Tag: healthy eating

Healthy Swellness: Three Simple Ways to Boost the Nutrition of What You’re Eating

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When it comes to eating well, I take a balanced approach. One of the greatest pleasures in my opinion is eating delicious foods, including those that aren’t so good for youso I eat a balanced diet most of the time, and then savour without any guilt the less than healthy items once in a while. I’ve always railed against that thinking, that healthy means kale and celery juice and quinoa only.

And another thing: Eating nutritiously doesn’t have to mean spending more. You just have to make smart budget-conscious choices with what you purchase and shop in stores where you can count on lower prices, like Giant Tiger. (Bonus: you can buy other items you need there, like cute workout gear, too, so you can limit your shopping excursions at the one convenient location that’s nearest you). In the past year, I’ve switched from only going to my usual (pricey) grocery store, and I can tell you the savings are significant if you make the effort to shop for groceries at a budget-friendly store like Giant Tiger.

Anyhow, as for the balanced approach to eating well? I look at every meal and snack as an opportunity to up the nutrition of what I’m consuming. You can accomplish this with some simple tactics, like these three, which work well for me:

1. Add veggies whenever possible. More often than not, I tend to cook one-pot type meals. So when cooking up my all-in-one dish, I consider how I can throw more vegetables into it as well. A pasta with meat sauce? Well, you can easily include some mushrooms in there, too, and celery and grated carrots. 

Or consider your breakfast; it’s a prime opportunity to eat more veggies, especially as veg is not a typical breakfast ingredient. I used to make fruit and juice smoothies all the time, but I realized you can easily throw some kale or spinach into the blender too (and some Greek yogurt for richness and protein) and it tastes great. Another great vehicle for veggies? Frittatas and breakfast wraps: throw in your usual eggs and sausage but add tomatoes, black beans, spinach and green peppers, too.

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Also, why not enjoy a salad for breakfast? Instead of just making bacon and eggs for your first meal of the day, take inspiration from a BLT and make a salad with those same ingredients, and throw in a hardboiled egg for protein, some avocado (which provides omega-3 fatty acids), some flax, chia seeds or hemp hearts for texture, and a vinaigrette made with olive oil (a staple of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the most healthy in the world). I’m really digging salads for breakfast when I have time to throw one together as it’s not only tasty, but I always feel like I’ve kicked off the day on the right track with a healthy helping of veggies, which is a great motivator to staying on the wellness train the rest of the day.

2. Include some protein in each meal or snack so that your body feels satiated. Plan what you snack on for the week (so that you’re not opting for a danish when you feel that tummy grumble) and make sure your snacks have got some protein so you can keep plugging through your day well fueled. A quick snack I often go for is an apple, but eat it with some nut butter (I enjoyed this apple with Wow Butter, a tasty nut-alternative option available at Giant Tiger) and not only will your snack feel more like a treat but your body will feel more full longer. 

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Or for dinner on those nights you don’t feel like cooking? Do a ploughman’s lunch-inspired meal to snack on: here I’ve included almonds, hummus and a hardboiled egg for protein, carrots for some colour (and then you’re also accomplishing point #1 above!) and a serving of Saint Paulin cheese (one of my all-time favourite cheeses, and I love that it’s carried at Giant Tiger).

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3. Stock up on smart staples that make eating well easy. It’s always easier to eat healthily if you make it super simple to incorporate into your schedule. Having ingredients on hand that help you eat a more balanced diet can make a world of difference when you’ve got tons of work to get done, a dog to walk, piles of laundry to do, etc, etc.

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Some of the convenient staples you can stock up on at Giant Tiger that I love: 

  • natural almonds (good as add to salad or as a quick snack on their ownjust watch your portion size; keep it to a small handful or approximately 23 almonds); 
  • hard-boiled eggs (this package of ready-boiled eggs is a lifesaver when you’ve got a busy week); 
  • canned tomatoes (great to have on hand so you can whip up a shakshuka meal or a quick pasta sauce; plus canned tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene); 
  • frozen fruit for smoothies; 
  • hummus (which research has shown is linked to fighting inflammation in the body); 
  • Gardein products, the meat-alternative products from this brand make meatless Monday meals no brainers;
  • Larabars (when buying packaged snacks to enjoy on the go, look for ones with ingredients you can identify, like Larabar, which is one of my favourite bar brands).

I know when I go to Giant Tiger I’ll be able to get everything I need to make loads of affordable meals and snacks as they sell fresh produce and fresh meat, along with the pantry staples I always keep on hand, like canned tomatoes and flavoured Perrier, and it’s all at fantastic prices. Because a lot of us, especially now during the pandemic, are more conscious about our spending than ever, I know I am. So on top of making Giant Tiger a go-to shop for your groceries and more, be sure to also sign up here for GT VIPyou’ll save even more on grocery items, plus you’ll get exclusive weekly deals.

Happy shopping (and savings)! I’d love to hear about your own nutrition-boosting tactics!

(sponsored partnership with Giant Tiger)

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Leave a Comment January 27, 2021

Healthy Swellness: Weight Watchers and “Help with the Hard Part”

 

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The start of a new year always sends droves of us into the gym and starting diets. One in three Canadians make a health and fitness-related resolution, in fact. But without goals backed up with a plan that is one you can realistically maintain, well, we all know what happens to most of our resolutions. In fact, are you already struggling with yours?

Which is why I’ve always been a cheerleader for leading a balanced lifestyle. I try to eat real foods most of the time, and if I’m home I try to cook and rarely get take-out. And I feel like my approach is similar to the Weight Watchers philosophy. I’ve always been a fan of their concept as it focuses on eating real food, so it’s a program you can sustain in real life. And it’s not about drastically eliminating bad foods from your diet; you can have that chocolate cake, as well you should!

But there’s always those moments, when it’s hard to make the healthy decision and that’s where we can all use some help getting through the hard parts. This is why Weight Watchers is trying to help with the hard part by implementing the new 24/7 Expert Chat service. We all have those moments. With help from Weight Watchers, navigating a healthier lifestyle can be made easier with an abundance of tools, including meal planning, restaurant finders, and online fitness demos. And even though I don’t usually struggle with my weight (I mostly credit the metabolism I inherited and my running regimen), I do face challenges in day to day life that I’ve had to learn to navigate.

For example, as a freelance writer covering health, fitness, beauty, food and travel, I’m at media events several times a week. Temptation is all around: cute containers of poutine (a favourite of mine), flutes of bubbly (oh, there’s another favourite!), croissants, sliders, cupcakes, doughnuts, you name it. It sounds heavenly, but an appetizer here, a cocktail there, and I realized this would all catch up with me. And a few years ago at an event, I also became aware that I was often on autopilot, simply taking whatever was being passed around even if I wasn’t hungry, and eating it even if I wasn’t enjoying it. So I made a new rule for myself. I stop and ask myself if I truly want what’s being served before reaching for one of the canapes. And if I’m eating something and it’s not very good or I’ve realized I simply don’t want it, I put it down–I used to feel rude to, but I realized that no one even notices. But, of course, there are times I fail and just scarf down what’s in front of me. Those times, well, I don’t beat myself up over it; I just get back on track.

There are dinners, of course, too. Lots of them – both for work and for fun. More often than not, I eat only half of my main and bring home the rest. And I walk home from these dinners (in fact, I walk most of the time, although I’ll likely walk less now on days it’s very cold); every bit of physical activity helps, right?

Even tougher than these events, though, is when I travel, and I travel a fair bit. Both on press trips (where the meals are often plentiful) and on vacation, and being into food, I find it hard to not order and eat everything that catches my fancy. After all, who knows when I’ll be back in that city again? And, I actually haven’t found a way to get around this, other than returning home and eating a steady diet of salads the week I return.

Another biggie? Late-night snacking. I’m a night owl so I’ll often be working or just watching TV late into the night, and out comes the chips or cheese and crackers. And the only thing that works for me is to not have those foods in the house. So I allow myself to pick some up every two weeks (when I’d probably eat chips every night if I could). Note to self: Talk to Weight Watchers about what they recommend when it comes to late-night cravings. I think the next time I find myself in the kitchen at 1 a.m. searching for a snack, I’ll have to get some real-time advice from Weight Watchers’ 24/7 Expert Chat. More on that in a future post.

(sponsored post)

 

1 Comment January 19, 2015

Healthy Swellness: Pro protein-rich breakfast

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Greek yogurt. Bacon. Eggs. Sausages.

All typical breakfast foods for me. Not altogether. Ick. Although I suppose if you threw it all into a burrito with some salsa, it’d work together tastily (I sub yogurt for sour cream all the time, after all).

Hmm.

On second thought: yum.

In any case, they are all good foods for the first meal of the day according to some new research. A study has found that a protein-rich breakfast (and those foods boast protein) helps reduce snacking on junky high-fat, high-sugar foods at night. So catch up on Scandal sans bag of potato chips, fancy that. They don’t have to go hand in hand.

(Greek yogurt with berries, toasted oats and pecans, Eat Like a Girl

3 Comments April 3, 2013

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