While at the dog park, I had a lovely long chat with a doctor.
Towards the end of the walk, I asked her if she had any suggestions on what we could do to raise healthier children.
Her answer was immediate, and the first one, surprising. But to make things exciting, I’ll start with her #3 suggestion.
#3 – To raise healthy children (and to stay healthy ourselves): Choose the right food.
When the doctor first moved to Canada, she complained to her husband, “There’s no good food here.” (note the word ‘good’).
She found that our grocery stores were huge but most of what is inside is non-food. As I once read “There is no junk food. There is junk and there is food”.
She now only shops the perimeter but still misses her tasty food. “The food here is pretty for the eyes but not tasty. Especially the meat.”
When doing research for this newsletter, I found articles about retraining taste buds. Two problems with packaged food: It’s made to be addictive (they adjust the salt, sugar, fat content to hit the ‘magic number’ that falls into the addictive range for most people), and the intense artificial flavour dulls the taste buds so naturally flavoured food seem tasteless.
If you’ve been eating packaged food for a long time, whole foods won’t taste as good to you as someone who only eats whole foods.
Want to eat healthier? Set yourself up for success. You will need create strategies to win the battle over: habit/convenience, addiction, retraining taste buds.
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I love oatmeal. To me, it's not boring. I agree that ordinary oatmeal is very boring, but not the steel-cut Irish kind - the kind that pops in your mouth when you bite into it in little glorious bursts like a sort of gummy champagne. ~Alan Alda
1. Food was not meant to create happiness in our lives. It was meant to fuel our bodies. Most of us eat for flavour, not nutrition.
2. Do your body and brain a favour and introduce nutrient dense foods. Dark leafy greens are big on that list. There are lots of green smoothie recipes on the internet. Add a non-sugared protein powder and the smoothie will also curb carb cravings.
4. Do lateral shifts. Try salsa instead of ketchup. Try a vinaigrette salad dressing instead of a creamy salad dressing. Try almond butter instead of peanut butter (or mix the two together as a transition step). Serve sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. For a snack, have fruit or veggie with a dip (as long as it is veggies are the main food and not the dip).
5. Reduce old habits/introduce new habits. Slowly reduce the unwanted food item so it is not a hardship to make the change. A bit less sugar in the coffee. Drink a glass of water prior to having pop so the pop lasts longer. Eat some cucumber slices before eating chips. Tweaking the quote a bit: Add bits of bacon or other flavours to veggies when introducing new varieties. Try new products like Grapple (pictured) as a transition to a whole food. Only drink ½ a can of pop at one time. Keep it fresh with our SnapCapp.
6. Make healthier food easier to access and keep less health food in a less convenient spot. Do you know the difference between people who have cereal on their counter and those who don’t? About 21 lb/person. Scary, huh. (Slim by Design - lots of great info in that book)
7. Save time by perimeter shopping – only shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where the whole foods are.
8. Invest your time by cooking healthier. The time you take to cook a healthy meal is given back to you in less time at the grocery store, more energy on a daily basis and fewer sick days.
9. Guideline for healthier choices in packaged food: all of the listed ingredients should be foods/recognizable ingredients. Or no more than 5 ingredients on the list.
10. Keep it simple. Remember Michael Pollen’s book title and mantra: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Today is Aboriginal Day in Canada!
Below, you have a chance to win 3 books written by award-winning children’s author Victor Lethbridge.
A great addition to your home or your school’s library.
Titles: You’re Just Right
Little Chief and Mighty Gopher: The Pemmican Frenzy. Contains bonus CD.
Little Chief and the Gifts of the Morning Star. Contains bonus CD.
To enter, please share something about the Aboriginal culture that you admire. Or share an Aboriginal person who is making a difference in the world today.
Happy Healthy Aboriginal Day!