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A 5 Star Book Review: Gentle Nutrition- A Non-Diet Approach to Healthy Eating by Rachel Hartley, RDN


As a Registered Dietitian, I often hear, “just tell me what to eat.” But, as a Registered Dietitian at Lemond Nutrition, I genuinely believe in the evolving pedagogy of “health at every size” (HAES), understanding what “intuitive eating” really entails, breaking of the “diet mentality,” and the debunking of “pop-culture nutrition” and fad diets, etc.

The book, Gentle Nutrition: A Non-Diet Approach to Healthy Eating (by Rachel Hartley RD ©2021), not only provides a background for the concepts above; but also takes the information further by including nutritious and tasty meal ideas. I found all the information and recipes easily adaptable and implemented into anyone’s health journey. Gentle Nutrition has 2-sections – Part 1: The Principles, and Part 2: The Recipes – See! It’s already simplified and organized from the beginning. Since I am always looking out for resources for my practice and my clients, this book did not disappoint!

In Part 1, Rachel clearly outlines 1) why diets do not work, 2) what exactly is intuitive eating because it is often misunderstood and applied, 3) redefines what health is vs. having health determined by your weight, and 4) defines gentle nutrition and how it fits into addressing specific and individual health needs. My favorite sections of the book also include practical information on how to make sustainable changes that truly last, and most importantly – how to plan meals that promote satisfaction. Satisfaction is defined in both hunger and fullness, but also satisfaction is defined in terms of being tasty and flavorful. I often find a missing piece that when someone begins meal prepping and cooking more at home, spice, seasoning, and flavor are often forgotten.

In Part 2, the recipes and food pictures get me excited about food and options. From reviewing the recipes, they are everyday ingredients (some may not be on your usual grocery list) that you can easily find at your typical grocery store. In addition, most of the recipes appear to be easily modified to your taste preferences, and being forgiving in that preciseness or fixing in a rush won’t make a difference in a delicious and nutritious outcome.

I truly give this book a 5-star review based upon both the quality of information and recipes provided. It is an excellent resource to learn more about approaching your wellness journey with health as a goal vs. a “diet” with an endpoint as a number on the scale.

About Keri Stoner-Davis
Keri Stoner-Davis

Keri believes food is a common language that everyone understands, but also realizes how difficult it is to understand the essential role of nutrition within one’s daily routine and health. Keri loves assisting people in merging the comfort that food brings them, with the strength that nutrition provides. Keri often describes herself as a coach for nutrition instruction – She just provides the information to help people be successful and achieve their nutritional and health-related goals. She does whatever is necessary to deliver evidence-based science of nutrition, in a way that anyone and everyone of all ages can easily understand.

Keri considers herself to be a lifelong learner. She truly believes there is always something new to be learned on a daily basis. It is through her love of learning, that she discovered her true passion for teaching and educating within the field of nutrition. Through her years of being an RDN, she has always truly enjoyed spending time with individuals, one-on-one, discussing food choices, and customizing nutritional care plans.

Keri graduated from Kansas State University (KSU) with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and a B.S. in Exercise Sciences. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University (TWU) with her M.S. in Exercise and Sports Nutrition, in addition to also completing her supervised practices hours to become a credentialed RDN. Over the last 15+ years, Keri has worked in many different environments as an RDN: acute care/hospital, long-term care facilities, outpatient diabetes self-management programs, and various community nutrition and wellness initiatives. Keri is a certified dietitian coach for the Freedom Wellness program.

Even though, Keri and her husband still sometimes refer to Kansas as “home,” they made the DFW area their home since moving there in 1999. Since then, they have been continuously active in their community, professions, and just enjoying everyday life with their elementary school-aged daughter and her activities.

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