But You’re a Family – What Do You Mean TEAM?!
Over the years that we’ve been running this blog, we’ve found that we simply just cannot keep up with everything we want to do with it. Try as we might, this is not a full-time job for us – in fact, Stacy’s full-time career is very demanding. As are the 3 blonde boys that Matt runs after all day long. There’s a house to clean, food to cook and children to care for all on top of writing cookbooks, interviewing with the media, running a podcast and keeping up with this blog. Admittedly, it’s gotten out of control for us and we’re attempting to find ways that we can still provide you with awesome content, but find more time for sleep…
The last thing we want is to burn out and run away from the internet hoarding cinnamon buns in a cave somewhere. And frankly, that’s where the stress probably would take us! So, we started the journey to simplify our website efforts when we kicked off our Guest Series and lined up fantastic bloggers to contribute at least one post a week for us to share with you all. We’ve been thrilled with the quality of posts they’ve been graciously providing, and with the wonderful support you all have shown for them as a result – thank you!
What Will this Team be Doing?!
So, our next obstacle was reviews. You probably don’t know this, but we get requested to review things for people several times a week. People want you to know about their product! Here’s the problems:
- We do not have time to test every product out there, including books, food and whosey-whats-its, then take photos of us using them and then write a post on it.
- Also, we figure you don’t want to have this blog turn into a product placement ad.
- And not lastly, not all of these products are things we’d actually endorse!
So for a while that meant we just flat turned down a lot of offers. Sadly, however, it meant that we missed out on learning about the few-and-far-between awesome products we do enjoy sharing with you all (like our Favorite Things posts). You would likely want to know when we discover something like Paleo Treats! As the e-mails piled up of things we wanted to try but were feeling too overwhelmed to even know where to start, an idea occurred to us! What if we asked our friends to help us? Fortunately for us, they said yes ♥
Now, over time these members of our “team” have grown and don’t just focus on reviews. They’re also make the blog more useful and up-to-date in general, with tags and sort functions that will greatly benefit our readers. Additionally, they also are helping to manage the administrative burden associated with an inbox that receives hundreds of e-mails a week. They help coordinate our guest posters, manage the blog “schedule” and ensure that we maintain consistency of the blog you’ve become accustomed to.
Each of them has been following the blog for quite a while, knows our story, approach to paleo and has similar thoughts and beliefs – although each obviously bring their own thoughts as well. So, be on the look out for these awesome ladies and the content they’re contributing. Since we personally know each and every one, we have faith that they will deliver the honesty and openness paired with kind helpfulness you’re (hopefully) used to finding on our blog!
Monica Kenney – Operations Manager and Podcast Producer
Monica was the first Paleo Parents Team member, joining as our assistant in 2012 through a desperate call for help from us. Up to the task of helping to manage and organize the chaos of communication during the launch of Beyond Bacon, she now has stepped into the roll of assisting with The Paleo View, Strong Woman Radio, also launching Real Life Paleo and she is now a work at home mom as our Operations Manager, which means she helps keep us straight and does nearly all the communication and planning for the blog. Monica’s charisma, humor and down-right adorable smile (not to mention flattery) enamored Stacy to her – and if you enjoy this blog we probably have a bit in common… so I bet you’ll get a girl-crush on Monica soon, too! Make sure you follow her on Instagram so you don’t miss a thing! ♥
Raised in a full-on hippy house, I was taught to love the land and the animals that feed from it. From old school hog butcherings to berry farm harvesting treks, my parents showed us that health began with food choices. However, my teen years brought me down a rebellious path with food and I began to struggle with the world of weight-gain, yo-yo diets, and eating in secret. It wasn’t until my husband nudged me in the direction of the Primal Blueprint that I learned how to break my unhealthy cycle.
While pregnant with my oldest son I ended up reintroducing the very things my body hated. However, when we began solids with our baby my lifelong education on eating for health clicked into place. My husband, who also struggled with weight issues since childhood, and I, made the choice to adopt the very lifestyle we wanted to give our son. We kicked the grains, legumes, and excess sugar to the curb and never looked back.
Crystal Schmidt – Content Coordinator
Crystal lives with her fiancé on a small hobby farm, their “homestead” in the beautiful countryside of Wisconsin. They started their Paleo journey over a year ago and haven’t looked back! Crystal writes the blog Whole-Fed Homestead, where she shares her journey of cooking simple and home-grown Paleo meals, raising their own meat animals, gardening, preserving the harvest, and the ups and downs of life on a small farm. Connect with Crystal: Blog | Instagram | Facebook
Courtney McGregor – Creative Coordinator and Special Projects
Courtney lives with her husband and two boys in the suburbs of Washington DC. She stays busy homeschooling her boys, ages 8 and 6, coaching CrossFit, and competing in Olympic Weightlifting. Courtney loves being a part of the Paleo Parents team, especially when she’s asked to taste test recipes!
Samantha Scott – Local Assistant
We were so lucky Courtney was willing to share Sam, who she met at CrossFit earlier last year. Courtney raved about Sam being a great babysitter, and she was right! From the moment Sam texted Stacy and asked if she should bring her own (paleo) food or if there was enough in the house for her to cook for the children, we knew it was going to work out! When Stacy & Matt got home to find a clean kitchen as well as a house full of well-fed and happy boys we wondered how we could convince Sam to hang around more often. When she started PaleoSitter.com the opportunity for Sam to learn more about cooking, blogging, book writing and more came up; we’re thrilled to have her as our Local Assistant interning to learn more about how to turn your passion into a business and can’t thank her enough for helping us through the long, tough photoshoots in Real Life Paleo!
Hello! I am Sam. I am the newest and youngest member of the Paleo Parents team. Before eating paleo, I had skin allergies, acid reflux, acne, frequent bronchitis, and I was overweight. My Stepmom and I are avid CrossFitters, and both hit a plateau with weight loss. When our family decided to switch to paleo, it changed our lives. We have collectively lost 99 pounds. Not only did I lose weight, all of my medical issues disappeared.
I am a full time college student, a government contractor, and trying to become an avid blogger. I love to cook and bake. Oh, yeah, and eat. I have been cooking ever since I can remember. What really encouraged me to cook more, was when my Dad sent me to a cooking boot camp. I have transformed my cooking to paleo, with an abundance of trial and error. I am very excited to be working with Paleo Parents and their team!
Aimee Buxton – Photographer Extraordinaire
Aimee was part of our Vacation Team in 2012 and is the fantastic food photographer for Beyond Bacon and Real Life Paleo. She and her family are good friends of ours and we’re happy to have her contribute her talents to the blog for you all to see! She is often our motivating cheerleader to try new things and incorporate many of the WAPF principals to our paleo approach – especially ferments and organ meats… she LOVES that stuff!
After a slow 6 year progression from vegan abolitionist to the vegetarian that looks the other way when there is chicken broth in rice, I finally got back to my roots as a steak lover two years ago. I added back meat and went low carb to lose weight after having two kids, but now I mostly worry about getting in obscure micronutrients and trying new foods. The health that comes with real food awakened my competitive nature. I was hardcore into ballet until I graduated high school; and I finally started working out again last year after being sedentary my whole adult life. I take dance, practice yoga, do Crossfit, bike with the kids in a trailer hitch behind me and run when it’s not freezing outside. My biggest wish is that I had discovered this lifestyle when I was 18, but I’m enjoying being in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. My goal this year is to make and like kidneys since Stacy insists it cannot be done.
Aimee breaks up fights between two kids all day, but in between she ferments, exercises, and finds new weird meats to eat and instagram. Maybe you can find her at www.aimeebuxtonphotography.com one day blogging what she eats and what recipes she fails to make look like the photos in her cookbooks.
Amanda Krueger – Graphic & Web Design
Amanda makes the blog look professional! As pat of the GirlsTown collective, she is our part-time graphic artist and web designer. She assists with everything from eBook design, t-shirts, and blog graphics (like our Tutorial Thursday series) to site layout and design. Her creative art can be found on nearly every page of this blog, from the front page to the side bar. Without Amanda, this blog would like like some of the art we find when our 4 year old finds a Sharpee and a wall.
Review Team Members
Amelia has guest posted for us before, and has since become a friend to our family after we met at a meat-up in our home. There’s a hilariously funny story about the way we met, but I’ll let Amelia tell that one when she’s ready. She’s also helping us with some new ideas for the site we think you’ll LOVE but haven’t had time to tackle ourselves… hope to share more information soon!
My passion for real food started early. Growing up, I spent almost all my afternoons with my grandparents. Gram was the everyday cook and was famous for her pies. Gramps was famous for his homemade soups and low-sugar baking. I remember making the rounds around town every day with Gram – the farmer’s market for fruit, veggies, and special treats, the fish store for the freshest salmon and shellfish, and the butcher counter at the local small grocery for only the best cuts of meat. I loved sitting down at our well-loved kitchen table, cleaning string beans or shrimp and talking about our day. Dinner was normally a simple piece of fish or meat broiled in the oven or grilled outside, a large helping of a seasonal vegetable, and a starch like rice, pasta, or potatoes. Baking with Gramps was not an everyday thing, but was a joy – learning how to precisely measure to get the best results was an invaluable skill my pharmacist grandfather instilled in me and I learned that not everything had to be sickeningly sweet to taste good.
My relationship with food took a turn as a pre-teen when I started to gain weight. I went to Weight Watchers Camp for the first time (of three) at age 10. I learned a lot of great skills that would serve me well later in life – to drink water as my primary beverage, to enjoy lots of salad, and that fitness can be tons of fun. But I also got my ticket on the dieting rollercoaster. I spent the next 20 years on and off of diets, gaining and losing weight in an endless and hopeless cycle.
The last five years were a transition as I investigated ways to stop the yo-yo dieting that was not permanently solving my weight issue and was the source of significant stress. Finding the Paleo lifestyle in early 2011 was a relief. It put all my struggles with food, my weight, and my self-image into a context that made sense. Eating and living this way has not magically solved all my problems but has given me a framework for how to take better care of myself and work at improving my health above all else instead of focusing on the size of my pants.
I enjoy cooking real food for myself and my wonderful husband, getting back to the joy and passion I shared with my grandparents as a kid. I am excited to be joining the Paleo Parents’ team as a product and book reviewer now that we plan to grow our happy family of two to include some kiddos in the near future. You can find out more about me in my Guest Post or visit me at Amelia’s Healthy Life.
I met Kari many years ago at a previous employer for us both. We had a lot in common, what with our repetitive weight struggles and leaning toward Weight Watchers. Before talking to Kari on Facebook, the last time she’d seen me I was pregnant with Wesley and in the worst health of my life. It was quite a leap of faith for her to switch her ways of thinking about food, but I’m so glad she did (and just goes to show that if you can find kind and subtle ways to talk to people about this it might actually make a difference)! Now she’s got the coolest named blog and I’m happy to been part of her journey!
Hi! My name is Kari, I am 29 years old, and live in Chantilly, Virginia with my husband and precious beagle, Rallo. I am obsessed with food (and wine) and have started blogging at Long Live Lard! Growing up, I was always larger than the other kids. I did not start trying to do anything on my own about my weight until after college. My sister had success with Weight Watchers so I gave it a try. I lost about 30 lbs but I was always hungry! I slowly stopped following the plan and quickly gained back all the weight (and then some).
Before I knew it I was 212 lbs, all of my clothes were tight, and I felt defeated. In December of 2011, I decided to try Weight Watchers again. I had lost a small amount of weight but I was frustrated by the counting and constant number monitoring. One day I was complaining about the “points” value in a tablespoon of peanut butter and Stacy told me that there was an easier way to lose weight while getting healthy. She challenged me to cut out sugar and processed foods for 30 days to see how I felt. I accepted this challenge in January 2012 and have not looked back! I have cut out grains, sugar, and processed foods and my body has never been happier! Today, I weigh 172 lbs but I have a ways I’d still like to go.
I love reading about nutrition and food, trying new recipes, and finding ways to make my body healthier while helping others on their journeys. I am elated to gain more real food knowledge through helping Matt and Stacy with product and book reviews!
Anne Mockus – Review Team
We met Anne and her family at one of our first meet-up events. Her son immediately clicked with our boys, and we’ve been happily stuck with one another since. Always up for an adventure or helping to teach us all how to correctly ferment, our families love to hang out together and wave our freak flags high while doing it! Anne’s husband has an impressive success story with Paleo, going off of injected medication to manage arthritis just with food and lifestyle alone! He and Stacy love to lament having an autoimmune condition. Anne is also the GENIUS behind the Metro DC Co-Op Group where we purchase bulk orders with other locals for a discount to things like whole animals, Green Pastures and even Cappellos. Her spreadsheet skillz would impress Microsoft engineers; we’re lucky to have such organizational skills in a fellow food-hoarder! ♥
Hello my name is Anne & I am addicted to food.
Kidding! I just believe in living to eat vs. eating to live. My husband was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis over 10 years ago and we’ve made lifestyle changes because of that. Roughly a year ago we became aware of the Paleo Diet and the health benefits that come from it. I won’t lie & say that we jumped on board & didn’t look back. It has been a rocky path with ups & downs for us, but we made the decision that our health & well-being were of utmost importance.
Fortunately I love to cook (as does my husband) and we have friends that are very creative in the kitchen. All of the “deprivation” I thought I would suffer from hasn’t happened! I have a 5 year-old who is quite adventurous in his eating habits & naturally chooses fewer grains. We’ve started a blog to try & keep ourselves accountable (http://adayinourpaleolife.com/) as well as having a place where we can keep track of the yummy meals we make.
I am passionate about sourcing as much of our food as I can from local farms with sustainable farming practices. I run a number of local co-ops and am one of the administrators of the DC Metro Co-Ops & Meat Shares group on Facebook.
Joanna Snead – Review Team
Please give the team a warm welcome and check back on the Paleo Parents Team page for soon-to-be-added members! If you are interested in becoming part of our Team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !