The Paleo Checklist: Making a “Diet” into a Lifestyle Change

Changing the way we eat creates energy gain and weight loss, which are both great accomplishments. And, while it feels great to start seeing changes in the mirror you may still feel the stresses of everyday life, because no one can change that right? Well, that is where we say – wrong! Eating whole foods is a very important part to being healthy! But, Paleo teaches us to be whole beyond the kitchen. In order for you to assess your Paleo lifestyle we have created a Paleo checklist. Plus, who doesn’t love a great checklist?

Laugh. A Paleo lifestyle means more than just what you eat. In order to live a Paleo lifestyle you need to let go of the things you cannot control, and prepare for the things you can control. Stress hormones are very detrimental to our health, so when you can laugh – laugh loud! And if you have the ability to eliminate a stressor in your life, than we encourage you to do so!

Balance. “Here have a cookie, no have ten, it’s Paleo!!” Does this phrase sound familiar? Balance is important in and out of the kitchen. In this case, just because something is considered Paleo does not mean it should be consumed in copious amounts. A copious amount of anything is bad, including almond flour cookies. If it is a “Paleo” dessert, treat (pun intended) it as you would any treat – just have one!

Drink. No, not alcohol (ok well maybe sometimes, but see above about being balanced). Drink water.. and tea.. and broth. While we do encourage drinking a good amount of water, we also encourage you to drink water in other forms. By adding homemade bone broth and tea to your regimen you are able consume water, and nutrients. Check out the recipe below for an easy broth.

Exercise. Run, lift, swim, bike, crossfit, stretch. Don’t stop there.. Go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, climbing and play – play frisbee, basketball, soccer, and football. The list goes on! No matter what your lifestyle may be, find an activity that gets your blood pumping and your endorphins kicking. Enjoy the ability to utilize the body you have!

If you get anything out of this post this is what we hope: Fuel your body and don’t sweat the small stuff – enjoy life with whole foods, hard work and having fun!

Now here is that broth recipe I promised!

If you do not have chicken bones you will need to make a whole chicken, which is super easy!

Whole Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder.
  3. Stuff chicken with lemon slices and fresh herbs of your choice. (Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary are my fav).
  4. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F.


Now the Broth:

  1. Remove all the meat from the chicken and store for later.
  2. Put the remaining body (bones, fat and stuffed herbs/lemon) in a large pot of water.
  3. Add salt, pepper and dried herbs – the amount will vary on your pot size. You can taste test so it isn’t too salty or bland.
  4. Bring to boil for 10 minutes, then let simmer on medium for 2 hours. Cool, remove bones/fat/herbs/lemon and jar!


Blog post by: Jessica Brearley


Party like a Caveman in 4 Easy Steps!

Paleo Challenges and food restrictions can be challenging while trying to be the social butterfly you are! In order to be successful in your health you will need to adapt, luckily we humans are really good at adapting. Now, keep these 4 things in mind so you can party like a caveman. And remember just because you aren’t eating certain foods doesn’t mean you should avoid parties and social events.

#1 Fill that Barbaric Belly – Before you go to a party.. eat! And don’t just have a snack; eat a full meal that satisfies any cravings you may have. Follow it with a big glass of water. Staying satiated and hydrated will help you avoid eating unhealthy party appetizers.

#2 Pack a Snack – Bring snacks you can eat. So many people have food restrictions these days’ people don’t usually care when you whip out a bag of carrots or piece of chicken. Seriously, I have brought chicken with me to the bowling alley. Side snacking usually goes unnoticed, and if they do notice most will respond with “hey, give me a bite.” If you think this option sounds odd don’t let that stop you; you can always leave the snacks out of sight but it’s better to be prepared then choose something unhealthy!

#3 Take the Cake – In some cases, where outside food is prohibited (like your mother-in-laws dinner parties) we run into what I like to call Paleo persecution. For some reason some people are offended towards food restrictions. In cases where turning down a piece of cake is rude, simply take the piece of cake. Just because something is on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it. You avoid offending the host, and then you don’t have to spend the next 30 minutes arguing why their gluten free cake still doesn’t fit in your Paleo lifestyle.

#4 Recon the Menu – Every good caveman knows their surroundings before they take charge. Before going to a restaurant read their menu online, and know what you are going to order. Creating a plan will help you be more successful then winging it.

BONUS!! Craving junk food? Eat a piece of bacon, or two.
Now get out there and party like a caveman ya wild animal!

*Recipes from Wednesday’s potluck.

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Recipe

Robbin Thomas


* 1 lb. boneless chuck roast, sliced into thin strips

* 2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets

* 1 apple, thinly sliced

* ½ cup coconut aminos

* 1/3 cup raw honey

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 Tbsp tapioca starch (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, combine together the beef stock, coconut aminos, honey, garlic and sliced apple.
  2. Add the beef to the slow cooker and stir.
  3. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 4-5 hours.
  4. When the time is up, combine the tapioca starch with some of the liquid from the slow cooker in a small bowl. Pour it back into the slow cooker and stir well.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for another 30 minutes.


Dump Ranch Dressing

Blend together with an immersion blender for 1 minute, the following ingredients:

* 1 egg, at room temperature

* 1 cup light olive oil

* 2 tbsp lemon juice

* 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

* 1 tsp salt

* 1 tsp pepper

* ¾ tsp onion powder

* ¾ tsp garlic powder

* ½ cup full fat coconut milk


Roasted Veggies


* Peppers

* Zucchini

* Broccoli

* Sweet Potatoes

* Asparagus

* Any veggies you want!

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Slice vegetables and put on a cookie sheet
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, flip veggies and bake another 5 minutes or until tender.


Paleo Challenge Recipe: Chicken Pest “PASTA”

Chicken Pesto Pasta Recipe [paleo, primal, gluten-free]

Craving pasta? With the right ingredients we don’t have to miss out on the things we love. Although Spaghetti Squash doesn’t taste just like pasta it is a great alternative to some of our favorite dishes, like Pesto Pasta! If you get bored with chicken try seafood and get those awesome Fish Oils into your diet!

#FoodSelfies are encouraged, so after you try this Paleo Pesto Pasta don’t forget to upload a photo to our facebook page with your thoughts and any special touches you added to the recipe!


  • 1 Medium Spaghetti squash
  • 1 Container of Mushrooms & 1 Onion (or sub for Veggies of your choice).
  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • Large Container of Basil 
  • Pecans (about a half cup)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

PESTO RECIPE: Combine the following measurements into a blender and blend until smooth.

  • 2 Cups of packed fresh basil (cut the stems).
  • 1/2 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Dash of lemon pepper – to taste.

PASTA RECIPE: Cook Spaghetti Squash (Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and put sheet into the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Make sure you scrape out the seeds first).

While the Spaghetti Squash is cooking, dice up two chicken breasts, mushrooms and onions. Veggie measurements are your preference. Place in a lightly olive oiled pan and cook on medium until chicken is fully cooked, turn up to high for a few minutes to brown chicken. Once spaghetti squash is cooked scrape into a dish, combine veggies, chicken, and pesto. Add lemon pepper to taste and enjoy!

~Jessica Brearley

Q&A with Owner and Head Coach Josh O’Donnell


First, a few facts:

Josh holds a variety of titles, he is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a spin instructor, a level one CrossFit trainer and a CrossFit Olympic weightlifting coach. He comes from a background in football, baseball and Strongman training.


What’s your background in CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 3 years ago. A friend of mine showed me a video of a few CrossFit athletes doing some workouts. It reminded me of workouts I used to do with my dad when I was training for football.

I loved the self-reflective competition and the fact that I could do something different every day: I could train outside, at a gym or in my garage. It made sense, it felt good and it felt hard. It’s what I needed.

Before that, I was struggling with drugs and alcohol at 310 pounds – it was the unhealthiest and unhappiest I’d ever been.

They say that there’s a physical development, but the biggest development in CrossFit is between your ears. That rang true for me.


What’s your coaching philosophy?

I want to learn about a person. I don’t want to just write down what their goals are; it’s important to me to take the extra step to understand why their goals are important to them.

For example, when someone says they want to lose 10 pounds, I want to know why. Or if they want to run a marathon, why?

I love getting to know why they want to do CrossFit, why they are coming in here every day and why they have their goals, because the better our connection is, the better I can train them.


Why Bellingham?

I learned a lot about who I am here in Bellingham. I have a lot of special memories of this place. I found my calling in CrossFit, I guess. In running this gym, I know that I can positively impact people and I want to do it in Bellingham. It feels like home to me.


What should people know about CrossFit?

A big part of it is the community. People come 15 minutes early and stay 20 minutes after. When you suffer through something with someone, you become tight with them.

I don’t want to say CrossFit will make you suffer… But because it’s so challenging, it builds strong camaraderie.


What role does CrossFit play in your life?

CrossFit is much more than a training method. It’s a lifestyle, as cultish as that sounds. Truly, it made me realize that anything i want to do outside of these doors  – physical, starting a business or otherwise – if I decide that I want to try it, I can do it. It’s really inspired every other aspect of my life and my relationships.

It’s a way for me to train, but it really builds up life in every aspect.