Healthy Living Advice

Tips for health, strength, weight-loss, and nutrition

  • Mel's Mini Frittatas

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015


    Makes 12

    Ingredients

    - 1 onion
    - 1 red capsicum, diced
    - 1 zucchini, grated
    - 1 tomato, diced
    - 1 handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
    - 1 small handful parsley, roughly chopped
    - 5 button mushrooms, sliced
    - 2 rashes bacon, diced
    - 12 eggs
    - 1/3 cup milk
    - 1 tablespoon turmeric
    - Salt and pepper, to taste

    Method

    1.     Preheat oven to 180OC. Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin (or line using patty pans or baking paper).

    2.     Combine the vegetables and bacon in a bowl. Mix together, then divide into the muffin tin.

    3.     Whisk the eggs, milk, turmeric, salt and pepper together until combined. Using a ladle, spoon over vegetable mix in the muffin tin.

    4.     Bake for 15 minutes, or until frittatas are slightly firm and light golden brown.

     

    These frittatas are great for breakfasts or as a small snack. The eggs and bacon provide a good mix of protein and healthy fats. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is believed to be an antioxidant and have anti-inflammatory benefits. You can play around with the ingredients you use – try different veggies, herbs or spices!



  • Fat - Friend or Foe?

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    For a long time, fat has been given a bad rap, considered to cause weight gain and increase the chance of other health risks, such as high cholesterol and heart disease. As such, it has often been recommended by health professionals to significantly reduce the amount of fats consumed, often in favour of carbs. Despite this, we keep gaining weight at an alarming rate and 33 percent of Australians have high cholesterol. So what is going on? Is fat really that bad for you?

    Fat is one of the three main macronutrients (the other two being proteins and carbs) and can be broken down into four main types:

    Saturated – coming from animal products e.g. dairy products, eggs and meat

    Monounsaturated – plant based fats, such as olive, canola, sunflower, safflower and sesame oils, fish, pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, avocado

    Polyunsaturated – some plant based oils, such as soy bean, corn and sunflower oils, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, brazil and pine nuts.

    Trans – unsaturated fats which have been chemically altered to improve their physical characteristics. Often used in fried foods, margarine spreads, processed baked goods. Trans fats ‘provide no known benefit to human health’ (Heart Foundation Australia)

    Fat is NECESSARY in the body as it is a source of energy, aids in the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, helps to build cell membranes as well as assisting with blood clotting, muscle movement, and reducing inflammation.

    Despite popular belief, saturated fats do not increase the risk of heart disease. They should still be included within the diet, along with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However trans fats should be avoided as they can increase the ‘amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes’

    (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-full-story/)

    So how should you include fats in your diets?

    • The only fats that shouldn’t be included in your diet are TRANS fats – saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are all necessary for good health.
    • Don’t be scared to include full fat products, such as milk and yoghurt – low fat products often have extra sugar/sweeteners added to improve flavour
    • Include good sources of omega 3 fats such as fish, walnuts or flaxseeds


    Yours In Health 

    Mel


  • 3 Steps to Cutting Down on Sugar

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    With our modern lives, it can be easy to go for food that has been prepared for us, packaged and portioned, and advertised as healthy, low fat or light. But how healthy are these options?

    As we move away from the low fat diet trend, there’s an ever-increasing amount of information coming out about the impact of sugar consumption in our diets – we know now that excessive consumption of sugar is not only linked to weight gain and other health concerns that come with that (diabetes, heart disease, some cancers etc.), but it can also be an addiction, and elicit the same neurological response as cocaine and nicotine. Basically, the more you have it, the more you’re body wants it.

    But it’s not all bad news. You can make healthy food choices which will help ensure you’re not getting too much sugar in your diet. Here are three tips to help reduce your sugar intake: 

    1.       Stick to whole, natural and organic foods as much as possible – the less processed the food is, the better it is for you. This includes meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

    2.       Avoid diet and fat free options - Often products which are marketed as diet or low fat products contain a surprising amount of sugar to improve the flavour after the fat is taken out. For example, select a natural pot set or Greek yoghurt instead of a diet yoghurt. The fats in the natural yoghurt are much better for you than the added sugar/artificial sugar in the diet version. Get to know your food labels – aim for less than 5g of sugar per 100g. 5g is roughly equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar (the equivalent amount of an average sugar sachet, or a sugar cube)

    3.       Beware of ‘healthy’ sugars and artificial sugar substitutes – products such as agave, molasses and maple syrup are often marketed as healthy options, yet at the end of the day they are still sugars and the body metabolises them as such. Artificial sugar substitutes, such as aspartame, while may help cut back on the calories, can be extremely harmful to the body. Excessive consumption of some of these sweeteners have been linked to some cancers, may lead to gastrointestinal distress, and often leave the body craving actual sugar.

    We recommend cutting out processed sugar as much as possible from your diet. There should be enough natural sugars in the foods you already eat to ensure your body is getting an adequate amount of sugar. If you have a sweet tooth try some in season fruits with nut butter, or some dark chocolate. The less you have it, the less you crave it!

    Mel.


  • Chia Seed Energy Bars

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than Salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries and is an amazing source of fiber.

    What you will need:

    • 6 large dates
    • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
    • 2 scoops of protein powder 60g

    Optional extras:

    - Pinch of cinnamon powder

    • Dark chocolate broken into small pieces 
    • Shredded coconut 
    • Dried fruit

    How to bring it all together:

    1. Remove pits from your dates and pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they form a paste
    2. In a medium bowl mix the chia seeds, protein powder and coconut oil in with the dates and it will form a thick dough
    3. Add in any of the optional extra if you like now
    4. Spread the mixer into balls or press into the bottom of a glass baking dish and cut into squares 
    5. It can be eaten immediately as is or you can put it in the fridge or freezer to make it more chewy texture. These can be wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper

     

    To Healthy Living

    Daniel Christie


  • 5 tip for making you regular

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Being regular is extremely important for our health. 

    The foods that we eat pass through the digestive tract where the nutrients are absorbed by the body and feeds our gut bacteria, whatever isn’t used keeps moving down towards the colon to be excreted. Toxins are also pushed out of the body through the digestive tract, so if you aren’t having regular bowel movements 1-3 times a day you can imaging there is a lot of toxic rotting matter sitting in your digestive track.  The longer it sits there the more it starts to rot and those toxins start to get re absorbed by the body and this is a very bad thing.

    It’s very common to have people coming in saying they are having troubles with their stomach. They feel bloated, full all the time and have a little pot belly but have no idea what is wrong; plus their weight starts to creep up. After a few basic questions we always end up at the question, when did you have your last bowel movement? And more often than not the answer is a few days ago and sometimes it’s been a few weeks. 

    Think about how much food you eat and how much comes out?  There needs to be a close balance, otherwise it's just sitting in your insides rotting and backing you up.

    We need to focus on giving our bodies not only the right foods that are full of nutrients but also the foods that will help move things along our digestive tract, pushing out what we don’t need.

    Here are my first 5 steps to encourage regular bowel movements:

    1.     10-15g fibre with each meal. Fibre helps create bulk in your stool, feeds good gut bacteria and helps move things along.

    # You need to change your source of fibre every 2 weeks so your body doesn’t adapt to it. Try chia seeds, psyllium husk and fibre blends like fiber-3 and primal fibre. 

    2.     Eat 3 vegetables with every meal. Vegetables are full of fibre and nutrients that help reduce stress and inflammation in the digestive track. Pack your meals full of vegetables, the more the better and more variety of colours the better.

    3.     Drink enough water per day. Staying hydrated is important for the whole body to function optimally; your goal is to drink 39ml per kg of bodyweight. 80kg person x 39ml = 3.1L per day, 60kg person = 2.3L per day.

    4.     Have digestive enzymes with your meals. Digestive enzymes help your body break down the foods you eat, in turn letting your body process them easier.

    5.     Avoid processed foods.  Processed foods are full of salts and contain little to no fibre and can easily block you up.

    If all else fails try: 

    1.     Double shot espresso in the morning

    OR

    2.     15ml of castor oil in the morning


    To Healthy Living

     Daniel Christie



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