Eating Whole Real Foods

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People choose to eat whole, real foods for different reasons. For some, it is about gaining health by avoiding the chemical additives that are found in highly processed, packaged foods. For others, it is about losing weight and reclaiming health. No matter what your reason, it is all about a healthier lifestyle and is not a diet.

Eating this way is about eating foods that are in their natural state, or as close to it as possible. This means incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fermented foods, pasture-fed raw dairy, and organic pasture-fed meats and seafood. It is about cutting out unhealthy fats and replacing them with oils that include health benefits.

Every person who adopts a whole foods lifestyle has to make a choice about what degree they will follow this way of eating.

Here are the basic guidelines for eating nutrient-rich, whole, real foods.

1. No white processed flour! This flour has no nutritional value and is to be avoided completely. It is best to use whole grains that have been prepared traditionally. Grains cause a significant amount of digestive issues, so we recommend soaking them, sprouting them, or fermenting them for better digestion, which is how our ancestors prepared grains to eat.

2. Avoid processed sugar-replacing regular granulated sugar with natural sweeteners such as honey, Stevia, coconut or palm sugar/nectar, and Sucanat (sugar cane natural). The idea is to limit these sweeteners some, but they are not off limits. There are some real food eaters who choose to avoid any sweeteners altogether.

3. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies! When it comes to vegetables and fruits, fresh is always best. Check your local farmer’s market or organic grocer for large selections of great produce. So what if you can’t eat fresh all of the time? As I said before, you have to choose the level of real food eating that you follow. The next best choice for produce is the frozen variety. But I add a caveat… the label! A lot of frozen fruit has added sugar and you also want to avoid veggies that have any added sauces. Look for as few ingredients as possible. I have a package of frozen organic strawberries that has one ingredient…..strawberries! That is real food, frozen fruit!

So, what about canned fruits and veggies? It is really best to avoid them if possible since many cans are lined with BPA, a toxic plastic. For those who really don’t want to do without using some, it is really important to read labels. I was shocked and a bit disgusted at how many canned veggies contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup! Yikes!! Canned veggies that have seasonings (including salt) often contain sugar too. I’ve found that unsalted varieties are often just veggie and water. You can add a little sea salt while cooking. With canned veggies, look for those without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Canned fruit packed in juice or water is the best bet. Also, look for a brand that uses BPA-free linings in their cans. Some brands like Eden Foods have stopped using it, and carry a line of canned beans, tomatoes, fruits, and more.

4. Become a label reading expert. You are the only one that can control what you put in your body. And you will be shocked to see just how many chemical additives and artificial coloring and flavors fill your favorite foods. If you read a label and don’t know what it is, then it’s probably not healthy for you.

5. Enjoy quality meat- Some men may be concerned that the transition to eating real food will mean giving up their steak. But that’s simply not true. You can still enjoy plenty of meats, but if you can, purchase from local farmers when possible. And stay away from prepackaged meat if you can (you never know what’s in there). If your wallet really can handle it, look for organic, free-range, grass-fed meats that are antibiotic-free. These are the healthiest types of meat, but they are definitely the most expensive. Do stay away from highly processed meats, such as packaged lunch meat and hot dogs. There are some lunch meats and hot dogs that are nitrate free and cleaner and you can find them at many grocery stores now. It’s all about reading the labels!

6. Enjoy dairy-yes, you can have dairy, but it is much better to choose raw first, or non-homogenized varieties. If you have to choose store-bought, go for whole milk (not organic, which has been ultra-pasteurized). So it’s okay to have a glass of milk. Cheese, eggs, yogurt, and cottage cheese are all fine. Just make sure that they are pure, and have no additives.

7. Drink plenty of water! It is so important to keep your body hydrated, so get yourself some good spring water (or any filtered water…it’s best to avoid tap water if you can because of all of the chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride).

8. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry.

9. Adding Lacto-fermented foods. Kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, and other Lacto-fermented foods are great for healing your digestive tract.

Remember, it’s all about fewer ingredients and eating food in as pure a form as possible. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as an ingredient, then, by all means, don’t eat it!

It’s perfectly okay to transition to a whole foods diet gradually. That’s what we did at our house and it worked very well for us.

Enjoy your new way of eating!

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  • Reply
    Rose VanderBand
    October 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Wow good to hear, someone I actually know is into this too!! It is so hard to eat “clean”. You are on the go and do what you can, and what is convenient but all the food that is garbage for your body. I wish the fast food places would get the message of what we need and offer this stuff to us on the go. Thank you for sharing with us (me) your story and I’m enjoying the recipes too. So many times you come home and don’t know what to make for dinner. FYI, a research paper I did talks about potassium bromate and how it’s bad for you too. (commonly found in bread). Thanks again, Rose

    • Reply
      October 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      So glad that you are enjoying the site. It is amazing to me just how unaware the general public is about how much really nasty stuff is in all of the processed foods. Yeah, the potassium bromate is nasty. I certainly don’t want to be eating things that are known for causing cancer. Yuck. That’s one of the major reasons why I bake my own bread. I can use flours that are organic and that do not contain the junk. And it tastes soooo much better than the store bought stuff. There are several people from GHS that are into eating and living clean! If there is anything that you’d like me to write about, or any recipes that you would love to see “cleaned up”, let me know and I will do that for you. I’m trying to provide recipes that are fairly quick and easy and that don’t require hours of time in the kitchen. That makes eating clean a whole lot easier! I think the more people move to eating clean, the more the fast food restaurants will offer selections that are cleaner.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I appreciate your website, but I do not agree on eating meat and milk. They are not good for you, according the all the research I am doing. Also, the amount of cruelty involved in eating animals and animal products is staggering. It also takes a great toll on the planet.

    • Reply
      December 15, 2012 at 4:54 am

      I have to say that I get a lot of people who disagree which is great, because I respect and appreciate all opinions, but I have living proof that eating this way is healing…at least for some. My husband had fibromyalgia, crohn’s/colitis, psoriasis and depression/anxiety and what we found was that he was actually deficient in amino acids, fats and other nutrients. Full spectrum amino acids are only found in animal protein. You can find independent amino acids in plants, grains, seeds and legumes, but not the full spectrum that the body and brain need. Once we switched my husband to a traditional diet that was not low fat, but used healthy fats such as butter, lard, extra virgin olive oil and plenty of pasture raised meat and raw milk, his symptoms have gone away! This is a man who was bed ridden for years, and he is functioning normally for the first time in years…all by giving his body the amino acids, nutrients and fat that it needed. We also incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, sprouted or soaked grains, nuts and seeds, fermented foods and bone broth as well for full healing. I struggled with morbid obesity, depression, anxiety, allergies, reflux and so much more. I have lost more than 80 pounds, am free from the anxiety and depression, don’t deal with allergies and reflux anymore and just feel so much better!! Pasture raised animals do not take a toll on the planet in the way that the animals industrialized farms do. In fact, raising animals that way is actually good for the planet! We buy our meat from local farmers who pasture raise their animals and do not use antibiotics, steroids, or any other drug or chemical. These animals are raised humanely and the way nature intended. It is the industrialized farms that are causing problems and if you spend some time reading through my site, you will discover that I recommend humane, pasture raised meat and try to steer people away from grocery store meat, which is full of really gross stuff (can we say pink slime!). Pasturized and homogenized milk are not good for you, which is why I recommend raw milk. “Cooking” the milk burns off all of the beneficial digestive enzymes, which has lead to a great deal of lactose intolerance. Many people who are lactose intolerant can easily consume raw milk without problems. You can find sources of local, pasture raised meats, eggs and raw milk by finding a local chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation at Many studies of the health effects of animal protein do not include pasture raised meats, but only industrialized, corn and soy raised meat….which I am completely against! I also fully believe that every person is different and their body needs different things. Eating a lot of animal protein may not be for you, but for my husband and I (and the rest of my family and clients) it has transformed our health and our lives. My father had a heart attack over a decade ago and was told by his doctor that his heart was damaged and would always be weak…he had a checkup last week and was told that his heart was actually strengthening and repairing itself and that whatever he was doing to keep doing it! It may seem to go against the grain, but the status quo here in the US is not working, and people are getting sicker, so we’ve tried something more old school and unconventional and it works well for us! I encourage you to keep working to find what works for you body as well! Have a great week!

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