A new face at Body Fusion

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Hi everyone,

I’m Katrina (please call me Kat) and I’ve recently joined Ash as another dietitian at Body Fusion. It has been such a wonderful experience forming a team here at Body Fusion HQ and we look forward to seeing more of you and the community in the future.

 

To summarise what I am all about I would say that I encourage eating wholefoods, living an active lifestyle and maintaining a positive mindset. Having a healthy mind, body and outlook is what I call the triple threat and is the key to being feeling happy & fulfilled.

 

If you have a look into my background you’ll see that I have graduated from the University of Sydney with a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics with an undergraduate in Science majoring in Physiology. Throughout my clinical placements I found a love for engaging with people both individually and on the large scale. This is why Ash and I are both such keen presenters, we enjoy talking about food – to as many people as we can!

 

Although I have a science, evidence based background I focus on putting these skills into practice, in my own life and professionally. I am a keen chef and often experiment with new healthy versions of recipes, some with more success than others, but hey, variety is the spice of life after all! Apart from cooking up a storm (yes, it looks like a storm has hit once I am finished cooking) in the kitchen, I also enjoy reading, writing and sampling the oldest and latest nutrition trends.

 

I thrive off helping people achieve their goals through real foods and making food work well for them in their own lives. This is why I keep an up to date knowledge of the supermarket shelves, new products and restaurant fads so I can help my clients navigate through todays confusing food world.

 

Being active is another aspect of what makes me .. me. I don’t discriminate when it comes to exercise because I enjoy it too much. I like going to my local gym to pump out some weights, I enjoy going on nice scenic walks and I try to relive my old dancing days on the yoga and pilates mat a couple times a week. There is no right/wrong in my book with exercise, if you’re moving then that’s a good thing. I do what makes me feel better and I encourage my clients to do the same.

 

So now you have gotten to know me a little more, I hope to return the favour. If you are someone who is a little lost/stuck/frustrated with their food, needs food to help them with any medical conditions or just want some nutrition myths debunked, come and visit us! We’d love to hear from you.

 

Eat well and keep moving,

 

Yours in health,

Kat

Dry July – How to regenerate a healthy liver

You might be familiar with one of the following scenarios below:

1)   You’ve woken up for work with a ringing headache and are feeling about as average as Spain did in the World Cup soccer. How did the end of financial year work drinks cascade into a shower of champagne or a steady flowing abundance of delicious beer?

2)   The weather in Sydney had become so bitingly cold that it justifies a good hearty glass of red by the fire – every night. For every degree colder this fosters furthur justification of a) A cheeky glass of port or desert wine to top the night off or b) Some/a block of chocolate to accompany the red wine

Your lovely liver: An under valued vital organ that regulates many processes in your body. However, at this time of the year it’s starting to complain. Battered and bruised its been fighting a little too hard.

The liver has various functions within the body the main one being DETOXIFICATION. That’s right! The liver helps to purify the blood by removing toxins such as alcohol and drugs from the body. But did you know it also helps regulate hormone levels? Can you imagine what happens when it can perform this duty well? Hormones regulate everything from sleep to mood, metabolism, reproduction and immunity - to mention a few!

The liver also works to DIGEST all your food. Fats are digested by bile in the stomach, which is a product secreted by your happy hepatic (liver) cells and transported to the gall bladder. Carbohydrates and proteins are broken down so that these nutrients can eventually be converted to energy for use within the body. 

Also wondering why when your liver has been under the pump you are more likely to come down with some mysterious flu? Well the liver is also responsible for your IMMUNITY.  It plays an important role in capturing and digesting nasties such as bacteria, parasites, worn out blood cells and fungi.

So lets focus on some liver regeneration.

Number 1: Reduce your alcohol intake. Limit alcohol to weekends only or if you can, commit to a month off. Lets face it, a hot milo in front of the fire is going to be lot more nutritious; alcohol is empty calories anyway (contains basically no nutrients). Focus on average 2L of water daily which can include herbal teas such as chamomile to rehydrate and filter the blood.

Number 2: Reduce highly processed foods particularly ones that are not only high in saturated fat but also salt and sugar. For example: processed and fatty meats (sausages, salami, bacon), deep fried take out and fast foods, cakes and biscuits, pastries and chocolate.

Number 3: Increase your intake of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat. This will aid in reducing liver inflammation. Include nuts, seeds (flaxseed particularly) and oils (e.g extra virgin olive oil) as a part of your daily diet.

Number 4: Be smart with your selection of fruits.  Berries, pomegranate and grapes (I know you are already thinking wine again but the alcohol content outweighs the benefits here!) contain ellagic acid and resveratrol, which can help to regenerate liver cells. The bitter in lemon and limes can also break down stagnant material.

After following this for a good month you liver should start to improve all its functions. Hopefully a lot of what I have recommended also becomes habitual!

Also why not actually sign up for Dry July though and contribute some money towards a good cause like cancer prevention? Think of all the money you are saving not consuming alcohol anyway!

Stay happy, healthy and warm.

Ash xx

I’m sick of being SICK

You’re at work and some one at the desk next to you is sneezing and coughing up a storm. You haven’t seen your best friend all weekend because she’s feeling under the weather and hibernating in her bed.

Is that a sniffle coming on?

Are you feeling exhausted for no apparent reason.

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Should you be taking vitamin C?

Need help?

Lastly, Sleep is also a huge immuno-modulator.

 A recent 2012 Review (Besedovsky et al) concluded:

“Prolonged sleep curtailment and the accompanying stress response invoke a persistent unspecific production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, best described as chronic low-grade inflammation, and also produce immunodeficiency, which both have detrimental effects on health.”

There you go everyone, your dietitian is giving you an excuse to sleep! 7-9 hours is recommended – do your best to get into a healthy regular routine, which involves no stimulants 4 hours before bed (e.g. caffeine). Short naps can be ok too. Research has found that about 20 minutes (the sneaky Spanish siesta) can be beneficial to boost alertness and immunity :)

Stay happy and healthy this coming winter.

 Ash xx