Monthly Archives: June 2010



Who made this rule and were “they” kidding?

Sadly, no. We are all supposed to drink that much water a day. I mean, everyone knows THAT. The important question at this point is not why, its how?

I have a confession to make. Come closer, this is a big one.

I hate drinking water. There, I said it. I’m a Nutritionist and I hate drinking water. Gosh, I feel so much better putting that out there. Then again, let’s face it, I’m probably slightly dehydrated as I write this. worried

In my opinion, water has no taste! Its like liquid blah. Sure, there are some brands of water that taste better than others, but still…… just doesn’t do it for me, unless I’ve just finished working out and sweated like crazy (but to be honest, even then I’d rather pour it on myself than drink it!). Well, if your one of those people that carries a water bottle wherever you go and just feels so darned hydrated, then goody for you. But if you’re like me, I empathize, and so I’m going to be very generous and share the ideas that really help me, and hopefully will help you as well:

(1) The #1 thing that has helped me is a product called Hint. ( This water is incredible because it has zero calories and zero artificial sweeteners, cweight, Rebecca Lazar - DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER EVERY DAY?olors, or flavors. Don’t ask me how they do this, I don’t care if it’s magic. All I know is it tastes great and is just as beneficial as drinking plain water. The only problem I have with this company is that finding it in Toronto, Canada has not been easy. A few Starbucks locations carry it, but sadly I’ve only seen the blackberry flavor. Send us more flavors! (There’s a similar product called Metromint, which has fruit flavors along with a subtle mint taste to it that I don’t love; but if you like mint, it’s an excellent choice as well

(2) Make your own flavored water. If you can’t find Hint or don’t want to spend the money, make your own…..fill a pitcher with some good quality, ozonated reverse osmosis water (or bottled spring water) and add a bunch of sliced cucumbers, or a handful of raspberries, or some peeled, sliced oranges or lemons. Experiment with whatever fruit you like, go crazy and mix fruits too! Let it sit in the refrigerator for a while to bring out the flavor and enjoy!

(3) Mix your water with juice. Add 2 ounces of fresh squeezed or commercial fruit juice (not the artificial stuff please!) to your cup of water – save on calories, but not on taste.

(4) Drink hot or iced herbal tea. There are so many varieties of teas out there, and many of them contain beneficial herbs for specific health needs. They all taste great, just read the cautions on the label if there are any, because some herbal teas should not be consumed more than once a day or at all if you have certain health conditions. Also, some herbal teas should not be consumed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you aren’t sure, go for the basic, all-around-good-for-you Green tea, which has a moderate caffiene content, but since it is alkaline it won’t have the same adverse acidic effects as coffee. Also try Roobios tea, which is a naturally decaffeinated South African tea. Add a teaspoon or two of organic raw honey and you have a delicious drink that counts as water but has an actual taste!

(5) Try a coffee substitute. If you’re a coffee drinker, know that caffeine acts as a diuretic, so you’re wasting your time if you think it counts as water. No, that doesn’t mean you should increase your coffee intake (nice try, though), since caffeine has other well-known side effects such as increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. You could switch to decaf, of course, but you’re still consuming an equally high-acidic beverage to regular coffee, that can cause gastrointestinal upset such as acid reflux or stomache pains. It also helps create an acid environment in your body which in turn creates a breeding ground for all sorts of ailments. One cup a day is not too detrimental for most people, but why not forgo the coffee altogether and try a coffee substitute, such as those made from roasted grains, chicory root or dandelion. They taste surprisingly like coffee without the downside and do count towards your 8 cup quota.

Feeling thirsty yet? I know I am! happy

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weight, Rebecca Lazar - HELP! I NEED A CHOCOLATE SNACK!

Ok so I love chocolate. Don’t we all. (Well, my 9 year old son has a friend who absolutely hates chocolate and let’s just say I’m a little worried about him raised eyebrows ). Anyhow, we can rationalize our chocolate-loving selves by discussing all the antioxidants chocolate has so therefore its good for us! Yeah, well the “good” stuff is dark chocolate, folks, not the fake, chemical-tasting, is-that-even-real-chocolate found in your average candy bar. Lucky me, I actually can’t stand milk or white chocolate, but I do have an addiction to the dark stuff. If you’re like me, read on; if you want that chemical stuff, you’re on the wrong blog!

No, I’m not gonna tell you how to control your addiction, I’m a Nutritionist not a shrink. (Shocking, I know). What I am going to tell you is that my good friend and fellow health-nut, Michelle Edery, found a solution to satisfy my craving, and hopefully yours too, without horribly contradicting my general disgust for processed junk food. I’m talking about VitaTop chocolate muffins and frankly Michelle and I should get some sort of commission for loving these things so much and recommending them as a snack for everyone (unless you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, specifically eggs, wheat or soy). They each have 100 calories, 7 Grams of fiber, 1.5 Grams of fat, 4 Grams protein and no artificial ingredients. They are so chocolatey delicious, don’t be surprised if somebody shoves you away from the health food store freezer to get the last box. (Wasn’t me, I swear!). And if you’re lucky enough to live in the US you can also get the mix to bake them yourself (send some to Canada……..please! Somebody? Anybody?)

Enjoy, but remember, don’t eat more than one since that would defeat its purpose; its a health(ier) snack option, people, not a vegetable!

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This is a question I get asked very, VERY often. My usual brilliant response is:

“No…..Yes……Not exactly…….but sort of.”

Unfortunately, much as I’d like the questioner to be satisfied with that answer, no such luck. So then I have to get into this whole explanation that is pretty boring (don’t take my word for it, read on!). So here it is, written down, and from now on should anyone ever ask me this question again, I’m going to direct them to this page and save myself the time and the glazed-over look that inevitably follows this explanation:

First off, let me just inform anyone who may be reading this that I live in Canada and therefore I am referring to the differences between Nutritionists and Dietitians here in this country. This information is based on my own observations by speaking to a number of people in both fields and may be similar in the U.S. or other countries but don’t quote me on that (or hurl insults at me for that matter)…..Also, being a Nutritionist, I may be a teeny tiny bit biased, hey I’m only human. dont tell anyone


Nutritionists and Dietitians generally have the same number of years of education, studying the best way to treat and prevent diseases through diet, supplements and a healthier lifestyle. However, Nutritionists advocate a more holistic approach. For an inexplicable reason, the word “holistic” freaks some people out and makes them think we’re chanting stuff and waving crystals. But I assure you, it simply means we view the individual as a whole, (holistic, get it?) rather than the ailment the person is presenting to us. Nutritionists recommend the use of supplements, whole (there’s that word again!), unprocessed, preferably organic, foods, a healthier lifestyle including exercise, herbal medicine and other natural therapies if needed, as well as avoidance of toxins. In this way we try to get the body back to its natural state of health. We also like to avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs when possible (Relax, I said when possible!) and are therefore not well liked by many medical professionals. We are covered by a few private insurance companies who recognize our expertise, however we are lucky to have organizations such as the International Organization for Nutritional Consultants ( The IONC works on our behalf to increase insurance coverage for us as well as to make sure Nutritionists have a certain amount of upgrading education on an annual basis due to the ever-evolving research in this field.

On the other hand, the majority of Dietitians are not really that concerned with certain chemicals or preservatives in our foods and tend to stick with the typical food guide pyramid as a guideline, with specific medically-approved diet protocols and vitamin supplements for different ailments, regardless of the individual. I’m not saying that these diet protocols don’t work, many of them do. In fact some are quite similar to what a Nutritionist would recommend. It is simply a more medical approach; they are generally not as knowledgeable in herbal medicine or homeopathic remedies and therefore utilize western medicine as an adjunct to diet instead. They are government approved and regulated because of this and covered by more private medical insurance companies than Nutritionists (shocking, I know). Therefore, you are much more likely to find a Dietitian in a hospital setting or medical building and a Nutritionist in private practice or alternative wellness centers. (Of course, some Dietitians see the light after a few years in practice and come over to the holistic side!)

The best way I know how to sum it up is as follows: Dietitians are to western medical doctors (MDs) what Nutritionists are to Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Now, if you don’t know what a Naturopathic doctor is (or you think its the same thing as a Homeopathic Doctor—it’s not, by the way), you’ll have to visit my blog another day and find out. happy

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