Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Healthy Movie Snacks

Whether your heading to the movies or curling up on the couch, it is very easy to undo all your hard work with overdoing the tradition movie snacks of Buttery Popcorn, choc tops, frozen coke, a whole bag of lollies, a bag of crisps and a block of chocolate. BUT never fear some alternatives are here!


Organic Popcorn
Organic popcorn is a whole grain, high in fibre, low in fat & calories has no preservatives & additives. It is a much better alternative to high fat high salt chips and microwave popcorn. Popcorn is high in polyphenols and anti-oxidants which is important for heart health.

Serve = 1 x cup

Grapes are a fantastic snack to pick at (not to mention delicious!) They are high in fibre, aid-digestion, anti-bacterial, reduce cholesterol, they are high in vitamin A, B6, C, Folate as well as selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Be careful not to eat a whole bag full as it they contain sugar but also will have a laxative effect.

Serve =1 x handful

Mixed nuts & seeds
Nuts & Seeds a convenient, high protein, high essential fatty acid snack that is filling! Nuts and seeds have a large array of health benefits such as cholesterol reducing, anti-aging, bone & teeth strengthening, energy boosting, not to mention they promote weight loss & satiety. They contain B Vitamins, zinc, selenium, magnesium and iron (and more depending on which nut and seed) Make sure they are raw and unsalted.

Serve =1 x handful

Apple slices with nut butter (almond, cashew & Brazil nut butter)
Simple, convenient and delicious. Teaming fruit with a nut protein allows to slow down the blood sugar level spike and keep you full. Apple is high in fibre, prevents teeth decay, promotes heart health, immune boosting and high in antioxidants. Teaming it with the nut butter above which is high in protein, calcium, selenium (and all the rest listed above).

Serve = 1 apple & 2 tsps of nut butter (4 x slices & ½ tsp on each slice)

Homemade Nut bars/Muffins
This allows you to control exactly what you put into your mouth! Creating nut bars/muffins that are low in sugar, high in protein and essential fatty acids as wel as antioxidants is ideal. For those with intolerances gluten free and dairy free Nut bars/Muffins allows you to eat a snack that you will enjoy

Serve = 1 x nut bar / 1 x muffin

They aim with movie snacks is only pack what portion size that you want to eat and that’s it!

For example 1 cup of popcorn,1 x handful of grapes and handful of nuts would be sufficient snacks for a whole movie (you may even find yourself very full from all of that!)


Need Something Fizzy? Try soda water with a squeeze of fresh fruit (lemon/lime/orange). Or make and iced tea:

Berry Iced Tea


  • Raspberry, cranberry and strawberry Tea Bags (2-3 bags)  
  • Mineral water  
  • Frozen Raspberries 

  1. Make a large teapot of tea using 2 to 3 tea bags. Allow to cool. Pour into a large jug. Refrigerate for 2 hours.  
  2. When ready to serve, place ice cubes, 1L of soda water and raspberries into jug with tea and serve

If you struggle to eat right make it simple for yourself with a Meal Plan Template. Or get a Personailsed Plan to get to your goals faster :) Need more information? Simply send me an email
P.S here is an even easier way to increase your nutrient intake right here

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Lifting the Lid on Binge Eating

Whilst most people will admit they have done this at least once, the effects of binge eating can last much longer. Here is an insight it to what classifies it as binge eating, what to look for, why it occurs, what affects it has and what you can do about it.

What is it?

Binge eating is defined as “uncontrolled ingestion of large quantities of food in a discrete interval, often with a sense of lack of control over the activity” according to the medical dictionary.  It is not to be confused with over eating. Over eating is simply knowing your body has had to much food & continuing to eat, this may take place in public, private and happen at any particular point of the day & is often unplanned.  Binge eating is classified a disorder when it happens twice a week for six months (I personally believe that 1 month is long enough to classify it). The 2 biggest points to take from these definitions is lack of control, and ingestion of a large amount of food in a short space of time. The biggest misconception is that it is always junk food that is ingested. This is not always to the case. It is also different as once the event is over, it becomes very traumatic for the person, as the binging has taken place in private and triggered by a specific situation/occurrence.  Binge eaters often do not feel the physical hunger pains, rather an emotional cue, and you will find most of them will avoid eating in public fairly often prior or post a binging event (which can often be planned hours or days in advance)

What to look for in yourself?

  •  Surprised at how much food you can eat in one go & then feeling guilty and depriving yourself from food or purging 
  •  Constantly starting a diet tomorrow  
  •  Guilt after eating in general  
  •  Inability to stop eating   
  •  Rapidly eating a large amounts of food in a small period of time   
  •  Severe remorse, guilt and depression after binging

What to look for in others?

  • Lack of eating in public 
  • Saying they have eaten earlier (before going out)  
  • Constantly starting a diet tomorrow & desperate to lose weight  
  • Joking about ‘naughty’ foods they’ve eaten & awkwardly laughing them off   
  • Finding stockpiled food hidden in the house

Why do I binge eat?

This is different for each person, depending on what has triggered them to start in the first place. Here are some common reasons:

  • Feeling down, depressed, isolated and alone   
  •  A particular stressful event   
  •  Poor self-image and self esteem 
  •  Competitive Sport 
  • Family history of eating disorders or poor food management growing up 
  • Obsessive dieting

What affect is binge eating having on my body and my health?

Can be as minor as:
  •  Increase stress 
  •  Poor sleep 
  •   Digestive upsets 
  •   Headaches
To more serious health issues:
  •  Depression 
  •  Menstruation and Reproductive issues 
  •  Gallbladder disease 
  •   High blood pressure and cholesterol 
  •  Type 2 diabetes 
  •  Metabolic syndrome
And much more.

What can I do?
  • Seek health professionals advice: source out a nutritionist, PT and or psychologist to help you create safe new habits and a better relationship with food and weight loss 
  •   Eat 5-6 small meals per day: Star with breakfast and eat every 3-4 hours, this will allow you to regulate metabolism, teach your body to have hunger signals and prevent you from over eating (by not skipping meals). Dieting & restricting your intake will only lead to more binging episodes. 
  •   Exercise: Is good for just about everything! It will get you to your weight loss goal, allow you to relax your mind, reduce stress, and overall make you feel great 
  •    Keep temptation away: out of mind out of sight.  Don’t buy junk food or keep it readily accessible. Only eat at the kitchen table and no other room in the house, this way you will associate food with eating it around other people & not in private. 
  •  Find new triggers: If you find you binge eat out of emotion, find a new trigger for when you’re feeling down instead of food as a reward.  For example, instead of binging because you’ve had a bad day go do an exercise class (i.e. Pilates or boxing), go shopping, see a movie with a friend etc.

Do you struggle with binge eating? Contact me at to find out ways on how you can beat it!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Amazing Avocado

Avocados are always in the super foods category but why? Avocados are high in high in essential fatty acids (EFA’s), vitamin A, E, C, K, B6, glutathione, fibre, and folate; but what does that mean for health, weight loss & muscle gain?

Nutrients & Health Benefits o f Avocados

EFA’s: provides energy, protects organs &  keeps  skin healthy,  carries fat soluable  vitamins such as A, C, E and K, as well as certain antioxidants. Monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocado’s help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and/or lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevent heart disease. Anti-inflmmatorie properties reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.  Numerous cancers including prostate and breast cancer have shown research that it inhibits growth & prevents occurrence.

Potassium: reduces fluid retention, supports normal cell function, regulates blood pressure and prevents bone loss and kidney stones.

Vitamin B6: can be helpful for high prolactin, depression, anxiety, fluid retention and breast tenderness

Folate: essential in pregnancy for growth, maintain and promote new cells in all stages of life, promotes good colon health and brain function.

Vitamin E: skin-enhancing and an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and help fight disease,

Vitamin A (carotenoids): Promotes skin health & prevents macular degeneration in the eye.
Glutathione: anti-aging antioxidant that assists with liver detoxification

Vitamin K: essential for heart health, bone health, and blood clotting factors.

Vitamin C: essential for collagen synthesisi & tissue repair, immune health, liver detoxication and anti-oxidant properties.

Fibre: promoting good gut health, keeping blood sugar levels low.

What are the benefits for weight loss?

Flattens stomach:  high in EFA’s & potassium = lower fluid retention created by foods particularly high in salt which can cause excess weight & a bloated stomach

Maintain appetite: low in carbohydrates it maintains blood sugar levels  (very low GI food) keeping your energy levels, level and  keep you fuller for longer.

Promotes fat loss: Monounsatured fats actually promote fat loss particularly in the abdominal area. 

What are the benefits for muscle gain?

Monounsaturated and polyunsanturated fats will help build muscle tissue thus allow you to put on mass. As they also contain protein metabolism cofactors and protein thus an easy addition in your diet to gain needed muscle and not fat because of the extremely low sugar and no saturated fat content.

How do I use Avocados in Each meal?

Breakfast: Avocado on Toast

Snack: Avocado on crackers

Lunch: Egg and avocado wrap

Snack: Avocado dip with vegetable sticks

Dinner: Chicken & Avocado Salad

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse