I’ve been researching nutrition and experimenting with my diet for the last  15 years, and through my experiences, I’ve captured a handful of nutrition principles to share with people who want to improve their health. My hope is that my simple approach and objective viewpoint can help you cut through all the noise and find a diet lifestyle that works for you.  
Want to skip all the background and just get straight to the advice?

Beginners: For people who are just starting their journey towards healthier nutrition.

Intermediate: For people who have a base of knowledge but want to take it up a notch.

Advanced: For people who are already eating healthfully but need the last nudge to find the food freedom they have been looking for.
When I first decided to get serious about nutrition, it was hard to know where to start. Food and nutrition information overload was a real problem for me. There are so many competing interests (for example, food companies and supplement sales people) and conflicting information that it’s hard to know what to do or who to trust. Plus, it seems like a new study comes out every day with a new conclusion about my favorite foods. It’s impossible to keep up!

With my head spinning but an intense desire to learn and improve, I just started experimenting with every type of nutrition philosophy I could find. Over the last 15 years, I’ve tried calorie counting and journaling, Vegan, Ayurvedic, Paleo, Macros, Raw, Whole 30, 21 day Beach Body fix, Slow Carb, and Keto. I evaluated each one based on a few criteria: ability to comply with the diet, cost, my energy level, mental clarity, and how my body feels after eating. There was no one perfect approach. So instead of recommending a particular diet, I think it's more helpful to share a few foundational nutrition principles for people to start with. Below are the principles of what I recommend to eat, how to eat, and why I think these nutrition principles are beneficial to my health.

Start here, and then experiment! Pay attention to how your body feels when you change something in your diet, and then keep learning and experimenting until you land on something that works for you. Everybody is different and will react differently to foods.  Of course, I am not a doctor, or a RD so please consult with yours before trying big dietary changes.

What to Eat

Food in its whole, natural state.  This means cutting out processed foods and additives. Focus on food that is in season, and if possible, from local sources you know and trust. Quality of food can be more important than the quantity you eat. When you eat whole foods you are more likely to fully satiate your appetite and avoid over-eating.
Focus consumption on a variety of plants, vegetables, grains, legumes, healthy fats, and proteins.
  • Fats: raw nuts & seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, grass fed butter
  • Proteins: Wild-caught fish, Free Range, Local Organic eggs, chicken, ground turkey, Grass fed lamb, beef, and pork
  • Vegetables: Stick with veggies in season if possible. I consider below ground veggies as my carbs, and choose between them or a grain at meals.
  • My favorite vegetables to each in bulk include greens, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, asparagus, brussels sprouts, zucchini, bell peppers, radishes, spaghetti squash, eggplant and tomatoes. 

How to Eat

Keep the temptations out of your house: the time to have discipline is at the store. As they say: out of sight, out of mind, and you give yourself a much better chance of not eating junk food if they never enter your house.

Not all calories are created equal: I have found if you stick to whole foods, eliminate processed foods, and have a good mix of fats, proteins, and carbs, you probably don't need to count calories. Instead, your body should give you the signal it is full. A good example of this is cereal. It is so easy to eat a whole box and not feel full, am I right?! But an entire day of calories is in that box!

Be aware of how you feel after you've finished your meal: Understanding how you feel after a meal can tell you a lot. Are you sluggish, energized, light, hungry, satisfied, or stuffed? Can you see any patterns in food that make you feel this way?

Prepare your meals, if you can: I love to make my family’s meals because I know what goes in them and I enjoy the creative process of coming up with a meal. I love finding new ideas for how to incorporate vegetables, fresh herbs, cuts of meat, and fats we haven’t used before.

Don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback: Take life one meal at a time. If you went overboard or off track, just move on and know that you have the next meal to change it up. Keep learning from your experience and look forward, not back.

Make your food look good: The food’s appearance can change your eating speed and your relationship with the food. Is it something worth savoring, slowly appreciating every bite? This is the fuel that is taking your body through its day, it deserves to be celebrated! 

At the grocery, shop on the perimeter of the store: I prefer to grow our own food, shop at local farmer’s markets and use CSAs, but when I do shop at the grocery, I only walk around the outside of the store. I also use the dirty dozen rule of thumb for organic produce and buy organic gras fed dairy, eggs, and meats whenever possible. You are what your food eats remember that.

Enjoy your meal creations without interruptions from screens: Make a point to sit down and savor the meals you create without a phone or TV screaming for attention. Be mindful while you eat. Actually looking at and chewing your food will allow the brain to process that you are eating and you will be able to TASTE your food! 


  • Increase your overall health
  • Weight management
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Increased energy
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Potentially prevent and manage diabetes


  • Skip the milk and cereal. Start your day with a protein rich breakfast, like two eggs with 1/4 cup of black beans cooked in a tablespoon of fat and topped with salsa and sprouts. If a morning shake is more your speed, I like Four Sigmatic Plant Based Protein mixed with berries, greens and almond milk. (15% off using code: Chelseajyoung 
  • Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water, coffee, tea instead of sodas or juices. .
  • Cook one more meal per week than you did previously, instead of eating out. Try one more vegetable in your weekly routine than you did last week.


  • Find a source of recipes that follow the eating principles I've laid out above.
  • Plan your meals for the upcoming week, put a shopping list together, and only buy what’s on your list.
  • Switch over to eating organic produce, see if it makes a difference in how you feel. Try cooking three meals for yourself a week, eliminating processed foods from 50% of your meals.


  • Eliminate all processed white sugars.
  • Eliminate all white carbohydrates.
  • Refine the ratio of fats, proteins and carbs.
  • Eat high quality and organic foods where it makes the most impact.
  • Check in while cooking, during eating and after eating your meals how do you feel? 
  • Make meals beautiful, lots of colors, fresh whole foods.
  • Experiment with different variations of the following to see what works best for you: ketogenic, slow carb, paleo, Whole 30, etc. Some will thrive on more carbs, some will do better with higher protein and some need more fats to feel energized through the day.
  • Know that it's okay to change week to week, especially for women our cycles will help dictate what we need. The key is to listen to our bodies. 

What I Eat

Normal day: Coffee with cashew milk & collagen  
On a big calorie burn day: Protein Shake or eggs, black beans, salsa

Mid-Morning snack: I usually don’t snack, but if I do, it's 1/8 cup of raw nuts, seeds and dried fruit (macadamia, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, cherries, apples, cranberries, goji berries)  

Lunch: Lots of veggies - I love to make bowls
A protein like salmon, tuna, turkey, lentils
Healthy fats like avocado, olives, homemade dressing or store-bought (Tessemae’s is my favorite)
Carbs in the form of roasted veggies like butternut squash or sweet potatoes!

Dinner: ‘Zoodles’ (Zucchini Noodles) with Marinara Sauce
Ground turkey meatballs (easily baked in the oven) drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled parmesan cheese for fat.
Glass of red wine.

Dessert: Grab a small mason jar and fill with 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, a dollop of almond butter, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tablespoon of raw cocoa, and a sprinkling of raw pumpkin seeds. Give it a good shake, and by the time dinner and dishes are done, I have a chia seed pudding!