Has really good food ever brought you to tears?
Well, be prepared to shed a few during this show… because great food can lead to the most transformative, spiritual, loving experiences you’ve ever had.
Today we have a special throwback episode with my good friend, bestselling app author and Crossfit beast, George Bryant. He’s a former marine who struggled with weight and an eating disorder for twelve years before turning to the kitchen for salvation.
Learning to cook saved his life, and transformed him in a powerful way. He co-authored a New York Times bestselling Paleo cookbook—The Paleo Kitchen—and is passionate about the transformative power of preparing and sharing food with the people you love.
In this week’s show, George takes us behind the scenes and find out what it takes to create a world-class cookbook…
- Why real food, and good health create strong connections with your friends and family
- The one simple trick that will give you the secret to mastering any recipe
- Why love, passion, and trust are the most important ingredients in any kitchen
- And much more…
Who Is George Bryant?
George is a leading chef and New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Kitchen, which he partnered with Juli Bauer from PaleOMG. He’s also the evil genius behind Caveman Feast—our bestselling Paleo recipe app (check it out)!
Abel: All the recipes in The Paleo Kitchen are brand new, made just for the book. Juli of PaleOMG is co-author – tell us about how you guys wound up working together.
Juli is an amazing human being and an unstoppable force. Her energy and what she brings to this world is infectious and it comes from the heart. She is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.
How we met is kind of funny—we both started our blogs at the same time and followed each other online, and we were making each other’s recipes. Then she was like, “It would be so awesome if you put a link to my website and I’ll put a link to yours on mine!” So, we did!
Abel, the first time we actually met was at your front door. We met at your house, and then did a cooking demo the next day at Paleo(fx). Our dynamic was great, we were laughing and really got to be ourselves. The energy was perfect.
Juli is absolutely hilarious. Anything she writes will make you spit your coffee out.
Abel: Why do we need another cookbook?
This isn’t just a cookbook. There are so many people out there just making another cookbook. For us, this is really an expression of the beliefs we have around this lifestyle and how it got us where we are. We don’t have this template where you have to eat this for 21 days or 30 days.
But there are practical things in the book beyond recipes. There are sections on:
- Cooking tips
- How to make your kitchen paleo
- How to make paleo fun
- Recommended music for when you dance around your kitchen
- and more!
I’ve never poured my heart into anything so much in my life. From every photograph to every recipe to every dish to every thought and every page that was written, this cookbook was truly a labor of love.
I took over 14,000 photographs for the book. If you look at one recipe, that perfect photo we decided to pick had 290-600 other ones that had to be ditched. To hold the book and feel the pages, and have other people get their pages dirty, and know that people are baking cookies they share with their mother, and they’re creating memories.
Home cooking is more than what most people are used to experiencing with food.
Food isn’t meant to be a burrito wrapped in aluminum. It’s at the heart of what it means to be human, to be alive, to be vulnerable with other people.
Bringing Love Into The Kitchen
Abel: Can you talk about the way you see food now as opposed to the way you thought about it as a marine?
Food is almost a metaphor for life. I’ll probably be singing “Happy” and “Let it Go” in a few minutes…
I was an active duty marine for 12 years, and everything was go, go, go—whether I was here or in Afghanistan. I was never grounded or connected, and I was not taking care of my body. It comes down to loving and really being connected with yourself.
When you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, and that starts with nourishing yourself and giving yourself the fuel you need, it shows up in the rest of your life. Food can just be a catalyst for it.
But now you get to create this vessel where you can take a moment and express how much you love yourself. It’s like saying, “Body, I love you so much. I’m going to make you this healthy, delicious food that’s going to nourish you.”
Once you nourish yourself, it creates love and passion and connection and trust when it comes to a relationship.
It’s not just food. It’s creating community and connecting families. Sixty years ago people would come together at the dinner table and ask about their day, and they’d discuss how you could have done this or that better. Now there are cell phones at the table.
I’d like to drop all the cell phones in the water glasses.
Nowadays, we are trained to look at cooking as a chore. It’s in and out as fast as you can. But when you cook with someone else, what a massively different experience it becomes.
It’s a very primal thing.
Cooking for others is the true definition of unconditional love. You pour your heart into it and then detach from the outcome… and you get nothing in return.
No one is going to take a stand for your life before you do. If you could videotape your life for 24 hours, you’d see there is more time than you thought. So, whether it’s baking with your child for 15 minutes or sitting down to one dinner a week, create those positive anchors that associate cooking with happiness… and then you start looking at food as medicine for your soul.
Have a family dinner. Talk about your day. Get connected. And suddenly you’re like, “Wow, we never talked about that before. I want to do it again.” That’s where you build that human connection. Then, when you go out with someone or go to a friends’ house for dinner, you’re connected, you’re showing compassion and love and you’re present.
I’m a caveman philosopher.
The food is the mechanism, and that mechanism also serves your body. You just get to do it and they get to witness it first hand. It’s infectious.
Abel: It’s amazing to me to see what cooking can do to people. I remember meeting Dave Asprey for the first time, and Juli and Bill and Hayley. Seeing what happened to their lives and careers after focusing on real food is powerful stuff.
When someone writes to you and says, “What you think of as a brownie was a window that I needed to save my life,” you can’t put a measure on that. You can’t put a value on that. It’s not a dollar sign or a recipe, it’s the ability to stand for a higher cause for humanity.
It is a privilege to interact with all these people on a daily basis. I’ve had experiences with people who have passed away since I’ve started this who have had cancer and terminal illness. I got to share in their visions, their journeys, and their lives.
We are a team. We have a chance to create change and affect critical mass in this world. We don’t have to come from a place of anger, hate, resentment or fear, we get to come from a place of love. And food was the door to get me into that world.
Abel got to take a stand for me two years ago, and Abel changed my life.
He was clear and he put it out there and didn’t care if I rejected him or got mad, and I’ve looked up to you (Abel) for a long time and I appreciate you. I can only pay it forward. I get to say thank you and put you on the spot, and thank you for taking a stand for me and changing my life.
This whole thing is bigger than nutrition or food or meals.
You talk to people and you meet them in person, and people are connecting. There’s so much noise in the world—jobs being done, getting stuck in traffic, alarms blaring—if you can become someone who really cares about food and your health and your family’s health, and you spend a lot of time looking in cookbooks and getting in the kitchen, then cooking starts to take a half hour a week and then more, and then it becomes part of who you are… then it pushes out your baggage.
Then people start looking to you for advice and direction. It’s like music. When you jam with someone, you have this deep connection. If you can make it a critical part of your life, it will not only change your life, but everyone’s life around you.
Abel: A lot of people probably know who Tucker Max is. We did a panel together at Paleo(fx). He came over for dinner and we served him food, and I can tell you, the conversations that happen with people—it’s soul food. We don’t get enough of that.
That’s a perfect example of why we wrote this book—the love and energy and confidence you put into that food makes it taste amazing. You really can just put salt and pepper on something, but it’s the act of service that makes it delicious.
How to Transform Your Life with Real Food
Abel: You didn’t start cooking until a few years ago.
I was afraid to cook. I had never cooked. I was overcoming a 12 year battle with an eating disorder and weight loss. It was really intimidating. I overcame my limiting beliefs. The theory when you start cooking, though, is this: It may not taste great, but then you never have to make it again. You just learned what not to do.
Really, where else in life can you use those same principles?
I like to use food as a template. If you go to run a 5k and your goal was 23 minutes and you do it in 23:30, you have a choice. You can do it again the same way, not do it again, or make changes and grow and do it better.
If you burn bacon the first time, and you don’t burn it the second time, that’s going to help you run a marathon.
A lot of times we may not meet our goals, and then we beat ourselves up. You don’t get to do that anymore. You get to love yourself, high five yourself, and then if it doesn’t taste good, slap bacon on it, then do it better next time.
When you get to become a master creator of food, your life in work, relationships, goals, they’re going to explode. You’re going to blow the lid off of what you thought possible. And yes, it can start with a macadamia nut chocolate chip cookie.
Abel: Give people one thing they can do right now to start on their journey to getting that good relationship with food.
The biggest piece of action for people can take on their journey is to create a space where they get to put themselves first.
Putting yourself first doesn’t make you selfish, egotistical, or arrogant. It makes you loving, caring, compassionate, vulnerable, trusting, and honest. When you get to that place with yourself, you really get to serve others and unconditionally give.
Every morning, I write what I’m feeling on the bathroom mirror. A lot of days, I write “I’m beautiful” on the bathroom mirror. I get to be confident, loving, compasionate, energetic, sexy—the ones I write most every morning, those are the essence of who I am.
Where To Find George Bryant
BEFORE YOU GO…
Did you know that more than 80% of your fat loss results come from what you eat, not how much you exercise?
I dropped 20 pounds in just over a month by exercising minutes a week, making very specific tweaks to my diet and focusing on real food.
One of the most surprising reasons people fail to get results is because they’re short on time and don’t know what to cook for dinner, so they settle for junky convenience foods that sacrifice their progress.
But the truth is this – you can lose fat permanently without drugs, supplements, or crazy workouts.
Whether you need to lose 100 pounds or that stubborn last 10, you can start your transformation today without gimmicks, just real, delicious foods from your local supermarket. And we’d like to show you how.
We spent over a year gathering the best Paleo, grain-free, real food recipes from the top chefs on the net, and it’s finally ready for you. It’s called The Fat-Burning Chef, and you’re going to love it.
The Fat-Burning Chef is an eCookbook with over 200+ quick and easy recipes that will help you lose fat, avoid disease, and experience superhuman energy.
Blueberry cheesecake, smoked pork shoulder drizzled in homemade barbeque sauce, and much more are waiting for you.
You can make these quick and easy meals in 20 minutes or less. These recipes are gluten-free, Paleo, 100% real food, and no counting needed. And thousands of people all across the world are enjoying the recipes right now.
Laura says: “Just made Fat-Burning Man’s BLT Salad and I think I’m in love.”
Vicki says: “The bacon-wrapped meatballs were delicious baked on a bed of cabbage. The whole family loved them!“
Elizabeth says: “My 4-year-old and I had fun making the Zucchini Meat Boats with the Sweet Potato Medallions. Very good.”
But it’s not just about the recipes – we want to change the world with real food.
So when you buy The Fat-Burning Chef, you get a free copy to give as a gift to share with family or friends. Help us spread this message of health and share it with the people you care about completely for free.
How do you share your love of food? Post a comment below to let us know your favorite recipes to make for friends and family.