Paleoista – Book Review
Tuesday May 1, 2012

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Are you someone who enjoys food, preferably quality food, and at the same time, takes pride in dressing stylishly, all the while adhering to your signature style?

If you, like me, are both someone who respects food, but enjoys it and at the same time is passionate about looking and feeling great in the clothes you wear every day, Nell Stephenson’s debut book Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat might just be something you want to read.

Combining both the worlds of food and fashion, Nell has claimed the title of Paleoista, and in her new book, she teaches her readers how they too can become Paleoistas. With the motto, “Eat this, to wear that”, Nell’s introduction to following a paleo eating regimen is not nearly as daunting as many have made it out to be as she simplifies and clearly explains what to eat, how to shop, how to travel, and even offers quite a few sample menus.

In fact, the simple concept of eating REAL food (not processed) which includes eating meats, vegetables, fruits, herbs and yes, even drinking red wine, is something to contemplate when we view our bodies as temples and desire to live our best life.

In order to have enough energy to live the busy lives that we do, it is imperative that we take care of our engine – our bodies. And how and what we fuel it with is a predicator of how well it will do – both now and in the future. 

A few months ago, I was fortunate to be introduced to Nell and have continued to be inspired by her positive energy, discipline and passion for a lifestyle she lives and demonstrates every day to be one that can help propel us toward what we want to accomplish.

She has kindly accepted the invitation to answer a few of my questions, as I have, after reading the book, been inspired to reduce the amount of process food (that includes pasta, bread and milk) that I include in my daily eating habits. While I’ve only been following her suggestions for just over a month, I can confidently say when I reduce the processed foods and focus on fresh produce and including some sort of protein with my meals, I feel full, but not bloated and my pants fit so much better.

Without further ado, let me introduce Nell Stephenson, founder of the Paleoista blog and author of her first book Paleoista which was released today.

*Occupation: Paleo Lifestyle Coach (Synergistic Blend of Paleo Fitness & Nutrition), Author/Writer, Athlete,

*Motto for Life:  Keep an attitude of gratitude with you at all times and make each day count.

*Define the term Paleoista: Paleoista is a word I created and trademarked to convey a modern, fit, lean, feminine, successful woman who eats, moves and lives the Paleo lifestyle to the fullest, efficiently and effectively without forgoing style in the least.  She’s the antithesis of a cave woman!

*What was the catalyst for founding your website/blog Paleoista?   I wanted to be the feminine voice of Paleo in the Paleosphere that is currently mostly filled with the male presence; a resource and go-to girl for anyone who is interested in trying Paleo but may have felt intimidated by the caveman approach.   Further, there is a lot of misinformation about what Paleo is, and I hope to be able to help clarify that as well.

*In one sentence, describe what following the Paleo eating regimen consists of:  Eating the foods we as humans are genetically made to be eating, including fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats, and nothing processed.

*So many women understand that we must take care of our health, however, they find it difficult to adhere to strict eating habits, how is following the Paleo eating plan both simple and worthwhile?  It’s simple in that there are no tricks, gimmicks or quick-fixes.  The premise is simply that we need to be eating fresh, whole, real food and not just temporarily, but as a permanent lifestyle change.  It’s not complicated or overly time consuming and the benefits range from weight loss, clearer skin, improved digestion, better sleep, heightened energy, reduction in symptoms of many illnesses including auto immune disease, cancers, hypertension and diabetes, just to list some of the benefits!

*What are the physical benefits of adhering to a Paleo diet?  If one follows the Paleo diet properly, it’s almost impossible to not reach your body’s lean, ideal weight.  Your complexion will look more radiant, your muscles, long and lean will appear more defined due to a reduction in excess body fat, GI issues subside and energy levels sky rocket!  There truly is no down side.

*As a nutrition coach to people around the world in all walks of life, what is the one barrier you have found that your clients initially think will be the most difficult, but is in fact easier than they expect when changing their eating habits?  Change is always difficult; often clients think it’s going to be ‘too radical or extreme’, but in reality, in a mere couple of hours per week, you can plan, shop and cook for yourself and your family and set yourself up for success!

*As someone who is currently following a paleo lifestyle, compare and contrast the difference of how you feel when you are sticking to a Paleo diet and when you are not.   I’ve been completely Paleo since 2005.  For me, there was no going back or including ‘cheat’ foods.  After a lifetime of stomach issues which went from mild to horrible, once I figured out what was causing the issues (primarily gluten), I had no difficulty omitting it permanently.  After a year of gluten free eating from 2004 – 5 , I was curious to learn what else in my diet that I thought was healthy might actually not be.  Thus, I found Paleo and once I cut out all grains, dairy and legumes, I felt phenomenal.

*I love oatmeal in the morning, what is the best replacement for a quick, yet satiating breakfast? I view all meals as one in the same.  There is no such thing as a ‘breakfast food’.  Food is food, any time of day.  I’ll often have leftover dinner for breakfast if I haven’t got a workout first thing.  Steak, broccoli and avocado might be a typical breakfast for me!  If that seems like a stretch, one can go for foods they already identify with breakfast that are also Paleo, like soft boiled eggs with some veggies, like spinach and mushrooms, that you might be accustomed to seeing in an omelet.

*So many women have busy schedules, but want to feel and look great no matter what they are doing, what would a typical daily menu look like? The important thing to remember is BALANCE; how often we eat, as well as how to time food around exercise, and keeping the proper Paleo macro nutrient ratio to allow for steady energy levels, with no blood sugar surges or crashes!’

-6:00 AM Breakfast Poached Salmon on bed of spinach (with garlic & olive oil), fresh blueberries and strawberries.
-9:00 AM Steamed broccoli, drizzled with cold pressed flax seed oil, sliced orange and a runny soft-boiled egg.
-Lunch 12:00 Mixed green organic salad, with olive oil and lime wedge, served with grilled chicken, avocado and grapes.
-Afternoon Meal 3:00 Sliced lean turkey breast used as a wrap, with Mache lettuce, coconut oil and sliced pear inside.
-Dinner 6:00 Bison Kebabs-lean meat, skewered with red onion & yellow bell peppers, marinated over night in olive oil, lemon juice & your favorite herbs, then grilled or broiled. Serve with grilled green onion and a fresh spinach salad with tomato, walnut oil & a lime wedge.
-Snack 7:30 Cinnamon dusted sliced apples-slice an apple, toss in lemon juice to prevent browning/oxidation, then sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy with a cup of herbal or green decaf tea!
*A glass of red wine on occasion is perfectly Paleo, too!

*One thing I noticed immediately through our conversations is your energy, as it seems endless and is quite infectious, what is one last piece of motivating advice you have to someone who is contemplating changing their eating habits and giving Paleo a try?   Thank you!  That’s quite a compliment, and yes, I have been told that I am ‘high energy’ to say the least!  Even for those who might be skeptical or feel like they’re already feeling great while eating a non Paleo diet, there is nothing to lose by giving it a whirl for a month; why not try it and see if you feel even better?


Become a subscriber to The Simply Luxurious Life weekly newsletter (sent out every Friday morning), and become eligible to win the giveaway of Nell’s book – Paleoista. Details of the giveaway will be announced in this upcoming Friday’s newsletter, so be sure to subscribe. (To subscribe, simply enter your first name and email address on The Simply Luxurious Life blog’s homepage in the middle column underneath “Newsletter Sign-up”.)

10 thoughts on “Paleoista – Book Review

  1. Good Share! Some really valuable information here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Look forward to reading more of your articles. Voted up!

  2. As a regular reader, I am very disappointed to see you so whole-heartedly promoting a fad diet book. While I can see some health benefits of some of the recommendations for those who don’t already have a balanced diet, I would be concerned about the long-term effects of excluding some elements from my diet – such as nuts and legumes – and placing such emphasis on meat, which has been associated with higher bowel cancer levels not to mention the environmental effects of producing meat. (I am not vegetarian BTW) These concerns, and for people such as pregnant women (like me) nd vegetarians, are not addressed here.
    Overall however i am disappointed that you would promote a book and author that implicitly place pressure on women to conform to unrealistic weight ideals – one just has to look at the sinewy, anorexic-looking pictures at the start of your post, let alone the messages inherent in the author’s interview. This is not what I read your blog for – if I want that pressure I can find it endlessly elsewhere.
    What has happened to the “love yourself and live a life in balance and moderation” message that we normally read in your posts?

    1. Julia,

      I appreciate your honesty. However, as I design my life to be one that adheres to the simply luxurious premise and each of my readers design their lives, I continually explore, experiment and learn what does and does not work for me. I believe that there are some very valuable dietary lessons to be learned from Nell’s book. I personally cannot be 100% Paleo – I love pasta, my oatmeal in the morning, cheese, risotto and almonds far too much, but I did find it informative as I realized that some of my sluggishness was from what I was feeding my body, thus I reduced my pasta to 1 (sometimes 2) meals a week, I have cut back on my desserts and pastries and I don’t drink lattes anymore. For me, I found something that improved my daily life, but I didn’t drink all of the “kool-aid” so to speak.

      I believe that each of our lives is much like a quilt where we gather ideas that better our lives from those we talk too, books we read and experiences we are involved with, and discard the aspects that don’t work for us. For Nell, this is a lifestyle that works for her, but her goal was to be an active participate in Ironman competitions. That is not who I am, and probably very few people are either, but she needed to adjust her diet and this is what worked.

      I genuinely believe there are lessons everywhere waiting for each one of us to learn, and while this book may not contain ideas you want to incorporate into your life, perhaps it solidified what you do want to incorporate, and in a way, the book DID teach a lesson, just not the lesson that was intended.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think it held valuable points that are worth considering and discussing.

  3. I unfortunately found myself exhausted, depressed and up 15 lbs after a stint of paleo dieting! I read all the books and paleo blogs that swear avacado, meat, eggs and nuts will not put weight on you without any grain, dairy or legumes. My body apparently did not get the memo…

  4. How pleasantly surprised that I saw this post! I have be enthralled by your blog and try to keep up with it weekly. I love the stunning photos as well as fashion tips and endless inspiring and motivating posts. However your recipies were the posts I always skimmed over. 😉 I have been eating clean unprocessed food (aka paleo/primal) for almost a year now and now feel like it is easier than ever to fit in those to-die-for-jeans and keep up a glowing complexion! I would love to know more about your experience. Hope you keep it up and looking for some exciting recipe additions!

  5. Julia, I wasn’t a firm believer at first either. Because I’ve been a non-meat eater for a long time. But I still was finding myself sluggish and not able to keep the weight off. I just finished 3 weeks of eating strict Paleo and I can’t believe the difference. Everything it promised, happened. Skin clearer, more energy, weight loss. As I was sliding back into my size 4 jeans, I felt like it was a secret that I couldn’t believe I discovered. I was skeptical about the meat, but I only buy organic, grain fed, high quality meat and I eat lots of chicken and fish. Last week I was on vacation and cheated quite a bit with dairy and processed food and when I saw my body’s reaction again, I didn’t like it. I will continue eating like this as much as I can…will it be 100%, probably not, more like 85%, I’ve definitely realized the benefits of more protein and less processed foods and dairy. I certainly have become a believer in the short time I’ve experimented.

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