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Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life Hardcover – December 31, 2013
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"Chris Kresser is the most knowledgeable clinician in the paleo/ancestral health scene. He has helped thousands of people, often with the most complex cases. Your Personal Paleo Code condenses Chris's vast knowledge and clinical experience to help you look, feel, and perform your best."--Robb Wolf, New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Solution
"Chris Kresser is a leading voice within the Paleo nutrition community for his objective, balanced, and evidence-based approach. In Your Personal Paleo Code, Chris has done the heavy-lifting for you by pulling together all of his best advice in one place. Whether this is the first you're hearing of it, or you already follow a Paleo type of diet, this book will support your deeper understanding the approach and outline a clear-cut plan for your transition."--Diane Sanfilippo, New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo
"If every physician memorized this book and used it as a major adjunct to their practice, the world would be a healthier, happier, and more productive place. I can't wait to implement everything I've learned from Chris. The book is yet another testament to how much he still has to teach me and other physicians."--Kirk Parsley, M.D., Former: SEAL, Physician for West Coast SEALs, Division Officer for SEAL Tactical Athlete Center
"We humans might all run on the same basic physiological equipment and follow the same laws of biochemistry, but our varied experiences and journeys and choices throughout life change our relationship to those foundations. With Your Personal Paleo Code, Kresser heeds the evolutionary ties that bind us together while showing us how to design a healthy, personalized lifestyle that acknowledges our differences."--Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint
"There is no 'one size fits all' approach to health, but how do you know what works best for you? Thanks to Chris Kresser's Your Personal Paleo Code, now your ideal health plan is easy to create and implement. Kresser's detailed step-by-step action plan will teach you how to eat better, sleep better, move more, and stress less--and help you tweak your approach until it's just right."--Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, New York Times bestselling authors of It Starts with Food
About the Author
Chris Kresser is an integrative medicine practitioner with a private practice in Berkeley, California, and patients around the world. He is a regular health columnist for The Huffington Post, and the creator of the popular blog ChrisKresser.com and the "Revolution Health Radio with Chris Kresser" podcast, which challenges mainstream myths on nutrition, health, and disease.
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First off, I am a sucker for someone with a personal inspirational story, and when I started reading the book, I learned that Chris Kresser has one. I am always impressed with someone who spends years trying to heal themselves, and winds up pursuing a career to pass on what was personally discovered to help others. Chris Kresser spent ten years beginning in his twenties trying to recover from a devastating illness that he contracted swimming in polluted sea waters. After consulting many mainstream medical specialists, as well as pursuing alternative health avenues, and finally, finally discovering a nutritional path that helped him, he then pursued studies in integrative medicine, and now has his own clinical practice.
Second, I love good writing. Chris Kresser is an excellent writer, and just seems so down-to-earth. What he says makes sense...good, common, sense. Like when he says that two patients with ulcerative colitis need two different diets - one with absolutely zero dairy and the other with fermented dairy - because one can't tolerate dairy, and the other is actually aided by eating yogurt or kefir. It is so logical that one should listen to one's own body to figure out what works best.
Third, I like people who challenge accepted ideas. When my first child was born, I was given the book How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, and it had some ideas (like antibiotics are not a good treatment for every ear infection) that made sense, but were not accepted medical practice. I remember being yelled at by my daughter's pediatrician when I refused antibiotics one time...and now the latest medical findings corroborate my book's recommendations. Chris Kresser does the same thing with nutrition, but he also backs up his information with the latest medical findings (or lack thereof). There is plenty of conventional wisdom that is simply not accurate, or, as Chris Kresser puts it "Warning: Conventional Wisdom May Be Hazardous to Your Health." I think this book does a very good job of presenting controversial material with the scientific data needed to support his arguments. So hopefully, someone reading this book who is ready to debunk the "paleo diet" might find the information in this book compelling.
Okay, there is a lot of great information in this book, but what I was interested in testing were the recipes. I went straight to the Seven-Day Meal Plan and was sooooo happy to find seven different breakfast recipes. I am always on the lookout for variety in breakfast (especially when you eliminate stuff like pancakes and French toast) and this book has a nice variety: Baked Eggs en Cocotte Florentine-Style; Poached Eggs with Swiss Chard; Green Smoothie; Green Plantain Fritters with Sausage; Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs and Asparagus; Taro and Bacon Hash; Cauliflower-Stuffed Acorn Squash. They sound interesting and they are - quite delicious. The only reason I gave the book four-stars instead of five-stars is because I think the prep time on some of the recipes is just a bit too optimistic. Granted, I am not a quick cook, but Poached Eggs with Swiss Chard - really yummy - required five cups of chopped Swiss chard, with the stalks peeled, and a medium shallot peeled and finely chopped. The prep time was ten minutes! Heck, it takes me five minutes just to get all the ingredients out and set on the table. But I do want to emphasize that if you are a foodie, you will enjoy these recipes. I was also happy to learn that once I had mastered the incredible variety of recipes on this seven-day plan, I could go to Chris Kresser's website and access an additional three weeks of meal plans and recipes. There are even shopping lists for each week, which can simply be printed when needed - and I have a feeling I will find those incredibly handy.
This is a great reference book not just for food. I am enjoying all the lifestyle chapters - "Move Like Your Ancestors," "Sleep More Deeply," "Cultivate Pleasure and Connection," "Go Outside," "Get Serious About Play." I think a lot of people will enjoy reading this book.
Chris Kresser has finally written a book, and it could very well be the last nutrition book you ever buy.
Alright, that might be a stretch, since our knowledge about nutrition is always evolving and who knows what we'll understand even a year from now. But as far as evidence- and experience-based recommendations go, Your Personal Paleo Code will definitely be tough to beat when it comes to future books on nutrition.
Your Personal Paleo Code is unlike any other diet book out there, for these reasons:
1. It's not a one-size-fits-all diet.
Unlike many other diet books out there, Your Personal Paleo Code doesn't recommend one diet for everyone. Sure, the 30-Day Reset component reduces most readers' diets down to the bare basics, but once Step 2 is reached, customization is the name of the game. Chris's book may be the only "Paleo" book that permits readers to reintroduce gray-area foods like full fat dairy and properly prepared grains.
Yep, I just said grains and dairy. After all, while a 100% grain-free dairy-free diet may be useful for certain people, it's unnecessarily restrictive for many others. Readers who have good digestion, moderate to high activity levels, and limited health considerations may find that including properly prepared grains not only has no negative impact, but may even support their health and increase their dietary variety. If you love gourmet cheese, the occasional ice cream treat, soaked oatmeal, and even homemade sourdough bread, Chris teaches you how to determine if these foods deserve a place in your diet. After all, Chris emphasizes the 80/20 rule of nutrition, and if you can enjoy these formerly forbidden foods with no health repercussions, there's no reason to indefinitely avoid these traditional foods, especially since some of them do have health-promoting effects.
2. It helps you set your priorities.
One of the hardest parts about changing your diet, especially if you're fairly health conscious already, is it's hard to prioritize the changes you make. Perhaps you're already pretty compliant with Paleo, but you're still struggling with health concerns. So now what? Do you add more carbs, or restrict them further? Eliminate eggs? Add dairy? Cut back on red meat? Reduce your cruciferous vegetable consumption? It's enough to make your head spin, and can be overwhelming for someone who's not a nutrition expert.
That's why Your Personal Paleo Code is a great addition to anyone's health book collection, especially those who have already gotten on board with an ancestral diet but are still struggling with nagging health problems that aren't going away. Perhaps the one-size-fits-all Paleo diet isn't what you need to be optimally healthy, but you're not sure what to do to make your diet more personalized. You can use the quizzes included in many of the chapters to help determine if a certain area should be a priority for you. There's an entire chapter dedicated to fine-tuning your diet, including determining appropriate caloric intake, macronutrient ratios, and helpful supplementation. The book provides guidelines for athletes, pregnant women, those who are significantly overweight, those with specific health conditions, and more. Whoever you are, you can use Your Personal Paleo Code to determine what and how to eat to support your best health in your current stage of life.
3. Chris understands there's more to health than food.
There's a reason why Your Personal Paleo Code doesn't have the word "diet" in the title: this book is so much more than a book about nutrition. There are six chapters that solely focus on factors unrelated to diet that have a strong influence on your health, such as sleep, stress, socialization, play, and more. Chris acknowledges the importance of these factors and strongly recommends attending to them, perhaps even at the expense of following a "perfect" diet.
These chapters contain quizzes that will demonstrate if these behavior-related issues should be priorities for you. Perhaps your diet is perfectly healthy, but you sacrifice social interaction because you're concerned about being exposed to unhealthy food. While noble, this is certainly not a healthy (or enjoyable) way to live, and Chris's book gives recommendations on how to nurture your social relationships without completely derailing your diet. Perhaps you're an internet junkie, so in between eating grass-fed beef and doing Crossfit workouts, you're parked in front of a screen most of the day: for you, Chris has included an entire chapter on increasing your outdoors time. I'm willing to bet there isn't a single person who couldn't benefit from reading Chris's book, no matter how healthy you think you are, or how complete you believe your health knowledge to be. I've certainly learned a great deal from it myself!
4. The book doesn't end on the last page!
This is probably my favorite feature of Your Personal Paleo Code - the bonus chapters and additional resources featured online, completely free to book buyers. It's like a buy-one-get-one-free deal! The bonus chapters include recommendations for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, adrenal fatigue, and more. The additional resources include cheat sheets that help you implement the changes recommended in the book, as well as hundreds of links to products, services, and resources that can help you get the food you need for your new diet, the gear that can help you get fit or sleep better, and the programs that can help you manage your stress or sleep better. It's like an encyclopedia for healthy living! Chris doesn't tell you how to live your life and then leave you hanging; rather, he makes evidence-based recommendations for purposeful changes to make, and then helps you make these recommendations a reality in your life. With Your Personal Paleo Code, there's nothing standing between you and your healthiest life.
I could continue writing reason after reason why Your Personal Paleo Code is such a great book, but I think you get the picture. If you're looking to start 2014 on the right foot, make sure you know which steps you should be taking. Let Chris's new book guide you to optimal health!