Just a quick little note to explain what whole foods actually are, and no, I’m not talking about the market, although, this is where I live 5 out of 7 days a week, it seems. 🙂 I do loves me some Whole Foods market.
When I talk about whole foods, I want you to understand what I am talking about because I don’t want to make assumptions that every body knows what a whole food is. The concept of whole foods is pretty basic. Literally. It just means that the food has not been processed in anyway, or if it has, it has been done in a way that does not completely alter it, such as olive oil. Olive oil, as you know, is oil from olives. It’s clearly not a “whole food” but it typically is expeller cold pressed and that is a process that does not heat up and destroy the properties in the oil. It basically squeezes the oil out of the olive in a huge press and this is done without heat to again keep from destroying the oil. As I mentioned in my blog about coconut oil, the heating process actually destroys certain oils, like flax for instance, which should never ever be heated. It is one of the most fragile oils out there.
Anyway. Back to whole foods. Whole foods are fruits, veggies, and grains, etc in their whole form. An apple versus concentrated apple juice, a tomato versus ketchup, soy beans (edamame) versus tofu. When we eat foods in their whole form, our bodies recognize them easier and can then utilize them quicker instead of breaking down a processed chemically laden food with artificial byproducts where your body has to figure it out, separate it and see if there are any worth while nutrients to absorb (if you are eating junk food, then it is not likely there will be many). Eating a diet rich in whole foods gives you better access to beneficial nutrients that processed foods lack. It is common to see processed foods “fortified” with vitamins and nutrients. Take a look at cereal…a great example. How many cereals do you see on the market that say “Now with Omega-3” or “Great source of Whole Grains!” Listen up my friends, cereal is PROCESSED. It’s not a whole food, contrary to popular belief and savvy marketing ploys. The whole grains are broken down, dyed, smashed back together and sprayed with vitamins…have you ever had the experience where you heard it was a good idea to drink the milk left over from your cereal because that is where all the vitamins are??? They’ve been washed off! How is that a whole food? When it comes to grains, whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, rye, oats and spelt, etc. These contain the germ, endosperm and bran. Refined grains only consist of the endosperm. You can typically find all your tasty whole grains at health food stores in their bulk bins. Whole Foods market even supplies you with a bulk basics guidebook to cooking with these whole grains. There are some suggestions in my blurb on quinoa entitled “Quinoa-my favorite grain”.
Fruits and vegetables should always be organic because when you eat them in their whole form, you get the whole package and that includes the residue from the soil they were grown in. If you eat commercial fruit grown in commercial soil, some trace minerals have been added to the soil, such as fluorine and phosphorus. Organic soil is more sustainable, economical and it provides a natural ecosystem which enriches your produce with amazing life energy (or chi). When you deplete the soil, it becomes dependent on synthetic minerals which are processed and again, when your foods contain these products, your body has a harder time breaking them down.
Eating a whole foods diet provides you with foods that serve you, rather than deplete you. Every time you eat, you have an important choice to make and you have a chance to nourish your body. Many people take the convenient way out and eat what ever is easiest, most readily available and typically, these include many SAD choices…microwavable foods, packaged, processed, overly salted or sweetened foods that do nothing for your body except make it work harder.
Try to make healthy, whole food choices for your body. Think before you eat and know that you have a choice. True, it does take a little bit more work to eat a whole foods diet, since usually you have to get foods in their whole form and it takes time to prepare grains, clean and chop fruits and vegetables, etc. But you will certainly notice a difference if the way your body performs. You will have more energy, feel lighter and be glowing from the inside out.