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Everyday Paleo
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538 of 601 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2011
I admit to being so disappointed by some of these recipes that I came back to look at the reviews here again. As another reviewer says, it is surprising that there aren't more negative reviews, and I second her opinion that the author's enthusiasm is so infectious and inspirational that it's hard to deliver bad news (you almost begin to believe something is wrong with you for not liking her food).

What I DID like about it: I was hesitating to start the paleo because, as a mother of 3 small boys, it seemed overwhelming. Reading this book not only inspired me to start it sooner than I would have otherwise, it gave me 5 day meal-planners that made it seem easy to shop and cook in such a new way.

What I DIDN'T like about it: the shopping lists need to be proofed better--I found myself missing key ingredients that were not listed. Also, the recipes were just not that good, especially for little kids. Mine are adventurous, but even so, her menu is a bit of a stretch (foods are too spicy or not very kid-friendly--the egg cupcakes were green because they were so filled with veggies and, frankly, didn't taste that great (more flavor, less veggies!)). Great ideas for kids are sometimes not that practical. For example, I made the lunchbox rollups with ham and turkey, but how to get them to stay closed and to prevent ingredients from slipping out? I spent 10 minutes cutting thin strips of scallion and painstakingly tying them together, then added some toothpicks for good measure. I imagined the other kids at school asking my son what the heck he was eating!

One hesitates to criticize, but she is clearly not a foodie--she relies on things like garlic powder and calls hollandaise sauce bearnaise sauce. If she were a talented cook and the food tasted great, of course, this would be a minor quibble, but it is indicative of the fact that the author is a mother and enthusiast, not a chef. In the end, I decided I would do better looking through my trusted cookbooks for paleo-compatible recipes that I knew were delicious.

One last note. I admit to being so turned off to the paleo diet after following this for a few weeks that I've decided to switch my family to an SCD diet with more fat for the kids' developing brains. Maybe there are better paleo cookbooks out there, but the fact that so many other reviewers loved this one makes me think perhaps not. I know it's not supposed to be this way, but we were all hungry ALL THE TIME, and my oldest child seemed tired and lost in a fog. It was clear to me very quickly that something was missing from our diet. Yesterday I added 24-hr fermented homemade yogurt (ie. no lactose) ; today a no-grain almond blueberry muffin from "Eat Well, Feel Well." (The SCD diet has less fruit/fructose but includes limited dairy/cheese.) We are all happier for it, and feel better already.

Since I've been so negative, I just want to reiterate that as a role-model she IS inspirational (I would hire her as a trainer in a minute!). I just wish she were a better cook...
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160 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2011
I think Sarah offers a lot of inspiration and I think the workout info in this book is great, but the recipes are just awful. I hate to be so blunt, but I'm really disappointed - and I was so excited to get this book. My family is adventurous, but also discriminating when it comes to their food and these recipes just don't cut it. We are a little more Primal than Paleo anyway and I would recommend Mark Sisson's cookbooks before I would recommend this one. I've gone back to my Barefoot Contessa books and Julia Child - tons of the recipes are Primal friendly and they actually taste good. I have 4 boys so the food has to be good! I'd recommend waiting for this one to come to your library.
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114 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
My husband and I started a primal diet months ago and ordered Mark Sisson's 2 primal cookbooks, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals. We loved both of those cookbooks and have gotten a lot of good use out of them. We cook a lot (3 meals a day, everyday) so we were looking to branch out and bought Everyday Paleo and Paleo Comfort Foods based on the stellar reviews.

Everyday Paleo just is not what we were expecting. The recipes are boring and remind me of paleo versions of recipes from an old Taste of Home magazine. My family is rather adventurous and couldn't even pick out a single recipe that seemed appetizing to them. They are used to exciting, ethnic or exotic foods because that is what I make. This book just doesn't have the quality that I was hoping for. I thought that "Everyday Paleo" would be about making fun and exciting paleo meals every day without getting boring, but this just falls short. Who needs a recipe to make meatloaf or a spinach salad paleo? The Ginger Shrimp Salad is just shrimp with ginger on arugula. I mean Apple Flowers? It is literally a cut up apple arranged around a blob of almond butter. Bugs in a Boat? It is just freaking ants on a log people!! None of those are interesting or inspired. I guess this book is for someone who has never heard of the paleo diet before or someone who has never been in a kitchen before.

I didn't read the paleo lifestyle part in the beginning, because I have my own diet mapped out for my family so I cannot review that section. I also did not go through the exercises in the back, as they are not why I bought the book originally.

I will say that one of the contributing factors to me returning the book was the horrible food photos. There is no reason with today's photography equipment that those photos should exist. They are kind of gross and remind me of those 1970s recipe cards with the horrible celery jello (like those featured in The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan).

The atrocious proofreading is another issue I take with this book. There are numerous spelling errors that are simply too embarrassing to read as an adult. The whole book has a really childish feel to it (I know it's a family cookbook, but my family found nothing interesting about it) with references to Disney movies and featuring uninspired kid's snacks.

If you are looking for a primal/paleo cookbook, I suggest you forego this book and opt for Paleo Comfort Foods. So far we have not had a bad recipe from there and the text and food photography is far superior to this book.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2011
First, I need to say that I absolutely admire what the author is doing and I like following her success on her blog. She is inspirational as a role model. However, I find that I turn to her cookbook more for encouragement than I do for recipes. I've made perhaps five of the recipes so far and there are none that I really want to make again. I'm not sure what all the hype is about her cooking. I really want to like the cookbook because I know she is a success in the paleo world but I'm just not having success with the recipes.

A couple other notes: the index needs to be revised. It is not user-friendly. For example, if I wanted to look up beef meatballs and I turned to the beef heading, all that would follow is a bunch of page numbers. It is not further categorized. Also, the poor food photography is distracting.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
My family recently began the paleo method. I enjoyed Robb Wolff's books and was a little skeptical with converting my kids. I was initially excited to get a mom's perspective and make the transition smooth and tantrumless. While the literature and tips and helpful, the recipes and especially the pictures were very disappointing. They looked like cheap polaroids and were not in the least bit appealing. I let my kids flip through and pick what they thought "looked" good. They chose the smoothies. I returned this book in hopes that there are better and more appealing recipe books to help encourage my family in eating in a way to make them perform at their best and enjoy mealtimes.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
Out of this cookbook I would say only 1 or 2 recipes are good. If you are serious about trying the Paleolithic Diet just look for recipes out of your favorite cookbook and try to make it Paleo. She tries really hard to substitute almond meal or coconut flour for all purpose flour. But it just doesn't work. For example the Almond-Meal Blueberry Pancakes were disgusting and just fell apart in the pan. This was the same with her Everyday Paleo Pizza. Don't waste your money. Either find recipes online or modify your existing recipes.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
I don't get all the positive reviews on this book. The recipes are terrible for a few reasons:
1. Amounts and instructions aren't always clear
2. Pictures are unappetizing
3. Very few recipes turn out as described
4. They don't taste good

Of course there are a few exceptions (bacon-wrapped dates), but FEW. I'm very competent in the kitchen and these recipes were sub-par. The exercise portion at the back seems misplaced. I get that it is an important part of the paleo lifestyle, but weird in a recipe book. She does a good job on the meal plan. I highly recommend Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint books (love the Quick and Easy one) instead.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes (Primal Blueprint Series)
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I was deeply disappointed in this book. It is like a giant Reader's Digest for vision impaired for starters. There are only a few recipes and then the book is filled with exercises and multiple photos of each stage of the exercise. I donated it to my local library. No one should pay $$ for this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
I honestly don't understand all the glowing reviews. I think the author's story is inspiring but the introduction is, by far, the best part of the book (for that, you can also check out her blog). The recipes themselves are just "okay"-- definitely nothing new (though, I admit that it is nice to have some ideas for relatively quick paleo/primal meals all in one place). I enjoy cooking a lot and it occurs to me that this book may just intended for people who are not already comfortable in the kitchen and, therefore, not a great fit for me.

It sounds picky but I was completely frustrated with the lack of a recipe index! Was this an oversight? There is an ingredient index but it just gives page numbers, not recipe names/titles under each heading.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2011
The recipes in this cookbook are mostly very easy - which I like a lot. I am no chef, and won't even attempt a recipe that looks complicated. But I have many of these recipes bookmarked, and plan to shop for them this evening. Most of the recipes also consist of things that I normally have around the house. I don't need to try 5 different stores to find some obscure root vegetable or herb. I like simple, rustic cooking, and this book fits the bill for that.

The presentation quality and layout of the book look kind of home-made. The photos look they're taken with a cell phone (or something like that - just not professional looking), and the font and photos are HUGE to take up space. Spiral-bound would have been awesome (though MANY cookbooks overlook that). Also, the exercises that are suggested in this book are ones that I could have found for free by a quick search on the internet. I bought the book for the recipes, and would have liked more of them.

Overall, I think I will reach for this cookbook many times for quick, easy and healthy meals for my family.
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