I made this video to share with everyone during COVID-19 isolation. Food is the source of our nutrients and nutrients power our body systems including our neurotransmitters.
There are 21 times per week that you can do something to reduce your anxiety.
The foods I talk about in the video are easy to find, easy to cook and taste delicious. And I show you how.
Let me know how you go with your version of the Bliss Bowl featured in the second half of the video. My kids ate it for lunch and said it was so yummy they want to have it every day now!
That’s right…if you have three meals per day and eat 7 days a week – that’s 21 opportunities to make a ‘smart choice’ about food that will benefit your mental health.
Of course, please continue to see your psychologist or psychiatrist.
Please don’t use this nutrition advice to replace your medications or talking therapy – a healthy base of essential nutrients will support your whole body systems including your neurotransmitters – to work better.
Make these foods part of your ‘anti-anxiety diet’
You might be surprised to learn that specific foods have been shown to reduce anxiety.
Scientific research shows diets low in magnesium were found to increase anxiety-related behaviors. Foods naturally rich in magnesium may, therefore, help a person to feel calmer. Examples include leafy greens, such as spinach and silverbeet.
Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks have been linked to lowered anxiety.
B6 helps with carbohydrate metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis – you will find it in legumes, nuts, eggplant, cucumber, meats, fish, quinoa and other grains.
Essential Fatty Acids
Other foods to consider, include fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids. A study completed on medical students in 2011 was one of the first to show that omega-3s may help reduce anxiety. (This study used supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids). Prior to the study, omega-3 fatty acids had been linked to improving depression only.
A study in the journal Psychiatry Research suggested a link between probiotic foods and a lowering of social anxiety. Eating probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, and kefir was linked with fewer symptoms.
Think of foods rich in B vitamins, such as avocado and almonds. Animal foods are generally a rich source of B vitamins – I always include eggs in a diet plan if tolerated by the individual.
B vitamins work as a complex – they need each other – so a balanced diet is essential. Look for all the colours of the rainbow at every meal, protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Spices with both antioxidant and anti-anxiety properties include turmeric (containing the active ingredient curcumin) and ginger.
These “feel good” foods spur the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. They are a safe and easy first step in managing anxiety.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if your anxiety symptoms are severe or last more than two weeks. But even if your doctor recommends medication or therapy for anxiety, it is still worth asking whether you might also have some success by adjusting your diet.
While nutritional psychiatry is not a substitute for other treatments, the relationship between food, mood, and anxiety is getting more and more attention.
This recipe is anti-inflammatory, high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, high in essential fatty acids, high in minerals such as magnesium and zinc and amino acids (protein). Best of all it’s crunchy and delicious and virtually sugar-free.
Plus when you add dairy kefir and organic berries and/or kiwifruit (actually any seasonal fruit!) it is full of antioxidants, plant polyphenols and beneficial microbes to seed and feed your gut microbiome.
These are the reasons I recommend a breakfast like this to my patient who may need help balancing hormones, who have immune response issues such as allergies and especially for my gut health patients.
NOTE:This recipe may not be for you if you have digestive issues – until we do some restoration work. Due to the seeds which can be difficult to digest – which is why I ask you to crush them in this recipe!
2 cups of gluten-free oats 1 cup of steel cut oats 1 cup of sunflower seeds 1 cup of pepitas 1 cup sliced almonds 1/2 cup cashews 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup chia seeds 1/4 cup crushed flax seeds (quickly blitz in a food processor) 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1 Tablespoon honey in 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup olive oil 4 Tablespoons collagen peptides powder – see note 1 Tablespoon ground turmeric 1 Teaspoon ground ginger 2 whole apples very thinly sliced and chopped to bite size pieces – the-thinner-the-better so they crisp up!
Preheat oven to 140°C
Mix all dry ingredients in a really big mixing bowl.
Add the wet ingredients.
Break up any big clumps, but smaller clumps are OK.
Line 2 x baking trays with baking paper
Pour out mix evenly about two to four centimeters deep, very loosely packed
Set oven timer for 30 minutes, bake for 30 minutes then stir, it will still be soft, we’re just making sure it bakes evenly
Set oven timer for another 30 minutes and repeat until golden toasted look achieved
Remove from oven and set trays on a cooling rack
Stir it again, it may still seem moist, but will dry out further when completely cooled.
When completely cooled put in an airtight container.
Australian’s are pretty clued up when it comes to eating for
good health. We have traditionally eaten a fresh food diet, it’s only in the
past 50 years that so much processed food has made it into our homes. It’s this
bad habit of grabbing convenience foods loaded with salt, preservatives,
flavour additives and sugars that contributes to so many allergies, intolerances,
metabolic issues and poor health leading to chronic disease.
I want to show you it’s easy to break bad habits and make
the most from your lunchtime – regardless of where you eat this important meal.
From fast-food restaurants, even the innocent corner cafe
with the ‘home made’ muffins (read sugary cakes most likely cooked in a
production kitchen somewhere else) and bakery pastries (read layers of bad
fats) to supermarket shelves exploding with high-fat and high-sugar add-ons,
lunchtime can be like running the gauntlet of temptation for those trying to
eat a healthy and balanced diet.
But a healthy, delicious and enjoyable lunch can be done.
And you will probably save money, energy and time with these simple tips.
When planning your meal, it should include lean protein –
try a piece of wild salmon, poached or roasted chicken breast, nuts, cheeses,
legumes – whole-grain carbohydrates, and fresh produce.
It doesn’t have to be raw vegetables with salad leaves either, get creative with some leftover (or meal prepped) roasted veggies, they make a delicious plant based salad. Or try adding some fruits such as thinly sliced pear or apple, even strawberries – I kid you not – they add a delicious dimension to savoury plates, try matching these fruits with cheeses. Blue vein and pear are a match made in heaven. Chicken, camembert and stone fruits are another great combination. This helps if you crave sweet things.
Roughly half of your plate should be vegetables; one-quarter
should be lean protein and one-quarter should be whole grains, such as half a
cup of brown rice, quinoa or some legumes (they are just the seeds of the plant
after all) like lentils. You might include a small amount of healthy fat, such
as a tablespoon of olive oil and cider vinegar or lemon juice to dress up your
Be wary of salad-bar style salads, or packet salads from
supermarkets. They sometimes contain unhealthy fats, hidden sugar, and salt —
not to mention lots of kilojoules.
Follow these four steps to creating your own signature
version of a satisfying, healthy lunch. The trick is building in flavour so it
is satisfying and not turfed in the bin at work the moment someone suggests
going to the pub for Parmie Tuesday. Or was that just 25 year old me who used
to do that?!
Step 1: Build your vegetable base. Loading your plate with
raw or blanched leafy greens and raw, grilled or roasted vegetables means you
are already halfway to healthy right there – and is an excellent source of
phytonutrients that you can’t help but eat with all the flavour you’ll pile on
top in the next steps.
Step 2: Add your protein choice. You might try a few
handfuls of chickpeas or kidney beans, perhaps if you have time some felafel
for example. Beans are one of the best sources of fibre – and they’re filling
– so you’re going to be satisfied after
your meal. Other good selections include grilled chicken, small amounts of
cheese, and I love chopped boiled eggs and sliced plain egg omelette if I have
the time. Be frugal with your cheeses, it only takes a sprinkle of strongly
flavoured varieties like feta or Parmesan to deliver the flavour. Cheese also
delivers a lot of kilojoules per weight, so keep this in mind when you are
imagining dividing your plate into quarters as mentioned above.
Step 3: Add a small amount of healthy fat. Sprinkle on the
nuts and seeds. They are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and healthy
protein, give you a feeling of fullness, and help food stay in your stomach
longer. Load up on avocado, it’s so good for you. You might also opt for a dash
of quality olive oil.
Step 4: Whole grains and fruits make a flavourful addition
to any creative salad. Look for whole grains like quinoa or teff to sprinkle on
top. Or add a few slices of fruit. Try seaweed to add flavour and minerals.
My other favourite lunch is vegetable soup. I make a big
batch on the weekend and freeze it into portions and defrost and reheat in a
saucepan before I leave the house and put it into my single serve thermos which
I purchased at Biome and is simply awesome – because you can make it hot (for
soups) or cold for yoghurt and granola. I actually have two for this purpose if
I know I’m going to be out all day.
Some great soup bases to get you going are:
thermomix (or similar) homemade stock paste
teaspoon of curry paste and some coconut milk.
They all give amazing soupy flavour when you add boiling
water at lunchtime. Just add finely sliced vegies – you can thank me later…
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer EVERYONE is to eat a good lunch. It should be the largest meal of the day with balanced portions of carbs, protein and fats to give you the fuel to get through the afternoon and then enjoy a smaller meal in the evening while you are winding down for a restful and rejuvenating sleep. A great lunch makes you a better human being. If you want to learn about other effective strategies for healthy eating, talk to me about booking a free initial consultation for my health coaching service. I love to help people realise they are the ones in control of their health and actualise a healthy and long life for themselves and their families.
Are you a morning person? Did you know that every single
morning that you are here on this earth you have a choice to make today a
better day? So get ready (and get up), I’m going to talk you through how to
design your own Morning Ritual that will supercharge your day.
Simply put, a morning ritual is a set of actions you do
immediately upon waking up to prepare and optimise yourself for a more
productive and laser-focused day. As a person who wants to reach goals, this is
really important, so listen up.
Most people get into habits, and the morning habits seem to
be the hardest to break. Take breakfast for example, do you have the same style
of meal every day? Most people do and it’s the reason hotel buffets cater for a
broad variety of tastes – we don’t like to change much – even on holidays.
Then of course there’s the habit of waking up late. It leads
to rushing out the door, grabbing coffee and breakfast on the run and feeling
frazzled. Over time this habit leads to a routine that sets a ‘tone’ for the
rest of your day. It’s not enjoyable to be rushing around, it makes you swear at
red lights and causes your sympathetic nervous system to kick in leading to
high blood pressure and digestive issues.
It’s all common sense.
What if I told you there is a better way? No, I’m not about
to quote a bunch of human psychological studies – although the scientific
evidence is out there – I’m going to talk common sense. Scientific evidence
shouldn’t be the only motivational factor here.
Let’s look at two scenarios to starting your day:
You wake, immediately grab your smart phone, and scowl
because you are blinding yourself by the bright blue light hitting your still
sleepy eyes. You notice 12 notifications between various apps, social networks,
emails and text messages (likely some urgent and some not so urgent things to
deal with). You turn on the TV while you’re getting ready and watch the morning
news (it’s all crime, heavy traffic, maybe some rain). You’re running late for
a meeting so you head out the door without breakfast and rush to your first
meeting to start your day.
You wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal and immediately
spend several minutes in silence, appreciating the stillness before you start
your day. You sit up in bed, close your eyes again and spend the next few
minutes meditating, just focusing on your belly breathing and practice
controlling your thoughts. In your own time, fix yourself a fresh fruit
smoothie. While you’re taking the time to enjoy breakfast (allowing digestive
system to do its job), you write down your goals for the day. The most
important one first, followed by the rest, less important goals. Finally you
pick up your smartphone to check notifications from the night and adjust your
goals and priorities accordingly. With some time to spare before your first
meeting, you take the walk that crosses through the park.
It’s not rocket science to make an estimate as to which
scenario leads to a better day. But which is closer to your real-life
These two morning options might sound like they are worlds
apart, but really it is only a few small choices that make all the difference.
Even if you are closer to #2, I’m sure there is room for improvement.
Why starting the day right is so important
You wake up and morning happens every. single. day. So why
not spend time to make it work for you? Make it work to create an even better,
more productive day – everyday.
Because you can’t borrow tomorrow, today is all you have to
Ask yourself, is it possible that you can feel better each
day? Is it possible you can work harder? Is it possible you can be more alert,
focused on your goals and relaxed if you changed a few fundamental things on
starting your day? Is it possible?
A logical person would likely say yes.
Four examples of what a morning ritual looks like
1. Wake up 10 minutes early
Meditate for 10 minutes.
I use an App called Smiling Mind – it’s free –
so no excuses. There are also loads of meditation workshops available to learn
to do it yourself without an audio guide. See Soho Yoga who often run workshops
and also The Nourished Soul.
2. Wake 30 minutes early
Hop out of bed (the hopping is optional) and
stretch for 10 minutes
Write down your goals for the day – it’s
important to write, oldschool, not type. Make sure you write them in order of
3. Wake up 1 hour early
Read or meditate for 20 minutes.
Write down some ideas you have – a new business
idea, poetry, plan a dinner party – it doesn’t matter – it’s all about getting
the creative juices flowing.
Make a green smoothie – Blend: avocado, kale,
cucumber, lemon juice and two dates
Drink it while you write your list of goals for
Start work on the most important task of the day
4. Wake at 5.00 am everyday.
This isn’t hard in Queensland, it’s the best time of the day.
You need to go to bed by 10.00pm the night before.
Meditate for 10 minutes.
Drink two tall glasses of water
Exercise for 10 minutes – I prefer yoga (and I
have an App for that too – Yoga Studio) – but you can do body weight exercises
such as push-ups, squats, jacks or jogging
Define your tasks and goals for the day
Begin your day
Extra bonus round…
If you have children – wake up an hour before they do (OK if
your toddler is still waking at 4am you have my blessing to sit this one out
and just take him back to bed with you for doona cuddles until a more
Do any of the above morning rituals, shower and get dressed
before they wake.
They will think the world of you and the awesome example you
set, you scrumptious Mummy!
Put your stamp on it! It doesn’t have to be yet another set
of rules you’re gonna hate. It can be as simple as you like. The idea is to
focus on the things you want that will give the greatest benefit to your day.
Do you want to feel more relaxed, happier, more in control of cravings? Ask
yourself what really matters.
It can take 30 days for a habit to form, so be patient with
this. Test different elements and over time what feels right will feel really
wrong if you miss it for a day – like not brushing your teeth.
The elements to create a morning ritual
We are all individuals. It may be 15 minutes of drawing that
creates space in your day to manifest greatness, or perhaps it’s talking to the
plants (or the chickens), you might like to do a full hour of yoga…play with
the dog…whatever it is the idea is that it will put you in a good state of
mind for the rest of the day.
Here are a few popular elements to get you started:
hydrotherapy is key to many ancient healing philosophies. It’s a simple way to
start your brain and digestion.
Breakfast – all
bodies are different. So whether it’s a heavy breakfast of eggs, salmon, potato
hash and spinach or a lighter one of yoghurt topped with nutty granola and
fresh fruit take your time with the eating part! Try experimenting with what
makes you feel best. You might be surprised at how different a different food
can give you more clarity and more energy throughout the day.
Just be wary of sugar at breakfast. What goes up must come
down, this goes for caffeine too. Also, avoid caffeine with a meal – it can
deplete nutrient uptake – particularly in pregnancy.
Exercise – no
need to go too nuts here – save that for the gym or your 5km run. In a morning
ritual the goal is simply to get moving. Stretching out your muscles and doing a
few gentle twists or back bends will keep your spine more youthful, it will
warm you up and with a few empowering yoga poses you will be ready to face
whatever the day has to throw at you.
Family – whether
you are a work from home entrepreneur or a commuter, we spend too much time at
work. It’s no longer 9am to 5pm more like 7am to 11pm! Create the space for
family in the morning and you have already started your day with the most
important people in the world. This one isn’t only for you – it’s for them too.
Reading – it
expands your mind, challenges your thoughts and opinions. What’s not to love
about reading? Make it a book, as in paper and ink. Remember, the goal is to
set the tone for the day so you should stick to positive books.
Writing – There
are so many benefits to writing. It helps you better form thoughts and flush
out ideas that are stuck in your head. This doesn’t mean you need to write a
book, a blog post or even a journal. Just a few ideas can be extremely
beneficial and help spark your day.
Silence – I sleep with Airplane mode on my phone, so there are no beeps or pings (or WiFi signal) and it doesn’t switch back on until 7am. A few moments of pure unadulterated silence first thing in the morning, except for the birds and distant traffic noises, can be an excellent way to make your day pure gold.
Meditation – the
brain is amazing and giving it a little treat is a brilliant way to start the
day. My three- and five-year olds tells me “that was soooooo good”
each time we meditate together (which is every day).
Meditation can be really as simple as silence+focus. Do you
think that some silence and focus can help you? It’s pretty hard to argue
against a bit of silence and focus in your life.
Set your goals for
the day – If you are like me, you likely have hundreds of tasks on your
list. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lose focus on your goals for the day.
Try writing down the three most important things you want to
achieve and do them before 11am. The trick is not to write down unachievable
goals like ‘write the novel’, but something like 1) write the new 100 word
product description, 2) prepare a powerpoint presentation and 3) pick up
stationery order, are all achievable with a start and a finish that can be
ticked off as you complete them.
Recipe for success
Pick your anchor item – what will give the most
impact to your day? Can be as simple as waking up earlier.
Add elements as desired – don’t make it too hard
on yourself – don’t overburden your morning or overcommit. This is supposed to
be adding benefits.
Switch things up and change it around. I like to
think of this optimising my productivity – so if an element isn’t serving you,
toss it out.
Stick to it – it takes 30 days to create a habit
– and that is basically what we’re going for here. Great habits to replace bad
ones, like sleeping too late and being a grouch because the lights were red all
the way to work.
You got this.
The take home
Your morning without doubt will set the tone of your entire
day. So make it work for you! Do this by making sure that every morning YOU are
in charge of the decisions that start your day. Appreciate the little things
like a good whole body stretch and a few moments of meditation.
A morning ritual will take time to establish, but it will be
worth it. With a whole lot of mornings ahead of you there is no reason not to
make these small changes to upgrade your life and take yourself to the next
What is your morning ritual?
What morning rituals have you developed? What have you
found, that above all else, supercharges your day and helps you take your
focus, clarity and productivity to the next level? Let me know in the comments.
If you’re struggling with changing your diet and lifestyle, you may want to consider seeing a naturopath or hiring a health coach. The idea is pretty simple – you want to make the changes necessary to be your best – but ‘stuff’ keeps getting in the way. A health coach can help you listen to your body first and use that information to best work for you.
My husband has been growing Oyster Mushrooms at home – they were
a gift from my sister for Christmas.
We’ve had fun adding mushrooms to every meal.
(Start recipe 24 hours before to soak your chickpeas in
clean water, changing the water twice – then cook for 30 minutes or until when
you put one in your mouth you can crush it with you tongue and roof of the
Time: about an hour Serves: 6 with a side of mashed potato and a leafy green salad
500 g dried chickpeas (soaked, and cooked see above)
800 g mixed mushrooms – try for as many varieties as you can get
6 shallots (the little red onions), leave whole if small or in half if larger
6 cloves of garlic, chopped in half
1 stick of celery, chopped into small pieces
2 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of coriander
Pinky finger sized piece of peeled and grated turmeric
1 – 2 tsp dried cumin
Sprinkle each of Celtic sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
In a tagine or heavy based saucepan (with a lid), warm up
the olive oil and add the onions and garlic turning up the heat now to get a
nice ‘caramel’ (quite brown) on the outside. Then remove to a large bowl and
set aside – with a plate or a lid to keep moisture in.
Continue with the carrots and celery, cooking until some
colour on the outside, remove to the large bowl.
Next do the same for the softer vegetables – mushrooms in
two batches, zucchini and cherry tomatoes – until all batch cooked and golden
brown – it doesn’t matter at this stage if cooked through, we just want the
flavour from the caramelisation.
Next, turn the heat down to around 3 and add all ingredients
and the juices back into the saucepan or tagine.
Add half the herbs roughly chopped, the spices – including
the turmeric. Stir gently until combined, Then add the chickpeas and cook for
around an hour either on the stove top or in the oven depending on your pan. I
usually do this dish in a tagine on the stove.
Serve with the remaining herbs scattered over the top and a
wedge of lemon and a good glug of best quality fruity olive oil.
From my teenage years I had always suffered from acne. By 30
I was kinda like ‘ok, body…the jokes over…acne AND wrinkles?’.
We all know that our skin is the red flag to what is going
on within. I knew deep down that my lifestyle, stressful job and poor diet
(which included a few drinkies) played a crucial role in my health and well
being. But I wasn’t quite ready to change anything. I tried medications and
dermatological creams that made me so photosensitive I burned within minutes of
sun exposure, all of which seemed only to exacerbate my problems.
Add to the bad skin a significant weight gain in my late 20s
and I was finally ready to take matters into my own hands and clean up my diet
and lifestyle. I felt that if medicine couldn’t help me, perhaps the internet
Absolutely desperate, I started blindly with a full detox,
eliminating all the ‘fun’ stuff, i.e. no dairy, gluten, sugar, vegetable oils
or meats. It felt like I was dying – like the worst hangover I had ever had –
for three days!! Then, by day four I felt the best I had ever felt in my whole
life! I got back into exercising too. After 30 days I felt great, so I slowly
added foods back in until I found the culprits – for me it is unfermented
dairy, sugar and gluten.
I certainly don’t advocate these drastic measures, as I
said, I was desperate – and it’s not something that one can maintain over the
long term. But it helped me realise what an impact diet and lifestyle play on
our longevity, happiness and outward appearance – let alone the inflammation
that must have been occurring within.
This led me to formal education in integrated nutrition,
which opened my eyes and my mind to how powerful food is. A little of a food
can be the cure – too much, a poison. So, armed with an education in nutritional
biochemistry, and a passion for research, I honing my counselling skills to
teach others how to listen to their body, to see the signs and know how to make
the changes needed to live a long and healthy life.
For over 12 years I have found success in crowding out the
bad choices with good and the biggest improvements I have made have been
Thank you for reading, my one piece of advice for a happy life…just eat real food, plenty of fibre, lots of water and not too much of any one thing. Variety is the spice of life!
Before you reach for the chippies, chocolates or energy
drinks try these energy boosting snack ideas that will keep you going to the
next main meal.
Steering clear of simple carbohydrates is the key to healthy
snacking. Low fibre, easily digested carbs found in refined grains (biscuits,
breakfast cereals and breads) tend to raise your blood sugar, which can leave
you hungry again in a few hours.
I have to admit, I used to be a big snacker…in fact I
would happily graze all day missing lunch completely before I got organised and
serious about good nutrition, by taking control of my main meals and overall
diet. I am amazed at how much more energy I have now. Besides, flaking out at
4.00pm is simply not an option now that I have small children!
The trick to healthy snacking is to ensure it’s not too much
food to interfere with your appetite for that next main meal. Digestion is a
four-hour process and if you’re not getting hungry in between meals your gastro
intestinal system is not going to turn on the right hormones to process the
food you are eating, leading to digestive issues and weight gain.
So if you have lunch at 12.00pm but are planning dinner with
friends at 7.00 or 8.00pm, you might need a snack to get you through at about
There are endless choices for snacks – and most packaged
ones should be avoided. They usually contain vegetable oils, sugar (in all it’s
many forms) and salt. A much wiser choice would be something fresh like fruit,
vegetable sticks or whole foods with little processing, and look for a balance
of the healthiest sources of fats, carbs, and protein. For example:
Natural or Greek-style yoghurt with a sprinkling
of grain-free granola – or just fresh berries and nuts
35g of a home made trail mix, I add my favourite
nuts like cashews, pecans, walnuts and almonds, a small amount of dried fruit
like goji berries, apricots, dates and cherries, flaked coconut and pepitas –
you can even add a piece of low sugar dark chocolate (see Pana Chocolate brand)
A small portion of hummus or home made pesto dip
– about 1/4 cup is enough for a snack – and have with it broccoli florets, baby
carrots and cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
An apple sliced, served on a small plate with 1
Tbsp almond butter slathered on the edges
A banana sliced length ways with 1 Tbsp natural
peanut butter spread on and sandwiched back together
Your choice of cheese (just a small wedge), a
piece of pear and some raisins (like a mini cheese platter for one – this is my
personal all time favourite snack
A small fruit with a sprinkling of grain-free
granola or a garden salad (think a cup full or 250ml), shaved Parmesan and a
dash of good quality olive oil will definitely keep you going until that 8.00pm
There is no need to deny yourself a little snack here and
there. But if you find yourself zombified at 3.30pm everyday, it might be time
to reassess what you are eating for breakfast and lunch on a regular basis. Is
there a good balance of carbs, protein and fats for your body and brain? You
are an individual, only you will know what is right for you.
Basil Pesto Dip
Place a bunch of basil (leaves and small stems only),
1/4 cup pine nuts,
1/4 cup cashews,
30g Parmesan cheese (cut into small pieces),
30ml good quality extra virgin olive oil and
1 small clove of garlic
In a food processor and process until combined.
Place dip in a bowl and serve with broccoli florets, sliced
capsicum ‘scoops’ baby carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
What are your
miss out on the things you love – that’s no fun! Take a step back (when you’re
not starving at 3.00pm and dreaming of chocolate cake) and see if you can
‘healthify’ your favourite snack food. Let me know in the comments below what
you crave, and I’ll answer with some ideas on how to make it healthier for you.
It’s all about teaching yourself to think about food in a
new way. Years ago, meat and three veg was the Australian staple. Now we know
that more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish are best for our
Food is intrinsic in our everyday lives, not to mention our
celebrations! From – “hey, it’s your birthday, here’s some cake” to –“it’s
Friday lunch, let’s take the team to the pub”.
Make it exciting by experimenting with new recipes and meal
plans. Be creative and take chances. Instead of dreading your new food
lifestyle, have fun with it.
Don’t be in a rush. Change slowly. By the time you are 40,
you’ll have eaten some 40,000 meals — and lots of snacks besides. Give yourself
time to change, targeting one item a week.
Start with breakfast, switching from processed
cereals and breads to eggs, spinach and a little bacon, or try oatmeal with
walnuts and fruit. If you just can’t spare 10 minutes for a sit-down breakfast,
whiz some greens with a banana and protein powder for a quick smoothie on the
For lunch, try out salads loaded with a protein
hit such as cheese, tuna or leftover roast chicken. If you crave sweetness
after a meal, try a piece of fruit here – or indulge in sweet vegetables like
carrots and sweet potato.
Snack on unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruit, a
‘rainbow’ of raw veggies with hummus. I like capsicum, cucumber, celery,
carrots – anything with crunch.
For dinner, experiment with fish, poultry, beans
and lentils, roasted vegies (so easy), quinoa, brown rice, and, of course, more
salads and veggies. In fact, try making your meal plant based with a little
added protein like a fist-sized piece of chicken or red meat. Then any
leftovers make a great salad the next day.
Fresh fruit and frozen fruit desserts are
examples of suitable after-dinner treats. And there’s nothing wrong with the
occasional cake, pie, or chocolate if portions are moderate and it’s more of a
once a week type habit – not every night!
Most of all, just relax about your diet. There is no such
thing as the perfect food. Not everything on your plate needs to have a higher
purpose. Take your tastes and preferences into account. If Spaghetti Bolognese
is your favourite food, it is perfectly okay to eat it — but try to make it a
Sunday treat instead of a daily staple. The better choices you make in your
overall diet, the more “wiggle room” you’ll have to spoil yourself.
Remember, take a long-term outlook. Don’t beat yourself up
if you slip up or “cheat” from time to time. We have 21 meals in a week. It’s not about
being faultless every single meal, much less every mouthful. It is all about
balance. Your nutritional peaks and valleys will even out if your overall
dietary pattern is sound.
For more delicious healthy recipes, try a cooking class. We
can tailor them specifically to your needs.
If you’re struggling with changing your diet and lifestyle,
you may want to consider hiring me as your health coach, the idea is pretty
simple – you ‘want’ to make the changes necessary to be your best – but ‘stuff’
keeps getting in the way.
health coach can help you listen to your body first and use the information
that best works for you. Because bio-individuality is the key to nutrition.