The Paleo Diet has stuck around long enough now to prove it’s not just some niche fad that only appeals to the meat- and Cross Fit-obsessed.
In fact, the scene’s getting more interesting (and tasty), with a passionate culinary crop of nutritionists, food bloggers, and chefs whipping up new Paleo-centric cookbooks. And each one’s got a different, tailored take on what it means to eat like a caveman—or woman.
So whether you’re a serious foodie, are seriously budget-minded, or really just need some recipes for healthy fuel, here are seven new guides for every modern Paleo personality. —Amy Marturana
Paleo by Season, by Peter Servold
Cooking with fresh ingredients is the best way to get nutritional benefits from your food, and a great culinary result, which is why gourmet chef Peter Servold—who runs the meal delivery service Pete’s Paleo—is offering up delish recipes that bear the season in mind (think farm-to-table meets Paleo). So, if you’re the type to hit up your local farmer’s market or pick up a new CSA box every week, the recipes will help you jump on the Paleo bandwagon—without sacrificing flavor. Because as Servold has said, “great food and Paleo are one and the same.”
The Performance Paleo Cookbook, by Stephanie Gaudreau
Written by endurance athlete (and owner of Stupid Easy Paleo), Stephanie Gaudreau, this cookbook is for anyone with a need for serious fuel. Gaudreau’s into multi-hour mountain bike races, so she knows what it means to train hard—and even tailors her nutrient-dense recipes to the time of day you work out to help maximize your efforts. The book offers sections dedicated specifically to pre- and post-workout snacks and drinks, and allows for some mindful modifications, like the occasional white potato after a kick-ass lifting session.
More reading: 5 surprising foods forbidden by the Paleo Diet
Down South Paleo, by Jennifer Robins
Yes, it is totally possible to live south of the Mason-Dixon line—or at least eat like you do—and still go full-on Paleo and gluten-free. Author Jennifer Robins, founder of Predominantly Paleo, has pretty much found a way to get your comfort food fix without sacrificing nutrition. Think chicken-fried steak and cream gravy could never, ever be gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo friendly? Think again, y’all.
For the commitment-phobe…
Part-Time Paleo, by Leanne Ely
Not sure you’re ready to fully plunge into the Paleo pool? Nutritionist Leanne Ely will help you dip your toes in with her “part-time” pointers. Ely follows the rules of Paleo, but gives herself (and you) a little leeway—so you can have cheese as long as it’s from a good source and aged more than 120 days; you can have beans if you sprout them first; and you can have purple potatoes. And if someone offers you some creamy homemade ice cream, Ely says it’d be a crime not to have a bite or two.
One-Pot Paleo, by Jenny Castaneda
It’s hard to resist an amazingly easy one-pot recipe—especially when you’re trying to streamline your busy life and cut down on kitchen clutter. Author Jenny Castaneda, founder of Paleo Foodie Kitchen, makes eating Paleo as convenient as possible, showing you how to throw a bunch of approved ingredients into one pot, then simply letting them do their thing. Her recipes are all about celebrating simplicity (and make for easy clean-up to boot).
Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook, by Rachael Bryant
Author Rachael Bryant has Hashimoto’s disease, which is how she found the autoimmune protocol (AIP). It’s said to help control illnesses, like arthritis and Celiac—and can be pretty strict. Eggs, for example, which are a huge part of the traditional Paleo Diet, are not allowed with AIP. But while Bryant’s book lays down the law, it also offers plenty of flavorful recipes so you don’t get too focused on what’s off limits, and instead focus on enjoying the foods you can eat in new and interesting ways.
The Frugal Paleo Cookbook, by Ciarra Hannah
A diet of organic, grass-fed meat, healthy nuts and seeds, and fresh produce can get preeeetty pricey. Ciarra Hannah, founder of Popular Paleo, outlines her tips for sticking to a budget, while granting permission to cut corners if financial limitations make it impossible to be totally devout. But with her thrifty suggestions (think embracing unconventional meats, like beef liver and marrow, which are nutrient-packed and way cheaper than filet mignon), you’ll find ways to stay on-track without breaking the bank.