Book Review: The Primal BluePrint

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So…Mark Sisson sent me a copy of his book to review. Over a YEAR ago. I was just sitting down and really outlining my book when The Primal Blueprint (TPB) arrived and I told Mark I’d get a review done when the outline was finished. I started leafing through the book and telling Nicki how good it was and then my wife, who knows me all too well, she hid TPB. And Light’s Out, and Protein Power: Life Plan and several of my other go-to books. What Nicki knew was that I was going to leaf through Mark’s book and say “I don’t need to write a book, look, he has all this stuff covered.” Which is what I’d been doing for the better part of five years and I think she Andy and most of the other folks who know me were at their wit’s end. I’d back-peddle on writing a book and then lament that I thought I might have some input on the topic. Well, I was issued a few ultimatums, TPB was MIA and I set to writing my book. Over a year later and I’m finally following through on that review!

As an overview (if you do not want to read a bunch of details) TPB is EXCELELNT. Mark is funny, spot on with the science and he tackles the whole thing from the perspective of a coach (sound familiar?). This is why, on a macro-scale TPB works so well and has been so popular. It’s a well-written book, it’s accessible, and it’s based on approaches that actually work for people.

I’m going to hit a few high-points that stuck out particularly:

Chapter 1-The Ten Primal Blueprint laws

I really like this approach of “chunking” information. It makes retention better, folks grasp and integrate the high points. Here is an overview and description of those Ten Laws.

In the first two Laws Mark cover’s just about everything you need to know about paleo: 1-Eat lots of plants & animals. 2-Avoid poisonous things. Hmm…you get all the nutrition you need and you can explain things like grain intolerance with a few simple rules. BRILLIANT. This allows for a nice balance between an analysis of the anthropological record and the ability to simply rely on the molecular biology that explains grain intolerances. Mark hits all the important stuff: sleep, sunlight, lifting, sprinting, playing, using yer knoggin’.

Chapter 6-The Primal Blueprint Exercise Laws: Walk, Lift, Sprint.

We talk a good bit about the interplay between Performance, Health and Longevity on this blog and on the podcast. Mark does not lay things out quite in those terms in the book, but you see his obvious similarities in how and what he recommends. His foundation is to perform “a lot” of low-level fun activity, preferably outside. Lift some weights once in a while to maintain a solid level of strength and muscle mass, hit some sprints occasionally to boost growth hormone, maintain power and generally be able to kick-ass! Mark was an elite endurance athlete and coach so he is coming at all this from a very different place than I am as a former power lifter, yet the prescription is the same. Hmmm. Maybe because it works!

When folks ask about an optimization of fitness, I think something like Marks recommendations and Art Devany’s old hierarchal + A-lactic sets plus some scampering are where it’s at. Minimum investment, maximum return. CrossFit used to have this Economics orientation but unfortunately they’ve gotten enamored with more, more more.

You can also download a free copy of TPB free fitness E-book.

The prescription is correct; Mark helps you get going regardless of fitness background. No Excuses!

Chapter 8-A Primal Approach to Weight Loss-Primal breakfast, lunch and dinner

This is a great chapter in that it walks folks step by step through constructing a basic meal plan. I failed folks for years because I assumed they knew what “protein, veggies and fat” meant for a meal. On page 226 Mark uses a great graphic showing the “Carbohydrate Curve” which is a simply way to convey a ton of information. It encapsulates the levels of carbs seen in ketosis, effortless weight loss, weight maintenance, and when the carb levels start creating metabolic problems. This is easy for folks to read and understand and really drives home the importance of Marks recommendations for fat, protein, and veggies as the route to easy fat loss.

Chapter 9-Avoid Stupid MistakesThe Primal Blueprint

I’m almost 40, Mark is in his mid-50’s. You start to notice the MILEAGE after awhile. A lot of that mileage can be attributed to bad decisions. Many of my friends who are no longer alive met their demise because of bad decisions, lack of attention during critical moments. In an earlier chapter Mark makes a point that life can be dull and repetitious, that folks end up buying stuff to try to fill some funny void they feel (I talk about the same stuff in my Cortisol chapter). The other side of this is the hurting/killing yourself because of a lack of thinking. This is a great chapter whether you are a whipper-snapper or old & crusty.

Low Carb Wrap

I really like TPB. I’d be shocked if you do not also. It’s funny, informative and spot on if your goal is to optimize performance, health and longevity. Mark and I differ on a few points, he is a bit more freewheeling with dairy than I am but that’s about it. What Mark has done, both with the book and his damn impressive website is create a place where folks can get solid, accessible information they can apply today to make their lives better tomorrow. I will ALWAYS bemoan not thinking of Grok first! I am a huge fan of Stranger in a Strange land and to be able to say “I Grok thus” would just be bad-ass.

My wife Grok’d that if I started reading The Primal Blueprint I’d likely not write my book. She knows me better than I know myself.

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  1. Andrew
    January 15, 2011 at 3:19 am

    What Nicki knew was that I was going to leaf through Mark’s book and say “I don’t need to write a book, look, he has all this stuff covered.”

    I so get that feeling. A similar sentiment is why the “blogroll” section of my site is titled “blogs I inadvertently plagiarize”. And… why both of you guys are listed there even though I don’t really see myself in the same genre aside from the paleoanthropology and evolution angle.

    In other words, not only have I learned a lot from both of you, but the family, friends, and acquaintances I send to your work thank me for doing so.

    Slainte,
    Andrew

  2. Mikael Henriksson
    January 15, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Hi Rob,

    Agree it’s a great book but there was a lot of details missing that I wouldn’t have been able to grasp without reading your book. I guess I am a big nerd for having the need to know exactly how, what, and when.

    Thanks

    • Suhendra Lie
      January 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      Agreed Mikael. I think the sequence would-be readers of PB and PS is to read Mark’s PB first, absorb and implement, and then read PS for deeper information. Because let’s face it, we meet a lot of naysayers to our way of life, Robb provides the info to shut them all up.

      Cheers! Robb and Mark, you guys are my hero!

  3. Stan
    January 15, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I read Mark’s book a year ago and am reading yours now Robb and I am glad to see so much overlap. It makes me feel somehow safer in all this knowledge (even though I am looking, feeling and performing better) – as though it is not some kind of great mistake.

    Thank you both Mark and Robb – for everything.

  4. Mike
    January 15, 2011 at 5:34 am

    The Primal Blueprint got me started on the whole paleo nutrition thing. It’s a well written, entertaining book. In fact, I was so absorbed that I finished it in one night!

    • Kevin
      January 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Mark introduced me into Paleo after visiting Marks Daily Apple after many years on a typical bodybuilding diet, eating every 3 hours, positive nitrogen balance and all that rubbish. This opened my eye’s to all those wasted years, then the Primal Blueprint was released and like Mike I read it in one sitting. A great book well written and really hit home how I was over training badly and consuming foods that caused more harm than good. This then started my thirst for knowledge on the Primal and Paleo life style for the Athlete which in turn brought me to Robb and Andy’s podcast and I guess the rest is history, Robb’s podcasts and book crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s for me.

      But the Primal Blue Print was my foundation

      Grok on :)

      • ben
        January 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

        my first full book regarding paleo was Sisson TPB, too. loved it. great, easy to follow principles, etc. The only reason i personally go more for the wolf style of things is I actually like a good serving of sciency stuff.

  5. Allan
    January 15, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I really enjoyed TPB, and it was my first book on primal living/paleo. It was really an eyeopener, and a fast funny read. I later purchased The Paleo Solution, & I think they support each other. TPS goes more in depths with the science & expands further on the subject of primal living. I usually suggest people to begin with TPB & then go on to reading your book. I would say you both nailed it in different ways, and both books succeeds creator in being funny, accesible & interesting. You are both doing all of us a great favor by educating us & laying out the tools for longivity. See you in the jungle somewhere & I’m looking forward to your next visit to Denmark, this time I won’t miss it.

  6. Penny
    January 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Mark is great AND it would have been a mistake not to write your book, Robb. Different strokes for different folks…if you haven’t seen his cookbook, run to the store!

  7. Jeff P
    January 15, 2011 at 6:57 am

    P90X brought me to Mark’s site and then his book, my research then brought me to your site and podcast – and for once in my life, I stopped researching further. The gift of knowledge that the two of you bring overlaps in some ways, goes in different and equally impressive directions in other ways. But the ultimate gift is not simply the knowledge you guys bring – it’s HOW you bring it.
    Please keep dispensing your podcast information and how you do it. And keep Andy around, too. :)

  8. Tim Brownson
    January 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I really enjoyed TPB and I like and have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark Sisson.

    Prior to staring TPB as an experiment for my blog readers I talked to (at least) 50 people and not ONE had a negative word to say about it, other than the carb flu stage.

    My wife did really well and saw massive improvements in eneregy levels, but I never got past the carb flu stage and gave up at the 3 month stage because I felt…I think crap is the technical expression.

    New year, new start and all that, so I’m kicking it off again, but this time more Paleo than Primal because even though I quit milk last time I didn’t quit other dairy.

    This seems such a fundamental difference between the two that it just confuses the hell out of me. Well, that and Paleo seems to suggest leaner meats whereas Primal encourages the opposite.

    I’ve no idea where I’m going with this other than to say I’m hoping your book does for me what TPB has done for my wife because I refuse to believe I’m an alien and not wired up the same as everybody else, no matter what my psychiatrist says.

    • Trina
      January 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      I always felt crappy on low carb diets, and I think it’s because I never really turned over to fat burning. I have the suspicion it was because of artificial sweeteners and grain intake (I would spend all of my carb allowance on pasta and bread). I’ve done much better cutting those out and then eating limited yams/sweet potatoes (up to once a day, if needed), and then more veggies in general. Good luck!

  9. Timo
    January 15, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Same here: First read TBP which introduced me to Paleo nutrition, then read your book. I am thankful for both! Especially the science in your book made me more confident that ditching grains etc. is the right way to go. I just wish I had discovered all this earlier, having eaten grains for 35 years now. Now I need to get wife and kids on board. Oh how I wish yours or Mark’s book would be available in German language for them :-)

  10. Brian PCF
    January 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Anybody: I thought it was mentioned in a podcast, but I might be mixed up: is there a digital copy on the website of The Paleo Solution references section?

  11. Jason Sandeman
    January 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I love the layout of the book as well. Mark also has a “Primal Fitness” eBook for download as well. For those into cooking, there is also a cookbook available. Truth is, I found Mark Sisson first, but I stll bought your book as well Robb!

  12. Helen
    January 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

    TPB was my first step towards Paleo, thanks to my twin sister attending a health re-treat in Chang Mai for a month, which is all based on the Paleo way. This has now opened up a whole new world for me and i’ll never go back. At present, I’m half way through TPS which is another great read… TPB & TPS definitely compliment eachother … great works guys!!!!

  13. Nick
    January 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I own both books, and I think yours and Mark’s approach are different enough– kind of a good cop, bad cop thing (with humor). With Mark’s 80/20 principle I was kind of abusing that 20. Yours comes off much more strict with the, “quit whining, and try it strict for 30 days.” Then, there’s a whole bunch of science to tell me why abusing the 20% is killing me. That just works better for me.

    I really like both books, but I’ve loaned out TPB to family because I think it’s an accessible guide to Paleo. I keep yours on hand to keep me motivated and honest. Four months in; 30lbs down. So thanks.

    • Tim Brownson
      January 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Nick I think you nailed where I went wrong too. I think I was maybe only 10%, but that 10% was a very naughty 10% indeed and insisted on drinking wine.

      I know, I know, I’m a muppet, but this time it’ll be different.

    • Allan
      January 16, 2011 at 3:57 am

      Nick, you are so right on the money with the abuse of 20% Like so many other people, I was overindulging myself in the weekends – believing I was in the 20% zone. When I made my decision to have a more strict approach, I started loosing fat a lot faster. I’m not saying that Mark is wron about his 80/20 concept, but as you point out, it’s easy to abuse that 20% – and you can end up carb-loading yourself on weekends. But most people find some comfort in having that zone of slacking, and this can maybe aid in getting people to try out this diet.

  14. Drey
    January 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Robb,

    Great review. Both books are fantabulous. I also have Marks cook book, which has some pretty tasty stuff too!

    Do you typically grab test tubes with clothespins and not test tube tongs?

  15. kem johnson
    January 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I noticed that Les Mills Fitness kind of borrowed his food triangle…

  16. Brian PCF
    January 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Robb et al – first want to say thanks for these wonderful resources: you, the Paleo Solution/NorCal Team, and the blog.

    For anybody that might want to use it, we ran our 8th fairly large Paleo Challenge (54 Athletes in this one), and I created a slide show. Here’s the link.

    If folks have any feedback on it (whether I got anything wrong would be nice, or if it’s useful), I’d love to hear it. Email brian AT potomaccrossfit.com.

    Thanks!

  17. Glen McFarlane
    January 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve read Robb’s blog since mid 09, listened to every podcast (at least twice),and read both Robb’s and Mark’s books. As a part time PT in Defence in Australia for 13 years, I too was stunned at the lack of knowledge about the macros, when I brushed over it in a lesson.

    Mark’s book is a great way to introduce the Paleo/Primal ‘lifestyle’. Even with listening to every podcast, it wasn’t until reading Robb’s book that finally joined to dots in regard to the hormones involved and effected by our diet/lifestyle habits.
    In trying to help the hardest group of people- parents (type 2 Diabetes, Depression etc), I gave them Robb’s book because it better describes the why than the how of Paleo.

    Geek on & Grok on

  18. Katie
    January 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    You and Mark are two of my biggest inspirations in my lifestyle changes, and I am so thankful for both of you! Great to see you endorse TPB, but I’m also glad your wife knew you well enough to keep it away until you wrote yours!

  19. Michael Asgian
    January 16, 2011 at 1:44 am

    To Nicki: thanks!

  20. Adam
    January 16, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Hey Robb,

    Glad to see you finally got around to reading TPB after hearing you always mentioning it in your podcasts! Hey, at least when Mark quotes your review in the next printing of his book it won’t just be credited to, “Robb Wolf – maverick pseudo-scientist and serial T-Nation troll”. Rather, it will read: “Robb Wolf – maverick pseudo-scientist, serial T-Nation troll AND New York Times best-selling author”. HA! Take that Castro… ;)

    By the way, i really like the new site design. Much better than the, er, old new one (?) – not quite so… sterile. I guess that sounds negative, but i totally get the whole marketing dealio and your publisher’s job is to sell books, after all. I think Amber is doing a great job, though (and a bit cute, to boot…;)) I’m working on my 6 DIY projects and i have her to thank for introducing me to Alton Brown – badass!

    Cheers from Adelaide, South Australia,
    Adam.

    PS. Thanks also for the education on the word “grok”. I always just assumed it originated with the paleo/caveman deal – turns out it’s much more cerebral than that, though…!

  21. Paul L
    January 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Rob,

    Great review! I started out first reading The Zone which greatly appealed to me because of the science that Sears used to explain how the body deals with the food it’s given. I then read Mark’s TPB and absolutely loved it because he approached it more holistically, much like Crossfit used to with The Zone. As I got more and more interested in nutrition I found your site and really loved that everything I had learned was fully corroborated by you and Cordain (who’s book I still have yet to read).

    After about 5 months on The Zone, and 20+ pounds lighter, your book finally came out. I got it right before Christmas, and at about the same time attended one of Diane Sanfillipo’s seminars. After that, I decided to start the 30 day Paleo Challenge on January 2nd, and have move past the stagnation point with The Zone. I’m down about another 5 pounds in just the past 2 weeks.

    I really like the balanced approach both you and Mark take with the whole Paleo thing. It’s almost like it works! ;)

    Thanks for everything, the knowledge I’ve gained, along with the health has been invaluable. Keep it coming!


    Paul

    • Robb Wolf
      January 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      thanks Paul! I find it interesting that Mark and I arrived at virtually the same spot but coming at it from vastly different backgrounds.

      • Paul L
        January 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

        Robb,

        The great thing about all three books was how they overlapped and put the science behind a lot of the things I had learned from reading Michael Pollan’s books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. The fact that so many different sources are saying the same thing, and there’s no real connection between any of them, to me, just makes the argument that much more persuasive.

        The big plus that you and Mark deliver though, is in explaining how to implement this lifestyle. In my opinion, that’s where Sears’ failed, and even CFJ#21 didn’t do a great job of it either (or, maybe I’m just dumber than most people and needed you and Mark to dumb it all down for me:)

        But, despite the fact that you and Mark overlap so much, I still think your book is indispensable. So, I’m pretty patched Nikki hid all you reading material and you finally finished it!


        Thanks again,
        Paul

  22. Mark Sisson
    January 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Hey Robb, thanks for the fair and balanced review! Looks like the movement is finally gaining traction. And thanks to all you commenters here for your kind words. Love hearing those success stories. Brownson, you’re next…

    • Robb Wolf
      January 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      You bet!

      • Ash
        January 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

        You guys both rock my socks off. Mark, I love seeing the picture of my friends and I hiking nearly every time I’m exploring your site. Rob, your podcasts crack me up. Both of your books rock, and you both have changed my life (and my triglycerides, from 54 to 31). Cheers!

    • Chris Burrow
      February 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Mark, someone I thought was a health nut recommended that I buy TPB. I stalled a couple of months till I ran across it at the local bookstore. It’s changed everything for me!! I use to take 4 Advil at a time, all day long, wake up at night in pain to take more Advil. Started the primal thing, no pain, lost 50 lbs in first 4 months. I’m 51, down to my college weight, and feel 20 years old. I didn’t consider myself overweight, & thought the pain was part of growing old.
      Thanks Mark!!!!
      Chris

  23. KobeTony
    January 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Glad to see the review, as I started with TPB, then got interested in Robb’s podcasts as I found them a nice compliment and they helped the science sink in (a major project for non-science majors like myself). Robb has the science and hardcore fitness covered, and Mark has the general lifestyle approach down.

  24. paleo tyro
    January 17, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I have a question Robb, if you had to pick two or three links or webpages to sway your own GP’s or endocrinologist’s opinion about the paleo diet, to at least convince them to allow you to give it a go under close observation, what would they be? I’m trying to help my mom find a new enocrinologist in Toronto.

    • Robb Wolf
      January 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Honestly I have no idea. the head of Cardiothoracic Medicine for Enloe, Dr. Puige did an INSANE thing. He read the book, started recommending it to patients and saw improvements in all the stuff he, as a heart surgeon, is concerned with. Most Dr.’s wont read a damn thing you give them so it’s kinda tough. Panu, mike eades, dr. Davis…they are all awesome, but the likelihood of swaying another MD is pretty variable. You’d be better of shopping for a dr. than convincing one IMO.

      • Ashley
        January 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm

        Not sure if this helps, but if you go to Jimmy Moore’s website, you can find a listing of doctors who are open to the low-carb approach. I found one this way – she recommended the book, “Against The Grain” within 5 minutes of meeting her, and she wrote down Robb’s book so that she can read that too. Robb, when is that Paleo Physicians network happening?

        • Robb Wolf
          January 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

          Literally days away…perhaps 2 weeks.

        • Paleo tyro
          January 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm

          Thanks Ashley! I’ll check it out.

          And Robb: Just came back from my GP and I’m furious. He’s been treating me since I was a kid but he wouldn’t listen to a word I said. I just brought a book over in hopes that he would at least leaf through the back and table of contents (The Diabetes Solution; Paleo like). But he simply cut me off with a “Books will only confuse you”, every time I tried to add something in. I really hate to whip out my e-penis but I’m a bioengineering student aiming to go to grad school. I think I could handle a few books… All I could do was whisper sweet obscenities to myself as I thought of ways to find a new GP.

          • Robb Wolf
            January 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm

            Ouch. Where is that Paleo Physician network again?!

  25. Walter
    January 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    The assistant manager at the local Borders asked me to do a guest (as opposed to staff) review of some books. I chose your Paleo Solution, Taubes’ Why We Get Fat and Art De Vany’s New Evolution Diet. I think your book definitely adds something to the discussion (and I’ve read quite a bit).

    I’ve found that people with different temperaments are attracted to different books. So even if someone has said everything that needs to be said, there’s still room for another book and I really benefited from reading yours, even though I’ve been familiar with the paleo concept since before you interviewed ADV.

  26. Dave McKinnon
    January 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I have read both and liked TPB but loved to geek out on the science in your book. Makes me feel all nerdy inside.

  27. Sarah S
    January 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for putting up this review! I second KobeTony’s comment. TPB was the first book I read before my foray into the (awesome) paleo lifestyle. He does a great job discussing the science behind the recommendations without making it dry. After his book, I felt like I had a good understanding of paleo and could try to live (or at least eat) like Grok. Later I discovered Robb’s podcasts (and now reading the book) which go into the processes in more detail. Mark’s website is also incredible and full of great information. I think you guys are great complements–different approaches to the same topics which help keep us all informed and on the road to better health! Thanks for all you do!

  28. Julie
    January 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I’m so glad you ended up writing your book Robb. Yay for
    omniscient wives! Heh. While I agree with your assessment of how
    your philosophies differ (not by much) your delivery is very
    different. Both Mark’s and your delivery is spot-on and it’s just
    so helpful to have more than one way to think about this stuff.
    This information first came to me through a random email I got when
    I was on Tony Horton’s (of P90X fame) who wanted to tell folks
    about his buddy Mark’s new book. I was pretty sick of all things
    nutrition-related at the time. I had recently come to the
    conclusion that being fit and healthy SHOULD be mostly fun and
    effortless (though maybe not in the middle of a metcon, I have come
    to find out) in the sense that it should feel natural and be
    something you are excited about following for the rest of your
    life. Nothing I was aware of at the time came anywhere NEAR being
    fun or feeling natural (meals and math don’t mix in my world) and I
    could barely imagine adhering to any of those stupid programs for
    two months, let alone the rest of my life. I really wasn’t
    expecting to find what I was looking for, but I did in TPB. Then
    the floodgates opened and subsequently I found CrossFit, and
    subsequently TPS, and subsequently Taubes’ work, and on and on and
    on. Nine months later, I am three pant sizes down (no idea how much
    weight I’ve lost since I have no interest in stepping on a scale),
    leaner, stronger, healthier, faster, happier, calmer, more focused,
    more energetic, migraine-less, IBS-less, more creative and – here’s
    the money shot, folks, – I have enjoyed every stinkin’ minute of
    it. It’s more than I could ever have asked for and I will be
    forever grateful for both of your books for being huge catalysts
    for all these mind-blowing changes I’ve experienced.
    Cheers.

  29. Stewps
    January 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the review Robb. Some folks are CrossFit. I’m
    cross Paleo-Primal. It’s very helpful to have your view of the two
    approaches to healthful living. Regarding dairy, could you
    elaborate a bit. I’m almost (picture that last word in italics)
    dairy free but I do have full fat Greek yogurt four times a week
    for breakfast, fat free cottage cheese 4 times/wk as a snack
    & aged high quality cheese maybe 3 times a month. All are
    low carb, high protein & mostly high fat — but more
    importantly make eating much easier for me – easy breakfast, quick
    snack & great non-fried/non-breaded appetizer at high end
    restaurants (or as dessert at a biz dinner) respectively. Thanks
    for your guidance!

    • Fana
      May 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      That’s the thing. There’s 367 ways to diet and 567 opinions on it all. I’ve come to the very graisnode conclusion of:Nobody fuckin really knows for sure. It’s kinda like brain chemistry levels. They can’t be measured, and 10 people with the same diagnosis can all have slightly different levels of the 3 chemicals meaning that the exact same treatment won’t work for everyone. I think it’s the same with nutrition. Your body, your brain, your genetics could very well be totally geared towards this Paleo thing. It could go back as far as your deep ancestors and what part of the world they lived in. This is my friends theory. Sure I enjoy my sweets but you give me the choice between sweets and carb-salt based savory? I’ll choose the later, thanks. So my long-ago-far-away ancestors lived in an area perhaps coastal, where natural sea salts existed and colored everything a little bit salty. Who the hell knows. Point is .nobody knows. We never will. It’s all a roll of the die. I know of 4 people right now trying to lose weight, and we’re all going about it in different ways we’re all having our little struggles but overall it’s working. Could I live the way you are? I’mma go with cold day in hell . No bread? No cheese? Shoot me! I’m trying very hard to accept that science and logic cannot be relied on, that there is no exact formula, that I can’t pinpoint the right combo of foods and exercise and etc to make me consistently lose 2.3 pounds every single week.And when you see commercials saying otherwise?Take note of that teeny fine print .. Results not typical .

  30. Curmujeon
    January 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Love the new site. Especially the forums. The Paleo Solution was my first Paleo podcast. Of course, I have the book–both of them. Maybe Nicki had something else in mind when hiding the books. Eliminating influence from other books on the subject while you were working on yours. I recall somebody big, either a scientist or novelist, saying that they didn’t read others works so that they could stay ‘original’ and not be influenced by others. Maybe Woody Allen?

    Keep up the great work. Your podcast is the first must listen after This Week in Paleo. (Sorry, Angelo does such a great job of bringing together the Paleo World!)

    Listener #13

  31. Chris
    January 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I started reviewing potential diet plans for 2011 around Thanksgiving, and was pretty sure it was going to be paleo.

    I think I’m rare in this regard but I seem to be the only person who read Robb’s book before I read Mark’s. And to date I’ve only those two (And Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Body, which is Paleo + Legumes + Saturday carbgasm)

    A friend recently asked me what they should read and I told them both.

    The opening chapter of Robb’s book on the mythical visit to the paleontology and nutrition departments at a college should be mandatory reading. As in, you aren’t allowed to buy more food until you’ve read it and can demonstrate that you understand it.

    But for some people the rather high level of science in some of those chapters might be off putting. I found them fascinating, but I know several people who wouldn’t make it through without some effort. I’m not sure my mother would fully grasp most of the science. (And I certainly wouldn’t give her Tim’s book due to the extensive and rather blunt chapters on sex.)

    Where Robb’s book is dense with science in some places, Mark’s book is a perfect counterpoint. There’s science there but it’s all presented a bit less clinically. My mother would easily grasp Mark’s book.

    Mark and Robb aren’t two books about the same thing, together both books are worth more than the sum of their parts.

    • Robb Wolf
      January 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Maybe we should re-brand the whole thing and call it The Primal Solution?

  32. Trina
    January 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Robb, you mentioned some anxiety about whether it was worth writing your book after other people had written about the same topic and written well. I just wanted to let you know that I had read L.Cordain’s book, and then ended up buying both your book and Mark’s at the same time, and also listening to the podcast (I’m at episode 30 now) and that it has all helped me get started. So, do not worry about the comparisons! The overlap and reinforcement is all good.

    Many years ago I was vegetarian and very unhealthy, and I had been edging slowing towards more meat eating and eating real food just because I felt better that way, but the paleo diet just really has a different take on nutrition than any other diet.

    Your 30 day challenge was the thing that really helped me get over the initial discomfort(with some yams), as well as all of the information on your podcast about individualizing the program. 2 weeks ago I started the experiment, paleo with reduced nuts and milk. The results so far have been small, better digestion, a day at work where I didn’t mind taking the later lunch(!), a bit more energy, and this morning I took my heart rate and it was 78. For years I had a resting heart rate of 110, and thought I had a stress disorder. I’m thinking now that it was stress due to grain intake.
    So thanks for all of this,you and Andy are awesome, and so helpful to so many people.

  33. Alvin - Six Pack Training
    February 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Has anyone read the Paleo Book for Athletes? I’m curious as to how the Paleo principle’s apply to athletic performance. I’ve been trained to think a certain way when it comes to “fuel” for athletic performance, so I’m feeling a little internal resistance to adapting to this new diet… But I’m certainly open to it.

  34. Tiffany
    April 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I just finished reading TPB. I started the primal diet a couple of months back after my girlfriend convinced me that it would help my bipolar symptoms. Wow, was she right! I’m a believer in the primal way of life. It’s not a diet or a passing fad–it’s a life-change that makes so much sense for me. Along the path of learning about the primal way, I learned that depression is an inflammatory disorder. What causes inflammation in our bodies? Carbohydrates, of course! I was poisoning myself with every piece of bread or bowl of cereal; it made no difference that they were whole grains. Eating right isn’t the only change I made. Routine exercise, meditation and regular sleep patterns have become the norm making insomnia, fatigue and stress a thing of the past. This book really does offer the tools one needs to change your life! I highly recommend it!

  35. Nathan C.
    June 14, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Mr. Wolf, I have both TPB and your book and found them complementary. Both had a lot of useful information.

    If I may, I would like to suggest that at some point you address two things in more detail: A) Your differences with Mr. Sisson about dairy. I enjoyed your book and was impressed by the extensive references to peer-reviewed literature, but it seemed to me that the one part of your book that did need more development was your views on the dangers of lectins in dairy. And B) your views on saturated fat. Mark’s view seems to be, in a nutshell (or eggshell), the more, the healthier; you, on the other hand, come down on Prof. Cordain’s side, or close to it, or so it seemed to me. Which is to say that you opt for lean meats. Why “lean” meats? Even Prof. Cordain seems to have retreated from this position, but you still seem to endorse it. I don’t know who is “right,” or if either of you is; but it would be interesting to see you tackle this head on.

    In any event, thank you for writing such a well-supported, entertaining book.

    Nathan

  36. JJf
    November 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Not much of a review.

    Just an ad – did they pay you to review the book…….

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