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Hubert Cormier’s advice: 10 food resolutions for 2019

Hubert Cormier’s advice: 10 food resolutions for 2019

2019 is finally here and with it comes lots of great ideas, projects and maybe even resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. Yet, according to a study from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, only 8% of people are successful in meeting their New Year’s weight resolutions. Here are some tips to keep them for good and stay to motivated!

Eat more unprocessed and organic foods

The popularity of food blogs and food television shows has grown steadily over the last five years. We can see in these shows that chefs are going to basics: cooking your own food! Over the next year, I’ll be sharing simple, nutritious recipes on Avril’s online magazine that can be prepared from mostly unprocessed and preferably organic ingredients. Organic food is affordable and is sometimes even cheaper than their non-organic food. In fact, Avril launched a few years ago its naturallyorganic home brand, whose mission is to bring to the public several organic products such as nuts, legumes, flour (such as quinoa flour!), etc.

Integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet

There are so many ways to cook vegetables: grilled, braised, roasted, simmered, steamed, vacuum cooked, in the dishwasher (oh yes, some people cook dishes in the dishwasher in airtight containers), barbecued, etc. Furthermore, there are tons of vegetable cuts to choose from to make them more exciting. Personally, I could not do without my “spiralizer” with which I prepare zucchini noodles in just seconds. Fruits and vegetables naturally have a high nutritional density, that is they contain a large amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds and are an integral part of a healthy diet.

Decrease portion size and go for a salad prior to your main meal

A salad is easy to make, it’s colourful, and it is SO interesting from a nutritional standpoint! I’m not talking about a simple green salad made only of romaine lettuce or iceberg. I mean a hearty salad including several vegetables of different colors such as radish, carrot, broccoli, fennel, red cabbage, peppers or tomato. It can also include fresh fruits such as apple, grape, blackberry, raspberry, mandarin or strawberry, which, in addition to giving  it an interesting colourful appearance, will enhance the flavours!

Also, you can ditch the classics and go for kale salad, a homemade cabbage salad, a beet salad or a salad prepared from Avril’s naturallyorganic microgreens, which will be available soon in all of their branches. If you adopt this healthy habit, you will eat less calories! Indeed, even if you add a salad to your meal, it will only contribute to an earlier feeling of satiety. This will decrease your hunger and, consequently your caloric intake during the main meal, which is often dense in energy in addition to sometimes

Diversify your sources of protein

In 2019, decreasing meat consumption will be an issue for many and we will see an increase in popularity of alternative sources of protein, including plant-based protein. By alternating between animal protein (lean meats) and plant-based proteins, we give to the body all the nutrients necessary for its proper functioning such as iron, zinc, magnesium, dietary fibre, several vitamins, etc. Plant-based proteins are more popular than ever and some stand out more than others. This is the case of TVP (textured vegetable protein), tempeh, pea protein and seitan. You can also prepare tofu at home in a few easy steps (the recipe can be found at the end of this article). It is possible to customize tofu by giving it the taste you want. Go ahead and try it!

Eat more whole grain foods

The presence of fibre in food means that it requires longer chewing and digestion time, which provides a feeling of satiety that comes sooner than with other foods. In addition, foods that are high in fibre are generally less caloric and often contain less added fat and sugars. All of these factors need to be considered when trying to control one’s weight. In addition, eating fibre helps to normalize blood sugar and  insulin levels. You can find many varieties of whole grains at Avril such as amaranth, wheat, spelt, kamut, quinoa, corn, millet, barley, buckwheat, rye or sorghum. With all these options, it is possible to have fun in the kitchen while diversifying what is on the menu.

Increase your fibre and fat intake

We’ve all heard about chia seeds in recent years, and there’s a reason why! Originally from Mexico, this seed is rich in flavonols, known for their antioxidant properties. Chia seeds are also rich in protein, healthy fats and fibre and are a good source of magnesium and calcium. Its tiny size and neutral flavour make it is easy to sprinkle on both sweet and savoury dishes. In addition to being incorporated into salads and smoothies, chia seeds can make delicious puddings, sauces or mousses thanks to its gelling properties.

Decrease consumption of added sugars

With everything being said about sugar lately, it can become difficult to know what’s what. You should not cut all carbs because they serve as fuel to your body, just like gasoline for a car. What must be limited however is the consumption of added sugars such as refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Unsurprisingly, energy drinks, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, pies, donuts, fruit punches, cocktails and dairy desserts are some of the products with the most added sugars. For example, a single can of soft drink provides an average of 34g of added sugars, or 136% of the daily intake recommended by the World Health Organization. Look for healthier options like mineral or carbonated water, kombucha, dark chocolate, etc.

Escape restrictive diets and enjoy guilty pleasures

Focusing on long-term change is usually a winning strategy. Thus, it is better avoid restrictive diets or drastic  short-term changes that do not suit you and that do not make you happy. Eating healthy also means having fun. Eat foods that you love and that will bring you joy. When you are not quite satisfied after a meal, allow yourself a dessert such as Greek yogurt, fruits, compotes, etc. Do not forget that less desirable desserts such as cakes, chocolate and pastries can be part of a healthy diet, but only occasionally. After all, eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures!

Buy local

There are so many local producers who make delicious and beautiful products right here in Quebec that it would be crazy to do without them. Let’s think only of the cheese factories that make excellent cheeses, the farmers who offer products of incredible freshness, and even, in a completely different way, ceramists and craftsmen who create pretty pieces that will embellish your kitchen. Avril promotes local producers and is proud to encourage local businesses so that together we can reduce our ecological footprint.

Make your meal prep

When it comes to healthy eating, meal preparation is the key to success. If you do not have healthy, readily available foods and homemade food in your fridge or freezer, you might end up go for less healthier options such as the restaurant or frozen foods. Fortunately, planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will allow you to make the right choices throughout your week. You will also save money. Simply cutting your fruits and vegetables in advance, cooking some of your meat/poultry/fish and making a big batch of legumes, couscous or quinoa will save you a lot of time. It is also possible to complete your weekday meals with soups, salads and bowls available at Avril’s Bistro and Végé counters.

Homemade tofu recipe

Ingredients

- 2 cups (500 ml) dry soybeans

- 3.75L (15 cups) cold water

- 1 coagulant of your choice

Use one of these coagulants:

- 125 ml (½ cup) lemon juice

- 60 ml (¼ cup) of cider vinegar

- Dissolve 22.5 ml (1 ½ tablespoons) of magnesium chloride flakes or 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of Epsom salt in 4 oz. of water

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl of water, soak the beans for 12 hours. After soaking, the volume of beans should have more than doubled. Discard the water and rinse well.
  2. In a blender, put 750 ml (3 cups) of warm water per cup of soaked beans and mix. Filter the mixture with a large cotton bag, remove the pulp and keep only the milk. Repeat until no more beans are left.
  3. Heat the milk over medium heat until strong boil. Stir well to prevent sticking. Add the coagulant. Stir and remove from heat. Let sit for 8 minutes or until a semi-firm paste is obtained.
  4. Put the small cotton bag in a perforated bowl, put the dough in it and close the cotton. Place a weight of about 1 kg on top. Leave to drain at room temperature for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the tofu from the cotton. Place in an airtight container and cover with cold water.
  6. The tofu will keep for a week in the refrigerator and the water will have to be changed every day.

Yield: 4 servings / Soaking time: 12 hours / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Resting time: 1h30

About Hubert Cormier

Title: Nutritionist

Hubert Cormier is a young and dynamic nutritionist (member of the Ordre Professionnel des diététistes du Quebec) passionate about the world of health and nutrition. He shares his findings and knowledge via social media or through traditional media such as television, radio, magazines or books.