52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Supplements...yay or nay?

A lot of people ask me my opinion on taking supplements...which ones to take or if they should take any at all. I am a believer in supplements and I think that different people need different ones, depending on where they are in their life cycle. But, there are definitely a few that everyone can benefit from.

First, I'll discuss why I think that supplements are necessary; I often hear, "I eat really well, I don't really need to take vitamins". Well, here are a few reasons why you should reconsider that.

  1. Most of the fruits and veggies we find on the grocery store shelves have been irradiated; meaning they have been treated to help prolong shelf life and delay ripening. Unfortunately, this process also destroys essential nutrients; especially water soluble vitamins and antioxidants.
  2. Aggressive farming, acid rains, use or artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides have caused soil depletion. These activities deplete the essential nutrients in the soil. As a result, nutritional values of fruits and vegetables are greatly reduced.
  3. Depending on your lifestyle or behaviour, you may need extra supplementation; athletes, pregnant or nursing women, or people who work in physically demanding occupations need them to make up for the extra nutrients that are being lost.
  4. Pesticides are often to destroy and control pests; according to the EPA, the health benefits of our fruits and vegetables are reduced by the use of pesticides.
These are the main reasons why I suggest using a good multivitamin. Other supplements most people will benefit from are Vitamin D (helps with prevention of diseases), Vitamin B Complex (beneficial for a healthy nervous system, good digestion and energy production) and Omega 3 fish oil (for reducing inflammation in the body).

In good health,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Setting a Health Goal

If you haven't already, setting a goal (or goals) is a great idea for either starting out on your road to good health, or getting back on track if you find you have lost your way.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you're making a goal that is either unattainable or unrealistic, so the best way is to start small and keep it simple.

If you've been making good progress, but have lapsed recently and are trying to get back on track, it can be helpful to set short term goals to get your motivation back. Plan on cutting out sugar for 2 weeks to a month, give up alcohol for a few weeks or make a commitment to not eat out for the next month or so. Once you see that your body is making some positive changes, you'll probably be more inclined to continue whatever new (good) habit you have committed to for the long term.

If you're starting from scratch, making one change at a time is your best bet for continued progress. Once you have adjusted to the first new change, introduce another one, then another (replace white rice with brown, adding a vegetarian meal to the menu once a week, cutting back on your sugar intake)...in a few months, you'll find you're eating healthier than you ever have.

I think that while it's great to want to lose weight, many people have greater success with setting up small lifestyle change goals, than weight loss specifically. As you achieve your health goals, you'll find your body changing and weight loss is commonly a result of that; as is a healthier heart, clearer skin and a better digestive track. Many times, specific number-oriented goals have little staying power.

Here are just a few ideas of great goals to work towards:
  • eat slowly and mindfully
  • try new vegetables
  • try new spices
  • learn new cooking techniques
  • experiment with seasonal produce
  • try recreating your favourite restaurant dish at home
  • eat out less
  • walk more
  • cut out the sugar in your morning coffee
  • pay more attention to food groups
  • don't feel guilty if life gets in the way of your goals...just refocus
  • make sleep a priority
  • don't wait till the beginning of next week...get back on track today!
In good health,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tips for a Healthy Fall

Many people find that they start gaining weight as soon as bathing suit season is over; here are some tips to help keep the weight off, so you don’t need to rely on your winter clothes to hide the extra pounds!

· Try eating in season; fall foods such as soups, stews and squashes are packed with fiber, beta carotene and vitamin C.

· Stews are hearty, but can also be fattening; make sure to use lots of vegetables and go light on the meat and potatoes, or change it up by using turkey and yams instead.

· Soups are a great fall food, but keep them healthy by avoiding heavy cream or cheese filled soups.

· Take advantage of the apple harvest by making applesauce, baked apples or eating them fresh off the tree; try to avoid the temptation of baking them into pies...however if you just can’t resist, try making a healthy apple crumble.

· Get outside and get moving; take advantage of the cooler temperatures and go for walks, bike rides or hikes through the woods to check out all the changing colours on the trees.

· As it starts getting darker earlier, enjoy the early morning sunlight to get out and get your workout in!

· Try not to get caught up in the new Fall TV lineup...and if you do, don’t get caught up snacking through your favourite shows! Remember to practice portion control.

· Consider trying light therapy; there has been a connection between lack of sunlight and depression. Since mild depression can increase your cravings for carbs, some people find that using a full spectrum light box can help beat the winter blues.

In good health,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is upon us, here in Canada and if you're preparing a big, turkey feast for your loved ones here are a few alternatives you may want to consider to keep your meal on the clean eating side of healthy!!

If your meal calls for:

Healthier Alternative

Condensed whole milk or Evaporated Milk

Evaporated Skim Milk (less fat)

Cream for soups

Pureed starchy vegetables, silken tofu or coconut milk (less fat)

Cream cheese

Low fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth (cream cheese has very little nutritional value; cottage cheese is higher in nutrients, like calcium)

Sour cream

Plain organic yogurt (sour cream is high in saturated fat, yogurt gives you the benefits of probiotics)

Ground beef

Lean ground beef or ground turkey (lower in saturated fat and cholesterol)

All purpose flour

Whole grain flour (you may only need ½ as much) (high in fibre)

Dry bread crumbs

Rolled oats or ground whole grain bread crusts (high in fibre)

Enriched pastas

Whole wheat pasta or Kamut pasta (high in fibre)

Pie crust

Graham cracker crust (lower in saturated fat)

White bread

Whole wheat or sprouted bread (higher in nutrients, such as fibre)

White rice

Brown rice, wild rice (higher in nutrients, such as fibre)

Iceburg lettuce

Arugula, spinach, field greens, kale, mustard greens (higher in nutrients)

Mashed potatoes

Mashed yams or sweet potatoes (higher in nutrients, such as Vitamin A, C and iron)

Cool whip

Whipping cream(higher in nutrients; Cool whip has very little nutritional value)

Margarine in baked goods

Butter or coconut oil (margarine is hydrogenated; butter is better nutritionally, when used in moderation)

Remember, it's a time for giving thanks and being grateful for what we have in our lives...let's all be thankful for our good health and be thankful that we have the knowledge to make healthy choices every day!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

In good health,


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quick, Healthy Meal Ideas

One reason why people end up eating so unhealthy is because of a lack of time...you rush off to work in the morning, forgetting to take anything out for dinner; then get home after working all day, thinking that you might as well just order out (or eat the Mac & Cheese that's in your cupboard!), so you can sit down and relax.

Well, with just a little bit of planning and some inspiration, you can have tasty, healthy food made and on the table in less time than it would take you to get your food delivered!

An easy egg omelette or frittata can be made in 5 minutes (after you get groceries put together a Tupperware container of vegetables so they are easy to grab for the week) and a spinach salad can be whipped up in minutes if you buy the prewashed spinach.

Or you can easily grab some wraps and the chicken you have in the freezer (Cook 2 batches of chicken breasts when you get home from the grocery store and freeze in 3oz or half chicken breast portions in small sandwich bags) and make quick quesedillas with chicken, spinach, peppers and salsa, served with a quick salad or some of the fruit salad you have in the fridge.

Make big batches of soup and chili and freeze them in individual containers. Chili can also be used to top a salad with some baked pita chips, makes a quick and easy supper in a pinch.

When you have left overs, freeze them, you can use them another time when time is of the essence.

Left over pasta can be put in an egg frittata, make a great dinner and the pasta comes out a little crunchy which is great (sauté the pasta with some garlic and peppers, and maybe tomatoes if you like and then add your eggs and put it in the oven for 10 minutes, add some light shredded cheese near the end and broil until melted.

Tofu stir fries in minutes, if you are in a hurry, stir fry some tofu with garlic in some olive oil, and add some broccoli slaw salad mix then add Kraft Asian salad dressing and put it on top of the rice or quinoa you already have in the freezer. Serve with raw veggies from the fridge.

Always have tuna and beans in the cupboard, a quick tuna casserole can be whipped up in no time, beans also are great for a protein that can be whipped up into a soup in 20 minutes (as long as you have a good stock of reduced sodium stock in your cupboard).

In good health,