Integrative health and nutrition coach

Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead.




You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (borderlining obsession) about cholesterol, right?


Before we jump into some myths let's make sure we're on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.


Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol


While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall.  In fact depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart.  Yes, opposite!


So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.  


They're grouped into two main categories:

● HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
● LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

And yes, it's even more complicated than this.  Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.


So “cholesterol” isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.


Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad


Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats.  Not to mention that it's incorporated into the membranes of your cells.


Talk about an important molecule!


The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.


While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.


Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol


Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat.  Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)?  'Cause that's where it's made!


What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces.  After a cholesterol-rich mealyour liver doesn't need to make as much.


Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible


As with almost everything in health and wellness there's a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.


People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.


Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance


Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.


And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.


Guess what does?


Nutrition and exercise, baby!


One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day.  Every day.


Don't worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.


You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats.  That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil.  Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.




The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day.  You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are.  And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.


Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing


Makes about ¾ cup


½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper


Blend all ingredients together until creamy.


Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!


Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.










Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100X More Than What You Weigh.

Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What You Weigh


You totally want to ditch your scale, don't you?


You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.  


I mean, it doesn't define you (obviously).


What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.


Let's look at your waist circumference ( look at yours and I'll look at mine).


Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):


Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.


THAT is what we're talking about here.


Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterialdiseases).


Yup – that apple!


And it's not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.


This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that's where a lot of the problem actually is.  It's this “un-pinchable” fat.  


The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.


And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.


So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.


Am I an apple or a pear?


It's pretty simple to find out if you're in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now.


Women, if your waist is 35”  or 89 cm or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category.  Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.


For men the number is 40” or 102 cm.


Of course this isn't a diagnostic tool.  There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them.


If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.


Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:


● Eat more fiber.  Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
● Add more protein to your day.  Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
● Nix added sugars.  This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
● Move more.  Get some aerobic exercise.  Lift some weights.  Walk and take the stairs.  It all adds up.
● Stress less.  Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
● Get more sleep.  Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

Recipe (High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Serves 4


1 lb brussel sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400F.  


In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.  Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.


Bake for about 15 minutes.  Toss.


Bake for another 10 minutes.


Serve and Enjoy!


Tip:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K.  You may want to eat them more often.





Why is My Metabolism Slow?

Why is My Metabolism Slow?


You may feel tired, cold or that you've gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”.


You may be convinced that your metabolism is slow.


Why does this happen?  Why do metabolic rates slow down?


What can slow my metabolism?


Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).


But don't worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact it's so complicated I'm only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.


Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:

● low thyroid hormone
● your history of dieting
● your size and body composition
● your activity level
● lack of sleep

We'll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.


Low thyroid hormones


Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right.  But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.  Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.


Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested.


Your history of dieting


When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down.  This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food.  


While dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have.  As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.


Tip: Make sure you're eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it.


Your size and body composition


In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates.  This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one.  


However, you already know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism.


Muscles that actively move and do work need energy.  Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat.  This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.  


Tip: Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass.


Which leads us to...


Your activity level


Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you're also getting hotter.


Even little things can add up.  Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.


Tip:  Incorporate movement into your day.  Also, exercise regularly.


Lack of sleep


There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.  The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.


Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  


Recipe (Selenium-rich): Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding


Serves 4


½ cup Brazil nuts

2 cups water

nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth (optional)

½ cup chia seeds

¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon maple syrup


Blend Brazil nuts in water in a high-speed blender until you get smooth, creamy milk.  If desired, strain it with a nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth.


Add Brazil nut milk and other ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.  Let sit several minutes (or overnight) until desired thickness is reached.


Serve & Enjoy!


Tip:  Makes a simple delicious breakfast or dessert topped with berries.





To Coffee or not to Coffee!

Coffee - Who can drink it and who should avoid it?

Coffee is one of those things - you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not (or if it’s just a reason to drink sugar and cream). You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).

Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!

There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It's a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you're used to drinking.

NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But… a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.

Let's look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not.

Caffeine metabolism

Not all people metabolize caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolize caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.

About half of us are “slow” metabolizers of caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel "wired" for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half is "fast" metabolizers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.

This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much - because we’re all different!

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body

NOTE: Most studies look at caffeinated coffee, not decaf.

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body also differ between people; this is partly from the metabolism I mentioned. But it also has to do with your body’s amazing ability to adapt (read: become more tolerant) to long-term caffeine use. Many people who start drinking coffee feel the effects a lot more than people who have coffee every day.

Here’s a list of these effects (that usually decrease with long-term use):
● Stimulates the brain
● Boosts metabolism
● Boosts energy and exercise performance
● Increases your stress hormone cortisol
● Dehydrates

So, while some of these effects are good and some aren’t, you need to see how they affect you and decide if it’s worth it or not.

Coffee and health risks

There are a ton of studies on the health effects of coffee, and whether coffee drinkers are more or less likely to get certain conditions.

Here’s a quick summary of what coffee can lead to:
● Caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms (e.g. a headache, fatigue, irritability)
● Increased sleep disruption
● Lower risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
● Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
● Lower risk of certain liver diseases
● Lower risk of death (“all cause mortality")
● Mixed reviews on whether it lowers risks of cancer and heart disease

Many of the health benefits exist even for decaf coffee (except the caffeine addiction and sleep issues).

NOTE: What’s super-important to note here is that coffee intake is just one of many, many factors that can affect your risks for these diseases. Please never think regular coffee intake is the one thing that can help you overcome these risks. You are health-conscious and know that eating a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all critical things to consider for your disease risk. It’s not just about the coffee.

Should you drink coffee or not?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should drink coffee. No one food or drink will make or break your long-term health.

Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:
● People with arrhythmias (e.g. irregular heartbeat)
● People who often feel anxious
● People who have trouble sleeping
● People who are pregnant
● Children and
● teens.

If none of these apply, then monitor how your body reacts when you have coffee. Does it:
● Give you the jitters?
● Increase anxious feelings?
● Affect your sleep?
● Give you heart palpitations?
● Affect your digestion (e.g. heartburn, etc.)?
● Give you a reason to drink a lot of sugar and cream?

Depending on how your body reacts, decide whether these reactions are worth it to you. If you’re not sure, I recommend eliminating it for a while and see the difference.

Recipe (Latte): Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves 1

3 tbsp coconut milk
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 cup coffee (decaf if preferred)


Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can use tea instead of milk if you prefer.


How to avoid overeating at meals!

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals.

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.

And it's not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

But it doesn't always stop there.

Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (...just sayin').

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.


Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You've heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But don't start there.

(Don't worry, you can have some...just after you've eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They're “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.


Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you're not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
● Slices of lemon & ginger
● Slices of strawberries & orange
● Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
● Chopped pineapple & mango
● Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They're already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.


What is metabolism?

What is Metabolism?

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:
● Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
● Allow activities you can't control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
● Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:
● Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
● Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
● Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.

But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too!

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you're not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don't forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Recipe (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

2 lemons, sliced
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
dash salt & pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Preheat oven to 425F. Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!


Vegetable stock

Have you made a vegetable stock before?

We have soups in our house a couple of times a week.

Soups are a great way way to get nutrients into yourself and a growing family.

Soups can be made using water or stocks and stocks are a fantastic opportunity to boost flavour and nutrients.

How do you choose a stock?

I have in the past used dry stock powders and prepackaged box stocks.

I really like to make my own now-primarily because I know exactly what is in them, and I love using vegetables and bones from my fridge in a thoughtful manner.

A vegetable stock is easy to make, stores well in the fridge and freezer and is varied as what you have on hand in the fridge that day.

So have a look in the fridge and see what’s in there.

Get a large pot and start filling it with goodies....a few chopped carrots, a stick or two of celery, a mushroom and maybe a sliced leek or onion.

Add in a knob of ginger and a bulb of garlic, a bit of turmeric and maybe the good side of a capsicum or courgette.

A lone spud, half a kumera or parsnip or wedge of pumpkin can go in too.

Sprinkle in some sea salt and black pepper, maybe a curl of wakame.
Wander to the garden and grab some parsley, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Fill the pot to the top with water and bring to a simmer, pop the lid on and simmer for 1 hour.

Drain the vegetables and pour the stock into mason jars for the fridge. Once cool you can decant some into bags for the freezer.Use within 3 months if frozen.

I sort through the remains of the vegetables and grab some to mash up for a tasty baby/toddler treat and give anything that is safe to eat to the puppies and the rest goes to the worm farm.

The best part is having a cup of this beautiful stock to drink warm from the is truly delicious.

I have a bag in my fridge for these vegetables and pop the bits in there as the week goes, so when its time, I just grab it out and pop everything in the pot.

I don’t use anything manky , I want good nutrients , not bacteria.

You can also pop that bag in the freezer if you know you won’t have time that week to use them and use it when able.

Getting little ones to eat their vegetables.

How do you get the little ones to eat more vegetables?

For me its about adding in the vegetables, the nutrients, the phytochemicals.
The goodies that help them glow and flourish.

Get the kids to help you in the kitchen.

It is the most exciting thing to be standing next to mum using a child safe knife chopping and grating.

Get them sampling with you as they chop if they will, and they may be surprised at how sweet raw carrot is, how crunchy a red capsicum is and how cute little celery half moons are.

Whisper how this is a big girl/ big boy job and how clever they are to be helping you.

You can just add the vegetables to tea, or hide them if you will, but it’s lovely for them to be more visible, especially if the kids have helped you.

This is why a home made pizza is so perfect!

Make an appropriate pizza base, such as Nadia lims quinoa bases (added protein and nutrients) and pretend you have your very own Dominos in action!

Always a good idea to avoid having kids chopping tear jerkers such as red onions and these are nice precaramalised in a fry pan before they go into the oven.

Then place everything at child reach and ask them to layer the pizza.
Make sure you have some fresh herbs from your garden that the kids have chopped up and have them as the “sprinkles“.
Parsley and marjoram, oregano and basil are flourishing at this time of year.
They add to the nutrients and help strengthen small immune systems.

If you have a juicer , get them to help you juice some yummy juice blends , such as orange and carrot and pop them in mini glasses with a straw and paper umbrella.

My kids were grumbling about having to include tomatoes on the pizza at lunchtime today, but then Millie commented how you couldn’t even see them when everything else was on top and they both agreed with my comment about how you probably couldn’t even taste them, if that was worrying them!
And they didn’t taste them and they loved their pizzas!

Mason jar salads and puddings for busy mums

How many of us mums sit down to a nourishing breakfast every day or a nutritious lunch even?

Most of the times we do eat an evening meal with the family, but many of us are shift workers and even that meal can be taken for granted.
We pack the kids lunchboxes and feed them breakfast, we prep tea and then what do we do?
We grab a takeaway coffee and a kids muesli bar, we grab a muffin at the supermarket or a chocolate bar at the petrol station.
What does it take to feed ourselves properly?

The lack of a nutritious food supply to our bodies and the inclusion of sugar coated inflammatory foods ultimately leads to health problems that we all experience.
Whether it is a lack of energy, alteration in mood and weight, an inability to cope with stress or more seriously diabetes, hypertension and heart problems , these are problems that can be avoided or improved with good nutrition.

But why do we do this to ourselves?

TIME would have to be the first thing that comes to mind.By the time we have done everything for everyone else we are exhausted. Its just easier to grab and go on our way to yet another event in our days.

SPACE would be another one, I often do not have room in the fridge for another lunchbox for myself.

Because we do this day after day, we can find women especially are achieving less than optimum fibre and essential fatty acids intakes, which has a huge effect on our moods, hormones and gut health.

What about the psychological impact that this can have on us, are we saying to ourselves that we are really not important enough for a decent meal?

Or are we saying we are just so adept at balancing life that we are ok with the quick snack, So superwoman like that we don’t need good food?

I think we need to stop being so busy and make time for ourselves in one million ways.
I believe that we are so important to our children and partners and ourselves that we deserve the simple act of eating well at every meal.
Lets start with eating well ladies and we will get to save the world another day.

I cook once and eat twice or often three times in my busy week.
On the weekend I make up extra food when I am cooking.
It takes little extra effort to double the amount of roast vegetables, rice and quinoa , to hard boil extra eggs and have an extra chicken breast steamed and ready to go.

Then on a Sunday night I meal prep 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches for myself as I am doing the kids lunches.
Everything is out on the bench and easy to assemble.
I repeat this again Wednesday for the rest of the week, honestly it takes about 20 mins and is a HUGE blessing to have delicious meals ready to go.

I love chia puddings and overnight oats for breakfast, they are easy as pie to assemble and I can change the ingredients to include seasonal choices.
These beauties are low in sugar and contain good fats and fibre to keep me full for longer.
For lunches I love Jar Salads-don’t get me started on the joys of using jars for meals.
They are compact enough to fit in the door of the fridge and take up very little room.The glass is recyclable and toxin free and they are portable, just shake on a plate and enjoy.

Lunches always include a full complement of macronutrients to ensure I get the best out of my day, FATS, PROTEINS and complex CARBS such as kumera, pumpkin and grains.

I place a dressing in the bottom of the jar with a hard vegetable such as corn or chopped capsicum,then layer my choices, spiralizer carrots and zucchini, beetroot, tomatoes,proteins, nuts and a leafy vegetable on top.
A sprinkle of seeds adds some beautiful micronutrients.
Its really important to use a dressing you love and I like to use extra virgin olive oil as the fats supplied keep me feeling full longer.
How about you try some jar breakfasts and lunches this week and let me know how you find fueling yourself beautifully impacts on your day!
Here are some salad dressings to try..

Honey Mustard Dressing

2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 T honey
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake well, add 2-3 Tablespoons to each jar salad.

Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing

3 tsp Tahini
1/2 a lemon squeezed
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
Again shake and enjoy.
Jar Salads are individual and you are limited only by your imagination, I like to try and make a beautiful coloured salad including herbs from the garden, brightly coloured hummus and as many nuts and seeds as I can jam into the jar. But if you need a guide try this...


Layer in this order-
Chopped capsicum or corn
finely chopped cabbage-use a variety of colors
a small grated or spiralised carrot or zucchini
Cooked rice or quinoa
Roasted vegetables
Beans or lentils or shredded chicken
A small handful of mixed leaves
A T of herbs such as basil, mint and parsley
1 T of nuts and seeds, roasted if desired
Hummus or hard boiled eggs to top

Overnight Chia puddings

3/4 cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup of chia seeds
2 tsp of vanilla
2 T of maple syrup
400mls of milk of choice
1/2 a cup of fruit

Place all the ingredients in a NutriBullet and blend until smooth.
You can also just stir the first 5 ingredients then add the chopped fruit .
Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then spoon into a separate bowl and garnish to serve.
I love an extra blob of yoghurt, fruit, and nuts with a small drizzle of honey or granola.I always use Nadia Lims raspberry chia jam in my puddings for that little bit of delight.If I have the jam made up for the week then I omit the maple syrup in the pudding as the jam makes it sweet enough and sometimes I will omit the maple syrup anyway and pour it on the top.
This amount should do 3 serves.
I often will make these into little jars ready to grab and go or a big jar and decant each day, it depends on my week.
Good eating beauties!

Busy days

So I had a busy day today. Glorious in the sunshine, happy as with the family, very grateful for my husband who helped me divide and conquer the kids and venues we had to be at. Ballet, a client appointment and a birthday party to attend.

I really enjoyed my client appointment. We multitasked as all girls do, but with a sense of calm and purpose rather than pressure and stress. We roasted vegetables for lunch and while they cooked we juiced and made a smoothie. There was time to make a lovely slaw and we were able to sit down and discuss the finer points of our session while we ate.

Kate now has a selection of meals to last her a few days and some can be frozen for when she is having a frenetic moment. These meals are much kinder on her body than takeaways. By having loads of vegetables she is crowding out foods that may not be the best choices and she is nourishing her body with beautiful phytonutrients, fibre and hydration.
I think Kate pushed her boundaries trying a raw snack that I provided, while not a date fan Kate almost gulped before trying my caramel snack bite...but apparently it convinced a sceptic, and I just had a hangry teen down one and return for seconds.

Caramel snack bites
3 medjool dates
3 tsp nut butter
50 grams chocolate
Remove the pip from each date by slicing a line from top to bottom, keeping as much intact as possible. 
Fill with 1 tsp of nut butter each, gently squish the date closed
Dip in chocolate
Place in fridge to set 
I am very proud of Kate, she is juggling so much, managing a busy family, a very heavy work load and she has just made a commitment  to her health and her future with these coaching sessions. Kate is so worthy of that commitment!!

Remember for a chocolate treat choose dark chocolate for its lower sugar content.

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