During Daffodil Month, the Canadian Cancer Society encourages everyone to support Canadians living with cancer and help us fund research to fight all cancers for all Canadians in all communities. We also want to help Canadians reduce their cancer risk, so the Society recommends that you move more, stay lean and eat plenty of vegetables and fruit as well as other plant foods such as whole grains and beans. About one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight. The science is clear: it’s the overall pattern of living that’s important.
Making sure that you eat enough vegetables and fruit every day can be tricky, but making sure they fill half your plate is easy! We recently put our National Office staff to the test with a Half Your Plate challenge to encourage them to make half their plate veggies and fruit. The results were both beautiful and nutritious. Staff really stepped up with their meals to not only make vegetables half their plate, but also make the plate visually appealing with colour and variety. Our staff found the message easy to follow and are incorporating it into their weekly meal planning or using it to help guide last minute meal ideas. Here are some of their reflections:
- “A healthy meal does not need to be complicated, and the fresh ideas and recipes help me to simplify and shorten the preparation time, but still keep the meals healthy and exciting.”
- “I really enjoyed the challenge because I found myself consciously thinking about what variety of vegetables I could include with each meal to make up half my plate.”
- “What I love about this challenge is that it has me thinking about incorporating more veggies throughout the day – not just at meal time, but snack time too!”
We learned some great tips along the way too like using spaghetti squash instead of pasta with your favourite sauce ortrying new recipes which were completely meatless. The experience even encouraged discussion of less common vegetables like celeriac and how to use them.
We’re proud of all our staff that participated in the Half Your Plate challenge and we encourage all Canadians to try making half your plate veggies and fruit today!
Check out our website if you’re interested in learning more about how eating well can reduce your cancer risk.