Jenelle Croatto APD
Among all of the incredibly nutritious foods out there, is it possible to pick a top 5?
Where would we even begin?
Well, across the globe there are pockets of people who quietly go about their day, living longer and more healthful lives than anywhere else on the planet.
These pockets have come to be known as the world’s Blue Zones - a termed coined by Natural Geographic Fellow and journalist Dan Buettner.
Blue Zones are home to the people of the world who live longer than anyone else.
What leads the inhabitants of Blue Zones to reach triple digits is not only what they eat - but how they keep active, find purpose, have a sense of belonging and remain purposely engaged throughout their entire life.
Interestingly, while dietary patterns vary between each Blue Zone, they all share one commonality – a diet based on plants.
Let’s take a look at some of the exceptionally potent foods from each of the Blue Zone regions.
Purple Sweet Potato - Okinawa (Japan)
Not only does this cousin of the orange sweet potato feature in a traditional Okinawan diet – it accounts for whopping 67% of it! Rich in fibre, low GI carbohydrates, carotenoids and vitamin C – the sweet potato has been Okinawan staple since the 17th century. To make full use of the sweet potato plant, the leaves are also eaten in miso soup
Cannonau Di Sardegna – Sardinia (Italy)
This robust, ruby elixir is a type of red wine that Sardinians enjoy each and every day. Not only are the health benefits thought to be due to the flavonoids present in the wine, but also how it is enjoyed – alongside a meal and in jovial company.
Black Beans - Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica)
Typically paired with rice and corn tortillas, black beans are eaten everyday – if not at every meal. As with all legumes, black beans are a terrific source of protein, resistant starch (fuel for healthy gut bacteria) and contain impressive amounts of iron. The vivid dark purple colour is thanks to anthocyanins, a powerful phytonutrient which helps protect against free radical damage.
Lemon - Ikaria (Greece)
In what may strike a sour note in those who happen not to like them, lemons are foundational components of the Ikarian diet. A critical ingredient for their daily tea, the people of this tiny Greek Island do not underestimate the rich nutritive value of a fruit which is easy to overlook.
Lemons, for the record, are incredibly rich in a wide array of phytochemical compounds including terpenes, tannins and polyphenols.
Artichoke - Loma Linda (California, US)
In a region of the world where they follow what is sometimes referred to as the “Garden Of Eden” diet, it should come as no surprise that a leafy plant would round off this list.
California grows an astonishing 99% of America’s artichoke, so this very much a home-grown food for the people of Loma Linda. So many things could be said about this generally under-appreciated vegetable, but I will leave you with the fact that a 100 gram serving of artichoke has more dietary fibre than 100 gram serving of broccoli AND 100 gram serving of Brussels sprouts combined. Never cooked or prepared artichoke before? Take a look at this useful step-by-step guide.
So, there you have it, five foods with tremendous nutritional value!
Whether it be one of these Blue Zones standouts or simply eating more of the plant foods you already consume (but do cap the red wine,) I guarantee your body will love the extra nourishment.
Want to live a long and healthy life?
Eat more plants. It’s that simple.
Article developed in conjunction with Andy De Santis – Kaleigraphy - https://andytherd.com/Kaleigraphy/
When packing a healthy lunchbox for your child, we recommend thinking of a lunchbox in terms of the five food groups and making sure each group is represented. This will provide them with a nutritious supply of food to grow healthy and strong and provide them with the energy they need to get through their active days.
Turning the food groups into a lunchbox – the CORE 4:
Using the 5 food groups, follow the CORE 4 guidelines to help make packing a healthy lunchbox easy.
Rainbow chips: cut into chips or wedges — parsnips, potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, beetroot and zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil and a little garlic powder before cooking. Tip: to make homemade chips crunchy, rinse off excess starch and dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
Dippy sticks: carrot, zucchini, capsicum, cucumber, baby corn or celery sticks (crunchy vegetables can be softened by steaming for very young children).
Ants on a log: fill celery sticks with low fat cream cheese or hummus and place sultanas across the top.
Veggie jaffle: fillings can include spinach and feta; baked beans; mashed potato and cheese; pumpkin and ricotta.
Banana bubbles: skewer a banana piece onto a paddle pop stick. Coat with low fat yoghurt, roll in puffed rice and serve frozen.
Fruit smoothies: simply blend yoghurt, milk and fruit such as bananas and berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries).
Traffic lights: rounds of kiwifruit, watermelon and banana.
Air popped popcorn: serve in patty cases or paper bags.
Garlic toast fingers: mix olive oil, minced garlic and chopped parsley. Brush onto wholemeal bread, cut into three fingers and lightly bake.
Pita bread nachos: pita bread slices baked in the oven until crisp and then sprinkled with cheese and Italian herbs.
Raisin toast fingers: cut into three fingers and use a thin spread of spread.
Yoghurt: sprinkled with muesli and fresh or tinned fruit.
Lisa Donaldson APD
Making change is not easy. There is literature, scientific studies and research around the complexities and mental challenges involved in making change. Many find that they embrace a new goal or a shift in their life with determination and gusto for about 2 weeks… and then, ‘road blocks’, excuses and ‘relaxing the reins’ starts to slow people down. I have put together some hot tips for staying on track and sticking with your plan.
Without question, being organised and diarising your exercise, shopping, cooking and prepping is the number one step towards success. There is no way you can succeed without a plan. So grab your calendar and focus on penciling in everything from meal prep to training sessions. Make a plan and watch it happen!
All meals are important, but for most people lunches can be the most challenging because you are away from home and surrounded by temptation. Packing a lunch every single day will ensure you will have nourishing food with you throughout the work day and this will minimise the allure of the charity chocolate box down the hallway.
Find people who are interested in health and wellbeing. Perhaps someone at work, a neighbour, a family member or an old friend who lives and breathes a healthy lifestyle. These supporters will become motivators and will promote consistency and perhaps some friendly competition.
Join an exercise group/team
Committing to a team or meeting a friend for a run on a regular basis will help you stay on track. Companionship and/or team mates will be there for you, even when you don’t feel like moving! Plus, they will rely on you too and you don’t want to let anyone down, right?
Make water your friend
This may seem a little odd, but having a bottle of water with you at all times can be hugely beneficial. Keeping hydrated has a number of benefits, but it will also ensure that thirst and hunger are not confused. Keep a bottle on your desk and in your bag.
Master some 15 min meals
You will have days where you feel exhausted and cannot be bothered cooking. Nailing a few 15 min meals will ensure that you can pull together a decent meal fast, without dialling up for pizza. My go to is an vege packed omelette - makes for a nourishing meal in no time.
Have an emergency stash at work
There will be times where you are extra hungry or (heavens forbid) you leave your lunchbox on the kitchen bench. Foods like tinned legumes, tuna and corn, packets of rice cakes and grainy crackers, nuts and dried fruits can be kept in a desk draw without turning bad. Non perishable items may save you from getting hangry in times of need!
Make excuses to move
Learn to take the stairs, park further away and be the person who runs errands at work. Find ways to make exercise part of your every day and reap the ‘incidental’ rewards.
LASTLY, all of us at FEEDinc are here to help you. You don't need to do it alone. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Xx
IMAGE CREDIT: Live Science
Jenelle Croatto APD
Okinawa, Japan – is home to some of the world’s longest-lived people, leading lives rich in energy, health and vitality.
While there are many reasons as to why this is so - be it their wholefoods plant based diet, close-knit communities or active lifestyle, Okinawan’s are also renowned for reciting an ancient Confucian adage Hara Hachi Bu before meals.
This phrase is roughly translated into eating until you are 80% full, and not to the point of feeling like you’re about to burst! A simple, yet powerful cultural mindset we ought to all adopt in our lives.
In saying this, I understand perfectly well that such a practice may not come naturally, particularly as we’ve likely been raised to finish everything on our plate.
As such, my advice is to ensure you don’t begin your meals absolutely starving! When we reach this point, our brain cannot tell the difference between you simply being late to eat a meal or, that the world has just broken out in famine! Dramatic sounding, but it’s how we’re programmed. After all, the human race wouldn’t have made it very far had we not been motivated to find food.
Once you’re on top of your hunger levels (aim for three evenly spaced meals and snacks if hungry), try serving a little less than you normally would. Eat it slowly and mindfully, taking the time to savour each bite and you may just discover you are happily full and content with less.
If you are food lover on Instagram, it is highly likely you’ve seen a nourish plate or ‘macro’ bowl. With their beautiful display of colour and variety, these bowls not only look beautiful but they are also a good source of nutrition. You can pick and mix from a variety of proteins, carbs, vegetables and fats. Take a look at some of our favourite macro inclusions!
CHOOSE 3-5 NON STARCHY VEGETABLES (1-2 cups)
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Steamed green beans
Strips of capsicum (red/green/yellow)
Steamed grated cauliflower (cauliflower rice)
CHOOSE 1 PROTEIN (approx. 100-150g):
CHOOSE 1 GRAINS/CARBS (approx. 1/2 cup):
Roasted sweet potato
Lentils/Chickpeas/Kidney Beans (if not chosen as protein)
CHOOSE 1 FAT (approx. 1-2 TBS):
Toasted sunflower seeds
Combine on a plate or a bowl and ENJOY!
Jenelle Croatto APD
We all know that nourishing, wholefoods are great for our physical health, but have you ever stopped to wonder what you should eat for a healthy brain?
The brain, like all organs in the body needs the right balance of nutrients to function at its best – and to boot, nutrition science has consistently shown a link between the foods we eat, how we feel and even our mood.
Highly processed foods, rich in refined sugars and saturated fat, have been associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety; whereas nutrient dense diets based on real, wholefoods (akin to the Mediterranean diet) have shown a reduced risk.
While it’s far reaching to say diet can cure a low mood, it can certainly help you feel more vibrant and to be your most healthy self.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with depression, and with the sun being a major source of this nutrient; it’s thought that reduced sunlight exposure over the winter months may contribute to the winter blues.
Dietary sources of vitamin D are scare, but two rich sources include oily fish e.g. salmon and sardines, and (this will surely surprise you) mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight! Just 100g that have been left in the sun for an hour will give you 100% of your vitamin D needs. Amazing!
Omega 3 Fats
Great for heart health and also your brain! Fish is the number one dietary source, with smaller amounts found in eggs, lean red meats, walnuts and chia seeds.
No one will argue that your greens are great for your health, but did you know they can help lift your mood? Leafy greens are rich in folate, which can support good mood by boosting levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.
Our brain is fuelled by blood glucose, and it functions at its best when there is a slow and steady supply. Opt for low GI carbohydrates e.g. sweet potato, wholegrains and quinoa to give you sustained energy throughout the day and pass on refined, processed carbs which only lead to big peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels, affecting both your mood and energy levels.
Jenelle Croatto APD
There is no need to give up your social life when following a Low FODMAP Diet.
With a few handy tips up your sleeve, you can still socialise over food and say “yes” to that dinner invite.
CHECK THE MENU AHEAD OF TIME
Many restaurants display their menus on their website and/or they can often be found on various restaurant rating websites or apps. If you can, peruse the menu beforehand so you can look for meals that contain low FODMAP ingredients.
If it’s not possible to find the menu, try calling the restaurant ahead of time. Being organised and prepared can also reduce stress, which is another common cause of IBS.
LOOK OUT FOR SAUCES, DIPS & DRESSINGS
Garlic and onion often sneak their way into various meals through sauces, dips and dressings. If it’s not possible to order these without the added garlic or onion, ask if you can have these to be provided on the side.
WHEN IN DOUBT – GO FOR SIMPLE
If your FODMAP detective skills find no suitable option, try ordering a few side dishes or ask for a serve of meat (or plant protein) and steamed vegetables or salad.
REDUCE YOUR FODMAP LOAD
If you have plans to eat out, lower your total FODMAP load by eating lower FODMAP meals/snacks before going out to eat. This way, if you happen to mistakenly (or by no fault of your own) eat higher FODMAP foods you may not exceed you personal FODMAP threshold.
REMEMBER – A Low FODMAP Diet is not a NO FODMAP Diet. Do your best to eat lower FODMAP foods and remember to also enjoy the experience of eating out.
By Georgia Houston
Low-fat vs high-fat diets are a hotly debated topic right now and understandably can be a confusing one!
For years fat was a dirty three letter word. We were urged to banish it from our diets and instead switch to low-fat foods. But this didn’t make us any healthier, in fact it did the opposite.
Of course there are many other contributing factors, such as a move towards sedentary lifestyles and overeating on discretionary foods (junk food), but don’t you think it is odd that ever since the low-fat craze in, the obesity epidemic has simultaneously sky-rocketed? One reason for this is that often the fat that is taken out of things such as dairy products, is usually replaced with added sugar and ingredients you and I could never pronounce! All in effort to maintain it’s taste and have you coming back for more!
So is fat good or bad for us?
Well unfortunately it is not as simple as a yes or no answer. However I hope to clear up your confusion right hear, right now.
Our bodies need a certain amount of fat from food. It is a major source of energy and also assists with the absorption of many important vitamins and minerals. The important thing we need to be aware of for our long-term health is the type and amount of fat eaten.
Do not be afraid of good fats, they will not make you fat. Classified as either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, these types of fats come primarily from foods such as oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables and egg yolks and are nourishing not only for our insides but also our outsides. Eating a wholesome diet filled with good fats has just some of the following benefits: keeps us fuller for longer, fights off cravings, healthy brain function, reduced risk of heart disease, improved mood, increased energy and glowing skin and hair.
As the name suggests, these are the bad guys we need to stay away from. Known as trans fats, this type of fat is found primarily in discretionary foods and can appear in anything from muffins and cakes to pastries, pies and hot chips from fast-food restaurants. Eating excessive amounts of this type of fat can increase the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in our blood and reduce the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats can also cause inflammation in the body, which can be linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Known as saturated fats, these types of fats are good in moderation and are commonly found in food sources such as red meat, full fat milk and dairy products, coconut oil and many pre-made baked goods. When eaten in excess, saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
If you are used to a lower fat diet and the idea of incorporating fat scares you, start by incorporating at least one good fat source in your meal. Whether it be what your cooking with (olive oil) or a component of the meal (oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado), incorporating good fats into your diet, along with a healthy and balanced diet, is a surefire way to ensure you are doing the best for your health.
By Georgia Houston
It’s 3pm. You can barely keep your eyes open at your desk at work. You need something sweet to tie you over for the rest of the day, so you lean over to your draw and grab that chocolate bar. However, not even fifteen minutes later, you beat yourself up for falling off the wagon and are left feeling unsatisfied and hungry. Sound familiar?
Fighting 3:30 it is is a common but avoidable problem in today’s stressed out and caffeinated society. Below are my 5 top tips for beating the 3pm energy slump!
1) Eat a nourishing breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It improves your energy levels, your metabolism, stabilises your blood sugar levels and reduces your chances of over-consuming sugary, high kilojoule foods later in the day.
2) Include some form of good fat at each main meal, especially at the meal before your cravings usually start to kick in. Good fats include foods like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds and oily fish. The reason for this is that good fats are satiating, meaning they will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
3) Have healthier sweet options available (this is a game changer when you feel like someone has taken over your body). My favourite is bliss balls. Bliss balls are a great snack option for those with a sweet tooth as they are sweet, however still include a source of good fats, meaning you won’t need to eat a lot before feeling satisfied.
4) Add more green veggies into your day! Green veggies have a bitter taste, meaning they will help minimise our desire for something sweet.
5) Get some fresh air! Remove yourself from your desk and take a walk.
Recipe for these Choc-Cranberry Bliss Balls (pictured):
WHAT YOU NEED:
Our lovely Georgia has more great recipes on her Blog. Check them out HERE.
Lisa Donaldson APD
You’ve been really focused on eating nutritiously and training regularly, your weight is finally shifting in the right direction and then, boom!!! You’ve been invited to 6 Christmas parties and you know they will include your favourite sparkling cocktails, sumptuous desserts and all sorts of dreamy deliciousness that you cannot refuse… What do you do?!
Firstly, congratulations on making healthy changes to your life. You should be proud! It’s certainly not an easy thing to do. But let me put this forward, if your life is now so restrictive that you need to avoid social engagements, dinner parties and celebrations, then is that the life you really want to live?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wise to drink alcohol regularly or revert back to those stodgy meals that made you unhealthy or uncomfortable to start with… but rather, take a look at what you are doing consistently and focus on that. If the majority of your week is nutritious, you certainly have room to go to your parties.
So, as you RSVP ‘yes’ to your invitations, take a moment to read some of these tips for the dinner party ahead.
DRINKS – decide before you arrive how many drinks you are going to have and commit to that. Alternate one alcoholic beverage with a sparkling mineral water to remain hydrated and to avoid drinking too much. If you don’t want to drink, offer to be the designated driver.
AVOID THE NIBBLES – if the room is laden with crisps, lollies and salted nuts, avoid delving into those moreish little bowls and wait for actual meal instead.
PERFECT YOUR PORTIONS – load up ½ your plate with salad or steamed vege, have a palm sized serve of protein (meat) and no more than a scoop of carbs (yes, you can have a little of that desired potato bake). Perhaps offer to bring a salad so you know that you can have half of that on your plate.
SLOW DOWN – there is no need to inhale your meal. Time to start savouring what you eat. Put your cutlery down between bites, sip water and chat to the other guests. It takes 20 mins to register fullness, so take your time!
SAVOUR THE DECADENT – whether you’re a cheese lover or a cake lover, the indulgences that come with special occasions need to be savoured and enjoyed. Have a little and eat those delicious morsels with mindfulness and pleasure.
PLAN AHEAD – make sure that special occasions like dinner parties are noted on your calendar. Remind yourself that your special night is coming up, so be consistent with your healthy eating and training in the lead up to the event.
A wise friend of mine regularly says, “Food is more than the nutrients it contains”. Which simply means that food is also there to be savoured and enjoyed. Remember, you’re never going to get lean by eating ONE healthy meal each week, in the same way that you’re not going to slide ‘out of control’ if you have one indulgent meal each week. Get the idea? CONSISTENCY IS KING.
So, do not shun the invitations, rather attend with a plan and live a nutritious week leading up to the events… and enjoy. No guilt allowed.
Fitness, Energy, Education & Diet