Lisa Lansing

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HCLF diversity: the choice is yours.

If you were able to check out my HCLF basics post from yesterday, you may have noticed that I’ve been eating foods other than fruits and veggies lately. My meals were simple and regular in Scotland because I was living in one place for an extended period of time. Now that I’m travelling, I’m more flexible with my meals and diet in general.

In Berlin, I still focused on fruit as my primary source of calories but would tuck into a large serving of plain white rice, steamed broccoli and mushrooms for lunch or dinner. My fruit staples were grapes (naturally), cherries, and peaches. Occasionally I’d have boiled potatoes but I didn’t like the taste of the ones in Berlin. They tasted bland and I didn’t crave them at all. That surprised me because I craved steamed potatoes every night when I lived in Scotland.

In Poland, my eating habits were similar to those in Berlin. I’d fill up on cherries, peaches, nectarines, and/or watermelon for breakfast. My typical lunch in Poland was rice with steamed veggies, usually an assortment of green beans, broad beans, broccoli, and mushrooms. For dinner, I’d eat more fruit, usually grapes or more peaches.

Now gluten-free pasta is my large meal of choice here in Palma. I explain why I transitioned into eating pasta and why I only eat gluten-free in a previous post: Food matters in Palma.

All of these adjustments to my eating habits still qualify as HCLF. As a HCLF vegan, I’m not limited to only eating fruits and veggies (even though that’s what I prefer to eat most days). HCLF is diverse! You can still follow HCLF even if your meals look nothing like mine. As long as you eat as many carbs as you crave, keep your fat intake to a minimum and stay active, you’ll still reap the benefits of the HCLF lifestyle.

HCLF diets in detail.

You might be familiar with the terms Rawtill4 and Starch Solution. Both of these refer to HCLF diets. While their names differ, both diets are similar in that you aim to eat the majority of your calories from carbohydrates, namely those found in fruit, veggies, or in starches like oats, rice, and potatoes. You also avoid all overt fats and keep your fat intake to a minimum.

Rawtill4 suggests you eat unlimited fruit for breakfast and lunch followed by a cooked vegan dinner, though the dinner still needs to be low fat, low salt, and minimally processed. Think steamed veggies and rice, pasta with low-sodium sauce, or baked potato wedges without any oil or salt.

Starch Solution, on the other hand, suggests you focus on starches as your primary source of calories. Oats, rice, pasta, and potatoes are all fair game for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can still eat fruit while following this diet, though it isn’t a staple.

Neither diet is more correct than the other and I wouldn’t suggest a strict adherence to either. Instead, feel free to create your own meal plans with the foods that work best for you. HCLF can be as diverse as you need it to be.

You can eat fruit all day every day, or you can eat fruit for one meal and have rice and veggies for your other two meals. You can eat 5 meals per day or graze all day long. You can eat oatmeal for breakfast followed by fruit for lunch and dinner. You can eat pasta for dinner every night.

You can be flexible with your meals and the foods you eat, just remember that if you want to reap the benefits of HCLF (including weight loss, increased energy, etc.), you must ensure your meals are high in carbs and low in fat. You also need to stay active: walk, run, swim, cycle, move your body every day!

The biggest mistake people make is thinking they are eating HCLF but in reality, they are grossly underestimating how much fat they consume daily. Foods like avocado, flax seed, and chia seeds are still high in fat so eat them sparingly, and never add oil to your food.

Are you a HCLF vegan?

If so, what are your favourite meals?

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