Sunday, April 26, 2015

The good ol' days

I've been interested in nutrition for decades, ever since as a young schoolgirl my mother repeatedly stressed the importance of "Three square meals a day", "Brush your teeth after you eat" and "You are what you eat".  The whole dinner table scenario of a plate featuring some kind of protein (roast beef, chicken, maybe fish or lamb on occasion) with a scoop of either potatoes, rice or pasta, and two different kinds of vegetables (carrots and peas along with broccoli or asparagus for example), and a glass of milk to drink may seem a bit quaint nowadays.  Back in the 70's it was considered really healthy eating.  I went to school every day fuelled with porridge and eggs, and lunched on a sandwich with some kind of meat inside along with a thermos of soup and some fresh produce as a snack.  I was happy to trot along with my Scooby Doo lunchbox, pleased that I had helped my mother prepare my lunch.  In high school I studied Home Economics and learned everything from how to properly iron trousers, to preheating an oven prior to baking, to creating a grocery list, to table setting and different kinds of stitch patterns on a sewing machine.  To this day I love making one of the recipes I chose as my Grade 8 "Cook lunch for the class" projects:  lasagna.  Now I modify by using organic ingredients and gluten free noodles, and low fat mozzarella on top :-)

I never worried about calories or fat content until it was suggested that I should watch my weight.  I was always an athletic kid, on the slim side with good muscle tone.  There was only one "fat kid" in the class at the time.  I never gave any thought to weighing myself often or changing my diet until external pressure urged me to do so.

Fast forward to present day.   What percentage of kids are overweight?  What do they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  I bet the picture is very different than it was in my elementary school days.

If parental examples, peer pressure and media influence are such huge factors in determining what young people eat, then why isn't everyone on board with promoting a genuinely healthy approach to nutrition?

OK, that's a whole other discussion.  But hey - think about it - the toll of an obesity epidemic in an era where parents will outlive their children is something that CAN be reversed.




Monday, April 6, 2015

Keep track of your food!

There are hundreds of food logging and diet apps out there, so I thought I'd briefly share one of my faves with you.  I use it daily and have been doing so for about a year and a half.  It's become a habit: eat a meal or snack, log it in full, get the nutrient breakdown.  I like the pie chart representation of macronutrients (fats, carbs and protein) plus the micronutrients and percentage of my daily requirements.  I can adjust my food intake according to what I want as I go along - for example, if my goal is 200g protein per day and I see that by lunchtime I have only consumed 75g protein, I make sure the rest of the day is loaded with fish, eggs,  low fat cottage cheese, tofu and a protein shake!

https://appsto.re/ca/wRjZC.i

It takes a bit of setup (list your favourites and create custom food items from labels of comestibles NOT found in their database) but once you're good to go it's as easy as a few clicks of the mouse to stay fully informed.