I’ve been reading books about nutrition ever since I cut out meat from my diet at 16 and took my first college level nutrition class. (I wanted to make sure I was healthy.) Some have been immensely informative. Some have a clear agenda, but made me think about a different view. Some of those have just spewed misinformation. Here are five of my favorite books about nutrition and weight loss that I’ve read. They’ve all left me thinking weeks and even months later.

1) The Fuck it Diet by Caroline Dooner

The Fuck it Diet has been my number one referral for anyone asking for books on nutrition and weight loss since I first read it. I loved how Dooner gives great info on the current diet culture, how food nourishes us, and working with our emotions around food. It’s an excellent full book designed to make you think about your relationship with food and how our culture has trained us to feel certain ways thanks to excellent marketing. How she addresses stress and it’s major impact on our weight is something that I’ve been talking about for years in lectures and still need to. I just nodded away to pretty much everything she said saying “Yes! Someone else feels the same way!” If you only read one of these books, make it this one.

2) Women Food and God by Geneen Roth

I needed to re-read Women Food and God to write about it here. It’s a book that I read years ago and had suggested quite a bit, but also forgot about. As someone who is not religious, I think you can substitute the meaning of God to any religion or just as a higher power. As women we frequently use the control of food to create some sense of stability in life, especially when our lives seem to be spiraling. Whether it is by denying ourselves the pleasure of eating, or filling a hole with over-eating, there is a temporary relief. Roth uses her decade long mediation and spiritual practice as a way to encourage women to look at how our emotions and feelings have developed our relationship with food.  By addressing them head on instead of masking them, we can better solve many of our problems.

Food is love and joy.

Simran Sethi

3) Bread, Wine, and Chocolate by Simran Sethi

Bread, Wine, and Chocolate is a love letter to food. So many books have you feeling like you need to cut out every food that brings us pleasure, but this one doesn’t at all. Sethi does a wonderful job combining stories and science, to educate us on the entire process from seed to table and why some of our choices may be putting our favorite foods in jeopardy. By the end of the book, you’ll want to travel yourself to really experience the foods at the source and appreciate the work it takes to create high quality delicacies.

4) Devoured by Sophie Egan

Culturally, Americans have an interesting relationship with food. We are all exposed to so many ingredients and ethnic cuisines at even a young age creating a diverse palate. Devoured discusses how waves of immigration, war, excesses, famines, and technology have changed our taste buds to shape American meals. From home cooked meals to fast food, super foods to processed, and breakfast to dinner, no plate has been unturned.

5) Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat by Samin Nosrat

Being able to cook without a recipe seems immensely daunting, but is an important life skill. Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are a few crucial ingredients that can be adjusted to take a ho hum dish to five star restaurant worthy. Samin uses her experiences to educate us on becoming better at developing our own palate and feeling more confident in the kitchen. There is also a Netflix show that I haven’t gotten around to watching, but is on my list.


Because I had a hard time narrowing down to 5 options…

Pressure Cooker by Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott

Pressure Cooker is a bit of a cheat, as I haven’t fully finished it yet. I heard of the book in the Ithaca College Alumni newsletter and made a note to get it from my library. Just a few pages in, I knew that I needed to include it on this list, because I know many working parents who feel guilty for not have family sit down home cooked dinners. While the majority of people that I personally work with are financially in the middle class or higher, I’m very curious to look at the socio-economic disparities of home cooking. And I think that more of us need to know how others struggle, so we can see how we can potential help solve problems. If the stress of what to eat overwhelms many of us, how does the stress of not having enough to eat affect entire cities?

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a classic book and one of the first books about food that I recommended on a regular basis. Years later, I still think about the grass farmer Even today, I think it stands strong. If the size seems daunting, I found In Defense of Food is an abbreviated version.

I hope you enjoyed my suggestion on books on nutrition and weight loss. I’d love to know if you read them and your thoughts.

Trust me, I know there are a ton more out there that I haven’t read and I have plenty of books waiting to be read. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! (It’s a bonus for me if there is an audiobook.)

Kate Hamm combines her 15+ years of experience in the fitness industry and high-end resort program development into sought after wellness coaching and adventures at AnamBliss. Visit www.anambliss.com for more information on coaching services and future retreat dates and locations.

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