Healthy Diets

Banana, Coconut And Goji Berry Bread

Goji berries are said to be one of the healthiest berries on the planet – rich in antioxidants which can help to protect the eyes, improve circulation, protect the liver and promote weight loss.  This recipe combines these small gems along with a number of other beneficial ingredients including oats, flaxseeds and coconut oil.  Served warm or cold, this bread won’t last long!

RELATED: Learn more about the health benefits of goji berries here


1/3 cup of rolled oats

1 tbsp flaxseeds

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/3 cup solidified coconut oil

4 eggs

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup almond meal

2 tbsp goji berries

2 tsp gluten free baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 ripe bananas, mashed


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius then grease and line the base of a loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Combine three teaspoons of oats, two teaspoons of flaxseeds and one teaspoon of coconut sugar in a small bowl then set aside.
  3. Beat coconut oil and remaining sugar with an electric beater until pale and creamy.
  4. Beat in one egg and one tablespoon of the coconut flour then repeat with remaining eggs and coconut flour until combined.
  5. Add almond meal, goji berries, baking powder, cinnamon, banana, remaining oats and flaxseeds then stir to combine.
  6. Spoon mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface, then sprinkle with the oat mixture that was set aside at the beginning.
  7. Bake for one hour or until firm then cool on a wire rack.

Image via taste.com.au

Indian Spiced Quinoa With Chicken Recipe

Most of the world’s quinoa comes from the mountain regions of Peru and Bolivia where it originated from thousands of years ago and it is a nutritious seed which contains more protein than any other grain it is often compared to.   This is one of the reasons why it has been labelled as a superfood. Quinoa is high in fibre to keep your digestive system regular and is great for keeping your blood sugar levels in check.  It contains nine essential amino acids, iron, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and much more so consider adding some quinoa to your diet today to reap the benefits of this superfood.

RELATED: See how quinoa compares to other healthy grains here

This Indian spiced quinoa recipe is healthy, easy to prepare, full of flavour and you can have it on your dinner table in less than 35 minutes.


Peanut oil

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

12 fresh curry leaves

2 tsp garam masala

3 long chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced

1 large onion, diced

1 ½ cups quinoa

½ cup green split peas

3 cups chicken stock

1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken

80g baby spinach, roughly chopped


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil over a medium heat and cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop.
  2. Add curry leaves, garam masala, chilli and onion and cook until onion is tender.
  3. Add quinoa and split peas then stir to coat in spice mixture.
  4. Add stock and 1 cup of boiling water then simmer over a low heat for 25 minutes.
  5. Add chicken and spinach and heat until chicken is heated through.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Image via taste.com.au

What Is Orthorexia?

We all know that healthy eating should be part of our lifestyle, but what happens when our habits becoming obsessively unhealthy?  That’s where the term orthorexia nervosa comes in, a term that literally means “fixation on righteous eating”. People who suffer from orthorexia become fixated on food quality and purity as well as how much they eat. Eventually their diet becomes so restrictive that their obsession becomes detrimental to their health as well the relationships with those close to them.

People who have orthorexia normally start out simply wanting to eat healthier but it then turns into an extreme diet where they’ll avoid any food that has been processed and eat only untouched, whole or organic food. Sometimes this can lead to malnourishment because vital nutrients are being eliminated from the diet.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with following a healthy diet but when you feel guilt or self-loathing if you haven’t stuck to your diet, if thinking about food is taking up far too much of your time or if your diet has left you isolated and alone then there are serious concerns.

Some common behaviour changes that could be a sign of orthorexia nervosa include:

  • An obsessive concern over the link between food choices and health concerns
  • An increased consumption of supplements or herbal remedies
  • The sufferer may consume less than ten different foods
  • An obsessive concern over food preparation technique, including the sterilization of utensils
  • The sufferer may avoid an increasing number of foods due to food allergies

Symptoms of orthorexia nervosa include:

  • Feelings of guilt when you deviate from a strict diet
  • Feelings of satisfaction or fulfilment from eating healthy
  • Avoiding foods that have been prepared by other people
  • Thinking about food all the time and always planning meals in advance
  • Avoiding dining out for fear of deviating from the diet
  • Depression and mood swings

And some common effects of orthorexia include:

  • Becoming socially isolated
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Malnutrition
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Cardiac complications
  • Death

Orthorexia symptoms are serious and can have long-term effects on your health and physical body, so should not be swept under the rug.  As with any other eating disorder, orthorexia needs treatment so if you think you or someone you know may be suffering from this condition talk to someone about it, preferably a professional such as a GP or psychiatrist.

Image via philly.barstoolsports.com

Are Black Beans The Healthiest Foods On The Planet?

Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are extremely healthy and jam packed full of vitamins and nutrients that can benefit your health. Whether you eat them fresh or from a can, the health benefits are the same.

So here are some fast facts about black beans:

  • They have a rich flavour sometimes compared to mushrooms.
  • One cup of black beans provides 15 grams of protein and none of the saturated fat found in red meat which means that they are an excellent choice for vegetarians or for those needing more protein in their diet.
  • Black beans contain no cholesterol.
  • When teamed with rice they provide all of the essential amino acids that your body needs.
  • Black beans have the highest level of antioxidant activity compared to all other types of beans.  Antioxidants can help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • They are high in fibre – a cup of cooked beans contains 15 grams.
  • Black beans contain soluble and insoluble fibre.  The insoluble fibre aids digestion and prevents constipation while the soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol and blood-sugar levels.
  • One cup of black beans contains approximately 120 milligrams of magnesium which is commonly associated with cardiovascular protection.
  • One cup of black beans contains 256 micrograms of folate, making them an excellent food for pregnant women.
  • They are a great source of copper which is essential for healthy heart function and promoting healthy skin, hair and nails.

Sound great don’t they?  Try this healthy black bean salad to reap some of the benefits.

15 Minute Black Bean Salad


½ cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups of black beans

1 cup of corn kernels

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ cup red pepper, diced

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped

¼ cup chopped coriander

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients together and serve, it’s that simple!

Image via 3.bp.blogspot.com

A Basic Overview Of The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is being hailed as the healthiest diet in the world because it is based on the diet that humans are genetically adapted to. In other words, it dates back to the caveman age and is loosely based on what our ancestors ate, so if you can’t hunt and gather it, generally you can’t include it in your diet.

In this day and age our diets can become clogged with trans fats, sugar and processed foods which can be the cause of many problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, so ridding yourself of these things can have some great health benefits.

The Paleo diet may help you to:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Lose weight
  • Eliminate acne
  • Have more energy
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Increase your libido
  • Improve your mental outlook
  • Reduce allergies

Although there are slight variations to the diet, generally they all follow the same rule of thumb, so if you want to try and achieve some of the results above, here’s a basic overview of what you’ll need to eat:

  • Lean grass produced meats – they help you to feel full between meals and they help support strong muscles and healthy bones.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables – they are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have been known to reduce the risk of developing some diseases including cancer and diabetes.
  • Omega-3 fats – they are commonly found in fatty fish and can drastically reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and obesity.
  • Nuts and seeds – they contain cancer fighting vitamins and antioxidants (especially walnuts and almonds).
  • Eggs – they are one of the most nutritious foods on earth, loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality protein and good fats.
  • Healthy oils including olive, coconut, flaxseed and canola – they have been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and obesity.

Of course there are certain foods you’ll need to avoid as well:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined sugar
  • Dairy
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Peanuts
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Alcohol

If this sounds like a diet you could see yourself sticking to, do some thorough research before you try it.  There are a huge number of books about the Paleo diet that will explain in great detail what you can and can’t eat, you’ll need to plan out your meals each week and like any other diet you’ll also need to include some exercise into your regime.

As with any diet, there are those who believe in the Paleo whole heartedly and there are those who condemn it (mostly because it’s not technically a balanced diet when you cut out so many foods).  Only time will tell if this diet will work for you, but why not give it a try for thirty days?  If by the end of it you don’t feel more energised, you haven’t lost weight and you’re still sleeping terribly then it’s probably not the diet for you.

Image via activ8athleticism.com

What Is Kale And Why Is It Good For Us?

Recently, kale has been increasing in popularity and is being recognised for a number of health benefits.  Before I wrote this article I didn’t know much about kale, so I decided to do some research and find out why this vegetable is being hailed as one of the healthiest vegetables on earth.  Here is what I found:

What is kale?

Kale, otherwise known as borecole, is a leafy green vegetable which is a descendant of the wild cabbage and is part of the Brassica family that also includes broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts.  There are several varieties of kale and they all differ in taste and appearance.  The most popular type is curly kale which is most commonly found in the supermarkets and ranges in colour from purple to light green.  Kale is extremely hardy and fairy easy to grow, even in cold conditions.

What nutrients can be found in kale?

Kale is jam packed full of beneficial nutrients and vitamins meaning that just a small amount can provide you with a large dose of your daily dietary needs.  It is extremely high in antioxidant vitamins K, A and C as well as being a great source of minerals including copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.  Best of all kale has zero fat and is extremely low in calories so it’s a great aid for weight loss.

What health benefits does kale provide?

Because kale is rich in vitamin K it can help to reduce the risk of developing various cancers as well as helping with bodily functions including blood clotting and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  Kale is high in calcium which helps with healthy bones and it’s also an excellent source of fibre and sulphur which are great for detoxifying your body.  Lutein is also found in kale which is beneficial for healthy eyes.

How can I enjoy kale in my everyday diet?

Some types of kale are quite bitter so it can be an acquired taste but there are numerous ways that you can enjoy kale in your diet without eating it raw in salads.

  • Kale can be blended into a juice.  Just add apples, carrots, kale and a dash of lemon and you have yourself a glass of liquid gold.
  • Kale chips are a great snack and much healthier than potato chips.  Bake some leaves in the oven with some olive oil and salt then crunch away.
  • Add kale to soups or pasta dishes.

So the next time you’re at the supermarket, look out for kale and consider putting some in your trolley.  With the number of health benefits it provides I know I’ll be giving it a go as soon as possible.

What are your favourite ways to eat kale?

Image via food.allwomenstalk.com

7 Ways To Avoid Gluten (In Every Situation)

Just been diagnosed with coeliac disease – or simply gluten intolerant? Either way, no matter how hard you try to cut gluten from your life, chances are that it keeps finding a way to creep back in. The result may be abdominal pain, bloating, tiredness, headaches or poor concentration.

Even if you’ve got your gluten-free diet worked out at home, it can be challenging maintaining it in situations like parties, travelling and dining out. Michael Carp, owner of yummy gluten-free snacks company Kez’s Kitchen, shares his top tips for avoiding gluten in every situation.

1. Dining out
This is often when we throw any diet commitments out the window – simply because of the enjoyment factor associated with dining out, and especially if the menu isn’t in line with our dietary needs. “When we’re really enjoying good food and good company, we might tell ourselves our symptoms aren’t that bad – then have regrets afterwards,” Michael says. “Although a menu may not offer gluten free meals, if you call ahead most establishments will be happy to pre-prepare a couple of suitable options for you to choose from. And an increasing number of restaurants are now offering gluten-free options on the menu – including some pizza and pasta establishments.”

2. Flights
When sitting on long flights, it can be tempting to consume any meal a flight attendant places in front of you – including the dinner rolls. When you’re booking flights, be sure you pre-order the gluten free option. “On nearly every flight, my gluten-free meal is often served first and looks better than the person’s next to me, as chefs need to get creative with gluten-free. The remainder of your flight will be much more enjoyable. You might also want to pack your favourite gluten-free snacks for long-haul flights.”

3. On the go
Many of us eat on the run. Instead of grabbing a bagel – which you’re sure to regret later – there are now great-tasting alternatives when you’re searching for a snack on the go. For instance, the Kez’s Free range includes cereal snack bars and bites including roasted Florentine Bars and biscuits that are all 100 per cent gluten free, without making any sacrifices on taste or texture.

4. Holidays
You may know exactly where to find great gluten-free meals and snacks in your own neighbourhood, however when you’re on holidays it can be like finding a needle in a haystack, often leaving you with little choice but to take advantage of takeaways and local eateries conveniently located on every street corner. “A good breakfast is important when you’re travelling. Make gluten-free breakfast options an important criteria when choosing a hotel – ask whether they can provide gluten-free cereals and breads at the time of booking, most are happy to oblige if you give them notice. For dining out, research restaurants around your hotel, or ask your hotel to do the research for you – most restaurants have menus available on their websites.”

5. Work functions
Readily available canapés drifting past every few minutes is enough to make even the strongest-willed crumble to the temptation – especially when hungry. “If you ensure to eat a full meal before attending any event you’ll be much less likely to reach for a few cocktail spring rolls. Additionally, bringing a snack bar in your bag is always a good idea in case you feel peckish, and remember to opt for a cider instead of beer as they’re commonly gluten free,” Michael says.

6. Living with young kids
Chicken nuggets, fish fingers and potato gems can be a staple food group in any household with young children and, in turn, can become a quick meal for exhausted parents too tired to prepare an additional for themselves. “Take advantage of any free time you have during the day – for example during kids’ nap time or while they are at day care – to prepare fresh gluten free meals that are ready to eat later on when you’re pressed for time. Chicken schnitzel is always a family favourite, and you can still enjoy this by using rice crumbs instead of bread crumbs – the kids won’t even tell the difference!”

7. When entertained by friends
“These situations – particularly if it’s a dinner or lunch – are sensitive, as they’re more intimate and the host will notice you avoiding foods that were prepared for you,” Michael says. “If it’s a meal, it’s best to let the host know about your dietary limitations beforehand so they can organise gluten-free options. If it’s a more casual get-together, bring a gluten-free share plate that everyone can enjoy. This way, you’ll appear polite and thoughtful and you’ll know there will be at least one gluten-free dish available!”

What are your best tips for maintaining a gluten-free diet in different situations? Tell us in the comments!

3 Quick Bloat Busters

Still feeling bloated from all that festive overindulging? You’re not alone! Whether you need a quick fix for bloating, gas or inflammation, leading gut guru and naturopath, Michèle Wolff, shares 3 easy bloat busters to deflate that tummy and help you squeeze into your jeans!

1. Morning Bloat Buster
Combine 2 tsp. barley, 2 tsp. coriander seeds, 2 tsp. fennel seeds, 4 raisins. Put all of these ingredients in a thermos of almost boiling water overnight. In the morning strain and squeeze these ingredients and add a few drops of lemon juice, 2 tsp. aloe vera juice, 2 pinches of turmeric and 2 pinches of cinnamon.

If you are celiac avoid barley and use slippery elm instead. If you have candida, avoid the raisins.

2. Bloat Buster Tea
Mint/peppermint has a calming, soothing effect on the gut and is cooling. It helps get rid of gas and bloating. It is also helpful if you have nausea or travel sickness and works well with ginger as a tea.

3. Bloat Buster Salad
Use caraway and fennel for bloating/wind and liquorice root for digestive inflammation. The leaves are delicious used in salads and yoghurt dips. It tastes good in soups and sauces too.

What are your health goals for 2014?

Q&A with Juice Master Jason Vale

Australia was one of the first countries to truly embrace juicing culture, and the craze is only getting stronger. There is now a growing trend towards juicing diets, cleanses and detoxes that offer impressive results; not only in terms of weight loss, but also for their undeniable health and lifestyle benefits.

Juicing is a tasty way to provide your body with the natural nutrients that are often lacking from eating over-processed foods and making unhealthy lifestyle choices – and let’s face it, drinking a juice is much easier than eating a huge bowl of salad.

UK author and motivational speaker Jason Vale, better known as the ‘Juice Master’, is an advocate for the juicing lifestyle, and SheSaid caught up with Jason on his recent visit to Australia to get his insight on the benefits of juicing and his advice for maintain a balanced juicing diet.

What inspired you to get into juicing?
It was my own ill health that led me on this juicy journey. I was covered from head to toe in a skin condition called psoriasis to the point where almost every inch of my body- including my face- was affected. I was badly asthmatic, using an inhaler up to 14 times a day. I was also overweight and suffered terrible hay fever and smoked 40-60 cigarettes a day.

When I started to juice I saw my life and health transformed and I have witnessed tens of thousands of others do the same. I transformed myself by drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices every day, losing 25kg and gaining a new perspective on health.

What are the key benefits of a juice diet?
Juicing allows the perfect liquid fuel to help you improve your general health. Beauty comes from within and once you start to hydrate your body with vegetable and fruit juices everything shines.

When you give up processed foods and replace just one meal a day with a freshly made juice you have changed 1/3 of you diet in one simple step. Your friends will notice the shine in your skin, your hair your nails, your eyes, the whole you. It’s like adding super unleaded instead of diesel to an unleaded car.

Juicing is definitely not a fad.

By fasting you are giving your body a rest from trying to breakdown the processed foods that seems to have taken over our diets. Once we stop eating these foods and give the body a rest, then the body is able to reboot the liver, kidneys, intestines, blood, every organ in the body gets an overhaul. We are always detoxing, yes the body is designed to detox, but sometimes it is too difficult for the body to do its job properly.

I like to compare it to how often do people work hard up until their holiday and then complain for the first week of their holiday they were struck down with the flu. This is the body saying yes, seeing as you have finally slowed down, now I can start doing some cleaning up here.

At my health retreats we have seen the transformation in many people once they have been shown how to make nutritious, tasty juices.

What are your favourite ingredients to juice together?
I always take a couple of apples for juice volume, soluble fibre, and sweetness. I then add celery, spinach, kale, raw beetroot, cucumber, ginger, carrot and lime. This gives a wonderful spectrum of nutrition, plus it tastes stupidly lovely!

The first couple of days on a juice diet can often be quite challenging. What advice would you give for someone just starting out with juicing?
Anyone who starts a juice diet of any kind needs to understand that for the first 72 hours the body is in ‘withdrawal’ mode. People call this ‘detox’, when it is in fact withdrawal like the withdrawal from nicotine. The maximum it lasts is 72 hours, but the vast majority of people only feel it every now and then. The feeling of withdrawal from refined sugar and caffeine is one of ‘hunger’. This ‘false hunger’ will go and by day four you are left flying on a juice high!

What would be your advice for maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle?
Use juicing as a tool, but don’t become too obsessed with food and nutrition. We are all human and a balance is not a bad thing. I would always advise at least one good veggie juice a day and a five or seven day pure juice diet once every three months. When it comes to food I would keep what I eat as unprocessed as possible whilst having the odd blow out remembering that we are human and food is there to be enjoyed.

Coming into summer, what would be your favourite summer juice?
It has to be the homemade Lemon-Aid. This is the healthiest, creamiest and most natural lemonade in the world. You’ll need…

2 x golden delicious apples
1 x 1/3 unwaxed lemon
1 x small handful of ice cubes

Sandwich the lemon (with skin on) between the two apples in the chute of the juicer, and juice the lot. Pour over ice and enjoy.

This is best served with friends. Why not make a pitcher and of this delicious refreshing juice? Using the ratio of two apples and a third of a lemon per person, make a large batch and pour into a jug of crushed ice – perfect for a sizzling summer day.

Together with Juice Master Jason Vale, Philips aims to encourage a healthier lifestyle this summer by making juicing at home even more convenient. With their clever QuickClean design, the easy-to-use Philips QuickClean Juicers can be cleaned and ready to re-use in less than a minute. Maximum juice with minimum fuss. Happy juicing!