Healthy-eating

What I Learned Growing Up Being The “Skinny Bitch”

Size is just a number. Health is priceless.

8 Surprising Things I Learned About Healthy Eating In Paris

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” – Julia Child

Why Healthy People Are So Miserable

Turns out being skinny isn’t everything.

How Poor Parents Sabotage Their Kids’ Health

Junk food may come cheap, but the cost of your child’s health is steep.

What To Eat Before And After A Workout

To get the best results from your workout, it’s best to monitor what to eat before and after you hit the gym. Beforehand, you should try and eat at least 30 minutes before your planned workout.

RELATED: Post-Workout Dos And Dont’s

Eating before you workout is important in kick starting your metabolism, especially if you exercise first thing in the morning. Having said that, nobody wants to go jogging on a full stomach – so keep your pre-workout meal light and easily digestible.

Recommended pre-workout meals:

After your workout is when you want to replenish your lost energy. Protein and carbohydrates are key during this time, in order to repair your worked muscles and restore your sugars. You should eat somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour after you finish exercising (don’t forget to stretch!). For the time-poor, try a protein shake or bar.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

Smoked Trout Patties With Boiled Egg And Caper Salad

If you’re stuck for an easy dinner recipe and desperate to try something new, these smoked trout patties could be just what you’re looking for. Tasty and healthy, they’re a great winter alternative to that big bowl of pasta, and did we mention that they’re really, really easy to make? We’ve even provided a link to James Eaton’s boiled egg peeling how-to at the bottom of the page, just in case!

RELATED: Corn And Zucchini Fritters With Poached Eggs Recipe

Ingredients

Patties

8 eggs, 2 egg yolks for mix, 6 eggs for boiling

500g potatoes

400g boneless hot smoked trout fillets

¼ bunch chives, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup flour

1 cup breadcrumbs or panko crumb

Oil for frying

Salad

2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

¼ red onion, finely diced

¼ bunch dill, chopped

1 tsp small capers

1 tsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Peal and boil potatoes until cooked. Drain well and mash.
  2. Flake the smoked trout into the mash and season. Separate two eggs, adding the egg yolks and chives to the mash mix – keep the egg whites for crumbing.
  3. Mix well and form into eight patties.
  4. Roll patties in flour, lightly whisked egg whites and bread crumbs then set aside.
  5. Combine all salad ingredients, checking seasoning and adjusting if necessary.
  6. Soft boil the eggs, refresh under running water and peel. Cut eggs in half and set aside.
  7. Add oil to frying pan and heat. Gently fry patties on both sides.
  8. Place patties onto a plate, serving with boiled egg and garnish with cucumber salad.

Peel an egg in under 10 seconds here.

How To Clean Up A Dirty Diet

As the cold weather creeps back in, so does the diet that we try so hard to avoid over summer. Shorts are swapped for sweats, while salads are swapped for spaghetti as we stock up on warm, comfort food to try and survive through the chilly days and nights.

RELATED: Can Food Diaries Encourage Eating Disorders?

Comfort food often starts out innocently, with a bit more pasta, and a bit more rice turning into comfort snacks like chocolate and chips during the day, and late night desserts in the evening. During winter, our previously clean diet can turn very, very dirty, but instead of waiting until the end to clean it up, why not feel and look great all year round?

If your diet has started to get a little off track lately, there are a few easy tips that you can follow to start to clean up those eating habits and kick that sluggish feeling through winter.

Make simple swaps

Start to swap back your unhealthy choices for those that will benefit your body. You can switch your morning latte for a peppermint tea to warm you up before work, and/or change your rice for quinoa. Try to add more protein instead of carbohydrates and if you’re feeling cold, try some minestrone soup for comfort instead of a creamy chicken pie.

Another great tip is to switch the chips for a salad if you’re having a night out, to limit the amount of fried foods you’ll be having.

Relax sometimes

Just because you eat healthy, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a treat once in a while. The recommended 80 per cent healthy, 20 per cent cheat meals, means that you can have a couple of treats a week. However, try to stick to one day of the weekend to treat yourself to create a habit of eating well for most of the week. It will give you something to look forward to.

Get it out of the house

Get rid of the snacks that are lurking in your cupboard for when you get home from work. And I don’t mean get rid of them by eating them, though it’s not like I haven’t made that mistake before! You really have to control yourself at this point. If you have the strength, put them in a special cupboard, only to be consumed on your cheat day. Alternatively, throw them in the trash and treat yourself by going out for dinner, rather than wasting your special meal on snacks.

Baby Steps

It’s all about taking baby steps to get back to being healthy. Small but significant changes, like removing take away from your diet, to then remove chocolates, chips and unhealthy snacks, can make a big difference.

Check labels

If there’s one thing that is good for you, it’s checking the labels of the foods that you’re going to buy. Instead of taking the benefit of the doubt and assuming that if the label says ‘healthy’, it means it is, check out the nutritional information for yourself. Keeping added sugars and saturated fats to a minimum is ideal for cleaning up your diet.

Image via jmgkids.us

Healthy Chicken, Feta and Almond Salad Recipe

This chicken feta and almond salad is served with a raspberry vinaigrette, so it’s a great recipe to whip up in the warmer months. With a variety of fresh herbs and spices, it’s a healthy and versatile meal that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner.

RELATED: Easy Lamb Roulade Recipe

Ingredients

Chicken

5 peppercorns

1 cardamom pod

½ tsp fennel seed

1 tsp sea salt

Zest of 1 lemon

4 free range chicken breasts

Olive oil, for cooking

30g butter

100ml Minchinbury Blush (Rosé)

Dressing

⅓ punnet fresh raspberries

50 ml red wine vinegar

Pinch of sugar

150ml olive oil

Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Salad

100g freekah (or cracked wheat), cooked

100g mixed greens

100g rocket leaves

½ bunch flat parsley, leaves picked

½ bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and torn

⅔ punnet fresh raspberries

150g persian feta

50g toasted almonds

Method

  1. In a small frying pan, lightly toast the peppercorns, cardamom and fennel until aromatic. Grind in a mortar and pestle with salt.
  2. Trim any excess fat from chicken breast. Pat skin dry and season well with spice mix and lemon zest.
  3. In a frying pan over medium heat, seal the chicken skin side down in a little olive oil and butter until golden. Flip over and finish cooking the chicken. When almost cooked add a splash of Minchinbury Blush to deglaze the pan juices. Rest the chicken.
  4. For the dressing, combine all ingredients into a glass jar, secure the lid and shake well to infuse.
  5. In a large bowl, add freekah, lettuce, rocket, herbs and raspberries. Add raspberry dressing and gently turn to coat the leaves. Arrange on a serving platter.
  6. Dice the cooked chicken and place onto the salad. Top with feta, almonds and a few more raspberries.

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.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

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.

snacking, healthy, weight loss, protein

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 www.shapeme.com.au.

Image via pixabay.com

Healthy dessert alternatives

Every girl needs her chance to indulge, right? Unfortunately, most of us don’t want to suffer the expanded waistlines that come as a result of such free-feeding. Cater to your sweet tooth (without the extra calories) with these healthy dessert alternatives.

RELATED: A Busy Girl’s Guide to Staying Healthy

Mixed Berry Yogurt Panna Cotta

berry yogurt panna cotta

This panna cotta is based on yogurt (as opposed to cream) and is packed full of delicious berries. Summer berries – such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – are full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight cancer and heart disease!

Quinoa cake recipe

quinoa cake

Unlike many flour-based cakes, this quinoa cake is low GI – meaning, it releases energy slowly throughout the day, keeping you full for longer. It has all the benefits of quinoa, including high protein and riboflavin, which can help migraine sufferers! This one is also a winner for the gluten intolerant!

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

cranberry oatmeal bars

Pre-packaged muesli or granola bars from the supermarket are often full of sugar, preservatives and hidden sweeteners and additives that aren’t so great for you or your kids. These homemade oatmeal bars make a great snack and can help you monitor your child’s sugar intake.

Easy Watermelon Sorbet

watermelon sorbet

Sorbet is a great alternative to ice cream or gelato, as it is fruit-based and doesn’t include any fatty creams. While there is still quite a bit of sugar, this fruity delight retains some of the goodness of the fresh fruit you put into it.

Organic Raw Chocolate Balls

organic raw chocolate date balls

This snack is full of energy – make it a great afternoon snack to get you through the work day – without any added sugar! They are made from cocoa which is better than artificial chocolates and is a healthy antioxidant. Despite the lack of sugar, these raw chocolate balls will still appease your sweet cravings with yummy dates and honey.

Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe

Did your parents ever tell you to eat your carrots because they will improve your eyesight? This happens to be true! Just one carrot has nearly double the required daily intake of Vitamin A, which is highly beneficial for your eyesight and immune system. Beta-Carotene, a type of Vitamin A found in carrots, is also high in antioxidants and is good for your heart. This carrot and coriander soup is a great way enjoy these amazing nutrients and delicious flavor of these veggies.

RELATED: Kale, Chickpea and Chicken Soup 

Ingredients 

1 1/2 oz butter

1 brown onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 tsp ground coriander

2 sticks celery, finely sliced

1 lb carrots, peeled and finely sliced

1 3/4 pts vegetable or chicken stock

Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped plus sprigs to garnish

2 tbsp honey

4 tbsp sour cream

Method

  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over a low heat, then fry the onion until softened. Add the ground coriander and cook for one minute, and then add the chopped celery and carrot. Continue to cook, covered, over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  3. Set soup aside and allow to cool. Then pour it into a blender and add coriander leaves and honey. Blend until smooth.
  4. Return to soup to the saucepan to reheat.  Season to taste and serve in bowls garnished with a swirl of sour cream and a some coriander leaves.

Tips For A Top Morning

There’s no getting around the fact that starting your day with a nutritious breakfast is one of the best health decisions that you can make. Here’s some extremely important reasons why you should not avoid it:

Energise: Breakfast literally means ‘breaking your overnight fast’. By the time you wake up your body hasn’t had food for up to 10 hours, so it is important to refuel your body for another day. Only breakfast can provide you with the energy to kick start the day!

RELATED: Low-Calorie Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Perform better at work/school: Enjoying breakfast can help lift your mood and has been shown to help with improving concentration levels, behaviour and learning abilities in school children.

Keep on track with weight loss maintenance: Although many people skip breakfast in an effort to reduce their food intake and lose weight, research shows that enjoying a high fibre breakfast, may lead to eating less food later in the day.This is probably because, high fibre meals can be quite filling so you are less likely to snack on high fat and sugary foods mid-morning. In fact, eating breakfast is strongly associated with successful, well-maintained weight loss maintenance.

Get your essential nutrients first thing in the morning: People who skip breakfast generally find it difficult to achieve their daily nutrition requirements so it really is best to start packing in those nutrients early!

Here are some easy ideas to help you start your day the right way:

Breakfast ideas for those on-the-go:

  • Peanut butter and banana on wholegrain toast or crispbread
  • Low fat yoghurt sprinkled with natural muesli – you can make these the night before and store in airtight containers in the fridge and then have them on the move when needed
  • A chilled liquid breakfast– try Sanitarium UP&GO Oats2Go, it is the only one on the market with a source of real wholegrain oats and it provides the protein, energy and dietary fibre of a bowl of oats and milk, is low in fat and low GI. A pack of three is available for $4.99 – if you break it down, that’s just $1.66 for one serving, substantially cheaper than a cup of coffee. Munch on a piece of fruit or some nuts when you get the chance too and you’ll be doing well!
  • Fruit smoothie with low fat yoghurt and/or milk – again, you can make this in advance and simply pull one out of the fridge when you’re ready to leave.

For those with a bit more time in the morning:

  • Baked beans on wholegrain toast
  • Toasted wholegrain English muffin topped with ricotta cheese and sliced tomato or some chopped up fruit (a bit of apple with a dusting of cinnamon is nice)
  • Weet-Bix or porridge topped with sliced banana and a little honey

Top tips thanks to Michelle Reid, accredited practising dietitian and nutritionist at Sanitarium.

Cacao Breakfast Crunch With Raspberries

This is a virtually awesome, absolutely delicious breakfast idea from Luke Hines and Scott Gooding’s new book Clean Living Quick & Easy. It contains high-protein nuts, chocolatey goodness from cacao, and tart raspberries, topped with creamy whipped coconut cream.

Makes 12

Ingredients 

4 cups coconut flakes

1 cup roughly chopped blanched almonds

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1 cup roughly chopped cashews

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup cacao nibs

coconut cream, to serve

50g fresh raspberries, to serve

Method

  1. To prepare the cacao granola, preheat your oven to 110ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the coconut flakes, almonds, walnuts, cashews, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, cacao powder and cacao nibs well, then spread evenly on the tray.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, giving the mix a bit of a shake-up halfway through the cooking time.
  4. When it’s golden brown and crunchy, take it out of the oven and set aside to cool on the tray.
  5. To serve, top the granola with some coconut cream and fresh raspberries.

Courtesy of Luke and Scott Clean Living Quick & Easy

Should Daycare Workers And Teachers Act As Food Police?

Breaking news, parents: packets of chips, lollies, soft drinks and – gasp – even beer should not be on the menu for your child’s school lunch this summer. Shocking, I know!

And while I jest, the healthy eating message is obviously still getting lost with recent reports of a Sydney school declaring war on junk food and my child’s daycare centre issuing repeated parental reminders to pack fruit – not chips and chocolates – in every child’s lunch box.

Related: Check out top tips on how to Fight Childhood Obesity With Good Nutrition For Kids

And while the above healthy food advice seems a bit captain obvious, I know, not so for the parents of North Sydney Demonstration School, where teachers must now also act as food cops, confronting parents if they find junk food in a student’s lunchbox.

School principal Myra Wearne recently defended the introduction of “food police”, saying curbing unhealthy eating ensured students reached their full learning potential, as sugary foods impacted kids’ concentration levels.

Ms Wearne, I salute you! While the occasional kiddie treat isn’t the antichrist, it’s imperative parents teach their kids about healthy eating and that this goes hand-in-hand with regular exercise. It takes a community to raise a child, so they say, and it’s in everyone’s best interests that kids are snacking down on fruit, rather than lollies. So, I say bring on the food nazis!

And while not many parents would put beer in their kids’ school lunch boxes these days, surely – my husband actually encountered this growing up in multicultural Melbourne, when one of his little primary school mates was caught with a stubbie of beer in his lunch box – in grade three!?

After much tut-tutting from teachers, his little mate’s Eastern European parents were hauled in with a “please explain” and hopefully some helpful healthy eating guidelines for their poor, little tucker. Of course, each state’s Department of Education requires all public school canteens to categorise their menus into red, green and amber food groups, where red means “occasionally”, amber is “select carefully” and green is “have plenty, or “fill the menu”. But of course no such categorisations exist for food brought from home.

So, poor, overworked parents, as school holidays draw to a close and you start preparing for back-to-school lunchbox duties, help is at hand thanks to Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell.

On Susie’s hit list includes packaged snacks such as cheese and dip snack packs, muesli bars, fruit twists and straps, potato chips and biscuit dippers, which are usually full of fat and highly processed carbohydrates, but offer little nutrition. So, what is good lunchbox nutrition?

“A nutritionally balanced lunchbox can be divided into four core sections: low glycaemic index carbohydrates for energy, proteins for nutrition and fullness, fruit for fibre and vitamins and a snack food that has some nutritional benefit,” she says.

“Most importantly, busy children need plenty of water for optimal hydration, particularly in the warmer months when small children are at high risk of dehydration.”

school lunch boxes, kids healthy eating, food police

Good options include wholegrain carbohydrates for energy; protein-rich sandwich fillings including  tuna, lean ham, chicken or turkey or hard boiled eggs; fresh fruit; protein-rich foods including low-fat dairy such as cheese sticks, yogurt tubes and flavoured milk poppers and lots and lots of water, which should always be the drink of choice for children over sugar-laden fruit juices and soft drinks.

Visit  www.susieburrell.com.au.

Main image via beautyandbananas.blogspot.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com.

A Busy Girl’s Guide To Staying Healthy

A full schedule can really push your diet and exercise routine to the bottom of the list. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little discipline, you can combine a healthy lifestyle with a busy one. Here’s how:

1. Set an alarm
Getting up early is highly praised habit of healthy and happy people. Don’t wake up with only enough time to put on your clothes and brush your teeth before you’re out the door. Use your mornings efficiently to prepare for the rest of the day. Think of all the things you can achieve with an extra hour in the morning! Exercise, prepare your lunch, or just sit and read to clear your mind before the day ahead.

RELATED: Are we sitting ourselves to death?

2. Eat a good breakfast
I know you have heard this before, but eating a large, healthy breakfast really is the best way to start your day. It kickstarts your metabolism and gives you the energy to make it through the morning until lunch. Optimize your breakfast by eating carbs and low GI foods.

3. Choose lunch carefully
While it’s often healthier and certainly more economical to pack your own lunch, we understand that busy girls don’t always have the time for this. Therefore, when it comes to lunch, try selecting the healthiest option. Don’t go for the burrito today – eat a sandwich instead. Swap those noodles for some sushi or get the turkey sub instead of meatballs! Whatever you do – stay away from the fast food!

4. You only need 30 minutes of exercise a day
I really envy those people who love exercise (come on, do you really?), but most of us struggle to find the motivation. Just remember that doing something is better than nothing, and it only takes 30 minutes to get a decent workout. Walk, run, skip, stretch, do pilates – just do something! A great way to sneak some exercise into the daily grind is simply to walk. Walk to the train station or bus stop instead of driving, don’t get a cab two blocks, don’t eat lunch at the closest cafeteria – try the one five minutes down the road. Especially those of you working at a desk – use those breaks to stretch your legs and get your blood pumping.

5. Download a meditation app
A healthy mind is key to your wellbeing. You only need five or ten minutes to sit-down, relax and center yourself, and it could turn your whole day around. Try these on for size.

6.  Prepare
Take an hour or two out of your weekend to cut up vegetables to snack on  during the week. Make a meal plan and do your grocery shopping. Cook a large soup, curry or pasta dish that will provide leftovers for a few more meals. Incorporating healthy-eating into a busy schedule is all about using your time efficiently!

7. Swap coffee for herbal tea
Even the best of us sometimes need a coffee in the morning. But for those of you having more than one or two every day – make one of those a green tea. Herbal teas are full of antioxidants that cleanse your body, and will also keep you more hydrated than coffee.

9 Tips Your Naturopath Knows About Flawless Skin

Leading Australian naturopath and iridologist, Will Shannon, has shared his insights into how to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and get flawless skin at any age.

“We seem to be on an endless search for skin perfection. What few Australian women realise is that flawless, wrinkle free skin is achievable without the need to blast your face with chemicals,” Will says.

1. Use jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is golden with little odour as it comes from the jojoba seed which makes up about 50 per cent of the content. It can be used as a makeup remover, a lip balm and occasionally as a hair treatment. Massage in jojoba oil into any dry spots for some extra hydration.

 2. Take magnesium

Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, sometimes used to relive constipation and also in cases of people suffering depression.  It will help release the muscles holding chronic states of tension, which in the face, will reduce the signs of wrinkles.

3. Drink water

Although an easy one, you must drink at least 2 litres of water a day. We breathe out half a litre of moisture a day, and our bowels need 1.5L of water just to function properly each day.

4. Take circulatory supplements

Cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic are all good for the skin as they drive circulation around the body help to prevent cold hands and feet. Use such supplements to boost your memory, as it is difficult for the heart to drive blood (against gravity) to the brain, and are very good for the skin. Nervous states shut down peripheral circulation which will ultimately have an effect on your skin.

5. Avoid Botox

My advice would be to avoid Botox as it is the most deadliest poison for the skin. Your body needs to eliminate the poisons via the blood stream which can potentially cause more health challenges. Botulinum toxin is from a bacteria that used to grow in rancid meat. It inhibits nerve function, and hence the nerves that control that muscle can’t fire. Botox dampens the muscles that fire in the face to produce emotion, hence you feel, and look, less emotional.

6. Get rest/stress less

Meditate, enjoy your time with friends and family and get proper amounts of rest. Resting and stressing less relax the nervous system which in turn allows the body to get into deeper states of relaxation to heal itself – letting your skin bounce back quicker each day.

7. Take horsetail

Forget inorganic silica, take horsetail herb which is full of copious amounts of horsetail making the skin, hair and nails very bright. Horsetail has traditionally been used by herbalists and it’s great for the kidneys and for flushing excess oedema (fluid retention) away safely and naturally.  Even if you don’t have fluid retention take it for a safe, and naturally healthy glow.

8. Use a dry skin brush

The skin is sometimes called the third kidney and has to eliminate 1 billion skin cells a day.  Brush the dead skin away to reveal a cleaner layer underneath. Brush towards the heart every day in the bath or shower to give your skin a helping hand.

 9. Avoid soft drinks and alcohol

Although repeated to us often, it is best to avoid these drinks as they dehydrate the skin, clog up and strain the kidneys and hence put a toxic load on the skin.

For more information or to book an appointment with Will Shannon visit www.willshannon.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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

Image via 3.bp.blogspot.com

Sweet Potato and Tofu Burger Recipe

Love a burger that satisfies your junk food craving but is actually good for you? We all do! Here’s the recipe that will make you feel like a burger queen.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1/3 block of extra firm tofu (from a 14 oz package)

1 tablespoon tahini

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon paprika

1 clove garlic, minced

a few pinches of salt

A few grinds of pepper

About 1/2 bread crumbs or panko

Slider or regular hamburger buns

Hamburger fillings: avocado, onion, arugula – whatever you like!

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel and bake sweet potato, then mash in a large bowl.
  3. Crumble firm tofu with your hands, into bowl of mashed sweet potato and combine with a fork.
  4. Mix in tahini, maple syrup, garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt & pepper.
  5. Using hands, mould mixture into patties.
  6. Put breadcrumbs or Panko on a plate and coat the outside of each patty with crumbs.
  7. Bake patties for 15-20 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp. You could also pan-fry the patties, however, you run the risk of them falling apart.
  8. Serve with fillings.

Image via Yummly

How To Lose The Extra Baby Weight

The stress doesn’t exactly end with having a newborn baby to look after, but getting motivated to lose those extra kilograms can play havoc on your mind. Engaging in some mild exercise techniques can make a world of difference, so remember to take some time-out for yourself, and unwind with a short walk or run. Exercise is just one way to lose the baby weight, keep reading to find out what else is effective when attempting to drop the last few kilograms.

Set goals

Setting forward realistic goals is the number one way to get motivated and back to a weight which is manageable. Buying a new item of clothing is a good way to keep motivated and stay on track with you weight loss journey. If your problem is over-eating, start a food journal and document everything you eat and drink in a day then reflect on it before bedtime. This is an often confronting way to see what food we really eat on a daily basis. Or if the problem is with exercise, bring along a friend, since this will surely keep you more motivated to get out there.

Regular exercise

Simple exercise even inside of the house will help to tone your body before you know it. Walking up and down the stairs is a great example since it is an effective way to do some cardio throughout your day. If you find yourself with a bit of time, try Blogilates which is a fitness series found on YouTube focusing on toning and strengthening the body. These exercises can be undertaken at your own pace, and are completely free of charge.

Recovery shorts

Recommended by healthcare professionals, Recovery Shorts ($189) help women to regain their pre-baby body shape. They basically look like shapewear which aim to help women recovering from a C-section, give support to pelvic floor dysfunction (SPFD), and help to suck everything in as you move by strengthening muscles and their recovery from a recent pregnancy.

No binge eating

Unhealthy eating plans mostly end in binge eating lots of foods filled with preservatives, trans fats and lots of sugar. Eat foods which are slow-burning and filled with protein, these will keep you fuller for longer and will avoid any bad-snacking when 3:30 hits.

Eat in moderation

Adapt a healthy eating regime which you can manage over a long period of time. Crash diets, detoxes and cutting out major food groups in a bid o lose weight are not ideal since they could lead to binge eating and packing on the extra weight. Visiting a dietician or local GP will help to create a healthy eating plan which allows the maximum amount of vitamins and nutrients for your body. A balanced, and healthy eating regime will make your body look and feel re-energised.

The key is to let your body recover, and try not to rush getting back to your pre-baby body. Don’t be so hard on yourself! The transition will take time, and this can vary for each individual. Listen to your body and if you feel overworked, try to relax and work on eating healthily instead of pushing yourself physically.

Do you have any tips for losing the last few kilograms?

Image via Become Gorgeous

By Felicia Sapountzis

5 Tips To Beat The Easter Bulge

Easter is a joyous occasion and we all look forward to enjoying some time off to relax, spend time with family and friends and of course indulge in Easter treats. And for most of us, food is at the heart of our Easter celebrations, but for those struggling with their weight, this can represent a stressful and confronting time.

But armed with some simple tips, from Andrea Baker from The Biggest Loser Retreat, Easter needn’t be a time where a focus on diet can spoil enjoyment or celebration.

1. Don’t deprive yourself. Depriving yourself at a time when temptation is high can lead to a binge or blow out. Instead, choose morning tea as the time to have your treats rather than later in the day or after dinner when your body will not have as much time to burn these extra calories as fuel.

2. Choose quality over quantity. Instead of buying mountains of cheap Easter eggs that you may feel compelled to eat ‘because they are there’, invest in good quality dark Belgium chocolate. The extra you spend will be saved in calories.

3. Make a pact with yourself to walk every day over Easter. An easy 30-minute walk everyday will help you burn the extra calories and make you feel in control of your eating when you are offsetting it with some exercise.

4. Distract your cravings. If you have had your quota of treats but are still craving more, let yourself be distracted by something else for 15 minutes to see if the craving passes. If it doesn’t, don’t deprive yourself, have some, but use the tips above to monitor your intake.

5. Choose a healthier chocolate option. Rather than store bought chocolate, why not make a healthy chocolate cake like the recipe provided by our Executive Chef David Hunter. It is not only delicious, nutritious and guilt free, but the kids will love it too.

Why Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

We’ve always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether that be advice drilled into us from our parents, dieticians or nutritionists – or perhaps you’re like us here at SheSaid and know that without a decent breakfast your mind just simply cannot function (cue fumbling typos and misplacing anything and everything).

So it’s interesting that even with all this in mind, with there being such a focus on the ‘health and fitness’ trend at the moment – kale chips, 5:2 diets and juice detoxes – that there is still so many of us that choose to skip breakfast. But, why?

We all have our excuses, from ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I just don’t feel hungry in the morning’ to ‘but I’ll grab a coffee, that’ll get me through till lunch’. If you’re a regular (or even occasional) breakfast skipper, it’s time to change your habits! At the new recipe Special K launch, dietician Nicole Senior and author, columnist and mum-to-be Zoe Foster Blake gave us the scoop on the importance of always having a healthy, balanced breakfast. Here’s why:

1. Stay fuller for longer, fight the cravings and stop the unnecessary snacking
Nicole says that having a breakfast full of protein, grains, dairy and fruit will keep you feeling fuller for longer. This means no more sneaky snacking throughout the day to add to those unwanted extra kilos. If you’re a person short on time, try organising your breakfast the night before, or opt for a simple bowl of cereal topped with your favourite seasonal fruit.

2. Be a healthier, happier you
Look after your body by not depriving it of the essential nutrients it wants, needs and desires. It is now even easier than ever to ensure your body is fuelled and ready for the day ahead – there is a huge range of breakfast options out there packed full of goodness, find something that works for you and that suits your lifestyle. People who eat breakfast everyday have a better nutrient intake than those who don’t, so by not skipping breakfast it will allow you to stay focused and on track to becoming a healthier you.

3. Boost that metabolism
By having a regular healthy breakfast it gets your body into routine to jump-start your metabolism first thing in the morning. This ultimately means that that you are more likely to maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle than someone who skips breakfast regularly. When you skip a meal, your body starts to feel starved and in turn, this slows down your metabolism. This has a negative effect on your body and can make it even harder if you’re trying to lose weight. By having a balanced breakfast, it gives your body the boost it needs to start each day motivated and allows your body to utilise it’s energy levels productively as the day goes on.

Do you start the day with breakfast, or do you skip breakfast?

Susie O’Neill’s Top 5 Healthy Eating Tips

Thinking salad but craving pizza? Trust ex-Olympic swimmer and mum-of-two Susie O’Neill to motivate us to start eating healthy and ditch the junk food for good.

1. Fabulous fruit
The more brightly coloured your fruit is, the more full to the brim it is with antioxidants. Fruit is the perfect dessert option any night of the week!

2. The rule of fat
Trying to cut down the fats in your meal? As a rule when using fats and oils in your cooking, stick to one teaspoon of fat/oil per person that the meal will feed.

3. No more skipping breakfast!
Research shows that skipping breakfast is bad for our waistlines. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are generally a lighter weight, and find it easier to keep weight off. So tuck into a healthy brekkie of porridge, wholegrain toast, or cereal (with reduced fat milk).

4. Hunger = over-eating
Going hungry for too long can lead to over-eating. Take the edge off your appetite with a handful of unsalted nuts or some wholegrain crackers with salsa or low-fat hummus dips.

5. Portion control is your friend
How much you eat is really important when you’re trying to balance your energy in with your energy out. Keep portion sizes reasonable planning how many servings a meal will make and putting leftovers in the fridge for lunch.

Visit Together Counts for more tips from Susie as well as healthy meal ideas.

What are some of your favourite healthy summer recipes?

No More Diets! Mireille Guiliano’s Manifesto for Aussie Women

Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, has a simple message for Australian women: you can be a healthy weight and still enjoy good food and the things you like.

The international bestselling author is renowned for inspiring women all around the world to lose weight without dieting. Mireille’s philosophy is about a balanced approach to life and wellbeing that doesn’t include extreme diet or exercise regimes.

“We spend so much time worrying about eating bad food that we forget about the enjoyment that comes with eating good food, and sharing it with family and friends. Everything is fine in moderation,” says Mireille.

The French-born writer is in Australia to help bust the common myth that dairy foods are linked to weight gain and/or obesity. “Australians are blessed with some magnificent produce like cheese and yogurt that rivals some of the best in the world. There is no reason why you cannot enjoy this as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

Mireille says the secret to enjoying food and staying healthy is to not over indulge and to eat seasonal and fresh food. In her acclaimed book, Mireille writes about yogurt as a secret to tame hunger, revealing that French women often enjoy two servings a day to help them feel satisfied for longer.

“I believe we don’t need diets to tell us what to eat and drink but you need to listen to your own body to do it. Balance your food and drink with regular exercise on a daily basis.

“Enjoy food and all that comes with it, going to the market or shops, cooking and sharing. You will soon find that there is more to enjoying food and being healthy than counting calories,” Mireille advises.

Mireille’s healthy eating tips for Australian women:

1.    Start each day with a real breakfast.

2.    Introduce two servings of natural yogurt as a breakfast or snack food or dessert  – the protein will keep you fuller for longer.

3.    Enjoy milk, cheese or yogurt every day. Many people avoid these foods because they think they’re fattening – this is a mistake. Eating these foods as part of a balanced diet is not linked to weight gain.

4.    Stop dieting.

5.    Take the stairs and laugh more, it’s good for the waistline and for the soul.

6.    Never let yourself get too hungry or over eat.

7.    Good food isn’t pretentious. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t let recipes intimidate you – they’re a guide not a formula.

8.    Cooking is slimming. Love is slimming. Happiness is slimming.

9.    Eat smaller amounts of more things, rather than bigger amounts of less things.

10.    Australians love their coffee, so take pleasure in the ritual of your morning latte or cappuccino.

11.    Choose and enjoy your weekend rewards, like your favourite dark chocolate rather than worry about eating ‘bad’ food.

12.    Explore Australia’s great outdoors with regular physical movement. Choose things you can do in street clothes like a daily walk or a leisurely bike ride.

13.    Avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure.

14.    Eat and serve what’s in season. With the Australian summer in sight, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables aplenty.

15.    Don’t save Champagne for special occasions, being in good company is reason enough.

Do you believe everything in moderation is important for a healthy lifestyle?

Load More