#1 Michael Pollan‘s guidelines:

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly plants.

#2 Jeanette‘s guidelines:


  • Diary products
  • Heated or fried oils
  • Excessive breads or pasta (a small amount can be beneficial)
  • Hot/spicy/greasy/rich/high fat foods
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages, bottled, packaged drinks or juices
  • Excessive cold drinks, frozen ice cream, yogurt
  • Pesticide sprayed, GMO, highly processed, irradiated, etc. foods
  • Meat, especially if not organic
  • Peanuts unless in shell, peanut butter, raw cashews
  • Micro-waved food
  • Seafood or shellfish
  • Excessive nightshades (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant), especially eggplant
  • Chocolate or coffee that is not un-flavoured and organic
  • Water in clear or frosted plastic bottles
  • Potatoes and grains that contain green coloured grain (red potatoes are okay)
  • Spices that are very hot – chili pepper flakes, hot sauce
  • Combining oils/rich/fatty food with starch/grain/roots (eat with veggies instead)


  • Organic food
  • Cold pressed organic oils – safflower, sunflower, olive
  • Steamed veggies (primarily leafy greens)
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Nuts/seeds/sprouts
  • Water
  • Sea salt
  • Spices
  • Organic cocoa powder or chocolate
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut or fermented beets, pickled cucumber or roots
  • Food listed in daily/weekly goal list (to follow)
  • Fresh herbs

#3 Jeanette‘s daily/weekly goal list:


  • Ginger – I tbsp/day of powdered and fresh grated
  • Cinnamon – I tbsp/3x week
  • Sea Salt – 1 tsp/day
  • Curry – 1 tbsp/week
  • Turmeric – 1 tbsp/1-3 times/week

Greens, Veggies, and Sea Veggies

  • Green onion – 1 bunch/week
  • Kale – 2 bunch/week
  • Collard greens – 1 bunch/week
  • Swiss Chard – 1 bunch/week
  • Bok Choy – 1 bunch/week
  • Savoy Cabbage – 1 bunch/week
  • Lettuce – 1 bunch/week
  • Basil, parsley, coriander, cilantro – cooked into soups or steamed
  • Dandelion – 1 bunch/week
  • Tomato – 1-3/week
  • Sauerkraut – 1/2 cup/day
  • Seaweed – 1 tbsp/day
  • Beets – 1 bunch/week
  • Carrots – 1 bunch/week
  • Burdock – 1 bunch/week
  • Daikon – 1-3/week

Beans and other grains

  • Grains – rice, quinoa, amaranth, barley – I cup/day
  • Beans – 2 cups/day
  • Tempeh – 1-2/week
  • Tofu – 1-2/week
  • Miso – 1 tbsp/day
  • Canned organic coconut milk – 1-2 cans/month
  • Maple syrup – 1 l/month


  • Berries – at night – 1-3x/week
  • Apples – 1-3/week – cooked
  • Apple sauce with clove powder 1x/day for 4-6 weeks
  • Citrus/Lemon – cooked – 1-3/week
  • Citrus/orange – 1/week
  • Avocado – 1/week with sea salt

#4 Michael Pollan‘s expanded list of guidelines:

  1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?”
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food.” Sorry Michel (that’s my friend who likes Twinkies!)
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry. Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. Enjoy meals with the people you love. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

3 Responses to “Guidelines for healthy v:eating”

  1. Willy Says:

    Love your blog, especially the healthy eating guide & pantry sections, which are very helpful. Please keep cooking & blogging–we’re reading (& eating) :).

  2. Hi there, Just found your blog. I would very interested — and this is a completely friendly and supportive request — to know the reasons behind the above list, particularly the “don’ts,” and the research behind the reasons… Gorgeous recipes!

  3. Laura,
    Thank you for the question and I can see why you would ask as some of the things on the list probably appear a little random.

    Re: Jeanette’s “don’ts” – she practices traditional medicine and is trained in chinese medicine, acupuncture, and other healing arts. Her list comes from (and this is my interpretation, not her words) a blend of veganism, macrobiotics, and traditional eastern philosophy, with a good hit of environmentalism in there too in terms of pesticide use etc. Her approach is to eliminate all animal products, any chemical inputs, and to focus on grains, vegetables, healing herbs and spices and things that don’t have an extreme effect on your system (hot spices, too much alcohol etc.). The most useful analogy for me was from a macrobiotic book called The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health and they described foods along a continuum from very yin to very yang like on a teeter-totter. Some foods are way at one end or the other (alcohol for instance, or red meat) so when you eat them your body goes way up or way down from an energetic point of view. Other foods are close to the fulcrum, the middle, and have a very stabilizing effect (rice, kale, carrots). For optimum health, they argue, it’s best to eat “in the middle.” Even though I don’t understand the philosophy 100% I have found this to be true through my lived experience. I think that’s where Jeanette is coming from. I’m guessing it’s not from hard science or lengthy reports, but from having worked with people with significant issues for years and years and seeing dramatic results from these dietary changes.

    Re: Michael Pollan’s “don’ts” his have a lot to do with the food system and what choices we want to make in terms of what we are supporting. There is a lot about health in his recommendations, but not health alone. He believes that we need to eat food that is less processed, less refined, less manipulated, eat closer to the source, support our local farmers etc. so that we eat healthier food, infuse our local economies, and support food systems that are better for the planet. His books are great and he does include a lot of research and back-up information so if you are interested in some studies, you’ll find them in his footnotes or reference pages.

    You can also find interesting information on things like nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers etc.) that have been know to exacerbate asthma, arthritis and other auto-immune diseases. By reducing or eliminating them you reduce acidic conditions in your body, and therefore inflammation. It’s what’s known as the anti-inflammatory diet. If you google it you’ll find some good reports.

    I’m not a nutritionist, or a scientist, or a calorie-watcher, or a food dissector (breaking down food into its constituent parts). I believe in whole foods, from as close to the farm as possible, prepared simply, avoiding things that don’t make me feel good – for me this includes meat, cheese, milk, and other animal products. For others it might be different. If you have a look at my musings you’ll get a better sense of where I’m coming from. I’m amazed at how much better I felt when I did follow the list above (more or less :). Once things got eliminated and then introduced back in I could really see the effect on my body. Try it! You might like it. And if you don’t, you can always try something else.

    Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you like the recipes.

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