Our family are quite experienced in travelling for sport particularly for athletics. Here is the food I packed for our regional athletics trip for the weekend for two of our kids, who were competing in Wollongong last month. With state athletics coming up this weekend in Sydney, it is a good time to plan the food you will take with you.
Most food groups are covered here. The protein is in the quiche (eggs), the nut bars and the tuna with crackers. Protein helps muscles repair after exercise and should be eaten 1-2 hours after exercise for the greatest benefit.
The carbs are in the cereal, wraps and hot cross buns and of course, the snakes for the car trip. Carbs provide energy for active kids and are a good source of fibre.
And then there's the ultimate training and competition food for energy- bananas.
Planning the food you will pack for travelling helps your athletes to perform at their best! It is less likely to be high in fat or salt than take-aways. High fat foods cause tummy upsets and salty foods make us more thirsty.
Make sure the food you pack is food they like and have tried before. There's nothing worse than them feeling sick in the stomach after eating something new just before competing, especially remembering the nervous energy that might be present.
Packing food also saves money as well- you don't need to depend quite so much on the junk food available on the highway!
Our hope is that our kids enjoy their sporting events and do their best!
One in 70 people have coeliac disease but 80% of people remain undiagnosed. The symptoms vary and you can use the assessment tool below to work out if you may be at risk. It only takes a few minutes.
Bread makers, gluten free hampers and cookbooks are available for some great competitions through Coeliac Australia to celebrate Coeliac Australia Week. Check out their website or follow them on social media!
Planning meals often helps someone achieve their healthy eating goals. Planning meals helps people eat more of the food groups like fruit and vegies, lean meat and grains. It saves time and money by directing grocery shopping. It is a help to avoid impulse purchases which are usually high energy and low in nutrition.
Here's the meal planning sheet I give to clients to help them achieve this. I hope it helps you too!
Smart Eating Week is here! This is a week run by Accredited Practising Dietitans. What does smart eating mean to you?
My first thought on eating smarter means eating more vegies. Vegies help us avoid diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And the best part is that most vegies don't contain calories, sugar or fat.
Vegies can be in form of cooked vegies with our main meal, salad in sandwiches, wraps or rolls or cut up into sticks for snacks. They can be added to soups and stews, in stir fries or in risotto. Side salads are always important with a pasta meal to reduce pasta and meat portions. Rarely do I find that my clients are eating enough vegies.
Here's my latest favourite way to include vegies at a barbeque- a roast veg salad. Delicious with that Persian feta!
Portion plates have been used for some time to help people lose weight. They remind people to increase their serves of low carb vegies and reduce the meat and carb portions when serving dinner. Research has now been done to document how people found using them.
A UK study used crockery and serving spoon sets for people in a weight loss program. People in the study were happy to use both but the plates were used more often. The research showed that the plates reduced self- servings of chips and potato and increased serves of low carb vegies and salad.
By reminding people to reduce their carb serves, these portion plates have "the potential to induce modest loss" and are simple and inexpensive.
These are the plates used in the study from the USA (Precise Portions) and include a drinking glass. The Australian plates I stock are below. They look quite different but the principle is the same. It would be good to have feedback from people who have used any of these before and if they have helped them. I certainly find they help all my clients who use them!
Here's the link to the research-
Many of my clients tell me that they eat good food, but that they eat too much of it. This is why I bought my plastic food models. Love them or hate them, they do show clearly how much to eat.
Many people are eating too much meat and carbs (potato, sweet potato, corn, pasta, rice or bread) with their meals and not enough low carb vegies. Adults need 5 serves of vegetables or salad a day. Low carb vegies give us next to no carbs or calories but plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
One serve of vegetables= 1/2 cup of cooked vegies. The pictures below show 1 serve of each vegetable, with the carbs at the top of the picture (corn and mashed potato) and the low carb vegies below.
Here are some examples of meat portions. One meat serve= 65 g red meat
or 80g of chicken as pictured here.
Below are three meals. They include 3 serves of low carb vegies, 1 serve of carbohydrate (pasta, mash or corn) and 1 serve of meat or chicken using a Portion Perfection plate.
I will keep using my plastic food to inspire my clients to eat more low carb vegies and I trust it has helped you, too!
It's Christmas party season and people might believe that low carb beer is a healthier choice than regular beer. The truth is that most beer is low carb anyway- a stubby has around 2 tsp sugar. However 75% of the calories in beer come from alcohol so choose low alcohol beer, not low carb beer, for a better choice.
I've done a couple of webinars lately to refresh my knowledge of the gluten free diet. I tried some gluten free foods and found bread and wraps which are great to eat. They are small in size and expensive, but they are good options for those who can't eat wheat.
I found two active and helpful Facebook pages which were new to me to support people with coeliac disease: Coeliac Disease in Australia and Be Well Gluten Free.
I learnt that a lifelong gluten free diet helps people with coeliac disease avoid complications like osteoporosis and anaemia. However accidental exposure to gluten does not cause long term bowel damage.
I learnt more about the oat controversy. 20% of people with CD react to the avenin in oats, and Australian oats may be contaminated with wheat. So oats remain off the diet for people with CD.
Food and symptom diaries also really help people with CD to work out what they react to.
Please comment if you have found other great gluten free foods!
My new logo represents a dinner plate. Did you know half of your dinner plate should be made up of colourful vegies? One quarter is meant to be lean meat, chicken or fish and the other quarter is for carbs like pasta, rice, potato, sweet potato or corn.
This is why I choose to sell Portion Perfection products. Their portion plate has these printed on the plate as a reminder of what food to serve up each night. Contact me to buy some!
In the middle of footy final season, it’s a good time to remind players to eat well so they can perform at their best on game day. They need to take a water bottle, lunch and fruit to school. A good afternoon tea will help them to train well- try a milkshake, yoghurt, nuts, raisin toast or cheese and crackers.
Eating carbs the night before a grand final provide energy but don’t forget the colourful vegies and lean meat!
And finally, eating breakfast on grand final day will give them energy for the big game!
Leanne is an experienced dietitian who is passionate about helping people eat well.