Eating Healthy at Home

Eating Healthy at Home

Your kids will love eating healthy foods in no time if you take these simple steps at home. It is also proven that kids who eat healthier at home are the ones that are likely to make better food choices outside of the home.

Of course, we all care about our family’s health, but it’s hard enough just to get a meal on the table most days, let alone having to worry about making it nutritious, too. Remember, it’s okay to start small. Simply switching to whole grains or replacing soda and sports drinks with water will help you become more conscious of the foods and beverages you and your kids are putting into your bodies. Before you know it, making healthier choices will be second nature. You’ve got this—and we’ve got your back!

MyPlate is a great place to start educating yourself about healthy eating. The site uses visuals to help your family make healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

Start with a few of these small changes:

  • Make half your plate fruits and veggies.
  • Focus on whole fruits.
  • Vary your veggies, with a rotating cast of dark-green, red, and orange vegetables at dinner.
  • Make half your grains whole grains (think whole-wheat pasta and tortillas, brown rice and quinoa, whole-grain bread).
  • Change up your protein routine, with an emphasis on chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of pork, beef, bison, or game meats, trimmed of fat. Beans are a great plant-based protein source to include in your diet as well.
  • Offer water, low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk, or 100% fruit juice instead of juice drinks, sports drinks, or soda.

You may be wondering, “How am I ever going to incorporate enough fruits and veggies into our meals to make them half the plate?”

It’s not as hard as you think. Chances are, your kids are already eating a good amount of fruit. Make sure you’re offering fruit with breakfast, lunch, and snacks. If you still think they’re not getting enough, smoothies are a delicious (and efficient) way to pack in one or more servings. And don’t forget dessert! Try berry parfaits with Greek yogurt; halved peaches or sliced pineapple, grilled and drizzled with a little honey; homemade fruit popsicles; blueberry crumbles; and baked apples or poached pears with cinnamon.

We’ll admit, you might have to get a little more creative with veggies. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw away all your existing recipes and start from scratch. Simply find ways to incorporate more vegetables into the meals your family already loves. Here are a few of our go-to tricks:

  • Wraps: Step up your standard turkey-and-cheese by adding extras like baby spinach, red pepper, cucumber, avocado, tomato, shredded carrots and sprouts.
  • Pizza: Top whole-grain crust or dough with any combination of mushrooms, peppers, onion, fennel, zucchini, tomatoes, Brussels sprout leaves (trust us, it works), arugula, spinach, and fresh herbs. Create a pizza bar of options for DIY pizza night.
  • Quesadillas or Bean Burritos: Stuff with corn, peppers, tomatoes, onions, avocado, spinach, or cilantro, and serve with salsa.
  • Soups and Stews: Gazpacho, minestrone and chili are all so easy to upgrade! Throw in whatever extra veggies and beans will work best with your recipes.
  • Pasta: You can add nearly anything to this dish! Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, peppers, snow peas, mushrooms, onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, kale, escarole, herbs—and, of course, tomatoes—are all perfect partners for whole-grain noodles. If you’re willing to mess with your recipe, carrots, zucchini, and onion make nutritious additions to your Sunday sauce.
  • Smoothies: Not just for fruit. Try adding carrots, beets, cucumber, ginger, avocado, spinach, or kale to your smoothies, and have your kids guess the mystery ingredient!
  • Salad Bar: Set out small bowls of broccoli, shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, raisins, cherry tomatoes, and other ingredients for kids to create their own leafy masterpiece.

Get Kids in on the Act

You’ve heard it a million times, but that’s because it works! The more involved kids are in planning and cooking meals, the more likely they are to eat them.

  1. Include your kids when planning the weekly family menu so they feel like they have a say in what they’re eating.
  2. Look at your school’s website together to see what’s being served, and decide if you’ll make breakfast and lunch at home or buy it at school.
  3. Shop for groceries together. Make a list before you go to the store and only buy foods on the list. Once in the store, let your kids help you find items on the list. Read food labels out loud and talk about the choices you’re making.
  4. Cook with your kids. It’s a great opportunity to teach them measurements, conversions, and cooking skills, and it gives them a vested interest in the finished product.
  5. Hold family taste tests. Buy different brands of a healthy food (whole-grain pasta, for example) and let family members decide which one they like best.

Eating healthy outside of home is important for kids growth too. Do you pack your kids a healthy lunch box for school? Or do they pack your own? Check out our E-Book of 100+ healthy lunches for kid lunchboxes.

These lunch box recipes are set-up to accommodate a busy schedule, variety of preferences, without holding down to specific ingredients or recipes.

  • Get 7 Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch & Preparation How To templates
  • Learn the lunchbox recommendations to meet your child’s nutritional needs
  • Learn how to stock-up your kitchen to make quick, easy and flavorful meals
  • Learn PRO tips & tricks to cook more flavorful meals with little extra effort that kids will enjoy
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.





Healthy Eating Made Easy

Healthy Eating Made Easy

Healthy Eating Simplified

With all the conflicting information on nutrition and diet, it’s easy to feel confused when it comes to healthy eating. But don’t worry, we are here to help you eat like a nutrition expert. If you follow my step-by-step formula, putting together nutritious, satisfying meals can be easy. The most important thing you can do when it comes to nutrition is “get back to basics” and ditch highly processed foods. This means focusing on whole-foods that have minimal ingredients. Ideally, the base of your diet should be a collection of colorful produce and leafy greens, with high-quality proteins and fats sharing second place on your plate.

If you are seeking a personalized meal plan and accountability, see our Basic Nutrition page on the website for more information about our services and programs.


 “Eat the Rainbow” to promote health, and I don’t mean Skittles candy. Variety is key to ensure that you’re getting enough fiber and micronutrients. Plant foods are a wonderful source of antioxidants and have many anti-inflammatories. WE recommend eating a wide variety of colorful veggies and fruit, as well as varying your sources of high-quality fats and proteins. opt for eating at least 5 different plant-based colors per day. To do this, try experimenting with new foods and spices. It keeps food interesting, bright, and flavorful. 

rainbow food

Focus on Fiber, Protein, & Fat:

You want your meals to contain a good mix of fiber, protein, and fat. These macronutrients are the Three Keys to Satiety. They help keep blood sugar levels in balance and leave you feeling satisfied instead of deprived after meals. Try to fill 1/2 your plate with veggies, working your way up to 3/4 veggies, which is ideal. Next, focus on high-quality protein, healthy fats, and low-sugar fruits.

Eat to Balance Blood Sugar:

We recommend limiting foods that de-stabilize blood sugar. Try to limit your intake of sweets and starches, including those from whole-food, natural sources. Caffeine can also have a negative effect on blood sugar. These foods not only destabilize blood sugar they also feed the “bad bugs” or microbes that we don’t want in our gut. Last, but not least, make sure you are drinking enough water. Hydration is important for keeping blood sugar levels at healthy levels. Try to drink most of your liquids away from mealtime to improve digestion.

Maintaining stable blood sugar is vital for overall health. Limit excessive sweets & starchy foods to keep blood sugar balanced.

green bean salad ingredients

“One-size-fits-all” Doesn’t Exist:

Because everybody is different and there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet plan, we encourage you to keep an open mind, try new things, and find what works best for you. If you’re struggling with chronic health issues, then it’s especially important that you learn to pay attention to the way that different foods make you feel to pinpoint any possible allergies and sensitivities. You can learn to listen to your body’s signals and fine-tune your diet over time. Your nutritional needs aren’t a static thing. They change day by day. Some days you need more protein, some days you need less.  No matter what the diet, the goal should be to have as much nutrition and variety as possible.

Learn to Eat Intuitively:

Learning to listen to your body when making food choices is called “Intuitive Eating” and it’s a process that takes time. But the pay-off is worth the patience. If you learn to listen to your body’s signals for hunger and satiety you shouldn’t need to count calories or keep track of macros. When you eat intuitively you learn to build balanced, colorful meals with sensible portion sizes. You eat mindfully and stop eating when you’re full. You’ll know you’ve hit the “sweet spot” with your diet when you can easily maintain a healthy weight, your energy level is good, and you generally feel your best.

Hydrate Properly:

Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health.  Try starting your day with 8-12 ounces of filtered water before moving on to your morning coffee, or tea. Sip water throughout the day to improve absorption. If you drink too much at once it can go right through you and you will end up peeing most of it out. If you are having a hard time staying hydrated, even when drinking enough fluids, then you may want to add a tiny pinch of mineral sea salt to your water. You can also add mineral drops, electrolytes, or lemon juice to combat dehydration. Coconut water can help keep you hydrated and is a better choice than typical sports drinks, but don’t overdo it, because it contains quite a bit of sugar.



 A variety of Leafy Greens cooked or raw. Most greens can be eaten raw, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to digest. If raw greens give you indigestion, then opt for sautéed or steamed instead. Baby greens, such as baby kale and baby arugula, are often more tender than their adult counterparts and are great raw, or cooked. 



Non-Starchy & Starchy Veggies for fiber and complex carbs. If you are avoiding grains and beans, then bulk up your meals with hearty veggies. Even if you aren’t avoiding grains and beans, I still recommend including at least 1 cup of hearty veggies per meal. 


High-Quality Protein from whole-food sources such as pasture-raised eggs and meat, wild caught fish, nuts and seeds, peas and legumes, if tolerated. The quality of animal products makes a huge difference in nutritional content (these foods can be expensive, so do the best you can with your budget)



Healthy Fats like avocado, coconut, fatty fish, olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Don’t fear fats! They are essential for health in many ways. You need them for brain health, to build healthy cell walls, and to absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as Vitamins A and E. I recommend eating high-quality fats with every meal.

Optional, but highly recommended:


For gut health,  we recommend including traditionally fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Pickled Veggies, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, etc…These foods can help improve digestion by adding beneficial microbes into your digestive tract. If dairy is a no-no for you, but you want to enjoy yogurt, er recommend looking for a high-quality coconut yogurt that is free from additives and fillers.

flair food


Spices & Seasonings are essential for keeping things interesting in the kitchen & also increase nutrient density. Turmeric and Black Pepper work together to fight inflammation in the body, as do ginger, and cinnamon. Experimenting with new spices is the best way to add a fresh take to “old” ingredients. 



Garnish is like the icing on your healthy eating bowl. Microgreens are beautiful, tasty, and often pack in more nutrients than their adult counterparts. Black sesame seeds, black cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and nori seaweed flakes are wonderful additions to a meal. Dill, fennel greens, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, and other herbs all add nutrients while also making food pretty. And let’s be honest, pretty food really does taste better.


Special Considerations:

Since most things in life aren’t “black and white”, remember that certain health conditions may require a specialized diet where you must avoid or limit foods that are generally thought of as nutritious. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic health condition that requires you to follow a special dietary protocol I’m here to help. Contact me to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss the ways in which Basic Nutrition can support you on your nutrition and health journey. For those of you without special needs, the  basic nourish bowl formula should do the trick. You can always check out our Instagram @the_basic_eats and @basiclivingbr for more healthy eating inspiration, fitness tips, and more.

5 Habits of Mindful Eating

5 Habits of Mindful Eating


An effective method of improving our relationship with food.


Mindful eating is a simple method of becoming hyper-focused on the present moment, and being aware of your senses while eating food. It can help manage eating habits, and make people feel better about their body.

The purpose is not counting calories, or tracking macros (carbohydrates, fat, or protein), and mindful eating has little to do with weight loss, although it is proven to help with losing weight. The intention is to help individuals understand and enjoy the food they eat, and remove stresses associated with overeating unhealthy foods. Mindful eating can be a fun way to make mealtimes social, or a time to reflect and savor the moment as a solo experience.

Benefits of mindful eating:

There is tons of research associated with the benefits of mindful eating, most notably the pioneering works of Jon Kabat-Zinn (leader of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School). The mindful eating method helps us understand why ‘diets’ aren’t effective in the long-term.

Simply put, diets fail to focus on behavior change. Since its introduction into dietary behavior change programming, mindful eating has become a successful strategy that improves individual success.

Some Key Benefits Include:

  • Reduced gas and bloating after meals
  • Reduced binge-eating
  • Reduced stress-eating and anxiety
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved self-control around foods
  • Improved nutritional intake
  • Improved weight loss results


The raisin exercise is a good starting point for mindful eating. It’s a sensual food experience that helps tune sight, touch, smell, and taste; becoming fully aware of the moment. This exercise is designed to introduce your senses into the act of eating, helping you savor and experience the foods you eat.

Give it a try: Grab a raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand or between your finger and thumb.

Sight: Take time to really focus on it; gaze at the raisin with care and full attention—imagine that you’re an alien from outer space, and have never seen anything like this before in your life. Let your eyes explore every part of it, examining the shape, colour, texture, and any imperfections.

Touch: Move the raisin around between your fingers, feeling the texture. Try this with your eyes closed to enhance your sense of touch. Is it hard, soft, sticky, dry? Does it make a sound as it moves between your fingers? Notice what you are feeling about this object.

Smell: Hold the raisin near your nose. Inhale the aroma and notice how your body reacts.

Taste: Place the raisin between your lips and just hold it there for a few seconds. How does that make you react? Move it into your mouth, but don’t chew yet…is there a taste? What’s happening inside your mouth? How does that make you feel?

Finally, slowly begin to chew, noticing what each bite feels, and taste like. Move it around your mouth. Chew the raisin into mush before you swallow. How does it feel as the raisin travels to your stomach?

Sense how your body as a whole is feeling after you have completed this exercise.


The human body creates many prompts to tell us when to take action. One of these prompts can be described as a ‘rumbly stomach’ or ‘hunger pangs’, which tells us that we are hungry, and our body needs more energy. If we don’t respond to the natural ‘hunger’ prompts we may experience low blood sugar levels and feel unwell. Because hunger is a physical feeling, we can satisfy the prompts easily with any type of food source.

However, things become complicated when our psyche gets involved. Psychological hunger, as it is known, pushes us towards snacking and overeating. It comes from the emotional desire to eat, with no physical signs that your body needs energy. This is associated with cravings, boredom, and emotional eating. Research suggests that boredom is the most common reason for psychological hunger. Why do you think cinemas sell popcorn and other snacks? To entertain you through the boring parts of a movie! But with the help of behavior change and mindfulness, we can fight back. The act of removing yourself from the boring situation that prompted the desire to snack, will satisfy your psychological desire to eat. This can be as simple as going for a walk or changing the playlist or asking ‘why do I want to snack?’.


After you start eating it can take up to 20 minutes for your body to decode the signs of fullness. Slowing down when consuming food will allow enough time for your gut and brain to communicate. This will also help reduce overeating, and aid in better digestion.

Here’s our top picks for a more satisfying feed:

Set a timer – Before you begin dinner in the evening, set a timer on your phone for 20-minutes. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and try to take 20-minutes to eat your meal. Relax, and focus on your food.

Pause – If you find it difficult to sit down and make a meal last for a whole 20 minutes, put your fork down between each bite.Swapping the fork for chopsticks can help you slow down, too.

If you still struggle to pause, leave the table to fetch a glass of water. Or step outside and take three deep breaths, then return to your meal.

Chew for 20 – Chewing breaks down food into smaller pieces. This aids in better, easier digestion – making us feel fuller quicker. In the first 5-minutes of your meal, take smaller bites than usual and try to chew 20 times before swallowing.


Whether it’s wolfing down subway in the car or crunching on chips while watching YouTube in your lunch break, distracted eating is not uncommon. A review of 24 studies by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that distracted eating encouraged people to consume more food throughout the day and led to a poor relationship with eating.

Applying the mindful eating principle, we can avoid the distraction trap. Try one of these simple habits to assist in a distraction free eating experience.

The Difference Between Low Carb and Keto

The Difference Between Low Carb and Keto

low carb vs keto

When it comes to dieting, most experts agree that taking things to an extreme can be dangerous. The keto diet, for example, can be highly effective for weight loss, but eating only 50 grams of carbs per day is not considered a balanced diet.

There’s a less restrictive option that still offers weight loss and heart health benefits associated with keto, and it’s done by going low carb, not no carb.

Low Carb Diet vs. Keto Diet:
What is The Difference?

Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.

Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesn’t produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.

Going low carb also means you’re probably not eating as much fat as you would if you were trying to force the body into ketosis, and you’ll be eating lots of filling lean proteins and vegetables to stay energized. Like keto, low carb diets follow the same principle of cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. BMI studies have revealed that going low carb was associated with higher states of remission among people with type 2 diabetes.

Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel. The original use of the keto diet was developed in the 1920s to treat epilepsy, long before it became trendy. Although most people with epilepsy today control their seizures with anti-epileptic drugs, the diet is sometimes prescribed to children with epilepsy who have not responded to several medications. While the relation between WHY the Keto diet helps seizures is still be researched, studies show that it is because eating a keto diet, it has substantial changes to gut bacteria, and the gut bacteria associated with the Keto diet has shown to play a role on anti-seizure effects.

 Low carb means getting about 20% of your daily calories from carbs, which equates to somewhere between 50 to 150 grams. This way, you’re still taking in plenty of glucose, which is important for recovery and energy if you plan on exercising often. Carbs in excess can be detrimental, but that doesn’t mean they should be avoided altogether.

Try these “10 High Carb Foods that are Actually Incredibly Healthy”.

Fruits, oatmeal, and other foods high in fiber allow you to get carbs and sugar without experiencing the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar you’d get by eating a candy bar or drinking soda.

By eating veggies first, protein and fats second, and then starches and sugars, you’ll slow the rate at which your body absorbs sugar so you experience a more steady supply of energy.