Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do People Honestly Want to Eat Better - or Not?

Why is it that people don't eat right? You all ask me questions (daily) about which food is better for you. The information is there for you. Is food and nutrition just to complicated? 

There is so much to think about when it comes to your diet. It could take up all of your brain power for an entire day. How many calories are you supposed to eat in a day? Which fats should you eat and which should you avoid (cholesterol, trans fats and omegas)?  Are you getting enough vitamin C? Vitamin D?  What about anti-aging foods - do they really work and how much of those do I need to eat to stop my wrinkles from getting any deeper?

Then, add on any regular health issues like constipation or fatigue and you're left pondering fibre intake and caffeine consuption. And, the icing on the cake for some people are health concerns like a risk of heart disease...or worse, like having to eat a diet to control diabetes, or conquer a food allergy.  It's overwhelming.

What do you think? Do you think people honestly want to know how to eat better or, do we ask nutrition questions, and read nutrition blogs because its a fad? Do you actually follow through with nutriton advice or, does it just get thrown into your overflowing cart of nutrition facts that you try to push through the grocery store aisle...and, then you go ahead and buy a package of brownies anyways. Argh!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feeding Your Kids - What a Battle!

Probably one of the most common questions I get as a nutritionist are from mom's wondering how to get their kids to eat better. It may be a baby starting its first foods, a picky toddler who won't sit still to eat, or a 11 year old boy who won't touch his vegetables. It can be an everyday struggle to get your children to eat right.

It is your job to offer your children a choice of healthy foods. It is your children's job to decide how much if any they are going to eat. The trick is - don't give in. Keep offering healthy options. Eventually they will realize that chocolate puffs and cookies aren't on mom's menu, and start to eat the healthy foods you're offering.

Make it fun... use colour to brighten up their plates (ah-ha...I may be tricking you into getting more fruits and vegetables on their plates)...dips are always a fun addition to any kid's eating experience... make fun shapes out of foods.

And, most of all - eat too! Sit with your kids and eat the same things they are. They look up to you (even if they are in the midst of a stint of misbehaviour). They will follow your lead.

...heck, I followed my mom's lead. I used to think there was something wrong with butter as my mom never used it. Then I realized she was just trying to keep her waistline under control by avoiding "added-calories" such as adding butter on toast and potatoes.

My confession of today? I totally indulge in butter on my toast sometimes. It is delicious! And, in fact, its a better choice than margarine (but, everything in moderation of course).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food in the News....

The evening news loves to tell us tales about food and health. Its a hot topic everywhere you look. Except, frequently the information contradicts itself. This really irritates me! Yes, my confession today - even I get sucked into watching the food story of the night on the evening news wondering, "Is that really true?". But, luckily, I'm trained on how to research and find the truth...

Let's talk about an example of a confusing 'Food in the News' - Vitamin E - is it good for you, or bad? Nutritionist know vitamin E is a vital nutrient that has many roles in the body including being a powerful antioxidant (prevents damage by free radicals). Yet, a while back there was a large study that suggested vitamin E supplements may increase your risk of death. The truth? The study participants all had major diseases and thus a naturally elevated risk of death - the news reporters misunderstood the study and reported it inaccurately. Vitamin E is good for you. Feel free to dig into some nuts, seeds and whole grains to get lots of this great vitamin.

So, for some fun, I've just added a "Food in the News Today" so you can see what's the latest news on food and nutrition. When contradictory stories come along I'll try to get you the 'low-down', the 'real-deal', the 'honest-truth' on the matter. If you beat me to finding a confounding food story - ask me about it, and I'll get digging.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tales from the Heart

I know some of you prefer to boycott Valentine's Day, claiming its another Hallmark/Consumer-ism holiday. But, I'm draped in red and pink today. I am a sucker for the sweetheart, romance of Valentine's Day.

Matters of the Heart
...its nice to have a day that reminds us to tell the people in our lives how much we love them. Sure, it would be nice if we didn't need a holiday to remind us to do kind things for our loved ones. As it would be lovely, if we didn't need death to remind us to never take the people in our lives for granted. But, sadly - life doesn't always work that way.  If you dress in red today or not, maybe take the idea of being kind to your loved ones with you into the rest of the other days of the year.

Confession of the Day
My confession today? Well, I'm not just a sucker for the romance of Valentine's day. I also love the sweet treats that come with it. I love the strawberries, dark chocolate and red candies. Since, this holiday is supposed to be all about your heart, feel good about those strawberries and dark chocolate you're devouring, as they contain lots of powerful antioxidants that support your body. But, the cinnamon hearts and cupcakes are bad news for your cardiovascular system. I know, you're thinking its the cholesterol and trans fat you really need to worry about. But, newer research is suggesting that consuming simple sugars such as those found in sweet treats are also very bad for your heart as they trigger inflammation.

Love your heart never gets a vacation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Needing a little inspiration

There are times in life, when even the best of us need a little inspiration. Its amazing how some days you can take on the world. Projects seem to just fly off your To-Do List, all the lights are green on your way to the office and, the day just pleasantly runs along until its suddenly time to go home and enjoy your evening. Yet, there are other days when the clock seems to tick at an irritatingly slow pace, your lust for life is missing in action. You start to wonder why inspiration is like the wind - some days it blows hard enough to knock your hat off, and others it is so calm it's erie.

No matter what kind of day you're having today, never fear - the wind is always there even if you can't seem to find it. Your kite will fly high again another day. And, if your lucky and today your kite is being pulled along by the wind, smile, and be sure to enjoy it.

You may find your inspiration for life comes and goes. And, fittingly so, your inspiration to eat well and exercise will too. So, if today a salad sounds like the most delicious thing on earth - go with it and feel enlightened about your choice. Alternatively, if today a salad sounds like tasteless cardboard with zero enjoyment don't beat yourself up, like inspiration for life your inspiration to eat right will waver too.

What's eating you today? If its your inspiration - just remind yourself, we all have those days and this too will pass.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's Eating You Today?

Many of us simply don't think about food. Its plentiful. And, its easy to find. No matter where you are reading this, I'd wager a bet that there is food accessible to you within a few hundred feet.

Food is just food. But, when you really stop and think about it, food is terribly complicated. Not only is it linked with your waist line, its linked to your health and your mood. And, we need to eat - for many of us thats 6 times a day. Food is a BIG part of our day.

Now, on the other hand, some of us think about food TOO much! It takes up most of our waking hours, and even some we should be sleeping. For some food is a challenge (allergies, food preferences, medical conditions, eating disorders), to others its not. What to eat? What not to eat? It can take over your life.

I'm starting this blog to help figure out what's eating us today?  It can be so many things. Are you worried about your cholesterol? Aging rapidly? Feeling sluggish? Have kids and not sure what is best? Maybe you're an athlete and need some help? Or, maybe I'm just doing this to rank about silly food things that are eating me today! For example, as I sit here at the local mall food court, I just saw a mom buy her 2 and 4 year old girls an ice cream cone - sure, that might seem like a regular occurence but its 10:30 a.m.!!! What happened to an apple or banana as a morning snack?

Well, I suppose we are what we eat.