I am so NOT techno savvy it is ridiculous. This week I got a message with a question from someone and then couldn’t find it to answer it. So you are all going to suffer through the very long answer to the question. The question was why I had changed from using Sun Warrior Protein powder in my daily (lunch) smoothie. I have food sensitivity and also a bad attitude toward whey protein (a byproduct of cheese manufacturing that is super cheap and often used in protein powders). So for a long time I used Sun Warrior protein powder, a much higher quality plant based protein powder. Sometime later I switched to Orgain- Costco’s Vegan protein powder because it was a much better price. Then last summer my husband and I did the Whole 30 challenge. It consists of eating only whole natural foods for 30 days. That’s right nothing processed or manufactured. We actually had a great experience and hubby lost 20 pounds (his entire belly). Don’t men just make you sick? But honestly we both lost weight, had more energy, felt great and found that ALL of our food tasted more delicious. It was a great experience that I recommend to anyone. If you are interested check out http://whole30.com/ . So when we were doing the whole 30 I had to alter my daily green smoothie. I eliminated the peanut butter powder and I replaced the stevia I usually use to sweeten it with whole dates. I also replaced the protein powder with hemp hearts, chia seed and flax seed. Well guess what? I never went back! I still make my smoothies with only whole food ingredients.
The more we learn about nutrition, the more it seems we should eat the way people did a hundred years ago. Recent research appears to be pointing us in the direction of eating mostly "whole foods" – that is, foods that are as close to their natural form as possible.
This could mean eating:
• Whole ground or intact grains instead of refined grains whenever possible.
• Fruits, vegetables, and beans instead of supplements to provide the fiber and vitamins they contain.
• A skinless chicken breast cooked with healthful ingredients instead of chicken nuggets processed with added fats, flavorings, and preservatives.
• A baked potato with chopped green onions and a small serving of sour cream instead of a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.
• A blueberry smoothie made with blueberries, yogurt, and a frozen banana instead of a blue-colored slushy or icee.
• Many health experts believe that eating more whole foods is our best bet for improving health and preventing disease. Whole foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes -- retain their fiber as well as the whole portfolio of beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients that are often removed in processed foods.
One of the biggest advantages of eating whole foods is that you're getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together that provide all sorts of health benefits. Studies of the single vitamins and minerals in supplement form have not shown the same success. Why? It could be the natural combination and interaction of all of these different phytochemicals and proteins that give a food its health benefit. Trying to extract a single nutrient and take it by itself may not work. There's another thing. We simply don't know all of the nutrients in a food that make it healthy. Nutrition science is always discovering new components of foods, things that we didn't know are there. Many of them are not even available in supplement form. If we don't know what they are, we obviously can't synthesize them.
So I have I got you worried? No I am not going to make you restrict your eating this entire week to only whole natural foods. But here is the challenge. For every day that you replace a processed food you usually eat with a whole food you can claim the 5 bonus points. So put a few fresh berries on your morning toast instead of jam. Eat some freshly ground peanut butter instead of the processed stuff that often has added oils and sometimes even sugar. Eat steel cut oats instead of processed breakfast cereal. Have a hand full of raw almonds instead of manufactured almond milk. Roast a fresh turkey breast to use on sandwiches instead of deli meat with its nitrites and nitrates. Whip up some fresh cream instead of using cool whip. Have some plain yogurt with frozen plain berries (my diet challenge partner’s favorite breakfast) instead of one that is artificially sweetened . Look closely at the manufactured processed foods and find one to set aside for the day and instead eat something real, fresh and wonderful.