Food For Freedom is an excellent book written by Melissa Hartwig. She has always been concerned about health, her own and that of others. Following that mindset, she became a Certified Sports Nutritionist.
While sports nutritionists are usually thought of as dealing only with athletes, Hartwig explains that sports nutrition is applicable to anyone who is concerned about his or her fitness level.
You could be in great shape, in horrible shape physically, or somewhere in the middle, and what she has to teach you about eating for health and wellness is relevant.
Uniquely, instead of telling you what foods to eat, she concerns herself with your relationship to food. With that in mind, the nutritionist and author is responsible for two New York Times bestsellers, The Whole30 and It Starts With Food.
She has also penned Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food by the Co-Creator of the Whole30, as well as The Whole30 Cookbook, the subject of this book review.
The busy author and health guru is also co-creator of the Whole30 nutrition program. The healthy eating 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.
Certain foods outlawed by the Whole30 program also damage you psychologically and emotionally. 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.
The idea behind the Food Freedom Forever book is to offer …
… real solutions for anyone stuck in the exhausting cycle
of yo-yo dieting and the resulting stress, weight gain, uncontrollable cravings, and health complaints.
That in a nutshell is what the book is about.
However, it is not only for dieters. Many people don’t stick to a particular diet or nutrition plan. They simply keep it in the back of their mind that they’re going to eat healthy, and they try to as often as they think about it. The problem is, many of the foods you are eating that you think are healthy actually are not.
Also, there are foods which make you crave them, even though you know they are not that good for you. Food Freedom Forever addresses these two problems. It shows you, in a detailed three-part plan, what seemingly healthy foods are actually doing a lot of damage to your body and your mind. The book also helps you establish true freedom over those unhealthy foods you are addicted to, that you simply can’t seem to stop eating.
What this book does very well that others in the dieting and nutrition field don’t concerns your emotions and feelings. 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, and emotionally and psychologically unbalanced, though you may try extremely hard to correct those problems. Hartwig wrote this book to make mental, emotional and physical health accessible to anyone, regardless if you have failed to achieve overall wellness before.
How the Book Is Laid Out
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, taking no pills, powders or shakes, and not worrying about measuring, tracking or weighing your food.
That leads to the meat of the information. What the book has to teach you is divided into 5 separate sections:
Section 1 – Welcome to Food Freedom
Section 2 – Enjoying Your Food Freedom
Section 3 – Acknowledge When You’re Starting to Slip
Section 4 – Return to the Reset
Section 5 – Friends, Family and Food
The first section of the book runs a full 5 chapters, and begins right away by explaining the three-step food freedom plan. If you want the quickest health and wellness transformation possible, as soon as you purchase the book, forget about reading the preface and the author’s acknowledgments, and go straight to chapter 1.
In this section you learn of the author’s personal story and journey. This includes, probably not unlike yourself, not always being in control of her health, and the things she ate. The subsection in chapter 2 entitled Pizza, Heroin, Sugar, Cigarettes is worth the purchase price of the book alone.
This first 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.
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 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 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 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. 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.
Some excellent Resources you may find helpful, as well as a handy Index, close out the book.
Who Benefits from Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food by the Co-Creator of the Whole30?
Estimates about how many people are obese today vary, depending on the expert you ask. No matter what numbers you come up with, you are living in a time where human beings are more overweight and obese than ever before. This is directly related to the fact that humans consume tons and tons of processed foods that are more chemicals than they are nutrients.
Because of this, you may be one of the 6 out of 10 people that is currently overweight or obese. If so, this book can do you a lot of good. The subtitle to Food Freedom Forever speaks of “letting go of bad habits, guilt, and anxiety around food”.
Because of the complex way food affects your brain, and your brain affects hormones, hormones affect emotions, and your emotions help decide eating patterns, you may have been powerless to develop smart nutrition habits because you feel guilty and anxious about the food choices you make.
If this is the case, you should consider picking up a copy of this book. It is available for instant access through an Amazon digital download. You can also pick up a hardback copy. The author explains that the process put forth in Food Freedom Forever works for children, teens and adults, and men and women everywhere. 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.