Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Food Revolution Day: May 19

May 19, 2012 is Food Revolution Day.  You may have heard about Jamie Oliver and his fight for real food and improved nutrition and nutrition education in UK and USA schools.  The idea behind Food Revolution Day is to get the world talking about food, sharing food, sharing cooking skills, sharing information and knowledge. 

In my practice I work to help you with your individual or team goals, but I also share my love of food and health through this blog.  My husband and I both enjoy cooking, having friends and family over for meals, and going to cooking classes to continue to learn new skills and recipes.  Unfortunately, many children today do not have basic cooking skills - this means that they will grow into adults lacking cooking skills and the ability to create healthy and delicious home cooked meals. 

I know our lives can get hectic, but often with planning and preparation we can get back to home cooked meals and having family and friends gather to share food.  Food shouldn't always be eaten in a rush, or in a car, or from a package.  I will be attending a dinner party a few days before Food Revolution Day to share recipes and good food with a great group of women. 

Jamie is supporting improved food education so that people can understand how and why to nourish their bodies with healthy food.  Behaviour change can be difficult, so remember to start with a few small goals - find a recipe and try to create it, have one less meal out at a restaurant, share homemade food with friends and family, do whatever inspires you at school, work, or home to celebrate and create conversations around food. 

Not sure where to start?
- check out recipes on this blog
- check out HealthCastle's learn to cook series
- check out the Rainbow Kitchen for ideas to get your kid's excited about food and cooking

- find a local cooking class such as Simon's Fine Foods
- ask a friend or family member to teach you how to make their specialty or favourite dish

by FoodRevolution. Browse more Food infographics.

What are you doing May 19?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fridge & Freezer Storage Times

While you're in Spring cleaning mode, it's a great time to clear out your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  Too often we keep things far past their expiry dates and far beyond a time when they were safe to consume.  Even though many items come with 'best before' dates, you have to keep in mind that once you open a product that date no longer applies.  

I try to date items in the freezer so that it's obvious how long they've been there - doing this takes out the guess work and keeps you and your family safe from spoiled food.  Below is a chart from the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education so that moving forward you will know how long food can be stored in your refrigerator and freezer.
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

I searched for a broccoli recipe because we picked up lots at the grocery store the other day.  I'll likely freeze some and am thinking about making a broccoli puree to try some Deceptively Delicious recipes (I just bought the cookbook, but have yet to try a recipe!).  

We had some shrimp in the freezer and the first recipe I came across said "The Best Broccoli of Your Life", so it was hard to resist.  The recipe is from the Amateur Gourmet (thanks Adam!) and I must admit that my husband was skeptical of the broccoli and shrimp combination.  I think he was even more surprised when he realized that I was roasting it in the oven. 

I'm not a huge shrimp fan, but I don't mind it once in awhile, and I am planning to make this again because I really enjoyed it.  The broccoli smelled similar to when I make kale chips and the crispy texture combines really well with the cooked shrimp.  It's also a very colourful recipe which I also love!  I could have made more broccoli because it was very delicious and I like to have lots of vegetables with my meals.  We served ours over wild rice to make it a meal.

It's really simple and quick, which I know many people are looking for:

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli
1. Heat the oven to 425 F.

2. On a large cookie sheet, toss together 4 cups of broccoli cut up into florets (but not teensy), 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground), 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground), dash salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/8th tsp chili powder. Spread into a single layer and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss together one pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, with 2 Tbsp olive oil, lemon zest from one lemon, dash salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. When the broccoli’s been in the oven 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the broccoli and toss (carefully.)

3. Roast another 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the broccoli is “tender and golden around the edges.”

Happy cooking!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Q's Day: Eating Out for a Special Occasion?

I support the use of non-food rewards, but I also realize that eating out happens (sometimes quite often) in our society.  My husband and I both enjoy cooking, so we enjoy a special occasion meal at home just as much as out. 

When it comes to eating out I often have a hard time deciding where to go.  Recently I created a list (I'm a list maker with everything in my life!) of places that I'd like to eat at.  When we decide to go out we look at the list for ideas and choose based on the type of food we're in the mood for. 

I know that many people have one or two places that they like to eat out because they love the food, people, decor, and service, etc.  We try to mix it up and go to different locations and support local businesses.  Sometimes we are quite pleased and other times not as much, but it's just like when I cook and like to try different recipes - you don't always know what to expect!

Since it's Q's Day, today I am asking:

What is your favourite place for a meal away from home?

This could be a place that you frequent, that you're planning to go to for a special occasion, or perhaps a friend or family member's home because they're just that good of a cook!

Feel free to share comments, ideas, questions, answers, recipes, etc.

Have a great day,
Happy eating!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Eat for the Earth

April 22 is a day to remember - it's my birthday!  It's also Earth Day - a day to think about how our actions impact our planet and our future.

I really like the theme that Earth Day Canada is focused on this year because it ties into nutrition and building healthy habits - both of which I focus on in my practice.  Their campaign is Take It Up For Earth Day - with the idea of taking up a new habits that's good for you AND the planet.

I would like to share some information from the Earth Day Canada factsheet:

  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more than the transport sector.
  • 23.1% of adult Canadians are obese and an additional 36.1% are overweight.
  • A study by Children’s Hospital Boston found that over a period of fifteen years young people who ate fast food twice a week or more gained 10 extra pounds and become twice as resistant to insulin than those who indulged less than once a week.
  • A meat-based diet requires seven times more land than a plant-based diet.
  • A study done in the Waterloo region found that food traveled an average of 4497 km to get there, emitting 51,790 tonnes of greenhouse gases in the process! If purchased locally those emissions would be reduced by 95%
Think about how your food choices impact the environment and perhaps you'll be inspired to create a new habit.  You don't have to do a major overhaul, but pick something small and work on it.  I'm not a vegetarian, I do enjoy the occasional steak, but my husband and I do enjoy vegetarian meals as well.  I also don't purchase all of my food from the farmer's market, but when I can and they have ingredients I need, then I will.  Even the simple, healthy act of focusing on increasing your plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes will help with your nutrition goals and have a positive effect on the planet.

Happy Earth Day (Sunday)!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Q's Day - What are you training for?

I recently joined a running group in Saskatoon.  I have spoken to many of these groups as a sport dietitian, so I figured it was time that I participated as a runner.  If you know me, you know that running is not my forte - I was a volleyball player, which is more like sprinting than running for hours!  My husband is also currently interested in running and is training for the Bridge City Boogie here in Saskatoon this Summer.

In the past I have shared the upcoming running events, so I figured that even though we still get a few snow flakes, you may be thinking about getting active outdoors.

Here's what's coming up:
April 28, 2012 - Bridge City Duathlon
April 29, 2012 - the Saskatoon Police Services Half Marathon
April 29, 2012 - MS Walk
May 5, 2012 - Hustle for Hunger
May 13, 2012 - Makin it Happen Tri
May 27, 2012 - the Saskatchewan Marathon (I'll be at the Race Expo May 26 with Craven Sport Services)
June 3, 2012 - Moe's Triathlon
June 9, 2012 - the Saskatoon Spring Sprint
June 10, 2012 - the Bridge City Boogie
June 23, 2012 - Brainsport Kids of Steel Triathlon
June 23, 2012 - the Saskatoon Mogathon
June 24, 2012 - the Craven - Genki Junior Elite Triathlon at Pike Lake
July 27/28, 2012 - the Dragon Boat Festival
August 12, 2012 - the SRRA River Run Classic
August 25, 2012 - Run for Diabetes
September 9, 2012 - Queen City Marathon
September 15, 2012 - the Brainsport - Broadway Mile
September 30, 2012 - the CIBC Run for the Cure
October 20, 2012 - the SK 50km Ultra Marathon 

So, my Q's Day questions today are:
What motivates you to workout/be active?  Are you training for an event?

Share your comments, questions, suggestions, and please let me know if there is an event I missed so that I can share it!

Happy, healthy living!
Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Bake Energy Bites

I was challenged to have an interactive session with some high school aged track and field athletes last night.  The challenge was that we were in a hotel board room, not a kitchen, and the goal was to discuss snacks and hydration.  In the end I came across a few different recipes for energy bites and went with a simple/basic version.  The one I based the session off of was from Food Doodles.  It's a great recipe that I will have fun modifying and trying with different ingredients.  It's also relatively quick and involves fairly standard household ingredients. 

The goal was to create bites or balls, but many of the athletes ended up dishing it out and eating with forks and spoons.  It went over really well with the group and many wanted the recipe to make them at home.

Here is the recipe I provided them with:

Energy Bites
Makes approximately 2 dozen depending on size.

  • 1/2 C nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or any other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 C old fashioned rolled oats (you can toast for a nuttier flavor at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut (you can substitute any dry ingredients for this, wheat bran or germ, oat bran, some ground flax seed, any kind of ground nuts or seeds)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C other addins (any kind of whole or roughly chopped nuts or seeds, dried fruit, good, etc)
In a large bowl add the nut butter, honey, and vanilla. If all your ingredients are room temperature you should be able to stir to combine. If this is difficult you can warm in the microwave for a few seconds or even place the bowl in an inch or two hot water for a few minutes to soften everything. Once this is combined add the remaining ingredients. Chill for 15-30 minutes and roll into balls.  

Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Q's Day: What is "Healthy"?

I've read a few different articles lately on what people perceive as being healthy/healthful and the barriers that they identify.  One article in particular (Children's Perceptions of Healthful Eating and Physical Activity, Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice, Vol 71, No 1, Spring 2010) involved interviews with Manitoba boys and girls ages 11 and 12.  They were knowledgeable about the importance of eating healthy and being active, but as we know knowledge doesn't mean we change our behaviours.  There was a disconnect between their knowledge and the actual choices they made on a daily basis (especially away from home). 

These children found physical activity to be more pleasurable and easier than healthy eating.  They knew that some foods were higher in fat or sugar and should be limited, but also tasted good!  I think the key to remember is that we know when we put our bodies in motion (walk, run, bike, yoga, etc.), but we only give ourselves credit for healthy eating when we try to eat healthy 100% of the time.  A balanced diet can fit all foods when physical activity is also a part of the lifestyle.  I dream of a world where we 'treat' ourselves to healthy foods (vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean proteins) and bring children up in a world where those foods can be part of celebrations like birthday parties.  My favourite words (VARIETY, MODERATION, and BALANCE) are key here, but behaviour change needs to happen for us to create such healthy habits.

A few questions from the article interviews are:
1. What does being healthy/healthful mean?
2. Which is easier: eating healthy or being physically active?
3. What makes it hard to eat healthier? To be physically active?
4. What would make it easier to eat healthier? To be physically active?

So, for Q's Day please feel free to respond to any (or all) of the questions.

What does being healthy mean?  What makes it easier/harder?

Share your comments, answers, questions, ideas, etc.  Identifying what makes it easier or harder may help you see a pattern and find a new area to focus on to create a new habit.  Support each other with your successes and challenge!

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Eggs for Easter

With Easter weekend and holidays approaching many people are loading up on chocolate treats.  They've been on store shelves since Valentine's Day in some cases so you're likely well aware of the options available this year.

As with any holiday, make sure you have a plan so you don't give in to temptation, but are still able to enjoy a few treats.  I know for me it's best to keep treats out of the house - when we see them, we want them, we eat them, and then we wonder how they disappeared so fast.  If you're like me you may have some treats in the house over the weekend, but not before and not after.  That helps me stay mindful and enjoy a few without over doing it. 

It also helps to make sure you're not skipping meals, but are having healthy well-balanced meals and snacks with protein and fibre to help keep your blood sugar stable for longer.  If you let your blood sugar get too low, that's when you may give in to temptation or crave treats, and if they're right in front of you, they may soon be gone!

I also like to encourage non-food treats and gifts, since I feel like we tend to 'treat' ourselves too often these days with sugar, fat, and excess Calories.  I love chocolate, but I also love flowers and plants, books, walks in the fresh Spring air, or spa treatments, like a pedicure to get my toes ready to be seen in public.  I'm not saying you can't have chocolate this Easter, but don't leave out a whole bowl of chocolate eggs and not expect to give in to the temptation!  Portion out a few and have them after your meal or snack.

Another thing to keep in mind is why not focus on a great egg meal rather than just thinking about chocolate eggs?  Eggs are a great source of nutrients, are low in saturated fat and one large egg contains only 70 Calories.  They also contain 6g of protein and are a complete protein because they have all 9 essential amino acids.  Research shows that healthy adults can enjoy an egg a day without increasing their risk of heart disease.  Start your Easter morning with scrambled eggs, whole grain toast, and fresh fruit so you have lasting energy for your Easter egg hunt.

Happy Easter
Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fight Back!

It's that time of year again, the seasons are changing and the temperatures are rising.  As our bodies adjust to new temperatures, we deal with dust in the air, and university students prepare for exams, we also may find that we're fighting a cold.  I've talked to a few people recently that are dealing with or just got over a runny nose and sore throat.  For Q's Day I try to stick with topics relevant to what's happening.  So today I'm asking:

How do you fight the common cold?

I typically focus on increasing liquids (water, tea, 100% juice) to help stay hydrated, as well as loosen mucus, and help my body remove germs and viruses.  I also focus on getting adequate rest and aiming to include a balanced diet with bright coloured fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy.

HealthCastle has some tips and a sample cold menu to help your immune system win the fight!

Feel well!
Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching