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Happy-Gourmand

Finding healthy comfort foods

Comfort food or health food

It’s a new year and some of us get excited for a reason to have a fresh start, while others feel the pressure of making resolutions to make a show of improving ourselves.

It can be a tough combination, to be in hibernation season and try to be inspired at the same time.

So how do you create a balance? What foods are you eating these days? Does your diet change in winter? Does it change after the holiday season? Comfort food is often what attracts us on short, wintery days.

I was pondering the notion of how reasonable it is to have a diet we can call “comfort food” and still consider it healthy food. Of course, since I’m a gourmand, my nature is to work with a balance—some days I eat richer food or have more treats, other days I focus on lighter meals and more fibre. (I want to continue my life of walking to pastry shops, and also walking downstairs to workout.)

Nowadays there are a myriad of diets and meal plans out there. I’m sure you’re familiar with the usual variations of veganism and vegetarianism, and you’ve probably heard about the keto (low carb) diet. Maybe you or someone in your house follows one of these.

The concept of creating a diet that also goes with a lifestyle is now more common, like the Mediterranean diet (similar to what people in the famous Blue Zones consume – where many live longer, healthier lives than in other locales). I know that, especially in winter, we might find it hard to connect with this, what with it being cold and dark – not much like the Mediterranean at all.

With rising prices, people’s buying and eating habits have adjusted too. I looked up some statistics (link to graph: https://www.statista.com/forecasts/998549/attitudes-towards-food-in-canada ) and even last year, the majority of Canadians were already searching for less expensive products at the grocery store, and about one in five said they planned to eat less food. We are still trying to be healthy, but we also want food to be easy.

• 58% of Canadians are trying to eat healthy and 76% say they eat fruit and vegetables regularly

• 30% of Canadians are trying to avoid artificial flavours and preservatives

• When it comes to convenience, 32% of people say food must be convenient and fast

• As far as cooking goes, 20% of Canadians don’t like doing it

When they separated the data by generation, the report showed 20- to 29-year-olds were five times more likely to be vegan than other age group, but 50- to 59-year-olds were much more likely to have consistently healthy eating habits.

It’s too bad I can’t do a poll in this column. I’d love to conduct my own survey. We’ll just have to wing it here.

Here are links for a winter salad, a winter stew and a winter dessert. And for those of you who don’t like to cook, I have a suggestion for a few fun places to go out. You choose what works for you.

Winter Herb Salad with Fruit

Pot-au_Feu, or literally, “Pot on the Fire”

The Ultimate Bread Pudding

If you’d like to be healthier, today is a great time to start. Try adding just a few more veggies to a meal, or maybe another glass of water to your daily routine. If you enjoy a decadent treat, add a walk to the mailbox or use the stairs at work a bit more that week.

If you want to splurge and get out more for a bit of social contact during winter, make a plan with friends to try something new. Okanagan Dine Around is a great chance to support local businesses.

I hope wherever you are on the scale of preferences and healthy living, you are comfortable in your situation, or working to get there.

Perhaps that’s the best combination for comfort and health.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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