WHY I Eat a Whole Food, Mostly Plant Based Diet
1. I like to eat in a natural way.
Technology is outpacing our evolution so going back to nature in our eating habits seems like common sense to me.
Our bodies will likely evolve to eat the crap we currently call food, but not for a thousand years yet, and many sick and unhealthy people will suffer in the years between now and then.
I like to think about diet as if we were still hunter-gatherers, roaming the earth as natural animals, living closer to nature; what would I be eating?
I would be eating what is available to me. I would be eating seasonally, mostly plants and some animals. Things like seafood, nuts, mushrooms, berries, fruits, vegetables & tubers, occasional treats would be eggs and honey.
I know this sounds a lot like the Paleo diet but it’s not exactly.
Would I be eating seeds and grains? I think in nature I might occasionally come upon a meadow full of grains, I probably wouldn’t be eating a grain-based diet though. I might collect seeds and beans from plants as I come upon them and they would store well, but the cooking required to make them less toxic would make them less than ideal.
I also wouldn’t be crazy over-processing anything beyond what I could handle on my own, boiling, peeling, chopping, pounding etc.
I would be eating more plants than meat simply because meat is not as easy to get and if you were hunting it without much technology in Paleolithic times, I’d say even harder.
The key questions are; how often would all these things be available to me and in what quantities?
2. Sustainability and environment.
Conventional farming and meat production is not nice or sustainable. I choose wild killed or pastured animal products over commercially grown versions and meat is not the main part of my diet. I choose organic vegetables and foods as often as I can.
I know the argument here is how expensive these food choices are in comparison to commercial versions. I say this…
You are willing to spend 15-20 thousand dollars or more on a car when you could buy a decent used one for less than 10. You are willing to pay for nail polish, hair dye, outfits, and cellphones. You are willing to pay a doctor to write you a prescription, that you will then pay for, to help you with the illness created by your poor diet. I could go on and on here but you get my point I think.
We do live in the now, we are humans that are clever and creative. We could put our creativity and innovation to better use, less about building wealth and more about strengthening our human existence. We can create things to nourish us, not erode our health; we can create things to support our environment, not pollute it.
At the end of the day, we vote for change with how we spend our dollars. What are you supporting with your spending habits?
All that being said, I’m not perfect in this regard, sometimes I backslide and get lax. I could do more, I simply do the best I can and try to improve as I go.
3. I feel amazing.
Eating nourishing foods makes me feel good. My sleep, energy levels, digestion, mood and self-esteem all suffer when I don’t eat well.
HOW I Eat a Whole Food, Mostly Plant Based Diet
1. Restriction doesn’t work for me.
Total restriction is not healthy for me, I have a rebel nature and if I tell myself I can’t, then of course, that’s what I want. It’s just not realistic for me to say I’m never going to eat pizza again, because pizza.
I know that cheese and wheat don’t make me feel awesome, it gets my entire system out of whack, but sometimes it’s just what I’m gonna have.
I like the idea of moderation but I have a difficult time in the moment making the right choice for myself so I have to build in easy guidelines that take the in the moment decision-making out of it.
2. I’ve made discipline easy.
They say that people who are disciplined are simply better at avoiding the temptations. They build systems that set themselves up for good habits therefore making discipline less necessary.
What I’ve done is set up a system where I eat clean whole foods Sunday through Friday and then I eat freely on Saturday.
Saturday is the day most events happen in my life so I can just relax and not worry about what I can eat that day.
Having this free day to eat whatever, allows me to say “no” during the week. When I’m at work and someone brings in grocery store cupcakes or day old bagels, I can tell myself, “not today, if I really want one, I will get one on Saturday,” and guess what? When Saturday rolls around, I rarely ever want that less than amazing thing I passed on during the week.
I’ve saved myself so much low quality junk and in turn, have enjoyed some truly amazing delights . I have definitely chosen more Quality over Quantity foods and treats.
I loosely follow the 80/20 rule without having think about anything. I simply eat clean whole foods Sunday through Friday and then I eat what I feel like on Saturday.
3. My tastes have changed.
If you aren’t eating sugar and heavily processed foods you lose your taste for them and the cravings and urges go away eventually. It’s worth not eating sugar just to break this vicious cycle alone.
Another change is that the more healthy foods you eat and the more variety you try, the more you like and crave them.
4. I prepare.
Eating clean whole foods Sunday through Friday is possible for me because I meal prep most of my food on Sunday and I don’t keep low quality processed foods in my house.