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on July 22, 2016
Holy crap, this book is a total game changer.

I have been following various health and wellness experts over the years, and have spent more time reading and researching how to be healthy and feel better than I could ever count.

Finally, a book that puts it all together! I was so impressed how well PHD tied together all of the various schools of thought I've read over the years, into a simple, actionable plan.

The writing style is engaging and easy to read for such a deep, well researched book. Right from the get-go you'll find recommendations that you can easily put into action right away. It's easy to tell the authors have put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and research into this book.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (lymphoma) a couple weeks ago, which was my main motivation for buying the book. Two weeks later, my mom has started chemo and the doctors have told us "she's doing great with the chemo" and her "body is responding really well."

I think a big reason for that is the PHD diet she's been on. She has a good amount of energy (for someone going through chemo) and a big reason for that is PHD.

As a bi-product of cooking PHD friendly foods for my mom, I've actually lost about ten pounds in the last few weeks and have noticed my energy and sleep patterns improve as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is serious about making meaningful changes to their diet and overall health. Also make sure to check out the authors' website, there is a ton of great (free) content and helpful resources.
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on June 16, 2013
Week 4 PHD Update: Success!!!
Another half pound bites the dust woot woot!! This may not sound like a lot to many people, but I don't have a ton of weight to lose, and I've NEVER lost weight as painlessly and naturally as I have on this plan!

I can absolutely do this plan for life and never feel deprived. I still have not counted one calorie, nor have I felt hungry once, even though I'm Intermittent Fasting 16 hours per day! (For the most part I eat all my meals between 11a-7p each day.)

This brings my total loss at close to ten pounds in one month!! I feel this is a healthy, sustainable, permanent, weight loss. I am so completely happy with this!!

In my first-third week updates, I shared how I am waking up more refreshed, and clearer headed, have more energy throughout the day, and can handle stress better (fewer things "get" to me).

My husband, who doesn't need to lose weight, is trimming up. Though he's lost no weight, his waist is has trimmed down (his pants are looser), his chest is getting more solid, etc.

He has only cut out grains/legumes and has not changed his routine (which is naturally active), yet is experiencing these surprising improvements! He is not intermittent fasting.

The best part is, how he's feeling over all! He has a renewed sense of wellness and was previously getting stiffness in his joints which has nearly disappeared!

One thing to note: I've experienced some headaches this past week, especially when I wake up. I'm not prone to headaches and am wondering if anyone else experienced these?

I'm assuming they are from either:
1). A naturally-occurring detox, which will dissipate on its own.

2). An introduction of something in my new grain-free way of eating that I may have an allergy to (possibly coconut flour??)

3). I'm not drinking enough fluids ... which isn't likely b/c I drink water and herbal teas all day.

What I plan to do: I'll wait one more week to see if they go away on heir own. If not, I'll begin logging what I eat (urrrg) to see if I can pinpoint any patterns.

All-in-all, we're both extremely happy with the continued improvements we're experiencing!!

What's more, I'm becoming a grain-free baker for the first time ever, which has actually been a lot of fun and has seen more successes than failures!!

That says a lot for a woman who works full time and has always enjoyed cooking, but rarely liked to bake! :D

ANOTHER PLUS, is that the author, Paul Jaminet is extremely responsive to questions!! What a rare gift from an author!

Response from Paul Jaminet via Perfect Health Diet FB Page:
Hi [Roze]; The headaches are probably due to dehydration from lack of electrolytes. Try adding potassium-rich vegetables to your diet (tomatoes, potatoes, others), adding salt, and drinking more water. Herbal teas are often diuretic (promoting urination) so they may actually impair hydration status. Thanks for sharing!
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on February 23, 2014
I've been following the Perfect Health Diet since I first discovered it through Paul's blog at [...]. I was searching for a means to improve my failing health. At the time I was a vegan. With my health continuing to go down hill, I decided to do the opposite.

First, I started with the Atkins diet, and saw amazing results in how I felt. As weight loss was not necessary, I continued to search for a diet geared to excellent health. That is when I happened on Paul Jaminet's scholarly, but kind and caring blog. His academic approach appealed to me. I, too, try to read as much scientific research about health and nutrition as I can, but my time is limited. I was also pleased to find Paul had access to research that I as a layman do not have, due to his wife's work as a cancer researcher.

It takes years to become ill. Likewise, it can take years to become well. I am not wholly well yet, but have come far since I started this diet early in 2011. I read and followed the Jaminet's first self-published book, and continued to learn and improve my health and my husband's health. This book is a continuation of my journey. At 61, I feel better than I did at 55! And that is saying a great deal!
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on January 2, 2011
I had been eating (very) low-carb and high-protein for the better part of a decade - and I had gotten a lot of practice arrogantly dismissing suggestions (from any source) that I should change anything about my diet.

It is a testimony to the insightfulness of this book that it persuaded me to change.

How was I persuaded?

* The Jaminets are highly educated (Ph.D.s both), but not they're not nutritionists and are not bound by any party line.
* They amass a huge volume of scientific literature in support of their assertions - about 1/3 of every page is journal citations.
* They write clearly, and are clearly motivated by a desire to share the keys they've discovered for better health.
* Time after time, while reading, I exclaimed "so *that's* why!" - there's an overarching framework they build, and after reading it I have a much broader and deeper understanding of health and nutrition.

The changes I made were:
1. Eat a modest amount (15-20%) of calories as carbs from what they call "safe starches" (rice & potatoes in my case.)
2. Eat a large (~70%) of calories from fat. In particular, I consume dramatically more butter (kerrygold!), and I've added a fair bit of coconut oil too.
3. (As a result, the amount of protein I eat has dropped somewhat.)
4. Supplementing with a mix of the vitamins they recommend.
5. Doing a 24-hour fast once a week.

Results: (after 1.5 months or so.)
1. I'm no longer "brain-dead" and unable to think in the evenings after work.
2. I no longer have fruit or chocolate cravings.
3. I'm much happier, and wake up looking forward to the day.
4. I've been much more social.
5. The extra starch has not resulted in weight gain. (I always gained weight when eating carbs before.)
6. It looks like the fasting (which I've never tried before) is helping my alertness and also contributing to healthy weight loss.

It took less than a week for me to notice dramatic changes. The diet guidelines are straightforward and fit on a page, but the explanatory material is priceless. The Jaminets post on an ongoing basis at their perfecthealthdiet dot com blog as well.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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on June 3, 2013
I am impressed! I wanted to wait and write a review after having actually implemented Paul & Shou Ching's ideas for at least 5 months. I had been sporadically eating paleo for about a year prior to reading PHD, and before paleo I was low carb similar to Atkins. The best way to explain the difference, is that although I still have about 20 lbs left to lose, I am losing weight without really thinking or working at it. I feel great, sleep sound, and have energy that is rather dramatic compared to my prior experience.

This is a way of life. I already believed that the gut is where our health begins, but did not realize how important this is until reading Perfect Health. Jaminet gives us many excellent resources and sound science behind the reasons this is vital to our longevity. I fasted before reading Perfect Health in the same manner as ADF, but have switched to daily 16 hour fasting. Excellent that it would help me feel much better and yet I am still reaping the autophagy benefits of IF.

One last thought, Paul gives a list of minimal daily supplemental food suggestions that are phenomenal. Even when I am living a fast paced chaotic and busy life, I find very easy to adhere to this valuable suggestion. It is this list which includes but not limited to, 3 egg yolks, bone broth soup, potatoes, leafy greens, liver, seaweed, and my fav dark chocolate that have simply re-vamped my previous paleo lifestyle. The best way to explain this change in my health, is that I feel young again. I am receiving the nutrition that I so desperately lacked prior.

Also, if you haven't already joined the Perfect Health FB group (private, so you will need to ask for permission) or been to his website, it is another valuable tool. Paul freely gives of his time to answer questions and I have asked many. As well as other, more experienced PHD'ers, will be there to guide you and keep you informed.

I feel that my review doesn't give this book justice, because it truly is a pathway to better health.
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on September 10, 2017
Most books on Paleo diet are repetitive. Finally here is a book that looks at all of the food we have available today and explains the science of the food. It answered many questions for me instead of simple infographics with rules. It is not light reading and not a traditional diet/cookbook but it is a good reference if you want the details about what you are eating and and what you should be eating for better health. I have the paperback, and it is tiny print on low quality paper. I think the contents could be organized better, like for example trying to find specific recommendations for the basic diet vs a ketogenic version is not obvious. Overall, though, this is the best consumer book on nutrition that I have found. All claims are backed up with references to research, and the authors are careful to say "probably" when it would be impossible to verify something about prehistoric diets or health conditions. For those who want the benefits of a more healthful diet but are not interested in the science, this particular book might not be very helpful.
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on February 8, 2012
Perfect Health Diet completes what Atkins began, and the so-called "Paleo diet" movement continues. If you are at all interested in improving your health with an approach based on solid science, you want this book.

Background: I was an Atkins dieter in the 1990's. Lost a lot of weight, but staying on it was difficult.

Last year I came off a bout of depression determined to beat it without drugs. I stopped eating sugar and (surprise!) started losing weight. Since exercise is also helpful to depression, I thought that it would be better if I kept losing weight to reduce my chance of injury while exercising. Along the way I found that many of the things that are recommended in the Perfect Health Diet greatly helped me in losing weight.

I lost a total of seventy pounds. As a man at fifty-five years old and 195 pounds, I am now in better physical condition than I was in my 20's. This is due in large part to the dietary recommendations in the Perfect Health Diet.

What is even better is that the recommendations in the Perfect Health Diet led to removing the last things that were contributing to my depression. I believe now that grains and omega-6 in vegetable oil was making me depressed. That's why adding omega-3 fish oil to your diet helps fight depression, something I had started doing without understanding why.

To go back to the beginning, the Atkins diet had two flaws which undermined long-term weight loss:

1) Atkins diet "phases" lead to the idea that somehow you lose your weight and then slowly phase back into eating "normal" food. Atkins didn't say this exactly, but it's implied.

2) When Atkins wrote the Diet Revolution book, he didn't have access to the research that we have now, and couldn't see that some fats (high omega-6 vegetable oils) are bad for you, while some carbs in moderation (rice, sweet potato) are okay. His blanket recommendation to get rid of all carbs would have been better focused on SUGAR, FRUCTOSE and GRAINS.

The Perfect Health Diet is written so that you can read to whatever depth of scientific detail you want to. I am about done with my third time through. My particular health issue is depression, and the Perfect Health Diet has many links to dietary causes of depression. The most helpful aspect is that it is written from the perspective that this way of eating is a PERMANENT change, and that this way of eating is based on sound science, including cultural and epidemiology studies, not just lab experiments.

This book is a good companion volume to "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It" by Gary Taubes.

The only qualification that I would add is that the book recommends eating a lot of fish rather than using supplements for omega-3. This recommendation is based on the observation that most fish oil capsules are stored at room temperature and the oil may go rancid without you knowing it. My answer is to take fish oil as a liquid and KEEP IT REFRIGERATED. It's lemon or lime flavored and refrigeration keeps the the fishy taste down. No capsules needed, and it's actually cheaper than capsules.

Again, as a person who has lost seventy pounds and now enjoy a life free of depression. I wholeheartedly recommend the Perfect Health Diet.
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on April 29, 2016
I've familiar with Asprey, Taubes, Sisson, Teicholz, et al. This book complements those books by adding more scientific explanations and citations. I'm giving this book four stars because of what it left out: grass fed ruminants, herbs, trusted supplements. And I didn't find their prohibition on fish oil capsules compelling--as though all fish oil capsules are the same.
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on June 22, 2017
I have been researching and trying many diets and eating plans and this sounds like something I can stick with and regain my health. I eliminated wheat from my dinner meal a few weeks ago and have had no searing heartburn and no need to take an unhealthy acid suppressing meds since. I'm encouraged by this because I can eat rice and potatoes in small amounts - no carb drops weight but I have NEVER been able to sustain that way of eating without feeling nauseated after a while. Eating full blown paleo is out of my budget range and I do not have the means to leave my job and live on a farm raising pastured animals. This book acknowledges that the more grass fed and organic the better but doesn't make you feel you must abandon it if that is not 100% possible. Again all that paleo meat with little to zero carbs makes me nauseated. Cardboard starts looking tasty just to balance the heaviness of meat. I already naturally don't want to eat in the morning so the intermittent daily 16 hour fast is no problem. Actually my latest bloodwork shows my cholesterol and triglycerides are textbook perfect. My blood pressure and fasting glucose are very good/excellent. I have low vitamin D. But I'm about 80 pounds overweight and experience a lot of leg knee and foot pain and when I say regain health I am most focused on mobility. Perhaps at age 50 some chronic issues have not kicked in because I do intermittently fast 16 hours most days and I can't stand empty calorie crappy snack food. I eat a minimum of 5 servings of. Vegetables daily and take about 3 multi vitamins a week. I've always worried too many supplements were overdoing it so I am sporadic with them. I'm rambling but this regime lines up with what I do a lot of already - hoping removing all grains and beans and avoiding processed bread especially (typical for lunch) will help with inflammation and to drop weight. I feel optimistic for once instead like I'm about to have to white knuckle through something I can't really afford or that I will abandon completely.
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on December 30, 2012
I am convinced that this is the closest approximation to the perfect human diet yet to be devised. A few years back, I was in my late forties. Outwardly healthy, I felt anything but. I had daily headaches punctuated by debilitating migraines. I had joint pain severe enough to discourage exercising. I kept my tums and tagamet close to calm my perpetually sour stomach. Insomnia totally frustrated me. I had borderline high blood pressure. I was always cold in the winter and generally lacked energy. Anxiety and sadness were frequent companions. Like the Jaminets, I initially tried a low carb diet. My stomach issues and insomnia disappeared almost immediately. The rest of my health concerns improved significantly, but did not disappear. Looking for further improvement, I migrated toward a paleo diet, and then found The Perfect Health Diet website two years ago. I bought the first edition of the book and have never looked back. Significant headache relief was the first and most obvious benefit. Anxiety melted away. Joint pain slowly improved to the point where I hardly noticed it. That was in the first 6 months. Longer term benefits include much more energy, no problems staying warm (golfing with a 21 degree wind chill factor--bring it!), a lean muscularity that health professionals always comment about, and, perhaps best of all, a cheerful, happy disposition. I have given away so many copies of the first edition, I found myself without one. Needless to say, I was very happy to get the new edition, which expands on the earlier work and revises a few of the recommendations.
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