Justin and Erica are the creators of realsimplegood.com, a Paleo food and living blog where they share delicious, healthy recipes made with real ingredients. They live in the Pacific Northwest and their recipes are inspired by the abundance of fresh, local ingredients grown and raised close to home. They also feature delicious dessert recipes using only Paleo friendly ingredients. Growing up on a small farm, Justin returned to his roots with the Paleo diet. Erica has Multiple Sclerosis and adopted the Paleo diet to reduce inflammation and prevent any further neurological degeneration related to her autoimmune disease. In the process of changing their diets, both Justin and Erica fell in love with the Paleo lifestyle and want to share their passion with others.
Our interview with Justin and Erica
What are your pantry staples?
The pantry items we always have on hand are nut butters, nuts, flours (coconut, almond, tapioca), coconut sugar, canned tuna (Justin’s mom cans it and it is sooo good!), pickles (Justin’s mom cans these too and you will never taste a better pickle), pumpkin puree, canned tomatoes, salsa, red tomato sauce, and plantain chips (because who can live without them??). Oh yeah – and we usually have a bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chips in the pantry, too! You know…just in case we want to whip up a batch of brownies or something!
Name one food you can’t live without.
Eggs – we both agree on that! We are also currently addicted to chipotle lime mayo, so that is a close second.
What do you enjoy most about working with your spouse?
Erica – I love that we have a passion project in common and that we get to share the struggles and the victories. On really good days, we get to celebrate and on the not so stellar days, we get to be each other’s cheerleader because we totally get it.
Justin – I love having someone to share my dreams with who completely believes in me and what we are doing. As a team I feel that we can achieve all of our goals. Whenever I need support or someone to ground me and give me perspective, Erica is always there for me.
Of all your recipes, which is your “go-to”?
That’s easy. Taco bowls. We have them every week. They are so quick and easy to throw together, and they are full of flavor and textures. Plus, you can put some of that chipotle lime mayo on it, and it is pretty much perfection.
Clue us into your current or upcoming project.
We have been working on an e-Cookbook – 30 Minute Paleo Meals. We hear a lot from family, friends, and followers of our blog that they want to eat better, but that they don’t have time or energy to cook every night. So, we have been developing an e-Cookbook centered on delicious, simple recipes with seven ingredients or less that can be prepared in about 30 minutes. Cooking a meal from scratch with fresh ingredients can seem daunting, but we want to show everyone that it’s really not that hard! You don’t have to spend countless hours in the kitchen, be an expert chef, or have a pantry full of exotic ingredients. All you need are basic, fresh, ingredients that you can pronounce and find at your local grocery store, and an easy recipe to follow. We are so excited to share our e-Cookbook with everyone and can’t wait to get feedback!
What’s a great piece of advice to help others on the road to healthy living?
Focus on using quality ingredients and keep it simple. You don’t have to have tons of ingredients or a multitude of steps to create a healthy, flavorful dish.