Joining a marathon or a triathlon means hours of training to condition your body for these tournaments. But on the other side of things, you also have to watch what you eat because dietary plans are really just as important as bodily workouts.
Let’s just say that dieting makes the workout, work out!
It was only recently when I started learning about the Paleo diet as a curious cat that I am, I’m always on the lookout for anything health and nutrition-related. I had to do some thorough research regarding its benefits and as well as disadvantages.
After all, I can’t just completely change the composition of what I eat as it could totally affect my overall work and performance for my tournaments. What I found out is that the Paleo diet is designed to mimic the eating habits of the Paleolithic humans, the hunter-gatherer humans in our ancient history. The Ultimate Primate’s from back in the day perhaps?
However, this isn’t exactly the same meal plan of the Paleolithic individuals because there are no records of the specific lifestyle of these ancient men since lifestyle could vary from place to the availability of their resources during those times.
I personally think that this diet is healthy and sustainable because it shifts your diet on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over processed foods which are extra rich in calories and sodium. Though I’m not entirely sure of its long-term effects, from the onset, it seems like a great diet to follow.
Going out to get good Paleo food is quite pricey, and making your own food will help you cut down your meal expenses.
So here are some of the best Paleo cooking books that I found in my research. The information provided here is for informational purposes only, please always consult with your healthcare professional before undertaking any new diet plan.
Best Paleo Cooking Books Compared and Reviewed
|Top||Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain||Check Price on Amazon|
|The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking||Check Price on Amazon|
|Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle||Check Price on Amazon|
|Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started||Check Price on Amazon|
|The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain
If you’re a simple man like me, you would also hate the fact that some recipes require so many ingredients that are hard to find in the local grocery store. But with this recipe, Author Danielle Walker made sure that the ingredients she used can easily be bought everywhere.
The recipe book did not only contain so much information and recipes about the Paleo diet, but it also holds Danielle Walker’s short biography regarding how this diet helped her with her autoimmune disease.
This definitely inspired me as I read through the whole recipe book because it gives me this sense of certainty that the food that I will be making and the diet that I’ve subscribed myself to is healthy and has benefited other individuals.
Going back to the contents of the book, her recipes are all entirely gluten-free, grain-free, minimal to no dairy, and free of refined sugars—totally faithful to the concept of the Paleolithic diet.
However, despite the many restrictions, the recipes included totally did not compromise the taste of the dishes. I personally like good food and going out regularly to taste some is quite tiring and as well as pricey, hence, this recipe is definitely a gem for me.
I no longer have to leave my house just to taste good food because I can certainly concoct food from this recipe book and save extra bucks at the same time.
I found this marvelous recipe book that doesn’t only have the recipes and the pictures of the dishes, but it also contains a two-month meal plan for beginners.
What have others said about Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain?
“If I could give this book 1000 stars, I would! This really helped me shift my diet and my kids also loved the dishes. They’re easy to make and everything’s organized from page 1.” Karen W
#2 - The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking
The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking by Natalie Perry contains 200 nourishing recipes that are easy to follow. The variety of recipes is also exciting because it could range from everyday dinners to weekend feasts for you and your family.
There are also elaborate recipes for lazy cooking and even creative recipes for when you want to incorporate other global flavors while still being able to access the ingredients in a local grocery store.
Author Natalie Perry listed recipes that are convenient for people who are always on the go like me. With this cookbook, you’ll find recipes with convenient cooking times while still being able to serve your dish with good quality and taste.
The ingredients are really easy to follow and are worded simple enough for beginner home cooks. For its price, I must say that this is really something worth your money because of the variety of recipes, stretching from the European dishes to Asian dishes, while still being able to stay faithful with the Paleolithic concept.
The pages represented so many regions around the globe, making me accustomed to the different wonders of the culinary culture and also learn how the Paleo diet can be applied to these dishes.
#3 - Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
If you’ve been with Practical Paleo since the 1st edition, this revolutionized version may be for you too. Others have coined this book as a “The Paleo Bible” because of the different information it has provided to give you a wide knowledge of what you are making and intaking.
This second edition is now updated from the first edition with new information, heaps of new answers to common questions, and more recipes that are easily customizable to meet your personal health goals.
So what’s new with this edition other than the aforementioned? This book has entirely new chapters that would help you understand more about the Paleo diet and lifestyle. If you are freshly new in a lifestyle like me, you would know that transitioning is quite a challenge because you would be eliminating some of the food that you usually intake.
This cookbook also has meal plans to provide you with enough guidance for your gradual transition into the Paleo diet. I personally like the fact that this also comes with a detailed guide to know the perfect meal plan for you. These meal plans have detailed information for you to know the health benefits that these dishes bring.
Special ingredients are a challenge because I don’t like jumping from one grocery to another, wildly looking for that specific ingredient. But this cookbook is definitely the holy grail because there is a guide for you to know where these special ingredients could be found
#4 - Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started
I’m a big fan of straightforward yet comprehensive cookbooks most especially when I was literally starting out this Paleo journey. This cookbook by John Chatham is one of the most affordable Paleo cooking books out there without having to compromise the quality of its contents.
I personally like the 7-day step-by-step plan for beginners and the shopping guide it offers because it makes the whole transition less stressful.
This is a beginner-friendly guide because it provides not only a good amount of Paleo-friendly dishes, but it also provided a list of food items to avoid in the Paleo lifestyle.
When you first transition to the Paleo lifestyle, this book will give short, but important and concise information about what you have to know in this diet plan.
#5 - The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook
This extensive collection is big enough to satisfy your hunger with its unprecedented variety of dishes to choose from! Author Arsy Vatanian and nine other popular bloggers have collaborated in this Paleo Cookbook that provides 900 recipes that are surely grain- and gluten-free to meet your basic everyday needs in this Paleo journey.
The variation in this cookbook is heavily influenced by the bloggers’ favorites and invented recipes. The cookbook includes a wide selection of recipes from easy weeknight dishes, budget-conscious recipes, to easy, fast, few-ingredient recipes.
This cookbook is designed for everyone who wants to subscribe to the Paleo diet, most especially the beginners, making the whole recipe book as easy to comprehend as possible.
This cookbook provides you the fun experience of flipping through its pages without having to worry about repeated recipes because of its wide variation. It’s now easier to make a menu for the week because of the 900 different recipes.
With that large amount, it is no doubt that you can eat without having to repeat the same dish for a whole year probably.
My Number One Pick
Information About The Paleo Diet
When making a significant change with your diet, you better make sure to have thorough research regarding the diet you’re planning to subscribe in, most especially when you’re going to be eliminating the majority of your food intake and replacing it with other alternatives.
The Paleo diet focuses on what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during their time; meaning, you’ll be shifting your diet to fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, and nuts. The basic concept of the Paleo Diet is choosing to eat whole foods instead of processed foods.
Paleo Diet, or also known as Caveman Diet, is basically turning away from the modern foods and going back to the food our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. However, just like any diet, this should as well be partnered with regular exercise for it to be effective and stay healthy while on this diet.
The theory behind the Paleo diet is that modern foods and the processing methods we employ in our food impose great risks to our health like obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But just like any other theory, this is inconclusive because food intake is just some of the few factors associated with these diseases.
What can you eat and not eat ON THE PALEO DIET?
In a nutshell, you can eat anything except processed foods, grains, and beans. Legumes, soy, white potatoes, sweets, and beer are also to be avoided.
It may seem tough but it’s just practically choosing to eliminate all the unhealthy food and shifting to a healthier option.
Advantages Of The Paleo Diet
This is a clean diet since you will be shifting away from the unhealthy meals that you have been intaking. This means that you will be straying away from all the additives, preservatives, and unnecessary chemicals added in your meal.
The plant nutrients in fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds have the best anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is a significant risk factor for chronic diseases and since this is happening within our body, we may not know what is actually happening inside us.
Many diseases are linked to inflammation, hence, it is only right that we are taking care of our body by intaking food that is actually beneficial to our system.
Since this diet is promoting red meat, you are certainly supplying your body with more iron. Enough iron in your body promotes healthy pregnancy for women, increased energy, and better athletic performance. So, if you’re an athlete like me, this is really going to be so beneficial for you!
Many people lose weight due to the limited amount of food choices in your palate. Although it is not scientifically confirmed whether this is linked to weight loss, this may be your driving force to try the Paleo diet.
Disadvantages Of The Paleo Diet
Since you’ll be eating real food this time, it is safe to say that you’re basically saying goodbye to the processed junk food which is often cheaper than the Paleo diet meals.
Some ingredients for the Paleo diet meals can be really expensive and this could mean that you would have to go beyond your usual grocery budget.
Even though you have a sufficient amount of iron from your red meat, grains and dairy are still good sources of energy. However, with this Paleo diet, you have to stray away from your grains and dairy.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian who’s looking more into this diet, this could be really challenging for you since you can’t eat beans, your ultimate source of protein.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Paleo Cooking Book
There are so many Paleo cookbooks in the market and it is really difficult to purchase one cookbook that you will remain faithful to, so there are chances that you will eventually buy more because you were oddly unsatisfied with your previous purchase. Of course, I want to have the best cookbook out there.
Just like any book, I want my cookbooks to be good from the very first page until the very last. After all, I’ll be purchasing a book that I’ll use for such a long period of time.
Variety of Recipes
Repetitive recipes are probably one of my greatest pet peeves when looking at a cookbook. I hate the fact that some recipes are similar and it only differs with one specific ingredient or two. Hence, I always look at the variety of the recipes offered in the cookbook.
Just because it offers hundreds of new recipes, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best out there. There is still a big chance that a couple or more recipes can be similar, which only promotes redundancy in the book. If you have the same sentiments, you might want to look into Danielle Walker’s Against All Grains for unique, yet delicious recipes.
Simple and Easy to Follow Instructions
As a person who doesn’t exactly have the perfect culinary skills and broad culinary background, it is sometimes hard for me to follow some instructions because of the use of jargon.
There are also times wherein I find myself googling the instruction because it sometimes looks like it’s missing a step. So when I look for the best cookbook, I always look at how the ingredients are written.
I’m fully aware that cooking is not rocket science, however, it is still better for people to have simple instructions ready for them. If you’re just like me, then The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook is something you should look into. This book cites detailed and easy to follow instructions for both the cooking of the food and the preparation.
Paleo Meal Guides
Paleo cookbooks for beginners are something you should always look for. Transitioning to a new eating lifestyle is going to be hard, thus you should look for a cookbook that will help you ease your way through the Paleo diet.
It’s going to be a major shock to your body if you suddenly shifted all your meals to a Paleolithic diet without gradually transitioning to it. All your meal plans should be thoroughly guided by professional advice. From the amounts of nutrients you should be taking to the type of food that you will be making, you should have a thorough guide to this.
Purchase a cookbook that will definitely not alienate you. Some cookbooks lack information guides for Paleo beginners, hence, you won’t really have detailed information regarding what’s happening to you, your body, and your diet.
These books should also contain nutritional values and facts that will really concretize your journey in this Paleo diet. Since you’ll be transitioning to a new eating lifestyle, you’ll be altering the nutrients that you intake, thus, it is better to know the specifics and what position you are in your diet.
In short, you should opt for books that will not make you blindly follow, rather will make you enjoy your journey.
Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started and Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition (Updated and Expanded): A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle are good Paleo cookbooks to invest in if you’re still starting with your Paleo journey.
Cookbooks can be done by any author, however, for cookbooks specifically for Paleo, it is better that the author is also devoted to eating Paleo. In this way, it is easy to relate and you have an assurance that the dishes cited are food that is actually good and has already been tried and tested. I don’t want food that tastes like mere experimentation and tastes far from being a home-cooked meal.
For Paleo cookbooks, I often stumble upon books made by food bloggers and self-taught chefs rather than professional chefs. I was first skeptical about this idea, however, when I started reading their commentaries and their blogs, I was convinced that they really know what they are talking about.
I believe that when it comes to Paleo cookbooks, you should look more into the lifestyle of the person, rather than their educational and culinary background.
I personally recommend Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain because she’s devoted to eating Paleo and she even cited her Paleo journey and the benefits she has gained from it. This implies that all her dishes are tried and tested by her.
Perhaps just like anyone, I eat with my eyes. So, cookbooks with stellar photography can easily take my attention away. I don’t like cooking something without knowing how it would look like after, most especially when it’s something I’ve never really tasted or seen before.
I also have a tendency to just cook whatever I’ve successfully cooked before because I’m afraid of trying a new one. Hence, good photos motivate me to try a new dish to cook.
If you’re also into good photos of the dishes, then you may want to consider purchasing Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain or The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking by Natalie Perry.
Can you easily find the ingredients included? Are the ingredients familiar? I believe that one of the biggest problems when purchasing a cookbook made in another country is that the ingredients are more accessible to their geographical region, than my own.
However, there are cookbooks that use simple ingredients and if some are not available in your area, they are easily replaced with an alternative. Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started is a good Paleo cookbook that has a lot of recipes that use simple ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Paleo Diet And Paleo Cooking Books
Q: What are some health precautions for taking the paleo diet?
A: If you are susceptible to kidney and cardiovascular diseases already, you might want to avoid the paleo diet. Since paleo diets encourage eating higher amounts of red meat, it brings higher risks of acquiring certain cardiovascular diseases. You might also be nutrient deficient as you lose your usual sources of calcium and vitamin D: dairy.
Q: What should I expect in a paleo diet?
A: Although weight loss is a great result of the paleo diet, you might have some bumps along the way. Losing the carbs will bring you some headaches and fatigue, especially since the body gets its main source of energy — glucose — from carbohydrates. You can fight through the flu, or you might want to quit quickly.
Q: Why buy cookbooks? Why can’t I just research my own recipes?
A: Hey, you can definitely do that! There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you find legitimate sources. However, cookbooks are an almost surefire way to get a credible set of recipes backed up by research and reviewed by editors. You must always check the credibility of the authors and the publishers to make sure of this.
Different individuals require different diets because we have different bodily needs, composition, and condition. I do recommend the Paleo diet, however, thorough research must be initially done before transitioning to this new lifestyle. You should always consult with your healthcare professional when starting out on a new diet plan.
Moreover, transitioning is the hardest part during my journey, hence, it is only our responsibility to look for the right meal plans that will help us gradually transition without giving our body a major shock.
With all the cookbooks available in the market, choose the one that not only best suits your palate, but also the one that will really guide you throughout your Paleo journey. If you’re after something more specific and tailored to fitness then check out the most popular fitness cookbooks which I’ve previously reviewed as well.
There are always new trends occurring in the fitness world, Paleo is one that’s been around for a while.
Do you have any experience with the Paleo diet that you’d like to share? Why not let us all know in the comments box below?
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.