Tag: Health

A simply glossary of milk

 

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I’m a huge fan of milk, despite various websites/blogs/media outlets telling us that milk is bad and causes inflammation/gas/bloating. While it is true that there are some individuals who cannot digest milk (they simply haven’t got enough of the enzymes) the rest of us have adapted to be able to successful digest, absorb and utilize the components of milk, without too much of an issue. 

A recent study released by the CSIRO noted that “one in six adult Australians are choosing to avoid milk and dairy foods, the majority without a medical diagnosis, leading to public health concerns for women in particular”. This is an alarming fact, considering the nutritional benefits of consuming dairy products, for example, dairy products are a great source of vitamin B12-Which is vital for the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system, not to mention in the formation of new red blood cells. Another great nutrient those who avoid dairy often miss out on, is Vitamin D, which is useful in the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphate. A deficiency of Vitamin D can cause issues with bone density and potentially rickets. 

With all of this in mind, and knowing that the majority of health professional still recommend dairy products as part of a healthy diet, people are still confused about what milk to buy. In my local supermarket I often see people standing in front of the milk fridges looking utterly perplexed by the huge variety of milks on offer. So here iv’e put together your simply glossary of milks:

Whole Milk (3.5% fat) is the whole milk which contains 3.5% milk fat, which is why it tastes so delicious and has a rich, creamy texture. Generally whole milk is homogenized and pasteurized (see below). After babies stop drinking mother’s milk, they usually drink whole milk until they are at least two years old. The fatty acids in whole milk are important to the development of the brain and the nervous system.

Light/Low fat milk (1-2% fat) has some of the benefits of whole milk, however due to the fact there is less fat, there are less of the fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin A. Some brands will fortify their milk with both of these vitamins later in processing. Often skim milk powder is added to it, which makes it taste creamier and also boosts the calcium content. Also called HiLo milk. 

Skim Milk (less than 0.15% fat) or non fat milk, generally contains less than 0.15% fat. Again skim milk powder is often added to increase the protein and calcium content, as well as make it taste creamier. 

Buttermilk, despite its name, is typically made from nonfat or lowfat milk. It is a cultured sour milk made by adding certain organisms to sweet milk, and is popular in cooking. 

Homogenised: The process of emulsifying milk so the fat droplets are evenly dispersed throughout the milk (unhomogenized milk is SAFE to consume and has the fat/cream layer on the top)

Pasturised: The process of partial sterilization, using heat treatment or radiation to make milk safe for consumption, removing all the nasties. The basic process for whole milk involves heating the milk to a temperature of no less than 71.7ºC for a minimum of 15 seconds (max 25 seconds). This process is known as High Temperature Short Time (HTST).

Raw milk: The untreated variety of whole milk, still contains potentially harmful bacteria. Generally is not legally sold within supermarkets, however in some places is sold for “beauty purposes”. Due to the nature of the harmful bacteria it is widely known that we shouldn’t consume raw milk, regardless of what health guru’s say. 

A2 milk: Standard milk contains both the A1 and A2 proteins, however there are some varieties of cows who produce milk with only the A2 protein, and for some people this can reduce the amount of digestive upsets. The reason this is the case is that A1 and A2 milks have a different structure and so for some people, will digest and absorb A2 better than A1. However it is much more expensive than standard milk, so only buy it if you find there is a real difference in how you feel, otherwise it’s not better from a nutrient density point of view. 

In summary: I tend to keep it simple and go for a standard whole milk, because it tastes so much better than skim or low fat, and I enjoy it more. I guess if you were wanting to lose weight skim or low fat milk might be a good option, however I think there are much better ways to reduce energy intake (and there are some studies that show that whole fat milk is actually better for weight loss-due to the satiating nature of the fat and protein content of whole milk). 

I could go on and on and discuss the varieties of plant based milks, however they generally don’t compare with standard milk, however can be a great addition to your healthy diet, or for those who are medically diagnosed lactose intolerant. 

For more information check out these great links:

https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/dairy/milk/buying-guides/milk
https://authoritynutrition.com/a1-vs-a2-milk/
http://greatist.com/health/cows-milk-benefits-comparison
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/diet/people-avoiding-dairy-has-hit-worrying-levels-especially-in-women/news-story/80ae11ddb13c23cd5351b52ba21dab95 

 

 

5 things I LOVE about sweet potatoes

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If you asked me what my favourite vegetable is, I would have a pretty tough time trying to decide-I love almost all of them. But the one I always come back to, and have very fond feelings for, is the humble sweet potato. It’s so versatile, flavoursome and nutritious. What isn’t to love! As the slightly more exciting cousin of the potato, there is a whole lot of great stuff you can say about sweet potatoes, and here are my 5 favourite things about the beautiful orange veggie. 

  1. Sweet potatoes are full of Beta-Carotene (A red-orange pigment found in plants) which is a precursor to vitamin A, and therefore leads to an increase in our blood levels of Vitamin A (Which is a fat soluble vitamin we use for vision, reproduction and cell communication). 
  2. They are full of complex carbs (starches) at around 20g per 100g, which helps to keep our energy levels up for longer, and keep us full. 
  3. They are relatively high in fibre with 3.8g per 100g, the fibre is both soluble and insoluble, with the soluble fibres increasing fullness, reducing blood sugar spikes, and decreasing food intake, while the insoluble fibres improving gut health (by feeding the good bacteria) and reducing the risk of diabetes. 
  4. Sweet potatoes contain lots of Vitamin C (19.6mg-or 33% of our daily intake per 100g), which is a great antioxidant, can help to reduce the duration of colds and boost the immune system, as well as helping to keep our skin healthy.
  5. They are a great warming comfort food, without the added extras that we sometimes find in pastas etc. They are versatile and can be used in a number of ways: mashed, boiled, stuffed, sautéed, fried, baked, made into fritters, added to stews and curries, no to mention simply roasted (my personal favourite way of eating them). 

So next time you are choosing between your starchy carbohydrate at your next meal, sweet potatoes are a great choice! 

 

Vegetarian and Vegan diets

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It’s so fantastic that so many people are adopting a more plant-based style of eating, and some even go the extra mile to announce that they are fully vegetarian or vegan. I 100% applaud anyone who decided to stop eating meat or animal products, there are a bunch of great benefits not only for health, but for the environment as well. There are so many reasons that one decides to go full-vego, and whatever that reason is, is all good. Making a commitment to a way of eating and for some a lifestyle shows a huge amount of respect, dedication and personal value. However, many people who go vego don’t do their research before doing so, and there are a number of things that need to be considered from a nutrition point of view before proceeding. 

My personal philosophy on vegetarian and vegan diets is that while I respect any individuals decision to follow it, I’m more on the no-diet approach bandwagon, which means still eating as ethically as possible without cutting out any food groups. I also know my body simply does better with eating meat and animal products, so I do my best to investigate brands and buy products which encourage ethical farming practices. Iv’e had periods of my life where I was following a strict vego diet, and although it was well managed, I still lacked energy, dropped my iron levels and increased my frequency of being unwell. You just have to do what works for your body.

Type of vegetarian diets:

There are a number of styles of vegetarian/vegan diets, all of which have a different set of “guidelines/rules” and all of which will have a slightly different set of nutritional let-downs. The main two broad categories ill talk about are vegetarian diets (cutting out meat) and vegan diets (cutting out all animal based products). 

Vegetarian: Cut out all meat including pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, veal, while keeping fish, eggs, dairy products and other animal-based products. 

 Vegan: Cut out all animal based/derived products, including; meat, fish, eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, insects and also any products that animals may have been included in the processing (e.g. leather, enzymes, some cane sugar)

Research:

Health implications: 

Protein

Iron

B12

Fatty acids

Calcium

Vitamin D

A healthy vegetarian diet: 

Summary: 

How much H2O?

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The age old question “how much water should I drink?” is not an easily answered one, there are so many factors that contribute to water loss and retention, but considering our bodies are largely made up of the stuff, we really should make sure we drink enough. Most of the time we hear that 8 glasses of water is the target, however this really doesn’t account for body weight, mass, exercise levels, disease states and amount of water consumed from our diets. So lets delve a little deeper…

Water in our bodies:

Water is the most vital component of our bodies, with every single one of our cells needing it for survival. We require it to help eliminate waste products and toxins, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, cushion our nervous system, lubricate joints, regulate our body temperature and of course keep our little cells happy and hydrated!

Dehydration:

Most of us walk around in a state of constant dehydrate without knowing, often we mistake our thirst for hunger. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dry mouth, low energy levels, muscle cramps, constipation, digestive upsets, and flushed skin. In extreme cases it will lead to dizziness, mental changes and unconsciousness. And surprisingly thirst can happen even when we are not hot and sweating-it can also happen in cold climates such as while skiing. 

When do we need more?

There are a number of circumstances that its super important to keep up our intake, these are when we are most at risk of dehydration. Dehydrating environments (such as air-conditioned offices and planes) contribute to dehydration, as well as hot and dry weather, outside during sporting events, at the beach in full sun (I hope you are also wearing plenty of sunscreen!), during endurance events, various illness and disease states, and while pregnant and breastfeeding. A high protein diet is another circumstance where dehydration may be an issue, with the kidney needing to work extra hard to get rid of the metabolic waste products from excessive protein intake. 

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So what is ‘enough’ water?

Well, as I said it depends on a number of things, and the best way of doing it is listening to your body and learning what being well hydrated feels like. My best estimate is one based off body weight:

35mL x body weight in kg

So based on that, an individual that weighs 70kg would need to drink:
35mL x 70kg = 2450mL (or 2.45L)

If you are exercising lots, or will be in air-conditioning for long period, you will most likely need more, if you are breastfeeding, drink more. And while other beverages may contribute to water intake, water is always best as it doesn’t contain empty kilojoules (energy without nutrients) and will immediately begin to rehydrate you. Coffee has been said to be a diuretic (Something which causes us to urinate more frequently and therefore loose water), however the actual effect of this is very small. Coffee and tea can contribute to your overall fluid intake, but remember that high levels of caffeine are also detrimental to your health. 

Another aspect of course, is the water content of our food. So for example, fruits and vegetables contain high levels of water content, so help to contribute to our overall water intake. All the more reason to get your 2 and 5 everyday! If you are not currently consuming the recommended amounts of fruit and veg, then you will definitely want to be getting plenty of water, aim for the full amount needed for your body weight. 

On a final note, the easiest way to make sure you are getting enough fluids, is to simply drink water. While in rare cases you can drink too much, drinking 3 litres a day isn’t going to get you there, and more water will be beneficial to your thirsty cells. I have a big 1 litre drink bottle, that I make sure I finish before lunch, then fill up again at lunch. After I have finished those 2 litres, anything else is a bonus! 

The body love segments #3: Samantha

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Sam has been in my life for quite awhile now, i’m not even sure how long we have know each other! We did girl guides together for years and years, which meant camping on the weekends and learning about knots and how to build fires-not something your average 11 year old knows how to do! Sam is such an inspiration and she is mum to a gorgeous little boy! I love her story of truth and honesty, it brings me to tears/laughter/joy every time I read it. I love how brutally honest she is, and how she says what we are all thinking. Enjoy her amazing body love segment below!

“As a teenager, I was really self conscience. I always worried about how I looked, what I wore, what I said and who saw me. I hated my body. I hid it away. I tried to diet and work out but it was fleeting. I just didn’t have the will power. My body wasn’t perfect and didn’t look like what I saw on TV, and in the magazines and when I looked at my friends. I looked in the mirror and only saw what was wrong. I look back today and see a hot bod that I really should have appreciated more. I look at pictures of myself them and I am surprised that I didn’t think I was good looking. Damn – I used to be hot.

WHAT THE FUCK. My body is AMAZING!

And then I got pregnant at 21. My body changed. It grew round, it had these furious, angry stretch marks. They raced all over my belly and hips. Things didn’t get better after the baby came either. My boobs got bigger. They pulled on the skin on my shoulders. They got stretch marks. By the way, breastfeeding is NOT working out. No matter what any one says, breastfeeding alone will never get your body back to the way it was. I neglected my body – the first weeks as a new mum were a hazy blur. (Who am I kidding? The next year was a hazy blur). But somewhere in that hazy blur my perception of my body changed. Damn – This body grew a baby….. What?! I grew a tiny human inside myself, and then I bore though over 24 hours of pain to give that tiny itty bitty human life. Life. I was mother nature. Pain that you don’t even know existed. I remember screaming out to the nurse “Kill Me Now!”. My body – It handled that. If that wasn’t enough – my body made milk and sustained this itty bitty human outside of the womb. WHAT THE FUCK. My body is AMAZING.

2 years down the track , i’m looking through a scrapbook of my sons time at Playcentre. And there is a picture of me – i’m huge. Its side on. My son is sitting on my belly fat. I’m wearing baggy pants, and my 3 tier rolls are supporting my kid. My body is still amazing, but its pretty huge. My partner and I make a conscience decision to make changes in our lives. I had been slightly unhappy with the way I looked and felt. Looking at that photo was a huge kickstart. We had both been toying with idea to live a healthier lifestyle on and off for a while. We sat down and talked about it, and decided to support each other. We haven’t made any drastic changes, but I fully support him going to the gym to do lifting daily. He in turn supports me to get out and do a 3KM uphill/downhill run. We don’t eat out as much, we don’t drink as much soft drink. Today I made a Kale and Corn Quince. We made these changes really slowly and one at a time – over a period of months. I even managed to score a $15 elipitacial machine.

I love my body – my body is amazing. I’m so proud of what my body has done – and what it looks like after all its been through. If I have the power to push a baby out, I have the power to run up just a little bit further.

I love my body – my body is amazing. I’m so proud of what my body has done – and what it looks like after all its been through. If I have the power to push a baby out, I have the power to run up just a little bit further. If I survive on 5 hours of broken sleep, I can survive 5 more squats. I love to wear a bikini at the pool (something I would never have done even as a teenager, and SO WHAT if people stare. If I can say it again please, I LOVE MY BODY! No thigh gap, still got a muffin top, still have heaps of stretch marks and scars (I’ve been treating them with Bio-oil on a daily basis and they seem to have faded alot, but my skin is still saggy) – still way bigger than I was before my pregnancy. I hope people look at me, and think – wow, she looks great because shes confident. Maybe I could be that confident in myself too. We’ve only really been doing this for 3 months, and the change is drastic – I just feel better about myself. I’m confident. I stand up straight. I have a better relationship with my partner. I’m a better mum. I can give more at Playcentre, play rougher with my boy, and finish my uni study because I have the energy to do all of these things”.

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The body love segments #2: Amber

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I met Amber a few weeks ago while I was at Lorna Jane Floreat doing a Nutrilly promo. Amber is such a gorgeous soul, and I couldn’t believe this girl was so wise at only 15! I honestly wish I had Amber’s values and belief’s at 15, my whole life would have been different. A huge thank you to Amber for being brave, and sharing her story with us. I really hope you get as much out of her bravery as I did! Amber you are a beautiful soul who is a great role model for not only other teenage girls, but for all women! Go Amber!

“My name is Amber and i’m 15 and a half years old. Being a teenager, the last few years have affected me dramatically and has changed the way I view my body.

When I was younger nobody really cared very much about what you looked like or how ‘fat’ you were. Now growing up I’ve started to view my body differently, because of the flawless girls on social media, magazines and just people I know with amazing, skinny bodies.

A few years ago, when swimming at the beach or even at a friends house, I would wear only one piece bathers and board shorts because I wasn’t confident, or wouldn’t want to show my body to anyone. I was afraid people would judge me, even if they were my best friend.

However, not so long ago I was at a surf shop and some amazing bathers caught my eye. I considered trying them on, and deliberated whether or not I wanted to put myself through that. Eventually I tried them on and felt amazing, and realized that I might actually be able to wear these to go swimming! The last two piece I bought I only wore once with board shorts over the top, as iv’e never really been confident enough to wear them without board shorts. I ended up getting the bathers, but still wasn’t sure if they were going to end up like the last pair I bought and not wear them much. I then decided to make a promise to myself that I will try to wear the bathers as much as possible, and I will feel confident and good about myself. I did end up wearing the bathers over summer and I feel amazing now.

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My lifestyle has changed within the last few months, because I have learnt to love my body. I now exercise regularly, and have tried eating healthier with a few treats every now and again. I’m not just exercising because I want to lose weight or be skinny. I’m doing it because I want to nourish my body on the inside. I love my body so much now that I take time out of my day to exercise to make me feel great about myself.

I definitely recommend to anyone who is not confident about themselves, to take time to buy the perfect pair of bathers or a piece of clothing, that you will make you feel confident and most importantly make you feel good about yourself! As well as that, I would also recommend if you want to learn to love your body more and want to help nourish it on the inside, try exercising as it will release endorphin’s, which has been proven to make you happy! If your just exercising to lose weight, don’t do it because you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Even just doing a small walk around where you live, is great for you!”

The body love segments #1

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I’m a big advocate for having a healthy body image, and self confidence, not just in women, but men as well. There are a multitude of reasons why at this point in time, the majority of us aren’t happy with our bodies, its cultural, religious, social, health, and has been hyped up by the media. I know myself, that I have never had body confidence, even now, knowing what I know, i’m still not comfortable in my own skin. And that is exactly why I am starting this new segment called body love. I’ts all about little ways we can all get a bit happier about the physical manifestation of ourselves. It’s also about sharing our stories, because by sharing how we feel and what we look like, we can all help and support each other to become better versions of ourselves.

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About 6 months ago, I was really down in the dumps about my body as iv’e gained a bit of weight over the past few years, and as a (almost) nutritionist I felt like I was pretty worthless. But the thing is, I eat healthy, I exercise regularly, my heart and blood pressure is healthy, I’m never sick, I don’t take any drugs, and I feel sexy! So what on earth is the problem? The media tells me that I need a “flat stomach” and bikini body to fit it and to be seen as “beautiful” and “picture worthy”, but I am one of the healthiest people I know (not to float my own boat), so why is looking a certain way getting me down? My issue is my stomach, I get bloated when stressed, after eating gluten, when i’m PMSing, and for no other reason. It happens all the time, and I know that it’s simply a matter of improving my gut health and taking probiotics and watching what I eat. And I know many of you will have the same problem (see my post on Bloating). But I am on the journey to loving my body and really appreciating what it can do. I can climb mountains (and have), I can lift heavy things, make babies, have conversations, repair my cells, breathe, learn, create beautiful artwork and be inspired. 

I think the video below really sums up how crazy body image really is, and how much the “ideal body” types have changed throughout history, and the thing is it will continue to change, yet everyone has a completely different body shape, so why should fashion and trends dictate how we feel about ourselves?

 

By loving our bodies, we are prepared to nourish them, to take care of them, to keep them active and moving, to stay healthy, and to allow ourselves to be confident in our own skin. The bare truth is that we are all stuck in our bodies, right now there is no possible way to change that. And I believe our lives and bodies are a gift from the universe, I mean we are a miracle! The fact we are alive is simply incredible, so why are we concerned with how we “look” to others. As long as we are happy, healthy and able to live full and successful lives, doing everything we want to do, then why should we be unhappy?

The reason is, its very profitable to have huge numbers of unhappy people, because you can’t sell being happy in your own skin, but you can sell all sorts of ways to become happy in your own skin. Think about all the gossip and celebrity magazines, the headlines stating which celeb is thin, which are fat, and how they did it. There are thousands of diets, pills, books, websites, detoxes, products and exercise regimes that will “help you lose weight”, but the real question is, why are we so unhappy in our miraculous bodies that we decided to put it through the stressful task of losing weight? Who decided that our body wasn’t ok exactly how it is? Who told you that you are too fat? Too thin? Too muscular? Too hairy? Too tall? And why the fuck is it anyone else’s concern but your own. 

The two pics below outline how crazy standards of beauty are getting, these are three separate campaigns, but one of them is so far away from representing the variety of female body shapes. 

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The only way we can get to the other side, and be completely and utterly happy with our body, is to take control of our thoughts, and take ownership of what we have been given. This is MY BODY, and I am IN LOVE with it! When we take control of our body, we take control of our health, happiness and get rid of any negativity that others may place in us. But that also means we are accountable for our bodies, that means looking after it! It is your own responsibility to take care of your body, you are in charge of keeping it healthy, keeping it moving, and keeping it able to live a full life. Stop listening to what others tell you to do with your body, stop taking advice from gossip magazines, stop listening to your peers, your parents, and to your relatives. They do not own your body. No-one owns your body except for you. And now is the time to take control and start loving yourself, because its only when you decide to take responsibility that you can change how your body looks.

This is MY BODY, and I am IN LOVE with it!

 

If you need to lose weight, do it to become healthier, happier and fitter for yourself. Do it not because you want to have a “bikini body” but do it so you can swim further, so you can run faster, so you can get up every morning and greet your body with a happy heart. Losing weight should never be because someone told you that you are “fat”, what is fat anyway? Its stored energy to use later, so start using it. Once you love your body, and look after it by nourishing it with nutrient dense, fresh and colourful foods, as well as moving it everyday and keeping it healthy, you will find yourself in a body that is meant to be as it naturally is. Your body will take the shape of what it always was intended to be, you just have to love and care for it, and it will do the rest! 

So right now, make a pact with yourself, to love are care for your body, and to stop listening to outside opinions about what you are “supposed” to look like. Its your body. Time to start taking control of your body, your health and your life!

I’m looking for 10 brave individuals who would like to share their body love/hate story with me on the upcoming segments of body love, you will have to brave it and share a pic of yourself (with clothes or without) and how you have/are planning to love your body more. You will be helping such a huge number of people feel more confident and loving their bodies. If you are interested send me an email at [email protected] nutrillynutrition.com 

*Edit: Iv’e changed the original header image, because the image was when I was pretty low, and I wanted to portray a more happy version of my body love!