Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Understanding diets: Separating fact from fad

BY AMANDA HUNTER, HELEN YEUNG AND KATHY ROMSES

Spring is a great time to renew focus on our health and wellness from a holistic perspective. This includes nurturing our bodies in ways to support our physical as well as mental health.

Every day, the average person makes over 200 decisions about food.

These small decisions can add up to important impacts on health and happiness. However, if you’ve ever tried to sift through nutrition blogs, articles and other online information, you know that it can be overwhelming to figure out what, how and when to eat for optimal health and enjoyment.

This past March was Nutrition Month, with the theme Take the Fight Out of Food. This campaign was led by Dietitians of Canada and focuses on building happier, healthier relationships with food by tackling five food-related topics. The campaign helps consumers to cut the confusion and get straight to the science, when it comes to choosing well-balanced dietary habits that can be maintained for long-term health.

To help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to diets, here are three basic steps you can follow:

Spot the problem.

The diet and weight-loss industry in Canada isn’t tightly regulated, leaving room for sneaky marketing to spread unfounded nutrition claims. Spot the problem by keeping an eye out for red flags to help identify myths that seem too good to be true.

For example, is the diet or supplement promising “rapid weight loss,” an “easy cure” for a long list of diseases, or some sort of “full-body detox?” If so, it’s a good idea to do some digging before including it in your lifestyle.

Get the facts.

Good dietary recommendations should be based on evidence, given by qualified experts and be something you can follow for the long term. Look for blogs, articles, recipes or social media posts written by registered dietitians.

Seek support.

Food is so much more than the sum of its calories. The way we choose to eat can have strong ties to cultural tradition or lifestyle patterns, as well as our overall happiness. If you’re seeking to change your diet, the support of loved ones can help to smooth the transition, along with reliable resources like the ones listed below.

A great way to kick off a positive change is to find new healthy recipes and try them out with friends and family. Here is a delicious appetizer recipe for you to try at your next gathering!

Chorizo Tapas with Roasted Red Pepper

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh chorizo sausages                                                   2
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt                                                125 mL
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers from a jar, drained           250 mL
  • ¼ cup unsalted almonds                                                  60 mL
  • 15 slices baguette, diagonally cut                                  15 slices

Step 1
Diagonally cut chorizo into slices. Cook in a large non-stick frying pan, over medium heat, 2 minutes on each side until golden (or barbecue whole sausages, then cut into slices).

Step 2
Meanwhile, combine yogurt, peppers and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until creamy but still a little chunky. Add salt and pepper.

Step 3
Toast baguette slices, if desired. Spread each with a generous spoonful of sauce, then top with one or two slices of chorizo. Transfer to a platter and serve as an appetizer.

Recipe by Danone, available at www.cookspiration.com

Amanda Hunter is a dietetic intern studying at the University of B.C. Helen Yeung and Kathy Romses are public health dietitians at Vancouver Coastal Health.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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New health and physical activity project moves residents

BY ESTHER YUEN

Renfrew-Collingwood community organizations and the University of B.C. Kinesiology Department partnered earlier this year to launch the Renfrew-Collingwood Interculturalism, Health and Physical Activity Initiative. The goal of this project is to promote interculturalism, defined as curiosity about people different from ourselves and a willingness to connect, through physical activity to increase social-connectedness, health and well-being in the community.

Residents of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood are encouraged to participate in events associated with this initiative and are invited to share their learning experiences. This initiative is expected to continue indefinitely, but is also expected to launch and support other related projects and programs in the neighbourhood.

To support the project, diverse teams made up of Renfrew-Collingwood community leaders have been or are in the process of being established. The steering circle, responsible for giving direction to this initiative, consists of representatives from Collingwood Community Policing, Vancouver Coastal Health, Windermere Family of Schools, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Renfrew Park Community Centre, UBC and Collingwood Business Improvement Association. The Intercultural Communicators Circle disseminates stories and information, and the Intercultural Connectors Circle, once formed, will reach out to groups that are identified as low-participatory groups.

UBC faculty, staff and students will be working alongside the three circles as well as Renfrew-Collingwood residents or groups who are or will be involved in intercultural physical activities. Led by Dr. Wendy Frisby, the UBC group will act as an academic resource to the community and assist the community in documenting the project. Their aim is to build capacity around the neighbourhood and, in the process, gain insight into real-life community development.

Between now and December 2013, all three circles and UBC representatives will work together to identify existing skills and to learn new skills, create a regularly updated map of intercultural physical activities in the community, promote and communicate about the initiative and document and review the project process.

Residents of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood should contact Paula Carr at pcarr@cnh.bc.ca if they have questions or are able to contribute to the map or organize events and programs that promote community and intercultural physical activity. The Intercultural Communications Circle is also actively looking for motivational stories from community members that give insight into stories about community-based physical health initiatives.

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News