“So, you’re suggesting I eat nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole fat milk and yoghurt, salmon, sardines, avocados, eggs, and even butter,” a client recently asked me. “But I can’t shake my fear of fat. Is eating fat bad for me? Isn’t it going to make me gain weight – the very thing I’m trying to avoid!” If you think that eating fat is bad and it’s going to lead to weight gain, your ambivalence is understandable but let me put your mind at ease.
Is eating fat bad?
FAT! That four letter word…we hate.
For the past four decades we have been urged to banish it from our diets wherever possible. The recommendation was to switch to low-fat foods.
But this shift hasn’t made us healthier or thinner, probably because we also cut out the healthy fats as well as the potentially harmful ones.
But, don’t be scared of fat. You actually need it in your diet.
Fats have been given a bad name, but they are an important part of our diet. I promise you – good quality healthy fats will not make you put on weight. The fat you eat is not the fat you wear (unless it fat from deep fried stuff).
Mono and polyunsaturated fats (such as the list of foods I suggested to my client above) are excellent sources of essential fatty nutrients. They play a very important role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, regulating body temperature, supporting the immune system, insulating internal organs, nerve transmission, vitamin and mineral absorption, and hormone production.
Just like petrol and diesel are both fuels that cars can run on. If you put gas in a diesel engine or the other way around, the engine may run but it won’t run well, or it won’t run for a long.
Similar to cars, the human body functions well on a range of fats in combination with carbohydrates and protein, but it runs much better on some types of fat, compared to others. For example, the fat component of your say your lunch, is really important for the absorption of fat soluable vitamins (vitamins A, D, E & K) that are hopefully present in your lunch. If no fat is included in your lunch at all, the vitamins from your lunch won’t be absorbed into your blood stream as easily.
Healthy fats don’t make you “fat” – excess calories make you “fat”. It’s about getting the balance right.
Not all fats are created equal. The not so healthy fats include industrial made trans fats. Saturated fats fall somewhere in between. There is now some quality evidence to suggest that saturted fats such as butter, is perhaps not as bad for us as we once thought.
Trans fats are found in everything from commercially baked biscuits and pastries, to fast-food French fries. Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
So, is eating fat bad for you? What about all the talk of it leading to heart disease? The research tells us this: Numerous meta-analyses and systematic reviews of both the historical and current literature reveals that the diet-heart hypothesis was not, and still is not, supported by the evidence. There appears to be no consistent benefit to all-cause or CVD (cardiovascular disease) mortality from the reduction of dietary saturated fat.
As I always say, the poison is in the dose no matter if that’s fats, sugar or carbs etc. So most things, including butter, is a good option to include in your diet. You gotta love fats because with 9k/Cal per gram, eating halthy fats will also help to keep you fuller and siatiated for longer. Meaning you may eat less throughout the day. So maybe fat isn’t that bad afterall. Eating healthy fats is actually GOOD for your health, weight and body.
If you’re on the low-fat train, it’s time to jump off! If you need help with that, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here>>
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be hard. There’s a perception that eating healthy is expensive and time-consuming (sometimes it is). The problem is, people believe they have to be perfect, so they don’t bother at all. However, perfection is impossible and completely unnecessary.
What ‘Healthy Eating’ Looks Like In 2018
We put so much pressure on ourselves to have a perfect diet, comparing ourselves to how “good” people are eating and how “bad” we have been ourselves. All that pressure and guilt takes the pleasure out of eating.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you can never eat your favourite foods. It certainly shouldn’t feel like punishment.
This is what ‘Healthy Eating’ might look like to you in 2018:
Ignore fad diets, and restricted and restrained eating.
There’s no one size fits all diet (It’s trial and error).
No foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (Food is not a moral issue). Labeling food gives it power. YOU are the one with the power, not the food.
Ensure you eat your macros daily (carbohydrates, protein AND FATS), but don’t get too hung up on it.
Eat as many vegetables and salads as you can.
Limit (do not restrict) processed foods.
Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Eat how your great-grandmother ate. Eat food as close to it’s original source as possible.
Don’t have time for eggs in the morning – make a nutritious smoothie. You can get over half of your fruit/veg intake for the day before even leaving the house!
Pick a place to start – don’t put pressure on yourself to change everything all at once. Planning ahead with meals, keeping a list of your favourite recipes handy, and getting food delivered from the supermarket can help you with time constraints.
Have healthy food and foods you enjoy stocked in the pantry, fridge and freezer so you can throw things together on a whim.
Have a meal or small snack every 3 to 4 hours. This fuels your metabolism and helps prevent binges and blood sugar crashes.
Visit the farmers markets or supermarket to stock-up on supplies and dedicate some time each week or fortnight to cook in large batches and freeze meals.
Importantly, instead of focusing on what you think you can’t eat; focus on all of the foods you can eat… and how great such foods make you feel. Be creative with food and keep food fun, this will help remove any stress around food.
Most of all what it comes down to is realising that there is no ‘perfect’ diet. Just a diet that’s right for you, in that particular time. Even the “perfect day” isn’t perfect if you eat the same thing over and over again.
Life is about balance. Doing the things that are right for you the majority of the time. For me, food is not just fuel for my body, it is for pleasure too.
Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is your year to shine!
If you need some help to have a healthy relationship with food, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here>>
Love pizza? Trying to eat healthy? No problem, I’ve got you covered!
Before you call for a $5 Domino’s pizza tonight. You know the one’s, the one’s where you need a microscope to literally find the so-called ingredients on top.
Yep, well not this pizza baby!
Check out this awesome, healthy, but insanely yummy pitta bread pizza (pizza pretender) recipe instead. You can thank me later!
Friday night dinners are usually take-away of some description. As a kid we used to get fish and chips every Friday night, these days i’m pretty keen for a nice pizza and a glass of red.
These healthy alternatives will let you eat pizza to your heart’s content, without any guilt or indigestion. You can treat yourself knowing you’re having a nutritious meal, and everyone will be impressed by your creative alternatives. While striving to eat healthy all the time is a good goal, it’s important to remember you’re allowed to indulge your cravings in moderation.
If moderation and pizza don’t go hand-in-hand for you,
a) I totally get it! and
b) instead you can make these insanely quick and easy pitta bread pizzas as a healthier alternative. These could totally be eaten every Friday night if you liked.
I’ve made these with both friends and little one’s before, and trust me, they went down a treat!
This makes for one hungry adult.
1 large wholemeal pitta bread
1 tbsp sugar-free tomato purée
1 tsp mixed herbs
6 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
half a small capsicum
1 handful spinach or any greens
8 slices salami, torn into small pieces
6 black olives cut in half
50g cheddar, grated
Heat the grill. Spread each pitta bread with 1 tbsp tomato purée, sprinkle over the mixed herbs and lay on the spinach. Lay the salami over spinach, pop olives and tomatoes on top of salami, sprinkle over the cheese and grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
You can literally add any ingredients you like.
Different types of cheese.
Meat or no meat.
Lots of veg.
Get creative and enjoy!
What are you having for dinner tonight?
OK, so you’ve heard about natures original “super-foods” – green veggies. And you want to start eating more greens and reap the benefits. Maybe you want to get in on the green smoothie bandwagon? Read on and I’ll show you some simple ways you can eat more greens.
How to sneak more greens into your diet
So, when I say greens, I mean green veggies (particularly leafy greens). They are some of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Furthermore, they are jam packed full of minerals such as folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They also contain vitamins A, C and K and are a great source of beneficial fiber.
And, leafy greens contain chlorophyll, which may help support natural detoxification in your body. At the same time, they are very low in fat and sugar.
They really are the wholefood “super-foods” of the vegetable world!
How can I eat more greens?
Greens add flavour to soups and salads, give crunch to a sandwich and add a depth of colour to your plate. We also eat with our eyes, so making your meals visually appealing (without needing to be a Master Chef) if important too.
There is a wonderful array of different greens around the world, and each country seems to have its own favourites. They include standard salad staples like baby spinach, rocket and lettuce. But also others like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and of course the recently popular, kale.
Additionally, you then have your less familiar leafy greens like beetroot and turnip leaves. Some leafy greens are mild and sweet tasting (like lettuce and cabbage), some have a slightly bitter taste (like spinach and silver beet), and others have a peppery taste (like rocket).
And don’t forget herbs! They are highly nutritious and are fantastic for adding plenty of flavour to almost any dish. I personally love to experiment with fresh herbs.
Some types of greens:
- Lettuce (cos, butter lettuce, red leaf, green leaf, iceberg
- Silver beet
- Bok choy
- Brussel sprouts
- Mustard greens
- Beetroot greens
- Turnip greens
And so much more!
Are greens good for me?
Greens are the perfect food to bulk up and flavour your meals with, making them nature’s perfect weight-management food, without needing to diet or restrict. Even better, including plenty of them in your diet has also been shown to help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even certain cancers!
How much should I eat?
For optimal health we should all be aiming to eat 5-6+ serves of veggies every day. Getting this many serves in a day can be quite hard for a lot of people. Myself included.
I recommend eating a variety of different greens (along with other veg) to make sure you get all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need, to help prevent vitamin or mineral deficiencies, chronic disease and for good mental health.
For example, a serve of leafy greens is 75g, or about 1 cup of raw greens (like chopped lettuce, kale or rocket) or ½ cup of cooked greens (like broccoli, cabbage or spinach).
Browse this list of easy ways to eat more greens everyday:
- Green smoothie – Green smoothies don’t have to taste like pond water or leave you starving an hour later. Make them a complete meal with lots of green veg, healthy fats, protein, fruit and a liquid base, and you are good to-go until lunch time.
- Eggs with Spinach- Add spinach or kale (and other veg) to an egg scramble, omelette, or frittata. This is a great way to incorporate veggies at breakfast (or at any meal in fact. ).
- Sautéed kale with garlic and mushrooms – I love this as a side with slow cooked lamb. It’s quick, easy and tastes divine.
- Barbecued asparagus wrapped with prosciutto – Asparagus and prosciutto are a match made in heaven. Need I say more…
- Kale chips – Tear kale into small pieces, removing stalk. Place kale in bowl with olive oil, sprinkle nutritional yeast over kale for a cheesy flavour and toss to lightly coat kale. Arrange on baking tray one layer deep and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until crispy. Eat em up, yum!
- Throw spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage etc into soups – Add the leafy greens towards the end of the cooking time, so the greens won’t taste bitter, but will still absorb the other flavours of the soup.
- Homemade cabbage slaw – Use green and red cabbage, carrots, broccoli stems, beetroot and onions and dress with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. Great as a side with chicken or seafood.
- Grilled Salmon with Bok Choy and Snow Peas – A simple meal of grilled Salmon, with steamed greens tossed with a little knob of butter melted through. Add some potato mash and you have a gorgeous healthy meal that anyone will eat.
- Easy green salad- Combine watercress, spinach, feta cheese, fresh beetroot and raw walnuts into a bowl. Dress with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing, and serve with any type of protein. One of my favs!
- Broccolini and Kale Quinoa Bowl- When you don’t know what to make for dinner, what do you usually end up making? My go-to is a quinoa bowl. For this bowl, I lightly blanched some broccolini and toss my cooked quinoa with kale, fresh mint, chickpeas, avocado, and my favourite part – slices of watermelon radish.
Mix it up and get creative. You don’t have to live off green leaves like a rabbit all day!
In fact, you shouldn’t. This is not about dieting and restriction.
Make greens the focus of the dish and fill your plate or smoothie up with other essentials like complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats.
It will then leave you feeling satisfied and energised until your next meal.
What are your favourite greens?
If you need support with your diet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here>>
You are going to LOVE my bliss ball recipe!
There are so many reasons to love bliss balls: first of all, they taste great. Kid’s love them just as much as adults. Furthermore, they’re healthy and finally, they are very easy and quick to make.
They are generally gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy and egg free. If you use seeds instead of nuts, they can be made nut free for school lunch boxes. They are vegan and paleo, therefore they suit almost everyone’s taste buds and dietary requirements.
Traditional bliss balls use Medjool dates, which taste unbelievably good, but geez they’re expensive! Dried dates are much less expensive and work fine in this recipe although you may need to add a little extra moisture to the mix.
I generally use a mixture of raw almonds and hazel nuts, but you can use any nuts you like. I sometimes add sunflower seeds to make these bliss balls too as they are inexpensive, therefore reducing the costs. If you use chia seeds, soak them in a little water first for five minutes to let them soften and gel up. This way they are more easily digested. You can also use nut meal instead of whole nuts, if you have left over nut meal from making your own nut milk.
If the mixture isn’t quite coming together, I’ll often add in a tablespoon of coconut oil, but this is optional. You could also use a little pure maple syrup, raw honey or a tablespoon of water if the mixture is crumbly and won’t form a ball. Mostly, the dates will be moist enough and you won’t need to add anything extra. I add the coconut oil because it’s good for you in moderation.
Let’s get stuck in!
Prep time: 15
- 2 cups medjool dates, pip removed
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup sugar-free desiccated coconut
- Add dates and nuts into a food processor, blitz on high speed for 20 seconds.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and add in cacao and coconut, blitz on full speed for 40-60 seconds or until mixture combines well.
- Roll into golf ball sized balls.
- Refrigerate for 3+ hours & then enjoy!
- Stores in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- You can make ahead of time and freeze too
WARNING: The deliciousness of these balls makes them highly addictive!!! You may want to portion them out into snack bags and write the days of the week on them, to ensure you don’t gobble them all up and wish you had some for later in the week. Two a day is fine as a healthier alternative to slice, cake or muesli bars.
Unhelpful food rules, food myths and misunderstandings keep many women from having a normal relationship with food. If you have been wondering what is normal eating, let’s take a look.
What is normal eating?
Many women consider it “normal” to anxiously monitor their food and weight every day. To worry about their amount of exercise, to obsess about whether to eat dessert or not. But is a lifetime of guilt about food and weight really normal? Is this how we want to live our lives?
The truth is, it is NORMAL and NATURAL to eat more on some days and less on others. However, this statement is in direct contrast to the ‘dieting philosophy’. Dieting says you need to stick to the exact same amount of food/calories everyday. If you’re having a hungry day, too bad!
This isn’t what our bodies are meant to do. The dieting way of eating is not ‘normal’ or ‘natural’. We are not machines that need a clear cut amount of calories per day and be done with it.
Some days are hungry days and some days are less hungry days, and the amount of fuel we need varies from day to day. It will be based on your appetite, weight, metabolism, lifestyle, and activity level.
Moreover, what’s normal for you can be completely different for someone else.
How do I know if I’m a normal eater?
- Do you eat when you are hungry?
- And can you eat something not because you are hungry or peckish, but just because you feel like it?
- Do you stop eating when you are full?
- Do you eat foods that you genuinely enjoy?
- Or do you avoid or minimise certain foods for fear of what they will do to your body, weight or shape?
- If you overeat or undereat, or if you gain some weight, do you beat yourself up about it?
- Or can you take it in your stride knowing it is normal?
- Do you have the flexibility to eat anything, at any time and anywhere?
Children are a perfect example of ‘normal’ eating because they’re not caught up in diet rules – some days they’re a bottomless pit and other days they barely touch a crumb and it all works out fine in the end. They can take or leave any food. They self-regulate.
How to eat ‘normally’
The more formal definition of “normal eating” goes back to 1983 when dietitian and family-feeding expert Ellyn Satter came up with this list. What is normal eating:
- It is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
- It is being able to choose the food you enjoy and eat it and truly get enough of it – not just stop eating because you think you should.
- It is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
- It is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.
- It is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way.
- It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
- It is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be under eating at times and wishing you had more.
- It is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
- In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.
Nobody becomes a normal eater overnight. Begin by making slow changes by following the above steps. If you accept that progress, not perfection, is your goal, you will alleviate the stress of your relationship with food and come to live in better harmony with your body and your eating.
What is normal eating. If you want help becoming a normal eater, take a look at my private program Stop Punishing Start Nourishing here>>