3 Steps to Healthy Eating
Steps to Getting Started Eating WFPB
Why do we call it “WFPB” and not “Vegan”? Well, there are many unhealthy “vegans” out there, touting the opportunity to eat anything and everything as long as it “doesn’t come from an animal”. They eat those chocolate cookies with the white creamy stuff inside them and call them “vegan”… (which they are, technically.) They tout the research on the health aspects of EVO, extra virgin olive oil and pour it on their kale salads with abandon! The problem is that these foods contain high levels of fat and/or processed sugars that don’t support health.
Therefore, we like to promote the “WFPB” way of eating which stands for “Whole Food Plant Based” meaning we try to eat unprocessed foods that come from plants. There have been times where we will eat some “processed” vegan foods (PVF) when we are out with friends or family at a vegan restaurant…and we will review some of those restaurants in later posts. But for now, let’s get started in explaining how one could begin eating WFPB today!
Clean out the kitchen – everything must go!
Yes, it’s a drastic measure, but so is getting healthy! If you are quitting smoking do you allow yourself one cigarette a day? If you are an alcoholic, do you allow yourself one drink a day? No, no, and nor do we think it is healthy to allow any types of animal products into our diet…ever. (We do not agree with people who state, “all things in moderation!” We don’t want to be “kind of healthy” or “sort of healthy”. We want to be REALLY healthy!)
Step 1 – the pantry
ALL processed foods must be thrown away! Do not give them to neighbors, family, or friends, or even to the local food bank. They are not health promoting! These foods are typically:
- anything that comes in a cellophane bag, ie. chips, cookies, orange puffy things, etc.
- sodas, fruit juices in plastic bottles, flavored fruit drinks in cellophane drink packets, etc.
- boxed cereals that are promoted to children ie. red, orange, green and other colors added
- boxed pasta meal kits, ie. mac n’ cheese with packets of processed orange cheese
- snack packets of fake fruit
- snack type granola bars that never go bad, yikes!
- baking supplies ie. granulated sugars, brown sugars, processed chocolate chips, food colorings, etc.
- oils of any kind ie. vegetable oils, olive oils…
Step 2 – the refrigerator
Most people have way too much of anything and everything unhealthy in the fridge! Again, toss it out or pour it down the drain. In a later post I’ll talk about how addictive cheese is and how to break that habit. In the meantime, get rid of:
- all dairy products ie. cow’s milk, cheeses of all types that come from animals, yogurts, cottage cheeses
- butter, margarine, hummus with oil, spreads with oil
- mayonnaise, ketchup, sauces with oils
- all meats and meat products ie. hot dogs, hamburgers, rib-eye steaks, etc.
- all chicken products
- all pork products ie. bacon
- anything that came from an animal
Fill the kitchen with health promoting foods
Now that your kitchen is most likely very empty, here is how you can fill it back up:
In the pantry:
- black beans, white beans, red beans, green beans (canned are ok, just avoid the added salt varieties)
- rice, quinoa, brown rice pastas of every shape and size
- oats, oatmeal
- flax seeds, chia seeds and all types of nuts
- nut butters with no added oil or sugar (I love almond butter)
- canned pumpkin for cookies (recipe later)
- marinara sauce with no oil (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
- nut milks, ie. soy milk, almond milk (be sure to check for the no-added sugar varieties and refrigerate after opening
- spices: turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, spicy seasonings with no added sugar
- nutritional yeast
- No sugar added breakfast cereal
In the refrigerator:
- greens of all types, ie. kale and spinach are our favorites
- garlic cloves
- green, red, and yellow peppers
- hummus with no oil added
- red berries, blue berries
- grapes, apples, oranges, etc.
Follow the “Daily Dozen”
We are following the advice/direction of several “leading edge” doctors who are promoting a plant-based diet. Dr. Michael Greger has written the book, “How Not to Die” and recommends eating the following items every day. He calls it his “daily dozen”:
- 3 servings of beans (1/2 cup each)
- 1 serving of berries (1/2 cup)
- 1 serving of cruciferous veges (1/2 cup)
- 3 servings of other types of fruit (small apple, banana, orange, etc.)
- 3 servings of grains (1/2 cup each)
- 2 servings of other greens (1 cup cooked/raw)
- 2 servings of other types of vegetables, ie. carrots, squash, etc. (1 cup of each serving)
- 1 serving of nuts (1/4 cup)
- 1 serving of flax seeds (1 tablespoon)
- 1 serving of the spice turmeric (1/4 teaspoon)
- drink water
- get some exercise
What are we eating right now?
Well, for breakfast today I had some “overnight” oats made with:
- 1/2 cup of oats (not steel-cut)
- 1 serving of raspberries
- 1 serving of blueberries
- 1 serving of flaxseeds
- cinnamon to flavor
- 1 cup of soy milk
I put them all in one of my mason jars and stirred them all together, put them in the fridge overnight, and enjoyed them cold. On this hot day in Texas, it was a wonderful breakfast!
Have a great day! And continue to get healthy 🙂
We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.