This is a sponsored post in partnership with Loblaws. As always, all opinions are my own.
Last week I had an opportunity to meet with a Registered Dietitian at Loblaws CityMarket in Calgary. I have friends who also work as RDs (and also happen to know Whitney!) yet I’ve never met with an RD myself and was interested to get Whitney’s take on my diet and welcomed any suggestions she may have for me.
Our meeting started by going over my Nutrition Questionnaire. Whitney emailed me a copy of the questionnaire prior to our meeting, so I was able to fill out in advance as not to spend time during our hour consult filling out the paper.
The questionnaire asked about any allergies/intolerances, medications, and health issues. I then had an opportunity to answer questions about my daily eating and activity habits: veggies, protein, whole grains, obstacles, etc.
Once Whitney had an opportunity to review, she asked some follow-up questions and we went over what I eat in a day. My biggest struggle when it comes to eating (and eating healthy) is dinner. I prep my lunches for the week because if I don’t, I’ll end up buying lunch (currently roast chicken, sweet potato, broccoli, topped with salsa), but I struggle with dinner.
I’m typically busy in the evenings (right now it’s a lot of accounting work) so I have limited time to prep meals, and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day, is make a decision about what to eat.
Whitney suggested instead of detailed meal planning, to make a list of things I’d be interested in eating, and ranking them by effort. When I get home, I can decide based upon how much time I have / what sounds good that evening. She also showed me some products that are healthy (like parboiled frozen beans!) and quick that I can incorporate into my diet.
I picked up a bag of the frozen black beans, and plan on making a few black bean burgers this week so I can reheat and pair with a side like some veggies or a grain (or both!).
I was also introduced to Guiding Stars. Anyone who has shopped at a Real Canadian Superstore or Loblaws has probably seen the stars, but may not be familiar with how they work. Each store has a podium and a biiiiiiig book that lists everything.
Guiding Stars is a food rating system that rates food based on nutrient density using a scientific algorithm to assign a 0, 1, 2 or 3 star rating (3 Stars is the highest rating a product can receive).
The program rates foods based on vitamins, minerals, fibre, whole grains, Omega-3s, saturated fat, trans fat, added sodium and added sugar. “No stars” means, although the food was rated, it didn’t meet the nutrition criteria to earn a star.
I’m a big fan of any system that works to make eating healthy simple. There are so many “diets” out there, and what works for me is to uncomplicated things. Eat balanced. The more stars you eat, the better your overall diet.
I then asked Whitney if there was anything in my diet she may recommend changing. Her suggestion was to add a vegetable to my morning smoothie. I used to always include veggies, but got lazy, so I also picked up a few bags of frozen greens that I’ve now been adding to my morning smoothie to up the veggies in my day.
Finally, I asked a few questions about heart health. I’m active and eat a balanced diet, but have had the occasional high blood pressure reading, so was interested to know how Whitney assessed a heart healthy diet. She looks for fibre consumption (fibre helps to lower cholesterol), plants, lean protein, and reduced sodium intake.
- For the “good stuff” (fibre, minerals, etc) you want it to be close to 20% on the nutrition label (and definitely more than 5%)
- For the “bad stuff” (fats, sodium, etc) you want it to be 5% or less on the nutrition label
- When choosing your fat, pick the one you will use less off (for example, if you think butter is delicious and are more likely to use more butter, then opt for a different added fat)
- A Mediterranean diet is the best choice: focus on vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean meat, and limited red meat
- The best diet is the one you can stick to. Sure, we can crash diet for a limited amount of time, but consider what is sustainable for you long term
If you’re interested, you can visit any Loblaws CityMarket location and meet with a Registered Dietitian for free. And you can go as often as you would like.
The CityMarket dietitians aren’t required to recommend any specific foods carried by Loblaws. Having access to a dietitian is something new to me, and I think it’s great Loblaws CityMarket is working to provide affordable (free!) access to dietitians across the country. In-store registered dietitians also offer one-on-one consultations tailored to your health needs, including heart-healthy recipes, cooking classes, and food choices to help maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Visit Loblaws CityMarket to book a free appointment with a Registered Dietitian for more information on food that help to support good cardiovascular health, and while you’re there, visit the in-store pharmacist to help track and monitor your health and manage medications. Be sure to mention that Cowgirl Runs referred you when booking your consultation.Questions about diet or heart health? Visit @CityMarket_Sage to speak with a Registered Dietitian Click To Tweet
Have you met with a Registered Dietitian before? Are you interested in trying it out?
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