Tag Archives: healthy

My 11 Commandments of Weight

The first of January inevitably brings on a list of common resolutions among your patients as well as yourself as a professional. Most of these are directed towards what we perceive as something that will lead to a healthier, if not happier life. With any luck it results in both.

A while back I wrote an article that explained how a popular weight loss program (Ideal Protein) worked.   I still believe it to be the best we have available to safely lose weight, both in scientific background and in personal clinical results. It stands as our most popular blog to this day. Many key points however are often lost on the patient we help to lose weight and both the patient and the clinician MUST regularly remind themselves of these points. Failing to do so steers us and the patient gradually away from reality, and more towards a route that can often result in disappointment.

I have found these so vital to the understanding of the concept of weight that I have pinned them on the wall of my consultation room. In a time when our patients are bombarded daily with the best ways to lose weight and how to eat healthy and “clean”, I’m a big fan on grounding them with a few simple concepts:


  • Weight is not a measure of health
  • Suffering yourself down to a goal weight that you will suffer to remain at results in no quality of life
  • Your weight is not as directly under your control as some will have you believe
  • There are unhealthy thin people and healthy overweight people
  • Extremist forms of eating that are difficult to maintain will result in a waste of your time and money
  • If your excess weight is determined by your doctor to be detrimental to your health and quality of life, then an overall change in your lifestyle is required
  • Typical exercise that 99% of us do, does not result in lost weight (It will help with blood glucose, lung capacity, joint mobility, cholesterol, mood, cardiovascular health, and make it more difficult to gain weight however)
  • It is estimated that 80% of those that lose weight will gain it back
  • Eating food is not only cultural, but it should also be enjoyable. Eating in moderation and doing your best to avoid added sugars and any trans fat is recommended.
  • The weight you are at is not as simple as calories in vs calories out
  • There are many ways to lose weight that are effective and safe. If you decide to lose weight, pick one that is sustainable for you and ask your healthcare professional for advice.


Graham MacKenzie Ph.C.

Stone’s Pharmasave

Baddeck, N.S.


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Pharmacy Starts Healthy Cooking Class for Its Patients Families

In 2015 I took four months to film a healthy grocery shopping tour with the help of a local filmmaker where I went through all areas of the grocery store to help people make healthy choices for themselves and their family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgEbpNL9PSg&t=1s

In the 40 minutes of video, the opening scene stresses the importance of cooking your own meals at home and knowing what to buy in order to do that.

This year I had the pleasure of attending a Diabetes Canada meeting in Sydney, N.S. It was a great morning of networking and meeting colleagues from all over Cape Breton. I asked one of the attendees at that meeting, Ann Marion Willis, a Registered Dietician who works with Atlantic Superstore if she was able to help out with an idea I had to do a cooking class for a small group.   Out of that conversation I requested a location at the home economics room at Baddeck Academy with four stations to do a cooking class. They were gracious enough to allow us to use their facilities.

The plan is to have a parent or two bring their children in (from grade primary to grade 12) and show them how easy it is to make a meal that is healthy for them. Ann Marion has healthy recipes with nutrition information for all, a starter smoothie, a meal and dessert. She also demonstrated the preparation of the food. Space is tight but hopefully demand will drive further classes.

Studies that try to tie food intake with outcomes are notoriously plagued by problems that measure food consumption with questionnaires based on personal recall of consumption. Nevertheless there are studies that show the effect of how your food is prepared and what affect it has on your health. A 2007 study of 84 undergraduate students in Greece found that diet becomes less optimal when the student leaves home to live away, including eating out. Specifically, fresh fruits and vegetables and oily fish consumption dropped once they moved away from home.

The time taken to cook and cleanup after a meal has decreased by 50% in the last 40 years. While this number on its own isn’t very significant in determining anything, but it does reflect the availability of commercially prepared food, which is both quicker to prepare and cheaper because of its mass production. It stands to reason that both of these factors can lead to increased food consumption.  In fact, countries that spend more time in food preparation correlate with a lower obesity rate. Again, there is no causality claimed here though.

In another study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2006) that utilized food intake questionnaires in just under 1000 young adults, it was discovered that young adults that prepared food less claimed time restraints as a major determining factor. However in those that did report frequent food preparation did claim that they ate out much less often and were more likely to meet dietary objectives for healthy eating.

Learning to cook meals at home not just for yourself but your loved ones is one of the single most important things you can do to live a healthy life, when combined with physical activity. Teaching yourself and your children to prepare healthy meals at home controls much of what you consume and much of your overall health.


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Here’s How You Should Eat & Live

Another Blog, Another “Here’s How You Should Eat & Live” Sermon

photo credit: notyourstandard via photopin cc

photo credit: notyourstandard via photopin cc

It’s hard to go a day without getting a lecture from someone on what you should or shouldn’t eat; if you should take this supplement or not or how much of it and how often you should have it. Continue reading

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