Watch the videos below to learn more about my recommended Daily Dozen.
Whole-food, plant-based nutrition. Pretty self-explanatory, right? But aren’t some plant foods better than others? You can apparently live extended periods eating practically nothing but potatoes, which would, by definition, be a whole-food, plant-based diet—but not a very healthy one. All plant foods are not created equal.
The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessarily interchangeable. Some foods and food groups have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. As the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I made a checklist, which evolved into the Daily Dozen that you can download for free on iPhone and Android.
Each day, I recommend a minimum of three servings of beans (legumes), two servings of berries, three servings of other fruits, one serving of cruciferous vegetables, two servings of greens, two servings of other veggies, one serving of flaxseeds, one serving of nuts and seeds, one serving of herbs and spices, three servings of whole grains, five servings of beverages, and one serving of exercise (90 minutes at moderate intensity or 40 minutes of vigorous activity).
This may sound like a lot of boxes to check, but it’s easy to knock off several at once. With one peanut butter and banana sandwich, you’ve just checked off four boxes. Sit down to a big salad of two cups of spinach, a handful of arugula, a handful of walnuts, a half cup of chickpeas, a half cup of red bell pepper, and a small tomato, and seven boxes can be ticked in one dish. Sprinkle on your flax, add a handful of goji berries, and enjoy it with a glass of water and fruit for dessert, and you could wipe out nearly half your daily check boxes in one meal. And then if you ate it on a treadmill…(kidding!).
To read more about the Daily Dozen and my Traffic Light approach, check out our free Evidence-Based Eating Guide.
Image Credit: Dustin Kirkpatrick. This image has been modified.