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London Ontario

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March 14, 2018

March is nutrition month and this year's theme is Unlocking the Potential of Food. Today we share a little about food's potential to fuel and share some nutritious snack ideas.

Winter is nearing an end so we are close to the end of cold and flu season. If you didn't get sick this year yet, consider these last minute foods to fight the flu to make it through until spring! While medications do wonders, sometimes medications alone cannot alleviate all of your symptoms. If you have the flu, here are five foods that can help alleviate your symptoms, strengthen your immune system, and fight off that bug!


When it comes to health foods, garlic is a miracle worker; research over the years has revealed it to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects (1). When you’re fighting off the flu virus, garlic is just the boost your immune system needs!

In order to make the most of its anti-viral properties, try to incorporate garlic into soups and broths. Adding them to the mixtures allows the garlic’s nutrients to be released into your food, making them easier to absorb!


Like garlic, fresh ginger has been found to ward off viruses (2). While it might seem tricky to a...

Ever wonder what nutrient claims actually mean?

Is "Fat Free" really fat free? Check out the great poster made by one of our volunteers to get the scoop! 

Natural health products are a part of many Canadians’ diets. Whether it be a vitamin or mineral supplement to maintain a well-rounded diet or a herbal supplement for the flu, these products are usually taken in attempt to improve or maintain one’s health. While the idea behind natural health products might seem sound, many of these products are not thoroughly tested. This article outlines what natural health products are, what they are made of, and what to be aware of when considering incorporating them into your diet.


As defined by Health Canada, natural health products (NHP’s) include many items such as:

  1. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

  2. Herbal Remedies

  3. Homeopathic and Traditional Medicines

  4. Probiotics, Amino Acids, and Essential Fatty Acid Supplements (1).


NHP’s are concentrated, over-the-counter packs nutrients either created in a lab or extracted from food or other natural sources. For instance, vitamin D...

For many mothers-to-be, pregnancy is all and only about preparing for the newborn: the clothes, the crib, the stroller, the diapers—the list goes on. However, many mothers are unaware of how to best prepare their bodies for pregnancy. This article lists a few nutrients which are key to maintaining a healthy body before and during pregnancy.

 WAIT—I have to watch what I eat BEFORE I conceive?

Regardless of whether you are trying to conceive or not, maintaining a healthy diet is critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  However, a healthy diet becomes particularly important when trying to conceive. Many of a baby’s nutrients come from the nutrient reserves of his or her mother. This means that if the mother does not have sufficient reserves or high enough nutrient levels, the baby might not receive the nutrients it needs. Such deficiency can have significant impacts on the embryo’s or fetus’s development, or worse, survival.

In order to ensure that you are consuming enough food, you mus...

Veganism and vegetarianism have been on the rise this past decade. With the increase in social awareness and affordable food options being offered at restaurants and supermarkets, it’s easy to understand why. Moreover, veganism and vegetarianism has been associated with many health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, reduced blood cholesterol levels, and lower rates of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (1,2). While there are many benefits to these animal-friendly diets, their limitations make including certain essential nutrients in everyday meals slightly more difficult. This article discusses nutrients to watch out for when planning out you vegan or vegetarian meals.

WAIT—Why does excluding animal products from my diet put me at risk for nutrient deficiencies?

Many animal products, such as milk, eggs, and meat, provide are the main source of many essential nutrients, including proteins, iron, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, and/or omega-3 fats...

Many of us have a general idea of whether a food is healthy or not. Chips are a no-no whereas veggies are good to go. However, many foods commonly considered “healthy” are actually only healthy in small portions. This article highlights some of these foods which you can watch out for.

WHICH foods are these and WHY must I limit them?

Like with most things in life, too much of something good can be bad. In the case of food, the same idea applies. Foods consist of several different vitamins and minerals which are only tolerable or beneficial when consumed under certain levels. Below is a list of such foods, beneficial nutrients they contain, and nutrients they contain which need to be limited.


This beloved fruit is high in mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s and PUFA’s), healthy fatty acids required for the body to function and/or lower blood cholesterol levels. Low cholesterol levels are key in order to avoid blood vessel blockage, high blood pressure, and heart problems....

How much is enough to eat? Now a days, with portion sizes growing increasingly bigger, it’s hard to tell. This article breaks down how much you should be eating and how to measure your portions on-the-go.   

Portion Distortion: What is it and Why is it Important

With fast food restaurants and grocery pre-prepared meals, the idea of how much one should eat or is expected to eat has been distorted. Portion distortion is defined by Segen's Medical Dictionary as “an upward shift in the size and calorie count of a serving of a particular food served to the general public, especially in fast-food restaurants” (1). While portion distortion can be observed with foods often considered healthy, such as rice, pastas, avocado dips, nuts, and cheeses, this distortion can easily result in over-eating, and naturally, weight gain.

One means of preventing this is to restrict one’s portions based on  Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) daily portion recommendations.

Serving Sizes: Canada’s Food Guide’s Port...

How to build the best smoothie. Common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Healthy eating is not a simple as choosing lower calorie foods.

Making decisions on what to eat based on their energy (calorie) density alone may leave you missing out on a lot of key nutrients and may have you noshing on restaurant offerings which are less than nutritious. 

This and some future blog posts to come will take a closer look at the the pros and cons of calorie lists. 

As of January 1st, 2017, the Ontario provincial government implemented Bill 45, Making Healthier Choices Act, otherwise known as the act that has changed food chains’ display menus to provide calorie information. Although the majority of food chains already provide nutrition information in the form of pamphlets in their stores, calorie information will now be visually displayed for all customers to see as they order.

However, calories only make up a small part of a bigger picture when making healthy choices. Take for example a trip to your local Tim Horton’s to buy yourself a bagel. When looking at the menu, you...

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Trying to get Pregnant? Top Three Nutrients to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

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