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What Exactly IS Whole-food?

December 19th, 2013 | no comments


2012-09-26 09.05.15



“WHOLE-FOOD n. food that is eaten as close as possible to its natural state, without unnecessary processing and refining.” (Wholefood, Jude Blereau)





Whole-food represents a major pillar in the foundation of a healthy and deliriously happy life.  Real, whole-food is one of life’s fundamentals…just as love is.


But let’s face it, we are living in a processed, packaged, artificially flavoured, sweetened, preserved, fast-paced, convenience society, where the idea of eating ‘real food’ seems to be reserved for ‘hippies’ and instagram ‘foodies’ and ‘health-nuts’.


Seriously, this has GOT to change.  We are one big living scientific experiment, and the ones that will suffer are the generations to come.  When did food become so damn confusing?  When did we lose touch with the one thing that builds our every cell, thought and emotion?


You see, whole-food isn’t confusing at all.  Whole-food is actually very simple.  It is real food.  Food that you can pick from tree, from the garden, food that our grandparents and great grandparents would have eaten when they were young!  But how much of this ‘food’ do you see at modern-day supermarkets?  There are plenty of food-like products, but not much that I would consider real food….even the produce is sprayed with harmful chemicals, or has been artificially ripened and traveled for thousands of kilometers to reach the supermarket shelf!!!  WTF?!!

Running whole-food cleanse programs, I often get asked this question all the time…”What is whole-food?”, so I wanted to answer this question as well as a few others I get…keep scrolling!


But vegetables taste bland and boring!

When you eat a diet high in refined sugars, salt saturated & hydrogenated fats, your palate and taste-buds become de-sensitised to the subtle flavours available to you from whole-foods.  I clearly remember my palate changing, as I transitioned my diet over to whole-foods.

Before eating this way, I would always need plenty of sweet chilli sauce, mayonnaise or other tasty dressing to make any vegetables or salad taste good!  But once I started eliminating these high sugar/salt foods from my diet, I could actually start to taste the foods in their fullness.  The flavours of vegetable are beautifully subtle, and are now so divine to my taste buds!

On the other end of the spectrum, lollies and sweets are just way too much for my palate since adopting a whole-food diet.  I find them sickly sweet, and never crave, want or buy them.  Give it a try, and notice how your taste buds change!


oldfashioned woman with fridge door open


Whole-foods must take so long to prepare though?

Sorry to be blunt, but if you want to achieve your health & booty goals, then you MUST learn to be more organised with your life…including your food planning and preparation.  Poor organisation with food, usually = grabbing food on the run.  And last time I checked, there weren’t too many healthy options for ‘grabbing food on the run’!

Some whole foods, such as beans, legumes, grains etc, need soaking and longer cooking times, but again, this is no problem if you are organised.

Typically though, I find whole-foods to be easy!  It is common to get bogged down by the ‘idea’ of changing, and it all seems ‘too hard’, when the  reality is actually quite different.  Many of my meals only take 10-20 minutes to whip up, especially during summer when I’m eating a high raw diet (cooling foods for the Queensland summer heat!).

It may be a little more challenging in the initial stages, just as it is with anything new that you learn!  Choose to step out of your comfort zone and experiment.  Eventually it will become the ‘norm’, if you give it the time and patience.



If I eat whole-foods do I have to be a vegetarian?

Eating whole-foods does NOT mean being a vegetarian or vegan.  Choosing meat as a part of your diet can be important for some people.  Some bodies and constitutions need meat!  I know that my body struggles to absorb iron from plant foods, and therefore I feel a lot better when I have small amounts of meat in my diet.  Note the word ‘small’…too much meat in your diet, especially red meat, can have severe consequences to your health, as well as our precious environment.

Everybody’s biochemistry is unique, so you need to work out what works best for YOU.  Some may thrive on vegetarian diet, others with meat in their diet.  If you decide to transition away from meat, make sure you seek some professional support to ensure you are getting all of the right nutrients from other food sources!



Where on earth do I even start?

Transitioning to a whole-food lifestyle can be super scary!!  It is not something that happens overnight, or even in a couple of weeks, and I believe that true dietary transitions can take years.  You don’t have to completely change EVERYTHING at once.  This will just overwhelm you and send you running for your old and comfortable habits.

Start with one food at a time.  One vegetable, one fruit, one grain, one bean, one seed.

Choose simple recipes to begin with, with no more than 5 ingredients!  Make a new recipe a minimum of 3 times…first time to test it out, second time to improve on it, and the third time to see if you really like it!  Master that dish, and if it’s a goodie, add it to your repertoire!

Slowly start to change your pantry.  Upgrade your ingredients one at a time.  This kind of pace is what will help build a solid foundation for a healthy whole-foods lifestyle that you are going to stick to for the long haul.

You will start to notice the changes in your body quite quickly, and this is often good enough motivation to keep on going!


Who can help me?

If transitioning to a whole-foods lifestyle is something that you are interested in, then sign-up to my 21-day Wholefood Cleanse program, which is a gorgeous program for busy modern-day woman like you who want to know how to integrate whole-foods into your daily life.  It is perfect if you are completely new to this, as I will hold your hand and show you how to take your first steps into this world.  And if you have started experimenting with whole-foods, it is a great opportunity to try out some new recipes and foods!

21-day Wholefood Cleanse


I’m still learning so much every day, every week, every year about myself and food.  This journey will continue through my entire life, as I curiously listen to my body and discover what it needs to function at it’s highest potential.  There is no way in hell that I am anywhere near living a perfectly clean lifestyle…I still love my coffee, my wine and the odd piece of cake!  I follow the 80/20 guidelines….80% healthy wholefoods, 20% whatever I want.  It takes the stress and the pressure out of the picture.  Life shouldn’t be about deprivation, it should be about pleasure.  And there is soooo much pleasure in whole-foods…ahmen to that!!!!


Living this way has changed my life, and I hope this post has planted a seed of inspiration for you to give it a try!!!


Take action and reply below with 3 steps you are going to take towards a whole-food lifestyle in 2014!



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Hi! My name is Ngaire, owner of Whole Lot a Health. I'm a Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, and Clinical Pilates teacher, with a passion to empower woman to living a ripe & fertile life; rich with energy, abundance & opportunity.  Health is wealth!

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