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Shop 35, 2-22 Knox St (Cosmopolitan Centre), Double Bay NSW 2028
Entry at rear via Short St immediately after the entrance into the Cosmopolitan Centre Carpark. Opposite #2 Short St.

+61434109922

Stephanie Malouf | Accredited Nutritionist

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20 healthier everyday substitutes

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Make these swaps for better nutrition and long term health!

  1. Table sugar or artificial sweeteners → cinnamon, vanilla powder, pure stevia leaf, raw honey, pure maple syrup
  2. Milk chocolate → 70%+ dark chocolate or raw cacao
  3. Vegetable/seed oils → extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  4. Margarine → Organic butter or ghee
  5. Commercial peanut butter  → raw peanut butter, raw almond butter, unhulled tahini
  6. Soft drinks → kombucha 
  7. Soy sauce → tamari
  8. Oyster sauce  → Coconut aminos
  9. Store bought banana bread high in refined sugar, flour and vegetable oil  → my healthy banana bread
  10. Store bought granola high in refined sugars and vegetable oils → my coco-nut granola
  11. White bread → wholewheat sourdough, buckwheat bread, wholegrain rice cakes, 
  12. Wheat pasta → zucchini pasta, mung bean pasta, chickpea pasta, zucchini noodles or 100% buckwheat noodles/buckwheat pasta
  13. Potato chips → Rosemary & Sea Salt Kale chips
  14. Stock/stock cubes - organic bone broth. I like Undivided Food Co
  15. Soy milk → raw nut milks e.g. almond milk or macadamia milk
  16. Caged eggs → organic free-range eggs
  17. Processed tasty cheese → whole milk goats cheese, feta, mozarella and ricotta 
  18. Grain fed meat → grass-fed & finished meat
  19. Table salt → Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  20. Plastic water bottles → glass, aluminium or BPA free bottle

 

The One Ingredient I Avoid To Stay Healthy

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Vegetable oil, sounds healthy right? WRONG.

It is without a doubt one of the biggest health concerns associated with the modern diet and what I believe to be a key driver of ill health and diseases.

Another name for vegetable oils is industrial seed oils which is far more accurate given they are mostly derived from seeds. Common forms are sunflower oil, safflower oil, rapeseed aka one of the most popular cooking oils, canola oil.  When I see this in the pantry when doing pantry clean outs with clients, it’s the first thing to go in the bin.

For years we were told that these oils are a ‘heart healthy alternative’ to the ‘artery clogging saturated fats' which cause heart disease. Sadly we have been misinformed thanks to Ancel Keys and his falsified research published in 1958. Yep, all those years ago and still part of our dietary guidelines.

Keys collected data on deaths from coronary heart disease and fat consumption from 22 countries. Despite the fact that 22 countries provided statistics, Keys cherry-picked the data from the 7 countries which supported his theory that animal fat was the main cause of coronary heart disease in order to publicise his opinions. 

So what’s the issue?

These oils are highly highly processed and of course cheap, therefore added to pretty much every commercially produced food product on the market (bread, crackers, 'healthy' snacks, tinned tuna and cereals), used in fast food outlets and restaurants.

I'm not suggesting that you should live under a rock and never eat out  but being well informed, reading the ingrdients list of your pantry products and avoiding them where you can is a great way to reduce their harm. 

Unlike oils made from fruit such as olives and avocado and animal fats such as butter and ghee, vegetable/industrial seed oils are a concentrated source of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Omega-6 fats are highly unstable, therefore when they come into contact with oxygen, heat and light, toxic chemicals called free radicals are created.

In order to extract these oils from their seeds, they require harsh processing. This process involves high heat extraction, chemical solvents such as hexane, bleaching and deodorising. As a result, free radicals are formed and therefore when you consume these oils, these toxic compounds are transferred into the body. In the body free radicals attack our cells causing damage and oxidative stress.

Here are some conditions associated with oxidative stress:

  • Arthritis
  • Vasculitis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Obesity 
  • Heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Hypertension
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Tumour growth
  • Premature ageing

Another issue with omega-6 fats is that when they are consumed in excess to omega-3 fats, this also triggers inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. The problem is there are far fewer sources of omega-3 fats (found in oily fish like salmon and sardines and to a lesser extent in flaxseeds and chia) making it easy to eat your omega-6’s in excess, especially when consuming them in a concentrated form like vegetable oil and/or a processed diet. Thats why eating fish 3+ times a week is highly recommended as part of an anti-inflammatroy diet

The Vegetable/Industrial Seed Oils you want to avoid include:

X      Canola Oil
X      Corn Oil
X      Rice Bran Oil
X      Rapeseed Oil
X      Soybean Oil
X      Safflower Oil
X      Peanut Oil
X      Sesame Oil (small amounts in a cold pressed form is ok)
X      Cottonseed Oil

Which ones are the healthy oils?

The following oils are a great source omega-3 fatty acids. Being a type of polyunsaturated fat, they are similar to omega-6 fats in that they are unstable and therefore should never be heated. However, when consumed raw or in their cold pressed form, they are anti-inflammatory and great when used on salads, veggies or added to smoothies.  

  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil (balanced ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fats)
  • Walnut Oil

The following fats are forms of monounsaturated fats which are linked with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer and a key characteristic of the health prompting Mediterranean Diet. These types of fats are packed with antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.  Use these when cooking at low-medium heat or raw on salads and veggies.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil / Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil

Saturated fats are stable at high heats making them great for cooking. Examples include:

  • Grass Fed Butter or Ghee
  • Coconut Oil
  • Grass Fed Beef Tallow

What else can you do to reduce oxidative stress in the body?

Eat a diet full of ANTI-oxidants which scavenge these free radicals and offset their damaging effects. Unfortunately, the body cannot manufacture these healthy compounds, so they must be supplied through the diet. Load up on:

  • Colourful fruits such as berries, cherries, citrus, prunes, and olives.
  • Vegetables particularly garlic, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, onion, broccoli and kale 
  • Herbs and spices particular ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon
  • Beans & Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and all beans which are rick in fibre 
  • Raw cacao
  • Green & back tea 

Do These 9 Things Now For A Healthy Brain Later

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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FACT: Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) specifically being the most common form. With this horrible debilitating disease, the brain gets damaged affecting your memory, thinking and behaviour.

AD is becoming increasingly prevalent which has shown us that there is more than just genetics driving this disease. Research has revealed that your DIET and LIFESTYLE choices early on in life influences your risk of developing this condition later down the track by almost 50%!

Dr. Bredesen is an internationally recognised expert on neurodegenerative disease and at the forefront of this area of research. He is among the school of thought that AD is a preventable and reversible condition, if addressed early enough. Diet and lifestyle are two of the main drivers irrespective of whether or not you have a genetic predisposition. 

Dr. Bredesen has identified different types of AD. Understanding these helps us to understand  how we can protect ourselves against it. 

  1. Inflammation – caused by a poor diet high (e.g. trans fat, processed foods) toxins or pathogens. Are you eating enough anti-inflammatory foods? Do you have a good balance of bacteria living in your gut?

  2. Atrophy – wasting away of the brain due to nutritional deficiencies, toxins and hormone imbalances. Are you getting enough nutrients in your diet?

  3. Insulin resistance of the brain - associated with Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes and inflammation triggered by high levels of glucose (how much sugar is in your diet? Do you eat too many carbs?

  4. Toxins - associated with the exposure of toxins such mould or heavy metal toxicity. Are you eating too much tuna?

  5. Vascular -  impaired cardiovascular health affecting oxygen to the brain. Do you exercise?

  6. Trauma -  associated with previous head injury. 

WANT TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING AD?

Here are the top 9 diet and lifestyle interventions that have the strongest impact

  1. Avoid insulin resistance & regulate your blood sugar levels by avoiding sugar, controlling your intake of carbohydrates and avoiding those in the simple form such as white bread and fruit juice. 
  2. Sleep 7-8 hours a night. This allows your brain to flush out toxins and repair and regenerate healthy brain cells. 

  3. Exercising regularly

  4. Minimise your exposure to toxins. Check for mould in the house and use natural skin care products.

  5. Eat an anti-inflammatory and nutrient rich diet high in omega-3 fatty fish, colourful fruit and veggies rich in antioxidants. Lean more about eating an anti-inflammatory diet

  6. Restore nutrient deficineices by consuming a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy gut flora and getting some sun for a good dose of vitamin D.

  7. Support your immune system system to prevent infections and minimise antibiotic usage. 80% of your immune system is in your gut so how is your gut health?

  8. Reduce stress. Meditate, take a deep breath, take a break. 

  9. Keep your brain stimulated. Sudoku anyone?

What's With Wheat? Is it ok to Eat?

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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This week I watched the documentary; What's With Wheat. The documentary sets out to educate people about wheat and why it's linked to so many health problems today. The documentary features a lot of experts in the industry that I admire, one in particular; Dr Terry Wahls. 

Dr Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which confined her to a wheelchair for four years. Through diet and lifestyle changes, Dr Wahls completely restored her health and now enjoys the luxury of riding her bike to work every day.  A true example of the power of nutrition in healing disease.

For me personally, wheat isn't something I consume often. The reason being that it simply doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve learnt to become very in-tune with my body and choose (for the most part) to eat foods that make me feel good. This means that the bulk of my diet is clean and nourishing. That being said I am not obsessive or overly restrictive so if I feel like eating a slice of bread, or rather pick at the crust which the best bit, I will. My point is that this isn’t about scaring you off wheat for life but it is about being aware of they effects it's having on our health, becoming more in tune with how wheat or other foods make YOU feel, consider alternatives that make you feel better and stay balanced. 

Sally Fallon, founder of The Western A. Price Foundation says; "Wheat is probably the most problematic food in the diet”. The issue is that what was once a healthy part of a balanced diet has now changed so dramatically that it doesn't resemble what it used to be. So what has changed?

Wheat has been hybridised into new forms that are more pest resistant and yield more crops for production & money money money mooney. This has also created new strains of gluten that our body views as a threat. Therefore when we eat it, our body goes into attack mode which causes damage to our body and triggers the disease process. This has led to the dramatic increase in celiac disease and other inflammatory conditions. 

There are a lot more chemicals used in the crop production to kill bacteria and pests that would otherwise destroy the crops. Humans are made up of 10x more bacteria than cells so these chemicals are essentially killing us. These health promoting bacteria reside all over our body, a key concentrated area being in our digestive tract and therefore is completely destroying our digestion. Our guts are not the only part of our body affected by wheat. Depending on your susceptibility depends on where the symptoms show up –  gut, bloating, irritability, headaches, muscle ached and pains, itches, depression, anxiety. This is why it’s so widespread and affects people in so many different ways.

We are eating far too much of it. Wheat is a huge commodity and it’s therefore in the interests of our government to subsidies and encourage mass consumption. A classic example of this is the fact that up until recently wheat based products such as bread, cereal and pasta were are at the bottom of the food pyramid. This means that the government recommended that the bulk of our diet should be made up of bread, cereal, pasta and other grain foods. As a nutritionist I can safely say this is absolutely rubbish. The bulk of our diet should be made up fruit and vegetables. The movement finally came to their senses in 2013 and updated the pyramid. 

People have become so dependent on wheat in the diet that when I’ve recommended that certain clients remove it as part of an elimination diet, they go into complete panic mode. What’s left to eat? Won’t l starve? Where will I get my energy from?

Of course wheat isn't at the root cause of all disease however it is proving to be a common irritant to many. If you are experiencing symptoms that you think could be related to a wheat intolerance and/or are interested in making some dietary changes and don’t know where to start, feel free to get in touch.

Watch the full documentary below:

5 Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Snacking, is it important or is it best avoided? There’s a lot of mixed opinions as to whether snacking is a good thing or a bad thing. My advice is to listen to your body. If you get hungry or experience an energy slump between meals, then I recommend that you have a small protein containing snack. If you feel fuelled and satisfied between meals, then there is no need to eat for the sake of it and over-snacking can impair your digestion.

For most clients however I recommend that they have a snack around 3pm in the afternoon as this is a common time people experience low energy, brain fog and you guessed it, sugar cravings.  The key to snacking is to make sure it contains protein, slow releasing energy carbohydrates and have it just before your energy slump to keep your blood sugar levels stabilised. Here are some of my favourites.

Hummus & Veggie Sticks

Hummus is made from chickpeas which is one of my favourite carbohydrate sources. They are packed with fibre making them a low GI and also high in protein.  Most hummus recipes contain tahini which is a source of healthy fats made from ground sesame seeds and a great non-dairy source of calcium. Pair together with some veggie sticks such as carrot, celery and capsicum for a filling snack. It’s also a great way to sneak an extra serve of vegies in to hit your 5 serves a day.

Recommended Brands: Pilpel, Yalla or DIY using my quick, easy and super delicious hummus recipe

DIY Savoury Nut & Seed Mix

Nuts & seed mixes are a great source of protein and good fats which is the perfect combination to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Doing it yourself means you can add all your favourite nuts & seeds and you know it’s free of added salt, artificial flavours or roasted in cheap inflammatory vegetable/seed oils. High protein nuts & seeds include almonds, peanuts, pepita seeds and sunflower seeds. Dry roasting them on low heat with a sprinkle cumin or paprika makes them even more tasty. Enjoy a small handful (e.g 6-10 almonds) with a piece of fruit as a balanced snack. Cant control yourself? Portion them into little snap lock bags.

Bone Broth

This is a regular snack choice of mine particularly around the colder months to warm and nourish my belly. A cup of bone broth contains approximately 10g of protein and is low in carbohydrates. What I love most about bone broth is it’s a gut healing superfood, due to its gelatin content. Gelatin is a natural remedy for reducing inflammation in the gut and healing and sealing the gut wall. This is a great one if you experience any digestive upsets such as bloating or bowel irregularity or looking for a low carb high protein snack option.

Recommended Brands:  Undivided Food Co’s GOOD BONES Certified Organic Bone Broth

Nut Butter On sliced Apple With Cinnamon

Raw natural nut butters are a great source of protein and good fats that keep you satiated. Spreading it on sliced apple and finishing off with a big sprinkle of cinnamon satisfies your cravings for something sweet whilst also stabilising your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is a great natural way to improve your insulin sensitivity and efficiently use carbohydrates as fuel instead of storing them as fat. The recommended amount is 2 tsp a day so go nuts on the cinnamon!

Recommended brands: Pics, Mayvers, Macro.

Full Fat Greek Yoghurt with Cinnamon & Berries

I am a big fan of everything full fat, even for my weight loss clients.  Just enjoy it in smaller amounts. The more you process foods such as removing the fats from the yoghurt, you deplete its nutrient content. Food is for nourishment and enjoyment and full fat tastes better! Furthermore, when you take something out, you need to replace it with something else such such as sugar or liver and gut harming artificial sweeteners. The fats along with the protein in the yoghurt keep you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. A sprinkle of cinnamon and berries add sweetness, antioxidants, fibre with very very little sugar.

Recommended Brands: Barambah Organics 5am Organics, Julna BioDynamic Organic Whole Milk Yoghurt

 

 

 

An Introductory Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Weight-Loss & More

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Intermittent fasting is a hot topic at the moment and for a good reason. It's something I recommend to certain clients in my practice and it can have extremely favourable health results especially with weight loss and when done correctly. Here is what you need to know about it. 

Like a car, our body requires fuel to carry out its important functions; from walking to a heart beat. The primary sources of fuel is sugar in the blood and glycogen; sugar stored in the muscles and liver for later use. In the absence of these two sources, our body breaks down fat stores for fuel.

When we are constantly eating, we are also constantly replenishing these glucose and glycogen fuel sources which means our fat cells stay fully loaded. As modern day life favours eating more food and moving less, these fat stores are bulking instead of breaking down, hence why obesity rates are rising.

How long does it take until your body starts breaking down fat?

It takes on average 6-8 hours after you eat for your body to burn though the glucose and glycogen stored energy in the muscles. After that point your body will start burning fat as fuel.  

How does intermittent fasting work?

There are a few different ways you can structure your intermittent fast. A well-known one being the 5:2 structure whereby you eat normally for 5 days and fast for 2 days by eating under 500 calories. 

An alternative and my preferred structure is the 16/8 hour one where you simply eat all your food in an 8 hour window and fast for 16 hours. This could mean you:

  1. East breakfast later in the day e.g. Eat from 11am - 7pm
  2. Skip breakfast completely and go straight to lunch e.g. Eat from 12pm - 8pm
  3. Eat breakfast early and have your last meal early afternoon e.g. Eat from 8am - 4pm

The 16/8 hour structure is easier than the 5:2 structure because you are sleeping for most of the fast, it’s more flexible and you aren't required to eat less calories therefore aren't starving all day. You eat the same amount of food, you're just eating in a smaller time-frame.

Will you get faster results by eating less food and eating in a smaller time-frame?

Initially you might lose weight but eventually you will start to put more weight on and it will be harder to lose. If you don't eat enough food in the 8 hour window, your body will think it's going to starve and will hold tightly onto its fat stores making it harder to shift the weight and start breaking down muscle instead. Your body will also respond by reducing its metabolic rate which means you become less efficient at burning calories and will cause you to gain more weight in the long term, especially when you revert back to your normal eating habits. You are not supposed to starve yourself. 

Can you drink fluids during your fast?

Yes you can drink water, black coffee, and tea during your fasting period. I recommend adding psyllium husk to your water which is a great source of fibre and also an appetite suppressant as it swells in your stomach. 

Won’t this cause muscle mass to break down, especially if I don’t fuel pre or post training?

Human growth hormone is a hormone that promotes growth, healing and repair of our cells. When insulin rises, this hormone is suppressed. In the fasted state, human growth hormone levels are at their peak which not only supports muscle growth but allows the body to clean up, repair and replenish damaged cells having healing and anti-ageing effects. This is why 8 hours of sleep per night is so important. As long as you are eating a sufficient amount of calories for your body type during the 8 hour window, you won't lose your muscle mass. Furthermore, exercising in a fasted state, will force your body to burn fat as fuel.

What other health benefits are associated with intermittent fasting?

  • Improves insulin sensitivity so you can use carbs more efficiently as fuel. Effective for people with Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance.
  • Reduces sugar cravings
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces triglycerides
  • Increases brain function through the production of ketones – a type of fuel the brain can efficiently use as fuel
  • Lowers blood pressure

Is this way of eating for everyone?

No, this way of eating isn’t for everyone especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, hypoglycaemic or have a low body fat %. In these cases, fasting can stress your body and drive less favourable health effects. The key is to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Bear in mind, initially you might find it difficult as you are trying to train your body to become a fat burning machine. Give yourself two weeks and ease into it by fasting for 13 hours and work yourself slowly up to 16 hours.  

Does it matter what you eat during your 8 hour eating window?

Of course. When it comes to good nutrition, quality is more important than quantity!

How many days a week should you fast?

I recommend starting off with 2-3 days and see how your body responds to it. If it works well, increase your number of fast days. It's also a great tool to use when in need of a reset, especially when overindulging throughout this festive season. 

If you are interested in learning more or having a tailored weight loss/fasting program written for you, Get In Touch!

Like using apps? Download the Zero Fasting Tracker app from the Apple store to track your fast.

 

Would you like a stroke with that diet coke? The shocking truth about artificial sweeteners

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Answer me this, out of Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coca Cola, which one do you think is the healthiest option? 

A study released in April this year examined whether sugar or artificially sweetened beverage consumption was associated with an increased risk of stroke, dementia & Alzheimer disease. Their beverage intake was examined using food questionnaires and they were observed for a total of ten years. What the results showed might come as a shock to you…

Artificially sweetened soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Sugar sweetened beverages such as fruit juice nor sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption like Coca-cola was not.

Does this finding change your answer to the question?

Shocking right? What's more shocking is that the risk of stroke in those drinking one or more artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was almost tripled! The finding for Alzheimer’s risk was very similar.

This particular study caught my eye because I see so many clients that consume these toxic chemicals on a daily bases and think it's ok because it’s sugar free. I used to be one of those people, addicted to Coke Zero. I have some clients that were drinking up to 3 cans a day before they came to see me. Would you like a stroke with that diet coke?

Other common dietary behaviours of my clients relating to artificial sweeteners include adding Splenda or Equal to their coffee, eating sugar-free lollies or consuming a protein powder that contains Sucralose.

Many of these clients not surprisingly come to me for weight loss however I say to them I don’t care if you don’t lose weight for the next month, your number one focus before anything else is cutting the artificial sweeteners and this study is just one of the reasons why. Ironically, other studies have shown that artificial sweeteners dramatically increase your risk for obesity and diabetes, despite name ‘diet’ or ‘light’ included in the branding. The power of marketing.

The take-away isn’t to switch from Diet Coke to Coca-Cola but to recognise that substituting sugar with ‘fake sugar’ DOES NOT make it a healthier option and in the case of stroke and dementia can be worse. Despite the common perception that 'diet' is better for you. A little bit of sugar here or there won't kill you but too much of ether one may.

The scary truth is that artificial sweeteners have snuck their way into so many products these days so that businesses can keep the sugar content and calorie per serve down on the nutrition panel.

Here is a shortlist of some key words to watch out for on product packages and ingredient lists that are linked to or are a from of artificial sweeteners:

  • Diet
  • Sugar free
  • Low calorie
  • Sucralose
  • Skinny
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin

Read the full study here: Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study.

 

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Inflammation is at the root of nearly all modern diseases, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disease, allergies, depression and accelerated aging.

The key to good lasting health is preventing inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body defend itself from harm and then heal and repair itself. For example, when we get stung by a bee, the swelling and pain is the result of blood rushing to the site of the wound with immune fighting cells to protect us from further damage and to heal the sore spot.  This is called acute inflammation.  The response is supposed to be short and targeted because during the process of defending, some further damage is done to the body before it starts the repair process.

Sometimes however inflammation can become chronic. This is a scary form of inflammation because it's often silent and occurs inside the body without any noticeable symptoms. As a result, it's easily left unchecked causing ongoing damage to the cells.

Certain lifestyle factors can promote inflammation, especially when they occur on a regular basis like a poor diet high in processed foods, sugar and industrial seed oils, high stress, lack of sleep, food intolerances and environmental toxins such as pesticides. 

What we choose to eat can either drive this inflammatory process or offset it. Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet not only helps protect against certain diseases, but it also slows the aging process and reduces weight gain by stabilising blood sugar levels and increasing your metabolism.

Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Include

  1. Wild Salmon
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Cruciferous Veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower)
  4. Organic small wild blueberries
  5. Turmeric
  6. Ginger
  7. Garlic
  8. Green Tea
  9. Raw cacao
  10. Grass fed beef

Top 10 Inflammatory Foods To Avoid

  1. Sugar
  2. Trans fats
  3. Refined grains (white flour)
  4. Omega-6 industrial seed/vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.
  5. Fried / charred foods
  6. Processed Meats (salami, hot dogs)
  7. Artificial sweeteners
  8. Gluten (If intolerant or sensitive)
  9. Alcohol
  10. Soft drinks

 

Optimising Nutrition on a Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Protein is the building block of our body. It provides the structural components for our muscles, organs, skin and blood.  A complete protein is made up of 20 amino acids, nine of which we cannot make in our body and thus need to get through food. These are called ‘essential’ amino acids.

Sources of complete proteins are mostly foods in animal derived foods such as meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs. It’s possible to meet your protein requirements without eating meat or animal proteins, however it requires a more planning, to ensure you are getting all the right proportions of amino acids to make up complete protein.

Our bodies are able to combine different amino acids over the course of 1-2 days. The is that you include a good variety of different plant foods in your diet so that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

Although combining your plant proteins within a 48-hour period is sufficient for the body to put them together, combining in the one meal is easier for you to remember and it can increased protein usability by 30%. Many traditional protein combinations have been staples in cultures with vegetarian diets, such as rice and lentils, bean & tortillas. Here are some more suggestions. 

  • Chickpea hummus on rye cracker
  • Bean & Lentil salad
  • Stir-fry or steamed veg with rice noodles & cashew nuts
  • 4 bean mix + brown rice
  • Oats with almonds or tahini

How much protein should I consume in a day?

This varies from person to person but as a general rule, aim for approximately your own body weight in grams each day. E.g. If a woman weighs 65kg, she should aim to consume 65g of protein every day.

Check out my article on the Protein Content of Foods to understand the different protein content of foods.

B12: Vegetarians are known to be more deficient than meat eaters as the majority and highest sources are animal based proteins.
Sources: Cheese - camembert, brie, Swiss cheese, Egg – yolk, milk, nutritional yeast

IRON: The bioavailability (ability to absorb) of the iron in plant foods is much lower than in animal foods. Plant-based forms of iron are also inhibited by other commonly consumed substances, such as coffee, tea, dairy products, supplemental fiber and supplemental calcium.
Sources: Nuts (Almonds, cashews, hazelnut, pine, Sesame seeds Tahini), Eggs, Cocoa powder, Coriander, fresh Watercress Spinach, chili - red & green Basil, fresh Tomato, Soy flour Miso Tempeh Tofu, Beans, chickpeas & lentils.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Poor conversion into the active form of EPA & DHA from plant based sources.
Sources: Sea vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil and walnuts

What Your Poos Say About Your Health

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

One of the fun things about my job is you get pretty intimate with your clients and talk dirty.  Talking to my clients regularly about their toilet habits and the details of their stools (poos) is an important part of my consulting practice.

Our stools or lack thereof tell us A LOT about our health.  They can tell us if there’s  inflammation (blood or mucus in the stool), if we aren't properly digesting our foods (whether they float, swim or if there’s undigested food particles), and if there could potentially be a pesky bug that’s causing all that bloating and socially unacceptable gas.

Getting the conversation started can be a little weird and awkward so to make this process a little easier during my consultations I use a poo chart, more professionally termed a Bristol Stool Chart.

Today is your lucky day because I am going to share it with you. Why? Because it’s important that you get well acquainted with your stools and what could potentially be signs of impaired digestive function and have it checked out if there are any.

So let’s get graphic and see which one best describes you.

Whilst you might find you are a combination of a few, many people that come to see me are sitting on either end of the spectrum…which does not reflect a healthy digestive system.

 As you might have guessed by the middle guy who’s loving life, Type 4 is what a healthy poo should look like. Think tooth paste… same consistency and well formed. Sorry if thats what you now think of whilst brushing your teeth. 

A little more detail…

Type 1 Small hard lumps, like nuts: Often due to lack of fibre, fluids and good bacteria. Causes you to overstrain and you run the risk of tearing the gut lining and haemorrhoids. Might go to the toilet once ever 4-7 days. As a lot of the toxins are eliminated through our stools, not going to the toilet means these harmful toxins sit there for long periods of time and get reabsorbed back into the body. Not healthy.

Type 2 Sausage-like but lumpy: Also causes extreme straining and potentially damages the lining, resulting in blood in the stool. Might go to the toilet every 3-4 days.

Type 3 Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface: Just like type 2 except more frequent; every 2nd or 3rd day. More water and fibre should do the trick.

Type 4 Like toothpaste…smooth, soft and well formed: Lots of fibre, fluids and takes a little swim before it sink. Happens daily. Happy, healthy and loving life.

Type 6 Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy texture: You have a very active colon, little too active that might come on very suddenly. Can indicate stress and nervous tension, too many spices, impaired digestion of fats or drinking water with a high mineral content or bacterial imbalances.

Type 6 Watery, no solid pieces aka diarrhea: Passes through the system super fast which means you don’t have time to absorb all the nourishing nutrients in time. This is dangerous long term as it can cause nutrient deficiencies. Might be a sign of stress and anxiety, gut infections or other serious health conditions and should be investigated if it happens frequently

Now lets talk colour.

Normal colour ranges for brown to yellowish brown, no matter what you’ve eaten.

If yours seems a little too yellowish, this could be due to a harmless disorder called Gilbert’s syndrome or problems with the bacteria in the gut.

Light brown to grey could be a sign of impaired liver or a blockage from the liver to the gut affecting the pigments from the blood from getting to the stools.

Black or red indicates blood in the stools. Black is a sign of dried blood and comes from higher up the digestive tract and red is fresh blood lower down near the exit. Fresh blood is less of a concern and is common with hemorrhoids  however if you notice black then consult your doctor immediately.

Taking a look every now and then to make sure everything is in check is an important part of maintaining your health. If you think something is off, more than just the smell, speak to your health adviser about it for effective solutions to restore a normal bowl function.

Laxatives are NOT a healthy solution!

Pause For A Cause & Reset

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month! This also means it's the first day of febfast…Who’s taking on the challenge?

For those of you that don’t know what febfast is, it’s a fundraiser that asks you to ‘pause for a cause’. You hit pause on alcohol, sugar, fast food or something of your choice for the month of Feb and your supportive friends and family sponsor you on your journey to better health.

The money raised funds youth workers who dedicate their time to support young Australians aged 12-25, who are experiencing hardships such as mental health issues, abuse, neglect, and drug abuse. For every $36 dollars raised, a young disadvantaged Australian can access one hour of support!!

Whilst most of us want to hit the start button on feeling better, more energised, productive, lighter and healthier overall…often we just don’t know how or where to begin. 

If you can relate, then Undivided Food Co.’s 21-Day Reset or 7-Day Kick Starter cleanse and weight loss programs might be the perfect way for you to get involved in febfast and help you kick some BIG health goals whilst being guided every step of the way. 

I worked alongside the company to create both programs as I am a big fan of GOOD BONES Organic Bone Broth. Bone broth has been around for centuries, often fed to us by grandma when we were sick due to its powerful healing properties. Learn more about why bone broth is so good for you here.

Both programs combine gut healing bone broth, intermittent fasting and a balanced ‘real food’ diet to heal, detox and achieve healthy weight loss…the healthy way. 

The program guides you every step of the way with a meal structure and healthy eating plan, a comprehensive list of foods to enjoy, foods to avoid, liver friendly focus foods and additional lifestyle recommendations to boost the benefits.

Another reason why you should Reset during febfast….

For every cleanse program that's purchased during the month of February, Undivided Food Co. will donate 10% of proceeds to febfast!

Taking part in this wonderful cause will help you stay on track throughout February whilst also giving back. 

It's not too late to get involved! Register for febfast and purchase a 21-Day Reset or 7-Day Kick Starter cleanse from the Undivided Food Co. website today. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact me.

Make sure you use the code smnutrition to get a discount on both programs & FREE75 for free delivery if you purchase the 21-Day Reset upon checkout. 

PHYTING DISEASE WITH PHYTONUTRIENTS: WHITE, GREY AND BROWN

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Sorry I’m not referring to white bread, pasta, processed cereals or cookies here. The type of foods I’m talking about are nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes, spices, seeds and whole grains that are good for our health. These foods contain compounds with strong anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity. Certain foods in this category also contain compounds that are great for liver and our hormones.

Being that fruits are mostly vibrant in colour, the list is limited but includes the non-skin part of apples as well as coconuts, dates, lychees, and pears. Lychees and pears are delicious particularly added to a summer salad, although if you are trying to lose weight these aren’t recommended due to their high sugar content.

This category of vegetables are my absolute favourite! Maybe it's because I know how good they are for our health on a number of different levels. Some of my favorites include cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onion, sauerkraut, and leeks. These are all rich in sulfur compounds (hence their strong odors) and are super supportive for the liver in detoxification as well as protecting against cardiovascular, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. They are also great for gut health! Mushrooms such as shiitake, button, portabello, crimini, and chanterelle have great immune boosting effects, more so than your average white mushroom.

Beans & legumes are my preferred forms of complex carbohydrates over grains due to their high fibre and protein content. These include chickpeas, hummus, black beans, cannelloni beans, peas and lentils.  Whole grains however are much better than your processed grains.  Gluten free grains include quinoa, rice and buckwheat and gluten containing grains are wheat, rye, barley and spelt.

Nuts, nut butters, seeds and seed pastes are also a wonderful source of neutral coloured compounds and a great source of healthy fats!

Saving the best for last… chocolate, dark of course. The phytonutrients in cocoa help keep the blood vessels wide and open so that there’s a healthy blood flow, particularly to the brain and heart. Make sure that your choice of chocolate isn’t high in sugar or contains unnecessary preservatives. The higher the cocoa percentage the better. Try to always choose 70% or more!

FOODS

  • Apples
  • Cauliflower
  • Cocoa
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Dates
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Legumes (chickpeas, dried beans or peas, hummus,lentils, peanuts,  beans)
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts (almonds, brazil, pecans, walnuts)
  • Onion, shallots, leek
  • Pears
  • Sauerkraut
  • Seeds (flax, hemp,pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
  • Tahini
  • Tea (black, white)
  • Whole grains (barley, brown rice, oat, quinoa, rye, spelt, wheat)

PHYTONUTRIENT COMPOUNDS

  • Allicin
  • Allyl sulfides
  • Cellulose (fiber)
  • Lignans
  • Lignins
  • Sesamin
  • Sesamol
  • Tannins
  • Terpenoids
  • Theobromine

 

BENEFITS

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-microbial
  • Cell protection
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Heart health
  • Hormone balance
  • Liver health

 

 

 TIPS

  • Allicin is one of the special compounds found in garlic that may contribute to its anti-cancer, blood pressure-lowering effects. To maximize the the allicin content, crush or chop the garlic and let it sit there for 5-10 minutes before cooking it or adding anything to it. This allows it to activate. This compound is what makes garlic a potent antibacterial and anti-viral food. .

  • Add some cocoa powder to your smoothies or mixed into yoghurt with some chia seeds for a mouse like dessert

  • Sprinkle cinnamon over your apples and finish with a drizzle of tahini or some nut butter for a delicious snack

  • Add brown spices such as clove and allspice to your cooking and baking.

  • Use dates instead of refined sweeteners to sweeten desserts and other dishes

  • Add a dollop of hummus to your salads or eat with some cut raw veggies for a healthy protein containing snack

  • Sprinkle nuts and seeds sesame seeds over your salads or proteins which gives it a nice texture and crunch

  • Coat your chicken in almond meal instead of breadcrumbs and bake in the oven instead of frying for a healthy schnitzel

RELATED RECIPES

COCONUT CHIA & GRANOLA CUPS

COCO-NUT GRANOLA

LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE WITH SCALLOPS

PAN FRIED FISH WITH LEEK & CAPERS

CREAMY LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER MASH

COCONUT RICE WITH ALMONDS & TURMERIC

COCONUT & MACADAMIA SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

CACAO POWER BALLS

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, ASPARAGUS & SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH ALMOND BUTTER VINAIGRETTE

COCONUT RICE WITH ALMONDS & TURMERIC

Phyting Disease with Phytonutrients: RED

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

 

Phytonutrients are a group of compounds found in plant foods that are responsible for their distinct colour, flavour and smell. 

These compounds act as the plants defense mechanism, protecting them against environmental stressors and pests. To humans however, they have powerful disease fighting capabilities. Really it should be spelt, fightonutrients.

Scientists estimate that there are over 4000 types of phytonutrients, each offering different health benefits. When you combine them together, they have an even stronger synergistic effect. That is why it's important to always have a rainbow of colour on your plate. People that eat a diet rich in phytonutrients have lower disease risk particularly in regards to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

Whilst all of these phytonutrients are yet to be studied, the ones that have are shown to be present in plants that are rich in colour. Colour is therefore an easy way to identify these phytonutrients.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the different phytonutrients found in foods based on colour and tips on how to increase them in your diet. To kick this series off, i am going to start with the colour RED!

RED FOODS

There's a wide range of red foods you can boost your diet with. One of my favorites is pomegranate which is extra special due to the ellagic acid, an important component for your liver to aid in the removal of toxins. Strawberries, grapes, and apples contain the compound fisetin, which has anti-cancer, antiaging, and anti-inflammatory properties. Watermelon and pink grapefruit are two excellent sources of lycopene, but cooked tomatoes seem to have the highest content! 

 

FOODS

  • Apples
  • Beans (Adzuki, Kidney,
  • Red)
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Blood oranges
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit (pink)
  • Goji berries
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Potatoes
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Rhubarb
  • Rooibos tea
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

phytonutrient COMPOUNDS

  • Anthocyanidins
  • Astaxanthin
  • Carotenoids
  • Ellagic Acid
  • Ellagitannins
  • Fisetin
  • Flavones
  • Flavonols
  • Flavan-3-ols
  • Flavanones
  • Luteolin
  • Lycopene
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Quercetin

BENEFITS

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cell protection
  • DNA health
  • Immune health
  • Prostate health
  • Vascular health