Nutrition: Back To The Basics

by Elise Gordon, M.S., R.D./L.D.

You’ve heard the 3 words many times:  VARIETY, MODERATION & BALANCE!  What do they mean? VARIETY: 

  • Eat foods from all the food groups each day.
  • Within each meal, aim to eat at least 3 colors. This will let you know that you are getting variety.
  • Test your palate! It’s never too late to try something new.  You might even like it!!


  • This means letting all foods be a part of healthy eating.  It is not eliminating foods/food groups.
  • It is finding the balance between the extremes of ALL of it and NONE of it.
  • It is okay to eat more refined foods combined with nutrient-dense foods to be part of a healthy diet.


  • Incorporating foods from all food groups and listening to the “everything can fit” mentality.
  • One never has to worry about not having the perfect ” balance” for one meal or even one day.  It is about the balance over time that is the most important thing to remember.
  • Balance out refined foods with more wholesome, nutrient-dense foods.  This way you are getting good nutritional value and enjoying what you are eating too.

Other important points to remember that will get you lots of ‘Nutrition Nods’:

  • P-C-F (Protein-Carbohydrate-Fat) Balance at meals to meet your needs and help you feel satisfied.
  • Do not wait longer than 5-6 hours to eat, rather eat meals and add in 1-2 snacks to avoid slowing down your metabolism, to regulate blood sugar levels, and stabilize your mood.
  • Take your time to eat in order to not overeat, but also to enjoy your meal.
  • Choose foods high in fiber and complex carbohydrates.  They do so many wonderful things for our bodies.
  • Choose high quality proteins, and aim to eat fish weekly to get those great omega-3’s in!
  • Watch saturated and trans fat, but get in lots of those mono- and polyunsaturated fats for health.
  • Let yourself have sugar and desserts, maybe put a limit on them per day/week.
  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids to keep yourself hydrated and your body thriving.
  • Be physically active, including stretching, aerobic training and strength training.
  • Find a plan that works for you and make it a lifestyle choice.