Paleo Bookshelf: Must Have Titles For Primal Living

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Paleo eating is awesome.

I used to have a t-shirt that said “Eat Like A Caveman”, but it got destroyed during a brutal tire-flipping workout :)

What is a primal diet?  Basically, it is a way of eating that gives your body the foods it was designed to use, and gives you optimal health, fast fat loss, and tons of satisfaction.

I go deep into primal diets (and primal fat loss) in my nutrition seminars, too deep to cover here.  Take a look at the list below.

Do you:

  • have any “diseases of civilization”? (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc)
  • have trouble losing weight?
  • get periods of low energy during the day?
  • ever suffer from emotional troubles? (ADD, depression, anxiety)
  • get acne, psoriasis, or other skin conditions?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you need to look into primal eating.

Check out this testimonial one of my personal trainer friends received on his website:

I’m 56 years old and have been a type 2 diabetic since I was 32. When diagnosed, I went on the American Diabetic Association exchange diet, which is 50%+ carbohydrates. Believe it or not, the diet worked for a while, because as high in carbs as it is, it was still fewer than I had been eating. Over the years I made an effort at taking care of myself, but medicines increased. At the first of this year I was injecting 10mcg of Byetta twice a day, 22 units of insulin at night, and taking 2 grams of metformin in the evenings. I was unable to predict what my body’s reaction to meals would be. I had frequent lows, because I was trying to maintain healthy blood sugars. I had been doing some studying – read Dr. Bernstein’s book, Taubes’ book, etc. Anyway on January 4th I began my first steps at becoming primal.

With my doctor’s consent, I discontinued the Byetta and began eating a low carb diet (he also agreed I could stop taking the statin I was on). Initially I was eating 90g of carbs or less a day. That soon dropped to 75g and now I am eating <50g a day. I had to start lowering my insulin dosage within two weeks and was off the insulin in 6 weeks. In 6 months I was off the Metformin, so I am now free of diabetes drugs, though I have not yet been able to get off some others. I have hope for the future. The only exercise I used to do was tai chi, which I enjoy a lot, but was not all I needed. I found out about burpees on this web site and began doing those as well. I also found out about grass-fed beef. I was able to locate a farmer about 75 miles from my home who raises and sells grass-fed beef and recently bought half a cow! I’m eating organic raw cheese. I have cut out artificial sweeteners with occasional lapses. I have cut out all grains and starchy vegetables. I do often have one square of a Lindt 85% cocoa bar – it is about 1.5 grams of sugar (never more than one in a day). Otherwise no sugar. No trans-fats. I find I am very sensitive to carbs so the only fruit I eat is berries, in small amounts. I have increased my fat intake in hopes of raising my HDLs, which historically have been < 30 most of the time. I have added coconut oil to my diet. My low testosterone had risen by 200+ points at my last check up. I hope for a further increase at the end of next week when I have another check up. If that happens, I can begin reducing the medicine I am on for that. I feel great and look forward to continued improvements in my health as time goes by. I wish I had known this 24 years ago.

After reading this, one of my clients asked me for a few resource recommendations for someone interested in learning more about the primal eating lifestyle.

The Vegetarian Myth

If, like me, people have tried to pound vegetarian arguments into your head, this book is a must read.

Lierre Keith was a hard-core vegetarian activist for 20 years, speaking at world conferences and being an advocate for vegetarianism however she could.  Until she started to notice all of the health problems that vegetarians have.

(Did you know that 100% of anorexic and bulimic teenage girls start as vegetarians?)

In The Vegetarian Myth Keith looks at vegetarianism from health, political, and environmental standpoints and offers an alternative view: That we are designed to eat animals.

She describes her lifestyle – which is very primal in nature – and how she managed to make the decision to live cruelty free while still eating a healthy (primal) diet.

But be forewarned – Keith is also a feminist and doesn’t care who knows it.  I really enjoyed the book, but it turned a few people I know off (both men and women).  It won’t impact your nutrition education, but I don’t want any more angry emails :)

Bottom line: I read this book twice through in 2 days and keep it on my desk.  If you’re interested in nutrition and health, get it.

Primal Body, Primal Mind

I’m going to be honest about this: I don’t understand this book’s subtitle.  Main title?  Easy.  “Primal Body, Primal Mind.”  Nora Gedgaudas is writing about having a healthy body and a healthy mind with primal nutrition.

It’s the subtitle that throws me: “Empower your total health the way evolution intended (…and didn’t)”

The “…and didn’t” is confusing.  Oh well.  That aside, this is a great book.

I use it as a reference manual more than anything.  Want to know about nutrition and ADD?  It’s there.

How magnesium and zinc support your total health?  Right in the index.

This is another book I use as a desk reference.

Paleo Diet

This is a good all-around introduction to primal eating.

It’s an easy read (where Primal Body, Primal Mind is more technical).

I don’t like the focus on low-fat in the diet, but other than that, this book is a solid read.

Paleo Diet For Athletes

By “athletes,” the author is referring to endurance athletes such as marathoners and triathletes.  The recommendations aren’t for strength and power sports like baseball, volleyball, or wrestling.

BUT, if you are involved in any endurance sports, this book is a goldmine.

The culture of endurance sports has lots and lots of high-carb supplements like powerbars and Clif bars that aren’t supporting health and optimal performance.

Here’s the deal: If you’re into distance biking or running, get this book. If you just want weight loss and health, you can skip it.


This is the book most of my top trainer friends recommend for their clients.

For some reason, the info in this book is very easy to remember.

If you want to be a modern day hunter-gatherer, this book has all the goods.

The Primal Blueprint

Mark is THE MAN when it comes to a complete primal lifestyle. He can explain diet, exercise, and lifestyle without sounding like a froot loop. (Always a danger when writing about paleo diets!)

His ten primal commandments are excellent, and he lays down very clear guidelines, nothing vague.

If you only get one book off of this list, make it this one!

Good Calories, Bad Calories

This isn’t really a “primal” book per se, but it takes a very detached look at carbs and fat, and how they affect our health.

Taubes explains how the low fat, high carb diet came into the mainstream, as well as presenting a history of low carb diets that had info even I had never heard of!

It’s a little harder to read than other books on this page, but well well worth it.

Paleo Cookbooks

If you want to get started on Primal eating TODAY, these cookbooks are instant downloads.

They are what I use to try new recipes.

And guess what…. there’s COCOA!! That’s right, one of the add-ons is a book of primal dessert recipes.

Amazon doesn’t carry these, so you can check them out here: Paleo Cookbooks

That’s it for today! Pick one or all of these and get reading!

4 Responses to “Paleo Bookshelf: Must Have Titles For Primal Living”

  1. Paleo Bookshelf: Must Have Titles For Primal Living | Wold Fitness … | Paleo Diet | if you do the paleo diet you need supplementing Says:

    […] Original post by Luke […]

  2. Eric Schlanger Says:

    my life is a mess right now and being unhealthy and turning to food and alcohol is making it so much worse. so i just had a lowcarb breakfast and am hoping(no! i am going to) do 30 mins of excercise before the day is done.

  3. Luke Says:

    Way to go Eric, you can do it!

  4. Paleo Dessert Recipe: Coconut Milk Ice Cream | Wold Fitness Notebook Says:

    […] cravings and make a special treat, I found this recipe for coconut milk ice cream that uses all paleo ingredients.  (Even with paleo ingredients, please remember that this is a “sometimes” […]