HOW TO SHOP FOR PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS

Here are some simple and easily digestible (ha!) strategies that will enable you to quickly become a true ‘health boost shopper’. It will mean you experience health in a fun and exciting way – every day!

It’s important to know first that I am fully qualified in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell University, so I understand the theory as to why eating plant based whole foods can contribute to the prevention and reversal of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But in addition to the qualification, I have been eating and shopping for plant based whole foods (PBWFs) for over three years, so I also understand the practical side. And I can demonstrate from personal experience why following a plant-based diet and lifestyle is optimal for health.

So buckle up and enjoy the short, but fun, ride with me today! But first, some simple rules that quickly cut through all the smoke and mirrors about healthy food shopping.

  1. Fully engage all of your five senses when shopping. I’m sure you’re aware that wherever you place your attention when you shop for food is what is going to show up in your pantry and fridge. So therefore I am going to make it very simple for you. I want your senses to be fully engaged when you’re shopping for your plant based whole foods. This will lead to greater health. See, smell, taste, touch and listen when you’re buying your food. This is the most ideal scenario when shopping (and yes I know that this is not always possible for everyone and depends on where you live, the size of your wallet and perhaps the time you have available).
  2. Buy what’s in season, fresh and what grows in the ground, on the ground and above the ground. This means you don’t have to worry about any of the categories of food anymore as when you’re eating plant based whole foods, we do not consider other things as being food. Why? Because it won’t make you feel good, healthy and energised.
  3. Try and purchase all your food from Farmer’s Markets, local markets and health food shops. This is where you’ll find real food and where I recommend you do most of your shopping. Eating PBWF’s actually makes your food choices easier as it automatically eliminates most of the unhealthy/unnecessary food you are not meant to eat.
  4. Don’t worry about calories, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. When you eat a variety of PBWF’s you get everything that your body needs and buying into fears about calories and vitamins is all part of the diet scam and make believe non-sense information that you no longer need to pay attention to.

Are you unsure about what plant based whole foods are? Put simply, they are nature’s foods in ‘whole form’ meaning that it has not been processed! Fruits, veggies, grains, nuts & seeds and legumes. For example: an apple, broccoli, banana, cauliflower, lettuce, pear, strawberry, pumpkin, red unions, lemon, kale, potatoes, rice, beans, legumes. Below are some foods that I often get asked about as people are unsure if they’re considered plant based whole foods:

BREAD
If you want to eat bread, eat bread where the grain has not been processed i.e. 100% Rye or Spelt bread so you know that the kernel with all its parts are still intact

PASTA
As with bread, choose pasta where the kernel is 100% intact. i.e. spelt or buckwheat pastas are great to cook with and you can now buy at most health food shops.

DRIED FRUIT
Also OK to eat as long as it is not processed (other than by the sun) – this is considered as a whole food.

FERMENTED VEGETABLES
No problem - you can make your own fermented foods with structured water and unrefined sea salt.

OILS
All the oil your body needs comes from the PBWF’s you eat. Does that mean you don’t need any liquid processed oils? That is correct! You gain all the oils from your PBWF’s. How simple is that! What about cooking you ask? A great way to cook your veggies is either to steam it or cook them with a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan (adding spices and herbs for flavour of course!). Alternatively, you can roast veggies in the oven without oil – try it, you’ll be surprised!

JUICE
Juice is considered a processed food. There is a reason why you can’t eat six apples in one go but it’s easy to drink them! It’s because whole apples contain fibre and the juice does not. As soon as we take the fibre out, it is no longer what nature intended for you to have. The trick is not to try to outsmart nature. Instead, let nature nurture you as it was meant to!

When considering what to eat, the food should look almost exactly the same as when it is grown in, on or above the ground. It’s preferable to buy produce from farmers who farm organically (or from famers who do not spray but are not licensed yet). It’s a great idea to build a relationship with the farmers at your local Farmer’s Market – ask them plenty of questions and get to know them – they generally love to tell you all about how they farm your food!

Your body and brain will begin to thrive as soon as you provide it with what nature intended for you to have.

Food that does not come in its whole form is not considered as food. You might wonder why our supermarkets are full of processed foods? It’s really very simple. Processed foods last for longer periods of time than non-processed food which means they are much more profitable because of the longer shelf life. Often the ingredients in the packages and jars are fillers (not considered to be food) that will not lead to your good health. These so called ‘foods’ are in fact, detrimental to your health.

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” This was a quote from Henry Kissinger, a powerful political figure in the 1970’s. The control and management of global food supplies has been a corporate and political priority for decades, with US-based conglomerates leading the charge.

A plethora of harmful chemicals such as pesticides, antibiotics and hormones are used in plant and animal farming to boost production and ensure adequate food supply. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) sets the maximum allowed limits for agricultural and veterinary chemical residues present in foods in Australia (both domestic and imported foods).

I believe it’s time to stop looking the other way and start taking responsibility for your own state of health. To stop believing in the non-sense stories that producers of processed food tell us.

Don’t let them control your health, your state of mind and happiness.

Following a plant-based diet and lifestyle is optimal for your health — including the prevention and reversal of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Who says so? Below is a list of experts who have done the research for you to explore. It’s time to start asking questions and become aware and accountable for what you put into your body!

Best regards

Edwin

 T. Colin Campbell, PhD  Cornell University

T. Colin Campbell, PhD Cornell University

 Thomas Campbell, MD  University of Rochester

Thomas Campbell, MD University of Rochester

 Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD  Cleveland Clinic

Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD Cleveland Clinic

 Michele Simon, JD, MPH  Eat Drink Politics

Michele Simon, JD, MPH Eat Drink Politics

 Jill Edwards, MS, CES  Nutrition Studies

Jill Edwards, MS, CES Nutrition Studies

 Michael Greger, MD, FACLM  NutritionFacts.org

Michael Greger, MD, FACLM NutritionFacts.org

 Doug Lisle, PhD  TrueNorth Health Center

Doug Lisle, PhD TrueNorth Health Center

 Lindsay S. Nixon   The Happy Herbivore

Lindsay S. Nixon The Happy Herbivore

 Bruce Monger, PhD  Cornell University

Bruce Monger, PhD Cornell University

 Dean Ornish, MD  Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

Dean Ornish, MD Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

 Amy Lanou, PhD  UNC Asheville

Amy Lanou, PhD UNC Asheville

 Neal Barnard, MD  PCRM

Neal Barnard, MD PCRM

 Allison Wilson, PhD  Bioscience Resource Project

Allison Wilson, PhD Bioscience Resource Project

 Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD, RD  University of South Carolina

Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD, RD University of South Carolina

 William W. Li, MD  The Angiogenesis Foundation

William W. Li, MD The Angiogenesis Foundation

 Anne Bingham, MD  Crescent Street OBGYN

Anne Bingham, MD Crescent Street OBGYN

 Erin Campbell, MD, MPH  University of Rochester

Erin Campbell, MD, MPH University of Rochester

 Rui Hai Liu, PhD, MD  Cornell University

Rui Hai Liu, PhD, MD Cornell University

 Yami Cazoria, DO, MPH, MS  Nourish Wellness

Yami Cazoria, DO, MPH, MS Nourish Wellness

 Robert Cheeke  Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

Robert Cheeke Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

 David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc  University of Toronto

David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc University of Toronto

 Howard Lyman   The Mad Cowboy

Howard Lyman The Mad Cowboy

 Anne Ledbetter, EdD  Nutrition Studies

Anne Ledbetter, EdD Nutrition Studies