Posts Tagged ‘Paleo’

Book Review: The Paleo Solution

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

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.

The Paleo Solution Video Introduction by Robb Wolf

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Robb Wolf over has posted a video over on his blog that provides an introduction to his upcoming book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. The book can be pre-ordered on both Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s websites.

The video provides a good overview on what the book is about, and why Wolf did some things the way he did in the book. I’m looking forward to release and will be reading it as soon as I get my hands on a copy. Watch for a review of the book shortly after that happens.

Book Review: The Primal Blueprint

Friday, February 19th, 2010

We often over-complicate things in our life. Just look at how people tend to deal with health. All sorts of weight lose plans are advertised on television, pills for this, pills for that, more ads for how to get into shape, never ends. What if we instead said “Stop!” and got back to the basics of fitness and nutrition? That is what Mark Sisson proposes in his book “The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy.”

In his book, Sisson outlines a philosophy on how to live life. He does this by looking at two fictional families, the Korgs and the Groks. The Korgs represent a typical modern day family, one you’ll probably recognize from the description Sisson outlines. The other family, the Korgs, represents a family on the other spectrum, one that lived 10,000 years ago. By comparing how these two families handled everyday life, from eating to how they received their exercise, Sisson shows how our ancient ancestors had it pretty good. The Korgs tended to be healthier then us and deal with much less stress in their lives. Sisson believes that if we lived more like the Gorks we would be much better of health wise.

Sisson outlines how to do with his “Primal Blueprint Laws”, which there are 10. These laws, based on how Gork would have lived his life, cover everything from what to eat, exercise, sleep, and having fun. In these 10 laws Sisson shoots an arrow through conventional wisdom around health and fitness. Low fat diets? Gork wouldn’t approve. 60 minutes on the thread mill? Not for Gork. Eat plenty of whole grain foods? Gork never would have touched the stuff. Sisson  gives his rational for his laws and provides evidence to support his arguments.

Is Sisson right? That is something you’ll need to decide. However I have a hard time believing that if you follow Sisson’s advice that you won’t get into better shape. I should note that this is aimed at people that fir into the description of the Korgs in the book. My advice is to read the book and try following its suggestions for 30 days and see how you feel. Even if you think you are in good shape, that you eat right, and doing pretty good, Sisson might trigger a light bulb in your head and make you think about what you are doing.