Friday, December 30, 2011

Stephen Colbert Night in Canada!

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2008.
I definitely have a man crush on Stephen Colbert.

There, I said it.

God love him, he's today's 2008 recycled Funny Friday.

Have a great weekend!

(email subscribers, head to the blog, this one's definitely worth it)

video

[Originally posted in May 2008]

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Loot Bag Manifesto

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2008.

My 4 year old came home from a birthday party the other day with a loot-bag that save for one small trinket, contained solely candy.

She's 4.

4 year olds are thrilled with anything. You could put coloured popsicle sticks and cotton balls in a loot bag and they'd be happy - why do you need to send home sugar?

For guests of our daughters we generally raid our local dollar store and buy things like little fairy skirts, wooden puzzles or cars that can be put together and painted with parents, felt doorknockers where we included lettering for kids' names, small dolls, stickers, beading kits for personalized bracelets, pirate hats, squishy balls and play-doh.

Thankfully, my loot bag manifesto is a short one:
I hereby proclaim that an enlightened loot bag contains no candy!
Pass it on!

[Originally published October 23rd, 2008]


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coca Cola Lies to Doctors?

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2008.


Sure looks that way to me.

The ad pictured above appeared on page 1632 of the June 17th edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The ad leads,
"Can't remember the last Coca-Cola ad targeted at children? There's a reason"
Reading the paragraph below,
"Parents tell us they prefer to be the ones teaching their children about beverage choices. That's why for over 50 years we've adhered to a company policy that prohibits advertising soft drinks to children."
Then they go on to brag about their voluntary efforts,
"And as a founding member of Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, we'vre recetnly extended this policy to include all forms of media, including broadcast, print, the web and beyond."
So what's my issue?

Well I can remember boatloads of Coca-Cola advertisements targeting children. From the famous Mean Joe Green football jersey commercial, to Santa Claus, little stuffed vending machine animals, animated polar bears, video games and recording and sports idols.

Thankfully, youtube remembers them as well and a smattering of them are posted down below (email subscribers, you'll have to actually visit the blog by clicking here as embedded videos don't make it into the email).

Visiting the Coca-Cola company's website you'll find that there's a lot of small print attached to their pledge but basically it comes down to this - it only applies to programming that is specifically geared towards children under the age of 12. I suppose that means targeting children during any family friendly shows (American/Canadian Idol, sports, some prime time stuff) is fair game and I suppose it also means Coca-Cola thinks your 12 year old is an adult.

What a beautiful example of how Big Food sponsored voluntary "regulation" through grandiose sounding endeavours such as the "Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative" aren't worth the paper they're written on.

[Originally posted July 23rd, 2008]

MEAN JOE GREEN


SANTA CLAUS






CHRISTMAS (Entire commercial with 12 year olds)


STUFFED VENDING MACHINE ANIMALS


POLAR BEARS











NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK


CHRISTINA AGUILERA


MICHAEL JORDAN


YAO MING & LeBRON JAMES


GRAND THEFT AUTO (Videogame)


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dr. Sharma and I Have Single Bypasses!

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2008.


What you see above is a picture of me and my friend and colleague Dr. Arya Sharma (The guy on the left. The guy with the stethoscope? That’s the Grill’s owner “Dr.” Jon) at the Heart Attack Grill (blogged about previously here), but really what you're seeing is a picture of Arya and me practicing what we preach.

You might think that my statement above doesn't make sense, after all, the Canadian Medical Association Journal labeled me a "nutritional watchdog" and I run a behavioural weight management program and Arya, well Arya's the head of Capital Health's Weight Wise - the country's largest tertiary care bariatric centre and the scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, how could us eating - "flatliner" fries and "single bypass" burgers reflect our practices?

Simple - we preach that food and calories, while worth monitoring for nutrition and weight, are also used in life for comfort and celebration, and if you can't use food for comfort and celebration from time to time, you're probably on a diet and long-term, it's probably going to fail.

In terms of my lifestyle, excluding vacations and conferences I probably eat out a maximum of twice a month and just like most folks, I enjoy the taste of some foods that are let's say less than optimally nutritious, and sometimes I'll indulge. However what I don't do is give myself a carte blanche during those meals out - instead I choose the healthiest option that I think I'll enjoy so for instance at the Heart Attack Grill I had the single bypass (rather than the double, triple or quadruple), shared a fries with Arya and had water to drink.

As I regularly say weight management and healthy eating - they're about living the healthiest lives you can enjoy, not the healthiest lives you can tolerate. The former's a liveable lifestyle, the latter's just another short-term diet.

So if you're in Phoenix and you're so inclined, the Heart Attack Grill might well be worth a visit, but as the posting on their door states in big, bold, red writing,
"Caution! This Establishment is BAD for your Health!"



[Originally posted October 9th, 2008]

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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Canadian Government Thinks Dietitians are Useless!

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2008.

Or so it might seem.

Do you work for the Canadian Government? If you do, perhaps you'd like to call your HR department and ask them why it is that the federal government's health care insurance plans don't cover the services of a registered dietitian and while I can't speak for all provinces, neither does the plan for the Province of Ontario's government workers.

That sure seems a bit incongruent doesn't it?

After all, we know that the government worked closely with the Dietitians of Canada in the creation of the Food Guide and putting aside my various condemnations of the Guide's non-evidence based recommendations, doesn't it strike you as odd that while the government might feel dietitians are valuable contributors to counsel Health Canada on nutrition that they don't insist their insurers pay for individual dietetic consultations for their employees?

It's also odd given that the Canadian Government is well aware of the perils of obesity and the role of a healthy diet in the prevention of chronic disease.

David Butler Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer has been heard to state that,
"with the rapid increase in obesity in young people, that this generation currently in childhood will be the first ever to experience poorer health than their parents"
and that,
"by increasing their levels of physical activity, improving eating habits and achieving healthy weights, Canadians can help ensure good health and prevent many chronic diseases, including some cancers, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke."
Tony Clement, our former Minister of Health has stated,
"More than ever, Canadians understand the consequences of an unhealthy diet. We know that a bad diet and no exercise can lead to serious conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer."
And it's not as if the government's insurance plan doesn't cover complementary health care and paramedical services. Both the federal and the province of Ontario's plans cover psychologists, optometrists, chiropractors, chiropodists, audiologists and naturopaths. I'm told they even shell out for homeopathic consultations, a highly contentious practice desperately lacking in evidence-based results covered elegantly in the Guardian by Dr. Ben Goldacre and with mirth yesterday regarding its use in obesity treatment by Dr. J. on Calorie Lab.

If you'd like to complain to our current Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq feel free to click on her name to send her office an email.

If you're looking to email David Butler-Jones, while according to his website the Chief Public Health Officer "welcomes your comments and suggestions", his office's website doesn't provide an email address to which to address them. Instead they provide a fill in the blank form to fill out and Dr. Butler-Jones' snail mail contacts. I was however able to find his phone number in the Government directory and so if you'd like to call him to discuss this just buzz (613)954-8524 or fax him at(613)954-8529.

If you work for the Canadian government, please share this post with your colleagues.

Anyone out there up for a petition?

UPDATE: A kind reader has informed me that really the person in charge of these type of decisions is Mr. Vic Toews from the Treasury Board. If you'd like to email Vic Toews simply click his name.

[Originally posted January 9th, 2008]

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Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Bye Bye! (and good riddance?)

Certainly not the most auspicious year in history as evidenced by this week's Funny Friday Jib Jab retrospective video.

Here's rooting for 2012!

Will be off next week but will have some of my favourite posts from way back in 2008.

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!



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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resolution Series Day 12: YOU!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 12: YOU!

Is there anyone more neglected by you in your life than yourself?

I know it's cliché, but truly, if you take better care of yourself, you'll likely be better able to take care of those you love.

It may mean asking your family members to pick up some slack around the house. It may mean dropping some volunteer positions that are taking up too much of your time. It may mean organizing a car pool. It may mean carving out some 'you' time from a weekly schedule filled with everyone else. It may mean spending a few dollars on higher quality foods, exercise equipment or new walking shoes. It may mean asking your spouse to look after the kids while occasionally go dancing with your friends.

Whatever it takes, this year resolve to ensure that you not only take care of those who you love around you, but that you also take care of yourself.

You deserve it, and if you don't look out for yourself, who will?

Make this the first of many years of you.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Resolution Series Day 11: Small Steps!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 11: Small Steps!

It goes somewhat hand in hand with striving not to be perfect, but the fact remains, people often take flying leaps at their New Year's Resolutions.

The thing about flying leaps? You tend to land on your face.

Small steps?

You might actually get somewhere.

Unfortunately the road to New Year's Resolutions for many has been paved by reality television, and real reality sure ain't the same thing.

Reality television teaches you to try to lose huge amounts of weight each and every week, to restrict, deny, and avoid dietary indulgences, that exercise in order to be useful needs to be performed in massive amounts (often the point of throwing up) and be painful.

And while those strategies may well work for contestants on a reality television show, they sure aren't going to work well for a working mom of 3 kids in hockey, or in my case, a working dad of 3 kids with a blog.

Remember, it's the healthiest life you can enjoy, not the healthiest life you can tolerate. Any more and you can probably kiss your resolution goodbye.

This year? Resolve to take small steps and leave the flying leaps to idiotic television shows.



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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Resolution Series Day 10: Look at Pricetags!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 10: Look at Pricetags!

So let's say you wanted to buy a new outfit and that you decided to shop on Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive. If you didn't look at price tags before you bought your clothes, do you think you'd be pleasantly surprised when you got that month's Visa bill?

I'm guessing not.

Weight wise, the currency of weight is calories, and unfortunately the world out there? It's the Rodeo Drive of calories, where foods that don't look like much, or foods that are "healthy", may still have stupidly high, non-intuitive caloric prices.

I'm not saying calories are the be all and end all of nutrition, but they're certainly a nutritional determinant of health. Research regularly and conclusively points at calorie reduction as life extending, and therefore even if weight's not your concern, a reduction in your total calorie consumption may be beneficial.

Thankfully nowadays calories are easy to identify. Whether by means of nutrition facts panels, online resources, or in some States, even posted on menu boards.

So this year, resolve to look at price tags, with the question to be asking yourself, "Is it worth the calories", and where sometimes, even if they're exceedingly high, the answer's going to be "YES!".

Calories are but one branch of your decision making tree, where other branches might include your stress level, religious holidays, how long it's been since you've indulged in it, how good or bad your day might have been, what your calories have looked like lately, etc.

But they do make a difference.  For instance, I've never met a muffin worth its calories, and once you start looking at price tags, you might feel the same.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Resolution Series Day 9: Burn your Pigeonholes!


12 Days of Resolutions.  12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not.  12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable.  Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 9:  Burn your Pigeonholes!

People sometimes lock themselves down.

Either they always have to be "perfect", never straying from some restrictive ideal, or instead they pigeonhole themselves into some dietary regime or strategy.

This year resolve to do neither.

Striving to be perfect is a sure way to first "fall off the wagon", and then "not get back on track", because who wants to be on an impossible track.

My thinking is that rather than try to be perfect, do your best, remembering of course that your best will vary, and some days, compared with others, objectively your best won't look very good, despite the fact that subjectively it's actually your best.

Pigeonholes are dangerous too. Declare yourself a staunch anything food wise (low carb, paleo, vegan, low fat, etc.) and suddenly you too have that many more opportunities to let yourself down - and if let yourself down often enough, you're liable to quit whatever strategy it is that keeps making you feel guilty.

Sure, if you want to advocate a particular style of eating, go for it, just don't beat yourself up if you're not perfectly adherent.

Don't strive for perfection, and don't live a pigeonhole, instead do and eat your best, and rather than worry that your best isn't perfect, worry if it is.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Innocent Joy of Being Evil

I know Santa pays attention to naughty and nice.

Hopefully the joy this little girl gets from being naughty doesn't translate into a lifetime of evil.....but boy does she have evil joy down pat as is evidenced by this just 9 seconds long Funny Friday video.

Have a great weekend!

(email subscribers, hit the blog to watch)



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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Resolution Series Day 8: Beeps and Boops!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 8: Beeps and Boops!

Thankfully these days, if we want to remind ourselves of something, we don't need to tie a string onto our finger, instead, we can use the magical world around us.

Everything these days beeps or boops.

Cellphone and smartphone calendars and alarms, reminder apps, Outlook, text messaging, emails. There's no shortage of means to get in touch with oneself.

The thing about resolutions, by their very definition they're things you're not accustomed to doing in your normal, default, daily routine.

So how do you turn a resolution into a habit?

You consciously remind yourself over, and over, and over again, of those very things you're resolving to change.

This year resolve to remember, and resolve to do so without using one extra ounce of brain power or resilience, resolve to do so with beeps or boops.

Set your cell or smart phone calendar to remind you to snack, to shop for fresh produce, to exercise. Schedule your resolutions into your outlook reminders. Use text messaging services like  OhDon'tForget.com or send emails out into the future.

Why would you naturally remember to do things you aren't accustomed to doing?

Beeps and boops? They're your secret resolution weapons. Wield them well.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Resolution Series Day 7: Construct, don't Destruct!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 7: Construct, don't Destruct!

I've blogged about this resolution before.

This year resolve to ask yourself constructive questions, rather than destructive ones.

People generally interpret their lives through a series of reflective questions, and when things are going well, we tend to fall into questions like,
"What's my problem"

"What's wrong with me?"

"Why can't I just do this?"
And brains? Well, they're very accommodating. If you ask your brain to point out, "what's wrong" with you, it will readily and happily do so.

Self-destructing by piling guilt, anger and derision on yourself is no way to build a lifelong change.

If you want to change for good, I'd recommend you build on constructive, positive questions, because remember, your brain is accommodating.

So instead of the destructive questions like those above, when things aren't going well, when you're unhappy with your performance or the situation, resolve to ask these constructive questions instead,
"What can I do right now that'll help?"

"What can I do tomorrow to improve things?"

"What can I do today that I can be proud of?"
And suddenly, instead of beating yourself up, your helping yourself out.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Resolution Series Day 6: Meet Your New Best Friend!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 6: Meet Your New Best Friend!

Who is it?

YOU!

What do I mean?

We don't treat ourselves very nicely.

Whether it's struggling with healthy living behaviours, parenting, or doing our jobs, we're usually our own worst critic and most of us regularly heap piles of self scorn on our already weary shoulders.

There's an easy-ish way out of the circle of shame - treat yourself like you would your best friend.

Whatever's going on or going wrong in your life, ask yourself what you'd tell your best friend if they were recounting the exact same scenario.

My guess?

It'll be both kinder and more constructive than the guilt and self-loathing you're likely to be loading on yourself.

Shouldn't we all resolve to be our own best friends?

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Resolution Series Day 5: A New After-school Activity!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 5: A New After-school Activity!

There's no debate, exercise is the single most important modifiable determinant of health.  The even better news is that there's really no need for skill - plain old walking works great.  Of course that doesn't stop any of us parents from schlepping our kids here there and everywhere for exercise "lessons" - soccer, hockey, skating, dance, the list, and the time involved, can sometimes seem and feel endless.

But with all of those after-school sports, is something else suffering?

I'd say so.  In fact I'd say that perhaps all of those after school skill building activities are actually decreasing the likelihood of parents teaching their children the single most health conferring skill imaginable - the skill involved in transforming raw ingredients into food. The skill of cooking.

Cooking is quickly becoming a lost art.

With the incredibly fast pace of our lives and world these days, it's no wonder cooking's falling by the wayside. Between chauffeuring kids to their various after school activities, to the electronic tethers we all now wear, time has become more pressured than ever. And of course restaurants of all sorts are everywhere to fill the void.

Resistance isn't futile.

Resolve this year to ensure you teach your children how to cook (and if you yourself don't know how, this is your opportunity to ask them to help you to learn).

Find a simple and easy to follow cookbook (like for instance any of the Looney Spoons' books) and book off one night a week as a family cooking night.

Each week a different family member gets to take a turn picking, prepping and cooking a recipe. Of course parents can and should help, this isn't about division of labour, this is about sharing and learning the love and joy of cooking.

Pick the recipe out on a pre-specified night each week at the dinner table. Ensure you schedule a time to shop for the recipe's ingredients before the day of, and perhaps even prep the ingredients together the night before cooking so that putting things together the next day is a quick snap.

Your kid missing one extra after school activity isn't likely to have any negative long term impact on their health. Their leaving your home not knowing how to cook will, as not only will it lead them into the processed food world's nutritionally bereft embrace, it might lead them to lead their future families into it as well.

In a sense, your family cooking nights?  They're for your unborn grandchildren.

(P.S. - Not my wife and kid up above)

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Stories - Dying, Personal Responsibility and 23.5 hours

Dr. Ken Murray tells us how doctors die.

Wonderful piece on how personal responsibility is a horrible way to consider disease prevention or treatment (when you read this think about things like weight bias and the parental no defense to the food industry).

Toronto's Mike Evans wonders if you can survive on 23 1/2 hours a day (fabulous video) - link here for email subscribers and embedded below for visitors:




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Friday, December 09, 2011

Do Your Kids Smile for their School Portraits?

Mine sometimes do...but certainly not always.

Today's Funny Friday?

Behind the scenes of school portraiture.

(Email subscribers, head to the blog to watch)

Have a great weekend!


School Portrait (2011) from Michael Berliner on Vimeo.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Resolution Series Day 4: Reclaim Your Table!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 4: Reclaim Your Table

I know you have one. You might even have two. A dining room version and a kitchen version.

But do you use them?

Most of us (sadly me included many nights), pile up our plates and head to the living room. It's a practice we all ought to stop, and assuming my wife's in agreement, this one's a resolution for us as well. We're going to rediscover our table, maybe not every night, but certainly some and maybe many.

If you live alone, eating at the table will allow you to pay attention to your food and actually enjoy your bites rather than just mindless chewing (and if the bites aren't as enjoyable as you'd like, that might be a cue for you to try some new dishes). Turn on some of your favourite music, reflect on your day, and savour your meal. If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, eating mindfully might allow you to get away with smaller portions than those you'd have plated for your televised meal.

If you live with adult loved ones or roommates, eating at the table will allow you to share your days, and spend a few moments of quality time in a world that has too few.

If you live with children, eating at the table will first and foremost teach them that families eat at tables, but has also been shown to be correlated with a healthier diet for the children, lesser body weights, and decreased adolescent acting out type behaviours.

Don't let your kitchen table just be a place to pile stuff up.

This year resolve to reclaim your table and stake your dietary flag in as often as you possibly can.

(P.S. - That's not my table)

- Resolution series to continue on Monday!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

What I Now Have in Common with Dr. Oz

Simon and Schuster's Free Press!

Just a quick thank you and announcement post to let you know that my first non-self published book is slated to hit shelves in early 2013.

It'll be about my experiences and the lessons I've learned over the course of the 8 years it's been since I helped to co-found the Bariatric Medical Institute, and how to translate those lessons into real world, long term successes.

A huge thank you to my fabulous literary agent Yfat Reiss-Gendell from Foundry Literary and Media, and also to my fabulous "agent agent" Holly Bodger as without her advice, I'd never have met Yfat.

Of course thanks too to my editors at Free Press. I couldn't ask for a better team and imprint and am both thrilled and humbled to be counted among their authors.

Lastly, a tremendous thanks to all of the wonderful people who've trusted us with their care, and to my family for their incredible patience and love.

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Resolution Series Day 3: Lose a Box!

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 3: Lose a Box!

When my wife and I first met, her freezer was full of boxes. There were chicken fingers, burritos, pierogies, and fish sticks.

Now I can't brag too much. While I wasn't a box sort of bachelor, my staples were home made burgers, steaks, pizzas and chicken wings.

Over time our dietary worlds have changed - in part because of the career path I found myself upon, in part because of simply getting older/wiser, and in part because we had children.

Nowadays there are no boxes in our freezer.  In fact it's an extremely rare meal that's not home made, from scratch.

Of course we didn't get to where we are now overnight. Instead we slowly lost boxes.

I think the pierogies might have been the first to go, followed by the fish sticks. A few years later the chicken fingers were gone and finally the burritos.

You don't need to get where you're going overnight. In fact that's a great way to not get there.  Flying leaps land you on your face.

Instead start with a small and very doable step.  Why not take a boxed food inventory of your freezer and resolve to permanently lose the most nutritionally offensive box?

In it's place?

Learn a new home made, from scratch, produce rich meal.

Once one box is successfully done and gone, consider when you might want to tackle the next.

In terms of what's replaced our boxes, here's one we love. It's stupidly healthy, ridiculously inexpensive, strangely coloured, but wonderfully delicious and extremely hearty:
Lose a Box, Stupid Easy, Beet Curry (Serves 4)

1 large beet
1 can coconut milk
1 can chickpeas (rinsed)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 to 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube (depending how salt sensitive you are)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup Brown rice or quinoa

1. Cook chickpeas until tender
2. Cook brown rice or quinoa on side to serve over
3. Peel and dice beet root and cook in simmering water until tender
4. Chop up beet leaves
5. Saute garlic and onion with some sesame oil for extra flavour
6. Add coconut milk, diced beet root, chickpeas, tomato paste, tiny bit of stock cube and curry powder and bring to boil and when boiling add in chopped beet leaves (or cooking greens). Boil for 5 more minutes
7. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve over brown rice or quinoa

Per serving 410 calories, 12g protein, 9g fibre, 427mg sodium


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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Resolution Series Day 2: Pre-Eat


12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.
Day 2: Pre-Eat

Another incredibly easy one.

You're going to have lots of celebratory meals this month. Office get togethers, family dinners, vacationing, etc. Most folks think that their best plan is to ensure they skimp on their calories all day long so that when their celebratory meal time comes around, they've got more caloric room for indulgences.

That's a terrible plan.

Why?

Because you'll end up combining frank hunger with a terrifically human reason to eat (celebration), along with markedly more indulgent food, social pressures, and probably alcohol.

And hunger wins of course. Go to the supermarket hungry and you'll know what I mean, you shop differently when you're hungry.

Sitting down to eat hungry is exactly the same, just on a smaller scale. Simply put, you'll be shopping from your plate.

But what happens when you go to the supermarket not hungry? Well you buy what you need and aren't tempted to buy much else.

Show up to your festive meal not hungry and you'll eat what you need - including a more indulgent menu given the circumstances, but by not being hungry, and by being in control, you'll have a far easier time navigating your choices and your portions.

My recommendation? Resolve to "pre-eat" all of this year's celebrations. Not only have all of your day's meals and snacks, but ensure you have an extra 200-300 calorie, protein inclusive snack half an hour before you head out to your dinner. The calories you'll spend "pre-eating" will be dramatically outweighed by the calories you don't consume from the seconds you leave on the table, the more thoughtful navigation of choices and a more controlled consumption of dessert.

You don't crave green leafy salads when you're hungry. The flip side of that? You don't crave much at all when you're full. So this year, pre-eat, avoid hunger, and thoughtfully indulge because it's a celebration and not uncontrollably indulge because you're hungry.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Resolution Series Day 1: Like Em!


Yes, I'm Jewish, but that's not going to stop me from glomming on to the "12 Days Of" theme.

My 12 Days?

12 Days of Resolutions. 12 resolutions that will help steer you towards a healthier lifestyle, whether you've got weight you'd like to lose or not. 12 resolutions that are each in and of themselves extremely straight forward and doable. Some might involve doing, others simply thinking, and if any of them don't seem useful to you, skip on to the next.

Which brings me to my first recommended resolution:

Day1: Like Em!

This one's pretty straight forward, and pretty darn easy too. Simply put? For any of your coming year's resolutions or lifestyle interventions, resolve to only start ones that you think you'll actually like.

What do I mean?

Too many people make far too dramatic, broad, general, or strict resolutions, and are then surprised when a few months later, their resolutions are barely a memory.

It's this phenomenon that pays the bills at every gym in the world - people take a flying leap at a far too aggressive and/or time intensive program and surprise, when they get sick of trying to bite off more than they can chew, they stop chewing.

Weight wise, the more weight you want to permanently lose, the more of your lifestyle you're going to have to permanently change. Trying to adopt changes you don't like is a sure fire way to ensure that they're not going to be permanent.

So this year, resolve to like them. Analyze each and every resolution through the lens of, "Can I keep happily keep living this way"? Because if you can't do it happily, you're probably not going to keep doing it.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Beauty of a Single Second

Life's fleeting.

Today's Funny Friday video isn't so much funny as it is astounding in its ability to demonstrate how much beauty can exist in even a single second.

Thanks to my wonderful wife and my delicious children, I'm blessed with many such seconds.

Have a great weekend!


Seconds Of Beauty - 1st round compilation from The Beauty Of A Second on Vimeo.

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

American Dietetic Association Under Fire from RDs for Corporate Ties


Over the years much has been said about the close relationship between the American Dietetic Association and the food industry, but not too much has been done about it.

Perhaps that's changing.

Thanks to Canadian RD Cara Rosenbloom for pointing me to a grass roots initiative that took the ADA's "EatRight.org" website and created their own version, "ReallyEatRight.org".

Now the site itself is alarmist, woo-y, kinda anti-science, and a bit over the top, but their campaign to have the ADA sever their ties with food industry funding is one I fully support.

And why wouldn't they do so?

What a tremendous public relations ride they could take on such a move, and it'd be a move that at least superficially, sounds like an easy thing to do as Colby Vorland once calculated, if the ADA wanted to raise as much money annually from their members as they currently do from the food industry they'd only need to charge each member $41 more per year.

I doubt they'd lose members if that $41/year was rolled out with a clear explanation of what it was for. In fact I bet they could roll out a $50/year increase and help fund a new initiative that combats food industry spin. I'd bet further that many RDs who may have left the ADA in disgust, would in fact rejoin, increasing their coffers further.

Heck, if they did that, and if they let me, I'd join.

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