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I have just got back from a month in the UK, it would have been remiss of me not to explore the food scene while there and report back some of the highlights!
English Summer time!
My girlfriends and I spent a day at the UK’s biggest pick your own farm… it is summer there now, so we feasted on glorious berries of all varieties fresh from the vines… so delicious!
We filled punnets with fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries (that left our fingers stained purple), sugar snap peas, beans and more. We picked bright yellow sunflowers to brighten up the house and remind us of sunny days (necessary in the London! ☺).
This day was not only fun-filled it was the essence of a healthy day out… titillating for the senses, and so nourishing for body, mind and spirit. Being out in nature, gathering food from the vine like our ancestors, talking with friends, absorbing vitamin D from the sun, taking in the fresh air, getting some exercise as you walk the fields. It reminded me of my childhood days hanging out on the farm.
Did you know that eating tree or vine ripened fruit is the best way to enjoy fruit, it is the only time you can ensure maximum freshness and nutritive value, the fruit is bursting with enzymes that are still alive, nutrients that are mature and the body can receive it easily.
A great family day out and a great day out with the mates: pack some supplies and enjoy a picnic feast of all your pickings…
Where are “pick your own’s” in Australia?
You can pick your own strawberries, at Strawberry Lane in Eumundi! Or check out: www.pickyourown.org/australia.htm
Good food in London:
Other highlights included visiting Jamie Oliver’s Recipease shop in Clapham… lots of gorgeous food, and a wonderful demonstration kitchen running daily cooking workshops. Wow, my mother treated me to a rather sinful and totally decadent Almond Croissant. I wish I could say it tasted awful, quite the opposite! It was gorgeous.
But probably my favourite find was a small little restaurant in Walthamstow, called Eat 17, which featured a Quinoa salad! Quinoa, goat’s cheese and grilled mushroom. Absolutely scrumptious!
Quinoa is an ancient South American grain that is jam packed with nutrition, it contains a full essential amino acid profile, it is a complex carbohydrate (so that means it is low GL) and it is wonderfully versatile. I eat it as porridge, for lunch in salads and at dinner as an accompaniment to stir-fry and stew. (You can find out how to make it into yummy meals in our cooking parties).
I earned my degree in Edinburgh, so headed there for a trip down memory lane. A few surprises awaited! I stumbled upon a little café called “Oink”, the window display featured a whole golden brown pig… cooked, perky little tail up and head still on! They served hot roast pork butties. Certainly a hit for the carnivores out there!
In contrast the shop next door looked like a little chemistry lab with big glass bottles lining the shelves. Beside the bottles where little hand written signs detailing the contents… The potions ranged from Home brewed Elderberry Gin to Extra Virgin Olive oil. I delighted my tastebuds sampling the different liquids.
All in all some wonderful meanderings!
Had SO much fun this morning at McDowall Village “kindie”. They are having May Healthy Month and invited me along to play some games and have some fun with the kids (and of course get them excited about eating fruit and vegetables, some might argue a mammoth task!).
Well it was an absolute hit, one little guy bit into my broccoli! (RAW, admittedly he spat it out afterwards but it took everything in my power to keep from laughing out loud.) They were so enthusiastic and engaged, “These strawberries smell yummy, can we eat them”. “Miss Lisa, can I have some apple!” “Can we eat this carrot please!!!”
It was VERY exciting and I just wish I could have recorded it for all those sceptical mum’s and dad’s out there. One of the teachers came out afterwards and said, wow, I have never seen 23 kids get so excited about apples before! (My secret weapon and dear friend I must admit, did most of the work! Mr apple slinky- introduced to me by my friend Gina!) The kids loved it…
If you thought exercise was too difficult and you are afraid to try something new, get inspired by this video.
Find new and interesting ways to exercise that are fun…
There are 5 key principles that are important to consider for optimum nutrition.
What you eat, How you eat, Amount you eat, Time you eat and Why you eat.
Sign up for a Free Report on 23 Nutrition and Healthy Living Tips giving you 23 easy ways to achieve the key principles of nutrition outlined above and get you achieving health worth celebrating!
My husband is eating smoked oysters on rice crackers…
… they looked yummy!
Find out why I didn’t have any on http://www.ivegotlife.com.au/nutritionists-diary
I am going to a wedding tomorrow…
Think tomorrow is definitely treat day!
Start with Breakfast!
If you would like to have energy throughout the day, then the best way to start is by providing your body with energy at the start of the day!
The ‘clever’ way to enjoy coffee
Many people clamber for the kettle first thing after entering the kitchen and quickly suck down that initial caffeine dose as quickly as possible to rev their engines.
Coffee only serves to ‘wake you up’ because it contains the stimulant, caffeine. It doesn’t sustain or energise you for longer than an hour, if that, and it certainly doesn’t feed you! So before reaching for your beloved coffee, try to give your body the fuel it is really after… nutrients, your brain and body are asking for some energy! Eat breakfast first, if you still want the coffee, have it later. You may even find you stop needing the coffee “wake me up”!
(Who’s the Boss?!!! Are you managing your coffee intake or is it managing you? Something you need to know about caffeine is: it will affect your stress hormones, it will affect your blood sugar, it will affect your blood pressure, it will affect your digestive system and it will affect your brain. So moderate it’s use, have it as a “treat” not a drug that you can’t live without!)
Fight the fuzzies? Feed your brain!
Doubtless, you’ve heard it all before. Cereal companies love to give us the fear factor and tell us that you must eat your cereal or you’ll experience “the fuzzies”, lose the bounce in your step, put on weight, have no fun or not look your best. That’s because breakfast really is that important… it doesn’t have to be cereal, cereal is not the only way to go for breakfast (and often it is not the healthiest breakfast). If cereal’s not your thing don’t be put off! There are plenty of alternatives: a piece of fruit and some nuts, a piece of toast, a boiled egg, a smoothie to name some obvious choices. Eat something, make it healthy.
What did I have for breakfast?
Most mornings I enjoy fruit and muesli for breakfast. This morning, my breakfast consisted of a bowl of raw oats and puffed millet, a small apple chopped into pieces, natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of seeds and a teaspoon of honey. I know I’ve lost you, because that sounds a little too complicated! I am not saying you have to eat like this or even suggesting you do, but there is obviously a reason why I do… oats are great for providing a steady stream of energy, they keep me feeling full or satisfied for longer, so I am not starving by 9am, they keep my bowels regular, they also help to manage cholesterol and have something in them that is great for the nervous system, apples have all sorts of nutrients but also have weight managing benefits, the seeds are essential for my skin, brain and hormonal health, the yoghurt was a treat, it has some good benefits but it is dairy- so I tend to keep my intake low. In fact, I wasn’t even going to tell you what I eat, in the interests of considering a realistic approach to most people’s diet choices. However, a client asked me “what do you eat for breakfast Lisa?” When I told them they commented: “Wow, Lisa, you really walk the walk, don’t you?” So I decided to ”come clean” about my healthy diet. At least you can see that I try to set a good example and I am prepared to practice what I preach. I will say though, everything in moderation, I also enjoy the occasional “cheat” which I call “treat food”, but it’s what you do most of the time that counts. Besides if you give in to your desires all the time, they become less desirable. Trust me, when I do eat chocolate cake and drink a cup of coffee, I get a REAL KICK AND BUZZ out of it. Please feel free, to omit the millet if you choose, and you don’t have to eat like a “health nut” to be healthy, but eat something for breakfast, whatever you can manage, and make it as healthy as you can enjoy!
Purely and simply, your body needs the fuel. It has experienced a few hours without food while you have been resting and all your previous food has been digested and processed into its appropriate end products: nutrients, energy, fat stores, muscle … and waste. You need to replenish what you’ve already processed by reloading with good quality foods. If you don’t eat breakfast, your body starts to break itself down to access the fuel it needs… and it starts with muscles (not your fat)!
The top 4 reasons why you should eat breakfast:
1. Breakfast provides your body with the nutrients and energy required to concentrate and perform at your best during the morning, whether at work, in the classroom or wherever you need to be.
2. Studies show that breakfast is a vital element in maintaining a healthy body weight.
3. You are less likely to binge eat or reach for that unhealthy snack and you will have better control of your blood sugar levels (which means more energy and more weight control!) If you skip breakfast, you will become hungry before lunch time rolls around and for many people, the urgency to put some food in their belly results in grabbing the nearest and most convenient snack. Donut full of fat and sugar, anyone?
4. You are more likely to receive your daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals which means a healthier happier you!
Delicious and Nutritious Anzac muffins:
1 ½ cups (375ml) rolled oats
3 bananas, mashed
½ cup (125ml) pitted dates, chopped
½ cup pecan nuts or walnuts, chopped
2 free range or organic eggs, beaten
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
¼ cup (60 ml) filtered water
¼ cup (60ml) honey
½ cup (125ml) flour
1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate of soda
1tsp (5ml) sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180oC
- Soak the oats in 1 ½ cups (375ml) boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour off excess water.
- Mix the mashed bananas, dates, nuts, and soaked oats together in a bowl.
- Add the eggs, oil, water and honey. Stir well
- Add the remaining sifted dry ingredients.
- Oil the muffin pan and place the raw mixture three-quarters of the way up each individual muffin mould. Bake for 30-35minutes.
- Leave the muffins in the pan to cool slightly. Remove and allow to cool and rest for at least half an hour on a wire cooling rack.
Cooks note: substitute the wheat flour with gluten free flour, rye flour or even experiment with almond meal if you want to reduce wheat in your diet.
Makes about 20 muffins.
Check out www.lickthebowl.com.au for groovy muffin pan