Posts tagged Healthy Eating
Where's the Beef?

Submitted by Marina Hodson

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On Tuesday, Canada revealed its most recent edition of Canada’s Food Guide.  The first iteration, called “The Official Food Rules,” was introduced in July of 1942 in an attempt to mitigate nutritional deficiencies during wartime food rationing.

Over the years, the “Food Guide” has formed the basis of many Canadians’ nutritional knowledge, basing their healthy eating on the four food groups. Unfortunately, recent interviews by CBC showed that many Canadians have never heard of it, leaving me to question how valuable was the guide and what impact, if any, will it continue to have.

In my personal life, while I have not always followed it to the letter, it has definitely been the basis of what I consider to be a healthy diet. Certainly, the new pictorial provides a quick glance reference to remind us that our healthy diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables which should ideally constitute 50% of our meal. Gone are milk and milk products as well as meat and alternatives from the 2007 edition, having been replaced by “Protein Foods.”

Additionally, what has been added and what dietitians and nutritionists will find heartening, is very basic and common sense eating advice such as drinking water, cooking more frequently, and sharing meals with loved ones. 

So why not take this opportunity to restart your healthy habits for the new year using Canada’s Food Guide as inspiration?

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT

Let's Talk Junk Food...

Submitted by Marina Hodson, Executive Director of Kawartha North FHT

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So it is the season of candy and that seems the time to talk about what we eat.

We hear that term and maybe we are immediately drawn to see the golden arches, but let’s be honest, maybe sometimes we are not the best judge of what constitutes those items in our daily diet that we should be reviewing.

It is easy to identify the obvious culprits like that double cheeseburger and fries, but what are the unknown items we add daily that are upping our calorie count, adding to our sodium intake, and otherwise eliminating our efforts at maintaining a healthy diet?

Here are some of the things we don’t want to think about that may be gratifying in the moment but decrease our good health incrementally.

  • How about that small iced cappuccino you love at 360 calories?  Not an entirely unreasonable treat on occasion, but how about when you upgrade to the large one daily with the extra toppings that may top out at one third of your daily suggested caloric intake?

  • It is often the liquids we like to discount, how about the soda you are consuming?  If it is full of sugar, each can may contain an average of 39g of sugar.

  • But if you are watching what you drink and are trying to stick to water, how about you weekend breakfast?  One of our staples, our much loved bacon, contains 30mg of cholesterol per ounce and almost 70% of its calories come from fat.

All that being said, just be aware of what you are consuming. Never treating yourself to that piece of cheesecake will likely lead to failure of any healthy diet - just know what you are consuming. Enjoy that candy, but don’t have the whole Hallowe’en bag tonight.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT

What's Cooking...

Written by Marina Hodson

As I was driving home today, I was amazed at the number of raspberries beginning to show and it brought to mind the many opportunities we are blessed with to harvest fresh, organic food in this region. 

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Certainly on my property, both raspberries and gooseberries are starting to ripen and the wild apples are in overabundance this year. In May and June, we harvested some of the wild leeks which were shooting up throughout the forest and which made a great addition to stir-fries along with some of our wild garlic

While not everyone is as adventurous as I tend to be when it comes to food, I would highly recommend taking advantage of some of the unique and completely overlooked wild foods that surround us on a daily basis. Why not add some dandelion or plantain (broad or narrow leaf varieties can be found in most lawns) to your salad or greens? Of course, while harvesting weeds as food, don’t forget about the many health benefits of the lowly stinging nettle or the limitless use of wild mint in everything from cooking to tea. 

As summer progresses, tuberous plants begin to mature across the province including cattails and Jerusalem Artichoke which not only makes a great addition to your dinner plate, but a lovely sunny flower for your perennial garden. Remember one person's weed is another’s wildflower.

Of course last, but certainly not least are the well-known and eternal favourites of the foraging kingdom – morels, fiddleheads and wild asparagus. Not only will harvesting your own get you outside and provide some exercise, it will also save you some of your hard-earned cash as these delicacies have shot up in price at markets and grocery stores.

So remember to see your surroundings for all they have to offer, both their beauty and their value as a healthy addition to your plate.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT