21 October 2013

Book review: 'Primal Cuisine - Cooking for the Paleo Diet' by Pauli Halstead

Before I started reading Primal Cuisine I was expecting to delve into a showcase of a variety of delicious primal recipes with perhaps a small amount of information about the foods and ingredients. But before I even reached the first recipe I was excited just reading the Preface. Pauli’s passion and enthusiasm for understanding the relationship between food and our emotions, global sustainability, and food for optimum health and wellbeing comes through strongly. I could tell just from reading the Preface that her own journey has been about a lot more than just creating tasty primal dishes, but has been a deep spiritual expedition to truly understanding how food nourishes us on all levels. She talks about Divine Love and God but not in a way that suggests we all need to believe in a particular religion. She talks about it in reference to the universal energy and love that exists in all living things and the role our food plays.

Pauli then goes on to talk about ‘Primal Body, Primal Mind’, a book written by Nora Gedgaudas, a nuerofeedback specialist and certified nutritional therapist. This book changed Pauli’s life and was the starting point for her education on the benefits of following a Palaeolithic diet. It’s interesting to read about the evolution of Pauli’s career as a chef and caterer both preparing and eating conventional ‘healthy’ foods, how her health suffered as a result and how incorporating paleo foods improved her health and completely changed her perception of what foods are actually ‘healthy’.

I particularly like how Primal Cuisine summarises knowledge sourced by famous evolutionary health experts such as Weston A. Price and Francis M. Pottenger and makes the information easy to understand, even for those not yet familiar perhaps with primal health. I also appreciated the general information provided for such areas as the ideal quantities of various nutrients for the general population, such as protein requirements, and believe this information will be very beneficial to many readers, as well as practical methods in which to source and use these nutrients. 

It’s worth noting that many of the recipes list ingredients and brands found in America and not easily sourced in Australia, if at all, so there will be a need for Australian readers to use the information supplied in the rest of the book in order to find suitable substitutions. 

My only criticism is that there isn’t a photograph provided for each recipe and that many recipes require your imagination as to what they will look like upon completion. On the other hand, the recipes are detailed and easy to follow. I’m looking forward to attempting to replicate many of them myself!

If you want to learn how to make a variety of delicious primal masterpieces in your own kitchen then you’ll find Primal Cuisine a handy edition to your recipe book collection. However if you want to go a step further and expand your knowledge to include our evolutionary heritage with regards to nutrition and health and the link between how our ancestors ate to becoming a guide for “the proper nutrition for modern humans” then you will thoroughly enjoy this read!

Author Pauli Halstead
(Photo sourced from the Primal Cuisine Facebook page)

Purchase 'Primal Cuisine - Cooking for the Paleo Diet' here 
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My 5 grateful's today are:
1. Having the opportunity to read Primal Cuisine and learn a lot from it
2. Sunny blue sky days like today
3. Bone broth 
4. Grass-fed meat from Yandina Butchery
5. BBQ's outdoors with good company

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