Review of It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

Review of It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

Review of It Starts With Food

It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

You know how you look forward to Christmas morning? Even as an adult, you wake up a bit early, filled with expectation? That’s the way I felt waiting for It Starts With Food to arrive in the mail. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy to review, and as luck would have it, my copy arrived just before Memorial Day weekend. I spent three days sitting in the sun (soaking up Vitamin D!) while reading this book with a highlighter in one hand and a pen in the other.

I recommend that you buy a few highlighters before your copy arrives! You will most definitely want to take notes in the book and mark things to refer to later. This book is filled with good information throughout. Whether you are brand new to the idea of eating real food, or a seasoned veteran, you will open this book again and again over the years to refresh your thinking on important topics such as hormonal factors which influence our brain and body (insulin, leptin, glucagon, and cortisol), the mechanism behind leaky gut syndrome (bouncers defending Club Body), inflammation and autoimmune illnesses, balancing Omega 3 and 6 consumption, and emotional factors that drive our nutrition choices.

Along with the good science-y stuff, It Starts With Food teaches you how to plan meals, what a portion looks like, and how to create a meal focusing on delicious, healthy ingredients rather than complicated recipes. They discuss nutrition for special populations (pregnant women, kids, folks with autoimmune illnesses, active individuals and vegetarians/vegans) to help fine tune the plan for your individual needs. I have referred to this section several times in the past few weeks while consulting with my clients, as I tend to see folks who have a number of issues that they are trying to address through nutrition.

I love Dallas and Melissa’s ability to say really brilliant things in short, easy to understand one-liners. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you; but, here are a few of my favorites:

  • With regards to the myths about Paleo: “We are far more concerned with health than we are with history.”
  • With regards to research, clinical experience, and observation: “Scientific research + Clinical Experience + Self-experimentation” = win-win-win.
  • Persistent biological signals lead us to overeat sweet, fatty, salty foods while keeping us malnourished.
  • It’s all about hormones.
  • You cannot “out-exercise” poor food choices and the resulting hormonal disruption.
  • Sugar = sugar = sugar.
  • Gluten-free is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • This does require effort on your part.
  • Start thinking of eating as a nourishing experience.
  • You are not that busy, you just choose to spend your time elsewhere (in regards to sitting down to eat well prepared, nutritious, delicious foods).
  • This. Is. Not. Hard. (when compared to birthing a baby, quitting heroin, or beating cancer).
  • At some point, you need to start making positive, sustainable changes in other areas of your life too, so…
  • Don’t (only) look for a nutritional solution to a lifestyle problem.


The best news is that It Starts With Food will begin shipping on June 12th, so the wait is almost over! I highly suggest that you buy this book (I recommend the hardcover so you can use your highlighter, but I tend to be old school!). You will refer to this book over and over as you continue your journey to health. I am so impressed by Whole 9’s first book, and happy to call Dallas and Melissa friends. These guys are going to change your life.


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