A definite first step to switching over to a whole foods or clean eating diet is knowing the difference between the two.
Let’s try to define the diets. A whole foods diet consists of: vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. So, more or less, it’s a strict vegan diet. There’s not a lot of wiggle room: no cheese, no bacon, no sugar. Lots of “no” foods. The raw foodies are the elite of this class, believing that cooking over 118 degrees F will strip the fruits and veggies of a lot of their healthy vitamins and enzymes. Whole foods = 1 ingredient.
A clean eating or real food diet is a bit more relaxed. A real food diet consists of whole ingredients. Whole grains. Whole milk. Nothing is processed. Nothing is added. The goal of a clean eating family would be to be able to pronounce/recognize all of the ingredients they consume. Meat, dairy, eggs are all okay. One of my favorite real food websites is 100 days of real food and there’s a great list of links there on getting started with a real food diet. Real foods (usually) = 5 or fewer whole ingredients.
So where do the Bakers fall? Kind of somewhere in the middle (and sometimes a little behind). Because of Lucy and Landon’s allergies we’ve eliminated eggs from our diet. We all drink (and bake with) almond milk but I can’t give up cheese. Or ice cream. Or bacon. [vices] We have switched over the pantry to a wide variety of whole grain flours [whole wheat, white whole wheat, oat, spelt, gluten-free all purpose, brown rice, potato starch, and garbanzo & fava bean flours].
Sometimes we eat things that are not considered real foods. If we run out of the puffed grain cereals that both kids really like [kamut and corn] then I pick up some rice squares next time I’m at the grocery store to hold me over until our next order from the health food shop. And I think that’s okay. I don’t want to raise real food eaters, I want to raise healthy eaters who are able to independently make appropriate choices on what to eat. I want the kids to be exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables. And, most ardently, I want them to be willing to try new things [food or otherwise]. I don’t want to get so caught up in labeling how we eat that they feel inadequate to make those choices by themselves.
So real food vs. whole food? I’m going with healthy food. It’s all subjective anyway. ;) Anyone else want to try to put a label on the way their family eats?