Book Review: It Starts With Food by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig

Last spring my blood pressure was going up, I was 85 pounds overweight and I felt miserable. I decided I needed to do something drastic, but within parameters. I have tried a hundred other diet plans over the years only to end up frustrated and back where I started. I don’t like logging every bit of food I eat. I don’t like weighing everything. And I needed a plan with no wiggle room.

If you have fought with weight loss, you know what I mean. “Cool, I get 27 points a day…I will eat as many sweets as I can fit into that and then I will fill up with no points veggies.” This does not make for a healthy eating lifestyle! I had a friend who was following the Paleo lifestyle (please – not one caveman joke…I get enough of those from my husband). She had lost a lot of weight and had posted on Facebook about all of the energy she had and how good she felt. I reached out to her and asked for a book recommendation of where to start for recipes. She told me it is really pretty easy – no dairy, legumes, grains, sugar and eat the highest quality meats, veggies, and fruits that you can. Hey, a point in it’s favor – No wiggle room! She recommended a couple of great cookbooks like Well Fed and Well Fed 2. I also picked up Paleo for Beginners, Against the all Grain, and Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook (links below). And I found the Paleo Grubs website.

I got busy reading – it is truly a simple diet. There is no measuring, no counting, no logging and no wiggle room. I have lost 27 pounds since April and that is even though I have traveled quite a bit this summer and haven’t always been able to strictly follow the plan (couldn’t turn down Aunt Brenda’s cake or Cold Stone Creamery on my birthday now could I?) Anyway, I digress. My reading led me to It Starts with Food and in a way I wish I had started here.

In this book, I found out how different foods I eat affect my body and my body chemistry. Dallas and Melissa do a great job of breaking it down very simply so even a non-scientific minded person can understand and clearly see how our food choices affect us. And they reminded me that my food choices are my choices – no one is holding a gun to my head to make a certain choice. My choices can lead to a cascade of malfunctions that then encourage me to go on making poor choices – driven by out of balance body chemistry I make more wrong choices and the cycle continues.

Melissa and Dallas are all about giving you the information and then you doing the work – but the work is easy! They provide meal ideas and they have a website that you can go to for ongoing support. The Whole30 plan is kind of a detox plan and it may end up stretching to a Whole 45 or Whole 60 plan in individual cases. Once your body chemistry is under control – then you can reintroduce some things and determine what has a bad effect on you and what does not. This helps you to make future good choices – knowledge is power!

I highly recommend this book and the cookbooks below if you want to change your life for the better and get off of the yo-yo wagon! I plan to do the Whole30 plan beginning August 31st after my dad’s 70th birthday. In the meantime I will stick to the Paleo lifestyle as closely as possible but for the Whole30, it requires 30 days of no exceptions and I can’t say no to my family’s cooking!

Good luck and let me know how it goes for you!

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