Author of ‘Introduction to Paleo’ Rebecca Field, is also the founder of British online paleo resource Paleo Diet and Fitness. Rebecca’s advocacy of the Paleo lifestyle has stemmed from her own experiences and turbulent relationship with food. Like many of us, Rebecca has battled with her own personal struggles with the seemingly never ending cycle of weight gain, short-lived loss and the inevitable return with a vengeance. Many readers (myself included) will be able to identify with this weight rollercoaster all too well.
The turning point came in 2009, when seeking the help of a personal trainer Rebecca embarked on a diet journey that truly changed her life. After only a few days of cutting out processed food and transitioning to a Paleo diet, Rebecca was amazed at the difference it made in such a short space of time. The lethargy that had become an old friend had lifted, her eczema had disappeared completely, quality of sleep had remarkably improved and Rebecca was enjoying a very welcome surge of energy.
The introduction of the Paleo diet had changed Rebecca’s life completely and the results of this have fuelled Rebecca’s passion for helping others to make that leap for themselves. Where previous diets may have failed, ‘Introduction to Paleo’ aims to show how adopting a Paleo diet offers a long-term (and importantly sustainable) solution to weight management. Whilst most ‘diets’ seem to target weight loss specifically, Rebecca poignantly touches upon the role food plays within the adoption of a Paleo lifestyle. Rather than counting the calories in food, we are asked to consider its nourishment first and foremost and how it enables our body to properly function.
After learning of Rebecca’s own inspirational journey, the book then guides readers through a succinct breakdown of the main scientific principles of the Paleo diet. Interesting topics include the important role of insulin when it comes to weight management as well as how various other hormones play their part in it, too. Rebecca goes into the biochemistry just enough to introduce the basic science, without going into too much depth that could make it overwhelming for someone dipping their toes into Paleo for the first time.
Those who have come from a restrictive calorie counting, low-fat background are introduced to a way of eating that actively embraces fats. (Good fats, of course!) For many, this will be a case of relearning all the things you were previous taught about ‘dieting’. The things that most ‘diets’ tell you to cut-out (fats and red meat I’m talking about you) are back on menu and serve an important role in nourishing the body to achieve optimum health.
After learning about the foods to eat and the things to avoid, the book includes a practical 7-Day Plan for readers to make the transition to a Paleo lifestyle. This part of the book includes useful elements such as a handy shopping list as well as an easy-to-follow meal plan. Readers are treated to a selection of simple but delicious recipes such as “Sausage and Egg Peperonata”, “Spinach and Sweet Potato Curry” and “Stuffed Turkey Roll”, to name a few. There is also a small selection of simple paleo desserts and treats included, which offer healthy alternatives for sweet cravings. Reassuringly, many of the recipes are made with only a handful of everyday ingredients that even the most modest of chefs can make sense of. None of this food alchemy that is often associated with paleo cookbooks!
Rebecca touches upon the many other aspects that reinforce the idea of a lifestyle change, rather than simply a dietary one. Whilst food plays a significant role in the transition to a Paleo Diet, additional aspects such exercise, stress management, sleep and interestingly self-awareness are also discussed. No quick fixes are promised here and instead readers are encouraged to treat this reset as a holistic journey. This is a lifestyle change and one that can have a significant impact on one’s overall health and Rebecca’s story is proof of that.
‘Introduction To Paleo’, is a refreshingly straightforward book, that doesn’t look to over-complicate the Paleo template. The information is presented in a simple, easy-to-follow format, making it a highly digestible guide for those wishing to learn the basic principles of Paleo. Practical shopping lists, thought-out meal plans and simple recipes offer readers an encouraging helping hand. Modest in size, the book could easily be read in an afternoon and yet it provides all of the necessary information to make that informed leap. If you’re curious about the long-term benefits of the Paleo diet, or wish to encourage someone who might be, this book contains all of the information and encouragement you need to take those first tentative steps towards a positive lifestyle change.