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With so many healthy ways to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year, we share our best tips for a happy, guilt-free festive season. This month, we look at:
- Healthy Christmas eggnog
- Low-GI summer snack and meal ideas
- Why family meal times are important
- How to use daikon - the super power vegetable!
- Dates - the secret weapon against pre-diabetes and high-GI foods
- How to make a meal plan and stick to it
Healthy Christmas Eggnog
I thought you were trying to get into shape this Christmas? I am. The look I’ve selected is the Santa look!
It isn’t just Santa that needs to watch what he eats this time of year. With all the parties, gatherings and celebrations for the festive season, it can be really hard to avoid holiday treats. If you have been working hard all year to develop healthier eating habits and keep your waistline trim, don’t let the Christmas temptations sabotage you!
Yes, Christmas is just one day of the year, but with a work party here, a family dinner there and the New Year just around the corner, it can all add up, and every little bit of mindful eating at Christmas can help.
One treat that is becoming more popular at Christmas time is oh-so-delicious eggnog. A sweet and creamy drink that leaves you with the festive buzz you have been craving all year long. But before you take that first sip, consider this: Just one glass (250ml) of eggnog can have up to 275 calories and about 14 g of fat (according to Calorie King). This is the calorie equivalent of four slices of bread and the same amount of fat as four teaspoons of pure butter. Would you eat all that in one go?
Oh, I will just burn it off with exercise. It will be fine, you might think. That one tiny glass of creamy, eggy Christmas may cost you 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer or one hour walking at a moderate-fast pace to burn off. And that’s if you just had the one drink and nothing else! Would you fit a workout into your Christmas schedule?
Before you start feeling too deprived, maybe we can offer some healthier alternatives to this treat that will still deliver some tasty, festive cheer without costing you precious time in the gym.
Tips for healthy “nog” this Christmas
- Cut the sugar in half and add cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or citrus juice to enhance sweetness.
- Try a “soy nog” or “rice nog”. These non-dairy alternatives will cut down the saturated fat.
- Chai tea or Sue Radd’s Chai Latte is a lighter version of eggnog. A deliciously spiced drink in the spirit of Christmas without the extra energy.
- Forgo the alcohol. Virgin eggnog will cut calories, as alcohol itself is quite energy dense.
- Substitute the cream for evaporated skim milk.
- Try an eggnog smoothie instead. Blend up banana, almond milk, maple syrup, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Perfect for our warmer Aussie Christmas climate.
Did you know?
On average Australians gain 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. And with the New Year looming, most of us put off intervening until January. Christmas is a time to be enjoyed but being mindful over the holidays and keeping ‘moderation’ top of mind might save you from destroying all your hard work this year.
5 Top Tips to prevent a Santa belly this Christmas
- Don’t go to a party hungry. You will be more likely to overeat. Instead, eat low energy but filling foods at your regular meal times e.g. salads with legumes, nuts, yoghurt or veggie sticks with hommus.
- Keep a watchful eye on your portions. If not monitored, portion sizes increase. It’s just the Christmas way.
- Set a limit for alcohol. Drinking your calories doesn’t fill you up but will be sure to expand your waistline. Space out each alcoholic drink with a glass of water if it’s going to be a long day/night.
- Seasonal fruit is a winning dessert! Sweet, delicious and lower in energy than chocolate truffles or fruit mince pies.
- Bring a dish. If it is an option, offer to bring a plate to gatherings. This way you know there will be at least one healthy option available.
“May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!” - Author Unknown
From all of us at the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, we wish you a Happy Christmas and a very healthy New Year!
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill
What’s Cooking? – Simple Summer Meal & Snack Ideas to Make Low-GI Eating Delicious
Have you been avoiding carbs to try and shift weight or lower your blood sugar?
Not all carbs are created equal. Research shows wholegrain, low-GI carbs can actually help you better sustain your weight loss for the long term, feel more satisfied and regulate blood sugar levels – all without having to starve yourself!
They also reduce inflammation in your body and help protect against cancers and heart disease!
Learn how to use the Glycaemic Index (GI) in your kitchen to create delicious meals with superstar carbs. Become enlightened by new research that shows some starchy foods (previously called “complex carbohydrates”) are just as bad (or even worse) for your body than sugar! Discover nifty seasoning and portioning tricks to lower the blood sugar raising effect of an entire meal.
Perfect if you or your loved one has diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, fatty liver or is struggling to keep that weight off!
Join us to become a mini-carb connoisseur and share your learnings from this cookshop with your family and friends.
When: Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 6.30 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, Castle Hill
Learn more about our cookshops
Enjoy a delicious tasting menu throughout the evening and take home recipes and handouts!
This event could change your life and your love/hate relationship with food!
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place as this event is very popular. Bring your partner!
Food Matters with Sue Radd – Family Meals Matters
Family meal times aren’t just great for bonding; they help encourage brighter and healthier children. Click on the link to learn more.
What’s Fresh – Daikon
No it’s not an air conditioner. It’s a vegetable!
The daikon or “white radish” is a long slender white root vegetable used widely throughout Asia. It belongs to the radish family and has powerful anti-cancer properties.
The daikon is similar in appearance to horseradish and packs a peppery crunch reminiscent of watercress. It is native to South-East Asia where it also goes by the name “mooli”. Varieties available differ between regions. The Chinese require a white-necked thin root whereas Japanese prefer a green-necked thick root.
Like any other vegetable from the Brassica family, daikon has natural antioxidants that help to fight oxidative stress and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke and certain cancers. These benefits are even more powerful when eaten raw!
To select the best daikon of the bunch, look for shiny firm skin free from cuts and bruises. Store your daikon in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in glad wrap to keep it fresh.
5 fun ideas with daikon:
- Grate some daikon into a fresh salad and dress with lemon juice.
- Bake, boil or steam some daikon and add to soups, stews and stir fries with your other veggies.
- Boost your vitamin C by sneaking some daikon into your next homemade fruit/veggie juice.
- Shred daikon in place of cabbage for a new twist on coleslaw at your next BBQ.
- Go raw with slices of daikon as a crunchy snack. Delicious with some natural peanut butter or hommus to taste.
Food InFocus – Why You Shouldn’t Kiss Dates Goodbye
Sue Radd sets the record straight on dates – a low-GI snack packed with fibre and potassium and a secret weapon against pre-diabetes. Watch this video to hear more.
Kitchen Tips – How to Make a Meal Plan (and Stick to it)
"Mum, what’s for dinner?"
We have all been there, whether you’re a mum or not. The never-ending “what’s for dinner?” question is something we all face at the end of each day. But for those few who plan their meals ahead, this question is not such a big deal.
Meal planning is something you probably have thought of doing and maybe even already do on occasion, but this little habit can be beneficial to you for many reasons. Firstly, planning out your meals for the week can help you to achieve a balanced and varied diet. “Chicken? Again?” Meal planning (and here is the big one) can save you time. We all want it, but can never get it. Saving yourself time at the shops and in the kitchen by knowing what your next meal is and knowing you already have the ingredients ready can be a big time saver and not to mention stress saver.
Our tips for planning meals:
- Plan a week at a time. Choose a day when you’re not too busy and can sit down to plan the week ahead.
- Spend time looking at recipes and digging through the pantry/fridge/freezer. There’s nothing worse than buying an ingredient you already have (unless it’s forgetting to buy an ingredient you need).
- Account for leftovers. Plan to use any leftovers to minimise waste. This can also save you prep time for busier days.
- Don’t be afraid to cook in bulk. Cooking extra meals and assembling a “bank” of healthy meals is a great idea for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.
- Consider nutrition. Aim for lean protein, low-GI carbs and plenty of veg at each meal. The key is variety. Not only for health but to keep you from getting bored. Chicken five nights per week, be gone!
- Some quick, last-minute ideas can be life savers. Think of some healthy alternatives for days when the kitchen might be lacking ingredients or when the meal plan just isn’t doing it for you. A simple baked beans on toast or 90 second brown rice with tuna and steam fresh veg might just satisfy the criteria.