Rules to Simplify Your Diet

We often over complicate dieting. Using calorie counting apps and worrying over every little piece of food we consume, so let’s go over some basic rules I’ve picked up to make it simple.

Reviewing Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An eater’s Manual, I found several rules that I want to keep as a reference for my family, friends, and myself. I also did a review you can check out on Pollan’s other interesting read, Omnivore’s Diliemna.

Confusion persists as science knows much less about nutrition than you would expect. The current dogma on diet and nutrition results from flawed theories on saturated fat, cholesterol and salt being at the root cause of our western chronic diseases.

Two facts Pollan highlighted that are worth mentioning to preview the rules:

  • The Western diet has lots of everything but fruits and vegetables.  Westerners suffer from many so-called western diseases including; Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
  • Populations eating a remarkably wide range of traditional diets generally don’t suffer from western diseases.  People getting off western diets get their health back.

Some of the rules I live by and would encourage you to consider:

  1. Eat food – when you eat real food you don’t need rules
  2. Eat mostly plants – specially leaves/greens.
  3. Eat only foods that will eventually rot (very few exceptions)
  4. Go shopping every week – I would add every few days
  5. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
  6. If you have space, buy a freezer (think nose to tail eating)
  7. What do animals drink when they are thirsty? (Hint: water)
  8. Avoid sugary or starchy foods if you are concerned about weight
  9. Love your spices
  10. Eat more like the french, Japanese, Italians and Greeks
  11. Pay more, eat less
  12. Stop eating before you are full or when you have no more hunger.
  13. Eat meals only and at the table only.
  14. Treat treats as treats.
  15. Plant a vegetable garden (or box); I would add use a local organic CSA
  16. Its ok to be a little bit hungry
  17. If you’re not hungry enough for an apple, then you’re not really hungry.
  18. Place a bouquet on the table, the food will taste twice as good.
  19. Leave something on your plate
  20. eat with someone whenever you can.

Buen provecho!

Dr Dan

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