This annual summer event actually started in 2003 as the “World’s Longest BBQ” as a grassroots effort to support local farmers, especially the Canadian beef industry which was hard hit by the news of mad cow disease.
Today, on the Saturday of every August long weekend, foodies across the country celebrate Food Day Canada.
Spearheaded by writer, author and culinary explorer Anita Stewart, Food Day Canada is a chance for all Canadians to celebrate and praise our farmers, fishers, chefs, researchers and home cooks.
I just spent hours soaking up the amazing info on the FoodDayCanada.ca website! It’s literally bursting with ideas and recipes to help you celebrate:
– Enjoy a delicious restaurant meal that features Canadian cuisine!
– Cook like a Canadian! Take a look at this long this list of delicious, tested recipes. Drool alert! Which one will you try?
– Shop like a Canadian! Stewart has complied an incredible list of 149 Canadian ingredients (in honour of Canada’s 149th birthday) that can help set the table. All I can say here is WOW!!
– Share the love. Post your stories and pics on social media with #FoodDayCanada and #CanadaIsFood. Be inspired and inspire others to join the celebration!
– Embrace Stewart’s mantra: Hug a farmer, kiss a chef, eat real food!
The costumes are ready and the kids can’t wait to get their Halloween treats! Here are my tricks for managing tomorrow’s candy stash.
1. Sort it out. When the kids get back from trick-or-treating, sort though all of the candy and get rid of the ones that are opened, unwrapped or look a little sketchy.
2. Decide on a reasonable limit. If you have young kids, perhaps 1- 2 small treats is a fair amount to enjoy and celebrate the evening. Even better, offer the treats with a glass of milk or hot chocolate. For older kids and tweens, a more realistic amount might be 3-4 small treats that evening. Remind them to floss and brush before bedtime too.
3. Ration out the treats. Talk to your kids about how much and how often they can enjoy the remaining treats. You might tuck in one small treat in their lunchbox a few times next week, or offer a small treat after dinner. Always try to offer the Halloween treat as part of a healthy snack or meal.
4. Be creative with the extras. Use leftover candies for baking or for your kids’ crafts. Donate the extra candy or look for a local agency or dentist’s office that may “buy back” the candy from you. After a couple of weeks when the excitement settles, hide the candy – out of sight, out of mind! If you have preschool boys, throw a coloured candy in the toilet and let them use it for target practice during toilet training! (Blue Smarties worked for us!)
5. Get in some good family time. Carve the pumpkin together. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and bake them with a sprinkle of salt. Don an awesome Halloween costume and head outside for some fresh air with your kids. It’s a great chance to meet and greet your neighbours.
Feeling sleepy after your Thanksgiving meal? Don’t blame it all on the turkey.
Like all protein-containing foods, turkey is made up of amino acids. The amino acid of particular interest in turkey is called tryptophan. Tryptophan is a component of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel calm and relaxed. Serotonin is also used to make the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.
As we digest foods containing protein, the amino acids enter the bloodstream and make their way over to the brain. The problem is that tryptophan is a big, bulky amino acid. So it has to compete with other amino acids to get into the brain. Imagine this as a long lineup of people waiting to get into a concert.
Enter carbs. The carbs you eat from the stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and other typical Thanksgiving fare stuffing actually triggers the release of insulin. This action removes most of the amino acids from our bloodstream, but not the tryptophan. It’s as if all of the people in line for that concert have been pulled away, except for tryptophan. This of course makes it easier for tryptophan to enter the brain and start it’s effect on serotonin and melatonin to create that sleepy effect.
So if you’d like to avoid the ZZZ’s after your Thanksgiving meal, try to ease up on the servings of carbs on your dinner plate. It doesn’t hurt to go easy on the alcohol too. Otherwise, grab a pillow for a Thanksgiving ticket to nap land!