Gobble Gobble: Surviving Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner


We all have lots to be thankful for at this time of year; family, friends and the abundance of foods on our plates. While it is wonderful to have this, it can certainly be troublesome for some and lead to weight gain.
So my suggestion, go in with a plan! Arm yourself with guidelines to follow that set you up for success and not with an extra 5lbs.

Table Tips:
  1. Bring something you can have: veggies/hummus, guacamole, shrimp cocktail or my favourite- grilled prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears. Yumm!!!
  2. Watch out for empty calories found in alcohol- they add up quickly. Lame I know, but ask yourself-   how badly do you want to lose/maintain your weight?
  3. Pick your poison – if you choose to have something pick your favourite thing- don’t have the apple pie and pumpkin pie plus cookies, plus plus plus….
  4. In the words of Sting, “Don’t stand, don’t stand so close to…” THE FOOD TABLE! Move away from the table when in conversation, this will prevent you from diving in mindlessly.
 During Dinner:

Fill your plate with protein and veggies and small amounts (or none) of the stuffing or mashed potato (these are high glycemix foods that will cause blood sugar fluctuations and sugar cravings!). If you are still hungry after 20 min go back for small amounts of the options you want.Remember, it’s not about deprivation- it’s about staying true to your goals and yourself. If you do end up indulging, go for an extra hike or boot-camp and move on.

~Image and recipe source: foodbabe.com


Building Your Immunity Army

On Guard! Getting Our Soldiers Ready


Sick of being sick?

Even though you have those tiny sanitizer bottles stashed everywhere, you still manage to get sick EVERY YEAR and maybe even more than once! What gives? Rest assured your Nutritionist (me) is here to highlight a few more things you could be doing that will help give your immune system that extra karate punch to fight off colds and flu.

10 Superhero Cold and Flu Fighters:

  1. Citrus Fruits – We all know about the powers of Vitamin C. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of having a healthy regular dose of this vitamin for its prevention of the common cold. Some excellent sources of Vitamin C  include: papaya, sweet potato, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and red bell peppers.
  2. Mushrooms – mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells by making them more aggressive (kind of like a Red Bull for our immunity soldiers). The ones with the most power are shiitake, maitake, reishi, and enoki. Your call to duty: add them to quinoa salads or eggs.
  3. Sweet Potato – The first line of defense is our skin. Vitamin A is a large component of this and is fueled by the things we eat. Look for orange colored veggies and fruits which contain beta carotene; which is converted into Vitamin A in our bodies (aren’t we smart?). Good sources include carrots, squash, canned pumpkin and cantaloupe.
  4. Zinc – this mineral helps develop white blood cells (cells that destroy invading bacteria and viruses). A zinc deficiency increases your risk of infection. Zinc can be found in foods like beef, oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, and milk.
  5. Shellfish – Selenium, found in shellfish, helps white blood cells to produce cytokines (proteins that clear flu viruses out of the body). These include oysters, lobsters, crabs and clams. Fatty fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids helps to decrease inflammation, increase airflow and protect lungs from colds and respiratory infections. Salmon, mackerel, herring, bluefish are on that list of fatty fish. Aim to have 2-3 servings per week (unless you are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant).
  6. Garlic – Garlic has an active ingredient called allicin, which helps to fight infection and bacteria. Try to include fresh garlic in your cooking – you can pretty much add it to anything (just watch out who you kiss after).
  7. Ginger – Ayurvedic medicine has been promoting ginger for eons as a powerful natural remedy for many things. Ginger is used to sooth a scratchy throat and suppresses cough. It is a natural pain and fever reducer and also acts as a mild sedative, making you feel more relaxed – a definite bonus when you are sick! You can add shredded ginger root to your tea or get some store bought ginger tea. You can also add some shredded ginger to stir- fries and sauces for some extra flavor.
  8. Yogurt – Yogurt helps fuel your intestinal microbial system by giving it probiotics (live cultures of bacteria). This healthy bacteria help keep the gut and intestine free from disease causing germs. My recommendation is to have foods like plain Greek yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods that help with good bacterial growth.
  9. Oats and Barley – These grains contain beta-glucan: fibers which have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. They act to increase immunity, increase wound healing, and can possibly help antibiotics work better.
  10. Onions– Selenium is found here in high concentrations; a perfect pick- me- up mineral for our immune system. See my favourite way to eat these flavorful packed veggies (here is the perfect recipe using onions)

Looking for more ways to input these items into your regular eating pattern? Ask the Oakville Nutritionist for a little help!

Sources: 1, 2, 3