Drumroll please… Do You Even Paleo is now Chelsea Joy Eats!
This change has been a long time coming, and I’m thrilled it’s FINALLY here. For years, I’ve been ruminating on this idea, never quite ready to make the switch.
DoYouEvenPaleo.net will always exist, but will now redirect to ChelseaJoyEats.com. You may have noticed my new logo appearing as a watermark on my images, so the new look won’t be a huge surprise to you! Here it is, in case you didn’t spot it:
The slow build of this change comes with myriad reasons and lots of thought behind it. So if you’re wondering WHY this change is happening, read on!
Realign with my OTHER brand
My main job (currently) is as a wedding photographer under my other business, Chelsea Joy Photography.
I became a wedding photographer a few years after starting this website, and at first it made sense to me to keep them 100% separate. After all, most of my readers here are not local to Fargo, ND, but as a wedding photographer I’m catering to a purely local audience.
But after a couple years, it became incredibly obvious to me that I was splitting myself between the two unnecessarily. Both businesses are supposed to be ME, but I felt like I was giving two parts of myself to two different entities.
THAT, initially, is what led me to want to realign my brands. I commissioned new branding for both businesses that you’ll notice is pretty dang similar! I figured if I wanted to represent myself more fully to both brands, I needed to bring the brands more closely together visually, too.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ll suddenly be posting photos from the weddings I photograph here or on my Chelsea Joy Eats social channels.
What it does mean is that I feel more comfortable “crossing the streams” occasionally, when it feels right. I won’t be as shy about talking about my food blogging endeavors to my couples and clients, and I might show you parts of wedding days that seem to fit Chelsea Joy Eats, too. (Like the epic wedding cakes. I’m a sucker for epic wedding cakes!)
“Paleo” no longer fits me
The secondary reason to rebrand the website is that I’m not paleo! Not anymore.
From the start, I was never 100% strict paleo. Heck, I got married at a pizzeria! But, for years, I would justify what I was eating with qualifiers like “I eat paleo MOST of the time” or “I’m strict 95% of the time.” I was still using the label as a way of identifying how I eat.
Back in 2019, though, I started to recognize that using paleo as a label for how I eat was reductive. It just didn’t tell the full story or all the nuance for how I live my life. I had started eating cheese and gluten free breads more often. When people would ask something like “you eat paleo, right?” I no longer felt that I could easily answer with a yes or no.
Gradually, I started eating the fresh naan that came with our Indian takeout this last year. My grandma taught me how to make her homemade honey rolls — wheat flour and all.
And online, I was watching keto and vegan reach this fever pitch, and I couldn’t help but compare to paleo’s similar popularity curve years before.
Simply put, there’s so much more nuance to diet than sitting firmly in a set of rules. Listening to Steph Gadreau’s Listen to Your Body podcast has been a great resource for me — give it a listen if you’re interested in finding out more!
Let me clear one thing up: paleo absolutely changed my life in MANY ways. I don’t regret eating that way for so long. I learned a LOT about the foods I like, how to fill my plate with nourishment first, and (most importantly) how to cook!
The disconnect: over time, the label just couldn’t encompass my lifestyle and mindset.
If not paleo, how do I eat now?
I’ll sum this up as simply as possible. I plan our meals by first figuring out our protein (chicken, taco meat, pulled pork, curry) and then adding veggies if necessary to help fill out the meal.
To support my workouts at Strong Roots, where I’m often doing strength work plus 1-2 metcons, we typically eat carbs like potato rounds or rice.
I don’t count macros or track what I eat. I don’t eat bread and cheese and sugar at every meal.
At the end of the day, I still want to eat nourishing, quality food.
Also, I DO have an autoimmune condition — and I start eating a lot of wheat and dairy, I have flare-ups. Obviously I want to avoid that!
So a lot of what I could be called paleo! But I don’t need to smack that label on everything I eat as justification for how I eat. Nor do I want to boil down my meals into percentages of how often I’m “on plan.”
Nourishing food DOES NOT need a label to make it good for you — mind, body, and soul.
What does all of this mean for the blog? The recipes?
Well, the name has changed! And that’s the biggest change.
Even though this rebrand has been a LONG time coming, I didn’t plan any huge overhauls of the way I run the website. Honestly, I felt like I just needed to MAKE the change before I fully start to test the bounds and see how the change will impact things.
For the time being, most of the recipes I post will be labeled paleo and gluten free. That’s just the way I eat!
But this change DOES give me the freedom to veer away from that if I want to. Because, at the end of the day, what I care about the most with this blog is helping people COOK better, ENJOY the process, and SAVOR the food.
You can expect a redesigned website later in 2021, but I didn’t want to overhaul everything at the same time. So until then, get used to the new name, Chelsea Joy Eats.
And let me know what you think about ALL of this in the comments!