I haven’t done a restaurant review in quite some time but I have been to a few as of late! Most recently I ate with some friends at Tavola. It’s a quaint little restaurant located on Water Street in St. John’s. Previously, I had heard […]
Wow, 2017 is here already! Where did the last year go?! I think a lot of people are happy to see 2016 in the rear view mirror. So say so long and get on with the plan for this fresh New Year! A lot of people tend to base their resolutions on healthy eating and weight loss. There are so many diets out there that promise massive weight loss and quick results…but are they healthy? Are they effective? Do they last long term? One of the answers to these questions is yes, these diets are effective but long term they aid in creating bad to worse eating habits and the effects are usually short lived. So…let’s set you up for a win, a triple win. You want a plan that is healthy, effective and creates long term habits to maintain your healthy new lifestyle. The most important thing you want to do is find your motivation. Sometimes making changes are hard so you need to remember why you’re doing this. Is it to better your health, help you feel more energetic, improve your self-confidence, maybe it’s to keep up with your kids. It doesn’t matter. Just remember you set out on this path for a reason, so stay focused on the end goal…a long healthy life!
- Make a plan: Part of being successful is having a plan. It’s hard to stay focused when you aren’t organized with all of the right tools for success. Set aside an hour each week…for most people it’s a Saturday or Sunday afternoon but it could be a Tuesday night, whenever is convenient for you! Make a meal plan for the week and then write up your grocery list to go along with that plan. That way you have all the necessary ingredients for all the food you need and you’re not scrambling during the week to come up with ideas only to realize you don’t have all the ingredients and you end up making 2-3 extra trips to the store. Moral of the story…less time thinking and running around means more time preparing and less chances that you will end up eating take out or something less healthy (not that take out is bad but it should only be a once a week kind of option). Involve the family in the planning too! If everyone gets a say in which meals are prepared than you double your chances of success!
- Clean out your cupboards: Do a little spring cleaning early! Clear out all the chocolate, candies, chips and cookies from Christmas (wow…apparently all the delicious treat foods start with ‘C’!) and make a space for all of your healthy ingredients. Keep your absolute favorites and tuck them away. Make sure you clear out a space for healthy go to snacks which I will get to later. Maybe a shelf in your cupboard or a crisper in your fridge.
- Start small. Making too many big changes at once can be intimidating. When making your plan, keep some of your regular dishes the same, make sure you include your favorite foods! Maybe your plan includes trying 1 new recipe a week. Maybe it includes trying 1 new fruit or veggie a week. Remember every change no matter how small or large makes an impact and sets you in the right direction.
- Create your own healthy snacks on the run. Wash, cut and organize fresh fruits and veggies so they are readily available for snacking. Get out a ¼ cup measure and measure out any kind of nuts you like (unsalted) or make your own granola bars (http://www.newfoundbalance.com/recipes/healthy-snacks/chocolate-peanut-butter-granola-bites/). Make sure you have zip lock baggies or lots of tuperware containers handy. Again, it’s all about setting yourself up for a win. If you set aside an hour for prep every week then when you are pressed for time you will have healthy food to grab on the run!
- Don’t skip breakfast! Feeling tired around 11 or 2 is about more than lack of caffeine or sleep. Food is fuel and after all night fasting your body needs energy first thing in the morning. Try a high fibre option like oatmeal because it will keep you full longer and spreads out your energy. Fibre also aides in weight loss and can keep blood sugar and cholesterol stable. Try this delicious recipe here.
Hopefully these 5 tips will start you on your way! AND, remember when I mentioned keeping your favorite treats? Enjoy those too, set aside a day of the week where you sit down and enjoy your treats with the family. You can’t maintain your new healthy life without being able to enjoy your favorite snacks! Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions. Reading this article is definitely the first step!
Adrianna Smallwood, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Expert
The holidays are coming! It’s almost December and I bet most people are struggling between making a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier in some capacity and tallying up the calories of all the food they will eat over Christmas. I myself have made quite […]
Fruits and vegetables are full of tons of nutrients! Here in Newfoundland we have some of the lowest rates of fruit and vegetable intake and for sure a lot of different options aren’t readily available on this wonderful island we call a rock…BUT there are […]
My next restaurant review brings to light a very important topic…Health Inspectors overstepping their duties and working outside of their scope of practice and knowledge base.
I recently had lunch at Sushi Nami on George Street. I love it there and they actually were part of our Gluten Free Fair in June for our National Celiac Conference. They made all the sushi fresh on the spot and they have a wonderful gluten free menu and even bring in gluten free soy sauce!
I was super excited to go out for lunch this day with my friend and luckily the Manager served us so I was prepared to ask tons of questions. We started with the plain, salted edamame. Always a favorite. They also offer spicy edamame but it has gluten so stay with the plain folks! I then ordered the Veggie Dragon Roll. The gluten containing version of this actually has tempura sweet potato inside so I was very curious about how they cooked the sweet potato without the gluten. So I asked the Manager. She informed me that since she was promoting gluten free and was part of the gluten free food fair she wanted to be absolutely certain that none of her customers were harmed with cross contamination. So she had called in the Health Inspector to look at her kitchen. This Health Inspector proceeded to tell her that she could use the same deep fryer to deep fry gluten free foods because the deep fryer KILLLED gluten.
So I almost fell off my chair at this point because a.) Gluten is NOT a germ or bacteria that can be killed b.) Gluten is a protein and thus it takes EXTREMELY high temperatures to denature or break it down and even then the pieces of gluten can still cause a reaction and c.) That is not something a Health Inspector SHOULD be telling people since it is clearly not something they know about or learn about in their program. This is actually the second time I have heard of this happening. I have a Chef friend whose Health Inspector also told him that gluten will be killed in the deep fryer. Celiac Disease leads to so many complications when left untreated. One of the biggest of which is Lymphoma. Consuming gluten and damaging our insides leads to these further complications. A Health Inspector should know when something is in their scope and when to say, I don’t know about that and I’m not certain if I can give you information so let me put you in contact with someone who can. That is how you become good at your job. Not just knowing about things. But also knowing when you don’t know and stepping back. Especially when a person’s well being is on the line!
The manager took this in stride and I explained to her that the deep fryer temperature was not high enough to break down the gluten and make it safe for someone with Celiac to consume (or even someone with a wheat allergy). She was extremely receptive and told me from now on that when a customer orders gluten free, the parts that were supposed to be deep fried would now be grilled. I ate my Sushi Roll and it was amazingly delicious and oh so gluten free. I never got sick and I hopefully my experience will change the next customers experience there as well!
Moral of the story: Health Inspectors need to stay within their scope of practice. The Celiac Association has a Gluten Certification Program and Professionals who know about cross contamination come into restaurants and provide training to employees and insure that the premises is gluten free. A Health Inspector might know about germs and such but clearly they have no idea about allergies or Health Conditions.
Happy gluten free eating at Sushi Nami everyone! The food is amazing and the manager is super diligent! I give it two thumbs up!
If you want to read a little more info about deep frying and cross contamination check out this blog by a fellow Dietitian
The Newfie Celiac Dietitian!
I began reading this book lately, it’s called “Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook.” I’ve heard so many great things about the author Ellyn Satter and this particular book has been on my reading list for quite some time…so back to the title of this book! I’m sure some of you may have rolled your eyes at the title? Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family…maybe you know how to cook, maybe you know how to eat. You’re alive right? So you’ve obviously been doing your job right. Wrong. Well maybe not everyone is wrong, BUT, as a society I think that we have lost the ideal of the happy, sit at the table, savor the food and enjoy the taste meal.
Ellyn says in her book:
Today’s eating habits are negative: Eating isn’t important. Time spent eating is wasted time. You should eat and do something else at the same time. Skipping meals is good. Not eating is a sign of superiority. Being offhand about eating is trendy. Being finicky is sophisticated. Then there are the negative attitudes about nutrition: I shouldn’t eat that. If it tastes good it can’t be good for me. Eating right takes all the fun out of food.
Ellyn is so right! As a test I opened up my Pinterest and typed in the word ‘diet’. Now, I consider diet to be what a person eats in total. The average daily intake of food. But what does Pinterest think diet means? Here are the first 6 things on the list:
- Find the best diet plan for your wedding
- February is national snack month
- The Yes/No Foods list (my personal favorite)
- 3 ingredient pancakes
- 20 snacks that burn fat
- 24 essential recipes for anyone on a low-carb diet
Now I’m sure if I opened Google or any other search engine or social media the top 6 things to pop up would essentially be the same.
As a Registered Dietitian I often get frustrated clients in my office. They have tried Weight Watchers, Herbal Magic, Detoxes, Various fat burning pills, diets of shakes and coffee, you name it, I’ve heard of someone trying it. Most people seem to be focused on one thing. The scale. Whether it’s weighing themselves or their food. I have had clients come into my office and display their phones with every piece of food that goes in their mouth accounted for, displaying their various electronics that track the calories that they’re burning and their weights meticulously written down 3 times a day. I understand it! People are frustrated. They want to be healthy and there are so many people out there promising quick fixes. Lose 20 pounds in ONE WEEK! Detoxify your liver and the weight will fall off! Weight loss is promised to be the miracle that will help you look better, feel better and cure all of your health problems. Do you know what the silent killer is? Stress!
Stress involves a whole body reaction or a physiological response and is caused by anything in our life that makes us feel threatened. This is sometimes called the fight or flight response because it gives us an adrenaline boost that can help you fight for your life or run like heck. Our body cannot tell the difference though and all kinds of situations put stress on your body. When you don’t eat enough to keep up with the energy demands your body has just for everyday functioning, when you exercise for long hours every day and don’t replenish your energy stores, when you sit down after not eating chocolate for a whole month and you eat 3 chocolate bars at once and feel incredibly guilty. All of these things cause you stress because your body is an intricate system that works together. Why do you feel hungry? Because you need food. Why does chocolate smell so good if you’re not supposed to eat it? Because you should treat yourself!
So why am I focusing on stress? Because the hormone that your body releases during stress is called cortisol and this hormone functions to store fat. Now the pathway for this process is very complicated and I’ve oversimplified it here but the research shows that people who perceive themselves to have a lot of stress have higher weights and a higher waist circumference. (For example read here, here, and here)
I will give you an example. Most people restrict their intake of food in an effort to loose weight. They skip meals, eat smaller portions, stop eating when they are still hungry or they ignore hunger signals all together. What happens internally however is that your body stops trusting you and gets stressed because it thinks it’s never going to get food again. So what happens when you finally give in to that hunger craving? Your body stores every last bit of energy as fat in fear that you won’t give it anything again.
If I bring this all together, the most important thing you want is for your body to trust you. Listening to your body and feeding it when it’s hungry is important. Ignoring your hunger cravings doesn’t make you strong and giving in to your hunger cravings doesn’t make you weak. You want your body to trust you. Eat when you’re hungry, enjoy some chocolate or candy or whatever your “guilty pleasure” is. Ellyn says “If the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers”. At the end of a session with a client who is seeing me to loose weight I often make 2 goals (along with any healthy eating suggestions). The first is, until you see me again, please stop keeping track of the food you are eating every second. Eat your main meals and if you are hungry have a snack but don’t record it and secondly, do not weigh yourself until you see me again. Stop focusing on the scale at home and focus on how you feel. Is your goal to weigh less or is it to feel better? Because if your goal is to weigh less and you never get there and deprive yourself of every delicious thing in the meantime…what is the quality of your life really like? So, please, for the love of food, enjoy all food in moderation whether it’s apples and carrots or candy and chocolate. Having a healthy relationship with food means enjoying all foods.
***if you have a specific health condition or food allergy or intolerence that keeps you from eating a specific food or type of food that is a different issue and you should speak with a Registered Dietitian to insure you are not missing out on any key nutrients and continue to avoid eating the offending food or type of food.
I have been asked so many times ‘What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist,’ but I hadn’t realized until this weekend past what it meant to people. I was speaking with a gentleman and the topics of our respective occupations came up. […]