Tag Archives: Healthy eating

Healthy Eating for Celebrations

Lucia shares tips on how to navigate the holiday season with mindful eating and nutrition strategies

Do you face holiday food and eating challenges? You’re not alone! Canadians tend to spend more on food and beverages during the holidays. Did you know food and beverage purchase at large retailers go up by about 16% in December compared to other average monthly sales?

This abundance of food in a celebratory environment can be challenging when your plan is to eat healthy. However, there are many ways to enjoy get-togethers and keep up with your healthy eating goals.

Here are some tips to help keep up healthy eating during celebrations:

  • Healthy eating means making a habit of eating a variety of healthy foods each day. During celebrations continue to try eating plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grain foods and protein foods.
  • Keep an eye on portion size. It’s usually not WHAT you eat but HOW MUCH of a food type you eat that makes a difference. Enjoy all the foods you like and remember to keep treat foods portion sizes small – such as one small piece of dessert or deep fried food.
  • Be choosy in what you eat. Limit the sweets and choose more vegetables. Skip the chips and creamy dips and go for bean dips or hummus instead. Read nutrition fact labels when choosing packaged foods. Check the % Daily Value (DV) and remember 5% or less DV for a nutrient is a little and 15% DV or higher for a nutrient is a lot. Look for foods with LESS saturated fat, sugars and sodium. Choose foods with MORE fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Make water your drink of choice.
  • Enjoy celebrations & practice mindful eating. Savour the moment, the flavours and enjoy the get together. Depriving yourself of special holiday or party foods, or feeling guiltily when you do enjoy them is neither a healthy strategy nor part of the spirit of a festive get together. Let go of any food related guilt. Embrace and nurture your relationship with food. Share your love of food – it unites us all!Wishing you happy holidays and joyful celebrations which are wonderful times to bring people together.

How to peel a pomegranate

Are you looking to add a pop of colour & burst of flavour to your salads & roasted veggies? Pomegranate seeds are all the rage. Getting to the seeds can be messy, but by removing them under water you keep the seeds from taking over your kitchen. Scroll on for my tips on how to get to the best part of this tasty fruit.

  1. Cut off the top of the pomegranate with a sharp knife. (The top is end is crown shaped, not flat)
  2. Cut into the skin of the pomegranate from top to bottom and place pomegranate in a large bowl of water. Be sure its fully covered to keep the juices from splattering.
  3. Pull apart the fruit under water to expose the seeds and separate them from the membrane. The seeds tend to sink in water while the white membrane holding the seeds floats to the top. Just skim it off. Drain the seeds & enjoy as is, or add to salads & roasted veggies.

How do you like to eat pomegranate?

Googly eye strawberries

Fruit with eyes?  Now that changes everything! Kids love these fun and spooky treats all year round, but they are right on theme for Halloween. Strawberries are a tasty, healthy, convenient snack any time of day. You can also use them to add a burst of flavour in your snacks and meals. To make these funny faces, take some fresh @castrawberries and line them up with the green leafy part on top to make it look like tufts of ‘hair’.  Then, strategically place a couple of googly eyes (small sugar drops available in bulk food stores) on the strawberry’s ‘face’ and add a small chocolate chip ‘nose’.  You may want to make a slight cut in the berry and place the eyes and nose a little below the fruit’s surface to keep them in place. A tray of these googly eyed strawberry faces will disappear fast and bring smiles to everyone.  What’s your favourite googly eye fruit? #SnackOn8  #Dietitian

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Do you love pumpkin flavoured beverages? Here is a tasty & better for you version that’s homemade & dietitian approved.
Enjoy as flavoured milk or add it to brewed coffee for a tasty latte. Scroll on for how to make it. ⁣

Yields 3 servings. ⁣

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 4 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple syrup. ⁣

Preparation:

  1. In a large measuring cup or bowl, warm the milk in the microwave for 3 minutes on medium high.
  2. Add pumpkin puree and whisk it into the warm milk.
  3. Add 1 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp maple syrup to the ‘pumpkin milk’.
  4. Mix well to keep pumpkin purée from settling on the bottom of this flavoured milk.⁣⁣
  5. Enjoy as ‘pumpkin milk’ or add to freshly brewed coffee for a delicious latte. Top with frothed milk & sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. ⁣
    How do you like your pumpkin spice drinks?

Healthful Reset for Fall

Image Source: Bigstock

Are you looking for great tips to kick-start fall? Many of our clients are looking to squeeze in some professional development before year end and at the same time reset personal health routines. As dietitians – the food and nutrition experts – we can help!

People are spending eight hours a day – and probably more – at work, let’s make them count for health and wellness! Also, travelling can do a number on even the most conscientious eaters. Many Canadians are surprised to hear that eating well on the job could improve their concentration and productivity. Other benefits of workplace wellness programs include better employee morale, reduced absenteeism and turnover and enhanced recruiting.

Here are five tips to spark your healthful reset at work and at home.

  1. Keep it real
    Set realistic expectations without black and white thinking. Consider why you are making healthy choices. List the reasons and keep it handy as a reminder to help you stay on track.
  2. Have a plan
    There is no perfect way to eat well that works for everyone. Find a healthful way to change your food journey one small step at a time. For a list of ideas that fit your goals check out credible tips from registered dietitians.
  3. Keep unhealthy foods out of your home
    If you don’t buy it you’re less likely to eat it. Stick to buying wholesome foods and put food away when you’re finished eating. Remember, drinking water is the best way to stay well hydrated.
  4. Pack & carry to eat on the go
    When you’re on the go at school or at work it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating plan. Pack some healthy foods at home and carry them with you to eat later. If you eat out, check the foodservice options in advance for healthy choices.
  5. Practice mindful eating
    Enjoy the food you’re eating and appreciate all that has gone into getting it from the farm to your table. Mindful eating helps build a healthy relationship with food.

Improving your eating habits takes time and it’s not easy. However, finding a few strategies that work for you in the long run will be your best bet for health and wellness. Are you ready to embrace healthy eating? As dietitians we translate the science of nutrition and offer life- changing advice for healthy living. Contact us for more information – we can help make it a little easier for you to choose, eat and enjoy healthy food.

Boost your snack with berries.

Are you snacking more often? You’re not alone! Canadians love their snacks, and many would like to pick healthier options between meals. You can boost your nutrient intake by snacking on colorful fresh berries including strawberries.  Did you know California strawberries are picked in peak season and readily available in grocery stores? Strawberries are a tasty, healthy, convenient snack any time of day and you can also use them to bring on a burst of flavour in your snacks and meals.  Try this tasty, easy arugula and strawberry salad and enjoy it at home or carry it with you for eating on the go.

Recipe: Tasty Arugula and Strawberry Salad

This tasty salad is chef inspired and dietitian approved! Layers of fresh greens like Arugula, fresh juicy strawberries, sharp cheese topped with tangy sweet vinaigrette dressing make it a staple in my menu.

Here is how I like to put it together:


Image of Arugula Strawberry Salad with strawberries in foreground. L.Weiler RD

Ingredients

  • Arugula (3 cups)
  • Strawberries (8 berries halved )
  • Red onion slices (1/4 cup)
  • Sharp cheese shredded to taste (cheddar or parmesan); (2 Tbsp)
  • Cider or balsamic vinaigrette dressing* (3 Tbsp)

Serves 2 (110 calorie snacks)

* Cider Vinaigrette:

    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp water
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
      In a small measuring cup or jar with a lid, combine oil, vinegar, water, mustard and black pepper. Mix well.  Makes about 6 Tbsp (90 mL)

 

Greek Salad & Chicken Bowl

Are you looking for a tasty & healthy Caesar salad recipe that makes the grade? Check out this student made dietitian approved dish that may ‘make healthy your new favourite’ .

 Makes 5 servings of 4 cups (450 g)

 Ingredients:      

  • 13 cups (700 g) romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups (340 g) tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups (300 g) red pepper, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) English cucumber, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup (200 g) pre-cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1 large (150 g) red onion, sliced
  • 1 six inch(64 g) whole wheat pita bread, cut in pieces
  • 3 tbsp (25 g) olives
  • 3 tbsp (22 g) light feta cheese
  • 4 small (20 g) green onion, sliced

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 ½ tbsp (40 mL) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp (3 g) garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp (1 g) dill weed, dried
  • ½ tsp (1 g) oregano, ground

Preparation: 

  1. Wash, rinse and dry lettuce leaves then chop into bite size pieces.
  2. Cut all other vegetables to appropriate sizes
  3. Make Dressing: Mix together oil, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, oregano, and dill.
  4. Mix the dressing and toss all salad ingredients together.
  5. Place pre-cooked chicken pieces and pita bread pieces on top of salad.

Recipe created by: Humber College HRT Students
Image source & Nutrition Facts table: Lucia Weiler RD, PHEc, Humber College Faculty and Advisor

Healthy food tips for your game day party

Hey Sports Fans! Are you ready for the big game day party? When you’re gearing up to enjoy a big sports game, food, beverage and fun times come to mind. Whether you’re actually there for the game or just for the fun of the party you can gather ‘round without giving up on your healthy eating plan.

Here are some savvy food tips aligned with the latest recommendations of Canada’s new food guide for you to enjoy food and keep connected to your healthy eating goals.

Boost the veggies

This is the number 1 healthy eating recommendation in Canada’s new food guide.

  • Let veggies take the starring role at your party food platter. Serve lots of colour, crunch
  • Whip up tasty and nutritious dips such as hummus or guacamole.

Choose whole grain foods

Looking for a crunch?

  • Slice up and toast some whole grain fajitas to swap out the chips for a healthier option.
  • Air-popped popcorn is a great whole grain snack and source of dietary fiber. Serve it plain, or try adding different popcorn flavors such as smoked paprika or chili powder.

Get creative with your protein

Are you making crown pleasing party foods such as meatballs or chili?

Drinking

Okay, so it’s a party and alcoholic drinks are on the menu. Simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Canada’s low risk alcohol drinking guidelines for special occasions suggest no more than 3 drinks for women; no more than 4 drinks for men on any single occasion.
  • Set your limits and stick to it.
  • Drink slowly ex 2 drinks in any 3 hr period and have water between alcoholic drinks. Try a flavoured water. Try adding citrus fruit or cucumber slices to fresh tap water for a great flavour booster with zero calories.
  • EAT before and while drinking.
  • Lower the alcohol content of your beverages by making a wine spritzer using 3 oz white wine and 2 oz of carbonated water to keep your head clear during a sports party and to cut back calories too.

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat!

Bottom line – your relationship with food matters more than you might think!

  • Your culture and food traditions are an important part of healthy eating. Relax and enjoy!
  • Stay on track of your healthy eating goals by taking time to eat and following your hunger cues.

Enjoy the game. Go Team Go!

 

Introducing the NEW Canada’s Food Guide!

Today, Federal Minister of Health, Ginette Petitapas Taylor launched the new Canada’s Food Guide. The new Food Guide takes a modern approach to communicating guidance to consumers, health professionals and policy makers. This first suite of resources includes a document Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for Health Professionals and Policy Makers, as well as a Food Guide Snapshot.

Here’s just a sampling of what’s new in the Food Guide:

1. Positive key messages for Canadians in a modern format. Key messages are: Eat well. Live well. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day. The new Food Guide delivers healthy eating information in a mobile-friendly web application.

2. Beyond food. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. The new Food Guide offers advice on what to eat, what not to eat, and how to eat. Tips include cooking more often, eating meals with others, being mindful of your eating habits, enjoying your food, limiting foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat, using food labels, and being aware of food marketing.

3. Food groupings instead of food groups. Bye bye rainbow and the four food groups. A healthy meal is comprised of a variety of foods from three key food groupings: vegetables and fruits; whole grains; and protein foods. These foods should be consumed regularly.

4. Proportions not portions. There are no recommended servings to eat or serving sizes of food. A plate snapshot of the Food Guide gives at-a-glance information on what to eat. In the plate snapshot, 1/2 the plate is filled with vegetables and fruits; ¼ of the plate is comprised of whole grain foods; and ¼ of the plate is made up of protein foods.

5. Water is the beverage of choice. To help Canadians stay hydrated without adding calories to the diet, water is recommended. Alcoholic beverages are also flagged as potentially adding calories with little to no nutritive value.

The suite of online resources replaces the old “all-in-one” version of the previous Food Guides. Additional consumer resources are expected to be released later this year.

Want to discover more about how to make the Food Guide work for you and your business?

Save the date for our upcoming webinar on The New Canada’s Food Guide – Tuesday, April 16th, 1-2 pm ET. We’ll share:
• The science and rationale behind Canada’s Food Guide
• A closer look at the recommendations and considerations
• How to apply Canada’s Food Guide to your business plans

Can’t wait? Contact us now for an in-house presentation / workshop.

Written by: Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc and Lucia Weiler, BSc, RD, PHEc
– Co-Founders of Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists TM

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Image Source: Bigstock

Do you like eating your food from a bowl sometimes? Bowl-centric menus are one of the hottest trends in restaurants and home-cooks also love filling bowls with layers of veggies and grains. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an ancient grain from South America that is considered a complete protein. This recipe is inspired from Dietitians of Canada’s website, where it has been one of the most popular recipes. It’s simply prepared with vegetables you have on hand and the quinoa can be cooked a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Eating it out of a bowl will add to your enjoyment.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Serves: 5  servings

Ingredients

  • Quinoa, well rinsed and drained   1 cup (250 mL)
  • Cold water                                          2 cups (500 mL)
  • Tomatoes, chopped                          2 medium chopped
  • Large sprigs of parsley (leaves only) 2 springs chopped
  • English Cucumber, chopped               1/2 cucumber
  • Red or Green bell peppers, chopped  1/2 cup (125 mL)
  • Fresh Baby Arugula                              1 cup

Vinaigrette

  • Extra-virgin olive oil                   3 Tbsp (45 mL)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice   2 Tbsp (30 mL)
  • Hot pepper flakes (optional)     1 1/2 tsp (7 mL)
  • Freshly ground black pepper    1/2 tsp (2 mL)
  • Dried basil or oregano (optional)  1/2 tsp (2 mL)

 Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the white germ separates from the seed. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, let cool and fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, bell peppers and arugula. Stir in cooled quinoa.
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper flakes (if using), salt, pepper and basil (if using).
  4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.

Source: Recipe modified from Dietitians of Canada UnlockFood.Ca 

 

Nutrition Information per serving:

Calories: 224 Cals, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 8 g, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Fibre: 4 g, Sodium: 100 mg
Calcium: 30 mg