Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want

Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want

Think about that first tickle of hunger in your stomach. A moment ago, you could have been thinking about anything, but now it's thickly buttered marmite toast, a frosty scoop of ice cream straight from the tub, some creamy, cheesy scrambled eggs or a fuzzy, perfectly-ripe peach.Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. Food nourishes our bodies, helps us celebrate our s...

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Title:Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want
Author:Ruby Tandoh
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want Reviews

  • Victoria

    What a wonderful, marvel of a book. Ruby talks about food — the best parts and the worst parts — and food culture — same — so beautifully, incisively, decisively. It moved me to tears multiple times. Food is complicated and terrible and wonderful and Ruby embraces it while and helps us embrace it too.

  • Kelsey Landhuis

    Please trust that it's not hyperbole when I say that I really and truly believe everyone should read this book. I feel like someone who has always had a relatively "healthy" relationship with food but the way Ruby writes about it has definitely been a game-changer in moving my thinking beyond just nutritional value/food groups/carbs/etc. to all the ways that good food can be enriching not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    The one caveat is that she is a UK-based writer s

    Please trust that it's not hyperbole when I say that I really and truly believe everyone should read this book. I feel like someone who has always had a relatively "healthy" relationship with food but the way Ruby writes about it has definitely been a game-changer in moving my thinking beyond just nutritional value/food groups/carbs/etc. to all the ways that good food can be enriching not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    The one caveat is that she is a UK-based writer so the specific food items she talks about are sometimes less familiar to me, but I don't think it ever detracts from the overall point. The recipes would also take a /tiny/ bit of work to convert to US measurements, again it doesn't seem like a huge deal but just a note. I'm not sure if/when a US version of the book is coming out; I got mine from

    which offers an awesome free shipping deal because I couldn't stand to wait. There are a couple of excerpts available on Ruby's

    if you want to look before you leap, too.

  • anaïs

    This is beautiful writing by Ruby Tandoh not just about food but bodies, culture, class, and feelings. It has been such a wake up call to struggle less with what I eat and slow down to be kinder to myself. There's a core of kindness and lack of judgment here that is so refreshing when it comes to food writing.

  • Ari

    THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT. It's comforting, thoughtful, and incredibly illuminating, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am that a book like this exists. Food is beautiful and it's also (as Ruby says) so fucking complicated sometimes, and especially in today's world of ubiquitous diet culture it's so essential that we look at the big picture of how the way we eat defines who we are and how we move through the world (and vice-versa how those things inform what we eat). Ruby Tandoh is so gene

    THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT. It's comforting, thoughtful, and incredibly illuminating, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am that a book like this exists. Food is beautiful and it's also (as Ruby says) so fucking complicated sometimes, and especially in today's world of ubiquitous diet culture it's so essential that we look at the big picture of how the way we eat defines who we are and how we move through the world (and vice-versa how those things inform what we eat). Ruby Tandoh is so generous and her food philosophy will nourish you more than any clean eating plan or Whole30 could. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this book, just mostly that I could not put it down and I want to try all her recipes immediately and share them with everyone. Please eat up!

  • Kirsty

    Anyone who knows me will know what a huge fan of food I am. I adore cooking new recipes, playing around with flavours, and visiting new restaurants. It comes as no surprise, then, that I have wanted to read Ruby Tandoh's

    ever since it came out. Many will remember Tandoh from The Great British Bake Off, of which she was a contestant in 2013.

    In her insightful introduction, Tandoh gives her reasoning for writing such a positive book about food; it di

    Anyone who knows me will know what a huge fan of food I am. I adore cooking new recipes, playing around with flavours, and visiting new restaurants. It comes as no surprise, then, that I have wanted to read Ruby Tandoh's

    ever since it came out. Many will remember Tandoh from The Great British Bake Off, of which she was a contestant in 2013.

    In her insightful introduction, Tandoh gives her reasoning for writing such a positive book about food; it directly goes against the wealth of dieting and fitness crazes which have swept the United Kingdom over the last few years. She begins by rubbishing the often contradictory dietary advice which we hear almost daily on the news: 'We don't want to go hungry, we don't want to be too greedy, we don't want to live too exuberantly, we don't want to be a kill-joy. We fret about our size and shape, and too often police the bodies of others. We accept the lie that there's a perfect way of eating that will save your soul and send you careering blithely through your eighties, into your nineties and beyond. Do what you want, we're told - but you'll die if you get it wrong.'

    The main exploration in

    is 'everything that happens in the peripheries when we take a bite: the cultures that birth the foods we love, the people we nurture, the science of flavour and the ethics of eating.' Tandoh recognises the splendour of all food, regardless of its preparation; she shows the myriad ways in which food is directly linked with how we feel, and what we need in our lives. 'Not every meal,' she writes, 'will be in some sunlight dappled orange grove; sometimes what you need is a pasty by the side of the M4, and there's no harm in that.' Food can also be used as a tool in order to bring people together; it 'transgresses the "boundaries" between here and there, us and them, me and you, until we are all just bundles of matter, eating and being eaten.'

    The celebration of food is linked in with Tandoh's own memories: the blackberry bush near her grandmother's Essex garden; eating a huge Indian takeaway with her girlfriend when both were suffering with influenza; the food which comforted her when her grandfather died. She also touches upon her own relationship with food in the past, and the eating disorders which she has dealt with in the past.

    is highly revealing in this manner. Never does it feel preachy, or as though Tandoh is hard done by in any sense; rather, it feels like sitting down and having a conversation with the very best, and most intelligent, of friends.

    The history of food, and the ways in which we eat, have both been touched upon here. The research which Tandoh has done is impeccable; facts and statistics blend seamlessly into her narrative. So many issues are explored which can be linked to food and eating: those around weight, how we eat in public, the joy of seasonal eating, the diet industry, culture, eating trends, food as power, comfort food, and the scientific processes of digestion, amongst others. This varied content, all of which has food at its centre, is fascinating, and makes for an incredibly engaging and coherent book.

    is, pardon the pun, a delicious book; it is warm and understanding, and filled with love and humour. Such positivity abounds; throughout, Tandoh cheers for the existence of every body, no matter its size or shape. We all need to be nourished, and we need to feel happy when we eat. In this manner, Tandoh weaves together a fascinating narrative about food, peppered with recipes for every occasion, and body positivity. 'The way you feel about food,' she points out, 'sits hand in hand with the way you feel about yourself, and if you eat happily and wholeheartedly, food will make you strong.' I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience of Eat Up!, and know that it's a tome I will dip into again and again.

  • Isabelle

    I learned a lot from this book. Its sheer scope - delving into history, religion and popular culture to articulate the complexities behind eating food - was incredibly impressive. It was an insightful and engaging read that was ultimately a celebration of food, and it helped to restore my faith in humanity.

    I am so done with ‘influencers’ in the food world telling you that you should feel guilty about eating some foods, and revelling in the kind of Masterchef ‘cookery’ (I will always maintain th

    I learned a lot from this book. Its sheer scope - delving into history, religion and popular culture to articulate the complexities behind eating food - was incredibly impressive. It was an insightful and engaging read that was ultimately a celebration of food, and it helped to restore my faith in humanity.

    I am so done with ‘influencers’ in the food world telling you that you should feel guilty about eating some foods, and revelling in the kind of Masterchef ‘cookery’ (I will always maintain that this is not a word ffs) that ascribes ‘good taste’ only to those who can afford it. In this book, discussions of the classism, racism, sexism and ethical issues embedded in present-day food and diet culture are interspersed with simple, practical recipes for yummy dinners. These are recipes tailored to people that just want a good tea after work that can be cooked in one or two pans. You don’t need a spiralizer, you don’t need a blender, you don’t need a griddle pan. They’re practical and, crucially, accessible. You’ve probably got most of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards already. It’s this perspective on cooking, and the open, follow-your-appetite approach to eating that Ruby advocates, that I found especially refreshing. Even without all of this, it’s simply a beautifully written book.

    I might not start lovingly cradling jars of bolognese in the supermarket aisle (chapter one) but I will make more of an effort to listen to my body when the hunger pangs strike.

  • Anna

    I’ve never had an easy relationship with food: I hate cooking and dislike eating. It’s a way to alleviate hunger rather than a pleasure. Ruby Tandoh is perhaps the only food writer who doesn’t make me feel guilty and inadequate for this, which I really appreciate. In this book she takes the deliberate and revolutionary approach of not telling the reader what to eat. Instead, she explores the many significances of food, her own experiences, and how we can try to feel better about eating. I can’t

    I’ve never had an easy relationship with food: I hate cooking and dislike eating. It’s a way to alleviate hunger rather than a pleasure. Ruby Tandoh is perhaps the only food writer who doesn’t make me feel guilty and inadequate for this, which I really appreciate. In this book she takes the deliberate and revolutionary approach of not telling the reader what to eat. Instead, she explores the many significances of food, her own experiences, and how we can try to feel better about eating. I can’t say it transformed my perspective and made me yearn to cook - that’s probably impossible. However, I read it over dinner and felt better about my basic and unimaginative meal as a result. Tandoh’s tone is generous, thoughtful, and hopeful in the face of exhausting and fraught food discourse. She is particularly good at dissolving the moral judgements that surround choices about eating and conveying the joy that food has brought her. 'Eat Up!' invites you to reflect on the foods that you find reassuring and pleasant: porridge is the first that comes to my mind, although I only learned to like it a year ago. This lovely little book is a breath of fresh air. Tandoh's writing style is very engaging and will encourage you to feel happier about food.

  • Sian Lile-Pastore

    Wasn't sure I would like this purely based on reading the odd tweet by ruby! Was thinking she was anti-vegan, and wasn't sure about a slim person telling us that we can eat what we want. But I was completely wrong, and she addresses those issues - and she's completely fine about veganism by the way!

    I really enjoyed her writing and how she discusses and examines eating disorders, classism and race in regards to eating what you want. This was way more than I thought it would be and anyone with ev

    Wasn't sure I would like this purely based on reading the odd tweet by ruby! Was thinking she was anti-vegan, and wasn't sure about a slim person telling us that we can eat what we want. But I was completely wrong, and she addresses those issues - and she's completely fine about veganism by the way!

    I really enjoyed her writing and how she discusses and examines eating disorders, classism and race in regards to eating what you want. This was way more than I thought it would be and anyone with even the slightest interest in food (or who has ever considered dieting) should read it.

  • Robyn

    3.5 stars that I’m rounding up because I wanted to like it more than I actually did. There’s some lovely passages in here and I admire Tandoh’s passion for her subject, but in the end I felt like this was a jumble, with many sections not fully developed and contradictory ideas from one paragraph to the next. Food and morality is a complicated subject, and I admire and support her attempt to remove stigmas from eating what you like and the idea of good v bad food (so often laden with assumptions

    3.5 stars that I’m rounding up because I wanted to like it more than I actually did. There’s some lovely passages in here and I admire Tandoh’s passion for her subject, but in the end I felt like this was a jumble, with many sections not fully developed and contradictory ideas from one paragraph to the next. Food and morality is a complicated subject, and I admire and support her attempt to remove stigmas from eating what you like and the idea of good v bad food (so often laden with assumptions about class and race) - but when it comes to the hard questions posed, I rarely had a firm grasp on her stance.

  • Fikri

    3.5 stars. I deeply appreciate that this book exists. I don’t have a good relationship with food, sitting at the crossroads of control issues, anxieties about ethical consumption, and just being plain old picky. I think most of us would benefit from unpacking our food hang-ups at least a little and

    invites us to do so enthusiastically, affirmatively, lovingly. It says a lot of good things and I hope it reaches plenty of people who need to hear these things.

    I didn’t personally enjoy it mor

    3.5 stars. I deeply appreciate that this book exists. I don’t have a good relationship with food, sitting at the crossroads of control issues, anxieties about ethical consumption, and just being plain old picky. I think most of us would benefit from unpacking our food hang-ups at least a little and

    invites us to do so enthusiastically, affirmatively, lovingly. It says a lot of good things and I hope it reaches plenty of people who need to hear these things.

    I didn’t personally enjoy it more because (ironically!) the indulgent food writing was a bit over-the-top for me, and genuinely fucked with my appetite. (I can say with 95% confidence that you will most likely not encounter this same problem.) I enjoyed the historical bits the most, but didn’t get as much from the liberal pop culture references. I also loved how far Tandoh’s explorations go, from comfort food to queerness, but less so that these often felt randomly strung together and inconclusive. But these are quite personal preferences and not an indictment of the book itself — would still recommend it quite widely.

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