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"It Starts With Foodaddresses the unhealthy relationship many of us have with food, and shows us howgetting back to eating what nature intended can heal us not only physically,but psychologically as well." -Shannon Ford,Mrs. United States 2011
From the Back Cover
Imagine yourself healthier than you ever thought possible.It starts with food. What if you could increase your energy, sleep better, improve your mood and lose weight - permanently? What if you could break the unhealthy cycle of food cravings, indulgence and guilt - forever? What if you could naturally change your tastes, so the foods you love to eat are the same foods that make you healthier? And what if you could eliminate the symptoms of your medical condition - just by changing the food you put on your plate?
It Starts With Food will prove all of these things are possible - starting with just 30 days.
I am a runner so my eating has been centered around carbs. As a result, I love carbs. I have run several 1/2 marathons but wanted to do at least one full marathon - so at 43, I trained and completed my first full marathon in April. I did not do nearly as well as I had hoped and I noticed towards the end of my training I was experiencing what I would consider an extra amount of fatigue - I also lost no weight whatsoever during my training, something I always do. I chalked it up to too much training and figured after my marathon I would rest and get back to normal. A week after my marathon, I decided to hit the gym and start weight training but had no drive and just felt tired. This feeling just got worse - to the point I thought I needed to see the Dr. Then my wife started talking about this book. My first reaction - "THERE IS NO WAY I AM GIVING UP GRAINS AND SUGAR! - A PERSON CAN'T LIVE LIKE THAT!" Another week or so went by AND i WAS NO BETTER. I decided to purchase the book (Kindle version) and started reading. What the authors were saying made sense - as much as my mind could make sense of it. So I thought - I can try it - its only 30 days.
Today I am on Day 20 and here is what I have noticed: 1. THe 1st 2-4 days were rough - I think I was actually detoxing / going through sugar Withdrawals. Not kidding - I honestly felt horrible. Not just hungry but fidgety, hungry, restless, irritable... 2. Days 5-7 the sugar / carb cravings were fading and my desire to snack every two hours was hardly noticeable. Still somewhat tired and not sleeping too well. My morning runs felt horrible - thought I was dying - OK - kidding. But I felt no MOJO. My times were getting worse. I figured this was probably normal SO I kept focused on my 30 day goal. Although, at this point I was convinced this was not going to work. 3. Into the 2nd week, I started noticing this feeling in the afternoon - I felt good / alert...not seeking my 5th cup of coffee. I would catch myself thinking throughout the day, "I feel pretty good."
So here I am on Day 20 - I have lost a belt size and my clothes are fitting differently (I started at 194lbs) and I am back to getting up at 5:30 for the gym or running everyday. I am sleeping better, haven't eaten a Rolaid all month, not craving sugar, and I am eating things I never ate before and just feel overall better. Note: My whole family is doing this together and everyone one is looking slimmer. My 12 year old daughter had some mac and cheese the other day with some friends (her favorite meal) and was "totally grossed out" by it.
In a nutshell (because I normally don't write long reviews - if at all), this has been a great experience. I am amazed at the differences I am feeling in my body. I'm sure there will be ebbs and flows but I plan on incorporating this into my daily life even after the the 30 days.
Suggestion: If you are addicted to sugar like I was, give yourself a month to prepare your mind. That is what I did. I set a start date and wrapped my mind around it - then I took the leap. Glad I did.
I cannot begin to tell you have life changing this has been for me.
I have struggled with dieting for the last 15 years. I tried Weight Watchers and lost 11 entire pounds in 6 months-- and had to deal with the constant "You must be doing something wrong..." "Clearly, you aren't tracking your points..." Yes, I was .
I had lost weight in my mid-30's through diet and exercise, but I never got to my goal. I had another kid.... turned 40... and nothing that I did seemed to help.
I did Crossfit over the summer which introduced me to Paleo. I had a few friends that had switched to a more Paleo type diet. Although they hadn't lost a lot of weight, they spoke of their energy, better sleep habits, clear skin, etc. I thought they were crazy- why would I do this if not to lose weight?
Well, here I am 7 weeks later and I am sold.
I am 42. I am on the line between obsese and overweight. I exercise. I ate a "healthy" diet- never more than 1500 calories a day.
Even though they said not to track calories- I did. For three weeks. Then it became apparent- I was eating more, exercising less and the weight was falling off. More importantly, the inches were coming off. It looked and felt like someone had put a pin in me and the air is slowly coming out. No joke.
I am in sizes now that I wore at 20 lbs less than where I am now.
I was NEVER hungry.
I ate until I was full. I relearned what full was.
My skin is incredibly soft. My acne, which I never had until my 30's, is clearing up and nearly gone. I sleep 7-8 hours a night- straight through. I have a ton of energy. My mental acuity has improved.
Oh- and I lost 13 pounds in a month and am continuing to lose about 2-3 pounds a week. But like my friends who talked to me about this, that's the smallest part of this.
I used to say I didn't feel fat, I felt bloated. I don't feel bloated any more.
The first few days- almost the whole first week- were MISERABLE. I was mean. I felt sick. I fell asleep at 9 pm. Then on Day 6, my skin was glowing. I had energy. I was sold.
You do have to prepare for this and put in some effort. Use the master recipes in the back (trust me- I love to cook and I ran out of ideas).
The other thing that I found incredibly fascinating was that my taste completely changed. After my 30 days, I tried to eat an Oreo and almost threw up- it tasted like licking the fat off a cold roast. No joke. Today is my husband's birthday and I couldn't eat the cake from the supermarket. And ice cream tastes like scoops of sugar. It's amazing. It's like suddenly I can taste every preservative in everything- it's bizarre.
I don't see going "off" this any time soon. I did the 10 day test after, to see what I reacted to-- pretty much everything except rice. Some things (like wine) are worth it, most of it isn't.
What kept me going through the first week was the comment in the book that if you do have a serious reaction, keep at it because it means this is your issue. It was definitely mine.
If nothing has worked for you- try this. It's 30 days. I've had 5 friends do this since they saw the success I had-- they've all had great success. Insulin resistance may not be your issue, but if it is-- my blood sugar levels kept creeping up every year-- this is fantastic.
On a technical note- the Kindle Edition cuts off the recipes in the back. I just purchased the hard copy for this reason.
And on a final note- read the ENTIRE book first. This is a "try it" lifestyle. The more you know, the more it makes sense and the more you will stick with it.
I thought this book was decent, but the following books from Dallas & Melissa are much better!!! I admit my bias, as I read the other books and cookbooks before IT STARTS WITH FOOD. Overall, I'd say skip this book altogether and just go straight into the cookbook. A significant portion of their books repeat content-sometimes verbatim-so there's no need to purchase this one of you are already committed to the Whole30.