A list of friends and resources to help keep you fit, healthy, inspired, well fed, and on track to meet your goals.

 Pittsburgh Area Friends and Resources

  • LadyFingers Private Chef and Catering – A private chef and catering service here in Pittsburgh, owned and artfully operated by Diane Dennis.  She’s someone who shares my passion for locally-sourced, quality food and she’s also First Comes Health’s consulting chef.  There is nothing this lady cannot do in the kitchen.  If you’re thinking of having a special event and want to work with someone who sincerely cares about the finest food, Diane is it!
  • The Food Lovers’ Kitchen – My friends Hayley Mason and Bill Staley’s website is a terrific source for healthy recipes that use the finest ingredients.  These two are not afraid to be experimental in the kitchen, and you shouldn’t be either.  The recipes are delicious, the photos are gorgeous, and you’ll be inspired to try something new.  They are masterful at being courageous, making food interesting, and staying healthy. Check out their books too!  Make it Paleo, Gather, The Art of Paleo Entertaining, and 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking.
  • Industrial Athletics/CrossFit Alloy – This is where I get my buff on! If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area and want to do a WOD with me, drop in!  Matt, Steph, and Tony are always cooking up some devious workouts to keep us all on our toes.
  • Back on Two Feet – My friend Diane had major reconstructive surgery on her foot.  She went from being a 5 day per week CrossFitter to a cast and no walking for a few months.  This blog chronicles her climb back to the top, regaining her strength, overcoming the obstacles one step at a time.  Very inspiring
  • Red Star Kombucha – Pittsburgh’s BEST kombucha and Pennsylvania’s first licensed kombucha brewery.  Fill your growlers at their Troy Hill storefront on Saturdays, or find them on tap around town.  Fantastic ‘buch!!!  Plus, their motto is fab – In Glob We Trust.

Fermentation & Preservation Websites, Blogs, and Resources

  • Cultures for Health – In my opinion, this is the premiere place on the WWW for purchasing fermentation starters, equipment, and educational materials.  Simply put, nobody does it better!  Yogurt starters, vegetable starter cultures, kombucha SCOBYs, kefir grains, ebooks, vessels, and more.  The best resource out there for newbie and veteran fermenters.
  • Nourished Kitchen – Not a blog exclusively about fermentation, but the content that is there is second to none.  There is even an online course about fermentation that is excellent!  Surf on over for the fermentation education, but stay for everything else.
  • Food in Jars – An urbanite tackles canning and food preservation right in her own wee tiny home.  A woman after my own heart! Food in Jars is a gorgeous resource for all things canning.  Check out her book too!
  • Kombucha Brooklyn – It might have started out as a small batch kombucha maker, but it has since become a really fantastic source for all kinds of kombucha making information.  If you’re in the greater NYC area, try a bottle of their ‘buch!  If you’re in the market for a brewing kit, tea, a SCOBY, or flavorings, they are the place.  They even have a kombucha forum for you to ask and answer questions!
  • Pickl-It – My go-to fermentation vessels!  They come in various sizes, they are equipped with an airlock, and they are the best on the market as far as I’m concerned.  Whether you’re fermenting in large or small quantity, I cannot recommend Pickl-It jars highly enough.
  • Fermenters Club – a California-based group of fermentation adventurers! If you are interested in fermenting nearly ANYTHING, these guys have done it and are generous with information.  Plus, they have a really cool collection of fermentation related t-shirts for you to buy so you can sport your love for bacteria all over the land.
  • Ferm-Up – The blog home of the spectacular podcast devoted to everything fermented.  Branded and Danijela are delightful and informative, plus they know a heck of a lot about fermentation.  Their podcast is NOT to be missed.
  • Well Preserved – A blog from the Great White North that is all focused on food preservation.  The fabulous photographs alone are worth your time to click on over.  But I guarantee you’ll stay for the thorough information delivered in an accessible and cheery way.  Food adventurers at their finest.
  • Wild Fermentation – What can I say about Sandor Ellix Katz?  He’s THE man when it comes to fermentation.  Nobody else in recent history has done more to advance the craft than he has.  His website will let you know when and where he is making his next appearance, plus there is a section for all kinds of wild and interesting fermentation related things.  Check out his books too!  Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation.

Paleo Friends

  • FreeRange Human – My friend Sean has a great blog where he not only shares some fab recipes, but he details how eating Paleo has helped him manage his epilepsy.  He is always up to something interesting like butchering a whole pig or taking fabulous photos.  He’s a great guy with a really terrific blog.  Check it!
  • Pastured Kitchen and Bakery – I love eating healthy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a sweet treat now and again. And maybe this is my yankee bias coming through, but who can make desserts and comfort foods better than a southern woman?  Nobody, I say!  My bud Suzanne’s blog is rife with sweet treats and delish comfort foods that are also good for you – gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, other garbage-free.
  • Against All Grain – I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle recently and let me tell you she is even nicer and more pleasant in person than she appears to be on her blog.  What a delight!  If you are looking to feed your family top-quality noms that fall under the umbrella of being Paleo, Primal, GAPS, or Weston A. Price Foundation-compatible, then you’ll need to check out Danielle’s site.  Look for her upcoming book too! Against All Grain, Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great.
  • The Urban Poser – When I am looking for a blog that is more than just good food presented well, I always surf over to The Urban Poser.  The reason for this is because Jenni prepares the most wonderfully delicious foods in the most unique ways.  This is definitely one of my go-to sites when I’m trying to put the impress on some guests.  She’s more than a healthy cook and photographer, but an accomplished yogi as well.  And a kind person to boot.
  • The Spunky Coconut – I love dessert.  I may describe myself as a salt person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t looooove desserts.  Especially ones that are made with so much personality, goodness, and flair.  Kelly outdoes herself with each recipe.  She doesn’t even limit herself to desserts, but sweetness is what she’s all about – both in recipes and in person.  I am very anxiously awaiting her book, The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook!
  • Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations – Do you love bacon?  Do you love decadent desserts?  Do you love them both together?  Do you like your Paleo recipes mixed in with a little humor and slice of (former) military life?  Then go to this site and check out George Bryant’s fantastic site.
  • Pete’s Paleo – I strongly encourage my clients to cook for themselves and while most of them try to, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Pete’s Paleo is a San Diego based paleo meal service run by Chef Pete and his fab wife, Sarah.  Folks, there just aren’t nicer people in this world.  Add to that some wicked skills in the kitchen and you’ll want to be Pete and Sarah’s best friends too.  They are doing their part to spread the good word of eating healthfully for longevity and educating anyone and everyone about how to cook. Right now Pete’s Paleo is operating regionally, but they will soon spread their wings and become a national service.  I can’t wait.
  • Cave Girl Eats – Do you want to know what I totally love about Liz of Cave Girl Eats?  It isn’t her contagious passion for real food.  It isn’t her unmatched knowledge of skin care and personal wellness. It isn’t the fact that she is kind and smart and fun.  It isn’t her hilarious posts that always have a lesson to teach.  It isn’t even her sweet podcasting co-hosting skills.  It is the fact that at her core is a larger than life self-esteem that makes you want to believe in yourself too.  She is truly an inspiration.  Plus, she too has a book that is poised to hit the shelves soon!  I can’t wait to get Modern Cave Girl, Paleo Living in the Concrete Jungle into my hot little hands.