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Fruits and vegetables are the key to a healthier life

Plenty of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy lifestyle.

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By Tina Palazzo- Kins Burnaby Fighter Challenger

When we started this challenge we all had an opportunity to go to CITIHEALTH Total Health Clinic in Vancouver and get a health and fitness appraisal done. Which was amazing experience- learning exactly where I was in my health and what steps I needed to take going forward? And there is certainly a lot of steps going forward!  One of the other things that we were able to do is speak to a nutritionist regarding our eating habits.  I was speaking to the nutritionist and he just came out and asked... What do you eat during the day? And what time?  I told him—well, I have a banana and a cup of coffee with that lovely vanilla sweeter which I am hooked on, then for snack I would have a piece of banana bread and lunch usually consisted of some kind of pasta, stir-fry or chili which was left over from the night before or a wrap (I actually thought I was doing well till I got home). Well, when I get home at 6pm this is where all the problems start.  When I get through the doors after a long day at work- the brain is telling me... YOU ARE HUNGRY and it is time to eat whatever you want.  So I would start eating anything that was in arms reach (and it certainly was not nutritionist). Then I would head out for dinner (at least 4 nights out of the week), as it was more convenient to eat out- seeing friends and socializing, than taking the time to cook a healthy meal and eat in. It certainly does not help when the Canucks are playing in the playoff as my waist line seems to increase for some reason to another (does anyone knows what that feels like?). When the nutritionist heard this... the first things that came out of his mouth and said was where the PROTEIN is and where are the vegetables?? With what I was telling him, I was NOT eating enough nutritional food during the day, not to mention there were very few vegetables or fruits in my diet at all and more or less I was starving my body. How cans that be, I actually thought I was doing pretty good, but apparently I was not... What an eye opener that was. For a very intelligent person, I should know better than this. Especially when you hear it all the time on TV, newspapers and social media.

Studies shows that we should   be eating 7 to 10 fruits and vegetables a day... I am lucky if I get 3 into my body let alone 10... How will I do this? OMG how is this going to happen. Think Tina Think. OMG I felt the pressure.  We sat down and he said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we need to fuel our body – to kick start our day properly. That contains some protein, such as yogurt/ fruit, piece of toast with almond butter or peanut butter would be a good choice. This would keep you going to mid-morning- then suggested more protein such a hard boil egg  (now I did mention, not one for boiled eggs) said a piece of avocado (which is good fats) and that will balance itself out. Lunch consists of more protein – possible salad with chicken and dinner will consist of fish and ½ the plate should always be vegetables... I said wow that is a lot of food?  Will this work for me?  I just know that more protein and vegetables are a must... and no turning back on that!!

So I went home and the first thing I did is clean out the fridge and cupboards with all those process foods, bad cereals, pop, milk chocolate,ice-cream  and not to mention the cookies and chips that are hidden in the cupboard for an emergency. So when is there an emergency... anytime Tina gets hungry- Which is always late snacking… what was I thinking?? Of course this makes sense.  Does it not... get rid of the bad food and stock your fridge and cupboards with good healthy food. That way if I am tempted- I will have to go for the cottage cheese with pineapple instead of the chips and salsa.  I actually am starting to enjoy that as a snack. OMG we may be seeing a turn on Tina’s health choices... which is a good thing!!

One of the prizes that all the contestants received for doing this health challenge is $25.00 gift card every week from Kins Farm Market- for the next 13 weeks. I made my way to my local Kins Farm Market- in Brentwood Mall, Burnaby and met some of the staff and bought my groceries for a whole week. I was very surprised on how many fruits and vegetables I was able to buy for $25.00- to tell you the truth I still have still left in my fridge

When I got home, unpacked all the groceries and started to think of what was going into my body. I was told I needed more vegetables – so bring on the vegetable and fruits.  Well guess what I did and I have to share with you all a very valuable lesson going forward to anyone wanting to make a healthy life changes.  Please remember I was a person who ate very few vegetable and not to mention eating minimum of 4 nights a week eating all types of food.   So when I starting eating healthier up to 8-10 vegetables and fruits a day, my body went into shock. Literally shock.. Because I was not used to eating healthy foods and all the food that I was putting into my body (good nutritional foods) my body went through a withdrawal of the bad foods and I had major headaches for two to three day. I could not understand where are these headaches coming from? Yes it was from eating too healthy and I did not gradually bring the fruits and vegtables into my diet. My suggestions to you... are bring the nutritional foods into your diet slowly and the rest will work on its own. I am now into my second week and we are on the road to a healthier life and no more headaches... However there is still more to do as I go forward.

Speaking of Kins Farm Market—I would like to say thank you for the gift card for the next 13 weeks, this certainly will keep me on track! Not sure if you are all aware of this but I am actually will be at Kins Farm Market this Saturday March 9 (from 2- 4pm) doing my next challenge called the ONE THING CHALLENGE.  I will have a booth set up at the Kins Store and I will be distributing Canadian Cancer Society literature on cancer prevention.  I will also be collecting “one thing” post-it notes from customers, pledging one thing that these customers can do to improve their health. I also will help store staff distribute samples (cut up fruit) and balloons to the customers who visit the booth.  The contestant who collects the most post-it notes from customers and the public will win this challenge and guess what the prize is: Canadian Tire (who is another partner in this contest) will be giving away a bike, helmet and a water bottle... This is certainly a wonderful prize to win. Can you imagine a new bike to cruise around in. Now that is exciting! I encourage you all to come down on Saturday to Kins Farm Market and say hi... I would LOVE to hear your story and personally meet you all. Since this challenge has started I have such wonderful support and it would be great to meet you all face to face.

I also will be collecting donations for the Canadian Cancer Society, if you are unable to make it, you still can make a donation to this website


Looking forward to seeing you all!!!!

Tina Palazzo- Kins BBY Girl




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