At Sleekgeek, we’ve made it our mission to help real everyday people live healthier and happier lives.
Over the years, we’ve come to realise that nutrition is incredibly personal and different for each individual. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
However, we’ve also recognised the value in having a basic template to start with. Something that starts with a quick snapshot of what a healthy diet might look like and then helps you build on healthy habits from there. This is why we decided to start with a basic list of healthy foods.
Starting with the basics
Regardless of what diet or nutritional approach you take, one truth that we know is that everyone can benefit from eating more real food.
We’ve put together a list of some of the healthiest foods that you can easily and immediately start adding to your diet to help you build a solid foundation of good health.
- These foods ARE NOT exotic, novel, gimmicky, expensive, or hyped up “superfoods” or food-products with dubious health claims.
- Rather, these foods (mostly) ARE commonly found, nutrient-dense, minimally processed, filling, affordable, delicious, and easily included in your diet for everyday health.
The most important part of the Sleekgeek Food List is that you use it to shape your daily environment for the better so that healthy habits come easily and less willpower is required to stay on track.
You are more likely to eat whatever foods you surround yourself with, so it makes sense to keep more healthy foods and less unhealthy foods around. We will talk more on that in the Kitchen Makeover section later on.
Add more of these healthy foods into your diet on a daily basis and you will:
- Naturally eat less junk food because you are substituting them out (this is called dietary displacement).
- Stay satiated for longer with a higher level of satisfaction and fullness after meals.
- Crave less sugary and unhealthy foods as the less of them you eat, the less of them you want.
- Overeat much less frequently (if ever), which means less weight gain and easier weight loss.
- Have a higher overall micronutrient intake with less chance for deficiencies.
- Build a healthier relationship with food and create a new normal or standard of food that you eat.
Unlike other diets, the Sleekgeek Food List is not the ultimate list of foods that you can or cannot eat.
It is simply a starting point to help you eat better.
Hard But Realistic Effort
We believe in following a “90/10” approach where:
- 90% of the time, you stick to nutrient-dense minimally processed foods (such as in The Sleekgeek Foods List).
- 10% of the time, you give yourself a bit of flexibility to enjoy some of your favourite foods OR adapt to less than ideal food situations (take special note of this last bit).
This kind of approach still requires a significant amount of commitment and effort, however, it’s generally more realistic and sustainable for most people than being completely restrictive and “all-or-nothing”.
Taking a 90/10 approach is more about intention and lifestyle design than doing mathematical calculations before each meal to figure out what 90% or 10% looks like.
Four Main Food Groups
The Sleekgeek Food List is divided into four main food groups:
- Quality Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood and shellfish, dairy, and plant-based protein sources.
- Colourful Vegetables: Red, yellow and orange, white-ish, purple and blue, and green colours.
- Smart Carbs: Starchy veg, whole grains, legumes, and fruit.
- Healthy Fats: Cold-pressed oils, nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats.
You may recognise protein, carbohydrates, and fats as the three main macronutrients in food. However, for practical reasons, we have made a distinction between vegetables (which are in fact carbohydrates) and other more calorie-dense and carbohydrate-dense foods.
The Sleekgeek Food List
- Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, wild game, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, eggs, ostrich, turkey, etc.
- Fish: Bass, hake, kingklip, mackerel, salmon, sardines, snoek, trout, tuna, yellowfish, etc.
- Seafood and Shellfish: Calamari, clams and mussels, crab, lobster and crayfish, oysters, prawns and shrimp, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, cottage cheese, plain yoghurt / Greek yoghurt, protein powders (whey and casein), etc.
- Plant-Based: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, pulses, protein powders (rice, hemp, soy, etc), tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.
- Red: Beetroot, onions (red), peppers (red), radishes, rhubarb, tomatoes, etc.
- Yellow / Orange: Beetroot (yellow), carrots, peppers (yellow), sweet corn, tomatoes (yellow), etc.
- White / Tan / Brown: Cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, etc.
- Purple: Arparaguas (purple), cabbage (purple), carrots (purple), eggplant, peppers (purple), etc.
- Green: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, cucumber, green beans, green peas, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc), leeks, lettuce, onions (green), peppers (green), sugar snap peas, zucchini, etc.
- Starchy Vegetables: Butternut squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Whole Grains: Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, oats (steel cut or rolled), quinoa, rice (brown, red or wild), sorghum, spelt, sprouted grains or breads, wheat berries, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, pulses, etc.
- Fruit: Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, guavas, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, oranges, peaches, nectarines, persimmons, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, watermelon, figs, pears, kiwifruit.
- Cold-Pressed Oils: Avocado oil, coconut oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, etc.
- Nuts (raw): Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.
- Seeds (raw): Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Other: Avocado, butter and ghee, coconut, non-dairy milks (coconut, almond, soy, etc), nut butters (almond, macadamia, etc), olives, peanuts, peanut butter (natural), etc.
Food List = Your Environment
The most important part of the Sleekgeek Food List is that you use it to shape your environment for the better and set yourself up for success.
More often than not, your environment plays a far more important role in your success than things like willpower, talent, effort, and grit.
Those things do matter, especially in key moments, but it is your environment that affects you every minute of every day. This adds up, in the long run, to make achieving your goals that much harder or easier.
Be sure to check out our Sleekgeek Kitchen Makeover Guide where we help you design your environment for long-term permanent change.
Food List = Your Shopping List
The Sleekgeek Food List easily doubles up as a convenient shopping list to help you stock up on more healthy and nutritious foods.
With a shopping list full of nutritious foods, you can hit the grocery store, get in and out quickly, and leave knowing you’ve bought all the things you need to be prepared in the days ahead.
We suggest that you use The Sleekgeek Food List above to identify a few of your favourites from each group to stock up on, for example:
- 3 Lean Proteins: chicken breast, whey or vegan protein powder, and eggs.
- 3 Colourful Vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- 3 Smart Carbs: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and apples.
- 3 Healthy Fats: coconut oil, olives, and almonds.
Start with foods that you like and will actually eat.
You can then gradually expand your variety from there.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of healthy foods out there that you can take your pick and make healthy eating an enjoyable experience rather than a chore. The Sleekgeek Food List is just there to give you ideas.
You definitely don’t have to buy everything on the list and there is no food that you absolutely must eat:
- If you are already following a specific diet like Banting or Paleo (and it’s honestly working well for you) then that is fine, scrap whatever on the list doesn’t fit.
- If you are vegan or vegetarian then leave out the meat, stock up on legumes and vegan protein powder, and consider eggs, fish, and dairy as a supplemental source of protein.
- If you have other special dietary requirements around religion, allergies, or you absolutely do not like some of the foods on this list then simply focus on whichever foods you can eat.
Be sure to check out our Sleekgeek Shopping List and Supermarket Survival Guide where we show you how the Sleekgeek Food List easily doubles up as a convenient shopping list to help you stock up on more healthy and nutritious foods.
What to do now?
Download and print out the Sleekgeek Food List.
Any questions? Feel free to ask them in this discussion thread here in the Sleekgeek Facebook Group.
What’s up next?
Up next is our Kitchen Makeover Guide.
This is where we help you design your environment for long-term permanent change.
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the Sleekgeek Health Revolution Newsletter so we can keep you up to date.