Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grace Before Meals: What are Your Food Rules?

First of all,  Happy Feast of the Assumption!   What a great mid-summer feast.  I have very specific childhood memories of being on vacation with our family at Wildwood, NJ, and the priest blessing the ocean waves on this day.  I always want to be at the beach on this day, but it rarely happens.  Maybe next year?

This spring, as I was preparing to take on this role of book page editor and blogger for the Catholic Post, I had a number of discussions with my editor Tom Dermody, about future books to feature.

I had just finished Michael Pollan's slim but very intriguing book, Food Rules, and I suggested this one as a possible one for a summer month.  Fortunately, Tom pointed out the challenge of a month-long discussion on this one book, and he's right.   That's why he's the editor, and I'm the editee.  Thank you, Tom.

Food Rules is a compendium of different rules people shared with food writer Pollan about how they eat healthy.  Most of them are great basic advice for eating well, though some are very appealing to me personally. Sweets only on days that begin with an S? I don't think so, Mr. Pollan!

But the book an interesting starting point for talking about food rules--we all have them, and defining them can be a fun exercise.

Here are some of my food rules:

Almost always, I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every single day, and I don't mind a bit.   This one I learned from my Dad, who didn't mind it, either.

This one, also from my Dad:  there is no such thing as too much fiber.

Coffee can make you feel better.  This one was from my Mom, and I only learned this later in life and not in time to thank her.

Dark chocolate makes you smarter (even on days that don't start with an S).

I wish I had some good food rules for children, but for now I just keep putting out whatever good stuff I can and hope some of it sticks at some point, either literally or figuratively.

What are your top food rules?


  1. FOOD RULE: NO RED STUFF IN THE HOUSE!!! I can't tolerate red Kool aid, punch, always ends up where it does not belong and then stays there for all time!
    And... avoid junk food because it makes our health insurance go up if we all eat potato chips constantly and then have to have our gallbladders removed.

  2. I so agree on the red drink stuff, except for red wine for the grownups, of course. We try to keep a rule of no drinks except for water outside the kitchen, but it doesn't always work.

  3. Facebook friends gave some great "food rules" on the Catholic Post page and on my wall. Here are some highlights:
    Lisa: everyone must take a polite bite
    coffee is the only way to start the day
    dessert only on Sundays (here's a person who can follow Michael Pollan's rule! good for you!)
    Paul: elbows off the table! Clean as you go.
    Angie: start life with coffee every day.
    chocolate makes everything better! (I so agree)
    simple meals are best.