Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

By Ines Astudillo (APD)

The festive season is here and so are those tempting holiday treats. 
Did you know that the average Australian will gain 1 to 3 kilos over the festive season? The worrying part is that this weight tends to stay on for the rest of the year and beyond, which means that in a few years you can be quite a bit heavier therefore significantly impacting your health.
Celebrations and social events are part of enjoying life and it is important to allow yourself to join in and enjoy festive foods on these special occasions.
With some simple tips and a little planning, you can prevent yourself from gaining those extra kilos so that you don’t have to make weight loss your new year’s resolution!

Simple Tips

r Be mindful about your portion size - Enjoy festive foods in moderation and without guilt. Think about what you might eat and decide how much you will have to allow yourself to enjoy the upcoming meals. If you're planning to have a larger dinner, pace yourself and make breakfast a lighter meal by choosing a lighter option, or reduce your portion size or perhaps skip the fatty option such as the bacon. Or for desserts, ask for the ice-cream or cream on the side, share with a friend, or just have smaller serve. If you know in advance there will be a nice dessert to come, leave a little of your main course behind.
r Listen to your satiety signals - Pay particular attention to when you are feeling full and have had enough to eat. If you only feel like a piece of fruit for dinner after a big day of eating then do so and enjoy the break from worrying about a meal.
r Avoid going hungry to a party - we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - try having a small snack before going so that you are not tempted to overeat the unhealthy foods.
r Make a conscious choice to limit high fat and/or high sugar items - high fat food items can be found in fried food, cream-based soup, creamy desserts, mayonnaise drenched salads, cheese-filled casseroles, pies, processed meats such as salami and sausages, some pastries and baked goods, fatty meat, fatty bacon, crisps, pork crackling.
r Keep well hydrated - In the warmer weather, it is important to keep well hydrated. Most people need more than 2 litres of hydrating fluid everyday. Some fluids such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can dehydrate your body. Have a jug of cold water ready in the fridge with lemon, lime or orange slices or some fresh mint.
r Enjoy alcohol in moderation - If you drink alcohol, enjoy it in moderation which means, for men up to 4 drinks per day and for women 2 drinks per day. Remember to have 2 alcohol free days a week. Try other versions of alcohol. Instead of full strength beer, cider, Baileys and Kahlua, try light beer, dry wine, Bloody Marys or spirits mixed with diet drinks which have fewer calories. Remember: alcohol is calorie dense and in excess results in weight gain.

Making a list… Checking it twice

Why not try a healthier and fresher theme this year? Plan your meals and write a list of the foods you will need to create your delicious Christmas meals.

For breakfast...
Enjoy a fresh fruit platter, wholegrain cereal, low fat yogurt with berries, or perhaps poached eggs on grainy bread with lean bacon and lightly oiled grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and fresh baby spinach leaves.

For Snacks...
Try rice or whole grain crackers with low fat cheese slices and healthy dips such as low fat tzatiki, hummus, and tomato salsa. You may as well include carrot, celery and cucumber sticks for dunking in to your dips! Offer nibbles such as dried fruit and nuts, pretzels, grain crisps or air popped popcorn. Maybe you would like to make some crushed fruit and low fat yogurt icy poles for cool snack. Mangoes do nicely here!

For Lunch...
Enjoy some lean ham off the bone with fresh green leafy salads and/or roasted pumpkin baby spinach pine nuts salad, or perhaps some seafood such as oysters, prawns and calamari.

For Dinner...
Try some barbequed fresh Salmon with char grilled zucchini, capsicum and eggplant strips and an array of green leafy salads, or perhaps skinless turkey with roasted vegetables.

For dessert...
Try fresh fruit salad (watermelon, rock melon, green grapes, mango, kiwi fruit and strawberries) with low fat yoghurt and a drizzle of honey, or perhaps fruit loaf with low fat custard.  

Try different versions of egg nog. Traditional egg nog is usually made with egg yolk and thick cream. Use low fat milk and perhaps less egg yolk to lower the fat and calories! If you buy commercial egg nog, you will be delighted to find low-fat or fat-free egg nog out there - we can even find soy nog! See how you can modify your recipes to make them healthier.

Remember…. The festive season is a part of enjoying life. Allow yourself to join in and enjoy the festive foods in moderation. Merry Christmas!

Gift Vouchers available!

Great for Christmas presents or as some motivation to get 2014 off to a good start.
Buy a friend or family member a gift voucher for a dietitian consultation.
You can purchase a single consultation or one of our packages eg Kickstart to Health or 12weeks to Weight Loss.
Email Newtown Nutrition for more details.

Social support helps you reach your goals!

Social support through a dietitian

by Kate Gudorf APD
Research has shown that social support is one important aspect to helping you make and maintain diet or lifestyle changes.  In fact, enlisting the support of friends, family or health care practitioners may help you achieve better results than by going it alone. 
Other activities that are known to help you achieve better results include: seeking advice from a dietitian or health professional, setting personal goals and maintaining accountability through a food or activity journal.  
Below are some strategies that you can use to help you achieve lasting results:
  • Share your health goals with  your friends and family
  • Ask a friend to be a work-out buddy
  • Go for walks with your family or friends
  • Keep a food journal by writing down everything you eat and drink everyday
  • Keep an activity journal 
  • Monitor your daily steps by wearing a pedometer 
  • Write short term and long term goals and review your progress on a regular basis - remember to make your goals  SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed
  • Share your new healthy habits with friends or family by preparing a healthy recipe, choosing a healthy restaurant or leading by example
  • Speak to a dietitian at Newtown Nutrition for ongoing diet advice, support and motivation to help you achieve your goals.

Providing ongoing support and motivation is one important aspect of the 12 Week Program at Newtown Nutrition.  In this program, you can enjoy the benefits of regular and ongoing support and encouragement of a dietitian to help you make and achieve lasting results. 
Contact Kate for more information, or call Newtown Nutrition to make an appointment.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Spring clean your kitchen

by Kate Gudorf

With the first days of spring here, we all gladly welcome the longer days, the afternoon sunshine and the beautiful vegetation and spring produce on offer.  Spring can also be a time of new life and self reflection.  A time when cupboards are cleaned out and old, bad habits reshaped. 
Use this time to evaluate your own diet and lifestyle habits.  What would you like to achieve over the course of spring?  Use the tips below to help guide you in developing new, healthy behaviours for a spring time makeover.
·       Instead of relying on winter time comfort foods, begin to experiment with salads.  Use lean protein, like tuna, lamb or chicken or legumes and add a variety of fresh, spring time veggies.  Experiment with different lettuces, herbs or cabbage and make a homemade salad dressing of fresh lemon or lime juice with extra virgin olive oil and a dap of good quality mustard.
·       Attend a farmer’s market and experiment with new produce. 
·       Have berries or fresh fruits for dessert rather than cake or ice cream.  Or experiment with baked fruits, like poached pears, apple crumble or grilled pineapple.  See the recipe below for a great gluten-free, vegan dessert.
·       Take advantage of the warmer days and take a walk over your lunch break.
·       Now that the days are longer, use the extra daylight in the evening to go to the park with friends or family.
·       Clean out and organise your pantry.  Complete a stocktake of what’s available and make an effort to use up older foods before buying new.  Do you have staples on hand so that making dinner is easy?  Try to keep things like pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, cereals, tinned legumes and tuna on hand.  These foods can make a quick and easy meal when pressed for time.

·       Need help re-evaluating your current diet or could you use some inspiration?  Speak to a dietitian at Newtown Nutrition.

Flourless Apple Crumble Recipe

adapted from “It’s All Good”
4 cups sliced and peeled apples
4 Tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup almond meal
½ cup quinoa flakes
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 200°C

Toss the apples in a shallow baking dish with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and lemon juice.  Mix the almond meal, quinoa flakes, salt and cinnamon in a separate, large bowl.  Add the remaining tablespoons of maple syrup and the olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Crumble the mixture over the fruit and bake until the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.