Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
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Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  2,473 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Our great-grandmothers didn't need nutrition lessons—then again, they weren't forced to wade through aisle after aisle of packaged foods touting outlandish health claims and confusing marketing jargon. Over the last few decades, we've forgotten what "real food" is—and we're left desperately seeking foods that will truly nourish our bodies. We're disillu...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Victory Belt Publishing (first published July 3rd 2012)
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Practical Paleo by Diane SanfilippoIt Starts with Food by Melissa HartwigThe Primal Blueprint by Mark SissonWell Fed by Melissa JoulwanThe Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
Best Paleo/Primal Books
1st out of 102 books — 100 voters
The China Study by T. Colin CampbellWhy We Get Fat by Gary TaubesThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanIn Defense of Food by Michael PollanGood Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
A Nutrition Reading List
19th out of 180 books — 184 voters


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Community Reviews

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Meredith
After studying up on Paleo (or whatever label you wish to use) through various books, websites, and podcasts, I'm glad to have found a "one-stop" resource that both verbally and visually explains the science in a clear, understandable way; provides guidance on special conditions and considerations; and also contains a bunch of tasty recipes that follow the guidelines (And also easily point out which recipes are good for which conditions). You can read my full review here: [...] or simply take th...more
Jen
So, there's two reviews, one for the diet and one for the cookbook.

As for the diet's pros, I have friends who swear by it, I was not hungry, and I ate a lot of vegetables. The cons included:
1. The overwhelming amount of meat. Week One's shopping list for two people includes: 3 dozen eggs, 1 lb. of bacon, 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. flank steak, 2 large turkey legs, 1 lb. ground lamb, 1 lb. lemon sole, 12 ounces wild smoked salmon, 1 lb. skirt steak, ½ lb. ground pork, 1 l...more
Kris Irvin
I didn't think this book was very practical at all. Sure, it has some good information, but nothing you can't figure out in 30 seconds by Googling "Paleo."

The recipes seemed extremely time consuming and expensive. I'm a full time wife, mom and student. I don't have 4 hours to shred zucchini noodles while marinating hand-caught salmon in a sauce of dandelion pate and unicorn sparkles.

I really liked that all the recipes had pictures though. That was a very nice touch.

*Edit: After the very passi...more
Paul
If there's one book everyone should own to understand diet, nutrition, and health, this is it!

I've been following Diane's recommendations for over 2 years now, since long before she wrote a book. Her advice is sound, common sense backed by real science. Having read a significant number of Paleo/Primal books, from Gary Taubes to Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson, I find Diane's writing to be much more approachable for the common person. The title really does say it all. She has written a practical guide...more
Glenda Thistle
My wife and I are new to paleo but we have been enjoying this presentation of the paleo lifestyle authored by a young expert who takes the pains to organize and present info that is also digestible!!! Yum! I especially love how I can quickly find a recipe that is organized by food group or by need. I need fat loss... She sets the plan. Great calendar, delicious recipes, and also a web site to cruise to for new ideas and support. Worth the bucks for the
Quality.
Christina
I'm going "Wow, wow, wow" as I'm reading this book! My eleven-year-old is helping choose recipes to try out. Have been more-or-less paleo since mid-January of this year and have seen a huge change in my health.
Mamers
The text was very informative, but I fear that people will take her word as gold. Sanfilippo is not a registered dietician or a doctor. She's not even a nurse. She took a test that costs a couple hundred dollars and now gets to put initials after her name. Anyone can make a cookbook, but she is giving anatomy and physiology lessons and, at times, medical advice.

Anywho, the ideas are intriguing and the individual meal plans are well thought out, thorough, and easy to follow.

The recipes are kinda...more
Dymphy
Jan 22, 2013 Dymphy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
Practical paleo is a one stop introduction into the world of paleo. New to this diet, I had no clue to begin. I'd browsed several websites and still had questions like: But what am I going to eat for breakfast? On what kind of science is this diet based on?

Practical paleo provided me with answers, background information and recipes. The book is divided in three parts. The first parts discusses the science behind food and your body, the second part lists several 30-day meal plans and the third pa...more
Melissa
blah, blah, blah, with a few interesting tidbits; but some interesting recipes I''d like to try.
stephanie
I tried quite a few recipes from this book and they were all DELICIOUS.
Pamela  Goloskie
I have very mixed thoughts about this book, which was originally recommended to me by a nutritionist.
Pros:
Lovely photography, great looking pages and layout
Recipes are fairly simple and easy to follow
The 30 day plans are varied and well thought out

Cons:
I really don't get the 'science' behind this diet. Ms. Sanfilippo claims to debunk a lot of scientific theories and nutrition advice, but never goes on to provide any real scientific evidence for the Paleo plan that is much beyond 'our ancestor...more
Julie
I am still enchanted by this Paleo stuff which is similar enough to South Beach (Phase 1) that it isn't completely unfamiliar or strange. I am still wrestling with the non-dairy and non-grain issue though. The latter not so much except that I would miss oatmeal (oddly enough).

I think the book was organized a little awkwardly though but she does break down the Paleo recommendations depending on why you might be researching it: autoimmune system deficiencies, weight issues, gluten issues, and so...more
gina
No worries. I'm not on a Paleo fad diet. I'm not going to forgo dairy or anything like that. I love local food too much to do that! However, in order to get control of some health issues I'm undergoing a detox starting tomorrow and the diet restricts about 20 common foods/ingredients that cause inflammation and digestive issues and when I started trying to find cookbooks to help me find things to make from the ingredients I can have (which by the way I can have a lot! but strangely am not used t...more
Janalee
At first I was like I love this book, because it has good nutritional info in it, beautiful food photography and is laid out in a pleasing way. But by the time I finished (and skimmed about 1/3 of it), I felt that to eat this way (no dairy, unless the very rawest, grass-fed finest if you must do dairy, no sweets except very occasional maple syrup/honey, no grains at all - so that leaves meats and produce) doesn't seem like a lifestyle that you can keep up for long and be satisfied. And the one r...more
Desiree
I love how this book maps everything out! Its part instruction to the paleo lifestyle. Like how to survive in the "real world". The rest is chalk full of recipes with pretty pictures. Also, I love how she addresses a variety of mainstream diseases that afflict today's population. For each unique illness she describes a 30 day meal plan. She even has a plan for hypo/hyperthyroid. There are healthy desserts and comfort foodie stuff. I think I will purchase this book in the fall and do her prescrib...more
Angie
This book can change lives! I'm slowly transitioning myself into more of the Paleo lifestyle after reading this book, and I have been a vegetarian for half of my life. Diane and her approach to this topic makes sense and left me feeling empowered to take control of my nutrition levels and heal myself. I recommend this book to anyone suffering from basically any chronic condition, from digestive stress and migraines to autoimmune diseases and skin problems, etc. There are things you can do (and e...more
Elyse
This is one hell of a VERY complete resource book!!!

A heavy-thick-beautiful-easy-to read book ---with a customized approach to health and whole-foods lifestyle. The author has excellent suggestions of supportive type foods for people who have recovered from Cancer, heart health, autoimmune conditions, digestive health, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, athletic health, etc. etc. Plus....she has some yummy recipes! (with beautiful pictures).

Here are a few I like!!!

The Spinach salad with walnuts...more
Diana
One of the best Paleo cookbooks out there. Diane Sanfilippo gives an excellent, clear description of why the modern American diet is preventing us from achieving health, and how the Paleo way of eating can fix that. She offers multiple meal plans to help people with a variety of ailments. The cookbook portion of the book is fantastic - beautiful color photos, clear instructions. I've already made several of the recipes, and I've loved every single one.
Linda


This would be a great starter cookbook meal planner for someone facing a gluten-free future. As an old hand at low carb, much of this was not new but it is very well presented and meals are do-able. Meal plans encourage using leftovers which saves time on cooking. The meal plans don't get stuck on breakfast food at breakfast but does offer some "breakfast" type items.
Elise


Presented in an way that is easy to digest (pardon the pun) with 30-day meal plans to get you started no matter what health issues you may be dealing with. The recipes look flavor-filled yet simple and the photography is beautiful. The tear out copies of the guides are an added bonus and will likely soon be decorating my refrigerator door.
Lorene Cobb


Being new to Paleo and all the food restrictions my family is following, I found this to be my favorite book on Paleo so far. It's more than a cookbook with recipes, it has many chapters dedicated to specific health issues and 30 day menu plans to to help the reader achieve their goal. It's been a life saver in my kitchen.
Evan Snyder
I've been reading up on Paleo and other clean-eating, whole-food diets for a while now, and this book really did a great job of distilling and explaining essential points of all that content. Sanfilippo gives an excellent overview of benefits of the Paleo diet and the impact of various foods on the body. All the important points are covered without gratuitous detail that might overwhelm beginners. She also provides a large variety of easy, simple, and delicious recipes. I particularly enjoyed he...more
Mary-anne
I consider this a really good intro to paleo book. It goes a little more into digestion and poop than "It starts with Food" but the pair of them are high on my "read this" for more info pile. And yes, Diane, I did learn something reading it, even after a year on paleo.
Amy
Loved this book so much I'm adding it to my wish list. If you could read/buy just one book on the Paleo diet, this is the one I would recommend. With the basic science, diet plans and lots of yummy recipes, this book covers all the bases.
Mkschrag
This is a fabulous book for people who would like to achieve health. The books addresses autoimmune issues, gives an excellent arguement for the paleo way of eating and has menus and great recipes.
Karen P
First half of this book is informational - very well presented! Jumping into paleo was much easier because of the 30-day menu plans. I docked one star because may of the recipes in the autoimmune menu include ingredients that really should be axed: nightshades, seed-based spices. I have now cooked over half the recipes in this book; Only one was thumbs-down (Broccoli chowder) but many have been amazing! (like greek gyro boats, and asian orange panseared scallops) I love that I have tried cooking...more
Mo Tipton
This book is a wealth of information, particularly on healthy digestion/digestion issues, the role of carbs in a healthy diet, and how to address specific problems such as autoimmune disorders, weight loss issues, and blood sugar regulation, among others. My only complaint is that I wish the recipes contained info regarding the fat, protein, etc. counts so I know how they fit into my goal range for those macronutrients.

Update: Just discovered that you can access nutrition info for all recipes h...more
Bonnie
This is a great, clearly-presented resource for using the paleo template to manage specific health concerns, or simply get healthier. While I'm not a true paleo eater, the overall ideas work for me and my own health issues, and the specialized meal plans and pull-out guides, along with the uncomplicated recipes make this a cookbook I may actually buy. Some of the commentary about other nutritionists' ideas borders on extreme, but I'm willing to overlook that in light of the realistically useful...more
shartyrant
This is one of those books that I sped through the first time while researching different food/lifestyle changes to make as I have severe food allergies/intolerance. When I say severe, I mean extremely so for some items. In my family on my mom's side, chronic stomach issues run severe with most having being misdiagnosed for years till it required surgery for them. So I am trying to be more proactive by reading and researching regarding various foods, diets and lifestyle changes to keep from goin...more
Steven Peterson
One of my pet peeves with cookbooks is when an author takes an almost religious view: This philosophy is true and any variation is heresy. This is one of those irritating cookbooks.

Still and all, an interesting cookbook. A Paleolithic diet is described thus (Page22): “Mimic our ancestors who suffered from chronic diseases than modern populations.” Among guiding points (Page 22): “(1) eating whole foods that provide better fuel for your body and (2) avoiding processes, refined, nutrient-poor fact...more
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“3 eggs 2 teaspoons coconut flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2 cups shredded sweet potatoes (using a food processor with a shredding disc is ideal, or shred them by hand) Coconut oil for pan frying (amount will vary)” 0 likes
“ALLERGIC” TO EVERYTHING? If you’ve had a food allergy test done and the results showed allergies to 50 foods, chances are, you’re not actually allergic or even intolerant to all of those foods—you probably have a leaky gut! Once you heal your gut, far fewer of those foods will be likely to cause any irritation.” 0 likes
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