Today's Small Step

Don’t drink your calories – be careful with calorie rich drinks like pop, sweetened teas, juice and specialty drinks. It is really easy to consume large amounts of calories and still feel hungry.

Healthy Foods

Enjoy – 5 or more vegetables and fruits a day

 
 

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Fall Activity Challenge

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Health Tips

  • Top your favourite whole grain cereal with fruit and yogurt.
  • Know your portions – not sure how many grains to eat in a day or how much dairy you really need? Click here for a copy of the Canada Food Guide and get your portions back on track.
  • Eat slower to consume fewer calories – when you feel physically full your stomach was probably truly full several bites before. Eat more slowly, give your brain a chance to know you are full.
  • Eat every two to three hours – eating every 2-3 hours helps to get your metabolism going, your blood sugars stable and reduces cravings.
  • Don’t drink your calories – be careful with calorie rich drinks like pop, sweetened teas, juice and specialty drinks. It is really easy to consume large amounts of calories and still feel hungry.
  • Choose foods that are lower in the glycemic index more often – lower GI foods are absorbed into your blood more slowly which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Click here for more information.
  • Choose healthier fats - canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame), unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.
  • Have fish twice per week – healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements.
  • Try different types of protein – beans (black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans), soy products (tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers).
  • Stick to the edges of the grocery store - In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products.
  • Make your own frozen yogurt – instead of ice cream treats try freezing your favourite yogurt in a popsicle tray.
  • De-butter your popcorn – instead lightly spray your popcorn with olive oil and add a small amount of your favourite seasoning.
  • Make healthy french fries – cut up potato or sweet potatoes and place in your oven with a small amount of oil and herbs and spices.
  • Drink water first – feel hungry? You might be thirsty. When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first, wait 10-15 minutes and if you are still hungry then have something healthy to eat.
  • Read the list of ingredients – did you know that the ingredients are listed in order of weight, from most to least? This means that the food contains more of the ingredients at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients at the end of the list. Make sure the healthy ingredients are near the start of the list.
  • Add some color to your plate – eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Create your own, personal food guide - By entering personal information, such as age and sex, selecting various items from the four food groups and choosing different types of physical activities, you can create a tool that is customized just for you. Click here to get started.
  • Take your coffee/tea black – each teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and one tablespoon of cream has 20 calories. If you take one of each per cup of coffee that is an extra 36 calories per cup. Over the course of a week that could be more than 1000 extra calories!
  • Start your day with cooked oats – oats are an inexpensive, filling, breakfast option. Whole oats can result in a reduction in cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Try quinoa - quinoa is an excellent source of protein. It is low in fat and high in fibre. It also contains iron, potassium, riboflavin, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.
  • Limit foods that won't rot – foods that won’t rot when left on your counter likely have large amounts of chemicals and preservatives. Consume these foods in moderation and focus more on fresh, preservative free foods.
  • Move more often. Look for practical ways to get you moving. Take the stairs, park a little further away, walk to the mail box, walk your dog. These are just a few of many ways to move more often.

  • Click here to get clear - make sure you know the facts about tobacco.

  • Discover what is really in cigarettes - click here to learn what is really going into your body.

  • Put home exercise equipment in front of the TV. This will help pass the time faster and you can get the exercise you need while not missing your favorite show.

  • De-butter your popcorn – instead lightly spray your popcorn with olive oil and add a small amount of your favourite seasoning.

  • Click here to learn why it is so hard to quit.

  • The ideal: stop smoking altogether. If nothing else cut down and reduce the risk to others.

  • While gentle stretching can be great for improving flexibility, it can also be used to relax. Stretching calms tight muscles and helps relieve the effects of stress.

  • Family fitness. Many people lack time for exercise and quality time with the family. Why not combine the two? Take your family out and do something physical and fun.

  • Try quinoa - quinoa is an excellent source of protein. It is low in fat and high in fibre. It also contains iron, potassium, riboflavin, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.

  • Visit the washroom one floor up or at the other end of the building.

  • Put your goals in writing. In our North American society, people seem to not take things seriously until they are put in writing. Write out your goal of 30 minutes of daily physical activity and put it in visible places around your home and work to remind you of your commitment to better health through daily physical activity.

  • After physical activity it is important to cool down. Your body needs muscle contraction to return blood to the heart. If you do not move when you finish exercise, you can often feel faint or dizzy. Plan on finishing each bout of physical activity with an easy walking (or equivalent) to let your body gradually return to normal.

  • Try different types of protein – beans (black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans), soy products (tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers).

  • If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. For best results with your physical activity, drink water before exercise, sip on water during exercise and then drink more after exercise.

  • Join a sports team. This can be a fun way to stay active, meet people and add some excitement to your life. Just make sure that you have the fitness level to participate safely in your desired sport.

  • Getting in a pattern or schedule can help increase exercise adherence. Plan a specific part of your day for exercise. It could be in the morning, at lunch time or in the evening. The main thing is to find a time that works for you and get it done.

  • Start your day with cooked oats – oats are an inexpensive, filling, breakfast option. Whole oats can result in a reduction in cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Family fitness. Many people lack time for exercise and quality time with the family. Why not combine the two? Take your family out and do something physical and fun.

  • By giving up smoking you, will be helping those you care about avoid the dangers of secondhand smoke.

  • Make your own frozen yogurt – instead of ice cream treats try freezing your favourite yogurt in a popsicle tray.

  • Many people do quick stretches, which have little to no benefit. Be sure to hold your stretches for about 30-60 seconds for optimal results.

  • Get a pedometer. For most North Americans, just moving more will improve their health. Set a goal to take 10, 000 steps per day.

  • Ever notice that some people can eat all they want and never put on weight? Chances are these people have a high metabolism. Adding resistance training to your exercise regime builds lean muscle which raises your metabolism.

  • Exercise helps with depression. Daily physical activity may be just what you need to feel better and improve your mood.

  • Top your favourite whole grain cereal with fruit and yogurt.

  • Often times when people think of physical activity, they think of jogging or other structured forms of fitness. Simple household chores like gardening or yard work is a great way to stay active, and get things done around the house.

  • It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked. You become healthier and stronger each day you are tobacco free.

  • Meet a real quitter - The following British Columbians agreed to share their personal stories to help others quit smoking. Watch their videos and read their stories to see how they have successfully quit smoking. Their real-life experiences may inspire you to quit or remain tobacco-free. Click here to meet real people who have kicked their addiction.

  • Don’t drink your calories – be careful with calorie rich drinks like pop, sweetened teas, juice and specialty drinks. It is really easy to consume large amounts of calories and still feel hungry.

  • Stick to the edges of the grocery store - In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products.

  • Choose foods that are lower in the glycemic index more often – lower GI foods are absorbed into your blood more slowly which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Click here for more information.

  • Many people pull too hard when they stretch. Stretching should be gentle and comfortable.

  • Delay. Delay the urge to smoke for at least five minutes, the urge will pass.
    Deep breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply.
    Do something else. Keep your hands busy.
    Drink water. Take “time-out”, sip slowly.

  • When setting goals, use the "SMART goals" acronym. Goals should be specific, measurable, action-orientated, realistic and time sensitive.

  • Balance technology – Walk to your co-worker instead of sending an e-mail, five minutes per hour, chat face to face, trashcan basketball, stretch. Work in a standing position when possible, sit on a stability ball.

  • Add some color to your plate – eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

  • Tired of waiting for the elevator? Make a plan to use the stairs instead of taking the elevator and you’ll be surprised at how much more activity you get.

  • Look for community events such as walks and mini races. These can be fun and exciting and give you something to work towards.

  • Plan for physical activity – Brown bag it, keep runners at work and walk at lunch, schedule your physical activity.


  • Eat every two to three hours – eating every 2-3 hours helps to get your metabolism going, your blood sugars stable and reduces cravings.

  • Why not be a nice person and get fit at the same time? Instead of driving around for 5 minutes to find the closest parking spot, park farther away and enjoy a brisk walk.

  • Go two days without smoking - Your sense of smell and taste improves. You start to enjoy your food more. Your risk of heart attack begins to decrease.

  • Drink water first – feel hungry? You might be thirsty. When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first, wait 10-15 minutes and if you are still hungry then have something healthy to eat.

  • Discover the financial cost of smoking – using this online tool you can quickly and easily calculate what smoking costs you each year, the next five years and the next 10 years. Just think about all the things you could do with that extra money! Click here to calculate the cost.

  • Dumbbells and barbells are not the only way to do resistance training exercises. Simple household objects like soup cans, milk jugs and suit cases can be used to strengthen and tone your muscles.

  • Put your goals in writing. In our society, people seem to not take things seriously until they are put in writing. Write out your goal of 30 minutes of daily physical activity and out it in visible places around your home and work to remind you of your commitment to better health through daily physical activity.

  • Have fish twice per week – healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements.

  • Group fitness classes can be a fun way to get physical activity, meet new people and have a lot of fun at the same time. Check out your local fitness or recreation center for a class schedule.

  • If you have ever been to a walking track or a skating rink, you will note that people tend to favor the counter-clockwise direction. Over time this can lead to imbalances in the body. To prevent this, walk/run both ways on a track.

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