I like dichotomies. I like them so much I was going to name my daughter Di and not tell her that her full name was Dichotomy until she was much older and could leave in a sulk. The others were going to be Anachronism and Embolism (“How are Ann and Em doing?” “Oh, just fine – nearly as tall as Di these days…”)
Anyway, here’s a good one. This is a province of people glowing with good health; tall, active teenagers on the slopes, sprightly elders out power walking on the Seawall, dads teaching their 3 year olds hockey stops and mums competing with daughters in figure skating competitions. The average size you will see on the street is average – not fat, not skinny, just healthy.
And conversely this is a province of people who bring up their children to believe that a hot dog and a chocolate milk is a decent meal; people who eat out at least once a week and get take away regularly; people who love good wine and beer, barbeques, chips and dip, deep fried Mars Bars and mini donuts at the PNE Food Fair.
So what’s the secret? My theory is this; sport is an obsession and so is the great outdoors and so is food. When I worked in civvy street in the UK the main topic of conversation was which diet we were following, which fad burned fat, which food combinations would melt cellulite. I went to lunch with women who picked at their food, left it on their plate or asked for crazy adaptations of the menu (an omelette, but only egg white with no cheese, no fat and salad on the side, no dressing). Here? Last week I was at a conference for HR professionals, and therefore, mostly women. We had a great lunch, and every scrap was eaten. Everyone enjoyed it, everyone ate dessert and there were no cries of guilt or regret. Less than 10% of the attendees could have been called overweight.
This is a place where you can follow the 100 mile diet, finding locally grown and produced food on your doorstep. The seafood is, of course, outstanding, and sushi is the popular choice for many – children and adults alike (but not mine, yet). Fruit and veg are seasonal and local. This is a place where we really can live the motto – “A little of what you fancy does you good”.