Our Newest Team Member | Meet Kara

Our lives have been in an absolute swirl for the last 9 months, as many of you know (or can tell). We have been working on two beautiful books (Gather, and The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking), both due out in a matter of months (April 30, and June 14 – respectively). With several other projects still in the works, it was becoming too much for the two of us to do everything we wanted to get done (and still find time to sleep). Even as it is, we haven’t even taken a weekend off in about two months. No complaints for being able to live our dream, because we love it, but we love doing everything we can for you all even more. Lately, there simply haven’t been enough hours in the day. We want to do more for you!

To help us out, we would like to introduce you to the newest member of our team: Kara! We are so pleased to have Kara joining our team. She will be spearheading our 30 Day Intro to Paleo ebook program, and helping affiliates of the program maximize their potential. If you’d like to learn more about our affiliate program, visit this link!

We thought there would be no one more qualified to introduce Kara, than Kara herself.

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Hi! I’m Kara- a total foodie and a running freak.Kara Headshot

Those two things-running and food-have always been my two first loves.  But the way I think about food and my overall approach to healthy living has varied greatly.

I grew up on a conventional farm in Iowa.  I classified potatoes as my favorite “vegetable,” thought fried food was delicious, and never heard of a thing called Meatless Monday.  I survived solely on meat and potatoes for eighteen years until I entered college.  While I understood the basic division between which foods were “bad” and which were “good,” nutrition was not something I gave a great deal of thought to.  My high school track team and I completely eliminated caffeinated drinks while in season and I never ate dessert within three days of a meet.  My complete list of diet restrictions ended there.  I still believed in the concept of carb-loading and could easily eat my weight in spaghetti.  Mornings of competition consisted of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast followed by a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.

After high school, I went to Drake University on a track scholarship and was forced to take a solid look at my diet for the first time.  My teammates and I were weighed weekly, kept food journals bi-weekly, and had our body fat tested each semester.  While my team joked over my Midwest-style eating habits, it wasn’t until my junior year that I decided to make a change.  A summer excursion to Europe (and all the bread, chocolate, and gelato that comes with it) had resulted in a weight gain of ten pounds, or twenty in “track-terms.”  My coach took a single look at me and immediately sent me to a nutritionist.

Kara Drake Track

Rather than giving me an overbearing, complex diet plan, my nutritionist left with me the most basic principles to follow.  She instructed me to divide my plate in fourths, with half my plate divided between protein and “good” carbs and the other half filled with fruits and vegetables.  She increased my protein intake.  She informed me that carb-loading was a complete myth.  She diversified my diet and put green food on my plate for the first time in twenty years.  My muscle came back, the fat came off, and I thought I had everything figured out.

Kara Drake Track

Then I moved to Washington, D.C., one of the most diversified cities in the nation in terms of population as well as the food people eat.  I was friends with people who were vegan, vegetarian, or avoided specific foods for religious/cultural reasons.  As a die-hard carnivore from Iowa and retired athlete, I was the protein advocate in the group.  However, given my new exposure to such a wide-range of diets, I found myself questioning all I had been taught.

Since moving to Pittsburgh, I have refocused not only on what I eat, but how I want to live.  What attracted me to Paleo is the basic premise that no matter what your background, beliefs, or dietary preferences may be; just eat the foods our bodies were designed to consume.  When I met Bill and Hayley, the first thing they told me was, “What’s our Paleo is not necessarily your Paleo.”  My paleo is one where running is the go-to form of exercise, where red meat forms the bottom of the food pyramid, and where I follow the golden rule that if it comes in a wrapper, don’t eat it. Oh, and potatoes are still my favorite vegetable. But that’s just me.

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Now you’ve gotten a taste of Kara’s voice. Be on the lookout for posts from her on the new 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking Facebook page. She brings a lot to our Paleo table, and we’re really happy to have her join our team!

-Bill & Hayley


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