Hey, food lover.

I'm Ciarra and this is my blog.

Cause rest is the new hustle.

Here we value:

Our health. Our time. Our sanity.

In other words, Popular Paleo is where real food meets real life. 

Since 2012, I've been improving my health through Paleo principles. And while much of the inspiration, if not the actual foundation of Paleo, comes from looking back at the diet and lifestyle of our Paleolithic ancestors, there's so much more to Paleo than a caveman.

New here?

Welcome to Popular Paleo! My recipes, recommendations and articles on life and health focus on a real-life approach to increasing wellness. A Paleo template is the name of my game: food that tames inflammation, supports a healthy digestive system, regulates hormones and blood sugar and is inherently nutrient rich. I like to think of it as the baseline for feeling better.

Learn more about what Paleo is, what it can do for you, when Paleo is a good idea -- and also when it's a bad idea. I'll show you how to start defining what's right for you and how a Paleo template can help.  

Whether just started or working through a challenge, you'll appreciate my 5 keys to surviving Paleo

Start reading my Why Paleo? series. The first post is called What We Eat and clears up some of the confusion around what's Paleo and what isn't.

Let's face it: quality ingredients cost more at the register. Start with these five tips for taking a frugal approach to Paleo. 

One of my favorite ways to tame inflammation: Golden Milk Latte! This smooth, creamy coffee drink will change the way you look at turmeric.

Whole30 is a great way to press reset and learn what foods are best for your body. Wanna see how mine went?

If you're gonna rock a smoothie, this is hands-down the best way to build one. 

My Bestseller:

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook

Since budgets are as diverse as the people depending on them, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook showcases methods for saving time, effort and money that transcend what we spend on groceries. 

I focus on using resources wisely to succeed with a Paleo-centered diet that's sensitive to savings across the board.

Meal Plans

This is the strategy I've used for years: 3 meals that cook up quick, 2 recipes that make great leftovers, and 1 slow cooker recipe. The last day of the week is unscheduled, cause we all know that not everything goes as planned... including dinner.


Worse than managing this myself was learning my daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis as well. Since there are few resources for parents whose children are managing an autoimmune condition, I took what I've learned and wrote a 5-part email series.

One week of Frugal Paleo Meals

Wanna give Paleo a whirl, but prefer to take a budget-friendly approach? Try out my frugal Paleo meal plan and see if it doesn't help you find your footing.


My story

At first, Paleo and I didn't get along.

In 2011, I was digging into ways to manage a hypothyroid that had just gone autoimmune (meaning my immune system was now attacking my thyroid gland... *le sigh...) and found resources suggesting that we can impact how we feel and function through the foods we prioritize and avoid. The science was solid and I felt empowered.

This notion turned my perception of what a diet was on its head. Suddenly it wasn't about deprivation or short-term weight loss. "Diet" now became a way to carve a path for healing and manage the symptoms I was suffering from. My mindset shifted from aesthetics to function and wellness.


I didn't particularly care for the food recommended. The idea of eating fish and greens sauteed in coconut oil for breakfast was, shall we say, a turn off. A year later, I was still feeling terrible so I looked once more at Paleo and found a couple of cookbooks and websites that felt do-able. I also accepted a friend's challenge to start coming up with my own recipes, since I was no stranger to the kitchen.  

The engine turned on.

That challenge resulted in launching Popular Paleo in 2012 and leading to The Frugal Paleo Cookbook in 2014.  

Since then I've been sharing recipes and articles on Popular Paleo that reflect my view on pursuing health with mindfulness. I'm really big on making educated decisions about our bodies, free of labels and the rules of a particular diet--including Paleo.

Nutrient-dense food that supports a healthy digestive system, reduces inflammation, balances hormones and blood sugar, and fosters a healthy emotional relationship with food are my priorities... everything else to me is second.

I hope you find something to help you take steps -- even small ones -- toward better health on my blog. Thanks for visiting!