I'm excited to share my recent interview our friend, US Marine, and co-author of Caveman Feast, George Bryant. Caveman Feast is the newest e-cookbook to hit the Paleosphere, this awesome collection of over 200 delicious Paleo friendly recipes is to be enjoyed over an over again with friends and family. George is a self taught cook, a true Paleo success story and has inspired many others to do the same through his blog Civilized Caveman Cooking.
1. From reading your bio it is evident that Paleo has changed every facet of your life. Was there one moment when it all clicked for you, or was it something that happened in small phases?
Paleo has definitely changed every facet of my life. Before Paleo I had never made the connection between how much foods affected the things we do on a daily basis. From mood regulation, to allergies, to cravings etc. After my deployment to Afghanistan in 2010-2011, I decided I was going to try the Paleo lifestyle for 30 days and see what happened. Well needless to say, the first 2 weeks were rough and then it got increasingly easier as well as more enjoyable. I would say the biggest moment for me though was when I was able to stop taking all of my allergy medication. For my whole life I was told I was allergic to everything under the sun from dirt, dust, pollen, cats, dogs, and more – and I thought I was going to have to live the rest of my life taking two pills a day. At one point during my 30 days starting Paleo I forgot to take my medication. Normally that would lead to swollen eyes, a runny nose, and just an all around miserable experience. But I never realized I forgot to take it because I never had a reaction. It took me 3 days to realize I had broken a routine and then it clicked. That was my “OH MY” moment that changed it for me and I was hooked. I never looked back.
2. What has been your biggest disaster moment in the kitchen? Conversely, what has been your greatest cooking success?
I wish I had a really dramatic disaster moment in the kitchen just to keep everyone reading on the edge of their seats but instead it's a couple of funny ones. Both of these happened within weeks of each other and with brand new kitchen equipment. So to preface the story, before Paleo I never cooked anything unless it came out of a box or was microwaveable. Sad, I know, but it's the truth. Well because of that lack of experience, I wasn't privy to inside knowledge on how to properly operate really shiny fun kitchen toys. A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer is example 1, and a Blendtec high-speed blender is example 2. So, my best friend got me a shiny candy apple red stand mixer for Christmas and I got right to using it to bake up some delicious treats for my website. I thought I had mastered this amazing tool until one day one of my recipes needed cocoa powder. Being an inexperienced chef at the time, I just dumped ALL of the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder in at once and then turned my mixer on HIGH. Well if you aren't laughing already, you will be now – I could never imagine that little amount of cocoa powder could cover my entire kitchen and face with a chocolate dust coating, but it can and it did. Then try cleaning cocoa powder up with water and you get chocolate haha, it was a disaster. Example 2 was very similar. Knowing that Blendtecs are responsible for blending iPads and iPhones you would think I would have the common sense to realize that loading it up to make smoothies to the very top and then not holding the lid on would not be a good idea. Nope I didn't, I just assumed the lid would keep itself on as the blender that sounds like a turbine jet operates. Needless to say I was wrong and the auto shutoff of it didn't work right away so I had a chocolate banana volcano erupt on my counter and reach brand new heights, 12 feet to be exact to get on my ceiling.
My greatest cooking success, honestly, would be the fact that I was just able to teach myself how to cook. I know it may sound cliché but the truth is, if I can do it anyone can. Really all it takes is the gusto to try something new and experiment. No different than riding a bike for the first time, or running your first mile. You just have to start and then the rest is history. That is what I did and thanks to my college professor “Dr. Google”, I learned how to cook.
3. You have said how one feels while they are cooking has an effect on the final product and you encourage your followers to have no fear and go for it in the kitchen, do you then believe how we feel about the food we are eating is as important as making good food choices?
I honestly don't feel that people understand how important it is to truly know where their food comes from. The fact that some people make the decision to eat healthy or following a paleo or primal lifestyle to me is only half the battle. If they are not giving just as much effort to understanding the effort that went into providing that food and supporting local sustainable sources then all is lost. Without a good understanding and a drive to continue to support it, we will all eventually lose the ability to control our food sources or where it comes from. We need to be passionate and driven about every aspect of nourishing our bodies and that includes making the conscience decision to feed it healthy but as well as knowing where that healthy food came from.
4. What five things you believe a Paleo pantry should not be without?
Oh I love this question but the hardest thing for me is keeping it to 5. How about I make up one pantry list and one refrigerator list so I can cover 10 items and feel better about myself. Yep, that sounds like a good idea so here goes.
Pure Coconut Wraps
Coconut cream concentrate
5. What is your favorite recipe from Caveman Feast?
This is another tough question for me to answer because I love them all, since they are so many delicious ones and I have tasted them all. I will go ahead and break the rules again and give two answers. My favorite entree hands down is the Avocado Stuffed Burgers and my favorite dessert is the Meenut Butter Blueberry Brownies. It literally just makes me happy thinking about eating either of those so I know they are my favorites.