Whole Foods Lifestyle - What is a whole food lifestyle?

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10-05-2008, 02:31 AM
Ok, maybe I'm a little slow, but what exactly is a whole food lifestyle?

I eat healthy "real" foods, like raw fruits and veggies, whole grain products and LOTS of beans :)

So do I qualify as a whole fooder?

Duh!!!! I didn't see the sticky at the top, totally missed it. Sorry, bet your thinking what a nut I am :)

10-21-2008, 11:23 AM
hey bigmomma! I am with you, I am doing everything I can to be a whole food eater, I am loving the energy I feel and the way I dont panic over food choices anymore, I was ready for this way of living and south beach and fat smash gave me tips on how to start this and keep it up, I am enjoying life and food in a whole new way ;)

02-08-2009, 11:51 PM
BigMomma and Christian,
I think I would like to join the both of you on this whole food thing, but I am not exactly clear on what it means, I think I understand it and then the next I am still not sure. I do WW and get the whole food thing so confused. Maybe just maybe one of you can clearly set me straight. I know I am a smart person but this confuses me. HELP PLEASE.

Okay, I just saw what a sticky is. Thank you, the sticky answered my question to the point. I am still new to this, so everything I am learning is on a trial and error bases. Now that I know exactly what I am doing I will be joining the whole food wave. Is wave still a new slang? LOL LOL I am 55 gals so bare with me. LOL

02-09-2009, 12:24 AM
I am by no means a whole foods purist (there are a few frankenfoods that I do include in my diet regularly like Crystal Light and Diet Code Red Mountain Dew), but my goals are "progress, not perfection." We've had the discussion here before on what constitutes a whole food lifestyle and where the boundaries lie, and to a certain degree there's a lot of elasticity in the definition. Some folks consider canned veggies "whole foods," some do not, and others only if they're canned with no preservative but salt, and others if they're canned without any preservatives including salt.

There aren't any clear cut rules as to how much of your diet needs to be whole foods or what constitutes whole foods, in order for you to be a "real" whole food lifestyler (or what that would mean anyway) but I think of it as trying to eat more foods my ancestors would recognize and the further back I can go the better. I've read some of the ancestor diet books and nutritional anthropology books and articles, and they've helped add some perspective also (on whether for example agricultural grains are beneficial or detrimental to health).

I think that for most folks it isn't a set of lists of things one can and cannot eat in order to be legitimately a member of the whole food movement, rather it's an ideology of eating foods in as natural a state as feasible. Where that line may vary depending on your budget, location, available time to prepare food.... and some elements of "I'll know it when I see it," or at least "I know what it isn't."

A snicker's bar - definitely not whole foods, but if you eat one a year I don't think you should be "kicked out of the club."

I don't think my occasional Code Red or Crystal Light (which I drink more often) should disqualify me for membership either. Others may disagree, but since we don't have membership cards, no one can take mine away, so phblt (that's supposed to be a razberry sound -LOL).

02-09-2009, 09:53 AM
colormerd - Since you are on WW, Filling foods or the foods under the old core program for WW are mostly whole foods.

I'm not a purist either but I do try to make sure around 90% of my food is a 'whole food'.

02-09-2009, 11:11 AM
I grew up on Kraft Mac and Cheese, Hamburger Helper, Mountain Dew, frozen dinners, and vending machine food... and then married a vegetarian health nut. :) Over the last 8 years, I've slowly, slowly embraced the idea of a whole foods lifestyle. It certainly wasn't overnight. :) I thought the stuff he ate was bland and gross. Now I'll happily join him for lunch at the local vegan cafe, which most of my coworkers shun for it's bland, gross food. :D (not that I'm vegan or veggie, I still eat meat, I just enjoy vegan and veggie food now, too!)

For me, focusing on "whole foods", especially this time around as I lose weight, has meant avoiding "diet foods". I don't eat the 100 calorie snack packs anymore, or the Lean Cuisines I lived off of the last time I seriously tried to lose weight back in 2003. I avoid Nutrasweet and Splenda, using Stevia extract when I need something sweet to put in my oatmeal, and just in general avoid any food that's been forced into low-fatness for the sake of marketing to the diet crowd. It's not an "elitist" thing, it's just that I've slowly started to prefer the whole foods over the easy quick foods in the last couple of years.

Reading a bunch of articles by Michael Pollan didn't hurt, either, he totally changed the way I looked at corn, high fructose corn syrup, and meat that was fed corn, that's for sure. Eating "whole" foods has been an easy way for me to reduce the amount of corn and soy I eat, and get more variety from lots of different grains/plants, the way we were designed to. :)

02-09-2009, 09:29 PM
I think of a "whole food" to be a food that has not been altered from the way it grows in nature.
anything boxed, bagged, pre-packaged, anything with a label on it. If it has to have a list of ingredients--not a whole food.

a whole food would be an apple. not canned, not sauced, not cut into slices and doused with preservatives so it won't brown and thus can be put into little bags and sold in Happy Meals with a side of caramel sauce in place of the french fries.
Just a plain old un-improvised on apple.
It's a focus more on fresh produce, foods with no preservatives, foods not stripped of the naturally occurring nutritional parts that comprise them. Not chemically altered, not boosted with any flavor enhancers or sugar.

In this modern world we live in, it can be confusing. Fresh whole foods are taken and "improved upon" and boxed and slapped with a label claiming to be 'natural' and 'real'. and it looks ok on the box, then you look at the nutrition info and find it was just another processed food. That you'd been tricked by the marketing scheme....

02-09-2009, 10:22 PM
And see now, I consider apple sauce, as long as the ingredients are only apples and possibly a little water, a whole food. Now the peel is usually missing, so it's not the best of whole foods, but I'd still consider it a whole food.

And even the bagged apples, since the preservative is usually citric or acetic acid (lemon juice or vinegar), would be a whole food to me. An uncut apple would be my preference, but I would buy sliced if there wasn't an easily available better alternative.

02-09-2009, 10:36 PM
I try to consider if the food has all of its parts with only other whole foods added, if anything at all. Example, if we have apple slices with lemon juice, they are "whole foods" because we have all the parts of the apple and another whole food (lemon juice or vinegar). Frozen berries with no sugar? Sure. Brown rice is "whole" even though it has been removed from the plant on which it was grown and dried. Dried beans, also, are "whole", even if they come in a bag, don't grow that way (they don't come off the bean plant dried) and have an ingredients list (which just lists the bean). All of these things are "whole" to me.

02-10-2009, 12:59 AM
I'm with Kaplods and Amanda, those things are whole foods to me. I've made my own applesauce, leaving the skin in, and adding a little lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. I eat a lot of frozen (and some canned) fruits and vegetables. I like in Alaska, and if I didn't eat canned/frozen, I'd have a very limited or very expensive diet. We grow a garden in the summer, including some berries, and so much of the frozen veggies I eat were frozen by me. On the flip side, being in Alaska means I have access to plenty of wild salmon - while the rest of you pay a premium price. :) I've read the Superfoods books and try to incorporate a lot of those foods in my plan. I do think that a whole foods lifestye is user defined for the most part.....

02-10-2009, 10:46 AM
I'm also someone who considers certain things whole foods even if they aren't only found in the produce department. "Natural" applesauce with no sugar added to me is a whole food, so are canned beans, canned tomatoes etc. Although sometimes I've found certain products try to sneak in ingredients like canned beans with sugar so I still read labels diligently. I also consider frozen vegetables to be a whole food and there has been evidence that frozen veggies may even be better than fresh due to the fact that they don't lose their nutrients as quick as fresh. I buy frozen wild blueberries by the pounds and the only ingredient is wild blueberries.

02-10-2009, 11:02 AM
I love whole foods. I gave up processed a long time ago, as it made my body feel achy and just horrible. I really can't enjoy anything made in a 'lab.'


blog - www.mygritsconfessions.com

Thighs Be Gone
02-10-2009, 11:08 AM
I am not an elitist when it comes to whole foods lifestyle--but I do consider it to make up the bulk of my diet--probably 95%. I still use some sweetner, fat-free miracle whip and Light cheese. I also use non-fat cooking spray. They are my crutches.

By the way, I had an interesting thing happen to me yesterday. I ate potato chips for the first time in more than six months. I saw them at the store and just decided I was going to buy them. I ate more than a few I must confess. Guess what? I started feeling nauseated and threw up (sorry, TMI) within an hour or so. I felt better immediately after and fine this morning.

RN BSN 2009
02-10-2009, 11:14 AM
wow... yes once you're used to that healthy lifestyle .. a bag of chips can really put things back into perspective.

02-11-2009, 04:17 PM
Thank all of you ladies,
With all of your input I can take the best from everyone idea's and come up with all the good stuff. I do drink a Crystal Lite and I will now try the Stevia, I have heard about this before. Kaplods you are right about this for sure, no matter how we persue this journey (whole or a combination there of) no one can take our membership card away for the whole food movement since on is not required, so I will try to eat mostly whole foods and if I slip or just want to, I will and then keep it moving. As long as I am losing and not gaining I am happy. All of you advice is great and most helpful.

Thanks Aggie/This has been encouraging!!

02-11-2009, 04:23 PM
That was a great explaination and now I've got it. Just try to eat as much FRESH as possible, but it's okay for a Skinny Cow every now and then.LOL LOL I really do like them. I weigh in tomorrow and I pray it is good news. Will keep you guys posted.


02-12-2009, 08:23 PM
I'll have to say i agree with the posts following mine and i was actually thinking of going on and on explaining how real lemon squeezed into water would still qualify as a 'whole' food. but i was trying not to go on and on.... :D

I was wanting to illustrate the point that physical alterations to a whole food can still fit into most whole foods diets. Alterations such as purreeing , freezing, boiling, frying in a good type of oil and yes apple sauce :)
I'm not sure what i was saying when i typed in "saucing" as not being a whole food, but i think i may have been thinking either commercial applesauces with perservative and other additives or maybe apple pie filling type sauce.

For the sake of simplifying, a 'whole' food in it's purest form is a food not altered by man. (ie. the produce section).
but other than that, if you look at a label say of frozen green beans, and the ingredients reads :
Ingredients: green beans
then most people will agree it's still a whole food.

In the case of commercial apple sauce, if it says something along the lines of:
Ingredients: apples, water
Ingredients: apples, water, cinnamon

i will consider that a whole food. but when the ingredients start to include preservatives, flavor enhancers, color enhancers, i definitely don't see it as a whole food any longer.

Personally, i don't like to see vitamins or anything added either, although it depends on the source of the vitamins, if it's a brand i trust, if i think the supplimental vitamins are necessary. I may still include it in my diet, but i won't neccessarily regard it as the wholest of foods any longer.

02-12-2009, 08:56 PM
I guess I am doing okay with trying the whole foods because tonight I weigh in I lost 6.6 lbs this week for a grand total of 25.8. 10 more I will be at my 10%. Keep rooting for me. Kudos to any of you who made any type of mini goal or major this week. We are doing it and doing it well. LOL

02-19-2009, 05:16 PM
I started using whole foods last Fall after being diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. The biggest no-no's for me were preservatives, artificial sweeteners, MSG and soy. Made me REALLY look at labels and ingredients in foods. What I found is that almost everything has crap in it!!!

And what is it with the soy in everything? I'm not talking about soybeans or edamame but that soy protein. It is in so many things: canned tuna, breads, mashed potatoes (???) Not good (for me anyways).

So, I bought a mini Zo bread machine and make little one pound loaves of real bread made with real grains. I now look at food labels and look for that food as the ingredient (i.e., oatmeal/ingredients: oats). If the list has fake stuff, it stays on the grocery shelf.

I feel so much better. I wonder what all the "junk" is really doing to people's bodies?

I'm following the South Beach Diet and it was very easy to integrate whole foods with their principles. Except for the artificial sweetener thing...I don't/can't have that so I use a little honey or maple syrup when absolutely needed. SBD purists continually call me on the carpet for doing that but I have to wonder: Is it healthier to have a ton of artificial sweetener and be on plan OR 1 tsp of honey and face the diet police? I'm going with the honey. :)