Healthy Eating on a Vegan Diet

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

Vegan DietPlant-based and vegan diets are becoming more and more popular each day. In fact, according to Google Trends, searches on the word ‘vegan’ have increased by almost 200% in the past 5 years. Some of the reasons are the rise in the awareness of animal welfare and the impact of our food on the environment but people are also ditching animal products as a way to improve their health.

The Benefits:

There is some research to show that vegan diets can reduce your risk of obesity, artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer. These benefits, however, depend on you having a well-balanced eating plan with enough nutrients.

The Risks:

As with any change in your eating habits it’s very easy to miss out on crucial vitamins and minerals when reducing the variety of foods that you eat. Meats, for example, are rich sources of protein, easily digestible iron and vitamin B12. Dairy products are also rich in vitamin B12 and contain high levels of calcium.

The side-effects of not getting enough nutrition when eating vegan could be:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision loss
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Tingling in hands and feet
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Magnesium- what is it and how can I get enough in my diet?

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

What is Magnesium?

  • Magnesium is a mineral that you need every day for good health.
  • Magnesium helps you take energy from food and make new proteins.
  • It is also an important part of your bones, and helps keep your muscles and nerves healthy.
  • Some people find that magnesium-rich foods or supplements help to reduce their cramping and muscle soreness.
  • The best sources of magnesium are legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and whole grains.

 

How much Magnesium should I aim for?

Daily target

Men 19-30yrs

330mg

Men 30+yrs

350mg

Women 19-30yrs

255mg

Women 30+yrs

265mg

** Magnesium from supplements should not exceed 350 mg per day. It is safe to consume more than your daily magnesium needs from food.

 

How can I get enough Magnesium without taking supplements?

The following table shows you which foods are good sources of Magnesium.

Food

Serving size

Magnesium (mg)

All bran

30g

83

 

Almonds

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1⁄4 cup

 

123

 

Banana

 

1 med

 

25

 

Brazil nuts

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1⁄4 cup

 

116

Brown rice

 

1 cup

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86

Cashews

1⁄4 cup

83

 

Dark chocolate

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40g

 

48

Firm tofu

 

150g

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112

Greek yogurt

175g

28

Hazelnuts

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1⁄4 cup

53

Kale, cooked

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Diet Culture and Kids.

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

 

Cassandra Stuchbery, Dietitan.

How ‘dieting’ might be affecting your kids.

The phrase ‘diet culture’ has been gaining a lot of interest in the past few years. It’s used to describe any words, phrases, products or activities that encourage eating according to strict rules. Here are some signs that you might be a part of ‘diet culture’:

  • You use words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to describe foods (apart from milk that’s gone bad for example)
  • You follow a set of rules when you eat eg. Not eating after 8pm, not eating bread, only having low fat foods
  • You are avoiding a certain food group to try to lose weight eg. Keto, paleo, vegan
  • The way you eat tends to get in the way of your social life or family life (maybe you’re cooking separate dinners, can’t eat out etc.)

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it teaches us to ignore our internal body signals. At the end of the day even the smartest people in the world can’t know what your body needs better than you (the person walking around in it!). Kids have an amazing innate sense of hunger and fullness which guides them in how much to eat … read more »

Skin Fold Testing

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

Cass Skin fold testingWhat is it? Skin fold testing is one method to assess and monitor body composition. For athletes, measuring weight may not be enough. Body fat scales can be up to 5% inaccurate meaning that it’s hard to measure if body fat is changing. The best method for measuring body composition is a DEXA scan but these can be expensive and hard to access.

 

Why have the accreditation? I’m ISAK accredited which is an international qualification meaning if you use another ISAK accredited tester anywhere around the world the results will be comparible. The reason for this is that the method uses bones as landmarks for choosing skin fold sites. This also makes it much more accurate over time.

 

When is this useful? To track changes in body fat. If an athlete is trying to change body composition (eg. footy pre-season) it’s important to know if they’re losing body fat or muscle mass.

 

When is it not useful? The testing doesn’t work on people who are obese. It will give you a rough idea of body fat % but is more used to track changes over time rather than current health status.

 

What read more »

5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes According to a Dietitian

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

nutrition  CassI work with people every day who are trying to improve their health and wellbeing with food. In my consults, I hear some of the same problems cropping up over and over again. So here’s my list of five nutrition mistakes that I see every day.

 

  1. Going on a diet

It might seem crazy to hear that, as a dietitian, I hate diets. The reason is that diets tend to have two things in common:

  1. They have arbitrary rules that don’t consider you as an individual
  2. They are temporary.

I often ask my clients “do you see yourself eating this way when you’re 80?” No? Then why start now? If you want to make a permanent change to your health and wellbeing you need a permanent change in what you eat. So my advice – make changes that you can keep up with, long-term.

 

  1. Not drinking enough (water that is)

Most of my clients do not drink enough water. They could be too busy, have trouble getting access to water or just don’t like it. Dehydration can make you feel tired which makes it harder to make good decisions about food. Some people also experience cravings for food … read more »

Winter Warming Recipes

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

Looking for that comfort food to warm you up on a cold winters night but also something that is nutritious and healthy? Try our Winter Warming Recipes that are dietitian endorsed!

Goulash soup

Serves 4-6 Cooks in 3h

Ingredients

  • 250 g onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 2 tomatoes
  • a few sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g beef shin or rump, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1½ litres stock
  • ½ tablespoon caraway seeds
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 200 g potatoes

Method

  1. Peel and slice the onions, peel and crush the garlic, and deseed and dice the capsicum. Finely chop the tomatoes. Pick and finely chop the marjoram.
  2. Add a good splash of oil to a large pan and gently sauté the onions, garlic and capsicum until softened.
  3. Add the beef and continue to cook until the meat is browned and the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Stir in the paprika and cook for 2 more minutes, then add 200ml of the beef stock. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half.
  5. Add the marjoram, caraway seeds, a splash of vinegar, the tomatoes, the tomato purée and season
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