Casuarina/Kingscliff, NSW

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June 2, 2019

The other day I headed to the local health food store looking for some unusual ingredients that I was introduced to on a recent trip to Indonesia. Specifically I was looking for tempeh, a whole food made from fermented soy beans. When I approached the shop keeper she said oh yes they have tempeh AND it was tempeh that didn't have any soy isn't that great? Um, sorry but I wanted soy tempeh as that is what the traditional dish I was making was made from. Oh well, soy is toxic you know. You shouldn't be eating it! 

Wow, I felt completely judged, defensive, and frankly caught off guard so I quickly told her I was "pro soy" (whatever that means 😂) and defensively and apologetically stated I was in fact a nutritionist. She said, oh well as long as the soy is fermented it is probably ok.

What was going on here? Why is a shop keeper who probably never took a single class in biochemistry giving out nutrition advice? Because she read some article on the web that said soy is toxic and now she...

May 9, 2019

Carbs get such a bad rap these days. You know the old saying...."carbs are the enemy." They are usually the first food group to get shunned when people start a weight loss journey. But actually some of the skinniest people on earth consume a lot of carbs.

A recent study (here) looking at Vegans, Vegetarians, Pescatarians and Omnivores, found the Vegan group were the leanest. And as vegans forgo all animal products they end up eating quite lot of carbs. However, this group is typically a pretty health conscious bunch and consume many carbohydrates in their unprocessed and whole form (ie whole grains and legumes). Interestingly, whole grains have recently been shown to help with weight loss as they boost metabolism and cause a decrease in the number of calories that are retained during digestion. See that study here 

But what about regions that have a high consumption of processed carbs but still remain lean? Two countries, Japan and Vietnam, (who are listed at the bott...

April 6, 2019

Ask anyone born before 1945 and they would absolutely know what a legume is and probably have eaten a few dishes containing them. My grandmother in England often cooked a lentil soup while my husband's grandmother in Hawaii made Portuguese Bean Soup.  Fast forward to 2019 and fewer and fewer people recognize a legume let alone have cooked with one. How have these rock stars of the nutrition world fallen out of favour so fast?

Most likely this is due to meat playing a more prominent role in the food supply as it has become more economical and more widely available.

But from a nutrition standpoint, legumes should play a role in anyone's diet whether they are omnivore or vegan. This is due to the powerful nutrients found in legumes that can improve health in multiple ways.

But first, lets define legumes. Legumes include all forms of beans and peas from the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) botanical family. There are thousands of different species of legumes but the ones you most likely have heard o...

November 20, 2017

This warm, delicious salad has so many great flavours going on all in one dish. There is sweetness from the figs and honey, sour from the lemon, a bit of bitterness from the kale, saltiness from the feta and umami from the onion. The ingredients all combine into one amazing flavour sensation. This dish is also incredibly easy to make and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

This Mediterranean type salad is also great for bone health, so would be a great dish for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis. The polyphenols in olive oil have been found to boost bone building cells as well as increase the deposit of calcium into bones.(1)  Figs and feta are good sources of calcium which is critical for bone health. The kale is also a great source of calcium that is very bio available due to it being low in oxalates.(2)  In addition, studies have found walnuts have been shown to prevent bone loss.(3) Even the onion is helpful as one study found that women eating onions regularly had...

November 23, 2016

I don’t believe in dieting or following fad diets. I believe in making lifestyle changes that you can maintain forever. I believe in eating unprocessed whole food as close to nature as possible.  I believe in filling your plate full of vegetables and eating a wide range of colourful food.  I believe that when prepared correctly, whole food can be incredibly delicious!

I mostly use the Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid to shape my overall diet. And when filling my plate, I try to adhere to the Healthy Eating Plate designed by Harvard School of Public Health. Both of these frameworks are backed by evidence based scientific studies showing strong correlations to good health and disease prevention.

Copyright © 2011, Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, www.thenutritionsource.org, and Harvard Health Publications, 

November 6, 2016

2014 was the year of the Paleo Diet here in Australia and I have met countless people who have eschewed grains in search of better health. It is time to put to rest the myth that grains are bad for our health. In order to promote better health I pronounce 2015 to be the year of Whole Grains!

Why whole grains? Most people know grains are a source of energy, fibre and B vitamins.  And many people believe they can get all the fibre and B vitamins they need from vegetables so eliminate grains entirely.  However, whole grains have a whole lot more going for them than just fibre and B vitamins.  They are nutritional powerhouses and have been associated with lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Inflammation and even weight gain.

So what are whole grains?  Examples include wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, maize (corn), rye, millet, sorghum, teff, triticale, amaranth, buckwheat, farro, freekah, bulgar, emmet, spelt, Kamut and quinoa. Whole grains, according to...

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