Book Review: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

I finished the Paleo Solution book and was really impressed by it. Having an enormous stack of "diet" books (which I'm selling on Amazon if you're interested, holla!) I was reluctant to purchase given the typical uniform format: are you ready to change your life? Here's examples of who did! Here's why you should change your life! NOW LET'S GET STARTED. 


So I thought about this one for a long time before I purchased it, and listened to 7 or 8 of his podcasts to make sure he wasn't a douche and that he had something interesting to say. I read his blog. I googled reviews (work is still slow) and read up on them. I asked Skwigg. I googled comparisons between his book and Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. 

I know that I felt best when I was eating meat, veg and fat ala Atkins. But I wanted to know why. Specifically, I wanted to learn the science behind my specific hormone response to foods. I read Mark Hyman's Ultrametabolism book, which was seriously amazing and eye-opening, but at the time I thought no dairy? No gluten? No sugar? Are you insane? Now that I can't eat dairy, and have noticed how I feel when I eat bread and sugar, well it's not so far out there. 

So Robb Wolf is hilarious. And really, really smart. Really smart. He's not dogmatic and his book doesn't proselytize; he asks you to prove him wrong. Eat Paleo (meat, veg, fat, fruit) for 30 days and see how you feel. He's self-deprecating but not in an obnoxious way. 

I learned about the origins of gluten and grains, and why they cause inflammation, and well, I think most people know inflammation = bad, right? I learned specifically why. The Mark Hyman book was great in educating me as to to the general inflammation = bad, but this book went much further into detail. Robb's approach is very thorough but still understandable. I read the Precision Nutrition blogs and always skip the methodology and go straight to the bottom line. So I was thankful Robb doesn't go into methodology -- PHEW. 

The only bad: I counted four mispellings/typos in the book. Ouch. Venders, gall-stones, and two others I can't remember off the top of my head. My background in editing makes these things stick out and erodes just the tiniest bit of credibility. Also, Robb likes to use the word fanny, which I find annoying. But he also uses the phrase Buttercup a lot in addressing the reader, which I find totally charming. 

The book also talks about the importance of getting 8-9 hours of sleep. I'll be eager to see if he addresses just exactly how to do that when you have kids (he doesn't) in podcasts -- I'm scanning the archives. There's a book he cites often called Sleep, Sugar and Survival, about it. I'll be getting that one from the library, since I'm taming my trigger-happy Amazon purchasing. I'm pretty sure it tells you that sleep is awesome, but way better for you than getting up early to work out and the role cortisol plays in all of it. Robb also goes into that quite a bit. 

I finished the book last night (started it Monday, so it's an easy read). The thing that I noticed is that with this book, I don't feel like This! Is! It! My new life starts RIGHT NOW. I feel like, yep. That about sums up why I feel so great not eating the things that well, make me feel bad. Grainy things. Tons of fruit. Here's the science to back up what I've known about my body for a long time. Given the things I've learned about gluten and inflammation, I am going to cut it from my diet for 30 days to see what happens -- I've been cutting back, but not completely. While I do not think I'm gluten intolerant, I do believe the research and Robb's thoughts on why gluten should not be a part of our diets. I'm giving myself permission on Thanksgiving to consider some stuffing and pie. I'm also going to increase the amount of fish oil I'm taking. He also recommends if you're looking to lose fat, to cut way back on fruit (and only berries/melon then) and choose vegetables that are lower carb. On his website is a quick start guide and a food matrix, which helps you plan meals but also has official lists of what to eat. I printed it, but looked at it and had flashbacks from Weight Watchers Core or Simply Filling list, so meh. 

I'll keep you posted; but I'm so thankful I'm not in the mindset of MY NEW LIFE-CHANGING WAY OF BEING after Robb's book. So I won't be filling you in with riveting updates on my weight or measurements or pant size. Unless it's dramatic, and then you know I'll milk that for all it's worth.