Home » "Food & Nutrition Blog"

Food & Nutrition Blog


Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Risotto with Rocket and Marshmellow

What you will need:
  • 1 x Pumpkin or you can use butternut squash
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 1 x tbsp. Olive oil
  • 8 x spring onion
  • 25g butter
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1liter of vegetable stock
  • 50 g parmesan
  • 50 g of rocket
  • 75g goats cheese
  • 50 g marshmellow

Heat the oven to 180 Celsius, Chop up the pumpkin or squash into cubes and roast on a baking tray with Olive oil, then roast for about 30 minutes. Keep half of the roasted pumpkin for garnish and keep warm, and the other half puree to be stirred through the risotto at the end.

While the pumpkin is roasting, you can make the risotto. Crush the garlic and chop the spring onions, put into a pan and drizzle and little olive oil once the garlic and onion are starting to cook, pour in the risotto rice and cumin. Stir and make sure that all the rice is covered and the garlic and onions are not caught.

Slowly start to add a cup of stock at a time whilst you stir the rice and when the stock has been absorbed, add another cup.

Carry this process on until the rice is cooked and add the pumpkin puree and stir through. Add the grated parmesan and season to taste. The risotto should be a beautiful orange colour.

Place the risotto onto a plate, sprinkle with chunks of the roasted pumpkin and goats cheese

Dress the rocket leaves and scatter over the top with the Marshmellows

Serve. Bon apetit and happy Thanksgiving!

Pan seared Mahi Mahi with a classic ratatouille and fresh basil pesto

Ingredients

  • 180g  Mahi Mahi portions
  • 2 aubergines
  • 4 small courgettes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small bunch basil, roughly torn
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

 

Preparation method

Cut the aubergines into quarters lengthways, then cut the quarters into 2.5cm/1in slices. Cut the courgettes into 2.5cm/1in slices. De-seed the peppers and cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Score a cross in the base of each tomato and place them in a heatproof bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover and set aside for one minute. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins. Cut them into quarters, scoop out the seeds and discard. Roughly chop the flesh.

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and add the onions. Cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and very tender.

Add the aubergines and courgettes, increase the heat slightly and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the peppers, garlic, sugar, some salt and pepper and half the basil and mix well. Cover and cook over a very gentle heat for 20 minutes.Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse    until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

Scatter with the remaining basil and serve.

Sesame seeded yellow fin Tuna with vegetable tagliatelle, chilli and Coriander/(Shadow Benni).

What you will need:

  • 1 x 200 g thick yellowfin tuna steak, sustainably sourced
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 zuchini
  • 1 punnit of cherry tomato
  • 1 packet of sundried tomato

Method

Slice the tuna into rough 3cm chunks. Place the sesame seeds onto a tray, then add the tuna chunks, turning them over in the seeds so they’re nicely coated.

Heat a good drizzle of olive and sesame oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Peel and thinly slice the garlic, then add most of it to the pan. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate (don’t drain away the oil!).

Return the pan to the heat and allow to heat up again, then add the sesame-coated tuna to the garlicky oil. Sear on one side for 10 to 20 seconds. Using tongs, turn the tuna over and keep cooking until you’ve seared only four sides of each chunk. Transfer to a plate.

Peel and finely grate the ginger, then add to a bowl with the soy, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and the remaining sliced garlic. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then mix well to combine. Have a taste and add a squeeze more lemon juice, if needed.

Peel the carrot, and zucchini with a speed peeler making beautiful ribbons. Slice the cherry tomato in half and chop the sundried tomato.

Put a little oil into the wok and then add a little garlic, ginger cook for 1 minute, then add the carrot and zucchini ribbons, remove immediately and leave to slowely cook out !

Add the halved cherry tomato and chopped sundried tomato and remove from the heat.

Cut the seared tuna into slices, roughly 1cm thick, then arrange on your plates. Drizzle over the Asian dressing, scatter the garlic chips on top and tear over the coriander leaves. Trim and finely slice the spring onion and chilli at an angle, scatter on top, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Tuna – Eating fish just once or twice per week may reduce your chance of dying from a heart attack by a third. Tuna has a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids that lower your risk of heart disease. It contains the two types of omega-3 fatty acids — EPA and DHA — that lower triglycerides, and slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaques.

Cilantro – Cilantro has an amazing nutritional value. This herb is loaded with vitamins A, K and C, minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium, and has more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.

Apart from lowering LDL cholesterol, one of the benefits of cilantro can also reduce hypertension by lowering blood pressure. The herb is a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese and iron as well as low in sodium. This high potassium and low sodium ratio helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

Olive Oil – Studies find that people who regularly consume olive oil are much less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels).

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats.

Sesame Seeds - Among all the nuts and seeds commonly eaten across the world, sesame seeds have been found to contain the highest amount of phytosterols, which are known to lower bad cholesterol.

Ginger – The prevention of nausea and vomiting is the most well-documented use for ginger root. It is particularly helpful in cases of chemotherapy, motion sickness and morning sickness. A study published in “Obstetrics & Gynecology” found that ginger root significantly decreased nausea and the number of vomiting episodes in pregnant participants. Ginger root may also fight inflammation.

Yogic Diet (Satvic Diet)

Yoga and Ayurveda divide the foods into 3 forms:

  • Satvic Diet
  • Rajasic Diet
  • Tamasic Diet

Satvic Food

It is the purest form of food. This is the best food for yoga practitioners. It brings peace to the mind and is nourishing for the body. Sattvic food is great for overall fitness and for a balanced energy flow. Sattvic diet focuses on high prana, living foods – it includes cereals, honey, herbs, sprouts, seeds, nuts, legumes, butter, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices.

Sattvic mind is clear, peaceful and harmonious. When we consume these foods, it produces clear thinking, loving actions, and an open heart. It produces expansion, rather than contraction. It emphasizes increasing prana (life-force) and the subtle elements of air and ether that help open the mind and heart and make them more sensitive. It provides a lightness of body, mind and spirit for peaceful reflection in our meditation and yoga practices.

Rajasic Diet

Rajasic mind is active, restless, aggressive and worldly. Rajasic food may be fresh but heavy to digest. It is salty, dry, sour, hot and bitter. It is not good for the mind-body balance. It tends to excite and over-stimulate the body, and makes the mind restless. Rajasic food includes chocolate, salt, tea and coffee, sharp spices, Meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, bleached flours, white sugar and other processed, irradiated foods. Overly-sweet foods.

You must remember that Rajasic foods are of high quality and nutrient density; if it is not fresh then it begins to become Tamasic.

Tamasic Diet

The tamasic mind is lethargic, impulsive, cruel and degenerate. Tamasic Food is not good for the body or the mind. It brings in a sense of inertia, clouds the power of reasoning, and sucks out the energy. It destroys the body’s resistance to diseases.It also invokes feelings of anger, jealousy and greed in people. Overeating is a Tamasic behavior. Tamastic food includes meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods and over ripe foods. Tamasic foods that are kept overnight (leftovers). It loses its vital essence and may have grown microorganisms. Any foods that involve the harm of another being are also considered tamasic.

sattvic diet is necessary for a pure mind and promotes longevity, goodness, strength, health, happiness, and pleasure.

Too much spice, sugar, or salt may render what was a sattvic food to become rajasic or tamasic.

On this Octoba Yoga, Samantha our Yoga Instructor offering her yogic cooking and tea demo class, join us if you are a yogi!

Creole spiced bean and vegetable salad with confit Dorade in coconut oil, wrapped in seaweed nori and mango salsa

What you will need

  • tbsp of Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 200g French beans, trimmed
  • 2 courgettes
  • 8 spring onions
  • 400g haricot beans
  • 400g cannellini beans
  • 400g chick peas
  • 250g of tomato, diced
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • 1 mango
  • 2 sheets of seaweed nori
  • 750ml of coconut oil

Creole spice mix :

  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp basil
  • 1tbsp thyme
  • cayenne pepper
  • chilli powder

 How to proceed 

  1. Warm the Coconut oil to a temperature of around 54c.
  2. Place the dorade into coconut oil and leave to confit.
  3. Heat the oil in the pan and then add the sliced onion with some salt and pepper. Stir over a medium heat until the onion is soft, around 6/8 minutes.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the creole spice mix and add to the onions for 1 to 2, minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the French beans, courgettes and spring onions into the pan and cook for a further 6/8 minutes until tender.
  6. Dice the mango small and mix with diced onion, tomato and julienne of mint
  7. Take off the heat and then add the beans, the chick peas along with the tomato, toss to mix.
  8. Transfer the salad to the dishes and serve with the dorade wrapped in the nori sheet, mango salsa and wakami seaweed.

3 Tips for Navigating the Supermarket

Follow these 3 simple tips to make smarter food choices on your next trip to the supermarket.

  1. Stick to the Perimeter – Most of the nutritious food choices that are high in vitamin, minerals, and fiber are located in the perimeter of the supermarket. This is where you will find fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat. It is in the center aisles that we find the majority of the highly processed and packaged foods that are not ideal for our health. Make most of your food choices outside of the center isles.
  1. Look at the Ingredients – While some people do actively look at the nutrition facts labels for fat content, carbs, and sugars on specific products, they sometimes forget to look at the actual ingredients that make up that product. Aim for food product choices that have 5 or less ingredients. If you see an ingredient list that looks like a page out of a novel it’s best to leave it and make an alternate choice.
  1. Shop on a Full Stomach – It’s important that when we are doing our shopping that we don’t have an empty stomach and are craving something to eat. These are the times when you may find yourself putting less than ideal food choices into your trolley or cart. Those crisps look extra good, the chocolate cake is staring you in the face, and you are looking to grab everything and anything to eat to satisfy your hunger. Try and have a significant meal before your shopping or at the very least a snack to keep your hunger at bay.

So next time you are in the supermarket see if you can follow these 3 simple tips to ensure that you are making good healthy food choices.

Post Workout Nutrition Part 2

As I described in the previous article I hope you are beginning to understand why your post workout nutrition is so important. In part 2 of this article I hope to make some clarifications so that you can ensure that you are being the most effective with your post workout nutrition.

I know I need carbs and proteins after a workout, but what about fats? Fats are a very important part of the diet and you should aim for a good mix of saturated and unsaturated fats throughout your day. However, after your workout we should avoid consuming fats in the diet. Eating fat after your workout may slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs and proteins. We should avoid fats during this time and incorporate them within the various other meals throughout our day.

How should I consume my carbs and protein after my work out? Preferably in liquid form. We are looking for the best way to have maximal absorption into the body. Food sources are another option, but we are delayed by the digestion process. The delivery to the muscles is just too slow. Choose a liquid source if you can such as 1 part Gatorade, juice, or other simple carbohydrate liquid, followed by 1 part whey protein isolate. Mix and you have yourself a solid post workout shake.

How soon after my workout should I consume my post workout nutrition? As soon as possible. Studies show that consuming immediately is superior to consuming 1 hour after. Also, consuming one hour after is superior to 3 hours after. There is a short window of time where your body is primed to accept these nutrients. Some studies even show that you should start consuming your nutrition during or before the end of your workout so that you don’t miss out on this important window where your body will utilize the nutrients in the most effective manner.

So what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that if you are not taking advantage of the post workout nutrition benefits you are missing out on maximizing your health and fitness goals. Your goal with any fitness program should be to maximize your results in the time you have allotted. Remember that the workout is just the physical stimulus designed to break down your muscle for repair. If you do not provide the necessary materials for the muscle to repair itself after your workouts then you are doing yourself a disservice.

I hope you enjoyed this 2 part series on post workout nutrition.

If you have any questions feel free to email Michael our Nutritionist and BodyAware Specialist at Michael@thebodyholiday.com or book a consultation with him when you are with us.

Post Workout Nutrition

It really amazes me how many people put in the hard work at the gym and then totally neglect the post workout nutrition window. If you don’t know by now, it’s your nutrition and recovery time that yield the results you desire. The exercise itself is just the physical stimulus. So my hope in this short article series is to help you understand the importance of post workout nutrition so that you can be more efficient in achieving your fitness goals.

Let’s dig in and see why your post workout nutrition is so important.

Whenever you perform a vigorous workout or exercise session your body uses muscle carbohydrate stores and proceeds to break down protein structures. The body then signals that it needs to rebuild. This is obviously a simplified explanation but it helps you get the picture. If you are not providing any carbs or protein after your workout how can the body rebuild? The answer is it can’t. It’s like expecting a builder to remodel a home with no materials or bricks. Neglecting the post workout nutrition window will never let you to reach your peak performance or full muscular potential.

Everyone should focus on post workout nutrition because all exercise uses carbohydrates as energy. So how many carbs should I consume post workout? Great question, here is a breakdown depending on your bodyweight.

Research recommends that a carbohydrate intake of 0.8 to 1.2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight.

To be honest I think the 1.2 might be a little high, and realize that excess carbohydrate will be stored as body fat. So unless you are doing a very intense training session I would stick with closer to the 0.8. So for a 200 pound person that would mean around 72 grams of carbs.

Now that we have addressed the carbohydrate portion we can’t forget about the proteins, which are the building blocks to muscle.

Researchers have recommended anywhere from 0.2g – 0.4g of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight. Which means that same 200 pound person should aim for around 18 – 36 grams of protein.

My personal recommendation based on years of experience and working with many clients is to keep the carbohydrate portion a little more modest and the protein intake towards the upper level. So if I was working with this 200 pound individual (depending on how well they handle carbohydrates), I would recommend their post workout nutrition to consist of around 50 grams of carbohydrate and 40-50 grams of protein.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series where I will discuss the best way to ingest your post workout nutrients, different carb and protein sources, how soon after your workout you should consume carbs and proteins, as well as address the question of using fats after your training sessions.

For more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Michael, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.

Is the Gluten Free Movement a Fad or Should I Be Concerned?

It’s seems like everywhere you turn these days the new buzz in the health and fitness industry is eating a diet that’s gluten free. What does that mean and should you be concerned? Let’s start with exactly what gluten is. Gluten is a large water soluble protein that creates the elasticity in dough. You will find it in grains such as oats, barley, rye, and wheat. In addition to the grains that are listed it may also be an additive to many other food products which can include candy.

There are two distinctions we need to clarify when it comes to gluten. Some people may be gluten intolerant and others may have something called Celiac Disease. Let’s take a look at what happens with a person who has gluten intolerance and then we will examine someone with Celiac Disease.

When a person with a gluten intolerance eats or drinks something with gluten, the body initiates a type of allergic reaction which usually results in some form of inflammation. Some of the symptoms may include joint pain, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, and acid reflux. One important thing to be aware of is that some people with a gluten intolerance may be asymptomatic for many years of their life, and may not have had an issue eating foods with gluten until they’re in their 30’s or 40’s.

As we look at someone with Celiac Disease they are in a more serious position. Celiac Disease causes intestinal atrophy which can decrease the area for nutrient absorption. Many times this goes unnoticed until the person becomes malnourished and experiences frequent stomach pain, bloating, or diarrhea. As with someone who has a gluten intolerance, the symptoms are very similar but realize they are two separate conditions.

So if you have experienced some of these symptoms do you have a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease? Maybe, but here is a simple non-invasive test that you can perform on yourself to give you a better answer.

It’s very simple, just stop consuming gluten for 4-6 weeks and see how you feel. If you reintroduce gluten back into your diet after the 4-6 weeks and you face some of the same irritating conditions you faced previously then you may have an issue with gluten. Consult your physician about this and inform him/her of the gluten free nutrition plan you have followed to experiment if you have an issue with gluten. He/she can then recommend further testing.

To learn more about gluten free options see  Michael, our resident Nutritionist for a personalized nutrition consultation when you are with us.

Seven Ways to Lose Weight

Recent research shows that we are not victims of our genetics. The fact that your genetic makeup may predispose your body to put on excess weight does not mean you’re destined to be obese. We are not slaves to our genes!

Your habits alter the genetic expression of your genes.

There is no “quick fix” solution – those who lose weight and keep it off maintain a healthy lifestyle and form permanent habits of staying active and eating healthily.

Once you’ve been obese, you will not be able to return to the amount of calories that a normal person of your size should eat unless you’re particularly active. This is particularly true of childhood obesity, which changes your genetic predisposition.

Who wants to look and feel great, live longer healthier, and thrive?

 7 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

1. Start a resistance-training program.

Growth hormone is boosted via intensely exercising fast-twitch muscles for brief periods of 10 – 30 seconds. Cardio, aerobics and even many strength-training exercises do not increase growth hormone, thus minimizing their efficacy for weight-loss. For growth hormone to be activated, you need to work out intensely, and sweat profusely.

2. Focus on your digestion.

I suggest Chi Nei Tsang or Abdominal Massage as the best way to stimulate weight loss outside of what you eat. This is because it stimulates detoxification and addresses the underlying emotional stress that is causing the issue.

3. Improve the quality of the food you eat.

It’s not as simple as just calories in/calories out. It’s the quality of calories that counts. I teach 3 really simple principles to get this right: Organic, Raw and Alkaline.

4. Avoid bad fats and get plenty of good fats.

It’s important to develop an understanding of good fats versus bad fats. Good fats are found in Paleolithic sources like raw nuts, organic greens, wild animals, wild fish (not farmed) and seeds (hemp and flax seed are my favorites).

5. Avoid sugar

Sugar addiction is another thing that can easily lead to yo-yo dieting, so avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, and other hidden sugars.

Instead of sugar-laden, over-processed hot chocolate, invest in cocoa – available in your nearest health store – an amazing food source of muscle-relaxing magnesium and antioxidants for muscle recovery.

6.  Keep your immune system in great health.

The two primary culprits I come across for suppressed immune function, are fatigue and stress. Get plenty of rest and relaxation, and listen to your body. If you’re going to use supplements, Maca is my number one superfood.

7. Keep meal portions small especially if they’re cooked.

If you do eat cooked food, eat it with raw food – as cooked food alone leads to a reactive immune response. Combining raw and cooked is the solution. Keep your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day via regular nutrient-rich snacks and meals. My favorites are raw nuts and berries, especially delicious with a dab of organic yogurt.

I hope these simple tips will help get you on the path to better health and feeling better about yourself.

To kickstart your digestion and weight-loss journey, see David, our Visiting Naturopath for a  Maya Abdominal Chi Massage  and other specialised treatments  when you join us.