JERF Diet: The Key to Healthy Eating?

When explaining to people what I eat, my answer is JERF. Although I am more well-known as “that paleo girl”, I have decided that JERF is a better name.

What is JERF Diet?

Jerf Just Eat Real Food

JERF stands for “just eat real food.” It might be called a movement or a diet. It might even be called an anti-diet. You might answer, “I just eat real food,” when being asked about your diet. Let me explain what real food is later.

JERF lets you eat without having to put a label on it.

You don’t have to explain the details of Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Low-Sugar, or AIP diets to someone you are not familiar with. Instead of trying to explain them, use JERF instead.

Who Invented The Term “JERF”?

Real Food Diet

Underground Wellness’ Sean Croxton is the man you can thank for simplifying things. Sean Croxton, from Underground Wellness, became fed up with all the conflicting information on WHAT WE SHOULD EAT and started to use the term “just eat real food” to describe a way that focuses on whole foods and natural ingredients.

JERF is a term that means food should be as natural as possible until it is cooked.

This term helps us break down the “us versus them” mentality and find common ground among different diets — paleo, vegans raw foodies, pescatarians, etc. We all have the same goal when we embark on our health journeys — to be healthier. For the average person who used to eat Pop Tarts for breakfast and fast food lunches, any diet that is ‘healthy’ is better than their old habits. Just eat real food.

What Does JERF Mean?

Real Weight Loss

This means you will be eating foods that can’t be found in most packages.

Many packaged food labels include words like “low sugar” and “whole grain”, but these seemingly healthy foods are loaded with additives, preservatives, and other ingredients that are not as good as they appear. Some foods are so processed that they are called Frankenfoods. This means the source of the ingredients is often unknown and sometimes unrecognizable. They are still marketed as ‘health food’.

The JERF diet focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, unrefined cooking oil, pastured and grass-fed meats, eggs of healthy chickens, and full fat and fermented milk products. Soak and sprout legumes, nuts, and seeds for easier digestion. Sugar should only be obtained from natural sources like honey, coconut nectar, or rice syrup. It should not be consumed in large quantities. It’s safe if your great-grandmother recognizes the food product.

What is considered “Real Food?”

What Is Jerf Diet

It is often necessary to translate scientific terms into everyday jargon. The concept of real food is one example. All food is real and not fictional. But we want food that is directly from nature. Freshest possible, without any processing. Problem is, that processed foods can add many chemicals to your food and take away valuable nutrients.

Nutrient-dense food is a scientific term that refers to whole foods and fresh foods that have a high amount of nutrients per calorie. Examples include fatty fish such as salmon, liver, and seaweed.

It can be called real food, clean foods, fresh food, or nutrient-dense foods. You can call it real food, clean food, fresh food, or nutrient-dense food.

Get Started JERF Diet In 10 Steps!

Jerf Recipes

#1 Don’t Make Things Hard

Good quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole-grain are all you need to get started. This is a complete meal. Repeat the process. Make sure to get enough fat and protein to keep your body satisfied and well-fueled.

MUST READ  Asian Heritage Diet: The Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life

#2 Home Cook

Although it may seem daunting at first, making your meals will soon become your saving grace. This is the only way you can ensure you are always JERF’ing. My blog contains over 200 recipes for real food.

#3 Don’t Fear Of Fat

Real Food List

The old belief that fat is bad and that saturated fat is to be avoided is beginning to change. JERF is at forefront of the ‘eat fat!’ movement. In any type of diet, healthy fats from both animal- and plant-based sources are essential. Fat is essential for our bodies. It fuels us, keeps our brain and nervous systems healthy, transports fat-soluble nutrients throughout the bloodstream, and helps maintain hormonal balances.

#4 Learn How To Produce

Jerf Cookbook

JERF is about caring about the origins of your food, from bacon to strawberries and quinoa. It is important to eat local and seasonal and to get on a first-name basis with local farmers, fishmongers, and market ladies.

All aspects of sustainable, grass-fed, and free-range agriculture are part of our daily vocabulary.

#5 If You Can’t Pronounce It, Don’t Eat It

You can also Google it.

While some additives can be harmless, they are not considered to be real food.

#6 Do Not Eat Processed and Packaged Foods.

Jerf Meaning

Avoid numbers and colors. Numerical and color combinations are not ingredients. These are not food, I repeat. These are not food. Red dye 14 Bye!

Food packaging should only contain whole foods ingredients.

#7 Skip The Sauce

Unfortunately, sauces and dressings are the most common source of hidden sugars and refined oils. There are many great alternatives, but barbeque sauce and ketchup can be particularly bad. Instead, make your own!

#8 Shop the Perimeter

Jerf Breakfast

This rule is timeless. There is nothing special in the middle aisles. The outer sections contain most of the food you will need, including meat, fish, and vegetables. Even better? Instead, go to the farmer’s marketplace.

#9 Avoid Cleansses’ Like The Plague

Just eat real food is a natural way to detoxify and will make you happy. You don’t need to juice detoxes or make low-carb smoothies.

#10 Learn from Grandparents

These might seem like the latest health food trends, but these are what our grandparents used to eat and make regularly. JERF is all about bringing back the nourishing old-time favorites.

Motivation to Change

Eat Real Food

Solid facts should motivate any change in lifestyle or eating habits. If not, the change will only be temporary and won’t last. This is why I love to talk about the importance of real food in our daily lives.

One of the primary fuels for the organism is food. A gas-like product would not be able to fuel your car. Gas is what you use, and you will likely choose a high-quality type. The same goes for high-quality nutrients and insufficient foods.

Only real food can make your body function as it is intended.

  • Real food is better than junk food for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Your body is designed to balance fat mass with lean (muscle) mass. Real food can improve your body composition and favor muscle toning.
  • Your brain is designed to be a powerful machine that can do anything. This complex organ is powered by real food, which provides energy and protects it from decay.
  • Your hormone system works to maintain your chemical balance. Real food provides the building blocks necessary to support hormones and keep them normal.
  • Natural foods are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Real food contains nutrients in the correct proportions and promotes absorption.
  • Your metabolism is designed to store energy and make it readily available when you need it. Real food can increase your energy level without causing excess weight.
  • The body’s neurotransmitters are an important part of chemistry. Real food supplies the ingredients to keep them in the right balance and improve your mood.
  • You can either make sleep easier or more difficult depending on the food you eat before bedtime. Real food is more digestible and will not cause you to have trouble falling asleep.
  • Muscle growth and muscle recovery can be aided by exercise, muscle repair, or recovery. Real food is rich in nutrients and accelerates the recovery process. This will allow you to increase your exercise performance as well as provide practical workouts.
  • What you eat can have a significant impact on your skin and appearance. Real food gives you a healthy glow to your skin and a fresher look.
  • Real foods have all these health benefits and can help you live a longer, healthier life.
MUST READ  Plant-Based Diet: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating

JERF Diet Food List

Jerf Diet Food List

Which foods would you like to see in the JERF diet?

Fruits & Vegetables

The best fruits and vegetables are at the top of this list. They are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Whole Grains

Many grains can be found on the white list. These include quinoa and barley as well as corn, amaranth, and corn. Whole-grain rice is best if you are eating it.


Seafood is a great option. Chicken is also delicious. Humanely raised beef and pork are better choices.


Water is essential but water can be a good option. You can also drink juices, smoothies, homemade fruit water, and tea. Refined sugar should be avoided.


These are great sources of complex carbs and vegetable protein. Lentils, beans, peas, and beans can all be eaten. I prefer dried legumes to canned foods.


The white list does not include dairy products, such as milk, cheese, or dairy, although they are available in small quantities.

Sugar Sources

Honey and coconut sugar are the best sugar sources. You will feel even more satisfied if you can either avoid them entirely or limit their intake to a minimum.

What Equipment or Materials Do You Need for JERF Diet?

Jerf Juice

To make your diet truly healthy, you must prepare everything. It is possible to choose fresh ingredients, prepare a delicious salad, and then ruin everything by deep-frying them or adding salty and fatty dressings.

Healthier cooking methods may require some equipment. It is difficult to say what equipment you will need, as it all depends on your personal preferences and the plans for your diet. However, we can recommend these tools:

Smoothie maker: This can be a regular countertop blender or a personal blender. Each has its advantages and you can have them all.

Steamer steaming is a great cooking method that preserves the nutrients of food without using any oil. This is a great way to heat and preserve your food.

Electric Grill This George Forman-type grill, or another similar model, can be used to quickly cook meats and sandwiches without oil or butter. An excellent choice is a barbecue with a grill, not a plate.

Air Fryer, This is an alternative to deep-frying. Air fryers can even be used to make healthy French fries.

JERF Diet Plan (Sample & Recipes)

Jerf Diet Plan

Let’s take a look at some food samples. This will help you to understand what to expect from the JERF diet. These foods could be eaten in one day.

JERF Breakfast Quinoa Bowls

This hearty breakfast will fill you up until lunch.

Green & Glorious Smoothie

It’s so simple, but it is full of healthy goodness and delicious flavor.

Butternut Pumpkin And Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is fresh and colorful, and it’s great any time of year.

Beet Chips

These beet chips can be made in 30 minutes with 4 ingredients and 1 pan.

Cambodian Fish Curry

For all seasons, a delicious and colorful curry Simple and easy to prepare, Cambodian Fish Curry is a popular choice for dinner parties.

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

It’s packed with goodness and delicious. A Carrot Cake Smoothie is a must-have.

Tips & Recommendations For JERF Diet

Adjusting your diet is the first step to getting results. These tips and suggestions will help you speed up your results.

Always Remember To Combine Diet And Exercise

Jerf Weight Loss

Healthy eating with fresh fruits and vegetables has all the above benefits. Exercise is the perfect complement. For weight loss and feeling better, you should have a routine of physical exercise.

CrossFit isn’t always about two hours of cardio or daily CrossFit classes. You can move at your own pace with a 20-minute to 30-minute walk followed by a home stretching routine and weight lifting.

Change Your Mindset

Jerf Lifestyle

We all need to rethink our relationship with food. Think about why you eat, and how you feel when you eat. Are you able to recognize when you are full and when it is time to stop eating? Are you willing to accept restrictions and hunger while you are dieting?

If you are looking for weight loss, don’t think of eating as something you should avoid. You don’t have to eat too much or starve yourself. Instead, change your attitude and mindset to find a healthy middle.

Learn to Read the Labels

Jerf Eating

The best piece of advice I can offer you is to read the labels. Although nutrition tables can be confusing at first glance, you can begin to notice basic facts. Take, for example, the section “added sugars”, and try to find all-zeros within this section. Compare and find the smaller number if you cannot have a zero. You can read the ingredients aloud and if they are difficult to pronounce, return them to the shelf. It is likely highly processed.

MUST READ  Diabetic Diet: Managing Blood Sugar for Better Health

Learn to Cook

Whole Food Recipes For Weight Loss

Cooking at home is a better way to eat healthily. You can have more control over the cooking process and ensure that it is suitable for your needs.

Recommendations For Emotional Eaters

Real Eating

If you are an emotional eater who feels hungry when you feel anxious or sad, you might consider replacing chocolate bars with real food. You might like carrot sticks wrapped in turkey Ham if you prefer crunchy foods. You can also add nuts or make a smoothie. You can make your combinations and flavors. However, you should replace sweets and fatty foods as often as possible.

For the JERF Challenge, we recommend that dairy products be kept out of reach for at least 21 consecutive days. This will help to cleanse and detox your body, as well as improve the function of your digestive tract. It would be best to eliminate dairy products, but if this is difficult for you, try to limit the amount of dairy products that are consumed. Try to find less processed versions.

This diet can be used in many ways. It is possible to make minor changes to a Paleo-like or vegan diet. You can be vegan if you eliminate all animal products and dairy. You can choose a Paleo diet by removing grains from the white menu. If you have celiac disease, you can also opt for gluten-free products. All products are valid provided you eat real food.

Organic produce and local produce are more nutritious than conventional products.

Frequently Asked Question

What Is Jerf

Is JERF Diet A Strict Diet? Is There Any Recommendation To Adapt This Diet?

It doesn’t mean you have to jump straight into new foods at the beginning. This diet makes it possible to take things slowly. You can start by slowly replacing processed foods once in a while. Learn new recipes and introduce new foods each day.

How Do You Choose Your Vegetables?

Jerf Food List

There are many sources of vegetables that you can choose from. Your local grocery store is the best place to start, but it’s not the only one. Organic vegetables can be found in larger shops and other specialized locations. Organic vegetables are healthier than regular vegetables, as they are free of pesticides.

You could also grow your vegetables at home if gardening is something you enjoy. You can also get organic food at a reasonable price.

Which Fat Sources Are Best For JERF Diet?

Fat is not a common word. There are both good and bad sources of fat. There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Some unsaturated fats can be particularly beneficial for your health. Omega-3 is one example. Healthy fats can be found in salmon, olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Avoid the fatty portions of meat.

Can I Consume Sauces Or Seasoning On JERF Diet?

Jerf Meal Plan

Sauces and seasonings may not be the best option. Many of these sauces are processed and high in saturated fats, excess sugar, and salt. You can make your salad seasoning and sausages using natural ingredients. However, you should not rely on canned or bottled products.

Is A Yumm Bowl Okay On A JERF Diet?

We can confirm that the JERF diet is compatible with it because there are no processed foods. It’s still a good idea, however, to ask where it was purchased.

Is Clam Chowder Okay On A JERF Diet?

We can confirm that the JERF diet is compatible with processed foods if you don’t use them in your cooking. You can still decide for yourself what you read.

You may be asking yourself questions if you are about to embark on a 21-day JERF Challenge or begin this diet.


  • Mary M. Cameron

    Mary M. Cameron is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science from the University of California, Davis and a Master's degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With over 8 years of experience in the nutrition field, Mary is an expert in weight management, plant-based nutrition, and overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, she shares her knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including nutrition plans, healthy recipes, and overall health and wellness tips. Mary believes that nutrition is the foundation of overall health and wellness, and she strives to inspire her readers to prioritize a balanced and varied diet, while also incorporating physical activity and self-care into their daily routines. Through her articles, Mary aims to empower her readers to make informed decisions about their nutrition and lifestyle choices, and to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

    View all posts
error: Content is protected !!