I Wish I Had Written This Book!

It’s not often that I can point to a book that I wish I had written, but this is one of those times. The brilliant Michael Pollan has distilled most of what you need to know about eating healthy in this short, inexpensive, easy-to-read book which should be at the top of your list for 2010.

Many of you know of Michael Pollan, the brilliant writer and journalism professor who has become—deservedly- the new guru of the whole food movement. I assign his book “In Defense of Food” to the students in my Certification course for Weight Loss Coaches.

Pollan, you may remember, is the guy who came up with that brilliant 7-word synopsis of everything you need to know about healthy eating: Eat food. Not so much. Mostly plants.

Saturday, I sat down and read his latest book, “Food Rules” and I can honestly say “this is a book I wish I had written”.

In fact, so much of it is what I have been saying for so long that at times I felt like I was reading myself!

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I don’t sell this book, I don’t make a penny if you buy it, I have absolutely no horse in this race and nothing to gain from talking about it- except the knowledge that you will be enriched by reading it (and that’s plenty for me!) So, that said, let me urge you to go to Amazon immediately and buy it!

Pollan’s advice is perfect for people who have been totally confused by the diet and nutrition wars and the enormous amount of contradictory information from well-meaning (and very smart) experts who rarely agree on anything. In fact, much as I love Pollan, there are even a couple of things I disagree with him about, but they’re minor compared to the enormous number of things he gets dead-on right.

And the best part is that it’s totally non-technical. Pollan is someone who likes to uncover simple, basic principles that we can all agree on. Here are some samples:

  • “Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry”


  • “Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce”


  • “Avoid products with the word “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.


  • “Buy your snacks at the farmers’ market”


  • “if it came from a plant, eat it, if it was made in a plant, don’t”


  • “It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car”

Sure it sounds simple, but it’s friendly, fun and absolutely brilliant in its analysis of what we’re doing wrong and how to correct it. Pollan’s not anti-fat, not anti-carbs, not anti-anything except junk and processed foods. He wisely points out that people have thrived on all kinds of diets- from high-fat to high-carb to high- protein. What they have not thrived on is the Standard American Diet.

Next time you get confused by all the dietary advice out there, just open this book.

You’ll never go wrong following the advice inside.