Book Review: “Make it Paleo” by Bill Staley & Hayley Mason

I believe we are well over due for another paleo book review!  It is truly my pleasure to spread the word about this one.  “Make it Paleo” has played a huge role in our full transformation into the paleo lifestyle and continues to be one of my usual go-to cookbooks for inspiration.

I can vividly recall my longing anticipation for “Make it Paleo.”  Before the book’s release, I had become quite a regular visitor at The Food Lover’s Primal Palate website – which has since become The Food Lover’s Kitchen.  I cannot remember what I must have been searching for that day, but I stumbled upon a slew of recipes and thought, “these folks love food the way I do…they’re food lovers!!”  Shortly after, news broke out that “Make it Paleo” would be released and I literally counted the months — waiting for it to arrive.

So, let’s get down to it.  Why “Make it Paleo?”  What sets it apart from all the others?

First off, and likely the most obvious reason — the food photography is absolutely gorgeous.  I can honestly say that “Make it Paleo” was the first paleo cookbook that stood out in its professionalism to me.  I know that sounds lousy, as all the other books previous to it are fantastic in their own way, but let’s be real here — perception is reality.  There is something very emotional about food…it is meant to captivate your senses from start to finish.  The smell…the taste…texture…and the fact that a recipe’s photo can be that visually stimulating is just the beginning of that process.

Now, I would like to share with you — something that “Make it Paleo” taught me.  Upon starting a paleo lifestyle I really went full-force.  I was planning out my weekly menus and let me tell you – some were pretty elaborate.  I have always enjoyed cooking, so in this case the basics were not a fine place to start (or so I thought).  I found myself buying these laundry lists of ingredients and preparing intricate side dishes with every single meal…that went on for quite some time until I got completely annoyed.  I was going to have a hard time sticking to eating this way if I was spending half of my life in the kitchen.  When I was eating a Standard American Diet I rarely used my cooking skills…most dinners came from a box, a can, or could be microwaved…you know the drill — are you thinking about frozen burritos?  I ate a lot of those.  Well, when I woke up and decided to eat real food I fell back in love with cooking — until I realized that long drawn out menus did not have a place in my life either.  Enter Bill and Hayley!!  Honestly, their book reminded me that food quality is always the  most important factor.  In other words, they took me back to the basics.  Their recipes are very simple; ingredient lists are minimal, and it is all about actually tasting the food — not smothering it with this and that.  It is funny…you take bread and cheese away from people and they suddenly are at a loss on how to prepare food!!  As Hayley said one time…the best steak is just lightly seasoned with some salt and pepper.  You know what?  By golly I think she’s right!!

Furthermore,  ….and I hate for this to even be a reason…oohh I am so naughty to even mention this one, but it must be said.  “Make it Paleo” has the BEST cheats and treats section of any paleo cookbook out on the market.  HANDS DOWN.  Come on, we are human…you know that you want the goods.  I lied before — I have to admit it to you — I do remember what I was searching for that day on the internet.  That day that I stumbled upon their site?  …I was feeling guilty, sure, but I needed to do some research on paleo desserts.  Forgive me in advance — but damn you Bill and Hayley!!  If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t know how to make the best darn paleo chocolate chip cookies in the entire world!  Heck, they don’t even have to be paleo-friendly…they are indeed, the best chocolate chip cookies.  Yes, folks – the cookie recipe is in the book, and yes, they are fabulous.  This I would not lie to you about.  My first treat from “Make it Paleo” was the carrot cake, and you can seriously blow people away with this one.  I promise that they won’t even know you have made them a grain-free version of an old favorite.  I take my harsh words back Food Lovers, thanks to Bill and Hayley I can make treats for special occasions and know that they are not damaging my body in the same way refined treats would.  What we choose to do is our own battle based on our own goals in place, but they obviously took the time to perfect these recipes…to give people struggling that replacement option.  Paleo treats can be a great thing — simply because one of the biggest objections to giving paleo a try is having to do without.  You have to take one step at a time, but those options are there — the Food Lovers have done it all for you.  I can tell you right now, most paleo cookbooks have a very small way too tiny treat section…(that’s good if you’re me, though. haha)  “Make it Paleo” on the other hand, has 200…200 grain-free recipes with a lengthy section focused on treating yourself to something sweet if you dare choose.  The sweets are really a small drop in the bucket.  Their book overall is truly extensive…all with full-colored photos and variations to boot.

Last but not least – I personally found “Make it Paleo” to be very inspirational.  This may not apply to everyone, but I felt like I could identify with this duo.  They have decided to change their life together…in a united fashion and I really admire that.  Jason and I have a similar story.  We decided, together, that we wanted to change our lives…while we were young…before any other complications or circumstances.  We decided to name health and wellness as a huge priority and we have depended on one another through all of the testing times.  It is kind of neat, because Jason and I do not have any paleo friends!  In fact, everyone we know is somehow thin as a pole but eats absolute nonsense!  They all respect; however, that Jason and I have our own standards and it truly is something that has brought us closer.  Bill and Hayley have recently become engaged – they are young and vibrant and have such a great outlook on what’s really important – health and vitality.  This book is their unified creation…one that reflects not only their cause as a couple, but their individuality.  “Make it Paleo” is functional and artistic; it represents each of their strengths in a very profound way.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone, really.  Even if you are new to the paleo lifestyle – you’ll find that this book simply illustrates how to cook great food.  Bill and Hayley are real people, and real food lovers just like you and me.  They researched recipes, inspired each other, put forth a bunch of care and love in the kitchen and together…this powerful duo came to a unified conclusion that they would change their lives together — by making it paleo.

**Now I am the proud owner of TWO copies of “Make it Paleo.”  I truly believe that my extra copy should not be hoarded by myself, but be shared!!  Do I hear giveaway!?  Details will follow.  Who knows — maybe you might be the winner of this fabulous resource!!

If you don’t care to wait that long…and you’re completely sold on this one, please visit the book’s site Make it Paleo — and order your copy today.

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