Two Paleo Cookbooks: Paleo Comfort Foods and Make it Paleo

Recently, I was sent free review copies of two new paleo cookbooks: Paleo Comfort Foods and Make it Paleo. I’ve had a chance to peruse and make a few recipes from the former, but I’ve only just perused the latter. So it’s too early to give my final opinion, but I wanted to at least offer my preliminary thoughts on these cookbooks.

Both books are stunningly beautiful, with full-page photos that make you want to make and eat every dish, RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT. That’s non-trivial! I don’t like a cookbook without pictures, as “ooooh, that looks yummy” is a huge part of my motivation to try a recipe.

Also, I like the design of both cookbooks. The recipes consume one page at most, with the ingredient list separated from the instructions. So you can easily assemble your ingredients, and you don’t need to flip pages in cooking. The …

Paleo: It’s What’s For Dinner

I’ve been trying for some time to think about how to talk about our diet and the way I prefer that all of us eat. For some reason, it’s been a difficult post to try to organize in my mind, so I think I’m just going to write this out in brain-dump fashion and hope for the best!

By the way, the working title for this post was “There and Back Again: A Paleo Tale.” Because as you’ll see, this whole change in the way of thinking about eating has taken a looooooong time, with many stops and starts. Fortunately, there weren’t any trolls.

The purpose of this post is not to analyze the benefits of the paleo/primal/evolutionary diet, and I am by no means an expert and can’t quote you many health statistics. For information about that kind of stuff, and to read about it if you’re trying to …

Happy Birthday, Modern Paleo!

On this day one year ago, I launched Modern Paleo.

Thanks to the help of a great slew of Objectivist paleo bloggers from OEvolve, and particularly the blog editor Christian Wernstedt, I’m really proud of this first year of blogging.

I’m also delighted with the growth of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list and its associated blog carnival, The Paleo Rodeo. We have 126 members on the list, and more join each week.

I’ve got some exciting plans for Modern Paleo’s second year, so stay tuned!


Modern Paleo

Announcement: PaleoFX

This PaleoFX conference looks really interesting! Alas, I have other plans for this weekend — namely SnowCon 2012 — but this looks like a great rival to the Ancestral Health Symposium. (Hooray for competition!)

Here’s the announcement:

PaleoFX Partners is proud to announce the inaugural PaleoFX Symposium in Austin, TX, March 14-17.

The symposium theme is “Theory to Practice.” Speakers include Sarah Fragoso, Jack Kruse, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and many, many others — it will be virtually a “who’s who” gathering of the Paleo, Primal, and Physical Culture worlds. The content will be vital and cutting-edge. In addition to fitness and healthcare professionals, nutritionists, and research scientists, there will be top strength and conditioning and natural movement coaches giving hands-on demonstrations. The symposium is intended for laypersons, practitioners, researchers, and everyone in between. Tickets are now on sale. Stay tuned for announcements on ticket giveaways. For full details, visit

Essential Versus Optional in Paleo

When I developed my list of Modern Paleo Principles in early 2010, I’d hoped to be able to sort out the essential principles from the optional tweaks. So forgoing grains would be essential to eating paleo whereas intermittent fasting would be just an optional tweak that a person might never even try. Sounds reasonable, right? Perhaps so, but the attempt was a total non-starter.

Almost as soon as I sat down to write out my list of principles, I realized that I couldn’t possibly separate them into “essential” and “optional,” except in a few clear cases. Similarly, I couldn’t rank its principles by priority except in a very rough way. Despite the core features of the diet captured in my definition — avoiding grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables — that just wasn’t possible.

But… why not? Why can’t we identify …

Modern Paleo: Modern Paleo Journey

First a bit of personal info. I just turned 40. Married with 2 young children. I work as a Mechanical/Software Engineer for a large company. My family and I are relocating to Greenville, SC this summer from upstate NY. I have been a lifelong athlete, mostly in golf (single digit handicap when I play) and tennis (4.0ish). I played college Rugby as a wimpy but speedy back (wing and outside center).


Before diving into Modern Paleo living I was never much overweight, but suffered from Diseases of Civilization. Myopia, numerous cavities, cancer (bladder) to name a few. I got sick 3-4 times per year. I got especially grouchy around meal times where I couldn’t control my anger at times.

After getting to 203# (at 6′ 1″) I decided I was not going to be the 200#+ guy and starting making some changes. I started jogging 3 times per week

Paleo Recipe: Pork in Yellow Curry

In an effort to expand my diet and get more nutritional variety from the foods I eat, I am going to post a weekly new paleo recipe here at C of P.
The other day I was at Figueroa Produce, and, wanting to try something new, I picked up a 1-1/2 lb chunk of pork cushion meat. It looked similar to a piece of beef chuck roast, in terms of size, shape, and fat percentage. I figured I could at least throw it in the crock pot if I was out of time or didn’t really want to spend that much effort worrying about it. Turns out that the crock pot was an excellent choice.
These diagrams explain a little more about where the cushion meat comes from on the pig. It comes from the shoulder area, and is also called a ‘picnic shoulder roast’ or ‘Boston butt’. (I can’t

Locavorism in the Paleosphere

David Csonka of Naturally Engineered recently released the results of the Paleo Community Survey. The results were pretty interesting to peruse, although I didn’t see any shockers.

I was a bit surprised by the number of paleo-eaters who place importance on eating locally-sourced foods. I regard locavorism as focusing on an inessential — and potentially a waste of one’s limited resources. (It’s also dangerous, in that locally-based food economies incur far greater risks of famine.) The proper focus, I think, should be on finding the best-quality foods within the constraints of one’s available resources — meaning time, energy, and money. That may mean buying at a local farmer’s market — or at a large grocery store.

In other words, the fact that some food is produced locally doesn’t add any extra value in and of itself. Sure, local foods may be fresher, tastier, and/or cheaper. In that case, they’re worth …

Modern Paleo: Why the Paleolithic? (Or “Why Can’t We Just Eat Like the First Cell?”)

Ari on the OEvolve list asked:

Paleo people themselves had ancestors. If our goal is to eat like the Paleos ate, should Paleos have eaten as their ancestors ate (for optimal health)? Moreover, how do we know that any particular food that a Paleo person ate was optimal for that person’s biology? Maybe the Paleo diet was partly or largely non-optimal.

Let’s pose the question in an even broader way: How do we know that the Paleolithic era (roughly 2.5 Ma to 100 ka) should be the template for our diet when our ancestors have evolved for 3.8 billion years since the first life on earth? Why can’t we just eat like the first cell?

I think that the general answer to this is that it was during the Paleolithic era that Homo Sapiens’ most significant distinguishing traits (large brain + consciousness + upright posture) evolved. It was during the …