An easy and enjoyable read and my first book on paleo. I have read the first 60 pages in one evening and got so enthusiastic that I tried going paleo the next day! It went well till dinner time and that’s when I started craving grains…
After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Leanne found that eating paleo helped battle the problem! She breaks down the benefits of going paleo while showing us how to change your diet in ways that don’t require as much sacrifice as you’d thought. She was inspired by an extraordinary woman – Dr Terry Wehls who had battled the multiple sclerosis with paleo diet!
Paleo appears as a lifestyle more than just a diet. Yes, it’s about buying local produce, organic meat & veg but also about the importance of a good night’s sleep, relax and sport. The author stresses that physical activity should make you happy so if you do not like trendy crossfit you shouldn’t force yourself to it and find something that resonates with you.
What is banned on the paleo diet? Obviously any grains. You shouldn’t have any dairy and legumes. Surprised ? Leanne Ely argues that legumes aren’t healthy at all due to lectins that can damage our digestive system. However you can enjoy the taste of legume dishes if you sprout them first. Did you know that peanuts belong to the legume family? I didn’t know! The author constantly emphasizes the importance of eating organic vegetables, meat and wild fish. I felt a bit low… We are trying to buy grass fed meat and most of the year we have vegetables and fruit from my grandma’s garden but obtaining it on a daily basis is really challenging.
What has the book changed in my kitchen?
- I am limiting the grains where possible.
- I’ve stopped making peanut butter. I prefer home-made cashew or almond butter now.
- I loved the idea of simple breakfast cocktails and started having them more often.
- I stopped being afraid of bacon and sausages 😉
- I try to prepare bone broth once a week and usually manage to get organic chicken (you can’t easily buy them at stores in Poland so I have to buy them straight from farmers).
- Sweet potatoes were a separate snack at our house in the form of baked chips but after reading the book we often have them with scrambled eggs, kale, mushroom and red onion. Yum!
- Corn is to be avoided.
- I want to buy a slow cooker now!
- Sprouting is really easy. I managed to sprout buckwheat and lentils 🙂 It’s easy and cheap.
Is the book worth buying?
Yes! It is ideal for paleo newbies. Leanne Ely isn’t nagging. She’s encouraging the reader to give it a try. I particularly liked information regarding sprouts and how easy it is to grow them (which I did). She explains in depth why slow cooked bone broths are so beneficial to us and convinced me to buy a slowcooker 😉 Leanne Ely provides sample menus for a month but also additional recipes for soups, sauces, mustard, mayonnaise, juices, smoothies and dishes that you can prepare to store and freeze. I really like her approach to counting calories: if you eat real food to fuel your body, you don’t have to ever count calories. This is something I truly believe for most of my life and it works for me.
What are the downsides?
The big downside is the small number of photos – there are only 16. I am a visualizer and I love recipe books with a photo of each dish. Leanne Ely presents 125 recipes for interesting and usually simple dishes but it would be easier to move around the book with photos separating at least each chapter. The author lives in the United States and has access to products that are exotic for Polish people. Fortunately there are just a few recipes containing crab, coconut nectar or arrowroot flour. The western world obsession with ice cold morning smoothies is something I don’t understand. You can clearly see it in Leanne’s recipes where she starts with 12 ice cubes or frozen banana. Warm breakfasts are crucial to maintain good health and it’s especially true in our climate. Most smoothies consist of Leanne’s smoothie mix which you can buy on her website. It’s a protein powder made from hydrolyzed beef and is dairy free unlike the whey protein powder. Anyhow I won’t be adding it to my smoothies as it’s way to expensive for me so will be simply omitting it when trying out her recipes. I want to take the paleo challenge and do the whole 30 programme created by M&D Hartwig. “It starts with food” is patiently waiting on the shelf. To make it all easy to me I’ll wait till my Granny’s garden starts giving crop. I don’t think I can experiment with a small child though. Filip loves his porridge so I won’t take it away from him but will try to introduce more veggies into his diet. Hopefully when he sees his mommy and daddy eating plenty veggies plus helping out in the garden will make him more willing to eat bigger variety of vegetables.