On Saturday I had the opportunity to meet four people who have hugely impacted my health journey, Stefani Ruper, Sarah Ballantyne, Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them and I’m so inspired by their work. When I found out they would be in my city for a book signing, I squealed with excitement! And then Stacy asked me to do a guest blog post for them. Amazing!!
I was so thrilled when Stacy invited me to write a guest post! She and Matt have been a tremendous inspiration and I’m incredibly grateful for their dedication to healthy living.
After a toast of homemade bone broth, Stacy welcomed the crowd of over fifty fans. I arrived twenty minutes early to snag a front row seat and I was already late to the party. This crowd came early to see Stacy, Matt, Sarah and Stefani in real life. I made a tiny spot for myself near the edge of the stage just within distance to claim first dibs on samples. This was the only cooking demonstration on the tour and I was not going to miss out on the deliciousness.
Stacy gave a brief overview of their health journey and why they were compelled to write Real Life Paleo. Basically to look good naked. Okay, that was a joke. The main goal is nourishing their bodies. I really liked how she explained this though. She and Matt eat paleo because they want to be around for a long time and feel good. It’s that simple. Real Life Paleo equips families with the tools they need to transition to a real food diet. Then Sarah discussed her therapeutic approach to diet from her book, The Paleo Approach. And Paleo for Women’s Stefani Ruper made a very special appearance to show her love for Matt and Stacy’s new book.
Real Life Paleo is first and foremost a cookbook and I was super excited to see the recipes come to life. Matt took the reigns on the cooking demo, making two dishes from the book, the Cali-Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Lemon Zest and the Cranberry Orange No-Bake Coconut Bars. Sarah also made two delicious dishes from her book, The Paleo Approach Cookbook. She made Pork Cabbage Dumplings and her Olive Oil Ice Cream. Yum!
While the cooking magic was happening, the crowd dove into questions. They ranged from the nutritional profile of nuts, how to get your spouse on board with your new diet and testing for food intolerances. I could see the fans hanging onto Stacy, Sarah and Stefani’s every word. Many were there searching for specific health answers. One woman was so desperate to help her son that Sarah offered up her personal functional medicine doctor as a resource. It was a humbling experience to witness this kind of generosity and humanity.
By this time, the cooking aromas had taken over the room and the crowd hovered close by the demo table anxious to get a nibble. The Cali-Gnocchi and Pork Cabbage Dumplings were served up and plates passed around the room. The conversation lighted. One fan asked, “if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” “Ice Cream,” said Stacy. Then she changed it to soup after considering nutrition. Matt went with soup too. My vote is for the ice cream. There is a new recipe in Real Life Paleo for Healthiest Ice Cream Ever with a super secret ingredient that I think could keep me healthy enough to make it viable.
Sarah then threw out a quick autoimmune protocol pork roast recipe that I committed to memory. Rub 1 part maple sugar and 2 parts sea salt over the roast and throw into the oven at 275 for six hours, and dinner is served.
I also wanted some suggestions for convenient portable snacks. Stefani said whole fruit and avocados and Stacy mentioned organ meat jerky. All good options when I’m on the go-go-go.
During the book signing, the line wrapped around the store with fans holding armloads of books.
Stacy, Matt, Sarah and Stefani made each book signing a personal experience. They were so generous with their time and their energy never wavered. I was especially grateful since I was last in line. It took almost an hour to get to everyone but we all stayed. We knew it was worth the wait to meet them one-on-one. Many a selfie was taken too. I walked away with two copies of Real Life Paleo, two copies of Sexy by Nature and two copies of The Paleo Approach.
I was most pleasantly surprised by the friendships I made in the crowd. The event brought together a community of like-minded people and it was a joy to connect with so many of them. We all chatted during the event and knew we had much to learn from each other. I’m grateful for Stacy, Sarah and Stefani for creating that opportunity.
Dessert was saved for last. Fans held their newly signed book copies and we all stood around nibbling a perfect sweet ending.