A friend of mine referred me to the book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan.
I picked it up at Target and decided to skim through it to see what I could pick up from it. Well, skimming through it is accurate since the book is very very short! Michael Pollan gives us 64 rules to follow when eating. I laughed out loud as I read some of them, because they are rules that should be obvious, but that doesn't mean I don't break them. Often.
As part of my wellness section I am going to address some of the rules and include healthy recipes that take the place of the processed stuff that line the shelves of our grocery stores. Hopefully it will inspire you and me to take steps to healthier eating habits. This book is not a diet. It doesn't tell you to eat low-fat, low-carb, or low-calorie. In fact, it tells you to stay away from anything that has those words on the packaging. And, he largely tells you to stay away from packaging in general.
We will start with rule #1.
When my son was born, until the age of two, we had to puree all of his food. He had weird texture issues and would gag on anything solid. This required some creativity, and I would say that he was one of the healthiest kids around. My favorite recipe that I made for him on a daily basis is affectionately called "Purple Cereal". Because of his issues, I had to make food from scratch on a daily basis. He also had an egg allergy that made things difficult.
As he grew out of his texture issues and he was able to eat other foods, I became more lax about what I fed him. Eggo waffles replaced homemade blender waffles. I started to feel a bit guilty about it, and at least switched to Krusteaz and Bisquik. Especially because the kid likes waffles! My daughter came along and was pretty flexible about eating anything and everything. She has a sweet tooth like me, where my son could take it or leave it. We found that she would sneak food if it was in the house. And by food I mean boxed snacks, not fruits and vegetables.
According to the author, 17,000 new products show up in grocery stores every year. The majority are highly processed, because it isn't like the food industry is creating new fruits and vegetables. Most of the ingredients consist of corn and soy, along with chemical additives. So when Michael Pollan says, "Eat food", he is suggesting eating things made of ingredients that a normal person would keep in their pantry. I don't keep high fructose corn syrup in my pantry, so I guess that eliminates the majority of processed foods.
Anyway, food for thought. I recommend the book.