A whole food plant based diet is simply eating more plants and less meat, dairy, sugar, along with less processed or packaged foods. A Mediterranean diet is a good example.
Vegetables & Fruits
- 2-3 cups of Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard, Arugula, etc.)
- 2-3 cups of Sulphur donors (Onion, Garlic, Broccoli, Cabbage, Asparagus, Mushrooms, etc.)
- 2-3 cups Colorful Flavonoids (Berries, Beets, Carrots, Peppers, etc.)
Whole Grains & Legumes
- 1.5 cups of cooked Whole Grains (Barley, Brown/Wild Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, etc.)
- 1.5 cups of cooked Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.)
Seeds & Nuts
- ¼ cup Seeds or Nuts daily (Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Pistachios, etc.)
Fish, Game, Poultry (optional)
- 1-3 servings per week of wild-caught Fish or Seafood (Salmon, Halibut, Cod, Shrimp, etc)
- 1-2 servings per week of organic, grass-fed Game or Poultry per week (Turkey, Chicken, Quail, Pheasant, Rabbit, Elk, etc.)
Herbs & Spices
- Unlimited salt-free and sugar-free Herbs and Spices (Basil, Bay Leaves, Turmeric, Chili Powder, Rosemary, etc.)
- Unlimited amounts of Herbal Tea (Chamomile, Peppermint, Raspberry, etc.)
- 1-2 cups of Caffeinated Beverages per day (Coffee, Green or Black tea)
- Drink half of your weight in ounces daily
- Pure water without contaminants
Fats – Can consume healthy fats – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocados, Full-Fat Coconut Milk, Seeds, Nuts, etc. in moderation
Eggs – One serving of organic, pasture-raised Eggs per week
- 2-3x per week fermented dairy (Yogurt, Cheeses, esp. hard cheeses and/or goat/sheep cheeses)
- Minimal cow’s milk, half&half, etc
Red Meat – 1x per month (Beef, Pork, etc)
Alcohol – 1-2 servings per day
Fried Foods – French Fries, Chicken Nuggets, Onion Rings, Chips, etc.
Processed Meats – Sausage, cured meats
Processed Foods and Sugars – White Flours and Sugars (Cakes, Breads, Donuts, Ice Cream, Cookies, etc.)
Sodas (all sodas, energy drinks, etc.)
Tobacco & Environmental Toxins
- Tobacco products (cigarettes, nicotine, vaporizers, chew/ dip, etc.)
- Environmental Toxins (pesticides, herbicides, cleaning chemicals, chemicals in body-care products, etc.)
Make the Most of your Meals: Fuel & Pleasure
- Parasympathetic activation for increased digestion, absorption and immune function
- Practice making your meal time a relaxing time
- Add candles, gentle music, set the table, etc.
- Consume high-quality food and produce
- “You are what you eat” and we want you to be nutritionally dense
- Pay attention to eating when you are eating
- Metabolic processes and nutritional values are enhanced when we pay attention to eating
- Meal consistency
- Meal time consistency aids regular metabolism
- Meal enjoyment increases parasympathetic activation, thus increasing digestion and absorption
Adapted from: “The Slow Down Diet” by Marc David
Cooking Guide for Optimal Nutrition
In order to retain the highest nutritional value in your foods and have great taste, you can try cooking with several different methods. The main objective is to retain the most vibrant colors and textures of your meal. Try to avoid losing nutrients in water (i.e. boiling vegetables), unless it is in a soup. Try to avoid burning foods and losing the vibrant colors vegetables have. Lastly, avoid the microwave.
The Mayo Clinic has a great article describing different healthful cooking techniques. Try out several of these with the objectives I mentioned above. In addition, play with some of the “New ways to flavor foods” section at the bottom of the article to add as much enjoyment to your meals as possible.
Brooke Kollman, BS, RYT, is the Nutrition & Wellness Coordinator at the Integrative Medicine Center. Born and raised in Minnesota, Brooke moved to Colorado to obtain her B.S. in Integrative Health Care at MSU Denver. She is a board certified Health and Wellness Coach and a registered Yoga Instructor. Call (970) 245-6911 for an appointment with Brooke or more information.