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Yes, you read that correctly…after years and years of eating meat and with little to no fruits and veggies! Let’s just say that after years on that diet, my body has had enough! I wasn’t unnecessarily unhealthy in my food choices. I just think that I was not getting enough of the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
Follow along… I’ll tell you why I decided to do this.
WholeFoods Diet – What Does This Mean?
A whole foods diet is all about purchasing and eating foods from your local luxury grocery store, Whole Foods. You may not have enough money left to pay your monthly rent or mortgage, but you’d be eating like a queen/king! Haha, I’m just kidding of course!
A whole foods diet consists of consuming whole unprocessed foods. This means removing refined sugars and bleached flour from food intake. It’s a diet that consists of fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. As well, it includes minimal intake of lean meats and fish. Dairy and eggs can also be included.
WholeFoods vs Plant Based
Plant based is just that…eating a variety of plants or vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains with no animal products. Instead, substitutions to animal products such as tempeh and soy based meat alternatives are consumed.
Therefore, the main difference between the two is foods from animals.
What Made Me Jump Ship?
For approximately 2 years now, I’ve been dealing with what my family doctor and dermatologist calls “eczema”. When it first started, it was pretty mild and as the years progressed, it has now spread from the back of my hands, to my elbows and my shins. The only thing that has been recommended from these professionals is prescription cortisone cream.
If you’re not aware, cortisone strips a layer of your skin with long term use. Not only that, but all of the steroid from this drug is probably not great for my health.
In addition to dealing with my eczema, I’ve been looking for natural remedies. I’ve included many supplements such as Vitamin B & D, Oil of Oregano, Omega 3 & 6 and Borage Oil into my daily supplements.
I’ve also purchased probably a whole closet full of creams! From all natural shea butters to bee propolis creams to all natural eczema creams. You name it, I’ve probably tried it!
So after spending all my life’s savings on a natural remedy for my skin issue, in my research I’ve found that skin issues are derived from the gut. Yup, it’s so true that what we eat is what we are!
My Whole Foods Decision
In order to be successful at this transition, I’m starting off with a whole foods diet. This means that I’ll still consume lean meats and fish in moderation. I won’t have it everyday, but maybe once or twice a week.
Who knows, maybe at some point, I will be able to totally remove animal protein from my diet. I can only take it day by day and will decide accordingly. My body will tell me.
In addition, I must keep in mind that I do workout (quite intensely during some of my powerlifting sessions). Therefore, I need to ensure that I’m getting enough proteins as per my daily macronutrients (for more information on calculating macronutrient needs, click here).
My WholeFoods Diet
So now I have been on a whole foods diet / partial plant based lifestyle for about a week. And I have had meat twice…not bad, if I say so myself.
For the first few days, I struggled with getting enough protein. However, I’ve found some great whole foods that are very high in protein. I’ll let you know what they are in the list below.
I also struggled with staying full. My body burns whole, natural foods at a crazy high rate! And, this made me feel great! Portion size on a plant based diet is huge! I felt like I was eating soooo much food, but my stomach was flat and not bloated.
The feeling of being light is so real! (Not that I thought I was ‘heavy’; this is a totally different feeling).
My energy levels are pretty much the same. As I mentioned, I was still eating pretty ‘healthy’ before transitioning to a more whole foods / plant based diet.
As for my skin issue, it still hasn’t miraculously healed. However, it has not gotten worse! Truthfully, it looks a lot better than it was previously.
Whole Foods Grocery List
Here is a list of the foods that I consumed and will continue to keep stocked in my fridge and pantry:
I consider these my condiments since I ‘sprinkle’ them on top of my meals or snacks.
- Harvest Hemp Hearts
I wrote this first for a reason! It is really a superfood! Not only does it taste great, but it has a whole whopping 10 grams of protein in 3 tbsp! I sprinkle it on just about everything…on peanut butter toast, oatmeal, salads, grain bowls, etc.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Like hemp seed hearts, I sprinkle this on almost all my meals for added protein and healthy fats. It also gives your meals a little crunch.
- Organic Chia Seeds
With great omega 3 fatty acids (good for my skin), high in fiber and also a great source of protein. I throw a few tablespoonful into my oatmeal or you could soak them in overnight oats for breakfast or a snack, in yogurt, in cereal or in smoothies.
Not only is this a highly nutrient dense food with tons of vitamins and minerals, but it’s a great filler. It will keep you satiated for much longer. I throw it in my salads, grain bowls as well as on top of toast.
The “Meat & Potatoes”
The below are my staples for a hearty meal; it’s what makes the meals.
- Variety of leafy greens and veggies
This includes lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. OH! Another newly found fave is microgreen pea shoots!! It has an abundance of vitamins such as A & C, as well as high in magnesium and potassium. And best of all, it’s a great source of protein! I’m ouzing health after consuming this!
- Root Veggies & Squash
I can’t get enough of sweet potatoes! Not only do they fill me up, but they’re high in Vitamin D which is great for skin health! I also have spaghetti squash and make myself a meatless pasta.
- Brown Basmati Rice
A staple for my grain bowls, aka lunch and dinner meals. Loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber and amino acids. Although an incomplete protein, unless paired with legumes and peas for a complete protein source.
I alternative this with brown rice in my meals. Quinoa is considered a superfood that’s high in minerals such as potassium and magnesium. As well, quinoa is a complete protein which means it provides all the essential amino acids. (More about the importance of protein here.)
Oatmeal is my jam for breakfast. I top it with a combination of fruits, pumpkin seeds, hemp heart seeds, chia, peanut butter, cinnamon, goji berries and/or dark chocolate chips.
My main go-tos are chick peas, black beans, and aduki beans. I sometimes make a chickpea hummus and I use it on everything from my salads, on toast or as a veggie dip.
- Frozen Peas
A staple in my freezer that’s quick and easy! It’s loaded with phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory benefit (aka skin issue healer?). Peas are also a great protein source!
The more the better! I usually get berries and bananas to make a quick afternoon smoothie. And my usual, apples and/or pears to take with me for a mid morning or after dinner snack.
And there you have it, these are all of the basics for my wholefoods diet. Other sources of proteins such as meats and fish will change weekly or may eventually be eliminated…???
Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll document my wholefoods diet or raw plant based diet meal plans. Make sure you’re subscribed below so that you don’t miss out!