All posts in Healthy living

My 5 go-to work lunches

Current favourite work lunch - My seeded bread, spinach, soft goats cheese and Fix and Foggs Smoke and Fire Peanut Butter

Current favourite work lunch – My seeded bread, spinach, soft goats cheese and Fix and Foggs Smoke and Fire Peanut Butter

With the end of the working year drawing to a end (for most!) I know I’m finding making a packed lunch for both me and my partner a bit of a chore at the moment.  Usually it doesn’t bother me to spend a little extra time each night to prepare a delicious assortment of goods to keep us going through the day.  However I haven’t had a proper holiday this year so Im near the end of my tether, so here are my 5 go to work lunches and Im hoping these will inspire you to keep packing that healthy lunch.

1.  Left overs:  Left overs are the easiest way to pack your lunch.  Just make sure you make enough dinner the night before and here is the key point……do not eat it all.  I dish our lunches up while I’m serving our dinning to ensure this doesn’t happen.  Plus tomato based dishes always taste better the next day, so healthier versions of lasagne, curries, spag bowl, stir fry, Mexican bean mix all work well.  Also why not re-invent last nights dinner, make your Mexican beans into a wrap with salad the next day, use left over roast meat in a salad or sandwich, or even use last nights rice, pasta or baked kumara in a salad.

2. Salad:  Salads can either be left overs or if there are none of these hanging around I will make one as Im cooking dinner the night before.  Basically its just a bowl full of chopped vegetables, so you can either keep it simple or do what I do and try and add every vegetable possible.  The key is to add some good fat (avocado, almonds, walnuts or olive oil) and some protein (tuna, salmon, hummus) which will keep you full all afternoon long!

3. Peanut butter on toast:  This has to be the easiest!  I always have frozen bread (homemade or store brought sourdough) in the freezer wrapped or bagged into two slice packages – which makes it even easier to grab on the go.  Just make sure you remember to grab the jar of peanut butter (natural, meaning no salt, sugar, or oil added) and go!  On these days I do make sure I have vegetables to snack on during the day, such as carrot sticks, celery, mini cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or at the moment – fresh peas!

4. Avo on crackers:  This is as easy as number 3.  Take some crackers either homemade seed crackers, oat crackers or corn thins, add avo and some salt and pepper and there you have it!

5. Soup:  So this isn’t probably isn’t the most appealing thing right now on a hot summers day but why not try a tasty (and cool) Gazpacho.  My go to soup is a Green Godess Soup.  Basically you go to the fridge, pull out all your green vegetables, put into a large pot, then go to the freezer pull out all your bags of green vegetables, then add to the pot.  Add garlic, ginger, chilli, and chicken stock and boil and then blend.  Perfection!

If you would like more help on nutrition and meal plans, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Eating well on a budget



With Christmas around the corner (on a side note – I LOVE Christmas!), I thought it was a good time to talk budgets!  December usually comes along with a lot of increased spending, that is of course if you are not one of those super organised types that does their Christmas shopping throughout the year.  And while I love Christmas and try and do try to so this every year, I nearly seem to pull it off.  So I always seem to plan December pretty well to ensure we aren’t going crazy with the spending, because lets be honest you don’t need to make this time of year even more stressful by having to worry about your budget.  And after all Christmas is really about sending time with your friends and family.  So enough about that, here are some tips to ensure your eating budget is on track and NO eating healthy does NOT have to be expensive!

Seasonal produce is always best:  With NZ having a summer Christmas we are pretty dam spoilt with our choice of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Eating in season is always going to be cheaper than food imported from the other side of the world.  With things like asparagus, green beans, new potatoes, strawberries, and cherries being at the top of their game at this time the year these foods should be the star of every meal.

Buy staples in bulk:  Dry foods such as flour, brown rice, lentils, beans and nuts and seeds can all be brought in bulk.  Shop around for your local Bin Inn, Asian Specialty store, or even online.

Be prepared:  Take a little time at the start of each week to write up your meals for the week, this way you won’t be shopping for new ingredients each day. Plus you may even be able to make things in bulk to get you through a few days.  Its also a good time to plan your lunches, if there are no leftovers make your lunch while cooking dinner to stop you from having to buy it every day too.

Love your beans:  Legumes such as beans and lentils are some of the cheapest foods you can buy, plus they are packed full of nutrients (yes I know you were thinking surely those $1 loaves of white bread are the cheapest, Im sorry but they are not!).  Being high in fibre they full you up which is great for bulking up salads or soups and adding to your meat dishes.  Yes that means you can use less meat – a saving bonus!

Watch your waste:  With all these extra vegetables you are consuming make sure you don’t waste anything, use the ends off your carrots and celery etc to make stock, or grate last weeks slightly limp vegetables into a spag bowl and freeze your over ripe fruit ready for your smoothies.

Eat real superfoods:  The real superfoods don’t actually come in overpriced packets from the healthy store.  They actually can be found in every fruit and veg shop or supermarket.  Yes think broccoli, eggs, almonds, brown rice, spinach, fresh herbs, walnuts, berries, garlic, kumara, and fish.

If you would like more help on nutrition and eating well on a budget, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

5 tips to drink less alcohol this summer

New Years Celebrations Gisborne Style

New Years Celebrations Gisborne Style

1.  Fake it:  I find if you don’t make a big deal about not drinking, no one seems to notice.  I make sure I always have a glass in my hand, even if its fizzy water in a wine glass or in a tumbler with ice and lemon no one questions it!

2. Arrive early, leave early:  Just because you aren’t drinking or just trying to cut down you don’t have to miss out on all the fun!  Just be a little more tactful about when you arrive and when you leave.

3. Find another way to relax:  Instead of getting home on a Friday night and reaching straight for the bottle of wine, why not head out first for a walk around your neighbourhood or practise 30 minutes of yoga to unwind after the week.

5. Organise your social events in places other than a bar:  Try catching up with a friend over a walk or even brunch this way you’re not even tempted to have an alcoholic drink!

6. Alternate your drinks:  If you are having an alcoholic drink or two make sure every second drink is water, take your time to drink this.You don’t need to make excuses for this either, you’re thirsty and will get another drink in a second.

If you would like more help on nutrition and eating well for summer, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Halloween….and the other 364 days of the year.

So its Halloween today….I’m a firm believer that kids shouldn’t miss out on these types of celebrations and events even though you are trying to create healthy food environments and habits for your kids. Yes Halloween and lollies do seem to go hand and hand these days but why not switch things up this year!
Its also important to remember that its not one day of the year that is too blame, its the other 364 days were these treats are normalised and food is used to reward, pacify or even entertain kids. (*disclaimer here – I don’t have kids…)So apart form giving out apples instead of lollies this weekend (yes I have done that before!) heres what you could do:

– If buying, buy your lollies at the last minute to stop them getting eaten before hand!
– Ensure your children have a good dinner before heading out trick or treating to prevent too much snacking on lollies later on
– Give out Halloween themed stickers or glow sticks from the $2 shop
– Chat to your children about sugar and how much is in each lolly (probably around 2 tsp of each small lolly!)
– If you children have come home with a bucketful of lollies ask them to pick out three and let them to take their time enjoy them, and put the others away for another day.

If you would like more help on nutrition and to book a nutrition consultation, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Osteoporosis – are you at risk?

Auckland Nutritionist Larissa Beeby doing Chaturanga pose

Chaturanga pose

This week, on the 20th October is World Osteoporosis Day, so I thought this is the perfect opportunity for us to talk about all things bone related.  Putting it shortly, osteoporosis is when your bones become thin and brittle, which means you are more at risk of getting breaks and fractures, and any one that has broken a bone before will understand that this is not ideal! While this is common in mostly older people, young people can still suffer too, just like it affects more women and men, but yes men are still at risk too.  The scary thing is osteoporosis is often referred to as an ‘invisible disease’…

While many of us may know that calcium is important for children to help build strong bones, many of us don’t understand the importance for adults as calcium maintains our bone health and also slows bone loss.

The good news is that you can help this risk by modifying many lifestyle factors

  • nutrition: eat foods and drinks high in calcium (green leafy vegetables, whole canned fish with soft edible bones, nuts, tofu and of course our biggest and best source is dairy!), keep up your vitamin D* levels, reduce your salt intake, and limit alcohol and caffiene
  • exercise:  regular physical actively is key to healthy bones, especially weight bearing exercises
  • be smokefree….enough said!

*Vitamin D is not present in our foods in high levels and it is actually a substance made in the skin as a result of sunlight exposure.  Therefore if we are not getting outside into the sunlight each day we may be at risk of having low vitamin D levels.  However you may be thinking what about the risk of getting burnt?  Well the Cancer Society recommends we get outside failing in the early morning and late afternoon.  This is extremely important in turns of bone health as it facilitates absorption of calcium from the diet. When vitamin D levels are very low, mineralisation of bone is impaired.

If you would like more help on nutrition for bone health, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

World Egg Day

Bacon and Eggs

One of my favourite way to have eggs – bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning!

With this week being World Egg Day (yes that is a thing!) what better time than now to celebrate the humble egg.  Eggs haven’t always been received well in the world of nutrition, while it has never been contested that they aren’t a great source of nutrients, their cholesterol levels did lead to recommendations on limiting their consumption to just a couple a week.  However as nutrition is a science and we know science evolves with time so do our recommendations.  The good news (or great!) news is that we now know that cholesterol in our food isn’t a big influencer on our own cholesterol levels in our body, so an egg or two a day is fine in the context of a healthy diet.

Here are my top egg facts:

  • Eggs are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  While we normally think of fish, walnuts or LSA, one egg contains around 90mg, so if you’re having 2 eggs for breakfast then you get 180mg, which is a good contributor to the 500mg recommended a day (or 3500mg over a week)
  • Eggs are also a good source of vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and folate. Plus they are also a source of vitamin A and E and provide iodine, iron, zinc and phosphorus
  • The colour of the shell (brown or white) is dependent of the breed of the hen and has nothing to do with nutrition value
  • A quick test for freshness is to check if the raw egg in the shell sinks in a basin of water. Fresh eggs stay at the bottom of the bowl while older eggs float because of the large air cell that forms in its base.
  • Eggs are a very economical food.  They supply high-quality protein and a variety of important vitamins and minerals at a very low price.

If you would like more help on nutrition contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

How to spring clean your pantry in 6 steps!

Don't get sidetracked by people who are not on track.

I love nothing more than a good spring clean.

#1: Throw It!

Start in one place and one place only.  Either your fridge, freezer or pantry and take out all the foods that will hinder your healthy lifestyle.  I really struggle to throw out food, so you can’t bring yourself to throw them out, give them away.  And do it straight away, don’t let them sneak back in!

#2: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

While its not always realistic to completely get rid of everything.  There may be some sometimes or occasional foods still lingering around so pop these in containers you can’t see through, at the back of the pantry or fridge, up high and most defiantly off the kitchen bench!

#3:Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Always have a stash of quick ingredients to whip up a healthy meal for those occasions you are tempted to get takeaways.  Freezing single-sized portions of left-overs, or doing a cook off specially to freeze is a great idea so you can prepare a home cooked meal faster than it takes to dial for takeaways (plus these are great for winter lunches at work!)

#4: Prepare, prepare prepare

In addition to the above make sure you also have a supply of frozen vegetables, fruit and proteins available in the freezer as quick meal ingredients. I love to keep peas, corn, kale and spinach in the freezer along with prawns and small salmon loins.  Buy bulk vegetables and fruit when in season in freeze your own!

#5: LOVE

Respect yourself (and your veggies) by taking time to choose the best produce available. Make sure you’re aware of the best way store your foodstuffs to lengthen the shelf-life to preserve nutrients and maximise flavour.  Such as tomatoes in the fruit bowl not the fridge!

#6: Throw the fizz

So many calories are wasted on beverages with next to no nutritional value. Commit to having only zero calorie fluids readily available (the best one is sparkling mineral water with a twist of citrus )

If you would like more help on nutrition contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or on the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Kids in the Kitchen

Healthy Refined Sugar Free Banana Muffins

My neice and I baking Banana Muffins.

Teaching your children to cook is an important life skill for not only health and wellbeing but also to help them survive in the big bad world on their own two feet (so they don’t live on 2minute noodles and takeways!).  While that may seem like a long way off if your child is a toddler, its important that these skills are taught early because:

  • It can be great quality time together
  • Cooking creates an appreciate and love of food and even an understanding of nutrition and more specifically what fuels their bodies (so they can play more!)
  • Kids are more likely to eat and enjoy foods they have made or help make.  Same goes for growing vegetables, children are more likely to try it if they grew it themselves!
  • Cooking involves a range of other important skills scubas as mathematics, reading, decision making, research, co-ordination, teamwork, time management and creativity.
  • Plus image how good it will be when they are older and they can take over some of the cooking!

What to do at what age:

0-1 years
Sit the baby where they can see you cooking. Talk to them about the food and show them what you are doing. While they may not understand, they are forming pictures of what is normal for Mummy or Daddy to do.

1-3 years
Involve them as much as possible in what you are doing. Give them plastic bowls, wooden spoons, plastic sets of cutters and play dough to play with. As they get older and their motor skills get better, let them stand on a stool and pour ingredients you have measured into a bowl. They can also help clear the table by removing place mats and napkins.

3-5 years
Pre-schoolers can spread, peanut butter or avocado or hummus with a butter (blunt) knife. They can tear up lettuce for a salad, stir the contents of a bowl, wash fruit and vegetables and help mash vegetables. They can also help set the table.

5-10 years
School-aged kids can use hand egg beaters, whisks and sifters. They can measure ingredients and mix them in the right order. Since their reading skills are improving, they can start to read recipes – this is a good time to buy a kids’ cookbook or download some kids recipes. Close supervision of all food preparation will still be necessary.

And beware, this could be messy, but I promise it will be well worth it!

If you would like more help on nutrition for children or practical ideas to get kids in the kitchen contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or on the phone.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

5 beauty tips from a nutritionist

Nutritionist Larissa Beeby's top beauty tips

A no make up selfie!


I am a believer that health (and beauty) comes from within.  The relationship between what we eat and drink and how we look and feel are linked.  What we put in comes out, which are why the below tips are incredibly important:

Water, water, and more water!:  Being hydrated is one of the simpliest ways to glowing skin, however some people can find this incredibly hard. Aim for 2L per day.  If this is hard for you to achieve, keep track by purchasing a 1L glass bottle and make sure you get through two a day.

Eat more greens:  Green vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that can improve your skin, hair and nails.  The key is to get a variety each day and at every meal.  Try by adding a handful of spinach to your smoothie ( I promise you will not taste it), and aim for at least one handful of veggies at lunch and two at dinner time.

Cut back on the wines:  I am not forcing you to be a tea-totlar here but just by cutting back you will be doing wonders for your liver. And therefore your skin.  Try swapping every second drink to a sparkling water or have a 2 drink limit.

Look after your gut:  As over 60% of your immunity comes from your gut, your skin is also a reflection of your gut health.  Try increasing probiotic foods.

and REST!: This is another one that sounds simple but a lot of people struggle with. An exhausted body can’t function the way it is supposed to which means your skin and hair will suffer.


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist


How to Cook Grains

Cooking grains from scratch can be a little off putting at first.  Because honestly who likes gluggy rice!! Or maybe you are keen to try buckwheat for the first time or you want to nail cooking (and saying) quinoa (keen-wa).  So here is your go to cooking guide

Brown Rice

  • Ratio: 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water
  • Method:  Absorption
  • Cooking time:  30-45 min

Quinoa (Keen-Wa in case you missed it above)

Ratio:  1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water
Method:  Absorption
Cooking time:  12-15 minutes


Ratio:  1 cup of barley to 3 cups of water
Method:  Absorption
Cooking time:  30-45 minutes for pearl  or 90 mins for unhulled


Ratio:  1 cup of buckwheat to 1.5 cups of water
Method:  Absorption
Cooking time:  10-12 minutes (plus soak over night)


Ratio:  1 cup of polenta to 3 cups of water
Method:  Stirring
Cooking time:  15-30 minutes


Ratio:  1 cup of couscous to 1 cup of boiling water
Method:  No cooking required
Cooking time:  3 minutes


Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist