Diet to Live, Diet to Die – The Zen of Eating

Posted on: December 27th, 2013 by Valerie Porter



Title: Diet to live, Diet to Die – The Zen of Eating

Author: Rodef Vokli Ph.D

Subject: Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: Available now

Reviewer: Valerie Porter


Diet to Live… is rather like Eat, Pray, Love, only told from a male perspective. That’s a definite compliment. Where it strays from that course, however, is that it tries to be too many things. The author labels it a novel yet he makes himself a character in the book and thanks the other characters at the end as though they are real people. It imparts advice that makes great sense and there are many “aha!” moments that will appeal to readers looking for sound advice on changing their eating habits. But Rodef Vokli chooses to belittle himself and his knowledge, except for admitting that he has a solid background in science. In a way, it’s unfortunate, because it becomes confusing instead of enlightening, and there is so much that is good about this book.

The premise of the book can be summed up by one of its quotes: “One-fifth of Americans have been, or are currently, on a diet, and yet we weigh more every year.” Rodef (author or character) and his friends are discussing diets and weight while at work one day, sharing information on how many weight-loss efforts have failed, yet how many diets are available. They determine that dieting is big business, even though it may not provide success to the dieter.

One day, while Rodef is out hiking, he comes across a fairly young-looking and physically-fit man eating ice cream in a most unusual way. He can’t help himself – he has to approach him and inquire about what he’s doing. The man, named Zakh, begrudgingly offers to walk with Rodef and discuss his eating habits. Thus begins a series of meetings on various hiking paths where Zakh, who reveals that he’s actually 75 years old, imparts his wisdom to Rodef in a series of riddles, stories and sometimes too smart-alecky, obnoxious anecdotes. But at its core, the advice that is offered really makes wonderful sense. It’s primarily an “anti-diet” book, yet it will open readers’ eyes to another way of being aware of eating. It also addresses how being on a diet, per se, can make us unhappy. The information presented is quite motivational and is perhaps much more worth trying than any diet on the market. Rodef Vokli may just be on to something monumental here. Although he downplays his thoughts by turning them into a novel instead of owning his excellent ideas for what they are, it’s still well worth the read.