Eating healthier is a goal many Canadians, like me, are trying to achieve. The problem: there is so much information being given about what you should and should not be eating that it can become confusing and frustrating to figure out what advice to follow. I was really happy when I was asked to see what the in-store registered dietitians at Loblaws could do to help me wade through all of the questions and concerns I had about healthy eating and what I could do to achieve my goals.
The Registered Dietitians at the Loblaw family of stores are available to help Canadians achieve their health and wellness goals and provide a range of FREE services, including:
- Providing Nutrition check-ups to assess dietary habits
- Grocery Store Tours to identify healthier choices
- Health and wellness workshops and lunch and learns tailored to the specific needs of your group
- Developing custom meal plans based on dietary needs
- Interactive cooking classes and demos
- Tips for encouraging your children to try new foods
After locating the nearest Loblaws to my home, I set up a consultation with Maylinda, the in-store dietitian at this location to assist me with my goals. Since the dietitians have many responsibilities throughout each store, you may have to wait a week to consult with them. When I arrived for our appointment, she was accompanied by a dietitian student, Marie-Pier, who was shadowing Maylinda until her studies are complete.
I did not know what to expect when I met these lovely ladies. They were both really nice and friendly when I arrived, and we talked about how to get me on the right track to eating healthier.
First, I was asked what I typically ate on a regular basis. This is I provided to them:
After going through what a typical day in the life of food consumption is like for me, we went on a tour of the store while they explained why I should cut out some of the foods I once thought were healthy to consume and gave me some tips as to how to eat better and to get more energy:
- With my glass of orange juice, I am not getting enough of the fibre or vitamins. I should be having a half cup of juice with some sparkling water or drink lime sparkling water with some frozen fruit to hydrate better and drink healthier.
- Replace my enriched white bread with some whole grain bread. It will fill my stomach faster and I will be getting more fibre in my diet.
- MORE WATER!!!! I should try to drink more of it during the day, again, be more hydrated. There may be times I feel as though I am hungry when I am actually thirsty, and drinking water would help me feel better.
- Smaller portion sizes for meat portions will cut down on the calories I intake.
- Eat less cheese when I eat meat. It is high in fat. I should also think about replacing my old cheddar or mozzarella cheese with Swiss or ricotta.
- Since I have a peanut allergy, yet still love to eat peanut butter, I should try eating a soy peanut butter alternative. I tried it, and it tasted a lot like the real thing.
I had an amazing consultation with the Loblaw Dietitian. I felt at ease throughout my visit, I was given a lot of fantastic advice on how to eat healthier while losing weight and gaining energy, and the alternatives suggested to me were easy starts to get me started on my goals.
After my visit with Maylinda and Marie-Pier, they followed up with me via phone and email to see how I was doing and to give me more suggestions on how to eat healthier while trying to lose a weight and gain more energy. Here were some of the details they shared with me:
- Since you can be getting a lot of dairy in a day from your cereal, a glass of milk in the evening and at lunch, cottage cheese, etc. … See if you can substitute some of that milk with more water or a fruit instead.
- You are not skipping meals, which is great! Continue to do so! You just need to be more careful with your grains and starch portions. It should be the size of your fist. For example, you can replace some with vegetables at lunch and supper. Put less cereal in your bowl in the morning and replace it with some fruits like berries and nuts.
Maylinda also sent this Spiralized Raw Zucchini Salad with Avocado and Edamame recipe from the blog Eat Yourself Skinny to help me eat better.
- 2 large zucchini ends trimmed off
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1/3 cup shelled cooked edamame
- Red onion raw thinly sliced
- Grated Parmesan to garnish
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1. Spiralize your zucchini and set aside on paper towels so that any excess water is soaked up.
- 2. Thinly slice red onion, set aside.
- 3. In a food processor, add avocados, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.
- 4. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, red onion and edamame cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
- 5. Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto. Season with cracked pepper and parmesan, serve and enjoy!
Prep time: 15 mins
Maylinda and Marie-Pier also passed along some great lunch/supper ideas I could try to find new and healthy ideas to serve and eat to keep eating healthier:
- Open face egg sandwich, ½ cup of vegetable juice, salad and cheese
- Mac and cheese (add green peas, tuna or chicken and onions), a fruit. Sprinkle some flax seed on it!
- Soup (add some canned lentils), crackers, apples with peanut butter.
- Lettuce wrap made with avocado, cheese, rice, ground meat, and grated carrots with a fruit and a small muffin.
- Roasted corn salad with added edamame or chickpeas. Zucchini pesto noodles and veggies.
- Vegetarian chili, whole grain bun and cheese.
- Pizza with added veggies, boiled eggs, salad.
- Brown rice, roasted vegetables and fish.
- Beef or tofu stir-fry made with kale and mushrooms, a fruit and a plain latté.
- Bean salad, barley risotto and smoothies made with silken tofu.
- Omelet/quiche/frittata (made with vegetables and cheese), muffin and roasted vegetables.
Visiting the in-store registered dietitian at Loblaws was such a fulfilling experience. I would happily do it again, and recommend anyone who has questions or concerns about what they eat to book a consultation for themselves. I will be meeting with Maylinda in a few weeks so we can see how well I have been doing and to give me more tips and advice to keep me on the right dietary track. I can’t wait to go and learn how to make me an even better me!
Disclosure: I am happy to have had the opportunity to meet with a Loblaw dietitian and share my experience with you. I was compensated for this post, but all ideas and opinions are my own.