Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel

Rodale. (Goop Press series). Mar. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593232361. $28. HEALTH
Cole has been at the forefront of buzzy wellness trends, including keto (or his version, “ketotarian” eating) and intermittent fasting, along with other gut-focused approaches to health. As with his 2018 title Ketotarian, Cole enjoys wordplay with this one and coins the term “shameflammation,” which feels like a sneaky way for diet culture to metamorphosize. Instead of talking about weight loss or body shame, Cole implies that there is a synergistic relationship between shame or trauma and gut health. That’s true, but a cleanse or diet designed to flatten stomachs and erase trauma seems like a too simple solution to individualized and societal problems. It’s ultimately more about body optimization or physical appearance than real healing.
VERDICT Like many fitness and diet influencers, Cole uses phrases such as “you can’t heal a body you hate” in ways that feel reductive and rewords standard practices, such as food elimination or a 21-day food plan, that are already endemic in the diet industry.
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