Friday, 16 January 2015

I Have a New Blog

I have created a new blog for all things nutrition. 

Nutrition Insight

You can find it here.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Unique Birthday Gift

It was my birthday last Wednesday and I received so many thoughtful and generous gifts but one in particular was very unique. I thought I would share with you all what it was in case you are ever in need of an idea for something a little different to give to a loved one.

Firstly a little background to this present. It came from my boyfriend Ryne. In November he is going back over to the US to play rugby. I am staying in Australian and visiting him when I can (flights to America are expensive!).

I was given 3 clues to this present.
1: It was something that still needed to be delivered to his house but I could see it any time I wanted.
2: 'You talk about it at least once a week.'
3: 'You are more beautiful than all of them combined' (He is a true romantic)

I was given the first clue about a week out from my birthday the second clue about 4 days before my birthday and the last clue right before I opened my present. I was determined to figure out what it was!! I joked that it would be a puppy but I had no idea what it was even after the 3rd clue.

I unwrapped the gift and Ryne had bought me a star! As in an actual star in the Libra constellation (that is my star sign). Thinking about it now I do talk about the stars a lot because I am always telling Ryne to look up when ever we are outside. Who can blame me I like sparkly things and they are so pretty. The star Ryne chose can be seen in Australia for 6 months of the year and in America for 6 months of the year which is perfect for us because then one of us can keep an eye on it year round. He named the star 'Bridget's Keeper' because it will watch over me when he isn't able to (soooo sweet).

Certificate from the International Star Registry

The map of the Libra Constellation. The little red circle is my star.

Libra constellation (Source)

Last night we went outside and found my star (I was so excited). It is a gift that I will have forever (Well at least until it gets old and explodes). The information that came with the certificates states 'Generations to come will be able to look to the star named and locate it in the night skies- and that's a beautiful thought.' I agree with this and  feel very luck to have been so spoilt on my birthday.

If you want to look into buying a star visit the International Star Registry website.

If you have any unique gift ideas I would love to hear them!

Bridget xo

Friday, 29 August 2014

A Weekend Away

A few weeks ago Ryne and I had a weekend away in Sydney. I thought I would do a quick recap and share some pretty pictures.

After arriving in sydney the first item on our agenda was lunch. We stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe in Darling harbour. The Sydney Hard Rock Cafe had a beautiful view of the harbour and the staff were really friendly (It felt like American hospitality) but it didn't have quite the same atmosphere as the Time Square Hard Rock (my only point of comparison). In the afternoon we decided to go for a wondered around Paddy's markets checking out the weird and wonderful items for sale. Ryne ended up buying a few t-shirts but sadly I walked away with nothing.

In the evening we headed down to Circular Quay where we were going for a dinner cruise around Sydney. We were seated at a table for two with an excellent view of the harbour. The cruise included an absolutely delicious 3 course meal and a glass of champagne. We treated ourselves to some tasty cocktails as well. As I'm writing this I am kicking myself for not taking photos of the food, it was so delicious. There was live music of the ship and we were able to go out on the deck to take in the views. I can't even describe how spoilt we felt to have this experience and it really made me appreciate the treasures we have in our own country.

On Saturday we weren't sure what fun activities we wanted to fill our day with so we started with a wonder along George street. At about lunch time we decided that Luna park was the way to go. I'm pretty good with most rides but the "Hair Raiser" gave me the fright of my life. On this ride you are taken 50m above sea level and then dropped at 80Km/hour. When getting on this ride I assumed that it was one of those ones where you go up to the top it waits a few seconds and then drops. I was went right up to the top and then dropped without hesitation! I don't think I have held on to a harness so tightly in my life.  Other than not expecting the drop it was still a great thrill ride. We had such a fun afternoon and headed home exhausted.

That evening we went along to watch a Rugby Union game which was great. Sadly our team lost but it was a fun experience nonetheless. After a late nigh drink on Darling harbour we headed home to bed.

Sunday was our last full day. We decided to watch a movie in the biggest Imax theatre in the world. We saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 and I thought it was excellent and surprisingly emotional for a kids movie. The rest of the day was spent exploring Sydney and finished with dinner and drinks.

I hope you enjoyed your little look into my weekend.
Bridge xo

Monday, 23 June 2014

Vegetables- How To Eat Enough Of Them

A question I get asked a lot in my nutrition work is ‘how can I eat all the vegetables I need in one day?’ and I have to admit that it isn’t a simple question to answer. I thought today I would provide some tips and tricks to getting all your serves of vegetables in (and enjoying them).
The Australian Guide to Health Eating outlines the number of serves of vegetables a day that is recommended

19-50 years
51-70 years
70+ years
5 ½
A serve of vegetables is different depending on the vegetable. A few examples include:
o   ½  a cup of cooked green or orange vegetables
o   1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
o   ½ a medium potato
o   1 medium tomato
I'm sure this is obvious to everyone but the reason why it is important to eat such a large volume of vegetables daily is because they are packed full of nutrients and are really low in kilojoules (calories). 
Are you saying to yourself ‘This information is all well and good but how on earth can you eat all those serves of vegetables?’ here are some tips on how to get your 5-6 serves a day:
o   Try and include vegetables in all your meals and snacks.
o   Always bring fruit and vegetable snacks with you to work (then there is no need to search for the vending machine).
o   Be adventurous. Try new vegetables, recipes or cooking methods. This will stop you from getting bored

There are so many ways to incorporate vegetables into your meals. Below I have listed some of my favourite ideas as well as some links to delicious recipes.
-Tomato on toast wholegrain with salt and pepper
-spinach and poached eggs on whole grain toast
-Pizza’s stacked high with vegetables
-Vegetable sticks and dip
-pesto and chicken with zucchini noodles
-Salads (there are so many options! Have a look on Pinterest for inspiration)
-Add grated vegetables to your bolognese sauce (zucchini and carrot are good) 
-Frozen vegetables (obviously heat them up) with tinned tuna and sweet chilli sauce
-Add frozen vegetables to dinners and lunches
-Stir-fry vegetables with soy sauce and garlic
-Roasted vegetables
-Vegetable soup
-A simple salad sandwich
-Soba noodles with stirfried vegetables and honey soy dressing

At the end of the day all you can do is your best to get as many vegetables into your day as possible. I hope you try out some of the recipes linked.

Bridge xo

Friday, 13 June 2014

Myths About Gluten-Free Diets

Today I heard someone say that a particular shampoo was really good because it was organic and GLUTEN FREE! A few weeks ago I saw a segment on Jimmy Kimmel where they asked people who eat a gluten free diet to explain what gluten is (which they had no idea). 

This gave me a little chuckle because this gluten free craze is getting out of control. My aim today is to explain what gluten is and disprove some of the myths surrounding the gluten free diet. I don't talk much about gluten sensitivity in this post because I'm not an expert if you suspect you have an intolerance you need to see a doctor to be tested. 

Gluten is made up for two proteins Giladin and Glutenin. It is found in wheat, barley and rye. The elasticity of dough and the ability for bread to rise and hold its shape is the result of the gluten in the flour. Gluten is also used as an additive in processed foods to do things like thickening a liquid. Another place where you can find traces of gluten is in products that have been processed on the same equipment as gluten containing foods for example oats.

 If you are eating a gluten-free diet there is a very high chance you are paying more for your food when there really isn't a need to. Gluten-free has become a marketing tool that is raking in the big bucks for food companies. It is at the point now where lotions and shampoo are being advertised as gluten free.

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are both adverse effects to gluten. There are a lot of symptoms associated with these conditions and it effects everyone in different ways.

On to the myths......

Gluten makes you fat
This is untrue, gluten itself doesn't have kilojoules (calories) associated with it so it isn't contributing to your energy intake. The presence of gluten is irrelevant. The other components in the food such as carbohydrates, fat and protein contribute to the energy content of the food and can intern make you gain weight if you are not eating a balanced diet and exercising. Often gluten free foods have more kilojoules in them because extra sugar or fat has been added to make it taste better.

It is possible to lose weight eating a 'gluten-free' diet because it is likely you are avoiding processed foods, pastries and white bread (which are all quite high in kilojoules) and swapping them for more vegetables, fruits. Also when eating 'gluten-free' it would require you to be looking more at nutrition labels and this can help you to make healthier choices overall. The down-side of this is all the nutrients you miss out on by avoiding whole grain foods.

Gluten is unhealthy
Gluten isn't actually unhealthy for you (unless you have celiacs disease). Gluten doesn't really have any nutritional value itself but it is in whole grain products which provide fibre and certain vitamins that are good for your body.Flour in bread is also fortified with folate. If you are avoiding gluten there is a chance you could become deficient in these vitamins. Just because something says it is gluten free doesn't mean it is healthy, a gluten free cookie is still a cookie with sugar and butter.

There isn't really a reason to avoid gluten unless you have a form of gluten intolerance (which your doctor can test you for). Eating a balanced diet (including gluten) is much less complicated and more affordable.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Bridget xo

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Beginning of More Consistent Blogging (hopefully)| Big Things

Consistency is Key | YouAnew Lifestyle Nutrition

It’s been a while since I have written a blog post and I guess consistency hasn’t really been a theme on Beauty Bites and Big Things the past few months. So here I am again with a new goal to commit more to this blog.

Since I last updated you on life in general I was just back from America and ready to take on the year ahead. I mentioned in the first post of the year that I was going back to my old job. Well, my old job didn’t really work out in terms of hours, but when one door closes another one opens. In this case two doors opened. I was lucky to have two job opportunities fall into my lap and both of them relate to nutrition!
First I was offered a position in a gym working as a nutritionist (Yay). I have gained experience in developing my own nutrition business under the guidance of the gym. Currently I am doing some nutrition consulting, information booths and nutrition seminars. The population of the gym leans towards the older adult and I am enjoying getting to know a few of them. Also I can use the gym for free which is a nice little bonus!
The second job is in the public health system where I am in an administration position working with a brand new multidisciplinary service focused on obesity. Even though I’m not actively working in nutrition I am learning so much from the great team I am surrounded by.

Since I have been so busy with work I haven’t been up anything else that exciting. I have been keeping up to date with the latest nutrition news and I'm keen to share some information with you all.

 Who knows what the rest of the year holds so I am sticking to what I said back in January and embracing whatever comes my way.

Prepare yourself for some more consistent blogging!

Bridget xo 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Healthy Banana Bread

I have recently started a new job that just happens to have a lovely café downstairs. The down side is I am trying to make healthier choices when it comes to food so I found myself jealous of Co-workers who take up the $5 coffee and muffin deal. This was the inspiration to try my hand at healthy baking.

When it comes to baking often flour, sugar and butter are the staple ingredients. Well after scouring the internet I have found a healthy banana bread recipe which I baked for the second time in a week yesterday. So here is my recipe.

2 ½ mashed ripe bananas (approx. 300g)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda +1 tablespoon of lemon juice (to activate it)
2 cups of almond meal
¼ cup chia seeds
Handful of walnuts for decoration

1.      Preheat your oven to 160°C. Lightly oil a loaf tin and coat the inside with extra almond meal to stop the bread from sticking.
2.      Mix together banana, eggs, honey, vanilla, olive oil, cinnamon and baking soda-lemon juice concoction until it is completely combined.
3.      Add in the almond meal and chia seeds and keep mixing until it is incorporated.
4.      Pour the batter into your tin and place walnuts on top for decoration.
5.      Cook in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
6.      Cover with aluminium foil if the top is starting to brown too much.
7.      The bread is ready when a skewer is poked in the middle and comes out clean.
8.      Cool in the tin before turning out.

Once the loaf is cooled I like to cut slices and wrap them individually so when I am rushing to get ready for work in the morning all I have to do is pick up a piece and put it in my bag.

Why is the recipe healthy?
-It doesn’t have any refined flour in it. Instead it has almond meal which is full of unsaturated fats that are good for your body. Almond meal is also packed full of protein.
-Olive oil is another ingredient which is made up of healthy fats!
-Only a small amount of sugar (honey). The bananas provide natural sugars so that it isn’t necessary to add a whole lot of white sugar. Bananas also have vitamins and minerals that assist in keeping you well. As if the bananas weren’t doing enough already they also help to make the banana bread moist.
-All the wonderful benefits of chia seeds. For more information have a look at this post here.

I like to toast my bread and eat it warm.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and that you have been inspired to try healthy baking yourself.