I am so thrilled for the opportunity to review this book. Let me begin by telling you that you are seriously missing out on some fantastic Paleo wisdom if you haven’t listened to Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe on the Balanced Bites Podcast. These ladies know their stuff, and I have learned a ridiculous amount from them. I also loved meeting these two in person when they came to my area to teach a workshop, so I have been looking forward to Diane’s new book for quite a while. I am thrilled and honored to have received an advance copy.
The book was dropped [loudly] on my doorstep one day last week. When I opened the package, my initial thought was “wow… this thing is no joke!” The book is BEAUTIFUL. The photography is stunning. The design and layout is genius. And, as I expected, it is packed with great stuff.
From the title, we know that Diane’s mission was to make this Paleo thing practical. And as you browse through the pages, you will see that she has accomplished that mission. The book starts out as practical as you can get by answering this question: “what is Paleo?” In easy-to-understand, not-too-sciency language, Diane explains the why behind this way of eating. Next she tell you how to do it, and includes instructions on stocking your pantry, food quality, cooking oils choices, ways to understand how standard thinking on “nutrition” is all wrong, etc.
The book gets even more practical with tips for staying Paleo when you go out, and when you travel (this was hugely beneficial for me!).
But don’t worry… she digs deeper, going beyond just “practical,” and explains exactly how food affects the body. If you want simple explanations to help you understand digestion, leaky gut, blood sugar regulation, and more, then this is the book for you. She even describes (in a completely hilarious way) how your poop tells secrets about your digestion.
The next section of the book is the one that impressed me the most: the meal plans. Diane has done her homework, and has prepared specialized, ingredient-driven plans and recipes specifically for people struggling with particular health problems, including autoimmune conditions, thyroid conditions, cancer recovery, neurological issues, and more. She even has plans for folks concerned with fat loss, or with athletic performance. And in each of these plans, she explains why you should follow the ingredient recommendations, and how particular ingredients affect particular health issues. Wow. Even if you don’t have any of these health concerns yourself, this is such a valuable tool to use to help others get better results from their diet.
And finally… the recipes! To be honest, I didn’t know that I was getting a book AND a cookbook, so seeing the enormous recipe section was very exciting for me! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the photos are STUNNING (major props to Bill Staley, co-author of Make It Paleo!) Diane has thought of everything from breakfast foods to treats. I’ve been drooling over these pages since the book arrived, and tonight I finally had a chance to place the book on my recipe stand and use it for dinner!
I made Citrus and Herb Whole Roasted Chicken. It was super easy to make… just stuff the bird with onions, garlic, and lemon, surround with a few carrots, sprinkle with herbs, and bake!
The house smelled delicious while our dinner took care of itself, and I prepared a big salad to accompany it.
The flavors of the lemon and the herbs really soak into the flesh during the baking process, and the result was so yummy! We piled the tender cuts high, and throughly enjoyed every bite. I will definitely be making this one again!
After we finished, I took the little meat that was left on the carcass (we basically devoured most of it), and dropped it into the crock pot for some Mineral-Rich Bone Broth. I’ve made Diane’s bone broth recipe many times before (it’s on her website here), and it is one of my favorites. I was thrilled to see that it made the cookbook!
What’s on my list to make next, you ask? Here are some that I can hardly wait to test: Sweet Potato Pancakes, Quick & Easy Salmon Cakes, Butternut Sage Soup, Baconnaise (yes, you read that correctly!!), and Flourless Mocha-Bacon Brownies (oh goodness…!).
This book will has already been a fantastic addition to my kitchen…