Eating clean means different things to different people. For some clean eating may mean a vegetarian or vegan diet, switching to gluten free, removing processed foods, or choosing organics. For some, eating clean can be as simple as removing junk food like chips and candies from our diets.
Eating clean is subjective, and is based on what our current diet is. For me, clean eating is all in the pronunciation. Being able to pronounce all of the ingredients in what I eat, and knowing what each ingredient is. When I think of clean, I always think of water, water washes away the dirt and grime on our cars, our floors, our clothes so it stands to reason water will wash the toxins out of our body as well.
Any change that you can make towards cleaning up your dietary intake is a positive one. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a huge change, and that small steps forward are more successful changes than making a drastic change all at once.
You wouldn’t attempt to drive your car when it has no fuel. You know better, and would make sure to put something in the tank before heading out even for a short trip around town, let along a long trip.
Food is our fuel, it’s our energy source that runs all of our body’s systems. So why do we continually see people trying to workout without enough fuel in the tank? It’s important to make sure that you have a little something to eat before your workout – always.
Round It Out – Plan a pre-workout snack to have a protein, carb, and a fruit or vegetable. Of course whatever you choose is going to depend on personal preferences, and any dietary restrictions you might have, but some of my favorite pre-workout dining includes milk, eggs, nut butters, cottage cheese, yogurt & granola. All items high in protein that will help you to feel more satisfied yet keeping it light. Morning-glory or Bran muffins, oatmeal with fruit or nuts, or high fiber cereals are all carbs that have whole or fuller grains to help you feel fuller without eating a large amount. Bananas and apples are my favorite go-to fruits to round it out. They are easy to take on the go, relatively mess-free and provide a decent amount of nutrients and fiber. Mixed melon, cucumber, and mixed berries are a fresh, light change as well. Making a smoothie to go is also a great way to incorporate more than one of these nutrient groups together in a tasty way. Try adding spinach for a high iron boost in a fruit/veg smoothie!
Did You Know? Cramping when running or swimming after eating a fuller meal is actually your body trying to digest that food. The blood that supplying your body’s intestinal tract gets redirected to your arms and legs, and the food “stalls” in your intestines.
Don’t let your car sputter out, just make sure you put premium in!
What a great day to change your life. So where do you start?
Part One – Overhauling Your Dietary Habits
This is a huge piece to the wellness puzzle, and oh my goodness is there ever a TON of conflicting information out there. It’s impossible to be able to tell the good information from the not-so-good sometimes, especially with all the different “fad” diets, cleanses, and restrictions that affect our eating habits. The resource that is recommended by Health Canada is Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating which includes examples of what foods fit into each of four food groups. It also offers tips on how to eat optimally for your age and gender, beginning at age two (younger children should follow the advice of their family physician to ensure all health requirements are being met).
Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating also gives examples of proper portion sizes. The reality is that we could actually be over or under-eating certain foods and not even know it. Did you know that one bagel is actually two servings of grain products? That two eggs is one serving of Meat and Alternatives? That half a cup of pure fruit juice is one serving? I have personally found it helpful to have a food scale in my home. Having the visual really helped me to learn what a single portion looks like, and has helped me to ensure that myself as well as my entire family is eating a healthy and balanced diet. So much information is available just by going to:
Real change takes work, commitment, and willpower. Dietary habits are life-long habits which you have become accustomed to from a young age, and it can be difficult to learn a different eating culture. Changing small things (to start!) can help to find long-term success. A few tips that you can do to get started are:
- Choose whole grain bread products over white, it will help you feel full longer
- Increase water consumption – drink a glass of water before you eat a meal
- Choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice
- Trim visible fats from your meat and remove the skin from poultry
- Try something new! Tofu, quinoa, soy, brown rice, lentils etc. might sound bizarre to you, but you might amaze yourself with the items that you actually like!
It is important to note that that specialized diets do have a place in wellness, however if you are restricting anything from your diet (ie: dairy, gluten/wheat, sugar) My advice is to have a registered dietician or physician’s recommendation and guidance to do so safely.
Join us at the Eau Claire YMCA as we embark on a new culinary adventure! Participants from the ages of 10-13 are welcomed to register for this class and enjoy the art of cooking!
Participants will get to experience the joy of substituting ingredients in their recipe, learning knife skills, practicing reading recipes and labels, and learning to make healthy decisions when it comes to ingredients.
Program runs every Wednesday from 6:00-7:30pm and begins on May 6th. If you are interested in registering for this program, please click here to download a registration form and return it to Eau Claire.
The kids had requested being able to make healthy chicken nuggets, made with home-style ingredients and no preservatives. They really enjoyed the outcome!
After splitting into groups the kids each got to try cracking eggs (only one went on the floor!), cutting up the chicken and using the oven.
Our NSTEP Healthy Eating workshop will be returning next month on march 14th 2015 and is open to all grade 6 members, to register simply email me with your name, phone number and any food allergy’s!
Youth Coordinator Shawnessy YMCA
GRADE 6 SCAVENGER HUNT!
Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Crowfoot YMCA in Multipurpose Room #3!
A site-wide scavenger hunt for Grade 6 youth. Participants will be put into teams and will have to complete a series of fun tasks around the YMCA. After the scavenger hunt, there will be a party with food, prizes, and fun!
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Register at the front desk at Crowfoot YMCA by Thursday, January 29, 2015 (Barcode #102369).
This is a FREE event for Grade 6 members (ages 10-12).
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