Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Am I Covered to See a Dietitian?

You're already spending money on your health, but you're interested in learning to eat healthier to meet your unique goals. Many extended medical insurance plans and health spending accounts cover nutrition counselling by a Registered Dietitian. Check your plan to see what coverage you have. Every insurance company has different policies - check with them regarding dietitian coverage per session and per year, as well as to see if you require a doctor’s referral.

Undergraduate students at the University of Saskatchewan get $20 per visit or $400 per policy year to see a dietitian - they do however require a doctor's referral.

Something Nutrishus does not direct bill to insurance companies but will provide you with a detailed receipt that includes our dietitian practice permit number, description of service, time or number of sessions, and dates of counselling sessions.
If your plan does not cover the services of a Registered Dietitian, save your receipt. In the province of Saskatchewan, Registered Dietitians are classified as an “Authorized Medical Practitioner” as shown here. What this means is that you can save your receipts and supply them to your accountant for a non-refundable tax credit. The more people that ask for it, the more likely insurance plans will change - if your plan does not cover the services of a Registered Dietitian please let your employer or union representative know that you would like to see this changed.
What are you waiting for? Book your appointment with Steph today!

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Friday, August 26, 2011

School Smarts - Brown Bag It

I've written about finding ways to get your children to help pack their lunch so that they get excited about it and EAT it. But, what should you pack so that you don't get tired of the same lunch every day?

Think about variations:
- vary the bread
- vary the spread
- vary the filling

There are so many grain products available to us - think bagels, bread, naan, pitas, tortillas, mini bagels, buns, English muffins, crackers, and muffins. Depending on how adventurous you are, there are also numerous spreads - light mayo, mustard, salsa, hummus, low fat dressing, nut butter, hot sauce, chutney, teriyaki, tzaziki, and so on. The filling will likely be inspired by the spread you choose (or vise versa) but again the options are plentiful - eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, canned salmon or tuna, tofu, beans, lean lunch meat (roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham), etc.

Some examples include:
- peanut butter and apple slices on a whole wheat English muffin (or melted cheese and apple slices)
- refried beans or mashed black beans and salsa in a pita
- leftover chicken stir fry and rice in a tortilla
- hardboiled egg, hummus, and whole grain crackers

You can also go beyond sandwiches and have leftover pasta, chili, pizza, etc. Aim for at least 3 of the 4 food groups (if not all 4) by including some fresh veggies or fruit and a milk product on the side.

What new combination will you come up with for your lunch bag?

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blueberry Bran Muffins

I had all the ingredients in the house for this recipe (including fresh blueberries!). That's usually how I choose a recipe - I flip through a cookbook or look online until I find a healthy one with ingredients I already have on hand.

This Blueberry Bran Muffin recipe came from my handy Dietitian's of Canada Cook!

Makes 12 muffins
- preheat oven to 400F (200C)

1 1/2 c wheat bran
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 c milk (skim or 1%)
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c fancy molasses
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries

1. In a large bowl, combine bran, flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and molasses until blended. Pour over flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

1 muffin = 175 calories, 6.4g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 5 g protein; very high in magnesium and high in zinc.

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Smarts - Breakfast & Lunch

Heading back to school may mean your family is rushing in the morning, but it may also mean that lunch needs to be packed and eaten at school.

To continue to develop healthy eating habits in your family take the time to plan and prepare for the school and work week. Make sure the entire family eats breakfast and that healthy options are stocked in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.

Breakfast is important for starting your day and providing the fuel your body and mind require. Choose 3 of the 4 food groups to help meet your daily nutrient requirements. Eating breakfast also promotes a healthy weight and helps people concentrate at school or work.

Lunch is key to get the fuel you need for the afternoon. If your child isn't eating what you pack for them, try involving them in the process so that they can choose what's going in their lunch bag (you can provide the healthy choices they pick from). The dietitians at EatRight Ontario also suggest having your child make a list of their favourite foods from each food group so that you can create your grocery list. Similarly to breakfast, you should aim for at least 3 (if not all 4) of the food groups for a healthy, well balanced lunch.

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chew More, Eat Less

The Globe and Mail and Canada.com recently published articles about a Chinese study that looked at chewing and obesity. According to the articles, "people who chew their food more take in fewer calories, mainly because more chewing is related to the levels of hormones that regulate appetite. Chewing food 40 times instead of a typical 15 times caused the study participants to eat nearly 12 percent fewer calories, the study -- published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition -- said. More chewing was associated with lower blood levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, as well as higher levels of CCK, a hormone believed to reduce appetite."
The study was small and done on young men, so it is hard to know how it translates to other groups. Eating faster, and chewing less may be associated with obesity, but further research is needed as studies have shown conflicting results.
The hormones identified by the study may be keys to obesity in the future, but for now, slow down, and enjoy your food.

Steph Wheler, RD

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cabbage Challenged

If you follow me on facebook, you'll already know that in my most recent CHEP Good Food Box I received a very large cabbage. Other than the occasional cabbage salad, I really don't cook with cabbage often. This challenge however, is one of the reasons I love getting the Good Food Box.

I have also recently been trying to use my 'new' slow cooker more often and so I went in search of a recipe for cabbage in the slow cooker. You may have already guessed that I came across lazy cabbage rolls. So here I am, at home on a Sunday evening and I am planning to get my lazy cabbage rolls prepared in the morning for supper tomorrow. I have included the recipe from SparkPeople below and I have already chopped my vegetables for quick preparation before work tomorrow morning.

Steph Wheler, RD
Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 223.6
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.6g
  • Protein: 19.1g


1 lbs ground turkey
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
6 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

*You may use ground beef if you wish, but this recipe was calculated using ground turkey.


In frypan, brown turkey and add onion, green pepper, worcestershire, thyme, garlic, and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes until well mixed and warm throughout. Stir in tomatoes and uncooked rice and heat until bubbling. Scatter cabbage loosly in slow cooker and pour meat mixture on top. Cook on low 6-8 hrs or high 4-6hrs. Top with parmesan cheese just before serving.

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user MANDY13102.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Soy Smoothie

When you're in a rush a smoothie can make a great breakfast or snack. They don't require many ingredients and you can easily change them up. I often just use frozen berries, yogurt, and milk for a basic smoothie.

The following recipe is a heartier, vegetarian-friendly recipe from MedicineNet.com:

Tofu Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional, for more flavor and protein)
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  1. Place all ingredients in blender; blend until mixture smooth.
1 serving
Nutritional Information:
per serving: 338 calories, 20 g protein, 46 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 8.5 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 31 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.
Steph Wheler

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stressed Society

As a Registered Dietitian in Saskatoon, I work with people to create nutrition and healthy eating habits for life. Healthy eating is only one part of creating a healthy person.

I also love working with people to develop and become better versions on their current self. Sometimes this involves food, but other times life in general or working towards various goals. I do however find that many people (clients, friends, family, myself included) have too much stress in their lives. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says: If we decide that the demands of the situation outweigh the skills we have, then we label the situation as "stressful" and react with the classic "stress response."

Of course what is stressful to me and my stress response will be unique to my life situation and my interpretation of situations. The CMHA has great tips and resources, including a Work-Life Balance Quiz. Their suggestions to help you start managing stress are:

1. Recognize your symptoms of stress
2. Look at your lifestyle and see what can be changed -- in your work situation, your family situation, or your schedule
3. Use relaxation techniques - yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or massage
4. Exercise - Physical activity is one of the most effective stress remedies around!
5. Time management - Do essential tasks and prioritize the others. Consider those who may be affected by your decisions, such as family and friends. Use a check list so you will receive satisfaction as you check off each job as it is done
6. Watch your diet - Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fats and tobacco all put a strain on your body's ability to cope with stress. A diet with a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods high in protein but low in fat will help create optimum health. Contact your local branch of the Heart
and Stroke Foundation for further information about healthy eating
7. Get enough rest and sleep
8. Talk with others - Talk with friends, professional counsellors, support groups or relatives about what is bothering you
9. Help others - Volunteer work can be an effective and satisfying stress reducer
10. Get away for awhile - Read a book, watch a movie, play a game, listen to music or go on vacation. Leave yourself some time that's just for you
11. Work off your anger - Get physically active, dig in the garden, start a project, get your spring cleaning done
12. Give in occasionally - Avoid quarrels whenever possible
13. Tackle one thing at a time - Don't try to do too much at once.
14. Don't try to be perfect
15. Ease up on criticism of others
16. Don't be too competitive
17. Make the first move to be friendly
18. Have some fun!! Laugh and be with people you enjoy!

Of course, I love that healthy eating and exercise are listed, but I also agree that I feel better mentally and physically when I`m taking care of myself with food and exercise (and sleep!). The athlete in me still struggles with the idea of being less competitive, but that`s where yoga and meditation (and long walks on the beach) fit into my life. I`m also working on realizing that I`m not perfect and I never will be, but I can still continue to strive to be that better version of myself.

Enjoy your stress-less summer day today.

Steph Wheler

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Buckwheat Breakfast

I tried this recipe, Buckwheat Sunrise, from Company's Coming Whole Grain Recipes a little ago, but I guess I forgot to share it with you! It is designed to be an alternative to your morning oatmeal.

With a whole grain, dried fruit, and nuts, this breakfast option has you hitting three food groups. It's also a breakfast you can make the night before and have ready for you in the morning, which is great especially if you're often rushed in the morning.

1 1/2 c water
1 c whole buckwheat (I found it at the Bulk Barn)
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp salt

1 c orange juice
1/3 c chopped dried apricot
1/3 c dried cranberries
3 Tbsp liquid honey

1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, without stirring, until buckwheat is tender.

Add orange juice. Stir. Add next 3 ingredients. Stir. Transfer to medium bowl. Cool at room temperature before covering. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight until apricot and cranberries are softened and liquid is absorbed.

Add almonds. Stir. Makes about 3 cups.

1 cup = 367 Calories, 6.1g fat (3.3g Mono, 1.6g Poly), 0mg cholesterol, 76g carbohydrate, 6g fibre, 8g protein.

Steph Wheler