Category

Nutrition

Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe

By | Nutrition

By Julie Daniluk, RHN

Not only are watermelons 92% water, they are also packed with magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium are often lost in our sweat during exercise, along with sodium, and need to be replenished immediately. Potassium and magnesium are known as electrolytes because they help carry the electrical signals in the body and allow our muscles to contract and relax.

This recipe is perfect for a hot summer night! Remember that the soup needs time to chill before serving.

Makes 10 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 8 cups watermelon, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups English cucumber, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 cup organic olive oil, divided
  • pinch of pink rock salt or grey sea salt, to taste

Optional:

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced

Garnish:

  • Fresh herb such as basil

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients except oil and vinegar into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Transfer half the recipe to a blender and blend at high speed.
  3. Add half the vinegar and then slowly pour in half the olive oil. Salt to taste.
  4. Pour soup into a large bowl and then repeat the previous steps to make the second batch.

Recipe reprinted with permission by Julie Daniluk RHN and Random House

Canada / ©SlimmingMealsThatHeal2014. Check out Julie’s 100-Day Transformation Program.

Catch Julie’s incredible session “Anti-inflammatory Nutrition for Energy and Natural Performance Enhancement” at the canfitpro 2019 convention! Get your tickets before it’s too late!

About Julie Daniluk

Nutritionist, Julie Daniluk, RHN, hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show, now shown in over 70 countries. Her award-winning bestseller, Meals That Heal Inflammation, has helped over 100,000 people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great. Julie’s latest book, Hot Detox, was the #1 Canadian health book in 2017, with 11 weeks on the best-seller list.

She has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including The Dr. Oz Show, and is a resident nutrition expert for The Marilyn Denis Show.

Check out amazing recipes and nutrition tips at juliedaniluk.com and connect with Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk, Instagram Twitter or email her at info@juliedaniluk.com

Cool Treat: NuTricia’s Dark Sweet Cherry Almond Nice Cream

By | Nutrition

By Tricia Silverman, RD, MBA

This is my go-to healthy indulgence. I love ice cream, but eat it sparingly due to the sugar and unsavory ingredients that are often added. NuTricia’s Dark Sweet Cherry Almond Nice Cream is a healthful and yummy treat that makes you feel like you are getting the real thing.

Serving: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ Tbsp almond butter (optional)
  • ½ cup soy milk or almond milk or skim milk

Directions

In a blender, blend all the ingredients, adding the milk slowly…you may need to add a little more or less milk depending on the consistency you desire.

Ideally, it should resemble the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Nutrient Information

  • 210 Calories
  • 7 g Protein
  • 34 g Carbohydrate
  • 6 g Fat
  • 5 g Fiber
  • 0 Added sugar

About Tricia Silverman

Tricia Silverman is a registered dietitian, wellness coach, and fitness instructor.

She’s a canfitpro 2019 conference presenter, and 2018 SCW Fitness Florida Convention Presenter of the Year.

She created and leads the SCW Nutrition for Active Aging Certification.

Fat is Not the Enemy

By | Nutrition

By Kathleen Trotter, PTS

Listen as Kathleen Trotter, PTS, gives you a few good reasons why we should be eating healthy fat instead of sugar.

About Kathleen Trotter

Kathleen Trotter holds a Masters in Exercise Science, is the author of two books including the new book Your Fittest Future Self, and is a Personal trainer, Nutritionist, Pilates Specialist and Life Coach.

Visit her website KathleenTrotter.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Probiotics and Weight Loss

By | Nutrition

By Eddie Fatakhov, M.D.

 

What is a probiotic?

Probiotics are not only live microorganisms found in supplements and some fermented foods such as yogurt and pickles, but they have also been found to have a variety of health benefits. These benefits include vitamin K and B production, the breakdown of insoluble (indigestible) fiber, immune system support, the improvement of mental health, improvement of heart health, reduction of certain allergies and skin conditions, and (possibly one of the most sought after effects) the reduction of belly fat.

What is the link between probiotics and body fat?

There are large populated families of primarily friendly microorganisms (bacteria) living in your digestive system, two of which are families tied to the management of body fat – bacteroidetes and firmicutes. According to a wide variety of studies, body weight is related to the balance of these two families of bacteria.

These studies look at the difference between the gut bacteria in normal-weight people versus overweight or obese people. The major difference found was that obese subjects had an imbalance in their firmicute levels versus their bacteroidetes.

Which probiotics help you lose weight?

Not all probiotics are created equal. While there are many strains available, only a few have been proven to have positive effects on weight. One strain that studies have found to assist in weight loss is the Lactobacillus family. Studies have found the following to be true:

  • When paired with diet and exercise, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus helped to reduce body fat by 3–4% over a six week period.
  • The effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements was measured on 125 subjects for weight loss and weight maintenance. The study found women taking the probiotics over a three month period lost 50% more weight than the placebo group.
  • Lactobacillus gasseri is one of the most productive probiotic when it comes to weight loss. This specific probiotic inhibits dietary fat absorption. This means the calories your body would otherwise “harvest” are excreted instead.

How can probiotics help you lose weight?

While research is still ongoing, here are some of the ways probiotics are thought to assist in weight loss:

  • They release GLP-1. Probiotics may play a part in the release of GLP-1 (appetite-reducing hormone). Studies have shown increased levels of GLP-1 may actually help you burn calories and fat.
  • They increase production of ANGPTL4. Levels of the protein ANGPTL4 may rise from probiotic use. This production might actually lead to decreased fat storage.

Are probiotics safe?

There are many types of probiotics available today. Because of this, it’s good to remember that some have a lot of research behind them and some do not. Here are some things to know before you buy a probiotic:

  • Mild side effects are possible such as gas or bloating within the first few days of use.
  • All foods with probiotics are not created equal. While these foods usually have good levels of live bacteria – “live and active cultures” yogurt, kefir, aged cheeses, brined pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, and miso – products that claim to have probiotic benefits might not. Enriched juices, cereals, and snack bars may have less than promised levels or weakened forms of the organisms.
  • Probiotics might not be safe for everyone. People with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients in treatment, should avoid probiotics.
  • Expiration dates and storage are very important. Because probiotics are living organisms they have a limited shelf life. Using probiotics before their expiration dates and following the suggested storing advised on the product label maximizes their potency.

Before taking any supplements we recommend talking to your doctor to ensure you are taking one that is right for you.

About Eddie Fatakhov

Eddie Fatakhov, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Fat-off, is a Board-Certified Physician, Nutritionist, and author of the new book, “Dr. Fat-Off: Simple Life-Long Weight-Loss Solutions.”

Email him at eddie@drfatakhov.com or visit his website Eddie Fatakhov, MD. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Meal Prepping Steps for Success

By | Nutrition

By Angela Wallace, MSc, RD, PTS

Are you busy? Do you sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day? If you answered yes, you NEED to start meal prepping! It might seem like another chore, but it will save you time, energy, and money (and once you get into the swing of it, it becomes so easy). Being a busy individual means you need energy to keep up with your busy schedule. In addition, if you are working with clients you need to keep them motivated, requiring some extra energy. Fueling your body properly and ensuring you take time to eat healthy meals can make all the difference in your energy levels and your overall health, which will ultimately help you serve your clients best.

How can you start meal prepping?

Step 1: Pick 1-2 days a week to shop for the groceries you need for your meals and snacks.

Step 2: Once you have selected those days, make a plan prior to shopping. For example, if you shop on Sundays, take 5-10 minutes to think about what the week ahead looks like (when will you be working late? when will you need meals at work? when will you be too lazy to prep or cook anything?). Based on your answers to those questions, you can make a plan of what you want to have each day. Know that it is OKAY to plan to eat out on super busy days; it’s the planning aspect that is key. When we don’t plan we end up turning to eating out way too often, and ultimately spending more money than necessary.

Tip: If this is completely new to you, I would suggest starting by planning one meal a day, perhaps your dinners. Keeping breakfast and lunch options simple (i.e., a smoothie and a salad). I still only plan my weekly dinners, my breakfast rotates between oats, smoothies and eggs, and my lunches tend to be leftovers (from my planned dinners). Decide which meal would be best for you to plan ahead so that you can avoid eating out as much as possible.

Step 3: Stick to your proposed plan at the grocery store and get the ingredients you need to make it happen.

Step 4: Set aside time to prepare your meals. This will look different for everyone. For some, it might mean prepping 2-4 meals in advance for their busy week, for others it might mean just prepping a few items to make dinner time super quick. I often cook a fresh meal every night, keeping it simple during the week. For example, I might make veggie burgers, grilled chicken and Greek salad, and tuna melts (all 30 minutes or less). Find what works for you and stick to it!

Healthy Eating On-The-Go Tips

  1. Prep simple foods at the beginning of your week. Chopping and portioning fruit and veggies can be a simple way to start out. This way you can grab these items before you run out each day. You could even prepare some protein or grains ahead of time – if you have planned to have quinoa during the week ahead, why not cook that beforehand?
  2. Make use of your home freezer. If you do get around to batch cooking, make room in your freezer to store pre-prepared options for super busy weeks. Whenever making soups or stews, it’s always a good idea to make a large batch and freeze it. This also works well with healthy muffins for a quick grab-and-go in the mornings!
  3. Just like you schedule clients, schedule time to plan your meals. Grocery shop and care for yourself.
  4. Start small, perhaps you only start by prepping your dinners or your snacks each day. Start with one area and keep building.
  5. Keep your fridge, freezer, and pantry well stocked. What items do you use most? Do you always need some fresh fruits and veggies, cans of tuna, oats, etc.? Figure out your common food patterns and make sure you have what you need to make meal prep and cooking super simple.
  6. Use your ingredients more than once. This can mean using spinach in a smoothie, salad, and stir-fry. Plan to include your produce in different meals to make your life easier and reduce food waste.
  7. When out, read the food labels. Pay attention to the calories and sugar in each of your choices. Try looking at the menu ahead of time, so you know what your best options are when dining out.
  8. Don’t stress if things don’t always go as planned, sometimes things get crazy and sometimes you won’t have any desire to cook. Being prepared and having the items you need in your home will help ensure you get right back on track.

Cheers to happy and healthy meal prepping and eating!

About Angela Wallace, MSc, RD, PTS

Angela Wallace bio pic

Angela Wallace is a registered dietitian nutritionist, family food expert, and certified canfitpro personal trainer. She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. She uses a ‘non dieting approach’ with her ultimate goals being to help people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food. Visit her website www.eatrightfeelright.ca

 

These introductions align with the guidelines found in canfitpro’s Heathy Eating & Weight Loss (HWL) certification program.  Learn more about how this program can help you and your clients fuel for optimal health.

The Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Coach course has changed my outlook on my lifestyle choices. I have a different mindset when I go grocery shopping and I am already making healthier choices, I can’t wait to use my new found knowledge to help my friends and family improve their lives as well. My PRO TRAINER was wonderful, she made sure that the course was very interactive and was able to answer all of our questions. The online course and manual are well structured and easy to follow.  I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone who is interested in making a positive change in their life.

—-  S Mackie

Crickets: A New Superfood

By | Nutrition

By Kristina Nel

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report entitled Edible Insects – Future prospects for food and feed security. This report recommends integrating edible insects into our diet, in order to maintain a high-quality diet and reduce our environmental footprint. The publication of this paper had a catalyzer effect on the popularity of eating insects in North America. But why insects? Because they are nutritious, eco-responsible, and taste delicious! If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of adding crickets (the most commonly consumed insect in North America) to your diet, keep on reading.

Health Benefits of Eating Cricket

Cricket is truly what we call a “superfood” i.e. a nutrient-rich food with health-promoting properties considered to be especially beneficial for general health and well-being. This edible insect is packed with macronutrients and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, which are all crucial to support optimal health.

Did you know that cricket is 60% protein, whereas beef is only 20-30% protein? In other words, cricket contains 2X more protein than beef on a per weight basis! Not only is cricket high in protein, it is also a complete source of protein. This means that cricket protein contains all the essential amino acids that your body cannot synthesize on its own and that you must obtain through your diet. Protein is an important macronutrient. It is used by the body for muscle synthesis and muscle repair. Therefore, protein is crucial to maintain lean body mass, especially for active people whose muscles deteriorate during exercise.

Cricket is also high in calcium. As it happens, cricket contains 1.6X more calcium than milk on a per weight basis. Calcium is an important nutrient that plays many roles in the human body, including the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, as well as the insurance of proper muscle contraction. Calcium is especially important for athletes because they lose more minerals through perspiration, and because low calcium levels increases the risk of experiencing muscle cramps during physical effort.

Cricket is also rich in iron. Actually, cricket contains 2X more iron than spinach on a per weight basis Iron is an essential nutrient, meaning it must be obtained through the diet. It is a component of hemoglobin; the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Hence, it is particularly important for athletes because it ensures that muscles are oxygenated and working properly, and it helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy during exercise.

Another important nutrient found in large quantities in cricket is vitamin B12. As a matter of fact, cricket contains 7X more vitamin B12 than salmon on a per weight basis. Vitamin B12 is an essential B vitamin that participates in maintaining the body’s homeostasis and plays a crucial role in blood and neurological functioning. Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of nerve cells, DNA, and red blood cells. Therefore, it is important for athletes to have adequate levels of vitamin B12 to ensure that the oxygen carrying capacity of their blood is not compromised.

Environmental Benefits of Eating Cricket

It is estimated that the world population will exceed nine billion people by the year 2050. In order to meet the needs of this rising population, it will be necessary to almost double the current food production. However, this is not a feasible solution given that the current means of production are nearly insufficient to feed the present population. The biggest problem lies in the growing demand for animal protein. Farming animals requires lots of space, feed and water; it creates lots of strain on the Earth.

In terms of resources, crickets are much more sustainable than any other traditional animals currently being farmed. For instance, crickets require 12 times less feed, 13 times less land, 2000 times less water, and produce 100 times less greenhouse gases than beef. This is a huge difference considering the fact that the livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gases as the transport sector, and monopolizes two thirds of the cultivated surfaces on Earth.

With that being said, it is no surprise that edible insects are consumed more and more in North America. While there is a certain psychological barrier that must be overcome due to the lack of edible insects in dietary customs, there are lots of ways to consume crickets that make the transition to an entotarian diet much more comfortable. For instance, many companies are adding crickets to their products such as energy bars, protein bars, protein powder, chips, pasta, etc. In addition, you can start cooking with cricket powder, which can easily be added to all the meals you cook and the treats you bake!

Check out the Food and Agriculture Organization report for more information.

About Kristina Nel

Kristina Nel is the Product Development Manager for Näak. She joined Näak’s dynamic team in January 2019. Kristina graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and a concentration in Sports Nutrition in 2017. She also graduated from McGill University with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition in 2018, after completing research on endurance runners and their dietary habits. During her university summers, Kristina spent her time tree planting and working different jobs in the reforestation industry. When she isn’t busy coming up with new product ideas and creating content for work, she can be found rock climbing, skiing, or planning her next adventure!

Cricket Powder Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

By | Nutrition

By Kristina Nel

Yields: 8 big cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ rolled oats
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cricket powder
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Put the raisins in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak.
  • Add the dry ingredients (rolled oats, flour, cricket powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt) to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients (egg and melted coconut oil) to a small bowl. Whisk together.
  • Add the wet ingredients from the small mixing bowl to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Mix together thoroughly to create the cookie dough.
  • Strain the raisins and add them to the rest of the cookie dough. Fold them in.
  • Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Divide the cookie dough into 8 round cookies. Place them on the baking tray.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Make sure the cookies are golden brown and baked, but still soft on the inside.
  • Take the cookies out of the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Let them rest for 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

About Kristina Nel

Kristina Nel is the Product Development Manager for Näak. She joined Näak’s dynamic team in January 2019. Kristina graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and a concentration in Sports Nutrition in 2017. She also graduated from McGill University with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition in 2018, after completing research on endurance runners and their dietary habits. During her university summers, Kristina spent her time tree planting and working different jobs in the reforestation industry. When she isn’t busy coming up with new product ideas and creating content for work, she can be found rock climbing, skiing, or planning her next adventure!

2 Meals Prepped With Bruschetta Mix

By | Nutrition

By Angela Wallace, MSc, RD, PTS

I love nothing more than fresh local tomatoes during the spring and summer months, and a meal that can turn into two!

Since prepping your meals ahead of time can make all the difference in a busy week, why not try creating some two in one meals that help make leftovers a little more exciting. Below are two recipes that use fresh tomatoes and herbs for bruschetta inspired meals.

The first step to these two meals is making the bruschetta mix (and lots of it).

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole cherry tomatoes or 3 medium to large tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh basil, minced
  • ½ large red onion, minced (you can also use white onion)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Slice tomatoes into small pieces or cut cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  • Mince red onion, garlic, and basil.
  • Mix everything together, add lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste.

The lazy (aka quick) version: throw everything into a food processor and pulse for 15-20 seconds!

Set bruschetta aside, half of it will be used for recipe one and half for recipe two.

CHICKPEA BRUSCHETTA PASTA

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

  • Half the bruschetta mixture
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (can be canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 350 g pasta of choice (can be rice pasta, tri-colour pasta, chickpea pasta for some added fibre and protein).

DIRECTIONS:

  • Bring water to a boil in a pot and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In a medium pan heat olive oil. Add bruschetta mixture and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Once warm and slightly bubbling remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
  • Once pasta is cooked, add to bruschetta mixture, toss and enjoy! 
Recipe_Chickpea bruschetta pasta

BRUSCHETTA CHICKEN

Serves 2-3

Recipe_Bruschetta chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Half the bruschetta mixture

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Toss chicken breast in olive oil, salt, black pepper, and oregano.
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Top with bruschetta mixture and enjoy.

ABOUT ANGELA WALLACE, MSC, RD, PTS

Angela Wallace bio pic

Angela Wallace is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and canfitpro certified personal trainer. She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and family nutrition. She uses a ‘non dieting approach’ with her ultimate goal being to help people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food. www.eatrightfeelright.ca

These recipes align with the guidelines found in canfitpro’s Heathy Eating & Weight Loss (HWL) certification program.  Learn more about how this program can help you and your clients fuel for optimal health.

The Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Coach course has changed my outlook on my lifestyle choices. I have a different mindset when I go grocery shopping and I am already making healthier choices, I can’t wait to use my new found knowledge to help my friends and family improve their lives as well. My PRO TRAINER was wonderful, she made sure that the course was very interactive and was able to answer all of our questions. The online course and manual are well structured and easy to follow.  I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone who is interested in making a positive change in their life.

----  S Mackie

3 Ways to Love Bell Peppers

By | Nutrition

By Carol Harrison

Spring is in the air, a time to change things up – be it your workout routine, or your mealtime line-up. And, if getting more veggies on your plate is a top wellness priority, here are three tasty and simple ways to enjoy vitamin C-packed bell peppers, now in stores thanks to greenhouses!

1. SUPER SNACKS: Use bell peppers as a vessel for dips.

When peppers are cut top to bottom in six segments, you get finger-like “boats,” perfect for filling with:

  • hummus topped with grated carrot;
  • bean salsa topped with feta cheese;
  • egg salad topped with green onion;
  • tuna salad topped with pea shoots;
  • salmon salad topped with arugula

Good to know: Red peppers pack more vitamin C than green peppers.

Red is tops for vitamins A and C. In just half of a red pepper, you get 47% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, (seven times more than green peppers), and a whopping 158% Daily Value for vitamin C. And half of a green pepper provides 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin C. Impressive right?

2. BETTER BREAKFAST: Egg baked roasted peppers with feta and spinach

A stuffed bell pepper gives you a serving of veggies right out of the gate first thing in the morning. You’ve got to love that!

  • Halve and core a large bell pepper. Arrange peppers, cut side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F oven until slightly softened, (about 10 minutes).
  • Turn peppers cut side up. Sprinkle each pepper half with crumbled feta cheese and a few spinach leaves cut into thin ribbons, then crack one egg into each pepper half. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper.
  • Return peppers to oven and continue to bake until egg whites are just set and yolks are still runny, (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle eggs with green onions, thinly sliced. Serve and enjoy!

Good to know: Bell pepper flavour-boosters.

Get creative in the kitchen by pairing peppers with:

  • Basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, lemongrass;
  • Thyme, rosemary, fennel and Tobasco sauce;
  • Smoked paprika, mustard, curry, cumin.

3. SIMPLE DINNER: Trout sheet pan dinner with peppers.

This is a go-to weeknight dinner at my house, and for good reason: it tastes awesome and there is only one pan to wash! This recipe is easy to scale back too.

  • Place one can of lentils (rinsed), 1½ lbs green beans (ends trimmed), and two sweet red peppers seeded and thinly sliced on a large rimmed parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp. canola oil and 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard. Brush half of the mustard mixture all over the green beans, peppers and lentils. Toss to coat. Sprinkle ½ tsp. of salt and pepper over the vegetables and lentils. Arrange 2 lbs of trout fillets, skin side down, on top of the vegetables and lentils. Brush remaining mustard mixture over the fillets. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. each of salt and pepper over the fillets.
  • Roast vegetables and trout fillets in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle on two green onions, thinly sliced over fillets before serving.

Good to know:  Save money and curb your food waste by storing peppers right.

Green peppers tend to last the longest so use up the red, yellow and orange peppers first. Store in a plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge, and because water/moisture causes decay to set in quickly, do not wash until ready to use:

  • whole raw peppers keep for 1-2 weeks;
  • raw chopped 2-3 days and;
  • cooked 3-5 days.

About Carol Harrison

Carol Harrison is a registered dietitian who loves her daily workouts!

She has a food nutrition communications company in Toronto.

Follow Carol on Twitter and Instagram: @greatmealideas

 

Ditch the Dirty Dozen List

By | Nutrition

By Carol Harrison, RD

Does eating healthy mean that you and your clients should avoid the vegetables and fruits on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list? The short answer is no. Here’s the scoop on why it’s not a scientifically valid list, how pesticides are approved and monitored in Canada, and why you are far better off to focus on filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits for each meal and snack.

As the saying goes, the dose makes the poison.

A list ranking vegetables and fruits with the most pesticides might sound like a helpful resource, but research has shown that the actual amounts of pesticides detected in produce on the “Dirty Dozen” list are so far below the limits set by health authorities that the potential for harm is negligible, or pretty darn close to zero.

Just because we now have the scientific know-how to detect minuscule amounts of substances does not mean, in those very small amounts, they cause us any harm.

Pesticide residue limits have a built-in safety margin.

When setting residue limits for produce, Health Canada takes the dose that scientists refer to as “no observed adverse effects” (which itself is based on the assumption that we eat the fruit or vegetable every day for our entire lives) and multiplies it by 100 to 1,000 as a safety measure.

Good to know: Consider this the next time you read a sensational headline suggesting that produce is doused or contaminated with pesticides: over 95% of Canadian-grown fresh fruits and vegetables met the pesticide limits monitored and enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Health Canada has a rigorous review process for pesticides.

Pesticides must be reviewed and approved before they can be used in Canada. Health Canada has more than 300 scientists who review new pesticides and re-evaluate existing ones. The approval process includes a review of 200 mandatory studies to evaluate the health and environmental impacts of new pesticides. It can take 10 years or more for a new pesticide to get approval for use.

 Good to know: Farmers constantly monitor crops for pests, and pesticides are one of many tools they might use. Pruning and netting are also options. Consider this: without pesticides, farmers would grow 50% fewer apples. That could mean apple shortages, increased dependence on imported apples and, of course, a spike in prices at the grocery store.

What’s the bottom line?

Vegetables and fruit, even ones on the “Dirty Dozen” list, are safe and nutritious. Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Not only will they add colour and variety to your plate, but you’ll reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer, too.

 Helpful Resources

1) Check out the Pesticide Residue Calculator

Use this tool to see how much of a vegetable or fruit you could eat in a day without any negative health effects. Here are the results for apples:
Man: 1190
Woman: 850
Teen: 680
Child: 340

2) Visit Half Your Plate for veggie/fruit recipe and tips

Check out their video series:

Bio

Carol Harrison is a registered dietitian who loves her daily workouts!

She has a food nutrition communications company in Toronto.

Follow Carol on Twitter and IG:  @greatmealideas