Healthy Living in the North

5 tips for fuelling your active lifestyle

Fitness equipment and a plate of balanced food.

Fuel your active lifestyle with water and food from all four food groups!

From walking in the park to bicycling, or from backyard gardening to organized sports, physical activity is great for the mind, body, and soul. Keeping active also means keeping your body energized, strong and healthy. Try these five easy tips to fuel your active lifestyle.

1. Eat regular meals and snacks

Eating regularly gives our bodies a constant source of energy, so we’re ready for everything the day has in store.

2. Enjoy a variety of foods from all of the food groups

Each of the food groups from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provide different nutrients to keep your body fueled, healthy and happy.

  • Vegetables and Fruits – provide vitamins and minerals to keep your body running smoothly and recover from injuries and illness. Choose fruits and vegetables from all colours of the rainbow to get the most benefits.
  • Grain Products – provide carbohydrates which our bodies use for energy. Choose whole grains more often to have consistent energy throughout the day.
  • Milk and Alternatives – provide vitamins and minerals important for healthy bones. Strong bones allow us to stay active and help prevent falls and injuries.
  • Meat and Alternatives – provide protein for building muscles, and iron to deliver oxygen to our cells.
Mug of soup.

Staying active this summer? Eat a variety of real foods to keep your energy levels where they need to be!

3. Eat real food

No need for protein powders, energy bars, or other sports supplements. Eating a variety of real foods from all of the food groups will provide your body with everything it needs to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and it’s less expensive, too.

4. Stay hydrated with water

Sip on water throughout the day and during activities to keep your body well hydrated. Sports drinks aren’t necessary for most people, and cost more. Try flavouring your water with lemon or lime wedges to mix it up.

5. Avoid energy drinks

While they might give you a burst of energy, it won’t last. And their high caffeine content can actually be dangerous for your heart.

A version of this article was originally published in the February 2015 issue of Northern Health’s A Healthier You magazine.

Marianne Bloudoff

About Marianne Bloudoff

Born and raised in BC, Marianne moved from Vancouver to Prince George in January 2014. She is a Registered Dietitian with Northern Health's population health team. Her passion for food and nutrition lured her away from her previous career in Fisheries Management. Now, instead of counting fish, she finds herself educating people on their health benefits. In her spare time, Marianne can be found experimenting in the kitchen and writing about it on her food blog, as well as exploring everything northern B.C. has to offer.


Localize your lunch

Frozen berries, preserved produce, deer chops, and squash on a counter.

Adding local food like deer chops, squash, berries, or beets depends on where you live and a few other factors but there are some preservation tips and seasonal produce that can keep you lunching local all year round!

There’s something neat about eating local food. Somehow food that you have grown, fished, hunted, gathered, or gotten from someone you know is just … better.

But why does it seem better? Pop quiz!

  1. Do you feel a sense of pride and self-reliance in growing, getting or “putting up” your own food?
  2. Do you feel local food is somehow more real, more nourishing, and more satisfying?
  3. Do you value food travelling fewer “food miles”?
  4. Are you pumped about supporting your local producers and community members?
  5. Do you appreciate knowing where your food comes from?
  6. Do you enjoy the social aspects of local food and the learning that is shared?
  7. All of the above.

For me, it’s “all of the above,” but if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, that sounds like a good enough reason to include some local yumminess in your lunches!

How can we pack local foods into our lunch bags? What we have available to us depends on many variables: where we live, our personal connections, our food storage equipment, and our skills and knowledge.

Here are a few ideas from my own kitchen in Terrace:

  • My favourite lunch is simply leftovers from dinner (I mean, if I’m going to cook a great meal, I better get a couple meals out of it, right?). At this time of year, we are working through the last of our local food supplies so dinner, and therefore lunch, might include Haida Gwaii deer, Remo Harvest potatoes (maybe garlic mashed potatoes?), and home canned beets (topped with no-so-local feta cheese and olive oil).
  • There are still a couple of squashes on my counter, and while their fate is not yet sealed, I suspect they will make an appearance in a future lunch in the form of a creamy squash soup or spiced squash muffins.
  • The cherries and berries in my freezer might be reincarnated into a fruit crisp that would make a nice mid-morning snack at work.
  • There’s still a wee bit of jarred salmon that might be nice to have on crackers – an easy snack or lunch to pack when I’m hastily scrambling to work.

Oh, dear! All this writing about food is making me hungry! Better go take a peek at what I’ve got in my lunch today! I hope there’s something local in there!

For more ideas and inspiration, consider checking out the following resources:

Northern Health’s nutrition team has created these blog posts to promote healthy eating, celebrate Nutrition Month, and give you the tools you need to complete the Eating 9 to 5 challenge! Visit the contest page and complete weekly themed challenges for great prizes including cookbooks, lunch bags, and a Vitamix blender!

Lise Luppens

About Lise Luppens

Lise is a registered dietitian with Northern Health's regional Population Health team, where her work focuses on nutrition in the early years. She is passionate about supporting children's innate eating capabilities and the development of lifelong eating competence. Her passion for food extends beyond her work, and her young family enjoys cooking, local foods, and lazy gardening. In her free time, you might also find her exploring beautiful northwest BC by foot, ski, kayak or kite.