NOURISH

All our Nutrition related topics in one spot.


10 SIMPLE HEALTH TIPS FOR BUSY PEOPLE 


1)      Never skip breakfast.
2)     Drink a lot of water throughout the day.
3)     Bring your lunch to work.
4)     Developing good sleeping habits.
5)     Have healthy snacks on hand at all times such as nuts, freshly squeezed juices, fruit, veggies and dips & homemade baking.
6)     Write a shopping list. This saves you time in the grocery store and you’ll be less likely to throw in unhealthy stuff that you really don’t want.
7)     Do one big shop a week when you’re not rushed or hungry – Shopping when hungry or rushed leads to poor food choices or missing important items.
8)     Make extra food to spread over multiple meals
9)     Pay attention to posture

10)  Ten minutes of sunshine

What should my dinner plate look like?


We're often asked how do we know if we're over eating so we've created this easy dinner plate to guide you. Its pretty simple you can eat all the foods you enjoy it comes down to how much and how often? So the best thing at dinner is to decrease our protein and carbohydrates to an appropriate amount and fill up on veggies!! It's a win win situation really!!


HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

Changing your lifestyle to one that is healthier can benefit you in so many ways including:  

1. Benefit your cardiovascular health
By decreasing the amount of saturated fat in your diet and increasing the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunstautared) you can decrease your risk of cardiovascular accidents.
2. Achieve your healthy weight range
Learning about the adequate amount of food groups you should be eating per day ensures we have a great variety of macro and micro nutrients. Just following a 2 fruit, 5 veggie approach can boost the immune system and, because of their low calorie content, help with weight loss.
3. Relieves skin complaints
Limiting additives and preservatives by eating an abundance of natural foods; determining foods that may be causing intolerances; and controlled exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis.
4. Regulates appetite
But altering the types of carbohydrates you eat, the distribution and glycaemic index can help normalise mood changes, appetite control, cravings and satiety.
4. Increases physical movement
Fuelling your body with the right food and snacks and beginning an exercise programme appropriate for your age and health not only increases your fitness, but builds muscle tone, can add bone strength and helps with muscle/joint  fluidity and agility.
5. Detoxifies
Water is vital to thousands of chemical processes that take place in the body's cells to enable it to function. These include promoting digestion, regulating body temperature, improving the health and vitality of our skin and flushing toxins from the body.
6. Helps to regulate sleep
By making healthy lifestyle changes including types of food, when you eat and how your structure your day can help those suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia.





When do you munch?

Diet starts Monday! Sound familiar?


The problem with Monday start diets: What happens by Wednesday? or if you're lucky, by Friday? It's too hard, it's too strict, and just one little piece won't hurt.

It's hard to make big changes in life. The energy and time commitment is often too great. That's why so many people still struggle with their health. The problem is starting the diet and sticking to it. So why not take the opposite approach? Forget about the fad diets, restrictive foods, the grand, amorphous goals of losing weight or getting in shape. Instead, make a life style change. Making small changes over all aspects of your day to day living, that combined can make a big difference. 98% of diets fail so generally you're setting yourself up for not only failure but a down right filthy mood because all you've eaten in 5 days is lemon water and maple syrup.  
So stay tuned on Sunday nights as we will be putting up little tips to get you well and truly on your way. Why Sundays....? Because all though you're starting your new life we figure its hard to break a habit!

Timing...

So there are so many theories going around about how many meals you should have, how often, how much so we thought we would try (and we mean try... nobody is perfect) to clear a few things up.

1.       It's all about what works for you, unless not eating works for you and we suggest incorporating meals into the schedule. Everybody is different because of your gender, height, age, genetics (yes thanks mom for the ghetto booty), work balance, time and mindset so just because your bestie can eat 10 meals a day doesn’t mean you can. Trial and error will get you there and in the end you will find a eating plan that works for you and makes you feel amazing.

2.       Starvation… now this phrase is thrown around quiet frequently in the dieting world. Everyone drags on about starvation and they're right. Even though not eating or crash diets (by crash we mean lemon detox) cause weight loss they are not causing fat to be burned. Mostly you are losing fluid and muscle glycogen hence you weigh lighter and looking thinner but as soon as you start eating it all comes back (not to mention a few extra pounds because often people over reward themselves after a crash). So the point is you need to eat, and you need to eat the right foods.

3.       How much.. So there is a saying that you should eat like a Queen for breakfast, Princess for lunch and pauper for dinner, and we thing that’s it's pretty on track. Look at Kate Middleton, what a babe! It’s better to start the day with a filling meal as it not only kick starts our metabolism but also keeps us form over eating or binging later because we are hungry (yes!! Stop eyeing off the banana bread at the coffee shop, just because banana is an ingredient doesn’t make it healthy). Something like a muesli with yoghurt and grated apple or a poached egg on whole grain toast are good options.  Lunch is next and again keep it filling because its along way to dinner and a lot of you lovely people are likely to be putting in a sweat session after work (and we don’t want to get the 3thirty munchies) but it should be smaller than breakfast. A salad with lean meat (salmon, poached chicken) is high in fibre and protein. Finally, finish the day off with dinner and this should be our smallest meal because we are likely to be less active and we don’t want it sitting in our tummies when we head off to be bed. A lot of models say they don’t eat carbs after 4, so the principle is sorta right. You want to have dinner a full 3-4 hours prior to bed time. This will also help in energy levels, and ease going to sleep.

4.       Snacks…. Now we haven’t mentioned snacks but of course throw them in too. Whatever is easy and accessible for you. Yoghurt, nuts, fruit, small smoothie, dried fruit, muesli/nut bar. For nuts we are looking at ¼ of a cup or enough to fit in the palm of oyur hand. Yogurt no more than 200g (the size of a store bought tub), 1piece of  large fruit (apple, pear) or 2 pieces of small fruit (apricot, kiwi fruit) and for bars check the sugar content and aim for at least 5g of fibre (fibre is what makes us feel full).

5.       Timing…  Breakfast has a 2 hour window from waking up. Longer than that the body will slow down the metabolism and store our glucose and fat differently (and we mean a bad differently). If you workout in the morning try a small snack like 40g of yogurt etc before or you can do a starved workout (What ever feels better for you) but eat immediately afterward (by all means have a shower and get dressed first) and if you are an evening exerciser before dinner wait at least an hour after you workout to have dinner as this optimising the fat burn etc.

Yes there is a lot of changes to your diet and eating times depending on your fitness regimen (protein and carbs straight after and prior to resistance exercise etc) but the above points are the basic principles to follow and for any major manipulations also consult someone in the field like a sports nutritionist/dietitian.

Remember …

You can’t out exercise bad nutrition.


Exercise should be about rewarding your body with endorphins and strength, not punishing your body for what you have eaten.

HYDRATION

Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.

You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act. It can be hard to recognize when you’re dehydrated, especially as you age. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED?


On average a person needs 35-45ml/kg/d so for a person that's
 60kg = 2040ml/d
 70kg = 2450ml/d
 80kg = 2800ml/d
 90kg = 3150ml/d

You also need an additional 600-1000ml per 1 hour of exercise and should generally try and have consumed this by 30 minutes post workout. 

TIPS FOR STAYING HYDRATED


  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, its no calorie, and it’s free!


GLYCAEMIC INDEX




Everyone needs to eat carbohydrates at every meal to give energy to your brain and muscles. All carbohydrate foods break down into sugar in your stomach but they do so at different speeds – some slow, some fast.  TheGlycaemic Index (GI) is a measure of how a carbohydrate food affects the sugar in your blood.
Choosing slow acting carbohydrates in medium serves is better for your overall health.
-        Slow acting Carbohydrates = Low GI food
o    More slowly broken down and has less impact on blood glucose levels
-        Quick acting Carbohydrates = High GI food

o    More quickly broken down and causes higher blood glucose levels

Glycaemic Index of common foods:

LOWER GI
Best choice
MEDIUM GI
Good choice
HIGH GI
Limit intake
Breads
Wholegrain bread, Burgen® breads, Soy and Linseed,
oat-bran based breads,
Country grain, Bakers Delight®Low-GI white bread
Rye bread, light rye bread, crumpets, pita breads, mountain bread wraps
White and wholemeal bread, bagel, gluten free bread
Breakfast Cereals
All bran® fruit and oats,
All bran®, Guardian®, Porridge, Traditional Oats, Sustain®,
Weet-Bix®, Natural Muesli
Untoasted Muesli, Just Right®, Special K®, Fruity Bix®,
Vita Brits®
Sultana Bran®, Bran Flakes®, Coco Pops®, Rice Bubbles®, CornFlakes®
Grains
Pasta, wheat noodles, bulgar, Moolgiri Rice (freedom foods®)
Basmati Rice, Doongara rice, Couscous, Quinoa, Gnocchi
Jasmine rice, brown rice, glutinous rice, short grain rice
Legumes
All beans (e.g. kidney, baked),  chickpeas and lentils

Broad beans
Starchy Vegetables
Corn, butternut pumpkin, parsnip, green peas
Sweet potato, Beetroot
White Potato (Nicola or almera, hot chips
Note: Most vegetables contain very little carbohydrate so do not affect blood sugar levels. Aim to eat at least 3 cups of non-starchy vegetables every day.
Fruit
Apple, pear, orange, plums, peach, nectarine, kiwi fruit, grapes, mango, banana (firm)
Rockmelon, pineapple, cherries, sultanas, apricots
Watermelon, dates, banana (ripe), most dried fruit
Low Fat Dairy
All varieties of cow and sow milk, yoghurt, custard. Yoplait le-rice


Savoury Biscuits
Vita weat®, Ryvita®
Rice-corn cakes
Water crackers, Sao®, Savoys®, Sakata®, Cheds
Sweet Biscuits
Oatmeal biscuits,
 Snack Right Fruit Slice®
Digestives, Milk arrowroot
Tim tams®, Oreo®, Choc Chip cookies, Wafer biscuits

Meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs and cheese do not contain any carbohydrate and will not increase your blood sugar levels. But these foods are high in fats so should not be eaten in excess


Snacking


Lunch was hours ago, but your stomach is growling and dinner isn’t for another 3 hours.. sound familiar? You're contemplating a chocolate bar or grabbing that banana bread form the office café but the guilt is too much to bear. If you think that your best option is to avoid a snack altogether and wait for the next meal, think again.
One of the biggest myths about snacking is that it is an unhealthy habit. The truth is that it's not snacking that is bad, but rather the type of food and quantities that people choose. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your optimum health goal.
The Benefits of Snacks
Although you may feel guilty about snacking, it can be beneficial to eat smaller meals with snacks across the day instead of large meals just a few times a day. Here's how healthy snacking can help you:
·         Prevent overeating. Snacking between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by controlling the feeling to binge or overeat at your next meal. The best way to describe this is often I get clients that will only have one slice of toast a breakfast but by mid-morning find they’re starving and often going for something quick and easy with their coffee or controlling temptation but are so hungry by lunch that they eat the first thing (usually quick and easy) they see… pie, dim sim, slice of pizza, subway etc.

·         Boost of energy and nutrients. Healthy snacks provide fibre and nutrients your body needs to keep you energized throughout the day. Fibre is what help us feel full so instead of the body fluctuating between full>hungry it maintains a more even level of satiety. So our energy across the becomes more closely regulated and so does your level of productivity.

Make Snacks a Healthy Part of Your Life
The real challenge is what kind of food you eat and how much. There are many easy ways to incorporate snacking into a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to make snacking work for you:
·         Avoid consistent snacking of foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Pretty much if the snack is bite size (potato chips, sakata, savoys, biscuits) its bad news. These snacks tend to have little or no nutritional value, have addictive flavours (that often taste better washed down with soft drink)  and are also hard to monitor (how do you know if you’ve had 5 or 15). The key to healthy snacking is to eat more frequent, yet small portions. Buy small packages of food to avoid binge eating and don't snack out of the box.
·         Always have snacks available. A healthy lifestyle always comes down to organisation. So portion out some  trial mix at the start of the week so it’s ready to grab and go, keep healthy snacks like dried fruit in a desk drawer, fresh fruit in the fridge or muesli bars in the car.
·         Only snack if you are hungry. The point of healthy snacking is to quench hunger while being health conscious, so don't snack if you aren't really hungry. A leading cause of overeating happens because of boredom or social eating, so be careful not to fall into this trap.
With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.
What we suggest:

  • -       Low fat yogurt   
  • - Fresh fruit    
  • - Raw nuts/seeds     
  •   - low sugar muesli bars    
  •   - chopped veggies


Supplements and Exercise

"Protein supplements are generally overused. The recommended dietary intake of protein for an average Joe is easily achieved through diet alone. For the ultra-fit I see a place for protein supplements as their needs and total energy requirements are slightly higher."


The first thing I ask someone who loves to tell me all an out their protein shakes is: "Do you know how much protein you need a day?" If that answer is no then you don't need a protein supplement!
Don't get me wrong Protein supps definitely have a valid place but that is with athletes on a structured resistance training program, endurance athletes, athletes with high training loads not a person who does Bi's + Tri's twice a week! Half the time these gym users end up consuming more calories then they have burned to begin with, not to mention choosing the wrong protein for their body and often consuming in excess. Protein supplements achieve results based on program type & frequency, protein type (complete/incomplete BCAAs), and timing of consumption.

If you feel you want to commence a new program that's great! If you want to support this with maximal protein even better but before you take advice form the jacked up guy who hogs the free weights we recommend consulting a GP, Exercise physiologist or Dietitian as these guys are qualified experts in the area and will ensure you're getting the right amount at the right time (and right price) to see maximal results.

In the mean time here is the down-lo or protein!

Why does your body need protein?
Protein is required to build new cells. Every cell and organ in your body needs protein. Muscle, skin, hair, bone, and connective tissue contain protein. To live and function properly, your body needs protein.
How much protein do you need in a day?
It's been reported by American and Australian health bodies, along with the World Health Organisation, that men and women require approximately 0.8g of protein per 1kg in body weight.
*      80kg man requires approximately 64g of protein per day
*      60kg woman requires 48g per day.
Do you know how much protein is in the food you eat?
*      250g portion of salmon, steak, chicken or pork loin all contain between 50g to 60g of protein.
*      Three eggs contain 20g of protein
*      1cup milk contains 9g
Like your food a bit faster?
*      Double Whopper with Cheese contains 55g
*      3 KFC Original Recipe Thighs contains 62g
*      Domino's BBQ Meat Lover's Pizza contains 77g
Fresh, fast, or a combination of both … if you live in a Western country, you're most likely hitting your required protein intake every day, week, and year.
Do I need supplements?
The average gym user does not need any form of supplementation. Natural varieties (without all the hidden nasties) can complement a wholefoods nutrient-dense diet; assisting people to feel full, shed fat mass, or gain lean muscle.



The A-Z foodanary

 

Avocados


Avocados

Avocados are a superfood Yes, avocados are relatively high in fat and calories (138 calories and 14.1g fat in half a medium-sized avocado). But they're also one of the best foods you can eat, packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds. Here are five great reasons to eat them regularly. They contain omega 3 which are good fats. Avocados are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. Avocados are a great source of lutein, a carotenoid that works as an antioxidant and helps protect against eye disease. Avocados also contain oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full. As well as increasing feelings of fullness, the oleic acid in avocados can help reduce cholesterol levels.

ALMONDS (activated)



They are normal almonds that have been soaked in alkaline water and Celtic salt and then dehydrated slowly to protect all the vitamins, nutrients, minerals and enzymes whilst re-establishing their crunch.


BANANAS

Bananas


Whether or not you like the taste and texture of bananas (some people dislike the latter), there is no denying that they are nutritious, as well as handy to eat, coming as they do in their own natural, biodegradable "wrapper." They are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and magnesium, but free of sodium and cholesterol. They are almost fat free, and relatively low in calories. Depending on its size, a banana has only about 90 to 110 calories. They contain high-grade protein and three of the essential amino acids.

Blueberries


Our raw little indigo friend often added to muesli and porridge but how good is it really? Many claim it to be a superfood but is it packing the punch or just mediocre....
Nutritionally it has 351kj per 1cup and can be broken down into 91% carbohydrate, 5% protein and 4% fat and it has a glyceamic load of 6 (out of 250). It claims as being antioxidant rich are spot on (per 1 cup) with an inflammatory factor of -28 not to mention being a good source of magnesium (25%), vitamin K (36%) and Vitamin C (24%).

Positive effects:

 - Good source of Antioxidants... Blueberries are one of the richest sources of   proanthocyanidins.  These phytonutrients decrease free radicals levels that are linked to aging (yes wrinkling!) and disease.
-   Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular.  According to research at Tufts University, regularly ingesting catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss
-  Helps prevent burst capillaries and varicose veins
-  Contain vitamin E 

Coconut water



Coconut Water

Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.
It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

Ideally getting it strait form a coconut is the best option however there are some great grab and go brands out there just be careful to check the label for any added ingredients!

Dates


Phoenix dactylifera more commonly known as a Medjool or humble Date. Sweet, delicious fruit from the tropical oasis, brimming with much-needed minerals and energy to help you stay fit and healthy. Per 100g Dates have 277calories, 1.8g fat, 6.7g fibre (18% of your RDA). 15 µg of folate (4%), 0.8mg of B5 (16%), 0.25mg of B6 (19%), 696mg of potassium (16%), 0.36mg of Copper (40%), 0.9mg of Iron (11%), 54mg of Magnesium (13%). 


Dates are one of the very best sweet and versatile foods that can regulate the digestive process. It can significantly boost energy levels in people within half an hour of consuming it. The American Cancer Society recommends an intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day, which can be supplied through dates. It is also said that taking one date per a day will help you to maintain your eye health all your life. 


Other health benefits include:


Constipation: Dates are often categorized as a laxative food. This is why dates are so frequently eaten by people suffering from constipation. Dates have high levels of soluble fiber, which is essential in promoting healthy bowel movements and the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract, which can relieve symptoms of constipation.

Bone Health and Strength: The significant amounts of minerals found in dates make it a super food for strengthening bones and fighting off painful and debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength.

Intestinal Disorders: The nicotine content in dates is thought to be beneficial for curing many kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to inhibit growth of the pathological organisms and thus, they help stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. In terms of digestive issues, dates contain those insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and make it more efficient.

Anemia: Dates have a high mineral content, which is beneficial for many different health conditions, but their impressive levels of iron make them a perfect dietary supplement for people suffering from anemia. The high level of iron balances out the inherent lack of iron in anemic patients, increasing energy and strength, while decreasing feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.


Energy Booster: Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Therefore, they are the perfect snack for an immediate burst of energy. Many people around the world use dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish.

Kiwifruit



People are attracted to kiwifruit because of its brilliant green color and exotic taste. But, the real uniqueness of kiwi fruit comes from its health benefits, So how super is this superfood?

Ironically the kiwi fruit is actually not native to New Zealand rather China to be precise. Originally names Yang Tao it was renamed the Chinese Gooseberry in 1960 then renamed kiwi fruit after its importation into the US from New Zealand. Now the kiwifruit is grown commercially in Australia and New Zealand.

Kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense of the top 26 fruits consumed in the world today. 
Kiwifruit is a nutrient-dense fruit that only provides 90 calories per 148-gram serving, most of which come from the 20 grams of carbohydrates present in the fruit. A serving of kiwifruit also provides 16 percent of the daily requirements, of dietary fiber. A single serving of kiwifruit provides 240 percent of the daily requirement, of vitamin C. Kiwifruit also provides about 10 percent of the daily requirements of 
folate, a nutrient that aids in the formation of red blood cells. Health Benefits Kiwifruit contains lutein, an antioxidant that plays an important role in preventing loss of eyesight due to age-related macular degeneration. Antioxidants in kiwifruit may decrease symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and shortness of breath in children. 
Eating kiwi fruit is clearly a healthy choice, and it is particularly useful in these cases:
  • Prevents Asthma
  • Prevents wheezing and coughing, especially in children
  • Protects our DNA from mutations
  • Provides a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins which helps improve immunity, fights signs of     aging, heals wounds
  • Helps prevent colon cancer thanks to a high fiber content
  • which helps to lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood cholesterol levels.

 The key to enjoying kiwifruit is to eat it when it is ripe and sweet. Kiwifruit can be eaten any time of the day, and you can start your day with a kiwifruit smoothie or make kiwifruit pancakes for breakfast. For lunch, add the emerald green flesh of kiwifruit to shrimp or chicken salad. You can even use pureed kiwifruit as a marinade for meats or for making a healthy dessert sauce to top your favorite ice cream.

Steak


Organic, wagyu, aged, grass fed, grain fed, kobe, veal or marbled its all a little confusing. So we thought we would put you on the straight and narrow with Steak 101. Now this isn't about setting the record straight for those dining on a 7 course degustation menu but for the everyday person (who is hopefully health conscious) choosing a nourishing steak for dinner.

So which would you pick Grass-fed Black Angus or grain-fed Wagyu?
Wagyu.... urghrrr  wrong.

Over the last decade where there has been a rise in pop culture and paying exorbitant dollars for food has become a standard practice it was easily believed that grain fed beef is quality product, the Pièce de résistance shall I say and while it may be tender and flavoursome, in terms of good health it is not the best for you or the animal.

So what’s the problem?

It starts with how cows digest there food. Cows have four chambers in their stomachs (trust me it gets worse) and are hence known as ruminants. They digest plant based food by softening it in their first stomach, known as the rumen, before regurgitating the semi-digested food, and chewing it again to break it down further (chewing their cud). Finally, the food enters the last section of the stomach, the true stomach, where digestive juices mix with the food and start it on its way to the intestine to be completely digested.  *insert cringe*
Grass-fed also known as pasture fed cattle (Most Victorian and Tasmanian cattle) are put in paddocks and once weaned off their mother’s milk are left to graze on paddocks on pasture, bails or silage (the latter two being forms of cut and dried grass).
 Alternatively grain fed Cattle are enclosed for periods ranging from 60 to 300 days and fed on a variety of grains to "fatten them up".  Grains are more nutrient dense then pasture that combined with inactivity from enclosure the meat becomes marbled (fine threads of fat through the meat muscle) which therefore means the steak remains juicier (read fatty) after cooking. 
So while the meat may be considered juicy and tender, why does this matter and how does this affect our health? 

Simple..

A US study found that beef from grass fed cattle contained almost double the quantities of beta-carotene, almost three times the amount of Vitamin E, sixty percent more Omega 3 fatty acids and a more favourable Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Grain fed cattle contains more saturated fat and consequently more calories. Aside from the well documented research on Omega 3 fats and their role in preventing heart disease and reducing inflammation, the balance of fatty acid concentration in the brain is believed to be particularly supportive in cognitive and behavioral function. 
Grass fed cattle also boosts the amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) in the beef. This important fatty acid is believed to have a role in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and accumulation of body fat.

& the cow’s health…
There are also long term health and welfare issues to be considered for these cattle being grain fed. Not only are there ethical problems from long term penning and overcrowding the digestive health of these animals must also be considered. The shift from high-fibre grass to high-energy reduced fibre grain foods takes its toll on the health of cattle too with complications such as Bloating, acidosis, rumen ulcers, liver abscesses (all can be fatal) and lameness reported in increasing incidences.  

So how to I avoid this?
Make the choice
Most packaged meat (supermarkets) will state whether the meat is grain-fed or grass-fed. The cut of meat determines the amount of fat in it. The leaner options are always the least marbled (eye fillet, sirloin, top round) and as marbling increases so to the fat content (t-bone, skirt, ribeye, new york). Your best options not only for freshness but for your back pocket ($$) are to find a good butcher as they are a wealth of information, form best cuts for certain meals, breed of cattle (Angus, Hereford) to where the meat has been sourced from (state).  

For us the choice is easy Grass-fed all the way (and avoid veal... this is "tortured baby animal"  aka meat from calves < 3 months of age, often tied up to increase the tenderness of muscle). Grass-fed is not only healthier for you but for the cow. Really being bred to be eaten is bad enough at least give them a chilled life in a paddock somewhere. 


 Finally remember a serving of meat is 100g (but we do think about a 150g steak is perfect at dinner), to trim any visible fat off before cooking (decreases sat. fat content and calories) and to not overcook it. Chefs say a perfect steak is medium rare.

Tomato



Tomatoes! They’re sweet, juicy, and delicious. Everyone knows they are good for you, right? Uh, yeah, sure. Does everyone know specifically why tomatoes are a healthful food? Ummm… They have vitamin C? They’re low in calories? They’re fat-free? Yes, yes, and yes, but that’s not all!

Let’s look at what makes the tomato an excellent healthy choice.

One medium whole tomato contains around 22 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of protein and 6 milligrams of sodium. It also provides 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 20 percent of the RDA of vitamin A. That's pretty good stats for a something 94% water.

Studies have also found the benefits of tomato to:

  • Ward off cancer:  A substance called lycopene, which is responsible for tomatoes red color, is thought to be the reason for this cancer protective effect. 
  • Prevent DNA damage:Tomatoes are high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A. these are beneficial in fighting free radicals
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease: just 7 to 10 servings of tomato products per week had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease in women. These is because fo there vitamin and mineral composition.
  • Improve and protect complexion: Tomatoes make your skin look great. Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage. Tomatoes’ lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.