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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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The changing eating habits in Thailand

Posted on : 02-07-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Behaviours, On my plate, Travelling


When I first visited Thailand in 1989 there were no fast food chains – and no overweight Thai people. Twenty years later there are loads of fast food chains and many overweight Thais. It’s a tragedy that the worst of our western food habits has infiltrated this amazing culture.

Videoblog: My Opinion – Dietitians vs Fast Food Big Business

Posted on : 01-11-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Fast foods, Policy watch & public health, Vids


My first attempt at a videoblog. Bear with me, I hope it works!  {2min : 50 sec}

Other stories on how our food is dominated by big business and how it shapes our lives:

My random scoops for 27.6.09

Posted on : 27-06-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Fast foods, Losing it - weight loss & obesity, Maori kai, Scoops



I found these digging through the www … all from down-under!

KFC dumps palm oil Yum! Restaurants, makers of KFC, will ditch palm oil for a healthier alternative, two years after the company stared down the Federal Government and refused to change its ways…

Cindy: Good news for KFC-lovers’ hearts but those deep fried delicacies will be just as fattening – and if the chicken skin is on there’s still a fair whack of saturated fat.  See my post on palm oil chocolate controversy.

Dramatic weight loss on Maori diet – Health – NZ Herald News A dangerously obese man lost 75kg in a year because he reverted to a “hunter-gatherer” diet, says a fitness expert …

Cindy: Good on you, Rob. Hopefully your example will inspire many to get back to basics – lean protein, lots of vegetables and moving your body every day. I bet he didn’t visit KFC – even with their fancy new ‘healthy’ oil!

Junk food TV ads reined in | National News | News.com.au AUSTRALIA’S fast food industry has agreed to a voluntary code to govern the way it markets products to children. The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)  welcomed the move as a “good start”.  “The DAA has been calling for regulation in relation to marketing to children, particularly during children’s television viewing hours, and we support any initiative to improve this,” chief executive Claire Hewat said…

Cindy: You know the thing that really jumped out at me about this story was the title of the review: The Australian Quick Service Restaurant Industry Initiative… I guess ‘The Australian Fast Food or Junk Food Industry Initiative’ just doesn’t sound nice enough! Oh, the power of words. No longer do we talk about ‘husbands’ and ‘wives’, we have ‘partners’, and now we don’t eat fast food, we go to the ‘quick service restaurant’. Doesn’t it make you feel like ‘dining out’ right now!

Healthy eating – 10 training tips for parents {part 2}

Posted on : 21-06-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Behaviours, Kids nutrition, Super-healthy...er...stuff


… continued from yesterday’s post

4. Eat Breakfast

breakfast fruitEating breakfast is one of the most important habits to develop. Even if it is just a banana and a glass of milk, teach your children that some food in their stomach kick-starts the body for the day making it easier to control weight and giving them energy for work, study and play.

5. Listen to your tummy

“If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.” Children are born with the ability to stop eating when they are full. But we sometimes unintentionally over-ride this natural regulating mechanism when we make them finish their meal. I do encourage kids to take a few extra bites of the nutritious bits of the meal if they have left too much. If they insist they are full, I let them off – but they don’t get dessert.

Teach older children to listen to their tummy and ask themselves both quantity and quality questions: “Is my tummy full? Will I feel sick if I eat those extra biscuits? Is this what my body really needs right now?” You are training children to be aware of the many cues around them enticing them to eat, even if they are not hungry. Just because they are at the movies or passing the food hall at the shopping centre, do they really need to eat? If an advertisment shows a gorgeous model eating chocolate biscuits or a famous sportsman eating fast food, ask them if they think eating that food will really help them look like that model or be as fast as that sportsman. Do they eat that stuff in real life? What else do they do to look or perform like that? Will eating a certain food or drink give them the same lifestyle and friends as on the advert? If the answer is yes, are they the type of friends they really want?

6. Sit at the table to eat

There’s a time to play, a time to work, a time to rest and a time to eat. All too often the ‘time to eat’ is all the time! We balance dinner on our lap in front of TV, we stuff in a sandwich while continuing to work, and we grab snacks on the run. Train your children to focus on food when it’s meal time and then forget it until the next meal time. This means eating regular meals, sitting at the table – with no distractions. It not only reduces snacking, grazing and the risk of choking as you run around with food in your mouth, it also teaches social skills such as table manners, how to use a knife and fork, how to talk over a meal and patience to wait while others finish.

7. Eat Slowly

I spend my professional life telling people to slow down and enjoy their food, then find myself at home telling the kids to “hurry up and eat!” As much as we would love our children to finish their meal in minutes rather than hours, it won’t be too many years before we will be nagging those same kids to slow down and chew their food ‘properly’ rather than inhaling it. This is a good time to remind them that it takes about 20 minutes for the message to get from their stomach to their brain that they are full. So eating slowly is great for weight control. It also gives them time to chat – preferably without their mouth full!

8. Enjoy Cooking

Children are more likely to become discerning, adventurous eaters if they know how to cook. OK, we all know of overweight chefs but at the very least your future son or daughter-in-law will thank you! Give children their own apron – it’s half the fun of cooking – and let them help you in the kitchen. Buy a kids cook-book for inspiration and as they become more confident let them cook dinner once a week.

9. No routine visits to fast food outlets

As a child I used to think the kids who had fish and chips every Friday night were so lucky. As an adult I am glad this wasn’t part of my childhood training. If kids are trained to associate fast food with good feelings – as a reward for winning Saturday morning sport or as a fun family outing – what are the chances they will go to the sushi bar as adults?

10. Be a role model

Actions speak louder than words. What we teach should be what we do. Like any elite athlete, put the effort into training your children now and you are sure to reap the rewards later.