There's something wonderful about eating whole foods. Knowing that you are eating foods that are fresh from nature and as close to their natural state as possible is a very rewarding thing. Not only do you know that you are doing something good for your health in the moment, but you also know that you are making food choices that are going to help you to heal your body from any lingering effects that it might have from poor past food choices.
But there is one thing that you need to know before you begin your whole food journey, and it's crucial for your eating success. You need to make the decision about what kind of whole food path you want to take.
With most diets, you begin your eating journey with a clear set of rules that you must follow. You know right out of the gate what you can and can't have and you are easily able to find new recipes with a quick Google search. So, let's say that you've decided to follow a Paleo diet. A simple Google search of Paleo recipes will give you a lot of options that you are safe to eat. Sure, you'll still have to do your due diligence to be sure that the recipe truly follows your Paleo lifestyle, but other than that you'll have nothing else to worry about and you can easily find your fill of recipes this way.
But when it comes to eating whole, things aren't always so simple. There are many variations to the whole food lifestyle, but the basically it can be broken down into three categories. You are either a whole food meat eater, a whole food plant based eater, or a whole food clean eater.
Essentially, this follows the same guidelines as the Paleo diet. You won't be eating any grains or anything that is processed. But if you are doing a program such as the Whole30 you will have a few more restrictions. For example, the Whole30 doesn't promote eating any desserts, even healthy ones, while on the program. However, a meat eater who is not part of the Whole30 program will be able to find Paleo donuts, Paleo brownies, and other Paleo treats to eat.
Unlike the whole food meat eater, if you are eating plant based then you'll be relying heavily on grains while avoiding meat. The popular Forks Over Knives movement would fall into this category.
This is a group of people who are dedicated to eating foods that are healthy and not processed, but typically these people will allow themselves to eat both grains and meat. If you are unsure where to start with your whole food journey, this is typically the best place as you will be able to start healing your body from the inside out while figuring out which foods work best for you.
Even though your journey into a Whole Food lifestyle will be an amazing one, it is important that you choose your path before you start. This way there won't be any confusion for you down the road and you are more likely to stick with the path that you have chosen.
So, what kind of whole are you willing to become?