Happy Eating for Easter!


CBC Interview – Health Tips for 2015

Lose the diet mind frame; Gain a life long Healthy Lifestyle Change!  Check out my interview with CBC’s Jane Adey as part of her article on Health Tips for 2015.”


Have a Happy & Healthy Day!



Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP
Nutritionist in Private Practice
Healthy Balance
47 Leslie Street (Heritage Health Care)
St. John’s, NL A1E 2V7

Tel: 709 722- 1157
Web: www.Healthy-Balance.ca

Happy Birthday Healthy Balance !

Happy Birthday Healthy Balance !

Well, 5 ½ years ago, I did what seemed to be one of the scariest yet exciting things…wrote a business plan to start my own private practice.  5 years ago this week, Healthy Balance opened its doors for the first time and the rest is history!

It’s been quite a journey throughout my fourteen years in the health and nutrition industry.  Thanks to everyone who helped along the way with your kind words, support, guidance and direction.  You’ve helped me reach this milestone!  As well, thank you to each and every client and business affiliate.  You’re each a true inspiration and always add to why I love what I do!

Cheers to You and Your Health,


Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP
Nutritionist in Private Practice
Healthy Balance
47 Leslie Street – 2nd floor
St. John’s, NL
A1E 2V7
(709) 722-1157
Email: tara@healthy-balance.ca

Have Your Say on Food Labels

Hey Canada… Health Canada needs YOUR help!! Having trouble reading/understanding food labels? Tired of all the confusion? What would you suggest to make food labels easier to understand? Well, now’s your chance to have your opinion heard!

Health Canada is in the process of making a proposal for changes to our food labels, and they would LOVE to hear your thoughts about the matter!! Recently, I had the chance to sit at a round table discussion with Minister Eve Adams about the proposed changes to our food labels in Canada.

Like anything, there are pro’s and con’s to any change. As for general benefit’s, they are considering standardizing, to a certain degree, portion size to make it easier to compare products; replacing vitamins A and C with Vitamin D and Potassium; adding a foot note explaining how to use the % DV (daily value); making ingredients list more user friendly by grouping similar ingredients together; making ingredient lists consistent with font size and color; and placing more emphasis on the amount of sugar in products on the food label.

As a concern, the amount of sugar that’s being referenced to form a % daily value (DV) is 100 grams, which is about 25 teaspoons per day!! Way to high!! Right now in Canada, that is how much sugar the average person consumes per day. We know that we have an increased incidence of obesity (especially in children), diabetes and cardiovascular disease in our country…sugar is a huge piece of the puzzle, contributing to our health concerns. If we keep doing what we’re doing, it’s only going to continue to get worse over time. Typically, what’s recommended is to not consume over 25 grams of sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons). This, along with other lifestyle changes can help make Canadians healthier! Let’s turn it around!

Your opinion counts!! Take a few minutes to complete Health Canada’s survey! Health Canada is listening…voice your opinion and help Canada get healthier!!


CLICK HERE for the survey.

Have a Happy & Healthy Day!


Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP
Nutritionist in Private Practice
Healthy Balance
47 Leslie Street (Heritage Health Care) 2nd floor
St. John’s, NL
A1E 2V7
(709) 722-1157

Sugar Alcohol’s: A Possible hidden Culprit of GI Distress

Media, fads and marketing may influence how we view certain food items. Sugar is a huge topic that has been focused on over the last decade. “Sugar Free” or “No Added Sugar” products are easily perceived as being healthier than regular products. Have you ever heard of a sugar replacement and thickening agent known as a sugar alcohol?

Sugar alcohols became popular to the Canadian market back in the late 1980”s in sugar free chewing gum. With sugar alcohol’s we taste the sweetness, minus an aftertaste, however the chemical is not absorbable and may cause havoc in the intestinal tract. Any amount of sugar alcohol consumed over 8 grams can cause GI distress, including gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, stomach extension and loud gurgling noises. Pretty nasty to say the least.

Sugar alcohols are found in products that claim “No Added Sugar”. They are sometimes listed in grams on the nutrition label, beneath Carbohydrates, Fibre and Sugar. Interestingly enough, manufactures do not have to list sugar alcohols on the food label; however, you can identify them in the ingredients list. The word alcohol ends in “ol” and for the most part, so does a sugar alcohol. Sorbitol, Maltitol and Xylitol are all examples of sugar alcohols.

Allot of products considered to be “Diabetic” friendly contain large amounts of sugar alcohol. Keep in mind that the company decides the serving size on a food label. For example, a food label might indicate that there are 4 grams of sugar alcohol per 4 pieces of small candy. It seems to fit the bill of less than 8 grams, however we generally eat more than that as we view the product as healthier as it does not contain sugar. So, if we were to eat four pieces this morning, another four this afternoon, four tomorrow and four the day after that, we would easily have 16 grams of sugar alcohol in our system and may feel GI discomfort by experiencing the above mentioned symptoms.

Sugar alcohols build up in our system and it may take several days to clear the chemical from our bodies. Examples of food and beverage products containing sugar alcohols found in most grocery stores include; “No Added Sugar” candy, cookies and baked goods; “Fat Free”, “No Added Sugar” premade puddings found in the dairy case; “No Added Sugar” bottled fruit; “No Added Sugar” ice cream; Bottled water that’s marketed as a sugar free health supplement.

Play food detective and think “outside the box” with food labelling. If a product is marketed not to contain sugar, ask yourself “If sugar is not present in this product, where is the sweet taste coming from?” The answer is usually from a chemical, such as a sugar alcohol or other artificial sweeteners.

Studies have shown that people who consume sugar free products tend to weigh more. The reason being is that these products increase our appetites later in the day.

Obviously, consuming large amounts of refined sugars are unhealthy as well. Be weary of foods and drinks marketed to contain “All Natural Sugar” as it’s usually an indication of excessive amounts of hidden sugar. Choose healthier options in moderation and respect portion control. Healthier options to sweeten foods and beverages naturally include; 100% pure maple syrup; black strap molasses; cinnamon; nutmeg and pure vanilla extract.

Personally, I’d prefer to take a small “hit of sugar”, that my body can break down and absorb as opposed to a “hit of chemical” that will cause havoc to my GI system! The choice is YOURS!! Be informed – Read your full food labels and ingredients lists.

Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP
Nutritionist in Private Practice
Healthy Balance
47 Leslie Street (Heritage Health Care – 2nd floor)
St. John’s, NL
A1E 2V7

Healthy Lunch Box Idea’s! :-)

Lunch Box Idea’s

Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP

Nutritionist – Healthy Balance


It’s an exciting
time for parents, children and families as this school year begins.  Time to prepare mentally, emotionally and
financially for the year ahead; while shopping for back to school clothes and
supplies.  As stress levels are on the
rise, it’s important to nurture ourselves during this transition.


Feeling stressed
just thinking about the busy year ahead? 
Frustrated when trying to figure out which foods to put in your child’s
lunch box?    Worried about the extra
financial costs the school year will bring? 
Here are some healthy lunch box ideas to jazz things up with convenient
ease for you and your family while respecting a savvy budget!


  • Be sure to double check with your
    child’s school for a list of any food allergies, so that you can plan
    meals and snacks appropriately. 
    Common allergies are nuts, eggs, kiwi, strawberries, bananas,
    seafood, etc. It is important to respect food allergy lists of foods not
    permitted in school as the consequences’ may be life threatening for those
    with these allergies.

  • Make sure your childs lunch bag is
    large enough to hold all containers, drinks and utensils.

  • Be sure to keep hot foods hot and cold
    foods cold by having the proper thermos and ice packs.  Food safety is very important!

  • Lack of water tops the list for
    contributing to day time fatigue, so make sure there’s water in your
    childs lunch bag.  As well, white
    milk or alternatives such as Rice Beverage are great high protein drinks
    to help maintain your childs energy level, strengthen bones and increase
    muscle mass.

  • For snacks, include fresh fruit (such
    as grapes, blueberries, plums, melons, apple slices, etc), yogurt, fresh vegetables’
    (such as cherry tomato’s; peeled cucumber slices; fresh carrot sticks;
    fresh red, orange and yellow peppers; etc), crackers (whole wheat or gluten
    free alternative), cheese and homemade cookies

  • Limit processed and packaged foods,
    such as cheese slices, cheese spread, premade meals, etc.  Play food detective when reading food
    labels as claims can be very misleading. Processed foods contribute to a
    tired, lethargic feeling; increase the appetite; and are low in nutritive
    value (vitamins, minerals, water, healthy fats, healthy carbs and protein
    which are important for childhood development)

  • Market fresh natural foods to your
    family by using coloured containers or by placing your children’s
    favourite stickers on the containers…visit your local discount store for a
    ton of fun, creative idea’s to spark your childs interest in healthy

  • Build a meal to make your childs lunch
    box a healthy balance.  Be sure that
    your child has at least ½ cup of fresh vegetables; 2 oz of healthy, non
    processed protein and ¼ cup healthy high fibre carbohydrates in every

  • To help with savvy budgeting, plan
    your weekly meals around foods that are on sale in your weekly
    flyers.  Cook extra portions with
    supper meals, so that there are leftovers for lunch boxes the next day.  For example, left over beef stir fry is
    nice in a wrap for lunch.  Feel free
    to check out my website at
    for recipe idea’s, such as Healthy Balance Chili and Healthy Balance
    Homemade Chicken Strips.



Wishing you and your
family a happy, healthy and successful school year ahead!!

Welcome To Healthy Balance’s Website!! :-)

Healthy Balance is a Newfoundland based company spreading the word about the importance of healthy living. Healthy Balance specializes in private consults, group work, grocery store tours, in home assessments and work place wellness programs.

Healthy Balance is the creation of Nutritionist Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP. Tara has over a decade of clinical experience and more than six years formal education in the area of dietetics and holistic nutrition. She has educated, motivated and helped thousands of people reach and maintain their individual health goals.

Tara has been a regular guest on Rogers TV Out of the Fog, Cross Talk on CBC’s Radio Noon with Ramona Deering, The NTV Evening News and Here and Now on CBC. As well, you might you might have read a few articles that Tara was interviewed for and perhaps has even published herself in the The Telegram, NL Wellness Guide, The Downhomer, Atlantic Law Enforcement magazine, Juice Magazine (interview with Stacey Stein) and The Newfoundland Herald.

Healthy Holiday Entertaining Idea’s

Welcome to my blogging site…interesting tid bits related to health and nutrition…served up Newfoundland Style!!!  Enjoy.

Healthy Holiday Entertaining Recipes!

Well, that time of year is upon us once again!  Late last week, I was interviewed by Anna Delaney from Rogers TV “Out of the Fog” and Ashley Fitzpatrick from The Telegram.  Rogers will air the show on Thursday, Dec 22, 2011 starting at 7:30 pm and Ashely said The Telegram will most likely have the article posted this week.  In the meantime, please check out my article on Making your Holiday a Healthy Balance on this website for some great tips.

Here are a few appetizers that Ashely and Anna enjoyed today!  A special thank you to my little helpers Eric Ruby and Emily Antle who helped me out last night with getting things ready!! :-)


Healthy Balance Tuna Tarts


1 can white tuna packed in water

1 cup low fat grated cheese

1 tbsp chopped dill pickle

1 tbsp relish

2 tbsp chopped green onion

2 tbsp mustard

1 loaf sliced bread, crusts removed (we used pumpernickle bread)


Drain and flake tuna.  Combine cheese, relish, pickle, onion and mustard.  Place bread in lightly greased large muffin pans. (we used canola oil to grease pan).  Fit in place. Spoon in mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove and enjoy! :-)


Healthy Balance Chili

Prep Time: 5 min / Total Time: 25 min / Makes: 8 servings


1/2 lb. ground turkey or extra lean ground beef

1 can (28 oz.) low sodium diced tomatoes, undrained,

1 jar (16 oz.) Thick ‘n Chunky Salsa (low sodium)

1 can  (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained, rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) chick peas, drained, rinsed

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp.  ground cumin

½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (less than 20% M.F.)

COOK ground meat in large saucepan on medium-high heat until cooked through, stirring occasionally.

ADD tomatoes, salsa, beans and seasonings; mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

SERVE topped with cheese…Enjoy! :-)


Healthy Balance Homemade Chicken Strips

Total prep and cooking time:  1/2 hour

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips1/2 cup whole wheat flour3/4 teaspoon garlic powder3/4 teaspoon ground pepper

3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 cup breadcrumbs1 beaten egg white (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 F.  Prepare a cookie sheet lightly greased with Canola oil

Make your assembly line:  Combine the flour, garlic powder and cayenne on a plate or flat bowl.  Beat the egg well, until it is no longer streaky, and pour into a dish.  Place that dish to the right of the flour mixture.   In another dish – again, a plate, or flat bowl works best, put the breadcrumbs.  Place this to the right of the beaten egg, and put your prepared pan to the right of the breadcrumbs.

Lift a strip of raw chicken up, and dredge it through the flour.  Make sure all of the chicken is coated in flour, and shake it to allow any excess to fall back into the bowl.  Next, dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg, lift out – allow it to drip for a moment, and place it in the bowl of breadcrumbs.  Roll or pat the strip with breadcrumbs until it is well coated, then place on the prepared cookie sheet.  Repeat until all the chicken is on the cookie sheet.  Spritz lightly with oilve oil, and place in a hot oven for 8 minutes.  Use tongs to turn the pieces over, and bake for another 5 – 8 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces (cut one open if you’re not sure to make sure it’s white in color).

Variation: An even simpler version omits the egg and flour mixture entirely.  Instead, dredge the chicken strips in Dijon mustard, then roll in breadcrumbs.  Make sure every bit of the chicken strip is fully coated.  Place on cookie sheet, and proceed as above.


Healthy Balance wishes you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season!! :-)

Merry Christmas!


Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP

Nutritionist and Business Owner

Healthy Balance

How Does NL Culture Influence our Eating Habits and Health?

 Imagine the influence that our distinct culture has on our eating patterns and overall health.  Newfoundland & Labrador is known as one of the unhealthiest provinces in Canada, especially in terms of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Cancer.  Statistics Canada indicates that St. John’s is the most obese city in our country. Genetics may be an uncontrollable risk factor to the state of our health.  There are also controllable factors that impact our health, such as stress levels, activity levels and our eating habits.

 We have choice’s to make…we can’t control the uncontrollable; however we can control our lifestyle!  For me personally, I could put a target on my head when it comes to my family history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.  My family history is my family history…there’s nothing I can do to change it….I view it as a pre-existing fire that’s burning.  There’s choices I can make that would add fuel to the fire and rev it up.  While there’s other choices I can make that would smoulder it down.  Personally, I’m taking the latter!  By following a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular fitness and keeping a positive attitude, I am in the driver’s seat…in control.  Making my life a healthy balance guides me with preventative measures to slow things down, decrease the severity or avoid the health conditions in my family’s history altogether!  It’s all about perspective! 

 Our eating patterns trickle down through the generations.  For the most part, we learn our eating habits from our parents who learned from their parents and so forth.  Typically, in our province, salt, fat and sugar are used on a regular basis to add taste to our foods.  We’ve used them for years…initially as a food preservative. 

 Studies have shown that consuming a diet high in salt and unhealthy fat may contribute towards Cardiovascular Disease.  Underneath that umbrella, encompasses an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Fat back pork, butter, lard and bacon fat have been used in recipes and as a cooking medium on a daily basis in our province for a long time.  By switching to healthy fats for cooking, such as olive, canola or macadamia nut oil, we can actually help to combat Cardiovascular Disease.  Remember, each different type of oil has a different cooking temperature range…for example; olive oil should only be used to a max of medium high heat on the stove top.  Any higher than that and we can turn a healthy fat into an unhealthy fat and make the food taste rancid.

 Reducing the sodium in our diets can also help improve our health status.  Go back to the basics, keep it fresh, keep it simple …choose fresh natural foods regularly as opposed to processed, boxed or take out foods.  By making your own frozen entrees, you can help reduce the amount of preservatives, sodium, fat, and sugar while increasing the amount of fiber and protein.

 When I ask clients what comes to mind in terms of types of foods that are classed as carbohydrates, they typically respond…bread and potato!  Ideally, no less than 55 % of our total daily caloric intake should be from a carbohydrate source. Although, I haven’t seen a study indicating the amount we consume in this province, I’m guessing it’s higher than that.  I can remember growing up, a typical breakfast would be a bowl of cereal with two slices of toast; spaghetti dinner was a huge plate of pasta with lots of garlic bread on the side, and for a bed time lunch, it was usually tea and toast!  Even the typical NL cold plate was/is carb heavy…potato salad, beet salad, mustard salad, macaroni salad, a dinner roll, some ham or turkey and a small piece of lettuce topped off with a sliver of tomato.  Some homes still have a bread plate on the dinner table to help make up the meal.

 Years ago, times were financially difficult in our province and families were really large.  Bread was homemade and the vegetables were grown which were economical ways to help sustain the needs of the family.  Salt, fat and sugar were used as preservatives and refrigeration was not like it is today.

 Growing up, I spent a fair amount of time during the summers with my great grandparents in Carmanville, Notre Dame Bay.  I can remember their stories about years gone by…everything was done by hand.  Grandfather fished during the summer months and cut tree’s during the winter months.  Gram was at home, where everything was done by hand…no such thing as running water, clothes were washed with a scrubbing board and they walked everywhere they had to go.  They worked really hard and persevered through long hours of physical labor from dawn till dusk. 

 Our activity level has certainly changed since then.  We are more sedentary yet some of the time, still eating the way they did years ago, coupled with the mass marketing influences of fast food/convenience processed foods.  Something has to give!! 

 Over the past couple of years, I have travelled around Newfoundland and Labrador to check out restaurants and food availability across our province.  Seems that sometimes natural, healthy foods are not readily available or sometimes the quality was not up to par.  When speaking to managers of business, they said that foods are ordered based on demand.

 Change starts from within…start making a change today…ask your local stores for fresher fruits and vegetables.  Remember, if you remove fat, salt and sugar from foods, you’ll be left with a bland tasting product.  Replace the flavor with spice…cayenne pepper; red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, oregano and cinnamon are just a few examples of ways to jazz up your food!

 Lets change the stats…make your life a healthy balance by including regular physical activity into your routine, and keeping a positive attitude….patience, persistence and positive attitude will help you reach your goals!  Make sure your plate a healthy balance which includes fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, high fibre grain products, healthy protein sources and sources of dairy and alternatives.


 Have a Happy & Healthy Day!

Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP

Nutritionist/Business Owner

Healthy Balance


(709) 722-9555

Eating Strategies for Christmas



Yesterday, I was interviewed by CBC’s Radio Noon Host, Ramona Deering about ways to make your holiday season a healthy balance.  Please see link below for the interview…click on Eating Strategies for Christmas and you can listen to the pod cast…it aired today!!  Enjoy


Happy Holidays to you and your family!!  Wishing you  Happy, Healthy & Successful 2011!!!


Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP

Nutritionist / Business Owner

Healthy Balance

(709) 722-9555