Homemade Pizza’s

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To make 6x Single Pizza’s

Ingredients

- low GI Mission wraps (6x wraps)

- 1x 200g tomato paste (Mutti or Leggo’s)

- 200g mushrooms

- 1x large capsicum

- 2x large tomatoes

- 1/2-1 cup thinly sliced pumpkin

- greens of choice (i.e. spinach, rocket, kale, broccoli, peas)

- 1x small cauliflower head

- 1x large onion

- mozzarella/ricotta cheese (enough to sprinkle over the pizzas)

- 1x whole BBQ chicken (shredded) or 100g ham off the bone or 100g prosciutto

Method

1. Prepare toppings – finely slice mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower and pumpkin (all optional ideas)

2. Spread tomato paste evenly across all wraps

3. Top pizzas with desired ingredients

4. Add a handful of shredded chicken/ham/prosciutto across each pizza then top with desired cheese

5. Bake for 10-15-minutes or until crispy

6. Garnish with greens or sesame seeds and a drizzle of olive oil

7. Enjoy :)

5 top snacks for corporates to sustain energy and brain power

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Back to back meetings or rushing to the end of the day realising you’ve skipped meals? Feel tired, unfocussed, stressed or hangry? Let us help you out. 

Five of our faves below!

YoPro or Chobani FIT yoghurt pouches: Both of these options contain a good whack of protein (~10-15g) which is going to keep your stomach from rumbling in meetings and contribute to maintaining healthy hormones and immunity. The easy squeeze pouches mean this snack was made for quick and convenient consumption. Goodbye to self conscious spoons, keep this one handy for back to back meetings!

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30g nut mixes: Studies have shown that nuts help maintain a healthy weight and that crunchy textures provide feedback to the brain in terms of satiety (feeling full!). To nibble on a couple of these surreptitiously won’t be hard. Our pick? Roasted tamari almonds. Added benefit of fibre to support gut health and bacterial diversity!


Hommous and cracker packs: These are perfectly portioned to provide some glucose to keep your brain focussed. Hommous is also made up with tahini and olive oil, powerful unsaturated fats which influence memory and decision making. My favorite is the beetroot option. Fun fact: Beetroot has ALSO been scientifically linked to reducing blood pressure. Add some deep breaths to that beetroot and your stress and blood pressure will surely start to come down.


Grainy wrap filled with nut butter and cinnamon: Grainy products are usually sustaining in their release of carbs which level out blood sugar levels to keep mood steady. Cinnamon only enhances this action, whilst also providing antioxidants to combat inflammation in the body. Its easy to rip off parts of this snack periodically throughout your day and guess what? No refrigeration required!

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Home made mini frittatas: Make 12 on a Sunday and you’re set for the week! Saves the common dive for the banana bread at 3pm with a triple shot coffee. We’ve helped you out and have some recipes on our blog already. **insert link** These little guys are packed with immune boosting veggies, protein, some quality carbs (sweet potato/corn) and calcium. 


Now all you need to do is get organised. Or invite us in for a workshop ;)

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Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Salmon Patties

Ingredients:

  • 500 g sweet potato/pumpkin cooked mashed (can do half each)

  • 425 g canned red salmon drained flaked deboned 

  • 1 red/brown onion/leek large finely chopped 

  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill chopped 

  • 1 tsp Moroccan seasoning 

  • ¼ wholemeal breadcrumbs (enough to coat each patty)

  •  large green salad, to serve - about 2 cups with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and 1 tsp. olive oil 

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Method:

  • Boil potato and pumpkin until slightly soft but still starchy* 

  • Combine potato and onion.

  • Combine salmon and dill.

  • Add potato to salmon and mix well.

  • Preheat oven to 220C and line a large tray with baking paper.

  • Form mixture into equal sized patties and place on tray.

  • Bake for 30-60 minutes, turning half-way through cooking time.

  • Serve patties with vegetables and a dollop of Greek Chobani yoghurt 

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Nutritionals: 

  • Rich in omega-3  

  • Rich in carotenoids, antioxidant properties to help fight oxidation in the body 

  • High fibre 

  • Good source of protein

The Mind, Gut & Mental Health

Can the way we eat and move influence our mental health?

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The GUT

Clapp et al., 2017.

Clapp et al., 2017.

The gut is home to billions of micro-organisms, making up >70% living bacteria and contains 500 million nerve cells. These cells are connected to the brain through nerves which transmit information. The gut and its microbes control inflammatory processes, immune function and several different compounds that can influence our brain health. 

The BRAIN

Our cognition is governed by the number and strength of neurons to help solve problems, respond to stimuli and think about new ideas. Neurons continually make new connections and new pathways in the brain to make us smarter and improve our memory, a process called ‘neurogenesis’. Specific nutrients within our diet can stimulate neurogenesis and poor quality foods can inhibit growth of an area of our brain called the hippocampus. Not great when this guy is critical for learning, memory and mood regulation!

How do they communicate? 

The gut and brain have a two-way link between the central nervous system (CNS = brain) and enteral nervous system (ENS = gut). This allows the gut to send and receive signals to and from the brain. 

Can nutrition improve and support mental health? Short answer, yes.

Whilst, our gut-brain-body health is highly influenced from the day we are born (genetics, lifestyle, environment, exposure to different foods, illness and infection), our gut microbiome continues to undergo changes throughout the life-span. Fortunately, growing research shows we can positively manipulate our gut microbiota to support overall health. This includes reducing stress-induced cortisol release, influencing behaviour and mood pathways!

A poor-quality diet can increase the risk of:

  • Common mental disorders i.e. depression and anxiety 

  • Chronic inflammation 

  • Low immune system 

 Some key food principles that have shown positive correlation between gut-brain and wellbeing!

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Fibre → important for the production of short-chain fatty acids, a by-product of fermentation in the large intestine, essential for reducing inflammation & supporting healthy bowel lining.

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Prebiotics & Probiotics → living and non-living organisms help to feed our living organisms within the gut, promoting strong immunity and provide first line of defence to “nasty bacteria”!

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Omega 3 → important in keeping the dopamine levels in your brain high (feel good chemicals!) and are also also essential for memory, language, creativity and mood regulation.

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Amino acids → essential building blocks of protein, especially tryptophan, a key amino acid that can be converted into several important molecules, including serotonin and melatonin, necessary for regulation of mood, sleep and behaviour.

Exciting research within this area continues to emerge! There are many more positive ways in which nutrition can support best health. Want to find out? Check out our website online here or give Ash or Aimee a call :)

Aimee Boidin | Body Fusion Dietitian | Lane Cove, Cremorne, Wahroonga & Balgowlah

Fish Sustainability

Over 85% of seafood caught in Australia is sustainable – but does this mean it is the most nutritious choice available on the market? 

Sustainable seafood refers to the produce that has undergone minimal impact on fish populations and the marine environment. Species that are often classified ‘better choices’ are often seafood that has not been overfished and are caught or farmed using techniques that have low environmental impacts. These include choosing smaller, fast-growing species and avoiding top predators, including swordfish, shark and tuna. 

 What about considering the nutritional quality vs. sustainability of seafood on the market?

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What makes a certain seafood choice healthier than another?

 Think S.M.A.S.H. (Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovy, Sardines, Herring)

Protein – Essential Amino Acids

SMASH fish provide one of the highest quality of amino acids, building blocks of protein that are essential to support and maintain muscle cell and tissue growth, important for overall health and immunity.

 Long-chain Omega 3 fatty acids 

These types of fats are high in anti-inflammatory properties, essential to heart, brain and joint health. Robust research supports the intake of these fats for healthy levels of “good” cholesterol in the blood. 

 Lower in mercury 

We know that too much mercury in the diet can be toxic in the body and SMASH fish have the lowest amount of mercury, therefore all the more reason to include them in a sustainable diet.  

 Vitamin D 

Sunlight is the most bioavailable source of Vitamin D; however, we don’t always get the opportunity to soak up enough sun! SMASH fish provide a good source of Vitamin D, a hormone, important for calcium absorption, cell growth and releases serotonin – our happy hormone!  

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Less than 1% of adults reported eating sardines and mackerel which were considered some of the most nutritious and sustainable varieties.

 Whilst certain breeds of tuna are in the avoidance list, canned tuna is brand dependant. See image to the right. Click here to see the complete breakdown of tuna brands.

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Aim for 2-3 serves of fish per week. See below for some great ways to add SMASH into your life!

1.    Salmon & Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Patties 

2.    Baked or Pan-fried with a yummy roasted vegetable and quinoa salad! 

3.    Simply add a sustainably sourced can of tuna, salmon or sardines to a sandwich, whole-grain crackers for an “open sandwich” or throw them into your salad! 

Written by Aimee Boidin (Lane Cove and Wahroonga Dietitian)

Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous Salad

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Ingredients

Chicken

·       Olive oil – 2xtsp

·       2 cloves of garlic, crushed

·       ½ brown onion, finely sliced

·       1 tsp. paprika

·       1 tsp. cumin

·       1 tsp. turmeric

·       ½ tsp. black pepper

·       ½ tsp. red chili flakes

·       600g chicken breast (100g chicken/serve) – diced thinly

Cous cous

·       250g packet of Israeli (Pearl) cous cous

·       1xveggie stock cube

·       ½ butternut pumpkin, cubed

·       1xred capsicum, sliced

·       1xlarge zucchini, sliced

·       1xpunnet of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

·       ½ packet of finely chopped fresh mint

·       1xlemon/lime – juice squeezed

·       100g Danish feta – Finely cut into cubes

·       8-10 dried apricot halves, finely diced

·       Greek yoghurt to top

Optional: Drain a can of chickpeas or lentils and run through the mix to make it go a bit further

Method

1.    Steam pumpkin in microwave with dash of water for 4 minutes until soft

2.    Add pearl cous cous to 2.5 cups of water over medium heat, add in 1xstock cube – cook for 5-10 mins until soft and no water left. Remove and leave to cool

3.    Add oil to a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until brown.

4.    Add in the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Just before removing add in all spices (paprika, cumin, turmeric, pepper). Remove chicken from pan and set aside

5.    Add a little oil back into chicken fry pan and add in capsicum, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes

6.    Finally add all ingredients together in large serving bowl: Pumpkin, cous cous, chicken, cooked veggies, feta, fresh mint, apricots and Danish feta. Mix and season with pepper.

7.    Serve with generous dessert spoon of greek yoghurt on top

Nutrition – Did you know?

·       Keeping water when you steam veggies means you retain the nutrients in the water. Don’t throw it away and use

water sparingly when steaming!

·       Pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000 %

·       Spices contain large amounts of anti-oxidants which are thought to prevent ageing in our cells

·       Pearl cous cous is lower GI than normal cous cous, keeping us fuller for longer

·       You can reduce the salt in this meal by adding in your own home made stock or perhaps its salty enough with the

Danish Feta

Salmon & Mozzarella Sweet Potato Salad

Salmon & Mozzarella Sweet Potato Salad

From our team “Where ocean meets the land”, the winners of our last Corporate Workshop Challenge.

Serves 4  

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Chosen Ingredients

  • 200g smoked salmon 

  • 80g mozzarella cheese 

  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds 

  • 4 cups baby spinach 

  • 1-2x medium zucchini 

  • 150g sliced mushrooms

  • 250g sweet potato spaghetti spirals 

  • 200g (1/2 can) chickpeas (salt-reduced canned, drained and rinsed) 

  • 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil 

Putting it together

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  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then bake on low-medium for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned and crispy

  2. In the meantime, add fresh baby spinach into a salad serve bowl 

  3.  In a medium-hot pan, add a drizzle of olive oil & toss sweet potato for 2-5 minutes & add into the salad bowl

  4. Slice mushrooms and zucchini and grill in a medium-hot pan for 3-5 minutes. Add to salad once cooked.

  5. Sprinkle sunflower seeds onto a baking tray and bake on low for 5 minutes until lightly browned

  6. Add smoked salmon into the spinach and veggie salad mix, then the mozzarella balls (either whole or sliced)

  7. Add the roasted sunflower seeds (save some for garnish) and mix the salad through with a drizzle of olive oil and cracked pepper for taste and enjoy!

The name & creation of this recipe was inspired by the winning team at Workday who took part in one of our fun and interactive cooking classes - creating lunch salads that are nutritious & delicious, keeping energy high until the afternoon!

Wholesome Christmas Salad

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Searching for a quick, nutritious and tasty salad to go with your Christmas dishes!? 

Look no further… 

Salmon, Potato & Apple Slaw Salad 

Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 400g canned red salmon (John West) or 400g fresh Australian salmon fillet

  • 400g of white washed potatoes 

  • 1x medium/large green apple 

  • 1x large any dry coleslaw salad pack

  • 1x fresh kale bunch

  • 1x asparagus bunch

  • 2 cups cooked cous cous 

  • handful of Pepitas and walnuts for some crunch

  • Olive oil (enough for cooking and as a dressing)

  • Cracked pepper and salt 

  • Rosemary and basil 

Method 

  1. Slice potatoes in quarters and steam until cooked through (5-8 minutes) 

  2. Place ½ the pack of slaw raw on the bottom of a plate or salad bowl as a base 

  3. Clean and chop kale bunch, place in a hot pan with olive oil spray until lightly wilted (2 minutes)

  4. Chop asparagus bottoms off and cut in half, sauté in pan with ½ pack of slaw and oil for 2-3 minutes 

  5. Once kale, asparagus and slaw are lightly cooked through, throw on top of the raw slaw 

  6. Once potatoes are cooked through, place within and around the salad base 

  7. Slice 1x fresh green apple and place around/within the salad 

  8. Add cous cous to some boiling water (follow packet instructions) until cooked through – add to salad 

  9. Add canned red salmon to top of the salad or pan-fry/bake salmon fillet/s until cooked through, shred and place on top of the salad 

  10. Sprinkle the pepita and walnuts over the top

  11. Drizzle some olive oil, add cracked pepper and salt to taste and rosemary, basil or desired herbs

Nutrition

  • high protein

  • anti-inflammatory omega-3 rich

  • filled with colour and antioxidants

  • plentiful fibre

Recipe inspired by our Lane Cove Dietitian, Aimee Boidin

Want to know more about Intermittent Fasting & Circadian Rhythm!?

Intermittent fasting (IF) gained its popularity in 2012 and with further published research growing in the area, peoples interest in the topic continues to rise. Originally research claims stemmed from animal studies and only recently has human studies began to develop. 

 Circadian Rhythm or otherwise known as ‘Time Restricted Eating’ (TRE) has recently gained interest, with a similar motive to intermittent fasting. The idea of TRE is to follow our natural ‘circadian rhythm’, which involves eating at times our body is primed to eat and digest and to stop/reduce eating at times we are supposed to be at rest or recovery i.e. using stored energy.

The real question is – can these two forms of eating promote “sustainable weight loss, improve our energy levels and benefit our overall health”? 

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Intermittent fasting aims to initiate a ‘fasting and feeding’ time period. 

 The most common forms of Intermittent Fasting involve; 

  • Alternate day fasting– one day fasted (<25% of total energy) and one day, normal feeding 

  • Time-restricted fasting– commonly an 8-hour feeding window and 16-hours fasted

  • The 5:2 diet– 2 days involves <25% total daily energy needs and 5 days normal feeding

Time restricted eating is about paying attention to the number of hours you are fasting within a 24-hour window. The concept is based primarily off following your own circadian rhythm, meaning there are times in the day where our body is more metabolically active and times for resting and repairing, i.e. we are more primed to digest towards the morning and middle of the day, than towards the evening, where our bodies are ready for rest. 

Theory & Claims 

  • Increased weight loss

  • Improved biomarkers i.e. insulin sensitivity, blood pressure & total cholesterol

  • Reduced appetite 

  • Reduces chronic disease risk

  • Reduces inflammation  

Evidence

Yes, we do enter alternate metabolic phases, meaning during a prolonged fasted period our body relies less on glucose and more so on ketones as our primary energy fuel. This involves the breakdown of stored fat mass, resulting in reduced appetite due to the presence of ketones. Yet when alternate day fasting was compared to a ‘calorie restriction weight loss plan’, in a 2017 randomised control trial, results showed intermittent fasting did not appear superior and both diets achieved equally same results in weight loss (6.0% vs 5.3% respectively) and improved biomarkers (i.e. insulin sensitivity). 

What are the health risks of fasting?

  • whilst weight loss and certain biomarkers have improved in certain studies, results were short-term, therefore it is advantageous that future research examines long-term changes in metabolic improvements and body weight management. 

  • when fasting (like alternate diets) is implemented without the proper guidance of a qualified health professional, especially for specific populations and or days where calorie restriction is necessitated, individuals are at risk of lacking key nutrients and food groups, leading to further complications, predominantly irritability and lack of motivation long-term. 

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Conclusion

We know late night eating is associated with a higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and poor heart health. Following our ‘circadian rhythm’ can be an effective method, with some small studies showing overweight adults who fasted for more than 14 hours overnight promoted reduced total calorie intake, weight loss, increased fullness towards the evening and improved sleeping patterns. 

 Improving the quality of your diet, monitoring portion control and being energy smart in conjunction with daily movement will help you work towards your weight loss/maintenance goals. If you wish to pursue a form of fasting, we would suggest seeking out an Accredited Dietitian who can ensure you’re achieving complete energy and nutrition, suitable to your lifestyle. The fundamentals of understanding ‘how and when’ you fast and how you break up your meals matters!

Read about us

 https://www.bodyfusion.com.au/about-our-dietitian/

Evidence

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2623528

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=01938924-201802000-00016

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413118302535

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156

Chicken & Mango Spring Salad

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Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Grains

  • 2 cups cooked Pearl Cous Cous 

 Protein

  • 1x large BBQ chicken 

  • ¼ cup whole dry-roasted almonds

Veggies

  • 2x bunch asparagus 

  • 1x 200g Superleaf Salad Mix (Woolworths)

Fruit 

  • 1x large fresh mango

  • 4 thin slices of orange to garnish

Dressing (optional)

  • 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard 

  • 2 tbsp. juice of orange 

  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 

 

METHOD

1.    Follow packet instructions to cook pearl cous cous

2.    Shred BBQ chicken, remove skin and stuffing

3.    Slice asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and microwave on high heat for 1-2 minutes or lightly pan-fry

4.    Slice mango into small cubed pieces

5.    Slice orange into 4x thin slices for garnish and save half for juice for the dressing (optional)

6.    Drain cooked cous cous

7.    In a large bowl, add superleaf salad mix, cooked asparagus, shredded chicken, cous cous and mango

8.    Toss salad and drizzle dressing as desired

9.    Add sliced oranges as a garnish and sprinkle roasted almonds throughout to finish 

10.  Enjoy :)

NUTRITION

  • antioxidant rich 

  • 1 serve of protein 

  • 1 serve of carbohydrate 

  • 2 serves of vegetables

Inspired by our Lane Cove and Cremorne Dietitian, Aimee.

Check out her full bio http://bodyfusion.com.au/about-our-dietitian/