Total Therapy Blog

How to Ace Your Diet

This article was written by our in-house Registered Dietitian, Pavan Johal.

“I enjoy travelling (been to Western Europe, South East Asia,  South America and more to home), exploring the local food scene and city, baking notoriously delicious treats, running/hiking and lazy Netflix days. – Pavan

Eating a healthy diet isn’t simple and knowing what is healthy isn’t much easier. It is information overload out there and it takes time to filter through it all to find out what is fact or fiction but here is a quick checklist of questions you can ask yourself to see if you are on the right track. Time for a pop quiz!

1. Are you eating real food?

Just because you can put it in your mouth and it tastes good does not mean that it is good for you. Foods today have a lot of the good stuff taken away and bad extras added like trans fats, salt and sugar. Choose whole foods to maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Example: an apple vs a fruit roll up, toast and peanut butter vs. peanut butter cookie, chicken and veggies vs. frozen chicken nugget and French fries

Diet & Nutrition Total Therapy Physiotherapy Massage Therapy Burnaby2. Is that bread whole grain?

White bread has been stripped of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Also that “brown” bread you are getting could just be coloured and imitating the real thing. Don’t be fooled. Choose whole grain bread or sprouted bread.

3. Do you get enough vegetables and fruit?

If you don’t have at least one with each meal you probably don’t. These provide more than just vitamins and minerals but also a large variety of phytochemicals which play many essential roles in the body. Aim for at least 1 cup of veggies or 1 fruit per meal or as snacks.

4. Does your dairy or dairy alternative come with a heaping scoop of sugar?

Chocolate milk, yogurt drinks and fruity yogurts comes with extra sugar you don’t need. Milk and their alternatives are still an important source of bone building nutrients so continue to choose milk and yogurt but stick to plain.

5. Do you include healthy proteins with each meal?

By healthy I mean lean meats the raw stuff you see at the grocery store and bring home to cook not the frozen salty deep fried chicken nuggets and fish sticks. I’m also talking about beans and lentils and nuts and seeds. These come with a bonus supply of healthy fats and fiber.

6. Do you drink water?

Not juice, not juice drink, not slurpees or pop but just plain water. Your body is mainly water and without a steady supply of it you are not going to be working as efficiently as you should be.

If all your answers were “Yes” you are definitely on the right track but some “Nos” does not mean you still can’t change. No one is perfect but now you know where you can get started.

Choose one at goal at time (one day, one meal). Change your bread at lunch. Have fruit with your breakfast. Handful of nuts as a snack. Just start the change.


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