Call it whatever you want, the foods we’ll be talking about on this blog are wholesome, they come from the earth, not a factory, they’re packed with life giving nutrients, and you won’t find anything on my plate that has a mother or a face.
The absence of animals and animal products (like eggs, milk, butter, etc) by definition makes the way that I eat consistent with a vegan diet. However, I do want to make one thing a bit more clear. When I talk about eating vegan, I’m not only referring to the lack of animals. I’m referring to loading up on all sorts of healthy things.
Surely you can opt for a vegan diet that includes potato chips, french fries, white bread, candy, bagels, black bean burgers, fake meats, and cupcakes. There are even vegan TV dinners as well as other processed and prepared foods that are by definition vegan. By eating this way, you’re certainly making great strides to help prevent unnecessary cruelty animals and I support that wholeheartedly. However, this diet is severely lacking in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in their natural state. Not only are you going to be missing out on some unbelievable health improvements and benefits, but there’s a good chance that this is not physically sustainable and you won’t be able to stick to it.
In choosing a whole foods, plant based diet, the main food groups are Vegetables, Whole Grains, Legumes, and Fruit. This is about loading up on the good stuff. It’s about eating as much as you could possibly want, feeling full and satisfied, being loaded with energy all throughout the day, avoiding the peaks and crashes that refined and processed foods are responsible for.
Cutting out the butter and oils (last I knew, oil came from a factory and by the way it’s 100% fat. Yes, even olive oil) will open your eyes to a whole new world. Talk about taking off a filter. I had NO idea that everything I ate was totally coated in some kind of butter or oil until I started eating a whole foods, plant based diet and I intentionally cut out the oils. After 2 weeks, my tastes completely changed. I no longer craved fats and oils, and I realized what real food actually tastes like. I’ll give you a hint – it’s even better than butter!!
In a nutshell (pun intended), whole foods are foods that look pretty much like what you see in the garden. They usually don’t need a package or a label, and they’re the kinds of things your grandmother has been telling you to eat all along!
Michael Pollan sums it up best: “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”