Suggested Reading

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This page is part of the online Appendix of The Primal Blueprint. Instead of printing static content at the back of the book I’ve published and continually update these web pages. Read on to learn about my favorite Primal-related books. And if you are looking for blog reading material visit the Primal Resources page, this forum topic (Primal Blogs Around the Net) or check out the “Sites Mark Visits” section in the sidebar.

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

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No one knows more about stress and stress hormones than this Stanford-based neuroscientist. Certainly no one writes more insightfully or entertainingly on the topic. I had always maintained that stress was probably the greatest factor in disease (dietary stress included) but Sapolsky drove the point home so convincingly that I reordered my priorities to stop endurance training and started looking at how I could better control stress through diet, supplementation and alternative exercise.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

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For lack of a better description (and lack of space) this is a history of the world post-Grok that looks at how agriculture and geography basically determined which societies would thrive (develop technology and weaponry) and dominate and which would eventually fail or be taken over. Luck had a lot to do with it, of course, but it’s a fascinating thesis that filled in many of the gaps in my understanding of how we left Africa and populated the entire earth.

The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

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Lipton takes the “genes are not destiny” assertion that I am always touting here to a whole new level. It’s the environment we present to our cells that dictates which genes are turned on or off and who or what we eventually become. No one does a finer job of explaining the concept, including the idea that our thoughts can also manifest genetic expression far more than anyone thought possible. This is the new frontier…

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain

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“We are designed to run best on the wild plant and animal foods that all humans gathered and hunted just 500 generations ago.” Sounds awfully similar to the Primal Blueprint, huh? While Paleo and Primal have their differences (the role of saturated fats, diet sodas, dairy, and the fact that Primal is a total lifestyle), they are born of the same evolutionary concept. This book nails down precisely why the dawn of agriculture was also the dawn of so many modern health problems. A detailed 3-tier diet plan is included as well.

The Omega Diet by Simopolous and Robinson

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In case you missed the entendre, this is the last diet you’ll ever need. Fats aren’t just good, they’re downright essential in abundant quantities. The Omega Diet breaks those fats apart and illustrates exactly what they do that is so wonderful.  The book also works as a shopper’s guide and is thick with recipes. It makes a good supplement once you’ve got the basics of Primal eating, but don’t feel obliged to follow the 3-week eating plan to a “T.”

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

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This book is only two years old, but it is the definitive work on the history of nutritional science and nutrition public policy. Taubes is not a scientist, but rather a science writer and, as such, is able to objectively evaluate the “evidence” far better than most career researchers. It’s not an easy read, but if you can get through it, you will have a clear picture of just how misguided our diet advice has been – and you’ll become a confirmed low-carbber. If you don’t read it, have your doctor read it, and tell him that if he doesn’t, you’ll have to find one who will.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

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If you thought the carbs in your french fries were scary, wait until you find out about the feces content in your Big Mac. Schlosser’s account of the rise of fast food is epic. He charts a thorough history of  this national disservice,  and he explains how mega-corporations grew and shaped their restaurants and American bellies. And yet, the read is easy, entertaining, and non-controversial enough to make a good start for someone who hasn’t yet adjusted to natural eating.

Food Politics by Marion Nestle

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A deep investigation stemming from the fundamental question: What happens in a free market society when a nation produces over twice as many calories as its people need? The simple answer: Big Agra makes a big push for people to eat bigger quantities. Nestle covers every aspect of the food industry, how lobbyists and advertisers use sometimes subtle and sometimes blatantly subversive techniques to prod the American consumer to consume more food. Find out just how much money it takes to ensure the words “Eat Less” don’t appear on the FDA’s food pyramid.

Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

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Corn is the kudzu of the American pallet; it has slowly replaced the veggies, fruits, and grass-fed cattle of our grandparents’ generation. Pollan’s book is simple; he prepares four meals and breaks down exactly what is being consumed in each meal. Turns out the average American is eating corn with a side of corn and washing it down with a big gulp of corn.  Pollan then turns to the health-concious American minority to reveal much of the empty hype behind “organic” grocery shopping. Finally, he goes all-natural, exploring co-op farming and truly Primal hunting and gathering. The writing is anecdotal and funny (when it’s not downright scary). I’d also reccommend the documentary King Corn for more great commentary of the same stock.

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith

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Wow. It isn’t often that I write book reviews (have I ever? – serious question), but it isn’t often that a truly important book like Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth pops up on my radar just begging for one.

You may remember it from a brief mention I gave back in September, or maybe from Dr. Eades’ endorsement of it. You may have even already read the book yourself. If you haven’t, read it. And if you have? Read it again or get one for a friend… Read the rest of my book review here.