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Going back to school can be a source of stress, why not prepare yourself adequately. We spoke with Isabelle Huot and she shared with us her basic rules to eat well despite a busy schedule. Whether it is to prepare lunch or choosing a meal at a restaurant, by following a few simple guidelines, it is possible to eat better in order to perform better! If you are interested to learn even more about this subject, we invite you to attend one of the conferences “Eat to perform better” by Isabelle Huot at our upcoming one day retreats on September 8 at the Strom Nuns’ Island or on September 15 at the Strom Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

By Isabelle Huot, Dr. in nutrition, founder of the “Kilo Solution” clinics

5 basic rules for a healthy lunch box

  • Include all groups of Canada’s Food Guide. The ideal lunch includes all four groups of Canada’s Food Guide (grain products, meat and alternatives, milk and alternatives, vegetables and fruits).
  • Favor whole grains. Whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. provide more fiber and nutrients. Not only are they more nutritious, they also keep you full longer.
  • Reduce liquid calories. Liquid calories are not a sustained source of energy like solid calories. Aside of water, milk or fortified soy beverage, other drinks are often unnecessary and add extra calories.
  • Pack a fruity or dairy based dessert. The best desserts are fruits (fresh or fruit compote) and dairy desserts (yogurt, tapioca, rice pudding).
  • Plan two snacks. In addition to lunch, you should pack two snacks in order to maintain a good energy level throughout the day. One snack for mid-morning and one for mid-afternoon. Fruits, vegetables, cheese and yogurt are some of the best snacks available.

5 sandwich ideas

  • Tuna sandwich with apple and celery
  • Tortilla with chicken, avocado and tomatoes
  • Turkey and pear sandwich
  • English muffin with chicken and fresh grapes
  • Egg sandwich with pickles

5 lunch salad ideas

  • Couscous salad with chicken and raisins
  • Rice salad with turkey and green peas
  • Pasta salad with tuna, tomatoes and Swiss cheese
  • Quinoa salad with tofu and cranberries
  • Barley salad with beef and asparagus

5 microwavable lunch ideas

  • Chili con carne
  • Macaroni and veal
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Rice with chicken
  • Fusilli with tomatoes and cheese

5 basic rules of fast food

  • The vast majority of restaurants offer some healthy options; just make the right choice.
  • Most restaurants have the nutritional information on site or on their website. When in doubt, you can refer to it.
  • Always keep the nutritional value of food in mind. At lunch time, we opt for a nutritious and low-fat meal to be energized. Do not hesitate to ask the staff for the cooking method, the amount of fat, etc.
  • A healthy plate should contain of 50% vegetables, 25% meat or alternatives and 25% grain products. The dishes available in most restaurant do not reflect that norm. If necessary, ask to substitute the starch for vegetables.
  • A priori, salads are a healthy choice. One should however be wary of sauces and accompaniments. Creamy sauces, croutons and bacon greatly increase the number of calories and fat in a salad that was once considered a healthy meal.

5 tips for healthy eating at the restaurant

  • Ask for the sauce or dressing to be served on the side. Choose a low fat sauce or dressing.
  • Control the portions by choosing two appetizers instead of an appetizer and main dish.
  • Choose your meal “à la carte” rather than the “table d’hôte” to avoid calorie heavy desserts
  • Order wine by the glass instead of a whole bottle.
  • Avoid liquid calories altogether and drink water only.

5 meal ideas to choose at the restaurant

  • Asian stir fry
  • Half a sandwich with a soup or a salad
  • One portion of fish with salad and a small serving of rice
  • Salads with a light vinaigrette
  • Chicken wrap with salad


For more details on our one day retreats at Strøm Nuns’ Island, click here.

For more details on our one day retreats at Strøm Mont-Saint-Hilaire, click here.



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