Well Fed News

It’s been 213 days since Well Fed was born, and 146 since I fled the corporate overlords’ lair. So much has been happening!

We won some awards.

We were pretty excited to learn that at the San Francisco Book Festival in May, we won the cookbook category! You can read the whole list of winners here. The prize is recognition and, hopefully, some media exposure, but I’m holding out hope a rhinestone tiara is  going to show up soon.

Well Fed was also a finalist in two categories in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Cookbook and Best Overall Design. The design recognition was especially sweet because books can’t be entered into the Best Overall Design category; the judges decide which books deserve the honor. All kudos to our brilliant designer Kathleen Shannon. And the SF Book Festival could learn a thing or two from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, because they gave Dave and I medals.

We’re bad. We’re nationwide.

We’ve signed on with a book distributor that should help us get Well Fed placed in book retailers all over the U.S., including Barnes & Noble, Costco, indie bookstores, Books-a-Million, and more. (Sorry, international friends. For now, you’re stuck ordering your books directly from me.)

I was interviewed by Dianne Jacob.

When I was preparing to write Well Fed, I read the book Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob, and it showed me everything I was doing wrong with my recipe writing. Despite a lifetime of reading recipes, I didn’t realize that the ingredients should be listed in the order that they’re used, or that I really shouldn’t abbreviate measurements because a quick-glancing cook could mis-read the amount. While I sat in the kitchen with my laptop on the butcher block, typing the Well Fed recipes, I felt like Dianne was reading over my shoulder, making sure I didn’t do anything dumb. I am so grateful for her book and her kickass blog. I sent her a copy of Well Fed as a thank you for her contributions to its quality — and a few weeks ago, she invited me to do an interview with her about my experiences self publishing. You can read our chat right here.


We’re hitting the road.

Dave and are on a quest to be independent of geography so we can live lots of different places while running my blog and publishing cookbooks. To test the waters, we’re heading out to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Estes Park, Colorado over the next few months to do a “Paleo 101” presentation and book signings. Those events are going to awesome — and they’re test runs to see how we might do a longer book-related tour. We want to hit the road to come see you and the places you live. More on all of this part of the adventure as it evolves, but if you’re a gym owner, alternative medicine practitioner, nutritionist, bookstore owner, etc., we want to hear from you. Send us a note!


Well Fed 2.0 is in the works.

Thank you so much for your participation in our survey about the follow up to Well Fed! We had more than 1000 responses — which is three times as many as the first survey I did a little more than a year ago. Dave is reading through all of your responses as I type this, and I’m very excited to get started on the next book. I have so many new recipes ideas, including some new crazy-good sauces, comforting soups, and more ideas for weeknight meals you can make in 30 minutes or less.


Well Fed Weeknights Presale Now Open!

Sometimes I felt like this day would never arrive. After a few years of collecting recipe ideas, the summer of 2015 spent recipe testing, months of writing,...

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My Czech Interview

Remember when Dave and I went to Prague in November for the release of the Czech version of Well Fed — a.k.a., Dobře živeni? The book has...

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  • Jeanye says:

    Congratulations on all the success! Keep us posted on all the excitement. It’s fun to be connected to your journey.

  • Sara Golden says:

    Congratulations on your many successes.

  • Christie says:

    Congratulations on all of your success! Well Fed has become a staple in my kitchen and I use at least one thing from it every day. I am BEYOND excited to see that there is a follow up in the works! Where/when will you be in Philadelphia? Let me know, and Ill be there!

    • Mel says:

      I’m so glad Well Fed is helping you out! YAY!

      We’ll be at Center City CrossFit in Philly on Thursday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. More details to come soon!

  • Katie Flint says:

    Success well deserved! I have cleared my kitchen of almost all my cookbooks except yours and my It Starts With Food for the Meal Map (which is technically yours as well). I can’t wait for 2.0!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! How’s the Meal Map working for you? I really loved the Mexican Pork Chops that we photographed — and the curry. YUM!

  • Melissa says:

    Congrats! You deserve it! WOOHOO!

  • Congratulations to both of you! That’s some fine results of some hard workin’. Go, kids, go!

  • Dana says:

    WOW! You SO deserve every bit of all of this! Congratulations x infinity 😉 Every. Single. Day. I use what I have learned from you, and I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.

    Umm, I did already respond to the survey… But I thought of some other things that I would find very helpful in 2.0, if I may mention them here:

    A spice/seasoning appendix with ideas for what to use each individual or spice/seasoning blend for. (I have 3 turntables full in my cupboard. I love flavor!)

    Even more veg recipes/techniques-particularly for things that are somewhat unfamiliar to many of us who were raised by SAD moms who didn’t like to cook 🙁 Especially greens (I’m trying so hard to find a way to like kale)

    I sure would love to get to hang shyly in the background if you ever come to my area. Annapolis, Maryland is a quaint and history-packed town(e), and there’s a nice big Barnes & Noble nearby.

    I hope you enjoy every moment 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Thank you x infinity — you are so nice with your sweet words.

      Thank you for the cookbook feedback! We’ll add it to our list of stuff to keep in mind.

      My dad took my family to Annapolis to hear the Navy band when I was in junior high, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I was obsessed with going to Annapolis for about 6 months, but I was too intimated and chubby to do anything about it. If only I had a time machine — I would rock that sh*t right now.

  • Michelle says:

    Congratulations on your awards! I’m so happy for all of your success, and I’m thrilled to hear any little tidbit about Well Fed 2.0.

    • Mel says:

      I”m so excited to start on Well Fed 2. Just need to finish some pesky work first, then I’ll be cooking and recipe writing. YAY!

  • Ms Jane says:

    Woo hoo!! kudos to you both. I guess Australia’s a bit far to drive isn’t it?!!! All the best xxx

    • Mel says:

      I would LOVE to visit Australia and New Zealand — and it’s not out of the question. Timing is tricky, but we’d really like to come down there. For real.

  • Jennifer says:

    Where is the Philly info?! I need my iPad signed or something.

  • Emily says:

    You are coming to Estes Park? That is the most awesome thing ever! When will you be here? I can’t wait to “hang shyly in the background” as another one of your readers said. I may actually work up the nerve to say hello! I am happy to send you recommendations for anything in Estes… just ask!

    • Mel says:

      We’re still finalizing details of the event, but I can tell you the date!

      Saturday, September 29. Time still TBD, too. YAY!

      And you better say hello, at least!

  • DoniB says:

    Congrats! Can’t wait for “Well Fed with Mel, tonight on the Cooking Channel, check your local listings”

  • Rachel says:

    I’d love to say hey when you’re up in Estes!

  • wendy says:

    Of COURSE you’re winning prizes (DUH). I’m so excited to see the “mainstreaming” of this new miracle way of eating (that’s been around for, oh, a million years). But to know that the books that have influenced me are going to show up at Costco gives me hope. Have you ever looked at the people who shop there? They REALLY need you! (Check out the pictures on Sarah Fragosso’s blog of her signing books at Costco.) Big YES and of course, I still want to marry you. When are you coming to Salt Lake?

    • Mel says:

      Yeah, the general notion of what’s healthy and/or all the people who don’t care if it’s healthy or not… it’s sad. Sigh.

      SLC would be fun ’cause we could get the Hartwigs in on the action. YAY!

  • Linda Sand says:

    I got a wonderful thank you from the couple I gave your cookbook to as a wedding gift. They love your weekly cook-up as much as I do. It is so wonderful to be able to go into my kitchen and put together a meal as quickly as I could go get takeout. I’m actually eating vegetables and learning about spices! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Mel says:

      Oh! That’s so nice. I love that Well Fed was a wedding gift — so cool! Thanks for letting me know.

      And good on you for eating your veggies. YAY, veggies!

  • Lady A says:

    You are a total bad ar$e! My bf and I have been cooking out of your book, and everything we make is so tasty. I’m thrilled with your success and wish you plenty more! We all win, yay!

  • Terri says:

    Mel – I’m so happy for all of your success. One day, I’d like to follow in your footsteps out of the corporate world and live on the road to blog and meet people!! Many congratulations to you and Dave!

  • Patty says:

    I have absolutely loved every recipe I’ve tried, and I’m getting closer to trying all of them. I have given Well Fed away, told everyone I know about it and can’t wait for 2.0!

  • Natalie says:

    I’m with Ms Jane. Australia’s not too far for you is it? We’ve got great produce and plenty of kick ass crossfit boxes!
    But really, I bought Well Fed about 3 weeks ago and have been meaning to email you. So far I have made about 6 dishes (from the book and the blog) and have LOVED every one – favourites so far: the best chicken you will ever eat, deconstructed gyro salad, mayo and homemade coconut butter by the spoonful, YUM!!! Thank you. You deserve every success that comes your way.

    • Mel says:

      So glad that you’re enjoying the recipes. It’s so great to know that real people are enjoying the food. Seriously — makes me forgot all the 100+-degree days we took photos in our yard last summer 😉

  • Yvette says:

    I’m voting that you come to Australia too! Perhaps we can arrange a ‘Salon’ tour where we arrange small venues and accommodation in spare rooms if you fly over to us 😀

  • Nelly says:

    The only thing that could make this better is if the PR people decided to change their name to “Steak and Butter” after the Whole30. Congrats 🙂

  • jac says:

    how exciting! well fed is a beautiful cookbook, and i’m so happy that wonderful adventures are in your future! cheers!

  • Mellie says:

    Yeah!! Awesome news all around!! So happy to read this ~*~*~*~ EnJoY!!

  • Linnea says:

    Congrats on your successes!
    I tell all my friends Paleo or not about your book and they love it – the photos by Dave and the great stories by you.

    Looking forward to Well Fed 2.0

  • KellyBrown says:

    Yay on being in Barnes and Noble! I work there and recommend your book all the time but it hasnt been one that we can even get in stock for our customers! I’m so excited to share this once we get it in. Huzzah!

    • Mel says:

      I’ll definitely announce it on the blog when we successfully get into B&N. The distributor is working on all of that now. YAY!

  • Cookie H says:

    WELL DONE Girlie-girl! You and Dave deserve every accolade! Rhinestone tiara, indeed, you are so funny! I’m makin’ chocolate chili today. Can’t wait for your next book.

  • Alicia says:

    I love your cookbook and blog so much! The weekly cook up is great for a girl like me who is just starting paleo and has never cooked much. So simple, yet so tasty! Best Wishes, looking forward to more

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Alicia! Great to know the Weekly Cookup is making your life a little easier. I just made us a Hot Plate with grilled chicken thighs, steamed green beans, coconut milk, and curry paste. NOM! so good.

  • noblepoewr says:

    I’m sure you’ll let your readers know if you come out to San Francisco? There’s a bunch of us baby paleos here at my workplace, I’d love to get a group of us together to come see you in person.

    • Mel says:

      I really want to come to San Francisco — and had a Twitter exchange with Omnivore Books yesterday, so… it just might happen. YAY!

  • Amie says:

    Mel, I think I can speak for the St. Louis Primal meetup group when I say you should totally come to St. Louis. We have a great group of ancestral eaters who would love to meet you and a network in place to help promote a visit! I hope you’ll consider coming to see us. 🙂

  • Ted Barbeau says:

    Well Fed is incredible – congrats on all of the well-deserved success. My non-Paleo girlfriend (who is also a powerhouse in the kitchen) can’t get enough of the recipes.

    Thanks to this book, we’re making it a goal to use a new spice each month.

    The tribe is growing!

    • Mel says:

      Right on! So glad you’re both enjoying the recipes. And I love the goal of using a new spice each month. So fun!

      I just fell in love with Lebanese Seven-Spice and have been putting it on everything.

  • Sallie says:

    Yay! That is so very, very great! Congratulations! Wellfed is my most favorite of my extremely large cookbook collection. For real. I love your conversational style of writing and the tips and hints you give. Oh, and I love the recipes too. Can’t wait for the sequel!

  • elaine says:

    Well deserved!! I haven’t made all your recipes yet, but the ones I have made are becoming staples of my routine. 🙂

  • Erin says:

    I have to say, after buying a number of the new paleo cookbooks out there, that you are in fabulous company, but…I found your cookbook to make this new way of cooking the most accessible and least intimidating. After playing with your book, I finally felt confident enough to try some of the recipes in those other worthy books, too. Not only that, when our local gym did a Paleo Challenge, I made your cookbook available to anyone who wanted it and it got around and caused a number of members to buy their own copies…we all loved it! I’m so excited to see your new book, too.

    Oh, and you seriously should consider the Pacific Northwest. Spokane is right on the way to Seattle and I know a ton of us would love to see you and help you celebrate your success!

  • Laci says:

    Consider adding a stop in St. Louis, MO! I am having my CF box manager send you a message officially. We have a number of CF boxes in the area, a few independent bookstores and a large paleo/primal meetup group (250+ members) here and would love to have you in for a seminar!

    I am a bit of a cookbook collector and I have all of the paleo/primal cookbooks. Each is excellent and unique in its own way. I must say though, when I am asked by friends that have no idea how to “go Paleo” mostly because they lack cooking skills, WellFed is the book I tell them to start with. What an excellent resource!

  • I am sooooo so happy for you Mel! 🙂 You totally deserve all the good stuff for your work! 🙂 Also, GREAT job helping Hartwigs with their masterpiece :))) My copies of It Starts With Food and WellFed are best friends on a bookshelf now 😀 I sooo can’t wait for a sequel 😉 We wanna have a paleo christmas (we wanna do treats without too much sugar of any kind) and also we plan to have a DAMN GOOD PALEO WEDDING in a near future! We will surely include your recipes :)) Although inviting YOU personally as our wedding chef would be MUCH BETTER 😀

  • I am so excited to hear you’re working on another cookbook, especially with weeknight meals. Congratulations and hope you are loving the life of freedom, food blogging, and travel!

  • Christa says:

    Congratulations. “Well Fed” gets well deserved recognition. As I’ve said before, this is my favorite cookbook! Most of us on the paleo path, can cook up some tasty protein and make a salad. Your book actually lets me experience food in a new, exciting and tasty way.

  • Tina says:

    Congratulations! What great news, and best wishes on your new journey! Looking forward to Well Fed 2.0! Am suddenly put in mind of a quote: “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” Good hustle, lady!

  • Heidi Staddon says:


    Please come to Canada, specifically the Toronto area if possible. The Hartwigs were here a few weeks ago and the crowd was super. I am so looking forward to 2.0, and literally live to clutch my iPad tight and browse (and browse someone) both Well Fed and the recipe index. Just because good things have always happened when
    I go there 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Heidi, Canada (esp. Toronta and Vancouter) is on our “must visit soon” list. Will definitely reach out to you when we’re ready to talk about timing. Thank you!

  • Kathleen says:

    I know this is super belated – and Jeremy actually read it to me from his iPhone in Vienna – but CONGRATS. You guys are such hard workers and so full of talent. You deserve every amazing thing that comes your way. XO!