Emma Nutrition

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

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Fat blaster drink [recipe by a Nutritionist]

Fat blaster drink Emma nutritionWhether you’re aim is to burn fat to look better or if it’s to make yourself feel a whole lot better this fat blaster is a thirst quencher hottie and will soon become a firm (get it, firm? hahaha hilarious) favourite! Sip it throughout the day and save a glass of it as an afternoon pick me up.

I’m reposting this as part of Emily’s link up at A Mummy Too #recipeoftheweek

Without further ado here is the

Fat Blaster Drink


Cinnamon x 1tsp
Cayenne (or paprika) x 1tsp
Water or cold green tea x 500ml
Orange x 1 juiced or squeezed. I put a whole orange in the juicer as that way you also get the antioxidant flavanoids from the pith and the skin.
Ice cubes x 5

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake. Leave in the fridge until you want to drink and up to 3 days or so. I like to drink this throughout the day.

Nutritional info:

Cayenne is a thermogenic that burns fat by activating lipid cells – one study has shown that inclusion of these compounds in the diet may aid weight management while cinnamon stabilises blood sugar levels keeping them balanced and reducing cravings. Additionally it’s obviously great to drink as much water as possible to keep hydrated, flush out toxins and assist metabolic processes in the body and if you use green tea you will reap extra thermogenic benefits.


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Recipe: DIY Coconut Yoghurt

What is it about coconut that tastes so amazing? I could eat it all day long; whether its in a soup, an oil, a yoghurt or a pina colada! As far as recipe experiments go this one was alot of fun to eat afterward. Next on the list is almond yoghurt – it’s currently in the Easiyo but I am having difficulty making it thick enough. Any tips welcome!


Coconut milk or Coconut cream tins x 3

Greek yoghurt x 3 tbsp

Vanilla essence x 1 tsp

Coconut sugar (optional sweetness) x 1 tbsp  Continue reading

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20 Nutritional Visionaries You NEED to know about!

Perhaps it is the geek in me, but I just can’t get enough of other Nutrition experts websites; blogs, recipes, general foodie chat. You name it, I will read it, or watch it. I’ve worked with some of the industry’s most professional and hard-working Nutritionists and health professionals and you know what? Most of them are movers and shakers, big-thinkers and innovators. They are Nutritional Therapists, Nutritionists, Dieticians and Doctors or Chiropractors with Nutritional training or simply highly knowledgeable individuals. Their skills are diverse: women’s health, cooking, supplements, research, weight loss, networking, presenting and lecturing. Some of them you may have heard of….others perhaps not, but they all have similar qualities in common: success, passion and heart-felt caring and they are all on my very own New Years Honors List 😉

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Controlling appetite through exercise

Keeping your appetite under control is a key component of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight over your lifetime. We all have different strategies to help us manage our appetites in order to prevent overeating or making poor decisions about the foods we choose. Managing stress, getting adequate sleep and having a good exercise regimen are all methods we employ to help us keep our appetites regulated. However, recent research has revealed that the type of exercise can make more of a difference than you think.

A recent study out of the University of Western Australia found that high-intensity exercises may suppress appetite briefly afterward. The team conducting the research discovered that overweight, sedentary men (having a body mass index, or BMI, of 25-29.9) consumed almost 200 fewer calories after performing a vigorous exercise routine than after a period of rest.

Previous research that looked at high-intensity exercise and its effects on the body suggest that it correlates with appetite control and alterations in specific hormones that manage your feelings of hunger and your level of fullness. However, this new research that just came out discovered that those hormones are affected in different ways based on the type of workout regimen–continuous versus intermittent, and different intensity levels (moderate-, high- and very-high-intensity exercises).

The Study

The participants of the study went through four 30-minute workouts. One session was a period of rest, to serve as the control. In the other three exercise sessions, the participants worked out on a stationary bike at various levels of intensity. During one session, the men cycled continuously at a moderate level of intensity. The other two sessions involved intermittent exercise at either high-intensity or very-high-intensity where they would alternate between quick bursts of high-speed pedaling followed by longer bouts of cycling at a slower speed.

After exercising (or resting), the men consumed a 267-calorie liquid meal and were also asked to eat oatmeal until they became full. The results: the participants consumed fewer calories following the intermittent high-intensity and intermittent very-high-intensity exercise sessions versus the period of rest. Here is the calorie breakdown of what the men consumed after each session:

After a period of rest: 764 calories consumed
After continuous moderate-intensity exercise: 710 calories consumed
After intermittent high-intensity-exercise: 621 calories consumed
After intermittent very-high-intensity exercise: 594 calories consumed

And the most interesting finding? The men said they ate less the day after they performed the very-high-intensity exercise when compared to the days after their other workout sessions. This suggests that the appetite suppression experienced after the very-high-intensity workouts extends well beyond the hours immediately following the exercise and that it may even reduce your appetite the following day too.

More Research Needed

Even though this study showed impressive results–participants significantly reduced their calorie intake after the high-intensity and very-high-intensity exercises–it doesn’t show one way or the other if this will produce weight loss for the long term. The size of this study was also quite small–only 17 participants. What was unique about this study was that it was the first of its kind to study overweight participants rather than just people with a normal BMI. Scientists say that more studies need to be performed to assess the long-term implications of this type of weight-loss intervention.

Thanks to Kari Hartel. You can email her at: KariHartelRD@gmail.com


Summer cocktails that are not fattening!

Fancy a cocktail to celebrate the incoming summer?! I know, it’s not great outside today but it is coming I’m sure…

My friend Jackie over at Jackie Diss sent these today. Check them out. I’m loving the sound of the Piña Colada recipe…

Summer Cocktails That Are Bikini Friendly

Skinny Piña Colada
2 oz Barcardi Rock Coconut Rum
5 oz coconut water
2 oz pineapple juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake shake shake shake, maybe garnish with a little pineapple

Chocci Rocket
1 oz. vodka
2 oz. coffee
3 oz. light almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredients in a blender, whizz up, stick in a straw and ENJOY!

1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup honey
1 packet Stevia
4 shots tequila (for margaritas) or rum (for daiquiris)
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
6 fresh strawberries
1 cup ice
Combine ingredients in a blender, whizz it up then sip it up

From Emma’s personal Nutrition notes:
Coconut water is much lower in calories than coconut milk yet still full of that summery coconut flavour. It is not a substitute for coconut milk in cooking however in drinks it is tasty and refreshing. Almond milk contains healthy fats (yet is low in calories ~40 per serving), calcium, magnesium, selenium and is free from casein so is low allergenic – great for those with lactose intolerance, milk protein intolerance or just sticking to a low allergenic diet. Stevia is a natural sweetener without any chemicals. It is 10x sweeter than sugar.


Are you addicted to food?

Obesity is killing more Americans than AIDS, all cancers and all accidents combined! Food is todays poison. With over one third of American adults overweight or obese we do need to question whether we are actually eating ourselves to death. Ironically 700,000 NHS employees are obese. Using a research method, it is believed that being obese has risen from the 10th most important risk factor for death in 1990, to the sixth. More than three million in the UK now die from having a ‘high body mass index’.

Food can be as addictive as cocaine with some people experiencing cravings, binging and withdrawals, says Dr Pamela Peeke author of “The hunger fix”. Some foods, particularly manufactured ones high in fat, salt and sugar are so palatable that we use these to supply our brain with ‘pleasure’ chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin.

Take this test to see if you may suffer from food addiction.

Peeke believes you can combat cravings with this 3 step approach:

1. Strengthen the mind by meditating over your food cravings (presumably by telling yourself you don’t need that particular food).

2. Trick the mouth by eating healthy delicious foods.

3. Move your muscles. Exercise reduces cravings (by stabilising blood sugar).

Another way to combat cravings is by using pleasure. Fulfill your desires…
Yoga lady
Our brains need pleasure, we cannot function without it. Contrary to cultural belief pleasure is no bad thing. It seems we have been programmed to believe that taking pleasure in something is a mere indulgence; self gratification that only those blessed with extra time or money can really afford. Pleasure is not forbidden! The more we deny ourselves pleasurable experiences the more we will seek it out in food. So go ahead and bring some pleasure into your day – watch the sun rise, do some gentle stretching exercises, have a date with your partner, find a dance class.

Whatever your pleasure is you will feel more fulfilled for doing it and subsequently you will have less food cravings.

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Hormone contraceptive injection and type 2 Diabetes

A ground breaking study by Nicole M. Bender has shown that contraceptive implants containing the hormone progestin can increase the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes in obese women.
20131125-190658.jpg image by Armin Kübelbeck

There was a 10 percent increase in fasting blood-glucose levels among the skin implant users, compared to a 5 percent increase among the IUD users and a 2 percent decrease among those using non-hormonal methods. The effects on sensitivity to insulin showed a similar trend.

“All women, including overweight and obese women, need to have access to safe and effective contraception. Obese women are at increased risk for pregnancy-related complications and are sometimes warned by their doctors not to use contraceptives containing estrogen, such as the pill, patch and vaginal ring.” said Penina Segall-Gutierrez, co-investigator of the study. Oestrogen contraceptives can increase the risk of blood clots in these women.

While contraception is important as pregnancy carries risks of it’s own for obese women, they need to consider the risk of the injection on their long term health.

Weight loss and/or dietary or supplemental changes can have a massive effect on blood sugar levels.


Can I lose 2.5kg in one week?

Yes, yes you can! I have done it this week.

I’ve not eaten as much as I usually would, but that’s because I usually eat more than I should. I’ve recorded every thing I’ve eaten. I use my fitness pal to do this. On ny Android phone I estimate its taken me approximately 5 mins per day to record my food intake. The more you use it the easier it becomes as your standard foods are already there to just click on.

Additionally I have aimed for one hour per day of exercise. In reality I’ve done 30-60 mins 5 days out of seven.

I know that my body responds quite well to low carb so I have had only a small amount. 50gm (approximately 2 tbspn) of rice or pasta with my meals, a few ryvita crackerbreads, a couple of rice cakes and of course some chocolate. I have also had a protein shake with flaxseed to stave off hunger.

My focus this week has been to shift 2 things (alongside shifting my butt!);

1. Shift my idea of normal portion size. It’s amazing how much this creeps up on us until we need more and more to feel full. I estimate that many if us are eating double what we need to.

2. Shift my feelings surrounding exercise and food. I am to have enjoyment from movement and pleasure from food. My favourite movement this week was pilates and yoga. I did these while the children napped and it felt good.

What are your tips for enjoying the weight loss journey?

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How can I stick to my diet?

Most of us who start a new diet plan get super excited when we start. We (often) feel relieved to be entering a new phase. In the first 1-2 weeks its not uncommon to lose 2-4kg (4-10lbs). This initial loss gives us a morale boost to keep going. We are on the right track and it feels good!

Then we hit a plateau. We may have no weight loss for 1-2 weeks. We start to miss those comfort foods. We see them everywhere. We can smell and taste them. That huge bowl of pasta, the sugary salty fast-food, the greasy gravy-laden stodge.

How do we move on from this phase?

You could try this association game:

Think of something that turns your stomach. A pungent smell (dog poo?), or a food that doesn’t agree with you and makes your stomach feel bloated. Once you’ve got that feeling picture a food or a meal that is your dieting weakness. A pastie, a yorkshire pudding, an ice cream etc. The aim is to link the food with it making you feel as if your stomach doesn’t want to eat it. You can control the sensation so that you ‘feel good’ when you think of an apple yet you ‘feel a bit blurgh’ when you think of a pudding.

Dont worry, you can change the feeling when you want so that the pudding, when you choose to have it, makes you ‘feel good’. The difference is you are in control.

Disclaimer: please do not attempt this if you have a history of psychological food-related disorders or a tendency towards obsessive conditions.

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When will I see weight loss?

Following a slightly bloated week last week that depressingly coincided with getting dressed up for a party, I have started to wonder when I will actually see some fruits of my labour. Or rather ‘see’ less…

I’ve been running, dieting, working out and willing my body back to its pre-baby shape. Admittedly it’s only been the past week I’ve increased the runs to 6km from 3km and I do consume a fair amount of chocolate but I expected to be super skinny by now. Like those skinny friends of mine who are not celebrities with endless staff but who are real breast-feeding/busy Mum’s that have somehow managed to make the slimming down seem effortless.

I’m starting to think they might all wonder why I am still a bit soft around the edges – given that I ‘shouldn’t have any trouble losing weight with your Nutritional knowledge’. Well it would be no trouble if I weren’t actually a fan of food, if I didn’t have to spend the majority of my days planning, preparing, serving, eating (!) and cleaning up after food. The one thing I don’t want to contend with seems to hold the biggest place in my life right now. I am weaning Baby L while Master M has a demanding food requirement.

I wouldn’t change any of it though. If feeding my boys makes me a bit fat at the moment then the joy from knowing they are getting the best start with Mumma’s home cooking is worth it.