In May 2009 I discovered the paleo diet and Robb Wolf. The paleo diet was pivotal in improving my health. Robb’s blog became a source of information and inspiration. I’ve devoured his blog posts and listened to every podcast. I also read The Paleo Diet books and articles by Loren Cordain. I wondered if there was anything else to be learned from Robb about Paleolithic eating, I’d already learned so much from the free and valuable information dispensed on his blog.
I was thrilled however to find that from the first page of The Paleolithic Solution I was completely drawn in by Robb’s book in the same way as a hard to put down novel.
Robb is no ordinary nutritionist, he has a degree in biochemistry and has worked as a research scientist, including working with Loren Cordain – the world’s leading expert on Ancestral Health. He is also a sought after strength and conditioning coach and an athlete himself. He has been researching and teaching Paleolithic Nutrition for over 10 years.
The Paleolithic Solution is a wonderful combination of nutrition biochemistry, paleolithic dietary principles and practical advice, gleaned from many years of research combined with practical experience working with clients. (All dispensed with a good dollop of Robb Wolf humour) What you get is a nutrition book that is purely about what works, not just in theory but in real life, tested with thousands of people, from sedentary to elite athletes, from children to elderly, from the already well to the ill.
Robb’s delivery is unique, I can’t ever remember having a good laugh reading nutrition biochemistry before. He has quirky sense of humour and an engaging and accessible writing style.
Robb starts off making a sound case for paleo eating, by giving us the science as to why we should eschew grains (even whole grains), legumes, dairy and other foods of ‘civilisation’, and eat like a hunter gatherer.
He then details nutrition biochemistry, tracking the dietary macronutrients (protein carbohydrates and fat) from your “pie hole to your hoo-ha”. He explains critical hormone function (leptin, grehlin, PYY, insulin, cortisol etc) in a simple, accurate and understandable way, far better than in any other lay person’s nutrition book I’ve read. In fact all the science is well explained; it is simple enough for the layperson, yet has enough depth to satisfy the geek (like me).
Robb then guides us gently through the complex machinery of our body and shows us how the wrong diet causes miscommunication and malfunction. How certain foods cause leaky gut and digestive issues, trigger auto-immune disease, cholesterol problems and osteoporosis. All the different fats and oils we eat are identified and their roles explained. We are shown how an imbalance of fats messes with our inflammatory response.
Every aspect of our lifestyle comes under Robb’s scrutiny. Stress and cortisol, sleep and exercise are all crucial to manage and balance for optimal health (and looking good). Our ancestors got it right without thinking. We need to actively put anti-stress factors into place. Without adequate sleep for example Robb says you will “completely cock-block your fat loss”, “get fat, sick and diabetic” and “get old and wrinkled before your time”. Oh, and he gives solutions for sorting this out too.
Robb doesn’t just leave us up in the air by telling us the theory – he also gives a detailed plan so you can carry out your own 30 day trial, as well as the blood bio-markers to monitor in order to track your progress.
This plan includes:
A straight forward, simple workout program, designed for beginners to intermediate exercisers, which can be done at home.
What to eat, what not to eat, plus a 30 day meal plan, (written by Scotty Hagnas of the Performance Menu) I admit I haven’t tried the recipes yet – but they look delicious, nutritious and simple.
And not to neglect alcohol – Robb includes a recipe for the infamous NorCal margarita.(Gluten and sugar free!) And of course includes instructions on consuming any alcohol.
He gives comprehensive information on some important supplements, explaining what they do, why we might need them and how much to take.
This is the book to read if you want a thorough grounding in Paleolithic Nutrition and lifestyle, and all the tools to put it into practice.
I highly recommend it.
And – if you want a copy – I have them available here (New Zealand only).
Further insights into Robb’s book – excerpt:
How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days)
And a great podcast with a female issues focus http://www.stumptuous.com/the-paleo-solution-podcast
Paleo Diet Results:
I’ve tested Paleo eating on a range of volunteer clients over the last 6 months with outstanding results. From ordinary adults to national class athletes.
And Jamie Scott (Paleo Muse) NZ nutritionist talks about his own paleo results