The Paleo Approach–Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body

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After 15 months of dedication and hard work, I am thrilled to announce the release of my first book:

The Paleo Approach

Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body

Buy Now!

I am visiting select cities for book signings. Visit my events page to see the see the current schedule and RSVP for events near you.

Read some of the first reviews of The Paleo Approach:

Also, be sure to check out recent interviews discussing The Paleo Approach:

So, let me tell you more about this book that I wrote. The Paleo Approach is a complete guide to using diet and lifestyle to manage autoimmune disease. It answers all of the whats, the whys, and the hows. This is the book that I wish I had had at my fingertips 15 years ago.

ThePaleoApproach Updated Cover

What is The Paleo Approach? This is the official blurb:

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you’re among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that’s no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, The Paleo Approach, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to show you how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as “healthy”—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, resolve inflammation, and help your body heal itself. Learn which simple lifestyle changes—along with changes in diet—will make the biggest difference for your health.

If you’re concerned that “going Paleo” will break the bank or require too much time in the kitchen preparing special foods, there’s no need to worry. In the The Paleo Approach, Dr. Ballantyne provides expert tips on how to make the switch easily and economically. Complete foods lists with strategies for the day-to-day—how stay within your food budget, where to shop for what you need, how to make the most out of your time in the kitchen, and how to eat out—will take all the guesswork out of going Paleo. Simple strategies for lifestyle adjustments, including small changes that can make a huge difference, will guide you through the most important lifestyle changes to support healing.

Have a complicated condition that requires medical intervention, medication or supplements? Dr. Ballantyne also walks you through the most useful medical tests, treatments and supplements (as well as the most counterproductive) to open a dialogue with your physician to best support your healing.

I have to admit that I have fallen in love with the medium of an actual book. It is allowing me to tie ideas together and explain concepts in more detail than I could ever accomplish with a blog post. I get to organize every topic related to autoimmune disease in a way that is easy to read, easy to find the answers to your questions, and links together concepts so all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for you. This book explains some detailed science about how foods we eat (as well as lifestyle factors like physical activity and sleep) interact with and affect the gut barrier and the immune system.  While the focus of this book is on those with autoimmmune disease, most of the concepts detailed in the book are broadly applicable.

The book is divided into two parts and covers all of the following topics:

  • the most current understanding of the causes of autoimmune disease,
  • how the immune system works and what goes wrong in autoimmune disease
  • how diet and lifestyle factors contribute to the development and perpetuation of autoimmune disease,
  • the links between autoimmune disease and gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, and gut dysbiosis
  • the links between autoimmune disease and nutritional deficiencies
  • the links between stress, hormone dysregulation and inadequate sleep an autoimmune disease
  • diet recommendations to manage autoimmune disease
  • the whys behind foods to exclude
  • the whys behind foods to include
  • navigating food sensitivities (FODMAPs, histamine, salicylates, and sulfates) and bacterial/yeast overgrowths
  • lifestyle recommendations to manage autoimmune disease
    • priorities for exercise
    • stress management strategies
    • how much sleep should you get
    • how to protect your circadian rhythms
    • how to regulate hunger hormones
  • troubleshooting and dealing with the “vicious cycles”
  • what to expect as you transition
  • supplements and diagnostic tests that may help (and ones that probably won’t)
  • navigating prescription medications and working with your doctor
  • how to reintroduce foods after your autoimmune disease is in remission
  • faq
  • complete food lists
    • what foods can you eat?
    • what can you drink?
    • what foods should be consumed in limited quantities?
    • vitamin and mineral content of included foods
    • food sources of micronutrients that people with autoimmune disease are commonly deficient in
    • healing/super foods to eat more of
    • the importance of eating “snout to tail”
    • FODMAPs
    • sources of inulin fiber and insoluble fiber
  • priorities for tight budgets
  • tips on day-to-day implementation like how to eat this way within a family, eating out, and traveling

It is my hope that this book will be the ultimate resource for people looking to manage and reverse autoimmune disease effectively and naturally.  I also hope that it will bridge the gap between healthcare providers (it contains nearly 1200 scientific citations) and patients looking for better solutions than drugs that don’t work well and come with crazy side effects.  This book will provide all of the information you need to start on your own journey of healing today.  But, if you need more, never fear!  The Paleo Approach will soon be followed by a companion cookbook that will provide over 180 recipes to make the diet aspects of these recommendations easier (more information on The Paleo Approach Cookbook coming soon!).

Interested in learning even more about The Paleo Approach? This video from my YouTube Channel is just a quick tour (the book is so big that giving you a broad overview takes 13 minutes!) but you get to see just how comprehensive and detailed this book is.


Love this site. I have been paleo for 2 years and AI paleo for less as I am just learning things like mustard etc aren’t allowed. So, needless to say, I have not experienced full or partial healing yet, but am excited to get there!

I’m looking forward to your book! I appreciate your writing style and the information you share with everyone. Thank you!

This book is what I’ve been looking for, especially Part 1. I want to understand as much as I can about AI, and I can’t thank you enough for pulling all the research together for the rest of us. PubMed is great, but trying to figure out the bigger picture from all those reports takes a tremendous amount of time. Also, and I’ve checked: there are no recipes in PubMed!


Just found out my body is attacking 3 different tissues in my body. Yikes. I love this blog, it’s AWESOME!! I’ve read tons and will definitely keep following.

Can’t wait for this book, I love your blog and writing style. I find you one of the better blogs to read, very informative but not dry. Can’t wait to read your book :)

I can’t wait for this book too! I have 2 autoimmune diseases, my daughter has lichen planus, my dad has MS, my sister has rheumatoid arthritis, and I’m sick of our whole family suffering from autoimmune disease! I want to raise my daughter to be on a healthy diet that supports her immune system and hopefully this book might inspire my dad to eat healthier too. Thank you!

Just came across your blog recently and love it! We definitely have learned a lot and will be learning a lot in our near future!

Cant wait! This is the only book I’ve told myself I am forcing my bf to read. I’m a big pushover. The whole reason I stumbled onto paleo and your fabulous blog is because of his autoimmune disease.. just having some trouble getting him onto it 100%, let alone AIP. You explain things so thoroughly, but in a way that makes it so simple. No pressure or anything, but you are my only hope haha! Thanks!

I was diagnosed with UC in May 2009 and have been on a journey to find health ever since. This would be a great resource.

Just getting started on Paleo and LOVE the resources available in the giveaway! We are feeling better already, but would be blessed by so much great info. Hope we win!

I have just started to explore this way of eating. I have several illnesses that I feel are linked to food. I am looking forward to your book!

Me too. Glad it will be available on Kindle.

I wish this book were available a few years ago when people were trying to convince me that it was all my head, no way on earth that foods like wheat, corn, and soy were making me sick. LOL! I’m sure this will be a lifesaver to many people with gut and inflammation issues. So happy you are writing it!!!

This book sounds very informational and helpful to many people, possibly including myself. I am hypothyroid, and have low neutrophil counts, and although the doctor “doesn’t think” the neutrophil counts are an autoimmune issue, I’ve been considering going on an AI paleo diet for awhile just to see if it helps (and it can’t hurt) – but AI just seems so limiting, I’ve been putting it off. I’ll definitely be ordering a copy of your book at some point.

Your site is so very helpful, and I cannot wait to get a copy of your book! I told my husband that this was one of my must have books! Thank You for sharing your knowledge!

Looking forward to the Kindle version (which I will pre-order as soon as the option becomes available). Am currently trying to treat my daughter’s very severe juvenile arthritis with food and supplements. It’s slow going but we are definitely seeing results.

thank you so much for your site and your advice, I posted back on May 23rd. I’m not sure this post is actually linking to my first post. I went strict Paleo on May 24th and have started moving closer to the autoimmune protocol. I feel so much better, it has helped significantly with brain fog and muscle pain. I’m now trying to weave more stress relief into my life, because I notice that my fog is worse when stress is worse even when I’m eating perfectly. I’m also thinking I may need to get rid of all of the starchy vegtables (sweet potatoe, squash) as they seem to bring on some fog at times as well. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Typo in the red text: Heal Your Body, rather than Heal You Body. :) That one is soooo common. Just thought you’d like to know, in your pursuit of perfect accuracy–which I appreciate! I’d love to proofread your whole book, but don’t have time right now. Maybe someday I’ll do it for a living.

Congratulations, and thanks so much for all you give to the world!

Hmm, yes, I’ve done a lot of reading here in the last two days, and keep noticing those sprinkled throughout the site. =) But I don’t hold it against you, because your information is beyond excellent, and because your writing style is so clear and succinct. Conciseness is something I struggle with, so although I’m usually typo-free (due to years of proofing), I recognize that communicating effectively is the most important aspect of writing. Your research and experience are helping me immensely, saving me a ton of time, and I’m looking forward to the book! I hope you have a good proofreader, but no matter what, it will be great.

What a big accomplishment to consolidate your research into book form. I really, really look forward to reading it! Is the cover design set in stone by this point? I see there is a second cover version. If it’s not finished, I have a little feedback if you’d be interested, but if it’s all done, no worries.

I have Wegener’s Granulomatosis and began my healing journey 16 years ago, accidentally, by going on the Atkins diet to lose 70 pounds of prednisone weight. I was 26 at the time and had no idea that changing my diet was going to impact my healing.

When I claimed that I thought my diet (protein, low-carb/sugar, high veg) was helping manage my disease, my doctors argued with me, telling me the changes were “coincidental”. Within two years, I was completely in remission and against my doctor’s recommendations, I went off all medications (after a major tapering process). I stayed on a modified “Atkins” diet for over seven years.

The medications I took for the time I was horribly sick messed up my gut…which lead me to GAPS. GAPS lead me to Primal and Paleo. At present, I remain in remission, off ALL drugs, and manage my wellness with excellent food. As a serious researcher and reader myself, I was thrilled to find your blog and am completely TICKLED that you’ve used your experience and knowledge to write this book. Thanks much from someone who appreciates the journey and the tremendous gift you’ve given the autoimmune community.

My mom has MS and she has become a completely different person…I hardly recognize her physically and mentally. She can still walk and get around, do chores and cook for her husband, but she has aged 15 years in about 5 years, went from 120 lbs to 165 in a matter of months, She has intense body pain and headaches, numbness, vision problems, she talks endlessly about pointless things and grievences, she gets rageful at the drop of a hat, she is addicted to pain killers, and there isn’t much there that reminds me of the parent I grew up with..I lost my father in 2004, and now I feel as if my mother is all but gone too. Maybe this would anger a lot of people suffering with this powerful illness, but I cannot enjoy the company of the person this has made her….Her bitterness and anger is way too intense to be around for more than small doses, and I know there is a direct connection to this disease for her. Can this paleo program help, and if so, how? It would be nice to see her regain 50 % of her physical functioning and even a 20-30% reduction in pain would make her condition more tolerable for her and the people who love her. Marshall

Absolutely! I personally know several people with MS who have put their diseases into complete remission with this protocol. I would recommend checking out and as additional resources.

PS-I don’t think there’s anything wrong with how you’re feeling about the personality changes you’re seeing in your mom. It’s pretty amazing that you are researching ways to help her in spite of losing enjoyment in her company. :)

Hi Sarah,

I’ve recently been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and have ordered your book. I’m really looking forward to taking some positive action to try and improve things.

This is a tip for anyone in the UK who wants to buy your book. Order from Amazon .com not Amazon!

My estimated delivery date is between Feb 14th and March 14th – a long wait BUT the book + postage has cost me $33.25 (just over £20) as opposed to the £38 being asked on Amazon UK.

There are options to upgrade to 2 faster services, which I didn’t check out so can’t give details on those.

I hope this helps people in the UK. This is probably also worth trying if you live in other parts of the world.


Thank you for the information! We have had many people ask about when the book will be available internationally. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I’ve just started reading. For the second edition, you should double check your amino acids on page 27. Alanine, aspargine, and tryptophan have mistakes (and possibly others, those are just the ones I noticed.) It’s not really important for the content or message of the book, but I thought I would let you know so you can fix it in the next edition. Looking forward to reading through the rest of the book!

I wasn’t sure the best place to post this, so I chose here. For those of you who have read and/or own The Paleo Approach and have implemented (heck even those who eat whatever!) the AIP diet; I just made the carob ganache tortes from the cookbook excerpt that is in back and OMG they are sooooooo delicous!!! It was all I could do to not eat all 4 of them! I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who is missing chocolate (like I certainly am!) and are able to tolerate coconut products (I do well with oil and gum free milk, but not so good yet with flesh ie butter and flakes). The only thing I might do next time I make them is cut back on the vanilla, other than that; SUPERB! Thank you Sarah for your awesome book and I cannot wait for the cookbook!

btw the other 4 excerpt recipes look fantastic as well I plan to make each one! :)))

what type of carob powder did you use? I found raw and roasted. I saw that recipe also and it does sound very yummy and should work not only for me on AIP, but my son who’s allergic to chocolate!

I used Chatfield’s, which is roasted. I found it at whole foods, but I’m sure you can get it online. Haven’t tried or even seen a raw carob powder. I hope you and your son like the recipe!

The Paleo Approach is a must read for anyone wanting to understand what autoimmune disease is, how it is caused and how to add additional healing to yourself through food (if you require medications). This book helped me understand why my daughter got ill and how to help her heal. In the same process, we discovered as a family that autoimmune disease runs through our gene pool from both sides of the family… we have adopted a Paleo, clean-eating approach to our dietary regime. My goal is to “pay” the grocer – not the pharmacist.

I would love to see an app for quick refernce purposes when shopping, etc. do you think you’ll do something like that?

My dad has Myasthenia Gravis and is just starting to eat solids after 8 months of nuticious shakes and build up soups. Could Paleo help him??

Have ordered the book and signed up for your newsletter. Did not get the Quick Start Guide mentioned which I was really looking forward to. At least it isn’t in my inbox although I have added you to my address book. ??? Am really anxious to get started. I have Hashimoto’s and my husband has multiple problems due to a leaky gut. Also ordered the cookbook. I have email but do not do facebook or any of the other social media sites ie twitter etc. Hope that isn’t necessary to receive this information.

After signing up for the newsletter via the form on this site, you should receive a confirmation e-mail. After you confirm, you should receive another e-mail with the link to the Quick Start Guide. They may appear in your spam folder. Have you received either of those e-mails? – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Thanks for your reply Christina. I received the email asking me to confirm which I did yesterday but did not get the one with the link to the Quick Start Guide. I have checked all incoming mail. It is not in spam and shouldn’t be since I did add you to my address book.

Thanks Christina. Had tried resubscribing before and it told me I was already subscribed. Tried again and this time it seems to have worked. Hopefully will get the Quick Start Guide this time. Appreciate your help.

Thank you so much for posting this awesome tour of your book. I have watched it twice. I just ordered it on Amazon. I can’t imagine the time and energy it took to write and research such a book, but I am so thankful that you did. I have MS and this is the direction I have begun to follow. I know your book will help me get healthy!! Thank you Sarah!

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