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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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10 Tips on how to beat the bloat & aid digestion

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Bloating is a common digestive complaint I hear in my clinic. Whilst a little bloating can be a normal part of digestion as the food is broken down and fermented by the bacteria that reside in our digestive tract, constant distention and discomfort is not. Here are 10 tips to help reduce bloating and support healthy digestion.

Please note that if you are experiencing severe bloating and digestive discomfort, please seek some further advice from a health professional as it could be something due to bacterial imbalances, a parasite infection, food intolerances  or something else that needs to be treated more professionally. 

1. DRINK LEMON IN WARM WATER
20mins before your meal. This stimulates hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, needed to break down food.

2. THINK ABOUT FOOD
This initiates the digestive process, whereby your mouth starts to water with saliva containing digestive enzymes that also break down food.

3. EAT SLOWLY & SITTING DOWN
Eating on the run means we’re eating in the stress state called fight & flight. In this state, blood flow & energy is directed at stress coping mechanisms instead of digestive functions such as releasing digestive enzymes & stimulating muscle contractions to move the food through the digestive tract. This impairs digestion and causes bloating. 

4. CHEW & CHEW & CHEW
This mechanically breaks down the food, whilst also producing saliva & digestive enzymes further helping to break down the food. It also takes the pressure off the stomach acids further down the tract. 

5. EAT BITTER FOODS
Such as grapefruit, radicchio, fennel, rocket & raw cacao to stimulate bile production. Bile breaks down fats & also removes toxic waste from our body.

6. EAT PREBIOTIC FOODS
Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, beetroot, asparagus, bananas, legumes & oats contain prebiotic fibres. These fibres stimulate the growth of the good bacteria living in our gut called probiotics which aid in digestion & nutrient absorption. This can cause bloating and gas due to fermentation so don't be alarmed if you experience these symptoms. Just eat in small quantities as you build up a tolerance. Not all bloating is bad! 

7. EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Such as a good quality all natural probiotic enriched yoghurt, kefir & sauerkraut which contain strains of gut loving good bacteria that help digestion. 

8. EAT PAPAW & PINAPPLE
These fruits contain the enzymes papain & bromelain respectively, which helps break down proteins. Perfect before a protein rich breakfast such as eggs. 

9. COOK FOODS HIGH IN INSOLUBLE FIBRE
Such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans & onions. This breaks down the fibre into a more easily digestible form, causing less digestive upsets. 

10.AVOID MINDLESS SNACKING OR PRACTICE INTERMITTANT FASTING
When we stop eating and give our digestive system a break, our body starts to heal and repair itself. Try to avoid mindless snacking and leave at least 3 hours between your meals and 12 hours between breakfast and dinner. Practicing intermittent fasting or time restricted eating (e.g. 16/8 hour for 5:2 fast) has also shown to have very favourable effects on digestion. If you want to learn more, read my introductory guide to intermittent fasting.

Benefits of Beetroot & How To Get More Into Your Diet

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

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Beetroots are sweet in taste, vibrant in colour and packed with nutrients. They also boast a wide range of health promoting benefits making them an important part of a healthy balanced diet. Three key beet benefits are:
 
It’s Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is one of the key drives of disease. Key triggers of inflammation include a poor diet high in processed foods and industrial seed oils, lack of colourful veggies, artificial sweeteners, sugar and environmental pollutants. The anti-inflammatory properties are largely attributed to a class of antioxidants called betalains that helps protect your cells against these inflammatory stressors.
 
It Supports Detoxification
Beetroot is a great liver support helping the body to cleanse and eliminate toxins from the body. The antioxidant betaine plays a key role in protecting the liver against damage caused by the toxins. Beetroot also contains the fibre pectin, which aids in the removal of these toxins by binding to them and preventing them from recirculating into the body.
 
It Lowers Blood Pressure
Beetroot is a natural source of nitrates which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood and thereby reducing the pressure. Just one glass of beetroot juice can reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 5 points! It's also super effective in boosting your endurance and exercise capacity.
 
Here are some delicious ways of getting more beetroot into your diet to reap these benefits and the many others beetroot has to offer:

 
Raw Salad: Not many people know that beetroot can be eaten raw and it’s absolutely delicious. Shred it into a salad along with the beet greens (tops of the beetroot), shredded carrot, leafy greens, a sprinkle of chickpeas, seeds, avocado, and drizzle of extra virgin and add some extra protein choice for a healthy balanced and anti-inflammatory meal.
 
Beet Chips: Thinly slice and lightly coat in some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and bake in the oven until crispy for a healthy snack option. Enjoy with a delicious dip such as hummus or guac.
 
Beet Juice: Pick up a fresh beet juice at from your closest juice bar or better yet make your own! Boost the nutritional content by adding some greens such as celery, cucumber and mint and a hint of ginger. Avoid adding fruit as this can end up being a high sugar beverage!
 
Beet Protein Balls: A perfect pick me up, especially around that 3pm mark when feeling like you need an afternoon siesta. Add some finely grated raw beetroot or a healthy dose of beetroot powder into your favourite protein ball recipe such as my Cacao Power Balls.
 
Beet Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a great way to boost digestive and immune health, by keeping the gut bacteria in a healthy and happy balance. Fermented beetroot is a yummy variation to your traditional cabbage based sauerkraut recipes. There are many ready-made sauerkraut products available on the market that add beetroot or make your own using a mix of beetroot and cabbage.

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. 

5 Causes Of Weight Gain You Didn't Know About

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Our bodies are extremely complex and sometimes weight gain isn't as simple as eating too much of the wrong type of foods. Here are 5 big drivers of weight gain that aren't so well known.

Your liver is sluggish

Our liver plays a vital role in our overall health, weight included. It carries out a number of important functions such as removing toxins from the body, aids in digestion, regulates blood sugar and insulin levels and produces bile needed break down fats. However, if your liver is overloaded with toxins (alcohol, medications, food additives) and struggling to keep up, these functions are compromised and fat starts to build up in the liver (fatty liver) as well as other areas of the body driving weight gain. 

You’re stressed

When we are stressed, our adrenals pump out the stress hormone, cortisol. The role of cortisol is to help us get ready for action against a threat, making us feel more alert. Our blood sugar levels rise, our blood vessels dilate and our heart beat increases ensuring the sugar in the blood is effectively transported to all the cells to use as fuel. We’re set up to handle short-term, acute stress very well, which is great when we need to run away from something life threatening. Unfortunately in today’s day and age, most people are faced with ongoing (chronic) stress caused by everyday worries. This coupled with an increasing sedentary lifestyle results in increased fat storage that favours the belly region. This belly fat can be incredibly tough to get rid of unless you learn to manage your stress.  If you are interested in having your cortisol levels tested, get in touch.

Your thyroid is underactive (Hypothyroidism)

Thyroid disorders are becoming increasingly common and the scary fact being that most people don’t even know they have one. The most common medical test used by GP’s to detect thyroid disorders falls a step short. Many people have issues converting their thyroid hormone into its active form, which this test doesn't detect. Our thyroid is responsible for regulating our metabolism and one of the key signs of an underactive thyroid is weight gain as well as fatigue, constipation, cold sensitivity, muscle aches and weakness, hormone imbalances and poor mood. Thyroid function can be impaired for a number of reason such as high stress, nutrient deficiencies, poor diet and impaired liver function. If you are interested in having a comprehenisve thyroid hormone profile test done, get in touch.

Your gut bacteria is out of balance

The 100 trillion of bacteria that live in our gut alter the way we store fat, break down and absorb our nutrients, regulate our blood sugar levels, produce serotonin and appetite regulating hormones that make us feel hungry or full. These little guys also have the power to manipulate our food choices, the bad bugs driving bad food cravings and the good bugs influencing us to make heather food choices that will support their survival. The wrong mix of microbes can put you on the path to obesity and diabetes from the moment of birth.  Our inner ecosystem is first established as we exited our mums vaginal canal. Studies have shown that both formula-fed babies and infants delivered by cesarean section have a higher risk for obesity and diabetes than those who are breast-fed or delivered vaginally. Antibiotics are one of the biggest disruptors to our gut flora, but the good news is diet is the single most important factor in shaping the gut ecosystem and can be shifted to favour bacteria that will support weight loss. Learn more.

You're not eating enough good fats

So many people fear that fat will make you fat but the truth is it’s the lack of good fats in the diet that is driving the obesity epidemic. Having the right type of fats in the diet such as avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and fatty fish such as salmon not only keep us satisfied and feeling fuller for longer reducing overall caloric intake, they don’t cause an insulin response which is the hormone responsible for storing fat.

 

Could your gut bacteria be driving your sugar cravings?

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

We are more bacteria than we are cells and thus it’s no surprise that these little bugs play a large role in our health. When in a healthy balanced state, they produce a plethora of products that have strong anti-inflammatory and protective effects. They also hold the key to unlocking beneficial compounds found in food as well as convert the nutrients we eat into their active form. Conversely an overgrowth of the bad bags is associated with diseases such as type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, autoimmune conditions and obesity.

In short, the role they play whether it be positive or negative is largely dependant on the type of bacteria that reside in your gut. One of the biggest effects on the composition of our internal residents is diet. The standard Western diet high in processed foods, sugar and trans fat stimulates the growth of the harmful bacteria and suppress the good bugs throwing this balance out of whack. The Mediterranean Diet high in fruit, vegetables and legumes supports the growth of the beneficial bacteria and keeps our internal environment in a healthy balanced state.

What I find to be incredibly interesting is that we have now come to understand that your microbial profile has the power to manipulate your food choices to create an environment in which they can thrive. Therefore, your gut bacteria may also be driving your food cravings and choices; good or bad. The bad bugs thrive off unhealthy foods such as sugar and processed carbohydrates and the good guys thrive off healthy fibre rich and nutrient dense foods such as fruit, vegetables and legumes. What’s even more interesting is they may even have the power to manipulate our food choices by influencing our mood via the production or inhibition of certain neurotransmitters in the gut. Did you know that 80% of serotonin is produced in the gut? A healthy gut is essential for a happy mood. What do you crave when you are feeling a little sad and flat? Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice-cream anyone?

My take way from this is even when addressing diet, weight loss or my clients food choices, addressing the gut and the microbial balance is also essential. Unless you restore this balance, you might not be able to kick those sugar cravings...and extra kilos.

 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NUTRITIONISTS, DIETITIANS AND NATUROPATHS

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Natural health practitioners and preventive medicine is becoming increasingly popular, with many seeking these types of therapists as their primary healthcare provider. The number of options now available can make it difficult to know which form of therapy is the right one for you. 

I talked to beautyheaven.com.au about how I practice as a nutritionist and my top 3 principles that forms of foundation of my treatment plans.

CLICK to read the full article

How to do your shopping faster, without compromising your health

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

With an overwhelmingly endless amount of options, doing the weekly food shop has become quite a challenge. What is it that differs one product from the 20 others beside it and more importantly which one is the best option for your health?

I shared with news.com.au some of my simple tips to navigate through the plethora of options to help save you time, without compromising your health.

CLICK to read the full article 

 

 

 

Tips & Tricks To Optimise Infant Nutrition When Transitioning To Solids

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

An infants weight is expected to double from birth to five months old. This increases three times by the age of one and almost four times by 24 months. With such a rapid rate of growth and development, ensuring they are getting the right amount of nutrients to support this is vital. This can be a challenging task especially as they start to transition into solids. Here are a few tips and tricks for a smoother transition into solids and beyond whilst ensuring optimum nutrition.

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy needed to support brain function, muscle movements and their fast growing little bodies. Texture however is key! Peeling, chopping, cooking and then pureeing fresh vegetables or fruits is an easy way to get not just carbohydrates but a wide range of nutrients into their diet. Using the Bbox Mesh Feeder makes this not just infant friendly but parent friendly by letting them feed themselves with little to no mess!

Try the following delicious combinations:

  • Sweet Potato + Zucchini
  • Avocado + Potato + Carrot
  • Apple + Pear
  • Peach + Apricot
  • Banana + Pear

From 6-12 months, lumpy to more normal textured foods should be introduced, preparing them for the next phase of eating. This is particularly important when introducing iron rich foods such as beef, chicken, fish and beans. Iron is critical for brain development, relating to functions such as memory, attention, perception and language skills.

Research has shown that delaying the introduction of lumpy food beyond 10 months is more likely to result in food being refused at 15 months. Ease the transition by chopping these iron rich foods into tiny bite size pieces and combining with pureed or mashed vegies such as those previously mentioned. Use a small, shallow plastic teaspoon for portion controlled mouthfuls they can handle as they get used to chewing. 

Fruit juice is not necessary or recommended whilst breast or formula feeding as it may interfere with their feeds. However, this is often a popular beverage of kids beyond this phase. Fruit juices contain high amounts sugar with little nutrition as much of the fibre and goodness has been removed during the juicing process. Furthermore, many of the store bought juices contain preservatives and added sugar.

A much healthier option is to make your own fruit smoothies by using the whole fruit. Simply peel, chop and add the fruit to a blender along with some water or ice when your kids are old enough to handle colder liquids for a slurpee like consistency.  These are great on a hot day! Add a handful of baby spinach to the mix for added goodness in disguise. They won’t taste it I promise! 

Try the following combinations

  • Minty Fresh: 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple + Small Handful Mint + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
  • Green Machine: 1/2 Apple + ½ Pear + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
  • Berryana: 1 Small Banana + ½ Cup Fresh or Frozen Berries + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
  • Berry Frozen yoghurt: 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Berries + ½ Cup Plain Natural Yoghurt + Ice (Berry Frozen yoghurt)
  • Banana Ice-cream: 1 frozen banana + 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 cup ice + desiccated coconut sprinkled on top to finish

Tip: If you have over-ripe bananas, peel and store in a snap-lock bag in the freezer and use when needed for smoothies.

Foods For A Healthy Gut

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

A healthy digestive system is the foundation of our overall health. It's responsible for breaking down, absorbing and assimilating nutrients which are necessary in order our cells to function. If you have a sluggish digestive system, then this will impact your overall health and vitality. Good health starts in your gut.

There are 10 times the amount of gut bacteria in our digestive tract than there are cells in our entire body. The composition of this bacteria plays a huge role in how your digestive system functions. The bacteria present fall under two broad categories; harmful and beneficial. 

In a healthy gut, the harmful/beneficial bacteria have a balanced symbiotic relationship. This means that the 'harmful bacteria aren't actually bad for us. When in balance with the good guys, together they exert a number of health benefits such as aiding in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, reducing inflammation, regulating our immune system, weight management and many many more.  

However, when the balance of this beneficial/harmful bacteria is disrupted, whereby the harmful bacteria outnumber the beneficial bacteria, digestive symptoms can present. These include bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence and abdominal pain.

There are a number of factors that disrupt the balance of these harmful/beneficial bacteria, the key ones being:

  • Stress, which many people hold in the gut
  • Medications such as antibiotics, oral contraceptive, anti-acids such as nexium, corticosteroids etc
  • A poor diet high in sugar, fat, refined carbohydrates and other inflammatory foods
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive caffeine intake  

If this balance isn’t restored, the overgrowth of harmful bacteria can result in further health complications that begin to manifest as food intolerances, skin disorders (eczema, dermatitis), allergies (sinusitis, asthma), stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, brain fog, hormonal disruption, weight gain, recurrent UTI’s and more.

There are certain foods that support the growth of the good bacteria whilst minimising the growth of the bad bacteria, keeping our gut flora in a healthy balanced state. These fall under three 3 categories

Natural antibacterial foods: Suppress the overgrowth of the harmful bacteria

  • Coconut oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Oregano oil
  • Thyme
  • Green tea
  • Caraway 

Probiotics: Sources of beneficial bacteria

  • Yoghurt (eg Vaalia, Activia)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Supplements

Prebiotic & colonic foods: Provide food and fuel for the beneficial bacteria

  •  Onion
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Un-ripened banana
  • Asparagus  
  • Leek
  • Brown rice
  • Carrots
  • Cocoa
  • Green tea
  • Almonds
  • Bone broth

If you experience any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, then this might be due to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and thus restoring balance to this flora will provide symptom relief.  

The Oral-Gut-Systemic Connection In Disease Prevention & Progression

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

The importance of having a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut has become a key topic of health and at the forefront of scientific research. It’s definitely a key area of interest of mine. However, having a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth is just as important in maintaining good general health, as the mouth acts as a direct portal to other parts of our body.

Firstly, our mouth and the gut are intimately connected.

Fact: We swallow 1 trillion bacteria everyday (Segata et al. 2012)

This means we are directly feeding these microbes to our gastrointestinal tract, making our gut flora largely influenced by the flora in our mouth. Research has shown that 45% of the microbes in the mouth are the same as the gut.

Furthermore, everything that we put into our mouths affects this flora, ultimately influencing not just the composition of bacteria in our gut, but all of our other body systems. Let me explain further.

Cavities, plaque and bleeding gums are a sign of disrupted balance to this bacterial flora which is termed dysbiosis. When dysbiosis occurs, there is an overgrowth of ‘bad bacteria’. These bad bacteria start to form colonies called biofilms, where the bacteria start to group together and attach to surfaces such as our teeth. This allows them to them to hide and protect themselves from our immune system and continue to grow.  

In the mouth, biofilms manifest as plaque build-up. The problem with these biofilms, aside from causing bad breath and an unattractive smile, is that the bacteria start to release acids. This acid causes tooth decay, cavities and inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. If left to continue to build up over time, the inflammation and deterioration of the teeth becomes worse leading to periodontal disease.

The Mouth-Gut-Systemic Connection

Chronic inflammation and decay means that these communities of bacteria are growing deeper into and away from the mouth, eventually spreading to other parts of the body. This is either via direct access to the blood stream through the gums or down the gastrointestinal tract. A poor diet, medication use, gluten, stress and a number of other lifestyle and dietary factors can cause the gut to become leaky, thus giving these bacteria direct entry into our internal environment. As these bacteria continue to spread through the body, they continue to cause inflammation systemically. Chronic inflammation is the driver of disease. A number of studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, respiratory disease and cancer.

The evidence is loud and clear that maintaining good oral health with a focus on achieving a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria is vital in disease prevention. Listed below are my top tips to maintaining a healthy mouth flora and preventing chronic disease conditions.

  • Avoid using antibacterial mouthwash as these not only kill the bad bacteria, but the good bugs, much like the effects of antibiotics on the gut!
  • Maintain good dental hygiene by regularly brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist
  • Drink green tea regularly and give it a good swish around the mouth before gulping down. Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols which prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by changing the pH whilst also reducing and preventing plaque build-up and inflammation. Many studies have shown green tea to be highly effective!
  • Add oil pulling to your morning and night teeth brushing/flossing ritual. This involves putting ½-1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth and swishing it around for about 15-20 minutes whilst getting dressed or ready for bed. Saliva will start drawing into your mouth, whilst toxins are being drawn out. Furthermore, the lauric acid in the coconut oil acts as a potent antimicrobial against the bad bacteria.
  • Chew on lots of plant foods such as green leafy vegies. I suggest 5 handfuls of vegies a day. This feeds the beneficial bacteria, allowing them to thrive so they aren’t out numbered by the bad bugs.
  • Avoid refined sugars such as lollies, soft drinks and commercial condiments like tomato and BBQ sauce. The sugar not only feed the bad bacteria but it also increases the acidity of the mouth, further creating a desirable environment for the bad bacteria to grow.
  • Ensure you have a healthy saliva flow. Saliva plays a number of key rolls in maintaining oral health such as diluting and eliminating sugars, buffers the acidity and has antimicrobial action.

Some supporting studies for further light reading:

  1. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis
  2. The oral microbiome diversity and its relation to human diseases.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease caused by periodontal pathogens

 

The Mediterranean Diet: What it is and why it’s so good for us

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Whilst I walk around blindingly pasty, I can’t help but notice every second person sporting their European summer tans and looking glowingly healthy. When I think of the Mediterranean’s I think health and when I think of health I think of having a great balance between your physical, mental and social wellbeing. What’s one thing that influences all three? Diet.

There have been countless studies that support the Mediterranean Diet as being one of the healthiest. Those that follow the Mediterranean Diet, report lower rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain types of cancers. So what is it about this diet that makes it so good?

 7 characteristics & 7 health benefits of The Mediterranean Diet

Characteristics

  1. An abundance of plant foods that are minimally processed, seasonally fresh and grown locally e.g. fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes
  2. Olive oil as the primary source of fat
  3. Cheese and yogurt consumed daily in low to moderate amounts
  4. Fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts
  5. Red meat consumed in small amounts and used mainly as sauce and to season food as opposed to being the main ingredient
  6. Fresh fruit as a daily dessert
  7. Wine consumed in low to moderate amounts during mealtime
     

Health Benefits

  1. Fat consumption can be high, ranging from 28-40% of the diet, but only a small portion of this is saturated fat, the rest comprising of monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats. Studies have shown that replacing even just 5% of your saturated and trans fat intake with mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, fish, nuts) can reduce your risk of CVD by 42%. That’s a lot!
  2. Fish contains omega 3 fatty-acids which are highly anti-inflammatory and is essential for brain health. The highest omega-3 containing fish include tuna, salmon, sardines & cod.
  3. The antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables stop free radicals from causing damage to our cells. This is what causes disease.
  4. Plant based foods are high in fibre which binds to cholesterol and toxins and removes them as waste  
  5. The consumption of wholegrain complex carbohydrates keeps blood sugar levels stable and prevents type 2 diabetes
  6. Meal time is a celebration and enjoyed with family and friends, creating a healthy relationship with food
  7. Alcohol is enjoyed in moderation and with food as opposed to binging.

 

As seen on: 

5 tips to maintaining a healthy body during the winter months

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

As the temperature drops, maintaining a healthy body weight can become difficult due to interrupted workouts, comfort food cravings and more nights in tempting us to overeat. Here are 5 of my top tips to staying on track and maintaining a healthy body weight during the winter months.

1. Drink More Water

Without the hot and humid weather, we can easily forget to drink water and stay hydrated. Dehydration however can easily be mistaken for hunger, causing us to eat when all our body needs is some fluid. Keep a jug of water on your desk or carry a water bottle around to help remind your to you drink at least 2L a day. There are also some great free mobile apps that alert you when it’s time to drink up. Try ‘Water Alert’ for iPhone or ‘Water Your Body’ for Android.

2. Exercise Indoors

We can easily convince ourselves that it’s too cold to exercise. The truth is there are lots of great indoor workouts you can do that don’t require a gym membership and will keep you out from the cold and in shape. If you like training with a group find a local hot yoga, pilates or spin class, many places offer no contract drop-in classes. If you don’t want to leave the house, download a workout app (I like Yoga Studio) or invest in a skipping rope, which will get your heartbeat pumping without breaking the bank.

3.     Pack Snacks

Naturally our appetite can increase when we are cold as our body uses more energy (kilojoules) to keep us warm. Having healthy snacks prepared when hunger strikes will ensure you avoid those high sugar/high trans fat foods which are often all that is available when out and about. Try my Cacao Power Balls or Coconut Caramel Balls for an easy, nutritious and delicious pick me up.

4.     Wear Your Skinny Jeans Regularly

In an attempt to stay warm, our winter attire tends to become fluffy and oversized. Whilst this might be incredibly comfy, it also means those extra kilos can easily go unnoticed. Wearing your skinny jeans regularly is a great way to keep you conscious of your weight and avoid the muffin tops from sneaking in…or hanging out.

5.     Brush Your teeth After Dinner

Post dinner snacking is a key cause of weight gain, as our metabolism starts to slow down, allowing our bodies to rest and heal whilst we sleep. Brushing your teeth after dinner can help to resist the urge to snack.

Above all, don’t place too much pressure on yourself. The more you obsess over your weight or deprive yourself of certain foods, the more top of mind it will be and the more you will want it. We always want what we can’t have. Know your limits, enjoy everything in moderation and stay warm!

 

As featured on Mode Society



The best time to drink your morning coffee to avoid adrenal fatigue

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Are you someone that needs a coffee first thing in the morning to wake up? If you are, let me explain why you should wait a few hours before downing your morning espresso.

We have a biological body clock called the circadian rhythm that regulates our patterns of sleepiness and alertness in a 24-hr period. Our overall health and wellness relies heavily on this pattern as it affects many of our bodily functions. This is why it’s important to try to keep your sleep patterns as sychronised a possible.

For those of us that follow a normal sleep pattern, ideally 10:30pm-6:30am, we are naturally most alert between 8am-9:30am. During this time, cortisol levels peak which is the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. When we drink coffee, the caffeine hit places added stress on our bodies causing the adrenal glands to release more of this stress hormone.

However if coffee is part of you daily morning routine, overtime you build up a tolerance to the caffeine. This means means that the more coffee you drink to help wake you up, the more you need overtime for the same effect. When consumed at the time we are naturally meeting out maximum level of alertness (8am-9:30am) we become desensitised and soon we need not one but two coffees to feel human in the morning. Overtime this places chronic stress on the adrenal glands and they begin to struggle with their ability to release cortisol on their own. The long term result = adrenal fatigue.

Signs of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor immunity 
  • Salt cravings
  • Constipations
  • Body aches
  • Irritability

To support your adrenal glands and prevent them from becoming fatigued, enjoy your morning coffee after 9:30am when your cortisol levels begin to drop. Light is the biggest cue in stimulating our alert state, so swing open the blinds and leave the sunglasses off to allow yourself to wake up naturally first.