A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom
By Dayna Macy
(Hay House, Hardcover, 9781401926915, 240pp.)
Publication Date: February 2011
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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 the origins of her food obsessions. From her childhood home in upstate New York, and back up the California coast, Macy travels across the country, meeting with farmers, food artisans, butchers, a Zen chef, a forager, a chocolatier, and others—to understand where her meals come from, why she craves certain foods, and what food means to her. She looks at how nostalgia is deeply embedded in food, and how the powerful forces of family and tradition shape our food choices.
Rather than head straight for the diet manuals, she chooses to change her relationship with food from the inside out. She delves deeper into the spiritual underpinnings of eating, examines what it means to be satisfied, and ultimately forges her own path to balance and freedom.
Dayna Macy’s essays have appeared in Self, Salon, Yoga Journal, and other publications, and in several anthologies. For the last decade she has worked at Yoga Journal as Communications Director, and now also as the Managing Editor for International Editions. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, the writer Scott Rosenberg, and their two sons.
“Food as protection, comfort, pleasure, and love, a defense against deprivation, a buffer against pain—so many of us will recognize our insatiable hungers in Dayna Macy’s quest to understand her own. But the real appeal of Ravenous is Macy’s voice: her candor and humility, her curious mind and storyteller’s clarity, and the open, generous heart she brings to her tale of learning to find peace with her appetite and her body.”
— Kate Moses, author of Cakewalk
“Ravenous is among the most engaging, fun, and insightful books about appetite you’ll ever read. A wonderful mélange of memoir (what a family!), recipes (you can taste them), the exploration of food production (slow, local, artisanal, organic) topped off by uncommonly delicious writing.”
— Sue Halpern, author of Can’t Remember What I Forgot
“This rich, compelling book follows a woman’s search for balance, and ultimately, freedom, in her relationship to food. Macy’s writing is strong and beautiful, every page filled with risk and integrity. I truly loved Ravenous. It’s a real accomplishment.”
— Kim Chernin, author of In My Mother’s House
“Ravenous is the journey of a courageous, smart, beautiful woman who learned that there is no final answer—but that the inquiry itself, the work of being and growing and accepting, is the salve that heals the heart. Macy’s writing is the perfect blend of humor, irony, and wit. Her warmth and earnestness is so lovable that I found myself rooting for her all along. I couldn’t put it down!”
— Stephanie Snyder, yoga instructor and creator of Yoga for Strength and Toning