Getting the most from your grocery dollar

Organic produce will always be a better choice for us to eat, but unfortunately that often means more expensive as well.  In order to know which produce is more important to spend your grocery dollars on for organic, (by virtue of having more pesticide residue on them) please refer to this list –http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php  It changes slightly over the years.  I notice that cucumbers are not the list for 2011, but they have historically been on it.

Ontario greenhouse/hothouse vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are pesticide and GMO free.  See – http://www.ontariogreenhouse.com/documents/show/169
for more information on this.  This is especially good news for those who seek out organic produce.

Please don’t let the cost of organic produce deter you from eating your fruits and veggies.  It is better to eat conventional produce than not eat it.  The amount of pesticide or fungicide residue that you receive from a serving of conventional produce will be significantly smaller than the amount from a serving of animal protein.  The typical farm animal consumes tainted, hormone and antibiotic laden feed on a daily basis that accumulates in their flesh and fat.

It is interesting to note that I have seen organic produce on sale at the grocery store for a price very competitive with conventional.  It is often in a different section of the store though, so if you aren’t looking for it, you would never know.  Next time you are shopping for groceries, check out the organic produce!

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Do you donate to Cancer causes?

I have not donated to The Cancer Society for some time now as I believe they are more of a hindrance to the cause and only succeed in filling the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry.  The same can be said for most of the non profit groups that pretend to exist to help sufferers of a particular disease.  Too much money is spent only on researching patentable drugs, not natural cures nor prevention.  There are many web sites that detail examples of this, but I just came across a simplified cartoon video that eloquently shares the crux of the problem – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnnqyqQVaJw&feature=related

I look forward to writing about all the things you can do to reduce the chances of getting a cancer diagnosis or heaven forbid, what you can do if you are faced with this dreaded disease in the future.  It takes iron will to go against the medical establishment. Better to not need to go there if you can by acting now before a diagnosis.  One simple piece of advice for now is to include cruciferous vegetables in your diet – every day if you can or at minimum 4 times a week.  What’s the easiest way of doing that – green smoothies of course!

Are any cold breakfast cereals healthy?

Cornucopia Institute has a very short video clip that uncovers “Cereal Crimes”. http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/food-choices/cereal-crimes.html   It is interesting to note that while the organic cereals may be healthier products, even when you check the ingredient list of Nature’s Path (the first company on their report card that I recognized as being available in my area), sugar, in the form of evaporated cane juice was 2nd or 3rd on the ingredient list and sodium was often higher than calories.  Some of the cereals in Cornucopia’s 5 grain category appeared to be exceptionally healthy, but I can’t say that I have heard of any of them in Canada – except Nature’s Path.  Maybe I need to revisit the cereal aisle.  I think of cold cereals in general as being something not to depend on regularly for breakfast, but to have in your pantry for the “occasional” meal or snack.  It would be much healthier for you to control (or even better omit), refined and processed sugars and added table salt.
So, what should you eat for breakfast then?  What about cooking up some old fashioned steel cut oats?  You can cook up a large batch and keep in the fridge to reheat later if you don’t have time to cook it every day.  Cook once, eat twice or three times is my motto! You could also presoak your oatmeal in the fridge overnight to soften the grain and then reheat on top of the stove (please, no microwaves).  I like to cook up oatmeal with 50% water and 50% non dairy milk for a creamier flavour and texture.  I also like to add raisins, cut up dates or apricots for sweetness, instead of any brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, sucanat, agave etc.  Throw in some diced apple, cinnamon, nuts or seeds and voila, you have an amazing breakfast.  You can use other grains too, like quinoa, millet or amaranth. Another option for breakfast is a smoothie – the greener the better of course.  Let’s save that discussion for another day though.

Who Am I?

My name is Cathy Fleischmann.  I reside in Burlington, Ontario, Canada and am currently enrolled at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition located in Mississauga, where I will graduate in December 2012 as a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practioner or RNCP.  Previous to enrolling in this program I worked at Goodness Me! Natural Food Market for almost four years and continue to give occasional cooking classes there.  I have also done nutritional coaching for Natural Care Clinic (a naturopathic clinic) patients in Burlington.

My nutritional journey started 13 years ago after reading The Food Revolution by John Robbins.  I was emotionally touched by his words and gentle approach at explaining how our food choices affect not only our own health, but the health of the planet too.  I was mesmerized by this book and devoured it over the course of a weekend (while going through a box of kleenex).  Reading that book sent me on a journey and ignited a passion in me for learning all that I could about nutrition.  Fast forward 13 years later and I have read countless more books and taken every opportunity to learn from others.  I have gone from having an interest in learning for myself to a yearning to share with others.

I admire the works of many, but in particular Dr. Joel Fuhrman, authour of Eat To Live, Eat For Health, Disease Proof Your Child and many more.  His books and web site www.drfuhrman.com have taught me the importance of eating a nutrient dense diet, which I strive to share with others, while incorporating the information I learn from school as well. I have borrowed from one of his mottos in deciding on the name for my blog – Nutrition Is the Prescription.

I love to educate people on how they can change their health by changing what they eat.  It does not have to be very difficult to learn different techniques and how to use different ingredients, but it is an emotional journey for some to change their diet.  Recognizing your emotional triggers is a major step in adapting to a healthier way of eating. I emphasize whole plant foods with animal proteins taking a back seat.  You don’t need to be vegan or vegetarian to be healthy, but there must be a larger portion of your plate reserved for fresh fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, legumes, raw nuts and seeds and whole grains.  As important as learning about how to include these foods in your diet, is the process of reducing and eventual near elimination of many of the foods society depends on too heavily now – overly processed, sugary, salty, fatty and fried foods.  Here are some questions for you to think about and I will hopefully touch on all of them over time.

How do you bake without sugar?
Should you be baking?
How can you satisfy a sweet tooth and still eat healthy?
What can you eat healthy when you are rushing out the door?
How do you get your children to eat healthy?
What does eating healthy mean – no fast food, only home cooked meals, eating organic, no white sugar or white flour?
What should you stock in your pantry?
Where do you buy these ingredients – quinoa, amaranth, stevia, xylitol, tempeh, kale, collard greens, kombu and many more?
How can you get enough protein without meat every day?
How will you get enough calcium if you can’t or shouldn’t eat dairy?
How can you eat without gluten?
How can you cook for a family with a vegetarian?
What do you do if your family resists change?

Eating right is only one aspect to our health.  There are many more we can talk about too. From personal care to cleaning products to the stress levels in your life.  It can be overwhelming, so let’s take a big breath and put our baby toes in the wading pool together.  I promise to take it nice and slow.  If you are not in a serious health crisis, it is better to start out slow and work your way into this lifestyle change so as to improve your chances of success.  I look forward to educating, informing and inspiring you and receiving the same back.

Do you wander up and down the grocery aisles wondering what to buy?  Do you need help stocking your pantry and fridge with the right foods?  Do you need assistance in healthy meal preparation?  Are you struggling with food allergies or sensitivities and can’t imagine how to cook or eat without using the offending ingredients?  Do you want to avoid prescription medications and reduce or reverse symptoms by getting to the root cause?
If so, I may be of service to you.   Contact me at cathy@nutritionistheprescription.ca