The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body Info

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An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of
autoimmune disease. If you're among them, you may know all too well how
little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that's no
reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D.
Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own
battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become
completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo
is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo
diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why
foods marketed as "healthy"—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat
dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions.
Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce
inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Find out which simple
lifestyle changes—along with changes in diet—will make the
biggest difference for your health.

There's no need to worry that
"going Paleo" will break the bank or require too much time in the
kitchen preparing special foods. In The Paleo Approach, Dr.
Ballantyne provides expert tips on how to make the switch easily and
economically. Complete food lists with strategies for the
day-to-day—how stay within your food budget, where to shop for
what you need, how to make the most out of your time in the kitchen, and
how to eat out—take all the guesswork out of going Paleo. Simple
strategies for lifestyle adjustments, including small steps that can
make a huge difference, guide you through the most important changes to
support healing.

Do you have a complicated condition that
requires medical intervention, medication, or supplements? Dr.
Ballantyne also walks you through the most useful medical tests,
treatments, and supplements (as well as the most counterproductive ones)
to help you open a dialogue with your physician.

Features such
as these make The Paleo Approach the ultimate resource for anyone
suffering from an autoimmune disease. Why suffer a moment longer?
Reclaim your health with The Paleo Approach!

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Reviews for The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body:


January 28, 2014

How The Paleo Approach Saved My Health (after years of low-carb paleo)
While you all have waited patiently for years as Dr. Sarah Ballantyne wrote The Paleo Approach, I was lucky enough to begin following her protocol well before it was available to the public. I started my journey on healing when Practical Paleo first came out and I started with the methodologies Diane put forth for autoimmune conditions (autoimmune protocol: AIP).

Problem was, after following the AIP for nearly 3 months I wasn't seeing healing. Some of the super negative symptoms were alleviated, like adrenal fatigue, clumps of hair falling out and terrible acne, but when I reintroduced foods I would get flares again. I distinctly remember it being SO. HARD. Like, temper tantrums in the car hard because everything, EVERYTHING I was used to eating had eggs or nightshades and I was overwhelmed at the idea of living the rest of my life that way. All of which contributed to my ongoing struggles with depression - the obsession with food was beginning to overwhelm me, it was starting to cause disordered eating again, as I looked for ways to "get around" the AIP.

I was so frustrated, I began talking with Sarah about what her thoughts and recommendations were. It was at this time that Sarah was hundreds of thousands of words deep into writing The Paleo Approach (no, seriously, it's a tome). There were a few things she shared with me about what she found in the scientific literature about recommendations she was going to make, versus things I'd read in Practical Paleo and other resources.

And so it began, in 2013 I started following The Paleo Approach. Mostly this meant that I focused more on what to add to my diet instead of what to remove from it. Sarah and I talked every week on The Paleo View and nearly each episode each one of us would get more and more geeked out on nutrient-density, our new favorite word. We began exploring healing foods; Matt and I became so inspired that we wrote the nose-to-tail cookbook, Beyond Bacon - almost every recipe of which includes bone stock and/or lard (high in Vitamin D and easy for me to digest).

I'd been following a low-fat, low-carb version of paleo for years. Turns out, it made me sick. It affected my adrenals, thyroid function, and ability for my body to heal itself. I was nutrient-poor, despite eating what I thought was the best diet possible. Perhaps for some people eating that way is healthy for them, but for me as a busy woman with no gallbladder and previous metabolic syndrome, it ended up as a disaster long-term. Turns out, a high protein diet (especially when the protein is mostly poultry) wasn't doing what I thought it was for my health. I got over my fear of fat and incorporated more nutrient-dense healing fats, specifically lard, coconut oil and ghee/butter (I was shocked how well I tolerated ghee and butter after a lifetime of being dairy intolerant). I switched my proteins to a majority of grass-fed red meat and pastured pork, added seafood and incorporated the true superfoods: organ meat and bone broth.

One of the things I learned from Sarah is the importance of vegetables. I've popularized #morevegetablesthanavegetarian in social media - but it was Sarah's focus on the importance of vegetables - specifically a variety of colorful ones - that really made me focus on them. For a while, I'd actually reduced the types of vegetables I was eating because I wanted to stay away from foods high in insoluble fiber - which I personally let affect the quantity of veggies I was eating. When Sarah told me she had research that greens rich in insoluble fiber, even cruciferous ones, showed to be positive healing foods from her research it was a big change in how I approached nourishing myself. As I started adding in much more vegetables, especially leafy greens, it was amazing how much it affected my digestion and how I felt.

From the prior AIP protocol I was already consuming fermented foods rich in probiotics, which is another big important factor in helping to heal the gut through food. So then I turned to lifestyle factors.

I learned to love myself and let things go. I know... it's hokey. And intangible. And something I can't possibly define for you to replicate... although I've tried to articulate it a zillion times on The Paleo View. Stress Management was defined and something I began when I first started Practical Paleo`s AIP. But it's not something one can fix overnight. Over time, and through Sarah's repeated reminders of the scientific backing behind stress being a leading causes of health deterioration, I learned how to slay the stress monster.

First, I gave myself permission to do something(s) for me. Without guilt or remorse. It was really hard in the beginning to know I was missing out on time I could (or as I thought, should) be doing: helping with dinner, spending time with the kids, staying later at the office, etc. But then I realized I deserve to take care of the only body I'll have to carry me through this life. My children deserve a role model to show them that sometimes it's OK to stop and put the gas mask on yourself before helping others - I learned to take care of myself first before putting others ahead of me. This, was huge.

I learned to breathe. There was a point at which my stress levels had caused an eye twitch I couldn't get rid of for months. And I had begun grinding my teeth and experiencing frequent headaches from it. I even had about a 6 week period of time where I was experiencing frequent anxiety attacks in crossfit, unable to breathe when something ended up being harder than I anticipated. It made me want to quit, and I've never been a quitter. It was at this time Sarah talked to me about relaxation techniques she highly encouraged. It was so bizarre for this scientist to be telling me to do some hokey-pokey-crunchy-granola-meditation... but she was right. My body was overwhelmed and needed a break. So several times a day I intentionally stood up and walked around the office, finding someone to smile with and change my environment while activating happy hormones. During crossfit I learned to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth with deep, intentional breaths. Soon, the twitching and anxiety attacks just went away!

I learned to let things go. This was the hardest for me and is something I'm still actively working on. I talk out loud about what I can or cannot do. It's about acknowledgement, doing what you're able the best you can, and then forgiveness. What a concept... all backed by science to help you be healthier!

Be positive! No, really. Of course not everything's great. But almost everything has something positive about it. So I learned to frame things to myself positively and it helped me have an overall positive outlook and attitude.

Sarah goes over LOTS more stuff in The Paleo Approach but these are the things that I personally applied to my own life.
The results?

I've resolved ALL of the autoimmune related health issues I experienced in 2011 and 2012.

Let me restate that, because I want to make sure it's heard. I no longer have symptoms of autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, micro-nutrient deficiencies, skin breakouts or depression (at all). My body has not only recovered fully from the autoimmune flare, but I've actually been able to heal my body even further - now able to consume foods like high quality heavy cream and cheeses without distress! And when accidentally exposed to gluten or intentionally eat things I know my body has a difficult time with (like nightshades or grains) I find each and every time my body responds better than the time before. I have successfully reintroduced nuts, seeds, chocolate, egg yolks and seed spices (all in moderation) but have found that egg whites and nightshade vegetables (except peeled white potatoes) are something I can not (yet) tolerate.

I plan to continue my healing journey and hope to be a role model for those out there with autoimmune conditions. Keeping in mind that 2 years ago I was depressed with barely enough energy to slog through the day (thyroid and adrenal issues), I now am a fully charged woman who manages this blog, a podcast, writing books, a full-time job, raising 3 boys AND am training for a StrongMan competition in just a few months. I'm happy to report that The Paleo Approach quite literally gave me my life back.

March 24, 2015

Not quite all I was looking for
There is a lot of information in this book on why you should follow this protocol if you have an autoimmune disease. She includes a lot of scientific data to prove her point. All that is good.

She then gives information on how to start the program, which foods to avoid and which are ok. Then how to re-introduce foods that you have eliminated from your diet. Also good. (Kindle/tablet readers see my warning below)

Then information on lifestyle change, also good.

I think there was too much scientific least half the book as it related to paleo and auto-immune disease. Then more when discussing lifestyle change in the second half.

I would have preferred less science and more details on how to actually use the diet. I would have liked examples of several meal plans, I would have liked more specific information on how much to eat of each food group. I use My Fitness Pal to keep track of my daily intake of all foods and their nutritional vakues. I still am sometimes eating more carbs than fat or protein, sometimes the protein is more than fat. Because I am guessing as to quantity/ serving size. My understanding is fat should be the highest percentage of calories, then protein and then carbs, but I am not sure how to get there. I need that type of detail.
There are NO recipes in the book.

WARNING. I purchased the Kindle edition. The lists of foods are basically unreadable. Parts of words are scattered all over the page. This is true of 90 % of all the lists in the book. I had to go online to get food lists from other sources. So that part of the book was worthless to me. But did not base my review on that, but certainly left a bad experience. That should be one of the most important details, but could not be read.
I feel like I did not get my money's worth with the Kindle edition.

Update 7/13/2015

While I am not thrilled with the Kindle edition of this book, I am very pleased with the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol diet. I have been following it religiously for just over 4 months now and can attest to its effectiveness. I have Myasthenia Gravis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness.
Prior to starting this diet, I was so weak that some days I could barely walk, had problems swallowing, breathing and severe double vision. On good days, I could go to one store with my husband and help with laundry and at times some light chores. Now 4 months later, I play golf twice a week, can drive myself to stores and actually shop. I am back to doing all the cooking, laundry and many other household chores. I also walk 1 to 1.5 miles a day. I do have to rest often and I need a handicap flag when playing golf. I still require routine medication for this disease. But instead of getting weaker each month, I am now getting stronger.
My husband says this diet is a miracle and I agree.

It is not a 'fun' diet to be on. It is very restrictive and I miss a lot of my favorite foods, plus it can be a little more expensive. But in my opinion all that is worth being able to participate in life again and feel better while doing it. All my physicians have reviewed the diet and all have 100% approved and encouraged me to stick with it. For some reason I found that surprising. I assumed at least one would have some doubts or concerns. But it was just the opposite.

Just thought I would share my experience.

December 6, 2016

bloodwork doesnt lie
I'm writing this review, but I do so as the purchaser and fiance of the person who's read through it cover to cover multiple times, and changed our diet as a result.

Background: we're both healthy, athletic, low sugar, nearly zero synthetic anythings in our diet. Paleo based diet for ~10 yrs for me, history of celiac in my family. History of severe celiac in her family, and she's had her thyroid removed with radiation. It was when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis that we started to seek out anything we could to delay it's onset... and I know this sounds like some tinfoil hat hug a tree BS, but after about 8 weeks on the diet we've shaped as a result of this book, her last *2* bloodworks came back as inconclusive on one, and negative on another for RA. Her normally wish/wash complexion is arguably better than mine (and mine is fine) and her energy levels have leaped.

It'd be one thing to say we "feel" this or that. But I'm telling you I dont feel anything. I'm observing it, and her bloodwork is proving it.

As far as night time reading, lord no. You have to be an MD or very very interested in health to read this thing. It strikes me as something you'd see a pre-med student reading. But, get through it, and the results are working for my future wife. We couldnt be happier.

Regarding the resulting diet in the end: its not bad. It's restrictive, and a huge PITA if you travel, but not bad. I tell people if you didnt have expendable income, it'd be pretty tough, as your resulting diet would be kind of what I ate in college: chicken and frozen veggies. If you do, though, the dinners you can come up with are still great. We have guests and serve meals that are compliant with this book, and nobody's ever commented on it. No "oh well its not bad for _____ free food" or disclaimers. Coconut based deserts, good meats, good veggies. Life is good!

April 4, 2017

Empowering Book for People with Autoimmune Diseases
This book changed my life. Multiple doctors and tests couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, but inferred that it could be a second autoimmune disease. (Did you know that once you have an autoimmune disease you're more likely to get another? My doctors never told me that. But this book explains why that happens.) Before the test results for Lupus even came back, I bought this book in preparation. That test came back negative (along with the myriad other tests for causes), but I felt in my gut that my symptoms were autoimmune-related and was determined to heal myself so I could go back to work full-time. By reading this book I was able to identify which ai disease was affecting me (which I know is not the intention of the book--you should see a Functional Doctor for proper diagnosis), I changed my diet immediately, and was able to heal myself without returning to the doctor's office (and I went back to work!). It's incredibly empowering to know that I can make myself better through food. It's also empowering to know what to avoid to feel my best. I found that excessive sugar causes flares in my first ai disease and gluten causes flares for my second one.

I love that this isn't just a diet book, but has very in-depth explanations for how the body works and what happens with ai disease. At times it was overly "science-y" for me, but I knew it was important for me to understand what was happening inside my body and WHY I was having these symptoms. That understanding made it much easier to stick to the protocol, eating more of the nutrient-dense foods and none of the "fillers" or harmful foods.

I was in need of answers and this book provided them. I'm so grateful to Sarah Ballantyne for writing this.

[Caution: A potential side-effect of this book may be extreme anger toward your family physician or specialist. While reading, I found myself so many times saying, "Why did no one tell me this?!!!"]

May 28, 2017

Great book! Make sure to do your research before starting AIP!
This book has been extremely helpful to me! One of the hardest problems I have had on the AIP diet is other people harassing me over going on such an extreme diet. Yes, I do call it extreme but it works! This book has armed me with the scientific knowledge I need in order to combat people 'nah saying' my diet. It has chapters that give you very nice in-depth scientific data on why exactly certain foods are back for you (down to a cellular biological level). Or, if you do not care for all this science, the later chapters give you a more general and easier to read view information on why certain foods are bad for you (and some are foods that will surprise you).

Warning! This is not a cookbook and does not have any actual recipes.This is an informational book for those that have the genetic deficiency that causes them to have an autoimmune disease from eating certain foods. But! it is a very complete informative book.

Now, about the AIP itself. Do not go on it unless you need too. For me, I have hypothyroidism and PCOS. There really isn't a lot of good information out there for PCOS but there was tons for hypothyroidism. As soon as I was diagnoised I started researching. It made me feel relieved but kinda pissed me off that a diet caused it -____-. Granted! You have to be genetically prone for it. But still. Just from normal foods you eat? Really?

So! I took a chance and started the AIP elimination diet by following the Paleo mom's approach. This diet is not easy and I actually did it wrong at first. But, even doing the elimination diet wrong... I still went from 203lbs to 176lbs in a little over a month. This was quicker than I had actually wanted to lose weight however it was like the pounds were just waiting for the right queue to fall off. I actually started to eat bacon to slow down the weight loss. (Yes, bacon is on this diet)

Now, this diet is to help eliminate foods that aggravate your immune system and goes into more detail about this in the book. However, it is very important to get all the facts before starting this diet. I actually got incredible sick for about 2 weeks. I wondered if I had gotten the flu but it turns out it was a natural part of the diet. Apparently, from all the years of bad eating, I developed low stomach acid. I didn't even know this was a thing. Low stomach can mimic high stomach acid which is annoying because Tums makes it worse! So all these years I have been eating Tums like candy has actually been hurt me -____-. If you have low stomach acid then you will have a hard time digesting meat and veges (which is pretty much what this diet is.) This is why I got so sick. She actually touches on this is a later chapter in the book however, I had not gotten that far yet when it happened.

I did some research online and I've been slowing fixing this issue. Ironically enough, most sources online say to eat only meats and veges to fix low stomach acid which worked out perfectly. I just had to add some stuff to it, like digestive enzymes, probiotics (which I should have started to take from day one), gelatin powder and other things that she actually mentions in the book.

And there was another reason why I got sick. The bacteria in my gut that had been going hog wild on carbs was suddenly starving on this elimination diet. It began to wreck havoc in my gut. This, combined with low stomach acid, made me incredibly sick so do this diet with caution.

However! It has definitely helped! I have lost weight, my brain fog as cleared for the most part (I am a night shifter so it does come back occasionally), I have so much more energy and motivation. My mood has been much more pleasant and, oddly enough, my knees have quit hurting.

I still have some symptoms but, as I said earlier, I did not do this diet the correct way the first time. I had kefir and black pepper and some seasonings that had sneaky cornstarch. I would also have a coke soda to settle my stomach. She tells you in the low stomach acid section of the book how to settle your stomach w/o the aid of coke soda.

If you are going on the AIP elimination diet to lose weight, read this book in full first, or some other book. Do not go in half blind like I did and end up sick from it. Also, while you may want to ease yourself into this diet at first, do not consider yourself on it until you are fully following the rules of the AIP elimination diet.

Good luck to you all!

September 4, 2016

This helped me with alopecia areata. After changing to this diet, my alopecia stopped progressing, and my hair started to grow :) It took many months (4-8) to see hair regrowth.

March 23, 2016

A lot of room for improvement.
I'm just starting this book and it has like another reviewer has said way to much science for me to process. I'd rather her just say short why rather than go through diagrams of how food breaks down on a microscopic level. I am thoroughly confused as to how I am supposed to start. I wish she had a section about how to begin and go into details about he actual process as well as include their sample journals of how to progress. This is a huge book but honestly, I could do without half of it. I feel really overloaded with it.

November 1, 2016

Too much 'why' and not enough 'how to fix it'.
Book was too hard to understand, much scientific and biology information- that part was thorough- what was lacking was practical application. No real advice on how to implement or eat from a day to day basis. I am an educated person with a career in health care, and I found the book easy- but tedious to read. I suspect someone looking for general dietary advice regarding AI disorders will find the book a bit much. It reminded me of a college textbook. This book focuses on the "why" certain foods are bad for AI but not the "how" to help yourself.

I read and implemented the Wahl's protocol for the two years proceeding this and found it easy to read, easy to implement, and easy to understand and stick to. Clear advice on what types and quantities of food to eat- basically a blue print of how to eat each day. I do better with a 'plan'. I had great success in reducing and eliminating my auto immune symptoms with Wahl's. I fell off the wagon and my disease returned. I bought this book- Had I started with The Paleo Approach initially- I likely would have been overwhelmed and given up- but that's just the sort of person I am. Mired in physical pain and severe brain fog, I could not be able to make sense of The Paleo Approach. I went back to Wahl's.

In a nut-shell The Paleo Approach overwhelmed me with too much information in the science of food and very little implementation (unless I wanted to buy the cook book with recipes). I much prefer the Wahl's book for the average person. It had sample meal plans, recipes and clear advice on how to make this lifestyle change. Personally I found the Paleo approach more complicated than it needed to be. This review is not a recommendation to buy the Wahl's book- but since she takes much of her information from that protocol and others, it's only fair to mention it. Yes, she does expand- greatly- but for me it is too much to take on.

Dec 29, 2014

If you want to know what’s wrong with this book, start with the fact that of those forty-odd Goodreads members who gave it 4 or 5 stars and wrote a review of it, everyone uniformly praised how “science-based” it was and only three of them mentioned actually committing to the diet it prescribed. A good portion of them also mentioned that they did not have an auto-immune condition. This is not a book for sick people – not in its presentation, not in its advice, not in its worldview. It is a book If you want to know what’s wrong with this book, start with the fact that of those forty-odd Goodreads members who gave it 4 or 5 stars and wrote a review of it, everyone uniformly praised how “science-based” it was and only three of them mentioned actually committing to the diet it prescribed. A good portion of them also mentioned that they did not have an auto-immune condition. This is not a book for sick people – not in its presentation, not in its advice, not in its worldview. It is a book that uses science to claim an authoritative status, but is disingenuous about its highly selective use of scientific information. It’s a book that spends a lot of time calling your attention to how complicated and intricate anatomical processes are, but in the end its recommendations really depend on only one of those processes. It’s also a book that beyond enumerating a list of foods to eat and not eat has very little to say about how to implement its extremely complex and difficult diet plan. Especially if you happen to be sick.

Ok. On the one hand: Our primary model of medicine is about getting sick, then taking a pill to get better. That’s the dominant model mostly because it’s so easy to make profitable. For instance, if someone if someone has to stop eating processed foods in order to get well, what pharmaceutical company or doctor or hospital is going to make money from that? So obviously, no one who hopes to make a living in health care has much incentive to think about health outside of the disorder-cured-by-commodity paradigm of medicine. This is the arbitrary limitation of all medicine. There’s no particular reason why the body should only experience disorders whose cures depend on easily marketable solutions, and yet those are the only cures on offer.

So I am inclined to pay attention to folks like Sarah Ballantyne who claim to deal with more complex models of well-being, ones that don’t just involve a one-stop solution provided by an easily billable party. Ballantyne presents herself as providing an alternative to modern medicine, an alternative in which diet, stress levels, sleep quality, and exercise all play a part. All the same, out of eight lengthy and detailed chapters, only two deal in any way with what she calls “lifestyle” issues, and both of those chapters inevitably return to the question of diet. Diet, they say, will ultimately help you achieve better sleep and a clearer mind. Diet is factor number one in illness, and all other factors follow from it. In the “trouble-shooting” chapter, which she writes for folks who aren’t feeling better after three months on her diet, all of the ways to shoot trouble involve taking supplements or tweaking what you eat. Will having too much stress in your life keep your diet from working properly? She never considers the question. The extremely relevant question, “Are you, as an unwell person with an auto-immune disorder, wearing yourself out with the intensive food prep this diet requires?” is never raised.

So, there’s that. Not an indication that the book is wrong, but a definite discrepancy between its lip-service to considering a complex set of factors, and its actual message that what you eat as at the core of all health. Now, I am pretty convinced that food is integral to health, or I wouldn’t have bothered to read her book at all. But I also wonder to what extent food conveniently re-creates all the dynamics of the swallow-a-pill model of healthcare, one where you pay organic grocers and free-range chicken farmers (and possibly bloggers-turned-nutrition-gurus like Ballantyne) instead of pharmaceutical companies. Is it possible Ballantyne inadvertently focuses too heavily on food because food aligns so nicely with our idea that health is something to be purchased and then consumed?

But what I find most objectionable about Ballantyne’s book is its disingenuous use of science to justify its recommendations. Sarah Ballantyne unquestionably has a very high-level training in science. But I also know the Paleo diet culture to be uncomfortably self-serving in its use of “scientific research.” Hop on to Mark’s Daily Apple blog or listen to Chris Kresser’s podcast, and you’ll find them explaining all kinds of diet choices based on this “study” they’ve read. There’s never any acknowledgement that not all studies are created equally, and or that scientific and medical studies conducted in good faith can still contradict one another. Rarely do Paleo enthusiasts mention how large the study was, whether it was peer-reviewed, or whether its findings were replicated in other studies. Was it a study involving 20 college-aged men (rather than, say middle-aged women, the population most prone to auto-immune conditions)? Was it conducted over two weeks or three months? In a northern city during the winter, or a southern one over the course of two seasons? Did a subsequent study question its findings? No matter – what matters is that there was, indeed, a study, and so its results are to be trusted as science.

And again – this doesn’t mean that everything Kresser or Sissoon writes is untrue – it just means that they make decisions about which studies support their recommendations without disclosing to reader about how the decision was made. Ballantyne’s book suffers from the same habit. She offers us 20 pages of tiny-print bibliography, but no footnotes to show which of her claims are supported by which of the cited studies. And obviously, she’s making certain decisions about how she’s using the information. She cites lots of CDC and NIH-produced documents, even though clearly, neither the CDC or the NIH endorse the idea that the consumption of wheat leads to auto-immune conditions, an idea which forms the backbone of Ballantyne’s entire book. In fact, she basically comes out and says at one point, that, given what “we” know about wheat’s toxicity, it’s surprising it’s even considered a food. Well, yes – that’s an astonishing statement. Surely there might be one or two other studies out there that don’t support the notion that wheat is uniformly bad (For instance, the ones cited here: What led her to privilege the studies she cites over those studies?

I don’t mean to come off as dismissing her ideas entirely – in fact, I am more sympathetic to them than I sound. However, in the end, she is selling a product (a handsomely produced but rather pricy book) to a stunningly vulnerable group of people who are not functioning well, who are in pain, and who are looking for some kind of hope. Wouldn’t it be slightly more honest to acknowledge that the data doesn’t all align one way? If she’s indignant that the doctors she dealt with early in her life never told her about how auto-immunity works, don’t we have an equal right to be indignant that she’s not giving us the entire picture?

I find it especially important to point out how biased her selection of “science” is because this is a book that’s definitely aspiring to the authoritative status of a college science text-book. Weighing several pounds, more than a foot tall, full color diagrams of the lining of the small intestines, tables of the “most important” cellular components of the immune system (despite the fact that the cellular components of the immune system are poorly understood even by the best researchers), somewhat superfluous sketches of the human digestive system from end to end. What is all that for? Well, to help you UNDERSTAND how the Paleo Approach is going to help you heal from auto-immune disorders, Ballantyne says. But I’m not so sure. First of all, I’m not sure because of the crowds of reviewers on Goodreads who gush over the SCIENCE that Ballantyne includes AND who confess that they mostly just skimmed the most science-heavy chapters or skipped them all together. I don’t think the science IS actually working to explain things to readers – I think the readers just like to know that it’s there, so they can feel that the book is authoritative.

But mainly I’m not so sure that her “scientific” presentation of nutrition and auto-immune disease matters at all because the entire Paleo Approach, as she pitches it, basically boils down to not eating grains, legumes, nuts, dairy, or nightshades because they create permeability in your small intestine which can lead to auto-immunity over time. This is a process that has been observed, tested and verified through replicated studies when it comes to what happens when people with Celiac disease eat wheat. There have been preliminary results (definitely not as settled or as widely confirmed) suggesting a similar process occurs in juvenile diabetes and multiple sclerosis. But Ballantyne’s book requires us to accept that all grains, legumes and nuts (and dairy! And night shades!) behave **EXACTLY** as wheat behaves in the gut of a person with Celiac disease, no matter what auto-immune condition a person has. And maybe even if they don’t HAVE an auto-immune condition. After all, Ballantyne promises that if you’ve just been feeling tired lately, this diet will also help you. For a book whose sprawling structure aspires to the encyclopedic, that’s a stunning reduction of a whole spectrum of biology into just one single master-process.

And puzzlingly, the text-book specificity with which she describes auto-immunity and nutrition in the first three chapters gives way to hand-waving vagueness when it comes to explaining how to apply one’s understanding of those minute processes to one’s practice of eating. She offers long lists of foods to avoid and foods to eat for healing. But when it comes to the question of HOW to eat them – what assortment and what schedule might optimize healing – she simply demurs. Eat smoothies -- or don’t, if they upset your stomach. Think about the sugars in what you eat, but don’t get obsessive about it, unless you have diabetes. About one-fifth to one-quarter of the meat you eat should be offal, she recommends with unusual specificity, given that she doesn’t have any suggestions for how much meat you should be eating. She points out that lots of people have lots of recommendations for ratios of protein to carbs to fat, so just go with what works for you. Of course, she also warns that you can’t expect any significant healing to happen in less than three months on this diet, so exactly how you are supposed to tell what is “working” for you is a mystery. This is where the “science” of her book really comes off as completely irrelevant. On the one hand the Paleo Approach is so complex that it can be described to us only after we’ve plowed through an exhaustive three-chapter scientific dissection of all the hidden causes and minute chemical reactions that impact auto-immunity. On the other hand, the Paleo Approach is supposed to be so intuitive that Ballantyne acts as if we’ll just know instinctually how to munch our way to wellness after removing about 70% of what Americans consider food from our diet. There isn’t even a “sample meal plan,” or “suggested meals,” -- a pretty standard feature of even the most poorly designed diet books.

But the most hurtful omission in the book is Ballantyne’s complete failure to acknowledge how BEING ill might impact one’s ability to follow her suggestions. Indeed, the most bizarre feature of this book is that it doesn’t have anything to say about the actual experience of illness. Ballantyne mentions having a past history of asthma and joint pain, but there isn’t any moment in the book where she pauses to say “I know how hard this can be when you’re gasping for breath.” Or “you might feel hopeless because Multiple Sclerosis is a terrible degenerative disease.” Or “chopping all those vegetables will certainly be a challenge if you are suffering from the severe joint pain and excessive fatigue of lupus.” She’s chock-full of breezy little affirmative nuggets like “It’s ok if you can’t do it all” and “It’s ok to say no.” But there isn’t any space in this voluminous book and its defying-all-the-odds tone for her to say “Maybe you are frightened of dying before your children are grown.” “Maybe it’s hard for you to let go of the profound resentment you have against healthy people.” And ultimately, that’s what makes me say this isn’t a book for sick people. I suspect that this book will be positively magnetic for people who are terrified of illness, or people who are in deep denial about the profound power illness has. I even – in spite of the content of most of this review – think it might be able to offer some advice on eating that can make *some* people feel significantly better. But in terms of addressing people who are actually experiencing illness, who are nakedly confronting the limits of their own individual power and trying to think realistically about how to cope, and about which of the limited number of decisions and actions available to them will matter the most – this book has nothing to offer. ...more

March 25, 2018

This diet reversed my serious autoimmune disease
This approach, a diet that intentionally avoids foods that cause inflammation and damage to the immune system and the gut, has been transformational for me, with my autoimmune neurological disease, CIDP. Three years after my diagnosis with CIDP, and two years after being on this diet and experiencing a reversal due to this diet, my neurologist conducted a follow up nerve conduction velocity/electromyogram (NCV/EMG) test, which showed a reversal of the demyelination. I am now running again, riding a bike, and hiking. Because the scientific findings in this book contradict the food pyramid we have all been taught, it may be hard to accept, but have an open mind and go with scientific facts as Dr. Ballantyne articulates in this book.

May 3, 2016

Not worth it. Buy one of these other books.
I have studied and put into practice information from Jon Gabriel's The Gabriel Method, Josh Axe's Eat Dirt, and also cookbooks such as The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action Plans by Calimeris and Bruner and Everyday Detox by Gilmore. These all provide very solid, accurate, and helpful information for anyone dealing with weight, digestive, and/or inflammation (including autoimmune) issues. I bought Ballantyne's book hoping it would add to and round out the information I already have and am practicing from these other experts. I was very disappointed to find that Ballantyne has very little additional information, that some of it contradicts the already-helpful and scientifically accurate info I have from the other experts, and that I feel that she speaks to her readers as if we are "slow." This could be a good place to start for a person looking to begin to self-educate on healthy lifestyle practices, but its tone and some inaccurate content make it less a good starting place than many other available resources.

January 13, 2018

Nitty-gritty of AIP from a scientific perspective--love it!
I was looking for a resource that would pull together scientific explanations to justify the AIP diet I was encouraged to try by my doctor--and this book really does that! I'm working on my own PhD (in a social science), so I wanted scientific thinking and source citation from someone whose authority seemed trustworthy. Until this book, I wasn't finding that except in blogs (including Ballantyne's) that unfortunately led me into an overwhelming amount of rabbit-trails, open browser tabs, and additional questions. Instead of hunting the internet and tediously questioning each source, this book, by one credible author, gives a deeper, evidence-based view of the reasoning behind the autoimmune paleo protocol. She covers the science behind the lifestyle and diet in a way that I, not being a biochemist, can still grasp enough to be on board with. I definitely like it better than Izabella Wentz's book, simply because it seems more well-grounded scientifically, and better satisfies my curiosity about why (to inform HOW) to do AIP.

My only complaint is that the references aren't paired with in-text citations, so when I want to find the original source behind a statement, I have to read the (sometimes very long) resource list for the chapter and find article titles that look like likely sources. So far that's working out okay, but it's unnecessarily time-consuming when she could have used something like endnote numbers within the text.

Overall, this is going to be a great resource for helping me be more confident about what I'm doing and why in terms of healing the conditions underlying my autoimmune problems. I highly, highly recommend it!

March 23, 2018

Book is fine, diet did not work for me, probably better for people with digestive issues
The book itself is fine. It's pretty much the Bible for the AIP diet. It's full of science that sounds good but which I'm not qualified to evaluate critically. There's also plenty of explanation as to why you should do the diet and what the rules are (can be a bit redundant on these points). This book doesn't do recipes, there are blogs and other books for that.
I did 2 months of strict AIP according to this book and absolutely nothing happened. I was going to stick with it for longer but became discouraged for a few reasons.
My doctor has noticed that it seems like the patients who benefited from the diet all had chronic digestive issues (in addition to their diagnosed AI diseases) and that patients who benefit see at least some improvement in the first several weeks. I polled one of my patient groups and found the data seemed to support my doctor's observation. 25 responders who claim strict compliance for at least 6 weeks, of the 4 who saw improvement, all had chronic digestive issues. I spent a long time scouring the Internet and could not find success stories from people like me (people who don't have digestive symptoms and/or who did not see some improvement in the first six weeks). The only advice I found for people like me was to stay on the diet indefinitely, keep tweaking, and hope that someday it works. That doesn't work for me.
The diet is VERY expensive and VERY time consuming. I spent all of my time preparing food, which reduced the amount of time and energy I had for other things, rest, play, housework, homework, sleep, time with loved ones etc. The dietary change itself wasn't as hard as I expected (cravings weren't a big deal), but after two months with absolutely no change and no real hope, I lost my motivation, it was adversely affecting my mood and quality of life. I weighed that against all of the reasons for continuing the diet and all the advice for things I needed to tweak and decided to stop the diet. Maybe that will prove to be a mistake, but at this time, it's what I needed to do.
My first meal back I intentionally gorged on really bad restaurant food full of prohibited foods and alcohol. I did this wondering if I would see a dramatic worsening that would indicate that AIP had actually been working, but again, there was absolutely no change.
The only diet that has ever seemed to impact my AI conditions is low carb and even that is iffy. Physical activity, the weather, stress, and lack of sleep and rest seem to be far bigger triggers for me.
AIP is absolutely worth trying, especially if you have digestive issues. I wouldn't invest in all the specialty foods until 6 weeks in. Just stick with whole foods you can buy locally until you know whether this is going to becoming a long term thing for you or not.

February 2, 2017

The diet does not help me but I found out what helps
The author has put a lot of thoughts into the book and you can see her good intention to help people. However, I can only give this book three stars because it does not help me and in fact, the AIP diet made my health condition worse. This review is not to discredit the author but to offer another angle to look at the problems.

Normally, I would not pick up a book like this to read. The story began when I was out of the country for 3 weeks in 2016, I was constipated the whole trip. At the end of the trip, even laxative won’t work. The constipation alleviated a little bit when I came back but it never went away. A friend suggested fodmap diet, didn’t help. A friend suggested AIP, so I picked up this book and followed the diet. Two months into the diet, my constipation were the worst in my life, I developed new symptoms like joint pain, inflammation on hands and insomnia. My intuition told me I should go back to my old diet which includes a lot of nuts and legumes but my mind kept insisting I should follow the AIP diet because it helps a lot of people. With blessing, I came across the book “The Magnesium Miracle” by Carolyn Dean, MD and my symptoms matched all the magnesium deficient symptoms. I immediately supplement magnesium, constipation gone in a week, insomnia gone in 2 weeks.

I suspected many health problems are stemmed from nutrition deficiency as in my case. I do agree with the author that the body will heal when supplying with nutritious dense food. However, I do not agree with her approach to cut out many food categories especially nuts, seeds and legumes. I have no problem cutting out gluten and dairy. Recently, I watch a PBS program called “Dawn of humanity”. They discovered a skull from Paleolithic age and they scraped the teeth deposits and found out our ancestor’s diet composed of nuts, grass and fruit. Human beings have a very long history of eating nuts. It didn’t make any sense to cut out nuts and seeds. I didn’t know phytic acid and lectins before reading this book. However, the book successfully made me a “nut and seed” phobia, at least for a few months.

Some may argue the AIP diet is only for short term. My experience was that 2 months into the diet can worsen the health. I used to snack a lot of nuts. Nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium, cutting them out made my daily magnesium intake dangerously low and explained why I developed many symptoms when I was on AIP.

One vitamin or mineral deficiency can cause domino effect and the body can develop many confusing symptoms. A lot of people were misdiagnosed with serious disease like MS, Alzheimer’s, Autism when in fact they are nutrient deficiency. When we think of nutrient deficiency, we have an image of underweight and skeleton figure. That is not true. Processed food are nutrient depleted and nutrient deficiency is more common than we think. If the AIP works for you, I am truly happy for you. If not, I hope this review can offer you another angle.

If you are serious enough to read a book to improve your health, I strongly urge you to read “The magnesium miracle” by Carolyn Dean, MD and “Could it be B12?” by Sally M Pacholok. They both provided evidence many health issues are rooted from nutrient deficiency. All the best!

April 1, 2019

Required Reading for those with Chronic Illnesses
I have two young children and don't have time to review Amazon purchases, but felt compelled to write a review to encourage chronic illness sufferers to buy, read, reread, and live the lessons of this text. I have had UC for over ten years and - about a year and a half back - had a particularly debilitating flare: lost over 30 pounds, could barely pick up my young daughter, collapsed into bed at the end of each day, and was depressed as hell. All I wanted was to get better to be a good dad for my children and stick around to see them grow up. But no matter how many diets I tried, how many supplements I gulped down, how many books I read, I made only minimal gains. I'd literally read over a dozen books on gut health, diet, and overcoming chronic illnesses before I picked up Sarah Ballantyne's opus, "Paleo Principles" followed by "The Paleo Approach". Upon finishing Paleo Principles, I immediately ditched the keto diet I'd been attempting and concentrated instead on nutrient density, slowly increasing diverse forms of raw and cooked fiber (to about 50 grams/day), incorporating organ meat and oysters, daily consuming microbiome superstars (crickets, mushrooms, sea veggies, kraut), and, most importantly, mastering the art of chilling out. I've been on this diet for about 7 months and feel fantastic. I've gained back all the weight in the form of lean muscle, I can carry my kids around indefinitely, I can toss my 33 lb. 1-year-old high into the air, and, frankly, when I look in the mirror, I see a really healthy-looking guy who has a good shot at being around for a while. I owe most of this to the confidence Sarah Ballantyne's texts have given me. I need to know the "why" and Sarah explains and provides the research for all of her recommendations. This allows me to feel that the foods I'm eating and the way I'm living my life are supported by the best research available- and what we believe about what we do to heal ourselves may be as important as, or even more important than, what we actually do. That is, because I believe that what I'm doing is the best that science can recommend, I rarely doubt my choices. And the results have been nothing short of phenomenal. Maybe the best part of this is that Sarah doesn't tell you what supplements to take, or give you a long, convoluted protocol to follow- she simply teaches you how to eat, which foods to focus on, and how to live. In short, she teaches you how to get back to basics, how to eat and live the way our ancestors did. It's amazing that we strayed so far so quickly, only to have to research how to get back to where we started as a means of learning how to be healthy and happy again.

April 26, 2017

Great Content - Poor formatting
I would give this book 5 stars for it's content: Fabulous! Love the detailed explanations. Made me feel educated about my dietary decisions. But the formatting of the Kindle book is very poor. Some sections are completely unreadable. Has made it challenging when I am in a foreign country with limited internet service. I'm ready for re introductions, but there are sections in that chapter that are completely unreadable.

March 14, 2018

This Book Is Great If You Have Nothing Else To Read
This is a terrible science textbook. It's got a lot of pages and excessive writing (i.e. fluff), but any information about autoimmune diseases and Paleo diets can just as easily be found online. Also, the "scientific" claims are very biased and at times contradictory, and in the end, there is nothing groundbreaking. "PhD" is thrown around like it has any meaning to any of the passages in this book -- there is NO research and NO evidence-based science. The organization of this book is also confusing because instead of a few informational chapters in the beginning, "science" passages are randomly scattered throughout the book in places where they don't belong. If you understand basic science or have an ounce of logic, this book is not for you.

December 21, 2016

A cautionary tale of how this book made me sicker
I have to share my story with you because I DON'T want this to happen to anyone else.

I've lived as a celiac for 8 years due to the effects gluten has on my body, but haven't been formally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. My aunt gave me this book because I was having an increasing number of food sensitivities and like many of you contemplating reading this book, I thought it was an issue with my body. I went AIP, started on fermented foods and bone broth, stopped going out with my friends, started cooking for an entire day and bringing a massive cooler backpack on all my business trips, cut my exercise down to walking and yoga..

Certain things related to inflammation started to clear up - my arthritic toe stopped hurting and I stopped getting cramps with my period. food sensitivities got worse. Much worse. Before, nightshades and seed-based spices and all that didn't give me any issues. After reading this book, I began to react to everything on the don't eat list. I went along with the whole AIP cult mantra that I was always sensitive to these foods; it's just that I was so inflamed I couldn't tell. But I kept losing foods, even AIP foods. After losing pork, bananas, and avocados, and coconut - my favorite AIP foods - I got frustrated and started to go several days in a row of eating foods on the "don't" list because my AIP list was so constricting, particularly when I tried to combine it with the SIBO diet. When I did this, my body would start to literally develop arthritis pain and audible crackling everywhere. I am 28 but all my joints were hurting, my back hurt, my hands were numb. Then, back on AIP and the symptoms disappeared.

After a naturopath did NAET on some emotional experiences that ended up clearing a couple longstanding food sensitivities, I decided to investigate further. It turns out, I was literally creating these symptoms through my fear sparked by Sarah's terror inducing descriptions of these offending non-AIP foods. Her book was literally the worst thing I could have read to cure my food sensitivities. I read Dr. Sarno's "Healing Chronic Back Pain" and decided to apply the same principles to getting off AIP once and for all. I reintroduced all the non-AIP foods at once and my symptoms returned. I began meditating and telling myself it was all in my head, and day by day, symptoms went away until I was completely symptom-free within three weeks. It still blows my mind.

With AIP, it's such an all-encompassing lifestyle change that you are CONSTANTLY reminding yourself that you're not well, and guess what! It makes it REALLY hard to get well! The human mind is extraordinarily powerful and can trick you into thinking you're sick and weak when you're actually strong and resilient. Glad this works for some people, but a warning to anyone who seems to be unable to reintro foods or continue to spiral deeper into illness that might be as result of the hyperfocus on your illness this book encourages.

Mar 27, 2015

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that was making it hard to be functional. I was taking a lot of medication, and none of it was working.

I've been on this diet for 3 months and my symptoms are nearly gone. I hesitate to say it's amazing only because it sounds too good to be true. But for me, it has worked wonders. I've also done acupuncture, which I think has helped too. But I suspect that the diet is really the necessary factor here.

It's hard when you're diagnosed with something that I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that was making it hard to be functional. I was taking a lot of medication, and none of it was working.

I've been on this diet for 3 months and my symptoms are nearly gone. I hesitate to say it's amazing only because it sounds too good to be true. But for me, it has worked wonders. I've also done acupuncture, which I think has helped too. But I suspect that the diet is really the necessary factor here.

It's hard when you're diagnosed with something that is "incurable" and that isn't well understood by modern medicine. My gastroenterologist told me that none of her patients have benefited from a change in diet. Of course when I asked her how many have tried it, she said none. Fantastic science there, lady. The truth is that these diets haven't been well studied. That doesn't mean they should be dismissed; it means they should be studied.

Luckily my naturopathic doctor suggested I try a special diet anyway. She recommended SCD, a diet outlined in this book Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. However, it didn't prove strict enough for me.

SCD is an older diet, and my husband helped me look for newer research. We came across the THE PALEO APPROACH and several other books pointing toward a paleo diet. This book was the one I ended up following strictly, and it worked! I highly recommend it for anyone suffering. ...more

February 26, 2016

I wouldn't waste my time...
I thought Ineeded to try this since I may have an autoimmune disease but really, I do not see any basis for their conclusions. Assuming that they know what people ate millions of years ago or whatever, I mean come on. Animals were different back then, certain vegetables they say we should freely eat have been around less time than the grains they say are poisonous! I just don't buy it, I understand some people have intolerances and allergies and that is one thing, but claiming a large amount of the foods we eat are poison and killing us is just another fad diet.

May 31, 2016

This text is full of information. It is the ...
This text is full of information. It is the type of book you would expect if you were in college studying nutrition. As someone who is really not feeling that well, I found it to be totally overwhelming. I'm not studying to be a doctor. I just wanted a special diet book and this was way to much. You have to spend a lot of time just picking and choosing what to read. Plus, if you really want to read all the scientific jargon, I think it is best to get a real book,not kindle.

February 13, 2019

Be Careful...
Be really careful on this diet. At 3 weeks in, things took a drastic change. My GERD came back worse than ever. I was always thirsty regardless of how much water I drank. Hardly peeing in the day and then peeing 4 times a night. Insomnia. Horrendous anxiety. Trouble swallowing. My head felt heavy. Sleep apnea. At 4 weeks, the thirst and trouble swallowing got so bad, and my lower back hurt, I went to the doc - who is a functional medicine MD. I was drinking, at minimum, 102 ounces of water a day at this point-usually much more, not cheating, 2 solid meals, fruits 1-3 servings and veg 8-12 servings. The fats. The good protein. My thyroid and kidney/liver functions were messed up and I was severely dehydrated. My blood sugar was screwed up. 2 IV drips and 2 days later eating 4 meals of rices, veg, fats, protein to once a day and fruit, I felt okay again. A week later, I went back to the doc and all my blood work was back to normal. Remember, you are not everyone else as Giselle Budchen points out in her book. What can make one person feel better, can make one person deathly ill as I found out.

***ORIGINAL***Let me start by stating three things. First, I have autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. I have asthma, allergies, ulcerative colitis and histamine intolerance. Second, I found and started the diet on the Paleo mom website. I had not tried the AIP Diet before. I HAD tried the Paleo Diet and it made me very sick, just as had a vegetarian and vegan diet and, of course, our US SAD diet. Third, I could never find a doctor or one diet that helped me heal. I jumbled up things as I learned and implemented what seemed to work. I am proud to say I did fairly okay on my own. 15 years and only 2 colitis flares. Only only medication for one year. Diet and supplements kept it at bay. The same with allergies and asthma. Diet and supplements. Occasionally a Benadryl for a histamine food reaction and Claritan during ragweed season. But still, I was on a precipice.

The first week was interesting. On the third night, I woke up and literally felt like I had a furry animal in my mouth. I went to the bathroom and I had white fuzz all over my mouth. I calmly reminded myself that I was most likely detoxing. I rinsed my mouth with sea salt water, brushed my teeth and went back to sleep. The next morning everything was fine. On the fourth day, something miraculous happened! I had the first normal bowel movement in at least 15 years! No kidding. Happy dance. Since that day, I have had the same 2-3 times a day.

The book didn't arrive until a week in and I dove in feeling like I was retaking Anatomy and Physiology in college. A little bit of anxiety there!

Week one, I did have issues with anxiety, insomnia, my first bad acne in decades, hives on my ankles and feet, then suddenly a sensitivity to my 100% free and clean organic laundry detergent and garlic. I had hives on my legs for 5 days from the detergent - been using it for years and years. Then it all went away like magic!

I finished the book last night. I stopped taking my Zantac - GERD is gone. I removed my black cumin oil and aloe vera juice from my regime this week. The aloe was tough. It was a security blanket for me. I have been 100% compliant with the food part of the program because my life depends upon it. I also had to eliminate, at least for now, foods that are high in histamine, and foods with sulfites and salicylates. I'm eating about 15 servings of fruit and veg a day. I started yoga twice a week. Doing a slow cycle 10 minutes a day on my stationary bike. I reduced TV to 2 hours a day. I'm off my phone by 6. TV by 8. I'm meditating 20 minutes a day. Adding an afternoon meditation starting this week. I'm sleeping 8-10 hours a night. I blacked out all of my blue LED lights in my house. Changed my light bulbs from LED to 50 watt incandescent for the evening. I reviewed my supplement ingredients.

Next up. Order a light box, get amber glasses and contemplate eliminating and/or adding supplements.

The results? No more GERD. Normal bowel movements. No potato chip and ice cream cravings. No cravings at all! I'm eating two huge meals a day and I'm never hungry. Sleep is getting better. Goal is to sleep straight through with no getting up to pee, but I drink a ridiculous amount of water. I've lost 10 pounds. No asthma, allergy or sinus issues. My stomach is flat. Most importantly for me - no bowel issues. No bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation or pain.

Thank you for helping me heal and not only giving me the whys but also the hows. Allowing me to hope that I can successfully add a few foods I really miss back into my diet.

If you have an autoimmune disease, any disease, try it. 100% though. This is an all in or nothing. It's your life!

Feb 22, 2014

As soon as I received this book, I immediately started skimming through it and felt a little overwhelmed. I must admit, I haven't been diagnosed with autoimmune disease although I've wondered if I do, especially given I have many of the symptoms. My father had suffered through Alzheimer's disease for 18 years before his death last year and I've often wondered if he had autoimmune and inflammation issues....and now I know that to be true, thanks to Sarah's book. There is conflicting opinions in As soon as I received this book, I immediately started skimming through it and felt a little overwhelmed. I must admit, I haven't been diagnosed with autoimmune disease although I've wondered if I do, especially given I have many of the symptoms. My father had suffered through Alzheimer's disease for 18 years before his death last year and I've often wondered if he had autoimmune and inflammation issues....and now I know that to be true, thanks to Sarah's book. There is conflicting opinions in the medical world if Alzheimer's is a genetic disease also, which worries me somewhat given I have a lot of the same health issues that my Dad did at the same age. I tried the Paleo lifestyle several years ago but didn't take the time to really understand it and then I heard some people say "oh, don't do the Paleo's bad for you". I was bummed because I just wanted to eat bacon! Lol

Sarah's book is so comprehensive and so amazing that it seemed every page I turned to would answer question upon question that would arise in my head. She has clearly put her heart and soul into every page and for that, I'm incredibly thankful! I'm putting my list together and I'm heading to the store to start on my journey with The Paleo Approach!

Sep 23, 2014

Sarah has a Ph.D. in medical biophysics and unlike many paleo books, this book has a list of references, a glossary, and some great tables for easy reference. I have spoken to Sarah many times via email and she is incredibly thorough, responsive, and unswervingly pleasant. This book reflects that.

This is not a beginner book, and in other ways it is. It’s quite science-y and dense in places; that reflects the complexity of the topic. It is a beginner book in that you can find out what you need Sarah has a Ph.D. in medical biophysics and unlike many paleo books, this book has a list of references, a glossary, and some great tables for easy reference. I have spoken to Sarah many times via email and she is incredibly thorough, responsive, and unswervingly pleasant. This book reflects that.

This is not a beginner book, and in other ways it is. It’s quite science-y and dense in places; that reflects the complexity of the topic. It is a beginner book in that you can find out what you need to get going and it will take you all the way along the path to remission.

Endlessly fascinating

I have studied the subject of autoimmune disease for years now but was jumping all over the place as I reviewed the table of contents and the index. The text kept me having interesting thoughts that I just had to follow up in another part of the book.

My favorite parts:

Hunger Hormones: The Key Players
When Is What In Season
Vitamins, Minerals and Essential Fatty Acids
Navigating Spices
Trouble Shooting

There is so much information in this book that I challenge anyone not to find something useful in there, autoimmune sufferer or not.

If you have autoimmune disease, I recommend you invest in this book and dip in and out, reading the parts that interest you the most. Understand that you are buying it for the long term, to read and refer to as you learn more about your disease. It’s not a “one-time-read-front-to-back-and-pass-it-on” kind of a book.

I would go as far as to say that "The Paleo Approach" is so comprehensive, you don’t need another book to explain your autoimmune condition, ...more

Jul 12, 2014

I finally finished this book! It's huge and contains an enormous amount of information, including an explanation of the science behind autoimmune disease in addition to dietary and lifestyle recommendations. What I appreciated most about the book -- even if I don't go all in for the rather restrictive diet -- was its comprehensive nature and science base. This book contains information I have found nowhere else and has helped me explain some of the odd problems I've experienced in dealing with I finally finished this book! It's huge and contains an enormous amount of information, including an explanation of the science behind autoimmune disease in addition to dietary and lifestyle recommendations. What I appreciated most about the book -- even if I don't go all in for the rather restrictive diet -- was its comprehensive nature and science base. This book contains information I have found nowhere else and has helped me explain some of the odd problems I've experienced in dealing with what is almost certainly celiac disease. (For example, in a section on probiotics Ballantyne mentions that fermented foods contain a yeast which can be mistaken for gluten by the body... which explains why I was reacting so violently to kombucha in spite of all the hype.)

I read the book cover to cover once, but will almost certainly be going back to read it again. ...more

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