I’m a San Diego Native who loves food with an insane passion. I’ve been known to drink almond milk straight from the carton and expensive wine out of plastic red cups. My favorite meal is, has, and always will be dessert.

If you want to send me cute videos of your cat, brag about your CrossFit PR’s or just tell me how your day is going, you can email me at:

Vanessa BarajasPetula Pea Photography

      โ€œI was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ateโ€
      – Julia Child (and me)
    *Part of a healthy lifestyle is enjoying life. To me enjoying life involves the occasional splurge or two. This blog is meant to be a resource for Paleo-ish sweets and treats. I do not endorse eating sweets on a daily basis, Paleo or not, but rather on occasion. You know your body better than I do, so it’s up to you to decide if eating Paleo treats is a weekly, monthly, or yearly thing. My recipes are meant as a go to if you are having a dessert crisis (yes, needing chocolate is considered a crisis) or event that requires you to make something that everyone can eat and enjoy, that doesn’t require you to eat ingredients you’d rather not i.e gluten, soy, dairy, legumes, etc., due to allergies, intolerances, or personal choice. It’s also for my friends who are sick of me posting pictures of my Paleo food creations on my Facebook page. Get a blog! they said. Better than get a life I suppose.

52 responses to “About

  1. Ohh I SO want to be blog buddies with you! You’re like the cool kid on the playground who has all the better recipes… I’m pretty sure I’m about to go spend all my money on baking ingredients so I can try every single one of your recipes! Can’t wait to see what other great recipes you post :)

  2. Hi – I just found your site through paleOMG and when I saw that you’re in SD and new to blogging, too, I had to say hi! I just started a blog myself, and although it’s not Paleo specific, I’ll definitely be trying some of your recipes and probably writing about my adventures in the kitchen! I can’t wait to try the Vanilla Chai Pancakes, it’s like you jumped in my head and combined a bunch of my favorite things! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

  3. What an awesome blog! Going without dessert is the hardest part of a paleo challenge….I am looking forward to trying your recipes.

  4. Just found your blog and I love it! I just recently (well since January) started eating paleo and it’s amazing how much better I feel! Look forward to reading more from you!

  5. I just found you from the San Diego Paleo page on Facebook… I can’t wait to try the red velvet cakes! Yummmm…… It is nice to meet a fellow San Diegan Paleoite!

  6. CEWADM (Bit of a mouthful but I love the sentiment!) – thought it was high time I let you know how much I’m loving your blog AND salivating over all the recipes! :-) I have yet to actually make one of your marvellous creations BUT consider me a fan! :-)

  7. Nice blog Vanessa! I created a blog for similar reason: to keep my so called ‘annoying’ food-loving side away from my friends! :) I’ll be interested in Paleo recipes.

  8. Thank you for offering up your “bloginess card” to me today, and telling me a little about your food/photo passions… I have just started to dive into your blogs and the treats look like they’ll be a lot of fun to replicate… and your photography is gorgeous, definitely a talented pairing! :-) My blog is not food-related, but hopefully a bit smirky, in case you’re interested in trading blog-n-forth :-)

    • Eduard! Great meeting you and chatting with you today! Thanks for taking such an active interest in my blog! I am currently reading yours and listening to your lovely “Carol of the Bells” arrangement, which is spectacular by the way. Like I said this morning I hope to have many treats to bring in for you guys, even though they will be “healthy”. :) I can’t eat them all myself! Okay I can but I shouldn’t! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Hi Vanessa! I just came across your blog and love the recipes. I, too, just recently started blogging. I’m originally from southern CA! My parents live in Temecula, it’s nice to find bloggers from that area. I miss CA. I would love to be a blogger buddy. I, too, do paleo and I love the results. :)

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  12. I loooove poking through your blog! Pictures are amazing and desserts look so delectable! I just want to face dive into the screen ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜€

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  14. I came across your blog while readying a 21DSD recipe on Julie Bauer’s website (PaleOMG). I have been off the paleo wagon for about a year and it has been miserable. But I decided to make the change permanent this time and to keep myself motivated, I began blogging to post progress and maybe recipes. It’s nothing fancy and I just started this week, but I would love to be blog buddies with you for your insight and constructive (or deconstructive) criticisms. :-) Thanks and keep up the great work!

  15. Hi! I found your blog through Civilized Caveman…he linked the Reese’s Cheesecake. And I have gone through just about your whole blog and can’t wait to try some of these treats. We went Paleo in 2012 and did great for several months and then fell off the wagon. We dabbled occasionally in 2013 and currently finishing up the 21 Day Sugar Detox. We hope to get back to Paleo or something close to it. I have a blog I just started back up…nothing fancy–life, kids, weightloss, food, whatever. Here it is in case you’d like to check it out…I will have more and better posts in the future! http://thelo5.blogspot.com/

  16. Found your blog through a friend on facebook and am excited to start baking (like as soon as I finish typing this). I’ve never done Paleo… I’m currently doing carb cycling (which I thought I hated at first but I might actually love it now… ) and I attempt to be as unprocessed as possible too. I blog about my adventures in the kitchen as well. :) Looking forward to exploring your blog.

  17. Hey Vanessa! Love, love, love your blog! My daughter and I started eating Paleo in January of this year to help her very sad & inflammed colon…& by mid March, all better! No more meds and feeling like a normal, beautiful 19 year old!! I am a huge baker, so the transition to Paleo meant missing out on much yumminess from my oven! But let’s just say that for Mother’s Day I was on the hunt for a special treat for both of us and stumbled upon your German Chocolate Cupcakes! Wowser!!! Happy Mother’s Day to me baby!!! Hit the spot big time and have been following you ever since. Bless your dessert minded heart!!! I am also training for a marathon in October…my first marathon since going Paleo. Feeling great so far! I notice that you are also a runner, would love some of your insight on your pre-race meals & what keeps you fueled during your long runs :) Have a most wonderful and sweet day & thank you for such a fun and tasty blog to follow!!! ~Michelle

    • Hey Michelle! What an awesome story! I’m so happy to hear Paleo is yet again changing lives for the better! I’m even happier to hear that you enjoyed the cupcakes, yay! Also, congrats on the marathon, that’s amazing! I’m only half crazy, haha. You’re going to do awesome! I found the best pre-race meals were actually sushi the night before. White rice gives me the longest lasting energy, and the fish is a great lean protein, and the gluten-free tamari (used in place of soy sauce) is super high in sodium which helps you to retain water. Then the morning of I actually found acai bowls to be the best pre-race breakfast. I blend 2 frozen acai packs with some almond milk soaked chia seeds, peanut butter (oh yeah!) and a banana. Then I put this blend on top of gluten-free granola. Not really paleo but this always worked great for me. For some reason the peanut butter fuels me better than almond butter, I’ve tried both numerous times, and I have no idea why. For in race fuel I use the Jelly Belly Sport Beans and clear full sugar Gatorade, none of which is paleo in the slightest obviously but you are also using the carbs and sugar for immediate fuel for an intense endurance sport, so I think it’s justified. Test all of this before your long training runs and see what works best for you! One race I even ate a bagel with peanut butter (OH MY!) and I’m sad and happy at the same time to report that I PR’d my race. I was also training pretty intense and doing CrossFit so it may have been that and not the bagel Hahah. SO in short it really depends on you, what you’re comfortable eating, and what your race goals are. Please let me know how it goes!!!! Thanks for writing!

      • I just came to your site for the first time today due to the paleomg post. This is the first post I read and I am an endurance runner that is trying to get my kiddos eating Paleo and processed sugars are there go too…so I clicked on the link due to the s’mores cookies that paleomg was raving about! You comment is so on point! “It really depends on you…” I have a friend that was strict paleo and qualified for boston! And leaned out on Paleo to run Boston…He is manager of a restaurant and wife is a SAHM. I asked him, how do you do it…he said “I eat tons of bananas, almonds, and meat” end of story…

        I am trying every day to figure out how Paleo will work for my long distance runs….

        Long story short…love your post and site!

      • Glad you found my site Renee! Yes it absolutely depends on you. I have only ran half marathons, never full, and not even close to qualifying for Boston, haha. I eat Paleo for normal life and shorter runs that are 4-5 miles. For long runs I would eat white rice and gluten-free oatmeal/granola. Even peanut butter. And let’s not forget crap tons of Gatorade and energy chews. That’s what worked for best for me. I think some people are fine doing endurance stuff on strict Paleo but it didn’t work for me…and it may not work for you and that’s okay! It’s all trial and error and really being able to listen to your body. Then give it what it needs. End of story. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hey Vanessa! Wow, can’t believe I’m just now replying to your reply from 2 months ago!!!! My in box is a mess and way too full! Thank you for the “fuel” advice for the long runs, I so appreciate you’re getting back to me on that. My husband and I ran our marathon (along with some walking) last Saturday…super happy we did it and also happy to check it off the list of “completed” things for the year! We experimented and found that our energy levels did well starting off our run with some paleo muffins I made and using “barnana” dried bananas, raisins and actual fresh bananas they had at fuel stops for us. We did stick to strictly water for liquid refreshment as this does better for me and my hypoglycemia. Overall, we did about as we expected…I’d hoped to finish a little quicker but the 2nd half was very tough…soooo, regardless we finished our first all Paleo marathon and really couldn’t be happier! I LOVE the Paleo community so much and the genuine support everyone gives each other! Thank you again for following up as quickly as you did in August…and again so sorry I didn’t express my gratitude sooner! Love your site and all the yumminess that it is! Have a great week!! ~Michelle

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  20. Hi Ms. Vanessa, I love love LOVE your blog! My mom gets these paleo magazines and there was an article on your blog in the latest one. I read it and I was was like “Oh my gosh I HAVE to check out this blog!” So I did and, may I just say, I am a lot more willing to have a more paleo based diet after seeing all the things I could still eat. Your food, especially the desserts, look AMAZING and I can’t wait to try it! Anyway, I have my own blog called growing into health and I would love it if I could mention your blog in one or two of my articles. I think my readers would really enjoy seeing all your yummy food and learning how to make it. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much Jacqueline! Of course please feel free to mention away! I’m so happy to hear you are a fan of the blog and enjoyed the Paleo Magazine article. I’m so excited to get my book out there too, I think people are really going to be amazed at how versatile healthy eating can be! :)

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