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Northern Shoveler, San Antonio NM, February 10, 2011

John's Rules for Healthy Eating

This is my oversimplification of a complex subject, diet; an everchanging dietary rulebook derived from dietary information I find that seems to ring true for me.

John's Rules


Variety is good. Variety assures a wide range of nutrients in the diet. In spite of all the research that's been done I dare say we really don't know the true value of all nutrients, especially in combination with each other.


It's good to know who nurtured your food and the closer to home it grew the more you are likely to know about the food and the environment it grew up in and who tended to its every need.

  1. Locally grown is best
  2. From away if need be - but the closer to home the better


Wild food is more likely to retain a full compliment of trace minerals and other nutrients than domesticated foods.

  1. Wild
  2. Small farm grown
    1. Organically
    2. Not organically
  3. Factory farm grown


Here, the less handling and processing the better.

  1. Fresh
  2. Frozen
  3. Canned
  4. Processed


Here again, the less handling and processing and cooking the better.

  1. None - eat it raw
  2. Cooked it fresh
  3. Processed


Go easy on foods containing:

  1. Gluten
  2. Sugars

John's Rules are changing. Reading Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn's new book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and his prescription for a heart healthy diet is causing me to rethink John's Rules for Healthy Eating. I've chosen to adopt most of the dietary rules he has formulated from his work on heart attack proofing one's body through diet. They simply make sense to me. So disregard the rules I've listed - I'm revising them completely.

John's Rules are changing again. I've got to stop reading - It's now the summer of 2010 and my sense of good nutrition changed again. What a ride this is. Now I've concluded a low carb diet is the way to go and I need to come back and reformulate again.

What food cravings are trying to tell you

Here's a {link} to a site I recently came across with a list of cravings, what nutrients they indicate a need for and what foods to eat to satisfy the need.

How to get a complete protein from plants

Quinoa is one way. It's the only whole grain that supplies a complete protein all by itself. Rice and beans have been a staple forever as a combined source of a complete protein. In fact any grain in combination with any legume provides a complete protein.

Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source

Here's a quote from the introduction to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source website.

Aside from not smoking, the most important determinants of good health are what we eat and how active we are. The Nutrition Source is designed to get you started down the path toward the healthiest diet possible.

Unhappy Meals - Michael Pollan - New York Times

This article which the New York Times subtitles "The story of how basic questions about what to eat got so complicated reveals a great deal about the institutional imperatives of the food industry, nutritional science and journalism" offers a concise summary of Michael Pollan's position on what food really is and how we eaters have been led so far astray by what I'm going to call "the food industrial complex."

He opens the article with these words:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I’m tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few thousand more words. I’ll try to resist but will go ahead and add a couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won’t kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat “food.” Once, food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.

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