Are you fat-phobic?

Sunflower-oil-free-license-CC0I’m talking about food here. If so, you’re not alone. The majority of us have been raised on the message that fat is bad. There is a prevalence of low-fat versions of all foods, particularly dairy.  The margarine vs butter debate has been argued for decades, each time adding more confusion.  We have our tea or coffee with low-fat or ‘skinny’ milk. We believe that low-fat yogurt is the best option. We choose meat that has little or no fat in it. We’re told that eating fat will make us fat or lead to heart disease or worse. We check food packets for information about the fat content. We feel guilty eating fat. Have you ever considered where these messages about fat originated and how much is true? Are we benefitting from this message and our feelings towards fat? If not, who is?

Recently, I have been thinking about these questions. I’m a huge believer in just eating real food. Food in its most natural form, just what our grandparents and great grandparents ate. There are so many ways of eating these days that value this. Our ancestors ate fat in its most natural form, think lard, butter, olive oil, whole milk, animal fat etc. However, it is only in recent times that obesity and the interest in dieting have become significant. If you’ve seen That Sugar Film, you would understand that it’s sugar, not fat, that will add centimetres to your waistline. So do we need to re-think our idea of fat? Can fat actually improve our health? Let’s start with the basics:

  1. All fats are not equal. There is good and bad.
  2. Nutrient rich traditional fats can nourish your body. They allow our cells to work properly and strengthen the immune system. Saturated fats are necessary for our lungs, kidney function and hormone production. It also helps to aid our digestion. Read more about the benefits here and here.
  3. Trans fats are the worst fats. Think polyunsaturated and hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried foods. These increase the likelihood of disease. Find out more here.

I know this is just scratching the surface of a huge topic which I will keep exploring. I hope it has sparked some of your own questions. It’s time to change our relationship with fat. We need to get to know fat a little better. You never know, fat could become your body’s best friend!

How do you feel about fat? Please leave a comment below.

Want help learning how to choose and use nutritious fats and other good-for-you foods? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

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8 Reasons Why You Need This Meal in Your Life!

photo (29)I’m not exaggerating here! This little meal is amazing for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack. I first saw this idea on the Foodmatters website and it has been a part of my life ever since! Now, I’m a huge fan of Japanese food, I lived there for just over a year, so before I even made it I knew I’d love it. There just isn’t enough seaweed wrapped meals in Australia and this spin on sushi is amazing. Here are eight reasons why you need to try the Omelette Nori Roll this week:

  1. Super easy. I made this in less than 10 minutes. Whisk 2 or 3 eggs, mix with shallots, photo (28)mushrooms and any greens you like plus some turmeric. Cook as an omelette on the frying pan. Place your sheet of dried seaweed (nori) on the plate, top with the cooked omelette, kim chi or sauerkraut, greens, avocado or anything else you like. Roll up and enjoy.
  1. Seaweed has amazing health benefits. Seaweed is an ancient superfood, rich in minerals such as iodine, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein and the list goes on. Natural iodine is vital for aiding and maintaining healthy thyroid function, this gland controls two fertility hormones, as well as functions such as weight management, how we use energy and how we sleep. Other benefits of eating seaweed include improved memory and immunity, clear skin, healthy hair and lower blood pressure. Buy some nori on your next visit to the supermarket!
  2. Eggs are good for you! There has been so much contradicting information over the years, debating whether eggs are good or bad for you. My belief is that we should be eating real food and eggs fall under this category. Dr Nat Kringoudis rates eggs as the number one fertility food, a complete meal with the perfect package of protein and good quality fats. The most important thing about eggs is where they come from. Always, always buy pastured eggs from a local farmer or if this isn’t available to you, buy free range and preferably organic.
  3. Good for your gut! By now you have probably heard about how important gut health is. With 85% of our immune system located in our gut wall, looking after our gut health should be a number one priority. Greens, fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chi, as well as avocado are some of the foods in this meal that promote a healthy gut.photo (30)
  4. It’s delicious! Can there be a better reason? Food is meant to be enjoyed!
  5. It’s so versatile! Just add whatever you like to your omelette and the filling. There are no rules. Experiment! Find a combination of fillings that you like.
  6. You can eat it on the go. Eating mindfully is incredibly important and something I will write about another day. But unfortunately there are times when we just have so much going on and we spend our days racing around. Yes, eat this on the go, but do chew your food and enjoy the taste!
  7. The perfect ‘I don’t feel like cooking’ or ‘We’ve got no food in the house’ meal. As long as you have nori, eggs and some veggies or greens in the house, you’ve got yourself a healthy meal. No need to head to the drive thru!

I would love for you to share your favourite Omelette Nori Roll fillings, make sure you leave a comment below.

Are you after more healthy snack ideas? Are you bored with the same snacks everyday? Subscribe to my newsletter to receive your free copy of Snack and Shine Bright. You’ll want to refer to this resource often.

Ten Tips to Help Create Balance in Your Life by Rachel Stokes

Whether you have children or not, balance is a word that comes up a lot. We’ve all been there; a huge week of work or study, social occasions, relationships to maintain, a house to keep clean, mouths to feed, pets to walk, many things to be done. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness and feel frazzled. I’ve been there, I’m sure I’m not alone.

I came across this blog post at just the right time. It was exactly the words I needed to read to get me through a huge week. This topic is close to my heart and I just had to share it with you!

Rachel StokesRachel Stokes is incredibly passionate about health and wellbeing, particularly preventative health care. Her beautiful blog and Facebook page provides invaluable knowledge about the nutrients our bodies need for vitality. Nutrition is only one aspect of health.  Wellness requires balance in the areas of relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality and having clarity around your life’s purpose.

As a busy, working and studying mother with four children (four!!), I couldn’t think of a better person to help us all out with the pursuit of balance. If anyone can provide insight, valuable practices and simple strategies for us all to create more balance in our lives it is definitely Rachel.

Ten Tips to Help Create Balance in Your Life

Balance-10-self-care-tips-for-the-blog-300x240Juggling a family, career and a social life is a balancing act. There is nothing I love more than being a mum. I also love having a rewarding career and having a social life. However, life can be challenging, it is easy to stop taking care of yourself. You have other people you are responsible for and there are always demands for our attention. In order to be the best mum, friend and wife you can be you have to be healthy, happy, well rested and in balance. I know this is so much easier said than done. I am not here to preach. For years my life had no balance. It took more than a slap in the face with a cold fish to snap me out of it too. That’s a story for another day.  Here are 10 self -care tips you can implement straight away:

  1. Take one day at a time. I read a Buddha saying just today that said: “Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
  2. Spend time with your family and friends. For me this means scheduling activities so that I can maintain healthy relationships. My husband and I have just started scheduling fortnightly date nights. We are literally passing ships and needed to do something to bring the relationship back into balance. We could probably upgrade it to weekly. Fortnightly is a start. I schedule to catch up with my friends regularly, sometimes it is to go for a coffee, other times it’s a swim or a walk or a family BBQ. Consider other areas of your life that you may want to commit some time to. For example, spiritual growth, personal growth, career development and plan them into your weekly schedule.
  3. Increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet and eat healthy foods. I know this sounds ridiculously simple but it’s also ridiculously easy to eat bad foods. They just seem so convenient. You will function better if you eliminate highly processed foods and refined sugars out of your diet. Foods have an amazing ability to support digestion, heal the gut, strengthen immunity, fight infection, reduce inflammation, enhance mood, boost IQ, build muscle and much more. There are a gazillion resources on eating well. Don’t get too overwhelmed with it all. Keep it simple: Increase fresh foods and drink more water to crowd out the junk.
  4. Hire a health or life coach for additional support or find a friend to be your accountability partner. Discuss your goals, your dreams, the vision you have for your future. Let the coach help you to break it down into achievable and doable chunks.
  5. Take breaks. Take short breaks, long breaks, weekend breaks. You must take time to renew and rejuvenate. Today I felt like I was getting nowhere, I was so frustrated with myself. I work mostly from home so I took 5 minutes to go outside feed the chickens and have a jump on the trampoline. The short break allowed me to refocus and start again. When I worked at the hospital, instead of having breaks in the lunch room I would take a stroll outside or sit and have lunch outside in the fresh air.
  6. Breathe frequently. Dr Andrew Weil has a great breathing exercise he calls the 4-7-8 breath. You can do anywhere anytime. Learn how to do it here. Dr Weil recommends practicing twice a day. It’s a tool you will have in your back pocket so to speak. Use it to help you fall asleep, overcome food cravings or whenever you are aware of tension building. I was attending one of Dr Weil’s lectures and he stopped right in the middle of class and taught us this.  At first I thought it was so weird but now I love this technique and use it daily.
  7. Move your body. Exercise energises your body and clears your mind. If you’re not fit, start with a ten minute gentle walk and increase it by two minutes each day. Within twenty days you will be walking half an hour a day.
  8. Don’t compare yourself to others. Full stop.
  9. Spend time with supportive people.
  10. Keep a gratitude journal. Being thankful helps us to focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have. Every time you have a positive thought it literally changes your brain and the hormones that are released in your body. Dr Caroline Leaf is an expert on how thoughts affect our emotions and our bodies and teaches how to break the cycle of toxic thinking. As you think, your thoughts are activated, which in turn activates your attitude. Your attitude is all of your thoughts put together and reflects your state of mind. This attitude is reflected in the chemical secretions that are released. Positive thoughts and gratitude cause the secretion of the correct amounts of chemicals and negative attitudes distort the chemical secretions. This distortion of chemicals, over time, can result in ill health. Gratitude and thankfulness lay the foundation for health and peace. Start by writing down just one thing a day that you are thankful for and each day add to your list. Also start to pay attention to where your mind goes most of the time. Each time your mind strays toward a negative thought replace it with a positive thought. When you practice gratitude your world begins to look brighter.

Visit Rachel Stokes Nutrition and Wellness for more inspiration for balanced living and make sure you check out her delicious recipes!

Which of these tips will you try this week? Which one interests you the most? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.