Q&A with Car­oline Potter, the paleo goddess

Car­oline Potter ’12, née Cheatum, is a Nutri­tional Therapy Prac­ti­tioner living in Hawaii. Her upcoming cookbook “All-American Paleo Table,” where she presents healthy, grain- gluten- and sugar-free twists on classic American dishes, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

How did your time at Hillsdale lead to your nutrition and culinary work?


While in my junior year of college, I was diag­nosed with an auto-immune disease, Type 1 dia­betes.  After college, I decided to pursue a career in nutrition so that I could better under­stand my disease, but at the same time help others towards a healthier lifestyle.  I always knew I wanted to own my own business even­tually in life but didn’t know that moment would come to me at the age of 23.  When I married my husband, who cur­rently serves in the United States Navy shortly, after grad­u­ation I realized that I would be moving a lot and wanted to create a business that was flexible and portable.  I can pretty much work any­where I have access to a kitchen and my com­puter so its really ben­e­ficial to me.


What was the process of putting a cookbook together like?


More work than you can ever even imagine.  Basi­cally the past three months have been like taking finals 24/7.  It was the most rewarding and the most dif­ficult time in my life.  Once you get past the initial stages of devel­oping a book pro­posal, getting signed on by a pub­lisher and cre­ating a great idea, you have to test recipes and re-test and re-test.  I was usually on my feet for about 16 plus hours a day, and lets just say there are lots of dishes!  Because this is a paleo-friendly cookbook and all recipes are grain, gluten and refined sugar free the ingre­dients are much dif­ferent than your average ingre­dients and it is much more dif­ficult to develop a recipe.  I also wanted a broad range of recipes so that people with all health issues and allergies can still enjoy each recipe.  There is also the pho­tog­raphy part, which is super fun for me, but also a lot of work.


What inspired this cookbook?

I started the idea of a cookbook writing down random thoughts when my husband was deployed almost two years ago.  I realized that all my favorite foods were asso­ciated with mem­ories — mem­ories of weekends making breakfast together, backyard summer bar­becues, or Christmas morning cin­namon rolls.  I wanted to create a cookbook that for those of use who eat grain, gluten and refined sugar free can still enjoy these mem­ories we hold dear and the foods asso­ciated with them.  The cookbook really is more than just recipes, its about coming together around the table, enjoying life and good food.  It will bring back childhood mem­ories and the comfort foods you love back to your table simply made a whole lot healthier.


What are you working on now? ​


I am still in the editing process of my cookbook so very busy with that, but looking to get back into using my nutri­tional training and doing more per­son­alized con­sulting.  I also have a few secret projects in the works and note­books full of ideas as usual.  There is so much I want to do in life, I wish I had more time in the day and didn’t need any sleep.

Q&A com­piled by Micah Mead­ow­croft, Arts Editor