HCLF Plant Based Whole Foods

Follow me on Instagram?  Then you may have noticed I’ve been experimenting with my diet lately. 


For various health reasons (see more about that here), I made the decision to completely overhaul my eating from a Paleo based approach to High Carb, Low Fat Plant Based Wholefood approach.  Yep, a complete 180!


So what the hell is a HCLF Lifestyle?


A HCLF lifestyle is a completely plant-based way of eating with around 70-80% of your calorie intake coming from carbohydrates, with 10-15% coming from fats and another 10-15% coming from proteins. 


As you can see - it’s the complete opposite to a Paleo based lifestyle.


So why the hell am I doing this? 


I share more about my why (here), however in a nut shell, this way of eating (after A LOT of research) is really resonating with me at this particular moment in time – showing how it can be optimal for balancing our blood sugar levels - creating a body that is insulin sensitive and not insulin resistant, helping to lower cholesterol levels and inflammation AND due to the high fibre intake, can helps enormously with digestion.


Yes, this way of eating goes against everything I have learned and practiced so far, and against main-stream media, however the research is there and I’m willing to give anything a try. 


So how is this different to a Vegan diet?

Both might be based on foods coming from plants instead of animals, however a vegan diet doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy”.  Think about all of those vegan burgers you can buy dripping in refined oil, vegan cheese made with artificial substances AND vegan cakes and muffins made with a ton of refined ingredients.


A plant based whole food lifestyle, on the other hand, is all about eating foods that are as whole as possible (minimal processing, if any at all!)  This includes an abundance of fruit and veggies (both starchy and non-starchy), as well as legumes and whole (intact) grains.  At the same time, this lifestyle cuts out processed junk food (which everyone should do!) and a lot of fats/oils with limited amounts of nuts, seeds and avocados.


Why low fat?

Please don’t picture the low fat fads of the 1980’s here – it’s not that sort of low fat!  It’s simply limiting the amount of fats (including good fats) consumed on a daily basis.  Did you know that according to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) that the leading causes of death in western society today is heart disease, followed by cancer, respiratory problems, strokes, Alzheimer’s and diabetes?


From the outside these diseases may seem unrelated, however they all fall under the banner of lifestyle diseases – meaning they CAN be prevented by us making healthier choices. 


So what am I eating at the moment?


Based on the research and results from the amazing guys at Mastering Diabetes, I have been using their food pyramid as a guide as I transition.  They group foods into the following 3 categories: