Posts Tagged ‘life’

Week 5: Make Small Changes Stick this #NutritionMonth!

March 25th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Lack of time, eating out, holidays, stress? We all have challenges that can sidetrack our healthy eating plans. Here are some strategies to help your small changes stick.

Planning how you’ll manage healthy-eating roadblocks before they happen is key to success.
Setbacks on a journey to healthier habits are a normal part of making changes. Knowing what some of your challenges are can help you be ready to deal with them. Get ready with a plan to manage detours:
• Think about what might get in your way of healthy eating.
• Brainstorm solutions to get around roadblocks.
• Put supportive strategies in place. Recruit family and friends to help on your path to a healthy you.
A slip in healthy eating habits is a learning opportunity. When it happens, review your plan, adjust as needed and get back on track.
For help staying motivated, get eaTracker at: www.eatracker.ca

Short on time? Be prepared with nourishing grab ‘n’ go foods, like yogurt, nuts and fruit.
Eating well doesn’t need to take a lot of time. A little planning helps you eat healthy, even on the run:
• Stock your kitchen with good-for-you snacks, like veggies, fruit, yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, seeds and whole grain crackers.
• Cook big batches of soup, stew or chili on weekends, then take a welcome cooking break on busy weekdays.
• Cook once. Eat twice. Make more food than you need for one meal and reinvent it for another.
• Shop for healthier convenience foods, such as frozen or pre-cut vegetables, plain frozen fish fillets, shredded cheese and canned lentils.

Stressed? Bored? Sad? Eating for reasons other than hunger can lead to mindless munching.
Do you ever find yourself eating, even when you’re not hungry? Do you eat when you are bored or distracted, like when watching TV? Do you eat to deal with stress or emotions? If so, you may be eating more than you think.
If you’re a mindless muncher, try putting these savvy strategies in place:
• Reduce boredom, sadness or stress by taking a brisk walk instead of nibbling.
• Eat mindfully. Don’t eat distracted. Make mealtimes screen-free, eat away from your desk and don’t snack while watching TV.

Menu minefield! Check restaurant nutrition info online to make better choices.
Eating out healthy can be challenging when faced with big portions, too few vegetables, indulgent desserts and too much fat, sugar and salt. Make better choices with these tips:
• Choose small or half-portions or save part of a big entrée for another meal.
• Ask for extra veggies on your wrap, pizza or burger. Replace white rice or pasta side dishes with steamed veggies.
• Ask for dressings and sauces on the side and add just enough for flavour.
• Love dessert? Go mini or get one dessert and several forks so you can share the great taste.

A dietitian can help you to get back on healthy-eating track! To find a dietitian in your area, visit www.dietitian.ca/find.

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2016.ca

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Check, check….Time for a reality check

December 30th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

As the year comes to a close it’s only natural to ponder what was, what is and what could be for 2016. It helps to clear your head of all of the ‘would have’, ‘could have’, ‘should have’s’. We’re ready for a clean slate as the New Year rolls in, right? Instead of setting an array of unrealistic expectations and goals work on one thing – keeping it real.

A perfect place to start is readying yourself for the usual barrage of unsubstantiated health and nutrition information that bombards us. Like Tim Caulfield suggests, steer clear of bunk!

As I write this I reside in the ultra-contrived city of Las Vegas, adults’ very own Disney Land. My first impression is, “I’m not in Kansas anymore, Auntie M!” like Dorothy proclaimed in the Wizard of Oz. One of the many billboards I passed during my time here read “Make Better Choices.” I thought, hmmmm, I don’t think their definition of “better choices” is the same as mine….

“Keeping it real” is far from this place’s motto, from fake eyelashes, to volcano eruptions at the Mirage, to silicone implants and more. Every hour is happy hour it would seem. People here put photographs on their business cards. All of them seem to be missing one important element… that would be business attire….They even have a “Menage a Trois” wine. I expect the flavour floods your senses with hints of exotic spices with a strong oaky finish…. twice…. Ahhh I digress.

Yes, I have written many times that “awareness is bliss” and keeping it real is the name of the game. When you know better, you do better. Keep this in mind for the dawning of 2016 as you do your own reality check:

  • May the advice you find and follow be steeped in scientific evidence
  • If something seems too good to be true, realize it probably is, then forget about it, and
  • Work Mother Nature into your life regularly – on your plate, with your outdoor activities and with your de-stress strategies

Peace out.

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The 12 Days of Christmas Remix

December 2nd, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Ok my cherished T & T followers. Another year has come and gone. Let’s all sing along together from the same proverbial song-sheet now that the Christmas season is in full swing, shall we? Hem hem hem….

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

1 Daily Breakfast – Successful losers say and research shows it’s the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it!

2 Little Snacks – Keeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous and overeating.

3 Square Meals – Having a regular eating routine with balanced meals helps your metabolism fire on all cylinders while kicking hunger to the curb. A true gift to yourself.

4 Food Groups – Enjoying food choices in a balanced fashion from all of the food groups will optimally nourish you as you take on all that the holidays have in store, fa la la la la, la la la la!

5 Quiet Moments – Let stress flow away when you find daily quiet time to ponder life and all it’s wonders…. Ummmmmm.

6 Times a Movin’ – Keeping regularly active (at least six, five minute intervals of moving daily) and even taking it up a notch this time of year to offset any extra nibbling will help you burn-baby-burn extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

7 Beauty Sleeps - Getting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite regulation and allows you to be more productive. Nite nite.

8 Mugs a Chuggin’ – Keep your water goblet by your side and sip, sip, sip to my Lou throughout the day to stay well hydrated. Infuse your water with fresh mint, zesty citrus or frozen berries. Bottoms UP!

9 Suares to Go To – Put on your party pants and get down on the dance floor doing the hokey pokey at these shin digs will help you burn 276 calories an hour, by rockin’ round the clock! Bye bye trifle calories…..

10 Fruit & Veg – Eating your quota of these puppies everyday helps fill you up while easing those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Like magic.

11 Saboteurs to Deal With – Prepare yourself with how you’re going to deal with food pushing saboteurs. Take the high road with a polite “no thank you” and avoid the battle ground. Refer back to #5 as needed as you say “fa la la la la…”

12 Times of Standin’ – Get up and move a little throughout the day, everyday. Do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about! Down with sitting’itis!

Ok folks, if you follow this beat for the coming weeks you’ll be in good shape and feeling extra cheer by New Year. Equip yourself with my e-book to get up to speed on some healthy and stealthy habits for 2016. God bless us every one!

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Take Me to Your Leader, a Father’s Day Tribute

June 19th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I did some reminiscing about my Dad lately with Father’s Day right around the corner. He’s been such a positive force and stellar role model for me. This applies to all aspects of my life, but of course I’ll focus on the health related part, mostly. It’s a good time to toot his horn and turn the spotlight on my family’s silent soldier. He’s a silent soldier in part due to living in a household with 5 women who barely allowed him to get a word in edgewise…. When I hear about the importance of various family factors resulting in positive health outcomes for kids, it warms my heart to know how lucky I’ve been.

Family MealtimesHe knew about prioritizing what was important in life despite being a busy accountant (and still does). We consistently ate meals together as a family – breakfast and dinner. Fathers can play a very important role in the health of their family by scheduling work accordingly. It was our time to eat a home cooked meal together, catch up on our day and connect.

Family Activities – We learned activities we can all do together – tennis, swimming, badminton and made time to do them.

Leading by Example – He is a master time compartmentalizer even when work was super crazy. He had a very busy job yet always made time for physical activity. He was in good shape and used to jog a few miles a day and play squash. My sister and I took up jogging too, following his lead. We figured if He can do it, we can too!

Showing Tough Love, Setting Limits as a United Front – My Mom and Dad always worked as a team and he supported my Mom with the limit setting. They weren’t our best friends, they were our parents and secure enough not to cross that line.

Encouragement with a Reality Check – My Dad encouraged us to be the best we could be in whatever we chose to do in life. He didn’t flower up reality and would give you the straight goods when you needed it. He expected we get part time jobs and work, save money and pay for what we could. We learned the value of a dollar and not to spend what we didn’t have. All important life skills.

What does all of this have to do with eating and lifestyle… well, everything??!! When your life is properly balanced, wisely prioritized with good examples to follow it’s easier to make sound decisions. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book reflects how my Dad conducted his life naturally.

Thank you Dad for being such an amazing father and role model to me. I kept the family name as a testament of my pride for what you built on our branch of the family tree. You’re the best and I love you bushels full!

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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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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie | 2 Comments »

Shades of Grey 5 MORE Ways

February 18th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Thought I’d follow that “shades of grey” theme from last week. There certainly are a multitude of grey zone issues in the realm of food and nutrition. I thought I’d feature a few more for you to digest!

Test, Test, Put Your Favourite Food to My Eating Satisfaction Test - Gotta love a test involving savouring your most favourite food, right? I used to be in love with anything deep fried, salted that went CRUNCH, until I put it to this test and it fell off my favourite food list. Go figure! My love of pie however, has endured…

Thoughts on Healthy – Everyone who eats is a self promoted nutrition expert, it would seem. From, “Eat your carrots!” to “Don’t let Timbits touch your lips!” and more. What’s my favourite line of singer Barry White “…too much of anything’s not good for you baby….” Right on Barry!

Weighing in on “Full” – Why is it that fullness and satiety are so elusive and ever changing? Here are some tips to help you get more satisfaction with less which’ll bring you double the joy AND more eating enjoyment!

Grey Matter Matters! – This is less about grey zone and  more about grey matter…I write on about eating well and getting fit, but alas I have spent too little time writing about ways to nurture your noodle – your bountiful brain. Grey matter should be top of mind!

What’s the best diet out there? – This is “greyist” question of them all! What can I say in short: own it, stick with science, don’t mess with the machine, follow the loser and enjoy the journey!

So there you have it folks, another smattering of grey zone food and nutrition issues to mull over as February rolls on. Anyone can manage in the absolutes of black and white, but the grey zone is where real complexities lie.
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Endorphins: Mother Nature’s Blue Monday Boost

January 26th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have been doing quite a bit of blogging about ways to get and stay motivated this fine January. Many people take on the New Year and make a list of “what NOT to do from this day forward”. I say we should fill up our life and find ways to boost our motivation and spirits daily even on the coldest, cloudiest day. They say that the last Monday in January is the bleakest of the year. Say what? Time to tune your attitude in and work in ways to feel good, naturally.

We may live in a material world, but you can rely on the deep mysteries of your own body to lift your spirits. A special secret lies in the realities of endorphins, ahhh. It’s touted as the brain’s “feel good” chemical. Why not find ways to release more every day of the year? Flood your senses and listen UP!

Say Ommmmmm – Meditation and controlled breathing can help give you an endorphin lift. Visualize you at your goal weight and take the pressure off by taking it down a notch while relieving stress.

Unleash Your Giggler – Hearty belly laughs are an automatic joy lifter too. Look on the bright side and stop taking life so seriously. Turn that frown upside down while turning on the Comedy Channel!

Get Spicy – Hot chilli peppers added to your food can trigger a release. Sprinkle some on your eggs, pasta or stir fry and get all steamy with it as your endorphin elixir. Check out my Nan’s Arrabiatta recipe to spice it up a notch!

Turn On the Tunes – Crank up your favourite tunes and your spirits will lift as well. I love the motivation/pop music setting on Sonza as my mid-day picker upper. Check it out and work it into your routine, la la la la la la ba da ahhh.

Vamoose Your Caboose – Exercise and activity provide a whole lot of benefits on this front which can provide that “runner’s high”, decrease stress, ward off depression, boost self esteem while improving sleep to name a few of the many benefits. Make your interval training be comprised of moves you enjoy. Get outside and play!

Now here’s a spoiler alert that good lovin’, chocolate and light alcohol all boost your endorphins too. These can be enjoyed as a Valentine trifecta, which is right around the corner! Flood your senses!

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Your Night Before Christmas

December 22nd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

T’was the night before Christmas and all in my head,
Was a real long “to do” list, and a big sense of dread.

I had come down to realize that I would make me a plan,
And to get started and make it, with ideas I ran.

I mulled some things over and made me a list,
One of these, one of those, eh, there was nothing I missed!

I would focus on what’s right during this most solemn time,
That brings joy and meaning, my thoughts turned on a dime.

With merriment, faith, joy, hope and love all abound,
Soul searching helps these feelings eventually come ’round.

For this outlook was different with focus on purpose,
Helps priorities align to what’s important to us.

Our neighbour is older and can use a hand,
With the snow shovelling perhaps or a sprinkle of sand.

My friend in my hood is going through chemo,
Could use a prayer, a kind word or allow her to give an earful.

What the season’s about, well it is all up to you,
It can focus on “me me me”, or it can focus on what’s true.

You can spend all your time fretting about what others will say,
Or you can do what is right and say “yo, what the hey!”

Soon the big day is coming, so will yours be alright?
With attention on others, bringing goodness and light?

Ya it’s fun to partake in the parties with wine,
After some goblets of “Oculus” you’ll be feeling mighty fine!

Try to remember what others are doing,
Is there food on their table? Are there some troubles brewing?

The very thought of that notion puts a lump in my throat,
Our Christmas Caravan gives to the needy with food or a coat.

What you make of this season is all up to you,
You can worry about you or what’s important to do.

Change of your focus from inward to outward I say,
With thought, time and effort you can make someone’s day.

It’s the littlest thing, that can mean so much in this world,
And one deed leads to another then another unfurled.

Then you’ll see that your focus on “me, myself and I”,
You’ll open your heart and look up to Heaven and say “my oh my”!

Find perspective on life, where priorities should be,
Cause at the end of the day it’s not all about me.

Get moving, get helping, be productive and then,
You’ll find the pieces of the puzzle fall into place again.

Merry Christmas to you, your family and others,
Cause we’re really all related, we’re all sisters and brothers.

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Freeze Frame the Christmas Reframe

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

Christmas reframe
Stop and freeze frame
Sparkle from within
Be genuine

Do things for the right reason
During this and every season
Be pure as snow
Bring joy – Ho! Ho! Ho!

Put a song in your heart
A gift of you, to impart
Listen more and talk less
Worth the effort, I confess

Give the benefit of the doubt
That’s what relationships are all about
Be a sweet elixir
A real strong bond fixer

Act the truth
That’s the proof
March to a new beat
Not always an easy feat

Help others and aim to feel
Peace and kindness, keep it real
Slow down and take the time
Make your inner light shine

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New word du jour “bleach-a-what”?

December 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , ,

I’m deep in the pluck dow of late. I feel more pensive this time of the year, as a New Year is rolling around. How about you? I find myself mulling over life and reflecting for more meaning. My navel gazing came to a screeching halt when I scanned a tweet about a new word of the day “bleachorexia”, hmmmmmm. My mind wandered.

What pratel would that be? Could this mean someone who wants to bleach their clothes too much demanding their whites be “whiter than white”? Nay nay, I say! How about bleach blonds and that whole phenomenon then? Nope! Ahhh then the meaning of this new age term “bleachorexia” as 2014 comes to a close (drumroll please) is: whitening your teeth too much…. sigh…. good grief …awe come on….say whaaaaat?

I’ve written before that it can be a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World in my ebook. Now I know it! Don’t get me wrong, I love a pearly white smile, but a fluorescent set, not so much. As I try to find more meaning in life, this is what the world is doing too much of: tooth whitening? I felt like rolling up in a ball and hibernating from everyone for a few days to divorce myself from the ridiculousness.

I pondered this some more and thought well next year’s new word will probably be “textorexia” maybe I missed it and it was last year’s. How about “sit-on-your-butt-orexia”? That would fit our current state of inertia. So would “screen-time-orexia” too…. We can certainly use some “fruit&veg-orexia”, don’t you think?

This time of year I’m searching for something meaningful. Let’s hope for more in our world like “peace-orexia” “hope-arexia” and “charity-orexia” with a splash of “love-orexia” on the side…. we can only hope…

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Posted in Francy Rants | No Comments »