Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Have you read any of Michael Pollan's books? Or seen him on Oprah ? If you haven't seen, heard or read him yet, he is a best-selling author who recently published an eater's manual, called "Food Rules," in addition to his other hits like "In Defense of Food" and "Omnivores Dilemma." I love his new book because, well, it's little and who has time for a BIG, heavy book these days with all those words?
"Food Rules" is a pamphlet of sorts that spells out what you should, and should not, eat. I love the simplicity and common sense of some of his rules, like avoiding foods with ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce and steering clear of breakfasts cereals that change the color of the milk. So simple and so true.
Rule 52 suggests that we should buy smaller plates and glasses. This is actually one that we have been following for a while, admittedly though because our big dinner plates don't fit in our dishwasher very well. So we have been using the smaller salad plates for the last two years and I think it helps with portion control. I still have the sense of having a full plate, which I really like, but the portions are smaller by default.
Pollan's research found that simply switching from a twelve-inch plate to a ten-inch dinner plate caused a 22% reduction in food consumption. That adds up to big calorie savings, especially over time. It's actually a pretty simple change to make, even if you are not dishwasher-challenged like we are, and one that shouldn't result in too much push-back from your significant other or children.
If it's true that you eat with your eyes first, then enjoying the sight of a dinner plate heaped high with delicious, healthy foods is a good start to a satisfying meal. Personally, I would rather feast my eyes on a FULL plate of delectable food than a sparse sprinkling of fare on a bigger plate.
Regardless of your stance on plate size, keep in mind my favorite of Pollan's rules: it's not food if it arrives through your car window.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!