paleo

All posts tagged paleo

The Best(?) of 2020

Published December 11, 2020 by Maryanne
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

If we made it through 2020 without getting covid, and worse, without dying, we are fortunate. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to live life to the fullest every day because you really don’t know what is around the corner. It was a crazy up and down year. Surprisingly, there were many outstanding moments for me, but also the most painful news–a very good friend dying on of a heart attack at the age of 56.

Pausing for a moment thinking of my dear friend Vinnie who died last April…

Yeah, 2020 definitely sucked on so many levels, but the eternal optimist in me will keep saying, this is the year to truly count our blessings.

2020 Year In Review

January – The year started off really cool. I actually saw a copy of my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary” in Barnes & Noble bookstore! (https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/) I was ecstatic! I remember commenting that if I died at that moment, I lived the life I wanted. Little did I know, in just a few weeks I’d hear about so many dying of Covid. Just goes to show how crazy life is.

February – I was going crazy trying to score a deal on Billie Eilish tickets–and trying to decide whether to see her in NYC on a Sunday night; or New Jersey on a Monday night. Oh, the innocence of decision making prior to what was ahead. The decision was made for me…all her 2020 concerts were canceled.

March – Covid was in full force in the USA. It was weird. It was scary. But honestly, my husband and I were loving the lockdown. We took it as a time to be creative. We appreciated staying home with the kitties. We were cooperating with the law; and had a good time doing so. I thought during this time I’d write a new book; instead I focused on my singing. My husband and I made a video of us performing together, he on guitar and we on vocals and sent it to all our friends. As our friends were also sending us videos. We all did our best.

In March my clients, Domenic Lombardi passed away. I helped him and his wife write their memories: “200 Letters, 62 Years, and a War” (https://www.amazon.com/200-Letters-62-Years-War/dp/1949798453). What a loss, he was a very cool guy. Domenic and his wife Antoinette were my favorite clients ever!

In April, my book “Love Cats” which became out of print early 2020 was picked up for a second printing by Pink Flamingo Media! For the first time I used a pen name, Krystianna Mercury. Check it out: https://www.pinkflamingo.com/Love-Cats-PF3089.htm

But then, I learned that my very good friend Vinnie Bordogna died earlier that month. My heart is torn into pieces. He was truly one of my best friends. Christmas will not be the same without Vin at our party this year.

In June, there was another loss, Bob Cat. A 15-year-old ginger cat who was the star of the book, “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen. I read the book back in 2018. The book was out way before that, but it was an upbeat book that helped me get over the loss of my own ginger cat, Bennie, who had to be put down early 2018. Now to hear Bob was gone too … it was just too much. Many tears. Too many tears.

That summer, life picked up. Social distancing outdoor concerts were all the rage. Groups of friends sat on the grass in a white painted square. They were done so well and people had a great time! Drinks, food, sitting on the grass watching live music and the sun go down. Can’t beat that. It was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the madness. In addition to Covid, we had the George Floyd murder and so many terrible things going on in the news. Music kept us sane that summer, definitely.

In August, I hosted my very first ZOOM lecture for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” We had a blast! I had other ZOOM classes for anti-bullying, and “How to Meet Your Soul Mate.” Earlier in the year when all my live lectures were canceled, one by one, it was the biggest let down. But ZOOM saved the day with some of them, so it wasn’t a total loss.

September was a miracle! My husband and I took in a feral kitten who was abandoned by his mama and papa cats. We named him Happy Lightfoot Ferrell. Three months later, he’s adjusting beautifully! He’s my little shadow who follows me all over the house. And what a sweet cat he’s turning out to be. No more shy and hiding. Taking in a little life, giving him not only a home but a HAPPY home is the best accomplishment! I love our little new family member. He gets along so good with the other two cats, Nicholas Gray and Sammy Keane Clemmens. Happy Lightfoot Ferrell was the icing on the top of a year of madness.

I wish everyone a better 2021; we can do it!

BEST OF MUSIC 2020

Since there wasn’t nearly as much going out as usual, the list will be light this year. My husband saw about five or six outdoor social distancing concerts over the summer. Due to Covid, I think they all did an amazing job for us and unlike other years, this year I’m choosing not to pick a “best” for live music.

Favorite new songs/videos for 2020!

  1. Miley Cyrus “Midnight Sky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1no1myeTM
  2. Sierra Ferrell “Jingle Bell Rock” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mWKuQDBkls
  3. Billie Eilish “Therefore I Am” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQl6YcMalg

Since there was plenty of dining, I’ve added restaurants this year!

Best restaurants of 2020

  1. Greentruth Organic: https://www.greentruthorganic.com/
  2. Cave Bistro: https://www.cavebistro.com/
  3. Clean Plate: https://www.cleanplateclinton.com/

And since retail shopping was non-existent, I’m linking to the last post I wrote, Clothes Shopping During Covid, mentioning the top three clothing subscription box companies: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/clothes-shopping-during-covid/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Coconut Lime Macaroons

Published May 26, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2518Coconut Lime Macaroons

The above is a photograph of Coconut Lime Macaroons I made improvising on a Young Living recipe.

Here’s my version of their Dairy-Free Coconut Lime Macaroons

Ingredients

12 oz. shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

1 can organic unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

1 pastured egg, including yolk

8 drops Lime Vitality essential oil

4 drops Bergamot Vitality essential oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, condensed coconut milk, and lime juice. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat egg with a pinch of sea salt. Add Lime Vitality and Bergamot Vitality. Then stir into the coconut mixture. Mix well.

Pour batter into cupcake pan. The batter makes 18.

Bake 20 minutes. Macaroons will be lightly browned.

Cool and ENJOY!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is health conscious foodie, available for lectures. She’s also a Young Living distributor. Contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

Simple Mills, My Favorite Healthy Cracker

Published November 7, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1576Simple Mills Crackers go great with salsa! 

Since I discovered Simple Mills crackers a short time ago, I can’t stop raving about them. They are all natural, no GMOS, paleo-inspired — and delicious!

As a health nut, crackers were the last thing I’d eat. For a long time during my paleo inspired lifestyle I’d throw it to the wind on Sundays when I’d go for Mexican with my husband. But when I’m more paleo than not, I honestly feel better. So now, I can’t have Mexican food unless I have my Simple Mills crackers.

When I dip Simple Mills crackers into my salsa, I don’t feel so bloated.

I also use them to dip into guacamole or put them in organic chicken broth.

They come in different flavors but the sundried tomato and basil is my favorite.

For more information on Simple Mills, visit: http://www.simplemills.com/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a public speaker, very much into health. She currently writes for Vitamin Retailer Magazine. To contact Maryanne for lectures, email: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Attack of the Psycho Vegans (Written by a Former Vegan)

Published September 26, 2015 by Maryanne

vegans my food shits on your food

Note: This is about the vegan extreme, elitists. I do have two friends left who are vegan and non-judgmental. This isn’t about them or any sane vegan I’ve yet to meet, but I seriously need to vent for the sake of my health and sanity.

I never thought I’d see the day I’d be writing a blog like this.

First of all, I love animals and I was a vegetarian most of my adult life — 28 years. During those 28 years I tried being vegan several times. However, it didn’t work for me. I’d get to that 10-month mark and all of a sudden I’d get dizzy spells and back aches. Doctors couldn’t explain it. Then I’d be told to “eat some meat.”

Stubborn, I didn’t listen.

But that was back in my 20s, 30s, and even 40s. I got by not eating meat until two springs ago. I was having dizzy spells every single morning. It was suggested by not one, not two, but three holistic health care practitioners that I’d be better off eating some meat. I argued that I hated the taste. “But did you ever have real, grass-fed beef?” one asked.

“No, I hate it.”

Finally after much reading and investigating, particularly in the book “Paleo Manifesto” by John Durant, reading the bad news about soy, I said a prayer to the animals and got some grass-fed beef.

Moving forward, I pray over my food when I eat. In the beginning, I needed a lot of beef to make blood. Within two months I felt better. No more dizzy spells! And for a year straight my blood pressure was finally normal. As a vegetarian, it was always too low, borderline anemic. Now at 52, I feel and look better than I did my entire life!

With the exception of eating grass-fed beef only once a month now, I am still for my animals. I do not buy any products that test on them. My favorite items are Gabrielle Lux mascara and Mineral Fusion.

Friends who waved the vegan flag — well, now I’m down to just two because the rest were so freaking judgmental about me eating meat they are no longer friends but we’ll get to that in a second — were still wearing mascara that tested on animals “because it’s cheap”; still drinking wine that is processed through a bone char filter (they had no explanation for that one, they just turned it back on me, calling me a murderer); and eating cheese (that uses animal rennet) while pointing their fingers (can someone please tell me why it’s okay to eat the lining of a sheep’s stomach but not a piece of grass-fed beef?)

Hypocritical? You bet!

And it goes on and on and on and never stops. Vegans turn a blind eye not only to their own sins, but their own insanity. They defend animals, but aren’t other human beings animals too? Hello, I was once your friend! We broke gluten-free bread together. But now that I’m old and need a different kind of fuel in my gas tank — because soy and grass ain’t cutting it for me anymore — I should be scorned and harassed? Should I not be healthy to take care of my cats? Should I not be healthy to stay alive and keep buying products that don’t test on animals? Should I not be healthy so I can continue operating my animal rights group that is anti-trophy hunting?

No, I guess not. Because for two months I’ve been verbally abused on-line for having an animal rights group and not being vegan. I retaliated by making fun of psycho vegans because this is how I deal with stress — I give assholes a taste of their own bad medicine.

Well, a vegan “friend” didn’t like this and took offense. Instead of seeing that I was hurting and reaching out instead she chose to lash out  — true vegan style: not making sense, just seeing it her way, being self-absorbed and making it all about her (oh, by the way, this is the one who uses cheap non-cruelty free mascara).

I explained my situation … “Don’t take my venting personally. It’s not about you. I am just so drained of vegans telling me I can’t have an animal group because I eat meat once a month. I am so drained of vegans insulting me, putting me down and bullying me.”

If you slap a dog in the face enough times, the dog is going to bite you back. It’s a no-brainer. But vegans are so cult-minded, they don’t see other human beings as people … people who bleed, hurt, and cry out. In other words — heartless. YES, vegans are heartless. Anyone who can treat another human being like a piece of shit and then go on with their lives is not a nice person.

Now, the “friend” I mentioned previously …  A year ago she had financial problems. She was a single mom. I felt bad and created a children’s program so she could use her talents and make some money. I got us booked in many libraries, especially during Earth Day. Thanks to me, she made a lot of money. And in her last email to me, the bitch had the gall to write, “Since you make fun of vegans, I don’t want to be your friend anymore, but we can still work together.”

That blew my mind. A male friend said, “She has balls!” He was just as shocked as I was. Wow. Just WOW!

Then it dawned on me … this is why it’s nearly impossible to be friends with most vegans. They’re not capable of being a friend. They use animals as a clutch. I don’t even think they really love animals because I’ve seen a few vegans around animals and it’s weird … they don’t swoon the way non-vegans do.

Extreme veganism is a religion. But don’t call them “religious.” That’s another vegan “no-no.” Last year around Christmas time, the vegan “friend” went on an anti-Jesus rampage. As someone who believes in Jesus, I was offended, but I live and let live. I never questioned her motives, I let her have her rant (like a good friend would). Shame she never gave me the same consideration.

Extreme vegans are insecure people who are using a title to give themselves a sense of belonging. They are searching, but somehow hit a wall because they can’t go beyond what is black and white. This is where the cult-mindset and irrationality comes in. This is why even an animal lover like myself can adore someone like hunter Ted Nugent who takes it to the other extreme, but at the moment can be the voice of reason because you’re so sickened by these holier than thous who drive you to the point of insanity, making you want to grasp on to anything that is the complete opposite of what they are. Kinda of defeats their purpose, right? How ironic for them.

The reality is not everyone can be vegan or vegetarian. My mother is a vegetarian, but when she had open heart surgery, she had to have a cow valve. A cow saved my mother’s life. And here is a woman who called Johnson and Johnson and told them they were “disgusting” for testing on animals. Here is a woman who raised a beautiful Chihuahua that lived 15 years (much longer than the average Chihuahua life span because of all the love she gave her!) Just like my cats. My Billy Cat lived to 19. And now my Derick is 19 and still going strong. If I wasn’t a good person who treated animals with utmost respect, these cats would have been long gone.

But extreme vegans don’t see this. They just want to be haters. And judge. And bully.

And now, let me go one better on you … During my 28 years as a vegetarian, from age 23 to 50, I never judged anyone for eating meat. In my late 20s I had a long-term relationship with a hunter, who froze the deer meat and fed his family. He was a beautiful animal lover. We actually rescued many animals together who we saw wounded in the streets. It was simply meant to be because those animals were right in our pathway, waiting to be saved.

It’s the same thing now with me and my husband. I can’t count how many times we’ve rescued animals together. The cutest was a recent incident when a family of baby raccoons were trying to cross the street. I stopped traffic and my husband guided them into a safe wooded area! It was the most adorable thing!

I know many meat eaters who are also animal communicators. They have an incredible, admirable bond with animals. It’s super inspiring to see that. These are helpless, little babies who need us. And we need them just as much because they provide a safe haven. They are not just animals, they are little souls.

And so are humans …

So don’t forget this, Dear Vegan Extremist, the next time you want to hate and lash out. Take your ego somewhere else. Have a little taste of some humble pie (lard-free of course!) and stop with the judgements. Do a little research. Know that you are not always right and your way isn’t the only way. Just because I’m not a vegan, you have ZERO right to tell me I don’t love animals. Try telling that one to my cat! He’ll turn his nose up at you — for sure!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the founder of R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights), a refreshing animal rights group that isn’t vegan! She’s also the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback or kindle editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Sugar

Published August 13, 2015 by Maryanne

PoisonPoison

Ninety five percent of yogurts sold in Whole Foods have SUGAR. Ninety-nine percent of their packaged goods contain sugar. Do not be fooled by their term “organic sugar.” Would a diabetic consumer organic sugar? Your body doesn’t know the difference between sugar and organic sugar. What next, Local Sugar?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author, journalist and public speaker. She’s presented the following programs in libraries: “Healthy Pasta Alternatives,” “Paleo for Beginners,” “Raw Foods for Beginners,” and “Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season.” For pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Why the Word “Moderation” Has Got to Go!

Published July 19, 2015 by Maryanne

motivational-tipsKeep at it!

When it comes to health goals, the phrase “everything in moderation” has got to go. Would you tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation? Would you tell a diabetic to consumer sugar in moderation? To get from point A to point B you have to be extreme and say “no” — and sometimes for a very long time. Maybe forever. If I did things in moderation, I wouldn’t achieve such great health goals — I’ve freaked out more than one doctor in my lifetime with my health success by being an extremist.. So, don’t talk to me about “moderation.” You ain’t gonna win.

Now, this post isn’t about healthy people going on vacation and bringing food into their hotel rooms because they’re afraid to eat at a restaurant. This post is about people who have a health goal — whether it’s reversing diabetes or losing weight. If you’re serious about something, you gotta stick to it until you get to where you want to be.

As followers know, I’ve been doing the paleo diet for over a year now. For the first few months I was pretty rigid in it. During those first months, I developed fab abs (in my 50s!) and was able to raise my blood pressure to “normal.” That thrilled me because all my life my blood pressure was “too low.” Doctors said “too low” was better than “high” — but for me, I like to be perfect. I also impressed the ladies in the front office at my dentist. They thought I had my teeth whitened! No, my teeth got whiter from eating paleo!

But like anything else, when you’re feeling good and happy, you start to slack off. I’ll never forget, it was around Halloween when I had my first fun-sized bag of chips after four months of avoiding them. They just didn’t taste the same, but I ate them anyway. Then came Christmas and like everyone else, I indulged. Of course the little belly came back, but the blood pressure stayed normal because I was able to get right back into eating paleo. The paleo lifestyle is a win/win because it’s one of the few lifestyles that is so easy because you’re never hungry. The reason you’re never hungry is because you’re feeding your body with beautiful nutrients from good fats (grass-fed butter, avocado and coconut oil). So, now at this point I was eating about 80 percent paleo but also some grains.

 Now, if I didn’t know a thing or two about health/nutrition, I wouldn’t have had my own health column in The Patch online. Nor would I have had the opportunity to present lectures on the paleo diet at local libraries. (You can see this awesome article about me that ran in the Observer: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/caveman-diet-discussed-in-long-valley/article_225401a6-6fcd-5968-8968-355e730c439a.html?mode=story

This week, I got into a sweet groove again after buying a package of paleo coconut wraps. I started making avocado/tomato sandwiches with them and also putting some extra grass-fed butter into my bulletproof coffee. Still not 100 percent paleo, but because of the extra fat — I noticed I lost about three pounds in a matter of a few days! The belly was going down again!!

My mistake was sharing this on Facebook.

Leave it to a “joy stealer” to come along and shoot me down. (NOTE: I coined the phrase “joy stealer” to define this sort of asshole: When someone is speaking positively of something they love, whether it be food, their husband, their career, etc. and another person shoots it down, it’s called “stealing joy.” And that is not a live-and-let-live mindset. If you do this, shame on you!)

A woman who drinks three yeasty beers with her lunch had the nerve to tell me “Everything in moderation. Fat is unhealthy.”

It cracks me up. People can drink like fish. Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Go to McDonald’s on a regular basis. Put chemicals on their hair. Avoid exercise. No one bats an eye. Then because I had an avocado in a coconut wrap — I have to hear, OH MY GOD I gotta watch my fat intake or I’m gonna die!!!

It’s pretty silly, right? I first said that back in 2004, defending my raw food diet (which is pretty close to paleo, actually … ever since I became paleo, my raw food intake increased dramatically). On day after a minor surgery, before I was self-employed and was still working in an office, I was eating a pineapple for lunch because pineapple is great for healing.

A snooty woman turned her nose up at me, scrunched her face, did the Elvis lip thing, and whined, “You’re gonna eat ALL THAT?”

But she never ever questioned the man who had three slices of pizza for lunch ever day. And she never questioned the ladies who had buckets and buckets of Chinese and Mexican take-out — not once ever making a fresh salad.

No, no, no … it’s the HEALTHY PERSON that people are skeptical of!

Thinking about all this, I came to the conclusion that people who say, “Everything in moderation” are those who feel guilty about their own shortcomings like the yeasty beer chick.

So, before you act like a JOY STEALER when you see someone eating 100 percent raw, or paleo or vegan … or doing the Master Cleanse … Don’t be an asshole and shoot down their goals with the ultra ridiculous “moderation” comment. Let people be and come to their lovely place on their own time. “Moderation” will always be around. Your health, maybe not.

SAM_7938Healthy me!

Thanks to grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocados — consumed daily!

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an author and public speaker. She is available to present the lectures “Paleo for Beginners” and “Eat Well During the Holidays.” Will travel. Email Maryanne for pricing and availability: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Maryanne is also the author of “Love Cats” — a romantic/erotic fiction story that takes place in the 1980s and is definitely not for the moderation-minded! “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

Running with the Winners

Published June 3, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5993My Ed Hardy sneakers, not for running!

For several days I’ve been meaning to write a blog about exercise. What better day than National Running Day?! Here’s an article I wrote several years ago on the benefits of running: http://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/running-with-the-winners

Maybe some can be inspired by the article, though I must share I’m not a runner myself. I stopped doing high impact exercising in 2010 after interviewing Oleda Baker who said that jogging, running and jumping could hurt the joints. Read the full article here: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/oleda-baker-article-i-wrote-for-the-patch-in-2010/

Whether you’re all for running or prefer other types of exercise, the thing is make sure you are exercising with passion and not disgust. If you’re working out and hating it the whole time, you won’t lose any weight. Why? Because stress turns to sugar.

It’s better to exercise when you’re happy about it. Not when you’re in the mind frame of “Oh, I gotta do this.” A clever suggestion is to break up a work-out into two mini work-outs instead of having one long one where you’re watching the clock. I’ve noticed that when I do this and also take breaks where I don’t exercise for a day or two (and do something else like meditating instead) that’s when my metabolism kicks in and I can eat a lot more and stay at my goal weight (and sometimes surprisingly be under my goal weight!)

Over the past weekend I ate a lot of stuff I normally don’t — chips, hummus, and a seafood dish with creamy lobster sauce and long grain rice. Yet the scale was my best friend — every day I was at my goal weight. I mentioned that to my husband and he reminded me, “Because you’re not stressed.”

As a side note, I eat about 80 percent paleo.

SAM_7122Fit over 50!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author and public speaker. She is available for the presentation “Paleo for Beginners” which includes a healthy dish.

And for seniors, “Here’s to Your Health and the Benefits of Walking.”

For more information, pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

 

Keep Rockin’ With Paleo Lifestyle

Published April 27, 2015 by Maryanne

Maryanne rock n' rollIn my 40s

SAM_6547December, 2014, age 51

I blogged many times about embracing the paleo lifestyle. I started last summer when I was starting to feel sluggish and attributed it to pre-menopause. I was also getting dizzy spells in the morning. After speaking to two holistic doctors, I figured I’d give paleo a go — after being vegetarian 28 years! My prayers went out to the animals and I consumed some grass-fed beef. Within days I felt better. No more dizzy spells, less night sweats, and what is really cool — no hair in the shower drain after washing. And this is the age most women start to have thinning hair. (As a side note, no gray hair either, but I think that’s because I put raw apple cider vinegar on my salads all my adult life. It’s not genetics, my mother was gray early on).

Paleo is so easy to follow. Just eat REAL FOOD.

I offer a “Paleo for Beginners” lecture for libraries and here’s an interview I recently did for the Observer to promote one of my lectures: ww.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/caveman-diet-discussed-in-long-valley/article_225401a6-6fcd-5968-8968-355e730c439a.html?mode=story

Note, I’m not even 100 percent paleo anymore, as I do love to eat some bread from time to time. But mind you, eating bread is not a habit, it’s a treat. By eating 75 or 80 percent paleo, you can still benefit.

The thing is, if you’re doing it to lose weight, you may not. You’ll lose inches! Do not go by the scale, you’ll get frustrated. Go by how your clothes fit you. A paleo “126” is not the same as a Standard American Diet “126.” Muscle weighs more than fat. The scale is a good tool, but it’s not the end all. Use your tape measure and watch how your clothes fit. Over the summer I tested on one of those very advanced scales and it read that I had the metabolic rate of someone who is 28-years-old! But I still prefer to go by how my clothes fit.

I recently had a laundry accident where I ruined most of my winter clothes. When New Jersey had a few cold days, I went through a bunch of very old clothes I was going to donate and found a pair of size 5 pants. I hadn’t seen size 5 in ages,  but these fit again!

And in the above photos, you can see I’m wearing the same pair of velvet pants from Tripp clothing that I wore in my 40s and now can still wear in my 50s. (I actually got those pants when I was in my late 30s!)

I shared this news in a paleo community and another paleo chick said she was in her 40s and fit into pants she had in high school!

When I first started paleo, I found two photos online of a middle-aged woman. In both pictures she weighed 155. The first photo she was your average middle-aged women. The second photo she was still 155 pounds after being paleo for a year — but now she had a perfectly flat stomach, her arms were chiseled to perfection and not one ounce of fat on her! It was mind-blowing how her body shifted for the better!

And if you don’t “cheat” on paleo for several months, you may even notice your facial muscles getting tighter, therefore making you look even younger. And why wouldn’t you? You’re putting nothing but the best foods in your body.

The coolest thing, after I got the much needed vitamins from meat, I don’t eat meat as much as I did when I first became paleo. I’ll now have meat once or twice a month. Same with chicken. I occasionally consume healthy items that are not paleo like beans or quinoa. But for the most part, it’s paleo with pastured eggs and wild caught fish for protein. And lots and lots of vegetables! Slab on that Kerry Gold butter — it does your body good!

My Interview in the Observer (Regarding the Paleo Lifestyle)

Published April 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5886Grass-fed beef chili w/avocado

The other night I presented my lecture “Paleo for Beginners” at the Washington Township Library in Long Valley, New Jersey.

It’s an awesome group, and many thanks to librarian Jane Gold for having me.

Coinciding with the lecture, I was interviewed by the Observer. Check it out:

I present “Paleo for Beginners” at many local libraries and am willing to expand to church groups, senior groups, rotary clubs, etc. The presentation includes a paleo dish.

If you’d like to have me, please email for rates and availability: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

I am willing to travel.

Can Paleo and Vegan Co-Exist? Yes, yes, yes!

Published January 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8649Grass-fed beef and salad = perfect meal!

If someone told me, a year ago, that I’d be consuming grass-fed beef, I’d laugh in their face. Since the age of 23, late 1986, I became a vegetarian. And stayed a vegetarian for the next 28 years.

During the course of those 28 years, I’ve stayed very true to my path and in the mid-1990s I stopped buying products that tested on animals as well. No leather bags or leather jackets and absolutely no beauty products that tested on animals. I even went a step further, not consuming alcoholic beverages that were processed through a bone-char filter.

And during that time, I’ve respected all people’s choices. I was told by many that I was their favorite vegetarian because I didn’t judge others. In other words, I wasn’t a fanatical PETA card carrier.

One time I was dining out with an artist couple who were about 15 years older than me. When I ordered, it was obvious I was vegetarian. The husband commented that he and his wife were also vegetarians, but as they got older, they felt they needed a little extra, so once a month, they’d have some beef. I respected that and didn’t argue. I never felt that all people were meant to be vegetarian. Anti-animal testing was — and still is — more important to me than what people ate. And what works at one point, may not always work. Bodies change as we grow older and we make adjustments.

A few months before my 51st birthday, I wasn’t feeling up to par. And I was always the “go to” person when it came to health. I do not look my age. I’ve always had a ton of energy. And I get up at the crack of dawn even on weekends. I’ve practiced yoga since fourth grade. It didn’t make sense not to feel optimal. Then I remembered what the artist said.

I spoke with a holistic healthcare practitioner and he said I’d probably feel better if I ate a little bit of meat. After much research, I decided to give paleo a go. I eased into it. First I gave up gluten. Then a month later I gave up grains. And finally I said a little prayer to the animals added chicken and meat back into my diet. I felt AMAZING!

But what bugs the shit out of me, is how many of my “vegetarian” (not vegan) friends started judging me. The hypocrisy was mind blowing!  All of a sudden, in their eyes, I was this satanic animal killer for eating grass-fed beef (even thought I was still anti-animal testing, only drinking vegan alcohol, and still refusing to eat pork). 

And the “vegetarians” went on their merry way wearing their “MEATLESS” badges as they guzzled wine made from fish bladders, cheese made from the lining of a sheep’s stomach, and continued dying their hair with Loreal — one of the biggest offenders in animal testing. And let’s not forget desserts made with conventional milk, cheese, eggs and butter. Oh, but a gal’s gotta have dessert, right? Never mind what processed foods do to our environment.

After all that critique from vegetarian friends, I thought, okay, maybe now at least my meat eating friends will be on my side. But they didn’t get it either. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when my meat eating friends made the assumption that I was now pigging out on White Castles.

Then I decided to face my biggest fear — telling my VEGAN friends I was now PALEO.

But guess what? Surprise, surprise! They were the most compassionate and understanding of everyone! Wow, I thought to myself, somebody gets it! In fact, I’m now closer to my vegan friends as a paleo eater than I was when I was simply a vegetarian.

Vegans understand that eating grass-fed beef from a farm (once a month or so) is more environmentally responsible than eating soy and other processed foods.

As a paleo eater, I’m now eating more like a vegan as I consume more vegetables, fermented foods, and seaweeds. And I keep a variety of organic teas in my home too. Vegans love this!

And what’s really cool is that on paleo you don’t have to eat animal protein every single day! Sometimes I’ll even go two or three days in a row where I eat no animal products at all and feel fabulous. Only a vegan can understand that, since they don’t eat animal products at all.

When it comes to health, I truly believe that paleo eaters and vegans do the most research and take care of themselves the best. Like paleo people, many vegans are also grain free, sugar free and gluten free. They also understand the concept of telling each other what is in the food. They read labels and are compassionate to the dietary needs of others. And they do research — a lot of it. For vegetarians, they are just in denial when it comes to finding out what they really are eating. I was the exception. Whenever I mentioned to other vegetarian friends what animal by-product was in something they were eating, they turned a blind eye and ate it anyway. Vegans would never!

Both paleos and vegans don’t count calories, skip meals or over-exercise. They just have a sixth sense about being full and naturally stay at a perfect weight for their height (and age!)

Being environmentally conscious is a way of life for both paleos and vegans. We all love to practice yoga and qi-gong. We love to meditate and walk around barefoot. We enjoy buying second-hand clothing so the dye of a new outfit doesn’t seep into our skin. We are works in progress, trying consciously to make the world a better place to live. We stand up for what we believe in, no matter what, as we certainly don’t throw all caution to the wind in order to get a cheap alcohol buzz.

In fact, I have so much fun with my vegan friends because they don’t need to drink in order to unwind!