Recipe of the Week: Christmas Oat and Berry Cake

Hello everyone,

Christmas is only around the corner, It is the time to plan some healthy christmas baking treats to share with the family. This lovely cake is packed full of nutrients and is refined-sugar free and gluten-free! The oats and almond meal add fibre to the dish, while the delicious mix of fruits add a mixed of sweetness, and the seeds provide protein and essential minerals, along with adding texture to the cake. This is sure to be a favourite at your Christmas/Holiday Gathering!!! See Below for Recipe!!

 

CHRISTMAS OAT AND BERRY CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Steel Cut Rolled Oats

1 1/2 Cups of Almond Meal

2 tbps Baking Powder/Soda

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 tbsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp Nutmeg

1 Cup of Rice Malt Syrup (You may choose to use Honey, Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup)

1/2 Cup of Grated Carrot

3 x Organic free-range eggs

1 Cup of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (You may choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

TOPPINGS:

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Blueberries, washed

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Raspberries, washed

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Strawberries, washed

1/4 Cup of Pumpkin seeds (pepita seeds)

1/4 Cup of Chia Seeds

1/4 Cup Almonds

METHOD:

Step 1: Pre-Heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and lightly grease a round or square cake pan.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients together and stir until combined.

Step 3: Pour mixture into the greased cake tin and level out smooth with a spoon.

Step 4: Sprinkle Berries, seeds and nuts over the top of the batter and press down gently so they are half covered in batter.

Step 5: Place in oven and cook for approx. 30-40 minutes until lightly brown onto and when a skewer is placed in the middle comes out clean.

Step 6: Allow to cool and enjoy with your favourite custard, ice-cream, cream or simply on its own!! Since it’s christmas you may even like to serve with brandy custard!!

Notes

Gluten-Free: If you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, make sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are often processed in a plant that also handles gluten. To be on the safe side, purchase gluten-free rolled oats for peace of mind.

Vegan: Make this baked oatmeal recipe vegan by swapping the eggs for alternatives such as pureed apple, mashed banana, avocado or chia eggs.

We hope your’ve enjoyed this week’s recipe and look forward to seeing your creations. You can add pictures of your cooking from our recipes on our Facebook page ‘Nutritionnourishment’ or tag on instagram ‘gypsy_warrior’ and hashtag #nutritionnourishment

As always our Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

 

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Christmas Survival Guide: 10 Jolly Good Tips to Staying Sane.

Hello Everyone,

While Christmas can be an exciting time, it can also be a big cause of stress for many of us with financial difficulties, gift-buying pressures and not to mention gained weight. To take the stress out of the festive season and enjoy a happier, chilled christmas, nutrition nourishment is providing the essential ‘Christmas Survival Guide: 10 Jolly Good Tips to Staying Sane’.  Read below to ensure your holidays are filled with festive joy!

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JOLLY TIP #1: Financial difficulties

There’s no denying it; Christmas can certainly wreak havoc on our finances, with gifts to buy, nights out to attend, and food and drink to stock up on, (not to mention all the bills arriving). However, it is important not to let financial pressures ruin your Christmas. Before you start making your festive purchases, try to write a list of everything you need to buy and set a realistic budget for each item. If you find that your list is going to blow your Christmas budget, try to find some ways to cut back on gifts, such as by making homemade presents, looking for bargains online, or organising a Secret Santa for friends or siblings, rather than buying for each individual.

JOLLY TIP #2:Family tensions

If the time spent with your extended family over Christmas always results in arguments, tears or tension-fuelled frosty silences, this can lead you to approach Christmas with a sense of apprehension or dread. To help cut out stress this Christmas, try to prepare yourself and have realistic expectations of your family. Accept that they are not perfect and that they will probably say things that you don’t like, but make a decision to try not to let it spoil your day. To help keep the peace, try your best to steer clear of risky conversation topics – and alcohol – which may provoke rows, and keep everyone occupied with fun sports or games after your meal. If you feel your stress levels rising, try to take a few moments to yourself and take some deep breaths to help you RELAX!!

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JOLLY TIP #3: Pace Yourself

Are you guilty of telling yourself “This year I will not put on weight” or “I’ll worry about it in the new year”? every year at christmas time, only to fail?

So what’s the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it’s just a kilogram or so? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Australians never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The kilos add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

But you don’t have to fall into this trap. It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single kilogram. Portion control is the key. You can still enjoy there sweet indulgences that you enjoy, just remember to have small amounts. The easiest way to be able to enjoy yourself with food is to PACE yourself. Christmas meals are meant to be a social gathering. Take the time to enjoy family and friends and socialise, while enjoying every mouthful of your food. Listen to your body cues, It will signal when it has had enough. Drink plenty of water and laugh. Another tip is to put your fork down between every bite and savour the food in your mouth before taking another. ENJOY YOUR FOOD!!!

JOLLY TIP #4: Social obligations

While christmas time is meant to be social, gathered by friends and family, alot of us find that the festive period is met with an overwhelming amount of demands on our time. There are work parties to attend, friends to meet up with, and the question of who to see on Christmas day. To minimize your risk of double booking yourself over this busy period, try to keep a diary or calendar displaying all your planned events so far. You could also try combining events and mixing groups of friends, if you think they will get along. Also, remember that not all your events need to be squeezed into the lead-up to Christmas. Make full use of December by scheduling some events before and after the big day. Have Fun, Laugh, Commit to Enjoying the Holidays.Give in a Way that Gives you Joy instead of out of Obligation.

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JOLLY TIP #5: Be Alcohol Smart

Alcohol contains empty kilojoules that aren’t utilised in the body for biological functions such as muscle/cell building, energy or metabolism. Instead it hangs around in your blood, until the liver breaks it down, causing dehydration, and interfering with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. Not to mention many of the popular alcoholic beverages for the holiday season are full of kilojoules leading to added fat cells in the body. Be smart with your alcohol choices, and never drink in excessive.

JOLLY TIP #6: Exercise

The holiday season can be busy and exhausting. Sometimes it just seems like you don’t have the time or the energy to exercise. Ironically, one of the ways to fix flagging energy is by exercising. Don’t skip on your regular exercise routine no matter how busy you are. Even if you only have 30 minutes, take those 30 minutes and get active. Walk around your neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. Use the opportunity of enjoying time with your family by playing cricket together out the backyard, riding bikes together, going swimming together. Make it fun! Christmas isn’t just about eating together, it is about spending time with company. Make it active.

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JOLLY TIP #7: Allow mess

Check your perfectionism at the door. Are you a working woman who is comparing her baking and tree-trimming efforts with those of someone who doesn’t have a full-time job—or with the way your stay-at-home mother handled the holidays? Are you envisioning your Christmas party right out of a movie? We put so much of this pressure on ourselves!
Christmas is a children’s holiday as well, don’t get too stressed about the place being a mess for a day or half a day. Children are messy and want to play NOW and don’t care about clearing up, allow them to be a bit messy for a day then kick butt on Boxing Day. (Or in the New Year).

JOLLY TIP #8: Breathe and Be Happy 

Stay Present ‘Be in the Moment’, Enjoy the company, the food and the gifts. The more you are in the moment with awareness, the less you are caught up in the mind and all the things you still have to do or haven’t done yet. Be aware of your breathing. If it becomes short and shallow, you know you are getting anxious. Stop what you are doing and take a breathing break. You will enjoy the time much more.Take Breathing Breaks. Whenever you get a chance, take breathing breaks….not only when you feel yourself getting anxious. Make the time for them, even if it is only 5 minutes at a time, it will re-invigorate you. You can do it anywhere, just find a quiet spot. It will get you back into the present and out of your head and will help you let go of worries and tension. Be Thankful. It is always good to put things in perspective and realize how lucky you are that your basic needs are being met and that you are actually able to celebrate the way you can. Add up all the things that you are grateful for, for instance, family, friends, loved ones, the fact that you can celebrate etc….it will put you in a good mood.

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JOLLY TIP #9: Get Good Sleep 

Holiday celebrations can often disrupt regular sleep patterns. Try to get to sleep at the same time every night. Avoid heavy foods, sugary sweets and alcohol before bedtime as these can disturb your sleep. Try to relax before bedtime. Use this time when the kids are in bed to relax with your partner, enjoy a cup of herbal tea, soak in a bath, watch a movie or read a favourite book. What makes you happy and relax? Do not forget about your own health and sanity.

JOLLY TIP #10: Remember to stop and smell the Holly.

There can be moments of complete joy that seem to make time stop. Often these are unplanned and unexpected. It could be a warm, sticky chocolately hand slipping into yours at the dinner table as your niece sidles up to give you some love. It could be the fact that while you have been beavering away in the kitchen that someone has left you a heart shaped message on the frost on your car windscreen. It could be just waking up and feeling the warmth of the sun through the curtains on a new day. These moments are easily missed but when we give them our full attention and take the time to notice them and savour them, Christmas comes alive.

Christmas time can come along with heap loads of expectations, from what presents we will give and receive, to how many times we have asked for help in the kitchen. Letting go of expectations and simplifying life creates ease and space in which to pause and enjoy moments of  togetherness when they arise, which, after all, is the true message of Christmas.

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May your mince pies be tasty, your Christmas cake fruity and your heart full of Love.

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

 

 

Recipe of the Week: Gluten- Free Vegetable Breakfast Muffins

Hello Everyone,

Theres been a lot of requests lately for some new recipes, particularly vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can provide a multitude of health benefits if it’s planned correctly to include a variety of proteins rich foods, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. There will be more vegetarian recipes added to the ‘recipe’ page which can be found at the top of the website, along with a post each week incorporating ‘protein combining’ to ensure your vegetarian meals are balanced, healthy and hearty.

This week, Nutritionnourishment is sharing an old favourite recipe for gluten-free breakfast muffins that are packed full of nutrients. This recipe is truly versatile; be creative and change up the spices and use vegetables that are already in your kitchen. Each time I make these muffins they are different. I love to change the ingredients using organic vegetables such as asparagus, spring onions, kale, chard, pumpkin, and adding different cheeses like feta and diced halloumi!

These muffins provide a quick and easy breakfast option that can be eaten on the way to work, or heated up when you arrive to enjoy with your cup of tea or organic coffee. They can be frozen for later use of sealed in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 days!

Remember to be creative!! Below are some pictures of different variations of the recipe I have made in the past!! Enjoy!!

 

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETABLE BREAKFAST MUFFINS- Makes 12
Packed with vegetables for added nutrition, makes these breakfast muffins a quick, easy on-the-go breakfast that will ensure a healthy start to your day!
Ingredients:
2 Cups organic Almond Flour/meal
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/2 Cup coarsely grated carrot
1/2 Cup coarsely grated sweet potato
1/2 Cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 Cup diced capsicum
1/2 Cup diced tomato
1 Cup spinach
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup Almond milk
2 free-range organic eggs
1/3 Cup Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Optional Spices: basil, chilli, garlic, parsley play around to develop a taste you like. Vegetables on this list are all optional- use what you have in your fridge.

Method:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line muffin tray with twelve paper cases.
Step 2: Sift Almond Flour/Meal with baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add carrot, sweet potato, zucchini, capsicum, tomato, spinach and cheese. Mix well until combined.
Step 3: In a separate, smaller mixing bowl whisk eggs, milk and oil together and add wet mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until combined well.
Step 4: Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared pans and sprinkle with cheese or spices for taste. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden.
* These muffins can be frozen for later use and will remain fresh in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

We hope your’ve enjoyed this week’s recipe and look forward to seeing your creations. You can add pictures of your cooking from our recipes on our Facebook page ‘Nutritionnourishment’ or tag on instagram ‘gypsy_warrior’ and hashtag #nutritionnourishment

As Always Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

 

Top 10 Tips to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog post, Nutritionnourishment will be taking a look into the Top 10 Ways to manage Type 2 Diabetes in a simple factsheet style. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects 85 to 90 per cent of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects mature adults, younger people are also now being diagnosed in greater numbers, as rates of obesity and people being overweight increase. Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or mature onset diabetes.

NOTE*** Management of diabetes should become part of your daily routine with the guidance of a medical practitioner. The below items are only a guidance and should not be used to replace any of your management prescriptions given to you by your GP. Always consult medical advice before taking on any new lifestyle changes. 

Top Tip #1: Manage your Weight

Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin.

Top Tip #2: Exercise Regularly

Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.

Top Tip #3: Eat a Balanced, Healthy Diet

Reduce the amount of fats, salts and sugars in your diet. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high fibre foods. ‘Convenience meal’ are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It is best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Top Tip #4: Watch for foot pain and numbness

Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage the nerves throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling or pain in the extremities. Diabetic neuropathy usually starts in the feet and then progresses upward. Although most common in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 25 years or more, it can occur in people who have pre-diabetes as well. In Some studies, almost 50 per cent of unexplained peripheral neuropathy turns out to be caused by pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Top Tip #5: Limit your Alcohol Intake

Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks per day and women should have no more than one.

Top Tip #6: Quit Smoking

Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.

Top Tip #7: Control your blood pressure

Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.

Top Tip #8: Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.

Top Tip #9: Keep an eye on your Vision.

The lens of the eye is a flexible membrane suspended by muscles, which change the shape of the lens to focus the eye. In a high-sugar environment such as uncontrolled types 2 diabetes, the lens ability to bend is altered. Although the lens is not damaged, the muscles of the eye have to work harder to focus. Blurred vision occurs when there are rapid changes in the blood sugar and the eye muscles have not yet adapted to it. Blurred vision is one of the early warning sign of type 2 diabetes, however, the body can adapt to stable sugar level, and your vision will go back to normal.

Top Tip #10: See you doctor for regular check-ups

As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels

For more information regarding Diabetes, please click on the links below. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to chronic conditions that need to be addressed and regulated.

https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

http://www.aihw.gov.au/what-is-diabetes/

http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/hormones-metabolism-and-nutritional-problems/diabetes-type-2

http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes#1

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

MACRONUTRIENT SERIES: FATS PART 2

From a nutritional point of view, Essential Fatty Acids, EFA’s, are important for several health related aspects and for optimal functioning of the human body. EFA’s are not just a source of energy; The fats you eat give your body energy that it needs to work properly. During exercise, your body uses calories from carbohydrates you have eaten. But after 20 minutes, exercise then depends on calories from fat to keep you going. EFA’s also function as structural building blocks of the body, carry fat-soluble vitamins. You also need fat to keep your skin and hair healthy. Fat also helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, the so-called fat-soluble vitamins. The involvement in vital physiological processes in the body is a key component to EFA’s, as they fill your fat cells and insulate your body to help keep you warm. This is highly important to babies and infants as their bodies haven’t developed thermoregulation of the body; this won’t happen until early childhood.

The fats your body gets from your food give your body essential fatty acids called linoleic and linolenic acid. They are called “essential” because your body cannot make them itself, or work without them. Your body needs them for brain development, controlling inflammation, and blood clotting. Making them indispensable for a number of important biological functions including growth and development. The importance of dietary fats is explained in more detail below.

Why are Dietary Fat so Essential to the Human Body?

Fat has 38kj per gram, more than 2 times the number of kjs in carbohydrates and protein, which each have 17kj per gram. All fats are made up of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Nutrition nourishment has explained these different types of fatty acids that are a part of the diet. If you are interesting in finding out more about these types of fats, please view our Part 1 series on Macronutrients: Dietary Fats blog.

Structural component
The membranes around the cells in our body physically separate the inside from the outside of the cell, and control the movement of substances in and out of the cells. They are mainly made of phospholipids, triglycerides and cholesterol.  Both length and saturation of the fatty acids from phospholipids and triglycerides affect the arrangement of the membrane and thereby its fluidity. Shorter chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids are less stiff and less viscous, making the membranes more flexible. This influences a range of important biological functions such as the process of endocytosis in which a cell wraps itself around a particle to allow its uptake.

The brain is very rich in fat (60%) and has a unique fatty acid composition; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the major brain fatty acid. The lipids of the retina also contain very high concentrations of DHA.

Carrier of vitamins
In the diet, fat is a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and supports their absorption in the intestine. Consuming sufficient amounts of fatty foods that contain these vitamins is thus essential for adequate intake of these micronutrients.

Provision of energy
EFA’s are a source of energy in the human diet, Fat has 38kj per gram, more than 2 times the number of kjs in carbohydrates and protein, all which form the three macronutrients of the body, which each have 17kj per gram respectfully. Fat can be stored in the body’s fat tissue, which releases fatty acids when energy is required

Other biological functions
Our bodies cannot produce the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) linoleic acid (LA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Without these essential fatty acids some vital functions would be compromised, thus they must be provided by the diet. LA and ALA can be converted to longer chain fatty acids and compounds with hormone-like or inflammatory properties (such as prostaglandins or leukotrienes, respectively). As such, essential fatty acids are involved in many physiological processes such as blood clotting, wound healing and inflammation. Although the body is able to convert LA and ALA into the long chain versions arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and, to a lesser extent, to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), this conversion seems limited. The longer chain fatty acids EPA and DHA are said to be “conditionally essential” and it is recommended to consume direct sources of these particular long chain fatty acids. The richest source of EPA and DHA is oily fish, including anchovy, salmon, tuna and mackerel.

 An in-depth look into Cholesterol. 

Cholesterol has a bad name. It has been linked to risk of heart disease, cancers, types 2 diabetes and obesity. As this may be truth, it is grossly …… Cholesterol is an important compound in the body. See below for the roles that cholesterol play in the human body to improve your understanding.
All animal cells contain cholesterol, a lipid that plays a role in the membrane’s fluidity and permeability. Cholesterol is also a precursor of vitamin D, adrenal and sex steroid hormones, and bile salts that emulsify and enhance absorption of fats in the intestine. The main dietary sources of cholesterol are cheese, eggs, beef, pork, poultry and (shell) fish.

Dietary cholesterol helps to maintain a stable pool of cholesterol, but cholesterol is also synthesised by the liver. The human body regulates its cholesterol status. When the cholesterol intake is very low (as in vegans who consume no animal products), both gut absorption and synthesis increase. When cholesterol intake is high, the body’s synthesis is suppressed and excretion via bile salts is increased. The amount of cholesterol, which passes daily through the small intestine, which is the sum of dietary cholesterol and produced cholesterol, is between 1 and 2 g.  The blood cholesterol level is the net result of the absorption in the gut and the synthesis in the liver, minus the excretion via the faeces (as cholesterol, bile salts and products resulting from bacterial transformation) and the use of cholesterol by cells.Cholesterol in the blood is carried by lipoproteins: LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein).
Importantly, for most people, eating foods that contain cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol level, as recent research has noted. However, a small number of people (15-25% of the population) may be ‘hyper-responders’ to dietary cholesterol, and are advised to limit their cholesterol intake.

Did you know??

Your liver contributes to most of the cholesterol in your body? Around 75-80% in fact. With your liver producing 2,000-3,000mg of cholesterol each day!

We hope you enjoyed the SECOND PART of the Fats- Macronutrients Series, and have developed a greater understanding of how Essential Fatty Acids contribute to a range of biological needs in the body. If you would like to read more about fats in the diet, clink the links below!

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids

https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/fats-total-fat-fatty-acids

http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/fattyacids.html

https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/undernutrition/essential-fatty-acid-deficiency

Stay tuned for our final Part Three of Fats- Macronutrients series, where nutrition nourishment will explore in detail the Polyunsaturated Fats including Omega 3 & 6, DHA and EPA, known as the ‘Fish Oils’,  how they relate to good health and signs of a deficiency.

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment