Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giveaway: Well Fed Cookbook

Today I am thrilled to announce today's giveaway - a signed copy of my newest favorite cookbook, Well Fed, by Melissa Joulwan.  I mentioned last week that, in order to be the best version of myself, I follow a type of eating often referred to as "Paleo" or "Primal" (I generally shy away from using these terms and instead prefer to say that I eat REAL FOOD)!  I believe that in order to look good on the outside, you MUST feel good on the inside.

From a personal perspective, I figured out that eating grains were causing me to have regular headaches and an unhappy belly, so when I learned more about this way of eating, I researched a lot and decided to give it a try.  Fast forward to two years later, I continue to eat a diet of high quality meat, seasonal veggies, some fruits, and delicious sources of fat and I feel better than ever

First, let me introduce you to Melissa!  

Today, Mel is going to give you a bit of her background and share 5 easy ways to get yourself on a healthier path today!  At the end of her post, she shares the ways you can enter to win the copy of Well Fed!  Entries for this giveaway will end on Friday at 5 PM EST.  A winner will be announced on Monday! Good Luck!

In 2008, I had just retired from Roller Derby and started a new, somewhat overwhelming fitness adventure. I cleaned up my diet by dumping grains and cutting out cocktails, and I signed up for a CrossFit-style bootcamp at 6:30 a.m. three times a week. I was determined to be a badass.

At the same time, I was in search of writing inspiration, so I started a blog called The Clothes Make The Girl (http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com). The idea was to write about the fun of creating characters with my clothes. I planned to share the stories I habitually make up in the shower, on my bus ride, and during my walk to work… flights of fancy inspired by whatever character I’d created with my clothes that day.

But as I became more committed to my physical training, the focus of my blog shifted. It kept the playful tone and the stories — and the occasional sidetrip into fashion — but it evolved to become about the beauty that starts inside with confidence borne of mental and physical strength.

Don't get me wrong! I'm still a sucker for the perfect little black dress and stompy black boots and a little sparkly what-what. But now, my desire to look as good as possible is matched by my desire to be as fit and healthy as possible.

I'm a huge fan of Stylized Existence and whole-heartedly encourage you to follow Lauren's kicky, stylish lead. But I also believe that no matter how great you look in your clothes, you can look — and feel — even better by treating yourself well on the inside, too.

The Paleo Diet
I follow the paleo diet,  sometimes called the primal or caveman diet, too. Paleo eating is based on the idea that we feel our best when we mimic the nutrition of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. What that means for everyday meals is this: avoid grains — especially the ones that contain gluten — as well as dairy, legumes, and excess sugar. These foods, while often tasty, can make most people feel less than their best. That's a lot of favorite comfort foods on the "no" list, right?

That's why it's important to focus on the "yes" list instead. Think of every kind of meat, seafood, vegetable, and fruit you can. Go on! Imagine your list... keep going. Now add yummy fat sources like coconuts and avocados and olives — and the accessories of the kitchen: herbs and spices. That’s a lot of wonderful food! And those are the foods that make up the paleo diet.

If you're interested in the paleo diet, I recommend starting with the Whole30. (http://whole9life.com/2012/01/whole-30-v2012) It's the program that helped me learn to "just eat," without needing to worry about the trappings of "dieting" — like weighing, measuring, counting, stressing, and logging my food. Along the way, I also got a body that’s leaner, skin that’s clearer, hair that’s shinier, and energy that’s stable from wake up to conk out. It’s not an exaggeration that trying paleo for 30 days will change your life and teach you new things about your relationship with food.

But if you're not ready to try paleo just yet, here are five good habits you can adopt now to make yourself healthier, happier, and — fashionistas, rejoice! — even more attractive. Who doesn’t want that?!

5 Tips For Right Now
1. Get rid of gluten — bonus if you kick all grains.
All grains (wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, barley, etc.) contain proteins that we humans cannot digest. Those microscopic, undigested bits punch holes in our intestines that allow "bad stuff" into our bloodstreams. Our bodies’ immune systems react, and that leads to inflammation inside our bodies. Think about the blister you get from killer-looking -but-cheap shoes: it's red, painful, and hot to the touch. Now imagine that INSIDE your body. Ew, right? Inflammation is to blame for most modern ailments — and grains that contain gluten are the worst. At the minimum, cut wheat-based products like bread, pasta, and baked sweets from your diet. If you're ready to take the leap, say goodbye to all grains and see how great you feel.

2. Sleep at least 8 hours per night. Every night.
Slighting yourself on sleep can have all kinds of nasty repercussions: weight gain, inability to lose weight, mental fuzziness, increased appetite, increased stress, puffy eyes... the list goes on and on. I challenge you to make it a priority for one week to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Try it and see how much better you feel — and look.

3. Say "See Ya!" to sugar.
The naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are your friends; the added sugar in processed foods and your morning latte are dangerous frenemies. And artificial sweeteners are just as bad because, like the mean girls in junior high, they pretend to be something they’re not. Artificial sweeteners trigger a sugar response in your body without the actual sugar. Sugar causes an insulin response that also influences inflammation, which can cause weight gain and other, more serious ailments, including heart disease. You are sweet enough just as you are; banish sugar like that blouse in your closet that just seems to go with anything no matter how many combos you try.

4. Cut the caffeine — drink water instead.
If you drink more than one or two cups of coffee per day, you might want to consider cutting back. Chronic caffeine use has been shown to significantly decrease blood flow to the brain, and no matter how fab you look in that dress, the sexiest thing about you is still your brain. Plus, too much caffeine can interfere with sleep patterns, age your skin, and stress out your body... which leads to hormonal imbalances that can cause weight gain, especially around the belly. Drink water instead!

5. Eat your vegetables.
The old advice is true: eating vegetables is good for you. And no matter how many you're eating right now, you can always eat more. Just like your wardrobe, choose a variety of colors and mix-and-match them in different ways to ensure you get the broad spectrum of nutrients you need. Cooked or raw, fresh or frozen, all vegetables are a great choice to fill you up, to provide high-quality carbohydrates, and to give you the dose of antioxidants you need to look youthful and vibrant.

Well Fed Giveaway
OK! If you're inspired to try some new habits, we want to support you in your mission. We're giving away a signed copy of my new cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. (http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/wellfed) It includes more than 115 recipes that taste so good, you'll never notice what's missing, and it includes tons of practical tips for how to adopt the paleo lifestyle without making yourself crazy.

To enter, do all of the following:
1. "Like" Stylized Existence on Facebook << Click the link
2. "Like" The Clothes Make The Girl on Facebook << Click the link
3. Post to comments to let us know you did 1 and 2 above and tell us which of the 5 healthy habits you'd tackle first

Remember, the deadline to enter is Friday at 5 PM EST!  Good Luck!


  1. I would LOVE to add this cookbook to my collection! We kicked grains and sugar about 8 months ago and have felt better than ever. Next on the list is dairy. It's got to go. Both pages are liked on Facebook - excited about the giveaway! Thanks Lauren and Melissa :)

  2. Doing the Whole 30 right now and couldn't agree more that it is a great place to start. I've heard great things about the cookbook and I'm excited to dig into Lauren's blog too!

  3. I would SOOOOO love this cook book. I have liked both pages on FB. And I have tackled all of the 5 healthy habits but I have not overcome the caffeine. :( I still drink like 2 cups of coffee a week and am working to cut those out!!
    tonya gr8fulheart7@yahoo.com

  4. Like both pages. Cut out grains -- check, cut out sugar -- check, eat vegetables -- check...guess i have to work on cutting out caffeine (down to just one cup a day though) and that sleep thing...that's a harder one but I will get there.

  5. I like both pages on FB! I'd love to have this cookbook! We've gotten rid of grains and sugar, but sleep is still my big stumbling block!

  6. This book is on my "want" list!!! I've tried a couple of recipes from her web site and they are Fabulous!!! I "like" both pages on facebook. Not doing to bad on the 5 steps, but most definitely need to add more veggies!

  7. I would love to get this cook book Paleo is new to me and who doesn’t love a great cookbook. oh and I LOVE TO EAT we are a perfect match. I liked both facebook sites and shared both with my friends on facebook and twitter. I went gluten free about 3 years ago when diagnosed with celiac as for the other 4 my only problem is with sugar. I love fruit way to much and prefer it to vegetables, local raw honey is my kryptonite I cant seem to kick it, I am a snacker and need to become more of a fooder. I need to eat more sustaining foods with less salt and sugar paying more attention to what goes into the mouth.

  8. I have liked both pages, and what i HAVE to do is cut back on caffeine.

  9. I have liked both. We already eat real food, and have been tackling my lack of sleep. I just plan to keep on improving upon that. :)I follow Melissa's blog and many of her recipes but would just LOVE to have her cookbook.

  10. Liked both! I've done all the steps already except for the sleep aspect. It is hard for a college student with 3 kids to get that much sleep. So far with the eating changes I'm down 115 pounds in the last 18 months, so they definitely work!

  11. LIKE! Count me in for this great giveaway. The biggest vice on that list is caffeine... I don't drink it all day, but I do wonder how I'd feel without. I should do it!

  12. Likeys both pages, was a stalker(fan) of Melissa's already! Will have to check out Lauren's page. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As for my to-do project I need to work on the bonus of getting all grains out of my life.

  13. Already followed you through Alison, but I officially liked your page today! And I religiously follow Mel. Keep it up, lady! :)

    For this post, I'll use jenpsu08atyahoodotcom.

  14. I "liked" Clothes Make the Girl a while back and just went and "liked" Stylized Existence. I am trying to get back into eating more of a paleo diet, but still struggle with some things. Especially caffeinated beverages. I also need to place more emphasis on sleep. So those would be the two things I'd tackle... I can't just pick one. :) I'd love to win the cookbook, though - it looks amazing!

  15. Done and done. I'm new to this way of eating so I have been doing a ton of research on it lately. My first plan of action is to clear out my kitchen of all the foods on the "no" list. My second is to replace all of that with "yes" foods and just go all in. I'm ready for a big change and both my personal trainer and dietician recommend paleo and the Whole30 challenge. I'm excited to get started and really hope to win this cookbook! Good luck to everyone!

  16. Liked them both! Have been moving to Paleo over the last couple of months! not 100% but on my way! The sleep thing is a challenge! I try...but the eyes keep on popping open through the night.....cookbook looks great and would be great to share with my daughter and boyfriend who have been enjoying the Paleo way, and introduced me to it!

  17. I liked both FB pages. Sleep....need more sleep! Zzzzzzzzz

  18. Done and Done! I started Paleo at the beginning of the year (all in, cold turkey) and have to say I feel AWESOME! This feeling is addictive and I can't imagine giving it up for any food that I've left behind. I would say to cut out sugars first if you're stepping into it. That's one of the things that's always an "extra" in your diet anyway. Start reading labels and see how many grams of sugar are in that organic, greek, fruit yogurt vs. a plain yogurt (add your own fruit!). It's hiding everywhere. Switch to unsweetened milk alternatives if you can. Unsweetened coconut and almond milk are so yummy and have as much or more of the calcium and Vit. D that milk offers.

  19. Done! I've been attempting a paleo lifestyle for 8 months, but definitely need to work on getting more sleep. Though I do notice I need less sleep than I used to since I changed my diet! I think the key, really, is getting *enough* sleep - whatever that may be - so that I wake up energized and without my alarm clock.

  20. liked The Clothes That Make The Girl on FB.

  21. Liked Stylized Existence on FB (and excited to see you’re in Cincinnati! I’m from Cincinnati too!)

  22. I’m trying to tackle this 8 hours of sleep a night habit first – There’s so much that I want to accomplish in the evenings after work (cooking a healthy/paleo dinner, cleaning up, blogging, wedding planning, quality time with my fiancé, etc) that I can’t seem to get my butt to bed before 1130p.

  23. Like both pages. Thanks for the great post. I was wondering about story behind the Clothes Make the Girl blog - since I go there mostly for recipes.

    I always need to eat more veggies. Kinda hard to do since I've developed intolerance to most of my favorite veggies. But hopefully now that I'm on a grain-, legume-, and dairy-free diet, my system is on its way to healing and I'll be able to reincorporate those much loved veggies soon.
    niquemel (at) hotmail (dot) com

  24. I already like both pages. :) I'm jumping in on the Whole30 today, but if I had to pick one of the 5, it would be cutting all grains. It makes such a huge difference!! Kealoha Swineford msluvsks@aol.com

  25. I like both pages and I'm just over halfway through my first Whole30. :) The thing I need to work on from that list is going to bed on time! I get sucked into books or TV and get to bed way too late! rebecca.munson@gmail.com

  26. I like both pages on Facebook. I am tackling dropping processed sugar.

  27. I've been paleo for almost 11 months now...although I have to admit at times I'm only 80/20, I also Crossfit and sometimes I just get the urge for white rice and some cheese. I love how it makes me feel to eat 'real'. I would like a chance to get this book in order to find more recipes. I subscribe to Mark's Daily Apple and also 'like' fastpaleo.com. Thanks for allowing me to share!

  28. I am a loyal fan of Stylized Existence on fb already and have liked The Clothes Make the Girl. I am on week two of my new Paleo lifestyle, but SLEEEEEP is what I am missing. Eight hours of sleep sounds magical.

    It would be wonderful to get to work in the kitchen with Well Fed!

  29. #1 and #2 done...and I badly need to tackle the SLEEP habit.

  30. I've liked both pages on Facebook, "Stylized Existence" today and "The Clothes Make the Girl" for a while now.

    I'm torn between trying to eliminate gluten and eliminate sugar. Eventually I'd like to give up all grains, but right now, I'm trying to eliminate wheat first. I need to pluck up my determination and do a Whole 30.

  31. Liked clothesmakethegirl a while ago and just liked StylizedExistence.

    Been Primal for a bit now... lovin the free download of Well Fed! Making Mayo like crazy! lol Would love to win an autographed edition! But if I don't, I'll be looking forward to the Kindle edition in a couple of weeks!

  32. I liked both your FB pages... clothesmakethe girl and Stylized Existence. I just joined the Y last week and ready to get fit! With that said, I am getting my ZZ's now!!!

  33. 1 & 2 done and I most need to get rid of sugar! I'm on day 12 of the Whole 30 Challenge. Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. I like both. I need to get more sleep! I hardly ever get 8 hours.

  35. I liked both and am on Whole30 right now...day 17! I also gave up caffeine.

  36. I liked both pages (jabeile@hotmail.com) :)

    xo Jennifer


  37. HI! I liked both pages. At this point, I am holding nothing back when it comes to my health and doing what is right/good for my body. I love real food and as more time goes by I am losing cravings for processed junk and foods that cause inflammation. I saw this book the other day and loved the way it was laid out so creatively.

  38. I liked "S.E." a while ago :) now I add "Clothes makes the girl". Being married is awesome but gosh it is hard to fully commit to a paleo lifestyle when my husband lives for pasta and cheese, this cook book would be such a great help! I try to exercise 5x a week but I think changing to a paleo lifestyle would really help me see the results I am seeking. I continue to work on my schedule of balancing being a mommy, wife, exercise, family/friends, work and a husband that works wayyy to much :) I still am in the learning process about paleo so thank you for your helpful info. Next should I ditch my gym and join crossfit? Keep up the great work. I love reading blogs to help unwind :)

  39. I like everyone, especially you two. I've been paleo since last May, am currently 17 days into my first Whole30 - and I love it even more. It's so nice not to obsess over food and to think clearly!!

  40. We are on day 17 of the Whole30, so already doing 1,3,4 & 5. But the one we need to work on is sleeping for 8 hours. That gets a little tricky with 3 kids, but ready to conquer it. We had not ever tried Paleo before, but after making it half way through the Whole30, we can't imagine going back to eating all that junk we were before. So, winning the cookbook would be a great prize for making it through the Whole30 and continuing our clean eating!! Amy (kaejc@yahoo.com)

    1. Oooh, almost forgot - I have "liked" both pages, too!

  41. I liked the pages. Can't wait to try the Pad Thai recipe pictured on Mel's page.

    I am struggling with saying good-bye to sugar. It is my bane. As a competitive rower I know - KNOW - it slows me down but it calls to me and I answer the call every darn time. Sigh. Keep trying.

    Rebecca Hoch

  42. I liked both pages, I am going to tackle sugar this year. I would love to have this cookbook, one of my resolutions is to cook healthier food for my family.

  43. I have liked both pages! I'm already a follower of Melissa's. I'm on Whole30 day 15 So far I am kicking sugar's you know what!;-) My husband joined me a week later and together we are doing our best to change for the better. Our children are easing into the transformation slowly but surely I hope! Sleep could be a bit better but each day we try again. I love to cook and anything to do with food (cookbooks, kitchen tools...) so Well fed would be a great reward for taking this change seriously, because its not just for 30 days its for life. Plus I am dying to try the Asian Scotch eggs mentioned on Nom Nom Paleo! :-) Keep being an inspiration ladies.
    Tanya Lichtin (tlichtin@yahoo.com)

  44. Now liking both pages!

    I've already started Whole30, and I'm on track with all 5 of the suggestions except #2. I am horrible about getting to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep. I've started pushing back the wake-up time, but then I'm late for work, and if I get fired how will I afford fresh vegetables and grass-fed beef?! A conundrum, for sure. Really have to get to bed earlier. Le sigh.

  45. Victoria Cowan
    (vcowan7@live.com: I don't have any other accounts to claim an official name)

    I don't just "like" but love both pages! I recently found Mel's blog and it's very ironic how life creates opportunities for us to stumble on to great finds just when they are needed most. I commented on one of Mel's recipes last weekend and she recommended I check out the "Whole 30" because I mentioned "paleo" and "crossfit"! I started crossfit in November at a predominately female gym and this new adventure gave me the opportunity to do a nutritional challenge between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I lost 9lbs and 3.5% body fat in 3 weeks!!! This gave me the courage to complete item #1 as it was a paleo/zone based challenged and also the other 5 items for 3 weeks but were allowed a little caffeine in the morning. After the challenged I slacked a little while vacationing but have maintained my weight. As of monday 1/23 I am entering the bodybuiling.com transformation challenge also to include a 6 wk bootcamp at my box! I am so excited to be surrounded by women at my affiliate that are strong and beautiful both inside and out, I am even more thrilled to have found a new collective of women online to add to the powerful courageous women that currently inspire me! Thank you both for being an inspiration and courageous enough to share your story with other women. Oh yes...my house is now gluten-free but we still have a few grains around and I am definitely getting 8 hours of sleep! I would like to tackle the caffeine next, it's pretty rare when I have it but I really don't feel that it serves a purpose when I can get as much energy from an apple. :) Thanks ladies, YOU ROCK!