Robb Wolf, biochemist, strength and conditioning coach, blogger, podcaster, and now author of the recently released book “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet“. In his book Wolf outlines a lifestyle that spans the gauntlet of human evolution, from the paleolithic period to modern day times. Wolf makes the argument that the typical modern day diet, especially the American one, is the cause of many modern day diseases from diabetes, heart disease, to cancer.
When looking at Wolf’s diet suggestions one will notice a similarity to many other diets out there, especially the Atkins’s diet. The heart of the Paleo diet is the avoidance of grains. legumes, and dairy, foods the hunter-gathers of the Paleolithic time would not have eaten. Now the easy argument to make is that ancient ancestors never ate these foods so we shouldn’t either. Wolf avoids this argument to give a scientific one on the damage these foods do to our body, especially our digestive system, which in turn effects our entire body. While making this argument Wolf does a good job of avoiding any unnecessary “geek speak” by breaking things down to a simple to understand manner, with Wolf’s sense of humor sprinkled throughout. How many other diet books talked about “Completely cock-block your fat lose” or “Robb’s Rule for Boozing: Drink enough to optimize yor sex life, not so much that it impacts your blood lipids.” Not many is my guess.
Besides explaining the ideas behind the paleo diet, Wolf also offers advice for exercise, sleep, and how to get started with the program. Beginning exercises are put forth with a model for progression, and knowing that that many people have a hard time trying to figure out how to get started eating this way Wolf provides a 30 day menu program, including recipes. This section can be a big help to many in overcoming that first hurdle in starting a program like this one.
The Paleo Solution is aimed at the person not familiar with the ideas behind this lifestyle, and it does a good job of doing this. Wolf’s book is the type you can give to a friend of family member and they’ll be able to understand implement Wolf’s ideas. Reading it I feel it is a great book for someone that realizes they are out of shape and want to better their health. Even if you consider your self in good shape and just want to learn more about the Paleo diet you’ll find this book helpful. If you are in shape, working out, and have specific questions about diet and training then this book may not be for you.
As for downsides to the book, for me it was the lack of an index. With books like this I like having an index so if I want to look up a specific topic I can find the references to it quickly in a book. My other minor criticism is in the acknowledgments section. Robb, how could you not acknowledge the one that truly suffered with your writing of this book, your cat Gato?
I give Robb Wolf’s book a big thumbs up. It will be one of the books I’ll recommend to people, along with Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint“, that are looking to get started on improving their health.