The Ultimate Paleo Book Guide for the Discerning Reader – Update


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It’s been a while since I first published my Ultimate Paleo Book Guide and paleo books seem to have been coming out on a near weekly basis since then.

I’ve had a growing pile stacked by my desk for some months now, including a couple from a few publishers who were a bit miffed at not been included the first time around…

So it is time to issue an update. I have also combined the original post and this one to produce a comprehensive list, the link to which you will find in the navigation bar.

Three reasons to have paleo books about the place…

Reading paleo books, having them around our home, serves several purposes:

  • They educate us as what, why and how we are doing this paleo thing
  • They act as cues to remind us to keep on track
  • They help create normality for paleo in a world that does not typically think this way

Are you a discerning reader? Please share these lists if you like books!

As before, I have classified them as follows:

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 or concepts; 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.)

Paleo Book #1. Primal Cuisine: Cooking for the Paleo Diet – Pauli Halstead

  • Genre: Recipe, Nutrition
  • Level: Beginner – Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: This is a gem of a book. It is understated, but don’t let that fool you. The recipes are “fine dining”, Pauli’s experience coming to the fore to produce exquisite recipes for the beginner, and more experienced “paleo foodies” alike. Great section on food sources and an extensive narrative on the diet, sustainable food sources, the effect of diet on health and organizing your kitchen.

paleo, paleo recipes, paleo diet, jason seib, the paleo coach, health, fitness, exercisePaleo Book #2. The Paleo Coach – Jason Seib

  • Genre: Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner – Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: I’m quite surprised to give this 1/5 on the science talk because Jason is quite a science-y guy. But here he’s using his “tough love”, humorous style to deliver a few of his main messages – women don’t get big lifting weights, get rid of the scale, and, basically, get over yourself – make exercise as habitual as cleaning your teeth. He uses case studies of clients to make his points.

Paleo Book #3. Rich Food, Poor Food – Jayson Calton, Ph.D., Mira Calton, C.N.

  • Genre: Nutrition
  • Level: Beginner – Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: This book is a compendium of information about the food on our shelves. I particularly like the fact that it debunks the marketing-speak for sugar such as “evaporated cane juice” although they don’t mention my favorite – “organic sugar”, (don’t be fooled, it is still sugar!) Great resource.

paleo, paleo diet, primal blueprint, primal connection, mark sissonPaleo Book #4. The Primal Connection – Mark Sisson

  • Genre: Behavior
  • Level: Beginner
  • Geek Speak: 2/5
  • Notes: This book takes the whole paleo/Primal discussion beyond purely diet and exercise. Based on the premise that we thrive under certain conditions determined by our genetics which influence our behavior, this is a fascinating look into our 21st century habits and a guidebook for aligning ourselves more closely with our ancestral heritage, and ergo, greater life fulfillment. I highly rate this book.

paleo, paleo recipes, paleo diet, the garden if eating, rachel albertPaleo Book #5. The Garden of Eating – Rachel Albert

  • Genre: Recipe, Nutrition
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Geek Speak: 2/5
  • Notes: Deeply researched book presenting all you need to know about healthy eating the paleo way. Includes nearly two hundred pages on nutrition, meal planning, kitchen organization, and a further three hundred pages on recipes. You can by this book from the publisher, but Amazon contains reviews if you want to check them out.

paleo, paleo diet, diet success, diet tips, modern no nonsense guide to paleo, alison goldenPaleo Book #6. The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo – Alison Golden

  • Genre: Behavior/Psychology/Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner – Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: A book that addresses aspects of paleo no other book examines – the behavior around making this lifestyle sustainable over the long-term. Discusses how being paleo successfully is a skill and includes over two hundred strategies for developing the behaviors necessary to make paleo an integral part of your day-to-day life.

paleo, paleo recipes, paleo diet, gather, bill staley, hayley masonPaleo Book #7. Gather, The Art of Paleo Entertaining – Hayley Mason and Bill Staley

  • Genre: Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Geek Speak: 1/5
  • Notes: This recipe book (comes out today, April 30th!) from Hayley and Bill, who brought us Make It Paleo, have organized their second book around the theme of feasts. Ones I particularly appreciated (because I no longer have to come up with my own ideas) were a Springtime Tea Party, Spooky Supper (Halloween), Thanksgiving Feast and the various dinner party menus. The book recognizes that food isn’t just about fuel but also about friendship and bonding. This way you get both. And a beautiful book. 🙂

Books to be released

paleo, paleo recipes, paleo diet, elana's pantry, elana amsterdamPaleo Book #8. Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry – Elana Amsterdam

I know many paleo peeps follow Elana as many of her recipes are paleo. Until now she’s be known mostly for her gluten-free book but this new one will be specifically paleo. From the Amazon blurb: ‘Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry includes nearly 100 recipes featuring the Paleo mainstays of lean proteins and simple vegetable dishes, plus wholesome sweet treats—all free from grains, gluten, and dairy, and made with natural sweeteners.” Out June 18th.

paleo, paleo book, baconPaleo Book #9. Beyond Bacon – Matthew McCarry & Stacy Toth

This book comes out early July and will, by all accounts, be about, um, bacon (and more!) I know there will be recipes, each one of them containing a part of the pig and discussion on the meat itself, it’s healthful properties and versatility. I think Matthew and Stacy are on a quest to redefine pork beyond it’s reputation as a stolid family dinner stalwart to an elegant table offering. May they be successful!

paleo, paleo book, paleo recipes, italian, everyday paleo, sarah fragosoPaleo Book #10. Everyday Paleo Around The World: Italian Cuisine – Sarah Fragoso

Sarah visited Italy last year and came back enthused to write a paleo Italian cookbook. I’m excited to see this because, as I say in my book, nothing much paleo good comes out of an Italian restaurant in my experience, anyway. Released July 23rd.

 So how did I do? Are there any books you’re looking forward to but not listed here? Let me know, it makes my day to receive thoughtful, courteous comments from my readers.

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paleo, paleo diet, paleo books, weight loss strategies, habits, diet success

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

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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