Canada’s NEW Food Guide – Not Just About the Food

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Canada’s NEW Food Guide – Not Just About the Food

Areli Hermanson, Dietitian

March is Nutrition Month and dietitians across Canada have a reason to celebrate. As a dietitian myself, the release of the Canada’s new Food Guide is a perfect time to take stock of all-things food.

I don’t know about you, but I love the new Food Guide.  It’s fresh, modern and plant-based. Not just that but it’s free from industry-bias (yay!) and ALL those beautiful foods pictured on the front can all be grown and produced right here in our own backyard.  More than that though is its commitment to address the other side of food – the social, cultural and environmental side of food.

One the back page of the Guide is seven Healthy Eating Recommendations.  All of them are good but one of them speaks volumes to me: Be mindful of your eating habits. That is, take time to eat, notice and respond to your hunger and fullness cues and use your senses to truly enjoy your food.

Mindfulness is important and it takes practice.  In fact, I don’t have to look far for an example in my own life and perhaps if you look, you’ll find an example or two yourself. 

Here’s mine: There I was, just after lunch on a rainy Sunday and I had a precious few hours alone. ALL. TO. MYSELF.  You’ve gotta’ get that this doesn’t happen often. With a cup of tea in hand I sat down in my favourite comfy chair with a book.  About 20 minutes in my mind wanders to the bag of my new favourite treat, some yummy, new-to-the-market crunchy low-cal but salty snacks tucked away in the cupboard.  I grabbed the family-size bag and sit back down to read intent on having just a few post-lunch handfuls. A few chapters in, my hand reaches back into the bag and, you guessed it, nothing - not a single crunchy morsel left.  I gasp and look around to see who ate them… I had single-handedly polished off an entire bag and didn’t even notice or get to enjoy them. I wasn’t worried about the calories, but I knew I was in for some serious salt-induced thirst and bloating.  A mindful experience would have looked different and would have felt different.

So next time you sit down to a meal, snack or post-lunch handful; practice mindfulness.  I know I will.