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

A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom

By Dayna Macy

Hay House, 9781401926915, 215pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2011



How can I, a food lover and lifelong overeater, learn to be satisfied?
That is the question Dayna Macy asks in her memoir, Ravenous. Like many of us, Macy has had a complicated relationship with food all her life. Rather than head straight for the diet manuals, she chooses to change her relationship with food from the inside out by embarking on a yearlong journey--from her childhood home in upstate New York and back up the California coast--to uncover the origins of her food obsessions.
To understand why she craves certain foods and not others, Macy travels across the country, meeting the people who know the finer points of her passions--the olive farmer, the sausage maker, the chocolatier, the artisanal cheese maker. She deepens her understanding of what food means to her by learning where it comes from and paying close attention to the effects it has on her--both physical and emotional. Along the way, she forages for wild plants, tours a certified humane slaughterhouse, learns to practice mindfulness with a Zen chef, revisits her beloved Slim Jims, and learns to listen to her body through yoga.
Recounting memories from her youth, Macy looks at the nostalgia deeply embedded in food and the powerful forces of family and tradition that shape our diets. Delving deeper into the spiritual underpinnings of eating, she examines what it means to be satisfied--and forges her own path to balance and freedom.

About the Author

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.

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

“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