30 simple rules to eat by
Michael Pollan's famous advice for a good diet;
Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.
is so basic it can seem a bit patronizing but what if it could be that simple?
At Crop Drop, almost all of us, staff and volunteers, were on some kind of diet last week – hormone cleanse, sugar-free, juice diet, fasting diet, to name a few. It did make me wonder if diets are really worth it. I read somewhere that the diet industry is worth $60+ billion but has a 95% failure rate.
I definatey feel better for keeping myself off the coffee, sugar, wine, bread and chocolate last week, but life isn't worth living without those things - i guess it's all about balance and establishing good habits that will last all year round.
One thing we all have in common at Crop Drop that helps with the healthy habits is we all get a big bag of organic seasonal fruit & veg every week that we have to eat! Thats' a great starting point.
Wendy, our veg scheme co-ordinator, very smugly pointed out that she never diets and just eats what she wants. It just so happens that what she likes is also really healthy - colourful salads and hearty soups are her speciality! Her no-nonsense approach to eating is very similar to Michael Pollan's simple, common-sense principles that he laid out in his book, Food Rules. He broke it down into 64 guiding priciples.
Here's my favourite thirty:
1. Eat food
2. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
3. Avoid food products that make health claims
4. Avoid foods you see advertised on television
5. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle (erm, that's fresh produce and alcohol, right?! Perfect)
6. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can
7. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
8. Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food
9. 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].
9. Eat your colours
10. Drink the spinach water
11. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
12. Eat well‐grown food from healthy soil
13. Eat wild foods when you can
14. Don’t overlook the oily little fishes
15. Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacterial or fungi
16. Sweeten and salt your food yourself
17. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead
18. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
19. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
20. Have a glass of wine with dinner
21. Pay more, eat less
22. Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored
23. Eat slowly
24. Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, dinner like pauper
25. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods
26. Try not to eat alone
27. Treat treats as treats
28. Plant a vegetable garden if you have space, a window box if you don’t
30. Break the rules once in a while
Read more about his work at www.michaelpollan.com