Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. That’s it!

FoodRules I just read this book by Michael Pollan which is really just a collection of one-liners to help us remember how to eat: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”  Those are the seven words that Michael Pollan has boiled “eating right” down to!  The journalist was inspired to get to the bottom of the web of food information and misinformation bombarding us.  He explained that after extensive research on any topic, he historically finds himself overwhelmed by much more information.  In the case of researching eating, however, he found that the information grew increasingly simpler and more stripped down…until he could literally sum it all up in the aforementioned seven words. This book is a collection of “rules” aggregated by the author from sources that range from family sayings to academic papers.  Think along the lines of “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.”  The sayings fall into three categories: What Should I Eat?, What Kind of Food Should I Eat?, How Should I Eat? I really loved some of these, and we’ll see how many of them stick in my memory.  Just to be safe though, I’m listing some of my faves for your amusement.  Enjoy!

What should I Eat?  Food.

  • It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
  • It’s not food if it’s called the same thing in every language (cheetos, big mac, pringles, etc)

What kind of food should I Eat?  Mostly Plants.

  • Drink the spinach water
  • Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of your milk
  • Make water your beverage of choice
  • the fewer the feet, the better the meat (i.e.: plants have one leg; pigs have four)
  • Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself
  • Enjoy drinks that have been caffeinated by nature, not science

How should I eat?  Not too much.

  • better to pay the grocer than the doctor, or the farmer than the pharmacist
  • drink your food and chew your drinks
  • treat treats as treats
  • no snacks, no seconds, no sweets except on days that start with “S”
  • try to spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it
  • look for someone to eat and drink with before you look for something to eat and drink
  • leave something for Mr. Manners
  • better to go to waste than to go to waist
  • place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good
These are just some of the rules that resonated with me.  You may enjoy an entirely different collection, but now you get the gist of the book.  Many of them are playful, even somewhat chiding.  Many of them are a part of my lifestyle already or encapsulate a belief I endorse.  The rules that I will try to keep in mind are the ones regarding treats, eating with others, and eating slowly: areas that I could use improvement in.  I personally am trying to “drink my food” and it’s a great practice!  Try chewing your food so well that it’s nearly liquefied before you swallow it.  It sounds unappealing, yes, but makes for a very mindful meal! Get the book here

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