Final Thoughts on It Starts With Food

On Sunday we packed a few things up and moved them up to the new house (yay!), and unfortunately in that pile was my copy of It Starts With Food. I will do my best to finish my little 'review' without my book in front of me. Bear with me. I did make notes, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Ok, So I left off after the first part of the book, basically telling you about how hormones effect you, and how the food you eat can cause an inflammatory response in the body, leading to disease.

I was pretty on board with that part of the book. I get hormones, and I get how they effect you in crazy ways, to the degree that a little too much or a little less of one of the other can throw you totally off balance. I also get that the food we eat is NOT as healthy as we seem to think, and we need to be more mindful of our attempts to switch to a mostly plant/meat based diet. All that being said, however, I was not on board with the whole rest of the book. Some of it, yes. But not all.

The next part of the book is about all the things that are bad for you. Dun Dun Dunnnnnnn! Honestly, I feel like they could have labeled that chapter 'Duh.' Sugar, sweeteners, and alcohol. Like I said, duh. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that booze is bad for you. It just is. I don't need a book to tell me that. It's highly addictive, and toxic to your body (not to mention your bank account, relationships, family, etc).

Sweeteners on the other hand, are a different story. I have had many people ask me if they should use sugar or Splenda, which would be 'better for them'. Honestly, I feel like it's the devil we know vs. the devil we don't. We know what sugar does to us. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. We're not entirely sure what aspartame does yet. It's a big gamble (with your life!). Personally, I believe using honey where possible is a much better alternative. Especially if you can use raw honey.

It's kind of sad how much we depend on sugar in our food. We eat it and have no idea we're doing it. It's added to almost everything we eat. The worst part is that eating it makes us crave (and therefore eat) more of it.

I have no beef with this part of the book. I totally agree, and I will willingly admit I'm a sugar addict. I'm working on it.

The next part was on seed oils. Canola oil, sunflower oil, etc. I get that these aren't good for you, and this chapter helped me understand why. I don't use much other than olive oil personally, but I did learn that the 'less food for you' oils are added to many foods as cheap fillers.

The next chapter is on grains and legumes. This is where I ran into issues. I don't believe I have a gluten or a wheat intolerance. I do realize it's a huge issue and many people do. I don't eat a ton of these to begin with. I might eat a piece of bread or two a week. I generally stay away from pasta, as I agree with the book that it's a type of 'food with no brakes'. I can't just have a little pasta, so I generally avoid it. I eat most of my carbs in the form of sweet potato, peas, or corn. I do, however, eat brown rice. Sue me.

My real issue here is where I found the book slightly contradictory. So, you're going to tell me I can't have 2/3 of a cup of green peas (one serving), but I can eat snap peas, because the pod is good for me? What's the difference? I realize I'm eating lots of green when I eat the pod, but you aren't going to convince me that it's okay to eat the pea because the pod is attached, but not okay just to eat the pea. Annnnnd...Hummmis is bad for you? I can't wrap my mind around that. Also, peanut butter is one of the most beautiful things in this world. I have a problem with the hate for peanut butter.

The next chapter is on dairy. I will agree with this one whole heartedly. I understand we're the only species that drinks the milk of a different species, and we're the only one who does it after infancy. It's a little weird in my books. I tend to stay away from too much cheese most of the time, but I do love me some chocolate, ice cream, and even greek yogurt. I did learn from this chapter that dairy has a profound effect on your blood sugar. I had no idea. Interesting.

So after all those chapters telling you what you can't have, there were 3 or so telling you what you can. Meat, vegetables, and fruit. It got into how you should choose grass fed, natural meat, and organic fruits and vegetables. I kind of had to roll my eyes, a little annoyed at this part. Mostly because of my location on this lovely planet. For those of you who haven't been to Grand Manan Island, let me let you in on a secret. Our produce section is crap. Seriously. The vegetables are often half rotten before they even get here. And they're expensive. For rotten veggies. Great. As for the meat, well you'd have to take out a loan if you wanted ribs, and the 'extra lean ground beef' is really more like lean-medium, and you only get about a cup of it. We go off island for our meat as much as we can, but sometimes it isn't an option.

Overall, I found the book contradicted itself several times. For example: Don't ever ever ever ever let anyone make you eat food you don't want, but 2 pages later read that if your grandmother slaved in the kitchen for you all day on your favourite cake, eat a piece, because hurting grandma's feelings is worse than the consequences of one piece of cake.

I do think this plan would be excellent for some people.

What about me?

I made a feeble attempt at it. I got through a day and 3/4 of another one. Wanna know what I ate when I cheated? A salad with dressing. I didn't want to binge on chocolate, I just wanted a frigging salad. With a little sprinkle of goat cheese and some strawberries and pears. Mmmm...

What did I learn?

I actually learned a great deal about how food effects your body. I very truly think I have a milk sensitivity, so I plan to do my best to mostly eliminate it from my day to day diet. I already knew I have a sugar addiction, so I plan to do my best to curb that. What I really learned was that my daily 'snacks' are really not what they should be. I already knew that I need to be choosing veggies/fruit over a fibre one bar. I just needed it reinforced.

What's my plan?

I don't even wanna jinx it but I've had only 2 headaches in 2 weeks. I'm feeling really good after cleaning up my food choices. (Other than after working a night shift I felt like death). I am making a conscious decision to eat healthy food, talking to myself, saying that no, I don't need food at 7 PM. I'll have some herbal tea. I plan to follow the 21 Day Fix most strictly for the next little while, and making food choices based on what I've learned. But, if I grow peas in my garden this summer, I plan on eating them!


Pretty Strong Medicine

Ok, so moving on to a slightly disappointing Weigh in Wednesday! I forgot to weigh in this morning! I was super thirsty from my trip yesterday and had a big glass of water and got dressed, made my breakfast and then realized it's Wednesday and time to get on the scale. Oops. Oh well, I'll weigh in next week! 

How was your week? 


  1. There are peas growing in my garden - regular green peas and snap peas. Both will be delicious :) I didn't know seed oils were bad...I am going to have to do a little research. Thank you for your detailed review of the book. I definitely believe differentplans work for different people and we can successfully incorporate parts of various plans.

    1. You're welcome :) I am jealous you have peas growing right now. There is still the risk of snow here!

  2. My big problem with a lot of diets that knock on legumes is I don't eat a lot of meat. So for me to get protein (which I find more filling) I need to eat legumes.

    I'm also the same way with dairy. I don't drink it. I add a tiny bit to my cereal if I have it. And I use creamer in my coffee, my one cup I have a day. Other than that, I could take it or leave it. Shoot I don't even like cheese that much!

    But, man, I am with you, I am blown away by the amount of sugar added to food. It's in everything!!!

    1. There was a section in the book about being a vegetarian on the Whole30. I didn't read it, but it's there. I am with you on the cheese too. I like it a little ON things, but not really alone.

  3. The biggest craving I've had in the 16 days I've been doing the Whole30 has been a salad! One in particular that has corn and black beans in it. It also has cheese, but I could easily do without it. I agree that the book contradicts itself in some parts, but it is incredibly eye-opening and I'm glad my husband and I have been following it. I do miss things.

    1. It is eye opening, and I've learned a lot. Good for you for sticking with it! Can't wait to hear about how it went!

  4. I love reading about foods and how they affect our bodies. But I also have learned for me that truly making it about a lifestyle is learning to eat as clean as possible without wanting to die! HA! I love peanut butter, I use coconut oil to avoid all the other taboo oils, I eat lots of veggies and fruits (all that natural sugar--the horror!), I like meat and cheese so I won't give that form of dairy up.

    I love the fix but always have to tweak a bracket to fit my macros a bit more specific!

    1. See, I don't see one thing wrong with that. I have to tweek my Fix containers too. I always eat one bracket up from what I should, because I don't believe anyone should eat 1200 cals a day, ever.

  5. Looks like you are making some really great choices! Go you! :)


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