I’m sitting down this evening after having spent a few weeks with Diane Sanfilippo’s (Balanced Bites) amazing new book, Practical Paleo.  After giving it both practical use as a book among our collection of primal-friendly cook books and spending some time in my favorite armchair reading, I have to be straight with you: this book will enrich your life.  Whether you’re trying to start this new “caveman diet” from day naught or are evangelizing your new-found health, there is something new that you will use regularly.

Since I’m a procrastinator, I am sitting down to write this review some 72 hours before the book is released to the public (sorry, Diane!).  There are already a good amount of reviews out there, but we have diligently not read them in an attempt to not attach and regurgitate what others have said better than I’m able to.  That being said, I have heard Diane on a few podcasts lately, and I would be lying if I didn’t automatically open up the book straight to page 75 to have a good laugh on an important part of our health (no spoilers here, you’ll just have to buy the book).

So far this review is a little roundabout, so here is why I really think this book is worth its weight.  First off, the pictures are absolutely stunning.  It’s something you just want to pick up and revisit for inspiration and validation of the great food choices we are making.  As we shared this book with friends and family, their skepticism quickly disappeared.  On page 29 where you’re first introduced to one of the amazing infographics on paleo foods, you find right next to it an amazing picture of examples of those foods.  More than once we heard, “You get to eat THAT when doing this Paleo thing?”

Also, since receiving our reviewer’s copy, we put together the swirly crustless quiche, sage roasted turkey legs, lemon rosemary broiled salmon, and the roasted jalapeño & garlic raw sauerkraut.  They were all fantastic.  I don’t think we will ever go back to anything other than sea salt; and now that we’ve discovered seasoned salts, we’re obsessed.  This small sampling of recipes is only the tip of the iceberg.  We will continue to return back to this reference to expand our meal choices.

But, this is more than just another cookbook.  The beginning section gives true life meaning and reference to the realities of what the SAD does to our body.  While others have done a good job of making these ideas leap off the page from the scientific studies the findings come from, Diane does so alongside great pictures and drawings.  You may or may not really want to know about the intestinal lining of villi and microvilli, but after this book, you’ll at least have a picture to reference along with the information behind why it is important to keep in mind.

My final favorite thing is the creation of meal plans for people with health goals ranging from 100% Paleo perfection to recovering from cancer to heart health.  It is truly appropriate that Diane kicks off the introduction with a Hippocrates quote.  Not only is she really concerned with using food to make you feel better, she wants us to help each other feel better.  That underlying theme gives justice to the beautiful photos, easy to understand language, and the multiple audiences to which it speaks.  The fact that this book has tear-out guides of all the amazing things she wants to teach drives home the point that this information is meant to be active, not passive.  This book is meant to be read and shared and shared again.  We’ve already sparked some interest with our friends and family, and we’ve got another copy coming to us on Tuesday so we can continue to spread the wealth. 

This is a great culmination of the work Diane has started and continues to do.  Be sure to read her blog, listen to her podcast, and follow her on twitter, and Facebook.

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