What to Make of Canada’s New Food Guide

What to Make of Canada’s New Food Guide

More than a Few Steps Forward

Canada’s new food guide looks familiar. Perhaps you’ve hear of Dr. Terry Wahl’s. She is the doctor who was diagnosed with MS and confined to wheelchair. She healed herself with diet & lifestyle. Now she helps people do the same. Her food pyramid has a lot similarities with ours:

  1. More emphasis on quality & less on servings. The old guide would ‘prescribe’ how many servings of each of the four food groups.
  2. Specific warnings about eating processed and prepared foods.
  3. Sugary drinks including fruit juice, soda & alcohol are also excluded. Instead Canadians are encouraged to hydrate with water.
  4. The social element of food is recognized based on research that came out of successes in Brazil: “Be mindful of your eating habits;” “cook more often;” “enjoy your food;” and “eat meals with others.”

Fats or Grains?

The Wahl’s protocol focuses on the importance of healthy fats while leaving out grains. However Canada is still warning us about the dangers of saturated fat & saying whole grains are essential. I disagree.

The research is clear that fats like coconut oil and butter from grass-fed animals are healthy foods. I know from my patient population that most people feel better when they increase healthy fats and reduce foods high in lectins like grains, pea protein powders and legumes. Lectins are hard on the gut lining causing symptoms in many people.

Both approaches suggest eating nut & seeds. These have excellent fats but are also lectins. They can cause irritation in higher amounts or in concentrated forms like nut butters.

What About Dairy & Bread?

Dairy isn’t included on the Wahl’s protocol and has been very side-lined on the Canadian guide. While industrial produced dairy is problematic for several reasons, small amounts of grass-fed dairy is a healthy source of calcium and K2. I recommend goat or sheep dairy for those who are lactose intolerant.

Bread is still on the Canadian food guide. Bread is a highly processed convenience food. Gluten can cross react with dairy and contribute to an immune response. There just aren’t nutrients in bread. It is a filler food.

Overall this new food guide is a positive move for Canadians. I love that we are looking to countries like Brazil to understand what creates happiness and a thriving, healthy population.

What is your baseline?

What is your baseline?

Baseline is a term I learned doing wilderness immersion work.  Its defined as a minimum or starting point to use for comparisons.  For me it invokes an image of being connected with our surroundings, taking only what is needed and observing with all our senses. By simplifying our diet and lifestyle we press a deep reset button that is coded into our DNA. We learn what  and what is hurtful.   Energy is freed up and we may feel more alive.  Our sense of self widens and we have more confidence.

Individualized Medicine:  What your constitution needs right now.

Choose a time to set your new baseline.  Each person has specific needs but there are some general guidelines that are very helpful to follow.

BASELINE is the name of a 30-day reset for health that guides you through:

  • what to add and remove from your diet to give your body a deep recovery
  • what lifestyle habits are most helpful to cultivate so you can enjoy life and thrive
  • creating a support team around you and in your kitchen so this becomes a way of being
  • deciding what supplements are most helpful right now
  • doing lab work to inform yourself of what may be limiting you
  • making goals for the future of your health that are lasting and reliable

The importance of saying ‘No’

The five element theory relates the renewal of spring with our liver.  Have you ever felt ‘livery’ or agitated?  This is the feeling of needing to move and grow just like all the little sprouts coming up at this time of year.  Imagine a bear waking from its hibernation.  She may be a little grumpy and ready to get on with things.  The movement of spring and the liver are also related with youth and wanting to stand up for what is right.

Are you connected with your sense of being able to say ‘no’ to something in order to live for a greater good?  Are you able to do this with yourself in terms of limiting foods and habits that you know limit you from feeling well.  Baseline is an opportunity to explore your relationship with these and make positive changes.

Focusing on the ‘Yes’

We begin by focusing on what to do.  Learning new skills and habits is incredibly rewarding.  Please do send me any questions and I look forward to working together!

 

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