Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sign up for Nutrition Myth of the Day for March 2012

The Saskatchewan Nutrition Month Committee would like to invite you and/or your organization to join our daily Nutrition Month e-mail service.  These short, easy to read, credible and informative Nutrition Myth of the Day emails are a great way to improve the health and wellness of your organization.

How does it work?  You let us know your organization is interested and provide us with one contact email address (this could be your email, your administrator’s, receptionist’s, health and wellness coordinator’s, etc).  We will add your organization to our mailing list.  Each work day during the month of March you will be sent the Nutrition Myth of the Day.  It is up to you to forward the nutrition myth/truth of the day to your coworkers, staff, or desired mailing list.

How is the Nutrition Myth of the Day delivered?  The daily email will come in the form of a jpeg image imbedded in an email.  This delivery method was preferred by the majority of organizations.  If your organization is not able to mail out the Nutrition Myth of the Day you may also consider printing the myth of the day and posting it in your workplace or copying the myth and posting it somewhere on your organization’s website.

If your organization is interested in receiving the Nutrition Myth of the Day please reply with your interest and contact information to Carrie Verishagen at  

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Q's Day: Around the World

I wasn't sure what to ask you today.  Having just returned from Jamaica and some great jerk chicken, I started thinking about my favourite foods from the places I have been.  With that in mind, today I ask:

What is your favourite food from a different part of the world?

Feel free to answer however it makes sense to you.  It may be an international food that you enjoy in your home in Canada, or it may be something you had while traveling.  One food that I often think of and plan to attempt is Finnish karelian pie (Karjalanpiirakat).  At first we weren't sure what to think of these rice filled, rye pastries, but we came to enjoy them with their accompanying egg butter or as the base for an open-face sandwich.  

Every country has it's own food traditions and flavours - one of the many reasons I enjoy traveling so much!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, February 27, 2012

Warm Winter Soup

I've been in a soup mood lately.  I'm not sure if it is based on our recent snow fall or the new recipes that I came across.  My husband had returned from a business trip to Yorkton with bags of legumes and grains and recipes for how to prepare them.  I must say that I really like that Tourism Yorkton is doing that - not only is it supporting healthy eating andcooking at home, but also local farmers.  Each bag had a recipe and a note saying where the item came from. 

In case any of you have been in soup moods, I thought I would share one today.  This was my first crack at split pea soup, but a great winter soup since you can get split peas year round.  Split peas are dried peas produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally (WHFoods).  Dried peas are part of the legume family and provide fibre (which helps lower cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels), molybdenum, protein, manganese, folate, thiamin, potassium, and folate.

Split Pea Soup
1 cup split peas, rinsed
3 cups cold water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional; so I used 1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash each of parsley, thyme, marjoram, and cayenne pepper

In a large pot, add peas with 3 cups cold water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until split peas are tender (I went above a simmer/a low boil).

Add chicken broth, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, bay leaf, and all spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 1/2 hour or until carrots are soft.

Remove bay leaf and cool slightly.  Puree in a blender or use a hand blender for a smooth soup (or leave as is).

Serves 4.

I love using different herbs and spices rather than relying on salt (sodium). 

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Q's Day

Yesterday we celebrated Family Day in Saskatchewan.  I had fun in the kitchen creating a Mexican inspired soup from Dietitians of Canada's cookbook Cook!  I hope other families gathered together to prepare and enjoy healthy meals too.  We had soup for lunch and then went to my parents house for a lovely dinner. 

Taking time to sit down and eat together doesn't always happen in our fast paced lifestyle.  I have many clients that are now making healthy eating a priority and as such they cook ahead on the weekend so that healthy meals are ready and waiting in their fridge or freezer.  The soup recipe below makes 8 servings, so that will potentially feed you for a couple of meals (depending on how many mouths you're feeding). 

So for today's question, I want to know:

What is your favourite big batch meal to feed a crowd?

Pinto bean tortilla soup

Makes 8 servings
This hearty, warming soup is a delicious way to get some great soluble fiber from beans. It’s perfect for a cold Canadian winter weeknight supper. Make the soup on the weekend and reheat it to serve during the week.
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Food processor or blender
1 1⁄2 cups dried pinto beans 375 mL
1 large onion, cut into 6 wedges 1
5 plum (Roma) tomatoes, quartered 5
4 tsp canola oil, divided 20 mL
4 5-inch (12.5 cm) corn tortillas, divided 4
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced 1
2 tsp ground cumin 10 mL
1 tsp ground coriander 5 mL
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 L
1 bay leaf 1
2 tbsp tomato paste 30 mL
1 cup frozen corn kernels 250 mL
Pinch salt Pinch
1⁄2 avocado, chopped 1/2
1⁄2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1⁄2 cup
  1. Place beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches (7.5 cm). Cover and let soak overnight. Drain soaked beans and rinse well under cold water. Discard any shriveled beans or those that did not swell.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and add enough fresh cold water to cover by 3 inches (7.5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place onion and tomatoes on baking sheet and brush with 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil. Broil, turning every 5 minutes, for about 15 minutes or until charred. Transfer to food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Cut tortillas into 2- by 1⁄4-inch (5 by 0.5 cm) strips.
  5. In a clean large pot, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil over medium heat. Add half the tortilla strips, garlic and jalapeño; sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in cumin and coriander. Add broth and deglaze the pot, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Stir in puréed onion mixture and tomato paste; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in corn and cooked pinto beans; simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Discard bay leaf.
  6. Meanwhile, gently toss the remaining tortilla strips with the remaining oil and the salt. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crisp.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with baked tortilla strips, avocado and cheese.


The tomatoes and onions can be broiled up to 1 day in advance. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Steph (Wheler) Langdon, RD

something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wheat Berries

 A berry covered in wheat?  Wheat covered in berries?  Not quite!

What are they, you ask?  Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels that contain the germ, bran, and starchy endosperm of the grain.  Basically, it is the grain without its shell!  All wheat products are made from wheat berries.

Because all three parts of the grain remain, wheat berries are wonderfully nutritious – they are high in fibre, low in calories, and jam packed with vitamins and minerals.  Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and Canada’s Food Guide tells us that at least half of our grain products should be whole grains each day.

Wheat berries can be found at Early’s Farm and Garden and at Co-op’s in Saskatoon.  Look around at your local grocery store to see if they are available!

Now that you’ve heard how great wheat berries are, let’s explore how you can use them in your meals and snacks.  Be sure to watch the video from Health Castle below to learn how to cook wheat berries.

Wheat berries can be added to baking, soups, stews, salads, and much more!  For example, at breakfast, you can put cooled, cooked wheat berries into your yogurt with fruit to start off the day ‘nutrishusly’ ;).  You can also add texture and fibre to salads and muffins by incorporating wheat berries into your meals and recipes. 

So, make sure you look for wheat berries on your next trip to the grocery store.  I know I will!

How to Cook Wheat Berries Video.
Wheat Berries - March 2010's Featured Food. 

Guest post by Jayme Nicholls, Dietetic Intern

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gift Q's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
In my post yesterday I encouraged non-food gifts.  Since so many of our holidays focus on chocolate, I'd like to hear your creative (and clean!) ideas.  These small changes can help with your healthy living goals. 

Today I'm asking?

What non-food gift do you love to receive?

As always, post your questions, comments, recipes, answers, thoughts, goals, etc. and come back every Tuesday for Q's Day!

Happy Hearts,
Steph Wheler (Langdon), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweet Treat for Your Sweet Heart?

In case you forgot, tomorrow is Valentine's Day!  Once again we seem to have created another reason to eat chocolate.  Our holidays seem to center around this yummy dessert, but when one holiday ends the other hits the shelf, meaning we have an endless supply of chocolate. 

When I work with clients to set goals, I encourage them to come up with non-food rewards.  I think we need to approach holiday gifts in the same way.  Why not show your love with flowers, a spa treatment, a long walk, a romantic movie, or even a donation to charity.  Get creative and encourage those in your life to lead healthy futures rather than providing them with excess calories, fat, and sugar. 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good piece of chocolate, but I do so in MODERATION (yes, you know I love that word!). 

Yes, there are some potential benefits from the flavonoids and phytonutrients in chocolate, but other foods also contain flavonoids and phytonutrients (that's right, VARIETY).  Health Castle posted a Chocolate 101 article to compare different types of white, milk, and dark chocolate.  You must also recognize that most chocolate items are high in calories, fat, and sugar. 

Keep your potions small and enjoy chocolate in healthier ways such as:
- adding a few chocolate chips to a healthy muffin batter
- melting a small square of dark chocolate to dip berries in
- stirring some unsweetened cocoa powder into low fat milk.

Come back tomorrow to share your creative non-food gift ideas.

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching