Relationship between fat, carbohydrate, sugar, and cholesterol

Relationship between fat, carbohydrate, sugar, and cholesterol

After posting my review of the Beyond meat burger, I received questions from readers, asking about the relationship between fat, carbohydrate, sugar, cholesterol. A lot has changed in the research and I wanted to review recent studies to answer the following three questions that my readers had asked:


  1. What does the research today say about the relationship between fat, carbohydrate, sugar, cholesterol, whole grains and heart disease?
  2. Do foods high in cholesterol raise blood cholesterol levels?
  3. Does carbohydrate intake affect cholesterol?

Research on Diet and Heart Disease


Heart Disease has been the second leading cause of death in Canada, after cancer, over the last 20 years.

What we know about diet, health and heart disease has evolved over the last 50 years. The message about dietary fat and cholesterol has changed. What was true in the ’90s is not the same as what we know and how we educate the public today.

From 1974 to 2014, the primary message around the leading dietary cause of heart disease was the excess intake of saturated fatty acids in our diets. The public health message was that reducing your intake of saturated fats would reduce your risk of heart disease. In the late ’60s, the hypothesis was that dietary cholesterol contributed to the risk of heart disease. The main source of saturated fat is meat from animals and cheese. Meat and cheese are also a source of dietary cholesterol.


Carbohydrates and heart disease


By promoting the link between saturated fats and heart disease, the population was educated to reduce saturated fats in their diet. The problem that resulted is that the reduction of saturated fats increased carbohydrate intake.

In the 1970s, scientists started to look at refined carbohydrates (processed foods), sugar and low dietary fibre as dietary causes of heart disease. At the time there was weak supporting evidence for this claim, and it was not generally accepted. In 2016, a scandal was uncovered that the sugar industry, not pleased with this research, paid scientists to minimize the role of sugar in heart disease and to leave saturated fats as the main contributing dietary factor.


Finding the “sugar” in foods


Just like all fats are not equal, so it is the same for carbohydrates. For illustration purposes, I will define two different types of carbohydrates in our diets: Simple and Complex. When reading nutrition labels, you can easily distinguish between these two types by looking at the Sugar and Dietary Fibre content.

Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate. Sugar is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and is linked to many dietary health concerns. Processed foods have increased the sugar content in foods as well as increased our cravings and addictions to carbohydrate-rich foods.

The dietary fibre number will give you a clue of the wholeness of the food, assuming it is not added in as an ingredient. Dietary fibre is a carbohydrate that naturally occurs in foods of plant origin and is not digested or absorbed by the small intestine.

In addition, reading the ingredients of a food product will be insightful. Ingredients are listed in order of the amount they represent in the food. If sugar is listed in any of the top three positions of the ingredients, it is a sure sign that the product is not healthy.

Saturated fats and heart disease


Focusing on Saturated Fat as the leading cause of heart disease led to the public health message of replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats in a healthy diet. Polyunsaturated Fat sources include vegetable oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and fatty fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats. When the public health message focused on saturated fats as the “bad fat,” we started seeing products marketed for their “omega” content.


Cholesterol and Heart Disease


Dietary cholesterol comes from animals. The primary food sources of cholesterol include egg yolk, shrimp, beef, pork, poultry, as well as cheese and butter. For years, dietary cholesterol was thought to increase blood cholesterol levels, thus leading to the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, another form of heart disease. Eggs were considered “bad” back in the 90s because of their high dietary cholesterol content.

When comparing the nutrient value of eggs to beef, cheese, chicken, butter and shrimp (all foods that are from animals), a difference was observed. Eggs in comparison to other animal products are lowest in total fat, including saturated fat but highest in cholesterol. Beef, cheese, chicken and butter are both high in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.

By debunking the research that dietary cholesterol does contribute to cardiovascular disease, eggs got a clean bill of health because they are low in saturated fats. Foods high in saturated fats continue to be a contributing factor to the development of heart disease.

Eggs are now a mainstay of a healthy diet. Eggs are rich in protein quality, vitamins and minerals. Egg yolk is also rich in dietary choline, which is an essential nutrient for human liver and muscle functions. Shrimp is also in the good books and an exception to a food that is high in cholesterol but contains zero saturated fat.

Around 2014, research studies showed that saturated fat intake was only weakly associated with the risk of heart disease. The most reliable indicator of risk of heart disease was the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol formed by the liver).


So going back to my reader’s question:


  1. Does dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol levels? The answer is no. Saturated fats are more of a risk to heart disease. High “bad” blood cholesterol levels are a result of saturated fats and cholesterol produced in the liver.
  2. Does carbohydrate intake affect cholesterol? Yes. Sugar contributes to increases in blood pressure and blood lipids, both of which are major risk factors for the development of heart disease. Processed carbohydrates, added sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages are significant dietary factors which could contribute to heart disease. Whole grain cereals and dietary fibre likely reduce the risk of heart disease.

Five recommendations for a healthy heart diet.


  1. Increase your intake of Dietary Fibre from whole foods and grains. Dietary fibre has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as promote regular bowel movement through the colon, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer.
  2. Reduce your intake of processed foods, including processed foods that are labelled gluten-free. Keren’s Rule, if the product is in a package and has a shelf life of more than 3-5 days, it is a processed food product. If sugar is listed in the first three ingredients, then the product is not healthy.
  3. Eggs are back! Eggs are a high-quality source of protein, affordable and nutrient-dense. Don’t worry about the high cholesterol because research has shown that dietary cholesterol is not the only culprit for high blood cholesterol levels.
  4. Moderation is key to any healthy diet. A diet high in saturated Fats has been linked to heart disease but does not mean that you have to eliminate animal products completely. Experiment with adding plant-based meals into your diet and focus on eating a variety of whole foods.
  5. A healthy eating pattern incorporates nutrient-dense foods, balanced meals and a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits.


To learn more about navigating a healthy eating lifestyle, book a free 15-minute consultation. I work with individuals, couples and families who are looking for ways to integrate healthy and nutritional balanced meals that are supportive of their dietary restrictions, in a way that is easy and fun. During the consultation, you can ask questions and discuss whether nutritional coaching or a meal plan is right for you. Book a time that works for your schedule by clicking here.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Do you need to eat first thing in the morning? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? The importance and composition of breakfast is a common question that I receive from clients.

The sun will rise and set each day. You will have awake time and sleep time in a 24 hour day. You will get hungry at some point during the day. You will need food to fuel your bodily functions for life.

During sleep, we typically fast, so the first meal after our sleep is defined as the breaking of the fast. According to the Merrian Webster dictionary, breakfast is the first meal of the day. If you break it down into two words, break and fast, it makes sense; you are breaking your overnight fast.


Breakfast in America


In the early 1800s, the American breakfast consisted of lots of meat, potatoes, cakes and pies. The size of the breakfast meal grew like a dinner meal. As we know in today’s culture, excess meat and food lead to adverse health and weight implications.

At the same time, as the size of breakfast grew in the American household, so did the epidemic of Dyspepsia, chronic indigestion. In the 1800s, Dyspepsia was a societal chronic health problem as compared to Obesity, in today’s society.

Doctors created cereal as the solution to the chronic indigestion problem. It was first developed in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, a religiously conservative vegetarian, who ran a medical sanitarium in western New York. He developed cereal as a digestive aid.

John Harvey Kellogg, physician, nutritionist, inventor, and medical missionary is considered the father of the prepared breakfast food industry. He advocated for a clean “biological living” diet.

Dr. Kellogg believed that eating a “biologic” natural diet would solve much more than chronic indigestion. Like Dr. Graham with his graham cracker, Kellogg found Americans’ meat-centric diets led them to sexual sins. He believed that cereal would both improve Americans’ health and keep them from masturbating and desiring sex. The first claim entered into mainstream advertising but not the second.

With industrialization and Americans going to work in factories, set routines and schedules were standard. The rise of cereal established breakfast as a meal with distinct foods and created the model of processed, ready-to-eat breakfast.


“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”


This saying originated in a 1944 marketing campaign launched by General Foods, the manufacturer of Grape Nuts, to sell more cereal. During the “Eat a Good Breakfast—Do a Better Job,” campaign, grocery stores handed out pamphlets that promoted the importance of breakfast. At the same time, radio advertisements announced that “Nutrition experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

So is it true?


Before the invention of cereal, the breakfast meal was not at all different from any other meal. The invention of cereal as America’s first “Health Food,” encouraged a lighter breakfast to solve chronic indigestion. The simplicity of this “ready to eat” meal improvement in health helped with its popularity.

A recent study looked at breakfast, eating patterns and nutrition. The study focused on Swiss Adults breakfast habits and the nutritional composition of breakfast. The study concluded that breakfast was not the most important meal of the day. The authors supported current nutritional advice focusing on balancing the diet over the day of the week rather than on recommendations dedicated to specific meals.

Are all meals equal?


A study that focused on the diet quality of Adolescents concluded that days that included breakfast or lunch were associated with higher nutritional value. Weekdays with lunch were also associated with lower intakes of added sugar, compared to weekdays without lunch. Skipping breakfast and lunch was associated with reduced diet quality in adolescents. According to this study, targeting breakfast and lunch meals is a possible way forward to improve adolescents’ dietary intake. Want to improve your child’s health intake, read my blog on “How do I get my teenagers to eat healthy?”. 

Is breakfast the most superior meal?


1. All meals can be balanced equally. You get to decide on how to distribute healthy eating in your routine, schedule and life.
2. Follow your hunger cues. Don’t eat breakfast just because you think it is the most important meal of the day. It may not be for you. But don’t starve yourself either. Balance your nutrition throughout the day for energy and enjoyment.
3. Focus on whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables that will give you fibre for optimal digestion.
4. Limit your sugar intake. Don’t buy breakfast cereal with high sugar content just because you need to eat breakfast.
5. Plan your meals and snacks. Easier said than done so if you are in a pinch, choose freshly prepared foods over-processed. The added cost will be better for your health.
6. Read your labels. Limit hidden sugar and salt, which is present in foods to keep you addicted.
7. And remember that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” is food marketing and advertising. Be skeptical and smart about nutrition claims. They are designed to increase sales and not your health.

To learn more about navigating a healthy eating lifestyle, book a free 15-minute consultation. I work with individuals, couples and families who are looking for ways to integrate healthy and nutritional balanced meals that are supportive of their dietary restrictions, in a way that is easy and fun. During the consultation, you can ask questions and discuss whether nutritional coaching or a meal plan is right for you. Book a time that works for your schedule by clicking here.

Hate Quinoa? Try this ancient grain for a gluten-free alternative

Hate Quinoa? Try this ancient grain for a gluten-free alternative

Following a gluten-free diet can feel very limiting. You always have to check ingredients and know the different names of grains that contain gluten. Quinoa is the most popular gluten-free grain. It has been deemed a superfood and seems to appear everywhere you find gluten-free products. But what if you hate quinoa? 


In a recent conversation with a client, we were discussing plant-based gluten-free alternatives, and she confessed to me that she hates quinoa. She felt like she should love it but hates it. Since following a gluten-free diet, she has missed eating couscous. Because it is in my nature to be curious, I am always on the lookout to learn about new foods and healthy alternatives. My criteria are simple: the foods have to be as close to their natural form as possible, as well as nutritious and minimally processed. So, after talking with my client, I started to research gluten-free alternatives to quinoa for people that hate quinoa. 


Did you know that there are over 50,000 known edible plants in the world? Corn, wheat and rice make up more than 2/3 of the world’s supply of plant-sourced foods. According to Healthline, nine popular naturally gluten-free grains are sorghum, quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, corn, and brown rice. 


In my search for gluten-free alternatives to quinoa, I also came across fonio. Fonio is new to me and my diet, however, it has been a staple in West Africa for over 5000 years. Fonio is a naturally gluten-free grain and from the millet family. It is referred to as ‘hungry rice,’ as “acha” by Ghanaians and “po tolo” by the Dogons of Mali. 


Fonio (Digitaria exilis and Digitaria iburua) is thought to be the oldest African cereal. For thousands of years, West Africans have cultivated it across the dry savannas. It looks like sand, has a mild nutty flavour and is finer than couscous. 


Fonio nutrition compared to other common grains


 FonioQuinoaCouscousCream of WheatWhite RiceBrown rice
Size1/4 cup dry1/4 cup dry1/4 cup dry1/4 cup dry1/4 cup dry1/4 cup dry
Fat (g)030102
Carbohydrate (g)373133323839
Fibre (g)132212
Protein (g)366434
Iron (mg)
Gluten-free YesYesNoNoYesYes


The nutritional profiles of these grains are quite similar, making them easy alternatives grains to each other. Couscous and Cream of Wheat are both made from wheat and are therefore absent from a gluten-free diet, making Fonio an excellent alternative. Fonio is naturally gluten-free, has zero fat, and is a good source of fibre, protein, iron and zinc. Depending on how you prepare fonio, it can be a true copy cat of couscous in recipes or porridge, such as Cream of Wheat. 


Other than the typical nutritional profiles found on labels, Fonio has several other distinct advantages over other grains. 


Advantages of Fonio as compared to other gluten-free alternatives


The building blocks of protein are amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids that humans need to form “complete proteins” essential to body health. Typically, plant-based grains are considered “incomplete proteins” because they are missing a few amino acids. Fonio contains a very high quality of eight out of the nine essential amino acids as compared to other grains. 


Fonio is missing the amino acid, lysine, which is abundant in other plant-based products such as lentils, soy, black beans, peas, pumpkin seeds and tempeh. Combining fonio with lysine-rich foods increases the protein quality of a fonio meal. The combinations provide a “complete protein” nutritional profile equal to the quality of protein derived from an egg which is naturally a complete protein. 


Fonio is also high in methionine and cysteine, which are vital amino acids to human health. 


Fonio also has a lower glycemic index as compared to white rice. This allows it to be suitable for people with diabetes because it does not cause blood sugars to spike during digestion.


Culinary uses for fonio

Fonio is very easy to prepare and difficult to mess up. Depending on the meal or recipe, fonio can be prepared by boiling or steaming. Steaming fonio leads to a couscous texture and is perfect in any grain recipe. It can also be consumed as a breakfast, side or main recipe. It is delicious as a hot cereal and has a comparable texture to Cream of Wheat porridge. 


Pierre Thiam is a Senegalese, American restauranteur and former Iron Chef contestant has been working on bringing fonio to the American market. He published the cookbook, Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl that has some traditional fonio recipes. 

Fonio has great potential to help solve food and nutrition security we face, especially in this era of erratic climate change. In Canada, Farafena, a Vancouver, Canada company is bringing this high-nutrient gluten-free alternative to North Americans. Farafena is a purpose-driven company that is improving the lives of female farmers and their families in Mali, West Africa. They work with about 1000 women from nine different villages in Mali, paying them directly for the crops they grow. Farafena sells fonio as a grain and flour and is available in the natural foods section at Loblaws, making it easily accessible. Check out their recipe page for some ideas on how to incorporate fonio into your meals. 


Eating well with dietary restrictions shouldn’t be difficult or time consuming. If you’re looking for expert advice on your dietary needs or if you are interested in a plant-based meal plan, check out my coaching or my personalized meal planning services. I also offer a one time, free consultation, for you and I to discuss your nutritional needs and  whether or not we’re a good fit to work together.

In good health,
(photo credit: Stock by AMGPHOTO)


Plant-Based Alternative Beef? Is it really healthier?

Plant-Based Alternative Beef? Is it really healthier?

Move over beef and make room for plant-based meat alternative beef, both competing for your health and food budget! Have you noticed the influx of plant-based alternative beef as the most recent menu addition to the fast food industry? Have you heard the marketing or seen the commercials? They are quite hard to miss, but in case you did not notice or are wondering which is healthier, here is my opinion of where Beyond Meat (BYM) plant-based meat alternative beef products fit in with a healthy diet. 


Where’s the Beef? 


Beef has become the enemy to the environment and enemy of our health. Beyond Meat’s vision is to create an alternative that is healthy and environmentally sustainable. Free of soy and gluten which are common allergens found in other plant based alternative beef products. As well free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which are labelled as bad for our health. Beyond Meat started with the simple question, “can we create “meat” directly from plants? Can we create a true copy cat of beef?”


Yes, they can, and they did.


But is it truly healthier than beef? To answer this question, let’s start by reviewing the nutrition facts.


Comparing Lean Beef to Beyond Meat

plant based alternative beef

1. Always begin with checking the serving size to ensure you are comparing identical amounts. 


In this case, the lean ground beef serving size is 100 grams, and the Beyond Meat Burger (BYM) is 113 grams. If you want to compare numbers accurately, you would have to multiply the lean beef burger by 13% or 1.13.


When servings sizes differ, you can always look at the % of daily value to make your decision. The Percent Daily Value (%DV) is a guide to help you make informed food choices based on either the recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals or specific nutritient reference standards. It tells you if the serving size has a little or a lot of a nutrient.


2. Scan the numbers to see which nutrients are higher or lower in each product.


Think about what nutrients matter to your health. Which nutrients do you want or need more? And which nutrients do you want or need less in your diet? In this example, let’s compare a few key nutrients:

  • Fat – The lean beef is slightly lower in fat.
  • Carbohydrate – The BYM burger has 6g, which includes 2g of Fibre, and the lean ground beef has 0 carbohydrates.
  • Protein – The beef has more protein because even though both say 20 grams of protein, the serving sizes are not identical.
  • Cholesterol – The BYM has 0 cholesterol, while the Beef has 60 mg.
  • Sodium – The BYM burger has significantly more sodium than the beef. 
  • Iron – BYM has more Iron than the beef, but it is important to note that there are two types of Iron: heme and non-heme Iron, and non-heme Iron is less absorbed. So even though there is more Iron in the BYM burger, it is less available for your body to use since plant-based Iron is the non-heme type. To help increase absorption, consume plant-based products with a good source of Vitamin C. 
  • Which brings to the next comparison, the BYM burger has 30% of the daily value of Vitamin C, while there is none in the beef. 
  • All other nutrients – the BYM burger has more nutrients listed on the label, but that does not mean that the beef burger has none of those ingredients. The beef label contains the required amount of nutrition facts required by law. The BYM goes beyond the requirements as a marketing tool to show you that it contains many nutrients for your daily health requirements.


3. Check the ingredients list. 


Beef has one ingredient, so there will not be a list of ingredients. The BYM has several ingredients. It is important to always review the ingredient list if you have any food allergies or sensitivities. Beef may be simple, being only one ingredient and its substitute has several, but in reality, unless you are preparing a burger from scratch, you always want to check the ingredients.


What’s the verdict? Which product is “healthier” for you? 


It depends on your version of health. BYM has created a plant-based product that is comparable in terms of the taste and nutrition profile to beef. The answer to which one is truly better for you will depend on your nutritional needs and taste preference. The macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) profiles are fairly close, as is the calorie count. The most significant difference is the amount of sodium and cholesterol. If you are watching your sodium level because of your blood pressure or medical condition, then you want to keep an eye on your daily sodium and cholesterol intake. If not, then, in my opinion, both burgers are comparable and can be interchanged in a “healthy diet” from purely the burger patty perspective.


Comparison of BYM products as an alternative to Beef or Pork in some fast-food chains.  


1. A&W BYM and the A&W Teen Burger 


BYM BurgerTeen BurgerDifference
Calories (kcal)500500
Fat (g)29263
Carbohydrate (g)4039
Protein (g)2225-3
Cholesterol (mg)070
Sodium (mg)1110910200


When comparing A&W’s BYM Burger to the beef Teen Burger, the calorie amounts are identical in the two products. The differences in macronutrients are not significant. The question here is whether the small differences in the number of protein is an issue for your health. If so, I would choose that way. If not, then I would suggest choosing based on taste preference. Either way, both products are fast food, highly processed, and high in sodium and should be consumed less frequently. 


Tim Horton’s sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich: Sausage patty versus BYM patty


Tim Horton’s Sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich
Calories (kcal)430500 -70
Fat (g)2433-9
Carbohydrate (g)3133-2
Protein (g)24195
Cholesterol (mg)18017010
Sodium (mg)8301030-200


When comparing the two breakfast sandwiches, you will notice there are more differences. The BYM burger has fewer calories, less fat, more protein, less sodium, and more Iron. Based on the nutrition profile comparison, the BYM looks like a healthier choice. If you wanted a balanced breakfast sandwich that is lower in calories and fat, then this would be the better choice for you. But, if you already eat a balanced diet and are enjoying this breakfast sandwich as a treat or infrequently, then I would say go for the real thing. 


Plant-Based Alternative Beef Versus Animal Beef – The Bottom Line


  1. Is BYM healthy? Yes. But, as always, everything in moderation. The plant-based alternative industry is still “manipulating” plant-based ingredients to achieve the nutrition profile comparable to beef.  Do you need that much Iron?
  2. Do I need to stop eating beef burgers? No. But if you are a frequent eater of fast food meals or even someone who finds themselves at a food chain, let’s say on a road trip, it is refreshing to know that there is an appropriate alternative.
  3. Variety and balance are key. I know people hate when dietitians say “eat in moderation.” What we have seen through research is that diet trends become cyclical. When a diet focuses too much on one food group or extreme restrictions, health is compromised, and it can’t be sustained long term. 
  4. Is BYM better for your cholesterol? If you need to reduce your meat cholesterol, then yes, switch to BYM. If beef is a food that you sometimes enjoy and indulge in, then please continue to enjoy it. 
  5. Is food from scratch still better? Always go for whole foods and cooking from scratch. But when that is not available, BYM has given us a new alternative to plant-based substitutes to red meat that is neither chickpea, lentil, wheat or soy-based. 
  6. Always be skeptical of food marketing. There is a lot of money behind claims with the intention of manipulating you to buy their product. I am not saying BYM is not a good product, but they are a HOT product riding a HOT trend in the food industry. There is a lot of money behind marketing to encourage you to make that change. The fast-food industry knows this, which is why they have joined the BYM bandwagon, to not lose your business should you want to stop eating red meat.


If integrating plant-based meals or expanding on your plant-based menu is something you would like to know more about, let’s chat. My plant-based meal plans contain 100% plant-based recipes that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. My recipes are full of Fibre, vitamins, minerals, and plant proteins, making them nutritious as well as delicious. Check it out for free!

8 Ways to make healthy eating easy

8 Ways to make healthy eating easy

Eating is an integral part of our lives. We need food to survive and provide us with the energy to go about our daily activities, but making healthy eating easy can be daunting. There is an overwhelmingly endless amount of solutions for different eating challenges, but which one is right for you?

When navigating how you can eat healthier ask yourself: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to healthy eating? Also, think about the steps in your planning process and where your system often breaks down. For example, do you throw out a lot of unused grocery items? Do you eat out a lot?

Life can be less stressful by merely getting the right help at the right time or creating the perfect plan for your lifestyle. The following options allow you to decide where to focus whether it be on nutritional quality, cost or time-saving.


8 Ways to make healthy eating easy from least to most expensive in terms of cost and quality:


  1. Meal planning apps– there are many different options, customization and price points available. I have personally tried several, and there is no real one size fits all option, but there are many great tools that you can access if you are a do-it-yourself kind of person.
  2. On-demand meal delivery– there are no shortages here but finding the healthiest options can be a challenge. I just read that Facebook has partnered with a few delivery services in the US, making it even easier than ever to order a meal from while browsing your news feed.
  3. Online grocery ordering– There are several options for ordering your ingredients online or by phone. You can select pick up or have it delivered to you. You can choose between conventional, organic or natural foods. This is a great time-saver and can give you control over the quality of ingredients in your meals.
  4. Prepared Meal kit boxes– These are great for the person who likes to cook and eat a fresh hot meal. Recipes are provided, fresh ingredients are prepared and portioned for your meal. You can pick these up at the grocery store or have them delivered straight to your home. This service gets it all ready for you to cook your meals without the planning or shopping steps.
  5. Prepared meal service– These services are popping up for all different menu types from plant-based, paleo, keto and gluten-free, to name a few. A quick Google search will bring up many local options as well as the kinds of meals they offer.
  6. Hiring a nutritional coach– A consult with a Registered dietitian nutritionist who can assess, review and identify your particular menu needs and challenges can help you start your journey to healthy eating. In my coaching program, I help clients create a routine that incorporates healthy foods while eliminating foods that aren’t good for their dietary restrictions or lifestyle. I work with my clients to ensure they will be eating foods that are not only good for them but delicious as well.
  7. Purchased Meal plan– This would be a plan designed around your nutritional needs and dietary restrictions. Weekly plans that are balanced, delicious and nutritious and take the work out of menu planning and grocery shopping planning. I offer meal plans that are based on your needs – it is not a one size fits all approach. I offer plant-based, anti-inflammatory based plans, as well as other custom plans.
  8. Personal chef service– This would include a chef, whether culinary trained and/or nutritionally trained, coming to your home for a specified number of hours to fill your fridge or freezer with meals for you and your family. The chef will plan, shop, cook, portion, and leave your kitchen spotless as if no one was there. The benefit of this is that you can control the type of food, ingredients and menu prepared for you.


Some additional things to consider when thinking of ways to make healthy eating easy include:

  1. Do you want to track the nutritional information?
  2. Does the service use organic products versus conventional ingredients?
  3. Do you prefer fresh meals versus frozen meals?
  4. Is home delivery a must or you can pick up your meals from a local location?


To learn more about navigating a healthy eating lifestyle, book a free 15-minute consultation. I work with individuals, couples and families who are looking for ways to integrate healthy and nutritional balanced meals that are supportive of their dietary restrictions, in a way that is easy and fun. During the consultation, you can ask questions and discuss whether nutritional coaching or a meal plan is right for you. Book a time that works for your schedule by clicking here.

Ditching the scale for a healthy lifestyle

Ditching the scale for a healthy lifestyle

“I need to lose weight.”

Does this statement pop into your mind several times a day? Do you make deals with yourself that start with “Once I _________, I will _________?”

What would you say if I told you that you enjoy having this problem? I think you would look at me incredulously and say that is preposterous, and that you have been trying to lose the weight for X amount of time and the number on the scale is just not moving.

When people talk to me about their weight struggles, I often hear:

“For years, I could eat whatever I wanted and now I can’t.”

“I go on a diet, lose a few pounds and can’t keep the weight off…it creeps back.”

“I am researching all the diets to see what will work.”


Are you committed to making a change?


Before joining any weight loss program, ask yourself: are you committed to making a change? Or are you joining programs but not doing the work? Are you continuously switching diets to match the “success” stories that people are telling you, and feeling like you are doing it all according to the plan but achieving none of the results you desire?

I empathize when people tell me they are starting a new diet and this IS the one. I know the feelings of wanting to lose weight. Last year, I went through a terrifying time in my life as a mom. Eating became what I did to soothe myself and fuel my body to deal with the next issue thrown our way. As I continued to gain weight, I told myself not to worry because it was not important considering everything else going on. I was hiding and ignoring my health. The truth was, my weight and body had been changing the few months before the trauma, but once I was in this vortex of survival, I just ate without paying much attention.


What are the real reasons you are not losing weight?


When thinking about losing weight, consider the following:

  • Reflect on the true problems behind your excuses to not lose weight.
  • Create your definition of health. Is it a number on the scale? Is it how you feel?

When I am feeling down about my weight or my confidence, I think about the 2018 movie, I Feel Pretty, starring Amy Schumer. It illustrates how our, “Once I achieve_____; then I will______” mindset. This mindset can hold you back from living a fearless, happy life. Your current weight is not what is holding you back; instead what is holding you back is your insecurity and comparison of what you “think” needs to happen.

Keeping yourself on the diet treadmill or a “yoyo” diet cycle is being short sited on a truly healthy lifestyle. By focusing on your weight as the roadblock to doing the second part of the sentence, “I will________” you are only increasing your body shame, anxiety, and depression.


Ditch the scale and take a leap for your health with these simple tips for an everyday healthy lifestyle:


  • Learn about your patterns and food choices.
  • Organize your kitchen to maximize success and master the flow of creating healthy food choices.
  • Enhance the flavour of your foods so that you are not “dieting” but eating better than you ever have before and enjoying your meals.
  • Adapt recipes to your particular needs with ease. Never abandon a favourite recipe again because of a “diet.”
  • Create plans that work for all types of situations: the busy work week, the travel schedule, the meal prep week, and the craving homecooked meals week.
  • Be consistent and commit to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ditch the excuses!
  • Break up with the social media cycle of perpetual FOMO and why not me? Why is it not working?

I can teach you to feel more confident in your ability to eat well and how to reduce your anxiety around living a healthy lifestyle. I work with busy professionals and families who are looking for ways to integrate healthy and nutritional balanced meals that are supportive of their dietary restrictions, in a way that is easy and fun. To learn more, book a free 15-minute consultation. You can ask questions and discuss whether nutritional coaching is right for you. Book a time that works for your schedule by clicking here.


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