Hi my name is Lauren and I’m a foodie. There, I said it. I shop at farmers markets for the best ingredients, cook my own meals, and take a photo for Instagram when it’s all said and done. If devote a large part of my time, and attention, to food. What it is, where it comes from, how to cook it…everything. I’ve decided if I’m going to be a stickler about anything, it might as well be about what I’m putting in my body. That being said, I don’t have all the answers. I find myself on food blogs more than Facebook, always scrounging for the newest and healthiest recipes and food tips. A lot of what I see on the internet are food recipes based on a certain diet. Something that I’ve found especially interesting are all the different whole food diets. You’d think it would be simple, on a whole foods diet, you eat…whole foods, and that’s that, but there’s actually a lot to it. There are three major whole foods diets: The Whole 30 Diet, The 100 Days of Real Food Diet, and my favorite, the Forks over Knives Diet.
The Whole 30 Diet is presented more as a detox diet. The purpose is a full 30 days, uninterrupted, of “body reset.” The goal is to end cravings for unhealthy food and to heal the digestive system from ingesting chemicals/unhealthy foods. The 3 main food groups they want you to focus on are protein, produce, and healthy fats. All foods you consume over the 30 days must be all natural and unprocessed. On the website, they give a list of foods you can not eat over the 30 days, and everything else is fair game (as long as it is unprocessed). You can not eat: sugar of any kind (maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, whatever), no alcohol (even when cooking), no grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, gluten free grains), no legumes (black, red,pinto, navy, white, kidney, no bean peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanut butter, peanuts, all forms of soy), no dairy, no potatoes, no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, and no processed foods that are made with ingredients you can eat, for example, no coconut milk ice cream. Also, something interesting about this diet is that they specifically ask you to not step on a scale for the duration for the 30 days, because they think it will distract from the true purpose of the diet. They really help you out with this diet, because it is so hard to follow, with lots of resources like grocery list, recipes, and a forum for followers to encourage one another or ask for tips.
The next diet is the 100 Days of real food. This is one of my favorite blogs, mostly because it is super lenient and easy to cook with. Here’s the list of what you can eat: any food that is a product of nature, including fruits and veggies, dairy products (milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese,) 100% whole wheat and whole grains, seafood, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and all natural sweeteners in moderation (honey, maple syrup), and alcohol! The only things that are forbidden are refined grains, refined sweeteners, deep fried foods, and fast food.
I first heard of the Forks Over Knives diet watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” which absolutely changed the way I look at food. It’s amazing and I’ve linked the trailer here. This plan is a little harder to follow than the 100 Days diet, but there are some really great reasons behind their rules. The diet is whole foods AND plant based. So all you’re eating are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. They cut out animal-based foods, like meat (including fish), dairy, and eggs, as well as refined/processed foods. This is based of the fact that your body simply doesn’t NEED these animal products. The movie explains so much, and I highly encourage watching it.
It’s crazy how all these diets are “whole foods” based, but so different. What you’re primarily consuming in the Forks Over Knives diet is completely cut out in the 30 days diet. So which leaves us…which one is best? If I had to choose, I would combine the 100 days diet and the Forks over Knives diet. I’ve been a vegetarian for 3 years and I can tell you that your body doesn’t need to large amounts of protein that animals offer, but I think that everything is good in moderation. Meat and diary on occasion, and everything else naturally and organically from the Earth.
This is why this Cayisa’s mission is so important. Without learning garden programs that educate about whole foods, sustainable farming initiatives that keep the food growing, and reforestation that keeps the Earth happy, we would’t be able to eat any of these diets.
Which would you choose?