Michelle and Henry were some of the most down to earth, humble people I had ever met and we chatted about blogging, feeding kids, and their upcoming book. I knew it was going to be exceptional, just by the way they described how it was all coming together.
Well, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans is now in my hands, on shelves all around North America, and has even been spotted on the New York Times bestseller list! The authors have completely raised the bar for cookbooks with this work which features over 900 photos, 100 recipes, and snappy cartoons. This book is packed.
Do I exclusively follow a paleo diet? Not in the least. Do I prioritize real, whole, nutrient-packed food? You bet! And that’s what is continually served up from the Nom Nom Paleo crew.
My Noah lost himself in this cookbook for an entire Saturday afternoon, flipping from comic to comic. Then we made kale chips. I hope some of the enthusiasm that Michelle’s kids display in the book rubs off on him. Both of my boys could stand to eat a few more plants and we’re using Nom Nom Paleo to make them fun.
I’ve already gifted a few of my girlfriends with this cookbook and now it’s your turn. Read on for an interview with the author of Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and a chance to win one of two copies of your own!
An interview with Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo.
1. In the cookbook you shared your blog’s beginnings, but how did you wind up going from blog to book?
As an obsessive cookbook collector, I’ve always secretly dreamed of writing one of my own, but the route from blog to book was a circuitous one for me (and my husband/co-author, Henry).
After successfully establishing a base of readers for our blog, our first foray into publishing was actually in another electronic format: we created an iPad cookbook app. Working with an app development company, we designed the Nom Nom Paleo app to be a super-interactive and immersive recipe resource, and packed it with over 1500 swipe-able step-by-step full-screen photos—something that’s just not possible with a physical cookbook. Neither Henry nor I had any experience with app development; we did it mostly because it seemed like it would be a fun and cool project.
Surprisingly, our app quickly became a bestseller (and remains one of Apple’s top-selling Food & Drink apps of all time), which made us realize that there might be a demand for a physical Nom Nom Paleo cookbook. Plus, with the ever-evolving nature of technology, I wanted to create a more lasting and tangible cookbook.
Once Henry and I set our sights on writing a “real” book, we figured that self-publishing—which is what we did with our iPad app—was the only path that would offer us the creative freedom to design the book according to our own whims. We decided to “wing it,” but luckily, Andrews McMeel Publishing swooped in and saved us from ourselves. Together, we produced Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, a book that I absolutely love. It’s filled with our favorite recipes, cooking tips, comics, and most importantly, butt jokes.
2. What is something you learned about yourself during the book writing/recipe development process?
I learned two things: time management and teamwork.
Henry and I both worked together on our cookbook: he tackled the layout, design, graphics, illustrations, and photos, and my job was to develop and test the recipes and provide the snark. But we’re not full-time bloggers, app developers, or cookbook authors. Both of us still have our “real jobs” (Henry’s a lawyer and I’m a nightshift hospital pharmacist), and we have two rambunctious young boys to wrangle.
On top of that, I’d never written a book before, and Henry had never designed one (other than his high school yearbook over twenty years ago). Under these circumstances, writing a cookbook together was like juggling chainsaws while riding a tandem bicycle. And surrounded by fire.
But while it may sound like an awful cliché, the book truly made our relationship stronger. To make sure nothing in our work or personal lives got dropped, Henry and I became productivity monsters. We used every spare moment to our advantage, and learned to communicate even more effectively with each other. (By the way, the biggest productivity tip I have to offer is to stop staring at the television. Once I gave up watching my beloved reality shows, I suddenly found myself with 2-3 extra hours in the day.)
Plus, I learned that my favorite way to procrastinate is to scrounge for bars of dark chocolate in our pantry.
3. Vegetables are a huge mainstay of the paleo diet, so tell us your favourite month to hit up the local farmers market. What’s in your basket?
That’s a tough question! We’re fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where most farmers’ markets are open year-round with lots of fantastic options all the time. But if I’m forced to choose a month, it would be August; almost every imaginable summer vegetable and fruit is still available at that time—and tomatoes are exploding with flavor at the end of August.
4. How do you stay creative as a food blogger, recipe developer and Mom, but still keep within the limitations of paleo eating?
We’ve been following this lifestyle for over four years, so keeping it Paleo has become second nature for me. Besides, I don’t think of Paleo eating as being restrictive; with so many wonderfully fresh and seasonal whole foods that we can incorporate into our meals, the possibilities are endless.
It also helps that Henry and I are happy with our “day jobs,” and aren’t looking to make Nom Nom Paleo the sole source of our income. Instead of feeling pressured to maximize the income potential of our blog or cookbook, we can continue tackling the projects we think are interesting and creatively fulfilling—even if they don’t offer much of a return on investment.
A good example of this is the Nom Nom Paleo designer vinyl action figure. From a business perspective, it makes absolutely no sense for us to have made these toys. But it was a ridiculously fun to design the figures, and we love them to death.
5. You are parents, like many of my readers. Is there any advice you can give for raising good eaters with a healthy approach to food and food culture?
I want my kids to see that there is a connection between good food and feeling healthy, but I don’t want them to get a complex about eating “perfectly.” I already control what my kids eat 80% of the time because I prepare their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, so I don’t sweat it when they go to a party or their friends’ homes and occasionally eat something that isn’t necessarily healthy.
Instead, we just try to model good behavior so that our children won’t be mindless consumers of junk food as they grow up. They need to be able to make their own informed decisions about what they want to eat.
Ultimately, what’s most important to us is that we raise our kids to be healthy, happy, and to share our love of good food.
Thanks to the publishers at Andrews McMeel Publishing I have TWO copies of Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans to give away!
**This giveaway is now closed**
To enter this giveaway leave a comment on this post and tell me your family’s favourite vegetable. That’s it!
Giveaway ends Sunday, March 16, at 8:00 AM EST. Good luck to all!