Getting Back to Basics

By Brook Rivera, HHC

Are your goals to eat better this year? There are 100ʼs of diets and eating plans out there — enough to confuse even the savviest…itʼs times like these when itʼs best to keep it simple. Donʼt underestimate the power of preparing more home cooked meals with whole foods. Youʼll consume less sodium, sugar, calories, and fewer chemicals and additives commonly found in restaurant and prepackaged foods.

Whatever your eating plans are for the new year, donʼt forget the basics. Here are my
top 3 diet suggestions for cancer prevention:

  1. Strive to make half your plate vegetables and/or fruit(although you want to have eaten more vegetables than fruit in a day). Eat a combination of raw and cooked vegetables within a day.
    • Raw vegetables have a more complete nutrient profile and come equipped with their own digestive enzymes, as heating food above 118 degrees F will kill of the enzymes and many vitamins and minerals.
    • Depending on how compromised your digestive system is, you may want to blend your fruits and vegetables into smoothies or soups. Blending them breaks down the cell walls and makes it easier to digest.
    • You can also cook your vegetables to help the digestive process. I recommend steaming as the best method to minimize loss of nutrients.
    • Top cancer fighting vegetables include onions, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables, and leafy greens for their particular phytochemicals that target cancer cells.
  2.   Reduce all processed and prepackaged foods as much as possible.
    • While they may be convenient, your internal environment tells another story. They cause your liver and other organs to work twice as hard to balance out the bodyʼs pH (the body prefers to be more alkaline, and highly processed foods are acidic), convert the food into usable energy, and filter out the toxic components (food coloring, trans fats, msg, etc.)
  3. Drink your water.
    • The body is mostly composed of water. Simply put – it canʼt function without it.

Need help with your diet recommendations? Diane ( and I ( are available for one-on-one appointments to guide you in the right direction. Hereʼs to a vibrant and healthy new year!

Brook Rivera About Brook Rivera

When she's not playing her role as Program Director or Nutrition and Wellness Educator at Wellness Within, Brook shares her expertise as a Certified Holistic Health Coach on her website Sweet-Shine. Having worked in the health field for over 20 years, she loves supporting others in making simple changes to their diets and lifestyles so that they may experience greater joy and health, and spread it to others!

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