Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Healthier Happy Hour

Tomorrow is Canada Day and Canadians will be celebrating the summer in many different ways. With the increased heat often comes an increase in the consumption of chilled beverages. Whether or not you are choosing to have alcoholic drinks, beverages are often an easy way for calories to sneak into our diets. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, but the amount in your drink depends on the amount and proof of the alcohol, the type of mixer used, and the size of the drink.

What is considered to be a standard drink?
12 fluid ounces of regular beer (~144 calories; light is ~ 100 calories)
5 fluid ounces of wine (white is ~ 100 calories, and red ~ 105 calories)
1. 5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (~ 96 calories)
(American Dietetic Association, Adult Beverage Consumption, 2008)

You can lighten up your drinks by choosing a calorie free mixer (such as club soda), using a garnish for added flavour (lemon, lime, mint, frozen berries), using just a splash of juice for flavour and colour, having a wine spritzer, and making drinks from scratch rather than from pre-made mixes which can be high in sugar, etc.

Here are some "lighter" versions of classic drinks from Registered Dietitian Cynthia Sass:
Slim Vodka Seltzer — 100 Calories
1 shot vodka
¾ cup all natural lemon lime seltzer
Lemon & lime wedges
Fill glass with ice. Add shot then seltzer and garnish with fruit.
Bloody Mary Light 175 calories
1 shot vodka
1 cup 100% spicy vegetable juice
1 large celery stalk
Fill glass with ice. Add vodka and juice and garnish with celery stick.
Slender Sangria 185 calories
5 oz wine
½ cup 100% fruit juice blend (like cranberry/blueberry/grape)
¼ cup diced apple and oranges
Stir juice into wine. Pour over ice and garnish with fruit.
Pina Skimlata 220 calories
1 shot rum
½ cup (4 oz) 100% pineapple juice
¼ cup skim or plain organic soy milk
¼ cup frozen banana slices
Fresh pineapple wedges
Add rum, juice, milk, banana and ice to blender. Whip until smooth. Pour into glass and garnish with fresh pineapple.
If you want more inspiration, many websites offer low calorie cocktail and mocktail recipes such as fitness magazine.

As always, if you are consuming alcohol, please do so responsibly (and do not drink if you are pregnant or have been advised not to based on a medical condition). Moderate drinking is considered to be one drink per day for females and two per day for males because of differences in weight and metabolism. The spacing out of drinks is also important - you shouldn't save up to have a week's worth all in one day! Space your drinks an hour apart and consume water in between to help quench your thirst.

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Much Do You Sweat

Every day you lose fluids, and every day you need to replace those fluids. We are all very unique in the amount of fluid we lose in a day - this depends on factors such as our age, gender, activity level, but also the humidity and temperature of our environment. A great fluid is water, although your milk, juice, coffee, tea, etc. also contribute to your hydration.

Curious about how much fluid you lose?

1. Weigh yourself before your workout and record your weight in kilograms.
2. Workout.
3. Keep track of fluids consumed during your workout.
4. Weigh yourself after your workout and record your weight in kilograms.
Your sweat loss in liters = bodyweight before - bodyweight after
(add on any additional fluids consumed during the workout)
To get your sweat rate, divide the sweat loss by the length of your workout (minutes or hours)
Example: Runner Pre-workout weight 65Kg
- Post-workout weight 64 Kg
+ 500ml water consumed in 1 hour run
** Note: 1 Kg = 1 L fluids
Sweat Rate: 65kg – 64kg = 1 + 0.5L fluids consumed = 1.5L/1 h

Steph Wheler

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fruity Oatmeal Cookies

I felt like something a little sweet today, so I pulled out that trusty Dietitian's of Canada Simply Great Food cookbook. As per usual for me, I looked for a recipe that would work for what I had available in the house. It just so happens that I had pulled 2 bananas out of the freezer yesterday and that's how I ended up making cookies with mashed bananas!

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Lightly grease or line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips* (I used raisins)
1 c dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
3/4 c flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large bananas, mashed
3/4 c liquid honey
1/2 c margarine

1. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, chocolate, dried fruit, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt.
2. In another bowl, combine bananas, honey, and margarine. Fold in oats mixture.
3. Drop dough by tablespoons, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto prepared baking sheet(s). Flatten with a fork (I didn't do this).
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely.

*Replace semi-sweet chocolate chips with butterscotch or white chocolate chips, leave them out, or use more dried fruit like I did.

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kitchen Sink Frittata

I made this recipe the other day because I had eggs, cheese, and lots of veggies in the house. It comes from the Dietitian's of Canada Simply Great Food cookbook.

6 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c diced onion
1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded (I didn't have so substituted other veggies)
1 tomato, diced
2 c chopped vegetables*
1 c shredded reduced-fat cheese (use a full flavoured cheese because you can use less and still get great taste)

*Use any combination of vegetables you feel like or have on hand. I used green pepper, mushrooms, and spinach, but try kale, rapini, yellow/red/orange peppers, broccoli, asparagus, etc.

Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C)
Grease a 8 c (2 L) baking dish

1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper, set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sweet potato, tomato, and chopped vegetables.
3. Transfer vegetable mixture to prepared baking dish. Pour in egg mixture and top with cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until topping is golden and puffed and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Steph Wheler

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Surviving Your Business Meals

By Stephanie Wheler, Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching
For the Saskatoon Women's Network June/July Network News

As a member of SWN you have the opportunity to attend monthly breakfasts and lunches and depending on your line of work you may be attending numerous other business meetings that have food present. A busy life often means that someone else is preparing our food. You may find yourself away from home or on the road needing to eat out or quickly grab a bite. While it might be a treat to have food provided, you also want to think about what you are putting into your body.
A busy life means that you ask your body and mind to do many things on a daily basis. Providing yourself with proper nutrition will give you the energy to keep going, accomplish the tasks at hand, and maintain your health. The key words I use as a Registered Dietitian are VARIETY, MODERATION, and BALANCE. How can you apply these to healthy choices at business meals?
- In a buffet situation – take a look at all the offerings before starting and fill half your plate with salads and vegetables.
- At a restaurant – ask for what you want such as a baked potato or salad instead of fries.
- On the go – keep healthy snacks with you (fruit, veggies, yogurt, trail mix, canned tuna, peanut butter and whole grain bread/crackers).
- For less fat and calories choose foods that have been baked, barbecued, grilled, roasted, poached, steamed, and broiled.
- Portion control – servings are often large when eating out so choose to share with a colleague, order the children’s size, or take half home with you.
- Drink smart – pop and sweetened beverages provide empty calories; opt for water, milk, 100% fruit juice, and vegetable cocktails instead.
Smart choices are often available although sometimes you have to go looking for them. If you indulge at one meal, try to make healthier options at your next meals. Work at finding a balance for your overall eating pattern – one meal won’t make or break you!
Steph Wheler

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hydrate to Boogie

This Sunday, June 12 is the Saskatoon Bridge City Boogie. You don't have a lot of time before the event, so lets make sure you hydrate well leading up to, during, and after your run. Remember, race day isn't the day to try new foods and fluids since you don't know how your body will respond!

Proper hydration will help you perform well, especially if the weather cooperates and stays nice. If on the other hand you are or get dehydrated, you will see a decrease in your performance. Dehydration leads to less oxygen circulating to your muscles, an increased heart rate, decreased sweat rate, and increased core body temperature. This makes exercise seem harder so you tire earlier, and also have trouble concentrating. You're already asking your body to do a lot, so why not provide the fluids it needs?

It's a good idea for athletes to monitor their urine volume and colour - the goal is plenty of pale yellow urine, as opposed to small amounts of dark (like apple juice colour) urine. Keep in mind that your fluid needs are very specific to you and depend on the type of activity, intensity, duration, and the heat/humidity of the environment.

A few keys to keep in mind:
- drink consistently throughout the pre-race week (or days)
- have 2 cups of water 2 hours before the event to top off your fluid and allow time to go to the bathroom
- during your run aim for 150 - 250 ml (about half to 1 cup) of fluid every 15-20 minutes
- drink beyond thirst after your run to make sure you replace your losses.

Have fun!
Steph Wheler

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

America's Plate

On June 2, 2011 the USDA introduced MyPlate to replace the former MyPyramid as a reference for healthy eating in America (a concept similar to Canada's Food Guide). I have used a similar plate method with clients as we focus on emphasizing vegetables and fruit and using portion control for protein and starch/grain choices.

The USDA is now using 5 food groups: Grains Group, Vegetable Group, Fruit Group, Dairy Group, and Protein Foods Group. It may confuse some people since protein is found in more than just your typical meat and alternative choices. I also often remind clients to count an item such as potatoes as their starch, so that they still choose to have more vegetables with their meal. It will be interesting to see the feedback they receive since it seems like a very basic guide, although perhaps that is what is needed to deal with the growing obesity epidemic.

What do you think?

Steph Wheler

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Treating Yourself to the Movies

We went out to a show last night, and no matter how often I go, I am always surprised that almost everyone has popcorn, and/or a drink, and/or other candy. I know we see it as a treat, so again as I always say: MODERATION, VARIETY, and BALANCE. If this is an occasional thing for you it can likely fit into your eating pattern. The thing that concerns me is that people may be choosing the popcorn as a 'healthy' option.

I love popcorn, but the way I love it is at home from my airpopper with a little dash (like 1 tsp) of melted margarine. In this situation, it can be considered a healthy snack - Canada's Food Guide counts 2 cups of plain popcorn as a whole grain choice! It's when we go out and have it covered in fat and salt that the nutritional value goes way down.

I found a great video from ctv from Feb. 2011 with some research results on 3 different theartre's popcorn. They show the calories, fat, and sodium for a size large with and without topping. In comparison, that 2 cups of airpopped popcorn at home has about 62 Calories, 0.7g of fat, and 1mg sodium ( Again, I'm not saying you can never have it, but not too often, or get the small, or share with your partner. When we sit in front of the big screen our attention is on the movie, not how much we're eating, so help yourself out with portion control by getting a smaller size!

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not Perfect!

As I dietitian I feel that some people are overly conscious about what they eat around me, or they pay close attention to what I'm eating around them. I am by no means perfect - I enjoy the occasional treat! The idea is to make it occasional and choose to eat healthfully (not perfectly). I also choose to be active daily so that I can fit those treats in. Food tastes good and is a big part of our society. I really enjoy going out with friends or hosting a dinner party. These are things that can fit in your life. The great thing about working with a dietitian is that we set you up for success. We help you make changes that fit into your life and allow you to eat the foods you enjoy (perhaps less frequently or in smaller portions). A friend recently commented that she was surprised that I didn't judge her lunch choice - why would I? That is only one meal in her whole pattern of eating. If she asked for help we would likely discuss it, but I wouldn't judge, I would just help her figure out ways to make healthy choices possible in her life.

As another dietitian said regarding working with a weight loss client:
"I expressed that healthful eating is not perfect eating. I encouraged her to permanently tweak her eating habits to reach and maintain a healthier weight. Granted, some people have more tweaking to do than others, but this approach is clearly different from the painfully typical restrictive eating plans followed by a return of fat-harboring old habits.
We brainstormed ways to fit in treats and still feel in control. First, recognize that food doesn’t drop off the face of the Earth. If you smell a donut, you don’t have to grab it now because it will be there another day. I promise. And if you decide that you really do want it now, enjoy it. Stop at one because donuts aren’t near extinction." - Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. (My Family Doctor Magazine)
Interested in making some changes (permanent tweaks)? Contact your Saskatoon dietitian Steph Wheler today!
Steph Wheler