Category: Courses & training

What’s the REAL healthy Mediterranean-style diet?

eggplant 1May was International Mediterranean Diet Month and the perfect time to explore the secrets of a diet-lifestyle that is connected to many health benefits including increased quality of life and lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. In search of inspiration I traveled to Italy as Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist faculty with 30 HUMBER College students, 2 chefs to teach and learn about the healthy Mediterranean diet. For 2 weeks we visited farms, cooking schools and restaurants to explore culinary tips. (You can see our journey on twitter and facebook LuciaWeilerRD #HRTItaly2016)

I was surprised to learn how many people were mixed up about what is the REAL healthy Mediterranean-style diet. Fix the mix-up with my 6-point checklist.

Tasty Italian food such as pizza, pasta (which we love to enjoy from time to time as well) is not the real pattern of a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. The healthy Mediterranean diet is the traditional eating pattern of those who live along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a culturally diverse region with over 20 countries including Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and North African countries. This classic Mediterranean-style of eating was one of the three approaches for healthy eating recommended by the latest USDA Dietary Guidelines. Here is our 6-point checklist to recognize a Healthy Mediterranean-style diet that is based on nutrient dense, quality food.

  1. Plant based, using vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
  2. Olive oil (which is high in monounsaturated fat) is a key ingredient
  3. Moderate fish / meat consumption
  4. Flavour boost from lemon, garlic, herbs, cheese, yogurt
  5. Wine with meals in low to moderate amounts
  6. Food and meals are enjoyed in the company of family, friends or community

Interested in learning more about the Mediterranean-style diet? Contact me for tips from our culinary travels and recipe collections. For starters try this “Memories of Italy” healthy snack: sliced pears topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese chunks and walnuts, drizzled with aged traditional balsamic vinegar (not the popular store variety). walnut cheese balsamic vinegar drizzle


Workplace Wellness & Nutrition Month 2015


Happy Nutrition Month and Welcome to Eating 9 to 5! – the 2015 campaign headed by Dietitians of Canada which is all about eating well at work.  The following content is courtesy Dietitians of Canada:

According to a poll by Ipsos Reid, 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging. Research shows that eating well at work can boost concentration and productivity and overall wellness.

Employers also benefit from workplace wellness initiatives. Healthy employees are less likely to be absent from work and more likely to perform well.  Dietitian-led workplace wellness initiatives have been shown to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 60%, lower heart disease risk by lowering blood pressure and improve healthy eating behaviours like increasing vegetable, fruit and fibre intake.

Throughout the month of March dietitians across Canada will be sharing their food and nutrition expertise and serving up tips to: combat rushed mornings; improve choices at meetings, events and in the workplace; revive lunchtime; fight the mid-day slump and manage commuter cravings.

Tips include:

  • Avoid the drive-thru. Try fast, make-ahead breakfasts like whole grain muffins or a homemade breakfast sandwich.
  • Get the most out of your meetings. Order brain food, not drain food!
  • Did you know? In a company of 100 staff, celebrating each birthday adds eight slices of cake a month! Celebrate everyone’s birthday together instead.
  • Midday slump sinking in? No need for caffeine! Energize with a walk, some water or a small snack.
  • Long commute? Before you head home, grab a drink to wet your whistle. Sip on water, a plain latte or tea.

For more tips for ‘Eating 9 to 5!’ and more information about Nutrition Month 2015 contact us at . Book us now for an energizing Lunch and Learn presentation or an interactive nutrition display to meet your employees’ health and wellness needs. Consider integrating healthy nutrition approaches into your leadership training programs. We’ll offer strategies and solutions for tackling your everyday workplace challenges, and promote engagement across the organization that leads to an improved corporate health and wellness profile. We are also available to consult with your HR team to develop a workplace wellness plan and improve the nutrition environment in your workplace.  Here is to a healthy workday!

Is your food making you sick? Check out our tips on keeping your food safe and how to learn more.

one in eight canadians become sickOne in eight Canadians (or four million people) get sick due to food illness each year according to a recent report by The Public Health Agency of Canada. The most common source of contaminated food is from your own home and from eating out. Although Canada has a very safe food supply, the fact that many people get sick from eating shows that there is much more work to be done in keeping food safe. One of the key factors in keeping food safe is education so that cooks at home and in restaurants can make good decisions to keep food safe.

Do you know the top tips to keep your food safe? Here are some common questions about important factors that can help you keep the food you eat and serve safe.

Q1: It’s always best to rinse chicken before you cook it.
A: False. Rinsing the chicken can spread the bacteria around your kitchen and increase the risk of a food-borne illness. When you fully cook your chicken to a safe internal temperature, the bacteria will be killed.

Q2: Bacteria can’t survive in a cold refrigerator.
A: False. Some bacteria can survive & grow in cool, moist places like the fridge. Listeria monocytogens is a good example and it can cross contaminate other foods in your fridge.

Q3: You can tell if a food is cooked by looking at it.
A: False. The best way to tell if your food is cooked properly is to use a food thermometer.

Q4: What are the most important organisms responsible for causing food-borne illness in Canada?
A: Norovirus, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter and Salmonella.

Q 5: What is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness?
A: Wash your hands, and I mean really wash your hands for 20 seconds using hot water and soap.

Want to learn more about safe food handling practices and earn your food safety certificate? We offer government approved TRAINCAN programs about safe food handling practices that meet regulations and accreditation standards for provincial and municipal certification. BASICS.fst Food Safety Training (Employee Level Training) and ADVANCED.fst Food Safety Training (Managerial and Supervisor Level Training) are taught by experienced registered dietitians -nutritionists.

Contact us or click here for more information about our Food Safety Training courses.