Food Shopping Rules To Live By

Springboarding off yesterday's post, here are what I consider to be the top 5 rules to live by when shopping for food at your local grocer....

  1. Avoid foods with more than 5 ingredients - and don't be fooled by some snacks that boast only 2 or 3 ingredients.  If the label says "Tostitos", then guess what - it's still processed food!
  2. If your teen (or you) can't pronounce an ingredient name, don't buy the product. 
  3. Shop the edges of the grocery store - stay out of the middle aisles.
  4. Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
  5. Avoid foods with some form of sugar listed as one of the first 3 ingredients.
These are just my personal favorites that I've pulled from Michael Pollan's book, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, which is a small pocket sized book (so you could easily tote it around with you while you shop, if you wanted to.)  Pollan lists 59 more rules in his book, all notable and arguably potential top 5 material in their own right.

For example, It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

I like that one.

How about...  It's not food if it's called by the same name in every language (Big Mac, Cheetos, Pringles).

And I really like this one.... Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.

At the end of his book, Pollard reminds us: Break the rules once in awhile.  Then again, he reiterates, Treat treats as treats.

Much of this advice you may have heard before, some might be new.  All of it is pure logic and common sense.  If we are to become a healthier people, then we need to pay more attention to our diet, plain and simple. 

I've lapsed back into my bad ways more than once, but I think this time I'm more committed than I've ever been to stay away from fast food and processed food. I know from past experience how much better I feel - I seem to have more energy and more motivation when I'm eating right.

I'm giving both of Pollard's books 5 stars. 

In Defense of Food is an engrossing read from start to finish, and Food Rules will aid you in selecting the right foods as you start a new and exciting journey in your health.


  1. "If your teen (or you) can't pronounce an ingredient name, don't buy the product."

    I agree--and thanks for the laugh.

  2. This is a difficult thing to do...however, I think it's worth it in health benefits...

  3. **Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.**

    For me, this is the easiest one to follow! Awesome post, Susan. I am going to order the book!
    Thanks :)
    xo, misha

  4. Some great advice here. Now if I can get myself to follow it...

  5. Hey Girl...long time no talk!! no likee....I'll try to do better. My fav is if it comes through your car window it is not food!!...I feel like I came late to this party but I just watched Food,Inc....what an eye-opener!...I knew lots of it but ....It is amazing to me how people want to just bury their heads in the sand about what they are putting in their body...

  6. Good stuff, and so true!! I have been wanting to eat healthier for years, and even wanted to do Gluten-free and/or vegetarian. I tried a little of both, it's just hard to committ. I have been eating healthier since I've moved to the ranch, though!
    Thanks again for visiting my Etsy shop!
    ~Ranch Girl Diaries~

  7. Cheetos! How I miss those!

    How about Ice Cream?