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Tag Archives: eating habits

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

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight

We spend a lot of time talking about dieting. And reaching a healthy weight. Or reaching health in general. But the fact is, that’s only the start. Once you reach it, you need to maintain it. And unfortunately, many people do not. Hence the dieting industry can be quite a lucrative business as people go from one diet to the next as they lose and then find the weight they once lost.

Here at the Balanced Nutritionist, we don’t want to help you find health and happiness for a short while…. we would like you to leave us knowing you have the skills to hold onto these gifts for life! Want to know the secret to maintain a healthy weight? It is all about habits and mindset. We are so passionate about this topic that we covered it off in a recent podcast on The Nourished Wrap; you can listen in here.
Anyhow, this little blog is a synopsis of the podcast, covering 10 key tips for how to maintain a healthy weight. 
If you are at the start of a health journey then begin with the end in mind and consider these tips from the very beginning. If you’ve reached your goal, then these tips will help you maintain your new-found health and happiness.

10 Key Tips to help you Maintain a Healthy Weight (and maintain health overall)

1. Do not think about this as the ‘end’ of your health journey and certainly do not think about when you can ‘go back to how things were before.‘ Health is a lifelong journey. To be healthy is a serious decision you make every minute of every day. You choose to live in line with the value of health. There is no ‘going back to how things were’ because those habits did not serve you well remember? You need to decide that the changes you have made are going to stay with you (mostly) for life.
2. Perfection is not possible. Consistency is what matters. You may have read tip 1 and thought ‘oh gee I have to be this perfect forever!?” No. Life is about balance. Its what you do MOST of the time. NOT the occasional treats and moments you fall off the wagon. You WILL fall off the wagon. Just like a puppy dog walking along a footpath – there will be exciting smells that drag them into the bushes. For you, there will be birthdays and weddings and family and friends and days or even weeks of stress when TV dinners and takeaways are more frequent. That’s ok. Move on. Forgive yourself. Pick yourself back up. And get back on the wagon when you can.
3. Your health is your responsibility. It is easy to say that you do not have time. Our work is making exercise impossible. Or it’s too cold or too dark or healthy is too expensive. Ultimately…. we are all responsible for making it happen. If it’s important enough… you will find a way. Some of the busiest, most successful people in the world are the healthiest and fittest as well.. and that takes time. We all have the same amount of time in the day. Live according to your values and if health and happiness are one of those – then live in line with that.
4. Self-monitor and self-correct. If you want to remain healthy and happy for life, you need to self-monitor. Check-in with you – are you still feeling good? Well? Are your clothes getting a bit tight? Are you going to weigh yourself once a month to check that you are looking after yourself? Or do you just go by feel? Do you have a loved one, a partner, a friend, an exercise buddy… that you can talk to and unload and admit when you’ve let things slide again, but that you are prepared to get back into things. My husband and I keep each other accountable to little things like our exercise, not going overboard with our love for a glass of wine and eating well…. because its important to both of us. It doesn’t mean we don’t have days off or nights when we may enjoy a couple of glasses… but I know I can tell him if I feel like I am overdoing it and vice versa. And then we can check-in and make sure we course correct. If you don’t know someone you can have this kind of relationship with then maybe seeing your nutritionist or health professional for regular check-in visits ongoing is worth it?
5. Consider changing your environment. If you have a whole bunch of friends who love eating greasy food often, drinking lots and don’t support you to make better decisions most of the time…. you may want to spend a little less time with them. You also want to make sure that the family is on board as well and that everyone else in the household isn’t eating take away in front of the TV every night! Surround yourself with others that have the same healthy values as you. Consider new activities to do with your friends if needed; like day hikes, or coffee in the park in the sunshine instead of less toxic activities. Or consider a gym, walking group, or similar where others are committed to their health and enjoying it as well!
6. It’s not just about the numbers. Health is a feeling. It’s not a number on the scales. Use weight if you like to monitor… but don’t ‘give up’ because that number isn’t the one you want. Consider how good you FEEL. THAT is SO MUCH MORE special than ‘your number.’
7. Get Support if needed ALWAYS. Sort of like point 4 and point 5….. no harm in investing in ongoing support. Like… you may want to have a follow-up appointment with your nutritionist or health professional every 3-6 months to make sure you are on track? Or perhaps you want to see someone more regularly as a trainer every week. Why not invest a little more often? The cost of letting everything go and then starting again from the beginning is far higher! Financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally!
8. Be organised with your time, it’s worth it! Sorry. But healthy is not always convenient. You need to have a food plan. Shop for fresh food fairly often. Spend a bit of time preparing it. Spend time moving. Monitor your work/life balance. Sleep well. etc. BUT... how much time will it cost you IF you do NOT do these things? If you were sick, sluggish, tired, exhausted all the time? A LOT. That is a FACT. So it is worth it. It is soooo worth it!
9. Accept how far you have come and be proud and grateful. Does not matter if you’ve only lost 5kg and you need to lose 60kg. It matters not where you are on the journey… just that you are on the journey! If you just keep focusing on the end and choose only to be proud and happy then… you will be disappointed when you get there. Celebrate all of the little changes you make. It’s not a race. It’s a lifelong journey.
10. Inspire others. Now that you are healthy and happy, you don’t need to ‘lecture’ others but set an example for your children and other little ones in your life, your neighbours, the people at your work who may be feeling a bit rotten. If you can be healthy and happy so can they. And a society full of happy and healthy adults and children would be a really positive, productive, and wonderful one wouldn’t it?

Don’t forget to listen to our podcast on this one too!

Cheers to lifelong health and happiness!
Katie King
Categories GENERAL HEALTH

Tips for staying healthy whilst working from home

On the weekend, we provided comments for an article in the Courier-Mail, on this very topic ‘staying healthy whilst working from home’. Since your working environment may have changed dramatically recently, here are some tips for staying healthy despite the change to routine:

  1. If you’re used to packing a healthy lunch each day continue to do this every morning before you actually start work. If you don’t prepare something healthy in advance, you’ll go to the fridge mindlessly at lunchtime and be more inclined to choose something less healthy… or even Uber eats instead!
  2. Keep a large glass of water at your desk and continually sip throughout the day. Topping up gives you a chance to stretch your legs, gets the blood pumping and gives you a moment to refocus. If you don’t stay hydrated you may mistake hunger for thirst. Plus you’ll feel lethargic and might even get a headache.
  3. If you’re in an exercise pattern already, keep it the same! Don’t promise yourself you will ‘just do it later’ because chances are you won’t. Slot it in as normal. And if it’s not part of your routine, then with all the extra time you have minus commuting… Why not make it a habit from now?
  4. Stock on up fresh veggies to use as a base for salads or lunchtime wraps and fruit for snacking. There are amply supplies of fresh products at your local fruit and veg markets. It’s the supermarkets that have been cleaned out. Support the little guys. And stocking up on pasta and confectionery has no benefits right now or ever for that matter. 
  5. As the weather cools, consider popping something rich in nutrients into a slow cooker first thing in the morning. It will be ready in time for lunch. vegetable-rich dishes with either pulses or some form of meat protein are a great, healthy and filling option. Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will be sharing heaps of recipe ideas over the coming weeks. 
  6. Actually, eat proper meals. If you get into the habit of skipping lunch altogether, you will be hungry and you’ll go for quick snack foods high in sugar continuously for fast pick me ups and you’ll only come crashing down again. 

From personal experience (keeping it real as always) the hardest part about working from home is avoiding mindless eating as a result of procrastination. To avoid this, it’s best to make sure you don’t have temptations lying around – like chocolates, chips, and biscuits. Apps that boost productivity are really handy as well. For example, the Pomodoro app is a free download on your computer that encourages you to focus for 25 minutes at a time and then allows you a 5-minute break. Psychologically it works! It’s like having a robot boss on your computer keeping you accountable to your work and stopping you from mindlessly walking to the kitchen!

We hope that helps. If it’s business as usual for you (but from home instead) and you’d like to seize this opportunity to work on your general health, reach out and book an appointment here – we are still operating by Skype / in clinic 6 days a week.

Categories GENERAL HEALTH

2020’s Magic Beverage…. Nutritionist Endorsed!

So you’re wondering about all of those little bottles that stare back at you in the supermarket claiming to cure all ailments from dodgy stomachs, to stubborn cellulite, to acne-prone skin?

Fear not. We are here to hold your hand through the noise and tell you the absolute MUST drink beverage for 2020. We love it SO MUCH that we even have this beverage available in the clinic for you when you book your appointment.

This beverage will:

  • help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • help you stay regular ‘down there’
  • help to prevent you from overeating
  • help with inflammation of the joints and ligaments by providing lubrication
  • flush out body waste (a trendy way of saying this is ‘detoxing’ your body)
  • help make your skin GLOW
  • help to boost your energy
  • help you to get a good night’s sleep

Geez. You must be thinking right now, I bet if it does all of those things… it must be a bit exy right?
Well actually….. its completely FREE! It comes straight from the tap, and we are NOT getting enough of it! You can see Lexi the Lab demonstrating just how delicious and irresistible WATER truly is!

Ahhhh. Sorry about that. Just another truth buster team, its what we do best here at The Balanced Nutritionist.
Seriously BEFORE you turn to ANY expensive super beverages you need to absolutely ensure that you are drinking at least 2L of pure water each and every single day. MORE if you are male and broad because quite simply you have even more cells than an average person to hydrate.

For more truth busters, check out some of the blogs on our website. And if you’re lost in the hype of 2020 fads then we’re just a click of a button away.

Ph: (07) 3063 2710 for queries / appointments.

 

Categories Uncategorized, WEIGHT LOSS

Do You Eat Consciously? Or on Autopilot?

We’ve all been there … you walk past the communal lolly jar at work and dip your hand in without thinking, automatically grab a few biscuits from the lunch room while making a cup of tea, or mindlessly eat from the cheese platter at a party.

It’s easy to consume less healthy food when we give in to impulsive eating, by pushing aside conscious decisions and automatically saying “yes” to food, without stopping to consider what we’re actually eating.

On the other hand, when we make deliberate and conscious decisions about food, we’re more likely to choose real, whole foods that nourish our body and make us feel great. This is conscious eating.

“Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.”

Conscious eating is the practice of thinking about what you put in your body, before you eat it.

Do you eat consciously or on autopilot?

Try this: Whenever you are presented with the option of a less healthy food, give yourself the space to stop and make a conscious decision about whether to eat the food or not.

Before you mindlessly shove it into your mouth, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really want to eat this food right now?
  • Is it especially delicious?
  • Will this food nourish me (my body or my soul)?
  • How will I feel after eating this food?

When we stop to make a conscious decision about food, often we realise that the food we’re about to eat isn’t particularly special or delicious, we’re not really hungry or we don’t really want it right now, and it won’t make us feel great.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t choose to enjoy less healthy foods that we really love on occassion.

When you do choose to indulge, savour the food and enjoy it fully. Don’t eat too fast – really taste what you’re eating. And, be kind to yourself – don’t deprive yourself and don’t feel guilty for enjoying less healthy foods in moderation.

Because when you consciously chose to enjoy less healthy foods occasionally, and you really enjoy it, you are choosing to nourish your soul.

Written by Nicole Bence. You can book with Nicole here