Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Pollan & Pleasure
Huh, do you think this guy is covering Miss Jackson? I wonder.
I recently read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I was pretty shocked to see that it was #1 on the bestseller list. Pollan draws some conclusions which are quite a radical departure from the Standard American Diet. His mantra, originally expressed in a seminal NY Times magazine article, is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I love Pollan and could go on for some length about his new book, but I want to focus on one thing he says towards the end:
"What nutritionism sees when it looks at the French paradox is a lot of slender French people eating gobs of saturated fat washed down with wine. What it fails to see is a people with a completely different relationship to food than we have... They seldom snack...they spend considerably more time eating than we do. Taken together, these habits contribute to a food culture in which the French consume fewer calories than we do, yet manage to enjoy them far more."
I think this could be the next diet trend: it's not what you eat, it's how and where you're eating it. Mireille Giuliano has touched on this but it really deserves more attention. Americans as a whole eat in their cars, at their desks, in front of the TV, standing up--often as quickly as possible in order to attend to the next task. It takes the body 20 minutes to register full-ness, but I would bet most Americans rarely eat a meal outside of a restaurant that lasts that long. I, for one, have been focusing on
--buying high-quality food, even if it's more expensive
--savoring my food as much as possible
--if I must eat at my desk, I turn away from my computer and concentrate on my food
--consciously thinking about whether I want to finish a whole portion instead of just eating until there is no more food
Since I do eat most of my meals at work or alone, this is a challenge, but I think I've been eating less, experiencing more pleasure, and feeling more satisfied.
(Pushups completed: 720)