Everyone’s talking about “going Paleo” these days.
My brother’s done it. And then stopped doing it, but he looks like this, so whatever he’s doing is clearly working.
My parents are “into” it lately. (Meaning my mom says she’s doing paleo as she munches on a cannoli, but, you know, the intention is in there.)
And me? Well, I’ve geeked out over quite a few studies (which I’ll share later this week) on the science supporting “paleo” and “primal” diets. I love that stuff. And as my parents try to incorporate the tenets of the paleo diet more fully into their lifestyle, I enjoy helping them understand not only how those changes will affect their health for the better, but also how to go about it in the first place. And that is where 3 Phase Paleo comes in.
I recently got the opportunity to review this new ebook, written by Matt and Stacy of the Paleo Parents blog. A year or so ago, I first stumbled upon their blog and remember being blown away by their story. They (and their children) experienced incredible health transformations from their transition to the paleo lifestyle. When I read 3 Phase Paleo, I was reminded again of how impressive their story is- seriously, it’s incredible how powerfully their entire family’s health was changed.
That’s not all the book is about, though. Although it includes Stacy and Matt’s personal paleo story, the book is truly a how-to guide. It’s much less about the why of the paleo diet (and they are very upfront about it, although their experience certainly speaks for itself), and much more about the how of the paleo diet. And how!
To be clear, I do not follow a paleo diet. However, many of the principles of the paleo diet align well with my personal health philosophy, which is still evolving! As giddy as I get over PubMed articles and scientific journals and nutrition theory, I truly appreciate books that teach the practical application of those principles I find in my research. This book is a unique guide to paleo in that they emphasize a 3-phase transition and gear their suggestions particularly for families. Overall, I thought is was fantastic, well-researched, highly applicable, relatable, and a fun read in general.
But since some folks like to get specific, here are some more detailed thoughts on 3 Phase Paleo.
I’ll get this out of the way to start: It’s a great book, but it’s not perfect.
- I’m just going to say it: There were a few misspellings throughout the ebook, and it drove me nuts. We’re all human, and I make my own fair share of grammatical errors here on the blog, but I’ll be the first to admit that it detracts from credibility and professionalism.
- Some of the photos and text were difficult to see clearly. I looked at it on two separate computers to make sure it wasn’t they particular device I was using that was causing the blurriness. To be fair, refreshing the page sometimes helped, but things still weren’t as clear as they should have been. It really might have boiled down to poor font choice (and I am guessing many of the photos were intentionally styled that way, but I found it distracting).
- They made a couple of claims (such as page 20- “Our kids no longer need sunblock unless they’re out for an entire day”) that I questioned, and I did not see anything in the sources to support them. Not that they’re invalid or lack any sort of truth, but without credible sources, I’m skeptical.
That being said, it really is a wonderful book for so many reasons (which far outweigh the few detractors).
- 3 phase approach: Swap (choosing healthier alternatives to the worst dietary offenders), Remove (eliminating those offenders and stocking a full paleo kitchen), and Heal (incorporating healing foods/supplements as well as lifestyle factors). Separating the process into distinct tiers make the overall process seem much more manageable, not to mention more pleasant.
- Emphasis is put on progress over perfection. I’m learning more and more how important that mindset is for life in general, so I was happy to see that Matt and Stacy apply it to the paleo lifestyle.
- Speaking of lifestyle, they approach paleo as a holistic pursuit rather than strictly a diet. They note the importance of quality sleep, natural environment (i.e. sunshine and fresh air), and healthy movement in conjunction with diet. They also acknowledge that the modern world is not the most paleo-friendly place, and they offer great suggestions for fully incorporating a paleo lifestyle without having to “go off grid” or wear a loin cloth or anything.
- Suggestions are detailed, and readers are encouraged to modify as appropriate for their personal/family needs.
- Links, links, links! One of the biggest benefits of this being an ebook rather than print is the linkapalooza that’s going on in here. They have links to a great number of articles and resources from their personal blog and many other corners of the internet.
- Resource section! These are all included as links, but seriously, the resource section is extensive- they’ve got everything. Websites, books, grocery stores, particular foods, restaurants, tools/products, authors, even coupons!
- Recipes for days. They have great recipes, and enough variety to cover the basics (like coconut milk, stock/broth, salad suggestions, mayo, etc.) as well as fancier main courses and fun sides (such as curried mussels, turkey thai basil, sweet potato drop biscuits, even “baconaise”). I loved that they included recipes that incorporate what they refer to as healing foods – like liver, gelatin, etc. – which are often less popular but great sources of nutrition and micronutrients. I’m excited to test some of these recipes later in the week!
- The layout of the book is very reader-friendly and well organized. It includes extensive indexes, including those that categorize the recipes by phase as well as ingredients.
[This does not detract from the book, but I want to be clear: This is not a “why paleo” book. Matt and Stacy are very clear about that, and I think the book is excellent as it is. But if you are looking for a book that will convince you to “go paleo,” this probably is not it. This really isn’t a mark against the book, I just want to make it clear that it is for an audience that is already interested in implementing a paleo lifestyle.]
Bottom line: It’s a great travel guide for anyone setting off on a paleo journey. If you have made the decision to try paleo and could use some help in implementing it…3 Phase Paleo is your new best friend.
Here’s the best part:
Stacy and Matt have offered to let me give away (as in, FREE!!) a copy of 3 Phase Paleo to one of my readers!
3 Phase Paleo is selling for $22.95, which is already a great value, but if you’d like a chance to win a free copy, you can enter by doing any or all of the following (you get one entry for each item, so be sure to leave a separate comment letting me know each one you’ve completed!):
- Comment and tell me why you would like to read 3 Phase Paleo.
- Sign up for The Paleo Parents newsletter.
- Like Paleo Parents on Facebook.
- Follow Paleo Parents on Twitter.
- Subscribe to and/or follow Eat, Pray, Lift, using green “VIP List” button to your left or “Follow” button in WordPress menu bar at the top of this page.
meEat, Pray, Lift on Twitter. (Ok, it’s me- I don’t have a blog-specific Twitter account.)
One winner will be picked at random and notified via email. You have until midnight PST Friday, 1/24/14 to enter!
…may the odds be ever in your favor…
PS: Big thank you to Stacy and Matt for letting me review 3 Phase Paleo and give away a copy. This is my first blog giveaway, and I’m so glad that this “milestone” giveaway involves such a fabulous new ebook. Well done, and thank you!*** I was given a copy of 3 Phase Paleo for review, but was not compensated in any way for writing a review or hosting a giveaway. All opinions and text are my own. Photos from the Paleo Parents website are credited as such above. ***