Canada’s new food labels…everything you need to know (including what you can ignore)

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Smarten Up, Virtual Grocery Store Tour2 Comments

Health Canada recently announced changes to the food labels found on packaged foods in Canada. These changes are super helpful for consumers!  Don’t worry, I’ll explain how. But first let me complain a bit about how long it will take for these changes to take effect. Unfortunately for us, food companies have five years to implement the mandatory changes. So by the time they all get on board it will probably be time to revise the rules again! #WhySoSlow skyrocketing usefulness for Canada’s food labels As you can see, the appearance of the nutrition facts hasn’t changed too much.  Photo source: But the … Read More

6 dangers of calorie counting (and how to avoid them)

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Overeating, Smarten UpLeave a Comment

6 dangers of calorie counting

It might surprise you to hear that I, a Dietitian, am not a huge fan of calorie counting. It’s not one of my recommended techniques for managing weight.  It might also relieve you to hear this, if you’ve had a bad experience with counting calories, or you’ve been thinking about doing it! Don’t get me wrong… some people enjoy the process of logging and calculating everything they eat and do. New technology is making this easier and more enjoyable, too. If you enjoy it, and it works for you, go ahead and do it. But most people simply don’t have the time or patience for it. The … Read More

6 myths about the health benefits of juicing

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Smarten Up15 Comments

Bottle of juice with ingredients

Everybody loves juice. Because of this, it’s pretty easy to convince people that juicing their food has health benefits. So, of course, an industry sprang up that sells the unsuspecting public on the idea that they should be juicing everything. Then, it sells them the products to do so. Every once in a while I find it necessary to debunk some unsubstantiated health claims I’ve seen on the internet. Today I’ll give you a thorough look at the supposed health benefits of juicing. Juicing claim #1: Fresh is best! I’ve seen this claim used to sell juice, but I’m never sure… what … Read More

how to get groceries for free

Jessica Penner, RDInspiration, Smarten Up14 Comments

How to get groceries for free!

I have a confession to make. I’m that annoying girl at the grocery store who holds up the line. Most people are all efficient and start bagging their stuff once it’s scanned. Not me. I always stand right by the screen and watch the prices come up as the groceries are scanned. You’d be surprised how often the price on the register will differ from the price tag in the aisle! When this happens, the inner me does a little backflip in excitement. I politely say… “excuse me, those nectarines were scanned at $1.46 a pound but the sign indicated that they should … Read More

how I cured my chronic fatigue and why you probably shouldn’t try it

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up5 Comments

Ever since I was a teenager, I had chronic fatigue.  If I wasn’t able to take an afternoon nap, I’d be exhausted for the rest of the day. It didn’t make sense: I would get 8 hours of sleep or more, yet still wake up feeling tired. My iron levels and thyroid were fine. I didn’t have mono, Celiac, or any other disease that would explain my chronic fatigue When I got pregnant, this made me worried.  Everyone talks about how little sleep you get when you have a newborn. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to cope, since I … Read More

The Worst Nutrition Advice in History – a Dietitian’s Response (part 2)

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up20 Comments

the worst nutrition advice in history?

Last week I wrote about Kris Gunnars at Authority Nutrition, and his article, “Top 5 Contenders For The Worst Nutrition Advice in History,” which could alternately be titled “Top 5 Strawman Arguments to Attack Mainstream Nutrition Professionals.” However, his nutrition advice is still pretty good, if a little incomplete.   Let’s take a closer look. Claim #1: Whole eggs are pretty much nature’s perfect food Cholesterol has always been the question when it comes to eggs.  The history of blood cholesterol and its association with cardiovascular health has had its fair share of controversy. Kris Gunnars is correct: the current body of research shows … Read More