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Healthy Foods

Sugar sweetened beverages, like pop and fruit punch, provide little nutritional value and are packed with calories. These drinks are not recommended for children

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

  • Learn how you can help someone else quit, click here for more information.

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

  • Dynamic stretching is a great way to warm-up before exercise. Start at your feet move up your body by moving each joint through a full, pain-free range of motion. Do this in a slow controlled manner.

  • 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.

  • Start a craving journal - If you know when you are tempted to smoke, you can plan for how to deal with the urge before it hits. A free template is available here.

  • 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.

  • Today, shoe manufactures design footwear specifically for physical activity. Make sure that you have shoes that fit your chosen activity.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • To quit smoking takes hard work and a lot of effort, but you can quit smoking. It will be one of the most important things you will ever do.

  • Find ways to manage your cravings – here are some tips to get you started.

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

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

  • 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).

  • Structured exercise is great for improving fitness, but just moving is essential for health. Look for a combination of structured and non-structured activity to make up your daily physical activity plan.

  • Start a money jar with the money you save from not smoking and invest for a rainy day or buy yourself a gift or go for a nice dinner.

  • 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.

  • Many people hold their breath as they lift. While this may be necessary when lifting extremely heavy objects, it can be dangerous. Breathe out as you lift.

  • Go 8 hours without smoking – the oxygen levels in your blood will go back to normal and carbon monoxide levels in your body drop.

  • 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.

  • Talk about it! Sit down with everyone living in your home and discuss ways to make or keep your home and car smoke-free.
    Get ready! Set up a smoking area outside. Remove any ashtrays from your home and close your car’s ashtray. Think about smokers who will visit and consider how you will ask them to smoke outside.
    Go! Be polite but firm – Kids NEED breathing space! Say thank you to friends for helping keep you and your family healthy.

  • 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.

  • You don't have to have fancy equipment to build strength. Just a simple pair of adjustable dumbbells and a bit of instruction can give you endless options to build strength and improve the quality of your life.

  • Check out your local community recreation center. You will be amazed at how many different ways it offers to keep you in motion.

  • 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.

  • Check out ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). They have a wealth of health and fitness information and are one of the top organizations in the world for fitness information.

  • Make your car, home and/or office completely smoke free.

  • Get off the bus a few stops earlier and/or park a distance away.

  • Most people think of personal training as a luxury for the rich and famous. However, today, more and more people are getting into personal training. This offers the chance to get a program specifically tailored to your goals and specific needs.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Going from not moving to intense physical activity is very hard on the body and can lead to injury. Take a few minutes for some gentle movements such as controlled arm circles and leg swings to warm-up the body. Start light and gradually increase the intensity of your exercise sessions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Drink at least 6 - 8 glasses of water per day. Cold water helps flush the nicotine out of your system.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How addicted are you? Knowing how addicted you are can help you decide if you need extra support or whether you need stop smoking medications to help you quit. To have the best chance of successfully quitting, you need to know what you are up against. Take this online quiz.

  • Don’t be a victim to tobacco marketing tactics – to become aware of the marketing schemes click here.

  • 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.

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

  • Keep an activity log. Each day, write down what you did and how long you did it. This will help keep you motivated to continue with your physical activity.

  • 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.

  • If you are walking on sidewalks, be aware that they can be on a slant. Prolonged walking on a slant can cause hip and low back problems. Try to walk on level ground as much as possible. When not possible, try to spend equal time slanted each way.

  • Change your shoes regularly. Mileage adds up on your shoes and well-cushioned, supportive shoes can become sloppy and hard before you know it.

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

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

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