In the last few weeks, I have been helping some of clients who have a limited food budget to establish healthy eating habits. People keep telling me healthy eating is expensive and they don't have time to cook from scratch. So I think I will share some of those tips here.
#Tip 1 Legumes are your best friend.
Learn to cook with all types of legumes, whether it is black beans, red kidney beans or chickpeas. They are available either canned, dried and some are even ready-to-serve. See my blog here. They can be used either in place of mined meat completely, as in lasagna, or in spaghetti bolognese, or partially replace some of the meat. Top quality minced meat can be quite expensive but it goes a long with if these minced meat is 'expanded' by adding black beans.
#Tip 2 Use frozen vegetables and fruit.
By using frozen vegetables, you only take out what you need and there is no wastage, as you would in fresh vegetables. Who can relate to that last bit of limpy broccoli or that dried-up carrot...
I have also loved trying different curries and I came across this new curry base from Spice Taylor at my local supermarket. It is probably one of the best curry base I have tried. The photo itself looks a little plain but the taste is anything but. I didn't add the dry chili so the end product is is mild - the entire family friendly can enjoy it. Perfect.
So what is dhansak? According to Wikipedia, this dish combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. Dhansak is made by cooking mutton or goat meat with a mixture of lentils and vegetables. But here I use chickpeas instead of any meat. This particular product from Spice Taylor is 100% plant-based so the end product is vegan.
Here are the ingredients:
One packet of the 'Proper Parsi Dhansak' sauce
1 cup of dried chickpeas (or 2 cups of canned chickpeas). I used a pressure cooker so cooking time is around 20 minutes.
Mix of broccoli, cauliflower and beans - around 4 cups
Often when I am asked what I do these days when I am not in my Bella Vista consult room, I tell people that I do home visits predominately for people living with a disability. I am often met with this disbelief 'why would people with disability need a dietitian?' My response is then 'Why would people with a disability NOT need a dietitian?'.
There are a range of reasons why a person with a disability may benefit from a dietitian input.
1. For those who want to establish healthy eating habits. This often takes time, persistence and creativity. I particularly enjoy helping my client select a recipe from a food magazine and together, we modify it to suit their taste and health goal.
2. People with specific health needs or chronic disease such as high cholesterol or diabetes. Specific nutrition advice to help manage their health conditions.
3. Nutrition support. This may include enteral feeding for those who are unsafe to swallow or those who are able to eat but not consuming enough to...
What I like about it? This 100% plant-based vegan hot dogs smell exactly like the meat containing counterpart when we were broiling them. Each sausage is roughly 79g and each contains 18g protein, which is quite a bit for one sausage. It is not spicy, unlike some other Tofurky sausages. Now I can even buy this at my local supermarket.
What I don't like about it? It is quite high in sodium and my daughter tol...
What I like about it? This cereal contains a really high content of fibre, in particularly Prebiotic Resistant starch and beta- glucan for heart health. A standard serve of 50g provides 13.4 g of fibre which is nearly half of adult recommended intake. For those who need to watch their cholesterol level, this breakfast cereal is definitely a good option if you use it along with soy milk, oat milk or low fat dairy milk (if you use dai...
To answer this question, most people would need to do a standard low FODMAP diet for around 4-6 weeks. If there are any symptoms improvement, followed by a re-challenge phase. This phase typically takes around 8-10 weeks, depending on the number of carbohydrate group you are testing. From there, you would be able to work out what type of carbohydrate group you are able to tolerate. From there, you will be able to work out what food can you can eat for the long term.
It is important to remember though - the symptoms of IBS can be quite a bit similar to a number of more serious conditions, such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, certain forms of cancer and endometriosis. Therefore it is important that you seek medical opinion first to exclude other causes and to have a medically confirmed irritable bowel syndrome before making any changes to your diet.
Most people with IBS should be able to tolerate (not a complete list):
The week is run by Accredited Practising Dietitians, supported by the Dietitians Association of Australia. Smart Eating Week falls at an ideal time, wit the start of a New Year inspiring many of us to live healthier lives, inducing through smart eating.
So what is 'smart eating'?
Smart eating is a means to good nutrition. But because we are all unique, with different lifestyles, personal goals and health challenges, 'smart eating' will mean different things to different people. Generally speaking though, 'smart eating' usually means including as many fresh, seasonal and minimally processed foods into our daily diet as much as possible.
Any tips from the dietitians on 'smart eating' this year?
There is growing trend of plant-based eating and the momentum is really building. There are more plant-based option in main stream supermarket, such as vegan mayonnaise, vegan meat substitutes and vegan jellies. I would suggest by starting a 'Meat-free Monday' initiative...
Nutrition per 100g: Energy 298 kJ (71 kcal), Protein 1.0 g, Fat 2.0 g of which saturates 0.3 g Carbohydrates 11.5 g of which sugars 1.8 g, Sodium 55 mg, Dietary fibre 1.5g, Beta glucan 0.5g
Ingredients: Filtered water, whole oats (min.15%), oat flour, sunflower oil, gum arabic, mineral (calcium phosphate), sea salt
What I like about it? This vegan friendly product is perfect in smoothie, cereals and hot beverages. It doesn't split in coffee and it tastes really good. It has no added sugar and it has a pleasant sweet taste to it. This is the only oat milk which adequate calcium fortification out of the supermarket brands that I can find. Also it is the only milk that contains beta glucan, the type of fibre that helps to reduce blood cholesterol level.
What I don't like about it? Not much really. The only draw back is that it doesn't contain the same level of protein as other milk such as soy milk, or cow's milk. As a re...
I am in Hong Kong doing the tourist round at the moment. I went to a local vegetarian restaurant close to where I am staying. In there, the menu offers mainly Chinese Cantonese style 'fish', 'pork' and all kind of 'meat' dishes. But exactly how healthy of these plant-based meat alternatives?
For a start, a lot of these mock meat are made with either wheat gluten or soy protein isolate. As a result, it is a good source of protein for vegetarian or vegans. Mian Jin (as it is called in Chinese) or Seitan contains around 20% protein by weight, making it similar in protein content compare to most meat. However, it is important to note that people who needs to avoid gluten such as those with coeliac disease, will absolutely need to eliminate seitan from their diet. Anyone who need to avoid soy protein isolate may also want to think twice about using any mock meat with this ingredient.
The usual Cantonese style mock meat are usually marinated in savoury additives e.g....
Researchers at RMIT have compiled the first comprehensive carbon footprint league table for fresh food. Grains such as oats, fruit and vegetables were found to have the lowest impact, followed by nuts and pulses, e.g. chickpeas, blackbeans and lentils. Chicken and pork had a medium impact. Fish also had a medium impact on average, however results between species varied significantly. Red meat such as beef and lamb had the highest impact. See this chart below.
It is quite plain to see from this kind of data, that replacing part or all the meat ingredients in a recipe with plant-based protein food such as black beans have a huge advantage both from health and environment. There are plenty of recipes on the internet to try some lentils in the new year.