Canada’s new food guide offers us a refreshing new dietary protocol to follow, but it can be a tad daunting, especially for those who are not used to eating this way.
It has a lot in common with the Mediterranean diet, a way of eating that has been linked to longevity.
- A lot less meat and dairy
- Little or no sodium, sugar, or saturated fat
- Water as the drink of choice
They now warn the consumer to be aware that, food marketing can influence your choices. Bravo!
Time to do our homework, folks! food-guide.canada.ca offers us healthy eating recommendations, recipes, and information on how to eat in a healthy way on a budget.
Don’t know where to begin? For many of us, it will take some getting used to. I suggest using the Kaizen Method* for continuous improvement – small improvements incorporated with consistency over time, lead to significant results!
The key is to begin now but do it gradually. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make at least one day of the week a meatless day.
- Incorporate two suppers of fish into your diet.
- The food guide recommends two servings of chicken per week. I would assume that includes turkey, as well.
- Try vegetarian recipes that use beans, lentils, or quinoa as the protein source. There are plenty online.
- Have a salad (not iceberg lettuce – use romaine, spinach, baby kale, or spring mix, or another variety) with every meal. Substitute half of your regular amount of prepared dressing for Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil.
- Take your regular serving size of pasta or potatoes and put back half. Fill that part of the plate with cauliflower, broccoli, peas, green beans, or carrots.
- Do not use margarine. Use very little butter, if any.
- Do not butter your sandwich. Replace mayo with low sodium mustard wherever possible or cut your mayo in half.
- Toss your ketchup, corn syrup, and pancake syrup.
- Do not buy wieners and prepared meats. Eat deli meats once a month, at most. Cook a chicken, or some other meat or fish, for work lunches. Better yet, take a big salad.
- Eat more seeds and nuts. Check portion sizes.
- Buy natural peanut butter or another nut butter.
- Eat whole grain cereals that you have to prepare on the stove. Make refrigerator oatmeal for breakfast. It is really great!
- Substitute dairy yogurt for non-dairy yogurt.
- Incorporate more organic coconut, olive, and avocado oil into your diet. Do your research on the other oils – I think it will be enlightening.
- Limit dessert to a treat or have a sliver of whatever portion you would normally eat. Prep more fruit instead of a sugary dessert. Try watermelon with cinnamon – it is a total treat.
- Cut your juice with water. This limits the amount of sugar that you and your kids are drinking. Gradually cut it more and more.
- Stop drinking pop. Substitute sparkling water for pop. Add a small amount of fruit juice concentrate (in the health food section) to it to make it flavored.
- Drink more tea.
- Switch from cream to milk in your coffee. If you have to, use a small amount of sugar. Never use artificial sweeteners. Gradually begin lessening the amount of milk and sugar you put in coffee until you are used to drinking it black.
These are some simple substitutions and suggestions to get you started. Use these as a beginning, and then start your own research here:
You don’t have to do it all at once, but it is vital that you begin making changes now. Your quality of life, and of those you love, may depend on it.