Make a Commitment to a Whole Food Diet

Attempting a whole food diet challenges you to resist grocery store marketing. The food available to the American palate hardly qualifies as food in the first place!

I lunch with friends from a parenting support group often. As I happily dug in to my fish taco, a new mom I had never met looked disappointed at her plate of salmon and steamed veggies. She explained that she just arrived in America and that she used to farm and grow her own food in her country (which I guessed was eastern European by the accent). “There is no food here! The fish is bland and pale, the vegetables have to be coated in butter and salt for flavor! I go to the food markets and look around and everything is in boxes and bags… food doesn’t come in packages!”

Swallowing my national pride and defensiveness, I turned back to my fish taco, which seemed perfectly tasty to me. Only much later, when I decided to try adding raw and whole foods to my diet, did I realize she was right! Go into your cabinet or fridge and read some ingredient lists. The longer the list, the less “food” your food contains.

Eating Simple Foods Will Make Eating Whole Food Simple!

What does “whole food” mean? A whole food is one that has not been processed or refined. Heat destroys nutrients, as does time. You will get more out of your food if you do the heating instead of the food manufacturer. The best examples of whole foods include fresh produce. By implementing a whole food diet, you will get more nutrients from your food. You will also eat more food instead of added ingredients.

Do not divide all food into whole and processed. Instead, see a spectrum with “whole” at one end and “processed” at the other. Nothing in a can qualifies as “whole” because canning requires heat, but whole canned beans or corn were processed less than refried beans or creamed corn. A glance at the labels helps tremendously. When you see “beans, water, salt” you have found food. When you cannot pronounce the ingredients, put it down. It’s not food.

The first morning I committed myself to eating whole foods, the breakfast challenge struck first. Manufacturers process all bread and cereal products in some way. With any cooking and adding ingredients, you lose nutrients. So, I settled for something with whole grains in it at first.

I believe oatmeal and barley are the least processed breakfast options. Be sure to choose 10 minute oats. They make “Quick Oats” quick by cooking and rolling them, and you lose fiber and nutrients that way. Add real fresh fruit and you’re on your way! You will want to read breakfast cereal and bread/bagel labels carefully. They often contain high fructose corn syrup. which you should avoid like the plague. It might cost a bit more to find quality breakfast options without a bunch of undesirable ingredients, but the benefits make it worth it. You should aim to consume no more than 48 grams (12 teaspoons) of sugar a day. Many cereals can contain your entire sugar allowance if you eat more than a serving. Tomorrow morning, take a one cup measure and pour a one cup “serving” of cereal into your bowl. I don’t know about you, but that’s not enough to hold me to morning snack, much less lunch!

Speaking of lunch, a lunch meat with one ingredient is more “whole” than strange conglomerations of things like bologna. Slicing your own meat from last nights’ dinner meat is even better. Lunches take on a whole different look when you look for whole food. Tomorrow, look at your lunch. Can you recognize what you are eating by looking at it?

For ideas on how to implement a whole food diet at your house, visit the Easy Healthy Recipe collection.

I would like to introduce you to a service that catapulted me into a whole food diet. Door to Door Organics delivers fresh, as local as possible, produce to your door if you live in Colorado, Michigan, or the North East United States. With wonderful, fresh produce arriving at my door, I eliminated a lot of the snack foods we used to eat. We traded chips for baby carrots and granola bars for fresh fruit.

No matter where you live, buying local food helps your food stay healthy for you. The farther your food travels, the longer it has to lose nutrients. Check out Local Harvest where you can type in your zip code and find local food! Phenomenal!

Are you trying to start a whole food diet? I want to hear from you!

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