Another holiday season has come and gone and while the past month was filled with bright and cheery parties and brought a chance to reconnect with friends and family, it was also the season to unintentionally overindulge. One minute you were sharing stories over cookies and warm holiday drinks only to realize “just one” turned into two or three. The holiday season, considered to range from mid-November to mid-January, has been shown to be a major contributor to yearly weight gain. Given that weight gain has important implications in the development of major chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, prevention of unwanted weight gain is key. Although there are certain risk factors you can’t control, such as genetics and age, diet and lifestyle are modifiable risk factors that can help prevent weight gain and its negative downstream effects. We’re

CRANBERRY APPLE CRISPThis cranberry apple crisp can be served in place of your typical high GI holiday dessert. It contains lower GI foods, such as apples, rolled oats and spelt flour, and can also be served with your ice cream of choice (optional).Serves: 4-6Ingredients:Filling:3 cups apple*, peeled and chopped 2 cups frozen cranberries, defrosted 3 tablespoons spelt flour ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup maple syrup*A local tart apple is bestTopping:½ cup rolled oats ½ cup spelt flour ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup brown sugar ½ cup pecans, chopped 1/3 cup vegetable oil (e.g. canola oil)Instructions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine apples, cranberries, flour, cinnamon and maple syrup. Pour into baking dish (11 x 7 inch) greased with cooking spray. In a separate bowl combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over

SIMPLE LOW GI FRIENDLY HOLIDAY DISHESThe holiday season is a time of year filled with an assortment of high GI foods and dishes, including sides like mashed potatoes and various desserts. Here is an alternative low GI recipe that is easy to make and can be added or served in place of your typical holiday dishes. Enjoy!MAIN: STUFFED SQUASHThis version of stuffed squash is a healthy holiday dish that can be served as both a main and a side dish. It is vegetarian friendly (can be modified to be vegan) and contains several low GI foods, including squash, quinoa and chickpeas.Serves: 4IngredientsAcorn or Butternut squash:2 acorn or butternut squash 2-3 tablespoon olive oil ¼- ½ teaspoon saltStuffing:½ cup quinoa, rinsed 1 cup water ¼ cup dried cranberries (reduced sugar if possible) ¼ cup toasted pepitas ½ can

SIDE: LENTIL POMEGRANATE SALADThis festive hearty salad includes low GI foods, such as lentils and pomegranate, and makes a great addition to any holiday dinner.Serves: 4-6IngredientsSalad:4 cups spinach (or other salad green of choice) 2 cups cooked lentils 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 1 cup fresh pomegranate seedsVinaigrette:¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon cumin Dash of salt and pepperInstructions:In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon/lime juice, thyme, honey, cumin, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl combine spinach, lentils, toasted walnuts, onion and pomegranate seeds. Mix the vinaigrette with the salad ingredients. Serve and enjoy! Recipe by Effie Viguiliouk, MSc

The glycemic index is a scale that ranks carbohydrate containing foods by how much they raise blood sugar levels compared to a standard food. Foods with a high glycemic index like white bread and white rice give you a fast rush of energy that raises your blood sugar quickly. Low glycemic foods like oatmeal, apples, and SoLo GI Bars give you steady fuel for your body that raises your blood sugar slowly, helping you avoid the spikes and crashes that come with high GI foods.There are a number of reasons why including low glycemic index (GI) foods in your diet is good for your health. First, low GI foods may help you feel full longer and keep you going throughout the day, giving you more energy for that early morning yoga class, beating that deadline at work, and successfully sneaking

Those who train know the importance of eating the right foods for the ultimate workout performance. Whether you’re hoping to run a faster mile or reach for a heavier weight, clean eating is almost always top of mind. That’s why a recipe for success includes following a diet low on the glycemic index (GI). You’ll experience sustained energy for your workout rather than spiking your blood sugar, which could leave you feeling tired and groggy. This is particularly important for those who hit the gym or running trail after a long day at the office. Eating a low glycemic diet all day long can help give you the energetic punch you need so you’re ready to give it your all – even after 6pm.Consider your carbs Reaching for a pre-workout snack is important, but unfortunately not all carbs are created equal.

February is Heart Health Month! Aside from the many other health benefits, low glycemic foods are beneficial to your heart health – primarily for the prevention of future heart health issues.

Whether you’re doing yoga, running that 10k on a treadmill, climbing a mountain, or just trying to get through a typical Monday, understanding the glycemic index for sustained energy can help you get through these long winter days.  The glycemic index indicates just how quickly the carbohydrates in our food are absorbed into our blood. The index rates foods by how quickly they make our blood glucose fall or rise, ultimately affecting our energy levels. While it may sound a bit complicated, it’s actually pretty easy to understand once you know what types of carbs on the high side and which ones are low.Foods are scored from 0-100 The average range is about 50-100 with higher glycemic foods (think donuts and cookies and other foods high in simple sugars) causing a spike in blood glucose. Understanding which foods are high and