breakfast, eating well being healthy, summer, Summer eating, water, What to eat when

Heat-waving… Hi Summer !!

Hey readers, I know its probably cool where you are, but geezzzz its hot in Sydney right now…. we’re officially in heatwave territory, and its not going to get cooler anytime soon.

Are you drinking enough? According to the mayo clinic the average person expels 2L of fluids from their body each day and 60% of our body weight is from water.

Heres a quick guideline for you – if you or your loved ones are drinking less than 3 glasses of water each day, you need to increase it as it can affect bodily functions such as your bowel health and your skin health.

Some people say they feel more hangry when they are dehydrated! Everyones different I guess.

If you are having between 5-10 glasses, then you are probably well hydrated – WELL DONE!

If you are having 3-5 glasses then you should keep an eye out and try to get it up to 10 glasses each day.

Coffee, tea and other fluid foods do count as having a water content, but its always best to stick to H2O in its purest form (without the caffeine and the diuretic effect!)

Drink water. Be cool.

 

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breakfast, dietitians, What to eat when

Accredited Practising Dietitians Vs. Nutritionists. What is the difference, you ask?

Why APDs should be the specialists of choice for people needing advice for medical conditions.

Dietitians (or Dieticians) are highly trained individuals and we are specialists in the application of medical nutrition therapy. This year  it has been 10 years since I qualified from the University of Wollongong in Australia. Here in Australia, we study either a 4 year undergraduate degree in Nutrition & Dietetics straight out of high school – or if you are like me, a combined Undergraduate Science and Business degree, and then a Masters degree in Nutrition & Dietetics + research thesis.

Much of our Dietitian training centers around medical knowledge, scientific research around nutrition, and taking individual dietary histories, action planning and solution designing for an individual depending on their medical condition and nutrition status. We study the human body and biochemistry as well as metabolism and food in order to get a good understanding of the role nutrition can have to protect against illness and in reducing the progression of medical conditions like obesity and diabetes. We also train in hospital before we graduate.

As a dietitian working in hospital, I see a variety of clients from different areas and it is never the same day twice. Our work in hospitals is a given since we know malnutrition can be a consequence of hospitalisation or long illnesses.

Today for example, I was referred a client by one of the Geriatricians I work with for optimisation of energy after she was admitted to hospital quite weak, and having been unable to eat for several days at home.

She is on several different types of medication and has a cancer of her bile duct which has affected normal food digestion and absorption. We discussed her usual weight, diet and made a plan for her to preserve her en

ergy, muscle mass and strength.

She was great in that she was able to eat still, compared with some other patients who might require feeding via a nasogastric tube or special intravenous like drip called Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).

Contrast that with this afternoon and I have just seen a 50 year old male client who had an elevated Glucose Tolerance Test for weight loss with a background familial late onset diabetes. He is otherwise well and healthy, and wants to lose weight to allow him to be fitter and healthier. He told me that his personal trainer yelled at him for eating muesli in the morning because of the sugar content. I find this pretty unreasonable advice especially given that this client is bordering on type 2 diabetes but it is not uncommon for Personal Trainers to provide restrictive dietary advice. He needs the right advice to navigate his current situation and a meal plan which can provide nourishment and reduce the risk of advancement to diabetes, which unbalanced eating can sometimes do. This client is already feeling tired given his health status, and was considering restricting his intake of breakfast until he came to see me today.

avo-affirmations

Nutritionists, which have more of a whole food approach, might work more at a general population or public health level, or on a project basis within a food company. Nutrition Australia has a voluntary register for nutritionists which you can check out here http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/nutritionist-or-dietitian

The Nutrition Society of Australia does too, look one up here http://nsa.asn.au/find-a-registered-nutritionist/

Nutritionists can study at the University level, and I became a Nutritionist before I became a Dietitian. Usually a Dietitian is also qualified as a Nutritionist, but it is never the other way around. Today there are many Tafe style, Diploma level courses offering qualifications of sorts which do not give the same level of academic vigour and scientific inquiry into Dietetics as a 4 year undergraduate University degree, or Graduate level qualification, however this title is not protected by any laws here and therefore this means that anyone could call themselves a Dietitian even if they are not someone who has gone to University, done the study, and qualified for their degree without being prosecuted for doing so.

Even though our title is not protected legally, our credentialing body, the Dietitians Association of Australia keeps a register of all Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) and holds us accountable for our work. We also have to complete a mentoring program to qualify as an APD when starting out, and then we must complete 30 hours of professional development education each year to retain our credentials. See this link to find an APD in your area. http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/find-an-apd

I’ve been very lucky and been able to travel and work in other countries since qualifying for my degree back in 2006 from Wollongong University. In the United States, there are licensure laws which exist within the individual states to reassure consumers that they are accessing dietary advice from individuals with an the right education and experience. Their system is different depending on the state and the licensing laws around the Registered Dietitian credential. I worked pro bono and did a lot of voluntary work in the US in my travels there, and did not work in hospital as I did in the UK., so my work there had more of a public health and community focus. I learnt a lot from these experiences and I loved my time in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, the term Registered Dietitian (RD) is protected by the Health and Care Professions council and anyone using this title without the relevant qualification to match it could be subject to prosecution and a fine of up to 5,000 pounds. Read more about it here https://www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/protectedtitles/

Overall, reflecting on the last 10 years, I can definitely say that my education began when I first stepped onto University grounds and it has continued each year since with every different role I have undertaken both here and in the UK. I relish my role as a Dietitian and it is always a pleasure to assist people to optimise their health and live happier and healthier lives.

The final point about dietitians vs. nutritionists are that we are recognised by Australian Health Funds, Medicare, and the Department of Veterans affairs and have item numbers we can use under Medicare. Most comprehensive health funds cover dietitian visits as well with some funds paying up to 55% back on our fees. The sad thing is that some health funds have started to cover nutritionists and naturopaths now, not only dietitians as they once did. Shame on you health funds.

So before going to visit someone who uses either of these terms, check if they are registered with an appropriate credentialing body, check your health fund and your coverage level. But most of all, enjoy the experience. We are here to empower and assist you to optimise your nutrition.

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DIY, Healthy dinner ideas, Salads, Summer eating, What to eat when

Brown Rice Vermicelli Salad… Vietnam dreaming

Its been super hot in Sydney lately and I’m not able to take the heat!!  Having to wear an air cast in the heat is not so comfortable either – I’ve had it on for three weeks now and am starting to get a bit more used to it.
I have started a bit of pool walking so thats been really nice in between physio and developing recipe content from my couch. So I have been staying out of the heat and I posted a few simple leaf salads last week, but I decided to up the anti today and try to make a favourite salad of mine – Vietnamese vermicelli salad ( or BUN Bo –  which translates to  lemongrass beef .. ) but with a twist instead. So normally this is a beef or pork dish, and traditionally chicken mince is not really used. But it was on special at the shop so I decided to use it. If you’re a traditionalist and you would like the original recipe using steak, click on this link here from Taste.com.au to check it out.

Also, I am sort of craving a bit of Vietnamese food, mainly because I am supposed to be on a trip there right now. Due to an accident whilst attempting to run a trail in the National Park in Waterfall a couple weeks back, I was grounded by my Dr and had to stay behind. My awesome team left yesterday and I am looking forward to their updates. You can read more about my group who are on the trip here that raised $40,000 for primary school education programs in Cambodia and Vietnam and see my own page about why I was involved here – and then make this for your family or friends – its economical, refreshing, and yum!

Vietnamese chicken mince vermicelli salad
Time: allow about 60 mins, you may need one helper in the kitchen

Ingredients:
Meat – organic chicken mince 400- 500gm pack – if the organic is too expensive any (free range or other) chicken mince will be suitable
1/2 red onion finely diced
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 spring onion, white and green part, sliced and chopped
3 Tablespoons Fish sauce
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
White pepper 1/2 tsp

Mix these ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 10 mins for seasoning to soak in.

Salad
1 x200gm packet of pandaroo brown rice vermicelli
3 lettuce leaves, shredded
1/2 cucumber, cut into sticks
2 carrots, spiralised

Dressing
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
2 tablespoon lime juice  (1 lime)
1 clove garlic
1 small chilli, deseeded and sliced (I didn’t have this so I used chilli jam)
3 tablespoons grated palm sugar

Topping (for the table, to serve 4-6 people)
1/2 cup Mint
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1/2 cup shallots, sliced and fried (or you could use prep prepared ones from the asian grocery store), for sprinkling
Put these into small dishes and place on the table.

Step 1.
Prepare the pandaroo vermicelli according to directions on the packet. Drain and wash with cold water., for a few minutes until the heat of the noodles reduces or place in a bowl of iced water for 5 mins.
This will prevent the noodles from becoming soggy and help them to stay nice and crisp. Drain and set aside.

Step 2.
While the noodles are cooling, take the mince which has been marinated and stir fry in a hot pan or wok. I used rice bran oil as that is the oil I use at home predominately and also the fish sauce in the meat has a strong aroma. Sunflower or another vegetable would also be a good one to use. I wouldn’t use EVOO for this salad as the heat can be quite high and if its a nice grassy one, it might not complement the fish sauce flavour. Cook the mince in batches (I had to do two separate ones), until it is light brown. Cooking the mince in batches can reduce the water that comes out of the meat and gets it a bit brown rather than soggy but that is my preference for the meat to be dry and little crispy. Place in a dish and set on the table.

Step 3. Salad Plate
In a bowl or on a plate, placed shredded lettuce, spiralled carrot and cucumber sticks next to each other.

Step 4.  The dressing
In a small bowl combine 1 chopped garlic clove, fish sauce, chopped chilli and brown sugar. Add lemon juice to taste (I added extra as I like more of that, and wanted to have a less salty overtone). Its important to taste the dressing as you make it so you can adjust it to your taste.

Step 5. Assembly
In your bowl, layer the brown rice vermicelli at the bottom and add the lettuce, cucumber, and cooked meat pieces., Top with the mint leaves and peanuts and shallots, and the spoon over 2 teaspoons of dressing. Mix your bowl up, ensuring the dressing covers everything well, and enjoy!!!

Hope you like it – let me know how you go by placing a comment below.

 

 

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baking, breakfast, Cardioprotective food, Healthy treats on the run, Uncategorized, What to eat when

Breakfast on the run: Giant Sultana and Oat cookies

Yum – I’m missing these giant sultana and oat cookies I baked for work a few months back for a fundraiser. Sometimes if you don’t have time for breakfast a baked item can be ok occasionally. You just need to watch for the oil or fats used in the treat as they be a super nourishing cookie, which could be a drawback for your diet and your daily fat total can add up quickly before lunch, especially if you are watching your weight, it all adds up. I originally made these cookies for the nurses I work with, as they are always working hard without having had breakfast. This cookie would also suit anyone who is working hard, working out, or learning hard on the schoolyard. With the nurses I work with, a lot of them work long shifts and because they have to put other people first, they sometimes skip breakfast and lunch too. So I got the idea to make a breakfast cookie, but healthy. I used a recipe from the taste website – you can view it here. -> Taste recipe

For this recipe I replaced butter with Meadow Lea buttery cook and bake click here for product info which is better for your heart. I’ve used rice bran oil in the past as well to make these and my Vegan Anzacs and they still always come out on top taste wise. I have no affiliation with Meadow Lea, the Rice bran oil company or Taste. Just saying.

I also added some pepitas and other nuts into the mix like a couple walnuts. You could also add pecans or dates if you like for a fudgey hit.

The verdict: Not bad! I had some nurses comment they were pretty awesome, a couple even went home for their kids lunch boxes.

The fibre content in the cookie from the oats is also very good for hitting the daily fibre requirement to protect against cholesterol and other nasties like bowel cancers.

I call them the cardio protective, healthy cookie. These cookies raised about $200 towards my fundraiser for the cycle for education which is a world vision fundraiser for primary school education kits. You can read more about this if you like via this link.

But yeah, healthy baking can be done and it’s something so many people should know more about. Especially when you feel like you need a healthy treat!

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