I just finished a new food book called Food Rules by Michael Pollan.
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
I saw him on Oprah a few weeks ago and was intrigued by what he was saying. So, off to Amazon.com I go and order the book. I read it in 2-3 evenings. It contains 64 Rules on how & what we should be eating. It’s not meant as an end all, be all but more as a guideline since people are so confused and have NO CLUE what they should be eating anymore.
Speaking of eating, I was eating a yogurt today – Activia…I normally get Chobani (greek yogurt – awesome!) but I had a coupon for Activia – and it got me thinking. They advertise that eating their yogurt will aid in your digestion. Basically, according to the commercials, if you mess up and eat things you shouldn’t, Activia will help keep your digestion on track. I’m not knocking the yogurt or claiming that it doesn’t work. I actually thought it was pretty good. I just find it interesting that our eating habits are so far gone that companies are marketing foods to fix the damage caused by other foods. This seems to be a new trend among processed “food-like substances” (a term from the book that I found amusing). So, it doesn’t matter if you eat McDonalds and french fries and stop for a donut every morning and eat dessert every night. You can eat yogurt to keep you regular, cereal that lowers your cholesterol, and fiber added to…well, everything. Did our grandparents or great grandparents worry about that? Heck no! They ate whatever they wanted. Real butter, real sugar, real food…in moderation. They would cook real vegetables with dinner. They would grow most of their produce themselves. And they were healthy! They didn’t worry about finding foods to fix the damage they’ve done by eating an entire box of low fat cookies in one sitting.
My grandmother had a garden every year. I remember having fresh green beans cooked in a pressure cooker with butter. The most delicious way to eat them, I might add. It wasn’t about counting fat grams or carbs. It was about eating real, unprocessed, organic food. We didn’t know what organic was then. We just knew the food was real. My grandmother, by the way, lived to 84 years old. She was healthy most of her life. She didn’t have heart problems or diabetes or weight issues. 50 years ago it was unheard of for kids to get Type 2 Diabetes. Come on people! We’re killing ourselves for convenience! Is it more convenient to live at your Doctor’s office? We need to think more.
I think this book hit the nail on the head about a lot of things.
Rule #2 – Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. ie. yogurt in a tube, soy hot dogs (which, I must admit, I love!). Again, use common sense. My great-grandmother never heard of Almond Milk but it’s awesome if you can’t have dairy!
Rule #7 – Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a 3rd grader cannot pronounce.
Rule #9 – Avoid food products with the terms “lite”, “low-fat”, or “nonfat” in their names. Let’s remove all fat so we can eat way too much sugar instead. When you remove one nutrient – fat – you give a free pass to another – sugar, in most cases. “You’re better off eating the real thing in moderation than binging on “lite” food products packed with sugars and salt.”
Rule #39 – Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. Eat french fries, eat pastries and ice cream…if you make it yourself. By making it yourself, you will naturally eat them less often. French fries are work and messy to make. But food manufacturers have made it so simple for us to eat these things every day.
I could keep going on this but I don’t want to give it away. This is a book I will reference often since I have to work on these things as well. It makes it so simple though, it’s hard not to try to implement a few rules. Pick it up and let me know what you think!