Saturday, December 19, 2009

6 whole days to go

Christmas is a fabulous time for fun, family, relaxation and ...........eating. I sit here in my clinic this morning having seen a number of people who have walked in with their heads hung low. Their blood sugars are out of whack, their weight has gone up and they are generally feeling exhausted by all the social functions and gatherings that they are 'having' to attend. Tough time this "Christmas stuff".
The main question on peoples lips? How do I get to January unscathed?

Well, here's a few tips
1. Have a big glass of water or soda water before you go to a function and have a glass of water between each drink- (remember a drink is equivalent in kilojoules or calories to a piece of bread). Better still give yourself the job of designated driver (you will feel better in the morning!)
2. If you have a few courses planned- choose entre and dessert or main and share a dessert
3. When in doubt - cut half out (you don't have to finish everything no matter how good it tastes)
4. Take a healthy platter of food with you when invited somewhere- healthy doesn't have to be boring.
5. Christmas day is there to be enjoyed - it's not the 'last supper'!
6. Try to move more. Take a swim in the ocean on Boxing day (or go skiing for my Northern Hemisphere bloggers), a bike ride on New Years day and simply a twilight walk whilst on holidays.

Enjoy the week leading up to Christmas

Kate x

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I have had a number of concerned parents contact me and bring their children to see me regarding food intolerance. One little boy, James 2 ½ years, came to see me with his mum who wanted to know about foods and asthma. James was a healthy weight for his height with no other issues other than quite severe asthma. Mum was convinced that every time they had a barbecue his breathing became 'wheezier'. I discussed the probability that he may be reacting to a certain preservative found in foods such as sausages and processed meats. The preservatives in question are those numbered 220 – 228 or the family of sulphites. They are also commonly found in dried fruits, cordials and wine(for adults). There is no documented evidence that this is the cause for asthma attacks however many people report a change in breathing when they consume them. I suggested buying preservative free sausages and dried fruit for James and avoid giving him cordials.
Sulphites are easy to locate just read the label.

Kate x

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mango season

The Mango season is here which delights children and adults alike. It spells the beginning of summer with its wonderful distinctive smell. Children love Mango with its soft velvety texture and sweet juicy pulp. Mango is high in vitamin C and Beta Carotene (coming from the orange colour), also high in fibre particularly soluble fibre. The fruit is low GI so is very sustaining as a snack.
For Babies: There are a few different Mango varieties differing mainly in sweetness and the texture of the pulp. Babies between 6-12 months can enjoy mango pureed or fork mashed depending on the age of the baby or mixed into plain yoghurt or creamed ricotta cheese. Mango has a wonderful texture for babies to learn how to chew and move pieces around their mouth
For Toddler: Mangoes can be cut into cubes for toddlers to eat fresh with a fork (helping with their hand to mouth coordination. Mangoes are particularly tasty mixed with milk and frozen yoghurt as a smoothie. This is helpful for those toddlers who are not great plain milk drinkers. Due to their natural sweetness you don’t need to add any honey for sweetness.
For Preschooler: Cutting and scouring a cheek of mango appeals to preschoolers and travels very well in the lunchbox. Freezing a mix of blended mango and yoghurt makes a great alternative to ice-cream. Mango holds its form when cut into cubes and doesn’t discolour so is an excellent fruit to thread onto sticks. Using alternate fruits such as strawberries, kiwi and sliced banana you can make fruit skewers. This can be eaten fresh or frozen on hot summer days.
For adults: try mango chutney or mango salsa with your curries or simply score and eat!!

Tandoori chicken with mango salsa
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt
4 (160g each) chicken breast fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
warmed naan bread, to serve
Tandoori spice mix
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 pinches chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
Mango salsa
425g can sliced mango in syrup, drained, chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
2 green onions, sliced, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Make Tandoori spice mix: Combine paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and mint in a large bowl. Add yoghurt. Stir to combine. Add chicken. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, if time permits.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Remove chicken from yoghurt mixture. Discard yoghurt mixture. Cook chicken for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to prepared tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Thickly slice.
Make mango salsa: Combine mango, cucumber, onion, mint, chilli and lemon juice in a bowl. Serve chicken with mango salsa and naan bread.

recipe courtesy of Claire Brookman

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fresh herbs........pure perfume!

I simply love what I do. Not just because I help people feel and look better, and possible extend some lifespans; sometimes I receive little thank you gifts especially around holiday time. Now I am not saying that I am motivated by presents but I have been on the receiving end of some delightful gifts. I absolutely love the home made things. One lady brought me some fresh quince jam and another some cranberry sauce for the turkey this Christmas. On Wednesday last week a patient and her mother brought me a full bag of home grown herbs and vegetables which just blew me away - the smell was simply intoxicating (I had literally forgotten what a backyard fully mulched cherry tomato smelt and tasted like - my family used to grow them when I was a child). In my bag -o -goodies was basil, coriander, lemongrass, marjoram, parsley and mint - just to name a few. So today I am throwing together some pesto and tonight's dinner we are having Vietnamese cold rolls (the mint just smelt so good!!!). See my super easy recipe below - you can wrap just about anything in rice paper rolls.
I am inspired to resurrect my herb patch again
Kate x

Vietnamese Prawn rolls
12 rice paper rounds (120g)
1 cup grated carrot
100g snow peas sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
30 g rice vermicelli, soaked in boiling water, cooled and drained
2 tablespoon chopped coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
400 g cooked prawns, shelled (approx 24)

Combine all ingredients in bowl, mix
Dip rice paper in hot water until softens
Add approximately 2 tablespoons of mix and 2 prawns on lower half of rice paper
Roll firmly into spring roll shape
Makes 12
Serves 3
Serve with dipping sauce

Dipping sauce
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 clove garlic
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 small fresh chili finely sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

Sugar and hot water in bowl, stir until sugar dissolved
Add remaining ingredients, stir and serve
Serves 4

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Run out of time for breakfast?.......I think not!!

3 of my clients yesterday said they are simply running out of time for breakfast! By the time the kids are fed, lunches made, morning jobs done and some where in there getting ready for work- not to mention the quick 5.30 am run or 1/2 hour walk for time left to refuel.
There is no excuse for not having breakfast even if it is grabbing a piece of fresh fruit or a tub of yoghurt before you dash out the door. It still astounds me that there is a percentage of kids that head off to school without breakfast!

Eating breakfast
  1. Stimulates the appetite
  2. Stops you over eating at your next meal
  3. Provides energy and stamina for the morning
  4. Helps keep the bowels and intestines in good order
One of my favourite summer breakfasts is bircher muesli. Preparing it the night before and adding a few dollops of yoghurt the next day makes it quick, easy and tasty. My kids love the soft texture and taste using varieties of flavoured low fat yoghurt.
Bircher Muesli (serves 2)
1/2 cup natural muesli
2/3 cup no added sugar fruit juice (i like cranberry)
4 dollops of low fat flavoured yoghurt (blueberry gives a lovely flavour)
Soak the muesli in the juice overnight
In the morning divide into 2 bowels and add yoghurt, stir and eat

Enjoy the last day of school, mums and dads!!!!
Kate x

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

home in the kitchen

School holidays for us Southerners is only 3 sleeps away....I am actually really looking forward to winding down and spending a bit of time at home relaxing with the kids. One thing my two like to do is 'home bake' - as long as it involves spreading flour from one end of the kitchen to the other, or eating some of the raw dough (it just can't be good for you.....although we all did it didn't we?)

I still try to keep it healthy using some fresh or dried fruit and steering requests away from cup cakes. Muffins, fruit scones, date loaf and fruit cakes are great for morning or afternoon tea snacks and travel well to social gatherings. One I particularly like are the muesli bites which are dead easy, they can get their hands messy and you can also give them as a gift......competition for the wave of rum balls appearing at this time!

Enjoy getting into your kitchen with the little ones and help them to enjoy the cooking experience.

Kate x

Apricot Muesli bites
11/2 cups dried apricots
1 table caster sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup plain flour
2 table olive oil
11/2 cups natural muesli
Place apricots, sugar and water in saucepan, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Let cool
Place apricot mixture, flour, oil, and muesli in food processor and process until mixed.
Roll into balls (about 1 tablespoon each and chill).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From the mouth of babes.................

I had a lovely patient yesterday who came to her appointment with her 4 year old daughter. As our meeting came to a close her daughter announced that she would like ' some of those foods that stick to your teeth, please mummy'. My client gasped and uttered 'what a thing to say in front of the dietitian!!'. This was followed promptly by 'I need to have a python 'cause I have forgotten what it tastes like!'. I reassured my client that yes, children do listen to what you say and you have to be clear from the outset. They may not understand the negatives of things sticking to your teeth however they know that foods such as these are not everyday foods.
I think this is where we as parents make it difficult for ourselves by not isolating non core foods and foods that have empty kilojoules away from everyday foods. Pester power is huge however we just have to stay strong. As you know we have treat Tuesday which gives me some breathing space for the rest of the week.

Tips to help your little ones understand about good V's not so good
  • Talk about what foods are good for you and why
  • Don't have the non core foods in the house for temptation
  • Talk about their teeth
  • provide good food that looks great - the fruit picks above went down a treat at a gathering.
  • Elevate their main meals above dessert for example: If you eat all your good food on you plate then you can have something that is not so healthy (parents make the mistake of saying if you eat dinner can have dessert- kids look at mums face when it lights up at the word dessert!!!...look excited when you say 'all the good food on your plate'!
Tough times coming up during the Christmas break....set 'treat' goals and stick to them!!

Kate x

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A very windy day

Again I ask the question....where does the time go. Sorry for those of you who are following my blog and have seen me disappear into the abyss! I have just had the most extraordinary work load leading up till Christmas. I have put some of my own advice into practice and some things have had to go on the back burner. However I am back and looking forward to the holidays.
This leads me to an issue that many patients have come to see me about.....WIND. I have had adults and children complain about excess wind and wonder if there was anything they could change. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable but can be a tad embarrassing when it escapes......(I have had Master 9 and Miss 6 in hysterical stitches in the pool and bath over whose bubbles are bigger!) Busy lifestyles and not eating well (including fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy and not drinking enough fluid can all lead to a sluggish, bloated bowel and belly. There are also a few foods which produce extra gas
  • Baked beans (don't need to be a rocket scientist to discover that one!)

  • broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage

  • apples

  • artificial sweetener

  • legumes, including hommus
Try to eat every 3 hours to help move the bowel so gas doesn't become trapped and go for a few walks around the office or street during the day to move the gas. Painful bloated stomachs occur at the end of the day when we have sat down for many hours.

Remember gas is just your gut bacteria fermenting undigested fibres so is quite normal unless there is lots of it, it has a very strong odour or you are in pain. See your doctor if it doesn't improve.

back again tomorrow

Kate x