Vegetables…and how to (easily) eat more

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's guide for eating more vegetables

Spinach Pancakes!

Most people know they should be eating vegetables and nearly every person I see in my clinic would benefit from eating more vegetables.  However often people knowing they should be doing something and actually doing it are two different things.  This is often the case in many aspects of life however let’s just focus on vegetables today!

For many the broad statement of ‘eat more vegetables’ can be quiet daunting for many people.  It might be you don’t know what vegetables to eat?  What are currently in season, what vegetables you like, how to cook them or how to add more into  your current diet.  Often when we set goals that are often too board meaning we are setting us up to fail before we even start.  However if we can break down the goal and focus on the how we are going to change we often reach our goals in a more sustainable way.

  • An example of this in relation to the goal of ‘eating more vegetables’ could be:
  • having one vegetable based snack a day such as carrot sticks and hummus
  • introducing a vegetable based breakfast such as a breakfast salad
  • having a vegetarian meal twice a week
  • topping your meals with sprouts, herbs, sauerkraut or micro greens
  • including an extra vegetable to your dinner meals each night
  • purchasing a different vegetable each week that you have never tried before

If you would like help with meal ideas, plans and nutrition support , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Cacao and Buckwheat Cookies

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Cacao & Buckwheat Cookies

A perfect afternoon snack on a cold springs day.

Chocolate chip cookies or Kiwi Crisps as my Gran called them are pretty special too me.  While I am most definitely partial to my original recipe full of sugar, condensed milk, butter, wheat flour and milk chocolate, I also really enjoy my more nutritious version.

Ingredients

  • 50g salted butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cacao
  • 4 squares of 90% Lindt chocolate, chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 180ºC, and line a baking tray with paper.

Using an electric beater, mix the butter and sugar together until whipped.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.

Add remaining ingredients and fold until mixed.

Portion using an ice cream scoop or roll into balls and flatten with a fork.

Bake for around 10 minutes until golden, crispy edges and soft in the middle are the best so make sure you keep an eye on the oven.

Enjoy!

If you would like help with meal ideas, plans and nutrition support , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Salted Caramel Bites

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Salted Caramel Bites

The perfect afternoon snack – Salted Caramel Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dates
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 Tbsp maca powder
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Method

Soak dates in warm water for 1 hour.

Grind the cashews in the processor until fine.  Then add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Continue processing until a ball forms.  If the mixture is too wet add a few more cashews until the desired texture is formed.

Roll in coconut, leave al naturel, or for a decadent snack dip in melted 90% Lindt chocolate.

Place in fridge for at least an hour before serving.

 

If you would like help with meal ideas, plans and nutrition support , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Overnight Oats Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup wholegrain oats
  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin, steamed
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • milk of your choice (I used homemade almond mylk)
  • Toppings – coconut yoghurt or greek yoghurt, granola, natural nuts and seeds (I used homemade Manuka Nut and Seed Granola and coconut yoghurt)

Method

In the evening before, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cover with milk of your choice.  Cover and place in the fridge for the morning.

In the morning, stir and then add your toppings!  (You may wish to top with more milk here too)

 

Enjoy!

If you would like help with meal ideas, plans and nutrition support , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Lip Scrub

Delicious lip scrub recipe using food ingredients!

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby’s Lip Scrub

If you are like me, as soon as the Autumn weather kicks in my skin goes super dry.  Yes this means lovely cracked knuckles, extra dry feet and flakey lips.  Lovely huh.  So here is my favourite exfoliating scrub that I use on my lips. Plus it is hydrating and secretly, it taste amazing.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 drops peppermint essence

Method

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar.  Use around a pea sized amount and gently apply to the lips (your ring finger is the best as its the softest).  Seal jar.  You could match a larger batch of this as it will last for months.

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Easter…and how to avoid that sugar rush!

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Easter ideas.

All the baby love this Easter.

How can you not love Easter!  Hot cross buns, chocolate and a 4 day holiday.  We are pretty lucky here in NZ that Easter comes at a great time of year (and yes I am writing this as the rain pours down and with a cyclone approaching!) however we often have settled, glorious Autumn weather.  While I certaining don’t buy into the whole “You can’t deprive yourself/your children by not giving them Easter eggs! stance”, I am a massive fan of both quality over quantity and not making the chocolate eggs the main focus of the long weekend. (and yes Easter is a long weekend, it doesn’t last an entire month like the supermarkets would like you to believe!)

Here are some quick ideas on how to get through the next few days with your blood sugar levels being a little more settled:

1.  Snack smart:  While your children may be trying to convince you that they should be eating chocolate for every snack, its a good idea to have a few other options up your shelve.  Think mini carrots, with parsley on top and homemade hummus (search on pinterest!), hard boiled eggs, or even mini sandwiches shaped as bunnies.

2.  Gift something other than chocolate:  Yes it is possible to do this!  Giving gifts is one of the greatest joys and is often more satisfying than buying yourself something.  Some ideas are winter PJs, egg cups or anything bunny related such as bunny soft toys (because every child needs multiple Jelly Cat bunnies!) and books.

3.  Egg hunts:  This one  relies on some planning and the weather being good.  But instead of your traditional easter egg hunt why not make it into a bigger game with some extra clues, or activities along the way to get the whole family out of the house and moving.

4.  “Real” eggs:  The humble egg is a nutritional powerhouse.  They are a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids needed for healthy body functions.  How cool is that.  So get creative, decorate the shell, have eggs for breakfast or get baking to teach your children how eggs work (structure, leavening, look, and richness).

I hope everyone has a safe (dry!) and happy Easter.

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Salted Caramel Bites

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Salted Caramel Bites

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby’s Salted Caramel Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cacao Butter
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter together in a pot.  (the cacao butter generally takes longer so I normally add this first).
  2. Add the maple syrup and almond butter.
  3. Stir gently until mixed together.
  4. Add the vanilla and sea salt (to taste).
  5. Before pouring into chocolate moulds, grind a little sea salt into the bottom (as this becomes the top once set and removed!) then pour in mixture and place in fridge to set.

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

 

 

Back to school – how to include vegetables into your children’s lunch boxes

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's vegetable packed smoothie

Shrek Smoothie

With school back shortly I know there are many parents out there dreading getting back into the routine of packing the school lunch boxes. Children need a healthy lunch box to boost their energy and help them concentrate throughout the day. So to get you out of a peanut butter and jam rut here are some ideas to kick the year off on the right foot.

– Include a dip. When sending carrot, celery or capsicum sticks, include a tiny container of a dip such as guacamole or hummus.

– Make wholesome homemade muffins. Include carrot, courgette or spinach. They can be baked in the weekend, wrapped and even frozen for the week ahead.

– Pasta or rice salad is an easy alternative to sandwiches. Use left over pasta/rice from your evening meal, add your child’s favourite vegetables – peas, corns, carrots, steamed broccoli, add a dressing and pack into a container.

– Include salad vegetables into pita breads, wraps or sandwiches. Lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrots, capsicums, mushrooms and cucumber are great options. Just remember to place the tomato slices between the fillings to prevent the bread going soggy!

– Left over roast vegetables such as pumpkin or kumara can be included into a wrap, made into a salad or even included as a snack.

– Vary the spreads. Use avocado instead of butter or margarine as a spread for sandwiches.

– Use skewers. Thread cherry tomatoes, cheese and lettuce onto skewers for a mini meal on a stick!

– Shrek Smoothies. Make a smoothie the night before packed with spinach, pour into a reusable pouch and freeze. Not only will this keep the rest of the lunch box time but it will be defrosted for lunch time.

– Slice vegetables into interesting shapes, such as carrot florets or transform lengths of celery into ants of a log with peanut butter and raisins on top.

– Sushi! Children love sushi so try adding spinach, carrot or cucumber in with their favourite fillings.

Good luck :-)

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

New Years Resolutions – Is it too late?


Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's New Years Intentions

So you may be thinking, I am a little late off the mark with this post.  However bare with me as I’m here to tell you I’m not……I often see people kicking off the year with their list of resolutions and within a few days or weeks something happens they fall off track and these resolutions get thrown out the window and forgotten about for the next year.  And if they are lucky they will end up back on the list to try again for the next year.

After using this approach (and failing) many times before the last couple of years I have been approaching things a little different.  So, what gives? Why is it so hard to keep our resolutions? Because with resolutions, we focus on our actions (which are often negative) which is often what is we see is ‘wrong’ with us and therefore no wonder comes often eventually comes with anxiety or failure.  However with intentions we often focus on the positive.

Our intentions are on a higher plane than actions as our intentions are about changing our core behaviors and the way we view ourselves from a deeper perspective. We can accept our mistakes as lessons and learn to focus forward instead of looking backwards.

A couple of years ago I stopped making resolutions and starting focusing on intentions.  I now enjoy spending a few days at the end of the year going over the year and what went down – both positive and not so positive.  I then start focusing on both how I want to feel during the next year and also what I want to achieve.  For me setting intentions is far more positive.

For example, instead of making a New Year’s resolution to go to the gym more often, I set an intention to keep my body healthy and strong which includes paying attention to what I eat and how often I exercise. This way, I can choose a variety of actions to match that intention—whether it’s going to the gym, taking a long walk, eating new foods, or creating a new healthy habit I haven’t even thought of yet.

By setting intentions we are actually programming our minds into focusing on the positive and therefore we can turn these intentions into positive mantras and affirmations.  It is important that we repeat these to ourselves daily to ensure we don’t stray to far and we check in to make sure that our thoughts and our actions for that day are in line with these intentions.  This means that setting intentions is not something we should only think about once at the beginning of the year like a resolution.

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

What I learnt in 2016

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's lessons of 2016

The best part of 2016!

As each year ends I like to take a little bit of time to reflect on the year. To take in the good times and process some of the bad. We don’t always take the time to do this as we are often just too busy thinking about what is next.

1.  Saying ‘No thank you” is ok.  For the first time ever during 2016 I felt ok about saying no and not feeling like I need to justify this.  Saying no to companies wanting me to promote their products (that I would never by and use myself), using no to invitations, saying no to corporations I don’t agree with, saying no to toxic things/situations/people.  Yes you will probably be judged, but from my point of view no one knows what you need more than you!  So stick with what feels right to you and heres to more of this in 2017.

2.  Stay true.  I have firm beliefs, I don’t always feel the need to shout this out loud (maybe I’ll get onto this in 2017!) but this year I felt it was even more important to stay true to myself and not ‘conform’ with the normal.  It took me a long time to realise I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing or what my friends are doing, but once you get to the place where you are happy sticking to your own beliefs and path then its a pretty good ride from there.

3.  “Me” time is important.  I have always put my health and fitness first however over the years the meaning of this has changed.  This year I have focused more on my yoga practise, getting out into nature, being more mindful and taking time out to do things for me.  The change I have had in my mindset has been massive.  Its a classic case of adding all the little things up into something big!

 

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans to complement your exercise , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist