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Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Your Wish is Their Command: How conscious consumers are shaping the food and restaurant industry

During a recent presentation, an audience member asked what the biggest difference was in people I counsel now versus when I first began my practice more than 25 years ago.

The answer is quite simple. People are much more aware of the role nutrition can play in their overall health and wellbeing. Back in the day, many clients came to me with horrible eating habits. Yes this still happens…I often meet with clients who eat a very unbalanced, unhealthy diet, but it’s happening less and less.

The average consumer is more aware than ever of the importance of consuming foods that will enable our bodies and minds to function at their peak capacity. I am not the only one who is taking notice of this increase in consumer awareness. There are a number of academic studies and consumer surveys telling us that Canadians are interested in eating foods that are locally sourced, contain less additives and promote optimal health, AND taste great to boot. (Sources : https://www.restaurantscanada.org , http://www.gftc.ca/knowledge-library )

These statistics are backed up by a few simple truths. One is the type of offerings we see in restaurants. Years ago, when trying to encourage a major restaurant chain to offer healthier choices, I was told sales would suffer if healthy choices were indicated on the menu.

Fast forward to today and we see most food service establishments offer detailed nutrition information on their websites and even in–store.

Some, like SUBWAY® restaurants take making healthy choices to the next level. Since the 90’s they have led the charge to improving the quality and healthfulness of their offerings.

In 1998 SUBWAY® published the nutrition information for all their products, and added ingredient listings and allergens in 2001. But SUBWAY® did not stop at just giving consumers information. They designed their “8 under 6” menu which featured sandwiches with 6 grams of fat or less. Further wanting to improve the fat content of items that were offered in their restaurants, trans fats were removed from the menu. Next, a lower sodium initiative was undertaken – they currently have reduced sodium in their lunch and dinner subs by 30%. Did they stop there? No, this was only just the beginning.

As consumers become more health conscious the changes have continued. More recently, SUBWAY® removed high fructose corn syrup from their menu items, received the Whole Grain stamp of approval on their 9-grain wheat and honey oat bread and source local ingredients (like 100% Canadian turkey and ham) whenever possible. Better yet, SUBWAY® has pledged to remove all artificial colours, flavours and additives preservatives from the menu by 2017.

It’s refreshing to see companies improve their menu offerings to meet the needs of today’s consumers. The bottom line is that eating in restaurants can be fun, especially when you can make healthy and knowledgeable meal choices. Keep checking out the website of your favourite restaurant, including SUBWAY® for updates on how they continue to bring healthier options to your breakfast, lunch or dinner plate.

This post is sponsored by SUBWAY® restaurants but the thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.

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Meat thermometers

Have you ever noticed that every recipe that you see nowadays say that the best way to tell if your meat, fish or chicken is cooked is to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer? Meat thermometer

Like me do you get frustrated when the recipes do not give any indication on how to choose a meat thermometer or how to use one.  So here is a quick primer on how to choose and how to use a meat thermometer.   

 

At my local kitchen I swear that there is a whole wall of different models of meat thermometers.  There are some that look like a dial on the end of a skewer.  Others have digital read outs.   Some looks like a regular meat fork. Is there a better one to choose to use on the BBQ.  Although I wish I could say that I have personally tested all the thermometers on the market I instead was able to consult a few trusted sources for information.  Click on the links below for what is the best type of meat thermometers for you.   

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/02/how-to-choose-and-use-a-food-thermometer/#.V1M109krLIU 

http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Food-safety/Test-the-temperature-%E2%80%93-Use-a-thermometer-for-food.aspx#.V1M2KtkrLIU 

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cooking-tools/food-thermometer-reviews/g1728/food-thermometer/?slide=1

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Summer nutrition tips

During the summer month’s people change how they eat! They put away their stock pots and slow cookers and get out the grill. Here are a couple of tips that will help to keep you and your family well fed and safe during the summer months.

Keep an insulated bag in your car: trips to the grocery store should be quick. If your food is to be stored in the car for any length of time (more than 1 hour) store items that should be refrigerated in an insulated bag. Keep the food in the coolest place in the car.

Keep cold food cold and hot food hot: storing food during a heat wave can be a challenge. We know that bacteria grow well at temperatures between 4 degrees C and 60 degrees C, or 40-140 degrees F. The key is to keep foods either hotter or colder than these temperatures.

Grilling: charring food can lead to the build up of harmful chemicals in our food. Grill foods at Summer Nutrition tipslower temperatures and choosing lower fat cuts of meat, fish or poultry can reduce the build up of these harmful chemicals.

Marinades: Marinating meat in an acidic marinade ( wine, vinegar, lemon juice) will reduce the formation of these chemicals. Remember to throw them out after use. They can only be used again if they are brought to the boil to kill the bacteria.

Always use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking. Every year, people find themselves sick because they ate under cooked ground meat .

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