I just enjoyed reading Michael Pollan‘s new mini-book entitled Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. I will save you yet another review of the book—Instead, I’ll just mention that it is always helpful to have a two-hour refresher course in age-old common-sense eating practices.
Pollan’s book is divided into three sections, based on his oft-quoted mantra: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Among the sections, there are 64 two-paragraph rules of thumb, including:
- “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,”
- “Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle,”
- “Eat only foods that will eventually rot,”
- “Eat mostly plants, especially leaves,”
- “Don’t overlook the oily little fishes,”
- “Eat all the junkfood you want as long as you cook it yourself,”
- “Buy smaller plates and glasses,”
- “Server a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds,” and my favorite
- “Break the rules once in a while.”
Pollan is careful to not come off as dogmatic or prescriptive: as you can see in the last rule of his book, following the rules includes breaking the rules, as long as you are conscious of how you break them and how often you break them.
Given how short Food Rules is, it is worth the read. Before jumping into the book, however, equip yourself with tools that will help you gauge yourself. Spend a week building a food journal in PhotoCalorie. Once you have a record of your eating habits, take the quick read through Pollan’s book. If you find any inspirational rules, take a quick look at your food journal for the past week: do you see anything concrete in the pictures you took that you would like to do more of or avoid in the future? After completing the book, spend the next week reflecting as you keep your PhotoCalorie food journal. Hopefully, combining the rules with a regular food journal can help you move toward or maintain a healthy diet.