Friday, April 4, 2014

Plan. Eat Healthy. Repeat.

A lot of my clients lately have been saying how difficult it is to eat healthy during the week when you are busy... right... wrong!

I have been trying to empower a lot of my clients to PLAN. Being healthy does take planning. Hence the name of my blog post today; Plan. Eat Healthy. Repeat. 

At the end of a long working day, a lot of us would rather put our feet up rather than don our aprons! This is when we tend to fall in to the trap of swinging by the local takeaway shop or restaurant. 

Sunday = Prep

Sunday is a great time to plan your healthy meals for the week. Good preparation for healthy eating for the week involves meal planning, writing a shopping list, doing the shopping and some simple preparation work.

If you commit to this preparation on a Sunday, it makes it much easier to eat clean, healthy meals all week. 

Meal planning doesn't have to take long. I know breakfast at my place doesn't change much from day-to-day. It's a good idea to think about your dinners for the week though and jot them down, such as:
  • Meatless Mondays - lentil spaghetti bolognaise 
  • Tuesday - chicken stir-fry with quinoa 
  • Wednesday - omelette 
  • Thursday - Grilled salmon with brown rice and green leafy vegetables 
  • Friday - grilled steak, vegetables and sweet potato chips  
Also jot down some healthy lunch ideas; Mexican wraps with low GI wraps, 3-bean mix and salad leaves/ Vita Weats with cottage cheese, cucumber and tomato/ leftover chicken stir-fry with quinoa/ boiled egg sandwiches on low GI bread/ quinoa superfood salad with chickpeas. 

Then translate your meal list into a healthy shopping list. Remember to try and stay to the outer aisles of the shops, where the fresh produce lives. No need to wander down the aisles where processed, packaged foods hide! 

Sunday Prep Tips

Here are some great simple prep ideas for a Sunday to make life easier during the week:
  • Chop up some carrot, cucumber and celery sticks ready for snacking during the week
  • Hard boil eggs ready for a quick protein hit during the week as snacks or to use in egg salad sandwiches
  • Cook up a bag of quinoa, let it cool, then divide into individual portions (~1/2 cup for the ladies, 1 cup for the men) and put in snap-lock bags and freeze
  • Cook up a bag of low GI brown rice, let it cool, then divide into individual portions (~1/2 cup for the ladies, 1 cup for the men) and put in snap-lock bags and freeze
  • Make sure you have a few backup frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer e.g. frozen mixed vegetables, frozen mixed berries, frozen mango 

Desk Drawer Winners

Here are some of my favourite stock staple items to keep in desk drawer at work:
  • Vita Weat 9-grain crackers/ lunch slices
  • Tinned tuna
  • 125g tins chickpeas, 3-bean mix
  • 125g tins corn kernels
  • 30g pack nuts
So, healthy eating is possible. Just remember. 
Plan. Eat Healthy. Repeat. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Healthy Eating Program

Over indulged over Christmas? Set yourself healthy eating goals for the New Year? Get off on the right foot this year but signing up for my Healthy Eating Program. For $99.00 you will receive:

- 2-week calorie controlled meal plan
- Shopping List
- List of snacks
- Recipes
- 2 free questions via email with your Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas cheer.. without the fear!

Just 10 sleeps to go until Christmas! Did you know - on average, Australians put on 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period? This blog is packed full of useful tips so you can have all the Christmas cheer.. without the fear of weight gain!! 

How many calories in that?

A big reason for weight gain during the holidays is the nibbles that flow at parties. A party pie here, a mini quiche there, chips, dips and crackers and you've blown your calorie bank for the day! Remember we should aim for no more than 1200kJ in total for snacks for the day; either 3 x 400kJ snacks or 2 x 600kJ snacks.

High calorie nibbles:
- Handful potato chips 577kJ/ 138 cal
- 4 Jatz crackers with full fat cheddar cheese 750kJ/ 179 cal
- 1 small mince pie 802kJ/ 192 cal
- 1 party pie 539kJ/127 cal
- 2 chocolate Lindt balls 669kJ/ 160 cal
- 1 spring roll 2066kJ/ 495 cal

Low calorie nibbles: 
- Carrot & celery sticks with 2 tbsp skinny hummus 306kJ/ 73 cal 
- 10 cherries 100kJ/ 25 cal 
- 20 grapes 335kJ/ 80 cal
- Small punnet strawberries 262kJ/ 63 cal
- 1 vegetable rice paper roll 396kJ/ 95 cal 
- Skewers with 1 bocconcini ball and cherry tomato 386kJ/ 92 cal

Healthy Food Swaps

- Swap regular hommus for skinny hommus (save 140kJ per 2 tbsp)
- Swap water crackers for carrot and cucumber sticks with dips(save 215kJ per 4 crackers)
- Swap potato chips for wholegrain chips (lower GI)
Swap chocolate for chocolate dipped strawberries (save 944kJ/ 225 cal per 4 squares)
- Swap party pies for tuna sushi (save 398kJ and 5g fat)

No time for exercise?

Yes, it's a busy time of year! However, with all the extra food being consumed, it's important to burn the extra calories with some exercise. Try and incorporate some exercise into your festive occasions. 
- Game of backyard/ beach cricket
- Walk around the neighbourhood to view Christmas lights
- Swimming in the pool
- Park the car further away from the shops when Christmas shoppin

Give the gift of health 

Encourage health and fitness amongst family and friends by giving the gift of health:
- Pedometer 
- Gym gear 
- An indoor basil plant 
- Magazine subscription to a healthy magazine 
- Kambrook Blitz2Go

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Portion Caution

Confused about portion sizes? 

It's not surprising! Take-away food, packaged supermarket food and restaurant meals have 'super-sized' over the last few decades, which makes it hard to know what the right amount of food to eat is. 

To maintain a healthy weight or lose weight, you need to make sure you're eating not only the right type of food, but the right amount. 

Portion Caution Tips

Need a coffee hit to get you going in the morning? Down-size to a small and save on calories. 

Do you grab a handful of nuts for morning tea? This is a healthy habit, but check the portion! 30g is the "perfect" portion which equates to about 15 nuts. 

Other foods throughout the day to show portion caution for are avocado and oils.Using 3 slices rather than 1/2 an avocado saves you over 150 calories. For oil, use 1 teaspoon per person. 

A few more Portion Caution Tips:

  • Meals - serve meals on smaller size plates
  • Coffee - ask for small coffee 
  • Cereal - use measuring cups - aim for 1/2 to 3/4 cup 
  • Cheese - aim for match-box size serve
  • Meat - aim for palm size serve 
  • Fish - aim for whole hand size serve
  • Rice/ pasta - fill no more than 1/4 of your plate 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Recipe: 5 minute Superfood Salad

Superfood Salad (in 5 minutes!)


1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup chickpeas (canned, drained & rinsed)
1/2 cup green peas 
30g reduced fat fetta  
1 tbsp linseed, sunflower & pine nut mix (lightly toasted) 
1/4 avocado 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 fresh lemon, juice 


1. Lightly toast seed & nut mix in oven 
2. Toss together spinach, chickpeas, peas, fetta and avocado 
3. Mix oil, vinegar & lemon juice together and pour over salad 
4. Top salad with toasted seed & nuts 

Nutritional benefits:

  • High in protein - almost 30g per serve
  • Sustained energy - chickpeas are low GI 
  • Good source of healthy fats - monounsaturated (olive oil, avocado) and polyunsaturated (linseeds)
  • Full of fibre - soluble (chickpeas) and insoluble (peas, spinach)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Liquid Breakfast Drinks in the Spotlight

If you've been down the cereal aisle recently, you'll have noticed that the range of on-the-go breakfast drinks is growing. We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is convenience taking priority over nutrition, particularly in our children?
A recent review by Choice reviewed 23 on-the-go products. All of the drinks reviewed included added sugars. 10 of the drinks had more than 23g of sugar per serve, which is more than 5 teaspoons of sugar. Breakfast is often where we obtain a lot of the fibre in our diet. Breakfast cereals are generally high in fibre, some providing more than 1/3 of our daily fibre requirements in one serve, but the liquid drinks just don't quite meet the mark.
Of all of the drinks reviewed, my pick nutritionally would be Sanitarium Up & Go Vive, which has just 12g sugar per serve. For the best start to the day; try and make time for a nutritious breakfast (for both you and the kids), and leave these convenience drinks for emergencies. Some quick, healthy breakfast ideas include;
  • 1/3 cup untoasted muesli with Black Swan low fat greek style yoghurt or 0% fat Chobani greek yoghurt and a banana
  • 2 slices wholegrain bread with Kraft No Added Salt or Sugar Peanut Butter
  • Smoothie with frozen berries, skim milk, natural yoghurt and honey
  • Goodness Superfoods Quick cooked oat sachets with sliced banana
For the full review visit the Choice website at;

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What's making news in nutrition?

Vegetarians Live Longer than Meat-Eaters

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests vegetarian diets are linked to reduced death rates, with more favourable results for males than females. The study involved 70,000 people and assessed diet using a questionnaire dividing participants into categories, either non-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood), lacto-ovo vegetarian (includes dairy/ egg) and vegan.

Apps for mindful eating help weight loss

Common distractions while eating, such as TV or computers, can increase your food intake, not only at that one meal, but at subsequent meals too. One reason for this is that distractions disrupt the 'reward' function in the brain, preventing the memory of eating that meal, increasing the likelihood that you'll seek 'reward' foods later.
Mindfulness is the Buddhist practice of being aware. Mindful eating is consuming your meals whilst being wholly conscious of doing so. This means noticing textures, flavours and listening to your hunger signals. A recent review found paying attention to what was eaten, helped reduce energy intake in participants, with them losing an average of 1.5kg over 4 weeks.
One mindful eating app available is "Eat, Drink and Be Mindful".
Another great way to practice mindful eating is to log a food diary. Read my previous blog on keeping a food diary for weight management at

Suffer from daytime sleepiness?

A study showed that higher fat consumption was associated with increased daytime sleepiness, while higher carbohydrate intake was associated with increased alertness. There was no relationship between protein consumption and sleepiness.
My take on this study? Eat balanced! Consume meals with low GI carbohydrates for sustained energy (and alertness!), include a protein food for satiety and a healthy fat in moderation.