i had a talk with a few people this morning about nutrition and afterwards i thought, “oh, i should totally share michael pollan with everyone.” if you haven’t heard of Michael Pollan, you’re missing out. he’s a food writer (not to be confused with blogger) and he’s really pretty fascinating. he’s written several books but the ones i’ve read are The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Food Rules. i even have a hard time tearing Georgia away from Food Rules 🙂
to be honest, The Omnivore’s Dilemma was a little too scientific for me, In Defense of Food was a very interesting read and Food Rules is an easy ready with just what it promises- food rules. the thing i really like about Michael Pollan is that his main theory or mantra on eating is simple- to be a conscious eater. i was shocked to find out he is a meat eater. *i’m not saying being a meat eater is right or wrong; i was just a little shocked that he is a meat eater. he says, though, that he makes a conscious decision about the meat he eats- for instance, he only buys grass fed beef. eating healthy has gotten really complicated so he tries to break it down and make it easier for everyone
anyway, here are some of his Rules from the book that i like:
* don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food- ie- twinkies!
* avoid foods that have sugar or sweetener listed as one of the top 3 ingredients
* avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader can’t pronounce
* avoid food products with the words “low fat”, “fat free” or “lite”- i know many people don’t know this one but often times a product that is fat free is loaded with sugar and is actually worse for you than the regular- ie- salad dressings
* eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature
* if it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t
* it’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language- ie- Big Mac, Cheetos
* treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food
* eat animals that have themselves eaten well- this is a good one! think about it. if your animal has grown up on preservatives and chemicals, that’s what you’re ingesting. organic meat is expensive but if you have some meatless dinners, start eating tofu occasionally, you can better afford the expensive meats, milks, and eggs
* don’t eat breakfast cereal that changes the color of the milk- i really hate them because i love fruit loops and cookie crisp!
* “the whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead”- this is simply a reminder to try to eat whole wheats and grains rather that the white stuff
* eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself- i’m a big believer in this one. when you bake brownies, cookies, bread or whatever, you have the liberty to make some healthy changes
* don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
* BREAK THE RULES ONCE IN A WHILE- this is the best one; if you constantly limit yourself and stress about food, you’re going to be miserable and you’ll never stick to it.
these are only a few of his “rules” in his book but i thought these were some fun ones to share. i’m not a big believer in diets, certainly not fad diets like the Atkins, but i am a big believer in eating what you want but making some healthy changes. switch out all of your regular pasta for wheat pasta. limit your intake of red meat by making spaghetti, tacos, etc with ground turkey or meatless crumbles. learn to like tofu. add spinach to your smoothies (no, this was not a typo). make sure your snacks are fruits and nuts. get your carbs!! do not follow a low carb diet- these are not healthy. however, keep in mind that fruits, veggies and whole grains are the carbs you want to get.
i love to cook, especially bake, and i love to eat but i really try to make a conscious decision about the food i ingest. you must have food. food is your fuel. you’re no different from a car- cars need fuel but if you put all crappy gas in them, eventually they’re going to get sluggish and not work as well. same goes for you.
feel free to share any great tips you have or ask any questions!