Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Inspirations Coffs’

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Grilled Calamari with Roasted Capsicum

May 21, 2015


Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Knee Pain

February 17, 2015

Knees up Mother Brown – as they use to say.  What? Can’t get your knees up? Why not?  Is it an old netball injury flaring up, are you carrying too much weight, have you become stiff and ‘arthritic’?  Whatever the situation is with your knees having problems with them will have a major impact on your day to day activities.   Don’t take pain in your body as part and parcel of ageing regardless of its origin.  It doesn’t have to be that way and often we are told that’s what you should expect now you are (insert your age here)!

Whether you see your doctor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist, masseur or other integrative therapist it doesn’t matter, get it checked out.  Living with pain and discomfort will zap your energy and patience and wear down your motivation.  Getting the problem addressed doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to continue with some sort of activity, in fact often you may just need to adjust what you are doing while the offending issue is sorted out.  You can always do upper body exercises,  non weight bearing activities or just different activities while your knees convalesce.

If on the other hand the aches and pains only occur after you’ve done your exercise or chosen activity then perhaps there is a problem in what or how you are doing whatever it is you do.   In this case modification of the activity may be necessary short or long term or just some technique adjustments.  Think how great it would be if you could move without pain and you didn’t have to be constantly reminded that your knee niggles when you step forward or you stand up and your sleep isn’t compromised because of the endless aching from your legs.

I’m not a medical professional but I am a movement professional and I hate seeing people not moving well or who are in pain.  So those of you out there and you know who you are, go and get it sorted out.  Find out what’s going on and get it addressed and who knows this time in a few weeks or months you may be reading your Saturday Advocate with a grin on your face because you got some advice  and those aches and pains are a distant memory!

Remember I am always happy to talk with you via phone, email or in person at Coffs Coast Health Club.  Give Glen a call on 66586222 or email

Fats & cholesterol

November 30, 2014

Understanding fats and cholesterol 
Fats have got a bad rap over the past few years, but fats are an essential part of healthy eating.

Healthier fats
Healthier fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats – omega-3 and omega-6. These fats reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood and increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This helps to lower your risk of getting heart disease.

Unhealthy fats
Unhealthy fats include saturated fats and trans fats. Too much saturated and trans fat increases LDL levels in our blood contributing to the build up of fatty material, called plaque, on the inside of your blood vessels which is a major cause of heart disease.

Replacing unhealthy fats with healthier fats
To reduce the risk of heart disease, foods with unsaturated fat should be used in place of foods with saturated fat, and trans fat should be limited as much as possible.

Sources of saturated fat include:

  • Processed meat such as sausages, burgers and salami
  • Pastry
  • Fatty or fried take-away foods
  • Packaged cakes and biscuits
  • Butter
  • Hard and full fat soft cheeses
  • Full fat dairy products
  • Cream
  • Crème fraiche
  • Chicken skin
  • Fat on meats
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Palm oil

Sources of unsaturated fat include:

  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oils made from olives, nuts and seeds (e.g. olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower)
  • Oily fish
  • Lean meats and poultry, eggs
  • Margarine spreads (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
What about cholesterol?
Cholesterol in foods (dietary cholesterol) has only a small effect on your blood cholesterol, especially when compared with the much greater increase caused by saturated and trans fat in food.

 Choosing less unhealthy fat (saturated and trans fat) and more healthier fats is more important to your blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.

What can I do?

  • Choose vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and nuts and seeds everyday.
  • Including fish two to three times a week instead of meat or chicken is a simple way to reduce saturated fat in the diet while getting the added benefits of omega-3.
  • Limit deep fried foods and fatty take-away foods and fatty snacks, such as crisps, cakes, pastries, biscuits and chocolate.
  • Use reduced fat milk, cheese and yoghurt.
  • Select lean meat, poultry and game. Try to trim all visible fat from the meat before cooking. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Use spreads and margarines made from canola, sunflower or olive oil and dairy blends with the Heart Foundation Tick instead of butter. Spread thinly so you can still see the bread.
  • Cook with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils, such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils. Measure out your oil with a teaspoon or use a spray oil.
  • Grill, bake, poach, steam or stir fry rather than shallow or deep frying and roasting in oil so that you don’t need to use a lot of fat.
What is the Heart Foundation doing?
The Heart Foundation, through the Tick Program, works with manufactures to improve the nutrition profile of commonly consumed processed foods. The Tick Program sets strict criteria for saturated and trans fat. For example, the Heart Foundation began challenging Australian margarine manufacturers to remove trans fats to the lowest possible levels in the early 90s.  
As a result the levels of trans fats in almost all margarines in Australia are now amongst the lowest levels in the world.

Read more about margarine vs butter here.

The Heart Foundation also works to improve the food supply, so that healthier oils are used when Australians choose to eat out.  Find out more about the Healthier Oils initiative.

Healthy heart tip
Include a handful of nuts everyday, not only are they delicious but they are nutritious providing healthier unsaturated fats, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Choose raw, dry roasted and unsalted varieties.

Information sourced from:

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:

Shaming People in the Name of Weight Loss!

March 19, 2013


When I caught a glimpse of the ‘first look’ at The Biggest Loser on Channel 10, I was horrified.

Because The Biggest Loser is now claiming to ‘break the obesity cycle in families’. Yes, this prime example of reality porn is now performing a community service. The Biggest Loser contestants this year are families. And some of those families include people under 21. The youngest is a fifteen year-old boy.


I despised The Biggest Loser before it brought children into the mix, but this has taken my antipathy to a new low.

Firstly, because no fifteen year-old child can give informed consent to being shamed and bullied on national TV. And secondly, because the disengenuity of TBL propaganda – that it is working to make our population healthier – enrages me. I don’t believe the producers of TBL give a hoot about the obesity crisis Australia.

These are the same producers who bring us Masterchef and Beauty and the Geek – let’s not pretend they are a charitable organisation. They are hosting a game show in which overweight people compete in their underwear to see who has lost the greatest amount of weight.

And it is a disgrace.

Robyn and Katie, mother and daughter team on TBL

Let’s get beyond the myth perpetrated by TBL that a fat person, by definition, cannot be healthy, happy, or have good self esteem. This, of course, is nonsense, but we’ll move on.

Let’s just look at the ways in which TBL ‘trainers’ address the weight issues of their charges.Not every fat person has an eating disorder or eats for emotional reasons. However, the contestants on TBL do have unhealthy relationships with food – relationships which make them unhappy.

Instead of receiving counselling and support, the contestants are placed on severely kilojoule restricted diets, and starved and exercised like pack animals. They are brought consistently to thresholds of extreme physical pain, and, occasionally, unconsciousness.  The trainers bully the contestants and yell at them, conveying that implicit message that fat people aren’t worthy of respect or self-esteem.

Bizarre “exercises” are included, like being buckled into harnesses and pulling a truck behind them. Truly. A truck. This isn’t exercise. This isn’t healthy. This isn’t a way to generate positive changes.

It is cruel and dehumanising and a little perverted. And it is packaged and labelled as entertainment.

TBL trainers

TBL trainers, Shannan Ponton, Michelle Bridges and ” The Commando”

And let’s not forget the weigh-in at the end of the day.

The weigh-in. Where contestants line up in their underwear and step on the scales to be told by the numbers how worthy they are. And why are they weighed in their underwear? Because it is far more titillating for the audience to see fat people in their underwear, true to The Biggest Loser’s theme of reality porn.

I cannot stop The Biggest Loser from being made, but can certainly stop my family from watching.

I strongly urge you to do the same.

The Biggest Loser isn’t going to solve the obesity crisis, but you can stop the cycle of fat shaming in your home by simply pressing a button.

*Kerri is not alone in her dismay at this latest The Biggest Loser.  She asks us to refer you to an online petition addressed to the producers of TBL here.

By Kerri Sackville
March 17, 2013

Recipe of the Week – LSA Wrap

January 17, 2013


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.


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

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

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


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.


Healthy Inspirations

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week

January 3, 2013

turkey patties

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Serves 5


  • 450g minced turkey
  • 30g feta, crumbled
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped black olives
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 30g butter


  1. Place all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. With wet hands, shape the mixture into patties.
  2. Melt butter in fry pan over moderate heat. Add the patties and sauté for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve with fresh salad or left-over Christmas vegies.

Healthy Inspirations Coffs Coast

Exercise Away the Years :))

November 25, 2012

We all grew up thinking of exercise as sweating in gym class, and then, as the world evolved, spandex. But exercise plays a much bigger role in your health than you may know. Turns out exercise controls health dials throughout your body. Not simply in your muscles, but in your arteries, heart, liver, lungs — the list goes on.
When you push yourself hard enough to sweat you grow new cells — better cells. And so you get functionally younger. There are 70-year-old men and women out there with the hearts, lungs, and muscles of 30-year-olds. And there’s nothing special about them, except that they show up to exercise on a regular basis, and take it seriously when they do.

Chris Crowley, the co-author of Younger Next Year , first came to me as a patient at 65. He was heading into retirement, overweight and out of shape. After we talked about the life-changing power of exercise, he jumped into an exercise program with both feet, and more importantly, he stuck with it. Five years later, I took him into the lab and put him on the treadmill. At age 70, he scored among the fittest 10% of American men — but in the 40-45 age range! Chris has kept up the hard work. And now, at 78, he bikes 50, sometimes 100 miles in the Rockies, travels, lectures, laughs, and loves his life.

Joy Johnson is another success story I know. Never much of an athlete in school, Joy started running later in life. At age 80, she won her category in the New York City Marathon. But she wasn’t finished. She didn’t like her time and felt she could do better. So she stepped up her training program. At 81, she won her category again and knocked almost an hour off her previous time.

Chris and Joy don’t have any genetic advantages over you or anyone else. They just stepped up to the plate and made the decision to grow younger.

How much you exercise and what kinds of exercise you do are important. But what’s most important is that you make the choice right now between settling for “normal” aging, or getting younger in the upcoming years.

What are your thoughts on exercise and aging? Do you currently exercise? Why or why not?

Information sourced from:

How much weight do you really need to lose?

November 9, 2012

Ideal Weight or Happy Weight?

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Maybe you’ve been struggling — without success — to get down to the size you were in high school or on your wedding day. But do you really need to go that low? The truth, experts say, is that you can weigh more than your ideal weight and still be healthy (not to mention happy).

If you’re overweight, losing just 10% of your body weight is associated with a myriad of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, and reducing your risk for heart disease. Not only that, experts say, but this kind of weight loss is easier to attain and maintain, setting you up for success in the long run.

woman on scale

Your Weight “Set Point”

Just as your body temperature is programmed to stay around 98.6 degrees, your body weight is naturally regulated to stay within a range of 10%-20%, says Thomas Wadden, PhD, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at University of Pennsylvania Medical School. This weight range is known as the “set point.”

A complex set of hormones, chemicals, and hunger signals help your body naturally maintain your weight within this range, says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD.

It is not just a matter of genetics, though. Your eating and exercise habits can also help to determine your set point.

“Overeating swamps the internal regulatory system, and, as a result, the set point increases — which is much easier to do than it is to lower it,” says Wadden. The body adjusts to the higher weight and “resets” the set point to defend the new weight.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to set your range lower. “With changes in healthy eating and exercise behavior, you can lower your set point,” says Blatner.

The 10% Solution to Weight Loss

A recent book, Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off, by George Blackburn, MD, suggests that maintaining a 10% loss for six months to a year helps your body adjust to the lower weight and thus reset the set point.

Wadden explains that when you lose large amounts of weight at once, you set up an internal struggle and hormones like ghrelin spike to make you hungrier as your body tries to defend its comfortable range.

Instead, experts recommend that you try losing 10% the old-fashioned way — by slowly changing eating and exercise behaviors — then maintain this new weight for a few months before trying to lose more.  Not only will your body get the signal to lower its “set point,” but you’ll give yourself a chance to get used to new food choices, smaller portions, and regular exercise.

“When patients lose 10% it may not be the pant size they want, but they start to realize how a little weight loss impacts their health in very positive ways,” says Blatner. “They feel better, sleep better, have more energy or less joint pain, and some people are able to reduce medications.”

How Much Should I Weigh?

Most people overestimate how much weight they can realistically lose, which leads to frustration, says Blatner. To find your happy or healthy weight, Blatner suggests looking back on your weight history as an adult and identify a weight you were able to maintain naturally and fairly easily.

And if you’ve gained more than a few pounds since your wedding day, forget trying to fit into that bridal gown. “As you gain weight, you experience an increase in fat cell size and number, which will probably prevent you from getting back to your married weight,” says Wadden.

Instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale, Blatner suggests setting behavioral goals: “Eat breakfast every day, go for daily walks, eat more fruits and vegetables — when you set behavior goals, they are easier to accomplish and they make you feel good.”  Stick with these behaviors for 3-6 months and they will become part of your life.

Based on your current weight, eat about 10 calories per pound of nutritious food (low in fat, rich in lean protein, high in fiber), get regular exercise, and assess your weight after a month or so.

“Your weight will settle out and typically you will lose 10%, then hit a plateau, which is a good time to maintain the weight loss,” says Wadden.

As you get to a healthy weight, you can go up to 12 calories per pound.

Tips for Weight Loss Success

Here are some tips from Blatner for weight loss success:

  1. Eat regular meals.  People who eat regular meals consume fewer calories than those who eat irregular meals.
  2. Use a plate, sit down, and enjoy your meals. Folks who do this eat 43% smaller portions than those who eat out of containers or on the run, according to Blatner.
  3. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.
  4. How much and what you eat makes a big difference.  Enjoy normal portions of foods that are high in fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains) and rich in lean or low fat protein is the secret to feeling full.
  5. Think positive: Focus on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle rather than the scale.

Information sourced from:

WebMD Feature