Holding ourselves accountable is one of the most challenging tasks. Why? Because we can talk ourselves out of anything. For example, if you have a goal to be more active but you get home from work on a Friday night and you’re just one episode away from finding out what happens next on your favorite TV show, it’s very easy to give yourself plenty of reasons why you must stay in and binge watch Netflix vs. go to the gym as you planned ahead of time. Right? Right.


This is precisely why having an accountability buddy is going to be one of the best buddies you ever had!


So what is accountability anyways? Really, it can be whatever you want it to be. The general idea is that it’s another person in your life who shares a common goal or interest who will be there to help support and motivate you toward your own personal goal. The best part is, it can be for any goal! They can help you stay focused and on track with personal, professional, and spiritual goals.


Having accountability that is also your friend makes it that much more fun to check in with them! Do you have a friend who is trying to accomplish a goal that is really important to them? Sending a check-in text or asking them how it’s going over coffee can go a long way, and even help them be more successful. These people are important in your life because it gives you someone to listen to you, and it gives someone else a person to listen to them. Think of it like shamelessly getting to talk to someone about your goals and aspirations, because you know you are doing the same for them.


One thing that we do at Basic that is super helpful from a business perspective is to set goals with one another and then check in with one another during the week about how we are doing in reaching those goals. We do this usually in meeting form, but typically it is a conversation over coffee. This can be applied to any part of your life: work, personal, spiritual when you have someone to chat with.  


Do you have a friend who is trying to accomplish a goal that is really important to them? Sending a check-in text or asking them how it’s going over coffee can go a long way, and even help them be more successful. We urge you to reach out to the people in your life and just say “hey, checking in on you. How is___ going?” You might really make someone’s day.


Have you ever had a day where you feel overwhelmed or drained and see a check-in text? It instantly helps people get back on track and process any barriers. Or even better, to get a text from a friend with the excitement that they have taken steps towards their goal? Being an outlet for someone to be excited with, you can’t help but feel inspired!


So now that you’re totally inspired and have decided you too need an accountability buddy, you’re probably wondering what the next steps are. Think about your goals. It doesn’t matter if they’re professional, personal, wellness/fitness, spiritual, or all the above. Then, think of people in your life who share those common goals or interests. Next, you simply ask them if they’d like to be your accountability buddy! It’s literally that easy!

Having an accountability buddy is not only going to help you stay on track, it’s also going to keep you focused, motivated, consistent, and inspired, and will deter you from giving into stressors, barriers, or good old laziness. Think about it, it’s easy to make excuses when you’re talking to yourself but when you have to tell someone else the excuse, it makes you stop and think about that choice a little more. Having an accountability buddy is going to increase the likelihood of following through and completing your goals. The more you are able to complete your goals, the more motivated you will be to keep setting and accomplishing goals. This stuff really works!


If you are struggling with mental health concerns, a therapist is the BEST accountability buddy to have! They are objective and can help you create action steps and goals for yourself that feel comfortable and emotionally safe. Because let’s face it, sometimes telling our friends or loved ones our more personal thoughts and feelings can be daunting, which is why a therapist can be a great support when working towards those goals!

We would LOVE to know what spoke to you in this blog post and encourage you to comment below and share!

Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep

Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep

The impact of sleep deprivation can affect you instantly, or over time and can raise your risk for chronic health problems. 


Getting enough sleep is vital for maintaining your health and well-being. Contrary to belief, sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition. Developing a natural sleep routine for you or your family is important for short- and long-term health. 


Read our 15 tips to sleep better naturally, and start feeling better today!


If you currently have sleep issues, or you are wanting to optimize your sleep, making it a priority is the first place to start.

Make it a priority to make time to sleep. This means putting up work early, or finishing your Netflix show up tomorrow. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, but research states the average is seven to nine hours per night.


Avoid or minimize being on your computer, phone, tablet or watching TV, one to two hours before bedtime.


Artificial lights disrupt our bodies natural sleep-wake cycles. When it starts to get dark outside, our brains are triggered to make melatonin, a sleep hormone. Exposure to artificial light (ceiling lights, kitchen lights, light from electronics), decreases melatonin production, making it hard for our body to know when it is time to sleep.

  • Close the curtains, blinds, or shades to omit any light.
  • Dim, cover, or remove anything that emits light in your bedroom before bed, like alarm clocks.


Getting sunlight during the day, specifically in the morning, is so important in keeping your sleep regulated.

Take a short walk with your dog, partner, or with a podcast/music in your ears. 

5. MOVE!

Physical exercise is one of the most important factors for proper sleep. Pay attention to how sedentary you are throughout the day. How many hours of the day do you sit?

Walk, walk, walk! If you have access, walk in the mornings, in the middle of the day (maybe on your lunch break), and in the evenings before or after dinner.

Lifting weights, going for a run, or working out at the gym is also a great option!

If you have a desk job and are very sedentary, opt for a standing desk, or treadmill desk.

If you feel like you don’t have time to exercise during the day, start with simple practices. Park far away in the parking lot at the grocery store, take the stairs at work or chase your kids around at the playground.


Some people do well with eating a small dinner and avoiding any snacks before bed (those with digestive issues), whereas other people need a bedtime snack (those with low blood sugar).

Don’t go to bed too full, or too hungry. Find your sweet spot on whether you should avoid food before bed, or have a snack before bed. 

It’s also important to cut down on water 2-3 hours before bed, so that you aren’t up going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.


Caffeine and alcohol can really affect your sleep in a negative way, and are best left out if you do have sleep problems.

If you are a coffee drinker, it is best to quit drinking before 12pm. Drink water the rest of the day, and stay hydrated.

When drinking alcohol, the closer you drink to bedtime, the more impact it will have on your sleep. Stop drinking and switch to hydrating when you feel like you will be getting  within a few hours of bedtime.


Going to bed with anxiety and stress? Have an argument with your spouse right before bed? It is very important to manage your stress before bed. Otherwise, you might find yourself lying awake, staring at the ceiling, instead of sleeping.

  • Read a paperback book. Reading an interesting book can help you keep your mind off things you may be stressing over.
  • Implement deep breathing, yoga, or meditation before bed.
  • Diffuse or roll on some essential oils such as lavender or chamomile


Set a cool temperature on the thermostat 2-3 hours before your bedtime. Most people sleep best in a temperature ranging from 65 to 70 degrees.


You aren’t going to sleep well if you have an uncomfortable bed. Invest in some new comfortable bedding if you find yours difficult to get comfortable or fall asleep in.


Creating stress and distraction-free bedroom is extremely important for a good night’s sleep. Create a room that makes you feel happy and relaxed.


Waking up at the same time every day can not only regulate your sleep cycle but also sustain healthy habits.

If you wake up at the same time every day, your body will prompt you to also go to sleep at the same time every night.

Avoid sleeping in even on the weekends, if you want to keep your sleep cycle on track.


Avoid disruptive noises like house creaks, or highway traffic with a sound machine. You can also use a loud bedroom fan, or a relaxing sleep sound app.


If you don’t feel safe in your house, then you probably won’t be sleeping optimally.

Remembering to lock your house up at night so that you feel safe and secure. For extra safety measures, get a security system. This really helps feeling safe while sleeping.


Most people are sleeping with their phones either in their beds or right on the nightstand beside them. This interferes with sleep.

Keep your phone out of the bedroom at night, and find a place to charge it outside of the bedroom. If you are going to keep it on your nightstand, or in the bedroom, put the phone on do not disturb mode.

Best Songs for Your Next Run

Best Songs for Your Next Run

run music

On days I don’t have a running buddy or group to train with or running just seems a little more daunting than usual, I treat myself to bringing along my trusty headphones with my pre-made playlists and jam whichever one goes with my workout for that day. It puts a massive smile on my face as I zoom, or trot, down the road, singing away and having a grand old time. 

What better way to get you through that challenging speed workout, 3-hour-long run, or hill sprint session (the local runners reading this know what we mean #HillsdaleRepeats or headed to St. Fran) than an awesome pump-you-up playlist of the best running songs out there? 

True, we all have different tastes in music, and not everyone is going to love every song on these lists. Still, I hope to help get you through some of those workouts by singing along to these fun tunes!

In this article, we break up our running songs into a few different categories depending on the type of workouts, such as speedwork or hills, or drills to improve form or cadence. We also have included some recovery run songs as well.

Note: Remember to always have your headphones turned down low enough, or only running with one in to be able to hear the traffic and noise around you. #SafteyFirst



For most of us, we know that listening to music while running pumps us up and makes us feel good, right? But why is that? What can music actually do for us?

Music can help improve running performance: According to studies, music can help regulate mood and enhance a runner’s motivation and inspiration while running, resulting in a better workout outcome. 

Music improves mood by boosting the brain’s dopamine production: Haven’t you ever listened to a song that just puts a smile on your face immediately? A song can turn your mood around and cheer you up on a dime. 

  • Music can reduce stress and distract you: Distraction sounds like a pretty significant benefit when you are trying to push through those last few 400-meter repetitions at top speed or suffering through the last few kilometers of a peak-week long run. Get lost in the lyrics and finish up those final laps.
  • Music can help reduce pain: This statement will vary depending on the study you read, but some state that by reducing stress and anxiety, you can also feel a reduction in pain. Therefore, music helps reduce our stress levels, which will result in less pain.
  • Music can change up the routine: I know I like to run to the sound of silence or my own thoughts 80% of the time, but on those days when getting out the door seems more daunting than usual, a quick playlist can make all the difference on your perspective.

Just be sure and take precautions when listening to music on busy roads and ensure you are always aware of your surroundings. We want to use music as a distraction as an advantage to training, but not completely zone out to the point where the workout can become a risk.



  1. Shivers – Ed Sheeran 
  2. There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back – Shawn Mendes
  3. Take You Dancing – Jason Derulo 
  4. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 & Cristina Aguilera 
  5. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift 
  6. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj 
  7. Locked Out Of Heaven – Bruno Mars 
  8. Time Of Our Lives – Pitbull & Ne-Yo
  9. Raise Your Glass – Pink 
  10. Don’t Stop The Music – Rhianna 
  11. SexyBack – Justin Timberlake & Timbaland 
  12. Kiss You- One Direction 
  13. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson 
  14. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas 
  15. Like Sugar – Chaka Khan 
  16. On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons
  17. Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
  18. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake 
  19. High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco
  20. Good As Hell – Lizzo


  1. The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy 
  2. Sabotage – Beastie Boys
  3. Bulls On Parade – Rage Against the Machine 
  4. Somebody Told Me – The Killers 
  5. Come Out and Play – Offspring
  6. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
  7. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor 
  8. Survivor – Destiny’s Child 
  9. Reptilia – The Strokes 
  10. Misery Business – Paramore
  11. ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem 
  12. Numb – Jay-Z & Linkin Park 
  13. Last One Standing – Bon Jovi 
  14. Music Make You Lose Control – Missy Elliot 
  15. Pump It – Black Eyed Peas 


  1. Trumpets – Jason Derulo 
  2. Drops Of Jupiter – Train 
  3. Lucky – Jason Mraz
  4. Demons – Imagine Dragons
  5. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits 
  6. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  7. Wake Me Up – Avicii
  8. Budapest – George Ezra 
  9. Lego House – Ed Sheeran 
  10. Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 
  11. Life Is A Highway – Rascal Flats 
  12. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something 
  13. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Jack Johnson
  14. 3 AM – Matchbox Twenty 
  15. It’s A Great Day To Be Alive – Travis Tritt


  1. Hawái – Maluma 
  2. Despacito – Luis Fonsi 
  3. La Bicicleta – Carlos Vives & Shakira 
  4. Burn – Ellie Goulding 
  5. No Diggity – Blackstreet 
  6. Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers 
  7. Demons – Imagine Dragons
  8. Roar – Katy Perry 
  9. Jumpin’ Jumpin’ – Destiny’s Child 
  10. Cheap Thrills – Sia
  11. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias 
  12. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 
  13. Get Right – Jennifer Lopez
  14. Beautiful Liar – Beyoncé & Shakira 
  15. Con Calma – Daddy Yankee & Snow 
  16. Hey DJ – CNCO 
  17. Drive – Incubus 
  18. Renegades – X Ambassadors 
  19. Say Something – Justin Timberlake 
  20. Súbame La Radio – Enrique Iglesias

There you have it! Take a good listen to my best running songs and see if they are right up your alley or if you need to make some changes. The important thing is that the songs you choose to run motivate you, inspire you, and put a smile on your face. If you start jamming out the lyrics during your run, even better! 

Amazon Prime Day for Active Lives

Amazon Prime Day for Active Lives

prime day

It’s here: everyone’s favorite shopping holiday! Amazon Prime Day offers some of the best across-the-board discounts of the year. Unfortunately, it’s limited to Amazon Prime members. If you’re not already a prime member, you can start a 30-day free trial and benefit from the deals. Here’s the breakdown of our top prime day deals for active & healthy lives.

Keeping up with a healthy meal plan is a challenge in everyday life. Often, quick convenient dinners are not the healthiest. Owning an air fryer changes this equation. This air fryer is great for making crispy and delicious dishes without using tons of oil. Along with the air fryer function, it can broil, roast and reheat. Unlike a standard oven, all of these features come with little or no preheat time. And, 5.7 quart capacity is enough to put together dishes to feed the whole family.

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Do you listen to music when you run? Our readers are pretty split on this. We asked this question in a survey a while back and our readers were split: 39% listen to music and an additional 12% listen to podcasts/audio books while 42% ran with no audio and 6% prefer talking to a friend. Regardless of which of these categories you fall in, owning AirPods can be helpful for making calls on the go or listening to music. This model features active noise canceling and high-quality audio.

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Here’s another Prime Day superstar. Amazon is running huge discounts on a variety of the Garmin lines. The Garmin Enduro is the ultimate multisport performance watch, featuring advanced solar charging, VO2 max tracking, and multiple global positioning networks. The Vivoactive is a more affordable line, but still features GPS, advanced fitness tracking, and music storage. The Instinct has similar features with a rugged, durable build. The Venu is stylish and functional at mid-price range. Check them all out here:

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The Series 7 is currently the newest and most advanced Apple Watch. It includes a wide array of health sensing features: an ECG that connects to your mobile phone and can alert you of heart abnormalities, constant blood oxygen monitoring, and some of the most thorough fitness tracking features of any device. Also, compared to the Series 6, the 7 features a much more durable screen and faster charging.

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Percussive massage has emerged as a trend among competitive runners and everyday athletes alike. It offers the benefits of a sports massage in the comfort of your home, and at an affordable price. These devices have been shown to release muscle tension, and the Theragun Elite is one of the best options. It features an ergonomic design, 120-minute battery life, 5 speed motor, and bluetooth connectivity.

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Have you ever wondered what you could learn from one of the DNA test kits but not wanted to spend the money on one? This may be a great chance for you, as the 23andMe bundle is one of the biggest markdowns we found on Prime Day. And the insights go beyond ancestry and geographic regions. They provide in-depth health reports showing the chances you develop certain health conditions, how your body reacts to medication, and much more.

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Earlier on the list, we mentioned the AirPods pro. If you haven’t bought in to the Apple ecosystem or want wireless bluetooth headphones that are a little bit cheaper, this is a great option. They feature noise canceling, balanced acoustics, and up to 8 hours of listening time on a single charge. They’re also water (and sweat) resistant, making them a great option if you like listening to music on your runs.

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These moisture-wicking, cross-waist leggings come in a range of colors and inseams, and in standard and plus sizes. Prices vary based on size and color. The price listed below is for the white leggings in a size medium. 

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This tennis dress has a built-in bra, shorts with two pockets and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit. Crafted with ultra-soft material, this on-trend workout dress is great for lounging or breaking a sweat on the court. 

Available in eight colors. 

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-NordicTrack T Series Treadmill

If you’re looking to keep up your training in the off seasons or after dark, the NordicTrack T Series Treadmill may be the way to go. With 10% incline and 10mph controls, this treadmill will keep you moving in your own home throughout the year at a reasonable price. Both the cheaper model with a 5-inch screen and pricier but still affordable 10-inch model are on sale.

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We don’t talk enough about how important a component sleep is in a training plan. Beyond improving everyday mood, good quality rest can improve speed, agility, metabolism and more while reducing the chance of injury or illness. That’s why we were so excited to see a big discount on this high-quality mattress on Amazon. It features a comforting cooling gel layer as well as progressive support foam.

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For 363 days per year, we support the local running community by shopping at our neighborhood specialty run shop, and other locally owned fitness stores. During the 48 hours of Amazon Prime Days, however, we can’t resist the savings and selection offered by the ecommerce giant.

We’ve shared our picks of the best bargains for  athletes and made this list. Today and tomorrow only, the site that sells everything cuts prices on thousands of products, from toilet paper to flat-screen TVs. We’ve sifted through the chaos, to find the best Amazon Prime Deals for Athletes.

Remember, the deals are exclusive to Prime members. If that’s causing some major FOMO, fear not, since you can easily join Amazon Prime by clicking here


Eating a Paleo Diet: What Does That Mean? How Does It Work?

Eating a Paleo Diet: What Does That Mean? How Does It Work?

Eating Paleo

The Paleo Diet: What is it? And does it work?

The Paleo Diet, or hunter-gatherer diet is based on foods Paleolithic humans would have eaten. This type of eating is also known as primal or caveman.

The Paleo diet consists of real, whole foods so it focuses primarily on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. This is because in the paleolithic period there was no processed foods, it was purely about eating from the earth.  It therefore eliminates a whole range of processed or man-made foods that contain preservatives, hidden sugars, sodium, additives, coloring, and artificial flavorings.

Despite the Paleo diet being based on the presumed diet of the Paleolithic humans, it is a modern nutritional plan that has seen a huge rise in popularity over the last number of years, mainly due to the amount of success stories achieved by those following it.

It is based on the premise that human genetics have scarcely changed since the Agricultural Revolution (also called the Neolithic Revolution) some 10,000 years ago, therefore modern humans are adaptable to the diet or diets of the Paleolithic period.

It has become a ‘go to’ nutrition protocol for many, with some believing it is how everyone should be eating.

As a result, the Paleo diet has become a controversial topic in the nutrition world.

Gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin first popularized the Paleo diet back in the mid 1970’s. He was among one of the first to suggest that a person could greatly improve their health by following a diet like that of the Paleolithic era.

In 1989, Steffan Lindeberg conducted a scientific study known as the Kitava Study. This looked at the non-Westernized populations of Kitava in Papua New Guinea, which highlighted a correlation between diet and Western diseases.

This is because the population of Kitava did not suffer from the same medical diseases as seen in those eating a Western type diet.

Since the 1990’s we have therefore seen an increasing popularity for the return to a so called Paleolithic diet by many medical practitioners and nutritionists.

In the modern world this means following a diet from cultivated plants and domesticated animals’ meat. It consists of foods that can be fished and hunted, such as seafood and meat; foods that can be gathered, such as, eggs, fruit, herbs, insects, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, spices and vegetables.

Also, the typical recommendations for meat consumption is that they are free-range or grass-fed, as they will contain less toxins and higher nutrient profiles compared to grain-fed domestic meats.

For foods that can be gathered, it is suggested these are organic and locally grown, again to reduce pollution and potential toxicity issues.

The rise of popularity of the Paleo diet is due to a number of benefits that people can experience from following it consistently.

People following the Paleo diet may experience the following benefits:

  • Increased and more stable energy levels
  • Improved sleep
  • Cleaner skin and healthier looking hair
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved mood and attitude
  • Improvements in those suffering depression and anxiety
  • Less or no bloating, decreased gas
  • Sustained weight loss
  • Muscle growth, increased fitness
  • Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being
  • Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Improved lipid profiles
  • Healthier gut
  • Better absorption of nutrients from foods
  • Reduced allergies
  • Improvements in those with respiratory problems, such as asthma

Going by the above list the Paleo diet has a lot to offer, so it’s important to understand why we may see such extensive benefits.

  • Weight Loss:
    • When you stop eating high calorie, high carbohydrate foods like dairy, rice, oats and bread, you’ll be likely to experience weight loss. The primary sources of carbohydrates in the Paleo diet are fruit and vegetables. By eliminating a particular food group from the diet, we reduce our daily intake of calories which will lead to weight loss.
  • Heart Health
    • On the Paleo diet you consume higher amounts of quality meat and fish, which leads to an increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids. According to the American Heart Association, increased Omega 3 consumption lowers your blood pressure, decreases triglyceride levels and reduces your risk of sudden cardiac death. The increased fiber intake can also improve your cholesterol levels, which helps your heart health. 
  • Lower Diabetes Risk
    • Eating a diet based around whole, single ingredient foods, including one high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, helps to control blood sugar levels. This has a considerable effect on managing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, and even reversing the symptoms of it. 
  • Reduced Autoimmune Disorders
    • With the Paleo diet, we are removing many common foods that cause inflammation in the gut and to which many people have intolerances, sensitivities or allergies. This includes food groups like grains (gluten), dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshade vegetables. Such a diet may yield relief from leaky gut syndrome and thus autoimmune disorders. 

So who is this for?

Essentially, the Paleo diet is focused around quality meats, fish, and vegetables with some fruit and nuts. It’s difficult to argue against the fact that this is a great ‘foundation’ diet for those seeking optimal body composition and health, and there are plenty of testimonials to back this up.

So a better question might be – Who is this diet not right for?

Despite the modern nutrition protocol being very simple, that does not mean it is easy to follow – have you ever tried to live on just meat and vegetables alone?

Due to the limited nature of the Paleo diet, many can find they are excluding too many food items at once, and fall off the wagon completely. It is quite a restrictive diet protocol, and in today’s modern society where we are surrounded by non Paleo foods, it can feel very repetitive and dull.

Since we now understand the reasons why we might see so many benefits, it may be possible to achieve sufficient results without necessarily applying the full protocol. We can therefore extract the ‘good’ bits we need.

At Basic Nutrition we believe in eating real foods as much as possible, and while we dislike associating the work diet to that theory- the paleo diet is the closest “diet” in todays modern times that we agree with. Eating real foods is a lifestyle, and its ok to enjoy sweets and processed foods in moderation, but if you try your best to eat foods that are wholesome and would follow under Paleo, you most likely will start to feel better, look better, and perform better.