Posts Tagged ‘health & fitness’

Bad Fat to Good Fat

November 1, 2011

Fat Facts

As mums, we want the meals we make to provide all the nutrients and energy that our family needs to grow and be well.


Not all fat is bad. Fats are an essential part of healthy eating so it’s good for you and your family to eat a certain amount of the healthier ones.

Good fats are ones that reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood and increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This helps to lower our risk of heart disease.  Unhealthy fats do the opposite.

Saturated and trans fats are bad for our family’s health, and a lot of Australians eat too much of them.

So how can you tell if your family is eating the bad fats? These foods are high in unhealthy saturated fats:

• Full fat milk and other dairy products including butter

• Hard and full fat soft cheese

• Cream and crème fraiche

• Meat or chicken with the fat and/or skin on it

• Processed meats such as sausages, burgers and salami

• Pastry

• Coconut oil and coconut milk

• Palm oil

• Fatty or fried take-away foods

• Packaged cakes and biscuits

Deep-fried food, like chips, and shop bought cakes and biscuits also contain unhealthy trans fats, and so we should only eat them occasionally and not everyday.

Don’t panic! You can still serve up most of your family’s favourite foods; you just need to swap the bad fats for the good ones: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

As a general rule of thumb, monounsaturated fats are plant-based. Think avocados, almonds, cashews and cooking oils made from plants or seeds (canola, sunflower, olive, sesame). Polyunsaturated fats are also known as omega-6 and omega-3s, and you’ll find these in fish, margarine, linseeds, tahini (sesame paste), walnuts and sunflower and safflower oil.

When it comes to reducing the bad fat in your family meals, the best place to start is in the supermarket.

If you’re not sure which food is best for your family, look for the ones that carry the Heart Foundation Tick. There are Tick options for most foods (including all fresh fruit and vegetables), and it’s your guarantee that the product meets the Heart Foundation’s strict nutritional standards including the level of saturated fat.

Healthy changes, today

To help you get started, here are 5 simple changes you can make today:

1. Swap full-fat dairy foods for reduced, low or no-fat dairy foods for everyone in the family over two years of age. You will remove 4 kg of saturated fat from your diet in a year if you do this with 1 cup of milk, two slices of cheese and a small tub of yoghurt a day. You can remove even more by choosing no fat foods.

2. Swap butter for a margarine spread made from canola, sunflower or olive oil. Just doing this with your daily morning toast and sandwiches will remove 2.85 kg of saturated fat from your diet in one year.

3. Trim off all visible fat from meat, remove the skin on chicken. Avoid processed meats, like sausages and salami, unless they have the Heart Foundation Tick.

4. Serve up three portions of oily fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, blue mackerel) each week. A portion is 150g, which is roughly the size of your hand. Add fish oil capsules and omega-3 enriched foods and drinks to your diet if you’re not eating enough oily fish.

5. Choose healthier treats. Cakes, pastries and biscuits are one of the main sources of saturated fat in our diets. Raisin bread, Tick approved cereal and nut bars, or Tick approved sweet biscuits are healthier options. Limit pastries, pizza, fried fish, hamburgers, hot chips and creamy pasta to once a week.

See below for a video explaining how to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diet in five easy steps. Today show footage courtesy of Channel 9.

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.