Baked fish with crispy rice and veggies

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 4-5x 150g white fish fillets

  • 1x 400g can of lentils (drained and rinsed)

  • 1x 250g microwave pack of brown rice or quinoa blend

  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes

  • 1x bunch of broccolini

  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas

  • 1x bunch of asparagus

  • 2x large zucchini

  • 1x small red onion (optional)

  • 4-5 cups baby spinach and rocket

  • Herbs and spices - rosemary, paprika, basil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc

  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • t tsp. lemon zest

  • Balsamic vinegar

How to prepare and bake?

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.

  • Place brown rice and lentils (drained and rinsed) into a baking tray and arrange so it covers the bottom of the pan

  • Dice cherry tomatoes and onion and keep asparagus and broccoli long - arrange all the veggies across the rice and lentil base + the fish fillets across the top

  • Dress with olive oil, garlic, lemon and herbs and spices of your choice

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the flesh is flaky and cooked through the middle of each fillet

  • Serve with rocket/spinach and spiralled zucchini as a side salad with balsamic vinegar

Nutritional Benefits!

  • High source of dietary fibre and prebiotic fibre!

  • Rich in antioxidants from the array of coloured vegetables

  • Great source of protein (both animal and plant-based!)

Inspired by: Aimee, Lane Cove, Wahroonga, Hunters Hill Dietitian

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Food as Medicine: Pro-life? Get anti-inflammation!

INFLAMMATION: A natural phenomenon that is linked irrevocably to many diseases, also proven

to contribute to ageing, slower recovery from exercise and joint health!

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Don’t you think it’s about time we took a look at how food as medicine can REDUCE inflammation and consequently ENHANCE health? Longevity, quality of life and optimal exercise recovery here we come!

How inflammation harmfully affects your body:

Studies have proven chronic inflammation to impact negatively upon our precious hearts, many other vital organs like the liver, our joints, GI tract and even our muscles. For example a build up of fatty plaques (cholesterol) in our blood vessels can result in inflammation and along with other risk factors potentially lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

Nasty Causes of inflammation:

The causes of inflammation are wide spread and can be caused by our environment (ie. Toxins such as smoke), stress, being overweight or interestingly our FOOD. Additionally every time we exercise this results in inflammation, which impacts upon our recovery. It’s a natural process, but we don’t want it kicking into overdrive and increasing our muscle soreness or risk of injury.

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Foods that cause inflammation:

Do you love a wine? So do I (!), most commonly a nice bold Shiraz with good company and conversation. But I will tell you what - alcohol is delicious experience that can result in inflammation. HEY HEY HEY I’m not saying cut it out completely.. but we have guidelines that support moderation https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol-guidelines and reduction is still a great achievement. Alcohol is only one of the pro-inflammatory foods, however another is too many processed meats and animal products. We also know that excessive red meat particularly can also be linked back to cancer risk, particular of the colorectal kind. Let’s get back to the plants people!

Time to have some hummus with my red wine ;)

Foods to fight inflammation:

We want to feel better, function better and look younger – right? So what can we do? Excellent question. Lets get eating anti-inflammatory foods and living long healthy lives with our families and friends! Don’t know where to start? Get back to basics: Bright coloured vegetables and fruits.

Antioxidants:

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Naturally wonderful chemicals found in plant based foods, which reduce oxidation in the body (oxidation = inflammation); Pomegranate, tomatoes, garlic, green leafy vegetables (doesn’t just have to be kale party), berries, green tea and dark chocolate. Oh wait, did I just endorse chocolate?! I guess I did. Remember its the cacao/cocoa/carob which contains the antioxidants and chocolate is filled with many other fats and sugar, so portion sizes do still count!

Want to know more?

I don’t have more pages and pages to write! Come on in and see us at one of our clinics! Happy moderate wine drinking and portion sized dark chocolate consumption. And remember - food is medicine.

Ash and Aimee

Best Food Court Options for Corporate Nutrition and Wellbeing

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Kids ate all the leftovers again? Or simply on the fly with back to back meetings. Maybe this is already just part of your daily routine. We get it! Below we’ve got some great choices.

 

1.     Healthy Salads

  • Choose a salad that is mostly non-starchy vegetables with a small amount of protein (e.g. lean chicken breast, tuna, hard boiled eggs or beans) and carbohydrates (e.g. quinoa, brown rice, beans, sweet potato, corn)

  • Choose vinaigrette-style dressings instead of creamy ones (i.e. balsamic vinegar)

  • Add healthy fat including nuts, seeds or ¼ avocado for an extra crunch or flavour

 

2.     Sandwich/Wraps

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  • Choose whole grain bread or wraps (think soy and linseed, kibble rye)

  • Avoid butter, margarine and mayo, instead choose ¼ avocado or hummus 

  • Fill up your sandwich with lots of vegetables first, then add a small amount of lean protein (e.g. chicken, tofu, turkey breast, roast beef or 2x hard boiled eggs)

  • Avoid processed meats like ham, salami and bacon

  • A small amount of low fat cheese (2x slices) can add to your dairy serve 

 

3.     Japanese 

  • Some good options are vegetable-filled brown rice sushi rolls, sashimi, edamame beans, seaweed salad, bento box

  • Avoid deep fried/battered (tempura) fillings

  • Use minimal soy sauce as it’s packed with salt (sodium)

  • Add a miso – fun fact! It’s a probiotic and will boost the immunity in your gut!

 

4.     Mexican

  • Order a ‘naked’ burrito, i.e. a burrito without the tortilla

  • Avoid sour cream and cheese and ask for only a small portion of avocado on top

  • Be mindful of the amount of beans + rice they can add into the burrito bowls

 

Of-course there are many more options than that! But we know it’s probably time to finish your coffee break and get back to work ;) 

 

We love our Corporate Health and Wellbeing workshops. If you want to hear more please contact us. There is more information here!

 

Of course you are ALWAYS welcome to drop into Lane Cove, Balgowlah, Cremorne, Hunters Hill or Wahroonga to see Ash or Aims!

Plant Based Tasty Pasta (also FODMAP friendly*)

Ingredients

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  • San Remo pulse pasta* or Edamame Bean Pasta or wholegrain pasta

  • 450g Organic firm tofu* (i.e. Nature’s Kitchen or Macro Organic)

  • FODMAPPED pasta sauce range* OR Barilla or Mutti (I used Mutti basil tomato)

  • Zucchini noodles (250g or 3-4 medium)

  • 1.5x cups cherry tomatoes (250g punnet)

  • Handful of whole brussel sprouts (thinly sliced) (note: not FODMAP friendly, use green beans instead)

  • Two heaped handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

  • Herbs and spices (paprika, basil, garlic*, cracked pepper, Italian herbs)

  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp.)

* Note those following a low FODMAP diet, consume only <1/2 cup cooked pulse pasta or any gluten free pasta

* Only firm tofu is considered lowest in FODMAPS

* Use only the FODMAPPED pasta sauce if following the low FODMAP diet

* Garlic is not FODMAP friendly unless you choose to use Cobram Estate Garlic Infused Oil

Instructions

  • Prepare boiling water for the pasta

  • Prepare vegetable ingredients - spiralise zucchini yourself or purchase steam fresh packs from your local supermarket. Slice Brussel sprouts sideways or if following a low FODMAP diet, slice two handfuls of green beans. Keep cherry tomatoes whole or slice in half.

  • Saute brussel sprouts/beans in a pan with 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. basil and 1 tsp. of minced garlic* (or garlic infused oil) and 1 tsp. olive oil - cook for 2-3-minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes, zucchini noodles and another 1-2 tsp. of olive oil and cook for a further 2-3-minutes.

  • Meanwhile, once the water for the pasta has boiled, add the desired pasta into the water and follow each packet’s instructions or until al dente (cooked to be firm and bite). Note: bean pasta’s cook faster

  • Drain the pasta and add into the pan of sautéed vegetables - mix through the sauce and spinach leaves until all combined

  • Add cracked pepper and any desired herbs and spices for extra flavour

Nutrition

  • Plant based protein and fibre - vegetarian friendly!

  • Rich in colourful antioxidants

  • Fodmap friendly (be sure to follow the notes* within the recipe ingredients/instructions)

  • Friendly for the gut micro-biome!

Inspired by: Aimee, Lane Cove, Wahroonga, Hunters Hill Dietitian

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Nutrition for Runners - just do it!

City 2 Surf is just around the corner and at our Body Fusion clinics we are increasingly seeing more and more runners in relation to their nutrition. It doesn’t matter if its elite training program, an upcoming personal goal such as a half marathon or an integral part of weekly routine/fitness - our runners are struggling to manage their nutrition around their training and performance.

WHEN and WHAT to eat?

Well yes, it’s quite the dilemma. Lucky you’ve got some passionate dietitians at your disposal.

 Here are some of the most common issues we observe:

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The wrong fuel mix: 

Our macronutrients carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol provide energy via metabolism. For middle to long distance running our premium petrol is going to be carbohydrate, particularly the longer we run. 

Our guidelines suggest 45-65% of energy to come from carbohydrates for the general population. However, these percentages obviously need to change for each runner based on training frequency, intensity and duration.

Fact: Carbohydrate containing foods aren’t simply breads, pasta and potatoes! Carbohydrate can also be found in many other food sources such as yoghurt, legumes, lentils and fruit.

What we often find with our runners is that they are not tapering their carbohydrate properly around training or the quality needs improvement. Some carbohydrate sources are going to be more sustaining for training or performance. Others will conveniently take you on a quick up and down rollercoaster ride and then leave you panting by the roadside in an exhausted heap. 

Incorrect timing of meals

To eat or not to eat before you run? GOOD QUESTION. And that’s going to often be different from individual to individual. Not one Nike shoe fits all.

We have also done a lot of work with runners who are incorporating fats at the wrong time of their training. There is nothing worse than trudging along with a stitch or heavy stomach! 

Runners Gut

Do you suffer from stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhoea during running or races? Studies suggest 30-50% of endurance athletes experience such complaints due to physiological, mechanical or nutritional origin. Symptoms will vary based on the environmental conditions, event distance and fitness level of participant.

It’s happened to many of us and its not exactly convenient. It’s not always due to stress either. Helping our runners manage this kind of problem nutritionally means they’re running in the right direction, not just towards the nearest bathroom (Winning!).

Inadequate Hydration

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With 1-2% loss of body weight primarily through sweat, there is a direct correlation to performance deficit. 

Dehydration is important to manage as a part of your training and race plan and this includes not only prior and during your run but also after the exercise is completed. Yes – rehydration with water first before a celebratory drink!

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Our dietitians would love to help you keep running into the sunset. Since it is the cooler months, we have hit fun run and marathon season. Give us a call!

Ashleigh and Aimee

Healthy Miso Eggplant

Ingredients:

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  • 2x large eggplants

  • 1 tbsp. Miso paste (from any supermarket in the Asian section)

  • 1 tsp. curry powder 

  • 2 tbsp. rice wine or mirin (optional)

  • ½ cup water 

  • 1 tsp. honey

  • sprinkle of salt 

  • 1x shallot bunch

  • sesame seeds 

What you need to do:

  1. Slice eggplants into large pieces and finely sprinkle with some salt to draw out the bitterness and excess moisture

  2. Leave for 5 mins

  3. Throw eggplant in a hot pan (no oil, as eggplant soaks up any liquid) and stir. If it starts sticking, add a little bit of water.

  4. Add the miso paste and curry powder

  5. Then add the rice wine or mirin (optional) and the honey

  6. Next add water & cook for approximately 10 mins or until the eggplant is soft but still has its shape

  7. Thinly slice some shallots and stir through

  8. Serve on a plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Nutritional Benefits

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  • Eggplants contain anthocyanin’s (flavonoid - antioxidant properties), which provide the their rich purple colour and fight oxidation (stress) in the body at a cellular level.

  • Eggplants are rich in fibre, providing 2.5g per cup

  • Miso is a live, fermented food, providing the gut with a variety of beneficial bacteria!

Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

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This lovely recipe comes from one of our amazing Balgowlah clients Pam. Pam reports that it absolutely delicious! Pam has been enjoying eating the soup as a good way to pack more veggies in. Thanks for sharing Pam :)

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g pumpkin, peeled, chopped (oven roasted)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 brown onion, chopped (or 1 leek, sliced)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large carrot, grated

1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed, drained

3 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock

400g can no-added-salt diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Pepper to taste

4 slices grainy sourdough bread

1 small avocado, sliced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup low-fat natural yoghurt, to serve 

Instructions

1.     Preheat oven to 200oC / 180oC fan-forced.  Place cut pumpkin in a bowl and mix with a little olive oil.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper and add pumpkin.  Bake for 40 minutes or until pumpkin is golden and tender. 

2.     Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion / leek and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, carrot, lentils, stock, 2 cups water, tomatoes and pepper to taste.

3.     Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Add warm cooked pumpkin and simmer for another 10 minutes.

4.     Remove from heat and puree using a stick blender.

5.     Meanwhile, toast bread and top with sliced avocado. Sprinkle soup with parsley, dollop with yoghurt and serve with avocado toast.

Nutrition:

Kilojoules: 1,842kJ               Total fat: 16g                           Dietary fibre: 12.8g

Calories: 440cal                   Saturated fat: 3.6g                Sodium: 958mg

Protein: 23.2g                        Carbohydrates: 45.3g         Calcium: 138mg

Sugars: 15.2g                         Iron: 5.1mg

Veggie Patch Shepard's Pie

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Ingredients

·      1 sweet potato (350g), peeled, chopped

·      ¼ jap pumpkin, cut into small cubes  

·      2 tablespoons olive oil

·      1 medium onion, finely chopped

·      1 tablespoon curry powder

·      1 teaspoon ground turmeric

·      1 bay leaf

·      1 cup green beans, chopped

·      2 carrots, diced

·      1 cup broccoli, cut into florets

·      2 zucchinis, diced

·      ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets

·      2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes, no added salt

·      250g extra lean beef mince (replace with extra lentils for vegetarian option)

·      2 x 400g tin lentils, rinsed, drained

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Boil 1L water and steam sweet potato and pumpkin until soft (about 10–15 minutes).

3. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tbls oil & mash. Set aside.

4. Add remaining oil to a large saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Add onion, curry powder and turmeric. Cook for 3–4 minutes, until soft. Add bay leaf and mince; cook until just browned.

5. Stir through beans, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and cauliflower. Cook until soft for approx 5 minutes.

6. Add tinned tomatoes, turn up the pan and bring to a simmer (small bubbles).

7. Stir through lentils and simmer for 15 minutes.

8. Transfer mixture to a large casserole dish and top with mash. Place into preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes. 

*Recipe adapted from the Australian Healthy Food Guide.

Three top nutrition trends and their impact on Sports Nutrition: Ketogenic Diet, Alternate Milks & Veganism

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Instagram. Google. Facebook. Television. Every day we are bombarded with information about food and nutrition. Not only can this be confusing! If we act on wrong information it can end up impacting negatively upon both our sports performance as well as our health.

Accredited Sports Dietitians are trained in best science and have to keep up to date to provide safe recommendations to the public about nutrition on a daily basis. About time you stopped listening to the girl on Instagram who tells you skinny tea to lean up or that to be a great athlete you have to be vegan? We think so! 

Today we share some recent health “trends” we seem to be seeing in common media and why this would potentially not be appropriate for athletes. Many of these are diet not lifestyle approaches which can be very unsustainable and unhealthy.

“There are no magic bullets when it comes to optimal performance, following the key fundamentals of sports nutrition through sound education and individual integration is what is going to set you up for success”

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate (<20g/day), high in fat and adequate protein diet. When the body is starved of carbohydrates it has to look for another source of energy, so the liver turns fats into “ketones” which can be used as energy. This diet was originally designed for epilepsy and has been commonly used to try and lose weight.

Why it doesn’t always work for athletes? 

Firstly, let’s think about how practical this actually is... 20g of carbs is as much as you find in banana. Day over after that – No more… cereal, fruit, milk, yoghurt, bread, pasta, chickpeas, lentils, crackers or yummy home-made protein balls. Suddenly we are also cutting out a bunch of different food groups and missing out on key micronutrients, compromising body function.

Additionally as athletes, your body NEEDS carbohydrates, especially for high intensity exercise. If there is none there at all we feel flat, have a greater risk of getting sick and lack energy to get the most out of our training.

Did I also mention that carbohydrates fuel our brain? As athletes we also be sharp with our attention and memory to assimilate information and improve our skill, technique and competition decision making.

Lastly: Keto is also low in fibre and can mess with our digestion leaving us feeling bloated and uncomfortable for training and competition.

Dairy vs. Alternate Milks 

I went to order a coffee the other day and was offered either skim, soy, almond or macadamia milk! With many new milks popping up in the supermarket, it seems everyone is getting curious.

The point stands that original dairy milk is still wholesome and appropriate for athletes as it provides calcium and phosphorus (for strong bones and teeth), protein (for recovery), iodine (for metabolism), potassium (for blood pressure regulation), and vitamins B2 and B12 (for brain function).

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Unfortunately many alternate milks are:

a)     Low in protein

b)    Low in calcium or not even fortified with calcium

We usually recommend skim, light milk or high protein milk to our athletes as it digests better when lower in fats. Remember that we recommend ~20g of protein within 30 minutes of exercise completion for recovery too, and dairy has the perfect blend of amino acids for repair.   

Plant Base Diets/Veganism 

It seems the modern world is started to gravitate towards many more plant-based options or diets. First of all, these diets can be great and adequate IF DONE CORRECTLY.

Typical vegan and vegetarian diets can make it harder sometimes to reach protein requirements for an athletes recovery, immunity and generating healthy hormones. It can also be a struggle to meet iron requirements. Iron is used to deliver oxygen from your lungs to tissues whilst exercising.

If you decide to follow a purely vegan diet, you can compromise other nutrient intakes such as B12 which is only found in animal-based foods. 

And guess what?! You can still increase your intake of plant-based foods to get healthy benefits such a high-amounts of fibre for gut function, immunity and vitality whilst you are eating meat. All it involves is a little creativity such as learning how to integrate things like chickpeas into your diet, trying some traditional dahl, or incorporating tofu into a meal or two every week.

Dietitian's are great with guidance in this area, so never be afraid to check in whether you are already vegetarian/vegan, considering a change OR just want to balance your diet with some more plant-based foods. It’s a great idea to make sure you are getting all the nutrition you need for your training evaluated by a professional. 

And there you have it! Three top nutrition trends/myths laid out with the right science so you can make informed decisions to make sure that nutrition is always supporting you to train and compete to the best of your ability.  

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Cancer treatment and how nutrition can support your journey

During treatment for cancer, your body may require additional nutritional requirements due to the cancer itself and side effects from treatment, which can impact your nutritional intake and therefore weight and nutrition status. 

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Unintentional and rapid weight loss due to cancer and/or treatment can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to a reduction in response to your treatment and increase hospital admissions. 

 “Loss of skeletal muscle with or without loss of fat is the main aspect of cancer-associated malnutrition and predicts risk of physical impairment, post-operative complications, chemotherapy toxicity and mortality”

Understanding the right nutrients to support your body is crucial in preventing malnutrition and in the management of appetite and eating changes. 

 In conjunction with the medical and allied health team a Dietitian can provide alternate feeding options to prevent weight changes and associated muscle protein reduction. 

 Does the below sound like you?

Your dietitian can evaluate this exact intake compared to your energy and nutrition requirements.

“Inadequate nutritional intake is defined as “when a patient cannot eat for more than a week or if the estimated energy intake is <60% for more than 1-2 weeks”.

Frequent clinician contact improves clinical outcomes in patients with cancer

“Nutrition counselling is effective both during phases of active treatment and supportive care. A minimum of fortnightly sessions have demonstrated effective health outcomes”

Understanding your diagnosis and maximising nutritional intervention opportunities

Working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian, we can ensure you are achieving the right nutrition to maintain optimal weight and nutrition status to further amplify your response to treatment and prevent treatment interruptions, improving quality of life. 

This involves…

  • Nutrition screening & assessment (assessment of weight and malnutrition status)

  • Personalising advice based on a patients’ biological needs (identifying nutrition risks)

  • Testing & evaluating clinical nutritional impact symptoms and providing practical tips for common treatment side effects (gut discomfort, swallowing, appetite, pain, taste, ulcers) 

  • Provision of appropriate nutrition prescription (energy, protein & micronutrient requirements, including amount, type and timing across the day)

  • Evaluation of self-management tips to help patients achieve their nutritional needs before, during and after treatment

Ready to go? You can book in with us with the click of a button on our CONTACT US page!

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Written By: Aimee Boidin (Lane Cove, Wahroonga & Hunters Hill Body Fusion Dietitian)

Reference: J.Arends et al / ESPEN Guidelines, Clinical Nutrition (2016).