All posts by Stina Andersen

winter-food-summer-physique

How to boost your immunity this winter

By | Education, Nutrition Tips | No Comments
Winter is well and truly here, and these colder months can provide a challenge with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Staying well-nourished is important to keep our hard-working immune system firing strong, to reduce the risk of getting sick.
Here’s a list of a few nutritious foods we recommend to boost your immunity, and some lifestyle tips, to ward of the winter ill’s and keep you healthy:
  • Garlic – the humble garlic has long been hailed for it’s properties. Garlic contains a variety of antioxidants, has mild antibacterial properties, reduces cholesterol, improves blood circulation and research suggests, prevention of some cancers.
  • Yoghurt – including yoghurt in your diet everyday, provides a good dose of probiotics, important for gut health, and helps boost your immunity. Try adding some berries on top, for a top-notch snack.
  • Tomatoes, red capsicum, chili and berries– the purple and red colours or pigments (anthocyanins and lycopene) of these foods function as antioxidants, which fight against oxygen’s damaging effect on body cells. They are also high in vitamins C and A, which might not cure the common cold, but do repair and regenerate tissues, thus improving immune function.
  • Chicken soup – liquid nourishment and food for the soul – it’s the perfect comfort food to boost your immunity! Don’t underestimate this dish, it’s packed full of veggies, and is very low in kJ.
  • Spices – adds flavour to any dish, with many spices have antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Check out our spicy chickpea, tomato and quinoa soup, which is guaranteed to warm you up on a chilly winters night.
Healthy winter tips:
  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables – eat a rainbow to ensure that you get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, that are important for everyday functions of the body, such as energy conversions and repairing of cellular damage.
  • Keep hydrated – 2 litres is still the recommended amount in summer as in winter, to keep our bodies functioning. Remember, warm drinks, such as tea count as well!
  • Watch your portion sizes – To prevent overeating in winter, try eating off smaller plates, and ensure meals have lots of fibre rich foods such as veggies and wholegrains. These foods will make you feel full and less likely to overeat and reach for that second helping. It takes 20 mins for the stomach to communicate to the brain that it is full, so eat your meals slowly, and take your time to enjoy your food.
  • Get your vitamin D – Going outside for some sun is not always easy in winter (unless you live here in sunny QLD), so you might want to eat foods that contain vitamin D. Foods such as oily fish and some fortified food products (cereals and some milks) contain vitamin D.
  • Move your body – it might be harder to motivate yourself to go out in the cold these days, but it is still important that you get some exercise in. Perhaps do a little workout indoors, go to an exercise class, or go for a walk in your lunch break.

If you need nutritional help and guidance, make an appointment to see our friendly dietitians. Desi, Lisa and Stephanie would love to help you, reach your health and nutritional goals. Call us today on (07) 3891 6199 or send us an email on enquiries@treeoflifenutrition.com.au.

Image is from: http://foodiefitness.org/winter-food-formula-for-a-fit-summer-physique/

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 10.08.43 pm

Chickpea energy balls

By | Healthy snacks, Sweet treats | No Comments

Energy balls are a healthy snack option, but they are often high in kJ due to the amount of nuts and dried fruits in them. Making them with chickpeas, reduces the kJ content,and keeps these little beauties soft and chewy. The chickpeas in them also means they have added protein and fibre, which help with stabilising blood glucose levels, and help with satiety.

 

Makes 10-12 balls

 

Ingredients:

400g tin salt-reduced chickpeas

1 ½ cups mixed raw nuts and seeds

1 cup medjool dates

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (no added salt or oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

3/4 cups shredded coconut

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cocoa powder

 

Method:

  1. Add the nuts into food processor, and blend until coarse. Add dates and blend again. Remove mixture from food processor.
  2. Add chickpeas, water, honey, peanut butter and vanilla extract, and puree to a smooth paste.
  3. Combine both mixtures, and remaining ingredients back into the food processor, and blend until combined.
  4. Using your hands, roll the mixture into little balls, which then can be rolled in shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts or cocoa powder.
  5. Store in airtight containing, and pop into fridge or freezer.

 

*recipe adapted from www.mckenziesfoods.com.au. Picture taken from same site.

 

 

chocolate bark

Dark chocolate bark

By | Recipes, Sweet treats | No Comments

After a healthy and easy chocolate treat? We like to use dark chocolate as it is high in antioxidants, and is lower in added fats and sugars than milk and white chocolates.

Method:

  1. Heat up some good quality dark chocolate, be careful not to burn or overheat the chocolate – that would be such a waste! Then pour the liquid deliciousness into a lined baking tray, and spread evenly using a spatula.
  2. While the chocolate is still warm, add your toppings. Try adding chopped up unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts or peanuts), seeds (sunflower, chia or pumpkin seeds) and some dried fruit (cranberries, sultanas, chopped up apricots, or dates)
    I like to sprinkle some unsweetened coconut flakes on mine too. Then just pop in the fridge for a few hours to cool. When the bark is completely set, smash it up into smaller, pieces…then eat (in moderation of course!)

If wanting smaller, more controlled portion sizes, try making them into buttons – around the size of a 50c coin.

Enjoy!

 

*recipe adapted from http://amazingalmonds.com.au/2014/10/07/almond-coconut-and-cranberry-chocolate-bark/. Picture from same site.

cauliflower-mash-101427-1

Cauliflower mash

By | Recipes, Side-dish, Vegetarian | No Comments

Creamy and comforting, this is a twist to the original side dish. Lower in carbs and kJ, cauliflower is a great alternative to the much-loved potato.

For a low-FODMAP option, remove the garlic, and cook with water rather than stock, if it contains FODMAP rich ingredients.

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic (optional)

1kg cauliflower (about 1 medium head), chopped into 4-5 cm chunks

1-2 375ml salt-reduced vegetable stock /or water (enough to cover the cauliflower)

Fresh rosemary or thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. In a large pot, bring the stock/or water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender, adding the garlic cloves in the last minute of cooking. If using water rather than stock, reserve ½ cup of the water used for boiling, before draining cauliflower.
  2. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a food processor (or use a potato masher). Add oil and reserved water/stock, 1 teaspoon at a time, and purée until desired texture.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add herb of choice and process/blend until just combined.

 

*recipe adapted from both taste.com.au and “The CSIRO low-carb diet” cookbook (2017). Picture from taste.com.au.

 

banana walnut loaf

Banana, honey and walnut loaf

By | Recipes, Sweet treats | No Comments

This sweet and nutty loaf is a delicious afternoon delight, served with hot tea or coffee. If there is any leftovers, slice some up and pop into lunchboxes, or toast it for a special breakfast treat.

 

Serves 8

 

Ingredients:

225g (1 ½ cup) plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 teaspoons baking powder

70g (2/3 cup) rolled oats /or quinoa flakes (can purchase in most health food stores)

100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

175g (½ cup) honey, plus extra to serve

2 eggs

80ml (1/3 cup) canola oil (or other oil of choice)

65g (1/4 cup) low-fat Greek style yoghurt

4 ripe bananas, mashed

fresh ricotta cheese, to serve

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180. Lightly brush a loaf bar/bread tin with oil and line the base of the tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add the oats and 2/3 of the walnuts. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, eggs, oil and yoghurt, and banana. Into the mix, add dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into prepared tin, and using the back of a spoon, smooth the surface. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the top.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the loaf browns too quickly, cover with come al-foil.
  6. Once ready, remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack. Serve warm with fresh ricotta and a drizzle of honey.

Note: To make the loaf extra fruity, add either 1 cup frozen blueberries/raspberries or fresh strawberries (cut up), just before spooning the mixture into the tin for baking. Chopped almonds, cashews or pecans also work in place of walnuts.

*recipe adapted from “Supergrains” by Chrissy Freer (2013). Picture from taste.com.au and shows banana and walnut bread.

soup

Spicy chickpea, tomato and quinoa soup

By | Meatless Monday, Recipes, Vegetarian | No Comments

This soup is bound to warm you up on a cold winters night. Packed with nutrients, it’s a great way to get 2-3 serves of vegetables from this dish, and it’s perfect for vegetarians! The combination of legumes (chickpeas) with a whole grain (quinoa) makes a complete protein, which makes it a balanced meal. For those who are not keen on vegies, this soup can be blended as an alternative.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 capsicum (any colour), seeded and chopped

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste

420g tin no-added-salt chickpeas, drained and rinsed

65g quinoa briefly rinsed

400g tin no-added-salt chopped tomatoes

Large handful of parsley or coriander

Grainy bread

 

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion and celery, stirring for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, capsicum and spices and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Then add tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the chickpeas, quinoa, and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Serve up into bowls and sprinkle some fresh herbs onto. Enjoy with some crusty grainy bread.

 

*recipe adapted from “Supergrains” by Chrissy Freer (2013). Picture from bbcgoodfood.com and shows Moroccan chickpea soup.

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