“Sharing,” “Joy,” and “Mindfulness” may not be ideas you generally associate with a government document. Yet those words—and some other surprising thoughts—are at the heart of the latest edition of Canada’s Food Guide.
Indeed, “Being mindful can help you… reconnect to the eating experience by creating an awareness of your: feelings, thoughts, emotions, behaviours,” says the 2019 edition of the Food Guide. 1
The new Guide speaks frequently about enjoying and sharing the eating experience, and even makes suggestions about creating a positive eating environment by, for instance, “turning on some of your favorite music in the background.”2
This is definitely not the food groups and portion-counting Food Guide you may remember from school.
The big announcement you’ve probably heard about the new Food Guide is that, “What is needed is a shift towards a high proportion of plant-based foods.”3
Nicole Hui, writing in Narcity , went so far as to say, “Canada's Food Guide … now promotes a vegan diet more than ever before.”
Putting that together with mindfulness about food skills starts to sound like an enlightened approach to plant-based nutrition.
That’s something we can get on board with!
Yves Veggie Cuisine is one brand that has supported and promoted the plant-based nutrition movement for decades. Founded in Canada in 1985, Yves was a forerunner in offering nutritious plant-based meal options for Vegans and Vegetarians.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already enjoying a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle—or at least a more plant-based diet. You already know that a primarily plant-based approach to nutrition is healthy for people, and healthy for the planet.
What the new Food Guide might get you thinking about is the opportunity this creates for you to share something else you know: plant-based food choices are not only healthy, they can be delightful, delicious and enjoyable, too!
As the Food Guide says, “Enjoying healthy foods with family, friends, neighbours or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to your life. It can provide many benefits and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.”4
A great way to break the ice is to introduce people you know to healthy snack foods, like Yves Veggie Appetizers. They are quick and easy to prepare, and are great as a snack, as an appetizer, or as part of a meal.
Yves Kale and Quinoa Bites , Sweet Potato & Chia Bites , or Falafel Balls are party favourites, with their addictively crispy edges and soft, hearty centers. They are vegan, gluten-free, and quickly ready to share!
The Food Guide also says, “Trying new foods can appeal to a sense of wonder and even adventure.”5
An important aspect of food skills, as described by Health Canada, is teaching a younger generation to enjoy the discovery of nutritious meals based on more plant-based protein.
So here’s a thought. One’s discovery of new foods usually starts in the grocery store. So that is also the place where new food skills need to be applied first.
If you know a young person starting to do their own shopping (or perhaps a person who’s newly single) you might suggest that instead of habitually heading for the meat department in search of protein for their dinner plate, they could simply turn towards the vegetarian foods section found in almost every food store these days. There they will find nutritious options that can replace ground beef, hamburgers, hot dogs, deli slices and other favourite foods.
In its “Guiding Principles,” which formed the basis of the new Food Guide, Health Canada says that “Planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks at home, and selecting nutritious foods at the grocery store or when eating out, are all skills that can help support healthy eating” 6 There’s no better place the people in your life can learn this from, than you!
Yves Veggie Cuisine offers a range of choices that covers most dietary requirements and concerns. Many Yves products offer the benefits of soy, one of the few plant proteins that approaches or equals animal products in providing a complete source of protein. In addition, there are also many Yves products that are made without soy and gluten-free.
The Yves Veggie Cuisine family includes a variety of products with benefits that include Kosher, Source of Fibre, Low Fat, No Trans Fat, Cholesterol Free and Free of Artificial Preservatives.
With this range of choices, you can rest assured there are Yves products to suit the plant-based nutritional needs of almost any shopper.
One of the most social and healthful things we can do together is preparing and cooking healthy food. Cooking together is good for the soul.
“Cooking and food preparation using nutritious foods should be promoted as a practical way to support healthy eating,” says the Food Guide. 7
The Yves Veggie Cuisine website has a constantly growing section of recipes that cover the whole gamut of Vegetarian, Meat Alternatives, Vegan, and Gluten Free meals.
There are dozens of recipes that are ideal for family dinners, casual lunches, patio get-togethers, or party favourites. Spend a few moments browsing through the appetizing photo gallery and you’re sure to want to stop before you’ve seen them all and begin assembling the ingredients to try one!
Here’s one last word from the 2019 Canada’s Food guide: “Food skills can be taught, learned, and shared in a variety of settings.” 8
It’s a reminder that healthy eating happens anywhere, at any time. Every meal is an opportunity to discover healthful alternatives and share the joy.
The plant-based protein alternatives offered by Yves Veggie Cuisine can be enjoyed by all at any time of the day, even breakfast! A great start to the day might be Yves Breakfast Patties , which provide a full 10 grams of protein and 2 grams of fibre in just 2 patties!
There’s more to the new Canada’s Food Guide than the headlines you’ve seen proclaiming that the “food groups” are gone. It’s true that the 2019 Guide tries hard to be less prescriptive about portions and food groups… and that’s a good thing.
The more important takeaway, though, is to be mindful that the discovery of healthy food is a joyful experience meant to be shared!
Do you have a favourite plant-based nutrition recipe of your own? Share the joy by letting us know about it!
1.Canada’s Food Guide: Be mindful of your eating habits
2.Canada’s Food Guide: Enjoy your food
3.Health Canada: Guiding Principles
4.Canada’s Food Guide: Healthy Eating Recommendations – Eat Meals With Others
5.Canada’s Food Guide: Healthy Eating Recommendations – Enjoy Your Food
7.Canada’s Food Guide Dietary Guidelines Section 3: Importance of food skills
8.Canada’s Food Guide Dietary Guidelines Section 3: Importance of food skills