Switch To Whole Food Snacks and Meals and See Your Energy Soar
Keeping good clean energy on-hand can seem impossible when you’re on the go all day long. But, little changes in your diet can make big differences in how you take on the day. Keeping tabs on which foods provide you the most clean energy is a good place to start. The most nutrient dense foods are considered whole foods.
The Benefits of A Whole Food Diet
A whole food diet consists of foods that are eaten in their most natural forms: fruits, vegetables and other plants. These foods have not been broken down, refined, or processed chemically into less-nutrient versions of themselves--packaged fruits and veggies, refined breads and pastries, soda and fruit juices. Eating whole foods will power your body with nutrients that are more easily identified by your body, making nutrient absorption easier and more comfortable (say yes to better digestion!).
- Better Digestion + A Healthy Gut - When choosing whole foods over processed foods, you’re choosing a healthier and more regulated digestive tract. Many whole foods contain healthy amounts of fiber, and consuming the right amount of fiber is essential for your overall gut health. The fiber in whole foods regulates the digestion process in your gut, regulates waste movement which prevents infection, and slows the release of sugars and insulin from the whole grains.
- Regulated Blood Sugar - Whole foods that are high in fiber or that are enzymatically alive (like prebiotics and probiotics) help to regulate blood sugar. These foods are often composed of complex carbohydrates, which means it takes our bodies longer to break down the sugars ... and that's a good thing! The slow release of sugars provides a steady level of energy to our brain and body. That's why it's especially important eat whole food snacks before workouts and while you study. Eating foods that help regulate your blood sugar ensure that your brain gets its glucose, but without going overboard.
- Slows Down Aging and Prevents Disease - We are what we eat, and processed foods do a poor job of building quality cells in our body. Whole foods are filled with more nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. Without the right amounts of antioxidants and nutrients, the free radicals in your body speed up aging and can lead to disease over time. Eating more whole foods can neutralize the free radicals, which keeps you feeling and looking younger and disease free.
What's Considered A Whole Food:
- Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetables: When it comes to fruits and veggies, fresh (and preferably organic) produce is the way to go. Frozen products are also okay because that’s a good way to preserve unused fresh fruits and veggies.
- Whole Grains: A lot of times when you eat a whole grain, you’re consuming more nutrients, protein, and antioxidants than you would if you ate white rice (which is just the starchy part of a grain). Grains that are considered whole grains include millet, brown rice, oats, rye, teff, sorghum, spelt, whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa and cornmeal.
- Beans and Legumes: Whole food beans and legumes contain lots of good for you fiber and plant-based protein. While it’s technically cheating to use canned beans, if buying this convenience item keeps you mostly on track, that’s still Rowdy. To us, staying consistent with healthy eating is the most important thing. Whole beans and legumes include black beans, pinto beans, white beans, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and nuts and seeds.
- Whole Foods of Animal Origin: While most whole food diets consist mainly of plant-based foods, there is some wiggle room for animal products. This includes eggs, small fish, seafood (including crustaceans), poultry and red meat such as beef, lamb, pork and veal. When thinking about animal products, you can usually go by the rule of thumb: the higher the quality, the less processed it’ll probably be.
Tips For Transitioning To A Whole Foods Diet
- Stick to the perimeter. Grocery stores are typically set up to keep the produce, meats and dairies on the outer edges of the grocery store. If you stay out of those inner aisles, you are more likely to fill your cart with1 ingredient foods.
- Toss your main offenders. Doing anything cold turkey is a bad idea, so instead of eliminating all processed foods from your pantry, start by throwing away your most commonly used processed foods. Canola oil, soda or potato chips and snacks might be a good start.
- Think in nutrients. When grocery shopping, think about the nutrients contained in each food as opposed to the price. Then compare the price of the food to the nutrients to see if the food is worth it.
- Give yourself some adjustment time. If you've spent most of your life eating processed foods (like many of us) whole foods can seem kind of bland at first. That's because processed foods are typically higher in sodium, seasoning and other ingredients that overstimulate our taste buds. Give yourself some compassion as you let your taste buds adjust to whole foods. Mix half your brown rice with some white rice, for example.
- Adopt a beginner's mindset. Have you ever looked at an apple and thought, "Wow, that's a dang miracle"? Well we are inviting you to. When you look at something as if it were for the first time, it's easier to appreciate it. Learn to appreciate everything that goes into these whole foods, and how that might be different than processed foods.
Let’s Make A Pact.
Life gets crazy, and switching to whole foods for every meal and snack is a tad unrealistic. We get it. That’s why we’ve committed to creating healthy snacks made with whole food ingredients. Rowdy Bars are made with the base ingredients: yacon root, nuts and seeds, egg whites and dark chocolate. We want to make it easy for you by creating foods that taste like cheating but are actually super good for you. (You’re welcome). In return we ask that you keep going after those Rowdy goals ... and tossing in a few extra veggies into your lunches. Kick off your whole food snacking today, Shop Rowdy Bars!