Monday, 29 August 2016

Embrace - The documentary

A review, and messages for those of us who don’t love our body.

By Molly Jones

If you have been following Newtown Nutrition on Facebook recently, you’d know that I recently took myself to go see a new documentary out called Embrace. If you missed the initial post - I’d love for you to watch the trailer before reading the rest of the post.

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Embrace is the brainchild of Taryn Brumfit; a documentary on self love and body image acceptance.  Long story short, she posted a photo a few years ago  that went incredibly viral, and after being interviewed internationally on the topic of body image, she wanted a bigger platform to spread the message she so desperately wanted to share.  Embrace is told from the point of view of Taryn as she traverses the globe talking to experts, women in the street and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In her affable and effervescent style, Taryn bares all (literally) to explore the factors contributing to this problem and seeks to find solutions”.

I could wholeheartedly write pages and pages praising this film, but  instead, I’ll keep it short - simple - and helpful. Here are the 3 biggest things I took from watching this film. 

Number one.
You may think that the person who is younger than you/fitter than you; is a size smaller than you /has longer hair than you/has clearer skin than you/has more money than you/has more friends than you is more confident with their body than youBut you know what, they’re probably hating their body as much as you are.

Number two.We get exposed to hundreds and thousands of images of the ‘perfect body’; from magazines, to models, to tv commercials, to social media. The lack of diversity in our media does nothing but build upon our lack of love for our bodies. The men and women in our media don’t even look like that in reality thanks to airbrushing, excessive makeup, good lighting and a team of assistants who's job is to make them look amazing. 

Number three.
The joy, fulfilment and happiness that becomes a part of you when you’re not stressed about the appearance of your body is life changing. I can tell you right now, that the women that walked out of the theatre after seeing this documentary had a certain glow about them. And that glow, that determination, is awe-inspiring. Because can you even imagine, how much we could do as individuals, if we weren’t concerned with how we looked. 

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Celebrating what we’ve got; right now. 

Celebrating what our bodies can do; rather than what they look like.

 Celebrating who we are as people; rather than physical entities.

Our kindness, our generosity, our courage and our happiness don’t come from what size clothes we wear or how we look in the mirror. 

This is what this documentary taught me.

And I wholeheartedly think every single person would get something out of it (young, old, male, female, happy with their body or hated their body for as long as they could remember).

For screenings in your nearest city, check out the link below.

The best types of dietary fibre for optimal gut health – are you missing out?

The best types of dietary fibre for optimal gut health – are you missing out? 

Written by Amanda Moon (APD), originally published at blog

Considering different types of fibre have different effects in our gut, research suggests that eating a combination and variety of different high-fibre foods is important for our optimal healthHigh fibre foods in general include vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and including all of these foods in your diet is recommended (where tolerated) for a variety of gut benefits. However, understanding which may be the most beneficial, including to help restore and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your large bowel, may be the key – fibre is not just about keeping your bowel movements regular and passing with ease! 

Our gut bacteria is well recognised to have an important role in the absorptions of nutrients, keeping our immune system strong, preventing certain cancers, improving the integrity of the gut lining and minimising gut inflammation. Recent research is also indicating that a healthy balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gut bacteria may also result in improving systemic effects beyond the gut (think fatigue, arthritis, acne, eczema, mental health and weight management to name a few). It’s the gas and short-chain fatty acids that our bacteria release after feeding on certain fibres and foods (prebiotics) we eat, that are responsible for these benefits. Dr Jane Muir, Nutritional scientist and researcher at Monash University says that getting the balance of prebiotics and total dietary fibre is what’s important. 

Tim Spector, author of The Diet Myth likens the gut to a garden. “Think of your microbial community as your own garden that you’re responsible for. You need to make sure the soil (your intestines) and the plants (microbes) are healthy, containing plenty of nutrients and to stop weeds or poisonous plants (toxins or disease microbes) taking over, we need to cultivate the widest variety of different plants and seeds as possible”. I love this! 

Note: Some people are sensitive to certain fibres and sugars in the foods listed below, which may result in gas, bloating, pain, indigestion etc. Get in touch if you need advice on determining how to manage the following foods in your diet. Some work to repair and restore the balance of bacteria in your gut may be needed first.  

Fibres and foods most beneficial for our gut: 

  1. Prebiotic fibres (e.g. galacto-oligosaccharides and fructans)support the growth of beneficial bacteria and the production of short chain fatty acids, which provide nourishment to our intestinal cells and the movement of fibre through the gut. Legumes (e.g. chickpeas, red kidney beans, borlotti beans, four bean mix) and lentils are one of the highest sources, with others including onions, garlic, leeks, wheat and nuts 

  1. Resistance starchstarch not digested in the small intestine (therefore acts as a fibre) and provides food for our bacteria. Good sources include cooked and cooled potatoes and pasta, as well as legumes, lentils, barley, rye, cashews, oats, green bananas, banana flour. 

  1. Simple sugars (e.g. fructose and polyolsin fruits and vegetablesdraws water into the gut to assist movement of fibre and prevent constipation. Apples, pears, figs, mango, asparagus, artichoke, sugar snap peas, snow peas, mushrooms and cauliflower are good sources. 

  1. Polysaccharides: provide bulk and absorb water to promote normal bowel movements. These are found in bran, oats, barley, rye, wholegrain bread and brown rice.  

If increasing the amount of fibre in your day, start slowly to ensure your gut bacteria has time to multiply and adapt. 

Of course fibre isn’t the only important component of our diet to keep our gut (and body) healthy and happy. High amounts of refined sugars and starches, certain types of fats, toxins and alcohol can have a negative impact, while natural foods rich in vitamins, minerals, nourishing fats, proteins and antioxidants will have a positive effect. But work on one thing at a time I say!    

Hope this helps 

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Monday, 1 August 2016

Welcome Dietitian Kate Back From Maternity Leave

Our dietitian Kate is pleased to announce the safe and healthy arrival of her son, 
Quin Alexander.  

She has enjoyed spending time at home with him, watching him grow, coo, giggle and smile; but she is now ready to return to Newtown Nutrition.

Kate is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Credentialled Diabetes Educator specialising in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, weight management and lifestyle change.  

Kate takes a moderate approach to help people achieve and maintain their goals in a sustainable fashion.  Kate has undergone further training in behaviour change, and she applies these principles in her consultations. 

Kate will be available for consultations in the Newtown Nutrition office fortnightly on Saturday between 9am and 1:30pm. 

For more information about Kate's philosophy and areas of interest, visit our website

To book an appointment with Kate, you may ring the Newtown Nutrition office at 9517 9932 or email 9am and 1:30pm. 

Top 10 tips for travelling on a LOW FODMAP diet

Written by Amanda Moon (APD), originally published at
A common question I’m asked when helping people investigate and manage food intolerances is “how am I going to manage my restrictions away from home?” …. and it’s a very good question!
Ideally you would complete your FODMAPs challenges (to identify your problem foods) and start playing around with tolerable portions before you set off on your travels, but if not, don’t stress – the tips below should help you out. Of course if you need any help with the challenges and broadening your diet before you leave, get in touch sooner than later. Here are a few handy tips to assist in eating a low FODMAPs diet while away from home:

1. Keep a wallet-sized list of foods to avoid and simple alternatives – having a list of foods you don’t tolerate (and a list of tolerated amounts) will ensure you’re always prepared when you’re looking at a menu or placing an order. Don’t be shy to share this list with the people involved in preparing your food. Knowing simple alternatives will also make things a lot easier.

2. Look at the menu ahead of time - if you have the ability to download the restaurant’s menu online before you get there, you will be able to consider which options may be suitable or adaptable. Writing down questions or requests will also ensure you don’t forget to ask. You may even like to provide the waiting staff with your list of requests to pass onto the chef.

3. Phone ahead – speaking with food service staff before the day you arrive will give them a heads up and hopefully allow the chef to be more accommodating of your needs. Ask them if it would be helpful to email the list of ingredients you can / can’t eat.   

4. Bring your own seasoning - zip-lock bags of herbs and spices or small bottles of lemon juice, soy sauce, tomato sauce or vinegar will allow you to add flavour to meat, poultry and seafood, or even pastas and soups  - this way you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out when you ask for no onion or garlic (often in gravies, marinades and sauces). Of course you can ask restaurant staff to add allowed flavours for you, but this idea is most handy for small take away stores that don’t offer much variety.  

5. Take translations - if travelling somewhere you don’t speak the language, take a list of translations for common high and low FODMAP foods as well as sentences to say “please none of these foods” and “do you have any of these foods?” This will hopefully make your ordering experience smoother. If travelling with a guide, explain your restrictions to them ahead of time and ask if they can help you find meals you can eat. Airport or hotel staff may also be helpful. Before you set off on your travels, you may also like to research popular dishes and common ingredients used in the region to help you prepare.

6. Take packaged snacks – worried about being stuck with nothing to eat but foods you’ll react to? Stock up on suitable packaged snacks that travel easily in a suitcase or backpack e.g. canned fish, rice cakes, wheat-free crackers, peanut butter, trail mix, suitable muesli bars/snacks (e.g. Food For Health fruit free bars or fruit free clusters - both are gluten-free), cereals (e.g. Kez’s Gluten free cereal bites (fructose free) or Gluten Free Low Fructose Cinnamon & Superseeds Cereal), canned vegetables (e.g. green beans, carrots), mini lactose-free long life milk. A plastic bowl, cutlery and storage containers for left-overs may also come in handy.

7. Keep Iberogast and/or peppermint tea handy – to soothe your gut if it becomes irritated. A suitable probiotic may also provide some relief and  can be particularly helpful for traveller’s diarrhoea. 

8. Pick your indulgences – if it’s holiday time and you’re a foodie like me, holidays can be based around new and exciting eating experiences. However, if you want to avoid upsetting your gut more than you need, I’d suggest considering how much you’re going push your limits. At the start of each day, evaluate your agenda and where you may likely be tempted to indulge in something risky….. for me it’s always something sweet! Limiting yourself may mean sharing foods with someone so you can still enjoy a taste, or it may be that you allow yourself something special one time in the day or every second day to eat outside of your diet boundaries, while sticking within them at the other times of the day. Remember, an irritable bowel can be sensitive to large volumes of food even if they’re low FODMAP! So go easy on portion sizes.

9. Practice deep breathing and stress-reducing techniques – getting upset or stressed-out (for any reason but I’m thinking of work-related or if you’re having gut issues) can make IBS worse! Calming your mind and your body may help calm your gut or prevent it getting worse. Take time out to do something calming like reading a book, deep breathing, meditation or getting a massage.

10. Carry water – it may be easy to forget to drink while you’re out sightseeing, but drinking enough fluids will be important especially if you get constipation. Carry a water bottle or two in your backpack and why not add some peppermint tea or Iberogast for soothing throughout the day.

Do you have any tips, recommendations or experiences you'd like to share?



Winter Vegetables - Done The Right Way

We know we should eat more vegetables; but when we think of veg, we conjure up this image of a garden salad, or some boiled carrot and peas. Whilst the Internet might be overflowing with recipes for different vegetable and salad dishes,  I thought I'd be overly enthusiastic and add another one to the masses. And I might be a little bit more enthusiastic and say I think this one might actually be one that you'll implement and enjoy without it feeling like ‘the dreaded extra veg’! 

I too struggle with getting enough vegetables in; especially in the colder months. But I've become accustomed to making this dish 2 or 3 times per week and having it as an accompaniment to everything! Curry - check! Pasta - check! Mexican - check! Roast dinner - check! Alter the flavours, and you can mix and match this to go with everything! 

Don't be put off by the ingredients (cue seeing the word Brussel Sprouts and moving onto the next blog because you were scared from your grandparents or parents ruining this delicious vegetable for you!). Give this a go and make it work for you! 

It’s an intuitive recipe for two reasons; one - because I'm a very haphazard cook and don’t work with set, specific measures, and two - sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients in a recipe and so receipts that allow room for flexibility are much better! Don’t have a certain ingredient- no worries - swap it for something else! It’s still going to work!

Step 1 - Heat up some good quality oil (1-2 tbsp) in a big non-stick pan and roughly chop one or two of the these flavour bases
  • Spring onion
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Garlic
Step 2 - Saute on medium heat until cooked through, slightly browned and aromatic. Whilst this is cooking (3-4 minutes), roughly chop up any of the vegetables below. I like to make the vegetables quite small as it shortens the cooking time and makes the end product a bit more interesting - aim for 5c piece sizes.
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Zucchini 
  • Peas
  • Snow Peas
Step 3 - Add the dense vegetables to the pan and saute on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. If the base of the pan gets dry, add 1/4 cup of water to cover the bottom (saves any burning and creates some steam to cook the vegetables as well).

Step 4 - Once your vegetables are starting to cook through and brown, add the lighter leafy vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat. I tend to just rip the leaves into small shreds and leave out the stem.
  • Spinach
  • Silverbeet
  • Kale
Step 5 - Add some extra flavour by way of;
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parmesan
  • Lemon
  • Dried Turmeric
  • Curry powder
  • Any fresh herbs
Step 6 - Saute for another minute

Step 7 - Enjoy, and thank me later!

This recipe can be easily adapted for one or a tribe of people. I normally make enough to serve me for dinner and lunch the next day, and often the next night (depends how far I stretch it). But I definitely recommend making a big batch because you can literally have it with everything. 

Would love to see what combination of vegetables and flavours you come up with! At the moment I’ve got a combination of turmeric and lemon with broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and silverbeet - topped with a bit of sauerkraut! What a simple and delicious way to get a few extra serves of vegetables.