Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Foodist (a review)

I was asked to review another book: Darya Pino Rose's Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting.

I know what you're thinking: The Ninj? Reviewing a diet book? Despite the title, it's not really a diet book. To use the author's own term, it's about developing a new "healthstyle", a new relationship with food and movement that can eliminate the need for fruitless dieting.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Foodist is that it really doesn't contain anything revolutionary, anything that couldn't be found in multiple other sources. However -- I mean that in a really good way! Rose has synthesized the thinking behind many current food theories -- eating real food, embracing sustainable and local food sources, rejection of processed food -- and put them all in one place, with a how-to element to accompany it. This is great news for those who might not yet be of a mindset to sit down and read The Omnivore's Dilemma and try to change their lifestyle but who would pick up an apparent "diet book" and learn the same information.

Rose, who is the force behind the blog Summer Tomato, has a background in biology and neuroscience, so this book comes with a bit of clout.  Her conversational tone and snarky footnotes make this an easy read, ideally suited, I believe, to the twentysomething set that could benefit from a new way of learning about food choices and how to prepare their own food once out on their own. (I'm thinking of a couple of recent graduates I know who just might be getting this book as a holiday gift.)

The book is divided into three sections: in part one, Rose focuses on the science of nutrition and the pleasure that can be derived from changing your relationship with food. Part two is the more nitty gritty, how-to section, while part three offers tips and tricks for creating this new healthstyle in the real world -- at home, at the office and while dining out and traveling. (Of course, my favorite chapter is chapter 6, subtitled "A Crash Course on Becoming a Kitchen Ninja." Booyah, Darya: booyah.)

Speaking of tips, the book is loaded with easily findable and scannable callout pages of lists, examples, substitutions and recipes that make re-referencing Rose's ideas a snap. Who couldn't benefit from a list of ways to "eat healthy without being a buzzkill" while out to lunch with your co-workers? Or a recipe that promises to "make cauliflower taste as good as french fries"? (I'm going to try it this week, I promise!)

Additionally, I found myself nodding in agreement at Rose's positive approach of goal-setting and self-regulating structure rather than restriction and denial. I have never struggled with my weight but have had close friends and family who have and who are representative of the most troubling of Rose's statistics: that only five percent of the population ever manages to keep off lost weight. Most fail because they only restrict and deny, thus failing to change their habits and lifestyle permanently, something that Rose is aiming to change.

If you're looking for a succinct, how-to guide -- for you, for a friend, for your family -- for changing the way you eat and look at food and for helping you live a generally healthier lifestyle, you may just want to join Darya Pino Rose and become a Foodist.

(Note: While I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by its publisher via TLC Book Tours, I was in no way compensated for this review, nor was I influenced to provide only positive feedback. The opinions I expressed above are genuine and mine alone.)

1 comment:

  1. I know I need to make healthier eating choices ... sounds like I could find some great tips in this book.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!