Discovering Your Personal Paleo Code

Chris Kresser has finally written a book, and it could very well be the last nutrition book you ever buy.

Alright, that might be a stretch, since our knowledge about nutrition is always evolving and who knows what we’ll understand even a year from now. But as far as evidence- and experience-based recommendations go, Your Personal Paleo Code will definitely be tough to beat when it comes to future books on nutrition.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 2.52.41 PM

Your Personal Paleo Code is unlike any other diet book out there, for these reasons:

1. It’s not a one-size-fits-all diet. 

Unlike many other diet books out there, Your Personal Paleo Code doesn’t recommend one diet for everyone. Sure, the 30-Day Reset component reduces most readers’ diets down to the bare basics, but once Step 2 is reached, customization is the name of the game. Chris’s book may be the only “Paleo” book that permits readers to reintroduce gray-area foods like full fat dairy and properly prepared grains.

Yep, I just said grains and dairy. After all, while a 100% grain-free dairy-free diet may be useful for certain people, it’s unnecessarily restrictive for many others. Readers who have good digestion, moderate to high activity levels, and limited health considerations may find that including properly prepared grains not only has no negative impact, but may even support their health and increase their dietary variety. If you love gourmet cheese, the occasional ice cream treat, soaked oatmeal, and even homemade sourdough bread, Chris teaches you how to determine if these foods deserve a place in your diet. After all, Chris emphasizes the 80/20 rule of nutrition, and if you can enjoy these formerly forbidden foods with no health repercussions, there’s no reason to indefinitely avoid these traditional foods, especially since some of them do have health-promoting effects.

2. It helps you set your priorities.

One of the hardest parts about changing your diet, especially if you’re fairly health conscious already, is it’s hard to prioritize the changes you make. Perhaps you’re already pretty compliant with Paleo, but you’re still struggling with health concerns. So now what? Do you add more carbs, or restrict them further? Eliminate eggs? Add dairy? Cut back on red meat? Reduce your cruciferous vegetable consumption? It’s enough to make your head spin, and can be overwhelming for someone who’s not a nutrition expert.

That’s why Your Personal Paleo Code is a great addition to anyone’s health book collection, especially those who have already gotten on board with an ancestral diet but are still struggling with nagging health problems that aren’t going away. Perhaps the one-size-fits-all Paleo diet isn’t what you need to be optimally healthy, but you’re not sure what to do to make your diet more personalized. You can use the quizzes included in many of the chapters to help determine if a certain area should be a priority for you. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to fine-tuning your diet, including determining appropriate caloric intake, macronutrient ratios, and helpful supplementation. The book provides guidelines for athletes, pregnant women, those who are significantly overweight, those with specific health conditions, and more. Whoever you are, you can use Your Personal Paleo Code to determine what and how to eat to support your best health in your current stage of life.

3. Chris understands there’s more to health than food.

There’s a reason why Your Personal Paleo Code doesn’t have the word “diet” in the title: this book is so much more than a book about nutrition. There are six chapters that solely focus on factors unrelated to diet that have a strong influence on your health, such as sleep, stress, socialization, play, and more. Chris acknowledges the importance of these factors and strongly recommends attending to them, perhaps even at the expense of following a “perfect” diet.

These chapters contain quizzes that will demonstrate if these behavior-related issues should be priorities for you. Perhaps your diet is perfectly healthy, but you sacrifice social interaction because you’re concerned about being exposed to unhealthy food. While noble, this is certainly not a healthy (or enjoyable) way to live, and Chris’s book gives recommendations on how to nurture your social relationships without completely derailing your diet. Perhaps you’re an internet junkie, so in between eating grass-fed beef and doing Crossfit workouts, you’re parked in front of a screen most of the day: for you, Chris has included an entire chapter on increasing your outdoors time. I’m willing to bet there isn’t a single person who couldn’t benefit from reading Chris’s book, no matter how healthy you think you are, or how complete you believe your health knowledge to be. I’ve certainly learned a great deal from it myself!

4. The book doesn’t end on the last page!

This is probably my favorite feature of Your Personal Paleo Code – the bonus chapters and additional resources featured online, completely free to book buyers. It’s like a buy-one-get-one-free deal! The bonus chapters include recommendations for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, adrenal fatigue, and more. The additional resources include cheat sheets that help you implement the changes recommended in the book, as well as hundreds of links to products, services, and resources that can help you get the food you need for your new diet, the gear that can help you get fit or sleep better, and the programs that can help you manage your stress or sleep better. It’s like an encyclopedia for healthy living! Chris doesn’t tell you how to live your life and then leave you hanging; rather, he makes evidence-based recommendations for purposeful changes to make, and then helps you make these recommendations a reality in your life. With Your Personal Paleo Code, there’s nothing standing between you and your healthiest life.

I could continue writing reason after reason why Your Personal Paleo Code is such a great book, but I think you get the picture. If you’re looking to start 2014 on the right foot, make sure you know which steps you should be taking. Let Chris’s new book guide you to optimal health!

Note: I am an employee of Chris Kresser’s, however I independently chose to do this review without his input. I only post reviews of products and services that I myself would use, and Chris’s book is no exception. By ordering through the affiliate links listed on this page, you are helping to support the maintenance of my blog. Thanks!

  • Brent

    Looking forward to reading this, especially considering Chris doesn’t appear to be dogmatic in his paleo ways. I’ll be curious his take on legumes as well. This book along with Minger’s book should keep me busy this January.

    • http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/ Samantha Scruggs

      Minger’s book is on my list too! Just ordered it today. This one looks interesting, too. I agree with you that some of the Paleo writers get a little dogmatic at times. I like an ancestral way of eating, but I get tired of hearing the same argument time and time and time again. I like a fresh take every now and then, new research, and a little enlightenment. I think if I hear the word lectin one more time I might disintegrate :P.

  • Ashleigh

    Perhaps you should disclose the fact that you work for Chris Kresser? :/

    • http://www.ancestralizeme.com/ Laura Schoenfeld, MPH

      Chris didn’t ask me to write the review.

      • Ashleigh

        It’s still a conflict of interest and should be declared accordingly.

        • http://www.ancestralizeme.com/ Laura Schoenfeld, MPH

          Sorry, it didn’t cross my mind as I was writing the review. I’ll add a note to clear up any confusion.

          • Ashleigh

            Thanks Laura. Respect :)

  • Pingback: The Roundup