Jenelle Croatto APD
It genuinely brings me great happiness to talk all things food and nutrition. My ultimate aim is to help others find health and to enjoy food without any guilt - so it’s for this reason that I’m becoming increasingly bothered by the way media portrays nutrition information (correct, or not) in such a negative fashion.
You only need to scroll through social media, turn on the television or open a magazine to read headlines such as ‘sugar is toxic’ to see what I mean. Headlines like these make for great ‘click-bait’, but do little to inspire healthy food habits – instead, they attempt to motivate us by fear.
It’s high time we refresh the language we use around nutrition. To kick-start the positive food vibes, let’s take a look at some delicious wholefoods we should be eating more of.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering – sugar is NOT toxic!
These nutritional powerhouses are a great source of fibre, healthy fats and many essential nutrients. Research shows that we can reduce our risk of heart disease by 30-50%, simply by eating a handful each day! They make for a great snack and are delicious scattered over salads or as a topper for your breakfast oats.
Rich in plant-based protein, folate and minerals (iron, zinc and magnesium), legumes certainly pack a nutritional punch! They also contain remarkable amounts of soluble fibre, which works wonders for managing cholesterol, satiety, blood sugar levels and nurturing the growth of gut-friendly bacteria in your intestine.
Salmon offers an excellent source of the heart friendly, mood boosting, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Enjoy salmon (or other oily fish) at least twice a week to reap the benefits of this natural wonder food.
Not only are eggs a terrific source of high quality protein, they contain impressive amounts of vitamins, minerals and two carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which a play a crucial role in eye health and can reduce your risk of macular degeneration.
Oats are rich in beta-glucan, a cholesterol-busting soluble fibre that also helps to improve digestive health. They are also a low GI, which means they’ll fill you up and prevent big spikes in blood sugar levels. While old-fashioned oats have been a time-honoured breakfast staple, try tossing a handful of oats into cake, muffin and pancake batters for a simple fibre boost.
COLOURFUL PLANT FOOD
With todays hype of ‘superfoods’ we’re forgetting one very important message – variety! While kale, quinoa and goji berries are certainly enjoying their time in the limelight; we need to remember that no one food can do it alone. Supercharge your health by eating a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits everyday!
Yoghurt is rich in protein, bone-strengthening calcium, riboflavin, zinc and vitamin B12. It also contains probiotics, live healthy bacteria that support gut health. Enjoy yoghurt as a snack, add a good dollop to smoothies or simply enjoy with your muesli or breakfast cereal.
IMAGE: American Food Association
Lisa Donaldson APD
Easter – the season for all things chocolate! It’s delicious, smooth, creamy, velvety goodness has been savoured and enjoyed since the 1900s. As a dietitian, people expect me to say chocolate is a ‘forbidden’ food and that they should replace it with a piece of fruit. Like all foods that are indulgent, I like to take the view that if it is truly savoured and enjoyed in small amounts, it can most certainly be part of a healthy relationship with food.
Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight.
In 2013, neuroscientist Will Clower published a book with that attention grabbing title. The main strategy in this book is to consume a small square of ‘good quality’ chocolate 20 mins before a meal and 5 mins after a meal for a hormonal response that triggers the brain to feel both satisfied and ‘full’. His research concluded that this strategy can cut your appetite by 50%.
Choosing ‘Good Quality’ Chocolate
Milk, dark, white… caramel, salted, chilli… bars, blocks, powders. Chocolate takes up almost a quarter of a supermarket aisle and is a visible temptation at the checkout. There is a stark contrast between a block of dark chocolate and a candy popping chocolate bar. For health benefits, you want to go for a chocolate with around 70% cocoa. If you are used to a sweeter, milkier chocolate, it might be a good idea to increase your levels of cocoa over time.
Make your own!
To ensure your chocolate is made from nourishing ‘wholefoods’, I have a dark chocolate recipe for you.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons of honey or pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1-2 tbs coconut milk powder
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
WHAT YOU DO:
In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt together the ingredients.
Whisk until completely melted.
Pour into a chocolate mould or onto a baking tray (like I have here).
Refrigerate for 90 mins.
To add some interest, you could add in some goji berries, sunflower seeds, some crushed almonds, orange rind, coconut or toasted hazelnuts. Delicious!
This Easter, savour and enjoy your chocolates and over time shift your attention towards a chocolate that has 70% cocoa with less refined sugar… or maybe start making your own! Eat slowly and mindfully, and always eat without guilt.
PIC: INSTAGRAM @FEEDinc
By Jenelle Craotto APD
There’s no denying it – chocolate is delicious! This Easter I want you to give yourself full permission to indulge in your favourite treats - and more importantly, to do so without any guilt! It’s perfectly fine, and even healthy, to do so. After all, there certainly is room in a healthy diet to eat food for no other reason than because it’s delicious.
Now while I’ve given chocolate the thumbs up, I want you to keep in mind my favourite tips so you can enjoy the Easter break – without the weight gain.
Save the Chocolate for Easter
Easter bunnies and choccie eggs have slowly filled our supermarket shelves, but we’ve been in a battle of wills with hot-crossed buns ever since the New Year rolled around!
Just remember, Easter is a 4-day weekend in autumn – so make the decision to only indulge in your favourite Easter delights during those few days. And trust me…you’ll actually enjoy those luscious treats all the more!
If you’re eyeing off a bag of hot-crossed buns on an empty stomach – you’re willpower is about to be seriously tested. This Easter, get organised with your meals and snacks and make sure you have plenty of wholesome and nourishing food on hand.
Go ahead and indulge a little, but save your favourite Easter goodies for just once in the day. This may be some chocolate for dessert or perhaps a hot-crossed bun with your afternoon cuppa.
Guzzling back large quantities of tasteless, cheap chocolate is hardly satisfying! You’ll likely wind up feeling sluggish and find that you didn’t really enjoy your chocolate treat. Instead, opt for some truly decadent chocolate so you need less to really get your chocolate fix.
Savour Each Bite
Mindfulness is not just reserved for the hippies; it can be a really great trick to enjoying the full experience of eating chocolate – and all food for that matter!
Take time to savour your chocolate, by eating it slowly, paying attention to its indulgent texture, taste and aroma. Just like eating quality chocolate, you’ll probably need less to satisfy any cravings.
Share the Love
If you have an over-supply of chocolate (…is there really such a thing?!) share it with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues – they’ll love you for it!
IMAGE FROM ETHOS ORTHODONTICS
Fitness, Energy, Education & Diet