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The Pounamu Prophecy - birth of a book Two women, two cultures and an ancient Maori prophecy that will change their lives. That's the tag line for The Pounamu Prophecy - my first novel. It has been a slow process, interrupted by moving...


Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol?Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol? The short answer is yes - you can eat mussels if you have high cholesterol. Mussels are low in kilojoules, cholesterol and fat. The little fat they do have is mostly healthy unsaturated fat with plenty...


Bran MuffinsBran Muffins These bran muffins (adapted from a recipe by Alison Holst) are super filling - a great snack when you are trying to control your weight. Enjoy these muffins with a cup of tea but don't expect to absorb...


Beat the flu with Chicken Noodle Soup It’s Queen’s Birthday holiday today in New Zealand and thank goodness, the sun is shining. I’m sitting in a sunny room writing this post, sheltered from the icy wind blasting up from Antarctica....


My nanna's recipe for homemade Rewena (Maori) bread Rewena Bread Step 1 1 c flour 1 tsp sugar 1 potato Peel and cut potato into small pieces. Place in pot with 1 cup water, lid on, and simmer to mashing consistency. Mash, cool and when luke...


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Scoops! 8.11.2009

Posted on : 08-11-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Bones, Hypertension, Kids nutrition, Losing it - weight loss & obesity, Policy watch & public health, Scoops


scoopdig-nov09Stuff I’ve found digging around on the net … with my take on it ..c

Physical Education Key To Improving Health In Low-income Adolescents School-based physical education plays a key role in curbing obesity and improving fitness among adolescents from low-income communities, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and UC Berkeley.

It’s what we all know: physical activity is good for your body and your mind – and it’s much more fun than sitting in the classroom all day.

TV Bombards Children With Commercials For High-fat And High-sugar Foods Childhood obesity in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions. With more than one fourth of advertising on daytime and prime time television devoted to foods and beverages and continuing questions about the role television plays in obesity, a study in the November/December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

My scoops 24.9.09

Posted on : 24-09-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Scoops, Special diets, Super-healthy...er...stuff


Dug these stories up while surfing around the web…

Supermarket ad trials: your shopping trolley knows what you want — In a move that brings new meaning to the expression “taking the thinking out of shopping”, advertising will be delivered directly to supermarket trolleys based on a shopper’s in-store behaviour and purchasing history.

It could make shopping more entertaining but I prefer to choose my groceries without my trolley telling me what to buy!

The rise and rise of gluten-free — The global market for gluten-free food and drink products has grown exponentially in the past five years with a raft of new products hitting the market. Clear leaders are starting to emerge in what was once a niche.

The gluten free market is growing at almost 30% a year. Pity it’s not my bank account!

Green tea slashes heart disease death risk: Study — Compared to people who drank less than one cup a day, seven or more cups of green tea a day may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by a whopping 75 per cent, report scientists from Okayama University in the Annals of Epidemiology.

Yet another study to remind us why drinking green tea is so good for us. Or is it that if you drink 7 cups a day you just don’t feel like that burger and fries?

Why gluten free foods are booming — Why do so many foods now declare themselves free of gluten – the protein found in grains like wheat, oats, rye and barley? Because around one million Australians are now eating gluten free foods, says Dr Sue Shepherd, a Melbourne dietitian, specialising in gastrointestinal problems.

Too many people think if a food is gluten free it’s more healthy. This is a sensible story that explains the truth about gluten free.

Prostate cancer – the lifestyle changes that (might) help — Prostate and breast cancer might affect different sexes but they share some similarities. They’re both common cancers, both influenced by hormones and both kill similar numbers of people each year.

OK boys – I know you love a good barbie but if you want to keep your prostate in good shape you’ll skimp on the steak and stack on the salad!

My scoops for 30.7.2009

Posted on : 30-07-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Behaviours, Kids nutrition, Losing it - weight loss & obesity, Policy watch & public health, Scoops, Snacks


Found these interesting snippets surfing around the web …

surfer2The price of free choice … When National’s Tony Ryall took over as Health Minister he promised no major structural changes.  He has kept that promise. District health boards and universal subsidies for primary health care are intact. … I agree with free choice but for  many of us  ‘free choice’ does not always equate to ‘good choice’ ..c

How the food industry buried the folic acid plan … The New Zealand Government wants to defer mandatory fortification until 2012 and this week issued a public discussion document which floats that option, along with that of proceeding with the original September start, and pulling out of the rule altogether. … If you have an informed opinion on folic acid supplementation make sure you respond to this public discussion document soon – it’s on a tight time frame ..c

Keep an eye on … Viewed as the healthy children’s snack, these thin crisp rounds grab attention with claims they are 97 per cent fat- and gluten-free. The downside is they’re loaded with salt and flavour enhancers… Parents! – read this. It’s right! Have you ever smelt some of those snacks? Even a tiny pack of some of those rice snacks can stink out a car for days – and it’s definitely not a natural food smell..c

Swiss Company Promises Chocolate Revolution … Chocolate is just as much a part of Switzerland as the Alps. Now, global market leader Barry Callebaut has developed the product that competitors have been hopelessly puzzling over for 60 years — chocolate that doesn’t melt and is low in calories … Melt-proof chocolate with less calories? What will it be made of? I’d rather stick to the real stuff myself ..c

Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Coffee … Coffee doesn’t always make work better, but you can definitely work to get better coffee. From four-cup hotel machines to French presses, from home-roasted beans to decorative foam—we’ve got a wealth of tips for enjoying a better cup… My favourite iced coffee is the Thai style – strong black coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk and poured over a glass of crushed ice. Delicious and naughty ..c

Hunting best buys when eating healthy costs more … WASHINGTON – Obesity experts say the lousy economy threatens to worsen Americans’ already bulging waistlines because bad-for-you food happens to be the cheapest. But there are healthy cheap eats, and new research aims to show how to eke the most … Potatoes, eggs, yoghurt and lean mince – good suggestions for healthy eating in tight times ..c

My scoops for 12.7.2009

Posted on : 12-07-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Food safety, Kids nutrition, Policy watch & public health, Research, Scoops, Super-healthy...er...stuff, Vegetables


Found these digging around on the net … mostly from down under!

dgrGlenn Cardwell: Getting kids to eat their veggies … Vegetables were probably never that big in the human diet. We evolved eating meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, fruits, tubers, fungi, berries and insects because that’s where the kilojoules are. When you need energy (kJs/Cals) each day to survive, why bother eating a leaf (lettuce), a flower (broccoli) or something else that is mainly water …

c: I don’t subscribe to the evolution theory, I’m more a creation girl – it makes me feel more special. And the people I have read about who lived 3-4000 years ago definitely knew their grandparents.  But I love the idea of talking positively to your children about vegetables! What about kids and meat?

Dieticians missed point on story: 60 Minutes – National – NZ Herald News … TV3’s 60 Minutes says criticism by nutrition experts on its report on the effects of food colouring on children was disappointing and failed to focus on the real issue – that Britain is phasing out some artificial colours while New Zealand is doing nothing….

c: Medical and other science experts such as dietitians get exasperated with some media reporters who either deliberately or out of ignorance use anecdoctal evidence or dubious ‘studies’ to sensationalise their story. Of course dietitians don’t condone artificial colours and, whether or not  they cause your kids to ‘lose the plot’, it would be good to see these unnecessary additives phased out.

Editorial: Don’t tinker with our daily bread – Health – NZ Herald News … It is not too difficult to see why many public health authorities support the mandatory fortifying of bread with folic acid. No one questions folate’s effectiveness in reducing the incidence of certain birth defects, notably spina bifida, if it is taken in sufficient quantity around the time a woman becomes pregnant …

c:Nice commentary but there are hints of negative effects on the US population –update today on kiwiblog and read my own folate posts.

Omega-3 deficiency causes 96,000 US deaths per year, say researchers … Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake, according to a new study. The Harvard University researchers looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed …

c: This is really interesting but keep in mind it’s an analysis of numbers – and we all know how they can be manipulated! Still, I’ll be sure to keep up my weekly salmon dinner and salmon sushi snacks – delicious.

A rural town in Australia has voted overwhelmingly to ban the sale of bottled water over concerns about its environmental impact. … Campaigners say Bundanoon, in New South Wales, may be the first community in the world to have such a ban…

c: Good on them! Why pay for something you can get naturally. Bottled water has its place – it’s made it trendy to drink water – that’s got to be a good thing. But if you want to be even more ‘on trend’ and eco-friendly simply drink filtered tap water (see TIME mags megatrend on this).

Blood glucose control ranks high in US death causes

c: From the same mathematical analysis as the omega-3 story.  Blood glucose ranked 5th and omega-3 ranked 6th in preventable causes of death ie it doesn’t include accidents. I’m surprised at inactivity ranking 4th. I’d better go for that bike ride – even though it’s freezing cold outside and I’d rather sit inside and eat cake!

Price of milk too much for many families, study finds – Nutrition – NZ Herald News … Price increases for milk and other dairy products are having a detrimental effect on children’s health, University of Otago researchers say …

c: This means almost 2 out of 3 Kiwi kids don’t drink milk daily – that’s terrible! Instead of cereal with milk what are they eating for breakfast – toast and a can of fizzy? Perhaps we will have to re-introduce milk at schools. How about banana smoothies or Milo instead of sausage sizzles and lollies (see my article on toddlers healthy bones).