Twitter Taddler: Crash diet? Don’t try it!

May 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You know that it’s spring not only when the blossoms have bloomed but also when the crash diet industry’s false promises are on the airwaves. While on Twitter recently, I noticed a barrage of attention grabbing “before and after” photos with promises to get you skinny in a jiffy, good grief. When I looked closely some “after” shots didn’t even look like the same person. What gives?! Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. And yes Dr. Oz, one of those tweets was yours!

I made a conscience decision to begin this year posting a series to help you to jump start your regimen to propel you into a slow and steady behaviour modification “change project” to a healthier you. What’s the rush? If you are now ready to make some changes, press the “start” button and consider some basics first. Avoid getting sucked in to those claims with empty promises that seem too good to be true.

Take a look at my ebook to support you in your quest: Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books Here are a few of the posts to help you get started:

Save your money, like magic – Do you believe in magic? The child in me would like to. But my adult brain knows full well about illusions. Many plans, pills, procedures and products promise mystical results. That’s what desperate dieters want: fast, easy, magical solutions to solve their weight problem. Don’t fall for them!

Super starvation nation – I divulged the ultra-low-calorie diet blunder that twisted my eating into a tailspin for years in my ebook so I understand the allure of “quick fix” promises. The physiological truth is when anyone goes on an ultra-low cal diet, they will lose weight, and fast, especially the first time they try it. The inconvenient truth is that we humans are biological beings with a penchant for survival. Once you go on a fast like that, guess what? The next opportunity you get to eat freely you won’t be able to stop until a week next Sunday —of next year, probably longer. Yes those food floodgates will surely fly open.

Super low-cal regimens can have long-lasting negative effects on many levels. I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to do the same. Some people try these scary schemes over and over again and tank their metabolism and self-esteem. Each rebound results in a greater amount of weight gain. Each time you try again, the weight loss is harder and harder to achieve. Do you know why? Our masterful machine is protecting itself by becoming more efficient. Your metabolism will slow down which is exactly what you don’t want when you try to lose weight.

Experts say that the lowest daily energy we should ever fall to is 1,200 calories for women and 1,600 for men, a far cry from this delinquent dietary quota.

You may lose weight because of the ultra-low calories prescribed. You will not, however, keep the weight off because you will eventually revert to your previous ways. From now on when you hear the word “fast” in the name of a diet you’re enamoured with, that’s the speed you should travel in the opposite direction away from it!

So folks, take your time and make small changes. You will eventually succeed. Your physical, mental, emotional health and wellbeing depend on it. Spot the snake in life’s game of Snakes and Ladders and move on.

A bigger part of me – grab some flab – Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Take a moment and grab your tummy roll or flabby thigh or arm flap – look at it, pinch it, realize it. This extra fat is part of your very body. It is integrated throughout your complex systems with your circulation flowing through it in every appendage, all over your torso, your neck and head, everywhere.

Losing this excess fat like that junk in your trunk isn’t like emptying a pot of tea (“turn the handle and pour me out”). Don’t you wish? It’s much more complicated than that and needs time. Your self-image is affected in part by this excess fat too. So losing weight affects you deeply both physically and mentally. It takes time to lose it safely without compromising your temple. Be kind to your “body as temple” and as I like to say “Don’t mess with the machine, your bodacious body!”

Yes spring has sprung folks and if you were slow out of the gate to build your beach body in the New Year, relax and take stalk. Slow and steady is the name of the game to successful weight loss taking the trek to Slim Town if you want to make one last trip and stay there!

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If you don’t use it….

May 20th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Oh for the love of spring activities. I found myself moseying down to the centre of town in Kelowna, BC recently. A mile in any direction sports about from beach volley ball, mountain or trail walking, running, biking, paddling, swimming, golfing – you name it, people of all ages were doing it! Seeing so many “movers and shakers” participating in their own “movement movement” inspired me. My heart smiled as I passed through.

I too was a runner many decades ago. Well a jogger, really. I participated in a multitude of 10 kilometre (10k) fun runs and a couple of 20ks. That’s the extent of me actually doing a marathon – adding smaller races together to equal one big one. I would aim to beat my personal best time. I usually ended up in the last quarter of the group. Truly though, I’m not very athletic, not flexible enough to touch my toes on the first try, not really strong with my spaghetti arms as appendages. Nonetheless, I move, I stretch, I lunge, I burpee and I lift weights. I’m more like a tortoise, using the slow and steady strategy to win the race – my race.

When I took up jogging in my “big-boned” teen years, I distinctly remember that first time out. My Dad mapped a one-mile route to get me started. What I thought would be a cinch in the car felt like a one-mile marathon on the street – feet pounding, thighs rubbing, sucking in wind with a sharp stitch in my side. Am I there yet? What, another block to go? Oh the pain!

Being a hard-headed Italian, I was too proud to stop. As the weeks passed during those early stages, jogging that one-mile became easier. Soon, I yearned to do two miles then three, then four…

Jogging taught me the importance of setting goals and the euphoric sense of accomplishment when I reached them. It’s symbolic for any goal you make in life. If you are standing at the starting line of a marathon-long type challenge, break it down into blocks and tackle one block at a time. In time you’ll be meeting personal goals that add up to significant change over time and will stick with you for good.

My exercise regimen has morphed through the decades. I used to jog; now I walk. Whether you’re an iron-woman Viking or someone content with walking, the important thing is that you do something, anything. Our bodies were meant to move; we’re meant to run, walk, jump, dance, ski, rollerblade, swim and saunter, although some better than others. Neighbourhood malls are safe-haven walking trails for fair weather types. If you haven’t already done so, join in. There really isn’t any excuse not to participate especially this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s true: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Blizzard to cool off? These findings will chill you…

May 13th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Ahhh the sights, sounds and smells of summer are here. The magnolias are blossoming, birds chirping while the coif of fresh cut grass abounds, ahhh. Nothing can be finer, truly. I shared a tweet with my better half of a picture of the cartoon Snoopy enjoying an iced cream cone treat, mmmmm. It got me contemplating a visit to MooLix in Kelowna for a scoop and an evening stroll beside Lake Okanagan sometime soon. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen my share of DQ and Blizzard commercials, haven’t you? I decided to check out their promos like I did last year in my Summertime Scoop post to see how special these specials really are…. Awareness is bliss when discovering the nutritional value of those seasonal treats to cool off by!

Want a Blizzard? Let Hell Freeze Over First!
My fingers did the walking through the cesspool of nutritional data finding delectable choices such as Peanut Butter and Brownie Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy and Salted Carmel Truffle aka the PMS Buster. Hmmm, my dietitian antenna go up with anything served in a super duper sized cup with a spoon that stands on end. Put these benchmark nutritional requirements for an average male/day in your bonnet to compare what I found: 2,100 calories, 13gm saturated fat, 6 tsp sugar and 2,400mg sodium.

I sleuthed through the numbers for the large portion of the selections, so play along with me won’t you with some examples:

Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard – 1510 calories; 63gm fat (14 tsp); 138gm sugar (35 cubes)

Note that the so called PMS Buster has 750mg sodium, so if you were retaining fluid before you gobbled this goblet of goo down you won’t be able to remove your rings until a week Sunday. Awareness is bliss alright and menu labelling would probably stop you in your tracks if you saw these numbers BEFORE you purchased. DQ is doubling down and promoting their buy one get one free to boot, good grief. Save yourself the sugar rush and think this through. With the winter we experienced who even wants to think about blizzards? If you’re looking to cool off take a jump in the lake instead!

The “Not So Special”, Special – Walk 20 Miles to Burn it Off
My attention turned to their summer “not so special”, lunchtime special, hmmm. This combo of doom includes a bacon cheeseburger, fries, 21oz drink and a sundae that can be swapped for a small Blizzard for a buck extra, oh joy. My calculations included a regular soda pop plus the dessert swap:

1,990 calories; 75gm fat (17 tsp); 198gm sugar (50 cubes); 2,090mg sodium

Oh my achy breaky heart! You can build the Wall of China with all of those sugar cubes. How much money are you saving on this “not so special”, special? The numbers hit the stratosphere when compared to those benchmarks for daily intake noted above. If you wanted to burn this lunchtime letdown off you’d need to take a 20 mile walk which is a 7 hour stroll. Now I need some air…

Sink With this Drink!
Then I surfed through the Julius bevys with fruity and refreshing sounding names of Triple Berry to Strawberry Kiwi or Pina Colada. What can be wrong with any of these? Well, everything, that’s what! In one large serving of the Pina Colada here’s what you get:

760 calories; 151gm sugar (38 cubes)

That big gulp will put a lump in your throat among other places. I can hear the honey bees buzzing over now to get at this one with their honey bee noses smudged up against the DQ window! These numbers are far from refreshing so save your money. What began as a humorous little exercise is no longer funny.

Test, Test, Time to Do the Eating Satisfaction Test
I refer to myself as a “non finger waging dietitian” folks and suggest you make decisions for yourself. Begin with my Awareness is Bliss exercise that I describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and gain a better understanding of what’s in your food by knowing what the nutritional numbers are before you choose. You will do better when you know better. That $5 lunch special provided more than my nutritional requirements for energy in 1 day and is “not so special” after all. Take my Eating Satisfaction Test described after Halloween where you hone in on how your food choice made you feel 1 hour after consuming it. I’d wager that after that Blizzard choice you’d be reaching for Tums and a soft comfy cushion to nap like Dilbert feeling the afternoon slump in spades not to mention indigestion. You are not experiencing joy from eating, but misery. Find joy people.

When I say all foods fit I mean a snack sized morsel, once in a while, such as 1-2 small treats each week – sit, savour and enjoy then forget about it. There are many summertime joys and savouring a simple ice cream cone can be one of them. Remember, there’s more to life than stuffing your face!

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My Mother’s Like No Other…

May 6th, 2015 2 Comments Tags: , , ,

Well it’s almost Mother’s Day. A day to pay homage to the one woman who brought you into this world. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world – riddled with work, guilt, wonder and more guilt. Mothers are tied to their offspring long after the apron strings have been cut, poor bunnies. Always thinking, hoping, praying did “I do enough?” when it’s evident they have done so in spades.

I did some reflecting on my Mom, like I’m sure you have about yours. I am the youngest sibling of four daughters within five years of age who shared 1 bathroom going through the teenage wormhole. She mastered the art of homemaking as my “at home” mom and is a living saint while my Dad is even saintlier… living under 1 roof with 5 women…but I digress.

One benefit of being the youngest was having a few years of one-on-one time together while the others were at school, just her and me. Whether we were doing household chores, grocery shopping or having some downtime in the afternoon over a movie like Three Faces of Eve we always had fun together. I vividly remember her turning on Jack Lalane on our black and white TV and exercising together along with him “…5 more, 4 more, 3 more…” Sometimes we’d work out listening to Connie Francis swooning on our turntable. She was the one who put a tennis racket in my hand and encouraged me to hit a few balls. This was well before the fitness craze…move over Jane Fonda!

I am very thankful for everything she has done for me to this moment. I am most thankful for the things I didn’t much appreciate way back when – like her setting and keeping limits (“yes, and don’t call me her”), showing us tough love by standing her ground, giving us regular age-appropriate chores like joining in with food preparation, making lunches, clean up and such. She’s a 4’11′ Ninja who knows how to get her point across. I always loved her line “… you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on me!” and she was right. We had unspoken rules like eating breakfast and dinner together as often as possible… and so much more. So many beautiful gifts from my Mother Extraordinaire.

Take the time to show appreciation to your Mom – that one woman who gave you life, opportunity, potential and who will always love you unconditionally. Show it not just on Mother’s Day but everyday of the year.

Thanks for all of the fabulous gifts you’ve given me Mom, I love you.

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Don’t be a Dairy Contrarian!

April 29th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , ,

I was grocery shopping this past weekend and found myself by the dairy case. To my dismay there was an array of weak milk imitations from soy to cachew to goat’s milk, what gives?! I almost let out a loud “Nayyyyyy” as I had difficulty finding my usual choice of pure and delicious skim milk… I remembered that a book was launched recently poo pooing Mother Nature’s nearly perfect food. It’s unfortunate that it caught media’s attention. It’s a mad mad mad mad mad world, sadly.

Call me a dairy maiden, I don’t really care. But when your nutritional goal is to count a bouquet of nutrients and not just calories the last items you want to omit from your shopping list are dairy products!

Some decades ago I was one of the authors of a paper published in The Lancet evaluating milk’s impressive and lengthy nutritional profile. Actually, I was the pion who did the calculations, reviewing nutrient requirements of various age groups and comparing these to milk’s nutrient profile. This work convinced me of the many nutritional attributes of milk. That work sold me to forever be a dairy queen and to milk this group for what it’s worth!

The nay sayers spend their time classifying dairy products as simply a food chocked full of calcium and protein. They couldn’t be more wrong. This nearly perfect food has a vast array of 16 essential nutrients – it’s impressive. There’s so much more to dairy foods than simply the calcium and protein. It’s difficult to make up the nutritional shortfall if you omit it. Today, Canadian’s diets lack nutritional quality. There is much more to food that just calories: the nutrient profile of the food and natural nutrient richness are paramount. Milk has this in spades.

I dare you to walk down the mile long beverage aisles in your grocery store and compare the nutritional profile of every other product to milk. Everything else pails in comparison. So when experts downplay the importance of milk and dairy products in your diet ask them what you should drink in its place! Undertake a food modelling exercise while you’re at it to convince you.

Incidentally, those so called milk replacement drinks require you to use your spatula to scoop out the nutritional goodness from the sediment at the bottom of the carton, UG. So much for the “natural veneer” they paint their products to be. Who needs that aggravation when you can drink the true natural goodness of milk and not have to give it another thought.

Check out my ebook Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and review my four [not 44] most fundamental food-related suggestions in Chapter 7 and don’t give the dairy contrarians another thought.

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Family Table

April 22nd, 2015 4 Comments Tags: , , ,

I’ve been thinking about the importance of the family table lately, hmmmm. A lot is learned there believe it or not. It’s so simple really – it’s an assembly of furniture – table and chairs, usually an overhead light. But set that table, put on some background music and arrange the food, family and friends and you’ve created a dynamic place that’s wonderfully complex.

It’s a time to break bread, literally or figuratively. A time to focus on what’s important. Fill up on food and stories – old and new. Nothing like rehashing the old hash for the umteenth time…

I remember when I was young having dinner at my Grandma’s house on Sevenoaks. Everyone was always welcome. My Mom upheld that same tradition when on some Sunday’s we’d keep making more room, extending the table further for people who were welcome at our family table. My Ukrainian Connection enjoys the same pleasure with many memories at their family table. I love that table scene on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas because it reminds me of the many fond memories of family gatherings around our family table – now at my home, still at my Mom’s, Mother Dearest’s, sisters’ too and of course my Uncle Jay’s…

I was reflecting more deeply about what I have learned through the years:

  • Keep the peace at the family table
  • Share a piece at the family table
  • Make conversation at the family table
  • Try something new at the family table
  • Pitch in around the family table
  • Learn to listen at the family table
  • Show appreciation to the hostess and host at the family table
  • Welcome everyone around the family table

You know there’s a slew of literature touting the benefits of the “family meal” for kids, linking the following which is so compelling (adapted from Dietitians of Canada, Nutrition Month 2014 material):

  • Improved food choices
  • Better nutrient intakes
  • Healthier weights
  • Reduced risk for eating disorders
  • Better social adjustment; and,
  • Improved school performance

If your schedule has gotten the better of you where this family tradition has slipped away you might want to slip it right back into your routine. Make it a priority. I don’t know about you, but after a busy day I need to “find my center”. Well it’s easily found by breaking bread together around the family table.

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Work on Your 6-Pact!

April 15th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I love this time of year, it’s so full of possibilities. The weather cannot be used any longer as an excuse not to get outside and play so vamoose out already if you have not already done so. Also that barbecue is beckoning, your friendly appliance to whip up something lean with a plethora if nutrient rich side dishes to drool over.

Follow the Rainbow – Get in the habit of enjoying half your plate of fruits and veggies throughout the day including every colour of the rainbow. Try berries on your cereal, an array of veggies at lunch with a number of delicious side dishes at dinner. Snack on fresh fruit in between meals. Rich produce fills you up and never lets you down – a healthy and stealthy approach to filling you up. The positive results by having more fruits & veggies is your pot of gold at the end of the your lifestyle rainbow!

Count Your Nutrients – Choose more food fresh from the farm. Your first clue will be noticing fewer processed packaged foods in your grocery cart. Savour the flavour of a variety of dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, smaller servings of meat, fish and poultry. Include some peas, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds in your regimen with whole grains in bread and pasta. All of these are chocked full of nutrient goodness it’s ridiculous!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Did someone say sweet?? Everyone loves something sweet, even though we’re trying to have less of the white stuff. Here are easy taste pleasers to add to your grocery cart and incorporate into your repertoire – sweet potatoes, red peppers, crunchy carrots, beets, fresh fruit, dried fruit to add in salads.

Behaving Goodly – Zero in on one eating foible to work on whether it’s slowing down your eating pace, or paying attention to your food by sitting down or noshing without distractions. Consider trying to focus on hunger and fullness every time you eat with the aim to stop when you begin to feel full. Some of us just rifle through our food like a buzz saw and are in the habit of eating past that cue. It’s a perfect time to rein it in!

Muscle Preservation Project – Yes cardio is important, but working on strength training and flexibility are too. I talk about investing 16 minutes every 2nd day into your hourglass in my ebook. My routine includes bends, stretches, lunges, squats, push ups, sit ups, even burpees to preserve my muscle mass, tone and strength for greater ease of everyday activity. If I can do it, so can you!

In a rut? Get help! – If you’ve been spinning your wheels read my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books to give you a few ideas to break out of your funk. If that doesn’t work seek help. You’re surrounded by it!

Work on your six pact folks. Start with these or create a list of your own. There is simply no excuse not to!

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Spring Shake UP!

April 8th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spring has sprung despite Mother Nature not getting the memo! It’s time to awaken from that winter slumber and shift gears. It’s time to change that winter tire that is situated in your mid-drift and shake up your routine!

Wake UP – Let’s work on getting all of the zzz’s you need this spring and onward. Not getting enough sleep because you’re burning the candle at both ends isn’t good for health and well being along with your weight.

Shake UP – Do some hippy hippy shake and work in new moves throughout the day as you build up your interval training… working in 15 minutes of moving at least two times a day. If you’re a chronic sitter, work in a few more to get your blood flowing, muscles working to refresh yourself.

Make UP – Kiss and make up with your past food foibles adopted during winter hibernation. You have a new slate of possibilities. Instead of beating yourself up, lift yourself up.

Bake UP – Cook yourself up a healthy and stealthy scheme with ideas from my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books. A good spring cleaning is warranted and best started by purging those pillow sacks of junk food and replacing them with a rainbow of produce grown by Mother Nature herself.

Break UP – Nix that negativity of the dark side where excuses dwell like a cesspool of doom. Lighten up and replace negative self talk with prose of kindness to stoke your motivation.

Take UP – Tighten the screws on your eating behaviour such as slowing down your eating pace while actually tasting your food and enjoying it to the max. Drop the caveman routine and use utensils and a plate, sitting down every time you eat to savour the flavour of your food. These are two essential behaviours that’ll help you get results STAT.

Put a spring in your step with a mini shake up of your repertoire to shift you in a positive direction.

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Cure Commuter Cravings this #NutritionMonth

March 31st, 2015 No Comments

It’s the final day of Nutrition Month. Dietitians of Canada’s theme has resonated for many on eating well at work ‘Eating 9 to 5!’ At the end of a busy workday, food decisions may be more impulsive; individuals may be more susceptible to environmental food cues such as vending machine or coffee shop transit treats. Here are some strategies to usher you and your munchies home!

1. Long commute? Before you head home, grab a drink to wet your whistle.

Staying hydrated helps us feel refreshed and fight fatigue. Here are a few super sips to pack ahead or pick up while waiting for transit:

  • Water. Plain or fizzy, it’s Mother Nature’s elixir! Bring a reusable bottle to work daily and refill it with fresh water before you leave.
  • Latte. Frothy and filled with nutrient-rich, hydrating milk. Go plain and low fat, without sugary syrups or whipped cream. Try decaf to cut the caffeine.
  • Tea. Ask for green, black or herbal tea. Skip the sugar; enjoy the taste of the tea itself.

2. Avoid pre-dinner munchies. Pack healthy snacks for the commute home.
Need a snack to enjoy on the commute home so you don’t eat your way through dinner preparation? Here are five portable, flavourful snacks that will last in your lunch bag until the end of your workday:

  • Fruit and veggies – an apple, a pear, a small bunch of grapes or cherry tomatoes
  • Small portions of trail mix with whole grain cereal, dried fruit, nuts and seeds
  • Homemade whole grain muffins
  • Spicy roasted chickpeas mixed with popcorn
  • Plain, high-fibre, lower-sugar cereal, granola or nut bars

3. Snack time! Dietitians reveal what’s in their drawers.
A dietitian’s snacking motto is like a Girl Guide: be prepared. Check out what dietitians keep at work to snack better.

Desk Drawer:

  • Pre-portioned packs of almonds, pistachios or pumpkin seeds
  • Small containers of whole grain cereal
  • Homemade whole grain granola bars or muffins
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Snack-size cans of light tuna
  • Green, black and herbal tea bags
  • Real utensils and hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle

Lunchroom Fridge Drawer:

  • Veggies and fruit
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Black bean dip, lentil dip and hummus
  • Milk for drinking and stirring into coffee, tea or cereal

4. Craving a snack for the commute? If you’re in a pinch, reach for better vending machine choices.

If the vending machine is your only choice when hunger hits, here are 10 snacks to reach for:

1. Fresh fruit

2. Cheese and crackers

3. Veggie-and-dip packs

4. Whole grain granola or cereal bars

5. Seed or nut bars

6. Plain popcorn

7. Nuts, seeds and trail mix

8. Unsalted pretzels

9. Tuna-and-crackers kits

10. Yogurt

Don’t forget about healthy vending machine drinks, such as water, milk and low-sodium 100% vegetable juice. If your workplace doesn’t have healthy choices, ask them to make some changes so you can have the choice to eat well at work all year long!

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.

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Dump the Midday Slump this #NutritionMonth

March 25th, 2015 2 Comments

Yes folks, by now you are well aware that March is national Nutrition Month. I have been featuring Dietitians of Canada’s theme: eating well at work ‘Eating 9 to 5!’ This week’s focus is that afternoon fading ebb – the midday slump. Humanoids can only handle so much work, stress and screen time. It helps to plan ways to dump that midday slump, so read on!

1. Midday slump setting in? No need for caffeine! Get back up with energy-boosting habits.

Try these three healthy habits to help yourself skip the slump:

  • Move it! Stand up during phone calls, walk to deliver messages instead of emailing, or do a few stretches at your desk.
  • Grab a small snack. If you’re hungry, have a snack with carbs to fuel your brain and protein for longer-lasting energy. Dip carrot sticks in nut butter, or enjoy cottage cheese with fruit.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated helps you avoid that sleepy feeling. Add cucumber, lemon and mint to perk up your cup. Replenish often so you can keep on sipping before a slump sets in.
  • Thirsty? Some sweet drinks are more like dessert. Swap your sip!

2. Did you know? There’s a big difference between a snack and a treat. Snack smart!

Snacking is on the rise in Canada. We’re typically twice-a-day snackers, with more than 34% of Canadians reaching for afternoon snacks to bridge the hunger gap.

Snacking can be healthy if you’re hungry between meals; however, there’s a difference between a treat and a snack. Treats, such as cookies, chips or chocolate, are low in nutrients and best saved for occasional enjoyment.

Dietitians recommend smart snacking! Choose small portions of nutrient-rich foods to stay energized and satisfied. Nutritious snacks include a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, whole grain crackers with cheese, yogurt with granola, or veggies with hummus.

3. Give your brain a boost with dietitians’ top 10 smart snacks to pack in your lunch bag.
Smart snacks are rich in nutrients, with carbohydrates to fuel your brain, fibre to fill you up and protein to help energy last longer. Pack these top 10 dietitian-recommended snacks in your lunch bag:

1. Whole grain crackers with a hard-boiled egg

2. Handful of grapes with a chunk of cheese

3. Veggie sticks with hummus

4. Apple slices with almond butter

5. Fresh fruit added to yogurt

6. Handful of nuts with dried fruit

7. Edamame and mint-infused water

8. Snap peas with black bean dip

9. Banana with peanut butter

10. Crunchy roasted lentils and green tea

4. Here’s the bitter truth about the sugar content of popular sweet drinks:

  • A large (473 mL) specialty coffee with syrup and whipped cream has the equivalent of 17 sugar cubes.
  • A large (541 mL) fast-food smoothie made with juice concentrate has as much sugar as 20 cream-filled chocolate cookies.
  • A big (500 mL) sweetened bubble tea has the same amount of sugar as two cans of pop.
  • A large (563 mL) coffee shop “double-double” has the same calories and more sugar than a chocolate glazed donut.

Swap your sweet sips for water, small smoothies made with fruit or plain lattes, tea or coffee.

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.

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