Updated: Feb 5
Basheerah Enahora, RDN, LDN, MS, MBA is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, certified mindfulness meditation teacher, adjunct professor at JCSU and owner of BE Nutrition LLC. Through her one-on-one and group work with clients, writing and speaking, Basheerah helps people who are frustrated with dieting reach their health and weight goals while rediscovering the joy of eating. She also works with those suffering with diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome/disease, chronic migraines, food allergies and sensitivities.
Basheerah holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is licensed as a Dietitian in North and South Carolina. She has worked clinically in Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina, providing patients with medical nutrition therapy and both acute and chronic disease management. Basheerah also holds an MBA from Duke University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. As a Nutrition doctoral candidate at UNC Greensboro, Basheerah plans to focus on the use of technology to impact nutrition and weight loss behavior.
A few fun facts about Basheerah, she’s an amateur chef, food blogger, serious foodie, chocolate lover, wanderlust traveler, runner and wine enthusiast. You can typically find her running to and from the kitchen.
We're at the beginning of the new year, and we've all had some sort of resolution. Many of us swore to eat better and work out more. with Basheerah's expertise in all things nutrition, we had to ask her a few questions on how to achieve our goals.
DL: You run a business called, Be Nutrition. Tell us about that.
BE: BE Nutrition is a wellness company dedicated to helping women embrace a holistic lifestyle. Our mission is to empower women to understand true nourishment and look past the number on a scale as a measure of success. Every woman is unique, with her own set of nutritional, medical, and lifestyle needs. We combine proven science with mindfulness to create an individualized healthy eating pattern just for you. Our focus is not just on what you eat, but also on how and why you eat. Together, we look at the connection between your biology and habits that form your health and relationship with food. We empower you with the understanding of how to properly nourish your mind, body, and soul. We believe that you must prioritize your health and put yourself first, no matter how busy your life is. No excuses - you are worth your top priority. Create the life you’re meant to have by replacing neglect, shame or negativity with self-love and proper nourishment.
DL: We’re at the beginning of the year and most of us have made resolutions to eat better and work out more. How can we keep that momentum so that we don’t fall back into old habits?
BE: Eating well doesn’t require extremes like eliminating entire food groups, detoxing, fasts and cleanses. My advice is to start with where you are and find ways to add in more nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. For example, if you regularly cook spaghetti, add bell peppers, spinach or other vegetables to your sauce. Or pick the meal where you struggle the most. If you always find yourself stopping for fast food for breakfast, then plan something more nutritious to make at home or take with you, like a packet of oatmeal, or Greek yogurt, or fruit and nuts. Typically, trying to overhaul everything at once, or every meal at once, leaves us frustrated, tired of eating the same thing, and back to square one. When trying to improve our health, we should focus on making changes that are sustainable long term, not quick fixes.
DL: This makes so much sense. I often find myself trying to change all of my bad eating habits at once And I'm frustrated after about a week. So What does setting a realistic nutritional health goal actually look like?
BE: Setting nutrition goals varies from individual to individual. When I work with clients the first thing I do is assess their nutrient intake and their dietary habits. What I’m looking for is what nutrients they may be over or under consuming on average, what food groups are missing and how does that align with their medical history (ie chronic or acute disease) and lifestyle (ie frequency of cooking from whole foods, work schedules, exercise regimen). Nutritional goals then vary based on my assessment in the initial consultation. In general terms however, the dietary pattern of most Americans is woefully low in vegetables and fiber. So, a realistic goal could be to eat an ½ cup to 1 cup of vegetables, at lunch and dinner, or at least at one of those meals and add on from there.
DL: Is there a way to eliminate shame and guilt when you’ve over indulged without straying away from your diet all together?
BE: We should not feel any guilt, nor shame about our food choices. Food is more than just nutrition. It’s memories, connection, fellowship, joy, love. It’s so many things to each of us and because we connect so much over food, we are bound to over indulge and that’s ok. When we eat something that’s more indulgent, we should enjoy it, savor every single bite, and then move on. If someone is struggling with this, then I recommend they reach out to me and schedule a consultation.
DL: I love that answer. How can someone get in touch with you for a consult?
BE: The best way to reach me is via email at email@example.com to schedule an appointment or free 15 minute discovery call. You can also complete the contact form on my website at www.benutritionco.com to get in touch. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram @benutritionco
DL: What should my diet consist of to maintain a healthy gut?
BE: Research around gut health is still in its infancy and a healthy gut is different for everyone. What research has shown us thus far, is that individuals with the greatest diversity of gut bacteria, which we think has a positive effect on our health, eat more than 30 different plant-based foods per week. Eating a wide variety of plant-based food is beneficial for our health and our gut. However, that does not mean you need to be vegan or vegetarian. We simply need to focus on eating more whole, less processed, plant-based foods. Take your time and experiment with different foods. You also don’t want to increase the amount of fiber you eat too drastically, as that can lead to constipation, diarrhea or IBS.
DL: How can we maintain a healthy diet while traveling whether it be a road trip or flying?
BE: One of the best things we can do to eat healthy while traveling is to plan ahead. Do a little leg work beforehand to see what food options are available on your route, or in the city you’re traveling to. In addition, If you’re traveling by car or train, pack your own food and snacks and save money at the same time. My favorite snacks to take on the road are baby carrots, mini cucumbers, hummus, RX Bars and SkinnyPop (or any air popped popcorn). If traveling by air, it’s generally a good idea to eat at home before heading to the airport. Airport offerings are expanding more and more to include healthy options, but why leave it up to chance or spend more money buying food at the airport?
Our conversation with Basheerah was helpful and eye opening. I hope she helped all of us realize that we may not be doing as bad as we thought we were.
Basheerah also offers meal plans for anyone who’s interested in streamlining the meal planning process. The platform is a dynamic, providing whole food menu ideas each week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Basheerah works with clients to further customize their menu options, including adding in their own recipes, however the meal plans are open to anyone not just her clients. Anyone can sign up for a 3-day free trial and then if you decide to continue it’s $19/month and can be canceled at any time. You can sign up at https://www.benutritionco.com/meal-plan