If the answer was more information, we would all be millionaires, and we'd all eat our veggies, wouldn't we?? Here are four questions to review your last 30 days:
Line One Position One CONSUME
Australia’s population grows by one person every 90 seconds. What that means is every 90 seconds we add another consumer to the list. In a recent conference I attended, a Professor was explaining the physiology of obesity. When talking about our environment, he described the battle to remain in the healthy weight range. With advertising, energy-dense foods readily available and cheap; the struggle has never been harder. Our perception of what is healthy changed along with the increased intensity of that struggle.
Some research we examined throughout my nutrition studies looked at food decisions. The average Australian makes 250 food choices a day. The majority now are not about survival or where the next meal is. The majority are attempting to resist the urge to consume. The study talks about the use of ‘external cues’ used as a source of validity of hunger or satiety.?!
Translated into English, we are using our dinner plates or tub sizes of our yoghurt to tell us whether we are hungry or full. But guess what? Their increasing! Our plate size has increased by nearly 40% in size over the last 40 years. It’s any wonder our waist circumferences are going along with it.
The science here is pretty simple, eat a little bit less than your body needs to function and you’ll use a bit of stored fat from around your body. The hard part is trying to eat less with everything from package size to your facebook page and plates all geared toward you consuming more!
Here are some questions for the mirror:
What food decisions am I making each day?
What decisions cause me the most angst?
How often am I preparing food from my kitchen?
Example: Breakfast is likely a less difficult decision than lunch. Why? Because you are choosing between cereal or toast. They are coming from your pantry. How can lunch become an easier decision when eating out or preparing? What information do you need to inform that decision? Where are your knowledge gaps?
How often do I eat to finish the plate instead of satisfy my hunger? http://yourfit.com.au/the-hunger-scale/
Now I’m a foodie but the sort that loves to eat and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen however there is a massive disclaimer that I am no Jamie Oliver and my culinary talents are not of the highest order. What that does mean is that I am well qualified to provide you really simple meal ideas that will not only get you into the good books with mum to be but ensure your little man or lady receives a lovely nutrient boost.
The Big game player….breakfast, this is where you can make the biggest impact, after a decent break between dinner or supper overnight, breakfast can be the best way to get the good book runs on the board and some studies suggest absorption is at its highest after period of fasting (sleeping).
Eggs and Avo on Toast
Don’t worry about poaching or getting the fry pan out, beat two eggs with milk in a microwavable dish and pop it on high for 3-4 minutes. Bobs your uncle…Scrambled eggs! Pop those on top of two pieces of multigrain toast spread with thick avocado (1/4 to 1/3 of a halved avo). Eggs can be a tough one but just ensure there is no runny parts to the scramble which can sometimes make them a little dry but the avo will add that creamy mouth feel to the meal a raw egg can be a listeria risk which we want to avoid throughout pregnancy. If you would like to get a bit fancy pop some cherry tomatoes (halved) and sliced mushrooms into a fry pan with a touch of olive oil and let that cook away until the mushrooms have softened and tomatoes have blistered add this to the side of the meal and finish with a little balsamic vinegar or glaze and a squeeze of lemon. Don’t worry if you muck up the first couple, our failures are what lead to our greatest successes and if your house is like mine, dads are around to be laughed AT NOT WITH so embrace it and don’t let it deter you!
The avo serves as a great hit of good fats important for immune function as well as folate essential for optimal development of your son or daughter’s nervous system.
The bread (if store bought) will be also be fortified with folate as well as iodine essential for optimal brain development. It doubles as a great source of fibre, essential to slow the movement of the food through the digestive system.
Dad: Rest assured knowing you’ve provided a really decent hit of essential nutrients, providing your little mister or miss with the right start to their day of development.
Husband: tough to go wrong with avo on toast and you’ve got away with ‘cooking’ via the use of a toaster and microwave….brownie points!
Dietitian: Awesome start to the day, great sources of essential nutrients and a good hit of energy for the developing baby and mum. Speaking of energy the next blog will have a look at the different requirements of energy requirements and a couple of snack options to help meet at certain periods 1.4 times the amount required.
Say goodbye to the dog house for me.
Dairy can be a bit of a dirty word among some GI symptom sufferers. Bloating and embarrassment causing symptoms sometimes resulting from its consumption but the movement away from dairy as a whole is concerning for our health. Here’s the deal, the body has a calcium bank known as the skeleton, up until 25 years of age every human makes deposits into that bank, increasing its density and strength. Beyond 25, we can’t improve our bones calcium density; we can only maintain it. Dairy is our best chance at getting adequate calcium in, and the ladies in our life are in greater need than us boys.
If you think of calcium a bit like the timber frame inside a brick house, the calcium binds to other minerals and gives our bones their strength. Here is the catch though, our bodies have many uses for calcium and one critical use is its involvement in cell to cell communication. The detailed description talks about positive and negative charges, and it all gets a bit confusing, but the oversimplified version is to think of the old two cans and a length of fishing line you used to talk to the kids next door. The calcium is the line, and the cans are the cells.
How does this relates to your health? The communication is an immediate need and prioritised by the body over skeletal strength. When there isn’t enough calcium in the blood to make that happen the body has a mechanism to release calcium from the bone into the bloodstream allowing that communication but as a result reduces the strength of that bone or more plainly the timber frame holding up the house.
It’s this process that sees our elderly fall victim to broken bones or fractures in incidents that might not seem at all possible. Tripping or knocking their leg. With our mothers and grandmothers more prone to these breakages than the men of the family.
So get your sons and daughters onto dairy. Yoghurt, milk and cheese should be a daily habit, and I’ve got a link below to give you an understanding of exactly how many we should have at the various ages. Remember up to 25 is the point to build maximum bone strength….so get building and maintaining that frame.
Calcium is an essential mineral for human life. Dairy is our best source, but there is a small percentage of our population that do have intolerances or even a direct allergy. It is diagnosed with a simple test, and there are some great sources of calcium that don’t require the consumption of dairy but before throwing the milk out, consult your GP and dietitian. There are probably simple ways that we can manipulate things so you can maintain the strength of that skeleton and reduce those symptoms.
Say hi to Milkman for me.
I have been a very fortunate man that until recently still was lucky enough to have all four grandparents with me. Unfortunately, I recently lost my grandmother, and in penning my thoughts down about Nan, I realised the impact Nan had on my relationship with food. You see, my Nan loved to treat us kids, and whenever we would go to Nan’s, dinner was followed by a choc-wedge. Probably one of my youngest childhood memories is biting into that chocolate topping and having melting white ice cream drip down my fingers and then having my mouth and hands wiped clean. It’s so vivid. I still remember where Nan kept them, the colour of the box, the ritual of being given one, the ripping open of the paper and sound of the chocolate crackling. Then the final step: chewing of that paddle pop stick until you nearly splinter your tongue.
The concept of a relationship with food is a foreign one for a lot of people, and until I studied nutrition, I had never given it a second thought. How do you relate to food? Is it a coping mechanism at times? Fuel at another? An obligation for some of the time? An escape from work at others? Would you say you relate to it healthily?
Healthy doesn’t mean we need to eat vegetables every meal or obsess about every last calorie. However, the old relationship question is the empathetic one. Would you be happy if someone you love related to food the way you do?
It’s an individual thing and a decision for every household to make but one worth thinking about. I suppose in promoting the health benefits of those foods typically deemed healthy I wanted to reassure everyone that it’s normal for you and your family to indulge. The choc wedge at Nan’s house is one of my favourite memories and one I’ll have forever.
Thanks to my Nan Dobson.
Say hi to your Nan for me.
Ok so now I have your attention…I’m talking about the mineral, not the household choir if you must know I do all the ironing in our house.
So what’s the go? Why am I making this point…truth is most health-conscious women, mums and some of the ladies I train are at significant risk of Iron deficiency and therefore so are their little tackers. You see when we’re born our mother passes on about six months worth of iron stores, from that moment on we as humans need to eat iron to maintain our body stores. Why is it so important? Well, Iron is the UBER that Oxygen needs to get to our muscles. Without the UBER, our body’s tissues don’t get the oxygen they need to produce energy and maintain vital biological pathways. Common side effects are excessive fatigue or a burning sensation when exercising. But, tell me out of all your friends who aren’t tired? Right, not many and who has heard the saying feel the burn when exercising! Quite often these go undiagnosed. Here is the unique part about iron though, our body doesn’t have another place to store the thing other than the blood. This storage fact is why women of childbearing age are at such risk. Experiencing blood losses on a cycle of 28 days and burning the candle at all ends (work, family, some time for you) iron quickly falls off the priority list.
So basically to order an Uber for the ladies and little ones in your life its recommended lean red meat be on the menu 2-3 times per week as that’s the best-absorbed source.
Eggs and fish are an excellent source also. There are some vegetarian sources like spinach and legumes, but you do need a lot more in comparison to animal sources. For clients of mine that are vegan or vegetarian, I recommend a regular blood test with their GP and supplementation as an alternate.
Watch out for excessive fatigue symptoms or any complaints of burning sensations while exercising. Gents, keep a close eye on how your partner is faring, if you notice bags under her eyes or that she is run down, might be worth suggesting a visit to your GP. Regular blood tests for women of childbearing age would be my recommendation. Do your best to keep lean sources of red meat, fish, eggs and legumes on the dinner table. I respect all individuals choice whether they be vegan or vegetarian, but iron is essential to keep in mind. Something to monitor if these are the choices of the individual and as the husband in me suggests, involving your GP in this decision is essential.
Say hi to your GP for me.
So here is the thing, I’ve spent the best part of my adult life studying nutrition and exercise, and I can honestly say while I have loved it, it runs a distant second to when I get to eat! I mean I’ve heard the saying foodie before and am often asked if I am, the truth is I jut I love eating! I think about breakfast before I go to sleep at night and after breakfast, I’m thinking of my next meal or even a cheeky coffee.
There isn’t much I don’t like or won’t try, travelling is more about tasting than it is seeing for me and the phrase food envy summarises most dining out experiences of mine.
There was a game-changer for my health and my dining experience which what I like to call the “satisfied versus full” battle. A secret weapon in this battle is our little mate fibre who allows us to have our carbs and eat them too!
Satisfied is that point where you have eaten till your content. You’ve taken some time to eat your meal, physiologically we have filled our stomach, and the stretch receptors have enough time to tell our brains we are satisfied.
Full is where the stomach is at capacity – the red no vacancy sign is glowing across your stomach, and you’re regretting the last ten mouthfuls of whatever deliciousness you’ve just devoured.
Here is the deal though, the average human stomach can hold about 1L and can swell up to 3L with a bit of effort. A pretty useful survival mechanism when our ancestors were hunting and moving but with our mate Kelvinator now apart of all of our villages, we don’t need that ability any more.
So what is the trick, veggies! I know you just sighed, I suckered you in with sweet talk about eating to contentment and thoughts of food even threw in a line about Kelvinator, and now I’m just another Dietitian promoting veggies. Yeah, you’re right I am…but for a different reason.
You see using spices and herbs; most veggies come up a treat, there the basis of close to 50% of most plates recommended AND THEIR FILLING!
I’m in a real pumpkin craze at the moment. I won’t bore you with the micronutrient profile and spruik its benefits, but with some olive oil drizzled and cinnamon, it makes a seriously healthy backbone of any lunch or dinner.
Fibre in the form of veggies is hard work for our digestive system to work through. That work is what keeps us satisfied for longer and does a lot of good work in diversifying our gut microbiome. There is a catch though; chips don’t count as vegetables…make sure the kids know that! Don’t forget your mate fibre, clearly define in your head satisfied versus full and take time when you eat, allow your brain to recognise satisfaction!
Say hi to your Green Grocer for me.
to the man with the eyes bigger than his stomach
It’s the end of another long day. You’re on the way to the gym and your eyes are heavy. You think to yourself, “A 30-minute power nap would probably benefit me more than this,” but you drag yourself there anyway because after all, you’re paying for it. It’s an extra 30 minutes of travel (which is on a good day) just to get to and from the gym, but you tell yourself this is what everyone has to do right?
You finally find a car park and walk in, the last thing on your mind is engaging in fake pleasantries with the desk person. You get into the change room and the floor is wet with water and sweat, the air thick with other people’s smell, and to top it off, there is nakedness you didn’t really feel like seeing less than 30 centimetres away from you.
You exit the biosphere that is the gym change room at a walk sprint. Patience is now at an all-time low. To your complete lack of surprise, all the machines you need are being used. So, you wait…more time out of your day that you don’t have.
We’ve all been there. We all know what that feeling is like and yet we push through it, telling ourselves that this is just what we have to do when it comes to ticking off the exercise box for the day. I can tell you one thing for sure friends, it most certainly doesn’t need to be this hard, nor should it. Exercise or moving should be easy, accessible and (god forbid) fun! If it is, it will become as much a part of your day and your routine as brushing your teeth.
When something becomes routine, and I mean truly routine, it doesn’t require effort or mountains of mental preparation to get through. Along with that, it also is then guaranteed to be done for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Imagine that, no more 12 week challenges and diets. Why? Because you do it already.
So how and what am I talking about? Well as an example – did you know that exercising in nature has benefits that go above and beyond the benefits you gain by exercising indoors? Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem, depression and even our immune system. Personally, I’ve found that when I run outside, I experience a completely different level of stress relief opposed to running on a treadmill.
So how does one transition from the safe routine and system that is the world of gyms? Well, you could do it by yourself, but unless you’re an exercise professional, chances are you’ll struggle initially and miss the ease of floating from machine to machine or class to class in the gym. Some of the best results I’ve achieved are in the garages or home gym environments of friends. Not only are they free and close to home, but you get the social benefits as well. You’ll also train with more intensity when required because friends motivate each other in a way that we struggle to individually.
“What we try to create is an environment that is supportive and makes exercise and movement something that doesn’t need to be associated with going to the gym. Yes we’ve got all the equipment needed, whether it’s for strength and conditioning or pre and post natal exercise and fitness, but it’s done in a supportive and personal environment that you would experience if one of your mates was a personal trainer with a gym under their house.” – Amy, Your Fit.
Your Fit offer a range of nutritional and fitness programs, information and training. With the combination of a variety of qualifications and experience, the combination of Sean and Amy’s backgrounds means all the possible bases are covered. On top of that you walk into their home and train, just as you would a friend of yours.
“These types of personal environments are so much more beneficial in terms of consistency and results. Number one, you stop associating exercise with only negative emotions, meaning you don’t need to motivate yourself for every rep, we’re here for that, you just turn up. And two, everything we give you is able to be taken home with you and made part of your daily routine. Whether it’s an exercise program or nutritional advice, we’re here for the long term and personalise your program to make sure that happens. Whether it’s implementing something that will last for the rest of your life, or helping you train for a specific event, the environment you walk into at Your Fit is personal, and that’s what we need as human beings. Real relationships to succeed,” says Amy.
In the long term, if we want to truly make exercise part of our everyday lives, it shouldn’t cost anything emotionally. It should be a positive experience and sometimes you just need someone to show you that path.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, give us a call!
The keto diet was one of the most googled health terms in Australia during the last three months. Recently, there has been a massive push in the weight loss space towards this diet regime by supplement companies and social media influencers. The question is, will it work for you? To answer that, we need to address why the other diets haven’t worked?
The keto, short for ‘ketogenic diet,’ is all about minimising your carbs and upping your healthy fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. While everyone’s body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to 60-75% of your calories from fat, 15-30% of your calories from protein, and 5-10% of your calories from carbs.
In short, ketosis is a process where we convert fat into glucose, aka energy. It’s a pretty complicated mechanism involving things in our bodies called ketones and requires a lot of counting of the net carbs per 100 grams of all the food you eat. Unfortunately, in a lot of instances, the science has been ‘sexied’ up to sell the diet without giving people the information, or support, they need to achieve long term results. A common trend when it comes to the ‘selling’ of diets.
In the short term, as a weight loss strategy, the keto diet does in fact work. As will any diet that involves lowering one’s calorie intake. However, as is the case with all diets, there is little evidence things will work out long term. This isn’t the fault of the diet, rather it is due to a range of individual and societal factors we’re faced with today – upbringing and relationship to food, ability to maintain a changed eating program, personal resilience, access to and cost of healthy food options, etc. In other words, because of the perceived effort it takes to achieve a particular diet, the diet itself can quickly become something that is just too hard to maintain for most people.
How did we get to this point? Well, in a nutshell, it’s because we’re too smart for our own good…
Our drastic evolution as a species in the last few hundred years has meant we are able to farm, produce, package and transport foods more efficiently than ever before. A fairly new phenomenon that has unfortunately resulted in most of the food in our grocery store and restaurants, being void of nutrition and cheaper than healthier whole food options. Our effectiveness at being able to feed ourselves comes at a cost…most of the food options available to us, are not actually good for us.
Along with that, unhealthy food options are shoved in our faces every day. Whether it’s on our televisions, phones, in the grocery store itself, at work, at the restaurants we frequent or on our friend’s dinner tables…food that has minimal nutritional benefit to our bodies is in front of us all the time. Making something like sticking to a healthy eating plan, an extremely difficult proposition to achieve.
Our poor nutritional intake is ironically coupled with the fact that we’ve also never been as busy in our daily lives as we are right now. We have hundreds of demands placed on us every day, resulting in a natural drain on our concentration levels and ability to carry out the tasks we need to. Like running a car on dodgy fuel, our poor diets only serve to make our lives more difficult than they need to be. The car goes, just not as quick or as smoothly as it could, requiring more services than it should.
A good example of how poor nutrition and lifestyle manifests is something we’ve all felt but shouldn’t…the dreaded 3:30-itis. We know it well. It’s mid-afternoon. You’re starving. You need to perform a task that you would usually be able to do with your eyes closed, but in this moment, you couldn’t do it if someone pointed a gun at you.
There are a lot of reasons this type of fatigue and hunger sets in. Maybe you are anxious about an issue in your life and haven’t been sleeping correctly? Maybe you’re starting to become unwell and need time off? 99% of the time, however, it is because we made a lifestyle decision that we thought was ok to do, and now we’re paying for it. We skipped breakfast that morning and thought, “I’ll be right.” Well yes, you’ll live if that’s what you’re saying. It just won’t be at the level you could be living.
When you’re in this state, your body does a number of things. Hormones send messages to your brain that are related to our survival processes. An evolutionary response mechanism that drives us to hunt for sustenance, ensuring our survival. Unfortunately, our advancement as a species happened at such a speed our biological systems didn’t quite have the time to change and adapt. I mean, it would be great if chocolate cake was good for us. But it isn’t. Not yet anyway.
All this leads us to mismanage things like diets and exercise regimes. Mismanaging the keto diet, like any diet, can often result in binge type eating. Whole packets of Tim Tams or Oreos can disappear in a few minutes because we are in ‘survival’ mode. This then overloads our systems with large amounts of things like sugar and refined carbohydrates, giving us a short-term boost but long-term ill effects, such as extreme fatigue and ongoing hunger. This type of eating can also see stimulants, such as coffee and energy drinks, overused in order to chase additional boosts of fake energy. The cycle is difficult to break and extremely damaging on bodies which are not designed to process those types of substances at those levels.
So, with the focus back on what we need to do to try and optimise our general health and wellbeing, it’s clearly important to understand that we need to make space in our day to address our nutritional requirements and needs. Whether it’s going the keto route, the vegan route or the low carb route, not giving our bodies nutritious foods has a cascading effect on our eating processes and general output as a human being. Simply put – make time to eat nutritious meals three times a day and get a decent sleep every night. Couple that with regular movement and exercise and you will almost immediately increase things like energy levels and concentration. Correspondingly, things like the terrifying 3pm starvation zombie crisis will decrease.
Our bodies are designed to run that way…give them the right fuel, let them move and you will get more miles out of them.
Give us a call if you’d like to talk nutrition & diet further!