Do you suffer from aches and stomach pains that just won’t go away? The culprit is likely to be in your diet and switching up a few of the usual suspects in favour of organic food is the best option.
FODMAP or (Permentable Oligosaccharies, Disaccharies, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are usually sugars which are found in almost all food groups, but are harder for people suffering from gluten allergy and gut disorders such as IBS to break down. They can lead to painful stomach cramps, bloating and nausea.
Dr Sue Shepard developed the FODMAP Diet in 1999 after conclusive researched indicated that a diet low in these sugars could actually help people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut-related conditions.
Foods to avoid
Main sources of FODMAPs are usually found in fructose-rich fruits, dairy and even legumes.
- Fruits: apples, honey, pear, watermelon, avocado, cherries, plums.
- Vegetables: artichokes, garlic, leek, corn, mushrooms, beetroot, asparagus.
- Dairy: milk, ice cream, soft cheese, evaporated milk, custard, yoghurt.
- Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas.
Foods to eat
In terms of what you can eat, stick to gluten or lactose-free alternatives and see how they make your body feel. They are usually a safe option and will help your body digest food a lot easier. A few options include but are not limited to:
- Vegetables: baby spinach, roma tomatoes, book choy, capsicum, ginger, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
- Grains and starches: potatoes, quinoa, rice, buckwheat.
- Nuts: raw almonds, pistachios and cashews.
- Lactose: hard and ripened cheese.
- Fruits: bananas, grapes, mandarins, oranges, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, pineapple, strawberries, rhubarb.
Would you try the FODMAP diet?
Image via RM Dietetics
I love walking into the tea aisle in the supermarket. It’s almost like the confectionary aisle for grown ups. It’s no longer just English breakfast and earl grey, tea has come such a long way over the last couple of years. It’s not just for pinky waving nannies anymore; tea is trendy.
A huge percentage of the population drink coffee, but tea is on the uprising, not just for the taste and flavours, but for the benefits to brings to the body. Teatoxes are a thing and Twinings now have more flavours of tea than Cadbury does of chocolate. It might be time to ditch the double shot soy caramel latte for a nice, hot cuppa tea to rejuvenate and relax.
Black tea contains a lot of caffeine, so it has similar benefits to coffee in relation to giving you alertness, fat burning and more, except that it also contains two types of antioxidants that have been linked to lower cholesterol levels. Drinking two or more cups of black tea per day has also been linked to lowering the risk of a stroke.
Green tea contains lots of antioxidants that may interfere with the growth of some types of cancer. Green tea also prevents clogging of the arteries, thus helping to reduce cholesterol levels and stroke and can also be a fat burner, so grab a cup!
No, this isn’t adding milk to your cup of English breakfast. White tea is given its name because of the soft, downy hairs on the buds. White tea is the highest in antioxidants and the lowest in caffeine. It’s also said that white tea has the highest cancer fighting properties.
Oolong tea has been found to lower levels of bad cholesterol, which is one of the great benefits of tea.
Chamomile tea has very soothing benefits and has also been shown to help stop side effects of diabetes like loss of vision and nerve damage. Chamomile is also said to stunt the growth of cancer cells.
Image via rivertea.com
Ladies, there’s someone new and exciting I’d like you to meet: Australia’s latest superfood, psyllium.
Psyllium (pictured) is a 100 per cent natural source of fibre and can be added to recipes, smoothies or cereal without altering the taste of the dish. You can also get pure, natural psyllium husk from supplements such as Metamucil.
What’s more, we should all be getting more fibre in our diets, especially if we’re trying to shed a few kilos. Why? A recent US study found a higher daily intake of fibre will help us lose weight nearly as much as following a low-calorie diet.
Trial participants who ensured they got the recommended 30g of fibre daily, as part of their normal diet, saw their overall health improve through weight-loss and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Here, popular and well-regarded Sydney dietitian, nutritionist, author and busy mum, Dr Joanna McMillan (pictured), shares her top knowledge on fibre and easy ways to incorporate more into our diets.
And Dr Joanna should know; she’s vice president of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) and is an ambassador for Diabetes Australia and Australian Pineapples.
What is psyllium? Psyllium comes from the outer husk of the seed of a particular plant. It’s an incredible source of fibre and soluble fibre in particular. It’s also gluten-free so ideal for those unable to get fibre from common wholegrains.
What are its health benefits? Soluble fibre absorbs water and forms a gel in the gut. This helps you to feel full and eat less; it stimulates your gut to contract thereby keeping you regular; it slows the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates present; it helps to lower cholesterol levels; it fuels the gut microbiome (the good bugs in your gut) and it helps to bind and carry out of the body potential carcinogens and other toxins.
Why is psyllium not well-known? Most people have probably heard of the brand Metamucil, but not realised that psyllium is the active ingredient. You can also buy psyllium husks in health and whole food stores, but because it hasn’t been talked about in mainstream media, most people won’t have known what it was useful for.
What is the best way to consume psyllium? You can simply dissolve it in water and drink, or add it to smoothies, yoghurt, pancake or muffin mixes. You can also even stir it through mashed potato.
Why is fibre important? It’s important primarily for gut health – keeping us regular, feeding the good bacteria in our gut (which in turn boosts immune function) and helping to prevent gut problems. But it also helps with blood glucose and insulin control as well as promoting healthy cholesterol profiles.
What health problems can you encounter without a fibre-rich diet? Principally, poor gut health, but this has a knock-on effect on the rest of the body. If your gut is sluggish and you feel bloated, it affects your energy levels and your motivation to exercise and eat well.
How can fibre, and psyllium, help you lose weight? Fibre-rich meals help to fill us up and feel sated after the meal. This can help to stop you raiding the biscuit tin in-between meals. By lowering blood glucose and insulin, fibre can also potentially boost fat burning and keep your hunger pangs at bay.
Why is psyllium husk the next superfood? Psyllium has so many health benefits and it’s so easy to incorporate into your diet. It has the potential to assist with blood glucose control, reduce constipation, reduce blood levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol, lower blood pressure and may help in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. It can also help you to lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer.
Are you lacking in energy, after juggling work/kids/home-life/personal commitments? Does your life feel like a marathon, from start to finish, each day?
If you answered yes, and you’re struggling to achieve a home/life balance, as I am, then it might be high time you looked at fine-tuning your diet. Never fear, help is at hand dear readers, thanks to well-regarded qualified, practicing nutritionist and passionate foodie, Jessica Cox (pictured).
Jessica is armed with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition) and more than eight years of clinical experience. She is also the founder and business owner of the successful Jessica Cox Nutritionist Clinic (JCNC), based in Brisbane. She treats all health conditions, but specialises in ongoing digestive issues and food intolerances. And here, Jessica reveals her top tips on how we can all lead a healthier, more energised and balanced life.
Q: What are the easiest and best ways women can boost their energy?
The best possible way to boost your energy is to eat regular meals throughout the day which contain a balance of your macronutrients: this being carbohydrates, protein and fats. Most importantly, starting the day with a breakfast within the first 30 minutes of rising is ideal. If this is not possible, then grab a small snack (such as a banana) to see you through to your breakfast meal, in an hour’s time at the latest.
When you start the day with a well-balanced breakfast, it ensures that your blood-sugar levels remain stable instead of dropping quite low from the get-go. By following this breakfast with regular meals and snacks through your day, you continue to keep your blood-sugar levels stable and your cells sufficiently fuelled to keep you energised.
An example of a balanced meal for breakfast would be a piece of rye toast or a sweet potato rosti (starchy, slow release carbs), plus some baby spinach (non-starchy carbs full of nutrients, though not enough slow release energy on its own), a poached egg or some smoked salmon (protein and a little fat) and some avocado (more fats).
A sweet version may be oats (starchy, slow-release carbs) plus some chia seeds, almond meal and nut butter (protein and fats) and some fresh strawberries to top (non-starchy carbs full of nutrients, though not enough slow release energy on its own). If you would like more of a breakdown of what carbohydrates, protein and fat foods are you can check out my f.a.q section on my website.
What are the top 10, best energy-boosting foods and why?
Fundamentally, the best way to boost your energy is by adhering to the above. You can eat foods rich in B vitamins and magnesium to fuel your energy levels, yet if they are not combined with enough protein or quality fats to keep you going you will still end up feeling tired. That being said, some foods quite nutrient-dense that will facilitate quality energy levels when combined with a balanced diet are:
- Brazil nuts: Rich in selenium and an important nutrient for thyroid health.
- Pumpkin seeds: Rich in the mineral zinc which is vital for hundreds of enzyme functions within the body.
- Sardines: The fishy food everyone hates! Sardines are a powerhouse of essential fatty acids, protein, calcium and zinc. Try them in my artichoke and lemon sardine smash recipe, on my website!
- Oats: These contain slow-release carbohydrates which keep us going for hours, while being a plentiful supply of B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
- Barley: Similar to oats, Barley is ideal coming into the colder weather and can be added to soups and stews. It contains plant-based iron for supporting red blood cells along with selenium.
- Red meat: Many of us are too afraid of red meat! Good-quality red meat is an abundant source of B12, Iron and B vitamins integral for red blood cell development.
- Avocado: Packed with B5 for supporting your adrenal glands and also plenty of quality fats for keeping your cell membranes healthy, avocados are a great superfood.
- Rainbow trout: Similar to salmon, trout is quite rich in omega fats, which helps keep your brain firing on all cylinders, while also being an abundant source of protein and B12.
- Sprouts: Think alfalfa, mung beans and broccoli sprouts; these little guys are jam-packed with nutrients and are an easy addition to any salad. They are also fantastic on top of peanut butter on toast!
- Tahini: What’s not to like about it? Filled with essential fats, protein and loads of calcium, this favourite spread of mine will nurture your nervous system and add a punch of creamy flavour to everything.
Bonus food – Eggs: Nature’s gift of perfection (unless you are intolerant, of course). Eggs are packed with lecithin to help support your nervous system and plenty of protein to keep you charged.
What do you think about restrictive diets? What diet is best for optimum health and energy?
Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook knows I am 100 per cent against restrictive diets, inclusive of fad diets, no matter how healthy they appear on the surface. Any restrictive diet leads to an imbalance of macronutrient intake and often results in “falling off the wagon” as a result; people usually give in to their cravings for carbs, in most cases.
Even more worrying is the destructive food relationship that goes hand-in-hand with restrictive diets. They create anxiety and fear around food and a very unhealthy relationship with eating in general. Restrictive diets can also damage our metabolism and make it even harder to shift weight as we age.
Regular, balanced eating with meals containing your macronutrientsis, by far, the best diet for optimal health and energy. A very general rule of thumb (and please keep in mind that this changes depending on your personal needs) is to fill half your plate with fresh vegetables, 1/3 with protein, the other 1/3 with a complex carbohydrate and then add a few tablespoons of a fat (Try 1/4 avocado, or some lovely oil and/or some nuts and seeds). Then, make sure your morning tea and afternoon tea snacks have some protein within them, such as some nuts and seeds (or nut/seed butters), or cheese, yoghurt or even some fish or an egg.
Images via Pixabay
We all know the type: the super-thin girl who refuses to ever eat cake, pasta, and/or bread and who never raises a glass of alcohol to her lips.
This same poor lass will rigidly order the same salad for lunch and exercise for more than two hours daily, obsessively watching her weight and food intake.
This clean eating obsession, or orthorexia, is a proposed, new eating disorder that’s increasingly common in young women and teenage girls, says leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured). Yet, it’s still not medically recognised as a bona fide eating disorder, Susie says.
“The classification for clinical disorders is clearly defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) – the official manual used by the American Psychiatric Association to classify psychological disorders, but as for any scientific definitions, there are outliers, and this is the case with this increasingly commonly seen condition – orthorexia,” she says.
Sufferers are so obsessed with clean eating they will only consume foods which are “pure” and “healthy”, and subsequently favour extremely low-calorie, unprocessed foods, which in turn kept their body weight extremely low. And while they are not malnourished, young girls and women with orthorexia customarily suffer from anxiety, low moods and depression.
So, is there a cure? Orthorexia sufferers need a more balanced and nutritious diet, plus good therapy to help them to identify and manage their emotions, rather than using food and exercise as an escape from them, Susie says.
And Christine Morgan, CEO of the Butterfly Foundation and national director of The National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) concurs. “Orthorexia is a recognised illness and is being treated by eating disorders specialists in Australia,” Christine says. “However, it is not as yet officially recognised as a specific eating disorder.
“Anyone who obsessively manages the consumption of whole food groups is at risk of nutritional deprivation.” So, when does healthy eating go too far?
Top Warning Signs Of Orthorexia
- You skip social occasions for fear of having to eat food you have not prepared.
- Your skin is dull and your hair is falling out.
- You have lost your period.
- You feel constantly tired.
- You have been experiencing recurrent injuries.
- You will only eat a very limited range of foods, like fruit and vegetables, and are inordinately obsessed with these foods.
- You never eat cake or enjoy an alcoholic drink.
- You exercise for more than two hours a day.
- People are constantly commenting that you look too thin.
- You are still not happy with your body no matter what you eat or how much you exercise.
- You feel guilty when not following strict rules about meals and, conversely, virtuous when eating “correctly”.
- You experience social isolation in group-dining settings.
- You avoid situations that might involve “processed” foods.
If you need help and support, phone the Butterfly Foundation National Supportline on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or visit their website.
Images via panosplatritis.com, healthology.com.au, howcast.com
They say you are what you eat, so give your skin the extra help it needs by investing in delicious fruits and vegetables to make it shine from the inside out. Clueless about where to begin? Our easy guide below mentions a few options which should be in your shopping cart each week.
While we’re all aware that oranges are packed with vitamin C, did you actually know they are also a great source of natural collagen? Squeeze 2-3 oranges every morning and use them as a daily scrub to nourish the skin.
Although it might not be to your liking, spinach is another vegetable which is also packed with vitamin C. Enjoy it with your eggs, in a salad, or even in a green smoothie.
Ranked as one of the number one source of antioxidants in berries, these delicious little fruits will keep your hair, skin, and nails looking healthy.
Did you know that the secret anti-ageing properties of tomatoes are better absorbed when a dish is cooked rather than raw? Keep the pantry full of canned tomatoes and use them in your fresh and healthy pasta sauce!
Since kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, you know it has to be good for you! One kiwi fruit a day is enough to keep your wrinkles away, and prevent anti-ageing.
The mention of kale might be a touchy subject for some, but you can’t deny that it’s great for clear skin. Boasting a plethora of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K from memory), no wonder it’s good for your skin!
On to something a little sweeter, cherries have high levels of polyphenols which actually help to clear simple blemishes.
Did you know that figs are packed with fibre and potassium, which clears any skin issues and helps to detox the body from the inside out? Well now you do.
While this superfood is usually used as a main ingredient for detoxing, it also has significant benefits for fighting against skin damage and premature ageing. Add a few slices into your daily juice for that extra healthy kick each morning.
Image via Redbook Magazine
It’s been one party of a silly season and a really festive summer. Between the late night cocktails with your gal pals and the continuous weekend dining that has carried over from Christmas and the New Year, not to mention the Valentine’s Day chocolates and the Easter eggs that have been sneaking into your shopping trolley, the weight is finally starting to catch up with you and no matter how hard you try to keep exercising, it just doesn’t seem to work.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’ and to a certain point it is true. It’s very hard to maintain a great bod solely with exercise when your eating isn’t exactly healthy. Many women start diets by trying to eat healthy, without doing much research into what they’re actually eating, thinking that it will help them lose weight. Other women go into diets thinking that restricting calories and eating the lowest calories options will make them skinny.
There is a problem with both of these options. By not doing research into what you’re eating, you risk eating sneaky sugars and fats that creep into ‘healthy’ options to make them taste appetising. By restricting your calorie intake too much and essentially starving yourself, not only are you going to put the weight back on when you start eating more again, but you’re losing essential nutrients that your body needs to be healthy.
There are so many options that you can eat during the day that are full of nutrients, are healthy and taste delicious! By simply swapping some food choices, you can eat healthy, get the nutrients you need, feel full and feel great!
Nutritionist, Vitasoy ambassador and chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin of Channel Ten’s ‘Good Chef Bad Chef’ (she’s obvs the good one), says: “Nutrients are important for growth and development, and are vital especially when you’re trying to look and feel good. It’s about balance and being clever with sourcing your nutrients.”
“Motivation to look and feel good is top of mind early in the year, as we assess our health and eating goals for the year ahead. Elimination diets are very popular at the moment, but does following these eating plans mean you’re missing out on important nutrients?” she asks.
Let’s have a look at Zoe’s Top 5 food swaps to maximise the nutrients your body is receiving and help you look and feel your best.
Swap meat protein for plant-based protein. Flexitarianism, or part-time vegetarianism, is a favourite amongst Australians, meaning many are giving up meat throughout the week. But it’s important to keep your protein and iron levels in check, as these help with tissue building and repair, immune system health and oxygen supply for your blood and brain.
Long gone is the stigma that protein and iron is only found in meat; a huge range of protein sources exist. One of these, and one of my favourites, is soy, legumes, and the many derivatives and exciting recipes that can be created using them. One of my favourite recipes is for Chickpea and Sweet Potato Burgers. Made from chickpeas (a plant-based protein) and using Vitasoy Soy Milky Lite (that contains 15% of your RDI of protein per serve), these burgers are real crowd pleasers.
Look beyond sugar and at the bigger picture. Sugar is such a hot-topic at the moment, and the question is do we really need to give it up? It is important that we monitor the amount of added sugar in our diets. We can do this by checking the ingredients list on the foods we eat. Foods that feature ingredients like sugar, cane sugar, honey, brown rice syrup and fruit juice concentrate near the top of the list are foods I’d recommend eating in moderation.
Sugar is a very complicated and complex area with many conflicting opinions. I’d recommend looking beyond sugar to the whole picture, with a focus on nutrient-dense foods. For example, although fruit may contain natural sugars like glucose and fructose, fruit provides us with a range of vitamins, minerals, fibre and plant antioxidants, that can also be beneficial for good health.
Swap High GI foods for Low GI foods. We need carbs in our diet, despite many recent misconceptions. I recommend that complex, unprocessed carbohydrates are a staple in everyone’s diet as they are your body’s main source of fuel and are vital for the function of your kidney’s brain, muscles and heart.
Try swapping High GI carbohydrates for Low GI carbohydrates. These are foods with a glycaemic index of 55 or less that help keep your body energised throughout the day. Low GI foods include soy products, beans, milk, pasta, grainy bread, quinoa, porridge and lentils. A breakfast favourite in my household is the Soft Quinoa Hashbrowns – offering us carbs AND protein (also in quinoa).
Swap cow’s milk for calcium-fortified plant milk. Veganism is another highly popular diet, made famous by celebrities such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Key to the diet is cutting out dairy, but how do you keep up your calcium intake?
Today, we can find a huge range of plant milks on supermarket shelves, many of them calcium-fortified. Plus, plant milks like soymilk contain a powerhouse of nutritious benefits; Vitasoy Soymilk contains the goodness of calcium and protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. I love the taste of soymilk as it’s so nutty and creamy, and it’s one of my favourite plant milks to cook with. Plus, there’s no harm in having both cow and plant milks in your fridge! Look out for brands like Vitasoy, that provide high quality, vegan friendly soymilks, that are non-genetically modified, made from whole soybeans and with no artificial colours or preservatives.
5. Fats and oils
Swap bad fats for good fats. Many Australians have also recently been shying away from fat, with low fat diets widely considered the answer to losing weight. But, our diet actually needs good fats to protect our hearts and support our overall health. If assessing your eating goals, try swapping bad fats for good fats. Trans fat falls under the “bad fats” umbrella, while monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the “good fats”. For example, try swapping margarine for avocado on your toast in the morning. And check this article out for a reminder for what oils you should be using in the kitchen.
We all want to look and feel our best, but next time you’re assessing your eating goals, consider how you can keep your nutrition in check through simple food swaps. Consider where you might be able find nutrients and experiment in the kitchen – you never know what you might discover.
Image via Kidney Buzz
Ever wanted to create a stable eating plan which gives you a smoking-hot body, where you can have your cake and eat it too?
If It Fits Your Macros or (IIFYM) is simply just a diet which is altered to your body (and your body only). The entire eating plan is structured around macronutrients which are mostly proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which each play a role in a balanced, healthy diet.
What does it mean?
IIFYM is a diet which is tailored to you and your lifestyle – this is not a one size fits all approach. Rather than a strict ‘clean eating’ regime, the idea of IIFYM is fairly straightforward, and won’t have you starving between meals. You can essentially eat whatever you like, as long as it contains protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
How can I lose weight this way?
Most diets teach you that it’s all about portion control, rather than sticking to a strict eating plan in the first place. If you fulfil your daily requirements of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, your body will be able to feel nourished regardless of what you eat afterwards. It’s all about finding a happy medium, and making sure that there is a balance of good meals such as chicken and veggies, but also something else which you can indulge in every now and then during the week.
Does this mean I have to count calories?
Not exactly. Only you will be able to understand whether you body feels nourished, but this doesn’t really mean you should stick to a strict calorie intake per-day. Balance out your meals by choosing a healthier alternative which won’t make your body feel bloated and sick afterwards. If you want to indulge in a burger and fries, choose a bun-less burger, or simply one with lettuce instead of white bread.
What will an average day look like?
A classic IIFYM eating plan can vary for each individual, but it’s important to keep your body nourished by eating lots of protein for your main meals. Chicken breast, eggs, Greek yoghurt, beef, salmon, and broccoli are all examples of what you can expect in this diet.
As with any other diet or eating plan, it’s more about exploring what is beneficial for your body, rather than sticking to a strict ‘raw food’ regime. Make sure to stay fit and exercise weekly, give your body a break when it needs it, and you will watch the kilograms drop off within just a few months.
Image via Dessert For Two
Would you try an eating plan which only last 2 weeks, and is designed to make you feel happy all the time? The S Factor Diet takes hormones into consideration to make your body feel it’s best, rather than depleting the body of serotonin – which often leads to mood swings and binge eating.
How does it work?
The S Factor Diet is specially created by Lowri Turner to balance your hormones, and include foods which will have your mind and body feeling satisfied, not starved. In the early stages, you have to participate in a short questionnaire which determines the types of hormones that are causing your body to gain all the extra weight. It’s main objective is to prove that some hormones could actually be the cause of all your cravings!
How long does it last?
A 14-day food plan is all the time you need to get your diet back on track, and eliminate food and drinks which are causing your body to pack on the kilograms. Even though it may seem like a short period of time, there are many tips and tricks you can incorporate into your lifestyle after the diet is over.
What can I eat?
The diet is split into two stages which focus firstly on fat consumption, and then on achieving a consistent weight loss. This basically means that you’ll be eating approximately 1000-1600 calories a day between both phases.
An average day consists three main meals which are mostly high in protein, and will help to maximise your weight loss. Eggs, fish, and vegetables are all important parts of the S Factor Diet, since they control cravings, and leave you feeling full and content for longer.
What can’t I eat?
On the 14 day eating plan, it is advised that you avoid processed sugar, dairy products, and to an extent, foods which contain gluten.
Image via Independent
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
- Extreme weight loss
- Cardiac complications
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
When we snack between meals we disrupt our normal eating cycle, we put a lot of pressure on the digestive system to process the food quickly. This could lead to the development of digestive disorders and weight gain. Managing your weight does not have to be a tough task and it doesn’t mean you need to go hungry between meals. While some go completely cold turkey and wait for their body to stop craving a certain food altogether, this is not necessarily the best option. Here are five simple tips to satisfy your stomach throughout the day.
If you feel yourself getting hungry between breakfast lunch and dinner, try consuming six small meals a day as opposed to three main meals. This will help increase energy levels and curb cravings.
Pack in the protein
Eating foods that are high in protein is a great way to feel full between meals and it will prevent you from reaching for that chocolate bar or packet of chips in the late afternoon. Try a calorie-controlled, high-protein snack, such as IsoWhey Protein Pops, for a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth as well as hunger pains.
Mix it up
If you’ve got a sugar craving that just won’t ease, allow yourself to mix in a small amount of what you are craving along with a healthy option. For example try mixing a handful of unsalted almonds with chocolate chips – not only will you satisfy your cravings, you will also receive healthy nutrients from “good” foods.
Sometimes when our bodies are dehydrated, we are tricked into thinking that we are hungry. Keep a jug of water by your desk side and if you feel hungry drink a large glass of water first and wait for 10 minutes – this will keep your hydration levels up and if you still feel the need to snack, you’re more likely to eat less.
Up to 85 per cent of us are failing to reach the recommended daily quota of five serves of vegetables a day. Try cutting up a mix of your favourite veggies and keep them chilled for a crisp snack on-the-go that’s not only low in fat but is a great source of nutrients.
Be sure to fill your body with nutrients and protein rather than filling your body with empty calories. As tempting as a sugary treat may be, it won’t satisfy your hunger pain and could lead to a dangerous binge! Listen to your body and always look to healthy alternatives to ensure healthy eating habits for life.
By celebrity nutritionist/chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin
Healthy eating is always a good thing, but it’s never more important than when you’re expecting! Having a pregnancy diet plan can make a huge difference in how you feel as well as your baby’s development. Now that you’re eating for two, you need to make every calorie count.
Even if you’ve never given much thought to what you’re eating before, now is the time to start formulating a food plan, one that you can stick to for nine months. Here are a few tips for creating your own personal pregnancy diet plan. You have lots of choices—just choose wisely!
No empty calories
If you’re a junk food junkie, kick that habit now! Fast food, sugary snacks and soft drinks are all full of calories but woefully lacking in nutrients. Purge these from your diet and replace them with healthy foods and snacks.
Build your plan around lean protein
Protein is the “building block” of human cells, which makes getting enough very important for your baby’s development. Aim for three servings, or about 75 grams, of protein each day. Concentrate on lean protein sources like poultry, seafood, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods, plus non-animal sources such as whole grain breads and cereals.
Get variety with your veggies
Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins and minerals essential to your baby’s cell growth, so aim for several servings per day. Try for a mix of green and yellow veggies, and serve some of them raw for extra fibre. Fruits are also fabulous for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Grains are great
Whole grains provide vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, so feel free to enjoy several servings per day of corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, quinoa, and legumes. These complex carbs also have the added advantages of fighting both nausea and constipation. Avoid simple grains like white bread, white rice and baked goods.
Cut down on fats and salt
While you don’t have to ban all fats from your pregnancy diet plan, you should keep a close eye on how much you’re consuming. Watch out for the “hidden fats” like mayo in salads, butter on toast and oil in cooked veggies. You should also cut back on salt intake to discourage those pesky swollen ankles.
Get enough vitamins and minerals
You should be taking a pre-natal vitamin supplement every day as well as eating foods high in nutrients. Be sure to consume lots of iron-rich foods like spinach, soy products and dried fruits. Plus, get the vitamin C you need from citrus fruits as well as kiwi, mango, strawberries, melon, capsicum, tomatoes and asparagus.
With a little planning, you can put together a pregnancy diet plan that’s super healthy for both you and baby!
We lead busy lives, and sometimes convenience rules the way we shop. We show you how to transform 5 everyday foods that are quicker, cheaper and healthier to make at home than buy.
We know what it’s like: friends are coming over and it’s easy to pick up a few dips and chips. But it’s even quicker – and cheaper – to make your own fresh hummus.
1 minute hummus: Place a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp tahini, the juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and blend in a food processor till smooth and fluffy. Sprinkle over a dash of smoked paprika and chopped coriander.
It’s January so a lot of us have salad on the brain. Commercial salad dressings might seem like an easy way to perk up that bowl of vegetables, but most are laden with fats, preservatives and other nasties.
Make it at home: For a classic, zingy dressing, whisk together the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Making a potato salad? Whisk together a small tub of plain yogurt, 3 tbsp capers, 1 tsp sambal oelek or chilli sauce and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Or for a lighter Caesar salad dressing, pound 2 garlic cloves and 2 anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar, then incorporate 1/2 a cup buttermilk and 2 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise. Loosen with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Each dressing takes less than 2 minutes to make.
Have you noticed that microwave popcorn leaves a whole lot of popcorn – unpopped? What a waste! Not to mention the huge amount of artificial butter flavourings and salt! Buy popcorn kernels (much cheaper than microwave popcorn) and with only 1 tbsp of oil and 5 minutes on the stovetop you’ll have a bounty of super-crunchy popcorn that you can season to taste.
Seasoned popcorn ideas: Melt truffle butter while you cook the popcorn, then toss in a large bowl to combine. Grate parmesan cheese over hot popcorn with a handful of rosemary spears. Or sprinkle shimichi togarashi, an aromatic Japanese 7-spice seasoning, for the ultimate movie snack.
When I switched from chocolate bars to shop-bought fruit salad as my afternoon snack, I felt like I deserved a huge pat on the back for eating healthier. And while hitting your local juice bar for a container of fruit salad is convenient, it’s not very smart for your wallet. Shop-bought fruit salad has a mark-up of around 500%, and making your own fruit salad takes less than 2 minutes.
Sexy fruit salad: Chop up your favourite fruits into bite-size pieces. Aim for different colours and textures – passionfruit pulp, halved cherries, tangerine segments – then add some finely sliced mint or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
In desperation for a quick meal, I’ve stocked my freezer with pre-shaped burger patties. But at around $6 for 4 thin patties, that’s at least double what making them from scratch are, and I love adding my own seasonings.
Tasty burger patties: Use any mince you like – turkey makes a healthy alternative to beef, or mix up lamb and pork for a really succulent burger. To 500g mince, add 1 egg, 1/2 grated onion, 1 tbsp chopped thyme, 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs. Shape into patties, then push a cube of mozzarella or feta cheese into the centre, enclosing meat around the cheese. Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes, then cook on the BBQ or pan-fry.
1. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables Think colour when eating fruit and vegetables. Eating a variety of different colours gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients like vitamin A, C, potassium, magnesium and fibre. 2. Limit processed foods, sugar and saturated fats Most of your energy comes from the quality of the foods you eat. Natural foods will ensure that you’ll feel more energised and more able to keep on top of your busy Christmas plans. 3. Drink water In Australia, Christmas can be one of our hottest periods of the summer. Don’t fall into the trap of spending the day racing around, not thinking about your hydration levels. Drink plenty of fluids (not sugary ones!) to keep yourself hydrated and you will concentrate better, look better and feel better. Quick tip: Start your day with 25% lemon juice in warm water – a great source of vitamin C! 4. Don’t overindulge All those delicious offerings can be tempting, but you’ll enjoy it more if you keep your portions small. Focus on the taste and not the quantity. Too many sweets and rich food can be hard for your body to process, resulting in headaches, stomach pain, and a feeling of sluggishness. Be sure to practice moderation when it comes to food and your body will thank you. 5.Have healthy snacks handy Why not freeze some berries into ice cubes and add them to your drink or have as an ice block? There are many beautiful fruits in season now—mango, nectarines, peaches, apricots—why not slice some up and arrange them artfully on a snack tray? Quick tip: When preparing a meal, aim to have 60% salad on your plate. 6. Keep up your regular exercise plan Regular movement is important to keep the body healthy and well tuned. Exercise increases the metabolism, gives a feeling of wellbeing and is known to give you more energy. You’ll find those tired, stressed feelings can disappear with a simple walk or yoga stretching. 7. Be sure to get enough sleep and relaxation You can’t handle all the tasks of the Christmas period along with your normal work and lifestyle if you don’t give yourself the chance to rest. Practising meditation or listening to a relaxation tape for 15 minutes can do wonders to restore your vitality. Quick tip: Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake to ensure a good night’s sleep. 8. Remember what the holidays are all about As the list of things to do grows longer and time grows shorter, it is easy to lose sight of what is important to us at this time. Don’t forget what Christmas and the holidays mean to you. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by all your holiday preparations take a moment to yourself and put everything back in perspective.
- Start slowly, add a little each day and build up to the recommended level. Simultaneously, add more water to your diet.
- Eat vegetables and fruit raw whenever possible. Boiling them too long, for example can cause up to one-half of the fibre to be lost in the water. Steam or stir-fry them if you have to cook.
- Pureeing doesn’t destroy fibre, but juice does not have the fibre of the whole fruit if the pulp has been strained away.
- Always start your day with a bowl of high-fibre cereal one that has five or more grams per serving.
- Put fresh fruit on top of your high-fibre cereal to add another 1g or 2 g of fibre to your daily intake.
- Choose whole-wheat pasta or brown rice over the white variety.
- Add beans to salads, soups and stews.
- Add bran cereal to muffins, breads and curries. Substitute oat bran for one-third of the all-purpose flour in baking.
- When you eat out, ask for fresh fruit instead of dessert.
- Have fruit or fresh vegetables for between-meal snacks instead of chips and lollies.
Here’s a sample daily menu that will definitely provide you with tons of fibre: Breakfast: Whole-grain cereal with fresh fruit, juice and milk.
Snack: Pear or apple with skin.
Lunch: Turkey on whole wheat and an apple with its skin.
Snack: Tuck into 3 cups of air-popped popcorn.
Dinner: Salmon, baked potato with its jacket, cup steamed broccoli and frozen yoghurt with blueberries.