Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Keeping healthy this summer

How to Keep Up Healthy Eating and Exercise Habits This Summer

by Guest blogger, Nicole Dellora

Who doesn't love the summer months, the sun, fresh fruit and veggies, and best of all, time to play and rest! For some of us, summer brings increased opportunities for healthy habits. However, for others it may seem harder to maintain good habits because of endless social events and activities that fill up the calendar. Well, not this year! Read on for some tips on how to maintain healthy habits this summer.

Take some time to plan
Make sure you find time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is easy to get caught up with activities during summer but it is essential to ensure you get something nutritious for your 3 main meals. Skipping meals may mean you snack on nutrient-poor foods to fill you up which can quickly add excessive calories to your day

Head out to the markets
There is a large variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in season (see lists below). Check out your local farmers markets for fresh inspiration to dishes. Have a bowl of fruit easily accessible or pre-sliced vegetable sticks in the fridge. Slicing and storing fruit and vegetables in plain sight will help prompt snacking on these choices as opposed to that chocolate bar or ice-cream from the shops on the way home.  

Drink plenty of water during the day to avoid dehydration. If water just doesn’t quench your thirst, try adding fruit slices such as melon, berries, cucumber or mint to jugs of water for a burst of low-calorie flavour.

Switch on the BBQ
Instead of the usual sausages and steak try grilling fish on the BBQ. Oily fish like salmon and tuna have great nutritional benefits and are easy to cook on the BBQ. Wrap fillets of fish in foil with lemon slices, crushed garlic and a sprinkle of herbs and place on the BBQ until soft. Combine with vegetable skewers or corn on the cob for a great meal! Prepare in advance and cook at the beach for a fresh and nutritious alternative to the greasy deep-fried fish and chips.

Get creative
We all crave that sweet frozen treat during summer but it doesn’t have to be laden with calories, sugar and saturated fat. Using frozen bananas, mango or berries blended with water for a sorbet or with a few tablespoons of Greek yoghurt for frozen yoghurt can be a fantastic tasty alternative to ice-cream or gelato. Or try our delicious banana icecream recipe. Scoop into a cone and away you go! 

Summer is supposed to be a time for friends, fun and summer sun! With these handy ideas you can get out and enjoy your summer to the fullest, knowing your health and wellbeing is still in check!

Happy Christmas?

by guest blogger, Toni Lindsay, Psychologist

Have you wondered who is behind the second door in the Newtown Nutrition offices?
Toni and Jason from Toni Lindsay Psychology see clients in the same office as Newtown Nutrition. We are specialists in seeing young people and adults for the management of depression, anxiety, illness/medical problems, school/work stress and managing relationships. We bulk bill with a mental health care plan from your GP.

The Happiest time of year.....
Christmas decorations and carols in the Marrickville Metro always are the sign that the festive season is getting close. For many, this time marks the end of a long year, a time to reflect and have a nice time with people around you. For just as many people though, Christmas and associated stuff is a really stressful time, and for many of our clients, this can be the time of year when everything can feel like its unraveling. This time of year is a good time to take stock for about how to make sense of everything that has happened for us over the year, and what might happen in the future.

Our instinct is often to busy ourselves so we don't have to deal with difficult and painful emotions and hope that they will go away. Sometimes this can be a good short term strategy. But, perhaps instead a helpful skill is to learn how to sit with the emotions and to not be fearful of them. If we try and block them out and ignore them, they often just keep bouncing back at us. But, if we acknowledge the sadness, happiness, grief, anger and everything else that our brain throws at us we are able to change our relationship with it a little bit. It won't make it go away, but powerful emotions will never just disappear! Instead, by noticing what happens when you feel angry, sad etc then you can change the relationship you have to it. If you google some "sitting with emotions" there will be a heap of exercises come up which will be helpful.

And so, when these difficult things come up over the next couple of weeks (as I am sure they will for everyone), take the time to notice it, pay attention to it, and sit with the discomfort rather than trying to push it aside. This time of year leads to reflection and perhaps for you, it will bring you to decisions about changes or things to do differently. All of these things are good, even if they feel uncomfortable.

If you feel like it would be helpful to gain some help in managing this time of year, or any other concerns, you can contact us at or 0411794603.

Easy icecream recipe

Banana icecream

Summer calls for frozen treats and there’s none better than this simple version you can make in 5 minutes at home. The silky, creamy texture of this treat belies the fact that it only contains 1 ingredient - bananas!
So simple even the kids can make it.
Peel and chop bananas (preferably quite ripe) and freeze them overnight or at least for a few hours.
Blend the frozen banana pieces in a blender or food processor. You don’t need an expensive fancy machine for this one; any blender, even a handheld one will do the job. Blend until smooth. The texture will be like soft serve icecream, or you can refreeze if you want it a bit thicker.
Serve it on its own, or add other flavours
·      Add a splash of vanilla while blending
·      Blend in Cocoa powder for a low fat chocolately snack
·      Blend in strawberries or raspberries
·      Serve over chopped fruit
·      Fold through finely chopped nuts
You can easily blend only 1 banana for a quick, cool afternoon snack or make up a batch to feed the family.
The recipe is vegan, dairy free and gluten free, but you’ll find it is loved by all!
Tip: keep a stash of chopped, frozen bananas in the freezer so you can make this easy recipe at short notice

Share the gift of health this Christmas

Looking for a unique gift for your family and friends?

Purchase a gift voucher for a family member or friend to help them start the New Year in good health. The voucher can be used to see any of our Newtown Nutrition dietitians. 
Our dietitians can help....
·      create healthy meal plans

·      achieve optimal nutrition by incorporating a good balance of food groups

·      establish a healthy eating routine

·      identify hunger and fullness signals

·      establish Mindful Eating patterns

·      identify what amounts or portions of food are best for you
·      and much much more
You can purchase a single consultation, a package of consultations for a kickstart into the New Year, or you can name a dollar value that can be used against any consultation or products.

As a Thank you to you for purchasing, we will give you 10% off your next consultation.
To purchase a Gift Voucher or for any enquiries, please email

Monday, 20 October 2014

Nurturing your nature

by guest blogger - Nicole Dellora
Nurturing your nature                                                                                                    
Ever wondered why living a similar lifestyle and consuming similar foods can result in good health in one individual but may cause ill health in another? Or why a particular weight loss diet works wonders for a friend but not you?
This difference is likely due to genetic variation as individuals vary in their nutrient metabolism and response to diet. Research in the field of Nutrigenomics has demonstrated this.
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics (or nutritional genomics) is the study of how individual genetic variation affects a person’s response to nutrients and impacts the risk of nutrition-related chronic disease1.
What does the research say?
It is becoming increasingly clear that our genes determine our specific and unique nutritional needs and it is when we listen to them we get the best results for our health.  The research has shown that following a tailored diet, based on nutritional genomics, may result in better weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar levels, even if you have previously failed on other diets2. Diet recommendations based on your genetics may be better understood and more useful than general diet advice3.
What are examples of the gene variants?
Let’s take coffee consumers as an example, some people have a gene variant that makes them metabolise coffee more slowly; when they consumer over 4 cups/day, they can increase their heart disease risk4. Other gene variants include one that has been found to make people more salt sensitive, indicating a higher risk of blood pressure if they over-consume salt5.
Other diet-related genetic differences are ones that make it harder for the body to synthesis enough of the B vitamin folate due to low enzyme activity6 ; another causes people to metabolise saturated fat more slowly so they are more likely to gain weight if they eat too much of it7.
What do we offer?
Newtown Nutrition can find out how your genes affect your metabolism, if they put you at risk of certain chronic diseases as well as help tweak your diet to meet your health needs more precisely.
We offer this service under the guidance of Nutrigenomics expert Kate Gudorf. Kate has completed genetics training. With Kate’s experience in the area, the dietitians at Newtown Nutrition are able to provide you with personal, fine-tuned DNA-based diet advice. 
What does the testing involve?
Testing involves a simple saliva swab of the mouth taken by your dietitian and sent to specialist Canadian-based biotechnology laboratory for analysis. A personalised nutritional profile is then returned to your dietitian 2-4 weeks later. Armed with this information, specific to your genetic profile, your dietitian will be able to develop the best dietary plan to help you meet your goals of improved health and wellness.
What can be tested?
Currently, the laboratory can identify how your body responds to the intake of the following 7 dietary components:
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Wholegrains and low GI foods
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodium (salt)
  • Caffeine
Testing for coeliac and gluten intolerance can also be performed if you suspect you have symptoms after eating wheat containing foods. Please note this test only provides an indication of the likelihood of gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. The test does not specifically diagnose coeliac disease; if it is positive you will need to follow up with your GP and/or gastroenterologist.
What do I need to do if I am interested?
You will require 2 visits to see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians:
  1. Initial appointment to receive the testing kit, collect saliva and discuss the testing process and any nutrition related issues that you may have.
  2. Second appointment within 4 to 6 weeks to receive the results of the test and to discuss any recommended changes to your diet. 
This exciting service will compliment other existing services available at Newtown Nutrition and will provide you with a new opportunity to maximise your health.
Please call or email Newtown Nutrition for more specific information or book an appointment for your genetic test.
References available on request

Wholefood cooking classes

Ever wanted to learn how to cook from a dietitian? At Newtown Nutrition, our dietitians spend most of our days talking about food, but a hands-on cooking class will take you one step further. We are lucky to have cooking classes just down the road in St Peters with the recent opening of Healthy Home Café.
Caroline, who conducts the classes at Healthy Home Café, is also a dietitian and previously ran a busy café and catering business, so she knows her way around the kitchen!
Caroline’s focus is on wholefood cooking, designed to show you how to cook wholesome, nourishing and delicious foods. Most people know they should be eating more vegetables and legumes, but without the know-how many people think that this means a life of boring food! Caroline will teach you quick and easy ways to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains in to your diet to boost you intake of fibre, minerals, antioxidants and health-enhancing phytonutrients. In Caroline’s cooking classes you’ll discover new, delicious, mouth-watering creations that will become staples in your diet.
Choose from a range of classes
  • Veggie-licious - Learn how to cook with lentils, beans and tofu as well as how to boost your vegetable intake
  • Damn Quick Dinners - with different classes for each season
  • Learn how to spice up your meals with Chutneys, Relishes, Pestos and Spice Blends
  • Sweet Baking with Wholefoods - How to sweeten things naturally, Dairy free alternatives and how to best work with gluten free grains
As a special bonus to Newtown Nutrition clients Caroline is offering 20% discount if you book before the 30th November! To claim the discount, enter the code: NNutrition20
Find out more at Healthy Home Cafe

Black Beluga Lentils with Rocket, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Avocado & Feta

For a taste of Healthy Home Cafe we have shared one of Caroline's delicious recipes

Serves 4
  • 350g pumpkin, diced into 2cm squares
  • 2 medium beetroots (250g total), diced into 2cm squares
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beluga lentils (see below on how to cook)
  • 1 bunch (150-200g) rocket
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, diced
  • 30g low fat feta, crumbled

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Place pumpkin and beetroot in a bowl. Drizzle over 3 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Toss vegetables to coat, then spread onto tray and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until
softened and brown.
Place remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and mustard in a jar and shake well.
Mix dressing through cooked lentils and set aside.
Wash and dry rocket.
When ready to serve, layer rocket, roasted pumpkin, beetroot, 3/4 of the lentils and the avocado onto a serving plate. Crumble the feta over the top.
Scatter with the remaining lentils and drizzle any leftover dressing over the salad.
Serve and enjoy!
    To cook black beluga lentils: Place lentils in a pot with plenty of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
    Note: If you can’t get black beluga lentils, substitute with puy lentils (preferred) or brown lentils (as a last resort!)

    For more cooking tips (and more recipes!), check out the original recipe on Healthy Home Cafe

Share the love

Have we helped you?
If you feel you have benefited from your dietitian consultations we would love you share the love. A number of our clients have offered to write a ‘Testimonial’ for our website so other people can see how we have helped them. However, unfortunately due to the Dietitians Association of Australia Code of Conduct and Australian Health Professionals Register we are not permitted to use Testimonials on our website or flyers.
We’d love you to share your story, but you will need to do it the old-fashioned way - tell your friends, tell your family, tell the next person in the supermarket queue!
Or send them an email. Forward this link, where we have a special invitation for them, and a discount for their first visit.
And as our way of saying thank-you for sharing, we will also offer you a discount for your next consultation.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Overweight and obesity in our children... Let's talk about it

By Ines Astudillo (APD)
We well know that childhood overweight and obesity is a concerning health problem in Australia. Up to 1 in 4 school-aged children in New South Wales are overweight or obese. Carrying excess body fat increases the risk of developing ongoing health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. It can also come with negative social and psychological consequences such as bullying and low self esteem issues.
Overweight and obesity can be a sensitive issue and discussion of weight in relation to children needs to be handled with care. Parents have a huge load of responsibilities, juggling work, finances, their own health, relationships, life, and raising little people. Understandably for some parents, their child’s weight issue can be overwhelming, confronting and can leave them feeling like they are failing. Clearly, with the known influences of our changing society on obesity, and obesity being a worldwide problem, parents are not the sole bearers of responsibility.

So how do I know if my child is overweight or obese? 

With an increasingly overweight and obese society, it can be difficult to work out whether a child is overweight when using visual comparisons.  A useful screening tool is the Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age percentile which is based on a child’s height and weight, and is sex specific. This tool is a reliable indicator of body fat and is helpful to identify a possible weight issue; however, interpretation requires care and further in-depth assessment by a health professional such as a GP or dietitian.

Does my child need to lose weight? 

Each child is different and the approach to weight management should be individualised to the child. Although this is a weight issue, in general weight and weight loss should not be the focus. The take home message for children and families is the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy weight for the long term. That is learning how to eat healthily and get plenty of physical activity as a lifestyle change, rather than trying to lose weight with unsustainable ‘dieting’ and excessive restrictions.
What steps can I take to start better lifestyle habits? Seeking the support of a health professional may be the first step to assess your child properly. Here are some questions that may be helpful to start a health focus: 
  • Is your child due for a growth progress check-up? 
  • Is your child eating nutritious foods that promote healthy growth and development? 
  • Are they getting at least one hour of physical activity every day? 
  • Do they drink enough water?

Here are 3 tips for healthier lifestyle habits:

1.    Create an environment at home that makes a healthy food choice easy - Stock the fridge and cupboards with nutritious foods from the 5 food groups (refer to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating for more information). If you choose to offer ‘discretionary’ or optional foods, buy these only sometimes (less than once per week) and in small amounts or packets.

2.     Pack a healthy lunch box:
* A healthy sandwich using wholegrain bread, lean protein and salad vegetables
* A piece of fruit and a calcium rich food e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternative
* Vegetables e.g. cut up sticks of celery, capsicum, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomatoes
* a healthy extra e.g. healthy homemade vegetable muffin

3.     Offer food and lead by example - It makes sense that the research shows that parents are the most effective agents of change. Parents do have the ability to change and shape children’s eating and physical activity behaviours. Certainly, children cannot be made to eat foods that they do not want to. However, children model behaviour and so a parent can offer healthy foods and show their child what to do with the food, how to eat it and enjoy it. Remember it can take over 20 times of offering a food before the child can interact with and accept the food, and finally eat it.

What can I do?

Make an appointment with Ines to discuss changes that you and your family can implement to help your child develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Ines prefers to see parents/carers alone initially.