So, I’ve discovered where I went wrong with a whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) diet. Or, not necessarily wrong, because I still got healthier overall, lost a ton of weight, and I did soothe my chronic skin inflammation (eczema). However, how I was going about the WFPB diet wasn’t giving me enough nutrients, personally, for long-term healing and maintenance. I had heard others talk about having so much energy and feeling great after starting a WFPB diet, but I wasn’t feeling any of those effects, but now I am. I just needed to begin eating a Nutritarian Diet rather than a starch solution diet.
In the Nutritarian Diet, there are levels of healthiness, as with all things. Dr. Fuhrman, who did the research for the diet talks about the levels as karate belts (I guess because that’s familiar to most). There are four belts that are commonly discussed, and those are the white belt, yellow belt, brown belt, and black belt.
I took screenshots of these photos on my computer. These are not my photo
For a few years, I did go completely plant-based. I thought I was doing a WFPB diet, but I found out that whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta does not equate to a serving of whole grains. I changed to a starchivore diet and did that for over a year. Finally, a few weeks ago, I figured it out and changed to a Nutritarian Diet.
As far as being WFPB, I have that down. I rarely snack. I usually only have 2 meals a day (because intermittent fasting). I also have no need for comfort/junk foods. Around the holidays, I will have a side or two of non-WFPB foods just because I’m at someone else’s house, and I’m hungry, but I just don’t feel good after. Even during eating, those foods definitely don’t taste as good as they did a few years ago. I’m definitely a WFPB black belt.
But I’m totally a white/yellow belt when it comes to the Nutritarian Diet. I went through the white belt level (and certain aspects of the other levels) when I went plant-based initially. I don’t have all the symptoms of detox, but at night, after eating all day, my tummy hurts a little. It’s not a lot, thank goodness, but it’s enough to be able to identify. This is beginning to go away, so I know that I’m moving into yellow-belt territory.
I also still crave not making my healthy food. When I started to eat a starch-solution diet, I just had to make a big pot of rice about once a day, and that would last me the whole day. I just sprinkled different toppings on top, and that was it. It was pretty easy. Since going nutritatian, I eat a big smoothie for breakfast, and I have a big salad with or as dinner. The first day was a fun experience, but the second day, I just didn’t want to rinse out my blender or chop all the veggies for my salad, and I’ve experienced that a lot. Once I make the smoothie or salad, I very much enjoy it, but that’s only after it’s done.
Despite that, I’ve remained on a Nutritarian Diet because it gives me all that energy that people kept telling me about. My skin inflammation is also receding just like when I went on a true WFPB diet, and I’m hoping that it stays away this time.
This is the Nutritatian Food Pyramid. As you can see, it’s quite similar to my Monkey Diet Food Chart.
I likely eat more starches than strict Nutritarians, but the basic principle of the Nutritarian Diet is to eat foods that give you optimal nutrition. I’m a very petite woman with a small stomach. I can’t fit really huge amounts of leafy greens in my diet, and I need something more substantial included in my diet. Nuts and seeds are more costly than starches (plus, large quantities of them are bad for skin inflammation), so I still add starch in large part into my diet – although, now it’s 1-3 cups a day instead of 8+. (It really is nearly impossible to be overweight on a WFPB diet. One cup of plain, cooked rice is roughly 200 calories. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s 10 cups of rice a day!)