3 Nutritionist Approved Fast Foods

Ok folks, here is it, the question that I know you are dying to have the answer for- ‘where can I get healthy(ish) fast food?”

Before I answer, I feel compelled to preface my suggestions with this:
• fast food is ‘fast’ for a reason… just stew on that for a minute
• you can’t control the quality of ingredients in these products, so if you are the type who really cares about this, like I do, buyer beware.
• Nothing and I mean NOTHING, can replace home cooked meals…so with that said, here are 3 go-to fast foods you could grab in a pinch…key word here is ‘pinch’.

1. Starbucks Protein Bistro Box. I like this because it is simple. Hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit and a pita. It’s nothing fancy or overly processed; it’s effortless ingredients for a quick and easy snack.

2. Opa! If you haven’t jumped on the Greek train than I highly recommend you start now. The Mediterranean flavours will whisk away your taste buds to warmer climates- hopefully inspiring you to cook more of these flavours at home. For now, Greek fast food restaurants are easily found in every town. Choose a chicken or lamb, rice and a beautiful Greek salad and enjoy knowing you have kept French fries and nuggets off your waistline.

3. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. My suggestion here is to skip the dried cranberries (and the pecans if you are up to it) and only use one of the two packs of dressings they give you. What is left? Fresh salad, chicken, blue cheese and apple; quick and easy for those on the road or crunched for time

Remember, fast food can pack on the pounds or if chosen smartly can be a quick go-to once in awhile. The trick is to not let yourself get too hungry, otherwise you will end up making a poor choice out of desperation.

So if you are like me and want to learn some mad skills in nutrition or want to lose some of that unwanted fat, check out my new book Your Weight Loss G-Spot!

Superfoods Presentation Recap

As mentioned in this recent post, I had attended the canfitpro Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show this Saturday (August 9th), and one of the seminars they had was “Change What You Eat,” by Kathy Smart of Live the Smart Way. From a woman who has 19 years of experience as a nutritionist, six years as a chef, and eight years as a Canadian Fitness Trainer, she has a lot to say about healthy living.

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In this presentation, she spoke about nine superfoods, described benefits of each, and gave us recipes to use these nutritious foods in delicious ways. She considered the superfoods as the “pink cadillac of foods” – they not only fuel you but also fight for you. They provide phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. I have taken notes and prepared this document for you to enjoy:

Did you guess the nine superfoods correctly?

They are:

  1. Maca
  2. Chia
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Sea vegetables
  5. Camu camu powder
  6. Sesame seeds
  7. Kale
  8. Coconut oil
  9. Beet

What are these superfoods, how can they benefit us, and what are some delicious ways we can enjoy it?

  1. Maca: maca is a root available in raw, gelatinous powder form. It helps combat stress by supporting the adrenal glands to combat belly fat, increases sex drive and energy, regulates and balances hormones. Smart recommends eating maca six days on, one day off every week. Maca is good in smoothies, salads, oatmeal, applesauce, juice, and yogurt.Recipe for maca chocolate almond butter: mix together 1-2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 3 tsp of maca, 1 tsp of cinnamon, maple syrup to taste, and a pinch of sea salt
  2. Chia: chia is best found in the forms of seeds, but can be white or black in colour. Black chia seeds are known for their anti-aging effects. Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory, a source of tryptophan (a hormone that helps you sleep), and helps you feel full faster. It is recommended to take 2-3 tablespoons a day, and can be added to yogurt.Recipe for chia berry jam: mash together ›1 cup of raspberries, ›3 tablespoons of chia seeds, ›brown sugar to desired sweetness, and let it sit for 2 hours
    ›Recommendation is to use: berries are a good way to camouflage the seeds if you have kids, Smart has tested them on her nephew and he couldn’t tell that there were chia seeds in the jam!IMG_4635
  3. Cinnamon: cinnamon is a spice that helps regulate blood sugar, reduce arthritis, and naturally sweetens a recipe.Suggestion: Add 1/2-1 tsp of cinnamon to your coffee or yogurt each day.
  4. Sea vegetables: dried sea vegetables are a source of iron, iodine, and vitamin C. There are two types that Smart introduced to us: kelp and dulse.Recipe for bone broth soup base: in 8 cups of water, throw in as is 2 whole carrots, 2 onions with peels on, 1 head of garlic, 3 tsp oregano, 1/2 cup of dried kelp, 3 stalks of celery, 1/2 a lemon (squeeze, then throw in) and the bones of an ox tail or carcass of a rotisserie chicken. It is vegetarian friendly without the bones. Simmer for four hours.
    This soup base will provide you calcium without the dairy. Did you know that the 1/2 lemon can help extract the calcium from the bones?
  5. Camu camu powder: did you know that under stresss, humans and monkeys are the only two animal species that does NOT produce vitamin C in the body? Camu camu powder has 60 times more vitamin C than an orange: 1 teaspoon of this powder is all that’s needed for 1180% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). It also contains 70mg of potassium.Recipe for Adrenal Support Juice: put into the juicer a large bunch of carrots, 1 beet, 1 golden apple, large bunch of swiss chard, 1 tsp of camu camu.
  6. Sesame seeds: sesame seeds are a vital source of calcium – 1/2 a cup of sesame seeds has three times more calcium than milk!Recipe for sesame seeds hummus: puree 1 can of chickpeas, 1/2 cup of tahini, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic.
  7. Kale: kale has a higher iron content than beef, and is a good source of ›calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale chips and salads are good ways to get the important nutrients from kale.Recipe for kale pellets: puree and freeze them in ice cube containers.
    These frozen kale pellets can be added to any smoothie, soup, or mashed potato recipe.
  8. Coconut oil: coconut oil stimulates the thyroid. For an easy fix – add it to smoothies. It can easily replace butter or oil in recipes as a 1:1 ratio. It can be applied topically to skin or hair as a moisturizer.
  9. Beet: Beet is a high source of iron.Recipe for beet pesto, picture graciously provided by Kathy Smart
    beet pesto - kathy smart

For more details, please check out Kathy Smart’s Live the Smart Way page.

canfitpro’s Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show

At Oakville Nutritionist, one of our key goals is to work with you in creating a healthy and happy lifestyle, using nutrition plans designed just for you. Thus, naturally, when I heard that Canadian Fitness Professionals (canfitpro) had a Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show here in the heart of downtown Toronto, I thought it was worth a visit and encouraged others to do the same. Fortunately, Metro Toronto Convention Centre had tickets for me just in time for the show.

What is the Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show all about?

It is an annual event showcasing a variety of fitness and wellness products, equipment, programs, and classes.

It was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for two days only (Friday, August 8 to Saturday, August 9).

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Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Attendees can watch and/or participate in demonstrations, such as

  • dance in a Zumba lesson:

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  • try gym equipment:

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  • watch a fitness relay race:

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  • & check out the different exhibitors (202 exhibitors this year), and listen/participate in seminars.

Presentation: “Change What You Eat” by Kathy Smart

Due to other plans that day, I had limited time at the expo and I only attended one seminar. I chose the “Change What You Eat,” by Kathy Smart, of Live the Smart Way. From a woman who has 19 years of experience as a nutritionist, six years as a chef, and eight years as a Canadian Fitness Trainer, she has a lot to say about healthy living.

IMG_4633

In this presentation, she spoke about nine superfoods, described benefits of each, and gave us recipes to use these nutritious foods in delicious ways. She considered the superfoods as the “pink cadillac of foods” – they not only fuel you but also fight for you. They provide phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Can you guess the nine superfoods she listed? Please comment below what you think they are. Answers and recipes are to come in a future post later this week :)

Recommend?

If you are into exploring new products in fitness and wellness or are interested in building/expanding your own gym, you should check it out. Next year, this event will run from August 12-16, 2015!