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November 30, 2016

Spotlight: How to Eat Paleo‘s Cynthia Spivey

"I find that most people I encounter are interested in feeling better and eating healthy but they think Paleo is some crazy fad diet that they could never do. I decided to take those misconceptions and notions and use that in a humorous way to inspire people to trying a new lifestyle," says author Cynthia Spivey
Photo Credit: Tenney Espy
Hollye Jacobs, Cynthia Spivey & Lynda Weinman
Photo Credit: Tenney Espy

Photo Credit: Tenney Espy

“When I started eating Paleo, I looked for an interesting guidebook to explain the what and why, in simple language and an approachable format,” recalls Santa Barbara-based blogger and culinary maven Cynthia Spivey of easing into the clean, nutrient-rich diet nearly four years ago to improve her health. “I didn’t want something super serious and overwhelming and I didn’t want a cookbook,” she says of the search. Coming up empty handed, Spivey—also the force behind candid cooking blog Smiling Water Group—researched the ins and outs of Paleo and has since translated her findings, along with easy and delicious recipes, into her debut book, How to Eat Paleo: (When You Don’t Live in a Cave). The recently released lifestyle guide provides answers to more than 50 pertinent questions in a digestible format, alongside whimsical illustrations by Carpinteria artist, illustrator, and designer Joya Rose Groves. “I wrote the book I wish I had when I started,” says Spivey. Whether you’re a Paleo veteran or a newcomer to the diet, the self-published tome offers an informative and fun approach to inspiring healthy living.

Spivey’s Tips For Success
The beauty of Paleo is that you decide what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, staying within the guidelines as much as possible but not necessarily 100 percent of the time. Who can’t love a diet like that? Be consistent, not obsessed.

  • Don’t count calories
  • Eat protein at every meal
  • Don’t worry about fat or cholesterol
  • Notice how you feel
  • Move your body every day
  • Eat fresh food
  • Eat as Paleo as you can, as much as you can
  • Give it time

Recipe: Jenni’s Almond Cake
Spivey shares one of her favorite dishes in her book from good friend and lauded designer, Jenni Kayne.

1 ½ cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking power*
8 egg whites
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 oranges (2 tablespoons)
½ cup melted coconut oil plus extra for greasing pan
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
Fresh berries for serving

*Baking powder can contain non-Paleo ingredients. If desired, make your own with 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 2 teaspoons cream of tarter.

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine almond meal and baking powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are foamy and start to hold their shape. Slowly add the maple syrup, whisking until the mixture is thick and shiny. Add the vanilla extract and the orange zest.
2. Alternately whisk in the coconut oil, with almond meal and baking powder in thirds until they are smoothly incorporated into the egg whites. Pour the mixture into an 9” spring-form pan that has been greased with coconut oil.
3. Mix together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle 1/2 the mixture on top of the batter then sprinkle on all the almonds. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and sugar on top.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top has risen and set, the almonds become golden, and a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, remove from pan. Serve with berries.

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