Weekends are for (food)lovers- Rules of Engagement

“Eat food.Not too much. Mostly plants.”- Michael Pollan

Food RulesI had the grand idea of testing out some game time and New Orleans/Creole recipes this past weekend in honor of the superbowl coming up. Enter what is being called by Nashvillians, The Situation 2010 (love the Jersey Shore reference). We don’t normally get snow here in Nashville, and if we do we’re lucky to get a dusting. So this past Thursday, when I was wandering around the grocery store looking for the ingredients for this weekend’s Jumbalaya, I chuckled to myself as frantic shoppers crowded around the milk, eggs and toilet paper, preparing for the impending doom that the weatherman assured them was coming.

Now, I normally don’t go through the book isle at the grocery store because lets be honest, I don’t need the temptation but on this crowded day, it was the only place of refuge. I noticed the book Food Rules by Michael Pollen. I was intrigued because I read an article about it in the Tennessean. Promising to “bring a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food,” I picked it up, threw it in the cart and was on my way.

Friday morning I woke up and like a little kid on Christmas, peered out the window to see if there was snow (I don’t know why I do this, I work from home on Friday so it wouldn’t have changed a thing). Nothing. So I made my coffee, booted up the computer and settled into my Friday routine. Then at about 8am, Caesar started barking. He was barking at the snow! It was a whiteout. It was a sight for this Pittsburgh girl’s sore eyes. I was happy all day just watching the snow fall. It’s the little things in life that make me smile.

This weekend as the snow was falling, I seemed to revert back to one of my favorite past times…bundling up when it’s cold outside and reading a book.  I reached for Food Rules, as it is an unobtrusive 139 page book, perfect for a Nashville snow.

Not till recently have I paid more attention to what I put in my body but when I started training for the Pig I decided I would try to make healthier decisions. I’ve also been intrigued recently by movies like

Me and Stephanie at The Martha Show

Food Inc. and a recent book by one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals. I’ll admit, I thought all these books/movies were part of a nasty plot to make me a vegan so I didn’t want to get too close.

Then l went on a trip to NYC for work where we went to the Martha Stewart Show. When we walked in, we learned the subject of the show was Vegetarian Thanksgiving. Blast! No fun at all. Then as we were watching the magic of Martha happen, I noticed a strangely familiar face in her prep kitchen, chopping away as the cameras caught every second gearing up for a promo. Even though all I’ve seen of him is an author picture, I knew it was Jonathan Safran Foer (makes me give more thought now to what we put as our author pictures). I was pumped! I didn’t even care that he was there to talk about his new book Eating Animals which until now I didn’t give much of a second thought to. I was interested.

What I learned through reading Food Rules, and at the Martha show through the farmers who were featured in Food Inc. and Foer is that it’s about being food conscious…knowing what you put in your body and where it comes from.  Foer wrote his book not to convince others to be vegan or even vegetarian, but in this age of industrial foodlike substances, to know where his food came from. Check out his video here and then click “Fall Casserole.” As a soon to be father, Foer wanted to know what his son would be eating. I could take a lesson from that. As Americans, our Western diet is faulty. How does a culture obsessed with “lite” this and “low carb” that end up with the most obesity and diseases that don’t seem to plague other cultures? How could I, an average American learn to eat better and therefore feel better. This is what Michael Pollan, journalist and author of Food Rules sets out to find.

All that said, I just finished Food Rules and it is a wonderful book! I am thinking about which guidelines I want to implement in my food adventures so I will report on that later! And don’t worry, the ingredients from the aforementioned grocery trip are still waiting to be whipped into a Jumbalaya so I’ll get to the superbowl menu later this week!

What do you think about books/movies like this? How are you eating better or do you think this is just a fad?


5 thoughts on “Weekends are for (food)lovers- Rules of Engagement

  1. hey jackie,
    i saw this author on Oprah, last week. Alicia Silverstone also with her new cookbook. They also spoke about a video that is out through amazon. my DIL is buying one book and me the other, so glad you liked.
    Will keep you posted! love your blog. Martha Stewart i am so jealous, would have loved that trip too.

  2. Wonderful post! My greatest wish is that this is NOT a fad, and that everyone I know and love will start paying attention to what they are putting in their bodies.

    Slowly over the past 6-7 years I’ve been implementing most of the things that Pollan teaches- yes, before Food Inc, and his books hit the stands. But once I saw/read those, I became even more vigilant about it. I wrote a blog post back in the summer about Food Inc, and my nephew’s struggles with allergies, which is one of the reasons I started down that road. Here’s the link in case you want to read: http://bit.ly/ak34YY

    FYI – it was just announced that Food Inc is up for a Best Documentary Oscar! I SO hope it wins because I really do think this wonderful film needs as much recognition as possible.

  3. Food Inc is coming today from Netflix.

    I started making the organic food and cleaning product transition months ago. Actually, come to think of it, it was probably more like a year and a half ago. Weird how time flies.

    Anyway, I get more and more serious about it the more I read. I’m on Skinny Bitch now – a bit extreme, but still good. I’ll try your recommendation next!

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