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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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I can only eat soft food. How do I get enough fibre?

Posted on : 04-09-2011 | By : Cindy | In : Uncategorized


No nuts, no crunchy apples, no carrots, no hard grains. In the short hour that it took to stick braces on my teeth my diet abruptly changed to soft. As I tentatively nibbled through my first brace-filled meal I remembered those days as a dietitian on the geriatric ward, helping elderly people with sunken mouths and few teeth to order a soft diet. I never really appreciated how difficult and frustrating it was to be unable to chew or taste food – until now.

What I was most concerned about was how would I get enough fibre without my usual grainy toast, nutty muesli, crunchy fruit, and crisp vegetables?

Lentil pumpkin soup

Posted on : 21-08-2011 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes


Lentil pumpkin soup is my latest invention for a no-fuss, high fibre meal. I’ve been eating it for lunch over the past week. Just a quick re-heat in the microwave and I can hobble back to rest up my sprained foot. I usually eat an orange afterwards – the vitamin C quadruples the amount of iron I absorb out of the lentils.

It’s somewhere between soup and dahl, and it’s delicious and cheap! I have to admit that I have no exact quantities for this recipe – I just chuck it all together! If you want it thicker, add more lentils; if you prefer it thinner, add more stock or water. Enjoy!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 pumpkin (750-950g), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups reduced salt chicken stock
  • 1-2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Lemon juice and iodised salt

Place onion, garlic, pumpkin, lentils, stock and cumin in a large pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Blend until smooth. (I use a stick blender which I put straight into the pot.)

Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Add more cumin if you like. The combination of these three flavourings is what transforms the soup into something special.

Let me know if you like it…

Vegetable soup with dried beans, peas and lentils

Posted on : 11-05-2011 | By : Cindy | In : Vegetables


“Do I need to soak lentils?” My friend and I were in the lentil aisle at ‘About Life’ – our local health food shop in Rozelle. After the past few weeks of visitors I was ready to detox with a hearty pot of lentil and vegetable soup. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight without feeling hungry. And it is so healthy.

I found a pack of soup mix which contained yellow split peas, green split peas, red lentils, green lentils, chick peas, white beans, pinto beans, red beans and blackeye beans. Just 100 grams of this mix, which is about a cup, provides 18 grams of fibre. That’s about the same kilojoules but three times more fibre than 100 grams of my healthy soy and linseed bread. No wonder a bowl of this soup is filling.

Legumes provide protein which keeps you feeling full for longer. And they are an important source of iron for vegetarians. If you are relying on legumes for iron make sure you eat some vitamin C

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.