I picked up the book, Food Rules by Michael Pollan at the library yesterday. Pollan is the author of popular books like In Defense of Food and Omnivore’s Dilemma.
I am interested in reading as much information as I can on food and healthy eating because I try to make educational and informed decisions. Also, if someone asks me why I choose to eat like I do, then I have a little bit of knowledge to back it up.
Pollan wrote Food Rules as a way to consolidate and simplify the huge amount of information that is out there about food and eating. It’s kind of like a pamphlet in book form. It’s super easy to read and is good to keep around for a quick reference.
All of the food and health facts can be intimidating. From every angle we are hearing something different. Eat five small meals a day. Don’t eat too many carbs. Take this pill and lose 10 pounds in two days. Eat less fat. Gwyneth Paltrow does cleanses and that’s how she stays so skinny.
With all of this information hitting us, it’s no wonder people are confused about what to eat and how to eat it. Pollan makes it easy. You ask, “What do I eat?” Pollan says, “Eat food.” I am going to share with you some of my favorite Pollan food rules that help show exactly what that means.
Rule 3 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in their pantry.
Rule 4 – Avoid food products that contain high fructose corn syrup.
Rule 9 – Avoid food products with the wordoid, “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.
Rule 12 – Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
Rule 14 – Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or grown in nature.
Rule 15 – Get out of the supermarket whenever you can. (Hello farmer’s markets!)
Rule 20 – It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car. (Personal favorite…can I just say Amen!)
Rule 22 – Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
Rule 25 – Eat your colors.
Rule 27 – Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
Rule 36 – Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of your milk.
Rule 47 – Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
Rule 57 – Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
Rule 63 – Cook
Rule 64 – Break the rules once in a while. 🙂
As you can see from this short list, Pollan really makes it simple. Eating and buying food does not have to be hard. But there is also no quick fix or miracle pill that will make you instantly fit and healthy. Put good stuff into your body, and your body will respond by looking and performing good.
I really like how Pollan adds that it’s important to break the rules every now and then. We are only human and sometimes it’s fun to eat that really delish piece of cake that will do nothing for you but make your taste buds sing and mouth smile.
Pollan says that obsessing over food rules is bad for your happiness and your health. So don’t stress about being the “perfect eater.” The important thing is making informed and conscious decisions. Even if it’s choosing to buy veggies from a farmer’s market, or choosing to cook supper instead of eating out one night. Those small changes really add up and can positively affect the bod.
I highly recommend reading anything by Pollan. He does his research and really makes you think. And who doesn’t like thinking about food?
In fact, I’m thinking right now….about a delish recipe to cook up tonight and share with you guys tomorrow! Happy Wednesday! Now go eat some good food! 🙂