Post Christmas Detox

We’re all in the same boat! Post Christmas guilt remembering all the chocolates, cookies…urgh I can’t even carry on listing…I’m still full and it’s Boxing Day night.
We all said it…”come on, it’s Christmas…just one more chocolate” or “it’s not Christmas without Quality Streets chocolates”! But if you feel like me then listen up…I want to get back on track. The full feeling just isn’t worth it. I love feeling good and “lighter”, right? Just me? Well if you’re on my frequency let’s do this together. Let’s focus on giving our bodies the absolute best.

The first thing I am doing is stocking my fridge:
– Fresh veggies for delish interesting salads packed with cool yummy things like artichokes, sundried tomatoes, pesto, roast veg, seeds
– Fresh summer fruits like watermelon, melon, pineapple, mango for early morning fruit salads

health nut snack
Secondly I want to try cool new recipes – couscous and feta wraps with Harissa dressing, quinoa and hazelnut dressing, beetroot and bean burgers….there are so many…ooh I’m excited
Thirdly, I want to try some nice fresh smoothies…my sister makes green smoothies with spinach, broccoli etc along with berries, yoghurt, banana…sounds terrible but they are amazing and packed with folic acid and vitamin C…nice one Kim.

juices
Next I am focusing on exercising like a mo-of! (That’s my new saying BTW)… I want to do as many trail runs as I can with the clubs VOB, MATES and CRAG! I’m entering road races. The first being Bay to Bay, a 15km relay. This will be my longest road run. I have 11 days to train eeeek! I vouch to run every day and failing that to play squash, swim, gym or dare I say it, surf in CT’s ice cold shark infested water! Double eeeeeeek!
Okay…who’s with me!!!!????? It takes one step, saying yes and just doing this with me….COME ON WE CAN DO THIS!

“The Year of The Body”

As they say the problem with New Years Resolutions is trying to keep them! We all start the fresh year off with high hopes,  enthusiastically  declaring that this is The Year! Most people start off committing to “The Year Of the Body” (as my friend announced on New Year’s Eve – LOVE IT)! This would involve eating well, exercising more, stop smoking, drinking less…. How many of you are on the same frequency? We all are!!!! bodyprops3
The issue here is after a month or so, the enthusiasm fades a bit, exercise wanes and things usually go back to normal, right? Because that’s how we as humans go through life…it’s an innate function – reverting back to our usual routine and comfy habits!
BUT let us repeat ourselves now…”THIS IS THEEEE YEAR”!!! It’s Theeee Year to stick to those declarations, fulfill the bucket list, achieve each and every one of the goals you have set out for. We’ve survived multiple “end of the worlds”, we can definitely tick off our bucket list and go to gym more often.
Sit down now and make your NY Resolutions list. If anyone is interested, this is mine:
Number 1“The Year of the Body” 🙂 Yes I stole it! Let’s be honest, we have one body that needs to function optimally otherwise everything else on the list would be insignificant.
So this is what I aim to do:
 – Exercise daily
 – Enter races and triathlons and actually train so I don’t get cold feet and run the opposite way!
 – Start paddling
 – Surf more
 – Stop losing at squash (one day…)
 – Eat more salads for dinner
 – Cut down on portion size (tough one for me)
 – Cut out caffeine
Number 2: wake up happy every day
Number 3: Be a great friend, daughter and sister to my patient, loving and supportive crew (LOVE you guys)
Number 4: get a kitten and name her Peaches

(I have a million more but won’t bore you).

Make them attainable and fun so that you don’t get bored half way through the year and give up. It’s also a great idea to partner up or join a club, to motivate each other. Or just follow my blog and I’ll try keep you going!

Let’s Tango 2013!!!

Dolphin watching

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I get loads of questions about the sweetener Agave. So what’s the story?

Let me tell you the good and the bad…
Firstly, the good-
Agave nectar (or syrup) is a natural sweetener produced from the agave plant. Both Agave and table sugar contain equal calories per gram (20 calories per teaspoon).
However Agave is sweeter as it contains more fructose than sugar so you end up using less.
It also has a lower Glycemic index, meaning it causes a lower spike in blood glucose and insulin.
Secondly, the bad-
As I mentioned Agave contains Fructose, which bypasses the normal metabolic pathway and doesn’t elicit a normal satiety response. Also Fructose has been linked to an increase in Triglycerides, increasing your risk for heart disease…hmmm not ideal.

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So what is my opinion?
Steer clear of Agave! The sweeter taste isn’t worth the long term effects.
Having said that table sugar should also be limited (sorry to be the bearer of bad news). This is for the obvious reasons – weight gain, increasing risk of diabetes and heart disease, dental cavities, sugar lows
blah blah, the list goes on.
But FEAR NOT…
You can wean yourself from your “sugar addiction” by cutting intake down slowly. For example if you have two teaspoons of sugar in your tea, cut it down to 1 for a week, then down to half, until you don’t need any.
If you want to flavour oats, use cinnamon and vanilla. You can also throw in a handful of raisins or fruit to add some of nature’s real sweets 😉
Sweeten you life the healthy way 😉
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Fat Free Lifestyle…HELLO

Guys, I went for my Vitality Health Check and it confirmed my fear…my damn cholesterol is HIGH!!! I have had it checked many times before but today it was the highest it’s been! However I have had a full lipogram done before and it is the good “HDL” one that is super high, which makes sense because I eat loads of unsaturated fats (nuts blah blah) which would push up the overall reading! However losing points on my poor cholesterol reading really deflates the ego of a Dietitian who “Practices what she Preaches”. So I will be booking another full Lipogrm ASAP. I will keep you updated.

This aside, I am still very aware of Low fat diets and Low fat or Fat Free cooking and baking. So this weekend I have been super busy cooking and baking…I have just posted the recipes, so have a look and give it a try!!

carot cake

Fat free diet-  HELLOOOOO, let’s do this!

Fat trap in metal bird

Flying 30 000 ft above sea level many of us are faced with our first healthy-eating obstacle…the plane. What to eat? What’s healthy? What’s even available with the amount of cash you can scrape together?
Plane Food
As I page through the in-flight magazine and peruse the menu I am reminded of how hard healthy eating actually is. Our options include chocolates, crisps, peanuts, biltong, cheese boards, fizzy cool drinks (aka the devil) and sarmies. These are all laden with refined sugar and saturated fat (great for my recently tested sky-high cholesterol, excuse the pun haha)! The scary thing is that people actually eat this stuff…and loads of it. Two packets of fritos for the guy next to me, followed by a coke! That’s a whopping load of fat and calories lining that belly.
 Crisps
So my solution:
1. Think ahead, buy snacks before you get to the airport or at the Woolies before boarding
2. If you want a snack opt for a fat free or low fat yoghurt and a small packet of dried fruit.
3. If you want a meal….the best option is the Moroccan chicken and couscous. Otherwise a Roast Chicken and salad sandwich is always a winner
4. And always get yourself a water! No fizzy cool drinks!
Woolies Yoghurt
I hope this helps with your first holiday obstacle this Easter time!
Keep posted for more….Hope you have a happy and healthy Easter xxx

“Diet Tips for a Healthy Vacation”

–  By Guest writer, Cole Millen – 

When you’re on vacation, it’s fun to sample the fare from the local restaurants, especially if you have no way of cooking for yourself. However, if you’ve made an effort to slim down for your trip, you don’t want to waste your efforts by making bad choices. Here’s how you can eat healthily at restaurants while on vacation.

 

Healthy VacationMind the Portion Sizes

Portion control is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy weight. When dining out, ask your waiter what the approximate portion size is of the meal you’re considering. If it’s too large, order a half-portion instead. This helps you consume far fewer calories while being easier on your wallet.

Also, reading reviews and looking at menus before hand is vital in finding a healthy restaurant. it’s important to know that you can find a healthy meal even if you are staying in a Las Vegas hotel, the buffet capital of the world. It’s also important to stop eating once you feel satisfied, even if there is still food on your plate. Although wastefulness is never a good thing, neither is overeating simply because you can. You’ll make yourself feel bloated and sluggish, it’ll take longer to digest your food and you may take in hundreds of extra calories in the process. If you really want to avoid wasting your leftover food, ask for a take-home container.

Colorful Choices

As a general rule, the more colorful a food is, the better it is for you. Fruits and vegetables fall under this category. By contrast, foods that are loaded with calories, sugars and fattening carbohydrates are usually brown, white, cream or tan in color. Focus on filling your plate with as many colorful foods as possible.

The sides served with restaurant meals can make or break your waistline. Whenever you have the choice, select steamed, boiled, baked or roasted vegetables over the more fattening options. This is one way you can significantly reduce your caloric intake.

Beware the Beverage

A lot of people fail to consider the impact that their drink choices can have on their diet. It’s important to avoid beverages that are loaded with sugar like sodas, sweetened teas, fruit juices and daiquiris. It’s recommended to avoid diet sodas, too, since artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause weight gain on their own. Instead, choose healthy drinks like unsweetened tea, milk, vegetable juice or water.

Count Calories

Keeping track of your calories is an important part of maintaining your weight, but it can be a challenge when you’re eating out. When possible, try to eat at restaurants that provide caloric data for their menu items. More and more places are starting to do this, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a few good eateries.

 

Cole

 

Hello fat free life….BAM

So as you faithful readers know, my ego was recently severely bruised when I was told that my cholesterol was super high. It was a whopping 6.8 and it should be 5. Of course, the dramatic side of me informed family and friends that I was a walking time bomb…psssshhh!

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Anyway after being brushed off I went for a full test.

 

It turns out to be a genetic issue and not dietary…which should be the case for a dietitian, right? Furthermore, the full lipogram revealed good results. PHEW! So my good cholesterol is very high, which is protective against heart disease….probably also from all the unsaturated fat in my diet. However the bad cholesterol is still borderline! It is due to genetics as I said which means your body just produces too much bad cholesterol…thanks bod! Dammit!  Also very important is that my total cholesterol to healthy cholesterol ratio is ideal, further reducing risk. Check out the link to calculate the ratios…http://www.hughchou.org/calc/chol-si.php

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So my job as your online dietitian is to encourage you all to get your cholesterol checked, no matter how well you eat.  High cholesterol is way more common than statistics even report, because so few people get it checked.
Pop to the pharmacy and get a finger prick test. This tells you total cholesterol. If it is above 5, go for a full lipogram (blood test) and check it out properly. Know your numbers guys. If the bad cholesterol is high, please see a dietitian and make some changes. We only have one body and we need to look after it…
Your body is your temple 

Hello fat free life…in practice

I have outlined some easy steps to combat high cholesterol. The idea is to increase the good cholesterol and reduce the bad. Diet changes can reduce cholesterol by up to 20 %. And there are no side effects as you might see in taking medication, besides a slimmer happier you.
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1. Cut out all saturated fat – avoid animal fats like cream, butter, meat fat and chicken skin, chocolates, chips, cheese, fried foods and take aways
2. Increase unsaturated fat – these include your plant fats such as peanut butter, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, canola oil, avos, pesto…These foods are actually protective.
3. Omega 3 – boost your omega 3 to 6 ratio to reduce risk of clotting and inflammation. This is due to eating more oily fish (sardines, pilchards, fresh tuna and salmon) and flax seed, hemp seeds and chia seeds.
4. Stanols and sterols – miracle plant phytosterols that reduce cholesterol uptake and production which can reduce cholesterol by up to 15%. You can find this is proActive margarine and Benecol drinking yoghurt from Woolies.
5. Soluble fibre – found in oat bran, oats, legumes and the fleshy part of vegetables, which forms a gel lining the stomach preventing saturated fat and cholesterol uptake and production. It also stabilizes blood glucose.
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I have a particular client in mind who came to me with high cholesterol and was slightly overweight.  This person has been such a star client and followed my instructions to the letter. So far their weight has dropped significantly  (about 10 kgs) and their cholesterol dropped from 7.4 to 4.6!!!!!! This person has been such an inspiration.
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