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If your daily diet is full of processed food purchased from the middle of the supermarket – you know aisle 2 through to 10 – then it probably lacking in fibre. Yes there will be a product or 2 with added fibre like cereal, but they’re more than likely heavily processed.
Fibre is an extremely important component of everyone’s diet. Primarily it promotes the optimal health and functioning of the gut, which of course we all want healthy guts! It’s other big role is that it is critical to fat loss. Why ? Firstly, because fibre does not have many calories, and you can fill up on fibre without having an overload of energy dense (read high calorie) food. Secondly fibre fills you up and is absorbed slower that other foods, so keeps you fuller for longer and therefore not eating more food!
You should be aiming for 20-30gm of fibre in your diet everyday. I strongly believe that if you are empowered with a little bit of knowledge then you have no excuses not to make the right choices. So here is a little lesson in fibre!
There are two types of fibre.
1) Soluble. One of the major roles of soluble fibre is to lower blood cholesterol and also helps with constipation. Good sources are fruits, vegetables, oats, bran, barley, seed husks, flaxseed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas and fermented soy products.
2) Insoluble fibre adds bulk to faeces and prevents constipation and associated problems. Good sources include wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, skins of fruits and vegetables.
Foods to include in a high fibre diet:-
· Vegetables: highest fibre are – broccoli, brussel sprouts, corn, onion, parsnip, peas, red cabbage, silver beet, spinach, swede, turnip, broad beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, legumes etc. NOTE: ALL VEGGIES ARE FABULOUS!
· Fruit: highest fibre source – figs, pears, passion fruit, berries and all dried fruits. NOTE: ALL FRUITS ARE WONDERFUL!!
· Whole grains, grain and rye breads and cereals
· Drink plenty of water with high fibre foods, increase one ..then increase the other!
A great way of doing extra fibre is the 2/5 rule. 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables (colourful) each day!!
Be Healthy & Happy!
I know I have been remiss in my postings and for that I apologise. Life has been particularly busy of late, as the beginning of the year is for most, and I’m juggling just a few green apples in the air!! You may remember I mentioned I am reworking my website and doing some exciting things with my business and all will be revealed in the coming months. In the meantime, I will endeavour to feed you with a bunch of healthy information.
You all know your greens are good for you but have you considered including these in your daily diet?
Hungry for Change is a website I admire and they are always supplying fantastic nutritional advice ..like this …enjoy! x
Often overlooked because it is not a land-dweller, seaweed is insanely good for you. While providing a whopping amount of vitamins and minerals, seaweed’s golden ticket is iodine. Iodine is found in very few foods and is essential to a healthy thyroid. With more people avoiding iodised salt for a slew of reasons, mild iodine deficiency is growing more common. When deficient, a person may have difficulty losing weight, feel fatigued, perhaps depressed — experiencing general thyroid malfunction. Whip up a tasty seaweed salad for lunch to keep your thyroid chugging along.
2. Micro greens
Move over regular arugula (commonly called rocket)! Micro greens are simply mini versions of your favourite produce, and man do they pack a punch! As “toddler plants,” they contain more vitamins and flavour than their mature counterparts. There is an endless variety of micro greens from which to choose, from mustard and watercress, to turnip and sunflower — each with a unique, tantalising flavour. As an added bonus, micro greens are crazy easy to grow in your kitchen, and will supply your meals with some tasty, uber healthy green nutrition.
3. Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan/Dinosaur kale)
This is your grocery-store-kale’s dark, jurassic-looking cousin. With 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and K, and 88 percent of your vitamin C requirement, the rich compounds of kale have been linked to cancer prevention. It is a little sweeter and nuttier than your regular kale, so go ahead and experiment!
Recently growing in popularity, moringa is a leaf that is chock-full of goodies. It assists with blood sugar stabilisation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, is loaded with energising and depression-fighting B vitamins, and containing 90 nutrients that benefit the human body. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant-rich. Cook with the oil, or flavour meals with the leaves. Never heard of it? Discover all of the wonders of moringa here.
OK, so you may be pretty familiar with avocados, but they are so delicious and nutrient-dense that they deserve a mention. They are full of monounsaturated fats, which increase satiety and can assist with weight loss. Avocados are anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulators, and may even prevent strokes. Buy them once for the high amount of potassium, fibre, B vitamins, and vitamins K and C; keep buying them for their glorious, creamy texture and your newfound obsession with guacamole.
Green foods are good for you, but they don’t have to be boring. Trying a new green every week can keep your meals interesting and your body healthy.
Avocados are my absolute favourite – and I eat almost everyday! What is your favourite green????
Be Healthy & Happy!
Water is to me the fluid of life and its health benefits reign supreme. Sometimes however, for various reasons you may be holding onto too much water resulting in that bloated feeling and/or swollen legs, arms, ankles and face. It is the accumulation of excess water in your body tissues that is the culprit. Here are some of the potential causes:
- PMS- could be either pre menstrual or peri menopause! (Gentlemen you cannot use this excuse!)
- High salt levels -1 part salt attracts 4 parts water 1:4
- High sugar diet (including alcohol)
- Thyroid issues – potentially under-active
- Hormone imbalances – progesterone levels are on the low side
All is not lost – there are changes that you can make to your diet to reduce water retention. I would try these first then if the problems persists, see your medical practitioner to test for thyroid and/or hormone imbalances.
So what to do, what to do…?
- REDUCE SALT INTAKE:
If you are a big salt eater then this could be your guy!! Cut it down (not out) – aim to be less than 1000mg/day. Check all nutrition labels for sodium content as it in hides in products like salad dressings/sauces/mayo/bread/pasta. Don’t add salt to cooking or be heavy handed at the table.
2.REDUCE EXCESS STARCHY CARBS – a high starch refined diet, think lots of bread, pasta etc etc can play havoc with both your blood sugar and salt levels. Cut back – your waistline will also love you for it!
3.REDUCE CAFFEINE – INC. COFFEE AND TEAS (not herbal) Alas even though caffeine is a diuretic (makes you pee) and you would think that would help the problem – it’s the opposite! It makes you body hold onto water not let it go!
4. REDUCE ALCOHOL – Alas too much alcohol (think sugar), dehydrates the body therefore the body in panic, holds onto water!! Those A.F.D’s you have been thinking about are looking better and better!
Next post I will tell you what to increase in your diet to help combat water retention.
Be Healthy & Happy !
July 1: Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!!
6 months of 2013 gone… never to be repeated and 6 months left!! Is it because we are older that time passes at a greater speed each year? I suspect so but would be happier for another explanation if anyone out there has one!
Eating seasonally is soooooo important for many reasons, so I’ve decided at the beginning of each month I will let you know what is in season and share one of my favourite recipes that compliments one or more of the seasonal foods…enjoy!
- Custard apples
- Fuji apples
- Navel oranges
- Pink lady apples
- Red delicious apples
- Brown onions
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese greens
- Dutch carrots
- English spinach
- Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Kumara or sweet potatoes
I am not sure where I got this recipe, but it is delicious and brings the humble often boring carrot into it’s own. I have served this in a small shot style glass or small cup while having pre-dinner drinks.
Curried lentil, carrot and cashew soup!
1.5 litres chick stock
750g carrots grated
3/4 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 tbs madras curry paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt
fresh shredded coriander leaves for garnish
Method: Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots and lentils, bring the mixture back to the boil, then simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the carrot and lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cashews and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and browned. Add the curry paste and coriander and cook for a further 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir the paste into the carrot and lentil mixture.
Transfer to a food processor or blender and process in batches until smooth or a little bit of crunch if you prefer. Return the mixture to the pan and reheat over medium heat until hot. Season to taste with seas salt and cracked black pepper and serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander.
Be Healthy & Happy!
Last week I did my first ever cleanse/detox. I have thought about doing one before however they always seem too difficult or they are devoid of any food (in the solid format) which does not inspire me greatly. This cleanse ticked all the right boxes, and after a full weekend of one very long lunch and one very long Mother’s Day celebration, I decided my body would love me for it…
To find the cleanse in detail go here.
The beauty about this cleanse is
- a lot of good food
- it only goes for three days so by the time you start and get the hang of it, you are at the end of day two with one to go!
I thought I’d let you know what I did as the whole process was really very easy…
- Did a shopping list and went out a did a big shop
- Came home washed and prepped all the food -i.e celery, kale etc washed, cut and stored.
- Made the salad dressing
- Made soup, chia puddings (I used almond milk) and activated my nuts!!
- p.s. continued throughout 3 days to have Body Balance each morning
Cheated!! (Had the late night before and lots of food and fine wine!)
- In a rush and had some ginger and lemon tea bags in the cupboard so used them with a slice of lemon!!
- Had the Green Juice after my walk – I think I made too much because I could not finish it!
- Did not have a morning snack because I wasn’t hungry!
- Made the salad for lunch and it is absolutely delicious – my kind of flavours.
- Handful of nuts in the afternoon
- Soup for dinner – easy
- Dessert – again not really hungry but had about half. Better to take out of the fridge 5-10 mins before!
Woke up hungry, so happily went through the whole day eating everything except for the morning snack. The juice is filling and I think because the weather is colder I didn’t feel like munching on carrot and celery! Never felt as though I was going without!
Interestingly second day without a coffee – no withdrawal symptoms at this stage. I only have one 5/7 mornings, and perhaps two coffees 2/7, so should not have been a problem but I wasn’t sure. One day to go!
Had my tea in the am, went for my walk, didn’t feel like the juice so had the soup instead!! Very pleasant. Still no coffee – still no dramas. End of day – cleanse finito! Definitely felt less bloated and lighter and my energy levels were high.
1 x 3 day cleanse = 2 kilo weight loss!
cost: might do myself out of a job!!
Try it you might like it!
Do you have a good detox formula?
Be Healthy & Happy !
Continuing with my musings from last week here is another food ..Surprise surprise it is sugar! Yes one of the foods that accelerates aging is sugar, all kinds of sugary foods. You can not be surprised by that ..surely?
Increased sugar in the body on a regular basis causes spikes in your blood sugar levels and you know the drill… there goes your insulin into overdrive, your fat burning capacity goes on holiday and AGE’s (those nasty little aging by products) go into over production .. here come the wrinkles, increased belly fat and the aging you cannot see – the damage going on under the surface. Not a very nice picture huh?
Be Healthy & Happy!
Your body, besides many other things, is one great big chemistry lab! Every food we eat results in chemical reactions occurring throughout our body – many to the benefit of our overall health, some however, to our health’s detriment! If your diet is full of clean, fresh, unprocessed foods you will auger well, if your diet leans towards overly processed and the wrong type of foods you may not.
Eating the wrong foods on a regular basis, not only affects how you feel, it also affect how you look. In some cases you can look up to ten years older than your real age!! Let me explain…….
There are processes that go on inside your body that have an enormous impact on the rate which you age. Three processes in particular – glycation, inflammation and oxidation.
When you think of aging most people think of the superficial stuff – what the eye can see – your face, your wrinkles, your hair loss, your deteriorating eyesight, your increasing waistline. There are however so many things that you cannot see – that lie beneath your skins’ surface. The state of your organs and how efficiently they function, the condition of your joints and bones and the rate of which they are are degrading and so, so much more.
When you glycate something you combine it with sugar. In the body, sugar combines with proteins and with fats. Glycation is a normal process and your body has it’s own way to deal with it. If however there is too much sugar over a constant period, the glycation process damages body proteins, producing a nasty by-product called Advanced Glycation End Products (ironically -or not – referred to as AGEs). So can you see the connection? Your diet – the type of foods you eat – contributes to this process – high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase AGEs in your body. And, AGEs accelerate the ageing process.
You may be surprised at the food groups that contribute to the aging process and in turn hinder your weight loss efforts. Over the coming posts I will discuss a few in detail.
1. Wheat – including whole wheat.
Modern wheat (compared with ancient wheat) is about 70% carbohydrate and lower in protein. The carbohydrate is made up of 75% amylopectinA and 25% amylose. AmylopectinA raises your blood sugar more than any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing. One piece of bread is the equivalent of eating 3 tablespoons of sugar!!
This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, pastas, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources. The higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are produced, the faster you age.
If weight loss is your thing – you know that one of the most important things is to ensure that you must keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Increased insulin increases inflammation and the storage of your fat. The increased amount of gluten in bread (up 50% compared with ancient wheat) is also inflammatory and for some, highly inflammatory. Internal inflammation, among many of the other damaging things it does, turns ON your fat programs by contributing to both insulin and leptin resistance. You see what I mean… are you confused yet..? If so I apologise.. but in short and in conclusion…modern wheat is not really working for you …it’s working against you.
Maybe consider consuming a little less?? I have!
Be Healthy & Happy!
Believe it or not is it is now December 3, 22 more sleeps till Christmas Day and 28 till we are celebrating the New Year! I suspect for many of you there is much entertaining and fun to be had before then. It is timely and of course following in the true Christmas spirit of giving, to share with you a few strategies that will help both you and your waistline have a lot of fun without the usual fallout!
♥ ALCOHOL: Yes no doubt you will be imbibing more often than not. That’s OK. Just remember the “one pearl one plain rule” For every glass of bubbles, pinot, or vodka that you have, ensure you have one glass of water – make it bubbly to keep the festive mood!
♥ Remember that alcohol consumption plays havoc with your willpower and with each glass you have your will power retreats out the window, scurries down the street and usually is not found until very late the next day! End result, too much Brie, chocolate fudge and/or Christmas cake is consumed and the double barrelled sugar gun plays havoc on your waist line and scales!
♥ If you know drinking a little too much is your forte, perhaps word up your BFF or partner, to play fun police before it’s too late and you end up crying in your glass of stale bubbles…not a good look! And of course, you can thank them in the morning!
♥ FOOD: If you know the party is a drinks party then there will no doubt be lots of yummy nibbles being handed around, and depending on the venue perhaps some not so healthy…you know the ones… of the deep fried variety? What ever you do – do not arrive on an empty stomach. Eat something light and healthy before you go, then you wont be so tempted to consume everything in sight. Stay away from the pastry laden treats and indulge in the protein based – prawns, chicken pieces, salmon, beef bites etc etc. And it goes with out saying veggie sticks are your best friend!
♥ When you make the mindful decision to indulge in something sweet…savour and enjoy it….. but perhaps consider just having the three to four bites and leave the rest – it is those first bites when it tastes the best and your taste buds explode with delight. Bite 7,8,9,10 etc never taste as good and you probably don’t even notice the flavours. Better in the waste than on your waist.
♥ Remember the basic rules – eat mindfully at all times, breakfast is mandatory, eat when you are hungry and only eat till you are 80% full – or elegantly satisfied – as your grand mother used to say! Realise that if you have a ‘heavy’ night the night before, then you probably will not be as hungry the next day…pay attention to what your body tells you.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for all of the helpful hints, and I have more to share with you later in the week….I just need to get through a few big nights first!!!
Be Healthy & Happy!
Tuna is, as most of you know, one of the good guys when it comes to healthy foods, and one of my favourite foods! Even though it does not have as many omega−3 fats as sardine or salmon, a serving of tuna is a great source of high quality protein, niacin, B6, B12, selenium and does provide some healthy omega – 3’s.
You may wonder if all of those vitamins and minerals still give the same nutritional punch when your tuna comes in a can. As expected in the world of nutrition, there is not a simple answer…it depends on a number of factors – how the tuna is caught, frozen or not, how it is cooked, whether it comes in oil or water and, what additives and flavourings have been included in the mix.
Something you may have not considered is how your tuna is fished. Unsustainable and destructive fishing methods are unfortunately used by many of the big fishing companies. Fortunately for the consumer, companies such as Greenpeace, our very own ocean police, are constantly applying pressure on these companies and the methods they use. Just to push the point home they have released the 2012 Canned Tuna Ranking – I urge you to click on the link and see how your favourite canned tuna ranks, and perhaps you just may like to consider a change….I am guessing John West might be the one you now reject!
Be Healthy & Happy!