Top positive review
190 people found this helpful
Unique, short, sweet, and with surprising flavors
on April 29, 2012
I've been eating a strict Paleo diet for 2 years, and am probably the biggest fan (maybe consumer too) of sweet potatoes outside the North Carolina big sweet potato lobby (which I assume exists).
The book is a unique and playful blend of two genres - cook books, and Paleo diet books that stimulates the reader both in the kitchen, and to reflect on life habits. I've read just about every book about high carb, low carb, fats, calories, Paleo, Zone, and the like, and Sweet Potato Power really fills a unique spot. There are very few books out there that are bold enough to try to bridge the gap between the science of digestion, nutrition, evolution, and every day cooking, and wellness. If you are one of the 99% of us who doesn't read the encyclopedia Britannica for fun, but wants to understand the big scientific and nutritional rocks that affect our health and wellness, and put these into practice in the form of self-experimentation, and the most exquisite and thoughtful recipes around, then this is a great book for you.
Things that really stood out:
* Hands down the most definitive collection of delicious (and beautifully presented) sweet potato recipes around. I've eaten every form of sweet potato I can, around the entire world (literally 4 continents) from ben imo to the American "yam" // my personal favorite is the Satsuma Imo. Sweet Potato Power has introduced a versatility to my favorite food that has renewed it's place in my diet. I'm the kind of guy that will eat a baked sweet potato in my hands walking down the street for practical nutrition on my way to the gym. My wife is the kind of person that for some reason doesn't always want to eat sweet potatoes and bacon walking down the street. I'm also not much one for spending a lot of time cooking, but since reading the book's practical and delicious recipes, I've cooked 23lbs of sweet potatoes in the last three weeks in ways that I had no idea were possible. They are simply superlative, and reframe the basic ingredients for meals for the gluten free diner.
I imagine that back in some year BC, when some guy said, "Hey try this thing called flour - it makes bread and pastries and stuff, and you can put it in anything", a bunch of Roman's went, "Holy crap this is great." Well that's how this book is for me. Sweet Potato linguini - are you kidding me? Awesome.
* How Fructose was perceived to be a good sugar. I have a lot of books in my rich mahogany library, and this is the first intelligible explanation I've heard of this. Bravo.
* Hacking your body. I'm kind of a nerd deep at heart whether it is in the gym, or in the old internets, and this humble cook book has highlighted ways to hack and get metrics in succinct, clear, and practical terms that I can't wait to start using. No, my wife probably won't let me start peeing on ketosis urinalysis strips, but I can't wait to test blood glucose levels throughout the day. I've been the kind of person who goes 100% all the time, and have often wondered about cortisol's effect on my blood glucose, and insulin sensitivity. It's been a background concern of mine, and now I have a clear plan of action to get metrics on it's effect. To quote Bill Gates, "super cool."
* The four pillars: Food, Hormones, Inflammation, Activity - is probably the best, and clearest framework for understanding the critical interplay of systems in the human body. If I were king for a day, I'd laminate the explanation on page 42/43, and hand that out in every hospital in America. Health care crisis mitigated. Adult onset diabetes solved. Childhood obesity solved.
* The sweet potato bars recipe.
* The sweet potato bars recipe. (Again).
If you are looking for the most in depth scientific explanation of statistical bias, research bias, cholesterol, and calories - read Good Calories / Bad Calories - another fantastic book.
If you are looking for the definitive Paleo diet history and lifestyle guide, you can't go wrong with Loren Cordain's or Robb Wolf's books.
If you are looking for a fun, easy to understand, easy to read practical guide to living and cooking well with the Paleo diet, and probably the world's most important carbohydrate, look no further than Sweet Potato Power.
Suggested reading for the beginner:
1. Buy The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, Sweet Potato Power by Ashely Tudor, and Good Calories / Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.
2. Read the Paleo solution.
3. Start cooking / living Paleo.
4. Miss eating starches / get burned out in the gym / struggle to explain concepts to friends, and understand why you eat the way you do.
5. Read Sweet Potato power.
6. Enjoy new food variety, increased athletic performance, understand why you eat the way you do, and explain it to friends.
7. Encounter arguments to justify the way you eat.
8. Read Good Calories / Bad Calories - understand the implication of hormones and carbohydrates in the bigger nutritional context.
9. Win at life.
10. Help a friend.