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Shop 3/686-690 New South Head Road Rose Bay (Down the alley between Westpac Bank & Feisty Little Mouse)
Sydney, NSW


Stephanie Malouf | Accredited Nutritionist


Filtering by Tag: Weight loss

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.


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