Nutrition Tips to Triumph + Green Smoothie Recipe

There is a lot of information out there when it comes to nutrition (some of which isn’t always helpful) and trying to figure out where to begin can be a challenge. At first glance, eating healthy might seem overwhelming but if you start small by choosing one or two of these five tips, you can gradually work your way up the list. Remember, building habits takes time and small changes add up.

  1. Half Your Plate Veggies

Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre to keep your immune and digestive system strong. Eating more vegetables doesn’t mean you can only eat salads! Roast a batch of root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious and are a great addition to pasta, stir-fries and soup—they can make your canned or instant soup healthy.

  1. Don’t Skip Breakfast

Kick-start your energy and concentration for the day with breakfast. Smoothies and overnight oats are easy-to-prepare, especially for those busy days when you need your breakfast to be ‘grab and go’ style.

  1. Think Ahead

Choose one day a week to plan, shop and prepare your meals (or ingredients) for the week. Cook grains, chop up some veggies, and prepare sauces. You can even multi-task by cooking beans or pasta while doing homework, catching up on Netflix or calling a friend. Pack your lunch the night before so that it’s ready to go when you leave the house.

  1. Go For Whole Carbs

Limit added sugar (sauces, flavoured yogurt, sodas, sweets) and refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, mashed potatoes, fries) which spike your blood sugar and insulin causing inflammation and weight gain. Instead, go for whole grains like brown rice, oats, quinoa, barley and whole or sprouted grain pasta or bread and other complex carbs like sweet potatoes.

  1. Eat Together

Make your mealtimes a family (or friend) affair. Cook food with your friends or organize a potluck. After all, doesn’t food taste so much better when enjoyed together?

 

For more tips, recipes and resources, visit Nicole’s blog at www.food.ubc.ca/nutrition.

 

BOUNUS – Green Smoothie Recipe 

I have a hard time eating breakfast in the morning (as do about 50% of the clients I’ve presented to or counseled) because of lack of appetite and feeling rushed. But instead of going without eating, grabbing ‘just a banana’ or stopping at Starbucks, I make a green smoothie every morning and bring it with  me. So far, they haven’t made a Distracted Driving law about shifting gears whilst holding a giant mug of green smoothie! This hearty beverage gets me through until lunch and meets half my veggie and fruit servings for the day plus almost half of my calcium needs.

Serves 2

1 avocado

2 cups spinach or kale

1 cup cucumber

¼ cup fresh mint or parsley

2 tablespoons spirulina

1 pear or 1 cup mango (or other light coloured fruit—I love berries, but they turn it brown)

1.5 cups plain kefir or yogurt

¼ cup hemp hearts

1 cup water or OJ (if just using water, one tablespoon of maple syrup is sometimes needed to taste)

1 cup ice (if you like it cold)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

 

-Nicole Fetterly, RD