Do you live by any food rules?
I do, though I like to call them standards. It sounds more pleasant than rules. Plus it helps me not feel the anxiety I used to back in second grade trying to earn stars on the bulletin board for good behavior.
It is important for me to have standards or principles I live by regarding what I put in my body. This helps me make decisions when I am meal planning, at a work lunch, at the grocery store, or out to dinner with friends. I have adopted a few of my standards from Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules.” I like to use these as filters for when I am walking through the grocery store selecting the food I will use to stock up my fridge and cabinets.
Rule One: If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
So we are talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The easiest way to implement this is buy food around the perimeter of the grocery store. Avoid the aisles. They are full of food that comes from a plant.
Rule Two: Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
Could Swedish Fish candy count since it is in the shape of a fish, and she would totally recognize that?? I wish. I was tempted to buy a bag of Swedish Fish this weekend when I was at Target - gosh, I used to devour Swedish Fish on a road trip. But this little rule popped in my head so I opted for a bag of natural almonds. I’m pretty sure my great-grandmother would approve.
Rule Three: Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.
How can you get the protein you need each day without it? Easy. Beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, soy, great northern, and kidney to name a few), lentils, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters, quinoa (a seed with 8 grams of protein that is packed all 9 essential amino acids), and eggs are all good sources of protein. Eat one of these foods at every snack and meal, and you should get what you need.
- For example: 1 cup of edamame (soybeans) has just as much protein as 3 ounces of beef (around 30 grams).
Rule Four: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
I like this one! If you are cooking sweets or desserts yourself, most likely you are using natural ingredients that your body will process and break down easier than the mystery substances the plants add to processed junk food (think Doritos, Little Debbie cakes, etc.).
- For example: I ADORE (and so does my husband!) this recipe for almond flour chocolate chip cookies. Though not necessarily low in calories, it is still made with natural ingredients. Slow down and savor each bite so you avoid inhaling the whole sheet of cookies.
If you want help designing your own list of food rules, contact me here. I would love to help you create a plan that will enable you to accomplish your main health goals.
What rule will you try to follow this week?