Book Review: "The Paleo Coach" by Jason Seib
If you're familiar with the paleo movement, you know it's not just about which foods you can and can't eat. This was one of the qualities that attracted me to paleo in the first place. Whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, simply changing your diet usually isn't going to make a sustainable impact. What you really need is the right combination of a number of things - food, exercise, rest, and stress management.
However, making changes in all those areas can amount to a lifestyle overhaul, which requires support. That's where The Paleo Coach comes in. Written by trainer and co-owner of Clackamas Physical Conditioning Jason Seib, this book is for people who need to be motivated and inspired - and let's face it, that's most of us. Seib's book combines knowledge about the basics of paleo nutrition, practical tips for making it work, and success stories of the clients from his gym. The result is a unique book that is ideal for coaches as well as clients of all athletic and diet backgrounds, but particularly newcomers.
The Paleo Coach is divided into three parts:
Section 1: Think
The first part of Jason's book provides advice for the mental and emotional sides of losing weight and eating paleo. The five chapters in this section will help clients learn how to effectively track their progress without simply resorting to scale obsession and BMI. Each chapter has a success story about one of Jason's clients.
I especially enjoyed reading about one of Jason's clients named Erika who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age sixteen. After switching to paleo and starting a regular strength training and exercise routine, Erika was able to get off a lot of her medications. Oh yeah, and she can also deadlift 285 lbs, back squat 220 lbs, and bench press 115 lbs.
Section 2: Eat
This section provides a basic rundown of paleo nutrition. If you're already familiar with paleo you will probably be familiar with most of the information here. Once again, it's a great summary for newcomers to paleo. Jason provides a sample 21-day paleo menu with simple recipes to get you through the first three weeks of paleo.
Section 3: Move
The final section of Jason's book outlines the final piece of the paleo picture: physical activity. "Some might disagree," writes Jason, "but I refuse to consider the Paleo ideals without including exercise." Jason's view on health and weight loss is essentially holistic. "It is a sad truth that there are nutritionists in this world who do not understand exercise and trainers who do not understand nutrition."
Jason's approach to exercise is different from your typical hour-a-day on the treadmill advice. Instead, the paleo system is built around five primary pillars: heavy lifting, regular walking, sprints, flexibility work, and high intensity interval training. In the final chapters of the book he explains some of the logic behind these choices and how to incorporate them into training.
Jason's book is easy to read and perfect for new clients who are curious about paleo but not quite sure they can take the leap. This would be a great book for paleo-minded coaches to lend out to clients who need an extra push. Jason's clear writing style and motivational stories about real-life, everyday people make it a relatable resource for those who might not be interested in the nitty gritty details of paleo nutrition, but also want to lose weight and feel better.
"The Paleo Coach" is available for $18.96 (hardcover) at Amazon.com.
Stay tuned for an interview with Jason and keep the inspiration coming by following him on Facebook.