87. That’s the number of meals I have consumed thus far where I have honoured my #100mealjourney pledge. It definitely was not as easy as I thought it would be. I was faced with a few challenges like time constraints, the never ending cold-flu, and multiple social events where vegetables were not the main dinner attraction. Luckily I planned ahead (e.g. checked out the menu before hand, meal prepped for the work week), which made meeting my nutrition goal that much easier. In light of my recent participation in the #100mealjourney, Elaine O’connor (Senior Consultant for Communication and Public Affairs at Fraser Health Authority) interviewed me for Fraser Health’s Beat Newsletter. Below is a look at my interview. Remember, consistency is key to meeting your nutrition related goals – every new meal is another chance to change your diet. Stay tuned for my next blog post entitled “the unwelcomed guest.”
What inspired you to become a registered dietitian?
I’ve always been surrounded by different types of foodies; the vegetarian, the celiac, the IBS, and the permanent “on this diet today and something different tomorrow.” Each one had an ultimate goal, to better their health through their diet, however they all weren’t successful. Each personal experience taught me that food can dictate so much of our lives, including one’s self perception. This drove me to my mission – to gain the confidence, skills and education to help individuals develop the skills they need to become healthy eaters.
Describe your “aha moment” when it comes to food?
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Fueling your body with the right amount of macro and micronutrients is important to allow yourself to perform at full capacity and allow for muscle recovery. This “aha moment” appeared when I was working on my fitness and realized my diet was inadequate in protein - this impacted my performance. Nutrient dense food is so important for the body to function optimally.
What is the one thing that your clients find the hardest to do when it comes to healthy eating?
Letting go of the “all or nothing” mindset, and embracing the concept of moderation for a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
What is the one piece of essential advice you would give to someone who wants to start eating better?
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and change doesn’t come easy. Instead of making healthy eating a daunting and overwhelming task, choose one or two realistic dietary goals that can be consistently met (e.g. inclusion of 2-3 servings of vegetables with each meal, consumption of whole grains instead of refined grains).
What did you learn about yourself while doing the #100MealJourney?
Advanced meal planning was key to my success when trying to reach my nutrition related goal.
What surprised you the most about your #100MealJourney?
Accountability (i.e. sharing experiences on social media) had a huge impact on consistently achieving my pledge.
What’s one tip you will incorporate into your eating going forward?
Meal preparation - it saved me time (e.g. cooked once, ate twice), money, and allowed me to make healthy choices (e.g. consume enough daily vegetables) throughout the month.
This is one of my favourite quick and easy recipes developed by Jamie Oliver (link below). It’s ready in less than 20 minutes, easy to prepare, and kid friendly. I make this recipe with whole wheat spaghetti to increase the fibre content, and will often pair it with a grilled chicken breast and side salad to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!