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Diet ideas tend to come and go. They burst upon us, with often wild claims, then fade as fast as that weight seems to come back on our bodies.

But the Paleo Diet is one that is lasting. It’s been around, in various forms, since the 1970s. The initial idea, that this diet represents what Paleolithic humans ate before real civilization began, is one that has been disputed. What does remain is the concept of paleo foods being more basic than the typical fare we see in our store and on our tables.

Author Daniel Green is a strong advocate for Paleo and his new book Paleo: Monday to Friday is actually the first Paleo I’ve picked up and read. And enjoyed. The book begins with 10 Reasons to Eat the Paleo Way, including:

  • Low in salt but rich in potassium for better blood pressure
  • High in fruit and veggies so you easily meet your daily requirements
  • Rich in protein and fiber
  • Low in bad fats, higher in good ones

In short, it’s heathy. But, what is it? In Paleo you embrace these foods:

  • Natural drinks like herbal tea, fruit and veggie juice
  • Fruit and veggies
  • Coconut including flour
  • Meat, fish and eggs
  • Flavorings and sauces like fish sauce, curry past, and truffle salt
  • Nuts of all kinds
  • Natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup
  • Natural oils and fats like avocado and coconut oil
  • Seeds

And you avoid these foods:

  • Processed foods [just read the label on the side of the can]
  • Refined and added sugars
  • Grains and foods containing grains [not in Paleo man’s diet]
  • Beans and legumes [irritating to the gut]
  • Vegetable and seed oils [high in omega-6 fatty acids]
  • Potatoes [sadly they contain chemicals that damage the intestine]
  • Dairy [we are designed for milk products as adults]

And in moderation you can enjoy:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate [thank god]
  • Coffee
  • Salt [in moderation!]
  • Starchy veggies [sweet potatoes are ok so baked fries are possible, with salt]
  • Sweeteners [honey, …]
  • Vinegar [not strictly Paleo but a grand ingredient]

Well, that’s Paleo in a nutshell. Literally a nutshell.

Daniel Green is not an extremist, preaching that you have to stand by this diet seven days a week. That’s why the title includes that phrase Monday to Friday. Because if you follow this diet on the weekdays, then Saturday and Sunday can be devoted to culinary sin. Life can and ideally should be a balance.

It’s not though that the Monday to Friday recipes here impose a burden. Many of the recipes, like a simple steak, are just things we normally eat. What Daniel does do is introduce some recipe ideas to make sure each day can have some dazzle. So you’ll find recipes like:

Butternut Squash Curry

Grilled Lamb Chops on Carrot Purée

Kale and Eggs with Griddled Tomatoes

Pork Patties with Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Salmon and Scallop Ceviche

Broccoli Soup with Garlic and Leeks

Cauliflower Soup with Garlic and Onion

If you love sushi, then this book will have you sampling both familiar combos and some new concepts in sushidom:

Avocado and Spicy Tuna

Turkey and Asparagus

Crab, Dill and Onion

Tuna Salad with Wasabi

Salmon and Sesame

If you prefer your seafood cooked, there is:

Pan-Fried Calamari with Ginger and Garlic

Salmon Fishcakes

Grilled Salmon Salad with Asparagus and Kalamata Olives

You can use this book Monday to Friday and never feel you are sacrificing. It’s so good you might even dip into on Saturday or Sunday. If you’ve heard about the Paleo Diet but never investigated, this new book is an excellent starting point.

Here’s a photo of those Grilled Lamb Chops with Carrot Purée. A happy dish to be sure.