Healthy eating on a budget

We heard from people who find it challenging to eat healthy on a budget. It’s such a great question and many folks, especially students, want to eat well and struggle with where to start.  Some of you may feel that you have no choice but to buy more expensive processed foods because you believe you can’t afford good nutrition.  There are many ways you can stretch your food dollar without sacrificing your health. Here are just FIVE tips to help you get started with making the most of your food dollar and eat well.

  1. Plan your meals
    Planning menus ahead lets you buy just what you need and stay on budget. It’s also a good way to avoid wasted food and help you lower you food costs. Planning reduces the time and stress of unplanned shopping trips and last minute dilemmas ‘what’s for dinner’. Before you go shopping think about what foods you’d like to eat/prepare. Know your food budget and adjust your menus as needed.
  2. Prepare a shopping list.
    Studies show that keeping a running grocery list is a great way to stay on track – it jogs your memory, saves money at the store, saves time too. It also keeps you from buying what you don’t need. Bottom line: Write a list and STICK TO IT.
    During Covid 19 many people prefer a paper list so they don’t have to handle their phones in the grocery store. When you prepare your list organize the items you need by category to match the store layout – for example, produce for veg and fruit, dairy, meat, bakery , frozen and grocery. We created this terrific Be Well Efficient shopping list that you can download from our website to help create your shopping list. Clicking on this link and then the image for your copy of the Be Well! Efficient Grocery Shopping List by L.Weiler RD
  3. Stock up on healthy staples that are on sale.
    Check for grocery store deals. Look for healthy food items on sale – fresh or frozen vegetables, fruit, canned beans, canned fish and meats and poultry. Dried foods are also budget friendly like dried beans, pasta, rice and oatmeal & they keep for a long time. If you like quiona buy it on SALE. Take advantage of local / seasonal produce. The price may be lower depending on where you shop. Fruits and vegetables are frozen at their peak of freshness so they are just as nutritious as fresh. You can easily add frozen or canned veggies to main dishes like casseroles and stews. You can also use frozen fruits in oatmeal, yogurt, baking and smoothies. Great choices include any dark green or orange like edamame (which are soybeans that boost protein content), peas and carrots or dark coloured berries.
  4. Cook once eat twice.
    Plan meals to make more than what you need today and enjoy the leftovers in another meal the next day. Cook extra whole grains like quinoa or barley for dinner and make a salad bowl recipe for lunch. If you eat meat and find lean cuts on sale consider buying a bit extra, roasting it and then incorporate it into another meal later. Look for recipes from Registered Dietitians that give you tips for using leftovers in your next meal.
  5. Store food properly
    Which uneaten food do you throw out most often?  Did you know that the most wasted foods in Canadian households are vegetables (30%), fruit (15%), and leftovers (13%) of total waste. So if you toss vegetables and fruit or leftovers in the trash then you’re like many Canadians. By eating the food you buy and storing it properly you will save money and reduce waste. If you find it challenging to be mindful of food storage here are some tips you could consider:
    • Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of the antioxidant beta carotene. They’ll last for at least two weeks.
    • Leafy greens tend to wilt within a week. So, shop and plan your menu accordingly.
    • Apples spoil 10 times faster in the fruit bowl than in the fridge.
    • Potatoes like a cool, dark spot so they don’t soften and sprout.
    • Keep cooked food in the fridge for 3-4 days and if you can’t eat it, freeze it for later use.

Visit our website for more tips and insights. Follow us on IG! @LuciaWeilerRD @Nutrition4NonNutritionists

Pivot to Positive Word Power

Did you know that a single negative word can increase fear and stress in the brain, while positive words promote brain function? Using positive words improves people’s mood both at home and at work. This is true in ordinary times and imagine the increased impact during a pandemic. Deliberately choosing positive language takes energy and awareness but it’s worth in it the long run. Consider how you can start ditching words like no, not, can’t won’t in your writing or when speaking with others. Recognize negative words like “unfortunately,” “impossible” and “problems” as flags and look for ways to revise.  It took me a long time and I’m still working on it. With that in mind, here are some negative words and phrases that are used often along with positive alternatives. Try leading by example and choose positivity to help overcome the negativity of these uncharted times.

 

How to Turn 10 Everyday Phrases

From NEGATIVE

 To POSITIVE

Don’t hesitate to call Please call
Don’t forget Remember
I’m not available on.. I can meet at…
Why not? Sounds good
I can’t hear you Can you speak louder / more clearly
It’s not hard to do You can do hard things
Not a problem You are welcome
I can’t talk now Can I talk to you later?
I won’t buy that Instead of that, what if we….
Don’t get upset I understand you feel  that way…

 

4 Fridge rules for food safety & wellness

Can you think of a time when you found something in your fridge you did not recognize?  Or a special food you bought was misplaced only to turn up spoiled? Well you’re not alone!  In today’s busy home kitchens these things happen.  As a dietitian and food safety professional I can offer you some evidence based advice to help you keep your food cool safely, save you money and reduce waste. Follow these tips for safe food storage in your fridge.

1. Refrigerate perishable foods promptly.
After shopping or cooking how do you put food in the fridge? You may be surprised to discover there is a recommended safe way to store perishable foods.

  • When you return home from shopping put perishable foods in the fridge quickly. Follow the safe food storage tips outlined in this article.
  • If you have extra food after cooking refrigerate leftover foods within two hours. Use clear shallow containers or baggies to store leftovers. Pro tip: separate larger amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.

2. Label cooked food containers with name of the food and date you made them.
It’s a lot to ask sometimes to remember when you ate that leftover food that’s sitting in your fridge. To help jog your memory try these foodservice professional’s practices.

  • Place a label on the food containers with the name and date when you made them before putting them in the fridge. Keep a roll of masking tape and a marker handy.
  • Use clear containers with a lid to protect the food and see what is in it.

Leftovers are safe in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you don’t have a chance to eat leftovers within this time, move them to the freezer for later use.

3. Practice safe food storage order.
Did you know there is a best way ‘hierarchy’ to store perishable foods in your fridge? Here are the foodservice pro’s fridge rules to keep foods safe and organized.

  • TOP SHELF – Keep ready to eat fully cooked leftovers here so they are at eye level. Remember to eat leftover foods within 3-4 days of cooking or move them to the freezer.
  • MIDDLE SHELVES: The mid-section of the fridge is best for dairy such as milks, cheeses, yogurt and butter, eggs.
  • BOTTOM SHELF – RAW / uncooked MEAT: Store uncooked fish, meat at the bottom – lowest shelf or meat drawer. To prevent juices from leaking and cross contaminating other foods, store raw fish, meat and poultry wrapped and place it on a plate or in a sealed container.
  • CRISPER DRAWERS – These sealed compartments are specially designed to keep the humidity right for veggies and fruit. Remember fresh fruit, many vegetables and herbs are perishable and require refrigerated storage to keep them fresh longer.
  • Mind the doors. The temperature in the door is not always consistent. So play it safe and keep items that don’t spoil easily, such as condiments, in the fridge door.

4. Clean your fridge regularly and keep it in good running condition.
A fridge is often a ‘taken for granted’ appliance and giving it a little attention helps keep it running well. After all it stores hundreds of dollars’ worth of food that must be kept cold so it doesn’t spoil as fast and make us sick.

  • Declutter your fridge contents regularly. An overstuffed fridge restricts airflow and it may hinder proper cooling. Toss out items that are past their prime and keep foods that are before their expiration date.
  • Clean out your fridge regularly. It’s not enough to just wipe up the obvious messes. Wash down shelves and drawers with soapy water and use a sanitizer to reduce germs.
  • Monitor your fridge’s temperature – it should be between 1-4 degrees Celsius (36-40 Fahrenheit.) Keep a backup thermometer in your fridge for food safety.

Watch my one minute VIDEO summary and tips on the 4 Fridge Rules here:

If you can implement some of these savvy fridge food storage tips, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your food safe, wasting less food and saving more of your money. Good luck and if you have any questions or would like more information contact us at  Lucia@weilernutrition.com 

5 tips for engaging online meetings

Online get-togethers are the new normal way of working and socializing. You’ve probably become quite savvy with the technology whether it’s for work meetings or connecting with friends. But are you participating in virtual meetings with flare? As a consulting dietitian, teacher and facilitator I also pivoted to going fully online. Our team is creating even better content to inform, educate and engage with people. In addition to leveraging technology we also focus on building the human connections that are so very important at this time. Here are 5 tips to help you build engaging meetings online.

  1. Open with a smile
    Whether you are using video or only audio your smile will carry in your voice. Positivity catches on and no matter what you say your tone is more upbeat and friendly when you say it with a smile.
  2. Start with a welcoming icebreaker activity
    A quick opening activity is a terrific way to strengthen relationships and build goodwill. Give your team members a chance to find connections and discover common ground. Food and nutrition topics naturally lend themselves to positive conversation starters that everyone can relate to.
  3. Use people’s names in conversation
    People pay attention to the sound of their name more than any other word in a conversation. When you use someone’s name it makes them feel valued and important.
  4. Mind the time
    Did you know most people’s attention span is about 20 minutes? With so many obligations to juggle, directing everyone’s focus to the purpose of the meeting encourages participation. Create an agenda to help make the most of your time together and meet the needs of people on the call.
  5. Show appreciation
    Saying thank you is a powerful acknowledgement of another person’s efforts. Being grateful has potential health benefits as well. During these changing times showing support and appreciation is good practice for everyone.

Ask us about how to add flare to your meetings, boost engagement and build stronger teams. We offer lunch and learn sessions and provide professional resources.

N4NN ONLINE training services

Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists™ (n4nn) is a leader in nutrition training communications internationally. Since 2007, the course has supported 100’s of food and beverage professionals across Canada to communicate about nutrition issues with more confidence.

Co-Founders Lucia Weiler and Sue Mah design engaging educational courses specifically to help your business leverage the growing consumer interest in nutrition and healthy foods.

  • Developed by experienced adult educators leveraging best practice learning solutions and a variety of mediums including e-learning, virtual facilitation, and blended learning
  • Delivered and facilitated online by dietitian experts N4NN is a perfect fit to your small to mid-sized training programs
  • Contact us to help your team continue to learn, grow and innovate in a mature, professional learning environment