Review – Paleo: 12 Weeks to Change Your Life

Image credit: Rebecca Field
Image credit: Rebecca Field

Anyone else here love cookbooks as much as I do?  I love browsing through them and looking at all the pictures of delicious food. Not to mention actually cooking and eating the delicious food!  And I really love the current trend for ‘clean eating’ cookbooks like Deliciously Ella, Hemsley + Hemsley et al, because you can drool over the pictures and the food is good for you as well!  Guilt free food porn!!!  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Rebecca Field gave me a copy of her new book, Paleo: 12 Weeks To Change Your Life, which is available as an ebook (£24.99) via her website, Paleo Diet and Fitness and paperback (£34.99) via Amazon, especially as I loved her Introduction to Paleo so much. Rebecca quit her career as a solicitor to start her new business because she is so passionate about the Paleo diet and lifestyle, and you can tell she’s worked really hard on developing her books.  She’s also created an exclusive discount especially for readers of this blog – to get 20% off any of her eBooks just head on over to Paleo Diet and Fitness and use the code “zoeskitchen” (no expiry date!).

This is an incredibly thorough and well thought out book – and it’s not just a cookbook, it’s a complete diet and exercise plan.  It’s a hefty 395 pages long and includes over 200 recipes!  When you consider that Rebecca spent 8 months working full time to develop the recipes (plus more while she was still working at her day job), you can see that it’s well worth the money.  It’s aimed at Paleo diet beginners who are ready to take the plunge and transform their bodies and health for the better, but with so many recipes even someone who has been following a Paleo diet and lifestyle for years will find something new.

Because of the nature of the Paleo diet, the recipes are all free from gluten and all grains, dairy, soya, legumes (peas, beans, lentils and peanuts) and refined sugar (other than a little bit of dark chocolate in some desserts).  There are some that contain eggs and nuts, and in many cases they can be left out or substituted.  This makes this book ideal for people with food allergies and intolerances.  We’ve been free from all of these things (except some grains, nuts and sugar) for over a year now and I still found so many new ideas in this book. My absolute favourite is the chicken fajita bowl (below).

The first part of the book includes information on which foods are included in the Paleo diet and which foods to avoid, real food vs processed food, nutrient density, ethics and sustainability, exercise, stress management, sleep and even self-development.  Then, there are convenient weekly meal plans and shopping lists for the full 12 weeks, so that all you have to do to follow the plan is buy the food and cook it, which takes a lot of the hassle out of changing your diet – Rebecca has done all the thinking and planning for you.   Finally there are the recipes (my favourite part!), which if you follow me on social media, you’ll know we’ve been trying them out over the past few weeks!

There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, desserts, snacks, smoothies and juices.  What I love most about Rebecca’s cooking style is that her recipes are simple and straightforward.  There are no outlandish ingredients that have to be hunted down, just meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fats, nuts, seeds and spices that can be bought in a supermarket or farm shop.  She really has worked hard to make this diet plan easy to follow and convenient for busy people.  You also don’t need any special equipment for most of the recipes, although a food processor will make it easier and obviously a blender and/or juicer is required for making smoothies and juices, but this is just a small fraction of what’s included.

The only thing that is missing from this book are ‘Paleo treats’ – Paleo friendly substitutes for cakes, biscuits, cookies and bread that you might crave whilst on a Paleo diet.  However as Rebecca explains these foods are still not particularly good for you in large quantities, and as this is a clean detox reset type diet she has deliberately left them out.  Don’t panic though, she has included some dessert recipes (twice a week is suggested in the meal plans).  However if you are doing this plan with your whole family you may need some ‘treats’ to help your children transition, for example if they are going to a birthday party or playdate it is nice for them to bring a plate of Paleo cakes to share with their friends.  Personally I have found dried fruit and fruit snacks are a good substitute for sweets (check the packet to make sure they are 100% fruit) and there are many recipes online for Paleo cakes etc if you need them.

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Please note this post contains affiliate links.  This means I will receive a small commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of the links, the cost to you is the same.  Thank you for supporting Zoe’s Kitchen. I received a free copy of this book for the purposes of this review, however this does not affect the review in any way.

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