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My Favorite Food Rules

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
by Micheal Pollan
I am a big fan of Micheal Pollan.
He was the first one that I have read who was able to take the incredibly complicated question of
 “What Should I Eat?”
 and answer it in just seven words:
“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
 I read his first book, In Defense Of Food, a year ago and just really jived with it.   I was so happy to see that he came out with a short, easy to read, manual that expands on the answer.
Each page gives a simple tip on what to eat.  I read the book in 30 minutes and loved it.
Here are some of my most favorite tips from the book:
#2 Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
 
(for example–neon colored tubes of flavored gel called Go-GURT!)
 
 
 
#3 Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
 
(ethoxylated diglycerides??)
 
 
 
#4 Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
 
(it is a reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed)
 
 
 
#5 Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.
 
(exception to this rule, are “special occasion” foods–see Rule 60)
 
 
#6 Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
 
(another sign that it is a highly processed food)
 
 
 
#7 Avoid food products with the word “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “non-fat” in their names.
 
( Refined carbs can make you fat.  Sugar makes you fat.  Many low-fat or no-fat products boost the sugar and salt to make up for the flavor lost when removing fat)
 
 
 
#10 Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.
 
(imitation butter-aka-margarine-is the classic example.  Artificial sweeteners..)
 
 
 
#11 Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
 
(real food is alive food…therefore it should eventually die)
 
 
 
#12 Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
 
(read ingredients on a package of Twinkies or Pringles and imagine what those look like raw or where they grow…ya can’t!)
 
 
 
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
 
 
 
#22 Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
 
(antioxidants, fiber, omega- 3 fatty acids, energy dense!)
 
 
 
#23 Treat meat as flavoring or special occasion food.
 
(become a “flexitarian”–someone who eats meat only a couple times a week)
 
 
 
#25 Eat your colors!
 
(colors from nature are full of polyphenols, flavonioids, carotenoid, which all fight disease!)
 
 
 
#34 Sweeten and salt your food yourself.
 
(you will find you are consuming a fraction as much sugar and salt as you otherwise would–example oatmeal–buy plain not flavored, sweetened or colored!)
 
 
 
#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
 
(ha..like that one.  It’s kind of a “duh”)
 
 
 
#37 “The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead”
 
(I expand on that here)
 
 
 
#39 Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.
 
(if you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often!  Too much work!)
 
 
 
#57 Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
 
(Gas stations have become processed corn station.  Ethanol outside and high-fructose corn syrup inside!)
 
 
 
#60 Treat treats as treats.
 
(special occasion food is great as long as every day is not a special occasion.  Save them for weekends or for true special occasions!)
 
 
 
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
 
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Micheal Pollan
  • Tammy February 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks Amy! I like this one. Think I’ll get the book.

  • Steve R March 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Great advice, Amy. It helps to have little “tidbits” as it’s not so overwhelming. Now I just have to implement them a little at a time.

  • anangloinquebec March 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I am a big fan of Michael Pollan. I have always wanted to attend a seminar with him, amazing speaker as well as writer. Great post.

  • Amy @ Increasingly Domestic March 3, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Totally writing these books down on my “to buy” list! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Bonnie March 2, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I bought this book last year and loved it. It all makes sense and is easy to read and understand. I can’t say I follow all of the rules but I do try. I’m such a label reader!

  • Meg March 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I love this, thanks for posting!

  • The Pennington Point March 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Great list. Very cool. Very convicting. You’ve been an encouragement to me in this area! Lisa~

  • Theresa March 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Amy! This is exactly why i love coming here… so much good advice, thanks! xoxo

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