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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

5 Foods to Help Constipation

How's your bowel regularity? This is an awkward question for many, but a common conversation in a dietitian consultation. After all, the foods we eat have a major impact on our bowel movements. Today, I will be sharing 5 foods that help constipation. Before we get “moving”, constipation means having three or fewer bowel movements per week. You may find yourself straining or passing hard, small, dry stools. It affects 1 in 5 people, with a prevalence higher among the elderly (Clin Interv Aging, 2015). ‘Non-Diet’ Reasons for Constipation First, it’s vital to discover the underlying cause of constipation. This way, you’ll have the most appropriate dietary and/or lifestyle or...

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10 ‘Plant-Based’ Back-to-School Lunches

September is almost here, which means two things: 1) kids are going back to school and 2) fall is in the air. For many, fall is a time to “start fresh” and get into new "healthy" routines. This may include packing a lunch, going to the gym/yoga or perhaps including more veggies or plant-based proteins in your diet. Today, in honour of “back-to-school” or simply “pack-for-work lunches”, I will be highlighting my favourite 'dietitian-approved' plant-based lunches. In my private practice, more clients are asking about plant-based options. This comes at a time when Health Canada is wrapping up consultation #2 on Canada’s Food Guide. One of the main media...

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Speedy Naan Pizzas

Cooking doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. After all, people are more likely to sustain lifestyle changes if these changes are enjoyable, realistic and appropriate considering your schedule. Today's recipe is one of my favourite "lazy meals". These Speedy Naan Pizzas are ready faster than take-out! Naan pizzas are also completely customizable based on your groceries on hand and/or personal preferences. I love making Greek-Style Naan Pizzas using feta, black olives, peppers and chicken or a simple Caprese Pizza with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Be sure to keep naan bread in the freezer for times where you need a 15-20 minute meal!  These pizzas also are...

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Garlicky Breakfast Lentils with Egg {Recipe Redux}

I love a leisurely Saturday morning complete with a hot breakfast and a cup of coffee. However, breakfast foods do not have to be limited to the morning. Like these, Garlicky Breakfast lentils; they make a great dinner and heat up well for lunch leftovers. I often encourage my clients to think about breakfast for dinner as a way of coming up with more meal ideas. Today’s recipe is nutritious, filling and perfect for any time of day.   Ps. This is a “fridge cleaner” recipe because you can toss in whatever veggies you have on hand. I used spinach, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and celery mainly because I had them...

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5 Seasonal Fruits for Summer & Fall

Today let’s celebrate summer fruit! After all, summer and fruit are like peanut butter and jelly; they just go so well together. Perhaps the best part of summer fruits is that they are fresh, less expensive and local.   From a young age, summer and fruits were synonymous. Childhood memories included summer evenings standing over the kitchen sink and biting into a very juicy peach. The juices would run down my cheeks and I felt like I was transported to a fruity heaven. Two words: summer fruits. I also recall sifting through the raspberry bush at Maple Lake seeking these little juicy treasures. There was always so much excitement when...

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Blueberry, Feta & Mint Salad

Are you seeking creative ways to use your garden herbs?  Well, look no further than tossing them into your salads! I'm absolutely obsessed with this Blueberry, Feta and Mint salad, which combines sweet, salty and crunch. This will be a true family favourite! I recommend cutting up your greens in advance for speedy salad assembly. Ps. In case you missed it, be sure to check out my Top 5 Must-Have Garden Herbs (and how to use them)!   Prep time: 15 minutes Serves: 4   Ingredients: 4 cups mixed salad greens, washed 1 cup blueberries 1/3 cup feta cheese, cubed 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds, unsalted 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar Optional: Drizzle aged balsamic along top of salad   Instructions: Clean salad greens and place into...

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3 Ways to Manage Cottage Eating Pitfalls

Summer is a time to kick back, enjoy the sunshine and time spent in tranquil destinations. Whether you are staying at a cottage or camping, eating well on these weekends comes with its own inevitable challenges. Raise your hand if, on a cottage weekend, you have felt unwell after eating copious amounts of junk food? Or if you found yourself permanently grazing (and/or drinking) throughout the day? Or perhaps you witnessed yourself forgoing your usual structure and balance at meals? I know I can say yes to all of these things.   In today’s blog, we’ll explore 3 ways to manage cottage-eating pitfalls so that you can relax without...

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Zesty Tabouli {Recipe Redux}

Are you keeping cool this summer? For many, the last thing we want to do in July is turn on the oven or stove!  Therefore, today’s recipe is inspired by keeping your home cool but still enjoying a healthy meal. I have chosen a recipe using my favourite whole grain, bulgur, because it can "cook" sitting on the counter in boiling water instead of on the stove. Bulgur is a wheat kernel with double the fibre of brown rice, a subtle nutty flavour and chewy taste. Tabbouleh, a traditional Middle Eastern dish, is often made using bulgur and lots parsley.  In case you missed it, I recently wrote about...

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Top 5 Must-Have Herbs for Your Garden

(and cool ways to use them!) This year, I planted my first herb garden! This year I also discovered my top 5 must-have garden herbs.  The idea came after feeling frustrated going to the grocery store to buy separate herbs and having them go bad before I could use them. I knew that planting a small herb garden would be the solution. Gardening is also something that is close to my heart. My grandpa was a gardener and owner of a greenhouse in St. Jacob’s. From a young age, I enjoyed beautiful flowers, nurturing plants and watching them grow. Therefore, this June, I sauntered into the grocery store...

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