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In this ‘festive’ edition of our e-newsletter to help keep you focussed on your health goals:
  • Eat well and spend less this festive season
  • How to have a healthier summer barbecue
  • Cherries: Nature’s anti-inflammatory superheroes
  • A delicious barley salad recipe to take to your next event
  • Kitchen hack – How to de-seed a pomegranate
5 Ways to Eat Well & Spend Less this Festive Season
And so it begins, the stressful race to get prepared for Christmas….
With this year being such a difficult one (remember when we were locked inside for months due to COVID?), the temptation to go all-out with celebrations is high! However, times have been tough financially for many, so you might be looking for ways to be more frugal for Christmas lunch this year yet still enjoy a delicious meal. Regardless of your net worth, we are all familiar with just how easy it is to over-spend during the holidays. And we all want that perfect looking Christmas table spread for family and friends, with decorations that also stun our neighbours. So here are some quick tips from our Dietitian Courtney Thornton to help you eat well and spend less this festive season – or any other festive occasion, for our friends and clients who don’t celebrate Christmas.

1.    Have a set budget & stick to it!
Like anything you want to spend your money on wisely, think about how much you should invest this Christmas and write out a budget. Allocate an amount for each item and consider all costs – presents, seasonal cards, decorations, food, drinks etc. The most important thing is to stick to it! Be disciplined and don’t go over budget.

2.    Overhaul your menu
Is your menu too labour intensive? – if you find you are spending the whole day in the kitchen, you may want to reconsider your menu. After all, it’s your Christmas too! Consider sharing duties or preparing certain parts of the meal ahead of time. Actually, we value prepping ahead all year round (not just at Christmas) – especially for busy working weeks.
  • Shop seasonally – look for fruits and vegetables that are in season as these tend to be cheaper and more tasty. It also pays to bulk out your  planned menu with more salad and veg as these plant based foods cost significantly less than animal protein foods e.g. meats and seafood - and can also brighten up your table!
  • Plan (and shop) ahead of time – plan out your menu well in advance. Allow for some flexibility, should family members drop out. Being organised in advance will also enable you to shop several days ahead, before the last minute rush.
  • Make swaps - replace expensive traditional meats with alternatives. Instead of turkey or glazed ham, you could serve roast chicken with a beautiful homemade sauce and stuffing. Or, if you’re trying to eat more plant based, how about making a large tray of Lasagna with Roasted Vegetables to feed the troupes (recipe in Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health) or buying a vegan Festive Roast made from seitan, nuts and herbs? We make our own seitan products (note – seitan is not gluten free) but if you’re in Sydney you can buy these from Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher. They taste good! 
  • Don’t over buy “just in case” - we have all seen glimpses of scavenge buying during the pandemic, but this is also a common trap at Christmas time. Remember, the shops only close for a few days, not a whole week. We recommend factoring this into your planning. Factor in leftovers to also cover the days after Christmas, or plan your menu to cover Boxing Day and New Year’s to save on money and food waste.
3.    Encourage BYO
Share the financial load to save this Christmas. Take up your friend on bringing a dish. Get Aunty June to cater for dessert. It will mean one less stress for you and one less pain in your back pocket. BYO drinks can be particularly helpful. First, people can bring what they want to have – some may choose alcohol like beer, others may opt for de-alcoholised wine, still others may want kombucha (which can be virtually calorie free).

4.    Plan for leftovers
There are usually leftovers after festive occasions, so it’s always good to consider the meals you can make from leftovers for the days following. Why not have a turkey/chicken/seitan roast salad or sandwich for lunch on Boxing Day? Or, toss that extra seafood into a light pasta for New Year’s dinner? Lasagna always tastes better the next day anyway! Leftover veggies are perfect for a healthy frittata brunch (can also be made with tofu rather than egg)?

5.    Freeze, freeze, freeze
We love leftovers that you can freeze (all year round, as a matter of fact!). There will be less chance of food going off and more meals to pick from when you don’t feel like cooking over the summer break. Freeze anything and everything you can. Just remember that some foods aren’t suitable for freezing due to food safety reasons such as eggs, and those high water content vegetables (think salad).

From all of us at the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, we wish you a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season. And we look forward to bringing you more nutrition content and health inspiration in the new year! Our Clinic will re-open for in-person or Zoom consultations on 6th January 2021!
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.” -Marie Forleo
What’s Cooking – How to Make a Healthy Christmas Cake: Mini ZOOM Cookshop with Dr Sue Radd
We are currently perfecting our Zoom Cookshop set up and we would love you to critique how valuable you feel this type of learning is. 
Date: Wednesday, 15th December
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm                                                   
Cost: FREE to the first 10 people who email
Food Matters – Summer BBQs: What’s at Steak?
Unfortunately, barbecuing is one of the least healthy cooking methods (especially for cooking meats) yet Aussies love their BBQs! Here are Dr Sue Radd’s tips to reduce the formation of noxious chemicals for when you next barbecue.
Food InFocus – Cherries: Nature’s Anti-inflammatory Superheroes with Dr Sue Radd
Yay - cherries are in season in Australia! Watch this to learn why you’d want to scoop up these luscious fruits and feature them for dessert or at picnics.
Recipe – Barley Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta & Pine Nuts
Looking for something a little different to bring to Christmas lunch this year? This simple salad is also excellent for a summer meal or picnic. To prevent the rocket from wilting, fold it in just before serving. Don’t worry if you have leftovers as the flavours only improve the next day. Barley is full of viscous fibres, which lower elevated blood sugar and cholesterol level.

Dr Sue Radd’s Kitchen Hacks – How to De-seed a Pomegranate
It’s that time of year again and nothing says summer more than brightly coloured fruits. Whether you plan to add them to summer salads, grab a handful as a snack or infuse your water for a refreshing drink, pomegranates are deliciously sweet-sour and leave you wanting more. But there is one annoying thing: the effort required to de-seed a pomegranate. Watch Dr Radd’s quick hack to reduce your stress levels and easily prepare your pomegranates this summer. After learning this trick, people have said “wow – I didn’t know you could do it that way”.
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