My Review of The Paleo Solution

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The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf starts off with a stellar detailed look at macro-nutrients, hormones and then he goes after grains. The Paleo Solution makes the best case I have ever read for removing grains from your diet.

Then the book went into the exercise portion. During his weekly podcast the topic of CrossFit always comes up. CrossFit is a high intensity strength / sprinting / gymnastics form of training. To me CrossFit appears to be over training. However, I have an open mind and I know Robb is a smart guy. I primarily bought this book hoping he would detail his thoughts on this extreme form of exercise. He doesn’t. The exercise portion appears to have been written for people with minimal exercise knowledge. This is fine, but my guess is most of Robb’s podcast fans are well past this point. Robb does state he will be writing a second book on advanced fitness called Fight Prep.

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet

The Paleo Solution keeps the food chapter simple stressing the fact that the paleo diet really is simple. This is good since helps empower people. Most people eat paleo meals already. Bacon and eggs is paleo (hold the toast). So is a grilled chicken salad (no croutons). The one part that left me puzzled was when he said “find leaner cuts of conventional meats”. Why leaner? He spent numerous pages detailing how it is carbohydrates that cause fat gain and not fat. Why am I am to choose leaner cuts? That is never explained. If I’m already eating 100% grass fed meat with optimal omega ratios, why should I avoid any cut of meat? Everything I’ve read on this topic so far has claimed that Paleothic man favored fattier cuts of meat. *** UPDATE: Gil clarified this statement in the comments below.

Another issue I have with this book is that there is no index in the back. Can you imagine if Good Calories, Bad Calories was published without an index? Many years ago when Dan Duchaine published Body Opus without an index, a dedicated reader stepped up and created one. That home-grown index was widely distributed across the web. I hope that a fan of The Paleo Solution does the same thing.

I agree with the paleo message. I have for over two years now. It works. And although I agree with the message of The Paleo Solution, I couldn’t figure out who the book was written for. It seems the first half was written for his current fan base. Those people like me that made this book a NY Times bestseller. The second half is much more accessible to the person just being introduced to the paleo diet. I just hope those people make it to the second half of the book without being overwhelmed.

I loved the first half of The Paleo Solution. For me the second half was a disappointment. Would I recommend this book to a friend or loved one that needed nutritional help? Probably not. I’d have them read Primal Blueprint or Primal Body Primal Mind first. And then if they still wanted to eat grains, I’d hand them The Paleo Solution.

UPDATE (Dec 9, 2010): Someone listen to me and created an index for the book.

9 thoughts on “My Review of The Paleo Solution

  1. Gil

    When he says conventional meat he is referring to NON grass-fed sources. The idea is that conventional meat is corn fed so the fat you are getting is primarily highly inflammatory omega 6. When talking grass fed he does not say to stay lean, in fact he has said in his podcast he would eat grassfed meat fat out of a bucket if he had it.

  2. @Gil – Thanks for clarifying that point. I think he could have use a better term than “conventional”. Maybe “factory farmed”?

  3. Gil

    In his defense, “conventional meat” is a pretty standard term when referring to non organic or pasture raised farming. I hear and see it all over. Also even non organic produce is usually referred to as “conventional”

  4. Gil

    I’ve only read part of it so far. Trying to find extra reading time while in college is not easy!

  5. thomas

    I have read “The Primal Blueprint” although I am a vegetarian. Recently, I was told that I always look like I am tired. Well, I am. You have kindly mentioned coconut milk, avocados, etc. for increasing my fat intake. I hope it has helped.

    Upon further inquiry, I was told I always have bags under my eyes. Just wondering if you think that primal blueprint diet (less inflammatory diet) will decrease the bags under ones’ eyes.

    I would eat meat if the coconut milk etc. isn’t working too.

    thanks for any advice.

    T

  6. @thomas – Sometimes lean people have bags under their eyes. It may or may not be diet related. When I did a vegetarian diet, I was tired and in some photos my face looks gaunt. It all went away when I added seafood.

    Are you cool with seafood? I did 7 years doing a vegetarian + seafood diet and felt great. Of course I ate seafood almost every meal.

    More sleep may be also the answer. I believe we need more sleep when the days get shorter.

    A third possibility is that you need to supplement with Vitamin D3. This is important in the colder months and especially for vegetarians.

  7. thomas

    Thanks for the advice.

    I just am starting to have my doubts whether a vegetarian lifestyle is sustainable for my energy needs and overall sense of vitality. I don’t plan on eating McDonald’s but I would prefer a simpler diet overall. Being a vegetarian isn’t conducive to simplicity.

    Chicken and beef are both pretty gross unless from good sources. Seafood is sort of expensive. I don’t know how I would be able to eat seafood at every meal unless I planned on becoming a deep-sea fisherman, but that sounds great.

    As a matter a fact, I am going to go out for sushi right now.

    Best, T

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