A whole foods diet is a balanced way of eating that promotes life long health. Whole foods are foods that are as close to their whole or natural state as possible. To determine if you are eating a whole foods diet, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Can I imagine it growing?
If you can, than it is probably a whole food. Imagine that chicken, carrot, fish, broccoli growing…they are whole foods. Can you imagine olive oil growing? Nope, but you can imagine the olive growing. Olives are a whole food.
2. How many ingredients does it have?
By choosing whole foods, you are keeping additives, preservatives and flavor enhancers (not health enhancers!) out of your body. These substances can contribute to many health problems ie. MSG is a flavor enhancer found in many foods, including processed “health foods”.
3. What’s been done to the food since it was harvested?
Whole foods do not have any parts removed and they don’t have anything added to them.
4. Is this product “part” of a food or the “whole” entity?
Oils, starches, juices are all examples of a part of a food. For example, juice is just the liquid part of a fruit or vegetable. But eating the whole fruit or vegetable gives you the fiber that you need to slow down the rate of absorption of fruit sugar into your digestive tract. White rice is rice without the germ and bran. White flour is only part of the whole wheat berry.
The basic guidelines to eating a whole foods diet is to emphasize fresh, raw and cooked VEGETABLES, fresh, raw and cooked GREENS (spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, etc), fresh and seasonal FRUIT, WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, plenty of WATER and small amounts of meats and dairy, natural sweetners and unrefined oils to enhance the meal with flavor and nutrition. Balance a healthy diet with plenty of sunshine, exercise (especially outside) and a deep breathing practice and you will be well on your way to greater health and vitality!