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Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics at the age of 26. She spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After her second daughter was born, she began to experiment with the Paleo lifestyle. It had an amazing effect on her health. Over time, she healed herself of a long laundry list of physical complaints including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and the autoimmune disorder, Lichen Planus, an inflammatory skin condition. Inspired by her success, Dr. Ballantyne created the popular health blog www.ThePaleoMom.com and became co-host of a top-rated podcast, The Paleo View. Her passion for providing straightforward explanations of the science behind her diet and lifestyle recommendations for managing autoimmune disease, plus her love of food and cooking as well as her conviction that healing your body does not have to come at the expense of enjoying food, form the foundations of The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook.
Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics at the age of 26. She spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After her second daughter was born, she began to experiment with the Paleo lifestyle. It had an amazing effect on her health. Over time, she healed herself of a long laundry list of physical complaints including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and the autoimmune disorder, Lichen Planus, an inflammatory skin condition. Inspired by her success, Dr. Ballantyne created the popular health blog (www.ThePaleoMom.com) and became co-host of a top-rated podcast, The Paleo View. Her passion for providing straightforward explanations of the science behind her diet and lifestyle recommendations for managing autoimmune disease, plus her love of food and cooking, form the foundations of The Paleo Approach.
I really am not sure how many stars to give this cookbook, because there are many things I don't like about it, but there are some great things about it, too. So to be fair, I'll go with three stars which basically means I'm neutral.
First the good: The tips of how to store fresh herbs and vegetables were extremely helpful for me. I've always had a problem with things going bad quickly and Sarah's tips have lengthened "shelf" life considerably.
I've made seven recipes so far. All have been extremely delicious even though I don't consider myself a skillful cook. I feel like I'm eating in a high end restaurant at my own dining room table.
I like that she has included sample menus with shopping lists for numerous weeks.
The photos are gorgeous.
Now the bad: I don't remember if I read this in the cookbook or in Sarah's first book, but she states that people in general need to re-prioritize how much money they spend on food. Back in the day, people spent about 24% of their income on food and that has dropped significantly over time. Before trying this cookbook, I already spent 27% of my income on food so I think my priorities are in the right place. However, two weeks with this cookbook and I've already spent my entire food budget for the month. And most of that was focusing on supper. This cookbook reminded me why I moved away from meat in my diet. It is just too expensive, especially when the only safe meat to eat is wild or grass fed / range free.
The recipes are very time consuming. Even the ones that appear short usually include something that needed to be prepared ahead of time. Since starting this cookbook, I get home from work every night and basically work on the meal from about 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.Read more ›
I was SO excited to get this cookbook after absolutely loving Sarah's first book. I am incredibly disappointed though. I like the smooth and colorful pages, but that's about where it ends. I live in a rural area and am lucky to find organic veggies and fruit much less kidney, lox, fiddlehead ferns, kumquat, lamb, flour made from insects, etc . The recipes are way over the top for me and my family, and I'm a pretty savvy cook, but I need simple every-day recipes that will entice my family to join me in eating healthier. I just don't think things like roasted pork feet, stuff heart roast, or deep-fried fish heads will accomplish that. I REALLY wanted to like this book, but the more I look through it, the more I want to cry!
I purchased this book, hopeful to find recipes for kid-friendly food for my food-allergic son. He does not have autoimmune disease but cannot have certain Paleo approved foods which also happen to be excluded on the AIP protocol, so I figured Sarah's recipes would be helpful to make dishes the whole family could eat. Sarah is "The Paleo Mom" and I thought many of the recipes would be kid-friendly. Perhaps they are kid-friendly, but not for my children.
I returned this book for a refund. I enjoy reading Ballantyne's blog The Paleo Mom and find some of her recipes useful, but this book is difficult end to end, from the eye-sore puzzle-pieces littering the pages, the difficult to follow layout, and the special processes and ingredients required to make many of the recipes.
The puzzle pieces seem like they would be a nice way to render the "puzzle" of autoimmune disease in a visual way, but it clutters the layout. Sarah presents so much information in this book that a cleaner layout would make it easier to follow. Color and graphics don't always make your message easier to comprehend.
Many of the recipes are review for people who are accustomed to eating Paleo or for an allergic condition or autoimmune disease: bone broth, coconut yogurt, pate, roasted marrow bones/meats/veggies, etc. If you already know cooking basics and prepare these foods, there is nothing new here to help you. Many of the recipes are for foods people will not eat: fried fish heads, stuffed hearts, pigs feet. I understand that offal and nose-to-tail eating help expand our view of what "food" is, but if you're squeamish about it, you're squeamish, and even a great recipe won't get you to try it.Read more ›
I was really excited to receive this book. Ordered ahead and ran to the door when the UPS guy arrived. Hugged him. But then.....meh.
Look. I appreciate the work that went into it and I've been following the autoimmune paleo approach for some time. I'm glad people like Sarah Ballentyne are out there doing this work for those of us who basically can't eat.... well, anything because of food allergies and autoimmune issues. Thank you for that. There is a lot of good information about food in the beginning pages of the book. But I do wish that Sarah Ballantyne would find a really good food photographer to capture her creations - visually the book just isn't that great. And isn't that what's exciting about cookbooks? Photos that make us feel like we HAVE to make the thing we're looking at because it looks THAT good. Not the case with this book and in some cases the photos are a little frightening ( check out the gingerbread ice cream spooned into pumpkins on pg. 343. Some better lighting, some better staging and that could have looked edible).
As for the recipes themselves, I really appreciate the innovativeness - I mean, where else will you find a recipe that calls for cricket flour? But the USEFUL-ness of some of some of these recipes is debatable. I went through the whole book - twice - and then realized there wasn't a single recipe I was psyched to try. I guess the bottom line is that I feel that cookbooks, especially those aimed at a deprived audience such as ours, should inspire and excite you. All this cookbook did was make me feel sorry for myself because, well, I don't really want to eat cricket flour.