I am often asked what diet I recommend. Those that know and work with me understand that I don’t advocate that any diet is “better.”
I believe a core piece of wellness is nutrition that includes whole foods with a sustainable plan that works for life – not a short-term diet fix.
Everyone is bio-individual in regards to body chemistry, physical activity, places and climate people live, emotional patterns, cell experiences, past, physical illnesses and so much more. I support individual wellness plans focused on a person’s individual nutritional, physical and spiritual needs.
We are all unique as snowflakes – so your health plan needs to be designed unique for your body too.
Whole foods are food that have only one ingredient: food in its natural form. In other words, a food that hasn’t been processed into another state.
At the core of nutrition and health is whole foods. Just looking at whole foods in their natural state you can’t help but see the beauty and vibrancy and how they can help our bodies thrive and heal from the inside out.
Whole foods are any foods that have not been processed, packaged or altered in any way from their natural state.
Whole foods are crucial because they contain all the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Nutrients are retained, allowing for optimal absorption and nourishment.
Non-Whole Foods (processed foods):
On the other hand, processed foods (foods that have a long shelf life such as chips, candy, sodas, cookies, cakes, breads, cereals, frozen foods, processed meats like hot dogs and lunch meats, pasta, American cheese, canned goods, sauces, etc.) are high in sugar, preservatives, additives and sodium. During processing all the healthy nutrients and vitamins are removed. They are high-calorie, low-fiber and contribute to weight gain, hormonal imbalance, disease, allergies and a host of health issues. Even the gluten free, organic processed foods are included in this list as they are still processed, have added preservatives and lead to health issues and weight gain.
Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals than processed foods when consumed naturally. They are rich in phytochemicals which are plant chemicals that have protective disease-preventive properties. They contain more fiber and beneficial fats that your body can absorb in their natural state. Nutrient dense foods are generally lower in calories helping the body naturally lose weight.
In order for your body to be as healthy as possible, it’s extremely important to include as many whole foods as possible in your diet:
Broccoli, kale, spinach, avocados, spinach, zucchini, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, cauliflower
Berries, apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, melon, peaches, mango, rhubarb
Buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and if there is no gluten sensitivity: oatmeal (unless gluten free), farro, barley, rye
Beans or Legumes
Black, pinto, kidney, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils
Wild fish, free range chicken and grass-fed beef
Proteins high in Omega 3s - wild salmon, eggs, sardines, herring
Nuts: cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts
Seeds: flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin
Quick Word on Organic
Organic refers to foods or ingredients grown in a chemical-free environment, without the use of artificial pesticides, fertilizers or hormones. As I mentioned earlier, whole foods are not processed, packaged or altered in any way from their natural state.
Organic foods can still be processed yet organic if made with organic ingredients. For example, you bought gluten free baked goods such as a chocolate chip cookie or banana muffin made with all organic ingredients. The chemicals added to give it shelf life makes it a processed food, even though it has an organic label.
The message today is whole foods are universally best! Our amazing bodies know how to digest, absorb, and metabolize nutrients without added chemicals. Our systems are intricately designed to work together with the planet’s eco-system to deliver optimum health. Our bodies do not know how to digest and absorb the foreign invaders of chemicals that we ingest daily. This ongoing cycle sets us up for long term sickness, ill-health and disease. The more you can decrease this cycle, the more optimum health, vitality, and wellness you will achieve!
Feed Your Body the Best Foods Possible, as Often as Possible!
Remember, you are bio-individual in regards to what their body needs. For help with determining your best health and wellness plan tailored specifically for you, contact me for a free health consultation.
Can you think of some examples of foods that are not whole?
What are some whole foods you include in your diet?
Read through our list above and write down your favorite whole foods. Let us know!