It Starts with Food – Book Review

We’ve made it to Wednesday, friends! Tuesday’s run was 10 miles. One mile warm-up, 8 miles at marathon race pace (that’s around 8:23 for me), and a one mile cool-down. It was pretty warm out yesterday, so I was a little nervous about keeping the pace that long, but I did better than I thought. Splits were 8:58, 8:17, 8:17, 8:13, 8:16, 8:06, 8:11, 8:08, 7:53, 9:06. I was happy with that!

Today is my rest day, because I am doing my long run tomorrow. Sixteen miles. Just a tip- when training, look ahead at your personal life, and plan on doing your long run on the day that works best time-wise. Then fit your other runs around that. Just because you’re training, doesn’t mean you always have to do the long run on weekend!

Onto the book review! I recently finished reading It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

I recognized that other healthy-living bloggers were reading it, so I decided to check it out for myself. I tried to get into it with an open mind, but I already knew it was going to ask me to give up certain foods, and for that, there was a little bit of skepticism on my part. On the first page, however, I was drawn to this quote…
“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”
Obviously I know there are healthy and unhealthy foods, but I never really thought of the immediate effects unhealthy food has on my health.

According to the authors, for food to be good, it needs to meet four standards:
1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
3. Support a healthy gut.
4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

I won’t go into detail on these, but the book does a good job of going into the scientific explanations on why certain foods can have a negative impact on our health. A Whole30 elimination-reintroduction diet is recommended for optimal success. The main issue I have with this dietary lifestyle is that it is very limiting. It stresses that we can get everything we need from quality meets, vegetables and some fruits, and healthy fats. Even healthier sweeteners such as honey and agave are big no. Ultimately, I think this type of lifestyle is too unrealistic for the average person. However, if you are looking for good information on how foods affect us, this is a good read. While I’m not going to be doing the Whole30 plan, I will use what I learned in making decisions on food choices. But I’m also not going to stress about the occasional dessert or treat. Although they may not be “healthy”, I don’t think it will ultimately determine my overall health.

Have a great day!