Book Review: Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites has been a fantastic resource for people looking to learn more about following a Paleo diet and how to maximize their overall health and digestion. I’m a big fan of her blog as well as her podcast, and I’ve been a guest on her show.  She provides excellent information in a way that is easily understood by the general population, making her an asset to the ancestral nutrition community.

For these reasons, I was very excited when I received my copy of Diane’s much-anticipated book, Practical Paleo, which is a gold mine for those new to the Paleo diet or struggling to integrate it into their everyday lives. I’ve always believed that personalization is the key to long term success, and Diane’s 30-Day Meal Plans will help you achieve just that. Practical Paleo will prove to be a resource I recommend to my patients and online community again and again.

There are a few components of this book that stand out as being especially unique and useful for anyone from the newbie Paleo eater to the well-established nutrition junkie who is looking for ways to tweak their diet. One of my favorite sections of the book is the collection of meal plans specific to certain health conditions and goals. Diane has developed recipes for conditions ranging from autoimmune disease, digestive disorders, thyroid health, and even athletic performance and fat loss. She includes over 150 pages of recipes to help support these meal plans, making it even easier to follow her detailed plans that are customized to your individual needs. Though she calls her diet Paleo, Diane brings in great information from sources such as Weston A. Price’s work, and provides this information with illustrations to help clarify her explanations.

Another aspect of Diane’s book that I appreciate is her detailed but easily understood explanation of a variety of health issues. She gives a thorough overview of general nutrition principles, and then dives deeper into certain common health conditions that can be greatly improved using a healthy diet. Diane’s passion is digestion, and she provides readers a great deal of information on leaky gut disorders, gluten intolerance, digestive distress, and even an illustrated guide to poop! Diane answers the digestion questions you never thought to ask, as well as those that you might have been too timid to discuss, making this book a great resource for anyone struggling with digestive disorders.

One other component of this book that is creative and hugely useful is the tear-out guides featured at the back of the book. Diane has provided a collection of Paleo food lists, pantry staples, and guides to common food substances that may need to be avoided depending on your health condition, such as gluten and sweeteners. Any of these guides can be easily removed from the book and posted on the fridge or carried to the grocery store, making your transition to an individualized Paleo diet even smoother.

Besides just being a great educational resource, this book is really fun to look at. The illustrations are highly informative, and the food photographs are beautiful. Sometimes a book with a great deal of information can be somewhat boring to read, but Diane has combined useful health information with a great flair for style and imagery. And if the food tastes as good as it looks in the photographs, taken by Bill Staley of the Primal Palate, then readers are in for a treat when they prepare the great recipes.

Diane’s Practical Paleo will be a great resource for everyone interested in improving their health using the principles of an ancestral diet. She does a fantastic job of explaining complicated biological and biochemical systems in the human body, allowing the reader to understand the reasons why they may benefit from adding or eliminating certain foods in their diet. Without a doubt, I will recommend this book to my patients and readers, as well as any person seeking to optimize their health using a whole foods approach.

You can purchase Diane’s book Practical Paleo on Amazon. Preorder it now to get the best price before it launches on August 7th!

Note: I earn a small commission if you use the links in this article to purchase the products I mentioned. I only recommend products I would use myself or that I use with patients in my practice. Your purchase helps support this site and my ongoing research.

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Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Polly says

    I am looking to go back to school for some type of nutritional degree. In my research, I am a little overwhelmed. And to be honest, I do not want to learn all the things that I disagree with. I am an avid reader of this site, balanced bites etc. I listen to all your blogs etc. Can you please recommend a program that you think is good?? Please??

  2. Renee says

    This book looks really helpful. Thank you for the recommendation. Do you know if this also caters for histamine intolerance? If not, are you able to recommend a paleo based recipe book for those with histamine intolerance?
    Also as I cannot eat fish do you have any suggestions for ensuring I consume adequate omega 3?
    Many thanks for your brilliant work!

    • says

      I don’t have notes on histamine intolerance in the book, but I know Chris has covered this on his podcast and you could simply follow any of the meal plans but also eliminate that list of foods. Keep me posted- perhaps I’ll make this something available via the blog!

  3. simon cook says

    Dear Chris,
    I have been in the indusrty for some years now. With a back ground of strenght and conditioing and intrinstic biomechancis I now have opened my 2nd chain of health clubs in the UK.

    I think this has to be the hardest email I have ever wrote : I have seen many clincial reports from Drs, surgeons alike on injuries and lower back disoreders and have always been concerned how wrong or limited the diagnosis is with treatment.

    I follow the work of Stuart McGill and Martin Haines amongst others. I am looking into the world of eating and nutrition and like all other industries its a mind field.

    I am wondering if you have any pointers in finding out if a research paper is any good. ? and I presume all your work is backed up by studies.?

    many thanks for you time
    Simon Cook

  4. says

    This looks like it will be a great help to a lot of people transitioning to the paleo diet. Also getting the primal palate guys to do the photography is a top idea. Will add this to my wishlist

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