On Instagram I shared with you that I am a HUGE lover of all things pumpkin. I know that not everyone is and when Starbucks starts to roll out the PSL, there are those that seriously jump out of their pants excited and people that roll their eyes annoyed with the craze. Well, I hope to convert some haters with this recipe. It may even change the way you think about and use pumpkin! I was first introduced to pumpkin as a savory vegetable when I lived in New Zealand (cause if we are honest, in Canada, pumpkin is mostly commonly used in pie on Thanksgiving- which is delicious!). The Kiwi’s do not eat pumpkin in a sweet pie, but they eat it with potatoes, as a savory side dish. Most Kiwi’s I spoke to were shocked that we even ate pumpkin in sweet baking, while us Canadians were shocked that they have never tried it sweet! While there may still be the split opinion about pumpkin being sweet or savory, I like to eat it both ways!
I am back… FINALLY!!!! Thank you for your continued patience and support as I took time off this summer. As I gear back up, playing catch up and getting back in to the swing of full-time work as an entrepreneur/business owner, I have grown an appreciation for quick snack recipes. Eating on the go can be a major challenge and something that many of us must deal with. The key to eating WELL on the go is to plan ahead and have some balanced go-to snack options. When I say a balanced snack, I mean pairing a carbohydrate containing food (grain, veg, fruit, milk or milk alternative) with a protein containing food (milk or milk alternative or meat or meat alternative). By pairing these types of foods up, you slow down digestion and spread protein intake out throughout the day to ensure you have it available as a building block when needed (such as recovery from training or workouts). Muffins can be a great snack option when the muffin is homemade, and you pair it up with a protein source like cheese, nut butter or a glass of milk.
**This one is all about the female reproductive system. This does not mean boys/men should stop
reading… getting support is important for recovery and this is an important piece for male coaches, teammates and support staff to understand. **
Are you missing your period? Are you an athlete who has been told that it is normal to not have your period while training? Ready to have a baby but your period is still missing and you don’t understand why? You may be loving aspects of not having your cycle because it means no cramps and less mess. Please hold off on those party balloons, as not having your cycle has some serious health repercussions, one important one being fertility.
Let’s be brave and talk fertility. This is NOT an easy topic for most people, let alone someone who has unexplained infertility, is undergoing fertility treatments or has experienced loss along the way. As women, fertility can be a part of what makes us feel like we have succeeded as women, it’s a part of our womanhood. Even as young girls, we start to pretend we are moms, caring for our dolls as we see our moms care for our siblings. I am not saying even women feels this and that is 100% cool; but for those of us who have dreamt of holding our baby girl/boy for the first time, the desire to get pregnant is strong once you are ready to have a baby. You are desperate to try anything and everything that will increase your chances of getting pregnant and give you some sort of control. 15-30% of couples face unexplained fertility (that number is HUGE!). This means, you are NOT alone if you can relate to anything I am saying. You are also are definitely not alone if you have already started eating some foods daily or in excess in the hopes that it may improve fertility.
I have shared on my Instagram page that my daughter has a soy and dairy allergy. We learned this after a trip to the ER with her at 3 months old. The options for this type of allergy at this young of an age are to start her on a hydrolyzed formula (which smells and tastes pretty nasty) or for mom to cut out soy and dairy from her diet to keep breastfeeding. I decided I was up to the challenge of cutting out dairy and soy from my diet as my daughter was an awesome feeder, and I really did not want to spend the money on formula. Although I may be the ‘ideal’ person to have to deal with such a major change to my diet as a dietitian, I found it very difficult in the beginning. I was having to read every single food label extremely closely, while keeping the list of hidden words for soy and dairy open on my phone. It was time consuming to say the least. I also could not just eat out anywhere or trust that others would know how to cook for me. I have learned first hand just how challenging and isolating allergies can be!
Vitamin D, or as many of us know it the "sunshine vitamin", helps to build bone strength, improve muscle function and support immune function. The big question is, are we getting enough in Canada? Short answer- no! Most Canadians are not getting enough vitamin D due to our northern location. Most of the year, the sun does not provide us with the Vitamin D we need and there are very few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D. Even in the summer, when we do get Vitamin D from the sun, we must be spending time in the sun, uncovered (including no sunscreen) to get the vitamin D. The majority of individuals are still not getting this time in the sun in the summer, athletes, this includes you!
Healthy adults, age 19-50 should be getting 400-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily. Adults over 50 and those at high risk (osteoporosis, bone fractures, etc.) should be getting 800-2000 IU daily. This means, a daily vitamin D supplement (Vitamin D3 is the best) is highly recommended for most Canadians, even in the summer months.
Alison is a member of the Saskatchewan Dietitians Association (SDA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC). She is also a member of the DC Consulting Dietitians Network, Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport (PINES), DC Sports Nutrition Network, SWADE and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD).