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This past week I received a most pleasant Amazon delivery: Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition -- YAY!!
A Paleo Diet refers to the practice of eating what our ancestors ate, prior to modern agriculture. The diet is based on avoiding processed foods, dairy, all grains (including whole grains and brown rice), legumes (beans and peanuts), sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Sounds like a lot of don'ts. And Paleo is a bit more restrictive than a Real Food approach. But honestly, what is in common between these lifestyles is that there is a whole world of YES foods. Veggies, fruits, proteins, natural sweeteners, etc. The list is fairly long -- And you can read the Real Food Guidelines to get a better idea of what you can eat when you follow a Real Food lifestyle.
We migrated to the Paleo Diet after a few months after we started our Real Food journey because we wanted to follow a more structured eating practice. We're not perfectly Paleo or 100% Real. But we live between these worlds. And on balance probably closer to the Paleo end of the spectrum. Feel free to read My Story for more details about our journey.
Way back in 2011 when we first started our Real Food/Paleo journey, there were so few resources to help us find our way. Of course, I read The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf. Which I consider THE manifesto for the Paleo Diet. His book was published in September 2010. And we did our first 30-Day Paleo Diet Challenge in May, 2011 after reading this book.
But while The Paleo Solution offered the explanations (the "why we should") and laid out the approach, it did not offer many recipes or "how tos". And yes -- there were some Paleo cookbooks back then. But these only offered cursory explanations of the Paleo approach. Thank goodness for Practical Paleo, 1st Ed.*🙌🏽🎉 which was published in 2012. This became my Paleo bible 🤓📖🍳
The author Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC provided a complete guide on navigating the Paleo Diet: nutritional information and explanations, 30-day meal plans, tear-out guides (only I didn’t dare – this was my bible, after all) and over 100 recipes!! Her writing is clear, concise, but most of all fun and approachable. So while we had already been practicing Paleo by the time she published her book, I was struggling to make it happen. And many times I wasn't sure whether we could sustain the lifestyle. It wasn’t until I read Practical Paleo that I was confident we could and would succeed!
So now 4 years later, Diane published a 2nd Edition. And it is even MORE! Although I haven’t read it yet – Just received it a few days ago, for goodness sake. But paging through I can tell this will still be my “go to” resource – THE Gold Standard 👊🏽🏆💯 Even though there are tons more resources available nowadays. Practical Paleo, 2nd Ed. is beautiful. The photography, infographics, the organization and layout. Just so visually appealing and continues to offer an accessible approach to eating a whole, Real Food, Paleo lifestyle.
I definitely recommend Practical Paleo. And promise to provide a more complete review once I finish reading.
If you are interested in additional Real Food/Paleo cookbooks, here are some that I relied on throughout my journey:
Well-Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan. This book was published in 2011. And one of the first Paleo cookbooks I bought. Probably the best of those initial resources. Great innovative recipes, easy to follow, variations for different ingredients. But I’ll be honest, while I used this book religiously back then, I rarely use it these days. Mostly because I know a lot more to go rogue and Recipe Improv these days. Nevertheless, a good book for Real Food/Paleo newbies to cut their teeth on. And Melissa has a couple other cookbooks if you are interested in more advanced recipes.
Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, by Michelle Tam & Henry Fong. I was following Michelle’s recipes on her Blog of the same name (www.nomnompaleo.com) before this book was published in 2013. The book has great photography to step-by-step through the entire process. I still use a number of these recipes. So can certainly recommend this book without hesitation.
Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great and Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple, both by Danielle Walker. These books were published in 2013 and 1024, respectively. But I must confess that I just bought these books a few months ago. I had been following many of her recipes posted on her Blog (www.againstallgrain.com) I decided to buy these books now because I realized that these recipes were not on her Blog. And I simply wanted MORE!! Danielle’s recipes are amazing and beautiful and just so darn yummy!! Definitely worth the investment.
Do you have any favorite Real Food/Paleo cookbooks? If so, please let me know. Or if you have any questions about these, please let me know that too.
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