Category Archives: Health

Dinner Parties

Dinner parties really are a great way to catch up with friends when life seems super busy. My group of friends are big fans of hosting dinner parties on a regular basis which is generally every month if not fortnightly depending on everyone’s work commitments.

Our dinner parties are based around homemade cooking and we often pick a theme and roll with it. Each couple brings a plate of food to help contribute to the evening, whether this be some nibbles to start with, a meat dish, a salad/vegetable dish or dessert. We aim to spend no more than $20 each on our plates of food for the evening.

We like to pick themes to keep the parties interesting and to give us something to look forward too. We also like to experiment with cooking things that we wouldn’t ordinarily cook. We do aim to keep the food relatively healthy and generally make it gluten and dairy free.

Some of the themes we have done include:

  • Thai – Curries
  • Chinese – Wontons and Dumplings
  • Mexican – Burrito’s
  • Argentinian – Parrilla
  • Vietnamese – Rice Paper Rolls

We do just often cook roasts, pulled pork/beef to put on burgers or wraps, fish and chips, rissoles, kebabs or even just do a quick BBQ.

This is often a great way to wind down after a crazy week and a good excuse to catch up with everyone 🙂 A few drinks also don’t go astray 🙂

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Adrenal Exhaustion – My Personal Journey

This is something that I am very familiar and experienced personally after I started working Fly in Fly out in the construction industry. At the time I didn’t know that I was struggling with this and thought it was normal.

When the body is under a lot of stress for a continuous period of time, there is an increased need for more hormones to be produced. When the adrenals are exhausted and adrenal function is reduced symptoms such as: weakness; lethargy; fatigue; recurrent infections; dizziness; low blood pressure (upon standing); headaches; memory problems; food cravings; digestive disturbances; allergies; and blood sugar disorders may be present.

The signs and symptoms I experienced were:

  • Dreaming about work in my sleep in which I felt stressed while sleeping and didn’t feel like I actually slept when I woke up that next morning.
  • High cortisol levels on day 1 of R&R – levels were 701 in 2013 – with the range being 160-650! Imagine what they could have been on a work day.
  • I would end up sick with a head cold every time I went on R&R!
  • Indigestion and heartburn. When I would wake up in the morning and after I ate my chest would hurt.
  • Upset stomach randomly from eating normal everyday foods (Irritable Bowel – Symptoms).
  • Extreme pain below the chest a few times which required seeing the onsite medic and having to request an upper endoscopy (camera down my throat) to look for any internal damage/complications.
  • Intense cravings for sugar (to the point I would eat a whole bag of lollies in one sitting!).
  • Overexercising to try and compensate for not eating as well and to try and help me have more energy.
  • Not being able to relax or enjoy hanging out with friends. Instead I would feel like I am on the go and need to be doing heaps of other things when I really didn’t need to be.
  • Not being able to switch off when finishing work. This meant racing to eat dinner and get back to my room for a shower to just end up sitting in my room.
  • Feeling tired and exhausted during the day but wide awake and alert come bed time.

What woke me up that something was wrong?

  • I got my cortisol levels back and realised just how high they really were on my first day of R&R – pretty scary!
  • After having the upper endoscopy done which didn’t indicate anything physically wrong internally.
  • Starting to get stuck into my Nutrition studies and realising that my symptoms were not normal and that something was actually wrong.

What I did to change for the better?

  • Saw a Naturopath/Nutritionist – who helped me get back on track with supporting my adrenal glands and gut.
  • Started yoga/Pilates in the mornings before work and on R&R and stopped going to the gym every day! I actually bought cheap books from Kmart and started following the yoga/Pilates routines which were only 15 minutes each. Best thing I did!! Then on R&R I would attend proper yoga/Pilates classes for more variety.
  • Started eating lots more salad with lunches and more vegetables at dinner. Started changing snacks to vegetable sticks and nut butters and breakfast to wholegrain GF oats with protein powder and fruit. Completely cut out added sugar.
  • Really started progressing with my studies where I was able to identify myself as having adrenal exhaustion and started focusing on learning more about it and what I could do to help myself.

While this worked well for me everyone is different and requires slightly different treatment plans. Dietary changes are just one component, there are various herbal/nutrient supplements that are extremely effective along with lifestyle suggestions that can make a world of difference. If you are finding yourself in the same position I was in I strongly recommend seeking some additional support.

Please make an appointment with me to discuss your situation further so we can have you back on track in no time 🙂

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How To Not OVEREAT!

It is very easy to overeat at any meal and often we do so without thinking it through and before long it becomes ‘normal’ to reach for or eat that much food! Overtime our metabolism does change especially with age and we can no longer afford to just eat as much as we feel like without facing the consequences.

Shifting weight as we get older is much harder than when we were younger. You can exercise as much as you like but if you do not watch your portion sizes and the foods that you are eating, dropping weight can be a real struggle. You do still need to enjoy the foods you really like whether it be, cake, muffins, cheeses and takeaway for example, but you do need to enjoy this in moderation and still watch just how much you are eating.

Ways to help control portion sizes and to prevent you from overeating include;

  • Start with a bowl of salad or vegetables before moving onto meat and starchy carbohydrates (potato etc.).
  • Start with a small bowl of soup made on a base of salt reduced stock.
  • Use smaller plates with every meal.
  • Use smaller forks and spoons with meals to slow you down.
  • Enjoy a glass of water before eating (being careful not to drink too much otherwise food cannot be digested as well).
  • Learn portion control (carefully serve up proper portions and have the willpower not to eat anymore) – this is me!!
  • Take food to work for lunch in smaller containers so it looks like a lot.
  • Add protein and fat to every meal followed by lots of fresh vegetables or salad. Can’t go wrong with lots of greens!
  • Portion control your snacks (small handful nuts, 1 piece of fruit, ½ cup yoghurt, 3 tbsp hummus/cottage cheese and celery, 1 hard-boiled egg etc.) and put these in small containers so you cannot eat more than what is there.

Other factors that contribute to overeating;

  • Lack of sleep – need to aim for 8 hours every night as the more sleep deprived you are the hungrier you feel.
  • Emotions and stress – this is the biggest problem for many. When you are upset or stressed most people have a tendency to lean towards food but not good food, instead foods that give you a quick release of energy and make you feel better for a short period of time. Finding ways to destress that works for you is extremely important too. Yoga, meditation, walking, enjoying a massage, group coffee dates and herb/nutrient supplements can be very effective.
  • Imbalance of good/bad gut bacteria – having more bad gut bacteria can cause you to crave foods (particularly sugar) and these cravings can be so intense that it is extremely hard not to give in. Try a probiotic or two daily along with fermented foods/beverages to assist with correcting the balance.

If you do require further assistance in healthy eating, controlling your stress or improving your sleep quality please make an appointment with me today so I can help you get back on track 🙂

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Carbs – Let’s not be afraid!

When we talk carbohydrates we are not just referring to foods such as white rice, bread or potato which are generally labelled the ‘BAD’ white carbohydrates and fattening. All fruits and vegetables are carbohydrate sources.

Carbohydrates provide the muscles and other body tissues with approximately half of the energy they require for use, the other half coming from mostly fats. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple carbohydrates (glucose, fructose and galactose) and complex carbohydrates (glycogen, starches and fiber). Simple carbohydrates basically mean that the body breaks them down quickly, therefore we require more sooner, whereas complex carbohydrates take longer to breakdown into glucose as they are slower releasing, therefore we can sustain energy for longer.

The body’s cells require glucose for energy, and it is the preferred energy source for brain cells, other nerve cells and developing red blood cells, however protein and fat can also be converted to glucose to some extent.

Complex carbohydrates are my favourite sources as they provide sustained energy without creating a rapid sugar spike. Balancing meals will often include a small portion of complex carbs (sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, lentils, chickpeas, beans, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth or brown/red/black rice) with the majority of carbs being made up of fresh vegetables and fruits, in particular leafy greens. It is these carbohydrates that provide us with numerous vitamins and minerals in their most absorbable forms.

Grains which are actually ‘seeds’, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, millet and amaranth, while I do not consume many of these on a daily basis, I do use these foods in baking or every now and again for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Carbohydrates are essential and need to be consumed daily to provide our bodies with energy. Choosing a range of fresh vegetables and fruits is definitely the best way to start followed by pulses and legumes. Depending on your energy requirements will depend on just how much and what types of carbohydrates you will need.

If you have any questions surrounding what types of carbohydrates you should be including into your diet for optimal health, make an appointment today and I will work with you to get you back on track quickly 🙂

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Protein Powders – Used in Foodline

I have been asked why I choose to use rice and pea protein powders in my smoothie and pancakes mixes, therefore I thought I would share with you the reasons behind it J

Smoothies (Choc Peanut, Sweet Vanilla and Strawberry) – Rice Protein

The protein powder used in these smoothies is a ‘Sprouted and Bio-Fermented Raw Certified Organic Brown Rice Protein’. This particular brand of protein powder I use has a 96% correlation with the amino acid profiles of whey proteins but without as much acidic load meaning it is less inflammatory and doesn’t create as much work for your kidneys. This raw vegan protein is 80% protein and has a perfectly balanced amino acid profile. Being raw means that the digestible protein content is still intact and has not be altered or destroyed in any way.

Often protein powders are sweetened with a variety of artificial sweeteners. This protein powder uses certified organic stevia as opposed to non-organic stevia which research has shown to use chemicals in its processing. High quality cocoa and vanilla is used to flavour the proteins as well, to reduce the likelihood of any allergic reactions or digestive problems.

I personally choose a rice protein in the smoothies as I find the flavour and consistency to be nicer than some of the other types of protein powders I have used.

Pancakes (Chocolate Brownie and Vanilla Lucuma) – Pea Protein

The protein powder that I choose to use in the pancakes in a Raw Non-GMO Pea Protein. It uses yellow split peas and contains all essential amino acids. With its high-alkalinity and bioavailability this protein powder is highly digestible. It is also a raw protein which makes this protein hypoallergenic and it is also rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are required for protein synthesis and can support muscle recovery after exercise.

I personally find that a good quality pea protein works better in pancakes and allows for a good pancake consistency that holds together well without breaking.

What Else?

Both protein powders are gluten and dairy free but also completely vegan.

No chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, artificial flavours, colour or preservatives have been used and no genetically modified products have been added. Both protein powders are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and trace elements that are easily absorbed and digested by the body.

It is extremely important to know what exactly is in your protein powder if you are going to be consuming it on a regular basis. If you do not know what an ingredient is make sure you ask and enquire as many protein powders are highly acidic (particularly whey protein if it is not of a very high quality), full of articular sweeteners, flavours, colourants, additives, synthetic nutrients, vitamins and inorganic minerals that the body will find extremely difficult to process and toxic to overall health. Look for proteins that are raw where you can and that contain natural ingredients.

If you would like to try either the smoothies or the pancakes please email me katelyn@good4younutrition.com.au for more information or follow me on Facebook ‘Good4You Nutrition’.

 

Aspartame – Deadly Neurotoxin?

Aspartame is an artificial/chemical sugar that breaks down into 3 components, 2 naturally occurring amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine) and methanol. It is found in many different types of processed foods/drinks including; lollies, yoghurts, chewing gum, frozen desserts, milk drinks, soft drinks, and many more. Generally speaking if something states it is ‘Sugar Free’ than aspartame is used. It is estimated to be 180-200 times sweeter than table sugar. It is permitted and considered ‘safe’ in Australia and New Zealand in specified amounts.

Aspartame is sold under other names such as Equal and NutraSweet.

Aspartame has been labelled a deadly neurotoxin as it excites the neurons in the brain which leads to neurons becoming damaged and dying as a result, therefore a common symptom that is reported is memory loss. Aspartame has also been shown to create an addictive effect once consumed on a regular basis.

People who suffer for Phenylketonuria (PKU) a genetic disorder where they cannot metabolise phenylalanine are unable to ingest aspartame and need to stay well away.

Other common symptoms that have been experienced and linked to the consumption of aspartame include: headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss and joint pain.

Researchers and physicians who have been studying the adverse effects of aspartame have also linked aspartame to triggering or worsening chronic illnesses including: brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes.

There is still much more research to be conducted before aspartame will be removed from foods and drinks, however if you feel that you suffer from any of the symptoms associated with aspartame consumption you are best to remove it from your diet and stick to wholefoods. Symptoms should resolve on their own if caught early enough, however please consult your healthcare practitioner should you require further information.

Lemon Juice & Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar have long be known for their assistance as digestive aids as they stimulate gastric juices in the gut to help breakdown food that we are about to consume. This occurs as they stimulate the liver to produce bile and as a result this helps to kick start your metabolism and assist the liver in detoxification. As a result this can reduce bloating, relieve constipation and boost the immune system.

I have seen clients who feel unwell and nauseous from consuming lemon juice or apple cider vinegar so this may not be your best option if you are solely drinking it for digestive reasons. Digestive enzymes may be a better solution for you.

Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar have also be known to alkalise the body by reducing pH levels, however from experience with acid/alkaline balance in the body, these alone are not enough to alkalise our bodies. For starters we need to consume anywhere between 8-12 serves of vegetables per day to balance out the acidity that we get from everyday foods (i.e. animal proteins, grains and nuts/seeds) plus lifestyle factors (i.e. pollution, stress and exercise) and even this is quite often not enough without the assistance of a supplement.

Lemons contain vitamin C which can be useful in meeting your daily requirements, and lemon juice in water can also assist with calming an upset stomach and settling indigestion.

Proper organic apple cider vinegar is a fermented product and contains what is known as ‘the mother’. Acetic acid is the bacteria created during the fermentation process and is believed to be useful in controlling blood pressure, fat accumulation, reducing bad cholesterol and regulating blood glucose levels by also improving insulin sensitivity. It also appears to be effective in killing certain types of bacteria (i.e. E. Coli) and believed to have anti-tumour properties.

If you are not sensitive to drinking lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in water than I definitely recommend doing it first up in the morning and before sleep at night to support the liver. Please ensure that you buy fresh lemons and apple cider vinegar that still contains ‘the mother’ to get the maximum results. If you are unsure if this is something you should be doing or require further advice as to whether you should or should not be consuming lemon juice or apple cider vinegar please consult a registered health care practitioner.

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