The moment I set eyes on Real Life Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, I knew that this is a book that will benefit many many people and help them transition to the Paleo lifestyle. If you have a family and want to make the switch for eveyone in your family, this is the book you need.
Real Life Paleo outlines a 3 phase approach to making the switch completely manageable. This is critically important because this is where most people get frustrated and drop the diet altogether. For most people (and their families) trying to change their diet radically, cold turkey is a mistake. It is just not going to happen.
The 3 Phases
These make a lot of sense and is the approach I take in my office with patients.
1 – Swap
Simply stop buying foods that have the most toxins such as, food with gluten, refined sugar and chemical additives. Now that is a challenge unto itself in our food supply today. To help you along, the authors include a handy Grocery List guide, Food Swaps lists and Going Out guide. These tools help you make better choices for your family.
All the guides and lists are tear-away so you can take them with you to the store. Additionally, they have included popular markets where you can buy certain foods and save money such as Trader Joe’s and Costco. I love that!
2 – Remove
Once you have mastered the Swap list, now you can move forward and continue to remove all the other non-Paleo foods in your diet. These would be, all grains, legumes, dairy, and processed fats and oils. Now you are getting to the root cause of many health problems, because these foods promote inflammation and inflammation is the core of many health problems.
Here again, Stacy and Matthew provide you with a guide called Simple Safe Foods and Stocking Your Paleo Home to help with this transition. There is also a Family Fun Guide to encourage the members of your family that may have some resistance to change.
3 – Heal
Here is the phase where the real healing and health promoting foods are added that you may not yet be eating. These include recipes for stocks, gelatin, fermented foods, organ meats and super vegetables. Stacy and Matthew have 3 small children that are all on board and your kids can be too!
To help you along with these additions, they have included a Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices guide that shares critical aspects of lifestyle factors such as, sleep, stress management, play, sunlight and movement.
Other Perks in the Book
There are also one week meal plans that share with you how to put together completely balanced meals.
The recipes are clearly labeled when they are nut-free, egg-free, nightshade-free, under 30-minute meals, 1-pot meals, under 5-ingredient meals, recipes for great on-the-go foods, and recipes that are perfect for holidays. This really helps for those on further restricted diets or for those just in a rush to make a meal!
Been a Paleo Eater for a While?
This book is certainly for you! Just look at the Recipe Index in the front of the book. Instead of a regular table of contents, there are thumbnail photos of the food. I love this! It makes it so easy to see what it’s all about!
Furthermore, the recipes are amazing! I knew I would love them because I use their cookbook Beyond Bacon regularly! In Real Life Paleo, I can’t wait to try the Apple Short Ribs, Epic Bacon Meatloaf, Butternut Bisque, Stuffed Mushrooms, Chicken Liver Mousse and certainly the Creamy Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons. Wow! My mouth is watering!
OK, enough geeking out over Real Life Paleo. Here’s the recipe for Pumpkin Pudding!
- 2 cups coconut milk– full fat, canned (get it here) or homemade coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1 can pumpkin puree – room temperature (I used butternut squash already cooked – 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 Tbsp gelatin powder (where to buy)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (I used honey) (where to buy)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (get salt and spices here)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
For serving (optional):
- Chopped nuts
- Whipped Coconut Cream (recipe in the book)
- Slightly Sweet & salty Snack Mix 9recipe in the book)
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the coconut milk and pumpkin until combined
- In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the gelatin powder and stir with a fork until the gelatin powder has completely dissolved – do not let the gelatin cool
- Add the gelatin mixture to the coconut milk and pumpkin puree
- Turn on the blender or food processor and add the remaining pudding ingredients
- When the mixture is thoroughly combined, pour into 6 small bowls and let the pudding set in the refrigerator for a t least an hour
- To prevent s stiff skin from forming, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding before chilling. Store chilled for up to several days
- Serve cold topped with Slightly Sweet & Salty Snack Mix, chopped nuts or whipped coconut cream if desired
Prep Time: under 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings