Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Food Labels Found Out

Ever look at a food label & wonder what you really need to be looking at? Why the list of ingredients says what it does? Why some food labels include calcium in their nutrition panel and others don’t? Here’s what you really need to pay attention too!

Let’s start with the front of the package. Does it have a health claim? For example “Low Fat”. What do these health claims mean? It is very important that these nutritional claims meet the guidelines and here are some examples:

  • Low fat – only allowed containing 3% of fat in solid foods & 1.5% fat in liquids.
  • Fat free – can only contain 0.15% or less of Fat
  • Percentage of fat – must be accurate. But don’t be fooled. If it says 80% fat free, remember that means it contains 20% fat!!
  • Reduced Fat – has to contain 25% less fat than the original product.
  • No added sugar – can contain natural sugars found in the foods in the product already but no extra sugar will be added
  • Reduced salt – has to contain 25% less salt than the original product.

Let’s look at some other common health claims on labels
  • “No Cholesterol” or “Cholesterol Free”. This is often found on products that are plant based, which is 100% true because plants can’t produce cholesterol. So if it’s competitor product doesn’t have the claim, don’t think that the “No Cholesterol” product is better, they are both cholesterol free.
  • “Lite Milk” or “Light Cheese” doesn’t necessarily mean the product is lower in fat or calories. This description may refer to the colour of the food, even the taste or texture. The term “Lite” doesn’t have to mean anything because of it’s in correct spelling. 

Food labels are about being consumer aware. Just because the label states some i.e. “lower in fat than other leading brands” doesn’t mean its low fat, or “baked not fried” doesn’t mean it’s lower in calories. You always need to check the nutrition panel.

Nutrition Information Panel (NIP): has to have   
  • Energy (kilojoules), protein, total fat, saturated fat, total carbohydrates, sugars and sodium per serve, as well as per 100 g or 100 ml. 
  • If there is a food claim it must contain the relevant information in the NIP: i.e. if the health claim is “High in Calcium”, calcium must be included in the NIP per serve and per 100g/mL. This goes for potassium, fibre, and iron.
So what should you been looking for in your macronutrient profiles?
The following are large amounts per 100 g:
  • 30 g of sugars
  • 20 g of fat
  • 3 g of fibre
  • 600 mg of sodium.
The following are small amounts per 100 g:
  • 2 g of sugars
  • 3 g of fat
  • 0.5 g of fibre
  • 20 mg sodium.

If this is all too much to remember, simple download the Traffic Light Food Tracker App on your phone for a quick reference when shopping.

Lastly we are looking at the ingredients list. This will always be labels from the ingredient with the highest content to the smallest content. The scary fact is if an ingredient is less than 5% of the product, it doesn’t have to be listed unless it’s a known allergen (i.e. peanuts)

You will often see one or more ingredients with a % next to them. This I known as the characterising ingredient. For example, Baked Beans. Its characterising ingredient is Beans (54%). Look at the food label next time, you may be shocked how little of the characterising ingredient is in some products. 

If you struggle to eat right fin out how to make it simple by contacting 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

10 Common Mistakes for Not Losing Weight

So you have decided with summer around the corner it’s time to lose some weight. But you’ve tried it last year, and the year before that, what are you doing wrong? Here are 10 common mistakes that people make when they are trying to lose weight loss.

  1. Positive Attitude: Remove all negative thoughts about weight loss. If you can’t visualise yourself at where you want to be, your negative thoughts will affect your actions for weight loss (diet & exercise) Read motivational quotes, surround yourself with positive people, put up a picture of the body shape you want to be, whatever it takes! 
  2. Be realistic: Just because your aunties friend lost 10kg in 5 weeks doesn’t mean you can. Make a realistic goal in a realistic time frame for YOU! 
  3. Don’t compare your self to anyone else: Everyone’s bodies are different; we all have different lifestyles, different health concerns, different goals and different abilities. 
  4. Fight the Fads: Don’t follow another ridiculous fad diet that you can’t stay on for more than a week or so, you will only end up gaining more weight after you fall back into old habits. 95% people regain the weight within 2 years, don’t let that be you! 
  5. Seek Professional Advice: See the right people, a nutritionist for your food intake, and Personal Trainer for your exercise & you will have all your basis covered. 
  6. One step at a time: Set 1 x food and 1 x exercise goal a week, allow it to become a habit & set a new goal for the next week. This will ensure not only that you’ll lose the weight but you will keep your weight off. 
  7. BE HONEST: Be honest with yourself, your health professional, your fitness professional whether your feeling motivated or not, had a good/bad day, whatever it may be. This will prevent you from ‘falling of the wagon’ 
  8. Be prepared: Food preparation = essential key to weight loss. Do whatever it takes, cooking for an hour on the weekend, prepping your snacks the night before, ensures you will stick to yours goals, and achieve your weight loss 
  9. Food & Exercise diary: keep record of food intake, exercise, measurements, weight etc. All the elements to keep you motivated are right here. Whenever you feel unmotivated, look back  to where you started from 
  10. See it as an experience: Don’t see it as a chore, but more a journey to a better you where you get to challenge yourself to achieve the goals you set out to. Enjoy every step of the way & focus on all the foods you can eat (not the ones you can’t) and all the things you are gaining (not just the weight you are losing)
Half the battle of weight loss is believing you can do it, and you can. Education, motivation and accountability are the key aspects to achieving your goals and having health and fitness professionals and your corner will only make the journey easier & achievable.

If you find yourself struggling with weight loss simply email to get your weight loss progress on the right track. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Quinoa – What, Why, How, Where?

What is it?
In a nutshell Quinoa has a higher protein profile than ANY of the major grains. It has 9 grams of protein in just one cup! It is rich in fibre, low GI, gluten free, high in vitamin B & contains essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Pronounced Keen-wah (yes you are allowed to point your nose in the air at the name time you say it!) it is technically not even a grain but actually classed as a seed.

Why is it good for me?

The question is what isn’t it good for!
  • It contains all 8 essential amino acids (which need to be obtained from the diet) Protein is essential for growth, repair, immunity, hormone regulation and so much more!
  • High in Magnesium – relaxes blood vessels reducing the risk of cramps and chocolate cravings!
  • High in Fibre – reducing the risk of gallstones and promoting a healthy digestive system
  • High in Antioxidants (quercetic and kaempferol) – helping to fight free radicals causing various health conditions
  • High in Calcium – aiding muscle contraction, blood coagulation, bone strength and much more!
  • High in Anti -inflammatory nutrients including vitamin E – reducing inflammation particularly in the gut caused by intolerances, poor food choices and other inflammatory conditions.

How do I cook it?
  1. Thouroughly Rinse in a strainer
  2. Boil water (1.75 cups of water to every 1 cup of Quinoa)
  3. Boil for 12-15minutes  until grains become transluencent
  4. Add to any of your favourite recipes (see mine below)

Where do I use it?

Another bonus is it gluten free! So it can be used as a grain subsitiute just about anywhere! Your imagination is your limitation.
  • Rice, cous cous replacement to hot and cold dishes (main or sides).
  • Quinoa flour can be used in baking (anything) i.e.: coating meat, making muffins, breads, etc.
  • Can be used as an oat substitute in porridge or baking
  • Protein source in veggie burgers, or the main attraction in a vegetarian dish
  • Added protein to soups, stews, or any side dishes
  • Quinoa pasta is also available as well

My Favourite Quinoa Recipe..  

Raspberry Quinoa Muffins
Gluten free, high in protein and omega 3’s

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cooking Time
30 minutes

12 muffins

·         1 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
·         2 cups organic buck wheat flour
·         3/4 cup Packed brown sugar
·         1 tbls chia seeds
·         1 tbls coles fibre mix
·         1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
·         1/4 cup Coconut oil
·         3/4 cup A2 light milk
·         1 Egg
·         1 tsp Vanilla extract
·         1 1/2 cups Raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prep a 12 muffin pan with muffin patties.
2. In a medium saucepan bring quinoa and 1.5 cup water to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and set aside. In a second bowl whisk together oil, milk, egg and vanilla.
4. Add quinoa to flour mixture; stir. Pour in oil mixture; stir well to combine. Stir in berries. Spoon batter into each muffin cup to 2/3 full.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tins 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

10 Reasons Why You NEED More Water

I know its cold & during winter for most people the last thing you feel like drinking is water! But here are some reasons why it’s SO important to get an adequate amount…

  1. It aids the absorption of water soluble nutrients (B’s & C vitamins): Water soluble vitamins are dissolved in water and transported through the body, without adequate hydration this does not occur effectively.
  2. It eliminates toxins = WEIGHT LOSS! When we urinate it gives our bodies a change to get rid of unwanted toxins which is especially important during fat metabolism 
  3. Aids joint mobility: water surrounds our joints & in order for them to move effectively there needs to be enough lubrication around them. This will decrease joint pain and inflammatory joint conditions 
  4. Improves cognitive function: Dehydration can lead to not only a reduction in physical performance but mental performance. Your ability to concentrate and think rationally decreases the more dehydrated you are. 
  5. Promotes bowel movements: Water adds fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. When there isn’t enough water = constipation and bloating 
  6. Boost energy: When your body is dehydrated it causes you to feel sluggish and your energy levels drop. Water works much better than caffeine to re-boost your energy levels  
  7. Aids in thermoregulation: The most obvious way that water helps regulate body temperature is through sweating. Without enough intake the body can't maintain the correct degree of temperature which can lead to many health issues and infections.
  8. Hydration: our bodies our about 70% water and when we are dehydrated, the body begins to pull water from its organs and tissues (which is not ideal!) Chronic dehydration can cause migraines, allergies and other more serious health problems. Reduces appetite = WEIGHT LOSS! Have an adequate intake of water will reduce your appetite, stop food cravings. & promote an increase in metabolism 
  9. Improves skin: As it eliminates toxins it leads to less accumulation of toxins which = clearer skin, no dry or wrinkled appearance.  
  10. Decrease bloating & water retention: I know this sounds strange ‘drink more water to reduce water retention but when there is too much sodium intake & not enough water the sodium retains the water

Remember it doesn’t have to be cold water, warm water is perfectly fine, & pop a squeeze of lemon in for some extra flavour.
Boost your water intake and eat right to achieve results! Contact usat  to find out how

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

5 Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein

You’ve heard it many times before that you need to eat more protein but how do you get it in you increase it in your everyday foods? Here are 5 simple ways how:

1. LSA = Linseed, sunflower seeds, and almonds all ground up. It contains protein (2g per tbls), fibre, magnesium, omega-3 ‘s vitamins E, D, B’s, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and more.  Add it to oats, muesli, sprinkle it on toast or pop it into a smoothie.

2. Eggs = high in protein & essential nutrients  a large whole egg contains roughly 6g of protein, and contains choline, zeaxanthin lutein , as well as just about every vitamin and most minerals (except vitamin C). Have a boiled egg as  snack, add it raw to your smoothie, and add boiled egg to your salads.

3. Whey protein powder: a good quality whey protein powder is easy to add to your diet by: adding it to porridge, smoothies, baking (basically your imagination is your limitation especially when it is unflavoured) Boomers is my favourite & you can find it here : 

4. Nuts/Seeds: adding nuts/seeds to every day snacks is easy ie: apple & almonds, yoghurt with chia seeds, garden salad & pine nuts, Greek salad with sunflower seeds (again your imagination is your limitation)

5. Beans (edamame beans, pinto, kidney, black, garbanzo, navy – just to name a few,): packed full of dietary fibre & about 40g protein per cup adding beans into your daily intake is simple. They are high in thiamine, folate, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese. Add them to salads (ie: chickpea, edemame, capcscium corn, onion quinoa), add them to mince dishes, casseroles and stir fry’s.

For more information on increasing your protein in your diet simply email