Veggies 411


Thank goodness for chefs!  They have made me fall in love with vegetables! No matter what restaurant you visit nowadays, you can find some truly decadent vegetables! Curried cauliflower, grilled brussel sprouts, roasted peppers, spinach salads, glazed carrots, barbequed asparagus or garlic anything! I LOVE my veggies!

We all know vegetables are good for you. But why? What do they actually do for your health? Well I am in no way a dietician or nutritionist but I certainly have done my research! After doing some digging, I have come up with a fairly comprehensive list of veggies, some of their “groupings” and their health benefits. I included some of the benefits of each vitamin or mineral as I go because I also am curious as to what each “does” for our health.

Within the list below, I am sure you will find a few that you can work into your daily diet – whether it is in a soup or a salad at lunch or as a yummy side at dinner. Make it happen. Not only will your health thank you but so will your taste buds!

Allium foods are the super flavors! They have natural antibiotic properties and can help boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infection. They include leeks, onions, shallots, scallions and garlic.

Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B complex – especially B6 and folic acid. Asparagus reduces inflammation and even fights depression.

Beans and peas are much higher in protein than other vegetables. This is why they are a great “meat” alternative for all those veg-heads out there! They also contain fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.  They include peas, lentils, and beans – soybeans, lima, kidney and garbanzo.

Bell peppers are great sources of potassium, manganese (collagen production, blood sugar control, and bone production supporter), fiber and vitamins A, B, C and K. They also happen to have twice the vitamin C content of oranges and are packed with antioxidants.

Carrots are known to improve eyesight due to their high levels of carotenoids and vitamin A. But did you know that they also help protect against cancer? They’re also a good source of vitamins B, C and K, fiber, potassium, magnesium and folate.

Cruciferous vegetables are anti-aging and cancer fighting superheroes! They are packed with antioxidants and selenium, immune boosting phytonutrients, vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, iron and folic acid Included in this group are broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

Dark green leafy vegetables are high in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, carotenoids and B, C, E and K. Included in this group are kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, parsley and red/green lettuce.

  • Kale, (one cup of raw kale provides 460 percent of your daily vitamin K (prevents osteoporosis and aids in blood regulation and even reduces menstrual pain), 74 percent of your vitamin A and 107 percent of your vitamin C!
  • Spinach also offers an abundance of vitamin A (cancer fighter, eye support, skin protector and immunity builder) and folate too.

Eggplants are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Their high amount of soluble fiber contributes to healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Squash are rich in carotenoids (cancer and heart disease prevention), vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

Sweet potatoes and yams are very rich in carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, C (helps heal wounds, cancer prevention, prevent cataracts, reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and even treat Parkinson’s disease!), potassium, iron and fiber.

So there you have it! You receive a slew of health benefits by eating these colourful delights! Ensure your plates are as colourful as possible to ensure you are getting enough of your veggies. Your Mom would be so proud!

If you enjoyed this blog or found it informative, you may want to check out some of our other nutrition blogs or sign up for our newsletter!




At Fit Communications we LOVE local! Products, food, beverages, services and more!

There are so many benefits to shopping local. The list of benefits is long but includes helping the environment, retaining our community’s distinctiveness, and increasing employment. In addition, local businesses are proportionately more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events. Supporting local shops means a positive financial impact on our community. Finally, local businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you receive better customer care and service.

As a locally owned business ourselves, we identify with the passion local businesses have for their products, services and crafts. It is with great pride that we are helping to spread the word about Winnipeg’s 2nd Annual beer, wine and foodie event! The 2nd Annual LoveLocalMB Food and Beverage Event will be held on April 30, 2015 from 5 – 10pm at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent Casino Hotel. This terrific initiative began in 2014 and had over 500 attendees to the event to sample, taste, purchase and celebrate food in Manitoba.

LoveLocalMB was created by Peter Fehr (Gourmet Inspirations) and Bessie Hatzitrifanos (Bessie’s Best Foods), local Winnipeg food entrepreneurs. They both create local, gourmet, handcrafted food products. This event will celebrate and promote over 30 Manitoba food and beverage artisans. For a full list of event vendors, see

Guests will enjoy a fun and relaxing evening filled with live music, tons of food sampling, socializing and a free glass of wine with ticket purchase.

Tickets can be purchased online at for $15, or at the door for $20.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting Food Matters Manitoba’s Kids Cooking Club. This great initiative offers free, healthy foods cooking classes to children and youth across Winnipeg’s North End. For more information about Food Matters Manitoba, please click here –

Connect with LoveLocalMB on Facebook at

Be sure you get your ticket now so you can support local for all the amazing reasons listed above. If not for these, then at least to spoil your senses!

Media Links:

Metro News

CTV News

Global News – Morning Show

Global News


Long Term Athlete Development and the Canadian Sport for Life

kids in sportWhat the heck does Long Term Athlete Development mean? If you are in the world of sport like me or have children that are in sports, these words are thrown around a lot. However, many people use the phrases expecting that everyone must know what they mean! In this week’s blog, I try to give the “cole’s notes” version of what these are all about. There is so much to it all but hopefully this will give you a bit of an introduction and understanding.

In their own words, “Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada through improved athlete training and better integration between all stakeholders in the sport system, including sport organizations, education, recreation and health.  A key feature of CS4L is Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD), a developmental pathway whereby athletes follow optimal training, competition, and recovery regimens from childhood through all phases of adulthood.”

It breaks down ages and stages of physical, social, cognitive and emotional development in order to maximize the performance of athletes over their lifespan. This isn’t just for elite athletes though. This is a road map for all kids as they move into adulthood. There are a number of different stages and factors that are included in the LTAD movement. All have that have different focuses and components in each. The first key factor is Physical Literacy. Basically it is focused on developing basic fitness skills that ALL kids should know how to do. The goal here is to have all kids be “physically literate”. It all depends though on the age, maturation and capacity of the children. It also depends on the culture and environment in which children are raised.

This whole “movement” started because coaches of Olympic and international level athletes were noticing that although a downhill skier could fly down a mountain over 100 miles an hour, he couldn’t do a forward roll. The question arose then as to why? Perhaps one of the reasons we hadn’t been on the podium on the world stage in sport had something to do with the fact that our athletes were not “physically literate”?

But why are our kids not physically literate? Whose “fault” is it and where “should” are kids be at – physically? Is it because of the lack of overall physical activity of our kids today? Is it a reduction in gym classes as a whole across Canada? Whose responsibility is it to ensure our kids are physically literate?

I know for myself, I believe that as a parent, it is my responsibility to ensure my kids are active. But what do parents – or caregivers need to know? I am not a scientist or a personal trainer or child life expert! Not many people are so we all need help. LTAD makes is “easier” for me to have a look to see if my kids are on the right path. Not because I want them to go to the Olympics, but because I want them to be confident in sports and physical activity – not only growing up but for the rest of their lives.

Being physically literate means that kids should be able to be “move with poise, confidence, competence and creativity in different physical environments (on the ground, both indoor and outdoor; in the air; in and on water; on snow and ice).” Running, jumping, catching, kicking, throwing, swinging and hitting are the basic fundamental sport skills. They allow children to play several sports with ease. Missing out on them can lead to a lifelong disconnect from recreation and sport.

There are different levels of each physical skill – from learning specific physical movements to mastering them. Only then can they make the shift from knowing how to do a physical skill to knowing how to do a “sport skill”. For example: learning to throw a softball using a pitching motion and aiming over home plate.

CS4L and LTAD have identified 13 fundamental movement skills that all kids should know how to do. They are categorized into locomotor/body skills, sending skills and receiving skills.

  • Locomotor and Body Skills: Walking, running, balance, skating/skiing, jumping, swimming, cycling and skipping.
  • Sending Skills: Throwing, kicking, striking
  • Receiving Skills: Catching, trapping

Children need to develop fundamental movement skills in a wide range of environments. As a parent you should question not only yourself but daycare providers, schools and sport organizations to make sure your children’s needs are met – including if they are physically active at least 30 minutes per day (toddlers) and 60 minutes per day (pre-schoolers). Do they play with a wide range of materials – balls (various types and sizes), beanbags, hoops etc… and are there places to climb, room to run and jump, places to throw and kick balls?

If you would like to find out more about the Long Term Athlete Development, please go to their website where I have sourced my information – It includes all of the information above as well as all of the stages and great information for parents, teachers, coaches, caregivers and anyone interested in sport and healthy living!


Diabetes “Epidemic” in Manitoba


It can be argued that Manitoba is in a state of a diabetes epidemic. Manitoba has the second highest per capita rate of childhood type 2 diabetes in North America. Manitoba also has the highest rate in Canada – by a huge margin. This is incredibly alarming.

So what is Type 2 diabetes? It is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is when there is deficient insulin production which requires daily administration of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known and it is not preventable with current knowledge.

Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Until recently, this type of diabetes was seen only in adults but it is now also occurring in children.

Based on a U.S. study, a North American child born in 2000 stands a one in three chance of being diagnosed with diabetes in his or her lifetime! In Canada, more than 3 million Canadians are living with diabetes and this number is expected to reach 3.7 million by 2020.

The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically due to a number of factors including our aging population, increase in obesity rates and sedentary lifestyles. Aboriginal people are three to five times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes.

The costs of diabetes include both personal and financial. Those affected have an increased likelihood of complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and a shortened life expectancy. Financially, it’s estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year by 2020.

Type 2 diabetes may be prevented through increased physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss.

My concern is that those that are at risk for the development of the disease are not receiving this information. Especially those in remote areas where there are high populations of Aboriginal people. In addition, even if these people did have the information, do they have access to what they need? It is no secret that fresh fruit and vegetables are not readily available in remote communities. When they are available, they are charged ridiculous prices. When money is tight, families will likely choose what is cheapest in order to provide for their families rather than what is most nutritious. In addition, are Aboriginal people with Type 2 diabetes educated on what they can do to make positive changes while keeping with their traditional cultural food choices? For those of us with internet, we can google any educational information, recipes or tips we need. Up north, this is often not an option.

There are many things we, as a community, can and should do about prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, firstly, I think we all need to be aware of the seriousness and scope of the disease. Once we are all “in the know”, we can help to spread the word and encourage others to do the same.

Healthy Marketing


It is no secret that the business of health is at an all-time high. Whether it be the latest trends in diet and nutrition, the latest craze in workouts and fitness, or the newest fad for mental health, it is a big business. And it’s growing each and everyday. There seems to always be a new diet or fitness trend that people are jumping on board with. We have seen yoga take off since Lululemon became a household name. Barre classes have become a hit over the past 3 years or so. I think many of these classes and crazes seem to get attention and have become more popular than just hitting the gym for some cardio.

While we wish that the increased focus on health in Canada was resulting in healthy Canadians, it is not. More Canadians – adults and children – are more overweight or obese more than ever. Our rate of cancer is now 1 in every 3 people. Our visits to the hospital are higher now than ever before.

There is an obvious disconnect. There are a plethora of businesses doing great things in terms of promoting health, wellness, nutrition and fitness.  However, many of these businesses don’t have the tools within their organization or skill set to adequately promote the good that they are doing. We are not talking about larger businesses such as Shapes or Good Life Fitness that have extensive marketing budgets. These businesses are sometimes smaller ’boutique-style’ gyms or yoga studios, health food stores or health practitioners and cannot afford the large price tag that comes along with large advertising and marketing firms.

That is where we come in. Our lives have been focused on sport, fitness, health and wellness ever since we can remember. We have combined this passion with our work to form Fit Communications. We know that you don’t have to spend $50,000 on an advertising campaign to do marketing. There are lots of guerrilla marketing tactics local businesses can use to get started.

We utilize healthy marketing to help businesses in the niche area of sport, fitness, health and wellness get their message out. Our idea being that they are doing such a great thing to help people become healthier, let us give them ideas and plans on how to get more people coming through the door.

Our hope is that through our communications and creative ways to spread the messages of these businesses to Winnipegers, we will be creating happy, healthy, engaged communities.

So if you know of a small business doing great things that may need our help, please let them know about us.  We’d love to have a chat!




Motionball 2013

This past Sunday I had the privilege of spending the day playing sports with amazingly generous, positive and spirited people at Motionball 2013.  This was a day of sport, fundraising and fun for Special Olympics.  Our Fit Communications team got to play with Cody, our Special O superstar.  Cody, and all the of the athletes inspire us all in that “we may not win today but will be brave in the attempt”.  This short photo video is a small glimpse into this incredible day!