The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser
“Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs; Prevent and Reverse Disease; Lose Weight Effortlessly; Look and Feel Better Than Ever”
Author Chris Kresser is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner with a practice in Berkeley, CA. He also runs the popular health website Chriskresser.com and hosts the Revolution Health Radio podcast. This book was originally published in hardback under the title Personal Paleo Code in December 2013. The paperback version carries the updated title, but both books are identical otherwise.
The introductory chapter bears a bold title: “This Book Can Save Your Life”. I suppose he makes this nervy statement to grab your attention right away – “This book is no ordinary diet book,” he seems to say. In many ways he is right, because this book does not advocate the One Single Way to be healthy, and as you work your way through the chapters you are repeatedly encouraged to trust yourself, listen to your body, and go at your own pace.
“Here’s the truth: There is no single formula to follow that will guarantee you perfect health in three weeks – or seven days, or any other arbitrary number you find on the bestseller list. As seductive as that sounds, it just doesn’t work that way. The only formula I want to give you is the formula for figuring out how not to follow a formula! If my clinical experience treating patients has taught me one thing, it’s this: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet and lifestyle. After all, the fossil record indicates that not all Paleolithic people ate the same way. So why should we expect a single program to be the perfect fit for everybody?”
I love the early chapters that give dietary examples of traditional cultures such as the Inuit or Aboriginal Australians. It was refreshing to read a logical explanation of what it means for a food to be nutrient dense, and I was glad to see that diet was not the only focus, but that exercise, gut bacteria, stress management, healthy sleep, correct sun exposure and social connections were also addressed as being equally important factors in a healthy life.
I enjoyed the real-world stories from patients who found healing using The Paleo Cure. In addition to Chris’ personal story we read about a woman with diabetes and high blood pressure, a young man crippled by Crohn’s disease, an elderly woman with mobility issues and brain fog, a 20-something woman with thyroid disease, a woman unable to get pregnant, a middle-aged man with constipation, another who was struggling with depression, a corporate VP with chronic skin issues – all of these people and many more were able to find healing using the protocols outlined within the pages of this book.
Chris unapologetically challenges conventional wisdom. Instead of going with the flow, he looks at the evidence provided in quality research, and applies a good measure of critical thinking skills. You will find real information on saturated fat, cholesterol, eggs, red meat, and other controversial foods revealed in this book. I especially appreciated the charts on various kinds of fats to use and to avoid.
The 3 steps to discovering your own personal diet/lifestyle solution for health.
#1 begins with a Thirty-Day Reset which removes the major offenders in causing weight, allergies, and other health problems. This is the most strict portion of the diet, and yet after more than a week following this with myself and my husband, I have yet to feel deprived or hungry, instead I’m feeling pretty good!
#2 allows you to slowly reintroduce healthy foods that may work for you such as white potatoes, dairy, or certain grains. If you find yourself feeling sick again this is your clue to remove the offenders again. If they work, then you are one step closer to building your own personalized health plan.
#3 guides you through the final steps of tweaking the diet so it works just the way you need it to, but it is also the time where you address the remainder of your lifestyle decisions including stress management and sleep.
The Paleo Cure includes a Seven-Day meal plan with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner compliant with the 30-Day Reset. As a bonus there are also three more weeks of menus available online. In addition to the extra menus the online bonus materials include entire chapters addressing specific health topics such as leaky gut or adrenal fatigue. More online bonus material includes a guide to supplements, links to sources for healthy meats, snacks, and Paleo-friendly doctors. There is also a forum section where you can start up a conversation with others also working through the diet.
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