Michael Pollan’s Eating Advice for the New Year

by Sarah Henry on January 3, 2012 · 21 comments

in berkeley bites,diablo magazine,food books

Illustration: Copyright (c) Maira Kalman 2011. Reprinted with permission from The Penguin Press from FOOD RULES by Michael Pollan.

Whether we call them goals or intentions, it’s human nature that when January 1 rolls around we vow to be our best selves in the year ahead, and that often means taking a look at what — and how much — we eat.

Frequently, by February, mantras to eat less and cook more have fallen by the wayside. But it need not be so. In his recently re-released book Food Rules, Michael Pollan offers loads of commonsense kitchen wisdom that can help any eater make better choices.

Find out more in my story “Michael Pollan Shares His Food Rules: Simple Rules for Eating Right” for Diablo, a web extra to the magazine’s January issue.

Speaking of simple, I want to cook at home more and feed more friends in 2012 without fanfare (think less dinner parties and more sharing a meal). I started the year right, making a modest rice bowl, filled with brown rice, red quinoa, pickled ginger, nori, pink onion, curly kale, avocado, and tamari. It was satisfying and went over well.

How about you?

Happy 2012!

You might also like:

Michael Pollan: New Food Rules, No Need to be Neurotic
Michael Pollan Talks Food Rules in San Francisco
11 Food-Related Goals for 2011

 

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

MyKidsEatSquid January 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

My goals are much the same–more home-cooked food and trying out even more new-to-me foods. I’m spending more time in the produce section and trying to track down more farmers’ markets and CSAs in the area. Your blog has been an inspiration, I’ve already liked several area foodie blogs, CSA-focused and otherwise, to get more in touch with the local food movement here in Cleveland. Thanks.

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Sarah Henry January 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

That’s fab, MKES. Since you’re such a creative cook, I don’t doubt that you’ll continue to explore different ethnic cuisines. Thanks for the kind words and glad you’ve tapped into some local food-oriented resources in your area.

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NoPotCooking January 7, 2012 at 6:06 am

I’m just trying to eat less of everything and add fruit to breakfast every morning.

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Sarah Henry January 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

Smart, NPC. And I’m with you on the fruit front: Cut and peel it all the time for the kids and serve on a plate that gets devoured after school but often forget to eat fruit myself — except in salads, where I love to add citrus, apples, pears etc.

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The Writer's [Inner] Journey January 7, 2012 at 7:34 am

Yes. The lines in the illustration say it all. It is so true. No rules when you eat real food. It’s like the mind just goes to the right place; instinct takes over for our well being.
The Writer’s [Inner] Journey´s last [type] ..The 5-Question [Author] Interview: Kayt Sukel

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Sarah Henry January 9, 2012 at 7:19 am

Agreed, M, which is why I picked this picture to accompany this post. Glad you made that connection.

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Casey@Good. Food. Stories. January 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I love the conscious shift to more meals, fewer dinner parties. My favorite moments are when I can make a good dinner for friends without worrying about putting on a “show” – or going over to a friend’s house and relaxing on their couch/around the table with a few plates and a few glasses of wine. That’s true sharing, in my book.
Casey@Good. Food. Stories.´s last [type] ..Spice to Meet You! My Name’s Harissa.

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Sarah Henry January 9, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thanks for noticing, Casey. And you say it so well: less of a “show” and more simple “sharing.” That’s the ticket.

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Living Large January 9, 2012 at 7:41 am

My intent, if you will, is to continue to learn to make more foods from scratch. I did well in the first week, so my husband says, with my first successful meatloaf from scratch!
Living Large´s last [type] ..Meatloaf Conquered

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Sarah Henry January 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Awesome, LL. A worthy goal for sure. Let us know how you go.

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Sheryl January 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

I have his other books, but I think I will have to add this one…the illustrations are gorgeous. I think that we all start out eating instinctively; i.e., when we are truly hungry, but with all the media messages and social “norms,” our eating/thinking gets way skewed in the wrong direction, oftentimes… Our self-monitoring goes by the wayside.

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Sarah Henry January 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Good point, Sheryl. I’ve actually found myself, post holidays, asking myself if I’m truly hungry before I walk the five steps from my office to the pantry — sometimes, I’ve discovered, I’m just restless, anxious, need to move, trying to solve a writing dilemma or a reporting challenge. I’ve been surprised how little of it has had to do with needing something to eat. Who knew?

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Alisa Bowman January 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I am trying to cook more, too, and also to eat more real, local, un-chemicalized food.
Alisa Bowman´s last [type] ..6 Ways to Overcome Negativity and Just Move On

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Sarah Henry January 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Also worthwhile goals, Alisa, good luck.

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ruth pennebaker January 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

We are going to be splitting more entrees when we go out for dinner.
ruth pennebaker´s last [type] ..I’m Asking You

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Sarah Henry January 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Smart, ruth, and something I already do. I tend to order appetizers and small plates, too, when I go out. Often more interesting than main meals.

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Jennifer Margulis January 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

My husband is Italian-American and he says in Italy they say that anything you do on New Year’s Day you’ll do all year long. So eating right is a good thing to do that day! Sounds like you did. Wish I could tell you what I ate. It was only 9 days ago but I don’t remember…
Jennifer Margulis´s last [type] ..On Having a Hard Time Getting Back to Work

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Jeanine Barone January 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Since I’m a nutritionist, I try to stay on top of the good food choice situation. I do need to keep the chocolate in check – I’m a major (dark) chocaholic

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Sarah Henry January 18, 2012 at 9:14 am

Well, Jeanine, since you’re a nutritionist, you know all about the health benefits of dark chocolate then.

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Felicity Crush January 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I am waiting for my invite, SH!

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Sarah Henry January 18, 2012 at 9:14 am

Ha! Duly noted, FC!

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