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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! 

Categories Uncategorized

Eliza Led Weaning – our journey to solids so far!

It’s certainly not a conventional list of ‘baby food’ but 4 months into her foodie journey, here are some of Eliza’s favourite foods:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Wedges of apple
  • Pate
  • Grilled eggplant
  • Sushi
  • Fish
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Prawns (she goes nuts for these!) 
  • Quinoa porridge
  • Strawberries
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Curries and dahl 
  • Sourdough bread.

This is what dinnertime looks like for us in a nutshell…. 

430pmish I put the finishing touches on dinner (i.e. cook it- I’ve usually prepped it earlier in the day)

5pm I remove a bit from the main dish and place it on a plate for Eliza so its cool

5:30 pm We all sit down and eat. The same meal. There is NOTHING different about what we eat and what she eats. When we go out for a meal, we’ll simply share our own meals with Eliza. 

At 10 months of age, we are having family meals. There is no ‘baby food’ and ‘adult food’… it’s just-food. I’ve made a few adjustments to our recipes (e.g. I don’t cook with any salt /  I make my own stock paste with reduced salt content/ I serve fresh chili on the side for me and Carl to add instead of cooking it in meals) but we all eat the same. This was one of the main reasons why I was drawn to the baby-led weaning approach in the first place and we are proof that it works. So be it roast dinner, a casserole, homemade butter chicken, Mexican bean soup, spaghetti bolognese, fish pie…. That’s what we all eat and we eat it together at the table sans television with the dog under the table begging for scraps. It’s all pretty… simple really.  

I’m currently in the process of writing an ebook about Baby-led weaning so I thought this ‘update’ on where we were with food was a fitting addition to the blog for now. When it comes to feeding babies, here are 3 unconventional tips from a Nutritionist that I’ve learned myself over the last 4 months…..

Babies follow your lead.

For the first 6 months of her life, Eliza watched me guzzle water and eat a lot of food. I can not emphasize enough how important nourishing yourself is as a new Mum, even if you are not breastfeeding. Why we have postpartum diets circulating in our faces is beyond me. You need food mama. And a lot of it. Whilst I realize ‘eating’ must be intrinsic on some level, I do firmly believe that Eliza’s enthusiasm for food (and water) has at least in part been influenced by watching me (and my husband too!). Sure, you can argue that we’ve just ‘had it easy’ but her enthusiasm to give most things a go and her expansive palate must, to some degree, be a result of the examples that we have set for her. 

Babies can have and love flavour.

There’s a lot of bland baby food out there… and a lot of ‘fear’ around offering food to babies that have flavour from ‘real’ ingredients like garlic, ginger, spices, and herbs. But these flavoursome morsels offer an abundance of additional micronutrients AND they condition a baby’s palate to be more accepting of a wide variety of different tastes and textures. If we want to reduce the chances of fussiness later on…. We need to be exposing babies to flavour early. When we first began our solid journey, we offered single vegetables for a week or 2… but Eliza was quickly trying food off our own plates and hence the evolution to plating up a variety of different cuisines very early on. 

Babies’ needs and tastes will change from day to day, just like our own.

Whilst I strive for as much variety as possible in our own and Eliza’s diet there are still firm favourites on repeat every few weeks. It’s interesting that the ‘parts’ of the meal she enjoys the most will change. For example, if I were to serve a roast chicken… sometimes she will just go NUTS for the meat. Once, she gnawed at a chicken leg for ages. Other times the meat may be largely ignored and the roast pumpkin or the head of cauliflower will afford all of the attention. Sometimes a firm favourite meal is largely ignored and she’ll fill up on breast milk instead whilst other times we are refilling her bowl. I’ve decided to suppress any stress that arises when this occurs and trust that Eliza is simply taking what she needs at any given moment. Just like we sometimes feel like a bowl of veggie soup and other times can’t wait to dig into a hearty steak. 

I’m not naive. I know we will face battles on our foodie journey. But we are off to a good start and a good foundation will definitely help. After all, the first 1000 days (from conception to a child’s second birthday) are arguably the most crucial time to lay a solid foundation across all facets of a baby’s life. 

Bottom line – weaning to solids does not have to be stressful. It has been a fascinating and joyous adventure for us so far… albeit messy! As with anything ‘baby-related’ you do what works for you and your family and you as a parent know what’s best for your child. I realize some of the things Eliza loves aren’t conventionally recommended, but sometimes you know better than what’s on the internet :). 

Happy weaning and look out for my eBook when it comes! 

Categories Uncategorized

Habits for Health

Recently, we released another eCourse, ‘Habits for Health’ which you can read more about here. Although it’s a simple course, and will set you back just $39, I believe… its the most important work I’ve created to date. Why? Well, I’ve been a Nutritionist for over 8 years now and I’ve helped many different people with very different goals. No matter the person and no matter the goal…there are still a number of foundational habits that must be established first and foremost as a cornerstone of good health. These foundational habits ARE the content of the Habits for Health course. In some way, shape or form I will endevour to encourage EVERY client who sees me, to adopt each of these habits, no matter what their reason for seeing me in the first place may be. THAT’S why its so exciting! These foundational habits are now in a ‘teachable’ format that can be accessed by anyone at anytime who has a genuine interest in being their healthiest and happiest self… for life.

This is NOT a fad course. It is NOT an 8 week course. It is NOT a ‘take a selfie before and after’ course. It’s about working at your own pace, making sure that each habit is well and truly formed and ‘sticks’ and then keeping these habits for a lifetime. Warning: if you choose to embark on the Habits for Health course it will change your life. You may not even recognise yourself when you come out the other end.

In a world obsessed with instant change…. promising you a new body overnight…. selling you the latest pill, potion or metabolic supplement to help you look younger, skinner and less wrinkly… I’m heat to say ‘forget that crap.’ You are you. And you are pretty great. But you deserve to be the BEST version of you. And there is NO magic formula… NO magic pill…. YOU are the magic. Habits for Health is about helping you change your lifestyle and adapt 9 foundational habits that will simply allow your magic to shine. Honestly, I’d love it if every client I ever saw worked their way through this course before they even booked an appointment – I honestly feel I’d be just about redundant!

It’s just $39 by the way. You can check it out here. Let’s all start saying no to fads and just live better. That’s what this is about. And you are so very worth it.

“Each tiny habit is like an atom. It will only result in a very small change. But each atom is part of a larger system… and each atomic habit will contribute to a massive changë.” (James Clear, author of Atomic Habits)

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, Uncategorized

If you fail to plan…. You plan to fail.

EVERYTHING worthwhile in life requires a plan. And, there is nothing more worthwhile in life than your health! After all… not much in life is actually possible without your health! 

When it comes to food… we believe having a plan is essential. In fact, we are so passionate about food planning and being organised in the kitchen generally, that we argue it should be a skill taught to young teenagers in school.  

There is NO single more important habit to get into for your health than planning your week ahead from a meals perspective. This habit will set you up for success for life.

We TEACH you how too food plan on the Back 2 Basics Program. So if this concept is foreign or overwhelming, jump on the course. After 3 months, it will be as habitual to you as having your morning cup of coffee. To food plan, we recommend each week moving forward, you set aside 5–10 minutes to plan your own (and preferably your family’s) meals and write a shopping list. This will:

  • Save you a tonne of money as you won’t buy unnecessary ingredients you don’t need
  • Yes take a little time initially but save you time mid-week when things are crazy
  • Mean you are less inclined to give up mid week and order take away… you’ve already got a plan for dinner!
  • Encourage you to eat healthy food… provided healthy food is what’s on your plan! 
  • Ensure you are never stuck pondering the question, “What the heck am I going to cook tonight?” (which is a slippery slope to Uber Eats!)

Meal planning also helps to minimise waste. Each week, you should find that you are emptying out your fridge of all the fresh produce you purchased at the beginning of the week. Staples like spices, dried herbs and even some cheeses can be purchased in bulk, so you only have to shop for these items every couple of weeks. The rest of your food will be fresh perishables, preferably from places like the greengrocer, farmer’s market and butchers, as opposed to big supermarket chains.

There are lots of different ways to meal plan, and how you meal plan will depend on you. Perhaps you’ll simply make notes in your phone or write it out on a scrap of paper each week then pop it on the fridge. Or, you might prefer to use our Meal Planning Template which is a downloadable PDF available to those doing the Back 2 Basics course. 

Remember: Don’t over complicate it! Your meal plan doesn’t have to be detailed to a tee if that doesn’t work for you. Find a system that works for you, and stick to it. 

What are you waiting for? Get planning!

Categories Uncategorized

Introducing The Balanced Plate

We’ve been in this game for a while now. That is… helping people to eat better and therefore be happier and healthier than before. And we see a common thread in most…. Actually all of our clients. We see a strong desire to want to be healthier… but a great deal of confusion about how to be healthier… particularly when it comes to healthy food.

So, we decided we needed a simple visual that could be applied to any meal really, to assist you to make a good choice with minimal stress and fuss. Enter…. The Balanced Plate. Which we moved from concept to finished product with a great deal of assistance from the lovely Deb over at The Layout Place

Let’s walk through the key elements of The Balanced Plate now: 

  1. Adequate protein; At each main meal, your protein should make up ¼ of the plate, be it animal protein or plant-based protein…. It needs to be there.
  2. Lots of green and colourful veggies; half the plate in fact.
  3. A dose of healthy fats; don’t overthink it folks. Cooking with good quality oil or dressing your salad… beautiful wholefood fats like avocados, nuts and seeds and even dairy… these can all count.
  4. Condiments, flavourings and ferments; they should be simple. Bottom line. Let the actual food sing. Use herbs, spices, krauts and a touch of minimally processed condiments only. Don’t empty the sugary sauce bottle all through your stir fry!
  5. Some grains or starchy vegetables (like rice or potatoes); make up the remainder of your plate. I.e. don’t make the entire meal about the pasta…. Or the bread. That’s the ‘on the side’ part. You can also enjoy whole fruits too!

Now… this graphic may not be ‘perfect’ for everyone. If you exercise lots… you may need more carbs, proteins and even more fats. If you are really insulin resistant or diabetic, you may need less carbs. If you are breastfeeding or carrying a baby… things may be different too. But GENERALLY… this is a great place to start. And an awesome graphic to consider when ‘plating up’ your lunch and dinner in particular.

What you DON’T DO when applying the Balanced Plate:

You don’t have to count or weigh or measure or overthink it. We don’t want food to be like that for you. Just… visualize it… and try to apply it when you can. Here’s a basic example applied to a family favourite…..

The Balanced Plate… and Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Say you’re cooking up a family favourite, spaghetti bolognaise. Well, you can easily apply The Balanced Plate to this meal. First, make sure you make your bolognaise sauce with HEAPS of hidden vegetables. Second, make a basic green salad to go on the side and serve this up to cover half your plate with some beautiful extra virgin olive oil as your dressing. Use a serving spoon of pasta and meat sauce over the top. You could even still add a little parmesan cheese. Eat up… chew each mouthful mindfully. Sit for a bit after you have finished your plate. Assess your appetite…take a little more if you are still hungry. Finish off the meal if you like with some fresh berries or seasonal fruit.

This is a VERY different scenario to having a big bowl or pure white pasta with lashings of meat sauce over the top with very little veggies in it.

In our Back 2 Basics course, we cover off the Balanced Plate in week 1 of stage 1. And we’ve even done a little video on how to apply it to common meals. You can find out more about the Back 2 Basics course here and get started on our 3-month course which will change your life for $99.

– Katie 🙂

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, Uncategorized

Let’s redefine ‘normal’

This could possibly be the most important blog we’ve written here at The Balanced Nutritionist. 


It’s a conversation that the entire world needs to hear.


It’s about how we define ‘normal’ these days. And you know we love to keep things positive so we are sorry if this comes across quite ‘firm’ but its critically important. 


What do we mean by ‘normal?’ 


Well, what do we define as ‘normal’ when it comes to:

  • The way we feel each day in terms of our overall vitality and wellbeing
  • What we think is ‘normal’ food to feed to our physical bodies
  • What we think is ‘normal’ in terms of how we move our bodies, what movement we are capable of, and how much movement we should be doing
  • What we think is ‘normal’ in terms of how we speak to and treat ourselves. 
  •  What we think is ‘normal’ in terms of the pace at which we live and the degree of ‘presence’ that we actually experience. 


What is ‘Normal…’ these days? 


You see…. We think it’s a little bit alarming what ‘normal’ is becoming these days because it is in direct conflict with a lifetime of health and happiness. Let’s consider all of the above aspects and what the majority of society seems to consider is ‘normal’ in relation to each one:

  • Many, many people don’t feel vital, energetic, or well most days. Instead, they feel tired, sluggish, bloated, heavy, and disconnected from their own bodies.
  • Many people now just ‘accept’ that ‘food’ comes from packets purchased deep inside the aisles of a supermarket. Or often from a drive-thru. The future of kitchens could possibly be… a microwave. Only! And whilst we believe in balance and the mindful enjoyment of occasional treats…. Chips, chocolate bars, and junk food generally do not have a place in anyone’s diet on a daily basis… in particular, these foods do not belong in the lunchboxes of our little ones – they have always been and should remain ‘occasional treats’ amongst a mostly wholefood intake.  
  • Many people take out gym memberships for a few months here and there… maybe train for an event with some friends for a little while… but then go months in between doing very little. In actual fact, moving is normal. Humans are just like other animals. We should be moving regularly. We should be able to move with ease. We should be moving daily – even if it’s not strenuous. Take the stairs, go out and get some fresh air at lunchtime, stretch your body, and engage in deliberate exercise you enjoy. Moving is normal. Aches, pains, creaks, huffing, and puffing… is not
  • It’s not normal to talk to ourselves in a nasty way… call ourselves fat, or lazy or other mean, horrible names. It should be normal to treat yourself well and learn to love your own company. If you want others to love hanging out with you, then you should love hanging out with you!
  • Finally, it’s not normal to go through life at a million miles per hour. Constantly stressed, constantly haggled… wearing busy like a badge and never being fully present. This leads to burnout. And who wants to live a life… that they can’t even participate in? If this point in particular resonates with you, we recommend you check out the book ‘meditation and mindfulness’ by Andy Puddicome. 


We encourage you to Consider Normal as:

Sluggish, tired, flat Energetic, vital, well
Food from packages   Food from nature; wholefoods
Exercising because you have to Move because you were born too and it’s a gift
Self hate, self doubt Loving yourself and being kind to you.
Living on autopilot at 1000 miles/hr Living in the present.


But What does this have to do with Food? 


So you might be wondering why we brought up this topic when some of it is not entirely about food? Because if you know us even a little, you’ll know that we believe health is the whole package. We don’t just focus on food… we also want you to consider your lifestyle, your mindset, your stress levels, your relationship with self, your relationship with food… these are all tied in together. To influence your health and happiness. Intermingled… you wouldn’t have one without the other. When you nourish your body with good food… you will want to nourish your body with positive thoughts, speak nicely to yourself, enjoy physical challenges. And you will want to live in the present, saying no to people and occasions that don’t serve you, rest when you need to, be present in your wonderful life and be productive without being ridiculously busy. 


Think about how you define normal.. Or what you accept as normal. Could you raise the bar? Start a ripple effect and create a new normal. 

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, Uncategorized

What is ‘Mindful Enjoyment’ and why are we passionate about it?

Here at the Balanced Nutritionist and throughout our online Back 2 Basics course, we encourage you to consider an 85/15 approach to health. I.e. 85% of the time we do believe in eating really good, wholesome healthy foods, moving a reasonable amount, getting enough sleep etc. But the other 15% allows for some relaxation. We believe you should be able to enjoy an ice cream in the movies from time to time, have a pizza with some friends or sit in front of Netflix and share a bowl of popcorn…. Guilt-free too. This is where ‘mindful enjoyment’ comes in.   

Mindful enjoyment means that you are able to wholeheartedly enjoy the ‘15%’ which is when you don’t eat the ideal foods for you and you include more occasional foods.

‘Enjoying’ means:

NOT feeling ‘guilty’ because you are doing something indulgent

NOT feeling anxious or stressed whilst OR after you do enjoy something indulgent

Consciously choosing to indulge in something outside of your typical foods because you can and because you feel like it. 

NOT ‘overdoing’ things when you are eating more indulgent foods. I.e. you should always choose consciously, eat these foods slowly so you can savour them and stop before they make you feel ill.

Question…. What’s the point of scoffing a whole tub of ice cream only to finish and realise you’ve eaten it so fast you didn’t enjoy it AND you now feel ill? Wouldn’t you be better off enjoying a small bowl of ice cream slowly, tasting each mouthful, and then stopping before it makes you feel sick? 

If the following things are happening then you are NOT experiencing mindful enjoyment and there may be some stress and anxiety to resolve when it comes to food… 

Eating sugary or junky food because you are really stressed out (i.e. instead of choosing to do this consciously it’s a knee-jerk reaction to stress and overwhelm).

Eating occasional foods extremely fast and in big quantities to the point where you feel quite ill… and may not even remember making the decision to start eating them in the first place!

Feeling extremely guilty for having even the smallest amount of indulgent food.

Feeling guilty after indulging and turning to vigorous exercise, or very strict restrictions in the days that follow…. E.g. starving yourself, or eating nothing but vegetables, or deciding you need to rapidly detox because you were ‘so bad.’ (which you weren’t of course… you were human!).  

Food should not cause stress or anxiety like this. Here are some tips that may help you begin to experience more mindful enjoyment and less guilt. Please be mindful that we are not mental health professionals and you may need to consult with a counselor or psychologist if you continue to feel very overwhelmed when it comes to food.

10 Tips to Help you achieve Mindful Enjoyment

  1. Always remember that what we do occasionally does not matter. It’s what we do most of the time that counts. 
  2. Always remember that food is a celebration. Indulgent food can bring family and friends together and be part of important milestones in life to be enjoyed. Not feared. 
  3. Always remember that you will not undo everything because of 1 or 2 bad meals!
  4. Try to take control of negative thoughts in your head if you are experiencing negative self-talk during indulgences. Turn any of these internal conversations into positive thoughts / positive affirmations instead. Use phrases that work for you. 
  5. If you turn to food when you are stressed, try to actively find other ways to manage stress. This may include listening to meditations, going outside and taking 5 big deep breaths, hugging your dog, journaling, or going for a walk around the block. It may even mean bigger changes like…. Speaking to your boss about your workload OR even checking in and making sure that areas of your life LIKE your work ARE truly fulfilling?
  6. When eating indulgent foods (actually all foods in general), chew slowly, enjoy the texture and the flavours of the food, put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, and don’t rush. Stop when you have had enough… not when you feel sick or are completely pogged. 
  7. Always remember that occasional foods will always be there. You don’t have to eat the entire pizza in 1 hit…. Thinking you will never eat pizza again! Pizza will be there next time if you feel like it 🙂 
  8. Always drink plenty of water. 
  9. Try not to think of food as ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ 
  10. If you are experiencing cravings often for sugary or salty foods then take a look at your overall diet. Are you enjoying some carbohydrates each day? Some fresh fruits? Are you having a bit of protein with all of your meals, particularly breakfast? Is there plenty of healthy fats in there? Are you hydrated? Are you exercising more than you used to and perhaps need more food? (refer to lesson 7 in this case). If you need more help fine-tuning things then book in to see us. 

We spend an entire lesson going through the concept of Mindful enjoyment in our Back 2 Basics online course… maybe we’re not available to new clients right now, or maybe you’re not ready to see someone face to face? That’s ok… the Back 2 Basics online course will guide you towards a healthy, happy lifestyle over the next few months from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

Our relationship with food is just as important as the food we eat. Work on mindful enjoyment… if you can’t mindfully enjoy treats you will forever be in a cycle of punishment and guilt. Be happy. Be healthy. And embrace mindful enjoyment.

Katie and Nicole are still on maternity leave, but we prepared these resources in advance and we hope you find them helpful. For updates on return dates etc. you can check the maternity updates page here.

While we are waiting for the official date as to when Katie will be back for consults, feel free to call or email us so we can put you up on the waitlist to be contacted when Katie opens up her schedule. Our current list is constantly growing and we would highly suggest you put your name on the list so we can prioritize you. You can call our office number (07) 3063 2710 or you can email Michelle at appointments@thebalancednutritionist.com.au (she is available between 8 am-4 pm Brisbane time). You can definitely leave a voicemail and she will get back to you as soon as she is available.

Have a lovely day folks!- Katie 🙂

Categories GENERAL HEALTH, Uncategorized

Please welcome… the newest additions to the TBN team!

We are soooo excited to announce the healthy arrival of both of our babies! Just in case  you missed the updates on social media, here’s a little bit about Eliza and Layla below :).

Hi everyone! My name is Eliza Summer KingEliza because mum and dad love it. Summer as it’s a family name on Dad’s side… plus sunshine is sooo beautiful, I love it on the outside.

Mum had already had enough time off and big bro Karma was getting all the limelight. So on Friday the 7th of August I broke my waters when those 2 were out walking. I was born at 1:35am Sat 8th of the 8th (8 days early!). Strong as the lion I am (Leo). 3.6kg! People thought I’d be tiny but I’m strong thanks to all the good food mumma gave me on the inside!

So far I love being wrapped up like a burrito, love dad’s chest, milkshakes, any cuddles, little licks on my toes from my bro, sleeping and bath time…. and did I already mention mums milkshakes? I eat exactly like her… lots, enthusiastically and quite fast.

From Katie and Carl: the love and wishes we had through pregnancy and beyond were just so touching and we thank you in advance for these continuing thoughts.

Now please meet my roomie. 😎👶.

Hello everyone! My name is Layla Rose. I kept mum and dad (Nicole and Greg) waiting a bit longer than expected but when I was ready I was ready! I could not let Eliza, my roomie from baby land, take all the limelight 😂. I arrived on August 11. I have Mum and Dad wrapped around my finger, they are beyond smitten. Big fur bro Billy…. well he’s not so cool on sharing the attention yet but I’ll win him too. Mum is going really well. Thanks in advance for all your well wishes now and those you sent us when I was still on the inside. Bye for now 😘

We know that it may take time before we get back to business but in the meantime
Please remember to check out maternity leave updates page to stay up to date on when we may be back

While we are away you can get on our WAITING LIST!

If you are REALLY keen to see us when we return, you can phone our bookings manager / administration whizz Michelle on (07) 3063 2710. OR you can email her on appointments@thebalancednutritionist.com.au and request to be added to our waiting list.

Note: Upon our return, existing clients requiring follow up appointments and those on the waiting list will be given first preference for available appointments. Please make sure you read ‘what to expect‘ for a list of our fees/private health rebates etc prior to contacting Michelle; so you are in the know. A deposit is NOT required to go on the waiting list but WHEN you are contacted for an appointment then you WILL be required to pay the 40% booking deposit to secure your spot.

Note: to go on the waiting list, you will need to provide your full name, email address, and a contact number, as well as a few sentences, summing up what you would like our assistance with.

Our Blogs and Social Media

Both will remain ACTIVE. You can continue to access our latest blogs here and catch up on all our past ones as well. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Our social media is a balance of education, ‘realism,’ food ideas, dog spam, baby spam (once they are born), and fun! We also have our online course available, Back 2 Basics… find out more here!

Well, that is all we can assist you within our absence from the clinic. Again, Michelle, our bookings manager is just a phone call or email away ((07) 3063 2710/ appointments@thebalancednutritionist.com.au) if we haven’t answered a query here…. Note: our own email addresses will be unattended during our leave.

We hope you are safe, healthy, and well now and always. And we look forward to catching up / meeting you upon our return.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our existing clients for their well wishes, love, patience, and consideration during this special time in our lives.

Cheers to lifelong health and happiness for the adults and the bubs and every age in between!

Katie, Nicole, and Michelle. 

Categories Diabetes, Uncategorized

Case Study: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 50 year old male client of The Balanced Nutritionist who presented with Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and raised liver enzymes on July 5th 2019. This client wanted to release 25kg of body weight to return to a healthy weight range. In addition, he wanted to minimize his need for medication and better manage his conditions with nutrition and lifestyle. For privacy reasons, this client will be referred to simply as ‘D’ throughout this case study.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions and professional support in the presence of chronic health conditions. Between the 5th of July and the 12th of October, D released 25kg of body weight, was taken off all diabetes medication (as directed by his GP), significantly lowered his blood pressure medication and improved his overall wellbeing. For the full journey, see below:

Initial consultation July 5th presenting concerns:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, diagnosed more than 10 years ago. Oral medication (metformin) in use,. Most recent HbA1c* was 11.6
  • Blood pressure issues for close to 15 years.
  • Triglycerides were 3.2 on latest blood tests despite cholesterol medication.
  • Minor reflux
  • Occasional muscle cramping particularly in feet
  • Uncomfortable with current weight
  • Unable to exercise due to shoulder and hip issues
  • Energy not ideal particularly in the afternoon
  • Family history of blood pressure issues and diabetes type 2
  • Motivated to change nutrition and lifestyle to release weight and improve blood pressure and diabetes management.

Initial consultation July 5th Medications and stats:

  • Diabetic medication twice daily / blood pressure managed with 2 separate medications taken twice daily / cholesterol medication
  • Weight: 124.9kg / waist measurement 114cm

Initial consultation July 5th nutritional and lifestyle habits:

  • D was not a big drinker; a couple of nights per week
  • Rarely drank soft drink
  • Water intake was around 1L
  • Plenty of protein in the diet, but perhaps a little too much mindless snacking as a habit – this was most likely driving up blood sugar and making weight loss challenging.

Initial consultation July 5th Initial recommendations:

  • Advised to bring in some low impact exercise
  • Reduced size of breakfast and asked D to eliminate snacking altogether, focusing on just 3 quality meals
  • Increased hydration
  • D began logging BSLs* regularly
  • D began keeping a food diary which generally helps with more mindful eating by default

Second consultation 3rd August Medications and stats:

  • D had followed recommendations to a tee
  • BSLs had initially ranged from 8 to 11mmol/L in early July. By the middle of the month they were more often sitting between 5.5 and 7.5mmol/L (readings taken at various times through the day).
  • Diabetic mediation reduced and evening blood pressure medication reduced as directed by GP
  • Weight 118kg; a reduction of 6kg.
  • Waist circumference 110cm; a reduction of 4cm

Second consultation 3rd August Recommendations:

  • D embarked on structured Metabolic Balance® program*
  • Foods and quantities matched to D based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics.
  • GP aware and supportive of this dietary approach

Third consultation 23rd August Medications and stats:

  • Under direction of GP, metformin (oral diabetic medication) was stopped after 10 years of being mediated for diabetes.
  • Fasting BSLs consistently sitting between 4.8 and 5.
  • No issues with hypoglycaemia* although blood pressure dipping low at times hence further changes to blood pressure as per below
  • Evening BP medication no longer used (as directed by GP)
  • Weight reduced to and waist
  • Energy fairly consistent, rarely feeling hungry.
  • Hamstring pulled unfortunately so not much chance of introducing structured exercise into lifestyle at this point

Third consultation 23rd August Recommendations:

  • Continue with structured food plan, addition of more healthy fats
  • Keep consulting with GP and keep recording daily blood pressure to ensure medication adjusted accordingly to ensure no low blood pressure episodes.

Fourth consultation 14th September Medications and Stats:

  • Current medications consisting only of ½ dose of morning blood pressure pills plus cholesterol pill.
  • Still consistently releasing over 1kg of body weight a week, with minimal loss of lean body mass*
  • Had introduced a few meals off the plan and noted a fast response to ‘white carbs’ i.e. white rice – a good lesson to learn moving forward*

Fourth consultation 14th September Recommendations:

  • Advised to start trialling some foods outside of original plan and monitor blood sugar response particularly to other low GI carbohydrates
  • Avoid ‘white’ cabohydrates and high wheat carbs at all costs due to effect on BSL
  • Prescribed multi mineral formula to support nutrient status whilst still releasing weight

Fifth consultation 12th October Medications and stats:

  • Current weight is 100kg, and according to VLA, body fat is now ideal for frame size. An overall loss of 25kg.
  • Waist measurement down to 97cm*, an overall reduction of 17cm.
  • D wanting to discuss remaining BP medication and cholesterol medication with GP

Fifth consultation 12th October Recommendations

  • Relaxing some aspects of the program with a view of maintain wellbeing and blood sugar readings. Review again in 6 weeks.
  • Bring in some exercise with a view for this to become habitual once received the all clear on injuries.

This synopsis of D’s journey so far has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. D has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader of this case study include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • Professional advice and support is critical particularly where medical conditions and medications are involved. D benefited from the support of Katie King, nutritionist as well as his General Practitioner to monitor his medications closely.
  • This is not individualised advice. Consult a professional if you want results like this.
  • These results are proportionate to effort. We can guide, support and advice but ultimately D had the right mindset to make changes to his nutrition and he deserves these results.

*The term ‘diabetes reversal’ is used in medical literature and the exact criteria for reversal is still debated. However, according to the World Health Organisation, most agree that a HbA1c under the diabetic threshold of 6.5% without the use of medication does qualify. More here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/

*HbA1c: a test which gives an average of the previous 2-3 months blood sugar results)

*The specific instructions given to this client have been deliberately excluded from this case study as they suited this particular person. The same interventions applied to someone else may not have the same outcome. For safe and effective results, you should work with a suitably qualified practitioner. Book your consultation here.

*BSLs: blood sugar levels

*Metabolic Balance® program is a German medical program that we have received extensive training in and offer at The Balanced Nutritionist. The exact foods and quantities of foods ideal for a person (based on extensive blood work, medications, medical conditions and physical statistics) are prescribed to a person and a structured program follows. Meals are clean, but balanced. Each meal contains protein and fibre rich vegetables as well as fruits and even starch are generally included in a Metabolic Balance® program.

*Hypoglyaemia: low blood sugar (to the extent that it may lead to disturbing symptoms like dizziness, feeling faint, weak or shaky.)

*Lean body mass: the difference between total body weight and fat mass; ideally you always want to preserve lean body mass as it accounts for muscle mass.

*VLA: a scientifically validated test we use in clinic to accurately monitor changes in body fat, lean body mass, hydration and cellular health.

*White carbs: please note that each diabetic is unique. Some, for example may respond fine to fruit others may find it spikes blood sugar. Part of the journey of any diabetic who wants to manage their condition as best as they can through diet, is discovery which foods are most problematic for them. They should then be avoided at all costs.

*Waist measurement: according to the World Health Organisation and the Australian Heart Foundation (https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/waist-measurement) , a waist measurement is an important measurement of overall risk of chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. Men should strive for a waist measurement below 94cm and women under 80cm.