GLEN ELLYN – After hearing about the paleo diet from their trainer at CrossFit Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn residents Dan and Kathy Kelly decided to experiment with some of the diet requirements to create their own recipes.
CrossFit is an advocate of the paleo diet, which brings dieters back to the foods eaten by their caveman ancestors. In March 2012, members of the club were challenged to try it for 30 days, but before that, the Kellys had been developing some of their own foods and bringing them to the club for other members to try.
Paleo foods exclude grains, flour, dairy products, legumes and refined sugars in favor of nuts, seeds, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Kathy Kelly used her culinary background to create the couple’s “Paleo To Go” recipes.
“It’s been very rewarding,” said Kathy, who has liked cooking since she was a young girl and took culinary classes at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills. “I really enjoy the process, and I enjoy that other people are enjoying it.”
The Kellys met with online grocery store Peapod in October, and beginning in February, their Paleo To Go products were made available at Peapod, and the couple’s own website, www.paleo-togo.com.
The Paleo To Go line includes carrot banana muffins, blueberry cookies and Caveman Crunch Nut Mix. Following the paleo diet requirements, the recipes include ingredients such as almond and flaxseed meal, tree nuts, raw egg, raw honey and coconut oil. Everything is made by Kathy at Entree Kitchen in Carol Stream.
The Kellys are in the process of developing new products, including a power bar, blueberry banana muffin, crackers and cookies made with carob, which essentially is the paleo equivalent of chocolate, Dan and Kathy said. They also have begun meeting with Whole Foods Market in Wheaton to explore the possibility of offering their products there.
Since the Kellys began the paleo diet, Dan said the foods have affected their strength, endurance and overall energy levels.
“That’s pretty much universal with all the folks we know that are on paleo,” Dan said.
As Dan and Kathy continue to follow the diet, their three children – ages 14, 10 and 6 – sometimes dabble with it, but they still enjoy their macaroni and cheese, Kathy said.
But the couple urged others to give their paleo foods a try, saying they wouldn’t be able to tell the snacks lack added sugar. So far, the Kellys have received positive feedback from those who have tried Paleo To Go.
“The universal comment is they shouldn’t taste this good,” Dan said.