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Whole Foods Lifestyle For discussion of whole foods and more natural diets.

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Old 04-01-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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Hello. I am new to the site and I am interested in starting on a whole foods plan for health reasons beyond just weight related. I have lupus and I am trying to get on an eating plan that will help reduce inflammation by eliminating processed foods. My concern is that since convenience-related issues and "grabbing whatever is easiest" is a common pitfall of dieting in general, how do those of you successfull in following a whole foods plan avoid that? What are your best make-ahead tricks and other ideas to keep things lively and as convenient as possible? I appreciate any assistance anyone can provide for a newbie.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
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Eating whole foods is actually a lot easier than it seems. I'm a college student living in a dorm, and I STILL grab whatever's easiest. The only difference is that my definition of "whatever's easiest" has shifted from processed snacks to things like fruits, veggies, pre-portioned bags of nuts, and Greek yogurt (Chobani's my favorite, but lots of the ladies here swear by Fage). I also always carry a Lara bar in my bag in case I don't have time for a full lunch/dinner...they clock in at around 220-240 calories a piece and they're made entirely out of fruits and nuts.

As for cooking...I can't offer much advice on that, I'm terrible at it
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:07 PM   #3
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'm learning that a lot of the foods that I used to think were "healthy" are loaded with preservatives and other not so good for you items. I'm working on incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies and trying to shop the perimeter of the grocery store as they say.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Bunnabear, I'm not sure what your meal plan looked like before, but you can probably make the same foods at home pretty simply. If you are manipulating the ingredients, it's definitely different than when it's processed via a factory.

I actually never ate a lot of premade food aside from bread but do buy crackers, jelly, cereal, oatmeal for my daughter. It's shocking to see some of the random ingredients in these. I'm not entirely comfortable making these items myself all the time, so it's been fun to look around and find the best option at the stores.

I noticed when I cut the "crap," my symptoms (docs were thinking Lupus testing was next. I originally got a false positive for Lyme and additional diagnoses for all of the symptoms) disappeared. The main problems were swelling/pain/exhaustion.

This is the best thing I've ever done for myself, and hope you soon feel the same!
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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bunnabear first of all, my heartfelt wishes to you for an inflammation-free life. i admire your dedication to treating symptoms naturally in addition to medically and i do hope that once you embrace this new lifestyle -- which it what it is, basically -- that you see improvement very soon.

aside from my occasional binges on sweets (i have an obssession with chocolate!) i eat very well, primarily because that is how i was raised -- in the middle east, with what is typically referred to as a mediterranean diet in the U.S. lots of olive oil, fish, vegetables, whole grains and lamb. my rule of thumb is, quite simply, not to eat anything that is processed, refined, includes ingredients i cannot pronounce, or comes in a package/container/can. obviously, there are some exceptions -- some examples: i use POMI tomatoes from a carton, eat LARA bars as well as KIND bars, buy crackers that are whole grains only, un-processed mozarella sticks, cereals made of natural stuff, etc. so what i buy that's in a package is also healthy but usually has a shorter shelf life because of it.

as some others have said, convenience is relative. i, too, find an apple is just as convenient as a bag of pretzels. or celery sticks with natural peanut butter. or yogurt (without the sugar, luckily i don't like fake fruit in mine but fresh is great!) sometimes, it just takes a little more prep time and forethought, but you seem amenable and ready for that. once you get the hang of it, it's really quite easy and you'll wonder how you digested all the other stuff.

i am also big on cooking in bulk -- i live alone, so when i cook, i make plenty of something, and then freeze in portions and just defrost so i am not tempted to eat crappy things. i keep pre-packaged and portion-controlled (another exception) almonds and other nuts for snacks as well as a bunch of fruit. when i buy berries, i will wash the whole tub so that it'll be easy to grab some at night watching TV or take it to work without the hassle of having to clean before consuming.

hope this helped some...
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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Thank you for the ideas and for the encouragement. I am really hoping that eating well will help with symptoms including some new ones that I don't want to take yet another medication for. When you first started this process did you do any type of fast or cleanse to help rid your body of the toxins from the preservatives and additives?
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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I also eat whole foods and it's true, it's just a mind set about what is convenient versus hard.

I think the change in the mind set is really what will help you be successful.

No need to fast or cleanse, in my opinion. Your body will naturally adjust to your new diet and get rid of what it doesn't need, especially if you're feeding it properly.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Thank you for the ideas and for the encouragement. I am really hoping that eating well will help with symptoms including some new ones that I don't want to take yet another medication for. When you first started this process did you do any type of fast or cleanse to help rid your body of the toxins from the preservatives and additives?
No i didn't...just rolled right into it slowly but surely.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Help! I was a bit lost when eating out this weekend. What are your eating out "rules"?
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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well, depends on where you're eating out...i rarely, if ever, go to fast food places with the exception of subway. in subway the healthier options are obvious, and most of what they serve is fresh. however, i'm sure their turkey, ham, etc., does contain some chemical stuff which i overlook and don't dwell on. as for regular restaurants...i never thought about it in those terms but i guess go for the wholesome stuff -- brown rice over white, salad over french fries, etc., you get the picture. try to make the best educated choice without having the luxury of knowing how they cook things and where they get their ingredients. there's a wide - range...free range chicken vs. the other chicken, etc.

also, whole foods (in my opinion) don't necessarily translate into lower calories. in general, if i am not trying to drop a few pounds like i am now or bingeing on chocolate, my primary concerns are the nutrient values of food as well as purity -- i.e., no chemicals, preservatives, etc. therefore, mashed potatoes made with butter for example is a perfectly good, wholesome dish, but not necessarily low in calories. instant mashed potato mix on the other hand scares me. bacon for example -- very fatty, salty, but pure...some of the "healthier" lo-cal turkey bacon out there has all sorts of crap in it, which i stay away from. a great example is jennie o's turkey bacon which even the biggest loser promotes. not to diss them or the company by any means, it is a matter of preference, but i was about to buy some the other day and didn't because of what was in it -- just looked it up online and here are some of the ingredients: "Maltodextrin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite." i ended up buying applegate farms turkey bacon, which has more calories per slice, but all natural ingredients. am i making any sense?

so i just digressed, i realize, and not sure whether this has been any help at all but i was trying to outline my thought process a bit. maybe if you tell us/me what tripped you up this past weekend, we/i can answer a bit more specifically?
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:14 PM   #11
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When I go out to eat, I look for things that seem to resemble their natural state since I'm not able to watch them cook. For me, that usually means I'm having some kind of broiled or grilled seafood (because I like it) and a vegetable OR a salad of some sort.
I wouldn't get things like mashed potatoes, bread, most soups, stews or sauces, but I'm also a calorie counter, so I try to avoid the extra butter, cream, etc.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
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also, whole foods (in my opinion) don't necessarily translate into lower calories. in general, if i am not trying to drop a few pounds like i am now or bingeing on chocolate, my primary concerns are the nutrient values of food as well as purity -- i.e., no chemicals, preservatives, etc. therefore, mashed potatoes made with butter for example is a perfectly good, wholesome dish, but not necessarily low in calories. instant mashed potato mix on the other hand scares me. bacon for example -- very fatty, salty, but pure...some of the "healthier" lo-cal turkey bacon out there has all sorts of crap in it, which i stay away from. a great example is jennie o's turkey bacon which even the biggest loser promotes. not to diss them or the company by any means, it is a matter of preference, but i was about to buy some the other day and didn't because of what was in it -- just looked it up online and here are some of the ingredients: "Maltodextrin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite." i ended up buying applegate farms turkey bacon, which has more calories per slice, but all natural ingredients. am i making any sense?
Trader Joe's also has a very good turkey bacon that is nitrate free and chopped and formed rather than mechanically separated.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:15 PM   #13
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Trader Joe's also has a very good turkey bacon that is nitrate free and chopped and formed rather than mechanically separated.
thanks! i will check it out next time i am there.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #14
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so i just digressed, i realize, and not sure whether this has been any help at all but i was trying to outline my thought process a bit. maybe if you tell us/me what tripped you up this past weekend, we/i can answer a bit more specifically?

I think it was primarily being concerned about the ingredients they use and not knowing what went into the preparation of items. We don't eat out frequently so I probably need to just stop over thinking it. I ended up ordering grilled chicken, a salad, and zucchini.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:57 PM   #15
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I think it was primarily being concerned about the ingredients they use and not knowing what went into the preparation of items. We don't eat out frequently so I probably need to just stop over thinking it. I ended up ordering grilled chicken, a salad, and zucchini.
That sounds like pretty much what I'd order. You did great! If you're looking for a restaurant, there are plenty out there that have unprocessed, local and/or organic ingredients. Just do a quick google search.
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