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

Now a New York Times bestseller!

Food can change your life in unexpected ways. It Starts With Food will show you how.

It Starts With Food outlines a clear, balanced, sustainable plan to change the way you eat forever–and transform your life in unexpected ways. Your success story begins with “The Whole30,” Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s powerful 30-day nutritional reset.

Since 2009, their underground Whole30 program has quietly led tens of thousands of people to weight loss, improved quality of life and a healthier relationship with food – accompanied by stunning improvements in sleep, energy levels, mood and self-esteem. More significantly, many people have reported the “magical” elimination of a variety of symptoms, diseases and conditions – in just 30 days.

diabetes · high cholesterol · high blood pressure · obesity · acne · eczema · psoriasis · hives asthma · allergies · sinus infections · migraines · acid reflux · celiac disease · Crohn’s · IBS bipolar disorder · depression · seasonal affective disorder · eating disorders · ADHD endometriosis · PCOS · infertility · arthritis · Lyme disease · hypothyroidism · fibromyalgia

Now, Dallas and Melissa detail the theories behind the Whole30, summarizing the science in a simple, accessible manner. It Starts With Food shows you how certain foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel and live – in ways that you’d never associate with your diet. More importantly, they outline their life-long strategy for Eating Good Food in a clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.

Infused with their signature wit, tough love and common sense, It Starts With Food is based on the latest scientific research and real-life experience, and includes success stories, a shopping guide, a meal planning template, a meal plan with creative, delicious recipes, an extensive list of resources, and much more.

$ 16.35

Customer Reviews


281 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The concepts in this book are life-saving (and tasty too)!, June 12, 2012
By 
Thomas E. Denham (Alpharetta, GA USA) – See all my reviews

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This review is from: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways (Hardcover)

Co-workers would ask me if I had had lunch if I was critical or demanding. They noticed that I was meaner when I was hungry and, unfortunately, I was hungry a lot. Eventually I was eating 6 times per day, but still got hungry. And as I got older, I got heavier. My body fat ballooned up to 37 percent. If you had known me in 1994 when I was competing in a marathon (26.2 mile) race every month, you might not believe it possible, but I gained 55 pounds.

I decided to do something about it in 2008 and joined a CrossFit gym – lifting weights, performing gymnastic moves, and literally standing on my head doing high intensity exercise three times per week. I ran 5 to 10 miles every weekend. I ate better – lots of salmon and veggies from the frozen food case – but after two years of effort, my body fat was still 27 percent. I had lost 20 pounds, but remained pudgy. Then I heard about Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 program.

I did my first Whole30 in 2010. About two weeks into the program, I noticed that I was sleeping better. Then I started to set new personal records lifting heavy weights in the gym. I felt great and my energy levels stayed even across the day. I quit being so grumpy! I decided to keep following the Whole30 way of eating. After a few months, my annual blood work showed big improvements: good cholesterol – UP, bad cholesterol – DOWN. And I was losing weight. Nothing dramatic, but typically two pounds per month. The two pounds per month continued 15 months and I lost 30 pounds! I finally stopped losing weight when I was just 10 pounds above my marathon running weight from the 90’s. And that 10 pounds was all new muscle!

I first met Dallas and Melissa Hartwig in 2011 when I attended one of their in-person nutrition workshops. They were just as smart, friendly, and good looking in person as they were online. They are truly inspiring people. And their book – It Starts With Food – is just like them – smart, practical, informative, kind, tough, motivating, inspiring, hopeful…

As someone who has read most of the information on their website and attended their workshops, I expected to be familiar with everything in It Starts With Food, but I was wrong. The discussions of food cravings, the psychology of eating, and much of the science was new to me. And the Hartwigs made the science interesting. I wish my high school and college biology teachers had been as clear and practical as them! The Whole30 program is discussed in the book and the Hartwigs explain how you can do your own Whole30 and start getting the same kind of results I got in mine.

It Starts With Food is an incredible resource for anyone who wants to develop a healthier relationship with food or who just plain needs to because what they are doing now is killing them.

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549 of 628 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Actually, it is hard, June 21, 2012
By 

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This review is from: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways (Hardcover)

One quote that keeps popping up is “this is not hard compared to birthing a baby, quitting heroin, or beating cancer.” Actually, it is. I haven’t got any experience with heroin, but I had 7 unmedicated births, 2 c-sections, and I beat cancer. Those things are hard, too but that doesn’t make this easy. This is hard. It’s hard to eat this way in a world that doesn’t. It’s hard to cook for a big family — either all eating this way, or them eating this way and me not eating what they’re eating. It’s hard to stick with it day in and day out. It’s not too terribly hard for a few weeks, but it is hard as a lifestyle. I feel anti-social. I know my eating habits put a damper on others’ enjoyment when our eating out choices are dictated by my “can’ts.” I know I’ve offended more than one gracious hostess with my polite, “No thank you.” And I do miss crafting a perfect loaf of artisan bread or making my grandmother’s homemade pasta. I miss tomatoes fresh from the garden with olive oil and fresh mozzarella. I miss handing on food traditions of generations to my own children. I couldn’t care less about sugar and I’m not lamenting processed foods at all. They were never in my diet. I’m struggling with the limited choices of real food left for me.

Admittedly, because of autoimmune issues, I’m eating the extreme end of this spectrum, eliminating nightshades, eggs, nuts, and coffee in addition to the other foods. This kind of eating got just a passing mention in the book, yet a large population of readers is reading precisely because they’re battling autoimmune disease. Note: this book doesn’t recommend giving up coffee even in cases of autoimmune disease, but other research (and my personal experience) does bear that out. And giving up coffee wasn’t terribly difficult. Peppers, curry seasoning, eggplant… those things are missed.

I’m not complaining and I think it’s worth it, but I do think that in a future edition, the reader would be better served if there were more practical ways to cope with the everyday challenges of eliminating what is objectively a lot of food choices. For instance, two of the “go-to” recipes call for nuts. That works for some readers, but it doesn’t work for the autoimmune folks. So, what’s offered as a standby is just one more (two more) thing on the “don’t” list.

I still think this is a valuable resource, but for most folks, longterm success with eating this way is going to take more than, “You can do it. It’s not as hard as childbirth or cancer.”

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338 of 386 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Do You Dare Take On The Whole30 Challenge For Yourself?, June 12, 2012
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…

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