Hopping Down the Bunny Trail – Chocolate & BMI

April 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I recently read about a study touting that people who ate chocolate regularly had lower BMI’s. Oh my!! Just in time for Easter, hippity hop down the bunny trail.

When I think about this dynamic my thoughts focus on our relationship with food and allowing all food to fit. No foods that are deprived. Nutrient balance is the key. Just think about it. When a food is forbidden we want it so much more and when we get it, often overdo it, eating it in excess. It’s the excess part that contributes to an increased BMI, that’s for sure. Let’s not kid ourselves on that. I discuss this in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

If you want a bite of chocolate have it. A piece of it or two, not a meter high bunny with the big long ears. Of all of the relationships to work on (other than that with family) is that with your food – eat it, savour it, enjoy it, respect it and allow it. Create a love affair with it. When all is said and done you won’t be driven to binge to make up for what you can’t have, because you can have it.

Get that taste out of your mouth and be done with it!

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Pomegranate Gems

April 16th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Oh ye heavenly fruit
Ruby red jewels to boot

So hard to believe
It’s so good for me!

I must contest
That I make a mess!

For crying out loud
I need to wear a shroud!

Cutting open one
Deep staining has begun

A bite of Mother Nature’s sweet
A taste explosion that can’t be beat

A super food for sure
For a fruit that’s so obscure

Oh ye pomegranate gems
Makes me say “amen”

An unparalleled natural food
That makes me feel unglued!

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Momentum

April 14th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have had thoughts of momentum on my mind lately, hmmmm. With the Master’s golf tournament and the ebb and flow of the players on the leader board the mystery of momentum was impossible to ignore. With Adam Scott, then Bubba Watson, then newbies Jason Speith and Jonas Blixt to the seniors of Fred Couples and Migel Jimenez momentum ebbed and flowed until the green jacket was dawned at sunset for a perfect finish.

I did some food prep during the lovely afternoon prior to the Sunday t-off with the windows open so I could hear the birds sing. I witnessed that spring zing of momentum pass by my window spying walkers and joggers, cyclers and roller bladers, saunterers and runners. The robins, sparrows, squirrels, chipmunks and ducks have had a shot of it too guarding new territory, finding nuts and enjoying the thaw. It’s as if everyone’s creating their new spring movement movement, how perfect!

Our lives also have a characteristic ebb and flow affected by outside forces and our internal attitude. That’s what I love about spring as double digit temperatures dominate so does that positive momentum catapulting us off the couch to the great outdoors, ahhhh. While you’re shifting into a new found spring gear make a goal or two for the better throughout the month and the season to sustain this positive shift. Let’s make a pact together come sun, cloud, rain or wind to keep our momentum surging forward to surpass 30-minutes a day or more of moving for adults and for kids 60 minutes or more.

Now that the polar vortex is behind us, it’s our time to soar!

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Getting Your Zzzzzzz’s

April 11th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

We seem to be pacing life at mock speed these days, all of us taking part in the “busy contest”. Who’s winning? None of us, it would seem. I recently reviewed some studies on current sleep patterns and I won’t be sleeping easy thinking about this tonight!

One study touts that over the past 103 years children have reduced sleep more than 1 hour. Another study showed that in the US the amount of sleep has reduced by 102 hours over the past 40 years for young adults, hmmmm, what gives? Between checking our phones over a 100 times a day, consuming excess caffeine and immersing ourselves in life’s “busy contest” there are many contributors to this phenomenon.

One study showed an increase intake of calories from snacks when research subjects’ sleep was restricted and in another greater alcohol consumption in adults. Let’s think about this in our own lives using the example of travelling to different time zones and trying to make an adjustment in sleep. When feeling exceedingly groggy it’s not always simple to differentiate your cues and often snacking wins the vote. Also when you feel listless due to lack of sleep it’s more challenging to get that daily walk or activity that you’re used to when all you feel like doing is putting your noodle down on a fluffy pillow like Thumblina to catch up on the sleep you missed.

It is worthwhile to ponder your own sleep habits if you are burning the candle at both ends while trying to get a handle on your handles. More interesting food for thought, that’s for sure.

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Spring Swing Thing, Energy Management

April 9th, 2014 No Comments

Yes, spring has certainly sprung as the temperature is climbing, hasn’t it? I find it so inspirational seeing so many people shaking their booty in the neighbourhood, don’t you? Raking the lawn, washing the car, walking the dog, taking the kids to the park, bike riding, jogging; people are getting outside to play that’s for sure.

Less is More – If your mid-section still has it’s winter tire on you may want to pay more attention to both sides of that energy equation. On the “energy-in” side of the equation take on the motto that “less is more”. Ensure you’re getting your 5-10 a day of fruits and veggies written about in Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Focus on the food guide and limit the extras to help that tire disappear. Focus on Chapter 7, Foodie Fundamentals.

More is More - On the “energy-out” side of the equation take on the motto that “more is more” by ensuring you’re moving 30 minutes at least, each and every day. I saw an old woman walking down the street today with 2 canes, as happy as a lark because she was outside….and alive…. There’s a mom of 2 kids up my street who roller blades like she a member of the Roller Derby team. Both very inspiring. If they can pump it up, so can we!

Zone In – If you have been zoning out ignoring what’s in your food, spring back in and get back to reading the Nutrition Facts Panel on food packages focusing in on the calories. If you eat out at restaurants or order in get a handle on the calorie content in those foods as well so you can get a better handle on your handles. That surprise factor is better realized before you order than after you get on the scale – that’s for sure!

Whatever you decide to do, be aware of your calories by doing spot checks. When it comes down to managing your weight, the calories in food versus calories burned through activity is THE most fundamental part of tipping the balance. Good luck!

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New Leaf

April 7th, 2014 No Comments

It’s April time
Am feeling fine
Time to turn a new leaf
And stop the whine

Start something new
A new habit or two
Time to turn a new leaf
Lose a pound or two

Try to walk more steps
With no more shleps
Time to turn a new leaf
No more kvetch

When spring has sprung
Bird songs are sung
Time to turn a new leaf
A new page has begun

Yes it’s April now
Time to find out how
Turning a new leaf
Will make you feel like WOW!

I love turning over a new leave or two or three…..

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Howling About The Werewolf Diet!

April 4th, 2014 No Comments Tags: ,

After 26 years of working in the nutrition world I thought I heard everything. But no, in comes the New Year with, wait for it, the Werewolf Diet – aHooooo! I love entertainment, but let’s compartmentalize that for television and the cinema, shall we, and leave our dinner plate and diet alone?!

Oh mother MacCree, this nutty nosh less-fest claims to have some connection related to the tides of the ocean given we and the ocean have something in common – lots of water, and for some of us, more during certain times of the month…. Apparently the basic version called the basic moon diet (add the adjective “luny” if you like) is to have a 24-hour fast day. Well folks time to press that buzzer of refusal and ridiculousness – bzzzzz. You know what I always say about a diet with a “fast” – that’s the speed you run in the opposite direction FROM it and FAST.

Ok so we just had a chuckle about something so absurd – the Werewolf Diet. Read my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and do some howling over my sarcastic humour in that, but there are pearls of wisdom throughout :-)

Check out the review of Skinny on Slim featured on web-magzine Canadian Health & Lifestyle.

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Off Their Rocker!

April 2nd, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I was doing some international travel of late and had a read of the Wall Street Journal. I was both amazed and confused when I read an article about a 79 year old “Auntie Su” from China. A while back she and a group of fellow retirees started a dance group in a nearby outdoor square. Ahhh how a thought of a bunch of seniors bogeying down like it’s 1959 did my heart good and made my day….

Apparently in China there’s another new group stirring up controversy: middle aged and retired city dwellers dancing together in parks and squares. Unfortunately others are squaking about all of the racket and making a stink. To that Auntie responds “Are we just supposed to sit around and wait for death?” Good point Auntie!

Talk about rad role models who are far from wall flowers. Let’s make some noise for all of the racket they’re making, fun they’re having and exercise they’re doing. I think those complaining about the noise ought to join in for a few tunes so they’ll change theirs!

I say let’s join in with these elders who are off their rockers and onto the dance floor, bravo!

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If Taste’s Your Thing, Add Some Zing!

March 31st, 2014 No Comments

Well folks it’s the last day of  March! You are now so well equipped to take on the balance of the year with oodles of ideas and inspiration in the kitchen. Have you downloaded Dietitian of Canada’ sizzling app Cookspiration yet, with over 66,000 downloads since it’s launch a few weeks back? Now when you want to simply cook and enjoy, you’ll have an app for that! I’ll keep you apprised of details of the next version due out next month.

Taste is king! Add some zing!

Think healthy cooking is bland? No way! Healthy cooking is all about good taste. Add some zing with these mouth-watering flavour boosters:

  • Red pepper flakes deliver delicious heat to lightly sautéed greens
  • Fresh lime juice is a tangy addition to fish, avocado or fresh tomato salsa
  • Garlic is perfect for pasta, potatoes and peas, and it makes a tofu-and-veggie stir-fry sizzle
  • Ginger spices up butternut squash soup and adds depth to beef and pork dishes
  • Cinnamon pairs sweetly with apples, squash and sweet potatoes

For more ideas to make your taste buds tingle.

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Wanna Give Healthy Eating a Whirl? Simply Cook & Enjoy!

March 28th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Since spring has sprung you may want to up your nutritional mojo by jacking up the healthful quotient of your food. A great way to end Nutrition Month is by carrying these stealthy and healthy cooking tricks into April, and each month that follows, don’t you think? Have you downloaded Dietitian of Canada’s hot app Cookspiration yet? I’ve got the inside scoop on what’s in the works for the next version’s release in April. Let me tell you, I’ll be trying out an array of the new recipes, as will you I expect. The download numbers are over 66,000 since it’s launch. Work with me will you and spread the word!

Want to give healthy cooking a whirl? Think outside the salad spinner!

Looking for ways to make some of your favourite recipes a little healthier? Try these ideas to add more veggies and fruit to your meals and snacks without a lot of fuss:

  • Blend a handful of spinach or kale into a fruit smoothie
  • Mash cooked cauliflower together with potatoes
  • Add puréed butternut squash to homemade macaroni and cheese
  • Shred carrots, zucchini or onions into spaghetti sauce
  • Stir canned puréed pumpkin into whole grain pancake or muffin batter
  • Sprinkle berries onto breakfast cereal or yogurt

For tasty meatballs with added greens, a perfect post St. Paddy’s day addition and a pot of gold of goodness for you and your family!

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