Real Life Paleo: The Reviews

From the very beginning with every recipe created, blog post shared, and with the creation of Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon, we have always had one goal in mind – to share our health journey and to hopefully inspire others to take control of their health, just as we did.

While we have lost over 200 pounds, it has never solely been about the weight-loss. We had to change the health of our family, and to create a future for our children that was free of the medical consequences that come from a life of obesity. And it truly was a journey for us, an evolution of healthy habits that continues to evolve.

Real Life Paleo was born from that evolution. We phased into paleo to make this lifestyle sustainable, and outlined that three phase approach in our book – sharing the lessons we learned, the strategies we incorporated, and the recipes that became staples.

We know that this book will help many families who want change, but are overwhelmed by the process of change. But how does this book reach those families?!? Securing placement in Costco certainly helps! However, it is each and every one of those blog reviews, social media shares, and reviews on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads and Book Depository that gets this book into the hands of those who need it most!

Thank you so much to all who have already bought a copy of Real Life Paleo and shared a review! And if you haven’t done either yet, please join us in our mission of inspiring others healthy living journeys and leave a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads and Book Depository (you can leave a review on these sites no matter how or where you secured a copy of the book)

Here is a look at some of the many awesome reviews folks have shared! Many of these posts have full recipe shares from the book – so be sure to click the links!

RLP Review Round-Up Graphic


The Paleo Mom


“Unfortunately, it’s a common theme in Paleo resource books that great information is paired with underwhelming recipes.  Until now!  I have never not loved a recipe that Matt and Stacy have developed (please excuse the double negative in that sentence, but it was clearly called for).  And, that’s true for every recipe I’ve tried so far our of Real Life Paleo.

When my review copy of Real Life Paleo arrived, I let my family pick recipes from it for one Real Life Paleo-themed dinner.  The rule was that they had to pick recipes I had ingredients for in the house (I had just been to the Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods the day before, so there was plenty of food in the house, and plenty of recipe possibilities with what I had on hand) and that we hadn’t tried yet.  We made the Restaurant Steaks (p346) with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onion (p116), Roasted Rainbow Carrots (p266), Strawberry Balsamic Dressing (p124) for a garden salad, and Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies (p370) for dessert.

To sum up our meal:  everything was delicious and everyone loved every recipe.

Paleo Living Magazine

“Favorite Chapter: I love Phase 1: Swap because, even if someone is not ready or feels the change to a Paleo diet is too big a leap, this first chapter provides suggestions for eliminating some of the most addictive and potential damaging foods. Even starting small – getting rid of the gluten, sugar and processed foods can make a huge difference in changing the way people live and eat and once that step has been accomplished, the next becomes that much easier. Even if someone were to commit just to making these changes, there is the potential for a feel-better, stronger, healthier revelation that is life-changing.”

Nom Nom Paleo


“Ask me how to get your family to eat Paleo, and I’ll refer you to Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry—a.k.a., The Paleo Parents. For years, these two have led by example, showing how adopting a real-food lifestyle has kept their kids healthy and active, and resulted in an over 200-pound collective weight loss for the adults.”

Virginia is for Hunter-Gatherers

“There are a lot of paleo books out there right now that are brimming at the edges with recipes (and this one is no exception with 175), but few have the candor of Real Life Paleo. Transitioning yourself and your family to a new way of eating is an intimidating feat, and expecting miraculous results in a week, 21 days, or 30 days is often going to be a recipe for disappointment. Stacy and Matt take this head on with being realistic with yourself and your loved ones, and taking the small wins along the path to better health. Truth be told, we probably wouldn’t be writing this review, or this blog, if Heather hadn’t seen how a family of 5 made paleo work.”

Sarah Ramsden


“There’s more to Real Life Paleo than swap, remove, heal though. It’s loaded with practical information to help you put it all into practice:

  • Recipes are arranged into full meals, because you never just eat a roast chicken on it’s own now do you?
  • Each phase has a full weeks meal plan to remove the guesswork
  • Each phase has a handy grocery list to cover the essentials
  • Brands the Paleo Parents trust for when you just don’t want to make something from scratch
  • Tips for making cooking at home to make it quick (yes, quick) and easy
  • Ideas on how to handle special occasions
  • How to carry everything you’ve learned into eating out in restaurants

If jumping into a whole foods based lifestyle cold turkey isn’t your thing (and if it is, I recommend Whole30), or if you’re already paleo but want to get your family on board, kids included, then this book is for you. The three phases ease you into it and set you up for long term success.”

The Spunky Coconut


 “To go with the casserole I made the Chicken Fingers, which are deep fried. All I can say is, why oh why haven’t I been deep frying all this time??!! The batter was PERFECT, and they came out beyond my wildest dreams AMAZING. Like, my kids who have been refusing to eat anything lately SCARFED them down, AND had seconds. Lets be honest, I was full but I lost control of myself and had seconds too. Oops. Now I’m counting down the days until it’s chicken night again, because there’s no way I’m making anything else with that chicken. NO WAY.

Now that I gushed over these two recipes, I want to add that I really love the meal plans in the front of the book. So well done. So inspiring!”

Popular Paleo


“I just received my advance copy of Real Life Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry (AKA Paleo Parents) and I’m wowed! Remember back when Practical Paleo first came out? I poured over every page soaking up all of the details, making a long list of recipes I knew I had to try and flagged nearly every other page with sticky notes so I could quickly find what I knew I’d be looking for in the weeks to come. Real Life Paleo is the next Practical Paleo–but this time, it’s all about the family! This book is Eat Like a Dinosaur, Beyond Bacon, 3 Phase Paleo and Paleo To Go rolled into one monster resource!

Recipes are thoughtfully organized, and each chapter has a legend indicating if the recipe can be made in under 30 minutes, if it’s 5 ingredients or less, if it’s one-pot style, if it’s good for holidays, and lastly, if it’s “to-go” material. So. Friggin. Smart.There’s also a section in the back of the book that classifies the recipes according to common allergies… Need egg free? No problem. Avoiding nuts? Gotcha covered. Are nightshades an issue? Navigate this book with confidence.

If you are looking for a one-stop resource to help your family swap out the unhealthy foods, remove problematic ingredients and start healing yourselves from the inside out, THIS IS YOUR BOOK.”



 “I truly have appreciated working with them on this book. The book isn’t just for those who know how to cook, it’s for those learning. There are sections about safe foods, what tools are best, how to balance the paleo lifestyle and how to stay on track with being paleo. It is something I recommend every family to get and use.”

Primal Palate


“The Paleo Parents do an excellent job of sharing tips and strategies that have worked for their family in their book. One of my favorite resource pages is their “Going Out Guide,” at the beginning of the book. They address questions you should be asking your server, take-out options, and even guide you through casual dining/fast-food options. They also have an excellent “Food Swaps” section, guiding you through “Good, Better, Best” options while grocery shopping. 

Flip to the recipe section, and you’ll find dishes that are very family-friendly, and geared toward any occasion. They offer a “Kid’s Menu” complete with chicken nuggets; a wide variety of Chinese and Thai dishes, and many delicious baked goods for brunch or dessert. Stacy and Matt also have an impressive list of dishes that are (surprisingly) dairy-free, including a lasagna made with a Cashew “Cheese” Sauce.”

Real Food Forager


“Been a Paleo Eater for a While? This book is certainly for you! Just look at the Recipe Index in the front of the book. Instead of a regular table of contents, there are thumbnail photos of the food. I love this! It makes it so easy to see what it’s all about!”

 Nummy for My Tummy


“Real Life Paleo is compiled of 175 mouthwatering recipes, menu plans for every occasion and shopping lists to assist with their  simple 3 phase approach to swap, remove and heal your way to health.  Unlike other cookbooks, you will learn the balance that works best on your own table,  learn to replace traditional foods like whole grain pasta with nutrient dense foods like vegetables. The book doesn’t just TELL you, it SHOWS you, with the stunning full table photographs!”

Paleo Foodie Kitchen


Its been years since I’ve enjoyed some good Mongolian beef and knowing there’s really no Paleo compliant Chinese restaurant out there, I was pretty excited when I saw this recipe from Paleo Parent’s latest book, Real Life Paleo. I knew I HAD to make it and boy, it didn’t disappoint! It was sweet, savory and rivals its gluten and soy laden counterpart. I added a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes for a little bit of kick and doubled up the green onions because we love that stuff at home. Yes we ate it with white rice and it was so worth it!”

Grazed and Enthused


“Real Life Paleo, as Sarah Ballantyne said it, is now going to be “The Book” to recommend to individuals and families transitioning to a Paleo lifestyle. I see this book as more than just recipes and a lifestyle guide, but something that will help spread the Paleo word to families across the country. I just thought of us going missionary-style (a religious reference, don’t be silly) with this thing door-to-door. I joke, but I really think people of all walks of life will respond positively to this new addition to our community! I can’t wait for you to find out for yourself and incorporate some of these recipes into your family’s weekly repertoire!”

Predominantly Paleo


“In walks REAL LIFE PALEO – the most comprehensive guide and cookbook including a 3 part strategy to SWAP, REMOVE, + HEAL.  This book is a beast, with 428 pages of information, guides, recipes, strategies, nutritional information, how-to’s, lists, and on and on and on.  I seriously could go on forever about the sheer amount of info that lies between those two covers.

I think what makes this book different from others is that Stacy + Matt want to really give you the TOOLS for SUCCESS so that you can make the transition without feelings of failure or deprivation.  After all, feeling satisfied after a meal is part of the ticket to creating habits that will last you all your days.  And the best part is this book is not just for beginners, it is for anyone eating clean.  I mean, who can’t use over 175 mouth watering recipes right at their fingertips?? Yep, that’s what I thought.  So whether you are a beginner, trying to wrap your noggin’ around how this whole Paleo thing works, or whether you are a veteran who just needs some delicious new appetizing recipes, this is a must have in your arsenal.”

Gutsy By Nature


This book should appeal to people who want to improve their health and are considering trying the paleo way of eating and living but aren’t sure where to start as well as people who have been eating this way for a while. Take it from me – I’ve been on this journey for almost two years now and yet I still was inspired by it and have already cooked some delicious food (with many more book marked to try soon!). I know this will be a great resource to recommend to curious and open-minded friends and family, especially people who have jobs and/or kids and/or busy lives and/or limited time… In other words, people who have a “real life”!”

Eat Your Beets


“I love that Matt & Stacy take the time to tell you that it could take months or years. Every family is different & what works for one might not work for another but using their Swap, Remove, Heal system is simple brilliance. Not just that – it’s common sense effective. They provide food swap suggestions, popular grocery store guides, how to stock your pantry & even a family fun guide for finding activities that an active, engaged family will enjoy. They also have holiday & special occasion menu suggestions. This is probably the most family friendly, all inclusive, one stop shop book on overhauling your family’s health with 175 different recipes for literally any occasion you can think of.”

Colorful Eats


“So enough about the waffles, even though I could go on and on, but Real Life Paleo is just that—its real life, made healthy, delicious and simple.  Using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen or panty, this cookbook offers practical advice on how to remove the processed ingredients, swap your panty items to foods like almond flour or honey, and heal your health through delicious foods!

Real Life Paleo makes healthy eating practical so that you can have long term success—recipes that you will actually want to make and incorporate into your daily life.  And there is even a sections on recipes for the kids, holidays and simple weeknight dinners.  Stacy and Matt were kind enough to let me share their waffle recipe with you all, so I hope you enjoy as much as I do! We served these with Pete’s Paleo Bacon and a scoop of fluffy whipped cream!”

Paleo + Life


“There is much more to the book: suggested menus, meal plans, and spice blends, as well as close to 200 recipes. Speaking of those: all of the recipes are categorized by phase, and all are indexed to help those who need to avoid specific allergens. There are lots of recipes for staples like coconut milk, and many good ideas for less-sweet alternatives to both breakfasts and desserts. Thus far, my favorite new-to-me recipe is the Green Onion and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese (one of many squash recipes) — the husband went for seconds and thirds, and the meat loving oldest boy was barely done with his dinner portion when he asked to have some for breakfast. That dish is definitely going in the permanent rotation, though it may be a while, as my must-try list is about a mile long. The book strikes a good balance between safe, simple flavors kids will like, and a few adventurous ones that stretch the palate a bit (both the homemade beef energy bars and the mussels are on my list).

The Real Life Paleo approach is a really sustainable way to get folks eating healthier, one meal at a time. I wish I had had this book when we started our paleo journey: I dare say my kids would have been far happier if we had gone paleo this way. Still, I’m glad to have it now. This book has earned a place on my bookshelf for everyday inspiration.”


Thank you again for all your support! Please continue to share your reviews as you post them.

AND seriously the BIGGEST PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE IN THE WHOLE WORLD – help us spread the healthy living ‘how to’ message to the masses and leave a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads and Book Depository!

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