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The AdminFebruary 3, 2017
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5min00

HFG senior nutritionist Rose Carr looks at the variety of mushrooms on offer.

Mushrooms have been grown commercially in New Zealand since the 1930s. Farmed mushrooms are now available to us year-round and they are the fourth most popular vegetable in New Zealand after potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce.

Nutrition

Mushrooms are a source of the B vitamins riboflavin, B6 and niacin, as well as the antioxidant mineral selenium and dietary fibre. Mushrooms also contain an antioxidant called ergothioneine which is produced exclusively in mushrooms and some bacteria.

Research from the US has found mushrooms can interfere with processes involved in atherosclerosis and cardio-vascular disease. Common white or portobello mushrooms are just as beneficial for heart health as their more exotic cousins.

Mushroom tips

  • When buying mushrooms look for good colour and fresh upright gills. Avoid bruised or damaged mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms can be eaten either raw or cooked.
  • You do not need to peel mushrooms before eating them.
  • Don’t discard mushroom stalks. They are full of goodness and flavour. Just chop off the tip if it looks tired.
  • Wipe mushrooms with a paper towel to remove any growing medium sticking to them. Farmed mushrooms don’t need to be washed although they can be rinsed if necessary.
  • After harvesting, mushrooms continue to grow so they need to be kept cool and allowed to breathe to last longer. Store mushrooms in the fridge, preferably in a paper bag to absorb moisture. Mushrooms will sweat in a plastic bag.
  • Mushrooms bruise easily so handle them with care.
  • Soak dried mushrooms in warm water for 20-30 minutes until soft before using.

Cooking with mushrooms

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  • Mushrooms are great for vegetarian dishes where you are after a ‘meaty’ flavour and texture. Add mushrooms to pasta sauces, lasagne and soups.
  • Mushroom paté is a delicious, healthy dip. Sauté portobello mushrooms in a little oil with garlic, salt, pepper and tarragon. Whiz in a blender with extra-light cream cheese spread until smooth.
  • Make mushroom stock for soups and sauces by soaking dried mushrooms (shiitake or porcini) in hot water for half an hour or more. Use the liquid as you would chicken or vegetable stock.

Varieties

White button

The immature white mushroom is also known as a button mushroom. It has a delicate flavour which intensifies when cooked.

White flat

The mature white mushroom has fully exposed brown gills and a dense meaty texture and robust flavour.

Swiss brown

Also known as gourmet, crimini or a brown button mushroom, this variety looks just like a white button but with a light brown skin and white stem. This is an immature portobello mushroom.

Portobello

Also known as brown flat or a field mushroom, the mature portobello has a meaty texture and deep rich flavour.

Speciality mushrooms

New Zealand has a small specialty-mushroom industry and varieties such as oyster, shiitake and enokitake (golden needle) mushrooms are grown. Shiitake, porcini and wood ear fungus are also found dried in supermarkets and Asian markets.

Truffles – pricey fungi

The truffle is a fungus which grows on and around the roots of certain types of trees such as Hazelnut, English Oak, and Holly Oak. New Zealand has over 100 truffle plantations (truffières). Périgord black truffles are the most popular and just a tiny sliver added to food provides their distinctive earthy flavour. Truffles command eye-watering prices — about $3700 per kilo.

 


The AdminFebruary 3, 2017

4min00

You know OJ is a great source of vitamin C, but can you have too much of a good thing? HFG senior nutritionist Rose Carr has the answer.

There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly squeezed orange juice. Fortunately, for those who have no time to prepare fresh juice in the morning, there are a number of packaged alternatives.

What’s in that glass?

Commercially available orange juice is available in both chilled and shelf-stable varieties — with asceptic or sterile packaging eliminating the need for refrigeration before opening. It’s important to remember once packaged juice is opened, it must be kept in the fridge and it is recommended to use it within four to five days.

Commercially prepared juices can be made from freshly squeezed oranges, or reconstituted juice where the water component has been removed and then added back before packaging. As vitamin C is lost in this process, this is added back as well. While the nutritional profile of reconstituted and freshly packaged orange juice is similar, reconstituted juice may taste less ‘fresh’ due to the way it is processed.

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Nutrient composition

Orange juice is packed with vitamins, minerals and a healthy dose of antioxidants, thanks to its high vitamin C content along with a range of phytochemicals. It also contains little or no fat, protein or sodium.

What to look for

Did you know? It takes 1 1/2 oranges to make 125ml orange juice.

By far the biggest factor to keep a close eye on is serving size. Most manufacturers have a standard serve of 250ml, which provides around 400-450kJ, depending on the brand. Note some have a serving size of 200ml, so when comparing brands, the ‘per 100ml’ column is safest. Our advice? Pour yourself a 125ml serve — that’s half a cup — and top up with tap or soda water.

The second most important factor is added sugars. With three teaspoons of naturally-occurring sugar per 125ml serve, there is simply no reason for any additional sugar.

As with many other foods, orange juice manufacturers may add other nutrients to their products to provide additional health benefits. These nutrients — such as folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene and calcium — are essential to good health so fortified juice may be a good way to top up your reserves.

While a glass of orange juice is a delicious option, a piece of fresh fruit is always a better choice. One fresh orange provides almost five times the fibre and greater amounts of other essential nutrients than a glass of OJ.

Size makes a difference

While one 250ml glass of fruit juice can count as one of the recommended five plus serves of vegetables and fruit a day, for most people a smaller serving size (125ml or 1/2 cup) is recommended as this provides roughly the same amount of kilojoules as a piece of fruit.

When serving juice to children, it’s a good idea to dilute it with water and encourage drinking juice with meals rather than in-between.


The AdminFebruary 3, 2017
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10min00

Sports drinks were developed to help athletes doing high-intensity exercise stay hydrated.

There are a lot of people using them who perhaps don’t need to. Nutritionists Nicole Barnett and Claire Turnbull investigate what’s in sports drinks to answer, do you need them?

Sports drinks and exercise

Adequate fluid intake is essential for everyone to maintain good health, but it is particularly important for people who train regularly to prevent the negative effects of dehydration and help them to perform at their peak.

Who should use them?

Sports drinks are designed for athletes who do regular, high- intensity training. Sports drinks can help people who are exercising at high intensity for an hour or more, particularly if they are sweating a lot. They have been shown to delay fatigue and improve exercise performance in numerous scientific trials.

With anywhere between 600 and 1100kJ and 10 to14 teaspoons of sugar in a bottle, however, it is very important to only use them when and if you really need them.

If you are going to the gym a couple of times a week exercising at a moderate intensity, doing a few spin classes or doing short runs and you are trying to lose weight, sports drinks really aren’t for you. Water is all you need. Drinking sports drinks, you could end up drinking more kilojoules than you have burnt off!

What’s in them?

Sports drinks contain water, carbohydrates and electrolytes. They may also have other ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, certain amino acids and ginseng, but there is little evidence these extra additives can enhance exercise performance.

Carbohydrates

The purpose of carbohydrates in sports drinks is to provide energy for the working muscles, which helps delay muscle fatigue. The main carbohydrates used in sports drinks are glucose, fructose, sucrose (table sugar) and maltodextrins. As a rule, increasing the carbohydrate content of a sports drink using glucose, fructose or sucrose to a level higher than that found in the bloodstream will slow the rate of emptying from the stomach into the intestine where the fluid is absorbed. This means it is very important for sports drinks to have the right balance of carbohydrates to promote rapid hydration.

Electrolytes

Sodium, potassium and chloride are the three electrolytes commonly added to sports drinks to help replace those lost in sweat. Sodium also increases the amount of water taken up by the intestine, helping rehydration. Potassium helps regulate the heartbeat and optimise muscle function, and chloride helps with fluid balance. Sports drinks vary in the amounts of the different electrolytes they contain, but this is not likely to have an effect on hydration or exercise performance.

Are all sports drinks the same?

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Sports drinks aren’t all the same. The ideal sports drink to be used during high-intensity exercise will have between four to eight per cent carbohydrates (that is 4-8g per 100ml). Similarly, the amount of electrolytes in each drink can vary. Typically, the sodium in sports drinks is between 23-69mg per 100ml. Athletes who lose a lot of salt in their sweat will chose products with a higher sodium content.

Sports drinks labelled ‘isotonic’ have between six to eight per cent carbohydrates. This concentration of carbohydrates is similar to the amount in body fluids and promotes a smooth flow of fluid into the bloodstream. These are ideal for those training for a prolonged period at higher intensity.

  • Examples: Powerade, Gatorade, Replace, Mizone Isopower

Sports drinks labelled ‘hypotonic’ have a lower carbohydrate level than the fluids in the body (less than six per cent carbohydrates). These are also helpful to assist with hydration and are lower in kilojoules than isotonic sports drinks so can be useful for those who need to use a sports drink but need to be mindful of their energy intake as well.

  • Example: Mizone Low Carb

What are sports waters?

These are often found in the same section of the supermarket as sports drinks but they aren’t the same. They do contain some carbohydrate and electrolytes and are often flavoured to make them taste nice but they don’t quickly hydrate you like sports drinks. They can be helpful when you are tramping or on a long recreational bike ride if you struggle to drink enough plain water. But remember: with 350-400kJ and about five teaspoons of sugar in a bottle they are not ideal to grab along with your lunch when you’re not exercising — particularly if you are watching your weight.

Where do other drinks fit in?

Drinks which have more than eight per cent carbohydrates (8g per 100ml) such as soft drinks and energy drinks (such as V, Red Bull, E2 and G Force) do not assist with rapid rehydration as they are too concentrated in carbohydrates.

Some higher carbohydrate drinks such as flat cola drinks may be used in ultra-long distant events such as cross-country running or Ironman to help these people meet their high energy needs, but for most other people these aren’t ideal during exercise. Fruit juice also fits into this high carbohydrate group so it’s best to dilute it 50:50 with water if you are giving it to your children to help them rehydrate after exercise.

Staying hydrated

The most important consideration when exercising is keeping fluids up. Even a decrease in body weight of as little as two per cent due to fluid loss is enough to have a detrimental effect on our exercise performance. Anything more than five per cent can cause heat illness. The amount of fluid a person needs to drink during exercise varies greatly between individuals, as we have differing sweat rates and proportions of water lost in the breath.

If you are serious about your training, working out your personal sweat rate can help you avoid the effects of dehydration and to perform at your best.

  • To calculate your sweat rate, record your nude weight (in kilos) before you exercise and then again afterwards, remembering to towel off any sweat in advance. Subtract your post-training weight from your pre-training weight, and multiply this by 1000 to convert it to grams. This is the total amount of fluid you have lost.
  • For every gram lost, you need to drink 1ml fluid to make up for it. So if you lost 700g in a 60-minute workout, you need to drink 700ml in 60 minutes to stay properly hydrated.

Exercising in the heat, for a long time or at a high intensity, as well as having a high sweat rate will increase the speed at which you dehydrate, and this needs to be taken into account when you are determining how much you need to drink.

Which sports drink is right for me?

Type of exercise Examples What do you need?
Low- intensity exercise Walking to work, walking the dog in the evening, leisurely bike ride or swim Water
Moderate- intensity exercise Brisk walking or jogging, recreational cycling, swimming Water in most cases will be fine. If you are exercising for well over an hour, you may consider a sports water
High- intensity exercise Fast paced running, cycling or swimming, high- intensity gym class or spin class etc. If this is under an hour, water may be adequate but in some cases a sports drink can be helpful. When training for over an hour a hypotonic or isotonic sports drink would be ideal


The AdminFebruary 3, 2017
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4min00

Capsicums are great and reasonably priced at this time of the year so I go a little mad with them.

I wanted a plate that would showcase the different colours of the vegetables and be fresh and simple, so decided on a peacock. My boys were delighted and bickered over which parts were theirs to eat!

It’s very easy to prepare as the capsicums are the right shape for the feathers when sliced vertically. Do not be shy, just cut and arrange and it’ll look great.

This is a good share plate or can be presented at dinner with dips or to accompany a salad.

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Recipe

Ingredients

  • capsicums (varied colours gives a striking visual)
  • carrot for the body (cucumber would also work)
  • celery for the eyes (spots) in the feathers (cucumber/carrot/radish would all work)
  • olive slice for the eye (the dark outside of a cucumber or piece of raisin would do too)

Method

Step 1 Slice the capsicums vertically to make a curved feather shape and arrange in a semi-circle to the left and the right.

Step 2 Peel a large carrot, cut a flat bit from the bottom and then cut a body shape.

Step 3 Add some carrot legs.

Step 4 Then cut a crown from more carrot.

Step 5 And add an olive eye and some body feathers. I used a piece of celery that I scored with a knife.

Step 6 As I am not quite mad enough to cut perfect circles, I used a cookie cutter to make the eyes (spots) for the feathers from slices of celery.

Step 7 Using pieces of the veg leftovers, cut some small squares to make the ground.

And there is the peacock in all his glory. Dip in…

 


The AdminFebruary 1, 2017
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4min00
Serves: 4
Time to make: 1 hr (Hands-on time: 20 mins, Cooking time: 40 mins)
Total cost: $17.00 / $4.25 per serve
(at time of publication)

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  • Chicken meatballs
  • 400g skinless, boneless Tegel chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • Miso rice
  • 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon miso paste
  • 4 teaspoons salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Salad
  • 300g pumpkin (1 3/4 cups), chopped in 2.5cm chunks
  • 2 mandarins
  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons liquid honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Step 1Preheat oven to 200°C. To make meatballs, place chicken in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, taking care not to mix it to a paste. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, coriander and breadcrumbs into chicken. Shape mix into small walnut-sized balls. Place sesame seeds on a flat plate and roll meatballs in seeds until lightly coated. Place balls in an ovenproof dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Step 2Arrange pumpkin in a single layer on a lined baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, turning at times, until pumpkin is just tender.

Step 3While pumpkin and chicken balls are cooking, cook rice following packet directions.

Step 4To make salad, segment mandarins and mix with roasted pumpkin and spinach. Combine lemon juice, honey and oil in a small bowl and drizzle over salad. Gently toss to combine.

Step 5To make miso rice, mix miso, soy sauce, coriander and spring onions into cooked rice. Serve meatballs with miso rice and salad. Add a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce if you prefer.

HFG tip

NZ Nutrition Foundation schools competition: recipe from winner of ‘Table Challenge — Chicken’ category, Kizzie Amoore, Dana Herbison and Libby Harrison of Epsom Girls Grammar School.


The AdminJanuary 28, 2017
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10min00

How many kilojoules are in my drink?

It’s what everyone wants to know – which alcoholic drinks are the best and worst when following a kilojoule-controlled eating plan?

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The kilojoules in beer

It’s no surprise that beer is full of kilojoules – and carbohydrates as well. While beer can be drunk in moderation on a kilojoule-controlled eating plan, the danger lies in the fact that beer is a very social drink, and can be consumed in larger quantities at one sitting than stronger drinks such as wine and spirits. So drink your beer and enjoy it – but not too much!

Beer and Cider (340ml)

  • Alcohol-free – 234kj
  • Average – 584kj
  • Lager – 575kj
  • Pilsner – 483kj
  • Savanna – 799kj
  • Savanna lite – 552kj
  • Shandy (half beer, half lemonade) – 576kj

The kilojoules in spirits

While spirits are higher in kilojoules than wine and beer, the fact that we tend to drink them in smaller amounts (such as a tot of 25ml) make these a good, low-calorie choice for weight-loss plans. However, while you may be consuming less alcohol, and therefore fewer kilojoules, the fizzy drinks and juices used as spirit mixers can easily up the calorie content in just one drink. To avoid filling up on kilojoules, mix your spirits with diet cooldrinks, mineral water or cordial instead, and limit yourself to two drinks in an evening, sipping slowly to make them last longer.

Spirits (25ml)

  • Brandy, cane, gin, vodka, whisky, rum – 261kj
  • 25ml + 200ml spirits and coke – 595kj
  • Tequila – 288kj
  • Jagermeister – 433kj

The kilojoules in wine

It’s the drink of choice for many after a hard day’s work – but the kilojoules in just one small 120ml glass can soon add up the more times your glass is refilled. Instead of having a bartender refill your large glass three times (adding up to almost a full bottle), why not share a bottle with 2 or 3 friends? You’ll keep your kilojoule intake to a minimum, save on money, and share a fun evening with friends at the same time! And if your pocket can stretch to it, you’ll be glad to know that bubbly contains the least amount of kilojoules – so you can indulge in a glass without the guilt.

Wine (120ml)

  • Red, white – 350 – 500kj
  • Semi-sweet, rose – 780kj
  • 100ml sparkling wine – 310kj

Top tip: Dilute white wine with ice or sparkling water – your drink will last longer, making you less prone to reach for that next refill.

The kiloujoules in cocktails and liqueurs

While the sweetness of cocktails and liqueurs is universally appealing, the bad news is that these drinks are laden with sugar and kilojoules, especially those made with cream and coconut milk. In addition, the fruit juices used to make cocktails and breezers are also high in kilojoules and carbohydrates, making them an unwise choice for a night out.

If you like your drinks to have a fruity taste, try a little cordial in a glass of sparkling water or diet lemonade – and add a small splash of spirits if you must. Unfortunately, due to their high sugar and kilojoule content, liqueurs and cocktails should be saved for an occasional treat rather than an everyday tipple.

Cocktails and liqueurs

  • 25ml cream liqueur (Baileys, Cape Velvet, Amarula) – 341kj
  • 50ml Muscadel/Port – 286kj
  • 50ml sherry (dry & medium), vermouth – 223kj
  • 150ml Bloody Mary – 482kj
  • 60ml Daiquiri – 467kj
  • 75ml Martini – 653kj
  • 135ml Pina Colada – 1096kj
  • 210ml Screwdriver – 729kj
  • 165ml Tequila Sunrise – 791kj

Alcohol and the kilojoule-controlled diet

It’s no secret that the consumption of alcohol can be highly detrimental to a kilojoule-controlled diet, particularly when trying to lose weight. However, with the right information and a dash of willpower, it is possible to incorporate alcohol into your diet, and restrict your kilojoule intake at the same time.

How many drinks per day or week?

First, the bad news. Frequent consumption of alcohol can lead to an excess in weight due to its high calorie or kilojoule content. Just one gram of alcohol is equal to a whopping 29 kilojoules, filling each sip with the potential to drastically undo the good work of your healthy eating plan. High-calorie mixers such as fruit juice and fizzy drinks can also up the kilojoule content of your post-work drink, while the fatty foods you crave after drinking will add on the kilograms too. The more you drink, the more your metabolism will slow, and the more prone you will be to eating calorie-laden foods that you wouldn’t consider touching when sober.

More alcohol, more kilojoules, more side effects

Even more detrimental to your health are the effects of excessive alcohol intake and binge drinking such as:

  • Cancer
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Brain damage
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease or stroke
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Neurological damage

In order to keep these health risks at bay, while enjoying a favourite drink in moderation, health experts recommend an allowance of 2 – 3 drinks for women, and 3 – 4 drinks for men in one day, with at least two alcohol-free days a week. With ‘one drink’ defined as 25ml of spirits, 125ml of wine or 340ml of beer, these guidelines will effectively help you limit your alcohol and kilojoule intake, while not feeling too restricted within your eating plan. But pay attention to your portion control however – the number of drinks you consume can soon add up if you’re not paying attention!

Top tips for cutting down on alcohol and kilojoules

If you’re a moderate drinker already, then following the guidelines mentioned won’t seem too much of a hardship. You may even be able to cut out alcohol altogether, and happily stick to low-calorie soft drinks. If, however, you are a heavy drinker, then start small:

  • Exchange calorie-laden fruit juices and mixers for low-calorie options
  • Alternate between one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic drink to counteract the appetite effects of too much alcohol
  • Dilute wine with ice or water to make it last
  • Start your evening with a low-calorie soft drink – never quench your thirst with alcohol
  • And don’t instantly cut out all alcohol once you start a weight-loss plan. Restricting yourself severely may eventually lead to binging, and ultimately destroy your hard work. Rather drink alcohol moderately 2 – 3 nights a week, than go without for a month and drink 10 units in one evening!

Remember that all the information detailed here serves as a guideline for healthy eating and weight loss. Please ensure to always visit a doctor, dietician or other qualified individual before changing your diet and exercise routine. For more information, please refer to our site disclaimer.


The AdminJanuary 26, 2017
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3min00
Time to make: 55 mins (Hands-on time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 40 mins)
Total cost: $11.76 / $1.96 per serve
(at time of publication)

  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups trim milk
  • 8 slices fruit bread, quartered
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Instructions

Step 1Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a shallow 6-cup-capacity baking dish with oil.

Step 2Whisk together sugar, eggs, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon and milk. Set aside.

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Step 3Arrange half the bread slices in a single layer on the base of prepared dish.

Step 4In a small bowl, combine berries. Arrange half the berries over bread. Layer remaining bread over berries. Pour over egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining berries.

Step 5Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Original ingredients

60g butter
300ml cream
300ml full cream milk
5 eggs
8 slices white bread
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons brandy

What we did

  • Removed the brandy, butter, cream and about half the eggs.
  • Swapped full milk for trim milk and white bread and sultanas for fruit bread.
  • Reduced the sugar.

HFG red berry bread and butter pudding (per serve)

Total energy 880kJ
Total fat 4g (1g saturated fat)

Traditional bread and butter pudding (per serve)

Total energy 2400kJ
Total fat 35g (21 saturated fat)

Variations

Make it gluten free: Use gluten-free fruit bread.


The AdminJanuary 26, 2017
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21min00

Eating well at work

Different working situations present different healthy eating challenges. HFG nutritionist Claire Turnbull has advice on how to keep on track with healthy eating, whatever your work routine.

Office or retail job

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Eating well when you’re working a nine-to-five job with limited time for breaks can pose challenges. The availability of tempting unhealthy food around you, limited cooking facilities to make healthy lunches, and the need to grab something quick at lunchtime can mean it is easy to end up eating more kilojoules each day than you need.

Solutions

Work out roughly how much food you need to eat during your working day then take it with you. If you have lunch and two snacks at work, your daily food should include one or two pieces of fruit, one or two serves of veges, some healthy carbohydrates (grainy bread, crackers, rice, pasta, leftover roasted veges) and some protein such as meat, chicken, fish or eggs. Most of us need one or two serves of dairy at work, too – try a trim latté, low-fat yoghurt or a slice of reduced-fat cheese.

With a little forward planning you can make sure you have tasty things to eat at work. Cook a little bit extra at night to make a tasty lunch the next day. Transform a roasted chicken dinner into the following day’s lunch: add leftover chicken to a big handful of spinach or rocket and roasted veges for a salad. Leftover mince from a chilli or bolognese? Have it for lunch on a slice of grainy toast.

If you regularly forget lunch or snacks, have a desk drawer or locker stash of emergency foods. Store nuts, seeds, canned soups, ready-made pasta packs, two-minute rice cups, canned tuna and salmon and tubs of fruit. Include a jar of chutney and a low-fat dressing, to add flavour.

Keep a box of cereal at work to ensure you don’t miss breakfast.

At morning tea shouts, remind yourself you will see cake again – you don’t have to eat it just because it’s there. Try having a healthy snack before you go to the morning tea so you are less hungry or have just one thing rather than trying everything.

If snack boxes are your weakness, move them out of your eye line. Out of sight…

Working late can mean takeaway food is your only option, in which case choose a stir-fry style meal if possible such as steamed rice with lean meat or fish and veges. Even better, if there is a freezer at work, place your own ready meals or leftovers in there in a bag with your name on it.

If you often buy your lunch, look online to see if you can find the nutritional information for your favourites. Aim for lunches with less than 2000kJ and 10g fat, and a snack with less than 600kJ and 5g fat. Include as many vegetables and fruits as you can.

If work lunches are part of your job, the mentality that someone else is paying often means we feel the need to make the most of it. But extra food is not free. When you arrive at the restaurant, order water at the table and have a glass before you drink any alcohol. Try sparkling water instead of wine and order an entrée-sized meal with a side of vegetables or a salad to get a little more balance.

Shift work

Working shifts can be hard on your body and mind so eating well is really important to stay feeling well. It can be tough to know what to eat at what time of the day, and with ‘junk’/ high-fat food often the easiest to access, maintaining a healthy balance of foods requires a little bit of thought.

Solutions

When you are working odd hours, don’t get hung up on the time of day but think instead about how you will get all the nutrition you need into your body over 24 hours. In a day, this is what to aim for:

ONE breakfast-style meal, eg.

  • cereal with trim milk and fruit
  • porridge with trim milk and fruit
  • smoothie with trim milk, low-fat yoghurt, fruit, nuts/seeds and oats

ONE light meal including some veges, healthy carbohydrate and lean protein, eg.

  • couscous with chicken and salad
  • vege soup with grainy toast and cottage cheese
  • eggs or beans on toast

ONE main meal, eg.

  • spaghetti bolognese with veges
  • chicken curry with veges
  • roasted lamb with roasted veges and greens
  • stew or casserole
  • fish, kumara and salad

ONE OR TWO small snacks, eg.

  • fruit and low-fat yoghurt
  • crackers with hummus and vege sticks

The order of the meals will vary depending on the type of shift you are doing, but as long as you get them in over the 24 hours, you know you will get the nutrition you need.

Sit down for 10 minutes each week with your shift pattern in front of you and look at the week ahead. Make a rough plan of what you might eat and what you need to buy, so it is easy to shop, even if you are tired.

Make sure the meal you have before you start your shift is packed with as much nutrition as possible. If you are working a night shift this will probably be a healthy dinner, then take a light meal and light snack to work and have breakfast when you get home. If you are working an early morning shift you might want to try a smoothie before you go, take a main meal and a snack and have a light meal or bowl of cereal when you get home.

As tempting as it is to dose up on caffeine, overdoing it isn’t helpful. Keep your fluids up with green tea, peppermint tea,  chai and water.

If you find yourself picking all night, take sugar-free chewing gum or drink water. If you can, brush your teeth in your breaks which can help break the cycle of eating out of boredom.

Physical labour

For those who have active, physical jobs, it can seem quite normal to feel tired all the time. There are the challenges of being out all day, working over mealtimes or being stuck on site with limited cooking facilities and easy access to junk food and sugary drinks.

The easy option is grabbing things on the go. But eating that way makes it harder for your body to do what it needs to do and it is far more likely you will end up crashing out when you get home from work. To avoid fatigue and get the most from your day, eating right is essential.

Solutions

Pack a chilly bin or bag full of healthy supplies for the day:

  • one or two bottles of water
  • two pieces of fruit
  • a healthy lunch – leftovers, sandwiches, frittata, meat loaf, wraps, stuffed mini pita pockets, leftover stir-fry
  • one or two healthy, filling snacks such as fruit buns, cereal bars, fruit biscuits, soups, hard-boiled eggs, dried fruit and nuts, one or two pottles of low-fat yoghurt.

Keep these at hand, at work:

  • a bag of oats and a packet of sultanas – if you have access to a microwave, porridge is a great super-healthy breakfast or snack to warm you up in winter
  • a box of cereal – if there is milk available on site, have a bowl of Weet-Bix or muesli
  • cans of tuna, salmon, sardines, baked beans, spaghetti and soup
  • tubs of fruit in juice
  • cans of creamed rice – a high carbohydrate, low-fat snack.

If you do have to buy food, head to the supermarket and get ingredients to build your own sandwich: bread rolls, shredded chicken or lean meat from the deli, and a handful of salad leaves. Or try ready-made tabouli or a low-fat potato salad or roasted vege salad from the deli section then add shredded chicken.

At the bakery, choose something bread-based over pastry: it is likely to be lower in fat. Go for a filled roll or sandwich with grainy bread.

Water is fine for most people. Watch out for sugary drinks. Sport drinks are only for those doing very heavy labour who heavily sweat (particularly in the summer months). Sport drinks can have as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar in a bottle and as many kilojoules as a chocolate bar.

If your job is very physical, you are likely to be burning lots of energy every day. Healthy, high- energy snacks which might help:

  • nuts and dried fruit
  • One Square Meal bars
  • liquid breakfast drinks
  • fruit bread (to toast at work)
  • high-fibre bran muffins.

Tips for truckies

Eating pies every day when you’re in a sedentary job is a recipe for weight gain and heart problems. Like shift workers, you need to avoid the temptations of unhealthy food on the road by planning ahead and taking enough food for your journey. For those days when the plan falls apart:

  • At the service station buy low-fat yoghurt, chilled fresh fruit or cheese and crackers.
  • Keep a pack of muesli bars and other healthy snacks on hand (but out of sight).
  • At the bakery choose filled rolls or wholemeal/wholegrain sandwiches and step away from the pies and cakes.

Stay-at-home parents

Being at home with kids can sometimes make you long to be back in the office! With little people constantly needing your attention, it is not surprising many stay-at-home parents feel like hitting the ice-cream tub and chocolate bars after a long day. Add to the mix the challenge of getting to the supermarket with little ones, and it can be impossible to even remember to eat something yourself, let alone work out what to eat.

Solutions

Having the right food on hand is a great first step. See if you can work out a routine with a friend or a family member to look after each other’s kids for an hour a week to allow you to get to the shops.

Remember you need to eat well too – as a parent it can be so easy to put your kids first and forget about yourself. Kids also learn a lot about food and eating habits from watching the way you eat. As you are prepping food for the kids, make yourself something at the same time, even if it is just a sandwich or getting some soup out and putting it on the bench to remind you to eat it later.

At a coffee group or with a group of friends, make up a two-week menu planner. Work out a routine of dinners and lunches you could do for two weeks and write a shopping list. If someone types it up, you can all use it until you get bored with the meals. Then when you next catch up, swap a few recipes in and out, tweak the shopping list and you are set for another fortnight.

Online shopping can be a godsend if you just don’t have time to go to the supermarket.

When you do get to the shops, buy things which will make yourself a quick and easy meal: canned or fresh soups, eggs to have on toast, as an omelette, or boiled for a quick snack, cottage cheese to have on crackers or toast, low-fat yoghurt to have with a chopped piece of fruit and a few tablespoons of muesli.

While making dinner, have a think about the next day – what do you have on? Where will you be? Prepare a few extra veges to munch on or pack to take out with you. Place the things you want to eat the next day at the front of the fridge where you can easily see and grab them.

When the kids are having their afternoon tea, prepare yours at the same time and sit with them to eat it – you will be less likely to pick at theirs.

Edamame beans are a great snack – take them from the freezer and zap in the microwave. Homemade popcorn is fun, low in kilojoules and great for kids, too.

Keep up your fluids – it can be easy to forget about drinking when you are super-busy. Set yourself a goal to help make sure you are drinking enough. Try having one drink each hour or every time you go to the kitchen, or have a water bottle you aim to refill two to three times each day.

If you find yourself wanting a chocolate fix at the end of the day, try a low-fat chocolate mousse, chocolate dairy food or a low-fat hot chocolate. Or for a different sweet treat, blend a handful of frozen berries with low-fat yoghurt and a splash of milk – it’s like a mini sorbet with less sugar.

Studying/uni

Balancing a tight budget with a fluctuating workload, study and exams can mean it is easier to opt for the two-minute noodles and toast option, than to plan and cook a healthy meal. But when you need your brain to work at its best and you want to feel good about the day ahead, eating well is a real priority. It is about finding quick, easy and cheap solutions which work for you.

Solutions

If you are flatting and share cooking, encourage flatmates to plan meals for the week together – planning ahead can save you heaps of money and time.

Start a flat cookbook. Bored with eating the same five meals every week? Make sure at least one person who cooks tries a new recipe (see this website for heaps of recipes under $3.50/serve). If the recipe is a hit with the whole flat, add it to your flat cookbook. After a few weeks, you will have a variety of tasty, cheap recipes which you know work for everyone. This makes planning your meals and writing your shopping list for the week a lot easier – and cheaper.

When you are studying for hours on end, it’s easy to get the munchies and start picking at food in the cupboard or reaching for sweet treats. Rather than sitting at your desk nibbling away on junk food, try a healthy snack:

  • a bowl of Mini-Wheats or Mini-Bix with trim milk
  • a low-fat yoghurt with a tablespoon of muesli stirred through
  • a banana blended with trim milk and a teaspoon of honey.

Keep well hydrated. When you are bored it can be easy to eat when you don’t need to. Get in the habit of putting the kettle on instead for a cup of tea, green tea or herbal tea.

If you are studying and can’t concentrate, rather than reaching for a coffee or energy drink, get some daylight and fresh air for 10 minutes. A short brisk walk is enough to clear the brain fog and help you focus – far better than loading yourself with unnecessary sugar and stimulants.

Oats are cheap and make a great breakfast or snack when you are super-hungry. Add oats to smoothies – to make them more filling.

Rather than reaching for deep-fried noodles, try couscous. It is as easy as boiling the jug. Stir through a can of flavoured tuna or salmon and a chopped tomato or two for a quick, cheap, healthy snack.

Buy canned fruit in juice when it is on special. You will always have something for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Eggs make a great meal or snack – boiled, scrambled, poached on wholegrain toast or made into an omelette or a frittata with veges.

Check out the frozen section. Frozen veges, low-fat oven chips and fish can make a quick meal.


The AdminJanuary 26, 2017
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7min00

Forget the ‘I don’t have time to exercise’ excuse. These 10-minute workouts will help you maintain your fitness levels even if you have no time.

Summer parties, busy work schedules, catching up with friends and family obligations can eat up any spare time you would use to exercise. But a frantic lifestyle doesn’t mean your exercise regimen has to suffer.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, exercising in 10-minute sessions throughout the day can be just as effective for promoting health benefits as longer workouts. The key is to make the exercise sessions intense, elevating your heart rate, and using as many muscle groups as you can.

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3 steps to a shorter workout

Getting the most health and fitness benefits with the time you have available is easy. Just follow these three steps:

Step 1 Up the intensity: You’ve got less time, so work your body harder. If you usually walk briskly, then step it up – break into a light jog or tackle a challenging hill instead of staying on a flat surface.

Step 2 Combine it: Rather than just concentrating on one individual muscle group, perform a full body workout. Combine arm exercises with leg exercises, and always engage your abdominal muscles throughout your workout.

Step 3 Interval train: Go hard for 20 seconds before going slow or having recovery time for 10 seconds. Repeat this pattern 20 times, so you complete the 10 minutes. For example, jog for 20 seconds, then recover with a 10-second walk or slower paced jog – then jump straight back into the jog.

10-minute workouts

You can keep your health and fitness in check this holiday season with three sessions of 10-minute workouts every day. Choose one of these circuits, or make up your own. You only have 10 minutes to complete the circuit, so don’t slack off in between exercises – after you finish one exercise, move straight on to the next.

Circuit 1

Lunges: Stand with feet together. Step forward with your right leg and lower yourself towards the ground. Stop just before your left knee touches the ground. Lift yourself up, and step back to the starting position. Start the next lunge stepping forward with your left leg. Repeat 12 times on each side.

Step-ups: Get a wooden box or use a step. Step up with your right foot, then up with your left. Lower your right foot to the ground then follow with your left foot. Repeat for two minutes, and vary  your speed to increase intensity.

Opposite arm and leg raise: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched. Keep your face facing the ground. Lift your right arm and left leg directly up off the ground (about 10cm), hold for three seconds then lower, slowly. Then, lift your left arm and right leg. Repeat 12 times on each side.

Lower abdominal twist: Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Keep your knees and ankles together and your arms by your side. Lift your feet slightly off the floor, lower your knees to the right, return them to the middle then lower them to the left. Repeat 15 times on each side.

Boxing: If you have a willing partner, put on the gloves and have a friendly sparring match for two minutes. Alternatively, do shadow boxing or running arms on the spot, varying your speed to increase intensity.

Circuit 2

Skipping: Grab a skipping rope and skip for two minutes. Vary the two minutes by skipping fast for 20 seconds then recovering for 10 seconds. Repeat this interval pattern four times without stopping.

Tricep dips: Place your hands on the edge of a chair, feet shoulder-width apart. Hang your bottom off the chair. This is the starting position. Bending elbows, lower yourself slowly towards the ground until your shoulders are level with your elbows. Then slowly raise yourself up to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Push-ups: Start on your hands and knees with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your torso to the ground, stopping when your elbows are 90 degrees. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Jumping jacks: Also known as star jumps. Start by standing with your hands by your side and feet together. Jump your feet away from each other, while  raising your hands from your thighs, to clap above your head. Lower your hands as you jump your feet back in together. Repeat 12 times.

Sit-ups: Lie on your back. Keep your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and your hands resting on your chest. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Curl up towards your knees. Stop when you reach a 45-degree angle, then lower yourself to the floor. Do this exercise slowly. Repeat 20 times.

Workout as you complete your chores

Butt busters: While you are preparing the evening meal, concentrate on tensing your buttocks. Hold for 20 seconds before
relaxing for 10 seconds. Repeat 20 times.

Killer calves: Why not perform calf raises while you’re doing the dishes? Simply stand with your feet about shoulder-width
apart, lift yourself up on your toes, hold it there for 10 seconds, then
lower yourself to the floor. Repeat for three minutes.

Thriller thighs: When you’re talking on the phone, squat.
Lower yourself slowly into a squatting position and hold it there for five
seconds before slowly lifting yourself back up. Complete three sets of
12.

 


The AdminJanuary 26, 2017
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19min00

ere are some tips – or a wake-up call – for those of us who are ‘too busy’ to eat healthily.

You know who you are!

  • You’re probably reading this article while you stand in the checkout queue after dashing into the supermarket on the way home.
  • You’re dying to get out of your work clothes and into your comfy track-pants.
  • It’s been a huge day. You’re starving and looking to grab something for dinner before you settle down to a few more hours of work that you had to bring home.
  • You try hard to be healthy and probably made it to the gym for a cardio session at 6am this morning, but by the time you showered and dressed for the day you had no time for breakfast. There’s nothing except bars and shakes to eat at your gym anyway, and you have to beat the traffic to get to work on time.
  • You logged on at work to begin battling the day of endless emails with the first of many coffees in your hand.
  • After surviving a morning of meetings you caved in at morning tea and bought a mega muffin to replace the missed breakfast.
  • You were still full at lunch from eating the muffin so continued working at your desk with your 3rd, or was it the 4th  coffee (or have you lost count?).
  • By 3.30pm you had a horrendous headache so scoffed a packet of chips from the snack box and washed it down with an energy drink to perk you up.
  • And now here you are……thinking you’ve earned the frozen Indian curry and wine that’s lying in your shopping basket.

No need to look over your shoulder, I haven’t been stalking you. You’re just doing what every other over-worked business woman or man is doing who ends up suffering with weight-gain, poor bowel habits, fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.

How did you get into these poor eating patterns?

Chances are you schedule everything in your life in advance, from hair appointments and golf games with your buddies to catching up with family and friends. You just don’t seem to have enough hours in a day, but you never let anyone down, right? Wrong! You may be letting yourself down.

  • Do you regularly skip meal or snack breaks throughout your day?
  • Do you only go food shopping when you decide to cook at home that night or when you’ve run out of loo paper?
  • Do you suffer with constipation?
  • Do you reward yourself with food and drink when the day gets tough?

If you have answered yes to these questions, then your health could be at risk through poor food management.

Although most of us understand the importance of making healthy food choices when it comes to our own health, many of us make poor food selections when faced with ‘healthy’ food versus ‘treat’ food.

And it all starts with poor time management. To play ‘beat the clock’ when it comes to getting work done, we often encroach on our ‘food’ time. Nourishment disappears and the poor food patterns emerge as we ‘treat’ ourselves with high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt convenience foods as rewards for ‘giving-up’ our scheduled lunch and snack breaks.

Is your job making you sick?

Being desk-bound can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. A 2005 survey by business magazine NBR found some startling results. 1000 executives responded to the online survey, which found:

  • 48% of executives said they felt stressed
  • 42% of executives said they were overweight

These facts alone translate to an increased risk of heart disease over the general population; especially in the 30–34 years age group.

This is in line with overseas research. Research in the USA and Japan found people who work more than 50 hours per week had a far higher incidence of high blood pressure than those who work fewer hours. Belgian researchers found workers in demanding jobs who had little decision-making authority had an increase in blood pressure, even when they were sleeping.

Bad eating habits at work can also affect your productivity. A report by the UN International Labour Office found that obesity accounts for as much as 7% of total health costs in industrialised countries, and that fat workers were twice as likely as fit workers to miss work.

What’s happening to you on the inside because of these poor dietary patterns?

Constipation

The lack of a fibrous breakfast (such as a bran-based cereal or multigrain bread) coupled with the fact that the bakery items many people select at morning tea are white flour-based (such as cakes, muffins and sausage rolls) means there is a serious lack of fibre in the adult diet. We need approximately 25–30g of fibre a day to prevent constipation and ensure good bowel health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The symptoms of IBS such as wind and bloating often followed by an urgency to have a bowel motion, is a common complaint among business people. IBS can be the body’s way of letting you know it is stressed. Fatty, rich foods can aggravate IBS, as can too much caffeine. A cup of coffee on an empty stomach can induce this feeling, as can a creamy sauce at a business luncheon or a greasy plate of nachos on-the-run.

Weight-gain

You might not think you are eating a lot of food during the day, but what you’re eating may be VERY high in energy (kilojoules). A sedentary office worker will not burn off the empty kilojoules hidden in convenience foods munched on ‘randomly’ in the day. The ‘quick fix’ foods you snack on from the petrol station on the way home, from the vending machine while waiting at the airport for your delayed flight, and the handful of lollies pinched from the office jar are all adding to New Zealand adults’ growing waistlines. Similarly, the two or three glasses (big glasses!) of alcohol you drink every night after work are adding energy you’re unlikely to lose.

Fatigue and nutritional deficiencies

Chances are you pop a multivitamin most days with the hope that it helps alleviate the constant fatigue you feel. Well, here is a valuable piece of information: multivitamins do NOT supply energy to the body. Vitamins and minerals are, however, necessary for all metabolic processes in the body. So if you feel better taking a multivitamin, it’s possible your diet is nutrient-deficient and responds to the micronutrients you are getting through your supplement. Wouldn’t it be better to ‘fix’ your diet through a change in eating patterns rather than relying on a supplement?

Break the cycle of poor eating

It’s time to put some of those organisational skills you use in your work life to use in your home life. Let’s start at the beginning of the day…

Breakfast

There is no rule to say you must have breakfast as soon as your feet touch the floor, but you should have food within two hours of waking up. The consumption of cereal for breakfast is encouraged rather than toast, for the specific reason that we don’t add a yellow fat (butter or margarine) to a cereal but we almost always do to warm toast. Make toast a ‘weekend occasion’ or even every second day, but try a fibre-rich cereal, with low-fat milk (for calcium and protein) and fruit (for important antioxidants) at least three or four times a week. If you’re not fond of the taste of bran cereals, try combining a box of what you like (like puffed rice cereal) with a box of what is good for you (like bran flakes). The cereal you like will help disguise the taste of the bran. If you can’t face food as soon as you wake up, try eating a banana in the car on the way to work and have the cereal and milk at your desk.

Coffee

The current recommendation for coffee drinking is no more than six cups a day – however that is single shots; not the double shots you often hear people asking for at cafés! Caffeine can also inhibit iron absorption so try allowing a one-hour space between drinking tea, coffee or cola and eating food. This will allow time for the iron in that food to be absorbed.

To ease the affect of caffeine on the gut (for those who suspect caffeine may be causing their IBS), try swapping to lemon, mint or ginger herbal teas – or at the very least, alternate between ‘real’ coffee and decaffeinated.

Morning tea

If morning tea has become a ritual ‘bikkie binge’ or the girl at the café bags you up your ‘usual’ sausage roll to take away, now is the time to break the habit. Invest in a fruit bowl for your desk. We all need a minimum of two pieces of fruit every day – so arrive at the start of a five-day working week with 10 pieces of fruit. Choose non-messy varieties like bananas, mandarins, apples etc. You could also use fruit pottles to compliment the fresh fruit you bring. Fruit pottles travel well and won’t go ‘off’ as the week progresses.

If you can’t do without a sausage roll, aim to eat one no more than once a week. To reduce biscuit binging, try to have a piece of fruit in between each biscuit; this should slow you down!

Lunch

To avoid being called into impromptu meetings, try and leave the office at lunchtime. You could have a plan to get more movement into your day by walking somewhere to meet a friend for lunch or at the very least, just get outside for some exposure to daylight and fresh air.Always schedule out lunchtime in your diary or work calendar so that meetings are not placed in that time slot. Don’t feel guilty for ‘taking’ your lunch break. You will be more productive in the afternoon if you have healthy food, fluid, fresh air and a rest.

Afternoon tea

Many business people are working later, so dinner is often well after 7.30pm. If you managed to eat lunch at 1pm, it’s still a long way to dinner. Organising a balanced afternoon tea can make a big difference to your energy levels for the rest of the afternoon and may prevent petrol station grazing on the way home from work.

Dinner

Make a menu plan for the week ahead and stick to it. This helps you purchase groceries for healthy meals and takes the ‘guess work’ out of ‘what are you having for dinner?’ when you walk in the door from work feeling starving.

In addition to a pre-planned healthy menu, enforcing three or four alcohol-free nights a week can be a good way to really reduce excess energy in your week (and your liver will applaud you for it).

The grown-up lunchbox

Having a healthy lunch on hand when you’re busy at work is all about getting organised ahead of time.

At the beginning of the week, bring a supply of easy-to-eat bits and pieces to work and stash them in a drawer of your desk. Include:

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  • small cans of salmon and tuna
  • small cans of baked beans, chilli beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • crackers and crispbreads in an airtight container
  • packets of tortillas
  • packets of roasted nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts
  • packets or cans of instant soup
  • pots of fruit in juice
  • ready-to-eat rice pudding snacks
  • muesli bars (look for less than 10% fat)
  • rice crackers or chips

Also keep in your drawer:

  • small bottles of olive or avocado oil
  • small bottles of balsamic, red or white wine vinegar
  • sea salt, pepper grinder, spices of your choice

For the fridge, put together a plastic container containing easy lunch ingredients:

  • bread (whole grain, pita, bagels)
  • salad leaves
  • hummus
  • cottage cheese, feta or other cheese of your choice
  • vegetables like avocado, cucumber, peppers, carrots
  • packets of ham, salami and sliced chicken

From these basics you can make lots of easy lunches, including:

  • toast with hummus and tomato
  • chickpea, cucumber, tomato and feta salad
  • tuna salad with avocado, lettuce and tomato in a pita pocket
  • soup and toast
  • chicken and salad sandwiches
  • baked beans on toast
  • tortilla wrap with beans and chicken

Simple lunch ideas for busy days

  • baked beans on two slices whole grain toast (high fibre and low fat)
  • smoked salmon (buy in vacuum packs) on two slices whole grain toast. A bit more ‘posh’ than ordinary canned fish but a yummy way to get your omega-3
  • add 1/2 packet of instant noodles to a vegetable soup
  • heat 1/2 container pumpkin soup; serve over leftover steamed vegetables from last night (broccoli, carrot, etc)
  • medium pita, halved and toasted, a thin spread of pesto, add feta, mesclun and halved cherry tomatoes

Healthy workday snack ideas

Avoid the snackbox with these healthy snack suggestions:

  • tart dried apple
  • fruit and nut mix (1/3 cup)
  • 1 x small uncoated muesli bar
  • pretzel bows (a small handful)
  • baby carrots
  • low-fat fromage frais with fruit (feels more decadent than just a yoghurt)
  • whole grain crackers with hummus or cottage cheese
  • fruit toast with chocolate spread (instead of snack box chocolate bars)
  • nuts and dried fruit
  • freshly made or pre-bottled smoothies
  • unsweetened popcorn
  • bagel chips
  • fruit and oat cookies
  • yoghurt or dairy food
  • pikelets and spreads

We are working longer and harder in our busy, stressful world – to promote well-being, take the time to choose foods that will maintain a healthy body.

 


The AdminJanuary 18, 2017
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10min00

White snow, warm blankets, festive holiday gatherings– winter brings in lots of good times.

But in colder climates, keeping yourself healthy and strong can be downright challenging. Plus, winters can be especially harsh on the skin, and you may end up applying plenty of moisturizers to combat dryness but to no avail.

With a little planning, it is possible to eat healthy to provide your body with plenty of nutrients and your palate with plenty of flavor all winter long. Also, eating healthy can protect your skin despite dropping temperatures.

There are certain superfoods that you must surely include in your winter diet.

superfoods for winters

Here are the top 10 superfoods for winter.

1. Oranges

Oranges are one of winter’s best citrus fruits. They contain high levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant that several cells of the immune system require to perform their tasks, especially phagocytes and T-cells.

Eating an orange daily will reduce the risk of vitamin C deficiency, which may result in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens.

orange

The potassium in them helps protect your skin against harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays. The amino acids in them also benefit your skin.

This juicy fruit is also very low in calories.

Enjoy a fresh orange daily. You can also throw orange slices into a savory salad.

2. Carrots

While sitting under a blanket, munching on a sweet carrot or sipping hot carrot soup is something that many like to do.

In fact, carrots are one of the must-have superfoods in the winter season.

carrots

This root vegetable contains high amounts of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A strengthens the immune system, helping to protect against infection and reduce the risk and duration of respiratory problems by keeping the lungs healthy.

Plus, carrots keep the skin healthy, glowing and vibrant during the winter months. The vitamin A and various other antioxidants in them help in repairing damaged skin tissue. It also helps keep the skin moisturized and prevents dryness and flaky skin.

You can use carrots in salads and soups, as well as eat them as a stand-alone vegetable for snacks and side dishes.

3. Beetroots

Bright red beetroots and their green leaves not only add color to your winter salad or soup dish but also help you remain healthy.

Beetroots are packed with beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect the immune system by fighting off free radicals that harm healthy cells and their DNA.

beetroot

This root vegetable also fuels white blood cells, so that they can attack bad bugs in your gut to help good bacteria thrive in the body.

Even the green leafy tops are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, iron and magnesium.

You can eat this bright, sweet root vegetable baked, steamed or pickled. Beetroot salad and soup are also popular.

4. Eggs

Eating whole eggs during the winter months is vital. The yolk contains over 90 percent of an egg’s calcium and iron and the white contains almost half the egg’s protein. In fact, eggs contain proper proportions of all nine essential amino acids required by the body.

The body uses protein as fuel to make antibodies that attack foreign invaders and prevent infections.

eggs

Plus, having eggs for breakfast will help you maintain a healthy body weight because in addition to providing energy, eggs make you feel fuller. The protein in eggs provides sustained energy, as it does not simply cause a surge in your blood sugar levels that results in a “crash” later.

One little egg is also packed with several vitamins essential to your health, such as vitamins B2, B12, A and E. Eggs are packed with iron, zinc and phosphorus –three important minerals that are vital for your body.

Their antioxidant power fights off free radicals, which in turn protects your body from several diseases.

Whether boiled, poached, scrambled or in an omelet, eggs are a great way to start your winter mornings. Just make sure you do not eat raw or semi-cooked egg as it may contain bacteria that harm your health.

5. Ginger

When it comes to warm beverages during the winter season, you simply cannot ignore soothing ginger tea.

The antioxidant-rich ginger is a great way to give your immune system a boost by reducing free radicals in the body. Ginger also increases blood circulation in the body that is vital for optimum health.

ginger

At the onset of a cold or the flu, ginger works as an effective antibiotic. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms that get worse during the winter months.

Ginger also helps improve digestion and supports smooth and flawless skin.

In addition, ginger helps normalize sugar levels, which otherwise can affect your ability to lose weight or eat healthy food.

Aim to drink 2 or 3 cups of ginger tea daily.

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of ginger slices and 2 cups of water in a small pot.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain and add a little honey. To improve the taste, you can also add 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric has one of the highest antioxidant levels and this spice is a must during the winter months. It can provide a boost to the immune system when taken regularly.

Turmeric also offers many benefits to people suffering from joint pain during the winter days, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

turmeric

In addition, it helps fight free radicals that damage the skin and make it lose its glow and elasticity.

Adding turmeric to a glass of milk makes a healthy drink. In fact, warm turmeric milk is a popular home remedy for coughs, congestion, colds and flu. It is especially effective against dry coughs.

To make turmeric milk:

  1. Heat 1 cup of milk on the stove.
  2. When the milk is warm, add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir slowly to dissolve any lumps.
  3. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of ginger root, 2 cloves, and 1 cardamom.
  4. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Pour the milk through a fine sieve and enjoy it while it is still warm.

The AdminJanuary 8, 2017
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2min00

The following recipe is for the perfect way to start your day or an ideal afternoon snack. Kale is not just delicious but it’s also very nutritious and does wonders for your bones. It affects the bones by strengthening them. Stronger bones make you more resistant to fracture and lumps. Drink the kale smoothie below daily to improve your health, especially if you have osteoporosis.

Chocolate & Kale Smoothie_dailyhealthyfoodtips

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana
  • A few leaves of fresh kale
  • 2 boneless dates
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2-3 cubes of dark chocolate
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 ½ cups of water

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend them together until the mixture becomes homogenous. Drink it when it’s done and use small sips. This recipe gives you enough to replace a meal.


The AdminJanuary 8, 2017
Foods-Rich-in-Thiamin_vitamin-b1_dailyhealthyfoodtips.jpg

3min00

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, has a number of benefits. The body uses it as part of the metabolic process. As such most of the problems related to a vitamin B1 deficiency revolve around having a poor metabolic rate. A thiamine deficiency can also lead to problems related to your emotional and mental state. There are plenty of health benefits of vitamin B1/thiamine. Here are just some of the best.

foods-rich-in-thiamin_vitamin-b1_dailyhealthyfoodtips

 

What Is the Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamin B1 – Thiamin ? (1)

recommended-daily-amount-of-vitamin-b1_thiamin_dailyhealthyfoodtips

 

What Are the Sources of Vitamin B1 –  Thiamin ? (2)

Vitamin B1 or  Thiamin is found in nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes, peas, fish, bread, green peas,  pistachios, herring, spinach, squash, asparagus.

what-are-the-sources-of-vitamin-b1-thiamin_dailyhealthyfoodtips

 

What Are Common Vitamin B1 – Thiamine Deficiency Symptoms (3) (4)?

The worst kind of vitamin B1 deficiency is a disease known as Wernicke Encephalopathy. It is a neurological condition that can affect your memory primarily but also affects other parts of the mind. Vitamin B1 deficiency also causes emotional disturbance such as night terrors and panic attacks, and has physical effects such as weight loss or elevated heart rate, general weakness, fatigue, headache, irritability, abdominal discomfort, muscle weakness, colitis, confusion, nerve damage and nerve inflammation. These can be caused because one of the primary uses of Vitamin B1, and indeed every other B-Vitamin, is converting food into energy.


The AdminJanuary 8, 2017
Start-Drinking-Turmeric-Milk.jpg

6min00

Turmeric milk is a traditional drink in India, where people drink it before bed. It’s much like how people in western countries will drink a glass of milk before bed. Turmeric milk has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. There are many health benefits associated with it and it’s great for your skin too.

Start Drinking Turmeric Milk

Home Made Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is pretty simple to make. Here is how to make it for yourself so you can enjoy the health benefits.

What you Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • A quarter teaspoon of turmeric paste
  • A cup of almond milk (or your favorite kind of milk)
  • Honey

How to Make it:

  • Mix together everything but the honey in a saucepan on a medium heat; don’t let it boil
  • After everything is mixed up take it off the heat and add some honey for taste
  • Let it cool down a little before drinking it

What Turmeric Milk Can Do For You

People who drink Turmeric milk note the effect the milk has on their digestive system. It keeps it running smoothly and eliminates gas and bloat. This turmeric milk can also make the whites of your eyes whiter.

Arthritis sufferers can find relief through turmeric milk. This is a great benefit considering the millions of people who suffer from arthritis and have limited mobility and a lower quality of life as a result.

It’s also great for women as it is said to improve the complexion. It does this because it is packed with free radicals that remove the toxin so it protects your skin from damage. It gets rid of your dull complexion and gives you a healthy glow instead.

People with eczema should consider drinking turmeric milk too. The evidence that turmeric milk keeps your skin healthy is growing by the day. A recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology by Kaur C.D of the Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University in Raipur India found that turmeric can help the skin recover after it is damaged by UV radiation.

 

Turmeric Milk Health Benefits

Now that you understand how to make turmeric milk and what it can do given what it has done for others, you likely have a good idea of the health benefits of turmeric milk. There are plenty of health benefits to this wonderful drink including:

  • It helps fight bacterial and viral infections – it’s especially great at combatting respiratory illnesses
  • Turmeric milk is able to fight certain cancers such as breast cancer, skin and lung cancer, and prostate and colon cancers – the anti-inflammatory properties enable it to do this
  • The anti-inflammatory properties also make it able to help combat arthritis and stomach ulcers
  • Turmeric milk is one of the best natural remedies for a cold and cough because of the antibacterial and antiviral properties of this wonderful drink
  • Turmeric milk provides relief from any nasty aches and pains
  • It has potent antioxidant properties
  • Ayurvedic traditions consider turmeric milk to be a great cleanser and purifier for the blood and it improves circulation
  • Turmeric milk detoxifies the liver and keeps it healthy
  • Milk in general is a great natural source of calcium, which is needed to stay strong and healthy
  • It is also a great antiseptic that is a great aid for intestinal health
  • Turmeric milk breaks down dietary fats and helps you manage your weight
  • Last but not least warm turmeric milk is a great source of tryptophan; an amino acid that helps you sleep peacefully at night

Conclusion

Turmeric has long been used as a medicinal aid. If you’ve never tried turmeric milk for yourself then you’re likely convinced that you should give it a go by now. Drinking turmeric milk regularly improves your overall health and helps you stay beautiful by keeping your skin in good health too


The AdminJanuary 8, 2017
Healing-Turmeric-Ginger-Cinnamon-Tea-for-Numerous-Diseases_dailyhealthyfoodtips.jpg

2min00

Many people turn to herbal tea to treat what ails them. Some people even choose drinking a nice cup of green tea over going to their doctor. It’s possible they make the right choice. Everyone knows how beneficial green tea is but not enough know the great healing power of caffeine-free herbal tea.

Below you’ll find the recipe that can help you fight colds, cramps, and diabetes. One of the best things about this tea is that it uses entirely all-natural ingredients.

Healing Turmeric Ginger Cinnamon Tea for Numerous Diseases_dailyhealthyfoodtips

Let’s learn how to make Honey-Ginger-Cinnamon Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey
  • 1 ½ cups of filtered water
  • 1 stick of Ceylon cinnamon
  • one piece of ginger root
  • lemon juice

 

Preparation
Heat the water using a small saucepan on a medium-high heat. Chop up the ginger while you wait for the water to boil then add the ginger to the water once it boils.

Turn the heat down to low and wait for the water to simmer. Then put the cinnamon in and let it simmer for another five minutes. Strain the tea and then add the honey


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