Got Sweet Potato Power In Your Paleo/Primal Life?Posted by Jules on Jul 30, 2012 in Book review | 49 comments
This review is way late (the Paleo Comfort Foods’ house is behind on life), but that just means we’re spreading out our love of great books! Like Coach Rut (except maybe I was under the influence of fewer Casadores since I was busy dipping bacon in chocolate for the birthday boy), I had the privilege of meeting the lovely Ashley Tudor at “a mutual friend’s” birthday party earlier this year. For those of you who don’t know Ashley, she’s tall, gregarious, Ivy League-educated, and if she wasn’t so doggone down to earth you’d be intimidated by her. Many folks in the paleo-sphere got to meet Ashley at PaleoFx in Austin, and I’m hoping she is going to be a regular player in the ancestral health movement!
It’s her smarts coupled with her down-to-earth persona that makes her book, Sweet Potato Power: Smart Carbs; Paleo and Personalized, so approachable, so easy to digest (figuratively of course), and something that I have no problem recommending to clients at our gym.
You’re probably scratching your head saying, “Are sweet potatoes really all that great?”
Here’s the thing: Sweet Potato Power is about much more than sweet potatoes (though yes, the recipes in fact do all include sweet potatoes, and they are yummy!). It’s a beautifully, simply designed book that address a ton of relevant to your health and well-being and how sweet potatoes might help in that regard. Ashley does a thorough job explaining not just the history of the sweet potato, but other things that impact our health like “Calories are not created equal” (Chapter 3), “Hormones: Managing the body’s traffic signals” (Chapter 4), “Activity: More is not always better” (Chapter 6) and of course the recipes chapter (Chapter 9).
The chapter that I think takes this book from great to exceptional is Chapter 7: “A step-by-step guide to optimizing your health.” It is in this chapter that Ashley provides you with an arsenal of “tests, tools and tricks” designed to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s more energy, leaning out, decreasing inflammation, testing the effectiveness of your dietary plan, and more. She provides you with case studies, easy-to-understand background on the assessments provided, as well as useful charts—one in particular talks about symptoms of too many, too few, or just the right amount of carbs and is super easy to understand and apply to your own case. The real beauty of this chapter is her focus on experiments – each one of us being our own petri dish, essentially. Included in this chapter are beginner, intermediate and advanced tests that you can run on yourself to see how you are doing, inclusive of step-by-step guides on what to do to perform the test, followed by how to interpret your personal results. These tests range from food logs to purchasing a glucometer to blood tests at your doctor’s office, and Ashley is with you every step of the way to help you understand what these things might mean.
Of course, we’re fans of the recipes included, too. I was intrigued by the Sweet Potato Linguine with Sage and Brown Butter Sauce (page 201), so I tried my hand at that first. Simple (especially if you own a mandoline to make slicing the potatoes evenly quite easy), savory, sweet and delicious. Note: this recipe does call for regular unsalted butter (of course grass-fed is preferred); when browning butter you want the milk solids of the butter as those are what brown. I suppose you could brown the butter then strain off the milk solids and there would be that residual nutty taste…which is worth its weight in gold!
Per Ashley’s suggestion, we also baked up some Sweet Potato Bars (page 255). I eliminated the honey and instead added some raisins for our own spin, and these things disappeared really quickly in our house!
If you’re serious about seeing changes in your health, you feel like you need to do some more self-experimentation to get the results you want, if you want some delicious sweet potato recipes, then you need to pick up Sweet Potato Power now!
Want to win a copy of Sweet Potato Power? Now is your chance! We will draw at random one lucky winner to receive a copy of this awesome book. Here’s how to enter:
1.) Like Sweet Potato Power on Facebook
2.) Post a review of Sweet Potato Power on Amazon (if you’ve already purchased a copy)
3.) Post a review of Paleo Comfort Foods on Amazon (if you’ve already purchased a copy and haven’t yet reviewed!)
4.) Like Paleo Comfort Foods on Facebook
5.) Follow Paleo Comfort Foods on Twitter
(Fine print: US shipping only. Note: if you do use the links above to make a purchase, we do receive a small commission. This helps us do things like pay shipping costs of stuff, keep this website running, and do what we can to come up with new recipes that will keep you all happy!)
Once you have done any or all of the following, leave a comment below letting us know what you did, and you’ll be entered to win! We’ll end the comments at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, August 5, 2012.