Am I too smart for ISWF?


Jimbo Jones

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Ok snarkiness aside I've had some trouble with other books that have come out of the paleo community. While all good on their own merits, I've been a heavy reader of the authors blogs before the books came out and found the books to really not offer much new beyond the body of work in the blog.

Is ISWF an exception? Basically if I'm a big paleo nerd and evangelist but really bad at actually doing it am I going to get something out of the ISWF?

Thanks and sorry I couldn't find a better forum to ask this question.

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IMO it's really great to have everything well organized and together in one place. And although having read most of it before, it inspired me to go ahead, get off my ass and actually do a Whole30. It's fantastic for someone new to eating well. For a person familiar with paleo and regularly reading the blogs it may depend on you how worthwhile it is. For me - Very.

Nothing startling and new, but very well put together, strong, clear writing, no punches pulled yet still inspirational.

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I have also struggled with sticking with Paleo eating and keep turning back to bingeing on sugar even when I know exactly how bad it is. What motivated me to read and buy this book is a refresher on the knowledge (there are more explanations than on the blog) and more info on implementation than what is on the blog as well as great recipes and what to do after your Whole 30.

I started my Whole30 today because I am very tired of being obsessed with junk food and fighting with my body hating what it looks like and feeling uncomfortable in my clothes. For me the forum and book are portable support to reinforce what I believe to be true and what I find to be true.

Can buying a book motivate you to act on your knowledge? Possibly but I think you need to just start and figure out how you feel after 30 days. The program is outlined for free and the forum is here for support. If you find you need more help with the implementation than definitely pick up the book!

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What I particularly like about this book that I feel is different from all other paleo books I've read is the time they spend explaining the mechanics behind cravings. And, for some reason, the short personal takes from both Melissa and Dallas in the beginning. I've seriously been re-reading these two things over and over since I got the book for extra motivation (since I have a huge problem with sugar cravings). For me, to be able to think about it in these terms has been very useful.

The other thing about this book that is particularly worthwhile (and again, this is purely from the perspective of already knowing all the science in it), is the meal map section. This stuff I was already a little exposed to with the Well Fed cookbook, but it is written in a very simple, clear manner that has given me new ways to think of how to throw together simple ingredients to make new tastes. I think this is important when you are cooking all the time, as you end up doing eating paleo.

Also, this is an excellent book to hand to someone you know who needs an introduction to paleo. It covers all the basis from the science, to the understanding of cravings, to the reasons why or why not to eat certain foods, to what the Whole30 program is (and I think it is written a lot better in this book than it is in the success guide), to how to implement it anywhere, to how to make it easy in the kitchen. Basically, no one could walk away from this book and say they don't know what to do next.

I think to answer your question: "...if I'm a big paleo nerd and evangelist but really bad at actually doing it am I going to get something out of the ISWF?"

I would say the answer is probably yes. Yes, because this book clears up the "how" part so well, that it might give you whatever puzzle piece you might be missing.

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I'm a scientist and used to reading some really heavy stuff, so I found ISWF a bit light in places. That said. I'm pretty sure it's ideal that it seems that way to me, because that means my mom can read it and not get lost in the details that I would eat up. I was also already a convert when I read it. But I'm glad I have the book, because it explains some things about what meals should really look like that I didn't fully absorb from the website. As far as the science goes, I really liked Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat, but that book doesn't have nearly the depth on what to actually eat and do that ISWF has.

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Here's maybe an alternate perspective. Have you ever seen the movie Food Inc? There's a part when they start talking about organic farming and one of the people they interview (possibly the Stoneyfield guy, can't remember) basically says that every dollar we spend is a vote. And everytime someone buys organic food, they're not just 'buying' it for themselves, they're VOTING for more organic foods in the marketplace.

To me, every copy of the book that sells is a vote for this lifestyle, and for the work that Melissa and Dallas do. So even if most of it's old news to you, it's worth buying a copy. Plus it can never hurt to freshen up your knowledge, right? I mean, if you consider yourself an evangelist but have a hard time implementing the paleo lifestyle ... don't you think you owe it to yourself to try anything that might help it stick? :)

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Before I comment, I'm a moderator because I want to help, there's no benefit to me otherwise, but I definitely hear what you're saying and thing the book is worth reading. It feels pretty different than the other paleo-ish books that I've read in that Melissa and Dallas just desperately want people to live healthier happier lives. I don't know how to articulate this but most of the other books I've read push a certain agenda pretty hard but I feel like Melissa and Dallas do a nice job of just presenting facts and anecdotal evidence without trying to coerce you into believing them. They're not hitting you over the head insisting they're right and the rest of the world is wrong...they acknowledge that there are good varying opinions but ask that if you don't trust them, you just try this and see what works for you. No harm no foul. As for most of the information being available, sure it is. But the book pulls everything together in a nice simple book that feels kind of like a "how to" guide for food and life. It's worth having and reading.

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Well thanks to you all for your thoughts and view points. I guess I'm glad I'm not alone in the camp of intellectually sold, but stalled. For me this is no shock as I am the king of thinking, planning and not doing. It sounds like it at least has the chance to be a kick in the pants I could use!!

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I'm late to the party, but here's my two cents:

The first half of the book was a good (but still pretty quick) read. For me the slightly deeper explanations of "why" were really good—the hormone chapters, fructose stuff, alcohol and sugar. I definitely recognized blurbs from the blog and often just skipped over them. But I did find good info.

The second part of the book on the Whole30 isn't really new and much of it is from the blog.

Having said that, I keep buying copies of the book and giving it to people who are new to Paleo or who aren't really into regularly reading blogs. It's a great primer about why and it isn't "caveman-y" which helps... I'm tired of hearing that I only want to eat food that was around 10,000 years ago. The "bad hormone day (and three years later)" and "good hormone day" pages (I think this is about 4 pages total) really resonated with me and with the people I've shown them too.

I agree with the voting with your dollars also!

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Disclaimer: I'm not a scientist and not a Paleo nerd.

I've been Primal-ish, Paleo-ish for three years for health and weight loss reasons. Never been able to fully stick with it. After finding out about Whole 30, and reading the book, I'm psyched.

I've read all the other Paleo and low-carb books, and many diet/nutrition books. I've been on all the blogs and forums, too.

By far ISWF is my favorite read. Perhaps it's because the book has come along at the right time for me. I probably could have done Whole 30 without the book, but it's going to be so much better because I read the book. Even though I knew a lot of the stuff the book covered, the way it was presented just rang a bell in me.

I hope that makes sense!

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ISWF was a kick in the pants for me and hearing Dallas and Melissa in the underground wellness podcast cliched it and I knew I had to do it. Just start and see how it goes. If going strict isn't going to work you could try an incremental approach. What can you do right now and commit to it for at least a month?? That might help get you started.

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I just finished ISWF, and I REALLY liked it. I'm an RN, and I read a lot of paleo blogs and books, but I got a lot out of ISWF. I especially appreciated the sections on hormones and cravings, and the meal map. They have a way of explaining complex hormonal stuff that makes it very clear, even (I think) to a layperson. Some MD commented on Twitter that he learned more about hormones from their hormone chapter than he did in four years of med school!

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