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Shopping for Food, Clothes and Furniture
I am an immigrant from Italy. I moved to Kamloops with my husband and our 17-year-old daughter (now 23!) in 2007. What do you and I have in common? We have all had similar difficulties from starting a new life in a new country.
One difficulty is food. For example, after two years in my new Canadian life, I had added 20 pounds. I was eating North American food. I tried hard for another two years to lose them. North American food tastes good. It’s fast and extremely addictive. Unfortunately, it is not healthy for us newcomers.
My Italian grandma, Ginetta, used to say, “I speak in the same way that I eat.” She meant that her way of speaking was as simple as the food that she cooked for her family to enjoy. Because we all come from different countries, we have eaten our cultural foods for centuries. For many generations, our bodies have been used to eating certain ingredients, especially grains such as wheat flour and rice.
Unfortunately, North American packaged food is not made with the same ingredients, and our bodies react. North American food is not our food: our bodies are not used to it. For example, bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes and baked desserts all increase blood sugar levels and insulin release that, to a certain degree, is related to diabetes.
Changes in nutrition can seriously affect our health. North American processed food is full of sodium, which is directly related to high blood pressure and heart disease. Exercise if you can and try to make smart choices for your daily food. You don’t have to completely eliminate the foods that you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of disease. Every healthy food choice that you make counts.
Cristiana Solinas, Chef
Cristiana is a Red Seal Chef who graduated from TRU Culinary Arts in December 2008. Her specialties are handmade traditional pastas and Italian “pasticceria”. She is also a Relief Chef Instructor at the TRU Culinary Arts program.
“Food is the best way to get all people to think about sustainability,
because it relates to:
said Colin Dring, a second-generation Chinese Canadian and executive director at Richmond Food Security Society (Silvio Di Blasio, Food for Thought, Canadian Immigrant, November 2013). He suggests:
- Buy at local farmers’ markets;
- Join a local food co-op or start one with family and friends;
- Join a community garden or a community kitchen;
- Share dinners with neighbors and friends;
- Learn to read food labels;
- Keep a journal of what your family eats to track food allergies and health problems; and
- Remember that short-term processed convenience food may be paid for in long-term health problems.
Adapted from Healthy Eating for Seniors, www.SeniorsBC.ca, p. 108-9
Packaged foods are sold in a:
They have fats, salt, sugar and chemical additives to make them taste good and last longer. The labels may say “low in fat,”
Adapted from the article by Laura Burgess, B.Sc. Pharm., Certified Diabetes Educator, Manshadi Pharmacy
Downtown Echo, March 13, 2014
Sugar is the number one addition in convenience foods. People who use more sugar have a higher risk of dying of heart disease. We do not know how much sugar that we eat every day. The average Canadian uses 23 teaspoons or 92 grams of added sugar each day. This amount is equal to the combination of:
- three tablespoons of ketchup,
- one serving of lowfat yogurt.
The American Heart Association recommends only 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women per day, and nine teaspoons for men. However, the average Canadian woman uses 17 teaspoons more and the average Canadian man uses 14 teaspoons more than they should.
- Helping Immigrants to Stay Healthy,
- Eating Western Food….Without Getting Fat,
- Eating Well with Your Canadian Food Guide,
- Health: Junk Food or Smart Choice: How Healthy is Your Diet?,
- Grocery Shopping on a Budget, and
- Food for Thought in Canadian Newcomer Magazine:
Also, please read Shopping: Why Pay More? in Canadian Newcomer Magazine,
In addition, please read and listen to: Can Immigrating to Canada Make You Sick?, Lesson #35, CBC Manitoba EAL Lessons.
If you use a microwave, never microwave plastic containers, such as margarine tubs. The unhealthy chemicals in the plastic can go into the food.
Avoid buying plastics that have DEHP or BPA (environmental toxins labeled number 3 for recycling). Use plastic containers that are labeled “microwave safe” only.
Plan Your Food Shopping Trip
First, learn about your grocery store. Some stores offer free store tours which are led by a registered dietician.
Second, plan your shopping trip by checking store flyers (advertisements) for sales. Look for coupons for products that you buy regularly. Write a shopping list before you leave home, and take the list with you. Follow your list to control impulse buying: choosing items that you want but do not need. If you plan and go shopping once a week, then you will probably save money. Also, eat a meal or a snack before you go shopping for food. If you’re hungry, then you will buy more food than you need.
The inside perimeter of the store usually has fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, bread and dairy products. Start your grocery shopping in the produce section.
The middle aisles often have more expensive and packaged prepared foods. They have more salt, sugar and fat, as well as being more expensive.
Third, check the unit pricing on the shelf to find out if the largest size of a product is cheaper than the smallest size. The unit pricing shows the price by weight, so it is easier to compare.
Read the nutrition labels on packaged food, especially for amounts of salt (sodium), fat and sugar (including corn syrup and high fructose syrup):
Sodium (salt) raises blood pressure and increases the possibility of heart disease and stroke. Adults only need 200 milligrams a day for good health. Other names for salt include:
- monosodium glutamate (MSG),
- other compounds with “sodium” in their names.
The percentage is the daily amount that is recommended, and it should be less than 5% for:
Avoid anything with an amount that is over 15%.
Breads and rolls contain the highest amount of salt because people eat them often.
If you eat a lot of sandwiches, then notice that three ounces of packaged sliced turkey has from 450 to 1,050 milligrams of sodium. Other types of cold cuts and cured meats have similar amounts of sodium. In addition,
have lots of salt. Raw chicken and turkey often include salt water, and this information is on the package.
When you decide to reduce the amount of salt in what you eat, your body changes. It usually takes six weeks for your body to experience less salt as normal.
When buying a product that is on sale, be careful to buy only the number of sale items that you need. For example, the sign may say, “4 for $7.” Remember that you can usually choose to buy only one at the sale price.
Look up Calculator Soup: http://www.calculatorsoup.com >Calculators > Financial > Sales > Sale Price Calculator
• Calculates final sale price for discounts advertised in percent or fraction
If the item is something that you buy often, then buy as many as you can, especially canned goods or items that you can freeze.
If the item is sold out, then ask for a rain check (a written guarantee that you can buy as many of the items that you want when they are re-stocked). With a rain check, you can buy the item when it is re-stocked at the sale price.
Where Can We Buy Groceries?
There are five supermarkets in town:
- Cooper’s has four locations: Westsyde, Brocklehurst, Valleyview and Downtown.
3435 Westsyde Road
1800 Tranquille Road
2101 Trans Canada Highway East
200-450 Lansdowne Street
- Safeway has two locations: Sahali and North Shore.
945 Columbia Street West
750 Fortune Drive
- Save-On-Foods has one location: Sahali.
100 – 1210 Summit Drive
- Superstore has one location: Sahali.
910 Columbia Street West
- Extra Foods has one location: North Shore.
700 Tranquille Road
There are also specialty food stores:
223 Victoria Street, Kamloops
Mori Mori Japanese Grocery
467 Landsdowne Street
YMCA/YWCA FAMILY TIME!
Food For the Family education session followed by a Family Zumba exercise class, a great way to work out together! First, learn about healthy choices and fun ways to get everyone involved in the kitchen and improve eating habits. Then, participate in a workout that everyone can do and have fun: ZUMBA.
Location: DOWNTOWN Y
Sundays, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
January 20 – March 3 (6 weeks)
Members: $30 Non-Members: $60 (up to 4 in family)
Do You and Your Family Have Enough Food?
In 2010, 867,948 Canadians were helped by food banks, which are places which provide free food for those in need. 50 per cent of the people who use food banks are immigrants.
Most food banks do not receive money from the government. They depend on donations from the community and volunteers. Emergency food supplies are available every two to four weeks and last for two to three days.
The Kamloops Food Bank is located at:
435 McGowan Avenue
1) Families and Single Parents:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 am – 11:30 am
2) Single People and Adult Couples:
Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am – 11:30 am (no children, please)
3) Seniors, Working Clients, Students and People with Mobility Issues:
Thursday, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Please bring proof of employment or enrollment.
The Kamloops Food Bank is also open to all clients on Fridays from 11 am to 12 pm at the Kamloops United Church, 421 St. Paul Street.
In addition, the Kamloops Salvation Army offers emergency food hampers and community and family services, from 10 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday. It also has a food share program that is called the Good Food Box. It costs $25 per month to receive a box of fresh fruit and vegetables.
344 Poplar Street
Newcomers can have difficulty paying the rent and having enough food to feed themselves and their families. For some newcomers, the biggest challenge is during their first year in Canada. The group of immigrants who are most likely to have periods of low income are skilled workers. Family immigrants usually do better, because they have family in Canada who can help them out when life is difficult.
Newcomers have other food-related problems. They may be unfamiliar with the food of their new country and uncertain about how to prepare it. They may find that the foods that they like and enjoy eating are very expensive in Canada. Changes to their traditional diet may even lead to poor nutrition and health.
The Canada Food Guide says that food and beverage advertisements on television affect:
- recommended shopping lists.
When parents pay attention to their children’s food and beverages, there will be less chance of them developing:
heart disease or
These health problems are closely connected with packaged food and soda, and both offer high calories with low nutrition. They may taste good and be easy to prepare, but are not good for growing bodies. Parents decide what to buy.
Shopping for Clothes
Thermals and Snow Suits
Adapted from the article by Siobhan Costelloe, Canadian Newcomer Magazine, February 19, 2014
It can be hard preparing for the different seasons, especially if you have children. My first winter was an experience trying to provide the appropriate clothing for my son. I remember purchasing my son’s very first snow suit. He looked so cute in it. Then I received a call from the principal: “Where are his clothes?” Clothes, I thought? You mean that you take the snow suit off?
This was the beginning of a hilarious relationship between school and parent. I purchased everything, from boots to waterproof gloves, one item at a time. I had no idea. When we were finally into a deep freeze, my son said that he was still feeling chilly and I was alarmed. I checked the list that I had:
- ear muffs, and
- wooly socks.
What was missing? I asked my parents. “Thermals” was the response. “What are they?” I asked in amazement. I was taken shopping. You need thermals: it’s the very first piece of clothing that you put on. The thermals and the snow suit gave me the most problems until I got it right. Thermals should fit snugly and the snow suit should be at least one size bigger to accommodate all of the clothing underneath. Of course, as soon as the child is bundled up, there is a little voice saying, “Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.”
Please read Clothes: Look Great, Spend Less in Canadian Newcomer Magazine,
Also, please read Furniture: Furnishing Your Home, in Canadian Newcomer Magazine, http://www.cnmag.ca/issue-14/340-furniture-furnishing-your-home-e06
Second-hand stores (thrift stores), yard or garage sales sell used clothing, usually very cheaply. You can bargain at a yard or garage sale, but not in second-hand stores. You can find a list of yard or garage sales that are held on Saturday mornings in the Friday edition of the Kamloops Daily News.
Here is a list of second-hand (thrift stores):
Value Village (www.valuevillage.com)
444 Seymour Street (around the corner from Kamloops United Church Thrift Shop)
Value Village is open from 9 am to 9 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 10 am to 9 pm on Sunday. It has regular 50% off sales days about every three months. If you shop there often, think about getting a Value Village card which is linked to your email address. Value Village will let you know ahead of time about the next sale, and with the card, you can shop there the day before the public sale. If you plan ahead, then you can buy children’s and adult clothes for the next season cheaply.
Kamloops United Church Thrift Shop
387-4th Avenue (around the corner from Value Village)
Open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.
St. Paul’s Thrift Shop
360 Nicola Street (3 blocks from Value Village and 2 blocks from Kamloops United Church Thrift Shop)
The shop is only open on Fridays from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.
It is wheelchair accessible from the back lane entrance.
Simply The Best Thrift Store
662B Seymour Street
342 Seymour Street (down the street from Value Village)
Thrift Seller RIH
146 Victoria Street
The Salvation Army Thrift Store
533 Tranquille Road
Mount Paul United Church Thrift Shop
140 Laburnum Street
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 3
For References, please go to the Education in Kamloops section.
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