Paleo Book Review: The Whole9’s “It Starts With Food”

“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy.  Those are your options.”  It’s a simple concept that for many is nearly impossible to grasp – how can something that you put in your mouth and chew have so much power?  How can the decision between a date with a ‘hunk’ of meat instead of Taco John be so important?

Well, you’re in luck because the latest and greatest Paleo MUST READ – It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, answers these questions and so many more!  And yes, you read that right – it is “THE” Dallas and Melissa of Whole9 and Whole30 fame.  If you thought they were good before get ready to have your world rocked because It Starts With Food isn’t just another book about paleo – it’s a life changer – guaranteed!

You’re all probably thinking, yeah right- can it really be that much different than “The Paleo Solution” (which if you still haven’t read – you NEED to!!!)?  The answer in short is ‘yes’.  “It Starts With Food” picks up where Robb left off – and both of these books are ‘required reading’ for your paleo success.

So what exactly makes It Starts With Food so great?  Well, for starters this is a book for everyone.  If you aren’t sold on the idea of evolution that’s totally okay because this is a book about health not history – “creationists welcome”!  Additionally, if all that insulin, leptin, cortisol, glucagon stuff is just downright confusing to you be prepared to FINALLY understand it.  Dallas and Melissa do a great job simplifying and highlighting what you need to know about how all that hormone jazz works.  Even more impressive is that they make it fun!  Another highlight of It Starts With Food is that it recognizes and addresses our complex and often dysfunctional relationships with food – it’s not something we just chew and swallow. Get ready to be enlightened! You get all this goodness and you’re only at Chapter 8 – the best is yet to come!

The guts of the masterpiece:  Yep, it’s time to talk about FOOD!  Dallas and Melissa explain why certain foods make us “less healthy”, what they do to our bodies and how they do it.  No more questioning why grains are a no go, why dairy is suspect or why Splenda is less than splendid.  It Starts With Food has the answers!  Additionally, the practical application and meal planning pieces of the book make it a must have in and of themselves.  Seriously, this is not the USDA’s “MyPlate” – this is the “Whole9 HealthyMePlate”.  There’s a portion guide (don’t worry, you don’t need measuring cups, a scale or an education in ‘blocks’ to use it), a meal map, and recipes.  If that isn’t enough there’s a ton of free downloads that come with this literary gem – a shopping list, pantry-stocking guide, dining out guide and meal planning template.  This is the Whole30 Success Guide on steroids (or on Dallas’ clean mass gain program)…
It Starts With Food has something for everyone from the novice – “Pay Leo(paleo)? Why do I need to do that?”; to the hardcore – “I’ve done 12 Whole30’s, read every book with the word paleo in it, and just ate a raw steak.”  Yep, the Whole9 runs the Whole gamut with this one.  If you only have room on your paleo bookshelf for one more book this is it!  Reserve the spot next to “The Paleo Solution” and your library will be complete.

What are you waiting for?  It’s time to get going and “It Starts With Food”!

Categories: Announcements, General, Paleo Diet Basics


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. says

    Thanks so much for the kind words! We’re thrilled that you liked the book – to be compared in the same sentence to the groundbreaking The Paleo Solution is ridiculously awesome for us. If we change half as many lives with It Starts With Food, we’ll consider our efforts a smashing success.

    Thanks for the friendship, the guidance, and the support. We do what we do because you, Robb, do what you do. We are all grateful.


  2. says

    I hope there’s a lot more to this than I put in my blog post about ‘eat food’ not ‘food like products’, a term I got from Michael Pollan (it’s the one titled diet and nutrition 101 – eat food).

    I rather suspect there is, as there’s a whole book to fill!

    It’s out soon in the UK, I think a quick read and a review on my blog will be in order;)


    • Amy Kubal says

      You are in luck!! All the e-reader versions (Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc) will be available about a week after the hardcover comes out on June 12th. :)

  3. Scott S. says

    I’m trying learn all I can about Paleo so I added reading this book to the other four I’ve read in the last five months. It was definitely a help because it has a little bit different perspective than the other books. (Also, I’m a creationist). If you want to learn all you can, I’d recommend reading “It starts with food”.

    PS – I’ve gone from 242 to 193 lbs and 42” waist to 33” all in less than 5 months by eating this way! Never had a hungry day either! I for sure want to pick the foods that make me healthier.

  4. Frank says

    Iv’e read The Paleo Solution and it has changed the was I look at food! I have recommended the book to anyone showing interest! I am looking forward to read It Starts With Food as well.

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