YES PLEASE + NO THANKS LIST
WIthout delving into the complicated world of nutrition (a nutritionist says this and a dietician says that) I like to keep it simple and focus on whole foods. I’ve come to realise lately though, that just telling my clients to focus on a wholefood diet doesn’t necessarily bring to life what that is, exactly.
Some people, it seems, believe that foods such as bread, pasta and the like are whole foods. Don’t laugh, it’s true… and not so funny. Unless someone is there to guide and help, many people spend their whole life eating the food that the TV, giant food chains and fast food outlets tell them too eat. So it’s important that we spend the time learning about what wholefoods really are.
The simplest way to think about a wholefood diet is to stop and ask this question – is this food as close to it’s natural state as possible? When you look at bread and the process involved you can quickly see how it’s no where near it’s natural state. The grain is milled, refined and turned into flour. From here the flour is often mixed with salt, sugar and other additives, then a yeast starter gets the process of fermentation within the dough going and then it is baked. No quite a whole food anymore, huh?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking bread. In fact, I love nothing more than a properly fermented, sprouted sourdough (the correct way to process the grain and the kinder option for the body). But the reality is eating bucket loads of any food that is no longer in its whole state adds in extra additives and toxins that the body simply doesn’t need.
I wanted to highlight two things in this post. 1) What a whole food diet might look like and 2) the food philosophy that I resonate with, live by and recommend where possible. Now, I am totally open to and accepting of anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free etc – this is not about pushing a diet regime, but showing as an overview a beautfiful (flexible!) way of eating that is whole, nourishing, healthy and balanced. Not a diet, but a lifestyle.
So check it… I’ve listed the YES foods – which you can see are mostly whole – and of course, the NO foods.
- Organic, locally grown and seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Pastured (grass-fed and finished) organic meats, poultry, and eggs
- Organic full fat dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and milk
- Sustainably sourced fish and seafood
- Extra virgin organic olive oil (use raw for dressings)
- Fats for cooking: organic butter, ghee, extra virgin organic coconut oil and animal fats (duck fat is beautiful)
- Soaked grains such as barley, oats, brown rice quinoa (actually a seed) millet
- Highly nutritient dense foods such as fermented foods, bone broths and good quality fats
- Organic herbs and spices
- Soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds and legumes
- Sweeteners such as raw honey, stevia, organic (real) maple syrup
- Dried fruit such as figs and dates – soaked and activated
- Unprocessed superfood supplements – spirulina, cacao, maca
- Filtered water
- Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Processed juices, cordials and soft drinks
- Refined grains and cereals – boxed breakfast cereals, white breads and pastas
- Non-organic, grain fed, poultry, eggs and meat
- Heavily pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low fat and processed dairy products – all the nutrients and enzymes are gone and the light options are just pumped with sugar!
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarines and trans fats (evil!)
- Soy milk (fermented is ok), processed soy products
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Skim milk, milk solids and powders
- Colours, additives, preservatives, thickeners and flavour enhancers (MSG)
- Heavily fried foods
- ‘Fake’ condiments and sauces
My advise. If you aren’t sure how it grew, where it came from and how it ended up in that box or packet, put it back on the shelf. If you flip it over and read the ingredients and there are way too many words you’ve never heard of, or in fact, too many ingredients… put it back.
Enjoying a wholefood diet is exciting. It opens up the door to creative cooking – experiementing with fresh produce and creating foods that really delight and satisfy you.
Signing off with an exhale.
Pause. Listen. Live.