You’ve heard to it referred to as the Caveman Diet. And, no: you don’t eat cave men. Rather, at its simplest, on the Caveman Diet you don’t eat things that would have been available to prehistoric humans, avoiding foods like dairy products, grains, legumes, processed oils and refined sugars. Plus you eat meat. A lot of meat. No vegetarians need apply. The goal is to lose weight, increase energy levels and detoxify the system. This is not the place for those who choose diets for ethical reasons. Results are the thing. Results that are sleek and firm and strong. Full stop.
In The Performance Paleo Cookbook (Page Street), author Stephanie Gaudreau takes all of this to new levels. This is not Paleolithic Diet 101. Rather Gaudreau’s book focuses on using food as fuel to bring your personal machine to whole new performance levels. For a first take on high performance eating, you could take a run at a book Gaudreau co-wrote in 2014: The Paleo Athlete: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Food for Performance. Nor was she even then a newcomer to the Paleo diet. Her web site, Stupid Easy Paleo has been running hard since 2011 (ancient history in the Paleo diet world). Gaudreau’s mandate with the book is very similar to that of the web site: simple, easy-to-follow recipes that “stay true to the roots of Paleo” along with great resources for a paleo lifestyle.
Gaudreau knows her stuff and it shows. The Performance Paleo Cookbook is filled with nutrient-dense recipes you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Imagine Blueberry Pork Patties. Curried Lotus Chips. A Swiss Chard Salad that is beyond belief and a whole lot of desserts that will put wanna-be cave people into dinosaur heaven.
This is great stuff. True to form, Gaudreau makes something that can seem complicated quite simple. And in The Performance Paleo Cookbook she does it beautifully and with style. A great (and perhaps necessary) addition to the gym rat’s cookbook shelf as well as those considering new options for age old questions. ◊
Linda L. Richards is editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.