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March is Nutrition Month: Canada’s Top Dietitians Unlock the Potential of Food Print

#NutritionMonth

Food Fuels Energy, Kids Learning and Preventative Health

On the surface, food can look simply as just a source of nutrition.  In reality for all Canadian Dietitians food is about nourishment.  Food nourishes growth in children, health and physical activity performance.  It also nourishes workplace productivity, social fun and family connection.  As a Calgary Dietitian I am fascinated by food.  The Registered Dietitian and Online Nutritionist team I work with in our practice love the role it can play to help nourish ourselves, our families and our workplace.

Nutriton month - top canadian dietitians

This year the 2019 Nutrition Month campaign theme builds on the 2018 campaign theme to inspire Canadians to Unlock the Potential of Food.  Repeating a campaign theme has the benefit of adding more longevity to some of the simple yet very important key messages Canadians need to know. Read on for some of the key topics that explore the potential of food.

March is nutrition month 2019 - top canadian dietitians

Potential to fuel:

Plan nutritious meals and snacks to energize your day

Close to half of all Canadians find it at least somewhat challenging to eat a balanced diet when they are busy. That means they often skip meals and eat a lot of snacks to stay fuelled throughout a busy day. Of course as a dietitian, I promote the fact that snacking can be healthy, as long as people choose primarily nutritious snacks in manageable portions.

  • This Nutrition Month commit to sharing your favorite ideas with your friends and coworkers.  Here are 10 simple snack ideas to get you started: 
    • Whole grain crackers, cucumber sticks and hummus
    • Banana, frozen mango, yogurt and milk smoothie
    • Kiwi fruit and handful of nuts/seeds
    • Apple slices with nut butter
    • Cottage cheese with unsweetened canned pineapple
    • Carrots, snap peas and celery sticks and dip
    • Dried apricots, pumpkin seeds and low sugar breakfast cereal mix
    • Plain latte or tea latte
    • Hard cooked egg and grape tomatoes
    • Yogurt, fresh or frozen berries and granola
  • Start a healthy recipe share on email by asking your family and friends to share with you one to three favorite healthy recipes.
  • Start a recipe share on Facebook and ask your family and friends for their favorite ways to make vegetables taste delicious (since so many people fall short in adequate vegetables).
  • Post a recipe of the month at your workplace and encourage people to snap a photo of the recipe poster on the wall to take home with them on their smartphone.

Potential to discover:

Teach kids to shop and cook to foster lifelong healthy eating habits

While 68% of Canadians say they often prepare food for a meal or snack, most don’t get their children involved in the process.  What’s troubling is that 16% say they never let their child help in the kitchen, making it difficult for kids to learn how to cook.

Teaching kids about food fosters lifelong health habits and can help with picky eating.  Cooking ties in to many things children learn in school, and can help with math, science, social studies, reading, media literacy and health.

Toddlers, children and teenagers learn what they live.  It is not just parents that influence kids eating patterns.  Grandparents, caregivers, teachers and coaches also play a role.

  • At home invite young children to wash vegetables, peel carrots, mix up scrambled eggs, stir pancakes together, assemble quesadillas or make homemade breaded chicken fingers.
  • Watch videos online on how to cut up specific items like a chef. Buy kids their own knife and teach them how to use it safely.
  • Parents and grandparents can help create a family favorite recipe binder. Write out the recipes with kids (especially if they are in your head) so they can begin to learn how to make these. This recipe book will be invaluable when they move away from home.
  • Instead of serving a prepared healthy snack on playdates or aftercare, instead have kids prepare or assemble the snack as an activity. Have kids thread strawberries, grapes and melon on skewers to make fruit kabobs.  Let them dip fruit in what I call “yo-nut” dip (yogurt mixed with nut butter).

Potential to prevent:

Understand how food can help prevent disease like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some types of cancer.

It is no surprise that a basic healthy diet for disease prevention includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, and healthy protein sources such as legumes, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.

The new simple visual guide of Canada’s Food Guide makes this easier.  A balanced plate more effectively showcases these foods than the old guide that listed portions sizes, recommended serving sizes and food groups.

A diet based on whole foods and less processed foods also helps prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and some types of cancer. This diet can have many different names, but the foods are mostly the same. Examples:

  • A Mediterranean dietary pattern can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and improve blood glucose control for people with type 2 diabetes. It may also improve some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, dementia and glaucoma.
    • The DASH Diet can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing hypertension.
    • The MIND Diet may help reduce cognitive decline and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains is protective against some types of cancer.

If you need a hand with taking the general knowledge you have about nutrition and healthy eating but actually putting this into practice our specialized Calgary Nutritionists and Online Dietitians can helpWe find many of our clients have a general idea of what they should be eating but struggle more with how to put that knowledge into action. 

Contact us to book a free 15 minute phone or video consultation to find out more about how we may be able to help you with your goals or health concerns.  Our Dietitian Calgary team and Online Nutritionists specialize in weight concerns, meal planning, eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder), heart health (high cholesterol, high blood pressure), diabetes, digestive issues (nutrition for IBS, celiac disease, constipation, diarrhea), pediatric nutrition (picky eating, food allergies, weight issues, ADHD), sports nutrition and more.

Unlocking the potential of dietitians

Dietitians unlock the potential of food by translating the science of nutrition into easy to understand messages everyone can understand.  While many people are aware that as regulated health professionals dietitians undergo rigorous, ongoing training and are held to the highest standards of education and ethics, many people have no idea of the difference between a dietitian and other so-called “nutrition experts.”   For more information on the differences please check out our article: How to Hire the Best Nutrition Coach for Your Needs.

As Registered Dietitians that specialize in meal planning, weight concerns, emotional eating, eating disorders, digestive health, heart health, diabetes, pediatric nutrition and sports nutrition we can see you in our local Calgary nutritionist office or as an Online Dietitian by phone or video conferencing for virtual nutrition counseling. Find out more about our Dietitian Nutrition Counseling Programs here.

As university trained Registered Dietitians, you can count on us for credible advice and practical meal planning so you don’t have to stress about food anymore. You can achieve a healthy and joyous relationship with food and your body. Let’s talk about what this can look like for you. CONTACT US.

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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
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
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
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

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
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.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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