My 6 Favorite “Food Rules”

So, you may have noticed that I’m super into healthy living.  And I really want to pass on relevant information to my kid and pretty much anyone who will listen to me.  I love my products, but as we always note on NMDL, it’s what you put in your body that is most important.  I’m not an expert in nutrition, but in teaching college level human anatomy and physiology to healthcare-career directed students for the past 20 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about the topic.  Michael Pollan has been incredibly important in pointing out the research that validates my intuitive knowledge of food based on my personal experiences.  I routinely recommend his books to my students.  There’s one in particular that is fantastic for everyone.  You don’t need any background in nutrition to get potentially life changing information from Food Rules.

I first read Food Rules aloud with my son years ago, when he was about seven.  I would read one rule, then he’d read the next, and we picked together which ones we thought we could best follow.

There are 64 rules, but you don’t have to use them all to get significant benefit, and they are all super simple and straightforward.  Pollan describes each rule with a bit of science or historical significance, but the details are covered in his other works, namely In Defense of Food (Omnivore’s Dilemma is another great read).  Pollan is a journalist, not a nutritionist, but is well respected for his research into food and the food industry.

Here are my favorite Rules, the ones I do my best to follow:

#14 Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature. I personally take this one a little further – I prefer to eat food as close to the way it grows out of the earth as possible, meaning mostly raw.

#25  Eat your colors. That one is pretty obvious (and delicious).

#30 Eat well-grown food from healthy soil. And if eating animals (I don’t, but my family does) make sure the animals were themselves healthy.

#33 Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi. I love many fermented foods, like kombucha and miso.

#46 Stop eating before you’re full. I digest much better if I shoot for 75-80% of what would make me feel “full.”  Basically, I’m not aiming for full, I want to feel “not hungry.”

#54 “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” I modify this by eating a substantial breakfast, but I like lunch to be my biggest meal of the day.

If you’ve read the book, which Rules do you follow?  Or have you created your own?