Dining out the Healthier Way

07th January 2011 written by Mark Hancock

Did you know that most Canadians actually eat outside of their homes about 5 times per week? Are you as shocked as I am about the size of that number (considering there’s only 7 days in one week)?!Sometimes eating in restaurants seems convenient because you’ve been working all day and just don’t have the time or effort in you to cook a meal. Well, it may be convenient time wise, but it’s certainly not convenient for your heart, weight and overall health. When eating in most restaurants, portion control goes right out the window. The amount on their plates can sometimes feed an entire family, and yet oneperson manages to get the whole thing down. Another issue is the preparation of restaurant food. Mostof these foods are prepared with much more fat and sugar than you would cook with at home, and worstof all, lots of restaurants use trans fat to cook their food.

So how can we avoid eating unhealthy food when we dine out? Of course the best solution is to cookyour meals at home, so you determine exactly what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating.However, there are some ways to choose wisely when it comes to eating in restaurants. One importantthing when dining out is to look for nutritional information on the menus. If this information is not giventhen it makes you wonder if the restaurant is hiding something. Knowing the exact amount of calories,fats, sugars, etc you’re taking in will help you maintain your daily nutritional limits. Like I mentionedearlier, when eating in restaurants, portion control is usually not an option. However, just because thefood is served in large portions, doesn’t mean that you are being forced to eat the entire thing! You canalways ask for a “doggy bag” and take half of the meal home with you. This way you can have dinnerthe next day, or maybe even give the leftovers to a spouse, friend or family member. And if you put halfof your food in the doggy bag at the beginning of the meal, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anyfood. Then, the portioned controlled food you’re left with can be eaten slowly, as to allow your body toknow that it’s full. This, in turn, will prevent you from overeating!!! Now do you see where I’m going withall this? Just a few changes made to your habits can allow you to dine out intelligently, without worryof gaining weight and helping you to be healthier overall! Eating your food slowly, stopping a few timesthroughout your meal or even picking up and laying down your fork after every bite gives your brain thetime to know that you’re no longer hungry.

Selecting food from the menu is also another important decision to make when dining out. Finding outfrom the server how the food is prepared is a great idea. You can opt for better alternatives like havingthings baked (not fried), or ask for extra virgin olive oil (or just olive oil if there’s no EVOO) instead ofbutter. Order a water with your meal instead of carbonated drinks loaded with sugar. And if you justHAVE to order that glass of wine, have 1 glass and not 2, 3 or 5. If the meals are mostly unhealthy itemswith a side of another unhealthy item, try ordering separates, like a salad (with dressing on the side!!)grilled chicken breast and vegetables. If you decide to go for a burger, try getting the chicken grilled orhaving lean beef. Instead of having fries with your meal, have a salad or fresh vegetables instead!

Obviously, eating in restaurants shouldn’t be an everyday (or 5 days a week) thing. It can be enjoyed onspecial occasions, but not daily. Hopefully, you will start preparing your meals at home; getting thingsready for dinner the night before will save you some time (if you’re coming home from work tired). Weknow it can be difficult to try and cook healthy foods, especially if you’re not used to it and that’s why weoffer meal plans to help you out, or even just to get you started. We have tons of great options that willput you on the road to healthy eating and healthy living. The time for change is now and we look forward
to helping you the best way we can!

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Breaking the Habit

17th December 2010 written by Mark Hancock

Traditions: Beliefs, customs, and/or activities passed on from one generation to the next. Some traditions are long lived and wonderful, while others are downright ridiculous! There are many traditions in today’s society that I would love to see disappear. For example: 1) the idea of traditional food servings, like piling food up on your plates; and 2) the idea of three meals a day (i.e.; breakfast, dinner and supper). I just don’t understand how the bulk of society can still be eating this way. Yes of course we learned these habits from our parents, who learned it from their parents (aforementioned “traditions”) but with today’s discoveries and statistics, how can we still follow these patterns of poor food choices and portions? I want to know what it would take for someone to change their eating habits. How can we get people to start eating healthy and living more active lifestyles?

Does it really come down to fear? Fear of disease, heart attack, or cancer. Maybe it’s seeing the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle on someone special to you, such as someone you love dying from obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes.

The world needs to change. Change our bad food choices. Change our bad lifestyle choices. Drinking beer or wine every night, eating take-out 3 or 4 times a week (or even a day for some!!) is going to kill us. There’s no other way to put it, so I’ll be blunt. Living this way is putting us in the path of disaster.

We hear about all this new research on the lifelong effects of unhealthy living, and yet we still do not preach this to our children. The next time you’re driving behind a school bus, just take a look at the children on board. I’m always stuck driving behind my town’s school bus on my way to work, and what I’ve seen is terrifying. I can honestly say that about 70% or more of the children that get off that bus are either obese or on the verge of obesity. So once again I ask: WHY?! In 2007, CBC news announced that approximately one-quarter of Canadians between the ages of 2 and 17 are either obese or overweight.
Even more frightening, as stated by CBC, this is the first time ever that the younger generation will live shorter lives than their parents!!! And if you didn’t think that was alarming enough, they also stated that most parents don’t even recognize the problem!!

We have so much knowledge available to us and yet we are still raising children that are overweight. It’s hard enough to be an adult and deal with obesity, but imagine what a child goes through; bullying or being taunted at school, dealing with emotional and physical issues, low self-esteem and even facing depression at such a young age. What happens when they reach an age when they would like to start dating! These are just some of the many reasons why we need to teach ourselves and our kids about good eating habits and active living.

Trust me; break the habits and excuses now so you (and your children) can get on the road to health and happiness. Eating better and living better will help you feel better. The confidence you will gain will help you become the person you want to be. It will help you and your children create and aim for your goals, and even better help you achieve them!

This may all seem overwhelming to do on your own, but here at NutritionHQ, we can help you and your entire family with our online coaching and mentoring in fitness and nutrition. We believe that teaching about proper food choices and active lifestyles should be mandatory in school, but since it’s not, we are here to provide that need and help you break the habits of the old “traditional” ways. We can provide meal plans, proper nutrition advice and personal training. We are here to help you anyway we can!

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Your Lease on Life

14th October 2010 written by Mark Hancock

I have a question. It’s about “Leasing.” Okay, so who here has have leased something, whether it be avehicle, recreation vehicle, boat, camper, house or a play toy? Here’s another question for those whodon’t lease. Who in this life time goes for a mortgage on a house, business, etc? Well, from the researchI have done, there’s about a 90% chance in your life time you will either lease something, mortgagesomething or get a personal loan for something you want or need.

Getting to my point…. You see we all do this and the question is WHY? Let me tell you. The reasonis because in this day and age, if you ever want something substantial you have to go lease it or getsome sort of credit or personal loan (now this goes for the average population, I know there are someexceptions for the high class people out there, but my main concern is the average population likemyself.) Okay, so I admit it… I’m a sucker for it as well, but I like my toys! I like to enjoy myself and havemy freedom, and I want my house so I can have a safe place for my family and I to live.

Once again, getting to the major point of my question….. This is why I wonder why people don’t want tolease the special tools it takes for having a healthy body! Everyone wants a healthy body and it’s WAYcheaper than a $40,000 truck or car. Whether it be rock hard abs or a nice bum, most of us would love tohave a lean, healthy body. However, no one is willing to pay for it! I mean come on people, the benefitsof having a healthy body and active life are far greater in the end. The outcome is that you will certainlyhave a higher chance of living longer, and being healthier also means you will enjoy your life a lot more.Doesn’t everyone want to live life to the fullest!? Your truck or house can fall apart but your body doesn’thave to. If you keep fueling your body with the right foods, you’re going to live longer, run into lessdiseases and viruses, and well let’s face it; you will feel a HELL of a lot BETTER!!! And hey, you knowwhat else?? You will LOOK a hell of a lot better as well!! Now, I’m not saying skimp out on your house orvehicle by any means, because without a house you have nowhere to live and without a car you have nomeans of transportation for you and your family. I’m just stating the fact that your body is one of the mostimportant things in your life and you’re only blessed with one, so you should do whatever it takes to feedand exercise it properly.

Ever since we were born, in order to learn, we’ve needed to be told what to do right? We sure have, andit continues. We keep getting told what to do, whether it’s to eat all your vegetables, flush the toilet, washyour hands, be nice to people, do your home work, etc etc. Well eventually, after being told what to do somany times from parents, loved ones, or teachers, we have it permanently implanted in our brains…or soyou’d think. All that being said, why don’t people this day and age (the ones that make poor food and lifestyle choices) start LEARNING what to do to help better their lives? It’s that easy!!! Just get connectedwith NutritionHQ and they will set you up with a better life style; one that suites your life. This way, youwill have it all in front of you on paper (or computer) and all you have to do is follow the plan. How easyis that! We will be right there by your side for confidence, mentoring and coaching 24/7. We want you tobetter your life, be a positive person, and we want you to live longer and be happy about who you are.

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