The Soul Feed


How to eat more whole foods

By Joey De Backer IN Nourish

It sounds good in theory – eat more whole foods, less processed foods. Food from nature, untampered with, natural, nourishing! It evokes images of eating fruit straight off the tree and making your own passata from grandmas’ tomato patch. For most of us, processed foods make up a big part of our diet, so transitioning to more whole foods needs to be done gradually. Making changes to your family’s diet is best done one step at a time so you don’t freak them out or get overwhelmed.

How to start:

  • Start by adding the good stuff – when can you add extra veg? Nuts and seeds? Legumes? Wholegrains?
  • Swap – What can you swap for a less processed version?
  • Ingredients lists – Focus on the ingredients list rather than the nutrition information panel and look for ingredients that come from a farm, not a factory.
  • Do what you can afford – you don’t need expensive super foods.
  • Grow your own herbs – these can be expensive to buy and then they wilt before you’ve used them all! It’s so cheap and easy to grow your own and you don’t need much space. Then you can season your food with fresh herbs from your garden, adding flavour and reducing the need for packaged sauces, salt and sugars.

Ingredients to upgrade:

  • Meat , dairy and eggs– aim for grass fed/free range/pastured/organic. Ask at your local butcher and farmers market.
  • Grain products – aim for wholemeal/wholegrain products, stone ground flours. Bread should be filling, sourdough is ideal.
  • Nuts and seeds – try raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Fruit and veg – buy in season, locally grown if possible and organic if you please. Organic food is grown without chemical pesticides or fertilisers. Some conventional foods have more pesticide residues than others, depending on how much is sprayed and how the plant absorbs the pesticides. See ‘the dirty dozen’ and ‘clean fifteen’ for a guide on which food to prioritise eating organic/spray free or growing at home.


As with any changes, make the transition step by step, celebrate where you’re at and pat yourself on the back for all efforts made!


Joey De Backer

Joey is an accredited practicing dietitian, holistic nutritionist, mindfulness leader and mum to 2.5 year old, Isla Rose. Joey is passionate about helping mums eat well without the need for fancy ingredients and even much nutrition knowledge. She believes that bringing mindful awareness to your body is the most important way to eat and live well!

Her philosophy on food and health is: whole foods, eaten mindfully and joyfully. Her favourite foods are black forest cake, mangoes and artichokes. Joey loves creating simple recipes to inspire use of seasonal and whole produce, while educating people on mindset – the power of our habits and beliefs. Joey has experience with food intolerances, having been through the process of exploring these with her own daughter.

She now supports many mums, babies and children through the elimination diet process to help improve behaviour, sleep, skin issues such as eczema, migraines, learning/attention difficulties and digestive problems. Joey also loves supporting mums to achieve a healthy weight without dieting or deprivation.