Book Review: Foodist


tlc tour hostI was sent a copy of this book for review purposes with the expectation and understanding that this review would reflect my authentic opinion and it does.

(Any links are to my Amazon affiliate account, where you can also read other reviews.)

Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting
by Darya Pino Rose, Ph.D.

foodist cover and author image Darya Pino Rose

About the Author

Darya Pino Rose blogs at Summer Tomato, where she writes about food, health, and science, and using all three to build an awesome life. In addition to her blog, you’ll find her on Facebook and Twitter.


The overall premise of Foodist, straight from the book flap:

Foodist is an approach that actually celebrates food while taking you through the nutrition and psychology involved in eating well to help you move beyond the daily obstacles and bad habits that keep the tasteless, empty, and unsatisfying food-like products on your plate. Losing weight no longer has to be about sacrifice, deprivation, and willpower, and food will turn from something you fight into something you can actually love again. As Darya writes, “You don’t need a diet. You need an upgrade.”

The book is broken into three parts:

  • In Part I, the author introduces her concept of healthstyle–focusing on increasing energy and improving health over “dieting.” (Around here we call that The Tippy Toe Diet. :) )
  • Part II is the Getting Started section and covers shopping, cooking, mindful eating, and exercise.
  • Part III discusses daily life situations and how to incorporate your healthier food choices.

My Take

Don’t let the word “science” distract you. This book is written in a contemporary, often humorous style that doesn’t feel geeky at all. It’s a quick and enjoyable read and would most benefit people who are looking to overhaul their way of living–to “upgrade”, as suggested by the author–but have no idea where to start. Since I’ve been at this a few years now, I can’t say I learned anything new or profound, but I did take a couple of points as gentle reminders. (Namely, eat more slowly! But more about that another day.)

Where Foodist really shines for me is the section on habit changing, primarily because the author uses examples from Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath, which is one of my favorite books EVER on change management. (I recommended it back in 2010 if you’re curious.) Figuring out how to motivate yourself and convert bad habits to better ones is more than half the battle. Or it was for me. Your mileage might vary. Anyway, the author draws out the healthier living angle to a greater degree than the Heath Brothers did, and I found myself nodding as I read along. I love when that happens. :)

If this is to be an honest review, I do need to mention one general sticking point I had while reading. I’m uneasy with the book’s emphasis on organic, grass-fed, pastured, pure everything, including a specific recommendation to shop at Whole Foods. I have nothing against good quality food (who would?) or the Whole Foods grocery chain (I shop there a teensy bit myself), but a large portion of the US population doesn’t have access to and/or the financial resources for either. Also, many national grocery chains offer organic produce and quality oils, vinegars, spices, etc. on their shelves. I think the book would have been more inclusive and served a wider audience had there been more discussion on upgrading to the best of one’s ability with guidance on making “better” choices when shopping more common grocery stores. (But then again, if it had, I might not have had an idea for a series of ‘good, better, best’ posts for the future.)

But that’s my personal quibble. We all have them. Overall, I really, really appreciate the theme that food is to be appreciated and celebrated, and that eating good food is more satisfying and energizing and leads to a better life.

Final Score

Despite my quibble, Foodist contains useful information presented in a lively and fun manner. I give it two thumbs up, only with one thumb listing to the side just a hair.


What “upgrades” have you made to the way you live? What do you still have planned?

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Foodist

  1. Thank you for the review Cammy. Sounds like a book that is right up my alley! I like your idea that it would have been nice to encourage people to up grade to the best of one’s ability. I do shop a bit at Whole Foods but find that Trader Joe’s and Costco also carry lots of organic products at a reasonable price. I also have a local Farmer’s Mkt all year long – I know not everyone enjoys that.

    We have recently moved to a mostly plant based diet. I gave up coffee too so many changes have taken place. I found that once I set my mind to doing this – (after mulling it over for a year) it was really quite easy to do. I am a work in progress and will continue to tweak and improve on my food plan over time.

  2. great review.
    You know, you’re the person I think of when I get too rigid about people having to eat organic, etc…
    I have read your posts and had to remind myself not to say anything about those recommendations because I know you know all about them. I also know that you’re making really healthy choices that work for your life…
    It’s just not possible for everyone to shop like that. (just like it’s not possible for most people to “opt” for preventative mastectomy and superb reconstruction… but I digress).
    I think there’s another book you need to write!

  3. While I look forward to eating a more simple “clean” diet, for the time being I rely on prepared protein drinks and bars to reach my nutrition goals. There are a lot of reason people must make their best choices – I am sure I would have had the same problem with the book…

  4. Pingback: Darya Pino Rose, author of Foodist, on tour May 2013 | TLC Book Tours

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