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Changing recipes and making the substitutions you need

Changing recipes and making the substitutions you need

Here are some quick tips on substituting some basic ingredients so you can just use normal recipes and make a few changes to get a similar result. I will take a couple of recipes I just received in my inbox from the website and change them into goodies we can eat. 

Baking with dairy, wheat and egg always gives a superior result and not everything will work effectively all of the time. 

To substitute the flour: take a flour blend that you trust, which is the easy option as they already have gums, raisers and sweeteners or of course you can make your own.

Check out our gluten free flour formula suggestions. 

To substitute the dairy: try one of the milk substitutes on the market e.g. Soy, rice, or coconut. Refer to our Milk Pantry.

Tofu is always great for substituting cream or yoghurt in a recipe.

To make the cheese substitute try mixing some breadcrumbs or pureed tofu together with some herbs and spices.

Butter can be substituted for nutellex or just oil.

You can purchase soy yoghurt quite readily to complete the basic dairy substitution. 

To substitute eggs: egg is a binder for most recipes. Generally if the recipe calls for an egg in a flour based recipe I simply just do the egg replacer substitution which is a product you can easily purchase at the health food shop.

If you need egg to bind in a meat dish e.g.: rissoles, I just use olive oil, some flour or some 
ground oats or mashed potato. Generally if the recipe required egg whites or multiple eggs, just avoid it and make something else. 
To substitute sugar: There are a number of great products on the market that I happily recommend to use as a sugar substitution. Perfect Sweet Xylitol is one of these great products. View our Sweeteners Pantry for more great ideas. 

There are just so many recipes out there now. Most generally it is just a matter of leaving out the ingredient that is the culprit or just choose a recipe that you know you can do an easy substitution for. 

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Different Types of Fats in  Food

Different Types of Fats in Food

There are several different types of fats. You`ve probably heard of vegetable fat, animal fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. All of these different names can be confusing, so it`s helpful to know what they mean, what foods contain 
them and what they can do to your health. 
Most of the fat in the food we eat is a mixture of three main types: Saturated, Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated. 

There are also some other types of fat that you may have heard of such as Omega-3, Omega-6, trans fats and cholesterol. 

Saturated fat is the type of fat that raises blood cholesterol and increases risk of heart disease. It is mainly found in animal foods such as fatty meats and dairy foods such as milk, cheese and butter. It is also found in some plant foods, including coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats are commonly used in commercially produced foods. 

Polyunsaturated fat can help lower blood cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease. It is mostly found in plant foods including sunflower, safflower and soybean oils, nuts and seeds. It is also found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. 

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are types of polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fats are mainly found in fish and Omega-6 fats are mainly found in vegetable oils. 

Monounsaturated fat can also help lower blood cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease. It is found in lean meats, oils such as canola and olive, and other plant foods including avocados, nuts and seeds. Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease at least as much as saturated fat. Trans fats occur naturally in small amounts in dairy foods and meat and in some processed vegetable oils. The main sources are manufactured foods which use hydrogenated vegetable fats, such as baked products (e.g. pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits, buns), some commercially deep fried foods and hard margarines. 

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is an important part of all animals. Our bodies produce it naturally, even if we don`t eat it. Cholesterol is a problem when there is too much in our blood. Sterols and stanols are a plant form of cholesterol found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. When eaten, they prevent our bodies from absorbing the cholesterol we eat. Recent advances in manufacturing have enabled them to be added in larger amounts to foods such as margarine, but they are present in small amounts in most plant foods. 

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Winter workout – Indoor exercises to keep you active in the colder months

Winter workout – Indoor exercises to keep you active in the colder months

As the weather gets cooler, it may seem tempting to spend most of your time rugged up with a blanket watching you favourite TV show, but remember: summer bodies are made in winter!

Get off the couch and keep active with these simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. No equipment is required and each exercise will help you increase your strength and mobility throughout the winter.

Wall push ups: Place your hands on a wall at shoulder height. Slowly bring your chest into the wall and then push away until your arms are fully extended. Repeat 20 times.

Squat hold: Place your back against a wall and lower until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight and chest up. Hold for 30 seconds.

Calf raises: Holding onto the back of a chair for support, lift one leg so you are balancing on one foot. Slowly raise your heel until you’re on your tiptoes and balancing only on the ball of one foot. Lower back to the ground slowly. Repeat 20 times on each side. 

Bridges: Lie on the ground with your hands by your sides. Bend your legs and bring your heels up to your bum. Push into the ground with your arms, lift your hips up as high as you can and then lower. For an extra challenge straighten one leg and keep it off the ground. Repeat 20 times.

Reverse crunches: Lying on your back, keep your lower back pressed into the ground as you crunch your knees up to your chest, then straighten them out again. Repeat 20 times, trying to make sure your feet do not touch the ground throughout the exercise.

Submitted by Ashley Hunt


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Why Use Fermented Foods

Why Use Fermented Foods

I mention fermented foods and most of my clients screw up their faces and head for the hills…but why? 

I recall being the ripe old age of 23 and visiting Germany.  I was absolutely horrified that every dish was accompanied by sauerkraut!  How could anyone possibly eat it, let along it be good for you?… and then I got sick and my whole perception changed as my journey to heal my gut began.

Fermented foods have been around for a very long time, but we have become a fast food nation where convenience has over-ridden healthier food choices and as a consequence our digestion and overall health have suffered.  The literature around fermented foods and its traditional uses is phenomenal, so why is it only now we are standing up and paying attention?

Your gut is your second brain, so doesn’t it make sense to nurture it?  The majority of people I see in clinic have in one shape or another compromised digestion, so here are a few reasons as to why you should incorporate fermented foods into your diet:

  • They are CHEAP! – especially if you make your own. 
  • They are pre-biotics so they enable our gut to absorb more nutrients from our foods and work to help boost immunity.
  • Fermented vegetables mature in their own juices and remain in their raw state, so less nutritional loss.
  • They are rich in B-vitamins so they support healthy gut function and support  the nervous system.
  • Fermented foods stimulate stomach acids which decline as we age
  • Many grains contain phytates and other enzyme inhibitors that block the absorption of calcium and other important nutrients.  The fermentation process neutralises these and also breaks complex starches into simpler sugars facilitating better absorption.

The scope of fermented foods is huge so I encourage you to try incorporating some into your diet or even try your hand at fermenting your own foods – there are some fantastic workshops around so why not try making your own kimchi, sauerkraut or even cheese! 

Submitted by Juanita Emmerton, ND Red Suva Natural Therapies



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What is coffee doing to your health?

What is coffee doing to your health?

For many busy Australian mothers, coffee has become more of a survival tool than the backdrop to a blissful retreat and gossip session with friends. To get a good coffee a few years ago would require you to stop by your local café and stand in line to order, but with the invention of pod machines these days a good coffee can be speedily extracted in the kitchen of most residential homes.

Few of those who drink coffee would consider themselves drug addicts, but under strict definition, coffee is indeed a drug. In fact, caffeine is the most popular and commonly used drug in the world today. More people are more addicted to caffeine than any other substance. Caffeine addiction is felt in the form of withdrawal symptoms when coffee is removed from the diet. These symptoms can include headaches, dizziness and nausea. Research suggests that 3-4 cups of coffee regularly can be enough to form a reliance on caffeine. 

What are the health consequences of coffee?

If coffee is a drug, then surely it’s bad for you, right? Well, don’t throw out your coffee bean just yet…

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, recent studies have been surprisingly positive when testing the health of regular coffee drinkers. A large study recently conducted in Finland,  that included 60,000 men and women, showed that moderate and regular coffee consumption had zero adverse health effects and no increase in heart-disease risk. Similar studies in Sweden and Japan have even shown that consumption of up to 3 cups of coffee per day can REDUCE the risk of heart disease. Now that’s reason enough to celebrate with a coffee! Other health benefits may include reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, reduced risk of Dementia later in life and less risk of stroke and gout.

Most of the negative health issues associated with drinking coffee are for NON- REGULAR drinkers. These are generally short-term symptoms that may include increased heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, shaking and disturbance to sleep. The good news is that when coffee intake becomes regular, the short- term health effects seem to subside.

How much is too much?

The positive health effects of coffee are evident when consumed at up to 3-4 cups per day. Early research indicates that drinking any more than this may be detrimental to your short and long-term health and can lead to dependence. Don’t forget, by definition, caffeine is a drug, and therefore, it is wise to treat it with caution and moderation.

For those coffee lovers, my advice would be to enjoy 1-2 cups of good coffee daily. Drinking at this level will avoid dependence and at the same time may result in some long- term health benefits. Enjoy!

Article submitted by Accredited Practising Dietitian David Finn




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Keep It Moving To Keep Off The Kilos

Keep It Moving To Keep Off The Kilos

Christmas can be a dreaded time of year if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body shape.  I’m often asked for advice on how to get through Christmas without piling on the kilos. My favourite tip? You can’t always control everything you’re going to eat during this period, but you can control how much you burn off. Here’s some tips for fitting in regular exercise during the festive season.

Get it out of the way early.

Exercising at the start of the day works for 2 reasons. Firstly, you can get it done and dusted before your day gets hijacked with extra shopping trips, traffic delays, and those Christmas gatherings where you swore you weren’t going to drink (honest!). Secondly, it’s summer, and it’s often more comfortable to exercise before the day gets too hot, especially if you’re doing it outside.

Keep it short and sweet

Find effective workouts you can do in a short amount of time.

Tabata training is so hot right now! This is a type of high intensity interval training that gets serious results from super short workouts. Look for personal trainers in your area which include Tabata as part of their programs.

Most gyms do quick spin classes, serious calorie burners which usually go for 30-45 minutes. Also based on interval training principles, short spin classes will leave you feeling like you’ve burned off more than your Christmas cake.

Work out from home

Most people spend at least 15 minutes getting to and from their gym (and often more if you have to deal with Christmas traffic or car parking in a busy area!). In order to sneak in a daily workout, make a list of things you can do from home, so that you can cut out travel time:

Running – you can do this right from your front door! Need help getting started? Get yourself a “Couch to 5km” app for your smartphone – aimed to have you running longer distances in no time at all.

Yoga – there are some fantastic websites where you can download or stream online yoga tutorials, which you can do anytime from the comfort of your own living room. Yogaglo is a fantastic one, or search on YouTube for yoga classes.

So there’s no need to pile on extra kilos over Christmas. Keep your body moving and there will be no need for those dreaded new years resolutions!

Submitted by Jules Galloway



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