Book Review: Paleo Girl, by Leslie Klenke

Paleo Girl: Take a Leap. Empower Yourself. Be Awesome! I was going to take a pass on this one. In fact, sometimes Mark’s office emails and asks if I’d like a copy to review and in this case, I declined. Later that day, it showed up in the mail anyway.

I just set it aside, intending a browse through…eventually. After all—can I say something?—teenage girls are simply not my audience, duh. Like, totally. Not.

Then I saw Mark’s announcement about the book and had to laf a bit. Then I thought well, I may not have any measurable teenage girl audience, but I’ll bet I have a goodly number of parents of same, or those out Googling around about teenage eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia), being overly influenced by impossible female standards of appearance, buying into dietary and exercise hype that changes as quickly and frequently as models change fashions during a runway show, and I realized: they kinda have quite a bit going against them, and at a time when so many are ill-equiped to handle it.

And face it. There are a lot of crappy parents out there; ones who manage their difficulties worse than their teenage daughters with zero experience. So, perhaps one way or another…via parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends…this review might serve to get a worthwhile, deeply caring and passionate work into the hands of a few grrrils that need it the most. My hope.

Here’s the book description.

Let’s drop the diet gossip and go back to the beginning…

Has a friend ever told you that you’re only supposed to eat 1,200 calories per day? Did you once read that your favorite celeb got killer abs from doing hours of cardio? Have you heard that eating fat will make you fat? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: those ideas are complete nonsense!

If you want to get in great shape, have flawless skin, and radiate genuine happiness, you need to go beyond outrageous magazine headlines and truly understand the correct approach to eating, exercising, sleeping, and managing the hectic pace of modern life. paleo Girl will help you transform your health—the right way—by adapting the lifestyle behaviors of our strong, smart, and healthy hunter-gatherer ancestors.

paleo Girl also features an easy to follow Primal fitness guide; advice on getting ample sun, sleep, and play; tips for navigating physical maturation; pointers to amp up your motivation; and teen-friendly DIY recipes and beauty products!

“”paleo Girl will arm you with the knowledge, strength, and passion to be the best you that you can be. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go be great!”

The book itself is beautiful, layout design by Leslie herself—one girl shop that she is. There are seven chapters, it’s filled with really appropriate full-color photos, and runs about 250 pages.

  1. Diet 101: The Skinny (your basic paleo/primal, doesn’t demonize carbs, per se—though I’m still anxious for a book that makes exceptions for legumes if one tolerates them)
  2. Fitness 101: Work It Girl! (like totally sensible, dude. And, wearing high-heels doesn’t count as calf exercises!)
  3. Life 101: The Other Important Stuff (sleep, play, sun, smarts/risk assessment, and setting yourself up right, NOW and stay there, instead of playing catchup later, after everything’s effed)
  4. Puberty 101: The Down and Dirty (Oh Myyy!)
  5. Motivation 101: It’s a Date! (the inevitable backlash from everyone who thinks you just got even crazier, and how to deal)
  6. Success 101: Nailed It! (a collection of grrril success stories)
  7. DIY 101: Let’s Make It! (first tell Mark Sisson what DIY means; then, familiarize with the kitchen; then make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; then get all dolled up)

It’s a very accessible book for teen girls and probably just right. Mark has a great team down there to not only assist in every way a publisher would do, but has just the right sense about what should be published, who the audience is, and when they should be exposed. Then he helps competently market the book.

Can’t think of a single teenage girl who could not benefit a lot from this material, its presentation, and perhaps above all, clearing out so much of the hype, misinformation and downright lies for money.

It’s a work of love and salvation, so get it into the hands of someone or a few who need it.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Goodstuff on June 23, 2014 at 13:50

    I hope the publisher of your book is as good as Sission.

  2. Maurile Tremblay on June 23, 2014 at 16:33

    “though I’m still anxious for a book that makes exceptions for legumes if one tolerates them.”

    The Tim Ferriss book seems to have been out in front of the rest of the Paleo movement on legumes. He loves him some lentils.

  3. Duck Dodgers on June 24, 2014 at 06:06

    Ech… Yeah, the book (or at least the online preview) doesn’t totally demonize carbs, but it doesn’t exactly explain that they’ll need to eat a boat load of the “good” carbs in order to keep up a moderate level of carb intake.

    Rather, it says:

    If you were to completely remove all carbohydrates from your diet, you would essentially be excluding a lot of yummy vegetables and fruits that are full of vitamins and minerals. The carbs you need to ditch are those found in:

    Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, soybeans.
    Grains and starches: barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, wheat.
    Processed foods: bread, cake, cereals, cookies, crackers,
    pasta, soda, etc. (I could rattle on forever here, but I’m pretty sure you get the point!)

    Hopefully this list doesn’t look like your daily menu, but if it does, have no fear…help is on the way! These carbohydrates are on the naughty list because they spike your insulin, promote inflammation, can trigger depression, make you feel lazy, and flat out make you FAT!

    And if you read that sentence, and put yourself in the mind of a girl that is already trying to watch what she eats, it’s easy to think that if you just eat a little handful of fruit, maybe a few bites of potato, and take a multi-vitamin you’re doing great.

    Meanwhile, their fiber intake has tanked to dangerous levels by becoming wary of most carbs. Their gut pH rises, making them susceptible to yeast and candida.

    I predict this book will inadvertently encourage thousands of women to become accidental VLCers. To think of all the adrenal fatigue, trips to the doctors, and mysterious illnesses it will create because the author didn’t take the time to explain that the “good” complex carbs are mostly water and should be eaten in much greater quantities than the refined carbs that they are used to eating, if they want to maintain even a low to moderate carb intake.

  4. tatertot on June 25, 2014 at 09:35

    Duck – I hear ya. That’s actually good advice for everyone. When you give up sugar, bread, and fried foods there’s not much starch left, and hardly any fermentable fiber for gut bugs.

    I think one of the worst trends ever was to lump whole, natural foods in with refined, processed grains and sugars just because of their carb count.

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