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    5 ‘Healthy Foods’ That Are Actually Packed with Added Sugar

    There are certain foods that we all know are loaded with added sugars – ice cream, lollies, baked sweet treats and soft drinks. We’re often conscious of the amount of sugar we’re taking in when we eat these things, even managing our portions by selecting smaller desserts when we can. But the truth is that sugar is hiding everywhere - from yoghurts to pasta sauces, even salads and trail mixes!

    In fact, there has been research conducted in supermarkets to show that the majority of food items found in a grocery store contain added sugars (over 80% of foods in some American supermarkets, and we're pretty sure when we looked at the list that it's the same in Aus!).

    Sugar is lurking everywhere and not just in the obvious places like ice cream and cookies. Here is an inside scoop on some popular ‘healthy’ foods that are actually loaded with sugar and additives:

    1. Flavoured and non-fat yoghurts
    In general, yoghurts are quite healthy as they contain lots of beneficial probiotics and protein. However, the fruit flavoured and non-fat yoghurts are often laden with added sugars – just take a look at the nutrition panel next time you are at the grocery store. One serving of fruit yoghurt can even contain more sugar than a shortbread cookie. If you like fruit yoghurts, try unsweetened Greek yoghurt instead and mix in your own chopped up fruits. It's not the fruit that is the issue, it's the sweeteners or concentration that is.

    2. Pasta marinara sauces
    Most mainstream manufacturers add sugar to spaghetti sauces to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Of course it does depend on the brand, but it is quite hard these days to find a tomato-based pasta sauce that is free of added sugars. The best option is to just make your own using fresh red-ripe tomatoes… or even use canned chopped tomato but add fresh herbs, olive oil, and some sauteed garlic, chopped celery, onion and grated carrot to create a delicious sauce that will be even tastier than the store bought sauces! (Chef tip, saute the onion first, let them caramelise but not burn, add the garlic at the end, burnt garlic is very bitter, stir in the carrots and let the sauce simmer for a long time, add extra olive oil at the end... and simmer away on a low heat.  Stir your herbs in mid way so they don't become bitter and maintain their flavour kick.)

    3. Granola
    Try sifting through the various granola options at your local supermarket and you will see how little options there are that are free of added sugars. Many varieties contain sugar in the form of brown or white sugar, or corn syrup or glucose syrup, while others are coated in "chocolate" or "yoghurt". If you’re looking for a healthier breakfast cereal option, why not try our breakfast packs? We make our own cereal blend from scratch, using premium ingredients (and no added refined sugars in sight!). We keep our dried fruit content low, occasionally we might add xylitol, honey or maple syrup, but it's rare and it's minimal.  Check out our breakfast packs here.  Breakfast is one of the most important nourishing opportunities of the day.  Make it count. 

    4. Peanut butter
    Yes, peanut butter can be healthy in small amounts and when it’s just peanuts (peanuts that have literally been blended into a smooth and creamy peanut butter). Many peanut butters available in the shops have added sugar, salt and oil to create a ‘better’ and creamier taste. Fortunately, there are healthier options available and they are not too hard to find – look for peanut butter that is 100% peanuts (that is, peanuts are the only listed ingredient).  Better still go for a nut blend (one of our favourites is almond, cashew and flaxseed).

    5. Breads (even gluten free breads)
    A lot of breads are actually sweetened with refined white sugar or corn syrup, even the whole wheat and gluten free varieties. It’s also good to remember that just because a bread is organic, it doesn’t mean that it’s sugar free, and just because it is gluten free, doesn't make it healthy. Make sure to check your bread labels and look out for sugar as a main ingredient.

    We make our meals from scratch and we use ingredients as naturally as we can so that we can maximise the taste without compromising the health.  Many manufacturers rely on a formula of salt:sugar:fat to create a taste that keeps you eating and eating.  Great for your tongue, terrible for the rest of you.  Our meals are designed to achieve: sensory specific satiety and satiety.  That means, they are designed so that you are nourished, you enjoy it, but it is complex and natural enough that it doesn't trick your tastebuds into overeating. 

    Save your sugar eating for your treats, it has no real place in your meals.

    You can trust us with your meals, we've got you, healthy foods that really are healthy (and they taste great... without needing to add sugar, or heaps of other additives for that matter).

     

     

    Author:
    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    Creative Ways to Include Movement in Your Day Without Having to Schedule Special Workout Time

     

    Too busy to hit the gym or schedule a structured workout into your day? Don’t sweat, because there’s lots of easy things you can do during the day to boost your movement and activity levels, without even realising it!

    GO FOR A WALK WITH A FRIEND. Instead of meeting at a coffee shop to sit down and catch up, get your coffees to go and hit the local neighbourhood for a walk. If you have a beach nearby, taking a walk with a friend along the beach boardwalk is a nice thing to do as well.

    WEEKEND FAMILY BIKE RIDE. Dust off the bikes, lace up your shoes and head outside for a weekend bike ride with the family! You’ll be getting active, getting some sunshine and keeping your family connected all at the same time.

    RUN UP THE STAIRS INSTEAD OF WALK. Running up a flight of stairs is an awesome way to burn calories (ever seen those stair climbing machines at the gym?).

    JUMP ON THE TRAMPOLINE WITH YOUR KIDS. You may not believe it, but trampoline jumping actually works out your entire body. A 2019 study on the effectiveness of a mini-trampoline jumping program for people with osteopenia (low bone density) found that trampoline jumping helps to improve balance, strength and functional mobility. Jumping is for everyone!  

    HAVE A DANCE PARTY. Make exercising fun again! Make sure to include moves that get you down low, jumping up high and moving your arms.

    PARK IN THE FURTHEST PARKING LOT AWAY FROM THE SHOPS. Okay, so this might not be the most fun idea to do all the time, but have you ever tried to steer a full shopping trolley full of groceries around the parking lot, while attempting not to smash your trolley into someone or get yourself run over? It requires a lot of muscle strength and body movements!

    GIVE YOUR KIDS PIGGY BACK RIDES. If your kids are young, they most likely love to get piggy back rides. If you start thinking about it as a way to get some more exercise into your day, you might enjoy it and want to do it a lot more!

    LET YOUR DOG MOTIVATE YOU. Grab the leash and your dog and head outside. Your body and your pooch will thank you later! 

    BE CREATIVE ABOUT ADDING MOVEMENT INTO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES. For example, you could do hand and wrist stretches while waiting at stop lights, squats while you watch your kiddies bath, or even star jumps while you wait for the microwave to ding.

    Getting movement into your day doesn’t have to involve intense HIIT sessions or specific “scheduled” workout time. Remember that every step counts!

     

    Author:
    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    Why Wholesomeness is a Great Choice for Healthier Eating and a Healthier Life

     

    When it comes to making decisions about what’s best for your health, and for your lifestyle, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we created our gourmet home delivered meals, because we know (from firsthand experience!) that people are busier than ever, often juggling multiple balls at once.

    Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day to plan healthy meals, go out to buy the ingredients (and not forget anything!), then spend the time cooking and doing the dishes each night.  Perhaps you are doing all of the above, and are feeling a little rundown. Well we’re here to let you know exactly why our meals are better for you, for your health and for your lifestyle…

    SUPERFOOD PACKED MEALS DESIGNED BY CHEF’S & NUTRITIONISTS

    We know that food tastes better when it’s cooked from scratch, that’s why all of our dishes are cooked on site in our small kitchen in Brisbane. Our team of chef’s and nutritionists personally plan each meal (ensuring that it’s nutritionally dense and calorie controlled), shop locally for fresh quality produce, and cook each meal with extreme love, care and attention. Our nutritionist is onsite to ensure that every single meal is packed with superfood benefits, looks beautiful and tastes just as good as it looks!

    OUR FOOD IS FRESHER THAN FRESH

    Did you know that food starts to deteriorate right after it has been cooked? That’s why we use the benchmark method of blast-chilling and freezing which basically snap freezes the meals before they have any chance of spoilage or growth of microorganisms. Freezing also helps to maintain top nutritional quality of the food, by retaining the vitamins and minerals present in the food. In some ways, frozen food is actually nutritionally better than fresh, because fresh food loses micronutrients over time (that’s why we say fresher than fresh!).

    GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY

    Fact: 2.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown out by Australian households every year (that’s 300kgs per person!).

    At some point, we’ve all opened our fridge to find soggy lettuce that we just didn’t get around to using that week. If you find yourself throwing out lots of unused produce each week, we can help. Our meals are only around $13-14 each, including delivery. With this price comes lots of time saving (no long grocery shops, meal planning, cooking, cleaning up), plus no wasted ingredients and no wasted money spent on those ingredients! We full support the idea that healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  

    WE SUPPORT YOU

    We’re here to answer any question you might have, and to support you on your health journey. Whether you want to free up time, lose weight or simply just start eating healthier, as soon as you join us you become a part of the friendly and supporting community that is Wholesomeness!

     

    Click here to check out our nutritious, healthy, delivered meals. 


    Author:

    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    10 (Dairy-Free) Ways to Meet Your Calcium Requirements!

    How to get enough calcium without Dairy, by Wholesomeness Healthy Delivered Meals

    Calcium is one of the most essential minerals that we need for general health, strong bones and healthy teeth. In addition, we also need a matrix of other minerals such as vitamin D (from the sun), magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin K (green leafy vegetables).

    While diet is important, we also can’t forget the importance of weight bearing exercises such as walking or weights/resistance exercise, for strong, dense bones.  

    In the Wholesomeness kitchen we love being able to create nutritious food for people who may have certain dietary needs or preferences, and this is the reason why many of our healthy prepared meals are 100% dairy free.

    We know that calcium is important and so that’s why we use a range of other nutritious (dairy free) sources of calcium in our cooking.

    That’s why, in this article we wanted to shed light on some other foods that have a decent whack of the bone-building mineral too. Some of these we absolutely love to use in our dishes, so you may have seen them already in a few of your Wholesomeness meals!  

    FIRM TOFU
    Tofu, or soy bean curd is traditionally associated with Asian cuisine but has become more popular here as a meat substitute for vegetarian cooking.

    We love to use tofu in our vegan cooking, like in our Tofu & Pineapple Massaman Curry and our Butter Tofu with Brown Rice & Peas.

    A nice 100g of firm tofu contains about 200mg of calcium (nearly as much as a glass of milk). However, the calcium can vary greatly depending on firmness and brand so it’s important to check the label to make sure it contains calcium sulphate, which is used as a setting agent. If it does not, the calcium content will be much lower (about half).  
     
    BOK CHOY
    A great calcium-containing low-oxalate vegetable that is perfect for Asian stir-fries. However, you need to eat much more of it to get adequate calcium (about 3.5 cups to be compared to a glass of milk), so it’s best to think of bok choy as more of a calcium top-up, or a calcium ‘side.’
     
    FORTIFIED PLANT MILKS
    Fortified plant milks such as soy, oat and almond milks usually contain the same, if not more, calcium content than regular cow’s milk. For tips on reading the nutrition label, about 120mg of calcium per 100g is around the equivalent to cow’s milk.
     
    ALMONDS
    A large handful of almonds (about 50g) comes close to 80mg of calcium, not to mention the protein, vitamin E, phosphorous and healthy fat benefits they deliver, making them a great afternoon snack and calcium pick-me-up.
     
    SALMON & SARDINES
    When eaten with their soft, edible bones salmon and sardines are a great source of calcium, plus vitamin D, protein and omega 3 fats for a healthy brain and healthy joints. Have you tried our salmon fish cakes? 
     
    TAHINI
    Tahini is basically ground and blended sesame seeds (like a sesame seed version of peanut butter). Tahini is so versatile, you can blend it with sauces, use it in a dressing with lemon and garlic, or simply eat it on toast!
     
    DRIED FIGS
    If you’re craving something sweet and need a calcium hit at the same time, snack on some dried figs. Half a cup of dried figs contains around 120mg of calcium.
     
    TEMPEH
    Tempeh is similar to tofu, but is made from fermented soy beans and therefore has a much stronger taste. 100mg of tempeh contains around 110mg of calcium. Tempeh can be used in much of the same dishes that tofu can, and is a great ingredient to have as part of your vegetarian cooking staples.
     
    EDAMAME
    Edamame are young soybeans that are harvested before they have ripened or hardened. They are super nutrient rich and are served a lot in Japanese cooking, simply boiled or steamed with a sprinkling of salt on top. One cup of edamame contains about 100mg of calcium.
     
    BROCCOLI
    Broccoli, one of our favourite cruciferous vegetables! Broccoli is so yummy and packed full of not only calcium, but heaps of other good-for-you nutrients. 100g of broccoli gives you about 50mg of calcium, so it’s an excellent calcium top-up to go with the other calcium rich foods you eat that day.

    Click here to check out our nutritious, healthy, delivered meals

    Authour:

    Lisa Cutforth
    B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
    Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
    Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    Lisa Cutforth and family.  Owners of Wholesomeness-on-Roma

    3 Surprising Signs of a Weakened Immune System

     

    In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that there are certain things we can do to prevent contracting the virus, for example social distancing and washing our hands frequently. But keeping our immune system strong and robust is also a crucial element to ensuring that we stay healthy during this time. A healthy immune system not only reduces our risk of contracting the virus, but it also protects us if we ever do contract it or helps us recover quicker. The protective healing functions of a strong immune system gives us a better chance of having milder symptoms and helps us to recover faster.

    Check out some signs of a weakened immune system below…there may even be some you didn’t know!

    1. You have ongoing tummy troubles 

    Tummy troubles can include constipation, food sensitivities, gas or bloating. If you experience these issues and they are ongoing, there is a high chance that something is not right in your gut. Research has made it evident that the health of your gut microbiota has a profound effect on your immune system, due to the fact that most of your immune system actually lives in your digestive tract. Your gut is one of your first lines of defence, and your immune system is right next to your gut. The beneficial bacteria and microorganisms (flora) help to defend your gut from infection, viruses, inflammation and autoimmune disorders. If your digestive issues are ongoing, it might be time to pay some extra love to your gut and try to get to the root cause of what’s going on.

     2. Your wounds take a long time to heal

    If your wounds just won’t heal up, it could be a sign your immune system is sluggish and weak. Your body works to protect and repair a wound by sending nutrient rich blood to the site to help create new skin. Of course, this depends on the availability of healthy immune cells. If they’re lacking, the skin finds it hard to regenerate and the wounds linger for longer.  Excessive stress and low vitamin C levels can also delay wound healing, and also lower your overall immunity.

     3. You catch every single cold!

    A couple of colds a year for an adult (especially during winter) is pretty normal. But if you can never catch a break from a cold and you seem to always have a stash of tissues in your pocket (for your sniffily nose!) its probably a sign your immune system may need a little bit more love and attention. If your immune system is not strong enough to fight off multiple mild colds per year, (and let’s face it there are bugs everywhere), then this sends a sign that it may not be equipped to deal with other more serious invading bacteria and viruses that may come your way. 

    One of the first ways you can start giving some love to your immune system is by nourishing it with the nutrients it needs, another way is by avoiding harsh additives, junk food or nasty ingredients. That’s two of the many reasons why we think it’s so important to create our healthy no nonsense food to help people eat healthier (without the hassle and stress of planning, prepping and cooking). Check out our meal plans here.