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Boiling it Down

Written by Lisa Malin

For the past few weeks, we’ve unpacked five different popular diets, including The Keto Diet, Paleo Diet, Vegan Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and Whole30. Despite their obvious differences, these diets also have some important things in common: Each of these diets encourages a clean, whole-food approach to eating that strictly reduces or eliminates added sugars, processed grains, seed oils and packaged, processed food.  Each diet also encourages followers to eat more plants, especially non-starchy, fiber-rich vegetables. These are foundational principles we can get behind and ones we feel can benefit anyone looking to eat better and feel better. 

organic salad what is whole30

How do we help clients find a diet that works for them?

When it comes to creating nourishing, sustainable eating habits for health, longevity, and weight management, we help clients gain confidence in their food choices by tapping into their inner wisdom, values, and noticing how food impacts their body and mood. If you love legumes and whole grains, going paleo is probably not the right diet for you. If you want to go vegan, but have food sensitivities to grains and legumes, you may find it difficult to meet your protein needs and feel satisfied at the end of meals. Checking in with yourself is important in creating a healthy, sustainable eating plan. 

Finding balance and a sustainable approach to healthy eating: When choosing an eating plan, it’s important to honor your preferences, values, and tastes. Remember that balance and enjoyment are key components of a sustainable, healthy, happy lifestyle. Do a sound check with yourself. “ Meat, fish and dairy are off the menu forever!? “Wine is banned for life!?” “No grains or legumes, ever!?  

We like to remind clients that, unless medically necessary, taking whole food groups off your plate for weight management can set you up for cravings and disordered eating. Rather than focusing on what not to eat, focus on what to eat. We like to help clients eat with healthful abundance and joy, rather than deprivation and restriction. Below are three simple guidelines to help you eat with confidence.

Three helpful Tips:

organic avocado salad what is whole 30

  1. Keep it Simple: Eat a whole-food, plant-forward diet that includes colorful veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. From there, you do you: If you love fish and seafood, keep it on your plate. Can’t imagine life without grains and legumes, you don’t need to! You want to go 100% whole food, plant-based, go for it.
  2. Focus on the Glycemic Load, not the Calories: Glycemic load refers to how quickly a meal raises your blood sugar and spikes your insulin. Meals that combine lots of fibrous plant foods, lean protein, and healthy, anti-inflammatory fats help balance blood sugar and protect you from insulin spikes that negatively impact your health and waistline
  3. Focus on Nutrient Density, Not Calories:  What you eat impacts your gene expression, gut microbiota, hormones, and metabolism. Aim to load up your plate with nutrient-dense foods, especially colorful plant foods

Last Thoughts 

When you move away from diets and plans, you free yourself up to create healthy eating habits that allow for personal taste preferences and values, meaning they can work long term. We find that a whole food plant-forward approach to eating helps clients nourish themselves with confidence and find balance on their plates and in their lives.

*A big thank you to @alexalipman for helping me research and put together the posts in this series. Alexa is studying pre-nursing and entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin


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