6 Dangers of Calorie Counting (and how to avoid them)

Jessica PennerNutrition, Overeating, Smarten Up0 Comments

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 good news is that this is totally fine… because most people will not benefit long term from counting calories. In fact, … Read More

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Smoothie

Jessica PennerBreakfast, Drink, Recipes, Snack0 Comments

Anti-inflammatory turmeric smoothie

Recipe creation is a lot like song writing. Just like songs, some recipes begin with a simple thought that shows up one day. This thought or song is mulled over and refined several times. A grocery list is developed to buy the necessary ingredients. The song or recipe is tested, adjusted, and re-tested again and again, to perfection.  Or maybe the recipe starts with leftover ingredients in the fridge. Like a songwriter who has been hired to write about a specific topic, the artist is given very specific material from which to create something beautiful. These are often some of my favourite recipes, as I feel so resourceful making something tasty out of nearly discarded food.  That’s what happened yesterday when I … Read More

Stop juicing! 6 myths about the health benefits of juicing

Jessica PennerNutrition, Smarten Up0 Comments

Stop juicing! 6 myths about the health benefits of juicing

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 is meant by fresh? Are we talking about fruit that was freshly picked off the tree that morning? Then I … Read More

My story: how I stopped overeating

Jessica PennerNutrition, Overeating0 Comments

Jeremy's before and after

When I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27, it came as a revelation. It explained why I’d been losing weight for months: a tumour had decided to eat some of my extra calories. You see, losing weight wasn’t something I’d decided to do. To me, weight loss and weight gain always seemed like something out of my control. As a teen, I would sneak ice cream at night and eat a litre at a time, without ever gaining weight. I figured my genetic make-up was looking after me. As a young adult I noticed my belly growing, and I again put it down to genetics. My dad had a belly. Most people gain weight as they get … Read More

Sesame Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe

Jessica PennerEntree, Recipes0 Comments

Sesame Chicken Rice Bowls

Those of you who have been around the Smart Nutrition block for a little while may notice that this sauce looks suspiciously familiar. Yup, it’s almost an exact replica of the life-changing walnut sauce I paired with salad rolls a few months ago. It’s so life-changing that I can’t just leave it to one recipe! You need any and all versions of this sauce in your life.  I replaced some of the canola oil for sesame oil. I’d like to say that it was a genius idea of mine but I confess that this invention was born out of necessity. I didn’t have enough canola oil for the full recipe but I already started making it so… sesame oil subbed … Read More

Choco Banana (chocolate-covered frozen banana)

Jessica PennerDessert, Recipes, Snack0 Comments

Choco Banano: aka chocolate covered frozen banana!

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for weeks… but we keep eating these choco bananos before I can photograph them. Oops! Definitely wasn’t on purpose. I definitely didn’t do it so that I’d be forced to make more of them…. You might be wondering about my spelling. “Banana is spelled with an “A” at the end, Jessica!”  I’ve gone a little Spanish-loco on you. The first time I discovered the wonders of chocolate-covered frozen bananas was when I spent three months in Guatemala as part of a university program at the ripe age of 18. The first thing our group did when we landed in Guate (as we affectionately started to call it), was to take off for a remote … Read More

Perfect home fries recipe (baked not fried)

Jessica PennerBaked, Recipes, SIde Dish, Snack9 Comments

Perfect Home Fries

I recently heard that sprinkling fries with vinegar is just a Manitoban thing. I sure hope this isn’t correct because the rest of the world is missing out! But if it is true, then my mission with this post is to share the vinegar love with you all!  Now, you can’t really put vinegar on all fries. If you go to McDonald’s or some other chain with stripped down no-skin fries, it doesn’t really work. You need the rustic, skin-on, big bag of fries at the beach type of fries. Douse those babies in vinegar and you’re in heaven!  The best part? You’re not adding any extra sugar or sodium (hello ketchup!) when you flavour your fries with vinegar. As a … Read More