Welcome to this HOT topic!
Before we begin – I just want to say, I equally love talking about diet in the same way that I don’t. Diet, in terms of what one individual consumes on the daily is incredibly personal. Culture, upbringing, budget, accessibility, priorities, values and beliefs ALL play a role regarding not only our relationship with food, but also “why” we eat what we do. So, to every single person, I hear you, see you and respect your life and personal factors as they relate to food. That said, I also see so much value in educating and bringing attention to details that can help enlighten an area that is not serving someone well and food can very much be one of those things.
With that and respecting the title of this post, I know what you might be thinking, “a diet, that works for everyone … yah, right?!” Truthfully, if I read this title anywhere; as in, on a magazine cover, book title or social media post, I’d probably question it too. But, there actually is a diet that works for everyone, every culture, and every budget. Ack. Are you still doubting?!
So here’s the thing – it’s not really a diet. Diet can mean a lot of things and it usually triggers different emotions in different people, but it does get attention which is why I used the word “diet” instead of “concept” in the title. And as I just preluded, the way of eating to which I’m referring is more of a concept than anything else. It is called ->
Eating whole foods.
Period. That’s it.
I know what you might also be thinking.
Insert either one of the following:
- “Um, that’s it – that’s all she’s got”
- “Well – what does that mean?”
- “Ah, I know that already but …?”
- “Yes, amen girl! Preach!”
So what does a whole foods diet mean exactly?!
It means eating foods straight from the earth, as minimally processed as possible.
- wild salmon vs. farm-raised
- organic, steel cut oats vs. quick oats
- sweet potatoes vs. sweet potato crackers
- unsweetened apple sauce vs. sugar-sweetened apple sauce
- a whole orange vs. pasteurized orange juice
- water vs. juice sweetened with high-fructose corn-syrup
- organic, grass-fed butter vs. margarine
- hard boiled whole eggs vs. egg beaters
- raw organic cheese vs. pasteurized cheese with added coloring
- Note: milk is white, so how the heck does cheese become orange?? *Adding coloring (insert sad face).
It’s interesting to note that most whole foods do not come in pretty packages or have labels highlighting how healthy they are for us. Compare that to packaged foods which you will notice have very identifiable labels promoting something to catch our eye. The biggest one of all being organic! Just because something is organic does not mean it’s whole or healthy for us, and yet how often do we purchase these things and feel good about doing so?! Now don’t get me wrong, I buy organic dark chocolate almonds too and do (in a way) feel better about it (giggles)! But the point is, even an organic diet doesn’t work for everyone. But, eating whole foods does.
So where do you go from here?!
First, think about how you feel? How would you describe your energy, mood and physical symptoms. If you’re answer is anything other than “awesome,” I would encourage you to think about what you eat in a day? Do you mostly eat whole foods? As in, eggs with spinach with natural raw cheese (for breakfast); an apple with raw nuts for a snack; homemade soup with veggies & protein or a salad? Write down on paper what an average Monday-Friday looks like for you. Then outline the weekend. Look at it, and let it sink in. What do you notice from this list?
Now, I need to pause and shout this from the ROOF TOPS so everyone can hear!
Food shame sucks! -> I don’t even like that word (sucks) but I just sat here staring at my screen for a long while trying to think up a better word and I can’t. I am NOT about the food shame game. Eww, vomit in my mouth. There is no such thing as a perfect diet. So, I want you to pause and take a moment if this article is bringing up negative emotion. If it is, I am with you friend. Food is not simple. Diet is incredibly layered. So hang in there and read to the end.
In honouring all that was said above, but also considering what most people desire – looking and feeling great, the disconnect within this usually lies between our “most-of-the-time” foods and our “sometimes” foods. Often, health and wellness shifts dramatically (for the positive) when these two categories switch places. As in, your “sometimes” foods (eggs for breakfast, a hearty soup or salad for lunch) become your “most-of-the-time” foods, and those quick-bagels, breakfast cereals, and granola bars become less frequent. The process of how exactly to do that is really what habit change is all about and something we will begin rolling out in the resource section of this website (in the future).
The main take aways from this article is that “there really is one diet that can work for absolutely everyone” and that diet includes eating whole foods, in their natural form, at every snack and meal “most-of-the-time.”
From this article – what speaks to you the most? Let me know!
In Best Health!