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Discussion Starter #1
I've been hearing/reading a lot about a whole foods diet and I know that a lot of people on this board always recommend eating whole foods, but I'm a little confused as to what whole foods actually are. I know that they are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, but what does that really mean? And if I wanted to take on a whole foods diet, what would that allow me to eat?
 

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I'm sure others can explain this better than I can, but I'll give it a try.<br><br><br><br>
It means eating foods in their whole, natural state and with all of the nutrients completely intact.<br><br><br><br>
When we eat whole foods instead of processed foods, were getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber from these foods. Processed foods have been stripped of these nutrients and may have excess salt, sugar, fat, and chemicals added to them.<br><br><br><br>
For example, it means avoiding white rice and white flour (including pasta made with white flour), which both have had the bran and germ removed, and eating brown rice and whole wheat flour instead. Or eating an apple instead of apple juice, or the more obvious, a whole potato instead of potato chips.<br><br><br><br>
Whole foods include fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and whole grains including brown rice, barley, buckwheat, cracked wheat, millet, and oats.<br><br><br><br>
Eating whole foods are also better for your digestive system, gives you more energy, and they keep you full longer than processed foods.<br><br><br><br>
Hope I answered your question. Here's a site which has a list of healthy, unprocessed foods. If you click on the logo on the top of the page, it will take you to the homepage where you can navigate to find all sorts of useful info.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php" target="_blank">http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php</a>
 

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Here's how my favorite video exercise teacher Cathe explains it:
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">As far as clean eating, this is simply eating foods in their most natural state. For example, an apple is a food in its natural state but after some processing it can be made into applesauce (sugar has been added and other processing has occured which now has caused the apple to lose some of its nutritional value), or it can be broken down even further and provide even less nutritional value in the form of apple pie. So basically eating foods in their original or closest to original state will be a much healthier choice.</div>
</div>
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I eat 90% whole foods, and I can help you with individual decisions if you want. I've helped my mom and sisters and several other people lose weight and become healthier by making their diets as whole as possible. The next time you're confronted with a decision between two different foods, ask and we can help you understand which is more whole. I think that's the best way to learn- bringing your every day life and real choices into play.
 

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i'm mostly whole foods, my mom does whole foods and macro (she's nearly veg)...<br><br>
i eat mostly whole grains, unprocessed fruits and veggies (cooked, but not to death with lots of salt) and minimal faux meats and processed foods. i prefer it that way, and the way that i see it, we weren't originally handed processed foods to eat, why eat them now?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, so I understand the fruits and veggies aspect. But where does, let's say, cereal and soy milk stand in the food spectrum? Lately I've been eating either that Flax Plus cereal, some type of Kashi cereal or shredded wheat and soy milk. I'm assuming soy milk is considered a processed food, along with all other soy products, but then what do you do for protein and all that?
 

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i include soy and rice milk in my diet, and whole grain cereals such as kashi and flax plus are minimally processed foods. compared to say, apple jacks or froot loops, they're less processed overall, and have fewer added, unnecessary, artificial ingredients... soy milk and rice milk and soygurts are more processed and less close to the whole bean, but they're not things that get eaten with every meal. some soymilks are fortified with vitamins and minerals that you can get in fruits and veggies, but for me, knowing that i've knocked out 40% of today's calcium requirement by having a bowl of soygurt this morning gives me comfort.<br><br><br><br>
protein can come from many whole foods:<br><br>
-whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice<br><br>
-quinoa<br><br>
-beans (black, kidney, navy, garbanzo)<br><br>
-peas<br><br>
-nuts and nut butters (peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts)<br><br>
-seeds (sesame (tahini), sunflower, pumpkin, etc)<br><br><br><br>
there are other veg*n sources of protein as well, such as tempeh, tofu, and seitan (made from wheat gluten) which taste good and are less processed than morningstar farms steak strips or boca burger patties.<br><br><br><br>
does this help at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, a lot actually, thank you. I think I already eat pretty well considering the majority of my food falls under the "whole foods" category, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up the convenience veggie deli "meats" and the like...but even that, I don't eat everyday. Also, I'm going off to college in three weeks (for the first time - I'm so nervous!), so I'm not sure how that is going to work out either.<br><br><br><br>
Would taking on a whole foods diet also mean that I have to give up hummus!?!? I love hummus so much, I think I'd be a sadder person without it in my life haha.<br><br><br><br>
Oh yeah, and what is rice milk exactly? I see it in the store all the time, but I'm not quite sure what it is.
 

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protien sources include beans, nuts, seeds, and grains. most vegetables also include protien in small amounts. eggs and raw dairy products (nonpasturized) are also 'whole foods' and rich in vitamins, minerals, fats, and protien.<br><br><br><br>
i do not consume soy products at all--for a variety of reasons--and it is possible to be vegan and do this if you focus on other kinds of milks such as almond or oat or rice. You can make your own nut milks easily enough--raw foodists have a lot of great recipes for nut milks and creams. These are rich in nutrients as well as protien. You do not need soy to be vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
i also do not use breakfast cereals. when i consume cereals, it's in whole forms such as steel cut oats or other grains made into breakfast porridges or pilafs. i also add nuts, dairy (milk, cream, or yogurt), and fruit to these. But, generally speaking, my breakfast consists of a fruit smoothie with nut milk or cream (home made) or yogurt with nuts and fruit in it. occassionally i make eggs--omellets, quiches or simple hard-boiled eggs.<br><br><br><br>
the only 'processed' foods i buy are: whole grain, sprouted grain bread, toritillas, pizza dough, and pasta; and cold, expeller-pressed oils. everything else is 'whole.'<br><br><br><br>
Here's an example of my daily diet currently:<br><br><br><br>
breakfast: 1/4 cup of raw, organic 'greek style' yogurt with 2 tbsp black strap molasses and 1/4 cup fresh berries<br><br><br><br>
snack: walnuts and fruit<br><br><br><br>
lunch: large salad with baby mix greens and fresh herbs and weeds, cucumber, celery and celery root, anise or fennel bulb, carrot, tomato, and mixed sprouted lentils with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.<br><br><br><br>
snack: cut veggies with home-made blue cheese dressing or home-made hummus<br><br><br><br>
dinner: roasted red pepper and tomato soup (chilled) with grilled cheese sandwich and side salad with mixed greens, mixed fresh berries, walnuts and lite olive oil (although hemp oil tastes great here too)<br><br><br><br>
snack or dessert (usually 2-3 hours after dinner): either fresh cut veggies with dip (see snack below); fresh melon and berries with raw, unsweetened home made whipped cream; or home made ice cream or sorbet.
 
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rice milk is the same sorta thing as soy milk, but made of rice. its naturally slightly sweeter, and slightly thinner- so it tastes a little different in cereals, etc, than soy milk. it tends to come in fortified and unfortified, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate flavours. if you wanted to try some, i'd recommend 'rice dream' as an easy to find and tasty brand. i prefer rice to soy milk generally, but use soy in some cereals and reciepes- as rice can seem a bit watery for some things. rice milk is also lower in protein than soy, as far as i know. you can also try making it yourself, if you want, orapunzel posted a really simple reciepe in the receipe forum that looks good. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
hummus isn't really very processed- so i'm sure it fits fine in wholefoods- you can make your own hummus from chickpeas mashed up or put in a blender, with a little tahini, oil and/or water, lemon juice and crushed garlic, etc, (whatever you like really!) added to it.<br><br><br><br>
if you're worried about buying it premade with loads of added crud- (i've noticed that the ones i've seen in canada have lots of random stuff in there and don't taste as good as the ones i'm used to in the uk) there are no doubt a few reciepes for it in the reciepes forum.<br><br><br><br>
since i started making it myself i never buy it premade now- cos i can make a tonne of it in 2 minutes with a little blender and a can of chickpeas and a bit of lemon and garlic, and have it exactly how i like it, when i want it, for much less money. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Basically, whole foods are foods that are unprocessed. They don't come in jars, bags, boxes, cans, etc. As close to nature as possible. Examples would be fresh fruits and vegetables, dry beans, whole grains. If you do eat something processed, make sure that the ingredients are pure and that the food doesn't have anything you can't pronounce or don't know what it is. Don't choose foods containing preservatives or food coloring, or chemicals of any kind.
 
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