Food rules for a beautiful life.

Bonjour,

What should I eat? is definitely the most frequently asked question I get from my private clients.

One of the first advice I give them is to read Michael Pollan’s best-seller ‘Food Rules’. I usually hate rules as they are often bad for happiness. Not Michael’s tough. If there was only one nutrition book to read, it would be this one with no doubt.

I often use this book as a starting point to help my clients connecting the dots between the ‘WHAT’ (what to eat) and the ‘HOW’ (how to do it and sustain those changes for good). While the ‘WHAT’ is quite easy (even though it means challenging nutrition outdated beliefs for some), the ‘HOW’ proves quite intense yet the most empowering with many ‘ah-ah’ moments followed by amazing successes and huge health benefits – weight loss being one of the most enjoyable rewards. Better yet, they finally make peace with food and can enjoy the same positive attitude to food and life as the French.

Pollan's Food rules

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules inspired by traditional food wisdom totally consistent with the French Paradox principles.

Michael is not a nutritionist neither a doctor but his insights on nutrition are spot on: ‘A definitive compendium of food wisdom’. His research led him to focus on 2 key facts: most of the western world literally dies from modern lifestyle and diet-related diseases (obesity, higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzeimer’s, depression…) while cultures that rely on traditional diets, including the seemingly unhealthy diet of the French, do not suffer from these diseases.

Even if you have already read the book, it is always good to remember a few of Michael’s rules every day. 100% consistent with the French Paradox principles which make the French one of the slimmest and healthiest countries on the planet (35% only of overweight or obese in France vs. 65% in Australia and New Zealand!). 

Here’s a selection of Michael’s beautiful rules – with my personal touch! – for a beautiful life (you can also have a look at Michael’s slide-show by clicking here):

 

Margurite's food rules

My great grandmother Marguerite (here with her son Noel, my grandfather in the 1920s) would have loved Michael’s Food Rules.

 

Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Marguerite my great grandmother, popular cook and health practitioner in the south west of France in the 1920s,  would have loved that one! She did not want to have running water in her house as she suspected that the pipes could spoil the purity of the water. She kept getting her water from the spring in her garden. So eating any food she would not recognise would have been a huge NO-NO!

Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. 5 Ingredients or more in a product bought at the supermarket often means it’s highly processed and full of nasties. Not good. I would also add any products where sugar is one of the first 3 ingredients listed on the label: way too much sugar for this product to be healthy.

– Stay out of the middle of the supermarket. Why? This is where all the highly processed nasty products are. All the products high in bad salt, trans fats and other toxic vegetable oils, sugar, preservatives, colourant agents. All the products highly addictive. Anything but food. Everything which makes our society sick and fat.

– Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot i.e. avoid all foods with preservatives and super long shelf lives. One exception to Michael’s rule though: organic raw honey. Some edible honey was found in 4000 years-old Egyptian tombs! 

– Always leave the table a little hungry. This was also one of Marguerite’s main advice. I already can hear you scream: NO WAY! I totally understand as our modern society has been pushing us to eat more and more and more for decades now. Did you know that the size of our plates increased by 35% since the 50s? We now eat in huge plates and drink literally from fish bowls. No wonder why we now eat portions way too big for our needs with direct impact on our health (not to mention our waistline!). If you learn how to master and enjoy the art of portion control without feeling deprived (one of the secrets of the French), your health, your sex drive, your longevity, your energy level, your skin and your weight will love you for ever!

Michael’s book is made of many more, easy, simple, actionable rules based on facts, strong evidence and time-tested food wisdom. A great starting point to reclaim your health.  I’m sure you will love it – or love it even more! If you don’t have enough time, go to Michael’s slide-shows by clicking here. Very clever!

Now I would like to hear from you. What is your favourite rule to stay healthy -whether it’s one of Michael’s or your own?

Have a beautiful week thanks to these few beautiful little food rules.

Yves

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