Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the greatest superfood of all?? #NutritionMonth

March 30th, 2017 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Well folks, March is Nutrition Month. The theme this year is Take the Fight out of Food! Spot the problem. Get the facts. Seek support. Who doesn’t have a fight with food? Practically no one, that’s who!

I’m shining the spotlight on food fads. When I was a newly minted dietitian it seemed like some “people out there” in the “joe general public” followed food fads. But fast forward to today and many people I know are following so many misguided notions. Sadly the information highway is littered with “alternate facts” which are myths in disguise. Good grief…. Check out this three step approach:

Step 1: Spot the problem.
Let’s focus on super foods, shall we – one day the media goes cuckoo over coconut, the next season they go gaga over goji berries then on to accolades of acai, what gives? Reading and trying to follow these fads does one thing with certainty – they pack a punch on your pocketbook and create confusion for many consumers. One thing I know for sure is fundamental nutrition doesn’t go in and out of style like bell bottoms or platform shoes. Still wondering what food IS the greatest one of all?

Step 2: Get the facts.
You might have an urge to follow the “food fad du jour” with spring in the air. But remember, your bodacious body requires the entire array of nutrients every single day to run on all cylinders. The super foods I mentioned might be high in various nutrients, yet they cannot sustain life on their own – poof goes the magic! You still need to balance your nutritional requirements.

There are so many local foods that might not make it to the spotlight, yet are super just the same. Why not save your money and go loco over local every day of the year! Here are a few ideas:

  • Can’t beet a bargain! – Last year I found 10 pound bags of beets and carrots for under $5 in my grocery store. Every few months I haul one home, scrub ‘em up, roast, peel and freeze them in 1 pound bags. They are at my fingertips to make salads and add to dishes any old time.
  • Don’t be a diary contrarian! –  I am an self proclaimed dairy queen! Every week you’ll find milk, Greek yoghurt, various cheeses and even real iced cream in my grocery cart. Dairy’s nutrient richness fills any nutrient shortfall and tastes great. In my e-book Skinny on Slim, the little black dress of diet books, I suggest 4 NOT 44 changes to make to your diet. Check it out!
  • Finger on the pulse- Beans, peas and lentils are making their way to the centre of my plate more and more. There are so many delicious dishes that are also economical, it’s astounding! Give them a try!
  • Unpretentious potato – Sadly there are many unfounded starchy misconception about our PEI potatoes that need to end now.

Step 3: Seek support.
The bottom line: Make your diet super by ensuring it’s balanced. Save your money and find many nutrient rich foods right in your grocery store for a fraction of the cost of the marketed super food du jour, but with the many benefits for your body!

Do you want more advice? Find a dietitian near you: www.dietitians/find.ca

It’s not too late to take the pledge to Take the Fight out of Food! and subscribe to the e-News at www.NutritionMonth2017.ca

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The 12 Days of Christmas Remix

December 5th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Hem hem hem…. Ok my cherished T & T followers. Another year is zipping by and the Christmas season is in full swing! Let’s sing along from the same proverbial song-sheet to get through to the other end the same jean size, shall we?

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

One Daily BreakfastSuccessful losers say and research shows it’s the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it!

Two Little SnacksKeeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous and overeating.

Three Square MealsHaving a regular eating routine with balanced meals helps you fire on all cylinders while kicking hunger to the curb. Remember that hunger management project you started in November?

Four Small PlatesKeeping your eyes on your serving size by using smaller plates is an easy way to help you eat less over the holidays and everyday!

Five Quiet MomentsLet stress flow away when you find quiet times to ponder life and all it’s wonders. Ummmmmm.

Six 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 any extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

Seven Beauty SleepsGetting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite control and allows you to be more productive. Nitey nite.

Eight Mugs a Chuggin’Always keep that water goblet of life half full and by your side. 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!

Nine Ladies DancingRocking around the clock at your Christmas party like it’s 1999 will help you burn baby burn 276 calories an hour!! Bye bye extra serving of Christmas trifle calories…..

Ten Fruit & VegEating your quota of these puppies everyday will help fill you up and ease those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Poof, like magic!

Eleven Saboteurs to Deal WithPrepare yourself with how you’re going to deal with food pushing saboteurs. Take the high road with a polite “no thank you” and HO HO HOld the attitude!

Twelve Drummers Drummin’ Marching to the beat of your own drum puts you in the dietary drivers seat. Stick with it soul sister, you’ll be glad you did!

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 for more healthy and stealthy tips for 2017.

God bless us every one!

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Say You Want an Evolution…. Not a Revolution!

April 1st, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Did you take part in a 100 meal journey in March by making a small nourishing change? You probably heard that we eat about 100 meals in a month, so making one small lasting change that you stick with is a bigger deal than you think. It is certainly a fabulous start to a healthier you! It wasn’t painful whatsoever choosing one small change to stick with, was it? I chose trying a new recipe each week, how about you?

If you sailed through your 100 meal journey, consider making another new small change for April. Get inspired by another idea from my past 5 blog posts. Spring has sprung! Many of us wake up post winter hibernation and feel the need to start a diet revolution to right all of the couch-potato wrongs from last season. Nay nay I say, look forward, don’t look back!

Instead of starting a revolution, continue your 100 meal journey which is a lifestyle evolution. Make a small change and work on making it stick each month. If you continue this non-painstaking journey for an entire year you will have made 12 changes that contribute to your health and wellbeing. That’s pretty significant stuff when you stack them all up! If you want to take on a bit more than 1 change a month consider trying my 3 x 3 and you will take it a manageable notch up to keep the momentum going. Making any more changes at the same time than that can be overwhelming and difficult to stick with over time.

Don’t be like Che Guavera and start a revolution! Make it an evolution! Send in the reinforcements and read Skinny on Slim.

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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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Week 3: Prioritize Portion Size this #NutritionMonth!

March 11th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

When it comes to healthy eating, how much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Eating portions that are too big can lead to overeating and weight gain. Follow these tips to manage the munchies while enjoying realistic portions.

Give yourself a hand! Size up your portions with handy estimates.

Wondering if you’re eating too much or too little? Use your hand and try these estimates on for size:

• 1 cup of leafy green veggies or 1 whole piece of fruit = 1 fist
• Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables = ½ fist
• 1 slice of bread or ½ bagel = 1 hand
• 1 cup of milk or ¾ cup of yogurt = 1 fist
• 50 grams of cheese = 2 thumbs
• Serving of chicken = palm of hand
• ¾ cup of pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chick peas) = 1 fist

For more handy serving sizes, visit: https://www.eatrightontario.ca/handyguide/

Size counts! Package, plate and portion sizes can influence how much you eat.

Larger portions, huge packages and bigger plates and bowls can all cause overeating. Set your table for portion-size success with these tips:

• Use smaller, lunch-sized plates and bowls for meals. You’ll eat less but still feel satisfied.
• Serve food, or have family members serve themselves, from the counter or the stove.
• Keep serving dishes of vegetables on the table. If you’re still hungry, eat second portions of veggies.
• Put large glasses of water on the table. You might even drink more water.

Manage munchies! Keep treat-type snack foods out of sight so you’ll be less likely to nibble.
Studies show, you are more likely to choose available, easily reached foods. Try these tips to make healthy choices easier:
• Keep nourishing snacks (e.g. hardboiled eggs, cut up veggies, yogurt, nuts, whole grain crackers) on an eye-level shelf in the fridge or cupboards so something healthy is the first thing you see.
• Put high-fat, high-sugar treats, such as cookies, into non-transparent containers at the back of the fridge or cupboard so they’re out of sight.
• Clear kitchen counters of all food except for a bowl of fresh fruit for crunchy snacking.

Fuel up! For long-lasting satisfaction, eat fibre- and protein-rich foods.
Finding yourself hungry too soon after eating meals or snacks? You might need to add more fibre- and protein-rich foods to your meals. Fibre helps fill you up and protein helps your energy last longer. Together, they deliver meal and snack satisfaction.

• Fibre up. Choose more vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains (e.g. barley or oatmeal), ground flax, nuts and seeds, and pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chickpeas).
• Put protein on your plate. Enjoy small portions of meat, fish, poultry or alternatives (eggs, pulses, tofu) and milk products.
For fantastic fibre-filled or protein-packed recipes, visit: www.cookspiration.com

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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Week 1: Start a 100 Meal Journey this #NutritionMonth!

February 26th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Eating well can boost your health and help you feel your best. Want to eat better? Instead of trying to change everything at once, take a 100 Meal Journey. We eat about 100 meals in a month, so focus on making a small, lasting change and stick with it… one meal at a time. March is Nutrition Month, so now is a perfect time to join in!

Committing to make a healthy change is a great first step. Take a week to get prepared. Try some tips for choosing change, setting goals and putting strategies in place to support your 100 Meal Journey.

Pledge to make a small, nourishing change and stick with it, one meal at a time.
Too many changes at once can be overwhelming and hard to keep up. It’s better to make one nourishing change that sticks.

First, choose your change. Think about your eating habits. Where can you make a positive, easy change? Here are some ideas that can make a big difference:
• Fill more of your plate with vegetables.
• Choose whole grain instead of white bread.
• Serve smaller portions, start by using a smaller plate.
• Enjoy fruit for snacks instead of sweet or salty treats.
• Drink water in place of sugary beverages, like pop.
Then, set small goals, get ready for action and join other Canadians on a 100 Meal Journey.
Pledge here: www.NutritionMonth2016.ca

Pantry raid! Take stock of your cupboards, fridge and freezer. Add foods to nourish your 100 Meal Journey.
Making nourishing meals and snacks is easier when you have healthy foods on hand. Get your kitchen ready for action with these good-for-you foods:
• Vegetables and fruit: fresh or plain frozen, dried and canned
• Whole grains: oats, barley, quinoa, pasta, cereals, crackers, breads
• Milk products: milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir
• Nuts, seeds and nut butters: pumpkin seeds, flax, natural peanut butter
• Canned and dried pulses: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans
• Eggs: whole or cartons of eggs or egg whites
• Fish: plain frozen fish fillets, canned tuna or salmon
• Meat and poultry: fresh cuts of red meat, turkey, chicken

Change your eating environment. Add healthy cues, like a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter.
Look around your house, workplace, car or anywhere you might be eating. Are there cues, like candy bowls and cookie jars, that hinder healthy habits? Redesign your environment with healthy cues to prompt good choices. Try these ideas:
• Put a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. Keep all other food in the fridge or cupboards.
• Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk so it’s ready for sipping instead of sugary drinks.
• Store nourishing snacks, like cut up veggies, handy at eye level in your fridge. Put tempting treats at the back of the cupboard.

Mull all of this over and choose 1 easy thing to change, make a commitment by taking the pledge and stick with it throughout March. I pledged to try a new recipe each week throughout March. What will you pledge?

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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Press the re-Start Button…

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

It seems as if I blinked and February rolled in. How are your New Year’s resolutions progressing? Have they morphed from intention to action? Sometimes life’s commitments get in the way of progress, but today is as good as any day to press the re-start button. Reframe your thinking by considering these ideas:

Just for Today – Shift your focus and work on your goal “just for today”. Eat just a little better and find opportunities to stand and move a little more, more often. Sometimes we psych ourselves out wanting a mountain of change by next month, next season, next birthday and more. By keeping your head in today, those goals will come to fruition down the road.

The Weigh In – Early in January, Dr. Brian Wansink reported on the importance of weighing in throughout the weeks post holiday noshing. Like I always say “awareness is bliss” and the scale never lies. I have taken heed of this advise and weigh ins have served as a reminder to nip the nosh-fest in the bud.

Work in Intervals - Time can be on your side when you find 5 minutes here, or 15 minutes there to move more. Forget about finding a full hour or more if you have been out of any activity routine. You can more easily add up these intervals to 30 – 60 minutes by sneaking your moves in. You may eventually feel so good you may schedule in more activity to move, to destress and energize yourself!

Plan a Small Change – Next month (March) is Nutrition Month. The theme is “Take a 100 meal journey. Make a small change one meal at a time.” While you’re working on doing just a little bit better, join in starting February 23, 2016 and Take the Pledge. While you’re at it find ideas, follow the weekly topics throughout March from “Get Ready!” “Quality Counts!” “Prioritize Portion Size!” “Try Something New!” to “Make it Stick!”

Instead of life getting in the way of your goals, let your goals get integrated in your life little by little by taking the first step.

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Control, Alt, Delete

January 20th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

How many times do you hit these keys on your computer – control, alt, delete? Now that 2016 is in full swing, let’s consider how to apply this to our everyday lives. Listen up!

Control – Do you experience eating struggles? How much energy do you waste with preoccupations about food and eating? Break away from your current vortex and try something new by becoming more aware. As I often say “awareness is bliss”. When you understand what’s sending you into a tailspin you’ll be better prepared to reframe your way of thinking and change what you’re doing. Consider the following new steps to break out:
1) Start a Journalling Journey to create a love affair with food & activity. For the coming weeks scribble down details about food, eating and more as described in my ebook. Your journal will hold the keys to unlock your own personal eating mysteries, your own diet finger print.

2) Breaking Bad Habits – do the 3 x 3 – Instead of embarking on an overwhelming plan that twists your life into a pretzel to adhere to choose a few habits to work on at a time. What’s the rush? Why put any undue stress on yourself and take a slow and steady approach to make lasting change.

3) Thoughts on full – Instead of making food-related goals at first, change it up and choose behaviour goals instead with no food being deemed off limits.

Alt – Take a fresh, alternative approach to making new goals by being good to yourself. Work in as many positive ways to keep you stoked. You’ll love this new approach and wonder why you’ve been so hard on yourself depriving yourself, cleansing while not building yourself UP. Consider these new strategies:

1) Rewards to Stoke Motivation - From this day forward establish a reward system to treat yourself for good behaviour. Forget the punishment mentality once and for all!

2) Motivation 6 Ways – Work on an array of ways to stay motivated during the dead of winter. These will keep your motivation sizzling and NOT fizzling!

3) How are your goals taking shape? At various intervals take stock of your progress.

4) Reactivate your activity – If you’ve traditionally shut yourself in during winter, let yourself out! Renew a few ways to reactivate you moves. These will boost your endorphins and keep you pumped.

Delete – Put behind you old ways of thinking by finding new perspective:
1) One Plan to Rule them All - There are more than a 1,000 ways to do the same thing right. Figure out what’s right for you and custom create your own approach that fits your diet finger print that you will unveil while journalling.

2) Test, test do the Thanksgiving dinner test – If you do want to start a new eating regimen put it to my test, the Thanksgiving dinner test!

3) Eating Satisfaction Test - While you’re at it, this is a perfect time of year to put your favourite food to the test. Check this out as some of your faves might fall off your list. All of a sudden that Happy Meal is no longer making you smile…

There you have it folks, control, alt, delete yourself into the New Year. For more healthy and stealthy tips check out my ebook Skinny on Slim, The little black dress of diet books.

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Holiday Noshing 2.0

December 9th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Whether you’re dining with family, partying with coworkers or enjoying another restaurant meal with friends there are some habits you can program into your robotic repertoire to help you through with minimal drift to your mid section… Review these pointers, reflect on how you did and reframe for the next time. Most of all, enjoy!

Eat Smart – Scale back your daytime meals a smidgen to allow a bit extra for the special meal. Don’t cut back too much or you’ll end up feeling so ravenous that you’re hungry like a bull when you arrive. Being too hungry will propel you to eat like a buzz saw.

Wee Nibble – Have a wee snack before you go to take the edge off your appetite. It’s easier to make wiser choices when you’re feeling in control.

Be Like a Girl Guide – Plan ahead and be prepared, find out what’s being served and decide what tickles your fancy.

You Look Maaaarvelous! – Dress for eating success by wearing an outfit that is cinched around your waist and makes you feel divine. You are more likely to eat like a moo moo when you wear a mu- mu! Elastic waistbands are out. Sport a belt or something that fits like a glove.

Think About Your Drink! – Offer to be the designated driver and save a load of calories on bevvies. Otherwise, decide on your upper alcohol limit. You don’t want to be the talk of the party afterwards now, do you?

Say Bottoms UP – Make the first few drinks something bubbly… mineral water that is. Enjoy your wine when you begin eating.

Decisions, Decisions – Forgo wasting calories on everyday fare like bread and butter, olive oil or regular side dishes. Try trading off.

Zone In – Think about how full you’re starting to feel during your meal and slow down if you’re shovelling the food down your gullet. If that zipper on your dress had a voice, what would it be saying right now? “Let me out!” Join in the conversation and put your fork down now and then.

Mind Games – If your hostess is Foodzilla, a food-pushing saboteur, move the food around your plate. When she tries to dish you more, blurt out “Yes I took seconds and they’re divine, mmm…”

Bond Time – Focus on connecting with others, how great you feel, the enjoyment and laughter. Food ought not be your only focus. Branch out a little. There’s more to life than stuffing your face.

10 More – Up the ante on your exercise routine the following day to work off any excess and cut back a bit in the coming days if you overdid it. No big deal, you’ll nip that nosh-fest in the bud, yet will savour the fond memories.

A little planning and juggling make a world of difference. You can still party hearty and keep your weight in check – double the fun. Ho ho ho-ld the excuses once you prepared!

For more tips to handle life’s multitude of eating temptations check out Chapter 9 of my e-book Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and enjoy!

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Test 1-2, Test: The Thanksgiving Dinner Test

November 25th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well folks, American Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Who doesn’t love this festive weekend, especially the lavish family meals that go with it, not to mention the football extravaganza. “All the way” in spades my friends!

That horn of plenty is bursting with all that harvest has to offer. Think about what is served at a typical Thanksgiving dinner: the turkey, the nutty dressing, those golden roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mashed yams, cauliflower and cheese casserole, homemade pie with a dab of ice cream. Ahhh gotta love all of this with a repeat to cover both sides of the bella famiglia.

Some people, might like this time of year though to kick off a better eating plan along with the football season. If this is the case for you put whatever regimen you’re considering to my special test – the “Thanksgiving Dinner Test” explained in my ebook Skinny on Slim. If a diet doesn’t allow you to eat the food served at this celebratory dinner, then forget about it, don’t give it another thought!

I’m not a lover of diets. They’re like living in a straight jacket with so many don’ts they’re hard to keep track of and even harder to adhere to for the long haul. Many do result in weight loss, for a little while, until your resolve caves making the food floodgates to fly open, then the weight rebounds. You end up feeling like you failed rather than the diet failed you. Think about it. Let this fall be pivotal for you and go on a plan you can adhere to for life, set in fundamental principles to help you lose weight, thrive, and soar for good. The best plan is one you can stick with “all the way”!

Look yourself in the mirror and make a pact that from this day forward you will set yourself free from dieting forever. Be darn sure that the plan you choose passes my Thanksgiving dinner test.

Read about this with solutions to help you along your journey in Skinny On Slim, The little black dress of diet books.

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