Toward a More Holistic Approach to Diet

Holistic Diet Recipes: A Guide For Beginners

A few years ago I was reading a book called “The Whole30” by Mark Sisson. At first I didn’t like it because it seemed too complicated and overwhelming at times. However, after doing some research on the internet, I found out that there are many different ways to approach the whole 30 day challenge (or any other dietary program).

So I decided to try one of those approaches and it worked well for me.

I started with the idea that I would only consume foods from my kitchen. That meant no processed or packaged foods, no fast food, no sweets, and no alcohol. After a month of this lifestyle change, I felt great!

My energy levels were higher than ever before and my mood improved dramatically. I even lost weight!

It’s been over a year since I started this new way of living and I’m still enjoying it. There are so many benefits that come along with it. Here are just a few of them:

1) You don’t have to cook anymore!

You can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all the time instead of having to make unhealthy meals every once in awhile.

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2) You never have to worry about your food going bad in your fridge or pantry because you are constantly eating everything that you buy.

There is no waste!

3) You can save a lot of money.


Because eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive.

4) You don’t need to go out to restaurants anymore, unless you want to.

Who has time for that anyway?

5) You don’t have to pack your lunch when you’re at work.

But, if you really feel like you need that extra time in the morning, you can always prepare a meal or snack the night before to bring with you.

6) You don’t have to clean your kitchen as often.

Did breakfast leave a mess?

Just let it be and focus on other things. When you’re ready to eat again, it will be time to clean.

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7) You don’t have to use your coffee maker or electric teapot as much.

Those things are a huge drain on the wallet!

8) You don’t have to worry about your children asking for candy or a Happy Meal at the drive-through on your way home from work.

Is a box of animal crackers and apple slices really that unreasonable?

9) You don’t have to spend extra money on groceries every week.

Eat what you have and if there is something you want that’s not already in your kitchen, then go get it!

10) You don’t have to worry about things going bad before you eat them. I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who throw away food just because the expiration date has passed. If it smells fine and looks fine, it’s probably fine.

Who knows how accurate those expiration dates are anyway?

These are just a few of the benefits that come to mind immediately. I’m sure you can think of more if you take some time and reflect. The point is, you won’t know how great this lifestyle is until you try it for yourself.

With that being said, here are some tips that may help you along the way:

1) You don’t need a lot of specialty items to begin with.

I started with a few cheap staples and then just purchased items as I began to run low. Most of the time I just used basic kitchen utensils that I already had.

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2) When I first started, I wanted to make everything from scratch.

This led to a lot of wasted time and wasted food. It is much easier, and more cost-effective, to just buy the bottled salad dressing instead of trying to make it. Do this for the simple vinaigrette as well.

3) Don’t be afraid to freeze food if you can’t finish it in a timely manner.

Most leafy greens can be washed, dried, and placed in freezer bags for later use. The same goes for many fruits and vegetables. When you’re ready to eat them, all you need to do is thaw and serve.

4) Speaking of thawing, make sure you plan your weekly meals ahead of time so that everything is fresh when you go to cook it.

You don’t want to be sitting around with a frozen pizza and some frozen peas while you wait for the frozen green beans to thaw. This will waste time and you don’t want that.

5) Buy in bulk whenever possible.

Almost every grocery store has an area in the front where they sell items in bulk. Oatmeal, pasta, and flour are some of the most common things you can find in large quantities, and they’re real cheap this way.

6) Get to know your neighbors.

If you’re on good terms with them, they may be willing to give you some of the fruits and vegetables from their garden if they’ve grown more than they can use. Not only are you saving money, but you’re also getting fresh, organic produce.

7) Likewise, grow some of your own food if possible.

Even a small garden will suffice. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs can be grown indoors with a little bit of effort.

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8) Eating out will be a rare treat.

If you must do it, save up for a big event or birthday and eat at a place that you really want to try out.

9) Drink more water.

It’s nutritious and free since you have a tap in your kitchen. This is the easiest way to stay hydrated and it’s good for you, to boot.

10) Cook your food properly. You don’t need to boil everything; baking is just as good if not better for some items. Learning the proper ways to cook will also help to eliminate the risk of poisoning yourself.

While starting out, it would be best to stick with the basic foods and give yourself time to learn about which ones you like the most before branching out. There are so many recipes out there that it would be a shame to waste money on a food you don’t like.


It’s not that hard once you get the hang of it. Now go forth and save your money for more important things!

You’ve made it through your first month of cooking on your own. While you definitely had some mishaps here and there, you’re slowly becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. Between mastering the art of slicing onions and wrestling with a bag of potatoes, you’ve somehow managed to not poison yourself and have actually saved a little money in the process.

Your friends have noticed a difference in your cooking as well. While at first they were skeptical of the changes you were making, they can’t stop raving about how good the food tastes now. Even your little sister has given you credit for transforming her bland meal into a gourmet experience.

With another month under your belt, you’re feeling even more confident in the kitchen. The major things that are still left on your list are breads and pizzas. While you think you could probably tackle the pizza issue, you think it would be best to leave the breads for another time; maybe a weekend where you have a bit of extra time to focus on it.

Your dad has noticed your recent endeavors and while he doesn’t fully understand it, he’s noticed that your cooking has become better than his own. He sees that you’re really trying and that you’re learning, so as a reward he gives you the key to the liquor cabinet. He says that since you’re officially a man now, it’s time you had access to the good stuff.

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Although, there is one rule…

No dates in the house.

Relationships come and go, but your Dad will always be there for advice.

After a few more months of cooking and saving money, it’s become quite obvious that your love for cooking just keeps growing.

Sources & references used in this article:

Towards an ecology of eating disorders: creating sustainability through the integration of scientific research and clinical practice by D Clinton – … Review: The Professional Journal of the Eating …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library

Towards a more Holistic Vision of Human Nutrition to Prevent from Diet-Related Chronic diseases: the reductionist drift by A Fardet – International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and …, 2016 –

Toward a new philosophy of preventive nutrition: from a reductionist to a holistic paradigm to improve nutritional recommendations by A Fardet, E Rock – Advances in nutrition, 2014 –

Doing nutrition differently: critical approaches to diet and dietary intervention by A Hayes-Conroy – 2016 –

A balanced approach towards healthy eating in autism by E Cornish – Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 1998 – Wiley Online Library

Preventing eating and body image problems in children and adolescents using the health promoting schools framework by J O’Dea, D Maloney – Journal of School Health, 2000 – Wiley Online Library

Toward a more comprehensive medical anthropology: The case of adolescent psychopathlogy by H Fabrega Jr, BD Miller – Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995 – Wiley Online Library

Toward a more sustainable agriculture by RP Poincelot – 2012 –

Toward a life cycle-based, diet-level framework for food environmental impact and nutritional quality assessment: a critical review by MC Heller, GA Keoleian, WC Willett – Environmental science & …, 2013 – ACS Publications