Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…


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Recipe: Crushed Blueberry Smoothie

If you’re after a cooling refreshing drink that’s packed full of tummy-friendly goodness you’ve got to try this recipe!

Ingredients:
Blueberries x 10
Natural yoghurt x 2 tbsp
Almond milk or water x 150ml
Whey protein x 25gm

Method:
Place in blender and whizz!

Nutrition notes:
Combining the antioxidant effects of blueberries with the enzymes and probiotics of natural yoghurt this drink will make your tummy buzz (literally!) with excitement. Whey protein balances blood sugar levels.

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Tasty Gluten Free Snacks – by a Nutritionist

Gluten Free Snacks

 

If you are trying to avoid gluten because you are intolerant to it or simply like to branch out a little and reduce your gluten intake then this guide to tasty gluten free snacks is for you. These snacks are all readily available in supermarkets and health food stores and are a great substitute for a chocolate bar as they are all chocolate based.”Why chocolate?” you may ask… Because who doesn’t like chocolate?! Well okay some may not but I love it and it’s easier to compare the nutritional value of like for like products. Or not like for not like if you don’t ‘like’ chocolate. In which case you will have to wait for my next post about something that is non-chocolatey ūüėČ

Here is a photo of the products I have reviewed below… Continue reading


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10 Steps to beat your sugar addiction

10 steps to beat your sugar addiction:

1. Clean out your kitchen beat sugar addiction
Check your labels and throw out anything that has sugar as the first ingredient. Ingredients are listed in order of volume so if sugar is first then the product is predominantly sugar. Packaged products should have less than 5 ingredients in them.

2. Learn what sugar is also known as
Rice syrup, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup. The list is long and you should get to know what sugar is hidden as.

3. Ditch artificial sweeteners
While artificial sweeteners don’t contain sugar they do have an impact on blood sugar levels. They may not contain calories but the body is tricked into thinking it has had sugar and it releases insulin which makes you feel you need more sugar.

4. Eat clean foods
The cleaner your diet the better you will feel. Remove hydrogenated oils like corn and soybean, anything pre-cooked or altered from its natural state such as margarine. If you feel good you won’t need sugar as an artificial energy boost.

5. Get some supplements
Supplements such as Chromium have been shown to decrease cravings for sugar. Just 50mcg per day can reduce that afternoon sugar craving that many of us have.

6. Meditate
Meditating to break the cycle of mindless eating is a powerful tool that many people are now using. When you sit down for a meal take a moment to have a deep breath, smell your food and appreciate what it is that you are eating.

7. Find pleasure
Taking pleasure from other things in life can decrease your need or desire for ‚Äėsweetness‚Äô from sugar. Get your sweet treat from a massage, a walk in a field or some beautiful music.

8. Do squats
Squats and press ups have been shown to decrease post eating blood glucose levels by 62%! Doing just 5 mins of squats after you eat can reduce the impact that sugar can have on you. Additionally and most importantly if your blood sugar levels are stable you are less likely to crave sugar.

9. Drink Lemon juice
Consuming 4 tablespoons of lemon juice prior to a meal can again reduce the blood sugar impact. Even if it’s not sugar but a carbohydrate meal your body will thank you for this simple and easy tool that will stabilise your blood sugar levels.

10. Find sweet replacements
If you do like to have something sweet its best to factor it in and count your sugar levels that day, mindfully allowing for the sugar. Or better still use products such as 80% dark chocolate that contain less sugar or use Stevia, a healthy sugar replacement.

Following these 10 steps will help you to reduce your sugar addiction as well as boosting energy. You will feel better both physically and emotionally when you eat clean and mindfully. As a bonus the sum of small changes such as squats and a better diet will boost your metabolism and as a bonus it will boost fat loss; to burn fat you must first burn sugar. Limit sugar and your body has the opportunity to burn fat.

If you would like to take it one step further you can try my free detox program here.


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7 surprising benefits of Spirulina

7 surprising benefits of Spirulina by Emma Nutrition

Spirulina is a blue-green algae¬†found in the sea. Its closest food relative is oysters. While I love the benefits of oysters the texture is only something I can handle every now and then, whereas Spirulina I can enjoy every day….and its not quite as intense as downing an oyster ūüėČ

1. Vitamin B12 РSpirulina is a superfood that combines maximum nutritional value within the smallest calorie and consumption volume necessary. In fact just one teaspoon of spirulina provides 7 times more Vitamin 12 than mackerel and is higher than the densest Vitamin B12 containing food of clams. Vitamin B12 is used for loads of complex reactions in the body; avoiding fatigue and pernicious anaemia.

2. Full of fibre –¬†Fibre helps us to feel fuller for longer as well as acting like a gentle brush in the intestines cleaning out debris of food that is undigested and fermenting (in a bad way). If you are finding it difficult to eat enough vegetables then you can try Spirulina for a fibre packed health kick. It provides one fourteenth of your daily requirement of fibre in an easy to consume supplement. Some people claim it helps with weight loss too.

3. Calcium – Spirulina contains more Calcium than milk. In fact it contains twice the amount that milk does. 100gm of Spirulina contains 220mg of Calcium whereas 100gm/ml of milk contains 120mg of Calcium. Sardines with bones and almonds are the only foods that contain more Calcium than Spirulina.

4. Protein – Spirulina contains more protein than most foods! Of course we wouldn’t gorge ourselves on spirulina steaks but it’s useful to know that we can get some of our daily protein requirements from it. While eggs contain 12 gm of protein per 100gm, Spirulina contains a whopping 56gm per 100gm.

5. Iron Рhigher than any other food in Iron Spirulina packs a punch on the Iron stakes. Another natural source of highly absorbable Iron is Spatone iron supplements. Adding both of these to your diet will ensure you have enough minerals for high energy and metabolism.

6. Zinc – important for fertility, sexual health and skin healing Zinc is the ultimate mojo-rejuvenating mineral. Spirulina contains twice as much Zinc as spinach but much less than oysters. Oysters are, after all, the ultimate love food!

7. Potassium – the most important electrolyte for athletes as well as after illness and for low carb dieters too. Potassium is an essential mineral. With nearly twice as much Potassium as a banana, the potassium in Spirulina can help to maintain electrolyte balance and prevent high blood pressure.

FYI I find its¬†more palatable¬†in warm (not hot) water than cold. These are the best blends I’ve found.¬†

Emma

Have you tried Spirulina? How did you find the taste of it?

Image courtesy of CCRES


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Keep your eye on the health *PRISE* with whey protein

If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, says Skidmore College exercise scientist Paul Arciero. The clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), endurance exercise, and moderate amounts of protein consumed regularly throughout the day have been demonstrated by Arciero.

Arciero enlisted 36 female and 21 male volunteers between the ages of 35 and 57 who could clearly be described as out of shape. They exercised less than 60 minutes per week, had done noresistance training within the last ten years, and could be described as obese or overweight, with an average body mass index of 28.6 and average body fat percentage of 36.6.

Dividing his subjects randomly into three groups, Arciero conducted a 16-week trial in which all subjects¬†consumed¬†the same amount of whey protein — 60 grams daily — but exercised differently. One group was sedentary, another was called on to perform intense resistance training four times per week, and the third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching led by a yoga instructor, and endurance exercise.

When the trial ended, Arciero found that those who had followed the multidimensional regimen showed the greatest:

  • health improvements
  • reductions in body weight
  • reductions in total and abdominal (visceral) fat mass
  • reductions in waist circumference
  • reductions in blood glucose
  • increase in percentage of lean body mass

Interestingly, all groups showed improvements, even those who maintained a sedentary lifestyle during the period and simply ate the assigned daily regimen of 60 grams of whey¬†protein. That finding supports an earlier study by Arciero’s team that found increasing the amount of protein in one’s diet to as much as 35 percent will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat.

To make the regimen easy for the public to remember, Arciero has coined the acronym, “PRISE.”

Protein

Resistance

Interval

Stretching

Endurance.

“After all, it’s about ‘keeping your ‘eye on the PRISE’ in order to achieve optimal health,” he says.

Have you experienced improvements in your health through whey protein or changing your exercise around?

Emma

Reference:

P. J. Arciero, D. Baur, S. Connelly, M. J. Ormsbee. Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00152.2014


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Nutritional Lab Tests [available now!]

Finally I’m so excited to let you know that I’m offering¬†lab tests¬†as a service without your needing to have a full consultation. You can also have a consultation if you like and it would be my pleasure to help you out with your health enquiry ūüôā

Did you know that a Lab test can reveal where your health is really at? If you’ve¬†ever thought you may have¬†low Iron levels,¬†an under-active thyroid or your hormones are out of whack a lab tests can show you alot more info than you probably thought.¬†Lab tests with Emma Nutrition

Your GP practice is not the only place to¬†order functional lab testing. In fact, a functional practitioner can offer analysis of results in quite a different way. For example if your thryoid test comes back as ‘normal’ do you know what this means? It means that your thyroid is functioning in a way that fits into the middle range¬†of the population. That population is made up of well people, sick people, old people, young people etc. A sample of these people are tested and the middle range is then set as the ‘normal’ range. Obviously this works statistically but its not specific and certainly not tailored to individuals. What is going on in YOUR body is what you want to know! Well that’s what I want to know when I have a test done. As much as I¬†care for my elderly neighbour I’m not interested in how MY results compare to HERS or how YOURS to OTHERS but more what YOUR results mean to you and your health. If you want to know what’s really going in your body a lab test is a solid objective way to measure but make sure you get it analysed by someone who has functional diagnostics knowledge. For those who are interested I did¬†my training with Dicken Wetherby and I keep up to date with his courses and books as well as with Invivo Clinical, Genova Diagnostics and Diagnostechs as well as¬†independent¬†laboratories.

Previously you’ve¬†only been offered tests within consultations but now¬†you can¬†order tests directly¬†without a full consultation.

Tests available:

Adrenal Stress Profile Test

Hair Mineral Analysis Test

Click the links to see sample results, prices and get more information.

Emma

Don’t forget to sign up for the hottest health news if you’re not already on the list!

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Why you should ditch your beauty products!

As a firm believer in keeping things as simple as possible I am in the process of ditching the whole bathroom cupboard full of ‘stuff’. By stuff I mean chemicals… I’ve long toyed with natural products and gone natural whenever I can. The difference in my skin when I go natural, and when I increase my nutrient levels, is extraordinary – I¬†was pretty pleased when my beautician told me I had beautiful skin and I don’t THINK¬†she said it to butter me up….incidentally if you want to give your skin a huge plumpness boost try upping your dose of Vitamin C. Personally I need 4-8gm per day during the winter. Anyhow…DIY Baby Wipes

Recently Moo Goo skin care sent me some samples to try and they were AMAZING. I may have good skin but my scalp is a mess;¬†too many years of dying my blonde hair dark obviously…erm my mousey brown hair to blonde I mean. One wash with their shampoo and conditioner and my scalp was markedly less irritated. Once I added in their scalp cream my scalp felt like it could breathe again. I have now thrown out all of my other shampoo’s and am even aiming to learn to make my own dry shampoo (the godsend product for all busy mum’s!).

Anyhow, there is a stack of information around about chemicals in skin care but where do you start? A few years ago I worked on developing a skin care product range based on Manuka Honey and the project seemed to be never-ending! It was a minefield of unwanted and unused chemicals with contraindications but the chemicals are popular for two reasons: Continue reading


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Expert Interviews – Digestive Wellness Series

Did you know that IBS is one of the most common digestive problems experienced by 10-15% of the population at some point in their lives. IBS sufferers are thought to account for: woman holding belly

  • 3.5 million Physician visits each year
  • $8 US billion in medical costs[1].
  • 40% of all referrals to hospital Gastroenterologists in the UK[2]

….and yet

90% of patients are still symptomatic 5 years later!

These stats and my own personal and professional experience with Digestive Wellness have prompted me to get in touch with some of the top experts on Digestive health and run some interviews. I’m so excited to be doing this and hope that as many people as possible will listen to the series, learn cutting edge info and get the help they deserve.

To get on the earlybird list for the series register here!

To hear my Intro (and first foray into podcast-ing!) listen here by clicking on the play button:


[1] (Viera AJ, 2002)

[2] (Murga M, 1998)

 

Image courtesy of: James Island Chiropractic

 


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What is a whole grain?

Have you ever wondered what a whole grain actually is? We hear the term and think ‘oh that’s something made with whole grains in it or with brown flour’ but what exactly does the term ‘whole grain’ really mean?Wheat

What many of us may not realize is that there is no complete, legally endorsed definition of what comprises whole grain. Which means, for instance, that 35% whole grain on one food label could mean something quite different than 35% whole grain on another. There is now an updated definition ‚Äď termed HEALTHGRAIN — that is a step toward creating a common understanding of what ‚Äúwhole grain‚ÄĚ implies.¬†Current definitions are often incomplete, lacking descriptions of the included grains and the permitted flour manufacturing processes.

“Most cereal products, like white bread, pasta, and biscuits, are based on flour after removal of bran and germ, the two parts of grain kernels containing most of the dietary fibre and other bioactive components. In the past decade, consumers have been rediscovering whole grain-based products and the number of wholegrain products has increased rapidly.” – you can find an abstract of the study here or my copy of the actual report is here. Continue reading


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The Bliss Point – thoughts on Sugar

Have you seen any of¬†the recent TV shows on sugar? It’s about time this information finally surfaced! The sugar industry is big bucks and while most of us are probably aware that it contains empty calories, did you know that our body reacts to it like its a drug? Ever noticed how sometimes you just cant stop eating it?

I watch my kids when we go somewhere that serves them sugar – jelly or fruit juice etc and they firstly resemble drug-addicts; unable to get enough of the ‘good stuff’. They then become hyperactive and irrational for 20 mins. This is followed by, for me, the scariest part of the sugar-drug-rush and its the sugar-stupor. They cant think, they are grumpy and generally need a sleep at inopportune times. The sugar-stupor isn’t limited to our kids and some believe its not an acute symptom but a long-term real social and physical problem.

Are you too Stupid?

Choose sugar or you are stupid..?

Back to The Bliss Point…the perfect marriage of fat, salt and sugar. The point at which the texture or mouth-feel is soft and buttery, the flavour is intense without being overpowering and the feelgood factor exists. The bliss point is individual and is an acquired taste however it is also cultural and generic to a point. The more sugar you eat, the more you will want to eat as the less other food tastes good. Recently I tried removing salt from my diet and now the tiniest bit of salt is too tasty for me. It works the same way for sugar.

Robert Lustig believes that sugar is the cause of diabetes. His talk on sugar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM is well worth watching; I have watched it 3 times and get something new every time. High fructose (fruit sugar) corn syrup is used in soft drinks, soups, processed foods and has been studied as a contributor to heart disease markers eg trigylcerides, cholesterol etc. When testing for the markers of heart disease one common theme, or associated risk, is an increases in visceral adiposity – the fat surrounding the liver, kidneys, bowel. When healthy students were given a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) drink for 2 weeks all of their cardiovascular disease risk factors increased.

At the 1999 get together of top food industry executives they received a presentation on ‘Responding to the challenge of childhood obesity’. This presentation told these execs that the environment that encourages obesity is the “Ubiquity of inexpensive, good-tasting, super-sized, energy-dense foods.” They scoffed at this theory. In 1972, when British scientist John Yudkin first proved that sugar was bad for our health, he was ignored by the majority of the medical profession and rubbished by the food industry. The scientist Ansel Keys was a major player in debunking Yudkin. Ansel Keys later debunked his own research on fats.

Will the food industry be next?

Leaked tobacco industry documents

Leaked tobacco industry documents

Stan Lance, who published secret tobacco documents says that “strategies that the tobacco companies used were being used much earlier by the sugar industry”. The parallel he see is that the sugar industry tries to undermine science and to intimidate scientists as well as subverting sensible regulation. In 2003 WHO was looking at a resolution for sugar to be reduced to just 10% of what people were currently eating. The resolution never went forward. The sugar industry influenced US congress to pull this recommendation by threatening to pull its funding of WHO. Just like we wouldn’t have a tobacco epidemic if there wasn’t a tobacco industry, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic if we didn’t have an industry selling sugar, salt and fat – or the perfect combination of these ingredients; The Bliss Point.

To control the epidemic of non-communicable disease we have to control the food giants. But how? The law to ban supersize soft drinks in the States was overturned. Then followed advertising suggesting we were infringing on consumer freedom and rights by limiting consumption or telling people what they could eat. If fat and Sodium have limits why does sugar not? The consumer is blamed for their over-consumption yet they are not given the information they need or given it in unclear formats. Who knows how much sugar is in a child’s yoghurt or how much is too much?

What are your thoughts on sugar and the sugar industry?