Recent Books Reviews

The Eating Instinct.

I finished this book a while ago, but I am still unsure what I think about it. It is challenging for a book to stand out among millions of books about foods, dieting, and all related. And this book stands out. Having a child who stopped eating altogether in infancy after a serious health threat gives the author has a very personal perspective on a topic. After being through such a traumatic experience, nobody would be able to go as we all do with “calorie count,” “good foods,” etc.

The great thing this book does is returning you to the basics: food is not evil. You should enjoy food; it’s not a crime. Another important thing is that this book shows that one can eat a very limited variety of foods and still be healthy. I do not believe in “miracle foods,” and I do not believe that there are some “evil” foods, and I am glad that this book supports my point of view. However, it is hard for me to agree with the idea that you should not do anything with your eating habits, that any regulation of your food intake is bad.

I think that we can’t expect our eating instinct to be all “natural” when the lifestyle most humans live is not exactly “natural.” Since I moved to the city three months ago and started life without a car, I can feel how much my new lifestyle is better for my health. The moves are naturally embedded in my everyday life; it’s not “exercising,” it’s “living.” And with this new lifestyle, I do not have a pressing need as I had before to count calories and the number of steps per day.

Many people live differently, and many people objectively can’t “exercise 60 min a day”. I do not think that “do nothing” about your eating habits is a good idea. And although I strongly dislike the
the word “dieting,” I think that a person can change how they eat and not feel deprived.

Sure I will be your black friend,

This book disappointed me. Based on the reviews, I was anticipating something deeper, if not more analytical, at least more thoughtful. I expected conversations about common stereotypes, which were hinted at by the names of the chapters. The book ended up being just another autobiography (for at least 90% of it).
In addition, while I was reading this book, the question continued to pop up: how all the people the author mentions reacted? It is true for any autobiography, but when a book is written by an older person, it’s easier to “abstract” from the characters inhabiting the book and to think about them as somebody in the past. But in that case, the author is young, and he writes about events that happened just a couple of years ago, or even later. I would not like to be any of these people he writes about! Even if there are no bad things said.

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