Realistic thinking. Chansky Suggests Pollan’s Real Food Metaphor.


A terrific metaphor created by Tamar Chansky PhD for realistic thinking, rather than thinking negatively or positively, works like a charm as a reframing technique for readers who swing wide either way.

“Though it seems baffling and at times impossible to distinguish the “right” ways to think from the “wrong,” a few simple rules apply. Maybe not as few as eco-health guru Michael Pollan offers for our diet, but if we translate the gist of his message: eating real (unadulterated, minimally processed) food is good for you– into a psychological context, the message becomes: thinking real or true thoughts (whether joyous or sorrowful) is good for you. Tampering with the truth in our thinking in any direction–whether making it either more positive or negative is not. Bottom line: we shouldn’t try to say anything to ourselves that would require us to cross our fingers behind our back.”

If you haven’t read Pollan’s seven rules, here are three of them. Other four will show up on Wednesday.  Can you adapt them to your thinking.

  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?” Pollan says.( Maybe Grandma wasn’t a good thinking model. If she was a down to earth, direct, realistic thinker than don’t self-talk in a way that she wouldn’t.)
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.(Keep thinking short and simple, not rumination or exaggeration.)
  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. (Don’t delve deeply or analytically when negative thinking takes over. Get distance from the NST fast before it starts to rot reality.)


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