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Happy gut for a happy life! Boost your mood through food

Aug 10, 2017

Feeling sad, moody or a bit low? We all do from time to time. 
Did you know your gut can have a role in your mental health?

A number of studies have confirmed a close link between our gut bacteria and our brain; ever heard of the gut-brain axis? The gut microbiota (bacteria) greatly impacts our brains physiology, influencing our behaviour and response to stress. Research shows that a plant-rich diet high in probiotics and prebiotics helps to increase the richness and diversity of our gut microbiota and aids in our stress response and mental health. So cool!

How can you eat for a happy life?

To promote balanced moods and feelings of well-being:

  • Focus on a plant-rich diet including a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts & seeds. Aim to fill half of your plate with salad and veggies at lunch and dinner.
  • Include whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal pasta, couscous and grainy bread.
  • ...
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Jul 12, 2017

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in our body. In fact, without calcium we wouldn’t be able to stand or eat as 99% of our calcium is in our bones and teeth!

A small amount of calcium is also dissolved in the blood and is essential for our heart, muscles, blood and nerves. In fact, every contraction of our muscles requires calcium.

So how much calcium do we need and where do we find it? 

Calcium Requirements

After higher calcium needs as a growing teenager, our requirements stabilise at 1000mg/day until they increase again as we get older. This is because calcium isn’t absorbed as well in our later years.

We achieve peak bone mass by our early 20’s so it’s important to lay down a good foundation in our teenage years to set you up with good bone density for life.

Food sources of Calcium

In food terms, the best sources of calcium are dairy sources.

Check the label on your milk product and ensure that for each 250ml serve, it contains at...

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Putting the FUN back into school lunches

Feb 20, 2017


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 insulated bag 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 lunchtime.

3. Stick with a basic structure

(it's 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...
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Why you shouldn’t go past the humble potato

Apr 29, 2016

I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the potato has become a forbidden food, while sweet potato joins the “superfood” ranks. The poor potato has been given the flick in preference for the miracle starchy vegetable, but how does the humble potato stack up nutritionally? 

Let’s take a look!


Energy (kJ/kcal)

Media claims tout sweet potato as the secret switch for weight loss, yet when you compare energy contents, a serve of sweet potato provides 36% more kilojoules than potato. Sweet potato is more energy-dense at the same quantity so keep this in mind if you’re trying to manage your energy intake.


Both potato and sweet potato are starchy veggies, providing carbohydrate in our diet. Sweet potato is slightly more carbohydrate-dense compared to potato. Per 100g, sweet potato contains 15g of carbohydrate, compared to 12g of carbohydrate in potatoes. Compare that to the same portion of white rice...

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