Book Review: Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

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At the moment I am extremely annoyed because I have been trying to leave a very good review of this book.  I have visited Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble’s website and neither were very helpful in being able to leave one.  Boo.  I will write my own review and hope that it gets around, because this book is fabulous and it deserves the hype.

As many of you may know — I  have been living a paleo lifestyle for going on two years.  As far as what I’ve read — been there, done that.  In the very beginning Jason and I felt it was necessary to read up on this new way of life as much as we could.  We read books that simply dealt with answering all the common questions you get as well as the more geeky-learn-all-the-body-chemistry-lingo.  Cooking has always been a huge part of my life, so naturally I leaned towards more of the cookbook style options.

I started off with Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo, and then found myself nose-deep in Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint – Quick & Easy Meals. I was hungry for more and got another book from Mark Sisson as well as Paleo Comfort Foods.  Suddenly I came across a website that captivated me — Food Lover’s Primal Palate (this was back before it was the Food Lover’s Kitchen.)  The infamous Food Lovers were soon to release a book called Make it Paleo and I damn near fell in love with cooking paleo meals.

Then…along came Diane Sanfilippo.  I stumbled upon the Balanced Bites website a long time ago and it soon became a blog/site I visited on a daily basis.  I began listening to the Balanced Bites podcast where all sorts of issues are sorted through — especially girly ones, which of course I love.

So what about the darn book, you say?

Well, it was imperative that I give that little background story as to somewhat equip myself with some book reviewing credentials!  I have indeed read a ton of paleo books — whether they be merely informational or cookbook-wise.

The nifty thing about Practical Paleo is that it is definitely both.  So far, at least that I know of, there has not been a book that has covered both realms.  In the Paleo world you have the geeks that know all about the happenings inside the body, and then you have the artsy chefs that can make any plate of slop look really high-class.  Practical Paleo is extremely educational…but beatiful as well.  The photos for Practical Paleo were actually taken by Bill Staley himself — coauthor of Make it Paleo.  It is no wonder the photos look outstanding.  Everyone knows — when you’re writing a book about food you must have decent photos…people like to eat with their eyes.

Anyway, Practical Paleo reminds me of a magazine.  You know why magazines make such great bathroom material?…because there is SO much to read.  You can read a magazine cover to cover, and usually you’ll always find a little tidbit or part of a page you missed the first time around.  Practical Paleo is more than just a quick overview of “What is Paleo” and then recipes.  Information is simply overflowing…on every single page, and the format is almost magazine like in that you get little excerpts of information in the margins that supplement your read the whole way through.

Speaking of bathroom material… stop reading if you’re grossed out… but one of the issues Diane Sanfilippo, as well as other Paleo enthusiasts, feel very strongly about is digestive health.  AKA…your poop.  Yes, she discusses poop.  Your poop can say a lot about you, ya know…interested in what your poop says about you?  (No, not behind your back…)  ….about your health.  Well, get her book!  You can read all about it and even get some nice little illustrations.  Golden nuggets of knowledge, huh?

Another feature that really stands out about Practical Paleo is that it caters to all sorts of dietary needs.  Other paleo cookbooks deal more with menu planning for holidays, or maybe a consistent whole month of paleo eating.  Diane’s book; however, has meal plans designated for specific needs like cancer recovery, blood sugar regulation, athletic performance, and even thyroid health.  Very cool.  Not one body is the same, and these categories make her book suitable to anyone.

In short, Practical Paleo is a book that truly brings the science of paleo into the kitchen.  She provides all the necessary information you need — dietary wise, but is a hell of a cook as well!  Now, that’s my kinda lady.

Practical Paleo is exactly what it is — Paleo that is just real-life and that anyone can do.  The recipes are simple, and it is all about fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods.  I admit that I was hoping her book wouldn’t be just like all the others…not that they were insufficient in any way — but I wanted it to be different.  It was.  This book is perfect for the paleo new-comer as well as the veteran paleo chef.

Love it!  Stay tuned this week, as I will be featuring lots and lots of recipes that are from Practical Paleo.

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6 Responses to “Book Review: Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo”

  1. Agree, agree! This is the most useful and beautiful paleo book. I’ve made a ton of her recipes and they are all amazing. I made the lemon artichoke chicken tonight and it was possibly the best plate of food I’ve ever had.

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