Joshua Weissman from Slim Palate sat down with me to answer some questions about what Paleo looks like for him, a little about his weight loss journey and what some of his favorite recipes are from his book and blog. I’m so stoked to be able to have had the opportunity to connect with Josh because my wife and I absolutely love his recipes. His carnitas recipe is to die for and I really love this pork chop sage recipe he has in his book.
Josh will be able to explain it a little more in detail, but he first got into Paleo to lose weight and along the way found that he needed to work on building muscle. He talks about how being strict Paleo was even contributing to him being underweight. I love the perspective he brings to the idea of what a healthy diet and lifestyle looks like for you. Being healthy doesn’t just mean being super thin, it looks completely different for everyone. I also will be giving away a free copy of his book The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win. I’ll give a week for people to sign up and I will select a winner by Halloween, October 31, 2015. So please take some time to read the interview and sign up for my newsletter, you won’t be sorry!
Before we get into it, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into Paleo.
I found Paleo around halfway through my weight loss process. A quick google search got me hooked on the idea almost instantly.
I read one of your recent posts about how you lost weight but added back muscle. Can you talk about that a little bit and how that journey has been?
I am so happy that I was able to find my way to that. I gained about 70 pounds of pure mass, mostly muscle. Honestly, I basically went through a body dysmorphic phase after the weight loss. I was so concerned about being under 10 percent body fat that I continued to eat low carb when I shouldn’t have. Ironically I found that carbs were an important role in not just gaining muscle but staying lean for ME.
What kind of fitness plan were/are you on that accomplished building back muscle?
I am much more specific in my post about the weight gain. To put it in simple terms I first started with a linear progression program for 12 weeks and was eating about 6,000 calories a day. Then the second 12-week plan was a mix of a main lift that built strength then worked a bit on hypertrophy. Then I had yet another 12 week phase where I did some german volume training and added in some more bodybuilding like movements. I put emphasis on the fact that I was eating REAL food for this hyper caloric form of eating.
What tips do you have to help people fit in working out?
Do wherever and whenever. Create a schedule that works somewhat well for your daily life and stick to that plan no matter what. Mine is usually Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and friday, for workout days. I workout at 9 am each and every time. That way when I get home I have the whole day ahead of me to get stuff done and I already have my workout in. Everyones schedule is different but if the president has time to workout then so do you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and long winded if you don’t want it to be.
My wife and I love your cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. What’s your favorite recipe out of the book?
That is a very hard question, it’s like asking who my favorite child is. I do really enjoy the braised Moroccan chicken. I make that one all the time!
What’s your favorite recipe from your blog?
Again; asking me which child is my favorite. My chewy chocolate chunk cookies are internet renowned for being the BEST paleo chocolate chip/chunk cookies on the planet. There pretty rad if I do say so myself.
What would you say a healthy diet and lifestyle looks like for you?
For me it involves a good amount of functional movement, keeping you joints in use, not too much sitting. Of course eating real food in a fashion that works well for you and makes you feel your best and most energetic. All the while making sure to treat yourself every once in a while and not feeling bad about it.
I absolutely love your carnitas recipe. It’s almost a staple meal in our house and I equally loved your post explaining your draw to Mexican food. What other Mexican inspired dishes do you make often?
I often find myself making several types of fancy tacos. I like the ability to make different fillings and toppings for them with an entirely different end product. I know it’s simple and sounds juvenile but it really speaks to my heart like no other dish.
What does a typical week of meals look like for you?
Well right now I’m going through a macro counting cutting phase to prepare myself for my next bulk. Basically on workout days my breakfast consists of 4 eggs and a couple egg whites for extra protein (don’t worry I use the yolks from those to make mayonnaise, dressings, and sauces. I never throw them away.), 3 slices of bacon, some sort of starchy carbohydrate like sweet potato or sometimes oats (yeah I know not exactly paleo but it’s worked wonders for me). For lunch I’ll eat a couple pork chops or chicken breasts with a pound and a half of cooked white rice or so (no joke), a lot of steamed vegetables, and butter or olive oil to flavor the rice. For dinner I might have 3 or so white potatoes some fish or chicken, and maybe cheese and butter on the potato. These are all very vague examples but for the most part it’s something like this.
How do you do meal planning?
I don’t really meal plan, although I have been thinking about doing it. I sort of just go with the flow and tend to defrost enough stuff that I will always have something on hand that I want. I don’t usually plan it out unless it’s something really specific. We do spend a lot on groceries but that is because we can afford it, plus it is easy to eat real food without breaking the bank if you need to. I know this because I’m moving out for the first time on my own and have already calculated my expenses for that.
Can you always afford to buy top quality meat, grass fed/pastured? Or if your budget doesn’t afford it do you do conventional meat?
We don’t ever buy conventional meat but I may be purchasing it on occasion when I move out. We get all of our meats from Yonder Way Farm.
On the spectrum of very strict Paleo to very lenient Paleo where do you fall and why? What foods do you eat that are on the boarder of Paleo-Non-Paleo?
Very, very, very, lenient. I’m so close to hopping off of the terminology bandwagon, which I will explain in a post on my blog soon (I’m not breaking up with paleo). I eat foods like oats, white rice, and other gluten free foods on occasion. Sometimes I eat gluten too cue evil music.
What kind of food do you eat when you’re not cooking something up at home?
Chipotle of course!
What are some struggles/roadblocks that you’ve run into eating Paleo?
Becoming underweight was sort of a result of staying strict paleo for too long for me.
What inspires you to try out new recipes and dishes? Are there certain foods you have a hard time experimenting with?
If I have never tried something before then I usually take it as a challenge to make sure that I do taste it as soon as possible, mainly because I’m impatient. I don’t have a hard time experimenting with anything even if I might find it repulsive at first.
Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out on Paleo?
I would recommend staying on it strictly for a set amount of time like 6 months or a year and then slowly reintroducing foods to see what works for you.
What is your favorite: protein, vegetable (leafy or hardy), starch and fat?
Protein: Pork (anything pork)
Vegetable: Hardy, such as roasted brussels sprouts
Starch: White rice, or homemade gluten free pasta, or homemade croissants if I’m really in the mood for that. Yeah I know not paleo but like I said, I have begun to just stick to the mantra of eating REAL food and adhering to more of an 80/20. What falls into my 80 percent is what works for ME, and what falls into my 20 percent are things that I’m still iffy about digestion wise A.K.A what gives me the rooty toots; if ya know what I mean.
Fat: Definitely a quality grass fed butter. Lard is a close runner up but I tend to use butter for a lot of things.It really depends on the use.
What can we expect next from you?
I have many goals, all of them are pretty competitive and difficult to get into. Movies, tv, music, and other things that follow that.