The Trick to a Healthy Diet

Have you seen this brilliant little video narrated by food journalist Michael Pollan? I love the way it’s illustrated. The big takeaway lesson: “What predicted a healthy diet more than anything else was that it was being cooked by a human being (and not a corporation)…Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

P.S. The power of empathy, and Toby’s first giggle.

(Video by Kerry Hyndman and Damn Fine Media)

  1. Very sound advice indeed–you may eat whatever you feel like but cook it yourself and eat healthy and eat clean!

  2. As a retired athlete and now physician – I’ve been through every single diet under the sun to reach peak performance. In the end, if you feel good and eat ‘clean’ AND never neglect your body’s needs, you’ll turn out ok :)

  3. Brilliant Content I like the way you describe all of these tricks to a healthy diet

  4. Hope you’re doing good, I want to mention one another thing,
    we are supporting the cause to remove Thalassemia .
    We provide free blood to needy. I hope you support our cause too..!

  5. I like the idea. I don’t cook anyway so probably half the things don’t apply. But at least the other half do

  6. Nice..

  7. Yogisattva aims at celebrating food in it’s purest form and encouraging everyone to indulge in their health.We provide a wide variety of dishes – plant-based meals, drinks, desserts, and even gift hampers – all made from directly-sourced organic ingredients.
    Check out this link …

  8. Love this video. Thanks for shearing.

  9. GG says...

    Sigh. This post made my heart so happy.

  10. Great to know this video, I feel better about my diet

  11. I was wondering.
    I know you’ve mentioned it before but it’s been a while.
    What kind of bike seat do you have for Toby?
    How old will Anton be before he goes for a ride?
    My but is a day younger than Anton and I am currently searching for a bike, but I like your bike seat that sits on the front and want a bike that will accommodate that.
    Do you think it’s harder to ride with the baby on the front verses the back?

    Love any info if you can pass it on
    P.s I have been doing a lot of research about nutrition lately and this just simplifies it so well.

  12. I love him. He is spot-on when it comes to health and nutrition! How do you find all these awesome things???

  13. I saw him on Oprah and he said eat all the junk food you want, but you have to cook it yourself. I loved that statement. I love your blog Joanna!!! Really the best blog I read everyday!

  14. Eat whatever you want, just cook it yourself – I love that! Since I am always looking for some way to justify eating dessert, I’ll take this to heart :-) Off to bake now …

  15. What a great, simple video. I laughed out loud at “CALORIES: 666”.

  16. Similar to julie- would you ever think about doing posts on your favorite foods or go to foods as a family, healthy things you do as a family/ habits or even your guilty food pleasures?

  17. I think there’s really some truth to this. My aunt makes everything from scratch and her family has dessert every single night (omg!) for dinner and they have very health figures.

  18. Great clip! So very true…and I just FEEL better knowing what kind of ingredients I am putting in my food when I make it. Cooking bad food yourself (like the lavish desserts and yummy french fries) are so laborious who in the heck would want to do that? Cook the food yourself, it will probably be healthy stuff because it’s less time consuming, and live a longer life. A win win :) However, I will make an exception for Thanksgiving meals…haha

  19. I watched this video just the other day – it’s so insightful!

  20. I love this video. It is so true about the time consuming foods!

  21. Totally agree with his thoughts! Love the storytelling through words and pictures and grease…

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. love the encouragement to keep spending hours in the kitchen! It is so worth it.

  24. I have a friend who works in food packaging and she gets so angry about the anti-processed food message that many of us have heard because technically all food from stores has been processed in some way.

    I like this video because it does not confuse the “process” of getting fruits or milk, for example, to the store with the “process” of major companies cooking prepared foods. I completely agree that homemade is by far the way to go!

    (It is, even with organics, also much cheaper in my experience!)

  25. Michael Pollan’s name is misspelled in this post.

  26. Such a simple idea yet very few people get it. I didn’t know how to cook until I got married and taught myself via Giada and Food Network ;) I fear that the younger generations are losing important skills like cooking and homemaking.

  27. I hope this won’t be considered spam (!) but I was invited to a book launch last night for an amazing new cookbook: Joyous Health (live and eat well without dieting). Full of simple but healthy, clean recipes and lifestyle tips. Her(Joy McCarthy) blog is also fantastic! (called, Joyous Health)…

  28. I love this! Thanks for sharing. He is such a brilliant and important person.

  29. Great video clip! Thank you for sharing! love it…so true! Will share :-)

  30. doli, thank you so much, that is so nice of you to say :)

  31. So true! I love the idea of only eating things you make yourself. So since I made brownies last night, it’s fine if I eat 3 of them today..right? :)

  32. This was so positive and simple, and made me feel better about my own diet!

  33. So true Joanna. I love Michael Pollen’s books. They’re brilliant but so common sense. I particularly liked Omnivore’s Dilemma and the 4 meals he created. Thanks for posting something so accessible to everyone

  34. I absolutely love this!! Great post!

  35. Jo, you make such good choices in your blog, it amazes me! There is an incredible balance of subjects.You come out as a gentle, sensitive, smart and interesting soul, very down to earth. I’m almost 60 years old and have a daughter about your age. Yours is the first blog I check every day and Fridays are always a treat!
    Please, keep doing what you are doing, don’t change even if you grow :)

  36. I think this is dead on and such a good reminder. Thank you for posting this! Just this week, I’ve decided to switch from pre-packaged pre-sliced deli sandwich meat to organic chicken breasts. I just boiled the chicken on Monday and am using it throughout the week in salads, wraps, stovetop dinner with sautéed veggies, etc. So easy and so much better than slimey deli slices.

  37. I like the idea. I don’t cook anyway so probably half the things don’t apply. But at least the other half do!

    Defining Me

  38. I like this, it sits well with me.

  39. I like this, it sits well with me.

  40. Michael Pollan is awesome! I would add: eat lots of vegetables.

  41. I’m all about everything in moderation. I do enjoy my McDonald’s.. but only once in a while. I cook most food from scratch. Sad that it isn’t common sense these days.

  42. Loved the video. So true!! Why do we need someone else to tell us things we already know r to be true :) It’s funny isn’t it?

  43. I just read last week about the pesticide run off from the 11,000 acre potato farm (adjacent to the reservation) that’s contaminating the water. They say it’s full of carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. I’ll be the first to admit that McDonald’s fries are delicious. But the benefits (momentary food bliss) doesn’t outweigh the risks!

  44. julie, you’re so sweet! i don’t know if i have any tips to share, other than riding my bike around the place. i definitely have a LOT of health/exercise/food stuff i could go better with!

  45. going to google that right now, liz! and have you ever seen Food Inc? it’s chilling.

  46. Awesome! The older I get, the more deeply I suspect any food that comes wrapped in layers of plastic etc.

  47. Sigh. This post made my heart so happy.

  48. Joanna, I would love to hear more about your tips for a healthy lifestyle. You seem to really enjoy food and also maintain a slim figure.

  49. I couldn’t agree more! We make a lot of assumptions about the processed food that we eat. We assume that fries are just potatoes, oil, ad a little salt. There’s so much more going on.

    Google McDonald’s potato farmers and the White Earth Indian Reservation. Scary.