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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
The Paleo Lifestyle Explained, by Jeffery St. Julien, RN, is a valuable health promoting book about the Paleo Diet sensation. More than the Atkins diet, it is a low and optimal carb diet based on the way our ancestors theoretically would have eaten — at that time fruit would have only been available in season instead of all year round like today. Grains would have been inedible without the milling and processing used today. St. Julien writes from the inarguable perspective of a professional in the medical field with an opportunity to observe patients suffering from a multitude of diseases, not the least of which is evidenced in the obesity epidemic. Putting these elements together, he realized there could be a link between a grain-filled and otherwise processed diet, and these “new” diseases of diabetes and obesity.
The Paleo Lifestyle Explained lists many benefits to adopting this lifestyle: feeling better, stabilizing blood sugar, weight control, fat burning, better sleep, healthier looking skin and hair, reduced allergies, reduced inflammatory pain, improved mental clarity, lower risk of debilitating “lifestyle diseases”, and too many others to list here. St. Julien does not neglect the science of how this works in your body. Grains, glutens, dairy, and lectins are the villains here, stripped of their enzymes and essential fats through processing. Processed food makes one more susceptible to dramatic highs and lows in blood sugar, causing lightheadedness and hot flashes, signaling the damaging effects to the body. A study from the Annals of Neurology is cited, stating that men who consume large amounts of dairy foods are more likely to suffer Parkinson’s Disease. As someone who has observed this crippling disease in my own family, I know this is nothing to trifle with.
Other foods are limited as well, and some have expressed concern that the diet is too limiting, but the food is available at any restaurant and recipes are included in the book for dressings, salads, and sauces you can make at home. All in all, this is a very approachable diet and lifestyle and one that I enjoy.