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Author Archives: Katie King

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The Habits for Health Transformation Program

Firstly, here’s how this program came to fruition…

A couple of years into my work as a Nutritionist, I began to notice something interesting. Clients came to me… they got results with their health… and then 1 of 2 things occurred. The first was that they went off on their own, maintained the changes we had implemented, and continued on a fairly healthy trajectory on their own. Alternatively, they left my practice, kept things going for a few months, and then… just lost their way and fell back into old routines. Honestly, it was more often the latter scenario. I noticed that the longer a client worked with me, the more likely they would be consistent when left to their own devices. I also noticed that the more regularly they worked with me, the more confident and more consistent they were with the healthy changes they had made. Thirdly, I noticed that the more gradual, but also deliberately we made changes, the more they really ‘stuck’ long term.

Summary: regular check-ins | over a longer period of time | slow, deliberate changes…

Something else I noticed… There were common ‘baseline’ healthy habits important for ALL the clients I worked with, no matter the reason they booked in to see me. These baselines and healthy habits seemed to help with a wide range of concerns and are habits we should ALL be doing daily. These baseline habits are EXACTLY what we focus on in this program. No matter where you are right now with your health, these habits will help you feel better in ways you didn’t think possible. Furthermore, these habits (when implemented) result in LASTING change. Being spoon-fed a meal plan and sold 8 weeks of shakes does NOT last. You learn nothing about yourself, or how to help YOU because you are simply following a program robotically. Life is not robotic. And neither are you. In order to create lasting change, you need to understand your body, what it needs, how to listen to your body, and how to be kind to yourself. All of these skills will develop over the next couple of months in this program. We will be working on nourishing you physically and mentally. So, there you have it.

Here’s what you can expect…

  • Weekly group zoom consult discussing the focus for the following week (these zoom consults will be held on a Friday, late morning / lunchtimeish each week so check you are available first!)
  • A program that is 8 weeks in duration 
  • A workbook to guide you through each week – and yes you do need to do a bit of actual work in the workbook (it can remain private; it does not need to be shared with anyone). 
  • Each week we will be working on 1-2 ‘habits’ at a time… e.g. drinking enough water and adding additional vegetables to your plate. 
  • Each week we will also focus on mindset and select affirmations. These will assist you to change your mindset around food and improve your relationship with food and yourself. 
  • A support forum (private) will be set up for members of the program on Facebook to encourage regular interaction, consistent support, and encouragement. 

I am worthy of taking care of myself. I enjoy looking after myself.   

Here’s what NOT to expect:

  • There will be absolutely no discussion about weight, weight loss, weight gain, or weight in any shape, size, or form.
  • There will be no reference to calories or macronutrients. 
  • The word diet will never be mentioned. 

In this habits program, you will get out exactly what you put in. You won’t be spoon-fed but if you follow the program and truly embrace it, you will think about food and YOU more positively than you ever thought possible. You will also feel really good – more energetic, happier, and healthier.

The cost is $30 per week for 8 weeks. We kick off Friday the 3rd of June.

You do also NEED to book an initial consultation with me (70 minutes) asap to have a chat about where you are right now, go through your health and medical history and ensure this is the right move for you right now. In the booking notes please say ‘interested in transformation program.’  We have spots available on TUESDAYS for new consults (via online bookings) and a few available on Fridays too.

If you are already a client and you want to come on board, no worries – just drop me an email! katie@thebalancednutritionist.com.au

Let’s talk more in our upcoming consultation. There are 8 spots available.

I look forward to meeting you!

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A mindful and peaceful Easter

This is NOT another post with ‘tips for eating healthy this holiday season.’ But it’s a post I felt compelled to write given the number of clients I’ve ‘talked through’ Easter with in the last couple of weeks. Many are feeling better than they have in a lifetime. The thought of a long weekend where you can’t escape the chocolate eggs, wine, bread buns, and food of all kinds, in general, is somewhat a source of anxiety for many. They wonder… ‘will the weekend completely derail my health journey?’ ‘Will all my healthy eating be wiped out by some chocolate easter eggs?’ ‘Can I stop at just 2 glasses of wine… or 1 easter egg?’ 

These concerns mirror a huge flaw in the health and wellness space. That is, the ‘perception’ that healthy eating is permanent. Perfect. On point all of the time. Never wavering. When in actual fact, as I’ve said time and time again, being healthy is about finding balance. It’s about appreciating and enjoying fresh, whole foods that make the body work effectively but mindfully enjoying those little morsels of fun ‘here and there’ too. So what’s ‘mindful enjoyment’ you ask? Consider this: a loved one gives you your favourite chocolate as a gift for Easter. You are surrounded by family, you enjoy a nice fresh seafood lunch with everyone with a glass of white wine (and lots of water), then you pour yourself a nice coffee and savor some of the chocolate. You eat enough that you feel like you’ve had a really lovely dessert… but not too much that you feel ill. 

Alternatively, you could receive the egg, then immediately hide in the kitchen and devour the entire thing in one gulp, then look for any other chocolate hidden in your pantry and continue the chocolate-eating fest, barely pausing for breath. This option leaves you feeling so remorseful, ill in the stomach, and on an ‘energy roller coaster’ (due to the sugar/glucose/insulin party you just created in your body) that you do exactly the same thing the next day because ‘you’ve stuffed it all up now.’ 

The first is mindful enjoyment. The second is not but it’s a very common scenario. 

If you want to practice mindful enjoyment, you may be wondering, ‘how do I know when to stop?’ ‘And how often is too often to enjoy these little morsels?’ 

A lot of this requires activating your ‘common-sense-ometer’ but that can be derailed too due to all of the mixed messages we face from social media, magazines, and marketing in general. Instead, start with a baseline of eating really well for your body. Find a good level of energy, a healthy weight, great digestion, and vitality in general. Then enjoy the little morsels only to the extent that they don’t detail that great feeling. For example, having 1-2 glasses of wine over the weekend is enjoyable and probably won’t have any ill effect in the hours or days afterward…. But smashing a bottle Fri, Sat, and Sun night in a desperate flurry will leave you paying for the better part of the working week. Likewise, going out for dinner, and having a side salad with your steak instead of a massive bowl of chips and then sharing dessert will be much more pleasant in the hours (and day) that follow than devouring a monster dessert on your own… 

The bottom line is. You’re human. I’m human. Food is beautiful – both the healthy stuff and some of the not-so-healthy stuff. BUT you also deserve to feel awesome too so find that happy medium and live life without remorse or unattainable standards. 

By the way, we cover Mindful enjoyment and how to apply it in our awesome Habits 4 Health course which will change your life. Have a great Easter!

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FOOD FREEDOM, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS

Sunday is our market day. My daughter was euphoric to munch on fresh green olives from the olive stand. But then we offered her the sourdough bread from the bread man. And by the time we got the apples and strawberries in the trolley, she just didn’t know what to devour first. A bit here and a bit there. Crikey it got more intense when we got home! A bit of banana in one hand and some halloumi cheese in the other. Oh, how I love that kids just know what their little bodies need AND they eat without stress. I can wholeheartedly say that I model this behaviour BUT I know for many women (and some men) food is a source of anxiety, stress, and confusion so it got me thinking… 

Food freedom, health, and happiness…. Where is it that they intersect? Is it possible that all 3 can co-exist and how?

Let me back up a bit. First, you may be thinking ‘what is this ‘food freedom’ bizzo’ that she’s referring to? Well, google it and you will find it an actually defined term now, but in my own words it’s:

having peace and balance where food is concerned and 

a state in which eating is NOT a source of anxiety or stress, but simply one of many essential, but enjoyable activities that make up the rhythm of daily life.

It’s a very hot topic right now and marries snugly with ‘intuitive eating.’ Again, you can google this, but in my own words intuitive eating is the ability to tune in and listen to one’s own appetite before deciding a) whether to eat or not b) how much to eat and c) what to eat. 

If the body is saying it’s starving and it feels like red meat then we should be guided by that, according to intuitive eating. For the record, I am BIG on intuitive eating and I am constantly reminding clients to actually listen to what their body is saying to them. 

Intuitive eating sounds ridiculously simple and very primal, but it’s been lost amongst the chatter of the dieting industry. Concepts like:

-eat 5-6 small meals a day….

-intermittent fast to look younger and lose weight

-cut the carbs

-eat fewer calories than you burn….

Make it difficult to eat intuitively because there’s simply too much ‘noise’ where eating and food are concerned. Not to mention the many gadgets we attach to ourselves these days to measure everything from sleep patterns to macronutrient intake to perceived stress levels.

In order to get back to intuitive eating, we really need to ‘unplug’ from these devices (in my opinion) and shut off from the mixed messaging of the dieting industry, which comes at us via tv/radio advertising, social media, billboards, magazines, and influencer marketing. The latter is somewhat challenging because dieting advice is everywhere but we can ALL take steps to reduce its hold on us by detoxing our social media feeds (pardon the pun), swapping magazines for a good book and turning down the radio in between songs (to name just a few ideas. Oh and for the record I don’t even wear a basic wristwatch OR measure my km when I go for a run.) 

Switching off to the noise of the dieting industry would go a long way towards a life of ‘food freedom’ too. But many experts who specialize in food freedom say we need to go further than that and ditch goals related to health and weight loss forever and definitely never consult a nutritionist again. Now, I LOVE the concept of food freedom, and when I’m working with clients on a health journey their mental wellbeing is ALWAYS at the forefront of my mind…. So as someone who promotes healthy eating, am I PART of the problem? It’s definitely something I’ve wrestled with over the last few months as I’ve dived more and more into the world of food freedom. But something always niggles at me in the background and that is…. Are we supposed to just ‘stop’ promoting healthy lifestyle practices? What about those with chronic diseases who need to eat better to stop their progression? Do we ignore the obesity crisis and its emotional, financial, and social consequences? Are we NOT supposed to help that person who just wants to be able to run after their kids without being out of breath in 5 seconds? My gut says absolutely not, so I’ve decided I’m not packing up and switching careers after all. But I have decided where these concepts intersect and how ‘food freedom’ and ‘healthy eating’ (or health and happiness as I call it) are able to co-exist and that is….

In the land of whole foods! When we base our nutrition around delicious, fresh, whole foods as unadulterated as possible (i.e. as close to nature as possible), food freedom and intuitive eating and health and happiness are all achievable. Actually, not only are they achievable, they are the norm when whole food living is applied consistently. When we consume simple, real foods from a variety of food groups (meats, cheeses, olives, legumes, vegetables, real chocolate, fruits, good dense bread, yoghurt, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, vinegar, garlic, spices, herbs, stocks, etc.) we CAN eat intuitively and we CAN eat without making every meal a math equation. It’s when we base our diets around processed foods including ‘diet snacks’ and ‘low-calorie packets of empty nutrition’ that we literally lose the ability to listen to our own bodies AND we stress about each and every meal. The food industry MADE things this way because keeping us trapped in a cycle of dieting is extremely profitable after all.

So there you have it, folks. My absolute number 1 piece of advice continues to reign supremely important and that is ‘eat wholefoods mostly’ and the rest will take care of itself. 

P.S. If you want to get started on a wholefoods lifestyle, check out our Back 2 Basics course.

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What to focus on…. In 2022

In my latest podcast, on the Happy Apple, I discussed 2 things to give up entirely in 2022. If you missed it, catch up here, before reading on.

Now that you’ve given these things up, you’ll have some extra brain space to redirect to something that you SHOULD be focusing on in 2022, instead. Oh, and by the way… all of this is in the context of inspiring you towards a lifetime of good eating. And AWAY from a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and torturing yourself about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices. 

Anyhow… back to what you SHOULD be focusing on this year and that’s your VALUES

Now that I’m NOT talking to people about their weight much at all, I’ve got far more time to work with people around their values. Identifying your values and then checking in to ensure you are living aligned with them has a profoundly positive effect on the food you will choose to eat and the way you will look after your body. It is another avenue to help flick the switch from ‘short term’ change to ‘long term healthy lifestyle.’ The link between values and healthy choices may not be that obvious, so let me explain it to you properly. 

Below is a list of 10 common values

Success 

Happiness

Family

Kindness

Friendship

Growth

Education

Meaningful work

Wealth 

Self Respect

(*I’ve left off ‘health’ for a deliberate reason, despite it being a very common value.) 

Now, take a good look at the list and consider picking your own top 3 (you don’t have to pick 3 from this list; feel free to bring in your own). I can bet you, that no matter which 3 you PICKED all of them rely on you being the healthiest version of yourself possible in order to really, truly live aligned with your values. Am I right?

Ok, so take for example the value of ‘education’ because you might regard that as a value harder to tie back to healthy eating. To commit to lifelong learning is going to require…

-Stable energy levels so you can study

-An abundance of nutrients from fresh food to optimize your concentration levels

-A commitment to move regularly to ease out some of the aches and creaks from sitting for a prolonged period… and to give that brain a bit of a break too!

Therefore, if you truly want to live aligned with your value of education, then you do need to look after yourself… Am I right?

Similar could be said for ‘success’ and ‘meaningful work.’ And if family is one of your values, the link is even more obvious…. you want to be around for a long time to spend time with them AND you want lots of energy so you can all do fun things together! 

Hopefully, I’ve made my point now. And by just thinking about your values, you are already moving away from a ‘diet’ centric mentality and moving more towards healthy living. This is because ‘diet’ centric living is epitomized by goals…. The goal of say reaching a certain weight, or wearing a bikini. Goals are something you tick off once they are achieved. Values, on the other hand, can’t be ‘achieved’ because they represent a way of being. It’s rare for your values to change so they inspire a lifelong commitment, rather than just something to aim for until it’s ticked off.  

Anyhow, my point is, if you really want to make better food choices and look after yourself physically for the long term, forget ‘goal’ setting and instead think ‘value aligning.’ After all, a life lived aligned with your values is said to be the only way to achieve true, authentic happiness.

I don't plan to miss a single seagull chasing, windswept moment if I can help it!
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Maybe it’s time to give up social media?

Like we have. Well… almost. 3 posts for 2022 isn’t our usual frequency. It certainly won’t help us to maintain our ‘algorithm.’ Or keep google in love with us. I no longer care. I can’t keep up anyway… I have no interest in making boomerang videos or TikTok or whatever the latest ‘craze’ is. I’m far better off devoting my ‘on’ time to being fully present to my clients and hearing their issues and being fully present to my family when I’m off.

More so than ever before, the message coming to me from clients is ‘total and utter confusion.’ I THOUGHT the messaging in the ‘food’ world couldn’t get more confusing but it seems it has. Every influencer seems to be touting different food trends, using a different ‘product,’ and sending a different message about what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad.’ Put this mixed messaging in conjunction with imagery of bodies without crinkles, folds, rolls or a single freckle (i.e. not real! bodies!) and you’ve got a recipe for something beyond confusion…. You’ve got a recipe that is totally and utterly destroying people’s self-esteem, causing them to question absolutely everything, overriding all common sense, and making people simply ‘give up’ and ‘just do whatever.’

Is this YOU? Oh yeah, it feels like I’m talking RIGHT to you, hey? You are NOT alone. NEVER before have we had to view what we read, be it on our news feed OR in the news, with SUCH an aggressive filter. Time to take back control of your own mind, switch that commonsense meter back on, and find a strategy for healthy living that works for YOU.

Whilst you do that, let me remind you of some basic TRUTHS, that AREN’T touted on socials because they simply aren’t glamorous enough….

  • Water is king. Just start by getting hydrated.
  • Whole foods is where it’s at. Just skip the packaged stuff and add more vegies to your plate as a start.
  • Move. For 5 minutes or 50 minutes. Anything is good. What sort? Well… what sort of movement do you like? Do what you love.
  • Do things that make you feel joyful and happy. And if that feeling dissipates when you scroll your newsfeed… then give it up!

ALL of the above is actually addressed in our Habits for Health course! A beautiful self-paced, online course that you can do in your own time, to develop foundational habits that are achievable AND will serve you for a lifetime. For $59, it’s worth checking out and you’ll feel like a champion as you work your way through it. That’s probably not how you feel when you scroll socials. 

We’re going to be popping important announcements and the odd bit of ‘helpful’ information, plus the odd food or recipe idea on socials… but beyond that, you’ll just have to keep up to date with our newsletter and podcast to stay in the loop. I won’t be tiktoking or boomeranging or running around semi-nude with kale in my hand to keep up my algorithm. Life happens OFF our devices after all. Don’t miss any of those seagull chasing, beachy, windswept, precious moments… it’s the little things after all.

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Welcome to 2022: let’s do things differently

Welcome to 2022, merry belated Christmas and happy new year to all of you!

I sincerely hope you’ve had a lovely break; a nice mix of peace, fun, good food, great company and fresh air. That basically sums up mine!

A few changes are coming to the way we practice for 2022. These changes SHOULD have been instated long ago as I feel they will greatly improve the service I can offer, but I’m now making them official.

At the Balanced Nutritionist, we have no interest in helping people feel better for just a few short weeks or months. I really want to help you learn what works best for your body, develop a great lifestyle and be a healthy version of you long term. I have found over the years that the longer I work with someone, and the more we focus on making small changes over time but ensuring they really stick…. the better that clients results are. These clients that are in it for the ‘long haul’ also don’t tend to fall back to where they started from when we stop working together. For this reason, I’ve made the following changes to our bookings and processes effective from 2022:

  • All new client bookings ($189) will include access to my ‘Habits for Health’ eCourse. Within a short time of booking your appointment, you will receive access to this course and you can begin working through it as soon as you like. Some of this course work will be discussed in our early consultations. I truly believe these foundational healthy habits are critical for everyone, no matter where you are starting from in terms of your health.
  • New clients who are really keen to reach a healthy weight, will be especially encouraged to complete the ‘Habits for Health’ course. An elimination program or the Back to Basics protocol may follow and finally the Metabolic Balance program may be recommended.
  • Reaching a ‘magic number’ will not be the focus of our time together…. in fact, we may focus less on the scales than you would like, especially initially. Reaching a healthy weight is a holistic process that takes time… and I have no interest in helping you get there fast and then bounce back even quicker.
  • I won’t shy away from discussing the ‘practical stuff’ with you. I.e. food planning, fitting in movement, getting enough sleep…. rearranging a few things to make healthy lifestyle practices doable basically. Why? Because getting these systems and processes in place will help them stick for much longer.

Basically, if you want a 2 week detox or an 8 week challenge… you’ve come to the wrong place. If you are pretty keen to really get to know your body, ride the highs and lows, be ‘real,’ make genuine time for yourself and some healthy practices and realise there is no ‘magic bullet’ there is just ‘mostly good choices’ to be made…. then I’m right here. I currently have space for new clients from the end of January… the early weeks are fairly booked up. You can lock in a time here. Please ensure you drop some information in your booking notes too.


Wishing you a fab start to 2022!

Additional notes: if you purchase habits for health and then become a client later, we will deduct the cost of Habits for Health from your booking fee. Also note that all consultations are via zoom as we service clients across Australia.

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The 12 Days of Christmas ‘Challenge’

December is JUST around the corner and we all know that means Santa will be on his way soon too. As well as Santa Clause’s belly. Well… there’s Santa’s actual belly and then there’s the Santa Claus belly that creeps on during December. That extra belt loop you let out for the silly season… the spare tire that mysteriously grows during the festive month…yup, it’s a danger to us all! And it just creeps up! By the time Christmas day actually rolls around you might have pushed your limits on the drinkies and the festive food so much already that you don’t even enjoy that specially prepared dinner with all the trimmings.

And THAT is precisely why I have created for this year…. The 12 Days of Christmas ‘Challenge.’

What is it?

It’s a closed Facebook group.
It’s open to anyone who is interested.
It’s run by yours truly.
And it’s about me setting a healthy intention for us all each day and then all of us following through on it….

These aren’t tremendously difficult tasks. I’m talking about little things like saying no to a second coffee. Or making sure you’re actually hydrated. Adding some extra greens to your plate. All very doable actions at a moment’s notice. BUT actions that WILL make a difference to how you are feeling and WILL see you sail through December in a ‘balanced’ way….. A little champagne here and there… and some green tea and extra broccoli to balance it out.
It’s all about accountability. Being able to enjoy the festivities without going overboard. To feel happy and content but NOT pogged. To know that there is a little community of people around you that also want the same. To NOT feel guilty about having a few extra treats BUT not so many extras that you simply feel sick and tired. You’re already run down at this time of year. Tired. Hanging for some holidays. So it’s really important we look after ourselves in this way too and actually get some REST during Christmas without eating and partying ourselves into a stupor.

So…. sound like a good idea and you want in? Just search for the private group here, answer a couple of questions and you will be welcomed into our little group. Invite your partners, friends, and coworkers too if you really want to be accountable and surround yourself with a dream team. We kick things off on December 1, running through until December 12. There’s nothing else you need to know right now so see you in there!

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End of Year ‘Metabolic Balance’ offer

As the end of year quickly approaches you may be thinking about your health and wellbeing and making it a priority for 2022. Where were you this time last year? In the same place? What did you ‘start’ but not see through in January? Or perhaps you started something but it just didn’t quite work for you….

Metabolic Balance is my favourite program to take clients through because it is more comprehensive and individualised than any other program that I am aware of. The essence of Metabolic Balance is personalised nutrition; eating the exact right foods to bring your body back to optimum health and balance. In addition, its highly supported and structured, increasing the chances of long term habit change.

As its already November, we’re offering something special to those of you who are serious about embarking on Metabolic Balance come January (you can start straight away if you like…. or start your program in January!). Here’s what we have to offer you:
A complimentary 30 minute consultation to take medical history and confirm Metabolic Balance is a suitable program for you (initial consultations are ordinarily $149).

Complimentary access to our online course ‘Habits for Health’ (value $59) to give you some structure and boundaries to work inside of between now and starting your actual Metabolic Balance program. (The Habits for Health course is a great ‘lead in’ to Metabolic Balance as it sets some fantastic healthy foundations, but will still allow you to enjoy the festivities of Christmas).

So you’re really interested and you’re wanting to take advantage of this offer….

Before booking your complimentary consultation, you MUST read all of the information about Metabolic Balance on this page here AND watch the video at the bottom of that page so that you have a full understanding of everything the program involves.

THEN….

Email katie@thebalancednutritionist.com.au with the subject line ‘Metabolic Balance for 2022.’ In the email body confirm you have read and watched the information about Metabolic Balance and want to start the program in 2022 (or before if you are super keen). We will then give you a call / email and offer you some times for your consultation. (There are various consultation time slots available including lunchtimes, after hours and a few Saturdays.)

Note that full payment for the program is required at the time of ordering your Metabolic Balance program. There are only 10 spots available for this offer.

What are you wishing for in 2022? Your healthiest, happiest self? This is your sign.

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How do you Get Veggies into your kids?

“How do you get veggies into your little ones” was a question a friend casually asked me and another Mum recently. Well… I’m not sure if this question inspires the same reaction in all of us BUT I was salivating with excitement and the ideas machine was whirring around so I thought I just MUST write a blog on this one. Not sure my friend was expecting such a comprehensive response but hey, here it is!

Firstly, keep in mind my little 1 is 11 months old BUT I do think these ideas (at least most) can be applied to kids of any age. I’ll also remind you that we did baby-led wheaning with Eliza so we’ve never done purees – that may provide better context. You can catch up on our baby-led weaning by reading this past blog here.

Anyhow, back to todaý’s topic. I thought I’d put together a list of all of my top favourite ways to get veggies into Eliza as some of them may be helpful for you. If you’ve got some great ideas yourself, feel free to post them as comments too! We’re all in this crazy Mum journey together after all.

  1. MODEL THE BEHAVIOUR: the first rule of thumb is seemingly obvious, BUT do model the behaviour…. eat your own veggies please. Eliza and I eat exactly the same food…. I even eat her snacks so I model exactly what I want her to eat. It does help.
  2. OFFER VARIETY: little people may be drawn to different things at different times. Eliza used to love broccoli…. now she doesn’t (I have to chop it finely in food). BUT she currently LOVES green beans…. a few weeks ago, she hated them. So offer variety because they may choose different vegetables (and different foods generally) at different meals. Just because something is rejected once, doesn’t mean it will be rejected at the next meal. If you have a few different options offered, chances are, at least 1 will be popular.
  3. OFFER THINGS IN DIFFERENT WAYS: it took me ages to figure out that carrots steamed and served as finger food weren’t going to cut it…. but carrots in slow cooked casseroles and the likes… absolutely fine. Loved in fact. Similarly, your little one might enjoy roasted zucchini or roasted pumpkin… but not steamed or mashed. Soup is always a winner in our house. I make it super thick so Eliza can spoon feed it to herself OR if I’m doubting she will have it plain I soak bits of bread in it and she then eats it like that.
  4. EMBRACE THE CURRENT FAVS: If your little one has a current favourite, then be inventive with it and offer it in different ways at different meals to increase their overall veggie intake. If you know its going to be eaten, you may as well offer it right! Again, back to the green bean thing…. I currently offer these cold in her snack box most days and even raw as I’m cooking dinner if I need to distract her a little while I get dinner on. Another favourite at the moment is asparagus. I lightly steam this and serve it cold, dipped in yoghurt or hummus for snacks.
  5. VEGGIES CAN BE HIDDEN IN LOTS OF THINGS: cucumber and spinach are good in smoothies….. you can include HEAPS of finely chopped veggies in favourites like spaghetti bolognaise or any spaghetti sauce….. grated veggies go well in fritters (with egg, flour and a little cheese) or rissoles (with quality minced meat and an egg to bind) or savoury loaves or a good old zucchini slice…. finely chopped mushrooms / leftover roast veggies work well in omelets… and you can easily swap out veggies you know will be rejected for those you know will be embraced in most recipes…
  6. PAY ATTENTION TO SIZE: some vegetables may be eaten in dishes but only if they are quite small. For example, mushrooms are fine in pasta or rice dishes in our household BUT they have to be chopped quite small… chunky does not cut it. Be mindful of size when preparing vegetables.
  7. IF IT ‘WILTS’ ADD IT: this is a little rule I follow whenever I’m doing a curry or casserole or other slow cooked dish like say…. lamb shanks. ALWAYS add lots of stuff that ‘wilts.’ I’m talking baby spinach, finely chopped silverbeet, chopped kale etc. IT mostly does not change the flavour of the dish (well, spinach particularly is mild) but it wilts fast right at the end of the cooking process and adds a heap of nutrients. Babies may not even notice… toddlers probably would admittedly.
  8. MAKE ‘DIPS’ AND ‘SPREADS’ OUT OF VEGGIES: you could blend some roasted or steamed pumpkin with hummus and offer it on crackers or toast…. make baba ghanoush with eggplant and yoghurt for afternoon tea….. roast sweet potato and blend it with some cream cheese for a spread…. there’s lots of ways to get veggies into dips and spreads. A lot of kids eat just about anything served on a cracker or piece of bread. If you’re into making your own bliss balls ingredients like grated carrot and peanut butter go well in these or raw beetroot and coconut (you need a good blender here and mind the mess with raw beetroot… which I learnt the hard way). Heck these days you can make healthy-ish cupcakes with zucchini or carrot! Just ask Google!
  9. REMAIN CALM AND DON’T STRESS: if your little 1 rejects it all at a meal…. don’t worry. Plate it up next time and try again. In our household I can offer the same meal week on week and I’ll get a different response… sometimes all of it is eaten with gusto. The next… only elements… the next week, the same meal might be completely rejected. Oh well. I try to keep the baby led weaning principles in my mind and assume Eliza has gotten what she needs for that day already… or she will take it from me before bed (still breastfeeding). I understand this point would be harder with older kids but I still think in some way, we need to keep meal time calm and enjoyable and not a source of stress of anxiety.
  10. BE CONSISTENT above all else: consistently offer vegetables / healthy food in general so its the norm not the exception. Even if its rejected countless times, continue to put it on the plate. Research tells us that children may need to be exposed to the same food 10-20 times before they will even give it a go so keep offering it over and over again. Our little ones will get there.

What are your top tips for getting veggies into little ones? Did I miss any?

Categories Uncategorized

It’s so much more than numbers.

That little statement has 2 very different meanings. What I really want to focus on in this blog is food… ever wondered why is calorie counting not working? The truth is that food is so much more than just ‘numbers.’ But of course. I can’t go past the conversation that you are also so much more than a number on the scale. So that is where I’ll start.

Firstly, I’d like to remind you that weighing yourself is not an accurate measure of your success or otherwise on your healthy lifestyle journey. Weight is in fact one of the most unreliable measures of whether or not your body is in fact changing for the better. Why? I’m not going to dive into all of the reasons here but in my latest podcast

‘it’s not about the numbers’ I do enlighten you as to why your weight never seems to truly reflect your progress and thus why you shouldn’t rely on it too heavily. 

If you really want to measure physical change, take a few measurements and repeat them fortnightly. I usually recommend bust (straight across the nipple), waist (across the belly button), hips (over the iliac crest), and the top of 1 thigh. Or just 1 of those will do too. But the truth is… the most important measure of your progress towards a healthier version of you has nothing to do with any numbers at all.

Its got everything to do with how you feel. Both inside and out. Looking after yourself and finding a balanced lifestyle is about feeling your very best! Having energy and a zest for life, being comfortable in your own skin, moving better, having less pain, radiating ‘you.’ Its this that we should be focusing on, NOT the numbers that stare back at you when you ‘measure.’ It’s strange really… that we hang so much on a few numbers! 

Ok. Back to the food thing. Food is so much more than numbers. And by numbers I mean calories. It blows my mind that we spend so much time obsessing over the calories in our food when that method is such a small part of the picture when it comes to whether something is truly good for us or not. Here are some reasons why:

Two foods can have identical calories but affect the body completely differently. It’s actually the hormone balance that leads to a healthy metabolism, not calorie intake (metabolic balance focuses on rebalancing these hormones) 

Calorie intake does not take into account how well or poorly the body is actually working.

Weight can most often be a symptom of the body just not functioning properly. And counting calories doesn’t really give us any information about this. Instead, we need to consider the ‘systems’ of the body and how they are functioning. When all the parts that make up the body are happy we tend to get better results with weight and metabolic function. 

Counting calories can result in consuming foods that ‘confuse’ the body.

When we count calories, we tend to focus on the less the better. Which often means resorting to ‘diet’ foods. But these diet foods are often heavily processed with a lot of preservatives, chemicals, and man-made ingredients generally. Do we actually understand what these ingredients are doing in our bodies? How they are affecting us at a cellular level? I think not! Would you put unleaded fuel in a diesel car? Unlikely. So why do we give our bodies food that isn’t really… food? My Back 2 Basics program will help you learn how to fuel your body with beautiful food.

Macro tracking can still result in consuming foods that are highly processed instead of natural, whole food alternatives.

Finally, counting simply leads to stress. And takes any real connection we have to our food away.

Stress is not conducive to weight loss at all. I talk about this extensively in the podcast. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is so much about mindset. When we resort our food to numbers, we can’t connect with our food and we don’t focus on the mindset we need for long-term health.

Imagine the cavemen looking down on us and how we approach food these days? They must be having a real laugh at how complicated we’ve made it!