My third baby, “Paleo Vegan-Plant-Based Primal Recipes” is two weeks old. It’s been in the top 20 “Hot New Releases” in Amazon’s cookbook category. ALL cookbooks, not just vegetarian or vegan! It’s topping Amazon’s bestsellers in not only the vegan and vegetarian categories, but in the paleo category as well. “Veg News,” the largest US vegan magazine, included “Paleo Vegan” in its “Top 15 Most Intriguing Books of 2014.” In the past week, “Paleo Vegan” was in the top 1000 books on Amazon, and was in the top 3 vegan, top 4 vegetarian, and top 5 paleo book categories there as well. The meat-guzzling paleo types must really be scratching their heads. But that’s exactly what I was hoping for.
The reviews on Amazon have been 99% 5-star and wonderful. My fav was this:
A fresh new look at what humans in the paleo period ate to remain healthy … contrasted to the other proven unhealthy Paleo/Atkins remix.
The text is well researched & the “ancient” recipes are delicious & are uplifting to body, mind & spirit.
Thanks Ellen Jaffe Jones for another prized addition to our vegan/cookbook collection.
PS The one star rating should be considered INVALID due to the reviewer obviously NOT buying or reading your book … it is disgusting & improper for people to review amazon items with only “troll-like” negative fact-less beliefs … and … NOT even giving the author at least a read or taste test drive.”
Thanks Thomas McCracken! How cool that anyone would take that kind of time out and write such kind words! As you may gather, there was one reviewer who thought my putting the words “paleo” and “vegan” together was a sacriledge. But that’s exactly it! Nobody had put those words together before. And the reality is, our paleolithic male relatives were not finding and catching meat three times a day. While they were out hunting, and probably not very successfully, their partner-friends were back home, tending the next and foraging in the immediate area for nuts, berries, greens and anything else they could get their hands on. The marriage of paleo and vegan is this: no processed foods, no dairy (in most paleo books), and nothing our great-great-great-great grandparents would not have recognized.
I got the idea to write the book two years ago after a book signing at Orlando’s Earth Day. I went to a restaurant and while ordering vegan, the waitress said, “I used to be vegan, but now I’m paleo. I lost so much weight.” Friends with me go, “What’s paleo?” Being a certified personal trainer and running coach, as well as a competitive runner, I knew bridge-building was in order. Running friends talked about how paleo was recommended in Cross-Fit gyms. I read the popular paleo books. Many read like high-protein diets I had tried.
The pre-cursor to the Atkins diet, were the Stillman diets. Then the Zone, then South Beach. High protein diets can work for short-term weight loss, but often at the expense of the heart, kidneys and other organs. I saw my cholesterol rise to 203 on Atkins, then sink and stay at 140 on a low-fat vegan diet. I posted my blood work in Dr. John McDougall’s “Star McDougaller” stories on his excellent website. Results were typical in my circles.
Atkins eventually morphed into healthier choices, as more followers abandoned bacon, eggs and steaks recognizing that whole plant foods best maintained optimal health. Many paleo books allow for cheats because they recognize we need carbs. Endurance athlete authors like ultra-runner, Scott Jurek, and body builder, Robert Cheeke, have blown the cover off the vegan myths, “You can’t get enough protein…or whatever.” As so many of us out there on the fitness circuit have shown, you absolutely can. The more I hear people at races tell me you can’t, as I’m standing there holding my now 67th 5K or longer age group award, the more I want to race to prove you can do it all “just” on plants. Research shows that the healthiest cultures get abundant protein and energy with plants.
I’m 7th in the US in the W60-64, 10th in the 400 meters. Unlike most colleagues at the National Senior Games, I don’t train full-time or hire coaches from university teams. I’m a weekend warrior writing constantly when not training clients. I’m more of a sprinter than an endurance runner. It is rare for anyone with my sprint times to have ever finished a marathon. I’ve done 2 full and 6 half marathons, placed in one. I credit it to staying injury free from a healing, low-inflammatory plant-based diet.
I wondered if I could combine paleo and vegan so that vegans could combine the best of both worlds. A vegan diet doesn’t always guarantee optimal health. Fried, processed foods can be vegan but unhealthy. The more paleo books I read, the more I found variations. Some said dairy was taboo. Others encouraged ghee, lard or tallow as “healthy.” As ridiculous as I thought that was, more fitness friends embraced the concepts. So “Paleo Vegan” includes healthier plant fats, if readers want to include that. Fossil records show mainly animals, few ferns. No Instagram in the Paleolithic era. Time for vegans to reclaim the paleo title.
I asked a forensic anatomy professor, “Have we evolved to eat meat or plants?” “Both,” he answered. “But what should we be doing for our current times? I’m vegetarian.” He’ll be vegan soon. If you watch nature programs, the incredible speed at which glaciers are melting, will make us all vegan in 30-100 years. Hope you enjoy vegan recipes.
Last weekend, I had a blast at the Seattle Vegfest. I meant to blog. I really did. But with several cooking classes (just finished one today, another at Tampa’s Rollin’ Oats tomorrow), I haven’t had time. I was feeling badly about that, and one of the other speakers at Seattle’s Vegfest, the legend and author of “Artisan Vegan Cheese,” Miyoko Schinner, consoled me. “Ellen, I haven’t had time to blog or post on social media since I can’t remember when. I feel badly about it too, but you do what you have to do, and just do the best you can. I know that you’ll tag me on Facebook in this picture, and I depend on peeps like you to promote me on social media for me.” I also got to hang out with another Book Publishing Company colleague and awesome author, Bianca Phillips, author of “Cookin’ Crunk.” My mama from Cottonplant, Arkansas would have loved it, as I do!
We giggled so much, all of us. And I can’t leave out my co-author too, chef extraordinaire, Alan Roettinger.
So here’s to Miyoko…who by the way, is the classic example of one of my publisher’s many guru mantras: “It takes decades to be an overnight success.” Miyoko has worked long and hard. I learn so much from people like her who don’t just write a book and expect it to take off solo. It takes a villiage, and we’re all on each others’ sides.
My schedule: tomorrow 4/8 Rollin Oats in Tampa…cooking demo and book signing
“We had 16 at our lunch on soups today (4/7). Hope you can make our final Fresh Market donated food class on Summer Salads next Monday 4/14. Orlando’s Earth Day for a food demo 4/19, & New Orleans’ VegFest 5/10 where I’ll be talking about Paleo Vegans and my new book on same. Can’t wait for that…such a fun bunch over there across the Gulf in NOLA!
I’ll also have a vegan table this Saturday 4/12 at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds Shark’s Tooth 10K. I’ll be running the 10K too, “just” on plants! 67 5K or longer races I’ve placed in for my age group locally since 2006. But who’s counting? Me…because it’s so important to show we vegans get ‘enough’ protein. Catch me if you can!”
Ellen Jaffe is a certified personal trainer, running coach, and is also the author of “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” and “Kitchen Divided.” She hopes you’ll support fair trade and her efforts to do this fulltime by ordering signed copies of her books right here…at www. vegcoach.com