Want the truth about what we eat? Ask our girlfriends…

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

More reports from the Department of the Bleedin’ Obvious, my heart sisters. Last year, a group of 45 international nutrition scientists launched a campaign to end the use of one of their most commonly-used research tools: the self-reported food diary.(1)  These scientists now claim that “dietary recall is skewed towards healthier behaviour.”

In plain English, it means this: people participating in nutrition studies lie to researchers about what they actually eat, preferring instead to enter foods into their daily food diary like “kale” and “quinoa” before submitting their self-reports.

And let’s face it, a person who has volunteered for a nutrition study may be too embarrassed to officially record for posterity something like: “I ate half a box of Turtles today just to get them out of the house.”*  (And really, I can’t be the only woman to ever admit to this, can I?)   Continue reading “Want the truth about what we eat? Ask our girlfriends…”

How to stare down that plate of chocolate chip cookies

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

What would you do if you checked into your hotel room and found there a welcoming plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies waiting for you? I know what I’d do – I’d have a cookie. And then, because it tasted so darned good, I might eat another. And then, while I unpacked my suitcase, maybe just one more. And then, particularly if I were feeling tired or stressed or hungry, I might even say to myself: “Oh, what the heck! It’s been a hard day – and I deserve this little treat!” – and there goes the rest of that plate of cookies.

But that’s not what Dr. David Kessler decided to do when this very situation presented itself to him. As a person who had battled his own weight problems for years, he knew that he could have easily eaten all of those cookies in one gulp, but he also knew with equal certainty that he did not want to do that this time. There was only one way to gain the upper hand, and he had to act quickly.   Continue reading “How to stare down that plate of chocolate chip cookies”

Thirty heart-healthy ways to love your veggies (and fruit!)

by Carolyn Thomas

We’re supposed to eat 2-4 servings of fruit plus 3-5 servings of vegetables every day. It’s a full-time job, especially for those of us raised in Ukrainian families where dill pickles were considered an ideal veggie serving. Fewer than one third of us eat even those lower limits.

And we’re fussy eaters.

Potatoes, for example, represent 44% of our fresh vegetable diet here in Canada. That doesn’t includes a significant increase, according to Statistics Canada, in our consumption of processed potatoes in the form of potato chips and frozen potato products. But carrots, lettuce, onions and tomatoes represent just 27% of the Canadian diet of fresh vegetables, a decrease of 9% compared to 2005 numbers. On the other hand, we’re apparently eating three times more sweet potatoes now compared to 20 years ago. Wonder if that’s entirely due to the growing popularity of sweet potato fries . . .

The editors of Consumer Reports Healthasked:How exactly are you supposed to get healthy produce servings into your life?” and then came up with these 30 great tips.   Continue reading “Thirty heart-healthy ways to love your veggies (and fruit!)”

Heart-smart food rules: your dietary dos and don’ts

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Author and foodie Michael Pollan asked and answered this question of his New York Times readers last year:

“How did humans manage to choose foods and stay healthy before there were nutrition experts and food pyramids or breakfast cereals promising to improve your child’s focus or restaurant portions bigger than your head?

“We relied on culture, which is another way of saying: on the accumulated wisdom of the tribe.”

Curious about the wisdom of other people’s tribes, Pollan asked his NYT readers to send him their own favourite rules for eating well. Within days, he received over 2,500 responses, including gems like:

“If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry.”

Here are just 20 of the food rules he liked best.

What’s your best food rule for eating well?  Share it with us!


Yes, French women DO get fat!

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Remember that book  that came out a few years ago that explained to us the “French paradox” – why don’t French women get fat?   Anybody who has, like me, been unable to resist a Paris boulangerie without stopping to indulge has marvelled at the ability of French women to remain so thin and gorgeous in spite of all those exquisite croissants, crusty baguettes, heavenly sauces, divine cheese and oh, those wines.

Author Mireille Guilano (who, incidentally, is thin and gorgeous herself) wrote French Women Don’t Get Fat in 2004, explaining that their secret is in the eating habits of the women in France. Continue reading “Yes, French women DO get fat!”