Here is a sampling of some of the books we own and return to on a regular basis. This is not to say it is an all-inclusive list nor that we “don’t approve” of any other books out there. This list will likely grow over time as we get into more books, but for now these are the books we keep returning to and recommend for anyone starting out on their real food journey. We hope you’ll take some time to check them out and give them a read–they’re very helpful.
The Paleo Solution was the first book that we bought. It was an immense help in getting things started for Brent as it has a great balance of technical, science-based information as well as a lot of practical, straightforward content.
Another benefit of this book is that it gives you not just some science behind the argument for eating real foods, but also some practical exercise and cooking information. Above all, Robb Wolf is a monster in the scene and he is willing to adjust his perspective based on the best information available. This doesn’t always make him friends; but when you’re on the internet, it’s pretty impossible to please everyone. His website, podcast, and other materials are worth the investment. You can get more information at his website.
It Starts With Food is another one of the books we first picked up when venturing into the paleo lifestyle. It has a very amenable style to its writing, and it is something we gave as a gift to our parents. It is not without technical, scientific explanations for the recommendations outlined in the book. But they’re nicely identified so any readers who are not as interested in the science can quickly move forward without losing any of the content. Heather was particularly pleased with this aspect of the book. She will be the first to admit that she doesn’t always enjoy reading the “science-y” stuff.
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig have a vast amount of experience in the nutrition and fitness world, and their website is another hotbed of great information. They are also the creators of the Whole30, which is a great way to structure a no-excuses, 30-day entry into a real food lifestyle. Check out more on their website.
Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog is an awesome nose-to-tail cookbook from our friends Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry. This is their sophomore release, following their first book, Eat Like A Dinosaur. While the first book was focused toward making eating a restrictive diet “cool” (Heather’s nephews loved the book), the second book is more sophisticated and includes great recipes and beautiful photos.
Matt and Stacy have been great friends—we’ve been able to get to know them living in the DC area—and have connected us to lots of new friends and internet comrades. The blog was nothing like this before we met those two. You should take some time to check out all the information on their website, including the Paleo View podcast, and loads of great reviews and inspirational stories about thriving with a real food family.
Practical Paleo is a very cool book by Dianne Sanfilippo. It gives plenty of delicious recipes, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. It is full of helpful diet protocols for people trying to tackle individual nutritional restrictions. Plus, the information on diet and nutrition is awesome. Once you turn to page 75, you’ll know exactly why we love this book.
There are tear-out guides on digestion, nutrition, stocking your pantry, paleo fats, carbs, and much more. This is just the beginning of her offerings, which also include the 21 day sugar detox, podcast, and more. Go to her website for all the latest.
Make it Paleo is yet another delicious recipe book, which was recently followed up by Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining. Bill and Hayley are amazing at creating and recreating recipes, and the information they share on their website and smartphone app are great.
Be sure to keep an eye on what they’re offering, as it is always growing and not to be missed.
The Perfect Health Diet is filled to the brim with science, real-life testimonials, and helpful insights. Paul Jaminet and his wife Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet are both Ph.D.s, and their background comes to light through this text. Their diet calls for more “safe starches” than you might see in other “paleo” texts, but their results have helped lots of people, so it is worth the read.
A specific piece of this book that we refer to on a regular basis is the ratings on foods based on their nutrient quality. There’s some disagreement out there on some of the conclusions, but it’s still a nice reference. There is a lot of fantastic information in this book as well as through the forums and other resources on their website.
The Primal Blueprint is just one of many of the books released by Mark Sisson. A once competitive endurance athlete, Mark has moved away from the world of chronic cardio and high stress to a primal lifestyle. Very much in the vein of a “paleo” lifestyle, Mark’s take on eating real foods is also insanely popular.
His website offers more of his books, an vast amount of resources, and daily posts, among many other things. If you’re looking for a reason to stay the path while on a transformation of health, you will enjoy Mark’s site. Every Friday he presents a success story and they’re a great inspiration.