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Hungry after drinking alcohol? Here’s why…

Posted on : 06-10-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Behaviours, Die hard habits, For the boys, Unhealthy



Artery clogging bacon and eggs sizzled in the fry-pan and the tea-pot was full and steaming, ready for it’s rehydrating task. It was the morning after the night before! “Why am I always starving after a big night?” our friend asked. He looked remarkably perky considering how much alcohol and how little sleep he’d had.

It’s a good question. What makes us so hungry after a drinking binge? It’s hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. So why doesn’t all the sugar in alcohol keep your blood sugar up? It’s because the body doesn’t think of alcohol as food but as a toxin that needs to be got rid of. Alcohol causes havoc with our blood sugar levels. With the first drink or two the alcohol and sugar rush into the blood rocketing the blood sugar sky high. This sends an urgent message to the pancreas: “Blood sugar too high, deploy insulin“. The insulin marches into the blood and escorts the sugar out. As the drinking continues the liver goes into ‘poison elimination’ mode. Its number one mission: to remove all toxins from the body. All other duties are scaled down or put on hold – including sending sugar into the blood to balance the zealous efficiency of the insulin troops. By this time you may be flaked out in bed trying to sleep it off but your body is far from resting.

You wake up with blood shot eyes. That’s from the alcohol increased blood pressure bursting tiny blood vessels in the eye. You wonder how you got home. That’s from the alcohol starving the brain of oxygen and killing off a few ten thousand or so brain cells. Your muscles ache. That’s from the alcohol starving them of oxygen – or perhaps it’s from when you tripped down the stairs! You’re tired and have a splitting headache. That’s your dehydrated body begging for water. And you are HUNGRY.

Come and have breakfast. A nice cup of tea and some eggs on toast. Skip the bacon – you’ve already got enough extra fat floating around in your blood from last night. Bon appétit!

My random scoops for 8/6/09

Posted on : 08-06-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Colourful taste, Die hard habits, Kids nutrition, Losing it - weight loss & obesity, Mediawatch, Policy watch & public health, Research, Scoops, Super-healthy...er...stuff, Training, exercise & workouts


scoop32j1Digging around I  found these nuggets…

Fat chance of tough love on the obese – Health – NZ Herald News …  Finally, an expert on human nutrition brave enough to tell us what we don’t want to hear …

Cindy here: article is opinionated, totally non-PC – and sensible! It backs up those good old sayings: ‘You are what you eat’ and ‘You reap what you sow’… (here’s my take on this story)

Row erupts over lap-band surgery to combat obesity | The Courier-Mail … OBESITY has become a financial battleground, with heated debate over who will pay for the soaring burden of the overweight on the public purse. This week, the parliamentary report Weighing It Up described obesity as “one of the last bastions of discrimination in our community”. Estimating thousands of morbidly obese people last year cost Australia $58.2 billion, the report urged the Federal Government to recognise obesity as a chronic disease and provide taxpayer-funded treatments – including lapbanding surgery …

Cindy: The numbers may stack up – saving so much on each person who has the operation – but people aren’t numbers. Who’s to say they won’t re-gain the weight?

The Human Condition : Stop Doing Sit-Ups – Why Crunches Don’t Work … Of course, it won’t matter how muscular your torso is if your body fat is too high. The best way to build strong, visible abs isn’t through repeated sit-ups, but by engaging in circuit training that has you working your entire core while you’re burning calories – and to keep yourself disciplined during meals. “If you want to burn your fat mass, make sure you have a combination of weight training and cardiovascular, but 90 percent of good abs is your nutrition …

Cindy: Great – I always hated sit-ups!

Multivitamins linked to younger ‘biological age’: Study

Cindy: Before you rush out to buy some multi-vitamins, read the story. Even the authors say that it could simply be that people who take multivitamin supplements are more healthy anyway.

Why Restaurants Make You Fat – Page 1 – The Daily Beast … Restaurant Syndrome: 1. Eat out. 2. Eat too much. 3. Feel bad. 4. Repeat. The Daily Beast’s Susan B. Roberts on why you do it—and five ways to minimize …

Great story from the USA with some practical tips. But I’m not sure how my family would react if I ‘accidentally’ spilled water on the chips!

Push for nutrition labels on junk food menus | The Courier-Mail … FAST food restaurants could soon be forced to display nutrition labels on menus, as part of the Rudd Government’s crackdown …

Cindy: Hmm… if I was hanging out for a burger and fries I don’t think I’d bother trying to work out which was the healthiest.

Men roasted in the kitchen | The Courier-Mail … ONE in three Australian men barely puts a foot in the kitchen and when he does he tends to be a monotonous cook trying to hog the limelight and demand movie star-like attention. That scathing description has been served up by corporate food producer, Nestle, in a new survey of …

The power of “no”

Posted on : 12-05-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Die hard habits, Kids nutrition


Picture this: you’ve spent hours preparing child friendly mini-meatballs in a naturally colourful home-made tomato sauce. You’ve served it imaginatively on the plate surrounded by a few green peas, beautifully carved carrot sticks, an artistic sprinkle of cheese. You place it on the table before your darling toddler. Her face screws up in disgust. “Yuk! I don’t want it. I’m not hungry”.

There are so many options for a response here: “Look, I’ve spent hours making this” (don’t expect sympathy from a three-year-old); “Well, what would you like instead?” (you’re not a restaurant) to bribery: “If you eat this, you can have some ice cream” (Bingo! This is how to get the sweet stuff!).

Toddlers soon learn if refusing a meal will get them what they really want. It really is a battle of control and we, the parents, need to win.

Put the meal in the fridge and re-heat it when your child gets hungry or at the next meal-time. If it means going to bed with no dinner one night, try to suppress those feelings of sympathy and guilt, and think about the long-term goal. No child ever faded away from missing a meal.

24 tips to stop family and friends making you fat

Posted on : 05-05-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Behaviours, Die hard habits, Losing it - weight loss & obesity


Just as your skirt starts to swing rather than stretch across your hips and your jeans no longer feel like a tourniquet, the weight-loss ‘saboteurs’ step into action. Amazingly, it’s those closest to you – your family and friends – who are most likely to thwart your weight-loss attempts.Do any of these situations seem familiar?

Your mother says, “Darling, you’re fading away. Have another piece of cake.”

Your husband brings home ice cream when he knows you’re trying to lose weight.

You are at a friend’s for dinner and they serve you an enormous slice of your favourite dessert with cream.

Your mates cajole you, “Come on, have another beer.”

You meet friends for coffee and they all order cake.

“Come on, a small piece won’t hurt you. You deserve a treat.”

Your children give you chocolates for your birthday.

You buy treats for the children and then eat them yourself.

Your children want to bake biscuits. Guess who eats the most?

You nibble while feeding the children, finish their leftovers, then eat dinner with your husband.

You’ve just put the kids to bed and slump into the lounge chair. Your husband brings out a cup of tea – with the biscuit tin.

You serve up one of your healthy low-fat meals and the teenagers complain, “Yuk, I’m not eating that rabbit food.”

Kids don’t intentionally sabotage your weight loss!

When I was single, my flatmate and I were obsessed with keeping our weights down so we lived on a spartan diet of tuna, spinach, pasta, low-fat smoothies and GSTs – gin with slimline tonic!

When I became a DINK (double income, no kids) my diet and waistline expanded to accommodate another’s tastes – more meat, more sweets, more wine before and during dinner. But we could still eat breakfast cereal and fruit for dinner if we felt like it.

Once children arrive the routine changes again. Now it’s breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a ‘proper’ dinner. Full cream milk sits next to skim and it sure tastes better than the watery stuff. Kindy and school lunches, friends for morning tea – they all need something to nibble – usually made with sugar and butter. Then the leftovers sit around tempting you at your weakest moments – usually the evening. As your grocery bill sky-rockets with hungry teenagers, so do the temptations. They are constantly eating – and you are constantly shopping and cooking to keep up. It’s hard not to snack when you are surrounded by food!

Children don’t intentionally sabotage your weight-loss. But they do try to get more sweet stuff into the house any way they can. When your children ask if they can make biscuits or fudge, it’s so they can eat it. When your children give you chocolates, they are expecting you to share.

The bulges we hate may be the curves he loves!

Observations on how men and women perceive the ideal body shape note that women are a lot harder on themselves – and each other – than men. Men generally prefer a considerably curvier female shape than women think is ideal. It seems that the very bulges we hate may be the curves he loves! So while you are desperately trying to slim down your hips and thighs, he may be thinking you look fine. Subconsciously deciding that you are needlessly restricting your diet (and his) he brings home a special treat – gourmet ice cream!

“Don’t go changing”

Not many of us like change. We get comfortable where we are and with the people around us. When someone decides to change, it can be threatening. Will he or she be the same person if they lose all that weight? Will they succumb to the inevitable admiring glances and advances that their newly-svelte figure will attract?

Friends also often resist someone in their circle changing – they feel uncomfortable, the routine isn’t the same. It’s a sort of pack mentality. To make themselves feel better they try to pull back into conformity anyone trying to break out of the pack rules.

24 expert tips: Turn saboteurs into supporters

Your Thoughts

1. Diet is a four-letter word: don’t go on a diet. Don’t tell anyone that you are on a diet. You’ll only get caught in the DIG cycle – deprivation, indulgence, guilt. If you think you can’t have something, you will want it more. Allow yourself to eat everything, but less of it and less often.

2. Get to know your body and listen to it before listening to someone else. If you feel tired, have a headache or black rings round your eyes, perhaps your body is pleading for water – not that extra glass of wine or coffee. When you reach for that biscuit to go with tea or coffee, stop for a moment and check if it is really what your body feels like at that moment. Sometimes it is but other times you may only be eating out of habit, to be social or to treat sadness, tiredness, boredom or depression.

Your Friends

3. Give reasons that your friends will accept. Instead of saying “no” to cake because it’s fattening try, “No thanks, I’m full.” Instead of refusing that last beer because you are trying to lose weight, say “I’ve got to be up at 6am for a run/cycle/triathlon/ marathon” – whatever will impress them, and preferably is the truth!”

4. Wear jeans a size too small and mislead your friends into thinking you’ve recently put on weight.

5. Find a support person – someone to be accountable to. Changing any habit is easier with support than going it alone.

Your Family

6. Reassure your mum that you are being sensible, that you are eating from the five food groups and have never felt better. Tell her that you would prefer fruit to cake because it has so many health benefits (not because it has fewer kilojoules). She surely can’t argue with her precious child wanting to be healthy!

7. Be attentive to your friends, family or partner. Don’t let them feel you’re drifting away from them and becoming a different person.

8. Compliment your mother on her cooking. Make sure the amount you eat is not the only way she has to measure your enjoyment.

9. When your birthday or other anniversary is imminent, announce that instead of chocolates you would like flowers, books, a massage, a beauty voucher or perhaps a holiday!

Eating Out

10. Pack a small healthy snack such as unsalted nuts and seeds as an emergency snack during a busy day.

11. Learn to share. Instead of having a whole dessert at a restaurant, say “I don’t think I could squeeze that in – but it is tempting. Will you share one with me?” You friend/partner may not even notice that they eat most of it themselves.

12. Don’t be afraid to share at cafés, too. The portions in a lot of cafés are way too big for many people. It’s most noticeable in muffins and cakes, but can include the panini’s and sandwiches as well. You might be tempted by someone saying “Let’s do it, it’s a treat”, but if you’re buying food at cafés quite often it’s not a treat – it’s food – and you don’t want to overdo it.

13. If someone offers to buy you an ice cream, choose the fruity, ice-based ones rather than the triple decker chocolate-covered super cone.

14. Instead of a dinner date, try a romantic walk along the beach or through the park, or meet for a game of tennis or at the ten-pin bowling ally.

Parties & Entertaining

15. When you get to the party, stand well away from the snack buffet and do more talking: less eating!

16. Use the five bite rule: if someone insists you try a food, take five bites – enough to enjoy it – then put it down.

17. Be helpful. Offer to pass around the food at a friend’s party. It’s hard to eat with your hands full, and it’s a great way to meet people too.

18. At the barbecue or smorgasbord, start with the salads and (non-starchy) veges and fill most of your plate with these lower kilojoule foods. Then go to the meat and carbs and select smaller portions of something really tasty. You don’t have to try everything.

19. Don’t let others serve your food. People like to be generous and will often unconsciously give you too much. Serve your own food so you control the portion size.

20. If someone comments that your plate isn’t very full, reply as heartily as you can manage “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be back for seconds”. Hopefully you can then avoid that person or your scintillating conversation will distract them enough not to notice you don’t do seconds.

21. At dinner, drink lots of water, eat slowly, put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, chat lots so there is less time for eating. If your plate or glass is still quite full, they are less likely to persuade you to have seconds.

Eating In

22. At home, brush your teeth after dinner. It won’t stop you eating but it helps.

23. Make salads your signature dish. Learn to make a variety of interesting salads that you and others can enjoy. We’re talking low-energy high-vegetable dishes here – not your standard Caesar salad.

24. Learn to cook with herbs and spices that add flavour to dishes, so your family are not yearning for foods that are flavoursome solely because of their high fat or sugar content.

Original article written by me (Cindy Williams). Reproduced with permission of Healthy Food Guide magazine www.healthyfood.co.nz