Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2017
There is a lot of information in the book that is not general knowledge. Here is my experience with this diet. I know everyone doesn't want to read my really long review so I'm going to try to break it into categories.
How my family feels:
I just feel better. The first week was hard cutting out processed sugar. I had a headache for 4 days, and lacked a little on energy. When I wanted something sweet, I just googled a Paleo version of the sweet thing I was craving. As to be expected, my body had to make that transition from burning processed carbs into burning healthy fats. Now, I feel great. I don't have cravings anymore, all I have is "That look's good" when I look at a picture of something I may have eaten in the past, but there is no strong urge to pursue it. I don't have random urges where I say, "I have to eat at Pizza hut". I'm also not as irritable. Counting calories worked for me in the past, however, I was still eating a moderate amount of processed foods. I was still craving sugars and fast food. Once I caved on my calorie count and splurged on junk food, I couldn't get back on track until I got miserable with my weight again. My husband had a different effect. He didn't have any side effects to energy. He did crave a lot of sugar, and we switched over to home made dark chocolate which eased his cravings. Counting calories never worked for him. Since he's in the military, It boggled my mind that he could have 15,000+ steps in the day, do an hour of physical training 5 days a week, reduce his calorie count to 1500 calories a day (and still be hungry) and still not lose weight but in return, he ate a lot of processed foods and a lot of snacks while he was out and about during his day. Now he will skip lunch on random days for the simple reason that he's not hungry. He doesn't need to snack anymore. He has his 2-3 meals a day depending on how hungry he is. The last but the biggest change is a few years ago, he had an infection in his stomach that he had to take antibiotics for. Since then, he has always had stomach problems. When we went to get him tested, all the tests came back negative as if there was nothing wrong. Since being on this diet, he doesn't have stomach cramps or intestinal problems. My Father (which is the reason I got this book in the first place) has been on this diet for about half a year. He had tons of medicines that he was taking from stool problems to diabetic meds and a few in between too. Now he has told me he is not medicated anymore and he walks 2 miles a day and has never felt better. This is coming from a 70 year old man. Now the last person is my daughter. She is slightly under 2 years old so I can't really go into detail the changes it made in her as her vocabulary is very limited. The things I have noticed is she is less picky about her food as before trying to get her to eat anything that was a bright color was a no go. She now sleeps better and nap time is not nearly a struggle. Oh and her tantrums? Although she still has them, they have decreased in number and not as long. Maybe because of removing sugar crashes and better sleep? We started off with just introducing (or sharing) a green smoothie to her during her snack time and called it juice and cutting down (not out) the processed carbs. She will still get whole wheat mac and cheese (home made with cauliflower instead of flour) and brown rice recipes on occasions, and over time, her pickiness has kind of faded. She still has some texture dislikes but little does she know, it's now blended into her ice cream (banana/avocados), juice (green smoothie), brownies (boiled sweet potatoes), and eggs (random assortment of spinach, tomato, mushrooms, and onions).
Costs: Our bill did go up depending on the recipe we chose to make. Our weekly cost went up no more than 30 and that was the most. The initial cost was rebuilding our pantry slowly. If we didn't have it, we ordered it off amazon or used an alternative. But let me add this, we don't eat out nearly as often anymore. We actually enjoy cooking or prepping our food a lot more now. Our family easily spends 20 dollars at fast food, or 35-45 dollars at a sit down. Cutting back on 1 fast food night a week for our family almost broke even. Those snacks and sodas that you would buy during the day at work (or at least my husband did) got eliminated from our budget by choice. We didn't buy a whole lot of sodas or anything like that to begin with so keep in mind, if you spend 5-10 dollars on soda, or a whole lot on processed snacks, there is additional savings there. We have a lot less waste now too. At the end of the week, whatever doesn't get used or wont get used, goes into a green smoothie and replaces a lunch or at least feed to the dog (if it's dog friendly). We didn't go all organic either. As the book says, do what you can. Our budget just doesn't call for grass fed everything nor is it available in everything. The whole point in doing that is to make sure you are eating the most nutritiously packed foods as possible. So we still choose leaner/nitrite free meats to fit our budget and splurge where we can. We may not get the best quality cheese, but let me say this, you get the same amount of cheese if you shred the block of cheese yourself at a cheaper cost without all the extra crap they put into already shredded cheese. At the end of the month, our savings on food was much better than it was previously. Also, if you don't have a blender or food processor.. you might want to plan on getting them. Food prep is much easier with it.
How we felt about our diet: Other than the processed hang-over that we had in the beginning, it really wasn't too hard for us. If we wanted ice cream, brownies, or chocolate, we made it. What we noticed, is we didn't have the need to stuff our face. A little was enough because it wasn't processed with stuff that kept you wanting more. I remember trying to eat just a little bit of those Reese cups in moderation but I could never just stop at one. When I make my own deserts from complete scratch using real foods, one serving really is enough. In the first week, I really did splurge on homemade desserts a lot more often trying to fight my sugar addiction. Even so, I tried to balance my plate, and I still lost 2% of my weight and have been pretty consistent with it weekly. And I promise, no matter what you are craving, there will probably be non process version of it. You just have to get creative and use your internet to your advantage. I always try to search for a Paleo recipe, then modify it if needed. I feel that mostly, this diet is more of a lifestyle change. Once you get into it, it's not hard to keep at it once you find your routine. I feel too many people don't take the book seriously or just skim through it and miss a lot of the important detail. You can't tell me that you read the book and then tell me you can't find the ingredients or cant afford it. The book literally says, do the best you can in almost every section. And of course, everyone reading this review has amazon. Can't find coconut oil, coconut/almond flour, or coconut aminos? Buy it online and remember you dont have to restock your pantry all at once. Just create your own meal plan and go from there with what you have. Even if you buy nothing organic and just stick to leaner meats and make your own bbq sauce, cheese sauce, or purees, it will still be effective. You can't just say it's just another low calorie diet. Trust me, when I say I log a day or two into myfitnesspal, and find that I'm losing more weight off a 1800 calorie diet with the right foods vs a 1200 calorie diet of half processed foods. Plus I am never hungry. I really do eat when I'm hungry.
Time: I really don't spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.. anymore than I use to anyways but I do prep a little too after grocery shopping and I have convenient tools to help me along the way. I would say, if I do spend more time in the kitchen, it's making the deserts as oppose to us buying a tub of ice cream or whipping up some brownie from a box. My hard vegetables are washed and prepped weekly at once. My cheese and cauliflower gets thrown into a food processor to get shredded or riced once or twice a week. So when I get home for example, I just throw what I want into a skillet and cook it. I might have to do something to the meat, but that's where your time is if it wasn't prepped. I also cook my protein 2-3 times a week as I make larger batches to feed us for a couple of nights. Most of the time I fill up faster into the meal and a lot of times I have enough for lunch the next day. If it's not enough, Ill add a boiled egg (which was already prepped), a couple strips of bacon, or some raw veggies of choice depending on whats left on my plate (remembering to keep it balanced) or even a green smoothie on some days. If not, I suck it up and cook/pack me a lunch.
Conclusion: We are losing weight, we are healthier, and we are happier, all without the struggles (Past the first week).