Archive for April, 2015

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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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | 4 Comments »

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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