“Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables.”
As a bonus, eating a whole foods diet will cut your food bill. Quite a lot in some cases.
Besides eating mainly whole foods, here are some things you should extra care to minimise your intake of. The less of these you eat, the healthier you will be.
Deep Fried Foods. Anything deep fried is automatically rendered extremely unhealthy. This also includes many packaged foods such as crisps and fast noodles (Ramen, Maggi, Mi Goreng, etc).
White Sugar. This covers anything that contains refined sugars and is the main food to avoid. Common foods that are high in refined sugars include sweets, most drinks other than water or fresh herbal tea, and most processed foods (canned fruit and vegetables, frozen meals, sauces, etc).
White Flour.Anything made with white flour including bread, cereals, crackers, granola bars, pasta, pastries, “snack foods”, etc. You can still eat these things, just choose the non-white whole grain version instead.
White Rice. This one is hard to avoid in many parts of the world, especially when not cooking it yourself. Fortunately it is the best of a bad bunch. If able, eat wild or brown rice instead.
Salt. Humans need salt to function correctly, but like everything, too much is not good. When eating a balanced diet your body will automatically get enough salt. There is no need to add more.
2. Eat Small and Slow
It takes a while for your brain to register that you are full. Eating quickly usually leads to over-eating.
If you are a fast eater like me, then my advice is to take a smaller portion. Eat it, then wait five to ten minutes. If you are still hungry, then eat more.
You do not ever need to go hungry, just don’t overeat.
3. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is when you split your time into periods of eating and fasting. While fasting keep drinking water and unsweetened herbal tea.
Although not as good for you as herbal tea, you can also have coffee and other teas. Don’t add anything to them though. No milk, cream, sugar, etc.
If you get hungry try having a tablespoon or two of apple cider vingar in a glass of water. A tablespoon of coconut oil is also good. You should consume these two things every day anyway. Both are good for your health.
Intermittent fasting has some great benefits such as:
Boosts immune system.
Lowers risk if diabetes.
Reduces risk of cancer (non yet proven).
Here are some different ways to do intermittent fasting. Do the one that works best for you. The first one seems to be the most popular and is also the one I do.
Fast for 16 hours every day. This includes sleeping time. For me it just means skipping breakfast.
Fast 2 days a week. Eat normally for 5 days then restrict yourself to 500-600 calories for two days.
24-hour fast a couple of times a week.
Warrior Diet. Fast during the day eating only a small amount of fruits and raw vegetables, then eat a big evening meal.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping. Just meals when you feel like it.
4. Don’t Do Drugs
This includes alcohol, cigarettes, medicine you don’t really need, and all illicit drugs.
Of course some drugs are worse than others. Smoking cigarettes, for example, is crazy. Drinking a little alcohol once in a while, not so bad – and perhaps even good.
The antibiotics prescribed to clear an infection you should probably continue to take. The anti-depressants your psychiatrist gave you I would strongly consider flushing down the toilet.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Clean water is the best drink you can have. Making it your main drink will continuously flush your body of toxins. Aim to drink AT LEAST one liter every day. Preferably two or three.
Herbal teas, either cold or hot brewed, are a good way to add a bit of flavor as well as get some additional benefits.
Every morning when you wake, rinse your mouth out and then drink a couple of cups of water. It will assist rehydration from the night and stimulate your digestive system.
Additional Healthy Eating Tips
Fruits. Fruits are great but due to the large amount of fructose consuming too much is bad for your teeth. Limit yourself to three serves a day. Note also that high fructose corn syrup is concentrated fructose and is much more harmful to your health than regular fructose found naturally in fruits.
Vegetables. You cannot eat too many vegetables. They should make up a big part of your diet. Local fruits and vegetables that are in season for your location are best.
Herbs. Not only do they make your food taste nicer, they are super healthy. Garlic, ginger, and chili are my favorites, and they are very cheap to buy and easy to grow. Garlic is crazy healthy.
Fresh salads, soups, or steamed are the best way to prepare your vegetables. Next best is stir fried, roasted, etc. Stay away from anything shallow or deep fried.
Bright or deep colors are best such as leafy greens (bok choi, spinach, broccoli, etc), berries (especially blueberries), red bell peppers, papaya, mango, moringa, etc. Also, kim chi.
Wash all fruits and vegetables. Even organically grown fruits and vegetables will probably have had some type of poison sprayed on it at some stage. Also, ensure you use water you would consider safe to drink.
Get a good variety. Different foods have different nutritional value. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, choose a variety of colors and types. This actually applies to all food. Ensure you are consuming a good mix of proteins, dairy, fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, good fats, etc.
Proteins. Vegetarian proteins (tofu, eggs, beans, etc.) are best for a number of reasons – not just health. Failing that, go for fish (salmon is great) and lean meats (skinless chicken and lean beef are my favorites).
For those that think you need meat for a balanced diet, you are incorrect. There are lots of replacement options such as tofu, legumes, nuts, eggs, etc.
There’s a few of reasons I advocate vegetarianism.
It’s healthier. Much healthier than most people realise.
The animal cruelty factor, especially with factory farming. Even better on this front would be to go vegan.
It saves money. In most cases, being vegetarian is cheaper than eating meat.
Personally, I consider myself to be a “convienient vegan”. When I cook at home (which is a lot) I eat a vegan diet. When I eat out I do my best to eat vegan or vegetarian, but if it is not conveinient I’ll happily eat meat.