I've been sharing with you some of the things I've been learning about our food and some of the changes I've made in how I purchase/prepare what my family and I eat. Remember how, not too long ago, I decided to go gluten & diary free in hopes of it helping my weight loss? And then how even less long ago I decided that was too complicated? Well, after reading Michael Pollan's book, "Food Rules" I have decided I was on the right track. There is no reason to make things complicated, and when you boil it down to the basics, its pretty easy to eat healthily. Pollan is really great about giving the reader lots of information, and usually its more than I need, but in this book he kind of strips off all the scientific data and just gives you the basic points, or practicals, which is exactly what I needed.
Here is what it boils down to:
1. Eat food
1. Eat food
2. Mostly plants
3. Not too much.
Of course, he gives several "mini-rules" for each main rule to help make it clear, all of which I thought were great. There were a few that struck a chord with me more than the others, though.
~Buy snacks at the farmer's market & limit snacks to unprocessed plant foods (i.e. fruits, veggies, nuts)
This one hit me because my kids are snackers, especially my youngest who has a hard time eating enough at each meal to last until the next meal. I've slowly made the switch to buying organic snacks for them, but they are things like cereal bars, crackers, fruit snacks, cereal, etc, which are all still processed. Just because they are made from organic products doesn't make them less processed. I've decided that I'm not going to buy those things at all (if I can manage that) and focus more on having the girls snack on fruits (both fresh and dried), veggies and nuts. This goes for me as well, too.
~Use your freezer.
I do use my freezer, but I'm going to try to do more purchasing of fruits/veggies when they are in season and freezing them or canning them. If I'm the one preparing them than I know exactly what is in them! I am in the process of trying to get my hands on some cucumbers & tomatoes so I can can some pickles & salsa with my mom.
~Have a glass of wine with dinner.
I love this advice since sometimes I do enjoy a glass of red wine in the evening. The key of course is to make it a glass instead of glasses.
~Want junk food? Cook it yourself! & "Treat treats as treats"
I love, love, love this advice. It means there is flexibility and leeway when eating clean like this. Just like in the "old" days, when someone wanted fried chicken or french fries or ice cream or cake, instead of going out and buying it, they put in the work of making it themselves and then cleaning up the kitchen mess when they were done. Not only do you then know what is exactly in your food, but if you are the one putting in the work, you are less likely to eat that kind of stuff everyday and it becomes more of a treat, what it was meant to be. He mentions a rule some people use, the "S-rule" = No snacks, no seconds and no sweets except on days that begin with the letter S. Cool, huh?
~Eat less & Slow down & Consult your gut. I need to work on this. Following my gut instead of my eyes, slowing down to eat and paying attention to if/when I feel full (stopping before I feel full) and just enjoying the process of eating more. Like another of his rules states, "Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it." I need to view meal times as more than just "fuel time", its also time to enjoy being with my family, enjoying the food we've worked hard to bring to the table (through Erik's job and my cooking/gathering) and being grateful for how God's taken care of and provided for us. This one is a biggie for me, I usually eat pretty quickly and so I really need to slow down.
So, if you want to change the way you eat and get back to real food, I highly suggest this book. Its an easy read and yet so practical. Some of the rules and reasons for them are hilarious, I was laughing as I read them out loud to Erik.