How To Download and Listen to Podcasts

We love to podcast. It’s a great way to get information to our audience, inspire conversation and create a more intimate communication experience. For listeners it’s great because you can listen to podcasts whenever and wherever, while multi-tasking or just lounging around.

How to Download Podcasts
For those who are new to podcasts or who want more information about how to download podcasts, here’s an informative article.

How to Access AFN Podcasts
As podcast listening continues to grow, we wanted to make sure know how to access Alternative Food Network podcasts. Here are some options:

  1. Visit the podcast page on our website, press play and stream the podcast.
  2. Visit AFN’s podcast host, Spreaker and stream or download a podcast.
  3. Download a podcast app as further explained in the article referred to above.

No matter the listening method you choose, we hope you enjoy the experience.

New Food Guide

This week saw the publication by the Canadian government of the latest version of Canada’s food guide. The four food groups are gone. Instead, the guide promotes the regular intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods. For protein foods, it is suggested that plant-based foods be consumed more often but the guide still includes fish, eggs, dairy and lean meat in the list of such foods. As for beverages, water should be the beverage of choice according to the guide. And of course, put the brakes on eating foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. The guide also places importance on food skills and literacy. It promotes more cooking at home, and reading food labels to help you make more informed food choices. Regarding that last point, I think it’s never too early to start reading food labels. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw my tween compare labels on our cereal boxes.

One issue that I have read about repeatedly in articles concerning the new food guide is that of food insecurity and that healthier food tends to be more expensive. While there is truth to that when it comes to fresh fruits and healthier consumer packaged goods, cooking healthy at home doesn’t have to be expensive. You can’t beat $1 for a can of beans or chickpeas! To celebrate the new food guide, I have included an easy hummus recipe below and the link to AFN’s Roasted Chickpea video on our website.

Easy Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (19 oz.)
  • ¼ cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

*If you are allergic to sesame or don’t have tahini at home, add some more olive oil or water to get a creamier texture.

Instructions

Drain chickpeas setting aside ¼ cup liquid from the can. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Add the liquid from chickpeas. Process for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Serve chilled.

New Food Guide

This week saw the the publication by the Canadian government of the latest version of Canada’s food guide [JP-link to the food guide that’s in the AFN Resources section]. The four food groups are gone. Instead, the guide promotes the regular intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods. For protein foods, it is suggested that plant-based foods be consumed more often but the guide still includes fish, eggs, dairy and lean meat in the list of such foods. As for beverages, water should be the beverage of choice according to the guide. And of course, put the brakes on eating foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. The guide also places importance on food skills and literacy. It promotes more cooking at home, and reading food labels to help you make more informed food choices. Regarding that last point, I think it’s never too early to start reading food labels. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw my tween compare labels on our cereal boxes.

One issue that I have read about repeatedly this week in articles concerning the new food guide is that of food insecurity and that healthier food tends to be more expensive. While there is truth to that when it comes to fresh fruits and healthier consumer packaged goods, cooking healthy at home doesn’t have to be expensive. You can’t beat $1 for a can of beans or chickpeas! To celebrate the new food guide, I have included an easy hummus recipe below and the link to AFN’s Roasted Chickpea video on our website

Easy Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (19 oz.)
  • ¼ cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

*If you are allergic to sesame or don’t have tahini at home, add some more olive oil or water to get a creamier texture.

Instructions

Drain chickpeas setting aside ¼ cup liquid from the can. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Add the liquid from chickpeas. Process for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Serve chilled.

The Inflammation-Food Connection

One of AFN’s most popular podcasts is The Inflammation-Food Connection.

What is Inflammation?

According to naturopath Dr. Audrey Sasson, inflammation is essentially the body’s response to any damage, internal or external. In a Q & A published by Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, M.D., M.PH. states that inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm and there are two types: acute and chronic. According to Dr. Bhatt, acute inflammation occurs “when you bang your knee or cut your finger. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible redness and swelling.” Dr. Bhatt continues to explain that chronic inflammation can occur “in response to other unwanted substances in the body, such as toxins from cigarette smoke or an excess of fat cells”.

Anti-inflammatory Diet

In AFN’s podcast, Dr. Sasson asserts that one’s diet can truly help combat inflammation. Examples of inflammatory foods are dairy, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, foods high in trans and saturated fats and refined sugar. Ultimately these are the foods we should try to avoid to decrease inflammation and the negative effects that come along with it. Instead, Dr. Sasson suggests to opt for antioxidants as they help counteract inflammation. Having more whole grains and “the good” fatty foods such as salmon and olive oils are also an excellent choice. In Canada and the United States, foods that contribute to inflammation are seen more on peoples’ tables. Western diets are higher in omega 6’s and low in the essential omega 3’s, and according to Dr. Audrey, this needs to be the opposite.

Whether you have irritable bowel disease, sore joints or skin problems, take a look at your diet. Perhaps some changes in the foods you eat will be beneficial. Love your body and watch what you put in it.

All content or opinions expressed in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Party Planning Tips for Guests with Food Allergies and Other Restrictions

Event and party planning can feel overwhelming, especially if there are guests with food restrictions. Here are some tips for both the host and the guest.

Tips for Host:

  • If a guest has an anaphylaxis reaction, immediately call 911.
  • Err on the side of caution by not having the specific allergen present, if possible.
  • Alert caterer/staff/servers about guests with food allergies.
  • Provide a similar looking food for the child with a food restriction. For example, if guests are having cupcakes and a child has celiac, purchase a gluten-free cupcake for that child.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Consider a party planner for a larger event.

Tips for Guest:

  • Inform your host of your food restrictions in advance of the event. Don’t be shy.
  • Add your food restrictions on the rsvp card or send a note to the host
  • If you have severe food allergies and are worried about the host not being able to adequately accommodate your food allergy, consider eating before the event.
  • Having a food allergy is never something to be embarrassed about.
  • Always carry epinephrine if you have a food allergy.

For more, listen to AFN’s podcast about how to plan a party for guests with food allergies

All content provided or opinions expressed in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

 

 

Sports Nutrition & Supplements: An Olympic Athlete’s Story

Food is fuel and for athletes this concept is extremely important. Whether you take part in sports recreationally or you’re a weekend warrior, proper nutrition is crucial to success.

“Eating a balanced amount of carbohydrate, fat and protein is important to play sports at your best” according  to this article published on the Dietitians of Canada website.

Athletes often push their bodies past what might be physically possible, and they require foods with high nutritional density for peak performance. It is also important to focus on real foods. According to Olympic athlete Meagan Duhamel who was interviewed by Alternative Food Network on its podcast about sports nutrition, this means having foods with high nutritional content first (things like quinoa or legumes) and not focusing on foods that might fit the bill in terms of caloric or fat intake but have no real nutritional value.

The Vegan Athlete

It has become somewhat of a trend for athletes to adopt a vegan diet and in AFN’s podcast, Duhamel talks about her specific needs as a vegan athlete and someone who is training. She also talks about the use of supplements but stresses real foods first, supplements second.

That being said, there are certain supplements that Duhamel herself takes such as iron and B12. If you are a vegan athlete, it is important to know that the type of iron offered by plant-based foods is less absorbable than the iron that comes from animal-based foods. According to Duhamel, while she eats vitamin C-rich foods with iron-based foods in order to increase absorption of the iron, she also takes an iron supplement. Similarly, people and specifically athletes who are vegan should consider supplementing B12 as this vitamin is not abundant in plant-based foods.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods & Recovery

Training differs everyday for athletes and it’s a good idea to plan recovery snacks and meals. Recovery foods help to reduce dreaded inflammation and can help repair sore and tight muscles. Duhamel says foods with flavonoids – what gives fruits and vegetables their colour – help to reduce inflammation and strengthen collagen in the body. Turmeric (curcumin) is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that can help with pain.  Some of Duhamel’s favourite snacks post training are pineapple with hemp seeds and sweet potatoes.

Hydration

Hydration is a key component in sport. Duhamel recommends water or coconut water. Particularly if you sweat a lot in your sport, Duhamel also recommends adding some salt to water in order to add sodium to help replace lost electrolytes. And, beware of sugary sports drinks filled with artificial sugars.

You can find the full podcast on Alternative Food Network’s website or click here to listen.

All content provided or opinions expressed in this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

L’alimentation idéale pour un cerveau en santé

Listen to “L’alimentation idéale pour un cerveau en santé” on Spreaker. Peu importe votre âge, il n’est jamais trop tôt ou trop tard pour commencer à manger de façon à  soutenir nos fonctions cérébrales. Dans cette baladodiffusion, Dr. Guylaine Ferland, Ph.D. se joint à Stéphanie Julien, ND.A pour discuter de ce que nous devrions manger pour un cerveau en santé.  À quel âge devrions-nous commencer et si nous le pouvons réellement, comment améliorer nos fonctions cognitives en changeant notre alimentation?

You Just Never Know: Introducing AFN’s French Language Podcast Series

You never know what can happen when you meet someone at a conference or networking event. There I was, standing in line for my guilty pleasure to see cast members from the hit tv show This Is Usat South by Southwest in Austin when I struck up a conversation with the person in line behind me. It turned out we were both from Canada; he from Montreal and me from Toronto. We talked about what we were doing at the festival. In our conversation I mentioned that I was contemplating producing some French language podcasts and he told me he knew a great person with whom I should speak.

Fast forward three months. I’m writing this blog from the balcony of a lovely European-style hotel in Montreal after overseeing the recording of three French language podcasts for AFN. Not only did the gentleman in line with me that day in Austin record and edit the podcasts, but the host is indeed that same person he had recommended to me three months earlier.

For all of you French speakers out there, we hope you enjoy these podcasts. Click here to listen to the first one.

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Status Update

Cannabis Blog Post - AFN copy

As of October 17, 2018, Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational cannabis.

Currently, Canada is in the midst of the transition period before the Cannabis Act comes into full force, with provinces and cities across Canada preparing for this day. But what about edibles and infused beverages? Not so fast. Sale of these goods will be permitted within 12 months following the Cannabis Act coming into force which is sometime in 2019. The Government of Canada is taking more time to develop and implement regulations for these goods. Child safety, food safety and dosing standards are just some of the complex issues that need to be considered.  Not to mention public education. There is a lot of misinformation and lack of knowledge about cannabis.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) v. Cannabidiol (CBD)

The cannabis plant contains numerous chemical substances, over 100 of which are cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is known for its psychoactive properties and producing a “high”. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a “high”.

FOR MORE, LISTEN TO ALTERNATIVE FOOD NETWORK’S PODCAST: Cannabis Legalization & Edibles.