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Today I’m going to share with you Michael Pollan’s rules on how to eat with some commentary by me. Michael Pollan is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Cooked. 

PAY MORE EAT LESS – There is a trade off in eating between quantity and quality. The American food systems placed quantity over quality for the greater part of a century. Concocting great quantities of mediocre food at low prices and tremendous speeds is what we do best. But you can’t deny better food, whether it’s in nutrition or taste, often costs more. And that’s a shame. It’s a shame because not everyone can afford to eat high quality foods consistently. But those of us who can, should. One thing my my wife and I have implemented is instead of buying two steaks to cook and eat at home, we buy 1 grass fed steak (usually a rib-eye) and split it. It comes out to about the same cost, but we enjoy it more and eat a more appropriate amount of animal protein then we might have otherwise. Another way we incorporate this rule is by going to nicer restaurants and splitting entree’s or ordering small plates.

EAT MEALS – Seems intuitive, but it no longer goes without saying. Americans are snacking more and eating less meals together. Sociologists who study American eating habits no longer refer to the three square meals of the day, but instead refer to eating occasions. Breakfast, lunch and dinner still exist, but they’ve noticed a fourth eating occasion that lasts all day. It’s the constant sipping and snacking we do while at school, work, driving and watching TV.

DO ALL YOUR EATING AT A TABLE – A desk is not a table. Neither is standing at the kitchen counter.

DON’T GET YOUR FUEL FROM THE SAME PLACE A CAR DOES – American gas stations now make more money selling food and cigarettes than they do selling gas.

TRY NOT TO EAT ALONE – When we’re mindless and alone, we eat more. I know you can’t always eat with people. This just simply suggests that you make an effort.

CONSULT YOUR GUT – Researchers have shown that then when asked the simply question of how do you know when you’ve had enough to eat, Americans gave answers like, “When my plate is clean” or “when I run out” while other cultures often replied with, “When i feel full.”

EAT SLOWLY – Eating deliberately and thoughtfully not only increases the enjoyment of the activity, but leads to better digestion and often eating less.

COOK YOUR FOOD – This is the best way to control what you put in your body. Processed foods aside, restaurants cook with all kinds of ingredients you wouldn’t normally stock in your kitchen, or rather, that you shouldn’t keep in your kitchen. That being said, I love going out to eat. But my wife and I do it out of enjoyment instead of necessity.