Friday, August 3, 2012

get Practical Paleo

Sorry to do another nutrition book talk with you so soon, but this one is brand-spankin' new and comes out next week, so I wanted to give you the low-down ASAP!

Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites is one of my top nutrition resources.  Her website is choc-ful of information, as is her podcast with Liz Wolfe.  I highly recommend downloading it and listening.  They do know the science behind their nutrition advice, but also take a human, emotional approach to some topics.  Definitely helpful!  I listen to them banter and answer questions frequently during my commutes, so when I had the sudden opportunity to meet my nutrition celebrity, I could not pass it up.

 Practical Paleo

Outside a local Whole Foods, Diane was kind enough to give me a hug, share an advance copy of her new book, and chat for far longer than she needed to.  It was amazing that the voice I'd listened to for so long was now actively engaging in conversation live, with me. Crazy.  But then I eventually had to let her do her shopping, and went on to buy some grass-fed beef, myself. (Wait. What'd I just say? More on that later.) 

She was SO nice!  And so generous to share her book with me!  (Thank you, Diane!)  Practical Paleo comes out in just 4 days, but, now, I'm sharing the details with all of you...

Practical Paleo

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC, is "a customized approach to health and a whole-foods lifestyle."  Sounds good, right? Customized, health, and whole-foods focused.  Whether you've never heard of "Paleo," you've been living it for five years already, whether you actually want to eat that way or just learn about improving digestion, ... or you're anywhere in between, this book can be useful to you.

Diane was recently interviewed on Sean Croxton's Underground Wellness talk radio, and here are some of the highlights from that book discussion:
  • What makes this book different from others?  “It will explain things in a different way that you probably haven’t already heard,” Diane said.  "It’s more like a general nutrition book" - That is, it's not all about defending paleo.  Practical Paleo is written in a way so that if you want to help somebody make the change, and they want the rationale but the science is too much for them… it’s just enough to make them understand how this works in the body and why to eat that way.
  • People like to say, “But I have… [insert condition here]" --> This book is about nutrition to support EVERY person’s body. She provides a full month's meal plan for all different types of health concerns.  Customized.
  • HER favorite recipes and why?  
    Lemon Rosemary Broiled Salmon - She makes this all the time. It’s a no-fail method. And you can do it with other spices (like dill).
    Lamb Dolmas - A greek-type of food.
    Lemon Artichoke Chicken - "really delicious and really easy"
  • This is not a "diet book," and it's not about counting calories.  The food and your body will do this on its own.  She does give general portion guides, but it's not about restriction.
  • It contains over 120 simple recipes and several different meal plans, which means there are NO EXCUSES for not following through.  
  • All the key information and guides are in the back to tear out for use.  These bridge the gap between the science and the recipes.
That's why she calls it "Practical"! 

And it's true.  After spending a few days with this book, I can tell you that it provides the reader with ALL the resources he or she needs in one simple, easy-to-follow package.  Really, if you pick up the book you'll probably fall in love, even if you haven't explored paleo before.  It's not ONLY a science-based rule-book, and it's not ONLY a cookbook.  It combines the best elements of both into the only guide you need for healthy eating success.
  • The "Why" section is packed with useful, attractive graphics that help the reader understand the reasoning behind eating certain (real) foods and avoiding others.  This section includes...
    • A definition of "paleo" eating, although "the name is actually less important than the power of the overall approach" (p. 22), debunked myths, and principles for making it work for you.
    • The basics: eat whole foods (meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fats, and oils) and eliminate refined foods (refined grains, whole grains, packaged snacks, most dairy, and certain beverages).  Also includes very clear, easy-to-understand guides to what's okay, what's not, and how to navigate your food choices.
    • Counter-arguments to some standard government recommendations, all in plain English. Easy to understand, but drives the point home effectively why eating this way is optimal for health. 
    • Advice and guides for paleo at home (shopping, budget tips, pantry-stocking), paleo in public (restaurants & parties), and paleo on-the-go (travel tips).
    • Everything you ever need to know about the digestive system: how it's supposed to work, how to know when things go wrong, and how to fix it. 
  • The meal plans are very well laid out for each different health concern.  This is something very unique to this book.  Other resources often tell people with certain aims to "Avoid this" or "Focus on that," which isn't always very helpful.  Here, she gives some general guidelines for each condition, but follows it up with a full 30-day meal plan (outlined neatly on a single page) for that person.  PLUS, each recipe page has a section on the side that lists four categories of concern (Nuts, Eggs, Nightshades, and FODMAPS) and identifies which are contained in that recipe.  
  • And the recipes?  Don't even get me started on those photos.  So colorful, beautiful, and very clearly flavorful; no one can say paleo isn't delicious.  There's a wide variety, too, to fit the meal plans!  You've got breakfast foods, vegetable dishes, meat entrees, even desserts!  I was immediately drooling over these and "Post-It"-ing every other page.  I want to make it all! 

... so I wasted no time.  Straight to the kitchen!  I've already made...

Pesto Scrambled Eggs
Pumpkin Pancakes
Lemon Rosemary Broiled Salmon

Moo-less Chocolate Mousse

This was sooooo good!

Now, I love to cook, but I'm no chef.  These were all simple and straightforward enough for me to manage without stress, and came out perfectly delicious.  Even something as easy as scrambling eggs came out so much tastier by following her instructions.  Next on my list, I'll be stepping it up with the Spaghetti Squash BologneseGrandma Barbara's Stuffed Mushrooms, and the Pesto Shrimp & Squash Fettuccine. How good do those sound?

This book is just what I needed to get back on track to avoiding gluten and eating mostly Paleo, so I'm thrilled to have such a valuable resource at my fingertips.  But please don't let the word "Paleo" scare you away!  It's all just about real, whole, high-quality food.  


If you'd like to learn more about nutrition, what types of foods might help or harm your health condition or goal, how to decode nutritional claims to find high-quality foods, and how to cook up some delicious, healthy recipes, then this book is for you.

Head on over to Amazon and order your copy today!  If you have any remaining questions, Diane has the answer over on the FAQ Page.  Practical Paleo hits shelves on Tuesday, August 7!


  1. I'm intrigued! Sounds like a great book. And those pesto scrambled eggs look magnificent!

  2. PUMPKIN PANCAKES? girlfriend that sounds awesome!

  3. You give the best book reviews! This looks like a great, practical recipe guide. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh this sounds good too. How fun you got to meet her!!

  5. This is an awesome review. After reading this post I look forward to checking out the book. Thank you for such a detailed recap!

    1. My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the book, too

  6. Glad to know you love it...I've bought so many paleo cookbooks lately I'm on the fence about this one and Well Fed. Which means I'll likely be getting them soon ;)

  7. sending the husband to read this...

  8. Hadn't heard of this book or Diane, great post. I made pesto scrambled eggs (with heirloom tomatoes) this weekend, such a goodie.

    1. Ooh adding tomatoes sounds delish !

  9. I love Diane's website! Can't wait to pick up this cookbook! It looks fabulous!


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