HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo


It’s undeniable that everyone loves to eat. However, people are challenged with what to eat nowadays. Often, many are not aware that their ailments are caused or triggered by the food they eat. It is essential to know what foods are good and bad for our consumption. A seasoned chef, and ancestral health enthusiast, author, and blogger Cristina Curp takes us through the journey of healthy eating and how to do it in 2019 when it seems like a challenge to eat healthy food that is actually good for your body. She highlights the Keto-Paleo diet and its benefits. Listen to this episode and learn great tips and tricks!

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Cooking Anti-Inflammatory Keto-Paleo with Cristina Curp

I’ve got a fantastic guest you’re going to like. I like her a lot. We love her, her books, her stuff that she’s done, her recipes. My staff and my family are loving it so far. Cristina Curp is on the show. Welcome, Cristina.

Thanks so much for having me.

We’ll have you tell more about your background. You’re a former restaurant chef with a background in anthropology. When you have a background in anthropology and you take it to the cooking space, you come out Paleo. I know you’re studying a lot trying to get some advanced degrees in nutritional therapy and stuff like that. You’re a mom, which is a full-time job in and of itself. You’re a blogger, an author and you’ve got some great things going on. I’m super impressed.

Thank you. It’s definitely a lot but I love to cook. Restaurant cooking isn’t inherently healthy. If you eat out, you know this. I did that for a long time, but when I found that food is medicine, Paleo is the rabbit hole that I never came out of. I was like, “I want to take these skills and go help people learn that they can eat delicious food and feel amazing.”

You mentioned the restaurant eating. How do we go out to eat in the year 2019? How is this possible? How can we do it?

It depends on where you live. If you’re in a hipster city, if you’re somewhere that there are a lot of young people who are a health-conscious crowd, you can find restaurants that are committed to quality food. The big things to look for are farm to table restaurants that list the farms on their menu not that they say they’re organic because that can be a little shady sometimes. I love restaurants that work with local farms that’s a big one because they’re not going to do a lot of stuff to the food. They’re paying top dollar for this local food. They’re going to want to showcase it.

Also, always ask about the cooking oils that they use. Unfortunately, even in some of the best places, they’re cooking with canola. It’s our soybean oil. Ask if they have olive oil, if they use butter and those kinds of things. It’s the mom and pop places. Stay away from the chains like Chili’s, TGIF. A lot of these restaurants, those big chains, it’s almost microwave food because they have to be so consistent in their millions of locations worldwide. The food is essentially already shipped to the restaurant, marinated and portioned. It’s seared and served.

That’s like the same stuff as well if you go to Whole Foods and you go to their precooked section, it’s all brought in from somewhere else. It’s all soaked in genetically modified canola oil. You have some ties to South Florida, am I right?

Yes, I’m Miami born and raised.

We found a place down there and it’s called Michael’s Genuine. They make all these claims that it’s farm to table, it’s genuine food and then you actually start to question them. I think they had some different beliefs when they started to where they are, but we were down there. I did a blog post on this and I’m excited to throw them under the bus. I feel very good about it because that’s the only way we’re going to make changes is if we throw people under the bus like Whole Foods, Michael’s Genuine, Chili’s and all these things. All their food is cooked in canola oil and it’s not organic. It’s genetically modified canola. Their farm to table stuff is from any farm. Rarely any of this stuff is local and we’re sitting there, “What is genuine?” I felt like a heel because a few years before we had been there, the food was fantastic. It was genuine, and I didn’t think I had to call again to make sure that it’s genuine but apparently, I did. That’s my Miami story.

I know that restaurant. I actually interned at an ad agency across the street and ate there a lot back when it first opened. I agree it went deteriorating. I think what happens is that the restaurant business is expensive. Food is expensive. Selling healthy food, you’re not going to make a big profit, and I know this because my mother owns a restaurant in Miami. It is farm to table organic and that’s where I first learned to cook. My mom’s been a restaurateur forever but she’s in the tiny, same hole in the wall joint. She’s been open eleven years. She’s doing well but people say, “Why don’t you expand? Why don’t you get a bigger place?” She’s like, “I can’t afford it. My food is expensive.”

I’m sure that our audience could find out what your mom’s restaurant is, do you want to share that information?

It’s Green Gables Cafe and it’s in Coral Gables and her name is Ana. It’s Ana of Green Gables because we love Anne of Green Gables. They’re only open breakfast and lunch. It’s casual dining and they do a lot of Paleo. They do a lot of vegan stuff too because vegan people like to eat. It’s in south Florida and it’s a big thing. They use organic. It’s not ideal-ideal but it’s better than the status quo. They use a non-GMO, high-oleic sunflower seed oil, coconut oil and olive oil to cook with. They source their beef from Ocala. She does well. My mom has high standards and even make some recipes from my book sometimes, their Paleo specials.

What is your background? What is your lineage? Where’s your family from?

HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo

Keto-Paleo: The restaurant business is expensive because food is expensive. You’re not going to make a big profit by selling healthy food.


Cuban. My mom came on a Mariel boatlift. I’m a first generation American and people are always like, “Your mom’s restaurant isn’t a Cuban food restaurant?” I’m like, “No. She was always into healthy food.” I would go to school with a thermos of stew. She was never into the rice and beans thing. My grandparents and my aunts were, but my mom was always making big salads, grilled meats. She always liked clean eating.

Is Cuban coffee healthy?

No. Espresso, it’s just black coffee. The Cortadito or the colada is how Cubans do it. What we do is when that first little bit of espresso comes out, it’s beat with sugar to make this simple syrup coffee thing and so it has tons of sugar. You can get it without the sugar but then it’s bitter.

I did two months at Jackson Memorial, the big giant hospital in Miami and I did the Infectious Disease rotations. That hospital is like a UN building. There were people from all over the world that were there but certainly a big Latin flair. I was a student at the time but some of the residents and the fellows would go for Cuban coffee every afternoon. It’s that pick me up. I want to say mine didn’t have a lot of sugar in it. I don’t remember it being overly sugary. What I do remember is it is super strong and the caffeine burst from it. It kept me awake for 48 hours at the time.

It depends on who makes it, but it’s two tablespoons of sugar, which is then distributed in the little shot glasses. It’s in about ten servings. It’s not that much sugar. I used to work at this marketing research firm doing qualitative and quantitative research for brands. We would get our clients in from all over the town doing their Latin market research and they would get the coffee. I had one client who didn’t realize that it was served in little shots. He took the whole thing to the face and this man turned bright red and started sweating.

No doubt it’s a pretty powerful thing. We go back and forth on this as far as is coffee healthy, is coffee not healthy, is coffee Paleo? I think obviously that it’s one of the situations where coffee is not very Paleo in the sense that our Paleolithic ancestors did not drink coffee. There’s a decent amount of literature that talks about how on a population basis, coffee can be beneficial and that’s on garbage brand coffee let alone if we’re talking about organic quality coffee. There’s tremendous antioxidant value to that as well.

Absolutely, I think I read somewhere that in the standard American diet, Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee and nowhere else.

Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. Click To Tweet

Your best website is TheCastawayKitchen.com. First of all, it’s gorgeous. The pictures and the recipes are amazing. They look fantastic. They’re easy, they make common sense and they’re totally heart-healthy. I know you’ve got a big Paleo flare and there’s a big push towards keto and then of course on the opposite side of the spectrum, we’ve got our friends the vegan community. Where are you in this whole Paleo versus Keto? I know you’re not vegan but tell me more.

I will say I’m Paleo first. That’s my background. I am so passionate about the ancestral template is the key to health. Our ancestors were all over the world and that’s different for everybody. What your Paleo diet that’s going to be optimal for you, it’s going to look different whether that’s lower carb or higher starch. Whether you’re tropical like me and you can eat fruit year-round, things like that all play in a role. Blood sugar dysregulation is the epidemic of our time and caused by the good old standard American diet with eleven servings of grains. Pretty much everyone’s overconsuming with carbohydrates so long that there are so many people that are insulin resistant, which is why a lot of people can see a benefit from a lower carb approach to Paleo.

For me, it makes sense. If you’re going to do keto and you come through the Paleo funnel as I call it, then you stick to those principles and apply a lower carb and higher fat approach. That’s where I am because I was like, “Why do I get so sleepy after I eat a sweet potato?” I did a Robb Wolf’s 7 Day Carb Test. I’m a big fan of Wired To Eat and I was like, “I’m insulin resistant. Who knew?” I think a lot of people fall into the trap where you’re eating Paleo but you’re just eating Paleo foods that are mimicking the standard American diet. You’re like, “Paleo pancakes for breakfast, Paleo bread for lunch.” Essentially, there’s still an over-consumption of carbohydrates going on, maple syrup, honey and all these things that are healthy or the counterparts. I was doing that and then I found my way to a lower carb Paleo. That’s what I do but I don’t think it’s for everybody. I don’t do broad stroke dietary recommendations because we’re all so different.

Where do you have dairy in your life, if at all? I like to say Paleo is what our ancestors would have consumed 15,000 years ago, 50,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago. Back then, there was no dairy. Dairy may have some health benefits but the question is, should we be consuming that? Keto allows for dairy, the cheeses, the creams, the butters but you tell me.

I didn’t do dairy for a long time. I don’t eat cheese. I don’t do cheese, milk or yogurt at all. I do cook with ghee or grass-fed butter but not all the time. I did the autoimmune protocol. I have several autoimmune issues, a lot of inflammatory stuff that I managed solely with diet and lifestyle. Doing those elimination diets, dairy was a no go for me. Even small amounts of ghee and butter were extremely inflammatory. I feel that if I over consume them, they have the hormonal component which affects me that way. I breastfed my son for two years. After you nurse a child, you feel I have a deeper understanding of where milk comes from and you’re like, “That’s so weird. We’re consuming another animal’s breast milk. How messed up is that? That stuff is gold.” I agree. I think there are some health benefits, the saturated fat, ADK, those fat-soluble vitamins in the pastured butter and ghee. I agree that it’s not natural per se. We’re the only mammal that consumes another animal’s milk.

When we do dairy, we do raw dairy. There is a farm share around where we live. We get the raw dairy from them over the years. We’ve imported dairy from the Pennsylvania Amish and they do it the right way. Their animals are the healthiest on the planet and my wife would always question them because my wife is a big breastfeeder as well. She’s so passionate about it that it was also, “If we’re drinking the cow’s milk, what is the baby cow drinking?” Anytime that we talk to these farmers with the raw dairy, we want to make sure that the baby cow is staying with the mom as long as possible that’s the only way that we’re going to drink it. A lot of raw places do that. The small farms will do that and as you know from breastfeeding, there are women that produce a massive amount of milk. There are some that don’t produce a lot. Cows have been bred the same way. A cow can produce enough milk to not only feed its calf but also many others.

I was talking to my little sister who’s into farming about that because I hadn’t thought about it. She and I were having this discussion because she’s not going vegetarian but she’s not eating pork, which for Cuban people is like, “What do you mean?” We got into the ethical questions of consuming animal products and circling back to your question about veganism, I tried it for two years and it wasn’t for me. I thrive on animal protein. I know I feel better that way. If you go back to Weston A. Price, he didn’t find a civilization that was truly thriving without animal protein or fats. I can’t imagine our ancestors being, “There’s a deer, let’s not eat it.” I’m from the Iberian Peninsula. I did my 23andMe and with my anthropology background, I looked it up. We ate a lot of rabbit and small games. Since the beginning of time, that’s what I eat.

HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo

Keto-Paleo: Humans are the only mammal that consumes another animal’s milk.


You can have a whole ethical debate and as far as what is ethical about eating animals, not eating animals, eating seafood, what is environmentally friendly and stuff like that. With the conversation that you and I are having and what we typically have, what is the optimal food for people to eat? For millions of years, our ancestors are hunter-gatherers. The information that I read is that two-thirds of the diet was animal seafood based. There is some discrepancy there and you look at different societies. You look at some of the original work from Loren Cordain and articles that he wrote with Boyd Eaton. Boyd Eaton is a Ph.D. researcher who originally said one-third was animal products, but he really didn’t account for seafood. Once they relooked at the data, it was two-thirds animal and seafood to one-third plants. I think we can also say that when you raise animals ethically and according to nature, that’s the best for the environment because tearing down millions of acres in the name of soy, wheat, and sunflower is not saving the environment.

Diana Rodgers, she has Sustainable Dish. She has a farm, her podcasts and books but she’s actually working on a docu-series called Sacred Cow. It’s a response to What The Health because she has a very good argument for pastured animals. That’s what’s going to save the planet. People think all this farming, it’s killing the topsoil. We only have 60 years left, a few harvests left of topsoil that’s going to grow anything in the Midwest. There’s this huge crisis and people don’t realize that the way to fix that soil is to get grazing animals. We need a buffalo. The buffalo is what made the soil in the US amazing, so rich and able to grow all this food but we’ve stripped that land. We haven’t had animals on it. We’ve been farming on it nonstop and of course, it’s unsustainable farming. I agree that we need more animals plus there is no such thing as vegan farming because even the soil needs blood and guts from the other animals. It’s from their poop, the birds and all those little critters. Animals are going to die, they kill each other. I think that I agree, it’s not about the what, it’s about the how.

You’re saying that you, Diana Rodgers, others, the Sacred Cow think that introducing pasture-raised animals back to the pasture is the way to save the topsoil as opposed to others like Monsanto who would say that it’s genetically modified crops that are going to save the soil. Let me ask you, why can’t a vegan eat an oyster?

I don’t know.

What’s different about an oyster than a head of cabbage? Does an oyster have any more feelings than a head of cabbage? I’ve always struggled with that. A clam or a scallop, what even is a scallop? It’s this muscle in between two shells. Me personally, I would think of the head of cabbage actually has more feelings than a scallop but that’s me.

Even when I was vegan for two years, it wasn’t an ethical thing. My dad’s family, they’re all butchers. For me, I wasn’t eating meat. Selling meat was paying for the roof over my head. I’ve never had an issue with that. My dad’s family were farmers in Cuba. My grandmother, up until her 70s, we would raise her turkeys, her chickens, her pigs and butcher them herself for the holidays. It’s normal for me. It’s natural. It feels like it’s how it’s supposed to be.

My grandfather who I’m named after, he was a kosher butcher in Atlantic City, New Jersey and there was a whole bunch of them there as well. We’re having a conversation about the best way to live and it’s Mother Nature. It’s common sense. A lion and a tiger in the wild don’t need the instruction manual. They don’t need the US Department of Agriculture to come up with a food pyramid to teach them how to live. They’re hunter-gatherers. That’s how they live. There’re a lot of different things that are going on as far as in the dietary space. Obviously, there’s Paleo and certain forms of Paleo. Appropriate Paleo is probably closer to Keto, but what do you think about the carnivore movement as well?

The ancestral template is the key to health. Click To Tweet

The carnivore movement is a massive elimination diet that’s being misused. People who find relief in carnivore probably have some major digestive issues going. Any leafy green is bloating them and I would say an autoimmune protocol, maybe low FODMAP, maybe get a SIBO test on, a gut map check would be a better way to go about it. Very few people come from the civilizations that thrived off carnivore diets. Even back then, they were eating a lot more organ meat. They were drinking blood, living off of rib eyes and hamburger meat. That’s not nutrient dense or diverse enough to have a healthy gut microbiome. There’s the heme iron in red meat which is linked to causing cancer. I know vegans love that as propaganda in the context of a grain-heavy or processed food diet. That’s why it happens, but the chlorophyll in leafy greens counteracts the cytotoxicity from the heme iron in our gut. Nature is yin and yang. That’s the basic rule of Mother Nature and I think taking out one part of that, you’re messing with perfection.

We all came from the Middle East. We all came from Northern Africa. Some of this stuff, you’re eating like your ancestors did but there are ancestors that lived in Cuba, Iberia and then we can march it back maybe to 20,000, 50,000 and then a million years where it’s all in that one segment. In all your recipes, where do the organ meats fit in?

I love pâté and I have an easy recipe on my blog. You can use chicken or beef. I use a lot of fresh herbs in it or I do sautéed liver. I like doing sautéed liver. I think it’s delicious. I always tell people, pâté is organ meat for starters. It’s pretty good and it tastes like a yummy, umami savory dip. You can grind up little bits of heart, liver or whatever you can find and mix it into meatloaf, meatballs or even ground beef with cauliflower rice. You’re not going to notice it and that’s a great way for people to get it in. A little bit goes a long way. You don’t have to be having organ meat with every meal. One or two servings a week and you’re golden. I always just tell people to try and get it in somehow. Even worst-case scenario, vital proteins, there are a lot of brands that do the dried-up beef liver pills. Any way you can get some in your diet, go for it. It’s the most nutrient dense food on the planet.

We actually developed a product called Paleo Multi and I’ll make sure that we send you a bottle. The Paleo Multi is nine different organs but it’s from neonatal. It is the cleanest animals from South America. The company that we use is the best of the best doctor’s line supplements. They’ve been huge in the glandular space for a long time. On a milligram basis, it’s not as much as some of these big protein tablets are but as far as the medicinal quality. The quality of a neonate as far as the organ tissue, obviously as you can imagine, compared to an older animal is totally different. Talking to you, it reminds me that you know more about nutrition than about every other medical doctor I’ve ever come in contact with combined. You know that to be true but I’m not even complimenting you, Cristina. That’s not even a compliment because you know these people know nothing. You’re like, “You’re saying that I know more than the people who know nothing.”

I know. It’s sad. I was someone that had a lot of hardships with that. When I was thirteen years old, I developed this horrible skin condition. I saw so many doctors and no one ever mentioned food. Do you know how infuriating that is? At 30 years old, I finally saw a blog post where someone was like, “I put my disease in remission through food.” I was like, “What? Excuse me?” I couldn’t believe my eyes and I was so mad. I had seen so many doctors and how these people are not helping me. They put me on antibiotics. I was put on so many medicines already. I was textbook leaky gut because I had soy formula, a C-section plus all the antibiotics my entire life and no one ever mentioned food.

It’s so sad. I myself is a cardiologist and I look back on all my old cardiology friends. It’s so sad for them because all they know is pharmaceuticals. All they know how to do is put in pacemakers, stents and they’ve got no concept of what causes chronic disease. You and I both agree that if you’re in trauma and you’re next to Jackson Memorial, go to the Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial. If you’re talking about prevention, the medical doctors have nothing. Give me some of your favorite options for breakfast.

If I’m fasting, I’ll do almond milk a little bit and I do Elmhurst. I know you can make your homemade almond milk. I do sometimes but there’s a new brand I found, it’s called Elmhurst and it’s water and almonds. That’s it, nothing else. Their original line has a little bit of sugar, but they have their unsweetened line. I love it because of the natural sweetness of the almonds and it’s ten almonds per cup so it’s pretty dense. It’s nice and creamy. I do one cup of coffee with a little bit of that but my favorite thing is eggs and bacon. Maybe half a cup of blueberries when they’re in season. I love eggs and bacon. I do my eggs over easy and I’d do my bacon in the oven. It’s crispy. Sometimes I’ll add in some arugula. I love arugula. It’s one of my favorite greens. It’s nice and peppery. I throw a handful over my food. I like those breakfast salads, greens, eggs, bacon or my coffee with a little almond milk.

HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo

Keto-Paleo: The carnivore movement is a massive elimination diet that’s being misused.


Some of the quality stores brought brands that have nut milk, if there was one critique anybody would have is that they’re so expensive. You’re just putting a little bit in your coffee, but I love when I see patients in the office and I’m telling them, “I’m going to give you the recipe for homemade almond milk.” They’re like, “I’ve got to get my pen and paper.” I’m ready to go and I’m like, “Get out your blender.” They get out the blender, put almonds, add water and press blend. They’re like, “What?” It’s that simple and I guess what’s nice about that too is you keep all the fiber, all the full nutrients of the almond. What importance do you rate as far as soaking your nuts and seeds prior to consumption?

For me it’s pretty high. I contacted Elmhurst and while they don’t pre-soak, they have their blending method because they separate the water and add it back into the nuts several times. I couldn’t eat nuts for a very long time. I reintroduced them back into my diet successfully from part of my autoimmune stuff. They were inflammatory to me for a while. Cashews were actually one of the first to be reintroduced for me and they’re not a nut. They’re another drupe apparently. I learned that too but soaking reduces the phytic acid. It makes it easier to digest. A little pinch of salt and then you drain the water. I love cashews because you don’t have to peel the skin. When you blend it, it creates smooth milk without any straining which is nice but yes, I do like to soak mine. I don’t do if I’m cooking with them honestly because you’re going to soak them, dry them and dehydrate them again and that’s a lot.

It’s definitely a lot and sometimes when I think about it, if I take my organic raw almonds and I put them in the blender with water, invariably they are soaking it. They’re ground up, they’re soaking, they’re in our refrigerator. What happens to some of the phytates or anti-nutrients? Are they now into the water? Maybe, but maybe that also goes into what works for 95% of us. We can make it super simple but if you’re dealing with some of these health challenges then you’ve got to go to the next level.

There’s no need to overcomplicate things if you don’t need to.

What are your thoughts on quinoa? Are you a quinoa person?

Not anymore. I used to when I was gluten-free. I know it’s like a pseudo grain. It’s more of a seed but no, I haven’t eaten it in years, honestly. Even though technically it’s a seed, not a grain, I feel it’s hard to eat a little bit. If you want quinoa, I think you add quite a bit but in general, nuts and seeds are meant to be consumed in small amounts, not like bowls of it. Unless you’re sprinkling it maybe on your salad a little bit on top, eating a bowl of quinoa. Would you eat a bowl of sesame seeds? No.

I think that it doesn’t pass the sniff test or the taste test. All of us know you can sit down with a bowl of rice, you can sit down with a bowl of beans, you can sit down with a bowl of quinoa and you never stop as opposed to if you sit down with a bowl of nuts and seeds. As long as they’re unflavored and all that stuff, you’re good. Tell me about some of your favorite lunch and dinner options as well.

There was no civilization that was truly thriving without animal protein or fats. Click To Tweet

I’ve been super into sheet pan meals. I don’t know why, if I can throw it in the oven and forget about it, that’s the way to go. I made a skirt steak with Shiitake mushrooms, a bunch of garlic, ginger on it and that was good. I do a lot of red meat. I love beef in general. I get grass-fed beef and I do a lot of meatballs or steaks, ribeyes. I like to put olive oil on them and pan sear it or roast it. I always have kale, broccoli and cauliflower. Brussels sprouts are a favorite of mine. Yes, some veggies.

Give me some strategies for eating healthy on the road. What do you do?

For one thing, I was on a book tour and so that was ten days traveling. I had to do intermittent fasting. Imagine the more often you eat, the higher the probability that you’re going to run into crap food. I pretty much stuck to one meal a day when I was traveling. Usually, it was lunch or dinner when I could find a good restaurant, get to a kitchen via my Airbnb or a friend’s house. I always look for my hotels to be close to either a good restaurant or a Whole Foods or some farmer’s market. I would always pack Epic Bars with me. I would pack canned coconut milk. If they’re not checking your bag, you can take it in. It’s a pain in the butt. I travel a lot of stuff. I had my own little setup so I could make my coffee in my hotel room. I drink a lot of water. You’re drinking Pellegrino, I love that one. Gerolsteiner is one of my favorite mineral waters. It’s high in mineral content. People don’t realize flying dehydrates you. Get plenty of minerals and stay hydrated. Try to intermittent fast. You can do one meal a day and focus on that one meal being awesome, and then sleeping a lot.

The whole idea of fasting when you travel I think is fantastic. I love that as well because when you’re traveling, you have to prepare and I agree with you. Cutting up vegetables, bring meats or hard-boiled eggs. I’m the guy who opens up a can of sardines on the airplane. No one likes that guy. I’ve already got so many controversial opinions, then all of a sudden, I’m telling someone about those opinions on the plane and then I opened up a can of sardines. I’ve got plenty of patients that are pilots and I’ve asked them too. I’ve said, “Could I ever get in trouble or kicked off a plan for sardines?” They were like, “No, you’re good. No one will ever say anything.” I was like, “Cool.” The whole idea of fasting, it does surprise me how many organic junk items are there in an airport. There’s junk sugar carb stuff but at least you’re finding organic options. While traveling, why not intermittent fast? I agree; the hydration component is super key. I’m sure you’re like me. You go through airport security, you find your bottle Evian for $7 a bottle or your Fiji for $8 a bottle and go about your business.

I always pack real salt or pink Himalayan salt and I’ll add it to my water. They also have good little packets, they’re called coffee blocks or in general, you can find coconut oil packets or ghee little packets and they come individually. I’ll pack those and I’ll add it to my coffee or honestly snack on it. Little things like that keep me going. I usually like to fly first thing in the morning but if I’m flying later on in the day it’s harder to fast. Hard-boiled eggs, it’s smelly but whatever. People don’t realize you can bring whole food or you can take a pizza through TSA if you wanted to in the box. You could pack a whole meal. They’re not going to take it away from you as long as it’s not clear liquids. Don’t be shy to bring your lunch.

What’s next for Cristina Curp? What’s happening?

I’ll graduate from my Nutritional Therapy Program, which is exciting. I’m working on my second book already, which I’m super stoked about because it’s going to focus on simplified meals. My cooking is already pretty simple but people like it even simpler. I’m going to focus on one pot, instant pot, slow cooker, hands-off cooking. I think that the idea of cooking from scratch intimidates people. If they just did it, they’ll realize how easy it is. It’s truly creating recipes for the novice cook. I’ll start seeing clients for nutritional therapy and my website is getting a makeover. It’s going to be even cooler and that should launch.

HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo

Keto-Paleo: Nuts and seeds are meant to be consumed in small amounts, not bowls of it.


Who are you getting your certification from for nutritional therapy?

The Nutritional Therapy Association, and they’re cool. They offered several programs. I like them because I heard about them through other people in the business, nutritionists and dieticians. Even after they get their degrees, they end up going back and doing this program. I looked into several Master’s programs but they’re teaching conventional dietary guidelines in school. I was like, “Why go back for my Master’s and then still have to take the certification?” The Nutritional Therapy Association, it’s credible and very respectable. The science is sound against the ancestral health approach. They do a lot of Weston A. Price Foundation as the basis of their curriculum and I’m excited.

I’ll be speaking to them in Portland.

The conference, I might. I’m going to be in Atlanta because I’m doing a talk on the difference between Paleo and keto at a health food convention. I want to go. I did my functional evaluation workshop with the school and all the teachers were saying they were going to be there. It’s awesome. That’s amazing. I know Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Paleo Mom is going to be there as well.

There are some fantastic people and that takes you far if you’ve got health issues. Dive into the Nutritional Therapy Association. Find someone in your area. I’m sure they’ve got a search box on the website. It looks like they’ve got a lot of members, a lot of people that are trained. What you and I both believe is the right way to get healthy.

I was very impressed with the curriculum coming from already working in the space. I worked so far. I’m a chef, I can create recipes for anything. This is my own research, and this is my own story but I wanted to take it further and say, “This is what worked for me.” I won’t be like, “I want to help you figure out what works for you.” That’s why I’m stoked about this program and it’s so cool you’re talking at the conference. I’ll see if I can make it.

If there’s any way you can get there, that will be cool. How many kids do you have?

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It’s a boy. How old is he?


How do we feed children in a healthy fashion?

I breastfed Jack until he was two and he was already baby-led weaning back then. I’ve been doing what I’m doing for years. When Jack first started eating, we were doing gluten-free. We were doing health food but the more standard American version of health food. It’s been a transition for the whole family. I think what a lot of times people are so focused on is they have to get healthy first. I don’t know why a lot of people eat healthily, but their kids eat crap. Once I realized that my autoimmune stuff is hereditary, I was like, “I want to do everything in my power to save my child from this.” From living this life, from having this stuff manifest, epigenetics or having the gene expression come out, I am so fortunate that he’s never needed antibiotics. I have a five-year-old who was breastfed, who’s never taken prescription medication and he’s been so healthy.

Jack does eggs and bacon. He loves fruit. I don’t have him Keto at all. I have him grain-free. He does a lot of fruit and we try and do it in season. We get a CSA box. It’s local to Virginia. He likes plantain chips for lunch and I do The New Primal, the kid sticks. They’re little beef sticks. He loves the beef bars. I put stuff in his little thermos, leftover from dinner and stuff like that. He loves a crispy broccoli and crispy green. He likes any green vegetable as long as it’s crispy. We don’t moderate. He eats as much as he wants or as little. I don’t give him grief. If he’s like, “I’m not hungry.” I’m like, “That’s fine.” Kids have their self-rate. If they’re not eating hyper-palatable foods, they have good self-regulators.

We can find out more about you obviously, we can go to your website. Tell me more, how do people find out more and interact with you?

HHS 38 | Keto-Paleo

Keto-Paleo: Don’t be shy to bring your own lunch when you’re traveling.


TheCastawayKitchen.com is my website and then I’m active on social media. Instagram is definitely my biggest platform. We have little stories, I was cooking on there and doing lives, answering questions at The Castaway Kitchen. My book is on Amazon, Costco, Barnes & Noble. It’s called Made Whole and you can find it everywhere, anywhere books are sold and I’m excited. There’s so much more to come. I’m stoked with this. I think that it’s an exciting time for real food. It’s getting a lot of press and it’s exciting to be a part of the movement.

It’s such a pleasure to talk to you. You and I are clearly cut from the same cloth. I love everything that you say. It’s absolutely fantastic and I’ll keep your name in the Rolodex. I love to have you on again in the future especially when the next book comes out.

Thanks for having me. It’s so nice talking to you.

Stay tuned for another episode coming up. It will be healthy.

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About Cristina Curp

HHS 38 | Keto-PaleoHello! I’m Cristina Maria Curp, Cuban-American, mother, military spouse, food lover, and dreamer. I created this blog to share my passion for food as medicine. About to turn thirty, with a baby to care for I found my self at rock bottom. Emotionally and physically.

I was severely overweight, riddled with inflammation, pain, and fatigue. Something needed to change. So I looked at my food choices. As a lifelong binge eater, I was ready to stop the vicious cycle of guilt and self-harm. That is to say… I get it. I’ve been there. I had my day one.

I wasn’t perfect about this healthy lifestyle from day one, and I still am not. But I strive every day to feel better and be better.

A mama with a history of obesity, autoimmune disease, and a whole lotta emotional baggage. If I can turn this my hot mess express around, so can you.

I KNOW, I know in my bones that real food is the key to health, and healthy, thriving life is the key to happiness. Here at The Castaway Kitchen, our mission is to spread the word that food does heal. That you can embrace the dietary and lifestyle changes that will change your life.

I want you to feel empowered and inspired to heal! By creating delicious resources, sharing information, and my own story, my goal is to help YOU find the nutritional path that is right for you. We’re all so unique and while I do share what has worked for me, it might not be what works for you, but I will help get you there!