This post will be the first in what I hope will become a series of YOUR stories. This story comes to us from husband and wife team Paul and Theresa, and their two girls. This family was kind enough to share with us their paleo journey. This post is rather long but an enjoyable read and an amazing story. If you want to share your story here on Everyday Paleo, please send me an email also including your favorite paleo recipe and a picture! Now read and enjoy!!
First we start with Paul’s perspective….
How I took my family down the Paleo Road
The “Skinny/Fat Cycle” Years
My journey to Paleo began, in some senses, a lot like most peoples;first I found CrossFit, then I tried the Zone, then I went Paleo. But really, I think it begins long before that, I just didn’t realize it at the time.
I’ve always been somewhat interested in health, fitness, and nutrition. I ran track in high school, continued running on and off on my own through college and after. But like most of America, I hit 30 and suddenly realized I was fat. At the time my wife, Theresa, and I were discussing having kids and she mentioned wanting to lose some weight before that and going to Weight Watchers. I decided I’d join her. I didn’t think it was necessary, knowing that I could drop the weight once I became determined to do so. But I figured it might be good to do something like this together and support my wife.
As expected, I set my mind to losing weight, I got out and ran 3-5 days a week, and the weight just dropped, from 180 down to 150. As an award for hitting my goal weight, I bought myself a really nice road bike. I had always loved riding my bike as a kid. And, I put a lot of mileage on my bike as I commuted to and from work on it over the next several years; up to 1800 miles/summer!
The Biking Years
But biking in New England is very seasonal, and my weight fluctuated with the biking season. I’d get fat in the winter and take it off in the spring. I tried spinning classes, but that represented everything I got into biking to avoid; indoors, hot, stuffy, lots of people crowded in a small place, and really obnoxious music.
Then I switched jobs, and missed an entire season of biking due to weather, unemployment, and life in general. And I got fat again, backup to over 170. During this time I had read Michael Pollan’s books, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”. Both of these books really opened my eyes and brought understanding to this obesity epidemic I kept hearing about. We’ve had a small family garden for a few years and that summer we really focused on it as a source of cheap, but really healthy food. And of course the kids loved going down with us to pick fresh lettuce and other veggies for supper every evening, so it became a family thing as well.
Finding Fitness and Nutrition – Finally!
Early in 2009, Theresa convinced me to join the local health club, which I reluctantly conceded to. It was here, from a group of Marines who worked out there each morning, that I discovered CrossFit.
And from there The Zone.
I latched onto the Zone right away. I read the book and it just corroborated everything Michael Pollan had taught me. And, being an engineer, it greatly appealed to my OCD for anything to do with numbers. I started Zoning in late July of 2010 and I watched the weight just magically disappear. By Thanksgiving I was down to about 150lbs. A 20+ pound drop with virtually no effort. But I kept hearing about this Paleo thing. I some how figured out that The Zone was all about portion control and food quantity, and Paleo was all about food quality. Putting the two together just seemed to make sense. Sure, I could have some eggs and 2 slices of toast, or, I could have eggs and small bowl of oatmeal (Mmm, oatmeal!), or, eggs, bacon, fruit, and veggies!
I started gravitating from Zone to Paleo-Zone between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2010. By Christmas, I was mostly Paleo but still using a little dairy creamer in my coffee, and having the occasional yogurt or cottage cheese in order to get my protein in Zone-style. The Holidays hit, and though I had a few pieces of apple or pumpkin pie, and ice cream here and there, I breezed right through without gaining an ounce. Just before Christmas I decided to do a 30-day Paleo Challenge from January 2-31. Fortunately I had just received Robb Wolf’s book and devoured it just before Christmas.
I mentally prepared myself during the week between Christmas and New Years trying to figure out where I wasn’t already Paleo, and how to make that work. I bought cans of coconut milk and tried that out as a dairy substitute for both my coffee and my tea. Not great, but passable. Better than black, and far better than I expected. (I’ve subsequently discovered the So Delicious Coconut Creamer, and now prefer that even to dairy creamer!)
Over all, the month went by pretty quickly, and before I knew it, February was here. And I was still Paleo. The kids were really excited for me to finish my challenge. And of course, to celebrate,they wanted french toast for breakfast. I think that was my one non-paleo day in February. That, and the re-introduction to dairy for my coffee and tea (we live down the street from a dairy farm where the cows are all antibiotic and hormone free, and grass fed!). During this time, of course, I had been discussing all my findings and education of the Paleo-verse with Theresa and the kids. And, because I felt so great, I really wanted to convert my family over to a Paleo lifestyle as well. But I feared the resistance I might get from Theresa. Of course, she would say I’m completely selling her short here, and have no faith in her. But, in my mind, I have both reason and precedent for my doubts. See, I tend to be rather obsessive about things I discover to be “good ideas”. And a lot of times she just nods her head in that loving-wifeway that says, “Yes, dear, you go one with your little delusional experiment. I won’t stop you, but I won’t partake in this latest instance of insanity.” A great example of this was when I decided, as a result of reading a book called “The Tightwad Gazette”, that we would no longer buy aluminum foil. We would use what we had, and we would wash it off and re-use it as much as we could. And by “we”, I mean “me”, because Theresa really didn’t think this was a worthwhile endeavor at all. And I can’t blame her. After being married for over 15 years, she’s seen me dive in and outof plenty of these types of things before. And so, I expected her to treat the whole Paleo thing the same as she did my “Great Aluminum Foil Experiment”. I wanted our family to become Paleo, but I also realized that it would involve far more effort than we had previously put into eating healthy. Theresa is not a fan of cooking. She’s often said that if it weren’t for me doing the cooking, she’d survive on crackers, soup, and toast, with the occasional bowl of ice cream. Between this, and my expectations of her treating this paleo thing like the aluminum foil experiment, I figured I had an uphill battle in front of me.
Thinking about the family
Knowing, or rather thinking, this, I turned to the world’s foremost authority on taking a family Paleo; Sarah! I just e-mailed her out of the blue and we struck up a conversation, and in mid-January I offered to use my family as an experiment so she could blog about it. My big concern at the time was the convenience of the Standard American Diet. I’m fairly convinced that as a nation, our laziness has been a significant contributor to our obesity issues. Knowing how convenience has played a big part in our dietary choices in the past, I had to come up with ways to make this paleo thing more convenient. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. Of course, Sarah was completely supportive, as you’d expect. But what’s interesting is, she didn’t really give me any new ideas, or any magic bullet. What she did do was remind me of things I already knew. She said, “Just be loving and supportive of your wife.” and “Don’t nag or pester.” (the “It’s too hard…” posts were inspired by ourconversations!) But most importantly, she reminded me of something I had learned long ago in the military, “Lead by example!” and of something my career in IT had taught me, “Make it easy for people to do the right thing!” I had already been “leading by example” to a point. Since I first started on the Zone, I had started teaching the kids about the 3 macro-nutrients and what a balanced meal ought to look like. And I made sure that my meals reflected what I was teaching them. I also started cooking for anyone who wanted something hot for breakfast, Theresa included. I had always made oatmeal (or porridge, as we referred to the slow, cooked, steel-cut oats) the night before so thatit was quick and easy to deal with in the morning. So, the “make it easy to do the right thing” habit was already there. I just needed to do more of that. During January I also joined a local Crossfit affiliate. This meant that 3 days a week, I would no longer be home to cook breakfast, since the gym is 20 minutes from home in the direction of work. Therefore, I needed to begin making my breakfast the night before so I’d have something to eat once I got to work. Since I had to cook for myself, it was natural to just cook “more” and make sure it was available for Theresa and the kids in the morning. This seemed to work well, and I have Robb’s book to once again thank for some great ideas (interestingly, Robb’s book has provided lots of breakfast ideas, whereas Sarah’s site is the main source of dinner ideas).
The Annual Physical
In the 3rd week of January, a little more than half-way through the 30 day challenge, serendipity struck. I had my annual physical. I had been eagerly looking forward to that day for several months knowing I had lost a significant amount of weight. I had gotten my blood work done the week before and was dying to know the results. After the appointment I called Theresa with excitement oozing from every pore as I relayed how my appointment went: My triglycerides had dropped from 147 to 44. My total cholesterol went from over 200 to under 150. My doctor, who had been warning me that I was “border-line for high cholesterol” for a couple of years now, was flabbergasted both by the weight loss and the bio-marker results. He started asking all sorts of questions, and even TAKING NOTES on TONGUE DEPRESSORS! He was shaking his head the entire time and muttering things like, “that just makes so much sense”, and “wow, that’s amazing, what was that URL again?”, “and which book do you recommend I read first? This Robb Wolff guy, or Mark Sisson?”
N = 1 Family
Obviously, Theresa was very happy for me, but I noticed a tinge of sadness in her voice as she said, “I wish I could have doctor’s appointments like that!” Seizing my opportunity, I told her she could, and that I would help. I asked when her annual physical was scheduled and upon hearing it wasn’t for a few months told her we had plenty of time to prepare for it.
About a week later, January 31st to be exact, I e-mailed Sarah with the following:
“I picked my daughters up from the Irish Step Dance class on Saturday, and some how we got talking about how my 30 day challenge was coming to an end. All of a sudden, my youngest blurts out, “Daddy, did you know Mommy said she’s thinking about doing the 30-day Paleo challenge too!?” I was awestruck. I had no idea. Maybe, I thought, this is working after all! When we got home, JJ, my youngest, was all proud of herself for informing Daddy of something he didn’t already know, told my wife that she had brought me up to date. Of course, conversation ensued, and she said she’d start on March 1st. That gave me the month of February to help her prepare by discovering which things we’d need to find paleo substitutions for. During all this time, I do want to point out that Theresa had been making moves in the right direction as well. She had stopped having refined sugar in her tea, opting for honey instead and she had switched over to eggs and other more protein-rich foods for breakfast, abandoning her comfort-food breakfast of corn flakes. March was quickly approaching, and the girls, Sydney and JJ both astounded us one night at dinner, by announcing they too, wanted to do the Paleo Challenge. Since I had planned on continuing with it, having never really stopped during February, I thought making it a family project was a fantastic idea. Of course, this was going to require more work on my and Theresa’s parts, and I wanted to make sure that the girls knew exactly what this would mean. So right then and there at dinner, we had a family discussion. Since the girls go to a small, private school where the cost of school lunch is built into the tuition, we explained that for that month, we’d be sending their luches with them to school and asked if they were okay with that. They were. Since both girls have food allergies, they’re already used to dealing with having to be slightly different from the other kids around food. We also mentioned that they’d have to be candy-free for the month. This aspect wasn’t quite as appealing to them, but they understood that to complete the challenge, this would be part of it. The only major change Theresa really ended up having to make, interestingly, was finding a substitute for her yogurt snacks. Fortunately, I had just listened to the Robb & Andy podcast where Andy mentioned his coconut milk pudding. Sarah pointed me at the actual recipe, and we tried it out. We weren’t crazy about the original recipe, so, being perfectly happy to experiment, I tried a few different variation; one had fresh cranberries in it, which Theresa and I both loved, and another used frozen strawberries which the girls thought was pretty good. Of course, freezing them, thereby inventing the whole new concept of “Paleo Pudding Pops” was a huge win for the girls, who devoured these things faster than Chris Spealer’s Frantime!
As I write this, it’s now April 1st, and we’ve completed the 30-day Family Paleo Challenge. Once again, I had my doubts about how much of the 30 days of change had stuck. I was very pleasantly surprised on the last day when Theresa mentioned to me that she had no plans to go back to cereal in the morning, and that she didn’t miss her yogurts at all. In fact, she said, “I’m thinking most of these changes are going to be permanent”. March 31st was my birthday, and the girls were far more excited about me turning 41 than I was. Which means we had to have cake and ice cream. Of course, the girls had realized very early on that the 30days would be done “just in time for Daddy’s birthday!”. Theresa, who hates to cook, has started searching out paleo recipes on the web, and even made me a Paleo, coconut-flour cake with confectionary sugar frosting. Not entirely paleo, but by far better than the alternatives. And, being a typical family, the day was as crazy as it could get with soccer practices, and after school playdates. Between all that and the cake, she had no time for dinner. So we went to Boston Market, and JJ picked out meatloaf, which, much to my dismay, is loaded with wheat and therefore gluten. After dinner, the entire family felt bloated, over-full, and rather icky. Theresa and I both agreed, back to Paleo! With how well we’ve felt over the past 30 days, and how well we’ve eaten, there’s just no reason to feel yucky after a single meal. It wasn’t even that tasty. I’ve been strict paleo for the better part of 90 days now, my family, 30. I’m down to 140 pounds, the same weight I was when I graduated from college, having lost another 10 since going Paleo. And Theresa is down to her pre-pregnancy weight from 9 years ago and still dropping (She looks phenomenal, though she won’t admit it!)
The kids went off the reservation once or twice, but I continually explain to them that we live by the 80/20 rule. We do our best 80% ofthe time, knowing that we can’t be perfect. 20% of time we might slip, but doing the best we can is what counts, and when we slip, we just get right back up and resume where we left off with the next meal. The past 30 days has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot, about me, my wife, and my kids. We’ve discovered surpising new foods we love (who knew kids would love home-made beef jerkey?), and some we don’t (who knew kids wouldn’t care for beanless chili?). I’ve learned that life will often surprise you in very pleasant ways if you just give it a chance, and don’t try to force it into going the way you think it should. I don’t think words could ever express how proud of Theresa and the girls I am. And how happy that we’re all on the same page nutritionally. I’m okay with the fact that one day off the challenge Sydney wanted oatmeal for breakfast again, being pretty sick of scrambled eggs. I doubt we’ll ever be 100% strict paleo, but we will certainly be a mostly-paleo family, and I will continue to do what I can to lead by example, and make it easy for my family to do the right thing.
Lastly, I want to thank a few people: Sarah for both the support she provided, directly, and indirectly with all her awesome recipes, and for allowing me to use her tiny corner of the Paleoverse to share our story with you.
Robb and Andy, for entertaining me daily for months on my commute while I listened to each and every episode, sometimes twice. I’d liketo think I qualify as one of the 6 listeners! Folks, it’s almost like this stuff works! My trainer, Justin, at Crossfit Woodshed for whipping me into the best shape of my life! And lastly, to Theresa and my girls for being the best family a guy could have. Thanks for coming along on the Paleo ride with me, and I’m sorry about that aluminum foil thing. Really.
Now Theresa’s perspective.
History and motivation
How did my family of four end up going paleo? Incrementally. Our journey toward Paleo probably started when my older daughter was 1, and was diagnosed with peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergies. (My second daughter was diagnosed with these allergies at age 5.) Setting aside the parental anxiety that ensued, certain fundamental things changed for us.
First and foremost, I learned to be flexible about food. Culturally,socially, and especially in the family, food is sacred. Chinese food on New Year’s Eve? Birthday cake from a grocery store bakery? No longer for us. For the first time, I was forced to think about food as something that could potentially be harmful, and that threat trumped everything else. The end result was that it became okay not to eat what everyone else was eating; it became the norm for the girls to reach for their safe snack when everyone else was eating the birthday cake. Ironically, growing up different has made it much easier to go paleo, especially for the kids.
Secondly, we began reading labels, and for the first time started wondering what some of those multi-syllabic ingredients actually were. Keeping the kids safe took on an added dimension. We needed to avoid the allergens, obviously; but in addition to that we worried about the effect of artificial ingredients and chemicals on our children’s young bodies. We began buying organic milk, beef, and pork from local farms, as well as fruits and vegetables from the local CSA when in season.
As the girls entered grade-school, I had time to focus on getting my body back. My husband wanted to get fit as well, so we joined a fitness club. I started playing soccer again, something I had done from age nine right through college. It felt good to be challenging my muscles again, but the weight loss train just wasn’t pulling out of the station the way it did when I was in my twenties. Hmmm.
I should mention here that my husband Paul is the impetus behind our family’s incursion into Paleo territory. He’s a voracious reader with amazing powers of retention (yes, both admirable and incredibly annoying at times). He began researching, and certain names and phrases began popping up at the dinner table. High glycemicindex… Robb Wolf… gut leakage… Sarah Fragoso.
A few things managed to stick in my not-so-retentive brain: Fitness is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. What? You mean no matter how much I run around the soccer field, how many days I work out at the gym, chowing down three slices of pizza is still going to foil my fitness efforts?Hmmm, again. I was going to have to rethink the example I was setting for my girls, and although we were an active family, the certainty that exercise would save my daughters from overweight and disease was eroding.
Something else became apparent to me, as well. The culture of this country with regard to food had changed since I was young, and it was going to take substantial measures to combat it. Setting aside “MyPyramid” and restaurant supersizing as obvious, here are a couple of examples that illustrate the more insidious effects of the current American approach to nutrition:
1. Our kids go to a private school, whose school lunch program is subsidized by the government as long as a certain percentage of students purchase the school lunch. A couple of years ago the cost of lunch was rolled into the tuition, guaranteeing that the school would always meet its participation requirement, and effectively penalizing parents who sent in a lunch from home. The result? Fewer parents opting to send in healthy lunches, and more children going back for thirds on pasta day.
2. “Snack.” My kids have “morning snack” and “afternoon snack” during their school day. When did kids start snacking so often? Another fact that my husband mentioned occurs to me: foods with a high glycemic index cause a high, then a crash, then gnawing hunger. Children who are eating a protein-free breakfast are going to crash mid-morning, and the obvious fix from the school’s perspective is give them a snack. Voila, the child is awake and ready to learn. Repeat after school lunch.
In view of these fundamental, systemic flaws in the western approach to nutrition, Paul and I decided that, inside our own home at least, we would strive to do better. Logistics
So that’s a bit of our family history and the motives behind our shiftto paleo. As I write this, the girls are in first and third grade, andwe are all on Day 18 of the 30-day Paleo Challenge. Paul did the challenge a few months ago, and I decided to try it myself this month. The first surprise was that the girls clamored to do it as well. They really wanted to be like Mommy and Daddy.
So I spent the intervening month figuring out what to send in to school that would get them through the school day: Fruits, check. They already love fruit. Protein, a bit more challenging. As an option to deli meat, we bought a dehydrator, and made our own beef jerky, which was perfect for our older daughter. Apparently, it’s become a delicacy in her 3rd grade classroom. Our first grader didn’t like it though, so we made up a bunch of hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week, and included those in her lunch bag.
We discovered that the school cafeteria serves raw cauliflower (a vegetable I had never bought in my life), and they love it. Who knew? Cauliflower, carrot sticks, and cherry tomatoes became a viable snack for them. We hit our first snag about ten days in, when the little one got strepthroat. She couldn’t eat much of anything, and we needed popsicles. I opted for Italian Ice pops, which have sugar but no high fructose corn syrup. Overall, the girls did amazingly well. They strayed a couple of times, but in general they stayed with it right to the end of the 30-day period. What I learned was how much they really love the good foods, and don’t miss the bad ones. No more goldfish and graham crackers in the pantry, they go for the big fruit bowl on the kitchen table, which we keep well-stocked with apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, peaches, and so forth.
I thought it would be fun to interview the girls. My hope was that their inherent intelligence and maturity would stun the paleo world and be held up as an example to children world-wide. As you can see, what we actually learn here is that they’re 6 and 8 years old, they love candy, and they don’t really get it yet. But that’s why they have parents to set an example, right?
JJ (age 6)Q: Why did you want to do the paleo challenge? A: I think it would be fun. You don’t really get to eat any candy but the only thing that I really like on the paleo challenge is melon. When I bring a hard boiled egg the boys always think it’s a rotten egg.
Q: How do you explain it to your friends? A: I just tell my friends I’m bringing my lunch for the whole month.
Q: Are there foods you miss? A: I don’t really miss yogurt and milk at dinnertime, but I do miss my chocolate milk and strawberry milk at lunchtime at school.
Q: Do you think you’ll stick with paleo foods after you’re done with the 30-day challenge? A: I think we’re going to stick with it, only we’re going to have candy once a week.
Sydney (age 8)
Q: Why did you want to do the paleo challenge? A: I thought it would be fun because you get to stay healthy and then when you’re done, you’re craving all the disgusting junk food, and it seems even more special.
Q: How does your body feel now that you’ve been paleo for a while? A: I’m feeling better but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to stuff my face with junk food when I’m done with the challenge.
Q: Are there foods you miss?A: I probably miss Daddy’s chocolate chip pancakes, Mommy’s french toast, and brunch for lunch at school along with chicken nuggets. I also miss the pudding and the jello at school that my friends wave in front of my face.
Q: Do you feel like you have more energy, and you can stay more awake during class? A: Yeah, but not during math.
Q: How do you explain it to your friends?
A: I just say I’m on a very strict diet; I explain to them what I’m doing. I told my teacher I’m on a gluten-free diet. My class is pretty amazed that I’m going 30 days without candy and cake and ice cream; especially candy on St. Patrick’s Day.
Q: Do you notice any changes in mommy and daddy? A: You yell at us a lot more. Just kidding.
Andy Deas’ (modified) Paleo Pudding and Paleo Pudding Pops
– 2 (14oz ?) cans of coconut milk
– 3-4 apples, peeled, chopped
– 2 16oz bag of frozen strawberries (ideally, organic, in-season)
– 8 Tbsp coconut oil
Put everything into a pot, and bring to a slow boil until the apples are
soft and strawberries are frozen. Pour into a seal-able container and let
cool, then refrigerate. It will eventually gel into a pudding/yogurt
If you those thingies for making home-made popsicles, this stuff makes
amazing Paleo-Pudding Pops. Our kids devour them. But the stuff is
fantastic as replacement for yogurt/pudding as snacks, desserts, etc.
Another person at my gym has subbed out the strawberries for raspberries
and then placed it into a loaf pan, froze it, then served it in slices.
Lots of ideas with this stuff!
Paleo Pancakes (from: http://familylivingsimple.wordpress.com)
– 3 eggs
– 1/3 Cup Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
– 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (A banana would also work really well)
– 1 Tablespoon vanilla (optional)
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 Cup Coconut flour
– coconut oil for frying
– Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste (optional)
1. Mix all your wet ingredients together
2. Add in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Heat oil in a (ideally cast-iron) pan and cook away.
Add more or less coconut milk to thicken/thin the recipe.
I’ve found this recipe works much better with “silver-dollar” sized
pancakes, since the batter doesn’t quite solidify when cooked like a
wheat-based batter. This results in what I call the “floppy flip” if the
pancake is larger than your spatula. It can get pretty messy. I have
also found that you want to get your griddle pretty hot, then turn the
heat down to low-ish side of med-low just to maintain the pan
temperature (I use cast iron for almost everything!).
Add berries, fruit, perhaps some unsweetened chocolate, whatever you can
The original from Family Living Simple calls for vanilla, but I skip it
since the vanilla we happen to have in the house isn’t paleo, it’s some
synthetic stuff with HFCS in it and I think soy. I could live with the
HFCS given how little it is, but I’m pretty hard-core anti-soy. And,
frankly, these things are so good, they don’t need any vanilla 🙂
Oh, and these go awesome with some fresh, local, maple syrup!
Beef Jerky Marinade:
– 1/4 cup Gluten free tamari (or soy sauce)
– 3 cloves or 2-3 Tablespoons of minced garlic
– 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
– 1 Tablespoon of liquid smoke
– 2 Tsp of red pepper flakes (optional, provides quite a kick!)
– 2 Tsp onion powder
– 2 chili powder
– 1 Tsp sea salt
– 1 Tsp freshly ground pepper
Mix all ingredients together. I leave out the red pepper flakes since my
kids aren’t quite as fond of their tastebuds bursting into flames as I
Beef Jerky Instructions:
– 1-2 pounds of London Broil, Bracciolle, or other lean meat.
– Cut into thin strips, about 1/4 inch or less.
– Place in plastic zip-lock bag or tupperware and pour in marinade.
– Mix everyting around so the meat is evenly covered.
– Let sit for 12-24 hours.
I tend to dust the meat with a little sea salt, then a little garlic
powder before cutting it up, that way as I’m cutting it and as it sits
there afterwards, the salt sucks the garlic powder into the meat. This
is before pouring in the marinade.
I find that plastic bags work better than containers because you can
squeeze all the air out of them and then squish everything around to
more evenly distribute the marinade mixture. In the container you
invariably end up with unmarinated pockets.
If you have a food dehydrator follow it’s instructions. I put mine on
about 105-115 and let it sit for 8-10 hours.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator:
– evenly distribute the meat across a cookie sheet, or, if you have a
rack of some kind, put that on the cookie sheet and the meat on the
– Place in the oven on low or about 100-105 for about 10-12 hours.
– Keep the door open at the top just a bit to allow air circulation
( I stuck a thick towel, folded up as small and thick as I could get
it and stuffed it in the door).
– Every couple of hours check on the beef jerky, and flip it (unless
it’s on a rack) to expose the other side to the hot air.