Every March we celebrate National Nutrition Month! This year, our theme is Unlock the Potential of Food. What does that mean? Dietitians help Canadians realize the potential of food to fuel, discover, prevent, heal and bring us together. We need to start looking at our food in a different light than just being food. It can do SO much!!
One aspect I want to focus on is that you have the potential to discover foods. Whether you have a family and are teaching your kids about food, i.e. where it comes from and how to cook it. Or if you are by yourself and unsure how to cook a food or are just unsure if you’ll like it or not! Trying new foods either for the first time ever or the first time in a while can be a little daunting. How do you choose it at the store? How to I store it? Where do I store it? How do I cook it? What will it taste like? These are all great questions. The best way I learn about new foods is to either go online to a trusted website, ask a friend/relative or ask another dietitian! I think I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts that I used to force myself to try a new fruit or vegetable every month. I would go around either the grocery store or farmer’s market and find something that I have never tried before. I would then research online or ask around, about how to cook it and what kind of recipe I could use it in. It was a great way to discover new foods and no longer be afraid to try them. It also helped increase the variety, ah variety! Isn’t variety the spice of life??
How can you get your kids involved if you have them? How about the same way? If you don’t have a backyard or any outdoor space to grow a garden how about something simple like an herb garden that can be grown on the kitchen counter? Since spring is upon us, there are many stores that have started to sell seedlings already in pots that you can start yourself! It’s a great learning experience for everyone AND you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor too!!
We can get stuck in a rut with eating the same foods and cooking them the same way over and over again. Why not change things up and discover the joys of food?
What new foods have you discovered recently
A few months ago, I came across a fellow RD from the USA posting about milk alternatives with added protein. And thought to myself, WOW! I wish we had this in Canada :) what do you mean, you may ask…let me explain. In Canada, our milk alternatives (with the exception of soy milk beverages) lack protein. You may have thought that because they are made from nuts i.e. almonds, cashews, hemp…that they would be full of protein right? Because aren’t nuts and seeds full of protein?? Well, yes, they are, but when you actually make a “milk” from them, you really don’t get their protein content, therefore the “milk” will lack protein. But here in the USA, where I’m currently visiting, the companies have added pea protein to help boost up the protein content! When I saw this, I just had to try it. And you know what? It was pretty good! I now wish I had this option in my great country…maybe one day eh @lovemysilk??
I am definitely not against dairy or soy based milks, but am willing to try and include a variety of options in my diet, which I recommend everyone to do – as there isn’t one food that will give you everything! But one issue I see pop up often with some clients that are wanting to switch to a more plant based eating lifestyle is that they want to avoid any food/products that with added nutrients i.e. nuts based milks with added calcium, vitamin D…because they think that it isn’t healthy for them. This I must say isn’t the case. I have done a previous post here talking about different ways you can get calcium from foods without using dairy, but some people tend to forget about it and end up low in calcium or vitamin D or even protein! If you are thinking that your nut/seed/coconut based milk beverages will be your source of protein, think again (especially if you are in Canada) as this will not be the case and even more so if you made it yourself. Be an informed consumer!
* disclosure, I was not paid by Silk. I bought the milk myself :)
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.