Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
As a rule, I like to begin every new year with a clean slate in all areas including eating. For someone as active as myself, a former professional dancer, gymnast, triathlete and marathoner, everything I ingest is a conscious decision. Strength and suppleness in my muscles, ligaments, joints, heart and overall physical health is a number one priority. I love being able to jump, turn and soar through the air in a dance class, power through an acrobatic workout, swim in the ocean, downhill ski and recreationally do any activity that spontaneously gets my attention. Life is so much fun having that kind of flexibility. So I’m always on the hunt for ways to keep myself in prime condition. When I received Paleo Cleanse for review I thought, “Ok, this might just be the thing.” Plus, there’s definitely a little bit of vanity in following the lifestyle of one’s namesake. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that my surname is one of the biggest keywords on the internet. lol
“30 Days of Ancestral Eating to Detox, Drop Pounds, Supercharge Your Health and Transition into a Primal Lifestyle.”
Paleo Cleanse is a very straightforward, no nonsense guide on how to transform your body and improve your health via a hard-core cleanse based on the caveman diet, by following a 30-day plan to rid your body of toxins without feeling deprived. Included are over 100 recipes using whole ingredients like meats, eggs and fresh vegetables to help you:
- Lose weight
- Increase Energy
- Boost mental clarity
- Improve digestion
- Reduce Inflammation
Confession: It’s now January 3rd and my second day consciously eating as primally as I can muster in a modern world. Personally, it’s not so tough aside from the (I forgot about this part…) intermittent but temporary detox headaches. Last January 1st, I went completely “cold turkey” for 6 months in order to break myself of a serious carb addiction, lower my cholesterol, knock a few inches off my body and increase my energy. I was actually ordered by my internist to do so while trying to recover from a long illness. Feeling a very desperate need to improve my health, I did it. The results were amazing until June rolled around and I really wanted an ice-cream. Alas, I fell off the wagon, although mostly maintaining the basic principles. Now that I’ve had my fill of everything my taste buds “craved,” this second round with Paleo is kind of a no-brainer. The Paleo Cleanse, is one of those helpful reminders that offers a different point of view of the “How-Tos” and non-abrasive, practical ways to achieve them.
There is a lot of helpful information in the first several chapters. The rest is really up for you to decide what’s best. That is how authors Camilla Carboni and Melissa Van Dover leave it to their readers in any case. Their suggestion is to follow this lifestyle for the first 30 days very strictly “by the book” in order to get the full benefits of a Paleo cleanse.
Variety is key psychologically and comestibly for most people and there are wonderful recipes, grocery lists and meal plans included, which while testing them at the latter part of 2014, I found occasionally difficult to follow, but generally satisfied. You’ll have to be inventive at some point on your own. Also, compensating for a busy work week of travel and not spending as much time as you might like at home is already challenging. You’ll have to find your own way around that too, if you don’t have the work from home option. This particular tome asks you keep your food intake to service from your own kitchen which isn’t going to happen for most people…at least not in every instance. And in a world filled with too may low nutrient/high carb alternatives on grocery shelves it’s going to feel insane without some serious thought and preparation. If you really want this to work, you’ll have to put in some work. This is not a quick fix diet, although there will be some incredible, immediate benefits.
Here’s what I loved:
The authors are 100% supportive where the lifestyle is concerned. The book is somewhat conversational and you’ll feel like you have a buddy/coach comfortably urging you in the most positive direction as if it is the easiest choice you can make. In fact, within Chapter 14 (Week 3 page 152) readers can find a link to a website called, ThePaleoPact.com where everything you need to succeed in this cleanse can be found including giveaways, products, humor and even advice on dealing with criticism. Apart from wishing they would have mentioned this information in an earlier chapter, it is one of the awesome additional perks and a great way to keep accountable. Plus there are more yummy recipes to discover.
There are whole chapters dedicated to Paleo Food pyramids versus Traditional, tips on pantry purification, worksheets for tracking progress and what NOT to eat in your first 30 days for prime results.
I also loved the all-you-can-eat vegetables (Cauliflower Humus is ‘da bomb’!) included in the meal plans as snacks to get you through the withdrawals of grain based carbs and the suggestion of doing what many of us think is the impossible — making meals for the week. Although a definite commitment of time for the preparation and cooking process, this one weekly chore actually freed me from the unbearable hassle of having to think about breakfast, lunch and dinner, night after night. It put the fun back into it. And along with time, I saved money!
Personal past Paleo benefits included allergies subsiding, more focused, clearer thinking, more energy, smoother skin and with exercise — firmer muscle tone and weight loss, for starters. And truly, I was able to finally break my carb addiction.
Paleo Cleanse is a great starter book for those looking to dip a toe into the water of the lifestyle and a helpful companion to get them through the initiation process. If you are not a novice, it’s a quick boost for revisiting. Light easy reading and immediately usable, included are charts to assist in tracking progress and habits. They do say “hard-core” cleanse and it kind of is. But the best thing to know is that you absolutely won’t go hungry on this diet — ever. Recommend.
For fun I did a quick YELP search for Paleo restaurants in Los Angeles.
The list might come in handy later on after your 30 day cleanse period or in case you really NEED an extra option.
Downside: Not for vegetarians, vegans or raw food eaters. Primal means animal proteins. Legumes, all grains and soy products are restricted here. Also, no dairy, no alcohol and NO CHEATING. If you are partial to any of these…it’s not for you.