Book Review: It Starts With Food | Chris Kresser

Book Review: It Starts With Food


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It Starts With Food will be released June 12, 2012 – pre-order your copy 

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of Whole9 have truly outdone themselves with this book. If you are looking for a book that covers all the basics of a healthy diet, do yourself a favor and read it. It Starts With Food also makes a perfect gift for someone in your life who wants to get their health back on track.

It Starts With Food details the science and reasoning behind the Whole30 program, and Melissa and Dallas have mastered the science. Filled with great analogies to make these complicated processes relatable, you’ll walk away knowing exactly how your body works and what foods will and will not make you healthier. As the Hartwigs say, “The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.” Choosing your food wisely is critical, and the Hartwigs show you exactly how to do it.

Dallas and Melissa have developed a set of standards for which all food on the Whole30 must fit into. They call these the Good Food Standards, which state:

The foods we eat should:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

The Hartwigs nailed it on this one – good food should indeed do all these things, and by eating good food we can achieve good health. Dallas and Melissa go over each of these standards in detail and teach you exactly what foods do – and do not – fit in.

It Starts With Food also covers meal planning (and makes it incredibly easy), teaches you how to reintroduce foods, and a includes a whole chapter devoted to achieving long-term success with their program (which offers a few much-needed pages on getting support from your friends and family, or dealing with those who don’t support you). They also provide a chapter about making the program work for you if you have a condition which warrants further dietary concerns, like IBS/IBD, autoimmune conditions, and food allergies. Lastly, you’ll find the Meal Map – a fantastic resource for making easy and delicious meals throughout your Whole30 program.

It Starts With Food is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to fine-tune their health. The Hartwigs will challenge you, teach you, make you laugh, and most importantly, change your life.

  1. I’m looking forward to reading this awesome book. I’m meeting Dallas and Melissa on Friday at their book signing so I’m really jazzed about it.

    I understand what Betsyanne is saying, but I respectfully disagree. If she has had any back pain, or thyroid issues and not had them cleared up with eating a gluten free diet, then maybe she should try it. If she feels good, then that’s fine. For us people that have allergies to gluten and have celiac disease, this is what we do to feel better. Not because someone tells us to – it’s because we feel better.

    Thanks again Chris 🙂

  2. Every book ever written on “healthy diets” is ^wonderful^ if that’s the way you want to live your life. I prefer to write my own “book” on a daily basis and not go by what someone else directs me to do, or thinks I SHOULD be doing. There’s entirely too much stress involved these days with who should be eating what and why and where and how, and more stress is something most humans don’t need. Elizabeth Walling had a recent article on her blog (The Nourished Life) about stress associated with eating, and it makes more sense than any book I’ve ever come across. So many books, blogs and online news articles about health and weight and foods to eat and foods to avoid – no wonder people are confused. Do the best you can with the money you’ve got and don’t make a big deal out of it – skip the stress.

    I prefer to say *Way of Eating* (WOE) rather than diet, with all it’s connotations.

  3. Wow, I’m going to have to have a serious look at this book. Thanks for the post, Chris!

    I also have a question that will probably be answered quicker here, than via email: I’m seriously considering your Personal Paleo Code program. I’m battling candida, and either hormone imbalance/thyroid issues or both. I noticed you’re not taking new patients at this time, but will you still offer support for such issues if someone purchases the PPC?

    Thank you so much, Chris. Your site is an incredible resource for Primal/Paleo geeks!!!

    • Hi Pat,

      No, there is no support offered with PPC. Since several hundred people have purchased it, there’s no way I could do it. That said, I am planning a re-vamped version of the PPC in the future (Fall?) that will have a members-only forum staffed with people specifically trained by me in the PPC approach.

      • Ouch. This stinks 🙁 Though I understand how busy you must be, Chris.

        I’ll seek out another way to get hormone/thyroid tested/supplemented.

  4. Sounds like a well organized book and easy to follow. Thinking of gifting it to my sons in college.