All you need to know to keep up to date with nutrition

The missing piece in YOUR puzzle – gene testing

To all my clients interested in DNA testing or those who have already done some testing –

We invite you and your family, friends, interested minds-alike to join us at the CTG talk on genes, entitled The missing piece in YOUR puzzle. This is being organised by CTG (the Center of Translational Genomics).

What to expect:

The missing piece in YOUR puzzle
When: 26 August 2017; 9am – 12pm
Where: Belmont Square, Rondebosch, Cape Town
Tickets: R100 via webtickets https://goo.gl/kfyN6a / R120 at the door

CTG Centre and DNAlysis will be hosting the very first event exploring how an individual’s genetic profile can help one achieve optimal health and manage body weight.

Find out more about your diet, your lifestyle and your genes at ‘The missing piece in YOUR puzzle’ on 26th August 2017 at Belmont Square, Rondebosch.

Learn from international speakers and experts in their field, including best-selling author, Kathie Swift (USA); nutrigenetics expert, Dr Yael Joffe and founder of DNAlysis, Dr Daniel Meyersfeld

Explore the first ever Culinary Genomics Experience which will display the fusion of nutrition science, genomic medicine and culinary arts. Interact with leading experts and products within the health, fitness, weight-loss and sport industry.

Further queries please contact Deandra or Anine – admin@ctgcentre.com / 021 461 2530

Soup up this Winter

Temperatures are dropping, and there is something so comforting about sipping on a warm bowl of goodness. Avoid the pre-made stuff and use up all those leftover veggies in the fridge by whipping up these quick and super easy, heart-warming soups. These recipes are rich in anti-oxidants and plenty of other nutritious, delicious superfoods. The best part is, they can be made in 60 minutes or less.

 

Sweet potato, butternut and kale soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300ml almond milk
  • 4 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, curry (optional)
  • Roasted pine nuts for garnish
  • Small bunch coriander

Method:

  1. Start out with preparing the ingredients. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and the butternut. Wash and chop the kale, onion, and apples.
  2. Bring the coconut  and almond milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sweet potato and butternut and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato/butternut is soft.
  3. Add the kale, onion, and apples to the saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and optionally curry according to taste. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, roast the pine nuts in a frying pan.
  5. Serve the soup hot with a good amount of the roasted pine nuts and fresh coriander.

 

Ginger and turmeric carrot soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 400g  carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish

Method:

  1. Toss the carrots and beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onion begins to become soft. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute more, or until the garlic/ginger becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the roasted beets, carrots and vegetable stock to the saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Stir in the vinegar, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the beet stock mixture to a blender or blend in the pot using a blender stick. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve with chopped coriander to garnish.

 

Chicken zucchini noodle soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup diced red onion
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • Avocado for topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat and add in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  2. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables “sweat” and onions are translucent. Add in the thyme and oregano and cook for another 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Place in the chicken thighs and bay leaf and pour in the chicken broth and water.
  4. Cover and let the mixture come to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a steady simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken and peel off the skin and discard. Then, shred the chicken off the bone and set aside, with any juices. Place the bones back into the soup pot and simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered.
  6. While the bones simmer, slice the zucchinis halfway lengthwise. Then, spiralize/grate the zucchini. Set aside.
  7. Remove the bones and bay leaves and discard. Add the reserved shredded chicken back to the pot along with the zucchini noodles.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes or until zucchini is al dente. Season to taste.
  9. Top with sliced avocado (optional)

 

Eliminate. Detox. Boost.

Improve your health, body, work productivity, mood, and energy levels this winter by joining our 4 Week Health Program. Each week marks a different stage that is important for your health:

The 4 Week Health Program includes:

  • A healthy eating program divided into 4 stages.
  • We will see you each week at the start of a new stage
    • An initial consult (body composition assessment and diet explanation)
    • 3 follow up consults
  • Our ‘Dietitian’s Guide to Clean Eating’ e-book for FREE
  • An exercise regime specifically designed for the program incorporating high intensity training, conditioning and yoga*
*The 4 Week Health Program is R1440 (excl supplements and exercise regime)

Mother’s Day Giveaway

WIN a ‘Dietitians Guide to Clean Eating’ for mum this Mother’s Day, the 14th May.

Follow these easy instructions below and you will be one step closer to winning your mum a fabulous guide to clean eating.

  1. Like and share this post on Facebook
  2. Tell us what you’re going to make mum to eat on Mother’s day
  3. Make everyone jealous by sharing your great meal ideas for Mother’s day

The winner will be announced on Friday the 12th May.

Need some ideas?

We were thinking delicious banana pancakes with honey-nut yoghurt for breakfast in bed, and perhaps a chicken and blood orange tabbouleh salad for lunch, not forgetting a late afternoon nibble of brie and pomegranate bruschetta.

                                                             

Sound good to you? We are certain mum’s all over will love you for these recipes!

 

 

5 Quick Fixes for those Nasty Tummy Issues

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to either be run down with the “Summer-is-over-Winter-is-approaching-flu” or a bedridden tummy bug. A healthy diet and bed rest can do wonders but if you have been victim to the dreaded tummy bug then try these ‘quick’ fixes to give your gut the boost it needs. The gut is after all the most important aspect when it comes to our immune defense system.

  1. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a unique form of charcoal (different to the ashes that remain after a braai), that binds to toxins in the gut alleviating symptoms of gas, bloating or other IBS related complications such as cramping and diarrhoea. Activated charcoal comes in a fine powder, granules, tablets and capsules.

Whichever form you choose, always take it with a big glass of water and at least two hours away from food and more importantly, medications and other supplements. Find activated charcoal at any Wellness Warehouse or health shop. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product.

  1. Glutamine and zinc

Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. Zinc can alter your gut bacteria and low levels of zinc can contribute to poor zinc absorption, which is in itself a problem. Both glutamine and zinc act as a powerful tummy healing remedy.

  1. Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which can reduce some of the symptoms related to acute and chronic digestive problems. Omega 3 can be found in salmon and sardines. These two provide us with most of the health benefits attributed to omega-3 fatty acids.

Other sources include seeds and nut oils such as flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and soybeans.

  1. Probiotics (and prebiotics)

Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and helps get rid of bad bacteria. Probiotic rich foods include fermented vegetables (see below), yoghurt, buttermilk and kefir.

  1. Bone broth and Fermented foods

Bone broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. Fermented foods contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh are excellent sources.

Also remember that bacteria feed off sugar so try to cut our refined carbohydrates and sugar altogether. Your tummy will thank you.

Spice things up with a Deconstructed Vegetarian Mexican Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups cabbage (purple and white)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar

Method:

  1. Begin by making the rice/quinoa according to package’s directions.
  2. To make the Avocado Corn Salsa: Combine avocado, corn, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, red onion, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup minced coriander and the juice from 1 lime in a medium size bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make the Mexican Coleslaw: Shred the cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 1/4 cup minced coriander, juice from 1 lime and the agave nectar. Mix together to combine, then refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. To make the Black Beans: Coat the beans in a 1/2 tsp cumin and place in a pot over medium heat. Cook until heated all the way through, stirring as necessary. Season to taste.

Assemble the bowls by placing the brown rice/quinoa on the bottom. Top with avocado corn salsa, coleslaw and beans.

Serves 3-4

Hello Easter 2017

Have yourself a guilt-free Easter by trying these sneaky (and smart) eating tips:

  • Start your day off healthy: Go for your walk (or find your inner child and partake in the Easter egg hunt) and drink your green smoothie. Nothing sets you off more positively for the day.
  • Be drink-wise: Remember that alcohol is an empty calorie so try limit yourself to 1-2 units (for females) and 2-3 units (for males). Drink plenty of water throughout the day too.
  • Get in those veggies: Aim to fill up at least half your plate with salad and vegetables, that way there isn’t much space for the potato bake and pumpkin fritters.
  • Choose your indulgence: Avoid going overboard and stick to one treat. It’s either a second helping of roast, pudding after lunch or hot cross buns and a sneaky Easter egg, but not everything.
  • Start off the new week fresh: Easter break and school holidays are over, get back into routine with regular, healthy meals, lots of water and exercise. Try our Dietitians Guide to Clean Eating to kickstart your healthy eating regime. E-book now on sale for R199.00

 

The low-down on Depression and Diet

April is here and the month of April features not only Easter, but also World Health Day. The theme this year for World Health Day, which falls on Friday the 7th, is Depression. So without dampening the mood of Easter and the hype of long weekends, quality family time and delicious foods, I thought it best to give you the low down on diet and depression.

Depression is a topic most people shy away from but knowing the cold, hard facts can only be beneficial. The more you know, the easier it becomes to understand and once you’ve mastered the skills of understanding depression, you’ll realise in actual fact, it cannot be understood but there are actions we can take to lessen the risk of suffering from depression.

The World Health Organisation has a wonderful factsheet that gives information on the types of depression, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Worth a read.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

I am no expert in the field of depression itself, so I am going to stay within my area of expertise and speak about the relationship between diet and depression. A diet rich in the following nutrients has been proven to decrease the risk of depression.

Anti-oxidants: A good balance between oxidative stress and antioxidants is very important. Inflammation and oxidative stress are major contributors in the pathogenesis of depression. When I refer to anti-oxidants I mean vitamin E, vitamin C, Beta carotene and selenium (amongst others). Foods high in these antioxidants include: Pumpkin, apricots, mangoes, carrots, spinach, parsley, seafood, lean meat, whole grains, oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, broccoli, peppers, vegetable oils, nuts, avocados and seeds.

Folate (also called 5-MTHF): Folate is crucial to synthesise the neurotransmitters—dopamine, noradrenalin, and serotonin—all of which have antidepressant effects. So, without enough of the 5-MTHF form of folate, serotonin levels decrease in the brain, contributing to depression. Folate-rich foods include: eggs and leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D modulates the part of the brain which regulates adrenalin, noradrenaline and dopamine production. Vitamin D protects against the depletion of dopamine and serotonin centrally. Simply speaking, low vitamin D levels can be a contributing factor to depression. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, liver and egg yolks (not forgetting sun exposure).

Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is then converted into serotonin. So, tryptophan and 5-HTP both act as precursors to the production of serotonin in the brain. As you can already tell, it is very important to include this amino acid in your diet. Foods containing tryptophan are: turkey, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Omega 3: People with depression may have low blood levels of brain chemicals called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which play an important role in brain function. Food sources of Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) are: sardines, salmon, herring, trout and tuna.

5 Eating tips to brighten your day

  1. Include folate rich foods daily: foods containing folate are amongst others eggs and leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard etc
  2. Get your dose of vitamin D: monitoring the amount of time you spend outdoors is important, but also make sure to get in enough eggs and fatty fish.
  3. Protein, protein, protein: we already mentioned the very important tryptophan. Aim to have protein at every meal and remember to incorporate plant-based proteins (lentils, beans, quinoa, soya) into your diet too.
  4. Variety is key: eating a variety of foods ensures you are getting in all the very important micronutrients, amino acids and trace minerals.
  5. Enjoy your food: eating can boost your mood, not in the obvious physiological response, but in the enjoyment of taking 30 minutes down time, or enjoying the company of a friend or family member so sit, chew, relax and be grateful for all the positives in your life.

Not quite food related, but advice none-the-less. Remember how important it is to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day, to rest and recuperate on weekends, to spend quality time with loved ones and last but not least, to take some “me-time”.

Should I be eating with the seasons?

We’ve all heard it before. “Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables is much better”. It’s something we often brush off assuming it’s a marketing ploy or an ‘old-wives’ tale. But besides the actual cost benefit (you can easily save a pretty penny), there are other reasons as to why it is actually important to buy fruit and vegetables that are in fact in season.

  1. These foods are nutrient dense and wholesome.

Seasonal foods have been harvested when they are in the ripest form, and usually, minimal or no preservation methods are needed, so the fruit or vegetable you are buying in the grocer is at its freshest. Seasonal fruit are usually super tasty too.

  1. We are directly and indirectly helping the farmers.

Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce. Win-win!

  1. It allows us to get in different types of foods.

Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables offers us natural diversity. By eating fruit/vegetables you wouldn’t normally buy, provides you with a larger range of vitamins and minerals.

Autumn fruit and vegetables are the bomb. March to May allow for some delicious produce. Have a look at the list below and then feast your eyes on some easy and nutrient rich recipes below.

Fruit:                                                                                             

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Figs
  • Granadillas
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Naartjies
  • Oranges
  • Pawpaws or Papayas
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinces
  • Sweet melon
  • Watermelon

Vegetables:

  • Aubergines or Egg plants
  • Baby marrows
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butter beans
  • Hubbard squash
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Turnips

Broad bean and quince bulgur wheat salad with a honey and chilli dressing (serves 2)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 100g bulgur wheat
  • 150g broad beans
  • 1 large quince
  • Handful of sugar-snap peas
  • 4 radish, very thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Fresh herbs (mixed)

For the dressing:

  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Cook the beans and peas in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain thoroughly and skin the broad beans
  3. Peel and chop the quince into small chunks. Place into a pot and boil in a small amount of water for 15 minutes or until soft.
  4. Fluff up the bulgur wheat using a fork and combine the bulgur wheat, beans, peas, cooked quince, sliced radish and chopped red onion in a bowl.
  5. In a small bowl mix all the dressing ingredients together.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad, add in the fresh herbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy as a side dish or a delicious and satisfying lunch-time salad.

 

Pear stuffed chicken with beetroot baba ganoush

Ingredients:

For the stuffed chicken:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 2 (ripe) medium-sized pears (peeled and cut into 4)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ tsp Paprika

For the beetroot baba ganoush:

  •  1 Tbsp Olive oil (for grill and drizzling)
  • 4 large beetroot
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C
  2. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the cut and peeled pears.
  3. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika
  4. Roast the chicken at 190°C for 1 hour 10 min or until cooked.
  5. In the meantime, prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  6. Lightly oil grill surface.
  7. Grill beetroot, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and flesh is fork-tender (50–60 minutes).
  8. Let the beetroot cool slightly.
  9. Halve beets; scoop flesh into a food processor.
  10. Add lemon juice, tahini, and garlic and process until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve as an accompaniment to the delicious roast chicken.

Hot Cross Bun inspired puffed millet granola

Easter is around the corner and what better way to get into the ‘festive’ spirit than trying this hot cross bun inspired puffed millet granola. All the goodness of that hot cross bun flavour but this granola will leave you feeling satisfied, and your tummy at ease.

Millet is high in B-vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium. This grain also contains 9g of fibre per 100g. Millet is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, it promotes digestion and helps stabilise blood glucose levels.

Making this granola is easy and quick, and will guaranteed be enjoyed by the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups puffed millet
  • 1 cup raw coconut shavings
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup raisins/sultanas
  • 2 tablespoon mixed rind (lemon/orange)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160º C.
  2. Line a large baking tray with wax paper.
  3. Place all the dry ingredients, including the salt and spices, in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle over the honey and coconut oil.
  4. Using your hands, work through gently to coat the puffed millet.
  5. Spread the mixture out onto the lined tray and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  6. Turn the granola over several times during the cooking time to ensure even browning.
  7. Allow the granola to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  8. Serve with yoghurt or milk of your choice.