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canfitpro Toronto Keynote Speakers 2019

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We are excited to introduce our amazing keynote speakers for canfitpro Toronto on August 14-18, 2019! Registration will open late January 2019.

Opening Ceremonies:

Ashley Callingbull

Actor, Beauty Queen, First Nations Activist and Motivational Speaker

Ashley Callingbull is no textbook beauty queen. She is the first Canadian and the first indigenous woman to win the title of Mrs. Universe. As a survivor of childhood poverty and abuse, Ashley chose to reply on the power of her culture to follow the right path of life, and now it is her intention to use her success as a platform for change and inspiration. Ashley shares her passionate story of struggle to success to empower people to discover their own potential within and to chase their dreams.

Closing Ceremonies

Inspirational Speaker & Co Host of WE Day, Author and Humanitarian

With his trademark humor and humility, Spencer spins a spellbinding story of the challenges he faced after losing his legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, and the journey of self-discovery that ultimately enabled him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair. Spencer applies the insights learned from a lifetime of overcoming obstacles to help leaders identify their own roadblocks and push past them. His inspiring message and tangible life lessons motivate audiences to believe they can tackle any goal, whether personal or professional.

We’ve Reached Our Goal!

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We have some extremely exciting news to share with you! Together with the members, partners and sponsors, we were able to reach our goal of $100,000.00 to the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation for the Richmond Hub playground! We have achieved this goal one year ahead of schedule, and have nothing but gratitude for all of your contributions!

 

Resolution: Make 2019 Your Healthy Brain Year

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By Eddie Fatakhov M.D.

Before 2018 is firmly in the rear-view mirror, most people around the world will participate in the honoured tradition of defining their New Year’s resolutions. While there are many intentions that might be spoken but not kept, there is one that is well worth the effort. If you follow through on one resolution this year, let it be improving your overall brain health.

Here are four simple ways and four tasty foods that will help clear your brain fog in 2019 to ensure your new year is the best, and most productive, it can be.

FOUR SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER

Some of the easiest ways to enhance brain function can be found in simple lifestyle changes. Making lifestyle changes are a great way to improve overall health, but the following methods are especially beneficial to the brain.

  1. Get more sleep
    Sleep is an amazing tool that is too frequently neglected. If you can add more sleep into your daily routine, you will find a marked improvement in your overall ability to concentrate, make decisions, and manage stress.
  2. Speaking of reducing stress…
    A simple way to eliminate stress is to start by recognizing and addressing it. It’s easy to say “work, kids, and life stress me out” but if you take a second to identify these stresses individually you will find that they are easier to manage. When the stress creeps up, try breathing. Breathing exercises can instantly extinguish your stress fuses.

3.) Exercise – it’s not what you think
Like lifestyle change, exercise is key to overall health, but the amount of exercise needed to give you clarity is fairly small. Brain benefiting exercise can be as simple as walking for a few minutes or taking the stairs. Try setting a timer for ten minutes while working on an intense work project. If you take time to stand, stretch, and move when the timer goes off you could find that your mental clarity improves when you resume.

4.) Diet makes a difference
Help your brain with what you eat. If you eat processed, high in sugar, or fast food you are adding obstacles for brain function.

FOUR FOODS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER

While there is no food to make your brain function like a well oiled machine all day, there are some that have benefits, such as added energy. This increase in energy can be the kick your brain needs to stay on task, work harder, and smarter.

  1. Vegetables – the greener the better
    Vegetables make great daily snacks, not only for your waistline but also for your energy. Not all vegetables are created equal so look for the ones with the most chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green. It is also a great tool for getting oxygen into your blood, providing our cells with a good source of energy, which is great for brain function. Here are some good-for-your-brain greens: kale, Swiss chard, wheatgrass, and arugula. There are also some nutrient-rich algae to consider, such as spirulina and chlorella (available in supplemental powders – add them to smoothies or fruity yogurt).

    2. Carbs! The good-for-you kind

A lot of messaging says to ditch the carbs, but in the process you are losing some serious brain support fuel. You can have carbs as long as they are the right ones. Think complex carbs, aka steel-cut oats, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat bread. These carbs give you glucose energy, but have a low glycemic index (GI) – the rate at which food sugar enters cells. Low GI foods are better at keeping energy higher and longer.

 

  1. Fatty Acids

DHA Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and trout) and brain function go hand in hand. DHA is not something we naturally create in our bodies, but adding it through our diet can support vital brain function like memory.

In addition to fish, DHA can be found in seeds such as flax, chia, and hemp. These are easily added to salads (really green salads), yogurt, smoothies, or cereal. Another great source of DHA comes from the tasty walnut.

  1. Foods high in benefits and nutrients
    Here are some foods that are growing in popularity for their health (and brain) benefits due to increased energy, and more.

Maca
Maca (a kale cousin) is common in Peruvian cooking for its many health benefits such as increased libido, lower blood pressure, and increased energy and endurance. As we have already discussed, increased energy can be a big brain benefit. If maca is utilized as a daily supplement, positive side effects can be seen. Because it’s often offered as a nutty flavoured powder, maca is easily incorporated into most beverages or breakfast cereal.

Bee Pollen
Bee Pollen is very high in B vitamins and all amino acids. This is important because B vitamins and amino acids are big energy creators due to the fact that they increase red blood cell count which, in turn, increases oxygenated blood.

Chocolate
Before your chocolate bar becomes a sweet treat it starts as cacao (the raw bean form). This natural bean is packed with brain powering magnesium and phenylethylamine compounds (PEA) that stimulate the central nervous system. This all adds up to more focus! Cacao also contains flavonoids – brain antioxidants. To get the best form of cacao look for organic or vegan chocolate bars. They usually have what you need, without all the additives.

Bio


eddie@drfatakhov.com
Eddie Fatakhov, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Fat-off, is a Board-Certified Physician, Nutritionist, and Best-Selling Author of “The Doctors’ Clinic-30 Program”. His latest book is “Dr. Fat-Off Simple Life-Long Weight-Loss Solutions.”

Welcome! canfitpro’s new Vice President of Operations

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 We are so excited to announce that as of January 7th, 2019, Kyle Tomlin will be joining our #fitfam as the new canfitpro Vice President of Operations!

Kyle comes to us with exceptional experience working in a membership-based organization at the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) where he is currently the Vice President of Marketing, Partnerships and Events.

He has 20 years of organizational leadership and has been a Certified Meeting Professional for 15 years. Under his leadership, RCC’s flagship event, STORE, grew to become Canada’s biggest retail conference. He was also part of a full technology platform launch that brought a new CRM to RCC. Prior to joining RCC, Kyle spent 6 years leading Canadian operations at the International Council of Shopping Centres.

On a more personal note, Kyle and his wife Stephanie have two sons Isaac (5) and Lucas (3). He is a huge baseball fan (favourite team is the Chicago Cubs) and has seen a baseball game in every major league baseball park. He incorporates fitness into his life by playing recreational ice and ball hockey.

Kyle is eager to get started with us in the new year. You will get a chance to get to know him better through our Facebook Live on January 8th, 2019.

We would once again like to thank Nathalie Lacombe, outgoing VP of Operations, for her commitment and dedication to canfitpro over the last 10 years and her continued support during Kyle’s transition.

Nathalie’s last day with canfitpro will be January 31, 2019.

Happier, Healthier Holi-DAYS!

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By Tricia Silverman

The holiday count down is on! To stay happier and healthier this season, treat holi-days as days, don’t turn them into holi-weeks or holi-months! The following tips will help keep you and your clients feeling like sprightly elves, rather than melting snowmen and women, as the New Year approaches.

  1. Have a game plan for the season. Map out the season’s parties and events in your calendar, and decide which events to have small indulgences at, and which events you will stick to healthy eating. For instance, your aunt is baking your favorite chocolate torte cake for a weekend party in early December, and you have a work potluck holiday event that same week. Perhaps you make the choice to enjoy your aunt’s cake, but not indulge in sweets at the holiday potluck. Instead, bring a fruit salad to the work party, so you have a healthy option if you are craving something sweet.
  2. Plan for when your plan fails. If you planned not to eat at the work party, but had too many desserts anyway, followed by more unhealthy eating at home…now what? The key is if you fall off the healthy eating wagon, get back on as soon as possible. Don’t wait days or weeks, get back on track at the next meal or snack.
  3. Log Your Food. If you’ve fallen off track for one or more days and are finding it hard to get back on track, logging your food in an app like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt is a great way to snap out of an unhealthy eating cycle. Know there is wiggle room between weight loss and weight maintenance of a few hundred calories, so a small indulgence will not increase your weight, but larger and continued indulgences will. Be careful though, even with smaller indulgences, the sugar can keep you hungry and craving more sugary food.
  4. Weigh yourself daily or weekly. This is a helpful form of accountability. It is easy to nip a two or three pound weight gain in the bud if you catch it early, but several weeks of unhealthy eating and not weighing in can lead to a larger weight gain that is harder to take off.
  5. “Be Picky,” says Chet and Pat Skibinski, co-directors of 1 Fitbug Training & Consulting, an incorporated company in Guelph, that focuses on senior fitness, as well as CPR and First Aid training for fitness instructors and healthcare professionals. “Your senses can be overwhelmed by the holidays. Rather than mindless choices, make picky choices that leave your body feeling energized.”
  6. Be mindful about your nutrition. Chet and Pat recommend having fun while following their three Mindful Nutrition Guidelines. “Whatever the occasion, these will get you through.”

            1) Have a balance of quality macronutrients (good protein, good carbs, good fats)

   2) Have a balance of calories going IN vs OUT.

3) Time your calories over the day.

  1. Keep tempting foods out of sight. The biggest rule in my house for avoiding junk food is: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!” says Teresa Sisi, canfitpro Personal Training Specialist. “Everyone is going to give you chocolate as gifts, so the best way to avoid gaining the extra weight from packaged sweets during the holidays is to either re-gift the chocolate or hide it somewhere where you will not come across it every day.” 
  2. Increase your movement. “Since we tend to eat more during the holiday season, an effective way to avoid putting on the excess weight is to increase the frequency of your workouts,” says Sisi. “At least this way, you will rev up your metabolism to burn more calories.” One way to add more movement is to have the family take a walk after the holiday meal or between courses. Ask guests to bring weather-friendly footwear, so it’s easy to get up and move together.
  3. Prioritize stress reduction. The stress of the holidays can lead to overeating and poor food choices. Take charge of your stress. Keep detailed to-do lists, and chip away at any large stressor. For example, if gift giving is stressing you out, don’t wait until the last minute to buy gifts. Start ahead of time…even stopping to buy one gift after work today, will take the pressure off a few weeks from now. Even if your free time dwindles, commit to shorter stress reduction activities, such as 10-minute walks or movement bursts, five minute meditations, taking five deep breaths, etc. Plan to do things that make you happy, even if you can only fit in short bursts of desired activities, such as reading a book or enjoying the holiday lights.

Practicing these tips will keep the season healthy, merry and bright! Happy Holi-DAYS!

Bio:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricia Silverman is a registered dietitian, wellness coach, and fitness instructor. She’s a 2018 canfitpro World Fitness Expo Presenter, and 2018 SCW Fitness Florida Convention Presenter of the Year. She created and leads the SCW Nutrition for Active Aging Certification

Movement of the Month: Tackling Plantar Fasciitis

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With Coach Kennedy

Unlike most months, when I will introduce you to a new movement, this month I tackle injuries, more specifically plantar fasciitis, how to deal with it on a day to day basis, and how to help you speed up your recovery from it, once you’ve been properly diagnosed.  A proper diagnosis is KEY.

Firstly, what is plantar fasciitis (PF)?

PF is a common cause of heel pain which involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel of your foot (calcaneus) to the heads of your toes (metatarsal heads).  To simplify further, plantar fasciitis is an over use injury of the plantar fascia, generally located at the inner portion of the heel bone (calcaneus).

Knowing that plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury indicates some sort of muscular imbalance happening in the ankle complex.  While this is true from a mechanical stand point, we also need to consider the sensory connection. In fact, according to Dr. Emily Splichal (founder of EBFA- Education Based Fitness Academy and of the Barefoot

Certifications- www.evidencebasedfitnessacademy.com), “Understanding the sensory connection is KEY because a lot of PF is a loss of foot-to-ground sequencing with the stimulus coming in (vibrations).  Walking and stabilizing, and the rate of impact forces coming in…it’s all a TIMING game.”

The secret to this timing game is about creating stiffness (an isometric contraction) in the lower leg and foot prior to hitting the ground.  It has to be anticipatory, also known as pre-activation.

If you have muscular imbalances you may not be able to create the proper stiffness required at contact. Why not?

Because the rate at which the forces come in is far too fast!  Waiting until your foot strikes the ground to react to whatever surface we contact is just not physically possible.  Fast twitch muscles are slower than the forces coming in.  In other words, we have to sub-consciously react with “stiffness” before ground contact, otherwise those impact forces are not absorbed by the fascia, but by the tendons and muscles, there-by contributing to overuse injuries, perhaps plantar fasciitis.

Some KEY points:

  1. Impact forces coming into our body are perceived as vibrations.
  2. Vibrations are absorbed in our fascia that surrounds muscles, when everything is working correctly. When we have imbalances or the inability to create stiffness in the lower leg, impact forces that come into the body, via the foot, are not absorbed correctly.
  3. If we’re unable to properly absorb those forces, then they resonate through the leg and foot contributing to soft tissue injuries.

So, if you are currently dealing with plantar fasciitis there are a few things that can be done.

  1. Work on sensory perception: Spend time barefoot daily, during exercise or at the very least indoors at home.  Consider a Naboso mat to help with increasing the foot’s ability to “read” information by working on those receptors found in our feet.

www.nabosotechnology.com

  1. Work on Intrinsic muscle foot strength: We all work on extrinsic muscles, i.e. lower leg calve raise, yet most do nothing about the fine foot muscles.  We can perform “short foot” to accomplish this.
  2. Proper recovery: Tissue work, pre and post exercise, SMR, and bunion booties to correct toes, as some examples.

Click the links below for videos to train the muscles of the foot, and help alleviate PF:

Foot recovery with roller/massage ball  – Lower Leg

Foot recovery with roller – Foot

Foot recovery with Naboso mat – Short Foot excercise

****Please note that this should NOT override any instructions you have been given by your own practitioner, and that you should always get medical clearance when applying any new methods.

If you’re interested in learning more about this highly complex neuromuscular and mechanical structure and its relationship to our core, breathing, the brain, how to assess it and look at it functionally, then check out my Barefoot Specialist Level 1 Certification at www.KennedyLodato.com

“Remember, every exercise that involves the foot is a foot exercise.”  EBFA Global.

Questions? DM @ kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca

Bio

Kennedy Lodato (Coach Kennedy) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry.  He has spent 16 years as a Trainer and 11 years educating to the fitness Industry.  Before pursuing the role of fitness educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer Manager, and Fitness Programs Coordinator at Ryerson University.  Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the Year award, and an instructor for various industry companies.  For more information visit:  www.KennedyLodato.com

Hot Detox Delish Fish

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By Julie Daniluk, RHN

This recipe, from my book Hot Detox, works well with most medium-size fish, but choose one that’s sustainable. Enjoy sablefish, Pacific cod, Pollock, perch, wild salmon, local white fish or trout.

You want your fillets to be half to three-quarters of an inch thick so that they cook evenly, but if you have a thinner fillet (like trout), just reduce the cooking time.

This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to cook — ideal if you have last-minute guests over for dinner. The taste is gourmet, so don’t be surprised if your friends want to join you on this cleanse! If dining solo, slightly undercook the portions you keep as leftovers so they will reheat deliciously. The turmeric and garlic will help the liver detox go smoothly.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

1⁄4 cup           chicken broth

2 Tbsp             yellow mustard (look for a sugar- free mustard made with turmeric)

3 Tbsp             organic lemon juice, divided

2 Tbsp             fresh dill, basil, tarragon or oregano, chopped or 2 tsp dried if fresh is unavailable

1 tsp                coconut nectar

4 medium       fillets  of fresh fish (about 1 lb)

2 Tbsp             coconut oil, melted

To taste           pink rock or gray sea salt

2 cloves           garlic, minced

1⁄4 tsp           ground turmeric

To serve:

Chopped green onions

Directions:

  1. To make the sauce, whisk together the broth, mustard, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, fresh herbs and coconut nectar, and the turmeric if using, in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the broiler to high. Place an ovenproof skillet or cast-iron pan six inches below the broiler, for about 10 minutes, to get it very hot.
  3. While the pan preheats, combine the coconut oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and salt in a shallow dish. Add the fish and set aside to marinate.
  4. Using an oven mitt, carefully remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the fish (skin side down if the fish has skin) to the hot pan (reserve the marinade.) Place the pan under the broiler. The fish will cook quickly, usually in five to seven minutes, depending on the thickness. Test with a fork; it should flake easily. The fish tastes best when it’s still rare inside. Transfer the cooked fish to a serving dish with a lid, cover and set aside in a warm spot.
  5. Using the same skillet, add the reserved marinade, prepared sauce and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reduces and thickens. Pour over the fish, and serve with a garnish of green onions.

I like to serve this fish with a Tomato Fennel Ragout.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp             olive oil

1 cup               red onion, chopped

1 bulb             fennel, chopped

1 cloves          garlic, minced

4 cups             Roma tomatoes, chopped

To taste           pink rock or gray sea salt

1 small            sprig fresh basil

3                      sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp                apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup           fish or chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of chopped red onion and sauté until trans- lucent (approximately five minutes).
  3. Add 1 chopped bulb of fennel (trimmed and cored) and 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for five minutes.
  4. Add 4 cups of chopped Roma tomatoes and season with pink rock or gray sea salt.
  5. Tie together 1 small sprig of fresh basil and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme with kitchen string and throw into pan.
  6. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on medium-low heat until mixture has thickened.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1⁄2 cup of fish or chicken broth, and cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. Remove sprigs. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

Recipe reprinted with permission by Julie Daniluk RHN and HarperCollins/

©HotDetox2016

Bio

Nutritionist, Julie Daniluk, RHN, hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show, now shown in over 70 countries. Her award-winning bestseller, Meals That Heal Inflammation, has helped over 100,000 people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great. Julie’s latest book, Hot Detox, was the #1 Canadian health book in 2017, with 11 weeks on the best-seller list.

She has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including The Dr. Oz Show, and is a resident nutrition expert for The Marilyn Denis Show.

Check out amazing recipes and nutrition tips at juliedaniluk.com and connect with Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk and on Twitter & Instagram @juliedaniluk

Go Ahead, Spoil Your Dinner!

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By Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, FIS, PTS

You may have heard this before. “Don’t eat before a meal; you will spoil your dinner”. My tip for the holiday season is exactly that: Spoil your dinner. Yes. Do it.

The key is to slowly change the limiting belief that you need a certain amount of food in order to feel satisfied. You don’t. The only reason why your stomach has a large capacity is to allow your ancestors to store enough food for a few days until they had a chance to hunt their next prey. In our society, food is readily available. We no longer need to wait a few days before getting fed again

The holiday season will present multiple opportunities to overeat and get tempted by foods that aren’t on your healthy-choices’ list. In order to better resist the temptation, have a bowl of soup before going out to a restaurant. Not only will you save money on an appetizer, you will also be able to resist the bread or the platter of deep-fried stuff ordered for the table. If you have eaten already, your order choice will more likely be smaller and healthier than if you are starving.

Keep in mind that you only need a small amount of food when you place your order at the restaurant. Reinforce your internal thoughts by saying to everyone else: “I had a late lunch and I am not really hungry” or “I already had an early dinner”. This will help you avoid comments on the small amount of food you are ordering.

Continually remind yourself of your new belief. Kick the old limiting beliefs: “An appetizer is not enough food for me” or “An entrée is not enough, I need to order an appetizer too”.  Repeat instead: “I ate already, so this small appetizer is perfect for me and will be plenty of food.” Change the belief that you need to feel full. You really don’t.

This doesn’t only apply to restaurants. Eating before you go to a friend’s house is also ideal, especially if you know that the place where you are going will have not-so-healthy options. Physically stand away from the buffet and indulge on conversations instead of treats.

The rule also applies for running errands. Always make sure you go grocery shopping on a full stomach. The stores are transformed into giant gingerbread houses at this time of the year and temptations are more irresistible than ever. There is nothing more detrimental than to shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you get tempted by items that are definitively not on your list.

So, go ahead, spoil your dinner!

“The key is to slowly change the limiting belief that you need a certain amount of food in order to feel satisfied.”

Bio:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founder of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, Speaker, Master Life Coach, No.1 Best-Selling Author of seven books on wellness and empowerment, FIS and PTS certified, and 2007 Fitness Instructor of the Year, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas combines 25 years in sales and 30 years in the fitness industry. She uses neuroscience to get you transformational results.

Hot Detox Asian Salad

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By Julie Daniluk, RHN

Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and turkey, or black beans — this salad is packed with protein. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar, which helps prevent adrenal strain. The amino acid tyrosine is especially important for the adrenal glands as it supports the synthesis of adrenaline (aka epinephrine). Most varieties of seaweed provide all the essential minerals your body needs to support enzyme activity, repair tissues and balance hormones.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1⁄2 lb               cooked organic chicken or turkey, sliced into 1⁄2-inch strips, or 3⁄4 cups cooked black beans (or one 14-oz can, rinsed and drained)

5 cups            napa cabbage, thinly sliced

2 cups            green beans, steamed and chopped

1⁄2 cup           carrot, grated

1⁄2 cup           green onions, chopped

1⁄2 cup           raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

1⁄4 cup           fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing:

3 Tbsp            raw sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

1⁄3 cup           dulse flakes

1⁄4 cup           raw apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp            raw liquid honey or coconut nectar

2 Tbsp            coconut aminos

1⁄2 tsp            pink rock or gray sea salt

To serve:

2 Tbsp            raw sesame seeds

Directions:

  1.  In a bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients.
  2.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or Mason jar. Pour over the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe notes: Sea vegetables are especially rich in iodine, which is key for supporting thyroid function. With a balanced thyroid, your adrenals function at their best — these glands are connected.

Recipe reprinted with permission by Julie Daniluk RHN and HarperCollins/

©HotDetox2016

Bio

Nutritionist, Julie Daniluk, RHN, hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show, now shown in over 70 countries. Her award-winning bestseller, Meals That Heal Inflammation, has helped over 100,000 people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great. Julie’s latest book, Hot Detox, was the #1 Canadian health book in 2017 with 11 weeks on the best-seller list.

She has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including The Dr. Oz Show, and is a resident nutrition expert for The Marilyn Denis Show.

Check out amazing recipes and nutrition tips at juliedaniluk.com and connect with Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk and on Twitter & Instagram @juliedaniluk

Protein: A Food-First Approach  

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By Carol Harrison, RD

Protein is the hot nutrient of the day; but just how much do you need, and can you easily achieve that through food alone? Health professionals agree a food-first approach to protein is both possible and preferable. Here’s how you can pull that off. And the clincher? It tastes a whole lot better too!

Think protein needs per meal, not per day

While traditional advice focused on meeting daily protein needs, emerging science suggests our bodies make the best use of protein for muscle synthesis when we eat it throughout the day (four meals). These sample meals show how easy this is to achieve with food:

 

Goals Calculating protein needs per meal (based on 4 evenly spaced meals) Example: Amount of protein/meal (based on 4 meals; 68 kg body weight) Sample

Meal4

 

Healthy Adult

(maintain weight)

 

0.3 g protein/kg body weight

 

20 g

¾ cup Greek yogurt + ¼ cup walnuts + fruit
 

 

Older Adult

(maintain weight)

 

 

0.4 g protein/kg body weight

 

 

27 g

Salad: 1 cup chickpeas + 1 cup pasta + 1 cup veggies + 1 cup milk/soy beverage
 

 

Healthy Adult

(weight loss)

 

 

0.5g protein/kg body weight

 

 

34 g

75 g cooked beef (size of your palm) + stir-fry veggies + 1 cup milk/soy beverage

 

Not all “protein foods” are created equal

In a recent study, three-quarters of shoppers incorrectly categorized peanut butter as “medium” or “high in protein”. In fact, to get the same amount of protein in one 75 gram serving of meat (size of a deck of cards), you would have to eat seven tablespoons of peanut butter (600+ calories).

Here’s a helpful guide from unlock.ca for categorizing protein foods:

Most protein: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu

Some protein: legumes, nuts/nut butter, seeds/seed butter, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, soy beverages, yogurt

Little protein: whole grain breads, pasta, quinoa

For overall health, no single protein source really trumps another, but if you are concerned with calories, choose sources that have the most protein per serving. They all come with a unique package of beneficial nutrients; ideally, you want to be including as much variety as possible.

 

Take a food-first approach

Most consumers (80%) are looking to get their protein from food and drinks that are naturally high in protein. Food not only tastes better than supplements, it is less costly, less processed and perhaps most importantly, research shows whole foods are greater than the sum of their parts.

 

Consider this: for muscle synthesis, research shows it’s better to eat the whole egg versus the egg white alone. This synergy also happens when we eat foods together. Not only do you get an excellent source of protein and iron from beef, but eating meat increases the iron absorbed from plant food sources of iron by a whopping 180%. Adding some meat to your lentil/veggie salad, for example, will increase the iron you absorb from the lentils significantly.

 

Keep things simple – build a “healthy plate”

The back-to-basics advice may seem overly simplistic, but we don’t just eat protein. And when you consider that about 50% of calories in the Canadian diet come from ultra-processed foods (baked goods, salty snacks, fast food, pop), for many of us the healthy plate is a good place to start. Aim for a healthy plate at each meal of the day with:

  • ½ vegetables and or fruit
  • ¼ quality protein (beef, fish, legumes, nuts/seeds, cheese)
  • ¼ grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice)

For more nutrition advice you can trust, visit unlockfood.ca

Bio

Carol Harrison is a registered dietitian who loves her daily workouts! She has a food nutrition communications company in Toronto. Follow Carol on Twitter and IG:  @greatmealideas