Late-Night Snacking: Why you do it, and how to prevent it

Hello Everyone.

One of the most frustrating cycles many of my clients describe is the need to snack. They will be super disciplined during the day, and then everything falls apart after dark. Which, of course, will generally stall progress for those who are holding on to excess weight.

Believe it or not, there are very simple reasons this is happening – and it’s not a matter of willpower! In my nutritional opinion, nighttime is for rest. It is not a time to burden our bodies with too much food and to strain our digestive systems. We spend a good part of the day eating, and now our body simply wants to sleep. With these tips, you can make rest and repair the priority.

1. You’re not eating enough protein.
Are you getting enough protein? If you’re snacking at night then perhaps not, especially not at dinner. This macronutrient keeps us full and satisfied. Interestingly, protein also contains chemicals, like tryptophan, that help you fall asleep. Fill up on protein at dinner and you’ll not only have less of an urge to snack later, you’ll also be ready for bed at a decent hour.

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2. You’re stressed out.
A stressed mind and body will often turn to food. If you’re under a lot of stress, you may find you get a second wind in the evening – this may also tell your body that you want food. My tip? Really listen to what your body wants. Stop and put your legs up against the wall for ten minutes. It will relax your nervous system and help prepare you for sleep. Enjoy an early night!
3. Your blood sugar is imbalanced.
Ensure you’re eating not only enough protein but also good fats at each meal instead of a purely carbohydrate-based meal. Sugar and refined carbs (like white bread and pasta) will cause your blood sugar to crash. I recommend a generally low carb/low sugar diet, but gluten-free, complex carbs like sweet potato, brown rice and quinoa are great staples.

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4. You’re drinking coffee in the afternoon.
Not only will the caffeine impact your ability to fall asleep later, it will also have a direct impact on your blood sugar level – which, often leads to those nighttime cravings. Try to cut caffeine by 12pm.
5. You’re caving to the afternoon sweet tooth.
On my clinic days, the people who had a sugary treat at 3 or 4pm tended to crave sugar after dinner too. Instead, enjoy a protein rich snack in the afternoon – nuts, seeds, protein shake or some Greek yoghurt with cinnamon (and stevia, if you like). It’s surprisingly decadent and you won’t miss the sugar!
6. You’re consuming alcohol regularly.
Substances like liquor, wine and beer will affect your sleeping patterns – and will also make you likely to snack more, especially late at night when your more susceptible to eat mindlessly. I know I always crave more sugar after a night of drinking! Keep drinking to special occasions, try to have at least 3 or 4 alcohol free nights a week and when drinking stick to 1-2 drinks!

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7. You’re glued to your phone after dinner.
It’s best to avoid computer screens and phones in the evening as much as possible. The screen time impacts the hormones needed to help us sleep. If you need to be on a screen after 8am, you can download a blue-light filter that will help minimise the hormonal upset. However, it is best to ensure your environment prepares you for sleep, then you won’t be wide awake at 10pm and wanting that late night snack! Going to bed early is what your body is truly craving. Try to best in bed before 10pm and off all screens before 8pm!

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan-Nutrition Nourishment

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Fermented Foods and Gut Health: Homemade Kefir.

Hello Everyone,

 Why fermented foods and drinks?

We have over 100 trillion microbes present in our gut, and on our skin. These microbes are essential for: – keeping harmful organisms in check.

Benefits of Fermented foods/drinks:

  • Aiding in digestion and absorption of our food
  • Generating certain vitamins. E.g. some B vitamins, vit K, folate and some short chain fatty acids
  • Immune function
  • Liver function
  • Hormone balance
  • Detoxification pathways
  • Improving resistance to allergies
  • Optimising neurotransmitter function and improving mental health, improving learning and focus, and memory
  • Weight loss

Our gut is home to microscopic life forms called microbes. These are things like bacteria, yeasts, viruses, worms, germs and fungi. Enzymes catalyse and mediate various chemical processes that are necessary to keep organisms alive. A healthy adult contains more bacterial cells in their gut, than human cells in their entire body; though we are seeing an increasingly large number of people becoming sick in our society, and many of these cases could be in relation to the decreased number of beneficial bacteria in their guts.

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  • Reasons for decreased bacteria: Our mothers may not have been breast fed
  • OCP decreases beneficial bacteria in the gut
  • Antibiotic use
  • Chronic intake of poor diet; sugar, processed foods, trans fats
  • Non-vaginal birth
  • Stress

Interesting points.

  1. Good bacteria in your gut controls 500 (known to science) pathogenic and opportunistic microbes
  2. Clinical signs of gut dysbiosis are present in almost 100% percent of mothers with children that have neurological/psychiatric disorders
  3. Babies were thought to be born with a sterile gut; though evidence now shows this not to be true. However, within the first 20 days of life, their gut is populated greatly with a combination of microbes and bacteria. This first 20 days has a huge effect on the rest of the child’s life
  4. When the microbial world in your gut is imbalanced, you cannot digest and absorb food properly (BIG point), this means that chronic imbalance leads to MANY more health issues down the track
  5. Coeliac and schizophrenic patients have similar digestive tract states; these are health problems that start from an early age
  6. Synthesis of nutrients needed for healthy brain development and immune function in a child are impaired with unhealthy gut microbial balance (possible link to ADHD/Autism etc)
  7. Through the hypothalamus in the brain; gut-brain relations are connected within physiological processes such as satiety, food intake, regulation of glucose and fat metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, and bone metabolism

Antibiotics and Gut Health

Antibiotic use is a major cause of microbial imbalance; even one course of antibiotics 5 years ago could be causing your imbalance today.

Signs and symptoms of an in balanced gut microbial: bloating, gas, diarrhoea, cramping, mood/ behavioural issues, skin problems, sleep issues, sugar cravings, weight management. Children born via C-section are also more likely to suffer from gut imbalance, as they don’t take in the microbia present in the mother’s vagina at birth.  70% of the immune system is found in the gut, and around 95% of our serotonin (our happy hormone) is made in the gut!!!!!! As you can see what is happening in our gut is VERY IMPORTANT!!

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Let’s Make Fermented Food and Drinks

What is it that’s so special about fermented vegetables and foods? Fermentation simply refers to an ancient technique and perseveration method that naturally alters the chemistry of foods. Similar to cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut’s fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics that are now linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function.

People have been using fermentation to preserve valuable vegetables and other perishable foods for long periods without the use of modern-day refrigerators, freezers or canning machines. Fermentation is the metabolic process of converting carbohydrates, like sugars, into either alcohols and carbon dioxide, or organic acids. It requires the presence of a carbohydrate source (like milk or vegetables, which contain sugar molecules) plus yeast, bacteria or both. The yeast and bacteria microorganisms are responsible for converting glucose (sugar) into healthy bacteria strains that populate your gut environment and help regulate many bodily functions.

Water Kefir

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Water kefir is a mixture of beneficial bacteria and yeast. There can be over 15 different species in each batch, although all batches will be different.

The bacteria and yeast utilize sugar to produce lactic acid, ethanol (small amount) and carbon dioxide, where the fizz comes from.

It’s not totally clear where they originated, but there is evidence they may have come from Mexico. The cultures form on the pads of a cactus plant as hard granules and can be reconstituted in a sugar and water solution.

Water Kefir is great for anyone who cannot tolerate dairy.

Recipe

Ingredients:

Large glass Jar

Paper towel and rubber band

Organic raw sugar ( 1 tablespoon of sugar: 1 tablespoon of grains)

Filtered water.

2L water ( the amount of water will depend on the size of your jar)

Water kefir grains.

Method:

  1. Add sugar to filtered water and dissolve.
  2. Add grains to solution
  3. Cover the top of jar with paper towel and rubber band (this is to keep the insects out and let the carbon dioxide escape. In warm weather the jar can explode if a lid is put on instead of paper towel.)
  4. Let this ferment for 48 hrs.
  5. Strain the liquid through a plastic strainer.
  6. To second ferment add fresh fruit of your choice to the strained liquid and leave to ferment for another 24 hrs. This second fermentation stage you can use a glass jar with a proper lid.
  7. Repeat the process above, and always ensure your grains are in fresh sugar water.
  8. Grains will multiply if looked after correctly. Your grains may even double in amount quickly in the warm weather. You can start a new batch or give them away.
  9. Grains tend to be small in the warm months, and large in the cooler months.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

Quick Reads: Heal your broken relationship with food

Hello Everyone.

The whole point of healing a broken relationship with food or your body is uncovering WHY you have ended up with this battle with your body in the first place. It’s never about the food – there is always an underlying emotional/behavioural cause.

 

Usually it’s because you have fallen out of love with yourself.

 

Sometimes it’s because you have become disconnected to your own beautiful body.

 

Or maybe because you don’t feel worthy. You don’t feel good enough. This usually results in making poor health choices for your body – because you simply don’t feel worthy of feeling your best.

 

When you have developed a complicated relationship with food and weight – its usually because you feel you are fat, ugly and unlovable. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Good news is – you can change that.

 

This is usually what causes a complex relationship with food initially:

 

  • Control – desire to control situations/environments that perhaps feel out of control – lack of trust in life.
  • Self-punishment/torture – as a result of self-hatred and self-doubt. Bingeing is a good example of this.
  • Distraction of painful feelings – being obsessed with food and weight becomes a great distraction of feelings that may be overwhelming you.
  • Not feeling good enough/worthy – feeling like you have to be ‘a good girl/boy’ to be loved and appreciated.
  • Perfectionism – if you ‘look perfect’ you will be more lovable and feel happier in life. Perhaps it will also make you more popular?
  • Competitive nature – typical ‘A’ type personalities – everything needs to be in control and perfectly perfect, at all times. I totally admit to being like this.
  • Need for attention/love – feeling ‘lonely in the world’. I felt this for many years as a teenager.
  • Familial – often disordered eating can trickle down from family members who have also suffered from disordered eating or family members who comment/criticise eating habits at home. This was certainly the case for me.
  • Societal pressure – seeing skinny models on our social media feeds fuels the pressure to be skinny in order to be loved/appreciated/accepted.
  • If you are at the point of depriving/starving yourself with food – emotionally, it is because you may be denying yourself the ability to enjoy life because you don’t feel worthy of it. You are so worthy, my love. You are worthy of the most beautiful and abundant life. I also didn’t feel worthy (not so long ago). I get you. I get your pain. But I promise you, you are precious. The world needs you and more of you.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan-Nutrition Nourishment

Quick Reads: How to stop stress eating

Hello Everyone,

The next time you sit down to eat a meal, do one thing for yourself: come into your body and become aware of how you’re feeling. Are you feeling stressed or relaxed? Are you holding on? Is your stomach starting to clench? Are you feeling scattered/anxious? Is your heart racing? Or perhaps you feel calm and present?

You may be excited about your food or you may start to feel guilty about what you are about to eat.

These are some of the emotions I used to feel every time I sat down to a plate of food – not the calm and present part above.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this — here’s my advice:

My advice:

  • Next time you sit down to a meal – take 3 long deep breathes and relax your entire body.
  • Try your best to remove all judgment about what you are about to eat – instead focus on slowly enjoying each mouthful. Judgment around food causes stress which makes it actually harder to digest that food. Remember that 80% of the time your goal is to eat nourishing wholefoods and then there will be 20% of imperfect eating – that’s balance. So enjoy each meal – whether good or bad.
  • Pay attention and ENJOY – eating is such a pleasurable experience. Enjoy it, Don’t rush it! Listen to your body and eat what your body needs. When you start to become a conscious eater you learn the art of moderation – you become aware of when you are full. This is the healthiest way to eat.
  • Commit to making each meal pleasurable. Make sure to be sitting in a peaceful environment (away from phone/computers/tv) to do this. Being on social media while you eating leaves you feel unsatisfied.
  • Pay attention to your food and how you feel after eating it – this is the best guide to knowing which foods make you feel good. When you start to be present with food – you start to taste it and enjoy is more which will make you feel much more satiated after eating which decreases stress eating.
  • Remember, food is not going anywhere. You can have some more later or tomorrow. This helped from overeating or stress eating.
  • Remove the pressure to do it all perfectly. Commit to eating well because it makes you feel GOOD. Then allow there to be some room for indulgence with moderation.

 

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan-Nutrition Nourishment

Recipe of The Week: Grain-Free Savoury Vegetable Muffins

Hello Everyone,

A delicious grain-free savoury muffins are full of vegetables, healing herbs, and nutrients to soothe the gut. Perfect for breakfast, snack or as a compliment to lunch/dinner. 

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Grain-Free Savoury Vegetable Muffins

Ingredients:

250g Almond Meal

100g Arrowroot

1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1 Tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

100g Parmesan cheese, grated

Small Bunch of Fresh Parsley

Handful of Spinach/Rocket Leaves

1 Zucchini, grated

2 tsp Sunflower Seeds

5 Free Range Organic Eggs

Baking Paper

Method:

Step 1: Preheat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Line muffin tray with baking paper.

Step 2: In a Large mixing bowl, combine almond meal, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, parmesan, herbs, spinach/rocker, zucchini, and sunflower seeds. Mix until well combined.

Step 3: Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, add to dry ingredients and mix well.

Step 4: Pour mixture into a pre-prepared baking tin and bake in oven for around 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Step 5: Allow to cool on counter before freezing. Enjoy!

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan-Nutrition Nourishment

Recipe of The Week: Cacao Oat Slice

Hello Everyone,

I have no words for these squares. I’ll have to go with letters instead. O.M.G. ! 🙂 All kidding aside, make these now. For real.

I love easy peasy bake treats and these fit the bill. Besides being easy and delicious, these delights are free of refined sugars, contain no dairy and are gluten free. I could keep going on and on but that would totally start cutting into your time to get busy making these.

Cacao Oat Slice

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Ingredients:

2 bananas (mashed)

2 Cup rolled Oats

½ Cup Cacao Powder

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

¼ Cup Rice Malt Syrup (or other alternative)

¼ Cup Olive Oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

 

Method:

Step 1: Mix dry ingredients-oats, cacao powder, coconut, cinnamon- together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients-banana, rice malt syrup, olive oil and vanilla.

Step 2: Mix all ingredients together until well combined.

Step 3: Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper, and spread mixture evenly.

Step 4: Bake for 15-30 minutes in oven set at 160 degrees celsius.

Step 5: Allow to cool before cutting into slices.

This slice can be frozen easily. Be sure to wrap in cling wrap or seal in an air-tight container. Grab as needed! 

FODMAPS Diet: Green Smoothies to Incorporate into your Fructan Diet

Hello Everyone,

The low-FODMAP diet is a treatment and management protocol for people suffering from irritable bowl syndrome or IBS. The acronym stands for:

Fermentable,
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galactans),
Disaccharides (Lactose),
Monosaccharides (Fructose) and
Polyols (Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)

In susceptible individuals (usually those with IBS), these “FODMAP” carbohydrate molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. When they reach the large intestine, they feed bacteria and the fiber absorbs water resulting in bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, pain and other symptoms associated with IBS.

Are Green Smoothies Appropriate For People On The FODMAPS Diet (Or With IBS)?

Everybody is different. Ultimately, you should work directly with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to establish an appropriate dietary regimen to treat and manage your IBS. There are some variation in recommendations for people on a FODMAP-restricted diet. Certain “safe” foods might cause problems for you, so there is a bit of experimentation that you’ll need to do to find out what your ideal balance is.

When it comes to green smoothies, the primary offender is fructose, a natural sugar found in all fruit. However, this doesn’t mean that a low-FODMAP diet is a fruit-avoidance diet. There are certain fruits that are considered “low-FODMAP” and safe to use while other fruits and vegetables are “high-FODMAP” and should be avoided or restricted.

The key is portion size. If you have IBS and you are following a low-FODMAP diet plan, then you probably shouldn’t consume large smoothies with a bunch of different fruits in it. Keep your smoothie portions small – like 16 ounces or less and use fruits which are considered to be in the “low-FODMAP” category.

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Which High-FODMAP Green Smoothie Foods Should I Avoid?

If you have IBS, avoid putting these ingredients in your green smoothies.

Fruits To Avoid:

– Apples
– Apricots
– Avocados
– Blackberries
– Cherries
– Mango
– Nectarines
– Peaches
– Pears
– Persimmons
– Plums and prunes
– Rambutan/Lychee
– Watermelon
– Never use canned or dried fruits in smoothies. Avoid using fruit juice as well due to excess fructose.

Green Smoothie Vegetables To Avoid:

Beet Greens
Broccoli
Cabbage
Dandelion Greens
Peas
Radiccio Lettuce
Sugar Snap and Snow Peas

Avoid Sweeteners: I don’t recommend ever adding sweeteners to green smoothies, but this becomes even more important if you have IBS and follow a low-FODMAPS diet. Avoid honey, agave and any other sweetener.

What Green Smoothie Foods Are Low-FODMAP?

Using these ingredients in moderation in green smoothies would fit within a low-FODMAP diet plan.

Low-FODMAP Fruits:

– Bananas
– Berries (Blueberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
– Citrus (Oranges, Grapefruits, Tangelos, Lemons, Limes)
– Durian
– Grapes
– Kiwi
– Melons (Cantaloupe, Honeydew)
– Passion Fruit
– Pineapple
– Star Fruit

Low-FODMAP Vegetables:

Leafy Greens (Bok choy, Lettuce*, Endive, Parsley, Silverbeet, Spinach)

– Alfalfa
– Broccoli*
– Carrots
– Celery
– Cucumber
– Ginger
– Pumpkin
– Tomato
– Zucchini*

* Foods marked with an asterisk might be problematic for some people with IBS, despite being in the low-FODMAPS category.

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Low FODMAP Smoothie Recipes

If you would like to incorporate green smoothies into a FODMAP diet plan, then keep portions small (no giant meal-replacement smoothies) and use fruits and vegetables from the low-FODMAP category. Avoid using high-FODMAP fruits and vegetables.

Keep your smoothies simple. Use no more than two fruits and one vegetable or leafy green. Do not add protein powder, flax, chia, spirulina or any other additive. Avoid using dairy (due to the lactose) and avoid using store-bought non-dairy milks, especially if sugars have been added. Just use plain water.

Experiment with small smoothies using various foods from the “safe” category and see how your body reacts. Some of the safe foods might actually exacerbate your symptoms while some of the “unsafe” foods are tolerated well. Listen to your own body.

None of the recipes on this page (or on our website) are guaranteed to cause no problem for people with IBS. Use your own judgement. When in doubt, take a small amount of smoothie (rather than drinking the entire recipe) and wait to see how your body responds.

For all of the smoothies below, add the water to your blender first, then the fruit. Hit the “Pulse” button to mix up the fruit, then add the greens and blend on high for about 30-40 seconds, or until smooth.

Banana-Berry Smoothie

– 1 banana, peeled
– 1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries
– 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Banana-Kiwi with Bok Choy

– 1 banana, peeled
– 1-2 kiwifruit (start with one, use two if you feel it’s appropriate for your body)
– 1-2 heads of baby bok choy (or two cups chopped bok choy leaves
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Citrus Bok Choy Smoothie

– 2 oranges
– 1 head baby bok choy (or one cup chopped bok choy leaves)
– 1 stalk of celery
– Splash of water if needed

Alternate: Swap out one of the oranges for a grapefruit, tangelo or tangerine.


Blueberry Melon Smoothie

– 1 cup cantaloupe or honeydew melon
– 1/2 to 1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen wild blueberries)
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water
– Splash of lemon or lime (optional)


Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie

– 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into cubes
– 1 large stalk of celery
– 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (use only if ginger does not exacerbate your symptoms)
– 1/2 banana
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Now that you know which fruits and vegetables are safe or unsafe to use on a low-FODMAP diet, feel free to get creative with your smoothie recipes!!

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan- Nutrition Nourishment

Easter Special: Maintain your Health over the Easter Holiday

Hello Everyone,

With Easter just around the corner it’s difficult to avoid the obligatory binge: chocolate (anything), hot cross buns and, let’s be honest, everything in sight… especially if your family starts to pressure you into having ‘just one more’ slice or serving. While it can take three seconds to consume a 200g Easter egg, it can take a three-hour run to counteract the sugar content. A hot cross bun slathered in butter isn’t much better, sitting around the 350 calorie mark, and will take 40+ minutes of running to burn it off. Not ideal, right?

So, let’s get a grip this Easter with these healthy habits.

1. Portion control

You will eat chocolate, that’s a given… but just remember portion control. Ultimately, everything is fine in moderation.

Instead of eating large eggs at hourly intervals (which can be up to a third of your daily intake if you are trying to lose weight), buy individually wrapped mini eggs. The process of unwrapping each small egg is more time consuming and will make you more aware of the treats you are consuming. It’s a simple trick, but it works – and you’ll still get among the festivities.

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2. Quality control

Step away from the cheap foil-clad bunny and exchange it for some dark, good quality chocolate. Ideally something with at least 70 per cent dark cocoa which has the added bonus of antioxidants. The high levels of cocoa have also been shown to lower blood pressure.

If you want to take your health kick a step further over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some Raw Organic Cacoa NIBS – these cocoa beans are straight from the source and is what all chocolate and cocoa products are produced from.

The nutritional benefits of raw cacao products include: being a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing and also stress relieving magnesium. Other good news is that it is only 92 calories and 0.54 grams of sugar per 15 grams serving!

You can also add raw nibs to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans.

3. Feast

On breakfast that is! Make sure you start the day right with a protein-rich breakfast and filling fibre so you aren’t reaching for a chocolate an hour later. Never eat Easter eggs on an empty stomach as this will cause havoc on your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.

Think veggie and protein-packed omelettes or a protein shake with berries, chai seeds and a handful of spinach leaves to get your day off to a nutritious start.

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4. Think outside the box

Rethink the basket of eggs and swap it for a basket of beautiful local fruit. How about a pot of herbs for a gift that keeps giving? Get in the kitchen and whip up some homemade treats.

5. Snack regularly

Snack on something small and healthy every 3-4 hours you will help balance your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help avoid that nasty energy drop.

Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar are generally sugar and refined carbohydrates (aka chocolate and hot cross buns). They cause the body to produce insulin, which makes you crave food constantly, leading to weight gain and a variety of health conditions including diabetes.

They key to a balanced snack is to always included the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and good fats).

Options include:

  • Natural yogurt with berries and walnuts. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra power punch.
  • Hummus with vegetable sticks.
  • A homemade meat pattie with a small side salad.
  • An apple with a teaspoon of almond butter and a drizzle of honey.
  • Bowl of vegetable and barley soup.
  • Shaved turkey, sliver of avocado wrapped in lettuce.
  • Banana smoothie with milk/nut milk, LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond mix), scoop of protein powder, cinnamon and ice.

6. Plan ahead

Make sure you stock the fridge so there are always healthy options on hand, have pre-made delicious options ready to go, and don’t space meals too far apart.

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7. Hydrate

Need another reason to drink water? Research has shown that by increasing water consumption by 1.5 liters a day, you can burn an extra 17,400 calories per year. Additionally, a study by Dr. Brenda Davy, an associate professor at Virginia Tech, found that people who drank water before a meal consumed an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal.

Another glass, anyone?

8. Burn off a bunny

To counterbalance the extra calorie intake over Easter it is important to exercise every day, whether it be a beach walk, sprint session, bike ride with the family, a game of cricket or a home workout – just move that body!

You don’t have to waste hours of your day either – chose intense interval training which will burn more in a shorter time frame – perfect!

Want to burn off a small 50g bunny (approx 275 calories)?

  • Power walk with the dog for 85 minutes
  • Dance up a storm for 56 minutes
  • Swim freestyle for 36 minutes
  • Jump on the crosstrainer for 33 minutes
  • Clean the house intensely for 70 minutes.

A medium 25g egg:

  • 30 minutes brisk walk
  • 15 minutes jogging/skipping/boxing

A large 100g egg

  • 2 hour brisk walking
  • 1 hour run/skipping/boxing

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Healthiest Regards,

and a Happy Easter!

Tegan- Nutrition Nourishment

 

Quick review: Q and A with Pyridoxine, B6

 

Hello Everyone,

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.

Food sources of vitamin B-6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas and bananas. Vitamin B-6 can also be taken as a supplement, typically as an oral capsule, tablet or liquid.

People who have kidney disease or conditions that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes) are more likely to be vitamin B-6 deficient. Certain genetic diseases and some epilepsy medications also can lead to deficiency. This can cause a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues (anemia), confusion, depression and a weakened immune system.

A vitamin B-6 deficiency is usually coupled with deficiency in other B vitamins, such as folate (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-12.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-6 for adults is 1.3 milligrams.

List three forms of B6. 

Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal and Pyridoxamine

What is the active form of B6? 

Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP)

How does riboflavin deficiency affect the conversion of B6 into its active form? 

Flavoproteins are involved in the metabolism of several other vitamins, therefore, severe riboflavin deficiency may affect many enzyme systems. Conversion of most naturally available vitamin B6 to its coenzyme form, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), requires the FMN-dependent enzyme, pyridoxine 5′-phosphate oxidase (PPO). The synthesis of the niacin-containing coenzymes, NAD and NADP, from the amino acid tryptophan, requires the FAD-dependent enzyme, kynurenine mono-oxygenase. Severe riboflavin deficiency can decrease the conversion of tryptophan to NAD and NADP, increasing the risk of niacin deficiency. 5, 10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an FAD-dependent enzyme that plays an important role in maintaining the specific folate coenzyme required to form methionine from homocysteine. Along with other B vitamins, higher riboflavin intakes have been associated with decreased plasma homocysteine levels. Increased plasma riboflavin levels have also been associated with decreased plasma homocysteine levels, mainly in individuals homozygous for the C677T polymorphism in the R gene and in individuals with low folate intake. Such results illustrate that chronic disease risk may be influenced by complex interactions between genetic and dietary factors (see Cardiovascular disease and Cancer).

chemical equation

Chemical Structure of Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6

What is the role of PLP in tryptophan metabolism? 

The conversions of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin or the neurotransmitter serotonin also depend on PLP, as does the synthesis of haem and nucleic acids and lecithin.

The synthesis of the niacin-containing coenzymes, NAD and NADP, from the amino acid tryptophan, requires the FAD-dependent enzyme, kynurenine mono-oxygenase.

What are the general signs and symptoms of B6 deficiency? 

Lethargy, sleepiness, dermatitis, irritability, clinical depression, confusion and microcytic anaemia.

What is the relationship between B6, homocysteine levels and cardiovascular disease? 

High blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine may be a risk factor for heart disease. Taking vitamin B6 supplements with other B vitamins (folic acid and vitamin B12) has been shown to be effective for lowering homocysteine levels.

Vitamin+B6+(Pyridoxine)+How+it+functions+in+the+body

The various roles Vitamin B6 plays in the body.

How safe is B6 supplementation during pregnancy? 

Studies suggest that taking B6 for morning sickness greatly improves nausea, though not vomiting , for many pregnant women. There has been no sign of harm for the fetus with vitamin B usage. A typical dose of B6 for morning sickness is 10-25mg, three times a day. Intake of more than 100mg a day of B6 can cause temporary nerve damage.

What are the toxicity signs of B6? 

Toxicity symptoms reverse on cessation of supplementation. A dose greater the 200-300mg per day can cause symptoms such as wakefulness and vivid dreams, along with nerve damage.

What are the common food sources of Vitamin B6? 

Watermelon, poultry (chicken and turkey), green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans and soy products and quality meat. 

food sources B6

Healthiest regards,

Tegan.

Quick Review: Q & A with Folate, B9.

Hello everyone,

Most people correlate folate with pregnancy. We know it’s a vital nutrient for the neural development of the foetus and deficiencies have been linked to spina bifida, and other neurological diseases. However, Folate or folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is an essential component for many of the body’s metabolic and neurological processes. In this quick Q & A, we are going to review the important features of this vitamin.

  1. What are the two forms of vitamin B9? State their sources.

Folate refers to the reduced form which is found naturally in food and in biological tissues.

Folic acid refers to the oxidised form that is found in fortified foods and supplements.

However, the terms folic acid and folate may be used interchangeably.

Which of these two forms is the most bioavailable?

Dietary folates exist predominantly in the polyglutamyl form (containing several glutamate residues), whereas folic acid—the synthetic vitamin form—is a monoglutamate, containing just one glutamate moiety. In addition, natural folates are reduced molecules, whereas folic acid is fully oxidized. These chemical differences have major implications for the bioavailability of the vitamin such that folic acid is considerably more bioavailable than naturally occurring food folates at equivalent intake levels.

The bioavailablitiy of folate ranges from 50% for foods to 100% for supplements taken on an empty stomach.

Name the active form of folate.

The naturally occurring folate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, is the major circulating form of folate in the human body.

Active forms include: Tetrahydrofolate (THF) and Dihydrofolate (DHF).

What two micronutrients are required for the conversion of folate to its active form?

To activate folate, vitamin B12 removes and keeps a methyl group, which also activates the vitamin B12. Both the folate coenzyme and the vitamin B12 coenzyme are now active and available for DNA synthesis.

folate

Folate species and catabolites.

Briefly explain the only function of the derivatives/cofactors of folate.

Its primary coenzyme, Tetrahydrofolate (THF), serves as part of an enzyme complex that transfers 1-carbon compounds that arise during metabolism. This action helps convert B12 to one of its coenzyme forms and helps synthesis the DNA required for rapidly growing cells.

Name the three vitamins that are required for folate to be regenerated during folate and nucleic acid metabolism.

Riboflavin, Niacin, Cyanocobalamin.

Figure-1-Potential-effects-of-vitamin-B12-and-folate-deficiencies-and-the-Cys66Thr

Vitamin B9, along with other B vitamins, and cofactors, play an important role in the methylation process.

Why can folate deficiency cause a build-up in homocysteine and why is it necessary to prevent the accumulation of homocysteine?

Folate coenzymes are required for the metabolismof several important amino acids, namely methionine, cysteine, serine, glycine, and histidine. The synthesis of methionine from homocysteine is catalyzed by methionine synthase, an enzyme that requires not only folate (as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) but also vitamin B12.

Thus, folate (and/or vitamin B12) deficiency can result in decreased synthesis of methionine and an accumulation of homocysteine. Elevated blood concentrations of homocysteine have been considered for many years to be a risk factor for some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Name the three vitamins that are required for homocysteine metabolism.

Folate works together with vitamins B12, B6 and B2 in the metabolism of homocysteine.

What is the type of anaemia seen with folate deficiency and why can it be confused with a B12 deficiency?

Clinical folate deficiency leads to megaloblastic anaemia, which is reversible with folic acid treatment. Rapidly dividing cells like those derived from bone marrow are most vulnerable to the effects of folate deficiency since DNA synthesis and cell division are dependent on folate coenzymes. When folate supply to the rapidly dividing cells of the bone marrow is inadequate, blood cell division is reduced, resulting in fewer but larger red blood cells. This type of anaemia is called megaloblastic or macrocytic anaemia, referring to the enlarged, immature red blood cells. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, become hypersegmented, a change that can be found by examining a blood sample microscopically. Because normal red blood cells have a lifetime in the circulation of approximately four months, it can take months for folate-deficient individuals to develop the characteristic megaloblastic anaemia. Progression of such an anaemia leads to a decreased oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and may ultimately result in symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath (1). It is important to point out that megaloblastic anaemia resulting from folate deficiency is identical to the megaloblastic anaemia resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency, and further clinical testing is required to diagnose the true cause of megaloblastic anaemia.

Why is folic acid an important supplement to take in pre-conceptual care and what dose is recommended for this time?

The one universally recommended supplement is folic acid. Folic acid is a B group vitamin that is needed for the healthy growth and development of the baby in the first weeks of life. By taking a folic acid supplement, research has found that birth defects such as spina bifida are reduced. The recommendation is to take at least 500 micrograms of folic acid per day for at least one prior to pregnancy and for the first three months of pregnancy.

Name three rich/excellent food sources (unfortified) of folate.

Spinach, Avocado, Lentils. 

folatefoods

What nutrient deficiency may go undiagnosed when taking large doses of folic acid over a long period of time?

One symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anaemia, which is indistinguishable from that associated with folate deficiency. Large doses of folic acid given to an individual with an undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency could correct megaloblastic anaemia without correcting the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency, leaving the individual at risk of developing irreversible neurologic damage. Such cases of neurologic progression in vitamin B12 deficiency have been mostly seen at folic acid doses of 5,000 μg (5 mg) and above. In order to be very sure of preventing irreversible neurological damage in vitamin B12-deficient individuals.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Noruishment.