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The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul Paperback – August 26, 2014
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About the Author
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. For example, I know that insects make up parts of the diets of many people around the world, but not so much in North America. When I came across a pancake recipe containing cricket flour...that was the deciding moment for me, the book was going back. It's too exotic for my tastes.
I am a seasoned cook, and I do eat offal, but for every recipe I found kind of easy or a re-hash of something I already know how to do, I found one that was too exotic in terms of ingredients to even begin.
The quantity and quality of the research Ballantyne put into her books is obvious, and I cannot fault her for it, but these recipes are not for every-day foods that would appeal to every-day people (and their kids).
Far better AIP cookbook is Mickey Trescott's The Paleo Autoimmune Cookbook - clean layout, easy to follow information and recipes, easily sourced ingredients. Perfect for those with autoimmune disease or food allergies
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. between preparing the meal, eating the meal and then cleaning up after it. And this is just for ONE meal!
I'm no novice to eating and preparing whole food recipes, but I was overwhelmed by the complexity of these meals between prep and ingredients. Fortunately, I live in an area with Wegmans grocery stores so everything I needed for the seven recipes I made could be found with ease. The only substitution I made was trading out ground pork for ground turkey for one meal - which happened to be a suggestion for alternative twists on the recipe anyway.
The other big drawback to this cookbook is the amount of special equipment you need to have on hand. I spent much of the past year simplifying my life which included getting rid of some of the equipment this cookbook now calls for. But it also calls for much more than I've ever owned.
Over all I think Sarah forgot who her target audience is - people who feel ill and run down from their autoimmune disease/s. This cookbook is great for people who have plenty of energy and time (and probably consider themselves foodies).
I'm not exactly sure where I'll go with my newly found information from here. I now realize that using meat substitutes like legumes/beans, nuts and seeds are part of why I feel ill after eating. However, unless I become a single person household on just my income, there is just no way to afford this style of eating on what I make.