Dietitian Approved Crew - Dave

Introducing Dave! 

Dave aka Bangar can do it all. From indoor rowing to rugby, surf swimming, pool swimming and running, what can't you do well Dave? Just quietly he holds the title for the No. 1 ranked Indoor Rower for the half marathon IN THE WORLD!

Dave's next focus is on smashing his Gold Coast 10km run time with the goal to go sub 39 minutes this weekend. Good luck Dave!

Burleigh Swim Run 2017

Burleigh Swim Run 2017

Name: David 

Current location: Palm Beach, QLD      

Profession: Turf Contractor

Sport of Choice: Running/Swimming

How many years have you been training and competing in your sport? 26 years

What got you into it in the first place? Looking for a new sport

What’s your favourite training session? 4-10 1km reps (running)

Main Competition or Event for 2017: Gold Coast 10km run + Burleigh Swim Run (Australia Day 2017)

Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, what are your bigger goals for your sporting career:
2018 World Indoor rowing champs;
Australia Day Challenge Burleigh Swim Run;
Burleigh to Surfers 10km swim

What’s your biggest achievement in your sport so far:
10 games with the QLD Reds 1988-1990
2015 No. 1 ranked indoor rower in the world for half marathon 

Do you have a saying or motto you live your life by?

-       Be kind to others

-       Strive for excellence and quality 

What are one or two things you do in your day to day training life that you feel are keys to your success?

-       I am always thinking about recovery

Three things you can’t live without?

-       My 2 sons + my ute

Favourite food:

Wild caught fish (Mackerel, Swordfish), mashed potato, cereal, Dietitian Approved Thai Red Curry

Favourite post-training meal or snack?

Fresh fruit scone hot out of the oven from the Vietnamese bakery at Highgate Hill.

What’s the number 1 thing you’ve learnt about sports nutrition for performance in your sport?

-       Keep the protein trickling in all through the day

-       Periodise your eating

Photo cred: David Magahy

Photo cred: David Magahy

Dietitian Approved Crew - Bec

Introducing Bec! 

An all round LEGEND, Bec is one of our longest standing clients! She even has an original meal plan with our old logo on it - sorry about that Bec :) From humble beginnings as a triathlete 3 years ago, she's gearing up to race Cairns IRON(Wo)MAN this weekend. Good luck Bec! You're going to absolutely smash it!

Photo cred: Delly Carr

Photo cred: Delly Carr

Name: Rebecca aka Bec

Current location: Mackay, QLD      

Profession: Podiatrist

Sport of Choice: Triathlon, but my first love was and still is netball – I’ve retired from playing now to coach

How many years have you been training and competing in your sport? On and off since 2010, started taking triathlon more seriously in 2015

What got you into it in the first place? I love a challenge and a few people I went to university with competed at a pretty decent level so they were a bit of inspiration for me

What’s your favourite training session? Long rides or a brick session

Main Competition or Event for 2017: Ironman Cairns

Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, what are your bigger goals for your sporting career: Ultimately (in a few years) I would love to be able to balance having a family and still train and race in triathlons. I’m enjoying long course racing at the moment so maybe a few more 70.3’s and IM’s …. and I wouldn’t mind qualifying for Kona one day - that would be pretty awesome!

What’s your biggest achievement in your sport so far: Mooloolaba Olympic Distance (OD) 2017 – did the race with no taper as part of my training for Ironman Cairns. Managed to get an overall OD PB by about 5mins and beat my 2015 MooTri time by about 25mins.

Do you have a saying or motto you live your life by?

-       A life lived in fear is a life half lived

-       Control the controllables

What are one or two things you do in your day to day training life that you feel are keys to your success?

-       Always have my bag packed and food prepped the night before

-       Trusting the process

-       Listening to my body

Three things you can’t live without?

-       Family

-       Coffee

-       Friends

Favourite food:

-       Post race = hot chips

-       Any other time = rump steak (med rare), mushroom sauce with chips and salad

Favourite post-training meal or snack?

This is normally breakfast so I love my overnight oats or Dietitian Approved pancakes.

What’s the number 1 thing you’ve learnt about sports nutrition for performance in your sport?

-       The timing of what you eat!

Dietitian Approved Crew Bec Baird
Dietitian Approved Crew_Bec running

Stay well this winter - Top 5 Tips to Surviving the Cold and Flu Season

With the cooler weather setting in, the cold and flu season is upon us. There’s nothing worse than getting sick, especially right before a key event! Here are our top five tips for looking after your immune system and staying well this winter.

Staywellthiswinter

1. Get your 2 fruit and 5 veggie serves in each day

Vitamins and minerals are important for a huge range of reactions within the body such as growth and repair, muscle function, energy metabolism and protection from free radical damage. If we don’t get enough of certain nutrients, our health and performance suffers. It also increases your risk of getting sick. That doesn’t mean you need to start sucking back the multivitamins. Focus on getting a variety of nutrients each day from fresh fruits and vegetables. The more colours, the better to ensure you’re getting a wide range of important, sickness busting vitamins and minerals.

Keep up your daily dose of 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables during the comfort food season with these ideas:

  • Go for warm salads with plenty of roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant and capsicum, red onion.  
  • Try vegetable soups loaded up with all of the leftovers in the fridge at the end of the week. These will keep you warm from the inside and provides loads of nourishment. Be sure to include a protein source though if this is your main meal.
  • Baked fruits like apples, pears and stone fruit make perfect snacks with a little Greek yoghurt on top.

 

2. Get enough sleep

Despite what some people think, most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re sleep deprived and run down you increase your risk of getting sick. Sleep is your ultimate form of recovery, so if you’re not getting enough, you may actually be blunting the effect of training and increasing your risk of picking up the next bug.

Turn your screens off early as the blue light emitted from phone and computer screens affects your natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Set night shift on your phone to start from 6pm which shifts the colour of your screen to the warmer end of the colour spectrum. This may help you sleep better. Get out of the habit of scrolling through Instagram before bed. Read a book instead to relax and wind down.
 

3. Stress less

High stress levels are well documented as being immunosuppressive.  Stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline and prolactin are influenced by negative events and negative emotions, inducing adverse immunological changes.

The longer you’re stressed for (1 month or more) and the more often you’re stressed appears to be directly related to increased incidence of developing cold and flu symptoms.

Life is sometimes stressful – we get it. If you feel your stress levels getting out of hand, find ways to manage this that works for you. Do some exercise, yoga, meditation, go for a walk, read a book, call a friend, take a holiday!

 

4. Look after your gut micro-biome

Your gut plays a huge role in maintaining your immune function. Look after it to prevent picking up colds and flu’s this winter.

Promote balance of good bacteria by eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, yoghurt with live cultures and fermented foods such as tempeh, miso, kimchi and sauerkraut. Take antibiotics only when they are necessary. Remember, antibiotics won’t help you if you have a virus such as a cold or the flu.

Probiotic supplements also have proven benefit in maintaining gastrointestinal function and positively affecting immunity. If you travel a lot or have a key event coming up, talk to a sports dietitian about whether it’s worth taking a probiotic supplement to support your immune function.

 

5. Be hygienic

This shouldn’t be news by any means, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands frequently can help stop the spread of germs and prevent getting sick. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth. Prevention is key.

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap, especially before eating.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, especially when someone is sick.
  • Dispose of tissues hygienically, don’t leave them lying around.
  • Don’t share cutlery, glasses or water bottles with someone that is sick (or well for that matter)
  • If family or friends are sick, give them space and be extra careful with hygiene
  • If you fly frequently, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you’ve washed your hands with warm water and soap.

 

If you do feel like you’re coming down with something, there’s good evidence to suggest Vitamin C and Zinc can help prevent or decrease the severity of a cold or flu. Check with your GP or Sports Dietitian to see if this is a good idea for you.

Stay well guys!

 

 

 

Muscle Cramps - Part 1

Over the next few weeks we look at the latest evidence on what cramps are, why we get them, how to prevent them and how pickle juice may be able to help.

What are muscle cramps? 

Ah cramps! They make me nervous just thinking about them! Most of us have had one at some point or another but what are they exactly?  

A cramp is defined as a painful spasmodic involuntary contraction of a skeletal muscle which occurs during or after exercise. There are actually two main types of cramps: 

  • Whole body cramping, but thankfully these are not as common;  

  • Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC). This type of cramping involves individual muscles or groups of muscles and is common in the calf, hamstring and quadriceps. Think a calf cramp as you go to push off the wall in the pool. It typically involves the muscle being used.

Cramping prevalence has been reported to be as high as 6-20% during Ironman events, 30-50% in marathon runners, 60% in cyclists and 30-50% in team sports.

Although localised and short in duration, EAMC may lead to musculo-skeletal dysfunction, reduced performance and muscle damage, making prevention key for optimum performance. 

What Causes Muscle Cramps?  

There are many theories on why we cramp...

For many years it's been believed that cramping is caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, in particular, sodium.  This is based on earlier research with underground miners and marathon runners. A heat exhaustion study discovered that miners who cramped were more dehydrated and more sodium depleted than those who didn't cramp. In marathon runners, they found the athletes that cramped were more likely to be saltier sweaters and have lower serum sodium at the end of a race. 

However in contrast to these earlier studies, more recent research has failed to show an association between EAMC, dehydration or abnormal serum electrolyte imbalances.... 

A more recent theory suggests that altered neuromuscular activity in the central and peripheral nervous system is the cause of EAMC. Fatigued muscles disrupt the normal functioning of peripheral muscle receptors, altering the excitability of the central nervous system. This causes an imbalance between increased muscle contraction (afferent activity) and relaxation (inhibitory afferent activity) leading to a decreased ability for the muscle to relax after contraction. This is particularly the case when working in a shortened position such as shortened calves when pointing toes in swimming or quads when pedalling while standing on the bike. This theory also helps explain why stretching out a cramping muscle can be the most effective way to relieve it. 

So which theory is it that causes cramps? The bottom line - we don't know.....cramping is still poorly understood!

Despite exercise-associated muscle cramping being a common complaint among athletes, the exact cause remains uncertain due to a lack of quality scientific evidence to guide management. Perhaps for the heavy and salty sweaters amongst us, doing some sweat testing and developing your own personalised hydration plan will assist in your management of cramping. For others, regular massage, neural stretching, adequate strength and muscle conditioning may assist.

Tune in next time where we discuss prevention and the new kid on the block - pickle juice.

Putting the FUN back into school lunches

by Marzia Bell - Dietitian to be and Mum to 2

Schools are back .... "Phew!" I hear you say... Kids are kept busy for the term and parents can find their sanity again.

With back to school also comes the challenge of school lunches. They can be fun for the first week or two and then boredom sets in for both parents and kids alike. Here are a few tips on packing school lunches to make your life easy and fun.


1. Have your tools ready

Containers of different shapes and sizes make packing lunch easy and allow you to separate foods so juices from one don't run into the other. Have an insulatedbag to put all your containers into to keep lunches fresh in this hot weather.


2. Cold packs:

Food safety is important; especially with the summer heat, cold packs are a must to keep your kids food cold until lunch time.


3. Stick with a basic structure 

(it is much easier to slot things in if you have a basic plan): 

  • Brain snack: small apples, pears, carrot or cucumber sticks, strawberries or snacking tomatoes are perfect for this quick snack. (not all schools do this)    
  • First break: aim for a fruit or veggie serve plus a yoghurt or healthy home baked goodie
  • Second break: a protein and salad sandwich or wrap, leftovers, snacking lunch (e.g. cut up cheese, tinned tuna/salmon, boiled eggs, veggie sticks, almonds)

4. Save time, bake ahead:

make home made quiches, muffins, banana bread, muesli bars etc. ahead of time and freeze them in individual portions. The night before or morning of, take them out of the freezer and they will defrost in time for first break. They can also help keep lunch boxes cold.


5. Yoghurt

is a great mid morning snack. The protein in yoghurt will keep little people full and energised until lunch time. There are great little yoghurt containers with an outer shell that can be frozen, helping to keep it cold all morning. Choose plain Greek yoghurt and add some fresh or frozen fruit for flavour. Don't forget to pack a spoon!
 

6. Make school nights easy. Prep ahead of time - utilise your weekends. 

Try washing and cutting salad items up into containers in the fridge for lunches, so all you need to do is take your bread or wrap, add protein quickly (ham, cheese, egg, tuna, beans, chicken) and you're set! Try different combinations to keep things interesting e.g. egg & lettuce, ham, spinach & tomato, grated carrot, lettuce and beetroot.

Have your veggie sticks and fresh fruit cut and prepped in a large container of time (perhaps twice a week for optimal freshness). It's then easy to putting individual serves in a container, add a little hummus,salsa, guacamole or tzatziki for dipping. Little salad dressing containers are perfect for this (find in your local supermarket in the containers aisle).


7. Leftovers are the best!

Full of nutrients and ready to use, these can really help save you time. Get yourself a hot food container (Thermos make some fancy ones, but you can also buy cheaper alternatives at Kmart for under $10). In the morning fill it with boiling water, leave it for 5 minutes, meanwhile heat up the leftovers in a container. When the 5 minutes are up just empty the water and put the food in, easy! You can also use it for warm baked beans with a slice of wholemeal bread. Don't forget to pack a fork or spoon!


Make sure the lunch box is full of nutrient rich foods; Kids brains and bodies need them to stay focused all day. Pre-packaged snacks are easy and tempting but are often nutrient poor and will slow them down.

Have fun, experiment and find some new family favourites!
 

Turmeric – the next big sports nutrition supplement?

As the Turmeric latte surges to the front of the trend list, what is it about this spice that’s causing all the hype? We take a look at what it is, the potential benefits and how to include it in your diet.

Why the hype?

Turmeric is a golden yellow spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cooking. Turmeric contains the bioactive compound Curcumin, which has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s claimed to have a positive effect on heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer and many other conditions. Be mindful though that research for these benefits has been done in vitro (in a petri dish) or in animal models (mostly rats) which is difficult to extrapolate to humans. The research in humans is limited and more trials are needed.

How much Turmeric and Curcumin may benefit?

It’s not as simple as adding a little turmeric to your latte or smoothie. Curcumin makes up <5% of turmeric. In its naturally occurring state, curcumin has very low bioavailability in humans (i.e. it’s poorly absorbed). Partly due to its low intestinal absorption and partly due to its rapid metabolism. Based on research to date, oral supplementation in the range of 80-500mg is likely to be required, however studies have shown doses as high as 8000mg being insufficient to increase levels of curcumin in the blood (1, 2, 3). The jury is still out on exactly how much curcumin and in what form is required to reap the benefits.

Increasing Curcumin bioavailability

Laboratory testing is currently underway to explore better ways to take curcumin so that it’s more bioavailable, absorbed better and delivered directly to the required tissue. Taken orally, it seems to stay in our digestive system and pass through without being absorbed into the blood stream.

It is possible to enhance curcumin absorption by combining it with piperine, a black pepper extract. One study found that 20mg of piperine paired with 2000mg of curcumin increased curcumin bioavailability by 2000% (4).

Curcumin is also fat soluble so it’s possible to increase absorption by consuming with fat soluble components e.g. oils or traditionally gum ghatti. There is also current research occurring to produce water soluble curcumin supplements.

Curcumin – the next big sports nutrition supplement

In the sports nutrition space – it has been suggested that Curcumin supplementation may acutely blunt DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), improve tendon healing and play an anti-inflammatory role in tendinopathy. Preliminary studies however (5, 6, 7) have failed to show a statistically significant difference between curcumin supplementation and placebo groups. There are a number of reasons why (small sample size, curcumin dose and bioavailability, fitness level of participants) and further work is required to develop appropriate protocols for athletes.

Is there any risk associated with supplementing curcumin?

Due to its low bioavailability and low concentration in turmeric, it is unlikely that you can over consume curcumin in its naturally occurring form. However, supplementation has shown side effects when taken in higher doses.

Curcumin has potential interactions with antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, salicylates, and thrombolytic agents which may cause bleeding. Taken on an empty stomach, especially in high doses, it may cause nausea and diarrhoea. The safety of curcumin supplements during pregnancy and lactation is also not established. As with any supplement, speak to your doctor or sports dietitian to see if it is suitable for you.

Take home message

Watch this space. Curcumin potentially has some benefit but it’s not a miracle spice that will cure the qualms of the world. There’s no harm in using it in a normal dose – but be careful with a high dose supplement until we know more.

Tips to include more turmeric in your diet

  • Sprinkle on your oats: this works well with the flavours of coconut milk in particular
  • Add to a smoothie or juice
  • Stir through scrambled eggs, it takes a mild, interesting flavour and gives it a beautiful colour
  • Add to rice during cooking
  • Add to mince mixes: whether it’s burger patties or cottage pie, a little spice will brighten the flavour
  • Soups, casseroles and stews: a curry is not a curry without turmeric, but you can add a mild Indian flavour to soups, casseroles and stews with a little turmeric
  • Sprinkle on roast vegetables, particularly root vegetables such as potato, parsnip and sweet potato
  • Spice up your salads with a pinch in your salad dressing. This works well with lemon based dressings

 

Turmeric Scrambled eggs

References:

1. Lao, C.D., Ruffin, M.T., Normolle, D., Heath, D.D., Murray, S.I., Bailey, J.M., Boggs, M.E., Crowell, J., Rock, C.L. and Brenner, D.E. (2006) BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6(1), p. 10. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-10.

2. Cheng, A.L., Hsu, C.H., Lin, J.K., Hsu, M.M., Ho, Y.F., Shen, T.S., Ko, J.Y. and Lin, J.T. (2001) ‘Phase I clinical trial of curcumin, a chemopreventive agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malignant lesions’, Anticancer Research, 21(4B), pp. 2895–2900.

3. Dhillon, N., Aggarwal, B.B., Newman, R.A., Wolff, R.A., Kunnumakkara, A.B., Abbruzzese, J.L., Ng, C.S., Badmaev, V. and Kurzrock, R. (2008) ‘Phase II trial of Curcumin in patients with advanced Pancreatic cancer’, Clinical Cancer Research, 14(14), pp. 4491–4499. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-08-0024.

4. Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R. and Srinivas, P. (1998) ‘Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in animals and human volunteers’, Planta Medica, 64(04), pp. 353–356. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-957450.

5. McFarlin, B.K., Venable, A.S., Henning, A.L., Sampson, J.N.B., Pennel, K., Vingren, J.L. and Hill, D.W. (2016) ‘Reduced inflammatory and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin’, BBA Clinical, 5, pp. 72–78. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.02.003.

6. Tanabe, Y., Maeda, S., Akazawa, N., Zempo-Miyaki, A., Choi, Y., Ra, S.-G., Imaizumi, A., Otsuka, Y. and Nosaka, K. (2015) ‘Attenuation of indirect markers of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage by curcumin’, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(9), pp. 1949–1957. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3170-4.

7. Drobnic, F., Riera, J., Appendino, G., Togni, S., Franceschi, F., Valle, X., Pons, A. and Tur, J. (2014) ‘Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): A randomised, placebo-controlled trial’, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), p. 31. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-11-31.

Stay on Track in 2017

2017 is here and motivation is at its peak! It can be easy to jump headfirst into New Year's resolutions, only to run out of puff after a few weeks. If you want long term change, set realistic goals using our top tips to help you achieve them…

Top tips to Stay on Track this New Year

1. Forget Detoxes

From colon cleanses to juice fasts (*face palm), detoxes are believed to be the best way to rid your body of toxins, lose weight and kick start a healthier lifestyle. The truth is though, there is no evidence to support such practices. Our body is well equipped with 2 kidneys and a liver to filter our blood and eradicate toxins. By simply eating a healthy, balanced diet and ensuring healthy habits each day, we help our body to maintain a balance in the long-term, without the need to “detox”…..whatever the heck that means. 

2. Choose SMART goals

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By making your goals these factors, you'll have greater chance of keeping them throughout the year. Write them down and hold yourself accountable to them! Tell your accountabilabuddy (yes that’s a word) what your goals are so they can help keep you on track too.

3. Slow and steady wins the race 

If weight loss is your goal, the steadier the loss, the more likely it is that the weight will stay off. A healthy weight loss is approximately 0.5kg to 1 kg per week. It may sound small but it can quickly add up to a considerable change. Slow and steady, while not sounding particularly “sexy”, is more achievable and can be maintained long term, increasing your chance of overall success.

The same goes for diving head first into exercise - if you overdo it, the more likely it is you'll never want to do it again. Consistency is key; one huge work out that induces so much pain you cannot walk for a week will not make you stronger or fitter! Regular exercise that builds on the previous session will ensure long term change for the better. Start easy, and build as your fitness increases.

4. Make many small goals instead of one big one

Map out your Ultimate Goal and then break this up into smaller, bite sized goals. It will be easier to achieve your overall goal if you can imagine the outcome occurring in the not so distant future. Smaller chunks will help you keep working steadily and more consistently on your Ultimate Goal. Onwards and upwards!

5. Reward yourself (but not with food!)

When you reach your goal/s, celebrate! Choose an activity that is special for you such as a gold class movie, some time with your favourite people, an indulgent massage or beauty treatment, a new outfit or set of wheels :) I like to treat myself to a swim in the Ocean, it's completely up to you. As long as it’s not food.

6. Get back on the horse

If you had planned to go running every day and today you sat on the couch and ate a block of chocolate instead (we know, sometimes it just… happens), pick yourself up and get back out there tomorrow.  Don’t wait for Monday to roll around. Remind yourself that consistency is the key. You haven't let anyone down and every day is a new day! Which brings me to the next point...

7. Make every day your New Year's resolutions day 

Get away from the "all or none" mentality; incorporate healthy behaviour into your everyday lifestyle! Our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge aims to achieve just that! It's those small, daily habits we consistently repeat over time that become entrenched. Make the choice and stick to it.

8. Practice makes perfect 

Keep practicing those great healthy habits. A study by researchers from the University College London shows that it takes 66 days for a new habit to become the norm. Don’t give in - recognise it takes time to turn new behaviours into habits, so keep going and you’ll soon see they become second nature.

Happy New Year!

Dietitian Approved

 

 

 

Festive Season Survival Guide - Cheers!

The festive season is a time to celebrate. Celebrate the great year that has been, the new adventures ahead, the special people in our lives. We aren't here to be the fun police, but here's some information about the elephant in the room....alcohol.

Enjoyment is the key, we don’t need to drink ourselves silly to enjoy the silly season, honest. Pick your favourite drink and have a couple. Enjoy every sip so you can also enjoy every moment of your holidays, potentially avoiding the dreaded hangover.

Drink plenty of water with your alcohol; this will help you to pace yourself and will ensure you remain hydrated and ready for action the next day. You can spice up your water with some great summer flavours by adding fresh/frozen berries, cucumber & orange slices or fresh lemon and lime. 

Plan to have at least two alcohol free days a week: this will help your body recover, give your liver a break and is good for your health long term.

We're going to leave you with these....

drinksmart
Drinkwise

This holiday season, share some treats with your loved ones, find new ways to be active with friends and family, drink in moderation but most of all have a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter.

A very Merry Christmas from all of us at Dietitian Approved. 

Festive Season Survival Guide - Move!

stretching

The festive season is a great time to get active. With time off work (hopefully) you'll have so much extra time for activities! 

 

Aim to do something for at least 30 minutes everyday. Early summer mornings are fantastic for getting outside and enjoying a walk, run, swim or ride before it gets too hot. They are also great opportunities to catch up with friends and family. Why not plan an activity together and post-session coffee catchup - the perfect start to a day! Get it done early and it leaves the rest of the day free. It also increases your chance of getting your daily 30minutes in before life gets busy.

Family bush walks are also a fantastic way to spend time together. They can be all inclusive activities enjoyed by all ages and fitness levels. A light picnic at the end might make for a great day out. A game of cricket or soccer on the grass makes for fun family time.

 

If the heat is getting to you, find a pool for a refreshing swim or head to the gym for an air-conditioned work out.

It does not matter what activity you chose, the important thing is to remain active. Use the holidays as a chance to try something new or stick with an old favourite and move your body!

 

Festive Season Survival Guide - The Entertainers Guide

Entertaining is a great way to spend time with your loved ones during the holiday season.  Depending on your stress levels, you may decide to cater for the whole event yourself, ask people to bring a plate to share or utilise some of your local catering companies. Whichever way, here are some ideas from us to help make entertaining easy(er).

festiveseasonsurvivialguide

Catering yourself (full credit to you!)

Entrees 

Finger food is a great way to start a meal....
Chose vegetable based options such as veggie sticks and dip. Lay foods such as carrot sticks, cucumber, capsicum. cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage and mushrooms out in a rainbow so they're visually appealing. Dips like hummus, guacamole and tzatziki are easy to make and taste great. Or try Chobani's new Meze range of dips - they're made on their high protein yoghurt and are absolutely delicious. (In case you're wondering, we didn't get paid to say that. Nor did we get free stuff)  
Add home-made pita bread chip to your platter for a healthy carbohydrate source. Simply split the pita in half, lightly spray with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle a little paprika, salt, pepper or whatever herb or flavouring you prefer. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes until crispy. That's almost as easy as buying a packet of high fat crackers. 

Mains

Choose plenty of salad and vegetable based dishes. Keep an eye out for our SUMMER SALADS eBook available soon! Salads are perfect in summer, so why not try something new? 

Choose salads with fresh ingredients and healthful dressings. Look for dressings based on olive oil, vinegar, fresh citrus juice or natural yoghurt. Avoid really creamy dressings such as caesar or dark leafy greens, fruits, seeds or nuts dressed with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon or a natural yoghurt based dressing, avoid creamy dressings. Quinoa, cous cous or brown rice are also great additions to salads.

The Aussie summer classic of prawns is a great way to include some protein rich foods in your meal. If meat is a favourite, go for a lean protein source such as turkey, chicken, steak rather than fatty processed meats like sausages, wings or salami.

Dessert

 To finish your meal with a sweet bite, cut your favourite dessert into mini bites, a fantastic way to enjoy a treat in moderation.

Or what about a fresh fruit platter? Get creative and turn your fruit into a decorative Christmas Tree like this one. It's almost too good to eat!

Christmas Fruit Tree

 

Everyone bring a plate

Our favourite method of entertaining as it's always fun to taste other people's cooking. Why not pick a theme? It could be a dish from your guests home town/country or their family’s favourite Christmas recipe.

It is often easiest to prepare the protein rich foods yourself as they are often harder to transport safely.  A turkey, ham, chicken, whole fish or veggie patties are easy to prepare, will look and taste great and feed all your guests.  

Be specific with your guests, asking them to bring a salad, or dessert or nibbles. Let them know what protein source you're preparing so they can match tastes and flavours with what's on offer. If two people are bringing a salad, maybe suggest one brings a leafy salad while the other a coleslaw style or a quinoa/cous cous/rice based salad. This will avoid double ups as well as help your guests have a balanced meal on offer. 

When asking your guests to bring dessert, you can suggest a healthy option like fruit salad or fruit based dessert to finish the meal with a light and refreshing choice. Warning: You may not be so popular though :) Try these cute little strawberry santa's as a healthier alternative (recipe on our instagram)

Strawberry Santas

The catering option 

If you would like some help with the catering, there are loads of companies that make delicious healthy meal options such as salads, sushi platters and desserts.

If you live in Brisbane, Australia, there is a great company called Botanica that make scrumptious salads. (We also didn't get paid to say that). If you're not a local, do some research as I'm sure there are some delicious and healthy catering options near you. 

Try your local sushi shop for a tasty platter or one of the many bakeries for a ready-made dessert. Just make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Supermarkets also offer pre-made salads such as coleslaws or kaleslaws, combine those with a yoghurt based dressing for a quick and delicious side dish. Some supermarkets and fruit shops may also offer pre-cut fruit platters.

Whichever option or combination you choose - we hope you have a delicious Christmas day full of tasty, healthy food.

Sports Supplements

Words by Accredited Sports Dietitian, Taryn Richardson, Dietitian Approved

Sports Supplements are everywhere!  I struggle to keep up with the latest products on the market with new brands popping up every week. As many athletes search for that ‘magic bullet’, sports supplements have become a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, a recent study found that 40-70% of athletes take supplements.

A nutrition supplement, as the name suggests, is designed to supplement the diet and should never replace it. My approach as a dietitian is always “food-first” as your day-to-day nutrition is where you will see the greatest health and performance benefits long term. Supplements are considered the sprinkles, on the icing on the cake. It’s important to get the foundations of a balanced, healthy diet in training right first (the sponge), before adding the icing and even considering the sprinkles.

Supplements typically fall into three main categories: Sports foods and fluids, Medical supplements and Performance supplements.

Sports foods and fluids

These include an extensive list of sports drinks, gels, chomps, bloks, bars, protein powders and recovery drinks. They are easily accessible, portable, convenient and provide concentrated nutrients when real food may not be practical.  In most situations though, real foods can take the place of sports foods if you’re organised. Sports foods and fluids can be expensive, may be completely unnecessary, are energy dense and can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people.

Medical supplements

Are used to treat a known deficiency such as Iron or Vitamin D for a short period of time. They can be pills, potions or powders and should only be taken when recommended by a doctor, accredited sports dietitian or other health professional after a blood test and/or diet review. Taking un-prescribed medical supplements can be dangerous and have harmful long-term effects. 

Performance supplements

Approved ergogenic aids or performance-enhancing supplements have been proven in scientific trials to provide a performance benefit, when used according to a specific protocol in a specific situation in sport. Things like caffeine, creatine and bicarb form part of this list. However there are many other popular supplements on the market promising remarkable super-human powers that don’t deliver. In some cases, these supplements may actually impair health or performance.

Stay safe

A recent study found that 80% of certain supplements didn’t contain what the label said (scary). The risk of contamination with banned substances is real and should be at the forefront of every athletes mind. Especially now that age group drug testing is a common occurrence. The supplement industry is largely unregulated, and traces of banned substances can find themselves in products by accident. You can take responsibility by checking your product on the ASADA website. You can also look for products that have been through a contamination screening process such as Informed Sport or Hasta in Australia. 

Be smart

Be an informed supplement user. Before purchasing anything, do you research and talk to a professional. Ask yourself three questions – Is it safe? Is it legal? Does it really work? If it sounds too good to be true, chances are, it probably is. Everyone has an opinion but be mindful that what works for one, may not work for another. An Accredited Sports Dietitian can help you work out what supplements are best for you and your sport.

Source: projetopedalando.com.br

Happy Training

Taryn

Dietitian Approved