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VINE VOICEon March 16, 2014
I have a wheat allergy, so I have found that following a paleo/primal/PHD leaves me feeling much better and with a lot more energy. However, the devil is in the details. There have been so many great diets that people have taken to the extreme and it has, effectively, ruined their credibility. For example, both Paleo and low carb (such as Atkins) started with the right approach. Then someone came along and said that you could eat all the bacon that you want and the health aspects fall apart.
No matter what diet program you choose, it will only be healthy if you eat more fresh produce and healthy fats and reduce the amount of processed foods. There is just no way around it. So Paleo is an extremely healthy way to eat if you don't eat 10 lbs of meat and 1/2 lb of vegetables a day. That is why I love this book.
I just can not be totally vegan...I have tried and my body just does not do well on it. But I love vegetables and it is hard to find vegetable recipes that use healthy fats and no grains. This is the answer to my prayers. If I want to eat vegan, I can. If I want to add a piece of fish or an egg, that is the easy part. Either way, it is healthy and delicious.
The recipes are amazing and creative. I have so many that I want to try. Mixed berries with berry puree and lemon verbena; fruit salad with blueberry almond cream sauce; curried pumpkin soup, baby kale salad with balsamic-braised mushrooms; mustard greens with ginger blackberry vinaigrette; arugula with grapefruit reduction and hazelnuts; cauliflower tabouli; artichokes stuffed with quinoa, olives and capers; butternut squash with hazelnuts; stuffed acorn squash; ginger chocolate tart in a raw crust. YUM YUM YUM!!!
This book also has a short but thorough description of Paleo in the front that is also very good if you are new to the Paleo movement. All in all, a really great idea with solid execution. Thank you!!!!!
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on March 20, 2014
I love this book for many reasons.

As a vegan chef myself (who is constantly testing my own recipes), I rarely feel driven to try other people's recipes. However, when I received a copy of this book recently, I was blown away by the pure genius of Alan's recipes. Wow! They are gorgeous. They are simple, yet flavorful and healthy. Color me impressed!

As for the rest of the book (the non-edible portion), it's equally brilliant. It's about time someone busted the myth of paleo VS. vegan and found a common ground. Ellen's enjoyable writing style draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. She's really packed a lot of research and thorough information in here, yet it's not overwhelming. It hits just the right note.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of this well written, informative, and beautiful book. I think there's a little something in it for everyone!
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on April 19, 2014
The paleo and vegan diets are often seen as opposites, so it’s noteworthy when a book like this makes an effort at melding the two philosophies. The point is made early on that cavemen couldn’t fell a mastadon every day, and likely a good portion of their diet was vegan-friendly foraging. From there, we explore what it would mean to be a paleo vegan, and how the paleo philosophy of food and exercise can be applied to a vegan audience.

The book is written in a very conversational style, and the first 23 pages, which discuss how to implement the diet, for example, discussing the eternal questions of how to get enough protein and iron, breeze on by. I would have liked references and an index, but most readers won’t miss it. This section would be great for someone interested in being vegan or paleo, and it does include discussion of health concerns with either. I wish she had some sample menus showing how to get adequate amounts of the nutrients she is concerned about people getting enough of. Her section on foraging for food is truly excellent, and taught me a lot. A rather amusing typo has the author participating in races “5000 kilometers and up” instead of “5000 METERS and up”.

My only real complaint is i wish this section was longer, and went more into depth about the issues raised. If you want a detailed comparison of paleo and vegan, and how to marry this two, this is really only a short introduction.

After this comes 104 pages of recipes, and they’re really great! A lot of cookbooks have recipes that call for 10,20, or more ingredients, and have laborious preparation instructions. Paleo vegan’s recipes are delicious, simple, and healthy--the first 2 have 4 ingredients each, only a few had ingredient counts in the 15+ range; most were under 8-10 with easily obtainable components. The book also provides the macronutrient breakdown of each recipe, which is much appreciated. But let’s not get distracted from the main point: these recipes are really, really, good. They will appeal to pretty much any vegan, and i imagine a lot of paleos too, as well as to many in neither camp. This is now my favorite cookbook, and i’ve read some pretty good ones. Roasted pumpkin dip, Asparagus-leek soup, Cauliflower Tabouli, ginger-chocolate tart, Yum!

To sum up, this is a ( truly excellent ) cookbook, with about 25 pages of light discussion of the vegan and paleo approaches to diet, and the health impacts of each. It’s well worth the price to anyone who wants great natural plant based recipes, and they don’t need to vegan or paleo. If you want a quick, breezy intro each of these philosophies, that is an added bonus.
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on March 5, 2015
I live in a progressive enough area with plenty of diverse ingredients, and I am a pretty forward thinking cook with a broad larder, but I would be hard pressed to source the ingredients in 1/3 of these recipes. Sure, you can substitute, but it makes the recipes seem demanding and complicated. So as a cookbook, I'm already upset with it.

As for the paleo vegan idea... My main interest in the Paleo diet is to lessen the allergenic/sensitizing foods in my diet, such as grains, soy, casein. One of the tenents is to avoid foods our Paleolithic ancestors didn't eat, which they say includes grain, soy, casein, and beans. I love the idea of Paleo,but I don't want to eat SO much meat. I was hoping this cookbook would have a animal-friendly solution to getting non-bean, non-animal protein.

Bad news. The whole book is based on the idea that you can "cheat" and eat 15% nonPaleo foods, thus including 15% beans or soy.

Well... that's not Paleo. If you are into Paleo for autoimmune reasons, this book was a waste of time. 15% soy in my diet would have my thyroid peroxidase back up to 500. Also, 15% beans in my diet would not be enough protein for me... I would be spaced out and craving sugar all day. :(

Just get a good vegetarian cookbook or better yet some of those awesome raw foods cookbooks.

If anyone reading this has good non-animal, non-dairy, non-soy protein sources, please let me know! Egg and whey protein only get a girl so far. :)
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on March 28, 2014
Many people have speculated on what a Paleolithic diet was and the authors of this book have astutely created a cookbook that appeals to what people think it was - for foragers who actually ate very little, if any, meat and agricultural products. In this book, legumes and whole grains are considered part of the 20% cheat acknowledged by most Paleo diet followers. This approach is a healthy compromise for modern times and it is the best of true clean eating for today.

There are so many delicious recipes: Spicy Peanut Dip, Dandelion Salad with Beets, Mustard Greens with Ginger-Blackberry Vinaigrette, Purple Kohlrabi with Walnuts, Artichokes Stuffed with Quinoa, Olives and Capers, Avocado and Tempeh Towers with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce, Oyster Mushroom and Baby Bok Choy Curry, Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns and Hazelnut Chocolate Bark.

More than anything and at the heart of any cooking endeavor, this one encourages you to go out there on an adventure and "Forage for Flavor", find ingredients that are local and in-season for these recipes and this spirit extends into the kitchen as well. That is how our Paleo ancestors would have done it. Any true Paleo diet devotee needs to consider this book and any vegan attracted to Paleo diet clean eating concepts need look no further. This is the book for you.
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on April 3, 2014
Ellen Jaffe Jones, a highly respected author, has done it yet again.

A fresh new look at what humans in the paleo period ate to remain healthy ... contrasted to the other proven unhealthy Paleo/Atkins remix.

The text is well researched & the "ancient" recipes are delicious & are uplifting to body, mind & spirit.

Thanks Ellen Jaffe Jones for another prized addition to our vegan/cookbook collection.

PS The one star rating should be considered INVALID due to the reviewer obviously NOT buying or reading your book ... it is disgusting & improper for people to review amazon items with only "troll-like" negative fact-less beliefs ... and ... NOT even giving the author at least a read or taste test drive.
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on October 20, 2014
Jones goes into great detail about debunking the Paleo myth while also pointing out the foods that are both "Paleo" and vegan. A professional runner, Jones knows what she's talking about when it comes sustaining energy and having a fast recovery time - loading up on complex carbs instead of piling on meats. Our ancestors did not eat meat, especially as the center-piece, three times a day. This diet is more realistic to what our ancestors probably ate than any Paleo book out there (none of which are written by credible medical or anthropological sources). Plus, the fact that most Paleo books have 10-20% "cheats" acknowledges that a pure Paleo diet is not sustainable. While a whole-foods vegan diet is not only sustainable but as healthy as you can get.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-paleo-diet-half-baked-how-hunter-gatherer-really-eat/
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on June 17, 2015
Buyer beware. As other reviewers indicate, this book has far too many "cheat" recipes to be useful to someone attempting to stick to a paleo diet. Apart from the overly intricate recipes this book is adequate as an ordinary vegan cookbook but the "paleo" advertising in the title is misleading.
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on June 11, 2014
I am loving all the recipes in the Paleo Vegan. These types of ingredients and variety really make a difference in my personal
digestion. I have to be really careful with some grains etc, so this is perfect! Love Ellen Jaffe Jones :-)
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on June 24, 2014
What started out as an interesting concept dissolved once I realized the author didn't seem to grasp what being "paleo" entailed. In this book, the author is basically leading vegans into a mostly produce/nut/seed/starchy vegetable diet with a few grains and even small amounts of soy thrown in there. For the average vegan this is going to be somewhat of a shift since most rely heavily on soy, grains and legumes as I once did. Once I went removed the soy and grains I ended up at mostly raw vegan which is in many ways closer to paleo than this confused mess.

The author advocates the use of some questionable ingredients such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, and soy which are not really part of the paleo diet. Not sure how the author reconciles these compromises. If you are going to go that route there are many raw vegan websites out there with what I consider a better approach such as kitchenlovestories.com, rawmazing.com, my new roots, etc.. I mention these two sites in particular because they are not big grain users and don't focus too heavily on desserts. Most raw vegans already mainly eat fresh produce, coconut, nuts, and seeds and are therefore by default more paleo than your average cooked vegan and certainly closer to it than what the author advocates in this book. And what few grains are used are usually soaked and sprouted beforehand, making them much more digestible. On a side note, the quality of your starch can make a huge impact on how your body reacts to it as I learned over the years. While I still avoid wheat products, I have been able to re-introduce other starches if they are soaked and sprouted beforehand.

Another part I had issue with was the author promoting the "cheat" method which I personally find very destructive. While it may sound good on paper and provide some comfort for those who still want to occasionally indulge in their former foods, keep in mind it takes 4 meals (or longer) to undo the damage from just one cheat meal. So a day and a half minimum to recover from a cheat meal day (depending on how bad the cheat meals were) before you even begin to rebuild again. Cheating sabotages progress and for serious conditions can be very debilitating and even fatal. I often experience a "delayed reaction" to cheating becoming ill 2 days afterwards which means I lose 3 days (including the cheat day) of rebuilding and restoring. It can also wreak havoc almost immediately in your digestive tract. I've know people to double up in pain and even end up in the hospital after breaking their healthy stride with a commercial meal. Your body changes when you clean up your diet which means that commercial foods become much more irritating to your system. I guess at the end of the day you have to ask yourself if it's worth it.

I do like the concept of this book and the author does a fair job of drawing comparisons of the two lifestyles. Also the recipes do look good. However they just aren't paleo. Unless you remove gluten, grains, beans, legumes (inducing soy) and most processed foods from your diet, you won't even come close to achieving the results of the paleo lifestyle.
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