All posts in Guides

What does 100 calories look like?

In my everyday life I choose not too count calories and in most cases that is what I prescribe my clients too. (obviously there are some exceptions due to medical reasons, an athlete, competing…)  However  I don’t believe in following strict rules or numbers.  I believe life is for living and not calorie counting, weighing your foods and restricting your social life.  For me along with the majority of my clients, it is about making sustainable changes you can keep up all year long and not about ‘dieting’ and restricting to drop a few kilos.  And for a lot of people calorie counting leads to unhealthy habits, and here is why:

100 calories

1/4 cup raisins Vs 3 cups fresh strawberries

1 cup of blueberries Vs 2 capsicums

1 fun sized mars bar Vs 3 cups of air popped corn

200 calories

2 Tbsp peanut butter Vs 1 head brocolli

1 small can tuna Vs 2 cups fresh grapes

250 calories

1 mars bar Vs 4 fresh apples

70g pineapple lumps Vs 1700g celery

 

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans , 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 helped me through my first trimester…

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's Healthy Cheese Scones

Almond Flour Cheese Scones for afternoon tea.

If you follow my Facebook page and blog you will notice I have been pretty quiet recently and for a very good reason.  For the past few months I have been growing a little one.  We are now past the half way mark, and I thought it was about time I wrote this blog I started (well I wrote a title for) a few months ago.

Right from the moment we found out we were pregnant I felt the intense tiredness and all day nausea.  I was ‘lucky’ in the sense that my nausea didn’t come on until about 30min-1hr after getting up, that I still felt like exercise.  Well I should really rephrase this as ‘movement‘ as I felt sick if I got my heart rate up so out went high intensity cardio and heavy weights and in came more yoga, dog walks and low key weights!  Out went my usual weekday breakfasts of smoothies, bircher or chia puddings too.  Instead I went with what I felt like, so I had a week or two of omelettes with lots of veggies and cheese, and homemade banana and cacao granola with heaps of unsweetened greek yoghurt and raspberries seemed to go down a treat (you may be already sensing a theme of dairy cravings here!).  I also found I had to eat regulary so would prep myself for the day with lots of easy snacks with my go to’s being: crunchy and sour green apples, natural nuts, raw veggies (but only in the morning!), homemade seed crackers with butter and vegemite (ok anything with butter and vegemite went down a treat, I even brought back my old childhood favourite of weetbix with butter and vegemite!).  I was ready to eat my lunch by 11am most days, and I found left overs from the previous dinner was the best lunch for me or if I wanted something simple it was toast with avocado or peanut butter.  By mid afternoon I was normally starting to feel average again as by this stage I was working, so in the weekends I found sleep the best answer but during the week peppermint tea and a snack would keep me going.  I found as the night progressed dinner was often a struggle, I just physically couldn’t finish large meals so found eating little and often the best.

Even with my best nutritionist wisdom I often found I just couldn’t eat all the veggies on my plate, which for me was weird.  But hey I didn’t stress about it.  I knew I was filling my body with the goodness it needed at the times I could. I was eating a lot more fruit than I normally would and I was snacking on raw veggies everyday.  So when I needed chicken chips I had them. I just tried to eat a small portion and not the whole bag!

Overall I found my diet didn’t change too much (apart from the increase in chicken chips), I added in a few extra snacks but generally stuck with the options mentioned above and there definitely was an increase in carbohydrates.  Anything that included bread, potatoes, rice and pasta I wanted!

While I don’t normally supplement my diet, during this time I have also been taking Elevit with Iodine and a fish oil supplement as I completely went off all fish!  Along with my usual probiotics ;-)

 

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Don’t hate on the carbs…

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's tips on carbohydrates

Lunch with the right type of carbohydrates – Quinoa Sourdough Bread!

Just in the last week I saw two headlines, one that said along the lines of eat less carbs to loss weight and the other which made the front page of the NZ Herald said to eat a high carbohydrate diet for longevity.  While I assume it was a pretty slow news day and while I know that these headlines are effectively click bait I do wonder if many people would actually read the entire article.  Let’s take the NZ Herald story as an example; because I know I battled through the whole article!  And if you did the same you would have seen one tiny sentence right at the end stating that this study was performed on mice!  See my point here?  Turns out we are not mice!  So it is no wonder you are confused as to whether you should eat carbohydrates or not.  So let me cut through these headlines and explain to you what carbohydrates are, which ones you should be eating and get rid of these myths while we are at it.  Because if you know how carbohydrates work, how they affect our bodies and why you need them.  I hope we can all have a much healthier attitude towards them and not buy into these headlines or fad-diets we see all over the internet.  Because lets be honest, the odds of you sticking to that fad diet is very low and you’ll end up crashing out of it.

What are carbohydrates?

So this is potentially where a lot of the confusion starts, because not all carbohydrates are equal.  Carbohydrates are sugars and starches that will be eventually broken down to glucose (a form of sugar) in your body or dietary fibre which we can’t break down.  While our body needs glucose to function correctly, it is incredibly important that we are choosing the right type.  Foods that are rich in carbohydrate can be categorised into four main groups:

  • Simple sugars: white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, rice malt syrup, agave
  • White complex carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, rice, flour and cereals
  • Wholegrain complex carbohydrates: wholemeal bread, pasta, rice, flour and cereals
  • Vegetables and fruits: root vegetables such as kumara, parsnips, carrots,

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Our bodies need carbohydrate for energy and if they don’t get it from carbohydrates they break down fat and protein instead.  And we need protein as its essential for growth and repair, so using it for energy is incredibly inefficient and can lead to muscle wastage (and we don’t want that!).  Choosing the right carbohydrates (complex) is the best way to maintain stable blood sugar levels which helps us concentrate throughout the day.  So lets get rid of this hate and guilt surrounding carbs and start including them in your diet the right way.

 So what carbohydrates should you be eating?

Let’s quickly cover those you should be limiting;  Simple carbohydrates are those that have been heavily refined, such as anything white, plain sugar and sugary processed foods.  These are quickly digested and are normally empty calories.  While you may think you feel great while consuming them which is due to the large blood sugar spike, this quick rise is also followed by a quick fall that makes as feel sluggish and tired.  Can you see the trap here?  The key is to eat more complex carbohydrates as these not only take longer to break down and therefore provide more sustained energy but they are also packed with more nutrients and fibre that our bodies love to use.  You can make easy swaps here such as brown rice instead of white rice, wholemeal pasta instead of white pasta, and a grainy bread instead of white bread. And yes you can even get wholemeal wraps and bagels these days! Other great choices are quinoa, wholemeal couscous and wholemeal flour.  Getting your carbohydrates from vegetables are other great options because they are super high in vitamins and minerals too.  Choose vegetables such as kumara, yams, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, and turnips.  Remember its what you normally add to these carbohydrates which make them unhealthy.

How much should you be eating?

This of course will vary from person to person however keeping it simple; its important not to double up and to start getting your carbohydrates (complex) from a variety of sources.  So if you are making a curry that has kumara or potato in it, thats your carb for that meal.  You don’t need rice too.  Or if you have a grainy bread for breakfast have quinoa with your salad for lunch.  And when serving up remember how the ideal plate should look like – 1/2 vegetables (the non starch kind), 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbohydrates.

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

5 Steps to Boost your Energy.

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beebys top tips on boosting energy levels.

Yoga – my choice of movement!

As I sit here typing this on Sunday evening all I am thinking about is how much I would love to be in bed falling asleep right now!  Which makes me think how common this is for others.  I often get asked during consultations about how to boost energy levels, and luckily there is many changes we can make in our diet and lifestyle.  So here are my 5 top tips on increasing your energy levels.

1.  Get your gut in order.  Our energy levels are tied to the health of your gastrointestinal tract, so if you’re frequently tired or this is a great place to start.  Start by adding probiotic and prebiotic foods to your diet – read more here.

2.  Get better sleep.  We need a solid 7-8 hours sleep each night as this is when our body regenerates and repairs tissues, along with other restorative processes.  Forming better habits such as removing the TV from your room, going to bed at the same time each night, exercising in the morning and keeping the air cool and fresh are a great place to start.

3.  Get moving.   We should be aiming to move our body everyday, it might be a 15min yoga sequence, a 30min walk or a weights session.  The point here is that movement effects your central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. Its also get your blood pumping and the endorphins going, which are great mood boosters.

4.  Get your iron levels checked.  Iron is an important component to our energy in our body.  Without healthy red blood cells your body can’t get enough oxygen which effectively means your body feels fatigued.  Foods that are rich in iron are red meat, leafy greens, tahini, parsley, spirulina,

5.  Boost your B vitamins.  B vitamins are one of the most important group of nutrients when it comes to energy as they are part of the conversion of food into energy.  Foods that are high in B vitamins include wholegrain, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and leafy greens.

 

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to brew the perfect cuppa

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's tips for brewing the perfect cup of tea.

My current favourite tea – mint!

So you probably read the heading and are now saying in your head ” What!, is she crazy!  You just boil the jug and pour the water into your cup and tea bag!”  but I beg to differ here!  And a little disclaimer, as most avid tea drinkers will have their own way they like their cuppa but here is what I like to do.

–  Make sure the teapot/cup is clean.

–  Start with both a preheated pot and also cup.  Filling them both with hot tap water is fine.

–  Always use fresh cold water in the jug (not the hot tap in this case!), and let the tap run for a few seconds to ensure its super cold and also aerated which will help to release the full flavour of the tea leaves.

–  Tea loves oxygen.  Don’t let the water boil for too long as it will boil away the flavour-releasing oxygen.  Just remember for green tea you need to have the water just below boiling.

–  Pour boiling water over the tea leaves or bag.

–  Brew for 3-5 minutes, many packs will tell you the best brewing time for the tea.

ENJOY!

 

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to eat healthy and save money…

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's tips to eat healthy and save money.

In season fresh produce is one of the best ways to eat healthy and save money.

Yes you can do both! A lot of people perceive healthy food to be expensive and yes if you buy everything at the super market labelled “super food” then yeah your food bill will get a little outrageous but this really isn’t the case. A ‘healthy diet’ can look very different from person to person but the foundations of these will be very similar – lots of vegetables and fruits, some grain foods and starchy vegetables, some good quality protein (legumes, eggs, fish, poultry, meat), some dairy, some good fats and cutting back on the junk!

Heres my tips:

1.  Buy in bulk.  Look at for specials on big packs of meat and portion into smaller packs before freezing.  Buy nuts and seeds when on sale from the bulk bin and store in airtight containers or in the freezer.  Same goes for dry ingredients such as quinoa, brown rice, oats and canned goods such as tomatoes, and legumes.  Or even better buy dry legumes, yes it takes longer but is waayyy cheaper.

2.  Use the WHOLE food. How many times have you brought a whole celery and discarded the leaves and heart.  Next time why not cheap those for your next batch of soup?  Plus you could even freeze them!  Or how about using your leftover leaves and stalks to make pesto (parsley, basil, coriander, celery all work well as they are or kale, carrot tops, beetroot leaves, broccoli and cauliflower stalks can all be blanched first.

3.  Use the leftovers to create new meals. Making meals in batches is a great way to not only save money but also save time.  You can slo make the most of larger quantities of meat on special.  A mince based tomato dish can be used for spaghetti bolognese, meatballs, mexican and then even wraps for lunches.

4.  Eat seasonally. Buying vegetable and fruits in season is definitely the cheapest way to go. In our supermarkets in NZ we can purchase tomatoes in winter and apples in summer but you will be paying a premium for them.  Plus eating in season is not only cheap but it also means the vegetable and fruits taste their best and are packed with nutrients.

5.  Don’t go crazy on equipment, ‘super foods’ or organic.  Stick to the basics.  Because lets be honest, broccoli and oats are some of the best super foods out there.

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to keep up with your water intake in winter!

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's tips on how to keep your fluid intake up this winter.

Hot herbal tea1

1. Warm water and lemon in the morning.  This is a great way to kick start your morning and also your fluid intake.  I love the taste of lemon and for me its more about getting in some liquid nice and early in the day.  Plus I find the warm water easy to drink first thing in the morning.  Plus the lemon aids digestion.

2. Herbal teas. Especially if you are not the biggest fan of plain water.  Herbal teas can be a great way to boost your fluid intake.  My favourite is peppermint.  There are so many favours out there so just find one you love. Anything that is caffeine free will do the trick.

3. Invest in a glass water bottle.  Not only is it better for the environment but you can also stay away from BPA’s.  You can easily keep track on how much you have drunk and it tastes a lot better than coming out of plastic!

4. Soups!  Soup is a great way to use any left over veggies or those veggies that are slightly wilted in the back of your fridge.  Make sure they are packed with veggies and not so much on the cream/salt/butter.  Not only can you make them a meal but they also make a great warming snack in winter.

5. Vegetable packed meals.  Not only can you drink your fluids but its also just as important to eat them!

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to eat more fruit this winter…

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beebys top tops to eating more fruit this winter

Winter Smoothies

So I have a confession to make.  I’m not the best fruit eater.  In summer I can easily eat my weight in fresh raspberries but apart from that the best I generally get is fruit in smoothies or berries topped on my porridge/chia puddings/bircher.  I do occasionally crave a crisp apple but I normally will snack on veggies over fruit.  However I am always trying to sneak more fruit into my diet.  Fruit is such an easy snack, plus its packed packed with so many nutrients.  I find a lot of people struggle with fruit throughout winter as our choices here in NZ aren’t as exciting as summer, so heres my top tips:

1.  Stewed Fruit:  Luckily Rhubarb is in season during winter.  Technically it is a vegetable but since we eat it like a fruit thats what we call it!  I stew a batch during the weekend making it easy to put on your hot porridge each morning.

2.  Curries:  So I know this isn’t for everyone but have you had a Duck Curry lately…How good are those grapes!

3. Crumbles:  Winter is the perfect time to have crumble for dessert.  Its quite possibly the best comfort food.

4.  Warming smoothies:  Ok so most of the time during winter I don’t feel like smoothies…due to the obvious!  But when I do I take to adding warming spices such as ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon.  Plus its a great way to “spice” up your flavour combinations.

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Larissa’s top 5 tips to get through Autumn

 

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beebys tips on how to get through Autumn

Kombucha – a good way to get your dose of probiotics!

1. Start everyday with a warm lemon water.  For me its not only delicious, but it delays my first coffee until after breakfast.  Of course it is also packed with vitamin C which will boost your immune system and starting the day with water is always a great idea to begin rehydrating after a night of rest.

2. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  I know its super tempting to cuddle up on the couch for winter and this might just be a good idea as your body rejuvenates and strengthens itself when its rests!

3.  Make vegetables and fruit your friend!  Vegetables and fruit are packed full of vitamin C which help to strengthen our immune system.  Apart from fighting infections vitamin C works as an antioxidant to protect our body from damage, is involved in the growth of tendons, bones and ligaments and also increases our absorption of iron. Aim to get a range of different colours each day.

4.  Soak up the last of the sun!  Vitamin D plays a crucial role in supporting our immune system. The best way to improve our vitamin D levels is to get around 30mins of sunlight a day (but not when it is at its highest!)

5.  Say hello to the friendly bacteria.  I have written about this before, but our gut houses a whopping 80% of our immune system.  Therefore keeping a healthy and happy gut is incredibly important.  So while we can take supplements (preferably one that contains different bacteria and refrigerated!), there are lots of whole and fermented foods that are great sources of probiotics such as fermented miso, sauerkaurt, kimchi, kombucha, yoghurt, and kefir.

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to vege up your meals…

Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's tips on how to include more vegetables into your diet

Salads – a great way to enjoy vegetables!

Vegetables are one of life’s pleasures.  Well thats what I think anyway.  However I know there are a lot of people out there that probably aren’t on the same page with me here.  But here’s the thing, with pretty much every client I consult I get them to include more vegetables into their diet.  And yes I know what you are thinking…”Why the hell are these so dam important!”

Vegetables are naturally low in fat, salt and sugar.  So while they provide us energy, they are also giving us loads of vitamins, minerals and fibre and there is growing evidence of additional health benefits from a range of phytonutrients.

So here are my tips on how to include my vegetables into your diet:

  • Breakfast!  Being the first meal of your day its your first opportunity to eat some vegetables.  Such as adding spinach, kale,avo or courgette (go on try it!) into your smoothie or eggs, spinach, tomatoes and avo
  • Eating the stems.  Broccoli stems should not be wasted. Ever.  Grate them into your omelettes or bolognese, chop them into your stir fries or just fry them up for a snack with satay sauce ;-)
  • Mix it up and use cauliflower rice instead of rice for curries, stir fries etc
  • Snacks such as carrot and celery sticks with hummus or peanut butter
  • Salad every night.  Not only do you get an extra dose of veggies at night time but this also means there will be left overs for lunch the next day!
  • Add grated carrot, courgette, broccoli, onions, into your bolognese, meatballs or hamburger patties
  • make your own dressing using avocado, lemon juice, and unsweetened coconut yoghurt instead of mayo
  • Feast on homemade vege soups.  Soups are a great way to clean out your vege draw too!
  • Have your cake and eat it too!  Yes Beetroot Chocolate Cake, Avocado Mousse, Pumpkin Pie Muesli Bars and Courgette Brownie are actual things…and as long as your don’t pack them full of sugar they will make a pretty decent snack too.

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

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist