Feel I should clarify some things in regards to your quote below
"t's hard for me to formulate an answer...on the one hand I agree with you about the increase in vegetable intake. On the other hand, I'm vehemently opposed to the strict avoidance of carbohydrates and dairy. I understand that the simple carbs that I take in are just as bad as eating sugar, but I really try to up my intake of whole grains. My digestive system really needs them. And I'd rather be dead than not eat dairy. "
I am not in any way advocating strict avoidance of carbohydrates, fruits and vegitables are primarily carbs
Your digestive system does not need grains, I am guessing you mean in regards to fiber and in that respect on a calorie per calorie basis fruit and veg are superior. Our digestive systems have been around for millions of years and grains only 10-40k so they are not necessary and there is actually allot of scientific evidence stacking up that they are often unhealthy.
If you want to eat grains that is fine, most people do and you can succeed with them in your diet just want to make sure you have the facts.
The reason I am harping on is that I am advocating a relatively high fat diet without refined carbs this is healthy and natural, but with refined carbs it can be unhealthy please be careful mixing diets.
Allot of times people think they are eating "healthy whole grains" because the cereal box says that but really the third ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, there is a huge difference between slow cook oatmeal and and packaged granola.