The Ultimate Paleo Book Guide for the Discerning Reader

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You’re racing to your local bookshop, all fired up and ready to buy. You know what you’re gonna get – the latest paleo book. Visions of new recipes and smaller pants flash past your eyes.

Then you arrive. You stride to the diet and lifestyle section…to find they don’t have the book you want.

Oh, they have plenty of other paleo books, just not the one you’d set your heart on. And now you don’t know what to do. You were committed to leaving with a new book. You’d cleared your afternoon to sit down and read it. You don’t want to be distracted from your goal – today is the first day of the rest of your healthy life, right?

Or you’re on Amazon, initially driven there by a new paleo book link but then you notice all these “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” suggestions and you hesitate. You wonder if there’s a book better than your original plan and you feel uncertain because you hate to make a mistake, waste your money or, even worse, feel disappointed with your purchase.

The more you click, the more Amazon you read, the more time passes and the more confused you get. Such a plethora of great books! But which to buy…?

There are so many great paleo books out there now and more coming out all the time. Deciding which one is right for you wherever you are in your journey can be a little daunting. You suffer from too much choice and find it difficult to make a decision. Or, unable to make a good decision, you end up buying multiple books most of which end up unopened and unread on your nightstand.

I’ve read most of the paleo books out there so I’ve put together a handy-dandy guide to buying them because there’s so many to choose from. It even has a key and everything.

Genre: Science, Recipe, Nutrition, Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration, Kids

Level and Geek Speak: I’ve characterized the books by the amount of science and scientific language in them on the basis that you, the reader, come with varying degrees of interest in the science behind the paleo diet. I have rated a couple of the recipe books as intermediate on the basis that some of the recipes are more complex.

  • Level: Beginner – little or no science, or in the case of recipe books – straightforward, no special culinary skills required; Intermediate – some science, or in the case of recipe books – more complicated recipes; Advanced – a science-based book.
  • Geek Speak: Rated 1 (little to no scientific language or data) to 5 (text book amount of scientific language or data.)

Some of the science books contradict each other and some of the recipe books do too – some would not use ingredients found in others – but like all media it is necessary to read a variety of material and come to your own conclusions. Here they are, in no particular order:

Paleo Book #1. The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation – Mark Sisson

  • Genre: Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 2/5
  • Notes: Great first book, some science but easily accessible, plenty of success stories for inspiration, clear step-by-step plan for easing into primal/paleo lifestyle.

Paleo Book #2. Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook – Sarah Fragoso

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: More recipes from the kitchen of paleo mom, Sarah Fragoso, along with practical advice on budgeting, meal plans, family lifestyle recommendations, kids’ transitions. And cute photos!

Paleo Book #3. Make Shift Happen – Dean Dwyer

  • Genre: Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: Quick, straightforward read about lifestyle change. Apart from beginning and end, paleo is rarely mentioned.

Paleo Book #4. Wheat Belly – Dr. William Davis

  • Genre: Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 4/5
  • Notes: Not a paleo book per se but fits right in. Some recipes and eating plans at the back but mostly a science-based thesis with supporting arguments in favor of the avoidance of wheat.

Paleo Book #5. The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

  • Genre: Science
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 3/5
  • Notes: I know, I know, this is a controversial book but it’s still worth reading. A ‘what’ book rather than a ‘why.’ Some recipes and meal planning guidance.

Paleo Book #6. Deep Nutrition – Dr. Cate Shanahan

  • Genre: Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 4/5
  • Notes: Deeply researched book presenting some fascinating ideas about genetic wealth (or otherwise,) traditional foods, and nutritional science. A must-read for anyone planning on having children or with sugar issues.

Paleo Book #7. The Primal Blueprint – Mark Sisson

  • Genre: Science
  • Level: 4/5
  • Geek Speak: Advanced
  • Notes: A gateway book into the paleo/primal world for many, this is a dense book full of well-researched ideas and provides a complete framework for paleo/primal life.

Paleo Book #8. Primal Body, Primal Mind – Nora Gedgaudas

  • Genre: Nutrition, Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 4/5
  • Notes: Dense, full of information reflecting Nora’s background as a nutritional specialist. A good amount of the book is devoted to feeding the brain with a good chapter on ADD/ADHD.

Paleo Book #9: Against The Grain – Orleatha Smith

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: This short book is especially for people who batch cook and want to have a freezer-full of food already prepared. Most of the recipes are suitable for that. She also includes tips for planning, shopping and food prepping this way.

Paleo Book #10. Paleo Comfort Foods – Julie and Charles Mayfield

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: Another huge, heavy recipe book jammed full of recipes. I like how they have just a few dessert recipes at the back indicating the amount of presence sweets should have in our diet.

Paleo Book #11. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo – Neely Quinn and Jason Glaspey

  • Genre: Recipe, Behavior
  • Level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 2/5
  • Notes: I’ve labeled this intermediate because it has a little bit of everything for everyone – beginners, athletes, families. There are recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and on.

Paleo Book #12. Eat Like a Dinosaur – The Paleo Parents

  • Genre: Kids, Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: Contains a short picture book story (the authors own story) for kids to engage them with paleo eating, the authors family experience with their conversion to paleo and then many, many kid-friendly paleo recipes.

Paleo Book #13. Practical Paleo – Diane Sanfilippo

  • Genre: Nutrition, Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: Huge book, full of information all relating to paleo but with particular food and menu suggestions for specific conditions and diseases that may be helped with versions of the paleo diet.

Paleo Book #14. It Starts With Food – Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

  • Genre: Nutrition, Behavior
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 3/5
  • Notes: Ton’s of nutritional and health information in this book. And waits until Part 6 (of 7) before mentioning the Whole30 program which is what they’re famous for.

Paleo Book #15. Everyday Paleo – Sarah Fragoso

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: One of my recommended books for beginners, you can read about Sarah’s inspirational story, get organized with her shopping list and even school lunch ideas and of course, paleo recipes.

Paleo Book #16. Paleo Slow Cooking – Chrissy Gower

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: This book is devoted to advice on cooking with a slow cooker and recipes. As someone who doesn’t love the idea of being in the kitchen, I adore my slow cooker and this is a must-have if you do, too. I was delighted to see Chrissy recommend the slow cooker I own.

Paleo Book #17. The Paleo Solution – Robb Wolf

  • Genre: Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 4/5
  • Notes: Definitely for the science-lovers among us, this book along with The Primal Blueprint was a paleo break-out. Plenty of arguments for eating paleo supported by science along with Robb’s personal story and paleo recipes at the end.

Paleo Book #18. Make It Paleo – Bill Staley & Haley Mason

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: I rated this at an intermediate level because it is a hefty book with a huge number of recipes. Beautifully photographed, the food looks wonderful and the recipes are not complicated.

Paleo Book #19. The Paleo Miracle – Joseph Salama and Christina Lianos

  • Genre: Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: A book entirely devoted to personal paleo success stories designed to inspire, encourage and demonstrate the effectiveness of the paleo diet to transform health.

Paleo Book #20. Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship – Sarah Fragoso

  • Genre: Kids, Recipe
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 0/5
  • Notes: Lovely little book with a great picture story and recipes the kids will enjoy preparing and eating. Wish this had been around when my kids were little. :-)

Books to be released

Paleo Book #21. The Primal Connection – Mark Sisson

This book comes out today! You can read more about it in this blog post. It looks like a primal/paleo lifestyle guide. From the description on Amazon.com, it ‘is about setting your own daily pace, redefining your core values, and making time for play, for thrilling adventures, for quiet reflection, for friends and family, and for optimal rest and rejuvenation–while still enjoying the comfort and convenience of modern life!’

Paleo Book #22. The Paleo Coach – Jason Seib

This book comes out on March 5th and there’s no description to date but an endorsement from Jimmy Moore says “Jason realizes that it takes a dedicated commitment to implement a lifestyle change and homes in on key principles aimed at delivering big changes in your weight, health, and outlook on life.”

 

Paleo Book #23. The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo – Alison Golden

This is my book. “Many paleo books concentrate on what paleo is and why you should do it. But they miss out on one important ingredient. The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes empowering strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change. This book is the ‘how of paleo.’”

Do you have a favorite book? What would you recommend and why? Tell us in the comments!

And if you found this information useful, please do me a favor and share it.  The more we can do to spread the information, the more those that really need it can benefit. You’ll find sharing buttons below and in the floating sidebar to your left.

And for more paleo goodness, please like the Paleo/NonPaleo Facebook page. I would be so grateful!

 



amazon, modern no nonsense guide to paleoAre you struggling to sustain a paleo lifestyle change? Or not sure how to start? Or perhaps those around you are resistant and you're feeling undermined and unsure. The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change. Buy it at Amazon.com.

Written by 

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

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