Tuesday, 24 June 2014

I think I love John Oliver :)

Apologies I have been a bit quiet on the blog, have had some big deadlines for work looming and have been focusing on my research. But after seeing this video on Facebook tonight, I needed to share it. 

I think I love John Oliver 
Watch this video and find out why!

Make no mistake. The most effective way to lose weight is by sustainable lifestyle change. Eating healthy, balanced nutritious meals in the appropriate amounts for your body and exercising more to get fitter and healthier. Slow, steady and effective. There is no magic and there are no quick fixes. 

Read my blog post about these issues here : Weight loss cures and snake oil salesmen 

And sit back and watch the best take down of Dr. Oz. EVER.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Friday, 13 June 2014

Health news from the net 13 June 2014

Health news 13 June, 2014.
Do you enjoy reading about health as much as I do?
Here are links to a few health and nutrition related articles I was reading today. Click on the links for the full article and to read them from the source. Hope you find them interesting.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy
The truth about protein in the daily diet
This article originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald

Figuring out whether a high protein diet is healthy or not can leave you scratching your head.
Depending on which headline you read,  a high protein diet can sound like the prince of darkness, raising our risk of diabetes, cancer and an early grave, or a saviour come to rescue us from weight gain and muscle loss.
The problem here is with the  term ‘‘high protein’’  because it doesn’t tell us anything about the quality of the whole diet or where the protein comes from, says   Tim Crowe, associate professor at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University.

Protein powders – what are they and do you need them?
This article originally published in Foodwatch Australia

Protein is essential for our bodies. It is needed for growth, reproduction and healing as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Protein also helps to keep us satisfied for longer after a meal which is one of the reasons the high protein, low-carb diet is popular.
How much protein do we need a day?
We don’t actually need as much as some would have us believe - and more is not necessarily better.

Celiac or Coeliac? – Don’t play Dr Google
This article was originally published in e-GPS General Practice Solutions

Recent evidence demonstrates that 1 in 60 Australian women and 1 in 70 Australian men have coeliac disease and yet about 80% of them are undiagnosed. One of the key reasons that so many go undiagnosed is that they make a decision to put themselves on a gluten free diet without first being medically diagnosed for coeliac disease because it ‘makes them feel better’.  It is for this reason that awareness of coeliac disease and its complications is so important. Coeliac Australia advises:
“Feeling better when you remove wheat or gluten from your diet does not necessarily mean you have coeliac disease. You should consult with your doctor to investigate all potential causes for your symptoms.”

Stop overeating: tips for resisting the call of the cake
This article was originally published in the Telegraph UK

I admit it. I’m not safe in the house with an open packet of biscuits. It doesn’t take much – a rubbish day, a row with the husband, a snub from a friend, or just simply too much work to do – and they’ll start tempting me. And then: Oops! Before I know it the whole packet is gone — and a Scooby-snack-sized pile of toast has disappeared too, washed down with a generous glass of sauvignon blanc and a bag of peanuts as a chaser. And my rubbish day just got worse.
It seems I’m not alone. Psychologist Dr Jane McCartney, a specialist in overeating, has seen scores of patients who eat obsessively and destructively, and there are millions more of us who simply overeat. 


Recipe - easy cheesy veggie bake

I posted a picture of this meal on a Facebook group a few days ago and have have had lots of requests for the recipe for my vegetable pots in the photo. These are nothing fancy, just steamed vegetables in a basic cheese sauce. But, if someone in your family is not a lover of vegetables, or if you are getting sick of steamed vegetables, its another nice way to serve them.

Please note, this is not a really low calorie recipe as it uses milk, cheese and a little butter and flour, but it is a lovely home cooked comfort food and a delicious option. Unless you have specific health reasons not to, you shouldn't be afraid of using ingredients like this occasionally as part of a a balanced diet. Everything in moderation, remember? Just  make sure you keep the rest of your meal light for balance. My meal is the one at the back left, I had it with steamed beans and carrots and 150g of baked fresh salmon. Yum!

First roughly chop your vegetables into small pieces and lightly steam your vegetables of choice. For these pots I used cauliflower (as they were on special at $2.50 for a whole head of cauli last week!) and also sweet potato which is a great low GI carb to include. My husband is not a huge sweet potato fan so his was cauliflower and a little white potato. Really, you can include any vegetables you like - broccoli, beans, zucchini, squash, peas, corn, carrots, asparagus, spinach .. it all works!

I cut the cauliflower into pieces about the size of a golf ball and sliced the sweet potato and potato into thin circular slices (I left the skin on). While you are steaming your vegetables, its time to make the cheese sauce and preheat your oven to around 200 degrees C.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Once its melted, add two tablespoons of flour (wholemeal flour is great- but use whatever plain flour you like to use) and stir until well mixed. You should end up with the flour mixing into the butter so you have a ball of paste a little like cookie dough. If its too runny add a little more flour.

Next add 2 cups of cold milk gently to your mixture and start whisking. This will work perfectly fine with full fat or low fat milk. It will be lumpy to start with, but as the milk warms and the butter dissolves it will become smooth. Keep whisking with the sauce on low heat (don't let it boil) for about 5-10 minutes as the sauce thickens. Don't walk away from it :) I add dried parsley, black pepper and a handful of grated parmesan cheese in the last few minutes for flavour.  You will know when your sauce is ready as it starts to thicken.

**This is an amazingly easy basic white sauce that is so versatile once you've got it mastered. Instead of the cheese, add a teaspoon each of dijon and grain mustard for a beautiful sauce for corned beef. Add a heap of chopped fresh dill for a sauce to serve with fish. I certainly don't recommend you add creamy sauce to every meal, but it's a wonderful alternative from packet sauces with all their salt and added preservatives**

Back to our veggie pots. Take your sauce off the heat.

Choose small oven proof dishes and give them a spray with olive oil spray. Now layer your vegetables. I put sliced orange sweet potato on the bottom and then cauliflower on the top for two pots, and plain potato and cauliflower in the third. Pour your white sauce over the vegetables. Don't panic if it has got a little lumpy in the time you were doing the pots, it does that, just give it another quick whisk and pour it in, it will work out fine, I promise!
Top your pot with a sprinkle of grated cheese and I put one slice of sweet potato on top - just for decoration and so I could tell the different mixtures apart.

Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the top is golden. By steaming your vegetables first the cooking time is really quick. Serve as a side dish with a lean protein and some more vegetables :)

Serves 3 medium sized or 4 small vegetable pots.

Recipe alternatives:
While I made this as a side dish, you could easily use this basic recipe to make a full meal, just don't forget the principles of a balanced plate. Remember it should be half fruit or vegetables, quarter lean protein, quarter low GI carbs and some good fats. Consider making a slightly larger pot with a small can of red salmon or cannellini beans, some sliced sweet potato, a large serve of broccoli or cauliflower, a handful of peas, the mustard or dill sauce and cheese on top. A tasty balanced one pot wonder!! 

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

What does a balanced meal look like?

I keep harping on about a balanced diet. Balanced this and balanced that. In my posts about breakfasts and even snacks, I keep referring to this. What do I mean?  

I think its important to think about each meal as an opportunity to nourish yourself. To nourish your senses with wonderful colours and flavours, aromas and textures. And to nourish your body with an array of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs. And finally you could also go as far as to say to nourish your soul with the pride of a home cooked meal, or the company of friends on a special occasion, or family around your regular dinner table or the quiet peace of contentedly eating by yourself.  

Now not every single meal will do all of these things, but I believe its a great way to think about your food and how it nourishes you. But moving beyond these qualities of your meal, how much of everything do you include?  Well this first post is about balance, then later we will talk about portion sizes.

Think about your plate like a clock face and divide it into quarters. Two of these quarters (half your plate) at every meal should be fruit or non starchy vegetables. One of the quarters should be lean protein, and one of your quarters should be starches - low GI carbohydrates. Add to this a small amount of healthy fats and oils and you have a balanced meal. This is how I try to plan every meal. 

So what does this look like practically? 

Well let's start with the easiest plate to imagine - dinner time. Here's a dinner photo I found off the internet:

This plate is about right with half the plate made up of salad, a quarter of lean protein (the lamb cutlets) and a quarter of low GI carbohydrates (the tasty looking wild rice mix). But most of us don't get this right at dinner - we tend to eat too much carbohydrates (how much pasta do you pile upon your plate? how many potatoes? what about bread?) and also too much meat - imagine how large a big steak would look on a plate like this. And rarely do we as a population eat HALF of our plate as fruit or vegetables.  But these are the simple changes in proportions that will make all the difference when you're watching your weight or improving your health.

So that's some ideas for dinner, the easy one, but what about the other meals? You see EVERY meal should be in balance like this. Over 90% of Australians don't eat enough fruit and vegetables a day, and this is the case for most other Western countries. Do you eat fruit and vegetables with every meal?

Here's a breakfast plate to show you- its a photo I took when I was eating out for breakfast with my husband.  Half the plate is vegetables (spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes) with lean protein (eggs), low GI carbohydrates (the beans) and some good fats (avocado). Granted it is quite a big breakfast, but it was also delicious!

Or if cooked breakfast isn't your thing, what about cereal? how much do you eat? Most processed cereals are very highly processed, high GI and loaded with sugar and fat and usually doesn't cover our other bases. Here's another balanced breakfast plate.  Note that half the bowl is filled with fruit (in this case strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) and the other quarters (piled on top of each other) are the protein (Greek yoghurt) low GI carbs (muesli) and good fats (in the seeds and nuts). This is what I have for breakfast most days of the week.

Getting the picture?

Lets do one more.  How about the lunch I had today. You should be getting good at this by now!! This is a bit trickier because its all piled in a heap, but can you pick out the different foods?

I started with the  vegetables by piling the bowl full of spinach leaves and tomatoes. Then I added the low GI carbs (can you see the sneaky chick peas? there are about 3 tablespoons of chick peas in the salad). Next came the protein - a small can of tuna and some feta cheese. Finally I topped it with some good fats in the form of sunflower seeds, pepitas and avocado. Oh and the raisins on top are a little more fruit!

Now whether you are eating a salad bowl or breakfast like me, or a big grainy sandwich, or a baked dinner with all the trimmings, think about the balance on your plate. Half non-starchy veggies/fruits, quarter protein, quarter low GI carbs and some tasty healthy fats and you will be on the way to great balanced health. This is an easy change you can make right now :)

So, in summary!

1/2 Plate Vegetables
Fill up your plate with raw or cooked vegetables for nutrition, taste and healthy filling fibre. Remember to include many different colours and types for a full array of nutrients.

1/4 Plate Lean Protein
Lean protein will help you to stay satiated, sustain your energy throughout the day, and protect your heart and waistline. This can be lean meats, fish and also non meat sources of protein such as soy, nuts, tofu and others. Remember, twice as many vegetables as protein.

1/4 Plate Healthy low GI carbohydrates (or starches)
Whole grains, like brown rice, contain fibre to give you long-lasting energy, stabilise blood sugar and provide B-vitamins to protect your heart. Try quinoa, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and more!  Legumes are excellent for this also. The more colourful your starch, the better!

We will talk soon about portion sizes. In the meantime if you want to know more about the foods we should be including daily, check out the Australian Healthy Eating Guide.  And if you need more specific advice tailored to you, see a dietitian!

Bon appetit!

Related posts:
What to eat for a healthier you
To snack or not to snack, that is the question
The beauty of breakfast

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Recipe - super easy Thai red curry soup (veggie)

It's a cold wet drizzly day here today and as I was working from home I thought it was time to put the slow cooker on. I decided to make a batch of soup, had a read through my recipe books, couldn't find anything I felt like so made one up ! LOL I was happy for it to be a freezer meal or lunch for tomorrow if it tasted ok. Fortunately my experiment was a roaring success and after a taste test by the family, the menfolk have decided they would just like soup and toast for dinner. SCORE!

I made this one in the slow cooker, but you could just as easily do it on the stove or in a pressure cooker. If you are not a fan of spicy foods then halve the amount of curry paste- this is not screamingly hot but does pack a warming punch :)

You will need:
1/2 butternut punpkin (or whatever pumpkin you like!)
1 large piece of sweet potato
4 stalks of celery
I'm sure you could add other veg if you wished!
1 400g can of chick peas
4-6 cups of vegetable stock
150ml coconut cream (I used the full fat version as it is a small amount in a big batch of soup, but feel free to use fat reduced if you are watching calories more closely)
2 tsps ground coriander
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (Indian tandoori paste would work fine too)
Fresh coriander (cilantro) or parsley and a dollop of Greek yoghurt to serve

Peel and roughly chop your root veggies, dice the celery, drain the chick peas and pop it all in the slow cooker (or in a heavy based pot on the stove). Add dry spices, curry paste, stock and give it a stir. Feel free to add extra stock / water depending on the size of your pot.

Simmer until vegetables are soft. I cooked for 3 hours in the slow cooker, but probably 40 minutes on the stove would give you the same result. Whizz with a stick blender or food processor until a smooth consistency then add coconut milk to blend and return to the heat until warmed through.

Serve hot with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, some chopped fresh coriander, black pepper and some crusty grainy low GI bread.  Guaranteed to warm your soul!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Health news from the net 10 June, 2014

Health news 10 June, 2014.
Do you enjoy reading about health as much as I do?
Here are links to a few health and nutrition related articles I was reading today. Click on the links for the full article and to read them from the source. Hope you find them interesting.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy
Oats for d-health
This article was originally published on Diabetes Counselling Online

Oats are an awesome topic for a d-blog as they bring together so many aspects of food in our lives with diabetes including the glycemic index of carbohydrates, the importance of whole grains in our diets, soluble and insoluble fibre, heart health and the chance to talk about more delicious recipes. Not to mention with winter on our doorstep, oats are a wonderful comfort food breakfast for the coming cold mornings – Yes! And this idea follows on well from a recent blog about healthy eating on a budget as oats are definitely a bargain food! - 

See more at: http://www.diabetescounselling.com.au/diabetes-and-weight-management/oats-for-d-health/#sthash.NK7IqbL6.dpuf
Great Recipe - Fragrant Baked Carrot Stack
This article was originally published on Alexx Stuart - Real food. Low tox Living.

There is abundant variety when it comes to cooking veg – I always like to stretch my creativity in the kitchen and this was born on a typical ‘what can I do to make carrots exciting today’ thought train… So, I started by chopping them long ways, then when deciding what to do with all of these long carrot strips, this ‘stack’ idea emerged, inspired by the French Daphinois potato dish of layered potatoes with butter, whisked egg and cream. This is of course a little different I wasn’t really digging the egg / carrot combo as an idea.

See more at: http://alexxstuart.com/fragrant-baked-carrot-stack?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlexxStuart+%28Alexx+Stuart%29
20 Kitchen Hacks: The Natural Mama’s Guide to Saving Time in the Kitchen 
This article was originally posted on Mama Natural

Home cooked meals are much healthier than packaged alternatives, right? But between shopping, planning, prepping, cooking and cleaning, keeping meals on the table can be quite time consuming. So, how can a busy mom (or dad) find the time to cook nutrient-dense meals instead of resorting to take-out or prepared foods? Well, let me share what I’ve learned along the way with these 20 kitchen hacks that will help you save time (and your sanity) and increase your enjoyment with family and friends.

See more at: http://www.mamanatural.com/20-kitchen-hacks/#sthash.Fq752gOr.dpuf
Why the exercise guidelines take a stand on sitting
This article was originally published on ABC Health and Well Being

Australia's exercise guidelines have recently been overhauled, and they're going to come as a rude shock to many of us. Not only are we being told we need to do a lot more physical activity, but we're also being urged to get out of our chairs – even if we do the right amount of exercise. The new guidelines are now officially known as Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, and they focus not just on the exercise but on the amount of time we spend being sedentary.  Sedentary behaviour is the term used to describe physically inactive tasks that don't require a lot of energy, basically sitting or lying down.

See more at:  http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2014/02/24/3947295.htm

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Miss anything? Sunday round up 8 June 2014

Miss anything?

As not everyone may have a chance during the week to read every post, here’s a summary of the week that  was on Lean Green and Healthy !

Topical posts:

Stop dieting now. PLEASE! 
Juices, smoothies or plain old fruit and vegetables?

Need some motivation? Quick thoughts from me to you:

It's okay not to be perfect
Relax, its Friday! Just don't relax too much .
Focus on the journey NOT the destination 

Great videos to watch:

Weekend flicks: How cooking can change your life (Michael Pollan)
Weekend flicks: Making homemade nutella (Dr Yoni Freedhoff)
Weekend flicks: teach every child about food (Jamie Oliver)

Need some culinary inspiration? Here's this week's recipes:

Recipe- chicken cacciatore
Recipe - healthy pizzas with flatbread or eggplant
Recipe - light and tasty beef stroganoff

Need some light reading? Health news from the net:

Health news from the net 2 June 2014
Health news from the net 3 June 2014
Health news from the net 4 June 2014
Health news from the net 5 June 2014
Health news from the net 6 June 2014

Hope this week is a wonderful one!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Recipe - mini breakfast frittatas

I saw a version of these on the internet with lots of high salt ingredients like sausage and feta, and lots of processed cheese - I thought I'd try a slightly toned down healthier version. I have used a little lean bacon for flavour but you could certainly omit that if you wish.  You could also put all your vegetables in raw, I just know my son is not a fan of raw mushrooms and capsicum so cooking it with a small amount of bacon would make him more likely to eat them!

You will need:
(To make 12 frittatas - if you have a 6 muffin tray then halve the recipe or make two batches)
Fillings of your choice - I used cherry tomatoes, a handful of baby spinach, fresh mushrooms, two pieces of lean short cut bacon trimmed of extra fat, half a capsicum (bell pepper). You could use any vegetables you have in the fridge - onions, silverbeet, roasted diced sweet potato, carrots, grated zucchini, and even add leftover cooked chicken, tinned red salmon, tinned corn or asparagus - use your imagination!
12 eggs - basically one egg per muffin cup
Small amount of grated cheese
Mixed dry herbs
pepper for seasoning
a splash of milk
olive oil spray to grease your muffin tray (May not be needed if you have a silicone tray)

Grease your muffin tray with olive oil spray (or use muffin cases) and heat your oven to 200 degrees C
Dice your ingredients finely
Fry your bacon, mushrooms and capsicum in a hot pan with a little olive oil if needed and a sprinkle of mixed herbs until softened and golden. Take off the heat.

Starting with one egg per muffin cup, crack your eggs into a jug and whisk with a splash of milk. I did 6 at a time as it was easier to manage. Season your eggs with black pepper and perhaps some herbs if you wish.

In each cup of your muffin tray add some finely chopped spinach, diced tomato and the bacon/mushroom/capsicum mix until around half full. 

Carefully pour your egg mixture on the top of the vegetables. Top with a small sprinkle of grated cheese (I had run out so used a little flaked parmesan instead). If you wish you can sprinkle with sweet paprika for some extra flavour and colour.

Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tray to make them easer to remove. 

These could be frozen in individual ziplock bags, or alternatively keep in a container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

For a quick balanced breakfast, zap one in the microwave for 30 seconds,  and team with a piece of fruit or a slice of grainy toast for low GI carbohydrate energy.  These would also be great cold in a lunchbox.

Bon appetit!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Focus on the journey NOT the destination

Every time I hear someone say - I have 20kg to lose, or I have 100 lbs to lose, it always worries me. How do you work on such a huge goal? How do you stay motivated for the months or years that that will take? And what happens if you lose only 18kg, or just 90lbs (both an amazing achievement)? Does that mean you failed? And how arbitrary is a goal weight for you anyway? We know statistically what BMI means for populations and that people within certain ranges are at decreased (or increased) risk of disease. But does that mean that YOU need to be a "certain weight" to be healthier than you are now? Possibly not. 

Stop with the unachievable goals. If you really need a numerical goal then make it something you can achieve like 5kg or 5lbs and then readjust when you get there. But to be honest, your goal should be to make healthy changes in your life. Make your targets tangible. I will eat less fast food this week. I will drink more water tomorrow. I will walk 3-5 times a week. I will aim to go to bed earlier tonight. I will eat 5 serves of vegetables today. You can succeed at those things and you can succeed at them TODAY. And you know what? The evidence is clear that those changes WILL make you healthier and decrease your risk of disease. And you will probably lose weight in the process anyway, but you are much more likely to be happy and consider yourself a success, and that's important.

Focus on the journey, not the destination.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Weekend Flicks - Making Homemade Nutella (Dr Yoni Freedhoff)

Do you eat Nutella? Dr Yoni Freedhoff is a fellow physician and health blogger from Canada who I have spoken of before. This video is how I first discovered him - deconstructing nutella. Think hazelnut spread sounds healthy? Think again!

You can follow Yoni on twitter as @YoniFreedhoff or follow his insightful blog at weightymatters.ca 
I am currently reading his book "The Diet Fix" and will post a review soon!  In the meantime, hope you enjoy this clip. 

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Recipe - Light and tasty beef stroganoff

I was standing in the supermarket today and noticed mushrooms on special. A 500g pack of mushrooms for $1.99 - bargain! So I stood for a moment thinking of options and then thought "STROGANOFF!" So here is my beef stroganoff recipe to share with you all. If you don't eat meat, this would make a lovely creamy veggie casserole, just add lentils for protein and swap the beef stock for veggie stock.
 You will need:
500g lean beef thinly sliced (I cheated and bought it already sliced in stir fry strips)
500g mushrooms thinly sliced
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons plain flour (I use GF flour)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (again I use GF)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup brandy (optional, but I love what it does to the flavour)
1/2 cup beef stock
2 lemons
2 onions (I had a leek leftover in the fridge so I used 1 onion and one leek today)
2 teaspoonfuls of minced garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic)
a bunch of fresh parsley
dried parsley and dill
Greek yoghurt (full fat yoghurt works better in this recipe as the fat makes it more stable, but low fat should be fine, just may not freeze as well. )
Olive oil
Black pepper
Pasta or salad for serving

First pop your beef in a bowl with the paprika, flour and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir well and mix through until the meat is well coated and set aside. Slice your mushrooms, dice your onions (and/or leek) and roughly chop the parsley.  If you are making pasta, put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Next put a drizzle of olive oil in a deep heavy based pan and cook the meat quickly in batches. It doesn't need to be fully cooked, just golden brown on the outside and a bit pink in places is fine. Keep it quick, you don't want it to get too tough. As each batch cooks, place it in a bowl and set aside for a moment. Also don't worry if it sticks a little on the bottom of your pan, that will all add to the sauce later!

Once your beef is done, in the same pan cook your onions/leeks and garlic (with a little olive oil if needed) for 5 minutes or so until translucent. Then add your sliced mushrooms, dried parsley and dill to taste.  Let the mushrooms cook for 5-10 minutes. 

Next add the brandy and the juice of 1 lemon to the pan, this will deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use your spoon to scrape up the tasty bits. Return your beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, add the beef stock and another generous grind of black pepper (I do love the pepper in this dish!)

By now you will have a nice beefy looking dish. Turn to simmer, pop the lid on and let it cook for 10-15 minutes while the pasta cooks. We usually use penne or spirals (or both!) as it holds the sauce so nicely. 

When your pasta is done, take your stroganoff off the heat, stir through a good dollop of Greek yoghurt (2-3 tablespoons should do it) and your large bunch of fresh chopped parsley. Taste and season if needed. We usually serve it atop a serve of low GI pasta for my husband and son, and a big pile of baby spinach leaves for me. I garnish with a little parsley, a little more black pepper (LOL) and wedges of fresh lemon. This is a great meal to go with a salad, or if its a cold night, some hearty steamed veggies. 

This recipe should serve 4 -6 people depending on your appetite. And of course, pop any leftovers in the freezer to avoid getting fast food on a busy night!  
Bon appetit! Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Weekend Flicks - Teach every child about food (Jamie Oliver)

If you haven't seen this TED talk yet, you really need to. Grab a cup of tea and give the wonderful Jamie Oliver 20 minutes of your time. It will be worth it.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Weekend Flicks - How cooking can change your life (Michael Pollan)

I am a huge fan of Michael Pollan. If you haven't heard of him yet, he is a food journalist who has written several incisive and incredibly well researched books on the dilemma of obesity and the food industry. One of these books is "Food Rules" - a seemingly very simple book which describes some of the quite intuitive principles we have moved away from. Short but sweet. In two and a half minutes listen to how cooking can change your life.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Friday, 6 June 2014

THANKS for supporting us!

LG&H blog is now 3 weeks old and has been viewed 6,000 times!
All those people reading and interested in good health is just awesome.  Thanks for your support everyone!  Keep on pinning, tweeting and sharing on Facebook to help us spread the lean, green and healthy message !


Relax - its Friday! (but don't relax too much!)

Time to relax... its Friday!

I hope your weekend is enjoyable and relaxing, but don't get too slack!  Weekends are about letting your hair down a little, but don't abandon all your healthy habits.  Some studies show people generally take in more calories on Friday, Saturday and Sundays and also exercise less. Abandoning your healthy lifestyle plan for those two days can undermine all your hard work on the previous days.  This can just slow down progress towards your health and fitness goals and make it harder to get focused again on Monday.  

You are not a machine and you don't have to be perfect all the time. Enjoy a drink or two, a dinner out or tasty dessert with family, but remember to counteract that with a nice long walk, a yoga class, some dancing or swimming, a lovely light lunch and some great restful sleep. I will be having eggs and bacon and a big cappuccino  for breakfast with my husband in our favourite cafe on Saturday morning ... as I do every Saturday morning. And we will just have a light salad or some fruit for lunch to balance it all out and I will go for a run on Sunday. Remember this is not about a Monday to Friday extreme diet then "cheating" on the weekends. This is about sustainable lifestyle change every day of the year.

Enjoy your weekend!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Health news from the net 6 June 2014

Health news 6 June, 2014.
Do you enjoy reading about health as much as I do?
Here are links to a few health and nutrition related articles I was reading today. Click on the links for the full article and to read them from the source. Hope you find them interesting.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Viewpoints: can you be healthy at any weight?
This article was originally published in the Conversation

Australians are getting heavier and, as a result, are more likely to suffer life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes.
But should we be worried about a bit of excess weight? After all, isn’t it better to focus on exercise so we can be healthy, whatever our size?
Today’s Viewpoints: can you be healthy at any weight? Tim Olds argues we can; while Anna Peeters outlines why we shouldn’t give up on keeping our weight in check.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/viewpoints-can-you-be-healthy-at-any-weight-18539
Is your weekend too much of an indulgence?
This article was originally published by Susie Burrell

Whether it is the after work drinks on a Friday, the Sunday brunch or an all-day family get together, chances are that your weekends are filled with plenty of eating and drinking. Unfortunately a weekend of catch ups, socialising and partying can also lead to a few extra kg, kg that few of us want. So here are the key ways you can prevent weekend weight gain whilst still enjoying your precious down time.
Things tend to get out of hand on the weekend from a food perspective for several reasons. 

Read more: http://www.susieburrell.com.au/weekends/
Exercise is so much more than an energy burner!
This article was originally published by Joanna McMillan

In the bottle before you is a pill, a marvel of modern medicine that will regulate gene transcription throughout your body, help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and 12 kinds of cancer – plus gallstones and diverticulitis. Expect the pill to improve your strength and balance as well as your blood lipid profile. Your bones will become stronger. You’ll grow new capillaries in your heart, your skeletal muscles, and your brain improving blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Your attention span will increase. If you have arthritis, your symptoms will improve. The pill will help you regulate your appetite and you’ll probably find you prefer healthier foods. You’ll feel better, younger even, and you will test younger according to a variety of physiologic measures.

Read more: https://www2.drjoanna.com.au/blog/exercise-is-so-much-more-than-an-energy-burner-blog-155/
Does diet affect children's behaviour?
This article was originally published on ABC News

Talk to many parents and they'll list a number of foods guaranteed to turn their normally well-behaved offspring into an uncontrollable monster. But speak to those who spend their days working with children who have behavioural problems and you get a very different perspective.
Parenting forums, blogs and books are overflowing with advice about which foods to keep off the menu if you're worried about your child's behaviour. We're told children should avoid any foods containing additives, such as artificial colours or preservatives, along with anything containing sugar, wheat or dairy.
But how much of this relationship between food and children's behaviour is parental paranoia, and how much is real?

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2014/05/01/3995642.htm

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Health news from the net 5 June 2014.

Health news 5 June, 2014.
Do you enjoy reading about health as much as I do?
Here are links to a few health and nutrition related articles I was reading today. Click on the links for the full article and to read them from the source. Hope you find them interesting.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Foods You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen
This article was originally published in Time 

A well-stocked kitchen allows you to throw together a fast, flavorful meal after a long day. And, when you wake up and have to dash out the door for work, it pays to have grab-and-go breakfast and snack options on hand. We tapped registered dietitians, personal chefs, and bloggers for their must-have foods to always keep in their kitchens. (And yes, they’re all good for you, too.) Some you probably already have, while others you’ll want to add to your list.

Read more:  http://time.com/2806142/19-foods-you-should-always-have-in-your-kitchen/
This article was originally published in the Nutrition Guru and the Chef  

Today I was asked if I had made a mistake in one of my recipes for a smoothie containing cocoa.
“Don’t you mean cacao, surely you don’t mean cocoa as cocoa doesn’t contain any nutrition and is an inferior product” the reader asked. It’s a great question, as cacao has exploded onto the health food scene of late.
I didn’t make a mistake in the recipe, I chose to use the humble cocoa and YES the humble cocoa does contain nutrition.
Cacao is the unprocessed cocoa bean popular as it contains high levels of nutrients such a flavanoids, theobromine, magnesium and a range of antioxidants. It has been handled less and is closer to its natural state. Cacao sells for approximately 6 x higher than cocoa.

Read more: http://www.thenutritionguruandthechef.com/2014/03/30/cacao-nutrition-is-cacao-better-than-cocoa/
Offer vegetables early and often to fussy toddlers, study says
This article was originally published in BBC news 

 Children can learn to eat new vegetables if they are introduced regularly before the age of two, suggests a University of Leeds study.
Even fussy eaters can be encouraged to eat more greens if they are offered them five to 10 times, it found.
The research team gave artichoke puree to 332 children aged between four and 38 months from the UK, France and Denmark.  One in five cleared their plates while 40% learned to like artichoke.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27635861
You’re not Barbie and I’m not GI Joe, so what is a normal body?
This article was originally published in The Conversation 

We live in a world of improbable bodies; they populate our television screens, magazines and billboards. If you’re like most Australians, you might sometimes get the feeling your body isn’t normal. But don’t fret — it’s all the virtual bodies around us that aren’t.
Pick up a Barbie doll and have a good look at her. Which part do you think is the most anatomically improbable? No, you’ll have to look lower.
Relative to the average young Australian woman, Barbie’s feet (adjusted for height) are 17 standard deviations below the mean. Other parts are almost equally unlikely: her bust-to-waist ratio is 13 standard deviations above the mean.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/youre-not-barbie-and-im-not-gi-joe-so-what-is-a-normal-body-14567