You are what you eat. But don’t go eating any fit people!


Copyright © Aya Brackett

That would be something that Darya Pino Rose would advise against. As a neuroscientist and now the author of Foodist, Mrs. Rose has vigorously studied the simplicity of day to day modifications and habits in the way you think about food. She is not the kind of scientist that is going to sit down with you at your dinner table and shift her drooping glasses back up to her eyes and say “According to my calculations, you need to lose weight with another diet. You need liposuction. You need to drop to the ground and give me twenty, soldier! You even need CrossFit!”

As one that struggled for fifteen plus years with her weight, Darya looks at understanding food and breaking the cycle of a poor eating routine minus the diet and plus a completely new approach to nourishment with a bold statement like, “You don’t fail diets, they fail you”.  Weight-loss programs (South Beach Diet, anyone?) and their sales of supplements hover in the neighborhood of $14 billion a year. Just take a moment to consider that doctors even perform hundreds of thousands of bariatric surgeries every year to help people lose weight. I think it is pretty well documented that the United States has a psychological problem with food.

 foodist-pic-1But is the real answer actually just within that nice kitchen we have, with all the stainless steel appliances and chef-grade cutlery staring us in the face, weeping and rusting because we never use them, dying to be donated to the closest thrift store so that it can find a more useful home?

Yes, probably so.

I asked Darya about a food that she had found that changes your brain that in turn changes your habits. She responded to me with an example of the dangers of sugar. “Sugar is tricky. We desire it more and more because of the Dopamine it releases in our brain, much like the pleasure feeling one can get from drugs. What we need to focus on is the serotonin (a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that is responsible for mood balance) that is produced. We can do that by simply shopping for our fruits and vegetables at our local Farmer’s Market instead of the grocery store down the street. In doing so, you feel you become a larger part of your community. You then find yourself getting to know the owners of the small business that is your local farmers market, which keeps you coming back because you know your money is going to a cause that is fresh and local. It’s all fruits and vegetables from the farmers in your area.”

For anyone out there who have considered a relationship with feeling more positive all around in the health department, yet has found that particular approach to be about as accessible as crossing a thorn patch in your socks, Darya Rose’s book Foodist is the basis for your future endeavors in the world of eating smart. Her book focuses around your small and simple efforts that add up day by day to afford large and exceptional returns on how you see the world and also how you go about eating what’s available to you.

Foodist is a serial dieter or curious healthy eater’s salvation. Every chapter and every page is filled with the knowledge that you will always carry with you throughout your new and improved healthier lifestyle. As it is written within Darya’s expertise and intertwined with her brand of quirky, after work and not on the clock sort of humor/sarcasm, you can be assured that this is the book to end all diet books. You will relate to Darya the entire trip in an easy to understand and apply format. Here are a select few interesting points that I found Foodist walks you through:


Darya Pino Rose with husband, Kevin Rose


– An exploration of overrated and underrated health foods

– How your willpower to eat what you don’t particularly enjoy will play out

– Creating and recording in your own ‘Foodist’s Journal’ to manage your thoughts and meals

– Why you dislike cooking so much and how to rectify the situation

– Ways to start and actually stick with the exercise

– Reasons why men and women should learn to cook at home

– How to drink less at social outings without anyone knowing

– Fresh recipes and how to shop smarter for good, real, whole foods

Do take some time to visit Darya’s blog and follow her for all things fresh, fit and Mrs. Rose herself at where you will come across recipes, healthy advice, and a true sense of passion for the mind and how we can use it to better our eating habits. And after you take a few minutes to cook up this delicious recipe straight from Darya’s kitchen, start thinking about all the more cooking excursions you’ll find yourself on! Oh, you didn’t donate your knives to the thrift store already did you? Well, go buy them back and happy cooking!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

(Courtesy Darya Pino Rose and


Serves 2-4


  • 1 large cauliflower (or several small ones), ~2 lbs
  • Curry powder
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Break the cauliflower into medium-small florets and place into large bowl or baking pan. Be sure the pieces are as evenly sized as possible, or they will cook unevenly. The smaller you make the pieces, the quicker they will cook and the more caramelized they will become, which I consider a good thing.

Drizzle cauliflower pieces generously with olive oil and season well with salt and curry powder. Distribute evenly in a single layer at the bottom of a baking pan. If necessary, use a second baking pan to be sure the pieces aren’t too crowded.

Cover the pans with foil and place into the oven. Roast, covered for 10-15 minutes. The cauliflower should be slightly soft and start looking translucent. If not replace foil and cook another 5 minutes.

When the cauliflower has finished steaming, remove the foil and toss with tongs. Continue to roast, stirring every 8-10 minutes until the tips of the cauliflower begin to brown and become crisp as pictured. Approximately 30-35 minutes.

Adjust salt to taste (you will probably need another sprinkle) and serve.