The Missing Piece To My Puzzle (Plus a Recipe—and a Giveaway)

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I’m thrilled to share Cristina Curp’s success story today. You might know her as the creator (and chef) of The Castaway Kitchen. And she’s now the author of the brand new Made Whole Cookbook, just out this week—a book I was proud to write the foreword for. She’s got an inspiring Primal story to share as well as awesome recipe and generous giveaway today. Enjoy, everyone!

You’d think a foodie with restaurant chef experience would have their food situation down pat right? Well, this chef didn’t. While I have always loved fresh foods, veggies, cooking from scratch and more…I found myself about to turn thirty and pretty damn unhealthy. Living with what was probably leaky gut and definitely a predisposition to autoimmune disease as a kid, I was sick, a lot. Combined with being overweight for as long as I can remember and a diagnosis for Hidradenitis Suppurativa when I was 13. I settled into a subpar quality of life and just dealt with it.

A constant parade of binge eating and crash diets. The constant struggle to not only cope with my debilitating skin condition but hide it from others too. How I lived like that? The person I am today hardly knows. What I do know is that I was able to turn it all around.

Obese, pre-diabetic with chronic fatigue and inflammation. Two years post-partum, depressed and about to thirty, things felt dire. Dire enough for me to stop playing the ol’ “but I eat healthy enough” excuses in my head. So I began to research alternative remedies for my skin condition, and I found a post on Robb Wolf’s website, and then a book titled The Hidden Plague by Tara Grant. There it was, in black and white. FOOD AS MEDICINE. DIET TO REMISSION.

Down the ancestral health rabbit hole I went. Sort of like the Goldilocks of elimination diets and healing protocols. I tried them all. Whole30®, Paleo, Primal, Autoimmune Protocol, Specific Carbohydrate Diet. With each passing month, I got better. What one approach didn’t do for me another did. I saw enough improvement to know that I didn’t want to give up.

I had a newfound love for moving my body, lifting things and connecting with nature. This crazy venture of mine had become a full-fledged lifestyle.

All of my N=1 experiments pointed to keto. However, there weren’t many keto resources two years ago that spoke to my ancestral health roots. So, I did the Primal Blueprint Program! From there I tweaked my macros, lowered carbs, kept out the foods I learned were inflammatory to me via the autoimmune protocol. 

I became fat adapted. I had energy. Visceral fat melted off of my body. Brain fog lifted. I had boundless energy. It was the missing piece to my puzzle.

This AIP-Paleo-Keto mashup I call life has been liberating and empowering. Most of all the major commitment to my health and to myself has been cathartic!  I have found remission, I love my body and I’m living the life I always wanted.

Made Whole is my gift to this amazing community that helped me heal. A book to empower, inspire and guide others. A book full of amazing recipes so you enjoy every bite of your own journey.

Salmon Salad Avocado Boats

Made Whole Cookbook by Cristina Curp | @thecastawaykitchen |

No-cook meals don’t have to be boring. These delicious avocado boats come together in minutes. Canned wild-caught salmon is a fantastic affordable option that delivers omega-3 fats and protein. I always opt for the boneless, skinless version. Mixed with crunchy and spicy radishes, sweet and juicy blueberries, and creamy mayo, it makes this seafood salad absolutely stunning. So many textures, flavors and colors packed in to one easy meal.

Makes 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 medium hass avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup sliced radishes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 (6-ounce) can wild- caught salmon
  • 3 tablespoons homemade mayo (or Primal Kitchen® Mayo!)
  • Pinch of fine Himalayan salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • ¼ cup Pickled Red Onions (also in the book, page 88), for serving


• Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut a ¼-inch grid pattern in to each avocado half with a paring knife. Use a spoon to scoop out the few squares of avocado where the pit used o be and surrounding area. You want to make space for the salad.

• Place the scooped-out avocado in a small bowl. Add the blueberries, sliced radishes and parsley. Drain the salmon and use a fork to flake it into the bowl.

• Add the mayo, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Then spoon half of the mixture into one avocado boat and the rest into the second. Give them a squeeze of lemon (if desired) and serve with pickled onions on the side.


  • To make this egg free use Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch or AIP compliant mayo.
  • If you don’t like radishes you may use cucumber or celery instead.

Per Serving: Calories 450, Fat 36.9, Carbs 13g, Fiber 7.5g, Protein 19.1g

Now For a Giveaway!

Enter HERE to win one of three signed copies of The Made Whole Cookbook. And for good measure, we’re throwing in the entire line of Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oils, Condiments, Dressings and Marinades for each winner. Winners will be chosen at random on 7/25.

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22 thoughts on “The Missing Piece To My Puzzle (Plus a Recipe—and a Giveaway)”

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  1. Love your incredible story Cristina. I read a recipe on your website where you mention your boys… are they following this AIP-Paleo-Keto lifestyle too, and if so, how are they doing?

    My favorite recipe on your site: EASY AIP LIVER PATE… brilliant idea to combine the cucumbers too; perfect for Summer!

    1. Hi Liver King,
      My boys- my husband and my son, eat what I eat with the addition of some resistant starch in their diet. Neither of them have an autoimmune disease or metabolic damage and they enjoy metabolic flexibility and real food!

  2. Ha! This speaks directly to me: don’t have a ton of time to spend cooking AND my AC-less NYC kitchen turns into an inferno when I do. So this is pretty much perfect!

  3. Wah! Is there a way to enter a chance to win other than Instagram? I limit the social media thingies I use. Too bad!

    1. that makes two of us:
      no facebook no linkedin, no instagram,no tweeter …
      Only email … and MDA

  4. Congratulations on our recovery! Well done.

    Auto immune issues can be tenacious. Lately I have been listening to Youtube material by a person who calls himself Heal Your Gut Guy. He teaches about how Candida (which we all have) that grows out of control turns into a fungus, and the fungus is what destroys our gut lining and creates disease. He maintains that it is not enough to remove inflammatory foods, although that certainly helps. He states that in many cases there is no total cure until the fungus is destroyed. He has a protocol for doing just that, with ancestral foods that are specifically anti-fungal. I think he is on to something. His delivery is not always polished, but he has a lot to teach. I am not affiliated with him in any way, but there may be people who need more healing so I thought I would mention it.

    Again, congratulations on your recovery !

    1. Enzymedica Candidase has given me a flat tummy for the first time that I can remember. I had an awful flare after antibiotics given during major surgery that hung on for years. This FINALLY is taking care of it.

    2. There are many paths to health and remission. This is mine 🙂 I don’t think any ONE person has all the answers but we each need to find what works for us. My book is more about great food an empowerment than preaching answers.

  5. Way to go Christina! Thank you for sharing your story and recipes.

  6. Love your story and the recipe sounds great. Although I actually prefer to buy the canned salmon with the skin and bones. I’m mashing it all up anyway…might as well get the nutrients from the whole fish. Your cookbook sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks. Kuddos to you on the whole fish. I find the canned skin and bones unpleasant. The book is awesome, I am very proud of it! Hope you check it out 🙂

  7. Work of art, well done, wooo hoooo

    I became fat adapted. I had energy. Visceral fat melted off of my body. Brain fog lifted. I had boundless energy. It was the missing piece to my puzzle.

  8. Love to read your shared incredible success story. Such kind of real stories inspires many people. Thank for sharing such a delicious recipe Avocado boat with Salmon salad.

  9. I love your recipes! Your flavor combos are stellar! I’m not a big fan of salmon, though — I may switch to tuna and give this one a try. I did preorder your book and am waiting for Amazon’s delivery!

  10. Your success story is awesome Cristina. I love how you managed to lift yourself up despite your setbacks. Kudos to you and I also would like to try out your Salmon Salad Avocado Boats. Have a nice day!

  11. So excited to get your book! Your food pics on Instagram always amaze me. Thank you for sharing your uplifting story- I KNOW you are an inspiration to so many people who are ready to release the struggle and regain their health.

  12. Thanks for sharing Chriistina. If I don’t win your book I’m definitely ordering. Great inspiration. You look beautiful and happy. Congratulations!

  13. Your cookbook sounds amazing!Thank for sharing such a delicious recipe Avocado boat with Salmon salad.