Creative Thinking Can Help Inspire Healthy Living
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If you are looking for inspiration to get healthier, you often don’t have to look very far.

A few weeks ago, my son and I were walking in our neighbourhood on a Sunday morning when we met a gentleman in his mid-70s by the name of Bob Webster. Dressed in a suit, tie and polished dress shoes, Bob was happily on his way to church by bike. What struck me and made me smile was that this wasn’t just any bike; it was an arm-powered bike that was also towing a wheelchair.

creativity is the key to health

Bob Webster

I had to run to catch up to Bob who, evidently, could cruise at good speeds on his bike. We chatted a while and he smiled and said you need to do what you need to do. I learned that Bob had limited ability to walk and, despite suggestions by others who thought it was time for him to get a motorized wheelchair, he resisted. He liked that he had a mode of transportation that would allow him to keep up his fitness. I was inspired and grateful for the reminder that the key to good health is creative thinking.

Regardless of who you are, you don’t need a revolutionary extreme lifestyle makeover. You need real solutions that fit your lifestyle and some creative thinking. There are many two-for-one strategies that improve your nutrition or fitness while also helping you with some other part of your life.

Improve health while doing something else

Get active and finish a task

Think about the unintentional ways you can build fitness. Need to pick up milk? Walk or bike with a backpack to the store with your family instead of driving. At work, suggest a walking meeting instead of sitting. Take a walk while your son or daughter is at a sport or music practice. Make some of your phone calls on your cell while walking in the park.

Cook and teach kids a fun activity

Kids are naturally interested in food, cooking and baking. It might mean cooking takes a little bit longer but the benefit is that you have spent quality time with your kids, improved your family’s health and taught your children some valuable skills. Let them help make French toast or pancakes. Bake a double batch of healthy muffins for the freezer for fast breakfast or snack options. Make a hearty soup or stew where they stir and dump ingredients.

Who you hang out with on your free time can affect your health

When you suggest healthy social activities to your friends and family, you might be surprised at the positive response. Planning on meeting a friend for coffee? Grab the coffee and head out for a stroll. Meet family friends at the pool, zoo, park or other location that involves fun and fitness all at once. Plan a tapas party with friends and make the theme healthy appetizers. Have a soup-making party with a couple of friends over wine and good conversation. This involves each person coming prepared with one large pot, one healthy recipe and ingredients for a big batch soup that can be frozen in zipper bags for each person to take home. Cook three healthy family meals that can go into the freezer once per month with a friend.

Cook extra and avoid boring leftovers

One of my favourite time-saving tips for meal planning during the week is to use what is called “planned extras.” Planned extras involve cooking double of something today to go into a new meal later. For example cook double the amount of rice or quinoa you need today and put this in the freezer for a fast addition to a meal later. Cook a double batch of meat, seafood or tofu stir-fry today (half teriyaki style and half spicy peanut Thai style) and serve the first stir-fry over rice or noodles and the leftovers the next night in a wrap. Grill zucchini, red peppers and portabella mushrooms and serve as a side dish tonight with grilled chicken and potatoes and use the leftovers for a quesadilla or pizza tomorrow. Cook a large amount of ground beef, bison or poultry and freeze pre-cooked in bags or containers to add into a tomato sauce, chili or tacos on a busy night.


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Adele Fox, Psychologist
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Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
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