Schkinny Maninny - feeling, looking and being FAB!

What is a whole grain?

I think there is some misconception about what exactly a whole grain is.  Whole grains are definitely better for you and there are some great whole grain products out there.  But what is a good whole grain product and what isn’t.  Are all these “whole grain” products really whole grain?  Let’s take a look.

A whole grain contains the 3 edible parts of the grain – the bran, the germ and the endosperm.  The bran is the outer skin with lots of fibre and antioxidants.  The germ is the embryo to sprout into a new plant and the endosperm is the food supply for the germ, so the germ can send roots down for water and nutrients and sprouts for sunlight.  The endosperm is the largest portion and contains starchy carbohydrates, some proteins and a little bit of vitamin and minerals.

So why are whole grains healthier?  Refining a grain normally just leaves the endosperm,  Without the bran and germ, about 25% of the protein is lost as well as a significant reduction in other nutrients.  The bran and germ also provide extra fibre and phtyochemicals that the endosperm does not contain.

 Great wholegrains to include in your diet are: oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, corn.  Just be careful of food labelling!  Bread may be labelled “Wholegrain” but not actually be comprised of a majority of whole grain flour as there are no requirements under Australia labelling laws, so be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it is made from a majority of wholly or wholegrains.

The Cleanest F word you will hear

Fibre!  Come on, get your mind out of the gutter (although I have been known to use the other F word a bit too frequently).  Fibre could be one of the most important things in your diet for long term weight management and health.

The basic answer is that fibre makes you feel fuller and you are less inclined to overeat.  But the actual benefit if eating more fibre could run a lot deeper than that.  A study in the US looked a group of pre-diabetic people (whose blood sugar is abnormally high but not yet at diabetes level) and assigned two different diets (but no exercise).  One was a traditional diet with a reduction in calories and saturated fats and the other was no change but simply adding in 30g of fibre per day from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  After a year, BOTH diets lost the SAME amount of weight, both groups improved their cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.  Which is an impressive result when you consider one diet was restricted intact and the other diet added more food.

So what is the best fibre for you?  You know there is soluble and insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibre dissolves into a gel form and helps to slow digestion, this is the form that helps you feel fuller for longer.  Insoluble fibre is the stuff that adds bulk to your stool and help move waste through your digestive tract, like a sweep.  It is best to go for foods with BOTH on these fibres.  Grains might be high in insoluble fibre, but they can also promote insulin.  But fruits and vegetables are the key as they naturally contain both types of fibre.  Here are the best ones to chose:

  • Psylium Husk/chia seeds
  • Berries
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and bruseel sprouts
  • Root vegetables like onion and sweet potatoes
  • Almonds
  • Peas and green beans
  • Cauliflower

March 31, 2016

Posted in healthy, healthy eating, healthy food, nuts, raw, roasted nuts


RAW vs Roasted

Roasted nuts are delicious right?  Buttery crunchy melt in your mouth goodness!  But we have all heard that roasted nuts are bad for you. 

Nuts can be oil roasted or dry roasted, it turns out the “oil roasting” process is actually frying!  So look on the ingredients list and if you see oil in the ingredients then you .  When they are “oil roasted” they do absorb about 5% of the oil they are cooked in, which does increase their calorie content. 

Overall, they measure up like this:

  • Oil roasted nuts are definitely higher in calories than raw nuts
  • They do have the same amount of protein
  • There is extra fat in the roasted nuts
  • The carbs and fibre content of the raw and roasted nuts are the same
  • For essential minerals – iron, magnesiym and phosphorous raw nuts are higher

During the roasting process, nuts do not lose their heart healthy mono unsaturated  fat, but the polyunsaturated fats may become altered and become more vulnerable to oxidation which increases their chance of becoming rancid.

 Overall, if you can opt for the raw ones over the roasted ones, and if you must eat the roasted ones, then try to find the dry roasted nuts rather than the oil roasted version.

March 16, 2016

Posted in believe, goals, healthy eating, weight loss


Do you believe?

Do you know how important it is to believe in yourself?  Not to sound like a Tony Robbins seminar, but it is true, when you believe in yourself you can do anything.  Well most things, at least something that you want to do…  I am 36 years, 5 foot nothing, so even if I believed so much that I could make it as a basketball professional, that is most likely never going to happen.

BUT, if there is something that you do want to and it is achievable, like starting a business, changing your lifestyle, losing weight, or picking up a new hobby, then belief is the most important thing.  When you believe something is possible you have the absolute expectation that an outcome is inevitable. 

Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow?  Maybe you won’t be able to see it because it is raining, but you still know it will rise.  When you plan your day, you don’t pack a torch because you know there will be daylight for you to see.  If someone told you that the sun won't rise tomorrow, you probably won't believe them because you just know that it will.

Imagine if you could take that unshakeable belief to other things that you want to do.  You believe you will fit into those jeans again, so you make decisions that reflect your belief.  You eat well, you go to the gym, you fill your grocery trolley up with fruits and vegetables because you believe.  It is the unconscious decisions you make once you have believe in something that will make your belief a reality.

If there is a goal you want to achieve, or even just a new state of mind you would like to adopt, start telling yourself you can!

March 09, 2016

Posted in healthy, healthy eating, healthy food


Why is the colour of your food important?

I love a colourful salad, lots of vibrancy with purples, oranges, reds and greens.  Not only does it look pretty, but the colour in your food is a good health indicator too.  Here is what the colours mean:

Purple – deep rich burgundy colours like in eggplant, beetroot, purple grapes and purple cabbage contain  anthocyanins and consequently may be responsible for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.  These compounds mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation.  You can easily add grated beetroot to a salad to give it a bit of extra crunch and your healthy boost.

Orange – vibrant warm colours like in carrots, oranges, pumpkins contain flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A.  These nutrients aid in eye health, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol.  Orange foods make a delicious and easy salad – roast some pumpkin, grate up carrots, quarter some oranges, sprinkle some sultanas and olive oil and you have a very easy fresh summery salad.

Red – glowing bright coloured foods like tomatoes, red capsicum, strawberries, cherries are full of the following nutrients; lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  These winners help to protect the body from prostate, cervical and lung cancer, reduce tumour growth, and protect the body against heart disease. 

Green – leafy looking lovelies like spinach, broccoli, zucchini contain chorophyll which is responsible for the colouring, but they also contain fibre, luteinzeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene.  These nutrients boost the immune system, help to cleanse the blood, and fight free radicals in your body to help reduce the risk of cancer. 

 

March 09, 2016

Posted in healthy, healthy eating, healthy food


Why is the colour of your food important?

I love a colourful salad, lots of vibrancy with purples, oranges, reds and greens.  Not only does it look pretty, but the colour in your food is a good health indicator too.  Here is what the colours mean:

Purple – deep rich burgundy colours like in eggplant, beetroot, purple grapes and purple cabbage contain  anthocyanins and consequently may be responsible for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.  These compounds mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation.  You can easily add grated beetroot to a salad to give it a bit of extra crunch and your healthy boost.

Orange – vibrant warm colours like in carrots, oranges, pumpkins contain flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A.  These nutrients aid in eye health, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol.  Orange foods make a delicious and easy salad – roast some pumpkin, grate up carrots, quarter some oranges, sprinkle some sultanas and olive oil and you have a very easy fresh summery salad.

Red – glowing bright coloured foods like tomatoes, red capsicum, strawberries, cherries are full of the following nutrients; lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  These winners help to protect the body from prostate, cervical and lung cancer, reduce tumour growth, and protect the body against heart disease. 

Green – leafy looking lovelies like spinach, broccoli, zucchini contain chorophyll which is responsible for the colouring, but they also contain fibre, luteinzeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene.  These nutrients boost the immune system, help to cleanse the blood, and fight free radicals in your body to help reduce the risk of cancer. 

 

July 01, 2014

Posted in alcohol, diet, dry july, healthy eating


Alcohol and your body!

I love a drink.  I don’t do it every day, and I don’t binge drink either, but I do love an icy cold beer on a hot day or a lovely glass of red on a cold winters night.  So I get it.  BUT it is sometimes easy to forgot that it is a poison.  So in honour of all those participating in Dry July this year, lets go through a few hard facts:

What is it?

Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is made through a process called fermentation. During fermentation, yeast breaks sugar down into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This process is done without any air present and once complete, the carbon dioxide gas bubbles out into the air, leaving ethanol and water behind.

What does your body do with alcohol?

Alcohol is not an essential nutrient and therefore, has nowhere to be stored in your body.  So as soon as it enters your system, your body will begin the process of metabolizing it.  Which means that everything else will stop being metabolized in order to first metabolise the alcohol.  Your liver is the primary site for alcohol metabolism; this is why you can have liver problems from consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol is detoxified and removed from the blood through a process called oxidation. Oxidation prevents the alcohol from accumulating and destroying cells and organs. A healthy liver oxidizes pure ethanol at the rate of about 10ml per hour.

Alcohol and your waistline

We know that drinking affects your weight.  It contains calories with no nutritional benefit AND it causes you to eat more after consuming alcohol.  A standard beer has 150 calories, and a shot of vodka 96 calories.  Think late night kebabs after a few drinks on the town, and you have really had a night filled with unnecessary calories.

Does alcohol affect blood sugar?

The sugar in your blood, called blood glucose is maintained in your body by insulin and glucogen.  If your blood glucose drops your body makes more or burns up stored sugar, and if your blood glucose rises, insulin brings it back into line. But when you drink, your body considers alcohol a poison and immediately starts the process the remove it, which means all blood glucose maintenance is stopped. Overtime, excessive alcohol consumption can decrease insulin effectiveness resulting in high blood sugar levels.  It can also cause low blood sugar when you consume a lot on an empty stomache, as it impairs the hormonal response to regulate you blood sugar.

Is there any upside?

In moderation, there have been some reported benefits of alcohol.  Some say that red wine does contain a good dose on antioxidants. There are certain substances in red wine that may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.  But before you reach for the bottle, these studies have only been conducted in animals and not humans.

Sources: http://www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_and_nutrition/page5.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281?pg=1

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_alcohol_made

1 2 3 4 Next »