Setting A Healthy Eating Foundation


by Brent Haydey



Are you overwhelmed by deciding what single food is the best food?

Does media headline after headline claiming the newest superfood’s benefits leave your head spinning? 

In this post I will share 3 simple steps to set a powerful healthy eating foundation that will enable you to easily include what you need without feeling overwhelmed.

In a recent post I asked you to consider removing the words diet, weight, and weight loss from your vocabulary. If you missed it go back and have a read. It’s a powerful concept and it flows nicely into today’s ideas.

So much time and energy is wasted wondering if this food or that drink is the “best” to consume for your health. Media headline after media headline will suggest the new flavor of the day, so to speak, and all its wonderful health benefits.

It’s easy to get caught up in each as it makes the headlines. It’s even easier to get totally overwhelmed by trying to make sure you eat this for this benefit and that for that benefit. Ahhhh, the stress!

Have you experienced this?

I think we all have and it’s time to shift to a more stable foundation that will support you for the rest of your life. One that will support your desire to look great, feel great, feel great about yourself, reduce risk of lifestyle illness and disease, and provide the energy to do all we love to do. 

It’s time to let go of the complexity we all tend to feel is necessary. The foundation to healthy eating is really pretty simple. I understand that some people may have certain specific needs that require additional consideration but for the vast majority creating a simple solid foundation that becomes your day to day normal base will work.

Setting a Healthy Eating Foundation

Here are 3 steps to set your foundation to healthy nutrition.

Convert to an 8 Inch Diameter Plate

Measure the diameter of the plates you use for dinner. Most people have plates 10-12 inches wide. They are getting bigger and bigger all the time. Back in the 50’s they were only 8 inches.

The problem with bigger plates is that we tend to unconsciously fill them up and then we unconsciously tend to eat everything on our plates. Both habits formed on beliefs we learned earlier in life for one reason or another.

The result is overeating, repeatedly day after day.

Food researcher Brian Wansink or Cornell University has determined that getting rid of those big plates and replacing them with 8 inch diameter plates will automatically reduce the volume of food you eat by as much as 50% for a 2 inch reduction in plate size.

Finding smaller plates may be a challenge. You may have to use salad plates or something creative like that but the RESULTS will be worth it.

Go and make this simple transition TODAY!

Use the 50% Rule

With that smaller plate FIRST, fill it half with vegetables and/or salad. Raw or steamed is your best bet.

Do not add butter or oil to the steamed vegetables. Allow yourself to retrain your tastebuds to enjoy the natural flavor of the vegetables. It will take time but it will happen. If you add some form of topping to the steamed vegetables or salad be very mindful of your choice and the amount you use so it does not sabotage your intent. Do not automatically and unconsciously add this. Have a few bites without then add some if you still need to. This can act as a transition in taste appreciation.

Always ask for dressing on the side at restaurants and ask for steamed vegetables to be “naked”. It seems restaurants feel steamed veggies need oil for some reason.

For breakfast and lunch include fruit and berries in the 50% rule.

WHY 50%. Study after study after study have shown for years that vegetables, fruits, and berries provide exceptional nutrition. They have preventative and healing properties. They add much needed fibre. They fill you up. They are easy to prepare for home consumption or to take to work for  breakfasts or lunches.

VARIETY! Consume a variety consistently and regularly. Over the long term you will take into consideration each individual health claim that studies make regarding individual fruits, veggies, or berries AND you will not be stressed or overwhelmed deciding what is “best”.

Once you have your 50% add a healthy, lower fat, source of protein. Again be mindful of toppings for added fat or sugars. Add healthy low fat dairy or 100% whole grains too to round out the other 50%.

Variety, variety, variety will ensure you have tasty enjoyable meals and balance the variety of benefits each individual food source has to offer.

Eat Slowly

We are so rushed in today’s society. We gobble down breakfast as we run out the door after having hit the snooze button several times. We eat at our desk while continuing to work. We eat dinner while watching TV or while distracted in some other way. Rushed eating and distracted eating leads to overeating. We consume well past the fullness point and often don’t even realize it until after the fact.

SLOW DOWN! Avoid the snooze button, get up a bit earlier and take the time for breakfast every day. Stop working through lunch. Turn off the TV at dinner and eat at the table.

Eat slower. Chew, taste, and enjoy each mouthful and each drink you take. Train your tastebuds to love the healthy food you choose. Try this at your next meal: physically put down your fork after each bite. Do not pick it up until you finish chewing and swallow.

Once you finish your meal wait 20 minutes to see if you are full BEFORE you consider seconds. Make it a conscious choice. Leave the food on the stove or counter so you have to physically get up and walk over to get seconds. Make every choice a conscious one!

All three of these steps require consciously making a choice to change your existing habits and patterns. You must first acknowledge your need to make a change and take a different path as the one you’ve been repeating has not been sustainably working. Then you must put in place the changes, such as buying plates or shopping for produce. Then you must allow yourself time to allow the changes to become your NEW habit and pattern.

It will take time but it will be worth it.

When your new healthy eating foundation takes hold and becomes your new normal the results you desire will show up more and more with each passing day.

Consciously claim a healthy eating foundation! Take a very positive step down your path of Thriving Health and integrate each of these steps into your daily life. Yes you may choose to make additional deeper steps but ensure these take hold as you do.

Sustainable life long healthy change is at the foundation of Thriving health.

If you feel you’re ready for real and lasting change in embracing an active, healthy lifestyle and don’t think you can do it yourself consider my Private Lifestyle Transformation Program. I support a maximum of 6 people at a time. You could be one of them.


“Life is meant to be embraced, enjoyed and fully lived, not merely endured!”

To your health,


Be an advocate of Thriving Health. Please share this to anyone you feel would appreciate receiving this message. Thanks for your support. I appreciate it.


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About the Author

Brent Haydey Profile PhotoBeginning with a degree in exercise science and kinesiology, Brent Haydey has evolved over thirty years as an entrepreneur; building four businesses, and as a health, executive, and life coach.
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