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

Royal Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 10-15 dates
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1/2c walnuts
  • 1/2c raisins
  • 1 tsp baking powder.

Icing

  • 200g low fat cream cheese
  • 1.5 tsp xylitol
  • walnuts

Method

  1. Mix the eggs with a blend of 2 bananas, dates and oil.
  2. Mix with coconut flour, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrots, walnuts, raisins and baking powder.
  3. Bake in a pregheated oven at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.
  4. Top with cream cheese whipped with xylitol and walnuts.

Exchang amount per 1 small slice: 3 fats and 1 starch

Processed meat & cancer update

“Does bacon cause bowel cancer? Does red meat cause stomach cancer?”

In a short answer, yes, according to The World Health Organisation (WHO). They have labelled processed meats as carcinogenic agents. But what does this mean? Do we have to stop eating bacon and sausage? Shock and horror! Read on…

This is not new science. Epidemiological evidence and the underlying mechanisms have been studied in depth over the past few years. It is just now that the WHO and the IARC have exposed their new results that people are taking note again.

The background of IARC Monograph program:

Specialists from around the world assess a wide range of 940 agents from air pollution to solar radiation to chemicals and food products. The assessment looks at the hazard (how capable an agent is of causing cancer) not the actual risk (how likely it is to cause cancer). This is based on epidemiological studies, animal studies and underlying mechanisms.

The agent is then graded into 5 different groups depending on the level of evidence available.

Processed meat has been graded into group 1 – meaning that the agent is carcinogenic to humans, based on epidemiological evidence and animal studies.

Red meat has been graded as 2A (the agent can probably cause cancer), based on animal studies and limited epidemiological human studies.

At this stage it is important to look at what constitutes processed meats. It is made mostly from pork or beef meat that are preserved by treatment methods including curing and smoking, and yes most bacon and biltong are included here. Have a look at the image below…

cancerous_meat_624

 

The underlying mechanisms of how these products are associated with cellular changes and cancer are outlined by Santarelli et al in 2008 in the article Processed meat and colorectal cancer: a review of epidemiologic and experimental evidence, published in Nutrition and Cancer. 2008; 60(2): 131–144.

  • Cooking meat at a high temperature forms carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds are formed in meat and endogenously
  • Heme iron in red meat can promote carcinogenesis because it increases cell proliferation in the mucosa
  • Nitrosation might increase the toxicity of heme in cured products

This science has been available for many years and may stand true. However in certain studies risk can be falsely linked to disease due to compounding factors. For example, the healthy well part of the population may avoid processed meats and be highly active and not smoke – all of which reduces their cancer risk.

I would like to highlight the following here.

It is important to realize that even though processed meat has been regarded as a grade 1 carcinogenic hazard, which also lists tobacco smoke, alcohol and solar radiation, their association to causing cancer is not the same. So you cannot compare the hazard that processed meat has on cancer to smoking for example. This is highlighted here:

3% of all cancers may be linked to red or processed meats

19% of all cancers may be linked to smoking cigarettes

(Cancer Research, UK)

 

Furthermore, there are positive attributes to eating red meat including the provision of high quality and bioavailable protein, zinc, vitamin B12.

It is also important to examine your source of processed and red meat and to opt for hormone free, grass fed, free-range meats.

The message is that we should find balance: limit the amount of processed meat in our diets and enhance a healthy, active lifestyle where weight is well managed, tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption is avoided and a diet high in antioxidants and nutrients is followed.

 

 

Lose weight in 5 EASY steps

Summer is around the corner and it’s time to get back into shape.

Few of us have time and energy for huge lifestyle changes, so if you are looking for easy and quick tips to lose weight, you have come to the right place 🙂

I have chosen my top 5 tips and summarized them for you…..

  1. Start the day with 30 sit ups and 20 push-ups – this boosts your metabolism for the day and tightens those toned arms and flat abs (even if they are hiding under a layer of fat). Also exercise as much as you can. Walk instead of drive, take the stairs not the lift, join a friend for a stroll instead of coffee, and find an activity that you love.
  2. Drink 2 L of water every day – water flushes the kidneys of toxins and helps to keep your stomach regular and healthy. This is also an easy way to feel fuller.
  3. Make herbal green tea your best friend – like water it fills you up but it is also filled with healthy tannins and antioxidants. DRINK UP!
  4. Quit the sugar – no matter how we spin it sugar is toxic for the body. It has been linked to heart disease, weight gain, ADHD, cancers…and the list goes on! So ditch the fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate, muffins, biscuits…. and opt for high fibre snacks like my delish Coconut Date Balls.
  5. Listen to your belly – Eat slowly and chew properly and stop eating just before you get full. This helps control energy intake throughout the day which will make or break a diet. We often overeat, so just be aware and try reign it in. Use the Portion control guide and rather fill your plate with lots of salad and vegetables.

GOOD LUCK 🙂

 

Chia Facts

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food packed with omega 3s and antioxidants. They are full of fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium.

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contains 138 kcal, 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. This amount of chia seeds per day would provide 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% of phosphorus, 30% of manganese and smaller amounts of potassium, zinc and copper.

For my clients 2 tbsp = 1.5 exchanges of fat and 1 carb

When compared to flaxseed, chia seeds provide more omega-3s, calcium, phosphorus and fiber – all essential nutrients that most people are not getting enough of.

The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, smoothies, vegetables, rice dishes, or yoghurt. They can also be mixed with nut milks and water and made into a brekkie or pudding 🙂

Check out all my recipes for some inspiration…

All About Fibre

We have all heard about FIBRE but do you know what fibre actually is?

Fibre is found in plant foods and there are 2 main types you have probably heard of; soluble and insoluble fibres.

 

Soluble fibre is the soft fibre that helps control blood glucose (sugar) and reduces cholesterol. It also helps in managing diarrhea. Soluble fibre is found in oat bran, oatmeal, legumes (dried beans and lentils) and fruits such as apples and strawberries.

Insoluble fibre is the bulky fibre that helps to prevent constipation and helps to speed up the time it takes to remove waste from the colon. It is found in wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables.

*Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.

IF you still need more convincing, here is why fibre is good for you 🙂 :

  • Controlling blood glucose (sugar)
  • Managing blood pressure (high blood pressure is also called hypertension)
  • Reducing blood cholesterol
  • Increasing the feeling of being full
  • Controlling weight
  • Regulating bowel movement

fibretips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portion Control Guide

When it comes to losing weight and then keeping it off long term, it all comes down to portion sizes. It sounds so simple: don’t eat or drink too much, but it’s so easy to drink more than you planned to, without a doubt, most people struggle with this concept but today I will give you some tips to make life a little bit easier 🙂

 

Tips to control your portions:

At home

  • Buy yourself a set of measuring cups and have them handy.
  • Always measure breakfast cereal and rice/pasta servings using a measuring cup.
  • Keep kitchen scales handy to check portions and serving sizes.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV, it is easy to overeat when you distracted.
  • Use grated cheese or invest in a cheese slice to control portions.
  • Only carry portion controlled snacks of nuts and crackers.
  • Cook at home more frequently!

At restaurants

  • Ask for half or smaller portions.
  • Eyeball your appropriate portion, set the rest aside, and ask for a doggie bag right away.

At the grocery store

  • Beware of mini-sized snacks – small crackers, cookies, and pretzels. Most people end up eating more than they realize, and the calories add up.
  • Choose foods packaged in individual serving sizes.

 

Now…when you don’t have measuring cups or a scale available, you can use your hands to figure out reasonable portion sizes…handguide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if you still find this difficult to put into action…

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That Sugar Film

I have just seen the Ozzie documentary called “That Sugar Film”. It’s excellent. It follows a 30-something guy who changes his diet to reflect that of the average Australian, who generally eats 44 teaspoons of sugar a day! Shocking! The scariest part is that this isn’t in the form of actual table sugar, it’s HIDDEN sugar. YES, that means that in many people’s daily diet lurks 44 teaspoons of refined, toxic sugar.

 

The physiology is really well depicted. It explains how sucrose is broken down into glucose and fructose. So when we flood our systems with sucrose from commercial products like fizzy drinks, sweetened dairy, cakes etc, our bodies metabolize the fructose in the liver where it gets stored as triglycerides. This is very harmful and is associated with an increased risk for heart and metabolic disease such as obesity, diabetes and even cancers.

 

It highlights the obvious changes (like dental cavities, weight gain and increased body fat) which become symptomatic after just 3 weeks! However the real value of this film is the way it shows the internal changes. This includes the increased triglyceride level, visceral fat (around the central organs), insulin and dopamine response triggering an addiction and psychological effects such depression. This film’s shock factor is huge!! But so is the effect of sugar 😉 it makes you think about every drop that you put into your mouth.

 

Remember: your body is your temple… You only have one chance at keeping it safe and healthy.

 

Sugar Addiction

Let’s talk about sugar and find out what you can do to kick your sugar habit and get your life back on track. Sugar is a carbohydrate found naturally in many foods from lactose in milk to the fructose in fruit and honey. In fact, we need some sugar in our diets to supply energy to fuel our muscles and keep our brains active.

The problem comes in where children and adults are consuming TOO MUCH sugar. Many processed foods have added sugar which supplies energy in the form of calories and very little else.  A high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good ‘high’ followed by a crashing which leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods. It’s a vicious cycle that may be contributing to our weight problems as well as health concerns like diabetes and heart disease.

 

Foods high in added sugar: cakes, biscuits, sweets, frozen desserts, fruit drinks, fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, chocolates, savoury foods.

sugar cycle

Making a few adjustments to your diet can help you cut down on unnecessary sugar consumption:

  • Reduce the sugar you add to hot drinks. Do this gradually to give your taste buds time to adjust. Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to cappuccino or hot chocolate, cinnamon adds flavour without the sweetness.
  • Be wary of ‘sugar-free’ foods. These often contain synthetic sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. Although these taste sweet, they don’t help curb a sweet tooth so they tend to send confusing messages to the brain, which can lead to over-eating.
  • Balance your carb intake with lean protein like fish and chicken- protein foods slow stomach emptying, which helps manage cravings.
  • Swap white bread, rice and pasta for wholegrain versions like oats, whole-wheat breads, brown rice, quinoa and pasta.
  • Reduce the sugar in recipes and add spices to boost flavour and taste.
  • For a pick me up, have a piece of whole fruit with a handful of nuts or a small tub of plain yogurt.

Health and Wellness in the workplace

Health and wellness in the workplace

Healthy and empowered employees are happier and more productive.

Healthy employees are efficient, take fewer sick days and are more productive in your company. The reverse is also true – it is recognized that the workplace itself has a powerful effect on people’s health. When people are satisfied with their job, they are more productive and tend to be healthier. When employees feel that the environment at work is , which has a large impact on employee mental and physical health, and in turn, on productivity.

We have done various health and wellness days including:

  • Presentations at Parliament and Transnet
  • Assessments and consultations at Mr Price, Milady’s, Mr Price Financial Services, Swiss Re, Shelll and OMD.

We have seen that a good workplace wellness program has an impact on employees’ mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, and of course productivity. It’s time to empower your employees with life-changing nutrition information.

benefits of wellness

 

Basics on how to lose weight (easily) 

Most people that walk through my door want to lose weight but feel like it’s an impossible task and huge mountain of a challenge. My job is to make weight loss achievable and yes, EASY!

The best trick is to make lifestyle changes that suit you and fit into your current routine. In this way you will see the kilograms shed with minimal effort.

Here are some basics to set you off on the right track. If you can start by following these 8 tips you will be leaps ahead.

  1. Cut out sugar in tea and coffee. Do yourself a favour and add up the teaspoons of sugar you have in a day. Remember that 3-4 tsp = 1 slice of bread.
  2. Cut out fruit juice and fizzy cool drinks. This is VITAL because most juices are laced with sugar. For example, Ice Tea can contain about 30g of sugar!
  3. Say no to high energy snacks like chocolate, muffins and sugary treats
  4. Limit alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol in the same way as it breaks down fat. The problem is that there is no ‘alcohol reservoir’. So the body needs to stop metabolising any other food and turns to burning the alcohol, storing the fat and carb that it was metabolising.
  5. Drink lots of water and herbal teas. This keeps you feeling full and ensures that the metabolism  is functioning well.
  6. Include a lean protein in most meals and snacks. Protein has an excellent effect of satiety and really helps tide you over until your next meal.
  7. If in doubt about portion control, only allow yourself one helping and try and leave 20% on your plate (and ask for a take away for lunch the next day)
  8. Exercise!!!

Good luck