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By Haley Bridges

Warning, if you are looking for a simple explanation about nutrition you are in the right place!

There are so many definitions, explanations and terms to define nutrition and the real meaning can get lost in all of the translations and information that is out there. People tend to complicate what they do not know which can be more frustrating and time consuming than need be. Nutrition is simple, and if you know the basics you are well on your way to starting a healthy lifestyle.

Now let’s get back to those basics.

Variety, variety, variety. It cannot be expressed enough how variety plays a crucial role in nutrition. Mix it up, have fun, try new foods and ways of cooking. The best part about nutrition and food is that there are so many ways to switch it up. The more colorful your plate is, the more balanced meal you are having. Hint: If you are trying to lose weight it is important to have a protein (turkey, chicken or fish), a grain (quinoa, wild rice or brown rice) and vegetables (corn, tomatoes, carrots, celery or any fresh produce).

Portions, portions, portions. There are two common mistakes people make; One is that if you are eating healthy it is okay to have a bigger portion and two is that the smaller the portion the less carbohydrates and fat are being consumed. Both are incorrect. As long as you have a variety of foods that range from fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins you will have a balanced, correctly portioned meal.

Finally, slow down! Take your time and be in the moment. The slower you eat the quicker you will fill up and the better you will feel. Simple, right? Taking your time is not only good for your body but also allows you to enjoy the food you are consuming as well as the company of others around you.

These are the basics that will get you on track to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are unsure of how to put these basics together, here is a simple and delicious quinoa burger recipe to try!

Lettuce Wrapped Quinoa Burgers

Yields: 4

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1-cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ Tsp. paprika
  • ¼ Tsp. pepper
  • ½ Tsp. garlic salt
  • 4 big ice burg lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Ketchup (optional)
  • Mustard (optional)
  • Non-stick cooking spray


1.   Cook quinoa according to package directions.

2.   Beat the eggs in a bowl.

3.   Once the quinoa is cooked, add the quinoa and all of the other ingredients besides the cheddar cheese and lettuce together.

4.   Mix these ingredients well so that everything is very well moistened.

5.   Once everything is blended create 4 patties from the mixture.

6.   Use a sauté pan coated with non-stick cooking spray and cook each burger for about 5 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown.

7.   Sprinkle a little cheese on top of each burger and let melt.

8.   Wrap the burgers in the iceberg or green leaf lettuce leaves and enjoy!

Note: Wrapping the burgers in lettuce is a much healthier way to eat this, eliminating a lot of carbohydrates you would consume using a bun.