Monday, October 28, 2013


I'm a dietitian, I try eat well most of the time and too much candy makes my kids insane. But guess what? I'm not against Halloween! In fact, I love it! Despite the fact that my older son recently whined "I only get homemade candy! I just want something from a box!", candy is actually part of our lives. My kids will go from supper, to dessert, and back to their broccoli.

Halloween is a fun tradition and I think one of the best times to teach kids how to navigate our world of processed and high sugar foods. Start the night with a healthy, but favourite, supper. Don't make a big deal about it, or demand all the vegetables be eaten. Just enjoy supper together, talking about the fun night ahead. 

For parents of young children, control the number of houses you visit. That automatically controls how much candy you collect. Giving candy out is just as fun for young kids. That night, don't really sweat how much candy they eat. I believe restricting it, forcing them to choose just one etc. is just going to make them want it more. Sort the candy, have a few pieces and then pack it away, brush their teeth, and head to bed. You can even offer a healthy bedtime snack like an apple if they are hungry.

For older kids, start the evening the same way. Then, they may go out for a while, but put a reasonable time limit on it. Cut off at 8:00 pm or so. Then end the night the same way, offering up a healthy bedtime snack and heading to bed.

Teens shouldn't be trick or treating anymore!! Offer up other fun ways to celebrate Halloween. A party, or dressing up and making the house spooky for younger kids. They can still have candy that night, don't feel sad for them!

Adults? Don't buy too much candy. Don't buy a lot of your favourites, although a small amount can be fun while you're handing candy out. Get more generous as the night progresses! And don't buy discount candy afterwards!

Treat Halloween as a fun, one off kind of night! Don't buy snack size chocolate bars all year. There is far too much focus on good or bad foods, and that feeling of trying to deprive ourselves generally leads to over-indulging. 

Want more info on feeding kids? Visit

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Eating in Seattle!

After a wonderful long weekend in Seattle, we've had a crazy busy week to follow it up. My parents left at 7:45 Wednesday morning, and the little boys and I had a few minutes to compose ourselves and start the day. An hour after my parents drove away, the four of us were in separate places and the week had begun. Thankfully it was Wednesday and the weekend came up fast. My younger son is sick today, and although I may be a bad mum for admitting, the down time today has been great! I do feel sad for him though...
Greg and I ate like kings in Seattle. There are so many fresh, plant based, local restaurants around, it was hard to choose. But we researched like scientists before going, poring over menus, strategizing...I often agonize over what to order, and then make a mistake and end up wanting something else, and Greg always orders perfectly. So on this trip I turned all my ordering over to Greg, we even shook on it. And it was fun to surrender and allow him to make the decision for me.
Day One, after the drive and outlet mall, we hit up the Wayward Vegan, for plant based diner food and generous portions. I had the vegetarian ribs, with a side of sweet potato fries and garlicky greens. Greg had Pull no Pork over the greens. It must've been 2 cups of kale on my plate, and I counted it towards my green smoothie challenge, I couldn't fit in anything more. We worked out in the hotel gym and walked a lot that night.
Day two, we had granola and coconut yogurt in our room before heading out for a run around Green Lake. Getting lost forced me to do a 15km run, but in the end I was thankful. We had coffee in "Tangle Town" (aptly named, and the reason I got lost) before some shopping and walking. Then headed to Chaco Canyon Café for some more great food!
I stuck to the Green Smoothie challenge as able, or at least ate greens a lot.

The delicious "Hippie Bowl" for me, and a steamed green salad for Greg, topped with tofu.

Not to be missed, although I was full. A doughnut shop that has taken all the garbage out of doughnuts using whole, plant based ingredients. Still high in calories, but it's good to support companies doing things "right"!

My raspberry doughnut. Fresh raspberries in the icing. I couldn't eat the whole thing, but made sure to eat all the icing!
We headed out for another run, I managed 6 km along the ocean. Then it was supper. We made this our fancy meal, "The Plum Bistro", where I had Tempeh Vermouth, with Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes. Greg had the Mama Africa salad, over millet (whooo, one of my fave grains!) The water was full of cucumber and lemons and ice cold.

Day three, we were feeling a little food logged. We ran after having breakfast in the room, and then decided a light coffee and muffin "lunch" was more than enough. Another workout in the hotel gym and walking all day (over 10km of walking), we were ready for supper. Thrive serves up healthy, organic and local food. And we had an amazing supper. Warm grain bowls, topped with kale chips and "bella burger" crumbles. Loaded with vegetables and served over quinoa and red rice. It was amazing.

Our last meal out was breakfast on the final day. Another run along the ocean, then off to Portage Bay Café. They have a breakfast bar and after your order comes, you load it up with local organic berries, organic whipped cream and shaved almonds. It was beyond amazing. We both ordered the whole wheat, oat and huckleberry pancakes. Then topped it with mounds of delicious berries! Sadly, it was so delicious, I didn't get a shot of it! Just the breakfast bar... sorry.
Not to be missed, Molly Moon ice cream. They use local, organic ingredients and had a few coconut milk options. I don't actually recall which day we managed to squeeze dessert in, but we did! We walked all night every night too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekend in Seattle!

We're heading to Seattle this weekend, without the kids. There's always worry for a mum leaving her kids for any stretch of time, but Greg and I are going to eat and walk our way through another city and the boys are in good hands. My parents flew in for the weekend to stay with them. Everyone is excited, which takes away any guilt!

Greg and I usually create bootcamp style weekends, with double daily workouts, lots of great food, and walking non-stop between. It's a great way to see a new city and make room for the eating we'll do!

Stay tuned for my adventures!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Know Yourself

The key to successfully improving your eating or exercise habits is knowing yourself. When someone picks up a diet book with meal plans that stray so far from what they're used to and what they like, they are setting themselves up for failure.

One thing I've learned about myself is that I love challenges and goals for a set period of time. The 12-week half marathon training plan, a 16-week marathon plan and recently, smaller challenges that can be accomplished in a few minutes a day.

It started with a 30-day ab challenge from There was no way I'd miss a day. Well, actually once I planned to skip a day, because my shoulders were so sore from planks, but I doubled up the next day, and come day 30 I had done all the workouts.

Then I found this fun website and I'm currently doing the 30 day strength challenge for runners. I occasionally double up on the workouts and take a day off, but I have the chart printed and I initial each completed day, and I know I'll make the 30-days.

This month, I also signed up for a 30 day green smoothie challenge. Today, I ate my green smoothie as a salad, but ultimately, I'm sticking to it. I'm also not following the recipes because I have so many apples and pears to throw in the smoothies, but it's fun, they send a shopping list and five green smoothie recipes each week! Their next challenge runs in January, check it out at

Next up for me, a 30-day arm challenge from

So figure out what works for you, or talk to a registered dietitian or personal trainer to get help in figuring out what works for you.