Nutrition Month is a good time to make small changes in your diet

Margaret
Margaret Prouse
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Margaret Prouse

Doing little things over and over is easiest way to develop new, good habits

Nutrition Month has rolled around again.

Having a month designated by Dietitians of Canada to direct attention to healthy eating and good nutrition always serves as a reminder to me that I could treat myself better. The distractions of everyday life can direct my attention away from healthy eating, and it’s a treat to be reminded to do this for myself.

You see, I’m greedy about life, and I want to get very old, but I don’t want to just be old. I want to be old and healthy. And until that time, I want to be the age I am  and healthy.—

I can’t do anything about the genes I inherited from my parents, but I can do something about the way I eat, and there is good evidence that eating well is one way to support health and well-being.

This year’s Nutrition Month theme is “Take a Hundred Meal Journey! Make small changes one meal at a time”. The idea is that we consume close to 100 meals every month, and by focusing on a particular behaviour regularly over the course of those 100 meals, we can develop a new habit.

Aiming to completely overhaul your eating habits in one swoop is likely to be overwhelming and counterproductive. It’s like making an overly ambitious New Year’s resolution and casting it aside before the end of January.

Change is more likely to stick when you choose one small change at a time and practise it consistently before starting on a new one.

Dietitians of Canada (DC) has some suggestions for people wondering what type of change to work on: fill more of your plate with vegetables; choose whole grain instead of white bread; serve smaller portions; enjoy fruit for snacks instead of sweet or salty treats; drink water in place of sugary beverages, like pop.

There are many changes I could make to improve the way I eat, but I will follow the advice of DC and keep my mind on changing one thing at a time.

My hundred meal journey will be to increase my consumption of vegetables and fruits by having two servings of vegetables or fruit at every meal.

The website www.dietitians.ca lists some strategies for getting started. Some of them involve articulating the goals that you want to work on by writing them down and posting them as a reminder to yourself and by talking about them with people close to you, so that they can support your efforts. Another strategy is to make sure there are enough healthy foods on hand. That goes hand in hand with another strategy they mention: planning meals in advance, which enables you to plan a good grocery list so that you’ll have what’s needed when it’s time to make a meal.

Dietitians of Canada have tools on their website and apps for mobile devices to help Canadians eat well. One of them is www.cookspiration.com, where this recipe is found.

A Buddha bowl is an attractively arranged meal in a bowl, usually sporting a grain, a protein, vegetables and dressing.

 

Garden Veggie

Buddha Bowl

Recipe provided by CanadianLentils, recipe source: Cookspiration.com

45 mL (3 tbsp) tahini (sesame paste)

45 mL (3 tbsp) rice vinegar

5 mL (1 tsp) grated ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

45 mL (3 tbsp) canola oil

45 mL (3 tbsp) boiling water

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Bowl base

500 mL (2 cups) cooked brown rice

250 mL (1 cup) cooked black (beluga) or green lentils

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

45 mL (3 tbsp) chopped dill

500 mL (2 cups) thinly sliced baby spinach

250 mL (1 cup) thinly sliced red peppers

250 mL (1 cup) grated carrots

250 mL (1 cup) enoki or other mushrooms sliced

125 mL (½ cup) pumpkin seeds

Whisk tahini, vinegar, ginger, garlic and canola oil together until smooth. Add boiling water to thin out. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

Toss hot rice and lentils with dill in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into serving bowls.

Divide spinach, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds on top of lentil blend in bowls.

Drizzle dressing on top of veggies and serve immediately.

 

Margaret Prouse, a home economist, can be reached by writing her at RR#2, North Wiltshire, P.E.I., C0A 1Y0, or by email at margaret@islandgusto.com.

Geographic location: Canada, North Wiltshire

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Recent comments

  • Randy MacIntosh
    March 05, 2016 - 11:39

    Sven Andreas, too bad you are so stupid. Yes, tahini is fatty, but it is the healthy unsaturated fat and like any food if you eat too much of it you will gain weight. If you had bothered to check you would see that tahini is one of the best sources for calcium, is a good source of fibre, it’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15 and it is high in protein. I realize a troll like you lives on Big Macs, fries and beer so maybe do some homework before commenting.

    • Sven Andres
      March 05, 2016 - 16:04

      It's not that bad that I am stupid, because we luckily have smart people like you to enlighten us. I'm sure you don't need any evidence to support your intelligent oppinions, but just in case you're curious, here are the actual contents: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3142/2

  • Sven Andres
    March 05, 2016 - 11:23

    There's about 800 calories from tahini, oil (nutrientless junk) and pumpkin seeds alone. No wonder Buddha is so fat. (-: