All posts in Nutritionist

Sugar Free Granola

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You’re not alone if you find the breakfast cereal alise confusing. There are hundreds of different options on the market, from pre packaged porridge, toasted muesli, cereals, cereals with added fruit and then there is kids cereal! So what do you need to look for and how to you avoid craving into your kids begging for the cereal with their favourite cartoon caracter on the front….
The most important points to look for are:
– Wholegrains
– High in fibre (>8g/100g)
– Low in sugar (<15g/100g or <20g/100g for cereals containing dried fruit)

Having breakfast cereal in the morning also gives you a great base to add some other great nutrients such as yoghurt or trim milk for calcium and protein or fruit for some great vitamins and minerals.
And remember that research has shown that for both adults and children, those that had a good breakfast had betters outcomes for memory and concentration which in hand leads to a better performance at work or school. Also people that regulary eat breakfast have been shown to have a more nutritious diet in general as they eat less fat, more fibre and having greater intakes of vitamins and minerals along with being lower in weight as they are less likely to overeat later in the day.
My favourite picks for breakfast are:
– 1/3 cup of oats made into porridge with trim milk, 1 Tablespoon of LSA and a sprinkle of blueberries
– Overnight oats, 1/4 cup of oats, 2 Tablespoons of buckwheat, 2 Teaspoons of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, just covered with trim milk and left to soak over night. Serve in the morning with a sprinkle of blueberries.
– 2 x poached eggs on a bed of spinach and kale, with 1/2 tomato and 1/2 tomato (serve with 2 x wholegrain toast if needed)
– 1/2 cup of my homemade sugar-free granola with natural unsweetened yoghurt ( to make gently bake oats, quinoa, buckwheat, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds with grated ginger, and a touch of cinnamon)
ALL SERVED WITH A GREEN SMOOTHIE ON THE SIDE…..Delish!

Larissa

Director / Nutritionist 

Canned Vs Fresh

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I was in the supermarket this morning (no surprise there!) and I was buying beetroot. I love beetroot.
But unlike most vegetables my love affair for beetroot didnt start when I was a child. But it wasnt the taste I had an issue with. It was the colour. Or more to the point, the colour it made everything else on my plate. Yes thats right, Im talking about canned beetroot.
These days I choose fresh beetroot, as the canned varieties generally have added sugar and salt. Beetroot is a root vegetable which is ~10g carbohydrate/100g, of which most is naturally occuring sugar. If you are choosing the canned variety for the convenience, drain and even rinsing the beetroot will reduce the salt and sugar added…
Today for lunch I made a quick and easy raw beetroot salad. Go on…give it a go…

RAW Energy Salad

Ingredients

1 raw beetroot
1 raw carrot
3 Tbsp raisins
5 mint leaves
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 lemon
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp balsmaic vinegar
pepper

Method 

1. Put the raisins in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave for 3 minutes or until fat and juicy.
2. Grate the beetroot (straight into a bowl to prevent a red mess!) and carrot.
3. Gently toast the seeds in a fry pan on a low heat. (no oil).
4. Dice the mint and drain the raisins. Add to the bowl and mix.
5. Pour over the liquids and mix.
6. Add pepper to taste and sprinkle seeds on top.
Enjoy!

Larissa

Director / Nutritionist 

Homemade Baked Beans

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Baked beans. Not only are they one of the original comfort foods, they are also a kiwi classic.
Every kiwi kid has been brought up on Wattie’s Baked Beans and they remain a favourite for many kiwi adults. Not only do they make a hearty breakfast, they also make a tasty snack, are great addititions to any chilli mix and can even be a made into a quick and easy dinner!

Baked Beans are made from navy beans otherwise known as haricot beans. They are part of the legume family and have zero fat, are high in fibre and are one of the highest sources of plant protein and they are CHEAP! Baked beans in a can also contain alot of sugar and salt….So like always I thought I would try make my own homemade version by seeing what I could take out, what I could subsitute and what I could add to make it more nutritious.

1 x can of 5 bean mix (rinsed in cold water)
1 x can of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 onion
1 celery stalk
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp of chipotle sauce
1 x small handful of corriander, chopped
cracked pepper to taste
Finely dice the onion, celery and garlic and sautee on a light heat in a saucepan.
Rinse the beans in a colendar with cold water and add to the saucepan with the chopped tomatoes and paste.
Simmer gently for 5 minutes and add the chipotle, corriander and pepper and then simmer for another 5. Add a dash of water or apple cider vinegar if needed.

Larissa
Director / Nutritionist

Detox? Yah or Nah?

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Juice detox, lemon detox, tea detox…..We have all seen the ads and have probably had friends announce that they are on one! They normally involve no alcohol, no caffeine, no carbs, no meat, and no processed foods……SO you may be wondering what that leaves you to eat? A lot of the these detoxes involve existing on a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables (often consumed as juice) and washed down with a combo of pills that are promised to magically cleanse your body of toxins.
But what are you really achieving by torturing your body by starvation and depriving yourself from actually chewing food? NOTHING! This may suprise many of you but the idea that the body is filled with pollutants that can be removed by a restrictive juice diet and pills is NOT at all supported by any science and NO you wont lose any weight! Now don’t misinterpret this, the body does contain pollutants however the human body is an amazing machine and has a number of mechanisms to elminate this waste. Our kidneys are designed to remove urine, perspiration expels toxins through our skin, intestines remove waste in faeces, our lungs prevent toxins from entering, remove dust and expel carbon dioxide waste, our liver filters blood, and detoxify drugs and alcohol and our immune systems destroys toxins!
There are also many negative side effects of these detoxes. Any highly restrictive diets or fasting cause tiredness, headaches, constipation, bad breathe, dry skin, dull hair…..No of which is attractive!
I dont recommend dieting, detoxes or fasting. Going on a these simply implies coming off them at some point and reverting to your previous eating patterns. This pattern is neither poitive for your body or mind and I believe it is much better to learn and develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

Larissa
Director / Nutritionist

Is there a healthy snack?

IMG_1599Snacking is an area that a lot of people struggle with. At nearly every consultation I do I get asked for healthy snack ideas…for kids, to have at work, while travelling and while at home.
I snack everyday. While Im working Im very habitiual with my snacking. I exercise in the morning before work so I find by mid morning (even after a smoothie and porridge for breakfast) I need a small snack to get me to lunch time. It is normally, 2 brazil nuts, 6 x natural almonds and a bliss ball or some form of home baking I have done. And the afternoons are the same. I get to mid afternoon and really need a little something as I find its a long time between lunch and dinner! In the afternoons it could be nuts and seeds again, carrot sticks with hummus, avocado or peanut butter or sometimes its even cheese and gherkins!
Snacks can be an be an important part of our daily intake. And contribute to your overall nutrient intake. However choosing the wrong snacks can be a real trap when trying to lose weight or while trying to maintain healthy.

WORK SNACKS
Small handful of mixed natural nuts (~30g)
Small pottle of low-fat yoghurt
1 peice fruit and 2 x brazil nuts
1 piece of homemade ‘kumara’ muesli bar
1 small homemade rice and vegetable frittatta (made in small muffin tins)
2 celery stick with 1/4 avocado mashed or peanut butter
carrot sticks with 2 Tbsp hummus
An apple and small cube (match box size) of edam cheese or almond butter

SNACKS FOR CHILDREN
Fruit kebabs
Milk and fruit based smoothie
Fruit toast
Celery sticks with peanut butter
Mini pretzels
“munch and crunch” platter ie a platter of cherry tomatoes, capscium, carrot sticks, celery sticks, grapes, rice crackers or toasted wholemeal pita breads
Low fat yoghurt and a peice of fruit
Mini pizza made on english muffinss

SNACKS WHILE TRAVELLING
Muesli bar with no chocolate or yoghurt coating (aim for <10g sugar)
Make the most of passing fruit and vege stalls on the side of the road
Homemade snack pack of dried apricots and natural nuts
Tuna and rice crackers
Trim flat white
Homemade snack pack of dried chickpeas
Pack a chiller bag with frozen pottles of yoghurts and they can thaw on your journey
and remember pack bottles of plain water

For more ideas, EMAIL larissa@nutritionbydesign.co.nz
Larissa
Nutritionist / Director

‘Healthy Caramel Slice’

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I love caramel. On the rare occasions I want something sweet it is normally caramel based (or ice cream but thats another story). I will pass on chocolate any day but the beige, creamy, caramelized under tones get me everytime.
So of course I had to modify and come up with a healthier version…..

Ingredients

BASE
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 cup of dates
3/4 cup of water
TOPPING
4 Tbsp Cacao
1 cup of dates
3/4 cup of hot water

Method
Place the cashew nuts, almonds dates and water in a food processor and blend until it becomes a fine crumb and then clumbs into a ball.
Press into a slice tin.
Place the dates and hot water into the blend and leave for 2 minutes. Then add the cacao and blend until smooth.
This recipe is rich and sweet and incredibly satisfying. AND they are gluten, vegan, refined sugar and dairy free.

Larissa

Director / Nutritionist

‘Healthy Cookies’

1451550_624238704281975_1377610023_nIngredients

240g unsalted butter
1 cup of rapadura sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla paste
2 cups of coconut flour
2 cups of rye flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Method
Beat the butter and sugar easing an electric mixer until fluffy (remember to scrape down the sides!). Add the eggs, mixing well after each addition and then add the vanilla paste. In a separate bowl, combine both flours, baking powder and salt. Using a large metal spoon fold flour through creamed mixture until just combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured bench and gnetly work iwth your hands to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line tray with baking powder. Roll out dough (on lightly floured bench), roll out dough to 3-5mm thick and cut shapes using cookie cutter. Place on tray and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. ( I like mine soft so took them out a couple of minutes early….)
Enjoy
Larissa

The lunch box deleima..

 

IMG_0522I am always on the find of some good, easy to make, healthy “treats/lunch box fillers”. So you can imagine my excitment when I made two successful items in one week. And on top of that they can be frozen too!
The first was for a protein muffin, I tweaked the amount of sugar as I was concerned by how much honey was added and the second was a plain biscuit recipe which I changed castor sugar for rapadura sugar and also the white flour for a combination of coconut and rye flour.
I wrapped the muffins individually in gladwrap and froze them so they are can be grabbed easily. And I also froze half of the biscuit dough so I can quickly whip up a batch if need be :-)

Peanut Butter Protein Muffins

2 large ripe bananas (mashed)
2 Tbsp rapadura sugar / rice syrup / honey
3 Tbsp natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 egg
1/3 cup trim milk
4 Tbsp peanut butter
1 3/4 cups oat flour (blended oats)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Mix wet ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and then combine the two together. Place into muffin tins and bake at 180 degreeds for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes clean.