Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Canada Day Q's Day

With a red and white theme in mind, today I'm asking:

What will you serve/eat on Canada Day?

I encourage you to include vegetables and fruit with your meals and snacks.  For a fun theme, see if you can include red and white ones...

Fruits Vegetables
Red Apples
Blood Oranges
Red Grapes
Pink/Red Grapefruit
Red Pears
Red Peppers
Red Onions
Red Potatoes

Fruits Vegetables
White Nectarines
White Peaches 
Jerusalem Artichokes
Potatoes (White Fleshed)
White Corn

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Calorie Conscious Canada Day

cocktail, drink, alcohol, Canada's DayIf you tuned in to Saskatoon's CTV Morning Live today you may have caught my Canada Day themed segments.  Andrea and I discussed the calories in alcoholic beverages and made a cocktail and snack.

Some calories to note:
5 oz of wine, 1.5 oz hard liquor, and 12 oz light beer are all about 100 Calories!  Regular beer is about 150 Calories, and coolers can be 175-350.

The recipes I used and/or adapated for the show are below: 

Canada Day Cocktail (adapted from Chatelaine)
6 fresh raspberries
1 tsp maple syrup
1.5 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 can club soda

1. Muddle raspberries, maple syrup, gin and lemon juice into a tall glass.
2. Fill with ice. Top with club soda and a lemon wheel.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil (from SimplyRecipes)
Bruschetta with Tomato and BasilIngredients
6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.
2. Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
3. While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.
5. Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.
Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch (delicious served with cottage cheese on the side.)
Yield: Makes 24 small slices.

Bean There. Dunked That (from LooneySpoons cookbook)
1 can (19 oz) white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 teaspoon each ground coriander, salt, and black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.  

Have a happy and healthy long weekend!
Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Healthier Happy Hour

I'm getting ready for my Monday, June 25 CTV Morning Live segments (at 8:37am and 8:47am) on eating and drinking over the Canada Day Long weekend.  I'll be talking about different alcoholic beverages and a few Canada Day themed recipes.

With happy hour and summer holidays in mind, today I am asking:

What do you like for happy hour?

Oddly enough I came across a beer article from HealthCastle.com this morning which fits right in with what I was working on.  I'm more of a wine drinker if I have anything, so it was quite interesting for me to learn more about the different types of beer.  Here is some of the information Gloria posted:

Beer Calories Guide

Regular Beer: Regular beer, mostly lagers and ales, usually contains not more than 5% alcohol.
  • Budweiser: 145 calories (10.6 g carbs)
  • Coors: 149 calories (12.2 g carbs)
  • Heineken: 150 calories (11.5 g carbs)
  • Corona Extra: 149 calories (14 g carbs)
  • Beck's Pilsner: 138 calories (11.7 carbs)
Light Beer: Light beer usually contains less alcohol (~4.2%) and fewer carbs, giving it a lighter taste and fewer calories. Ultra light beer, with even lower carb levels, are also available - they are often marketed as low-carb alternatives.
  • Bud Lite: 110 calories (6.6 g carbs)
  • Coors Lite: 104 calories (5.3 g carbs)
  • Natural Light: 95 calories (3.2 g carbs)
  • Michelob Ultra: 95 calories (2.6 g carbs)
Dry Beer: To produce minimal aftertaste, dry beer is usually made with fewer carbs.
  • Bud Dry: 130 calories (7.8 g carbs)
  • Asahi Super Dry: 149 calories (10.7 g carbs)
Draft Beer: Bottled draft beer is marketed as beer tasting and appearing like beer from a keg. It is usually filtered, which results in a lighter tasting beer.
  • Miller Genuine Draft: 143 calories (13.1 g carbs)
Stronger Beer: Stronger beer, like porters and stouts, usually has a higher alcoholic content (sometimes as high as 8 - 9%).
  • Guinness Extra Stout: 174 calories (12.4 g carbs & 5.6% alcohol)
  • Sierra Nevada Porter: 194 calories (18.4 g carbs & 5.6% alcohol)
  • Michelob Porter: 196 calories (17.4 g carbs & 5.9% alcohol)
Gluten-free Beer: There are even beer options for the Dads who are intolerant or allergic to wheat! These beers are usually made with gluten-free grain sorghum.
  • RedBridge: 160 calories (16.4 g carbs, made from sorghum)
  • Bard's: 155 calories (14.2 g carbs, made from sorghum)
Non-alcoholic Beer: For the Dads who are not able to drink alcohol for health or religious reasons, or who simply prefer a non-alcoholic option, non-alcoholic beer (< 0.5% alcohol content) is a great substitute for the real thing that has way fewer calories, too.
  • O'Douls: 65 calories (13.3 g carbs & 0.4% alcohol)
  • Coors Non-Alcohol: 66 calories (14.8 g carbs & 0.5% alcohol)
Note: Nutrition information quoted above is based on a 12-oz serving from US formulations.

Have a safe and happy summer!
Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers and Families

Happy Father's Day!  My Dad says every day is Father's Day, but today we take time to recognize the men in our families and everything they do for us. 

When I think of food and my Dad, I can think of great sandwiches and BBQs.  I also remember waking up early with him to go fishing at the lake when I was young.  Some of these basic traditions don't happen any more.  We have let ourselves get so busy that we aren't prioritizing our health.  Our health includes our relationships and time spent with family and friends.

I know you might not be able to be with your father today, but try to get back to having meals with friends and family.  It's important to eat together for so many reasons (EatRightOntario):

  • Nutrition – Children and teens eat more balanced meals and a wider variety of foods when they eat with their family.
  • Tradition – Sharing meals with family members helps pass along family and cultural traditions about food.
  • Comfort and security - Children who eat meals regularly together with family and caregivers feel satisfied and secure knowing when they will eat.
  • Learning - Sharing meals and helping with meal preparation helps children learn more about food. Parents and caregivers are also important roles models whose behaviour around food helps children learn about how to eat and make healthy food choices.
  • Communication - sharing meals gives children and their parents or caregivers time to talk and share information about their day.
Enjoy the company of others and turn off distractions (TV, phone, computer...)!
Have a great day and again, Happy Father's Day!

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cooling Off With A Frozen Dessert?

In light of my segment this morning on CTV Morning Live Saskatoon, I figured it would be great to post more information and a few recipes for you.

One of the main things to consider is how often you have ice cream or other frozen desserts because if it is a regular occurrence for you then the calories, fat, and sugar may soon add up.  Portion control should definitely be practiced with these foods since they are often high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value.  A portion of ice cream is 1/2 cup (125ml or about 1/2 a tennis ball).  Some products even come in single servings to help you with portion control.  Otherwise, remember to dish it out rather than eating from the container (a pint isn't meant to be a single serving!).

There are many different options with ice cream and gelato at the high end for Calories.  Both are made with cream, milk, eggs, sweeteners, and flavours.  Ice cream is whipped with air to give it a fluffy texture.  Premium brands (Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's) use heavy cream and a 1/2 cup serving can easily be more than 300 Calories and 20g of fat!  Gelato tends to be lower in fat due to a higher proportion of whole milk to cream, but it can be high in sugar, so it's still one to enjoy in moderation.  Also watch out for (or avoid) added candies, cookies, chocolate chips, waffle cones, and sauces.

Some lighter options include frozen yogurt which is made with lower fat milk yet still offers a texture like ice cream (not like yogurt).  Check the nutrition facts panel though as it can be high in sugar.  Products such as Skinny Cow are made with skim milk and thus have a low fat content.   

Sorbet is made with fruit, sugar, and water thus making it fat free; sherbet is similar but contains some milk/cream.  Real fruit bars such as DelMonte are only 50 Calories, zero fat, and the sugar mainly comes from fruit juice or puree.  You can of course make your own frozen desserts at home for healthier alternatives.

EatRightOntario dietitians have a few suggestions for DIY:
Try granita! Granita means flavoured ice in Italian – and indeed, granita looks like shaved ice (or a crunchy slushie). Popular flavours are chocolate, espresso and fruit. Here’s how to make your own:
  1. Start with a liquid – puree some fruit with water or brew up a large pot of coffee and let cool.
  2. Pour the liquid into a shallow glass or ceramic container and place in the freezer.
  3. Every 30 minutes, use a fork to break up the ice crystals that are forming.
  4. After two hours you should have a mixture of crunchy flavoured ice crystals.
  5. Grab a cup and a spoon and enjoy!
 Make your own frozen yogurt.  Combine equal amounts of plain or vanilla low fat yogurt with frozen fruit in the food processor. Place the blended mixture in the freezer to harden.

Have fun with frozen fruit. Get a serving of fruit while still enjoying a cool treat. Add a popsicle stick to strawberries or bananas. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation also has a few fun recipes:
 - Strawberry Banana Sorbet
 - Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles

Since it's Q's Day, I would also like to know:

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

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

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Confused About Kefir?

Have you ever looked at Canada's Food Guide and wondered what kefir (kuh-feer) is?  It's located in the Milk and Alternatives group and 175mL or 3/4 cup counts as one serving.  It has been around for thousands of years, but is still fairly new to many Canadians.

I used to think it was a texture between cottage cheese and yogurt, when in fact it is more like a drinkable yogurt.  It is available in most grocery stores and offers another way to reach your daily recommended servings. 

Historically, kefir was used in the USSR to treat stomach ulcers, gastric illnesses, chronic enteritis, bronchitis, and pneumonia (www.liberte.ca).  Today, it may be better known for it's probiotic content.  Probiotics are defined as: "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host."  The dosage and strain are important as far as health benefits go. 

If you're interested in trying kefir, you may be surprised by it's tangy and almost sparkling taste - it's sometimes called the champagne of yogurts because of its effervescence.  This fermented dairy product is nutrient-rich, providing protein and calcium.  Kefir grains are rich in yeast and bacteria and are used in the fermenting process.  Kefir is also lower in lactose since the bacteria consume most of it.  Kefir can be found with different milk fat (%M.F.) levels and flavours (which increases the calories and sugar).   

You can add kefir to your cereal, drink it, have it in a smoothie, etc. , but heating it will destroy the beneficial bacteria.

Have you tried it?
I think it's a great product to add variety to your Milk & Alternative choices.  If you're concerned about your sugar intake, choose plain kefir.

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fun in the Sun!

It's Q's Day again!  The weather has been beautiful lately which I find puts people in a better mood and gets them thinking about their holiday plans.  I know I am looking forward to some R&R at the lake this summer to recharge my batteries.  Our city is great in the summer.  More people get outdoors and enjoy the riverbank, Meewasin trails, and various festivals.

Tourism Saskatoon has a great list of festivals that you can enjoy all year round.  I know I'll wander around during the Jazz Festival, check out Taste of Saskatchewan (how can a foodie avoid checking it out), and one of my favourites is the Fireworks Festival at the end of August.  Chances are that I'll check out the Fringe, Folkfest, and the BBQ Festival at the Farmer's Market too.

I also love to get out of the city and go camping in the summer; there are just so many things to do and enjoy.  It's great to get outdoors for a beach volleyball game, tennis match, round of disc golf, or a nice walk in the evening.

So today, I want to know:

What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

Nutrition is only one part of health.  It's also important to be active and stress-free in your life, so get out there and do what you enjoy!

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