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What's on your plate?

Nutrition. It’s what we eat and drink. How we fuel our body. Nutrition is an important part of overall wellness.

Maybe you have been seeing more posts on social media about nutrition this past month. That is because March was Nutrition Month!

Nutrition does lay within the scope of practice of Kinesiologists but for me, it is not something that I have focus on in my practice. I give my clients information about the basics of nutrition and direct those that need more to a dietitian.

Nutrition Month is supported by Canadians dietitians. The theme was ‘Good for you! Dietitians help you find your healthy!’. Healthy eating looks different for everyone. There are many influences on what healthy eating may mean for you; culture, traditions, preferences and nutritional needs.

Who are dietitians?

Just like Kinesiologists in Ontario, Dietitians are regulated healthcare professionals. They use their expertise in food and nutrition to help Canadian reach their health goals. They understand the science of nutrition and the uniqueness of each person to their health, preferences, culture and food traditions.

Here are some examples of when you might seek out a dietitian.

  • You have a food allergy or intolerance

  • You want accurate, practical advice to improve the way you eat and feel

  • You want help with a picky eater

  • You have digestive issues like IBS, acid reflux, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or colitis

  • You want to prevent or manage a health condition like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure (along with exercise from your favourite neighbourhood Kinesiologist ;) )

You can find a registered dietitian near you by going to

A great place to start your nutrition journey is with Canada’s Food Guide. You may have seen some of the earlier versions of the food guide. Maybe when you think of the Food Guide, you think of a food pyramid or a rainbow. In 2019 the guideline was updated to the current version which shows a plate that has been divided into sections. There are 4 main parts to the food guide:

  1. Half the plate is fruits and vegetables. They have important nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals. Tip: stay away from packaged fruits and vegetables that have added sugars, seasonings or rich sauces.

  2. ¼ of the plate of protein foods. This does not have to mean meat. Protein foods have important nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals. You don’t need to eat large amounts of protein to meet your nutritional needs. Try eggs, lean meats & poultry, nuts & seeds, fish & shellfish, lower fat dairy products, beans, peas and lentils or fortified soy beverages, tofu, soybeans and other soy products.

  3. ¼ of the plate of the plate of whole grains. They contain fibre, vitamins and minerals. Try quinoa, whole grain pasta & bread, whole oats or oatmeal, whole grain brown or wild rice.

  4. Make water your drink of choice. Our bodies lose water by sweating, breathing and getting rid of waste. Water is important for your health and a great way to stay hydrated without calories.

Not sure where you should start if you are looking to change your diet? Take stock at what you are currently eating. Would you say that half the food you eat is veges and fruit? If you answered no, then start adding more vege and fruit to each meal. Instead of thinking of the things you need to quit, think of the things you need to add.

Find out more about Canada’s food guide at

Food can be costly. Your wallet might already be feeling the pandemic pressure. Grocery shopping on a budget can be challenging. Planning is key! Here are some tips for eating on a budget.

  • Make a menu

  • Plan your meals around foods that are on sale

  • Plan at least one meatless meal a week

  • Check your pantry, freezer, and fridge - use up any ingredients that are nearing their expiration dates

  • Enjoy grains more often

  • Avoid recipes that need a special ingredient - they may be harder to find and cost more and you might not use all of it before it expires.

  • Looks for seasonal recipes

  • Plan to use leftovers

  • Make extras - if ground beef is on sale, make 2 lasagnas instead of 1 and freeze the other batch in meal-sized portions for later

  • Know what your family likes to eat. is great resource for tips.

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. A well fueled body can work harder when exercising.

A healthy lifestyle includes healthy eating and regular physical activity. To get to a healthy weight, we need to eat right and be active; a healthy heart needs exercise and a healthy diet. Often when you start exercising, eating healthier can be easier.

Here are some suggestions for healthy eating habits for active adults:

  • Eat 3 meals a day plus a few healthy small snacks

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise

  • Have a small healthy snack before exercising

  • Plan your meals ahead of time

  • Read food labels to know what is in your food

Changing your diet can be a challenging thing. Take it one small step at a time. Try first to add good things to your diet like fruits and vegetables rather than trying to cut out bad things. It’s easier to add then it is to take away.

Carrie Doll Kinesiology provides in-home exercise therapy. Services include senior wellness & falls prevention, neuro rehab and Fascial Stretch Therapy. Service area includes Kitchener, Waterloo, St. Jacobs, Elmira and Conestogo.

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