349 of 400 people found the following review helpful
Do You Dare Take On The Whole30 Challenge For Yourself?,
This review is from: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways (Hardcover)Not since Paleo nutritional health stalwart Robb Wolf released his groundbreaking 2010 New York Times bestselling book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet have I been THIS excited about a nutritional health book. And while the co-authors Dallas and Melissa Hartwig are not necessarily enthusiastic advocates of the low-carb lifestyle that I love and cherish, they are big time believers in another concept I embrace and appreciate-that is, eating real, whole foods that nourish your body so that you can be both optimally healthy and as disease-free as humanly possible. This Paleo power couple has been promoting their unique path to "magical" success with literally thousands of clients who have gone through The Whole30 program since they founded the Whole9 in 2009. And now they stand on the precipice of bringing this simple yet powerful message to a new generation of people who are desperate for answers about how to deal with their obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, Celiac disease, infertility and so much more with the release of their extraordinary book entitled It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways.
The positive energy that Dallas and Melissa exude is so utterly contagious within the pages of this book that you'll become super-excited about starting your very own Whole30 journey head first right away. And whether you realize it yet or not, the fact that you are reading reviews like this one means your journey to change is already underway. No matter what your health reasons are for wanting to make a change in your life, it all really does "start with food." We all make choices every single day about the quality of the foods we are consuming and it comes down to this-either we choose foods that nourish our bodies or we choose foods that damage our bodies. It's as simple as that. Once you realize the validity of this common sense fact, then making the necessary changes that Dallas and Melissa recommend in their book will be a snap. I'm gonna warn you now though: get ready to see some of the most significant physical and mental changes that you've ever experienced in your entire life. That's not sensationalized hyperbole-it's the truth! You'll just have to try it for yourself to join the ever-growing list of people who have restored their health and never looked back again.
If you've never heard of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig before, then they provide their unique story of how they got to this point of writing a book about their work at the beginning. You'll notice that they, like many in the Paleo community, were heavily influenced by their fellow Victory Belt author Robb Wolf who gave them the idea for doing a 30-day elimination diet that has become the basis for The Whole30. And yet they've modernized Paleo to the point of removing the caveman imagery that tends to be associated with this way of eating. As they so succinctly put it, "we are far more concerned with health than we are on history." It's not so much about mimicking the Paleolithic man as it is learning from the lessons that our hunter-gather ancestors taught us to make the best choices in the 21st Century.
And lest you think there's no science behind this nutritional plan, you'd be sorely mistaken. Not only that, Dallas and Melissa also have a wealth of personal experience helping clients seeing them make improvements in their health that defy conventional medical wisdom. And they know that the best way to find out what works for you is by conducting your own experiments on yourself to see what happens. They also recognize that we are all different with a wide variety of physical, emotional and psychological issues to work through that aren't resolved with a cookie-cutter approach. But as the title of their book suggests, food can and should be a powerful starting point for bringing about the positive changes you are looking for no matter who you are and what your personal situation looks like.
It's sad when you have to include a chapter in a book on nutrition defining what "food" is, but in a world where modern pseudo-food-like products such as Twinkies, Doritos and Coca-Cola are the most ubiquitous forms of edible products sold on supermarket shelves it's probably a very good idea. Dallas and Melissa explain the purpose of the various macronutrients found in good food and what role they play in being consumed. As a low-carber, I appreciated the blurb in there acknowledging that there is no dietary requirement for carbohydrates since the body can make them from the protein you consume (through a process in the liver known as gluconeogenesis). WOO HOO! Also, when they refer to fruit they make an excellent point that it "may promote an unhealthy psychological response" for people who haven't yet beaten their sugar addiction and thus should be avoided. When it comes to choosing between a Snickers bar or dried fruit and a nut bar, "your brain doesn't know the difference." YES! They also give credence to the mistaken notion that weight management is a simple math equation of reducing your calories and fat by concluding "if only it were that easy." AMEN!
Major themes covered in It Starts With Food include controlling cravings, learning to recognize satiation, why we eat for pleasure, how stress negatively impacts the body, why eating for you hormones is most important (with some pretty remarkable examples of what a typical good and bad hormonal day actually looks like), the role your gut plays in being healthy, why it is critical to reduce systemic silent inflammation in the body, beating your genetic tendencies towards poor health outcomes, why eliminating sweeteners will make life so much sweeter for you, how alcohol is a worthless substance to your body, reducing the megadoses of omega-6 fats in your body by dropping the seed oils, chunking the grains (even the whole grains!) and legumes because of their woeful nutritional value, doing your due diligence about whether dairy is a problematic food category for you or not, being aware of the symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases, and navigating through the maze of food choices out there to find the best possible foods to feed yourself well with the right meats, veggies, fats (yes, the right kind of fats like animal-based and tropical ones are VERY good for you!), and creating homemade meals your whole family will love and enjoy! This book is quite dense with information, but it's written in an engaging and oftentimes hilarious manner that you'll forget how much you're learning in the midst of all the fun!
Of course, what would the book be without getting into the nitty gritty of The Whole30 program which is what Dallas and Melissa provide towards the end of the book. Once they've laid the groundwork for why you should be following the edicts of their nutritional teachings, it's on to the plan itself. And lest you're wondering if you'll try this for a few days and decide to give up on it like every other health plan you've ever tried before, don't even think about it. This is hard-core, life-changing stuff that demands your full attention for 30 full days without even a smidge of cheating, fudging with the details or making up excuses for why you didn't do it. This is your welcome-to-the-real-world reality check and time to see just how serious you are about your health. When you realize "it's just 30 days" and give it a real go, then you can see just how much The Whole30 can help you overcome a chronic health issue that has perhaps plagued you for far too many years. You won't know unless you try and the plan is outlined for you clearly in black and white with full details on exactly what to do, how to do it, what to expect during the various phases of the 30 days, and evaluating whether you should make it a Whole45 or Whole60 to experience the best results for you (remember that self-experimentation stuff they discuss earlier in the book?). Dallas and Melissa don't coddle you through this because they assume you are all grown adults who can make choices for yourself and dig deep to make this happen. The payoff at the end of this process will make any pain along the way totally worth it!
Once you've completed your Whole30, instructions on how to reintroduce foods one at a time are included along with some strategies about trying to maintain the progress you have made over the long-term. They acknowledge the difficulty it can be trying to live this way in everyday life and that the goal of the program isn't perfection but a compass for making the best choices about how you eat. Building sustainable habits that will stick with you for life is what it's all about. There will be meals or even whole days when you get off of your Whole30 plan but that doesn't mean you've failed. You pick yourself up and get right back at it again confidently knowing what you need to do to continue the success you've already accomplish. Be the example for your friends and family to follow by doing your part to stay true to the principles you've learned in this book.
Towards the back of the book you'll find some critical information for "special populations" such as people with diabetes, autoimmune disease, IBS and IBD, food allergies, vegetarians and vegans, active individuals, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and even your kids. There's also specific information about some supplements that could help you along the way in this journey. Dallas and Melissa Hartwig are a compassionate couple who wish you nothing but the best in your own personal health journey. They believe the concepts they share in It Starts With Food will provide massive improvements in health for the vast majority of people, but they also realize that others will have a more difficult time despite the fact they are 100% compliant with the plan. Looking at every area of your life beyond food like sleep, exercise, stress and more will put you one step closer to finding the answers for yourself. It's a journey to the finish line no matter where you are in this race to health and Dallas and Melissa Hartwig have given you all the tools you need to make it happy. Now it's up to you. Do you dare take on The Whole30 challenge for yourself?
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 13, 2012 8:26:29 AM PDT
Which book did you find most helpful? This one or Robb Wolf's book? Did either book cover more information than the other? Thanks for the detailed review!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 10:03:05 AM PDT
They're both excellent plans and I wouldn't necessarily recommend one over the other. Both Robb Wolf and Dallas & Melissa Hartwig are doing phenomenal work getting people to learn healthier habits for being optimally healthy. I suppose if I was going to get someone to try ONE thing first, it would have to be the Whole30 program because it will zero in on the culprit parts of your nutrition causing problems. But you'd be remiss to not read what Robb Wolf has to share as well. So, get BOTH to reap the most benefits. Hope this helps!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 12:16:41 PM PDT
Thanks for the quick reply! I was looking for one paleo go to book so I guess I'll try this one and if I feel like I need more info I can get Robb's book too.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 12:21:57 PM PDT
I've long pointed to Robb's book as THE go-to book for going Paleo and I still think it is probably the best all-around book on the subject. But this one gets more into the nitty gritty of making the change happen so that you will then be able to understand and implement everything that Robb talks about in his book. So if I had to choose which one to do first, IT STARTS WITH FOOD is the one. Best wishes to you in your journey, Carla!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 5:49:03 AM PDT
Jimmy , how are you doing?? Have you done the Whole 30? I haven't checked in the blog lately but I often think about you and wonder about your personal health and how you are. Just got this book and am hoping to do the Whole 30. The results have been amazing in other peoples lives and I would like to see renewed health and energy for my self and my Honey.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 7:42:51 AM PDT
Kay, I'll be blogging an update soon. I haven't done The Whole30 but like what I read.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 9:42:32 PM PDT
I'd recommend It Starts With Food (ISWF), The Primal Blueprint (TPB) and Perfect Health Diet (PHD). As one reviewer said, ISWF focuses on food and our relationship with it. TPB focuses on the evolutionary framework to inform food choices and PHD focuses on the currently available medical and scientific evidence to inform food choices.
Personally, I didn't like Wolf's book so much.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 9:54:21 AM PDT
The Primal Blueprint and Perfect Health Diet have been my favorites since I started down this path, and the two I most often recommend (along with Taubes' work, which I consider to be in a different category). On a quick skim-through of ISWF it appears to be largely a re-framing of what the other books cover, albeit with a focused strategy for customizing one's nutritional choices for optimal health. I am getting ready to do an in-depth read, cover to cover, so will withhold further comment about its approach until I can contribute an fully informed opinion. As for Wolf's book, I concur with your take -- although I think a big chunk of that is due to the gimmicky/cutesy writing style that was a major turn-off for me. I just couldn't stomach all the condescending "buttercup" stuff which I'm sure (unfortunately) biased my impression somewhat.
Posted on Jul 12, 2012 12:15:54 PM PDT
E F. Varisco says:
Do you work for these authors? Your review seems a bit too one-sided review for me. This review doesn't seem objective when I see these kinds of comments:
***The positive energy that Dallas and Melissa exude is so utterly contagious within the pages of this book that you'll become super-excited about starting your very own****
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 6:17:30 AM PDT
I'm happy to say that I am NOT employed by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. My name is Jimmy Moore and I am the owner of a popular nutritional health blog called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" (http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog) as well as an accompanying Top 20 iTunes health podcast entitled "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore" (http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com). I regularly interview authors, researchers, physicians, and laypeople alike on my podcast, so I'm exposed to a lot of different voices on the subject of diet and health. This book sincerely rises to the level of praise that I gave them in my review. Even you comment that this Paleo power couple has "positive energy" that is "utterly contagious." Am I not allowed to have that same reaction when I read it? THANKS for your concern, but I write a whole lot of these reviews as a Top 500 Amazon reviewer and I'm sincere in every single one of them.