What Is Paleo/Primal?

First off, let me say, I'm not a doctor. There are lots of claims out there that eating real food can heal your body and make you feel better than ever. But can I prove that? Do I have the medical training to properly and authoritatively comment on these claims? Definitely not. So don't be confused. I'm just a regular person posting her two cents about all things paleo/primal. It's your life; take it or leave it.

So paleo. Primal. The caveman diet. This "lifestyle" or "diet" has lots of names and many different approaches. There are blogs devoted entirely to examining what constitutes paleo/primal and why. There's a blog for everything out there these days. So rather than pontificate about things that have already been said by people much more qualified to say them than me, I will point you in the direction of some great resources to help you understand just what we mean when we talk about eating/going/living "paleo" or "primal" (pretty much two words for the same thing).

Best book author on the web for understanding the basics of paleo:

Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf's book The Paleo Solution was what was first recommended to me by a former (and favorite!) CrossFit coach. If you want to learn the nuts and bolts of what "paleo" is according to Wolf and his cohort Loren Cordain (considered the first to write about the "paleo" diet, and in the context of athletic performance too), you should get this book or borrow it from someone. It has lists of foods. It has shopping lists to help not get lost in the grocery store. It tells you about the science behind why paleo makes sense in largely vernacular language (something the next author below tends to ignore from time to time). In general, it's a good book to have on your bookshelf to loan out to other people you might convert, or at least who are curious. People aren't usually fans of things that go against the mainstream of what the FDA, conventional wisdom, or the current medical establishment tends to tell us about nutrition and diets. Use this book to fend off the haters, since we all know haters gon' hate.

Best blog of all time for examining all the science-y stuff out there:

Mark's Daily Apple

Seriously. Best blog in so many ways. Mark Sisson is a well known name in the realm of all things paleo and primal. Mr. Sisson is a ridiculously shredded 57 year old man whose knowledge and abs put most other humans to shame. His blog is dedicated to finding the relevant science out there that explains how modern agriculture is hurting our systems and why a primal approach to life (exercise and food consumption) can help you to feel great while enjoying yourself. He's got a few books that are worth reading for sure, primarily his "The Primal Blueprint", but he also has a great FAQ/introduction to primal living section on his website, which you can find here. Anything you ever wanted to know...

Best blog for helping you get off your butt and change your life at home:

Nerd Fitness

This blog is wicked awesome. It speaks to the nerd in me, and I am a raging dorky nerd if you didn't already know. Steve Kamb, the main author and creator of the site, puts things in terms that nerdy gamer folks like myself can understand.  He even breaks down paleo in a really easy to understand format. All of his posts have pictures of lego people. Does it get better than that? Check out his amazing Beginner's Guide to the Paleo Diet for more information on how to level up your life with healthy eating.

And now, someone who has compiled a much better list of paleo resources than myself, I refer you to Michelle Tam's NomNomPaleo website and her list of resources. I will admit, the first two sources on my list are indeed the same as hers. I didn't plan it that way. I listed the above in the order in which I discovered them on my own paleo journey. But honestly, Ms. Tam has a great list of websites and her own website is a great resource for recipes as is her accompanying iPad app. If you want to learn more about paleo and you can't find it on any of these websites, you're not trying hard enough, dammit.


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