Tag Archives: melbourne

Do We Need Meat

A few weeks ago I googled ‘do we need to eat meat?’ and in 0.27 seconds there were over 16 million results. Clearly there are many opinions. Paleos, ‘High Proteiners’, and their love affair with meat have flourished with the popularity of caveman style diets. It started with high protein Atkins and The Zone followed shortly after. So do we need meat? And is it okay to have more than one serving at dinner?

As a Registered Nutritionist this article is based on current, applicable scientific research.

Meat Uncovered

It is fair to say, not all meat has been created equally. A lean chicken breast or sirloin steak clearly offers a different nutrient profile to high fat sausages covered in more lard. Let’s break it down:

Read the complete article HERE

The Impact of Technology on Your Wellbeing

It’s now midway through winter in Australia, many of my clients are spending longer hours immersed in technology, watching TV and playing games on the ipad.

However, this may be at a cost to health.

Check out my latest clip on the impact of technology use (particularly late night technology use) on your wellbeing. I’d love to know what you think.

With Love and Nourishment xx

 

A Healthy Chocolate

There is something you may not know about me, I don’t like very sweet foods.

I use to love sultanas, their sticky sweetness sandwiched between apricots and almonds was my go to snack. Fast forward a number of years and quite frankly I’d prefer a bowl of crisp raw veggies. Seriously, what beats the crunch and refreshment of cucumber and celery.

However, after the gorgeous boost of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals there is space for some wholesome chocolate in the form of homemade chocolate bark. Even the virtuous are allowed a chocolatey snack occasionally 🙂

This recipe is easy peasy and mighty delicious. Sub any of the ingredients for other nuts, nut butters, seeds and dried fruit. You could even impress the guests with the addition of edible rose petals, lavender or freeze-dried raspberries. You are limited only by your imagination.

chocolate bark

Ingredients:

250mL Cacao Butter

2 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter

1/2 Cup Buckwheat Groats

1/3 Cup Almonds

1/3 Cup Goji Berries

Method:

Over a low heat, melt the cacao butter.

Once melted, remove from the heat.

Stir through all remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Line a flat tray with baking paper.

Pour the chocolate bark contents into the tray.

Place in the freezer until set.

Once set, break up into ‘bark’ pieces.

Store in the fridge.

 

 

Food Fads Worth Embracing

As a nutritionist, one phrase I despise is “food fad”. I’m obviously in support of food, so the food component is fab. But add a fad to the end and suddenly everything changes.

apples

Really, another one?

Food fads are usually heralded by minions shouting “I SAVED MY LIFE THANKS TO …” only to be forgotten two minutes later when the next magic pill arrives.

One delivery followed by another; weight-loss pills, the key to anti-ageing, potions for eternal bliss, scents to stave off hunger, superfoods to make you shine, elixirs to boost your metabolism, and so on. It still amazes me what desperate measures some individuals take in the name of health.

So what’s wrong with a little fad? The main qualm I have with fads is their tendency to encourage obsessive behaviours. Such actions are unsustainable in the long term and facilitate poor self-esteem.

I wholeheartedly support proactive health measures and preventative nutrition. However, there is no need to increase the mortgage on your house to fund these exclusive potions.

Miracle Pill

There is no such thing as a miracle pill

 

Look at Mother Nature

One fad that has been around for some time and is probably more a way of life than a fad is the kitchen garden program offered by many primary schools. Thanks to the vision of Stephanie Alexander and her desire to provide regular kitchen and garden classes to children, the next generation is learning vital skills for optimal well-being and healthy living.

Teaching a child how to love and nurture vegetables is crucial for their future health.

I appreciate that maths, geography, history and the like are essential to the school curriculum. However, teach a child how to grow tomatoes and show them some kitchen recipes that transform these beautiful sweet morsels into delicacies and you will improve their lives. It will encourage them to develop a healthy relationship with food and a positive regard for their body. This is turn will boost their self-esteem.

Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Self love

A child with food knowledge and kitchen skills is more likely to develop into a physically active healthy adult. They are more likely to consume wholesome foods regularly and respect and nurture their body.

Contrast this with a young adult lacking in basic food knowledge. They are often the yo-yo dieter who loathes their body.

I spend much of my time in schools and corporate offices giving nutrition seminars and running wellness programs. Adults who were encouraged as children to take part in food preparation and cooking lead healthier lifestyles as they grow.

But if you weren’t a child of home harvesters, it is not all doom and gloom. There’s no time like the present to start.

Fast fads & detoxes

Drastic fad diets and detoxes might facilitate short-term weight loss. Yet fast forward two years and it’s likely all lost weight plus more has appeared. Glorifying short-term skinniness is like celebrating the success of a cheater. The truth will eventually out in the most inconvenient circumstances, such as a burst zip, when the weight reappears.

A final message

Stop over-complicating everything.

Seek professional help if you would like a targeted approach unique to your lifestyle. Otherwise, simply consume far more vegetables than you think you need. You might notice the improvements to your health. You might even notice your skin develops a radiant shine that the $350 superfood failed to deliver.

And, with love and kindness, please drink some water.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Stephanie Alexander or her programs, nor do I receive royalties or bonuses for promotion.

My Piece Published in The Weekly Review 14th March 2015

Honesty is the Best Policy

Something honest and authentic….

Many claim to be nutrition and health “experts” yet what they offer is shonky claims based on nothing but hocus pocus. I don’t follow the status quo just to win popularity contests. Your health and wellbeing is far too important and so is mine.

photo (4)

I prefer to let my work and achievements speak for themselves rather than dismiss specific individuals, products or services that oppose my core principles.
But the truth is, for too long my industry has been attacked by “experts” with no basic nutrition education and training.

Nutrition science is far more complicated than coconut oil, kale smoothies and chia pudding.

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

I am a Registered Nutritionist, registered with a professional body. (See here)

Every three years I need to accrue a minimum of 300 continuing professional development points in order to retain my registration; even though I have studied nutrition for over 6 years, have 2 nutrition degrees (one undergrad and one postgrad) and have been in this industry for more years than my young face may indicate.

I don’t say that to satisfy my ego, you simply deserve to know what my qualifications and credentials are. It is why I pride myself on honesty and authenticity.

And so with that, I have just received my updated certificate, registering me for the next three years.

Happy Days xx

Nutrition Society of Australia Registration Certificate

Nutrition Society of Australia Registration Certificate

Sugar or Agave (Cactus)

A little wellbeing tip for the morning…

Agave (also referred to as Agave Nectar/Syrup) is not a health(y) food!!

Commonly considered a nourishing replacement for sugar, it has found its way into numerous recipes and raw desserts. Agave is derived from a cactus plant, and therefore some consider it to be “natural”.

However, in actual fact, the finished product undergoes far too much processing and does not resemble the natural cactus of its origin.

Yes, agave may be low GI and therefore considered beneficial for diabetics. For your information, my laundry detergent is also low GI but you don’t see me recommending that to my clients.

A Healthy New Year

In our society the Christmas and New Year holiday binge is commonly teemed with regret and the ubiquitous: “I’ll eat healthier this year”, “I plan to lose weight and get fit”, “I will drink less alcohol” and yet it’s always the same outcome – by mid-January old habits resurface.

apples

If I was given a pair of shoes every time someone broke their new year health resolution, I’d need to change my shoes every minute to prevent them collecting dust in the shoe storage mansion. New year resolutions could be compared to a Frisbee; they are tossed around without consideration for the next steps.

Drastic measures

Removing lactose and gluten, quitting sugar, fasting two days a week and avoiding carbohydrates after 4pm with the intention of new year weight loss, will not result in long- term health and weight reduction. Adopting drastic and popular diets encourages overly restrictive and obsessive behaviours. They are not sustainable, commonly lead to failure and foster poor self-esteem.

Removing gluten from your diet if you are gluten sensitive, suffer with coeliac or IBS is crucial for optimal health. However any coeliac will gladly share the downsides of such a lifestyle. It is not a joy.

Banana Bread

Popular culture

For some reason it is trendy to have food intolerances and allergies. It’s like being chosen for the popular sporting group at school: “Pick me”, “Pick me” they cried, and when little Jackson was chosen for the coeliac team, he knew he was in the cool group.

It has become glamorous to have food issues. Yet the irony is most gluten-free foods are highly processed. Many contain far more thickeners, texturisers and humectants than similar gluten food items.

But what do I know, I’m only a registered nutritionist with six years of university study dedicated to nutrition and food science, two nutrition degrees (one post grad) and 10 years in the industry.

I don’t write fictional stories about health and nutrition. My health and well-being is too important and so is yours!

Honesty is the best policy

Seek support and guidance where possible, but take responsibility for your own health and well-being. Be honest with yourself; if your lifestyle is less than virtuous, maybe those lingering five kilos are stubborn for a reason.

Keep it simple

Forget counting calories. Consume real food, increase your physical activity, eat far more vegetables than you think you need and drink water.

P.S. Eat fruit, it won’t make you fat. But that’s probably a story for another day.

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The miracle pill to optimal well-being

Miracle Pill

The secret to optimal well-being, looking younger and living well is called “make healthy living a priority”.

There is no negotiation and no other option. There is also no room for the excuse: “I’m too busy”.

I appreciate our fast-paced, time-poor culture leaves little time for nurturing. But fast forward a few years to a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis and suddenly busy has a new meaning. Injecting insulin six times a day and taking blood sugar measurements 12 times a day is far more inconvenient than chopping carrots and cucumber for morning tea.

In case you’re wondering, I make a priority of my health and well-being. My fridge and pantry are always stocked with wholesome foods. I allocate time for making snacks and preparing meals. My exercise time is ranked highly. I live what I preach.