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May 16, 2013

Food Rules

Thanks to Hillary from Nutrition Nut on the Run for the great tips on maintaining a healthy and natural diet!

Food advocate and author, Michael Pollan, published a slim volume of food wisdom, titled Food Rules. In this concise read, he teaches us that foods your great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize and breakfast cereals that change the color of your milk, should not be kitchen staples in the best interest of your health. Combining “food” and “rules” in a single mixing bowl seems like a recipe for disaster in my book; that said, I have many beliefs that construct my food/eating/well-beingphilosophy. The following are just a few of my own, personal “food rules”… but, as we all know, rules are meant to be broken every now and again

1. Avoid long ingredient lists.
Hooray for Hot Oats! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day by far. I love that I can fuel my body with a nutrient-dense bowl of oats with simple, wholesome ingredients that I can count on my two hands… even after adding chia seeds and almond butter! I’m also a huge proponent of making your own snacks. My body feels better and more energized when I eat a handful of homemade trail mix or a cold berry smoothie (both with 5 ingredients or less) rather than eating a processed “power” bar.

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2. Make your food beautiful.
I make this a goal of mine every day, at every meal; it’s now second nature to make my plate as colorful as can be. My eyes appreciate the aesthetic appeal, but my tummy is also happier digesting the artwork of fresh foods.

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3. Make plant foods a priority.

My taste buds automatically tuned into this “rule”, as it’s been on the table since I was a kid. Greens, beans, nuts, legumes  fruits, and vegetables — lots and lots of them. Organic and local if possible. Meat, dairy and processed grains take the back seat. I don’t, however, deny cow’s milk, nor a piece of wild salmon, or whole wheat flour. I could be labeled as a “flexitarian”, but I’d rather not be. I prefer food sans labels, so why would I need one? I do know that my body runs most efficiently on fuel grown from a plant, not in a plant (Pollan).

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4. Indulge often.

The first part of this motto is key: “sweat daily” … then indulge often. Although I feel putting pliable boundaries around your eating can aid a healthier lifestyle, I believe indulging is a crucial aspect in having a positive relationship with food. Whether it be a second iced latte in the afternoon or a bowl of refreshing mint chip gelato after dinner, I think regular treats are meant to be a part of the balanced equation between health and happiness.

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What are some of your food rules?