Welcome to the WSLF FAQ! Thank you for starting here & reading through the material. The WSLF Life Changing Cookbook goes into detail with top notch citations for every possible issue and comes with 55+ of the best whole food starch centered recipes around & a Meal Plan furnished by a Registered Dietician to meet your dietary needs!
#1. What does WSLF stand for?
A. WSLF stands for Whole Starch Low Fat. Whole as in an unrefined food. Refined/processed foods are sugar / flour / protein extracts, etc. Eating a whole food is a potato, whole grain brown rice, an ear of corn, etc. We focus our meals on whole starches (oats,sweet potatoes,squash,quinoa,etc). We don't add fat (oils), aside from whole plants that are richer in fat as condiments to impart their unique flavors without overloading the meal, keeping it lower in fat. The WSLF Life Changing Cookbook goes into greater detail and bust the myths surrounding low fat diet failures of the past.
#2. Why no smoothies?
A. Blending fruit results in a sudden rush of blood sugar which glycates proteins, including hemoglobin (red blood cells) & collagen (early aging). Nearly 1/3rd of Americans are prediabetic and their A1C score will be greatly improved by eating whole fruit vs smoothies. Blending greens removes the #1 benefit of nitric oxide formed from chewing them as they interact with the bacteria on the tongue.
#3. Why can you blend starches? Why are whole grains better than refined?
A. Mashing a starch for soups and sweet potato smoothie bowls does not render it into a sugar, its still a long chain polysaccharide, therefore will slowly enter our blood stream. Mashing renders the fiber slightly less effective, but its still a starch and you are still chewing it & not sucking it down with a straw. However, refining a grain removes the fiber & even with whole refined grains, it increases the caloric density and surface area of the meal making it more calorie dense and faster absorbing, which can impact triglycerides and blood sugar.
#4. How strict do I have to be on WSLF?
A. We suggest you start with a healthy foundation if you are focusing on healthy dietary patterns for health goals & then add back in richer foods and evaluate the impact on your progress. Many people are able to stick to WSLF at home or during the week and be more flexible in hard to manage environments, while others have a slippery slope with food addiction & need to remain focused on the core principals at all times. You don't fail for life if you slip up, you simply work on failing less often. Our goal is to help you build healthy habits that last a lifetime.
#5. Will I gain weight if I eat until full. Is there a calorie amount I will gain weight on? I am scared not to count calories/gaining weight? How do I lose weight without restricting calories?
A. WSLF teaches you calorie density. You can not outrun your hunger for long so by focusing on foods that are calorically dilute while nutrient rich you can eat until full without worrying about calories. Starches, fruits & vegetables are the basis of our diet & eating them to meet your nutrient requirements will result in a healthy BMI for the long haul. You may increase in water/glycogen weight or food in transit temporarily, but give your body time adjust & your metabolism to pick up. In the WSLF Life Changing Cookbook we go over studies on metabolism & on ad libitum diets like WSLF (all you care to eat). If binge eating is an issue, no dietary pattern will be successful without treating the BED 1st.
#6. How much fat should I eat?
A. The right amount of macro nutrients exist in a healthy eating pattern. No macro focus is required or recommended by any health authority. The USDA Dietary Guidelines go as far as recommending against it. Every major reputable health publication recommends a diet focused on whole grains, fruits & vegetables. WSLF is based off these recommendations. By centering your meals on starches you get the protein, fat & carbohydrate fuel you need to maintain a healthy body for a long lifetime. There is no study that shows adding fat or protein or sugar to an already healthy diet produces any enhanced benefits and plenty to show the opposite.
#7. Can I eat :bread/pasta/polenta/avocado/nuts/seeds/olives/coconut/popsicles/corn tortillas/meat/eggs/sugar/dairy/etc? Are cous cous, puffed cereal, etc WSLF?
A. You can eat what ever you want! In fact one of the tenants of WSLF that makes it different from other healthy eating patterns is that we offer NO RESTRICTIONS & encourage you to follow the guidelines in our book & experience results and then add back in richer & more processed foods and evaluate their impact on your healthy habits. That is a sane & healthy way to find your set point. If you want help in our WSLF Facebook Group we require you to follow the guidelines strictly (ie food must be whole & not processed) before complaining that they don't work.
#8. Will WSLF cure Candida, Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, A stubbed toe, broken bones, my aunt's arthritis, my dog's ucler?
A. We are NOT Dr's! We expressly encourage you to go over your dietary plans with a qualified medical professional. We give NO medical advice & disallow medical questions in our group. There are plenty of people in the medical community who applaud our efforts and recommend their patients battling chronic health problems like obesity to take a WSLF approach.
#9. How do I get meh protein?
A. Just like the f*#@'n animal you used to eat got theirs! Breast milk is 6% protein by calories and that is when humans grow the most in our entire lives. Adult needs are no more & a WSLF diet provides adequate amounts far beyond mother's milk.
#10. Why no oil?
A. Oil is the densest form of calories we can ingest. Just adding a TBSP of olive oil to a dish, even a salad can drastically change its nutrient profile from a health food to a junk food. Oil effects insulin sensitivity, arterial flexibility, blood lipids & more INSTANTLY. Olive oil in the Mediterranean Diet is misunderstood as a health food, its just less damaging than saturated fats it replaces in the Med Diet, but the #1 cause of death in the Med is still heart disease. Oil is ubiquitous in our modern toxic food environment because it increases addiction & shelf stability, nothing a consumer would choose, but great for business.
#11. Won't soy milk give me man boobs? Do I need to love tofu?
A. Eating soy as a condiment (edamame in your salad, tofu or tempeh in your wild rice) is perfectly healthy. Eating isolated soy protein burgers is not. You do not have to eat any soy, but beer has more phytoestrogens than soy milk from the hops and no men seem to be afraid of drinking too much beer. If you stick to wholer forms with the fiber intact and use it as a condiment vs a tofu scramble, you will be consuming soy in a healthful way.
#12. Should I avoid sodium & sugar? What about stevia & other no calorie sweeteners?
The lowest level of healthful sodium is not known. Major health authorities recommend under 1 tsp a day (2300mg). We believe healthy food needs a fighting chance against the toxic food environment and encourage using that tsp daily (also avoids low blood pressure) on the surface of your food. Get iodized sea salt (Hain Celestial) for an added bonus. Added sugar should be used in the same vein, under 5% of total calories, used in sauces (ketchup, bbq, chili, etc) or a tsp or two sprinkled on the surface of your oats in the morning. We make no distinction in the type of sweetener, its all fairly the same so use what you enjoy, with the exception of stevia or other artificial sweeteners, their are studies showing they encourage binge eating later in the day, best to stick with real sweeteners.
#13. Does it matter how many meals I eat or if I fast intermittently?
A. Skipping breakfast has been shown to create more binge eating later in the day so we really want you to get in a good breakfast, but that may not apply to all people. There is absolutely no need for fasting of any kind & endless high quality studies have totally debunked intermittent fasting. It is no more or less effective than calorie restriction. We teach calorie density, which is actually enjoyable & sustainable.
#14. How do I order at restaurants?
A. By not ORDERING restaurants. Ponder that for a bit, read it and reread it. Are you asking for help or demanding? Did you look at the menu before going in to determine if there were some items that looked modifiable? Does the menu say "no substitutions honored" or does it say "we try to accommodate all dietary requests to the best of our ability, please ask". We typically call, write ahead many days in advance of a new restaurant. We ask when is the best time to talk to the chef, we go over the menu beforehand looking at sides, trying to find starches and veggies they may have on hand. We ask our question simply. "Do you have anything vegan, that you can prepare without oil?" 1st go for vegan food, 2nd go for oil-free & 3rdly try WSLF. Three strikes and try another restaurant. Its not about perfect its about doing better each time. It took us a decade to get our local Indian Restaurant to make oil-free meals and guess what they won't do it for everyone.
#15. Oats & some beans have so much fat, will they hinder my weight loss?
A. WSLF is NOT NO FAT. We do NOT recommend a NO FAT DIET. We recommend a whole food diet based on starches that is low in added fat. No where did we say no fat, no avocado, no nuts, no seeds, no where :) we say LOW in them. The fat in oats & most beans is bound tightly in the fiber & presents no issues to those trying to lose weight, in fact these delicious healthful foods help you keep on track and enjoying your WSLF diet.
#16. Is this a vegan diet?
A. Yes & No! What we recommend is a dietary pattern focused on plants, but we do not require you to become a vegan to follow WSLF. A vegan diet can describe lots of unhealthy processed foods that do no good for humans making us wonder why people who claim to be ethical would inflict such dietary harm on one another. Being an ethical vegan goes a step further and seeks to minimize impact on all animals where practical (not buying leather or cosmetics tested on animals, for example). While we hope that everyone is open to expanding their veganism beyond food, that is a personal journey more akin to religion and we are not preachers, but scientists. Simple answer - find your own way there, its a journey we are so thankful we made.
#17. Help, its not working for me!?!
A. We have a wonderful WSLF Facebook Group where we provide daily support to the community. By taking pictures of your meals and posting them to the group we can help you trouble shoot. This is the human diet, we will get you there or get you to the qualified help you need to uncover any additional medical reasons. We leave no one behind who persists.
#18. What supplements do I need? Which ones should I stop using?
A. The only supplement we recommend is B12 in the methlycobalamin form of 50mcg a day. Most store bought brands will have 500mcg that you can nibble off of unless you have low levels or absorption issues, then see your Dr for an appropriate results based regime. Regardless of diet B12 is an inexpensive essential nutrient low in the human diet because it comes from good bacteria that we nuke along with the bad. Several nobel prizes have been awarded around it. Yes, even meat eaters are low & should take it. Caffeine and most supplements should be weened away with the help of your healthcare professional if needed. I have yet to see any proof on the safety of long term supplement use (aside from b12) and the damages of coffee are well documented.
#19. My friends, family, boss, brother in law, facebook friends are posting paleo trolling & are making fun of what I eat, what do I do in social situations?
A. Mom tells me to eat my vegetables every day growing up and now I am eating them and you are calling me out on it? WTF! Bottom line is no diet is going to be sustainable if you are at odds with your social environment over it. Find common ground, restaurants you can all eat it & loosen up around them if it helps you fit in without giving in. Don't use the V word and make food that they won't get caught up in the world of comparison. You are around you every minute of every day & you have to decide if its really more difficult to live the results of the Standard American Diet or be the exception? By following lots of like minded people on social media, especially plant based Dr's and dietitians you will at least have an online world to vacation in every day.
#20. Is WSLF right for everyone? The phytic acid/etc will kill me right?
A. Its right for everyone, but maybe not right now for you if you are underweight or dealing with an eating disorder. Getting help with those issues first and working with your therapist to understand when you can reapproach a healthy vegan diet for the right reasons is the best approach. Certain conditions may require some people to eat much higher up on the calorie density scale to maintain a healthy weight. Food fears and pseudo science are not part of WSLF, phytic acid is a powerful antioxidant with many established health effects.
#21. How many people have tried this?
A. Billions. A starch centered diet is the diet of the healthiest & trimmest people on this planet with the lowest rates of chronic disease who also happen to be the most long lived. The Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda California are among the only Americans who make the list thanks in part to their strict vegetarian diet.
#22. No this is all lies, you guys are supposed to be fat hating cult leaders!
A. That is why we made this FAQ :) We also have a Free WSLF Guide & a Cookbook. People that spread that level of misunderstanding have not read our book or participated in our group or taken any nutritional courses nor may have the ability to understand basic science. When you encounter misguided people, please ask them to cite their sources. When they can't or give you a blog post vs a high quality medical journal citation, realize they have no clue what they are talking about & walk away.
#23. Do you have any proof this works? Lets see some testimonials!
A. Our WSLF Facebook Group has over 1000+ testimonials and climbing every day. Search through the group pictures, but make sure you are not with your grandma (make sure she is cool!) or at work because many of them are NSFW! We seriously appreciate our bold members who are not afraid to share their healthy transformations based on nourishing whole food meals with no restriction.
PS, if you really want an education beyond the WSLF Life Changing Cookbook & need answers and to review discussions on every nutrient or study that pops up in vegan or anti vegan world, its all be discussed and referenced and continuously updated HERE, click on each topic and take notes to know more than 99.99999999999999999999% of the nutritional "experts".