Paleo Approach Cookbook

Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics. She’s become well-known for her expertise in how Paleo diets can help with inflammation. Sarah is the author of “The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body” and “The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul.

Try two recipes from the Paleo Approach below, and get information about the cookbook, including how to order from Amazon, by clicking here. 

Garlic-Roasted Pork Shoulder


  • 1 small head garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) pork shoulder
  1. Combine the crushed garlic, salt, oregano, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  2. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels. Lay out several pieces of plastic wrap, overlapping (big enough to wrap the whole pork shoulder after the seasoning is rubbed on), and place the pork shoulder on top.
  3. Rub the seasoning over the entire surface of the pork shoulder. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap. Place in a dish or on a tray and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature for 1 hour before placing in the oven. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap and place the pork on a roasting pan. Roast for 6 hours, until the meat is fork-tender.


This recipe can be easily scaled up for larger shoulder roasts. For a 6- to 8-pound roast, double the rub ingredients and cook for 8 to 9 hours.

From “The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul


American-Style Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast Sausage

  • 5 lbs ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp salt (or even better, use truffle salt)
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp mace
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme


  1. Combine dried spices in a spice grinder and grind until it’s a fine powder.
  2. Add fresh spices, dried spices, and any other ingredients to the ground meat.
    Mix in the bowl of a standing mixer on low for 3-4 minutes or mix by hand to completely incorporate the spices into the meat
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and up to 24 hours.

For stuffing into casings:

  1. Follow the directions on the packaging for your natural hog casings (typically rinsing and then soaking in warm water for 30 minutes).
  2. Attach your sausage stuffer attachment to your meat grinder as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You can alternatively use a manual sausage stuffer (contraptions that look vaguely reminiscent of a water pump) or even a jerky gun or pastry bag without a tip attached.
  3. Grease the funnel end of your sausage stuffer attachment with lard, palm shortening or coconut oil. Feed the sausage casing onto the funnel until the entire casing is scrunched/folded up on the funnel, leaving only 3-4 inches over the end (to tie a knot in when you’re done—but leave it untied for now so you don’t get air bubbles in your sausage).
  4. Turn on your meat grinder as per your manufacturer’s instructions (typically on low speed for stuffing sausages). Feed your sausage mix through the feeding spout, pressing down with the tamping tool (which should have been included in your kit) or a wooden pestle. If you are using a manual sausage stuffer, fill the feeding tube with sausage mix and then press down on the handle to push the sausage mix into the casing.
  5. As the sausage mix fills the casing, it will gradually inflate and ease away from the funnel and coil in a rope like fashion. Make sure that the casing is filling completely but also make sure not to overstuff your sausage or else the casing may burst when you go to cook it. If you want kinks in your sausage to make sausage links, simple pause and twist a few times to create a kink.
  6. Fill the casing to within 3-4 inches from the other end. Tie a knot in both ends and set aside.
  7. Repeat until all of your sausage mix has been stuffed into casings.
  8. To parboil your sausage, attach an oil/candy thermometer to the side of a large stock pot. Fill the pot 1/2-3/4 full with water (you can add a tsp of salt to make it heat faster). Bring the water up to 165F (this should be just shy of a simmer). Fill the pot loosely with sausage (you may have to do this in batches depending on how big your pot is). Keep the temperature as close to 165F as you can.
  9. Poach the sausages until the internal temperature reaches 150F (15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the sausages).
  10. Remove from the pot and set aside. If freezing, refrigerate the sausage until cold and then slice into single servings before freezing. Freeze on a cookie sheet and then move to a re-sealable freezer bag or container.
  11. Fry over medium heat in a frying pan for 5-10 minutes (longer if trying from frozen) and enjoy! (You can also freeze after pan frying if you want to be able to just reheat your sausages from frozen in the microwave for a very quick breakfast.)

For forming patties:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Form 4oz to 8oz size patties with your hands and place on a rimmed cookie sheet, spacing about 1” apart (how big you make these patties will depend on how big a serving size you are aiming for) just as you would make hamburger patties. You may need 2 cookie sheets, depending on how thick you make your patties.
  3. Bake sausage patties for 15-25 minutes (depending on how thick they are) until internal temperature reaches a minimum of 160F. Alternatively, you can fry sausage patties in a frying pan or on a griddle over medium high heat.
  4. If freezing, freeze on a cookie sheet and then move to a re-sealable freezer bag or container. You can reheat from frozen in the microwave or by frying in a frying pan.

The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine

“The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine” is a delightful Paleo cookbook that provides fabulously flavored healthy recipes. The following is re-published with permission. Get more information including how to order from Amazon about the “The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine” by clicking here.

Plantain Tortillas

(makes 12 5″ tortillas) 

3 large  yellow plantains, about 2-2.5 pounds before peeling

1/3 cup egg whites (about 2 eggs worth)
3 tablespoons lard or coconut oil, melted (I highly recommend lard if you have it!)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350.

  1. Peel and chop your plantains and place in a food processor.
  2. Puree until somewhat pureed, and then add the melted lard, egg whites, salt and lime juice.
  3. Puree until smooth.
  4. Drop about 2 tablespoons at a time onto a baking sheet lined with a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper, 4 per standard baking sheet (spaced as shown above)
  5. Smooth into a circle with the bottom of a ladle, getting as thin as possible, switching to wet fingers once the ladle stops being efficient.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, until dry to the touch, and just starting to brown on the edges.

Whole30 elimination diet for weight loss and health: Paleo-style low carb

The Whole30 elimination diet offers a way to win at weight loss while boosting your health, detailed in the best-selling book “It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” (click for details).

The Whole30 program is a whole foods-based elimination diet designed to help people identify foods that are affecting them negatively, either physically or psychologically. We help people change their habits and tastes, eliminate cravings, and improve awareness as to which foods are negatively impacting how they look, feel, and live,” explained Melissa Hartwig in an exclusive interview with the Examiner.

And the benefit for those who do want to shed pounds: They can do so while focusing on changing their attitude and approach to food rather than obsessing about counting calories or restricting carbohydrates.

What the diet involves: For 30 days, dieters avoid sugar, alcohol, grains (including corn and rice), legumes (including soy and peanuts), and most dairy products. The exclusions are not chosen to provide a boot camp-style regimen. Instead, those food groups are “potentially inflammatory,” says Melissa. As a result of eliminating them, many readers find relief from problems such as “skin issues, digestive distress, chronic pain, or medical symptoms.”

When it comes to her own inspiration, Melissa credits two Paleo diet gurus: Robb Wolf, author of “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet” (click for details) and Mark Sisson, author of “The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy” and “Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes.”

Calling Robb their mentor, Melissa notes that “his Paleo Solution Seminar and Paleo Solution book were some of the first practical application guides to Paleo eating, and his “try it for 30 days” approach formed the foundation of the original Whole30 program. We also love Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. His books spell out in a really fun way how to live a healthier lifestyle via diet, exercise, and play. Plus he lets you eat dark chocolate and drink red wine.”

However, don’t assume that the Whole30 is identical to the Paleo diet. Those who are vegetarians, for example, can benefit from the plan by using the special guidelines that the Whole30 provides specifically for them. “We have expanded our general recommendations to work within a vegetarian or vegan framework. We believe that including moderate amounts of animal protein is a healthy practice, but we also respect people’s individual choices. People can still implement many Whole30 principles alongside their vegetarian or vegan diet in a way that improves health while still honoring their self-imposed restrictions,” states Melissa.

Bottom line: After reading numerous weight loss books and studying various diet plans, we whole-heartedly recommend the Whole30 diet book. Whether you want a fresh start on dieting, are seeking a way to improve your eating habits or want to benefit your entire body while shedding pounds, it’s the best guide that we’ve read: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” (click for more information, including how to order).

Dr. Cate Shanahan

When Gary Vitti wanted a winning formula for the Los Angeles Lakers, he turned to an unusual source: A doctor known for combining an extremely low-carbohydrate weight loss plan with Paleo diet principles. And the result, as reported in the Examiner, made superstar athletes like Kobe Bryant feel “remarkably better.” The dietary plan comes from Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating” and “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food” (click for details).

It was a significant change. As an example, take center Dwight Howard, who Vitti reports was “eating the equivalent of something like 23 Hershey bars a day. A lot of that was fruit, which is supposed to be good.” The problem: Too much sugar. Dwight would “have a lot of energy, then get these insulin spikes and crash really quick.” Now that he’s shifted to the diet advocated by Dr. Cate, he and the other players are enjoying renewed energy.

“We’ve turned the whole [dietary] pyramid upside down, that’s what we’ve done,” Vitti boasted. “I went 25 years without having whole milk or a stick of butter in my refrigerator. I didn’t eat bacon. No fatty meat. We’ve flipped that upside down. Now 50% to 60% of our calories are coming from fat. It’s the source of the fats that’s important.” It’s good to be king – and in the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s also good to be cavemen. Tip: Learn more about a Paleo diet targeted at athletes by reading “The Paleo Diet for Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance” (click to order).

Low carb diets best for cholesterol, weight loss and health

For those seeking to lose weight and improve their health, fat is “the missing key to optimizing health because it controls hunger, cravings, and provides so many health benefits by improving the production of ketone bodies that is the preferred fuel source for the body.” And multiple studies have demonstrated the benefits of this approach, says Dr. William Lagakos, author of “The poor, misunderstood calorie: calories proper.”

In a trio of studies, “reducing carbohydrate intake led to a substantial, spontaneous reduction in appetite,” noted Dr. Lagakos. Moreover, “weight loss was significantly greater” for those on high fat low carb ketogenic diets.

Traditional advice on reducing your cholesterol consists of avoiding red meat, eating whole grains and using fat-free products. And that advice may lead to its own set of problems, warned Jimmy Moore, co-author of “Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers,” who feels that physicians “should be looking at the true culprits in heart disease–inflammation and oxidative stress.”

Jimmy, who co-authored the low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet book “Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet” with Dr. Eric Westman, also notes that our national fear of fat is causing part of our problems. “Saturated fat is arguably the healthiest part of the human diet that people are quite literally scared to death to eat. Some people actually believe they will have a heart attack within moments of consuming a food like butter or meat, but this is not based on any solid scientific evidence.”

The foods that consumers are advised to eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD) such as whole grains and omega-6 vegetable oils such as rapeseed or canola oil are the ones that result in inflammation and oxidative stress.

“Interestingly, these foods will drop your LDL-C number on your cholesterol panel, but what they do is shift your LDL particles to more of the small, dense, and dangerous kind you don’t want. This isn’t healthy and yet the health authorities couldn’t care less,” sums up Jimmy.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers compared low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets to low-fat diets to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. Co-led by Dr. Westman, the study concluded that high-fat low carb diets had significantly more favorable outcomes.

“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet,” they wrote.

Jonny Bowden, author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will,” notes that “saturated fat in the diet as a direct cause of increased risk for heart disease has been completely debunked by a number of recent studies, most recently in the March Annals of Internal Medicine.”

Also the author of “Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss,” Jonny describes the AHA advice as “way past its expiration date,” Jonny advises focusing on “whole, unprocessed foods, with the fat intact, plenty of vegetables, nuts, berries, grass-fed meat and wild salmon, and stop worrying about cholesterol.”

As for the cholesterol conundrum, Dr. Lagakos cites research showing that “there is not a strong causal relationship between dietary fats with blood cholesterol levels, and blood cholesterol levels with disease outcomes.” In addition, studies have shown that sacrificing that steak and biting into biscuits topped with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” instead sends you in the wrong direction with regard to reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your cholesterol levels.

Sugar-Free Sheila succeeds with Atkins diet

Seeking inspiration? Meet Sugar-Free Sheila, who recently revealed how she shed weight in an interview with the Examiner.
Here is the Q & A:
Many women struggle with weight for years. What was your own 
history, and what diets did you try in the past?
Through childhood and early adulthood, I carried extra weight – and even with daily, hour-long treadmill walking sessions coupled with portion control as well as fat and caloric restriction, it just never seemed to come off.  Specifically, I gave Slim Fast, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Blood Type Diet, and veganism a wholehearted go; but sadly, none of these got me anywhere.  Not even a small taste of temporary success – nothing.  So when women come to me frustrated after having similar experiences, I can truly empathize.  I’ve been there.

What were your results from the Atkins diet?

 I gave Atkins my first go in 1998 by doing what a lot of people attempting the program do:  I skipped reading the book and just followed it my way!  Needless to say this haphazard approach offered me no weight loss after a solid month – even with daily cardio.  So I blamed my folly on the program’s so-called ineffectiveness and didn’t look back … for three years.  In this second attempt, I read the Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution book this time, followed the program in accordance with the text, and was half a pound down the following morning.  Five months later, I was at my ideal-weight goal.  Thirteen years later, I am still maintaining that same dress size today.

How do you feel it compares to the Paleo diet?

 Given all the Paleo menus and recipes I see every day, I would say Atkins and Paleo are not identical twins, but more lookalike sisters close in age.  As for me, I would liken the way I follow Atkins even more to Primal:  lots of non-starchy vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, adequate protein, enough fat to sate the appetite, and dairy in moderation.  I’m also a non-drinker.  Commercial low-carb products are also not apart of my daily menu – in fact, to this day I’ve yet to try a low-carb tortilla. 

For those who want more information, which books do you recommend?

 For those wanting to learn more about Atkins, I recommend those publications written by Dr. Robert Atkins himself – that is, published prior to 2004.
Learn more about Sheila at:

‘Primal Body’ transforms metabolism with gluten-free high fat ketogenic diet

Nora Gedgaudas believes that Paleo diets can be improved, as described in “Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life” (click for details).

A key part of her Primal plan: Going gluten-free.

“According to extremely knowledgeable research scientists such as Dr. Alexio Fasano, gluten is a substance no human being can actually even digest,” says Nora, who is a health researcher.

And with the wide range of adverse effects of gluten consumption (more than 200), gluten should not be considered a food, she contends. Instead, Nora believes that it is “a bona fide contaminant.”

Part of the problem with gluten stems from the increasing intolerance that we have when it comes foods containing gluten. As a result, gluten can damage both the body and the brain, says Nora.

Agreeing with her: Neurologist David Perlmutter, who says grain consumption is linked to dementia: Learn more by clicking here.

And, she predicts, “far from being a passing fad, gluten-related issues are only likely to grow with time.”

To succeed at weight loss, Nora recommends:

  • Cultivating a fat/ketone-based metabolism, as opposed to a glucose-based/dependent one. “It’s very difficult to get good at burning fat when you’re busy burning sugar all the time.”
  • Following a Paleo-style diet: Low in sugar, reduced in starchy carbohydrates, moderate protein and sufficient dietary fat.
  • Eliminate grains and legumes.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Enjoy greens and other non-starchy vegetables.

As for concerns that your body “needs” carbohydrates like bread and pasta, Nora emphasizes that extensive studies reveal that our bodies require protein and fat to function. Those cookies, cereals and potato chips? Not on the list of established human dietary requirements.

Bottom line: For health and weight loss, says Nora, learn to adapt what she calls the “Paleolithic principles” to your own modern lifestyle. That plan can help you overcome “the health challenges we are faced with today,” and is supported by “newer science-based evidence coming from human longevity research.”

Worth noting: An increasing number of Paleo diet experts are providing variations on this approach, like Nora. Get some different perspectives on how and why the Paleo diet works for weight loss and health by clicking here.