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Hi <<First Name>>,
In this ‘festive’ edition of our dietitian’s e-newsletter we bring you practical tips to help you live your best life:

  •  How to have a Plant-y festive season
  • Are you on our priority list for cookshops?
  • Author signed healthy gift idea
  • How to get your kids to eat more fruit
  • It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you cook it
  • A recipe video for that sweet tooth
  • Product review: Lettuce Deliver Organics
A Merry, Plant-y Christmas

If you’ve recently transitioned to a more plant-based diet, or are familiar with Christmas food traditions, you may be scratching your head for ways to replace that turkey or ham and not feel like you’re missing out. Dietitian Aimee Van Der Veer brings you tips on how to create delicious, plant-based offerings that will steal a second look. All while still supporting your health goals this Christmas.

What do I cook?

Whether it be roast turkey, glazed ham or seafood, meat tends to be the centrepiece of most Christmas (and other festive) occasions. Simply trying to go down the path of swapping such foods with a meat replacement can leave you stumped or eyeing off the plate beside you. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to also whip up delicious, head-turning, plant-y festive-looking dishes.

Typically, a Christmas dining table looks like a feast with plenty of different dishes to sample and share. Here are some plant-based ideas to bring to the table this year so you'll have plenty of options to fill your plate and also nudge others towards better health.
  • Roast vegetables of many colours - baked potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, Dutch carrots, green beans, asparagus, broccolini (use extra virgin olive oil and add fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme or lemon zest to make them extra special and festive) or make Roasted Vegetables on Couscous with Moroccan Dressing, p140 in Dr Sue Radd’s Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health, p62
  • Quinoa, mint and pomegranate side dish
  • Hearty salads based on warmed and seasoned legumes - think lentil salad with Arabic seven spices
  • Light and leafy salads - rocket, pear and walnut salad or tabbouli
  • Falafel balls with strips of wholewheat pita and home-made hummus sprinkled with dukkah (to make the colour of hummus brighter, add some cooked carrots before pureeing)
  • Vegetable tarts (these can even be bought)
  • Roasted pumpkin or butternut squash with Christmas stuffing blended with cooked pearl couscous
  • Fresh Kale, Avocado and Pomegranate Salad from Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health, p62 (always a winner!)

What if I’m going to someone else’s place?

Going to someone else’s house when you have dietary preferences can be stressful. Reaching out to the host ahead of the day and asking what their plan is with the food is a helpful way of navigating this. Offering to bring something plant-based is a great way of ensuring you will have something nutritious and delicious on the day. Knowing what other options there are will help you plan what you could bring. For example, if there are plenty of roast vegetables, you could bring a hearty salad with lentils, quinoa, kale and cranberries. There are also some impressive ready-made plant-based festive roasts on the market. These can be a great way to have ‘roast’ when you don’t want to miss out and don’t feel like cooking.  See here for how you can order from a ‘vegetarian butcher’ in Sydney:

What about protein?

Protein is found in lots of plant foods. To create a balanced, plant-based meal at Christmas, there are a few ingredients that are essential to have on hand and incorporate into a recipe or onto your plate. Include at least one of the following to boost the protein:
  • Legumes – black beans, chickpeas, butter beans
  • Tofu or tempeh
  • Nuts - pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds
  • Seeds - tahini dressing or toasted sunflower seeds
  • Grains – quinoa, freekah
  • A range of protein meat alternatives can be a handy, quick and easy option, especially if at someone else’s place. However, some of these may be quite processed, so be sure to pair them with a variety of salads and vegetables.
What about dessert?

Make the most of the delicious range of fruits on offer around Christmas time. Think mangoes, cherries, stone fruit, watermelon and lychees. Often Christmas is associated with lots of eating and you may not have much room or need for too many rich desserts. Having something like fresh fruit (cut up or beautifully presented on a platter) is perfect to help satisfy a sweet tooth, while feeling light and healthy.

You can also pair fruit with a dollop of soy yoghurt or Cashew Nut Cream (see p244 in Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health). Another option is some good quality dark chocolate with a twist, like cardamom or chilli, or dried fruit based bliss balls.

If you want to go “all out” make a Healthy Christmas Cake (see p250 in Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health). It’s so delicious and stores well!

The main thing is to pick something that you will enjoy, something healthy and satisfying and that which you can plan ahead. Then you can relax and enjoy time with friends and family.



“You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.” - Julia Child

What’s Cooking – Smart Foods to Drop Your Cholesterol & Blood Sugar Naturally!

Yay - we will be back in 2023 with our in-person culinary medicine cookshops. However, we only plan to host 5 events next year so you will have to get your skates on to book a seat. Our cookshops are always in demand. We suggest you don’t delay to make your booking or you might be disappointed.
So, what are your health goals for next year?
Do you want to avoid taking medication to treat a high cholesterol or blood sugar? Would you like to prevent getting additional life-long prescriptions?  Or, maybe your doctor could lower your medication dose if your blood levels were to show significant signs of improvement.
You can make this happen!  But you will need to make some delicious meal swaps. We can show you how easy this is.
Join Dr Sue Radd for this popular Cookshop to see how you can use simple ingredients as medicine to drop your blood sugar and cholesterol naturally – without any nasty side-effects!  You will experience only good results, such as body fat loss, improved regularity and more energy.
When:   Tuesday 28th February 2023
Time:     6.00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where:  Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Suite 10, 80 Cecil Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154
Taste delicious dishes throughout the evening from entrée through to dessert!  Take home recipes and nutrition handouts.
If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease or stroke, or you are simply trying to lose weight, this cookshop is for you!
Learn more about our Cookshops here
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place.  Bring your partner for a date night!


Food as Medicine Cookbook – A Healthy Gift Idea
In the interim, don’t forget to enjoy the recipes in Dr Sue Radd’s award winning cookbook ‘Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health’. It also makes an excellent festive season gift – even if it is to yourself! If you’re in Sydney call our clinic on 9899 5208 and you can purchase an author signed copy. Otherwise, check out online bookstores and have it delivered anywhere in the world.
This year, we have a special running. If you purchase a copy of Food as Medicine from our clinic, we’ll throw in a copy of The Breakfast Book absolutely FREE. Now that’s a good deal. You can share the love or turn it into two gifts.

Food Matters – How to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Did you know that more than 30% of calories in kids diets come from ultraprocessed foods? Yet fruit intake is often poor. Summer time is the ideal time to introduce kids to a wider range of fruits and help them improve this balance. Here are some tips you can try with your kids, grandkids or nieces and nephews:


Food In Focus – It’s Not Just What you Eat, it’s How you Cook It

Go easy with that barbecue this summer. Or, at least, marinate and wrap your meat, chicken or fish to minimise the formation of toxic chemicals in your food. And don’t forget to pump up those vegies and salads. Find out more about safer cooking methods by watching this short TV interview with Dr Radd:

Recipe – Fresh Dates Stuffed with Almonds
Why not make a little treat you can share when guests pop in over the festive season? Super easy and delicious. Watch this 2-minute video to learn how:

Product Review – Lettuce Deliver Organics

“What an amazing birthday present”, said Dr Radd recently! She received not one, not two but three large boxes full of organic fruit n’ veg as a surprise gift from a friend! There couldn’t possibly be a better gift for a dietitian! From cauliflower and broccolini to fennel and pears.
What’s to love?
Sue stated that the fruit and vegetables were super fresh and varied. She had to get creative and cook up a storm so there was no waste. We hate food waste!
It got us to thinking, sending someone such a festive gift may help them try new foods. This would be a good thing as dietary diversity is critical for good health.
Also, it could save you precious time from making multiple trips during the week to the greengrocer if you set up a regular delivery for yourself.
Where can you get them?
Sue’s gift came from a Sydney company which we have linked for you here:
But there are various suppliers across Australia. So you can check out what’s more local or desirable to you.
Usually, you can order over the phone or set up an online account.
If you subscribe to their e-newsletter, suppliers will usually give you a heads up on what’s currently available and their specials.
Some suppliers also provide other organic groceries beyond just the fresh stuff.
Our score
5 out of 5 for a great gift idea and the high quality produce.

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