Book Review: Eat Like a Dinosaur (With Bonus Contest!)

They’ve lost a collective 200 pounds, eased and eliminated their sons’ ailments, and shared their journey with all of us. They’re The Paleo Parents—Stacy and Matthew, plus Cole, Finian, and Wesley—and now they should be on your bookshelf.

Their new book Eat Like a Dinosaur is part cookbook, part helpful guide, and part inspirational story (if you’re not familiar, here‘s a crash course). This book was obviously a labor of love with input from the entire family. One of the best things about Paleo eating is that as a result of all the cooking we do, there’s ample opportunity for family time in the kitchen and around the dining table, an important ritual that is all too often left out of many families’ daily lives. The Paleo Parents even developed a handy-dandy code to let you know which steps in a recipe little hands can help with. Great tips here, from how to ease your kids into a dietary switcheroo (one of my faves: Tony Danza is Not the Boss, You Are!), how to deal with what they eat when they’re out of the house, to a chapter on packing lunches. There’s even an illustrated story straight from Cole himself (with help from Mom & Dad) to let your little ones know that eating like a dinosaur (“Dinosaurs like plants…Dinosaurs love meat!”) isn’t so rough after all.

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As a mom, I was personally grateful that I wasn’t being held to some caveman Martha Stewart-standard. These folks are real. I have several friends with families who’ve expressed interest in changing their families’ diets but feel too overwhelmed by the education and time required. I now have a resource I can point them toward, someone who’s been through it and who is instantly relatable. There’s no magic to this, and yet no shortcuts to a healthy family. It takes a simple decision and then a daily commitment to make it happen. And the results speak for themselves.

While their weight loss is jaw-dropping and an obvious achievement, they’re most proud of the improvements they’ve seen in their first and second sons: improved self-control/listening/behavior, cured eczema and rashes, and a decrease in sensitivities and allergies. Their youngest, the beneficiary of his parents’ dietary changes from his earliest days, has been free of the issues that troubled his brothers. This is the most powerful testimony for our way of eating, this way of life. As they say in their section on the kids, “There is nothing more astounding than seeing your child struggling with every fiber of his being to behave and succeed in the world, only for the problems to be resolved with some simple nutritional changes.”

And then there are the recipes. Now, I’m no slouch in the kitchen. I’ve been an epicurean and serious home cook for 15 years, and I found myself surprised and excited by some of the offerings here: Goose Egg Scramble, Maple Chicken Salad, Steak & Strawberry Salad. All of them are kid-approved, and some are obviously (and cutely) kid-titled like Curried Mussels, not Muscles. There’s great variety and several recipes are perfect for fueling your kids at school.

I recently bought a red curry paste, so their Pineapple Curry with beef caught my eye. I got some grassfed tri-tip steak and a pineapple at the store, and I was in business, because even though it was packed with flavor, the ingredients are simple and I had most of it on-hand. The only change I made was to toss a few handfuls of spinach in because I was feeling greens-deficient that day, and it worked beautifully. I served it atop some riced cauliflower, and the whole family was happy. My daughter Edie especially enjoyed the surprise bits of pineapple.

While I can cook almost anything, I’ve never been a baker, so I’m grateful to folks like the Paleo Parents and Elana Amsterdam (who wrote the foreword to the book) for their expertise. I made their Anytime Cookies because I was interested in trying a cookie recipe with no added sugars of any kind, these are sweetened only with banana and apple. I made a double batch and topped some with cashews, some with raisins, some with dried cranberries, and left some plain. I was hoping to take a few with me on my travels to Austin for Paleo F/X, but it’s not looking good. They’re disappearing fast! The only trouble I had was it took much longer to get them cooked through than the upper time range they gave, an additional 10 minutes on top of the original 12! I’m guessing I had some extra liquid in there somewhere (maybe my apples were bigger?), but they were still as delicious as intended. They’re not overly sweet and they make a wholesome treat, as the name suggests, anytime. Edie’s getting one in her lunch today.

In the Paleosphere, there are many different folks here for different reasons, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the sciencey-science of it all and lose sight of what we’re really about: real food, real people, and real hope for our future. I’m personally relieved that Edie has a strong chance of avoiding all the troubles I encountered before I found Paleo. With the message in Eat Like a Dinosaur, hopefully more families will feel confident enough to make the leap into greater health, energy, and well-being.

So What Was That About a Contest?

Now you can get your very own copy of The Paleo Parents’ Eat Like a Dinosaur! All you have to do is Tweet, via Twitter, a link to this review. Just click on the Twitter button in the share-bar under this post, add the hashtag #ELADContest, and you’re good to go. Or if you want to customize the message, just make sure you include @PaleoPeriodical and the hashtag #ELADContest. I will pick one winner at random to receive their very own copy—only one entry per person, please. Seeing as how I have a full week ahead, I will announce the winner sometime next week after all the conference stuff has died down a bit.

The pertinent fine print:

  1. Do not create multiple accounts to increase your odds. Twitter may suspend all of your accounts if you do so.
  2. Don’t post duplicate or near-duplicate Tweets. It won’t help your odds anyway, and it will keep Twitter happy with you.

Thanks for playing! And even if you don’t win, it’s a great resource to have for yourself or to give as a gift.


5 Responses to “Book Review: Eat Like a Dinosaur (With Bonus Contest!)”

  1. I don’t have Twitter, but I liked Paleo Parents on FB! :o)

  2. Oops, forgot to add the hashtag! Do I need to do it again?


  1. Eat Like a Dinosaur Week 3 Review | Paleo Parents - 03/15/2012

    […] on Paleo Periodical, we’re instantly relatable! As a mom, I was personally grateful that I wasn’t being held to some caveman Martha […]

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