The Benefits of Whole Food Nutrition
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the term “whole foods” before—probably quite a lot. But, do you really understand exactly what it means? In case you don’t, I wanted to talk a bit about the benefits of whole food nutrition so you totally get it AND you’ll totally eat this way.
What is Whole Food Nutrition?
Whole food nutrition is basically just eating food in its natural state. You take a vegetable, fruit, nut, meat, etc., you leave it alone, and you eat it. This is the way our ancestors ate. For the past 50 to 70 years, we’ve taken these whole foods and processed them—manipulating them, removing things, adding things back in and, ultimately, removing much of their nutritional value. We’ve ALL been the subjects of one giant experiment. SCARY.
Think about breads and cereals. With almost all of them, the flour has been bleached, stripped, reduced of most of its nutritional value, then remade to look and taste a certain way—a way that we have been trained to like. Many foods have been genetically modified—SUPER scary. Fast foods are the worst.
Why Are Processed Foods Bad For Us?
There are serious consequences for our bodies to eating processed foods.
It might be possible to trick our minds, but not scientists OR our bodies. Scientists can actually see the changes in the food under a microscope—if they look at straight wheat, it looks one way, but if they test bleached wheat flour, it looks totally different. Our bodies see the modified stuff as a foreign invader, which is at the root of some very serious life-threatening health problems.
Another scary thing is that constantly eating processed has caused us to forget how to eat healthy. People come to me all the time saying, “Help…I don’t know what to eat!” Well, our ancestors inherently knew to eat fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, etc. And, you know what? Deep down we know, too.
Why Should We Eat Whole Foods?
According to WebMD, there are six main reasons we should eat whole foods:
- Phytochemicals. Phytochemicals—or phytonutrients—are “biologically active plant-food components” that contain necessary nutrients and antioxidants. We need to eat plant-based foods in their unprocessed form.
- Nutrient shortages. Alarming percentages of us are deficient in vitamins and nutrients that help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The easiest way to fix this shortage is to eat whole foods, specifically a “balanced, mostly plant-based diet.”
- Good fats. Processed foods, and especially fast foods, often have added trans and saturated fats. A whole food diet does not. Whole foods DO have more of the good fats, like Omega-3s.
- Fiber. More than 90% of us are deficient in fiber and potassium because of a diet high in processed foods. We need fiber for GI health and to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Fiber also stops us from eating so much because it makes us feel full faster!
- Fewer ‘extras.’ Whole foods don’t have all the unhealthy extras like added fat, sugar, salt, AND CALORIES.
- Whole grains. Whole grains contain fiber and lots of phytonutrients, which helps us fight Type 2 diabetes and lower cholesterol.
Examples of Whole Foods
- Whole grains—not bleached and processed refined grains
- Fresh fruit—not fruit leather or chews, toaster pastries or fruit bars
- Fresh vegetables
- Beans—not pasta
- Whole wheat flour—not white flour whenever possible [you can split this 50/50 in most recipes]
- Brown rice—not white rice
- Nuts—not chips
- Chicken breast—not chicken nuggets [that are ground up with added fats, flavorings, and preservatives]
- Sliced pork or beef—not pre-packaged lunch meat [with chemical preservatives]
- Real potatoes—not potato chips
- Fresh garlic and onions—not processed seasoning mixes [which usually contain preservatives and flavor enhancers]
Instead of drinking fruit cocktails or sweetened sport drinks, opt for fruit-infused water instead. And, drink Shakeology—made with water and fresh fruit—instead of a pre-bottled yogurt or protein drink.
Now, it’s REALLY important to be aware that eating healthy whole foods does not have to be expensive. If you want some tips on eating healthy while sticking to your budget, read this post—Coach Monica’s Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget.
Is Shakeology a Whole Food Nutritional Supplement?
No, Shakeology is NOT (technically) a whole food BUT…
Darin Olien, the creator of Shakeology, has created a nutritional supplement that is made from botanicals grown in rich and CLEAN soils throughout the world that are VERY carefully processed in a way that they are minimally impacted. The careful attention paid to the process of each and every individual ingredient leaves them as whole as possible so our bodies recognize and absorb them.
The result is an AMAZING nutritional supplement that can legitimately fill the nutrient deficit that results from our current way of eating—even when we’re on the go. Because of the wide variety of superfood ingredients in Shakeology, it is definitely my healthiest meal of the day.
Give it a try with the Shakeology Sampler Pack! Each sampler contains an assortment of Shakeology and a Welcome Guide. Here are the two different options:
- Whey Sampler Pack—Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Café Latté
- Vegan Sampler Pack—Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Café Latté
NOTE: The Sampler Pack is only for first-time Shakeology users, so there is a limit of one per person.
Whole Food Nutrition Plan
There are countless benefits to whole food nutrition. If we prepare our food with an understanding of whole food nutrition, we can win this battle and help our bodies fight disease.
The 21 Day Fix is one of my biggest weapons in this fight. Autumn Calabrese’s portion-controlled nutrition plan has helped me really dial in to single ingredient whole foods and cut WAY back on the processed garbage that I ate far too much of before. Be sure and check out her Fixate cookbook, which is filled with healthy whole food recipes!
One last thing—although nutrition will help you lose the most weight, it’s SUPER important that healthy eating be combined with working out. You can learn more about that here—The Importance of Combining Fitness with a Healthy Diet. This will help you create a bigger calorie deficit, help you body be healthy throughout, and tone your muscles to help you look great and lose more clothing sizes.
Click below to learn more about the 21 Day Fix—and, if you decide to take the plunge, message me so I can be your personal coach!