“The Paleo Diet Budget Shopping Guide” is the latest book from Robb Wolf, one of the world’s leading experts on the Paleolithic nutrition approach (also known as the Paleo Diet). Most readers and followers of the caveman approach to eating consider his New York Times Best Selling book “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet” the bible of this approach to better health.
I purchased his newest book several weeks back, and only recently had time to sit down and “read” it cover to cover (twice). Whether you are considering the diet for the first time, or are an avid follower of the diet and a fan of Robb, I think you find this review of his latest book useful.
The 2 Minute Review (Keep reading for more…)
|Format:||Downloadable, color multi-media PDF File. 67 pages in length.|
|Where to buy:||You can purchase his latest book from his popular Paleo web site here.|
|Writing Style:||Witty, humorous, conversational style, easy and entertaining|
|Key Benefits:||Easy tips and tricks to save money and time planning, buying, and preparing tasty Paleo compliant meals. Actual methods demonstrated by some of the leading experts in the field. The book will likely pay for itself in less than a month of following the strategies outlined.|
|What I liked:||Engaging, entertaining read that leaves you with more knowledge than you would think. The interactive audio, video, and pre-screened links to recommended resources are highly relevant and organized in a very consumable format. The time savings on finding these credible recipe, cooking, and nutritional “best in class” sites alone pays for the book. The resources section at the end of the book is a treasure trove of recipe sites, online forums, which you can feel confident using as they’ve already been screened and blessed by Robb.|
|What I didn’t like:||Probably a nit, but in Chapter 5, I would have liked to see some information on buying and using fats and oils directly in the book (links are provided to great information, but would prefer some minimal guidance to be provided directly in this book as well).|
Full disclosure: If you purchase his latest book through any links on this page or elsewhere on my site, I will receive a small commission on the sale. However, I have not been paid to write this review, nor requested by Robb or any other 3rd party to do so. I’ve tried to be objective and give you my honest feedback, but if you feel I missed anything critical please feel free to email me at Russell@cutbodyfatfast.com.
Eating like a Caveman Doesn’t Have to be Expensive, and Doesn’t Require a Spear or a Cross Bow
One of the first things to like about Robb Wolf isn’t his extensive knowledge, but rather his writing style. Reading one of his works is like having an engaging, spirited two way conversation that always seems to end before you expect it. In his latest book “The Paleo Diet Budget Shopping Guide”, Rob has taken his numerous, highly engaging, and often sarcastic approach to telling a story to an even higher level than in his seminal work “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet”. As with his first book, I reached the end way to quickly, and was left with a feeling I usually have after reading a best selling novel – contented and entertained. Surprisingly, I also found myself a bit smarter as well.
This is the magic of his writing style – As one of the leading experts on the Paleolithic approach to diet and health, it would be easy to assume that reading and learning about this diet would be much like attending a college lecture on physics – and therefore something to be avoided even if you know it would be good for you.
Not the case here – his Shopping Guide starts out with prose that will have you laughing out loud, feeling that he is voicing thoughts you thought were exclusively yours, and then quickly digging in and dispelling every excuse you thought was unique about why you’re not following the paleo approach. This is a great start for the rest of the book, and get’s you in the right frame of mind to really absorb what he has to share.
Upfront you have to be prepared to revisit your definition of a book – this isn’t a reference text that you print out and have sitting in the kitchen, or laying on your nightstand for a good bedtime read. It is one of the emerging interactive, multimedia “books” that incorporates text, pictures, videos, and links to pre-screened, highly relevant online resources. When purchased you download it as a Adobe PDF file, but once opened, any resemblance to a normal book or document goes out the window (okay, it does have page numbers). Be warned, however: you need to be connected to the Internet while reading this book to get the maximum value out of it.
What you can expect to get out of this book goes beyond what the title suggests. As I navigated my way through this book and consumed both the written information, as well as the embedded video links, audio files, and visited suggested web resources, I found it did an excellent job educating me across a number of areas such as:
- Learning how to cook- this isn’t about dressing up in a loincloth and building a campfire in your backyard, but rather is a great discussion of some cooking techniques that work exceptionally well for Paleo recipes with a focus on saving time on preparation while preserving the flavors and nutritional value of your food.What’s great about this chapter is not only learning some of Robb’s daily preparation secrets, but also hearing and watching how some big names in the Paleo field prepare their meals and how they approach some great recipes (e.g. names like Cindy Sexton from the Paleo Dish Blog). It’s very helpful getting different perspectives and even watching some of the experts.
- Meal Planning- This one chapter will have you volunteering to pay Robb more than the retail price for his book. I probably read this content 2-3 times to make sure I picked up as much as possible. This is where you learn how to fit everything Paleo into your crazy busy life – meal planning approach and tools, foundational foods to always have stocked in your pantry, fridge, freezer, and produce bowl; A real weekly menu for all meals for 7 days (which looks better than what I’ve been eating BTW); theme nights for dinners; shopping approaches and tools to make this super easy; how to use staples in the diet in new and exciting ways….I’m not even doing this justice. This is the “money” chapter in my opinion, and will really simplify how you approach meal preparation across the board.The single biggest risk, and situations where I cheat (on the diet) is when I’m pressed for time to prepare a meal and all I have in the house is junk food (you know – bread, pizza, frozen dinners, etc). The thoughtful techniques and tools in this chapter will help you avoid this trap without even thinking about it.
- Money Saving Tricks – I must be a cheapskate. No really. I found that my wife and I already were doing many of the things Robb recommends here for avoiding breaking the bank on primitive foods. That said, I found the guidance around buying grass fed beef very useful (and no, if you buy a cow it doesn’t arrive hanging from a hook). If you’ve never tasted grass fed beef, you’ll definitely love the step by step approach to finding and purchasing free range, healthy grass fed beef. Robb illustrates that it isfar easier than you think to find and purchase from family farms. In any case, you’ll find the basics around being smart with where you’re spending your money.
- Budget Shopping Priorities- Robb does a great job of grounding the reader in basic terminology (“organic“, “pasture raised”, “cage free”, etc.) so you can sound like a real expert in just minutes. Better yet – you know how to balance what is really important when faced with multiple choices in the meat department of your grocery. This chapter also discusses what is essential to buy organic in terms of produce (i.e. which fruits and vegetables have the highest concentration of pesticide residue), and items you can safely buy conventional. One thing I really like is that Robb doesn’t take a strict stance on “buy everything organic, grass fed, pasture raised – or the diet won’t work for you” – instead he provides a very balanced perspective on some key areas to focus on in terms of purchases, but advocates that being on the diet even with all conventional food is still far superior to what you are likely eating now.
- In the Kitchen – Great approaches to preparing extra “portions” on weekends to freeze for meals throughout the week. After you’re done reading this chapter you’ll kick yourself for not having been doing this for years. Some “basic” (but likely new to you) tips on storing and reheating food that will save you a ton of time. As with other chapters in the book, Robb also pulls in some of the top tips from other experts in the field – you can start following some of these best practices immediately! This chapter is all about saving time throughout the week, and does a great job of providing you with what you need to be super efficient and eat healthier than you are now (with less time spent!).
- Resources – A bit self explanatory right? Recommended online sites for everything from awesome recipe ideas, to where to buy the right food online, and of course how to connect with Robb online via facebook, twitter, as well as his extremely useful web site!
I’ll be honest with you – I think this book is a must have unless you’re already experienced and an expert at having Paleo be “transparent” in how you live your life today. It will save you months of figuring out a lot of this on your own. However, if you read through the book without visiting any of the resources and viewing the videos, you may reach page 67 and feel it wasn’t worth the money – this was a reaction I had before going back through and actually engaging with the resources in each section – the videos, the audio clips, and some of the excellent references to targeted online content.
Why 4 instead of 5 stars then? I would have preferred to see a little more content included directly in the book in a few sections. I’m still a fan of being able to print out an electronic book or article and have it lying around my kitchen for quick reference for specific topics, and I think with a few additions this book can be made more useful even when not on an iPad or laptop connected to the Internet.
If you invest in this time and money saving Paleo resource, be sure and leverage the format and resources fully before judging this book by it’s cover!