Dry July is a catalyst for change for many people...
It's empowering to discover that you can actually cope incredibly well without the daily glass or 4. I know that drinking in moderation can be enormously difficult for many people. In fact, the latest evidence suggests that women in their 40s and 50s are hitting it harder than is beneficial for their health and more so than any other demographic.
As Aussies, we are a fairly consistent bunch, we drink to celebrate, we drink to commiserate, we pop bubbles and beers to toast newly weds, end of the working week, end of a golf game, end of a tough day with the kids, to relax after a stressful day in the office, to escape the cold war with your partner or just to escape reality in general. It's all seemingly pretty thirsty work.
Some people can ALWAYS stop at 2 and never have a problem with hangovers or post party paranoia, some have no "off switch" at all and beat themselves up mercilessly for dancing on tables or oversharing other people's intimate secrets.
One too many broken tables can finally trigger the desire for change. Many toy with reductionism for years, finally realising that complete abstinence is the only way for them.
There's nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation but in excess it damages cells, tissues and organs - think skin and liver, detoxification pathways, hormonal balance, mood and resilience - think tolerance with kids and family, sleep, memory and immunity.
Excess alcohol causes inflammation and can increase the risk of many conditions such as Heart or Liver disease, alzheimers and dementia, neuropathy and almost all cancers including breast, colorectal and prostate.
So Dry July, Feb Fast, NOvember all offer an opportunity to create a circuit breaker. Reducing alcohol could be done anytime really. it just seems to be easier for people when not drinking is more readily understood and accepted by friends and colleagues. There's simply not as much peer pressure and there's usually at least one friend abstaining with you.
To this end, and to make those boycotting booze feel even better, we are focusing on the mighty dietary Combatants of Inflammation this month. You can increase your self love with foods that pack a hefty healing punch.
Some powerful anti-inflammatory agents include antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre.
Anti-oxidants are mostly found in vegetables, legumes and fruit, but also occur in colourful whole grains, nuts and seeds, oily fish and to a lesser extent grass fed meat and dairy.
To increase the anti-inflammatory power of your daily diet,
Foods to avoid will vary form person to person. For instance if you do not have an inflammatory condition, you can probably tolerate gluten and dairy, but if you suffer from an auto-immune disease or inflammatory condition it might be worth omitting under the supervision of a Nutritionist or Naturopath.
Inflammatory/ Acidic foods to limit or avoid (see above)
Anti-oxidants help to neutralise and expel call damaging free radicals from the body, preventing oxidation and fighting inflammation which in turn lowers the risk of inflammatory conditions.
Inflammatory conditions include Premature ageing, Auto-Immune Disease, Gout, Oedema, Headaches, Macular degeneration Hearing Loss, Alzheimers, Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Excess weight or Obesity, Heart Disease, CVD, Metabolic syndrome, Allergies, Tendonitis, Digestive issues etc.
If you would like anti-inflammatory dietary advice, please book in for an appointment or phone or e-mail for a free 10 minute phone call to see if I might be the right practitioner for you.
There are a lot of resources to help you decide if your alcohol is on the high side and I will put together a resource sheet but for now, here are 3 resources.
Smartphone App - Daybreak (peer support)
Dry July - oh and I am raising money for cancer research this year. Even $5 can help.
OK, you really deserve that anti-oxidant rich purple bread recipe now, so here it is!
...of course there's a story behind the name. It's not really compost...
When our kids were little, we spent a lot of time between Nanna and Grandad's and our own home as my parents helped out with the care of our kids when we were working.
Mum often sent a meal home with the girls in the evening. One night she sent home a tupperware container of chicken soup. The container was the exact same, as the one we used for our kitchen compost scraps.
Our youngest daughter therefore was perplexed as to why Nanna was sending her compost back to our house. And the name stuck.
I love this soup, which is more like a casserole really. It's nourishing and warm and delicious and comforting.
Chicken soup has been dubbed the Jewish penicillin. There are papers and scientific studies on its merits, ranging from the benefits of the steam one inhales when ingesting it to the salt found in the soup serving as an oral saline wash. Apparently this reduces the swelling in the nose and throat, soothes irritations in these areas, and restores easy breathing. Goodbye cold & flu tablets, hello chicken soup.
It's literally full to the brim with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & cysteine which are in the delicious veggies, herbs, garlic, chicken and bone broth.
Pistou is traditionally used as a flavour enhancer in soups. Pistou has had a long history. The Roman poet Virgil described a sauce made by crushing herbs in a mortar with garlic, salt and olive oil. Over time, the sauce morphed into the heady Gevonese pesto, which then morphed into pistou in Nice. And then I had a go. This pistou is rustic and simple and goes beautifully with slow cooked dishes like Osso Bucco and Lamb Shanks. It's anti-micorbial and immune boosting.
Click here for the Chicken soup recipe. Enjoy.
Heart warming goodness of BrassicaesOkonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese pancake typical to western Japan, including Nara, where I lived for a year (many years ago) and loosely translates to “how you like it cooked.” It is generally cooked on a teppan or BBQ grill and is a very versatile dish. It can be vegetarian but does feature bonito flakes and is often topped with prawns or shaved pork.
It's a fabulous mid week meal or can be dressed up for entertaining.
Nutritionally, it's a powerful dish, with lots of nutrient dense cabbage. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous brassicae family. It is a group of uber nutrient rich vegetables that packs way above its weight in powerful phytonutrients.
Cruciferous vegetables contain several nutrients that have a whole host of beneficial effects in the body, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, and lipid-lowering effects. And this translates into some pretty remarkable results, especially in terms of cancer and heart disease prevention.
Cabbage is high in fibre, rich in vitamins C, E and K and folate and selenium. It also contains important compounds called glucosinolates (GSLs).
GSLs produce active chemo-protective metabolites that actually rid the body of toxins before they can cause damage to cells. GSL metabolites are also involved in DNA and RNA signalling, helping to prevent detrimental cellular coding that might lead to cancer. GSL metabolites prevent tumors from growing. They are chemo-preventative and chemo-protective.
But wait there's more....Cruciferous vegetables bind with bile acids to excrete them and the fats they carry from the body. To replace the lost bile acids, the body must use cholesterol stores, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
The cruciferous family includes cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoflower, brussel sprouts, choy sum, bok choy, Gai Lan, Tatsoi, kale, watercress, mizuna, rocket, radish, turnips, swede, horseradish and mustard seeds.
So how much do you need to eat to reap the benefits?
5 serves per week show benefits in the research. One serve is half a cup of vegetables or 1 cup of loose leaf greens. If you suffer from thyroid disease, it is best to cook your brassicaes as they contain goitrogens. If you are on warfarin, consult your health practitioner before over-indulging.
Okonomiyaki is one of the dishes featuring in our Vegetarian class coming up in June. I've also attached the recipe link here.
Mums gifted with a cooking class this week will receive a special Mother's day edition Jar of Rosewater and Pomegranate Muesli.
For Details and Bookings for the Seafood Class click here and for details and bookings for the Vegetarian Class click here.
Health meets sustainability in this controversial global diet transformation put forward by the EAT- Lancet commission. They have been tasked with creating 1 global healthy sustainable diet to save our bodies and the planet.
This is a fascinating paper, combining health and sustainability goals to create a global "sustainable healthy diet". We will not all agree, but it's early days and an interesting discussion point. We need to keep in mind that the point of this paper (and commission) is to find a GLOBAL diet that will adequately nourish 20 billion people by 2050 (That's a whole other discussion right there.) Solutions are required and our global food system needs to be fixed before it's too late.
+ we need to reduce food waste by 50%
+ a lot of us could eat less, but some of us need access to food to eat more
+ you can never eat too many vegetables,
the average global human needs to
+ increase their plant based protein intake (enormously) and
+ decrease their meat, dairy and egg consumption (this point will cause the most controversy on both dietary and sustainability levels. But interestingly it's the overconsumption of lower quality grain fed, meats that cause some of the biggest dietary risks and environmental degradation.) There is recognition of the need for animals in agriculture to maintain soil integrity.
Risks of not adopting the new global diet
+ Increased diet related diseases (cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes etc) and malnutrition (overfed/ undernourished and underfed/ undernourished)
+ increase in green house gases, leading to accelerated climate change
+ habitat loss to make space for more agricultural land.
Controversy will ensue for sure. This paper addresses UN Sustainable development goals which seek to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure prosperity for all and eradicate hunger and malnourishment on a global level (They are pretty BIG goals).
Most people reading this article have the money to buy the food they choose to eat and may be confused by the perceived high level of grain (especially Paleo peeps) and low levels of meat, fish and dairy in the Healthy Reference diet. Keep in mind that this is a global diet, aimed to feed all AND protect our environment whilst supporting 20 billion people in 2050.
There are a lot of questions, why palm (habitat destruction) and soya bean (very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids) oil over heart healthy olive oil and other omega 3 fatty acids.
Why so few eggs and so much chicken?
There is so much to question and yet this commission is full of intelligent world leaders. Fingers crossed it gets an upgrade.
If you'd like to read more, here is the full article, with some highlighting.
I hope you've had, or indeed are still having a lovely holiday.
At the very least, a break from the usual routine seems to help the mind relax and regenerate (I am of course referring to post Christmas mania). We've not ventured far from home this year and so have had a lovely quiet start to 2019.
We saw in the New Year with friends in Bateau Bay, which resulted in the happy birth of a new swim club... 365swims, mainly to encourage us make the most of where we live. You can check out our daggy posts on instagram and read the story in the first NYE instagram post on 365swims.
The swimming is not a New Year's resolution but it will give us a purpose and add a sense of fun to 2019.
Food and nutrition wise, I think 2019 is going to be an interesting one. The GUT received much media coverage last year and as the evidence increases, linking the health of our microbiota to almost every body system, treatment protocols will remain firmly focused on supporting the gut to help banish bad bugs, improve intestinal cell integrity and encourage the growth of friendly bacteria to improve our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Food trends will follow suit with the spotlight on the health of our intestines and micro-biome with prebiotic and probiotic superfoods already overflowing from shelves.
Environment and ethics will continue to play a larger role in food choices with plant based proteins, tech foods (such as faux meats), insects and block chain traceability up front and centre.
Hemp and CBD infused foods are bountiful overseas and with hemp legalised in Australia for human consumption in November 2017, we are likely to see many permeations in the snack and functional food ranges.
Diets such as Paleo, and high fat are still trending, with a new kid on the block...Pegan (that would be Paleo Vegan.)
Here at Nourishing Nosh, our focus, will remain as our tagline suggests, on delicious, nutritious, conscious eating of fresh, seasonal whole foods, with body and earth in mind.
I'm not really into labels BUT to help you understand me a little more I have always considered myself a flexitarian. I eat pretty much everything as long as I consider it sustainable. All veggies, fruit, legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, organic chicken and eggs, sustainable seafood, kangaroo, goat and very small amounts of free range grass fed meat. This is about to change...but more about that next time...
For now, enjoy our lovely sunshine and come and join me in the kitchen and at my table for a delicious cooking experience. January classes.
xx Lou 😀
We all need more veggies in our lives. Sick of hearing it from me? Let’s see what the experts have to say…
“Eating loads of fruit and vegetables - 10 portions a day - may give us longer lives, say researchers. The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.”The recent UK research trial compared health outcomes of those who ate 200g veggies/ day (½ daily recommendation) with those who ate 800g/ day (twice daily recommendation.) The results were significant.
Eating a large amount of Vegetables and fruit increases your fibre intake which is a huge determinant of the health of your gut microbiota (micro-organisms living in your intestines).
A healthy microbiota has been linked with improved immunity, better mental health, healthier weight outcomes and a decrease in inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity.
Consuming a variety of different vegetables exposes us to a wider range of nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which play a role in important physiological functions in your body.
These substances include cancer preventing glucosinolates, detoxifying indole 3 carbinoles, and polyphenols from brassicae veggies such as broccoli and cabbage, antimicrobial, anti fungal properties of garlic and onions, antioxidant properties of beta carotene from carrots and pumpkins, and antimutagenic properties of folate in leafy greens. The list goes on and on and on!
Vegetable consumption reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure and boosts the health of our blood vessels and immune system. Vegetable consumption helps you stay lean.
Vegetables are possibly the only food group that does not attract controversy. Everyone agrees that veggies are healthy (from Paleo to DASH, Mediterranean to Fasting and obviously Vegan and Vegetarian) and there is a plethora of research to back up the claims.
So, the obvious solution to a prolonged, healthier life? Eat more veg! Obviously start wiht the 5 serves a day and as long as you are not displacing protein and healthy fats, increase your intake further.
Plant based proteins count as vegetables in this study so eat legumes and soy based proteins.
And while you are at it do not forget your quinoa, buckwheat and other whole grains.
1 serve of vegetables = 80g/ ½ cup veggies or 1 cup salad
Want some recipes? You’ve come to the right place. Book in for the Vegetarian cooking class this Thursday 2 March at 6pm.
I think you'll all agree that there's a time to eat for health and a time to eat for enjoyment (they are of course not mutually exclusive). The point is it's healthy to relax and not be too restrictive all of the time.
I love festive feasting but like to keep my food fresh and flavourful, nothing too stodgy, not because I don't eat grains or potatoes, but because it's Summer and it's hot and salad goes better with bubbles (the ones from Champagne and San Pelegrino.)
With this in mind I've put together a rather long list of canapés for your entertainment this season. Please enjoy with a cup of tea.
A comprehensive Spring/ Summer canapé menu is packed with delicious morsels that you are bound to love.
Many of us enjoy entertaining but overestimate our ability to keep up with the plethora of commitments at the end of the year (ambition is good, but it can be exhausting!) Why not make your life a little easier and allow us to help with your end of year party or event? Perhaps you just need a Christmas pudding, a slab of nutty nougat or a Gingerbread house... (yes this is your nutritionist speaking.) Whatever your culinary whim, I am here to help. There is sure to be something for everyone in this extensive menu. For those who can be overwhelmed by choice, I recommend you select 2 "must have" canapés or a theme and I can help with the rest. Link to Catering page.
If you'd prefer to cook your own, there are some inspiring cooking classes for kids, teens and adults coming up soon.
As always, I am very happy to assist with food for allergies or food intolerances.
Optimal nutrition in adolescence is vitally important to reach peak bone mass density and stave off osteoporosis and fragile or brittle bones which can easily fracture.
Calcium is essential to strong dense bones.
50% of 14 - 18 year old males and nearly 80% of 14 - 18 year old females do not get enough dietary calcium.
Calcium is essential to life and plays a major role in many physiological processes including neuromuscular and cardiac function - think muscle contractions of the beating heart. So if there is not enough calcium circulating in the blood, calcium will be resorbed or literally stolen from the bones. A beating heart is more important than strong bones.
Adolescence is the period in which, with optimal nutrition, our teens have the potential to reach peak bone mass density. In other words it is the time when essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, fluoride, potassium and sulfate combine and crystallise to form a complex web like matrix that creates strong, dense bones.
“Bone mass increases by about sevenfold from birth to puberty and a further threefold during adolescence.”
Teens need 1300mg calcium every day to reach peak bone mass.
Dietary calcium requirements
1-3 yr 500 mg/day
4-8 yr 700 mg/day
9-11 yr 1,000 mg/day
12-18 yr 1,300 mg/day
*RDI - recommended daily intake
Requirements may be higher for individuals who exercise and subsequently sweat a lot as calcium is lost in sweat.
Calcium sources include the well known dairy group which also provides protein and essential fat soluble vitamins.
Dairy free whole food sources from high to low include fortified tofu, fish with bones such as sardines, canned salmon, anchovies, sesame seeds, tahini, chickpeas, chia seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, dried figs, seaweed,& tempeh, almonds, nut milks, slow cooked meat and fish bone broths (and casseroles made with bone in meats).
Factors negatively influencing calcium absorption or increasing urinary calcium loss
+you can prep vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains to reduce anti nutrients that bind minerals such as calcium
Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption and can be obtained from minimal exposure to sunlight. So run and jump and cycle and swim outside.
Oestrogen is a hormone responsible for encouraging bone growth and a delay in the onset of menses due to inadequate nutrition can also inhibit the strengthening of bones and lead to early onset osteoporosis. This condition is more common in young female teens who are heavily involved in sports and/ or have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa.
For more on teen and tween nutrition please take a look at the teen and tween yoga and cooking workshop Wednesday 23 September 9.15 - 3.15pm.
"Froco" slang for the popular $1 frozen coke sold by 2 of the mega world dominating hamburger chains.
Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting to a gorgeous group of year 11 Food technology students. I opened with some stunningly horrid stats (source ABS 2008 & 2012)
63% of Australian adults are overweight (38%) or obese (27%).
25% of Australian children are overweight or obese.
A staggering 280 Aussies develop diabetes every day! (85% type 2 diabetes)
In 2012 a tiny 6.8% of the Australian population ate 5 serves of vegetables a day.
Is this possibly one of the reasons why - A whopping 35% of total energy consumed came from the 'discretionary foods’ group (its not even meant to be a group!) That’s the high fat, sugary, salty foods (41% in 14 - 18 year olds.) Pretty?
My brief was to talk to the importance of adolescent nutrition and not becoming one of the above statistics. This, I did, noting the best foods to eat for various teenage predicaments including sexier hair, perfect skin and hotter bodies - these are the quandaries that Cosmo Girl tries to solve for our young teens so not wanting to disappoint my young audience I too tackled the important issues.
We also covered the importance of calcium to reach peak bone density; foods to enhance muscle strength and stamina to beat their rivals in the netball grand finals; the performance enhancing powers of complex carbohydrates such as fresh vegetables, including starchy tubers like sweet potato, fruit, whole grains and legumes; the blood sugar balancing magic of whole food proteins (actual meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, fish, dairy, nuts & seeds etc) and the satiating and anti inflammatory effects of healthy fats, especially the omega 3 fatty acids from fish, seeds and nuts.
Where we came unstuck was with the afore mentioned mega burger chain and their $1 frozen cokes - I just assumed that these bright young things would steer clear of the Golden Arches - I was wrong. They all knew about that “greasy - gotta brush your teeth right now” mouth feel you get after a burger and chips - this feel I suspect is from trans fats (the very worst kind of inflammatory fat.)
But the main draw card was the $1 Frocos, which contain 10 teaspoons of sugar and that’s the regular. Not so great for sexy hair, perfect skin, hotter bodies, peak bone density or a full mouth of your own teeth. If you’re an avid fan (of mine) you may recall in a previous post Are you really eating too much sugar? that the WHO recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day of added sugar. I therefore pose the question “Is it even ethical for food manufacturers to sell these products at such ridiculously low prices clearly targeting our budget vulnerable teens?”
The girls empathetic to my incredulity, promised that they did not drink the whole thing (remind anyone of the politician who did not draw back?) Bless them!
Obviously the occasional Froco will not harm this seemingly health conscious group but what about the 25% of Australian kids who are overweight and obese and the fact that 41% of our adolescent’s kilojoules come from the nutrient poor “occasional foods group?” We can not watch over them every minute of the day but we can lead by example and make it easy for them to choose wisely at home by crowding out our pantries and fridges with real whole food, full of health enhancing goodness.
If you need help convincing your teens not to be a statistic (and gift them with a wonderful cooking and yoga experience), I am running a teenage yoga and cooking workshop with Lizzie Taylor from Yoga Healthy on Wednesday 23 September where we’ll tackle these issues and some strengthening and mental health enhancing yoga practices. Or perhaps you'd prefer to attend The nourished lunchbox yourself on Monday 7 September at 11am for wonderful recipes and inspiration on the lunchbox front.
I have just been holidaying with my baby (teenage) daughter in Bali, backpacker style, because there are still spaces in my cooking classes (please take a look and book in if you see one you like.) I am just kidding of course, we actually really do like backpacking. It makes me feel younger and mush more adventurous.
We surfed and yoga practised and window shopped until we were sore. We did a 3 day yoga immersion in Ubud which was VERY relaxing. We surfed until Jade got seasick (possibly not a natural…) and of course we bonded over Balinese food and and learnt as much about their cuisine as we could.
So, globalisation has many merits,including bringing the Yoga Barn to Ubud and for that I am grateful. Tourism has helped improve the lives of many Balinese and many of the locals we met in Ubud waxed lyrical to that.
One not so fabulous side effect is the plethora of cuisines in Bali… What! I hear you exclaim, is the problem with that? And you do know, if you are reading this blog, that I love a bit of variety in my food. BUT, for me so much of a country’s culture & history is expressed through its food - it is a sharing of the essence of a country and its people, their celebrations and hardships, their religion, the traditions that shaped them and the very fertility of their land and its abundance (or lack thereof).
We actually found it quite hard to find really authentic Balinese and or Indonesian warung/ restaurants in Bali, with many diluting their menus to the very basic Nasi and Mie Goreng to make way for chicken cordon bleu and hamburgers and chips, a sad state of affairs.
Of course, we did manage to eat some delicious Balinese food and I hope that enough of us fortunate to travel to Bali do seek out authentic Balinese food so that the locals feel proud and brave enough to start their own warungs, restaurants and cafes.
I want to share one of the gems from our travels, the Warung Dandelion in Canggu. This one is worth the flight form Sydney so definitely the road trip from Seminyak.
Locally owned and run by the charismatic and creative Gani, Dandelion exudes welcoming warmth and charm. Dandelion’s roof and wall struts were imported from Java and planted on a grassy block overlooking a rice field. The walls themselves are “made” from floating bookshelves, covered in antiques and curios and an enormous ivy covered screen. The kitchen is the third wall and there is no fourth - the warung opens to the garden and the views beyond. It’s truly delightful.
Gani's mission was to serve his guests authentic Balinese food from his childhood and to make sure he got it right, Gani uses his talented mother’s delicious recipes. You have to book as this little gem, open for just 10 months, is often booked out.
There is a local band playing Balinese music in the garden, candle light flickers playfully and the scene is pure holiday perfection.
The staff are friendly, professional and animated and the service is wonderful.
Our faves on the menu were the Ikan pepes (fish in spices, steamed in banana leaf) and the Tum Ayam (chicken in spices, cooked in banana leaf) and the Dagar guling (coconut and palm sugar rice flour pancakes.) But I have to say all of the food looked divine…if only I had a bigger tummy or another night in Canggu.
Gani is building a bar to accommodate those waiting to dine. I highly recommend you visit.
Would you like to do a Balinese cooking class in Sydney? Email me
Link to Dandelion, Canggu, Bali