It Starts With Food Book Review

Katie Wells Avatar

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Reviews » It Starts With Food Book Review

There are so many great health books coming out right now and It Starts With Food is probably one of my favorite.

It was written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, founders of Whole9 and the Whole 30 Challenge and it is a great primer for those who are delving into a healthier way of living and those who just need some extra motivation.

They cover all the basics of healthy eating and healthy living and explain how food affects your hormones, gut, brain and how foods can create or help remove inflammation in the body.

I like that It Starts With Food doesn’t shy away from explaining the science but also presents it in an easy to understand and logical way. Dallas and Melissa address why eating a grain free (even dairy free) low-inflammation diet is so important and give resources to make it workable with kids, family or even while pregnant/breastfeeding.

The book doesn’t pull punches about the fact that a transition to a healthier lifestyle can be tough at first, but they put it in perspective. One of my favorite lines in the book was: “It is NOT hard. Please don’t tell us this program is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”

It Starts With Food encourages a strict 30-day no-cheat clean diet with no grains, vegetable oils, dairy, sugars, or food additives. I’ve seen great success with clients from a similar diet and I suggest a similar plan with my 30-Day Wellness Challenge.

I also like that they focus on the health aspects and the science behind eating this way now and don’t just rely on “our ancestors ate this way” as their support for the lifestyle. As they said “We are far more concerned with health than we are with history.”

If you’re just starting into the Paleo/Primal/Grain Free way of living and are struggling to find motivation, It Starts With Food might be a great resource for you. If you have relatives who don’t understand why you’d eat this way or who could really benefit from eating this way, this is a great book to pass on to them.

While It Starts With Food won’t be a lot of new information to those who are already on the paleo/primal/grain free bandwagon, it’s main strength, in my opinion, is how clearly the information is explained and in the motivation.

Have you read It Starts With Food>? What did you think? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


12 responses to “It Starts With Food Book Review”

  1. Debbie Collins Avatar
    Debbie Collins

    Which book Whole30 or It Starts With Food book has the most recipes and would be the best choice for someone considering starting the diet?

  2. Aubre Wells Avatar
    Aubre Wells

    I have recently completed reading It Starts With Food! I am using their information to change my diet. I was trying to be healthy, but i was still eating grains and legumes. Love the solid research behind their writing! Wish me luck! Planning to change my family’s diet next!

  3. Deb Avatar

    My daughter, her husband  and their children  (10 day old nursing daughter, 2 year old son & 5 year old daughter) are about to embark on this 30 day plan.  Have the affects of this type of diet, without any grains or dairy products been studied on children this young?  Thanks.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Think about it this way… they will be eating much more nutrients since they will be eating vegetables, meats and healthy fats, all which are much higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals than grains, sugars or processed foods. There is nothing in any of the foods they are eliminating that isn’t in higher amounts in vegetables, meats or good fats. In fact, there are cultures around the world that eat no grains or sugars and don’t suffer from tooth decay or the diseases of civilization (cancer, heart disease, etc). My kids: 5,4,2,1 all eat this way all the time and have for years ad they are all given a perfect bill of health at every appointment. Not only will they have sufficient calories for growth but they will probably thrive on it.

    2. Hum Avatar

      I HAVE to eat this way because I can’t consume gluten and the gluten-free alternatives give me problems as well. Ill effects? Nope.

  4. Kimberly Avatar

    I did read this and enjoyed it.  I learned a lot!
    I am on DAY 30 of my first Whole 30!!!!
    It’s been great-though I am reeeally looking forward to some cream in my coffee in the morning.  😉

  5. Sam Avatar

    Was just thinking about ordering this book.  Does it include recipes or meal plans?  I have looked on online for whether that stuff was included, but couldn’t find anything.  Thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It has some basic meal plans in the back including some instructions for planning on your own and good combinations for stir frys, etc

      1. sue Avatar

        Just google the cookbook’s name and you will find tons of related resources for recipes, or just good paleo diet recipes. Also, you will find great resources on the blog “theclothesmakethegirl”. I have lived this diet now for 6 months and it has changed my life! I will never go back to eating grains, legumes, or dairy!

  6. Ken Avatar

    This is really great. I do think that weight loss, a healthy diet or working out are serious things and should be treated as such because overdoing them or simply doing them as you see fit with consulting other sources, authority sources, can turn out to be in your best interest and work against your goals. I’ll be sure to try this book out, it seems like it treats this from a biologic perspective also, you don’t often see that, most of them treat such topics from a cultural level.

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