Tag Archives: Nutrition

Question of the Month – Healthy Eating

At our Blogger’s meeting this month we talked a lot about the various forces at work behind every food purchase we make: the cost of the item, convenience, perceived nutrition, packaging, location in the grocery store, the media! It’s a wonder we are able to find anything other than kale that makes all the criteria we hear we should follow. We talked too, about how we’re not forced to become aware of what we’re putting in our cart until something happens to stop and make us think: poverty, health issues, an eedp_ed_09_08_2014_YWCA-0044ye-opening documentary. How much sugar is in ketchup? Is it really more expensive to buy fresh produce? And how in the world did someone come up with the marketing genius idea of bottled water? We were inspired to write about these issues because of our Finer Diner event coming up at the end of the month (more info here). Where for two $85 tickets you can have your five course meal,  but you can also feed a woman and her child for an entire month. It’s all about awareness and being an educated consumer!

We’ve got some really interesting posts coming up that bring to light some of the more serious obstacles to healthy eating; poverty, for one. We began to truly wonder:

Is healthy eating accessible to everyone?


Yes, I think healthy eating is accessible to everyone. For a while I was challenging myself to stick to a $25/week grocery budget and was able to make healthy foods to feed me for a week within this budget. It does require a little more time and creativity but people on all budgets can really make it work if the motivation is there. One of my tips would be to pick a few select fruits and vegetables for that week and then find different recipes to make with them rather than shaping your grocery list around your recipes. Beansprouts are a great option at aroundDSC_0383 $0.99 a bag and can be used in many different ways, chickpeas are another low-cost, high-nutrition item and frozen vegetables and fruits can help you stay healthy while sticking to a budget (and preventing any food loss). Also, don’t be afraid to use coupons and apps like Checkout 51 to help make your grocery budget go farther!


Yes.  However, eating healthy also depends on how resourceful and creative you are when faced with a tight budget.  This is coming from someone who doesn’t cook  – but is frugal and wants her money to go a long way.

With eating well a top priority in our household, we look at the weekly flyers for sale items and begin to plan our menu for the week from there – I must admit, it takes planning.  Now with the warmer weather, we have planted our vegetable and herb gardens – where sun-warmed fresh produce will soon be ours for the picking.  No room for a garden – visit your local farmer’s market downtown!  Living in Niagara has its advantages.

At our downtown St. Catharines Market Square – you get a variety of fresh, local produce and in smaller quantities – FarmersMarketwhich is great, and allows for more variety too.  They even let you sample before buying – I love that!

Good food is an investment in your health – it is worth the effort and time spent sourcing out the best prices and looking for quality ingredients – then spending the time preparing your own meals.


Paleo 411: Eating Like a Caveman to Maximize Your Health

By Sozanny Chea

Sozanny is a transfer student in the Business Communication program at Brock University. Although an introvert, she’s quite the social (media) butterfly, hence her role as the Marketing Assistant at the university. She loves cats, Hootsuite, web design, tea, yoga, spinning, her Bichon x French Poodle, the Toronto Raptors, and anything that shines and glitters. Using creativity to tell stories, she aspires for a career in marketing and communications.

Contrary to popular belief, bacon and other fat-laden foods won’t make you fat—sugar, carbs, and a sedentary lifestyle will.

Diets and labels often go hand-in-hand. There are diets that eliminate entire food groups: vegan, vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, pescatarian; fad diets: gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, carb-free; diets made famous by celebrities like the Lemonade Diet (Master Cleanse) that Beyoncé did for 14 days; and extremely ridiculous diets, like the Cabbage Diet or the classic Grapefruit Diet.paleo-plate

With so many options and choices regarding food—such a simple yet essential facet of our everyday lives—it’s no wonder that most of us are overwhelmed and confused about what to eat and what not to eat. One day, the media says fruits are good for you; the next day, not so much.

According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, 60 per cent of Canadians are overweight or obese. We are, as they say, “overfed and undernourished”. Even with this astounding reality, it’s no surprise that the diet and weight loss industry—a multi-million dollar money-making machine—will keep trying to sell us on Hydroxycut and the Ab Circle Pro.

So what, then, is the solution to all of this nonsense? Think back to our ancient ancestors and how they survived and sustained their hunter-gatherer days without any gadgets, gimmicks, pills or potions. They simply ate real, whole foods that were grown or hunted from the ground – no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or questionable “Frankenfoods” made in factories.

Introducing the Paleo Diet, also known as the Paleolithic Diet (think dinosaurs) or Caveman Diet, a simple and easy-to-follow concept about mimicking how our ancestors ate, moved and lived over 10,000 years ago, before cows were milked by machines and the invention of the Twinkie.

Can-You-Beat-MS-With-the-Paleo-Diet-722x406Essentially, you’re eliminating all processed and inflammatory foods from the modern S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) such as Frappuccinos and everything bagels, and replacing them with nutritious, healing foods such as smoked salmon frittatas and green smoothies that complement our bodies’ genetics.

It’s simple science; no calorie counting needed.

What to eat:

  • Meats – preferably free-range and organic (e.g. chicken, beef, wild-caught fish and seafood)
  • Vegetables – lots of leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley)
  • Fruits – choose low-GI (glycemic index) ones (e.g. berries, lemons, apples)
  • Healthy fats – don’t be afraid of fats, eat plenty (e.g. avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, butter, bacon)
  • Nuts and seeds – in moderation (our ancestors wouldn’t have had access to a tub of cashews)

What to avoid:

  • Grains (e.g. bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, cereal, muffins)
  • Artificial/refined sugar
  • Dairy (e.g. milk, yogurt, ice cream)
  • Legumes (e.g. beans, peanuts, lentils, soy: tofu, soy milk, vegan substitutes for meat)
  • Alcohol

It helps to think of food by nutrients and not by food groups, as the Canada’s Food Guide would like us to believe. You want to make sure that you’re eating an abundance of proteins and fats, while keeping carbohydrate intake to a minimum. Your protein source should come from meats and eggs, fats from the list above, and carbohydrates, mainly from leafy, green vegetables and one or two fruits.

The ironic thing is that you can eat all the broccoli you want and your carb count will still be lower than if you were to eat a bowl of instant noodles. To visualize it, your plate should be 80 per cent vegetables, 15 per cent protein, and 5 per cent fat. A lovely example would be a bowl of steamed spinach with chopped chicken breast and avocado drizzled with olive oil.

Here’s a sample meal plan so you can see how easy it is to eat Paleo in a day:

Breakfast: bacon, eggs, and a green smoothiepaleo_breakfast_recipe_egg_rosti_1

Lunch: lemon-infused chicken and steamed kale

Dinner: steak, asparagus, and mashed sweet potato

Snack: rolled turkey and apple slices

Following this natural, holistic way of eating will inevitably eliminate diseases such as obesity, leaky gut syndrome, migraines, chronic fatigue and more. Instead, you will be diagnosed with glowing skin, shiny hair, healthy nails, sparkling eyes, copious amounts of energy, amazing sleep, and excess weight that melts right off.

As with everything, make sure it works for you. Significant factors such as age, gender, occupation, activity level, and health issues should be considered. Even though the Paleo Diet comes pretty close, there is no one, perfect diet that every individual will thrive on. Tweak as necessary. Have “cheat meals” and get right back on track. Be mindful of moderation.

However, having astonishing health doesn’t stop with dinner—incorporate the Paleo way to how you eat, sleep, exercise, and manage stress. As cliché as it sounds, don’t think of it as a “diet”, but as a lifestyle. Eat clean, sleep well, move daily, and de-stress. Instead of putting emphasis on what you can’t eat, focus on the exciting new world of foods and flavours to introduce to your palate.