The best books to reset your food mindset and enjoy eating everything in balance

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Kenden, I’m a psychotherapist and executive coach who focuses on Enneagram personality assessment and financial psychology and behavior. I have a side passion for writing Jewish cookbooks and creating modern minimalist Judica. I grew up in Maine, USA, and have since lived and worked in Afghanistan, India, DR Congo, Switzerland, and Cambodia. Nowadays I live in Paris. 


I wrote...

Kosher Macros: 63 Recipes for Eating Everything (Kosher) for Physical Health and Emotional Balance

By Kenden Alfond,

Book cover of Kosher Macros: 63 Recipes for Eating Everything (Kosher) for Physical Health and Emotional Balance

What is my book about?

Learn about macro eating guidelines, how to plan and track macros-friendly meals, and simple and delicious kosher recipes. Commonly referred to as “flexible dieting,” the macros method allows you to relearn how to eat in balance, free from food restrictions, obsessions, and deprivation.

This Macros Kosher cookbook will share information about the macros eating method in plain and easy-to-understand language, making it easy to implement right away at home, and give you 63 macros-friendly kosher recipes, which are all simple to make, delicious, and can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of kosher observance.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat

Kenden Alfond Why did I love this book?

This book changed the way I think about individual food behavior and the current obesity epidemic.

Many of us think our food choices, how much we eat, and our weight are all consequences of willpower (so much guilt!!!). This book shares how instinctive brain circuits are paramount for our appetites, food choices, and body weight. 

By Stephan J. Guyenet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hungry Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No one wants to overeat. And certainly no one wants to overeat for years, become overweight, and develop diabetes or heart disease. Yet two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, showing that most of us do precisely that. Why does our behavior betray our own intentions to be lean and healthy? The problem, argues obesity and neuroscience researcher Stephan Guyenet, is not necessarily a lack of willpower or an incorrect understanding of what to eat. Rather, our appetites and food choices are led astray by ancient, instinctive brain circuits that play by the rules of a survival game that…


Book cover of Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food

Kenden Alfond Why did I love this book?

I first read Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture (published in 1977) in high school.

In Bringing It to the Table, Berry shares excerpts of his essays exploring what has shaped farming and food in the last four decades: the declining state of American agriculture, the dangers of industrialized food farming, and the importance of farming to the human community – for body, mind, and soul.

This book cuts deep into food, one of the most important issues of our century because it impacts climate change, resource depletion, financial insecurity, and health issues created by poor food choices. 

By Wendell Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bringing It to the Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only a farmer could delve so deeply into the origins of food, and only a writer of Wendell Berry’s caliber could convey it with such conviction and eloquence. A progenitor of the slow food movement, Wendell Berry reminds us all to take the time to understand the basics of what we ingest. “Eating is an agriculture act,” he writes. Indeed, we are all players in the food economy. For the last five decades, Berry has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of that influence, Michael Pollan here offers an introduction to this wonderful collection…


Book cover of French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

Kenden Alfond Why did I love this book?

Published in 2005, some parts of this book feel un-PC in light of the body positivity and beautiful-at-any-size movements.

With that said, I live in Paris and the food behavior and mindset observations that Mireille Guiliano shares are mostly true about French women. Whereas, American women are feeling worried/guilty about the next food they might eat, French women are daydreaming about the next food pleasure they will experience.

This book is easy to read because it tells an engaging story about her experience as a high school exchange student in the United States and how she gained weight. When she returned to France, her mother and the family doctor put her on a food regime and this led her to try to distill the essential French mindset about food and eating behaviors that allow people to enjoy food, eat well-balanced meals, and maintain a healthy lifelong body weight. 

By Mireille Guiliano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked French Women Don't Get Fat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The book that launched a French Revolution about how to approach healthy living: the ultimate non-diet book—now with more recipes.

“The perfect book.... A blueprint for building a healthy attitude toward food and exercise"—San Francisco Chronicle

French women don’t get fat, even though they enjoy bread and pastry, wine, and regular three-course meals. Unlocking the simple secrets of this “French paradox”—how they enjoy food while staying slim and healthy—Mireille Guiliano gives us a charming, inspiring take on health and eating for our times. For anyone who has slipped out of her Zone, missed the flight to…


Book cover of The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge

Kenden Alfond Why did I love this book?

Years ago, I took an enneagram test and it impacted me so deeply that I got trained in it and now use the assessment as the first step in psychotherapy and coaching.

This book is not specifically about eating behavior. However, the self-knowledge and behavior motivation insights from knowing your enneagram type also apply to a person’s emotions and behavior around food, and their thinking/feeling about their body. Bottom line: Life (and eating) is a lot easier when you have self-awareness about your main motivation and your patterns in thinking, feeling, and behavior. 

Without self-awareness, we are walking around with blinkers on.

By Beatrice Chestnut,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Enneagram as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Enneagram-a universal symbol of human purpose and possibility-is an excellent tool for doing the hardest part of consciousness work: realizing, owning, and accepting your strengths and weaknesses. In this comprehensive handbook, Beatrice Chestnut, PhD, traces the development of the personality as it relates to the nine types of the Enneagram, the three different subtype forms each type can take, and the path each of us can take toward liberation. With her guidance, readers will learn to observe themselves, face their fears and disowned Shadow aspects, and work to manifest their highest potential.


Book cover of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Kenden Alfond Why did I love this book?

When we boil it down to its essence, eating and exercise are habits.

This book is a powerful piece of self-help literature that helped me think about behavior change in a new way.  It's fine and good to dream about having a healthy lifestyle, but for most of us it is hard to move from conception to planning and execution.

This book really teaches you how to build habits into your life: changes that seem small and unimportant on any given day will compound into remarkable results if we are willing to stick with them for months and years.

By James Clear,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Atomic Habits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 4 million copies sold!

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the…


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Book cover of Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

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Why am I passionate about this?

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What is my book about?

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