So I jumped the “conventional” wisdom train last year and shucked out literally all the dietary information I’d ever read or learned and went straight up Paleo and then into a primal diet. In exactly three months, I had lost 17lbs, and 90% of it was diet. Sure, I was logging some running miles every week but not nearly enough to burn up the magical 3500cals needed to drop one pound of fat, but there I was, 17lbs lighter — that’s a lie, it was actually more but I didn’t start really tracking my weight for a few months. I felt, and still feel, great, I looked better, and I was certainly eating better.

Yeah, I love to eat pizza or a bowl of pasta but I’ve never had any pasta that tastes as good as a steak. I absolutely love some good oatmeal but it doesn’t compare to bacon and never will. I won’t lie, I still eat pizza and drink beer but a lot less regularly these days and now, I really enjoy it when I have it…especially the beer. But I’ll be honest, stripping my diet down to just the basics of meats, veggies and fruits, and some nuts here and there was hard. It took a few months of talks and dropping hints to my girlfriend before I put the plan into action. I plumbed blogs, articles, and books just to get information. I sucked up blog articles on what to eat or not eat faster than a Hoover. I understood most of it, I didn’t get all the chemical science behind it (I’m also not reading blog posts the length of novellas to do so), but I didn’t need to, I understood the anthropological science behind it. I knew that out of all the primitive cultures I’ve studied, all of them were extremely fit and healthy until maize and corn consumption effectively replaced other foods (warning: I’ve only deeply studied indigenous American tribes, not their more agrarian European counterparts).

But still, there were things I didn’t get because it felt like there was kind of feeling that knowing what was good and what wasn’t was only for the upper echelon of the Paleo blogosphere. Were things like green beans and turnip greens OK to eat or did I need to start eating more kale and broccoli? I saw a heavy emphasis on eating vegetables, especially green ones, but I could never figure out if my weekly staple veggies — the beans and greens — were OK. So I read some more, understood a little more, but still had a boatload of questions. Now I wish I had just waited a few months. Why?

Because Richard Nikoley has now written literally the easiest book on Paleo dieting I’ve ever read. His 111 page ebook was more informative than everything else I’d read thus far because he cut through all the bullshit, the big words, most of the science, and fluff. He distilled the entire Paleo movement and ideals down to literally half of what his peers are able to do to say the same thing. I’m not dissing other writers, their books and blog posts are absolutely wonderful but for someone just starting out in the Paleo way of eating, they need the basics, they just need to get started in the right direction and Richard does this perfectly. He provides the perfect kickstart to get you going on your journey while setting you up to keep asking questions that require the more in-depth books from Sisson, Wolf, or Jaminet.

Hell, it’s cheap as dirt too. His book is a whole $4 with lifetime updates to the text and they give you 4 different digital copies for that price. From now on, when anyone asks me about this “crazy” diet I’m on, Nikoley is where I’m pointing them.

(disclosure: Richard did not pay me to write this and frankly, he’s not even going to notice I wrote it either. I just really like his book.)