Green Pea, Potato & Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Delicious protein packed dinner that will keep you going. Have it for leftovers for breakfast and start the day off right! Mmmmm leftovers … my favourite!

Stay Healthy this Winter

We are very lucky in Australia to have the day-to-day freedoms that we do.  In most other countries at the moment, they continue to be restricted on where they can go and how many people they can interact with.  But with these freedoms and interaction comes the transmission of bacteria and viruses.  We are entering into cold and flu season where your body is more susceptible to getting sick. 

So here are some tips to keeping healthy this winter.

Sleep is the most important activity your body needs. When sleeping, your body restores, heals, and creates important hormones. Get to bed early and stay there for at least 7-8 hours each night.  Avoid caffeine after noon to ensure you get a good quantity and quality of sleep.  Read my blog article “Having Trouble Sleeping?” for more advice.

Psychological stress is associated with a greater risk of depression, heart disease and infectious diseases.  Take time out – exercise, garden, meditate, whatever it is that helps you to relax.

What would one of my articles be if I didn’t mention exercise?  Exercise is important for everyone. To keep your immune system at its best you want at least a brisk 30-minute walk each day.  If you are an avid athlete, you also need to take care, as very high intensity exercise can put a strain on your immune system.

Our bodies are composed of 70% water. Proper hydration is important for the optimum functioning of all your body systems. Increase your water intake slowly getting up to 2L per day.

Hot-Cold showers are an excellent way of improving your immune system, increasing circula­tion and elevating energy levels. After finishing your regular shower routine, do 20 seconds of cold and 1 minute of hot. Alternate 2-3 times, ending with cold.  The increase in circulation will also help decrease sensitivity to the cold.

There are several supplements you can take to help boost your immune system. Daily zinc supplementation has been shown to shorten the duration and severity of the common cold, reduce the incidence of acute lower respiratory tract infections in preschool children by 45% and reduce the incidence of pneumonia by 41%.

Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in immune cells and is quickly consumed during an infection.  It is a natural antihistamine and has been found to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections.

More than 80% of the body’s immune system is in the digestive tract.  A lack of good bacteria in the digestive tract can cause a reduction in the immune system allowing increased infections.  Take a good quality probiotic to prevent bad bacteria from taking hold.

Vitamin D has a direct effect on the immune system. Vitamin D stimulates the production of natural antibiotic proteins thus killing more bacteria.  Insufficient levels are related to a deficiency in our immune system to protect us against infections.  

If you get sick, try warming socks.  You will be surprised at how effective they are!

These are just a few suggestions for staying healthy this winter.  For personalized advice, contact your local naturopath. Let’s stay healthy this winter!

To Breakfast or Not to Breakfast?

Breakfast.  This is a surprisingly contentious issue for such a simple meal.  Some people say to always eat it while others say to never eat it.  And yet another group say to eat it sometimes.  So, what is right for you?

Well, that’s just the thing.  We are all different and what is right for one person is not going to be right for the next.  Here are some things to consider as you think about whether you should eat or skip breakfast.

Do you feel light-headed and hungry in the morning?  Then you should eat breakfast.  Don’t force yourself to wait until later because someone else said it worked for them.  Make yourself something healthy with a good portion of protein and some healthy fats and you will start the day off right.

Are you completely exhausted and stressed? (Think mum of young kids who is barely keeping it together or other completely rundown equivalent).  You should eat breakfast.  Skipping breakfast adds stress to your body.  This can be a good stress for some that can help get the right hormones motivated and going, but if you are already exhausted, it is too much and will just make you more tired.  

Are you skipping breakfast but then eating something sweet at 10am?  Then you should really eat breakfast.  Craving sweets means that your body wanted protein earlier but didn’t get it. Try having breakfast with a good portion of protein and your morning tea sweet cravings will start to dissipate.

Do you wake up feeling like the last thing in the world you want is to eat food?  Then you should probably skip breakfast and wait to eat until later as long as your lifestyle allows you to eat something healthy later in the morning.  Eating an early lunch around 11am can be a good option if it works for you.

Whether you are eating or not eating breakfast, is it working for you?  Do you wake up feeling great?  Are you feeling satisfied in the morning?  Then keep going with what works. You don’t have to change just because your neighbour had a great experience with the opposite.  

Also, some days you might want to eat breakfast while others you don’t.  That’s ok.  Some days it might be more appropriate to eat it based on what you ate the night before, your energy level and what you have going on that day.

If you think you should be eating breakfast, but it still doesn’t sound appetising, try starting with something lighter or even liquid.  These tend to go down easier.  A protein shake, some chia pudding or yogurt tend be easier options first thing in the morning.

Most people I see as patients have issues with fatigue and energy so I usually recommend breakfast.  But if you are feeling ok, then you can try experimenting with skipping breakfast and see how you feel.

So, what are you going to do tomorrow?  Will you have breakfast and if so, what will you have?

Happy Healthy Lunches

As the school holidays are ending many of us are thinking about what we are going to put into school lunches again! If you are like me, then making lunches is not an enjoyable part of the morning routine. 

I’m here to help!

As a naturopath, I usually do a talk for kindy parents at my local school each year about healthy lunches.  It didn’t happen in 2020 due to everything being canceled, so I decided to put it online.

You can find it here with lots of information about why kids (and adults) should eat a healthy lunch as well as a downloadable with lots of ideas of what you can put in that lunch box.

https://be-healthy-movement.mykajabi.com

It is free, you just need to sign up.

If you have any questions about healthy lunches feel free to give me a shout.

I hope you all enjoy the last week of school holidays!

Do You View Your Number 2s?

Stool, poo, number 2, bowel movement, poop, whatever you want to call it, you should be looking at it! I know this makes some people squeamish, but it is so important.  Your digestion is the cornerstone of your health and your stool gives you a lot of clues about what is going on in there.  To learn more about what happens in your gut and how important all the little bacteria friends that live there are, check out my article 10% Human.

So, what should you look for?  To start with you want to check the consistency.  Check out this chart to give you an idea of what you are looking for.  Too hard or too soft are both indications of trouble brewing. You want your stool to look like Type 4.

You also want to look at size, colour and frequency and if there is any mucus or undigested food in there.

Check your stool for a few days and if you have any issues you really want to sort them out as issues in your gut are associated with health issues in all other parts of your body. The solution depends on what the problem is.  Every problem has a different solution.  It is really best to talk to a naturopath if you think there is anything going on with your digestion so that you can get the right answers and be on the road to a healthier you.

Happy viewing!

EASY Holiday Pasta Recipe!

Do you need to bring a salad to your next holiday event? Or do you just need a quick dinner? My whole family loves this one (a rarity when you have 3 kids😳).

  1. Fry up a whole bunch of veggies. For a festive theme pick red and green ones, but whatever you like or have in the fridge works.
  2. Cook pasta as per directions.
  3. Combine pasta and veggies.
  4. Add 1-2 tins of salmon (drained)
  5. Add pesto and mix well.
  6. Enjoy!

You could also add tinned tuna or chicken. I like to do salmon for its good fats but also I don’t have to cut up any meat.

Almond Salted Chocolate Brittle

Did you know that almonds are good for wrinkles?  In a study of postmenopausal women, those who were given 20% of their daily calories as almonds had less wrinkle severity and less wrinkle width after a study time of just 16 weeks.  

Almonds are full of good fats and protein along with vitamins and minerals.  They are a great snack, and also good for wrinkles it seems!

I eat almonds all the time, usually as almond butter for breakfast or a snack. Here though is a recipe you can’t turn down.  Although perhaps not the healthiest way to eat almonds, it is certainly one of the most delicious.  And we all need something sweet sometimes so we might as well make it as healthy as we can.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (really good quality ones. I like the organic 70% cocoa ones from Honest to Goodness)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almonds (smashed)
  • 2 cups rice puffs

Method

  1. Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil and salt in a bowl.  Put in the microwave until chocolate starts to melt.  Stir occasionally.  Keep heating until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir until all mixed together.
  2. Smash up the almonds.  I like to put them in a silicone bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
  3. Add the almonds and rice puffs to the chocolate.
  4. Spread the mixture out onto a non-stick mat to desired thickness.
  5. Leave the mixture to sit for about an hour or until it is completely hard.  The length of time needed will depend on room temperature.
  6. Once hard, break up by hand or cut with a knife.
  7. Store in an air-tight container.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the study abstract if you are interested:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31576607/

Cheaters Healthy Spaghetti Recipe

My kids love spaghetti.  It is one of the few dinners where everyone is excited and there are never any complaints.  To be honest though, I really don’t have time to make my own sauce.  Would it be healthier if I made my own?  For sure! Will that ever happen?  Unlikely! Sometimes we have to make compromises that result in healthier options for everyone.  

My sauce is loaded with vegetables.  There is loads of colour in there that everyone happily eats.  Then I add a couple jars of Macro organic pasta sauce.  It contains all real ingredients with no chemicals.  I can read every single word in the ingredients list! I’m sure I could make this slightly healthier myself with a bit less sugar, but there really isn’t much in this sauce and given that everyone happily eats a couple servings of vegetables for dinner, I consider this a win.  

To make it even healthier you could use zucchini noodles instead of pasta.  I haven’t personally tried this, but others say it is great.  

Making home-made dinners doesn’t always have to be hard and time consuming.  Some store-bought sauces contain all-natural ingredients and will ensure that everyone is getting the benefits of super nutritious vegetables.  If this is something that is holding you back from making home-made dinners, don’t stress.  Buy some sauce and mix it with a load of vegetables.  You are definitely winning.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 large clove garlic (cut fine)

½ large onion

2 large carrots

1 large zucchini

1 head of broccoli

1 red capsicum (pepper)

500g Organic beef mince (ground beef)

2 jars Macro organic tomato, garlic and basil chunky pasta sauce

Method

  1. Cut up the vegetables to bite sized pieces
  2. Put the coconut oil in the pan with the vegetables and cook for a few minutes
  3. Add the beef and cook until meat is browned, and the vegetables are cooked through
  4. Add the sauce and heat until warmed through
  5. Put over wheat spaghetti or zucchini pasta as desired
  6. Enjoy!

*These are my preferred vegetables, but really any will do.  Just load it up with lots of colour.