Better Food, Better Performance: Paleo Fuel for Athletes
With more and more paleo cookbooks trending toward foodies or autoimmune protocol, sometimes it’s refreshing to find someone regarding food simply as fuel again. But wait, does there have to be such a hard line between foodies and fuelies?
According to The Performance Paleo Cookbook author Stephanie Gaudreau, the answer is no.
A Book for Athletes
Stephanie is the founder of Stupid Easy Paleo and a life-long athlete. She doesn’t just create recipes for athletes - she is one. She understands what athletes need when it comes to paleo eating for performance, and this book revolves completely around that concept. Every recipe indicates the exact macronutrients and there are meal strategies provided depending on the time of day you typically exercise.
"She doesn’t just create recipes for athletes - she is one. She understands what athletes need when it comes to paleo eating for performance, and this book revolves completely around that concept."
Because the focus of this cookbook is performance and it’s geared toward serious athletes, it’s organized significantly differently than other paleo cookbooks. You may find this annoying at times, but if you keep the food as fuel mindset, it will actually be very useful.
Cider-Braised Cabbage, Apple, and Onion
The recipes are divided into the following categories:
- Pre-Workout Snacks
- Post-Workout Refuel
- Protein-Packed Meals to Build Strength
- Carb-Dense Sides to Maximize Recovery
- Nutrient-Boosting Veggie Sides
- Tasty & Nutritious Treats
- Scrumptious Sauces & Seasoning
At the start of each section, Stephanie explains what makes these recipes perfect for these purposes, what macronutrients they are mainly comprised of, and when they would ideally be eaten for the best training results.
Recipes I tried included:
- Bison and Butternut Skillet
- Mocha-Rubbed Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Badass Bowl
- Creamy Coconut-Braised Sweet Potatoes
- Cider-Braised Cabbage, Apple, and Onion
- Mocha Protein Almond Butter
- Lemon Vanilla Custard With Blueberry Sauce
Lemon Vanilla Custard With Blueberry Sauce
Be aware that some of the “sweet” recipes might not actually turn out that sweet. There’s not a lot in the way of added sugars even to the items that look like desserts, and often Stephanie relies on the natural sweetness of fruits. This is hardly a bad thing, but definitely something to be aware of if you’re jonesing for a typical paleo dessert.
"There’s not a lot in the way of added sugars even to the items that look like desserts, and often Stephanie relies on the natural sweetness of fruits."
My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed all the recipes, and I found them quick and easy to put together. I even made the sweet potatoes for guests recently. In particular, we found the Bison and Butternut Skillet to be great and I’m going to make a triple batch next time I make it so we have plenty of handy leftovers.
And, for real, who wouldn’t want to eat a Badass Bowl covered in Awesomesauce for dinner? I might have to put that one on the menu the next time I have guests just so I can say it out loud.
I loved that the recipes in this book include the macronutrient profile. For this to be accurate, though, you’re going to need to measure carefully. Thankfully, Stephanie also provides weights for all the ingredients so you can be precise. This is something I wish all cookbooks would do, macronutrient profile or not. I mean seriously, what is “one carrot?" I could get all Zen here, but instead, I’d just like a weight in grams, thanks.
Bison and Butternut Skillet
The only negative I have about this book is that there are some obscure ingredients in a few of the recipes. I’d never heard of black garlic before, and I have no idea how to procure cricket protein. I guess I could scour the Internet for one or both of them, but that’s where the negative comes in. Despite being about food-as-fuel, this book does revert to a few pure-foodie moments with the ingredients.
But that’s a tiny negative and you shouldn’t let it sway you from investigating the book. The vast majority of the recipes are uncomplicated and genuinely enjoyable.
“The Performance Paleo Cookbook” is available for $16.69 at Amazon.com.