fbpx
was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Category

Digestion

Late night snacking, a help or hindrance?

By | Digestion, Health, Nutritional

Got a cuppa? Let’s discuss the controversial topic of late night snacking.

I see a lot of messaging on social media saying you should be eating supper before bed, it’s good for you they say!

Can I give you my two cents?

Have you noticed that a lot of what I share with you is really just simple tips to keep your blood sugar regulated?

I believe that our ancestors knew this knowledge inherently due to generations of food traditions and habits but somehow we’ve lost our way when it comes to these common sense customs.

The Industrial Age brought many changes, some beneficial, others not so much. Like the humble light bulb which means we can stay up past sunset to party, work, relax and… eat!

So let’s say you have a big night out and find yourself enjoying a kebab at midnight. What’s the big deal?

Well, studies show that your body responds very differently to a kebab at midnight than to a kebab at midday.

It turns out that food eaten at night has a much higher glucose response to the exact same meals consumed during daylight hours.

We are biologically wired to be awake & active with the sun and sleeping or restful with the moon and that includes eating.

One study linked the high diabetes levels of shift workers to the fact that they were required to eat at night during their shifts and the high glucose response to those meals. They replicated those meals during the day and low and behold, their glucose response was slower, lower and didn’t last as long.

And guess what? The same was true for their lipid metabolism, explaining why an increased risk of cardiovascular disease is also associated with late night meals.

And just to recap, high glucose equals high insulin (your fat storage hormone).

So whenever your blood sugar is too high and poorly regulated, as is the case when you eat late at night, you are in fat storage mode.

So the habit of eating late will hinder your ability to maintain a healthy weight.

So when should you finish eating for the day?

Officially I say 8pm, mostly because it’s a sensible time for most Australians and families.

But you don’t have to put an exact time on it, these are guides not rules, there is no prison warden coming to lock up the fridge & turn off the lights at 8pm exactly.

I can just imagine someone bent over their meal, eyes darting to the clock on the dining room wall as they panic trying to finish their meal before 8pm. That is definitely not necessary! In your day to day life, just try to plan dinner at around 7:00-7:30 at the latest.

We have kids so we tend to eat at about 6pm. I won’t eat again until around 7am the next day.

Don’t you get hungry? I hear you ask.

Well actually no, I don’t even think about food to be honest unless maybe it’s a Friday night and our family makes a special treat or have a hot chocolate in front of a movie.

Dinner is always balanced with plenty of protein, vegetables, healthy fats & complex carbs so I am satisfied.

Do I make dinner bookings at 6pm? Gosh no, I don’t worry about finishing a meal by 8pm when I am out.

What time do you eat dinner?

The link between Hydration & Weight Loss

By | Client Results, Digestion, Gut Health, Health, Nutritional

 

I bet you didn’t know this!

Water, it’s the elixir of life right?

But why do so many of us struggle to drink the amount we know we should?

What if I told you that hydration is an essential element to healthy weight loss and maintenance?

I’ve got your attention now! But first let me explain something.

When I start working with a client they undergo a huge transformation very rapidly and release excess weight quite quickly. I’ve had a few conversations with clients that go something like this:

Client: ’10kg in 12 weeks that won’t be possible for me!’
Me: ‘Try keep an open mind, give or take this is usually the results I witness when a client commits to themselves & their plan.’
Client: ‘No, it will take me closer to a year to shift that kind of weight!’
Me: ‘Ok, we’ll see how you go.’
(12 weeks later) Client: ‘I cannot believe it, you were right!’

This is a quote from an interview I did with one of my clients Rachael last year:

It’s been the best thing that I have ever done. I can’t believe in 12 weeks, you told me what would happen, and then it actually happened! It surprised me! I didn’t believe you!

I’ll get to the point…

When you are transforming your health and releasing weight those stored lipid cells in your body have been home to a number of different hormonal metabolites and other toxins. They will vary depending on what you have been exposed to over the time that weight has been stored on your body. It’s another way your body protects you, by storing toxins away in lipid cells where they can’t harm you. When you regulate your blood sugar and lower inflammation with nutrient rich whole foods your body starts to use up that stored energy. Guess what happens to those toxins? They get released back into circulation and your liver has to deal with them again.
Here’s the important bit, if you aren’t helping your liver out by remaining super hydrated it won’t be able to flush out a lot of those toxins through your kidneys. And even worse, dehydration will lead to constipation so they won’t be getting out of your system via a nice, healthy bowel motion daily either.
Here’s the kicker, when your body is dealing with a lot of toxins not only can you feel awful (headaches, join pain, pimples, low mood etc) but the stress can cause your body to go into survival mode. When your body is in survival mode it wants to hold on to those energy stores on the body which will make your healthy weight maintenance goal much more difficult to meet.

But dehydration has other draw backs too:

  • It causes the liver to release glucose into the blood stream, thereby increasing insulin your weight storage hormone.
  • It will make your lymphatic system sluggish, another toxin draining pathway.
  • It can cause you to overeat due to mixed thirst/hunger signals.
  • It causes low energy & poor cognition which impairs your ability to make healthy choices that will support your health goals.
  • I’ve already mentioned this but it’s so important, dehydration causes constipation which will leave you sluggish, inflamed and make weight loss much more difficult.

Have I convinced you yet?

You are probably asking yourself how much you should be drinking? Calculate your optimal daily intake by multiplying your weight in kg X 35ml of water. For example 80kg x 35ml = 2800ml or 2.8litres. More than you expected?

The good news is that herbal tea counts, the bad news is that alcohol consumption increases your need.

One of the easiest ways of tracking whether you are hydrated is simply to look at the colour of your urine, it should be quite clear with only a hint of yellow. So if your urine is yellow (unless you’ve taken a B vitamin) keep drinking until it’s closer to clear.

I’ve also attached a handy guide if you know you need to work on this aspect of your health. It’s also a colouring in sheet because who doesn’t love a colouring in (so satisfying!). Calculate your water and divide it by 8, I recommend tracking your water intake for a few days once a month until you know you’ve nailed this healthy habit.

Tessa

My 5 tips to enjoy Christmas feasting

By | Digestion, Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional

Christmas Greetings!

I just want to take 2 minutes to talk to you about the silly season, it’s well & truly arrived. I was walking through the city this week and even on a Wednesday night it was clear that many a Christmas party was occurring in every restaurant & bar we walked past.

We don’t have a lot to celebrate as Australians, a few sporting events, Australia Day and the highly anticipated Christmas holidays. After the year we’ve had, I say grab it by the horns and party! Eat the amazing food, have a drink (or two) and laugh with your loved ones & colleagues.

Can I tell you one of my biggest bugbears? This ‘I’ll start eating healthy again on the 1st of January’ malarky. This stems from the deeply rooted diet culture we have in the west.

Can I challenge you to think about it differently?

Christmas & New Years are two days in the calendar, throw in a secondary family do, a work do and maybe a friend do and you’re looking at 5-6 events tops. What if you were to attend the events, enjoy the feasting and then come home and continue to nourish your body at the next meal? Do you really need to write off 6 or so weeks? When you get yourself into the all or nothing mindset you can do some real damage to your relationship with food and your health.

I teach my Metabolic Balance clients to approach food mindfully as an adult, not with our child-like or judgmental parent selves. The adult understands the consequences and can make rational decisions whereas the child or authoritarian parent want you to either binge until you’re sick or bring on the guilt for even daring to consider eating the trifle. This perpetuates the diet mentality and keeps you stuck in an immature relationship with food, continually frustrated with your health & inability to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are a couple of tips if you want to feel good during and after Christmas parties:

  • Listen to your body & stop when you are full.
  • Chew slowly and pay attention to the taste on your tongue.
  • If it’s a grazing dinner, fill a plate with the amount of food you know you need and stop there, there is nothing worse than lying in bed clutching your stomach late at night.
  • If possible, select a protein as the base of your meal and add the trimmings; vegetables, complex carbohydrates & good quality oils. This is a principle you can always apply to your meals whether they are home cooked, a la carte or a shared grazing platter.
  • Enjoy the dessert, drink the wine and don’t deprive yourself.

I invite you to employ these simple steps to help you feel not only happy and festive on the outside, but inside your body too!

If you’d like some support in this area, you can book a discovery call at anytime or gift yourself my Metabolic Balance program for Christmas or as a kickstart into 2022 (only a couple of spots left!).

Six Days of Digestion is here!

By | Digestion, Gut Health

Six Days of Digestion is here!

It’s here!

My 6 Days of Digestion eCourse is now online and ready for you to start getting back to basics with your gut health, improve digestion and start eating consciously! Read all about it here.

This eCourse is full of tips to stoke your digestive fire, and today I am giving you another one – why the timing of your meals is super important.

Snacking all day is actually terrible for your gut health. It is a quick path towards bloating, constipation and sluggish digestion. Ideally we want to focus on three main meals a day with some long breaks in between. This is optimum as it increases stomach acid and enzyme activity to really prep your belly for efficiency.

I also want to introduce you to the Migrating Motor Complex – a fancy term for the muscles in the GIT lining that helps to move the food along your digestive tract so it can be processed and eliminated. Here’s the catch – it only works efficiently when your stomach is empty and you are in a fasted state (3+ hours between ingesting food). Which means that snacking prevents food from being digested, absorbed and eliminated as fast as it should be!

But won’t I get hungry? I hear you ask… Yes, a little! But the key is carefully constructing your meals – as I teach in my eCourse. The benefits far outweigh a few hunger pangs before your next meal.

So next time you reach for a snack at the first tiny sign of hunger, remember to practice flexing your Migrating Motor Complex muscles and take a pause before your next main meal. You can thank me later for improved digestion and a more healthy weight!

As always, if you know someone else who also needs to hear this, please share it along!

Healthy Meal Formula Part 2

By | Digestion, Gut Health, Nutritional

Assembling a Healthy Meal: herbs, condiments & additions

I have had so many responses from my last vlog on how to assemble a healthy meal that I needed to do a follow on!

So let’s unpack the herbs and garnishes component of your well-put-together meal. Grab a pen and paper and read on…


Herbs are little boosts of nutrition that also enhance the gut healing power of meals (and bonus that they make it taste even better!). They also pack a punch when it comes to antioxidant activity, as they are rich in polyphenols which are super important for gut health. Cloves, in particular, contain the highest antioxidant activity as per the ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
Do you have a herb garden at home? It is one of the best feelings to collect some fresh herbs from the garden whilst you are cooking and it also enhances your connection to your food as well. Use herbs to garnish everything! Yes – even coriander!
Hint: you can make any meal have a more Mediterranean feel by roasting a tray of veggies in the oven that are sprinkled with herbs like oregano.

Nuts and seeds are also often forgotten. Toast them up for added texture and crunch to your meals and snacks.
Need ideas? What about toasted pistachios or hazelnuts on desserts, slithers of almonds on fish or chicken or crushed peanuts in curries. You can also toast them with some olive oil and spices like turmeric for an added nutritional boost. And don’t forget about hemp seeds which can be added to pretty much anything – sweet or savoury!

Seaweed is another nutrient booster that people don’t often think about. Sprinkle it on savoury dishes and your good gut microbes will love you! Keep some dulse, nori or wakame on hand in your kitchen.

Good quality salt (like celtic sea salt) – all you need is a pinch to really bring out the flavour in your meal.

Bone broth is another addition that boosts gut health and can be added to so many things – marinades, salad dressings, soups, stews, you can even use it as part of chicken schnitzel seasoning!

Fermented foods for a probiotic boost – if you can tolerate histamines. All you need is between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of kimchi or sauerkraut added to your meal.

Using greek yoghurt as a sauce is another option for a probiotic boost – add a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper and some herbs – it is delicious!

If you don’t mind the cost, superfood powders pack another powerhouse punch. Think camu camu, acai, kakadu plum, spirulina – there are so many options!

Even though they can often be classed as unhealthy, certain condiments can be added to really enhance your food flavour and texture. My favourite…pesto! There is also guacamole, tahini, mustard, hommus, nut butters.

And lastly, don’t forget some basics like lemon, lime and orange zest, vinegars, avocado oil, olive oil,  high-quality grass-fed butter and ghee.


Wow, what a list! Remember, our aim is to ingest around 40 different plant foods per week and the good news is most of the above contribute to this! So just by adding different condiments, herbs and nutrient additions to each meal you are easily boosting the variety of plant foods in your diet which makes your gut very very happy.

I love receiving feedback and seeing what you are adding to your meals so please tag me on social media or leave a comment below.

My Simple Healthy Meal Formula Part 1

By | Digestion, Gut Health, Health, Nutritional

My formula for assembling a healthy meal

Today I’m talking about how we can really have an bio-individualistic approach to your diet, which takes into account your genes, your personal response to certain foods, your ethics and your values. I often like to ask my clients what their ancestors ate, or what their great-grandmother would consume.

Question: does your ancestral diet match the cultural diet that you have now?

Now there isn’t one perfect diet for everyone, even though there are some great diet protocols out there. Instead of placing you in a diet box or labelling how you eat, I have developed a process to transition you away from SAD (Standard Australian/American Diet), to a more balanced way of eating.

Actually, my two main rules when it comes to diet are Balance, and JERF (Just Eat Real Food). But I found that people really needed some guidelines that also were doable, flexible for those with food sensitivities, suited to different nationalities and values, and most importantly, it needed to be delicious, filling and make you feel amazing.

I call it The Ideal Plate. It’ll be covered in depth in my Six Days of Digestion mini ecourse, but let’s touch on the main principles today.

  • Half of your plate needs to contain green (or mostly green), non-starchy vegetables
  • A quarter of your plate contains the colourful and starchy vegetables, or plant-based foods such as legumes
  • The final quarter is divided into protein sources such as meat, poultry, fish, tempeh, etc, which ideally needs to be around the size of your palm, and fats such as olive oil, avocado, ghee, butter, and the like
  • Meal optimisation through herbs, spices, nuts, seeds and condiments to really boost flavour and nutrition.

Sounds simple, right? It is. Simple but highly effective, and exactly what goes in those ratios can be tailored to you as an individual.

Know someone who needs this? Please forward on this blog and help them to discover these guidelines that could make all the difference for them.

One simple step to better digestion

By | Digestion, Gut Health

One thing you can do today to make your digestive system happy

Want to know one of the simplest things you can do for your digestive system, right now?

It is actually something you’re already doing multiple times a day, but often can be done a lot better! Plus your stomach, gut, nutrient levels and inflammation will all thank you if you cultivate more awareness around this action….I’m talking about mastication!

Or put more simply, chewing your food properly.

As Australians, and most westerners in general, we have really become out of touch with the whole experience of eating. What to eat, when to eat, how to eat – it feels like a lost art! Instead we eat with constant distractions (in front of the TV, whilst using our smart phones) and we pretty much swallow without chewing – then realise why our digestion is not happy.

Did you know that the digestion process actually starts before you put that first forkful inside your mouth?!

The anticipation, smell and sensory input actually kickstarts the eating experience and actually revs up your digestive juices. So when we are being those multi-tasking superhumans, our bodies haven’t been able to start this important pre-work of upregulating saliva enzymes, stomach acid and bile production – which all help us to breakdown our food, absorb nutrients and really make our digestive process more efficient with less bloating and better poos.

Action step: focus on your food, slow down and chew really well – think of it as making a smoothie out of your mouthful before swallowing.

If you know someone else who needs to slowwww down and really give the act of eating the respect it deserves, please share this video with them! And if you want more conscious eating tips, stay tuned for my 6 Days of Digestion course coming soon.

Rituals to help optimise digestion

By | Digestion

Rituals to help optimise digestion

Today I am going to discuss an aspect of gut health that you may not have ever considered before…conscious eating.

I have developed The Conscious Eating Method, and I’ll be going into depth on this method as part of my upcoming program, but to give you a taster…the conscious eating method is all about redefining your relationship with food and how you consume it, which contributes to optimising your digestion. This also includes cultivating some beautiful rituals and traditions around food and essentially, making the act of eating, special.

I challenge you to start including one or more of the following in your daily eating habits:

  • Make it a ritual to set the table beautifully, bring out your favourite candle and use it as a centrepiece.
  • Use the dinner table as the epicentre of your home, where it’s considered ‘family time’ (this also works if you live alone – make it a weekend ritual to invite your nearest and dearest over).
  • Allow your meal times to be a welcomed pause in the busyness of your days.

Do you have any special family traditions or rituals that you do around food or meal times? Please share them with me – I would love to hear!

As always, pass this onto anyone who you think would benefit from this information, and who knows, you might be able to start creating some meal time rituals together.

My top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season

By | Digestion

My top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season

I’m jumping in for the last vlog of the year to talk to you about reflux at Christmas time. Did you know that antacids sales skyrocket at this time of year?! But that is actually one of the worst things you can do when it comes to supporting your digestion with all the Christmas food and festivities. Antacids neutralise your stomach acid which halts effective digestion.

So my top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season are:

  • Small serves – grab a little of everything. Remember, there are always leftovers! Smaller serves also help us tune into our fullness meter.
  • Chew your food properly – if you don’t chew thoroughly then your stomach receives bulkier foods and the acids and enzymes can’t do their job as effectively. We then can experience discomfort and pressure as the food makes its way further down the intestines. So remember, if you don’t want a food baby – chew your food properly!
  • Freshly grated ginger tea – sip on this between meals to enhance motility and keep your digestion swift and efficient, rather than stagnant and bloat-promoting.
  • Pre-meal tummy tea – half hour before eating, sip on my Tummy Tea. If you don’t have this, then Dandelion Root tea or Apple Cider Vinegar and warm water also works but definitely isn’t as appetising.

BONUS TIP: enjoy your food!! Relaxed, positive and mindful eating goes a long way when it comes to having symptom-free digestion.

My Simple Wrap Recipe

By | Digestion, Gut Health

My Simple Wrap Recipe

Today I’m filming from my kitchen to give you a how-to video of how I make my wraps. These will be a part of the wholefoods recipe book I am releasing as part of the launch of my 6 Days of Digestion mini eCourse in early December. The recipe book is full of meals that are easy on the digestive system.

When it comes to food choices I think there are three ways that those suffering with IBS can get themselves into strife.

  • Frankenfoods! Processed and lab made to look and taste like food, but they’re really just imitations. Processed foods like two minute noodles, many cereals and processed grains, vegetable oils and confectionary are so foreign to the human body that it has a lot of trouble digesting it and assimilating any nutrients. Aim for the 80/20 guide, whereby you consume whole foods 80% of the time.
  • Unbalanced meals. Eating foods rich in particular macro nutrients can cause a lot of trouble. The best example that comes to mind are pastries & deep fried food. Meat pies for example are very high in fat & carbohydrates and contain little fibre to help the body with digestion.
  • Food intolerances. Continuing to consume foods that are causing inflammation will keep you stuck on the merry ground of digestive misery.

All three of these mistakes can be contributing to IBS symptoms.

These wraps are an alternative to the packaged and processed ones, higher in protein, tastier (I think!) that treat your body a little better! Download the full recipe here. Fill them full of leftovers for lunches, use in Mexican dishes such as enchiladas (they also make good tortillas), savoury crepes or change it up with some vanilla paste to make a healthier sweet treat crepe dish.

If you give these a go make sure to tag me so I can see you enjoy these too!
And as always, please share this content with someone in your life who could also benefit from some super simple and easy food ideas! And please keep an eye out for my new eCourse.