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Hi <<First Name>>,

In our food and nutrition newsletters we share tips and tricks to help you aim for your best health. In this issue:
  • How to prep a food supply in case of a looming disaster
  • Our award-winning cookshops are coming back – soon!
  • Are you living well with PCOS?
  • What you should know about tofu – the ancient Asian staple
  • Enjoy our delicious caramel date sauce recipe
  • Sit down, stand up desks may help you
Are you Disaster Ready?

Disasters such as bush fires, cyclones and pandemics can be unexpected, sudden and isolating, potentially cutting us off from our regular supplies of food and water. Guest nutritionist, Paige Ashby reports on how you can be better prepared.

“Early in 2022, I watched anxiously as distressing stories emerged during the flood crisis that hit the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. Shocked Casino residents had never before experienced flooding that engulfed 330 homes. Terrified Lismore residents, unable to escape from quickly rising flood waters, climbed up into roof cavities and cut escape holes. Families split by water were unable to communicate”, she said.

With these experiences fresh in our minds, it seems a good time to check our own preparedness.

So, how do you prepare?  We really like the NZ concept of the ‘grab bag’. It captures the urgency of having emergency supplies already packed, which can be grabbed at a moment’s notice. Various government websites also have other excellent practical suggestions.

Taking multiple sources of advice on board, Paige has prepared a procedure for organising your food and water into grab bags.

Let’s imagine that we are a family of four. We need to develop a list of food and water that would be required for three days’ survival.
Erin Hyatt and fellow researchers recently surveyed emergency preparedness practices across the USA and published their findings in the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal. They found that 96% of homes met the guidelines for food preparedness, but only 53% of households met guidelines for water preparedness. We imagine that a similar situation might exist in Australia.
The body can only survive a few days without water, whereas it can easily survive more than a week without food. So, let’s start with water.
The New Zealand government emergency website (see link below) recommends the storage of three days’ supply with at least three litres of water per person per day. This means that a household of four should aim to have about 36 litres in storage. That’s a lot of water to have on hand! It’s easy to see why so many households fail to meet the water preparedness guidelines.
They give some useful tips on storing water.
  • Use sealed pre-packaged water, if possible;
  • Avoid using milk containers to prevent cross contamination;
  • Label and date each container;
  • Pack water purifying tablets to use, if stored water runs out.
Food for the grab bag should be non-perishable, mostly ready-to-eat and considerate of individual dietary requirements. The Queensland government emergency website gives a comprehensive overview of emergency foods. Here are a few of their suggestions.
  • Canned and bottled food e.g. vegetables, fruit, pasta sauce, fish, baked beans;
  • Dried and long-life food e.g. milk powder/UHT milk, cereals, ready-to-eat rice and pasta, long life flat breads such as tortillas;
  • Snack food e.g. dried fruits, nuts, wholemeal crackers, peanut butter, muesli bars, dark chocolate;
  • Manual tin opener;
  • Small camping stove and pot;
  • Basic eating utensils.

Choose grab bags appropriate in size for each of the four family members. Back packs are ideal as they leave hands free. Place all items on a table, apportion according to pack size and place in the grab bags.

Once you have completed Steps 1 and 2, you have made an excellent start, but the job is not yet done. Effective preparation requires regular rechecking of grab bags.
  • Store the grab bags in an elevated, accessible position away from sunlight;
  • Use and replenish foods and water according to their best before dates ;
  • If using your own water containers, refill every 12 months;
  • Set up a reminder system, maybe at the beginning of each season, to check supplies in the grab bags.
Of course, there are other items such as important documents, medications, nappies, pet food, toiletries, water resistant torch, radio and emergency numbers that need to be listed and included in your grab bag. You may think of some more.

research published from the University of Melbourne in 2019 in the journal PLoS ONE found that residents who committed to performing one action of preparation on a specific date and time achieved a higher level of preparedness than those who did not commit. These scientists suggest that Australian residents could be encouraged to become better prepared for disasters by inviting them to make a specific commitment to do so.
If we are really honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that many times we have told ourselves that we should make a greater effort to be prepared for an emergency, but sadly, we never seem to get around to doing anything about it.
But with climate change and unstable political situations in some countries, disasters are likely to keep on coming!  So, is your grab bag ready or do you need to take the first step today?

Emergency Websites for more Information


“There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst.” - Stephen King
What’s Cooking – Award-winning Cookshops 

Exciting news! With the continued improvement of the COVID-19 situation in Australia, we are optimistic that we will be able to resume our cookshops very soon!

Our cookshops are usually held in-person at the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Suite 10, 80 Cecil Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154. So, we have needed to postpone them until it was safe to resume.

If you currently hold a ticket for a cookshop, we will contact you directly to advise of a planned event date for the end of May 2022. If you don’t hear from us shortly, please call us on 9899 5208 to check.

We are also considering pivoting to Zoom cookshops in the future and would welcome any thoughts or ideas of how this might help you. We already know it could be useful for many of our clients and friends from interstate or the country, who have not been able to attend in the past.

If you would like your name to be added to our priority list for when the next public cookshop event is announced, please email our manager directly:  Registering your expression of interest for future cookshops, does not obligate you in any way.

Food Matters – Living Well with PCOS

PCOS is a common hormone disorder in younger women. If you have been diagnosed or are struggling with insulin resistance and weight control, lifestyle changes can help. Read more here:
Food In Focus – Terrific Tofu

Could you use some tofu instead of cheese or chicken? Watch this interview with Dr Sue Radd where she explains the surprising health-giving properties of that humble Asian staple, tofu:
Recipe – Caramel Date Sauce

If you haven’t already tried our delicious caramel date sauce you have been missing out! It’s super easy to make and has many uses. You could even drizzle it on pancakes and provide breakfast-in-bed to your mum on any day of the week!

Product Review – Sit Down, Stand Up Desks

Do you find yourself sitting far too much over the day? Perhaps you are now working from home and sometimes feel chained to your desk. After a few hours without rising your legs can start to feel numb!

Enter the ‘sit down, stand up desk’. It could change your life.

The idea of these desks is that you can switch from a sitting to standing position throughout the day, as you like. This breaks up long periods of sitting time, which is metabolically harmful (at the cellular level). It’s been said that “sitting is the new smoking”!

It also actually feels good to rotate between the sitting and standing positions.

There are many such desks on the market and you need to find the right size and functions to meet your needs. Dr Radd has a dual motor, electric Vertilift desk, which she just loves. “It’s changed how I spend my writing days”, she said.

While standing more often is not the same as exercising more, it is certainly one way to disrupt sitting time every half hour and help lower your blood glucose levels, according to the latest research. We could all benefit from that.

A good desk could set you back for around $1000 but cheaper versions are also available.
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