by | Last updated Sep 26, 2018 | 0 comments

I feel like the grocery store screams at me, the newspaper and my social media sources do too. They scream about “all natural”, “whole wheat”, “low carb”, “high protein”, “no sugar”, “vegan”, “gluten free”, “better for you”, “healthy”, “GMO free”, “low sodium”, etc, etc, etc!

I feel like I am always being told what to eat, what is going to protect me from diseases, what is going to keep me slim and healthy and alive forever!  Eat me! No, me! Not that! I’m good! ARGH!

No wonder we tune out.
No wonder we struggle to eat the right way.
No wonder we aren’t as healthy as we could be.

At the beginning of the year, I did what most Americans do; I made a resolution.  It was a resolution to clean up the food in my kitchen and to eat better.

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We eat well in my house, I spend a lot of time cooking and grocery shopping, and like every young family, we are busy. I also know I could do better with my food choices.

It isn’t easy to figure out how to do it, especially with so many food messages being thrown at you. To help, I turned to my trusty food sidekicks to remind me how to get back on track.

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For me, Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan are trusted sources. They write in depth, well-researched books about the evolution of food, how we eat, how we cook, and how food affects our health and the environment.

Between the two, they have written almost twenty books, and have published hundreds of articles for the New York Times and other newspapers and magazines.  Both have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and have received numerous other awards recognizing their work. In their hearts, both want to help us understand how to feed ourselves better to improve our own health and the health of the environment.

The problem is that while I love the scientific, in-depth nature of their writing, it is hard to make time to read several hundred pages of good food advice.  It can be even harder to implement that advice.  So I decided that I am going to break it down.  Take the biggest ideas from a few of their books and make small changes.  Small changes that I can manage with a busy schedule.  Small changes that I am going to share here and hope that you decide to join me in my endeavor to clean up the kitchen and eat better.

Here are the big ideas, I think, from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters and Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

1.        Eat Real Food
2.        Eat less meat, less junk and more veggies.
3.        Pay attention to how much you eat.
4.        Buy better groceries, at a farmer’s market if possible.
5.        Cook more, eat out less.

Over the next few months, I will be writing in Umami about the big ideas I have read in Bittman and Pollan’s books and sharing how I have or haven’t implemented them in my own home.

I am hoping that you want to try this too and that you will share your experiences with us on Twitter.  Tag the conversation at #BetterEatingUmami.

Twitter @EileenLOtoole
Twitter @umami_site

Better Eating with Umami is a series of stories on trying to find ways to incorporate some of the bigger ideas around eating healthy into our homes.

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