Book Review: The Paleo Solution

by Kilo on March 3, 2011

paleo solutionOkay, who wants to play caveman? Robb Wolf does. I have to say, if there were more diet and nutrition books as entertaining and well-written as this one, I’d be doing more reading about diet and nutrition.

The full title of the book is The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. By “original” we’re talking about the first people, way back when, as they roamed the earth hunting and gathering. To sum up The Paleo Diet really quickly, people in the past (think at the bare minimum before processed foods):

  • Had fewer diseases
  • Felt better
  • Slept better and more
  • Were more awesome

Why? Among other things, they didn’t ingest the chemicals we did, they didn’t eat processed foods, they had healthy cortisol and insulin levels, they didn’t eat evil grains and bread, and they didn’t spend their decades logging time in cubicles, chairs, and breathing through their mouths as they stared endlessly at little electronic screens.

And now you can have all the same things these ancient folks did, minus their short and harsh lives. Or so the legend of the Paleo Diet goes.

Mr. Wizard

I loved Mr. Wizard. He could distill complex concepts in a way that the six year old me could still understand.

And now I have to hand it to Mr. Wolf. There is a ton of dense, scientific jargon in The Paleo Solution, but it’s not intimidating or boring, at least not to me. There were paragraphs with four words I had never seen before, and those four words would be crucial to understanding the one word the paragraph was trying to describe. But his use of metaphors and analogies let me understand the basics, while the science-talk was written engagingly enough that I never skimmed it.

This was a first. I read about every single word about leptin, peptides, poly- and mono- this or that, chyme, PH balances, cortisol, endosperm, insulin, and I never felt the urge to rush ahead and get to the “So you didn’t want to read the science but you’d still like to try the Paleo Solution” portion of the book.

Am I trying the diet?

I am not. What I am currently doing works for me in terms of body composition, strength training goals, and my overall feeling of well-being. And I’m currently to eat just about anything I want, within reason. I’m able to tweak my sleep or training methods well enough to allow me pizza and ice cream every week, and I’m not about to change my diet if I don’t have to. We’ll see what happens.

But! I highly recommend reading the book if you have an interest in nutrition, you’ve never been able to make it through a nutrition book, you wonder what all the Paleo people are talking about so fervently, or you’re a fan of Robb Wolf.

I’m fairly certain that this diet would help just about anyone lose fat, and it’s hard to argue against fewer chemicals and processed crap in our diets. I do have more questions, but I’ll need to do some more research before I can formulate them better.

Are any of you eating like cavemen?

K.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam A March 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I follow the paleo diet and I feel amazing and my performance has increased so much since starting it about two years ago. Im a lvl1 crossfit coach here at crossfit buffallo these are my strength stats
5’7″ 177lb
Deadlift 500
Bscksquat 385
Frontsquat 315
Shoulder Press 185 /behind neck push press 255
Bench 295
From Robb’s own mouth “lift heavy,eat big!”
Great blog btw! Keep it up!

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Kilo March 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Sam. Very nice numbers, too, especially at your bodyweight. I know plenty of CFers who never wind up half as strong as you are. Keep going!

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Sam A March 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Thanks, I agree a lot of cfers don’t focus on strength as much as they should. I feel the whole do”metcons” everyday mentality is a bit too overplayed to the point where it does more harm than good. I follow the Wendler 531 method and mix in strongman as often as I can. I do metcons as my conditioning about 2x a week including some interval stuff such as sprints, rowing, and sled pulls. Sounds like a lot but I keep it simple and keep it fun and focus on producing as much explosive power as I can. Also adding olympic lifting to the mix as often as possible.

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