Bill 20

In the article entitled Doctors Slam Bill 20, written by Joel Ceascu, Dr. Michael Kalin describes how young female doctors will be penalized in Québec for working part-time.  Family medicine is the ideal work environment for a women who want to practice medicine and raise a family at the same time.  However Québec’s Health Minister, Gaétan Barrette doesn’t seem to want part-time doctors.  He also doesn’t want doctors spending “too” much time with patients.

According to Dr. Louis, president of the FQOM, “bill [20] will impose unrealistic patient quota’s on each family doctor “.  GPs need to spend a reasonable amount of time listening to patient concerns and then provide a proper treatment plan.  Quality care cannot be measured in time spent with a patient. All healthcare professionals, like nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech therapists and not just doctors, need time to get to know a patient, assess their needs and then provide a plan.  Imagine if the patient is vulnerable like an elderly person with many health problems or a patient living with a severe mental health issue. These patients cannot be rushed out the door, they need proper and often lengthy care.

Dr. Kalin is concerned that bill 20 will promote what he is calling ‘assembly line medicine’.  This approach is not just a concern for doctors but for all healthcare professionals.  Imagine taking time off work to go visit a professional who can only spend 5 minutes with you.


Beans beans good for the heart


This blog came up in my Twitter feed and it immediately caught my attention.  The writer, Russ Parsons, reports that we do not have to soak dried beans before we cook them!! What?! Duh? This is new information to me.  In the interest of convenience, I buy canned beans.  I don’t have time to soak beans over night, change the water, soak some more, change the water, boil the beans, change the water….

This blog is telling me that I don’t have to do all of that.  I can simply add dried beans to a pot of water and boil for 1 hour and 15 minutes and voila they are done!  But, with 3 boys, a husband and  working full time I still don’t have time to boil my beans for that long before I add them to my recipe.

My BFF, Robin, is a dietitian living in Salmon Arm BC. She just got a pressure cooker primarily for cooking dried beans.  Robin was visiting her brother in Brazil last year and his girlfriend prepared many bean dishes.  Robin learned that Brazilians use pressure cookers to facilitate the preparation of traditional bean based meals, like black bean soup.  Take a look at the Brazilian healthy eating food guide for some inspiration.

Healthy diets include a lot of plant based foods such as fruits and vegetables; grains like oats, millet, bulgur; and legumes like kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils and split peas.  Plant based foods are sometimes not so convenient and they do need preparation.  However, the benefits are worth the trouble.  Plant based foods are low in calories, high in essential vitamins and minerals and contain fiber which helps to regulate blood sugar.  One unfortunate side effect to eating beans is flatulence.  The good news is, the gut does acclimatize to legume intake and eventually the flatulence will diminish.

I regularly make burritos with pinto beans that I heat with sautéed onions and tomatoes.  I have never cooked this recipe using dried, then cooked beans, but Robin promises the flavor is worth it. She is probably right because I also make a delicious dal recipe with sautéed onions, turmeric, curry, tomatoes, dried red lentils and water.  This recipe cooks very quickly and does not require soaking the lentils.  Red lentils cook fast as opposed to green lentils which take much longer.

If you have any legume recipes to share, please leave them in the comment section.  Do you use a pressure cooker to prepare beans?  Let us know in the comments section too!

Caryn’s New Year’s Diet

Sneakers on a Pier3 copyI’m starting off the new year with a  diet.   I want to set myself up for success, so I will not make this an all or nothing plan.  I will start with 30 days and if I have a slip up so be it.  Yoni Freedhoff says slip ups happen so I will accept that it will happen and move on. After 30 days I will assess my progress and decide what the next step is.

My diet is about social media.  I don’t think I consume it in a healthy way.  I spend an excessive amount of time on social media.  Since I did not have it growing up, it is a novelty that I cannot get enough of, kind of like junk food for some people.

I long for those days of simplicity with paper and productivity.  I remember fondly writing little notes in class and passing them to my BFF known then as my best friend.  I remember hours of phone conversations instead of endless digital chats.  When I wanted to learn something new, I would get a book on the subject or read an article in a journal.  Now I just scroll through my Facebook feed and click on the many links to learn about stuff I don’t really need to know.

One of the problems has become too much information.  I can’t take it all in. Too much of anything is unhealthy.  Too much food, even good food, is not healthy.  Eat less, is the message top nutrition scientists have been saying for years.  I am going to implement this same advice for social media consumption.

My high school buddy Dr. Tanny is also dieting.  He proposed the idea and it was just the impetus I was looking for to stop the insanity of Facebooking. Partnering up with someone who has the same goals is motivating and fun.  Exercising with someone helps with accountability and reduces the chance of missing  a workout.

We will see how far we get and what positive experiences stem from this approach to reducing the consumption of social media.  Dr. Tanny will wean himself off slowly by ranting on twitter. I will relax on Pinterest for now.


What should you eat?

There is so much nutrition information “out there” these days it’s hard t know what is right and what is wrong. I personally support research that is reputable and peer-reviewed. Read this to learn how guidelines are developed.

This phenomenon of ever-changing nutrition information has been going on forever.  It’s confusing and people feel like they don’t know what to eat.

Here is my advice:  Follow your gut. ……………………that’s a dietician joke! LOL……..hahahahaha

I think most people know on some level, what is healthy to eat regularly and what I call sometimes food.  The problem is that people often prefer the sometimes foods over the healthy ones.

Nutrition clue: Foodfood groupss that come in a box are sometimes foods.  Foods that don’t come in packages are all the time foods.

Avoid soft drinks, juice, chocolate milk, sugary coffee beverages, hot chocolate and drink water, water and more water.  Tea is great and coffee in moderation is fine.

Cooking from scratch is a nutrition gold medal.  It trumps everything else.  Singletons and families that take the time to regularly make homemade meals (no short cuts) will achieve a healthier diet in the long run!

F and V


Let Them Eat Cake!!!!!

Let Them Eat Cake!!!!!

Do you know what your loved one is eating in their long term care residence?

How much does it cost to feed a resident in long term?  Is the Ministry providing the funding for appropriate nutrition care for the benefit of those living in CHSLDs?

Find out in AGQ’s new revue. 

Kale Smoothie 1

Kale Mango Green Smoothie

Two of the newest fads in the food world is kale and green smoothies. Unlike many other food fads, these are ones I can get behind. I want to share with all of you a recipe I learned earlier this year for a Kale (Or Spinach) Green Smoothie.

Kale is a great dark green vegetable that provides vitamin A and K. The high fibre content in kale gives it a really interesting texture that I liken to collard greens. What I love most about kale salads is that unlike lettuce or other salad mixes, the dressing won’t wilt it down in just a couple of hours. It stays vibrantly crisp even after cooking it down in soups.


I had this smoothie while I was doing my Stage at Royal Victoria College – a McGill residence. They make this smoothie in their dining hall. I immediately told my supervisor, family and friends that I had just drank the best smoothie I’d ever had in my life. A couple of months later, I taught a basic nutrition class at two elementary schools and the kids loved it! They said “ew” and “gross” as they watched me pour all the kale into the blender but soon after, they oo-ed and ah-ed and proceeded to ask me for the recipe to give to mom and dad at home to make for them. I was really pleased with the outcome.

I love kale and spinach. However, I realize that not everyone does. BUT I can assure you that this smoothie may likely change you and your children’s minds about these dark and nutritious vegetables.

So follow this recipe and have a taste. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to the smoothie I had at RVC.

Kale Smoothie 2

Kale Mango Soy Smoothie (it’s Vegan!)

Makes 4-5 cups

  • 2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup no-added sugar orange juice or apple juice (or even just regular milk or water!)
  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 – 2 cups of kale (or spinach!!) – or more
  • 1 cup of frozen mangos


Add it all into the blender – I usually go with the exact order I listed (liquids first!). The recipe is approximate, and feel free to have fun with it. Add a lot of kale and spinach! If you like your smoothie thicker – add more frozen mango.

The secret is, the vanilla soy milk. It adds a nutty and sweet flavour to the smoothie that milk or regular soy milk just doesn’t. Try it with other smoothies too! This is great for those who are lactose-intolerant or have dairy allergies.

As the weather in Montreal is getting nicer, try this and let it become a summer staple.

D the Intern


Montreal Dietitian Janna Boloten on Breakfast to go!

Read the story and get the recipes here!