Review: Introduction to Paleo by Rebecca Field


There are several popular ‘real food’ or ‘clean eating’ diets around at the moment.  There are two main reasons for these diets, the first (like most ‘diets’) is weight loss, and the second is for better health.  The Paleo diet is based on eating like a caveman, and there are lots of blogs with Paleo recipes (this one included!), but what actually is the Paleo diet?  I’ve been sent a copy of Rebecca Field’s (of Paleo Diet and Fitness) new book (available as an eBook and hard copy) Introduction to Paleo which explains fully what the Paleo diet is and the science behind it.

This book gives a really succinct summary of the Paleo diet, whilst including all the key information you need to know.  I was able to read the whole book in about 2 hours, so it’s ideal if you’re very busy (and who isn’t these days).  The focus of the book is making changes to your diet in order to lose weight, although there is a chapter covering the other health benefits of the Paleo diet, as well as the importance of other lifestyle factors such as exercise, relaxation and sleep.  There is also a companion book (currently available as an eBook) called Paleo: 12 Weeks to Change Your Life which covers these aspects in more detail.

One thing I really liked about this book is that it does address possible side effects from the Paleo diet.  The author says that she herself did not feel any effects from starting this diet.  However some people do get ‘low-carb flu’ as their bodies change from using carbohydrates for energy to burning fat.  I felt unwell for about 3 days as did my husband, and we both ate a reasonably healthy diet to begin with!  It wasn’t awful, I just felt tired and groggy and a bit hungrier than usual, but after a few days I felt much better, and better than I had felt in years (hence why I continue to eat this way).  I think it’s better if you know to expect this, so that you know it’s only temporary.

The final sections of the book include a full 7 day meal plan and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, plus a handy shopping list.  All of the recipes seem fairly straightforward, with no weird ingredients.  It’s so frustrating when you find a great recipe you want to try but the ingredients aren’t available in the UK!  Rebecca is UK based herself so that’s not a problem with this book.  I tried the Turkey Puttanesca served with Greens with Lemon, Olive Oil and Pine Nuts.  Wow, it was delicious! Using anchovies in the tomato sauce is a genius idea (they melt away so you’d never know they’re there).  I did cheat slightly when making it though, I didn’t have time to make the Tomato Sauce recipe from scratch, so I just used a carton of passata and some dried mixed herbs instead.  I will definitely incorporate this recipe into my regular meal plan because we all enjoyed it, and it will add a bit of variety as we don’t often eat turkey. I intend to try most of the recipes from this book, in particular Thai Green Chicken Soup, Beef Potroast and Baked Banana and Chocolate appeal to me to try next.

Another good thing about this book is that it is written by a layperson rather than a doctor or scientist (although she has worked with diet, exercise and nutritional professionals to create her series of books and ebooks).  Rebecca used to be a solicitor before she decided to start her business, Paleo Diet and Fitness.  This means that the ‘science bit’ is written in plain English and is much easier to understand than some other books and websites written by doctors and scientists.

This book also addresses how to prepare for your 7 day Paleo diet plan, which I think is important.  Remember the saying: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail?  If you’re well prepared then you’re more likely to stick with it for the full 7 days so that you can feel the benefit.  Make sure you have time in your schedule for cooking the recipes (some are quick and easy, some take a little more time).  If you’re used to grabbing a sandwich for lunch, Paleo is a bit different so be ready for that – will you have time each day to prepare food or do you need to make things in the morning or the night before?

Now, let’s be honest, the information in this book is probably available out there on the internet on various blogs and websites.  And there are hundreds of Paleo recipes online too.  So why would you buy a book about it?  Because it’s got everything gathered together in one place.  You also have a whole week’s worth of recipes laid out for you.  If you’re new to the Paleo diet, or have been dabbling with it for a while but want to commit 100%, this book is ideal.  It has all the information you need to know and the practical steps you will need to take in order to get started with the diet all in one convenient package.

Get 20% off any of the Paleo Diet And Fitness eBooks, including Introduction to Paleo with code ‘sunshine’. Valid until 18th November 2015.

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