Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best Wishes!

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season thus far! I couldn’t help but share my indulgence/implementation of tip #1 from last post. These are my favourite Greek cookies:


They’re honey-infused and topped with walnuts...  Sticky deliciousness.  :) 
Best wishes for much love, happiness, and health in 2013!
Don’t forget to smile! ;) 

Do you see the happy face???

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Survival Tips

Here are 7 tips to help you enjoy get-togethers and feel the warmth of the holidays without worrying about your waistband.  I'm sure we can all agree that there's a time and place for spandex, and holiday parties may not be that time or place ;).

1.     Enjoy your favorites. You know what I'm talking about... Those dishes or treats you've been waiting 11 months for! Make a deal or tradeoff with yourself- have a few of those must-haves and try to make healthy choices the rest of the time.
2.     Be active. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day. And remember, every bit counts!
3.     Halt your hunger. Have a small, healthy snack an hour before a party. It'll be easier to make healthy choices when you're not famished.

4.     Bring something nutritious and delicious. That way, you're guaranteed at least one healthy option.

5.     Anticipate the pushy host. If you're being pressured into eating more food, offer a compliment on the meal and state that you'd hate to ruin the meal by overdoing it.

6.     Stop when you're full. Eat slowly, and when you’ve had enough, put away your plate, or ask for leftovers to be packed up. Limit nibbling by stationing yourself away from the food table or buffet.

7.     Drinking? Don't forget the tips from last week! Alternate alcoholic drinks with lower-calorie beverages, opt for light beer or wine spritzers (half soda water, half wine), and choose lower-calorie mixers, like club soda, sparkling water or diet pop.
Remember to keep these tips in mind as a guest and as a host. :)


Friday, November 30, 2012

Bottoms Up

Last night marked the official start of the holiday season for me, with the first holiday party.  I know I already discussed some tips for choosing holiday beverages a few posts ago, but now it’s time to talk about some real drinks… the alcoholic ones, that is! ;)

Generally speaking, drinks are often a source of empty calories, meaning that they have little nutrient value, but pack in the calories (and don’t contribute to satiety!).  This is even truer when it comes to alcoholic beverages. 

Egg nog 2% (1 cup, 250 mL)
Cranberry Cocktail (1 cup, 250 mL)
Orange Juice (1 cup, 250 mL)
Tomato Juice (1 cup, 250 mL)
Tomato-clam cocktail (1 cup, 250 mL)
Soft Drink, regular (1 cup, 250 mL)
        or 1 can (355 mL)
Soft Drink, diet cola (1 cup, 250 mL)
        or 1 can (355 mL)
Soda Water (1 cup, 250 mL)
Tonic Water (1 cup, 250 mL)
Mineral, bottled or tap water (1 cup, 250 mL)
Wine, white (5 oz, 150 mL)
Wine, red (5 oz, 150 mL)
Beer, regular (341 mL bottle)
Beer, light (341 mL bottle)
Spirits – rum, vodka, gin, whisky (1 ½ oz, 45 mL)


1.  Portion Control: How much you drink can be just as important as what you eat. 
2.  Switch it up: Try alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones, like soda, sparkling water, regular water or diet drinks.
3.  Keep Track: Recommendations for alcohol intake are no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per occasion. Over a week, men should aim for less than 14 drinks and women should aim for less than 9 drinks.

 Here are some recipes for calorie and fat-friendly drinks. 

Winter Sangria

Pomegranate Gin Sling
Serving Size
2/3 cup
½ cup
1 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (~4 satsumas)
1 cup Satsuma orange sections (~2 satsumas)
1/3 cup Triple Sec (orange-flavoured liqueur)
¼ cup sugar
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 (750mL) bottle fruity red wine

3 ½ cups 1% low fat milk
½ cup fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¼ tsp grated whole nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup bourbon
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
Additional grated whole nutmeg (optional)

¼ cup gin
¼  cup pomegranate juice, chilled
1 Tbsp agave syrup or simple syrup
1 tsp fresh lime juice
8 pomegrantae seeds
2 lime slices

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

1.      Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.
2.      Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk one-third of hot milk mixture into egg yolks.
3.      Add yolk mixture to remaining hot milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Pour into a pitcher.
4.      Stir in bourbon, brandy, and vanilla.
5.      Cover surface of eggnog with wax paper; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with additional nutmeg, if desired.

Combine first 4 ingredients; divide evenly between 2 chilled glasses; divide seeds between glasses. Garnish with lime slices.


Enjoy! And drink responsibly! J

Source: and

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sniffle Sendoff

There’s no denying that cold and flu season is upon us!  I won’t lie… I get a little nervous (or germophobic if you’re into labels) when I hear sniffling and coughing from someone standing a little close on rounds or the subway.  The good news is that a healthy diet keeps your immune system functioning well and may help prevent or shorten the duration of your cold.  Here’s some information on the key players in your battle.

Vitamin C
-       ~200mg/d helps fight colds
-       Food sources: fruits and vegetables, like sweet peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, broccoli

-       Consumption within 24h of getting a cold may help you have fewer symptoms
-       Food sources: oysters, seafood, fish, beef, pumpkin seeds, baked beans
-       If supplementing, do NOT take >40mg/d

-       ‘Good’ bacteria that keep your immune system healthy
-       To fight colds, dose should be ~10 billion active probiotic cultures per day, starting 3 months before cold season starts
-       Food sources: yogurt with added probiotics
-       Look for the following strains to help colds:
o   Lactobacillus gasseri, CECT5714 or PA16/8
o   Lactobacillus acidophilus, 74-2 or NCFM
o   Lactobacillus casei, DN 114
o   Bifidobacterium longum, SP07/3
o   Bifidobacterium bifidum, MF 20/F

Before taking supplements, remember to check with your doctor or pharmacist and ensure you purchase ones that have Natural Product Numbers (NPN) from Health Canada. 

Source: Dietitians of Canada.  2011.  Topics for Staying Well During Cold and Flu Season. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Along with early evening darkness and chilly weather, the scents of cinnamon, ginger and peppermint are ever so present.   Whether it’s an afternoon pick-me-up, meeting with a friend or a way to warm up, hot beverages (in new red cups!) seem to be abundant! 

In the chart below, I’ve tried to simplify nutritional information on some holiday beverages to help you make wise choices next time you’re in line at Starbucks. 

Tall, 2% Milk, & Whipped Cream
Tall, Skim Milk & No Whipped Cream
Fat (g)
Fat (g)
Peppermint Mocha
Skinny Peppermint Mocha



Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha




Eggnog Latte
Caramel Brule Latte
Gingerbread Latte

If you’re ordering as-is, the Gingerbread Latte is the best option.  If you don’t mind opting for skim milk and no whip, the Skinny Peppermint Mocha is the drink for you.  Note that I’ve selected to provide information for the “tall” size as opposed to others- the role of portion sizing in healthy eating is immense! Always try to keep that in mind!

Enjoy and keep warm! J