If you haven’t heard of Michael Pollan, I would highly recommend purchasing one of his books or watching his videos on Youtube. He has a passion for food and comes up with helpful rules or suggestions when it comes to a healthy eating lifestyle. One in particular, “don’t eat what your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”, makes a lot of sense—the following habits elaborate on this Pollan suggestion:
- Eat your meals at a table. We are more mindful with our eating if we have the table set, napkins on our lap and are engaged in what we are putting in our mouth.
- Eat as a family. I know it is 2014 and everyone has a busy life, however, communicate with your loved ones about the importance of having a set time for dinner. Studies show families that dine together consume more vegetables and have a healthier diet.
- Cook the majority of your meals. The more control you have in your kitchen, the more confident you feel about what you are putting in your body. I’m pretty sure my great-great grandmother never knew about free refills, happy hour and buying 3 courses for $20.00.
- Calorie counting? What’s that? Not until recently did we know what calories meant in regards to being the energy in our food. At H3, we stick to a very structured caloric plan yet I still find it very helpful for certain individuals to avoid diligent calorie counting and just focus on portions, whole foods, dive into the H3 recipes and trust it’s keeping them on track.
- Farm to table. Eating from your garden, purchasing foods from a local farmer’s market, connecting with the community and eating as seasonable as possible can keep your meal plan interesting while adding a huge flavor boost to every fruit and vegetable you buy.
- Smaller plates. The average plate is anywhere from 12-14 inches in diameter. We recommend using a 10-inch plate at home. Those that use smaller plates typically serve themselves 22% less food on a smaller plate. Portion control at its finest.
- Taking lunch breaks. I remember having conversations with my grandpa about his life working at the family farm. They would take two 15-minute drink breaks as well as a full hour for lunch. I guarantee those that take a lunch break, instead of skipping, are much more efficient compared to those that work through their lunch.
- Slow food. What do I mean by this? Check out this awesome organization: SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT
- Eating with the seasons. It is easy to buy strawberries in the middle of winter and spinach whenever we want. It’s great we can rely on these being in our stores; but the more seasonal approach we take with our meals the better for our bodies, the more variety we consume and we tend to make more local purchases.
- Real food. This is probably one of the most important things to bring back. I get overwhelmed walking down the cereal and dairy aisle, I know you must too.
Stick to the real deal, avoid the processed and always ask yourself if your great-great grandmother would have recognized it as real food.