Back to the Nutrition Basics – Declutter and Reset
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Start your fall off simple and go back to the basics!

A common comment I hear from clients after having some discussion about their health and nutrition is, “I was making it so complicated, everything we hear and read makes eating feel complicated”. This is one of my favorite ah-ha moments with clients. The reason why is that we are bombarded with a mass amount of information every day, yet the basics of nutrition are rarely talked about.

Nutrition basics to declutter and reset

When we can quiet the overwhelm and go back to the simple basics of nutrition, it is like taking a breath of fresh air again. I remember in volleyball practice, I had a coach who always said, “let’s go back to the basics!”. This could not be truer for nutrition information.  

Here are the 4 nutrition basics that can help you declutter your nutrition knowledge brain and contribute to healthy eating!

The 4 Nutrition Basics

1. Hydrate

This is number one on my list because it’s something that can be brushed under the carpet very quickly but has a major impact on how you feel. The classic message preached is 8 cups a day or 2L of water a day. This is a great start but this often is not enough for individuals who are active in the day. 2L of fluid a day is a starting point, but remember, it may not be enough.  

What counts as fluid? This is a great question and the answer is truly just about anything- fruits, soup, tea, water, smoothies, and the list goes on. The recommendation for coffee and caffeine is that 3 cups (750ml) of coffee can be put towards hydration but beyond that, it is best to switch to water as caffeine has a diuretic effect (simply- it makes you pee).  

2. Build meals or snacks around protein

Whether we are eating a meal or snack, it is important to try and incorporate protein. As a general guide, aim to have ¼ of your portion be a source of protein for meals and simply just a source of protein for snacks. Protein can come in many forms such as whole grain, dairy, meat, beans/legumes, tofu, or nuts/seeds.

Here are some examples: 

Protein Healthy Eating

Lunch: hummus and vegetable wrap using whole grain tortilla and Greek yogurt on the side 

Snack: Apples and peanut butter 

We have many other snack and meal examples right here on the blog!

3. Add in Colour

We all know fruits and vegetables are important but the confusion comes from all the ideas around superfoods and lists of musthave-foods to prevent X, Y or Z. The thing that matters most is that there is colour on your plate. There will be days where you may only have 1 or 2 colours the remarkable thing is that your body knows how to handle this and it‘s what we do over time that counts. 

4. Fiber

Lastly, it is important to incorporate fiber into every meal and snack. Whole grains and beans/legumes will give us the most bang for our buck when it comes to fiber and helps to balance out a meal. Fiber in the form of soluble, helps keep everything flowingsuch as what is in pears or prunes. Insoluble fiber adds bulk, such as the wheat germ. Both forms of fiber help to keep your digestive system functioning at its best and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. 

fiber - healthy eating

There you have it! The four nutrition basics that are central to healthy eating. If you find yourself overwhelmed, print out this list and think “Protein, colour, fiber” and never forget that glass of water on the side.  

BONUS lunch pack tip

As students go back to school, these basics are a great tool to use when packing your child’s lunch. Ensure the lunch includes:

  • A drink, preferably water
  • Protein
  • Colour
  • Fiber  

A great check-in and something you can teach to your kids as they grow.  

Start your fall off simple and go back to the basics!  

Interested in learning more about balanced healthy eating?

At Health Stand Nutrition, our experienced Registered Dietitian team has worked collaboratively to develop the tools, systems, and resources to help guide you on your journey of what, when, and how much to eat for optimal health.

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    "I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
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    Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
    “The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
    Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
    “I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
    Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
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    Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
    “I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
    Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
    “Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
    Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

    Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

    I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
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    Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

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    “As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
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    Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

    I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
    Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
    “Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
    Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

    ARC Resources Ltd.

    “Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
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