a salad and there’s some chicken.” And I went to a restaurant that I hadn’t checked out their ingredients. But in the past, I would look at it and I would say, “This is [inaudible 00:31:22], here’s fresh lettuces, here are fresh tomatoes, here’s fresh guacamole, here’s chicken fajitas on top and I’m not eating corn chips and I’m not eating tamales with corn on them and stuff like that.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Which is a great step for most people.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: But?
DEBRA: That is a step that I did for a long time, but I’m sitting there eating and I’m going, “Oh, this is delicious.” And I suddenly went, “Gee, I wonder if there’s any sugar in this.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Right.
DEBRA: “Gee, I wonder if there’s this.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. What oils do they use?
DEBRA: Which oils do they use? Yes, exactly. It was like I didn’t use to ask myself those questions. I used to think I’m cooking well for myself at home and I’m eating organic food and I know which oils and what kind of salt I’m using and stuff. And then last night, it was just suddenly like I ate them and I went, “Wait, I don’t want to eat this. I’m not going to eat this.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: When you finally put your body and your health as a number one priority and you know what it’s like to finally feel good, that’s a big one. I don’t think that the majority of people remember what it’s like to feel good because I think we’ve been bombarded our whole lives.
So, most people have never felt great.
DEBRA: Well, that was what happened as I went on this Paleo diet and I went, “Oh my god, I haven’t felt this good.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes, it’s amazing. And you just want to shout from the rooftop and annoy everybody with all of it, but it’s true.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: It is true definitely.
DEBRA: And then I walk around out in the world and I see people eating all this stuff and they’re a million pounds overweight and they’re shooting their insulin at the restaurant table and all this stuff. And I’m going, “Just eat differently. Please eat differently.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah, it’s really not hard and you’ll feel amazing and it will be great. And it’s funny once you get your body off that heightened – I think everybody is at this high level of inflammation and your body is constantly filling with everything that was thrown at it environmentally, food. And then when you finally get a lot of that stuff out and your body calms down a little bit, then it’s the little things like eating out that you go, “Oh, that didn’t use to bother me, but now I don’t feel my best. I don’t feel horrible, but I don’t feel my best.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: And that’s what I’ve noticed over the years. I’m able to identify and be more body aware because things have come down and I can actually identify those things now. Before, it was just part of the whole mess.
DEBRA: I can actually feel like I had so much inflammation go down for almost 30 days on just the really restricted Paleo diet that when I ate something, I think I eat honey or something, it was just like, “Oh, there is inflammation.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: And honey, especially if you buy it local or where you are, has some great health benefits. However, it is high in fructose. So a lot of people who have issues metabolizing and using glucose for energy and that sort of thing and switching to the fat burning side of the Paleo diet, honey doesn’t work for them. We don’t use a lot of honey in our house just for that reason. It tends to spike our blood sugar and restarts some of those cravings and cycles.
DEBRA: Yeah. And when you really take out the sweeteners, then your body can go into that fat burning. We’re going to live on fat instead of sugar. And then when you start putting sugar back and you get out of that mode, I can see difference now.
We need to go to another break. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. My name is Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Tammy Credicott.
She’s the author of Make Ahead Paleo. Her website is TheHealthyGFLife.com. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Tammy Credicott, author of Make Ahead Paleo. Her website is TheHealthyGFLife.com.
And Tammy, I think the number three thing I’m going to make is lemon coconut mousse. This looks so luscious.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: It’s so good. I [inaudible 00:39:06] anything.
DEBRA: Yeah, I do too. And it’s made with coconut flour and almond flour and it’s only got a little bit of maple syrup in it.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes.
DEBRA: It just looks on the page like a luscious piece of cake.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Awesome. It was and it freezes really well. Everything, all the baked foods and things in the book freeze really well. So that’s why they were included. So I’m big on the freezer.
DEBRA: Well, tell us more about some of the things that you do to make your food preparation easier.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: The first thing I try to teach people, I call it my three Ps. Like I said, you have to want to commit to making your meals at home. And once you’re there, you actually have to plan a little bit. It doesn’t take very long especially once you get used to it and you start cycling through some of your favorite recipes.
But the first one is planning and it depends on your schedule. We used to do a monthly menu because I didn’t want to mess with it. We were busy and I never wanted to come home at 5:00 at night and ask, “Okay, what are we going to do for dinner?” because that’s the time that everything falls apart.
DEBRA: That’s exactly right.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: If you already know what you’re going to have and you have it planned out even if you don’t really want it, once you’ve made it and you’ve sat down and you’re eating it, you’re not going to think, “Oh well, I didn’t really want that very much.” But at the end, you’re going to say, “Oh, I’m glad I did that because I didn’t eat out and I didn’t grab a bag of chips.” So planning for sure.
And for most people, I suggest starting off with a weekly menu. It’s a little less intimidating. If your case changes, each week, you can plan some different recipes. And from that menu, you can do everything from just planning your dinners. We tend to cycle through the same breakfast and lunches. So I don’t usually…
DEBRA: What do you have for breakfast? Tell us about breakfast.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I rotate through various proteins anywhere from pork tenderloins that I cut up into small pieces that cook quickly, that’s another trick, small pieces of meat cooked very quickly. If you don’t want to cook a whole chicken breast, cut it up into bite-size pieces. I cycle through that.
We have bacon, good quality local bacon once a week. I do some organic local sausages as well. Sometimes, depending on the day, I will also put a large roast in the Crockpot at night when I go to bed. And then after eight hours, it’s ready in the morning and it’s really good with eggs. That’s good.
We try not to do eggs every day because we do have some food intolerances and we have to cycle through and not eat the same thing every day while everybody is getting better.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. So if you want to plan the breakfast, we tend to cycle through the same. So I usually just list my dinners and side dishes. And from that, you make your shopping list and you go to any pantry items, any fresh stuff and then any proteins and things that you need.
From there, you got to go get it.
But if you spent the time to do your weekly plan and make your grocery list, then the shopping goes really easy. I mean shopping in a Paleo lifestyle has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I’m in and out. There’s no reading labels because you are not really getting much with labels.
DEBRA: I find that too. I have my list now of foods and these are the foods that I know that I can eat. And I just go into the Natural Foods Store and I buy them.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. And you go around through the edge of the store there and very quickly.
DEBRA: And I don’t get pulled into cookies or whatever. I just go in and I buy my real foods and I leave and then I come home and do things with them.
I cook things ahead like I cook chicken. There are things I always want to make sure are in the refrigerator and one of them is chicken.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Which is the final P. That’s my final P, preparation, preparing. That’s exactly. I’m a big proponent of taking a few extra minute here and there.
If I’m making something for dinner, say we’re going to have spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce, I will double my tomato sauce so that I can have dinner that night and the rest goes in the freezer so that at another time, I can just pull it out.
It’s the same thing with chopping an onion as I need that to cook with the chicken that night. I chop two onions. I throw the other into a freezer container. I stick it in the freezer and then I have it. Frozen onions are great to add to scrambled eggs or other dishes that you’re sautéing and you don’t have to pick the time later on. If you do that all the time and take a few seconds here and there to double up on things, pretty soon your freezer is stocked. It doesn’t take long and then you always have things to pull from including chicken or anything like that.
With grill, instead of grilling one or two for dinner, grill the whole package that you have and let it cool, freeze it and then you can chop it up for salads or stir fries or anything that you want to throw together. That’s a huge one and it just takes a little different mindset. Instead of racing through getting some done, just add a little bit of little extra time here and there.
DEBRA: And I’ve also found that instead of thinking about how I am going to make a big new recipe each day or every couple of days, I do have those basic things. I always have cooked chickens. It’s always there. And the game becomes “How am I going to make this chicken taste different tonight?”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Right. And another thing I talk about a little bit is having your favorite spice blends on hand so that you can transform meals into different flavors. I have the taco seasoning and Italian seasoning and then a basic dry rub that I can use on any meat. And those are my basics that I always go back to. I can mix and match other spices with it to change it or I can use it to alter a meal that I’m making.
So find those blends that you really like. And if you’re looking for more than even what I have in the book, there are tons of them out there if you like, more of a Greek style than you can combine or more of an Asian flare and get some Chinese spice in there. So it’s a good idea to have some spice blends and then you can just sprinkle it on and then your meals transform and you didn’t really have to do anything.
I’m lazy in the kitchen.
DEBRA: I am too. It’s like I love to cook and there are times if I really have the time or if it’s a special occasion, I really make something special. But I’m really looking for “How can I do a five-minute meal?” Thirty minute meals are too long for me.
I need to get in the kitchen and put something on the plate and eat it, but I want it to be really good. So making sure that I have things there in order to choose from and knowing what I’m doing, I think a lot of it is education too, figuring out what are the foods that you really like to eat.
I love Chinese food and the more I think about it – my brother was just talking to me the other day. He said, “Oh, just put some oyster sauce in it.”
“Well, do you know what’s in oyster sauce?”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yes, gluten usually.
DEBRA: Besides, gluten there’s refined sugar, refined salt and sodium benzoate. It’s just a horrible, horrible list. And if you go into any Chinese restaurant, they’re putting oyster sauce in things. It just made me not want to go to a Chinese restaurant. But yet, I grew up in San Francisco on Chinese food. I want to eat Chinese food. And so I’m making my own Chinese recipes.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. Just changing some of the spices, you can get some amazing flavors.
If one person that just wanted to change one thing about their home-cooking to make it better and more accessible and more entertaining for their body, it would be to learn spices. Go online and get some books, whatever you need to do to learn some spice blends and things that work well together because you can change anything at that point.
DEBRA: Yeah. Out here where I live, we have a couple of different spices shops that have so many spices and you can go on there and you can smell them and taste them. I spent an hour in a spice shop once and I came out with about 25 different little bags. And I could just really play with them and see what I like and then go back and get them.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah.
DEBRA: So we only have a few minutes left. Would you just tell us something about takeaway foods? What do you send with your children to school for lunch?
TAMMY CREDICOTT: My kids, gosh, they eat just about anything. And in the book, I have it On-the-go Section and we pull from that one a lot.
They are things that are quick and easy and travel well. That’s the key.
School years are typically over the winter months. So we use the thermos a lot. Today, they took steak bites. We cut up some steak and sautéed it in coconut oil. And then I have the tomato based sauce that I add some spices to and they are able to dip it in the sauce. They love it.
DEBRA: That sounds great.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah, we’re big on that. And they like coleslaws with added protein and a pasta salad, it’s a big one, deviled eggs, just anything we can throw together. And we were doing little ham rollups a lot, ham with some avocado and veggies in there and we rolled it up.
After about a year, they were like, “Please don’t give us the rollup, mom.” So we’ve been varying it a little bit.
DEBRA: It is really important to not get bored. It really is, to be able to…
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah. My husband could eat the same thing every single day and be fine. I need something different all the time. So it’s interesting how every person is a little bit different.
DEBRA: Yeah. What I do is I find something that I want to eat and I go, “Oh, this is delicious. I want to eat it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” And then all of a sudden, I go, “It’s time for something else.”
TAMMY CREDICOTT: I’m done now.
DEBRA: Last week, I was eating this, oh my god, gorgeous tahini dressing I was making. And then I thought, “You know what? I think there’s probably something in this that isn’t ideal for me as much as I love it.” So now, I’m finding the next thing. But that tahini dressing is going to come out again, but maybe I won’t eat it every week.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Tahini makes a great added ingredient in baked goods keeping them moist without adding or changing the flavor.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Yeah, I have tahini blondies in the book. They’re definitely a family favorite. I have to make them all the time to keep the freezer stocked.
DEBRA: Oh, good. I’m going to try those too. Well, I have to say goodbye now because the show is going to be over in about 15 seconds. But thank you so much, Tammy.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Thank you so much. That went by so fast.
DEBRA: It does go by really fast. I mean an hour sounds like a long time, but it goes by really fast. Thank you so much.
TAMMY CREDICOTT: Thank you.
DEBRA: Her book is Make Ahead Paleo. Her website is TheHealthyGFLife.com. And everybody, try it.