Tag Archives: diet

the future of dietary recommendations?

I have enjoyed my Sunday ritual of sitting at my computer and writing my weekly blog.  To those of you who follow along weekly, and for those who have popped in today or once in a while, I want to thank you for joining me.

Recently, the Canadian government released a draft of the new version of Canada’s Food Guide.  I was interested to read that under the Guiding Principle 1, there has been a shift from “meat and alternatives” to “protein-rich foods – especially plant-based sources of protein”.

Now, those who know me well would tell you that while I have a predominantly plant-based diet, with the odd bit of seafood and a little cheese once in a while, I do not force my diet or opinions on anyone.  I do believe that everyone is free to choose for themselves, and the same is true for my children.  My older son is the same as I am in his choices.  We have plant-based milk to enjoy.  I like soy milk in my coffee, and he is crazy about coconut milk.  Conversely, my younger son still enjoys dairy milk, and so I buy that for him to consume.

What the current draft of the dietary recommendations has done for me is reinforce what I have been doing.  It will also help to bring along a shift in the thoughts of the general public.  Plant-based diets are highly nutritious, providing all the essential components needed, particularly when it is a diet with a variety of different plant foods.

I know there are some people out there (my ex-husband for one) who would say that you need to eat meat in order to gain the proteins and amino acids required for a healthy body.  I am not going to argue anyone’s opinion.  But I do encourage people to do the research for themselves and choose the diet that meets their needs.  There is no one perfect diet for every person.  We are all individuals with individual needs.

For myself, and for the positive environmental impact that these changes will produce, I am quite excited to see Canada taking the bold step forward so far with these recommendations.  While it is still in a draft form and there are many changes that could still take place, I am proud to see that the steps are being taken to recognize how plant-based nutrition is advisable for the majority of people.  I would like to congratulate the Government of Canada for taking these steps, and I hope to see this movement expand beyond borders and move into other countries to create a global movement.


January 2016

With the holiday season comes holiday food, drink, and socialization.  These things don’t usually mix well with my normal dietary preferences and restrictions.  I can feel the negative effects on my body.  So, with the new year, it is my resolve to return to my healthy eating habits.  A return to my gluten-free, dairy-free, predominantly vegetarian diet, and back to routine of taking my iron supplements as prescribed by my physician.

As every year that passes, we change as individuals.  For me, these changes have been taking leaps and bounds in the last few years as I have been rediscovering who I am as an individual.   I have learned how important it is to me that I am aware of my impact on the Earth and society.  I choose organic as often as I can not only because the chemicals are so damaging to my and my children’s bodies, but because these chemicals are also damaging to our Earth.  I choose fresh produce as often as I can because that is what I prefer, however, I do prefer the local organic fare and choose to frequent local growers and farmers markets when I can.  Winter here makes that impossible though.  Gluten free and dairy free requirements are based on diagnoses from my physician over the years, not fad diets.  I know when I am not following those requirements, and it’s usually holidays when this happens and I am not in complete control of my diet.  I do pay for these times, as I am right now.  

The other thing that changed is my attention to my own needs.  To have things that fulfill me, which include hobbies and those things beyond my career, and my own spirituality.  As the start of this new year, I also resolve to devote time to these things, to provide myself a deeper and more profound existence.  This includes spending more time on my creative outlets, whether that be photography, painting, or writing.  Spending more time on meditation, yoga, and with my spiritual directors.

Things don’t change dramatically just because the calendar changes, but small changes…small sustainable changes…can make a difference in our lives when we choose to make those adjustments in our lives.  They need to be done with the right intention though.  With the intention to maintain these changes, that is the driving force to continue to develop into who we are to become.