Posted by: kimmeroo | March 28, 2013

It Starts with Food: Book Review Part II

I wanted to follow-up on the review I posted the other day. I have done a bit more digging, and got some input directly from the authors via the Twitter world. I reached out to them on Twitter with some of my comments not because I was trying to nitpick and prove them wrong, but because I genuinely wanted their input. I’m still trying to sort things out in my mind, and honestly I feel that their is validity in their approach, but I have a hard time getting over the hump of really believing that ‘meat is good’ etc. Basically I want to be darn confident in my decisions and the science behind it if I start to move in that direction! So I thought the best thing to do was get more info straight from the source.

So, I sent them my blog post, and here is the conversation that ensued:

Whole9 @whole9life
@KMihell Thx for your thoughts. Your technical quibbles reflect the
limitations of a book written for laypeople that is under 1000 pgs. 😉

Fair enough, I respect that (although I don’t necessarily like the word ‘quibbles’ ;)). Like I said in my initial review, I don’t think that anything they recommend is inherently wrong, just felt that some stuff was left out. But I’m sure that there is lots more, beyond what I mentioned, that they could have provided more detail on, which basically would have led to a medical textbook. So we’re left with a book that provides some solid steps that you can take towards better health, such as avoiding seed oils. You can leave it at that and be happy and healthy, or choose to do further research on your own and maybe make some tweaks based on what you learn (e.g., maybe there is a place for flax and hemp oil in a healthy, non-inflammatory diet). Works for me.

Then I specifically requested their input on the omega 6: omega 3 ratio in conventional meat, because of what I had read about the sky high levels of omega 6.

Whole9 @whole9life

@KMihell Short answer: there’s so little omega-6&3 in most meat
that that specific issue is not super-important.

Good point, and I think I can buy it. The sources I pointed to described the ration of omega 6: omega 3, but didn’t discuss the amount actually present in meat. If you follow the recommendations in ISWF and buy lean meats when you’re buying conventional stuff, it does make sense that the levels might not be that high, and therefore not a huge concern. And finally:

Whole9 @whole9life

@KMihell Lean conventional meat is acceptable, and full-fat
pastured meat is great. Simple end of story. 🙂 [Dallas]

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth!

In terms of the grains and legumes this, I’m working on reducing grains, but am not full-on cutting them out at this point. Although I am focusing a lot more on the ‘pseudo grains’ like quinoa. Honestly I’m leaning towards trying the Whole30 at some point to see how it works for me, but I’m not quite ready to go there yet!

Oh, and I also meant to point out that phytates are also present in nuts and seeds, so I suppose you could cut out grains and still get the benefits.

I also want to elaborate a bit more on the entire Whole9 philosophy. I think that part of the reason I really wanted some clarification from them was that I’m really drawn to their overall approach to health, and didn’t want to just dismiss the book! They take a very holistic approach to health and wellness. They identify 9 factors that they feel are important for optimal health (hence the name Whole9…). They are:

Factor Graphic Updated 2013


They also have an active blog on their website, and their posts cover a wide variety of thought provoking topics, such as the importance of reaching out to others.

Finally, I do appreciate the scientific approach they take to their recommendations. The recommendations are more or less paleo, but the rationale goes beyond simply claiming that cavemen ate like this so we should too. They point this out up-front, saying that “Our recommendations are based around the framework of a Paleo Diet, with a focus on health, not history.” (source).

So there you have it, a bit more food for thought!



  1. Interesting that they responded. I have spent some time on their website and blog and they seem pretty approachable and real to me. I would not call you blog post quibbles though, haha!

    • Yeah I thought it was cool that they answered. And at first I was satisfied… but then I thought about it more and thought that hey, my comments were fair! And I appreciate their responses but 140 character tweets haven’t convinced me that they’ve found the golden ticket :p

  2. Good blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing
    like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals
    like you! Take care!!

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