My paleo  journey began on New Year’s Eve, a mere 30-days ago. A dear friend, Bill Parravano, came over to visit and cooked me my very first paleo meal. It was my introduction into a new world that would later transform my relationship with the food I feed my family. The initial conversation centered on the health benefits. I had suffered for years with sinus issues that were reaching critical mass. I had such frequent infections that my family doctor was beginning to suggest expensive medical tests with the very real possibility of surgery. When Bill told me paleo could help with that, I stood up and took notice.
I’m a logical person. It made sense that if you cut out grains, legumes, and dairy from your diet there would be a positive effect on the body. All I really heard Bill say though was that my sinuses would get better. I am happy to report that I have not taken any sinus medication in 30-days. I have not had to go to the doctor for the dreaded antibiotics in order to stave off the inevitable walking pneumonia that would always result from attempting to avoid taking antibiotics. Most surprisingly is that I can b r e a t h e. It made me wonder how many years I was simply not capable of breathing. The good news is that all of that is behind me now. I marvel at what new health benefit awaits me around the next bend.
It all begins with good water. I have always been concerned with the water that comes out of the tap. If it smells like chemicals, what is it doing to my body? With so much of our bodies comprised of water, it would have to have an effect. That would just make sense. So what can you do? With that question, Bill directed me towards natural spring water and where to find public (free) resources near me. I looked up the nearest spring on the “Find a Spring” database  and headed out the door. A quick trip to a local store and I now had two 7-gallon BPA-free heavy duty containers  that just happen to be blue, my favorite color.
In short order, the water containers were full and we were drinking some of the best water I had ever tasted.
So how much water should you drink every day? According to Bill, the formula is: (your body weight in pounds) / 2 = (total daily ounces of water). Using that number, I broke it down just a little further. I took the total daily ounces and divided it by 3, so that I would know how much to drink with each meal. This gives me small wins throughout the day. So, if someone weighs 120 pounds, then:
(120 lbs.) / 2 = (60 oz.), then
(60 oz.) / 3 = (20 oz. with each meal)
The next step in my paleo journey involved becoming a little more educated and most importantly – recipes!
This was such a great book to introduce paleo to us. At Bill’s suggestion, I purchased the book and I am increasingly glad that I did. I highly recommend Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso . She outlines a step-by-step process on how to effectively transition your family over to paleo within 30-days.
Originally, my plan was to finish eating all of the food in the kitchen and just gradually replenish it with paleo items. My justification was cost. I didn’t want to just toss out 95% of the items in my kitchen. The accountant in me cringed at the mere thought of it. Well, that was the plan.
After about a week of cooking, eating, feeling better and better I just decided to go all in. I didn’t want to delay the benefits of paleo. We got boxes down from the attic and filled three of them up with dry goods that I donated to my eldest daughter, Erika, and her family. (I decided to work on converting her a little later. She needs to be eased into anything new).
Next, we emptied the refrigerator and freezer of anything non-paleo and donated it to a neighbor. A little Rescue Remedy™  later (accountant, remember) and we ramped up the excitement level by picking out new recipes to try. One trip to the local Trader Joe’s®  and my cupboards were beginning to look great.
One of the first recipes we tried that we just absolutely fell in love with was “Rockin’ Moroccan Chicken” from Everyday Paleo  (page 47). One word – Yummy!
I have now made this recipe for both family and friends; everyone has raved about it. Thanks, Sarah!
I am already feeling better thanks to Bill and his guidance. My sinuses have become a non-issue. I am saving hundreds of dollars a month (doctor visits, over the counter medication, and antibiotics) which keeps my inner accountant happy. I have more energy and am finally sleeping at night. My skin has improved and my youngest daughter, Cheyanna, says I look younger. (That made me smile). I’m really looking forward to whatever comes next. As we learn more about paleo and ourselves in the process, I’ll keep you posted.
Rockin’ Moroccan Chicken 
4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 cups carrots, diced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
Small pinch of cayenne pepper
Black pepper to taste
½ cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
¼ cup raisins (optional)
¼ cup chicken broth
1. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with coconut oil. Sauté the chicken until no longer pink in the middle (about 7 minutes).
2. Add the veggies in with the chicken and stir-fry for another 5 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots start to become tender.
3. Add the cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Once the chicken and veggies are covered with the spices, add the sliced olives, raisins, and the chicken broth to create a sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook another 5-7 minutes stirring often. Serve immediately.
 Wolf, R. (2010). The Paleo Solution: The original human diet. Victory Belt Publishing.
 Find A Spring database: http://www.findaspring.com/
 Aqua Tainer: http://www.rei.com/product/618168/reliance-aqua-tainer-7-gal
 Fragoso, S. (2011). Everyday Paleo. Victory Belt Publishing.
 Bach Rescue Remedy:
Go to: Bach Products > Rescue Remedy Products
 Trader Joe’s: http://www.traderjoes.com/
Alexis C Bell is a forensic accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and a mom to two amazing daughters. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email her at Wellness@AlexisCBell.com. For more information, visit Alexis at her website: http://alexiscbell.com/Paleo_Journey_Section.php