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After years of doing all variety of "diets" or eating lifestyles, from raw vegan to vegan to vegetarian to omnivore with calorie counting to eating-at-home-only to regular juice fasting for quick weight loss, I was so ready for a major change.

I grew up on a Persian diet so lots of meats and vegetables and rice and moderate amounts of bread, cheese, but also a ton of fruits and salads and the usual sweets all cultures adore. So deep inside, I always craved the meats when I was on vegan or vegetarian diets.

I knew that meat wasn't "the problem". I also knew that certain breads and pastas and noodles and foods in general would give me this heavy feeling after eating, and I wanted to get rid of that once and for all. So when a friend talked about her Paleo diet at length, I jumped onboard without hesitation. My husband and I went Paleo late January and we're in week 8 or 9 as I write this review. This was one of the books she recommended and I love the author and follow her on social media. Here's my review of this book.

4-stars. It is the most comprehensive book on Paleo, giving you every reason and logic behind why eating this way is to your ultimate health and longevity. I felt that she spent a long time - about 125 pages - giving you all the health issues you could develop if you eat gluten and processed sugar and how your body reacts to all of that crap and I read them. She lost me when she was talking about all the biology and anatomy but I followed along and appreciated it.

Then between 125-225 are her meal plans but they won't apply to everyone. She addresses major conditions such as high cholesterol, or diabetics or fibromalagia or other conditions before getting to "Squeaky Clean Paleo" which would apply to you if you don't fall under those conditions (I didn't so this section applied). I'm honestly not sure if I'll follow 30-day plans, which naturally refer to a lot of her recipes. And then finally Part 3 - the recipes section starts on page 225 but first a few lessons on chopping and slicing and cooking essential.

The book is about 400 pages, and my favorite recipe so far is the blueberry cobbler (see picture) but these recipes do look slightly complex. She's also huge into bone broth and sauerkraut which I'll have to see if I make - she has recipes. I love her no-nonsense approach with reasoning and science behind it so if you love nutrition and science, you'll LOVE this book. I am giving it a 4 star even though I highly recommend the book because I wish there were less sections on all the human ailment conditions and MORE on just Paleo - how to eat Paleo, how to make quick easy Paleo foods. I hope this helps and happy Paleo eating!
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on July 30, 2013
This book is not just another Paleo cookbook...this is a guide on how to recapture your health and in fact, thrive!

I have suffered with Crohns disease for over 12 years, the last two of which have been miserable. I had all sorts of digestive and inflammatory processes going on that my doctors couldn't explain and were treating with whatever medications they thought would help. Through sheer desperation I started doing my own homework and experimenting with food changes to see if that would finally help. Then I stumbled on the Paleo diet and found that I felt better within the first week. But, what really was my Godsend, was finding Practical Paleo.

What makes this book different is Ms. Sanfilippo. She will first explain, no matter what your issue is, how the food we eat affects every system in our bodies. Then she will walk you through, with monthly food plans, step by step how to change your eating. She explains everything in real, plain language (for those of us who are not nutritionists or medical professionals) in a friendly and down to earth way. Her approach makes it so much easier to transition to a Paleo diet, which for busy people, especially with young children can be extremely challenging. She is never hard line or forceful with her recommendations but it is obvious that she knows her stuff and you get the feeling that she truly cares about helping people.

I can't say enough about this book and how it's changed my life. If you take her advise and follow her plans, you will regain your health and just might feel the best you ever have.
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on March 26, 2015
This book is a must-have for anyone curious about a Paleo diet, if you're already practicing a paleo lifestyle or if you have specific health conditions and wondering where to start.

Diane has created the ultimate resource that can be customized for your specific needs. From autoimmune conditions to thyroid health to basic health, Diane has a plan for you. Included are 30-day meal plans, which in and of itself are worth it to buy this book. Diane includes over 120 recipes that are referenced in those meal plans. Tear-out guides provide you with on-the-go assets to keep you on track and take some Practical Paleo on the road.

I recently started seeing a functional medicine osteopath for some health issues and at our first meeting she said "have you ever heard of Practical Paleo?" and yes, I had! So cool that doctors are starting to realize that food is an integral part of health. We've been subjected to treated the symptoms and not the cause.

With delicious recipes for any level of home cook, and reference guides, Practical Paleo is essential for anyone practicing a paleo lifestyle or anyone looking to fine tune their health.
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on December 6, 2015
I've used several recipes out of this book. Its no nonsense! The first part of the book gives a background on how your body works when eating grains and other non Paleo foods. The recipes use REALl sweater (honey, real maple syrup or dates) and no stevia. Most ingredients are easy to find in the grocery story. I say most because it is dependant on the variety of where you shop. I had a hard time finding turkey legs sold by themselves. The recipes tasted good to all in the family, including teens. There are different 30 day meal plans for those who may have issues like digestive problems as well as a regular 30 day meal plan. The grocery list for the meal plan I tried however had a few ingredients missing off the list, but not a huge problem. Overall I like this book because it is simple and easy to follow receipes.
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on April 23, 2015
This amazing book takes on the task of explaining why paleo - focused eating can be healthful and helpful for an array of health issues. The educational information is just terrific... I can't believe after all the years I've looked into diet and health that I learned something new that has significantly helped me. In an organized, practical way, the author breaks the book into sections which cover the why, what and how to change your diet. It explain reasons behind such dietary protocols as eliminating nightshades, nuts, FODMAPs, eggs, etc. and gives info on all the recipes as to how to customized them if some ingredients need to be left out. The recipes themselves are absolutely delicious, and I so appreciate the information for creating herb blends, bone broth, gee, and so much more. I like the simplicity of the recipes.. they are, well, PRACTICAL for busy people like me, as well as some of the best tasting clean eating I've tried. I use this book everyday... more than any other cookbook I own. For information, practical use and sheer good eating...I highly recommend it!
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on April 11, 2013
I use it almost every day.
What do I like about it?
1. It's organized. I don't have to search in vain in the index to find what I want. The organization of the information is logical, which made it easy to apply to the life of my family.
2. It doesn't preach.
3. The recipes are clearly tested. I can't express my frustration with paleo recipes that don't really work for several reasons: a. the ingredients aren't available in places that don't have extravagant supermarkets. b. the textures end up being somewhat off-putting because the temperatures are not right or the sequence of preparation is not correct (which can be key!). Not so with this book. Things are tested, the temperatures are generally right with a nod to the individuality of one's stove; the ratios and preparation sequences work just right.
4. The recipes are versatile: does your husband despise turkey legs? No problem! The recipe works *just as well* with split chicken breast or legs. The recipes leave plenty of room for both customization and experimentation.
5. The recipes taste good. Really good. That means you are willing to do the footwork to cook every day.
6. I do feel better and I have lost weight, though that was not my goal. I have autoimmune issues, blah blah, that have, for the most part, gone away. It took 2 months, but I woke up one morning and realized I wasn't hobbling like an 80-year-old.
7. Coconut is not in every recipe. Both my husband and I are allergic to coconut. I get annoyed that every paleo product and book relies so heavily on coconut products in every recipe. This one offers alternatives.
8. You will get more veggies than ever before. You will realize that paleo is not about the meat. It's about the veggies. The meat just takes longer to prepare... but the veggies are the real stars.
The downside:
1. It's work. You have to cook every day. The book uses leftovers as part of the menu, where others do not; however, the recipes are so delicious, your family may devour the lot, leaving a meal void that must be filled. I cook every day, without fail. I've adapted by altering the recipes to be used in 2 slowcookers. Again with the versatility of the recipes... it works very well, but you must be diligent. That being said, it's worth it.
2. You can't really go back for too long to your previous ways, even if you are gluten free. You body, filled with the glee of real food, will become unhappy relatively quickly if you go back to convenience food. I feel a difference after a week. If you are ok with that, great. For me, I go back to cooking up a storm.
3. It's expensive to eat this way. I fill up my fridge with veg every week. There is no stretching the ingredients using rice or millet. It makes you realize that's what grains are for. I tried to make rice once a week to make things stretch for a day with the rest of the folks in the house... but it never was completely eaten. I've had to change the quality of the veg I buy because all organic/local is 1. not possible in our cold climate and b. far too expensive.
4. The expense of quality produce and meats might make you angry. Once you realize that real food is freaking expensive, and after you start feeling better, you might get very annoyed with the food system we have. You suddenly understand the politics of the food industry and that might make you frustrated too... especially since people are too budget strapped to protest much. Also, don't let anyone tell you that the cost of food in europe is higher. I can tell you first hand, that's bollocks.

Worth every penny, especially for those with pain, fatigue and digestive issues.
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on February 6, 2016
Overall the recipes are easy to follow and most don't take a day and a half to prepare (I loath cookbooks where all of the recipes are so involved that they make me tired just reading them!). I liked this cook book so much that I bought another as a Christmas gift for a friend who was trying to eat more Paleo-ish. My friend considered herself 'an awful cook' and someone who didn't like to cook, but she was desperate to start preparing healthier meals for her family. She's now cooked several meals from this cook book and also loves that the recipes are fairly easy to follow and are delicious. I haven't used the book for what it's work (the educational part in the front or the meal plans), but I do love a lot of the recipes.
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on January 19, 2014
I recommend this book to everyone I meet. Friends love the treats that I have prepared for gatherings using the recipes in this book. It has helped me maintain a healthier lifestyle and has guided me in feeling so much better. I am not always true to the Paleo Lifestyle and when I fall away for a bit (holidays are the worst times) I always come back to the menu planning as a guide for getting back on track and feeling better. When people ask me why I choose not to eat certain foods that are perceivably healthy and on all the recommended diets such as grains, legumes and dairy, I use this book as a great lay person explanation and translate it to my personal reactions to those foods. The explanations are easy to understand and just help me make so much sense of how and why I feel the way I do when I choose to eat or not eat certain foods.

If you are considering it, don't hesitate further. This is a great guide full of great menu plans, shopping lists, and recipes that I use on a regular basis. I lost my original in a house fire and within a month ordered a new one. It is my "paleo bible" if you will. My daughter loves the recipe for pumpkin pancakes. We treat ourselves at least once a month on a weekend morning with these. I make a double batch so we have breakfast options for a few extra days.
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on May 31, 2014
This book is a great guide to paleo and has helped me to loose 30 pounds. The recipes are SO easy to follow. I go to school and work 20 hours a week and still managed to stick to paleo using mainly the recipes in this book. I was overweight for years and struggled to loose weight. With paleo I lost weight and felt healthier than ever. My body has become so used to the healthy foods that it totally rejects anything else and I feel horrible when I cheat. I've come to the point where I don't even want to cheat anymore. I now have ordered another copy of the book as a gift to a friend who is trying to loose weight. The person that introduced me to paleo, paleo diet itself, and the strength from God above changed my life. I will never go back!
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on February 2, 2015
This book is my "paleo bible." The informational part of the book is a complete guide to the paleo/real food way of life in a fun way. There are lots of eye-catching illustrations, which made it easy to skim for the horrible non-reader that I am. But the best part of Practical Paleo by far are the FABULOUS recipes. The smoky bacon wrapped chicken, spaghetti squash bolognase, italian stuffed peppers, and the citrus and herb roasted chicken are all staples of my diet - I make these probably a couple times a month. Plus, Practical Paleo shows you how to properly chop an onion, pepper, etc. Great kitchen tips that can help anyone become a better cook!

Practical Paleo was the first paleo book I ever bought and I attribute it and Diane's podcasts for getting me to go paleo (which totally improved my health, but that's an entirely longer story than I have time for here), but also, TEACHING ME HOW TO REALLY COOK. Before paleo I thought dumping things out of a box was "cooking." Boy was I wrong!! Thanks to Diane for showing me the light.
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