Do you stick to one supermarket?

I was standing in line recently at my local grocery store, wondering why I shop there.  It’s dirty, very small and it’s not the cheapest. So, what’s the deal with this place?  I guess it’s the familiarity.  It’s the neighborhood presence, the place where I feel like Norm from Cheers.

There is a cast of characters at this supermarket that amuses me greatly.  I love the fishmonger guy with the funny haircut and the good recipes.  It’s fun to watch the banter between the German lady at the fast food counter and the heavy set woman who does the BBQ chickens.  I love the milkman who is endlessly restocking the dairy section.  Then there is the religious Jewish guy at the Kosher counter who can’t figure me out .  But the best is the cashiers.  There is the happy guy who dropped a 100 pounds and is now a personal trainer on the side. The girl who keeps changing her hair color but never seems to wreck it.  The big lady who never cracks a smile. I also love those car order guys because they are some of the politest young men I have ever encountered.

I really appreciate the fact that if I have a suggestion or a complaint the managers take me very seriously.  They have really done wonders with the coffee section.  No need to got to Starbuck’s anymore.  The vegetarian section has some good stuff too.

At my store I know where almost everything is. I just want to get in and out as quickly as possible.  The longer I linger the more I spend.  Especially since I am of the dietitian persuasion, I feel it necessary to buy every new so called healthy product out there.  My dad the accountant says that is considered a business expense.  But who has time to separate the grocery bill into family and business?

Whenever I find myself at a fancier store I tend to over spend because I find every new food product invented.  I’ve tried hitting the bargain supermarket in the name of frugality but it is just not the same.  I miss the gang.


Addendum: The above article was published several months ago in a local newspaper.  I got a call from a reader who thanked me for this article, stating that what he got from it, was how important it is to support local business.  That wasn’t my conscious intention when I wrote the piece.  However, the subtext is just that. I do support local business even if it costs a bit more.


Video Blog Episode 2 – How to choose your cereals?

Some tips from Janna Boloten R.D.!

Video Blog Episode 1 – Saucy Sodium –

Texture or Taste?

You ever wonder what makes people love certain foods while others hate that same item? Naturally, you might assume it’s all about taste. What tastes good to one person might taste terrible to another. But what if there is something else at play here? Consider texture and how food feels in the mouth. Sometimes this is referred to as mouthfeel.

Texture plays a huge role in how we consume food. For example, some people prepare their pasta el dente while others prefer it softer. Many people like to munch on raw broccoli and some will only eat their broccoli cooked.

Kids are often all about texture. Parents never clue in about this and thus label their little one picky eaters. Similarly as people age, anatomy changes or illness compromises swallowing. What was once easy to eat becomes a challenge. To help them, it could be as simple as changing the texture of the foods they eat.

Likes and dislikes can easily be attributed to texture. Many people hate fish. If you probe them you will find out it has to do with how the fish feels in their mouth. I have seen the same thing with nut butters, pickles, quinoa and even mustard. One client insists that mustard feels like tiny little sand pieces in his mouth. Some people describe milk as slimy. Interesting choice of words, which once again points to a texture issue.

As a dietitian, there is nothing I can really do to help someone “like” a texture. Simply recognizing this is often very helpful for the person. When a parent understands that their child is adverse to a food because of the texture, perhaps they can serve the same food prepared or cooked differently. For seniors, offering soft foods more often could do the trick. It’s important for seniors to meet their nutrient and caloric needs. It’s also important to make sure they are safe when they are eating so they don’t choke or aspirate which could lead to pneumonia.

You see eating is not just about flavour. There are so many other factors we need to consider when enjoying a delicious meal.

Friday Finds: Ryvita Muesli Crunch

July 2010 004

July 2010 008I was grocery shopping at the IGA
in Cote St-Luc last week when I found myself in the frozen foods section.  I was standing there daydreaming at 9:30 at
night when I turned around and was confronted by the RYVITA shelf.  I thought to myself, hmmmm these crackers are
known to be healthy why haven’t I ever tried them?  I am not a big fan of the flavour of rye
which is probably why I have overlooked these gems for so long.

July 2010 005I am always on the look out for
healthy portable non-perishable snacks. 
I don’t usually buy granola bars, which is a popular choice for most,
because they are mainly filled with sugar and other garbage.  Most crackers are over processed too. 

The muesli on the box appealed to
me (as did the color) so I picked up the box and scanned the ingredients and
the nutrition facts label.  2 slices of
Muesli Crunch gives about 2 teaspoons of sugar, 3 grams of fibre and 2 grams of
healthy fat.  2 slices are equivalent to
1 serving of grain product (1 slice of bread for example) according to
Canada’s Food

July 2010 007
While I was spending way too much
money at the supermarket I picked up some almond/hazelnut butter and macadamia
butter and some superfruit spread.  I use
these delicious spreads over the Ryvita and it is killah!  Couple this flatbread with a protein like nut
butter, cottage cheese, a cheese slice or even some tuna.  It’s a good combination rather than eating
the flatbread alone because it makes you feel full. 

Listen to you hunger cues.  Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are