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

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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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!

Shakshuka Recipe

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Ingredients

·     1 red onion, finely diced

·     1 garlic clove, crushed

·     1 small chilli, finely diced

·     1 teaspoon paprika

·     ½ teaspoon ground coriander

·     ½ teaspoon ground cumin

·     2 red capsicums, cut into 2cm pieces

·     400g chopped tomatoes

·     ½ large eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes

·     4 eggs

·     Fresh coriander, to serve

Method

1.    Preheat oven to 2200C.

2.    Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over a medium heat and add onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the spices and stir, cook for a further minute. 

3.    Add the capsicum and tomatoes to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until capsicums are softened. Turn the cook top off, then blend the sauce and return to the pan.

4.    Meanwhile, spray another pan with cooking oil and heat over a high heat. Add eggplant and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally.

5.    Stir the eggplant through the sauce. Make four wells with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each well, then bake in the oven until eggs are cooked to your liking.  

Sprinkle with coriander and serve with wholegrain bread.

Nutrition benefits:

High in Vitamin C to assist your immunity and glowing skin

A good source of protein to keep you feeling full and lower the overall GI of the meal

Can be shared with friends (Always a benefit too right ;))

This recipe was brought to you by our amazing Kirrawee Dietitian Melissa - give her a call to get your health sorted down in the South of Sydney!

 

Three tops tips for the time poor corporate: Increasing vegetable intake to boost health, longevity and work performance

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Back to back intense meetings, extended work hours, skipping meals whilst adding copious amounts of caffeine – sound familiar? What if nutrition could be quick, tasty and practical to make everything easier? Well it CAN and not only will this reduce your risk of chronic health disease such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, but also help improve body function and increase energy.

The stats: Lettuce tell you

Did you know that in 2014-15 that only 7% of Australian adults met the guidelines for recommended intake vegetables?

Similarly, in a recent survey conducted in a leading Australian bank by our business Body Fusion, 85.5% of employees were not meeting their recommended serving.

Fact: Healthy employees have been found to be three times as productive than unhealthy employees!

So what are these “guidelines” ?

Taken from the Australian Healthy Food Guide Portion Sizing Poster

Taken from the Australian Healthy Food Guide Portion Sizing Poster

The implications: Lettuce tell you more

 Not meeting your brightly coloured intake of rainbow veggies means:

·      Less fibre, negatively influencing digestion and increasing risk of colon cancer

·      Decreased satiety = hungry worker = impacted mood and interaction with team plus reduced  ability to concentrate

·      Insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, which support body function. For example vegetables are an excellent source of potassium which aids in electrolyte balance, regulation of blood pressure and supports nerve and muscle function (including the heart!)

·      Compromised immunity, which influences energy, enjoyment of work and sick days needed

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Help me solve this creatively and simply: Now!

1.    Be organised

This means from the get go on a Monday and yes a shop is crucial over the weekend! We suggest bringing healthy snacks to work that include vegetables: veggie sticks (carrot, cucumber, red capsicum) and hummus, savoury muffins or a small snap lock bag of cherry tomatoes.

2.    ALWAYS make sure there are vegetables in your lunch

What’s the easiest way to do this? Take food from home that has been cooked in advance. A huge vegetable frittata, vegetable lasagna or spinach and ricotta pie at home will make multiple serves. Salads are also always a winner!

Like to purchase on the run? Alternatively look to add veggies to your lunch in other quick ways. How about you match a veggie-based juice (carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger and apple) with your grainy ham and cheese toastie?

3.    Use tools and cues as reminders to eat

When things get busy, eating goes to the end of the priority list. Putting your snacks or lunch near your keyboard, setting a phone alarm or having another healthy buddy in the office to keep accountable will all work.

Another option is the new amazing App VegEze app by Hort Innovation https://horticulture.com.au/ which gives your hot tips and reminders to encourage you to get to your goal of 5 serves in the day.

So there you have it: Get started today by doing a big healthy grocery shop or better yet check in with a Dietitian to help guide you on your own personalised journey!

Ash, Vegetable and life enthusiast

Work doesn't have to be a struggle! Three top tips to increase work energy and productivity

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The daily corporate grind: sometimes with the inclusion of early mornings, late nights, necessary transit, back-to-back meetings and client functions. We get it – keeping on top of your nutrition isn’t always easy – especially with a busy schedule! But what if you could just focus on three small things to keep you smooth sailing and make what you were doing more effective so you could leave work earlier? Well now you’re listening!

1)  Always have a balanced breakfast: Good quality protein, low glycaemic index carbohydrates and either some fruit or veggies to up your fibre intake.

Why?

Protein, a sustaining carbohydrate and dietary fibre is going to fill you up and keep your blood sugars stable.

Example

½ cup of traditional oats (low GI and high in fibre), 1xcup of milk (excellent source of protein and added bonus of calcium), 1xserve of fruit (high in fibre and antioxidants) + sprinkle of your favourite nuts/seeds for some extra crunch. Oh and we don't mind a drizzle of honey if you've got a little extra sweet tooth ;) (We said a drizzle! = 1 tsp)

2) Time your meals SMARTLY

Why?

Because skipping meals or snacks can result in wrong food choices or overeating. This consequently influences cognition, memory, attention and productivity.

How?

Aim to eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks throughout your day. Eating every 3-4 hours will help you achieve this.

3) Drink water

Why?

Because all the beautiful neural connections which transmit information in your brain need water to function at optimal firing rates.

How to increase or maintain an adequate intake?

Include a glass of water with every meal

Drink tea throughout the day: Black or herbal!

Drink soda water to make things interesting

Make a bright attractive drink bottle part of your desk scenery

And there you have it. Just keep it simple! And remember if you want your work team to learn more about Corporate Nutrition we offer engaging workshops. Otherwise you can drop in and book an individual consultation to focus especially on YOU and your goals!

Yours in health,

Kat, Ash and Michelle :)

Flour Guide: Nutrition, Baking & Best Uses

With the number of flours available in the supermarket today, it can be overwhelming (What the hell is TEFF?!). This guide looks at some of the most popular flours used in everyday cooking and mentions some new flours that are available in stores. We share our top picks at the bottom of the blog to keep your delicious baking producing healthy outcomes too!

Grains 101

·       In Australia, wheat based flour is commonly used by food manufacturers and individuals at home. Wheat grains are ground down and sifted in a process called milling, to produce flour.

·       There are three major parts of a cereal grain: the endosperm, bran and germ.

·       Different components of any grain may be left in or taken out depending on how it is milled. This will produce different kinds of flour.  

WHITE FLOUR

In white flour, both the bran and germ have been removed via milling. As the bran and germ contain more dietary fibre than the endosperm, white flour has a light consistency. Many micronutrients including B vitamins, iron and magnesium are found in greater concentrations in the bran and germ layers of the grain. Therefore, white flour contains less of these nutrients. However, flour may be restored with some of these lost nutrients and may also be fortified with additional nutrients such as folic acid and iodine.

Uses: White flour is commonly used to make bread, pizza dough or sweet bakes such as cakes, muffins and scones. White flour is often used as a thickener for gravies and sauces.

Nutrition

 WHOLEMEAL FLOUR

Incorporates the bran layer of the wheat grain, which makes this flour higher in fibre, protein as well as vitamins and minerals (e.g. niacin (B3) and iron). This flour may also be fortified with additional micronutrients.

Uses: Like white flour, wholemeal flour may be used to make sweet/savoury breads or doughs or cakes, muffins and scones

RYE FLOUR

Derived from the rye grain, rye flour is milled in a similar fashion to wheat. A little harder to find and more expensive than wheat flour, you may have to venture outside major supermarket chains to find rye flour. Rye flour comes in both dark and light varieties. Light rye is lighter than dark rye and contains less calories, fibre and protein per.

Uses: Rye flour may be used to make breads, pumpernickel, crispbreads, or biscuits.

SPELT FLOUR

Spelt is an ancient grain, cultivated over thousands of years. This grain is rich in several vitamins and minerals including B vitamins (thiamin, niacin and folate), magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. Spelt is a high protein, high fibre flour making it a great alternative to wheat flour.

Uses: May be used to make dense breads, biscuits or pastas. Spelt is quite flavoursome so is best for savoury dishes.

GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

Gluten free flour is generally a mix of various gluten free flours including corn and tapioca starch and rice flour. Due to the ingredients, this flour is quite low in protein compared to other flours.

Uses: Gluten free plain or self-raising flour can be used to make a variety of dishes including breads, cakes, muffins, batters and can be used as a thickener for sauces/gravies.

COCONUT FLOUR

Derived from the pulp of the coconut, coconut flour is a soft, light flour. It is a by-product made during the coconut milk making process. Coconut flour is also extremely high in flbre and a good source of protein. This flour absorbs a lot of liquid, therefore much less is required to make a certain product (e.g. muffins) than wheat flour.

Uses: Coconut flour may be used to make cupcakes or muffins, cakes, biscuits, pancakes and breads. It may also be used as a gluten free alternative for batter.

QUINOA FLOUR

Derived from another ancient grain, quinoa flour is high in fibre and protein, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, magnesium, iron and phosphate.

Uses: Quinoa flour produces quite a moist bake, and is good for muffins, cakes, pastries or sweet/savoury breads.

CHICKPEA FLOUR

You may or may not have seen chickpea flour in your local supermarket. As this flour is derived from chickpeas, it contains a significant amount of protein along with B vitamins and dietary fibre.

Uses: Chickpea flour may be used to bake cakes, breads and biscuits or for pancakes, fritters or batter

LENTIL FLOUR

Like chickpea flour, lentil flour is relatively new to the supermarket. Made purely from uncooked lentils, this flour provides a nutty flavour to dishes. Lentils are a great source of protein, dietary fibre and micronutrients such as iron, phosphate and copper.

Uses: Like chickpea flour, lentil flour may be used in a variety of dishes including sweet or savoury breads, cakes, muffins, fritters and to make batter.

TEFF FLOUR

Teff has long been used in Ethiopia as a staple grain, but it is relatively new to Western. Like quinoa, Teff is a good source of dietary fibre and protein. This gluten free flour is also rich in several micronutrients including B vitamins, calcium and iron.

Uses: Teff flour has an earthy, nutty taste and is a great gluten free alternative to wheat flour in cakes, muffins, breads and other bakes.

BUCKWHEAT FLOUR

Surprisingly, buckwheat is not a type of wheat. In fact, the buckwheat plant is related to rhubarb. Buckwheat flour is gluten free, and often used as a replacement for wheat. Buckwheat is available as both dark and light flours. Dark buckwheat is more flavoursome than light. Another high protein flour, buckwheat also contains several micronutrients including iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Uses: Dark buckwheat flour is great for making crepes or pancakes, whilst lighter buckwheat flour may be used to make biscuits, muffins, rolls and bread. As buckwheat is quite strong, it is best used along with another flour (e.g. rice flour) to reduce the nutty taste.

OUR TOP PICKS NUTRITION WISE

Rye Flour: Particularly dark flour which is higher in protein than the light variety. With 300 calories/cup (vs. 500 in white and wholemeal), 10.5g of protein and 9.1g of fibre as well as being of a moderate glycaemic index it could be a good baking option, particularly if you enjoy making your own bread. Its also relatively cheap $3/kg.

Lentil Flour: With 333 calories/cup (5th lowest out of 15 compared) its high in protein 25.4g and fibre 15.9g and comes in at a medium price range, $9/kg.

Teff Flour: Teff was the flour highest in protein with 39g/cup! It also rated high in terms of fibre (12.5g) and was sitting at 225 calories. However it is a little more expensive, $13/kg

To learn more about the nutritional composition of flours best to talk to us in the clinic - we love baking!!

References/Further Information

Most this nutritional information was obtained from calorieking.com.au. Nutrient information on lentil flour was taken from mckenziesfoods.com.au

Note: The nutritional information provided on this guide refers to uncooked flour

[1] Honest to Goodness foods

[2] https://thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/shop/cooking/organic-buckwheat-flour-gf/

[3] https://www.tooshfoods.com.au/shop/cooking-and-baking/organic-teff-flour/

Salmon Sushi Balls

These innovative sushi balls are high in protein, fibre and omega-3. Add some nori and you’ve got some iodine helping your thyroid to work even more efficiently! This meal is a perfectly balanced dinner, which would go very well with a delicious side salad. Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

·      1x250g packet of microwaveable brown rice

·      1 nori sheet finely shredded

·      2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

·      1 tsp. of mild horseradish

·      ¼ cup of fat free mayonnaise

·      ½ a carrot grated

·      2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds

·      210g can of red salmon

Method:

1.     Cook brown rice following instructions on packet

2.     Drain can of salmon

3.     Add all ingredients except for the sesame seeds into a bowl and mix evenly

4.     Make ingredients into small balls

5.     Roll in sesame seeds

6.     Serve with a side salad (Asian orientated would be very fitting) to bulk up the meal and get even more vegetables into you!

Tips for a healthy, guilt free Christmas

We are constantly surrounded by food during the Christmas and holiday period, with busy schedules and late nights it can be hard to feel healthy enough to enjoy all of the festivities. Here at Body Fusion we believe in a balanced approach to life, this includes the party season. Hence we have a few recommendations that’ll help you enjoy yourself without blowing out or feeling too restricted.

Never arrive too hungry

Arriving at a function ready to eat an entire Christmas ham is never a good idea. Always eat a balanced breakfast with low GI carbs like sweet potato, grainy bread or oats with eggs, yoghurt and either vegetables or a little fruit. Eat regularly throughout your day, have a light fibre rich meal or snack before you go like some snowpea & cucumber sticks with hummous or 1 scoop plain greek yoghurt with 1 piece of fruit so you arrive level headed and not devour your days worth of kilojoules from the cheese and chip platter.

 Choose what you LOVE, not what you like.

Big festive meals are a joyous event however this doesn’t have to equate to a big festive weight gain. Instead of saying ‘no’ all the time only choose the item or couple of items you truly LOVE and forgo the ones you only ‘like’. For example I love pavlova, but I only just like potato salad. So I will choose to eat a piece of pavlova after dinner but swap the creamy potato salad for baked vegetables and salad. Changing the way you think will reduce the amount of guilt associated with food decisions and allows you to enjoy your meal because you are eating the foods you love!

Eat just a little less

Once you have chosen your ‘LOVE’ food/s consider your portion sizes. If you are trying to lose weight or simply maintain then eat whatever you like just in a smaller portion. This will keep your total kilojoule (energy) total in check and prevent a binge. Try having half a piece of fruitcake with fresh fruit instead of a big slab with trifle as well.

Be alcohol wise

It is a time of celebration and in Australia that often means free flowing bubbles and beers. Remember moderation! If you choose to drink then opt for a shot of a clear spirit with a soda water/ diet mixer instead of beer & cider. If you’re a wine drinker then slow yourself down by finishing one glass at a time then chase it with a non alcoholic drink (like the fruit flavoured sparkling waters).  Always aim for at least 2 alcohol free days per week.

Make sleep a priority.

There is no replacement for a good nights sleep, it will reset your appetite hormones, helps stabilise stress levels and reenergise the body. Make a conscious effort to get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night, limiting blue light from mobile phones and computers at least half an hour before bed.

 Keep moving

This is especially important if you are taking a break from your normal exercise routine. Replace your workouts with outdoor activities like walking, bike riding, swimming (especially at the beach), maybe even trying some water sports like surfing or paddle boarding. Exercise is particularly important for keeping your metabolism working efficiently and improving insulin sensitivity. 

 Remember that a few extra treats over a couple of days can be tolerated by the body but don’t let it those habits carry into the New Year. Remember, one fruit mince pie over 4 weeks can add up to an extra 1kg of weight, that’s not something many want to start a new year with.

Wishing everyone a very safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year!

Katrina :) 

 

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