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It Starts With Food….the ending is up to you.

***UPDATE*** Scroll the end of this post to see what this little book started. 2013 was a GREAT year!


Because whatever you are seeking—improvement in energy, mood, focus, sleep, athletic performance, symptoms, medical conditions, body composition, or quality of life…it starts with food.           ~Dallas and Melissa Hartwig



I’ll be honest. I’ve said here and to live people in front of my face “I’m not doing any Paleo plan. I need dairy and beans in my life. I need carbs and bread. If wheat had been around when cavemen were playing hopscotch, they would have eaten it”

But then, wheat began destroying my intestinal lining. And I had to eat my words (instead of my cupcake). Even after cutting gluten and experiencing relief from obvious symptoms, I’ve had this question in the back of my head about what I’m currently eating. When I was offered the chance to receive and review this book, I didn’t immediately pass because it was a “paleo-like” book and I’m so glad I did.

Melissa and Dallas take you to the heart of the matter.

“There is no food neutral….every single thing you put in your mouth is either making you more healthy or less healthy.”

  • Do you wonder why you have “stomach issues” that you think is just IBS and treat the symptoms? Do you want to know the cause?
  • Do you wonder why you work out but do not see a lot of strength or cardio gains?
  • Do you diet and cut fat, but still can’t lose weight?
  • Do you wonder why you are so tired all the time?
  • Have you ever told yourself that you’re just getting older and “slowing down”?


Dallas and Melissa spend the next few chapters explaining in easy-to-understand terms why a “reset” button may be exactly what I and so many others are looking for.  They explain hormones, inflammation, gut issues, and why sugar really is poison and as highly addictive as any drug.  They explain why food groups such as dairy, grains/legumes, and all sugar and sugar substitutes contribute to a multitude of health issues for many people such as aches and pains, failure to lose weight, skin disruptions, chronic pain, infertility, depression and the list goes on. We consume foods that alter the good hormones, raise the insulin levels, fill the body with inflammatory cells. What happens when we eat all these together? The only way to figure out if they affect you is to eliminate them……for 30 whole days.

This is the point when some people push the idea away. I was one of those people. But then I kept reading.  Dallas and Melissa make so many good points that I had to really think.

  • 30 days is about how long it takes to build a new habit.
  • 30 days will eliminate the cycle of cravings—the sugar/carb, salt/sugar, crash/euphoria.
  • 30 days will allow the body to reset—get rid of the junk and start over with a clean slate
  • 30 days will develop a new relationship….yes, an emotional response…with food. Healthy food. New ideas for eating and enjoying healthy food beyond the “rabbit food salad”.

To put it bluntly. 30 days can change a life. Why not mine? It’s time for Whole 30

Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.

And the good news is, this is not a long term plan. They do not expect or want you to continue a stricter elimination plan beyond a few weeks. After that time, they outline a plan for re-introducing dairy, grains, and legumes. They explain what signs to look for, although most people will know by their body’s reaction. Some people tolerate dairy just fine. Some people can’t live without beans (raising hand…..I need fiber in my life). But 30 days will tell the story.

And finally, Dallas and Melissa give some easy-to-make recipes, meal ideas, and allowed/not allowed foods and the REASONS BEHIND THE RESTRICTIONS. You don’t have to be a scientist. But you do have to be honest. If they explain that fruit juice is for flavoring, that doesn’t mean drinking a tall glass of OJ each morning is going to be helpful. I suspect that goes back to the volumetric theory. To get that much OJ, you would have to eat a boatload of oranges and eating them gives you more nutrients and fiber. Eat an orange instead.   If you’re going to commit to finding out what is making you sick, tired, unhealthy, don’t be a baby and try to negotiate for favorite foods. Either do it or don’t. The hundreds of success stories with Whole 30 speak for themselves.

After reading and re-reading and marking and highlighting and dog-earing this book, I’ve decided to go for it. I’m already on Day 2 of Whole 30. And I can’t wait to share the ups and downs as I conquer the cravings and bad habits….sugar…..that have held me hostage for so long.

Here’s to the next 28 days!

Additional information included:

  • special considerations for special dietary populations
  • dietary needs for athletes
  • pregnant/breastfeeding/kids
  • resources online and print
  • supplements (they are not big fans)


I’ll let the picture speak for itself. December 2012 – December 2013

43 lbs gone and I kept it off with a Paleo eating plan after I completed my Whole 30 on January.


30 Whole 30 Recipes - Katrina Runs For Food

Sunday 28th of December 2014

[…] of all, if you are new to the Whole 30, please check out the Whole 30 site and read my review of the book that started my year of fantastic success with Whole 30 and Paleo. I am in the process of […]

Whole 30 Day 30!!!!! Final Thoughts

Thursday 31st of July 2014

[…] Ambassadors a copy ofIt Starts with Food to review.  I read parts of it during the holidays and the more I read, the more I thought about what I have been […]

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Monday 30th of December 2013

[…] of all, if you are new to the Whole 30, please check out the Whole 30 site and read my review of the book that started my year of fantastic success with Whole 30 and Paleo. I am in the process of […]

Courtney @ Cookin Up Life

Thursday 17th of January 2013

Love the review of the book! I had already committed to a 21 Day Sugar Detox with Balanced Bites (starts Sunday, I am nervous!!) or I would've done the Whole30 challenge with everyone. But now I want to go buy this book :) I like how everyone is posting in the group's page... really noticing we have some good products in town that I didn't know about before :)

Why Whole 30? | Katrina Runs For Food

Tuesday 15th of January 2013

[...] out my review for the book that explains it [...]