INSPIRE SHARE CREATE HEALTHY LOCAL TOGETHER

Category: Eat Up Beet!

So many Canadian families face this problem: You make a large family meal and your kids only take two bites, or you wish there were meals everyone could agree on.

The good news is that taking control of dinner hour is within your reach. Whether you are dealing with picky eaters, rushed mealtimes or other dinner table dilemmas, this year’s Nutrition Month campaign – Take the Fight Out of Food – has a solution. I’ll walk you through a 3-step problem-solving approach, which works well for nutritional concerns in general.

strawberry

The Scenario:

Jessica works full-time and prepares dinner for her family every night. She often struggles to get a meal on the table that everyone will enjoy. One child is quite picky, one doesn’t want to try new things, and no one agrees on the foods they like.

Many people assume that if they take a multivitamin their nutrient needs are covered and they can just eat whatever they like. Doritos and ranch dip are totally fine for dinner if you wash a multivitamin down with beer first…right?

While I am sure I am not the only one who has occasionally resorted to having popcorn and a glass of red wine for dinner – I call it my Olivia Pope dinner – I do this knowing that a well-balanced diet cannot be replaced with a pill or two.

Olivia-Pope popcorn

Photo source: Eliots Eats

Everyone keeps focusing on how much groceries are going up this year, which is estimated to be about $420 for the average family. Compared to the $345 groceries were predicted to rise in 2016. The price of meat and vegetables are expected to increase the most.

groceries

But is this the right question to be focusing on? I would argue that it isn’t. Most families waste well over $1000 in food each year. If we focus on how to reduce our food waste instead of what we can buy that is cheaper (and potentially more processed and less nutritious), we could actually see our grocery bills go down this year.

This approach saves you money and also helps reduce your negative impact on the environment as the production and processing of food is energy intensive. Food waste in the landfills also produces methane — a potent greenhouse gas. A great reason to compost.

Ready to save money and eat more sustainably? Here are 5 tips to reduce your food waste:

You’ve heard your friends say it, your family say it, and likely even complete strangers say it – “It’s my cheat day!” I even heard my fitness instructor say it to my whole class last week, which is what sparked this somewhat ranty blog post.

Cheat day? What does that really even mean?

OK, I know what people mean when they say it…They are describing a day where they can eat whatever they want and not feel guilty about it, because it’s not something they would normally do. It’s a day without restrictions.

nachos cheat day

That doesn’t sound so bad: You eat healthy most days, but once in a while you like to have a day where you “allow” yourself to just eat whatever you want without worrying about your waistline. Maybe there is even an excuse, like a friend’s wedding or your birthday. Does that sound about right?

hydration

 

Summer is FINALLY here in Vancouver. I know Ontario has been suffering from the heat this summer for a while already, but in BC we have had unusually cool weather. But, alas, the heat has arrived!

With the heat ramping up it is important to ensure you stay hydrated.

  • Does coffee and tea count towards your fluid intake?
  • How much do you actually need to drink in a day?
  • Does food contribute to your fluid intake?
  • Why is it especially important for those over 65 years old to stay hydrated?

Find out the answers to these questions, along with some easy tips for increasing your  fluid intake in my latest Huffington Post article: Stay Hydrated This Summer With These Simple Tips

I have been wanting to write about superfoods for a while. Honestly, the term kind of urks me…along with the blanket definition used below.

superfood

Photo credit: slgckgc

You don’t have to eat expensive superfoods to be well nourished. All foods are super! Well, maybe not all foods. I am talking about minimally processed foods here (mostly). That being said, there is some merit to the term at times. I share my views in my latest Huffington Post article here: Are Superfoods Really Good For You?

In my article, I also share a list of some superfood swaps (some “everyday” superfoods, some not) to keep your food budget in check. Be sure to check it out!

Sometimes I just have to laugh at superfood related headlines: Kale could either be slowly killing you or vastly improving your health — depending on the headline you read.

What do you think about superfoods? Many of my colleagues have written about them. If you’re interested in digging deeper into this subject, Registered Dietitian Jennifer Sygo discusses the latest research on many popular superfoods in her book, Unmasking Superfoods.

kale

Photo credit: naturalflow

thomas lavers store front

The fermentation and preservation of foods is an ancient practice that has made a swift resurgence into the modern food scene. In the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market, Bryan Lavers and Tye Thomas opened their shop, Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen, with impeccable timing. It was December 2012 – just when the fermentation buzz was ramping up. “It just seems like around the time we opened, fermenting and preserving became a very on point restaurant and food culture thing, we lucked out,” says Thomas.

Lavers, the hands-on professional chef, and Thomas, the curious home cook, are long-time friends that have over 40 years of combined experience working in food and cooking. They opened the cannery to fill a void in the neighbourhood’s offerings. Despite the incredible variety of options available at Kensington Market, it did not include a brick-and-mortar quite like the Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen.



Upbeet

- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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