Hi! I have dubbed Wednesdays on The Well Balanced Bitch “wtf Wednesday.” Every Wednesday, I’ll share something with you guys that may have you thinking, “wtf is that?” A lot of the things I’ve learned over the past year or so through my holistic nutrition courses or just random things I’ve picked up have given me a similar thought but have ended up being things I incorporate into my life in one way or another. So, without further ado, let’s commence the first wtf Wednesday.

Ok, wtf is SOUL food?

No, I’m not talking about the deep-fried, carb-heavy “comfort” food popular in small towns and Cracker Barrels everywhere. I’m talking about food that is good for your body and soul in a way that one comforting meal can never be (even if it is delicious).

S.O.U.L stands for Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local. It is the crux of holistic nutrition and is extremely healing.

Example: Pineapple Salmon with Basmati Rice, Pineapple-Avocado Salsa & Green Beans

Before we get more into why and how to eat a SOUL food diet, let’s talk about the diet many people are unfortunately accustomed to – the Standard American Diet. AKA the SAD diet.

SOUL vs SAD

The SAD diet consists of mainly processed and refined products like cereal, processed meats, white bread, fast food, and lots and lots of sugar. And it’s SAD because refined foods and sugar are horrible for us. Our bodies aren’t meant to process them, so the result is disease. These foods are basically devoid of nutrients and the ones that are featured on the packages are usually added back in after they are removed. Like… white bread, why is it enriched? Because all the nutrients were stripped out in order to make it look more appealing on the shelves. Ever wonder why an orange doesn’t come in a box plastered with phrases like, “full of vitamin C” or “no sugar added”? Because it doesn’t have to. It’s natural and whole.

But this isn’t a crusade against white bread. I know that it’s fucking delicious. I used to eat it daily, along with a bunch of other shit. You’re looking at a girl who literally had a Honey Bun and a Mountain Dew for breakfast almost every day senior year of high school and continued to a lesser extent through college. But guess what? My health was not optimal. Sure, on the outside I was fine, but when I was eating those foods for every meal, my mood was horrible, I was super negative, and had tons of stomach issues. If you read my first post, you know I’ve come a long way. A lot of that is due to the shift in my diet. Hint: everything is connected.

Back to SOUL

The greatest thing about adopting a SOUL food diet is that it’s not restrictive. It’s not a weird diet where you only eat bananas or something like that. It’s literally just eating REAL food. No processing, no preservatives, no bullshit.

I could honestly go on and on about the differences and what eating real, whole foods can do for you, but I’ll save those thoughts for other posts. I will leave you with this, though. If you are someone who eats a bunch of shit food all the time, but you want to start feeling better from the inside out, here are some tips for transitioning:

  • Learn to make your favorite SAD meals in a SOULful way – replace ingredients, bake instead of fry, etc. I’ll be posting some of my fav recipes on the blog but you can find a bunch of shit on Pinterest in the meantime.
  • Familiarize yourself with what produce is in-season. It’s normally cheaper and more easily found at farmer’s markets and local co-ops. This list is pretty legit. Here, too.
  • Even if you can’t find local or organic produce, get the conventional version – the Environmental Working Group puts out its Dirty Dozen list every season highlighting which produce you should definitely get organic if possible (due to high use of pesticides) and another one with produce that is fine to buy conventional

Whew! That is all for this first wtf Wednesday. Let me know what you guys think about SOUL vs SAD and how you decide to make the switch!

*Obviously you want to watch portion sizes and make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. Everyone is unique and will find the way to eat that’s best for them. Intuitive eating is a really cool concept that I’ll cover in another post. BUT, the most important thing to remember is that it’s all about BALANCE.

Alissa