Do you collapse in a heap over the weekend after a busy week?
Does it take you days to get over a couple of really busy, demanding days?
Are you comatosed, on the couch after a long day at work?
Some causes of fatigue are easy to rectify, while other causes of fatigue are far more complex. But for many a change in diet, a few targeted supplements and some downtime can be enough to get you back on track.
Here are my 4 top tips to getting your life back
Drink more water.
Our bodies are made up of 70% water, being essential for life. It is needed to carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Without water the first symptom we experience is fatigue. We are so busy that we often forget to drink enough water throughout the day, hitting the wall at 3pm. Our bodies are confused, are we low in sugar or are we thirsty? My advice to clients are to always reach for a glass of water first. If, after 20 minutes you are hungry then reach for something to eat, but not the wrapped chocolate bar snack. This was a tip that I got from Sarah Wilson, formerly I Quit Sugar. And do you know it works!
Ideally we need to drink up to 8 glasses of water per day. A more accurate way is to drink water until your urine is a pale colour. If your urine is dark and smelly you need to drink more water!
Eat 5 or more cups of vegetables per day.
When we are eating the wrong foods - aka the processed crappy kinds, our blood sugars are on a roller coaster ride causing inflammation and disease. For sustained energy we need to eat foods that are full of fibre and phytonutrients. Fiber is like a fertilizer for our internal garden of beneficial bacteria. Without it our bacteria will starve and die, jeopardising this delicate balance that supports our immune system, our neurotransmitters, vitamin absorption, metabolism and our overall health and risk of chronic disease and cancers. Fibre helps to keep food moving, keeping you regular.
Phytonutrients are essential for vibrant health. Think of all the beautiful colours of vegetables. The reds of capsicums, the greens in broccoli, the purple in grapes and beetroot. I am not talking about white potato chips from the freezer. At every meal and at every opportunity eat your vegetables. A leafy green smoothie is a perfect way to get a hit of vitamin B’s that will give you a lift in the afternoon. (Mark Hyman, Food, What the Heck Should I Eat)
Are you eating the right fats?
We are all so fat phobic, thinking that if we eat fat then we will get fat and our cholesterol will go up. Only If you eat the right fats, that is the least processed kind of fats - Olive oil, olives, avocado, nuts and seeds, eggs, lean meats, fish and dairy will not make you fat but rather give you the energy that you need without raising your blood sugar. Good fats help you feel fuller for longer and are cardioprotective. The most recent study in support of a high fat diet was the PREDIMED study that showed that a high fat diet reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Eat fats with every meal, but make sure they are the good ones:
Lashings of olive oil on salads with a squeeze of lemon juice
Snacking on avocado and olives
Enjoy a handful of nuts every day
Boiled eggs are great to have in the fridge for a quick snack
Protein with every meal.
I love chicken liver pate. It's a superfood, which has several times more Vitamin A than any plants, rich in B vitamins, zinc and other nutrients. So for an instant energy hit, this is one solution. Don’t save it for the cheese plate, take some pate to work with some crackers, olives and veggie sticks and you will have a nutrient packed lunch.
Unfortunately, I may be one of the few that like chicken liver pate and I know that all the vegetarians out there are screaming “what about me?” The solution is to make sure that with every meal you are pairing it with a good source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing every cell in the body, for DNA production, backbone of every enzyme, in fact every cell is made up of proteins.
Criteria for selecting good sources of protein:
Choose grass fed/wild and pastured meat or poultry
Free range, no antibiotics
Choose organic if possible
Fish that is wild caught and local, go for the smaller fish as it will have lower methylmercury levels
Or sustainably farmed fish
Choose free range eggs
Organic or non homogenised milks
Good quality cheeses - not plastic slices
Whole yoghurts without sweeteners or thickeners
Coloured rice, quinoa, buckwheat, legumes
If your symptoms of fatigue are not relieved by diet alone, it is important that you go to your GP to get further testing done. Often fatigue is a symptom of an underlying condition and it is important to rule out any nutrient deficiencies. Once you have done that, then go to a nutritionist who can help you find the foods and the right targeted supplements to support your body at this time. Remember, listen to your body, avoid overly stressful situations and look after yourself by taking time out in nature, reading a good book or being in the company of others.
I am a nutritionist at Proactive Health Network in Balgowlah, Sydney. I love helping people feel better by finding solutions that are just right for them. Remember good health is about embracing change. Changing what you eat is something you can do, that will change your life!
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
Working full time, raising a family, juggling responsibilities can be overwhelming and a recipe for exhaustion. It is understandable that when we are constantly juggling roles that we will feel tired, but don’t let this be your new normal.
Here are a few strategies to help you make the most out of every hour of the day.
Create a work/life balance - Before I hear all the exclamations it is important to prioritise your jobs. Which ones need doing today and ones you can put off till later.
Create those lists using whatever medium you prefer. For instance, spreadsheets, notes or calendar’s and remember to break down your tasks into achievable pieces to help you feel in control of your life. I personally love calendars. I use google calendar and place all my appointments and commitments sharing to the relevant person.
Make cooking and shopping a priority - For health you need to cook. Your health directly correlates with the foods that you choose to eat. We should be aiming to eat foods that are seasonal, diverse and an array of colours. Avoid any processed foods, vegetable or seed oils, anything that comes in a packet or has words or numbers that you cannot pronounce.
Once again, this involves a little planning. Sitting down once a week and planning your meals around your families activities. Once you have worked out your meals for the week, create some online shopping lists for home delivery. My favourite online delivery services are Harris Farm, Doorstep Organics, One table, Honest to Goodness and I will use Coles and Woolworths for some basic products.
Secrets to success are:
Factor in some downtime - It can be hard to unwind, finding ourselves in a constant state of stress, pushing ourselves to the limit and beyond. To help our bodies get out of this flight and fight state,(sympathetic nervous system) studies have identified the benefits of deep breathing to stimulate our rest and digest nervous system (parasympathetic nervous system). Practicing deep breathing every day has been shown to lower blood pressure and your pulse rate, breaking that pattern of constant stress.
Sick of being tired? Try to incorporate these few strategies into your daily life and find the time that you never had. It is never simple, but by prioritising your activities, smart shopping, meal planning and eating well, plus incorporating some downtime into your everyday can make a massive difference to how you feel.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
Many of us have spent years collecting plastic storage containers only to find out that storing foods in plastic can increase our risk of chemicals leaching into our foods that put us at risk of reproductive cancers. It has also been acknowledged that plastics may also be the cause of early puberty and also contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Can’t live without plastic? Then here are some solutions to help you transition over to a safer kitchen:
I believe that to be safe, we should avoid all plastics if you are able. But, of course there will always be situations where there will not be the choice. Nicole Bijlsma from Building Biology has identified plastics that you should avoid and plastics that are ok. Click here.
Make plastic free July last a lifetime. Be smart, create lasting habits. Reuse glass jars for food storage and repurpose all those plastic containers to non food storage. You can do it. Phase out those plastics with glass and create more mindful shopping habits. Rethink what you buy and where you buy.
As a nutritionist my philosophy is guided by the 5 pillars of health. One of these important pillars is environment. Often when we have health issues and we come to a plateau, then looking into environmental exposures can help to jumpstart your health. This will require a full nutrition consultation where we look at your health and family history, triggers to determine your risk levels with comprehensive questionnaires and appropriate testing. Has your health plateaued? Email Krys at Krys@proactivehealthnetwork.com.au
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
Tipping the Scales, aired 30/4/2018 Four Corners.
Did you know that 27% of children and 63% of adults in Australia are now above a healthy weight???...We have one of the highest rates of obesity in the world and by 2025 they estimate 80% of Australians will be overweight or obese... so very alarming and very sad…
The overweight/obesity statistics in Australia (and much of the developed world) they talked about are frightening and seem to be getting worse...The costs to those who are suffering from being overweight are vast- increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, dementia, stroke, lack of mobility, depression...not to mention the skyrocketing health costs affecting all of us. Kids as young are 5 are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes...
We all know that better health outcomes are based on a combination of factors including a healthy, wholefood diet, exercise, sleep, quality relationships and stress management. When we do all of these things most of the time, we feel better, think more clearly, we have more energy, and the list of benefits rolls on. However, many of us are too busy, overwhelmed by contradicting health claims and advice, pressured by mass marketing, and simply don’t know where to start.
So where DO we start in curbing this alarming and costly trend???
Excess sugar consumption has definitely been in the limelight, and there is ample evidence that blood sugar imbalances caused by the excess sugar in our Standard Australian Diet (SAD :( ) is a great place to start in halting this frightening trend.
Unfortunately, sugar is everywhere...and it’s addictive...and we simply are eating and drinking too much of it, sometimes without even knowing it...It’s not about never eating sugar ever, or never having a treat. It’s about becoming aware of how prevalent added sugars are and minimising it in our every day eating.
Did you know that The World Health Organisation recommends that the optimum level of added sugar is 6 tsps per day???
Dr. Robert Lustig has been vocal about the perils of too much added sugar in our diets, and does a great job explaining how it affects our bodies...Because of its addictive nature, we find that weaning people off sugar isn’t easy, but it’s a great place to start on the path to better health outcomes for our clients.
It is also about building your every day diet on an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables (lots of leafy greens, brightly coloured veg) and fruit, quality proteins (grass fed meat, organic chicken, or chicken that is allowed to roam freely, beans, legumes, quality eggs, organic tofu, fish high in Omega 3 fats such as salmon, sardines and mackerel); healthy fats (avocado, nuts and seeds, quality extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed better,etc); and complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, and oats. Eating a variety of these quality foods is far more likely to give you the abundance of nutrients you need, help better maintain key health parameters (weight, muscle mass, blood pressure, no nutrient deficiencies,) keep you feeling nicely full (not overly full), provide you ample energy, balance your moods, and help maintain a healthy immune response.
So what else can you do to moderate the sugar in your daily diet???
Our health is so, so important to each of us, our families and friends. We set goals for our education, our careers, our kids, sports teams, events and in many other areas of our lives. Unfortunately, many of us don’t take the time to devise a preventative health strategy through setting and monitoring our own health goals. If you need more help, or would like to be more proactive with understanding and managing your health, please book an appointment with Bonnie or Krys at www.proactivehealthnetwork.com.au to take better control of your health starting today.
Be Proactive rather than reactive about your health
Bonnie Redman, Nutritionist
There is a misconception that you are what you eat, but in fact, it is about how well your digestive system can absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat. Your gut is a barrier that selectively chooses what particles get filtered through to the blood stream and what doesn’t. If the gut wall is damaged by eating processed foods, sugar, exposure to infections, antibiotics and stress, the gut becomes “leaky” which means the gut lining becomes porous allowing bigger molecules than usual to pass through into the bloodstream. These molecules put our immune system into defence mode, and over time, this defence breaks down and may be the cause of autoimmune disorders and chronic disease.
Here are some simple tips that you can do everyday to keep your gut healthy.
Getting the right balance of Prebiotics and Probiotics.
So what are pre and probiotics and why are they both so important for gut health?
Prebiotics are foods that we eat that nourish the cells lining our intestine and help nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream. They also provide a suitable environment for good bacteria to thrive and prosper while keeping the undesirable pathogens under control.
Some examples of prebiotic foods are:
Foods from the allium family such as onions, leeks, garlic
Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, chicory, dandelion greens, green tea, honey, green tea, eggplant, legumes, asparagus and green bananas.
Probiotics on the other hand are found in fermented foods. They are naturally rich source of beneficial bacteria, vitamins and minerals and digestive enzymes that aid digestion and keep the gut healthy.
Cultured and fermented foods have been around for centuries, and were used as a means of preserving foods before refrigeration. They were revered for their healing properties and considered a tonic for longevity. Consider this, eating fermented foods is one of the cheapest, easiest methods of populating your bowel with a healthy balance of microorganisms for better health.
Unfortunately, Processed foods, stress and the use of antibiotics severely affect this fine balance. Dr David Perlmutter, in his book Brain Maker states that we need these trillions of diverse bacteria to help us:
Digest and absorb our nutrients
Stop potential bad bacteria from entering our bodies
Detoxify harmful toxins
Build our immune system, considering that 80% of our immune system is in the gut wall.
Produce important enzymes that help make our neurotransmitters
Reduce stress, help us sleep and reduce inflammation.
Ferments are easy to make at home with abundant resources on the net to help you start. Alternatively, purchase ferments that have been locally made from organic markets or your local health food store to guarantee that your ferment is brimming with goodness.
Some examples of health boosting gut healing ferments are
Unsweetened plain yoghurt
Try to include fermented foods daily. For those new to fermented foods, start slow and gradually build up to avoid any discomfort.
You probably remember your grandmother preparing a soup using bones from the butcher and having them simmer away for days on the stove top. It was a cherished part of my childhood, coming home to a hearty vegetable and beef broth in winter.
Nicknamed the “Jewish Penicillin” Bone Broths have been used for centuries as a healing brew. They are healing and soothing to the digestive tract as well as being an immediate source of energy to the cells of the intestinal wall.
Bone broth, whether made from chicken, lamb, beef or fish bones is full of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur and other trace minerals as well as collagen, gelatin and amino acids. Bone broth soothes the lining of the digestive tract, reduces inflammation as well as being rich in chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, especially good for those with joint inflammation.
Bone broths are available from organic markets, health food stores and organic butchers, or consider making broths at home.
Eating healthy fats
Coconut oil, olive oil, butter, avocado, nuts and wild caught fish are all excellent sources of fat. They all contain fat soluble vitamins such as A,D,E and K that the cells need to repair and ease an inflamed gut and the source of energy required for digestion. Fats are also sustaining and keep us feeling full between meals. Fats are essential to include for a healthy gut.
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help balance out the population of bacteria in the gut. It is easy to include into your diet everyday, coconut milk or coconut water can be used as an alternative for milk in baking and smoothies, coconut cream is perfect for adding to curries and coconut oil is suitable for cooking at high temperatures.
A handful of nuts or ½ an avocado are an ideal 3pm snack that will keep you sustained until dinner.
Wild caught salmon, sardines, mackerel are rich in omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats have anti inflammatory properties and can be helpful in soothing an inflamed gut. Consider including fish into your diet,choose fish that has been wild caught as opposed to farmed fish.
Eat your Vegetables
Vegetables are abundant in fibre, vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to repair damage and rebuild healthy new tissue. Try to include a colourful array of vegetables in every meal. Aim to do more than the recommended 5 serves a day. Make vegetables the base of every meal.
Blending or juicing your vegetables is an easy way to get more than your 5 serves a day. Green leafy vegetables make a tasty blended juice with lemon and apple. Fabulous for the gut as the work of breaking down vegetables is already done, making it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed from the digestive system into the body.
Soups are another easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Pumpkin and sweet potato are rich in vitamin A, a source of nourishment for the gut lining and a gentle form of fibre. A pumpkin, carrot and onion soup made with bone broth as a base with added coconut cream, is a power packed gut healing brew that will nourish and heal your whole body.
We all make choices every day. If we want to look after ourselves, the easiest step that we can take is to eat good, nourishing, whole foods. Looking after our gut is essential to health at whatever stage of life that you are at. Make healthy food choices by including fermented foods, healthy fats, bone broths and vegetables into your every day.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
REVIVE is a program that I put together to help your body deal with the build up of chemicals and toxins that we are exposed to every day. The digestive system, liver, kidneys, skin are major organs of elimination. And, they do an amazing job. Its just when their is a backlog of toxins to detoxify that things can go a bit haywire. We need to clear that back log by giving our bodies a break from the toxins so that it can get on top of the job of sorting and cleaning and detoxifying.
Every day we accumulate toxins. From the job that you do, to having a few too many beers over the weekend, the shampoo and body care products that you use, the foods that you choose to eat and the oils that you use to cook with.
Our body gives us warning signs that it needs a break. Such as coming down with a cold, feeling exhausted, putting on weight, feeling out of sorts, moody, irritable, lack of motivation, skin blemishes, achy joints, digestive issues the list goes on.
Give your body a break, such as: cutting back or avoiding alcohol, buying produce according to the clean 15 and dirty 12 guidelines, opening up the windows in your home, replacing body care products with body friendly ones, and eating an anti inflammatory diet can help you begin to heal and feel great again.
Feeling great, begins within. Just recently, I spoke at a"The Wellness Project Community" event, all about Skin Foods - Face the Earth. I spoke about foods that heal your body, and have been fortunate enough to have been inspired by Dr Terry Wahl's, a university professor at Iowa. She had advanced MS and realised that conventional treatments were not working for her. Through her journey of experimenting with diet, supplements, electrical therapy and exercise she is now walking to work, riding horses and living an active productive life. She now focus’ her energy on conducting clinical trials to prove that diet does play a significant role in chronic disease states. Of course, the outcomes have been very positive, but there are always a few stubborn cases. I just wanted to set that straight incase you have a chronic disease and are about to go head first into another protocol. Buy her book first and read “The Wahl's Protocol” and discuss with your specialist, before you make any changes to your treatment plan if you have an advanced chronic disease.
Her message is loud and clear. Eat more vegetables. More than the recommended 5 serves per day. Dr Wahl's recommends up to or more than 9 serves of vegetables per day. To be specific 3 cups of leafy greens, 3 cups of brightly coloured vegetables and 3 cups of brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, swede, turnips)
When we eat 9 serves of vegetables a day we are getting more than the standard vitamins and minerals that we get when we take supplements. There are a whole lot of unknown compounds that are in perfect combination in the vegetables that we eat that haven’t been discovered yet. We are giving the body what it needs to heal. That’s why it is important to eat food for health.
REVIVE is a program is a little more complex than eating more vegetables. It is a healing program, where we focus on removing all inflammatory foods and focus on eating foods that will nourish our insides.
The first week is the preparatory week. Just getting ready. Experimenting with making bone broths, slow cooked meals, making healing teas, and stocking your pantry with good foods are apart of this program.
The second week is all about bone broth and slow cooked meals. Slow cooked meats and vegetables are a lot easier for the body to break down therefore providing more nourishment to the gut as well as giving your body a rest from the hard work of digesting.
In the third week, we introduce more vegetables raw and cooked, nuts and seeds and eggs. This gives us more variety, creating interest in the food that we eat.
In the fourth week, it is much the same as before but with the addition of quinoa and buckwheat. These are beautiful protein sources.
After the fourth week, slowly day by day you reintroduce the food back into your diet. From this you will be able to tell which foods you can tolerate and which ones you should avoid.
What does REVIVE include:
Two nutrition consultations - face to face or Skype
Week by week activities
Menu Plans, Shopping Lists
Price on asking
Sick of being tired, lacking the energy and motivation to do things, always sick or have constant nagging complaints, have dull and lack lustre skin and hair then perhaps it is time to take the plunge and contact me to book in a time to start.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
Kids on holidays at Fraser Island with the turtles
We are in the midst of school holidays I have a 13 year old child who is gluten free due to an intolerance, who is a particularly fussy eater. So, I thought this was the perfect time to strip his food choices back to healing foods.
This is a lot easier said than done, realising that the whole journey starts with me. I had to stop giving in to all the demands for gluten free breads and gluten free weetbix that are loaded with additives and preservatives. Then I had to think of other things that I knew he would eat and make them healthier.
For some children introducing new foods is a work in progress, but what I have found works extremely well is introducing new foods when they have friends over. Firstly they discover that if their friends eat it then it’s really not that bad and they try it. Even if it is only a teaspoonful, that is progress, because the more times you put it in front of them, the more they will eat.
I have been introducing pumpkin soup for what seems like years. Looking at his food preferences, he has quite a mature taste in foods, having a leaning towards herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme etc… I decided to give this pumpkin soup a make over. Inspired by Danielle Walker from Against all Grain I did a version of her roasted vegetable and chicken soup. This has a great combo of pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, onion and garlic in a broth base. Soup couldn't be more nourishing with all of these yellow and orange carotene rich vegetables roasted in coconut oil, as carotenes need fats so they can be absorbed by our body. So I was ecstatic when he asked for seconds, and then a second helping after dinner. I just needed to stop myself from making it over and over again day after day until he got sick of it, instead just once a week to make it a special treat.
The other success that I had was homemade jellies and marshmallows. Well, how wonderful it was to come home to kids choosing jellies and marshmallows from the fridge as a quick snack. Little did they know that they were a probiotic hit made from kombucha and probiotic powder with the added goodness of gelatin. I have been really getting into using grass fed gelatin lately with all of its anti inflammatory, gut healing, joint healing qualities.
Some other food hacks that I have been using:
It has been a successful two weeks so far. I have enjoyed creating meals and snacks that will see the end of gluten free weetbix and gluten free breads forever. We haven't come up with any substitutes, but we don’t need to. It's about experiencing a wider variety of foods, with differing textures, smells and tastes.
Prepackaged, convenience foods can sabotage all of your efforts in seconds. Try not to fall into the trap again, because if you have a fussy eater it is about making every food choice as nutrient rich as possible to help them grow, develop and eventually eat everything that nature intended.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
The average sugar consumption for an adult is 25kg a year. That equates to anywhere from 20 teaspoons a day or more. The World Health Organisation recommends that for health we should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. What’s the bet this morning over 3 million people in Sydney alone blew their sugar budget, and that is not adding any sugar. Cereals for breakfast, orange juice, chocolate milk, up and go, toast and jam, donut or muffin it is easily done if you are eating the Standard Australian Diet.
Too much sugar makes us sick, fat and depressed. As well as being addictive, sugar is the cause of many health issues. It has been estimated that:
So why is sugar such a huge problem? It’s because our food supply has changed dramatically since the 1950’s. As Cyndi Omeara puts it, we are part of one enormous scientific experiment. The foods that we are choosing to eat are not as healthy as we think. Unless the ingredient list has words that you are familiar with, then it’s likely that food is not a good choice. Sugar is extremely addictive, and has been likened to a cocaine addiction. We keep on coming back for more, and more and more.
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Every living cell in your body needs glucose. Whereas fructose, we don’t have any physiological need for it. In small amounts, fructose in whole fruits can be absorbed efficiently in the intestines and the liver is able to break down fructose into forms that the body can use. The problem arises when we eat processed foods. These foods contain large amounts of high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars. Once eaten they are rapidly absorbed across the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, which goes directly to the liver. The liver is the only organ that can break down fructose, and can easily get overloaded. As a coping mechanism, the liver stores fructose around the abdomen, which we call visceral fat and also around the heart. This puts us at risk of insulin resistance, diabetes type 2, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and chronic ill health.
We are all familiar with the roller coaster ride we go on when we eat sugar. We have a quick surge of adrenalin, our blood pressure rises, our heart beats rapidly, cortisol is released. We are in flight and fight mode, restless, anxious and hypervigilant. When our trustworthy and hardworking hormone insulin manages to push all the sugar in our blood into our cells our blood sugar plummets causing us to get that slump that we so often experience around 10am and 3pm when we crave more sweet foods to get us out of the slump again. And so the vicious cycle goes on and on. Our taste buds have been trained to only want sweetened processed foods.
What can we do to break the cycle?
So what are the benefits of giving up sugar
Be Extraordinary, through Healthy Food Choices.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist
People have a lot of questions about detoxing, and one of the main concerns many people have is the fear that cleansing means starving.
Detoxing happens when the amount of inflammatory foods and drinks put into our mouth reduces, and the liver has an opportunity to work through built-up toxins. As Dr. Mark Hyman states, "Detox is necessary when the metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD) has exceeded the threshold for what the body's innate detoxification system can tolerate.”
While this may sound like a simple physiological process, detoxing affects both the body and mind. Psychologically speaking, it takes the average one to two weeks to process alcohol, sugar, caffeine dairy and gluten and have them completely removed from your system. (That is, of course, if you are not adding additional sugar, wheat and alcohol to the body during the detox process.)
Removing these foods and beverages from your diet for two weeks is a great way to cleanse your system and start you on your path to better health. When you finish the detox, it also gives you the opportunity to see how you react when you reintroduce foods…(for me, I realised how heavy and bloated I felt eating gluten and how drinking caffeine on an empty stomach was too much for me!)
While there are many different detox protocols, not all of them involve going on a liquid diet or even giving up some of the foods you might eat on a regular basis. In fact, our detox protocol encourages lots of fresh vegetables, clean and lean protein, nuts and seeds and some fruit.
There's a group of what we call “offender” foods, including red meat, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, gluten and dairy. These foods are the most notorious for causing reactions and hormone imbalance, so eliminating them during a detox is often good enough to kick-start .
Moreover, when you cut these foods from your diet, your body is able to process other foods more easily — and can convert that food into clean, lasting energy.
When you’re expending less energy on digestion, you feel lighter and more invigorated, and your body can hum along like a well-oiled machine.
Replacing some meals with shakes makes for a balanced detox.
In addition to cutting the offender foods, a balanced detox also includes assistance in the form of shakes and supplements. The detox supplements, which include herbs that assist with the detoxification of the organs.
One of the biggest reasons we don’t recommend no-food detoxes is that they rarely work for people. The detox process should be an act of self-care, not one that’s rife with feelings of deprivation and struggle.
Bonnie Redman, Nutritionist
When my kids were little, I would look at awe at teenagers. Their huge appetites and their enormous feet. One of the most common topics of conversation with mum's of teenagers was "What do you feed them?" They come home from school and you are peeling them off the fridge doors. We go out somewhere and they are hungry five minutes after leaving home, and weekends are spent feeding before sport after sport and in-between. Nappies have been exchanged for a feeding frenzy. More chaotic, more labour intensive, requiring initiative and creativeness.
So now I have three growing teenagers in my house. I am on my second fridge in 3 years and here are some top tips on how to tame the wild beast/s.
1. Not all snacks have to come out of a packet.
Often, its best to feed the teenagers mini meals as snacks. They will love coming home and heating up some lasagne or having taco's stuffed with chili and cheese. As long it is something that they can get themselves without too much fuss and cleaning up, your teenager will be forever grateful for their full tummies.
Here are some ideas:
Taco's - with a chili meat or bean mixture, grated cheese and salsa
Lasagne - beef or vegetarian
Spaghetti bolognese with lots of hidden vegetables
Container of chopped up veg, boiled eggs, cheese cubes
Protein balls using a good protein powder
Tamari flavoured nuts in a jar
Roasted chili chickpeas
Trail mix with pepitas, sunflower seeds, craisins, almonds
Homemade Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread, Pumpkin Breads
Avocado and Corn Chips (non GMO)
Pizza bases kept in the freezer so they can top with what ever they like.
2. Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Shopping Lists, Shopping Lists, Shopping Lists.
Yes, I may be repeating myself, but without an idea of what you are going to feed the teenager, well, that becomes difficult to shop for, and yes, sets you up to an instant "What's to eat mum". Here is a link to my Meal Planner and Food Inventory List to help you with your planning and shopping. To make it work have that conversation with your teenagers of what they would like, and offer a few suggestions from the above list. All you need is to agree on two dishes that they can heat up after school.
3. Double, Double, Double
Spend a couple of hours cooking extra meals and snacks every week.
Ok, so now you have worked out what your teenagers would like to eat after school. Now lets add all these to the shopping list and set some time aside to cook. When your teenagers come home from school they will now be eating a dish of lasagne or heating up some taco's in the oven or even poaching an egg on toast. Its great, it creates independence and self sufficiency in the kitchen. If you are worried about them using the oven, well encourage them to use the oven while you are around, and when you are confident that all is well, then they can use the oven when you are out. It's a trust thing. The only part that I would strongly encourage is the washing up. Lets face it, it's not a good thing to be coming home to a mess. Urghhhhhhh
4. A balanced diet for a growing teenager
A balanced "just eat real food nutrition" is what growing bodies need to thrive. So, if you are baking cakes and breads use organic flours, free range eggs, whole milks. Choose the best ingredients possible to make your snacks nutrient and energy dense. Provide an array of foods, that are in season and locally sourced. Balance is the key. Often filling up on complex carbohydrates are needed to curb that hunger. What are complex carbohydrates? Foods that have had minimal processing. Like brown rice, wholewheat flours, whole grains, vegetables, fruits. They take longer for the body to break down so the blood sugar remains stable and is less likely to be stored as fat. Hence, a satisfied and happy teenager...I hope.
5. Packet food is a sometimes food
If I had it my way, my kids would not eat any packet foods, but that is unrealistic. I don't buy packet snacks and feel if that is their choice when they are out, then so be it. I try to empower them through conversation. We discuss why packaged foods are unhealthy with balanced discussions on transfats, sugar and high fructose corn syrups, and GMO products. My message is for them to understand that these foods are addictive, unhealthy and a poor food choice. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution series was the turning point for my kids. After that they no longer wanted to eat fast food.
Just remember, to start the conversation with your teenager about what they would like to have for snacks. Provide them with suggestions of a nutritionally balanced plan.
Shop and meal plan accordingly. Its so important to plan your shop so that you are not rushing out to buy ingredients at a moments notice. Otherwise, nothing will get done.
When you have all the ingredients, plan to batch cook, either doubling up on what you have for dinner or setting aside some time to do a batch cook on the weekend where everyone can help.
Empower your teenager. Let them loose in the kitchen. Teach them how to use the oven and stove top. And most of all, let them know how important it is to clean up after themselves. (Totally! for mum's sanity)
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist