Some Books to Keep in Mind

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food fight

Like a true dietetics nerd I’ve been reading some of the most influential and popular dieting books including: Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defence of Food’ and Rosemary Stanton’s ‘The Diet Dilemma’. I was happy to find surprisingly little repetition between the two titles. I’ll share my brief thoughts on them…

“In Defence of Food” by Michael Pollen starts with the line‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’

While the words at the start of Pollen’s book may not be 100% accurate, omitting some complexities of the modern healthy diet, they are generally correct. For instance where to healthy fats fit in, such as Fish, Eggs, and dairy?

Other than that, Pollen puts a good case forward. He writes so convincingly, with evidence to back his every word, that it was difficult to approach the book critically. I enjoyed the read, even being an almost-dietitian. I think story-telling is important with any book, and maybe even more so with titles that interact with the reader in this way. Books that ask the reader to do something need to be engaging and this one was.

Rosemary Stanton’s ‘The Diet Dilemma’. 

This book seems to have one purpose; to educate. This is the reason that I didn’t finish the book and was uninterested most of the time. I suspect that I’m clearly not the target audience which is why I’ve had such a strong reaction! I can see someone who is either preparing to attend, or who has just attended a dietitian consultation to be the target. The book serves as a crash-course in dieting and all the problems that dieters face. But it’s presented in a way that would be interesting if you had been living under a rock, or have had no reason to diet ever.

While this book is very good, I dislike the writing style and for me it lacks narrative.

Final Word

One last point. Books such as these can be great tools, but nothing more. They can put your fears at ease before meeting a dietitian or help you stay on track, but ultimately they are flawed. Often intensive one-on-one help is needed to make the enormous life changes described in these books.

 

Until next time

Jack

Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime

 

Product Review:Tinned fruit

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blueberries

Price: $4.07 / 415g ($0.98 / 100g)

Nutrition: per 70mL serve: Energy = 271kJ; Sugar = 10.3g; Sodium = 10mg.

Verdict: Canned varieties should be drained as most of the sugar is contained in the liquid. Opt for ‘In Juice’ over ‘In Syrup’.

You might have guessed now that some canned fruits are more appealing than others, a can of peaches is far more appealing than strawberries for example. The point is that there’s no reason not to incorporate things like canned peaches and canned/frozen blueberries when the fresh stuff is out of season or out of your price range. Remember that you could be doing your body a favour if theses are fruits you usually aren’t eating. We need to be consuming a variety of colours!

In The News This Week …

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Friday

Scientists from Sweden believe they have found the gene responsible for the ‘unhealthy’ fat in the body. It may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. If verified this will be “the first time someone has identified a gene that may cause malfunctioning adipose tissue in man.” It is hoped that the finding will lead to new drug treatments for diabetes.

SOURCE:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277135.php#.U4ST6Tb0bm4.twitter

 

Wednesday

The ACCC is taking the Australian Egg Corp. Twelve Oaks Poultry, and Farm Pride to court over suspected egg-price cartel. The Australian Egg Corp. allegedly held an emergency meeting to address over-supply. The ACCC alleges that there was no ‘over-supply’ and that actions following the meeting could have increased egg prices.

SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-28/nrn-accc-egg-investigation/5483944

A farmer using GM (genetically modified) crops won a landmark WA Supreme Court case. The man had been sued by his neighbour, a certified organic farmer, for damages resulting from the spread of GM canola crops. Important factors in the case included that: GM crops cannot contaminate other crops easily, even when blown into adjacent fields by the wind, and that the GM farmer had not intentionally harmed his neighbours crops, property, or business.

SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-28/landmark-gm-decision-wa-supreme-court/5482864

 

Thursday

A new global survey has found that 1 in 3 Australians is now obese and that rates have soared up 80% over the last three decades.

‘ “Waiting for a cure is not possible,” says Rob Moodie, the professor of public health at the University of Melbourne. ”The public health system will be crushed by the obesity crisis and the rise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes.” ‘

The increases are likely due to great resistance from food manufacturers and inaction from Government on front of packaging label and its halted star rating system.

SOURCE: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/obesity-rates-soar-in-australia-a-global-survey-reveals-20140528-394s4.html

 

Friday

ANGRY Muslims in Malaysia demand a Jihad, or holy war, be declared on confectionary company Cadbury and their parent company after traces of pig DNA were found.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/muslims-in-malaysia-call-for-jihad-on-cadbury-and-mondelez-after-pig-dna-found/story-fneuz8wn-1226937587942

Herb tofu and avocado toast

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Don’t make this recipe. I mean it. By the time you’ve diced the veg, torn up the herbs and pulsed the tofu it’ll be all over. Seriously it’s not even worth preparing, you’ll have no gossip for your friends (or the odd frenemy) about how you were slaving in the kitchen to make this masterpiece.

There’ll be no excuse for you to break out into a tragically unbelievable anecdote about how you saved the ingredients at the last minute from the perils of a fancifully complicated yet apparently incomplete recipe, which had been slowly guiding you over a cliff (and your ingredients in the bin!). Using your sheer instincts (in my case since I lack skill/experience) you add a special ingredient or tweak the recipe which pulls everything together to once again save the tastebuds of the people of Townsville from evil. Oh what we aren’t in a cartoon? *Yeah I watched the ‘Powerpuff Girls’ as a kid*.

I don’t know about you, but I love being the hero. Cooking gets a bit boring (and difficult) and even though there are much better experienced and qualified people around me, I hate to ask for help. I’m trying to use this blog to develop and modify recipes for simplicity and taste while shedding as many excess kilojoules as I can from them. I think thats what this recipe is. I got It from Donna Hay’s ‘Fresh and Light’ book. 

Now that I’ve tasted it I’m going to consider some balsamic over the top next time. It tastes great btw! The lime juice is a must and works majestically with the chilli.

Ingredients

150g silken tofu (I used to other kind and it turned out okay)

mint and basil leaves about 1 Cup each (crush/tear/shred after measuring not before, that would be way too much!)

Heavy multi-grain bread (I didn’t have any, so I’ve used white bread. Also I have braces at the moment, grains and braces don’t get along well!)

1 avocado

cherry tomatoes (I diced a whole tomato. I wish I had a packed of medley cherry toms!)

lime juice

1 long red chilli (deseeded) cut into thin long strips. You could use carrot instead, if you don’t like chilli. (I’ve used chilli powder instead)

Method

Blend tofu and half the herbs with some pepper in a food processor. 

spread mix over toast. 

Build with avocado, tomato, and remaining herbs. Top with juice and chilli/carrot.

Until next time 

Jack

Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime

 

Product Review: Macro Quinoa Snack-pot

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IMG_1418Price: $2.50 / 110g  ($2.27 / 100g)

 Brand: Woolworths macro. Not much to say, other than this is their specialty and certified organic range.

Verdict: Yuck! That was my first reaction to this product. After doing some thinking I feel now that the product has been stripped on any fun to appeal to the heath-conscious crowd who are likely to pick this up and go straight to the NIP (nutrition info panel). I could only have a few spoons before adding a little something to sweeten it. Once I did that it was edible. Definitely not something I’m willing to buy again, unfortunately. If you can stomach it, or can come up with a better way to serve I’d love to know. There is value in this product, it provides over 100% of the daily wholegrain goal and is a source of dietary fibre.

 *** This item appears to be no longer available***

Mindless Eating

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Brian Wansink’s ‘Mindless Eating’

mindless

Okay I’m cutting straight to the point, if your interested in food and how it controls us then read this book! 

Suggestions for avoiding mindless eating:

  • Find something else to occupy yourself. Ask yourself “what are my interests?”
  • Plating up 20% less will not leave you hungry, it may not even be missed. Of course this is a bit harder if you’re serving yourself.
  • Speaking of servings, the book suggests taking only preserved plates to the table rather than serving bowls. This way you have to go back for seconds in needed.
  • Keep empty packaging on the table until you’re done eating, this will act as a visual cue to your brain that you have in fact been eating and that you’ll start feeling full soon.
  • drink from tall skinny glasses rather than short fat ones. We perceive vertical objects to hold more volume than horizontal ones. Try drawing two equal lines, one horizontal and anothervertical starting in the middle of the horizontal one. It appears that the vertical is longer, even though it is not.  
  • Try to not use the four unhelpful and unhealthy food tool extremes. Do not use food or eating as a reward or punishment, or as a form of guilt or comfort. Easier said than done I’m afraid!

Wansink doesn’t assume you’re looking for a diet and that you need strict rules to control your eating, he is merely a scientist doing his job; presenting the facts. It’s a great read which takes us behind the scenes of the food industry and the way in which food is marketed. It offers a unique perspective to food and what your eating without using your own intake as a case study, you don’t feel targeted or guilty for eating. 

While the author cannot disclose specific information about his various industry consults, he takes us into his world. Its the world of human eating behaviours, I was captivated and taken off-guard. I had thought I knew lots about the relationship humans have with food, but this book challenged my perceptions and I’m all the better for it. 

For instance imagine an elaborately planned dining room where soup bowls magically refill and eaters just keep on eating without knowing that they have consumed more! I thought for sure most people would notice that one but apparently we have more in common with the white lab rat than we’d like to think!

Anyway onto the crux of this book, there’s lots of value here, the hardest part is actually making steps to apply the ideas to your life. I think once you take the plunge it’ll get easier to take care of yourself and follow the basic principles the book outlines; I could say that about most diet books, only I wouldn’t call this a diet book per se. 

Until next time 

Jack

Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime

Product Review: Quinoa Flakes

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flakes

Price: $7.49 / 350g ($2.14 / 100g)

Brand: macro

Woolworths macro. Not much to say, other than this is their specialty and certified organic range.

 

Nutrition in a 28g serve:445kj Energy, 3.2g protein, 19.3g carbs, 0.7g sugar, 1.7g fat, <5mg sodium.

Verdict: So… what can I say here. Quinoa is new and shiny, everyone who is cool is talking about it, but that doesn’t mean it tastes good. I know, blasphemy, I’m sharing an opinion not supported by pop culture. It is packed with protein, which is why it’s so filling.

I don’t have anything against quinoa and like to experiment with it. What I’m saying is that if you don’t like the taste then there is not much you can do about it (except for not eat it). If you eat oats in the morning or any other high fibre cereal then it’s best to stick with that when the alternative is a bowl of sugar with some quinoa on the side. At the same time, adding sweeteners is okay, but your choices matter.

Personally I like quinoa in savory things with lots of vegetables. I probably like it more this way because I cook the grains in stock rather than water so the bitterness of the quinoa is muted.

Share your quinoa experience as a comment!