New Habit: How to include whole foods into your diet

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Let’s call it the whole foods game. You decide the rules of the game that will move you down the whole food continuum.



Eat mostly whole foods.


Whole foods include:


  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meats and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and lentils
  • Whole intact grains
  • Minimally processed dairy (e.g. fresh plain yogurt)



Play the “whole foods” game


Like the non-caloric beverage habit, this habit is not “forever” or “a rule”.

It’s an experiment.

A game. Something to play with.

It’s a way to step outside your comfort zone, just for two weeks.


You’ll notice we say “mostly” whole foods


YOU decide what “mostly” is.

And then play with that to see what you can improve a little bit.

  • If you’re eating 50% whole foods now, try for 60%.
  • If you’re eating 80% whole foods and love a challenge, shoot for 100% for two weeks.
  • If you’re a student, at least try for 50%.



Here is the Action Plan for you:


1) Begin to understand the difference between whole foods and processed foods.

Review the lists above and check them against the food you have in your kitchen.

What whole foods do you need to add? What processed foods need to go?

In your opinion, what “counts” as whole foods? Why?


2) Transition towards a “mostly whole foods” menu.

If you’re a Level 1 eater, try just making some small changes or taking a break from a few processed staples for 2 weeks.

If you’re a Level 2 eater, embrace the challenge of finding new whole-food recipes.


3) Help yourself remember and execute.

  • Give yourself a reminder and check it often.
  • Stock up on delicious whole foods in the next few days so that choosing whole foods is simple and convenient.


4) Experiment. Challenge yourself. Have fun.

This habit is a game. It’s not forever.

For just two weeks, get outside your comfort zone and move towards choosing only whole foods.

Try new things. Learn new ways to prep and cook old favorites. See what you discover.


5) Ask questions. Notice your decision-making process.

Why do you think Food X may be a “whole food”? Why is Food Y not?

See if you can notice your own thinking, feeling, and reasoning.

Also, notice where and when you feel resistant to “giving up” processed foods.


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