Melissa Hartwig, the nutritionist and author responsible for two New York Times bestsellers, The Whole30 and It Starts With Food, has penned Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food.
The Whole30 plan has been around since 2009, and steers you away from eating unhealthy processed foods and seemingly “healthy” foods which are actually doing damage to your body. Hartwig helps you “push the reset button” on your metabolism and immune system, by eating “real food” that is healthy for you. This puts you in control of your emotions as well as your health, and promotes overall mental and physical well-being.
Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food
Instead of telling you what foods to eat, she concerns herself with your relationship to food. With that in mind, the idea behind the Food Freedom Forever was born:
“… real solutions for anyone stuck in the exhausting cycle of yo-yo dieting and the resulting stress, weight gain, uncontrollable cravings, and health complaints.”
Hartwig wrote this book to make mental, emotional and physical health accessible to anyone. She explains how some food creates hormonal and chemical responses in your brain. These are not always healthy responses. They can actually change your emotions and create subconscious behaviors that keep you overweight and unhealthy.
How the Book Is Laid Out
Food Freedom Forever begins with the typical Acknowledgments, Authors Note and Preface. In the Preface, the author welcomes you if you bought the book after participating in the Whole30 program. She also points out that you don’t have to be a Whole30 member to benefit greatly from the information in this book.
She speaks of a need for understanding that being healthy in mind and body requires an “anti-diet” mindset. This means no calorie restriction, no pills, powders or shakes, and not worrying about measuring, tracking or weighing your food.
What the book has to teach you is divided into 5 separate sections:
Section 1 – Welcome to Food Freedom
The first section of the book runs a full 5 chapters, and begins right away by explaining the three-step food freedom plan. In this section you learn of the author’s personal story and journey. Ms Hartwig speaks to not always being in control of her health, and the things she ate. This section also shows you exactly why traditional diets don’t work, and why an eliminate/replace process of healthy eating works every time. The Whole30 program is introduced as well.
Section 2 – Enjoying Your Food Freedom
The book’s second section speaks of how food “talks” to your brain. You learn to develop a big picture approach to nutrition, rather than stressing out and becoming anxious over individual meals. There is a great piece in this section about how to boost your willpower, and effective stress management.
Section 3 – Acknowledge When You’re Starting to Slip
Section 3 has you getting honest with yourself. You have to learn to spot your triggers that lead to poor eating behaviors, and stop justifying bad eating choices.
Section 4 – Return to the Reset
Section 4 discusses food recommendations for your personal “food reset” and mentions the importance of avenues for support, as well as other nutrition relevant topics.
Section 5 – Friends, Family and Food
Finally, Section 5 covers a few things that some healthy eating plans gloss over. Your friends, family and coworkers, as well as the environments you find yourself eating in most of the time, can have a really positive or negative influence over your health. While they certainly are not trying to purposefully keep you unhealthy and emotionally unwell. However, they may be doing exactly that. You have to deal with these issues if you are going to get your eating habits on track, to deliver mental, emotional and physical health and well-being.
Who Benefits from Food Freedom Forever?
The author explains that the process in Food Freedom Forever works for children, teens and adults, and men and women. It uses your body’s natural inclination to eat healthy foods to free your psychological and emotional dependencies on the unhealthy foods that you are eating. Therefore, I highly recommend checking out this book to anyone interested in improving their relationship with food.