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Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Body Composition, Health
Nothing beats winding down from a long work day with a few cold ones. Or enjoying a glass of wine with friends. Or two. Or three. For most of us, alcohol is a relaxing and fun habit. For many, however, alcohol is an out of control problem which is unhealthier than you may realise. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than two standard drinks per day to reduce the risk of alcohol related disease and injury. For some, meeting these guidelines is a struggle as they fight the temptation to order ‘just one more round’. Considerable over-indulging on a regular basis leads to a variety of health issues including malnutrition and liver failure. Drunken hazy nights suddenly don’t seem so fun. I know vodka is made from potato, and…
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The Price We Pay for Supplements

The Price We Pay for Supplements

Health
Vitamin and mineral supplements are marketed as an investment in your health, but, dig a little deeper and you might find they are actually a waste of your hard earned money. Companies such as Blackmore’s, Nature’s Way, Centrum and Swisse use celebrity endorsements to make millions each year selling vitamin and mineral supplements that claim to improve everything from hair, skin and nails to memory and focus. However, rarely do you see a dietitian’s tick of approval on these products. Turns out, there is a good reason for this. Research shows, that unless an individual is deficient in a particular nutrient, supplementation is unnecessary and, in some cases, can be harmful to health. Nutrient deficiency can come about in a variety of ways. For example, in the case of restrictive…
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An Inconvenient Truth Hard to Swallow

An Inconvenient Truth Hard to Swallow

Health
There is no doubt our food environment has a huge influence on our health and wellbeing. While the issue of overconsuming our favourite junk or discretionary foods and beverages (like sugary drinks, deep-fried fatty foods and pastries) has literally become a taxing debate in the public health world, fixing the food environment around us is not something we as everyday consumers often give much food for thought. In an ideal world, we would all be frequently enjoying an abundance of fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce, and less highly-processed foods which we know has lost most of its nutritional integrity – in a nutshell we’d be following what is sensibly suggested in The Australian Dietary Guidelines [1]. However, we as a nation are unfortunately not even close to making this a…
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The low down on Caffeine and Sports performance

The low down on Caffeine and Sports performance

Sports
From those Saturday night Jager bombs to a humble cup of tea, caffeine can be found in a huge range of commonly consumed beverages (and foods), and it’s no secret that it delivers a sometimes much-needed energy hit. Not as common knowledge however, is the way you could be using this chemical compound to enhance your athletic performance… A member of the methylxanthines family, caffeine is derived from a range of nuts, seeds and leaves and acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist throughout the body (i.e. it increases production of adrenaline, pushing your body into that “fight or flight” mode that helped us escape tigers back in the Paleolithic days). Over recent years, caffeine has been shown to enhance athletic performance, with the bulk of these benefits thought to be…
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Chicken and crispy vegetable rice paper rolls with chilli and lime dipping sauce

Chicken and crispy vegetable rice paper rolls with chilli and lime dipping sauce

Food
  The rice paper roll is a fantastic, healthy and easy to make family favourite. It is perfect because it is easy to make, fresh and tasty, with plenty of fresh vegetables it is a healthy snack or meal. This little dish is also great to make with the kids and can facilitate teaching them about fresh ingredients as well as improving fine motor skills. I personally love it, get your hands into it and work with the ingredients to make the perfect roll. One of the best things with the rice paper roll is you can make it a day or two earlier and cover with a damp paper towel. They store well in the fridge and allow for fresh healthy snacks throughout the week.  Or what if you…
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The low-down on the Low FODMAPs diet to improve gut symptoms

The low-down on the Low FODMAPs diet to improve gut symptoms

GI Disorders
Most people experiencing excessive gas, bloating, abdominal pain and altered bowel movements (diarrhoea and/or constipation) would have heard of the Low FODMAPS diet by now. Many GPs and health practitioners are regarding it to be one of the best investigative diets for identifying problematic foods. Research shows that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can significantly improve symptoms by managing the amount of FODMAPs in their diet. What are FODMAPS? FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. Essentially, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars, starches and fibres), which can be poorly digested and absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in movement through to the large intestine. Here, they can be fermented / digested by the millions of bacteria that reside there, producing…
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Three Mind Hacks that will help you stick to your diet goals

Three Mind Hacks that will help you stick to your diet goals

Health
Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to stick to healthy eating despite having the motivation and knowledge? You may have read countless nutrition articles, stocked your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables and follow every food blog under the sun. Yet, for some reason, you can’t quite align your actions with your diet goals. Why is this and what can we do about it? This article explores the impact that willpower has on our ability to overcome temptation and outlines three simple, yet effective strategies we can use to increase our willpower. What is willpower and what causes it to fail? Willpower is the ability to delay gratification by exerting control over our behaviour. Anyone who has tried to stick to a diet will be familiar with the…
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What you need to know about going vegan

What you need to know about going vegan

Health
  There is a plethora of reasons why people might choose veganism – for the environment, for their health or just because it’s the latest trend. In any case, it is important to understand the pro’s and con’s of going vegan. So, if you are vegan, or have ever thought about going vegan, read on! What is Veganism? For those of you who don’t know, veganism is the complete avoidance of animal products such as dairy, eggs and meat. A less obvious example of an animal product is jelly beans, which are sometimes coloured with insect blood! While not all are strict enough to avoid traces of insect blood in their candy, all vegans do run the risk of serious malnutrition if diet is not properly managed. The Cons Cobalamin…
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Alexandria Redman Q & A

Alexandria Redman Q & A

Other
    Alex Redman, founder of the well-known blog, The Dietitians Pantry is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. We are excited to have the opportunity to gain insight into her expert opinion on all things nutrition. Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and about your current role as a dietitian? I’m not one of those people that always knew they wanted to be a dietitian. However, I knew that I wanted to do something in the ‘health’ field so after high school I enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science which allowed me to study a wide range of health subjects. By the end of the second year, I was loving all of the nutrition subjects I was doing and learning about how food can have…
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Thinking of going organic?

Thinking of going organic?

Health
  When we enter any shopping isle, we are confronted with many many different choices. One important decision to weigh up is whether to spend your hard earned cash on the organic range. The price difference between organic and conventional produce can be huge. For example, at Woolworths, Macro Organic Chicken Breast is $29.99 per kilo whereas the conventional range is less than half that at only $9 per kilo. Likewise, a dozen Elderbrook Farms Caged Eggs are $2.80 whereas Southern Highland Organic Eggs are almost triple that at $7.99 per dozen.   The organic options don’t stop there. Today you can purchase a range of organic produce from organic fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals…even makeup and body wash! How do you decide whether going organic is really worth the extra…
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