Cookbook Review: The Performance Paleo Cookbook

This book gets four & a half stars.

I’ve come to realize that half of my life’s journey is over and that I need to be strong for the last half, because I have promised our children that they will never have to take care of me when I’m old and that I will not put the burden of worry on them as far as my own health is concerned. Some things may not be in my control, but there are certainly others I can do something about. The two most important ones is to keep physically fit and to keep my second brain – the digestive system – healthy. These two issues are both in my own hands and should these fall to pieces, there is only one to blame: me.

I have therefore decided that I will go on an eternal quest for healthy cooking and have gone from delicious, decadent, unhealthy and fattening to delicious, decadent and healthy. There are numerous books in my cookbook library. Some I haven’t even opened to cook from and have decided to start cooking through them. I will attempt to make as many recipes as possible, but will probably not cook everything, so will choose wisely and make the healthy recipes that are simple, easy & delicious. If there is a specific recipe I like that doesn’t fall in the healthy category, I will alter the recipe in order to make it healthy. Furthermore, the recipes from these books were written by someone else and I would prefer them to become authentically mine, so will use them as inspiration & guideline only and change/add ingredients and methods where I feel it will resemble more of my own cooking.

The latest addition to my shelf is The Performance Paleo Cookbook. It has 216 pages of wonderful recipes and what I like most about it, is the amount of beautiful photos that inspire. Well, maybe that’s not what I like the most about it. I’m a big supporter of potatoes. They’re power houses of nutrients and I love the taste. Unless you have health issues and/or are allergic to night shades, I have not been able to understand why the humble potato got such a bad reputation. The author of this cookbook, Stephanie Gaudreau, is the founder of Stupid Easy Paleo and she is an athlete in incredible shape. In the book she declares the potato is back. YAY!! Finally!! Somebody writes a Paleo cookbook that makes sense. Her exact words: “For a long while, most Paleo folks avoided white potatoes for reasons they didn’t quite understand – because that’s just what the rules said. Turns out, if your blood sugar regulation and body composition are good, there’s no good reason to keep them out of your diet, unless you are intolerant to nightshades. White potatoes, in fact, are a good source of glucose in addition to micronutrients such as potassium and Vitamin C. One thing you’ll want to do is peel the potatoes, as anti-nutrients are prevalent in the skin.” This of course, doesn’t mean you can slather this great vegetable with rich, unhealthy, fattening sauces, as this will completely defeat the object of the exercise.

The author uses red meat and a few recipes ask for bacon or sausages. There are also recipes that use a small amount of honey to make a glaze. I will avoid those, as I am a heavy sugar addict and even the smallest amount of sugar will set me off on a binge. I believe that lean red meat is good for you, but only about once a month and bacon and sausages are processed, sodium & sugar laden foods that’s not very good for you. Although she doesn’t use it often, I still amend the ingredients where it require these items. I made her Turkey Veggie Meatloaf and fell in love with the almost 100% fat free turkey, so have decided that wherever I can, I will substitute the red meat with turkey, lean pork and lean chicken and will try my hand at making my own skinless sausages where a recipe requires a sausage. I will substitute bacon for Del Duca Prosciutto, which is minimally processed with no added sugars, nitrites, nitrates and no artificial ingredients. If you don’t eat pork, you can use lean, shaved roast beef, chicken or turkey instead. 

I love the sugar free (and this includes sugar substitute free) shakes, desserts and gluten free items such as plantain pancakes and home made tortillas. There are things such as the tortillas, that I’m not very good at making, but I’m certainly going to give it a try. The dessert that interests me the most is the Cherry Cashew Protein Bars. One of the ingredients is cricket flour. Cricket flour? As in the bug? What on earth? Yes, as in the bug. The flour contains ground up crickets. Well, I guess I’m most certainly going to substitute here, as I cannot see myself eating crickets! Perhaps I’ll try coconut flour instead.

Another new ingredient for me is coconut aminos. This is a great substitute for people that are gluten intolerant and cannot eat soy sauce. It’s not readily available in the grocery stores where we live, but it is available on Amazon.

There is a good amount of interesting salad and vegetable dishes and I cannot wait to make the creamy broccoli soup that is made with coconut milk instead of cream. Cream of broccoli is my favorite soup and I love coconut, so will delight in this healthy substitute for the cream.

This is a great cookbook and when you take the red meat dishes and make one of those once a month or even perhaps once a week, it rates as a first class, five star cookbook.

As I cook my way through the book, I will post the recipes that inspire me under the Decadent Healthy Recipes section of this blog, so will try and write a new recipe on a regular basis.

A note on self-care: It is not selfish. Quite the opposite. Your healthy and balanced life is a gift to your loved ones. Keep healthy. You owe yourself and them a long, healthy life. Remember to exercise, happy cooking and don’t forget to throw in a cheat day every once in a while. Now, I’m off to go and cook my potatoes. Follow this link for healthy recipes:



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