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3 mins

Simplify Nutrition: Melissa Hartwig Urban On Feeling Better With Food

In this episode of Simplify, Caitlin talks to Melissa Hartwig Urban, co-creator of the Whole30 program, about meals, morality, and making your own rules.
by Carrie M. King | Feb 14 2019

The language of food and diet is laden with moralistic overtones — clean eating, guilty pleasures, cheat days, etc. In reality, however, food is just food. Whether it’s good or bad for you very much depends on who you are and how your body works.

In this episode of Simplify, Caitlin talks to co-creator of the Whole30 program, Melissa Hartwig Urban, about how it’s essential that each person makes their own rules about food, instead of just following the often-contradictory advice of the latest gurus. If you want to figure out what your rules are, it may be time to run a little personal experiment.

“I think it really speaks to today’s food and diet culture that we think about cooking and eating real food for 30 days in a row as this radical self-experiment.”
Melissa Hartwig Urban

Listen to this episode to hear how Melissa’s own food experiment changed her approach to eating, health, and overall well-being, and get a few tips about how you can do your own, too.

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Who’s Melissa Hartwig Urban

Melissa Hartwig Urban

Melissa Hartwig Urban is a certified sports nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits. She is the co-creator of the Whole30 program, and a 4-time New York Times bestselling author. Read The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom on Blinkist to find out how by cutting out certain harmful food groups and re-introducing others, you can find a diet that works for you.

Melissa Hartwig Urban’s Recommended Reads

Contagious examines what makes a product, idea, or behavior more likely to be shared among many people. The book explores the question of whether contagious things are accidents or the results of good marketing, or whether contagiousness is an inherent feature of a product, idea, or behavior. It argues that, far from being merely a matter of luck, the majority of very popular products and ideas are the result of a combination of savvy planning and execution.

What Melissa says: “It’s all about why some ideas go viral and take off and the commonalities between those ideas and it was fascinating in part to think about it in parallel with the Whole30 because the Whole30 is really grown via word-of-mouth.”

Extra Credit Reading

If you would like to dive deeper into some of the topics Melissa Hartwig Urban covers in this Simplify episode, check out this book list composed by Ben and Caitlin!

Though it may feel like you make your decisions based on your own opinions, tastes, and talents, in actual fact, we’re all silently influenced by many external forces. From popular opinion, to the ideas of your friends and family, to governmental decisions that affect your life, there are so many cogs turning that impact what you do and who you become. This title from Jonah Berger slows down that great machine to let us have a glimpse at its inner workings.

Journalist and activist Michael Pollan’s 2008 book became an instant hit and was a New York Times bestseller for 6 weeks. Why? Because his manifesto is simple and argues against much of the nutritional advice we’re often sold. He argues that focusing solely on the benefits of nutrients overcomplicates dietary habits, leading us to eat in ways that would be unrecognizable for our ancestors. His solution? “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That’s a food rule most of us can get behind.

In some senses, Joel Fuhrman is on the opposite end of the spectrum to Michael Pollan’s argument, though they both promote eating a primarily plant-based diet. Fuhrman joined Caitlin in season 1 of Simplify to talk about his approach to nutrient-dense meals and how overweight people can see dramatic results as a result of his program.

What’s Simplify?

Simplify is a podcast for anybody who’s taken a close look at their habits, their happiness, their relationships, or their health and thought “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” We talk to bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you.

Simplify is made with love by Blinkist. Click here to try Blinkist free for 14 days with the voucher code: whole30

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Talk to us!

We want to hear from you! Drop a line to us at podcast@blinkist.com about whatever tickles your fancy.

If you want to say hi to Ben, Caitlin and Terence in the meantime, you can find them on Twitter: @bsto, @CaitlinSchiller, @terence_mickey.

Who made this?

Your hosts are Caitlin Schiller, Ben Schuman-Stoler, and Terence Mickey.

Research and production assistance by Natallia Darozhkina, sound and editing by Terence Mickey, Ben Jackson, and Ody Constantinou.

Thanks to Nico Guiang for our awesome intro and outro music. Listen more on Soundcloud or check him out on Facebook.

Got links?

Melissa Hartwig Urban’s Website

Read the transcript here!

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