Jan. 3. 2018
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

The goal this month? Simplicity.

Welcome to the new Nutrition Stripped! Whether you’re just joining us, or have been a longtime member of the NS community, I’m so glad you’re here.

For many of us, the new year brings about that contagious excitement “to get back on track”, whether that’s carving out a new plan for healthy living, setting intentions for the year, or returning to previous goals for a more balanced routine.

You’re probably seeing headlines and social media posts touting “detoxes” and “cleanses” everywhere right now. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to put yourself through one of those. Your body, in fact, is an incredible machine that knows how to detox. It’s easy to get swept up in the marketing power of these promises — and spend a lot of money while you’re at it! That’s why simplicity is top of mind for us here at NS. Simple, whole-food ingredients are typically in fact just as powerful as the “superfoods” that you read and hear about.

Set your focus this month on simplicity—don’t overcomplicate things! A healthy, balanced diet that’s full of whole-food ingredients that nourish your body doesn’t have to break the bank, and it doesn’t necessarily include a million ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce.

In fact, you probably already have several “superfoods” in your kitchen.

This popular post dives deeper into three common “superfoods” you can probably find at home: garlic, kale, and lemon. The lists of buzzy “superfoods” that the media throws in the spotlight are amazing and powerful additions to your plate and smoothie, but those lists don’t always include some of the best “superfoods” you can eat — think spinach, blueberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes, and squash!

So let’s do this: simplicity in the kitchen, simplicity at the grocery store, and simplicity at the table. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. This new website is incredibly comprehensive and responsive for searching specific ingredients so you can craft an easy grocery list and the NS Food Index helps spell out the most nutrient-dense food and pantry staples to incorporate in your meals. Go ahead and try it now; click on one of the ingredients I list above and you’ll be taken to other recipes that have them!

Join me this month on NutritionStripped.com where we’ll focus on simplicity over superfoods while sharing research-based articles and recipes with nutrient-dense ingredients from whole foods. The goal here is to make you feel beautiful from the inside out while keeping it super SIMPLE. In every recipe here on NS, we share the “stripped” down version of the nutrients to equip you to make the best choices to feel amazing this month, and all year long, even after resolutions have been forgotten. You’ll quickly find that it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet ever could be, and your body will thank you.

Here are a few tips to keep things simple this month:

  1. Load up on leafy greens at the grocery store. Cruciferous vegetables—think kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, brussels sprouts, bok choy, etc.— all have the phytonutrient kaempferol which studies suggest has anti-cancer properties. (1) These vegetables are all low in calories, while rich in important vitamins like vitamins C, E, and K, as well as folate and fiber. This fiber plays a big part in keeping you fuller, longer, making them a “superfood” by NS standards. (2) A good baseline to strive for is 6-8 handfuls of leafy greens per day.
  2. Focus on whole-food ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds don’t have a long, confusing list of ingredients to decipher. In the NS Food Index, we get you up to speed with the nutritional benefits of these common whole-food ingredients and simple, creative ways you can enjoy them.
  3. Meal prep! If you purchased The Guide to Master Meal Planning, or if you’re entirely new to the concept of batch cooking as a way of meal planning, you’re in for a nice lesson on the beauty of simplicity this month. By setting aside one day per week to cook ingredients in batches, you’re able to set yourself up for healthy, nutrient dense meals all week long. Batch cooking sets you up for success with sticking to your goals while making it easier come mealtime when you’re hungry and don’t have the time or energy to make something new. The secret, I’ve found, is in the versatility of ingredients with dozens of recipes so that you don’t run the risk of getting bored or uninspired with your leftovers. Get started today with one or two of the hundreds of recipes here on the NS Blog and stay tuned for the launch of the Society, a $5.99 monthly subscription service with exclusive online nutrition resources and recipes.


(1) Chen, A. Y., & Chen, Y. C. (2013, June 15). A review of the dietary flavonoid, kaempferol on human health and cancer chemoprevention.
(2) Lattimer, J. M., & Haub, M. D. (2010, December). Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health.


Want to know more? Here’s a list of helpful resources that help to strip away the confusion about simplifying healthy eating and superfoods.

  1. 3 Superfoods You Probably Already Have In Your Kitchen, Nutrition Stripped
  2. 10 Healthy Whole Food Swaps to Try Today, Nutrition Stripped
  3. 10 Ways to Meal Prep Like a Boss, Nutrition Stripped
  4. How to Store Produce, Nutrition Stripped
  5. How to Meal Prep and Plan Ahead, Nutrition Stripped
  6. 7 Superfoods for Good Health, Healthline
  7. Top 11 Superfoods That Can Save Your Life, Healthline
  8. 7 Superfoods That Are Worth The Money, Well+Good

Let’s Hear It

I’d love to chat about how you keep things simple, and any questions you have about tackling this intention this month. Leave a comment below — your questions and feedback can help others in the NS community! — or head over to Instagram and say hi! Be sure to tag NS as you set out to simplify with @NutritionStripped and #NutritionStripped.