These days I don’t follow diets, but over the years, I’ve tried out lots of diets, many of them being weird or unusual, some being tougher than others to follow ,for more than a matter of weeks, or even days. Today I try to mainly eat healthy food, eat a variety of colours, and try to limit sugar. That’s basically my strategy. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s not something I stress about.
Recently I came across one of my blog posts from 2012, that still resonates with me, which is why I’m sharing it today, with a few changes. I follow many of these tips sometimes, some of the tips occasionally, but never all of them, all of the time. I’m sure if I did, I’d be much more healthy than I am today. However, I do tend to think these days that life is for living, and as I get older, life is definitely becoming too short for dieting. Everything in moderation is my mantra these days.
Many years ago, I read an interesting book that was recommended to me by a friend, who also has an interest in healthy food. The book is “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” by Michael Pollan. The author has written many books on the subject of healthy food, and for a long period of time was a contributor to the New York Times Magazine.
Food Rules is a simple little book of only 140 pages, but with a very sensible approach to healthy eating. Here are Pollan’s Rules:
1. Eat Food (real food)
2. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the
4. Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
5. Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.
6. Avoid food products than contain more than five ingredients.
7. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader cannot pronounce
8. Avoid food products that make health claims
9. Avoid food products with the word “lite”or the terms “low fat”or “nonfat”in their names
10. Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not eg. margarine, soy “meat”products
11. Avoid foods you see advertised on television
12. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
13. Eat only foods that will eventually rot
14. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
15. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can. eg Shop at farmer’s markets
16. Buy your snacks at the farmers market
17. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
18. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
19. If it came from a plant, eat it: if it was made in a plant, don’t.
20. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
21. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language eg. Big Mac,
22. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
23. Treat meat as a flavouring or special occasion food
24. Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl) which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs, and other mammals)
25. Eat your colours
26. Drink the spinach water
27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
28.If you have the space, buy a freezer
29. Eat like an omnivore
30. Eat well grown food from healthy soil.
31. Eat wild foods when you can
32. Don’t overlook the oily little fishes
33. Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi
34. Sweeten and salt your food yourself
35. Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature.
36. Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the colour of the milk.
37. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead
38. Favour the kinds of oils and grains that have traditionally been stone-ground
39. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
40. Be the kind of person who takes supplements – then skip the supplements
41. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks
42. Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism
43. Have a glass of wine with dinner
44. Pay more, eat less
45. Eat less
46. Stop eating before you’re full
47. Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
48. Consult your gut
49. Eat slowly
50. The banquet is in the first bite
51. Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it takes to to prepare it.
52. Buy smaller plates and glasses
53. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds
54. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper
55. Eat meals
56. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods
57. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
58. Do all your eating at a table.
59. Try not to eat alone
60. Treat treats as treats
61. Leave something on your plate
62. Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don’t
64. Break the rules once in a while
This is all good advice, that our great grandparents would have followed without even thinking about it. I don’t see this as dieting. My favourite tip is No. 36: Don’t eat breakfast cereal that changes the colour of the milk. What’s your favourite?
This post is linked to Denyse’s Life This Week
Images: Goodreads and Canva
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