What is the One Ingredient Diet?

“In the United States and most Western countries, diet-related chronic diseases represent the single largest cause of morbidity and mortality.”
– Origins and Evolution of the Western Diet

Think about that for a minute… in other words, food is now the single largest cause of death in America. How is it possible that food — the stuff that keeps us alive and gives our bodies the nourishment we need to thrive — could also become the most deadly weapon in the Western world?

The answer is simple: over the last 100 years, processed chemical-laden foods have come to replace the whole, natural ingredients that our bodies need to stay healthy. As real food fell into decline, so did our health.

A “One Ingredient” Solution

The more I researched this for my own diet, it occurred to me – if the problem is overly processed food, the solution is to eat food in its natural, unprocessed state, of course. As I began to experiment with this way of eating, I developed my own eating plan that totally changed my life…

It seemed obvious that the easiest and most no-nonsense way to eat unprocessed foods is to eat foods that start out as one whole ingredient you can hold in your hand –

Cut out the ingredients and you cut out the processing. It’s that simple.

This is the simplest way to eat a healthy, unprocessed diet. If you eat only whole foods – by definition – you remove the processing, the industrialization, and the dangerous food additives. When you hold an apple in your hand, it is obviously a whole unprocessed food. There’s no processed sugars or additives. You don’t even have to think about it. An apple is just an apple. An apple is One Ingredient.

As simple as this is, it’s also totally revolutionary.

After some experimentation, I developed what I call the One Ingredient Diet and it has just one guideline – eat plant-based foods that start out as one whole ingredient. This is basic enough for a first-grader to understand, but powerful enough to change lives. Let’s break this down piece by piece…

Eat plant-based foods…

The research mounts up year after year that a plant-based / “vegan” diet without any animal products (i.e. meat, fish, dairy, butter, and eggs) is extremely good for your health, and as my recipes show on this website, you don’t have to sacrifice taste or quality to eat plants. This type of diet has been shown to promote weight loss (and keep it off), reverse heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancers, and improve health in so many ways. For many people, it is one of the smartest decisions you can make to improve overall health and wellbeing.

…that start out as…

This is the phrase that ties it all together – when I first got started experimenting with “one ingredient” eating, I imagined myself downing handfuls of whole spinach, or entire bags of blueberries. Then, I realized that these foods need only to start out as one ingredient that I could hold in my hand. What I did with them after that was up to me. That’s when I discovered the power of this diet. By combining real, fresh, whole ingredients, I was able to create some of the most delicious meals of my life that just happened to be the healthiest as well.

…one whole ingredient.

This is the heart of the eating plan. Again, when you cut out the ingredients, you cut out the processing. The idea is that nearly everything you eat will start out as one whole ingredient that you can hold in your hand. If it has just one ingredient on the package (tomatoes, carrots, apples, brown rice, spinach, avocado, whole wheat, coconuts, etc.) it’s good to go.

But does it actually work???

Well of course it does! 🙂 It’s just common sense that a diet made from 100% unprocessed, health-promoting, plant-based “real” food can radically enhance nearly every area of your life. Specifically, an unprocessed plant based diet has been shown to improve…

Weight Loss

This eating plan isn’t a diet, per se – there’s no calorie counting or portion control – yet it’s one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off for good. Real food works in harmony with your body to give you just the right amount of calories at each meal.

Disease Prevention

Nearly all the leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, COPD, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes – can be dramatically reduced or even prevented with a healthy plant-based diet.

Improved Vitality

It takes a ton of energy for your body to digest heavily processed, chemical-laden food and that’s why they make you feel sluggish. Real food, however, provides real energy so that you’re brighter, fresher, and more energetic more of the time.

The Best Food of Your Life

All the best chefs know that great meals start out with great whole ingredients. This was the biggest surprise for me – I really fell in love with cooking once I realized how delicious meals can be when made from nothing but One Ingredient foods.

One of my favorite emails of all time came from a reader named Carol L. who put the One Ingredient principles into practice:

I just have to say that I am amazed with this program. I never thought I could live without meat but since the recipes are so good, I really haven’t missed it. I have lost 12 lbs without even trying. Having your recipes readily available has been the reason for my success. They are so delicious and filling, I never feel hungry or deprived.

The other amazing thing – I usually have a nagging headache EVERY day. You just learn to live with it. Since day 2 of the challenge, I have not had a headache. I have not popped any aspirin or ibuprophen. That in itself is amazing. Overall, I feel better physically, and I hope as time goes on I will feel even better. I plan for this to be a new way of life for me. Thanks for introducing me to this incredible journey!

Real food, guys, it’s powerful stuff…

A Free One Ingredient Starter Kit

I’d love to help you get started exploring the One Ingredient Diet and dip your toes into this style of eating. To do just that, I’ve included three resources that you can download right now as a free gift to help you get started on a journey towards better health:

One Ingredient Manifesto

The manifesto that started it all – discover the common-sense reasons why I created the One Ingredient diet and explore the specific ins and outs of how the One Ingredient Diet works in this free 16-page guide.

One Ingredient Meal Plan

In this sample meal plan, I share some of my favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks with easy access back to the recipes. In one page, you’ll see what a One Ingredient Diet actually looks like from day-to-day.

27-Recipe Cookbook

Get a taste of the One Ingredient Diet – literally! This 27-recipe booklet includes what I consider to be the “essential” One Ingredient recipes that balance delicious flavors with easy techniques and incredible health benefits.

Download the Starter Kit:

Let me know where to send the download links for the manifesto, the meal plan, and the 27-recipe cookbook and I’ll email ’em over ASAP: