Posts Tagged ‘fresh food’

Spring Clean Your Life

September 14, 2014

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Spring is here, and I enjoy using this time of year to prepare for the renewal this season provides.

One of the things you can do right now for yourself is prepare for the upcoming opportunities of the new season. Spring often inspires us to increase our fitness levels, participate in more activities outdoors and embrace a healthier way of eating — more greens perhaps as local food becomes increasingly available. Use this time to prepare yourself for those opportunities by getting organized.

Clutter, which has likely been accumulating all winter long, keeps us from moving forward, it blocks energy, it stops our creativity and it weighs us down. The more we have in your home, car, office, hand bag, computer hard drive, the more energy we need to attend to those things. Organizing, decluttering and preparing will put you in a physical, emotional and spiritual space that supports you in the new changes you have the opportunity to make this spring.

Here are a few steps to follow if you want to change you physical and spiritual landscape and prepare for spring:

1. Eliminate and purge.

You can apply this principle to all of your living spaces, or you can choose to apply it one room at a time. Evaluate what you have and what you need, keeping in mind the 80/20 principle that suggests we use about 20% of what we have and essentially do not really need the other 80%. Decide what you longer need or what no longer brings you pleasure, and donate it.

2. Make function easier.

Once you’ve gone through the elimination process, create a system to keep things neat and organized. Pick the system that you’re most likely to stay with and is most effective for your situation. Here are a few options to consider: baskets, file folders, storage containers, or dividers. When organizing your things, keep the items you use most often easiest to access. For example, organize and sort your clothing by season — take out your spring and summer clothes and find a storage solution for your winter clothes. Sort items by their function and keep like things together. For example, create “stations” in your home. In my very small kitchen I have a smoothie station where I keep my Vitamix and several Mason jars containing the ingredients I use daily to nourish my body.

3. Create a donation bag.

Keep a bag or box to which you can add items you longer want. Instead of allowing drawers and closets to fill up throughout the year with things you don’t need or want, create a place in your home where you can collect these items and then donate them in the spring as part of your regular spring cleaning. Check online for nonprofit organizations that will pick up your donated items, including small appliances, from your home for free.

4. Eliminate clutter hot spots.

Flat surfaces, drawers, the back seat of your car and sometimes handbags can become repositories for all sorts of unwanted or unused items. Mail and paperwork are classic examples of the clutter that can accumulate easily when left unattended. Devise a system that works for you in addressing your mail and paperwork as it’s generated. Take a few minutes each week to place important documents in these files and recycle any unneeded paper, or, when possible, go digital, and file your documents electronically. By implementing a system for use and function after you’ve purged, you’ll likely feel much lighter, energized, renewed and inspired after your hard work, providing you with the motivation and energy to continue moving forward with your goals and embracing the newness of spring.

5. Upgrade your home’s energy.

Rearrange your furniture. Get a new houseplant. Play upbeat music. Open your window, even just for a few moments. Diffuse tangerine and peppermint essential oils. Invite new energy and life into your home to become a happier and healthier human being this spring.

By using early spring to organize your living and work spaces, you can position yourself to achieve the health, wellness and personal goals you’ve been working toward!

This article was sourced from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12988/5-strategies-to-spring-clean-your-entire-life.html

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Simple Egg Souffle

July 24, 2014

egg

The Confusion of Nutrition

April 27, 2014

IMG Nearly six weeks into a diet, it’s a good bet that many who have made it a goalto lose weight have already peaked. If clinical trials are any indication, we’ve lost much of the weight we can expect to lose. In a year or two we’ll be back within three kilos of where we are today.

The question is why. Is this a failure of willpower or of technique? Was our chosen dietary intervention — whether from the latest best-selling diet book or merely a concerted attempt to eat less and exercise more — doomed to failure?

Considering that obesity and its related diseases — most notably, Type 2 diabetes — now cost the health care system more than $US1 billion per day, it’s not hyperbolic to suggest that the health of the nation may depend on which is the correct answer.

Since the 1960s, nutrition science has been dominated by two conflicting observations. One is that we know how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. The other is that the rapidly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes suggest that something about the conventional thinking is simply wrong.

In 1960, fewer than 13 per cent of Americans were obese, and diabetes had been diagnosed in 1 per cent. Today, the percentage of obese Americans has almost tripled; the percentage of Americans with diabetes has increased sevenfold.

Meanwhile, the research literature on obesity has also ballooned. In 1960, fewer than 1100 articles were published on obesity or diabetes in the indexed medical literature. Last year it was more than 44,000. In total, over 600,000 articles have been published purporting to convey some meaningful information on these conditions.

It would be nice to think that this deluge of research has brought clarity to the issue. The trend data argue otherwise. If we understand these disorders so well, why have we failed so miserably to prevent them? The conventional explanation is that this is the manifestation of an unfortunate reality: Type 2 diabetes is caused or exacerbated by obesity, and obesity is a complex, intractable disorder. The more we learn, the more we need to know.

Here’s another possibility: The 600,000 articles — along with several tens of thousands of diet books — are the noise generated by a dysfunctional research establishment. Because the nutrition research community has failed to establish reliable, unambiguous knowledge about the environmental triggers of obesity and diabetes, it has opened the door to a diversity of opinions on the subject, of hypotheses about cause, cure and prevention, many of which cannot be refuted by the existing evidence. Everyone has a theory. The evidence doesn’t exist to say unequivocally who’s wrong.

The situation is understandable; it’s a learning experience in the limits of science. The protocol of science is the process of hypothesis and test. This three-word phrase, though, does not do it justice. The philosopher Karl Popper did when he described “the method of science as the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.”

In nutrition, the hypotheses are speculations about what foods or dietary patterns help or hinder our pursuit of a long and healthy life. The ingenious and severe attempts to refute the hypotheses are the experimental tests — the clinical trials and, to be specific, randomised controlled trials. Because the hypotheses are ultimately about what happens to us over decades, meaningful trials are prohibitively expensive and exceedingly difficult.  It means convincing thousands of people to change what they eat for years to decades. Eventually enough heart attacks, cancers and deaths have to happen among the subjects so it can be established whether the dietary intervention was beneficial or detrimental.

And before any of this can even be attempted, someone’s got to pay for it. Since no pharmaceutical company stands to benefit, prospective sources are limited, particularly when we insist the answers are already known. Without such trials, though, we’re only guessing whether we know the truth.

Back in the 1960s, when researchers first took seriously the idea that dietary fat caused heart disease, they acknowledged that such trials were necessary and studied the feasibility for years. Eventually the leadership at the National Institutes of Health concluded that the trials would be too expensive — perhaps a billion dollars — and might get the wrong answer anyway. They might botch the study and never know it. They certainly couldn’t afford to do two such studies, even though replication is a core principle of the scientific method. Since then, advice to restrict fat or avoid saturated fat has been based on suppositions about what would have happened had such trials been done, not on the studies themselves.

Nutritionists have adjusted to this reality by accepting a lower standard of evidence on what they’ll believe to be true. They do experiments with laboratory animals, for instance, following them for the better part of the animal’s lifetime — a year or two in rodents, say — and assume or at least hope that the results apply to humans. And maybe they do, but we can’t know for sure without doing the human experiments.

They do experiments on humans — the species of interest — for days or weeks or even a year or two and then assume that the results apply to decades. And maybe they do, but we can’t know for sure. That’s a hypothesis, and it must be tested.

And they do what are called observational studies, observing populations for decades, documenting what people eat and what illnesses beset them, and then assume that the associations they observe between diet and disease are indeed causal — that if people who eat copious vegetables, for instance, live longer than those who don’t, it’s the vegetables that cause the effect of a longer life. And maybe they do, but there’s no way to know without experimental trials to test that hypothesis.

The associations that emerge from these studies used to be known as “hypothesis-generating data,” based on the fact that an association tells us only that two things changed together in time, not that one caused the other. So associations generate hypotheses of causality that then have to be tested. But this hypothesis-generating caveat has been dropped over the years as researchers studying nutrition have decided that this is the best they can do.

One lesson of science, though, is that if the best you can do isn’t good enough to establish reliable knowledge, first acknowledge it — relentless honesty about what can and cannot be extrapolated from data is another core principle of science — and then do more, or do something else. As it is, we have a field of sort-of-science in which hypotheses are treated as facts because they’re too hard or expensive to test, and there are so many hypotheses that what journalists like to call “leading authorities” disagree with one another daily.

It’s an unacceptable situation. Obesity and diabetes are epidemic, and yet the only relevant fact on which relatively unambiguous data exist to support a consensus is that most of us are surely eating too much of something. (My vote is sugars and refined grains; we all have our biases.) Making meaningful inroads against obesity and diabetes on a population level requires that we know how to treat and prevent it on an individual level. We’re going to have to stop believing we know the answer, and challenge ourselves to come up with trials that do a better job of testing our beliefs.

Before I, for one, make another dietary resolution, I’d like to know that what I believe I know about a healthy diet is really so. Is that too much to ask?

Gary Taubes is a health and science journalist and co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative.
Article originally sourced here:
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-nutrition-is-so-confusing-20140210-32aod.html#ixzz2stml6MSa

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Raspberry & Pistachio Semifreddo

March 19, 2014

raspberry

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Stewed Okra with Tomatoes & Coriander

November 14, 2013
Healthy Inspirations Coffs Harbour
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Stewed Okra with Tomatoes & Coriander
Side Dish  Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes with onion and garlic
  • Cinnamon, generous pinch
  • Cumin, generous pinch
  • Cloves, generous pinch
  • 6 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 800 g okra

Directions:

  1. Heat the tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin and cloves with half the coriander in a pan, then season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the okra and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 mins. Reduce heat to low, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 mins, until the okra is tender.
  2. Taste for spice and seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir in the remaining coriander. Serve hot, warm or cold.
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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken with Coconut Curry Coating

October 24, 2013

Healthy Inspirations Coffs Harbour

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4 chicken drumsticks
1 egg
2 Tbsp coconut oil
25g almond meal
25g desiccated coconut
1 Tbsp curry powder (or curry paste)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chopped coriander

1. Preheat oven to 180° C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil.

2. Combine egg and melted coconut oil in a small, shallow bowl.

3. In another bowl, combine almond meal, coconut, spices and herbs.

4. Dip one drumstick in the egg and oil mixture, using fingers to coat it completely, remove and allow excess liquid to drip back into the bowl, and then roll it in flour mixture until completely covered.

5. Place drumstick onto lined tray, then repeat step 4 until all drumsticks are done.

6. Pop the lot in the oven, and bake for around 45 minutes, until coating is crunchy and meat is cooked through.

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The “NEW” Australian Dietary Guidelines

March 5, 2013

 

guidelines

Australia is facing an obesity epidemic.  The scientific evidence suggests that one of the contributing issues is the replacement of healthy, nutritious food with energy dense food with minimal nutritional value in Australian dietary patterns.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released new Australian Dietary Guidelines today.

Health professionals working with people trying to achieve a healthy diet now have access to updated scientific evidence about the best dietary patterns for Australians of all ages.

“To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Australians need to balance physical activity with amounts of nutritious foods and drinks that meet energy needs. We all need to limit energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk foods’ that are high in saturated fat, added salt or sugar,” NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said.

A stringent review of around 55,000 scientific publications shows that the scientific evidence has strengthened about the link between diet and health.

“The evidence that links a healthy diet and reducing the risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers is stronger. There is also stronger evidence about the kind of foods that can increase the risk of weight gain and health problems,” Professor Anderson said.

Read the full press release on the NHMRC website.

Australian Dietary Guidelines – key points

  • Good nutrition contributes significantly to maintaining healthy weight, quality of life, good physical and mental health throughout life, resistance to infection, and to protection against chronic disease and premature death.
  • The revised Guidelines are based on Systematic Literature Reviews which looked at around 55,000 pieces of peer reviewed published scientific research. This created a body of evidence on which the Guideline recommendations are based (not single studies).
  • The revised Australian Dietary Guidelines reflect the expert technical dietary modelling around 100 flexible dietary patterns based on nutrient requirements, cultural acceptability and Australian consumption patterns and the evidence for optimal health and wellbeing.
  • The evidence about what is healthy to eat and what is not so healthy has strengthened since the 2003 edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
  • There has been strong consultation throughout the revision of the Guidelines and all submissions have been carefully considered.
  • The Guidelines have been developed to help health professionals give advice to the public about their dietary choices and their health.
  • The total diet approach of the Guidelines reflects information about helping Australians eat the right foods for health, with an energy (kilojoule) intake to help achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight.
  • The Guidelines reflect stronger evidence that Australians should eat more fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and core reduced fat dairy foods, while limiting their consumption of energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk’ foods.

This information was sourced from http://www.fitness.org.au/

Recipe of the Week – LSA Wrap

January 17, 2013

LSA

LSA Wrap

LSA stands for Linseeds, Sunflowers Seeds and Almonds and as the ingredient in this recipe it is a pre made mix of these.  You can buy the pre made mix from health food stores and most supermarkets.

Ingredients

1 egg
2 ½ Tbsp ground LSA
2 Tbsp water
½ tsp baking powder
Cracked pepper for taste
Coconut oil (or spray) greasing
Method

Mix the egg, LSA, water, baking powder and pepper together.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the egg mixture, tilting the pan to evenly spread the mixture. Cook the wrap on one side and then carefully flip it over and cook the other side.

Prepare your favourite filling. Place wrap on a plate fill one half of the wrap with your fillings and then fold over and eat.

Healthy Inspirations

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week -Tomato Sauce

January 10, 2013

tomato sauce
Ingredients

300 g salt-reduced tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp stevia

Method

Mix all ingredients in a jar put the lid on, give it a good shake. That’s it, done! The sauce will last a month in the fridge thanks to the vinegar.

Enjoy!

Healthy Inspirations