Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Halloween is usually a time of temptation. There are so many different types of candy/chocolate in stores, and they are even starting to stock Christmas candy. The main thing to remember is portion control. The Halloween size chocolate bars can be a great way to have a small snack if you stop after one; sometimes that is all you need to fulfill a sweet craving. The problem starts when you don't stop yourself and end up eating too many. Once Halloween is over find someone to give your leftover candy to, if it's not in your house you will be less likely to eat it! I would never say you can't eat candy/chocolate, but make sure you control the amount. It's also important to remember to keep active to help burn some calories.

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day and this year's topic is Climate Change. Just like the changes I might suggest for someone's diet, I think the changes you plan to make to reduce your footprint need to be reasonable. They need to be things you know you can do consistently; it does not help if you have big ideas, but never do them.

Related to nutrition and health, a simple step is to use reusable shopping bags when you go to the grocery store. It's such a simple change, but I know I feel better not getting a plastic bag that will just pile up at home or end up in a landfill. I just keep a couple reusable shoppers in my car so that they're easily accessible when I need them.

I know where I live we have snow already, but another healthy option to think about is walking or biking or skateboarding or using any other alternate source of transportation when you can. It will also give you the benefit of being more active. I always try to walk if I'm just making a short trip somewhere; I love the fresh air, but I hope we always have fresh air too.

There is now more evidence showing that eating vegetarian can reduce your environmental footprint. Quite a few websites talk about this in more detail. I liked one I found on the Vegetarian Society website this morning. I don't plan on cutting meat out of my diet completely, but making more of an effort to eat vegetarian options during my week. It helps the environment because of all the potential farming space cows, chickens, pigs, etc take up. Those animals also need to be fed so that we can be fed. If we're eating plant sources of protein it requires a lot less space and gets consumed directly by us. So try adding some meat alternatives like peas, beans, lentils, and nuts to your diet.

Lastly, to reduce transportation carbon I try to support local farmers through farmer's markets. It's not something I do all the time, but it is something I am conscious of.

I like to stress moderation, variety, and balance as part of a healthy diet, but they also apply to making changes for a greener tomorrow. What are you doing?

Steph Wheler


I did my first solo presentation as a Dietetic Intern yesterday. My advisor is half way around the world, so it was just me and my small audience. I've been working with a university volleyball team which is a personal interest of mine (having played volleyball for 15 years of my life). The presentation covered a few different topics, one being snacking. Especially for athletes snacking can be an important part of a healthy eating plan. We can think of our bodies like vehicles and so we need to keep the tank full in order to have energy. I will sometimes snack mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon. I try to go on my hunger cues.

Some points I used can be summarized by focusing on the letters W, P, and R:

W: Think about your eating behaviours. Where are you eating, when are you eating, what are you eating (and what are you doing), why are you eating, and how are you feeling?
These things are important to consider because we eat for many different reasons; having distractions can lead to overeating. Challenge yourself to only eat in one place, like the kitchen!

P: Get organized for healthy snacking. Plan by writing a grocery list to help guide you and keep healthy options stocked in your house. Prepare by getting things ready for the week (such as cutting up some vegetables Sunday night), because if they are available and ready to eat, you will be more willing to choose healthy snacks. Portion out your snacks; with meals we typically put a certain amount on a plate, but with snacks we often eat out of a box, bag, etc. Pack something in your bag, purse, car, etc so that if you do feel hungry it is available and you won't reach for a vending machine chocolate bar.

R: This is more for athletes and post-workout because it pertains to recovery. You need to refuel your body with carbohydrates and protein to replace the energy you used (muscle glycogen) and the muscles you used. Recovery also includes rehydrating your body because of your sweat losses and because water is important in many different body systems. Lastly, take time to rest so you are ready for the next practice, game, workout...

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nutrition Info: Starbucks Beverages
Ever wonder what's in that steamy cup of coffee?
Most companies will either have nutritional information available on-site for you, or you can go to their website to find it. It's fun to compare drinks so that you can make the better choice from your favorites.
The Starbucks site lets you customize your size as well as the type of milk you like (because these both affect the nutrient content of your drink). I like using the compare all feature for a quick snapshot.

Steph Wheler

Upcoming Book Reviews

Don't worry, I'm not just going to tell you the books that are in my library, I'll also tell you what I think about the books I read.
Tell me what you think about them too.
I love reading and it's fun to share thoughts and ideas to get different perspectives.
I have this dream of a huge bookshelf in my home office, just busting at the seams with good books (those that I read for fun and those that I read for interest/knowledge).
What are you reading?

Steph Wheler

Monday, October 5, 2009

In My Library

I love reading, unfortunately I'm too busy with homework right now. I thought I would share some books in my library with you in case you're looking for something new to read. My books vary from fiction, non-fiction, textbook, research, etc; so it is quite a mix. Right now on the top of the list is "eat, pray, love". What's in your library?

Steph Wheler