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, he’d already dispensed so much free valuable
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. So what you get is a 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 querky sense of
humour and an engaging and accessible writing style.
Robb starts off making a sound case 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 details the 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 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
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!)
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.