Eating healthy

March is Nutrition Month in Canada and its primary message is to increase public awareness about healthy eating. The Cummings Centre recognizes the importance of a good diet for adults of any age.

According to Megan Caplan, Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, the healthiest diet is plant-based in which no animal products are consumed. The focus is on whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The immediate benefits of a plant-based diet are increased energy, weight loss, increased focus, and concentration. But there are many other profound advantages, Caplan says.

Plant-based diets increase fiber, vitamin and mineral intake, increase intake of antioxidant-rich foods, lower cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure and much more.

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. For a sedentary man of average weight, this amounts to 56 grams of protein per day, while most people are eating an average of 100-120 grams daily. People are consuming double the recommended protein intake. They are also consuming the protein most detrimental to their health.

Our bodies want to heal. If we give them the right tools, they will. Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet heals you from within, beginning with your gut,” says Caplan. “Shortly, you begin to reap the benefits.”

Focus on total nourishment

Caplan says that once we shift the focus away from simply taste and pleasure and focus more on total nourishment, our day will begin to look something like this. For breakfast, a bowl of organic gluten-free oatmeal topped with berries, almond butter and hemp hearts. For a snack, opt for a fresh fruit or vegetables and hummus. At lunch, a hearty soup and salad with plant protein of your choice, such as organic NON GMO tofu, tempeh or legumes, would suffice. For dinner, organic brown rice pasta with marinara, lentils, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli with a salad would be filling and nutritious. For a dessert, chocolate avocado mousse would hit any cravings yet provide healthy fat and is loaded with B vitamins.

If you’re wondering about protein, all plants have amino acids and when combined properly, they become complete protein sources. This can happen in 1 to 2 days. Combining foods such as legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts) with whole grains, they inevitably become a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. Looking for a fast, complete protein source? Try quinoa, buckwheat, organic soy and pumpkin seeds!

Megan Caplan will be speaking about the benefits of plant-based diets at an upcoming Engaging Speakers Program at the Cummings Centre.

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several off-site locations including the West Island, Cote Saint-Luc, St.LaurentWestmountChomedey and Florida.

For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.