Don't Go Blaming the Carbs!

Don't Go Blaming the Carbs!

As a dietitian I often hear questions such as, "I shouldn't eat too many carbs right?" or "eating low carbs will help me lose weight?" I mean of course low carb intakes can help you lose weight, but it isn't necessarily the most ideal way or maintainable way to lose weight. Often times carbs are portrayed as the enemy and forbidden food. When people tell me about cravings, they are often carb related (I hear chips, cookies, muffins, crackers, etc.) However, there are many other carbs that don’t create cravings but actually support satiety and overall energy throughout the day.

Read More

5 Ways to Love Your Heart

5 Ways to Love Your Heart

February is heart month! This month is dedicated to bringing attention to the importance of cardiovascular health and we can do to decrease our risk for heart disease.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is disease of the heart, arteries, and veins. Heart disease can be present at birth (e.g., congenital heart disease), or it can develop later in life (e.g., heart attack, stroke). Heart disease affects 2.4 million Canadians adults and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.

Read More

5 Shortcuts to Eating Healthy Weeknight Meals

As people who work in the nutrition field, it’s often expected that we are the perfect models for healthy eating. While we try our best, the struggle is real for us as well! Yes, we are more invested in food and nutrition and have the education to back up our dietary choices; however, juggling all of our responsibilities can make it hard to stay on track. Although we consider our eating habits to be generally healthy, there is always room for improvement. We also make sure not to beat ourselves up for when we fall off track. We eat on the run, buy take out or consume processed foods, and sometimes, we are not in the mood to cook and our kitchens are not perfectly organized. 

Here are our top 5 shortcuts to eating healthy when the calendar is packed: 

1. Keep your kitchen stocked with the basics

This way you can whip up meals in a pinch. We like to keep our cupboard and freezers stocked with items such as canned goods (e.g., veggie/chicken stock, canned tomatoes/sauce, tuna, beans), spices and garlic, dry goods (e.g., pasta, lentils), frozen foods (e.g., shrimp, chicken breasts, vegetables), and fridge staples (e.g., milk, eggs). When buying canned goods, be mindful of the sodium. Look for items with less than 15% daily value of sodium on the nutrition label. 

2. Don’t make things complicated in the kitchen.

The key is to use simple ingredients, particularly during the week. Skip the recipes that call for a long list of ingredients or preparation steps. If you feel like being adventurous, save it for the weekend when you have time to deal with complication. Even the simplest recipes can be delicious, so don’t feel like you need to sacrifice flavour by keeping it simple. Remember, bagged salads are just as good as cutting up your own veggies, and those grocery store rotisserie chickens are much faster than roasting your own (just remove the skin to cut out unneeded fat and salt!).  

3. Bigger is better. Batch cook.

Our favourite appliances in the kitchen are the slow cooker and the soup pot! You can make large meals that will give you leftovers for days or freeze to pull out on those week nights when you really don’t have any time to cook dinner or prepare lunch.  Choose foods that work well as leftovers (e.g., a roasted whole chicken provides various options for leftovers and the bones can be used to make chicken stock). 

Take advantage of the few minutes you are usually on Instagram in the evening before getting ready for bed. Instead of scrolling over the pictures you've already seen, take 10 minutes to prep a recipe in your slow cooker for the next day. There is seriously nothing better than walking into the house at night to the smell of dinner. Your future self will thank you. 

4. Who says eggs can only be eaten at breakfast?

There are no hard or fast rules about what you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We are huge fans of eating breakfast for dinner! It’s an easy meal to make and delicious. Eggs are one of the few foods we would deem as a 'super food'- one egg has 6g of protein for only 70 calories! Not only do eggs provide 14 essential nutrients such as vitamins D, E, A and folate, iron and zinc, one egg also contains 50% of your daily vitamin B12 which helps protect against heart disease. Whip up some eggs and grab out a bag of those frozen veggies to add as a side. 

5. Don’t feel guilty about buying ready-made food or ready-to-eat vegetables.

No one is going to judge you because you don’t make hummus from scratch or you bought a pre-made pie shell for your chicken pot pie recipe. Look for vegetables that take minimal prep, such as grape tomatoes (throw it on a salad), pre-washed salad (skip the rinse and spin), pre-sliced mushrooms (no chopping required). Alternatively, you can also buy veggies for the week and pre-chop everything at once so all you need to do is throw it in a salad or in a container to add into your lunch pack.

Our busy lives don’t need to get in way of making healthier choices, but we also need to make sure that we don’t beat ourselves up when we go off track. We hope these tips help your weeknight meal prep feel a little less overwhelming. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

xo M & K

--

Ten Tips for Hosting a Stress-free Dinner Party

Ten Tips for Hosting a Stress-free Dinner Party

This year, I’m hosting my family for Christmas. Luckily, there will only be seven of us rather than the whole extended family, so it’s a pretty low-pressure way to start. However, I can’t help but feel a little anxious anyway! So, in the interest of helping myself and others, I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for hosting a dinner party. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments!

Read More

Eat Mindful this Holiday Season

Eat Mindful this Holiday Season

The holiday season has begun! There is so much that we love about the festive season, particularly all the opportunities to get together with family and friends. Typically, these gatherings are centered around food, which can make overindulging quite easy when your calendar is packed with holiday parties. The holidays are a special time for many people because of the traditions that revolve around food and good company. Therefore, we suggest that you allow yourself little indulgences during the holidays, while also being mindful throughout the season.

Read More
Comment
Follow

Diet and Men's Health: Foods to consider

Diet and Men's Health: Foods to consider

Did you know that men have a lower life expectancy than women because they are more likely to die of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes? Furthermore, men also tend to live on average 4-6 years fewer than females, with men living an average of 9 years of their lives in extremely poor health. Obesity, inactivity, inadequate diet, binge drinking, smoking, poor mental health, and reluctance to access health care services are some of the many factors that contribute to these health statistics.

Read More

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Protein at Breakfast

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Protein at Breakfast

Having protein at each meal is a great way to ensure you are getting enough throughout the day but also keeping your muscles strong as you age.

Recent research from McGill University (Farsijani et al., 2017) found that an even distribution of daily protein intake across all meals is associated with greater muscle strength in older adults. This difference was seen regardless of the amount of protein consumed, which suggests that having protein evenly distributed throughout your day is potentially more important than having a large amount of protein in your day. 

Read More

No matter what costumes people wear, everyone is a goblin when the Halloween candy comes out!

No matter what costumes people wear, everyone is a goblin when the Halloween candy comes out!

Halloween is just around the corner! 

Last year, there was an estimated 3,870,938 children (ages 5-14) who went out trick-or-treating, and on average Canadians spent $418.8 million on candy, confectionery and snack foods at large retailers last October. Although we still spend on average more money on these items during the Christmas season ($478.5 million), the amount of money that Canadians spend during Halloween is increasing. Have you heard about the orange Halloween trees that have been selling like crazy this year? Yes, Halloween trees are now a thing. Does that mean we will soon see ghastly creatures at the mall that you can sit on their lap and ask for your favourite Halloween candy? Maybe we won't get that extreme, but Canadians are definitely getting into the Halloween spirit.

Read More
Comment
Follow

The “clean eating” movement, and how I overcame my fear of white bread

The “clean eating” movement, and how I overcame my fear of white bread

This week marks my last week in France. Two years really flew by! For me, periods of change are always accompanied by some amount of reflection (and nostalgia!). I’ve taken some time recently to reflect on what I’ve learned while living in France, and what I can take away with me. What I’ve realized is that much of what I’ve learned centres around food.

Read More
1 Comment
Follow

Parenting Stress, Home Chaos and Children's Health

Parenting Stress, Home Chaos and Children's Health

Feeling stressed out? Ever wonder what impact that stress might have on your health or the health of your children? Check out my webinar on parenting stress, home chaos and children's health to find out more! 

Read More

Would Canada benefit from a national school food program?

Would Canada benefit from a national school food program?

It's that time of year again when kids are off to school and parents are tasked with packing lunches. It can be a struggle to plan and pack healthy lunches on a daily basis for many reasons (e.g., convenient packaged foods available, cost, schedules, picky eating).

While thinking about healthy school lunches may be on the minds of many parents, this topic is also of interest to nutrition researchers.

Read More
Comment
Follow

The Coconut Oil Debate

The Coconut Oil Debate

The coconut oil debate has been making the rounds again in the media lately, due to the recent comments from the American Health Association deeming coconut oil as unhealthy.  In this post, we will discuss what all the fuss is about and share our thoughts. 

Read More

What's in the News?

What's in the News?

Have you seen the What the Health documentary on Netflix? The documentary does highlight some good points, such as the high rates of obesity, diabetes and disease (that are partly driven by diet) that we are facing and the fact that we could do better with eating more vegetables and fruits, limiting our meat intake, and embracing more of a plant-based diet. However, in our opinion this film did nothing to lessen the confusion about the link between diet and health.

Read More

Plant-based diets: should you, or shouldn’t you?

Plant-based diets: should you, or shouldn’t you?

A study published last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has gotten quite a bit of attention, with press release titles such as “Some Plant-Based Diets May Increase Heart Disease Risk.” Plant-based diets have gotten a lot of attention in the past few years, from the perspective of the environment, animal rights, and health.

Read More

Electrolytes and Hydration. Do you need a special drink?

Electrolytes and Hydration. Do you need a special drink?

Do you find yourself wondering if you are getting enough fluid? Do you need to replenish yourself with electrolytes after playing soccer, hockey, swimming? If so, what should you be having? Is water enough or do you need a sports drink?

Read More
Comment
Follow

What's in the News?

What's in the News?

Kathryn and I are currently in Victoria, BC for a physical activity and nutrition conference, so this week we are sharing with you some articles that caught our attention.

Read More

Red Velvet Cake -- What's all the hype about?

Red Velvet Cake -- What's all the hype about?

Aloha friends!

In a post this week featured on Refinery29, a writer discussed their dislike for red velvet cake. In short, the writer seems to feel that red velvet cake is nothing more than chocolate cake with a huge amount of red food colouring thrown into it. We have to say that we disagree! Over here at the Domestic PhD our mouths are melting just at the thought of eating red velvet cake. Although you can't always quite pinpoint the flavour of the cake, who doesn't want a smooth, chocolately cake smothered with cream cheese or buttercream frosting!? What is with all the hype you ask? Let us break it down for you.

Read More

What's in the News?

What's in the News?

Aloha friends! It is a busy week here for the Domestic PhD with Kathryn jet-setting off to Germany and Michelle is starting to teach a night course this week. This week's post is a round out of a few interesting articles we have come across this week:

Happy reading!

xo Michelle & Kathryn

Read More

Say "no" to food fads – going forward from #NutritionMonth

Say "no" to food fads – going forward from #NutritionMonth

Let’s face it. Not everything we read online is true. And while many of us know that, it’s still easy to be taken in by popular ideas we see online or hear from friends. (Who doesn’t know someone who’s tried the Atkins Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Master Cleanse "Lemonade" Diet, the Paleo Diet, or the Alkaline Diet?)While some popular diet plans may have merit, most fad diets are simply just that: fads. So, how can we really separate food fact from fiction?

Read More

End Mealtime Mayhem

End Mealtime Mayhem

Do you get frustrated after you make a large family meal and your kids only take two bites? Or maybe you wish that there were some go-to meals that everyone could agree upon. The good news is that taking control of the dinner hour is within your reach! My PhD research is focused on family meals and how parent feeding practices during meals influence what and how much preschoolers eat. While my research findings are still TBD, I am really excited to share with you some of my tips for dealing with picky eaters!

Read More