Archive for July, 2014

Lunchtime Wisdom at Work

July 30th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about how to approach lunchtime at work recently, hmmmmm. When you want get the most out of your workday, choosing what you nosh on at noon can help you sail through the afternoon if you’re strategic about it. Here are some words of wisdom to approach this daily meal:

Just Right – You want to satisfy your hunger, but not overeat which’ll make you sluggish for the balance of the afternoon.

Just in Time – Ideally, have lunch a few hours after breakfast, when you’re hungry but not ravenous. Raging hunger can result in ordering and eating more than you actually need.

Slow as you Go – Up your enjoyment quotient of your meal and slow down your eating pace. Aim to eat away from your desk and workstation.  Try not to eat while you’re working so you can relax.

Balancing Act – Your food will be absorbed more slowing and you’ll feel more satisfied longer when you choose a mixed meal containing protein, some fat with complex crab’s.

Fill-er-UP – Including high fiber choices will also help fill you up so choose whole grain bread, beans/peas/lentils, fresh fruit and veggies, nuts/seeds. Protein foods also helps you feel satisfied when you eat.

Keep it Real – Choose real food in place of those meal replacement bars and drinks whenever possible which will infuse some joy into your day instead of fueling up artificially.

Find a Friend or Split & Save – Find a friend at work to share lunch with if you’re choosing a larger than usual portion OR split what you order in half and refrigerate it to enjoy tomorrow.

Wash it Down – Enjoy your lunch with Mother Nature’s elixir – water. Whether it’s straight, or frizante (mineral water), or boiled (to make tea/coffee) why not keep it simple? Aim to have water at your desk to keep you hydrated for the whole day, to avoid a slump like a wilted flower.

Take it Outside – Get your circulation moving and get out for a walk. This will help clear out cobwebs, sort your thoughts and ideas and energize you.

Fuelling up at lunch with a stealthy approach can keep you blazing through the day to be as effective as you can possibly be. Enjoy!

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Monday Moves

July 28th, 2014 4 Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I hope this message finds you making goals to move more this Monday my mavens. We’re in the thick of this glorious summer, so getting your glutes and bella gambas in gear is great. I don’t know about you, but I just want to find ways to take it up a notch by just doing a little more. You can find healthy and stealthy ways to get and keep moving when you set your mind to it. After all sitting is the new smoking, no?

Garden Party – Keep up with your dandelions and have a weekly weeding meeting. Bending, stretching, pulling and hoe-oing is so therapeutic for your soul, your muscles and your garden. It’s perfect to get some fresh air and connect with Mother Nature.

Don’t Say “Nayyyy” to Hoofing It - Leave the car at home when you can and walk or bike ride to your neighbourhood destinations, whether there’s a letter to mail, a prescription to pick up, a deposit to make or a few groceries to get. Better yet, walk and play with the neighbour’s dog, meet Bernadette (in this photo). You’ll put in more steps while seeing how your neighbours’ gardens are flourishing. If you start this habit now, it’ll become automatic to continue next season.

Do the Car Wash, YA – If you have 30 minutes on hand, grab a bucket, pull out your car and wash it. You’ll feel like a kid again cooling off with the hose spray while moving more. Your wheels’ll sparkle like new!

Heat’s Got You Beat? Shop Around! – When it’s too hot to go out, head to the mall and walk there. It’s an ideal way to get some extra steps in rain or shine when extreme heats got you beat.

Do the Duvet Wrestle – Freshen up your bed cover then assemble it. Ever tried to stuff your duvet right out of the dryer in your bed cover solo?? Feel the burn baby! That hot flash sequence might get set off while you tussle with it. I kid you NOT. Don’t zip yourself inside though!

Our bodies were meant to move, so while it’s the height of summer add some extra activities. Every little bit helps!!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | 4 Comments »

Summertime Scoop – Go Figure!

July 25th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was scanning my Twitter feed recently and read a tweet by Tim Horton’s about “treating yourself to an Oreo Iced Cap”. On another occasion a tweet by 7-11 mentioned something about summer freebie drinks. I was intrigued, and not in a good way, hmmmmm. Feeling curious, I decided to do some number sleuthing, yet again, thinking about how people might be looking to “cool off” in the summer time and what these add up to in energy.

I get a bee in my bonnet about this sort of thing because there isn’t consistent menu labelling across Canada, if at all. Just like awareness is bliss by learning what’s in packaged food, finding this same information for fast food offerings requires a search team or an Ouija board to get the details. I have stood in line in a Starbucks in California and have changed my order because of the calorie information listed. We certainly need the basic information (if not more details) here, in the great not-so-white north. Don’t you think?

Here are some of my findings:

Tim Horton’s
Oreo Iced Cap (large) – 610 calories
Mango Pineapple Fruit Smoothie – 290 calories

Slurpee (42 oz) – 570 calories
Lemonade (12 oz) – 100 calories

Booster Juice
Ripped Berry (24 oz) – 526 calories
Mean Mocha (24 oz) – 724 calories
Acai High Impact (24 oz) – 540 calories
Tropical Tornado (24 oz) – 403 calories

My hair stands on end with numbers like these folks. Not only because most are so astronomically through the roof but also because who would ever think a super food drink such as acai would fare out so extremely high. Drinks are food too and don’t get exempt from your body’s energy balance mechanism because it’s a fluid. The fluid might wash through your kidneys, but the energy ALWAYS gets counted. There’s no white washing that system! I’m SURE people would make alternate choices if they knew this info upfront.

That 7-11 freebie Slurpee might not cost you any money while on special, but you certainly get more than you bargained for, that you may not have wanted in the first place. I’m sure you’ll choose to cool off with something OTHER than the Oreo Iced Cap from Tim’s too now that you know how many calories are in it.

If you just played a sweaty game of tennis or took a strenuous bike ride all of your positive efforts are negated by pouring these not-so-innocent bevy’s down your gullet if you choose to “treat” yourself. Stop the madness my maven!!

I’m sure now that you’re aware of what some of these contain it will get you to think about your drink before you unleash a cool one! Here’s a photo of a Citrus Smoothie I whipped up in 5 minutes flat with what I had on hand in my refrigerator – cool, refreshing, yummy, fast and easy to prepare.

If you want to read more about your drinks etc. check out my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books with healthy and stealthy ideas to help you make better choices more often.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Policy for the People | No Comments »

Sports Supports….

July 23rd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I watched a rerun of a Marketplace show this past weekend with the spotlight on sports drinks, “nutrition” bars and shoes. How appropriate to rerun this in summer. Obviously, I have a particular interest in the sports drinks and bars. I have heard the claims that these products are backed by science, hmmmm.

I have often had “emperors new clothes” moments, scratching my head thinking, “…yes these drinks are backed by science to support athletes. But when I look right and look left in my neighbourhood, nary an athlete is in sight. What gives?” Tom Harrington, the show host, highlighted that a meagre 2% of our entire population are athletes.

It was eye opening to see his guest sports med doctor Greg Wells do bloodwork on “regular people” jogging for 45 minutes and elite athletes working out, after which time one thing was concluded, everybody needed to drink more water.

Those sports bars always make me wonder too, why eat such a thing when real food is in your midst? It was refreshing to hear our mega-medal olympian Clara Hughes say “eat real food”. Why choose something so concocted? It’s ridiculous!

I won’t get into the “shoe part” of the discussion. I did; however, buy myself new running shoes this year and was mystified by the wall-o-choices in the various stores I visited. Although I am a tortoise, I value supporting my aging feet. I was faced with the dilemma to go for the $175 pair with so many features or the $75 pair that felt just as comfy. Becoming wiser in my older age I went for the cheaper ones and figured if these fell apart I can get another pair and still have change in my pocket… They’re still doing fine.

So for you sports mavens out there – you might be an athlete in your mind, but reconsider the need to fall for these extra special products, get back to the basics and keep it real!

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Monday Motivation

July 21st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Look up
Full cup

Bird song
Days long
Warm days
Sun rays

New pace
Don’t hide!

No excuse
Lots of choice
Let’s rejoice!

Dance or swim
On a whim
Walk or run
Have some fun!

Fresh air
Can’t compare
Summer time
Feeling fine

Seize the week
No defeat
It’s up to you
What you choose to do!

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Double Your Fitness Fun, Double The Benefit

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

Another interesting and insightful study came out of Brian Wansink’s Food & Brand Lab at Cornell recently, this time looking at activity and eating. Two studies were conducted with adults. The first had study subjects believe they were either going on a “scenic” walk or an “exercise” walk around a small lake. Following their walk they were given lunch. Those we were told they were on an “exercise” walk ate 35% more chocolate pudding for dessert than those told they were on a scenic walk.

In the second study adults were given a snack after a walk. Those told they were on an “exercise” walk ate twice more M&M’s calories than those told there were on a “scenic” walk. Hmmmm, no wonder I like to think of my routine as an activity rather than exercise. I have written many times and describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books to build a love affair with your activity routine.

Just the words “exercise”, “regimen”, “workout” bring a few beads of sweat to my forehead from my history of bad memories of gym class and being chosen last for dodge ball, being made to run around the track and the like. Do something you love that doesn’t feel like you’re punishing yourself. Your outlook to taking that approach could have double the benefit of getting and staying in shape AND not feeling you need to compensate and eat more.

Our bodies were meant to move – walk, saunter, garden, swim, jump, ride, dance, shimmy, samba, sache, shuffle, skate, slide, ski, sweep and enjoy it!

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Enable with the Food Label

July 16th, 2014 3 Comments Tags: , , ,

Health Canada is doing a “label-otomy” of sorts on food packages and the makeover plans are showing promise. I’m sure you’ve heard.

Here are 5 proposed changes that I think will help you in your quest to choose healthier food which being suggested:

1) Revise the serving size – it is being proposed that the serving sizes of similar foods be uniform so when you compare similar products it is easier to compare two labels. They are devising reference amounts of food that consumers usually eat.

2) Regroup nutrients of concern together – the nutritional information for fat, sugar and salt, for example will be listed in a group together rather than being spaced out on the nutrient list.

3) Lump together sugar – the ingredients which are sugar using various names on the label will be consolidated together so it is more clear all of the sources of added sugar, instead of these being spread out in the list for you to find.

4) Separate out added sugar – the panel will have the added sugar on a separate line, so that you don’t need an Ouija Board to figure out how much a serving contains.

5) Create a location near the table for cautionary messages – there will be one uniform place on the label where the producer will add any note of caution so you aren’t left playing Where’s Waldo? looking for this info.

Now What’s in All the Food Consumers Choose? It’s great to better equip yourself to make better choices, thank you Health Canada. Now, all we need to know is what’s in all of the restaurant food we’ve been eating. Don’t you think? Consumers deserve to know what’s in ALL of the food they eat whether it’s from the grocery store, the drive through or a restaurant. Wouldn’t you agree.

In my ebook Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Booksin Chapter 7 I suggest you try Fab 4 [not 44] food related changes and reading labels is one of them. I often drum home the adage that awareness is bliss so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I suggest you take the time to find out what’s in the food products you choose. Now’s as good a time as any to go over this again.

If you haven’t already got up close and personal with the food you choose, I suggest you book a time in your calendar to acquaint yourself with the nutrition facts panel and ingredient list right in the comfort of your own home. Check out what is really in every product that makes it in to your grocery cart, then home and eventually down your family’s gullet. Don’t miss anything – go through your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer and begin making decisions on how you can make a few changes when you shop next week. You’ll agree with me that awareness IS bliss.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Nutrition News, Policy for the People | 3 Comments »

World Cup or Stein!

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

World cup
Play tough
Suck it up
Need some luck

Yellow card
Play hard
Ref jarred
On guard

Head shot
Make it pop
Gotta stop!
Believe it or not

Long game
No shame
Who’s to blame?
Too tame

To and fro
Watch them go
Goetze he
Stole the show

Game’s done!
Germans won!
How fun!

Get off the duff
Move that stuff
No guff
Enough’s enough!

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What’s so super about “super food”?

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

I’ve been doing some thinking about super food lately, hmmmmm. When I think about what’s been in vogue through the ages Popeye and spinach come to mind, pomegranate, acai too, blueberries, avocados, tomatoes, even carrots. When I stand back and think about how our bodacious body works, I have learned we need a wide array of elements, those vitamins and minerals, fibre and water to make our masterful machine fire on all cylinders. You can eat carrots until the cows come home and make your skin turn orange but that wouldn’t be very super, would it?

Here’s what I think is super:

Super Routine – Our body works more efficiently when we eat and drink throughout the day such as having 3 meals and a few small snacks. Fasting or going hours on end inconsistently without eating puts your body on fasting alert which is exactly what you don’t want it to do. Practice a predictable routine and your body will love you back.

Super Balance – Unlike a car that only uses petrol, our body needs all of the vitamins and minerals, fibre plus water with a good mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. There is not 1 superfood that will provide all of this, so why keep searching for it. I’m all for trying new healthy foods but work them into a mixed diet and solid repertoire.

Super Attitude – I write a lot about establishing a love affair with food, explained in more detail in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books where all foods fit. It’s a mindset of acceptance that kicks guilt to the curb – where it belongs.

Super Hydration – We need our fluids consistently to keep all systems functioning optimally as well. Water is the golden standard. Keep in mind caffeine and alcohol have diuretic properties so if you choose to have these, do so in moderation. Also, most food is water based and contributes to your hydration to some degree.

Super Moves – We can talk about food and drink all we like, but remember our bodies were meant to move. Get active every single day!

Super Sleep – Like every masterful machine, our body needs an appropriate amount of sleep and downtime to regenerate. If you DON’T snooze you will certainly lose!

So folks, go ahead and ride the waves of super foods coming our way. I love them all. But be mindful of choosing these in the context of balance which our bodacious body requires.

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What’s sweet, savoury, creamy and tart that goes crunch??

July 9th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

What’s sweet, savoury, creamy and tart that goes crunch?? Dessert you say? No, it’s salad, my salad! I have proclaimed myself as the best salad maker in all of the land. I make it every night and it disappears like a magician’s bunny rabbit – poof! Never a morsel left when I have company either. To me, salad should taste delectable like dessert. If you have “veggie haters” in your household, give this a try. Here are some salad basics:

Veggie Might? – Every salad has a base of fresh crunchy lettuce. I choose a different variety every week to keep things interesting in my bowl. Sometimes I use a spring mix, sometimes I feel like something bitter and use baby spinach or arugula other times romaine. I always slip in an extra veggie by adding in peeled English cucumber cubes.

Sweet Dream Believer – I add 3 sources of sweetness – multicoloured mini tomatoes, cut up fruit in season – pomegranate, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plum, nectarine, apple, grapes, mango, grapefruit or pear; and cut up dried fruit – cherries, cranberries, blueberries or raisins.

Pucker Power – Add in some sharp cheese to make you pucker – whether it’s some shredded asiago or Romano, crumbled feta or goat’s cheese.

Crunch & Munch – Sprinkle some unsalted toasted nuts to your mix – slivered almonds, soy nuts, pumpkin or sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans or pine nuts.

Put Some Bite in Your Bark – Include some sliced Spanish onion that adds punch to your pucker!

Get UNDressed – Grind some fresh pepper and add a dash of salt then drizzle on balsamic vinegar and olive oil. There’s no need for a plethora of bottled dressings.

Mix it up well like the Tazmanian Devil did on the Bugs Bunny Show. The cheese will add a creamy mouthfeel, while the the dried cherries will leave an endnote of cinnamon on your palate. Every forkful is a taste explosion with sweet, savoury, creamy, tartness that goes crunch! This combination will turn a veggie hater into a greens keeper who will beg for it every night. That’s the best part!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »