Are smoothies a healthy option for the whole family?

by Tara Postnikoff

Smoothies are an amazing way to get a lot of nutrition in a convenient and tasty way. They can be customized to suit your mood, tastes and nutritional needs. They are great for breakfast, a quick meal, or as a pre or post run snack. The most common concern with smoothies–the homemade versions and especially the store-bought ones–is the high sugar content.

One way to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie is to add protein powder, as well as some additional ingredients to make it a balanced meal. This can make it easier to boost your protein levels throughout the day if you are not getting enough from real foods. However, it is important to know that protein powders are a processed form of protein and should be considered a supplement to the diet; in other words, you should not get all your protein from a powder. Continue reading “Are smoothies a healthy option for the whole family?”

Coconut Oil: Should You Switch?

by Jen Rawson, RD

For a long time, olive oil was king of the cooking oils. Due to its widespread use in the Mediterranean diet (largely regarded as one of the healthiest eating patterns), it quickly became “the” oil to use in cooking. But in the past few years, our views on fats have changed. Suddenly, butter is back, along with highly-touted products like avocado oil, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil. But no oil saw as much hype as coconut oil, with claims to reduce weight and waist circumference, strengthen the immune system, give you glowing skin, and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. So, is coconut oil the miracle cure it’s claimed to be, or has the media buzz overshadowed the science?

Continue reading “Coconut Oil: Should You Switch?”

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles

by Charmaine Broughton

Maybe you’d like to create a homemade gift from the kitchen. Or, maybe you’re like me and are thinking: I just ran 10K in two feet of snow – I deserve a sweet treat! Either way, I’ve got you covered with this delicious recipe from the Peanut Bureau of Canada. Peanuts are loaded with fibre and plant protein, plus they contain heart-healthy fats.

Addictive, decadent and perfect for sharing. These delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake truffles are a perfect treat for your loved ones or yourself! Continue reading “Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles”

Let’s Get the Kids Running

by Randy Brookes

There’s no question that physical activity is crucial for children. Not only does it strengthen a child’s muscles and bones, and prevent excessive weight gain, but it also improves brain function and helps maintain emotional and mental wellbeing.

Yet, the latest findings of the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth gave Canadian kids a grade of D+ for their overall level of physical activity. Researchers concluded that only 35% of children ages of 5 to 17 are getting the recommended physical activity levels for their age groups. This pattern of inactivity is having dire consequences, with Statistics Canada noting that 30% of 5 to 17 year olds are overweight or obese, putting them at a higher risk of asthma, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Continue reading “Let’s Get the Kids Running”

Taking Stock

by Don Zabloski

The start of a new year naturally leads to reflecting on past accomplishments and setting goals for the year ahead. As a family, it can be a good time to celebrate things that are going well—and possibly press the “reset” button to correct any habits that may have slipped. For example, are all family members making a consistent effort be active and healthy? And, does everyone understand why it’s important to make that commitment?

As with all things, parents need to model positive behaviours and attitudes about healthy and active living. Of course, you have to take care of yourself before you can expect to take care of others. What will you do—or what are you already doing—to renew your physical and mental health? Continue reading “Taking Stock”

Ankle Sprains

with Dr. Richard Beauchamp M.D., FRCSC

An ankle sprain refers to an acute or sudden injury that results in tearing of any of the ligaments of the ankle. Ligaments are strong tissues that attach to the adjacent bones of a joint, providing stability and limiting excessive movement. Sprains are usually graded according to the severity of the injury, as follows:

Classification: Grade 1
This refers to a mild stretch of some of the ligament fibres only. The individual is able to initially walk on the ankle without much discomfort. There may be some swelling, but recovery is usually complete in a few days. Continue reading “Ankle Sprains”

Mindful Eating

by Lisa Podlecki, RD,
Diploma Sport Nutrition IOC

As we enter a new year, our thoughts often turn to setting new goals. For some athletes, this can mean losing weight or building muscle mass. As with any goal, however, long-term success starts with a solid foundation. For some, this may mean creating a healthy relationship with your body, or with food, or even being more conscious of how you are fuelling your body. Mindfulness is the concept of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the moment—and is not just for your typical yogi. In fact, athletes are particularly good at being in tune with their bodies! Let’s look at how mindfulness relates to eating.

What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is about being in the present moment and can incorporate all components of eating as well as our interactions with food. For example, you can be mindful of the enjoyment you get from preparing a meal. You can notice the taste, look and texture of what you are eating. You can observe, honestly and without judgement, how food makes you feel. You can be more aware of your hunger and fullness cues. Continue reading “Mindful Eating”

In winter, how should runners adapt their food choices to optimize performance?

by Tara Postnikoff

At this time of year, optimizing running performance often has a lot to do with being consistent. Consistency in both training and eating habits will help runners stay healthy, avoid extended time off due to illness and reduce the risk of injury. These are all important ways to stay on track for your spring race goals.

To reduce the risk of illness and injury, we need to supply the body with foods that provide the nutrients needed for success. One way to do that is by focusing on a plant-based diet. Plant-based eating doesn’t have to exclude meat; it means to emphasize the consumption of foods coming directly from plants, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and even grasses and grains. Continue reading “In winter, how should runners adapt their food choices to optimize performance?”