4 Easy Ways To Eat More Fruit And Veges

It’s a shame that coffee isn’t considered a serve of fruit and veges because that I have no problem consuming! I have struggled getting the recommended 5 veg and 2 fruit serves into me every day though. It’s not that I don’t like them either. It’s just seems an awful lot of food.

RELATED: Using Psychology Instead Of Diets To Control Your Weight

So having reached the mature side of forty, I’ve become increasingly aware of my eating habits. The diet’s not too bad, but it’s when I eat that seems to be the major problem. Only eating once or twice a day really limits the amount I can eat, so the thought of consuming 5 serves of veggies in one meal is just ridiculous.

Thankfully things have changed so, I’d like to share my tips on ways to get these goodies into you. If a confirmed one-two meal a day person can do it, you can too!

Liquid form

If the thought of eating during the day or between meals make your stomach want to repel it, projectile style, you’ll need to adapt the form of fruit and veges you consume. I’m talking about vegetable juice, smoothies, V8 juice and alike. Homemade is great but don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ll actaully do it if you never have before. Go and spend the cash on pre-made varieties rather than buying fresh produce and throwing it out in a week or two. I’m actually saving you money here.

Ideally have it for breakfast, lunch or anywhere in between. It’s awesome as a 3pm pick up when your energy is at it’s lowest. Try not to drink it after 3pm if you do plan to have a main meal later in the evening because it’s very filling.

Cut and graze

Now, being a non-grazer for 40 years, I’ve discover that cutting up fruit and veggies and leaving it in front of me, just like I used to do with my kids, is a great way to get these in. It’s got to be enjoyable finger food though or it will just be thrown out.

If raw veggies aren’t a favourite, thrown them in the microwave with a dash of water for a bit. You can buy prepared varieties or cut it up yourself. Who cares, just nibble away at them and by the end of the day, they plate will hopefully be empty.


If you’re having a meal with some sort of sauce or gravy, add finely chopped veges to it. You’ll hardly know they are there and neither will the family. I do this with heaps of different recipes even if they don’t include them. There are plenty of different varieties so find something which will blend in.

Smother and disguise

If plain veges don’t float ya boat, smother them in some sort of sauce, condiment or something to disguise them. I steam a large amount of seasonal veggies, make a low-fat white sauce to cover them and place them in the oven. If your watching your weight, watch the amount of cheese you consume. It might be tempting to add cheese to this dish, but you will be adding a lot of fat, so just be aware of that. This freezers really well and makes for a great side-dish. That is, if you have any left after the family devours it all!

It’s a simple matter of retraining the way you eat. Mix it up, get some variety happening and before long it will become a habit and those 5 veges and 2 fruit serves will no longer be an issue.

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January 27, 2015

Top 5 Dieting Myths Dispelled

Is your head swarming with conflicting healthy eating and nutritional advice from your GP, personal trainer, friendship circle and more? It can be very hard to ascertain what’s right and complete bunkum when it comes to food, glorious food.

RELATED: Kickstart A New You With A 30-Day Dietitian Plan

Never fear, dear reader: here, leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell, who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, sorts fact from fiction when it comes to what we should – and should not – be putting in our mouths as we embark on a healthier, happier 2015.

Myth 1: Is eating bread really the antichrist? What if I’m trying to lose weight?

It’s not the bread, but which type and what we have it with that’s the problem. For example, thick Turkish toast with butter, or massive sandwiches and large wraps which can be equivalent to four slices of regular bread. You can easily lose weight with two small slices of Burgen Soy-Lin or lower carb bread each day.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 2: Am I failing at life if, like celebrity Sarah Wilson, I can’t give up sugar?

The thing with Wilson’s “quitting sugar” campaign is that it is based on a random set of rules and beliefs which mean you don’t quit sugar at all, but rather restrict a number of key foods that reduce carbs and calories significantly. And severe restriction always leads to deprivation and binging. A more sustainable and healthy approach is to simply cut out processed foods.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 3: Celebrity chef Pete Evans has his own TV show advocating the paleo diet. Is this now the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight?

Any diet will work if people stick to it and a couple of issues with the paleo diet is the cutting out of key food groups which can mean some nutrient groups like calcium and our B group vitamins suffer and for most people it is very difficult to sustain. I would argue, based on research, that a Mediterranean approach with lots and lots of vegetables is the healthiest way to lose weight.

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Myth 4: My GP says I should eat three big meals a day and nothing more. Is this the best way to keep the weight off?

Healthy eating is about finding out whatever works best for you, but less snacking with three-to-four meals and nothing in between is a good way to control calories and reduce the intake of little extras through the day.

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Myth 5: Are treat days a slippery slope to obesity? Are treats only for toddlers, not adults?

Have treat meals, not treat days! Treat meals can include one-to-two a week and one extra – not a binge! Treat meals don’t have to spell dieting disaster. In fact, a well-structured cheat meal can help you overcome weight-loss plateaus. And, most importantly, remember it is a cheat meal, not a cheat day or a binge!

The Ultimate Chocolate Muffin Dessert

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is packed full of info and advice on finding and keeping your motivation, getting psychologically ready to take control of your weight and more. Visit Visit

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January 24, 2015

Kickstart A New You With A 30-Day Dietitian Plan

Have you ever fantasised about how much quicker you’d achieve your weight-loss goals if you could make like a celebrity and have unlimited access to a dietitian, personal trainer, nutritionist, chef and more? Me too, sigh.

While she can’t offer you all of those services, leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) is promising her new program, Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, is like having your own personal dietitian by your side to help you make healthy choices and better achieve your wellness and weight-loss goals. This would sure come in handy at Christmas too, right?

RELATED: Dieting Myths: Facts Vs Fiction

Susie is determined, via her new program, to decode confusing nutrition advice and offer one-on-one service which takes into consideration your personal preferences and dietary requirements. The dietitian/nutrionist is a spokeswoman for the Dieticians Association of Australia and a media commentator on diet, weight loss and nutrition. She is the author of three books and blogs regularly at

“Each plan is specifically designed for the needs and goals of each client, with a range of diet options available,” she says. “I have some clients who message me 100 times a day. I offer persoanlised service, 24/7. Shape Me is meant to be dietitian direct not a whole body transformation.”

Options include gluten-free, flat belly, insulin-resistant and low fodmap diets for IBS sufferers. Plus, there’s some 700 recipes you can draw inspiration from (pictured). What’s more, Susie’s online program also provides access to her e-Books, blog, and a community forum. Cost is $99 for 30 days. Visit

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Q & A with Susie Burrell

What sets Shape Me apart from other diet plans? Shape Me has been designed as your own personal dietitian. Not only is every single meal plan individualised based on activity, food preferences and specific dietary requirements, but you have unlimited access to a dietitian (me), allowing you to ask any questions at any time. It is your one-stop diet shop.

Who is your core customer? Shape Me is designed for busy people who spend lots of time online and who like to have resources and diet guides readily available, but who do not necessarily have the time or money to invest in actually seeing a dietitian. Shape Me is designed to support weight loss and healthy eating long-term.

How does a 30-day plan provide real and sustainable healthy eating habit-changers? Shape Me is anything you want it to be ­– if you want to be making meals each night from a large variety of recipes, it caters for you. If you want to eat the same thing every day, it caters for you. There are no special meals or foods or recipes you have to make, it is simply easy to prepare meals based on calorie controlled meals that you can follow forever.

Does having 24hr access to you, make this diet plan more achievable? It simply offers the support so many of us need when we embark on any new program, so if you are unsure, need to fine tune your plan, have gone off the rails or simply need a little more motivation, you can talk to me directly online.

You’ve been a dietician for almost 15 years. What’s best and worst about the job? I love meeting people and hearing all about their lives and working out how to build them a strong nutrition platform to help them be at their best every single day. The worst is knowing that people are not in the right mindset to achieve their nutrition and weight-loss goals, but still having to see them and try and help them to identify their motivation.

What’s the ultimate professional thrill for you? Any unfulfilled burning ambitions? I love what I do, and after a great day of seeing clients I am feeling on top of the world, but if I am honest ultimately I would like to write books that sell well, that tap into a specific area of weight loss and are really useful to people, ideally in a market bigger than Australia. That will be the ultimate achievement for me in my career.

Why do you think there’s so much confusion about dieting and weight loss out there? Everyone is an expert and social media has given people who should not have a voice on these topics, and who are not qualified to be talking about diets, the opportunity to do so. Then, the messages become about the hype and marketing, not the science and what is applicable in the real world. Diets makes a lot of people a lot of quick dollars and the consumer needs to remember that before they become a convert to yet another restrictive fad diet peddled by someone who needs to make a quick buck.

Who should the public steer clear of when it comes to diet and nutrition advice? The completely unqualified individuals such as chefs who have completed a health course and/or journalists or simply individuals who have lost weight themselves preaching specific dietary recommendations we need to be wary of.

What are some of the worst eating habits you deplore? People wasting their calories by making silly choices, such as large milk coffees (no one needs a large coffee) which are 200-300 calories – the equivalent of a small meal – and “healthy” recipes packed with brown rice malt syrup, coconut oil and coconut sugar. I mean, c’mon!

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

December 21, 2014

Are Weight–Loss Shakes Bogus And Bad For Your Health?

Looking for a quick fix to help you shed some kilos over summer before the Christmas party season? Many women turn to meal replacement, or weight-loss shakes, at this time of year, thinking it’s an easy way to squeeze back into that favourite LBD.

RELATED: Dieting Myths: Fact Vs Fiction

But are these meal-replacement shakes really the answer? And can they even be dangerous – doing more harm than good to your body? I’ve heard many a PT bemoan the perils of such shakes, saying they’re only a dodgy short-term fix and nothing replaces the benefits of a good diet and regular exercise.

And earlier this month, a new survey revealed one in five Australians believe weight-loss shakes are actually making them fatter.

Yep – fatter!? Customer satisfaction research company Canstar Blue says it surveyed 750 dieting Aussies who’d bought weight-loss shakes. It found that 21 per cent had put on weight as a result of using them. The research also revealed one in 10 dieters was addicted to the shakes and only 58 per cent had successfully lost weight by using them.

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However, Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell says she recommends meal replacements for “some clients” including breakfast skippers, busy executives who often miss meals and people who need a weight loss kick-start after finding themselves unable to shed those stubborn kilos.

She says meal replacements can “get positive results using them in clinical practice for weight loss.” But – armed with a science degree and 10 years clinical experience working in weight loss – Susie stresses that the type of meal replacements she advocates are not the protein shake kind.

“A meal replacement is a scientifically formulated product that contains similar macronutrients to that of a meal (20-30g total carbohydrate) as well as a full micronutrient profile with far fewer calories than that of a meal,” she says.

“Meal replacements were originally formulated and used with patients who were in need of rapid weight loss prior to surgery, when completely replacing all meals controlled calorie and carbohydrate intake to such an extent that the patient was put into ketosis and were able to lose weight rapidly.

“While still used for this purpose, meal replacements are also commonly used on many diet programs with the same goal, helping individuals to control calorie intake as well as being used as a meal option for meals which are commonly missed, such as breakfast.”

weight-loss shakes, meal replacements, summer eating plan

But as for the longevity of using meal replacements, Susie says they are a tool, not the answer and must be used under the supervision of a dietician so as to not damage your metabolism long-term.

“If people find them a convenient option as a breakfast alternative, fantastic, but replacing all your meals with no fresh food does not teach you to eat well and control your weight long-term, hence I only suggest them for two meals per day max,” she says.

Susie offers a 30-day personalised diet plan via In addition, she’s just launched a whole range of e-books to complement the online program. Visit

What do you think? Do weight-loss shakes or meal replacements work?

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November 3, 2014

6 Ways to Stay Healthy Over Summer

Struggling to maintain a healthy weight over the festive season? Weight loss expert Kylie Ryan gives us her top tips for keeping your motivation in check over summer.

1. Get really clear on why you want to stay healthy and slim
Without a BIG why, the cake will look really tempting. You need a really good reason to say no. Ask yourself why do I really want to be slim and healthy until you get an answer that no piece of cake could argue with. Maybe you want to live a long and healthy life so you can enjoy your grandchildren in years to come, maybe you don’t want to be forced into dramatic weight loss surgery – or hey, maybe because you want to look fantastic in that bikini – choose your reason and remember it next time the chips and dip come around.

2. Decide what you are going to eat and drink before you walk into a party
If your gran makes an amazing cake, and you want some, decide that you will have some of that, and then don’t eat other sweets or chips. It’s your indecision that leads to overeating. Decide beforehand, and practice your response when someone offers you something.  Repeat after me – “No thank you. It looks delicious, but I’m full.” Say it with clear voice and a friendly smile but don’t leave any room for arguments.

3. Stay away from the snack and chips tables
Get yourself a drink, take a deep breath and go and talk to someone. If you’re a bit shy, remember that nobody wants to be alone at a party – your friendly approach might be a lifesaver to someone else! If you see someone alone, go up to them and introduce yourself. You could start off by asking my favourite party line – “So tell me, what are you passionate about?”

4. Resist the temptation to try everything at a smorgasbord
Remember your portion sizes, why you are staying healthy and keep your plate small. When you first get the thought, I’m full. Stop eating.

5. Drink water
Wine spritzers are a great way to look festive without over-drinking. Limit your alcohol to 2 standard drinks. If you think you’ll be tempted, drive to the event, so there is no option to drink too much.

6. Get some exercise in with your family and visiting relatives
Soccer, cricket, running around with toddlers are all fun family games that will help you to break a sweat and keep fit.

Kylie Ryan is one of Australia’s leading weight loss motivation experts, inspiring women via her weight loss mindset blog and her Goddess Body Quest 8-week mindset program.

How do you stay healthy over summer?

December 30, 2013