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Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom

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3.06  ·  Rating details ·  331 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
What should I eat? How much should I eat? What does it mean to be nourished? How can I, a food lover and lifelong overeater, learn to be satisfied? These are the questions Dayna Macy asks in her debut memoir, Ravenous. Like many of us, Macy has had a complicated relationship with food. In order to transform this relationship, Macy embarks on a year-long journey to uncover ...more
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Published February 1st 2011 by Hay House, Inc. (first published December 23rd 2010)
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Candy
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone (I don't remember who, thanks to whomever it was!) recommended this book to me and I grabbed a copy of it. I will admit I was a bit hesitant. I read half of Eat Pray Love, which it kind of sounded like. I really didn't like that book, at all, not one bit.

This was similar, for sure, but also a little more realistic for the rest of us in the world that cannot take a year off and go off to points unknown. The author visits places she can drive to, during her off times at work or on the week
...more
Tamsen
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tamsen by: Renea
"Why are you in this body? What does your body have to teach you?"

These questions that Dayna asks herself stood out to me. I like to think that, as humans, we are put in our lives specifically to work on things. You are the person you are with the challenges you face for a reason. Your soul chose your life to grow spiritually. That could be the wrong answer to why we're here, but it's what I like to think about my life at least. I never thought that perhaps my spirit could choose the shell of my
...more
Raquel
Dull, no insight, author doesn't seem to make much meaningful change in her emotional state. She ends up going on a diet (but doesn't call it one) in order to lose weight and feel better about her body--which is probably the most mainstream and harmful thing you can do when you have emotional eating and body image problems.

Basic premise of the book: A privileged, fat white woman feels that she has had lifelong emotional eating issues. She is now at the largest size she's ever been and decides to
...more
Mary Chrapliwy
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
This book is not just about hunger and longing for food, it far more a spiritual journey through where food comes from (from small yet bountiful gardens and farms, the diary farms, straight through to cattle ranching and slaughtering) and how one should have a reverence for that food. Macy leaves no stone unturned in this story of her study of all forms of food and where it all comes from and the creation of fresh food from the ingredients she explores. Near the end she discusses making her own ...more
Eszter Hinchliffe
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another experiment on my new Kindle. Really interesting book,not just the author's need to find out the root cause of her overeating, but really interesting chapters about different foods, different chefs, very Northern California Tree Hugger type, but enjoyable reading. Also, some good recipes
Sharon Baker-johnson
My perspective comes as a result of receiving this book through Amazon's Vine program. If I had picked it up in a bookstore and actually had a chance to flip through the contents, I would not have bought it.

The title "Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom" would seem to be targeting an audience of readers who is concerned about their relationship to food. Generally they would head into the book looking for something that would be personally helpful in their own quest. Here i
...more
David Cowger
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Interesting perspective on one's personal health journey! Thoughtful and complete as it relates to mind, body and soul! I recommend this1
The Reading Countess
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, memoir, ebook
While someone without issues with food might not find RAVENOUS: A FOOD LOVER'S JOURNEY FROM OBSESSION TO FREEDOM compelling, I did. It spoke to me. I understood Macy's squashing of feelings with food, her memory-infused love affair with traditional meals, and her inability to stop eating even when full.

Dayna Macy is a middle-aged mom who begins to take an honest look at her journey with food. Rather than begin a diet, she wants to go to the core of food and her issues swirling around it. Curiou
...more
The Reading Countess
While someone without issues with food might not find RAVENOUS: A FOOD LOVER'S JOURNEY FROM OBSESSION TO FREEDOM compelling, I did. It spoke to me. I understood Macy's squashing of feelings with food, her memory-infused love affair with traditional meals, and her inability to stop eating even when full.

Dayna Macy is a middle-aged mom who begins to take an honest look at her journey with food. Rather than begin a diet, she wants to go to the core of food and her issues swirling around it. Curiou
...more
Birgit
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Food can be a lot of things. Delicious. Nourishing. Yummy. But food can be much more than that. It can be protection, comfort, pleasure, and love. Like in Dayna Macy's case.
With her memoir Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey From Obsession To Freedom she offers a downright honest look into what food meant and means to her, from early childhood up to the present. Admittedly this book wasn't quite what I expected it to be, starting off with a praise to different foods, which made me think that “Know
...more
Ninotchka
The memoir parts were interesting and engaging. The parts where she visited farms, the slaughterhouse, etc. were fairly informative. I was not fond of the recipes at the end of each chapter and skipped right over them. The "orange" recipe at the end felt forced and trite. Furthermore, the conclusions she came to at the end of her journey were cliche at best and patronizing at worst. For what this book is presented as, it really didn't address the deeper issues of over- and emotional eating or th ...more
Pamela (slytherpuff)
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Over-eaters who don't want to be
See more of my reviews at Bettering Me Up.

Other reviewers have done a fine job of giving an account of the novel, so I'll talk about how this book affected me.

Like the author, I have struggled with obsessive eating my whole life and wondered "why?"

(view spoiler)
...more
Becki
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2011
While I don't agree with Macy's spiritual philosophy, I thought she had some really interesting and apt things to say about food. I can understand why someone who's never had an issue with weight or food could find this book tedious and even boring. But as someone who has struggled with weight and self-image my entire life, I found some good bits of truth in this book.

I loved the way she described food. She used words that I would never have imagined could describe food. She made me more aware o
...more
Jennifer Shreve
Full disclosure: Dayna and I worked together years ago and recently bumped into one another at a yoga class, which reminded me I needed to review her book! The truth is I would've read this book even if I'd never known the author, because it touches on two areas near and dear to me: food and yoga. In Dayna's case the latter helps her gain insight into and control over the latter. But the book is really about the journey. In an effort to control her impulses and her weight, she delves into the or ...more
Angela Risner
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Like me, Dayna Macy has a love of food and is unable to control herself at times around her favorites. She has steadily put on weight and wants to find out why this relationship with food is controlling her.

To do so, she sets off on a journey to find out where her food comes from. She watches cattle being slaughtered at a local farm, which gives her an appreciation for each bite of meat she puts into her mouth. She visits an olive grove and learns how table olives are made.

Macy also travels to h
...more
Nicolle
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a free book I found on Pixel of Ink. I wasn't too sure how I would like it since I am not a big fan of memoirs, but this book was really interesting. The author has an unhealthy relationship with food, so she sets out to find the origins of her food obsessions in order to change her relationship with food. She meets farmers, a forager, a chocolatier & many others on her quest to understand where food comes from & what it means to her. She looks into the family traditions surroun ...more
Dnicebear
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Food and relating to food obsess me too, so I'm thrilled with this author's journey to delve deeply into her eating history and to seek authentic change of body-mind-spirit in the midst of overwhelming abundance. We also share living in the Bay Area and being longtime members of Full Belly Farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

I'm planning to employ one of Ms Macy's practices to help explore one of my blocks--the practice of measuring. "'The secret is there is no secret.' A portion is por
...more
Sharyn L.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had finished my current read and I "stumbled upon" this book in my kindle. I must have gotten a free download a few years ago. I didn't want to go through the process of buying or checking out a new book so decided to read something I already had loaded. What a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the author alternated between a memory and something from contemporary times. I must admit that I didn't read the recipes and because I'm a vegetarian, I skipped the chapte ...more
Michelle
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can definitely identify with Macy and the journey she's sharing. It's not a preachy story, but a recounting of the trials and tribulations sustained while dissecting herlove affair with food. It was heartfelt and relatable, sometimes crossing over into bits of cheesiness. But life can be cheesy, can't it?

Macy brings up many personal and societal ideals relating to food, agriculture, and nature that you may or may not agree with, but she poses them in ways that make you think. Everyone is diff
...more
Stephanie Heuerman
While I enjoyed reading parts of this book, it really didn't come together for me. Her journey led her to journaling and measuring her food? That was sort of anticlimatic for me. That, and the editing was terrible. I'd love to know who did the "find all and replace" four with flour. By the end of the book, I almost found that amusing. While I don't happen to agree with all of her spiritual beliefs, I was impressed by her willingness to learn about various foods and the effort that goes into prod ...more
Mainon
This is a quick read -- I started and finished it while flying from North Carolina to New York (one stop). It's a quickie inspirational but sometimes uncomfortably honest account of one woman's quest to redefine her relationship with food in a healthier way. There's a bit of New Age-y stuff that didn't do much for me, and some of her ideas verged on silly to me (e.g. visiting a slaughterhouse to understand her lifelong fascination with pork... and by the way, pork does not come from cows). But o ...more
Michelle Hoogterp
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fabulous book is filled with insight and wisdom as the author Danya Macy attempts to free herself from her obsession with weight and food by learning both more about the food as well as herself.

We follow Macy on her journey and learn about the responsibility of eating meat after visiting an abattoir, about the love of land many farmers have and try to cultivate whether they raise goats or lettuce. This is definitely a journey of love and hope.

For those who are obsessed with weight and food
...more
Becca
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-japan, kindle
I like what she had to say about food. I thought it was unfortunate that she missed the fact that all of this does connect to the Lord. But understanding our bodies and not looking merely at weight, bmi or clothing size is an important and that seemed to be a lot of what this book is about.

I started to read and the first few chapters didn't have me sold. I wasn't sure where she was going with the book, or if I was even interested enough to continue along. But I had read some good reviews on spar
...more
Jennifer
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Yoga Journal
Shelves: 2011
I heard about this book in an issue of Yoga Journal. I don't personally identify as having food issues, but I did relate to the authors questions about the role food plays in our lives and our well being. Detachment from food isn't the answer, our bodies demand calories to live. Finding where we can have our cake (or sausage!) and eat it too seems to be the key to the balance.
I did wish the author took a bit more time with the final part of the journey and the last chapter. after the long journ
...more
Carol Campbell
This book didn't provide the insight I thought it would. It reminded me of "Eat, Pray, Love" but lacking in depth (not that the aforementioned had much depth). The end was such a let down because she decided that the "secret" to being at peace with her eating and weight issues was portion control and tracking what she ate. Gee - sound familiar? But the book was a tad bit interesting in finding out how certain foods make it from beginning to plate. The slaughterhouse information was insightful in ...more
Nicole
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
I have struggled with self-image issues, weight issues, and emotional eating, but this book just did not grab me. Even though it was a short and easy read, I just couldn't push past page 60. The writing itself fell flat for me, and to be honest, I expected a lot more substance.

I do think it's an interesting idea to learn more about the foods we obsess over, and although I glossed over the recipes at the end of each chapter, I think it was a cute touch.
Emelda
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Blah. This book was not at all as insightful or meaningful as the author would want you to believe.

I can't stand people who try to pat themselves on the back for eating "humane" or "organic" animals products. Also, I find it funny that she felt the need to "go to the source" for the cheese and sausage she so dearly loves, but not to see or even research into the slavery, environmental destruction, and racism that goes into her precious chocolate.
Rebecca Rose
The idea behind this book spoke to me. I have an unhealthy relationship with food, as do most Americans. When I read the description I could relate to the author. Her journey isn't something most people can do, she uses a lot of her connections to get her into places that most people could never visit. However, we can learn something from her path. In the end she comes to the most basic of conclusions, the ones most people don't want to accept.
Sarah
Mar 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this for free for my Kindle and I have to say a big thumbs down. The idea is interesting, which is why I downloaded it. Even for free there are some books I don't bother with. But after plowing through the whole book, here is her big revelation/solution. A food journal and portion control. Um.... I think weight watchers might have been able to help you with this a while ago. If controlling your portions was easy, everyone would do it and no one would be overweight.
Wan Ni
Aug 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011, ddc-600
A self-indulgent book about what seems to be a love-hate relationship with food. The author blatantly shows off her yoga knowledge and practice, her connections to artisan food people and the tours, and what was that chapter about her tripping on hallucinogenic mushrooms? Gee, I don't think I have read a worse food-related memoir.
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Personal Biography
Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom tells the story of how I made peace with my appetite and my body. That journey, and the one I traveled to become a writer, both took a while.

I was born in Rockland County, New York. I went to college at Drew University, and then to graduate school at Brown University, where I got my degree in philosophy. I thought I wante
...more
More about Dayna Macy...