Real Food Meets Real Science

Jessica Grote TriathlonGuest blogger, Jessica Grote, does it all. In addition to co-owning an amazing event planning company (Southern Hospitality Events), Jessica spends her free time traveling across the country to visit me! competing in triathlons – ya know, just for something to do ;)  (Can you tell I’m a lil proud? lol) An avid athlete, Jessica placed second in her age group during her most recent triathlon – which, by the way, was only her second race!

My girl doesn’t mess around ;)

When she’s not dominating sports events, Jessica loves learning about healthy eating – which is why it’s no surprise that Darya Pino Rose’s book, Foodist, caught her eye.

So sit back, grab a tomato (that’ll make sense in a little…) and enjoy Jessica’s Foodist review!

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Have you ever read a book, and before you even finished the first chapter you knew it was going to change the way you think about life?

Here is my latest great find: Foodist by Darya Pino Rose. The tagline reads:

“Using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting.”

In case you missed my first attempt at guest blogging for Prayers and Apples (Skinny Girls Don’t Diet), the diet topic is obviously a passion of mine.  It is one of those subjects that gets me heated at dinner parties.  I almost had a coronary today when one of my friends told me she couldn’t eat tomatos because there were too many carbs to fit into her diet.


Tomatos are one of the most delicious and nutritious foods I can think of!  (As a matter of fact, Rose even has a blog named after them at!)

Darya Pino RoseAbout the Author

Growing up in California, Rose was a chronic dieter, and good at it.  Once in college, she decided to use her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of San Francisco and bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkley to discover the “perfect” diet. What she found, instead, were a lot of facts on why dieting doesn’t work.

Only 5% of the dieting population actually manages to keep the weight off permanently, the other 95% puts the weight back on within a year.

In Rose’s words, “The first thing I learned is that for the most part, diets don’t work for long-term weight loss.  In fact, going on some type of weight loss diet is actually a significant predictor of weight gain.”

Since this was against everything she had always been taught by society and popular magazines, Rose’s next thought was: Well then what do naturally thin people do?

As Michael Pollan explains in his book, In Defense of Food,

“The most consistent predictor of weight gain and poor health is how much processed foods people eat.”

(Pollan also notes that the ratio of carbs-to-fat-to-protein has little impact on a person’s weight.  Most people that are losing weight on diets are simply losing it because they are using tracking tools and being mindful of what they eat.)

Rose also found that why and how you eat has an impact on long-term health and body weight.

“The science tells us that it is more important to focus on habits and overall healthy eating patterns rather than carbs and protein.  Moreover, psychology and food culture can be as crucial as the types of food you eat in determining your long-term success.”

The goal is to become healthy instead of skinny, and the weight will drop off effortlessly!

So what is a Foodist?

A ‘Foodist’ is somebody who does not diet.

“Foodists… focus on real, high-quality foods in order to optimize our quality of life.  We understand that how you look and feel about your body is important, but that true happiness also comes from excellent health, a fulfilling social life, rich cultural experiences, and physical enjoyment.”

Rose’s goal is to help you lose weight, but also to make sure you don’t suffer in the process – and that success is permanent.

If your grandmother didnt eat itPart of the beauty of Rose’s plan is that there are no rules.  (Although, she does make a good argument for the fact that there are foods you should steer away from because they cause further cravings and aren’t really that enjoyable in the first place.)

*I am going to deviate for one second because there was another quote from Michael Pollan that I really wanted to share:

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

(Rose doesn’t use any definitive “do’s” and “don’ts” herself, but this quote really did make me stop and think!)

Take a look at these statistics…

“The USDA estimates that caloric intake increased 24.5% (about 530 calories per person per day) since 1950, with a vast majority of the extra food coming from processed grains (9.5%), processed oils (9%) and added sugar (4.7%).”

To put these numbers into perspective:

“Americans are consuming on average 200 lbs. of grain per person per year, up from only 155 lbs. in 1950.  This is equivalent to 10 servings per day.”

“Consumption of sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup increased 39% from 1950 to 2000.”

It gets even worse if you look back 200 years!

“…the average American consumed only 6.3 lbs. of sugar per year in 1822, compared to 107.7 lbs. at our peak of sugar consumption in 1999.”

(Note: All quotes are from Rose’s book.)

These statistics make me stop and seriously contemplate the diseases that exist now that were not around in our grandparents’ generation, not to mention the increase in obesity.


I could go on and on about the science and facts that embody this book, but this post is already a bit too long! – so if you want more info you will have to read the book ;)

It is split into three parts: Part one is aimed at explaining why dieting is bad, and introducing a more effective alternative that Rose calls your “health style.”  Rose addresses habits and the psychology behind willpower. She puts an emphasis on building good habits, because “scientists estimate that up to 90% of daily food choices are the result of habitual actions rather than conscious thought.”

Part two gives you a blue print on how to get started.  It takes a look at which habits you should target to make the biggest impact on your health, knowing the food you are consuming and mindful eating.

Part three delves into the nitty-gritty of daily living and how to make the best food decisions, whether it’s at home, in the office or out with friends.

This book is an easy read…

…that is kept lite and fun with a number of  great recipes, funny quotes and top ten lists.  Some examples (which can also be found on Rose’s blog) include:

So far it has only been three weeks since I started applying these principals, but I have already lost 7 lbs. (Admittedly some of that weight was because we had just back from an overly indulgent vacation weekend!)  Not only have I lost weight, but I have more energy, reduced digestive issues and feel better then I have ever felt.

If you would like to order a copy for yourself here is the Amazon link – I highly recommend it!

Anyone else had a chance to read Foodist yet?

What do you think of Rose’s clean eating concepts?


  1. Jesse Grote says

    I must agree with my wonderful wife. She has always been a healthy eater, and tried different diet concepts, but she didn’t fall into her own until she read The Foodist. I have lost weight in the process as well since she is the one that cooks for us. I must say…eating cauliflower is not that bad anymore when you can make them taste like french fries or even alfredo sauce!

  2. Mary Bell says

    Great review, Jessica! After years of Weight Watchers I know how important lifestyle change is! I’m ready to read it too! Think Moe Bell will be fooled into eating cauliflower EVER!?!?

  3. Laura says

    Bella, i love this post! The “if your grandmother did not eat it, neither should you” is a good principle to live by.

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