2015 Advent Calendar – Day 14

More than meets the eye…
Good Morning,
from Coach Hester
             I am so excited to be part of the Food-Wise team and you can find me on Wednesdays at our Montreal Road clinic and Thursdays at our Orleans clinic. I am delighted to say hello this lovely December Monday morning as we explore “more than meets the eye”.
You can’t make me!
            Now I am truly blessed (or some might say cursed) with a lifelong love of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong…I also love things that require more portion control…but when push comes to shove and it’s time to focus on healthy eating, it is not a chore for me to ramp up the veggies.  My husband John, on the other hand, was traumatized by vegetables as a child.  The closest he wanted to get to a vegetable when I met him was carrot cake…LOL.
One specific example of a traumatic vegetable for him is Brussels sprouts.  It seems his mom would buy them frozen and then cook them ahead of time and then reheat them.  Suffice to say, the end result would send anyone screaming from the table.   I have tried over the past 25 years to suggest them on occasion only to be met with a stare that suggests I may be on the verge of madness. So when John decided to get back on Phase 1 a while ago, as one of the many strategies to get four cups of select veggies into him, I started slicing up raw Brussels sprouts into our multi-veggie salads and so far he is none the wiser. He actually loves those salads composed of everything but lettuce.
This summer we were at a friend’s place and he had bought the Brussels sprouts in their natural state still on the stalk.  He lightly oiled them and then roasted them on the barbecue so they were slightly charred. They were so delicious my husband even tried them and had more than one!! Since barbecue season is over (or is it?) and it’s hard to find Brussels sprouts on the stalk at this time of year, you might want to try these recipes for a similar experience.  I tried the chips and loved them!!
Oh no, not that…!
                   Another vegetable that took some time to gain acceptance in my household is Kale. Most of you know that kale is a “superfood” that is delicious in a stir fry or a salad. The great thing about a kale salad is that you are supposed to put on the dressing ahead of time as it softens the kale and makes it tastier.  When you try that with lettuce you just end up with a soggy mess. I wouldn’t think of dressing my lettuce at 8am for a noon lunch but with kale it makes it more tender and the result is a tastier salad.

The challenge started when I decided to make kale chips at home when I was on phase 1 of the IP protocol. The first reaction from my young son was, “what stinks?”and when I suggested he try them, he turned up his nose.  My husband wasn’t far behind.  I just kept on making them for myself because I find them delicious (possibly even borderline addictive)…and these days I have to keep an eye on the guys so they don’t eat all of “my” kale chips.

Kale Chips – I alter this recipe   slightly by setting the oven at 300F and baking for 19-20 minutes. It is also important to massage the oil into the kale leaves for maximum coverage.
I like to use different sea salts including a truffle salt I bought at the Unrefined Olive in the Glebe. They have a great selection of high quality flavoured olive oils and flavoured sea salts.  I also like to sprinkle with Cayenne pepper if I’m feeling a little spicy!!

                A final way to get some extra veggies in your diet is to throw in a cup of spinach with your morning IP drink or any drink of the day.  For some reason spinach does very little to affect the flavour of a drink (my favourite is chocolate or wild berry yogurt) although it does affect the colour of drinks like Wildberry. It’s a great way to get in a cup of veggies in a painless way if you are someone who has challenges getting through 2 full cups twice a day.  You can spread it out a little…just make sure to get ‘er done every day!!! (p.s. Kale doesn’t have the same disappearing properties so don’t try it in drinks…I did and wasn’t loving the result.)

Have a fabulous day Food-Wise and otherwise. I will be back next week to continue our tour of the wonderful world of vegetables where you can always discover more than meets the eye!!

Coach Hester  xo

Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 13

I am HAPPY to be a part of your journey!
              Hello, Carolyne here!   Today, I am very excited to share with you a little something that I discovered recently which really inspired me. It has changed my vision on life! Okay, that sounds a little strong but it did make a huge difference in how I see many things in life, especially the meaning of ”being happy”.
Everybody on earth wants to be happy – there’s no doubt about that. It’s crucial to be happy with ourselves too! Taking care of our body and eating well is also an effort towards self-happiness. This is why I’m so stoked to share this with you!
Happiness – What can I do about it?
The main concern with the term ”being happy” is; HOW does one truly acquire this happiness? Will it be defined by the size of pants you wear? The amount of money in your bank account? The number that appears on the scale? The deadline for finishing a project you really care about? What will make YOU truly happy?
You don’t know this about me, but I love to watch documentaries much more than plain out movies and since I have a Netflix account, I usually go snoop around on their documentaries when looking for something new or interesting. A couple of weeks ago I watched a documentary called HAPPY. It had great reviews so I gave it a shot. I was not disappointed! This film questions what exactly happiness is! Don’t we all?

From their research and many questions asked to people from all backgrounds and cultures, they discovered that happiness is found mostly in helping and being a part of other people’s lives. It can be as simple as picking up a call at the right moment from a friend who needs advice, or helping out a stranger stuck in snow. People are happier when they do things for others. It gives us reason and purpose. Purpose is one of those things that people think about at long length and most believe it has to be this great big thing!  All you have to do is smile at a homeless person and you have made their day… and yours!

Say, can I be happy at my job?
This movie helped me understand why I LOVE

my job and why I am truly HAPPY at work (I believe strongly that all the coaches at Food-Wise can relate). It’s because I get to help people and assist them on their weight loss and maintenance journey. It really makes me happy! On that note -I want to give a special thanks to all of you who trust us to coach and assist in your weight loss journey. – you help me/us be truly happy and have purpose every day! Want to be happy at work? Look around for someone you can help be better at what they do!  Introduce a mentorship program, your leaders will love you for it and so will the people you help!

Everyone should watch this documentary and get inspired, especially at this time of year when  we tend to think that the amount of money spent on a gift will determine the level of happiness that it will generate.
As a side bar, Doctor Tran (from Ideal Protein) likes to say ; You have to love yourself to lose weight not the other way around! He’s absolutely right. Dieting is not an easy task and you know it! It takes patience, willingness to change, the right tools, a plan, and enough love for yourself to get it done and keep it off.

Watch this movie because we get stronger and healthier when we are happy. This is the kind of documentary that helps spark people and helps them reach a new level of power in their lives.


How to get HAPPY (the movie)!
Make happiness a priority!
You can rent HAPPY (the movie) directly on the site for $2.99
Or watch it for free if you have a Netflixaccount.
Check out the trailer for free.
Click here to  join the HAPPY movement and sign-up to their site.

“HAPPY is in the process of developing a 28 day program that brings happiness to the centre of our lives. With the movie HAPPY as a catalyst, it provides practical, simple happiness-focused activities that can easily be integrated into each day along with weekly reflections and special features. The program evolves and grows as participants unite to offer support, community developed tips, and inspiration to one another.”

         Since it is Sunday, take an hour off your errands and chores and enjoy this moving documentary! You may find yourself revived and ready to take on the next task with renewed intensity. You may even get motivated to keep your focus during this demanding time of year. You CAN do this!
I know that today, you will feel better just from watching this movie.  It will make you feel as good as it did me and I want you to be happy!!!
One day closer to the holidays! Keep joining us for your daily dose of inspiration!
Have a great Sunday!
Coach Carolyne and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!


Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 12

Having no time AND no energy!
               You may remember that on Saturdays, our topic is FAST FOOD (at home or on the go)!  I have to say that we received a lot of feedback from last Saturday’s post so I know that you are interested and ready for more options.

Let’s see, sometimes, we are short on time… and sometimes, we are equally short on energy! It’s the second most likely reason why people resort to fast food.  We want it fast because we don’t even want to spend the energy sitting in a restaurant waiting for the food to arrive!

So today, on top of fast, we will add the time factor in the mix to give you options that are both quick and easy!
I love having multiple choices…

… but sometimes, the easiest choice to make is to simply stop at the grocery store!  Just recently, I had to stop on a morning when I didn’t have

time to eat breakfast at home.  I could have thrown caution to the wind and pulled through at a Timmy’s for a breakfast sandwich but I was determined to not do that… So on my way to my early morning meeting I stopped at a Metro (ours is open 24 hrs) and walked directly over to the express counter where I picked up a package containing two hard-boiled eggs! Voila breakfast to go!  Eggs are the best!  Did you know that when rating protein, everything is measured against the perfect protein a.k.a the egg!!!
If it’s dinner you are looking for, the express counter at the grocery store will have roasted chickens for sure.  Take the skin off and you’ve got your protein.  Need vegetables to go with that?  Grab some dill pickles or some salsa (Tostitos Medium or Pace Medium are good
as they don’t contain sugar) or canned mushrooms!  Combine some of these and fill up a lettuce wrap… can you see it coming together? Sure, you can go to Lone Star and get Skinny Fajitas (which is a great idea by the way – Thanks Imogen) but if you have no time and are too tired to go out, chicken, mushrooms and salsa in a lettuce wrap is really quick and no effort!… and best of all, you will be delighted with the money you save!
Here’s another idea that provides a big ROI (return on investment) on both the money and time fronts:  the crock pot!  Those who know me well, are not surprised by this suggestion!  I used to have a thing about crock pot Sundays… Fill up the pot around 9:00 am – meat, veggies and a broth – then by 5:00 pm, the house smells so good, you think someone else made dinner for you! The best part is that you will have leftovers for the rest of the week.  If you think it was good on day one, imagine when you eat it again minus the effort of making it! This is one of the best kept secrets!  If you don’t have a crock pot, get one! or ask Santa to bring you one… a BIG one! There is no such thing as a crock pot that is too big!  Think of it this way, it takes the same amount of effort to make a lot or as to make a little.  You may as well make your efforts count! And here’s a little tip:  you can buy oven roasting bags (they have them at the dollar store) and line your crock pot so clean up is a cinch!
Another quick meal that your family will love is tacos!  Everyone loves it and it’s so easy to make.  Use Carolyne’s taco spice mix recipe from Day 8 (don’t use the premade as it contains sugar), brown your ground beef and top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes (and salsa if you like) and use a leaf of lettuce as the shell!  How much fun is that!
So many options…
When you are dog tired and in a rush, you need a pre-made action plan.  At that point when you are at the end of your rope, you can’t be expected to both come up with the plan and execute it.  That is the reason most people end up at a drive-thru.  In their mental rolodex of solutions, that’s the only card that comes up! I invite you to make an “ICE” plan.  I mean an “In Case of Emergency” plan!  With the many suggestions in last Saturday’s and today’s emails, you can choose what works for you and fill out a paper copy of the plan.  Keep a copy in your car (inside the sun visor or in glove box) and in your wallet or an electronic version in your phone. Think of your lifestyle, identify the recurring situations and make a plan for each. If the solution is a drive-thru then so be it but on the paper, you will have the name of the place and the options that are good for you!  This way, the old knee-jerk reaction of selecting the same old combo that you used to get (in your previous life), will be replaced by a better option.  You will feel like someone made the choice for you at a time when you needed it the most!
Tomorrow is Sunday!  Let me know if you plan on making a crock pot!  Just so you know, you won’t be alone!
Have a great weekend!
Love you lots,
Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise Weight Loss xoxo
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 11

Ever get the feeling that you are out of control? – Take 2
       What a way to end the week!  Last Friday I probably shocked you with the subject of addiction.  I know it’s not an easy subject to talk about but if were going to be honest, with all the scientific studies indicating that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, I would be remiss as a coach if I didn’t expose this side of dieting.
There are many places to go and lose weight and 99% of them won’t bring this subject up… why?  Because they don’t want you to stop regaining the weight!  They are happy to take your money, time and again, without any remorse about the negative impact of your regaining the weight!  So if you are ready, I would like to continue our talk from last Friday.
What is an addiction?
Last week I offered you one definition for addiction. Today, I would like to introduce the difference between a habit and an addiction:
  • “Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.”
  • “Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved. “
“Put simply – with a habit you are in control of your choices, with an addiction you are not in control of your choices.”  Reference
So how can a person recognize the tell tale signs of addiction?  Here are some signs and symptoms:
  • The person takes the substance and cannot stop – you know exactly what I mean!  For me this was THE sign!  If I ate none, I was good but as soon as I had a piece (of cake or chocolate) the desire for more overpowered me like I was beaten into submission!
  • Withdrawal symptoms – have you ever experienced being on the short end of someone in withdrawal of sugar?  Ouch! We see it all the time especially on the second day on the diet.  Only 48 hours later, everyone is now calm and happy but those first two days can be brutal!
  • Addiction continues despite health problem awareness – Many of our clients come to us directly after their annual check-up where they just found out that they are borderline diabetic… and still, talking about quitting sugar is a sensitive subject!
  • Maintaining a good supply – It’s not enough to have some in the house, addicts bulk buy Costco sizes!!!
  • Dealing with problems – a person who is addicted will turn to sugar to deal with their problems. I often ask clients “what is your Go-To food”.  This helps me identify if they are addicted to the sweet sugars, the salty sugars, or the liquid sugars (i.e. wine)!
  • Obsession – an addicted person will make a detour to get their “fix”.
  • Secrecy and solitude – have you ever found yourself making up a story to stay behind so you could endulge?  I remember one Christmas day long ago, when we were all in the car, leaving the house to go to my inlaws for dinner, and I thought “it’s going to be a long time before I can eat another sweet”.  So I told my husband that I had forgotten a song book in the house; this being the excuse for me to leave the car, get back in the house, grab another candy bar, chow down, grab the book (the deception) then returned to the car!   This is not one of my proud moments but you get the idea of how powerful addiction is!
  • Denial – most people who are addicted to sugar are in denial. They are not aware (or refuse to acknowledge) that they have a problem. They laugh it off as though it is totally normal to eat so much!
  • Excess consumption – I remember putting away (down the hatch) several candy bars (the fundraiser sized ones) in one sitting.  It’s almost as if your brain is thinking eat it all now in case there is none later!
  • Having stashes – When it comes to sugar, this is hardly necessary since it is so easily available.  When I worked in the federal government, I didn’t need to have a stash, the vending machine was less than 30 ft away!  My stash wasn’t sugar, it was money for the vending machine!
  • Taking an initial large dose – I remember trying to lose weight by myself. From Monday to Friday at noon, I would be so good then we would go out for lunch with the office staff and the restaurant offered a free small piece of cake with your lunch special.  This would completely through me off the wagon.  By the time, 2:00 pm rolled around, I would have already consumed 2 more candy bars!
  • Financial difficulties – This is more typical of people who consume expensive drugs but still, the way people consume (or overindulge) in one area is often reflected in other areas of their life, including the way they spend (or overspend).
  • Relationship problems – these are more common in drug/alcohol addiction however, the guilt and low self-esteem that often accompanies addiction can make for roller coaster like relationships.
As you can see, there are a lot of signs.  Once you start processing this, you are definitely on your way to self-control.  They say that recognizing the problem is the first step!

Worthwhile reads!
Suicide by Sugar
by G.N. Jacobs
BestBookLibrary (free 5 day trial)
pdf format!
A Close Encounter with Addiction
by Gabor Mate
              If you are opening your eyes to this reality for the first time, please be kind to yourself.  None of this situation is your fault!  You are not responsible for getting here…  But think of all the possibilities from here on end!
You are not alone!  Right after you have your ah-ha moment, you may feel like you are carrying a heavy burden.  Please remember that we are here not only to help you carry it but also to help you lighten it.  This is our commitment to you!
Have a great weekend!  Tomorrow, we talk about making food FAST!

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!


Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 10

‘Tis the week for Christmas 
office parties!
       Hello and welcome to the second edition of throwback Thursdays!
Today we look back on Christmas office partie tips!  If you have not had yours already, then this could be the week that it happens… the Xmas lunch!
From the archives – Day 14, 2014
I remember playing a very active role in the social committee at my work (I know this probably surprises you, LOL…) and every year, we were looking to do something different.  We would change venues, add a gift exchange, go to a pool hall, play games, have draws… and I remember a few times when we decided that it would work just fine to get together in our own staff lounge and share a pot luck.  Since this a popular option, be it for the office party or a friends gathering, I wanted to give you some tips as to what you could make as your contribution.
A new twist on an old favourite!
Some of the most popular things to bring to a pot-luck are meat balls and deviled eggs!  Of course if you are currently dieting or keeping a close eye on your food intake, your reflex will almost assuredly be to prepare and bring a vegetable platter… don’t do it!!!  Leave it to someone else to pick up the veggie tray, someone always does.  Your job is to look out for protein!
I have often suggested that one of the best things to bring is a shrimp ring because:
1) people will love you for it (it makes you look really good – stock-up when they are on sale and keep them in your freezer… they also make a great offering when going to a house party… another popular theme at this time of year!), and
2) they insure that you will have a great, low fat protein! (use the Walden Farm Seafood Sauce…)
But if you are allergic to shellfish, here are a few more ideas… Deviled eggs… yes, you read correctly!  If you have tried the Walden Farm Mayo and thought, eeerk this is nasty… I can assure you that it is perfect in deviled eggs.  For one thing, you won’t taste it as the flavor of the eggs will completely override it… and second it is NO carbs and NO fat!!!  So whatever deviled-egg recipe has made you famous in the past can come alive again with the substitution of the mayo!
But let’s face it, the really popular item in a pot-luck is meatballs.  I play curling and when we have a pot-luck, we now have to list what we will bring in advance because one or two times, we ended up with five meatballs contributions.  So here is a recipe you can use and eat… sauce and all!!!
Meat & Veggi Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey or beef
2 egg whites
1/8 c. dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 cup grated zucchini
3/4 cup grated cauliflower
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms or spinach
Mix ingredients together, make into balls.  Place on non stick baking sheet & bake at 425 for 20 mins.
Sweet & sour Sauce
1/2 tbsp worcheshire sauce
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp. Walden Farms pancake syrup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
Mix all ingredients, pour on meatballs and heat  Yum..Yum..

Throw some green peppers into a skillet, sauté, pour on the sweet & sour sauce and place the already cooked meatballs down in the sauce for a min. or two, and serve!

         A few parting words…

            If you are on Phase 1 or 2 of the IP protocol, remember that if the activity is at lunch, you can simply switch your dinner for your lunch and have your IP meal at dinner time.

If you are on maintenance, keep in mind that at this time of year, if you “party” and indulge at every occasion, you will get to Christmas eve with a few unwanted pounds.  So why not apply some smart planning to every outing or do.  Every calorie saved will add up!
Have a great rest of the week!  I will talk to you next Thursday for another throwback from our archives!
Coach Melanie  xox
and the coaching staff at Food-Wise!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 9

You’re sweet enough as it is!
       Good Morning!

Today I want to continue building on our Wednesday theme – the subject is sugar – you probably guessed it by the title! Let’s get right to it!
 I know you hear tons about sugar already but I want to shed some light on key information as it relates to the holidays. I have been a weight loss coach for many years and I have seen many levels of sugar addiction.  It’s fascinating to see how many different people with different backgrounds are all affected by sugar.
I want to talk today about hidden dangers of sugar and what you should know now (before the holidays) because what you don’t know can in fact harm you or the ones you love most. The holidays are almost upon us so we have to hurry up and take a serious look at this!

Most people know that sugar is not good for them, but for some reason, they think the risk of high sugar intake is less of a problem than having too much saturated/trans fat, sodium or even calories. If you really understood what sugar was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list and prevent your loved ones from over consumption during the get-togethers.

Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
I bet you didn’t see this coming! Well it’s unfortunately true. The authors of a 2012 paper  published in the journal Nature showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver the same as the metabolizing of ethanol – the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages.
Sugar already hides in many everyday “non-sugar” foods
Many people attempt to avoid the typically known sugary culprits prior to the holidays (candy, cookies, cake, etc.), they often are surprised when they discover some of their healthier preferred foods also contain lots of sugar. We are talking tomato sauces, fat free dressings, tonic waters, marinades, crackers and of course bread. You knew about bread but since it is the taxi that transports many other foods, as Lise likes to say, I figured I’d mention it again. She is totally right, it is!
An overload of sugar may shorten your life AND significantly affect the quality of your life.
A 2013 study  estimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption. The authors summarized that deaths occurred due to the association with sugar-sweetened beverages and chronic disease risk such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. “Just say no” to the glass of soda – it’s not worth the risk!

The list could go on and on but I want to point out a relevant link between sugar and this time of year. Many of us have traditions over the holiday period. Some have cookie exchanges, bake offs, baking days (I raise my hand on that one) and so on. This is just the first part of the holiday sugar battle. The second is going to those events!  I want you to consider that all those events had a “first time”.  You might consider starting another first this year… just remove one of those traditions and replace it with a sugar free alternative!


Christmas time is well known for being a sugar-coated holiday, and if you are determined to not fall off the wagon (and feel like crap because you did), get in there with a plan! I’ve got a few key tips to share:
  • Explain to people what you’re doing, early on. This way they won’t feel offended when you don’t take their special Christmas cookies, which they are probably proud of and eager to share. (They might even try to send them off with you to save themselves from eating the whole batch!)
  • Pack healthy snacks and bring them to share. IP offers nuts, chocolate soy puffs and many recipe ideas you can make with the chocolate drink that you can eat and share guilt-free. You can also just bring a nice platter of veggies, they always get eaten!
  • Ask /serve warm drinks like tea or coffee, they satisfy the cravings to eat just for fun.
  • If you diet, don’t drink alcohol! Not only is alcohol high in sugar, but one or two cocktails can really, really weaken your resolve. Plus you’ll feel hypoglycemic (i.e.  like ”crap”) the next day, and isn’t the whole point of the “avoiding sugar” thing to feel better and get healthier?
  • If you’re still new to the low / no-sugar game, pass up making cookies and candies this year.  You will reach a point when you can make sweets without eating them all, but until then, be kind to yourself and don’t put yourself in temptation’s way.
       Making changes isn’t easy! I want you to think that with every change you propose, you will get some resistance but you will also inspire someone!  No food will ever replace good quality time with family and friends!  After all, isn’t it all about coming together to talk, share gifts, sing and reminisce? You really are sweet enough as it is, and your kind of sweetness won’t jeopardize your health!
Have a great Wednesday!
Coach Carolyne xoxox
… and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!
PS:  Get healthy recipe options on our Facebook page and our Pinterest!  Click on the links for direct access!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 8

The gift of flavour takes a little thyme!!!
              Hi!  My name is Carolyne and I am the weight loss coach at our downtown (Sparks st.) clinic. I also spend one day per week at our Prince-of-Wales location as well as one day at our Orleans location. I have been a weight loss for over 8 years now and I LOVE my job. I also LOVE cooking. As a mom running a house of four, I do all I can to feed my family healthy foods but like most people, I do not have much extra time during the week or weekends to prepare meals that take hours to make or cook…

The basis of cooking simple healthy recipes requires a little knowledge of spices. But without my mom’s amazing cooking growing up, I probably would not have the interest in spice blends like I do now. Who knows!

Butter will not save your overcooked green beans but onion powder can!
I think the best way to give a wow-factor to your meals is by adding SPICES! Spice blends are even better than just plain salt and pepper…But you know that!
Today I wish to share a gift idea with you that I am making for my parents and friends. Mom, please pretend to be surprised at Christmas, I know you read these emails lol!
I want to offer the gift of time and flavours! Not many people take the time to make their own blends and instead they get knock-offs/less delicious pre-made store blends. Not only do they taste less good but store bought spice blends are often full of ingredients you truly want to avoid.
I think you will love this simple, homemade, cost effective gift idea! The main issue is people don’t have time to make these blends. So for the holidays, instead of doing 14 trips to stores to find inspiration and ready-to-go gifts. I’ll go out once, stop at Michael’s for jars, pens, labels and maybe ribbons if you’re feeling fancy. Then I stop at a spice shop and get what I need and voilà! The rest I do in peace at home J How sweet is that!!


If you do go to Michael’s – get your coupon ready first or show it off on your smartphone. They aren’t fussy. They always offer a coupon on an item of your choice! Usually it’s 20% to 50% OFF any item at regular price.

            Why are homemade blends better than store bought?

The food labels on the bulk of store-bought seasoning mixes are full of fillers, preservatives and other unwanted fake flavour enhancers.
As you know, homemade blends can be adjusted to your liking and taste better.
Store boughtblends may contain unwanted ingredients that can include:
  • Modified food starch
  • Sugar – of course…
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • MSG
  • Hidden gluten
  • Natural flavourings – not so natural most of the time..
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Spices (This sounds innocent…but what exactly are these anonymous “spices”?),
  • And potentially more unwanted ingredients.

Avoid all those by doing it yourself!

A list of spice blends to try out this holiday season:

Taco Seasoning – I love this in the slow cooker with poultry or ground beef

Italian Seasoning – Any dish that needs a lift

Rajin’ Cajun – I love this on eggs but will work on anything
Lemon Pepper – Great on everything!
Garam Masala – Amazing with poultry
Pumpkin Spice For many recipes

              If you can’t see yourself offering spices as a gift, I want you to consider making it for yourself.  You will not only get a blast of flavour but you’ll also be eating clean. I for one like to offer gifts to those I love that help them feel better and I think this is also a great opportunity to be creative!  Have fun!

Have a great Tuesday!
Coach Carolyne and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!


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2015 Advent Calendar – Day 7

More than meets the eye…
              Hello everyone my name is Josée, I am a weight loss coach at the Montreal Rd clinic. I’ve been working in the health, fitness and rehabilitation field for more than 10 years, I am very passionate and enthusiastic about educating others with improving their health. Being healthy is a term widely defined and has a lot of layers to its definition.

What motivates me, and keeps me going is being able to make a small difference in someone’s lifein hopes that they feel enlightened and inspired to make new positive changes to improve their overall sense of well-being. At the same time, being able to experience these struggles and positive revelations with people, throughout the process of achieving their goals, INSPIRES me.

If you’re looking for a change…. I’ve got something in store for you that is “more than meets the eye…”, a little hip-hip-hurrah! into your Monday!!!!

Did you know that the CHAYOTE “fruit”(oh yes I did say fruit) is phase 1 approved under theselect vegetable list???   For those of you who are new to chayote, I did a bit of research to tell you more about this “fruit” and its origin.
What’s that!
“Chayote (Sechium edule) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.”  (Wikipedia)
“The chayote fruit is used in mostly cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Though rare and often regarded as especially unpalatable and tough in texture, raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, most often marinated with lemon or lime juice. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of vitamin C.” (Wikipedia)
“The fruit does not need to be peeled to be cooked or fried in slices. Most people regard it as having a very mild flavor by itself (though some find it unpalatable). It is commonly served with seasonings (e.g. salt, butter and pepper in Australia) or in a dish with other vegetables and/or flavorings. It can also be boiled, stuffed,mashed, baked, fried, or pickled … Both fruit and seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C. Fresh green fruit are firm and without brown spots or signs of sprouting. Smaller ones are more tender.” (Wikipedia)
Now you know the most important information to know about chayote… but wait…
            I have found over the years that information is not enough to propel anyone towards a supermarket to buy something new.  What really works is a recipe. I found this one for you online and if the taste comes anywhere close to the above picture count me in!  You can find the recipe by clicking here!
I also want to thank Susan, one of my Saturday dieters, for this great tip!  She has been adding ¼ cup of sired chayote into her IP maple oatmeal for breakfast and in her own words it’s her “hearty breakfast in the morning and it brings out that yumm sound everytime” lol

If you’re having a hard time getting all your veggies in for the day this is a great way to get started early.  Simply add some sired chayote using a teaspoon of grape seed oil and cook it for 3-4 minutes till tender and add it into your warm IP apple oatmeal or maple oatmeal and voila!  You can even try it in your IP pancake!
Wishing you all a happy week ahead, till next time

Josée  😉

PS: If you have great ideas of your own for using chayote, please send them to me at josee.foodwisewl@gmail.com Thank you!
Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 6

Don’t worry, be happy!
              Everyone agrees that Sunday is a day to be at peace, to relax, to take it easy and to be happy.  There are hundreds of pictures on Google Image that relate to Happy Sunday so I decided to make this our Sunday theme!
Why is happiness important especially in relations to weight loss?  It’s simple, because people typically put the cart before the horse!  I hear it all the time:  I will be so happy when I reach my goal weight!  I will be so happy when I can get back into my size 10 pants!  So my question is: what are you now?  Does happiness have to wait until you reach your goal?
Happiness – Is that even real?
 Wikipedia defines happiness as “a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”  The issue isn’t so much that we don’t know what it is but rather that we continue to look for it “in all the wrong places!”
People start a weight loss program thinking that it will bring them happiness!  “When I lose 25 lbs, I will be happy!”  –  “When I get back in control of my diet, I, for sure, will be happy!” Sound familiar?  Why is it then that people lose weight all the time and gain it right back?  Is it because they can’t deal with being happy?  Of course not!
There are a few things to look at relating to happiness and weight.  Let’s start with the fact that lack of happiness is the leading cause of weight gain!  People most often gain weight when they are unhappy, in which case, the food is intended to supply the missing happiness. The big problem is that the food brings very short lived happiness then the void or unhappiness returns. The brain then kicks in  with what he thinks is a brilliant idea… more food!  That’s should return the state of happiness in theory. This vicious circle then goes round and round and the weight comes on just like that!
The second fact is that happiness isn’t something we can find on the outside, it is something we must cultivate on the inside. There are billions of dollars spent yearly on advertising making a compelling case that happiness can be found in “stuff” – vacations, new cars, bigger homes, a different job, a different spouse… and the list goes on!  I’m not saying that you can’t be happier in a better car or in a more fulfilling relationship.  What I am saying is that it may not be the answer to your particular source of unhappiness.
An interesting thing to know is that our lack of happiness also has a purpose… it is there to confirm that you need to change direction.  The acute presence of unhappiness  always leads to a breakthrough.  The sooner you look at the source of your unhappiness, the quicker you will be enlightened as to the potential solution.
Now, I know what you are thinking… “I’d rather not know because the likelihood is that there’s nothing I can do about it!”  Am I right? Fear is among the leading reasons why people don’t do anything!  Fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown!  I want you to think that there is nothing that you cannot do!  I am the living proof of this! Becoming an entrepreneur in my late 40’s with everyone saying that most people fail a few times before they succeed… I had every reason to not even attempt what I do now!  And yet, courage in hand, I went full steam ahead!  I didn’t do it alone and there lies the key.  You can do anything you want just remember that you don’t need to do it alone!  You are surrounded by people who can help you and that holds true for anything you want to change!

A list of articles that will 
enlighten and empower you!
What factors are crucial to well-being?
Expectations: use them or be used by them.
The Secrets of Happiness

Forget about money. Don’t fret about youth. Acting happy will make you happy, and more tips.
             I met a guy a few years ago at a trade show and he was selling happiness… well OK, he wasn’t so  much selling happiness as he was selling the method to acquiring it!   Really!

There was something odd about this guy, he was smiling way too much and when I stopped at his booth, he shared that he had lived a good part of his life being unhappy until he decided one day to research a way to change that! Stephen L. Whiteley did a lot of research and basically tried most methods out which finally led to him writing and publishing a book called Happiness Works! Get Yours Here!  The book is packed with information, well worth the money and the

Get yours here!

time spent reading it!

 There is no better time to be happy!  Take my word for it, being thin isn’t going to bring you happiness.  Do the work now especially if you are in the process of losing weight. It will serve to anchor  your weight loss efforts for a truly lasting effect.
Have a great Sunday

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!

PS – Thank you Karol for your feedback on yesterday’s email!  Because of you I now know that I can get a bunless burger at Big Smoke Burger at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa!  Super!  😉

Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website

2015 Advent Calendar – Day 5

Apparently time flies… even when you’re not having fun!
               It seems that we are constantly in a rush;  during the week, we dream of the weekend thinking that we will have more time… and then we blink and it’s Sunday night again and we’re getting ready to go back to work.  First thought is: where did the time go!!!

One of the first things to suffer, when we are short on time, is food.  I don’t need to commission a study on this, all I have to do is look at the drive through lanes during morning and evening rush hour!
Although we had a great post on Thursday about what to do at the food court, I wanted to drill a bit further into the subject because this is part of the “lifestyle changes” that everyone talks about when they are discussing lasting or sustainable weight loss.

Today then, I will give you a few more ideas for restaurant fast foods as well as one for home made fast food… meaning that you can make this quick and easy same as if you were simply driving through at the golden arches!

This is going to surprise you!!!
Most of us look on a menu for options that will fall into the guidelines of our diet program or protocol especially at a fast food joint and if nothing fits we either choose another place, refrain from eating or throw caution to the wind and cheat.
Very few of us would ever think of doing what I’m about to suggest… Asking  for no bun around the burger!  When I did the research for today’s email I came accross the idea and was totally surprised by it’s simplicity!  Like most cities, Ottawa doesn’t lack burger joints.  What you need to keep your eyes on is the carbs of course, especially the hidden carbs (i.e. in the condiments).  Ketchup is loaded with sugar so tell them you don’t want any!
I also learned today of something called an
Un-wich!  What is it?  It’s a sandwich without the bread!  Be it a burger or a wrap, the bread has been replaced with lettuce!  I love it!  There are restaurants in the U.S. that already have it on the menu, none in Canada that I know of for now but between us, we can already start using the term as a way to remind ourselves that if we don’t ask, we won’t get!  Next time you are at a Wendy’s, you can ask for a chicken burger in a lettuce wrap or simply in a bowl.  They will actually serve it to you that way!
Here are a few more ideas:
Five Guys Burgers & Fries – There are two in Ottawa (Burger – Lettuce wrap or in a bowl)
McDonald’s & Burger King – (Breakfast sandwich without the English muffin)
Subway – (Chopped salad or bunless breakfast sandwich) 
Wendy’s – (Bunless burger or grilled chicken Sandwich – or “un-wich”)
I saved the best for last…
Panera Breads – One in Ottawa located on Hunt Club close to Merivale
I learned through my research that they have a hidden menu!  They have amazing items on that hidden menu that are perfect for the Ideal Protein diet.   Here is what I found: “For a breakfast meal, ask for the Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak at 3g net carbs or the Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey at 4g net carbs. For lunch or dinner, order the Power Mediterranean Chicken at 7g net carbs, the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Bowl at 7g net carbs, or the Power Steak Lettuce Wraps at 6g net carbs.”  Ref
I was so excited that I called the restaurant to confirm that they truly do have a hidden “Power” menu (just in case it’s only in the U.S.).  Elliott the manager was more than happy to confirm.  The only thing they don’t currently have is the last item – Power Steak Lettuce

Wrap… everything else is there. Elliott was very nice so if you go there and see him, please tell him that Food-Wise sent you! Who would have thought that a place called Panera Breads would be happy to forgo their namesake!


For those times when we are too rushed to even go through a drive-thru…
This is one of my best tricks… Veggie Omelet!  I can literally whip up an omelet with spinach & mushroom in less time than it takes to get in the car and go the 2½ kms to the nearest fast-food! All it takes is eggs and whatever vegetable you have in the fridge.   You might even consider keeping canned vegetables for this type of emergency.  I personally don’t much care for canned asparagus and mushrooms but in an omelet, who’s going to know?
              This looks a lot like the face we make when we embark on a restrictive diet… but it doesn’t have to be this way!
Remember that all you learn while you’re on the diet is going to serve you for years to come.  If you don’t learn it now, there will come a time very soon when you wish you had paid attention!
Every Saturday until Christmas, we will give you tips on fast foods at home or at a restaurant.  Knowing that time isn’t always on our side, this will be useful “time and again”!

Lise and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!

Food-Wise Weight Loss| 613-297-5090 | Email | Website