Lisa Donaldson APD
It’s the first day of winter and if you are anything like me you’re probably shivering and cursing the cold. This winter you will probably acquire a new set of gloves, a coat and beanie… but did you know that 53% of males and 30% of females will also acquire 2-5 kilos of weight gain? Yikes, huh!?
A study released by the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health found that men are most likely to put on weight over winter with 53 per cent of males envisaging a 2-5 kg weight gain compared to 38 per cent of females. The research revealed that:
· Nearly half of Australians expect to gain up to two kilos this winter;
· 90 per cent say they eat more fast and snack foods and takeaways because they make them feel warmer and happier;
· 36 per cent of Australians are concerned about putting on weight this winter; and
· 59 per cent say weight gain will be caused by exercising less and eating more fast and snack foods and takeaways.
So, to minimise the likelihood of acquiring those extra kilos, I’ve got some tips for you!
1) Keep moving!
This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a fancy gym or competing in your first marathon, this simply means not going into winter hibernation because it’s cold! Become an active participant in life and incorporate extra activity into your daily tasks. Think about parking further away when going to the shops, taking the stairs and not the lift, or going for a walk in the middle of the day. Perhaps invest in a pedometer and try to walk 10 000 steps every day.
2) Become a savvy shopper
Time to think about eating foods close nature, or at least purchasing products that read like they are ‘homemade’. Investigate ingredient lists and choose products that read as though Grandma made them. Good examples of a ‘homemade-ingredient-list’ are LaZuppa soups, found in the supermarket for about $3. They make a great winter lunch or snack.
3) Eat three meals a day and stop grazing
It’s not uncommon for ‘grazers’ to always feel hungry or to be constantly thinking about their next meal. It’s best to consume 3 well-balanced and nutritious meals, so that your body feels satisfied and can register hunger for the next meal. A little bit of hunger is a good thing when trying to lose weight, and hunger tells us that our metabolism is working hard whilst making use of some stored energy/fat. Snacks should be eaten only when you have true ‘belly hunger’; not because you saw someone eating a warm cinnamon donut and think you need one, too! When people graze on small snacks all day long, they rarely feel satisfied. If you plated up an entire days worth of ‘grazing’ you’d probably be surprised by how much you’ve actually consumed! Go for 3 well-balanced meals and feel the difference.
4) Ditch the sugary drinks
If you swap all your juices, soft drinks, cordials, energy drinks and vanilla flavoured lattes for water or herbal tea you are going to make a massive change to your waistline and your skin will look amazing! Liquid kilojoules certainly add up across the day and water won’t lead to a spike in blood glucose levels.
5) Fill up on non-starchy plant foods
Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, non-starchy vege are superb nutrition! Go for half a plate of non-starchy vege with every meal. This includes vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, Asian greens, baby spinach, zucchini, squash and carrots. Plus enjoy 2 serves of whole fruit each day; mandarins are amazing during winter!
6) Sleep well
Getting a good night sleep is essential for feeling alert and re-energized each day. If you constantly wake feeling tired and lethargic you might need to reset your sleeping patterns. Think about turning off all electrical appliances (iPhones, computers, tv) at least half an hour before going to bed, washing your face and having a small cup of warmed skim milk before going to bed. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day for a few weeks and feel the difference in your energy levels; especially important in winter when it’s still cold and dark when you wake!
Until next time… Eat well, be well!
Lisa Donaldson APD
‘Friendly bacteria’ sounds like an oxymoron – but the truth is, our body is packed with trillions of friendly bacteria, essential for maintaining good health and vitality. To have a thriving population of these good guys, we need to discuss two terms, probiotics and prebiotics. You may have heard these terms before but do you know the difference or the benefits?
PUT SIMPLY…. Probiotics are microorganisms found in bacteria, which help improve and promote the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics are non-digestible food fibres that ‘feed’ those friendly bacteria and help their growth, whist discouraging the growth of unfriendly organisms.
Our digestive system plays a huge role in a well functioning immune system and goes into battle against harmful bacteria and viruses. So to stay well, we need to nurture a substantial population of friendly gut bacteria.
Let’s look at practical ways to do this!
Yoghurt: add a dollop to your morning oats or enjoy a small tub as a snack or dessert. Read your ingredient list and ensure that it contains some friendly bacteria.
Miso: enjoy a miso soup for lunch with a 2 or 3 sushi rolls.
Tempeh: delicious grilled or BBQ’d with Asian greens
Sauerkraut: try some warm sauerkraut with some lean pork fillets, some applesauce and greens.
Kimchi: have some Korean kimchi in a vegetarian dish with some sautéed onions, garlic, chickpeas, diced tomatoes and okra served over brown rice.
Kefir: is a fermented milk drink very popular in Russia. Swap your lemon and water for a glass of kefir each morning.
Bananas: are a perfect snack to have before or after exercise
Soybeans: have a vegetarian stirfry with some marinated tofu strips, or a berry and soy milk smoothie as an afternoon tea snack
Jerusalem artichokes: are perfect on an antipasti plater
Barley: is a great addition to a wintery soup or used in place of Arborio rice in a risotto
Flaxseeds/linseeds: choose baked goods like soy and linseed bread; toast some flaxseeds and sprinkle over a salad; or dress a salad with a drizzle of flaxseed oil and lemon.
Legumes: enjoy lentil curries; add kidney beans to a Mexican inspired dish; or have some hummus with some felafel and tabouli.
Try and include a range of probiotic and prebiotic foods across the course of the week. Combined with a high fibre diet, probiotics and prebiotics really support strong gut health and boost immunity. If you intensely dislike fermented foods or cultured products, it might be wise for you to take a capsule probiotic. The key is to ensure you take them regularly and keep them in the fridge so the friendly bacteria stay alive!
The bottom line is, by reducing your intake of highly refined, heavily processed foods and eating more plant based foods, you will be well on your way to supporting a healthier digestive system.
Until next time…
Eat well, be well.
"It’s too fancy to say it feels like 'home' – but that’s OK by me. I can go there and feel like I am on holidays for a few hours every week. Bliss..."
A few months ago I was approached by a company asking me to be a ‘health ambassador’ for a gym that hadn’t been built. I thought it sounded like a great opportunity but wasn’t going to commit to anything until I saw the gym in its full fit out.
For more than a decade I have worked as a Group Fitness Instructor in many outstanding gyms across Canberra, so my bar was set high. If a gym was going to become my new ‘go to’ it had to meet some pretty high benchmarks.
Well, this morning I got to see the gym - Next Gen in Lynham. I took my toddler and my husband for a Saturday outing; have an explore and proper sticky beak at their official Open Day. We arrived and the carpark was busy and the local radio station was out the front broadcasting live.
We walked in and were greeted by friendly faces who answered our questions and directed us to the crèche. Crèche was my first priority. As a Mum with a toddler, I need a gym my son feels happy at. We walked in and I met one of the carers. I was impressed to hear that the crèche staff have worked as a team for years and was delighted when my son actually walked away from me and straight over to the toys to play. I was instantly assured that my son would be happy to play there while I workout.
We ventured upstairs for my 'second priority'. I needed to see a pretty slick RPM room because RPM has been such a huge part of my life. I walked in and had to test the bikes out. The 2 bikes I tested were so easy to set up, with cleats (or straps) for my cycling shoes. The ride was smooth and the gears/dial worked like a dream. I was so impressed by the bikes and loved the spacious room. Plenty of bikes so no one misses out on a great Les Mills class.
We explored the weights room, the yoga room, the Group Fitness room and took a peek at the incredible squash courts and swimming pool from the top level. It’s such an impressive looking gym. I have to say I was pretty blown away.
We returned to the ground floor and the café was buzzing. I saw a friend who was enjoying the most amazing looking brunch of eggs and vege. It looked scrumptious and healthy. Big tick there from me. Another big bonus for me, is that the café includes a soft play room for little ones to happily romp in - clearly visible through the glass windows. That means I can enjoy a coffee with my Mama friends while keeping watch over my son. Sure beats trying to keep him happy in a high chair for more than 5 mins!
Before leaving I wanted to find out about Next Gen’s ‘cardio tennis’ located on one of their beautiful tennis courts. I’m the first to say I am a pretty rubbish tennis player, but I always find it loads of fun. Turns out cardio tennis is probably perfect for me. Think ‘boot-camp-circuit’ with tennis elements to get the heart pumping! I’ll definitely be checking that out – sounds FUN!
With computers on hand, a ‘spa’ to relax in, family friendly change rooms and so much more… I have to say, I’ll happily make this gym my new ‘go to’. It’s too fancy to say it feels like 'home' – but that’s OK by me. I can go there and feel like I am on holidays for a few hours every week. Bliss...
I cannot wait to get in and try out everything the gym has to offer. Take a look at my Instagram @FEEDinc for updates and pics of my antics at Next Gen in Canberra in the coming months. #NextGenCbra
Until next time,
Eat well, be well
Next Gen Canberra
Open from 22 June 2015.
1 Riggall Place, Lyneham
Various membership packages are available
Phone: 1800 077 177
Fitness, Energy, Education & Diet