Recently I get questions about how I lost some weight. So I try to explain that I have chosen to eat a clean diet made of whole food ingredients that are plant based, no processed sweeteners, added oils, added fats, and of course no animal products what so ever! Most of the time I get a look of confusion, followed by questions like “what do you eat then?” I always like to follow-up with “everything else” and there is a lot of choices in the everything else category! So here is a short list of what you should and should not eat when following a plant based whole food diet:
- Legumes (Beans)
- Whole Grains
- Natural Sweeteners (used sparingly or rarely)
Should Not Eat:
- Meat (all meats including sea food)
- Dairy Products (milk, cheese, cream)
- Oil (there is no such thing as Healthy oil)
- Processed Grains/Food
- Sugar (Processed Sweeteners)
So as you can see the list of should eat is larger than the should not eat list. It is a simple rule to follow, if it is not a whole grain or other plant-based food, do not eat it. There are plenty of recipes that I will be sharing that are flavorful, filling, and nutrient rich.
Then I get responses like so you’re a vegetarian or so you’re vegan…….I despise those labels and challenge them because they do not adhere to a healthy principle of eating whole ingredients. I can be a vegan and suck down 3-4 Sodas per day, eat a bag of Oreos, fill my face with French fries, eat a load of vegan cheese or pretend meat products, this is just as if not more unhealthy than eating the Standard American Diet. Vegetarians can be just as unbalanced and unhealthy as everyone else following the “see food diet” I see food, I eat it. So I do not like these terms to be associated with a whole food plant based diet as they are lacking some very important principles of good nutrition.
So back to the topic at hand, what is a whole food plant based diet? Simple, a diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes (beans), seeds, nuts, and natural sweeteners to keep your sweet tooth happy. If you read a food label and there is a laundry list of ingredients and you cannot pronounce some of them, it is probably a good idea to put those back where you found them and move on to something healthy and nutrient rich. When looking at breads and pasta, if the ingredients do not include the word “whole” in front of the grain used then it is not a whole grain. I love this example……..look at a box of multi-grain Club Crackers and compare the ingredients to a box of regular Club Crackers, the only reason they can advertise multi-grain on the box is because they use less than 2% of oat flour, otherwise the ingredients are the same. Be careful, food marketing trumps truth, you have to look for yourself, do not trust any of the advertising labels that are placed on the box!
There is a transition that will occur with your taste buds as you rid your diet of the addictive toxic foods. Please allow at least two weeks of dedication, you will notice that “bland foods” now have great flavor and your old cravings for the “bad” foods will subside.
There is no better time to start eating this way than now, not tomorrow or the next day, NOW it is truly the only time we actually have. I would highly recommend the Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn:
There are a lot of doctors that are promoting this diet as treatment for many of today’s common disease processes like:
- Heart Disease
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
Please post any questions you may have as this is just a basic covering of what the whole food plant based diet is about.