This month’s Live Well, Work Well issue discusses fad diets and winter illnesses.

Beware: New Year = New Fad Diets

Jan. 1 signals a new calendar year, and for many Canadians, a “new year, new me” mentality. In fact, getting in shape is consistently one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. While making lifestyle changes, as approved by a doctor, is not a bad thing, turning to a fad diet to achieve a resolution of getting in shape is not ideal or healthy.

What’s a fad diet?

Fad diets typically promise quick weight loss, oftentimes through unhealthy and unbalanced dieting. A diet can be considered a fad if it:

  • Claims to help you lose more than 1-2 pounds per week
  • Promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without giving up fatty foods or starting an exercise program
  • Bases its claims only on “before and after” photos
  • Limits your food choices and encourages you to only eat a specific set or type of food

What are the dangers of fad diets?

Fad diets can lead to things like gout, poor athleticism, heart disease and—ironically—poor, long-term weight-loss control. If you’re looking to get in shape or lose weight this year, make lifestyle changes that encourage portion control, exercise more, avoid empty calories and eat a well-balanced diet.

Keep in mind that forming healthy dieting practices now will keep you on track with your long-term weight-loss goal.



Your Guide to Avoiding Winter Illnesses

It’s estimated that adults suffer two to five colds per year. What’s more, colds are one of the leading causes of missed days at work. Early signs of a cold include sore throats, sneezing and a runny nose. More severe symptoms may occur later and include headaches, stuffy noses, watering eyes, coughs, chills, muscle aches and general malaise. Symptoms can last two to seven days.

Winter is peak cold season, which should come as no surprise when you think about how many people you see sneezing and coughing during the colder months. Fortunately, you can keep these illnesses at bay and stay healthy with a little effort. Here’s how:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay away from others when you feel under the weather.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water to protect against germs.
  • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active and drink plenty of water to keep your immune system strong.
  • Manage your stress and eat a nutritious diet rich in healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and fibre.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces likely to be contaminated and touched by others.

People are generally contagious during the first three days they have a cold. It should be noted that individuals may be infected with a cold without showing any symptoms. This makes it all the more important to practise healthy habits.

Recipe of the Month – Turkey Fingers With Oven Fries

Ingredients

  • 600 g (1 ¼ lbs) boneless, skinless turkey breast
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
  • 500 mL (2 cups) bran flakes
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) Italian herb seasoning or dried oregano leaves
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into strips
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
  • 2 mL (½ tsp) chili powder

PREPARATIONS

  1. Cut turkey breast into finger-sized strips and place in a bowl. Add mustard and oil, and, using your hands, coat turkey fingers evenly.
  2. Place bran flakes into a large re-sealable bag and crush until they look like breadcrumbs. Add cheese and seasoning. Add turkey fingers to bag, one at a time, and shake to coat. Place coated turkey onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all the turkey fingers.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potato and parsnip strips. Add oil and chili powder, and toss to coat evenly. On a second parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread fries in single layer onto sheet.
  4. Place fries in bottom third of heated 220 C (425 F) oven for 15 minutes. Move fries to top third of oven, and place turkey fingers on bottom third of oven for 15 minutes.

Makes: 6 servings

Source: Government of Canada


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