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The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, by Sarah Ballantyne

Date: September 8, 2014 Category: , ,

I only wish this book had come along with my diagnosis at age eleven. I think of it as the textbook for how chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are affected by diet and lifestyle choices. The Paleo Approach provides practical and economic advice about adopting a paleo diet to reduce inflammation and calm the immune system, and it offers a wealth of information on common medical tests and treatments that are either scarcely mentioned or are glossed over in most books on autoimmunity. Ballantyne not only has a PhD in medical biophysics—her research focused on innate immunity, inflammation, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms—she lived for years with multiple autoimmune diseases before getting diagnosed. So along with a rare combination of practical guidance, clear, accessible illustrations, and high-level science made simple for a layperson, The Paleo Approach offers perspective (and, for me, validation) from someone who negotiated illness. Whenever I begin to wonder whether I’m making up elements of my unusual condition, or whether the symptoms I’m not currently having were ever there at all, this book helps me feel less alone. Understanding the complicated science underpinning nutritional and medical treatments can allay the fear, uncertainty, and “un-realness” that often comes with having invisible or non-mainstream illnesses. I hate the title: I think it probably turns off a lot of people who aren’t paleo, or interested in anything associated with fad dieting. I think every copy should come with a sticky note on the cover saying, “this is so much more than a diet book.”—Bonnie