Review: Real Life Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry

I received an advanced review copy of this cookbook from Victory Belt Publishing

Real Life PaleoStacy and Matthew are “The Paleo Parents” and their entire family has adopted the paleo lifestyle, including their three young boys.  The cookbook begins with a description of Stacy and Matthew’s family, how each one of them has benefitted from the paleo diet.  They suggest that anyone who is new to the paleo lifestyle adapt a three phase approach: Swap, remove and heal. They first suggest swapping out junk food and highly processed food for more natural foods such as fruits and vegetables.  Next, they recommend removing grain, highly refined oils and other junk carbohydrates from one’s diet.  When the first two steps are completed, they argue, then the body will begin to heal itself.  Their own stories and transformations are proof that this three-step approach works.


There are so many fantastic recipes in this cookbook that I didn’t know where to begin.  It is a cookbook that I will reach for again and again.  Since it has turned very cold here this week in New England, I decided to choose some comfort foods to cook for my family on a Sunday.  For the appetizer I chose a soup which the book calls “Stacy’s Soup.”  I really liked this recipe because of its versatility.  The recipe calls for some type of diced meat such as turkey or chicken, some diced vegetables and a broth.  I had a homemade bone broth on hand so I used that as my base and then added cubed chicken, carrots, broccoli and zucchini.  The soup was absolutely delicious and my husband, who is a soup connoisseur, especially enjoyed it.


For the main course, I used the recipe for a “Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder.”  I will tell you that I like to buy grass-fed or pastured raised, all natural, locally raised meats.  I actually bought an entire big from a local pig farmer who only uses all-natural feed for the animals.  I do believe that the quality of the meat makes a big difference in taste.  I used a spice rub to coat the pork shoulder and slowly roasted it in the oven for 3.5 hours at 325 degrees.  It was the perfect Sunday dinner and the roast was so big that we used the meat to make sandwiches for lunch during the week and it was just as good.


For dessert I made the “Creamy Coconut Chocolate Chip Macroons.”  Even though my husband does not follow the paleo diet, he ate more of the cookies than I did.  They were not too sweet, but just sweet enough to give us a little treat.  I will say that many of the dessert recipes use almond flour, which I try to avoid.  I do wish the book contained more dessert recipes with nut free options.  But this is only a minor complaint for what is truly a fabulous cookbook.

I apologize for the poor quality of my photos, but the book contains great pictures of all of the recipes.  I am planning on making the “Drunken Carrot Noodles,” “Turkey Thai Basil,” and the “Panang Beef Curry” for dinner this week.

I absolutely loved everything about this book.  REAL LIFE PALEO is so much more than a cookbook: it is a resource for anyone interested in attempting to follow the paleo diet, it is an inspirational story about one family who has healed themselves through food, and it is a reference book for those of us who are already following the paleo lifestyle.  The recipes in REAL LIFE PALEO are delicious and this is a great cookbook for any home cook, paleo or otherwise.

For more information about Stacy and Matthew visit their website:

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Filed under Cookbook, Paleo

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