Below are the books I recommend to help you achieve optimum health, fitness and physique through Primal Living:
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson:
This is the book I would most recommend for people to buy for friends and family that you want to convert to the Primal lifestyle! People who are looking to make big changes to the way they eat and and live in order to lose weight and/or improve health and well being.
I recommend this book over other Paleo/Primal books due to its easy writing style, and the easy to follow 10 Rules.
I’m not a huge fan of his low-carb leanings, but as a short term intervention it definitely works.
Though I’ve listed this book under nutrition, the book also thoroughly covers the exercise/activity side of the equation too, and would also be my number one pick as far as training guides go also!
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon:
This book is my nutrition and cookbook bible! The nutrition advice at the start, is perhaps a little melodramatic, but the rest is a super comprehensive cook book filled with traditional nourishing recipes from around the world.
Learn how to make bone broths and cook with offal, how to make fermented foods and beverages, and how to best maximise the nutrient value of all your meals.
We’ve been conditioned into believing that we need to consume food constantly. To lose weight you need to eat breakfast, eat healthy snacks, eat several meals per day.
Unfortunately, the only beneficiaries of this never ending consumption are the food manufacturers! Intermittent fasting is not only a fantastic and easy tool to help you lose weight, but it is also fantastic for your long term health.
In this great eBook, Brad Pilon thoroughly analyses all the science related to the subject, thereby dispelling diet myths such as starvation mode, muscle loss, lowered metabolism and health risks related to skipping meals, and also offers a simple but effective plan to help you incorporate IF into your lifestyle.
Buy EAT STOP EAT
The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes:
Though I don’t 100% agree with his conclusions, The Diet Delusion is still an amazing book that does a thorough job of tearing apart the conventional wisdom on diet, exercise and weight loss.
The Vegetarian Myth:
Though this is a certainly a must read for vegetarians (or people with friends/loved ones that are vegetarian), I would also strongly recommend it to anyone that cares about not only their health, but the impact their diet has on the environment and the economy.
A part of the Live Now, Thrive Later philosophy, is acknowledging our place in the natural world, and also the impact our food choices can have on the planet. This fantastic book details why eating a locally sourced real food diet is not only better for your health, but also for the planet as a whole.
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook:
This is a great companion to the Primal Blueprint, full of lots of easy to prepare meals and “Primal” versions of modern foods.
In the longer term though, I’d recommend aiming to graduate to Nourishing Traditions.
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz:
Once you get hooked on fermentation through Sally Fallon’s book, this is the next step. As well as loads of recipes for Kimchees and Krauts, learn to make your own Cheese and brew your own booze!
Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson:
The Jellied Tripe and Roasted Bone Marrow are now staples in my house. Having guests round for dinner? Cook brawn, sure to be a conversation starter…
Although this book is aimed at Hill Walkers, it could just as easily have been termed Run Fit, Swim Fit, Bike Fit, Fight Fit, MovNat Fit or indeed Life Fit, as the science and basic principles behind the training methodology within the book are equally applicable to any activity or sport.
The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris:
I hesitated before linking to this book, as there is probably as much bad as good within its covers. That said, there is an awful lot between the covers which still equates to a lot of good!
I hate the slow carb diet, but the advice on tracking, goal setting and motivation are fantastic.
I’m also a big advocate of pose running and T.I swimming, and you’d be hard pressed to find a decent book on either for the price of the 4HB!
Its also of note that the testosterone boosting diet is basically a Primal diet, one during which he not only boosted testosterone and libido, but also lost weight, its just a shame he was clearly too steeped in the conventional wisdom on fat phobia to promote it as his main diet.
Definitely worth a read, but do so with a sceptical eye!
Power to the People by Pavel Tsatsouline:
The art and science of getting strong. Though the program focuses on the Press and Deadlift, the principles of strength development can be applied to any activity.
Body by Science by Doug McGuff and John Little:
Want to look good naked with minimum time investment? This book cuts through a lot of the myth and folklore surrounding muscle gain and fitness.
The Parkour and Freerunning Handbook by Dan Edwards:
Personally I can’t wait for Erwan LeCorre to write his book. In the meantime, this is a great book to get you on the way to navigating your urban environment!
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre:
Follow the Live Now, Thrive Later lifestyle and you will be constantly be hounded by people saying things to you like “but all those eggs with give you a heart attack” or “have you seen this article saying red meat gives you cancer”.
Although this book covers neither of those topics directly (Check the Diet Delusion for that), it will give you the analytical tools to make your own decisions when you come across the next “X causes X disease” or “Y is the new superfood” type article in the press, or get caught up in a heated debate at the dinner table!
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris:
Working the 9-5 (or in many cases longer!) is not good for the body or soul! The saying ges that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, in truth however it will more than likely have far worse consequences.
OK, so its unlikely that everyone who reads the book is going to manage to actually achieve a work week of just 4 hours, but even if you manage to implement just a few of the principles and reduce your work week from 40 to 30 hours, an extra 10 hours per week to yourself is nothing to be sniffed at!
Born to Run by Christopher McDougal:
This book is an inspiring read, and certainly makes you want to throw off your shoes and go running.
Unfortunately, its marred by some very unsound reasoning – MDougall argues that we evolved to run in order to hunt animals via persistence hunting, which I believe is entirely plausible, but he somehow draws the conclusion from this that it is therefore a good idea to run huge distances everyday at a constant pace and fuel this with a vegetarian/vegan diet.
All that said, it is still an inspiring read, with lots of good info on the benefits of barefoot running and the problems caused by “running shoes”.