Healthy Start Series: Back to Basics

written by Bethany Kontaxes, Kontaxes Nutrition

Hello February! Can you believe we’re a month into the new year already? We’re at the point where sometimes those goals we set at the beginning of the year begin to feel hard and our motivation may be waning.  When you are feeling like that, sometimes it’s best to go back to some basic principles. Here are some tips that you can start implementing today!

Get some color into your diet

Colored fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, which are beneficial in fighting diseases and antioxidants that help protect our cells from damage. You may have heard of lycopene, found in tomatoes and watermelon; or reservatrol found in grapes. Garlic and onions contain the phytochemical allicin, which can help our immune system. Beets contain betalins which have anti-inflammatory properties. The list could go on, but hopefully you can see that fruits and vegetables have many compounds that are beneficial to our health. This is why it is important to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet-so you can be getting all the different phytochemicals! This can be fun for kids-let them pick out a red vegetable this week and learn how to prepare it together. Next week, have them pick an orange fruit or vegetable.

Boost your fiber intake

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that passes through the body undigested. When you think of fiber, you may think that its purpose is to keep you “regular,” and while it is best known for that, it also has many other benefits. Studies show that fiber can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation, and help prevent diabetes. It can also improve blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. How much fiber do you need? At a minimum, women need 21-25 grams and men need 30-38 grams. What foods are high in fiber? Beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Consume adequate protein

Protein is important for so many purposes in our bodies. Our bodies produce antibodies to protect us from viruses, bacteria, toxins, etc. Antibodies are made up of proteins, so proteins are important for our immune system. Protein can also help with blood sugar regulation, promote healthy brain function, aid in bone metabolism, and helps regulate hormones. Beef, chicken, fish, and beans are rich in protein.

Get some movement in

Most of us lead busy lives and it can be hard to commit to working out for an hour a day. But, the benefits of exercise are wide ranging and it is so important for our health. It can help improve mood, boost energy levels, help prevent health conditions and disease, and improve sleep quality. Having trouble committing to going to the gym? Start small with trying to increase your movement throughout the day. Maybe you park in the farthest parking spot when you go to the store, take a 10 minute walk at lunch, or do 10 jumping jacks when you wake up. When you start looking for ways to sneak some extra movement in, you will find many ways.

Little choices like this add up and help improve your health!
To learn more from Bethany, visit her website at

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