Healthy to me is balance, moderation and not eliminating food groups. It also means not counting calories, partaking in fad diets, detoxing, or three-day juice fasts. I will never become paleo or a vegan. I'll eat whatever makes me feel good, keeps my sensitive tummy happy, and my body full of energy.
On World Health Day, I feel especially protective of the millions of children around the world whose circumstances force them to consume food and water that puts their health and lives at risk. I see that the World Health Organization has picked "Food Safety" as this year's theme for the day, and can understand why.
A study published last week suggested there may be reason to seek more sodium. According to the team of researchers, higher amounts of sodium (one of the two elements found in salt) in the diet may help to fight off skin infections. The results could translate into dietary changes to help prevent unwanted microbial dermal invasions.
Running is hard on the body. Every time your foot hits the ground your body has to absorb six times your weight. To recover from this pounding your tissues need REST, cross-training, appropriate nutrition and water. Luckily, I love trying new workouts and when I don't run I have free time to experiment and try new classes.
I had a client once who was so busy, he would buy a tray of cut vegetables at the supermarket and drive around with it on the front passenger seat of his car. It was the only way he knew he would get his vegetables in during the day! Do that if you have to, but any raw (or cooked) vegetable dipped in hummus is the perfect before-you-leave snack.
If I were to ask you to choose between a Snicker's Bar and a bagel, which caused the biggest spike blood sugar when consumed -- which one would you pick? The glycemic index is a tool that measures foods for this exact reason, and yes certain breads such as bagels and other breadstuffs do actually score higher (GI=95) on this scale than this beloved Snickers candy bar (GI=51).
WHO recommends vitamin A supplements to improve child survival. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 per cent, in populations with vitamin A deficiency. For children who are vitamin A deficient or undernourished, it would seem a simple solution -- immunization against measles and better nutrition -- to save lives.
I asked the produce manager about fruits and vegetables that are merely unattractive, not rotten, and he said that at this particular store, there is no call for such a thing. Turns out, people in upper-class Forest Hill want their apples perfect, not deformed. There is one store in the chain that does sell imperfect produce, but it's in a different neighborhood.
The "I don't have time for breakfast" excuse is one of my personal pet peeves. Everyone has time for breakfast, you just need to plan ahead. Hard boil a bunch of eggs. Then grab one of them plus a few cut of vegetables for a healthy meal in literally seconds. Make a smoothie the night before. Then drink it as you leave the house.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Canadians living with obesity over the past few decades and it is often cited as a risk factor for other chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. This means that obesity is frequently a hot topic in the news. But media stories often miss the mark when it comes to informing Canadians about the complex factors that lead to obesity.
With the sweetest holiday of the year fast approaching, sugar and chocolatey treats are on the brain. As you probably know by now, I'm the first to promote balance and am all for enjoying your favorite treats, but if you're looking to lighten up one of your favorite recipes, or try something new, this one's for you!
I am a huge fan of the month of January. For those of you who just raised your eyebrows and HATE winter, my apologies to you. For me, January has always been a great time for self-reflection and self-improvement -- something I'm a big subscriber to. This is a great time of year to reset, tighten up and re-focus our personal goals on all levels.
Every year new food trends take the stage. As a society we are obsessed with the latest news in health and these trends reflect this. In recent years, we've seen diets such as Paleo and Flexitarian become popular, as well as shows like The Biggest Loser take precedence. Foods such as chia seeds, kale and gluten-free have been in the spotlight. So what will it be this year?
As January comes to an end, those who vowed to eat better in 2015 have probably already given up. Not very surprising, considering that most people grossly underestimate the amount of calories they consume, and underestimate their fat, salt and sugar consumption, even after consulting nutrition labels.
Health Canada estimates that 88 per cent of our salt intake comes from packaged foods so simply putting away the salt shaker isn't the solution. Packages contain a "% Daily Value" amount that is too high so it obscures the facts. Most health care professionals recommend around 1500 mg per day as a maximum.
There's certainly nothing wrong with a journey for self improvement, but too often we put so much pressure on ourselves at this time of year that we wind up with fizzling motivation come February 1 that leaves us frustrated, disappointed and defeated. So what can you do to set yourself up for success to achieve lasting change?
But there is an even greater danger with a simplistic understanding of diabetes that focuses exclusively on individual choice -- it diverts attention and resources from other approaches which may be more effective at addressing the diabetes epidemic. It is projected that by the year 2020, one in three Canadians will have either diabetes or pre-diabetes.