Review: Cholesterol Clarity and Primal Cravings

Since we began Paleo Parents, we’ve been increasingly and routinely asked to review books and products by people in and adjacent to the paleo community. At this point, we get so many we are unable to actually do the reviews of the products in a timely manner! That’s why we recruited the Paleo Parents Review Team to fill in the gaps.

Today Anne reviews two new paleo books that are just coming on the market. First is Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL Is Wrong with My Numbers? by our friend Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman. We know if there’s anyone who’s equipped to tackle this giant topic, it’s Jimmy!

And the second is Primal Cravings by Brandon and Megan Keatley, a brand new cookbook by the team behind Health-Bent. We loved and followed their website years ago before we were blogger ourselves. So, before we passed on Primal Cravings to Anne for review we made breakfast for ourselves from it – and are thrilled Brendan and Megan let us share those recipes with you today – don’t miss the TWO EXCLUSIVE RECIPES at the bottom of this post!



Cholesterol Clarity

When I first heard about Jimmy’s book I was intrigued.  Cholesterol concerns are the #1 response I get from people when I talk about the changes my families made in their diet.  “But aren’t you worried about your cholesterol levels?”  Even my mom who I love and is pretty supportive of our changes worries about what I might be doing to myself.  My dad’s suffered from high cholesterol for most of my adult life and it was a worry that I had as I grew up.  Fortunately my levels have always been good and have only improved since going Paleo.  But back to Jimmy’s book.  How could he possibly address such a complex and scientifically challenging topic in layman’s terms?

He did it!  He wrote something that your average person can use to decide what tests they should ask for and how to interpret the results.  He concisely compiles the latest research and translates it into terms that even us, non-doctors, can comprehend.  This is a great resource that I know I will be purchasing for both my step-father (statin user post stent installation) and my dad.  This book obviously addresses cholesterol but it also hits on why and how you should eat for optimal health.

There’s been a massive campaign involving saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart health based on questionable science that has resulted in a flawed health paradigm that vilifies cholesterol as the primary cause of heart disease. “Calling this the single biggest blunder in the history of medicine is not overstating the case,” says the author.  All this campaign has wrought is an alarming increase in heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, obesity, high blood pressure and many more of the “Western” diseases.

There is a billion dollar industry in “helping” us address this via medications and selling high carb, high sugar food and inflammatory oils to our ever-sickening populace.  I hope someone buys those people this book so they can educate themselves that the cure doesn’t live in a bottle or another “magic pill” but in the food choices they make every day.



Primal Cravings

My husband and I’ve fought over who got to glance through this book.  The pictures and the recipes are all top notch.  The beginning of the book gives a good breakdown of the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and the 80/20 that many of us employ.  They address some budget beef, poultry, pork and seafood.  They also have a quick list of best proteins to cook “slow & low” as well as quick. They have a great section a beginner needs to know how to stock their kitchen. We really thought the section of fats and oils was very informative, although we prefer cooking with lard, tallow and duck fat. Fats that they don’t seem to use as much (but still recommend).  I think the section on natural sweeteners are great for the beginner since how to sweeten without using highly processed sweeteners can be a challenge starting off.

photo 3

But honestly I am most enthusiastic about their recipes.  We’ve made the Bloody Mary Pickled Tomatoes numerous times (it took about 4x before I got a picture of them) and they are exactly what you’d expect based on the title. I almost don’t miss the vodka when eating these.  I suspect we will always have a batch going in the fridge since we love them so much (although a little spicy for our 6 year old).  So far we’ve tried the Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup. The taste was incredible and their recommended noodles were delicious.


And the Moo Shu Cabbage Cups were a fabulous quick meal before taking out son to his first cub scout meeting.

This is a great overall cookbook with lots of recipes that hit close to home.  I know it will be staple for us if the porcupine look (tags on all of the other recipes we’ve yet to try) is any indication.


When we first saw this book it was actually carry-on baggage Juli had when she visited. After flipping through and being impressed with the variety and unique ideas, we wrote their publisher and asked for a review copy. So, of course, the boys asked to make a breakfast from it before we handed it off to Anne for review. It took us a while to narrow down their requests, but they finally settled on Caprese Baked Eggs and Smoked Salmon Hash (only we used smoked lean pastured Canadian bacon). And lucky for you, Brandon and Megan have decided to let us share these two recipes from the book! Check these out as a representation of the deliciousness you’ll have from the book!

The first recipe the boys were SO excited about. We have fresh basil in our garden and they happily went out to pick some for the recipe. They knew the flavors were going to be like pizza and the enthusiasm was nearly overwhelming… it was SO awesome to have them excited and helping us in the kitchen for every (easy) step of breakfast!


Caprese Baked Eggs



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously grease 6 ramekin dishes with butter (to help keep the
  2. egg white from sticking to the sides. That’s no fun to clean.)
  3. Evenly spoon pizza sauce into ramekins. Crack 1 egg into each ramekin.
  4. Make the pesto by whisking together the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Spoon on top
  5. of the eggs.
  6. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Caprese Baked Eggs from Primal Cravings on PaleoParents


The boys also begged to make this hash, although we didn’t have hardly any of the ingredients. Goes to show, good recipes work when you substitute! We subbed smoked salmon for canadian bacon (also smoked and lean), dill for chives and did a mix of sweet and white potatoes.


Smoked Salmon Hash


  • Butter for the pan
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound potatoes (reds or Yukon golds will work), peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces hot- or cold-smoked salmon
  • 1 cup asparagus, roughly chopped
  • Tangy Dill Vinaigrette (below)


  1. In a large sauté pan (that you have a lid for), melt a few tablespoons of butter over medium
  2. heat. Add onion and potatoes. Place the lid over the pan. Peek in and stir occasionally,
  3. allowing the onions and potatoes cook through until tender enough that a fork pierces the
  4. potato.
  5. 2 Add smoked salmon, asparagus, and a tad more butter and simmer uncovered. Stir
  6. occasionally and let the mixture develop a crispy crust—about 10 more minutes should do it.
  7. 3 Toss the hash with Tangy Dill Vinaigrette.

Tangy Dill Vinaigrette


  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Smoked [salmon] Hash from Primal Cravings on PaleoParents

Fair warning… Primal Cravings is a primal cookbook. The recipes include ingredients that not every paleo person eats, like dairy, white potatoes and some higher glycemic index starches. That said, this type of cookbook is how I feel quite a few people actually implement the ancestral lifestyle and the ideas are easily adaptable if you want to avoid dairy. Seriously, genius flavor combinations. We can’t wait to get the book back and try some more recipes out!

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  • charles grashow

    With regard to Jimmy Moore’s book – did you actually read it?

    Please critique this review


    One major theme of this book is that your doctor has outdated misinformation and is relying on your total cholesterol to put you on deadly statins to make a quick buck for their friends in Big Pharma (the unspoken accusation is that the docs themselves profit from prescribingthese drugs). And yet one of these very same “experts” — The Hamptons Diet author Dr. Pescatore — is selling a cholesterol lowering supplement on his website! What’s in it? Red rice yeast. A statin. Wikipedia has the scoop.

    So while many of the MDs and others chime in on how stupid and uninformed your doctor is, they proceed to
    provide you with unsubstantiated wisdom like (paraphrasing) ‘a low carb diet is the best to get your cholesterol where it needs to be’ (Pescatore again). But “While he does test for cholesterol levels in patients who request them, ‘I never do anything about it. You need to see the whole picture and not focus too much on any one marker,’ Dr. Pescatore explained.” Odd that he sells a statin-containing cholesterol
    lowering supplement then.

    ” If you search on 6 Month Lipid Panel for Jimmy Moore you should find his latest update before this book.

    In comments, Thomas Dayspring wrote… “Dr Lipid analysis: Using all the knowledge we possess today, all of the numbers that you are thrilled about have no meaning in the face of a 99th percentile LDL-P. You also
    should not say an LDL-C of 285 has no meaning. The cholesterol concentrations that often have no meaning are low levels (where an LDL-P is needed to evaluate risk). No one with an LDL-C of 285 with the exception of a Type III dyslipoproteinemia patient have a low apoB or LDL-P. If you have an LDL-C that high, particle testing is not needed. You need to significantly reduce the saturated fat in your diet and see what happens: repeat the NMR in 3 weeks and you will know if your nightmare LDL-P is sat fat related. I’ll bet your LDL-P drops. If it
    does not, you need serious lipid-modulating medication. We have seen this paradoxical horrific rise in LDL-P in some people who are on ketotic diets.”

    Yet here is the quote Jimmy chose for Dayspring in his chapter on LDL particles (Chapter 9):

    “The least accurate way of estimating your atherogenic risk on a standard cholesterol panel would be to look at total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.”

    Does this seem like an accurate reflection of Dayspring’s full positions on the topic? This chapter should havecontained liberal quoting from Dayspring, yet Jimmy Moore claimed on his blog that “I let him make his case in my book.”

    Even Dr. Krauss has had this to say about particle number: “But most people certainly in the field of cholesterol and heart disease understand that the number of particles matter more than just how much cholesterol they carry overall. In terms of health, the first order of business is to make sure the total number of particles in a person’s blood is maintained in the healthy range, because that’s what dictates heart disease risk.”

  • I love the pictures of your boys confidently cooking, and see that you’re in Julia Child’s camp of believing kids can learn knife skills young! I wonder if your boys will be professional chefs one day.

  • Janet

    Thanks for posting the pics of the recipes from Primal Cravings. I was invited to a brunch last weekend and since almost all the food that was being made by the hostess had gluten in it, I offered to make something I knew I could eat. I was trying to find something brunch worthy and when I read this post, I realized that the Salmon hash would be the perfect dish. It was easy, flavorful and best of all everyone loved it! It also encouraged me to take a closer look at the book (which I had already purchased). I recently got a bunch of new Paleo cookbooks and found myself overwhelmed with trying to sort through recipes.

  • This is such a useful blog. Thanks for posting this one.

  • Heather Catallo

    Hold old were your boys when you started teaching them how to use the knifes? I always want to allow my daughter to try but feel like she’s still a little young. Also, is there a special knife to get her started with? She’s 4 and would be super excited about taking the next step, she loves helping me mix, measure and stir already.

    • We let them use plastic knives to learn on, and then when Cole turned 7 is when we personally thought he was ready. He first transitioned with butter and steak knives at dinner at about 6 too. You can find plastic kids knives here: http://bit.ly/kidsknife