Archive for October, 2011

Thai Beef Noodle Salad

October 31, 2011
Impress your family and friends with this simple and delicious meal perfect for a summer BBQ.
Thai Beef Salad

¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
½ teaspoon crushed ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Thai chilli stir fry paste
2 teaspoons lemongrass chopped
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tablespoon sugar

100g dried vermicelli noodles
400g raw lean rump steak
4 teaspoons Thai seasoning
cooking spray
4 cups gourmet lettuce
125g Lebanese cucumber sliced
20 cherry tomatoes cut in half
¾ cup capsicum sliced
1 carrot thinly sliced
15 snow peas thinly sliced on angle
⅓ cup shallots thinly sliced on angle

To make dressing:
1.       Place all dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine well.

To make salad:
1.       Divide salad ingredients equally over 4 dinner plates.
2.       To prepare noodles follow instructions on packet.
3.       Coat steak with Thai seasoning.
4.       In a non-stick fry pan that has been generously coated with cooking spray, fry steak until cooked to your liking.
5.       Cut into thin strips and leave to one side.
6.       Place noodles on top of salad then put rump slices over top. Pour dressing over salad.

Nutritional Information:

Each serving provides: Total fat (g) 3.4, Saturated fat (g) 1.2, Fibre (g) 3.5, Protein (g) 26.8, Carbs (g) 19.3, Sugar (g) 8.5, Sodium (mg) 235, Energy (kj) 915, G.I. Estimate LOW

This recipe has been taken from Annette Syn’s Symply Too Good To Be True range of Diabetes Australia endorsed cookbooks.

10 Reasons Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat

October 30, 2011

By Delia Quigley

“A good, functional and healthy body is the ultimate fashion statement.” Kiyokazu Washida, fashion critic

Recently I came upon a small, but informative book by Naomi Moriyama entitled Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat. Intrigued and a bit skeptical, although I follow a very similar style of diet, I found some delicious recipes to add to my daily repertoire of meals and gleaned some useful tidbits of information. Such as, for the past 25 years Japanese women have held the world record for living the longest with an average of 86.4 years. Not just the women, Japanese men have the longest life expectancy among all men in the world’s 192 nations. Much of this distinction is attributed to eating a healthy diet.

In her book, Moriyama takes the reader into her mother’s kitchen in Japan and reveals her secrets for living a long and healthy life. Not much you haven’t heard before, and yet taken altogether and practiced over a lifetime, the results are impressive. Here’s the Japanese recipe for living to a ripe old age, while staying active and healthy.

1. The ingredients simmering in a Japanese kitchen are a simple variety of foods eaten on a consistent and daily basis:

  • Fish
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Land Vegetables
  • Soy
  • Rice
  • Fruit
  • Green Tea

2. The Japanese enjoy home cooked meals on a daily basis. A traditional meal consists of grilled fish, a bowl of rice, simmered vegetables, miso soup, sliced fruit for dessert and green tea. The Japanese consume almost 10 percent of the world’s fish, although they make up about 2 percent of the world’s population. That’s 150 pounds per year, per person compared to the world average of 35 pounds. And this daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids may well explain why they live long and healthy lives. That, and the fact they consume 5 times the amount of cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, that Americans do.

3. The emphasis of Japanese cooking is to use what is fresh and in season. According to author Moriyama, “Japanese supermarkets are cathedrals of freshness. Food is not only dated, it’s timed—Japanese women buy fish, meat, vegetables, or prepared meals that are timed by the half hour they were packed that day.”

4. The Japanese eat small portions of a variety of courses at a meal. According to Moriyama, from childhood they are taught to eat slowly, savoring every bite. And the food is served on plates at least a third the size of American tableware. Moriyama includes the basic foundations of Japanese home-cooked food presentation:

  • never completely fill up the plates
  • never serve a big portion of any item
  • each item is served in its own dish
  • less is always more
  • each item is arranged to showcase its natural beauty
  • food should be garnished and dressed–lightly
  • fresh is best

5. Japanese cooking is intentionally light and cooked gently. Most of the work is done on top of the stove using a variation of techniques such as steaming, pan grilling, sautéing, simmering or quick stir fries in a wok. The Japanese chef uses heart healthy oils and flavored broth to season a dish. And though the meal is light you feel content and satisfied, but not overly full.

6. The Japanese eat rice instead of bread with every meal. This is an important distinction between the East and West way of eating. It is the over consumption of refined wheat flour that is a major cause of obesity in America today. Instead of eating bread with each meal try a serving size (half a cup) of brown rice or another whole grain 1-2 times per day.

7. In Japan, breakfast is considered the most important and biggest meal of the day. It can consist of a variety of small courses which include green tea, steamed rice, miso soup with tofu and scallions, small sheets of nori seaweed, an egg omelet or piece of fish.

8. Sweet desserts are eaten less often in Japan and in much smaller portions than in America. That is not to say that chocolate, pastries, cookies, ice cream and red-bean cakes are not treasured. Rather, they are respected for the power they can unleash in the appetite and harm they can do to the body when eaten in excess.

9. The Japanese have a different mind-set about food. While Americans are concerned with dieting and weight issues the Japanese are raised and encouraged to enjoy a more diverse variety of foods without dieting concerns. However, watch out Japan, with the introduction of western style fast foods obesity rates amongst Japanese youth are beginning to climb.

10. Exercise is part of the Japanese daily ritual. According to a 2004 Time magazine cover story, How to Live to Be 100, “The Japanese are in good health and in excellent shape, they are an active people who incorporate plenty of incidental exercise into their days.” They have created a welcome environment for bicycling around town, walking, hiking, and generally staying active.

Coffs Coast Health Club-all about “your” fitness & health experience,
we aim to search for information that is useful to you.
If you have any topics you would liked researched just visit us on and leave a message.
Have a great day!

Purple Pears…perfect any time of the year!

October 27, 2011
These delicious baked pears are a sure hit, especially this time of the year.

Makes 8
Preparation time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serving suggestion
Serve with a dollop of reduced fat vanilla yoghurt or a scoop
of reduced fat ice cream. Or refrigerate and serve cold on your
breakfast cereal.


• 4 medium pears
• 400 ml dark grape juice

Equipment needed
• Chopping board
• Measuring jug
• Medium knife
• Oven mitts
• Ovenproof dish
• Serving bowls
• Teaspoon
• Vegetable peeler


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Peel the pears and cut each in half
from the top to the bottom.
3. Using a teaspoon, carefully dig out
the core.
4. Place the pears, cut side up, in a small
ovenproof dish and pour the juice over.
Bake, uncovered, until the pears are
tender and the edges are lightly brown
– about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 4 minutes
before serving.

Quick tips
• To make golden pears,
use apricot nectar instead
of grape juice.
• The delicious syrup will
thicken even more when
the pears cool down.
If not using at once,
cover with cling wrap
(or transfer to a storage
container) and refrigerate
until needed. Don’t keep
them longer than 2–3 days.

At Coffs Coast Health Club we aim to search for information that is useful to you, the members.
Coffs Coast Health Club-all about “your” fitness & health experience.
If you have any topics you would liked researched just visit us on and leave a message.
Have a great day!

Chocolate Milk Refuels Muscles After Workout

October 25, 2011
Study Shows Carbohydrates and Protein in Chocolate Milk Help Muscles Recover From Exercise

By Charlene Laino


June 4, 2010 — Fat-free chocolate milk beat out carbohydrate sports drinks at helping to rebuild and refuel muscles after exercise, researchers report.

The combination of carbohydrates and protein in low-fat chocolate milk appears to be “just right” for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut.

“It’s not just a dessert item, but it’s very healthy, especially for endurance athletes,” Lunn tells WebMD.

The research involved eight male runners in good physical shape who ate a balanced diet for two weeks. At the end of each week, they took a fast paced, 45-minute run.

Following each run, the men drank either 16 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk or 16 ounces of a carbohydrate-only sports beverage with the same number of calories.

Post-exercise muscle biopsies showed increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis — a sign that muscles were better able to rebuild — after the milk drink, compared with the carb-only beverage.

Additionally, drinking fat-free chocolate milk led to a higher concentration of glycogen, or muscle fuel, in muscles 30 and 60 minutes after exercise, compared with the sports drink. Replenishing glycogen after exercise helps future performance, Lunn says.

The findings were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Baltimore this week.

While only men were studied, one would expect women to gain the same post-workout benefits from chocolate milk, he says.

While the studies were small, there’s no reason not to reach for fat-free chocolate milk after your next workout, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD, of Healthworks Fitness Center in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

“Athletes can consider it an inexpensive nutritional alternative to engineered sports beverages for help with post-workout recovery,” she tells WebMD.

The studies were supported by a grant from the National Dairy Council and National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board.

WebMD Health News

At Coffs Coast Health Club we aim to search for information that is useful to you, the members.
Coffs Coast Health Club-all about “your” fitness experience.
If you have any topics you would liked researched just visit us on and leave a message.
Have a great day!

Body Balance “yoga” poses and their benefits

October 23, 2011
Outdoor Body Balance on Sawtell Headland
If you experienced yesterday’s Body Balance on the Sawtell Headland then you truly did experience balance at its optimum with the ocean as our backdrop.  Perhaps this was your first class or  you’re a regular,
but eveyone has to admit that this yoga, pilates & tai chi combination is a winner!
We have collected some of the core yoga poses and given you a description of what they are and how they benefit you.
At Coffs Coast Health Club we offer Body Balance four times a week & our instructors are “passionate” about Balance classes.

Tadasana or Mountain pose:

This is the basic standing pose. It teaches you the art of standing correctly and increases your awareness of your body.

Stand with your feet together. Tighten the knees, keep the navel drawn into the spine with a neutral pelvis, and chest lifted but with shoulders relaxed and pressed down away from the ears.

Benefits: It corrects bad posture and improves the alignment of your body.


Forward stretch

Start from Tadasana and inhale while stretching the hands up and exhale reaching down with your hands. Try to press down with your palms.

Benefits: Tones the liver, spleen, kidneys and the abdominal region. Stretches the hamstrings and the spine.


Adhomukha Svanasana or downward-facing dog stretch

Lie down on the floor on your stomach and face downward. Place the palms next to the chest. Exhaling, raise your trunk from the floor. Straighten the arms, move the head inward towards the feet and extend the back, trying to press the heels firmly into the ground keeping the knees straight making an inverted ‘V’ with the body.

Benefits: Calms the brain, reduces stiffness in the shoulder region and tones the legs.


Upward-facing dog stretch
Lie on the floor with face downward and toes pointed. Inhale raising the head and trunk and stretch the arms completely. Push the head and trunk as far back as possible, without resting the knees on the floor.

Benefits: Rejuvenates the spine, relieves stiffness of the back and significantly
increases your stamina.


Triangle pose
Stand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around three feet apart and turning the right foot to 90 degrees, turn the left foot slightly to the right, raising the arms sideways. Bend to your right, bringing the right palm towards the right ankle keeping both legs absolutely straight. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Improves flexibility of the spine and relieves backache. Massages and tones the pelvic region, relieves gastritis, indigestion and acidity.


Extended side stretchStand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around four feet apart. Stretch the hands sideways, bend the right knee at a 90-degree angle, not pushing the knee beyond the ankle. And while exhaling, place the right palm on the ground outside the right foot and stretch the left arm in a diagonal line over the left ear. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones and strengthens the legs, improves lung capacity and relieves arthritic pain.


First warrior pose
Stand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around four feet apart. Bend the right knee above the right ankle and not beyond it. Keep the left leg stretched. Extend your hands up in a namaskar, stretching the spine up. The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones abdominal muscles, legs and hips, strengthens back muscles and relieves backache.

Second warrior pose
From Tadasana pose, keep the feet around 4 to 4 1/2 feet wide. Bend the right knee above the right ankle, keep the left leg straight. Stretch the hands straight in two opposite directions. Turn your face to the right and gaze at the right palm. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones the muscles of the legs. Stretches the shoulders and shoulder blades and significantly tones the abdominal organs.


Utkatasana or the fierce pose
Stand in Tadasana pose, stretch your palms straight over your head. Join the palms, exhaling bend your knees and lower your trunk till your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor.

Benefits: Tones the legs, abdominal organs as well as the back.


Staff pose or Dandasana
Sit on the ground with your legs straight ahead of you. Keep them straight without hyper-extending the backs of your knees. Keep the chest lifted, shoulders relaxed. Place your palms next to your hips.

Benefits: Tones the abdominal organs, the spinal, leg and chest muscles. Good for those suffering from asthma.


Intense back stretch
From the Dandasana pose, stretch the hands forward and grab your toes, stretch the spine forward reaching towards the legs with your head. Try to stretch the spine from the buttocks.

Benefits: Soothes the adrenal glands, activates a sluggish liver, stimulates the ovaries and uterus. Tones the abdominal organs and helps detox the body.


Head-on-knee pose
From Dandasana, bend the right knee, placing the right foot near the perineum. Stretch the hands up, reach forward and hold the toes of the left foot. Try extending the spine from the buttocks to the back of the neck – lengthening the spine.

Benefits: Stabilises blood pressure, helps correct curvature of spine. Tones abdominal organs, stretches the spine, hamstrings and hips.


Bound angle pose
From Dandasana, bend the knees and bring the feet together towards the pelvis. Use your hands to grab your feet and try pushing both your knees down by pressing your thighs firmly down on the floor.

Benefits: Relieves stiffness of the hips, prevents hernia, keeps the ovaries healthy, corrects irregular menstruation and helps to treat urinary tract disorders.


Marichyasana 3
From the Dandasana pose, bend the right knee and press the foot on the floor in line with the right hip. Extend the left arm and wrap it around the right knee, keeping the right hip pressed down, twist and try grabbing the right hand from behind.

Benefits: Tones and massages the abdominal organs, helps detox the body, increases energy levels, relieves backache, stimulates the functioning of the liver, kidneys and pancreas.


Resting or corpse pose
Lie down on the floor like a corpse – completely relaxed and on your back. Keep your legs apart and hands away from your body with the palms facing upwards. Shut your eyes and concentrate on relaxing each and every muscle in your body.  Every Balance classes end in relaxation & mediation.

Benefits: Helps reduce stress, insomnia. Soothes the nervous system, gives the entire body and mind rest. Makes one feel peaceful, calm and blissful.

Thinking of getting a Tattoo? Here is the good, bad & the ugly.

October 22, 2011

The Truth about Tattoos

Tattoo On Woman's Arm

If you haven’t noticed, tattoos are popular. Already, 25% of 18- to 30-year-olds have a tattoo. In the next few years, 40% of this age group will have a tattoo. If you think tatts are a guy thing, think again. Up to 65% of tattoo bearers are women. But before you ink, learn more about tattoos — why people get them, the health risks involved, and your removal options if you change your mind.

Types: Amateur Tattoos

Man With Tattoo's and Dog
Amateur tattoos are made by individuals or their friends by jabbing ink, charcoal, or ashes under the skin with a pin. They lack the artistry of professional tattoos. And because such tattoos are done under unsanitary conditions with unusual pigments, there is a much higher risk of infection.

Types: Cultural Tattoos

Buddhist Monk in Thailand
Cultural tattoos are applied via traditional methods to members of certain ethnic groups. They may serve ritual, societal, or cosmetic functions.

Types: Professional Tattoos

Tattoo Artist at Work
Professional tattoos are applied by registered artists using a tattoo machine — the term many artists prefer to the slangy “tattoo gun.”

Types: Cosmetic Tattoos

Woman Receiving Cosmetic Lip Tattoo
Tattoos may be used as “permanent” make-up, such as eye and lip liner, lipstick, blush, eyebrows, or hair imitation. Because tattoos do fade over time, the procedure must occasionally be repeated to keep colors fresh.

Types: Medical Tattoos

Diabetic Medical Alert Tattoo

Medical tattoos are not decorative, but are placed for medical reasons:

  • Patients with medical conditions or chronic diseases, such as diabetes, may use a tattoo to alert health care workers in case of an emergency.
  • Doctors often use tattoos to mark specific sites for repeated application of radiation therapy.
  • After breast reconstruction surgery, a tattoo may be used to simulate the nipple. This use may also be considered a cosmetic tattoo.

Types: Traumatic Tattoos

Close Up of Pencil Point Tattoo
Traumatic tattoos occur during injuries, when dirt or other materials get imbedded in the skin. Examples include “road rash” from bike accidents or “pencil-point” tattoos (like the one shown here) from pencil punctures.

Why Get a Tattoo?

Chair in Tattoo Salon

There are two basic, very different reasons why people get tattoos: To demonstrate one’s individuality and uniqueness, or to show membership in a group. Should you get one? No, says University of Miami dermatologist Jonette Keri, MD, PhD. “Down the road, you may not want it — bodies at 60 look different than bodies at 30,” she says. “And, people still have preconceived notions about people who get tattoos. If you’ll be looking for a job, you may not get it.”

Safe Tattooing: Choosing a Studio

Exterior of Pair O Dice Tattoo Parlor

If you’re going to get a tattoo, remember that getting a permanent tattoo is an invasive procedure that requires breaking the skin and coming into contact with blood and body fluids. Make sure the studio is as clean as a doctor’s office. (Hint: Check the bathroom. If it’s dirty, get out of there.) Check the artist’s business license to make sure it’s up to date. And check the tattoo area: Look for a separate area for tattooing with a clean, hard surface and no random items contaminating the work area.

Safe Tattooing Tips

Modern Tattoo Gun with Black Ink
  • Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs (especially aspirin) the night before or while getting a tattoo.
  • Don’t get a tattoo if you’re sick.
  • Make sure all needles are removed from sterile single-use package before use.
  • Make sure the studio has sterilization equipment to clean instruments after each use.
  • Make sure the artist washes his hands and puts on sterile gloves; many tattooists are required to take training in the prevention of bloodborne illnesses.
  • Make sure the work area is clean and clear of nonsterile objects (water bottles, purses, etc.)
  • Get a list of the specific pigments used, including color, manufacturer’s name, and lot number.
  • After getting a tattoo, carefully follow healing instructions — including use of antibiotic ointment.

Tattoo Risks: Infection

MRSA Infected Arm Tattoo

Whatever type of tattoo you get, there are risks involved. The most serious risks are life-threatening infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C, from unclean needles. Other infections, such as a staph infection called impetigo or MRSA (shown here), or deep-skin infection cellulitis may develop. It is important to note the FDA has not traditionally regulated either tattoo inks or tattoo removal, but is currently studying the issue.

Tattoo Risks: Allergic Reaction

Allergic hypersensetivity reaction to red tattoo

Some people develop allergic reactions to tattoo pigments — especially red pigments. The woman in this picture developed an allergic reaction to the red pigment used in her cosmetic lipstick tattoo. Tissue injury and inflammatory reactions to dyes or metals into the skin can occur. Occasionally a contact dermatitis can happen.

Tattoo Removal

Tattoo on forearm before and after therapy.

Tattoos can be removed. Sometimes, particularly if the tattoo was done only in black, the results can be quite good. But often the skin cannot be restored to its original color or quality.

Tattoo Removal Techniques

Dermabrasion and Laser Tattoo Removal

There are three basic techniques: cutting away the tattooed skin, dermabrasion (rubbing away the tattooed skin with an abrasive device), or laser removal. Most doctors prefer to use lasers. The tattoo shown here was removed via laser; the scar below it was left from dermabrasion removal. Some color inks are harder to remove than others and repeated visits are required; permanent tattoos may never be gone entirely. The FDA warns people NOT to use any of the many available do-it-yourself tattoo removal products. These products contain acids and can cause harmful skin reactions. The FDA suggests that people seeking tattoo removal see a doctor, not a tattoo artist.

Tattoo Removal: What To Expect

Tissue Whitening After Laser Tattoo Treatment

Different lasers are used on different tattoo colors to break down the pigment into small particles that can be eliminated from the body. Immediately after treatment, the skin under the tattoo may whiten. More normal skin color usually appears in time.

Tattoo Removal Risks: Allergic Reactions

Exuberant blister reaction in red tattoo pigment

Lasers break down tattoo pigments, raising the possibility of allergic reactions. In the heart tattoo shown here, each of several different laser treatments caused the same blistering reaction. Fortunately, the blisters got better with routine skin care.

Tattoo Removal Risks: Scarring

Scar after treatment with Q-switched ruby laser

Not every tattoo comes off perfectly. This picture shows scarring caused by attempted laser tattoo removal.

Even Temporary Tattoos Have Risks

Tense Bullae of Infected Henna Tattoo

A popular alternative to permanent tattoos is temporary tattooing with henna-based ink painted on the skin. But as this picture shows, even these tattoos can cause allergic reactions. WARNING: Stay away from “black henna” or “blue henna” tattoos. The blackening may come from coal tar, which often causes severe allergic reactions. And even normal, vegetable henna is approved by the FDA only for hair coloring, not for skin decoration.

Moroccan chicken

October 20, 2011
Take your tastebuds to Morocco with this easy to make Moroccan Chicken recipe. Keep leftovers for a quick lunch the next day.
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 x 505g Campbell’s Country Ladle Butternut Pumpkin Soup*
400g diced chicken breast fillet
1 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
200g green beans, trimmed
1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained*

To make this meal even healthier use Tick approved ingredients.
*Products available with the Heart Foundation Tick. Remember all fresh fruit and vegetables automatically qualify for the Tick.

  1. Place soup in a saucepan and add the chicken, seasoning, zucchini, beans and chick peas. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Serve with couscous or steamed rice.

Recipe courtesy Campbells Soups.

What’s on your plate?

October 18, 2011

Your plate

18 October 2011

In June 2011 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) came up with “MyPlate”, a dietary guidance symbol that is meant to update the “food pyramid” as a way of thinking about daily food intake. The main message of MyPlate is that at least half of each plate of a meal should consist of fruit and vegetables. Now Harvard researchers have released what they are calling a “Healthy Eating Plate” which they say is more sound, and less influenced, than the government version.

What MyPlate leaves out, but what the Harvard version includes, is detailed but vital information. The Harvard plate tells you that wholegrains are better for you than refined grains. It also makes the distinction between different quality proteins saying that proteins from fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are better than those from red and processed meats.

The Harvard plate also points out that you don’t have to eat dairy at every meal and that there is little evidence that high dairy intake protects against osteoporosis while much more evidence points to too much dairy causing health problems.

Harvard have also made distinctions between healthy and unhealthy fats as well as pointing out that potatoes are different to other vegetables because of their high glycaemic index.

Both the MyPlate and Harvard plates are divided into four sections with fruit and vegetables occupying half with grains and protein taking up the other half. The Harvard plate however, adds the words “whole” grains and “healthy” protein. Where MyPlate has the a small circle with the word “dairy” next to the plate, the Harvard plate has a glass of water and a jar of “healthy oils”.

The Harvard plate also adds an icon of a person running with the message “stay active”. Harvard also make the specific recommendation of eating a “rainbow” of fruits every day as different coloured fruits provide different nutrients. As far as protein goes the Harvard plate advises against too much red meat and advocates avoiding bacon and processed meats as regular small amounts of these meats increase risk of diabetes, colon cancer, and heart disease.

Where MyPlate advocates a glass of milk with meals the Harvard plate advises no more than one or two servings of milk or dairy per day. It suggests water, or coffee or tea with no sugar added, limit juice to one glass a day, and consume no soft drinks at all. Harvard also advises using healthy oils like olive oil, limiting butter, and having no trans fats.

You can see that there are quite a few differences between the two approaches; almost the only thing really in complete agreement is the plate. The question is why should this be so? Has the government department just been lazy or is it setting impossibly high standards for evidence? According to the Harvard researchers the MyPlate is based on a mix of science and lobbying from powerful agricultural interests.

The moral of the story: do your own research and don’t believe what you read…except here of course.

Healthy Eating Plate

Healthy Eating Plate

The new Healthy Eating Plate was created by Harvard Health Publications and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. It offers more specific and more accurate recommendations for following a healthy diet than MyPlate, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Service. In addition, the Healthy Eating Plate is based on the most up-to-date nutrition research, and it is not influenced by the food industry or agriculture policy.


“Gym Gumbie to Gym Junkie”

October 16, 2011

This poem was written by one of our lovely members from Coffs Coast Health Club.  It sums up her experience of the club.
Enjoy the read it is very entertaining!

“Gym Gumbie to Gym Junkie”

The day I joined the gym

I was a real mess

Would I enjoy it?

How much weight could I bench press?

A total newbie in the gym

outside sport was where I’d been

my friends said to give it a go

that I’d learn about the ‘triple row’.

A punch class with Glen was first – I was so so raw

I only managed half a class

as I’d passed out on the floor.

Pump with Nic, how hard could it be?

dead lift, power press and triple row

made no sense,

but I gave it a go.

Loved the music and the vibe

pump class is the best

but I’m still trying to work out

how to lift more on my chest.

Biceps and triceps – two things I fear the most

I’m sure after both these tracks

I’m the colour of a ghost.

And…what’s that Nic?

You want us on the floor?

And….is that what I think you said?

You only want 8 MORE?

Circuit with Tegan is loads of fun

We like to laugh and joke

It’s hard work, but before you know it,

that hour is nearly done.

TRX, boxing and fit ball will all make me sore

But I know just how good it is for my inner core.

The balance class is great – I have no fear

Eagle, crane and swan poses;

those birds are everywhere.

Yoga poses can be tough

but you find another gear

down dog and cobra and what did you say…

you want that leg UP WHERE?

It’s bend and stretch and twist and turn

And can you hold your weight?

One thing’s for sure don’t change a thing;

You balance girls are great.

Thanks to all for what you do

To make the gym the place to go

I feel so great everyday

It’s blue and white all the way!

Written by:  Kirsten Howton,

Coffs Coast Health Club Member.

Healthy Pancakes for Breakfast

October 14, 2011

Whether you whip up pancakes during the week or save them for a big family brunch on the weekend, a stack of pancakes covered in maple syrup and melted butter isn’t exactly the most nutritious breakfast you can sink your fork into. Usually made with white flour and sugar, traditional pancakes don’t offer much in the way of nutrients. If you’re a fan of flapjacks, here’s how you can make them healthier while also adding bold and unique flavors.

  • Make homemade batter: prepackaged pancake mixes are made with enriched white flour and partially hydrogenated soybean oil; they may be easy, but they’re not exactly good for you. It only takes five minutes to mix up your own pancake recipe, and using whole wheat flour makes for added nutrition. Try this recipe (found at the end of this blog) for whole wheat cinnamon pancakes.
  • Mash in baked sweet potato: To replace some of the fat and sugar in your recipe, use mashed baked sweet potato. For a recipe that makes 12 pancakes and calls for one and a third cups of buttermilk and one tablespoon of brown sugar, I use about half a cup of mashed sweet potato and half a cup of buttermilk, and omit the sugar altogether. It not only gave my stack a warm, golden hue, but the texture was also more moist and they tasted a tad sweeter.

Keep on reading to hear other ways to make your pancakes healthier.

  • Add oats to the batter: Oatmeal pancakes are hearty because they’re full of fiber and protein, and as a bonus, the oats also add a soft, chewy texture. You can use rolled or quick oats, and here’s a recipe for banana almond oatmeal pancakes.
  • Load up the batter with fruit: When bananas or berries are becoming too ripe, I place them in containers in the freezer and use them for pancake batter later. Don’t just throw in a few frozen blueberries — load up the batter with tons of fruit. Before serving, add more fresh fruit on top. The fruit adds fiber and natural sweetness so you can go much lighter on the syrup or skip it entirely.
  • Replace the egg with a mashed banana: To save on fat and cholesterol, a nifty vegan trick is to replace the egg with a banana. Just mash it with a fork and add it to the rest of the ingredients. This definitely adds a strong banana flavor, so if you’re a fan of this fruit, this could be your new favorite tip.
  • Replace the fat with applesauce: Another vegan trick, applesauce adds moistness without any fat. If your recipe calls for half a cup of oil, substitute half a cup of applesauce instead.
  • Use cooking spray instead of butter: A spray of Pam that lasts one second will run you six calories. That’s 30 fewer calories than cooking your pancake in a pat of butter.
  • Top with maple Greek yogurt: A quarter-cup serving of real maple syrup contains 200 calories. Instead of drowning your healthy stack of pancakes in liquid sugar, mix three ounces of plain Greek with a teaspoon of syrup and top that on your breakfast for a touch of maple sweetness with added protein.

Ready to preheat your pan? To see the recipe, just read more.

Whole Wheat-Cinnamon Pancakes
Inspired by Everyday Food Whole Wheat-Cinnamon Pancakes


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lowfat yogurt
1 cup nonfat milk (more to thin as needed)
4 tablespoon canola oil (plus more for the griddle)
2 large eggs


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Whisk together milk, yogurt, oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Add more milk to make batter to your liking.
  3. Brush oil onto preheated skillet or griddle. Use about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake.
  4. Cook until pancake surface begins to bubble and a few have burst, about 1 – 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 – 2 minutes more.
  5. Serve with Greek yogurt, sliced fresh fruit, nuts, and a wee bit of maple syrup. Remember: syrup is essentially liquid sugar (not quite as bad, but still…) so don’t go overboard.

Makes about 24 four inch pancakes/serves 8

This recipe makes enough for four of us to eat heartily with enough pancakes leftover for another breakfast, at least for the girls.

Check out the nutritional information below.

Recipe For Banana Almond Oatmeal Pancakes
Modified from an old family recipe


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick or rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (or skim milk) (depending on whether you like thin or thick pancakes)
1 banana, diced
Cooking spray for pan
1/4 cup almonds
1 banana, sliced


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, egg, cinnamon, and honey. Stir in the soy milk to the desired consistency. I like my pancakes to be neither too thin nor too thick, so I added 1 1/4 cups of soy milk. Stir in the bananas.
  2. Place a skillet on medium heat (I use a square-shaped griddle). After spraying the pan, pour batter into 4-inch diameter circles (using about 1/4 cup of batter).
  3. While the pancakes are cooking, hand chop the almonds on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
  4. Once the pancakes begin to bubble, flip them and cook for another minute or so on the other side until golden brown.
  5. Serve three pancakes with sliced bananas and chopped almonds. They’re delicious like this, or for a sweeter breakfast, pour on two tablespoons of real maple syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes (four servings).

Serving Size 3 pancakes
Calories 337
Total Fat 6.5g
Sat. Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 47 mg
Sodium 603 mg
Carbs 62.2 g
Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 10.5 g