Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo – Episode 53: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast

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In this podcast, I’m chatting with the great Michelle Tam from NomNomPaleo.com! Michelle’s blog was one of the first paleo blogs I came across when I started paleo and she continues to crush it in the blog and cookbook world. She has some of the most creative and beautiful dishes I’ve ever seen and her cookbooks will absolutely blow you away. But the best part about Michelle is she is just a damn good person. If you haven’t met Michelle yet, get to know her on her blog! And be sure to check out her two cookbooks – Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook and Ready or Not Cookbook!

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Big Thank You to Our Sponsor – ButcherBox

ButcherBox sources and delivers the best quality grass-fed, grass-finished, antibiotic and hormone-free, pasture-raised beef, chicken and pork straight to your doorstep. And getting your ButcherBox is super easy – just select your box, customize it to your liking, and then set your schedule of how often you want to receive your ButcherBox. They offer free shipping to the contiguous 48 states and each classic box is filled with 8-11 pounds of meat. They also just launched their custom box so customers can actually choose everything that comes in their box! And right now, PaleOMG Uncensored listeners can get $10 off their first order PLUS 2 FREE grass fed, grass finished ribeyes! Click here to receive this special offer!

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Support the podcast by clicking the Subscribe button on iTunes and please a review only if you love the podcast! There is enough negativity in this world, don’t spread more. I love hearing about what YOU want me to talk about so feel free to leave on comment here or on social media with topics you’d like me to cover! And don’t forget, some posts have affiliate links which I may be compensated from. This compensation helps with keeping this blog and up and running! Thank you so much for your support, you guys are amazing!

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Episode 54 Transcription!

Well hey there darlin’ face. Welcome to another episode of PaleOMG Uncensored. I have a very special guest today that I’m a tad obsessed with. But before I get to that lovely person, let’s talk about this month’s sponsor. Because they are the best. And hopefully you listened to last weeks’ episode when I talked to the owner, Mike, of Butcher Box. And that’s who our sponsor is this month. Butcher Box. And when I say our sponsor, I don’t know who I’m talking about. I’m literally talking about myself. This is a one-man operation over here.

Anywho. Butcher Box is the best. And I love them. And I’ve used them for probably 8 months at this point. If you haven’t heard me talk about it on my blog, or even here, or on my Instagram, let me tell you a little bit about it. I’m tripping over every word.

If you haven’t heard of Butcher Box, they deliver pasture raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, the best quality beef, chicken, and pork that’s humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. And they deliver it straight to your doorstep. So you don’t have to go to the grocery store and try to figure out what is the best quality meat. They source it for you, and deliver it right to you. It’s so awesome.

So all you have to do is select your box. Log in online, you select your box, you customize it to your liking, and you set your schedule for how often you want to receive that Butcher Box. They offer free shipping to the contiguous 48 states. And each classic box is filled with 8-11 pounds of meat.

They also launched their custom box, which I think is super cool because you get to pick whatever meat you want in it. So, say you’re like, I am a cool ass b*tch; I only want a little filet mignon, throw in a little bacon. That’s all I want in my box. Boom, done. If you like only stew meat because it’s fall and you just want to put everything in the crockpot, boom. You can pick it. So you can pick exactly what you want, and then you can cook from my recipes. Which makes it even easier.

And because they are the best, get this. PaleOMG Uncensored listeners are going to get $10 off their first order, plus two free grass-fed, grass-finished ribeyes. So all you have to do is go to www.butcherbox.com/paleomg and then you can figure out the perfect box for you. You’ll get $10 off your first order and two free ribeyes for new customers. It is awesome you guys. I use it in almost every single recipe. I put all the meat in the freezer when I get it, because it’s already frozen, and then I can pick as I go. I just marinated some steak tips in the fridge overnight, and I’m about to cook them. I don’t know if you can hear the onions in the back. But I’m about to cook everything up to make a new recipe for you guys.

So check them out. You’re going to love them. www.Butcherbox.com/PaleOMG.

This is Juli Bauer from PaleOMG and you are listening to PaleOMG Uncensored.

Juli Bauer: Ok. We are on! Welcome to another episode of PaleOMG Uncensored. My name is Juli Bauer Roth, and today I have the best guest of all time. I have Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo. Thank you so much, Michelle, for coming on.

Michelle Tam: Thank you. You’re making me blush.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} Aww. Well I’m so excited to have you. A little history on us. Michelle and I met, it had to have been like 5 years ago at, what was it? It was like a paleo event in Estes Park.

Michelle Tam: Oh, that’s right! I forgot about that. Yeah, Melissa Julwan and I and Holly Woodcock. We had a paleo event way up in Estes Park. And I think one of the organizers was like, “Hey, we should have Juli come!” And I was like, “Yeah, that would be awesome! Because I’ve never met her and I think she’s really awesome.” But I think because I don’t know geography, I didn’t realize she was asking you to drive like 3 hours into the mountains. {laughing}

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: So now I’m like; oh I’m so sorry I made you come out. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Oh my gosh. And me being the idiot, I looked at the map in the morning before I left. I was like, “Oh sh*t I need to leave now!” Like, I didn’t even know how far Estes Park is. Being a Colorado native, I don’t even know how to understand that. And then I was lost for a good 2 hours when I got to Estes Park before I even got to the event. And the event is like full on going. And I’m like, oh hi. I felt like such an ass.

Michelle Tam: No, it was amazing. And then you came up and did the cooking demo with me. And you danced. It was amazing.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} I can’t believe that was like 5 years ago.

Michelle Tam: I know! I forgot.

Juli Bauer: I wish they would have been able to do that event again. That was so fun.

Michelle Tam: I do too, except it’s far. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: {laughs} That’s super far for you guys.

Michelle Tam: But it was nice. When we came out to Denver, just on our last book tour, we were like, “We need to go to the Stanley Hotel.” Because I have a kid who is obsessed with Stephen King. And I’m like, “OK, we will drive to Estes Park.” And we realize how far this is from Denver now! {laughs}

Juli Bauer: I know. It’s so far. And it’s just kind of a pain in the ass.

Michelle Tam: It’s beautiful though.

Juli Bauer: It is. It is so pretty. Pretty much anywhere in Colorado is pretty no matter where you turn.

Michelle Tam: Yeah.

Juli Bauer: So for everybody who doesn’t know who Michelle Tam is, you can kind of just give a little background about who you are, how you started www.nomnompaleo.com. Just a little background about you.

Michelle Tam: Ok. Well, I was just, I think a regular working mom. And I was working nights; I always tell people I was a drug dealer. And I was. I was a pharmacist at a hospital, and I worked at night. And I think we had two kids, and our second kid turned 3. So at that time, my kids are kind of sleeping through the night. But then my husband and I kind of turned to each other and we were like, ugh. We need to get in shape again. And we didn’t really know what that meant. We were like, oh I think that means counting calories and exercising like crazy. So that’s what I did.

And then Henry, my husband, decided to kind of dabble in different things. I think he discovered P90x, because I guess everybody with kids is like, oh we have to exercise at home. We can buy these DVDs. And he started a blog to kind of keep himself accountable. And he started kind of researching everybody in the P90x videos. And he’d write about them on the blog {laughs}.

And one of the people in the P90x videos was Mark Sisson. So I think when he started kind of Google searching what he was up to, he came across Mark’s Daily Apple. And he was like, huh. This sounds kind of interesting. I’m going to just give this a try. And when he told me about this whole primal/paleo diet thing, I was like, this sounds crazy. It goes against everything I’ve ever learned. And I’m the one who has a nutrition degree, and I work in a hospital. What do you mean whole grains are bad for you? Why are you eating fat again? Why are you eating red meat?

So I tried to sabotage him. But he just kind of kept at it. And he immediately got a 6-pack, which was super annoying. And he started doing CrossFit. And then he started deadlifting like 300 pounds. Crazy stuff. And here I was, totally miserable. Still had my muffin top. I was hungry all the time. And I was finally like; hmm. Maybe I should give this thing a try. Even though I think it sounds really lame. And then when I did it, it felt like I was in the Matrix. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I feel so much better! How come nobody talks about how real food makes such a big difference?” I mean, it’s all such obvious stuff, you know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: Obviously you know. And that was when I started the blog. Because Henry has been blogging for a while. He had this daddy blog, and he had his fitbomb P90X blog. And then I think out of the blue I mentioned. I’m like, “Hey I think I’m going to do like a paleo food blog.” He’s like, really? I’m like yeah. He’s like, what would you call it? I’m like, Nom Nom Paleo. He’s like, ok.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} That’s easy.

Michelle Tam: And then the next day, I guess, he got me a Tumblr site and bought the domain. He’s like, “Here’s you a Tumblr site. It will be really easy for you to post things.” Because he knows I’m not very technical. And so I just started posting stuff. Never expecting anyone would ever read anything. So I used to swear a lot because I couldn’t do it in real life, and I couldn’t do it at work. I was like, I will do it on the internet.

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: It started with me just writing about what I ate every day. Because I was like, I don’t know what people eat on paleo. So maybe this is something useful. And then it kind of morphed into now more evergreen recipe content. But if you go back in my archives, it’s pretty gross. The pictures are terrible. It’s just bad.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, paleo food blogs, when they started, were the most horrendous photos ever. They were so terrible.

Michelle Tam: Except; I think Bill and Hayley.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, they kept their sh*t together.

Michelle Tam: Were probably the one exception, right? Because even from the beginning they had beautiful photos and everything.

Juli Bauer: And they totally think differently, but that’s so not true. Their first cookbook is still so beautiful.

Michelle Tam: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I think that’s the thing. You just keep at it, and you try to improve, and you work hard at it. That’s kind of; yeah, that’s my story. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: So then your blog obviously grew into two cookbooks. What made you want to write your first cookbook?

Michelle Tam: Well initially we didn’t want to do a cookbook. I think, as soon as paleo started getting more popular, around 2011, 2012. A bunch of people were getting cookbook deals, and we were approached for a cookbook deal. But it wasn’t; like the people who were pitching us were like, “You should do a paleo junk food book!” And I’m like, that’s not really my strength. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So then Henry, who is always very particular about how things look and the stuff we make. He was like; no, let’s do our own thing. And I think we ended up seeing some article in the New York Times about how apps were the new cookbook and print cookbooks were going to be the way of the dinosaur and cookbook apps were the way to go. So we were like; oh, we should do a cookbook app. We had just gotten an iPad, and we’re like, this thing is amazing!

So we created a cookbook app, but we didn’t realize how crazy expensive it is if you’re not a developer. How much upkeep there is. How people don’t want to pay more than 99 cents for it.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So I think the first time after our app came out. And Apple came out with a new iOS update, which breaks your app every time.

Juli Bauer: Oh my gosh.

Michelle Tam: We were like, huh. I think we want to do a physical cookbook. Just because I think there’s something about a physical cookbook. And I collect tons and tons of cookbooks. I was like, I would just like this thing kind of forever.

So then we just started working on one on our own. Because Henry was determined to do the whole self-publishing thing. And then our publisher reached out when we were probably like 80% done with our first cookbook. And basically gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse, where they kind of gave us all creative control but they would help us with editing and all this stuff we didn’t know. Our first cookbook came out. And we were like, this was a lot of work. I don’t know if we’re going to do a second one. But then three years later, we came out with a second one. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: I know. And I don’t think people quite; if they’ve never written a cookbook, they don’t understand how much work goes into a cookbook. And the amount of work you put in your cookbook is 4 billion steps above anyone else, and that’s broad to say. But I say that because you take photos of every single step of every single recipe. So for everything to look nice, and the lighting to be correct, and food placement to be perfect for every single step of every single recipe is out of control. I can’t believe you do that for both cookbooks.

Michelle Tam: Well, I mean, that is Henry. Henry is kind of crazy and amazing. He has a real job, and it’s like a hard job. And then when he’s not at work, he helps do all the graphics, and photos, and design, and cartoons, and stuff for Nom Nom Paleo. So whenever people talk about the photos, and the step by step, and all that. I’m like, that’s Henry. He just likes things a certain way, and that’s how we do it.

That’s also why when you’re like, “Oh, it’s all beautiful.” I’m like, actually, if you take a quick look at our book; or a closer look. I mean, I think a quick look you might miss it. But a closer look, you’ll see that I have bedhead in most of the pictures. I have glasses, I’m in my pajamas. Sometimes the caption for the photo is over my face because I insisted. I was like, Henry, you have to cover my face in this picture because I just woke up.

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: {laughs} And I’ve had people tell me, too. They’re like, you know what’s so great about your book? It’s not so much the step by step pictures, which is unusual. But it’s the fact that you just look so real in this cookbook, and you’re not all glamourous looking.

Juli Bauer: {laughing}

Michelle Tam: I’m like, well, that’s {laughing} because we’re taking pictures.

Juli Bauer: Those great compliments.

Michelle Tam: I know, I know. I’m like, no it’s true. Because it’s like when I wake up in the morning and on the weekends and at night. And it’s just whenever we’re working on it. And I don’t have time to get all glamourous. Because number one, I’m a mess when it comes to that. But it’s also just kind of our reality.

Juli Bauer: How many months; or did it take more than months, to create both of your cookbooks? Was it a couple of years? Like after you wrote your first one, how long until you started writing your second one?

Michelle Tam: I think we kind of always bank recipes without knowing what we’re going to do with them. Just because we’re always taking pictures, and perfecting things, and tinkering with things. So this latest book really did take like 3 years. So if you even look at the pictures, you’ll see that my kids look really young and babyish {laughing} in some of the photos. And in other ones, they look like little adults. And it’s because it’s taken that long. My hair I think turned grey in the whole process, so you’ll see that my hair is turning grey.

Juli Bauer: {laughing}

Michelle Tam: Now it’s black again, because I started dying it. {laughing} So yeah, it’s taken a while. And it’s good, because our publisher did not; they understand our process. They’re like, ok whenever it’s done, we’re cool with it. We’re like, ok.

Juli Bauer: That’s awesome.

Michelle Tam: Because initially we were like, we’re not doing a second one. Our first one is it. And now that we’ve done the second one, Henry’s like, “we have to do a third, just to complete the trilogy.” I’m like, I am not even ready to start. There’s no amnesia yet. I’m still in it. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah. When you started writing your first cookbook, had you gone full time into blogging and writing cookbooks?

Michelle Tam: No.

Juli Bauer: When did you quit your pharmaceutical job?

Michelle Tam: I quit my drug-dealing job 2.5 years ago.

Juli Bauer: Ok.

Michelle Tam: And our book came out December 2013. So we were working; I was working nights, and we were doing the cookbook and everything on the side. Henry had his day job, and we had our kids. And so I think after the book came out; it’s so funny, because with my night schedule, I would work 7 nights in a row and then I had 7 off. I was like, “Oh this is perfect. I’ll work nights, and then in my week off I’ll do book tour stuff.” {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Oh man.

Michelle Tam: Now in hindsight, I’m like, that was insane.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: Because I never saw my kids. And I think that was kind of; with all the book tour stuff, and I think our app was nominated for a Webby award. That was kind of the tipping point. They weren’t sure they could get coverage for me so I could attend the Webby awards. And I was like, I can’t believe I might miss attending the Webby awards to work a night shift at the hospital. And that was when I was like, “I’m going to quit my job!” Even though, I was like, I’m not sure. As a good Chinese immigrant kid, I can’t quit. Because I need something stable. But I think; I still have my license. But I’m pretty happy with how things are right now. And not working nights.

Juli Bauer: And how do your parents feel? You said immigrant parents. How do your parents feel about your type of job nowadays?

Michelle Tam: You know, they’re better with it I think because they know our book has sold. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah, I get that.

Michelle Tam: I think it would be really different if I wasn’t making money. But at the same time, Henry still has his job. So I think in their mind, everything is ok. We have health insurance. You know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: And, they know I still have an active license.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} You can fall back.

Michelle Tam: If it all exploded, I could go back to dealing drugs.

Juli Bauer: And that kind of made me think of a question someone asked. They asked, she was asking, with you having traditional Asian parents, do you ever deal with anything when you’re going out to eat or just what they grew up on when it comes to soy. Do you deal with any issues with your parents with that kind of related; food related stuff.

Michelle Tam: Yeah, for sure initially. I think they thought we were crazy. And they were like, “But you’ve eaten this your whole life. How can this be bad for you?” And I’m like, at the same time, don’t you remember when I was a kid and I would have stomach pains all the time you’d take me to the doctor and they’d rule out appendicitis, and they would just say it was gas. Do you know what I mean? And we’d be like, “Ok.” And I’d go to the doctor all the time. All of these ailments I had my whole life.

I had a canker sore in my mouth every single day ever since I can remember until I went paleo. And I’d have all this GI stuff. And I thought I had food poisoning all the time. All that stuff went away when I changed what I ate. And that’s kind of when I think they understood, “Oh, ok.” But I do think sometimes other relatives can also take it personally. Because they’re like, what do you mean this food that you grew up on isn’t ok for you? I’m like, no it’s not the food. It’s not the dishes.

That’s why I try to create paleo versions of the dishes, so I can still enjoy them. Because there’s a lot of dishes where I’m like, “Oh this brings back so many memories.” But if I were to eat the real thing, I would not feel good. But I also think, just like most immigrant parents. I think if you have success, then they’re like, “Oh ok.” {laughing}

Juli Bauer: Yeah. Yes.

Michelle Tam: I guess it’s alright. But I think if I was struggling, and it was all; they would be like, maybe you should go back to working nights.

Juli Bauer: {laughing} So have you raised your kids mostly paleo? I know you’ve talked about they eat different things. But how have you raised your kids to hopefully still eat vegetables and understand better food choices, and then let them free into the actual real world of whatever sh*t is at their actual school and whatever else when they’re going out with friends, and birthday parties, and everything else.

Michelle Tam: So I think it is; it’s a hard thing. Because initially Henry and I were the only ones that were paleo. And we were kind of cooking our kids whatever. It was still kind of whole grain; gluten free mac and cheese. Whatever it was. It was “healthy” but it was not stuff that we would eat. But everyone kept on asking me on the blog, what do your kids eat? What do your kids eat? And I’m like, this is not about my kids. This is about me and what I eat.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. {laughs}

Michelle Tam: {laughing}

Juli Bauer: Mind your business.

Michelle Tam: Right. But then I started realizing; no, it’s kind of true. Why is it that I won’t eat my kid’s leftovers, and it’s ok for me to serve it to them? I’m tired of being a short order cooked. And I think finally I just had to kind of confront it. So then when we did, we were like, “Ok we’re going to do one family meal. Whatever I make is what everyone is going to eat.” But there was some compromise. So instead of making like super spicy, or super weird stuff that I tend to do if Henry and I are eating alone. It was like, ok we have make stuff like crackling chicken, or roasted broccoli. Things that I think the kids would be more accepting of.

And definitely, like my older son is a people pleaser. And he’s like, “Oh this is all delicious. Whatever you make. You can make offal, and you can make gizzards, I will eat.” Whereas my younger son is like, “What do you mean we can’t have mac and cheese anymore? I don’t like the stuff that you’re serving me. This is gross.”

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: So there was, like for him, we kind of had this little bridge where we kind of compromised. Where if he didn’t like what we were eating. And he was super stubborn. And one day, while I was sleeping because I was working that night, Henry was like, “OK, I’ll take care of it. We’ll just go cold turkey.” And he basically told Ollie, who was like 3 or 4 at the time. “OK, this is our house, you have to live by our rules. And you’re going to eat what I’m going to make you.” And Ollie stormed outside, and was like, “Then I’m leaving!”

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: Henry’s like, huh. Let’s figure out what we’re going to do. So he loves scrambled eggs, and he loves roasted broccoli. So roasted broccoli is kind of like a default vegetable we always have anyway. And a scrambled egg doesn’t take that much time to make. So if he didn’t love whatever we were eating; he’d have to try it, but then we’d make him a fried egg. And he’d have roasted broccoli. And we did that breakfast lunch and dinner until finally he got sick of it. And now he does eat what we make. And he asserts his independence by just eating super, duper slow. To the point where the fat congeals on the plate.

Juli Bauer: Oh my god! {laughing}

Michelle Tam: I know, it’s gross. But he’ll eat it. We’re cool with how things are. And obviously, we’re not perfectly paleo. But when we’re at home, we do eat mostly paleo. Because when we go out; we just, like, the two of us, Ollie and I, have to be gluten free. Whereas my older son, he’s kind of like Henry where he could eat anything. But because he’s kind of going through puberty, he’s discovered that if he eats paleo, his skin is better. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Oh. Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So that matters now, because of girls.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. That’s awesome that he’s noticed that.

Michelle Tam: Right. I’ve even told him; you know, you think the stuff mommy says is crazy, but here. While we were traveling you were eating like crazy. And then when we come back, and you’re eating the stuff I’m cooking you and you’re taking these crazy probiotic dirt pills, your skin has cleared up. Isn’t that crazy? {laughs} So I think he kind of begrudgingly, kind of is like, ok you’re right.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. {laughs}

Michelle Tam: And you know, they’re kids, but I think they know. And we always try to say; it’s not so much that you can’t ever have this. But hey, when you have this, this is how you feel an hour or two afterwards. Especially with Ollie and the gluten. He would get stomachaches and canker sores. And his personality would change. So we would say, hey look. Look what happens when you have this stuff. So he himself is really good about self-regulating.

When we go to a party, like a lot of times we’ll feed him ahead of time. But even at the party, he’s like, no the food is gross. It’s like some lame pizza or some bounce house or whatever. He’s like, it’s cool. I’ll come and eat whatever. And a lot of times, if they have cake, I’ll make sure that he has a gluten-free cupcake or something just so he doesn’t feel left out.

Juli Bauer: That’s awesome. It was crazy, you saying the canker sore thing. Because I grew up the same way. In and out of the hospital constantly with stomach aches. And they would pump me with fluid. And I had canker sores all the time growing up. And I never even put that. I always put the stomach aches together. But I have not had a canker sore in like years and years now, since being paleo. And I can’t believe I never kind of put that two and two together.

Michelle Tam: Me neither! I remember I would have them all the time. And I remember, I would ask my friends, “Do you guys have canker sores?” They’d be like, no is that a cold sore? Like, no, no! It’s different. {laughs} it’s in your mouth. It’s not herpes simplex. And I remember going to pharmacy school and looking up what causes them, and how do I treat them. And every journal article I looked up was like, they’re called aphthous ulcers, and they don’t know what causes them. And I’m like, ok. I just was like, whatever. It’s just something that I have.

Now, apparently there’s a big link with celiac disease, and I don’t know. For me, I was like, I don’t understand why I would just think. You have the same lining from your mouth to your butt. The same mucous lining through your whole intestines. And I don’t understand why I thought the sores would just be isolated to my mouth. Do you know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So I’m sure there’s all sorts of stuff that was going on in my gut. And because I took out gluten and other processed foods, I just felt so much better.

Juli Bauer: That is so crazy. I never even thought of that.

Michelle Tam: It is. It’s crazy. There are so many things. It’s like why; it seems so obvious. But I was just like, oh no. Whatever people say is healthy. Whatever the doctor says is healthy, I’ll just go with it. And I won’t even think about how I feel. {laughing}

Juli Bauer: Yeah. Yeah. And obviously you’ve posted pictures. Especially when you’re traveling and you’re going to different places. I think you eat; like most people who do paleo and have been doing it for many years. You eat mostly paleo at home, but then when you’re traveling you do more gluten free things. Like a gluten free bun or you go to a bakery. So for your overall lifestyle, do you eat gluten free as much as possible or 100% of the time. Do you do this 80/20 that some people do? What is the best way for you?

Michelle Tam: For me, I have to be gluten free 100% of the time. And then in terms of; when I’m traveling I’m like, oh I’m going to try this gluten free whatever. Just because there’s no paleo restaurants in most places that you visit. So I try to post stuff, just so people can see what their options can be.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: Obviously, when I was traveling for like 4 weeks straight, and I was just. I mean, I was like, I can’t just eat gluten free buns and all this other stuff. Because I just wasn’t feeling great. So that’s when I would go to a Whole Foods and just get a bunch of salads and then other things that I knew were “clean”. Just because I was like, I’m sick of eating all of this stuff. Because anytime you go out to eat, there’s all sorts of weird stuff. As good as you’re trying to be, unless you’re cooking your own food, you don’t really know what’s in there.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: And people are like, where else do you go when you go out to eat? I’m like, well I do a ton of research. That’s what I love to do. I love being in my hotel room and being able to search and search and search for a great place for me to go. But a lot of times, I will go to a vegan place or a vegetarian place just because I know I can get lots of vegetables. They are totally cool with weird dietary restrictions. And then if I need some protein later I can stop by the store and get some prosciutto or some chicken breast or something to supplement it.

Juli Bauer: So you guys live; not full time. Is it Palo Alto?

Michelle Tam: Mm-hmm.

Juli Bauer: Ok. And then you have another house in Portland, right?

Michelle Tam: Yes. But we’re not in Portland as much as I would like.

Juli Bauer: Yes.

Michelle Tam: So whenever the kids have breaks, we are in Portland. We’re trying to figure all of it out. And figure out how we can; I would love to move to Portland permanently. But Henry has his job here. And we have elderly parents. So we’ve got to just figure it out. But I love being able to get away to Portland.

Juli Bauer: Portland is the best.

Michelle Tam: I know.

Juli Bauer: ` It’s just the weirdest coolest most delicious place. I try to go there every year, just like Austin. I love going to Austin, too. Do you have a top 3; and I know restaurants are coming in every single day to Portland and there’s something new to try every time you go back, I’m sure. But do you have your top 3 restaurants that you always go to whenever you’re in town in Portland?

Michelle Tam: Well, Departure.

Juli Bauer: Departure, of course.

Michelle Tam: I love. I have more than 3. But I love Ox. I love Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Like, her chicken rice is amazing.

Juli Bauer: I want to go there so bad!

Michelle Tam: Oh, and they have a paleo version. She has gluten free sauces. She doesn’t charge extra for gluten free, which I was like, oh you’re so cool.

Juli Bauer: That’s awesome.

Michelle Tam: And then if you want a fancy place that you can wear jeans to, Castanya is really good. There are so many places. Tusk just opened up and that’s really good. That’s why I have that #nomnomeatspdx. To put all the places that we go to. And then there’s casual places.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: There’s a burger place we always go to called PDX Sliders.

Juli Bauer: OK.

Michelle Tam: And I’m always trying to find new places. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah. That’s like my favorite thing to do. I look a lot on your page if I’m going to Portland. I’ll look on see where you’ve gone. Do you like to go to more Asian style places that offer gluten free? Is that your first place you look, or is it kind of any sort of food out there that has gluten free options? When you’re traveling and looking for restaurants.

Michelle Tam: I think any sort of food. But I think because it’s so hard to eat Asian food gluten free, if there’s a place that has it available and it’s supposed to be good, I want to check it out. Just to try it, because it’s been a long time since I’ve had Asian food at a restaurant. But like bamboo sushi in Portland.

Juli Bauer: So good.

Michelle Tam: All of their sauces are by default are gluten free. And I’m like, amazing! And all their fish is sustainable.

Juli Bauer: And their sweet and sour cauliflower.

Michelle Tam: Yeah.

Juli Bauer: OH my god. To die. To die!

Michelle Tam: And they have a new Bamboo Sushi in Denver! Like a little tiny one.

Juli Bauer: I know! It’s in this little place called Avanti, which has a bunch of different restaurants in moving crates, kind of cafeteria style.

Michelle Tam: Yeah, we went there. And we took a pic. But it was so crowded. We were like, dude it’s crazy here.

Juli Bauer: I know. It’s so weird. It’s like hit or miss. Sometimes it’s crazy and sometimes it’s not. But I heard it wasn’t doing very well.

Michelle Tam: Oh.

Juli Bauer: So I don’t know if it was just the location, because it was upstairs instead of downstairs. But I heard it wasn’t doing well. And I haven’t been to it still just because parking is madness around there.

Michelle Tam: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Juli Bauer: But Bamboo is so good in Portland. I love going there. I went there with Kiera.

Michelle Tam: Yeah. Kiera’s got; whenever I’m like, what are the new cool places to go to? Kiera’s got the hook up. And, you know who else? Diane Sanfilippo. Even though she doesn’t go there that often, has very strong opinions about where she likes to eat. Like Ox is her number one favorite.

Juli Bauer: I can’t believe I haven’t been there. That was on my list. And there’s just too many to hit, and I didn’t hit there last time I went.

Michelle Tam: Ox is great. But you need more than 2 people to kind of fully enjoy the whole menu. Just because there are so many things to try.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. Is there any kind of food you don’t like eating? Is there anything; I’m a no eggplant type of person. I haven’t been impressed by eggplant ever. Is there anything you don’t like?

Michelle Tam: I love eggplant. I’m pretty open to most things. I don’t love uni, but I’ll still eat it. And I used to think I hated olives, but I realized I was just eating the wrong ones.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: But I’m pretty open to most things, I think.

Juli Bauer: I want to kind of talk about your website. Because obviously your website has been so popular and so amazing over the years. I’m sure you’ve run into all different sorts of issues. Because you used to have a Tumblr site, and then you moved it over to a regular.

Michelle Tam: WordPress. And that was just; I want to say less than a year ago.

Juli Bauer: Was that a hard move?

Michelle Tam: It was a hard move. We hired a guy to help us. And it was hard just because we had so many; I think we had thousands of posts. And Tumblr is just not; I mean, we were cool with Tumblr because it was free. We’re like, oh we don’t have to pay for hosting. We’re so cheap and stuff. But there’s nothing you can customize on Tumblr, really. We would try to hack things, and Henry would Google how to do things. Because he’s not technical either, but he’s really good at finding things out on Google. But I think we were like; well, I think Tumblr will probably go away eventually. You know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So we got to port things over. And we were just getting hit by sorts of SEO stuff, because we couldn’t do any SEO stuff. And yeah. We just finally bit the bullet. We knew we had to eventually move over, we just didn’t know when. And then I think when Yahoo bought Tumblr, and we’re like yay! But then now Yahoo I think is on the decline. So we’re like, ok we’ve got to pony up and switch it.

But Tumblr also is blocked on; because I mean they allow all sorts of things on Tumblr. {laughs} So whenever people would look at it at work, they’d be like, “We’d can’t see your site.” And I’m like, sorry! But now I think they can. Just because we’re on WordPress.

Juli Bauer: Interesting. I had no idea. Whenever people say they can’t see my site, I think it’s because of the cusswords I use throughout.

Michelle Tam: {laughs}

Juli Bauer: But I use asterisks, so it’s not even the full word. But who knows. Maybe.

Michelle Tam: I don’t know. Who knows. And I was like; why are you looking at it at work? Maybe you should look at it on your phone. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: {laughing} Exactly.

Michelle Tam: You can still do it at work, but do it on your phone.

Juli Bauer: Exactly. So what do you think; I know you obviously probably have thousands of posts on your website. And I kind of hate…

Michelle Tam: No. I have thousands of posts, but I don’t have thousands of recipes. You are way more prolific than I am. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Ok. Well that’s because you were writing two of the most complicated cookbooks in the history of time. I can’t imagine. How many recipes do you have between the two of those books?

Michelle Tam: I think 300 between the two, ish. Not as many as I think there are. {laughing}

Juli Bauer: There are still a ton. A ton. And people, what you get in this cookbook. What people will see, other than just the photo by photo instructions, you get a ton of kind of comics. And your husband is the one who creates all of those, right?

Michelle Tam: Yes. Again, he is super hard working, but he’s also; he’s left brained and also right brained. So he can do analytical stuff in his real work, and then he can come home and draw super cute cartoons. Yeah.

Juli Bauer: So when you work on your website, if you have any graphics that you need, you just go to him and say, “Hey can you make this quick graphic? This is what I’m thinking.”

Michelle Tam: Yes. Totally. I’ll be like, can you have me, cartoon Michelle, say this, and have her hands like this, and her face like this. And he’s like ok. Because actually when we were working on the second cookbook; for the first cookbook, all of the cartoons he actually drew by hand. And then he had to scan them in the computer, and it was just a ton of work. So he knew for the second cookbook, if we were going to have cartoons, that he had to stream line it in a certain way. So he actually made kind of these paper doll versions of all four of us. Me and him and the two kids. Where we had all these different facial expressions. Different clothes, and different ways our hands were. And so he can kind of move like a face, and match it with a different shirt to kind of create different cartoons. Which I don’t know how he did that, but he did.

Juli Bauer: Whoa. That is insane.

Michelle Tam: I know. It’s insane!

Juli Bauer: How is it working and still working together. But on the cookbook, and then just kind of working together on the website. Have you guys run into any issues working together or has it been pretty easy going, because you guys are obviously pretty good at marriage.

Michelle Tam: {laughing}

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: Well you know, we joke that when I was working nights for 12 years, we were like ships in the night. I’d work a night, and I’d see him in the morning and stuff. And every other week, we’d see each other again. And we were like, maybe that was the secret to our marriage was that we barely saw each other.

Juli Bauer: Totally! {laughs}

Michelle Tam: {laughs} But I think we work really well together because we care passionately about things the other person doesn’t care about. So he is really set on making sure the pictures and the cartoons and the layout are just how he likes them. And when he asks me, I’m like, I don’t care. However you want to do it is cool with me. And I really care about the recipes working, and tasting good, and he doesn’t care about that part at all. And it’s really funny because sometimes we’ll be working on a recipe. And he’ll be taking pictures of everything. And I’m not ready for it to be posted. And he’ll be like; “no, stop here because I have the perfect picture.” And I’m like, no. It’s not ready. I can’t publish it yet. He’s like, don’t worry, just publish it, and if it doesn’t work, people will just blame themselves.

Juli Bauer: {laughing}

Michelle Tam: I’m like, no. It doesn’t work like that. Because I handle all the social media and the email and everything. And trust me. When things don’t work, people blame me. And they blame me in all caps.

Juli Bauer: {laughing}

Michelle Tam: So {laughs} he’s like, ok fine, you do your thing and I’ll do my thing. So I think it’s good because I trust him to do what he does, and he trusts me to do what I do, and we’re cool with how things turn out.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, that’s bad ass. Like Bill and Hayley, from Primal Palate. They can work together too. It amazes me when couples can work together and they can make it work and not drive each other completely insane. So congratulations on that feat. {laughs}

Michelle Tam: Well, thank you. But at the same time, he does. He’s not here. It’s not like I spend all day with him. He’s at work and stuff. So I don’t know how it would work if he were here and this was his full-time gig. I don’t know, maybe it would not work.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. So he’s a 9-5 Monday through Friday at work.

Michelle Tam: Well, it’s probably longer than that.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: He’s gone, he comes back at dinner time. And then he’s like, now I’m going to start my second job. And he’s just always grinding. And it makes me feel like I’m not working hard enough.

Juli Bauer: Damn, that’s crazy. That’s so much work.

Michelle Tam: It is.

Juli Bauer: But you guys work very well together, which is awesome. And now that you’re done with book tour; are you totally done with book tour, for your second book?

Michelle Tam: I have some events kind of trickling in. But most of it is done. I have some travel this weekend and on some upcoming weekends. But most of it is done. Which is nice.

Juli Bauer: So now are you kind of back to just working on the website? Working on new posts there? What’s your day to day like when you’re not on book tour or working on a cookbook?

Michelle Tam: So, day to day is I kind of try to fit everything in while the kids are at school. Or we start working when they’re asleep. But I kind of have set things I have to do. There’s always an Instagram post I’m putting up. I do Instagram stories about stuff I’m cooking. Wednesday I always have a Facebook live. So I’m always kind of prepping up until Wednesday for that. It always seems so spontaneous, but it’s not. Like, today I have one and I already cooked the dish ahead of time last night, and I have it all prepped to show this afternoon.

Juli Bauer: Totally. I don’t know how you guys do those Facebook lives. When I talked to Cassy from Fed and Fit about it she was like, they are just so much work! She was like, they’re worth it, but they’re so much work!

Michelle Tam: I think a podcast is more work.

Juli Bauer: Oh, no way. I’m in my pajamas on the couch with my do.

Michelle Tam: No it is. We kind of still have a podcast, but we put up a new episode every time our kids voice changes because it’s that long.

Juli Bauer: {laughs}

Michelle Tam: I think the Facebook live is hard in that you just need to make sure things are prepped. But then you just press play, and whatever happens happens.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: But, you know, and then there’s always set stuff I have on certain days. And I’m always responding to people emailing me and messaging me. There’s always recipe development stuff for the blog or other projects I’m working on. There’s always something.

Juli Bauer: Always something.

Michelle Tam: There’s always something.

Juli Bauer: Do you concentrate much on social media? Getting a certain amount of posts up or a certain time of day? Or do you kind of just concentrate on your website and books and that Facebook live? Or your just scheduled that you panned out for yourself.

Michelle Tam: So we are really bad about having an editorial calendar. A lot of things we do on the fly all the time. But in terms of; I really love Instagram and so I’m always, I always try to post at least one thing on the main Instagram. And then I kind of show people stuff on the Instagram stories. Facebook, we put stuff on there. But that I don’t love Facebook just because.

Juli Bauer: It’s the worst.

Michelle Tam: It can be the worst depending on many factors. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: {laughs} Yeah.

Michelle Tam: We have a guy in Phoenix who helps me schedule things on Facebook. And on Facebook, it’s mostly me sharing other people’s recipes, sharing some of my recipes, responding to people’s messages. So I’ll kind of send him stuff. I’m like, hey here are things that you can post up later. But I don’t monitor when he posts stuff. And he’ll find stuff that he knows that I’m cool with posting.

So those are kind of the ones. And Twitter, if someone tweets me, I’ll reply. And then in terms of the blog, we try to put new content up once a week. Because we know the blog is kind of the main repository and that’s kind of where people can always find us. But I feel like people aren’t going to the blog as much anymore. Some people just know me from Instagram.

Juli Bauer: Totally.

Michelle Tam: And they’re surprised I have a blog or other things going on. So it’s really interesting how people are consuming their content these days. But I still think the blog is still the core. But you have to have people reach it in different ways.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. I feel like it’s a constant change that you have to find new ways for people to find it. Since it’s more regulated with Facebook and Instagram having that algorithm, and they can’t see it. So you have to find new ways to constantly kind of put your name out there in different ways.

Michelle Tam: Right. But I don’t know how to hashtag it up or do all those things.

Juli Bauer: Me neither.

Michelle Tam: And there are certain times when I’m like, Oh, I think this post will do really well, and it doesn’t. And then something that’s super ugly that I just put will get tons of likes. So it’s a weird; I’m not sure how it works. But at the same time, I’m happy to kind of try to figure out how it works. Right? Because it’s a free tool. So I think instead of; obviously I could just complain and say, oh it sucks. They’re doing this, this, and this. But I’m like, at the same time, I’m not paying for it.

Juli Bauer: I know.

Michelle Tam: And I know they’re trying to make it as useful and interesting for the people who use it. So I’ve got to figure out how to do that.

Juli Bauer: I know. It’s constantly changing.

Michelle Tam: But that’s why; I don’t do Pinterest because that doesn’t really interest me. I know some people love Pinterest, but I’m like; eh. I don’t really know how to use it. And I know that I could be a total time suck. So instead I would rather concentrate on stuff that I actually really like, like Instagram.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Well I want to ask you a few questions from readers before I let you go. So I just picked a handful of stuff that we haven’t covered. And this lovely person, they want to know; and I hate this question always because I can never answer it. But, do you have a favorite couple of recipes from your newest cookbook?

Michelle Tam: Ah. I do have a favorite recipe. So I think my all-purpose stir-fry sauce I love, just because it’s so versatile, and it literally takes just a couple of minutes to shake together in a mason jar. And then you can keep it in the fridge for, I say 2 weeks, but you’ll probably be out of it just in a few days. But you can use it for stir fry. And if you don’t know how to make a stir fry, I have a beef and asparagus stir fry step by step recipe in the book, so it can show you kind of the steps to do it, and you can sub in whatever you have.

You can use it as a sauce in paper wrapped chicken, which is another recipe in the cookbook. You can use it as a salad dressing, because I show you how you can use it in this cold ramen salad that’s on the blog. And if you have an Instant Pot, if you just use half a cup of the all-purpose stir fry sauce with any braising cut; pork shoulder or chicken thighs, or chuck roast, you will have a really fantastic stew without thinking about it. So I like that one just because it’s so versatile. And I don’t really have an excuse that I have nothing to cook if I have that sauce.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: And then I also love the chicken and shrimp laap just because it’s fast and easy and the kids will eat it. And I love the desserts. And I don’t normally do desserts, so the ones that are in the cookbook, I tested many, many, many times. {laughs} And I like them.

Juli Bauer: Now I totally want to try that sauce. That sounds awesome. And use it in the Instant Pot.

Michelle Tam: Yeah. If you’re going to just, it literally takes no time. And if you just make one time, you can use it a million different ways.

Juli Bauer: That’s awesome. And I think that kind of leads into this other question. This person asks, “What’s Michelle’s Ride or Die kitchen tools?” She says, “Also please let her know that her Yankee pot roast is the bomb!”

Michelle Tam: {laughs} Oh, well you know I just did an Instant Pot version of that recipe.

Juli Bauer: Oh sweet.

Michelle Tam: I think my favorite kitchen gadget is probably the Instant Pot. They’re not a sponsor. I just think an electric pressure cooker is really amazing.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. You have done so many recipes with the Instant Pot. When I didn’t know how to use my Instant Pot when I first got it, I went and looked at your; not deviled eggs, but steamed eggs, just to see how to work it. Because you had steps by steps, to make sure you don’t blow your house up. Because it’s so scary and terrifying when you first get an Instant Pot. But you have so many different Instant Pot recipes.

Michelle Tam: But once you use it, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this power is amazing!” You know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Yeah, it’s awesome.

Michelle Tam: You can do so many things, and it frees you up. And I feel like it delivers on the promise that everyone thinks a slow cooker will do. Right? I think everyone who has a slow cooker is like, “I can dump all this crap in, and when I come home 10-12 hours later, it will be delicious.” And it’s never that way. It’s always watery, overcooked, powdery, gross. Right?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: But I feel with an instant pot, because you’re cooking under pressure, and you can cook it fast and keep it warm, it does taste delicious. And that’s what they use on Top Chef and all these cooking shows. These cooking contests. They break out a pressure cooker when they want to make a stew and something fast and delicious. And I was like, if they’re using it, we should use it at home.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: And then what else do I love? I love my cast iron skillet.

Juli Bauer: Always.

Michelle Tam: I think my Instant Pot is probably my favorite thing.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: And I love tongs. I think those are really easy to flip things and grab things.

Juli Bauer: Shred things. And here, I have two more questions for you. The first one, she asks, “I notice you check your blood sugar a lot. Do you follow the keto diet? How has this changed your life more since going paleo?” Because I remember seeing some videos of you checking your blood sugar. What has that kind of introduced you do and a little better understanding of your own body?

Michelle Tam: I don’t really check my blood sugar so much anymore. I think when I got a glucose monitor after I read Robb Wolf’s newest book, Wired to Eat, because he recommends people get one just to see how they respond to certain carbs and certain dishes. And everybody is different. And the only way for you to really know how you react to certain foods is to test your blood sugar.

And at first I didn’t want to because I was like, I don’t want to prick my finger. But then I think one of my friends was like, come on. Stop being such a baby. Go and check it so you’ll know. And it was really eye opening for me. Because there were certain things that I thought I could eat all the time. I thought I could eat white rice and rice noodles, because I’m Chinese. And I’m like, oh my people have been eating this for thousands of years. I’m sure I’m genetically made to eat white rice. But when I check my blood sugar two hours after having a bowl of Pho, not only was I falling asleep, when I checked my blood sugar it was still 200-something. Which is really high. It should drop back down to 100 or whatever your normal is, but it doesn’t.

And I know I have type 2 diabetes in my family, and my 23andMe told me I was predisposed to get type 2 diabetes. But until I checked my blood sugar, I was like; oh. Maybe I shouldn’t eat white rice so much.

Juli Bauer: Interesting.

Michelle Tam: Or if I do, I have make sure it’s a small portion and I eat protein and fat along with it. I don’t eat keto. I probably eat a low-carb diet, just by default. And I think I feel better when I eat lower carb. But I haven’t done full on keto. I think to do keto you have to really make sure you do it correctly. Because you could eat certain things and it could throw you out of ketosis.

Juli Bauer: Totally.

Michelle Tam: And I think a lot of the counting; counting calories and all that obsessive stuff that I was doing before. Anything that reminds me of that, I don’t like. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah, for sure.

Michelle Tam: But I know that keto works for a lot of people. And for a lot of people, nothing else has worked and keto has worked great. But I am a strong believer that everybody is different. And you have to find what works best for you.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, absolutely. And this last question, before I let you go and move on with your day and get prepped and ready for your Facebook live. This one is another one from a reader, and she says, “My question is how she works exercise into her life and maintains balance, especially while traveling.” So what are you doing for exercise now? Are you still kind of doing CrossFit? Do you guys workout at your house? What do you do?

Michelle Tam: Our house is totally outfitted. Our garage has all sorts of rogue stuff and we have, what is that? That assault back.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, the Airdyne.

Michelle Tam: Yes. Ok. So we have that and a rowing machine. So we have all the things. I have a guy that comes out and he makes me do kind of old lady CrossFit. It’s like Olympic lifting, and we’ll do some sort of metabolic conditioning at the end, but no throwing any weight around at the end when I do metabolic conditioning. Because I’ve told him, I just want to be stronger but I don’t want to get hurt. Because I’m old.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. {laughs}

Michelle Tam: And he’s been really good about that. And I also do; there’s this book called the Happy Body that I found out about on the Tim Ferris podcast, which sounds all kooky and stuff. And the book itself is kind of kooky. But it’s basically doing mobility stuff every day. And I was like, oh this is good. Because I really need to do more mobility stuff that I can ensure that I can even lift properly, right?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: So those are the kind of things. And I do long walks. And I run with my kid to school when we’re late. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: {laughing} That’s awesome. Well I’m glad you have the stuff at home that you can do because that makes it so much easier. I think a lot of people are kind of turning towards more garaged gyms and things they can do at home because lives are so damn busy.

Michelle Tam: Yeah. And there’s definitely; there’s all these body weight things that I can totally work on. Like, I can’t do a pistol. And you don’t need any equipment for that, you know what I mean?

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Michelle Tam: There’s definitely things where I’m like; I’ve got to work on my pushups, and I’ve got to work on planks. I’ve got to squat more. And you don’t need, there’s no excuse not to do some of those things.

Juli Bauer: Totally. That’s awesome. Well will you tell everyone where they can find you and your cookbooks? And give us all information about you. I think it’s pretty easy to find you nowadays, because your names are pretty much the same all the way around.

Michelle Tam: Yeah. Nom Nom Paleo is where you can find all my stuff. www.NomNomPaleo.com. Or most social media, I’m Nom Nom Paleo. Except for Snapchat, because someone stole it, and they don’t let you get it back. But now I’m not on Snapchat anymore {laughs}.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, I’m not either.

Michelle Tam: I do Instagram stories.

Juli Bauer: Exactly.

Michelle Tam: I know. And I was so excited because it was so cool. And then Instagram stories came, and I’m like, I’m just going to stay here. I don’t have to convince anyone to adopt a new platform. But yeah, my books are sold wherever books are sold.

Juli Bauer: And your first cookbook is Nom Nom Paleo, and your second one is Ready or Not, correct?

Michelle Tam: Yes.

Juli Bauer: Ok, perfect.

Michelle Tam: One is red, one is yellow.

Juli Bauer: Yes. And they are bright colors. They are beautiful. Everyone will love them, I can promise you that. So stay on the line, Michelle. Thank you so much for coming. You’re the best. Seriously, if people haven’t checked you out. You’re so hilarious. And I appreciate you so much for coming on because you’re a badass chick that has motivated me from the start of paleo.

Michelle Tam: Thank you. I feel the same way about you. Thank you.

Juli Bauer: Ah, you’re such a gem. Ok stay on the line, I’ll talk to you guys later. Bye-bye!

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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10 thoughts on “Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo – Episode 53: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast”

  1. Hi Juli, I just wanted to say: I LOVE your podcast! It’s seriously one of the highlights of my week when your new podcast is up. I love how you cover so many different topics, sometimes they’re informative about new topics (f.e. about butcherbox, how to create content) and sometimes it’s just good old girlstalk (f.e. beauty, plastic surgery, favourites).
    I also completely understand your obsession with true crime podcasts. I love listening to “Martinis & Murder”, they’re hilarious. For a bit more serious crime talk I listen to “Real Crime Profile”. Just thought I’d share that with you, because your podcast recommendations are also very helpful to me. 🙂
    Sending you lots of love and thanks for all your hard work (not only on the podcast, but also on your amazing website) from Melbourne, Australia
    x
    Florine

    1. omg thank you so much for the recommendations, i’m going to have to check out both of those! you rock. and thank you so much for the love on the podcast. it’s so nice to get feedback on it since i feel like i’m talking into the abyss! if i ever make it over to melbourne, we will have to get together and talk true crime lol!!

  2. Hi, Juli! I FINALLY started listening to your Podcast (damn Android I had before didn’t work, obvs) and in case you do another Q&A at some point was wondering: do you think eating a paleo diet needs to be adjusted in some way if you’re not a hardcore crossfitter?

    I’ve been eating sugar/dairy free and being really (almost obsessively) careful about what I’m putting in my body. I’ve always loved paleo and ate that way when I was into CF but had a hard time finding a gym when I moved cities. SO I am back on the fitness train with a gym I love but was wondering your thoughts on a paleo lifestyle for people who are not into fitness, because when I wasn’t as active I wondered if I should be eating differently (or just less/less frequently). What do you think would need to be changed/adjusted? Thanks!

    1. i’ll answer this right here in case i don’t remember on the next questions episode i do! i think paleo needs to be adjusted for everyone, no matter your exercise protocol. there is no one size fits all. i know crossfitters who do well on high fat and others that do well on high carb, it just depends on a handful of different things. if a person is sedentary, they definitely do need the same amount of calories as someone who is burning those calories in the gym. so if you (or a person) has to change their lifestyle a bit, their diet should change with them. if i had to have surgery and say i couldn’t workout for 3 months, i would be much more strict with my starchy carbs and sugars. i hope that makes sense and answers your question!

  3. Hi Juli!

    I love, love, love your podcast and love how you simply keep it real. You’re relatable and realistic but also no bullsh*t! Question for you: I’m currently transitioning into a new schedule that has me extremely pressed for time. On top of that, I’ve been battling insomnia for almost 9 months. Typically, I prioritize my workouts first thing in the morning before my crazy schedule or any unforeseen obligations get in the way. I haven’t been able to workout as much as I typically do throughout the week because of my insomnia. (To give you an idea, I typically don’t fall asleep until about 2 hours before my alarm goes off. Lately, I’ve been skipping the workouts to sleep an hour longer.)

    SO, in short, I wanted to know if you ever experienced a phase in your life when you were less active than normal and, if so, how you dealt with it. I know that this is temporary, but it’s messing with me mentally and also physically. I feel AMAZING when I workout and I’m seriously passionate about it. Right now, I feel a fraction of how I used to.

    I’m seeking the help I need for my insomnia and trying to lighten my schedule, but have to “grind it out” for just a bit longer.

    Any insight is super appreciated!

    Thanks so much!

    1. you know, i haven’t really gone through that myself. i’ve had a couple times where i haven’t worked out for 4 or 5 days while i was writing a cookbook. i haven’t gone through long stages of insomnia so i can’t speak to that, i’m sorry! i think getting in some activity that’s easier on the body like yoga or a walk or a light run, even if it’s just 20 minutes is going to help you feel more like yourself until you can get the sleep under control and get back to normal workouts.

  4. Just listened to your latest podcast featuring “favorites”. You MUST listened to “DIRTY JOHN” six episode podcast. I’d love to take your take on it (esp the understory).????

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