A Kitchen Cheat Sheet from The Baron Method
Health advocate and nutritional coach Harvie de Baron started the Baron Method to share his secrets to sustainable, healthy eating.
Do you ever question if your kids are eating right? I do. Constantly. I worry if they’re getting enough calories, absorbing the right nutrients, achieving the right balance of food groups—the list of what keeps me up at night goes on. So I decided to sit down with nutrition coach and Baron Method founder Harvie De Baron to learn more about what it really means to give our kids a healthy diet.
Harvie’s clients run the gamut from star-athletes to cancer patients, but their testimonials are pretty much consistent: that the Baron Method works, and that its tenet “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food“ is truly transformative. Still, I was skeptical (Can this work for kids—real kids—who love Nutella and fries?) and nervous (Was I about to get a guilt-laden lecture on everything I’ve been doing wrong?).
Here are my 5 biggest take-aways from my time with Harvie:
1. Make it a family affair.
You probably already nag your kids to eat more veggies, but adults don’t get a free pass. Can kids really be expected to follow the Baron Method? Yes, as long as their parents are along for the ride as well. It’s much easier to adopt lifestyle changes when everyone else around you is doing it. In fact, Harvie says his clients’ success rates increase by 60% if the entire family is onboard. So before anything else, commit to doing it together.
TIP: While Harvie only requires parents and the household cook to be present during Baron Method consultations, he says kids as young as nine are keen on learning about their own health and would benefit a lot from listening in.
2. Deprivation won’t get you anywhere.
“If we deprive children of something they want to eat, they’ll eventually just go behind our back. And that is the worst,” says Harvie. Instead of banning their not-so-healthy favorites, make smart switches. Want fried chicken? Fry it in culinary coconut oil instead of canola oil. Craving for nachos? Swap the sour cream with Greek yogurt. Hankering for a nice, juicy steak? Go with grass-fed beef, which is high in omega-3 and will actually help lower your cholesterol. Oh and did I mention there’s a Baron Method-aproved recipe for homemade Nutella? “Part of transforming your life through the healing power of food is making sure you find alternatives,” says Harvie.
TIP: Serving the healthy version of your kids’ favorites at home lessens the appeal of their fast food counterparts.
These brownies are calling your name, right? But no worries, they're one of the Baron Method's many "clean cheat" recipes. They're totally free of gluten and refined sugar. Recipe coming soon!
3. There’s junk food. And then there’s the junk IN food.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. There’s the devil you know—chips, candy, soda, and the rest of the usual suspects. And then there’s the one you don’t. Like the food coloring in your soy sauce. Or the amount of refined sugar in your supposedly healthy yogurt drink or whole wheat bread (this last one, I clearly cannot get over). The only way around it is to be vigilant in reading food ingredient labels.
TIP: Want a cheat sheet on what to look out for? Harvie names the 6 worst ingredients and where to watch out for them:
- Refined sugars (Found in breads, instant juice, and even children’s vitamins!)
- Hydrogenated oils (Breads again! Also in cakes and crackers.)
- Sodium nitrates (Hotdogs, sausages, and luncheon meats like Spam are made with this.)
- MSG (It’s in instant noodles...but you already knew that, right? Don’t touch that stuff!)
- Artificial sweeteners (They’re pretty much in everything that says “sugar-free”. Because they’re technically not sugar, get it?)
- Artificial colors (Be especially wary of Yellow #5 or Tartrazine. That can turn up in really surprising places—like soy sauce! Who knew?)
4. You don’t have to live in a bubble.
Children’s party at a fast food joint? One holiday get-together after another? Visiting relatives want to spoil your kids silly with sweets? Don’t fret. The Baron Method allows, and even embraces, “cheat days”. “If the menu is out of your hands, just chalk it as a cheat day and move on,” Harvie says. Eating, after all, is a bonding experience. As long as you’re eating well most of the time, there’s no need to isolate yourself in the name of nutrition.
TIP: About one cheat day a week is fair for most reasonably healthy people, according to Harvie.
Imagine my joy when Harvie gave me license to have the occasional fried chicken--my ultimate guilty pleasure!
5. Be in it for the long haul.
The Baron Method discourages deprivation and encourages healthier, nutrient-rich alternatives and the occasional cheat day precisely because the lifestyle changes need to last a lifetime. “The most important thing about transforming your health is it should be sustainable,” says Harvie. “The commitment needs to be there.” Harvie is the first to admit that making the change is doable but also very difficult. There are former clients who have fallen off the wagon and no longer follow the program. But then there are the success stories—adults and children who beat cancer, basketball and swimming stars putting in career-high performances, and families that now love their new, healthier lives. Harvie puts it plainly: “It will take a lot of effort. But like anything worth having, I tell you, it’s worth it!”
TIP: After their 6-month program is over, Baron Method clients can continue to avail of Harvie’s consultation services quarterly, free of charge.
The Baron Method is an intensive 6-month nutritional coaching program which takes into account each individual’s current state of health, existing lifestyle, and schedule. The program includes kitchen intervention, recipes, tools and appliance recommendations, and personalized micronutrient recommendations, among others. Clients now also have the option to avail of food delivery and personal training services. To learn more about the Baron Method, visit www.baronmethod.com or book a free consultation via +63917 852 2854.
(0917) 852 2854