Marc David's Nourishing Wisdom is the best book I've read on nutrition and eating, hands down. It wins.
Unlike most other books I've read, this short but very meaningful read explores how to eat, rather than what to eat. Food is a source of conflict, pain, and confusion for a lot of us, and yet we never take time to really examine why we eat other than necessity. But food is about nourishment, not just abatement of hunger. David traces the evolution of diets, cravings, food morality, body image, and disordered eating to explain why we are so dang confused about what to eat and when and why.
I saw so much of myself in this book--my own struggles with rejection, yearning, and body image, my resulting conflicted relationship with food, and the process of eating. Parts made me cry, sections made me sit, looking out the window, for interminable amounts of time, and the ending made me want to raise my fist in a rallying cry.
Nourishing Wisdom helped clue me in to the bigger picture. I saw that my struggle for the perfect diet is a desire for protection from harm. If I eat perfectly, I won't gain weight, I won't get sick, and I won't die. But in truth, I can't prevent any of that from happening with the perfect diet, because I can't control life. Life is full of uncertainty.
What I can do is be a full-fledged participant in my eating journey. I can be curious, flexible and engaged with preparing and eating food. I can work from a place of self-love and acceptance with my body instead of punishing it. I can adapt to the seasons and locales of where I eat for a balanced and interesting diet. I can choose, every day, to eat.
We are all eaters. We need to eat to live. By eating intuitively, in touch with our bodies and the seasons, by being mindful of what we are eating and why, of agreeing to eat over and over, we choose life.
From the Eater's Agreement at the end of the book:
Do yourself a favor, and pick up this book. It's worth its weight in gold, or heirloom tomatoes, good cheese, cake -- whatever food you love the most. Choose to eat, again and again and again.