Let's get real about nutrition once and for all. Mother Nature (I refer to her a lot) did not intend for food to be dehydrated and stuffed into a cellophane wrapper along with some psyllium, powders, coconut oil, and a chocolate coating and consumed for lunch. It truly takes away from the whole purpose of whole foods. Are we really so busy that we cannot take the time out once or twice a week to responsibly prepare some food and snacks so we don't have to rely on these extremely expensive and nutrient deficient food items? Has nutrition taken on a whole new meaning? With all the labeling of diets, counting of macro nutrients, and seeing where your carbs fit in to the whole picture of having a cosmetically appealing body, we have lost touch with what it means to be on point with our diets and truly connected to our bodies.
True wholefood's diets consist of an abundance of plant based foods including fruits, vegetables, starch vegetables, and whole grains. There is plenty of room for natural proteins from responsibly and humanely raised animals and natural non-hydrogenated and trans fat free healthy fats. It comes from a place where once upon a time it was all we had. Naturally grown whole foods feed the body in a way that processed foods simply cannot even touch on. It's a source of nutrition that the cells of our bodies recognize, absorb, and use for repair and growth. Instant fuel for our muscles, immune system, hormones, nervous system, and whole body functioning. Consuming a diet based on pure real natural foods helps us stay lean, balances our physical and mental well-being, and keeps us in a state of homeostasis. Our digestive systems stay regular.....which is a true sign of health from within. We sleep better at night. We are in a better mood. Our skin stays clear. And we have energy for exercise and daily activity. There really is no getting around the fact that that is what the human body was designed to consume.
Yes, there is always room for indulgences here and there. But the packaging of snack bars and the like which are labeled as "whole food nutrition" is just a label and a license to allow you to feel good about eating a processed food. I'm not saying that there isn't a place for these foods. But you would serve your body so much better eating an apple and almonds than eating a protein bar full of stabalizers, sugar, fake protein, and binding fibers. And all that the former requires is the washing of the apple and a handful of nuts. Cheaper, healthier, and much more satiating. True Whole Foods at its finest.
When we say a plant based diet, the meaning behind that isn't to be confused with being a vegetarian. It's simply the base for the diet. 60% of the diet is comprised of plants like fruits, veggies, starchy veggies (sweet potatoes and tubers) and a small amount of whole grains (whether you choose gluten free or not is entirely up to you). The next 20% of your diet is made up of natural proteins from natural chicken, turkey, beef, game, wild fish, eggs, and organic dairy should it server your body well....whatever your preference. And the last 20% comes from healthy fats in the form of whole eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, macadamia nut oil.....just to name a few because there are plenty more. Avoid canola oil at all costs. It's highly refined and is very unstable.
When you stick with a whole foods plant based diet, you need not slap labels on your menu. It doesn't matter if it's Paleo, ketogenic, low carb, low fat, high carb, high fat, grain free, gluten free, or whatever else you have tried eliminating and labeling in the past. It's so much easier to see where your sensitivities are when you remove the most common culprits.....that being processed foods. So before you go and start doing food allergy testing, taking tons of supplements, enzymes, and miracles pills....before you go and hire expensive coaches and doctors......look at the most obvious. Usually the answer is right on the end of your fork. We complicate things by putting our blinders on and we wind up spending way too much money on programs and diets that don't work.
- Log your food.... not your calories
- Notice what your eating daily
- Pay attention to your bio-feedback loop----how your body responds once you've come off the processed foods and how you feel while being on a natural wholefood's plan. It's remarkable how quickly the body bounces back.
- Eat an abundance of veggies, fruits, tubers, whole grains, natural meats, and healthy fats.
- Find the foods that work the best for you and stick with them. I tend to eat the same foods on a regular basis with little swap outs to mix it up. (see the pictures below) You will see that little swaps can make something so simple feel like an entirely different meal just by the change in flavor.
One of my favorite quotes and influences on my diet is by Michael Pollan....."Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants." It's the definition of a sound diet and where we need to head in order to truly get back on track with our health, our weight, and our overall well-being. There truly is not another way.
Eat Well My Friends. Your Health Truly Does Depend On It.
And that's Food For Friday.