Edition 5 Volume 16
Planning for the Future? Invest in Good Nutrition
Seniors Tip: Add More Challenge to Your Walking Workout
Joke or Quote of the Month:Start Today
Heart Healthy Recipe:Almond Oat Bars
Did You Know? Grow Your Best Tomatoes Ever

Planning for the Future? Invest in Good Nutrition

news 5-16 1Smart investing isn’t limited to your bank account. Transactions occur within your body when you eat food. You credit your account (your body) by depositing vital nutrients from whole foods. And you debit your account when the digestive system uses these nutrients in doing its job of breaking down the food you eat. Therefore, what you eat can overdraw, balance or collect in your health account.

Sadly, many of us are overdrawn. In our fast-paced lives, the convenience of processed, refined foods is what many of us choose. These nutrient-depleted foods don’t contribute to your “bank” account. Instead, they withdraw nutrients from your account to fuel the process of digestion.

The body is designed to slowly and methodically process and refine a whole food after we eat it – not before. Contrary to belief, highly broken-down foods (like refined sugars and other processed, refined foods) are not digested more efficiently. However, they are absorbed very quickly.

This creates hormonal confusion because stages are skipped in the structured, orderly chain of events in the digestive process.

Our food supply has changed drastically, especially in the last few decades, but our digestive systems haven’t changed at all. Our designer foods of today are far too advanced for the unique simplicity of the human digestive system.  Dieticians say our wide selection of “convenience foods” is a contributing factor to the rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Twenty years ago, sugar-coated breakfast cereals were about the only convenience junk food found in most households.

Today, for every meal there are hundreds of choices of processed foods that didn’t occur naturally, like wieners and deli meats, breads and crackers, cookies and cakes, quick-cooking rice, margarine, ice cream, potato chips, snack bars and soda pop. Eating these poor food choices won’t credit your account because they provide few nutrients to repay the debit your digestive process makes.

Infrequently eating them won’t put your account in the red; you’ll at the very least stay in balance. However, many of us make poor choices at nearly every meal, withdrawing continually on our good health. To keep your account in credit, choose foods more often that aren’t as tampered with or changed by humans – foods that are as close as possible to how they were created in nature.

Choose an apple instead of a sports bar. Serve fresh fruit and natural nuts at tea time instead of cookies. Munch on a whole bell pepper or a handful of cherry tomatoes. Try to eat more fresh fruit, vegetables and root vegetables, cooked whole grains, and natural meat choices.

Save the processed, refined “fast foods” as an occasional treat and you’ll be a wealthier and healthier investor.

Article by Eve Lees, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

Heart Healthy Recipe: Almond Oat Bars

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Having after workout snacks ready to go is a big help to grab and fuel your hard working self. These bars are kept in the freezer to help cool you down after that summer run or weight training session. The addition of proteins and fats will help revive your body and mind.  Makes 18 bars.


  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) oat bran or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) almond butter
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) large flake oats
  • 1/3 cup (175 mL) dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) roasted unsalted sunflower seeds


  1. In a dry nonstick skillet, toast oat bran over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until fragrant; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together almond butter, maple syrup and apple sauce. Stir in oats, cherries, almonds, toasted oat bran, flaxseed and sunflower seeds until well combined.
  3. Pack mixture into 8 inch (1.5 L) square parchment paper lined baking pan and freeze for about 2 hours or until very firm and solid. Remove from freezer and remove from pan using parchment paper as a handle. Cut into 18 bars and place in airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 serving = 1 bar)-Calories 120, Protein 4 g, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 13 g, Fibre 3 g, Total sugars 5 g, Added sugars 2 g, Sodium 17 mg, Potassium 145 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation, Reprinted with permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Seniors Tip: Add More Challenge to Your Walking Workout

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Walking is a fun and easy way to keep fit – most anyone can do it! And it’s an activity you can do wherever your travels take you. Even at a moderate pace of three miles per hour (for at least 30 minutes on most days), walking will strengthen the heart, improve circulation, combat depression, boost the immune system, improve sleep, prevent osteoporosis, prevent and control diabetes, and help control weight. Walking provides less impact to the joints than running, which makes it a great activity for a new exerciser or an injured one. And you burn the same amount of calories walking a mile as running a mile – it just takes you longer to walk it! Here are some ideas to make your walking workout more of a challenge:

  1. Change the surface. Walking on sand or soft grass can make your workout a little harder as the muscles are challenged and used in a different way.
  2. Walk faster. Walking too slow won’t get your heart rate up. Picking up the pace increases the intensity of the walk.
  3. Try interval training. Add short bursts of speed or an occasional steep hill or a staircase to your walking workout. This increases the intensity and your calories burned.
  4. Use your arms. Swing your arms to keep the intensity up. Holding light weights as you walk is not a good idea but you can consider wearing a weighted vest. This keeps the weight closer to your centre of gravity, and avoids joint overuse injuries created by swinging weights. You can also involve the arms and upper body more by using walking poles, like Nordic Walkers do, to benefit the upper body and increase your calorie burning.
  5. Cross train. Try other activities to involve other muscles, keep your body challenged, and alleviate boredom. Hiking, step aerobics, bicycling, skiing, are just some of many ideas.

Your footwear should be suited for walking to lower injury risk and ensure you’re getting all the benefits of the activity. Shop for a walking shoe you can easily bend and twist at mid foot. With each walking step, the foot should be allowed to flex as you roll from heel to toe. Walkers have more impact at the heel, so the shoe should have more shock absorbency in that area. Running shoes are not designed for walking. The bulkier bottom of the running shoe is designed to absorb higher impact than walking. When walking, there is less clearance of the foot from the ground, so the thicker bottom of a running shoe may drag causing you to stumble at faster walking speeds.

Avoid wearing your hiking boots for long-distance walking. Boots offer necessary support for the hiking trail, but they do not provide forward motion features and lack the lightness and flexibility needed for street use.

Article by Eve Lees, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

Did you know? Grow Your Best Tomatoes Ever

news 5-16 3Cultivate your green thumb quickly by listening to the experts. 

For example, Jeff Howe, president of Fernlea Flowers LTD., knows a thing or two about growing the best tomatoes. 

“I know gardeners are eager to get the season started,” he says, “but the key to a bountiful tomato harvest is planting after the threat of frost has passed.” When planning for your tomatoes, Howe suggests the following tips for best results:

  • Choose an area that gets full sun.  
  • Space tomato plants 47″-70″ (1.2 – 1.8m) apart. 
  • Stake plants for support as they can grow 47″-70″ (1.2-1.8m) in height. 
  • Soil must drain well and be moist. Use compost for great results. 
  • Plant tomatoes deep into the ground. The deeper the root, the stronger they grow.

Adds Howe: “In a vegetable garden, did you know that tomatoes will thrive if grown near herbs like chives and parsley? But, equally important you should avoid planting them near cabbages or any of the potato family.”

More information and growing tips can be found online at www.bonnieplants.ca

Article by News Canada, www.newscanada.com

Joke or Quote of the Month: Start Today

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”

Og Mandino