What should I eat?
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What is a whole foods, plant-based diet?

A whole foods, plant-based diet is where your focus is on eating plants - such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes. These foods should fill up the majority of your plate. The remainder of calories can be derived from organic animal foods such as chicken, eggs, beef, pork, lamb, turkey, or fish etc or you can keep it vegetarian.

Conversion to a vegan diet (absolutely no animal foods) is not necessary for most people to achieve good health, although some people decide to adopt this eating pattern for personal or health reasons (i.e. if you are in serious ill health, a vegan diet may speed up your recovery).

The "whole foods" part refers to eating unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Food eaten closest to it's natural state provides the best nutrition.

The whole foods, plant-based diet focuses on low-calorie, high fiber, densely nutritious foods, like whole grains, potatoes and legumes. These foods are important because they are filling and will keep you satisfied. You need to eat these. If you try to eat only fruits and vegetables, while these are very nutritious foods, they are too low in caloric density to just eat on their own and you'll still feel hungry.

The whole foods plant based diet is a way of eating for life and occasionally in life, we will want some treats! These are not daily foods, but rather occasional. A good way to look at treats is to consider them as situational i.e. keep them out of your house but if there is a birthday party, anniversary or something, then have an occasional treat.

The foods you should avoid in this eating style are dairy products ( for most people), and highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar and refined oils (olive oil is fine).
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The Science behind a whole foods plant-based diet

The majority of diseases in the 21st century are the chronic diseases of lifestyle such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Western medicine is ineffective in preventing, stopping the progression of, and reversing these degenerative diseases. The use of drugs at best, suppresses symptoms rather than addresses the underlying problem. Western medicine doesn't get to the root of the problem and so the incidence of chronic diseases continues to rise.

However, from data on different populations around the world, and long term studies here in the US and Europe, scientists have been able to determine a diet that has been seen to prevent, stop the progression, AND reverse many chronic illnesses. This diet is a whole foods plant-based diet. The data are strong and extensive and show that diet is the trump card for these diseases, with the role of genetics in health outcomes actually being quite small.

At Tickety-boo health coaching, I'll help you understand the reasons and the science behind this eating plan. That knowledge will empower you to make changes to improve your health. There is a lot to take in and understand, so it's useful to work with someone, either in a group or individually. There is a definite strategy to adopting a whole foods plant-based diet. But you can soon get the hang of it and reap the rewards of optimal health.
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The Top 6 Foods to Avoid

  1. Trans-fats and damaged fats/oils (those oils for sale in clear bottles are often damaged/denatured. If you purchase oils, choose those in dark bottles)
  2. GMO products
  3. The Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen - 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide residues so it is recommended that for these products, you buy organic
  4. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  5. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (RBGH) treated animal products including dairy