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Enjoying her Paleo diet

By Staff | Nov 20, 2015

TAUNJA HOSKINS said she’s found success in her quest for a healthier lifestyle by following a Paleo diet. Here she works on preparing a spaghetti squash.

BOONE – Using a clean eating approach to her diet has been successful for a Boone woman.

What makes it even better, she said, the recipes are easy to prepare, the ingredients easy to find and the food is satisfying.

Taunja Hoskins grew up on the farm with meat and potatoes as a meal every night and thinks that if she can make a switch over to a low carb, low sugar, no preventives way of eating, just about anyone can.

“I felt like I was in need of some direction and to take control of what I was eating,” said Hoskins. “I went back and started taking a more simpler approach with my diet by eating more whole foods and proteins.”

Always having a freezer full of beef and pork growing up near Gowrie, Hoskins said meat is still, and always will be, a large part of her diet. By following the Paleo diet plan, she can still enjoy the types of meat she was reared on and has fed to her family over the years.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH is a healthier alternative to spaghetti noodles, providing a lower carb and calorie meal. Taunja Hoskins adds a mixture of tomatoes, ground beef and ground turkey to the cooked spaghetti squash.

“I can still have the red meat, but find myself eating more chicken these days,” she said. “It has to be easy for me to do it, and this diet is, it’s very non-complicated.”

The Paleo diet, Hoskins said, is consuming whole food, avoiding processed food.

It figures the diet used by early humans prior to agriculture or animal husbandry and applies it to modern-day foods.

“You use the shopping around the outside of the grocery store approach,” said Hoskins. “The fruits, vegetables, meats – the whole foods are typically along the outer aisles in the grocery store.”

Hoskins said she eats a lot of sweet potatoes and has found several different ways to prepare them.

Taunja Hoskins

At the beginning of the week, Hoskins might bake several sweet potatoes in the oven so they are cooked and ready for her to have throughout the week.

She likes to prepare her sweet potatoes by cutting them up into cubes and cooking them in coconut oil along with bacon and an egg for a breakfast skillet.

She also enjoys baking sweet potato fries.

Hoskins said with any way of eating, she finds it is best to be prepared.

“I prep all of my food once a week and will do all of the grocery shopping on Sunday, that way I know exactly what I have in the kitchen,” said Hoskins.

The preparation, she said, helps her to stick with the plan.

If someone is interested in taking a more whole-foods approach to their diet, Hoskins suggests taking baby steps at first.

“Start small, start simple, don’t overwhelm yourself,” she said. “Experiment with it, maybe try it once a week or one meal a day.”

One of the main reasons this regimen works for her, Hoskins said, is that all of the ingredients for her meals are easy to find.

“If I can’t get it in Boone, then I won’t use it,” she said. “There is no need for shopping at specialty stores.”

Stuffed bell peppers

with quinoa

4 bell peppers

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 red pepper, diced

1/4 green pepper, diced

1 pound lean ground beef, ground pork or could use ground turkey

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup of beef stock or water

1 14-ounce can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper

Any extra seasoning (such as crushed red pepper for more heat, depending on how tomato sauce is seasoned) to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat one cup of beef stock (water is OK, but the stock helps flavor the quinoa) and one cup of uncooked quinoa to a sauce pan.

Cook at medium heat until it starts to bubble.

Stirring occasionally, cook until quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid and is tender.

If needed, add a little more stock to the pan and continue to cook till liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Saute the onion, red pepper and green pepper on medium heat. Take out of the pan.

Add the ground beef, pork, or turkey to the pan and brown.

Add the sauted veggies back into the pan with tomato sauce and cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper plus any additional seasoning.

Cut tops off bell peppers and take out the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the mixture.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until bell peppers are tender.

“Fried” chicken strips

1 package of chicken breasts cut into strips

2 eggs whisked

1 cup almond flour (can find in the baking isle)

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Dip chicken strips into whisked eggs and then into breading, which is the mixture of almond flour, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic, sea salt and pepper.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.


(a substitute for mashed potatoes)

1 package of frozen cauliflower, steamed

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Salt and pepper to taste

(Note: Cooks can substitute half white potato mash and cauliflower mash.)

Once cauliflower is soft, you can mash or puree it with the olive oil/butter and season with salt and pepper.

Slow cooker

apple pork loin

1 pork loin

1 large onion

2 apples



Chicken broth

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut up onion in large chunks and place in the bottom of slow cooker.

Season pork loin with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Place pork on top of onions.

Add the two cut up apple slices, half of a cup of chicken broth and a drizzle of honey (optional) .

Slow cook on low for 8 to10 hours.

I serve it with a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli or other green veggies.

Spaghetti squash noodles

and meat sauce

1 pound of lean ground beef

1 pound of ground turkey

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (seasoned is OK)

1 jar of sugarless or low sugar added spaghetti sauce

1 spaghetti squash, or you can substitute with brown rice noodles

1 small onion

1 small bell pepper

Mushrooms, zucchini, and any other veggie the cook prefers.

Brown the ground beef and turkey with the onions and bell pepper.

Add the crushed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce and let simmer

While the above is simmering, wash squash with water and dry.

Cut squash in half, length wise. Scoop out seeds and insides.

Rub the outside of the skin with olive oil and poke a few holes in the skin, being careful to place cut side down on a cutting board so it is sturdy.

Place one half in a microwavable dish and add enough water to the cavity that was created when you took the seeds out to almost fill it.

Cover and cook for about 12 minutes depending on the size of the squash. You can check it by trying to put a fork in the skin. If it is tender and soft, it is done.

Remove the left over liquid. Let sit for a few minutes to cool so you can handle it.

Then take a fork and start running it through the squash.

It will start peeling away and start to resemble spaghetti noodles. Do this with both halves.

If you chose to use the brown rice noodles, just follow the instructions on the box.

Add the meat sauce to the squash or noodles like you would if they were spaghetti noodles.

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