[diet] noun ˈdī-ət
1) habitual nourishment
2) a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons
Let’s take a look at those two definitions of the word diet. Definition #1 addresses the everyday act of nourishing our bodies. Definition #2, the version of diet you’re likely more used to hearing and using, describes a state of restrictive eating intended to produce weight loss.
I don’t know about you, but habitual nourishment sounds a whole lot more fun than a special course of food to which one restricts oneself – especially with the knowledge that habitual nourishment can produce weight loss just as well, if not better, than a restrictive diet.
This is all to say that as we dig into the eating style we subscribe to – the real food diet – we’re 100 percent talking about ‘diet’ in the sense of habitual nourishment. And the best part about this diet that’s not really a diet? It’s a way of eating that’s simple, approachable, holistically good for your body and maintainable. Oh, and it elevates those incredible Bari results, too.
So what’s the deal with the real food diet?
the real food philosophy
We believe in eating food in its most natural, unprocessed state; we believe our bodies will thank us for this both in the immediate future and down the road. This commitment to eating ethically is an investment in our health. It’s not a diet in the most commonly accepted sense of the word because it’s rooted in more than the physical results of eating well; it’s rooted in a conviction that food – real food – prevents illness and treats our bodies the way they need to be treated to optimally function and flourish.
We eat real food because the alternative is eating fake food, and, well, you are what you eat. We’re real foodists.
the real food rules
Here are our guidelines, adapted from 100 Days of Real Food, of what fits the bill for real food, as well as what doesn’t.
what you can eat:
1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
2. Seasonal fruits and vegetables – in abundance! (Shop for these at your local farmers’ market when possible.)
3. Organic dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs and cheese (so long as you don’t have a dairy intolerance)
4. 100% whole wheat and whole grains (find a local bakery for the freshest bread or find a store-bought bread with fewer than five ingredients and no sugar)
5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef and chicken (no more than once per day)
7. Beverages limited to water, organic milk, nut milks, fresh-pressed juices, coffee, tea, wine and beer (no more than 4 servings throughout the week)
8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and freshly popped popcorn
9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
what you cannot eat:
1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat, not just “wheat”)
2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, agave nectar, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda.
3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
4. No deep fried foods
5. No “fast foods”
a sample day of real food eating
Oatmeal topped with fresh berries, chia seeds and almond butter
Two eggs scrambled or pan-fried with a slice of millet bread topped with ¼ avocado, mashed
Green juice or smoothie (suggested blend: spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger)
Salad with beans, lots of raw/grilled vegetables, hard-boiled egg, seeds or nuts and olive oil and balsamic
Hummus and carrot sticks and celery
An apple with 1 tbsp. almond butter
Grilled salmon with sauted vegetables and a serving of whole grains
Sushi with brown rice and edamame
Popcorn (air-popped) topped with sea salt and nutritional yeast
4-6 oz. glass of wine (we know which option you’re choosing…)
This post, initially published on April 18, 2014, was updated on April 17th, 2015.
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