A Paleo New Year

April seems to be my paleo new year.BeforeandAfter

Two years ago in April I went Paleo and lost 75 lbs in 5 months.

Soon after that I realized all 9 of my health issues had disappeared.

At the time I thought I’d ‘made it’. After all, I’d achieved even more than I’d set out to do.

I didn’t realize I was still only in the foothills of health and I’d taken just the first baby steps in my paleo experiments.

What I’ve experienced since then, as my food has become increasingly pure and my gut has continued to heal, is previously unimagined levels of well-being.

As someone who struggled with depression and anxiety every day in my pre-paleo life, I’m still astounded by the feeling of psychological well-being. And the impact psychological health has had on all aspects of my life, including my career.

Levelling Up

During my first paleo year I only ate fish & poultry, which was obviously sufficient for weight loss & initial healing. As a recovering vegetarian, I wasn’t prepared to eat mammals at first, but it became apparent that I needed to reduce my reliance on fowl as a protein source.

So last April, I had my first bite of steak.

And this April, after 3½ months on the Autoimmune Protocol, I went ketogenic on the Wahls Paleo Plus.

As April seems to be my Paleo new year, I’m going to make a resolution.

This year I’m going to level up to organ meat.

I’ve been recalcitrant on the offal front. I actually don’t even want to change (that’s sort of the definition of recalcitrant). But I know it’s the next step.

And one year from now I will no doubt wonder why I stayed offal-obstinate for so long.

Maybe it was because I started with lamb kidney.

Started and ended with lamb kidney.

I know it’s politically incorrect to say so, because in paleo-land we’re all just supposed to start salivating & shouting hallelujah the moment we see a pile of fresh organs in the butcher’s display case, but lamb kidney tastes like urine and the taste stays in your mouth for a long time, even if you brush your teeth (& your tongue) repeatedly.

I’m an offal wimp.

I just had to get that off my chest.

According to the Paleo PI, kidney is intermediate offal. Tongue & heart is the place to start.

I actually think chicken liver might be the way to edge in for me.

In any case, I’m celebrating my new year with offal.

Celebrate with me!



29 thoughts on “A Paleo New Year

  1. Happy New Year, Petra!!! And thank you for your honest about offal!! I just dipped my toe in last week week with chicken livers via The Paleo Mom’s 50/50/50 burgers. Edible, but still had to force myself – desperately wishing for ketchup. I agree I can’t wait for the benefits of eating organ meat, but it is still hard to make the moves. Thanks for let me know I am not alone and for the link. Best, -Kate

  2. Hoorah! Congrats especially on the improvements in mental health. My anxiety also disappeared with paleo, for which I cannot thank the universe enough.
    As for offal – good luck! I’ve been steadily introducing organs since starting the AIP, but it’s been tough. Heart is actually not too bad. It’s mineraly, but you can convince yourself it’s just plain meat if it’s smothered in sauce or in a thick stew. I’ve had a wee bit of success with liver in small quantities hidden in heavily spiced meatballs. But even then I occasionally get a chunk of liver taste and go “blech.”

  3. A million congratulations to you on your journey so far! You’ve done amazingly well and I completely relate with your feelings of well-being, it is an incredible feeling and I’m so happy for you!
    I agree…chicken liver is the best place to break you in 🙂
    Try it stir fried with lime, garlic and coriander…I promise its nice!
    Keep up the amazing work x

  4. Happy anniversary Petra. Really interested to hear how you go with offal – ew. I haven’t managed to take that step yet, I shall wait to hear your experience. Hope it’s a good one.

  5. CONGRATULATIONS Petra! I don’t need to tell you how much I enjoy popping in to see you here – you must already know (surely?)

    As for ‘upping the offal’ – one of the best pieces of advice I received was to finely dice liver (I alternate between chicken and lamb) and freeze it into ice cube trays. Every time you make a bolognese, a meatloaf, burgers – whatever, really! – throw in a couple of cubes. A good way to increase without even really thinking about it… Good luck!

    • I’m getting so much great advice! And this idea seems realistic. My problem is not buying offal. I buy it and then I freeze it! If I knew I didn’t (necessarily) have to eat it right away but could just prepare an ice cube tray full, I think I could quite easily advance to the next level… which at this point is just getting the package unwrapped before slipping it in the deep freeze.

      By the way, Matthew loves offal. He slurps up kidneys like they’re gumdrops. Which maybe they are. Paleo gumdrops…

      I’m so glad you like to stop by!

  6. You are a better woman than I. Although I haven’t tried any offal recipes, I plan to buy some organic beef liver this week. I’m not sure how I will eat it without the cracker crumb coating:( but I’m open to ideas. Good luck to you!

  7. Thanks for the mention Petra! Your before and after photo is inspiring!
    I agree with you, kidney leaves a powerful, unpleasant aftertaste. I haven’t yet found a way to prepare it which masks this taste. The Paleo Mom swares by it but I’ll take liver and heart over kidney any day.

    I was able to get my two year old niece to eat liver and heart by mincing it and serving it in spaghetti sauce. She wolfed it down! Could be worth trying as a way to ease into it?

  8. My husband loves steak and kidney pudding or pie, but to me, yeah, it tastes (and smells) like urine so I don’t eat it. Or even allow it in the house. I eat heart ,liver and tongue. Bison liver is quite mild, heart makes great meatloaf or spaghetti sauce ,even without nightshades, and tongue, though awful to see, is really delicious. Even my grandchildren love it Years ago when we were pretty broke I used to make liver-calves liver in those days-“veronique” i.e. with green grapes and lemon juice. It was the only way I could stand it. I still like it that way but the grapes spike my blood sugar so I eat it in pate or as liver and bacon and .onions. Good luck on your offal adventures!

    • Thanks for the insight… maybe I’ll stick with heart, liver & tongue to start. And Bison liver has been recommended before. Might be a good place to begin & I know where I can find some happily-raised bison.

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  12. Late to this entry, but I just found your blog. Have been reading through it to keep myself in the right mindset. I just started on AIP paleo a little over a week ago and it seems to me that it might be something I need to stick with for the rest of my life. People in my family just don’t get along with grains, like, at all. 😀

    Re the organ meats, I just had my first chicken hearts. 10/10 would recommend. They’re easy to prepare and you don’t even have to chop them up before chucking them into the pot. The texture might feel a bit weird if you’re used to the texture of a steak, but the taste is worth it. Just like all the other parts of chicken. And they don’t take long to cook, unlike hearts from bigger animals which usually take 3+ hours to get right.
    Thanks for the blog! It’s a great resource!

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  15. Lol, I like your post. I’ve been on paleo two years April too!! So, now it’s about 2 1/2 years. I started the AIP diet three months ago because of thyroid issues. I still haven’t gorten over the offal hurdle. I can only stomach tongue so far. So good to hear I’m not the only one who struggles. So, heart will be my next effort. Or maybe beef kidney because I used to like steak and kidney pie pre-paleo.

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