Top Tips for a Healthier Easter

It's that time of year again. The supermarkets are stocked with mountains of golden alluring bunnies, the easter hat parade was a great success and the you've had a Mexican stand off with that hot cross bun sitting on the middle of the staff table for about the last 2 hours.

Here are some tips from our expert dietitian's to help your healthy behaviours around Easter:

1. Don’t fight your cravings:

Studies have proven that if you go out of your way to deny your cravings there is a good chance you will overindulge. There is no point being in denial, it is Easter! Accept that you will be having a small amount of chocolate or an occasional hot cross bun and that is OK. 

2. Choose quality over quantity (less is more!):

Your food experience should be one of pure pleasure. Smell, observe, hear and taste your chocolate. Is there a scent of vanilla? Does it sound crunchy when you bite into it? Do you notice the taste and flavour vanish after you swallow?

Why are you popping mediocre Easter chocolate into your mouth if you could be slowly and mindfully enjoying a small Lindt bunny? So not worth it!

Make sure you are paying attention whilst you are eating! Gobbling down easter eggs mindlessly isn’t satisfactory, especially if you can’t remember it. 

Too much chocolate on a regular bases can be detrimental to health as it is high in saturated fat and energy. For example a 200g Lindt bunny = 1086 calories, where are the average adult would need about 1500-2000 calories/day to maintain their body weight.

3. Out of sight, out of mind: 

Be honest with yourself: If it’s in your house you are going to eat it. Try to minimise how much you bring home from work or give to family members as a gift. After all, “Sharing is caring". Some of our clients find it useful to freeze their chocolate so they are not tempted to eat it or to put it completely out of sight.

4. Don’t skip meals: 

Only chocolate for breakfast or any other meal is a horrible idea. Chocolate is high GI as it contains much simple processed sugar and spikes your insulin. This does not fill you up for long, which could result in many other consequent binges later on. Remember to eat 5 small healthily spaced meals (this includes small snacks morning and afternoon) with plenty of grains, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy omega-3 fats throughout the day. 

5. Find healthy alternatives to celebrate Easter: 

We need to remember what Easter is about. 100% it has religious connotations but for most people religious or not it also symbolises family. For my example my friend Steph is Greek and she explained their Christmas involves all attending late night mass, having a homemade 12am feast in the kitchen with family and cracking eggs against eachothers heads! (Sounds fun to me). You can check Steph out on instagram @steph.zervos, she's a sprinter training for the Commonwealth Games and an awesome PT.

Just remember:

  • You don’t have to eat 20 bunnies to feel closer to your family or friends
  • A healthy BBQ, dinner out or another non food based activity with friends or family to celebrate can be just as special

Here are some other healthy ideas

  • Painting eggs with children.
  • Making healthy food into easter bunnies and chicks, get the kids involved here. The more hands on, the better! (See below photos)
  • Making healthy chocolate alternatives: Check Kat's previous blog out for a yummy example: http://bodyfusion.com.au/blog/2016/3/21/choc-almond-easte
  • Home made hot cross buns made with wholemeal, rye or spelt flour. We love Teresa Cutter's recipe. Check her out!
  • Choosing dark chocolate varieties of chocolate, higher in cacao which in small amounts does has positive links to reducing blood pressure and preventing cancer due to polyphenol conten

6.    Adapt a positive attitude: The world isn’t going to ever run out of chocolate

Why do we need to go crazy in one weekend? Reality is, you can still eat chocolate as a part of a healthy diet! Daily in fact. If you do indulge, well tomorrow is another day. Let it go! Get back on the horse or of course check in with a Dietitian if you need some support and direction.

Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy. 

Ash and Kat :)

I Carrot encourage you enough to eat your fruit and vegetables, A Berry good reason to Munch yourself to Health This Summer

Beach. Heat. Sun. Night swims. Barbeques. Cocktails. Yep, that’s right, Australian Summer is here along with a brand new 2015!

With a new year comes new motivation to shake (or run!) off those extra couple of kilograms or get back to treating our bodies with some love so we feel like happy humans again. This means nourishing fuel and adequate exercise, enough sleep and reducing those delicious beers, sneaky ciders or sparking wines.

In January everyone gets bombarded with exercise and nutrition programs, social media posts, gimmicks, gadgets and fad diets. It can all get a little overwhelming. Which one will you choose? And importantly, I am reminding you, which ones are credible!? I saw a post the other day online which read, “Having a six pack does not make you an authority on nutrition”. I am with this philosophy 110%! Make sure you do your research. I suggest following or booking in with an Accredited Practising Dietitian, I heard that they are pretty awesome ;)

Enough of all this bananas, although these options are all appeeling – time to get back to some nutrition basics – Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake!

Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre and various vitamins and minerals. The good news is that we are receiving more positive evidence that adequate intake in align with guidelines is associated with reducing disease risk. Recently (2014) the College of London found that eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. WOW. Give me another carrot!

This isn't the only benefit. Fruit and vegetables can help fill us up whilst reducing the energy density (total amount of energy) of what we are eating. If you are looking for weight loss, getting your 2 fruit and 5 vege everyday can definitely assist your efforts!

Eating fruit and vegetables in season is often CHEAPER and they taste BETTER. Wondering what fruit and vege is in season currently?

Taken from the Australian Seasonal Produce Guide

Summer Fruits

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries cherries, grapes, melons (watermelon, rock melon, honeydew), nectarines, peaches, plums, Valencia oranges, tomatoes

Summer Vegetables

Asparagus, beans, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, celery, chilies, cucumbers, eggplant, leeks, lettuces, pumpkin, rhubarb, snow peas, spinach, spring onion, sweet corn, turnips, zucchini

 Some Nutritional Benefits of summer fruits

·      Berries: High in antioxidants, vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C, these guys are bursting with health. They are also low in calories!

·      Melons: Watermelon being ~92% water is a great hydrator during summer. Similar to tomatoes, watermelon is also high in lycopene, a compound linked to reducing the risk of prostrate cancer. Watermelon is one of the only foods that is high GI however (releases sugar quickly into your blood steam), so I would eat it in conjunction with other fruits or some yoghurt. Rock melon and honeydew are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.

·      Orange and yellow fruits are excellent sources of vitamin A for glowing and strong skin, vision and immunity.

 A serve of fruit (2 per day recommended)

     · 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear

· 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums

· 20 grapes/cherries, 1 cup blueberries or raspberries, 3 cups strawberries

· 30g dried fruit, such as 4 dried apricot halves; 1 ½ tablespoons of sultana

· 1 cup diced pieces of canned fruit

               Or only occasionally

· 125mL (1/2 cup) 100% no added sugar fruit juice

 

Some Nutritional Benefits of Summer Vegetables

·      Beetroot helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels

·      Cabbage is an anti-inflammatory

·      Pumpkin and carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A

·      Spring onions contain a valuable flavonoid quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant linked to preventing cancer. Their use also means you don’t have to add sugar and salt to your cooking!

 A serve of vegetables (5 per day recommended)

· ½ cup of raw or cooked orange (such as carrots or pumpkin) or cruciferous (such as broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage) vegetables

· ½ cup of cooked or canned (no added salt) beans, peas or lentils

· 1 cup of green leafy vegetables or green salad vegetables (raw)

· 1 small-medium tomato

· 1 small or ½ a medium potato or equivalent starchy vegetable such as sweet potato, sweet corn, taro or cassava.

5 ways to get munching more

·      Have fruit smoothies or cereal with fruit for breakfast instead of toast

·      Make sure you include vegetables in both your lunch and dinner

·      Have fruit as a snack or as a dessert if you are hungry after dinner

·      Snack on vege sticks or cherry tomatoes during the day

·      Incorporate more interesting salads into your day

 Orange you glad I posted this?

 Enjoy, Ash xx