Tuesday, June 06, 2006


A friend and I attended the Healthy Lifestyles Conference yesterday in Sucker Creek. The speakers were the famous Bonnie Stern and Fran Berkoff. Bonnie Stern is a well-known chef from Toronto, who runs her own cooking school. You can take a peek at her website: www.bonniestern.com . Fran Berkoff is a dietitian/nutritionist from Toronto and the two of them joined together to help people learn what kinds of foods are good for you and how to use them in cooking. You may have heard of both ladies, as they have been on the radio and both have publications and newspaper columns.

It was an action packed day and a very informative one. It began at 8:30 and ended at 6:30. There were cooking workshops and nutrition classes, all of our meals were provided, we also received lots of free goodies to take home, and we had a great dance lesson! Wendy from Funky Groove Dance Crew taught us a few line dancing steps. It was hillarious, as women young and old danced together (and stumbled together) and had some good laughs. It was a great workout too. Wendy has been on Gap commercials and appeared in concerts and on video for Madonna as well as in the movie “Honey”. She’s traveled around the world for dance and has so much life and energy. Check out her site: www.funkygroovedance.piczo.com

Since this was held in Sucker Creek, we also had a traditional Native feast and there was a drumming session and dance afterward. I got to meet some of the elders and they are such wonderful, wise, lovely people :) So much fun!

Here are a few things I found interesting at the Healthy Lifestyles Conference. Some stuff I already knew and practiced, others were new, and some were just good to have a refresher course on:
1. The more colorful our plate, the better (Foods rich in color are good for us)
2. Fatigue is a symptom of dehydration. Always have a pitcher of H2O handy
3. Oatmeal is a power food. It stays in you longer and you’ll be less hungry if you have a bowl of oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. Oats are high in fibre and help lower cholesterol levels. Good for diabetics because it makes blood sugar rise more slowly. Insulin works less hard to get your blood sugar down and doesn’t make your pancreas work as hard. (Add oats to your cookies, meatloaf, fruit, crisps, bread, etc)
4. 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day! 1 serving = 1 single unit or ½ a cup
5. Dried fruit is good because vitamins and minerals are still intact, but when eating too much, it’s like eating candy. It’s a bit sweet but a healthy snack.
6. Toasted nuts have 3x more flavor than regular nuts (A handful of nuts = a healthy source of fibre and protein)
7. There’s a book out called “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and it talks about how the French eat lots of very rich food, yet stay slim. They eat rich food and drink wine, but they really TASTE and ENJOY their food. Eat slowly, get the flavor, get fuller faster, and therefore eat less! 8. Buttermilk tastes rich, but really isn’t. It’s made with 1% or less fat. (I didn’t know that!)
9. Fat Free everything still has calories! Though something may be fat free, it still has sugars.
10. With garlic, the health benefits are in the oily part of the garlic.
11. Soy helps us lower cholesterol.
12. Omega3 fats- important for mood disorders, cancer and brain development. It’s good to eat fish a couple times a week.
13. Flax also has Omega3 and the best form is if you grind the seeds.
14. Lipopine in tomatoes: 10x a week to lower prostate cancer in men. I’m not sure if I spelt Lipopine correctly, but it’s a plant chemical (antioxident) and is also found in tomato products like tomato paste, sauces, juice and even in ketchup.
15. Olive oil helps us get it into the body, so when cooking with tomatoes, use olive oil in dressings, marinades, sauces, etc.
16. Food labels: always look and see what a serving size is. Usually it’s different from the serving size you would normally eat.
17. Trans fats: unhealthy fats found in processed foods (crackers, cookies, biscuits, chips, though many companies now offer products that say 0 trans fats) We don’t need trans fats in our diet.
18. North Americans as a society eat way more sodium and processed foods than we ought to. Ex: a Big Mac and fries = way more than we need.

That’s just some of the info I thought was interesting. Each of us also received at the end, a HUGE basket filled with Bonnie and Fran’s “power foods”. The baskets contained: 3 heads of broccoli, a package of spinach, a pint of grape tomatoes, a pint of blueberries, a can of salmon, a jar of minced garlic, a package of red lentils, a tin of classic green tea (Tetley), 1.35 kg bag of oats and a big container of Yoplait Source yogurt. I was sooooooo happy, as I was supposed to do groceries and didn’t have to! Most of the things in the basket were on my grocery list anyway! LOL

I will leave you with a recipe from today’s conference:
Muesli – 2 c oats, ½ c skim milk or 1% milk, ¾ c orange juice, 1 apple grated and unpeeled, honey or maple syrup, vanilla.

Mix it all up, let soak for 1 hr or 2. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. Looks like mush but tastes incredible!!

An alternate breakfast idea is a spoonful of yogurt, muesli, dried apricots and nuts.


Ms. Mamma said...

Yay! Sounds excellent. So I suppose you will be getting the glow just in time for the big event, great. I love oatmeal, especially "Optimum Zen" Organic by Nature's Path, De-Lish!

t said...

Wow C! That is too cool! They gave everyone at the conference a basket? Sounds like those baskets were expensive! I want one of those!

tammy said...

Hey Chris! Cool post! You always have a lot of interesting things to talk about! I have heard Bonnie Stern on the radio. Very cool!

Stephen said...

So much to say...
1) could there be a better name ever than 'Sucker Creek?'
2) Yes, it's 'Funky Grooze Dance Crew!'
3) Frozen veggies, like dried fruit are also really good because their nutrients are all trapped in them & don't have time to go away.
4) French Women Don't Get Fat was very popular over here last Christmas and I reccomend it.
5) You get 10% of your recommended Omega 3 stuff in 1/2 a cup of milk... you get 80% of your recommended Omega 3 intake in a match-boxed sized piece of ORGANIC cheese. ... go organic!

Chrissy121875 said...

LOL..Yeah I like the name Sucker Creek. There's also a place here called Booze Neck Road!! Hahaha! I love it! Or how about Burpee island? :)

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