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Promoting Nutritious & Delicious Pulses is “A Dream Job” for New Food & Nutrition Coordinator MAY 4 2015 | Consumers | News Release

Alberta Pulse welcomes Debra McLennan as its new Food and Nutrition Coordinator tasked with teaching more Albertans how to benefit from including dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas in their diets.

“We are thrilled to have a staff member dedicated to educating consumers about how good pulses are for you and your health, as well as connecting with influencers like teachers and medical professionals,” said Alberta Pulse Executive Director Leanne Fischbuch. “The addition to our team of a dietitian with Debra’s knowledge, experience and enthusiasm will help to get the word out to more Albertans about the benefits of eating pulses as we prepare for International Year of Pulses 2016, as declared by the United Nations.”

McLennan has been a Registered Dietitian for 25 years, and was contracted to organize Alberta Pulse’s MISSION: IMPULSEIBLE Student Food Product Development Competition for the last two years.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity – it’s a dream job for me,” McLennan said. “I eat pulses, I love pulses, and the concept behind them. I’m excited to be more involved in the hands-on food side of promoting pulses and supporting farmers. It’s a great team that I am joining. To be one of the pieces of the puzzle to educate people about the value of pulses to human health is very exciting.”

McLennan has always promoted pulses to her nutrition clients and looks forward to teaching even more people about the nutritional value and versatility of pulses like dried peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils.

“There has been a lot of research done to support the benefits of eating pulses and there is so much opportunity to connect,” she said. “Alberta Pulse does have programs in the schools and I’m looking forward to doing even more outreach. The next step is figuring out how we can best reach out to restaurants and chefs. It’s slowly coming but more work needs to be done. My focus is on reaching out to consumers.”

Rich in many nutrients — including protein, fibre, iron, folate, and potassium — pulses are low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them a healthy option as both a meat and starch alternative.