It Starts With Food

I’m on a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico this week. If things are going right, I’m either meditating, bare foot running, or sipping a pina colada right now. I’ll be back in the world of all things digital on June 4. Until then, enjoy this post and take good care of yourself.

it starts with food

I couldn’t be more excited that It Starts With Food will soon be available — and I’ll be doing an official review of the book in a few weeks. But for now, I want you to be excited, too… so excited that you go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble to pre-order a copy.

It is no exaggeration to say that if I hadn’t met the authors — Melissa and Dallas of Whole9 — I wouldn’t have the life I have now. That is big stuff.

In 2009, I sent what was basically a fan letter to Melissa, explaining that I thought she was awesome because she liked to play with barbells and wear tall socks. I can only imagine the eye-rolling that email might have produced on her end, but when I wrote again a few months later to request her help with nutrition, she was friendly, professional, smart, and funny. I dubbed her Moxy-Boss, and she set out to eliminate my fear of food and to teach me how to train without crushing myself in the process.

As my diet and attitude changed, I rediscovered the joy of playing in the kitchen — and my blog started to reflect that with paleo recipes and posts about how to manage a paleo kitchen. Dave and I were inspired to have more fun with our workouts, and when we created the Zombie Attack Preparedness Workout, Melissa shared it with some big-time blogging friends of hers — which lead new readers to find The Clothes Make The Girl.

In many ways, my friendship and professional relationship with Melissa and Dallas have helped me arrive here: self-employed, with Well Fed out in the world and three other books on their way, a yoga devotee, and a paleo crusader. And it all started with the food.

Five Reasons You Should Pre-Order
It Starts With Food

1. They are master storytellers.
If you’ve read the Whole9 Blog, you know that M&D can weave a yarn. Their writing is crisp and engaging, peppered with sly asides and a lightness that says we’re all in this together. Basically, the business of taking care of ourselves is serious, but we don’t have to be painfully serious about it. I have no doubt that It Starts With Food will be packed with their trademark wit.

2. They chew it up and spit it out.
There are plenty of places online to find either media reports (which tend to be skewed or under-reported) or science-y blogs that require an advanced degree to decipher what the devil is going on. But M&D make it their mission to read the scientific journals and reports, then translate the findings into practical ways you can adapt your behavior  — all explained in language that’s easy to understand. That is no mean feat. I can’t wait to see the new science they lay down in It Starts With Food (and then to see how I can finagle that info into new recipes for you).

3. They’re devoted to getting it right.
With their successful website and glowing skin, they make it all look easy — but I know how hard they work and how much dedication they put into getting the details right. They’re committed to helping others become healthy, and they take that commitment to heart.

4. Dave and I are in there, too.
I was very honored to be invited by M&D to contribute recipes to It Starts With Food. What we ultimately created is much more than a collection of recipes: it’s a Meal Map that shows how to play the “You Know How You Could Do That?” game with a whole new set of foods. As I chopped and stirred and fussed and typed to get the recipes and Meal Maps nailed, Dave worked his photography magic again. You guys, I’m pretty excited about the recipes in this book, and I think you will be, too. Here’s a tasty tidbit:

5. We can all make an impact.
M&D are gunning to get It Starts With Food on The New York Times bestseller list. The thing I love about that idea — aside from the fact that then I could say I’ve dined with New York Times best-selling authors — is that the exposure of the bestseller list would introduce so many people to this life-changing way of eating. Imagine hundreds of thousands of people trying a Whole30 and dramatically transforming their health, their outlook, their families.

The crazy-powerful thing about getting this book on the bestseller list, is that it’s up to us. If we pre-order the book, we help the sales numbers on which the bestseller list is based. It’s that simple. Together, we can all make this big splash happen.

So… I think it would be totally badass if you pre-ordered a copy of It Starts With Food. It would be doubly-awesome if you ordered two copies — but because of the way all this stuff is calculated, you need to place each order for multiple copies separately. I know: annoying! That’s the corporate overlords exerting their weird control. But we can defeat them with our big paleo-fed brains — then we can stomp them with our squat-infused quads. Grrrr! (Or something like that.) You can read more about the ins-and-outs of pre-ordering It Starts With Food on the Whole9 blog. Or you can just order now…

Order It Starts With Food from Amazon

Order It Starts With Food from Barnes & Noble

Thank you for reading. Thank you for cooking. Thank you for being part of my new adventure. And thank you, in advance, for supporting two special people who helped me get here.

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  • Kevin says:

    …I originally read your contribution as Meat Map, which sounded awesome.

    Anyways, you reminded me of something that’s been on my mind since I got your cookbook. Several recipes are also on the blog, but a lot have minor differences (cumin carrots have cinnamon, chili lacks hot sauce, etc) and I’m wondering how those changes come about. Every once in awhile I manage it with recipes (I added cinnamon to the carrots before I saw your change, which is an awesome change) but you seem capable of it with most any recipe. How do you do that? Of course I remember this question when you’re out for a week, but that’s okay.

    I’m attempting the sunshine sauce with chicken hot plate today and I’ve never cut up a mango before or made the sauce. I’m pretty sure everything not chicken should be uncooked, but I don’t really know. Oh well, it’ll either work or it won’t.

    • Mel says:

      Oh! Now I really want to make some kind of Meat Map. [added to To Do list]

      Re: the recipes on the blog vs. Well Fed… when it was time to write the book, I re-tested all of the recipes to make sure they worked properly and that I liked the taste. That meant that I made some tweaks to make the recipes more “polished.” For me, it’s mostly instinct… and I get ideas by reading other recipes and playing around. I have a great book called Flavor Thesaurus ( that explains how different flavors work together, so I take ideas from that and adapt them to what I’m making. It’s fun!

      How did it go with the mango and Sunshine Sauce?!

      • Kevin says:

        The sunshine sauce turned out well, I have no idea how to properly cut up a mango and I completely spaced adding cashews to the dish. It was quite tasty(the wife seemed to approve), those flavors work together (and added cashews with the leftovers, even better). The only disappointment other then a mangled mango was running out of sunshine sauce before I could put it on other things.

  • Well here’s the problem, Im not a big reader. I’m going to be a jerkface and wait until you review the book in June and then decide to get it or not. Because seriously dude, getting me to read a book is a big, freaking deal. 🙂

  • Mer says:

    Pre-ordered it waaaaay back in February–can’t wait to read it! I’m well on my way to stocking my shelves with nerd-worthy Paleo wisdom. 😀

  • Kay says:

    Thanks,for the review, Mel. Just placed my order and I am looking forward to reading it!

  • This by far the best Blog ,I have the pleasure of viewing ,this book is just what I read . I am a 41 year Chef,and teach cooking for seniors.and I have a tendency to neglect my own healthy eating habits,I shall return after I read the book and more of this blog,I like your style.
    Chef Ernesto`

  • Melodious says:

    I just pre-ordered a copy for myself and a friend. Really looking forward to your new meal map, as I’ve been wearing out the recipes and ideas in Well Fed since it’s arrival (I’ve got your citrus carnitas bubbling away in my Le Creuset as I type this!) and I could use some new ideas. Oh, and I’m sure there will be other good stuff in the book to read, too. 🙂