I got the coolest opportunity ever this week, guys.

I’ve noticed the signs around Loblaws before informing the patrons of the store that they offer in-house dietitian services but I never thought much of it – until now. This week I was given the opportunity to meet with the dietitian at my local Loblaws to actually grocery shop together, so I was able to see first hand the service they offer and I was able to learn so much! This month, the dietitian service has been sharing information about “transforming leftovers” so it was definitely fun discussing ways to transform dinner leftovers into lunch meals for the next day!

When my appointment was first set up, Gigi emailed me a questionnaire so that she could better understand my medical history and anything health wise that I was currently focused on. Being me, I completely forgot so she kindly printed the forms for me when I got there (I’m the worst – actually) and then we proceeded with our shopping trip!

There was actually a bunch of really cool things at Loblaws, in terms of nutrition, that I didn’t know about prior to my meeting with Gigi (the dietitian). For example, did you know that on every price tag on foods in the store there’s a star rating system that tells you how nutrient dense the food is? In the bread area for example, there’s probably a thousand types of bread that one could choose from, how would you truly know if you’re making the best decision? If you look on the price tag, you’ll notice either 0, 1, 2, or 3 stars. If there’s 3 stars, the food provides a lot of nutrition. If there are zero stars, then the food provides basically no nutrition.

See? There’s 3 stars there for spiralized butternut squash. YUM! I think this concept is sooo cool and is super helpful in making a more educated decision when choosing food.

Another thing Gigi and I did was a refresher on reading nutrition labels. Now, ok, I’ve been reading nutrition labels for like, 20 years (yay diabetes) but as soon as she asked if I remembered what % DV means, I completely drew a blank. I knew that it stands for percent daily value, but I didn’t really KNOW what that meant. So basically it tells you the % of the total amount you’re supposed to have during the whole day. Something that is less than 5% DV is something that doesn’t provide a technically significant amount of that nutrient. Anything over 15% is technically a significant source of that nutrient.

We spent a good amount of time in the fresh produce section, because it’s one of my favourite areas, it’s where I do most of my shopping, and it’s what I like to focus on when I’m thinking of how to transform leftover food.

Because it’s fall, my transformation of leftovers usually results in me creating a new soup. Soup is the BEST in the fall when the weather gets colder, and with a good recipe or two, you can easily turn leftover veggies into a smooth blended soup or use it to create a broth for other items to put into a soup. She told me how soups that you buy at the store normally have a lot more salt in them than homemade soup, so opting to make your own is always a good idea. It was so cool having someone to discuss all of this with in real time while I was doing my grocery shopping – it made it a lot easier to avoid the Doritos and pick up more fresh foods.

The other really cool thing I liked about this whole experience was that while we were walking and talking, discussing food and what I liked/didn’t like, she was able to point out new products in the store that I would probably like! There were so many new things that I would never notice had I not just been walking around with Gigi during this consultation. I’m so used to going into the grocery store and grabbing the same things every week, so I never really just look at what’s new on the shelves or in the fridges.

After my consult, Gigi followed up and emailed me a bunch of recipes that she had on hand that we had discussed while we were shopping, which is a nice added touch!! I love that kind of stuff haha, I’m a super food geek.

All in all, it was a really neat experience, and one I’d highly recommend doing, whether it’s to brush up on nutrition basics, get a cool idea of the different products that Loblaw’s has in the store, or if you just need that extra push to help you plan your shopping trips so that you make healthier decisions while you’re there.

To find out more about the Dietitian Services at Loblaws or to book an appointment, visit loblaws.ca/dietitians.

OH and remember – don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!! You’ll for sure make poor choices. Trust. 😀

Have you ever used a service like this at a grocery store before?

Talk soon,
Sarah