Schkinny Maninny - feeling, looking and being FAB!

July 26, 2017

Posted in obesity, processed food, weight loss

A Question of Time: 50 Years of Growing Obesity

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was pretty rare to find anyone with a serious weight problem. Sure, other health issues were worse than they are today, but obesity just wasn't a problem for most people. How things have changed! Nowadays, the world - and doctors' waiting rooms - are full of people struggling with their weight.

A Growing Problem

The first signs of what would become an increasingly widespread obesity problem didn't really begin to surface until the 1980s.  Initially, the situation wasn't too serious, but over time the prevalence of obesity has increased significantly. By 1989–90, the rate of obesity was around 9-10%; by 2001 it had risen to 16% in men and 17% in women. Today, almost 2 out of 3 adults in Australia are obese. 

You Are What You Eat

This left researchers asking why. Lifestyle changes are partly responsible, with deskbound careers replacing manual labour and video games replacing sports. But the real problem might be our changing diets.

Processed Problems

The days when people mostly ate fresh foods are gone. Nowadays, more and more of our foodstuffs are heavily processed, and are often loaded with obesity-causing ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.

The solution is likely to be complex. It's pretty clear, though, that diet can make a difference. We can't turn the clock back 50 years, but changing our diets to include more fruit and vegetables needn't be too hard. Options such as fresh juice are a great way to improve your diet, for example.

It's not all bad news. Changes in the availability and variety of foods have brought improvements in nutrition. By substituting beneficial foods for high fat and sugar, you can enjoy a 21st century diet without the 21st century waistline.

September 06, 2016

Posted in cleanse, detox, digestion, eating healthy, obesity, water, weight loss

Is drinking water really harmful?

There is an old wive's tale that you shouldn’t drink water with your meal.  Like a lot of old wive's tales, there is sometimes some truth behind it.  Its not something I have ever believed.  I have always drunk lots of water with my food, as well as before and after meals.  Staying hydrated is of particular importance before eating so you aren’t overeating, thinking you are responding to hunger cues which are in fact thirsty cues.  But could there be any truth to it?

There seems to be competing schools of thought on whether it is actually bad for you or completely harmless.  The bad for you school says that excessive liquids during meals can lead to bloating, indigestion and even nutrient malabsorption.  This can happen due to the “dilution” of the enzymes and acids in the stomach to help break down the foods.

On the opposite side of the argument there are studies that have been completed in hospitals on patients prepping for surgery to test this theory of “diluted stomach acid and enzymes” and it appears that it isn’t true.  Although these types of studies haven’t been conducted on a mass scale, the evidence is  still convincing that water during meals may not be as harmful as others believe.

Drinking water before meals has been shown to help increase weight loss in obese people.  Two groups of obese people were studied and the group that drank 2 glasses of water before each meal lost more weight than a group told to imagine they were full before each meal (this “imagine” group was even exercising more than the water drinkers).

The best advice is to drink up to 3 litres per day and listen to your body.  If you tend to get bloated when drinking water with your meal, then try to only drink water to help you swallow.  But otherwise if you are a fish like me and can’t help yourself, then drink away!  And if weight loss is your objective then a pretty simple strategy of drinking 2 glasses before each meal looks like a pretty simple and easy way to get started.

Can you really lose weight just by exercise alone?

I have recently just read a fascinating compilation of studies that suggest that exercise alone will not result in weight loss.  This is quite contrary to our popular belief, and that espoused by innumerable fitness trainers, that suggests if we eat a meal of double cheese-burgers with chips totalling 500 calories then all we have to do is jump on the stepper, set our goal to burn 500 calories and all will be struck from the record.  But it seems as though it isn’t quite that simple.

While 100% of the energy we gain comes from food,  we can only burn about 10-30% of it in physical activity (excluding professional athletes).  There are three main components to energy expenditure, 1) Basal metabolic rate, which is energy to make your body perform basic functions, 2) energy used to break down food, 3) energy used in physical activity.  Your body uses about 60-80% of energy to perform your basic functions and keep you alive, digesting and breaking down food used 10% and the rest is used for physical activity. 

This is all not suggesting that physical activity is not an incredibly important part of a healthy, long and happy life, because it most certainly is.  But conceiving that weight loss is as simple as calories out must be more than calories in, is not quite right.  Blaming obesity on poor physical activity isn’t strictly true as it seems that it is more so the over consumption of low quality food that is more to blame.

You can read the full article here:

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!

Insulation against winter without the weight gain!

Winter is here, and I for one am already working to avoid gaining what I call “hibernation weight”. There seems to be a double whammy that hits when the days are rainy and the cold winds blow. We crave comfort food and hunker down to stay warm. Let this get out of control and you can add some unflattering insulation as winter takes its course. This is why we have to keep moving, hitting the gym or the trail or whatever we must to stay active.

You see, hunger can be a hormonal thing. Specifically, insulin, leptin and ghrelin. Insulin is the hormone that allows you to use the sugars you ingest for energy. If you are insulin resistant, which about 1/3 of the US population are, you are not able to burn the sugars properly and get the energy. This makes you hungry. The foods that trigger this the most are refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and sugar. If you don’t eat enough protein and fat along with your carbs, you will continually crave more carbs. Because of the insulin problem, you feel tired and hungry, and can’t lose weight

Then there are the other two, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is your friend, the one that tells you you are full. Ghrelin is the one that sends the message to your brain to eat.

The good news, healthy eaters, is that eating adequate protein, good fats and nutritious foods helps balance all of this. So, we just have to make sure our meals have some protein and fat alongside any carbs. It’s also way better to stick with whole grains. Keep those simple carbs to a minimum, and always eat them with protein and fat.

New research also shows that people who don’t get adequate sleep also get out of balance, and make more ghrelin and less leptin. Sleep deprivation makes you too tired to move but starved for junk food.

Now, let’s remember how easy it is to get your protein. A cup of wholegrain oats with a cup of soymilk or almond milk is 13g.  Starting the day with whole grains and a healthy helping of either dairy or non dairy milk, some nuts, or seeds and fruit is fantastic.  Heat your oats or add some hot water with your milk to get a warming sensation.  A protein-packed smoothie made with almond milk, oats, nuts, chia seeds, spriulina is easy, too.  This is the meal where you want to get those hormones off to a good start.

Lunch is easily protein-boosted with beans (lentils, chickpeas, etc), tofu or tempeh, or even the generous amounts in quinoa, which has 9 grams protein in a cup, cooked. I love to add chopped nuts to my salads for the extra protein boost, or avocado is brilliant for adding extra bit of satisfaction.

Dinner is usually built around protein, just 100g of tofu in your stir fry adds 11g. A cup of cooked spinach has 5g. There is a little protein in just about every whole food. The up-side of beans, nuts and seeds are that they contain many healthful fats, fiber, and antioxidants, as well as protein.

So, you certainly don’t have to eat meat to get enough protein. And you can have that lean, healthy vegetarian glow, as long as you don’t fall into the refined carb trap. Everybody can enjoy a little treat now and then, and as long as you are treating yourself, it’s better if it has some fat, too.


(this article has been taken from the following blog post:

June 06, 2013

Posted in diet, nutrition, weight loss

I don’t count calories anymore…..

 I stopped counting calories a few years ago. I used to be compulsive about counting, and very careful about checking the calorie or kilijoule content of things.  I was a big believer in the energy in-energy out equation (as if health is so simple!!). 


This equation still rings very true for the obese weight loss community, obviously they need to learn to understand that eating chips, chocolate, tubs of ice cream and pizzas each day meanwhile sitting on the couch, is going to lead to your body storing energy is doesn’t use.  So reducing the energy intake, and increasing energy output will reduce body weight.  But I am not one of these people.


I am a 50kg, 5ft 2in healthy person, so looking at this simple equation as the be all and end all to my health philosophy was a bit limiting.  Nutritional panels are illuminating, and you do start to learn a lot about food by studying those little columns, but as important as the panels are the INGREDIENTS. 


I have attached the nutritional panels for two different foods:



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 (357.0 g)


Amount Per Serving

Calories 121

Calories from Fat 0


Total Fat 0.0g

Saturated Fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g

Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 0mg

Total Carbohydrates 26.7g

Dietary Fiber 4.9g

Sugars 19.4g

Protein 2.4g


Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 389%


Calcium 5%

Iron 5%
















Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 (24 g)


Amount Per Serving

Calories 97

Calories from Fat 27


Total Fat 3.0g

Saturated Fat 2.7g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g

Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 59mg

Total Carbohydrates 17.3g

Dietary Fiber 0.4g

Sugars 17g

Protein 0.9g


Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%


Calcium 0%

Iron 1%










So by the reasoning of CALORIE counting, we would probably chose Food Two as our snack, rather than food one.  It is lower in calories, so therefore will be your choice morning tea today.  BUT guess what Food One and Food Two are???


Food one is a punnet of fresh whole strawberries, and Food Two is 2 coconut macaroons.  So the argument for eating well becomes a bit more than just calories.


So now my philosophy is based more around the level of processing, vegan, rawness, wholeness, I know there are still unhealthy options out there that I chose (a girl’s gotta live!!) but if I am making a choice about what to eat, it is more than just a number.

Juice feasting, fasting, detoxing, juice cleanses - is it all really scientifically proven??

 I read alot of different articles, blogs, comments, etc, on juice detoxing, fasting, feating, cleansing and diets every day.  I read them from all over the world - you would be suprised at the amount of times people write something about these things.

The thing that suprises me the most is people asking the question, "but is it scientifically proven? and if it isn't then it is just a marketing ploy to dupe unsuspecting consumers" which makes me think, what the.....  

Admitedly, there is not a great deal of academic peer reviewed research out there on the use of juice cleanses.  I recently read a comment posted on a blog site: "There's a reason this is in the Eatocracy section and not in the Health section. All cleansing diets are completely bogus and have zero scientific credibility."  But does that mean they are "not scientiifically credible" or does it mean that "they haven't had enough academic research completed to make a conclusive argument about how effective they can be". And if we apply the "not scientifically credible" argument, then we would all be still smoking, because there is not a really concrete link that smoking cigarettes will kill you.  Some smokers live to a very ripe old age, and die naturally.  

Here was another comment on the same page: Q: I want a cleanse that is backed by medical evidence that it actually accomplishes anything.
A: Sorry, you're out of luck, as this whole business is just a bunch of new age (rhymes with sewage) bull crap.

(You can click on the links to read the original page.  The blog is American CNN Blog, and reviews cleanses available in America)

I really honestly find these comments bewildering when you look at the basics of what juice cleanses are - fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  So when there are businesses out there making fresh products, based on all the right things we SHOULD be eating everyday, and then there are comments questioning "the scientific credibility" of consuming these things, I am completely lost!  And it makes me wonder how much faith these people have in the "system", that of the medical, pharmacuetical, scientific industry.  That we would only ever be exposed to that which acceptable from a Western scientist.  What about the "scientific credibility" of Chinese medicine, or naturopathic remedies.  There is so much that WE DONT know about the human body, and equally so much we don't know about what the food we eat is doing to our bodies. 

Consider what you beleive to be right thing for your health, and your life - and if it is taking pharmaceutical drugs, eating processed foods and only beleiving what is "scientifically credible" as being the way to live your life, then go ahead!