Tag Archives: workplace wellness

Nutrition Counselling Services – Unlock the power of food for your healthy living

Do you have questions about good nutrition and healthy eating? Connect with us! We offer expert personalized sessions to help you simplify eating and leverage the benefits of credible nutrition science with professional support. As dietitians we love food and look beyond the fads and gimmicks to support you in your health goals. We unlock the power of food and deliver reliable, life-changing advice.

Click here to submit your interest in nutrition coaching appointments in a virtual format.

We offer gift certificates too – perfect for a friend or family member.  HOLIDAY BONUS OFFER – Purchase any counselling package and receive a 15% discount. Gift certificates available. Must purchase by December 11, 2020.

(NOTE: Registered Dietitian led Nutrition Counselling sessions are covered by many employee and private health insurance plans. Check with your plan provider for details on coverage for the cost of a Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist Services.)

Body Weight Words Matter!  Reflecting on the New Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines

For most people their body weight is a personal issue. However people living in larger bodies face hurtful stigma including language surrounding obesity and overweight.  Developed by Obesity Canada and the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, the new Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines represent the first comprehensive update in Canadian obesity guidelines since 2007.[1]

Decades of research in behavioral and nutrition science suggest that it’s time to update our clinical approach and recognize that some patterns of communication about body weight are more helpful than others. Registered dietitians are deeply involved in this discussion and here are some of the topline messages from leading experts that stood out to us:

  1. Body Mass Index (BMI) is NOT an accurate tool for identifying obesity related complications [2]
    BMI is a widely used tool for screening and classifying body weight but it’s been controversial for decades.  A person’s BMI number is generated by considering their height in relation to their weight and it tells us about the size of the person’s body.  Experts now agree that more information than BMI is needed to determine whether a person is sick or healthy.
  2. Patient-centered, weight-inclusive care focuses on health outcomes rather than weight loss1,2
    Remember to ask permission before discussing body weight and respect the person’s answer. Health issues are measured by lab data and clinical signs. These can include blood pressure, blood sugar or reduced mobility. Shift the focus toward addressing impairments to health rather than weight loss alone.
  3. Obesity is NOT simply a matter of self-control and the ‘eat less, move more’ advice is insufficient
    The effects of a dieting lifestyle are burdensome. Evidence-based advice must move beyond simplistic approaches of ‘eat less and move more’. For example, in recent years researchers gained a better understanding of clinical evidence and body weight biology. These include the amount of food energy absorbed through the gut, the brain’s role in appetite regulation and the thermic effect of eating.[3] Environmental factors such as where people live, work and food availably also have an influence on body weight.
  4. People of higher weights should have access to evidence informed interventions, including medical nutrition therapy
    There is a lot of misinformation about body weight so evidence-based health management is key. One of the recommended interventions is to include personalized counselling by a registered dietitian with a focus on healthy food choices and evidence-based nutrition therapy.
  5. Recognize and address weight bias and stigma
    People with excess body weight experience weight bias and stigma. Weight bias is defined as negative weight–related attitudes, beliefs and judgements toward people who are of higher weight. This thinking can result in stigma which is acting on weight-based beliefs such as teasing, bullying, macroaggressions, social rejection and discrimination towards people living in larger bodies. People may also internalize weight stigma and criticize themselves or others based on body weight.

Experts consider that changes to language can alleviate the stigma of obesity within the health-care system and support improved outcomes for both people living in a larger body and for the health-care system.3,[4],[5],[6] In our Body Weight Words Matter!  chart below we provide several examples of communication interventions to help assess your attitude and reduce body weight bias.

Click here to download your copy of Body Weight Words Matter INFOGRAPHIC

Do you have questions about good nutrition and healthy eating? Connect with us! We offer expert personalized sessions to help you simplify eating and leverage the benefits of credible nutrition science. As dietitians we love food and look beyond the fads and gimmicks to deliver reliable, life-changing advice.

Contact us directly or complete this Nutrition Counselling Registration Form for your individualized nutrition coaching appointments in a virtual format.

[1] Obesity Canada (2020) Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) https://obesitycanada.ca/guidelines/References:

[2] Obesity Canada (2020) CMAJ Obesity in adults: a clinical practice guideline https://www.cmaj.ca/content/cmaj/192/31/E875.full.pdf

[3]   Rubino et al. (2020) Joint international consensus statement for ending stigma of obesity. Nature Medicine  www.nature.com/medicine

[4] Obesity UK (2020) Language Matters: Obesity https://cdn.easo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/31073423/Obesity-Language-Matters-_FINAL.pdf

[5] Puhl, R. et.al (2016) Cross-national perspectives about weight-based bullying in youth: nature, extent and remedies. Pediatric Obesity,

[6] Puhl R., Peterson J. L., Luedicke J. (2013). Motivating or stigmatizing? Public perceptions of weight-related language used by health providers. Int. J. Obes.  https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo2012110

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

Nutrition & Immunity Challenge – Covid19

Your immune system is always on guard against attacks on your body. Attacks could come in many forms including virus, bacteria or even cancer cells. If your immune system trips up, you could become more vulnerable and even ill. In terms of nutrition, there are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system. The immune system is sophisticated ‘team’ with many ‘players’ involved. The best performance in defending your body happens when all ‘players are present’ and ready to do their job. That is why health experts recommend to promote your own immunity follow an overall healthy eating plan.

With Covid19 there seem to be a lot of questions about nutrition and immunity so here is a closer look at the basics.

  • No diet, supplement will cure or prevent disease. Good hygiene practice and physical distancing remain the best means of avoiding COVID19 infection.
  • Almost all nutrients help the immune system in one way or another; however some nutrient deficiencies may be more harmful to immunity than others. Malnutrition and deficient intakes of many vitamins and minerals are associated with lower disease resistance. Among the nutrients well recognized for their roles in building immunity are Protein, Zinc, Vitamins A, C and E. Below we profile these nutrients of interest that support general immunity but emphasize the bottom line:  Eat a variety of healthy foods each day in order to support immune function.

Protein:

Protein helps build and repair body tissues and forms antibodies. Antibodies are protective proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign substances in the body.

Eat protein foods at each meal. Recommendations for most adults are to aim for 20-30 grams of protein at every meal. Examples of protein rich foods include fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), tofu (edamame), eggs, nuts, seeds, greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

Vitamins and Minerals:

All vitamins and minerals promote good health and many protect against infection and diseases. Research suggests that certain vitamins and minerals may have bigger roles in immune health. Examples include Zinc, Vitamins A, C, E. For most people, however, there is no good evidence that taking more of these nutrients than what you can get from a varied healthy diet will improve your immune system. For reference, here is some information about vitamins/minerals of interest for immune health.

    • Zinc:
      A wide variety of foods contain zinc. By far, oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food. More good sources of zinc are lean meats, fish or poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, cereals (fortified) and dairy products
    • Vitamin A:
      Vitamin A is naturally present in many foods and most people get enough Vitamin A from the foods they eat. The most active form is retinol, a fat soluble vitamin found in animal foods such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body is found in yellow, orange and dark green vegetables and fruits.
    • Vitamin C:
      Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is found in fruits and vegetables. Among its many other roles, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps protect cells against damage. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin C by eating a variety of foods including citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruit). Red and green peppers and kiwifruit also have a lot of vitamin C as do other fruits and vegetables.
    • Vitamin E:
      Vitamin E is found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the tissues from damage. Rich sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oils (wheat germ, sunflower, safflower), nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds), seeds (sunflower), fortified cereals.

Watch my one minute VIDEO summary and tips on the immunity challenge here:

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.

Sources:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2020 Health Information Facts
  • Health Canada (2019) Nutrient Function Claims
  • Duyff Academy of Food and Nutrition (2017) Complete Food & Nutrition Guide
  • Sizer et al (2017) Nutrition Concepts and Controversies

Be Well! Navigating the grocery aisles efficiently during COVID19

Getting in and out of a grocery store fast is more important than ever during the COVID19 pandemic. Health experts ask us to stay at home as much as possible which means limiting the number of shopping trips to a minimum. Once you arrive at the grocery store keeping a safe 6 foot distance from others is a new skill for many people including myself. It’s also important to navigate the aisles efficiently. Somehow it doesn’t seem OK any more to forget something and have to run back through the store to find it.

To help you stay well I created an efficient grocery shopping list. I really like this template because it prompts meal planning so you buy only what you need. I also limited the number of items to make your trip more manageable.   You’ll notice the list is organized in categories that follow the grocery store layout to help you get in and out of the store fast.

Here is how you can use it:

  1. Create a meal plan.
    Before going to the grocery store consider the meals you’d like to make in the upcoming week. Make a note of the most important items you need in case your trip is stressful and you don’t get through your whole shopping list.
  2. Complete your efficient grocery shopping list *
    Print out a copy of the Be Well! Efficient grocery shopping list and keep it in your kitchen. You can ask others you live with to help complete the list so everyone contributes to the eating plan. When the list gets full, you’ll know it’s time to go shopping.
  3. Navigate the aisles efficiently
    When you arrive at the store pick the aisles with the least number of people and keep your physical distance 6 feet from others. Make your way through the store quickly and efficiently. Because your shopping list is short you won’t need a pen to check off the list.

Keep well and good luck grocery shopping!

* Print off your copy of the shopping list by clicking on this link and then the image. Be Well! Efficient Grocery Shopping List by L.Weiler RD

Watch my one minute VIDEO summary and tips on efficient grocery shopping here:

Spot the Nutrition MYTHS & ask for the FACTS

Image: Bigtsock

Spring is in the air, a perfect time to take a fresh look at what’s hot and what’s not in food and nutrition. As a speaker, teacher and consultant, I’m always connecting with professionals and nutrition students. I find there is a surprising increase in questions about myths and misleading nutrition advice. More and more people come forward with confusing nutrition information that hold them back from achieving their goals. According to a recent survey of dietitians the top sources of nutrition misinformation for consumers are celebrities, friends/family, blogs and social media. Don’t get trapped by myths – ask for science based facts from the experts.

Here are my top ten tips to help you spot misleading nutrition advice. Watch for these warning sings in the language used to provide you with information.

Top 10 tips to spot the Nutrition MYTHS:

  1. Quick fix promise
  2. Extreme warnings about a food or food group
  3. Sensational claims that sound too good to be true
  4. Personal beliefs /opinions presented as facts (Notice the use of language like “I believe” and don’t confuse someone’s confidence in their belief with credible scientific evidence.)
  5. Advice based on a single study or from a ‘study under way’ or observations
  6. Statements that are not supported by credible scientific associations (e.g., Dietitians of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada, Health Canada)
  7. Lists of “good” and “bad” foods
  8. Testimonials endorsing the product, often from celebrities or highly satisfied customers
  9. Aims to sell food products or supplements
  10. Undermines a healthy, enjoyable relationship with food

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re looking for credible food facts check out blogs, social media tips and recipes written by registered dietitians. Dietitians are the most trusted credible food and nutrition experts who understand the science behind food and its connection to health. Contact us for help to translate the power of food for your team and business.

 

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.

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.