Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Tired of trying diets and exercise programs that you just can’t seem to stick with? Michael Pollan made waves when he gave the deceptively simple advice above to encourage people how to relearn to eat, in his book Food Rules. Let’s break it down:
- Eat food—not processed chemicals, not sugar- and calorie-laden drinks that don’t fill you up, but real food, food that your great-grandparents would recognize as food (they likely would not recognize many of the snacks we eat today).
- Not too much—don’t eat until you’re stuffed or even until you’re full because it takes time for your brain to register that your stomach is satisfied.
- Mostly plants—a diet based on more plants than meats or grains ensures that we meet our daily requirements. Eat more unprocessed (or home cooked) fruits and vegetables than anything else in your day for optimal health.
How simple is that? Western diets are typically based on processed foods, but Pollan advocates for a diet that is based more on fresh, whole ingredients. This recently re-relased updated and illustrated version (featuring the beautifully whimsical artwork of Maira Kalman) delivers common sense about food, and why we all could possibly benefit from rethinking our relationship to food. Instead of looking for a convenient package of semi-nutrition to power down while rushing from Point A to Point B, treat food as an important part of the day and be more engaged with what you’re eating.
If you’re interested in the science behind the suggestions, check out Pollan’s other book, In Defense of Food.
Look for Food Rules and In Defense of Food at your favorite local or online bookseller.