Mary’s Current Read: It Starts With Food

It Starts With Food might be one of the best diet books I have ever read.  There are many great books filling the shelves at your local Barnes and Noble, but this one truly stands out from the rest. The authors Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of Whole 9  present food as the foundation of health, and I could not agree more.

The authors cover health basics by discussing how food affects the brain, digestion, inflammation, and immunity. The science is presented in easy to understand language, which helps the reader truly grasp the message. Most importantly the authors show the connection between food and the body’s actual response. This leaves the reader feeling empowered. They can walk away and choose a food based on how they want their body to respond, either good or bad. It’s with that kind of knowledge that a person can then either choose to eat one way or the other.

The nutritional framework of the book is based on the Paleo diet which eliminates nutrient-poor foods. These include sugar, sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and seed oils. The authors discuss that they came to follow these dietary guidelines by combining:

“Scientific Research + Clinical Experience + Self-Experimentation”

The main message that the authors send is that while the Paleo diet is based on history, they are more concerned with health than history. I appreciated this view, because we too are not about promoting a diet “religion.” We are about promoting health and empowering you to want to make those choices for yourselves. This book would be a great place to start. It lays the foundation of what food does to the body. This knowledge should have an impact on everyone who reads it. Here is my favorite quote from the authors:

“We eat real food- fresh, natural food, like meat, vegetables, and fruit. We choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. Food quality is important. This is not a diet- we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat both plants and animals. Eating like this allows us to maintain a healthy metabolism and keeps our immune system in balance. It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mood, attention span, and quality of life. It also works to minimize our risk for most lifestyle-related diseases and conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and autoimmune conditions.”

You guys, it really does start with food.

Allie’s Current Read: In Defense Of Food

InDefenseOfFoodTo be honest, I rarely read non-fiction. It bores the heck out of me! But after I became interested in our Western diet + how it seems to be the root of many problems…I realized the only way I could truly be informed was to read non-fiction. Surprisingly, I find it really interesting. My current read is Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. The tagline reads: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. 

One line from the book really stood out to me. Mostly because when I look back, most of my diet (up until last year) was greatly filled with these genetically modified crops:

It’s hard to believe we’re getting everything we need from a diet consisting largely of processed corn, soybeans, rice and wheat.”

What I’m finding most fascinating is how the food industry has evolved over time and how greatly it is influenced by money. It’s quite awful, really. According to the book, “you now have to eat three apples to get the same amount of iron as you would have gotten from a single 1940 apple.”

So while I push for eating whole foods – I’m wondering how much longer those whole foods will exist. Gross.

 

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5 replies to this post
      • I think you would really enjoy it now! I read it 3 summers ago and my husband read In Defense of Food at the same time – totally unplanned! Those serendipitous choices changed our lives.

  1. I read It Starts with Food before embarking on my first (and definitely not last) Whole30. It brought up thought-provoking questions about why we eat the way we do (societal “we”), and I liked the focus on scientific and nutritional research. Further research I’ve done on my own about how our bodies process things like grains and soy have confirmed a lot of what ISWF talks about, but I like the Hartwigs’ readable book and actionable plan.

    Any chance there might be a Considering You book club with questions/discussion hours at some point? :)

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