Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup

Winter is here and suddenly we are craving warming and filling foods. At Body Fusion, we love nothing more than a hearty soup to warm us up.

Why do we love this recipe?

  • Fibre: The vegetables and barley in this soup provide a wonderful source of fibre. Fibre encourages the ‘good’ bacteria to flourish in the gut, aids in digestion and promotes a healthy immune system.
  • Garlic: Did you know that garlic can boost your immunity? Garlic works by multiplying infection fighting blood cells and stimulating the lymphatic system to protect cells and remove waste from the body. This is just what you need during the winter flu season!
  • Low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates: In the body, low GI carbohydrates are broken down slowly, causing a gentle and steady rise and fall in blood sugar levels. These carbohydrates help to stabilise blood sugar levels and will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
  • Save some for later: This soup keeps wonderfully in the fridge or can be frozen for later. Perfect for those cool winter nights!

 

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

·      1 tbls olive oil

·      300g skinless chicken breast, sliced

·      1 clove garlic, crushed

·      2 leeks

·      2 carrots

·      ½ bunch celery

·      2 zucchinis, finely diced

·      ½ cup barley, rinsed

·      2L salt reduced chicken stock

·      1 handful fresh parsley

·      Baby spinach – to serve

Method:

1.    Heat olive oil on medium in a large saucepan. Then add garlic, leeks, celery, carrot and zucchini and sauté for 8 minutes.

2.    Add barley and stock to the pot and bring to the boil.

3.    When it is bubbling vigorously, turn the heat to low and cook for 50 minutes with the lid on.

4.    Serve with 1 handful of baby spinach and fresh parsley on top.

 

Stay warm,

The Body Fusion Team

Training smart with HIIT

We caught up with our wonderful friends over at Shift Wellbeing, discussing the benefits of High Intensity Internal Training (HIIT) and how you can incorporate it into your exercise routine!

The pace of life is speeding up and our time is becoming increasingly precious to us. Having said that, as a fitness professional at Shift Wellbeing, Hannah is amazed when a client tells her they don't have the time to exercise.

Exercising regularly not only has incredible physical benefits, but is also shown to improve mood, promote better sleep and boost energy, making you more productive throughout the day. In fact, Richard Branson claims that he is twice as productive after exercising as it helps him use his time more effectively.

Given the host of benefits, I would argue that you don't have time not to exercise. The question then becomes, how do you train most efficiently? 

So before you put on your runners and head out the door, it's important to know that not all types of exercise were created equal when it comes to making the most of your time.

Say hello to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

HIIT has become popular over recent years due to its capacity to produce awesome results in as little as 10 minutes, 3 times per week with little to no equipment required. It has been shown to boost anaerobic threshold, aerobic fitness and insulin sensitivity while improving fat loss and maintaining muscle mass.

HIIT involves repeated stints of high intensity efforts that range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes followed by recovery periods of varying lengths. The workout continues with the alternating work and rest periods adding up to 10 - 60 minutes.
The length of the recovery is designed to challenge the individual and also, to determine the energy system that is developed.

What really sets HIIT apart however is the ability to create a physiological effect on the body called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. This happens due to training at such a high intensity that the body cannot match oxygen demand with supply. Studies show that your body's metabolism may be raised for up to 24 hours after training while working hard to repay this debt, restore body temperature, repair damaged muscle tissue and replace the stored energy used during the workout.

Because EPOC is directly linked to the intensity of exercise not the duration, continuous aerobic exercise like running has very little effect. During a slow steady-state run, the oxygen supply and demand are almost equal so there's no reason for the body to work hard in recovery. HIIT also has the potential to increase cardiovascular fitness without increasing the training volume which keeps the risk of training injuries low in comparison to traditional training methods.

What is the catch?

You have to be willing to work hard. Really hard. Your body will only make changes when it is faced with a stress that is outside your comfort zone. To get the benefits of HIIT, exercises must be performed at 80-100% of your maximum heart rate, which you can calculate by simply subtracting your age from 220. If you don't have a heart rate monitor available, 80% of your max heart rate means training at a level that you would describe as 'hard' or 'very hard' where it would be difficult to talk to the person training next to you during the session. The rest periods should be up to 40% - 50% of your max heart rate to help you cover and be ready for the next interval.


How to make a kick-ass HIIT session:
1. Get a good interval timing app.

I recommend Seconds which is a free app with a range of HIIT sample timers and the ability to create your own timers.

2. Be clear on your goal.

This will determine the exercises you choose and the amount of rest you take, for example if you are a runner you may incorporate more lower body based training and sprints with shorter recovery periods. To create a general program, try switching between an upper body, lower body and core exercises (see circuit below).

3. Train with a buddy.

It is so much more fun pushing through those last few sets if you have someone there to encourage you and keep you accountable, and people who train together are shown to work 200% harder than those training alone. #teamwork
 

Try these quick, sweaty sessions below.

Train hard, recover and repeat. You've got this!
 

Sweaty Rep Challenge

45 sec work : 15 sec rest (3:1)

How many reps can you get in each interval?

Squats

Push ups

Burpees
Sit ups

10 m Shuttle runs

2 minutes rest. Repeat for 3 rounds total.

 

Ladder for time
Start with 2 reps of each exercise then add 2 reps each round, up to 12 reps.

Take 2 minutes rest and then reverse the ladder starting at 12 reps dropping the repetitions down by 2 each round.

2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 – rest 2 mins – 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2


Box jumps (or squat jumps)
Push ups
Burpees

 

Have an active day!

Ash, Kat and Em :)

How to tell if you suffer from IBS! Common symptoms, causes & solutions

Does it ever look like there’s a balloon under your shirt after a seemingly normal sized meal, do you have to run to bathroom after a large coffee or experience pain or cramping having eaten a cabbage slaw? What you are experiencing may not be normal. IBS is a term that means Irritable Bowel Syndrome and unlike other conditions there isn’t just one specific symptom that means you have IBS. Hence, the solution for each person differs – significantly!

It can be difficult to know if what you feel in your stomach and gut is ‘normal’ so we thought we’d explore some of the common symptoms and causes to help inform you.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

·      Pronounced bloating, a feeling a fullness during and/or after eating (ladies – this means more so than that experienced during your menstrual cycle)

·      Abdominal pain (either acute or throbbing)

·      Swing in bowel motions (diarrheoa to constipation)

·      Excessive gas & flatulence

·      Nausea

·      Reflux

·      Fatigue & lethargy

Before you start self-diagnosing or cutting out food groups, STOP. Get tested by your doctor first for the following:

·      Inflammatory bowel disease

·      Diverticultiis

·      Coaeliac Disease

·      Lactose Intolerance

If you have been tested and the results are all clear, then it may be time to look at some other triggers, this is when seeing an Accredited Practising Dietitian becomes essential. They will make sure that you don’t start avoiding foods unnecessarily as this can actually do more harm than good! Additionally they can balance your nutritional intake and implement tasty substitutes once you start manipulating your intake to identify trigger foods.

Why do some people get IBS and others don’t?

Sufferers of IBS have more sensitive GI tracts, meaning that movement of the gut caused by the digestion of food is perceived as pain by their brains. The different types and amounts of bacteria are one the fundamental causes of IBS, below are some of the some common food culprits:

1.    Windy Vegetables

We often refer to some vegetables as windy, because they cause a large release of gas in the gut when they are digested. They often include: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts. In those with more sensitive guts, the large amount of insoluble fibre in these vegetables can cause bloating and flatulence. Remember a small amount of farting is normal, if wind persists for hours after a meal or is particularly uncomfortable then you maybe experiencing a bigger reaction.

2.     FODMAPs

These are a group of sugars present in food that pass mostly undigested through your gastrointestinal tract to the large bowel. Here bacteria that live in your bowel feed on these carbohydrate molecules and produce gas, which can cause abdominal discomfort. In individuals with a sensitive gut or an overgrowth of gut bacteria, this may cause symptoms of IBS.

The different groups are:

Excess fructose: eg. Apples, Honey, Pears, Mangoes, Sugar snap peas

Excess Lactose: Large quantities of milk, soft cheese and ice cream

Excess Sugar Polyols: eg. artifical sweetners like isomalt & xylitol,  apricots, cauliflower and mushrooms

Excess Fructans: Wheat, Rye,Barley, Garlic & Leek.

Galacto-oligosaccharides: Legumes like chickpeas, lentils & nuts.

These sugars can be eliminated, and then challenges of these sugars introduced to your gut to determine which class of these sugars produces symptoms. However this is never recommended unless under the guidance of an experienced dietitian.

Big contributors to IBS are also high fat meals, stress, medications, caffeine and alcohol. These all affect the sensitivity of the gut and alter its activity. Be sure to consider this as part of your treatment.

If your gut has caused you some grief, we’d really like to help you out! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our gut friendly team members so we can provide some help and assistance.

Sending health & happiness,

Ash, Kat & Em :)

Asian Miso Slaw

Makes: 6 servings

Prep time: 30 mins

Slaw Ingredients:

·      1/3 red cabbage

·      1/3 savoy cabbage

·      2 heads broccoli

·      2 carrots

·      1 large cucumber

·      1bunch coriander

·      1 avocado, sliced

 

Miso Dressing Ingredients:

•    ½ cup natural yoghurt

•    3 tbls white miso paste

•    1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

•    2 tsp sesame oil

•    2 tsp tamari

•    2 tsp maple syrup

•    1 tsp chilli flakes

•    1 clove garlic, crushed

•    1cm ginger, grated

 

What to do:

  1. In a food processor, shred cabbage then place into large salad bowl
  2. Blend broccoli in food processor so it resembles rice, add to salad bowl
  3. Grate in carrot and finely slice cucumber into batons
  4. Mix through with your hands
  5. Add slices of avocado
  6. Mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and pour over slaw
  7. Sprinkle over coriander and serve

 

Serving suggestions:

·      100g marinated tofu & brown rice

·      Black beans & seaweed sheets

·      Soy marinated chicken breast/fish/salmon

Flour Guide: Nutrition, Baking & Best Uses

With the number of flours available in the supermarket today, it can be overwhelming (What the hell is TEFF?!). This guide looks at some of the most popular flours used in everyday cooking and mentions some new flours that are available in stores. We share our top picks at the bottom of the blog to keep your delicious baking producing healthy outcomes too!

Grains 101

·       In Australia, wheat based flour is commonly used by food manufacturers and individuals at home. Wheat grains are ground down and sifted in a process called milling, to produce flour.

·       There are three major parts of a cereal grain: the endosperm, bran and germ.

·       Different components of any grain may be left in or taken out depending on how it is milled. This will produce different kinds of flour.  

WHITE FLOUR

In white flour, both the bran and germ have been removed via milling. As the bran and germ contain more dietary fibre than the endosperm, white flour has a light consistency. Many micronutrients including B vitamins, iron and magnesium are found in greater concentrations in the bran and germ layers of the grain. Therefore, white flour contains less of these nutrients. However, flour may be restored with some of these lost nutrients and may also be fortified with additional nutrients such as folic acid and iodine.

Uses: White flour is commonly used to make bread, pizza dough or sweet bakes such as cakes, muffins and scones. White flour is often used as a thickener for gravies and sauces.

Nutrition

 WHOLEMEAL FLOUR

Incorporates the bran layer of the wheat grain, which makes this flour higher in fibre, protein as well as vitamins and minerals (e.g. niacin (B3) and iron). This flour may also be fortified with additional micronutrients.

Uses: Like white flour, wholemeal flour may be used to make sweet/savoury breads or doughs or cakes, muffins and scones

RYE FLOUR

Derived from the rye grain, rye flour is milled in a similar fashion to wheat. A little harder to find and more expensive than wheat flour, you may have to venture outside major supermarket chains to find rye flour. Rye flour comes in both dark and light varieties. Light rye is lighter than dark rye and contains less calories, fibre and protein per.

Uses: Rye flour may be used to make breads, pumpernickel, crispbreads, or biscuits.

SPELT FLOUR

Spelt is an ancient grain, cultivated over thousands of years. This grain is rich in several vitamins and minerals including B vitamins (thiamin, niacin and folate), magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. Spelt is a high protein, high fibre flour making it a great alternative to wheat flour.

Uses: May be used to make dense breads, biscuits or pastas. Spelt is quite flavoursome so is best for savoury dishes.

GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

Gluten free flour is generally a mix of various gluten free flours including corn and tapioca starch and rice flour. Due to the ingredients, this flour is quite low in protein compared to other flours.

Uses: Gluten free plain or self-raising flour can be used to make a variety of dishes including breads, cakes, muffins, batters and can be used as a thickener for sauces/gravies.

COCONUT FLOUR

Derived from the pulp of the coconut, coconut flour is a soft, light flour. It is a by-product made during the coconut milk making process. Coconut flour is also extremely high in flbre and a good source of protein. This flour absorbs a lot of liquid, therefore much less is required to make a certain product (e.g. muffins) than wheat flour.

Uses: Coconut flour may be used to make cupcakes or muffins, cakes, biscuits, pancakes and breads. It may also be used as a gluten free alternative for batter.

QUINOA FLOUR

Derived from another ancient grain, quinoa flour is high in fibre and protein, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, magnesium, iron and phosphate.

Uses: Quinoa flour produces quite a moist bake, and is good for muffins, cakes, pastries or sweet/savoury breads.

CHICKPEA FLOUR

You may or may not have seen chickpea flour in your local supermarket. As this flour is derived from chickpeas, it contains a significant amount of protein along with B vitamins and dietary fibre.

Uses: Chickpea flour may be used to bake cakes, breads and biscuits or for pancakes, fritters or batter

LENTIL FLOUR

Like chickpea flour, lentil flour is relatively new to the supermarket. Made purely from uncooked lentils, this flour provides a nutty flavour to dishes. Lentils are a great source of protein, dietary fibre and micronutrients such as iron, phosphate and copper.

Uses: Like chickpea flour, lentil flour may be used in a variety of dishes including sweet or savoury breads, cakes, muffins, fritters and to make batter.

TEFF FLOUR

Teff has long been used in Ethiopia as a staple grain, but it is relatively new to Western. Like quinoa, Teff is a good source of dietary fibre and protein. This gluten free flour is also rich in several micronutrients including B vitamins, calcium and iron.

Uses: Teff flour has an earthy, nutty taste and is a great gluten free alternative to wheat flour in cakes, muffins, breads and other bakes.

BUCKWHEAT FLOUR

Surprisingly, buckwheat is not a type of wheat. In fact, the buckwheat plant is related to rhubarb. Buckwheat flour is gluten free, and often used as a replacement for wheat. Buckwheat is available as both dark and light flours. Dark buckwheat is more flavoursome than light. Another high protein flour, buckwheat also contains several micronutrients including iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Uses: Dark buckwheat flour is great for making crepes or pancakes, whilst lighter buckwheat flour may be used to make biscuits, muffins, rolls and bread. As buckwheat is quite strong, it is best used along with another flour (e.g. rice flour) to reduce the nutty taste.

OUR TOP PICKS NUTRITION WISE

Rye Flour: Particularly dark flour which is higher in protein than the light variety. With 300 calories/cup (vs. 500 in white and wholemeal), 10.5g of protein and 9.1g of fibre as well as being of a moderate glycaemic index it could be a good baking option, particularly if you enjoy making your own bread. Its also relatively cheap $3/kg.

Lentil Flour: With 333 calories/cup (5th lowest out of 15 compared) its high in protein 25.4g and fibre 15.9g and comes in at a medium price range, $9/kg.

Teff Flour: Teff was the flour highest in protein with 39g/cup! It also rated high in terms of fibre (12.5g) and was sitting at 225 calories. However it is a little more expensive, $13/kg

To learn more about the nutritional composition of flours best to talk to us in the clinic - we love baking!!

References/Further Information

Most this nutritional information was obtained from calorieking.com.au. Nutrient information on lentil flour was taken from mckenziesfoods.com.au

Note: The nutritional information provided on this guide refers to uncooked flour

[1] Honest to Goodness foods

[2] https://thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/shop/cooking/organic-buckwheat-flour-gf/

[3] https://www.tooshfoods.com.au/shop/cooking-and-baking/organic-teff-flour/

Apple Crumble

With the cooler months just around the corner, we think its the perfect time to share a delicious winter warming dessert. This apple crumble is not only super easy to prepare but it tastes AMAZING! It is full of so many amazing ingredients that it can also be included as breakfast or a snack!

Why do we love the apple crumble?

  • Fibre: The rolled oats and apple in this dish provide a wonderful source of fibre. Did you know that the main source of fibre in fruit is found just under the skin? Keeping the skin on the apple will ensure you retain the fibre and goodness of the apple. Fibre is beneficial for keeping bowels regular, maintaining gut health, lowering cholesterol and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Low glycaemic index (GI): Rolled oats are a great source of low GI carbohydrates, meaning that they are slowly digested and help to maintain blood sugar levels. Honey is also a wonderful choice for sweetness as it is a low GI carbohydrate!
  • Healthy fats: The almond meal and olive/nut oil in this dish provide a great source of poly and mono unsaturated fats. These fats have been shown to be beneficial for heart health and lowering cholesterol levels.

 

Ingredients

Filling:

3 medium apples - sliced (approximately 0.5cm think)

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Crumble:

½ cups Rolled Oats

½ cup Almond Meal

½ cup Coconut Flakes

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

2 tbsp Honey

2 tbsp Olive Oil or Nut Oil (e.g macadamia oil)

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees.
  2. Place chopped apple in a medium baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon over apples and stir through. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Mixed all crumble ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the crumble over baked apple.
  4. Bake for another 25 minutes. Half way through cooking time, use a spoon to mix crumble to ensure all crumble cooks through. Cook until golden brown.
  5. Serve with yoghurt.

 

ENJOY!

Quinoa, Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad with pan-fried haloumi

I had the pleasure of enjoying this salad up in Coffs Harbour on a recent surfing/family trip! As I munched away in great company, thoroughly enjoying the various flavours, I started thinking about its health benefits:

- Quinoa contains all 8 essential amino acids (proteins that our bodies cannot make themselves), it is also high in fibre for digestive health and low GI to keep us feeling fuller for longer.

- Sweet potato is high in Vitamin A, a nutrient crucial for sustaining immunity, healthy skin and good vision

- Cinnamon has been proven to aid in balancing blood sugars

- Cabbage is an anti-inflammatory

- Lentils are pre-biotics which support a healthy gut and is also a great source of protein

- All the nuts, seeds and olive oil are high in Omega's, benefiting the heart and brain

- Pomegranate & the green herbs are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps to absorb iron and maintain strong cells

What a winner!

Ingredients:

·      1 thin sweet potato (about 350g) cut into 1 cm discs

·      2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra 5 tbsp

·      ½ tsp ground cumin

·      ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

·      Sea salt flakes & freshly ground pepper to season

·      1 cup quinoa

·      500ml chicken stock

·      ½ small red onion thinly sliced

·      400g can lentils drained & rinsed

·      2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

·      1/3 cup dried cranberries roughly chopped

·      ¼ cup pepitas

·      ¼ cup roasted almonds roughly chopped

·      Arils from a pomegranate 

·      ½ cup coriander leaves roughly chopped

·      ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves roughly chopped

·      ½ cup mint leaves roughly chopped

·      1 tbsp red wine vinegar

·      2 tsp Dijon mustard

·      250g haloumi, thinly sliced OR you could use chicken instead, 100g cooked per person

Method:

1.     Preheat oven to 180 Celsius and line an oven tray with baking paper. Arrange sweet potato on prepared tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with spices, seasons then rub to coat. Roast for 20 min. or until just tender. Set aside for 10 min to cool to room temperature.

2.     Meanwhile, put quinoa in a sieve and rinse under running water. Put stock & quinoa in a medium saucepan & bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat & spread onto an oven tray & set aside for 20 min to cool.

3.     Place onion, lentils, cabbage, cranberries, pomegranate arils, herbs, vinegar, mustard & 4 ½ tbsp of the extra oil in a bowl, tossing well to combine. Add quinoa & sweet potato tossing well. Season , then transfer to a large serving bowl /platter.

4.     Heat the remaining oil in a fry pan over medium heat.  Add haloumi & cook for 2 min on either side or until golden. Serve salad topped with hot haloumi.

 

ENJOY! :)

 

Scrumptious stuffed capsicums - OLE!

Makes: 4 servings - Prep time: 10 mins  - Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 400g tin black/red kidney beans
  • 1 x 400g tin black eyed beans  
  • 1 zucchini, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup corn kernals
  • 2 red capsicum, sliced in half
  • 2 yellow capsicum, sliced in half
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp dried cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbls dried basil
  •  ½ cup low fat shredded cheese
  • 4 cups rocket & spinach leaves
  • 1avocado, sliced

What to do:

1Preheat oven to 180°C, place halved capsicums onto a lined tray and place in oven.

2Heat a frying pan to medium heat, add 2 tsp olive oil. Add garlic and spices and stir fry till soft.

3Add 2 tins of beans, zucchini, corn and tomatoes. Cook on medium to high heat until they are heated through and have split slightly.

4Remove capsicum halves from the oven.

5Spoon bean mixture into each capsicum half and sprinkle over grated cheese.

6Grill for a further 15 mins or until beans are crispy and cheese is melted.

7Serve with sliced avocado & salad leaves.

 NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS: 

  • IRON RICH: Beans naturally contain plant based protein as well as iron. Eating them mixed with vitamin C rich foods like the tomatoes and spinach in this dish boosts the absorption of the iron from the beans. Great for busy mums, active kids or people who are always on their feet. 
  • HIGH FIBRE: Mixing chopped vegetables through the bean mixture adds insoluble fibre to this meal. Insoluble fibre provides your gut bacteria with lots of food for them to munch on and produce lots of healthy bacteria for you! 
  • CALCIUM: Adding the grated cheese on top of the bean mixture boosts the calcium content of this meal, added to even more so by the leafy greens. 
  • LOW GI CARBS: Replacing taco shells with capsicums and using beans mixed with corn turns this meal into a slow burner. Meaning the carbs will be digested and released slowly in the body giving you long lasting energy and curbing sweet cravings. 
  • FAMILY FRIENDLY - REHEATS WELL - LUNCH BOX FRIENDLY! 

ENJOY! 

KAT :) 

 

Comment

Katrina Mills

Katrina is an enthusiastic and driven dietitian with a client-centered approach to nutrition and health. She understands the positive effects nutrition has on the ability to assist in recovery, ease symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Salmon, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties

On these balmy summer nights, we love having a fresh, simple and nutritious option for dinner.  The recipe we are sharing with you today is one of our favourites – salmon, sweet potato and quinoa patties.

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

·       1 cup sweet potato, chopped (1cm x 1xm)

·       2x 415g salmon tins

·       1 cup quinoa, cooked

·       1 brown onion, diced

·       1/3 cup corriander, chopped

·       1 garlic clove, crushed

·       1 tbsp. lemon juice

·       2 eggs, beaten

·       ¼ cup wholemeal flour

·       2 tbsp. olive oil 

Method:

1.     Bring a medium saucepan to the boil. Add sweet potato and boil for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain and add to a large bowl.

2.     Drain salmon and combine with sweet potato.

3.     Add quinoa, onion, coriander and garlic into salmon and sweet potato mixture. Stir through using a spoon.

4.     Add lemon juice and eggs to bowl. Mix well using a spoon.

5.     Use hands to combine mixture and form medium sized patties. Lightly sprinkle patties with wholemeal flour.

6.     Heat oil on medium heat in a large frying pan. Cook patties until lightly browned on both sides.

7.     Serve with a side of salad and vegetables. ENJOY!

 

Health Benefits:

  • Oily fish (e.g. salmon) and olive oil provide a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that omega-3 is beneficial for heart health, and may help to reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides and ease inflammation.
  • Fibre aids in digestion, supports gut health, promotes a healthy immune system and works to lower cholesterol. The vegetables, quinoa and sweet potato in this dish are an excellent source of fibre.
  • Low GI carbohydrates are excellent for providing a slow release of sugar into the blood, which assists in stabilising blood sugar levels. They keep you feeling fuller for longer and have also been shown to assist in weight loss or maintenance. The sweet potato and quinoa are wonderful sources of low GI carbohydrates. 
  • Protein is important in the body for repairing and rebuilding tissues, producing hormones and the transportation of molecules. Lean protein from the salmon and eggs will assist in maintaining these processes in the body and will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. 

How to 'healthify' your next BBQ

Aussie summers are typified by the smell of sizzling sausages on the BBQ, long afternoons of grazing over cheese and jatz, and maybe a few too many glasses of beer or wine. Weekend after weekend of these gatherings can make the body feel sluggish, lacking energy to jump out of bed and for some even bloating and pain.  This year, we and many of our clients are on a mission to make healthy normal. So, to help put the zing back in your step, feel lighter with a bit more sparkle, follow our top tips to a healthy BBQ:

1.    SWAP SAUSAGES TO CHICKEN OR SEAFOOD

WHY? Processed meats such as bacon, salami, hot dogs and some types of sausages have been classed as carcinogens, strongly linked to bowel cancers1 (Australia’s second highest cancer killer!2). They are also high in saturated fat and salt. Stay away if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Try these swaps instead:

·      Sausages --> Homemade chicken mince rissoles

·      Forequarter chops --> Lean fillets (porterhouse) or cutlets

·      Cabanossi sticks --> Mini chicken skewers

Better yet, throw some prawns and fish on the BBQ. Fish has been thought to reduce bowel, prostate and breast cancer.

2.    ONLY OFFER 2 PROTEIN OPTIONS

WHY? Portion sizes often get blown out of the water at a BBQ. The more on offer, the more you want to eat. Our brains think this way so we don’t miss out on anything. Make it easier by only offering two choices – palm size lean steaks, marinated chicken breast pieces and garlic prawns are our top picks!

BONUS TIP: Fill up half your plate with salad and vegetables FIRST! The fibre (roughage) from salad and vegetables fills the stomach without loading up on calories.

3.    SERVE COLOURFUL SALADS

WHY? We are always telling clients to ‘Eat a Rainbow’, and we encourage this for a reason. Every colour in fruit and vegetables codes for different antioxidants and phytochemicals. These are secret ingredients which play various roles in the body including reducing inflammation, helping to absorb nutrients and making you glow. Aim to have three different colours in each salad, for example: beetroot, rocket and tomato OR cabbage, mango and capsicum.

Do you prefer cooked vegetables? Try these yummy options instead:

·      BBQ corn on the cob  

·      Add capsicum, zucchini & eggplant onto meat skewers

·      Mix in grated beetroot, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms to hamburger patties

4.    SKIP THE CHEESE & NUT PLATTER TO START

WHY? Cheese, nuts and crackers are high in salt and easy to eat a lot of – that is why they are many of our favourite foods! Did you know that 1 handful nuts + 1 large wedge of brie + 1 row of rice crackers is the same as eating 1 whole loaf of bread?! High salt intake causes water retention, often the culprit of that bloated feeling the day after.

Better option: Offer to bring a plate of chopped crunchy vegetables and hummus or low fat tzatziki instead.

5.    BE ALCOHOL WISE

WHY? Alcohol packs a punch containing the second highest number of calories (energy) behind fat.

BEER DRINKERS ALERT: A six pack of a regular lager beer (6 x 375mls) contains approx. 3780kJ/ 900kCal which is one third of a males entire daily energy needs!

WINE O HOLICS: 4 glasses of white/red wine has the same amount of energy as half a large pepperoni pizza!

THE SWEET TOOTH: Cider and sweet pre-mixed drinks or cocktails are equally as potent because they have the alcohol plus sugars added.

Better option:

·     If you choose to drink, opt for a shot of a clear spirit with a soda water/diet mixer instead of beer & cider.

·     If you’re a wine drinker, slow yourself down by finishing one glass at a time then chase it with a non-alcoholic drink such as soda water or a sugar free mineral water.

6.    NEVER ARRIVE TOO HUNGRY

Arriving too hungry at any BBQ only makes it more difficult to eat a healthy, balanced meal. So eat regularly but lightly throughout your day. Before the BBQ, try a fibre rich snack such as snowpeas & cucumber sticks with hummous or 1 scoop plain greek yoghurt with 1 piece of fruit. That way, you will arrive level headed so you can serve yourself a sensible portion.

7.    BE ACTIVE

We are very lucky to live in a beautiful country that provides us with some outstanding opportunities to be active.  At your next event, get stuck into some fun activities too – a game of backyard cricket, walk to the park or kick around a football. Get everyone involved and enjoy!

 

Stay happy & healthy

Ash, Kat and Emily

 

1.    http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

2.    http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/bowel-cancer.html.