Things I wish you would stop saying about your food!


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The diet stories we need to stop telling ourselves

The truth be known, nutrition is actually very simple – calories in vs. calories out; protein, carbs and good fats along with plenty of vegetables. What makes it complicated is our negative self-talk; the voices in our head that tells us it is ok to eat an entire block of chocolate; or since we have blown our diet for the day or week we will just start again next week. These are the voices that justify; demean; punish and distract from what we really should be focusing on – good nutrition; good habits; good health; good food. So here are the most negative things you can say to yourself about diets, food and nutrition and the self-talk that may be holding you back from reaching your health and fitness goals.

I have blown it

Blown what exactly? The mindset that tells us there is a ‘perfect’ way to eat and if we have one extra slice of bread or an extra glass of wine we have completely ruined any dietary regime is extreme, unfounded and has no real meaning in the bigger picture of life. Expecting human beings to follow self-developed rules for dietary purism will only lead to one thing – an endless cycle of restriction, overeating and guilt. It is important to understand that there is no ‘perfect’ diet, there are simply good habits that we maintain most of the time. So next time you think you have ‘blown it’, the best thing to do is get back to your regular habits the very next meal or snack and stop thinking so much about it.

I have been bad

The most common confession from diet clients when they return for review appointments, except ‘being bad’ equates to eating chocolate or drinking wine as opposed to shooting someone or hitting someone’s car and not leaving a courtesy note. There is no such thing as ‘being bad’ on a diet – there is eating more than we need to; or enjoying a few glasses of wine too many but as soon as we mentally equate eating too much to a childlike behaviour, we begin a childlike cycle of punishment and reward for eating the certain types of food. Focus on food habits rather than one off eating occasions to develop better food perspective and focus on what you are doing right rather than what you perceive to be doing wrong to move forward with positive diet changes.

I will start my new diet next week

Why would you do that? If you need to improve your dietary habits, there is no time like the present. Regularly postponing and starting over with good eating habits not only means that we lose much time but  in most cases it means we never really get anywhere. Rather Monday and Tuesday become days when we eat well before giving ourselves an excuse not to for the rest of the week. If you are committed to changing your lifestyle for good, just start the very next meal. Small decisions add up and there is no time like the present.

It has been a bad day; I need / deserve this

 The late afternoon chocolate binge after a bad meeting; or the ½ packet of chocolate biscuits in front of the TV after a particularly nasty day sets a pattern of satisfying your emotional needs with high calorie, high fat foods that are easy to overeat. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat after dinner or a biscuit or two with a cup of tea if you really feel like it, but giving yourself permission to eat when you are sad, bored, tired, lonely or frustrated can being a lifelong pattern of emotional eating. Practice tending to your emotional needs with sleep, the support of good friends, exercise and rest and leave the food for special occasions and your regular meals and snacks.

I am on a ….no carb / sugar / alcohol / wheat / dairy detox this week

While there are some individuals who need to eliminate certain types of food from their diet, for many, regularly banning certain foods and nutrient groups simply fuels the ‘all or nothing’ diet cycle. While some individuals have the mental strength to constantly restrict their diet, self-regulatory studies have shown that extreme restriction requires significant focus from the brain, which is difficult to maintain when other aspects of life too require focus. This may be one of the reasons that individuals are able to remain extremely strict on certain dietary regimes for short periods of time but when life takes over, things fall off the rails. So rather than feeling the need to completely eliminate whole food types or groups, consider a more moderate approach. A little honey in your yoghurt is not the problem, eating an entire bag of red frogs is.

I shouldn’t be eating this

Once we accept that there will always be foods that we should enjoy occasionally, as opposed to thinking that we should never eat them, we then create the freedom to make our food choices based on what we actually feel like eating, rather than playing a mind game over what theoretically we should or should not be eating. Often we eat what is served or available without even considering if we like, want or feel that particular food. Work towards eating what you like and feel like in controlled portions rather than creating mental rules that distract you from your natural food preferences which can also shift your food intake to one of ongoing mental management rather than a physical and enjoyment driven need

Are there real benefits to intermittent fasting?


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How to fast the right way.

If there is one area of diet and nutrition that also has strong scientific evidence to support its use it is intermittent fasting – the phenomena that sees dieters restrict calories for set periods of time to achieve both weight loss and significant reductions in inflammation in the body. So what is the go with fasting? Are there real benefits from it and if so, what is the right way to do it?

The 5:2 Diet

In recent years the concept of regular fasting has gained significant attention off the back of the work of British scientist Dr Michael Mosely who authored the 5:2 Diet.  The 5:2 Diet incorporates 2 non-consecutive days of very low calorie eating, just 500-600 calories or ¼ of your regular calorie intake, followed by 5 days of regular, normal, non-restrictive eating. Early results from studies investigating this unique dietary approach, said to mimic the ‘feast and famine’ lifestyle of hunter gatherers, are promising. While short term in nature only, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and insulin levels appear all to benefit significantly from regular periods of low calorie eating, as does weight, with advocates reporting safe and sustainable weight loss results from the data currently available.

Fasting options

Since the release of this diet there has been a number of variations to the 5:2 model as diet experts and self-proclaimed gurus attempt to grab a piece of the fasting diet book pie. One such program suggests limiting food consumption to just 8 hours of every day; another to not eat until lunchtime hence supporting a prolonged overnight fast or limiting food consumption to just one meal per day. Each of these variations, depending on compliance potentially offer benefits as research suggests that any prolonged period without eating or eating very few calories for short periods offers anti-inflammatory benefits. The issues of course, as is the case with most diets is compliance, as sometimes cutting back on calories is easier said than done.

The 5:2 approach

In the case of the researched 5:2 approach, it is suggested that females consume just 500 calories on two non-consecutive days each week and makes 600 calories. Ultimately this means that on two days of the week you will not be eating very much. For example, 500-600 calories spread over 2 meals equates to 1 poached egg with 1 cup vegetables, a piccolo coffee in one meal and just 80-100g fish and vegetables or salad in the other. For non-eaters, such as busy businessmen or shift workers, this may not seem that extreme but for the average person, who tends to eat several times a day, such an enormous shift in eating habits may not prove that easy, particularly in social situations. My experience thus far is that followers tend to eat more like 800-1000 calories per day while fasting, as an extra coffee or snack slips in, which unfortunately negates the benefits of the ‘fast’.

The second issue that can present when individuals adopt diets that are restrictive in nature is that psychologically it can prime us to think about food more and more. In this context, the simple act of aggressively restricting calories, especially after a lifetime of being ‘on’ and ‘off’ various diets, triggers the deeply entrenched thoughts that accompany the start of yet another diet. In this instance, the mere notion of being restricted, even for a very short period of time if enough to drive individuals to think about food, or rather the lack of it more and more, makes it almost impossible to maintain long term.

Just limit your eating times

If severe calorie restriction is not for you, another option is to simply limit the number of hours you consume food each day. For example, eating only between 8am and 4pm or 10am and 6pm. In these examples while you are not limiting calories to an extreme level, you are allowing an extended period of time for the body’s hormones to return to baseline levels without constantly being disrupted with numerous feeding occasions. While research examining this exact approach is limited, any regime that limits calorie intake via clear daily structure is likely to support weight loss while avoiding extreme diets and calorie restriction.

Is fasting for you?

A crucial point when considering including a regular fast in your weekly dietary regime is what your energy demands are like. If you sit down in front of a computer for many hours each day, and are not overly interested in food, cutting back for a couple of days is unlikely to cause any major issues. On the other hand, if you are a busy mum with 3 kids and you go to the gym every day, chances are cutting your calories back that much when your energy demands are high may leave you feeling tired, irritable and battling extreme hunger and cravings, even if it is just for a day in total.

Perhaps the key thing to know about fasting is that the published research shows that the overwhelming benefits are related to inflammatory conditions in the body such as blood glucose levels, cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin levels as opposed to weight loss. This is not to say that you will not lose weight rather weight loss tends to be a secondary outcomes for individual battling inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, insulin resistance and fatty liver.

As is the case with any diet, no matter how positive the results are reported to be, is to make sure it is sustainable, and most importantly doing no damage. So, if you know that your body and metabolism will benefit from such an extreme diet kick start, by all means, give fasting a try. On the other hand, if cutting back your calories so aggressively seems a little too extreme for you, why not just try cutting back a little – drop the snacks, have a smaller portion of dinner and have a salad for lunch. You may be surprised to find that you can also lose a few kilos just be cutting back slightly, every single day.

Prefer to cut down on carbs in your diet? Click here for 5 ways to eat less carbs…the right way!

The one super nutrient you are not getting enough of


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Whenever we talk superfoods we instantly think of kale, berries and quinoa – all nutrient dense foods whose strong nutritional properties that give them the superfood label. Another superfood we frequently talk about is salmon, known for its huge omega 3 content in which a serve of fresh salmon will give an adult their entire daily intake of these powerful good fats. What we talk about less frequently is the importance of having the right types of fats in our diets every day. And chances are, unless you are eating fresh salmon every single day, you are not getting enough of the foods that can help you achieve the right balance of fats in your diet. So here are the steps to achieving the optimal balance of fats in your diet and the foods that will help you to get it.

Fat balance in the body is controlled by a number of complex metabolic pathways. It is for this reason that dietary balance never comes down to just one food or diet but rather the interplay of dietary patterns, nutrient intake and balance as well as our genetic response to different nutrients and dietary patterns. When described in relatively simple terms, there are fats that promote the health of our cells, and fats which are more damaging. As the types of fat we consume on a daily basis will be a mix of the different fats, these fats compete for position in the body, and as such having the right ratio of the different fats is a key predictor of the health of our cells, and our body overall.

In general, Australian’s intake of saturated fats is relatively high thanks to a high intake of dairy, meat and processed and fast foods. A high intake of saturated fat, especially as part of a diet in which excessive calories are consumed is linked to increased inflammation in the body, and fat storage in the body’s cells. On the other hand, good fats which include both monounsaturated fats found primarily in olive oil, peanuts, almonds and avocado and the long chain polyunsaturated fats found in grains, seeds, walnuts and oily fish help to balance out these fats and improve the health of our cells. While our intake of monounsaturated fats is pretty good, thanks to our love affair with olive oil and avocado, few of us get the amount of long chain polyunsaturated fats we need to allow them to get into the cell and do their good work.

The reason for this is that natural, long chain polyunsaturated fats are hard to find, especially if you do not eat or like fish. So for anyone wanting to optimise their health, or for anyone battling autoimmune conditions such as PCOS, insulin resistance, fatty liver, thyroid issues or joint pain, here are the key foods rich in polyunsaturated fats to include in your diet to get the 10-20g of these fats in your diet that will help to balance out your ratios of good and bad fats.

Pumpkin seeds

Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds like many seeds offer us a massive dose of these special fats. Just 30g of pepitas offers almost 7g of long chain fats or 1/3 of our daily requirement.

Walnuts

All nuts are good for us but walnuts in particular pack a massive punch when it comes to omega 3 content with just 10-12 walnuts offering more than 14g of long chain fats.

Salmon

It is not for nothing that dietitians regularly cite salmon as one of the favourite superfoods – one of the few naturally occurring sources of the powerful long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA, a 100g serve of salmon will give you at least 4g of these fats. And while plant sources of these fats are still good choices nutritionally, as they will convert to the longer chain EPA and DHA,  oily fish remains the richest source of DHA and EPA.

Soy linseed bread

While all grain bread is a good choice, it is specifically the mix of soy and linseed which gives soy lin bread its 4g of polyunsaturated fats per serve.

Chia

Another superseed that offers more than 3g of long chain fats per tablespoon

Sardines

There are few commonly consumed fish in Australia that are naturally rich in omega 3 fats but sardines are one of them with 3g of polyunsaturated fats per serve.

Pecans

If walnuts are not your thing, a 30g serve of roughly 20 pecans will offer more than 7g of long chain fats.

Sesame seeds

Again rich in long chain fats with more than 3g of polys per serve

5 ways to eat less carbs….the right way


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We hear much about cutting out sugar and carbs, and while the benefits of doing so are regularly preached by those committed to these dietary regimes, it appears that a number of health benefits are achieved by simply cutting back on carbs rather than cutting them out entirely. Recent research by Tuffs University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that simply reducing the glycaemic load of the diet, by controlling the intake of processed carbohydrates and sugars was a powerful predictor of weight loss over a 16 year dietary trial. Such results suggest that when it comes to carbs it is all about the quality of the carbs we are eating on a daily basis which can be qualified by our overall glycaemic load. Most importantly, it is not that difficult to achieve a lower glycaemic load, even when we are regularly consuming many of our favourite foods.

The glycaemic load of the diet is based on the total amount of carbohydrate consumed; how quickly or slowly these carbohydrates are digested as well as how much protein is consumed. Rapidly digested, high carb foods such as white bread increase our glycaemic load, while low carb, protein rich food and slowly digested lower carb foods such as lower carb bread help to reduce it. Assessing the quality of the diet according to its glycaemic load takes into account the entire dietary intake patterns rather than isolating individual foods and labelling them as ‘good’ or ‘poor’ choices. So before you feel the need to get your calculator out, here are the easiest ways you can reduce the glycaemic load of your own diet to help support long term weight control.

1. Swap to lower carb bread

Regular large slices of sliced bread or Turkish loaves can contain as much as 50-60g of carbohydrates per serve compared to just 20g for lower carb loaves.

2. Eat carb rich foods and protein food together

Greek yoghurt and fruit; eggs on wholegrain toast or cheese and wholegrain crackers – a mix of carbs and protein helps to control the release of the hormone insulin and reduce the overall glycaemic load of the meal or snack.

3. Avoid high carb snacks

Rice crackers, banana bread, fruit juices and dried fruit are all snacks that contain refined grains; white flour and / or concentrated sugars which bump up the glycaemic load of the diet significantly.

4. Watch the serves of grains

Brown rice, quinoa, pasta and oats all contain a number of positive nutritional properties but they are also all relatively high carbohydrate foods – for example, a single cup of brown rice contains as much as 40g of total carbohydrate or the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread. These foods are nutritious but keep your portions to just 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked a=to help control your glycaemic load.

5. Use your dairy

Whether it is cheese as an after dinner snack; yoghurt with a small serve of breakfast cereal in the morning or milk with your coffee, the study found a positive association with the regular consumption of full cream dairy over time. This effect could be due to the fact that dairy food, thanks to its high protein and nutrient content helps to reduce the glycaemic load of the diet. 

Think you are eating a healthy lunch everyday? Lunch could actually be where things are going wrong for you, so here are 5 ways you could be getting your lunch wrong.

How do I know if I am dehydrated?


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5 signs you are still not drinking enough

Chances are at this time of year you are more likely to reach for a hot Latte than you are your water bottle but regardless of the lower temperatures the human body still needs plenty of fluid to keep hydrated and the body’s systems running optimally. While we often consider thirst to be a sign that we need to drink more water, the truth is that thirst is a relatively weak reflex, and we are already dehydrated by the time our thirst kicks in. So as we move into the more chilly months of the year, here are some of the other signs you may be dehydrated and need to drink more at this time of year.

1. Your mouth not tasting great

When we do not drink enough, overall we produce less saliva and as a result bacteria is more likely to build up in the mouth, resulting in bad breath. So if you are regularly reaching for the mints and gum to keep your mouth fresh, it may be time to reach for your water bottle.

2. Your skin is dry

All cells of our body need water to maintain optimal fluidity, but as skin cells are one of the most rapidly replaced cells, dry skin can be a good reminder that our water intake is less than adequate, especially at this time of year. And if cold water when it is cold outside is not your thing, don’t forget about herbal tea which can be another great way to hydrate the skin but also offer various antioxidants and herbals which are too good for the skin.

Hydration plays a major role on how you perform through the day, both at home and at work. Read more here.

3. Your body is sore

When our body is not recovering from training we are quick to think about the protein and electrolytes we are not getting to refuel from our workouts but we less frequently consider that the underlying issue may be not drinking enough. Water is required for muscle cell contraction and cell recovery just as protein, magnesium and salts are. So if you work out regularly keep in mind you need at least 500ml of extra water for every hour of training you do.

4. You get headaches

In modern life we are quick to look for a Panadol to dull a pressing headache and to blame screens and sore necks for a sore head but the truth is that our heads are one of the first things to suffer when we are dehydrated as the fluid that supports the brain within the skull will be reduced if the amount of fluid is our body is low. For this reason our first step when we have a headache should be to ready for the water bottle.

5. You are craving sugar

Dehydration can play havoc with blood glucose regulation, triggering the need to eat more, especially sweet foods. Often we interpret this craving as a need to eat when really we just need to drink more. The easiest way to control your cravings on a daily basis is to ensure you consume at least 300-500ml of water or herbal tea with each meal or snack.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.

The SIRT diet


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Another day, another diet, or so it seems and the SIRT food diet is the latest diet doing the rounds. And why wouldn’t it be popular, you get to eat chocolate. And drink wine. And eat spicy food. So is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

Developers of the SIRT diet claim that there are certain molecules in specific foods, known as SIRT foods that activate proteins in the body called sirtuins. Sirtuins are thought to be involved in a number of metabolic processes in the body and specifically when it comes to weight loss boost the body’s ability to burn fat. While research is in its early stages, and has mostly been completed in animal models, to date it appears that exercise and calorie restriction help to activate the sirtuins. In addition it is hypothesised that certain foods contain compounds that help to activate these proteins and promote the burning of fat in place of carbohydrate.

As such, the SIRT food diet focuses on both calorie restriction and eating a load of the foods thought to contain these sirtuin activating compounds including antioxidant rich citrus, berries, cocoa, kale and red wine.

The SIRT food diet focuses on 2 diet phases. The first lasts for just one week, and is a specific low calorie approach (just 1000calories) designed to activate the sirtuin proteins. This low calorie phase lasts just 3 days before calories are then increased to 1500 calories per day, of a diet packed with sirtfoods. Juices are favoured on low calorie days, with two green juices per day made using sirtfoods including kale, celery and parsley along with one sirtfood rich meal during the 1000 calorie period and two sirtfood rich meals and one green juice in the 1500 calorie period. It is claimed that dieters will lose up to 5kilos during this phase.

This is then followed by a fourteen day maintenance phase, in which one green juice and three sirtfood rich meals are consumed. It is again claimed that this eating pattern will result in sustainable weight loss for the entire two week period.

Now at a glance what this diet is proposing seems reasonable enough – more fresh food, nutrient rich superfoods known as SIRT foods and a few low calorie days. Indeed consuming just 1000 calories each day will almost definitely lead to some initial weight loss as the body’s glycogen stores are depleted and a 1500 calorie plan is associated with sustainable, achievable weight loss. Whether this effect is specifically due to SIRT foods remains to be proven, and is the case with all diets, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. In the case of the SIRT diet translating into lots of red wine and chocolate, it is more likely lots of green veges, healthy meals and overall calorie control is the reason individuals get results. And indeed if a few squares of dark chocolate or a glass of wine keep you interested in a diet, there is not much wrong with that.

SIRT foods

Dark chocolate

Red wine

Apples

Citrus

Kale

Tumeric

See Susie discussing the SIRT diet in more detail on Sunrise here.

Colds and flu


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The temperatures are dropping and we now have at least 3 months of short and chilly days. It is also the time of year when colds and flu are thriving and our nutrition becomes even more important to ensure our immune system is at its best to fight off the Winter bugs. Not only does our nutrition ensure we are giving the body the right vitamins and minerals to help fend off illness, but the right foods and nutrients can also reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms and as a result the length of time you are not at your best. So if you are keen to power through Winter and keep as healthy as possible, here are the simple steps to take.

Dehydration is surprisingly the most common reason bugs tend to stick around and continue to make you feel sick. Congestion, runny noses and a small intake of fluid can make headaches and fevers worse, prolonging the effects of a cold. Even if you do not feel like it, if you are suffering from any cold like symptoms you need to increase your intake of fluids. 100% fruit or vegetable juices, herbal teas or plain water are all good choices. If you are particularly keen, nutrient rich smoothies packed full of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and nutrient rich supplements such as chlorophyll, is another great way to give your body a daily vitamin hit.

Links have been drawn between a high Vitamin C intake and a reduction in cold-like symptoms for hundreds of years. Unfortunately there is only a small amount of scientific evidence that proves that a high dose of Vitamin C can reduce the length of a cold once it is present. Nevertheless, foods rich in Vitamin C including oranges, kiwi fruit, berries, tomatoes, red capsicums and spirulina are all antioxidant and vitamin rich foods which can only offer positive nutritional benefits in times of health or illness.  Fresh fruits and vegetables also have high water contents and help to aid hydration.

Soup is another power-food routinely linked to helping sick people get better quickly. Soup has high water content but most importantly, chicken soup made using the actual chicken bones will contain some of the bone marrow. Bone marrow is thought to have a number of powerful immune stimulating properties which is where the link between chicken soup and health originated hundreds of years ago. Add plenty of vegetables in addition to the chicken stock made from bones and you will be on the right track. And, unfortunately no, the tinned varieties of soup do not count!

Finally there are a number of supplements including Echinacea, garlic, grape seed oil and a variety of herbs promoted as cures and preventives of colds and flu. While the jury is still out on many of these supplements, there are a number of powerful medicinal properties associated with fresh herbs in particular which makes them a great addition to your diet whether you are feeling under the weather or not. Fresh chilli, garlic, ginger and parsley are just a few of the ones that are easy to add to your favourites dishes and which just may help to ward off the Winter bugs.

To learn more about D&X product range including where to buy them, click here.

 If you know your body is not at its best; or have high cholesterol or aching joints, it may be time to consider an anti-inflammatory diet. Click here to read more about it.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for D&X. To learn more about the partnership, click here.

Why bananas are good for you.


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We know that Aussies love bananas. In fact, bananas are among the top selling fruits in Australia and the good news is that bananas do not only taste great but they are choc full of nutrition. When we take a closer look at one of our favourite fruits it becomes apparent that there are a number of reasons that we should also see bananas as one of the most nutrient rich foods out there. Here are just some of those reasons.

1. Bananas are choc full of potassium

A single banana contains a massive 400mg of potassium or at least 10% of the entire amount that an adult needs in a day. The key health benefit associated with a high intake of potassium is that evidence suggests increasing our intake of potassium is a key factor in helping to keep blood pressure controlled. Potassium also helps to control fluid levels in the body and may even reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

2. Bananas have a special mix of fibre

With a shift towards lower carbohydrate diets, fewer adults are getting the right mix of fibre that is required for optimal gut functioning. Not only does a single banana offer 3g of fibre (we need at least 30g each day) but bananas are unique in that the resistant starch found in green bananas has a number of known benefits for the gut and also helps to control blood glucose levels.

3. Bananas contain more than 10 essential vitamins and minerals

Not only do bananas contain plenty of fibre and potassium but also at least 10 other essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, folate and magnesium in a single serve. This means that you get extra bang for your nutrition buck whenever you eat a banana especially for fussy eaters or small children with a poor appetite.

4. Bananas are linked to a reduced risk of developing some diseases

While dietary data looking at specific foods is rare, dietary patterns linking a high intake of fruits and vegetables repeatedly shows that consuming 7-10 serves of fruits and vegetables per day is linked to a reduced risk of developing some types of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Specifically there is also data that has shown that children who consume a banana a day have a 30% lower risk of developing asthma.

5. Bananas are naturally sweet and convenient

There is a big difference between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a naturally sweet food that can help to tackle cravings whilst managing blood glucose levels and most importantly they are convenient. They come in their own packaging, help you to avoid an unnecessary trip to the vending machine and offer plenty of other nutrients for just over 100 calories per serve. Maximum nutrition for a minimal calorie intake.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Australian Bananas. To learn more about the partnership, click here

The lowest calorie treats


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If you are one of the very few people who never lets a spoonful of sugar cross your lips, hats off to you. On the other hand, if you are partial to a treat every now and again, here are some the better low calorie store-bought dessert options in terms of total calories that will allow you to enjoy a sweet treat every now and again, without any cause for concern. 

Mint Pattie

An oldie but a goodie – with just over 80 calories per serve, the great thing about mint flavoured treats is that you are less likely to overeat them as the strong flavour helps to satisfy sweet cravings. For those trying to avoid sugar, a single Mint Pattie comes in with almost 3 teaspoons of the white stuff. 

Macaron

With just overall 100 calories, 2 teaspoons of sugar and almost 6g of fat, this tasty little morsel is a much lower fat and calorie option than our standard cake and slice.

Biscotti

Nutritionally a great choice as traditional biscotti will contain a good portion of nuts and can contain as little as 3g of sugar per serve.

Curly Wurly

You would have eaten your fair share of these at school and thanks to the lower chocolate compared to caramel ratio, these treats contain just 5g of fat per serve but they do have almost 4 teaspoons of 18g of sugars. 

Lindt Ball 

Rich in flavour, the great thing about a Lindt ball is that you only really need 1 or 2 for a massive chocolate hit. A single Lindt Ball contains just 75cal, along with 5g of fat and 5g of sugars.

Furry Friends

Another relatively low cal childhood treat which offer 80cal per serve and less than 5g of fat – the only issue being that they come in packs of 7!

Mango Weis Bar

If ice-cream is your thing, the original Weis bar contains just 85 calories, literally no fat and 20g of carbs and you can even find mini’s which have just 60 calories per serve, if you can stop at just 1.

Splice

Another old school favourite with just 80cal, literally no fat and 4 teaspoons of sugar per serve.

Prefer to keep and homemade healthy alternative on hand for those sugar cravings? Try our Shape Me Peppermint Bliss Balls recipe, prefect for an afternoon snack or post dinner treat.

Nutrition for women


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Men and women are different. Clearly. And as such they naturally have different nutritional needs on a daily basis. Women in particular want great skin, they want their weight to be controlled and they often need help balancing the hormones that can dictate their lives if they are not careful. So here are just some of the areas women want to look and feel their best and the key ways their diet can support them.

For great skin

Skin cells are rapidly replaced in the body and as such our nutrition or lack thereof can be evident quickly when we are not look after ourselves. Consuming at least 5-7 serves of brightly coloured fresh fruits and vegetables every single day is the most powerful thing we can do for good skin. The long chain fats found in fish oil offer us a powerful dose of omega 3 fats, and if you do not eat oily fish at least 3-4 times each week your skin will benefit from a high dose fish oil supplement. A high intake of antioxidants will also benefit skin cells and can also be found in supplements such as Co Q10.

Learn how you can take control of cellulite here.

For a healthy weight

Weight control in modern life is tough – long periods spent sitting, along with a high sugar and high calorie intake inevitably results in weight gain for many of us. Limiting the number of hours we actual consume food in each day is important, as is lowering our intake of processed carbs such as white bread, pasta and white rice, especially at night. Replacing a meal each day with a low calorie smoothie or soup too can support weight control.

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.30.44 PMRecipe: Low Calorie Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

• 1 small banana

• 1 cup mixed greens (kale, spinach)

• 1 cup low fat milk

• ½ cup natural yoghurt

• 1 serve spirulina

Method

• Blend all ingredients and serve

For battling hormones

A woman’s monthly cycle can dictate how she feels each week, with fluid retention, irritability ad fatigue common around days 20-28 of the menstrual cycle. It has been shown that women will require an extra 200-300 calories on these days, which may somewhat explain the cravings often described by women during this time of the month. When it comes to extra supplements which may help you feel better, Evening Primrose Oil in particular is known to help reduce and manage the symptoms of PMS.

For fluid retention

No one likes to feel bloated and heavy, yet hormonal fluctuations, stress and our diet can heavily impact the amount of fluid we retain each day. A high intake of the nutrient potassium via vegetable juices, soups and bananas can help to shift extra fluid, as will drinking plenty of water and general movement. Adding chlorophyll to your water may too help to reduce water retention.

To learn more about D&X product range including where to buy them, click here.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for D&X. To learn more about the partnership, click here.

 

My top supermarket soups this Winter


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With a sudden drop in temperature we start to think of all things warm and nurturing and is there anything better than a filling, nourishing soup on a chilly Winter day. There are literally hundreds of soups out there, ranging from fresh pots to the good old Cup a Soup, which you can buy for as little as $1 a serve. So if you are keen to make the most of soup this Winter but want some help working your way through the supermarket shelves, here are my top supermarket soups you can find this Winter.

One of the biggest issues nutritionally with pre-made soups is that they can have an extremely high sodium content with some varieties containing more than 1200mg of sodium in a single serve – more than ½ your entire daily upper limit. In addition to a lower sodium content, a good quality soup will contain plenty of vegetables, few additives and as clean an ingredient list as possible.

If you prefer to whip up a batch of soup yourself, or you have the time to, try some of my favourite Shape Me, by Susie Burrell soup recipes such as my Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup, my Roast Veg Soup or The Best Tomato Soup.

La Zuppa Kale, Quinoa and Vegetable Pouch

The pouch range from La Zuppa is the best of their ranges and this variety in particular is low in calories, sugars and has a very clean ingredient list.

Hart & Soul Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Another pouch variety with a very low sodium content for a premade soup and <3g of sugars.

Campbell’s Simply Soup Healthy Greens

With 68% vegetables this new variety from Campbell’s is packed full of vegetables, tastes good and is a great vegetable side to accompany sandwiches for a hearty lunch.

Woolworth’s Fresh Chicken & Vegetable

I am rarely a fan of supermarket brands but credit where credit is due and these fresh soups made by Woolworths are pretty good nutritionally. Specifically the protein content of this chicken one in particular is high and the sodium at 600mg relatively low for a pre-made soup.

Darikay Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Soup

If you can track these soups down (they are in Coles) not only are they particularly low in calories but also relatively low in salt.

The reasons we eat


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Why are you eating?

In an ideal scenario we would eat when we were hungry, and stop when we were full but let’s be honest, such a simplistic approach to food is far from the reality in which most of us live. Rather we eat when we are happy. We eat when we are sad and for a myriad of reasons in between. So here are some of the most common reasons we find ourselves eating and some ways to help control non hungry eating.

You are bored

Boredom eating acts as a distraction, it gives us something to do and can be observed early in life when parents constantly offer young children snacks and treats rather than giving them the attention they are actually craving. The issue with eating when we are bored is that the food actually becomes the activity, as opposed to something more fulfilling and meaningful. As the satisfaction gained from eating when we are not hungry is short lived, if at all, it means we are still left bored and unsatisfied once the feasting is over. In this instance the best thing to do is to identify boredom as a specific experience, and seek out an activity that will actually satisfy you, as opposed to distracting with food temporarily.

You are tired

Whether it is reaching for a coffee, sweet drink or chocolately treat, one of the easiest ways to feel better, for a short time at least is to eat or drink something that contains sugar and or stimulants such as caffeine. The issue with relying on food and stimulants to boost your energy, is that any boost is short term, lasting an hour or two at most. In reality, the best things that you can eat when you are tired include fresh fruit and wholegrain carbohydrates which will help to give you a sustained energy release as well as a good dose of Vitamin B and drink plenty of water as dehydration is one of the most common reasons we feel tired and lethargic on a daily basis.

You are craving

Food cravings are interesting as in some cases they may be suggestive of nutritional deficiencies, while on the other they can merely be the result of poorly regulated blood glucose levels. Food cravings may also result from the habitual eating of certain foods in certain scenarios, for example, always enjoying a cup of tea with a sweet treat. Satisfying a food craving occasionally with a specific food is no issue, but cravings sweet, fatty and/ or salty foods regularly is suggestive of learnt eating behaviour which is can be also unlearnt once the link between an environment and a food type is identified and then broken.

You are watching everyone else eat

One of the most significant predictors of excessive food being consumed is other people eating in front of you. As humans, it appears we have difficulty abstaining when others are tucking in. Knowing this in itself can be a powerful tool in reminding you to decide if you are actually hungry before you eat. Sticking to eating only at meal times also creates a cognitive limit to help you self-regulate when food may be present but you know you do not really need to eat.

You are emotional

Once overeating is labeled as ‘emotional; it is as if it gives is permission to eat foods we never usually would and blame it on an external factor. When it comes to emotional eating there is a big difference between indulging in a burger or chocolate bar occasionally and binge eating entire packets of biscuits and tubs of ice-cream regularly and using ones’ emotions as the excuse. Emotional eating occasionally is normal but binge eating is a serious, clinical issue and needs treatment and long term management.

5 ways to avoid Winter weight gain


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How not to gain weight this Winter

If you have indulged over the Easter break, chances are the scales are showing an extra kilo or two and if we are not careful this gradual weight creep that begins at Easter could be as much as 5-7kg come Spring if we are not careful. So if you are keen to not become a victim of Winter weight gain, here are the simple steps to take – now!

Sign up for an event

Few if any of us are feeling motivated come 6am on a cold, rainy Winter morning to go for a walk or get to the gym. So rather than battle mind games for the next few months about making it to training, instead sign up to an upcoming event with some friends or colleagues. This way you can train together, make times to train that suit the shorter days and cooler temperatures and having a clear goal gives something to take your focus of ‘having’ to exercise.

Keep your weekday meals light

Pubs, footy and dinner parties tend to mean heavier, sludgy food – pastry, fried food and warm desserts that pack on the kilos quickly. Before you get into bad habits, make a concerted effort now to keep your meals Monday to Thursday light, utilizing soups, warm salads and grills to help buffer the impact of heavier foods over the weekend.

Choose lighter proteins

An easy way to lighten your calorie load is to choose lighter leaner proteins – white fish, turkey and kangaroo are all inexpensive, nutrient rich ways to slash calories as well as dollars from your food bill. Grilled, made into fish cakes or turkey balls or used as a base for stir fries or casseroles and teamed with plenty of vegetables these proteins will cut your calorie intake significantly.

Weigh yourself

The anti-diet brigade suggest staying away from the scales but the research has repeatedly shown that regular weighing is the easiest way to help us self-regulate your weight. You do not need to do it every day but a quick check once or twice a month can be the difference between gaining a kilo or two or many more.

Watch the hot drinks

With the exception of tea and a milk coffee or two each day, liquid calories add up especially when they are coming courtesy of Chai Lattes, hot chocolates and jumbo sized coffees. If you are looking to liquids to warm up, fall in love with herbal tea which you can drink plenty of for numerous health benefits minus any calories.

Foods to prep each week so you can always eat well


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Planning is the key to dietary success – it is about having the foods on hand you need to eat well so you do not get caught out, hungry and in a situation where you are picking up high fat, high calorie food on the run. In busy lives the weeks also tend to run away from us and what starts as an intention to eat well often results in things falling off the rails by weeks end. So if you are keen to take control of your nutrition this week, here are the key foods to prep each week so you do not find yourself caught out, no matter how busy you are.

Soup

Making a batch of vegetable rich soup each week is the easiest way to build your nutrition platform. Not only does soup keep for a relatively long period of time but it can be used as a quick and easy meal; an addition to a quick grill for dinner or an easy way to get your daily serves of vegetables each day. It is also very cheap to make, it freezes well and studies have shown that consuming a broth style soup prior to a meal can result in you consuming up to 100 fewer calories in total.

Breakfast muffins

Whether you make an egg based mini frittata style muffin, or a bran and oat fruit based muffin, having a quick and easy, nutritious ready-made breakfast that you can grab on the go can be the difference between starting the day right and not. While many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our diet, time can get away from us and before you know it you are grabbing a coffee and banana bread on the way to work. On the other hand, having a protein and / or fibre rich breakfast option ready that you can literally grab on the run sets you up for a day of nutritious eating.

A multipurpose meal

It might be a pasta bake; casserole; mince dish or pie but having a meal that can be used as several lunches or a dinner over one or two nights that is either prepared at the beginning of the week or prepared and then frozen for emergencies will help you to avoid resorting to fast food or take away meals when your energy and time is lacking. Home prepared meals are generally lower in calories and contain significantly more lean protein and vegetables than meals we pick up on the run.

A protein snack

Whether you make some mini protein balls or bites, mini bags of nuts or stock up with some nut bars or cheese and cracker snack packs, knowing what snacks you have in advance, and also ensuring they contain some protein will ensure you keep away from the vending machine or fundraising chocolates box each day.

Your vegetables

One of the most significant predictors of fresh food consumption is how easy it is to consume. While you may not be likely to grab a tomato or cucumber and start munching, committing some time to packaging your fresh food so it is easy to consume will go a long way in increasing your consumption overall. It may be chopping your carrots in advance, seeking out precut vegetables, or getting super organised and actually making a few extra salads each week in advance, but vegetable preparation is a key aspect of dietary success.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should watch what you eat at work.

Eating for beautiful skin


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Skin cells are one of the body’s most frequently replaced cells, and as such what we eat and supplement our diet with on a daily basis reflects in our skin very quickly. So if you are looking for glowing, healthy, beautiful skin, here are the simple steps to take.

First of all, if your skin is looking a little lacklustre, the first thing to do is check your intake of the key vitamins involved in skin cell formation including Vitamins A, E and C which can be found in fruits and vegetables, seeds and grains. When selecting your fresh fruit and vegetables, remember the brighter the colour of the produce, the higher the nutrient content and the better it will be for you. Focus on including at least 1 red or orange vegetable or fruit in your diet every single day, along with at least 1 cup of leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli. Both offer the powerful antioxidants Vitamin C and beta carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A as well as plenty of fibre which helps to eliminate wastes from the body efficiently. Vitamin C is crucial as it is directly involved in new skin cell generated, and eating antioxidant rich foods every day will also help to prevent cell damage that can cause ageing.

Next, and perhaps most importantly for glowing skin, focus on your good fats. The long chain omega 3 fats which are found primarily in oily fish such as salmon and tuna have a key functional role within the membrane or wall of a skin cell. Both the flexibility of the skin as well as its moisture content is influenced by the essential fats in our diet, which can be low if individuals are following a very low fat diet. For this reason, if your skin has not been looking its best, check your intake of good fats – we need 40-60g a day, and you could even consider taking a fish oil supplement to really give your skin and immune system a boost. Other skin friendly foods that are rich in these essential fats include nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  Nuts and seeds are a rich natural source of Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant involved in repairing damaged cells in the body. Another easy way to ensure you get an optimal amount of fish oil is to supplement your diet with a high strength fish oil.

Read more on fish oil and how it can help you, here.

Another key dietary area closely linked to skin health is protein. Protein rich foods including lean red meat and seafood not only contain the  essential proteins the body needs to build all tissues, but they are also excellent sources of zinc which is involved in  new skin cell production as it helps Vitamin A to be released from the liver, a crucial step for new cell production. Ideally we need to consume zinc rich foods every single day and sometimes ‘occasional’ meat eaters do not get enough zinc or iron each week. If you do include red meat in your diet, we need at least three small serves a week to get the amounts of iron and zinc required for good health and in this case, healthy skin.

Perhaps most importantly lest not forget the importance of hydration. The look and fluidity of cells is largely dependent on keeping well hydrated, yet up to 75% of us are dehydrated at any one time. This means for many of us, better skin simply means drinking more filtered water every single day. At a minimum aim for 1-1.5L and herbal tea is another low calorie way to increase your fluid intake.

Finally, if your goal is great looking skin, you can also consider if there are any specialty supplements that may give your skin a boost. Evening primrose oil, Co Q10 and specific vitamins including Vitamin C are just some of the supplementary health products proposed to help optimise the look and feel of the skin.

Steps to skin superfood success

1. Try adding a vegetable juice made from beetroot, celery, carrot and kale into your diet.

2. Aim for ½ plate of salad or vegetables at both lunch and dinner.

3. Order beef or lamb stir fries when eating out.

4. Use salmon and shellfish in your salads for a zinc and omega 3 hit.

5. Add nuts and seeds to salads.

6. Get into a habit of snacking on some nuts each afternoon.

7. Choose breads and crackers that contain seeds and grains.

8. Take a fish oil supplement at night.

9. Make sure you are eating lean red meat three times a week.

10. Roast brightly coloured vegetables with olive oil and serve with dinner.

To learn more about D&X product range including where to buy them, click here.

Did you know a surprisingly high number of people have a fatty liver? Learn how you can help build a healthy liver here.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for D&X. To learn more about the partnership, click here.

The truth about snacking


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If there is one area of nutrition in which the thinking has changed significantly in recent years it is in relation to snacking. Once considered extremely important to keep the metabolism pumping, what was once a small snack of a piece of fruit or a coffee is more likely now a small meals worth of calories as we overdo the muffins, snack bars and smoothies. The issue with this is that we tend to eat far too much, too often which inevitably leads to weight gain. So do you need to snack and if so, what are your best choices?

Regularly train but not sure what the best foods to eat are? Click here to find out.

The average human needs to eat every 3-5 hours – the range is wide depending on age, gender, lifestyle and activity levels. Traditionally eating three square meals each day, say breakfast by 8am, lunch at 12pm and dinner at 6pm, meant there was little need to snack, with the exception of an occasional piece of fruit in between meals. Fast-forward 50 or 60 years and our days are longer, and snacking is promoted, both to keep our energy and concentration up in between meals and to break up the day.

If you consider the average workday, where breakfast is consumed early, it is plausible that you might be hungry mid-morning, at 10am or 11am for something to tide you over until lunchtime. Here just a 100-200 calorie snack, of a milk based coffee, banana or some cheese and crackers is more than enough to get through another hour or two until lunch. So what should you snack on at this time of day? Often we enjoy a milk coffee or juice along with something to eat, when really we only need one or the other.

On the other hand, if you do not eat breakfast until 8 or 9 in the morning, you are better to have an early lunch than eat a snack within an hour or two of lunch. Moving into the afternoon, again the need to snack will depend on the size and timing of your lunch, and how long it will be until your evening meal. If you consume your lunch by 1pm and will not be eating dinner until 6pm or 7pm, again you will most likely need a reasonable 200-300 calorie snack around 4pm to keep your hunger controlled until dinner time. Options that include a mix of both carbohydrates for energy as well as protein to help control your appetite are good choices. A piece of fruit teamed with some Greek yoghurt, a nut based snack bar or some crackers with tuna or cheese are all filling, nutritionally balanced options.

A handy way to consider snacking is that it needs to keep you full for at least a couple of hours, and for this reason plain biscuits, lollies, chocolates and processed snack bars are not the best choice of nutritionally balanced snacks.

Top 10 filling snacks

• ½ cup Greek yoghurt + banana + 10 mixed nuts

• 4 crackers with 2 tbsp. nut spread and banana

• Nut based snack bar

• 15 mixed nuts and a piece of fruit

• 2 tbsp hommus + cut up vegetables

• Small coffee and a banana

• 4 crackers with tuna and tomato

• Mountain Bread Wrap with ham and cheese

• Banana smoothie

• Banana nut bites – see recipe below

Recipe: Banana Nut Bites 

Serves 6

Servings per serve: 2 balls

Ingredients

• 2 bananas

• 1 cup oats

• 3/4 cup Mayvers 100% nut spread

• Coconut for rolling

Method

1. Blend bananas, oats and nut spread and place in fridge until firm.

2. Roll into balls and into coconut and serve

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Australian Bananas. To learn more about the partnership, click here

How to survive Easter


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The supermarkets are full of Hot Cross Buns, the smell of all things chocolate and eggs is in the year and the holidays are almost here – who doesn’t love Easter time? The only downside of all the feasting and joy is that we do tend to overeat, and this overeating can go on for a number of weeks. The good news is that it is possible to enjoy some Easter treats without gaining a few kilos to go with it, all you need to do is follow a few simple rules.

1. Be fussy with your treats

When we are in a feeding frenzy we tend to eat whatever is put in front of us whether we really like it or not. This can result in the consumption of literally thousands of extra calories, calories which we may not even be enjoying all that much. So this Easter, rather than scoff every egg and bunny that crosses your path, try and be selective with your choices. Save your calories for 1 special egg or bunny and savour it on Easter Sunday. Or have a set number of Easter eggs to enjoy over the key holiday days and then get back on track with your diet. If you stick to a mantra of quality over quantity you will be less likely to overeat.

2. Go light when you can

Most likely you will have several special meals or occasions over the Easter holidays when you will overindulge, but the simple act of compensating when you have overdone things by focusing the rest of your diet around low calorie soups and salads will help to buffer the extra calories you consume at celebratory events.

3. Move as much as you can

Calories are only an issue if you do not burn them off and holidays mean we have more time than ever to move our body. Forget lounging around for hours on end over the holidays, and instead use the time to keep as active as possible. At a minimum aim for a long fast walk each day and double up if you can by doing something active both morning and afternoon.

4. Keep hydrated

As the temperatures drop there is less of a focus on drinking enough fluid to keep adequately hydrated. Unfortunately the body is not overly good at telling us when we need to drink more water, and we often seek out food instead of a big glass of the clear stuff. Even when it is not particularly warm outside you will need at least 1-1.5L of water each day and keep in mind that herbal and clear hot tea can be included in this fluid counter. Most importantly at Easter, drinking plenty of ice cold filtered water will help to curb the chocolate cravings as it changes the feel of the mouth slightly, so chocolate does not melt as easily.

5. Know when it is time to stop

There is nothing wrong with enjoying good quality food with friends and family on special holiday occasions. The issue comes when the holiday overeating goes on for days if not weeks at a time. This Easter take time to enjoy your favourite Easter treats, but come Monday night, it is time for them to go. Give away excessive chocolate, throw away the leftovers and buns and get back to your regular healthy eating and drinking plan. You will feel all the better for doing so.

Read how a Zip Hydrotap changed Susie’s life, here.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.

5 reasons you should watch what you eat at work


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Why what you eat at work is so important

We spend at least a third of our lives there and sometimes consume more than 2/3 of our meals there. Our nutrition impacts our concentration, energy levels, focus and attention and yet more often than not it takes a back seat when our goal is to improve performance. So here are a few of the reasons paying a little more attention to your food and lifestyle choices at work will benefit both your body and your career long term.

1. Our carb / protein balance impacts energy

Our blood glucose control is the number one factor that will impact how efficiently your body is producing energy on an hour by hour basis. Skipping breakfast, or relying only on coffee to get you through the morning will inevitably lead to flailing energy levels come mid-morning,  while a low carb lunch is likely to leave you feeling tired and lethargic by mid-afternoon. For this reason, eating the right carbs and protein mix every 3-4 hours is a crucial aspect of optimal physical and cognitive performance.  

2. Weight gain is inevitable

With many hours each day spent sitting, in addition with being exceptionally easy to eat more calories than we need, in many cases weight gain is an inevitable part of aging unless we are on top of it, especially at work. Not only does our metabolism work inefficiently when we sit for long periods of time, but the hormones that regulate appetite and fat loss do not work as well. As such making a concerted effort to get up regularly, clock up our steps each day, eat a calorie controlled diet and even investing in a standing desk are all ways to help stop the inevitable weight gain cycle.

3. We become like those around us

If you work in one of those super healthy office environments where everyone runs at lunchtime and there is not a vending machine in sight, lucky you. On the other hand, if you are surrounded by feeders, there is a birthday cake every second day and it is normal to order pizza for lunch regularly, good luck in keeping your weight under control because unfortunately the research shows we become like those we spend our time with. This means that if your office is not overly healthy, research would suggest you over time will also adopt these less than ideal habits. For this reason, developing your own food and exercise regime and focus to help stick to it is crucial when you are working in a less than healthy work environment.

4. The food environment is tough

Unless you are focused on your nutrition at work, the types of foods readily available at food courts and cafes are unlikely to be ticking the boxes of what we need for weight control. In general we eat far too much carbohydrate and nowhere near as much protein or salad that you need for energy regulation and weight control. For this reason, developing your own food platform so you know exactly what to choose when you are eating away from home, or taking control of your nutrition and prepping a lot more of your food is crucial for nutrition success.

5. Habits build quickly

Spending so much of our time in a work environment, in turn means we also develop food habits that correspond to what is going on in the office – multiple coffee breaks, celebratory feasting, high calorie catering and office foods just some of the areas that can become bad habits in our daily life. On the other hand, working on building stronger nutrition habits is ultimately the key to building a strong nutrition platform to support optimal physical and cognitive performance. 

If your workplace could use some more tips and advice on healthy eating, Susie is available for corporate talks. Learn the easy ways you can take control of your nutrition and your health with one of Susie’s inspiring talks including ‘Building your nutrition platform’, ‘The Office Diet Solution’ and ‘Good food for busy women’. To get in touch with us regarding Susie’s availability, get in touch here.

Sustainable Seafood Day. Where does your salmon come from?


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Chances are you know that fish is an exceptionally healthy choice and most of us should be eating more of it. You have also probably heard that a number of types of wild fish are at growing risk of depletion, with significant strains on our fish supplies as the population grows and the demand for fish increases. Yet despite knowing these alarming facts, do you actually know where your seafood comes from? And most importantly, do you know if you are buying fish that is sustainably sourced?

This Friday March 31st is Sustainable Seafood Day, a day dedicated to protecting our oceans and marine ecosystems by supporting fish that is farmed and fished via sustainable models.

New research supported by Australia’s largest aquaculture producer Tassal, who produce salmon in Tasmania, has found that more than 2/3 of Australians believe it is important that the fish they buy is farmed or fished in a sustainable way. More importantly, more than 2/3 of Australians are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced seafood. Yet despite these best of intentions, people still think it is difficult to identify which seafood is sustainably sourced.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is the independent body responsible for managing global standards and certification of responsible fish farming around the world. Choosing fish that has the green ASC certified label ensures that you are choosing and enjoying fish that is responsibly farmed.

With wild fish stocks strained, choosing sustainable seafood each and every time we purchase fish has a multitude of implications, first and foremost it helps to protect our oceans and marine ecosystems.

Tassal is deeply committed to leading the salmon farming industry by example. Consumer demand for omega 3 rich salmon continues to grow, and as such sustainable farming models achieve a balance between demand and environmental sustainability.

For more information on sustainability visit the Tassal Sustainability website.

Cellulite. What can you do?


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More than 90% of women suffer from it, and most would much rather they didn’t have it – cellulite – the dimpled appearance of skin usually around the thighs, hips and buttocks that drive women crazy. Treatments to help reduce the appearance of cellulite are among the most popular of beauty therapies but ideally the goal is to try and stop it developing altogether. Despite cellulite being largely the result of the natural way females store fat beneath their skin, there are some dietary measures you can take to not only reduce the development of cellulite but also to improve its appearance if you already have it.

The most significant factor influencing the development of cellulite is how much fat is being stored in the body. More fat means that fat stores expand, compressing them underneath the skin and increasing the appearance of cellulite. For this reason, a diet that contains a lot of added sugars, fats and salts will exaggerate the appearance of cellulite if it is already present, and increase the chance it will develop together. For this reason, sugary processed foods including confectionery, juices, iced tea, soft drink and fried foods and pastry should be avoided altogether.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.33.56 PMWhen it comes to the appearance of cellulite, increasing circulation and reducing fluid retention are both areas to target through our daily diet. Increasing our intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as oily fish and a daily fish oil supplement, along with regular serves of nuts and seeds and brightly coloured fresh fruits and vegetables is crucial. Antioxidant supplements such as Co Q10 may too offer a benefit as they help to protect the cells from damage and ageing. In particular, juices made from brightly coloured vegetables including beetroot, kale, spinach and carrot will also help to reduce fluid levels in the body. Green tea is another powerful antioxidant and as such including at least 2-3 cups in your diet each day will be of benefit. Other antioxidant rich foods including berries, sweet potato, red capsicum, broccoli, kale and olive oil.

Read more on fish oil and how it can help you, here and read more on Co Q10 and how it can help you, here.

As we get older, naturally our metabolic rate drops over time. As such our cells become more sluggish and less efficient at processing waste, which can impact the look and appearance of our cells. Foods that can naturally increase metabolic rate include peppers, turmeric, chilli and concentrated green and matcha teas. Including these foods in the diet regularly via both our choice of cuisines and via supplementary forms may be another natural way to improve the health of our cells.

Finally but perhaps most importantly the easiest way to look and feel better each and every day is to drink more water. Not only can dehydration cause issues with our energy levels and concentration on a daily basis but from a

cellular perspective cells that are dehydrated are less efficient at flushing our wastes and toxins and will increase the appearance of cellulite. For this reason drinking at least 2L of water each day is crucial for good health and to improve the look and feel of our skin.

To learn more about D&X product range including where to buy them, click here.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for D&X. To learn more about the partnership, click here.