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The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo by Alison Golden

Jeremy Hendon | September 10
the modern no-nonsense guide to paleo by alison golden - paleo book review

Paleo is so easy.  Just eat real food.

Except…it’s often much harder than it seems.

Giving up foods is not easy to begin with, and then what happens if eating the way that you’re “supposed” to doesn’t actually work?  What if you still can’t lose weight, solve digestive issues, or feel better?

Fortunately, there are people who’ve been through this journey before you.  Alison Golden is one of them.  And she’s picked up a lot of wisdom along the way.

The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo

This book is Alison’s gift to anyone who is struggling with some aspect or another of living a healthy Paleo life.  Whether you’re just starting out, getting back in the saddle, or really trying to perfect your Paleo life, the purpose of this book is to make everything a little bit easier for you.

Unlike most Paleo books, it’s not focused on exactly what to eat or what all the scientific reasons are for why a Paleo diet and life are the healthiest.  There are a lot of books and websites that already provide that information.

The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo is based around a plethora of practical tips, some of which won’t be applicable to your life, but some of which will cue nods of recognition.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Handling a Crisis. None of us like to really plan for it, but there are going to be crises in our lives, both big and small.  And it’s usually those times when our diet and lifestyle take a backseat to the rest of life.

Alison acknowledges, of course, that there are no easy answers, but she’s also come up with 11 steps that can help to maintain your diet and health through such a crisis.  For instance, she suggests that you eat the same meals over and over again during the crisis.

I often think that people view advice like that as overly simplistic and not very insightful, but it’s the simple tips that have really made a difference in my own life.  Doing something like eating the same meal over and over again when you don’t have time or energy to think or cook is integral to our ability to stay healthy while in a less-than-ideal situation.

2. Living with Non-Paleo Peeps. There is no question that I get asked more often than how to deal with people in your home who are not Paleo themselves.  In many instances, these people will actively try to sabotage your diet and lifestyle.

This is pretty much like being in an ongoing crisis, which is why Alison addresses the issue point-blank.  My favorite tip is to “refuse to be a short-order cook.”  What Alison means by this is that if you’re the person doing most of the cooking in your home, then you ultimately need to put your foot down and refuse to cook non-Paleo meals for everyone else.

I see this happen all the time because someone is afraid to force everyone else to eat a Paleo diet.  However, Alison has a great point that if they’re expecting you to cook for them – even if they’re children – you’re not only doing them a disservice by cooking unhealthy food, but you’re also getting treated with no respect for the service you’re providing.

(Obviously, I agree with Alison on this point.  No apologies.)

3. Skill Building. This is not a particular chapter or tip that Alison gives, but it’s a theme that runs throughout the book.

Most people – even experts – act like you should be able to change your diet and lifestyle just by knowing what you’re supposed to do.  Obviously, that’s not really how humans work, as you and I both know.

Alison takes a more practical approach in every aspect of the book and provides explanations and frameworks for how to build the skills necessary to live a Paleo life.  These skills can range from shopping to cooking to going on vacation to handling skeptics.  In each case, there are things to be learned that will help you navigate through these situations.

I am a huge fan of finding ways to more easily and successfully put our knowledge into practice, rather than just trying to always learn more, and Alison does this very well in a Paleo context.

Who This Book is For

Whenever I write a book review, I always say that I don’t think any book out there is for everyone. In this case, if you’ve already got Paleo pretty ingrained and incorporated into your life, then you’re not going to get as much out of this book.

In other words, if you feel like you don’t really struggle much anymore to stay Paleo and to deal with the many issues that come up from eating a diet that is not mainstream, then this book is probably less useful for you.

On the other hand, this book is particularly useful for anyone just starting out on a Paleo diet or anyone who’s been trying it for a while but is struggling to stay consistent or deal with all the obstacles and temptations that life throws in your path.  I’ve dealt with those obstacles and temptations for a very long time, so I know exactly how hard they can be to overcome/avoid.

For that reason, I really like The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, and I think that many people will benefit greatly from reading it.


Also – Louise also loved the book and wrote a separate review, which you can read here.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo for free for review purposes. I received no other compensation, and this review is based on my own opinion. Links are Amazon affiliate links.